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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, No. 60, October, 1862
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, No. 60, October, 1862" ***

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NUMBER 60, OCTOBER 1862***


VOL. X.--OCTOBER, 1862.--NO. LX.



Europeans coming to America are surprised by the brilliancy of our
autumnal foliage. There is no account of such a phenomenon in English
poetry, because the trees acquire but few bright colors there. The most
that Thomson says on this subject in his "Autumn" is contained in the

  "But see the fading many-colored woods,
  Shade deepening over shade, the country round
  Imbrown; a crowded umbrage, dusk and dun,
  Of every hue, from wan declining green to sooty dark":--

and in the line in which he speaks of

  "Autumn beaming o'er the yellow woods."

The autumnal change of our woods has not made a deep impression on our
own literature yet. October has hardly tinged our poetry.

A great many, who have spent their lives in cities, and have never
chanced to come into the country at this season, have never seen this,
the flower, or rather the ripe fruit, of the year. I remember riding
with one such citizen, who, though a fortnight too late for the most
brilliant tints, was taken by surprise, and would not believe that there
had been any brighter. He had never heard of this phenomenon before. Not
only many in our towns have never witnessed it, but it is scarcely
remembered by the majority from year to year.

Most appear to confound changed leaves with withered ones, as if they
were to confound ripe apples with rotten ones. I think that the change
to some higher color in a leaf is an evidence that it has arrived at a
late and perfect maturity, answering to the maturity of fruits. It is
generally the lowest and oldest leaves which change first. But as the
perfect winged and usually bright-colored insect is short-lived, so the
leaves ripen but to fall.

Generally, every fruit, on ripening, and just before it falls, when it
commences a more independent and individual existence, requiring less
nourishment from any source, and that not so much from the earth through
its stem as from the sun and air, acquires a bright tint. So do leaves.
The physiologist says it is "due to an increased absorption of oxygen."
That is the scientific account of the matter,--only a reassertion of the
fact. But I am more interested in the rosy cheek than I am to know what
particular diet the maiden fed on. The very forest and herbage, the
pellicle of the earth, must acquire a bright color, an evidence of its
ripeness,--as if the globe itself were a fruit on its stem, with ever a
cheek toward the sun.

Flowers are but colored leaves, fruits but ripe ones. The edible part of
most fruits is, as the physiologist says, "the parenchyma or fleshy
tissue of the leaf" of which they are formed.

Our appetites have commonly confined our views of ripeness and its
phenomena, color, mellowness, and perfectness, to the fruits which we
eat, and we are wont to forget that an immense harvest which we do not
eat, hardly use at all, is annually ripened by Nature. At our annual
Cattle Shows and Horticultural Exhibitions, we make, as we think, a
great show of fair fruits, destined, however, to a rather ignoble end,
fruits not valued for their beauty chiefly. But round about and within
our towns there is annually another show of fruits, on an infinitely
grander scale, fruits which address our taste for beauty alone.

October is the month of painted leaves. Their rich glow now flashes
round the world. As fruits and leaves and the day itself acquire a
bright tint just before they fall, so the year near its setting. October
is its sunset sky; November the later twilight.

I formerly thought that it would be worth the while to get a specimen
leaf from each changing tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant, when it had
acquired its brightest characteristic color, in its transition from the
green to the brown state, outline it, and copy its color exactly, with
paint, in a book, which should be entitled, "_October, or Autumnal
Tints_";--beginning with the earliest reddening,--Woodbine and the lake
of radical leaves, and coming down through the Maples, Hickories, and
Sumachs, and many beautifully freckled leaves less generally known, to
the latest Oaks and Aspens. What a memento such a book would be! You
would need only to turn over its leaves to take a ramble through the
autumn woods whenever you pleased. Or if I could preserve the leaves
themselves, unfaded, it would be better still. I have made but little
progress toward such a book, but I have endeavored, instead, to describe
all these bright tints in the order in which they present themselves.
The following are some extracts from my notes.


By the twentieth of August, everywhere in woods and swamps, we are
reminded of the fall, both by the richly spotted Sarsaparilla-leaves and
Brakes, and the withering and blackened Skunk-Cabbage and Hellebore,
and, by the river-side, the already blackening Pontederia.

The Purple Grass (_Eragrostis pectinacea_) is now in the height of its
beauty. I remember still when I first noticed this grass particularly.
Standing on a hill-side near our river, I saw, thirty or forty rods off,
a stripe of purple half a dozen rods long, under the edge of a wood,
where the ground sloped toward a meadow. It was as high-colored and
interesting, though not quite so bright, as the patches of Rhexia, being
a darker purple, like a berry's stain laid on close and thick. On going
to and examining it, I found it to be a kind of grass in bloom, hardly a
foot high, with but few green blades, and a fine spreading panicle of
purple flowers, a shallow, purplish mist trembling around me. Close at
hand it appeared but a dull purple, and made little impression on the
eye; it was even difficult to detect; and if you plucked a single plant,
you were surprised to find how thin it was, and how little color it had.
But viewed at a distance in a favorable light, it was of a fine lively
purple, flower-like, enriching the earth. Such puny causes combine to
produce these decided effects. I was the more surprised and charmed
because grass is commonly of a sober and humble color.

With its beautiful purple blush it reminds me, and supplies the place,
of the Rhexia, which is now leaving off, and it is one of the most
interesting phenomena of August. The finest patches of it grow on waste
strips or selvages of land at the base of dry hills, just above the edge
of the meadows, where the greedy mower does not deign to swing his
scythe; for this is a thin and poor grass, beneath his notice. Or, it
may be, because it is so beautiful he does not know that it exists; for
the same eye does not see this and Timothy. He carefully gets the meadow
hay and the more nutritious grasses which grow next to that, but he
leaves this fine purple mist for the walker's harvest,--fodder for his
fancy stock. Higher up the hill, perchance, grow also Blackberries,
John's-Wort, and neglected, withered, and wiry June-Grass How fortunate
that it grows in such places, and not in the midst of the rank grasses
which are annually cut! Nature thus keeps use and beauty distinct. I
know many such localities, where it does not fail to present itself
annually, and paint the earth with its blush. It grows on the gentle
slopes, either in a continuous patch or in scattered and rounded tufts a
foot in diameter, and it lasts till it is killed by the first smart

In most plants the corolla or calyx is the part which attains the
highest color, and is the most attractive; in many it is the seed-vessel
or fruit; in others, as the Red Maple, the leaves; and in others still
it is the very culm itself which is the principal flower or blooming

The last is especially the case with the Poke or Garget (_Phytolacca
decandra_). Some which stand under our cliffs quite dazzle me with their
purple stems now and early in September. They are as interesting to me
as most flowers, and one of the most important fruits of our autumn.
Every part is flower, (or fruit,) such is its superfluity of
color,--stem, branch, peduncle, pedicel, petiole, and even the at length
yellowish purple-veined leaves. Its cylindrical racemes of berries of
various hues, from green to dark purple, six or seven inches long, are
gracefully drooping on all sides, offering repasts to the birds; and
even the sepals from which the birds have picked the berries are a
brilliant lake-red, with crimson flame-like reflections, equal to
anything of the kind,--all on fire with ripeness. Hence the _lacca_,
from _lac_, lake. There are at the same time flower-buds, flowers, green
berries, dark purple or ripe ones, and these flower-like sepals, all on
the same plant.

We love to see any redness in the vegetation of the temperate zone. It
is the color of colors. This plant speaks to blood. It asks a bright sun
on it to make it show to best advantage, and it must be seen at this
season of the year. On warm hill-sides its stems are ripe by the
twenty-third of August. At that date I walked through a beautiful grove
of them, six or seven feet high, on the side of one of our cliffs, where
they ripen early. Quite to the ground they were a deep brilliant purple
with a bloom, contrasting with the still clear green leaves. It appears
a rare triumph of Nature to have produced and perfected such a plant, as
if this were enough for a summer. What a perfect maturity it arrives at!
It is the emblem of a successful life concluded by a death not
premature, which is an ornament to Nature. What if we were to mature as
perfectly, root and branch, glowing in the midst of our decay, like the
Poke! I confess that it excites me to behold them. I cut one for a cane,
for I would fain handle and lean on it. I love to press the berries
between my fingers, and see their juice staining my hand. To walk amid
these upright, branching casks of purple wine, which retain and diffuse
a sunset glow, tasting each one with your eye, instead of counting the
pipes on a London dock, what a privilege! For Nature's vintage is not
confined to the vine. Our poets have sung of wine, the product of a
foreign plant which commonly they never saw, as if our own plants had no
juice in them more than the singers. Indeed, this has been called by
some the American Grape, and, though a native of America, its juices are
used in some foreign countries to improve the color of the wine; so that
the poetaster may be celebrating the virtues of the Poke without knowing
it. Here are berries enough to paint afresh the western sky, and play
the bacchanal with, if you will. And what flutes its ensanguined stems
would make, to be used in such a dance! It is truly a royal plant. I
could spend the evening of the year musing amid the Poke-stems. And
perchance amid these groves might arise at last a new school of
philosophy or poetry. It lasts all through September.

At the same time with this, or near the end of August, a to me very
interesting genus of grasses, Andropogons, or Beard-Grasses, is in its
prime. _Andropogon furcatus_, Forked Beard-Grass, or call it
Purple-Fingered Grass; _Andropogon scoparius_, Purple Wood-Grass; and
_Andropogon_ (now called _Sorghum_) _nutans_, Indian-Grass. The first is
a very tall and slender-culmed grass, three to seven feet high, with
four or five purple finger-like spikes raying upward from the top. The
second is also quite slender, growing in tufts two feet high by one
wide, with culms often somewhat curving, which, as the spikes go out of
bloom, have a whitish fuzzy look. These two are prevailing grasses at
this season on dry and sandy fields and hill-sides. The culms of both,
not to mention their pretty flowers, reflect a purple tinge, and help to
declare the ripeness of the year. Perhaps I have the more sympathy with
them because they are despised by the farmer, and occupy sterile and
neglected soil. They are high-colored, like ripe grapes, and express a
maturity which the spring did not suggest. Only the August sun could
have thus burnished these culms and leaves. The farmer has long since
done his upland haying, and he will not condescend to bring his scythe
to where these slender wild grasses have at length flowered thinly; you
often see spaces of bare sand amid them. But I walk encouraged between
the tufts of Purple Wood-Grass, over the sandy fields, and along the
edge of the Shrub-Oaks, glad to recognize these simple contemporaries.
With thoughts cutting a broad swathe I "get" them, with horse-raking
thoughts I gather them into windrows. The fine-eared poet may hear the
whetting of my scythe. These two were almost the first grasses that I
learned to distinguish, for I had not known by how many friends I was
surrounded,--I had seen them simply as grasses standing. The purple of
their culms also excites me like that of the Poke-Weed stems.

Think what refuge there is for one, before August is over, from college
commencements and society that isolates! I can skulk amid the tufts of
Purple Wood-Grass on the borders of the "Great Fields." Wherever I walk
these afternoons, the Purple-Fingered Grass also stands like a
guide-board, and points my thoughts to more poetic paths than they have
lately travelled.

A man shall perhaps rush by and trample down plants as high as his head,
and cannot be said to know that they exist, though he may have cut many
tons of them, littered his stables with them, and fed them to his cattle
for years. Yet, if he ever favorably attends to them, he may be overcome
by their beauty. Each humblest plant, or weed, as we call it, stands
there to express some thought or mood of ours; and yet how long it
stands in vain! I had walked over those Great Fields so many Augusts,
and never yet distinctly recognized these purple companions that I had
there. I had brushed against them and trodden on them, forsooth; and
now, at last, they, as it were, rose up and blessed me. Beauty and true
wealth are always thus cheap and despised. Heaven might be defined as
the place which men avoid. Who can doubt that these grasses, which the
farmer says are of no account to him, find some compensation in your
appreciation of them? I may say that I never saw them before,--though,
when I came to look them face to face, there did come down to me a
purple gleam from previous years; and now, wherever I go, I see hardly
anything else. It is the reign and presidency of the Andropogons.

Almost the very sands confess the ripening influence of the August sun,
and methinks, together with the slender grasses waving over them,
reflect a purple tinge. The impurpled sands! Such is the consequence of
all this sunshine absorbed into the pores of plants and of the earth.
All sap or blood is now wine-colored. At last we have not only the
purple sea, but the purple land.

The Chestnut Beard-Grass, Indian-Grass, or Wood-Grass, growing here and
there in waste places, but more rare than the former, (from two to four
or five feet high,) is still handsomer and of more vivid colors than its
congeners, and might well have caught the Indian's eye. It has a long,
narrow, one-sided, and slightly nodding panicle of bright purple and
yellow flowers, like a banner raised above its reedy leaves. These
bright standards are now advanced on the distant hill-sides, not in
large armies, but in scattered troops or single file, like the red men.
They stand thus fair and bright, representative of the race which they
are named after, but for the most part unobserved as they. The
expression of this grass haunted me for a week, after I first passed and
noticed it, like the glance of an eye. It stands like an Indian chief
taking a last look at his favorite hunting-grounds.


By the twenty-fifth of September, the Red Maples generally are beginning
to be ripe. Some large ones have been conspicuously changing for a week,
and some single trees are now very brilliant. I notice a small one, half
a mile off across a meadow, against the green wood-side there, a far
brighter red than the blossoms of any tree in summer, and more
conspicuous. I have observed this tree for several autumns invariably
changing earlier than its fellows, just as one tree ripens its fruit
earlier than another. It might serve to mark the season, perhaps. I
should be sorry, if it were cut down. I know of two or three such trees
in different parts of our town, which might, perhaps, be propagated
from, as early ripeners or September trees, and their seed be advertised
in the market, as well as that of radishes, if we cared as much about

At present, these burning bushes stand chiefly along the edge of the
meadows, or I distinguish them afar on the hill-sides here and there.
Sometimes you will see many small ones in a swamp turned quite crimson
when all other trees around are still perfectly green, and the former
appear so much the brighter for it. They take you by surprise, as you
are going by on one side, across the fields thus early in the season, as
if it were some gay encampment of the red men, or other foresters, of
whose arrival you had not heard.

Some single trees, wholly bright scarlet, seen against others of their
kind still freshly green, or against evergreens, are more memorable than
whole groves will be by-and-by. How beautiful, when a whole tree is like
one great scarlet fruit full of ripe juices, every leaf, from lowest
limb to topmost spire, all aglow, especially if you look toward the sun!
What more remarkable object can there be in the landscape? Visible for
miles, too fair to be believed. If such a phenomenon occurred but once,
it would be handed down by tradition to posterity, and get into the
mythology at last.

The whole tree thus ripening in advance of its fellows attains a
singular preeminence, and sometimes maintains it for a week or two. I am
thrilled at the sight of it, bearing aloft its scarlet standard for the
regiment of green-clad foresters around, and I go half a mile out of my
way to examine it. A single tree becomes thus the crowning beauty of
some meadowy vale, and the expression of the whole surrounding forest is
at once more spirited for it.

A small Red Maple has grown, perchance, far away at the head of some
retired valley, a mile from any road, unobserved. It has faithfully
discharged the duties of a Maple there, all winter and summer, neglected
none of its economies, but added to its stature in the virtue which
belongs to a Maple, by a steady growth for so many months, never having
gone gadding abroad, and is nearer heaven than it was in the spring. It
has faithfully husbanded its sap, and afforded a shelter to the
wandering bird, has long since ripened its seeds and committed them to
the winds, and has the satisfaction of knowing, perhaps, that a thousand
little well-behaved Maples are already settled in life somewhere. It
deserves well of Mapledom. Its leaves have been asking it from time to
time, in a whisper, "When shall we redden?" And now, in this month of
September, this month of travelling, when men are hastening to the
sea-side, or the mountains, or the lakes, this modest Maple, still
without budging an inch, travels in its reputation,--runs up its scarlet
flag on that hill-side, which shows that it has finished its summer's
work before all other trees, and withdraws from the contest. At the
eleventh hour of the year, the tree which no scrutiny could have
detected here when it was most industrious is thus, by the tint of its
maturity, by its very blushes, revealed at last to the careless and
distant traveller, and leads his thoughts away from the dusty road into
those brave solitudes which it inhabits. It flashes out conspicuous with
all the virtue and beauty of a Maple,--_Acer rubrum_. We may now read
its title, or _rubric_, clear. Its _virtues_, not its sins, are as

Notwithstanding the Red Maple is the most intense scarlet of any of our
trees, the Sugar-Maple has been the most celebrated, and Michaux in his
"Sylva" does not speak of the autumnal color of the former. About the
second of October, these trees, both large and small, are most
brilliant, though many are still green. In "sprout-lands" they seem to
vie with one another, and ever some particular one in the midst of the
crowd will be of a peculiarly pure scarlet, and by its more intense
color attract our eye even at a distance, and carry off the palm. A
large Red-Maple swamp, when at the height of its change, is the most
obviously brilliant of all tangible things, where I dwell, so abundant
is this tree with us. It varies much both in form and color. A great
many are merely yellow, more scarlet, others scarlet deepening into
crimson, more red than common. Look at yonder swamp of Maples mixed with
Pines, at the base of a Pine-clad hill, a quarter of a mile off, so that
you get the full effect of the bright colors, without detecting the
imperfections of the leaves, and see their yellow, scarlet, and crimson
fires, of all tints, mingled and contrasted with the green. Some Maples
are yet green, only yellow or crimson-tipped on the edges of their
flakes, like the edges of a Hazel-Nut burr; some are wholly brilliant
scarlet, raying out regularly and finely every way, bilaterally, like
the veins of a leaf; others, of more irregular form, when I turn my head
slightly, emptying out some of its earthiness and concealing the trunk
of the tree, seem to rest heavily flake on flake, like yellow and
scarlet clouds, wreath upon wreath, or like snow-drifts driving through
the air, stratified by the wind. It adds greatly to the beauty of such a
swamp at this season, that, even though there may be no other trees
interspersed, it is not seen as a simple mass of color, but, different
trees being of different colors and hues, the outline of each crescent
tree-top is distinct, and where one laps on to another. Yet a painter
would hardly venture to make them thus distinct a quarter of a mile off.

As I go across a meadow directly toward a low rising ground this bright
afternoon, I see, some fifty rods off toward the sun, the top of a Maple
swamp just appearing over the sheeny russet edge of the hill, a stripe
apparently twenty rods long by ten feet deep, of the most intensely
brilliant scarlet, orange, and yellow, equal to any flowers or fruits,
or any tints ever painted. As I advance, lowering the edge of the hill
which makes the firm foreground or lower frame of the picture, the depth
of the brilliant grove revealed steadily increases, suggesting that the
whole of the inclosed valley is filled with such color. One wonders that
the tithing-men and fathers of the town are not out to see what the
trees mean by their high colors and exuberance of spirits, fearing that
some mischief is brewing. I do not see what the Puritans did at this
season, when the Maples blaze out in scarlet. They certainly could not
have worshipped in groves then. Perhaps that is what they built
meeting-houses and fenced them round with horse-sheds for.


Now, too, the first of October, or later, the Elms are at the height of
their autumnal beauty, great brownish-yellow masses, warm from their
September oven, hanging over the highway. Their leaves are perfectly
ripe. I wonder if there is any answering ripeness in the lives of the
men who live beneath them. As I look down our street, which is lined
with them, they remind me both by their form and color of yellowing
sheaves of grain, as if the harvest had indeed come to the village
itself, and we might expect to find some maturity and flavor in the
thoughts of the villagers at last. Under those bright rustling yellow
piles just ready to fall on the heads of the walkers, how can any
crudity or greenness of thought or act prevail? When I stand where half
a dozen large Elms droop over a house, it is as if I stood within a ripe
pumpkin-rind, and I feel as mellow as if I were the pulp, though I may
be somewhat stringy and seedy withal. What is the late greenness of the
English Elm, like a cucumber out of season, which does not know when to
have done, compared with the early and golden maturity of the American
tree? The street is the scene of a great harvest-home. It would be worth
the while to set out these trees, if only for their autumnal value.
Think of these great yellow canopies or parasols held over our heads and
houses by the mile together, making the village all one and compact,--an
_ulmarium_, which is at the same time a nursery of men! And then how
gently and unobserved they drop their burden and let in the sun when it
is wanted, their leaves not heard when they fall on our roofs and in our
streets; and thus the village parasol is shut up and put away! I see the
market-man driving into the village, and disappearing under its canopy
of Elm-tops, with _his_ crop, as into a great granary or barnyard. I am
tempted to go thither as to a husking of thoughts, now dry and ripe, and
ready to be separated from their integuments; but, alas! I foresee that
it will be chiefly husks and little thought, blasted pig-corn, fit only
for cob-meal,--for, as you sow, so shall you reap.


By the sixth of October the leaves generally begin to fall, in
successive showers, after frost or rain; but the principal leaf-harvest,
the acme of the _Fall_, is commonly about the sixteenth. Some morning at
that date there is perhaps a harder frost than we have seen, and ice
formed under the pump, and now, when the morning wind rises, the leaves
come down in denser showers than ever. They suddenly form thick beds or
carpets on the ground, in this gentle air, or even without wind, just
the size and form of the tree above. Some trees, as small Hickories,
appear to have dropped their leaves instantaneously, as a soldier
grounds arms at a signal; and those of the Hickory, being bright yellow
still, though withered, reflect a blaze of light from the ground where
they lie. Down they have come on all sides, at the first earnest touch
of autumn's wand, making a sound like rain.

Or else it is after moist and rainy weather that we notice how great a
fall of leaves there has been in the night, though it may not yet be the
touch that loosens the Rock-Maple leaf. The streets are thickly strewn
with the trophies, and fallen Elm-leaves make a dark brown pavement
under our feet. After some remarkably warm Indian-summer day or days, I
perceive that it is the unusual heat which, more than anything, causes
the leaves to fall, there having been, perhaps, no frost nor rain for
some time. The intense heat suddenly ripens and wilts them, just as it
softens and ripens peaches and other fruits, and causes them to drop.

The leaves of late Red Maples, still bright, strew the earth, often
crimson-spotted on a yellow ground, like some wild apples,--though they
preserve these bright colors on the ground but a day or two, especially
if it rains. On causeways I go by trees here and there all bare and
smoke-like, having lost their brilliant clothing; but there it lies,
nearly as bright as ever, on the ground on one side, and making nearly
as regular a figure as lately on the tree. I would rather say that I
first observe the trees thus flat on the ground like a permanent colored
shadow, and they suggest to look for the boughs that bore them. A queen
might be proud to walk where these gallant trees have spread their
bright cloaks in the mud. I see wagons roll over them as a shadow or a
reflection, and the drivers heed them just as little as they did their
shadows before.

Birds'-nests, in the Huckleberry and other shrubs, and in trees, are
already being filled with the withered leaves. So many have fallen in
the woods, that a squirrel cannot run after a falling nut without being
heard. Boys are raking them in the streets, if only for the pleasure of
dealing with such clean crisp substances. Some sweep the paths
scrupulously neat, and then stand to see the next breath strew them with
new trophies. The swamp-floor is thickly covered, and the _Lycopodium
lucidulum_ looks suddenly greener amid them. In dense woods they
half-cover pools that are three or four rods long. The other day I could
hardly find a well-known spring, and even suspected that it had dried
up, for it was completely concealed by freshly fallen leaves; and when I
swept them aside and revealed it, it was like striking the earth, with
Aaron's rod, for a new spring. Wet grounds about the edges of swamps
look dry with them. At one swamp, where I was surveying, thinking to
step on a leafy shore from a rail, I got into the water more than a foot

When I go to the river the day after the principal fall of leaves, the
sixteenth, I find my boat all covered, bottom and seats, with the leaves
of the Golden Willow under which it is moored, and I set sail with a
cargo of them rustling under my feet. If I empty it, it will be full
again to-morrow. I do not regard them as litter, to be swept out, but
accept them as suitable straw or matting for the bottom of my carriage.
When I turn up into the mouth of the Assabet, which is wooded, large
fleets of leaves are floating on its surface, as it were getting out to
sea, with room to tack; but next the shore, a little farther up, they
are thicker than foam, quite concealing the water for a rod in width,
under and amid the Alders, Button-Bushes, and Maples, still perfectly
light and dry, with fibre unrelaxed; and at a rocky bend where they are
met and stopped by the morning wind, they sometimes form a broad and
dense crescent quite across the river. When I turn my prow that way, and
the wave which it makes strikes them, list what a pleasant rustling from
these dry substances grating on one another! Often it is their
undulation only which reveals the water beneath them. Also every motion
of the wood-turtle on the shore is betrayed by their rustling there. Or
even in mid-channel, when the wind rises, I hear them blown with a
rustling sound. Higher up they are slowly moving round and round in some
great eddy which the river makes, as that at the "Leaning Hemlocks,"
where the water is deep, and the current is wearing into the bank.

Perchance, in the afternoon of such a day, when the water is perfectly
calm and full of reflections, I paddle gently down the main stream, and,
turning up the Assabet, reach a quiet cove, where I unexpectedly find
myself surrounded by myriads of leaves, like fellow-voyagers, which seem
to have the same purpose, or want of purpose, with myself. See this
great fleet of scattered leaf-boats which we paddle amid, in this smooth
river-bay, each one curled up on every side by the sun's skill, each
nerve a stiff spruce-knee,--like boats of hide, and of all patterns,
Charon's boat probably among the rest, and some with lofty prows and
poops, like the stately vessels of the ancients, scarcely moving in the
sluggish current,--like the great fleets, the dense Chinese cities of
boats, with which you mingle on entering some great mart, some New York
or Canton, which we are all steadily approaching together. How gently
each has been deposited on the water! No violence has been used towards
them yet, though, perchance, palpitating hearts were present at the
launching. And painted ducks, too, the splendid wood-duck among the
rest, often come to sail and float amid the painted leaves,--barks of a
nobler model still!

What wholesome herb-drinks are to be had in the swamps now! What strong
medicinal, but rich, scents from the decaying leaves! The rain falling
on the freshly dried herbs and leaves, and filling the pools and ditches
into which they have dropped thus clean and rigid, will soon convert
them into tea,--green, black, brown, and yellow teas, of all degrees of
strength, enough to set all Nature a-gossiping. Whether we drink them or
not, as yet, before their strength is drawn, these leaves, dried on
great Nature's coppers, are of such various pure and delicate tints as
might make the fame of Oriental teas.

How they are mixed up, of all species, Oak and Maple and Chestnut and
Birch! But Nature is not cluttered with them; she is a perfect
husbandman; she stores them all. Consider what a vast crop is thus
annually shed on the earth! This, more than any mere grain or seed, is
the great harvest of the year. The trees are now repaying the earth with
interest what they have taken from it. They are discounting. They are
about to add a leaf's thickness to the depth of the soil. This is the
beautiful way in which Nature gets her muck, while I chaffer with this
man and that, who talks to me about sulphur and the cost of carting. We
are all the richer for their decay. I am more interested in this crop
than in the English grass alone or in the corn. It prepares the virgin
mould for future cornfields and forests, on which the earth fattens. It
keeps our homestead in good heart.

For beautiful variety no crop can be compared with this. Here is not
merely the plain yellow of the grains, but nearly all the colors that we
know, the brightest blue not excepted: the early blushing Maple, the
Poison-Sumach blazing its sins as scarlet, the mulberry Ash, the rich
chrome-yellow of the Poplars, the brilliant red Huckleberry, with which
the hills' backs are painted, like those of sheep. The frost touches
them, and, with the slightest breath of returning day or jarring of
earth's axle, see in what showers they come floating down! The ground is
all party-colored with them. But they still live in the soil, whose
fertility and bulk they increase, and in the forests that spring from
it. They stoop to rise, to mount higher in coming years, by subtle
chemistry, climbing by the sap in the trees, and the sapling's first
fruits thus shed, transmuted at last, may adorn its crown, when, in
after-years, it has become the monarch of the forest.

It is pleasant to walk over the beds of these fresh, crisp, and rustling
leaves. How beautifully they go to their graves! how gently lay
themselves down and turn to mould!--painted of a thousand hues, and fit
to make the beds of us living. So they troop to their last
resting-place, light and frisky. They put on no weeds, but merrily they
go scampering over the earth, selecting the spot, choosing a lot,
ordering no iron fence, whispering all through the woods about it,--some
choosing the spot where the bodies of men are mouldering beneath, and
meeting them half-way. How many flutterings before they rest quietly in
their graves! They that soared so loftily, how contentedly they return
to dust again, and are laid low, resigned to lie and decay at the foot
of the tree, and afford nourishment to new generations of their kind, as
well as to flutter on high! They teach us how to die. One wonders if the
time will ever come when men, with their boasted faith in immortality,
will lie down as gracefully and as ripe,--with such an Indian-summer
serenity will shed their bodies, as they do their hair and nails.

When the leaves fall, the whole earth is a cemetery pleasant to walk in.
I love to wander and muse over them in their graves. Here are no lying
nor vain epitaphs. What though you own no lot at Mount Auburn? Your lot
is surely cast somewhere in this vast cemetery, which has been
consecrated from of old. You need attend no auction to secure a place.
There is room enough here. The Loose-strife shall bloom and the
Huckleberry-bird sing over your bones. The woodman and hunter shall be
your sextons, and the children shall tread upon the borders as much as
they will. Let us walk in the cemetery of the leaves,--this is your true
Greenwood Cemetery.


But think not that the splendor of the year is over; for as one leaf
does not make a summer, neither does one fallen leaf make an autumn. The
smallest Sugar-Maples in our streets make a great show as early as the
fifth of October, more than any other trees there. As I look up the Main
Street, they appear like painted screens standing before the houses; yet
many are green. But now, or generally by the seventeenth of October,
when almost all Red Maples, and some White Maples, are bare, the large
Sugar-Maples also are in their glory, glowing with yellow and red, and
show unexpectedly bright and delicate tints. They are remarkable for the
contrast they often afford of deep blushing red on one half and green on
the other. They become at length dense masses of rich yellow with a deep
scarlet blush, or more than blush, on the exposed surfaces. They are the
brightest trees now in the street.

The large ones on our Common are particularly beautiful. A delicate, but
warmer than golden yellow is now the prevailing color, with scarlet
cheeks. Yet, standing on the east side of the Common just before
sundown, when the western light is transmitted through them, I see that
their yellow even, compared with the pale lemon yellow of an Elm close
by, amounts to a scarlet, without noticing the bright scarlet portions.
Generally, they are great regular oval masses of yellow and scarlet. All
the sunny warmth of the season, the Indian summer, seems to be absorbed
in their leaves. The lowest and inmost leaves next the bole are, as
usual, of the most delicate yellow and green, like the complexion of
young men brought up in the house. There is an auction on the Common
to-day, but its red flag is hard to be discerned amid this blaze of

Little did the fathers of the town anticipate this brilliant success,
when they caused to be imported from farther in the country some
straight poles with their tops cut off, which they called Sugar-Maples;
and, as I remember, after they were set out, a neighboring merchant's
clerk, by way of jest, planted beans about them. Those which were then
jestingly called bean-poles are to-day far the most beautiful objects
noticeable in our streets. They are worth all and more than they have
cost,--though one of the selectmen, while setting them out, took the
cold which occasioned his death,--if only because they have filled the
open eyes of children with their rich color unstintedly so many
Octobers. We will not ask them to yield us sugar in the spring, while
they afford us so fair a prospect in the autumn. Wealth in-doors may be
the inheritance of few, but it is equally distributed on the Common. All
children alike can revel in this golden harvest.

Surely trees should be set in our streets with a view to their October
splendor; though I doubt whether this is ever considered by the "Tree
Society." Do you not think it will make some odds to these children that
they were brought up under the Maples? Hundreds of eyes are steadily
drinking in this color, and by these teachers even the truants are
caught and educated the moment they step abroad. Indeed, neither the
truant nor the studious is at present taught color in the schools. These
are instead of the bright colors in apothecaries' shops and city
windows. It is a pity that we have no more _Red_ Maples, and some
Hickories, in our streets as well. Our paint-box is very imperfectly
filled. Instead of, or beside, supplying such paint-boxes as we do, we
might supply these natural colors to the young. Where else will they
study color under greater advantages? What School of Design can vie with
this? Think how much the eyes of painters of all kinds, and of
manufacturers of cloth and paper, and paper-stainers, and countless
others, are to be educated by these autumnal colors. The stationer's
envelopes may be of very various tints, yet not so various as those of
the leaves of a single tree. If you want a different shade or tint of a
particular color, you have only to look farther within or without the
tree or the wood. These leaves are not many dipped in one dye, as at the
dye-house, but they are dyed in light of infinitely various degrees of
strength, and left to set and dry there.

Shall the names of so many of our colors continue to be derived from
those of obscure foreign localities, as Naples yellow, Prussian blue,
raw Sienna, burnt Umber, Gamboge?--(surely the Tyrian purple must have
faded by this time)--or from comparatively trivial articles of
commerce,--chocolate, lemon, coffee, cinnamon, claret?--(shall we
compare our Hickory to a lemon, or a lemon to a Hickory?)--or from ores
and oxides which few ever see? Shall we so often, when describing to our
neighbors the color of something we have seen, refer them, not to some
natural object in our neighborhood, but perchance to a bit of earth
fetched from the other side of the planet, which possibly they may find
at the apothecary's, but which probably neither they nor we ever saw?
Have we not an _earth_ under our feet,--ay, and a sky over our heads? Or
is the last _all_ ultramarine? What do we know of sapphire, amethyst,
emerald, ruby, amber, and the like,--most of us who take these names in
vain? Leave these precious words to cabinet-keepers, virtuosos, and
maids-of-honor,--to the Nabobs, Begums, and Chobdars of Hindostan, or
wherever else. I do not see why, since America and her autumn woods have
been discovered, our leaves should not compete with the precious stones
in giving names to colors; and, indeed, I believe that in course of time
the names of some of our trees and shrubs, as well as flowers, will get
into our popular chromatic nomenclature.

But of much more importance than a knowledge of the names and
distinctions of color is the joy and exhilaration which these colored
leaves excite. Already these brilliant trees throughout the street,
without any more variety, are at least equal to an annual festival and
holiday, or a week of such. These are cheap and innocent gala-days,
celebrated by one and all without the aid of committees or marshals,
such a show as may safely be licensed, not attracting gamblers or
rum-sellers, nor requiring any special police to keep the peace. And
poor indeed must be that New-England village's October which has not the
Maple in its streets. This October festival costs no powder, nor ringing
of bells, but every tree is a living liberty-pole on which a thousand
bright flags are waving.

No wonder that we must have our annual Cattle-Show, and Fall Training,
and perhaps Cornwallis, our September Courts, and the like. Nature
herself holds her annual fair in October, not only in the streets, but
in every hollow and on every hill-side. When lately we looked into that
Red-Maple swamp all a-blaze,--where the trees were clothed in their
vestures of most dazzling tints, did it not suggest a thousand gypsies
beneath,--a race capable of wild delight,--or even the fabled fawns,
satyrs, and wood-nymphs come back to earth? Or was it only a
congregation of wearied wood-choppers, or of proprietors come to inspect
their lots, that we thought of? Or, earlier still, when we paddled on
the river through that fine-grained September air, did there not appear
to be something new going on under the sparkling surface of the stream,
a shaking of props, at least, so that we made haste in order to be up in
time? Did not the rows of yellowing Willows and Button-Bushes on each
side seem like rows of booths, under which, perhaps, some fluviatile
egg-pop equally yellow was effervescing? Did not all these suggest that
man's spirits should rise as high as Nature's,--should hang out their
flag, and the routine of his life be interrupted by an analogous
expression of joy and hilarity?

No annual training or muster of soldiery, no celebration with its scarfs
and banners, could import into the town a hundredth part of the annual
splendor of our October. We have only to set the trees, or let them
stand, and Nature will find the colored drapery,--flags of all her
nations, some of whose private signals hardly the botanist can
read,--while we walk under the triumphal arches of the Elms. Leave it to
Nature to appoint the days, whether the same as in neighboring States or
not, and let the clergy read her proclamations, if they can understand
them. Behold what a brilliant drapery is her Woodbine flag! What
public-spirited merchant, think you, has contributed this part of the
show? There is no handsomer shingling and paint than this vine, at
present covering a whole side of some houses. I do not believe that the
Ivy _never sear_ is comparable to it. No wonder it has been extensively
introduced into London. Let us have a good many Maples and Hickories and
Scarlet Oaks, then, I say. Blaze away! Shall that dirty roll of bunting
in the gun-house be all the colors a village can display? A village is
not complete, unless it have these trees to mark the season in it. They
are important, like the town-clock. A village that has them not will not
be found to work well. It has a screw loose, an essential part is
wanting. Let us have Willows for spring, Elms for summer, Maples and
Walnuts and Tupeloes for autumn, Evergreens for winter, and Oaks for all
seasons. What is a gallery in a house to a gallery in the streets, which
every market-man rides through, whether he will or not? Of course, there
is not a picture-gallery in the country which would be worth so much to
us as is the western view at sunset under the Elms of our main street.
They are the frame to a picture which is daily painted behind them. An
avenue of Elms as large as our largest and three miles long would seem
to lead to some admirable place, though only C---- were at the end of

A village needs these innocent stimulants of bright and cheering
prospects to keep off melancholy and superstition. Show me two villages,
one embowered in trees and blazing with all the glories of October, the
other a merely trivial and treeless waste, or with only a single tree or
two for suicides, and I shall be sure that in the latter will be found
the most starved and bigoted religionists and the most desperate
drinkers. Every wash-tub and milk-can and gravestone will be exposed.
The inhabitants will disappear abruptly behind their barns and houses,
like desert Arabs amid their rocks, and I shall look to see spears in
their hands. They will be ready to accept the most barren and forlorn
doctrine,--as that the world is speedily coming to an end, or has
already got to it, or that they themselves are turned wrong side
outward. They will perchance crack their dry joints at one another and
call it a spiritual communication.

But to confine ourselves to the Maples. What if we were to take half as
much pains in protecting them as we do in setting them out,--not
stupidly tie our horses to our dahlia-stems?

What meant the fathers by establishing this _perfectly living_
institution before the church,--this institution which needs no
repairing nor repainting, which is continually enlarged and repaired by
its growth? Surely they

  "Wrought in a sad sincerity;
  Themselves from God they could not free;
  They planted better than they knew;--
  The conscious trees to beauty grew."

Verily these Maples are cheap preachers, permanently settled, which
preach their half-century, and century, ay, and century-and-a-half
sermons, with constantly increasing unction and influence, ministering
to many generations of men; and the least we can do is to supply them
with suitable colleagues as they grow infirm.


Belonging to a genus which is remarkable for the beautiful form of its
leaves, I suspect that some Scarlet-Oak leaves surpass those of all
other Oaks in the rich and wild beauty of their outlines. I judge from
an acquaintance with twelve species, and from drawings which I have seen
of many others.

Stand under this tree and see how finely its leaves are cut against the
sky,--as it were, only a few sharp points extending from a midrib. They
look like double, treble, or quadruple crosses. They are far more
ethereal than the less deeply scolloped Oak-leaves. They have so little
leafy _terra firma_ that they appear melting away in the light, and
scarcely obstruct our view. The leaves of very young plants are, like
those of full-grown Oaks of other species, more entire, simple, and
lumpish in their outlines; but these, raised high on old trees, have
solved the leafy problem. Lifted higher and higher, and sublimated more
and more, putting off some earthiness and cultivating more intimacy with
the light each year, they have at length the least possible amount of
earthy matter, and the greatest spread and grasp of skyey influences.
There they dance, arm in arm with the light,--tripping it on fantastic
points, fit partners in those aërial halls. So intimately mingled are
they with it, that, what with their slenderness and their glossy
surfaces, you can hardly tell at last what in the dance is leaf and what
is light. And when no zephyr stirs, they are at most but a rich tracery
to the forest-windows.

I am again struck with their beauty, when, a month later, they thickly
strew the ground in the woods, piled one upon another under my feet.
They are then brown above, but purple beneath. With their narrow lobes
and their bold deep scollops reaching almost to the middle, they suggest
that the material must be cheap, or else there has been a lavish expense
in their creation, as if so much had been cut out. Or else they seem to
us the remnants of the stuff out of which leaves have been cut with a
die. Indeed, when they lie thus one upon another, they remind me of a
pile of scrap-tin.[1]

Or bring one home, and study it closely at your leisure, by the
fireside. It is a type, not from any Oxford font, not in the Basque nor
the arrow-headed character, not found on the Rosetta Stone, but destined
to be copied in sculpture one day, if they ever get to whittling stone
here. What a wild and pleasing outline, a combination of graceful curves
and angles! The eye rests with equal delight on what is not leaf and on
what is leaf,--on the broad, free, open sinuses, and on the long, sharp,
bristle-pointed lobes. A simple oval outline would include it all, if
you connected the points of the leaf; but how much richer is it than
that, with its half-dozen deep scollops, in which the eye and thought of
the beholder are embayed! If I were a drawing-master, I would set my
pupils to copying these leaves, that they might learn to draw firmly and

Regarded as water, it is like a pond with half a dozen broad rounded
promontories extending nearly to its middle, half from each side, while
its watery bays extend far inland, like sharp friths, at each of whose
heads several fine streams empty in,--almost a leafy archipelago.

But it oftener suggests land, and, as Dionysius and Pliny compared the
form of the Morea to that of the leaf of the Oriental Plane-tree, so
this leaf reminds me of some fair wild island in the ocean, whose
extensive coast, alternate rounded bays with smooth strands, and
sharp-pointed rocky capes, mark it as fitted for the habitation of man,
and destined to become a centre of civilization at last. To the sailor's
eye. It is a much-indented shore. Is it not, in fact, a shore to the
aërial ocean, on which the windy surf beats? At sight of this leaf we
are all mariners,--if not vikings, buccaneers, and filibusters. Both our
love of repose and our spirit of adventure are addressed. In our most
casual glance, perchance, we think, that, if we succeed in doubling
those sharp capes, we shall find deep, smooth, and secure havens in the
ample bays. How different from the White-Oak leaf, with its rounded
headlands, on which no light-house need be placed! That is an England,
with its long civil history, that may be read. This is some still
unsettled New-found Island or Celebes. Shall we go and be rajahs there?

By the twenty-sixth of October the large Scarlet Oaks are in their
prime, when other Oaks are usually withered. They have been kindling
their fires for a week past, and now generally burst into a blaze. This
alone of _our_ indigenous deciduous trees (excepting the Dogwood, of
which I do not know half a dozen, and they are but large bushes) is now
in its glory. The two Aspens and the Sugar-Maple come nearest to it in
date, but they have lost the greater part of their leaves. Of
evergreens, only the Pitch-Pine is still commonly bright.

But it requires a particular alertness, if not devotion to these
phenomena, to appreciate the wide-spread, but late and unexpected glory
of the Scarlet Oaks. I do not speak here of the small trees and shrubs,
which are commonly observed, and which are now withered, but of the
large trees. Most go in and shut their doors, thinking that bleak and
colorless November has already come, when some of the most brilliant and
memorable colors are not yet lit.

This very perfect and vigorous one, about forty feet high, standing in
an open pasture, which was quite glossy green on the twelfth, is now,
the twenty-sixth, completely changed to bright dark scarlet,--every
leaf, between you and the sun, as if it had been dipped into a scarlet
dye. The whole tree is much like a heart in form, as well as color. Was
not this worth waiting for? Little did you think, ten days ago, that
that cold green tree would assume such color as this. Its leaves are
still firmly attached, while those of other trees are falling around it.
It seems to say,--"I am the last to blush, but I blush deeper than any
of ye. I bring up the rear in my red coat. We Scarlet ones, alone of
Oaks, have not given up the fight."

The sap is now, and even far into November, frequently flowing fast in
these trees, as in Maples in the spring; and apparently their bright
tints, now that most other Oaks are withered, are connected with this
phenomenon. They are full of life. It has a pleasantly astringent,
acorn-like taste, this strong Oak-wine, as I find on tapping them with
my knife.

Looking across this woodland valley, a quarter of a mile wide, how rich
those Scarlet Oaks, embosomed in Pines, their bright red branches
intimately intermingled with them! They have their full effect there.
The Pine-boughs are the green calyx to their red petals. Or, as we go
along a road in the woods, the sun striking endwise through it, and
lighting up the red tents of the Oaks, which on each side are mingled
with the liquid green of the Pines, makes a very gorgeous scene. Indeed,
without the evergreens for contrast, the autumnal tints would lose much
of their effect.

The Scarlet Oak asks a clear sky and the brightness of late October
days. These bring out its colors. If the sun goes into a cloud, they
become comparatively indistinct. As I sit on a cliff in the southwest
part of our town, the sun is now getting low, and the woods in Lincoln,
south and east of me, are lit up by its more level rays; and in the
Scarlet Oaks, scattered so equally over the forest, there is brought out
a more brilliant redness than I had believed was in them. Every tree of
this species which is visible in those directions, even to the horizon,
now stands out distinctly red. Some great ones lift their red backs high
above the woods, in the next town, like huge roses with a myriad of fine
petals; and some more slender ones, in a small grove of White Pines on
Pine Hill in the east, on the very verge of the horizon, alternating
with the Pines on the edge of the grove, and shouldering them with their
red coats, look like soldiers in red amid hunters in green. This time it
is Lincoln green, too. Till the sun got low, I did not believe that
there were so many redcoats in the forest army. Theirs is an intense
burning red, which would lose some of its strength, methinks, with every
step you might take toward them; for the shade that lurks amid their
foliage does not report itself at this distance, and they are
unanimously red. The focus of their reflected color is in the atmosphere
far on this side. Every such tree becomes a nucleus of red, as it were,
where, with the declining sun, that color grows and glows. It is partly
borrowed fire, gathering strength from the sun on its way to your eye.
It has only some comparatively dull red leaves for a rallying-point, or
kindling-stuff, to start it, and it becomes an intense scarlet or red
mist, or fire, which finds fuel for itself in the very atmosphere. So
vivacious is redness. The very rails reflect a rosy light at this hour
and season. You see a redder tree than exists.

If you wish to count the Scarlet Oaks, do it now. In a clear day stand
thus on a hill-top in the woods, when the sun is an hour high, and every
one within range of your vision, excepting in the west, will be
revealed. You might live to the age of Methuselah and never find a tithe
of them, otherwise. Yet sometimes even in a dark day I have thought them
as bright as I ever saw them. Looking westward, their colors are lost in
a blaze of light; but in other directions the whole forest is a
flower-garden, in which these late roses burn, alternating with green,
while the so-called "gardeners," walking here and there, perchance,
beneath, with spade and water-pot, see only a few little asters amid
withered leaves.

These are _my_ China-asters, _my_ late garden-flowers. It costs me
nothing for a gardener. The falling leaves, all over the forest, are
protecting the roots of my plants. Only look at what is to be seen, and
you will have garden enough, without deepening the soil in your yard. We
have only to elevate our view a little, to see the whole forest as a
garden. The blossoming of the Scarlet Oak,--the forest-flower,
surpassing all in splendor (at least since the Maple)! I do not know but
they interest me more than the Maples, they are so widely and equally
dispersed throughout the forest; they are so hardy, a nobler tree on the
whole;--our chief November flower, abiding the approach of winter with
us, imparting warmth to early November prospects. It is remarkable that
the latest bright color that is general should be this deep, dark
scarlet and red, the intensest of colors. The ripest fruit of the year;
like the cheek of a hard, glossy, red apple from the cold Isle of
Orleans, which will not be mellow for eating till next spring! When I
rise to a hill-top, a thousand of these great Oak roses, distributed on
every side, as far as the horizon! I admire them four or five miles off!
This my unfailing prospect for a fortnight past! This late forest-flower
surpasses all that spring or summer could do. Their colors were but rare
and dainty specks comparatively, (created for the nearsighted, who walk
amid the humblest herbs and underwoods,) and made no impression on a
distant eye. Now it is an extended forest or a mountain-side, through or
along which we journey from day to day, that bursts into bloom.
Comparatively, our gardening is on a petty scale,--the gardener still
nursing a few asters amid dead weeds, ignorant of the gigantic asters
and roses, which, as it were, overshadow him, and ask for none of his
care. It is like a little red paint ground on a saucer, and held up
against the sunset sky. Why not take more elevated and broader views,
walk in the great garden, not skulk in a little "debauched" nook of it?
consider the beauty of the forest, and not merely of a few impounded

Let your walks now be a little more adventurous; ascend the hills. If,
about the last of October, you ascend any hill in the outskirts of our
town, and probably of yours, and look over the forest, you may
see--well, what I have endeavored to describe. All this you surely
_will_ see, and much more, if you are prepared to see it,--if you _look_
for it. Otherwise, regular and universal as this phenomenon is, whether
you stand on the hill-top or in the hollow, you will think for
threescore years and ten that all the wood is, at this season, sear and
brown. Objects are concealed from our view, not so much because they are
out of the course of our visual ray as because we do not bring our minds
and eyes to bear on them; for there is no power to see in the eye
itself, any more than in any other jelly. We do not realize how far and
widely, or how near and narrowly, we are to look. The greater part of
the phenomena of Nature are for this reason concealed from us all our
lives. The gardener sees only the gardener's garden. Here, too, as in
political economy, the supply answers to the demand. Nature does not
cast pearls before swine. There is just as much beauty visible to us in
the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate,--not a grain more. The
actual objects which one man will see from a particular hill-top are
just as different from those which another will see as the beholders are
different The Scarlet Oak must, in a sense, be in your eye when you go
forth. We cannot see anything until we are possessed with the idea of
it, take it into our heads,--and then we can hardly see anything else.
In my botanical rambles, I find, that, first, the idea, or image, of a
plant occupies my thoughts, though it may seem very foreign to this
locality,--no nearer than Hudson's Bay,--and for some weeks or months I
go thinking of it, and expecting it unconsciously, and at length I
surely see it. This is the history of my finding a score or more of rare
plants, which I could name. A man sees only what concerns him. A
botanist absorbed in the study of grasses does not distinguish the
grandest Pasture Oaks. He, as it were, tramples down Oaks unwittingly in
his walk, or at most sees only their shadows. I have found that it
required a different intention of the eye, in the same locality, to see
different plants, even when they were closely allied, as _Juncaceoe_ and
_Gramineoe_: when I was looking for the former, I did not see the latter
in the midst of them. How much more, then, it requires different
intentions of the eye and of the mind to attend to different departments
of knowledge! How differently the poet and the naturalist look at

Take a New-England selectman, and set him on the highest of our hills,
and tell him to look,--sharpening his sight to the utmost, and putting
on the glasses that suit him best, (ay, using a spy-glass, if he
likes,)--and make a full report. What, probably, will he _spy_?--what
will he _select_ to look at? Of course, he will see a Brocken spectre of
himself. He will see several meeting-houses, at least, and, perhaps,
that somebody ought to be assessed higher than he is, since he has so
handsome a wood-lot. Now take Julius Caesar, or Immanuel Swedenborg, or
a Fegee-Islander, and set him up there. Or suppose all together, and let
them compare notes afterward. Will it appear that they have enjoyed the
same prospect? What they will see will be as different as Rome was from
Heaven or Hell, or the last from the Fegee Islands. For aught we know,
as strange a man as any of these is always at our elbow.

Why, it takes a sharp-shooter to bring down even such trivial game as
snipes and woodcocks; he must take very particular aim, and know what he
is aiming at. He would stand a very small chance, if he fired at random
into the sky, being told that snipes were flying there. And so is it
with him that shoots at beauty; though he wait till the sky falls, he
will not bag any, if he does not already know its seasons and haunts,
and the color of its wing,--if he has not dreamed of it, so that he can
_anticipate_ it; then, indeed, he flushes it at every step, shoots
double and on the wing, with both barrels, even in cornfields. The
sportsman trains himself, dresses and watches unweariedly, and loads and
primes for his particular game. He prays for it, and offers sacrifices,
and so he gets it. After due and long preparation, schooling his eye and
hand, dreaming awake and asleep, with gun and paddle and boat he goes
out after meadow-hens, which most of his townsmen never saw nor dreamed
of, and paddles for miles against a headwind, and wades in water up to
his knees, being out all day without his dinner, and _therefore_ he gets
them. He had them half-way into his bag when he started, and has only to
shove them down. The true sportsman can shoot you almost any of his game
from his windows: what else has he windows or eyes for? It comes and
perches at last on the barrel of his gun; but the rest of the world
never see it _with the feathers on_. The geese fly exactly under his
zenith, and honk when they get there, and he will keep himself supplied
by firing up his chimney; twenty musquash have the refusal of each one
of his traps before it is empty. If he lives, and his game-spirit
increases, heaven and earth shall fail him sooner than game; and when he
dies, he will go to more extensive, and, perchance, happier
hunting-grounds. The fisherman, too, dreams of fish, sees a bobbing cork
in his dreams, till he can almost catch them in his sink-spout. I knew a
girl who, being sent to pick huckleberries, picked wild gooseberries by
the quart, where no one else knew that there were any, because she was
accustomed to pick them up country where she came from. The astronomer
knows where to go star-gathering, and sees one clearly in his mind
before any have seen it with a glass. The hen scratches and finds her
food right under where she stands; but such is not the way with the

These bright leaves which I have mentioned are not the exception, but
the rule; for I believe that all leaves, even grasses and mosses,
acquire brighter colors just before their fall. When you come to observe
faithfully the changes of each humblest plant, you find that each has,
sooner or later, its peculiar autumnal tint; and if you undertake to
make a complete list of the bright tints, it will be nearly as long as a
catalogue of the plants in your vicinity.



It was late. Palmer, unhitching his horse from the fence, mounted and
rode briskly down the hill. He would lose the girl: saw the loss, faced
it. Besides the love he bore her, she had made God a truth to him. He
was jaded, defeated, as if some power outside of himself had taken him
unexpectedly at advantage to-night, and wrung this thing from him. Life
was not much to look forward to,--the stretch it had been before: study,
and the war, and hard common sense,--the theatre,--card-playing. Not
being a man, I cannot tell you how much his loss amounted to. I know,
going down the rutted wagon-road, his mild face fell slowly into a
haggard vacancy foreign to it: one or two people at the tavern where he
stopped asked him if he were ill: I think, too, that he prayed once or
twice to whatever God he had, looking up with dry eye and shut
lips,--dumb prayers, wrung out of some depth within, such as Christian
sent out of the slough, when he was like to die. But he did stop at the
tavern, and there drank some brandy to steady his nerves; and he did not
forget that there was an ambuscade of Rebels at Blue's Gap, and that he
was to share in the attack on them at daylight: he spurred his horse, as
he drew nearer Romney. Dode, being a woman, thinking love lost, sat by
the fire, looking vacantly at nothing. Yet the loss was as costly to him
as to her, and would be remembered as long.

He came up to the church where the meeting had been held. It was just
over; the crowded room was stifling with the smoke of tobacco and
tallow-candles; there was an American flag hanging over the pulpit, a
man pounding on a drum at the door, and a swarm of loafers on the steps,
cheering for the Union, for Jeff Davis, etc. Palmer dismounted, and made
his way to the pulpit, where Dyke, a lieutenant in his company, was.

"All ready, Dyke?"

"All right, Capt'n."

Palmer lingered, listening to the talk of the men. Dyke had been an
Ohio-River pilot; after the troubles began, had taken a pork-contract
under Government; but was lieutenant now, as I said. It paid better than
pork, he told Palmer,--a commission, especially in damp weather. Palmer
did not sneer. Dykes, North and South, had quit the hog-killing for the
man-killing business, with no other motive than the percentage, he knew;
but he thought the rottenness lay lower than their hearts. Palmer stood
looking down at the crowd: the poorer class of laborers,--their limbs
cased in shaggy blouses and green baize leggings,--their faces dogged,
anxious as their own oxen.

"'Bout half on 'em Secesh," whispered Jim Dyke. "'T depends on who
burned their barns fust."

Jim was recruiting to fill up some vacancies in Palmer's company. He had
been tolerably successful that day; as he said, with a wink, to the

"The twenty dollars a month on one side, an' the test-oath on t' other,
brought loyalty up to the scratch."

He presented some of the recruits to Palmer: pluming himself, adjusting
the bogus chains over his pink shirt.

"Hyur's Squire Pratt. Got two sons in th' army,--goin' hisself. That's
the talk! Charley Orr, show yerself! This boy's father was shot in his
bed by the Bushwhackers."

A mere boy, thin, consumptive, hollow-chested: a mother's-boy, Palmer
saw, with fair hair and dreamy eyes. He held out his hand to him.

"Charley will fight for something better than revenge. I see it in his

The little fellow's eyes flashed.

"Yes, Captain."

He watched Palmer after that with the look one of the Cavaliers might
have turned to a Stuart. But he began to cough presently, and slipped
back to the benches where the women were. Palmer heard one of them in
rusty black sob out,--"Oh, Charley! Charley!"

There was not much enthusiasm among the women; Palmer looked at them
with a dreary trail of thought in his brain. They were of the raw,
unclarified American type: thick-blooded, shrewish, with dish-shaped
faces, inelastic limbs. They had taken the war into their whole
strength, like their sisters, North and South: as women greedily do
anything that promises to be an outlet for what power of brain, heart,
or animal fervor they may have, over what is needed for wifehood or
maternity. Theodora, he thought, angrily, looked at the war as these
women did, had no poetic enthusiasm about it, did not grasp the grand
abstract theory on either side. She would not accept it as a fiery,
chivalric cause, as the Abolitionist did, nor as a stern necessity, like
the Union-saver. The sickly Louisianian, following her son from Pickens
to Richmond, besieging God for vengeance with the mad impatience of her
blood, or the Puritan mother praying beside her dead hero-boy, would
have called Dode cowardly and dull. So would those blue-eyed, gushing
girls who lift the cup of blood to their lips with as fervid an
_abandon_ as ever did French _bacchante_. Palmer despised them. Their
sleazy lives had wanted color and substance, and they found it in a cant
of patriotism, in illuminating their windows after slaughter, in
dressing their tables with helmets of sugar, (after the fashion of the
White House,)--delicate _souvenirs de la guerre!_

But Theodora and these women had seen their door-posts slopped with
blood,--that made a difference. This woman in front had found her boy's
half-charred body left tied to a tree by Rebel scouts: this girl was the
grandchild of Naylor, a man of seventy,--the Federal soldiers were fired
at from his house one day,--the next, the old man stood dumb upon its
threshold; in this world, he never would call to God for vengeance.
Palmer knew these things were true. Yet Dode should not for this sink to
low notions about the war. She did: she talked plain Saxon of it, and
what it made of men; said no cause could sanctify a deed so
vile,--nothing could be holy which turned honest men into thieves and
assassins. Her notions were low to degradation, Palmer thought, with the
quickening cause at his heart; they had talked of it the last time he
was here. She thought they struck bottom on some eternal truth, a
humanity broader than patriotism. Pah! he sickened at such whining cant!
The little Captain was common-sensed to the backbone,--intolerant. He
was an American, with the native taint of American conceit, but he was a
man whose look was as true as his oath; therefore, talking of the war,
he never glossed it over,--showed its worst phases, in Virginia and
Missouri; but he accepted it, in all its horror, as a savage necessity.
It was a thing that must be, while men were men, and not angels.

While he stood looking at the crowd, Nabbes, a reporter for one of the
New-York papers, who was lounging in the pulpit, began to laugh at him.

"I say, Captain, you Virginia Loyalists don't go into this war with
_vim_. It's a bitter job to you."

Palmer's face reddened.

"What you say is true, thank God,"--quietly.

Nabbes stuck his hands into his pockets, whistling. He shrewdly
suspected Palmer wasn't "sound." No patriot would go into the war with
such a miserable phiz as that. Yet he fought like a tiger up in the
mountains. Of course, the war was a bad business,--and the taxes--whew!
Last summer things were smashed generally, and when Will (his brother)
sailed in Sherman's expedition, it was a blue day enough: how his mother
and the girls did carry on! (Nabbes and Will supported the family, by
the way; and Nabbes, inside of his slang, billiards, etc., was a good,
soft-hearted fellow.) However, the country was looking up now. There
were our victories,--and his own salary was raised. Will was snug down
at Port Royal,--sent the girls home some confoundedly pretty jewelry;
they were as busy as bees, knitting socks, and--What, the Devil! were we
to be ridden over rough-shod by Davis and his crew? Northern brain and
muscle were toughest, and let water find its own level. So he tore out a
fly-leaf from the big Bible, and jotted down notes of the meeting,--"An
outpouring of the loyal heart of West Virginia,"--and yawned, ready for
bed, contented with the world, himself, and God.

Dyke touched Palmer's arm.

"Lor', Capt'n," he whispered, "ef thar a'n't old Scofield! 'n the back
o' th' house, watchin' you. Son killed at Manassas,--George,--d' ye

"I know."

"Danged ef I don't respect Secesh like them," broke out Dyke. "Ye'll not
sin his soul with a test-oath. Thar's grit thar. Well, God help us!"

Palmer stepped down from the pulpit; but the old man, seeing him coming,
turned and shouldered his way out of the crowd, his haggard face

"What'll the old chap say to Gaunt's enlistin'?" said Dyke.

"Gaunt in? Bully for the parson!" said Squire Pratt.

"Parson 'listed?" said the reporter. "They and the women led off in this
war. I'm glad of it,--brings out the pith in 'em."

"I dunno," said Dyke, looking round. "Gaunt's name brought in a dozen;
but----It's a dirty business, the war. I wish 'n somebody's hands hed
stayed clean of it."

"It's the Lord's work," said Pratt, with a twang, being a class-leader.

"Ye-s? So 'ud Bishop Polk say. Got a different Lord down thar? 'S
likely. Henry Wise used to talk of the 'God of Virginia.'"

"Was a fellow," said Nabbes, nursing one foot, "that set me easy about
my soul, and the thing. A chaplain in Congress: after we took down that
bitter Mason--and--Slidell pill, it was. Prayed to Jesus to keep us safe
until our vengeance on England was ripe,--to 'aid us through the patient
watch and vigil long of him who treasures up a wrong.' Old boy, thinks
I, if that's Christianity, it's cheap. I'll take stock in it. Going at
half-price, I think."

"I am tired of this cant of Christians refusing to join in the war,"
said Palmer, impatiently. "God allows it; it helps His plans."

"Humph! So did Judas," muttered Dyke, shrewdly. "Well, I a'n't a
purfessor myself.--Boys, come along! Drum-call time. You're in luck.
We'll have work afore mornin',--an' darned ef you sha'n't be in it, in
spite of rules!"

When the recruits went out, the meeting broke up. Palmer put on his hat,
and made his way out of a side-door into the snow-covered field about
the church, glancing at his watch as he went. He had but little time to
spare. The Federal camp lay on a distant hill-side below Romney: through
the dim winter shadows he could see points of light shifting from tent
to tent; a single bugle-call had shrilled through the mountains once or
twice; the regiments ordered for the attack were under arms now, he
concluded. They had a long march before them: the Gap, where the
Confederate band were concealed, lay sixteen miles distant. Unless the
Union troops succeeded in surprising the Rebels, the fight, Palmer knew,
would be desperate; the position they held was almost impregnable,
--camped behind a steep gash in the mountain: a handful of
men could hold it against Dunning's whole brigade, unshielded, bare. A
surprise was almost impossible in these mountains, where Rebel
guerrillas lurked behind every tree, and every woman in the
village-shanties was ready to risk limbs or life as a Rebel spy. Thus
far, however, he thought this movement had been kept secret: even the
men did not know where they were going.

Crossing the field hurriedly, he saw two men talking eagerly behind a
thorn-bush. One of them, turning, came towards him, his hat slouched
over his face. It was Scofield. As he came into the clear starlight,
Palmer recognized the thick-set, sluggish figure and haggard face, and
waited for him,--with a quick remembrance of long summer days, when he
and George, boys together, had looked on this man as the wisest and
strongest, sitting at his side digging worms or making yellow flies for
him to fish in the Big Cacapon,--how they would have the delicate
broiled trout for supper,--how Dode was a chubby little puss then, with
white apron and big brown eyes, choosing to sit on his lap when they
went to the table, and putting her hand slyly into his coffee. An odd
thing to think of then and there! George lay stiff now, with a wooden
board only at his head to tell that he once lived. The thoughts struck
through Palmer's brain in the waiting moment, making his hand unsteady
as he held it out to the old man.

"Uncle Scofield! Is the war to come between you and me? For George's
sake! I saw him at Harper's Ferry before--before Manassas. We were no
less friends then than ever before."

The old man's eyes had glared defiance at Palmer under their gray brows
when he faced him, but his big bony hand kept fumbling nervously with
his cravat.

"Yes, Dougl's. I didn't want to meet yer. Red an' white's my
colors,--red an' white, so help me God!"

"I know," said Palmer, quietly.

There was a silence,--the men looking steadily at each other.

"Ye saw George?" the old man said, his eyes falling.

"Yes. At Harper's Ferry. I was making my way through the Confederate
lines; George took me over, risking his own life to do it, then reported
himself under arrest. He did not lose his commission; your general was

Scofield's face worked.

"That was like my boy! Thar's not a grandfather he hes in the country
whar he's gone to that would believe one of our blood could do a mean
thing! The Scofields ar'n't well larned, but they've true honor,
Dougl's Palmer!"

Palmer's eyes lighted. Men of the old lion-breed know each other in
spite of dress or heirship of opinion.

"Ye've been to th' house to-night, boy?" said the old man, his voice
softened. "Yes? That was right. Ye've truer notions nor me. I went away
so 's not till meet yer. I'm sorry for it. George's gone, Dougl's, but
he'd be glad till think you an' me was the same as ever,--he would!" He
held out his hand. Something worthy the name of man in each met in the
grasp, that no blood spilled could foul or embitter. They walked across
the field together, the old man leaning his hand on Palmer's shoulder as
if for support, though he did not need it. He had been used to walk so
with George. This was his boy's friend: that thought filled and warmed
his heart so utterly that he forgot his hand rested on a Federal
uniform. Palmer was strangely silent.

"I saw Theodora," he said at last, gravely.

Scofield started at the tone, looked at him keenly, some new thought
breaking in on him, frightening, troubling him. He did not answer; they
crossed the broad field, coming at last to the hill-road. The old man
spoke at last, with an effort.

"You an' my little girl are friends, did you mean, Dougl's? The war
didn't come between ye?"

"Nothing shall come between us,"--quietly, his eye full upon the old
man's. The story of a life lay in the look.

Scofield met it questioningly, almost solemnly. It was no time for
explanation. He pushed his trembling hand through his stubby gray hair.

"Well, well, Dougl's. These days is harrd. But it'll come right! God
knows all."

The road was empty now,--lay narrow and bare down the hill; the moon had
set, and the snow-clouds were graying heavily the pale light above. Only
the sharp call of a discordant trumpet broke the solitude and dumbness
of the hills. A lonesome, foreboding night. The old man rested his hand
on the fence, choking down an uncertain groan now and then, digging into
the snow with his foot, while Palmer watched him.

"I must bid yer good-bye, Dougl's," he said at last. "I've a long tramp
afore me to-night. Mebbe worse. Mayhap I mayn't see you agin; men can't
hev a grip on the next hour, these days. I'm glad we 're friends.
Whatever comes afore mornin', I'm glad o' that!"

"Have you no more to say to me?"

"Yes, Dougl's,--'s for my little girl,--ef so be as I should foller my
boy sometime, I'd wish you'd be friends to Dode, Dougl's. Yes! I
would,"--hesitating, something wet oozing from his small black eye, and
losing itself in the snuffy wrinkles.

Palmer was touched. It was a hard struggle with pain that had wrung out
that tear. The old man held his hand a minute, then turned to the road.

"Whichever of us sees Geordy first kin tell him t' other's livin' a
true-grit honest life, call him Yankee or Virginian,--an' that's enough
said! So good bye, Dougl's!"

Palmer mounted his horse and galloped off to the camp, the old man
plodding steadily down the road. When the echo of the horse's hoofs had
ceased, a lean gangling figure came from out of the field-brush, and met

"Why, David boy! whar were ye to-night?" Scofield's voice had grown
strangely tender in the last hour.

Gaunt hesitated. He had not the moral courage to tell the old man he had

"I waited. I must air the church,--it is polluted with foul smells."

Scofield laughed to himself at David's "whimsey," but he halted, going
with the young man as he strode across the field. He had a dull
foreboding of the end of the night's battle: before he went to it, he
clung with a womanish affection to anything belonging to his home, as
this Gaunt did. He had not thought the poor young man was so dear to
him, until now, as he jogged along beside him, thinking that before
morning he might be lying dead at the Gap. How many people would care?
David would, and Dode, and old Bone.

Gaunt hurried in,--he ought to be in camp, but he could not leave the
house of God polluted all night,--opening the windows, even carrying the
flag outside. The emblem of freedom, of course,--but----He hardly knew
why he did it. There were flags on every Methodist chapel, almost: the
sect had thrown itself into the war _con amore_. But Gaunt had fallen
into that sect by mistake; his animal nature was too weak for it: as for
his feeling about the church, he had just that faint shade of Pantheism
innate in him that would have made a good Episcopalian. The planks of
the floor were more to him than other planks; something else than
sunshine had often shone in to him through the little panes,--he touched
them gently; he walked softly over the rag-carpet on the aisle. The LORD
was in His holy temple. With another thought close behind that, of the
time when the church was built, more than a year ago; what a happy,
almost jolly time they had, the members giving the timber, and making a
sort of frolic of putting it up, in the afternoons after harvest. They
were all in one army or the other now: some of them in Blue's Gap. He
would help ferret them out in the morning. He shivered, with the old
doubt tugging fiercely at his heart. Was he right? The war was one of
God's great judgments, but was it _his_ place to be in it? It was too
late to question now.

He went up into the pulpit, taking out the Bible that lay on the shelf,
lighting a candle, glancing uneasily at the old man on the steps. He
never had feared to meet his eye before. He turned to the fly-leaf,
holding it to the candle. What odd fancy made him want to read the
uncouth, blotted words written there? He knew them well enough. "To my
Dear frend, David Gaunt. May, 1860. the Lord be Betwien mee And thee. J.
Scofield." It was two years since he had given it to Gaunt, just after
George had been so ill with cholera, and David had nursed him through
with it. Gaunt fancied that nursing had made the hearts of both son and
father more tender than all his sermons. He used to pray with them in
the evenings as George grew better, hardly able to keep from weeping
like a woman, for George was very dear to him. Afterwards the old man
came to church more regularly, and George had quit swearing, and given
up card-playing. He remembered the evening when the old man gave him the
Bible. He had been down in Wheeling, and when he came home brought it
out to Gaunt in the old corn-field, wrapped up in his best red bandanna
handkerchief,--his face growing red and pale. "It's the Book, David. I
thort ef you'd use this one till preach from. Mayhap it wouldn't be
right till take it from a sinner like me, but--I thort I'd like it,
somehow,"--showing him the fly-leaf. "I writ this,--ef it would be
true,--what I writ,--'The Lord he between me and thee'?"

Gaunt passed his fingers now over the misspelled words softly as he
would stroke a dead face. Then he came out, putting out the candle, and
buttoning the Bible inside of his coat.

Scofield waited for him on the steps. Some trouble was in the old
fellow's face, Gaunt thought, which he could not fathom. His coarse
voice choked every now and then, and his eyes looked as though he never
hoped to see the church or Gaunt again.

"Heh, David!" with a silly laugh. "You'll think me humorsome, boy, but I
hev an odd fancy."

He stopped abruptly.

"What is it?"

"It's lonesome here,"--looking around vaguely. "God seems near here on
the hills, d' ye think? David, I'm goin' a bit out on the road to-night,
an' life's uncertain these times. Whiles I think I might never be back
to see Dode agin,--or you. David, you're nearer to Him than me; you
brought me to Him, you know. S'pose,--you'll think me foolish now,--ef
we said a bit prayer here afore I go; what d'ye think? Heh?"

Gaunt was startled. Somehow to-night he did not feel as if God was near
on the hills, as Scofield thought.

"I will,"--hesitating. "Are you going to see Dode first, before you go?"

"Dode? Don't speak of her, boy! I'm sick! Kneel down an' pray,--the
Lord's Prayer,--that's enough,--mother taught me that,"--baring his gray
head, while Gaunt, his worn face turned to the sky, said the old words
over. "Forgive," he muttered,--"resist not evil,"--some fragments vexing
his brain. "Did He mean that? David boy? Did He mean His people to trust
in God to right them as He did? Pah! times is different now,"--pulling
his hat over his forehead to go. "Good bye, David!"

"Where are you going?"

"I don't mind tellin' you,--you'll keep it. Bone's bringin' a horse
yonder to the road. I'm goin' to warn the boys to be ready, an' help
'em,--at the Gap, you know?"

"The Gap? Merciful God, no!" cried Gaunt. "Go back"----

The words stopped in his throat. What if he met this man there?

Scofield looked at him, bewildered.

"Thar's no danger," he said, calmly. "Yer nerves are weak. But yer love
for me's true, David. That's sure,"--with a smile. "But I've got to warn
the boys. Good bye,"--hesitating, his face growing red. "Ye'll mind, ef
anything should happen,--what I writ in the Book,--once,--'The Lord be
between me an' thee,' dead or alive? Them's good, friendly words. Good
bye! God bless you, boy!"

Gaunt wrung his hand, and watched him as he turned to the road. He saw
Bone meet him, leading a horse. As the old man mounted, he turned, and,
seeing Gaunt, nodded cheerfully, and going down the hill began to
whistle. "Ef I should never come back, he kin tell Dode I hed a light
heart at th' last," he thought. But when he was out of hearing, the
whistle stopped, and he put spurs to the horse.

Counting the hours, the minutes,--a turbid broil of thought in his
brain, of Dode sitting alone, of George and his murderers, "stiffening
his courage,"--right and wrong mixing each other inextricably together.
If, now and then, a shadow crossed him of the meek Nazarene leaving this
word to His followers, that, let the world do as it would, _they_ should
resist not evil, he thrust it back. It did not suit to-day. Hours
passed. The night crept on towards morning, colder, stiller. Faint bars
of gray fell on the stretch of hill-tops, broad and pallid. The shaggy
peaks blanched whiter in it. You could hear from the road-bushes the
chirp of a snow-bird, wakened by the tramp of his horse, or the flutter
of its wings. Overhead, the stars disappeared, like flakes of fire going
out; the sky came nearer, tinged with healthier blue. He could see the
mountain where the Gap was, close at hand, but a few miles distant.

He had met no pickets: he believed the whole Confederate camp there was
asleep. And behind him, on the road he had just passed, trailing up the
side of a hill, was a wavering, stealthy line, creeping slowly nearer
every minute,--the gray columns under Dunning. The old man struck the
rowels into his horse,--the boys would be murdered in their sleep! The
road was rutted deep: the horse, an old village hack, lumbered along,
stumbling at every step. "Ef my old bones was what they used to be, I'd
best trust them," he muttered. Another hour was over; there were but two
miles before him to the Gap: but the old mare panted and balked at every
ditch across the road. The Federal force was near; even the tap of their
drum had ceased long since; their march was as silent as a tiger's
spring. Close behind,--closer every minute! He pulled the rein
savagely,--why could not the dumb brute know that life and death waited
on her foot? The poor beast's eye lightened. She gathered her whole
strength, sprang forward, struck upon a glaze of ice, and fell. The old
man dragged himself out. "Poor old Jin! ye did what ye could!" he said.
He was lamed by the fall. It was no time to think of that; he hobbled
on, the cold drops of sweat oozing out on his face from pain. Reaching
the bridge that crosses the stream there, he glanced back. He could not
see the Federal troops, but he heard the dull march of their
regiments,--like some giant's tread, slow, muffled in snow.
Closer,--closer every minute! His heavy boots clogged with snow; the
pain exhausted even his thick lungs,--they breathed heavily; he climbed
the narrow ridge of ground that ran parallel with the road, and hurried
on. Half an hour more, and he would save them!

A cold, stirless air: Gaunt panted in it. Was there ever night so
silent? Following his lead, came the long column, a dark, even-moving
mass, shirred with steel. Sometimes he could catch glimpses of some
vivid point in the bulk: a hand, moving nervously to the sword's hilt;
faces,--sensual, or vapid, or royal, side by side, but sharpened alike
by a high purpose, with shut jaws, and keen, side-glancing eyes.

He was in advance of them, with one other man,--Dyke. Dyke took him, as
knowing the country best, and being a trustworthy guide. So this was
work! True work for a man. Marching hour after hour through the solitary
night, he had time to think. Dyke talked to him but little: said once,
"P'raps 't was as well the parsons had wakened up, and was mixin' with
other folks. Gettin' into camp 'ud show 'em original sin, he guessed.
Not but what this war-work brought out good in a man. Makes 'em, or
breaks 'em, ginerally." And then was silent. Gaunt caught the words.
Yes,--it was better preachers should lay off the prestige of the cloth,
and rough it like their Master, face to face with men. There would be
fewer despicable shams among them. But _this?_--clutching the loaded
pistol in his hand. Thinking of Cromwell and Hedley Vicars. Freedom! It
was a nobler cause than theirs. But a Face was before him, white,
thorn-crowned, bent watchful over the world. He was sent of Jesus. To do
what? Preach peace by murder? What said his Master? "That _ye_ resist
not evil." Bah! Palmer said the doctrine of nonresistance was whining
cant. As long as human nature was the same, right and wrong would be
left to the arbitrament of brute force. And yet--was not Christianity a
diviner breath than this passing through the ages? "Ye are the light of
the world." Even the "roughs" sneered at the fighting parsons. It was
too late to think now. He pushed back his thin yellow hair, his homesick
eyes wandering upwards, his mouth growing dry and parched.

They were nearing the mountain now. Dawn was coming. The gray sky heated
and glowed into inner deeps of rose; the fresh morning air sprang from
its warm nest somewhere, and came to meet them, like some one singing a
heartsome song under his breath. The faces of the columns looked more
rigid, paler, in the glow: men facing death have no time for fresh
morning thoughts.

They were within a few rods of the Gap. As yet there was no sign of
sentinel,--not even the click of a musket was heard. "They sleep like
the dead," muttered Dyke. "We'll be on them in five minutes more."
Gaunt, keeping step with him, pressing up the hill, shivered. He thought
he saw blood on his hands. Why, this was work! His whole body throbbed
as with one pulse. Behind him, a long way, came the column; his
quickened nerves felt the slow beat of their tread, like the breathing
of some great animal. Crouching in a stubble-field at the road-side he
saw a negro,--a horse at a little distance. It was Bone; he had followed
his master: the thought passing vaguely before him without meaning. On!
on! The man beside him, with his head bent, his teeth clenched, the
pupils of his eyes contracted, like a cat's nearing its prey. The road
lay bare before them.

"Halt!" said Dyke. "Let them come up to us."

Gaunt stopped in his shambling gait.

"Look!" hissed Dyke,--"a spy!"--as the figure of a man climbed from a
ditch where he had been concealed as he ran, and darted towards the
rebel camp. "We'll miss them yet!"--firing after him with an oath. The
pistol missed,--flashed in the pan. "Wet!"--dashing it on the ground.
"Fire, Gaunt!--quick!"

The man looked round; he ran lamely,--a thick, burly figure, a haggard
face. Gaunt's pistol fell. Dode's father! the only man that loved him!

"Damn you!" shouted Dyke, "are you going to shirk?"

Why, this _was_ the work! Gaunt pulled the trigger; there was a blinding
flash. The old man stood a moment on the ridge, the wind blowing his
gray hair back, then staggered, and fell,--that was all.

The column, sweeping up on the double-quick, carried the young disciple
of Jesus with them. The jaws of the Gap were before them,--the enemy.
What difference, if he turned pale, and cried out weakly, looking back
at the man that he had killed?

For a moment the silence was unbroken. The winter's dawn, with pink
blushes, and restless soft sighs, was yet wakening into day. The next,
the air was shattered with the thunder of the guns among the hills,
shouts, curses, death-cries. The speech which this day was to utter in
the years was the old vexed cry,--"How long, O Lord? how long?"

A fight, short, but desperate. Where-ever it was hottest, the men
crowded after one leader, a small man, with a mild, quiet face,--Douglas
Palmer. Fighting with a purpose: high,--the highest, he thought: to
uphold his Government. His blows fell heavy and sure.

You know the end of the story. The Federal victory was complete. The
Rebel forces were carried off prisoners to Romney. How many, on either
side, were lost, as in every battle of our civil war, no one can tell:
it is better, perhaps, we do not know.

The Federal column did not return in an unbroken mass as they went.
There were wounded and dying among them; some vacant places. Besides,
they had work to do on their road back: the Rebels had been sheltered in
the farmers' houses near; the "nest must be cleaned out": every
homestead but two from Romney to the Gap was laid in ashes. It was not a
pleasant sight for the officers to see women and children flying
half-naked and homeless through the snow, nor did they think it would
strengthen the Union sentiment; but what could they do? As great
atrocities as these were committed by the Rebels. The war, as Palmer
said, was a savage necessity.

When the fight was nearly over, the horse which Palmer rode broke from
the _mélée_ and rushed back to the road. His master did not guide him.
His face was set, pale; there was a thin foam on his lips. He had felt a
sabre-cut in his side in the first of the engagement, but had not heeded
it: now, he was growing blind, reeling on the saddle. Every bound of the
horse jarred him with pain. His sense was leaving him, he knew; he
wondered dimly if he was dying. That was the end of it, was it? He hoped
to God the Union cause would triumph. Theodora,--he wished Theodora and
he had parted friends. The man fell heavily forward, and the horse,
terrified to madness, sprang aside, on a shelving ledge on the
road-side, the edge of a deep mountain-gully. It was only sand beneath
the snow, and gave way as he touched it. The animal struggled
frantically to regain his footing, but the whole mass slid, and horse
and rider rolled senseless to the bottom. When the noon-sun struck its
peering light that day down into the dark crevice, Palmer lay there,
stiff and stark.

When the Federal troops had passed by that morning, Scofield felt some
one lift him gently, where he had fallen. It was Bone.

"Don't yer try ter stan', Mars' Joe," he said. "I kin tote yer like a
fedder. Lor' bress yer, dis is nuffin'. We'll hev yer roun' 'n no
time,"--his face turning ash-colored as he talked, seeing how dark the
stain was on the old man's waistcoat.

His master could not help chuckling even then.

"Bone," he gasped, "when will ye quit lyin'? Put me down, old fellow.
Easy. I'm goin' fast."

Death did not take him unawares. He had thought all day it would end in
this way. But he never knew who killed him,--I am glad of that.

Bone laid him on a pile of lumber behind some bushes. He could do
little,--only held his big hand over the wound with all his force,
having a vague notion he could so keep in life. He did not comprehend
yet that his master was dying, enough to be sorry: he had a sort of
pride in being nearest to Mars' Joe in a time like this,--in having him
to himself. That was right: hadn't they always been together since they
were boys and set rabbit-traps on the South-Branch Mountain? But there
was a strange look in the old man's eyes Bone did not recognize,--a new
and awful thought. Now and then the sharp crack of the musketry jarred

"Tink dem Yankees is gettin' de Debbil in de Gap," Bone said,
consolingly. "Would yer like ter know how de fight is goin', Mars'?"

"What matters it?" mumbled the old man. "Them things is triflin', after

"Is dar anyting yer'd like me ter git, Mars' Joe?" said Bone, through
his sobs.

The thought of the dying man was darkening fast; he began to mutter
about Dode, and George at Harper's Ferry,--"Give Coly a warm mash
to-night, Bone."

"O Lord!" cried the negro, "ef Mist' Dode was hyur! Him's goin', an'
him's las' breff is given ter de beast! Mars' Joe," calling in his ear,
"fur God's sake say um prayer!"

The man moved restlessly, half-conscious.

"I wish David was here,--to pray for me."

The negro gritted his teeth, choking down an oath.

"I wish,--I thort I'd die at home,--allays. That bed I've slep' in come
thirty years. I wish I was in th' house."

His breath came heavy and at long intervals. Bone gave a crazed look
toward the road, with a wild thought of picking his master up and
carrying him home. But it was nearly over now. The old man's eyes were
dull; they would never see Dode again. That very moment she stood
watching for him on the porch, her face colorless from a sleepless
night, thinking he had been at Romney, that every moment she would hear
his "Hillo!" round the bend of the road. She did not know that could not
be again. He lay now, his limbs stretched out, his grizzly old head in
Bone's arms.

"Tell Dode I didn't fight. She'll be glad o' that. Thar's no blood on my
hands." He fumbled at his pocket. "My pipe? Was it broke when I fell?
Dody 'd like to keep it, mayhap. She allays lit it for me."

The moment's flash died down. He muttered once or twice, after
that,--"Dode,"--and "Lord Jesus,"--and then his eyes shut. That was all.

They had buried her dead out of her sight. They had no time for mourning
or funeral-making now. They only left her for a day alone to hide her
head from all the world in the coarse old waistcoat, where the heart
that had been so big and warm for her lay dead beneath,--to hug the
cold, haggard face to her breast, and smooth the gray hair. She knew
what the old man had been to her--now! There was not a homely way he had
of showing his unutterable pride and love for his little girl that did
not wring her very soul. She had always loved him; but she knew now how
much warmer and brighter his rough life might have been, if she had
chosen to make it so. There was not a cross word of hers, nor an angry
look, that she did not remember with a bitterness that made her sick as
death. If she could but know he forgave her! It was too late. She
loathed herself, her coldness, her want of love to him,--to all the
world. If she could only tell him she loved him, once more!--hiding her
face in his breast, wishing she could lie there as cold and still as he,
whispering, continually, "Father! Father!" Could he not hear? When they
took him away, she did not cry nor faint. When trouble stabbed Dode to
the quick, she was one of those people who do not ask for help, but go
alone, like a hurt deer, until the wound heals or kills. This was a loss
for life. Of course, this throbbing pain would grieve itself down; but
in all the years to come no one would take just the place her old father
had left vacant. Husband and child might be dearer, but she would never
be "Dody" to any one again. She shut the loss up in her own heart. She
never named him afterwards.

It was a cold winter's evening, that, after the funeral. The January
wind came up with a sharp, dreary sough into the defiles of the hills,
crusting over the snow-sweeps with a glaze of ice that glittered in the
pearly sunlight, clear up the rugged peaks. There, at the edge of them,
the snow fretted and arched and fell back in curling foam-waves with
hints of delicate rose-bloom in their white shining. The trees, that had
stood all winter bare and patient, lifting up their dumb arms in dreary
supplication, suddenly, to-day, clothed themselves, every trunk and limb
and twig, in flashing ice, that threw back into the gray air the royal
greeting of a thousand splendid dyes, violet, amber, and crimson,--to
show God they did not need to wait for summer days to praise Him. A cold
afternoon: even the seeds hid in the mould down below the snow were
chilled to the heart, and thought they surely could not live the winter
out: the cows, when Bone went out drearily to feed them by himself, were
watching the thin, frozen breath steaming from their nostrils with tears
in their eyes, he thought.

A cold day: cold for the sick and wounded soldiers that were jolted in
ambulances down the mountain-roads through its creeping hours. For the
Federal troops had evacuated Romney. The Rebel forces, under Jackson,
had nearly closed around the mountain-camp before they were discovered:
they were twenty thousand strong. Lander's force was but a handful in
comparison: he escaped with them for their lives that day, leaving the
town and the hills in full possession of the Confederates.

A bleak, heartless day: coldest of all for Dode, lying on the floor of
her little room. How wide and vacant the world looked to her! What could
she do there? Why was she born? She must show her Master to others,--of
course; but--she was alone: everybody she loved had been taken from her.
She wished that she were dead. She lay there, trying to pray, now and
then,--motionless, like some death in life; the gray sunlight looking in
at her, in a wondering way. It was quite contented to be gray and cold,
till summer came.

Out in the little kitchen, the day had warmed up wonderfully. Dode's
Aunt Perrine, a widow of thirty years' standing, had come over to "see
to things durin' this murnful affliction." As she had brought her
hair-trunk and bonnet-box, it was probable her stay would be indefinite.
Dode was conscious of her as she would be of an attack of nettle-rash.
Mrs. Perrine and her usual burying-colleague, "Mis' Browst," had gotten
up a snug supper of fried oysters, and between that and the fresh relish
of horror from the funeral were in a high state of enjoyment.

Aunt Perrine, having officiated as chief mourner that very morning, was
not disposed to bear her honors meekly.

"It was little Jane Browst knew of sorrer. With eight gells well
married,--_well_ married, Jane,--deny it, ef you can,--what can you know
of my feelins this day? Hyur's Mahala's husband dead an' gone,--did you
say tea or coffee, Jane?--Joseph Scofield, a good brother-in-law to me's
lives, laid in the sod this day. You may well shake yer head! But who
'll take his place to me? Dode there's young an' 'll outgrow it. But it
's me that suffers the loss,"--with a fresh douse of tears, and a
contemptuous shove of the oyster-plate to make room for her weeping
head. "It's me that's the old 'n' withered trunk!"

Mis' Browst helped herself freely to the oysters just then.

"Not," said Aunt Perrine, with stern self-control, "that I don't submit,
an' bear as a Christian ought."

She took the spoon again.

"'N' I could wish," severely, raising her voice, "'s all others could
profit likewise by this dispensation. Them as is kerried off by
tantrums, 'n' consorts with Papishers 'n' the Lord knows what, might see
in this a judgment, ef they would."

Mis' Browst groaned in concert.

"Ye needn't girn that away, Jane Browst," whispered Aunt Perrine,
emphatically. "Dode Scofield's a different guess sort of a gell from any
Browst. Keep yer groans for yer own nest. Ef I improve the occasion
while she's young an' tender, what's that to you? Look at home, you'd
best, I say!"

Mis' Browst was a woman of resources and English pluck. She always came
out best at last, though her hair was toffy-colored and her eyes a
washed-out blue, and Aunt Perrine was of the color of a mild Indian. Two
of Mis' Browst's sons-in-law had been "burned out" by the Yankees;
another was in the Union army: these trump-cards of misery she did now
so produce and flourish and weep over that she utterly routed the enemy,
reduced her to stolid silence.

"Well, well," she muttered, getting breath. "We'll not talk of our
individooal sorrers when affliction is general, Jane Browst. S'pose we
hev Bone in, and hear the perticklers of the scrimmage at Blue's Gap.
It's little time I've hed for news since,"--with a groan to close the
subject finally.

Mis' Browst sighed an assent, drinking her coffee with a resigned gulp,
with the firm conviction that the civil war had been designed for her
especial trial and enlargement in Christian grace.

So Bone was called in from the cow-yard. His eyes were quite fiery, for
the poor stupid fellow had been crying over the "warm mash" he was
giving to Coly. "Him's las' words was referrin' ter yer, yer pore
beast," he had said, snuffling out loud. He had stayed in the stables
all day, "wishin' all ole she-cats was to home, an' him an' Mist' Dode
could live in peace."

However, he was rather flattered at the possession of so important a
story just now, and in obedience to Aunt Perrine's nod seated himself
with dignity on the lowest step of the garret-stairs, holding carefully
his old felt hat, which he had decorated with streaming weepers of

Dode, pressing her hands to her ears, heard only the dull drone of their
voices. She shut her eyes, sometimes, and tried to fancy that she was
dreaming and would waken presently,--that she would hear her father rap
on the window with his cowhide, and call, "Supper, Dody dear?"--that it
was a dream that Douglas Palmer was gone forever, that she had put him
away. Had she been right? God knew; she was not sure.

It grew darker; the gray afternoon was wearing away with keen gusts and
fitful snow-falls. Dode looked up wearily: a sharp exclamation, rasped
out by Aunt Perrine, roused her.

"Dead? Dougl's dead?"

"Done gone, Mist'. I forgot dat--ter tell yer. Had somefin' else ter
tink of."

"Down in the gully?"

"Saw him lyin' dar as I went ter git Flynn's cart ter--ter bring Mars'
Joe, yer know,--home. Gone dead. Like he's dar yit. Snow 'ud kiver him
fast, an' de Yankees hedn't much leisure ter hunt up de missin',--yi!
yi!"--with an attempt at a chuckle.

"Dougl's dead!" said Aunt Perrine. "Well!--in the midst of life--Yer not
goin', Jane Browst? What's yer hurry, woman? You've but a step across
the road. Stay to-night. Dode an' me'll be glad of yer company. It's
better to come to the house of murnin' than the house of feastin', you

"You may be thankful you've a house to cover you, Ann Perrine, an'"----

"Yes,--I know. I'm resigned. But there's no affliction like
death.--Bone, open the gate for Mis' Browst. Them hasps is needin'
mendin', as I've often said to Joseph,--um!"

The women kissed each other as often as women do whose kisses
are--cheap, and Mis' Browst set off down the road. Bone, turning to shut
the gate, felt a cold hand on his arm.

"Gor-a'mighty! Mist' Dode, what is it?"

The figure standing in the snow wrapt in a blue cloak shook as he
touched it. Was she, too, struck with death? Her eyes were burning, her
face white and clammy.

"Where is he, Uncle Bone? where?"

The old man understood--all.

"Gone dead, darlin'."--holding her hand in his paw, tenderly. "Don't
fret, chile! Down in de Tear-coat gully. Dead, chile, dead! Don't yer

"He is not dead," she said, quietly. "Open the gate," pulling at the
broken hasp.

"Fur de Lor's sake, Mist' Dode, come in 'n' bathe yer feet 'n' go to
bed! Chile, yer crazy!"

Common sense, and a flash of something behind to give it effect, spoke
out of Dode's brown eyes, just then.

"Go into the stable, and bring a horse after me. The cart is broken?"

"Yes, 'm. Dat cussed Ben"----

"Bring the horse,--and some brandy, Uncle Bone."

"Danged ef yer shall kill yerself! Chile, I tell yer he's dead. I'll
call Mist' Perrine."

Her eyes were black now, for an instant; then they softened.

"He is not dead. Come, Uncle Bone. You're all the help I have, now."

The old man's flabby face worked. He did not say anything, but went into
the stable, and presently came out, leading the horse, with fearful
glances back at the windows. He soon overtook the girl going hurriedly
down the road, and lifted her into the saddle.

"Chile! chile! yer kin make a fool of ole Bone, allays."

She did not speak; her face, with its straight-lidded eyes, turned to
the mountain beyond which lay the Tear-coat gully. A fair face under its
blue hood, even though white with pain,--an honorable face: the best a
woman can know of pride and love in life spoke through it.

"Mist' Dode," whined Ben, submissively, "what are yer goin' ter do?
Bring him home?"


"Fur de lub o' heben!"--stopping short. "A Yankee captain in de house,
an' Jackson's men rampin' over de country like devils! Dey'll burn de
place ter de groun', ef dey fin' him."

"I know."

Bone groaned horribly, then went on doggedly. Fate was against him: his
gray hairs were bound to go down with sorrow to the grave. He looked up
at her wistfully, after a while.

"What'll Mist' Perrine say?" he asked.

Dode's face flushed scarlet. The winter mountain night, Jackson's army,
she did not fear; but the staring malicious world in the face of Aunt
Perrine did make her woman's heart blench.

"It doesn't matter," she said, her eyes full of tears. "I can't help
that, Uncle Bone,"--putting her little hand on his shoulder, as he
walked beside her. The child was so utterly alone, you know.

The road was lonely,--a mere mountain-path striking obliquely through
the hills to the highway: darkening hills and sky and valleys strangely
sinking into that desolate homesick mood of winter twilight. The sun was
gone; one or two sad red shadows lay across the gray. Night would soon
be here, and he lay stiff-cold beneath the snow. Not dead: her heart
told her that imperiously from the first. But there was not one instant
to lose.

"I cannot wait for you, Uncle Bone. I must go alone."

"Debbil de step! I'll take yer 'cross fields ter Gentry's, an' ride on

"You could not find him. No one could find him but me."

Something possessed the girl, other than her common self. She pushed his
hand gently from the reins, and left him. Bone wrung his hands.

"'N' de guerrillas,--'n' de rest o' de incarnate debbils!"

She knew that. Dode was no heroine,--a miserable coward. There was not a
black stump of a tree by the road-side, nor the rustle of a squirrel in
the trees, that did not make her heart jump and throb against her
bodice. Her horse climbed the rocky path slowly. I told you the girl
thought her Helper was alive, and very near. She did to-night. She
thought He was beside her in this lonesome road, and knew she would be
safe. She felt as if she could take hold of His very hand. It grew
darker: the mountains of snow glowered wan like the dead kings in Hades;
the sweeps of dark forests whispered some broken mysterious word, as she
passed; sometimes, in a sudden opening, she could see on a far hill-side
the red fires of a camp. She could not help the sick feeling in her
throat, nor make her hand steady; but the more alone she was, the nearer
He came,--the pale face of the Nazarene, who loved His mother and Mary,
who took the little children in His arms before He blessed them. Nearer
than ever before; so she was not afraid to tell Him, as she went, how
she had suffered that day, and that she loved this man who lay dying
under the snow: to ask that she might find him. A great gulf lay between
them. Would _He_ go with her, if she crossed it? She knew He would.

A strange peace came to the girl. She untied her hood and pushed it
back, that her whole head might feel the still air. How pure it was! God
was in it,--in all. The mountains, the sky, the armies yonder, her own
heart, and his under the snow, rested in Him, like motes in the

The moon, rising behind a bank of cloud, threw patches of light now and
then across the path: the girl's head, as she rode through them, came
into quick relief. No saint's face,--a very woman's, its pale, reserved
beauty unstrung with pain, her bosom full of earthly love, but in her
eyes that look which Mary must have given, when, after she thought her
Lord was dead, He called her, "Mary!" and she, looking up, said,

She had reached the highway at last. She could see where, some distance
yet beyond, the gully struck black across the snow-covered fields. The
road ran above it, zigzag along the hill-side. She thought, as her horse
galloped up the path, she could see the very spot where Douglas was
lying. Not dead,--she knew he was not dead! She came to it now. How
deathly still it was! As she tied the horse to the fence, and climbed
down the precipice through the snow, she was dimly conscious that the
air was warmer, that the pure moonlight was about her, genial, hopeful.
A startled snow-bird chirped to her, as she passed. Why, it was a happy
promise! Why should it not be happy? He was not dead, and she had leave
to come to him.

Yet, before she gained the level field, the pulse in her body was weak
and sick, and her eyes were growing blind. She did not see him. Half
covered by snow, she found his gray horse, dead, killed by the fall.
Palmer was gone. The gully was covered with muddy ice; there was a split
in it, and underneath, the black water curdled and frothed. Had he
fallen there? Was that thing that rose and fell in the roots of the old
willow his dead hand? There was a floating gleam of yellow in the
water,--it looked like hair. Dode put her hand to her hot breast, shut
her dry lips. He was not dead! God could not lie to her!

Stooping, she went over the ground again, an unbroken waste of white:
until, close to the water's edge, she found the ginseng-weeds torn and
trampled down. She never afterwards smelt their unclean, pungent odor,
without a sudden pang of the smothered pain of this night coming back to
her. She knelt, and found foot-marks,--one booted and spurred. She knew
it: what was there he had touched that she did not know? He was alive:
she did not cry out at this, or laugh, as her soul went up to God,--only
thrust her hand deep into the snow where his foot had been, with a
quick, fierce tenderness, blushing as she drew it back, as if she had
forgotten herself, and from her heart caressed him. She heard a sound at
the other side of a bend in the hill, a low drone, like somebody
mumbling a hymn.

She pushed her way through the thicket: the moon did not shine there;
there was a dark crevice in the hill, where some farmer's boy had built
a shed. There was a fire in it, now, smouldering, as though whoever made
it feared its red light would be seen by the distant pickets. Coming up
to it, she stood in the door-way. Douglas Palmer lay on a heap of
blankets on the ground: she could not see his face, for a lank, slothful
figure was stooping over him, chafing his head. It was Gaunt. Dode went
in, and knelt down beside the wounded man,--quietly: it seemed to her
natural and right she should be there. Palmer's eyes were shut, his
breathing heavy, uncertain; but his clothes were dried, and his side was

"It was only a flesh-wound," said Gaunt, in his vague way,--"deep,
though. I knew how to bind it. He'll live, Douglas will."

He did not seem surprised to see the girl. Nothing could be so bizarre
in the world, that his cloudy, crotchety brain did not accept it, and
make a commonplace matter out of it. It never occurred to him to wonder
how she came there. He stood with folded arms, his bony shoulders
bolstering up the board wall, watching her as she knelt, her hands on
Palmer's pillow, but not touching him. Gaunt's lean face had a pitiful
look, sometimes,--the look of the child he was in his heart,--hungry,
wistful, as though he sought for something, which you might have,
perhaps. He looked at Dode,--the child of the man that he had killed.
She did not know that. When she came in, he thought of shaking hands
with her, as he used to do. That could never be again,--never. _The man
that he had killed?_ Whatever that meant to him, his artist eye took
keen note of Dode, as she knelt there, in spite of remorse or pain
below: how her noble, delicate head rose from the coarse blue drapery,
the dark rings of her curling hair, the pale, clear-cut face, the
burning lips, the eyes whose earthly soul was for the man who lay there.
He knew that, yet he never loved her so fiercely as now,--now, when her
father's blood lay between them.

"Did you find him?" she asked, without looking up. "I ought to have done
it. I wish I had done that. I wish I had given him his life. It was my

One would think she was talking in her sleep.

"Why was it your right?" he asked, quietly.

"Because I loved him."

Gaunt raised his hand to his head suddenly.

"Did you, Dode? I had a better right than that. Because I hated him."

"He never harmed you, David Gaunt,"--with as proud composure as that
with which a Roman wife would defend her lord.

"I saved his life. Dode, I'm trying to do right: God knows I am. But I
hated him; he took from me the only thing that would have loved me."

She looked up timidly, her face growing crimson.

"I never would have loved you, David."

"No? I'm sorry you told me that, Dode."

That was all he said. He helped her gently, as she arranged the carpets
and old blanket under the wounded man; then he went out into the fresh
air, saying he did not feel well. She was glad that he was gone; Palmer
moved uneasily; she wanted his first look all to herself. She pushed
back his fair hair: what a broad, melancholy forehead lay under it! The
man wanted something to believe in,--a God in life: you could see that
in his face. She was to bring it to him: she could not keep the tears
back to think that this was so. The next minute she laughed in her
childish fashion, as she put the brandy to his lips, and the color came
to his face. He had been physician before; now it was her turn to master
and rule. He looked up at last, into her eyes, bewildered,--his face
struggling to gather sense, distinctness. When he spoke, though, it was
in his quiet old voice.

"I have been asleep. Where is Gaunt? He dressed my side."

"He is out, sitting on the hill-side."

"And you are here, Theodora?"

"Yes, Douglas."

He was silent. He was weak from loss of blood, but his thoughts were
sharp, clear as never before. The years that were gone of his life
seemed clogged into one bulk; how hungry they had been, hard, cruel! He
never had felt it as now, while he lay helpless, his sultry look reading
the woman's eyes bent on his. They were pure and restful; love and home
waited in them; something beyond,--a peace he could not yet comprehend.
But this life was not for him,--he remembered that; the girl was nothing
to him now: he was not fool enough to taunt himself with false hopes.
She came there out of pity: any woman would do as much for a wounded
man. He would never fool himself to be so balked again. The loss cut too
deep. So he forced his face to be cool and critical, while poor Dode
waited, innocently wondering that he did not welcome her, pity her now
that her father was dead, forgetting that he knew nothing of that. For
him, he looked at the fire, wondering if the Rebel scouts could see
it,--thinking it would not be many days before Lander would dislodge
Jackson,--trying to think of anything rather than himself, and the
beautiful woman kneeling there.

Her eyes filled with tears at last, when he did not speak, and she
turned away. The blood rushed to Palmer's face: surely that was more
than pity! But he would not tempt her,--he would never vex her soul as
he had done before: if she had come to him, as a sister might, because
she thought he was dying, he would not taunt her with the old love she
had for him.

"I think I can stand up," he said, cheerfully; "lend me your arm,

Dode's arm was strong-nerved as well as fair; she helped him rise, and
stood beside him as he went to the door, for he walked unsteadily. He
took his hand from her shoulder instantly,--did not look at her:
followed with his eye the black line of the fretted hills, the glimmer
of the distant watch-fires. The path to the West lay through the Rebel

"It is a long trail out of danger," he said, smiling.

"You are going? I thought you needed rest."

Calm, icy enough now: he was indifferent to her. She knew how to keep
the pain down until he was gone.

"Rest? Yes. Where did you mean I should find it?"--facing her, sudden
and keen. "Where am I to be sheltered? In your home, Theodora?"

"I thought that. I see now that it was a foolish hope, Douglas."

"How did you hope it? What brought you here?"--his voice thick,
tremulous with passion. "Were you going to take me in as a Sister of
Charity might some wounded dog? Are pity and gratitude all that is left
between you and me?"

She did not answer,--her face pale, unmoving in the moonlight, quietly
turned to his. These mad heats did not touch her.

"You may be cold enough to palter with fire that has burned you,
Theodora. I am not."

She did not speak.

"Sooner than have gone to you for sisterly help and comfort, such as you
gave just now, I would have frozen in the snow, and been less cold.
Unless you break down the bar you put between us, I never want to see
your face again,--never, living or dead! I want no sham farce of
friendship between us, benefits given or received: your hand touching
mine as it might touch Bone's or David Gaunt's; your voice cooing in my
ear as it did just now, cool and friendly. It maddened me. Rest can
scarcely come from you to me, now."

"I understand you. I am to go back, then? It was a long road,--and cold,

He stopped abruptly, looked at her steadily.

"Do not taunt me, child! I am a blunt man: what words say, they mean, to
me. Do you love me, Theodora?"

She did not speak, drawn back from him in the opposite shadow of the
door-way. He leaned forward, his breath coming hurried, low.

"Are you cold? See how shaggy this great cloak is,--is it wide enough
for you and me? Will you come to me, Theodora?"

"I did come to you. Look! you put me back: 'There shall be no benefits
given or received between us.'"

"How did you come?"--gravely, as a man should speak to a woman, childish
trifling thrust aside. "How did you mean to take me home? As a pure,
God-fearing woman should the man she loved? Into your heart, into your
holiest thought? to gather strength from my strength, to make my power
your power, your God my God? to be one with me? Was it so you came?"

He waited a minute. How cold and lonely the night was! How near rest and
home came to him in this woman standing there! Would he lose them? One
moment more would tell. When he spoke again, his voice was lower,

"There is a great gulf between you and me, Theodora. I know that. Will
you cross it? Will you come to me?"

She came to him. He gathered her into his arms as he might a little
child, never to be cold again; he felt her full heart throb passionately
against his own; he took from her burning lips the first pure, womanly
kiss: she was all his. But when she turned her head, there was a quick
upward glance of her eyes, he knew not whether of appeal or thanks.
There was a Something in the world more near and real to her than he; he
loved her the better for it: yet until he found that Unknown God, they
were not one.

It was an uncertain step broke the silence, cracking the crusted snow.

"Why, Gaunt!" said Palmer, "what are you doing in the cold? Come to the
fire, boy!"

He could afford to speak cordially, heartily, out of the great warmth in
big own breast. Theodora was heaping shavings on the ashes. Gaunt took
them from her.

"Let me do it," he muttered. "I'd like to make your whole life warm,
Dode,--your life, and--any one's you love."

Dode's face flushed with a happy smile. Even David never would think of
her as alone again. Poor David! She never before had thought how
guileless he was,--how pitiful and solitary his life.

"Come home with us," she said, eagerly, holding out her hand.

He drew back, wiping the sweat from his face.

"You cannot see what is on my hand. I can't touch you, Dode. Never
again. Let me alone."

"She is right, Gaunt," said Palmer. "You stay here at the risk of your
life. Come to the house. Theodora can hide us; and if they discover us,
we can protect her together."

Gaunt smiled faintly.

"I must make my way to Springfield to-morrow. My work is there,--my new
work, Palmer."

Palmer looked troubled.

"I wish you had not taken it up. This war may be needed to conquer a way
for the day of peace and good-will among men; but you, who profess to be
a seer and actor in that day, have only one work: to make it real to us
now on earth, as your Master did, in the old time."

Gaunt did not speak,--fumbled among the chips at the fire. He raised
himself at last.

"I'm trying to do what's right," he said, in a subdued voice. "I haven't
had a pleasant life,--but it will come right at last, maybe."

"It will come right, David!" said the girl.

His face lighted: her cheery voice sounded like a welcome ringing
through his future years. It was a good omen, coming from her whom he
had wronged.

"Are you going now, Gaunt?" asked Palmer, seeing him button his thin
coat. "Take my blanket,--nay, you shall. As soon as I am strong enough,
I'll find you at Springfield."

He wished he could hearten the poor unnerved soul, somehow.

Gaunt stopped outside, looking at them,--some uncertain thought coming
and going in his face.

"I'll speak it out, whatever you may think. Dode, I've done you a
deadly hurt. Don't ask me what it is,--God knows. I'd like, before I go,
to show you I love you in a pure, honorable way, you and your

The words choked in his throat; he stopped abruptly.

"Whatever you do, it will be honorable, David," said Palmer, gently.

"I think--God might take it as expiation,"--holding his hand to his

He did not speak again for a little while, then he said,----

"I will never see these old Virginian hills again. I am going West; they
will let me nurse in one of the hospitals;--that will be better than
this that is on my hand."

Whatever intolerable pain lay in these words, he smothered it down, kept
his voice steady.

"Do you understand, Douglas Palmer? I will never see you again. Nor
Dode. You love this woman; so did I,--as well as you. Let me make her
your wife before I go,--here, under this sky, with God looking down on
us. Will you? I shall be happier to know that I have done it."

He waited while Douglas spoke eagerly to the girl, and then said,----

"Theodora, for God's sake don't refuse! I have hurt you,--the marks of
it you and I will carry to the grave. Let me think you forgive me before
I go. Grant me this one request."

Did she guess the hurt he had done her? Through all her fright and
blushes, the woman in her spoke out nobly.

"I do not wish to know how you have wronged me. Whatever it be, it was
innocently done. God will forgive you, and I do. There shall be peace
between us, David."

But she did not offer to touch his hand again: stood there, white and

"It shall be as you say," said Palmer.

So they were married, Douglas and Dode, in the wide winter night. A few
short words, that struck the very depths of their being, to make them
one: simple words, wrung out of the man's thin lips with what suffering
only he knew.

"Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder." Thus he
shut himself out from her forever. But the prayer for a blessing on them
came from as pure a heart as any child's that lives. He bade them
good-bye, cheerfully, when he had finished, and turned away, but came
back presently, and said good-night again, looking in their faces
steadily, then took his solitary way across the hills. They never saw
him again.

Bone, who had secured two horses by love or money or--confiscation, had
stood mutely in the background, gulping down his opinion of this
extraordinary scene. He did not offer it now, only suggested it was
"high time to be movin'," and when he was left alone, trudging through
the snow, contented himself with smoothing his felt hat, and a
breathless, "Ef dis nigger on'y knew what Mist' Perrine _would_ say!"

A June day. These old Virginia hills have sucked in the winter's ice and
snow, and throbbed it out again for the blue heaven to see in a whole
summer's wealth of trees quivering with the luxury of being, in wreathed
mosses, and bedded fern: the very blood that fell on them speaks in
fair, grateful flowers to Him who doeth all things well. Some healthy
hearts, like the hills, you know, accept pain, and utter it again in
fresher-blooded peace and life and love. The evening sunshine lingers on
Dode's little house to-day; the brown walls have the same cheery whim in
life as the soul of their mistress, and catch the last ray of
light,--will not let it go. Bone, smoking his pipe at the garden-gate,
looks at the house with drowsy complacency. He calls it all "Mist'
Dode's snuggery," now: he does not know that the rich, full-toned vigor
of her happiness is the germ of all this life and beauty. But he does
know that the sun never seemed so warm, the air so pure, as this
summer,--that about the quiet farm and homestead there is a genial
atmosphere of peace: the wounded soldiers who come there often to be
cured grow strong and calm in it; the war seems far-off to them; they
have come somehow a step nearer the inner heaven. Bone rejoices in
showing off the wonders of the place to them, in matching Coly's shiny
sides against the "Government beastesses," in talking of the giant red
beets, or crumpled green cauliflower, breaking the rich garden-mould.
"Yer've no sich cherries nor taters nor raspberries as dem in de Norf,
I'll bet!" Even the crimson trumpet-flower on the wall is "a _Virginny_
creeper, Sah!" But Bone learns something from them in exchange. He does
not boast so often now of being "ole Mars' Joe's man,"--sits and thinks
profoundly, till he goes to sleep. "Not of leavin' yer, Mist' Dode, I
know what free darkies is, up dar; but dar's somefin' in a fellah's
'longin' ter hisself, af'er all!" Dode only smiles at his deep
cogitations, as he weeds the garden-beds, or fodders the stock. She is a
half-Abolitionist herself, and then she knows her State will soon be

So Dode, with deeper-lit eyes, and fresher rose in her cheek, stands in
the door this summer evening waiting for her husband. She cannot see him
often; he has yet the work to do which he calls just and holy. But he is
coming now. It is very quiet; she can hear her own heart beat slow and
full; the warm air holds moveless the delicate scent of the clover; the
bees hum her a drowsy good-night, as they pass; the locusts in the
lindens have just begun to sing themselves to sleep; but the glowless
crimson in the West holds her thought the longest. She loves,
understands color: it speaks to her of the Day waiting just behind this.
Her eyes fill with tears, she knows not why: her life seems rounded,
complete, wrapt in a great peace; the grave at Manassas, and that
planted with moss on the hill yonder, are in it; they only make her joy
in living more tender and holy.

He has come now; stops to look at his wife's face, as though its
fairness and meaning were new to him always. There is no look in her
eyes he loves so well to see as that which tells her Master is near her.
Sometimes she thinks he too----But she knows that "according to her
faith it shall be unto her." They are alone to-night; even Bone is
asleep. But in the midst of a crowd, they who love each other are alone
together: as the first man and woman stood face to face in the great
silent world, with God looking down, and only their love between them.

The same June evening lights the windows of a Western hospital. There is
not a fresh meadow-scented breath it gives that does not bring to some
sick brain a thought of home, in a New-England village, or a Georgia
rice-field. The windows are open; the pure light creeping into poisoned
rooms carries with it a Sabbath peace, they think. One man stops in his
hurried work, and looking out, grows cool in its tranquil calm. So the
sun used to set in old Virginia, he thinks. A tall, slab-sided man, in
the dress of a hospital-nurse: a worn face, but quick, sensitive; the
patients like it better than any other: it looks as if the man had
buried great pain in his life, and come now into its Indian-summer days.
The eyes are childish, eager, ready to laugh as cry,--the voice warm,
chordant,--the touch of the hand unutterably tender.

A busy life, not one moment idle; but the man grows strong in it,--a
healthy servant, doing a healthy work. The patients are glad when he
comes to their ward in turn. How the windows open, and the fresh air
comes in! how the lazy nurses find a masterful will over them! how full
of innermost life he is! how real his God seems to him!

He looks from the window now, his thought having time to close upon
himself. He holds up his busy, solitary life to God, with a happy smile.
He goes back to that bitter past, shrinking; but he knows its meaning
now. As the warm evening wanes into coolness and gray, the one unspoken
pain of his life comes back, and whitens his cheerful face. There is
blood on his hands. He sees the old man's gray hairs blown again by the
wind, sees him stagger and fall. Gaunt covers his bony face with his
hands, but he cannot shut it out. Yet he is learning to look back on
even that with healthy, hopeful eyes. He reads over again each day the
misspelled words in the Bible,--thinking that the old man's haggard face
looks down on him with the old kindly, forgiving smile. What if his
blood be on his hands? He looks up now through the gathering night, into
the land where spirits wait for us, as one who meets a friend's face,

"Let it be true what you have writ,--'The _Lord_ be between me and
thee,' forever!"

      "I will not longer
      Earth-bound linger:
      Loosen your hold on
      Hand and on ringlet.
      Girdle and garment;
      Leave them: they're mine!"
      "Bethink thee, bethink thee
      To whom thou belongest!
      Say, wouldst thou wound us,
      Rudely destroying
      Threefold the beauty,--
      Mine, his, and thine?"

  Nay, fold your arms, beloved Friends,
    Above the hearts that vainly beat!
  Or catch the rainbow where it bends,
    And find your darling at its feet;

  Or fix the fountain's varying shape,
    The sunset-cloud's elusive dye,
  The speech of winds that round the cape
    Make music to the sea and sky:

  So may you summon from the air
    The loveliness that vanished hence,
  And Twilight give his beauteous hair,
    And Morning give his countenance,

  And Life about his being clasp
    Her rosy girdle once again:--
  But no! let go your stubborn grasp
    On some wild hope, and take your pain!

  For, through the crystal of your tears,
    His love and beauty fairer shine;
  The shadows of advancing years
    Draw back, and leave him all divine.

  And Death, that took him, cannot claim
    The smallest vesture of his birth,--
  The little life, a dancing flame
    That hovered o'er the hills of earth,--

  The finer soul, that unto ours
    A subtle perfume seemed to be,
  Like incense blown from April flowers
    Beside the scarred and stormy tree,--

  The wondering eyes, that ever saw
    Some fleeting mystery in the air,
  And felt the stars of evening draw
    His heart to silence, childhood's prayer!

  Our suns were all too fierce for him;
    Our rude winds pierced him through and through;
  But Heaven has valleys cool and dim,
    And boscage sweet with starry dew.

  There knowledge breathes in balmy air,
    Not wrung, as here, with panting breast:
  The wisdom born of toil you share;
    But he, the wisdom born of rest.

  For every picture here that slept,
    A living canvas is unrolled;
  The silent harp he might have swept
    Leans to his touch its strings of gold.

  Believe, dear Friends, they murmur still
    Some sweet accord to those you play,
  That happier winds of Eden thrill
    With echoes of the earthly lay;

  That he, for every triumph won,
    Whereto your poet-souls aspire,
  Sees opening, in that perfect sun,
    Another blossom's bud of fire!

  Each song, of Love and Sorrow born,
    Another flower to crown your boy,--
  Each shadow here his ray of morn,
    Till Grief shall clasp the hand of Joy!


Because our architecture is bad, and because the architecture of our
forefathers in the Middle Ages was good, Mr. Ruskin and others seem to
think there is no salvation for us until we build in the same spirit as
they did. But that we should do so no more follows than that we should
envy those geological ages when the club-mosses were of the size of
forest-trees, and the frogs as big as oxen. There are many advantages to
be had in the forests of the Amazon and the interior of
Borneo,--inexhaustible fertility, endless water-power,--but no one
thinks of going there to live.

No age is without its attractions. There would be much to envy in the
Greek or the Roman life, if we could have them clear of drawbacks. Many
persons would be glad always to find Emerson in State Street, or
sauntering in the Mall, ready to talk with all comers,--or to hear the
latest words of Bancroft or Lowell from their own lips at the
cattle-show or the militia-muster. The Roman villas had some excellent
features,--the peristyle of statues, the cryptoporticus with its
midnight coolness and shade of a July noon, the mosaic floor, and the
glimmering frescoes of the ceiling. But we are content to get our poets
and historians in their books, and to take the pine-grove for our
noonday walk, or to wait till night has transformed the street into a
cryptoporticus nobler than Titus's. It is as history that these things
charm us; but the charm vanishes, when, even in fancy, we bring them
into contact with our actual lives. So it is with the medieval
architecture. It is true, in studying these wonderful fossils, a regret
for our present poverty, and a desire to appropriate something from the
ancient riches, will at times come over us. But this feeling, if it be
more than slight and transient, if it seriously influence our conduct,
is somewhat factitious or somewhat morbid. Let us be a little
disinterested in our admiration, and not, like children, cry for all we
see. We have our share: let us leave the dead theirs.

The fallacy lies in the supposition, that, besides all their advantages,
they had all ours too. It is with our mental as with our bodily
vision,--we see only what is remote; and the image to the mind depends,
not only upon seeing, but upon _not seeing_. In the distant star, all
foulness and gloom are lost, and only the pure splendor reaches us.
Inspired by Mr. Ruskin's eloquence, the neophyte sets forth with
contrition to put his precepts into practice. But the counterstatement
which he had overlooked does not, therefore, cease to exist. At the
outset, he finds unexpected sacrifices are demanded. And, as money is
the common measure of the forces disposable, the hindrances take the
form of increase of cost. Before the first step can be taken towards
doing anything as Mr. Ruskin would have it done, he discovers that at
least it will cost enormously more to do it in that way. The lamps of
truth and sacrifice demand such expensive nourishment, that he is forced
to ask himself whether they are of themselves really sufficient to live

It is not that we are poorer or more penurious than our ancestors, but
that we have more wants than they, and that the new wants overshadow the
old. What is spent in one direction must be spared in another. The
matter-of-course necessaries of our life were luxuries or were unknown
to them. First of all, the luxury of freedom,--political, social, and
domestic,--with the habits it creates, is the source of great and
ever-increasing expense. We are still much behindhand in this matter,
and shall by-and-by spend more largely upon it. But, compared with our
ancestors, individual culture, to which freedom is the means, absorbs a
large share of our expenditure. The noble architecture of the thirteenth
century was the work of corporations, of a society that knew only
corporations, and where individual culture was a crime. Dante had made
the discovery that it is the man that creates his own position, not the
accident of birth. But his life shows how this belief isolated him. Nor
was the coincidence between the artistic spirit of the age and its
limitations accidental. Just in proportion as the spirit of
individualism penetrated society, and began to show itself as the
Renaissance, architecture declined. The Egyptian pyramids are marvels to
us, because we are accustomed to look upon the laborer as a man. But
once allow that he is only so much brute force,--cheap, readily
available, and to be had in endless supply, but as a moral entity less
to be respected than a cat or a heron, and the marvel ceases. Should not
the building be great to which man himself is sacrificed? Later, the
builders are no longer slaves; but man is still subordinate to his own
work, adores the work of his hands. This stands for him, undertakes to
represent him, though, from its partial nature, it can only typify
certain aspects or functions of him. A Gothic cathedral is an attempt at
a universal expression of humanity, a stone image of society, in which
each particle, insignificant by itself, has its meaning in the
connection. It was the fresh interest in the attempt that gave birth to
that wonderful architecture. This is the interest it still has, but now
only historical, since the discovery was made that the particle is
greater than the mass,--that it is for the sake of the individual that
society and its institutions exist. Ever since, a process of
disintegration has been going on, resulting in a progressive reversal of
the previous relation. Not the private virtues of the structure, but its
uses, are now uppermost, and ever more and more developed. Even in our
own short annals something of this process may be traced. Old gentlemen
complain of the cost of our houses. The houses of their boyhood, they
say, were handsomer and better built, yet cost less. There is some truth
in this, for the race of architect-builders hardly reaches into this
century. But if the comparison be pushed into details, we soon come to
the conviction that the owners of these houses were persons whose habits
were, in many respects, uncouth and barbarous. It is easy to provide in
the lump; but with decency, privacy, independence,--in short, with a
high degree of respect on the part of the members of the household for
each other's individuality,--expense begins. Letarouilly says it is
difficult to discover in the Roman palaces of the Renaissance any
reference to special uses of the different apartments. It was to the
outside, the vestibule, courtyard, and staircase, that care and study
were given: the inside was intended only as a measure of the riches and
importance of the owner, not as his habitation. The part really
inhabited by him was the _mezzanino_,--a low, intermediate story, where
he and his family were kennelled out of the way. Has any admiring
traveller ever asked himself how he could establish himself, with wife
and children, in the Foscari or the Vendramin palace? To live in them,
it would be necessary to build a house inside.

Nor is there any ground for saying that the fault is in the
builders,--that the old builders met the demands of their time, and
would equally satisfy the demands of our time, without sacrifice of
their art. The first demand in the days of good architecture was, that
the building should have an independent artistic value beyond its use.
This is what architecture requires; for architecture is building,
_pure_,--building for its own sake, not as means. What Mr. Garbett says
is, no doubt, quite true,--that nothing was ever made, for taste's sake,
less efficient than it might have been. But many things were made _more_
efficient than they might have been; or, rather, this is always the
character of good architecture. It is in this surplus of perfection,
above bare necessity, that its claim to rank among the fine arts
consists. This character the builders of the good times, accordingly,
never left out of sight; so that, if their means were limited, they
lavished all upon one point,--made that overflow with riches, and left
the rest plain and bare; never did they spread their pittance thin to
cover the whole, as we do. It is for this reason that so few of the
great cathedrals were finished, and that in buildings of all kinds we so
often find the decoration in patches, sharply marked off from the rest
of the structure. This noble profuseness is not, indeed, necessarily
decoration; the essence of it is an independent value and interest in
the building, aside from the temporary and accidental employment. The
spires and the flying-buttresses of the Northern cathedrals cannot be
defended on the ground of thrifty construction. The Italian churches
accomplished that as well without either. How remote the reference to
use in the mighty portals of Rheims, or the soaring vaultings of Amiens
and Beauvais! Does anybody suppose that Michel Angelo, when he undertook
to raise the dome of the Pantheon into the air, was thinking of the most
economical way of roofing a given space? These fine works have their
whole value as expression; it is with their visible contempt of thrift
that our admiration begins. They pared away the stone to the minimum
that safety demanded, and beyond it,--yet not from thrift, but to make
the design more preëminent and necessary, and to owe as little as
possible to the inert strength of the material.

But though we admire the result, we have grown out of sympathy with the
cause, the state of mind that produced it, and so the root wherefrom the
like should be produced is cut off. There is no reason to suppose that
the old builders were men of a different kind from ours, more earnest,
more poetical. The stories about the science of the medieval masons are
rubbish. All men are in earnest about something; our men are as good as
they, and would have built as well, had they been born at the right time
for it. But now they are thinking of other things. The Dilettanti
Society sent Mr. Penrose to Athens to study in the ancient remains there
the optical corrections which it was alleged the Greeks made in the
horizontal lines of their buildings. Mr. Penrose made careful
measurements, establishing the fact, and a folio volume of plates was
published to illustrate the discovery, and evince the unequalled nicety
of the Greek eye. But the main point, namely, that a horizontal line
above the level of the eye, in order to appear horizontal, must bend
slightly upwards, was pointed out to me years ago by a common plasterer.

It is not that our builders are degenerate, but that their art is a
trade, occupies only their hands, not their minds, and this by no fault
in them or in anybody, but by the natural progress of the world. In each
age by turn some one mental organ is in a state of hypertrophy;
immediately that becomes the medium of expression,--not that it is the
only possible or even the best, but that its time has come,--then it
gives place to another. Architecture is dead and gone to dust long ago.
We are not called upon to sing threnodies over it, still less to attempt
to galvanize a semblance of life into it. If we must blame somebody, let
it not be the builder, but his employers, who, caring less even than he
for the reality of good architecture, (for the material itself teaches
him something,) force him into these puerilities in order to gratify
their dissolute fancies.

If these views seem to any one low and prosaic, let me remind him that
poetry does not differ from prose in being false. We must respect the
facts. If there were in this country any considerable number of persons
to whom the buildings they daily enter had any positive permanent value
besides convenience,--who looked upon the church, the bank, or the
house, as upon a poem or a statue,--the birth of a national architecture
would be assured. But as the fact stands, while utility, and that of a
temporary and makeshift sort, is really the first consideration, we are
not yet ready to acknowledge this to others or to ourselves, and so fail
to get from it what negative advantage we might, but blunder on under
some fancied necessity, spending what we can ill spare, to the
defrauding of legitimate demands, as a sort of sin-offering for our
aesthetic deficiency, or as a blind to conceal it. The falsehood, like
all falsehood, defeats itself; the pains we take only serve to make the
failure more complete.

This is displayed most fully in the doings of "Building Committees."
Here we see what each member (perhaps it would be more just to say the
least judicious among them) would do in his own case, were he free from
the rude admonitions of necessity. He has at least to live in his own
house, and so cannot escape some attention to the substantial
requirements of it; though some houses, too, seem emancipated from such
considerations, and to have been built for any end rather than to live
in. But in catering for the public, it is the _outsiders_ alone that
seem to be consulted, the careless passer-by, who for once will pause a
moment to commend or to sneer at the façade,--not the persons whose
lives for years, perhaps, are to be affected by the internal
arrangement. It is doubtless from a suspicion, more or less obscure, of
the incoherency of their purpose, that such committees usually fall into
the hands of a "practical man,"--that is, a man impassive to principles,
of hardihood or bluntness of perception enough to carry into effect
their vague fancies, and spare them from coming face to face with their
inconsistencies. Thus fairly adrift and kept adrift from the main
purpose, there is no vagary impossible to them,--churches in which there
is no hearing, hospitals contrived to develop disease, museums of
tinder, libraries impossible to light or warm. And what gain comes to
beauty from these sacrifices, let our streets answer. Good architecture
requires before all things a definite aim, long persisted in. It never
was an invention, anywhere, but always a gradual growth. What chance of
that here?

The only chance clearly is to cut away till we come to the solid ground
of real, not fancied, requirement. As long as it is our whims, and not
our necessities, that build, it matters little how much pains we take,
how learned and assiduous we are. I have no hope of any considerable
advantage from the abundant exhortation to frankness and genuineness in
the use of materials, unless it lead first of all to a more frank and
genuine consideration of the occasion for using the materials at all. If
it lead only to open timber roofs and stone walls in place of the
Renaissance stucco, I think the gain very questionable. The stucco is
more comfortable, and at least we had got used to it. These are matters
of detail: suppose your details _are_ more genuine, if the whole design
is a sham, if the aim be only to excite the admiration of bystanders,
the thing is not altered, whether the bystanders are learned in such
matters or ignorant. The more excellent the work is in its kind, the
more insidious and virulent the falsity, if the whole occasion of it be
a pretence. If it must be false, let it by all means be gross and
glaring,--we shall be the sooner rid of it.

It may be asked whether, then, I surrender the whole matter of
appearance,--whether the building may as well be ugly as beautiful. By
no means; what I have said is in the interest of beauty, as far as it is
possible to us. Positive beauty it may be often necessary to forego, but
bad taste is never necessary. Ugliness is not mere absence of beauty,
but absence of it where it ought to be present. It comes always from a
disappointed expectation,--as where the lineaments that do not disgust
in the potato meet us in the human face, or even in the hippopotamus,
whom accordingly Nature kindly puts out of sight. It is bad taste that
we suffer from,--not plainness, not indifference to appearance, but
features misplaced, shallow mimicry of "effects" where their causes do
not exist, transparent pretences of all kinds, forcing attention to the
absence of the reality, otherwise perhaps unnoticed. The first step
toward seemly building is to rectify the relation between the appearance
and the uses of the building,--to give to each the weight that it really
has with us, not what we fancy or are told it ought to have. Mr. Ruskin
too often seems to imply that fine architecture is like virtue or the
kingdom of Heaven: that, if it be sought first, all other things will be
added. A sounder basis for design, beyond what is necessary to use,
seems to me that proposed by Mr. Garbett, (to whom we are indebted for
the most useful hints upon architecture,) namely, politeness, a decent
regard for the eyes of other people (and for one's own, for politeness
regards one's self as well). Politeness, however, as Mr. Garbett admits,
is chiefly a negative art, and consists in abstaining and not meddling.
The main character of the building being settled by the most
unhesitating consideration of its uses, we are to see that it disfigures
the world as little as possible.

Let me, at the risk of tediousness, proceed to bring these generalities
to a point by a few instances,--not intending to exhaust the topic, but
only to exemplify the method of approaching it.

The commonest case for counsel, and more common here than anywhere else,
is where a man is to build for himself a house, especially in the
country,--for town-houses are more governed by extraneous
considerations. The first point is the _aspect_,--that the living-rooms
be well open to the sun. Let no fancied advantages of view or of
symmetrical position interfere with this. For they operate seldom and
strike most at first, but the aspect tells on body and mind every day.
It is astonishing how reckless people are of this vital point, suffering
it to be determined for them by the direction of a road, or even of a
division-fence,--as if they had never looked at their houses with their
own eyes, but only with the casual view of a stranger. It does not
follow, however, that the entrance must be on the sunny side, though
this is generally best, as the loss of space in the rooms is more than
made up by the cheeriness of the approach. For the same reason, unless
you are sailing very close to the wind, let your entrance-hall be roomy.
It is in no sense an unproductive outlay, for it avails above in
chambers, and below in the refuge it affords to the children from the
severer rules of the parlor.

As to number and distribution of rooms, the field is somewhat wide. Here
the differences of income, of pursuits, and the idiosyncrasies of taste
come in; and more than all, not only are the circumstances originally
different, but constantly varying. I speak not of the fluctuations of
fortune, but of normal and expected changes. The young couple, or the
old, are easily lodged. But in middle life,--since we are not content,
like our forefathers, with bestowing our children out of sight,--it
takes a great deal of room to provide for them on both floors, without
either neglect or oppression, and to keep up the due oversight without
sacrificing ourselves or them. For children are rather exclusive, and
spoil for other use more room than they occupy. Here I counsel every man
who must have a corner to himself to fix his study in the attic, for the
only way to avoid noise without wasteful complication is to be above it.

The smallest house must provide some escape from the dining-room. If
dining-room and sitting-room are on the sunny side, and the entrance be
also on that side, they will be separated, as indeed they always may be,
without loss. The notion that the rooms must immediately connect is one
of those whims to which houses are sacrificed. The only advantage is the
facility for receiving company. But if the occasions when the guests
will be too many for one room are likely to be frequent, rather than
permanently spoil the living-room, it is better to set apart rooms for
reception. Our position in this matter is in truth rather embarrassing.
Formerly (and the view is not yet wholly obsolete) the whole house was a
reception-hall, the domestic life of the inmates being a secondary
matter, swept into some corner, such as the cells of the mediaeval
castles or the _mezzanino_ of the Italian palaces. But the austere
aspect of the shut-up "best parlor" of our grandfathers, with its closed
blinds and chilly chintz covers, showed that the tables were beginning
to turn, and the household to assert its rights and civilly to pay off
the guest for his usurpations. Henceforth he is welcome, but he is
secondary; it was not for him that the house was built; and if it comes
to choosing, he can be dispensed with. It would be very agreeable to
unite with all the new advantages all the old,--the easy hospitality,
the disengaged suavity of the ancient manners. Now the brow of the host
is clouded, he has too much on his mind to play his part perfectly. It
is not that good-will is wanting, but that life is more complicated. The
burdens are more evenly distributed, and no class is free and at
leisure. But to fret over our disadvantages, and to extol the past, is
only to ignore the price that was paid for those advantages we covet.
There was always somebody to sweat for that leisure. Would a society
divided into castes be better? Or again, who would like to have his
children sleep three in a bed, and live in the kitchen, in order that
the best rooms should always be swept and garnished for company?

In every case, unless a man is rich enough to have two houses in one, it
comes to choice between domestic comfort and these occasional
facilities. Direct connection of rooms usually involves the sacrifice of
the chimney-corner, on one or both sides; for it is not pleasant to sit
in a passage-way, even if it be rarely used. For use in cold weather the
available portion of a room may be reckoned as limited by the door
nearest the fireplace.

It will be noticed that this supposes the use of open fireplaces. The
open fireplace is not a necessary of life, but it is one of the first
luxuries, and one that no man who can afford to eat meat every day can
afford to dispense with. No furnace can supply the place of it; for,
though the furnace is an indispensable auxiliary in severe cold, and
though, well managed, it need not vitiate the air, yet, like all
contrivances for supplying heated air instead of heat, it has the
insurmountable defect of not warming the body directly, nor until all
the surrounding air be warmed first, and thus stops the natural reaction
and the brace and stimulus derived from it. Used exclusively, it amounts
to voluntarily incurring the disadvantage of a tropical climate.

Let the walls of the second story be upright. The recent fashion of a
mansard or "French roof" is only making part of the wall of the house
look like roof, at equal expense, at the sacrifice of space inside, and
above all, of tightness. For, though shingles and even slates will
generally keep out the rain, the innumerable cracks between the sides of
them can never be made air-tight, and therefore admit heat and cold much
more freely than any proper wall-covering. A covering of metal would be
too good a conductor of external temperature,--while clapboarding would
endanger the resemblance to a roof, which is the only gain proposed.

As to the size of the house, it is important to observe that its cost
does not depend so much upon the size of the rooms (within reasonable
limits) as upon the number of them, the complication of plan, and the
number of doors and windows. For every door or window you can omit you
may add three or four feet to your house. The height of the stories will
be governed by the area of the largest rooms;--what will please each
person depends very much upon what he is used to. In the old New-England
houses the stories were very low, often less than eight feet in the best
rooms. In favor of low rooms it is to be remembered that they are more
easily lighted and warmed, and involve less climbing of stairs. Rooms
are often made lofty under the impression that better ventilation is
thereby secured; but there is a confusion here. A high room is less
intolerable without ventilation, the vitiated air being more diluted;
but a low room is usually more easily ventilated, because the windows
are nearer the ceiling.

Mr. Garbett advises that the windows be many and small. This costs more;
and if it be understood to involve placing the windows on different
sides, the effect, I think, will be generally less agreeable than where
the room is lighted wholly from one side. A capital exception, however,
is the dining-room, which should always, if possible, abound in
cross-lights; else one half the table will be oppressed by a glare of
light, and the other visible only in _silhouette_.

As to material, stone is the handsomest, and the only one that
constantly grows handsomer, and does not require that your creepers
should be periodically disturbed for painting or repairs. But this is
perhaps all that can be said in its favor. To make a stone house as good
as a wooden one we must build a wooden one inside of it. Wood is our
common material, and there is none better, if we take the pains to make
it tight. There is a prevalent notion that it is the thinness of our
cheap wooden houses that makes them pervious to heat and cold. But no
wooden house, unless built of solid and well-fitted logs, could resist
the external temperature by virtue of thickness. It is tightness that
tells here. Wherever air passes, heat and cold pass with it. What is
important, therefore, is, by good contrivance and careful execution, to
stop all cracks as far as possible. For this, an outside covering of
sheathing-felt, or some equivalent material, may be recommended, and
especially a double plastering inside,--not the common "back-plastering,"
but two separate compact surfaces of lime and sand, inside the frame.

The position, the internal arrangement, and the material being
determined upon, the next point is that the structure shall be as little
of an eyesore as we can make it. Do what we will, every house, as long
as it is new, is a standing defiance to the landscape. In color,
texture, and form, it disconnects itself and resists assimilation to its
surroundings. The "gentle incorporation into the scenery of Nature,"
that Wordsworth demands, is the most difficult point to effect, as well
as the most needful. This makes the importance of a background of trees,
of shrubs, and creepers, and the uniting lines of sheds, piazzas, etc.,
mediating and easing off the shock which the upstart mass inflicts upon
the eye. Hence Sir Joshua Reynolds's rule for the color of a house, to
imitate the tint of the soil where it is to stand. Hence the advantage
of a well-assured base and generally of a pyramidal outline, because
this is the figure of braced and balanced equilibrium, assured to all
natural objects by the slow operation of natural laws, which we must
take care not to violate in our haste, unless for due cause shown.

We hear much of the importance of proportions, but the main point
generally is that the house be not too high. This is the most universal
difficulty, particularly in small houses, the area being diminished, but
not the height of stories. In this respect the old farm-houses had a
great advantage, and this is a main element in their good effect,--aided
as it is by the height of the roof; for a high roof will often make a
building seem lower than it would with a low roof or none at all. The
dreary effect of the flat-roofed houses in the neighborhood of New York
is due partly to the unrelieved height, and partly to the unfinished or
truncated appearance of a thing without a top. The New York fashion
gives, no doubt, the most for the money; but the effect is so offensive
that I think it justifies us for once in violating Mr. Garbett's canon
and sacrificing efficiency to taste.

The most pleasing shape of roof, other things being equal, is the
pyramidal or hipped, inclining from all sides towards the centre. The
drawback is, that, if it must be pierced by windows, their lines will
stick off from the roof, so that, as seen from below, they will be
violently detached from the general mass. The good taste of the old
builders made them avoid putting dormer-windows (at least in front) in
roofs of one pitch; the windows were in the gables, carried out for this
purpose; or if dormers were necessary, they made a mansard or
double-pitched roof, in which the windows are less detached. Another
excellent feature in the old New-England farm-houses is the long slope
of the roof behind, and, in general, the habit of roofing porches,
dormers, sheds, and other projections by continuing the main roof over
them, with great gain to breadth and solidity of effect.

In fact, were it possible, we could not do better for the outside than
to take these old houses for our model. But here, as everywhere, we find
the outside depends on the inside, and that what we most admire in them
will conflict with the new requirements. For instance, the massive
central chimney and the expanse on the ground point to the kitchen as
the common living-room of the family; they are irreconcilable with our
need of more chambers and of the possibility of more separation above
and below. The later and more ambitious houses, such as were built in
the neighborhood of Boston at the beginning of the century, come nearer
to our wants; but they sacrifice too much to a cut-and-dried symmetry to
be of much use to us. After that the way is downward through one set of
absurdities after another, until of late some signs of more common-sense
treatment begin to be visible.

The way out of this quagmire is first of all to avoid confusion of aim.
What is this that we are building? If it is a monument, let us seek only
to make it beautiful. But if it is a house, let us always keep in mind
that the appearance of it, being really secondary, must be seen to have
been held so throughout. Else we shall not, in the long run, escape bad
taste. Bad taste is not mere failure, but failure to do something which
ought not to have been attempted. For instance, among the most frequent
occasions for deformity in modern houses are the dormers, the windows
that rise above the roof. In the Gothic buildings these are among the
most attractive features. The reason is that the tendency of the outline
to detach itself from the mass of the building furnishes to the Gothic a
culminating point for the distinct legitimate aim at beauty of
expression that pervades the whole; but to the modern builder, whose
aim, as regards expression, should be wholly negative, it is at best an
embarrassment, and often a snare.

The chief obstacle to a rational view of the present position of
architecture comes from the number of clever men who devote their lives
to putting a good face on our absurdities, and by all sorts of tricks
and sophistries in wood and stone prevent us from seeing our conduct in
its proper deformity. They dazzle and bewilder us with beauties plucked
at haphazard from all times and ages,--as much forgeries as any that men
are hanged for,--and then, when the cheat begins to peep through, they
fool us again with pretences of thoroughness, consistency of style,
genuineness in the use of materials, etc., as if the danger were in the
execution, and not in the main intention. So they fool us for a while
longer, and we praise their fine doings, and even persuade ourselves
there is something liberal and ennobling in their influence. But we tire
at last of these exotics. A million of them is not worth one of those
sober flowers of homely growth where use has by chance, as it were,
blossomed into beauty. This is the only success in that kind that can be
hoped for in our day. But it must come of itself; it cannot be had for
the seeking, nor if sought for its own sake. The active competition that
goes on in our streets is not the way to it, unless negatively, by way
of disgust and exhaustion. For some help, meantime, I commend the
opinion of an architect of my acquaintance, who said the highest
compliment he ever received was from a drover, who could not account for
it that "he had passed that way so often and never seen that _old
house_." Nobody expects his house will be beautiful, do what he will;
why pay for the certainty of failure? Not to be conspicuous, and, to
that end, to respect the plain fundamental rules of statics, of good
construction, of harmonious color, and to resist sacrificing any solid
advantage to show, these are our safest rules at present.



The twilight was almost gone on the Saturday night when I went back to
the grave, solemn house. There was no one dead in it now. It was the
first time that I had approached it without the abyss of shadow under
its roof. A little elasticity came back to me. Kino came out to give his
welcome: we had become friendly. Katie let me in.

"Perhaps you'd choose to wait down-stairs a bit," she said; "Mr.
Abraham's getting his tea up in Miss Lettie's room."

She lighted the lamp, and left me. After my two explorations in unknown
realms,--the one voluntary, looking at the painting on the wall, the
other involuntary, looking at a human soul in sorrow,--I resolved to
shut my eyes to all that they ought not to see; and therefore I
stationed myself in the green glade of a chair, and very properly
decided that the only thing I would look at should be the fire. What I
might see there surely could offend no one, unless it were the deity of
Coal,--and Redleaf was not near any carboniferous group.

Peculiar were the forms the fire took an elfish pleasure in assuming.
Little blue flames came up into atmospheric life, through the rending
fissures where so many years of ages they had been pent into the very
blackness of darkness; and as they gained their freedom, they gave tiny,
crackling shouts of liberty. "We're free! we're free!" they smally
cried; and I wondered if a race, buried as deeply in the strata of races
as these bits of burning coal had been in the geologic periods of earth,
could utter such cries.

The fire grew, the liberty paeans ceased. Deep opaline content burned
lambescent amid the coals. Ashy cinders fell from the grate slowly,
slumberously, as the one dead, that very afternoon buried, had gone to
rest, in the night-time, when the household was asleep, without any one
to hold her hand whilst she took the first step in the surging sea of
river. Yes, she died alone,--"in the heart of the night," Dr. Eaton said
it must have been "that the bridegroom came." Had she oil in her lamp?
What was she like? Like her son Abraham, or her daughter Lettie? I tried
to paint her face as it must have been. It is darker still in that grave
where she lies than was the night wherein she died. Miss Lettie was
right: they have a fathom of earth over her,--there's not one glimmer of
light down there. When I am buried, won't _some one_ shut in one little
sun-ray with me, that I may see to feel the gloom?

I looked down upon the gravelly earth lying above her, as I had looked
across at it when I left the parsonage at night fall, and passed by the
church-yard. All the while, my eyes were in the depths of the fire. I
went down through stone and soil to the coffin there. All was
unutterable blackness. I put out my hand to feel. It was a cold,
marbleized face that my warm, living fingers wandered over. I touched
the forehead: it was very stony, granite-like,--not a woman's forehead.
The eyes were large,--I felt them under the half-closed lids. The
mouth--Yes, Miss Lettie was right. Love for Abraham had covered up this
mother-love for her. And confession unto her dead was, it must have
been, better than unto her living. The answer would have been much the

Shudderingly, I picked up my hand, the one that had been lying upon the
arm of the chair, whilst its life and spirit had gone out on their
mission of discovery. It was very cold. I warmed it before the fire, and
began to think that Aaron was right,--this House of Axtell was stealing
away my proper self, or, at least, this hand of mine had been unlawfully
employed, through occasion of them. As the warmth of burning coals
revivified my hand, I saw something in the fire,--a face,--the very one
these live fingers had just been tracing in yonder church-yard. Its eyes
were open now,--large, luminous, earnest, with a wave of solid pride
sweeping on through the irides and almost overwhelming the pupils. The
mouth,--oh, those lips! _ever uttered they a prayer_? They look,
trembling the while, so unutterably unforgiving! When they come to stand
before the I AM, will they _ever_ plead? It is hard to think the Deity
maketh such souls. Doth He? I looked a little farther on in the fiery
group. Other forms of coal took the human face. I saw two. Whose were
they? One was like unto my mother. How little I remember of her! and yet
this was like my memory,--sweetly gentle, loving past expression's
power, no taint of earth therein. Another came up. I did not know it.
Something whispered, "It is of you." I almost heard the words with my
outward ears. I looked around the room. No one was with me. Stillness
reigned in the house.

"It takes Mr. Axtell a very long time to take his tea," I thought; "he
must know more of hunger's power than I.--I will look at the fire no
more," I said, slowly, to myself, and closed my eyelids, somewhat
willing to drop after all that they had endured that day.

A soft, silver, "swimming sound" floated through the room. It was the
clock upon the mantel sending out tones of time-hours. I looked up. It
was eleven of the clock. "I must have fallen asleep," I thought, and
threw off the folds of a shawl which I surely left on the sofa over
there when I seated myself in this chair. My head was upon a pillow,
downy and white, instead of the green vale of chair in which I had laid
it down. I sprang up. There was little of lamp-light in the room. I saw
something that looked marvellously like somebody, near the sofa. It was
Katie, my good little friend Katie. She was sitting on a footstool with
her head upon her hands, and, poor, tired child! fast asleep. I awoke

"Who covered me up, Katie?" I asked.

"Mr. Abraham," said Katie; and her waking senses came back.

"And how did the pillow get under my head?"

"Mr. Abraham said 'he was sorry that you had come.' You looked very
white in your sleep, and he said 'you wouldn't wake up'; so I lifted
your head just a mite, and he fixed the pillow under it. He told me to
stay here until you awoke."

"Which I have most decidedly done, Katie," I said; and I fully
determined to take no more naps in this house.

How could it have happened? I accounted for the fact in the most
reasonable way I knew,--I, who rejoice in being reasonable,--by thinking
it occurred in consequence of my long watchfulness, and sombreness of
thought and soul.

"I am sorry that you didn't wake me," I said to Katie, as she moved the
chairs in the room to their respective places.

With the most childlike implicitness in the world, the little maid stood
still and looked at me.

"I _couldn't_, you know, Miss Percival, when Mr. Abraham told me not
to," were the positive words she used in giving her reason.

I forgave Katie, and wondered what the secret of this man's commanding
power could be, as on this Saturday night.

I left the world, and went up to take my last watch with the
convalescing lady. Her brother was with her. He looked a little
surprised, when I went in; but the cloud of anger had gone away: folded
it up he had, I fancied, all ready to shake out again upon the slightest
provocation; and I did not care to see its folds waving around me, so I
did not speak to him. Miss Axtell seemed pleased to see me; said "she
trusted that this would be the last occasion on which she should require

Her beauty was lovely now. A roseate hue was over her complexion: a
little of the old fever rising, I suppose it must have been.

"I've been talking with Abraham," she said, when I spoke of it.

Why should a conversation with her brother occasion return of fever?
Perhaps it was not that, but the mention of the fact, which increased
the glow wonderfully.

Mr. Axtell bade his sister good-night.

"You will do it to-morrow, Abraham?" she asked, as he was going from the

"I will think about it to-night, and give you my decision in the
morning, Lettie."

Mr. Axtell must have been very absent-minded, for he turned back, hoped
I had not taken cold in the library, and ended the wish with a civil
"Good night, Miss Percival."

"Good night, Mr. Axtell," I said; and he was gone.

There was no need of persuasion to quietude to-night, it seemed, for
Miss Axtell gave me no field for the practice of oratory: she was quite
ready and willing to sleep.

"Can you not sleep, too?" she asked, as she closed her eyes; "if I need
you, I can speak."

No, I could not sleep. The night grew cold: a little edge of winter had
come back. I felt chilled,--either because of my sleep down-stairs, or
because the mercury was cold before me. My shawl I had not brought up
with me. Might I not find one? The closet-door was just ajar: it was a
place for shawls. I crossed the room, and, opening it a little more,
went in. I saw something very like one hanging there, but it was close
beside that grave brown plaid dress, and I had resolved to intrude no
farther into the affair of the tower. Results had not pleased me.

I grew colder than ever, standing hesitatingly in the closet, whence a
draught blew from the dressing-room beyond. I must have the shawl. I
reached forth my hand to take it down. The dress, I found, was hung over
it. It must needs come off, before the shawl. I lifted it, catching, as
I did so, my fingers in a rent,--was it? Yes, a piece was gone. I looked
at the size and form of it, which agreed perfectly with the fragment I
had found. This dress, then, had been in the tower, beyond all question.

I thought myself very fairy-like in my movements, but the fire was not.
Some one--it must have been Mr. Axtell or Katie--had put upon the hearth
a stick of chestnut-wood, which, suddenly igniting, snapped vigorously.
This began ere I was safely outside of the closet. Miss Lettie was
awakened. She arose a little wildly, sitting up in the bed. I do not
know that it was the fire that aroused her.

"I've had a terrific dream, Miss Percival; don't let me fall asleep
again"; and her heart beat fast and heavily. She pressed her hands upon
it, and asked for some quieting medicine, which I gave. She was getting
worse again, I knew; her hands wandered up to her head, in the same way
that they had done when she was first ill.

"I want some one to help me," she said, as if talking to herself; "the
waters are very rough. I thought they would be all smooth after the
great storm."

"Perhaps it is only the healthful rising of the tide," I ventured to

She looked at me, took her hands down from her head, her beautiful,
classic head, with its wide, heavenly arch of forehead, and sat still
thus, looking at me in that fixed way, that wellnigh sent me to call
Katie again, for full ten minutes. I moved about the room, arranged the
fire on a more quiet basis, and then, finding nothing else to do, stood
before it, hoping that Miss Axtell would lie down again. In taking
something from my pocket I must have drawn out the trophy of my
tower-victory, for Miss Axtell suddenly said,--

"You've dropped something, Miss Percival."

Turning, I picked it up hastily, lest she should recognize it.

She must have seen it quite well, for it had been lying in the full
light of the blazing wood.

"Have you a dress like that?" she asked, when I had restored the

"I have not," I replied. "I am sorry I awakened you."

"It was a dream that awakened me," she said. "Will you have the kindness
to give me that bit of cloth you picked up? I have a fancy for it."

I gave it to her.

She hastily put away the gift I had given, and said,--

"You like the old tower in the church-yard, Miss Percival, I believe?"

"Oh, yes: it is a great attraction for me. Redleaf would be Redleaf no
longer, if it were away."

"Have you visited it since you've been here this time?"

"Once only."

"Were there any changes?" she asked.

"A few," I said. "There is another entrance to the tower than by the
door, Miss Axtell."

Slowly the lady dropped back to the pillows whence she had arisen from
the disturbing dream. She did not move again for many minutes; then it
was a few low-spoken words that summoned me to her side.

"I know there is another entrance to the tower," she said; "but I did
not think that any one else knew of it. Who told you?"

"Excuse me from answering, if you please," I said, unwilling to excite
her more, for I knew that the fever was rising rapidly.

"Who knows of this besides you? You don't mind telling me that much?"

"No one knows it, I think; no person told me, and I have told no one.
You seem to have more fever; can you not sleep?"

"Not with all this equinoctial storm raging, and the tide you told me of
coming up with the wind."

She looked decidedly worse. Mr. Axtell let her have her own way. I
thought it wise to follow his leading, and I asked,--

"What tide do you mean? You cannot hear the sea, and it isn't time for
the equinoctial gale."

This question seemed to have quieted Miss Axtell beyond thought of
reply. She did not speak again until the Sabbath-day had begun. Then, at
the very point where she had ceased, she recommenced.

"It is a pity to let the sea in on the fertile fields of your young
life," she said; "but this tide,--it is not that that is now flowing in
on the far-away beach of Redcliff. It is the tide of emotion, that _some
one day_ in life begins to rise in the human heart,--and, oh, what a
strange, wondrous thing it is! There are Bay-of-Fundy tides, and the
uniform tides, and the tideless waters that rest around Pacific Isles;
and no mortal knoweth the cause of their rise or fall. So in human
hearts: some must endure the great throbbing surges that are so hard
coming against one poor heart with nothing but the earth to rest upon,
and yet _must stand fast_; then there are the many, the blessed
congregation of hearts, that are only stirred by moderate, even-flowing
emotions, that never rise over a tide-line, behind which the
congregation are quite secure, and stand and censure the souls striving
and toiling in waves that they only look upon, but never--no,
never--feel. Is this right, Miss Percival?"

"It seems not," I said; "but the tideless hearts, what of them?"

"Oh, they are the hardest of all. Think! Imagine one of those serene,
iridescent rings of land, moored close beside the cliff, at which the
waves never rest from beating. Could the one forever at peace, with
leave from wind and wave to grow its verdure and twine its tendrils just
where it would,--_could_ it feel for the life-points against which the
Gulf-Stream only now and then sent up a cheering bit of warmth, whilst
the soul of the cliff saw its own land of greenness, only far, far away
over the waters, but could not attain unto it, not whilst north-land
winds blow or the earth-time endures?"

Miss Axtell ceased, and the same fixed, absorbed expression came to her.
She looked as she had done on the night, four days since, when I came in
at that door for the first time. I thought of the question her brother
had asked me concerning the turning of the key; and crossing the room, I
turned it.

"Why did you lock the door?" she asked.

"I am constitutionally timid," was my apology.

"You have never evinced it before; why now?"

"Because I have not thought of it sooner."

"Will you unlock it, please?" she asked; and her eyes were very bright
with the fever-fire that I knew was burning up, until I feared the flame
would touch her mind. "I don't like being locked in; I wish to be free,"
she added.

This lady has something of Mr. Axtell's command of manner. I could not
think it right to refuse to comply, and I unlocked the door.

She seemed restless. "Bring me the key, will you?" she asked, after a
few moments of silence, in which her wandering eyes sought the door

I gave it to her. I might have locked the door before giving her the
key, but I could not do it even in her approach to wildness. I hate
deception as devoutly as she disguises. She thanked me for my
compliance, and said, with a scintillation of coaxingness in her

"You need not be afraid; there's nothing to harm one in Redleaf."

"Why did you come, to be kind to me, sick and in sorrow?" she suddenly
asked, whilst I, unseen by her, was preparing one of the soothing
powders that still were left from the night wherein I forgot my duty.

I knew not how to reply. The very bit of material which she had hidden
underneath a pillow was the cause; and so I answered,--

"Town-life is so different; one becomes so accustomed to a ring of
changes in the all-around of life, that, when in the country, one looks
for something to remind one of the life that has been left."

"Then you did not come from genuine kindness?"

"No, I am afraid not."

"Do not be afraid to be truthful, ever," she said, and added,--"Once
more, will you tell me where you found the fragment you have given me?"

"I cannot, Miss Axtell."

She did not speak again, but lay looking at the ceiling until long after
the moon had risen,--the waning moon, that comes up so weirdly, late in
the night, like a spectre of light appointed to haunt the solemn old
earth, and punish it with the remembrance of a brighter, better light
gone, and a renewed consciousness of its own once unformed, chaotic
existence. I saw rays from it coming in through the parted curtains, and
distinctly traced tree-branches wavering to and fro out in the
night-wind, set astir as the moon came up. At last she said,--

"I wish you would go to sleep. Won't you wake Katie up, and then lie
down? She has had a rest."

"Poor, tired child," I said; "she had work to do yesterday; I had not."

"Abraham, then, if not Katie."

"He has been up three nights, Miss Axtell,--I only one."

"I did not know it," she said. "I forgot that I had been so long ill."

"Will you try and sleep?" once more I asked; "it is near morning."

She wished to know the hour, made me give her watch into her own
keeping, and then said "she would not talk, no, she would be very quiet,
if I would only gratify her by making myself comfortable on the lounge."
It did not seem very unreasonable, and I consented.

"But you are looking at me," she said. "I hate to be watched; do shut
your eyes."

I looked away from her. Time went on. I heard the clock strike four
times, in the March night. Miss Axtell was very quiet,--better, I was
convinced. I arose once to rebuild the fire. Wood-fires burn down so
soon. Then I took up my watch, thinking over the strange events, all
unconsummated, that had been and still were in being under this roof.

Five hours came booming up from the village-clock. The wind must have
changed, or I could not have heard the strokes, so roundly full.

"How short the hour has been!" was my first thought. Kino began a
furious, untimely barking. "What for?" I wondered; and I lifted up my
head and listened. No sound; the room was very still. Miss Axtell had
dropped the curtains of the bed. It annoyed her, I supposed, to feel
herself watched. "Her breathing is very soft," I thought; "I do not even
hear it. Her sleep must be pleasant, after the fever."

I laid my head down to its resting-place, listening still. Kino kept up
a low, ominous growl, quite different from his first barking. Nothing
more came. "I'm glad he doesn't waken Miss Axtell," I thought; and
gradually Kino dropped his growls into low, plaintive moans, which in
time died away. As they did so, another sound, not outside, but in the
house, set my poor, weak heart into violent throbbings. Footsteps were
in the upper hall, I felt sure. Miss Axtell might not hear them, if she
had not heard Kino's louder noise. Slowly they came,--not heavy, with a
stout, manly tread, but muffled. They came close to the door. If the key
were only in it! But I could not move. I heard a hand going over it,
just as I had heard that hand three days before in the dark tower. A
moment's awful pour of feeling, and then came the gentlest, softest of
knocks. Why did I not get up and see who it was? Simply because Nature
made me cowardly, and meant me, therefore, to bear cowardice bravely. I
never moved. A second time came the knock, but no more nerve of sound in
it than at the first. A hand touched the knob after that, and turning it
gently, the door was carefully pushed open, and a figure, looking very
much like Mr. Axtell, only the long, dark hair fell over his face, came
noiselessly in. I could not tell at the moment who it was. I watched him
cautiously. He stood still, looking first at the bed, whose curtains
were down, then around the room. For one moment I thought him looking at
me, and involuntarily my eyelids closed, lest he might know himself
watched. He put up his hand, and pushed back the heavy hair from his
forehead. It was only Mr. Axtell. The relief was so great that I
spoke,--softly, it is true.

"What is it?" I asked. "Is anything wrong, Mr. Axtell?"

"It seems not," he said. "Kino's barking aroused me,--it is so unusual.
How has she slept?"

"Very well. For the last hour she has not spoken."

Kino began again his low, dismal howling.

"Did not the dog disturb her when he barked?"

Mr. Axtell had walked to the lounge from which I had risen, still
speaking in the voice that has much of tone without much sound.

"No,--she did not seem to hear it."

"She must be sleeping very deeply," the brother said; and as he spoke,
he cautiously uplifted a fold of the hangings.

What was it that came over his face, made visible even in the gloom of
the room? Something terrible.

"What is it?" I asked, springing up; "what has happened?" and I put out
my hand to take the look at the sleeper in there that he had done.

He stayed my hand, waved it back, folded his arms, as if nothing unusual
had occurred, and questioned me.

"What has she talked about to-night?"

"She has said very little."

"Tell me something that she has said, immediately"; and he looked
fearfully agitated.

"What has happened?" I asked; and again I caught at the hangings which
concealed the fearful thing that he had seen.

"Answer me!" Two words only, but tremendously uttered.

"She asked me if I liked the tower in the church-yard," I said.

"You told her what?"

"That I did like it."

"Has she seemed worried about anything?" and Mr. Axtell threw up a
window-sash, letting the cold March wind into this room of sickness. As
he did so, I lifted the folds that the wind rudely swayed. _Miss Axtell
was not there_.

He turned around. I stood speechless.

"How long have you been asleep?" he asked, coolly, as if nothing had

"Not at all," I answered. Then I thought, "I must have slept, else she
could not have gone out without my knowing it."--"I heard the stroke of
four and of five," I said.

He looked up and down the street, only a little lighted by the feeble,
old, fading moon.

"Have you any idea where she would go?" he asked.

"She may be in the house," I said; "why not look?"

"No; I found the front-door unfastened. I thought Katie might have
forgotten it, when I went to see. She has gone out, I know."

He looked for the wrappings she might have put on, searching, as he did
so, for the small lamp that always was placed beside the larger one upon
the table. It was gone. It had been there at four o'clock, when I put
wood on the fire.

"Where would she carry a lamp?" Mr. Axtell asked, as he went on,
searching, in known places, for articles of apparel that were not in
their wonted homes. Having found them, he went out hurriedly, went to
his own room, came out thence a moment after, with boots on his feet in
place of the slippers he had frightened me with, and an overcoat across
his arm. He did not seem to see me, as I stood waiting in the hall.

"Where are you going?" I asked of him, but he did not answer. He went
straight on by me, and down, out of the house, closing the great
hall-door after him with a force that shook the walls.

I went into the deserted room, put down the window-sash that he had left
open, laid more wood upon the dying embers, caught up Miss Axtell's
shawl, and, throwing it over my head, started down the stairs. It was
pitch-dark, not even moonlight, there. I went back for a lamp: the only
one was the heavy bronze, in the lone room. Mr. Axtell's door was open.
He had left a light. I went in and took it up, with a box of matches
lying near, and once more started down the stairs. How full of trembling
I was! yet not afraid: there was a life, perhaps, to save. I opened the
heavy oaken door. The wind put out my light. I did not need it longer.
The shred of moon, hanging prophetic of doom, let out its ghastly
whiteness to ghost the village.

Kino did not bark. The wind came down the street from churchward, whence
I had heard the stroke of the village-clock. Ten minutes past five: it
would be morning soon. I listened. The wind brought me footsteps, going
farther and farther on: or was it the fluttering of my own garments that
I heard? "I will know," I thought; and I ran a little way, then listened
again. They seemed less far than before, but still going on. I ran
again, farther than at first. I saw a figure before me, but, oh, _so_
far! It seemed that I should never catch it. I tried, and called. I
might as well have shouted to my father, miles away; for the wind
carried my voice nearer to him than to Mr. Axtell, hurrying on. Where
would he go? I tried to keep him in sight. He turned a corner, and the
wind tormented me; it was almost a gale that blew, and I had the shawl
to hold over my head. I came to the corner that he had turned: it was
near the parsonage,--only two or three houses away. There was less of
wind. I went on, half-breathless with the intensity of the effort I made
to breathe. The stars looked cold. I was near the church-yard. First the
church,--then the place of graves,--after that, the long, sloping
garden, and the parsonage higher up. I passed by the last house. I drew
near to the church. How fearful! I stopped. It was only a momentary
weakness: a life was concerned; it was no place for idle fears. I crept
on, shivering with the cold, and the night, and the loneliness, and the
awful thought that the Deity was punishing me for having gone, in
imagination, down to the cradle of His dead, by sending me out this
night among graves. I heard the church-windows rattling coarse, woody
tunes; but I tried not to hear, and went past. A low paling ran along
the interval between the church and the parsonage-garden. I had crossed
the street when I came up to the church; now I moved along opposite this
fearful spot. The paling was white. I listened. No sound. A shadow from
a tall pine-tree fell across a part of the paling. Therein I thought I
saw what might be Mr. Axtell, leaning on the fence. I went a little of
the distance across the street. Whatever it was, it stirred. I ran back,
and started on, thinking to gain the parsonage. The figure--it was Mr.
Axtell--came after me. As soon as I knew, for he called, "Lettie," I
stopped and turned toward him.

"It isn't your sister," I said.

"You, Miss Percival? Why are you out?" and he seemed anxious. He said,
"You are suffering too much from the 'strange people.'"

How could he mention my hasty words at such a time? and I remembered the
unforgiving face that I had touched a fathom deep under the hard ground.

"I'm glad I've found you," I said. "Have you the church-key?"

He told me that he had. I said,--

"Come and open it."

"What for?" and he still peered over among the tombstones, as if
expecting to find Miss Lettie there.

"It is not there that she would go, I think; come quickly with me," I

We walked to the church-entrance, hastily. He searched for the key. He
hadn't it. I put my hand out, and touched it in the door.

"See here! I'm right!" and as I spoke, I drew a match across the stone
step. The wind put out the flame. I guarded the second one with my
shawl, and lighted the lamp.

"Open quickly, before I lose it," I said.

He did, and we went in,--in through the vestibule, where I first had
seen this man, tolling the bell for his mother's death,--up the aisle,
where I had gone the day I saw the thirsty, hungry, little mouse. I felt
afraid, even with this strong man, for I did not know where I was going.
We drew near the pulpit,--the pulpit in which Aaron preached.

"She is not here," Mr. Axtell said; and he looked about the empty pews,
feebly lighted from my small flame.

He started forward as he spoke.

"Don't leave me," I said; and I put my hand within his arm.

What we saw was a change in the pulpit, an opening, as if some one had
destroyed the panelled front of it.

"Come," I said; and I drew near, and put the lamp through the opening,
showing a few stone steps; perhaps there were a dozen of them; at least,
they went down into undefined darkness.

"What is this, Miss Percival?"

"I don't know,--I have never seen it before; but I think it leads to the
tower. You will find her there. Come!" and I went down the first step,
with a feeling far stronger than the prisoner's doomed to step off into
interminable depths, in that Old-World castle famous for wrongs to
mankind,--for I knew my danger: he does not, as he comes to the last
step, from off which he goes down to a deep, watery death.

Mr. Axtell was aroused. He took the lamp from my unsteady hand, and,
bidding me come back, went down before me. At the foot we found
ourselves in a stone passage-way. It seemed below the reach of rains,
and not very damp. Once I hit my foot against a stone, and fell. As Mr.
Axtell turned back to see if I was hurt, he let the light fall
distinctly on the ground. I saw a letter. He went on. I groped for it,
one moment, then found it, and put it, with the torn piece of envelope
to which it might belong, within my pocket. We came, at last,--a long
distance it seemed for only a hundred feet,--to steps again. There were
only three of them. Mr. Axtell held the lamp up; there was an opening. I
shaded the light immediately, and whispered,--

"She's up there, I'm sure. Don't alarm her."

"How can I help it?" he asked.

I had as little of wisdom on the point as he; but I heard a noise. I saw
a glimmer of light, as I looked up; then it was gone. I put my head
through the opening, then reached down for the lamp. I held it up, and

"Miss Axtell!"

No answer.

"We shall have to go up," her brother said.

I entered the tower, the place I had so loved before,--and now seemed
destined to atone for my love by suffering.

"Don't let the light go out, Mr. Axtell," were all the words spoken; and
we went up the long, winding stairway.

At the top stood Miss Axtell, fixed and statue-like, with fever-excited
eyes. She looked not at us, but far away, through the rough wood inside,
through the stone of the tower: her gaze seemed limitless.

"Come, Lettie! come, sister! come home with me," her brother said.

She heeded not; the only seeming effect was a convulsion of the muscles
used in holding the lamp. I ventured to take it from her.

"Where did you find it?" she asked, in determined tones; "will you tell
me now?"

"Whom is she speaking to?" asked Mr. Axtell.

I answered,--

"Yes, Miss Axtell, it was in here."

"Where is the rest?" and her beautiful eyes were coruscant.

I handed to her the last of the trophies of my first visit. She seized
it eagerly.

"Don't do that," said Mr. Axtell, as she lighted it from the lamp he
held. But she was not to be stayed; she held it aloft until the fire
came down and touched her fingers; then she dropped it, burning still,
down to the stone floor, far below.

She seemed helpless then; she looked as she did when a few hours before
she had said, "I want some one to help me."

"Oh!--I've--lost--something!" and she tolled the words out, as slowly as
the notes of the passing bell.

"What is it, Lettie? Come home; the day is breaking"; and Mr. Axtell put
his arm about her.

I thought of the letter that I had picked up in the passage-way.

"What have you lost, Miss Axtell? Is it anything that I could find for
you?" and I laid my hand upon hers, as the only method of drawing away
her eyes from their terrible immutation of expression.

"You? No, I should think not; how could you? you only found a piece of

"What is this?" I asked; and I held up the letter: the superscription
was visible only to herself.

What a change came over her! Soft, dewy tears melted in those burning
eyes, and sent a mist of sweet effluence over her face. Mr. Axtell was
still supporting her; she did not touch the letter I held; she reached
out both of her hands, bent a little toward me,--for she was much taller
than I am,--took my cold, shivering face in those two burning hands, and
touched my forehead with her lips.

"God has made you well," she said; "thank Him."

She did not ask for the letter. I put it whence I had taken it. She
evidently trusted me with it.

"Abraham, I'm sick," she said; and she laid her head upon his shoulder,
passively as an infant might have done.

Her strength was gone; she could no longer support herself, and the day
was breaking. Mr. Axtell, strong, vigorous, full-souled man as I knew
him to be, looked at me, and his look said, "What am I to do with her?"

I answered it by throwing off the shawl and putting it upon the floor
where we were standing, and saying,--

"Let her rest here, until I come."

I took the still burning lamp and went down,--down through the entrance
into the deep, walled passage-way, on, step after step, through this
black tunnel, built, when, I knew not, or by whom; but I was brave now.
_I had won the trust of a soul_: it was light unto my feet. I reached
the twelve stone steps leading into the church. I ran lightly up them,
and, stooping, crept into this still house of God. Silence held the
place. The next reign would be that of worship. Is it thus in the
church-yard, after the silence of Death,--the long waiting, listening
for the slowly gathering voice of praise, that, one fair day in time,
time, shall transfuse the reverent souls, until the voice of the dew God
sends down shall be heard dropping on the grassy sod, and welcomed as
the prelude to the archangel's grand semibreve that will usher in the
sublime Psalm of Everlasting Life?

Wait on, souls! it is good to wait the voice of the Lord God Almighty,
who holdeth the earth in the hollow of His hand,--His hand, that we may
feel for, when the way is dark, whose living fibres thrill both heart
and soul. Yes, God's hand is never away from earth. I reached out anew
for it in that dismal pathway through which I had come, and it guided me
into this quiet, peaceful place, full of morning rays.

I did not stop to think all this; I felt it; for feeling is swifter than
thought. Thought is the tree; feeling, the blossom thereof. I closed the
panelling behind me, leaving the church as it had been on the day when,
I saw the little hungry mouse treading sacred places. I went down the
aisle; and as I passed by the hempen rope in the vestibule that so often
had set the bell a-ringing, a longing came to do it now, to tell the
village-people, by voice of sacred bell, that there was a new-born
worship come down from Heaven. But I did not. I hurried on, and went
out, locking the door after me. The March morning was cold. I missed the
shawl I had left. My hair was as much astir as Aaron's had been one
morning, not long before, and I truly believe there was as much of
theology in it. No one was abroad. People sleep late on Sunday mornings.
The east was blossoming into a magnificent sunflower.

Looking at myself, as I began my walk, I laughed aloud. I was still
carrying a lighted lamp,--for the wind, like the village-people, slept
at sunrise. I comforted myself by thinking of a predecessor somewhat
famous for a like deed, and bent upon a like errand. The man that I
searched for I should surely find, and honest, too; for it was Aaron.

The parsonage was cruelly inhospitable. No door was left unfastened. I
knocked at a window opening on the veranda. I gave the signal-knock that
Sophie and I had listened and opened to, unhesitatingly, for many years.
It needed nothing more. Instantly I heard Sophie say,--"That's Anna's
knock"; and immediately thereafter the curtain was put aside, and
Sophie's precious face and azure eyes peeped out. She looked in
amazement to see me thus, and in one moment more had let me in.

"Wake Aaron," I said, without giving her time to question me.

"He is awake. What has happened? Is Miss Axtell dying?" she questioned.

"No," I said; "but I want to speak to Aaron, directly. I'm going to my
room one moment."

I went up. The tower-key was hanging where I had left it. I took it
down, and made myself respectable by covering up my breezy hair with a
hood, with the further precaution of a cloak. I had not long to wait for
Aaron's coming; but it was long enough to remind me to carry some
restorative with me. Aaron came.

"Miss Axtell is very ill," I said; "she is quite wild, and left the
house in the night. She's up in the church-yard tower. Will you help her
brother take her home, as soon as you possibly can?"

"How strange!" were his only words; and as I went the garden way, Aaron
started to arouse his horse from morning sleep.

"No one need to know the church entrance," I thought; and as I went in,
I tried to close down the heavy stone, which fitted in so well, that it
seemed, like all the others, built to stay.

I could not stir it. Perhaps Aaron would not look, when he came in; but
doubting his special blindness, I asked Mr. Axtell to put it back. He
seemed to comprehend my meaning. I took his place beside Miss Axtell.
She was no longer wilful or determined. Her strength was gone. Her head
drooped upon my shoulder, and when I held a spoon, filled with the
restorative that I had brought, to her lips, they opened, and she took
that which I gave, mechanically. Her eyelids were down. I looked at the
fair, beautiful face that lay so near to my eyes. It was full of the
softest pencillings; little golden sinuosities of light were woven all
over it; and the blue lines along which emotion flies were wonderfully
arrowy and sky-like in their wanderings, for they left no trace to tell
whence they came or whither led. I heard the heavy, ponderous weight let
fall. It was the same sound as that which I heard on that memorable
night. Miss Axtell shivered a little; or was it but the effect of the

The brother came up; he looked down, kindly at me, lovingly at his

"Shall I relieve you?" he asked.

I folded my arm only a little more tightly for answer, and said,--

"Mr. Wilton will be here soon; he is getting the carriage, to take your
sister home."

"I will go and help him, if you don't mind being left"; and he looked

"There's no danger. I shall not fall asleep," I said.

"She's harmless now, poor child! If we can only get her back safely!"
And with these words he left me again.

Sophie came up soon, quite fearless now. She brought a variety of
comforting things, among them a pillow. Miss Axtell was too much
exhausted to open her eyes, or speak. I thought two or three times that
she had ceased to breathe. What if she should die here? They came. She
was lifted up, and borne down to the carriage, that waited outside the
graveyard. Helpless ones are carried in often: never before (it might
be) had one been taken thence. And still the village-people seemed to be
buried in rest.

Sophie and I walked on, whilst slowly the carriage proceeded to the
gable-roofed, high-chimneyed house, that arose, well defined and clear,
in the early sunlight. Smoke was rising from the kitchen-fire. Sophie
and I went in, just as the carriage stopped. She waited to receive the
invalid, whilst I went up to see if the absence had been discovered. It
was but little more than an hour since Mr. Axtell and I had gone out.
Evidently there had been no visitors. The wood that had been put on the
fire before I left had gone down into glowing coals that looked warm and
inviting. I kneeled and stirred them to a brighter glow, and put on more
wood, my fingers very stiff the while. I drew back the curtains from the
bed, smoothed the pillows, and the disorder occasioned by our hasty
exodus, and went down. Aaron and Mr. Axtell had carried the poor invalid
to the library, and laid her upon the sofa there, but it was very cold.
The fire was not yet built.

There was a sound of some one coming from the kitchen-way. Mr. Axtell
looked at me. "You know how to keep a secret," he said, and motioned me
in the direction whence came the sound, I hurried out, closing the door,
and met Katie running up to know "what had happened?"

I sent her back on some slight pretext, and followed whither she went. I
heard the cook mumblingly scolding about "noises in the night, dogs
barking and doors shutting, she knew; such a house as it was, with
people dying, getting sick, and putting every sort of a bothersome dream
into a quiet body's head, that wanted to rest, just as she worked, like
a Christian." And all the while she went on making preparations for a
future breakfast.

"What was 't now that ye heard? Kate, you're easy enough at hearing o'
noises in the broad daylight: I wish 't ye would be as harksome at

"Hush, Cooky!" said Katie; "Miss Percival is here."

I went up to Cooky and soothed her, told her that I had heard the dog
barking too, and that I thought that I _did_ hear something like the
shutting of a door in the night. Cooky rewarded my efforts at sympathy
by expressing gladness "that there was one sensible person in the house
that had ears fit for Christian purposes."

"Don't mind her, Miss Percival," Katie said; "she's cross because I
wakened her too early; she'll get over it when she has had her

I gave Katie something to do, telling her to make coffee for Miss Axtell
as soon as possible; and with a few more words, meant to be conciliating
to Cooky, I took up the glass Katie brought me, and went back.

They had carried Miss Axtell up-stairs. Sophie was taking her wrappings
off. How carefully she had guarded herself, even in her illness, for the
walk! and now, all the nerve of fever gone, she lay as white and
strengthless as she had done in the tower. I went for Doctor Eaton, on
my own responsibility.

"He would come in a few minutes," was the message to me.

Sophie said "that she would stay, for I must go home."

As she said so, a little wavering cloud of doubt went across her
forehead, eclipsing, for a moment, its light; then all was bright again.

"What is it?" I asked. "Something for Aaron, I know."

Sophie looked the least bit like a rather old child asking for
sugar-candy; but she said,--

"Just you tie his cravat for him, there's a good sister; don't forget;
that's all. After that you may go to sleep, and sleep all day. You look
as if you needed it."

She came to say one more forgotten thing,--

"Just see that Aaron gets a white handkerchief: he's fond of gay colors,
you know. Two Sundays ago, when I wasn't looking, he carried off to
church one of Chloe's turbans, and deliberately shook out the
three-cornered article, and never knew the difference till his face told
him it was cotton instead of silk."

I promised extra caution on the second point, and had just closed the
lower door--Aaron was already holding the gate open for me--when the
softly purplish bands of hair came again into the wind.

"One thing more, Anna: _do_ see what he takes for a sermon. The text is
in the fifth chapter of First Thessalonians. He will certainly pick up a
Fast-day or a Thanksgiving sermon, if you don't put the right one into
his hands."

"Hasn't he two sermons on the same chapter?" I asked.

"Yes, half a dozen. You'll know the one for to-day; I wrote it for him
the day he had the headache; the text is"--and there was a little moment
of thought; then she said--"'Who died for us, that, whether we wake or
sleep, we should live together with him.' Aaron's waiting; don't keep
him; good bye!" and she was closed in.

I felt faint and weary, now that there was no more to be done. The
village-people were awake. Village-sounds were abroad in the Sunday
atmosphere, vibrant with holiness. The farmers stopped in their care for
their animals, and spent a moment in innocent wonder of the reason why
their pastor should be abroad thus early.

Chloe's turban welcomed us first, then Chloe's self. Breakfast, that
morning, had a rare charm about it for me. I felt that I had a right to
it; in some wise it was a breakfast earned. Aaron looked melancholy; his
coffee was not charmful, I knew; the chemical changes that sugar and
milk wrought were not the same as when Sophie presided over the
laboratory of the breakfast-tray. I am not an absorbent, and so I
reflected Aaron's discomfort. He was disposed to question me for a
reason for Miss Axtell's aberration. I was not empowered to give one,
and was fully determined to impart no information until such time as I
could with honor tell all. Aaron desisted after a while, and changed
interrogation for information.

"We're to have a new sexton," he said.

"Why, Aaron?" I asked,--and, in my surprise, put sugar, destined for my
coffee, into a glass of water.

"Because Abraham Axtell has resigned."


"This very morning."

"He will be sexton until you find another, will he not?"

"For one week only," he said.

I remembered that my pocket held the church-key. I could not send it to
him without exciting question. Aaron would surely ask how I came by it,
if I trusted him to restore it. So, sleepy, weary, I sat down at the
window from which Sophie and her sister Anna had watched the strange man
digging in the frosty earth,--sat down to my last watching, waiting to
see Mr. Axtell come up to ring the first bell.

I found I was an hour too early; so I went and talked to Chloe a little,
scattered crumbs for the first-come birds and corn for the chickens, and
looked down the deep, deep well, with its curb lichened over, into the
dark pupil of water, whose iris is never disturbed, unless by the bucket
that hung in such gibbety repose on the lofty extreme of the great
sweep, that creaked dismally, uttering a pitiful cry of complaint. If it
hadn't been Sunday, I would have coaxed Aaron to pour some oil on its
turbulence; but since Sunday it was, I was to be content to let it
screech on. It was not a "sheep fallen into a pit," only a disturbed
well-sweep. Do well-sweeps feel, I wonder? Why not? Mr. Axtell asked how
I knew that the dead cannot hear.

Aaron came out in search of me. He had been assiduously trying to make a
ministerial disposition of his cravat, until it was creased and wrinkled
beyond repair.

"I did not know that you put on the paraphernalia of pastorhood so
early," I said, "or I would have come in."

"I shall be very thankful, if you'll give me a respectable appearance,"
he said, which I faithfully tried to do.

I gave him the sermon and the proper handkerchief, then left him to his
hour of seclusion before service, when even Sophie never went nigh.

Half-past nine of the clock came. It was the time for the ringing of the
first bell. No sexton appeared. I looked far down the street, having
walked to the corner of the church for the purpose. Perhaps Mr. Axtell
was searching for the key. What if I should ring the bell? I had wished
to, still earlier in the morning. No one would see me go in.

The third time I entered within the church. The bell-rope swayed to and
fro with a mimic oscillation; a sort of admonitory premonition of what
it must shortly do ran up its fibres. I had left the entrance into the
place devoted to worship open. I closed it now. There was nothing very
alarming in standing there. The floor was oaken and old; the walls were
gray, and seamed with crevices; there were steps, at either extreme,
leading into galleries,--one for the choir, two for happy children
excluded by numbers from the straight family-pews, right under Aaron's
gray eyes, that saw everything, except the few items that Sophie must
watch for him, such as neckties, handkerchiefs, and sermons.

There was a smooth place on the rope. The roughness had been worn away
by contact of human hands. Abraham Axtell's hands--the same that covered
his face before the young girl's picture, that digged the grave, and so
gently soothed his sister that very morning--had worn it smooth. It was
out of my reach, too high up for me to attain unto; and so I held it
tightly lower down. The ungrateful rope was very prickly; it hurt me,
but I held fast, and slowly, surely drew it down. Too slowly; there was
not sound enough to frighten a bird out of the belfry, had one been
there to listen; but Aaron, on his knees within his study, praying for
the gift of healing, that he might restore sick souls, would hear. Once
more I drew the rope, with a tiny persistence that was childish,
amusing. A baby-tone came to me from the bell, accustomed to other
things. I had gained courage from the two attempts; it grew rapidly; and
soon, out into the people's homes, the sounding strokes were ringing,
clear, sonorous, and true. I had never noticed how long a time the
"first bell" rang. It was the last Sunday morning's service of the
sexton. He might be expected to linger a little in the net-work of
memory; and thus, anxious to do my duty well, I rang on.

The neighbor's boy opened the door and put his head inside; and then he
opened his eyes wondrously wide at me, and, frightened, ran away. I left
my bell to tone itself to silence, with little sighing notes, like a
child sobbing itself into sleep, and called after him. The rough boy
came to me. I asked "if he would do me a favor." He said, "of course he

"I wish you to build the church-fires; and don't tell any one that you
saw me ringing the bell."

"If you tell me not to, I sha'n't," was his laconic reply.

I went home, my latest duty done. I saw, far down the willow-arched
street, Mr. Axtell coming.

With closed blinds, and room of silence, I ought to have found rest; but
I did not. I heard Aaron go out. I trusted that he had got the proper
sermon. I heard the second bell ring. It was so near, how could I help
it? I heard the congregation singing. Triumphant joy was the impression
that the song brought to my darkened room. I thought of the letter that
was in my pocket. It did not please me to feel that it was out of my
keeping. I took it thence, and held it in my hands. It had no envelope.
It was written upon soft, white paper, and was addressed to some one: to
whom I would not see. Not if my happiness depended upon it, would I
sacrifice the trust reposed in me. Holding the letter thus, a face came
to memory. It was the third face of the three that had been painted in
anthracite. I could not tell where I had known it in life. It did not
seem as if it belonged to mortal time. I got up, opened the blinds for a
moment, and looked in the glass. I saw myself,--and yet,--yes, there was
a similitude to that I saw in memory; and then that strange, sad seeming
of soul-sense, that says, "Such as you are, you have been _somewhere_
for ages," overwhelmed and sent shakings of solemn ague to me.

"I'm getting ill," I thought; "I'll have no more of this."

I looked at a bottle of chloroform standing conveniently near, took it
up, and drew out the stopper. Lifting it to the light, I looked at it.
Quiet and calm and peaceful it reposed, unconscious of ill done or to be
done by itself. It was so innocent that I could not let it sin by
hurting me. I gazed again at my reflection in the glass, and a sudden
intuition taught me a startling truth.

It may have been, nay, must have been, the innocence born of the lucent
chloroform, reflected in my own face; but I was certain that the mirror
and the Axtell house contained two pictures that were the one like the
other. I smiled at the fancy. The illusion, if illusion it was, fled.
The picture on the wall never smiled from out the canvas. I took dark
winding-cloths and bound them about my head, covering the hair and
forehead, all the while watching the effect produced in the mirror. The
result was somewhat striking, it is true, but not of the agreeable
style. I unbound my frontlet, taking off the black phylactery, whose
memorable sentence, written in white letters, had been visible to myself
alone. A contrast suggested itself to me. I would try white; and so I
materialized the suggestion, and stood looking the least bit in the
world like a nun, bound about with my white vestments, and had obtained
only one very unsatisfactory glimpse of the effect produced upon the
sensitive heart of quicksilver, when I found that that subtile heart
responded to influences other than mine. What I discovered was another
face, not in the most remote degree like mine,--as different as it could
possibly be,--a face belonging to the carboniferous strata of the human
ages. Had it been imitating me? Its race are eminent for imitative
genius. A queer sort of a nun it was, wearing neither black nor white,
but high tropical hues. Repose of being did not belong to this face. It
darted around, and looked into my eyes.

"Goodness o' mercy Miss Anna, what ails thee's little head? is it quite
turned with being up o' nights? Lie down, little honey! let old Chloe
bathe it for thee." And Chloe hummed around the room like a bee; she
folded up the petals of light that I had unbudded when I wanted to see
what manner of face I had. Strange fancy it is that the extra fairy
gives to mortals, this breaking up of roses and dolls and joys, to find
what is in them!

I was pleased to have Chloe come in, to take charge of me. I had gone a
little way beyond my own proper realm, and it was grateful to feel my
centrifugal tendencies overcome by this sable centripetency of force,
that took off my strange habitings,--only the paraphernalia of headache
to her. Pillowing the head supposed to be tormented with pain, Chloe
went about to remedy the evil by drowning it in lavender-water. I let
her think what she pleased, and bravely lifted up the mount of my head,
like Ararat of old unto the great deluge; but she would not let me talk
as I pleased. Chloe was half a century old, with a warm, affectionate,
red heart under her black seeming; and it pulsated around me now, as I
lay there, under her care, in absolute quiet, hushed to content by her
humming ways and words.

The second hymn of the church-service was sending its voice of worship
up unto the Lord of all the earth, and Chloe and I, two of the children
of that Lord, upon His earth, were awed by it. "The neighbor's boy must
have left a window open," I thought. The fruitage of song blossomed on,
the petalled notes withered and fell, and Chloe garnered in her harvest
from the field, with a quaintly expressed regret that she "wasn't in the
meadows of the land of Canaan, where taller songs were growing."

"Never mind, Chloe," I said; "the hymns of earth are very sweet; you can
wait a little longer, can't you?"

"Don't you talk, child; you'll make your head ache again. Yes, old Chloe
is willing to wait; there's honey and sugar left on the ground for her
to find, only she's old now, she can't _stoop to pick it up_ as well as
she could once."

"What do you mean, Chloe?"

"Didn't I tell ye you mustn't talk, Miss Anna? Don't be trying to
trouble yourself with old Chloe's meanings: they haven't any
understanding in them for other people to find out."

"Why not, Chloe?"

"Thee's talking again, Miss Anna. It's the Lord's thoughts that are
given to black Chloe, and she hasn't anything to dress them up in but
her own, poor, old, ragged words, that a'n't fit to use any way; so
Chloe'll wait until she gets something better to make 'em 'pear to
belong to the Lord that owns 'em"; and Chloe still soothingly bathed my
head, which I think was aching all the while, only I should not have
found it out, if she had not told me it.

"I want to ask you a question, Chloe."

"Well, just one, honey!"

"Am I much like--do I look as my mother used to?"

"Blessed child! no, no more 'n I do; only ye've both got white faces
from the good Lord, and He didn't please to give Chloe anything better
than a black one."

"What did she look like?"

"Thee's not to talk one word more. Chloe must go and look after Master
Aaron's dinner; he doesn't like husks to feed on. Mistress Percival was
like an angel, when the Lord took her from the earth. I'm afraid old
Chloe wouldn't know her now, she's been so long with Seraphim and
Cherubim in the Great City with the light of the Celestial Sun shining
in her face. I'm afraid Chloe wouldn't dare to speak to her, if she was
to meet her in the shining street of the New Jerusalem."

"She would know you, though, Chloe."

"There isn't any night there, Miss Anna; she couldn't see me; I'm black
and wicked"; and Chloe dropped something upon my hand. It was a tear
from her great eyes.

"Your soul will be white, Chloe. Christ will make it so."

"Well, well, honey, don't you trouble yourself 'bout my soul. The Lord
made it, and I guess He'll take care of it, when it gets free from the
earth"; and Chloe went down to look after a fragment of the very earth
she was anxious to escape from.

I heard this child of "Afric's golden sands" singing a song to soothe
her soul among the dinner-deeds that she was enacting. Then I thought me
of the earth lying in the hollow of God's hand, and in some way I wished
that I might get in-between the earth and the Holding Hand, and a wisp
of the sweet hymn, "Nearer to Thee, my God," floated out from my heart's
voice, almost with music in it. And the wishing words melted into an air
of prayer. I felt the mighty Hand around me. I put myself fearlessly
into the loving depths thereof, engraved with lines of life, and slept
securely there. Did the divine fingers draw me a little more closely,
and press the lines engraven on the Hand into my soul, and leave an
impression of dreams there? I felt myself going swiftly on and up
through a skyey gradient, and the soft, balmy air, displaced by my
passing through, fell back into its own place with pearly music. I
wanted to open my eyes and see where I was going; but I could not. I was
passive in action, active in thought only. Then, the music growing
fainter and fainter as the atmosphere became more celestially rarefied,
I felt the supporting Hand going away from me. One after another the
fingers loosened their hold, and yet I did not feel that I was falling.
It was gone, and I floated on. With its absence came the wish for
action. My eyes were unloosed, and I looked up. Far above me I saw the
Hand that had brought me up hither. It had gone on before, and was
waiting my coming. I made an effort to reach it.

A voice came; and clouds, rosy, ambient, such as angels hang around the
pavilion of the sun, were unfolding their glory-woven webs and weaving
me in. "It is good to be here," I whispered to my spirit's inmost sense
of hearing; and the voice that I heard spake these words unto me:--

"You have been brought up hither to learn your mission upon the earth to
which you go."

Old, prophetic, syllabic sounds, lisped in the place whence I had come,
were given unto me, and I answered,--

"Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth!"

Then a rushing wind of sound filled my ears, and I saw the flashing of a
wing of angel in among the cumulosity of clouds, and it made an opening
into an ethereous region beyond. An oval, azurous picture was before me,
set in this rolling, surging frame of ambient gold and silver glory.

"It is not for me to see in there," I thought; and I shut my eyes.

The voice that I had heard before spake once more:--

"Learn what thy God would have thee to do. Look up!"

Obeying the mighty behest, I beheld, and an ovaline picture, painted in
the artistry of heaven, let down from the crystalline walls, that I
might not see, and held fast by a cord of gold, safe in an angel's
keeping, God had sent for me to look upon.

It was not such as masters of earth toil to paint. It was a living group
that I saw.

Four figures stood there.

The first one was the face that I had just asked Chloe the semblance of.
Loving past expression's power. The love emitted from those eyes brought
tears into mine, and I heard one of them go dropping down, down into the
cloudy deep below, as one day I had heard one falling elsewhere, on a
cold stone.

Two hands were wafted out towards me, and the lips were just parted, as
if waiting for coming words. I looked and listened, a little blinded by
the glory and my tears.

"Go forth, dear child, to the work thy God appoints for thee to do!"

I looked up a little higher, just over the face of my mother, and, in
holiest benediction, the Hand that had brought me up hither was laid
upon her head. One stood beside her, leaning upon her shoulder. I
recognized the face of the mysterious young girl.

"Will you do something for me on the earth, whence I have been called?"
she asked.

The mighty voice that rang amid the clouds bade me "Answer." And
tremulously, as if my poor earth-words had no place in the exceeding
brightness, I gave an "I will."

"Comfort you the one afflicted. Tell him to look no longer into my
grave. Let him not wander beside the marble foam that surges up from the
Sea of Death, for that the Lord hath prepared another way for his
footsteps. Lead him a little while on the earth, and then"----

I know not what more she would have spoken, for the Hand closed her
lips. I sought my mother's face. It was gone. Another came forward. I
felt involuntarily for the cold Hand that one night wandered under the
sod in search of the face that now I saw in this picture let down from
crystalline walls.

"I have a message for you," were the words I heard. "Tell her that I
know what she would tell me: I have been made to know it here, where all
things are clear: tell her that my forgiveness is as large as the heaven
to which I have been permitted to enter in. Give her of the love that I
did not when I might have done it."

The Hand was offered to her. Pleadingly, she looked up at it. For a
moment my eyelids were heavy. When the weight was lifted, only one
figure remained upon the celestial canvas. I could not see the
countenance thereof: hands were clasped tightly over it.

"One more message the Lord permits for earth," said a touching,
trembling, praying voice. "Say unto one sinning, that I have prayed unto
the Christ that died for him,--that his mother is always praying for her
son. Find out his sin, and solace his soul with the knowledge of my

The angel-wing that had cleaved the sky to let this picture in lifted
her upon its pinions, and bore her through the azure, and I saw the
great Hand open, as of one casting out many seeds upon the earth. Again
an angel-wing swept its way among the clouds, and folds of opaline glow
pavilioned the entrance into cerulean heights, and a solemn voice
uttered these words out of the great All-Where around me:--

"I am the Lord thy God. I will show thee the way wherein I would have
thee to walk. Rest thy soul in my love, and it shall satisfy thee."

With heart and soul and voice, my all of being cried out.--

"Only let Thy hand hold me!"

I awoke with one of those awful heart-exciting starts that come in
sleep, such as a new planet might give when first projected into its
orbit, before centrifugal and centripetal forces have time to exert
their influences. I wonder what it is. Can it be a misstep, in the
darkness, into the abyss between the land of waking and the land where
there are nor years nor months nor days, where the soul abides in
Lethe,--save when some wing troubles the waters for a little while?

I was wearied, with the weariness of one having come from long
journeying. I closed my eyes again, and tried to sleep. Chloe looked in
at me.

"Have you had a nice sleep, Miss Anna?" she asked, as I moved at her

"I fear not, Chloe," I said; "my head doesn't behave nicely since I
awoke. Bring me the bottle of chloroform: it's just there, upon the

Chloe went hurrying, bustling out of the room, and brought me the
chloroform from some other part of the house.

"Where did you bring this from?" I asked; "do you use chloroform?"

"I've a horror of all pisons," said Chloe; "I didn't like to leave this
near you; pisons is very bad for young people."

Smiling at Chloe's prudent fears for me, I inhaled a little of the
friend, dangerous, and to be trusted only a little way, like the most of
friends, and gave it back to Chloe. The honest woman restored it to her
pocket in the presence of my two eyes. I had had enough of it, and I let
her carry it away,--a victory she enjoyed, I knew, and it cost me
nothing, save a smile at her idle fears for me. I did not know then that
Chloe had, in her semi-century of life, found a reason for her dread of
poisons, among which she evidently promoted chloroform to a high power
in the field of active service.

I arose with a _new_ feeling in my existence. I felt that I had been led
into a strange avenue of life, constellated with the Southern Cross,
which I had never yet seen. It was daylight now. I must await the coming
of the hours when God maketh the darkness to curtain round the earth,
that He may come down and walk in "the groves and grounds that His own
feet have hallowed," that He may look near at what the children of men
will to do. I must await this hour, when heaven will be thick with
legions of starry eyes, that look down through the empyrean at their God
walking among men.

Is it wonderful that they tremble so, when He who saith, "Vengeance is
mine, I will repay," seeth so much to awaken the eye that "never
slumbereth nor sleepeth" to retribution? If angels tremble so, safe in
heavenly heights, how ought poor sinful man to fear for himself, lest
that vengeance overtake him, ere he have time to cry, "Have mercy!"

I took up the Holy Bible, and opened it, as I often had done before,
with the belief at work within my heart, that whatsoever words my eyes
first fell upon would be prophetic to me. I opened and read, "I must
work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh,
when no man can work."

And I, kneeling, prayed, "Show me, my God, what Thou wilt have me to do,
or to be! Work Thou within me! Let the one little atom of Thyself that
Thou hast given into my keeping be so holily guarded, so sacredly kept,
that, at the fast, it may come back a fibre of Thine own Self, and be
received into the Great Existence that liveth forever and ever!"

I arose and walked forth into this newness of life, enveloped with a
halo of the Divine effluence, in which I hoped forever to dwell,--or if
forever had any meaning to me, it was in an existent now.

I passed through Aaron's study, and an awe of reverence led me to pause
before the table where he had worked for so many days, worked to make
God's salvation seem harmonious with man's free-will; and, in loving all
suffering human kind, newness of love for Aaron and for his cool-browed
wife came to me: not that I had not loved them long, but there come
neap-tides into the oceans of emotion, and work solemnly, awfully, until
great frothings from the storm lie all a-tremble on the coasts of the
land whither our course tends in the daily, hourly round of life.

I'm very glad Aaron didn't come in just then. It is good to be with God
alone, in deep emotions. It never was meant by the Good Spirit for man
to behold what is in his brother-man. I think we'd all fly--as far apart
as the Universe would give us leave. Just let the effervescence of one
life o'erlip the cup and fall into another, and the draught would be a
drink of electricity. Who would care to taste it? Not Aaron, I'm sure.
And so I shook out this crispy lace of emotion that was rather choking
in my throat, and went down to where Chloe watched the elements whence
all this chemistry had been evolved.

"I thought ye'd be coming after somewhat to eat," Chloe said; "but I
knew, if I asked you, you'd sure say,' No, honey'"; and she went about
to "do me good," in her own way.

I heard the afternoon's latest hymn sung in the church whilst I waited.
I saw the great congregation come out, and, with divided ways, go each
homeward. Sophie had not returned. I wanted to hear from Miss Axtell.
Last of all walked Aaron. With bent head and slow musingness of step, he
came to his home. I met him at the entrance.

"Are you tired with preaching, Aaron?" I asked.

He looked up, at my unusual accost; and I think there must have been
somewhat unwonted about me, he looked at me so long.

"No," he said, "I've had a pleasant field to-day: there are violets,
even in my pathways, Anna."

"Sophie's a pansy," I said.

"Sophie's a Sharon rose," spake Aaron.

He looked inquiringly at me, and added,--

"And you, Anna?"

"An aloe, Aaron."

He smiled the least in the world, and said,--

"Had I been asked, instead of being the asker, I should have made
answer, 'She's a Japan rose.'"

"Oh, Aaron, no fragrance! that's not complimentary."

"Crush the leaves of heliotrope in the cup, Anna."

I did not understand what he meant, then; perhaps I do not now: some
figure of speech from the Orient, I fancy, with a glow of meaning about
it visible only to poetic vision. I lost my way, blinded in seeking to
penetrate the mystery, and was brought back to Redleaf by two welcome
events: the cup Chloe brought, and the letter Aaron gave, with a
beseeching of pardon for having forgotten to give it in the morning.

I read my letter, interluding it with little commas of sipping at the
cup. It was from my father, very brief, but somewhat stirring. Here it
lies before me now.


   "I want you at home. I am well; but that is no reason why I should
   not need your greenness on my walls. Come home, dear child, on the
   morrow. Do not fail me. You never have; 't would be cruel now, when
   spring is coming, the very time of hope. Waitingly,

   "Your father,


"What puts you in such a turmoil, Anna?" Aaron asked. "What has happened
at home?"

I thought he had been duly attending to the state of his own inward
hopes and fears, instead of mine. Slightly disconcerted by his gray
eyes, the very same that disturb turbulent boys in church-time, I turned
away from them, went to the door, and leaning against the side thereof,
looking the while up at the sky, I answered,--

"I'm going home on the morrow, Aaron."

"Going home?" he repeated, as if the words had borne an uncertain
import. "Pray tell me, what has occurred?"

"It pleases my father to have me there. He gives no reason."

"What will Sophie say? She's hardly seen you since you came, you've been
so usefully employed. I hope you have not hurt yourself. I wish you were
going back with brighter color in your cheeks."

"There is something in Nature besides mere coloring," I said, and looked
for the answer.

It was better than I thought to get.

"What?" he asked.

"Two things, Aaron,--conception and form."

Aaron mused awhile.

"What gave you the idea?" he asked, his musing over.

"Sermons in granite," I answered; and I looked at the sunshine, the
afternoon radiance that fell soothingly into the winter-wearied grass
lying in the graveyard, waiting like souls for the warmth of love to
enlife them.

Aaron said,--

"Sandstone and limestone you mean, Anna."

"Oh, no,--granite. I mean the Axtells."

"I'm glad you've found anything comprehensible enough to call a sermon
in them," he answered. "Ill, dying, and in affliction, they are
impenetrable to me." And Aaron turned away and went in.



   You can hardly have expected to hear from me again, (unless by
   invitation to the field of honor,) after those cruel and terrible
   notes upon my harmless article in the July Number. How could you find
   it in your heart (a soft one, as I have hitherto supposed) to treat
   an old friend and liege contributor in that unheard-of way? Not that
   I should care a fig for any amount of vituperation, if you had only
   let my article come before the public as I wrote it, instead of
   suppressing precisely the passages--with which I had taken most
   pains, and which I flattered myself were most cleverly done. The
   interview with the President, for example: it would have been a
   treasure to the future historian; and I hold you responsible to
   posterity for thrusting it into the fire. However, I cannot lose so
   good an opportunity of showing the world the placability and
   sweetness that adorn my character, and therefore send you another
   article, in which, I trust, you will find nothing to strike
   out,--unless, peradventure, you think that I may disturb the
   tranquillity of nations by my plan of annexing Great Britain, or my
   attempted adumbration of a fat English dowager!

   Truly, yours,


In the course of several visits and stays of considerable length we
acquired a homelike feeling towards Leamington, and came back thither
again and again, chiefly because we had been there before. Wandering and
wayside people, such as we had long since become, retain a few of the
instincts that belong to a more settled way of life, and often prefer
familiar and commonplace objects (for the very reason that they are so)
to the dreary strangeness of scenes that might be thought much better
worth the seeing. There is a small nest of a place in Leamington--at No.
16, Lansdowne Circus--upon which, to this day, my reminiscences are apt
to settle as one of the coziest nooks in England, or in the world; not
that it had any special charm of its own, but only that we stayed long
enough to know it well, and even to grow a little tired of it. In my
opinion, the very tediousness of home and friends makes a part of what
we love them for; if it be not mixed in sufficiently with the other
elements of life, there may be mad enjoyment, but no happiness.

The modest abode to which I have alluded forms one of a circular range
of pretty, moderate-sized, two-story houses, all built on nearly the
same plan, and each provided with its little grass-plot, its flowers,
its tufts of box trimmed into globes and other fantastic shapes, and its
verdant hedges shutting the house in from the common drive and dividing
it from its equally cozy neighbors. Coming out of the door, and taking a
turn round the circle of sister-dwellings, it is difficult to find your
way back by any distinguishing individuality of your own habitation. In
the centre of the Circus is a space fenced in with iron railing, a small
play-place and sylvan retreat for the children of the precinct,
permeated by brief paths through the fresh English grass, and shadowed
by various shrubbery; amid which, if you like, you may fancy yourself in
a deep seclusion, though probably the mark of eye-shot from the windows
of all the surrounding houses. But, in truth, with regard to the rest of
the town and the world at large, an abode here is a genuine seclusion;
for the ordinary stream of life does not run through this little, quiet
pool, and few or none of the inhabitants seem to be troubled with any
business or outside activities. I used to set them down as half-pay
officers, dowagers of narrow income, elderly maiden ladies, and other
people of respectability, but small account, such as hang on the world's
skirts rather than actually belong to it. The quiet of the place was
seldom disturbed, except by the grocer and butcher, who came to receive
orders, or the cabs, hackney-coaches, and Bath-chairs, in which the
ladies took an infrequent airing, or the livery-steed which the retired
captain sometimes bestrode for a morning ride, or by the red-coated
postman who went his rounds twice a day to deliver letters, and again in
the evening, ringing a hand-bell, to take letters for the mail. In
merely mentioning these slight interruptions of its sluggish stillness,
I seem to myself to disturb too much the atmosphere of quiet that
brooded over the spot; whereas its impression upon me was, that the
world had never found the way hither, or had forgotten it, and that the
fortunate inhabitants were the only ones who possessed the spell-word of
admittance. Nothing could have suited me better, at the time; for I had
been holding a position of public servitude, which imposed upon me
(among a great many lighter duties) the ponderous necessity of being
universally civil and sociable.

Nevertheless, if a man were seeking the bustle of society, he might find
it more readily in Leamington than in most other English towns. It is a
permanent watering-place, a sort of institution to which I do not know
any close parallel in American life: for such places as Saratoga bloom
only for the summer season, and offer a thousand dissimilitudes even
then; while Leamington seems to be always in flower, and serves as a
home to the homeless all the year round. Its original nucleus, the
plausible excuse for the town's coming into prosperous existence, lies
in the fiction of a chalybeate well, which, indeed, is so far a reality
that out of its magical depths have gushed streets, groves, gardens,
mansions, shops, and churches, and spread themselves along the banks of
the little river Leam. This miracle accomplished, the beneficent
fountain has retired beneath a pump-room, and appears to have given up
all pretensions to the remedial virtues formerly attributed to it. I
know not whether its waters are ever tasted nowadays; but not the less
does Leamington--in pleasant Warwickshire, at the very midmost point of
England, in a good hunting neighborhood, and surrounded by country-seats
and castles--continue to be a resort of transient visitors, and the more
permanent abode of a class of genteel, unoccupied, well-to-do, but not
very wealthy people, such as are hardly known among ourselves. Persons
who have no country-houses, and whose fortunes are inadequate to a
London expenditure, find here, I suppose, a sort of town and country
life in one.

In its present aspect, the town is of no great age. In contrast with the
antiquity of many places in its neighborhood, it has a bright, new face,
and seems almost to smile even amid the sombreness of an English autumn.
Nevertheless, it is hundreds upon hundreds of years old, if we reckon up
that sleepy lapse of time during which it existed as a small village of
thatched houses, clustered round a priory; and it would still have been
precisely such a rural village, but for a certain Doctor Jephson, who
lived within the memory of man, and who found out the magic well, and
foresaw what fairy wealth might be made to flow from it. A public garden
has been laid out along the margin of the Leam, and called the Jephson
Garden, in honor of him who created the prosperity of his native spot. A
little way within the garden-gate there is a circular temple of Grecian
architecture, beneath the dome of which stands a marble statue of the
good Doctor, very well executed, and representing him with a face of
fussy activity and benevolence: just the kind of man, if luck favored
him, to build up the fortunes of those about him, or, quite as probably,
to blight his whole neighborhood by some disastrous speculation.

The Jephson Garden is very beautiful, like most other English
pleasure-grounds; for, aided by their moist climate and not too fervid
sun, the landscape-gardeners excel in converting flat or tame surfaces
into attractive scenery, chiefly through the skilful arrangement of
trees and shrubbery. An Englishman aims at this effect even in the
little patches under the windows of a suburban villa, and achieves it on
a larger scale in a tract of many acres. The Garden is shadowed with
trees of a fine growth, standing alone, or in dusky groves and dense
entanglements, pervaded by woodland paths; and emerging from these
pleasant glooms, we come upon a breadth of sunshine, where the green
sward--so vividly green that it has a kind of lustre in it--is spotted
with beds of gemlike flowers. Rustic chairs and benches are scattered
about, some of them ponderously fashioned out of the stumps of
obtruncated trees, and others more artfully made with intertwining
branches, or perhaps an imitation of such frail handiwork in iron. In a
central part of the Garden is an archery-ground, where laughing maidens
practise at the butts, generally missing their ostensible mark, but, by
the mere grace of their action, sending an unseen shaft into some young
man's heart. There is space, moreover, within these precincts, for an
artificial lake, with a little green island in the midst of it; both
lake and island being the haunt of swans, whose aspect and movement in
the water are most beautiful and stately,--most infirm, disjointed, and
decrepit, when, unadvisedly, they see fit to emerge, and try to walk
upon dry land. In the latter case, they look like a breed of uncommonly
ill-contrived geese; and I record the matter here for the sake of the
moral,--that we should never pass judgment on the merits of any person
or thing, unless we behold it in the sphere and circumstances to which
it is specially adapted. In still another part of the Garden there is a
labyrinthine maze, formed of an intricacy of hedge-bordered walks,
involving himself in which, a man might wander for hours inextricably
within a circuit of only a few yards,--a sad emblem, it seemed to me, of
the mental and moral perplexities in which we sometimes go astray, petty
in scope, yet large enough to entangle a lifetime, and bewilder us with
a weary movement, but no genuine progress.

The Leam, after drowsing across the principal street of the town beneath
a handsome bridge, skirts along the margin of the Garden without any
perceptible flow. Heretofore I had fancied the Concord the laziest river
in the world, but now assign that amiable distinction to the little
English stream. Its water is by no means transparent, but has a
greenish, goose-puddly hue, which, however, accords well with the other
coloring and characteristics of the scene, and is disagreeable neither
to sight nor smell. Certainly, this river is a perfect feature of that
gentle picturesqueness in which England is so rich, sleeping, as it
does, beneath a margin of willows that droop into its bosom, and other
trees, of deeper verdure than our own country can boast, inclining
lovingly over it. On the Garden-side it is bordered by a shadowy,
secluded grove, with winding paths among its boskiness, affording many a
peep at the river's imperceptible lapse and tranquil gleam; and on the
opposite shore stands the priory-church, with its church-yard full of
shrubbery and tombstones.

The business-portion of the town clusters about the banks of the Leam,
and is naturally densest around the well to which the modern settlement
owes its existence. Here are the commercial inns, the post-office, the
furniture-dealers, the ironmongers, and all the heavy and homely
establishments that connect themselves even with the airiest modes of
human life; while upward from the river, by a long and gentle ascent,
rises the principal street, which is very bright and cheerful in its
physiognomy, and adorned with shop-fronts almost as splendid as those of
London, though on a diminutive scale. There are likewise side-streets
and cross-streets, many of which are bordered with the beautiful
Warwickshire elm, a most unusual kind of adornment for an English town;
and spacious avenues, wide enough to afford room for stately groves,
with foot-paths running beneath the lofty shade, and rooks cawing and
chattering so high In the tree-tops that their voices get musical before
reaching the earth. The houses are mostly built in blocks and ranges, in
which every separate tenement is a repetition of its fellow, though the
architecture of the different ranges is sufficiently various. Some of
them are almost palatial in size and sumptuousness of arrangement. Then,
on the outskirts of the town, there are detached villas, inclosed within
that separate domain of high stone fence and embowered shrubbery which
an Englishman so loves to build and plant around his abode, presenting
to the public only an iron gate, with a gravelled carriage-drive winding
away towards the half-hidden mansion. Whether in street or suburb,
Leamington may fairly be called beautiful, and, at some points,
magnificent; but by-and-by you become doubtfully suspicious of a
somewhat unreal finery: it is pretentious, though not glaringly so; it
has been built, with malice aforethought, as a place of gentility and
enjoyment. Moreover, splendid as the houses look, and comfortable as
they often are, there is a nameless something about them, betokening
that they have not grown out of human hearts, but are the creations of a
skilfully applied human intellect: no man has reared any one of them,
whether stately or humble, to be his life-long residence, wherein to
bring up his children, who are to inherit it as a home. They are nicely
contrived lodging-houses, one and all,--the best as well as the
shabbiest of them,--and therefore inevitably lack some nameless property
that a home should have. This was the case with our own little snuggery
in Lansdowne Circus, as with all the rest: it had not grown out of
anybody's individual need, but was built to let or sell, and was
therefore like a ready-made garment,--a tolerable fit, but only

All these blocks, ranges, and detached villas are adorned with the
finest and most aristocratic names that I have found anywhere in
England, except, perhaps, in Bath, which is the great metropolis of that
second-class gentility with which watering-places are chiefly populated.
Lansdowne Crescent, Lansdowne Circus, Lansdowne Terrace, Regent Street,
Warwick Street, Clarendon Street, the Upper and Lower Parade: such are a
few of the designations. Parade, indeed, is a well-chosen name for the
principal street, along which the population of the idle town draws
itself out for daily review and display. I only wish that my descriptive
powers would enable me to throw off a picture of the scene at a sunny
noontide, individualizing each character with a touch: the great people
alighting from their carriages at the principal shop-doors; the elderly
ladies and infirm Indian officers drawn along in Bath-chairs; the
comely, rather than pretty, English girls, with their deep, healthy
bloom, which an American taste is apt to deem fitter for a milkmaid than
for a lady; the moustached gentlemen with frogged surtouts and a
military air; the nursemaids and chubby children, but no chubbier than
our own, and scampering on slenderer legs; the sturdy figure of John
Bull in all varieties and of all ages, but ever with the stamp of
authenticity somewhere about him.

To say the truth, I have been holding the pen over my paper, purposing
to write a descriptive paragraph or two about the throng on the
principal Parade of Leamington, so arranging it as to present a sketch
of the British out-of-door aspect on a morning walk of gentility; but I
find no personages quite sufficiently distinct and individual in my
memory to supply the materials of such a panorama. Oddly enough, the
only figure that comes fairly forth to my mind's eye is that of a
dowager, one of hundreds whom I used to marvel at, all over England, but
who have scarcely a representative among our own ladies of autumnal
life, so thin, careworn, and frail, as age usually makes the latter. I
have heard a good deal of the tenacity with which English ladies retain
their personal beauty to a late period of life; but (not to suggest that
an American eye needs use and cultivation before it can quite appreciate
the charm of English beauty at any age) it strikes me that an English
lady of fifty is apt to become a creature less refined and delicate, so
far as her physique goes, than anything that we Western people class
under the name of woman. She has an awful ponderosity of frame, not
pulpy, like the looser development of our few fat women, but massive
with solid beef and streaky tallow; so that (though struggling manfully
against the idea) you inevitably think of her as made up of steaks and
sirloins. When she walks, her advance is elephantine. When she sits
down, it is on a great round space of her Maker's footstool, where she
looks as if nothing could ever move her. She imposes awe and respect by
the muchness of her personality, to such a degree that you probably
credit her with far greater moral and intellectual force than she can
fairly claim. Her visage is usually grim and stern, not always
positively forbidding, yet calmly terrible, not merely by its breadth
and weight of feature, but because it seems to express so much
well-founded self-reliance, such acquaintance with the world, its toils,
troubles, and dangers, and such sturdy capacity for trampling down a
foe. Without anything positively salient, or actively offensive, or,
indeed, unjustly formidable to her neighbors, she has the effect of a
seventy-four gun-ship in time of peace; for, while you assure yourself
that there is no real danger, you cannot help thinking how tremendous
would be her onset, if pugnaciously inclined, and how futile the effort
to inflict any counter-injury. She certainly looks tenfold--nay, a
hundredfold--better able to take care of herself than our slender-framed
and haggard womankind; but I have not found reason to suppose that the
English dowager of fifty has actually greater courage, fortitude, and
strength of character than our women of similar age, or even a tougher
physical endurance than they. Morally, she is strong, I suspect, only in
society, and in the common routine of social affairs, and would be found
powerless and timid in any exceptional strait that might call for energy
outside of the conventionalities amid which she has grown up.

You can meet this figure in the street, and live, and even smile at the
recollection. But conceive of her in a ball-room, with the bare, brawny
arms that she invariably displays there, and all the other corresponding
development, such as is beautiful in the maiden blossom, but a spectacle
to howl at in such an overblown cabbage-rose as this.

Yet, somewhere in this enormous bulk there must be hidden the modest,
slender, violet-nature of a girl, whom an alien mass of earthliness has
unkindly overgrown; for an English maiden in her teens, though very
seldom so pretty as our own damsels, possesses, to say the truth, a
certain charm of half-blossom, and delicately folded leaves, and tender
womanhood shielded by maidenly reserves, with which, somehow or other,
our American girls often fail to adorn themselves during an appreciable
moment. It is a pity that the English violet should grow into such an
outrageously developed peony as I have attempted to describe. I wonder
whether a middle-aged husband ought to be considered as legally married
to all the accretions that have overgrown the slenderness of his bride,
since he led her to the altar, and which make her so much more than he
ever bargained for! Is it not a sounder view of the case, that the
matrimonial bond cannot be held to include the three-fourths of the wife
that had no existence when the ceremony was performed? And as a matter
of conscience and good morals, ought not an English married pair to
insist upon the celebration of a Silver Wedding at the end of
twenty-five years, in order to legalize and mutually appropriate that
corporeal growth of which both parties have individually come into
possession since they were pronounced one flesh?

The chief enjoyment of my several visits to Leamington lay in rural
walks about the neighborhood, and in jaunts to places of note and
interest, which are particularly abundant in that region. The high-roads
are made pleasant to the traveller by a border of trees, and often
afford him the hospitality of a wayside-bench beneath a comfortable
shade. But a fresher delight is to be found in the foot-paths, which go
wandering away from stile to stile, along hedges, and across broad
fields, and through wooded parks, leading you to little hamlets of
thatched cottages, ancient, solitary farm-houses, picturesque old mills,
streamlets, pools, and all those quiet, secret, unexpected, yet
strangely familiar features of English scenery that Tennyson shows us in
his idyls and eclogues. These by-paths admit the wayfarer into the very
heart of rural life, and yet do not burden him with a sense of
intrusiveness. He has a right to go whithersoever they lead him; for,
with all their shaded privacy, they are as much the property of the
public as the dusty high-road itself, and even by an older tenure. Their
antiquity probably exceeds that of the Roman ways; the footsteps of the
aboriginal Britons first wore away the grass, and the natural flow of
intercourse between village and village has kept the track bare ever
since. An American fanner would plough across any such path, and
obliterate it with his hills of potatoes and Indian corn; but here it is
protected by law, and still more by the sacredness that inevitably
springs up, in this soil, along the well-defined footprints of
centuries. Old associations are sure to be fragrant herbs in English
nostrils: we pull them up as weeds.

I remember such a path, the access to which is from Lovers' Grove, a
range of tall old oaks and elms on a high hill-top, whence there is a
view of Warwick Castle, and a wide extent of landscape, beautiful,
though bedimmed with English mist. This particular foot-path, however,
is not a remarkably good specimen of its kind, since it leads into no
hollows and seclusions, and soon terminates in a high-road. It connects
Leamington by a short cut with the small neighboring village of
Lillington, a place which impresses an American observer with its many
points of contrast to the rural aspects of his own country. The village
consists chiefly of one row of contiguous dwellings, separated only by
party-walls, but ill-matched among themselves, being of different
heights, and apparently of various ages, though all are of an antiquity
which we should call venerable. Some of the windows are leaden-framed
lattices, opening on hinges. These houses are mostly built of gray
stone; but others, in the same range, are of brick, and one or two are
in a very old fashion,--Elizabethan, or still older,--having a ponderous
framework of oak, painted black, and filled in with plastered stone or
bricks. Judging by the patches of repair, the oak seems to be the more
durable part of the structure. Some of the roofs are covered with
earthen tiles; others (more decayed and poverty-stricken) with thatch,
out of which sprouts a luxurious vegetation of grass, house-leeks, and
yellow flowers. What especially strikes an American is the lack of that
insulated space, the intervening gardens, grass-plots, orchards,
broad-spreading shade-trees, which occur between our own village-houses.
These English dwellings have no such separate surroundings; they all
grow together, like the cells of a honey-comb.

Beyond the first row of houses, and hidden from it by a turn of the
road, there was another row (or block, as we should call it) of small,
old cottages, stuck one against another, with their thatched roofs
forming a single contiguity. These, I presume, were the habitations of
the poorest order of rustic laborers; and the narrow precincts of each
cottage, as well as the close neighborhood of the whole, gave the
impression of a stifled, unhealthy atmosphere among the occupants. It
seemed impossible that there should be a cleanly reserve, a proper
self-respect among individuals, or a wholesome unfamiliarity between
families, where human life was crowded and massed into such intimate
communities as these. Nevertheless, not to look beyond the outside, I
never saw a prettier rural scene than was presented by this range of
contiguous huts; for in front of the whole row was a luxuriant and
well-trimmed hawthorn hedge, and belonging to each cottage was a little
square of garden-ground, separated from its neighbors by a line of the
same verdant fence. The gardens were chock-full, not of esculent
vegetables, but of flowers, familiar ones, but very bright-colored, and
shrubs of box, some of which were trimmed into artistic shapes; and I
remember, before one door, a representation of Warwick Castle, made of
oyster-shells. The cottagers evidently loved the little nests in which
they dwelt, and did their best to make them beautiful, and succeeded
more than tolerably well,--so kindly did Nature help their humble
efforts with its verdure, flowers, moss, lichens, and the green things
that grew out of the thatch. Through some of the open door-ways we saw
plump children rolling about on the stone floors, and their mothers, by
no means very pretty, but as happy-looking as mothers generally are; and
while we gazed at these domestic matters, an old woman rushed wildly out
of one of the gates, upholding a shovel, on which she clanged and
clattered with a key. At first we fancied that she intended an onslaught
against ourselves, but soon discovered that a more dangerous enemy was
abroad; for the old lady's bees had swarmed, and the air was full of
them, whizzing by our heads like bullets.

Not far from these two rows of houses and cottages, a green lane,
overshadowed with trees, turned aside from the main road, and tended
towards a square, gray tower, the battlements of which were just high
enough to be visible above the foliage. Wending our way thitherward, we
found the very picture and ideal of a country-church and church-yard.
The tower seemed to be of Norman architecture, low, massive, and crowned
with battlements. The body of the church was of very modest dimensions,
and the eaves so low that I could touch them with my walking-stick. We
looked into the windows, and beheld the dim and quiet interior, a narrow
space, but venerable with the consecration of many centuries, and
keeping its sanctity as entire and inviolate as that of a vast
cathedral. The nave was divided from the side aisles of the church by
pointed arches resting on very sturdy pillars: it was good to see how
solemnly they held themselves to their age-long task of supporting that
lowly roof. There was a small organ, suited in size to the vaulted
hollow, which it weekly filled with religious sound. On the opposite
wall of the church, between two windows, was a mural tablet of white
marble, with an inscription in black letters,--the only such memorial
that I could discern, although many dead people doubtless lay beneath
the floor, and had paved it with their ancient tombstones, as is
customary in old English churches. There were no modern painted windows,
flaring with raw colors, nor other gorgeous adornments, such as the
present taste for medieval restoration often patches upon the decorous
simplicity of the gray village-church. It is probably the
worshipping-place of no more distinguished a congregation than the
farmers and peasantry who inhabit the houses and cottages which I have
just described. Had the lord of the manor been one of the parishioners,
there would have been an eminent pew near the chancel, walled high
about, curtained, and softly cushioned, warmed by a fireplace of its
own, and distinguished by hereditary tablets and escutcheons on the
inclosed stone pillar.

A well-trodden path led across the church-yard, and the gate being on
the latch, we entered, and walked round among the graves and monuments.
The latter were chiefly head-stones, none of which were very old, so far
as was discoverable by the dates; some, indeed, in so ancient a
cemetery, were disagreeably new, with inscriptions glittering like
sunshine, in gold letters. The ground must have been dug over and over
again, innumerable times, until the soil is made up of what was once
human clay, out of which have sprung successive crops of gravestones,
that flourish their allotted time, and disappear, like the weeds and
flowers in their briefer period. The English climate is very unfavorable
to the endurance of memorials in the open air. Twenty years of it
suffice to give as much antiquity of aspect, whether to tombstone or
edifice, as a hundred years of our own drier atmosphere,--so soon do the
drizzly rains and constant moisture corrode the surface of marble or
freestone. Sculptured edges lose their sharpness in a year or two;
yellow lichens overspread a beloved name, and obliterate it while it is
yet fresh upon some survivor's heart. Time gnaws an English gravestone
with wonderful appetite; and when the inscription is quite illegible,
the sexton takes the useless slab away, and perhaps makes a hearthstone
of it, and digs up the unripe bones which it ineffectually tried to
memorialize, and gives the bed to another sleeper. In the Charter-Street
burial-ground at Salem, and in the old graveyard on the hill at Ipswich,
I have seen more ancient gravestones, with legible inscriptions on them,
than in any English church-yard.

And yet this same ungenial climate, hostile as it generally is to the
long remembrance of departed people, has sometimes a lovely way of
dealing with the records on certain monuments that lie horizontally in
the open air. The rain falls into the deep incisions of the letters, and
has scarcely time to be dried away before another shower sprinkles the
flat stone again, and replenishes those little reservoirs. The unseen,
mysterious seeds of mosses find their way into the lettered furrows, and
are made to germinate by the continual moisture and watery sunshine of
the English sky; and by-and-by, in a year, or two years, or many years,
behold the complete inscription--HERE LIETH THE BODY, and all the rest
of the tender falsehood--beautifully embossed in raised letters of
living green, a bas-relief of velvet moss on the marble slab! It becomes
more legible, under the skyey influences, after the world has forgotten
the deceased, than when it was fresh from the stone-cutter's hands. It
outlives the grief of friends. I first saw an example of this in
Bebbington church-yard, in Cheshire, and thought that Nature must needs
have had a special tenderness for the person (no noted man, however, in
the world's history) so long ago laid beneath that stone, since she took
such wonderful pains to "keep his memory green." Perhaps the proverbial
phrase just quoted may have had its origin in the natural phenomenon
here described.

While we rested ourselves on a horizontal monument, which was elevated
just high enough to be a convenient seat, I observed that one of the
gravestones lay very close to the church,--so close that the droppings
of the eaves would fall upon it. It seemed as if the inmate of that
grave had desired to creep under the church-wall. On closer inspection,
we found an almost illegible epitaph on the stone, and with difficulty
made out this forlorn verse:--

  "Poorly lived,
  And poorly died,
  Poorly buried,
  And no one cried."

It would be hard to compress the story of a cold and luckless life,
death, and burial into fewer words, or more impressive ones; at least,
we found them impressive, perhaps because we had to re-create the
inscription by scraping away the lichens from the faintly traced
letters. The grave was on the shady and damp side of the church, endwise
towards it, the head-stone being within about three feet of the
foundation-wall; so that, unless the poor man was a dwarf, he must have
been doubled up to fit him into his final resting-place. No wonder that
his epitaph murmured against so poor a burial as this! His name, as well
as I could make it out, was Treeo,--John Treeo, I think,--and he died in
1810, at the age of seventy-four. The gravestone is so overgrown with
grass and weeds, so covered with unsightly lichens, and crumbly with
time and foul weather, that it is questionable whether anybody will ever
be at the trouble of deciphering it again. But there is a quaint and sad
kind of enjoyment in defeating (to such slight degree as my pen may do
it) the probabilities of oblivion for poor John Treeo, and asking a
little sympathy for him, half a century after his death, and making him
better and more widely known, at least, than any other slumberer in
Lillington church-yard: he having been, as appearances go, the outcast
of them all.

You find similar old churches and villages in all the neighboring
country, at the distance of every two or three miles; and I describe
them, not as being rare, but because they are so common and
characteristic. The village of Whitnash, within twenty minutes' walk of
Leamington, looks as secluded, as rural, and as little disturbed by the
fashions of to-day, as if Doctor Jephson had never developed all those
Parades and Crescents out of his magic well. I used to wonder whether
the inhabitants had ever yet heard of railways, or, at their slow rate
of progress, had even reached the epoch of stage-coaches. As you
approach the village, while it is yet unseen, you observe a tall,
overshadowing canopy of elm-tree tops, beneath which you almost hesitate
to follow the public road, on account of the remoteness that seems to
exist between the precincts of this old-world community and the thronged
modern street out of which you have so recently emerged. Venturing
onward, however, you soon find yourself in the heart of Whitnash, and
see an irregular ring of ancient rustic dwellings surrounding the
village-green, on one side of which stands the church, with its square
Norman tower and battlements, while close adjoining is the vicarage,
made picturesque by peaks and gables. At first glimpse, none of the
houses appear to be less than two or three centuries old, and they are
of the ancient, wooden-framed fashion, with thatched roofs, which give
them the air of birds' nests, thereby assimilating them closely to the
simplicity of Nature.

The church-tower is mossy and much gnawed by time; it has narrow
loop-holes up and down its front and sides, and an arched window over
the low portal, set with small panes of glass, cracked, dim, and
irregular, through which a bygone age is peeping out into the daylight.
Some of those old, grotesque faces, called gargoyles, are seen on the
projections of the architecture. The church-yard is very small, and is
encompassed by a gray stone fence that looks as ancient as the church
itself. In front of the tower, on the village-green, is a yew-tree of
incalculable age, with a vast circumference of trunk, but a very scanty
head of foliage; though its boughs still keep some of the vitality which
perhaps was in its early prime when the Saxon invaders founded Whitnash.
A thousand years is no extraordinary antiquity in the lifetime of a yew.
We were pleasantly startled, however, by discovering an exuberance of
more youthful life than we had thought possible in so old a tree; for
the faces of two children laughed at us out of an opening in the trunk,
which had become hollow with long decay. On one side of the yew stood a
framework of worm-eaten timber, the use and meaning of which puzzled me
exceedingly, till I made it out to be the village-stocks: a public
institution that, in its day, had doubtless hampered many a pair of
shank-bones, now crumbling in the adjacent church-yard. It is not to be
supposed, however, that this old-fashioned mode of punishment is still
in vogue among the good people of Whitnash. The vicar of the parish has
antiquarian propensities, and had probably dragged the stocks out of
some dusty hiding-place, and set them up on their former site as a

I disquiet myself in vain with the effort to hit upon some
characteristic feature, or assemblage of features, that shall convey to
the reader the influence of hoar antiquity lingering into the present
daylight, as I so often felt it in these old English scenes. It is only
an American who can feel it; and even he begins to find himself growing
insensible to its effect, after a long residence in England. But while
you are still new in the old country, it thrills you with strange
emotion to think that this little church of Whitnash, humble as it
seems, stood for ages under the Catholic faith, and has not materially
changed since Wickcliffe's days, and that it looked as gray as now in
Bloody Mary's time, and that Cromwell's troopers broke off the stone
noses of those same gargoyles that are now grinning in your face. So,
too, with the immemorial yew-tree: you see its great roots grasping hold
of the earth like gigantic claws, clinging so sturdily that no effort of
time can wrench them away; and there being life in the old tree, you
feel all the more as if a contemporary witness were telling you of the
things that have been. It has lived among men, and been a familiar
object to them, and seen them brought to be christened and married and
buried in the neighboring church and church-yard, through so many
centuries, that it knows all about our race, so far as fifty generations
of the Whitnash people can supply such knowledge. And, after all, what a
weary life it must have been for the old tree! Tedious beyond
imagination! Such, I think, is the final impression on the mind of an
American visitor, when his delight at finding something permanent begins
to yield to his Western love of change, and he becomes sensible of the
heavy air of a spot where the forefathers and foremothers have grown up
together, intermarried, and died, through a long succession of lives,
without any intermixture of new elements, till family features and
character are all run in the same inevitable mould. Life is there
fossilized in its greenest leaf. The man who died yesterday or ever so
long ago walks the village-street to-day, and chooses the same wife that
he married a hundred years since, and must be buried again to-morrow
under the same kindred dust that has already covered him half a score of
times. The stone threshold of his cottage is worn away with his
hob-nailed footsteps, scuffling over it from the reign of the first
Plantagenet to that of Victoria. Better than this is the lot of our
restless countrymen, whose modern instinct bids them tend always towards
"fresh woods and pastures new." Rather than such monotony of sluggish
ages, loitering on a village-green, toiling in hereditary fields,
listening to the parson's drone lengthened through centuries in the gray
Norman church, let us welcome whatever change may come,--change of
place, social customs, political institutions, modes of
worship,--trusting, that, if all present things shall vanish, they will
but make room for better systems, and for a higher type of man to clothe
his life in them, and to fling them off in turn.

Nevertheless, while an American willingly accepts growth and change as
the law of his own national and private existence, he has a singular
tenderness for the stone-incrusted institutions of the mother-country.
The reason may be (though I should prefer a more generous explanation)
that he recognizes the tendency of these hardened forms to stiffen her
joints and fetter her ankles, in the race and rivalry of improvement. I
hated to see so much as a twig of ivy wrenched away from an old wall in
England. Yet change is at work, even in such a village as Whitnash. At a
subsequent visit, looking more critically at the irregular circle of
dwellings that surround the yew-tree and confront the church, I
perceived that some of the houses must have been built within no long
time, although the thatch, the quaint gables, and the old oaken
framework of the others diffused an air of antiquity over the whole
assemblage. The church itself was undergoing repair and restoration,
which is but another name for change. Masons were making patchwork on
the front of the tower, and were sawing a slab of stone and piling up
bricks to strengthen the side-wall, or enlarge the ancient edifice by an
additional aisle. Moreover, they had dug an immense pit in the
church-yard, long and broad, and fifteen feet deep, two-thirds of which
profundity were discolored by human decay and mixed up with crumbly
bones. What this excavation was intended for I could nowise imagine,
unless it were the very pit in which Longfellow bids the "Dead Past bury
its Dead," and Whitnash, of all places in the world, were going to avail
itself of our poet's suggestion. If so, it must needs be confessed that
many picturesque and delightful things would be thrown into the hole,
and covered out of sight forever.

The article which I am writing has taken its own course, and occupied
itself almost wholly with country churches; whereas I had purposed to
attempt a description of some of the many old towns--Warwick, Coventry,
Kenilworth, Stratford-on-Avon--which lie within an easy scope of
Leamington. And still another church presents itself to my remembrance.
It is that of Hatton, on which I stumbled in the course of a forenoon's
ramble, and paused a little while to look at it for the sake of old
Doctor Parr, who was once its vicar. Hatton, so far as I could discover,
has no public-house, no shop, no contiguity of roofs, (as in most
English villages, however small,) but is merely an ancient neighborhood
of farm-houses, spacious, and standing wide apart, each within its own
precincts, and offering a most comfortable aspect of orchards,
harvest-fields, barns, stacks, and all manner of rural plenty. It seemed
to be a community of old settlers, among whom everything had been going
on prosperously since an epoch beyond the memory of man; and they kept a
certain privacy among themselves, and dwelt on a cross-road at the
entrance of which was a barred gate, hospitably open, but still
impressing me with a sense of scarcely warrantable intrusion. After all,
in some shady nook of those gentle Warwickshire slopes there may have
been a denser and more populous settlement, styled Hatton, which I never

Emerging from the by-road, and entering upon one that crossed it at
right angles and led to Warwick, I espied the church of Doctor Parr.
Like the others which I have described, it had a low stone tower,
square, and battlemented at its summit: for all these little churches
seem to have been built on the same model, and nearly at the same
measurement, and have even a greater family-likeness than the
cathedrals. As I approached, the bell of the tower (a remarkably
deep-toned bell, considering how small it was) flung its voice abroad,
and told me that it was noon. The church stands among its graves, a
little removed from the wayside, quite apart from any collection of
houses, and with no signs of a vicarage; it is a good deal shadowed by
trees, and not wholly destitute of ivy. The body of the edifice,
unfortunately, (and it is an outrage which the English churchwardens are
fond of perpetrating,) has been newly covered with a yellowish plaster
or wash, so as quite to destroy the aspect of antiquity, except upon the
tower, which wears the dark gray hue of many centuries. The
chancel-window is painted with a representation of Christ upon the
Cross, and all the other windows are full of painted or stained glass,
but none of it ancient, nor (if it be fair to judge from without of what
ought to be seen within) possessing any of the tender glory that should
be the inheritance of this branch of Art, revived from mediaeval times.
I stepped over the graves, and peeped in at two or three of the windows,
and saw the snug interior of the church glimmering through the
many-colored panes, like a show of commonplace objects under the
fantastic influence of a dream: for the floor was covered with modern
pews, very like what we may see in a New-England meeting-house, though,
I think, a little more favorable than those would be to the quiet
slumbers of the Hatton farmers and their families. Those who slept under
Doctor Parr's preaching now prolong their nap, I suppose, in the
church-yard round about, and can scarcely have drawn much spiritual
benefit from any truths that he contrived to tell them in their
lifetime. It struck me as a rare example (even where examples are
numerous) of a man utterly misplaced, that this enormous scholar, great
in the classic tongues, and inevitably converting his own simplest
vernacular into a learned language, should have been set up in this
homely pulpit, and ordained to preach salvation to a rustic audience, to
whom it is difficult to imagine how he could ever have spoken one
available word.

Almost always, in visiting such scenes as I have been attempting to
describe, I had a singular sense of having been there before. The
ivy-grown English churches (even that of Bebbington, the first that I
beheld) were quite as familiar to me, when fresh from home, as the old
wooden meeting-house in Salem, which used, on wintry Sabbaths, to be the
frozen purgatory of my childhood. This was a bewildering, yet very
delightful emotion, fluttering about me like a faint summer-wind, and
filling my imagination with a thousand half-remembrances, which looked
as vivid as sunshine, at a side-glance, but faded quite away whenever I
attempted to grasp and define them. Of course, the explanation of the
mystery was, that history, poetry, and fiction, books of travel, and the
talk of tourists, had given me pretty accurate preconceptions of the
common objects of English scenery, and these, being long ago vivified by
a youthful fancy, had insensibly taken their places among the images of
things actually seen. Yet the illusion was often so powerful, that I
almost doubted whether such airy remembrances might not be a sort of
innate idea, the print of a recollection in some ancestral mind,
transmitted, with fainter and fainter impress through several descents,
to my own. I felt, indeed, like the stalwart progenitor in person,
returning to the hereditary haunts after more than two hundred years,
and finding the church, the hall, the farm-house, the cottage, hardly
changed during his long absence,--the same shady by-paths and
hedge-lanes, the same veiled sky, and green lustre of the lawns and
fields,--while his own affinities for these things, a little obscured by
disuse, were reviving at every step.

An American is not very apt to love the English people, as a whole, on
whatever length of acquaintance. I fancy that they would value our
regard, and even reciprocate it in their ungracious way, if we could
give it to them in spite of all rebuffs; but they are beset by a curious
and inevitable infelicity, which compels them, as it were, to keep up
what they seem to consider a wholesome bitterness of feeling between
themselves and all other nationalities, especially that of America. They
will never confess it; nevertheless, it is as essential a tonic to them
as their bitter ale. Therefore--and possibly, too, from a similar
narrowness in his own character--an American seldom feels quite as if he
were at home among the English people. If he do so, he has ceased to be
an American. But it requires no long residence to make him love their
island, and appreciate it as thoroughly as they themselves do. For my
part, I used to wish that we could annex it, transferring their thirty
millions of inhabitants to some convenient wilderness in the great West,
and putting half or a quarter as many of ourselves into their places.
The change would be beneficial to both parties. We, in our dry
atmosphere, are getting too nervous, haggard, dyspeptic, extenuated,
unsubstantial, theoretic, and need to be made grosser. John Bull, on the
other hand, has grown bulbous, long-bodied, short-legged, heavy-witted,
material, and, in a word, too intensely English. In a few more centuries
he will be the earthliest creature that ever the earth saw. Heretofore
Providence has obviated such a result by timely intermixtures of alien
races with the old English stock; so that each successive conquest of
England has proved a victory, by the revivification and improvement of
its native manhood. Cannot America and England hit upon some scheme to
secure even greater advantages to both nations?


The power and efficiency of an army consist in the amount of the power
and efficiency of its elements, in the health, strength, and energy of
its members. No army can be strong, however numerous its soldiers, if
they are weak; nor is it completely strong, unless every member is in
full vigor. The weakness of any part, however small, diminishes, to that
extent, the force of the whole; and the increase of power in any part
adds so much to the total strength.

In order, then, to have a strong and effective army, it is necessary not
only to have a sufficient number of men, but that each one of these
should have in himself the greatest amount of force, the fullest health
and energy the human body can present.

This is usually regarded in the original creation of an army. The
soldiers are picked men. None but those of perfect form, complete in all
their organization and functions, and free from every defect or disease,
are intended to be admitted. The general community, in civil life,
includes not only the strong and healthy, but also the defective, the
weak, and the sick, the blind, the halt, the consumptive, the rheumatic,
the immature in childhood, and the exhausted and decrepit in age.

In the enlistment of recruits, the candidates for the army are rigidly
examined, and none are admitted except such as appear to be mentally and
physically sound and perfect. Hence, many who offer their services to
the Government are rejected, and sometimes the proportion accepted is
very small.

In Great Britain and Ireland, during the twenty years from 1832 to 1851
inclusive, 305,897 applied for admission into the British army. Of
these, 97,457, or 32 per cent., were rejected, and only 208,440, or 68
per cent., were accepted.[2]

In France, during thirteen years, 1831 to 1843 inclusive, 2,280,540 were
offered for examination as candidates for the army. Of these, 182,664,
being too short, though perhaps otherwise in possession of all the
requisites of health, were not examined, leaving 2,097,876, who were
considered as candidates for examination. Of these, 680,560, or 32.5 per
cent, were rejected on account of physical unfitness, and only
1,417,316, or 67.5 per cent., were allowed to join the army.[3]

The men who ordinarily offer for the American army, in time of peace,
are of still inferior grade, as to health and strength. In the year
1852, at the several recruiting-stations, 16,114 presented themselves
for enlistment, and 10,945, or 67.9 per cent., were rejected, for
reasons not connected with health:--

        3,162 too young,
          732 too old,
        1,806 too short,
          657 married,
        2,434 could not speak English,
           32 extremely ignorant,
        1,965 intemperate,
          106 of bad morals,
           51 had been in armies from which
     --------- they had deserted,
Total, 10,945

All of these may have been in good health.

Of the remainder, 5,169, who were subjects of further inquiry, 2,443
were rejected for reasons connected with their physical or mental

          243 mal-formed,
          630 unsound in physical constitution,
           16 unsound in mind,
          314 had diseased eyes,
           55 had diseased ears,
          314 had hernia,
        1,071 had varicose veins,

Total,  2,443

Only 2,726 were accepted, being 52.7 per cent, of those who were
examined, and less than 17 per cent., or about one-sixth, of all who
offered themselves as candidates for the army, in that year.[4]

In time of peace, the character of the men who desire to become soldiers
differs with the degree of public prosperity. When business is good,
most men obtain employment in the more desirable and profitable
avocations of civil life. Then a larger proportion of those who are
willing to enter the army are unfitted, by their habits or their health,
for the occupations of peace, and go to the rendezvous only as a last
resort, to obtain their bread. But when business falters, a larger and a
better class are thrown out of work, and are glad to enter the service
of the country by bearing arms. The year 1852 was one of prosperity, and
affords, therefore, no indication of the class and character of men who
are willing to enlist in the average years. The Government Reports state
that in some other years 6,383 were accepted and 3,617 rejected out of
10,000 that offered to enlist. But in time of war, when the country is
endangered, and men have a higher motive for entering its service than
mere employment and wages, those of a better class both as to character
and health flock to the army; and in the present war, the army is
composed, in great degree, of men of the highest personal character and
social position, who leave the most desirable and lucrative employments
to serve their country as soldiers.

As, then, the army excludes, or intends to exclude, from its ranks all
the defective, weak, and sick, it begins with a much higher average of
health and vigor, a greater power of action, of endurance, and of
resisting the causes of disease, than the mass of men of the same ages
in civil life. It is composed of men in the fulness of strength and
efficiency. This is the vital machinery with which Governments propose
to do their martial work; and the amount of vital force which belongs to
these living machines, severally and collectively, is the capital with
which they intend to accomplish their purposes. Every wise Government
begins the business of war with a good capital of life, a large quantity
of vital force in its army. So far they do well; but more is necessary.
This complete and fitting preparation alone is not sufficient to carry
on the martial process through weeks and months of labor and privation.
Not only must the living machinery of bone and flesh be well selected,
but its force must be sustained, it must be kept in the most effective
condition and in the best and most available working order. For this
there are two established conditions, that admit of no variation nor
neglect: first, a sufficient supply of suitable nutriment, and faithful
regard to all the laws of health; and, second, the due appropriation of
the vital force that is thus from day to day created.

A due supply of appropriate food and of pure air, sufficient protection
and cleansing of the surface, moderate labor and refreshing rest, are
the necessary conditions of health, and cannot be disregarded, in the
least degree, without a loss of force. The privation of even a single
meal, or the use of food that is hard of digestion or innutritious, and
the loss of any of the needful sleep, are followed by a corresponding
loss of effective power, as surely as the slackened fire in the furnace
is followed by lessened steam and power in the engine.

Whosoever, then, wishes to sustain his own forces or those of his
laborers with the least cost, and use them with the greatest effect,
must take Nature on her own terms. It is vain to try to evade or alter
her conditions. The Kingdom of Heaven is not divided against itself. It
makes no compromises, not even for the necessities of nations. It will
not consent that any one, even the least, of its laws shall be set
aside, to advance any other, however important. Each single law stands
by itself, and exacts complete obedience to its own requirements: it
gives its own rewards and inflicts its own punishments. The stomach will
not digest tough and hard or old salted meats, or heavy bread, without
demanding and receiving a great and perhaps an almost exhausting
proportion of the nervous energies. The nutritive organs will not create
vigorous muscles and effective limbs, unless the blood is constantly and
appropriately recruited. The lungs will not decarbonize and purify the
blood with foul air, that has been breathed over and over and lost its
oxygen. However noble or holy the purpose for which human power is to be
used, it will not be created, except according to the established
conditions. The strength of the warrior in battle cannot be sustained,
except in the appointed way, even though the fate of all humanity depend
on his exertions.

Nature keeps an exact account with all her children, and gives power in
proportion to their fulfilment of her conditions. She measures out and
sustains vital force according to the kind and fitness of the raw
material provided for her. When we deal liberally with her, she deals
liberally with us. For everything we give to her she makes a just
return. The stomach, the nutrient arteries, the lungs, have no love, no
patriotism, no pity; but they are perfectly honest. The healthy
digestive organs will extract and pay over to the blood-vessels just so
much of the nutritive elements as the food we eat contains in an
extractible form, and no more; and for this purpose they will demand and
take just so much of the nervous energy as may be needed. The nutrient
arteries will convert into living flesh just so much of the nutritive
elements as the digestive organs give them, and no more. The lungs will
send out from the body as many of the atoms of exhausted and dead flesh
as the oxygen we give them will convert into carbonic acid and water,
and this is all they can do. In these matters, the vital organs are as
honest and as faithful as the boiler, that gives forth steam in the
exact ratio of the heat which the burning fuel evolves and the fitness
of the water that is supplied to it; and neither can be persuaded to do
otherwise. The living machine of bone and flesh and the dead machine of
iron prepare their forces according to the means they have, not
according to the ulterior purpose to which those forces are to be
applied. They do this alike for all. They do it as well for the sinner
as for the saint,--as well for the traitorous Secessionist striving to
destroy his country as for the patriot endeavoring to sustain it.

In neither case is it a matter of will, but of necessity. The amount of
power to be generated in both living and dead machines is simply a
question of quality and quantity of provision for the purpose. So much
food, air, protection given produce so much strength. A proposition to
reduce the amount of either of these necessarily involves the
proposition to reduce the available force. Whoever determines to eat or
give his men less or poorer food, or impure air, practically determines
to do less work. In all this management of the human body, we are sure
to get what we pay for, and we are equally sure not to get what we do
not pay for.

All Governments have tried, and are now, in various degrees, trying, the
experiment of privation in their armies. The soldier cannot carry with
him the usual means and comforts of home. He must give these up the
moment he enters the martial ranks, and reduce his apparatus of living
to the smallest possible quantity. He must generally limit himself to a
portable house, kitchen, cooking-apparatus, and wardrobe, and to an
entire privation of furniture, and sometimes submit to a complete
destitution of everything except the provision he may carry in his
haversack and the blanket he can carry on his back. When stationary, he
commonly sleeps in barracks; but he spends most of his time in the field
and sleeps in tents. Occasionally he is compelled to sleep in the open
air, without any covering but his blanket, and to cook in an
extemporized kitchen, which he may make of a few stones piled together
or of a hole in the earth, with only a kettle, that he carries on his
back, for cooking-apparatus. In all cases and conditions, whether in
fort or in field, in barrack, tent, or open air, he is limited to the
smallest artificial habitation, the least amount of furniture and
conveniences, the cheapest and most compact food, and the rudest
cookery. He is, therefore, never so well protected against the elements,
nor, when sleeping under cover, so well supplied with air for
respiration, as he is at home. Moreover, when lodging abroad, he cannot
take his choice of places; he is liable, from the necessities of war, to
encamp in wet and malarious spots, and to be exposed to chills and
miasms of unhealthy districts. He is necessarily exposed to weather of
every kind,--to cold, to rains, to storms; and when wet, he has not the
means of warming himself, nor of drying or changing his clothing. His
life, though under martial discipline, is irregular. At times, he has to
undergo severe and protracted labors, forced marches, and the violent
and long-continued struggles of combat; at other times, he has not
exercise sufficient for health. His food is irregularly served. He is
sometimes short of provisions, and compelled to pass whole days in
abstinence or on shore allowance. Occasionally he cannot obtain even
water to drink, through hours of thirsty toil. No Government nor
managers of war have ever yet been able to make exact and unfailing
provision for the wants and necessities of their armies, as men usually
do for themselves and their families at home.


From the earliest recorded periods of the world, men have gone forth to
war, for the purpose of destroying or overcoming their enemies, and with
the chance of being themselves destroyed or overthrown. Public
authorities have generally taken account of the number of their own men
who have been wounded and killed in battle, and of the casualties in the
opposing armies. Gunpowder and steel, and the manifold weapons,
instruments, and means of destruction in the hands of the enemy are
commonly considered as the principal, if not the only sources of danger
to the soldier, and ground of anxiety to his friends; and the nation
reckons its losses in war by the number of those who were wounded and
killed in battle. But the suffering and waste of life, apart from the
combat, the sickness, the depreciation of vital force, the withering of
constitutional energy, and the mortality in camp and fortress, in
barrack, tent, and hospital, have not usually been the subjects of such
careful observation, nor the grounds of fear to the soldier and of
anxiety to those who are interested in his safety. Consequently, until
within the present century, comparatively little attention has been
given to the dangers that hang over the army out of the battle-field,
and but little provision has been made, by the combatants or their
rulers, to obviate or relieve them. No Government in former times, and
few in later years, have taken and published complete accounts of the
diseases of their armies, and of the deaths that followed in
consequence. Some such records have been made and printed, but these are
mostly fragmentary and partial, and on the authority of individuals,
officers, surgeons, scholars, and philanthropists.

It must not be forgotten that the army is originally composed of picked
men, while the general community includes not only the imperfect,
diseased, and weak that belong to itself, but also those who are
rejected from the army. If, then, the conditions, circumstances, and
habits of both were equally favorable, there would be less sickness and
a lower rate of mortality among the soldiers than among men of the same
ages at home. But if in the army there should be found more sickness and
death than in the community at home, or even an equal amount, it is
manifestly chargeable to the presence of more deteriorating and
destructive influences in the military than in civil life.


The amount of sickness among the people at home is not generally
recognized, still less is it carefully measured and recorded. But the
experience and calculations of the Friendly Societies of Great Britain,
and of other associations for Health-Assurance there and elsewhere,
afford sufficient data for determining the proportion of time lost in
sickness by men of various ages. These Friendly Societies are composed
mainly of men of the working-classes, from which most of the soldiers of
the British army are drawn.

According to the calculations and tables of Mr. Ansel, in his work on
"Friendly Societies," the men of the army-ages, from 20 to 40, in the
working-classes, lose, on an average, five days and six-tenths of a day
by sickness in each year, which will make one and a half per cent, of
the males of this age and class constantly sick. Mr. Neison's
calculations and tables, in his "Contributions to Vital Statistics,"
make this average somewhat over seven days' yearly sickness, and one and
ninety-two hundredths of one per cent, constantly sick. These were the
bases of the rates adopted by the Health-Assurance companies in New
England, and their experience shows that the amount of sickness in these
Northern States is about the same as, if not somewhat greater than, that
in Great Britain, among any definite number of men.

The rate of mortality is more easily ascertained, and is generally
calculated and determined in civilized nations. This rate, among all
classes of males, between 20 and 40 years old, in England and Wales, is
.92 per cent.: that is, 92 will die out of 10,000 men of these ages, on
an average, in each year; but in the healthiest districts the rate is
only 77 in 10,000. The mortality among the males of Massachusetts, of
the same ages, according to Mr. Elliott's calculations, is 1.11 per
cent, or 111 in 10,000. This maybe safely assumed as the rate of
mortality in all New England. That of the Southern States is somewhat

These rates of sickness and death--one and a half or one and ninety-two
hundredths per cent, constantly sick, and seventy-seven to one hundred
and eleven dying, in each year, among ten thousand living--may be
considered as the proportion of males, of the army-ages, that should be
constantly taken away from active labor and business by illness, and
that should be annually lost by death. Whether at home, amidst the
usually favorable circumstances and the average comforts, or in the
army, under privation and exposure, men of these ages may be presumed to
be necessarily subject to this amount, at least, of loss of vital force
and life. And these rates may be adopted as the standard of comparison
of the sanitary influences of civil and military life.


Soldiers are subject to different influences and exposures, and their
waste and loss of life differ, in peace and war. In peace they are
mostly stationary, at posts, forts, and in cantonments. They generally
live in barracks, with fixed habits and sufficient means of subsistence.
They have their regular supplies of food and clothing and labor, and are
protected from the elements, heat, cold, and storms. They are seldom or
never subjected to privation or excessive fatigue. But in war they are
in the field, and sleep in tents which are generally too full and often
densely crowded. Sometimes they sleep in huts, and occasionally in the
open air. They are liable to exposures, hardships, and privations, to
uncertain supplies of food and bad cookery.

The report of the commission appointed by the British Government to
inquire into the sanitary condition, of the army shows a remarkable and
unexpected degree of mortality among the troops stationed at home under
the most favorable circumstances, as well as among those abroad. The
Foot-Guards are the very _élite_ of the whole army; they are the most
perfect of the faultless in form and in health. They are the pets of the
Government and the people. They are stationed at London and Windsor, and
lodged in magnificent barracks, apparently ample for their
accommodation. They are clothed and fed with extraordinary care, and are
supposed to have every means of health. And yet their record shows a sad
difference between their rate of mortality and that of men of the same
ages in civil life. A similar excess of mortality was found to exist
among all the home-army, which includes many thousand soldiers,
stationed in various towns and places throughout the kingdom.

The following table exhibits the annual mortality in these classes.[5]

DEATHS IN 10,000.
Age       Civilians   Foot-Guards   Home-Army

20 to 25      84          216          170
25 to 30      92          211          183
30 to 35     102          195          184
35 to 40     116          224          193

Through the fifteen years from 1839 to 1853 inclusive, the annual
mortality of all the army, excepting the artillery, engineers, and West
India and colonial corps, was 330 among 10,000 living; while that among
the same number of males of the army-ages, in all England and Wales, was
92, and in the healthiest districts only 77.[6]

There is no official account at hand of the general mortality in the
Russian army on the peace-establishment; yet, according to Boudin, in
one portion, consisting of 192,834 men, 144,352 had been sick, and
7,541, or 38 per 1,000, died in one year.[7]

The Prussian army, with an average of 150,582 men, lost by death, during
the ten years 1829 to 1838, 1,975 in each year, which is at the rate of
13 per 1,000 living.[8]

The mortality of the Piedmontese army, from 1834 to 1843 inclusive, was
158 in 10,000, while that of the males at home was 92 in the same number

From 1775 to 1791, seventeen years, the mortality among the cavalry was
181, and among the infantry 349, out of 10,000 living; but in the ten
years from 1834 to 1843 these rates were only 108 and 215.[9]

Colored troops are employed by the British Government in all their
colonies and possessions in tropical climates. The mortality of these
soldiers is known, and also that of the colored male civilians in the
East Indies and in the West-India Islands and South-American Provinces.
In four of these, the rate of mortality is higher among the male slaves
than among the colored soldiers; but in all the others, this rate is
higher in the army. In all the West-Indian and South-American
possessions of Great Britain, the average rate of deaths is 25 per cent,
greater among the black troops than among the black males of all ages on
the plantations and in the towns. The soldiers are of the healthier
ages, 20 to 40, but the civilians include both the young and the old: if
these could be excluded, and the comparison made between soldiers and
laborers of the same ages, the difference in favor of civil pursuits
would appear much greater.

Throughout the world, where the armies of Great Britain are stationed or
serve, the death-rate is greater among the troops than among civilians
of the same races and ages, except among the colored troops in Tobago,
Montserrat, Antigua, and Granada in America, and among the Sepoys in the
East Indies.[10]

In the army of the United States, during the period from 1840 to 1854,
not including the two years of the Mexican War, there was an average of
9,278 men, or an aggregate of 120,622 years of service, equal to so many
men serving one year. Among these and during this period, there were
342,107 cases of sickness reported by the surgeons, and 3,416 deaths
from disease, showing a rate of mortality of 2.83 per cent., or two and
a half times as great as that among the males of Massachusetts of the
army-ages, and three times as great as that in England and Wales. The
attacks of sickness average almost three for each man in each year. This
is manifestly more than that which falls upon men of these ages at


Thus far the sickness and mortality of the army in time of peace only
has been considered. The experience of war tells a more painful story of
the dangers of the men engaged in it. Sir John Pringle states, that, in
the British armies that were sent to the Low Countries and Germany, in
the years 1743 to 1747, a great amount of sickness and mortality
prevailed. He says, that, besides those who were suffering from wounds,
"at some periods more than one-fifth of the army were in the hospitals."
"One regiment had over one-half of its men sick." "In July and August,
1743, one-half of the army had the dysentery." "In 1747, four
battalions," of 715 men each, "at South Beveland and Walcheren, both in
field and in quarters, were so very sickly, that, at the height of the
epidemic, some of these corps had but one hundred men fit for duty;
six-sevenths of their numbers were sick."[12] "At the end of the
campaign the Royal Battalion had but four men who had not been ill." And
"when these corps went into winter-quarters, their sick, in proportion
to their men fit for duty, were nearly as four to one."[13] In 1748,
dysentery prevailed. "In one regiment of 500 men, 150 were sick at the
end of five weeks; 200 were sick after two months; and at the end of the
campaign, they had in all but thirty who had never been ill." "In
Johnson's regiment sometimes one-half were sick; and in the Scotch
Fusileers 300 were ill at one time."[14]

The British army in Egypt, in 1801, had from 103 to 261 and an average
of 182 sick in each thousand; and the French army had an average of 125
in 1,000, or one-eighth of the whole, on the sick-list.[15]

In July, 1809, the British Government sent another army, of 39,219 men,
to the Netherlands. They were stationed at Walcheren, which was the
principal seat of the sickness and suffering of their predecessors,
sixty or seventy years before. Fever and dysentery attacked this second
army as they had the first, and with a similar virulence and
destructiveness. In two months after landing,

Sept. 13, 7,626 were on the sick-list.
  "   19, 8,123     "    "
  "   21, 8,684     "    "
  "   23, 9,046     "    "

In ninety-seven days 12,867 were sent home sick; and on the 22d of
October there were only 4,000 effective men left fit for duty out of
this army of about 40,000 healthy men, who had left England within less
than four months. On the 1st of February of the next year, there were
11,513 on the sick-list, and 15,570 had been lost or disabled. Between
January 1st and June of the same year, (1810,) 36,500 were admitted to
the hospitals, and 8,000, or more than 20 per cent., died, which is
equal to an annual rate of 48 per cent, mortality.

The British army in Spain and Portugal suffered greatly through the
Peninsular War, from 1808 to 1814. During the whole of that period,
there was a constant average of 209 per 1,000 on the sick-list, and the
proportion was sometimes swelled to 330 per 1,000. Through the forty-one
months ending May 25th, 1814, with an average of 61,511 men, there was
an average of 13,815 in the hospitals, which is 22.5 per cent.; of these
only one-fifteenth, or 1.5 per cent. of the whole army, were laid up on
account of injuries in battle, and 21 per cent. were disabled by
diseases. From these causes 24,930 died, which is an annual average of
7,296, or a rate of 11.8 per cent, mortality.[16]

No better authority can be adduced, for the condition of men engaged in
the actual service of war, than Lord Wellington. On the 14th of
November, 1809, he wrote from his army in Spain to Lord Liverpool, then
at the head of the British Government,--"In all times and places the
sick-list of the army amounts to ten per cent of all."[17] He seemed to
consider this the lowest attainable rate of sickness, and he hoped to be
able to reduce that of his own army to it: this is more than five times
as great as the rate of sickness among male civilians of the army-ages.
The sickness in Lord Wellington's army, at the moment of writing this
despatch, was fifteen per cent., or seven and a half times as great as
that at home.

In the same Peninsular War, there was of the sick in the French army a
constant average of 136 per 1,000 in Spain, and 146 per 1,000 in
Portugal. Mr. Edmonds says, that, just before the Battle of Talavera,
the French army consisted of 275,000 men, of whom 61,000, or 22.2 per
cent., were sick.[18] Lord Wellington wrote, Sept. 19, 1809, that the
French army of 225,000 men had 30,000 to 40,000 sick, which is 13.3 to
17.7 per cent. The French army in Portugal had at one time 64 per 1,000,
and at another 235 per 1,000, and an average of 146 per 1,000, in the
hospitals through the war.

The British army that fought the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815, had an
average of 60,992 men, through the campaign of four months, June to
September; of these, there was an average of 7,909, or 12.9 per cent.,
in the hospitals.[19]

The British legion that went to Spain in 1836 consisted of 7,000 men. Of
these, 5,000, or 71 per cent., were admitted into the hospitals in three
and a half months, and 1,223 died in six months. This is equal to an
annual rate of almost two and a half, 2.44, attacks for each man, and of
34.9 per cent. mortality.[20]

"Of 115,000 Russians who invaded Turkey in 1828 and 1829, only 10,000 or
15,000 ever repassed the Pruth. The rest died there of intermittent
fevers, dysenteries, and plague." "From May, 1828, to February, 1829,
210,108 patients were admitted into the general and regimental
hospitals." "In October, 1828, 20,000 entered the general hospitals."
"The sickness was very fatal." "More than a quarter of the
fever-patients died." "5,509 entered the hospitals, and of these, 3,959
died in August, 1829, and only 614 ultimately recovered." "At Brailow
the plague attacked 1,200 and destroyed 774." "Dysentery was equally
fatal." "In the march across the Balkan, 1,000 men died of diarrhoea,
fever, and scurvy." "In Bulgaria, during July, 37,000 men were taken
sick." "At Adrianople a vast barrack was taken for a hospital, and in
three days 1,616 patients were admitted. On the first of September there
were 3,666, and on the 15th, 4,646 patients in the house. This was
one-quarter of all the disposable force at that station." "In October,
1,300 died of dysentery; and at the end of the month there were 4,700 in
the hospitals." "In the whole army the loss to the Russians in the year
1829 was at least 60,000 men."[21]


In 1854, twenty-five years after this fatal experience of the Russian
army in Bulgaria, the British Government sent an army to the same
province, where the men were exposed to the same diseases and suffered a
similar depreciation of vital force in sickness and death. For two years
and more they struggled with these destructive influences in their own
camps, in Bulgaria and the Crimea, with the usual result of such
exposures in waste of life. From April 10, 1854, to June 30, 1856,
82,901 British soldiers were sent to the Black Sea and its coasts; and
through these twenty-six and two-thirds months the British army had an
average of 34,559 men engaged in that "War in the East" with Russia.
From these there were furnished to the general and regimental, the
stationary and movable hospitals 218,952 cases: 24,084, or 11 per cent,
of these patients were wounded or injured in battle, and 194,868, or 89
per cent, suffered from the diseases of the camp. This is equal to an
annual average of two and a half attacks of sickness for each man. The
published reports give an analysis of only 162,123 of these cases of
disease. Of these, 110,673, or 68 per cent., were of the zymotic
class,--fevers, dysenteries, scurvy, etc., which are generally supposed
to be due to exposure and privation, and other causes which are subject
to human control. During the two years ending with March, 1856, 16,224
died of diseases, of which 14,476 were of the zymotic or preventable
class, 2,755 were killed in battle, and 2,019 died of wounds and
injuries received in battle. The annual rate of mortality, from all
diseases, was 23 per cent; from zymotic diseases, 21 per cent.; from
battle, 6.9 per cent. The rate of sickness and mortality varied
exceedingly in different months. In April, May, and June, 1854, the
deaths were at the annual rate of 8.7 per 1,000; in July, 159 per 1,000;
in August and September, 310 per 1,000; in December, this rate again
rose and reached 679 per 1,000; and in January, 1855, owing to the great
exposures, hardships, and privations in the siege, and the very
imperfect means of sustenance and protection, the mortality increased to
the enormous rate of 1,142 per 1,000, so that, if it had continued
unabated, it would have destroyed the whole army in ten and a half

AMERICAN ARMY, 1812 TO 1814.

We need not go abroad to find proofs of the waste of life in military
camps. Our own army, in the war with Great Britain in 1812-14, suffered,
as the European armies have done, by sickness and death, far beyond men
in civil occupations. There are no comprehensive reports, published by
the Government, of the sanitary condition and history of the army on the
Northern frontier during that war. But the partial and fragmentary
statements of Dr. Mann, in his "Medical Sketches," and the occasional
and apparently incidental allusions to the diseases and deaths by the
commanding officers, in their letters and despatches to the Secretary of
War, show that sickness was sometimes fearfully prevalent and fatal
among our soldiers. Dr. Mann says: "One regiment on the frontier, at one
time, counted 900 strong, but was reduced, by a total want of a good
police, to less than 200 fit for duty." "At one period more than 340
were in the hospitals, and, in addition to this, a large number were
reported sick in camp."[23] "The aggregate of the army at Fort George
and its dependencies was about 5,000. From an estimate of the number
sick in the general and regimental hospitals, it was my persuasion that
but little more than half of the army was capable of duty, at one
period, during the summer months"[24] of 1813. "During the month of
August more than one-third of the soldiers were on the sick-reports."[25]
Dr. Mann quotes Dr. Lovell, another army-surgeon, who says,
in the autumn of 1813: "A morning report, now before me, gives 75
sick, out of a corps of 160. The several regiments of the army, in their
reports, exhibit a proportional number unfit for duty."[26] Dr. Mann
states that "the troops at Burlington, Vt., in the winter of 1812-13,
did not number over 1,600, and the deaths did not exceed 200, from the
last of November to the last of February."[27] But Dr. Gallup says: "The
whole number of deaths is said to be not less than 700 to 800 in four
months," and "the number of soldiers stationed at this encampment
[Burlington] was about 2,500 to 2,800."[28] According to Dr. Mann's
statement, the mortality was at the annual rate of 50 per cent.; and
according to that of Dr. Gallup, it was at the rate of 75 to 96 per
cent. This is nearly equal to the severest mortality in the Crimea.

General William H. Harrison, writing to the Secretary of War from the
borders of Lake Erie, Aug. 29, 1813, says: "You can form some estimate
of the deadly effects of the immense body of stagnant water with which
the vicinity of the lake abounds, from the state of the troops at
Sandusky. Upwards of 90 are this morning reported sick, out of about
220." This is a rate of over 40 per cent. "Those at Fort Meigs are not
much better."[29]

General Wilkinson wrote from Fort George, Sept. 16, 1813: "We count, on
paper, 4,600, and could show 3,400 combatants"; that is, 25 per cent,
and more are sick. "The enemy, from the best information we have, have
about 3,000 on paper, of whom 1,400," or 46.6 per cent., "are sick."[30]


There was a similar waste of life among our troops in the Mexican War.
There is no published record of the number of the sick, nor of their
diseases. But the letters of General Scott and General Taylor to the
Secretary of War show that the loss of effective force in our army was
at times very great by sickness in that war.

General Scott wrote:--

   "_Puebla_, July 25, 1847.

   "May 30, the number of sick here was 1,017, of effectives 5,820."

   "Since the arrival of General Pillow, we have effectives (rank and
   file) 8,061, sick 2,215, beside 87 officers under the latter


   "_Mexico_, Dec. 5,1847.

   "The force at Chapultepec fit for duty is only about 6,000, rank and
   file; the number of sick, exclusive of officers, being 2,041."[32]

According to these statements, the proportions of the sick were 17.4 to
27.4 and 24.7 per cent of all in these corps at the times specified.

General Taylor wrote:--

   "_Camp near Monterey_, July 27,1847.

   "Great sickness and mortality have prevailed among the volunteer
   troops in front of Saltillo."[33]

August 10th, he said, that "nearly 23 per cent, of the force present was
disabled by disease."

The official reports show only the number that died, but make no
distinction as to causes of death, except to separate the deaths from
wounds received in battle from those from other causes.

During that war, 100,454 men were sent to Mexico from the United States.
They were enlisted for various periods, but served, on an average,
thirteen months and one day each, making a total of 109,104 years of
military service rendered by our soldiers in that war. The total loss of
these men was 1,549 killed in battle or died of wounds, 10,986 died from
diseases, making 12,535 deaths. Besides these, 12,252 were discharged
for disability. The mortality from disease was almost equal to the
annual rate of 11 per cent., which is about ten times as great as that
of men in ordinary civil life at home.


There are not as yet, and for a long time there cannot be, any full
Government reports of the amount and kind of sickness in the present
army of the United States. But the excellent reports of the inquiries of
the Sanitary Commission give much important and trustworthy information
in respect to these matters. Most of the encampments of all the corps
have been examined by their inspectors; and their returns show, that the
average number sick, during the seven months ending with February last,
was, among the troops who were recruited in New England 74.6, among
those from the Middle States 56.6, and, during six months ending with
January, among those from the Western States 104.3, in 1,000 men. From
an examination of 217 regiments, during two months ending the middle of
February, the rate of sickness among the troops in the Eastern Sanitary
Department was 74, in the Central Department, Western Virginia and Ohio,
90, and in the Western, 107, in 1,000 men. The average of all these
regiments was 90 in 1,000. The highest rate in Eastern Virginia was 281
per 1,000, in the Fifth Vermont; and the lowest, 9, in the Seventh
Massachusetts. In the Central Department the highest was 260, in the
Forty-First Ohio; and the lowest, 17, in the Sixth Ohio. In the Western
Department the highest was 340, in the Forty-Second Illinois; and the
lowest, 15, in the Thirty-Sixth Illinois.

On the 22d of February, the number of men sick in each 1,000, in the
several divisions of the Army of the Potomac, was ascertained to be,--

|  Keyes's,               |   30.3   |
|  Sedgwick's,            |   32.0   |
|  Hooker's,              |   43.7   |
|  McCall's               |   44.4   |
|  Banks's,               |   45.0   |
|  Porter's,              |   46.4   |
|  Blenker's,             |   47.7   |
|  McDowell's,            |   48.2   |
|  Heintzelman's          |   49.0   |
|  Franklin's             |   54.1   |
|  Dix's,                 |   71.8   |
|  United States Regulars,|   76.0   |
|  Sumner's,              |   77.5   |
|  Smiths's,              |   81.6   |
|  Casey's                |   87.6[34]  |

Probably there has been more sickness in all the armies, as they have
gone farther southward and the warm season has advanced. This would
naturally be expected, and the fear is strengthened by the occasional
reports in the newspapers. Still, taking the trustworthy reports herein
given, it is manifest that our Union army is one of the healthiest on
record; and yet their rate of sickness is from three to five times as
great as that of civilians of their own ages at home. Unquestionably,
this better condition of our men is due to the better intelligence of
the age and of our people,--especially in respect to the dangers of the
field and the necessity of proper provision on the part of the
Government and of self-care on the part of the men,--to the wisdom,
labors, and comprehensive watchfulness of the Sanitary Commission, and
to the universal sympathy of the men and women of the land, who have
given their souls, their hands, and their money to the work of lessening
the discomforts and alleviating the sufferings of the Army of Freedom.


The records and reports of the sickness in the army do not include all
the depreciations and curtailments of life and strength among the
soldiers, nor all the losses of effective force which the Government
suffers through them, on account of disease and debility. These records
contain, at best, only such ailments as are of sufficient importance to
come under the observation of the surgeon. But there are manifold
lighter physical disturbances, which, though they neither prostrate the
patient, nor even cause him to go to the hospital, yet none the less
certainly unfit him for labor and duty. Of the regiment referred to by
Dr. Mann, and already adduced in this article, in which 700 were unable
to attend to duty, 340 were in the hospital under the surgeon's care,
and 360 were ill in camp. It is probable that a similar, though smaller,
discrepancy often exists between the surgeon's records and the absentees
from parades, guard-duty, etc.

It is improbable, and even impossible, that complete records and reports
should always be made of all who are sick and unfit for duty, or even of
all who come under the surgeon's care. Sir John Hall, principal Medical
Officer of the British army in the Crimea, says that there were "218,952
admissions into hospital."[35] "The general return, showing the primary
admissions into the hospitals of the army in the East, from the 10th
April, 1854, to the 30th June, 1856, gives only 162,123 cases of all
kinds."[36] But another Government Report states the admissions to be
162,073.[37] Miss Nightingale says, "There was, at first, no system of
registration for general hospitals, for all were burdened with work
beyond their strength."[38] Dr. Mann says, that, in the War of 1812, "no
sick-records were found in the hospital at Burlington," one of the
largest depositories of the sick then in the country. "The
hospital-records on the Niagara were under no order."[39] It could
hardly have been otherwise. The regimental hospitals then, as frequently
must be the case in war, were merely extemporized shelters, not
conveniences. They were churches, houses, barns, shops, sheds, or any
building that happened to be within reach, or huts, cabins, or tents
suddenly created for the purpose. In these all the surgeons' time,
energy, and resources were expended in making their patients
comfortable, in defending them from cold and storm, or from suffering in
their crowded rooms or shanties. They were obliged to devote all their
strength to taking care of the present. They could take little account
of the past, and were often unable to make any record for the future.
They could not do this for those under their own immediate eye in the
hospital; much less could they do it for those who remained in their
tents, and needed little or no medical attention, but only rest.
Moreover, the exposures and labors of the campaign sometimes diminish
the number and force of the surgeons as well as of the men, and reduce
their strength at the very moment when the greatest demand is made for
their exertions. Dr. Mann says, "The sick in the hospital were between
six and seven hundred, and there were only three surgeons present for
duty." "Of seven surgeons attached to the hospital department, one died,
three were absent by reason of indisposition, and the other three were
sick."[40] Fifty-four surgeons died in the Russian army in Turkey in the
summer of 1828. "At Brailow, the pestilence spared neither surgeons nor
nurses."[41] Sir John Hall says, "The medical officers got sick, a great
number went away, and we were embarrassed." "Thirty per cent. were
sometimes sick and absent" from their posts in the Crimea.[42] Seventy
surgeons died in the French army in the same war. It is not reasonable,
then, to suppose that all or nearly all the cases of sickness, whether
in hospital or in camp, can be recorded, especially at times when they
are the most abundant.

Nor do the cases of sickness of every sort, grave and light, recorded
and unrecorded, include all the depressions of vital energy and all the
suspensions and loss of effective force in the army. Whenever any
general cause of depression weighs upon a body of men, as fatigue, cold,
storm, privation of food, or malaria, it vitiates the power of all, in
various degrees and with various results; the weak and susceptible are
sickened, and all lose some force and are less able to labor and attend
to duty. No account is taken, none can be taken, of this discount of the
general force of the army; yet it is none the less a loss of strength,
and an impediment to the execution of the purposes of the Government.


The loss of force by death, by sickness in hospital and camp, and by
temporary depression, is not all that the army is subject to. Those who
are laboring under consumption, asthma, epilepsy, insanity, and other
incurable disorders, and those whose constitutions are broken, or
withered and reduced below the standard of military requirement, are
generally, and by some Governments always, discharged. These pass back
to the general community, where they finally die. By this process the
army is continually sifting out its worst lives, and at the same time it
fills their places with healthy recruits. It thus keeps up its average
of health and diminishes its rate of mortality; but the sum and the
rates of sickness and mortality in the community are both thereby

During the Crimean War, 17.34 per cent, were invalided and sent home
from the British army, and 21 per cent, from the French army, as unable
to do military service. By this means, 11,994[43] British and 65,069[44]
French soldiers were lost to their Governments. The army of the United
States, in the Mexican War, discharged and sent home 12,252 men, or 12
per cent, of the entire number engaged in that war, on account of

The causes of this exhaustion of personal force are manifold and
various, and so generally present that the number and proportion of
those who are thus hopelessly reduced below the degree of efficient
military usefulness, in the British army, has been determined by
observation, and the Government calculates the rate of the loss which
will happen in this way, at any period of service. Out of 10,000 men
enlisted in their twenty-first year, 718 will be invalided during the
first quinquennial period, or before they pass their twenty-fifth year,
539 in the second, 673 in the third, and 854 in the fourth,--making
2,784, or more than one-quarter of the whole, discharged for disability
or chronic ailment, before they complete their twenty years of military
service and their forty years of life.

It is further to be considered, that, during these twenty years, the
numbers are diminishing by death, and thus the ratio of enfeebled and
invalided is increased. Out of 10,000 soldiers who survive and remain in
the army in each successive quinquennial period, 768 will be invalided
in the first, 680 in the second, 1,023 in the third, and 1,674 in the
fourth. In the first year the ratio is 181, in the fifth 129, in the
tenth 165, in the fifteenth 276, and in the twentieth 411, among 10,000
surviving and remaining.

The depressing and exhaustive force of military life on the soldiers is
gradually accumulative, or the power of resistance gradually wastes,
from the beginning to the end of service. There is an apparent exception
to this law in the fact, that, in the British army, the ratio of those
who were invalided was 181 in 10,000, but diminished, in the second,
third, and fourth years, to 129 in the fifth and sixth, then again rose,
through all the succeeding years, to 411 in the twentieth. The
experience of the British army, in this respect, is corroborated by that
of ours in the Mexican War. From the old standing army 502, from the
additional force recently enlisted 548, and from the volunteers 1,178,
in 10,000 of each, were discharged on account of disability. Some part
of this great difference between the regulars and volunteers is
doubtless due to the well-known fact, that the latter were originally
enlisted, in part at least, for domestic trainings, and not for the
actual service of war, and therefore were examined with less scrutiny,
and included more of the weaker constitutions.

The Sanitary Commission, after inspecting two hundred and seventeen
regiments of the present army of the United States, and comparing the
several corps with each other in respect of health, came to a similar
conclusion. They found that the twenty-four regiments which had the
least sickness had been in service one hundred and forty days on an
average, and the twenty-four regiments which had the most sickness had
been in the field only one hundred and eleven days. The Actuary adds, in
explanation,--"The difference between the sickness of the older and
newer regiments is probably attributable, in part, to the constant
weeding out of the sickly by discharges from the service. The fact is
notorious, that medical inspection of recruits, on enlistment, has been,
as a rule, most imperfectly executed; and the city of Washington is
constantly thronged with invalids awaiting their discharge-papers, who
at the time of their enlistment were physically unfit for service."[45]
In addition to this, it must be remembered, that, although all recruits
are apparently perfect in form and free from disease when they enter the
army, yet there may be differences in constitutional force, which cannot
be detected by the most careful examiners. Some have more and some have
less power of endurance. But the military burden and the work of war are
arranged and determined for the strongest, and, of course, break down
the weak, who retire in disability or sink in death.


Two causes of depression operate, to a considerable degree in peace and
to a very great degree in war, on the soldier, and reduce and sicken him
more than the civilian. His vital force is not so well sustained by
never-failing supplies of nutritious and digestible food and regular
nightly sleep, and his powers are more exhausted in hardships and
exposures, in excessive labors and want of due rest and protection
against cold and heat, storms and rains. Consequently the army suffers
mostly from diseases of depression,--those of the typhoid, adynamic, and
scorbutic types. McGrigor says, that, in the British army in the
Peninsula, of 176,007 cases treated and recorded by the surgeons, 68,894
were fevers, 23,203 diseases of the bowels, 12,167 ulcers, and 4,027
diseases of the lungs.[46] In the British hospitals in the Crimean War,
39 per cent. were cholera, dysentery, and diarrhoea, 19 per cent.
fevers, 1.2 per cent. scurvy, 8 per cent. diseases of the lungs, 8 per
cent. diseases of the skin, 3.3 per cent. rheumatism, 2.5 per cent.
diseases of the brain and nervous system, 1.4 per cent. frost-bite or
mortification produced by low vitality and chills, 13, or one in 12,000,
had sunstroke, 257 had the itch, and 68 per cent. of all were of the
zymotic class,[47] which are considered as principally due to privation,
exposure, and personal neglect. The deaths from these classes of causes
were in a somewhat similar proportion to the mortality from all stated
causes,--being 58 per cent. from cholera, dysentery, and diarrhoea, and
1 per cent. from all other disorders of the digestive organs, 19 per
cent. from fevers, 3.6 per cent. from diseases of the lungs, 1.3 per
cent. from rheumatism, 1.3 per cent. from diseases of the brain and
nervous system, and 79 per cent. from those of the zymotic class. The
same classes of disease, with a much larger proportion of typhoid,
pneumonia, prostrated and destroyed many in the American army in the War
of 1812.

In paper No. 40, p. 54, of the Sanitary Commission, is a report of the
diseases that occurred in forty-nine regiments, while under inspection
about forty days each, between July and October, 1861. 27,526 cases were
reported; of these 67 per cent. were zymotic, 41 per cent. diseases of
the digestive organs, 22 per cent. fevers 7 per cent. diseases of the
lungs, 5 per cent. diseases of the brain. Among males of the army-ages
the proportions of deaths from these classes of causes to those from all
causes were, in Massachusetts, in 1859, zymotic 15 per cent., diseases
of digestive organs 3.6 per cent., of lungs 50 per cent., fevers 9 per
cent., diseases of brain 4.6 per cent[48]. According to the
mortality-statistics of the seventh census of the United States, of the
males between the ages of twenty and fifty, in Maryland, Virginia, North
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, whose deaths in the year ending
June 1st, 1850, and their causes, were ascertained and reported by the
marshals, 34.3 per cent. died of zymotic diseases, 8 per cent. of all
the diseases of the digestive organs, 30.8 per cent. of diseases of the
respiratory organs, 24.4 per cent. of fevers, and 5.7 per cent. of
disorders of the brain and nervous system. In England and Wales, in
1858, these proportions were, zymotic 14 per cent., fevers 8 per cent.,
diseases of digestive organs 7.9 per cent., of lungs 8 per cent., and of
the brain 7 per cent[49].

If, however, we analyze the returns of mortality in civil life, and
distinguish those of the poor and neglected dwellers in the crowded and
filthy lanes and alleys of cities, whose animal forces are not well
developed, or are reduced by insufficient and uncertain nutrition, by
poor food or bad cookery, by foul air within and stenchy atmosphere
without, by imperfect protection of house and clothing, we shall find
the same diseases there as in the army. Wherever the vital forces are
depressed, there these diseases of low vitality happen most frequently
and are most fatal.

Volumes of other facts and statements might be quoted to show that
military service is exhaustive of vital force more than the pursuits of
civil life. It is so even in time of peace, and it is remarkably so in
time of war. Comparing the English statements of the mortality in the
army with the calculations of the expectation of life in the general
community, the difference is at once manifest.

Of 10,000 men at the age of twenty, there will die before they complete
their fortieth year,--

British army in time of peace,         3,058
England and Wales, English Life-Table, 1,853
According to tables of Amicable and
Equitable Life-Insurance Companies,    1,972
New England and New York, according
to the tables of the New-England
Mutual Life-Insurance Company,         1,721


This large amount of disease and mortality in the army arises not from
the battle-field, but belongs to the camp, the tent, the barrack, the
cantonment; and it is as certain, though not so great, in time of peace,
when no harm is inflicted by the instruments of destruction, as in time
of war. The battle, which is the world's terror, is comparatively
harmless. The official histories of the deadly struggles of armies show
that they are not so wasteful of life as is generally supposed. Mr.
William Barwick Hodge examined the records and despatches in the
War-Office in London, and from these and other sources prepared an
exceedingly valuable and instructive paper on "The Mortality arising
from Military Operations," which was read before the London Statistical
Society, and printed in the nineteenth volume of the Society's journal.
Some of the tables will be as interesting to Americans as to Englishmen.
On the following page is a tabular view, taken from this work, of the
casualties in nineteen battles fought by the British armies with those
of other nations.

                                                       Killed in battle
                                               Officers ---------------
                                                and men        Per 1000
         Date.                 Battles.         engaged Number  engaged
------------------------   --------------------  ------  ----   ----
1801, March 21, . . . . .  Alexandria . . . . .  14,000   243     17.3
1806, July 4, . . . . . .  Maida  . . . . . . .  5,675     45      7.9
1808, August 21,  . . . .  Vimiciro . . . . . .  19,200   135      7.
1809, January 16, . . . .  Corunna  . . . . . .  16,700   158      9.4
 "    July 28,  . . . . .  Talavera . . . . . .  22,100   801      3.6
1810, September . . . . .  Busaco . . . . . . .  27,800   106      3.9
1811, March 5,  . . . . .  Barrosa  . . . . . .   5,230   202     38.6
 "    May 5,  . . . . . .  Fuentes de Onore . .  22,900   170      7.4
 "     "  16, . . . . . .  Albuera  . . . . . .   9,000   882     98.
1812, July 22,  . . . . .  Salamanca  . . . . .  30,500   388     12.7
1813, June 21,  . . . . .  Vittoria . . . . . .  42,000   501     11.9
 "    July 25 to August 2  Pyrenees . . . . . .  30,000   559     18.6
 "    November 10,  . . .  Nivelle  . . . . . .  47,600   277      5.7
1814, February 27,  . . .  Orthés . . . . . . .  27,000   210      7.7
 "    April 10, . . . . .  Toulouse . . . . . .  26,800   312     11.6
1815, January 8,  . . . .  New Orleans  . . . .   6,000   386     64.3
 "    June 16-18, . . . .  Waterloo . . . . . .  49,900 2,126     42.6
1854, September 20, . . .  Alma . . . . . . . .  26,800   353     13.1
 "    November 5, . . . .  Inkerman . . . . . .   9,000   632     70.2
                                                -------  -----    ----
                                                438,205  8,486    19.3
Estimated deaths among the wounded  . . . . . .          4,894
Estimated casualties among the missing  . . . .          1,137
Total                                                   14,517    33.1


BRITISH. (cont.)
                                         Deaths in battle
                    Casualties (cont.)   from wounds, and
                          Wounded        among the missing.
                      Number. Per 1000   Number. Per 1000
    Battles.                  engaged            engaged
--------------------   -----  -----      -----   -----
Alexandria . . . . .   1,193   85.2        393    28.1
Maida  . . . . . . .     282   49.1         87    15.3
Vimiciro . . . . . .     534   27.7        215    11.2
Corunna  . . . . . .     634   37.9        257    15.4
Talavera . . . . . .   3,913   17.7      1,455    65.8
Busaco . . . . . . .     500   18.         183     6.6
Barrosa  . . . . . .   1,040  198.8        360    68.8
Fuentes de Onore . .   1,043   45.5        379    16.6
Albuera  . . . . . .   2,672  296.6      1,358   151.
Salamanca  . . . . .   2,714   89.         770    25.2
Vittoria . . . . . .   2,807   66.8        890    21.2
Pyrenees . . . . . .   3,693  123.1      1,197    39.9
Nivelle  . . . . . .   1,777   37.3        675    14.2
Orthés . . . . . . .   1,411   52.2        404    15.
Toulouse . . . . . .   1,795   66.9        582    21.7
New Orleans  . . . .   1,516  252.6        625   104.2
Waterloo . . . . . .   8,140  163.1      3,245    65.
Alma . . . . . . . .   1,619   60.4        559    20.9
Inkerman . . . . . .   1,878  208.6        883    98.1
                       -----  -----      -----   -----
                      39,161   89.3     14,517    33.

Total                          91.9


                        BRITISH AND ALLIES.
                      Officers  Casualties.
                      and men
    Battles.          engaged.  Number. Per 1000
Alexandria . . . . .
Maida  . . . . . . .
Vimiciro . . . . . .
Corunna  . . . . . .
Talavera . . . . . .   56,000   6,268    112
Busaco . . . . . . .   57,000   1,300     23
Barrosa  . . . . . .   14,500   1,610    111
Fuentes de Onore . .   35,200   1,469     42
Albuera  . . . . . .   37,000   6,500    176
Salamanca  . . . . .   54,200   4,964     92
Vittoria . . . . . .   95,800   4,829     50
Pyrenees . . . . . .   65,000   6,540    101
Nivelle  . . . . . .   90,600   2,621     29
Orthés . . . . . . .   43,600   2,200     50
Toulouse . . . . . .   54,400   4,641     85
New Orleans  . . . .
Waterloo . . . . . .  230,600  36,590    159
Alma . . . . . . . .   55,000   3,545     64
Inkerman . . . . . .
                      -------  ------    ---
                      888,900  83,077     92
Estimated casualties
among the missing  . . . .      3,787
                               86,864     98

Of those who were engaged in these nineteen battles one in 51.6, or 1.93
per cent., were killed. The deaths in consequence of the battles,
including both those who died of wounds and those that died among the
missing, were one in 30, or 3.3 per cent. of all who were in the fight.
It is worth noticing here, that the British loss in the Battle of New
Orleans was larger than in any other battle here adduced, except in that
of Albuera, in Spain, with the French, in 1811.

In the British army, from 1793 to 1815, including twenty-one years of
war, and excluding 1802, the year of peace, the number of officers
varied from 3,576 in the first year to 13,248 in 1813, and the men
varied from 74,500 in 1793 to 276,000 in 1813, making an annual average
of 9,078 officers and 189,200 men, and equal to 199,727 officers and
4,168,500 men serving one year. During these twenty-one years of war,
among the officers 920 were killed and 4,685 were wounded, and among the
men 15,392 were killed and 65,393 were wounded. This is an annual
average of deaths from battle of 460 officers and 369 men, and of
wounded 2,340 officers and 1,580 men, among 100,000 of each class. Of
the officers less than half of one per cent., or 1 in 217, were killed,
and a little more than two per cent., or 1 in 42, were wounded; and
among the men a little more than a third of one per cent., 1 in 271,
were killed, and one and a half per cent., 1 in 63, wounded, in each
year. The comparative danger to the two is, of death, 46 officers to 37
men, and of wounds, 234 officers to 158 men. A larger proportion of the
officers than of the soldiers were killed and wounded; yet a larger
proportion of the wounded officers recovered. This is attributed to the
fact that the officers were injured by rifle-balls, being picked out by
the marksmen, while the soldiers were injured by cannon- and
musket-balls and shells, which inflict more deadly injuries.


It may not be out of place here to show the dangers of naval warfare,
which are discussed at length by Mr. Hodge, in a very elaborate paper in
the eighteenth volume of the Statistical Society's journal. From one of
his tables, containing a condensed statistical history of the English
navy, through the wars with France, 1792-1815, the following facts are

During those wars, the British Parliament, in its several annual grants,
voted 2,527,390 men for the navy. But the number actually in the service
is estimated not to have exceeded 2,424,000 in all, or a constant
average force of 110,180 men. Within this time these men fought five
hundred and seventy-six naval battles, and they were exposed to storms,
to shipwreck, and to fire, in every sea. In all these exposures, the
records show that the loss of life was less than was suffered by the
soldiers on the land. There were--

Killed in battle, officers, .    .    .    346
 "         "       men,    .    .    .   4,441
                                Total,   4,787
Wounded, officers,     .    .    .    .    935
   "     men,         .    .    .    .  13,335
                               Total,   14,270
Drowned and otherwise destroyed in
 battle,     .    .    .    .    .    .    449
Estimated deaths among the wounded,      1,427

Total destroyed by battle,  .    .    .  6,663
Lost by shipwreck, accidental drowning

  and by fire,    .    .    .    .    . 13,621
Total deaths, from other causes than
  disease,   .    .    .    .    .    . 20,284

Comparing the whole number of men in the naval service, during this
period, with the mortality from causes incidental to the service, the
average annual loss was--

Killed in battle,   .    .    .    .   one in 506, or .197 per cent.
Drowned and lost in battle, and died
  of wounds    .    .    .    .    .   one in 1,292, or .077 per cent.
Wounded,       .    .    .    .    .   one in 169, or .588 per cent.
Drowned and lost by shipwreck, fire,
  etc., otherwise than by battle,  .   one in 178, or .561 per cent.
Total annual loss by battle and the
  special dangers of the sea, .    .   one in 119, or .836 per cent.

Date.                Place.       Ships.  Broadside.   Men.
1782, April 12,    West Indies      36     1,315     21,608
1794, June 1,      English Channel  26     1,087     17,241
1795, March 14,    Genoa            14       557      8,810
1797, February 14, Cape St. Vincent 15       620      9,508
 "    October 11,  Camperdown       16       575      8,221
1798, August 1,    Nile             14       507      7,985
1801, July 12,     Algeziras         5       188      3,100
1805, July 22,     Cape Finisterre  15       596     10,500
 "    October 21,  Trafalgar        27     1,074     16,826
 "    November 4,  Bay of Biscay     9       262      4,186
1806, February 6,  San Domingo       7       257      4,094
1811, March 12,    Lissa             4        59        886
 "    May 20,      Madagascar        4        73        903
                                   ---     -----    -------
                                   192     7,170    113,863

                          BRITISH.                ENEMY.
                   Killed.         Wounded.
              Number. Per 1000. Number. Per 1000.
West Indies       250    11      810     37       French.
English Channel   290    16      858     47        do.
Genoa              71     8      266     30        do.
Cape St. Vincent   73     7      227     29       Spanish.
Camperdown        203    24      622     75       Dutch.
Nile              218    27      678     84       French.
Algeziras          18     6      102     33       French and Spanish.
Cape Finisterre    39     3      159     15        do.
Trafalgar         449    26     1241     73        do.
Bay of Biscay      24     5      111     26       French.
San Domingo        74     1.8    264     64        do.
Lissa              44    49      144    162       French and Italian.
Madagascar         25    27       89     98       French.
                 ----    ----   ----    -----
                 1778    15.6   5571     48.9

                               BRITISH.           Loss.
                 Duration         broad-
Date.           of action. Ship.   side. Men. Killed. Wounded. Casualties.
                                                            Number.  Per
                   H.  M.                                            1000.

1812, August. 19,  1  55 Guerrière   24   244    15    63      78     320
  " September 17,     43 Frolic       9    92    15    47      62     674
  " October 25,    2  40 Macedonian  24   254    31    64      95     374
  " December 20,   3     Java        24   379    22   102     124     379
1813, February 14,    25 Peacock      9   110     4    33      37     336
  " June 1,           15 Shannon     25   306    24    59      83     271
  " August 12,        45 Pelican      9   101     2     5       7      69
1814, August 27,      45 Reindeer     9    98    25    41      66     673
1815, January 15,  5  58 Endymion    24   319    11    14      25      78
                                    --- -----   ---   ---     ---     ---
                                    157 1,903   149   428     577     303

                       Ship.    Broadside. Men.  Killed and wounded.
                                                 Number. Per 1000.
1812, August. 19,     Constitution  28      460     20      43
  " September 17,     Wasp           9      135     16     119
  " October 25,       United States 28      474      6      13
  " December 20,      Constitution  28      480     34      71
1813, February 14,    Hornet        10      162      5      31
  " June 1,           Chesapeake    25      376    146     389
  " August 12,        Argus         10      122     24     397
1814, August 27,      Wasp          11      173     26     150
1815, January 15,     President     28      465    105     226
                                   ---    -----    ---     ---
                                   177    2,847    382     133

Mr. Hodge's second table shows the conditions and casualties of thirteen
battles between fleets and squadrons. This is condensed and quoted on
the preceding page.

His third table includes thirty-five actions with single ships on each
side, between the years 1793 and 1815. 8,542 men were engaged, and 483,
or 56.5 per 1,000, were killed, and 1,230, or 144 per 1,000, wounded.

Twenty-six of these actions were with French ships, which are here
omitted, and nine with American ships, which are shown in the second
table on the preceding page.

There is a very remarkable difference in the loss which the British
suffered in naval and in land battles:--

No. of    Vessels.              Killed.   Wounded.
Battles                         One in    One in
13        Fleets..............  64.0      20.4
35        Single ships........  17.7       6.9
28        French single ships.  19.8      10.6
9         American do. do.  ..  12.7       4.4
19        Land battles........  30.0      11.0

The danger both of wounds and death in these contests was three times as
great in the single ships as in fleets, and about five times as great in
battles with the Americans as in fleet-battles with other nations. The
dangers in fleet-battles were about half as great as those in
land-battles, and these were but little more than half as great as those
in fights with single ships.


These records of land-battles show that the dangers from that cause are
not very great; probably they are less than the world imagines;
certainly they are much less than those of the camp. Of the 176,007
admitted into the regimental hospitals during the Peninsular War, only
20,886 were from wounds, the rest from diseases; fourteen-fifteenths of
the burden on the hospitals in that war, through forty-two months, were
diseased patients, and only one-fifteenth were wounded. In the Crimean
War, 11.2 per cent. in the hospitals suffered from injuries in battle,
and 88.8 per cent. from other causes. 10 per cent. of the French
patients in the same war were wounded, and 90 per cent. had fevers, etc.
In the autumn of 1814, there were 815 patients in the great military
hospital at Burlington, Vermont. Of these 50 were wounded, and the rest
had the diseases of the camp.

In the Crimean War, 16,296 died from disease, and 4,774 from injuries
received in battle. In the Peninsular War, 25,304 died of disease, and
9,450 from wounds.

During eighteen years, 1840 to 1857, 19,504 were discharged from the
home, and 21,325 from the foreign stations of the British army. Of
these, 541, or 2.7 per cent. of those at home, and 3,708, or 17.3 per
cent. abroad, were on account of wounds and fractures, and the others on
account of disease, debility, and exhaustion.


Nations, when they go to war, prepare to inflict injury and death on
their opponents, and make up their minds to receive the same in return;
but they seem neither to look nor to prepare for sickness and death in
their camps. And when these come upon their armies, they seem either to
shut their eyes to the facts, or submit to the loss as to a disturbance
in Nature, a storm, a drought, or an earthquake, which they can neither
prevent nor provide for, and for which they feel no responsibility, but
only hope that it will not happen again. Nevertheless, this waste of
life has followed every army which has been made to violate the laws of
health, in privations, exposures, and hardships, and whose internal
history is known. The experience of such disastrous campaigns ought to
induce Governments to inquire into the causes of the suffering and loss,
and to learn whether they are not engaged in a struggle against Nature,
in which they must certainly fail, and endeavoring to make the human
body bear burdens and labors which are beyond its strength. But
Governments are slow to learn, especially sanitary lessons. The British
army suffered and died in great numbers at Walcheren and South Beveland,
in the middle of the last century. Pringle described the sad condition
of those troops, and warned his nation against a similar exposure; yet,
sixty years later, the Ministry sent another army to the same place, to
sink under the malarious influences and diseases in the same way. The
English troops at Jamaica were stationed in the low grounds, where, "for
many generations," "the average annual mortality was 13 per cent." "A
recommendation for their removal from the plains to the mountains was
made so far back as 1791. Numerous reports were sent to the Government,
advising that a higher situation should be selected"; but it was not
until 1837, after nearly half a century of experience and warning, that
the Ministry opened their eyes to this cost of life and money in
excessive sickness and mortality, and then removed the garrison to
Maroontown, where the death-rate fell to 2 per cent., or less than
one-sixth of what it had been[50].

The American army, in the war with Great Britain fifty years ago,
suffered from the want of proper provision for their necessities and
comfort, from exposures and hardships, so that sometimes half its force
was unavailable; yet, at the present moment, a monstrous army is
collected and sent to the field, under the same regulations, and with
the same idea of man's indefinite power of endurance, and the
responsibility and superintendence of their health is left, in large
measure, to an accidental and outside body of men, the Sanitary
Commission, which, although an institution of great heart and energy,
and supported by the sympathies and cooperation of the whole people, is
yet doing a work that ought to be done by the Government, and carrying
out a plan of operations that should be inseparably associated with the
original creation of the army and the whole management of the war.


The lesson which the experience of the Russian army of 1828 and 1829
taught the world of the mortal dangers of Bulgaria was lost on the
British Government, which sent its own troops there in 1854, to be
exposed to, and wither before, the same destructive influences. But at
length sickness prevailed to such an extent, and death made such havoc,
in the army in the East, that England's great sympathies were roused,
and the Ministers' attention was drawn to the irresistible fact, that
the strongest of Britain's soldiers were passing rapidly from the camp
to the hospital, and from the hospital to the grave. Then a doubt
occurred to the minds of the men in power, whether all was right in the
Crimea, and whether something might not be done for the sanitary
salvation of the army. They sent a commission, consisting of Dr. John
Sutherland, one of the ablest sanitarians of the kingdom, Dr. Hector
Gavin, and Robert Rawlinson, civil engineer, to the Black Sea, to
inquire into the state of things there, to search out the causes of the
sufferings of the army, and see if there might not be a remedy found and
applied. At the same time, Miss Nightingale and a large corps of
assistants, attendants, and nurses, women of station and culture and
women of hire, went to that terrible scene of misery and death, to aid
in any measures that might be devised to alleviate the condition of the
men. Great abuses and negligence were found; and the causes of disease
were manifest, manifold, and needless. But a reform was at once
instituted; great changes were made in the general management of the
camp and hospitals and in the condition of the soldiers. Disease began
to diminish, the progress of mortality was arrested, and in the course
of a few months the rate of death was as low as among men of the same
ages at home.

This commission made a full report, when they returned, and described
the state of things they found in the Crimea and on the shores of the
Black Sea,--the camps, barracks, huts, tents, food, manner of life, and
general sanitary condition of the troops, their terrible sufferings, and
the means and ways of caring for the sick, the measures of reform which
they had proposed and carried out, and their effects on the health of
the men. This report was published by the Government.

Besides this commission, the Government sent Dr. Lyons, a surgeon and
pathologist of great learning and acumen, to investigate the pathology
or morbid condition of the army. According to his instructions, he spent
four months in the Crimea and at the great hospitals on the Bosphorus.
He examined and traced the course of disease and disturbance in the sick
and wounded. He made very many thorough examinations after death, in
order to determine the effects of vitiating influences upon the
organization, and the condition of the textures and organs of the body
in connection with the several kinds of disorders. Dr. Lyons's extremely
instructive report was published by national authority as one of the
Parliamentary folio volumes. After the war was over, Dr. W. Hanbury and
Staff-Surgeon Matthew, under the direction of the Secretary of War,
gathered, analyzed, and prepared the records of all the surgeons of the
several corps of the Crimean army. To these they added a long and
valuable treatise on the nature and character of the diseases, and their
connection with the condition and habits of the men. These are published
in two very thick folio volumes, and give a minute and almost daily
history of the life, labors, exposures, privations, sufferings,
sickness, and mortality of each regiment. These two works, of Dr. Lyons
and Drs. Hanbury and Matthew, show the inseparable connection between
the manner of living and the health, and demonstrate that the severe
life of war, with its diminished creation of vital force, by imperfect
and uncertain nutrition and excessive expenditure in exposures and
labors, necessarily breaks down the constitution. It subjects the body
to more abundant disorders, and especially to those of the depressive,
adynamic type, which, from the want of the usual recuperative power, are
more fatal than the diseases of civil life. These works may be
considered generic as well as specific. They apply to and describe the
sanitary condition and the pathological history of all armies engaged in
hard and severe campaigns, as well as those of the Crimea. They should,
therefore, be read by every Government that engages in or is forced into
any war. They should be distributed to and thoroughly understood by
every commander who directs the army, and every surgeon who superintends
the sanitary condition of, and manages the sickness among, the men; and
happy will it be for those soldiers whose military and sanitary
directors avail themselves of the instructions contained in these

There are several other works on the Crimean War, by surgeons and other
officers, written mainly to give a knowledge of the general facts of
those campaigns, but all incidentally corroborating and explaining the
statements in the Government Reports, in respect to the health and
sufferings of the British and French armies. In this view, Dr. Bryce's
book, "England and France before Sebastopol," and M. Baudens's and M.
Scrive's medical works in French, are worthy of great attention and

The most important and valuable work, in this connection, is the Report
of the British Commission appointed in May, 1854, "to inquire into the
regulations affecting the sanitary condition of the British army, the
organization of the military hospitals, and the treatment of the sick
and wounded." This commission included some of the ablest and most
learned physicians and surgeons in the civil and military service, some
of the most accomplished statisticians, sanitarians, army-officers, and
statesmen in the United Kingdom. They were authorized to inquire into
the habits and duties, the moral and sanitary condition of the army, the
amount and kinds of sickness, the causes and frequency of death, and the
means of improvement. This commission sat for a long time in London.
They called before them fifty-three witnesses, among whom were Sir
Benjamin Brodie, the leading surgeon of England, Dr. Andrew Smith,
Director-General of the Medical Department of the Army, Thomas
Alexander, Inspector-General of Hospitals, Major-General Airey,
Quartermaster-General, Dr. John Sutherland, late Crimean Commissioner,
and one of the leading authorities of Great Britain in all sanitary
matters, Dr. William Fair, the chief and master-spirit of the
Registry-Office, and the highest authority in vital statistics, Colonel
Sir Alexander Tulloch, author of the elaborate and valuable reports on
the mortality in the British army, Francis G. P. Neison, author of
"Contributions to Vital Statistics," Miss Nightingale, and others,
surgeons, officers, purveyors, engineers, soldiers, and medical and
sanitary scholars.

The commission put forth 10,070 interrogatories relating to everything
connected with the army, the persons and the _matériel_, to officers,
surgeons, physicians, health-officers, soldiers, nurses, cooks,
clothing, food, cooking, barracks, tents, huts, hospitals, duties,
labors, exposures, and privations, and their effects on health and life,
in every climate, wherever British troops are stationed or serve, at
home and abroad. The same inquiry was extended to the armies of other
nations, French, Turkish, Russian, etc. To these questions the witnesses
returned answers, and statements of facts and opinions, all carefully
prepared, and some of great length, and elaborate calculations in
respect to the whole military and sanitary science and practice of the
age. A large part of the inquiry was directed to the Crimean army, whose
condition had been, and was then, a matter of the most intense interest.
Many of the witnesses had, in various ways, been connected with that
war: they were familiar with its history, and their answers revealed
much that had not before been known. The result of all this
investigation is published in a folio volume of 607 pages, filled with
facts and principles, the lamentable history of the past, painful
descriptions of the present, and wise suggestions for the future
management of the army; and the whole is worthy of the careful attention
of all who, as projectors, leaders, or followers, have anything to do
with the active operations of war.

The Crimean War has this remarkable interest, not that the suffering of
the troops and their depreciation in effective power were greater than
in many other wars, but that these happened in an age when the
intelligence and philanthropy, and even the policy of the nation,
demanded to know whether the vital depression and the loss of martial
strength were as great as rumor reported, whether these were the
necessary condition of war, and whether anything could be done to lessen
them. By the investigations and reports of commissions, officers, and
others, the internal history of this war is more completely revealed and
better known than that of any other on record. It is placed on a hill,
in the sight of all nations and governments, for their observation and
warning, to be faithful to the laws of health in providing for, and in
the use of, their armies, if they would obtain the most efficient
service from them.


There are, and have been, faults--grievous, destructive, and costly
faults--in all connected with armies, from the Governments at the head,
down through all grades of officers, to the men in the ranks: they are
faults of theory and faults of practice,--of plan in those who direct,
and of self-management in those whose whole duty is to obey. The root of
this is the failure to fully understand and count the cost, and to
prepare to meet it as men generally do in the management of their common
affairs. In civil life, when prudent men intend to effect any purpose by
the aid of motive power, whether of water, steam, horse, or other kind,
they carefully consider the means of generating that power, and the best
and safest ways of applying and expending it. They include this in their
plans, and make provision accordingly. Precisely determining the extent
of the purpose they design to effect, and the amount of force that is
and will be needed, they make their arrangements to provide or generate
and maintain so much as long as they intend to do the work. During the
whole process, they carefully guard and treasure it up and allow none to
be wasted or applied to any other than the appointed purpose. But in the
use and management of the vital machines, the human bodies, by which the
purposes of war are to be accomplished, nations are less wise. There are
few, perhaps no records of any Government, which, in creating,
maintaining and operating with an army, has, at and during the same
time, created and established the never-failing means of keeping the
machinery of war in the best working order, by sustaining the health and
force of the men in unfailing fulness.

War is carried on by a partnership between the Government and soldiers,
to which the Government contributes money and directing skill, and
assumes the responsibility of management, and the soldiers contribute
their vital force. In the operation of this joint concern, both the
money of the nation and the lives of the men are put at risk. Although,
by the terms of the contract, the Government is presumed to expend its
money and the soldiers' vital force to the extent that may be necessary
to effect the objects of the association, it has no right to do this for
any other purpose or on any other condition. It may send the men to
battle, where they may lose in wounds or in death a part or all that
they have contributed; but it has no right, by any negligence or folly
on its own part or in its agents, to expend any of the soldiers' health
or strength in hunger, nakedness, foul air, miasma, or disease. There is
a received glory attached to wounds, and even to death, received in a
struggle with the enemies of one's country, and this is offered as a
part of the compensation to the warrior for the risk that he runs; but
there is no glory in sickness or death from typhus, cholera, or
dysentery, and no compensation of this kind comes to those who suffer or
perish from these, in camp or military hospital.


Military life, with the labors, exposures, and circumstances of war,
differs widely from civil life. The social and domestic machinery of
home spontaneously brings within the reach of families the things that
are needful for their sustenance, comfortable for their enjoyment, and
favorable to their health. But this self-acting machinery follows not
the soldier through his campaigns. Everything he needs or enjoys is to
be a matter of special thought, and obtained with a special effort and
often with difficulty. Much that was very comfortable and salutary in
civil life must be given up in the camp. The government is the purveyor
for and the manager of the army; it undertakes to provide and care for,
to sustain and nourish the men. But, with all its wisdom, power, and
means, it is not equal to the thousand or thousands of housekeepers that
cared and provided for these men when at home; and certainly it does
not, and probably cannot, perform these domestic offices as well and as
profitably for the soldiers as their natural providers did.
Nevertheless, the Government is the sole provider for the army, and
assumes the main responsibility of the physical condition of its

Starting with the very common belief that the human body has an
indefinite power of endurance, or, if it suffer from disease, or fall in
death, it is from causes beyond man's control,--seeing, also, that it is
impossible to carry the common means of sustaining life into the camp,
Governments seem willing to try the experiment of requiring their men to
do the hard work of war without a certain, full supply of sustenance.
They expect from the army the largest expenditure of force, but
sometimes give it the smallest means and poorest conditions of
recuperating it.

The business of war is not constant and permanent, like the pursuits of
peace. It therefore comes to most managers as a new and unfamiliar work,
to which they can bring little or no acquaintance from experience. They
enter upon untried ground with imperfect knowledge of its
responsibilities and dangers, and inadequate conceptions of the
materials and powers with which they are to operate. They therefore make
many and some very grave mistakes, every one of which, in its due
proportion, is doubly paid for in drafts on the nation's treasury and on
the soldiers' vital capital, neither of which is ever dishonored.

Military life is equally new to the soldier, for which none of his
previous education or experience has fitted him. He has had his mother,
wife, sister, or other housekeeper, trained and appointed for the
purpose, to look after his nutrition, his clothing, his personal
comfort, and, consequently, his health. These do not come without
thought and labor. The domestic administration of the household and the
care of its members require as much talent, intelligence, and discipline
as any of the ordinary occupations of men. Throughout the civilized
world, this responsibility and the labor necessary for its fulfilment
absorb a large portion of the mental and physical power of women.

When the new recruit enters the army, he leaves all this care and
protection behind, but finds no substitute, no compensation for his loss
in his new position. The Government supposes either that this is all
unnecessary, or that the man in arms has an inspired capacity or an
instinctive aptitude for self-care as well as for labor, and that he can
generate and sustain physical force as well as expend it. But he is no
more fitted for this, by his previous training and habits, than his
mother and wife are for making shoes or building houses by theirs.
Nevertheless he is thrown upon his own resources to do what he may for
himself. The army-regulations of the United States say, "Soldiers are
expected to preserve, distribute, and cook their own subsistence"; and
most other Governments require the same of their men. Washing, mending,
sweeping, all manner of cleansing, arrangement and care of whatever
pertains to clothing and housekeeping, come under the same law of
prescription or necessity. The soldier must do these things, or they
will be left undone. He who has never arranged, cared for, or cooked his
own or any other food, who has never washed, mended, or swept, is
expected to understand and required to do these for himself, or suffer
the consequences of neglect.

The want of knowledge and training for these purposes makes the soldier
a bad cook, as well as an indiscreet, negligent, and often a slovenly
self-manager, and consequently his nutrition and his personal and
domestic habits are neither so healthy nor so invigorating as those of
men in civil life; and the Government neither thinks of this deficiency
nor provides for it by furnishing instruction in regard to this new
responsibility and these new duties, nor does it exercise a rigid
watchfulness over his habits to compel them to be as good and as healthy
as they may be.


Whatever may be the excess of sickness and mortality among soldiers over
those among civilians, it is manifest that a great portion is due to
preventable causes; and it is equally manifest that a large part of
these are owing to the negligence of the Government or its agents, the
officers in command or the men themselves, in regard to encampments,
tents, clothing, food, labors, exposures, etc.

The places of encampment are usually selected for strategic purposes, or
military convenience, and the soldiers are exposed to the endemic
influences, whatever they may be. In some localities these influences
are perfectly salubrious; in others they are intensely destructive.
Malaria and miasms offer to the unpractised eye of the military officer
no perceptible signs of their presence. The camp is liable to be pitched
and the men required to sleep in malarious spots, or on the damp earth,
or over a wet subsoil, exposed to noisome and dangerous exhalations from
which disease may arise. Pringle says, that, in 1798, the regiment which
had 52 per cent, sick in two months, and 94 per cent, sick in one
season, "were cantoned on marshes whence noxious exhalations
emanated."[51] "Another regiment encamped where meadows had been flowed
all winter and just drained, and half the men became sick." Lord
Wellington wrote, August 11, 1811, "Very recently, the officer
commanding a brigade encamped in one of the most unwholesome situations,
and every man of them is sick."[52] One of our regiments encamped at
Worcester, Massachusetts, on the Agricultural Society's grounds, where
the upper soil was not dry and the subsoil was wet. The men slept in
tents on the ground, consequently there were thirty to forty cases of
disordered bowels a day. The surgeon caused the tents to be floored, and
the disease was mitigated. The Eleventh Massachusetts Regiment were
encamped on a wet soil at Budd's Ferry, in Maryland. In a week, thirty
cases of fever appeared. Dr. Russell, the surgeon, ordered the camp to
be removed to a dry field, and the tents to be floored with brush; no
new cases of fever appeared afterward. Moltka says that "the Russian
army which suffered so terribly and fatally in 1828 and 1829 was badly
clothed and badly nourished, and in no way protected against the climate
of the Danubian Provinces, and especially of Bulgaria, where the
temperature varies from 58° in the day to 29° at night, and where the
falling dew is like a fine and penetrating rain."[53]

Lord Wellington was a sagacious observer and a bold speaker. His
despatches to his Government frequently mention, the errors of those who
should provide for the army, and the consequent sufferings of the
soldiers. November 14, 1809, he says, "In the English army of 30,000
men, 6,000 are sick." "Want of proper food increases sickness." "With
nothing but water for drink, with meat, but no salt, and bread very
rarely for a month, and no other food; consequently, few, if any, were
not affected with dysentery." Again he writes, "Men cannot perform the
labors of soldiers without food. Three of General Park's brigade died of
famine yesterday, on their march; and above a hundred and fifty have
fallen out from weakness, many of whom must have died from the same
cause." August 9, 1809, he wrote to Lord Castlereagh, "No troops can
serve to any good purpose, unless they are regularly fed. It is an error
to suppose that a Spaniard, or any man or animal of any country, can
make an exertion without food." In February, 1811, he wrote, "The
Portuguese army of 43,000 or 44,000 men has about 9,000 sick, which is
rather more than a fifth. This is caused by want of proper and regular
food, and of money to purchase hospital-stores. If this be continued,
the whole army will be down, or must be disbanded."

The British army in Spain suffered from want of clothing as well as of
food. The Duke, who did not intend to be misunderstood, nor believe that
this was without somebody's fault, wrote, November 3, 1810, to General
Pane, "I wish it were in my power to give you well-clothed troops or
hang those who ought to have given them clothing."

The diaries of the medical officers in the Crimean army, quoted in the
"Medical and Surgical History" of that war, already referred to, are
full of similar complaints, and these are supported by Dr. Lyons's
"Pathological Report." One says, "Some of the camps were very
injudiciously chosen." "The men were very much weakened," "unable to
undergo any fatigue," even "to carry their knapsacks." "At Balaklava,
they built their huts on a very unhealthy site." Sir John Hall,
Inspector-General of Hospitals, referring to this, said, "I protested
against it, in the strongest way I could, but without effect; and the
consequence was that shortly after the men had spotted fever."[54] Dr.
Hanbury says: "November, 1854. Health of the army rapidly deteriorated
from defective diet, harassing duties, hardships, privations, and
exposures to the inclement season." "Cholera increased; cold, wet,
innutritious and irritating diet produced dysentery, congestion and
disorganization of the mucous membrane of the bowels, and scurvy."
January, 1855, he says, "Fever and bowel affections indicated morbid
action; scurvy and gangrene indicated privation and exposures."

The surgeon of the Thirty-Fourth Regiment writes: "November, 1854.
Cholera broke out. It rained constantly. Troops had no other protection
from the damp ground than a single wet blanket." "Without warm clothing,
on short allowance of provisions, in want of fuel." "The sanitary
condition of the regiment deteriorated rapidly: 56 per cent. of the men
admitted to the hospital."

Forty-First Regiment, November and December. "No respite from severe
duties; weather cold and wet; clothing ill-adapted for such climate and
service; disease rapidly increased; 70 per cent. of the men in the
hospital in two months."

Thirty-Third Regiment, December, 1854. "Cold and wet weather, coupled
with insufficient food, fuel, and clothing, and severe and arduous
duties, all combined to keep up the sickness; 48.8 per cent. admitted to
the hospital in this month."

Twentieth Regiment. "The impoverished condition of the blood, dependent
on long use of improper diet, exposure to wet and cold, and want of
sufficient clothing and rest, had become evident." "Scurvy, diarrhoea,
frost-bite, and ulceration of the feet followed."

First Regiment. "December, 1854. Scarcely a soldier in perfect health,
from sleeping on damp ground, in wet clothing, and no change of dress;
cooking the worst; field-hospital over-crowded." "January, 1855. Type of
disease becoming more unequivocally the result of bad feeding, exposure,
and other hardships."

Thirtieth Regiment. "Duties and employments extremely severe; exposure
protracted; no means of personal cleanliness; clothing infested with
vermin; since Nov. 14, short allowance of meat, and, on some days, of
biscuit, sometimes no sugar, once no rice; food sometimes spoiled in
cooking; tents leaked; floors and bedding wet; sanitary efficiency
deteriorated in a decided manner."

These quotations are but samples of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of
similar statements, showing the immediate connection between privations,
exposures, and hardships, and depression of life and abundant disease.

Dr. Sutherland went through all the camps, and makes similar statements.
"The damp, unventilated, and undrained huts, in some parts of the camp,
produced consequences similar to those in cellar-dwellings at
home,"--that is, typhus and typhoid diseases. "The half-buried huts of
the Sardinian camp furnished a large proportion of fever cases among
their occupants," "That beautiful village of Balaklava was allowed to
become a hot-bed of pestilence, so that fever, dysentery, and cholera,
in it and its vicinity and on the ships in the harbor, were abundant."
"Filth, manure, offal, dead carcasses, had been allowed to accumulate to
such an extent, that we found, on our arrival, in March, 1855, it would
have required the labor of three hundred men to remove the local causes
of disease before the warm weather set in."[55] General Airey said: "The
French General Canrobert came to me, complaining of the condition in
which his men were. He said 'they were dying in the mud.'"[56]

Dr. Bryce, one of the army-surgeons in that war, says, in his book: "The
British army was exhausted by overwork and the deficiency of everything
that would sustain health and strength."

When the soldier, overcome by these morbific influences, became sick,
and was taken to the hospital, he was still compelled to suffer, and
often sank under, the privation of those comforts and means of
restoration which the sick at home usually enjoy.

Dr. Sutherland says: "The hospitals at Scutari were magnificent
buildings, apparently admirably adapted to their purpose; but, when
carefully examined, they were found to be little better than

Under direction of the Sanitary Commission, the hospitals were cleansed
and ventilated, and the patients allowed more room. In the first three
weeks of these improvements, the mortality from diseases fell to
one-half; in the second three weeks, to one-third; in the third, to
one-fifth; and in the fourth and fifth periods, to one-tenth of that
which prevailed be before they were begun.[58]

The reform was carried through the whole army, camp and barracks,
Government supplies, and soldiers' habits and exposures; and the
mortality from diseases, which had been at the annual rate of 114 per
cent. in January, and 83 per cent. in February, fell to 19 per cent. in
April and May, 5 per cent. in the autumn, and 1.6 per cent. in the
winter following.[59]

The exposures, privations, and sufferings of our own army in the last
war with Great Britain, heart-rending even at this distance of time,
were sufficient to account for much of the terrible sickness and
mortality that prostrated and destroyed the men. They were at times in
want of food, clothing, and tents; and yet, in the new and unsettled
country, in the wilderness and forest, they performed great labors.
"Long and unremitting exposures to wet, cold, and fatigue, with a diet
which, under existing circumstances, could not prove nutritious,
exhausted the vital principle, and diarrhoea and typhus fever
supervened. The production of animal putrefaction and excrementitious
materials were also sources of these diseases. Armies always accumulate
these noxious principles about their encampments in a few days, when
attention is not called to their daily removal."[60] Feeble, and
destitute of clothing and provisions, they invaded Canada at the end of
the autumn in 1813. "During the whole of October and part of November,
most of them were subjected to excessive fatigues, and exposed in open
boats on the lake, when it rained almost every day." "On the 14th of
November the weather became intensely cold, and remained so all winter.
In addition to their great fatigue, most of them lost their extra
clothing and blankets on their march and in the battle of the 11th. Even
the sick had no covering but tents until January. Provisions were
scarce, and of a bad quality. Under these circumstances, sickness and
mortality were very great." "Nearly one-half of the army," 47 per cent.,
"were unfit for duty."[61]

"Through the following winter, the want of necessaries for the support
of the enfeebled and wretched soldier was most severely felt. The poor
subsistence which bread of the worst quality afforded was almost the
only support which could be had for seven weeks." "The sickness, deaths,
and distress at French Mills excited much alarm. This great mortality
had obvious causes for its existence." "Predispositions to sickness, the
effects of obvious causes, the comfortless condition of men exposed to
cold, wanting the common necessaries of life to support them in their
exhausted states." Dr. Lovell adds: "It was impossible for the sick to
be restored with nothing to subsist upon except damaged bread."[62]
Among the causes of the abundant sickness, in March, along the Niagara
frontier, given by the surgeons, were "severe duty during the inclement
weather, exposure on the lake in open transports, bad bread made of
damaged flour, either not nutritious or absolutely deleterious, bad
water impregnated with the product of vegetable putrefaction, and the
effluvia from materials of animal production with which the air was
replete."[63] "The array, in consequence of its stationary position,
suffered from diseases aggravated by filth accumulated in its vicinity."
"The clothing was not sufficient to protect the men on the northern
frontier, and even this short allowance failed to reach them in due
season."[64] "The woollen garments have not been issued until the warm
weather of summer commenced, when winter finds them either naked or clad
in their summer dresses, perishing with cold."[65]

The camps were sometimes in malarious districts. "At Fort George and the
vicinity, the troops were exposed to intense heat during the day and to
cold and chilly atmosphere at night." "The diseases consequent to this
exposure, typhus and intermittent fever, dysentery and diarrhoea," and
"but little more than half of the men were fit for duty."[66]

Gen. Scott wrote from Mexico, February 14, 1848: "The army is also
suffering from the want of necessary clothing. The new troops are as
destitute as the others. They were first told that they should find
abundant supplies at New Orleans, next at Vera Cruz, and finally

There is ever a danger of the sensibilities and perceptive faculties
becoming blunted by exposure to and familiarity with offensive effluvia.
"The General repeatedly called the attention of the officers at Fort
George to the filthy state and foul effluvia of their camp, but they
perceived no offensive odor; their olfactories had lost their acuteness,
and failed to warn them of the noisome gases that pervaded the
atmosphere."[68] If the officers fail of their duty as housekeepers to
see that everything in the camp and tents is clean and healthy, the men
fall into negligent habits, and become dirty and sick. It was the "total
want of good police" that reduced the regiment already referred to from
900 to 200 fit for duty. On the other hand, "The regiment of artillery,
always subject to correct discipline, with quarters and encampments
always in the best state, and the men mostly neat and clean, suffered
less by disease than any on the northern frontier. Their better health
may be much imputed to cleanliness."[69]

Itch and lice, the natural progeny of negligence and uncleanness, often
find their home in the army. Pringle, more than a hundred years ago,
said that "itch was the most general distemper among soldiers." Personal
and household vermin seem to have an instinctive apprehension of the
homes that are prepared for them, and flock to the families and
dwellings where washing and sweeping are not the paramount law and
unfailing habit. They are found in the houses and on the bodies of the
filthy and negligent everywhere. They especially delight in living with
those who rarely change their body-linen and bedding. They were carried
into and established themselves in the new barracks of Camp Cameron in
Cambridge, Massachusetts; but they are never found in the Boston House
of Correction, which receives its recruits from the filthiest dens of
iniquity, because the energetic master enforces thorough cleansing on
every new-comer, and continues it so long as he remains.

The camps and police of the present Union army, though better than the
average of others and far above some, are yet not in as healthy
condition as they might be. The Report of the Sanitary Commission to the
Secretary of War, December, 1861, says: "Of the camps inspected, 5 per
cent, were in admirable order, 45 per cent, fairly clean and well
policed. The condition of 26 per cent, was negligent and slovenly, and
that of 21 per cent, decidedly bad, filthy, and dangerous." [70] The
same Report adds: "On the whole, a very marked and gratifying
improvement has occurred during the summer." And that improvement has
been going on ever since. Yet the description of a camp at Grafton,
Virginia, in March, shows that there a very bad and dangerous state of
things existed at that time, and "one-seventh of the regiment was sick
and unfit for duty"; but the bold and clear report of Dr. Hammond of the
United States Army produced a decided and favorable change, and "the
regiment has now less than the average amount of sickness." [71]

The hospitals of the army are mostly buildings erected for other
purposes, and not fitted for their present use; and the sudden influx of
a large military population, with its usual amount of sickness, has
often crowded these receptacles of the suffering soldiers. For want of
experience on the part of the officers, surgeons, nurses, and men, in
the management of such establishments, they are sometimes in very bad
and unhealthy condition. In Cumberland, Maryland, fifteen buildings were
occupied by about five hundred patients. These buildings had been
warehouses, hotels, etc., with few or none of the conveniences for the
sick. They were densely crowded; in some the men were "lying on the
floor as thickly as they could be packed." One room with 960 feet of air
contained four patients. Dr. Hammond's description of the eighty-three
rooms and the condition of the patients in them seems to justify the
terms he frequently uses. "Halls very dirty." "Rooms dismal and badly
ventilated." "Utmost confusion appears to exist about each hospital;
consequently, duties are neglected, and a state of the most disgusting
want of cleanliness exists." [72] Happily, the wise and generous
suggestions of the surgeon were carried out, and with the best results.
This hospital was an exception; but it shows the need of intelligent
watchfulness on the part of the Government.

Crowded Quarters.

It is to be expected that the soldier's dwelling, his tent and barrack,
will be reduced to the lowest endurable dimensions in the campaign, for
there is a seeming necessity for this economy of room; but in garrisons,
stations, and cantonments, and even in encampments in, time of peace,
this necessity ceases, and there is a power at least, if not a
disposition, to give a more liberal supply of house--and lodging-room to
the army, and a better opportunity for rest and recuperation. In common
dwelling-houses, under favorable circumstances, each sleeper is usually
allowed from 500 to 1,000 cubic feet of space: a chamber fifteen or
sixteen feet square and eight feet high, with 1,800 to 2,048 feet of
air, is considered a good lodging-room for two persons. This gives 900
to 1,024 feet of air for each. The prudent always have some means of
admitting fresh air, or some way for the foul air to escape, by an open
window, or an opening into the chimney, or both. If such a room be
occupied by three lodgers, it is crowded, and the air becomes
perceptibly foul in the night. Sometimes more are allowed to sleep
within a room of this size; but it is a matter of necessity, or of lower
sensibility, and is not healthy. They do not find sufficient oxygen to
purify or decarbonize their blood through the night; they consequently
are not refreshed, nor invigorated and fully prepared for the labors of
the following day.

No nation has made this liberal and proper provision of lodging-room for
its sleeping soldiers in peace or in war, in garrison or in the

The British army-regulations formerly allowed 400 to 500 cubic feet for
each soldier in barracks in temperate climates, and 480 to 600 in
tropical climates. The new regulations allow 600 feet in temperate
climates.[73] But the 356 barracks at the various military stations in
Great Britain and Ireland give the soldiers much less breathing-room
than the more recent regulations require. Of these,

  3 allow 100 to 200 feet for each man.
 27  "    200 to 300 "         "
123  "    300 to 400 "         "
125  "    400 to 500 "         "

 59  "    500 to 600 "         "
 19  "    600 to 800 "         " [74]

The French Government allows 444 feet for each infantry soldier, and 518
feet for each man in the cavalry.

The British soldiers, at these home-stations, have less breathing-space
and are subject to more foulness of air than the people of England in
civil life; and the natural consequence was discovered by the
investigation of the Military Sanitary Commission, that consumption and
other diseases of the lungs were much more prevalent and fatal among
these soldiers, who were originally possessed of perfect constitutions
and health, than among the people at large. The mortality from
consumption and other diseases of the respiratory organs, among the
Household Cavalry, the Queen's Body-Guard, and the most perfectly formed
men in the kingdom, was 25 per cent., among the Dragoon Guards 59 per
cent., among the Infantry of the Line 115 per cent., and among the
Foot-Guards 172 per cent. greater than it was among the males of the
same ages throughout England and Wales, and consumption was the
prevailing cause of death.

The huts of the British army are of various sizes, holding from
twenty-five to seventy-two men, and allowing from 146 to 165 cubic feet
for each. The "Portsmouth hut" is the favorite. It is twenty-seven feet
long, fifteen feet wide, walls six feet, and ridge twelve feet high.
This holds twenty-five men, and allows 146 feet of air to each man. All
these huts have windows, and most of them are ventilated through
openings under the eaves or just below the ridge, and some through both.

Some of the temporary barracks erected at Newport News, Virginia, are
one hundred feet long, twenty-two feet wide, and twelve and a half feet
high at the ridge, and accommodate seventy-six men, giving each 360 feet
of air. Some are larger, and allow more space; others allow less; in one
each man has only 169 feet of breathing-space. All these buildings are
well supplied with windows, which serve also for ventilators.

In forts, the garrisons are usually more liberally supplied with
sleeping-room, yet, on emergencies, they are densely crowded. At Fort
Warren, in Boston Harbor, two regiments were temporarily stationed, in
the summer of 1861. There was one large barrack divided into some large
and many small rooms, and there was the usual supply of rooms in the
casemates. There was one range of rooms in the barrack, each sixteen
feet six inches long, seven feet four inches high, and varying in width
from ten feet eight inches to thirteen feet two inches. In most of these
rooms, including two of the narrowest, twelve men slept. They had from
105 to 119 feet of air for each one. There was a large window in each
room, which was opened at night, and might have served for healthy
ventilation, except that there was an accumulation of disgusting filth
within a few feet of the building, on that side, sending forth offensive
and noisome effluvia, and rendering it doubtful which was the most
disagreeable and dangerous, the foul air within or the foul atmosphere
without. In two of the casemate-rooms, holding sixty and seventy-five
men respectively, each man had 144 and 180 feet of air. At Fort
Independence, in the same harbor, a battalion was stationed, and slept
in thirteen casemate-rooms, where the men had from 150 to 297 feet of
air. All the casemate-rooms, being in the thick walls, and covered with
earth, in both forts, were cold and damp, and many of them were kept
comfortable only by fires, even in June.

The ten new barracks at Camp Cameron, in Cambridge, when full, according
to the plan, give each soldier 202 feet of air for respiration; but in
August last, when densely filled, as some of them were, the proportion
of air for each man was reduced to 120 feet. The doors and windows were
left open at night, however, and obviated in some degree the evil
effects of the crowding.


The portable house must necessarily be as small as possible, and must be
made to give its occupants the smallest endurable space. The English
bell-tent contains 512 cubic feet, and lodges twelve to fifteen men,
when on march, and eight to twelve men in camp, affording 34 to 64 feet
of breathing-space for each. Quartermaster-General Airey says this is
the best tent in use.

The American tents are of many varieties in shape and size. The Sibley
tent gives 1,052 feet to seventeen or eighteen, and sometimes to twenty
men, being 53 to 62 feet for each. The Fremont tent is somewhat larger,
and, as used in the cavalry camp at Readville, gave the men more air
than the Sibley. Both of these have means of ventilation. The
wedge-tent, being the simplest in structure, is most easily pitched,
struck, and packed by the soldiers, and therefore used by 58 per cent,
of the regiments of the Union army, six me sleeping in each. But as
occupied by two of the regiments in Massachusetts, in the summer of
1861, it was the most crowded and unhealthy. Those used by the Second
Regiment at West Roxbury, and the Ninth at Long Island, (in Boston
Harbor,) were twelve and a half feet long, eight feet wide, and six feet
high to the ridge, and held twelve men. Each sleeper had 8-1/3 square
feet of floor to rest upon, and 25 cubic feet of air to breathe through
the night, with no ventilation, except what air passed in through the
door-way, when left open, and through the porous cloth that covered the
tent. Some of the tents of one of the regiments encamped at Worcester
had 56 feet of floor-surface, and 160 feet of air, which was divided
among six men, giving each 27 feet of air.

In all the camps of Massachusetts, and of most armies everywhere,
economy, not only of room within the tents, but of ground where they are
placed, seems to be deemed very important, even on those fields where
there is opportunity for indefinite expansion of the encampment. The
British army-regulations prescribe three plans of arranging the tents.
The most liberal and loose arrangement gives to each soldier eighty
square feet of ground, the next gives forty-two, and the most compact
allows twenty-seven feet, without and within his tent. These are
densities of population equal to having 348,000, 664,000, and 1,008,829
people on a square mile. But enormous and incredible as this
condensation of humanity may seem, we, in Massachusetts, have beaten it,
in one instance at least. In the camp of the Ninth Regiment at Long
Island, the tents were placed in compact rows, and touched each other on
the two sides and at the back. Between the alternate rows there were
narrow lanes, barely wide enough for carriages to pass. Thus arranged,
the men, when in their tents, were packed at the rate of 1,152,000 on a
square mile, or one man on every twenty--two square feet, including the
lanes between, as well as the ground under, the tents.

The city of London has 17,678 persons on a square mile, through its
whole extent, including the open spaces, streets, squares, and parks.
East London, the densest and most unhealthy district, has 175,816 on a
mile. Boston, including East and South Boston, but not Washington
Village, has 50,805 on a mile; and the Broad-Street section, densely
filled with Irish families, had, when last examined for this purpose, in
1845, a density of population at the rate of 413,000 on the same space.


The errors and losses which have been adverted to are not all constant
nor universal: not every army is hungry or has bad cookery; not every
one encamps in malarious spots, or sleeps in crowded tents, or is cold,
wet, or overworked: but, so far as the internal history of military life
has been revealed, they have been and are sufficiently frequent to
produce a greater depression of force, more sickness, and a higher rate
of mortality among the soldiery than are found to exist among civilians.
Every failure to meet the natural necessities or wants of the animal
body, in respect to food, air, cleanliness, and protection, has, in its
own way, and in its due proportion, diminished the power that might
otherwise have been created; and every misapplication has again reduced
that vital capital which was already at a discount. These first bind the
strong man, and then, exposing him to morbific influences, rob him of
his health. Perhaps in none of the common affairs of the world do men
allow so large a part of the power they raise and the means they gather
for any purpose to be lost, before they reach their object and strike
their final and effective blow, as the rulers of nations allow to be
lost in the gathering and application of human force to the purposes of
war. And this is mainly because those rulers do not study and regard the
nature and conditions of the living machines with which they operate,
and the vital forces that move them, as faithfully as men in civil life
study and regard the conditions of the dead machines they use, and the
powers of water and steam that propel them, and form their plans

But it is satisfactory to know that great improvements have been made in
this respect. From a careful and extended inquiry into the diseases of
the army and their causes, it is manifest that they do not necessarily
belong to the profession of war. Although sickness has been more
prevalent, and death in consequence more frequent, in camps and military
stations than in the dwellings of peace, this excess is not unavoidable,
but may be mostly, if not entirely, prevented. Men are not more sick
because they are soldiers and live apart from their homes, but because
they are exposed to conditions or indulge in habits that would produce
the same results in civil as in military life. Wherever civilians have
fallen into these conditions and habits, they have suffered in the same
way; and wherever the army has been redeemed from these, sickness and
mortality have diminished, and the health and efficiency of the men have

Great Britain has made and is still making great and successful efforts
to reform the sanitary condition of her army. The improvement in the
health of the troops in the Crimea in 1856 and 1857 has already been
described. The reduction of the annual rate of mortality caused by
disease, from 1,142 to 13 in a thousand, in thirteen months, opened the
eyes of the Government to the real state of matters in the army, and to
their own connection with it. They saw that the excess of sickness and
death among the troops had its origin in circumstances and conditions
which they could control, and then they began to feel the responsibility
resting upon them for the health and life of their soldiers. On further
investigation, they discovered that soldiers in active service
everywhere suffered more by sickness and death than civilians at home,
and then they very naturally concluded that a similar application of
sanitary measures and enforcement of the sanitary laws would be as
advantageous to the health and life of the men at all other places as in
the Crimea. A thorough reform was determined upon, and carried out with
signal success in all the military stations at home and abroad. "The
late Lord Herbert, first in a royal commission, then in a commission for
carrying out its recommendations, and lastly as Secretary of State for
War in Lord Palmerston's administration, neglecting the enjoyments which
high rank and a splendid fortune placed at his command, devoted himself
to the sanitary reform of the army."[75] He saw that the health of the
soldiers was perilled more "by bad sanitary arrangements than by
climate," and that these could be amended. "He had some courageous
colleagues, among whom I must name as the foremost Florence Nightingale,
who shares without diminishing his glory."[76] Both of these great
sanitary reformers sacrificed themselves for the good of the suffering
and perishing soldier. "Lord Herbert died at the age of fifty-one,
broken down by work so entirely that his medical attendants hardly knew
to what to attribute his death."[77] Although he probed the evil to the
very bottom, and boldly laid bare the time-honored abuses, neglects, and
ignorance of the natural laws, whence so much sickness had sprung to
waste the army, yet he "did not think it enough to point out evils in a
report; he got commissions of practical men to put an end to them."[78]
A new and improved code of medical regulations, and a new and rational
system of sanitary administration, suited to the wants and liabilities
of the human body, were devised and adopted for the British army, and
their conditions are established and carried out with the most happy

These new systems connect with every corps of the army the means of
protecting the health of the men, as well as of healing their diseases.

   "The Medical Department of the British army includes,--

   "1. Director-General, who is the sole responsible administrative head
   of the medical service.

   "2. Three Heads of Departments, to aid the Director-General with
   their advice, and to work the routine-details.

   "A Medical Head, to give advice and assistance on all subjects
   connected with the medical service and hospitals of the army.

   "A Sanitary Head, to give advice and assistance on all subjects
   connected with the hygiene of the army.

   "A Statistical Head, who will keep the medical statistics,
   case-books, meteorological registers," etc.[79]

Besides these medical officers, there are an Inspector-General of
Hospitals, a Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals, Staff and Regimental
Surgeons, Staff and Regimental Assistant-Surgeons, and Apothecaries.

The British army is plentifully supplied with these medical officers.
For the army of 118,000 men there were provided one thousand and
seventy-five medical officers under full pay in 1859. Four hundred and
seventy surgeons and assistant-surgeons were attached to the hundred
regiments of infantry.[80]

It is made the duty of the medical officer to keep constant watch over
all the means and habits of life among the troops,--"to see that all
regulations for protecting the health of troops, in barracks, garrisons,
stations, or camps, are duly observed." "He is to satisfy himself as to
the sanitary condition of barracks," "as to their cleanliness, within
and without, their ventilation, warming, and lighting," "as to the
drainage, ash-pits, offal," etc. "He is to satisfy himself that the
rations are good, that the kitchen-utensils are sufficient and in good
order, and that the cooking is sufficiently varied."[81]

Nothing in the condition, circumstances, or habits of the men, that can
affect their health, must be allowed to escape the notice of these
medical officers.

In every plan for the location or movement of any body of troops, it is
made the duty of the principal medical officer first to ascertain the
effect which such movement or location will have upon the men, and
advise the commander accordingly. It is his duty, also, to inspect all
camp-sites and "give his opinion in writing on the salubrity or
otherwise of the proposed position, with any recommendations he may have
to make respecting the drainage, preparation of the ground, distance of
the tents or huts from each other, the number of men to be placed in
each tent or hut, the state of cleanliness, ventilation, and
water-supply."[82] "The sanitary officer shall keep up a daily
inspection of the whole camp, and especially inform himself as to the
health of the troops, and of the appearance of any zymotic disease among
them; and he shall immediately, on being informed of the appearance of
any such disease, examine into the cause of the same, whether such
disease proceed from, or is aggravated by, sanitary defects in
cleansing, drainage, nuisances, overcrowding, defective ventilation, bad
or deficient water supply, dampness, marshy ground, or from any other
local cause, or from bad or deficient food, intemperance, unwholesome
liquors, fruit, defective clothing or shelter, exposure, fatigue, or any
other cause, and report immediately to the commander of the forces, on
such causes, and the remedial measures he has to propose for their
removal." "And he shall report at least daily on the progress or decline
of the disease, and on the means adopted for the removal of its

Thus the British army is furnished with the best sanitary instruction
the nation can afford, to guide the officers and show the men how to
live, and sustain their strength for the most effective labor in the
service of the country.

To make this system of vigilant watchfulness over the health of the men
the more effectual, the medical officer of each corps is required to
make weekly returns to the principal medical officer of the command, and
this principal officer makes monthly returns to the central office at
London. These weekly and monthly returns include all the matters that
relate to the health of the troops, "to the sanitary condition of the
barracks, quarters, hospitals, the rations, clothing, duties, etc., of
the troops, and the effects of these on their health."[84]

Under these new regulations, the exact condition of the army everywhere
is always open to the eyes of medical and sanitary officers, and they
are made responsible for the health of the soldiers. The consequence has
been a great improvement in the condition and habits of the men. Camps
have been better located and arranged. Food is better supplied. Cooking
is more varied, and suited to the digestive powers. The old plan of
boiling seven days in the week is abolished, and baking, stewing, and
other more wholesome methods of preparation are adopted in the
army-kitchens, with very great advantage to the health of the men and to
the efficiency of the military service. Sickness has diminished and
mortality very greatly lessened, and the most satisfactory evidence has
been given from all the stations of the British army at home and abroad,
that the great excess of disease and death among the troops over those
of civilians at home is needless, and that health and life are measured
out to the soldier, as well as to the citizen, according to the manner
in which he fulfils or is allowed to fulfil the conditions established
by Nature for his being here.

The last army medical report shows the amount and rate of sickness and
mortality of every corps, both in the year 1859, under the new system of
watchfulness and proper provision, and at a former period, under the old
_régime_ of neglect.

                       Annual Average for
                    10 years, 1837 to 1846.     1859.
Household Cavalry            1,039               427
Dragoon-Guards               1,208               794
Foot-Guards                  1,872               859
Infantry Regiments           1,706               758
Men in healthy
  districts of England                           723

The Foot-Guards, which lost annually 1,415 from diseases of the chest
before the reform, lost only 538 in 100,000 from the same cause in

Among the infantry of the line, the annual attacks of fever were reduced
to a little more than one-third, and the deaths from this cause to
two-fifths of their former ratio. The cases of zymotic disease were
diminished 33 per cent., and the mortality from this class of maladies
was reduced 68 per cent.[87]

The same happy accounts of improvement come from every province and
every military station where the British Government has placed its

Our present army is in better condition than those of other times and
other nations; and more and more will be done for this end. The
Government has already admitted the Sanitary Commission into a sort of
copartnership in the management of the army, and hereafter the
principles of this excellent and useful association will be incorporated
with, and become an inseparable part of, the machinery of war, to be
conducted by the same hands that direct the movements of the armies,
ever present and efficient to meet all the natural wants of the soldier,
and to reduce his danger of sickness and mortality, as nearly as
possible, to that of men of the same age at home.

    Because thou com'st, a tired guest,
    Unto my tent, I bid thee rest.
    This cruse of oil, this skin of wine,
    These tamarinds and dates, are thine:
    And while thou eatest, Hassan, there,
  Shall bathe the heated nostrils of thy mare.
    _Allah il Allah_! Even so
    An Arab chieftain treats a foe:
    Holds him as one without a fault,
    Who breaks his bread and tastes his salt;
    And, in fair battle, strikes him dead
  With the same pleasure that he gives him bread!


You ask from me some particulars of the valued life so recently closed.
Miss Sheppard was my friend of many years; I was with her to the last
hour of her existence; but this is not the time for other than a brief
notice of her career, and I comply with your request by sending you a
slight memorial, hardly full enough for publication.

Elizabeth Sara Sheppard, the authoress of "Charles Auchester,"
"Counterparts," etc., was born at Blackheath, in England. Her father was
a clergyman of unusual scholastic attainments, and took high honors at
St. John's College, Oxford. Mr. Sheppard, on the mother's side, could
number Hebrew ancestors, and this was the pride of his second daughter,
the subject of this notice. Her love for the whole Hebrew race amounted
to a passion, which found its expression in the romance of "Charles

Very early she displayed a most decided poetic predisposition,--writing,
when but ten years old, with surprising facility on every possible
subject. No metre had any difficulties for her, and no theme seemed dull
to her vivid intelligence,--her fancy being roused to action in a
moment, by the barest hint given either by Nature or Art. Her first
drama was written at this early age; it was called "Boadicea," and was
composed immediately after she had been shown a field at Islington where
this queen is said to have pitched her tent. Any one who asked was
welcome to "some verses by 'Little Lizzie,'" written in her peculiar and
fairy-like hand, (for when very young, her writing was remarkable for
its extreme smallness and finish.) given with childlike simplicity, and
artless ignorance of the worth of what she bestowed with a kiss and a

Her poems were composed at once, with scarcely a correction. Her earlier
ones, for the most part, were written at the corner of a large table,
covered with the usual heaps of "after-lessons," in a school-room, where
some twenty enfranchised girls were putting away copybooks, French
grammars, etc., and getting out play-boxes and fancy-work, with the
common amount of chatter and noise. Contrasted with such young persons,
this child looked a strange, unearthly creature,--her large, dark gray
eye full of inspiration, and every movement of her frame and tone of her
voice instinct with delicate energy.

At the same age she would extemporize for hours on the organ, after
wreathing the candlesticks with garden-flowers which she had brought in
her hand,--their scent, she would say, suggesting the wild, sweet
fancies which her fingers seemed able to call forth on the shortest
notice. Persons straying into the church, as they often did, attracted
by the sound of music, would declare the performer to be an experienced
masculine musician.

When but a year older, she was an excellent Latin scholar, and, to use
her father's words, she might then have "gone in for honors at Oxford."
French she spoke and wrote fluently, besides reading Goethe and Schiller
with avidity, and translating as fast as she read,--Schiller having
always the preference. At fourteen she began the study of Hebrew, of
which language she was a worshipper, and could not at that early age
even let Greek alone. Her wonderful power of seizing on the genius of a
language, and becoming for the time a foreigner in spirit, was noticed
by all her teachers; her ear was so delicate that no subtile inflection
ever escaped her, nor any idiom.

And now she surprised her most intimate friend by the present of a prose
story, sent to her, when absent, in chapters by the post. This was
succeeded by many other tales, and finally by "Charles Auchester,"
--which romance, as well as that of "Counterparts," was written
in the few hours she could command after her teaching was over:
for in her mother's school she taught music the greater part of every
day,--both theoretically and practically,--and also Latin.

Her health, always delicate, suffered wofully from this constant strain,
and caused her to experience the most painful exhaustion, which,
however, she never permitted to be an excuse for shirking an occupation
naturally distasteful to her,--and doubly so, that through all the din
of practice her thousand fancies clamored like caged birds eager for

The moment her hour of leisure came, she would hide herself with her
best loved work in the quietest corner she could find; sometimes it was
a little room in-doors, sometimes the summer-house, sometimes under a
large mulberry-tree; and thus "Charles Auchester" and "Counterparts"
were written, the former without one correction,--sheet after sheet,
flung from her hand in the ardor of composition, being picked up and
read by the friend who was in all her literary secrets. At last this
same friend, finding she had no thought of publication, in a moment of
playful daring, persuaded her to send the manuscript to Benjamin
Disraeli, and he introduced it to his publishers. I quote from his
letter to the author, which may not be out of place here:--

"No greater book will ever be written upon music, and it will one day be
recognized as the imaginative classic of that divine art."

"Counterparts" and other tales soon followed. And about the same date
she presented, anonymously, a volume of stories to the young daughter of
Mr. John Hullah, of "Part Music" celebrity. They were in manuscript
printing, (if such a term may be used,) written by her own hand, and
remarkable for their curious beauty. The heading of each story was
picked out in black and gold. The stories are named "Adelaide's Dream,"
"Little Wonder, or, The Children's Fairy," "The Bird of Paradise,"
"Sprömkari," (from a Scandinavian legend,) "The First Concert," "The
Concert in the Hollow Tree," "Uncle, or, Which is the Prettiest?"
"Little Ernest," "The Nautilus Voyage." These stories are illustrated,
and have a lovely dedication to the little lady for whom they were

The author had attended the "Upper Singing-Schools" for the sake of more
musical experience. Yet she then sang at sight perfectly, with any
number of voices. She has left three published songs, dedicated to the
Marchioness of Hastings, and a large number of manuscript poems.

Her character was in perfect keeping with the high tone of her books.
Noble, generous, and self-forgetting, tender and most faithful in
friendship, burning with indignation at injustice shown to another,
longing to find virtues instead of digging for faults,--her greatest
suffering arose from pained surprise, when persons proved themselves
less noble than she had deemed them.

Her rich imagination and slender purse were open to all beggars, but for
herself she asked nothing, and was constantly a willing sufferer from
her own inability to toady a patron or to make a good bargain with a

She felt most warmly for her friends in America, whose comprehension of
her views, and honest, open appreciation of her books, inspired her with
an ardent desire to write for them a romance in her very best manner.
She had sketched two, and, doubtful which to proceed with first,
contemplated sending both to an American friend for his decision; but
constant suffering stayed her hand.

In the early spring she grew weaker day by day, and died on the 13th of
March, at Brixton, in England, at the age of thirty-two.

Those who loved either her person or her works will find her place
forever empty.

Among her manuscript papers I found this sketch, which has a peculiar
significance now that the writer has passed away. It has never been


I had been wandering, almost all day, in the cathedral of a town at some
distance from London. I had sketched its carved pulpit, one or two
cherub faces looking down from its columns, some of its best reliefs,
and its oldest monument. It was evening, and I could no longer see to
draw, though pencillings of light still fell on the pavement through the
larger windows, whose colors were softened like those of the lunar
rainbow; and still the edges of the stalls were gilded with the last
gleams of sunset, though the seats were filled already with those
phantoms which twilight seems to create in such a place. The monuments
looked calmer and less formal than when daylight bared all their defects
of design or finish; they seemed now worthy of their position beneath
the vaulted roof, and even, adjuncts themselves to the harmony of the
architecture. One among them, noticeable in the daytime for its refined
workmanship, now gleamed out fresher and whiter than the rest, as was
natural, for it had been placed there but a little while; but it had
besides more _expression_, in its very simplicity, than such-like
mementos of stone or marble usually contain. This was the memento of a
husband's regret, and, as such, touching, however vain: a delicate form
drooping on a bier, at whose head stood an angel, with an infant in his
arms, which he raised to heaven with an air of triumph; while at the
foot of the death-bed a figure knelt, in all the relaxed abandonment of
woe. Marvellously, and out of small means, the chisel had conveyed this
impression; for the kneeling figure was mantled from head to foot, and
had its face hidden in the folds of the drapery which skirted the
bier,--veiled, like the face of the tortured father in the old tragic

While I gazed, I insensibly approached the still group; and while musing
what manner of grief it might be, which could solace by perpetuating its
mere image, I observed two other persons, whose entrance I had not been
aware of, but whose attention was evidently directed to what had
attracted mine. They were a lady and a gentleman, and the latter seemed
actually supporting the former, who leaned heavily upon his arm, as it
appeared from her manner of carriage, so weakly and wearily she stood.
Her form was extremely slight, and the outline of her countenance sharp
from attenuation, and in that uncertain light, or rather shade, she
looked almost as pale as the carved faces before us. The gentleman, who
was of a stately height, bent over her with an anxious air, while she
gazed fixedly upon the monument. Her silence seemed to oppress him, for
after a minute or two he asked her whether it was not very beautiful.
"You know," she answered, in one of those low voices that are more
impressive than the loudest, "You know I always suspect those memorials.
I would rather have a niche in the heart."

They passed on, and left me standing there. I know not whether the
fragile speaker has earned the monument she desired, whether those
feeble footsteps have found their repose,--"a quiet conscience in a
quiet breast,"--but her words struck me, and I have often thought of
them since.

There is always something which seems less than the intention in a
monument to heroism or to goodness, the patriot of the country, or the
missionary of civilization. Every one feels that the graves of War, the
many in the one, where link is welded to link in the chain of glory, are
more sublime, more sacred, than the exceptional mausoleum. Every one has
been struck with repugnant melancholy in the city church-yard, where
tomb presses against tomb, and multitude in death destroys identity,
saving where the little greatness of wealth or rank may provide itself a
separate railing or an overtopping urn. Even in the more suggestive
solitude of the country, one cannot but contrast the few hillocks here
and there carefully weeded, and their trained and tended rose-bushes,
with the many more neglected and sunken, whose distained stones the
brier-tangle half conceals, and whose forget-me-nots have long since
died for want of water. One may even muse unprofitably (despite the
moralist) in our picturesque cemeteries, and as unprofitably in those
abroad, with their crowds of crosses and monotony of immortal wreaths.
In fact, whether on grounds philosophical or religious, it is not good
to brood on mortality for itself alone; better rather to recall the
living past, and in the living present prepare for the perfect future.

None die to be forgotten who deserve to be remembered. Even the fame for
which some are ardent to sacrifice their lives, enjoyed early at that
crisis of existence we call _success_, will in most cases change the
desire for renown into a necessity, and stimulate the mind to the lowest
motive but one, ambition,--possibly, to emulation, the lowest of all.
Fame is valuable simply as the test of excellence; and there is a
certain kind of popularity, sudden alike in its rise and subsidency,
which deserves not the other and lasting name, for it fails to soothe
that intellectual conscience which a great writer has declared to exist
equally with the moral conscience. After all, it is a question whether
fame is as precious to the celebrated during their lifetime as it is to
those who love them, or who are attached to them by interest.

There are persons who die and are forgotten, when their exit from the
stage of human affairs is a source of advantage to their survivors.
Witness those possessed of large fortunes, which they have it in their
power to bequeath, and over whose dwellings of mortality vigilant
relations hover like the carrion-fowl above the dying battle-steed. I
remember a good story to this effect, in which a lady and gentleman took
a grateful vow to pic-nic annually, on the anniversary of his death, at
the tomb of a relation who had greatly enriched them. They did so,
actually, _once_; succeeding years saw them no more at the solemn tryst.

Even as to those who have excelled in art, or portrayed in language the
imaginative side of life, it may be that their works abide and they not
be recognized in them, that their words may be echoed in many tongues
while the writer is put out of the question almost as entirely as he who
carved the first hieroglyph on the archaic stone. It will ever be found,
whether in works or words, that what touches the heart rather than what
strikes the fancy, what draws the tear rather than excites the smile,
will embalm the memory of the man of genius. But of all posthumous
distinctions the noblest is that awarded to the philanthropist; even the
meed of the man of science, which consists in the complete working of
some great discovery skilfully applied, falls short of the reward of
those who have contributed their utmost to the physical improvement and
social elevation of man,--from the munificent endowment whose benefits
increase and multiply in each succeeding generation, to the smallest
seed of charity scattered by the frailest hand, as sure as the strong to
gather together at the harvest its countless sheaves. To fill a niche in
a heart, or a niche in each of a thousand hearts,--_either_ a holier
place than that of the poet, who lives in the imagination he renders
restless, or that of the hero, who renders the mind more restless still
for his suggestion of the glory which may surround a name, a glory
rather to be dreaded than desired,--too often, in such cases, must evil
be done or tolerated that good may be brought forth.

Then there is consolation for those not gifted either with worldly means
or powers of mind or healthful daring. Some will ever remember and
regret the man or woman who carries true feeling into the affairs of
life, important or minute: gentle courtesies, heart-warm words, delicate
regards,--as surely part of consummate charity as the drop is a portion
of the deep whose fountains it helps to fill. Precious, too, is
self-denial, not austerely invoked from conscience by the voice of duty,
but welling from the heart as a natural and necessary return for all it
owes to a Power it cannot reward. It has been said, that, to be
respected in old age, one should be kind to _little children_ all one's
life. May we not, therefore, show just such helpful tenderness to the
childlike or appealing weakness of every person with whom we have to
do?--for few hearts, alas! have not a weak string. Then no burden shall
be left to the last hour, except that of mortality, of which time itself
relieves us kindly,--nor shall we have an account to settle with the
future to which it consigns the faithful.


In the spring of 1860, a passenger left Massachusetts for the sunny
South. As he passed slowly down to the Battery to embark from New York,
the sun shone brightly on acres of drays awaiting their turn to approach
the Southern steamers. Some of them had waited patiently from early morn
for an opportunity to discharge, and it was a current rumor that twenty
dollars had been paid for a chance to reach the steamers. The previous
season had been a good one, and Cotton wore its robes of royalty.
Southern credit stood at the highest point, while the West was out of
favor; and doubtless many of the keen traders of the South, having some
inkling of coming events, were preparing for future emergencies.

In the spring of 1860, the South was literally overrun with goods. Some
sixteen powerful steamers were running between Savannah and New York; an
equal number were on the line to Charleston; steamers and flat-boats in
countless numbers were bearing down the Mississippi their tribute of
flour, lard, and corn. The Northern and Western merchants were counting
down their money for rice, cotton, and sugar, and giving long credits on
the produce of the North and West.

Before hostilities began, the South was allowed to supply itself freely
with powder and arms, and for months after they had begun, large
supplies of fire-arms were drawn through Kentucky. Down to a recent
period the South has continued to receive supplies from Missouri,
Virginia, and Tennessee. With these resources, and with a capital drawn
from a debt of two hundred millions to the North and West, it has been
able to support, for the first fifteen months at least, three hundred
thousand men in the field, and successfully to resist, in some cases,
the advance of the Federal Army. While these resources lasted, while the
blockade was ineffective, while the Confederacy could produce men to
replace all who fell, while a paper currency and scrip could be floated,
and while the nation hesitated to put forth its strength, the South was
able to maintain a strong front, although driven successively from
Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, Western Virginia, and Tennessee, and thus
deprived of nearly half the population and resources on which it
originally relied.

The enlarged canal of New York, and the great railways which furnish
direct routes from the West to the Atlantic, have of late years diverted
from the Father of Waters a very large proportion of the exports of the
West, but the steamers and flat-boats which floated down the Mississippi
literally fed the Cotton States. Laden with corn, flour, and lard, with
ploughs, glass, and nails, with horses and mules, and live stock of
every description, they distributed their cargoes from Memphis to New
Orleans, and came back freighted with sugar and cotton.

At length this great commerce has been interrupted, and the South, cut
off from this almost indispensable supply of the necessaries of life, is
now struggling for existence, and diverts its negroes from the
remunerative culture of sugar and cotton to the cultivation of grain and

There are few at the North who appreciate the sacrifice which attends
this diversion, or the extent of the pressure which led to this
disastrous change.

In Illinois, Iowa, or Indiana, the farmer can grow rich while selling
his corn for ten cents per bushel, and it is now common for a man and a
boy to cultivate a hundred acres and to gather five thousand bushels in
a single season. The South does not possess the rich and exhaustless
soil of the prairies, which for half a century will yield without return
successive and luxuriant crops of corn. Its soil is generally light and
easily exhausted, and is tilled by the rude and unwilling labor of the
slave. The census apprises us that its average crop of corn is but
fifteen bushels to the acre, in place of fifty to sixty in Illinois, and
even this depends in part on guano or artificial stimulants. The average
yield of wheat south of Tennessee is but six bushels to the acre, in
place of twenty to forty in Ohio. The Southern planters, who can sell
cotton with profit at ten cents per pound, cannot produce corn for less
than one dollar per bushel, or tenfold the cost in the West, and in past
years a dollar has been the customary price from North Carolina to

Before the war, the cotton-crop of the South had risen to five millions
of bales; but now four-fifths of the land in cultivation is devoted to
corn and grain. In place of five millions of bales, worth at former
prices two hundred millions of dollars, and at present rates at least
eight hundred millions, the South, in its folly, to the injury of the
world, and the ruin of most of its planters, is now producing, in place
of its cotton, less corn than could be furnished in Illinois in ordinary
seasons for twenty millions of dollars. But even this is inadequate to
the wants of its people and its stock. Its small farmers are diverted
from the cultivation of the soil. The conscript-law is drafting all the
able-bodied white men into the army.

The States from Tennessee and North Carolina to Texas have neither
pasture nor mowing; their feeble stock gains but a precarious livelihood
from the cane-brakes or weeds of the forests and Northern hay. Corn and
grain were transported by railway more than three hundred miles into the
interior. The writer has stood beside a yoke of Georgia oxen in Atlanta
so small that they might well pass for calves at the North. Two Illinois
steers would weigh down a half-dozen such animals. But, diminutive as
they are, they, as well as the people of the South, require Northern
supplies. And at this moment their last dependence is placed upon the
valley of Virginia and the valleys of East Tennessee. Let us hope that
the Union armies which now possess Nashville, Memphis, and Cumberland
Gap may soon occupy Knoxville.

In the language of the "Richmond Examiner," "the possession of the lead,
copper, and salt mines, and the pork, corn, and hay-crop of these
countries, Eastern Tennessee and Western Virginia, is now vital to the
existence of the Confederacy. This section of the country is the
keystone of the Southern arch. It is now in great peril, as is the great
artery through which the life-blood of the South now circulates. Whether
the East Tennessee and Virginia railroad is to be surrendered, whether
the only adequate supply of salt is to be lost, whether the only
hay-crop of the South is to be surrendered, are questions of vast and
pressing importance."

The wall of fire to which allusion has sometimes been made in debate is
now closing in around the Southern Confederacy. The Mississippi is
closed. But a single point of contact, at Vicksburg, remains between the
States west of the Mississippi and the Atlantic States. Texas is
insulated. The blockade is daily becoming more stringent upon the
seaboard. One effort more, soon to be made, must sever the rich valleys,
mines, and furnaces of Tennessee from the cotton districts, and the
exhaustion of supplies of every description will soon become more and
more apparent.

It is undoubtedly true that an occasional cargo escapes the blockade,
that a few boat-loads of supplies are ferried by treason at the midnight
hour across the Chesapeake, and sold at extravagant prices; but what
does this amount to? What a contrast this trade presents to the millions
of tons which used to reach the South from the Free States and Europe
before it was crushed by the rebellion! And what a contrast does it
present to-day to the commerce of the North,--to the barks and
propellers which float down the Lakes deeply laden with grain,--to the
weekly exports of New York, (twelve millions for the last three
weeks,)--to its vast income from duties,--to the ships of the North
visiting every ocean, earning more freight than for years past, although
deprived of the carrying-trade of the South, and contending successfully
with the marine of Great Britain for the supremacy on the ocean! How
signal has thus far been the failure of the Southern prophecies made
before the outbreak!

New York, we were told, was dependent on Southern commerce, and was to
be ruined by the war; there were to be riots in the streets, and its
palaces were to fall in ruins: but the riots and the ruins are to be
found only in Southern latitudes.

The manufacturers of Massachusetts were to be broken down: but the
woollen trade and the shoe-trade have received a new impetus,--are
highly prosperous; and the cotton-spinners, with more than a year's
supply of cotton, have by the rise of prices enjoyed a profit
unprecedented. Having used their cotton with moderation, they have at
the close of each six months seen their stocks of raw material and
goods, by the rise of prices, undiminished in value, and blessed like
the widow's cruse of oil. Nearly all have paid large dividends, many
have earned dividends for the year to come, and are now sending their
male operatives to the war, and their females to their rural homes,
where they expect to perform some of the duties of brothers who have
volunteered for the war. The ruin predicted falls not upon the spinner,
but upon the authors of Secession.

Let us glance for a moment at the present condition of the South.
General Butler found at New Orleans proof of its exhaustion in the
prices of food,--with corn, for instance, at three dollars per bushel,
flour twenty to thirty dollars per barrel, and hay at one hundred
dollars per ton.

If we pass on to Mobile, we hear of similar prices, and learn that not a
carpet can be found on the floor of any resident: they have all been cut
into blankets for the army. White curtains and drapery have been
converted into shirts; for cotton cloth cannot be had for a dollar a

As we come on toward the North, we find the shops of Savannah nearly
empty, with shoes and boots quoted at thirty dollars per pair. At such
rates, what must it cost to put an army in condition to move?

At Charleston, the stores which two years since were overflowing with
merchandise, and the daily recipients, of entire cargoes, are utterly
empty; and when we reach Richmond, we see sugar quoted at three-fourths
of a dollar, coffee at two dollars, and tea at sixteen dollars per
pound, broadcloth at fifty dollars per yard, while whiskey, worth at
Cincinnati twenty cents per gallon, commands at Richmond six dollars.

Such is the condition of affairs, while the South still has access to
Virginia and East Tennessee, and after it has received a year's supply
of Northern productions for which no payment has been made.

Having thus pictured the physical resources of the enemy, let us inquire
what is the force which he can bring into the field, and his means of
maintaining it.

There is conclusive evidence that at no period during the war has the
Confederacy had more than three hundred and fifty thousand effective men
in the field, and it has no power to carry that number beyond four
hundred thousand. The population of the Union, by the census of 1860,
was thirty-two millions. At the usual rate of increase it now amounts to
thirty-four millions; of these, four millions are blacks, and of the
residue, twenty-six millions are in the loyal districts, and but four
millions in the Confederacy, if we exclude New Orleans and those
portions of Virginia and Tennessee which have been subdued by the
Federal arms.

In our Northern States the militia has rarely exceeded ten per cent. of
the population. At least one-half of the population is composed of
females; one-half of the residue is below the age of sixteen. If we
deduct from the remainder three-twentieths for those below eighteen,
those above forty-five, and those exempted by law or infirmity,
one-tenth alone will remain.

It is said that the Confederacy has called out all the white males
between sixteen and thirty-five, and proposes to summon all those
between thirty-five and fifty. If it does so, we may well expect such
forces to break down in heavy marches or suffer from exposure. But let
us assume that it can bring into the field fourteen per cent. of its
entire population--(and we must not forget that this is a high estimate,
as all the able-bodied men of Massachusetts are but twelve per cent. of
her population, or one hundred and fifty-five thousand): upon this
assumption, the effective force of the Confederacy at the start was but
five hundred and sixty thousand, and if to this we add forty thousand
more for volunteers and conscripts from Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky,
and East Tennessee, we have a capacity for six hundred thousand only. Of
these there has been a continual waste from the outset by sickness,
desertions, capture, and the casualties of war. The Union army has lost
at least one-third, and been reduced from six hundred thousand to four
hundred thousand by such depletion; and in the same ratio, the South,
with inferior supplies and stores, and with greater exposure, must have
lost at least an equal number.

In estimating its present capacity at four hundred thousand men, we
undoubtedly exceed the actual resources of the South. To meet this we
have at least four hundred thousand effective men now in the field, to
be increased to a million by the new levies, and soon to be aided by
thirty mail-clad steamers added to our present fleet on the ocean and
the Mississippi,--a naval force equivalent to at least two hundred
thousand more.

To sustain such forces in the field and on the water will doubtless tax
all the energies of the Union; but how is the inferior force of four
hundred thousand to be clad, fed, and paid by the exhausted Confederacy,
with a white population less than one-sixth of that opposed to them,
without commerce and the mechanic arts, and with no productive

The pecuniary resources of the South for carrying on this war have thus
far consisted principally of a paper currency and bonds, with a forced
circulation. It has drawn little from taxes or forfeiture, although it
has been aided by the appropriation of both public and private property
of the United States.

We have no record of the currency issued, but we know that both prices
and pay have been higher in Southern than in Northern armies; and if
with us it has cost a thousand dollars per annum to sustain a soldier in
the field, it has cost at that rate four hundred and sixty-seven
millions to maintain three hundred and fifty thousand men for the last
sixteen months in the Southern army, and of this at least four hundred
millions has been met by the issue of paper.

Such an issue would be equivalent to an issue of seven times that
amount, or of twenty-eight hundred millions, to be borne by the whites
who now recognize the Union. How long can the South continue to float
such a currency? Does it not already equal or exceed the paper currency
of our Revolution, which became utterly worthless, notwithstanding our
nation achieved its independence?

Our fathers, long before the surrender at Yorktown, resorted to specie,
to the bank of Morris, and to French and Dutch subsidies: but how is the
South to command bank-notes or specie, or to buy arms, powder, or
provisions, or to satisfy soldiers with a currency such as has been
described, or to make new issues at the rate of twenty-five millions per

At Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, gold ranges from 125 to 150
per cent. premium. Must not this advance require a double or triple
issue of currency, namely, fifty to seventy-five millions per month, to
accomplish as much as has already been effected? And how as has already
been effected? and how long can such a currency be floated within a
contracting circle, and in the face of our new levies and our unbounded
national credit? If the war should last another year, and this
depreciating currency can be floated at all, it is safe to infer from
the history of the past that the debt of the South must increase at
least one thousand millions. Under the pressure of such growing weight
its end may be safely predicted.

Thus far in the contest the South has possessed one great advantage. The
planter's son, reared to no profession, in a region where the pursuits
of trade and the mechanic arts have little honor, has been accustomed
from childhood to the use of the horse and rifle. In most of the towns
of the South you will find a military academy, and here the young cadet
has been trained to arms and qualified for office: we have no such class
in the Free States, except a few graduates from West Point. Under such
officers, a motley army has been collected, composed of foreigners who
have toiled in Southern cities as draymen and porters, of Northern
clerks driven by coercion or sheer necessity to enlist, the poor whites,
the outcasts of the South, a class the most degraded in public
estimate,--a class which has the respect of neither the white man nor
the negro. These people inhabit to a great extent the scrub-oak or
black-jack forests, the second growth which has sprung up on exhausted
plantations. Destitute of schools, churches, and newspapers, unable to
read or write, without culture, generally steeped in whiskey, their sole
property a cabin, and perhaps a few swine, which roam through the
forests, these Pariahs of society gain a precarious subsistence by
hunting, fishing, and occasional depredations upon the property of the
planters. During a brief visit to Columbia, in 1860, one of these
outcasts was arraigned before the Court of Sessions for stealing
black-jack from a plantation and selling it in the streets of Columbia;
and the judge in his flowing robes, while enlarging upon the offence,
facetiously remarked, that the prisoner had doubtless swallowed the
black-jack,--an allusion to the habits of the class which seemed well
understood by the bar.

The position of this class has thus far been improved by the war. In the
army the poor white has associated with the officer, far above him in
social life. His aid has been courted, he has received high wages in
Confederate notes, he has found better fare and clothing than he could
procure at home, and has been lured to the contest by the eloquent
appeals of the planter, by bitter attacks upon the North, and glowing
pictures of the ruin which the abolitionists would bring upon the South.
The Confederate notes have until recently proved sufficient for his
purposes, while other classes have supplied the means to prosecute the
war. But as the circle contracts and these notes prove worthless, food
and clothing, tobacco and whiskey will cease to be attainable; and when
the provost marshal has swept the plantation, and comes to the poor
man's cabin to take his last bushel of meal and to shoot down his swine
for the subsistence of the army, he will at length ask what he has to
gain from the further prosecution of the war.

When this crisis arrives, and it must be approaching, how can the
Southern army retain in its ranks either the poor white, the foreigner,
or the Northern clerk, whose sympathies have never been with the

It may be said, that the Confederacy can continue the war by wealth
accumulated in former years. But that wealth vested in land, slaves, or
railways, now unproductive, or in banks whose funds have been advanced
to planters still under protest. This wealth will not suffice to
prosecute the war. Thus far it has been sustained by funds on hand, the
seizure of national forts, arms, and arsenals, by the appropriation of
debts due to Northern merchants, by supplies from Kentucky, Tennessee,
and Missouri, and by the issue of paper already greatly depreciated.
With these resources it has conducted a losing warfare while we were
creating an army and a navy, and during this contest has lost three of
the most important border States, nearly half of a fourth, several of
its chief seaports, nearly all its shipping, and the navigation of the

But it may be urged, Has not McClellan retired from his intrenchments
before Richmond? Have we not fought with varying results successive
battles around Manassas? Are not our troops retiring to their old lines
before Washington? Have not the enemy again broken into Kentucky? and do
they not menace the banks of the Potomac and the Ohio? Let us concede
all this. Let us admit that our new levies are for the moment
inert,--that we are now marshalling, arming, and drilling our raw
recruits; let us concede that the giant of the North has not yet put
forth his energies,--that, although roused from his torpor, one of his
arms is still benumbed, and that his lithe and active opponent is for
the moment pommelling him on every side, and has a momentary advantage;
let us admit that our go-ahead nation is indignant at the idea of one
step backward in this great contest: still it is safe to predict that
within sixty days our new army of superior men will be ready to take the
field and advance upon the foe in overwhelming force,--that soon our
iron fleet will be ready to batter down the fortresses of Charleston,
Savannah, Mobile, Vicksburg, and Galveston, the last strongholds of the
enemy. And when his army of conscripts shall have wasted away, after
their last flurry and struggle, where is he to recruit or procure a new
army for resistance or offence? The South is now taking the field with
all its strength; but when that strength is broken, what power will
remain to confront the forces of the Union?

The South has driven to the war its whole white population able to bear
arms, and when that force is exhausted, at least two-thirds of the adult
males of the North and the whole black population will still remain to
sustain the Government, and births and emigration will soon fill the

Let us place at the helm men of character and tried activity,--men of
intelligence and forecast,--men who can appreciate the leaders of the
South, reckless alike of property, character, and life, and the result
cannot be doubtful.

The South is now commencing a new campaign, and is to confront a navy
hourly improving, and an invulnerable fleet, armed with cannon more
effective than any yet used in naval warfare. It is to encounter, with
conscripts, a million of hardy volunteers, and to do this with its
supplies reduced and its credit broken. It has but one reliance: a slave
population of four millions, competent to maintain themselves, but
incompetent to furnish to their masters a full supply of the coarsest
food. While it furnishes a scanty supply, while it toils in the
trenches, and feeds the horses of the cavalry, or drives the
army-wagons, it is still an element of strength to the masters, and the
question occurs, Shall the nation, now so severely taxed by the
slaveholder, and compelled to pour forth its best blood like water to
preserve its existence, remove this element of present and future
strength by liberating the slave?

Can the slaveholder claim the preservation of slavery, when he relies
upon it and uses it to aid him in destroying the Government? And if
one-half of the population of the South is ready to sustain the
Government, and to withdraw its aid from the foe, shall not the
loyalist, whether white or black, be accepted and allowed the privileges
of a citizen when he takes refuge under the national flag?

Can we expect future peace, unless we reduce to order lawless men,
unless we draw them from the war-path by making labor and the arts of
peace respected?

This is a momentous question which addresses itself to our nation at the
present juncture. There are some who imagine that the negro, if
liberated, would renew the scenes of San Domingo, and massacre the
people of the South. But such has not been the case in the French and
British Isles of the West Indies, although in those islands the
proportion of the white population is far below that at the South. In
the Cotton States the whites and the negroes are nearly equal in
numbers; and if, in Jamaica, Barbadoes, Santa Cruz, and Martinique, the
slaves, when liberated, have respected the rights of the masters, and
recognized their title to the land, and have submitted to toil for
moderate wages, where a handful of whites monopolized the soil, and
demanded for it prices far beyond the value of the slave and land
together, may we not well anticipate that the slave population, barely
equal in number to the white population, trained to submission in a
region where land is of little value, will, if liberated, continue to be
a quiet and peaceful population?

There are some who predict that the negroes, if emancipated, will
overrun the North and West. But why should they fly from the South to
the cold winters and less genial climate of the North or West? It is
servitude which degrades the negro; and if the stigma which he now bears
is removed, why should he not cling to the region in which he was born
and bred, and to which he is adapted by nature?

Should the institution of slavery survive the war into which we have
been plunged by its adherents and propagators, we might well fear that
our Northern and Western States would be overrun by the fugitives, who,
having escaped during the war, would be disposed to place distance
between themselves and their late masters, and to fly from the borders
of States which would not hesitate to reduce them again to servitude;
but if the institution itself should be terminated by the war, why
should the free man be a fugitive from his home?

Our Western States are desirous to perpetuate in its purity the
Anglo-Saxon blood, and would colonize the West with men raised under
free institutions. They shrink from all contact with a race of bondmen.
Our President, himself a Western man, proposes to colonize the free
negro in Central America, and thriving colonies already exist on the
coast of Africa. But why should we send from this country her millions
of laborers? Is our land exhausted? Is there no room for the negro in
the region where he lives? Has not the demand for sugar and cotton, for
naval stores and timber, overtaken the supply? and has not the frank and
truthful Mr. Spratt, of South Carolina, announced in the councils of
that State, that the South must import more savages from Africa, to
reclaim and improve its soil? Why, then, banish the well-trained laborer
now on the spot?

Does not history apprise us how Spain suffered in her agriculture, and
the arts of life declined, when the Moriscos were driven from her soil?
how Belgium, the garden of Europe, decayed when Spanish intolerance
banished to England the Protestant weavers and spinners, who laid the
foundation of English opulence? how France retrograded when superstition
exiled from her shores the industrious Huguenots? And are we to draw no
light from history? Would we, at this moment, when our cotton-mills are
closing their gates,--when the cotton-spinner of England appeals to the
British minister for intervention,--when the weaver of Rouen demands the
raw material of Louis Napoleon,--shall we, at a time when a single crop
of cotton is worth, at current prices, nearly a thousand millions, or
twice the debt contracted for the war,--impair our national strength by
destroying the sources of supply? At least one crop has been lost, and
this will for a term of years insure high prices. Are we to deprive our
nation of these prices, and of the freights which would attend the
shipments to Europe? Shall not cotton contribute to make good our
losses, and to the progress of the nation?

Why is colonization necessary?

There is a belt of territory, now sparsely populated, and inhabited
chiefly by negroes, extending from the Dismal Swamp to the Capes of
Florida, and from these Capes to the Brazos,--generally level, and free
from rocks and stones,--of the average width of nearly one hundred
miles,--its area at least two hundred millions of acres,--competent to
sustain forty millions of negroes, or ten times the number which now
exist within the United States. Here are vast forests, unctuous with
turpentine, annually producing pitch, tar, rosin, and ship-timber, with
material for houses, boats, fuel, and lightwood, while the mossy drapery
of the trees in suitable for pillows and cushions. Here is a soil which,
with proper cultivation, can produce rice, corn, cotton, tobacco, and
indigo, and is admirably adapted to the culture of the ground-nut and
sweet potato. Here are rivers and inlets abounding in fish and
shell-fish. Here is a climate, often fatal to the white, but suited to
the negro. Here are no harsh winters or chilling snows. Along the coast
we may rear black seamen for our Southern steamers,--cooks, stewards,
and mariners for our West India voyages.

Has not Nature designed a black fringe for this coast? Has not the
importation of the negro been designed by Providence to reclaim this
coast, and to give his progeny permanent and appropriate homes? And, to
use a favorite phrase of the South, does not Manifest Destiny point to
this consummation? and why should the negro be exiled from these shores?
Does he not cling like the white man to his native land? and are not his
tastes, wishes, and attachments to be consulted,--a question so
important to his race?

But it may be urged, that this is not public domain,--that it has been
already appropriated, and is now the property of the Southern planter.
But here is a public exigency, and the remedy should be proportioned to
the exigency. The right of eminent domain should be exercised by the
nation either directly after conquest, or through the States or
Territories it may establish. By that right, in England and in most of
our States, private property is taken for highways or railways. In New
York it is thus appropriated for markets, hospitals, and other public

The land in question, if we deduct the sites of towns and villages and
cities, as should be done, will not average in value three dollars per
acre. Let it be valued at twice that price, and be charged with the
interest of that price as a ground-rent to be paid by the settler. And
if, in Barbadoes, the free negro has raised the value of land to three
hundred dollars per acre, surely on this coast he can prosper upon land
costing one-fiftieth part of the average price of that of Barbadoes.

If six dollars would not suffice, the land might be rated at an average
value of ten dollars, and the settler charged with a quit-rent of half a
dollar per acre, and allowed to convert his tenure into a fee-simple by
the payment of the principal. The planter whose land should be
appropriated would thus realize more than its value, and in great part
the value of his slaves,--while the negro would secure at once a settled
home, with an interest in the soil and the means of subsistence.

Is not this the true solution of the great problem?

If we can give to the negro a fixed tenure in the soil under the
tutelage of the nation, he will soon have every incentive to exertion.
With peace must come a continuous demand for all the produce of the
South,--for cotton, tobacco, timber, and naval stores,--in exchange for
which the negro would require at least threefold the amount of boots,
shoes, clothing, and utensils which he at present consumes. Labor would
then become honored and respected. Upon the uplands of the South the
white man can toil effectively in the open air. In the warehouse and the
workshop he can actually toil more hours during the year than in New
York or New England, for his fingers will not there be benumbed by the
intense cold of the North. When labor ceases to be degrading, the
military school will give place to the academy, commerce will be
honored, and a check be given to military aspirations; and should an
insurrection again occur, the loyal population bordering the coast may
be armed to resist alike insurrection at home and intervention from
abroad, and unite with our navy in preserving the peace of the country.


  The flags of war like storm-birds fly,
    The charging trumpets blow;
  Yet rolls no thunder in the sky,
    No earthquake strives below.

  And, calm and patient, Nature keeps
    Her ancient promise well,
  Though o'er her bloom and greenness sweeps
    The battle's breath of hell.

  And still she walks in golden hours
    Through harvest-happy farms,
  And still she wears her fruits and flowers
    Like jewels on her arms.

  What mean the gladness of the plain,
    This joy of eve and morn,
  The mirth that shakes the beard of grain
    And yellow locks of corn?

  Ah! eyes may well be full of tears,
    And hearts with hate are hot;
  But even-paced come round the years,
    And Nature changes not.

  She meets with smiles our bitter grief,
    With songs our groans of pain;
  She mocks with tint of flower and leaf
    The war-field's crimson stain.

  Still, in the cannon's pause, we hear
    Her sweet thanksgiving-psalm;
  Too near to God for doubt or fear,
    She shares the eternal calm

  She knows the seed lies safe below
    The fires that blast and burn;
  For all the tears of blood we sow
    She waits the rich return.

  She sees with clearer eye than ours
    The good of suffering born,--
  The hearts that blossom like her flowers
    And ripen like her corn.

  Oh, give to us, in times like these,
    The vision of her eyes;
  And make her fields and fruited trees
    Our golden prophecies!

  Oh, give to us her finer ear!
    Above this stormy din,
  We, too, would hear the bells of cheer
    Ring peace and freedom in!


_The Tabernacle_: A Collection of Hymn-Tunes, Chants, Sentences, Motets,
and Anthems, adapted to Public and Private Worship, and to the Use of
Choirs, Singing-Schools, Musical Societies, and Conventions. Together
with a Complete Treatise on the Principles of Musical Notation. By B.F.
BAKER and W.O. PERKINS. Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

This thoroughly prepared book will prove of much service in those
departments of musical study and practice for which it is intended. The
style of church-music throughout the country has undergone material
changes within the last five-and-twenty years. In the cities and larger
towns, such societies as can afford the expense have established
quartette choirs of trained vocalists, who deliver the hymns and anthems
of the service to selections from the music of the great masters, which
they are expected to render in a manner that shall be satisfactory to a
taste educated and refined by the instruction of good teachers and the
public performances of skilful musicians. In the country churches, the
congregations still unite in the singing; or, where it has been the
custom for those who could sing to "sit in the seats" and form a chorus
choir, such custom still obtains. Some notion of city taste, however,
has gone abroad in the country, and the choirs, although old-fashioned
in their organization, are not quite content with the psalm-books of old
time, and are constantly asking for something newer and better. A great
many volumes have been published in order to supply this want, some of
which have done good, while, if we say of others that they have done no
harm, it is as much as they deserve.

A music-book for general use in churches which do not have quartette
choirs and "classical" music must be prepared with care and good
judgment. It must contain, of course, certain old standard tunes which
seem justly destined to live in perpetual favor, and it must surround
these with clusters of new tunes, which shall be as solid and correct in
their harmony as the older, while their lightness and fluency of melody
belong to the present day. There must be anthems and chants, and there
must be a clear and thorough exposition of the elements of vocal music
to help on the tyros who aspire to join the choir.

The work of which we are writing answers these requirements well. Its
editors are practical men; they have not only taught music to city
pupils, but they have conducted choirs and singing-schools, and have
discovered the wants of ordinary singers by much experience in normal
schools and musical conventions.

"The Tabernacle" contains the fruits of their observation and
experience, and will be found to meet the requirements of many singers
who have hitherto been unsatisfied. It commences with the rudiments of
music and a glossary of technical terms, to which is appended a good
collection of part-songs, especially prepared for social and festival
occasions. Then follow the hymn-tunes, which are adapted not only to the
ordinary metres, but also to all the irregular metres which are to be
found in any collection of hymns which is known to be used in the
country. Next come the chants and anthems: among these are arrangements
from Mozart, Beethoven, Chapple, Rossini, (the "Inflammatus" from the
"Stabat Mater"), Curschmann, (the celebrated trio, "Ti prego,")
Lambillote, and other standard authors. Indices, remarkably full, and
prepared upon an ingenious system, by which the metre and rhythm of
every tune are indicated, conclude the volume.

We are confident that choristers will find "The Tabernacle" to be just
such a book as they like to use in instructing and leading their choirs,
and that choirs will consider it to be one of the books from which they
are best pleased to sing.

_The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents,
Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, etc_. Edited by FRANK MOORE,
Author of "Diary of the American Revolution." New York: G.P. Putnam.
Charles T. Evans, General Agent.

Three large volumes of this valuable record of the momentous events now
transpiring on this continent have been published. The maps, diagrams,
and portraits are excellent in their way. No fuller documentary history
of the Great Rebellion could be desired; and as every detail is given
from day-to-day's journals, the "Record" of Mr. Moore must always stand
a comprehensive and accurate cyclopedia of the War. For the public and
household library it is a work of sterling interest, for it gathers up
every important fact connected with the struggle now pending, and
presents it in a form easy to be examined. It begins as far back as
December 17, 1860, and the third volume ends with the events of 1861.



The Artist's Married Life; being that of Albert Dürer. Translated from
the German of Leopold Schefer, by Mrs. J.R. Stodart. Revised Edition,
with Memoir. New York. James Miller. 16mo. pp. xxviii., 204. 88 cts.

The Pennimans; or, The Triumph of Genius. Boston. G.A. Fuller. 12mo. pp.
296. $1.00.

Sister Rose; or, The Ominous Marriage. By Wilkie Collins. Philadelphia.
T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp 65. 25 cts.

Rifle-Shots at Past and Passing Events. A Poem in Three Cantos. Being
Hits at Time on the Wing. By an Inhabitant of the Comet of 1861.
Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 112. 25 cts.

Agnes Stanhope. A Tale of English Life. By Miss Martha Remick. Boston,
James M. Usher. 12mo. pp. 444. $1.00.

The Yellow Mask; or, The Ghost in the Ball-Room. By Wilkie Collins.
Philadelphia. T. B. Peterson & Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 65. 25 cts.

Aden Power; or, The Cost of a Scheme. A Novel. By Farleigh Owen. Boston.
T.O.H.P. Burnham. 8vo. paper, pp. 155. 50 cts.

Cursory Thoughts on some Natural Phenomena. Bearing chiefly on the
Primary Cause of the Succession of New Species, and on the Unity of
Force. New York. C. Scribner. 8vo. paper, pp. 32. 25 cts.

The Trail-Hunter. A Tale of the Far West. By Gustave Aimard.
Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 175. 50 cts.

The Crisis: its Rationale. By Thomas J. Sizer. Buffalo. Breed, Butler, &
Co. 8vo. paper, pp. 100. 25 cts.


1: The original of the leaf copied on the next page was picked from such
a pile.

2: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 498.

3: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 499.

4: _Medical Statistics of the United States Army_, 1839-54, p.625.

5: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army.

_6: _Ibid.

_7: _Traité de Géographie et de Statistique Médicales_, Tom. II. p. 289.

8: _Ibid_. p. 286.

9: _Traité de Géographie et de Statistique Médicales_, Tom. II. p. 284.

10: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_.

11: Medical Statistics U.S. Army, 1839-54, p. 491, etc.

12: Observations on the Diseases of the Army, p. 51.

13: Ib., p. 53.

14: Observations on the Diseases of the Army, p. 59.

15: London Statistical Journal, Vol. XIX. p. 247.

16: Edmonds in _London Lancet_, Vol. XXXVI. p. 143.

17: _Despatches_.

18: Edmonds in _London Lancet_, Vol. XXXVI. p. 145.

19: Edmonds in _London Lancet_, Vol. XXXVI. p. 148.

20: _Ib_., p. 219.

21: Boudin, _Traité de Géographie et de Statistique Médicales_, Tom. II.
p. 289, etc., quoted by him from Major Moltka.

22: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 524.

23: _Medical Sketches_, p. 39.

24: _Ib_., p. 204.

25: _Ib_., p. 66.

26: _Medical Sketches_, p. 119.

27: _Ib_., p. 199.

28: _On Epidemics_, p. 70.

29: _United States Documents_, 1814.

30: _Ib_., 1814.

31: _Executive Documents, U.S._, 1847-48, Vol. VII. p. 1013.

32: _Ib_., p. 1033.

33: _Ib_., p. 1185.

34: _MS. Letter of Mr. Elliott_, Actuary of the Sanitary Commission.

35: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 180.

36: Ib., 525.

37: _Medical and Surgical History of the War in the East_, Vol. II. p.

38: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 377.

39: _Medical Sketches_, p. 246.

40: _Medical Sketches_, p. 66.

41: Boudin, _Traité de Géographie et de Statistique Médicales_, Tom.
II., p. 289.

42: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 180.

43: _Medical and Surgical History of the British Army in the East_, Vol.
II. p. 227.

44: _British and Foreign Medical and Surgical Journal_, Vol. XXI.

45: _MS. Letter of Mr. Elliott.

_46: _Medico-Chirurgical Transactions_, Vol. VI. p.478, etc.

47: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p.
525.--_Medical and Surgical History of the War in the East_.

48: Calculated from the _Eighteenth Registration Report_.

49: Calculated from _Twenty-First Report of Registrar General_.

50: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 212.
Colonel Tulloch.

51: _Diseases of the Army_, p. 50.

52: _Despatches_.

53: Boudin, _Traité de Géographie et de Statistique Médicales_, Tom. II.
p. 289.

54: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 178.

55: _Report of the Sanitary Commission.--Report on the Sanitary
Condition of the British Army_, p. 335.

56: _Report of the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p 97.

57: _Ib._, p. 334.

58: _Ib._, p. 365.

59: _Ib._, p. 524.

60: Dr. Mann, _Medical Sketches_, p. 64.

61: Dr. Lovell, quoted by Mann, _Medical Sketches_, p. 119.

62: Mann, _Medical Sketches_, pp. 120, 121.

63: _Ib._, p. 78.

64: _Ib._, p. 92.

65: _Ib._, p. 124.

66: _Ib._, p. 204.

67: _Executive Documents, U.S._, 1848, Vol. VII. p. 1224.

68: Mann, _Medical Sketches_, p. 66.

69: _Ib._, p. 39.

70: p. 23.

71: Report of the Sanitary Commission, No. 41.

72: Report of the Sanitary Commission, No. 41.

73: _Report of Barrack Commission_, p. 160.

74: _Report on the Sanitary Condition of the British Army_, p. 439.

75: Dr. Farr, in _Journal of the London Statistical Society_, Vol. XXIV.
p. 472.

76: _Ibid_.

77: _MS. Letter of Dr. Sutherland.

_78: Section Dr. Farr, _ubi supra_.

79: _Army Medical Regulations_, p. 27, etc.

80: _Report of the Army Medical Department for 1859_.

81: _Army Medical Regulations_, p. 29.

82: _Army Medical Regulations_, p. 83.

83: _Ib_., p. 84.

84: _Army Medical Regulations_, p. 93.

85: _Report of the Army Medical Department for 1859_, p. 6.

86: _Report of the Army Medical Department for_ 1859, p. 10.

87: _Ibid_.

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