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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, No. 64, February, 1863
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 11, No. 64, February, 1863" ***

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The sudden death of Prince Albert caused profound regret, and the
Royal Family of Britain had the sincere sympathies of the civilized
world on that sad occasion. The Prince Consort was a man of brilliant
talents, and those talents he had cultivated with true German
thoroughness. His knowledge was extensive, various, and accurate.
There was no affectation in his regard for literature, art, and
science; for he felt toward them all as it was natural that an
educated gentleman of decided abilities, and who had strongly
pronounced intellectual tastes, should feel. Though he could not be
said to hold any official position, his place in the British Empire
was one of the highest that could be held by a person not born to the
sceptre. His knowledge of affairs, and the confidence that was placed
in him by the sovereign, made it impossible that he should not be
a man of much influence, no matter whether he was recognized by the
Constitution or not. As the director of the education of the princes
and princesses, his children, his character and ideas are likely to be
felt hereafter, when those personages shall have become the occupants
of high and responsible stations. The next English sovereign will be
pretty much what he was made by his father; and it is no light thing
to have had the formation of a mind that may be made to act, with
more or less directness, on the condition of two hundred millions of

We know it is the custom to speak of the Government of England as if
there were no other powerful institution in that Empire than the House
of Commons; and that very arrogant gentleman, Mr. John Arthur Roebuck,
has told us, in his usual style, that the crown is a word, and nothing
more. "The crown!" exclaimed the member for Sheffield, in 1858,--"the
crown! it is the House of Commons!" Theoretically Mr. Roebuek is
right, and the British practice conforms to the theory, whenever the
reigning prince is content to receive the theory, and to act upon it:
but all must depend upon that prince's character; and should a British
sovereign resolve to rule as well as to reign, he might give the House
of Commons much trouble, in which the whole Empire would share. The
House of Commons was never stronger than it was in the latter part of
1760. For more than seventy years it had been the first institution in
the State, and for forty-six years the interest of the sovereign had
been to maintain its supremacy. The king was a cipher. Yet a new
king had but to appear to change everything. George III. ascended the
throne with the determination not to be the slave of any minister,
himself the slave of Parliament; and from the day that he became king
to the day that the decline of his faculties enforced his retirement,
his personal power was everywhere felt, and his personal character
everywhere impressed itself on the British world, and to no ordinary
extent on other countries. George III. was not a great man, and it has
been argued that his mind was never really sound; and yet of all men
who then lived, and far more than either Washington or Napoleon, he
gave direction and color and tone to all public events, and to not
a little of private life, and much of his work will have everlasting
endurance. He did not supersede the House of Commons, but he would not
be the simple vizier of that many-headed sultan, which for the most
part became his humble tool. Yet he was not a popular sovereign until
he had long occupied the throne, and had perpetrated deeds that should
have destroyed the greatest popularity that sovereign ever possessed.
It was not until after the overthrow of the Fox-and-North Coalition
that he found himself popular, and so he remained unto the end. The
change that he wrought, and the power that he wielded in the State,--a
power as arbitrary as that of Louis XV.,--were the fruits of his
personal character, and that character was the consequence of the
peculiar education which he had received.

Lord Brougham tells us that George III. "was impressed with a lofty
feeling of his prerogative, and a firm determination to maintain,
perhaps extend it. At all events, he was resolved not to be a mere
name or a cipher in public affairs; and whether from a sense of the
obligations imposed upon him by his station, or from a desire to enjoy
all its powers and privileges, he certainly, while his reason remained
entire, but especially during the earlier period of his reign,
interfered in the affairs of government more than any prince who ever
sat upon the throne of this country since our monarchy was distinctly
admitted to be a limited one, and its executive functions were
distributed among responsible ministers. The correspondence which he
carried on with his confidential servants during the ten most critical
years of his life lies before us, and it proves that his attention was
ever awake to all the occurrences of the government. Not a step was
taken in foreign, colonial, or domestic affairs, that he did not
form his opinion upon it, and exercise his influence over it. The
instructions to ambassadors, the orders to governors, the movements of
forces, down to the marching of a single battalion, in the districts
of this country, the appointment to all offices in Church and State,
not only the giving away of judgeships, bishoprics, regiments, but the
subordinate promotions, lay and clerical,--all these form the topics
of his letters; on all his opinion is pronounced decisively; in
all his will is declared peremptorily. In one letter he decides the
appointment of a Scotch puisne judge; in another the march of a troop
from Buckinghamshire into Yorkshire; in a third the nomination to
the Deanery of Westminster; in a fourth he says, that, 'if Adam, the
architect, succeeds Worsley at the Board of Works, he shall think
Chambers ill used.' For the greater affairs of State it is well known
how substantially he insisted upon being the king _de facto_ as well
as _de jure_. The American War, the long exclusion of the Liberal
party, the French Revolution, the Catholic question, are all sad
monuments of his real power."

This is a true picture of George III., and why it should be supposed
that no descendant of that monarch will ever be able to make himself
potently felt in the government of his Empire we are at a loss to
understand. The exact part of that monarch would not be repeated, the
world having changed so much as to render such repetition impossible;
but the end at which George III. aimed, and which he largely
accomplished for himself, that end being the vindication of the
monarchical element in the British polity, might be undertaken by one
of his great-grandsons with every reason to expect success. The means
employed would have to be different from those which George III. made
use of, but that would prove nothing against the project itself.
The men who followed Cromwell to the Long Parliament and the men who
followed Bonaparte into the Council of Five Hundred were differently
clothed and armed, but the pikemen of the future Protector were
engaged in the same kind of work that was afterward done by the
grenadiers of the future Emperor. The one set of men had never
heard of the bayonet, and the other set had faith in nothing but the
bayonet, believing it to be as "holy" as M. Michelet asserts it to
be. The pikemen were the most pious of men, and could have eaten an
Atheist with relish, after having roasted him. The grenadiers were
Atheists, and cared no more for Christianity than for Mahometanism,
their chief having testified his regard for the latter, and
consequently his contempt for both, only the year before, in Egypt.
Yet both detachments were successfully employed in doing the same
thing, and that was the clearing away of what was regarded as
legislative rubbish, in order that military monarchies might be
erected on the cleared ground. In each instance there was the element
of violence actively at work, and it makes no possible difference that
the English Commons went out because they did not care to come to push
of pike, and that the French Representatives departed rather than risk
the consequence of a bayonet-charge. So if the Prince of Wales should
see fit to tread in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, he would
have very different instruments from those "king's friends" whose
existence and actions were so fatal to ministers in the early part of
those days when George III. was king.

It is a common remark, that the institutions of England have been so
far reformed in a democratic direction, that no monarch could ever
expect to become powerful in that country. We think the observation
unphilosophical; and it is because the old aristocratical system of
England received a heavy blow in 1832 that we believe a king of that
country could make himself a ruler in fact as well as in theory.
Between a king and an aristocracy there never can be anything like a
sincere attachment, unless the king be content to be recognized as
the first member of the patrician order, to be _primus inter pares_ in
strict good faith, an agent of his class, but not the sovereign of his
kingdom. Kings generally prefer new men to men of established position
and old descent. They have a fondness for low-born favorites, who are
not only cleverer than most aristocrats will condescend to be, but who
recognize a chief in a monarch, and enable him to feel and to enjoy
his superiority when in their company. The hostility that prevails
between the peer and the _parvenu_ is the most natural thing in the
world, and is no more to be wondered at than that between the hare and
the hound. In earlier times the peerage had the best of it, and could
hang up the _parvenus_ with wonderful despatch,--as witness the
fate of Cochrane and his associates, favorites of the third James of
Scotland, who swung in the wind over Lauder Bridge. In later times
brains and intelligence tell in and on the world, and the peers,
having no longer pit and gallows for the punishment of presumptuous
plebeians who dare to get between them and the regal sunshine, must be
content to see those plebeians basking in the royal rays, if they are
not capable of outdoing them in those arts that ever have been found
most useful in the advancement of the interest of courtiers. Hanging
and heading have gone mostly out of date, or the peer would be in more
danger than the upstart.

The Reform Bill has made it much easier for a king of Great Britain to
become a ruler than it was for George III. to carry his point over
the old aristocracy, for it has created a class of voters who could be
easily won over to the aid of a king engaged in a project that should
not injure them, while its success should reduce the power of the
aristocracy. The father of the Reform Bill made a strange mistake
as to the character of that measure. "I hope," said the old Tory and
Pittite, Lord Sidmouth, to him, "God will forgive you on account of
this bill: I don't think I can." "Mark my words," was Earl Grey's
answer,--"within two years you will find that we have become unpopular
for having brought forward the most aristocratic measure that ever was
proposed in Parliament." The great Whig statesman was but half right.
The Whigs became unpopular within the time named, but it was for very
different reasons from that assigned by Earl Grey in advance for their
fall in the people's favor. The Reform Bill, instead of proving an
aristocratic measure, has wellnigh rendered aristocratical government
impossible in England; and as a democracy in that country is as much
out of the question as a well-ordered monarchy is in America, a return
to a true regal government would seem to be the only course left for
England, if she desires to have a strong government. When the Duke of
Wellington, seeing the breaking up of the old system because of the
triumph of the Whig measure, asked the question, "How is the King's
government to be carried on?" he meant, "How will it be possible to
maintain the old aristocratical system of party-government?"

Since the grand organic change that was effected thirty years ago,
there has been no strong and stable government in England. Lord Grey
went out of office because he could not keep his party together. The
King, under the spurring of his wife, made an effort to play the part
of his father in 1783, with Peel for Pitt, and was beaten. Peel was
floored, and Lord Melbourne became Premier again; and though he held
office six years, he never had a working majority in the Commons, nor
a majority of any kind in the Peers. The largest majorities that he
could command in the lower House would have been considered something
like very weak support in the ante-Reform times, and would have caused
the ministers of those times to resign themselves to resignation.
When the Tories came back to power, in 1841, with about one hundred
majority in the Commons, they thought they were secure for a decade
at least; but in a few months they found they were not secure of even
their own chief; and in five years they were compelled to abandon
protection, and to consent to the death and burial of their own party,
which was denied even the honor of embalmment, young Conservatism
being nothing but old Toryism, and therefore it was beyond even the
power of spices to prolong its decay. It had rotted of the potato-rot,
and the League's powerful breath blew it over. The Whigs returned
to office, but not to power, the Russell Government proving a most
ridiculous concern, and living through only five years of rickety
rule. A spasmodic Tory Government, that discarded Tory principles,
endured for less than a year, not even the vigorous intellect of the
Earl of Derby, seconded though it was by the genius of Disraeli, being
sufficient to insure it a longer term of existence. Then came the
Aberdeen Ministry, a regular coalition concern, a no-party government,
and necessarily so, because all parties but the extreme Tories were
represented in it, and were engaged in neutralizing each other. How
could there be a party government, or, indeed, for long a government
of any kind, by a ministry in which were such men as Aberdeen and
Russell, Palmerston and Grahame, Gladstone and Clarendon, all pigging
together in the same truckle-bed, to use Mr. Burke's figure concerning
the mixture that was called the Chatham Ministry? The coalition went
to pieces on the Russian rock, having managed the war much worse
than any American Administration ever mismanaged one. The Palmerston
Government followed, and has existed ever since, deducting the
fifteen months that the second Derby-Disraeli Ministry lasted; but the
Palmerston Ministry has seldom had a majority in Parliament, and has
lived, partly through the forbearance of its foes, partly through the
support of men who are neither its friends nor its enemies, and partly
through the personal popularity of its vigorous old chief, who is
as lively at seventy-eight as he was at forty-five, when he was a
Canningite. Ministries now maintain themselves because men do not know
what might happen, if they were to be dismissed; and this has been the
political state of England for more than a quarter of a century, with
no indications of a change so long as the government shall remain
purely Parliamentary in its character, Parliament meaning the House of
Commons. There is no party in the United Kingdom capable of electing a
strong majority to the House of Commons, and hence a strong government
is impossible so long as that body shall control the country. With the
removal of Lord Palmerston something like anarchy might be expected,
there being no man but him who is competent to keep the Commons in
order without the aid of a predominating party. The tendency has been
for some time to lean upon individuals, at the same time that
the number of individuals possessed of influence of the requisite
character has greatly diminished. Sir Robert Peel, had he lived, would
have been all that Lord Palmerston is, and more, and would have been
more acceptable to the middle class than is the Irish peer.

The state of things that is thus presented, and which must become
every year of a more pronounced character, is one that would be highly
favorable to the exertions of a prince who should seek to make himself
felt as the wielder of the sceptre, and who should exert himself to
rise from the presidency of an aristocratical corporation, which is
all that a British monarch now is, to the place of king of a great and
free people. A prince with talent, and with a hold on the affection of
his nominal subjects, might confer the blessing of strong government
on Britain, and rule over the first of empires, instead of being a
mere doge, or, as Napoleon coarsely had it, a pig to fatten at the
public expense. The time would appear to be near at hand when England
shall be the scene of a new struggle for power, with the aristocracy
on the one side, and the sovereign and most of the people on the
other. A nation like England cannot exist long with weakness
organized for its government, and there is nothing in the condition
of Parliament or of parties that allows us to suppose that from them
strength could proceed, any more than that grapes could be gathered
from thorns or figs from thistles. A monarch who should effect the
change indicated might be called a usurper, and certainly would be a
revolutionist; but, as Mommsen says, "Any revolution or any usurpation
is justified before the bar of history by exclusive ability to
govern,"--and government is what most nations now stand most in need
of. The reason why George III.'s conduct is generally condemned is,
that he was a clumsy creature, and that he made a bad use of the power
which he monopolized, or sought to monopolize, his whole course being
unrelieved by a single trait of genius, or even of that tact which is
the genius of small minds.

It has been charged upon the princes of the House of Hanover that they
are given to quarrelling, and that between sovereign and heir-apparent
there has never been good-will, while they have on several occasions
disgusted the world by the vehemence of their hatred for each other.
That George I. hated his heir is well known; and George II. hated his
son Frederick with far more intensity than he himself had been hated
by his own father. The Memoirs of Lord Hervey show the state of
feeling that existed in the English royal family during the first
third of the reign of George II., and the spectacle is hideous beyond
parallel; and for many years longer, until Frederick's death,
there was no abatement of paternal and filial hate. George III.
was disgusted with his eldest son's personal conduct and political
principles, as well he might be; for while the father was a model of
decorum, and a bitter Tory, the son was a profligate, and a Whig,--and
the King probably found it harder to forgive the Whig than the
profligate. The Prince cared no more for Whig principles than he did
for his marriage-vows, but affected them as a means of annoying his
father, whose Toryism was of proof. He, as a man, toasted the buff and
blue, when that meant support of Washington and his associates,
for the same reason that, as a boy, he had cheered for Wilkes and
Liberty,--because it was the readiest way of annoying his father; but
he ever deserted the Whigs when his aid and countenance could have
been useful to them. George IV. had no child with whom to quarrel, but
while Prince Regent he did his worst to make his daughter unhappy,
as we find established in Miss Knight's Memoirs. The good-natured
and kind-hearted William IV. had no legitimate children, but he was
strongly attached to the Fitzclarences, who were borne to him by Mrs.
Jordan. Indeed, monarchs have often been as full of love for their
offspring born out of wedlock as of hate for their children born in
that holy state. Being men, they must love something, and what
so natural as that they should love their natural children, whose
helpless condition appeals so strongly to all their better feelings,
and who never can become their rivals?

Queen Victoria is the first sovereign of the House of Hanover who,
having children, has not pained the world by quarrelling with them.
A model sovereign, she has not allowed an infirmity supposed to be
peculiar to her illustrious House to control her clear and just mind,
so that her career as a mother is as pleasing as her career as a
sovereign is splendid. About the time of the death of Prince Albert,
a leading British journal published some articles in which it was
insinuated, not asserted, that there had been trouble in the Royal
Family, and that that quarrelling between parent and child which
had been so common in that family in former times was about to
be exhibited again. It was even said that domestic peace was an
impossibility in the House of Hanover, which was but an indorsement
of Earl Granville's remark, in George II.'s reign. "This family," said
that eccentric peer, "always has quarrelled, and always will quarrel,
from generation to generation"; and he did not live to see the ill
feeling that existed between George III. and his eldest son.

There is no reason for saying that the Hanover family is more
quarrelsome than most other royal lines; and the domestic dissensions
of great houses are more noted than those of lesser houses only
because kings and nobles are so placed as to live in sight of the
world. When a king falls out with his eldest son, the entertainment is
one to which all men go as spectators, and historians consider it
to be the first of their duties to give full details of that
entertainment. Since the Hanoverians have reigned over the English,
the world has been a writing and a reading world, and nothing has more
interested writers and readers than the dissensions of sovereigns and
their sons. If we extend our observation to those days when German
sovereigns were unthought of in England, we shall find that kings
and princes did not always agree; and if we go farther, and scan the
histories of other royal houses, we shall learn that it is not in
Britain alone that the wearers of crowns have looked with aversion
upon their heirs, and have had sons who have loved them so well and
truly as to wish to witness their promotion to heavenly crowns. The
Hanoverian monarchs of England, and their sons, have shared only the
common lot of those who reign and those who wish to reign.

The Norman kings of England did not always live on good terms with
their sons. William the Conqueror had a very quarrelsome family. His
children quarrelled with one another, and the King quarrelled with his
wife. The oldest son of William and Matilda was Robert, afterward Duke
of Normandy,--and a very trying time this young man caused his father
to have; while the mother favored the son, probably out of revenge for
the beatings she had received, with fists and bridles, from her royal
husband, who used to swear "By the Splendor of God!"--his favorite
oath, and one that has as much merit as can belong to any piece of
blasphemy,--that he never would be governed by a woman. The father and
son went to war, and they actually met in battle, when the son ran the
old gentleman through the arm with his lance, and dropped him out of
the saddle with the utmost dexterity. This was the first time that
the Conqueror was ever conquered, and perhaps it was not altogether
without complacency that "the governor" saw what a clever fellow his
eldest son was with his tools. At the time of William's death Robert
was on bad terms with him, and is believed to have been bearing arms
against him. Henry I. lost his sons before he could well quarrel
with them, the wreck of the White Ship causing the death of his
heir-apparent, and also of his natural son Richard. He compensated for
this omission by quarrelling with his daughter Matilda, and with her
husband, Geoffrey of Anjou. He made war on his brother Robert, took
from him the Duchy of Normandy, and shut him up for life; but the
story, long believed, that he put out Robert's eyes, has been called
in question by modern writers. King Stephen, who bought his breeches
at so low a figure, had a falling-out with his son Eustace, when he
and Henry Plantagenet sought to restore peace to England, and nothing
but Eustace's death made a settlement possible. William Rufus, the Red
King, who was the second of the Norman sovereigns of England, had
no legitimate children, for he was never married. He was a jolly
bachelor, and as such he has had the honor of having his history
written by one of the ablest literary ladies of our time, Miss Agnes
Strickland. He was the only king of England, who arrived at years of
indiscretion, who did not marry. The other bachelor kings were Edward
V. and Edward VI., whose united ages were short of thirty years. His
character does not tend to make the single state of man respected.
"Never did a ruler die less regretted than William Rufus," says Dr.
Lappenberg, "although still young, being little above forty, not a
usurper, and successful in his undertakings. He was never married,
and, besides the crafty and officious tools of his power, was
surrounded only by a few Normans of quality, and harlots. In his last
struggle with the clergy, the most shameless rapacity is especially
prominent, and so glaring, that, notwithstanding some exaggerations
and errors that may be pointed out in the Chronicles, he still appears
in the same light. Effeminacy, drunkenness, gluttony, dissoluteness,
and unnatural crimes were the distinguishing characteristics of his
court. He was himself an example of incontinence." This is a nice
character to travel with down the page of history. He quarrelled with
his brothers, and with his uncle, and kept up the family character in
an exceedingly satisfactory manner, considering that he was unmarried.
The statement that he was slain by Walter Tirel, accidentally, in the
New Forest, is now disregarded. Our theory of his death is, that he
fell a victim to the ambition of his brother, Henry I., who succeeded
him, and who certainly had good information as to his fall, and made
good use of it, like a sensible fellow.

Of all the royal races of the Middle Ages, no one stands out more
boldly on the historic page than the Plantagenets, who ruled over
England from 1154 to 1485, the line of descent being frequently
broken, and family quarrels constantly occurring. They were a bold and
an able race, and if they had possessed a closer resemblance to the
Hapsburgs, they would have become masters of Western Europe; but their
quarrelsome disposition more than undid all that they could effect
through the exercise of their talents. On the female side they were
descended from the Conqueror; and, as we have seen, the Conqueror's
family was one in which sons rebelled against the fathers, and brother
fought with brother. Matilda, daughter of Henry I., became the wife of
Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, and from their union came Henry II., first
of the royal Plantagenets. Now the Angevine Plantagenets were "a hard
set," as we should say in these days. Dissensions were common enough
in the family, and they descended to the offspring of Geoffrey and
Matilda, being in fact intensified by the elevation of the House to a
throne. Henry II. married Eleanora of Aquitaine, one of the greatest
matches of those days, a marriage which has had great effect on modern
history. The Aquitanian House was as little distinguished for the
practice of the moral virtues as were the lines of Anjou and Normandy.
One of the Countesses of Anjou was reported to be a demon, which
probably meant only that her husband had caught a Tartar in marrying
her; but the story was enough to satisfy the credulous people of those
times, who, very naturally, considering their conduct, believed that
the Devil was constant in his attention to their affairs. It was to
this lady that Richard Cocur de Lion referred, when he said, speaking
of the family contentions, "Is it to be wondered at, that, coming from
such a source, we live ill with one another? What comes from the Devil
must to the Devil return." With such an origin on his father's side,
crossing the fierce character of his mother, Henry II. thought he
could not do better than marry Eleanora, whose origin was almost as
bad as his own. Her grandfather had been a "fast man" in his youth and
middle life, and it was not until he had got nigh to seventy that he
began to think that it was time to repent. He had taken Eleanora's
grandmother from her husband, and a pious priest had said to them,
"Nothing good will be born to you," which prediction the event
justified. The old gentleman resigned his rich dominions, supposed to
be the best in Europe, to his grand-daughter, and she married Louis
VII., King of France, and accompanied him in the crusade that he was
so foolish as to take part in. She had women-warriors, who did their
cause immense mischief; and unless she has been greatly scandalized,
she made her husband fit for heaven in a manner approved neither by
the law nor the gospel. The Provençal ladies had no prejudices against
Saracens. After her return to Europe, she got herself divorced from
Louis, and married Henry Plantagenet, who was much her junior, she
having previously been the mistress of his father. It was a _mariage
de convenance_, and, as is sometimes the case with such marriages,
it turned out very inconveniently for both parties to it. It was not
unfruitful, but all the fruit it produced was bad, and to the husband
and father that fruit became the bitterest of bitter ashes. No
romancer would have dared to bring about such a scries of unions as
led to the creation of Plantagenet royalty, and to so much misery
as well as greatness. There is no exaggeration in Michelet's lively
picture of the Plantagenets. "In this family," he says, "it was a
succession of bloody wars and treacherous treaties. Once, when King
Henry had met his sons in a conference, their soldiers drew upon him.
This conduct was traditionary in the two Houses of Anjou and Normandy.
More than once had the children of William the Conqueror and Henry II.
pointed their swords against their father's breast. Fulk had placed
his foot on the neck of his vanquished son. The jealous Eleanora, with
the passion and vindictiveness of her Southern blood, encouraged her
sons' disobedience, and trained them to parricide. These youths, in
whose veins mingled the blood of so many different races,--Norman,
Saxon, and Aquitanian,--seemed to entertain, over and above the
violence of the Fulks of Anjou and the Williams of England, all the
opposing hatreds and discords of those races. They never knew whether
they were from the South or the North: they only knew that they hated
one another, and their father worse than all. They could not trace
back their ancestry, without finding, at each descent, or rape, or
incest, or parricide." Henry II. quarrelled with all his sons, and
they all did him all the mischief they could, under the advice and
direction of their excellent mother, whom Henry imprisoned. A priest
once sought to effect a reconciliation between Henry and his son
Geoffrey. He went to the Prince with a crucifix in his hand, and
entreated him not to imitate Absalom.

"What!" exclaimed the Prince, "would you have me renounce my

"God forbid!" answered the holy man; "I wish you to do nothing to your
own injury."

"You do not understand my words," said Geoffrey; "it is our family
fate not to love one another. 'T is our inheritance; and not one of us
will ever forego it."

That must have been a pleasant family to marry into! When the King's
eldest son, Henry, died, regretting his sins against his father,
that father durst not visit him, fearing treachery; and the immediate
occasion of the King's death was the discovery of the hostility of his
son John, who, being the worst of his children, was, of course, the
best-beloved of them all. The story was, that, when Richard entered
the Abbey of Fontevraud, in which his father's body lay, the corpse
bled profusely, which was held to indicate that the new king was his
father's murderer. Richard was very penitent, as his elder brother
Henry had been, on his death-bed. They were very sorrowful, were those
Plantagenet princes, when they had been guilty of atrocious acts,
and when it was too late for their repentance to have any practical

Richard I. had no children, and so he could not get up a perfect
family-quarrel, though he and his brother John were enemies. He died
at forty-two, and but a few years after his marriage with Berengaria
of Navarre, an English queen who never was in England. When on his
death-bed, Richard was advised by the Bishop of Rouen to repent, and
to separate himself from his children. "I have no children," the King
answered. But the good priest told him that he had children, and that
they were avarice, luxury, and pride. "True," said Richard, who was
a humorist,--"and I leave my avarice to the Cistercians, my luxury
to the Gray Friars, and my pride to the Templars." History has fewer
sharper sayings than this, every word of which told like a cloth-yard
shaft sent against a naked bosom. Richard certainly never quarrelled
with the children whom he thus left to his _friends_.

King John did not live long enough to illustrate the family character
by fighting with his children. When he died, in 1216, his eldest son,
Henry III., was but nine years old, and even a Plantagenet could not
well fall out with a son of that immature age. However, John did his
best to make his mark on his time. If he could not quarrel with his
children, because of their tender years, he, with a sense of duty that
cannot be too highly praised, devoted his venom to his wife. He was
pleased to suspect her of being as regardless of marriage-vows as he
had been himself, and so he hanged her supposed lover over her bed,
with two others, who were suspected of being their accomplices.
The Queen was imprisoned. On their being reconciled, he stinted her
wardrobe, a refinement of cruelty that was aggravated by his monstrous
expenditure on his own ugly person. Queen Isabella was very handsome,
and perhaps John was of the opinion of some modern husbands, who think
that dress extinguishes beauty as much as it inflames bills. Having
no children to torment, John turned his disagreeable attentions to his
nephew, Arthur, Duke of Brittany, who, according to modern ideas, was
the lawful King of England. The end was the end of Arthur. How he was
disposed of is not exactly known, but, judging from John's character
and known actions, we incline to agree with those writers who say that
the uncle slew the nephew with his own royal hand. He never could
deny himself an attainable luxury, and to him the murder of a youthful
relative must have been a rich treat, and have created for him a new
sensation, something like the new pleasure for which the Persian king
offered a great reward. Besides, all uncles are notoriously bad, and
seem, indeed, to have been made only for the misery of their nephews
and nieces, of whose commands they are most reprehensibly negligent.
We mean to write a book, one of these days, for the express purpose of
showing what a mistake it was to allow any such relationship to exist,
and tracing all the evil that ever has afflicted humanity to the
innate wickedness of uncles, and requiring their extirpation. We
err, then, on the safe side, in supposing that John despatched Arthur
himself,--not to say, that, when you require that a delicate piece of
work should be done, you must do it with your own hand, or you may
be disappointed. John did the utmost that he could do to keep up the
discredit of the family; for, when a man has no son to whip and to
curse, he should not be severely censured for having done no more than
to kill his nephew. Men of large and charitable minds will take all
the circumstances of John's case into the account, and not allow their
judgment of his conduct to be harsh. What better can a man do than his

Henry III. appears to have managed to live without quarrelling
with his children; but then he was a poor creature, and even was so
unkingly, and so little like what a Plantagenet should have been, that
he actually disliked war! He might with absolute propriety have worn
the lowly broom-corn from which his family-name was taken, while it
was a sweeping satire on almost all others who bore it. His heir,
Edward I., was a king of "high stomach," and as a prince he stood
stoutly by his father in the baronial wars. He, too, though the father
of sixteen children, dispensed with family dissensions, thus showing
that "The more, the merrier," is a true saying. Edward II. came to
grief from having a bad wife, Isabella of France, who made use of
his son against him. That son was Edward III., who became king in his
father's lifetime, and whose marriage with Philippa of Hainault is
one of the best-known facts of history, not only because it was an
uncommonly happy marriage, but that it had remarkable consequences.
This royal couple got along very happily with their children; but the
ambition of their fourth son, the Duke of Lancaster, troubled the
last days of the King, and prepared the way for great woes in the next
century. The King was governed by Lancaster, and the Black Prince, who
was then in a dying state, was at the head of what would now be called
the Opposition, as if he foresaw what evils his brother's ambition
would be the means of bringing upon his son.

Richard II., son of the Black Prince, had no children, though he
was twice married. He was dethroned, the rebels being headed by his
cousin, Henry of Lancaster, who became Henry IV. Thus was brought
about that change in the course of descent which John of Gaunt seems
to have aimed at, but which he died just too soon to see effected.
It was a violent change, and one which had its origin in a family
quarrel, added to political dissatisfaction. Had the revolutionist
wished merely to set aside a bad king, they would have called the
House of Mortimer to the throne, the chief member of that House being
the next heir, as descended from the Duke of Clarence, elder brother
of the Duke of Lancaster; but more was meant than a political
revolution, and so the line of Clarence was passed over, and its right
to the crown treated with neglect, to be brought forward in bloody
fashion in after-days. In fact, the Englishmen who made Henry of
Lancaster king prepared the way for that long and terrible struggle
which took place in the fifteenth century, and which was, its
consequences as well as its course considered, the greatest civil
war that has ever afflicted Christendom. The movement that led to the
elevation of Henry of Holingbroke to the throne, though not precisely
a palace-revolution, resembles a revolution of that kind more than
anything else with which it can be compared; and it was as emphatic
a departure from the principle of hereditary right as can be found in
history. So much was this the case, that liberals in polities mostly
place their historical sympathies with the party of the Red Rose, for
no other reason, that we have ever been able to see, than that the
House of Lancaster's possession of the throne testified to the triumph
of revolutionary principles; for that House was jealous of its power
and cruel in the exercise of it, and was so far from being friendly to
the people, that it derived its main support from the aristocracy,
and was the ally of the Church in the harsh work of exterminating the
Lollards. The House of York, on the other hand, while it had, to use
modern words, the legitimate right to the throne, was a popular House,
and represented and embodied whatever there was then existing in
politics that could be identified with the idea of progress.

The character of the troubles that existed between Henry IV. and his
eldest son and successor, Shakspeare's Prince Hal, is involved in much
obscurity. It used to be taken for granted that the poet's Prince was
an historical character, but that is no longer the case,--Falstaff's
royal associate being now regarded in the same light in which Falstaff
himself is regarded. The one is a poetic creation, and so is the
other. Prince Henry was neither a robber nor a rowdy, but from his
early youth a much graver character than most men are in advanced
life. He had great faults, but they were not such as are made to
appear in the pages of the player. The hero of Agincourt was a mean
fellow,--a tyrant, a persecutor, a false friend and a cruel enemy, and
the wager of most unjust wars; but he was not the "fast" youth that
he has been generally drawn. He had neither the good nor the bad
qualities that belong to young gentlemen who do not live on terms with
their papas. He was of a grave and sad temperament, and much more of
a Puritan than a Cavalier. It is a little singular that Shakspeare
should have given portraits so utterly false of the most unpopular of
the kings of the York family, and of the most popular of the kings of
the rival house,--of Richard III., that is, and of the fifth Henry
of Lancaster. Neither portrait has any resemblance to the original,
a point concerning which the poet probably never troubled himself, as
his sole purpose was to make good acting plays. Had it been necessary
to that end to make Richard walk on three legs, or Henry on one leg,
no doubt he would have done so,--just as Monk Lewis said he would have
made Lady Angela blue, in his "Castle Spectre," if by such painting
he could have made the play more effective. Prince Henry was a very
precocious youth, and had the management of great affairs when he was
but a child, and when it would have been better for his soul's and
his body's health, had he been engaged in acting as an esquire of some
good knight, and subjected to rigid discipline. The jealousy that
his father felt was the natural consequence of the popularity of the
Prince, who was young, and had highly distinguished himself in both
field and council, was not a usurper, and was not held responsible for
any of the unpopular acts done by the Government of his father. They
were at variance not long before Henry IV.'s death, but little is
known as to the nature of their quarrels. The crown scene, in which
the Prince helps himself to the crown while his father is yet alive,
is taken by Shakspeare from Monstrelet, who is supposed to have
invented all that he narrates in order to weaken the claim of the
English monarch to the French throne. If Henry IV., when dying, could
declare that he had no right to the crown of England, on what could
Henry V. base his claim to that of France?

Henry V. died before his only son, Henry VI., had completed his first
year; and Henry VI. was early separated from his only son, Edward
of Lancaster, the same who was slain while flying from the field
of Tewkesbury, at the age of eighteen. There was, therefore, no
opportunity for quarrels between English kings and their sons for the
sixty years that followed the death of Henry IV.; but there was
much quarrelling, and some murdering, in the royal family, in those
years,--brothers and other relatives being fierce rivals, even unto
death, and zealous even unto slaying of one another. It would be hard
to say of what crime those Plantagenets were not guilty.[A] Edward
IV., with whom began the brief ascendency of the House of York, died
at forty-one, after killing his brother of Clarence, his eldest son
being but twelve years old. He had no opportunity to have troubles
with his boys, and he loved women too well to fall out with his
daughters, the eldest of whom was but just turned of seventeen. The
history of Edward IV. is admirably calculated to furnish matter for a
sermon on the visitation of the sins of parents on their children. He
had talent enough to have made himself master of Western Europe,
but he followed a life of debauchery, by which he was cut off in his
prime, leaving a large number of young children to encounter the worst
of fortunes. Both of his sons disappeared, whether murdered by Richard
III. or Henry VII. no one can say; and his daughters had in part to
depend upon that bastard slip of the Red-Rose line, Henry VII., for
the means to enable them to live as gentlewomen,--all but the eldest,
whom Henry took to wife as a point of policy, which her father would
have considered the greatest misfortune of all those that befell his
offspring. Richard III's only legitimate son died a mere boy.

[Footnote A: It has been said of the Plantagenets that they "never
shed the blood of a woman." This is nonsense, as we could, time and
space permitting, show by the citation of numerous facts, but we shall
here mention only one. King John had a noble woman shut up with her
son, and starved to death. Perhaps that was not shedding her blood,
but it was something worse. Before English statesmen and orators and
writers take all the harlotry of Secessia under their kind care and
championship, it would be well for them to read up their own country's
history, and see how abominably women have been used in England for a
thousand years, from queens to queans.]

The Tudors fame to the English throne in 1485. There was no want of
domestic quarrelling with them. Arthur, Henry VII.'s eldest son, died
young, but left a widow, Catharine of Aragon, whom the King treated
badly; and he appears to have been jealous of the Prince of Wales,
afterward Henry VIII., but died too soon to allow of that jealousy's
blooming into quarrels. According to some authorities, the Prince
thought of seizing the crown, on the ground that it belonged to him in
right of his mother, Elizabeth Plantagenet, who was unquestionably the
legitimate heir. Henry VIII. himself, who would have made a splendid
tyrant over a son who should have readied to man's estate,--an
absolute model in that way to all after-sovereigns,--was denied
by fortune an opportunity to round and perfect his character as
a domestic despot. Only one of his legitimate sons lived even to
boyhood, Edward VI., and Henry died when the heir-apparent was in his
tenth year. Of his illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond, Henry
was extravagantly fond, and at one time thought of making him
heir-apparent, which might have been done, for the English dread of
a succession war was then at its height. Richmond died in his
seventeenth year. Having no sons of a tormentable age, Henry made his
daughters as unhappy as he could make them by the harsh exercise of
paternal authority, and bastardized them both, in order to clear the
way to the throne for his son. Edward VI. died a bachelor, in his
sixteenth year, so that we can say nothing of him as a parent; but he
treated his sister Mary with much harshness, and exhibited on various
occasions a disposition to have things his own way that would have
delighted his father, provided it had been directed against anybody
but that severe old gentleman himself. Mary I. was the best sovereign
of her line, domestically considered; but then she had neither son nor
daughter with whom to quarrel, and the difficulties she had with her
half-sister, Elizabeth, like the differences between the Archangel
Michael and the Fallen Angel, were purely political in their
character. We do not think that she would have done much injustice,
if she had made Elizabeth's Tower-dungeon the half-way house to the
scaffold. But though political, the half-sisterly dissensions between
these ladies serve to keep Mary I. within the rules of the royal
houses to which she belonged. Mary, dying of the loss of Calais and
the want of children, was succeeded by Elizabeth, who, being a
maiden queen, had no issue with whom to make issue concerning
things political or personal. But observe how basely she treated her
relatives, those poor girls, the Greys, Catharine and Mary, sisters of
poor Lady Jane, whose fair and clever head Mary I. had taken off. The
barren Queen, too jealous to share her power with a husband, hated
marriage with all "the sour malevolence of antiquated virginity," and
was down upon the Lady Catharine and the Lady Mary because they chose
to become wives. Then she imprisoned her cousin, Mary Stuart, for
nineteen years, and finally had her butchered under an approach to
the forms of law, and in total violation of its spirit. She, too, kept
within the royal rules, and made herself as great a pest as possible
to her relatives.

The English throne passed to the House of Stuart in 1603, and, after
a lapse of six-and-fifty years, England had a sovereign with sons and
daughters, the first since the death of Henry VIII. at the beginning
of 1547. There was little opportunity for family dissensions in the
days of most of the Stuarts, as either political troubles of the most
serious nature absorbed the attention of kings and princes, or the
reigning monarchs had no legitimate children. The open quarrel
between Charles I. and the Parliament began before his eldest son had
completed his eleventh year; and after that quarrel had increased to
war, and it was evident that the sword alone could decide the issue,
the King parted with his son forever. They had no opportunity to
become rivals, and to fall out. There is so much that can be said
against Charles I. with truth, that it is pleasing--as are most
novelties--to be able to mention something to his credit. Instead
of being jealous of his son, or desiring to keep him in ignorance of
affairs, he early determined to train him to business. According
to Clarendon, he said that he wished to "unboy him." Therefore he
conferred high military offices upon him before he had completed his
fifteenth year; and sent him to the West of England, to be the
nominal head of the Western Association. Charles II. had no legitimate
children, and so he could not have any quarrels with a Prince of
Wales. He was fond of his numerous bastards, and, like an affectionate
royal father, provided handsomely for them at the public-expense. What
more could a father do, situated as that father was, and always in
want of his people's money? Some of them were not his sons,--Monmouth,
the best beloved of them all, being the son of Robert Sidney, a
brother of the renowned Algernon, a fact that partially excuses the
harsh conduct of James II. toward his nominal nephew. James II. had
no legitimate son until the last year of his reign; but his two eldest
daughters treated him far worse than any sovereign of the Hanoverian
line was ever used by a son. They were most respectable women, and
their deficiency in piety has worked well for the world; but it must
ever be repugnant to humanity to regard the conduct of Mary and Anne
with respect. No wonder that people called Mary the modern Tullia.
Mary II. died young, and childless; and Queen Anne, though a most
prolific wife, and but fifty-one at her death, survived all her
children. Anne believed that her children's deaths were sent in
punishment of her unfilial conduct; and she would have restored her
nephew, the Pretender, to the British throne, but that the Jacobites
were the silliest political creatures that ever triumphed in the
how-not-to-do-it business, and could not even hold their mouths open
for the rich and ripened fruit to drop into them.

The first of the English Stuarts, James I., is suspected of having
allowed his jealousy of his eldest son, the renowned Prince Henry, to
carry him to the extent of child-murder. The Stuarts are called the
Fated Line, and it is certain that none of their number, from Robert
II.--who got the Scottish throne in virtue of his veins containing a
portion of the blood of the Bruce, and so regalized the family, which,
like the Bruces, was of Norman origin, and originally Fitzalan
by name--to Charles Edward, and the Cardinal York, who died but
yesterday, as it were, but had a wonderful run of bad luck. They had
capital cards, but they knew not how to play them. With them, to play
was to lose, and the most fortunate of their number were those kings
who played as little as they could, such as James I. and Charles II.
Those who lost the most were those who played the hardest, as Charles
I. and his second son, James II. Yet the family was a clever one, with
strong traits, both of character and talent, that ought to have made
it the most successful of ruling races, and would have made it so,
if its chiefs could have learned to march with the times. They had to
contend, in Scotland, with one of the fiercest and most unprincipled
aristocracies that ever tried the patience and traversed the purposes
of monarchs who really aimed at the good government of their people;
and the idiosyncrasy contracted during more than two centuries of
Scottish rule clung to the family after it went to England, and found
itself living under altogether a different state of things. What was
virtue in Scotland became vice in England; and the ultra-monarchists,
who came into existence not long after James I. succeeded to
Elizabeth, helped to spoil the Stuarts. Both James and his successor
were dominated by Scotch traditions, and supposed that they were
contending with men who had the same end in view that had been
regarded by the Douglases, the Hamiltons, the Ruthvens, the Lindsays,
and others of the old Scotch baronage. What helped to deceive them was
this,--that their opponents in England, like the opponents of their
ancestors in Scotland, were aristocrats; and they supposed, that, as
aristocratical movements in their Northern kingdom had always been
subversive of order and peace, the same kind of movements would
produce similar results in their Southern kingdom. They could not
understand that one aristocracy may differ much from another, and
that, while in Scotland the interest of the people, or rather of the
whole nation, required the exaltation of the kingly power, in England
it was that exaltation which was most to be feared. Sufficient
allowance has not been made for the Stuarts in this respect, little
regard being paid to the effect of the family's long training at home,
which had rendered hostility to the nobility second nature to it. Had
the Stuarts been the supporters of liberal ideas in England, their
conduct would have given the lie to every known principle of human
action. As their distrust of aristocracy rendered them despotically
disposed, because the Scotch aristocracy had been the most lawless of
mankind, so did they become attached to the Church of England because
of the tyranny they had seen displayed by the Church of Scotland, the
most illiberal ecclesiastical body, in those times, that men had ever
seen, borne with, or suffered from. James I. and his grandson Charles
II. had their whole conduct colored, and dyed in the wool, too, by
their recollections of the odious treatment to which they had
been subjected by a harsh and intolerant clergy. They had not the
magnanimity to overlook, in the day of their power, what they had
suffered in the day of their weakness.

James I. undoubtedly disliked his eldest son, and was jealous of him;
but it is by no means clear that he killed him, or caused him to
be killed. He used to say of him, "What! will he bury me alive?"
He ordered that the court should not go into mourning for Henry, a
circumstance that makes in his favor, as murderers are apt to affect
all kinds of hypocrisy in regard to their victims, and to weep in
weeds very copiously. Yet his conduct may have been a refinement of
hypocrisy, and, though a coward in the common acceptation of the word,
James had much of that peculiar kind of hardihood which enables its
possessor to treat commonly received ideas with contempt. His conduct
in "The Great Oyer of Poisoning" was most extraordinary, it must
be allowed, and is not reconcilable with innocence; but it does not
follow that the guilt which the great criminals in that business could
have established as against James related only to the death of Henry.
It bore harder upon the King than even that crime could have borne,
and must have concerned his conduct in matters that are peculiarly
shocking to the ears of Northern peoples, though Southern races have
ears that are less delicate. It was in Somerset's power to
explain James's conduct respecting some things that puzzled his
contemporaries, and which have continued to puzzle their descendants;
but the explanation would have ruined the monarch in the estimation of
even the most vicious portion of his subjects, and probably would have
given an impetus to the growing power of the Puritans that might have
led to their ascendency thirty years earlier than it came to pass
in the reign of his son. James was capable of almost any crime or
baseness; but in the matter of poisoning his eldest son he is entitled
to the Scotch verdict of _Not Proven_.

Whether James killed his son or not, it is certain that the Prince's
death was a matter of extreme importance. Henry was one of those
characters who are capable of giving history a twist that shall
last forever. He had a fondness for active life, was very partial
to military pursuits, and was friendly to those opinions which
the bigoted chiefs of Austria and Bavaria were soon to combine to
suppress. Henry would have come to the throne in 1625, had he lived,
and there seems no reason to doubt that he would have anticipated the
part which Gustavus Adolphus played a few years later. He would have
made himself the champion of Protestantism, and not the less readily
because his sister, the Electress-Palatine and Winter-Queen of
Bohemia, would have been benefited by his successes in war. Bohemia
might have become the permanent possession of the Palatine, and
Protestantism have maintained its hold on Southern Germany, had Henry
lived and reigned, and had his conduct as a king justified the hopes
and expectations that were created by his conduct as a prince. The
House of Austria would in that case have had a very different
career from that which it has had since 1625, when Ferdinand II. was
preparing so much evil for the future of Europe. Had Henry returned
from Continental triumphs at the head of a great and an attached army,
what could have prevented him from establishing arbitrary power in
his insular dominions? His brother failed to make himself absolute,
because he had no army, and was personally unpopular; but Henry would
have had an army, and one, too, that would have stood high in English
estimation, because of what it had done for the English name and the
Protestant religion in Germany,--and Henry himself would have been
popular, as a successful military man is sure to be in any country.
Pym and Hampden would have found him a very different man to deal with
from his foolish brother, who had all the love of despotism that man
can have, but little of that kind of ability which enables a sovereign
to reign despotically. Charles I. had no military capacity or taste,
or he would have taken part in the Thirty Years' War, and in that way,
and through the assistance of his army, have accomplished his domestic
purpose. His tyranny was of a hard, iron character, unrelieved by
a single ray of glory, but aggravated by much disgrace from the ill
working of his foreign policy; so that it was well calculated to
create the resistance which it encountered, and by which it was
shivered to pieces. Henry would have gone to work in a different way,
and, like Cromwell, would have given England glory, while taking from
her freedom. There is nothing that the wearer of a crown cannot do,
provided that crown is encircled with laurel. But the Stuarts seldom
produced a man of military talent, which was a fortunate thing for
their subjects, who would have lost their right to boast of their
Constitutional polity, had Charles I. or James II. been a good
soldier. We Americans, too, would have had a very different sort
of annals to write, if the Stuarts, who have given so many names to
American places, had known how to use that sword which they were so
fond of handling.

The royal families of England did by no means monopolize the share of
domestic dissensions set apart for kings. The House of Stuart, even
before it ascended the English throne, and when it reigned over only
poor, but stout Scotland, was anything but famous for the love of its
fathers for their sons, or for its sons' love for their fathers; and
dissensions were common in the royal family. Robert III., second king
of the line, had great grief with his eldest son, the Duke of Rothsay;
and the King's brother, the Duke of Albany, did much to increase the
evil that had been caused by the loose life of the heir-apparent. The
end was, that Rothsay was imprisoned, and then murdered by his uncle.
Scott has used the details of this court-tragedy in his "Fair Maid of
Perth," one of the best of his later novels, most of the incidents in
which are strictly historical. James I. was murdered while he was yet
young, and James II. lost his life at twenty-nine; but James III. lost
both throne and life in a war that was waged against him in the name
of his son, who became king in consequence of his father's defeat and
death. When James IV. fell at Flodden, because he fought like a brave
fool, and not like a skilful general, he left a son who was not three
years old; and that son, James V., when he died, left a daughter, the
hapless Mary Stuart, who was but a week old. There was not much room
for quarrelling in either of these cases. Mary Stuart's son, then an
infant, was made the head of the party that dethroned his mother,
and forced her into that long exile that terminated in her murder by
Elizabeth of England. Mary's quarrels with her husband, Darnley, were
of so bitter a character as to create the belief that she caused
him to be murdered,--a belief that is as common now as it was in the
sixteenth century, though the Marian Controversy has been going on for
wellnigh three hundred years, and it has been distinctly proved by a
host of clever writers and skilful logicians that it was impossible
for her to have had any thing to do with that summary act of divorce.

Several of the sovereigns of Continental Europe have had great
troubles with their children, and these children have often had very
disobedient fathers. In France, the Dauphin, afterward Louis XI.,
could not always keep on good terms with his father, Charles VII., who
has the reputation of having restored the French monarchy, after the
English had all but subverted it, Charles at one time being derisively
called King of Bourges. Nothing annoyed Louis so much as being
compelled to run away before the army which his father was leading
against him. He would, he declared, have stayed and fought, but that
he had not even half so many men as composed the royal force. He
would have killed his father as readily as he killed his brother in
after-days,--if he did kill his brother, of which there is some
doubt, of which he should have the benefit. As was but natural, he
was jealous of his son, though he died when that prince was thirteen.
Owing to various causes, however, there have been fewer quarrels
between French kings and their eldest sons than between English kings
and their eldest sons. Few French monarchs have been succeeded by
their sons during the last three hundred years,--but two, in fact,
namely, Louis XIII., who followed his father, Henry IV., and Louis
XIV., who succeeded to Louis XIII., his father. It is two hundred
and twenty years since a father was succeeded by a son in France,--a
circumstance that Napoleon III. should lay to heart, and not be too
sure that the Prince Imperial is to become Napoleon IV. There seems
to be something fatal about the French purple, which has a strange
tendency to spread itself, and to settle upon shoulders that could not
have counted upon experiencing its weight and its warmth. Sometimes it
is hung up for the time, and becomes dusty, while republicans take a
turn at governing, though seldom with success. There were troubles
in the families of Louis XIV., who was too heartless, selfish, and
unfeeling not to be that worst kind of king, the domestic tyrant. He
tyrannized over even his mistresses.

Philip II., the greatest monarch of modern times,--perhaps the
greatest of all time, the extent and diversity of his dominions
considered, and the ability of the races over which he ruled taken
into the account,--was under the painful necessity of putting his
eldest son, Don Carlos, in close confinement, from which he never came
forth until he was brought out feet foremost, the presumption being
that he had been put to death by his father's orders. Carlos has been
made a hero of romance, but a more worthless character never lived.
On his death-bed Philip II. was compelled to see how little his son
Philip, who succeeded him, cared for his feelings and wishes. Peter
the Great put to death his son Alexis; and Frederick William I.
of Prussia came very near taking the life of that son of his who
afterward became Frederick the Great.

Jealousy is so common a feeling in Oriental royal houses, that it is
hardly allowable to quote anything from their history; but we may be
permitted to allude to the effect of one instance of paternal hate in
the Ottoman family at the time of its utmost greatness. Solyman
the Magnificent was jealous of his eldest son, Mustapha, who is
represented by all writers on the Turkish history of those times as
a remarkably superior man, and who, had he lived, would have been a
mighty foe to Christendom. This son the Sultan caused to be put to
death, and there are few incidents of a more tragical cast than those
which accompanied Mustapha's murder. They might be turned to great
use by an historical romancer, who would find matters all made to his
hand. The effect of this murder was to substitute for the succession
that miserable drunkard, Selim II., who was utterly unable to lead the
Turks in those wars that were absolutely essential to their existence
as a dominant people. "With him," says Ranke, "begins the series of
those inactive Sultans, in whose dubious character we may trace one
main cause of the decay of the Ottoman fortunes." Solyman's hatred of
his able son was a good thing for Christendom; for, if Mustapha had
lived, and become Sultan, the War of Cyprus--that contest in
which occurred the Battle of Lepanto--might have Lad a different
termination, and the Osmanlis have been successful invaders of both
Spain and Italy. It was a most fortunate circumstance for Europe,
that, while it was engaged in carrying on civil wars and wars of
religion, the Turks should have had for their chiefs men incapable of
carrying on that work of war and conquest through which alone it was
possible for those Mussulmans to maintain their position in Europe;
and that they were thus favored was owing to the causeless jealousy
felt by Sultan Solyman for the son who most resembled himself: and
Solyman was the greatest of his line, which some say ended with him.





One Sunday morning, long ago, a girl stood in her bed-room,
lingeringly occupied with the last touches of her toilet.

A string of beads, made of pure gold and as large as peas, lay before
her. They had been her mother's,--given to her when the distracted
state of American currency made a wedding-present of the precious
metal as welcome as it was valuable. Three several times, under
circumstances of great pecuniary urgency, had the beads sufficed, one
by one, to restore the family to comfort,--to pay the expenses of a
journey, to buy seed-grain, and to make out the payment of a yoke of
oxen. Afterwards, when peace and plenty came to be housemates in the
land, the gold beads were redeemed, and the necklace, dearer than
ever, encircled the neck of the only daughter.

The only daughter took them up, and clasped them round her throat with
a decisive snap. But the crowning graces remained in the shape of two
other ornaments that lay in a small China box. It had a head on the
cover, beautifully painted, of some queen,--perhaps of the Empress
Josephine, the girl thought. The hat had great ostrich-feathers, that
seemed proper to royalty, and it was a pretty face.

In the box lay a pin and ring. On the back of the pin was braided
hair, and letters curiously intertwined. The young girl slipped the
ring on her own finger once more, and smiled. Then she took it off,
with a sigh that had no pain in it, and looked at the name engraved
inside,--DORCAS FOX.

Whoever saw this name in the town records would naturally image to
himself the town tailoress or nurse, or somebody's single sister
who had been wise too long,--somebody tall, a little bent, and
bony,--somebody weather-beaten and determined--looking, with a sharp,
shrewd glance of a gray eye that said you could not possibly get the
better of her and so need not try,--somebody who goes out unattended
and fearless at night; for, as she very properly observes, "Who'd want
to speak to _me_?"

This might have described the original owner of the pin and ring, who
had died years before, and left the ornaments for her namesake and
niece, when she was too young to remember or care for her, but not the
niece herself. She was young, blooming, twenty-two, and the belle of
the country-village where she dwelt.

The bed-room where the girl stood and meditated, after her fashion,
was six feet by ten in dimensions, and the oval mirror before which
she stood was six inches by ten. It was a genuine relic of the
Mayflower, and had been brought over, together with the great chest in
the entry, by the grand-grand-grandmother of all the Foxes. If anybody
were disposed to be skeptical on this point, Colonel Fox had only to
point to the iron clamp at the end, by which it had been confined to
the deck; that would have produced conviction, if he had declared it
came out of the Ark. This was a queer-looking little mirror, in which
the young Dorcas saw her round face reflected: framed in black oak,
delicately carved, and cut on the edge with a slant that gave the
plate an appearance of being an inch thick.

Sixty years ago there were not many mirrors in country-towns in New
England; and in Colonel Fox's house this and one more sufficed for the
family-reflections. In the "square room," a modern long looking-glass,
framed in mahogany, and surmounted by the American emblem of triumph,
was the astonishment of the neighbors,--and in Walton those were many,
though the population was small.

Dorcas looked wistfully and wishingly at the oval pin; but with no
more notion of what she was looking at than the child who gazes into
the heavens on a winter night. When she looked into the oval mirror,
no dream of the centuries through which it had received on its surface
fair and suffering faces, grave, noble, self-sacrificing men, and
scenes of trial deep and agonizing,--no dream of the past disturbed
the serene unconsciousness of her gaze. She looked at the large
pearls that formed the long oval pin, and at the exquisite allegorical
painting, which, in the quaint fashion of the time of its execution,
was colored with the "ground hair" of the beloved; so materializing
sentiment, and, as it were, getting as near as possible to the very
heart's blood. Yet the old gold, the elaborate execution of the quaint
classical device, and the fanciful arrangement of the braided hair
interwoven with twisted gold letters, all told no tales to the
observer, whose unwakened nature, indeed, asked no questions.

The little room, so small that in these days a College of Physicians
would at once condemn it, as a cradle of disease and death, had
nevertheless for twenty years been the nightly abode of as perfect a
piece of health as the country produced. Whatever might be wanting
in height and space was amply made up in inevitable and involuntary
ventilation. Health walked in at the wide cracks around the little
window-frame, peeped about in all directions with the snow-flakes in
winter and the ready breezes in summer, and settled itself permanently
on the fresh cheeks and lips of the light sleeper and early riser.

Beside the white-covered cot there stood a straight-backed,
list-seated oaken chair, a mahogany chest of drawers that reached from
floor to ceiling, and a little three-legged light-stand. Everything
was covered with white, and the room was fragrant with the lavender
and dried rose-leaves with which every drawer was scrupulously
perfumed. There was no toilet-table, for Dorcas had use neither for
perfumes nor ointment. No Kalydors and no Glycerines came within the
category of her healthful experience. Alert and graceful, she neither
burnt her fingers nor cut her hands, and had need therefore of no
soothing salves or sirups; and as she did not totter in scrimped shoes
or tight laces, and so did not fall and break her bones, she had no
need even of that modern necessity in all well-regulated families,
"Prepared Glue." There was no medicine-chest in Colonel Fox's house.
Healthy, occupied, active, and wise--but not too wise--was Dorcas Fox.

It is no proof that Dorcas was a beauty, that she looked often in the
little mirror. Ugliness is quite as anxious as beauty on that point,
and is even oftener found gazing with sad solicitude at itself, if
haply there may be found some mollifying or mitigating circumstance,
either in outline or expression. But Dorcas's face pleased herself and
everybody else.

A certain freedom and ease, the result partly of a symmetrical form,
and partly of conscious good-looks, gave the grace of movement to
Dorcas which attracted all eyes. Almost every one has a sense of
harmony, and old and young loved to watch the musical motion of Dorcas
Fox, whatever she might be doing,--whether she queened it at the
"Thanksgiving Ball," and from heel-and-toe, pigeon-wing, or mazy
double-shuffle, evolved the finest and subtlest intricacies of muscle,
or whether, on the Sabbath, walking behind her parents to meeting,
she married the movement to the solemnity of the day, and, as it were,
walked in long metre.

She always was in Hallelujah metre to the Blacks, Whites, Grays,
Greens, and Browns that color so largely every New-England community;
and the youths who were wont to form the crowd that invariably settled
at the corner of the meeting-house waited only till Dorcas Fox went up
the "broad-oil" to express open-mouthed admiration. After her fashion,
she was as much wondered at as the Duchess of Hamilton in her time,
and with much more reason, since Dorcas was composed of real roses and

On Sunday, though the Puritanic doctrine prevailed, as far as doctrine
can, of not speaking week-day thoughts, or having them, if they would
keep away, yet inevitably, among the younger portion of the flock, the
day of "meeting" was one of more than religious importance; and many
lads and lasses who were never attracted by Father Boardman's eloquent
sedatives still made it a point to be regular in their attendance at
meeting twice on every Sunday. From far and near came open one-horse
wagons, piled high with weekly shaven and dressed humanity,--young
and old with solemn and demure faces, with brown-ribboned queues, and
garments of domestic making. Fresh, strong, tall girls of five feet
ten, dressed in straw bonnets of their own handiwork, and sometimes
with scarlet cardinals lightly flung over their shoulders, sprang over
the wagon-thills to the ground. Now and then the more remote dwellers
came on horseback, each Jack with his Gill on a pillion behind, and
holding him with a proper and dignified embrace.

Hard-handed youths, with bright, determined faces,--men nursed in
blockhouses, born in forts,--men who had raised their corn when the
loaded gun went every step with the hoe and the plough,--such men,
of whom the Revolution had been made, who could say nothing, and do
everything, stood in a crowd around the meeting-house door. There was
some excitement in meeting each other, though there was very little,
if anything, to say. There was time enough in those days. Progress
wasn't in such a hurry as now. Inventions came calmly along, once in
a man's life, and not, as now, each heel-trodden by that of his
neighbor, tripping up and passing it, in the speed of the breathless

The sun itself seemed to shine with a calmer and silenter radiance
over the broad, leisurely land.

Time enough, bless you! and the Sunday, any way, is _so_ long!

This Sunday morning, at ten o'clock, Dorcas has already been up and
dressed six hours. Everything having the remotest connection with
domestic duties has been finished and laid aside long ago, and she has
devoted the last two hours to solitary meditations, mostly of the kind
already mentioned.

In the great oven, since last night, has lain the Sunday supper of
baked pork-and-beans, Indian-pudding, and brown bread, all the
better the longer they bake, and all unfailing in their character
of excellence. In the square room, in the green arm-chair, sits the
Colonel, fast asleep.

Four hours ago, he fumed and fretted about barn and cow-house,
breakfasted, and had family-prayers. Since then, he has donned his
Sabbath array, both mental and bodily. Mentally, having dismissed the
cares of the week, he has strictly united himself with his body, and
gone to sleep. Bodily, he appears in a suit of hemlock-dyed, with
Matherman buttons, knee- and shoe-buckles of silver. His gray hair is
neatly composed in a queue, his full cheeks rest on his portly chest,
and the outward visibly harmonizes with the inward man. He
sleeps soundly now, purposing faithfully to keep awake during the
three-and-twenty heads of the minister's discourse. If he finds it
too much for him, he means to stand, as he often does. Sometimes he
partakes freely of the aromatic stimulants carried by his wife and
daughter as bouquets. The southernwood wakes him, and the green seeds
of the caraway get him well along through the sermon.

Mrs. Fox steps softly in, rustling in the same black taffeta she
always wears, and the same black silk bonnet,--worn just fifty-two
days in a year, and carefully pinned and boxed away for all the other
three hundred and thirteen.

As fashions did not come to Walton oftener than once in ten years,
it followed that apparel among the young people wore very much the
expression of individual taste, while among the elders it was wont to
assume the cast now irreverently designated by "fossil remains." And,
really, it did not much matter. Whatever our country-grandmothers were
admired and esteemed for, be sure it was not dress.

As the clock pointed to half-past ten, the door opened quickly, and
Dorcas stood on the threshold, like a summer breeze that has stopped
one moment its fluttering, and hovers fresh, sweet, and sunny in
the morning air. The breath of her presence, if indeed it were not
association, roused old Colonel Fox from his sleep. He glanced at her,
took the ready arm of his wife, looked again at the clock, and passed
out over the flat door-stone with his cocked hat and cane, as became
an invalid soldier and a gentleman. Behind them, hymn-book in hand
and with downcast eyes, walked Dorcas. Not a word passed between the
parents and their only daughter. On Sunday, people were not to think
their own thoughts. And familiarity between parents and children,
never allowed even on week-days, would have been unpardonable
unfitness on the Sabbath.

They reached the church-door just as the minister, with his white wig
shedding powder on his venerable back, passed up the broad-aisle.
A perfectly decorous throng of the loiterers followed, and the
pews rapidly filled. The Colonel and his wife, being persons of
consequence, took their way with suitable dignity and deliberation. In
the three who turned, about half-way up the broad-aisle, into a square
pew, a physiognomist would have seen at one glance the characteristic
features of each mind. In the Colonel, choleric, fresh, and
warm-hearted, a good lover, and not very good hater. In his wife, "a
chronicler of small-beer," with a perfectly negative expression. One
might guess she did no harm, and fear she did no good,--that she saved
the hire of an upper servant,--that she was an inveterate sewer and
cleaner, and would leave the world in time with an epitaph.

On the third figure and face the physiognomist might dwell
longer,--but that rather because youth, hope, and inexperience had
refused to make any of the life-marks that tell stories in faces.
There was abundant room for imagination and prophecy.

A figure not too tall, but full of wavy lines,--two dark-blue eyes,
whose full under-lids gave an expression of arch sweetness to the
glance,--a delicate complexion of roses and lilies, as suggestive of
fading as of blossoming,--features small, and not at all of the Greek
pattern,--and the rather large head and slightly developed bust,
typical of American rural beauty.

To this summary of youthful charms would be at once added the grace of
motion before spoken of, which made Dorcas Fox a favorite with all the
young men in Walton, and which gave her a reputation of beauty which
in strictness she did not deserve. A little habitual ill-health,
and the glamour is gone, with the roses and lilies and the music
of motion. In our climate of fierce extremes, both field- and
garden-flowers speedily wilt and chill. Dorcas herself had been a
thousand times told she was the very picture of her mother at her age.
And just to look now at Mrs. Colonel Fox!

A tall young man stood on the doorsteps of the meeting-house, as
Dorcas went demurely behind her parents in at the open door. He looked
at her with a quick, inquiring glance from his keen Yankee eyes, which
she answered with an almost imperceptible nod of her graceful head.
She dropped her eyes, and passed on. This young man was Henry Mowers,
and he owned the Mowers farm. He was a very good, sensible fellow, and
had "kept company," as the country-phrase is, with Dorcas Fox for
the last few weeks, having, indeed, had his eye on her ever since the
New-Year's sleigh-ride and ball.

After Dorcas had reached her seat in the pew, and adjusted her
spotless Sunday chintz and the ribbon that confined her jaunty
gypsy-hat over her sunny hair, she raised her eyes carelessly to a pew
in a side-aisle. The Dorrs generally occupied it alone; but sometimes
Swan Day, when he wasn't in the choir, sat there too.

Swan Day, or, as he might better have been called, Night Raven, kept
the country-store in Walton. One naturally thought of afternoon
rather than morning at seeing his olive complexion, dark eyes, and
thick-clustering black curls. Such romance as was to be had in Walton,
without the aid of a circulating library, certainly gathered about
Swan Day. An orphan, born of a Creole mother and a British sergeant,
he had been left early to his own resources. He had found them
sufficient thus far, in a cordial neighborhood like Walton, when
industry and temperance were cardinal virtues not carried to excess;
and he was rather a favorite among the young women.

The peculiar languor and richness of his complexion,--the dark eyes,
soft as an Indian girl's,--the mouth, melting and red as the grapes
where under a tropical sun his foreign mother had lain, and, gathering
them ripe, had dropped them lazily into his baby mouth: these were new
and strange features in the Saxon community where he had accidentally
been left on the death of his father, who was shot at Saratoga. The
mother lingered awhile, and then dropped away, leaving Swan to thrive
in the bracing air in which she had shivered to death.

Many Sundays before this, Swan had looked at Colonel Fox's pew, and,
looking, loved.

Dorcas looked occasionally.

All the time, while the minister preached, she twiddled her
caraway-stems, sometimes biting a seed in two very softly between her
little teeth, and keeping, on the whole, an appearance of exemplary
devoutness. When Father Boardman reached "sixthly," she raised her
eyes, and saw Henry Mowers looking straight at her. Then she
dropped her eyelids at once, sniffed delicately at her bouquet of
southernwood, and, gaining strength from its pungency, applied herself
to staring once more at the great pine pulpit, where, like a very old
sparrow on the house-top, Father Boardman denounced and anathematized
at leisure all who did not think as he did. By degrees, all the eyes
in Dorcas's neighborhood that had been any length of time in the world
were dozing and closing with the full leave of the spirit. Finally,
when Father Boardman entered on the "improvement," Dorcas, who had
not heard a word, looked again in the direction of the Dorr pew. Henry
Mowers had succumbed to Morpheus half an hour before. Still there
flamed on the deep, bewitching eyes of Day; and as all the rest in her
neighborhood had gone to sleep, and the young girl had really nothing
specially to keep herself awake with, she looked up, too, and then
down, and then rosily, and timidly, and consciously, and then at
him once more. By that time she blushed again, and a smile was just
beginning to wake from its sleep in the corner of her mouth, when
a rush, a rising, and a general clatter and banging of pew-seats
announced the blessed news of suspended instruction.

In the fashion of sixty years ago, the congregation waited reverently,
until the pastor walked down the broad-aisle and out at the door,
before a soul stirred. Then the men followed, and last of all the
women. In the crowd, there were frequent opportunities for whispered
words, all the sweeter for the stealing; and in the crowd, after he
had seen Henry Mowers jump into the wagon and drive off his three
sisters half a mile to their home, and after seeing Jenny Post ride
off on a pillion behind her old brother, as in the gone-by days when
wide roads and wagons were not, Swan sauntered carelessly towards
Dorcas, and said, in a tone too low for her parents to hear, but very

"I must see you to-morrow night."

"I can't," was the murmured reply.

"For the last time, Dorcas! come down to the old pear-tree to-morrow,
before sunset," he whispered, imploringly.

He was wise to turn suddenly away before her parents could hear him,
touching on secular subjects, and before she could herself get up any
new objection. Her objections, truly, were very faint and few, and,
being tossed about awhile, finally settled out of sight. Henry
would, she knew, come to his weekly wooing as soon as the setting sun
proclaimed the Sabbath-day over. After that time she was safe. She
could slip down the orchard to the pear-tree, and hear what was the
important word, and what Swan meant by "the last."

Eight or ten persons, who lived at a distance from "meeting," were in
the habit of partaking the hospitality of Colonel Fox, of a Sunday,
as the hour's intermission gave them no opportunity to return to
their distant homes. After the Puritan fashion, unlike enough to the
present, families were restricted on Sunday to two meals, and those
were provided with a Jewish regard to the fourth commandment. All
labor was scrupulously anticipated or postponed, but such hospitality
as consisted with the strict observance of the Sabbath was at the
service of their friends.

On coming in at the door of the square room, with its sanded floor,
its old desk, its spare bed in the corner, and its cherry table with
wavy outlines, which had belonged to Colonel Fox's mother, Dorcas
found the cloth already laid, and the bonnets and cardinals of half a
dozen old friends on the bed.

In five minutes, early apples, old cider, and a plate of raised
doughnuts, flanked by plates of mince- and apple-pie, rewarded the
patience and piety of the company. Colonel Fox, solemnly, and as if
he were quite accustomed to it, poured from a jug into large tumblers
that held at least a pint, dropped three large lumps of loaf-sugar,
filled the glass with water, grated some nutmeg on the top, and bade
his guests refresh themselves with toddy, unless they preferred flip:
if they did, they had only to say so: the poker was hot.

They all ate and drank, and by that time the bell rang again; and then
they all went again. And if they heard Father Boardman at all, it was
with utterly composed minds, when he told them it was their duty to be
contented, even should their condemnation be eternally decreed, since
it must, of course, be for the good of the whole, and for the glory of
God. Hopkinsianism was in fashion then, and the minds of men in many
parts of the country had accepted the logic of its founder, negatived
as it was, in its practical application, by the sweetness of his
Christian benevolence and his large humanity. Then the toddy helped
them to swallow many doctrines that in our cold-water days are sharply
and defiantly contested. The head is much clearer; whether hearts are
better is doubtful.

After supper, and while yet the sun lingered smilingly over the
Great Meadows and on the hills, behind which he sank, Dorcas, who had
meanwhile adorned herself with Aunt Dorcas's bequest, broke the long
silence, by whispering so low that her father's sleep should not be

"Mother, do you set much by this pin?"

"Of course I do, child! 'T was your Aunt Dorcas's," said Mrs. Fox,
"your father's own sister."

"Yes, I know it, mother; but how did she come by it?"

All these years, and this was the first time Dorcas had asked the
question! She colored a little, too, as if some secret thought or
story were busy about her heart, as she looked at the ring.

"Well,--it was a man she 'xpected to 'a' bed. They was to 'a' ben
merried, an' he was to 'a' gi'n up v'yagin'. But he was cast away, an'
she never heerd nothin' about neither him nor the ship. He was waitin'
to git means, an' he did, privateerin' an' so; but I 'xpect he was
drownded," concluded Mrs. Fox, in a suitably plaintive tone.

And that was Aunt Dorcas's story.


If anybody is curious to know why there should be mystery or secrecy
connected with Swan Day's meeting with Dorcas, or why they should meet
under a pear-tree, instead of her father's roof-tree, in a rational
way, it might be a sufficient answer, that there never was and never
will be anything direct and straightforward about Cupid or his doings.
But the real and more important reason was, that Colonel Fox did not
like Swan, and had said, in so many words, that "he wouldn't have
Swan Day a-hangin' round, no _how_!--that he was a poor kind of a
shote,--that he wished both him and his clutter well out o' town,--and
that he needn't think to make swans out of his geese, no _time_!"

In the first and last sentence, Colonel Fox indicated the ground of
his dislike to the handsome young store-keeper, and his dread that
Swan's eyes would somehow interfere with his own cherished plans of a
union between the Fox and Mower farms. Whatever Colonel Fox determined
on was done or to be done. He had anticipated the French proverb;
and the "impossibility" made not the slightest difference. Therefore
Dorcas had no notion of disobedience in her head, permanently. She
solaced herself by the occasional luxury of departure from set rules,
and she intended to depart in that way to-morrow,--for just five
minutes,--just to hear what that foolish fellow wanted of her; and
what could it be? and why was it the last time?--would he give her up?

Dorcas pondered the matter while the sun still crowned the heights,
and glanced at her sleeping father in silence. Why should Colonel Fox
dislike Swan so very much because he was a Britisher? All that was
done with, long ago, and why not be peaceable? Just then her father
drew the breath sharply between his teeth, as if in pain. It was the
old wound, that had never been healed since the Battle of Bennington.
He had lain on the ground,--Dorcas had often heard him tell the
tale,--and had striven to slake his deathly thirst with the blood that
he scooped up in the hollow of his hand from the ground about him. So
terrible was the carnage where he lay. "A d----d Britisher had shot
him,--another had driven his horse over him, and afterwards, while
he lay half-dead, had tried to rob him!" Would he ever forget it?
He would have continued, on the contrary, to fire and hack till the
present day, but for the wound in his knee, which had disabled him for
life, long before a peace was patched up with the mother-country. So
he had retired to Walton, and before Continental money had depreciated
more than half had bought acres by the thousand, and become
generalissimo of flocks and herds. Through the admiration of his
townsmen for his wounds, he rapidly and easily attained the rank
of Colonel, without the discomfort of fighting for it; and from his
excellent sense and the executive ability induced by military
habits, became, in turn, justice of the peace, deacon of the church,
town-clerk, and manager-general of Walton.

Nobody--that is to say, nobody in the family--spoke, when Colonel Fox
was in the house, unless first spoken to,--not even Dorcas. Such were
the domestic tactics of the last century, and Colonel Fox held fast to
old notions.

The social ones were far more liberal,--so very liberal, indeed, so
very free and easy, in the rural districts especially, that only a
knowledge of the primitive conditions under which such manners grew
up could possibly reconcile with them any impressions of purity and
discretion. In hearing of manners, therefore, it is always necessary
to remember that the children of country Puritans are and were wholly
different _in the grain_ from Paris or London society of the same
period,--as different, for example, as the Goddess of Reason from
our first mother, though at first glance one might think those two
similar. New-England parents had the utmost confidence in their
daughters, and almost no restraint was laid on social intercourse.
Their personal dignity and propriety wore presupposed, as matters of
course. Religion and virtue needed only to point, not to restrain.

The Colonel, on his part, took little heed of Dorcas's movements in
the way of balls and sleigh-rides. Content that her face showed health
and enjoyment, he never thought or cared what passed in her mind. If
only the hay-crop proved abundant, and the Davis lot yielded well,--if
neither wheat got the blight, nor sheep the rot,--if it were better to
buy Buckhorn for milk, or sell the Calico-Trotter,--these thoughts so
filled his soul that there was very little room to let in any nonsense
about Dorcas, only "to have Swan Day shet up before he begins," for,
as he often said, "he wouldn't give the snap of his thumb for as many
Swan Days as could stand between this and Jerusalem!"

She had met him twice before, and both times rather accidentally, as
she supposed, under the pear-tree,--both times, when she went to the
well for water. He had drawn the water, and had talked some with
his tongue, but more, far more, with his eyes of Oriental depth and
fascination. Dorcas thought and meant no harm in meeting Swan. Even if
her nature had been more wakened and conscious,--even if she had had
either the habit or the power of analyzing her own sensations,--even
if she had seen her soul from without, as she certainly did not
within,--she would have recoiled from the thought of deliberate

In the nature even of a coquette there is not necessarily either
cruelty or hardness. It cannot be a fine nature, and must be deficient
in the tact which appreciates the feelings of another, and
the sympathy that shrinks from injuring them. It may be called
selfishness, which is another term for thoughtlessness or want of
consideration or perception, but it is not deliberate selfishness.
This last is often found with fine perceptions and intuitive tact. It
is rather a natural obtuseness, a want of thought on the subject. Such
persons remember and connect their own sensations with the object,
thinking little or nothing of the feelings they may themselves excite
by the heedlessness of their manner.

If Dorcas had once thought of the value of the hearts she played with,
and as it were tossed from hand to hand,--if she had even weighed one
against another, she might have had some sorrow in grieving either.
But having no standard of delicacy and tenderness in her own nature
by which to judge theirs, Dorcas cannot be accused of intentional
injustice, which is generally understood by coquetry. On the contrary,
if she had been able to express her emotions,--

    "How happy could I be with either!"

would have done so. Dorcas was very young in experience.

In those days of freedom there was no such word as "engaged"; least
of all, did the parties concerned violate all their own notions of
decorum by "announcing an engagement." The lists were free to all
to enter, and the bravest won the day. After weeks and months of
shy "company-keeping," it was "expected it would be a match" by the
keen-sighted or deeply interested. Sometimes the dissolution of an
engagement was mentioned as "a shame! after keeping company so many
years, and she had got all her quilts made and everything!" But best
of all was for the parties to be married outright, by a justice of
the peace, without a word of public warning, and then to enjoy
the pleasure of outwitting the neighbors, and coming down like a
thunderclap on a social sunshine unsuspicious of banns, which had been
published on some three literally public days, but when nobody
was hearing. That was something worth doing, and very much worth

The sun set. The Sabbath was done. The Colonel heaved a sigh of
relief. The Colonel's wife took her knitting-work; and the Colonel's
daughter looked up with a shy smile at Henry Mowers fastening his
horse by the corn-barn. It was time Sunday was over, indeed! Such a
long supper! but it must end sometime!--and then prayers, and then
Dorcas had amused herself with Bel and the Dragon and Tobit awhile.
All would not do, and the family had been obliged to resort to the
sweet restorer for the last ten minutes. Now they could think their
own thoughts in peace, and talk of what interested them,--cattle,
people, and the like. Poor Dorcas! what with Father Boardman's
preaching, and the Westminster Catechism, she associated religion with
all that was dull and inexplicable, though she did not doubt it was
good in case of dying. In the Nature and life that surrounded her
she had not seen God, but a refuge from Him. In the crimson floods
of sunshine, in the brilliant moonrise, or the pulsating stars of a
winter night, she found a sort of guilty relief from the dulness of
what she supposed was Revelation. But she never thought of questioning
or doubting any teachings, in the pulpit or out. A woman cannot, like
a man, fight a subject down. Her intellect shrinks from being tossed
and pierced on the pricks of doctrine. She is gentle and cowardly. She
sets the matter aside, and is contented to wait till she dies to
find out. But the men in Walton were all theologians, and sharp at
polemics. In the bar-room the spirit of liberty throve, which was
crushed in the pulpit. In that small New-England town, where, like
a great white sheep, Father Boardman now led his docile flock to the
fold, whoever looked long enough would see many new folds and many new
shepherds. Every shape of religious thinking will have its exponent,
and the widest liberty be claimed and enjoyed. Though he slept through
Father Boardman's sermons, it is doubtful if Henry Mowers did not in
his dreams lay the corner-stone of the new meeting-house on the hill.

Monday, and the hurly-burly of washing over. Dorcas had nearly
finished her "stent" on the little wheel. As she sat by the open door,
diligently trotting her foot, and softly pulling the last flax from
her distaff, her glance went hastily and often towards the setting
sun. She could see beyond the sloping orchard, no longer loaded
with fruit, the Great Meadows, extending along the banks of the
Connecticut. She could see on the eastern side great white mountains,
that went modestly by the name of hills, and that came in after-years
to draw pilgrims from the ends of the earth. They were white-capped
and solemn-looking, and girdled by majestic forests; while the Green
Mountains, that lay along the horizon, not so high as "the Hills,"
were crowned with verdure to the very top, and flaming with autumn
dyes. As far as the eye reached, beyond the immediate view rose an
immense solitude of forest that had lasted through centuries.

Dorcas's eyes rested and roamed alternately over these massive natural
features. She felt dimly in her heart the effect of the solemn aspect
of these great wastes,--these sublime possibilities, concealed and
waiting for the energy of man to discover them. A melancholy, sweet
and soft, composed partly of the effect of the view, and partly of the
languor of the Indian-summer weather, diffused itself over her. She
accused herself of various sins,--of levity, vanity, and not knowing
her own mind. Soon, however, feeling her unskilfulness to steer, she
abandoned the bark, and left it to drift. She must see Swan Day.

"And as to Henry!"--here Dorcas set back the little wheel,--"and as
to Henry!"--and here Dorcas threw her apron over her face,--"why, what
harm is there? I'm only going to see what he wants."

Under the apron rippled and rushed a thousand warm blushes, that
contradicted every word Dorcas said to herself. They made her remember
how, only the evening before, Henry had said words to her, which,
although she pretended not to understand him, had made her heart beat
proudly and tenderly; and how she had thought whoever was chosen to
be Henry's wife would be a happy woman! How many times had he said, as
they stood parting on the stoop, how sorry he was to go, and she,
like Juliet, had whispered, 't was "not yet day"! Yes, of course
Henry Mowers would be her husband, and she would tell Swan Day so,
if--if----But then, perhaps, there was no such nonsense in Swan's
head, after all.

Why could not the gypsy be satisfied with her almost angelic
happiness? But no. She shivered a little as the sun went down, and
exchanged her working-dress of petticoat and short-gown for something

Because Cely Temple was cutting apples and pumpkins, and stringing
them across the kitchen and pantry to dry, and because black Dinah
was making the "bean-porridge" for supper, it came to pass that the
daughter of the house was called on to lay the table. Dorcas bit her
lip, as she hastily did the duty, and postponed the pleasure.

The laboring-season is nearly over, the eight hired men reduced to
two, and the family-table is spread in the kitchen. How is the table
spread for supper in the house of Colonel Fox, one of the richest
farmers in Walton?

This is the way.

Dorcas brushes a scrap from the long table, scoured as white as snow,
but puts no linen on it. On the buttery-shelves, a set of pewter
rivals silver in brightness, but Dorcas does not touch them. She
places a brown rye-and-Indian loaf, of the size of a half-peck, in the
centre of the table,--a pan of milk, with the cream stirred in,--brown
earthen bowls, with bright pewter spoons by the dozen,--a delicious
cheese, whole, and the table is ready. When Dinah appears, with
her bright Madras turban, and says she is ready to dish the
"bean-porridge, nine days old," Dorcas tells her she is going
down beyond the cider-mill, to bring up the yarn, and, throwing a
handkerchief over her head, is out of sight before Dinah has finished
blowing the tin horn that summons to supper.

In five minutes, she was beyond the cider-mill, beyond the well, and
standing under the old pear-tree. Behind her, hiding her from the
house, is the corn-barn, stuffed and laden with the heavy harvest of
maize and wheat, and the cider-mill, where twenty bushels of apples
lie uncrushed on the ground, ready for the morrow's fate. A long row
of barrels already filled from the foaming vat stand ready to be taken
to the Colonel's own cellar, for the Colonel's own drinking, and as
far as one can see in one direction is the Colonel's own land. The
heiress of all would still be sought for herself.

Dorcas stood in the departing light, and leaned against the pear-tree.
Not yet come? A flush went up to her forehead, as, dropping her
handkerchief, she raised her hand to her eyes and glanced hastily
about her. Her chestnut curls were fastened with a blue ribbon on the
side of her head, and the floating ends fell on her shoulder.

This was the one departure from the severe simplicity of her dress,
for neither bright-hued calicoes nor muslins found their way to
Walton. Once in a long while, a print, at five times the present
prices, was introduced into the social circles of Walton by an
occasional peddler, or possibly by the adventurous spirit of Swan Day.
But these were rare instances.

Flannel of domestic manufacture, pressed till you could almost see
your face in it, stood instead of the French woollen fabric of modern
days. It left the jimp little waist as round and definite as the eye
could ask, while the full flow of the skirt exposed the neat foot,
deftly incased in stout Jefferson shoes. A plaited lawn, technically
termed a "modesty-piece," was folded over the bosom, and concealed
all but the upper part of the throat. Above that rose a face full of
delicacy and healthy sweetness. Eyes full of sparkles, and dimples
all about the cheeks, chin, and rather large mouth. Youth, and the
radiance of a happy, unconscious nature, of the capabilities or
possibilities of which she was as ignorant as the robin on the branch
above her, whose evening song had just closed, and who has just shut
his coquettish eyes.

A minute more, and Swan sprang over the stone wall, and with three
steps was standing by her. He stood still and looked at her, drawing
deep breaths of haste and agitation.

Dorcas spoke first.

"You wanted to see me. What is the matter?"

"Nothing,--but--you know I've got home."

"Why, yes, that is clear," answered Dorcas, mischievously, and
entirely easy herself, now that she saw Swan's cheeks aflame, and his
voice choking so he could not speak.

"We might as well go towards the house, if that is all," added she,
gathering in her hand some skeins of yarn that had been spread out to

Swan caught the yarn and threw it away with an impatient jerk. Then he
took both of Dorcas's hands in his, holding them with a fierce grasp
that made her almost scream.

"You know I can't go near the house."

"Yes, I know," said Dorcas, half frightened at his manner. "When did
you get back from Boston?"

"Saturday night. And I am going again to-morrow. And then--Dorcas--I
shall stay."


"Stay,--till you tell me to come back, maybe!"

"Why, where are you going, Swan?"

"To China, Dorcas."

"I want to know!" exclaimed she.

"Just it,--and no two ways about it. Sold out to Sawtell. Now you have
it, Dorcas!"

This curt and abrupt dialogue needed no more words. The rest was made
out fully by the bright color on each face, the sparkling interest
on the bent brow of Dorcas, and the deep, mellow voice, full of
tenderness and hope, mixed with stern decision, on the part of Swan

No wonder Dorcas's eyes had a glamour over them as she listened and
looked. What did she see? A slight, erect figure, with Napoleonic
features, animated with admiration and sensibility; emotion glorifying
the rich, deep eyes, and making them look in the twilight like stars;
and over all, the indefinable ease that comes from knowledge of the
world, however small that world may be.

Swan had little gift of language. The foregoing short dialogue is a
specimen of his ability in that way. But looks are a refinement on
speech, and say what words never can say.

"You see, Dorcas, I'm going out for the Perkinses with Orrin Tileston.
We each put in five hundred, and have our share of the profits."

"But to China! that's right under our feet! You'll never come back!"
murmured the girl.

"Do you ever want I should? Dorcas, if I come back rich, shall you be
glad? It will be all for you,--dear!" the last word low and timidly.

The mist went over her eyes again. A vision of Solomon in all his
glory swept across her. Even to Walton had spread rumors of the
immense fortunes acquired in the China and India trade, and the gold
of Cathay seemed to shimmer over the form before her, so strong, so
able to contend with, and compel, if need were, Fortune.

As to Swan, he looked over the river of Time that separated him from
love and happiness, and saw his idol and ideal standing on the
farther bank, dressed in purple and fine linen, with jewels of his own
adorning. Like Bunyan's "shining ones," she seemed to him far lifted
out of the range of ordinary thought and expression, into the regions
of inspired song. Now that he was really going to the East, the image
of Dorcas in his heart took on itself, with a graceful readiness, the
gold of Ophir, the pomps of Palmyra, and the shining glories of Zion.
He longed to "crown her with rose-buds, to fill her with costly wine
and ointments,"--to pour over her the measureless bounty of his love,
from the cornucopia of Fortune.

"Dorcas," said he,--and his words showed how inadequately thoughts can
be represented,--"Dorcas, I know your father thinks nothing at all
of me now; _but_, supposing I come back in two years, with--with--say
five thousand dollars!--then, Dorcas!"

The bright, soft eyes looked pleadingly at her.

Truly, in those days of simplicity and scant earnings, five thousand
dollars did seem likely to be an overwhelming temptation to the owner
of the Fox farm.

"But,--Swan!" said the blushing girl, releasing herself from his
grasp, and stepping back.

"Yes, Dorcas!--yes!--once!--only once!"

He came between her and the image of Henry Mowers; he was going
away; she might never see him again. A vague sentiment, composed of
pleasure, pity, admiration, and ambition, but having the semblance
only of timidity in her rosy face and downcast eyes, made her yield
her shrinking form, for one moment, to his trembling and passionate
caress, and the next, she ran as swiftly as a deer to the house.

Swan's eyes followed her. With his feet, he dared not. His bounding
heart half-choked him with pleasant pain. All be had not said,--all he
had meant to say to Dorcas, of his well-laid plans, his good-luck,
his hopes,--all he had meant to entreat of her constancy, for in the
infrequent communications between the two countries there was no hope
of a correspondence,--all he had meant to say to her of his fervent
love, of his anguish at separation, of the joy of reunion, and that
his love would leave him only with his life,--if he could only have
told her! But then he never would or could have put it all into
words, if Dorcas had stayed with him under the pear-tree till the next

He thought of the Colonel's pride, and how it would come down, at the
sight of Swan Day returning to Walton with five thousand dollars in
his coat-pocket, and mounted, perhaps, on an elephant! If he had held
a foremost social position in Walton, even while selling tape and
mop-sticks, molasses and rum, at the country-store, what might not be
the impression on the public mind at seeing the glittering plumage of
this "bird let loose from Eastern skies, when hastening fondly home"?
There was much balm for wounded pride to be gathered in this Oriental

Swan collected his energies and his clothes, finished his remaining
last words and duties, and took his seat with the mail-carrier, who
had the only public conveyance at that period from the town of Walton
to the town of Boston. His parents were dead; his immediate relatives
were scattered already in different States; and he left Walton with
his heart full of one image, that of Dorcas Fox.


"They du say Swan Day's gun off for good!" said Cely Temple, as she
returned from the store, with a Dutch-oven in her hand, which she had
purchased,--"an' to th' East Injees!"

"I want to know!" rejoined Mrs. Fox.

"I know some'll be sorry!" continued Cely, while Dorcas diligently
stirred a five-pail kettle of apple-sauce, that hung stewing over the
low fire.

Mrs. Fox looked up quickly at her daughter, but Dorcas continued
quietly stirring, and without turning round.

"Mahala Dorr, I guess," said she.

"Wall, M'hala'll be, an' so'll others," answered Cely, prudently.
"But I expect likely Swan'll do well, ef he don't die. They say the
atemuspere is pison there!--especially for dark-complected folks."

To this hopeful remark Mrs. Fox rejoined, that "old Miss Day come
herself from a warm country, and 't was likely her son would settle
there for good, and enjoy his health there better than what he would

"He'll look out well for Number One, anyhow!" said Cely, lifting the
lid of the Dutch-oven from the fire.

Dorcas shot an angry glance at the apple-sauce.

Nothing further passed on the subject, and Dorcas somehow felt, as she
stirred, as if Swan were already a long, long way off,--as if the ship
had sailed, and would stay sailed, like an enchanted ship, hovering
on the horizon, and never come near enough for the passengers to be
distinguished,--or else, maybe, go up into the clouds, and rest there
with all its masts and spars distinct against the rose-mist, as she
had read of once in a book of travels,--or, perhaps, even be inverted,
and stand there on its head, as it were, always: but everything must
be upside down, of course, in China. Already the thought of Swan Day
had mingled with the mists of the past. The outline became indefinite,
and softened into a golden splendor, that belonged no more to her, but
was essentially of another hemisphere. He had by this time cut loose
from home and country. Whether a hundred, or a hundred thousand miles,
it mattered not. Since she could not grasp the idea, the distance was
as good as infinite to her.

This, you see, is not exactly coquetry. But events drifted her.

When supper was over, and Dinah had gone to sleep, and Cely to visit
the neighbors, as usual, Dorcas shyly approached the subject which
occupied her thoughts, by getting the little box of jewelry, and
looking at it. Her mother called her from the kitchen, out of which
the bed-room opened.

"Does mother want me?" asked Dorcas, turning round, with the box in
her hand.

"No, no matter," answered the mother; and, possibly with an intuitive
feeling of what was in her daughter's thought, she went into the
bed-room, and looked with her at the pin and ring of Aunt Dorcas.

"Was it--was it a long time, mother,--I mean, before he came back?"
said Dorcas.

"Who? Captain Waterhouse? Bless you! they was as good as merried for
ten year, an' he was goin' all the time, an' then, jest at the last
minute, to be 'racked! It's 'most always so, when people goes to sea,"
added she, in a plaintive tone.

Dorcas meditated; she looked wistfully at her mother.

"It's a pretty pin,--dreadful pretty round the edge."

"Yes, 't is! I expect likely them's di'mon's. 'T was made over in
foreign parts. He was goin' to bring his picter, too, from there. But
he's lost and gone! Your Aunt Dorcas never had no more suitors after
that, and she kind o' gin in, and never had no sperits."

Dorcas's eyes filled, and she closed the box.

Henry Mowers would not come to the Fox farm till the next Sunday
night. That was as much settled as the new moon. So Dorcas had the
whole week to herself, to be thoroughly unhappy in,--all the more so,
a thousand times more so, for being utterly incapable of saying or
seeing why. An instinctive delicacy kept her from showing to any
of the family that she was even depressed; and her voice was heard
steadily warbling one of Wesley's hymns, or "Wolfe's Address to his
Army," in clear, brilliant tones, that rang up-stairs and down. The
general impression of distance and water associated her absent lover
with all that was heroic and romantic in song; for of novels she knew
nothing,--the Colonel's library being limited, in the imaginative
line, to a torn copy of the "Iliad," which had been left at the house
by a travelling cobbler.

However, romance is before all rules, and shapes its own adventures.
The beauty of Swan Day, which, dark and slight as it was, gleamed with
a power for Dorcas's eye and heart before which Buonarotti's
would have been only pale stone forever,--that beauty dwelt in her
imagination and memory, as only first romantic impressions can.
Distance canonized him, enthroned him, glorified him. And when she
thought of his setting forth so boldly, so bravely, to tread the
wide water, to tempt the hot sun, the foreign exposure, the perpetual
dangers of heathen countries, for her unworthy sake, all that was
tenderest, most grateful, in her now first wakened nature, rose up in
distressful tumult, and agitated the depths that are in all women's

If there had been anybody to whom she could confide the sad wrenching
of her spirit, any one who would have cleared her vision, and taught
her to look on "this picture and on this," she might not have been so
puzzled between her two Hyperions. But as it was, it was a sorrowful
struggle. One had the advantage of distance and imagination,--one of
presence, and of the magnetism of eye and lip.

"I am a wicked, wicked girl!" said she, as she stood before the glass,
and loosened the locks that fell like sunshine over her shoulders. But
this confession, with true New-England reticence, was uttered only to
one listener,--herself.

Then, she recalled, for it was Monday night once more, the frank and
noble nature of Henry: how he had not asked her to promise him, but
seemed to take for granted her truth and faith; how he had looked so
fondly, so clearly into her eyes, not for what he might find there,
but to show the transparent goodness and sincerity of his own; and
how he had told her of all his plans and hopes, of his wish and her
father's intention that they should be married that very fall; how
little he had said of his own overflowing affection, only that "he had
never thought of anybody else." Dorcas only felt, without putting the
sense into language, that in this life-boat there was safety. But
then had she not sent her heart on a venture in the other,--that other
which even now was tossing on the waves of a future, full-freighted
with hope, and faith in her truth?

She opened the little box again, and looked at the ring and painted
pin. How sorrowfully she looked at them now, seen through tears of
conscious experience! How mournful seemed the ground hair, and
the tints woven of so many broken hopes, sad thoughts, and wrecked
expectations! the hair, kissed so many times in the weary years of
waiting, and then wept over in the drearier desolation, when the sight
could only bring thoughts of the salt waves dashing amongst it in the
deep sea! What a life that had been of poor Aunt Dorcas! Then came
across her busy thought the words of her mother,--"It's 'most always

Swan sailed very far away, in these tearful reveries, and took hope
and life with him.

When the next Sunday evening came, and the next, and the next,--and
when Dorcas had ceased to say, blushing and smiling,--"Don't, Henry!
you know I should make such a poor kind of a wife for you! and your
mother wouldn't think anything of me!"--and when, Henry had had an
offer to go to Western New York, where there were nobody knew how many
beautiful girls, all waiting to pounce on the tall, fine-looking
young farmer,--when Colonel Fox forgot he was a deacon, and swore
that Dorcas was undeserving of such a happy lot as was offered to
her,--when the tears, and the reveries, and the pictures of far-away
lands, and the hopes that might wither with long years of waiting,
were all merged and effaced in the healthy happiness of the
present,--Dorcas dried her tears, and applied herself diligently to
building up her flaxen _trousseau_, and smothered in her heart the
image of dark and brilliant beauty that had for a time occupied it.

"She waited--a long time!--years--and years!" murmured Dorcas,
sorrowfully, as she looked at the pin and ring, which in her mind were
associated strongly with only one person,--and that one hereafter to
be dead to her. As soon as events clearly defined her duties, Dorcas
had no further questions with herself. If the box had been Pandora's,
not the less resolutely would she have shut it forever, and so crushed
the hope that it could never have leaped out.

So, with choking tears, and throbbing pulses, she followed many
brilliant fancies and hopes to their last resting-place. Henceforth
her path was open and clear, her duties defined, and with daily
occupation of hand and thought she strove to displace all that had
ever made her other than the cheerful and busy Dorcas. For the last
time, she closed and put away the box.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Among the imprinted papers of the author of "Charles Auchester" and
"Counterparts" was found this poem, addressed to a father on the death
of a favorite son, whose noble disposition and intellectual gifts were
all enlisted on the side of suffering humanity.]

  O mourner by the ever-mourning deep,
    Full as the sea of tears! imperial heart,
  King in thy sorrow over all who weep!
    O wrestler with the darkness set apart

  In clouds of woe whose lightnings are the throb
    Of thy fast-flashing pulses! pause to hear
  The lullabies of many an alien sob,
    A storm of alien sighs,--so far! so near!

  Oh that our vigils with thy gentle dead
    Could charm thee from thy night-long agonies,
  Could steep thy brain in slumber mild, and shed
    Elysian dreams upon thy closing eyes!

  In vain! all vain!--'tis yet the feast of tears;
    Sorrow for sorrow is the only spell;
  Nor wanders yet to melt in unspent years
    The wringing murmur of our fresh farewell!

  Thousands bereft strew wide the ashes dim;
    Rich hearts, poor hands, the lovely, the unlearned,
  Bemoan the angel of the age in him,
    A star unto its starlight strength returned,

  The City of Delights hath lost its gem,
    The Sea the changeful glance so like its own,
  Genius the darling of her diadem,
    Whose smile made moonlight round her awful throne.

  Those elfin steps their music moves no more
    Beneath light domes to tune the festal train,
  Nor at the moony eves along the shore
    To brim with fairy forms that wizard brain.

  Cold rocks, wild winds, and ever-changing waves,
    Sad rains that fret the sea and drown the day,
  We hail,--well pleased that stricken Autumn raves,
    Though not with Winter shall our griefs decay.

  On lurid mornings, when the lustrous sea
    Is violet-shadowed from the warm blue air,
  When the dark grasses brighten over thee,
    And the winged sunbeams flutter golden there,--

  Then to the wild green slope, thy chosen rest,
    The blossoms of our spirits we will bring,
  (Again a babe upon thy mother's breast,
    An infant seed of the eternal Spring,)--

  Thoughts bright and dark as violets in their dew,
    Unfading memories of a smile more sweet
  Than perfume of pale roses, hopes that strew
    Ethereal lilies on those silent feet

  The ghost of Pain haunts not that garden-land
    Where Passion's phantom is so softly laid;
  But Charity beside that earth doth stand,
    Most lovely left of all, thy sister-shade.

  Her baby-loves like trembling snowdrops lean
    Above thy calm hands and thy quiet head,
  When morn is fair, or noonday's glory keen
    Or the white star-fire glistens on thy bed.

  Her eyes of heaven upon thy slumbers brood,
    Her watch is o'er thy pillow, and her breath
  Tells every breeze that stirs thy solitude
    How thou didst earn that rest on earth called Death,--

  Earned in such quickening youth and brilliant years!
    For us too early, not too soon for thee!--
  So may we rest, when Death shall dry our tears,
    Till everlasting Morning makes us free!


The best aphorisms are pointed expressions of the results of
observation, experience, and reflection. They are portable wisdom,
the quintessential extracts of thought and feeling. They furnish the
largest amount of intellectual stimulus and nutriment in the smallest
compass. About every weak point in human nature, or vicious spot
in human life, there is deposited a crystallization of warning and
protective proverbs. For instance, with what relishing force such
sayings as the following touch the evil resident in indolence and
delay!--"An unemployed mind is the Devil's workshop"; "The industrious
tortoise wins the race from the lagging eagle"; "When God says,
To-day, the Devil says, To-morrow." In like manner, another cluster
of adages depict the certainty of the detection and punishment of
crime:--"Murder will out"; "Justice has feet of wool, but hands of
iron"; "God's mills grind slow, but they grind sure." So in relation
to every marked exposure of our life, there will be found in the
records of the common thought of mankind a set of deprecating

The laconic compactness of these utterances, their constant
applicability, the pungent patness with which they hit some fact of
experience, principle of human nature, or phenomenon of life, the ease
with which their racy sense may be apprehended and remembered, give
them a powerful charm for the popular fancy. Accordingly, a multitude
of proverbs are afloat in the writings and in the mouths of every
civilized people. Groups of national proverbs exist in most of the
languages of the world, each family of apothegms revealing the
chief traits of the people who gave them birth. In these collective
expressions of national mind, we can recognize--if so incomplete a
characterization may be ventured--the indrawn meditativeness of the
Hindu, the fiery imagination of the Arab, the devout and prudential
understanding of the Hebrew, the æsthetic subtilty of the Greek,
the legal breadth and sensual recklessness of the Roman, the martial
frenzy of the Goth, the chivalric and dark pride of the Spaniard,
the treacherous blood of the Italian, the mercurial vanity of the
Frenchman, the blunt realism of the Englishman.

It is obvious enough that the masses of moral statements or standing
exhortations composing the aphorisms of a language cannot mix in the
daily minds of men without deep cause and effect. It will be worth our
while to inquire into the bearings of this matter; for, though many a
gatherer has carried his basket through these diamond districts of the
mind, we do not remember that any one has sharply examined the value
of the treasures so often displayed, set forth the methods of their
influence and its qualifications, and determined the respective limits
of their use and their worthlessness. Undertaking this task, we must,
in the outset, divide aphorisms into the two classes of proverbs
and maxims, plebeian perceptions and aristocratic conclusions, moral
axioms and philosophic rules. This distinction may easily be made
clear, and will prove useful.

Popular proverbs are national, or cosmopolitan, and they are
anonymous,--rising from among the multitude, and floating on their
breath. They are generalizations of the average observation of a
people. Undoubtedly, as a general thing, each one was first struck
out by some superior mind. But usually this happened so early that
the name of the author is lost. Proverbs--as the etymology hints--are
words held before the common mind, words in front of the public. Wise
maxims, on the contrary, are individual, may more commonly be traced
to their origin in the writings of some renowned author, and are
more limited in their audience. They are the results of comprehensive
insight, the ripened products of searching meditation, the weighty
utterances of weighty minds. The proverb, "A burnt child dreads the
fire," flies over all climes and alights on every tongue. The maxim,
"All true life begins with renunciation," appeals to comparatively
few, and tarries only in prepared and thoughtful minds. Proverbs
are often mere statements of facts, barren truisms, too obvious to
instruct our thought, affect our feeling, or in any way change our
conduct, though the accuracy with which the arrow is shot fixes our
attention. Notice a few examples of this sort:--"A friend in need is
a friend indeed"; "Many a little makes a mickle"; "Anger is a brief
madness"; "It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good." Such
affirmations are too general and obvious to be provocative awakeners
of original reflection, sentiment, or will. Maxims, on the other hand,
instead of being general descriptions or condensed common-places, are
usually definite directions, discriminative exhortations. Notice such
specimens as these:--"Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take
care of themselves"; "When angry, count ten before you speak"; "Do the
duty nearest your hand, and the next will already have grown clearer";
"Remember that a thing begun is half done." Proverbs, then, are
results of observation, often affirmations of quite evident facts,
as, "Necessity is the mother of invention," or, "Who follows the
river will arrive at the sea." Maxims, in distinction, are results
of reflection. They are experience generalized into rules for the
guidance of action, as, "Think twice before you speak once," or,
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will
not depart from it." Proverbs are statical; maxims are dynamic. Those
are wisdom embalmed; these wisdom vitalized. The former are literary
fodder; the latter are literary pemmican.

The commonest application of proverbs is as mental economics,
_substitutes for thought_. They are constantly employed by the
ordinary sort of persons as provisions to avoid spiritual exertion,
artifices to dispose of a matter with the smallest amount of
intellectual trouble, as when one ends a controversy with the adage,
"Least said, soonest mended." The majority of people desire to get
along with the least possible expenditure of thinking. To many a
hard-headed laborer, five minutes of girded and continuous thinking
are more exhaustive than a whole day of muscular toil. No fact is more
familiar than that illiterate minds are furnished with an abundance of
trite sayings which they readily cite on all occasions. They thus
hit, or at least fancy they hit, the principle which applies to the
exigency, without the trouble of extemporaneously thinking it out
for themselves on the spot. Such saws as, "The pot must not call the
kettle black," "One swallow does not make a Spring," "Nought is never
in danger," "Out of sight, out of mind," often give employment to an
otherwise freightless tongue, and serve as excusing makeshifts for a
mind incompetent, from ignorance, indolence, or fatigue, to discharge
the duty of furnishing its own thought and expression for the

Proverbs are more frequently used as _explanations_ than as _guides_
of conduct, as the reason why we _have_ acted in a certain manner than
as a reason why we _should_ act so. "Look before you leap," is usually
said _after_ we have leaped. When a miserly man refuses to give
anything in behalf of some distant object, his refusal is not prompted
by the remembrance of the proverb, "Charity begins at home"; but the
stingy propensity first stirs in the man and actuates him, and then he
expresses his motive, or evades the true issue, by quoting the selfish
old saw ever ready at his hand. In such cases the axiom is not the
forerunning cause of the action, but its justifying explanation.
Sometimes, undeniably, an applicable proverb coming to mind does
influence a man and decide his conduct. Coming at the right moment, in
the wavering of his will, it suggests the principle which determines
him, lends the needful balance of impulse for which he waited. An old
proverb, indorsed by the usage of generations, strikes on the ear like
a voice falling from the heights of antiquity; it is clothed with
a kind of authority. Doubtless many a poor boy has received a sound
flogging which he would have escaped, had not his father happened
to recall the somewhat cruel and questionable aphorism of Solomon,
currently abbreviated into "Spare the rod and spoil the child."
When Charles IX. was hesitating as to the enactment of the Saint
Bartholomew Massacre, his bigoted mother, infuriated with sectarian
hate, whispered in his ear, "Clemency is sometimes cruelty, and
cruelty clemency,"--and the fatal decree was sealed. But such
instances are exceptional, and partly deceptive, too. Man is usually
governed by his own passions, his own circumstances, or his own
reason, not by any verbal propositions. And when an apt and timely
adage seems to determine him, it is, for the most part, because
it acts upon responsive feelings preëxistent in him and already
struggling to express themselves. And thus, upon the whole, it is
to be concluded that proverbs are the children of Epimetheus, or
afterthought, rather than of Prometheus, or forethought. They are
rather products than producers,--intellectual forms rather than
intellectual forces. The prevalent notion of their influence is a
huge and singular error. One of our wisest authors, himself a great
aphorist, says,--"Proverbs are the sanctuaries of the intuitions." But
the intuitions, for the very reason that they are intuitive, need no
advisory guidance, and admit of no verbal help.

But when we turn from the aphoristic proverbs of the people to
the aphoristic maxims of the wise, a deep distinction and contrast
confront us. These, so far from being evasions of effort or
substitutes for thought, are direct stimulants to thought, provocative
summonses to more earnest mental application. Seneca says, "Wouldst
thou subject all things to thyself? Subject thyself to reason." A
modern writer says, "They are not kings who have thrones, but they who
know how to govern." Now any one meeting these maxims, if they have
any effect on him, will be set a-thinking to discover the principle
contained in them. He will feel that there is a profound significance
in them; and his curiosity will be awakened, his intellect fired, to
find out the grounds and bearings of the law they denote. In this way
the words of the wise are goads to prick and urge the faculties of
inferior minds. Pointed expressions of the experience of the sovereign
masters of life and the world impel feebler and less agile natures to
follow the tracks of light and emulate the choice examples set before
them, with swifter movements and with richer results than they could
ever have attained, if not thus encouraged. Proverbial axioms flourish
copiously in the idiomatic ground and vernacular climate of unlearned,
undisciplined, unreflective minds, as thistles on the highway where
every ass may gather them. But precious maxims, those "short sentences
drawn from a long experience," as Cervantes calls them, are found
mostly in the writings of the greatest geniuses, Solomon, Aristotle,
Shakspeare, Bacon, Goethe, Richter, Emerson: and they appeal
comparatively but to a select class of minds, kindred in some degree
to those that originated them.

To appreciate and use correctly a valuable maxim requires a genius,
a vital appropriating exercise of mind, closely allied to that which
first created it. In order to secure genuine profit here, the disciple
must for himself repeat the processes of the teacher, reach the same
conclusion, see the same truth. Wisdom cannot be mechanically taken,
but must be spiritually assimilated,--cannot be put on as a coat or
hat, used as a hammer or a sling, but must be intelligently grasped,
digested, and organized into the mental structure and habits. The
truth of this is at once so palpable and so important that it has
found embodiment in numerous proverbs known to almost every one: "An
ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of school-wit"; "A pennyweight of
your own wit is worth a ton of other people's"; "Who cannot work out
his salvation by heart will never do it by book."

For the reason just indicated, we think the common estimate of
the actual influence of even the costliest preceptive sayings is
monstrously exaggerated. That an aphorism should really be of use, it
must virtually be reproduced by the faculties of your own soul. But
the mental energy and acquirement which thus recreate it in a great
degree supersede the necessity of it, render it an expression not of
a guidance you need from without, but of an insight and force already
working within. Your character determines what maxims you will select
or create far more than the maxims you choose or make determine what
your character will be. Herbart says, "Characters with ruling plans
are energetic; characters with ruling maxims are virtuous." This is
true, since a continuous plan subsidizes the forces that would without
it run to waste, and a deliberately chosen authority girds and guides
the soul from perilous dallying and dissipation. Nevertheless, it is
not so much that characters are energetic or virtuous because they
have ruling plans or maxims as it is that they have ruling plans or
maxims because they are energetic or virtuous. Say to a penurious,
hard, grumpy man, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Will
you thus make him liberal, sympathetic, affable? No, his character
will neutralize your precept, as vinegar receiving the sunshine into
its bosom becomes more sour. Some persons seem to imagine that a wise
maxim is a sort of fairy's wand, one touch of which will transform the
loaded panniers of a donkey into the fiery wings of a Pegasus. Surely,
it is a great error. Trench says, with an amusing _naïveté_, "There is
scarcely a mistake which in the course of our lives we have committed,
but some proverb, _had we known and attended to its lesson_, might
have saved us from it." The two comprehensive conditions, "had we
known and attended to its lesson," are discharging conductors, that
empty the sentence of all proper meaning, and leave only a rank of
hollow words behind. He might as well say, "Had we never been tempted,
we had never fallen,--had we possessed all wisdom, we had never
committed an error," The best maxim that ever was made cannot directly
impart or create knowledge or virtue or spiritual force. It can only
give a voice to those qualities where they already exist, and so set
in motion a strengthening interchange of action and reaction. Though a
fool's mouth be stuffed with proverbs, he still remains as much a fool
as before. He is past preaching to who does not care to mend. As the
brave Schiller affirms, "Heaven and earth fight in vain against a
dunce." Eternal contact with nutritious wisdom can teach no lesson,
nor profit at all one who has not a coöperative and assimilative
mind. The anchor is always in the sea, but it never learns to swim.
Philosophic precepts address the reason; but the springs of motive and
regeneration are in the sentiments. To attempt the reformation of
a bad man by means of fine aphorisms is as hopeless as to bombard
a fortress with diamonds, or to strive to exhilarate the brain by
pelting the forehead with grapes.

And yet, notwithstanding these large limitations and abatements, it
is not to be denied that both proverbs and maxims, when habitually
recalled, generally have some effect, often are strongly influential,
and may, by a faithful observance of the conditions, be made extremely
efficacious. What, then, are the conditions of deriving profit from
the contemplation of aphorisms? How can we make their futility end,
their utility begin? The first, ever indispensable condition is fresh
discrimination. There are false, cynical, mean, devilish aphorisms, as
well as sound and worthy ones. Each style of character, kind and grade
of experience breathes itself out in corresponding expressions. "Self
is the man"; "Look out for Number One"; "Devil take the hindmost";
"One for me is as good as two for you"; "Every man has his price";
"Draw the snake from its hole by another man's hand"; "Vengeance is
a feast fit for the gods." The fact that such infernal sentiments are
proverbs must be no excuse for not trampling them out of sight with
disgust and scorn. Discrimination is needed not only to reject bad
sayings, but also to correct incomplete or extravagant ones. The
maxim, "Never judge by appearances," must be modified, because in
reality appearances are all that we have to judge from. Its true
rendering is, "Judge cautiously, for appearances are often deceptive."
A proverb is almost always partial, presenting one aspect of the
matter,--or excessive, making no allowance for exceptions. Here
independent insight is requisite, that we may not err. As a general
thing, aphorisms are particular truths put into forms of universality,
and they must be severely scrutinized, lest a mere characteristic
of the individual be mistaken for a normal faculty of the race. For
instance, it is said, "A reconciled friend is an enemy in disguise."
Not always, by any means; it depends greatly on the character of
the man, "Forewarned is forearmed." Generally this is true, but not
invariably; as sometimes a man, by being forewarned of danger, is
unnerved with terror, and undone. So the two maxims, "Never abandon
a certainty for an uncertainty," "Nothing venture, nothing have,"
destroy each other. Whether you shall give up the one bird in the hand
and try for the two in the bush depends on the relative worth of the
one and the two, and the probabilities of success in the trial.
No abstract maxim can help solve that problem: it requires living
intelligence. To follow a foreign rule empirically will often be to
fare as the monkey fared, who, undertaking to shave, as he had seen
his master do, gashed his face and paws. Fearful incisions of the soul
will he get who accepts unqualifyingly the class of impulsive proverbs
with their enormously overdrawn inferences: such as that of David,
when he said in his haste, "All men are liars"; or that of Moore,
when he said in his song, "The world is all a fleeting show, for man's
illusion given"; or that maxim of Schopenhauer, so full of deadly
misanthropy and melancholy that one would gladly turn his back on a
world in which he believed such a rule necessary, "Love no one, hate
no one, is the first half of all worldly wisdom; say nothing, believe
nothing, is the other half."

The first condition of a profitable use of maxims being a thorough
mastery of the rule proposed, with its limits, the next condition
is an accurate self-knowledge. Know yourself, your weaknesses, your
aptitudes, your exposures, your gifts and strength, in order that you
may know what to seek or avoid, what to cherish or spurn, what to spur
or curb, what to fortify or assail. For example, if your head is made
of butter, it is clear that it will not do for you to be a baker. If
you are a coward, you must not volunteer to lead a forlorn hope. The
advantage of self-knowledge is that it enables us to prescribe for
ourselves the contemplation of such principles and motives as we
need. If our thought is narrow and our fancy cold, we should study the
maxims that instruct,--as, "Joys are wings, sorrows are spurs." If
our heart is faint and our will weak, we should study the maxims that
inspire,--as, "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."
The instructive maxim opens a vista of truth to the intellect, as when
Goethe said, "A man need not be an architect in order to live in a
house." The inspiring maxim strikes a martial chord in the soul,
as when Alexander said to his Greeks, shrinking at the sight of
the multitudinous host of Persians, "One butcher does not fear many
sheep." The evil of self-ignorance is, that it permits men to choose
as their favorite and guiding maxims those adages which express and
foster their already rampant propensities, leaving their drooping
deficiencies to pine and cramp in neglect. The miser pampers his
avarice by repeating a hundred times a day, "A penny saved is a penny
gained": as if that were the maxim _he_ needed! The spend-thrift
comforts and confirms himself in his prodigality by saying, "God
loveth a cheerful giver": as if that were not precisely the saying
he ought never to recall! Audacity and arrogance constantly say to
themselves, "Be bold, be bold, and evermore be bold." Timidity and
distrust are ever whispering, "Be not too bold." Thus what would be
one man's meat proves another man's poison; whereas, were it rightly
distributed, both would be nourished into healthy development. The
over-reckless should restrain himself by remembering that "Fools
rush in where angels fear to tread." The over-cautious should animate
himself with the reflection that "The coward dies a thousand deaths,
the brave man only one." A man who, with deep self-knowledge,
carefully chooses and perseveringly applies maxims adapted to check
his excess and arouse his defect may derive unspeakable profit from

To do this with full success, however, he must have a discriminating
knowledge of the circumstances as well as of the rule, and of himself.
"Circumstances alter cases." What applies happily in one exigency may
be perfectly absurd or ruinous in a different situation. The mule,
loaded with salt, waded through a brook, and, as the salt melted,
the burden grew light. The ass, loaded with wool, tried the same
experiment; but the wool, saturated with water, was twice as heavy as
before. So the Satyr, in Æsop's fable, asked the man coming in from
the cold, "Why he blew on his fingers?" and was told, "To warm them."
Soon after he asked, "Why he blew in his soup?" and was told, "To
cool it." Whereupon he rushed on the man with a club and slew him as a
liar. The ramifications of truth in varying emergencies are infinitely
subtile and complicated, and often demand the very nicest care
in distinguishing. Good advice, when empirically taken and rashly
followed, is as an eye in the hand, sure to be put out the first thing
on trying to use it. "Advice costs nothing and is good for nothing,"
it is often said. But that depends on the quality of the advice, on
the circumstances, and on what kind of persons impart and receive the
counsel. Advice given with earnestness and wisdom, and applied with
docility and discrimination, may cost a great deal and be invaluable.
Competence and aptness, or folly and heedlessness, make a world of
difference. The great difficulty in regard to the fruitfulness of
advice is the universal readiness to impart, the usual unwillingness
to accept it. We give advice by the bucket, take it by the grain. For
these reasons the world is yet surfeited with precept and starving for
example: and the applicability is by no means exhausted of the
fable of Brabrius, who tells how when an old crab said to her child,
"Awkward one, walk not so crookedly!" he replied, "Mother, walk you
straight, I will watch and follow." Verbal wisdom would direct us;
exemplified wisdom draws us.

The first danger, then, from aphorisms is, that they may enable us
to evade, instead of helping us to fulfil, the duty of meeting and
solving for ourselves each mental exigency as it arises. In such a
case, educative discipline and growth are forfeited. The other danger
from them is, that they may be applied mechanically, without a just
understanding of them, and thus that grievous mistakes may be made.
Their genuine use is to excite our own minds to master the principles
which their authors have set forth in them. Fresh honesty of personal
thought, aspiration, and patience, is the spiritual talisman wherewith
alone we can vivify truisms into truths, and transmute noble maxims
into flesh and blood, nay, into immortal mind. The master-thinkers aid
us to do this by the quickening power of their suggestions,--the great
critic not only giving his readers direction, but also helping them to

To traverse the works of some authors is like going through a
carefully arranged herbarium, where every specimen is lifeless,
shrivelled, dusty, crumbling to the touch. The writings of genuine men
of genius are like a conservatory, where every plant of thought and
sentiment, whether indigenous or exotic, is alive, full of bloom and
fragrance, the sap at work in its veins. Verbal statements which are
petrifactions of wisdom can neither stimulate nor nourish; but verbal
statements which are vital concentrations of wisdom do both. He
has learned one of the most important lessons in human life who
understands adequately the difference between formal perception and
organic experience, contrasting the futility of detached and deathly
proverbs with the utility of nutritious and electrical maxims.
A mechanical teacher crowds the ear with mummified precepts and
exhortations; an inspired teacher brings surcharged examples and
rules into contact with the mind. The distinction is world-wide and

       *       *       *       *       *



If photography had existed during the lifetime of Shelley, it alone
would have sufficed to correct many a misconception of his character
founded upon imperfect portraiture; and even the most boyish
recollections of him, matter-of-fact as they are, may help to solve
the problem upon which many minds have been engaged without yet
having finished the work. For Shelley still remains before the
world misconceived because misdescribed; and if society is
gradually clearing its ideas of the man, it is not only because
the preconceptions of that multitudinous authority are themselves
gradually drifting away, but also because substantial facts are slowly
coming into view. Their development has been hindered by obstacles
which will be understood when I have proceeded a little farther, and
even within the compass of this brief sketch I hope that I shall be
able to make readers on both sides of the Atlantic work their own way
a little closer to the truth.

Shelley is still regarded by the majority, either as a victim of
persecution, or a rebel against authority, or both,--his friends
probably inclining to hold him up as a philosopher-patriot, whose
resistance to intellectual oppression placed him in the condition of
a martyr and robbed him of his fair share of life. My own earliest
memory presents him very much in that aspect. I first recall him
pale and slender, worn with anxiety, openly alluding to the marks of
premature age in his own aspect, bursting with aspirations against
tyranny of all kinds, and yielding to fits of dreadful despondency
under sufferings inflicted by the dignitaries of the land at the
instance of his own family. The circumstances by which he was
surrounded contributed to this guise of martyrdom.

My own earliest recollections began in prison, where my father[A]
was incarcerated for critical remarks which at the present day would
scarcely attract attention, and which were put forth in no impulse of
personal hostility, but under the strongest sense of duty, with the
desire to vindicate the constitutional freedom of England against the
perverted control of faction and the influences of a corrupt court. At
that time my father was accounted a man prone to mutiny against "the
powers that be," although his political opinions belonged to a class
which would now be regarded as too moderate for popular liberalism.
He has been censured for literary affectation and for personal
improvidence, but only by those who do not understand the real
elements of his character. The leading ideas of his mind were,
first, earnest duty to his country at any cost to himself; next, the
sacrifice of any ordinary consideration to personal affection and
friendship; and lastly, the cultivation of "the ideal," especially as
it is developed in imaginative literature. His life was passed in an
absolute devotion to these three principles. A one-sided frankness has
blazoned to the world the sacrifices which he accepted from friends,
but has whispered nothing of the more than commensurate sacrifices
made on his side; and the simplicity that rendered him the creature of
the library in which he lived entered into the expression of all his
thoughts and feelings.

[Footnote A: Leigh Hunt.]

Although I can remember some of the most eminent men who visited us
in prison, Shelley I cannot; but I can well recall my father's
description of the young stranger who came to him breathing the
classic thoughts of college, ardent with aspirations for the
emancipation of man from intellectual slavery, and endowed by Nature
with an aspect truly "angelic."

In the interval before his next visit to us, Shelley had passed
through the first serious passion of his youth, had married Harriet
Westbrooke, had become the father of two children, and had thus to all
appearance secured the transmission of the estates strictly entailed
with the baronetcy,--but had also been exiled from his family-home,
as well as from college, for his revolutionary and infidel principles,
had gone through a course of domestic disappointment, had separated
from his wife, and was threatened with the removal of his children,
on the ground of the impious and "immoral" training to which they were
destined under his guardianship. He came to our house for support and
consolation; he found in it a home for his intellect as well as for
his feelings, and he was as strictly a part of the family as any of
our blood-relations, for he came and went at pleasure. I can remember
that I performed his bidding equally with that of my father; and as to
personal deference or regard, the only distinction which my memory
can discover is, that I found in Shelley a companion whom I better
understood, and whose country rambles I was more pleased to share. For
this there were many reasons, and amongst them that Shelley entered
more unreservedly into the sports and even the thoughts of children.
I had probably awakened interest in him, not only because I was my
father's eldest child, but still more because I had already begun to
read with great avidity, and with an especial sense of imaginative
wonders and horrors; and, familiarized with the conversation amongst
literary men, I had really been able to understand something of his
position, insomuch that no doubt he saw the intense interest I took in
himself and his sufferings.

The emotions that he underwent were but too manifest in the
unconcealed anxiety and the eager recital of newly awakened hopes,
with intervals of the deepest depression. He suffered also from
physical causes, which I then only in part understood. This suffering
was traced to the attack made upon him at Tanyralt, in Wales, when, on
the night of February the 26th, 1813, some man who had been prowling
about the house in which he lived first fired at him through the
window, and then entered the room, escaping when the man-servant was
called in by the tumult and the screams of Mrs. Shelley. The whole
incident has been doubted,--why, I can hardly understand, unless the
reason is that some of the conjectures in which Mrs. Shelley indulged
were over-imaginative. She mentions by name a political opponent who
had said that "he would drive them out of the country." My own weak
recollections point to reasons more personal. But what I do know is,
that Shelley himself ascribed the injury from which he suffered to
a pressure of the assassin's knee upon him in the struggle. The
complaint was of long standing; the attacks were alarmingly severe,
and the seizure very sudden. I can remember one day at Hampstead: it
was soon after breakfast, and Shelley sat reading, when he suddenly
threw up his book and hands, and fell back, the chair sliding sharply
from under him, and he poured forth shrieks, loud and continuous,
stamping his feet madly on the ground. My father rushed to him, and,
while the women looked out for the usual remedies of cold water and
hand-rubbing, applied a strong pressure to his side, kneading it with
his hands; and the patient seemed gradually to be relieved by that
process. This happened about the time when he was most anxious for the
result of the trial which was to deprive him of his children. In
the intervals he sought relief in reading, in conversation,--which
especially turned upon classic literature,--in freedom of thought and
action, and in play with the children of the house. I can remember
well one day when we were both for some long time engaged in gambols,
broken off by my terror at his screwing up his long and curling
hair into a horn, and approaching me with rampant paws and frightful
gestures as some imaginative monster.

It was at this time that the incident happened which has been
mentioned by my father. A poor woman had been attending her son before
a criminal court in London. As they were returning home at night,
fatigue and anxiety so overcame her that she fell on the ground in
convulsions, where she was found by Shelley. He appealed to a very
opulent person, who lived on the top of the hill, asking admission for
the woman into the house, or the use of the carriage, which had just
set the family down at the door. The stranger was repulsed with
the cold remark that impostors swarmed everywhere, and that his own
conduct was "extraordinary." The good Samaritan, whom the Christian
would not help, warned the uncharitable man that such treatment of the
poor is sometimes chastised by hard treatment of the rich in days
of trouble; and I heard Shelley describe the manner in which the
gentleman retreated into his mansion, exclaiming, "God bless me, Sir!
dear me, Sir!" In the account of the occurrence given by my father,
he has omitted to mention that Shelley and the woman's son, who had
already carried her a considerable way up the main hill of Hampstead,
brought her on from the inhospitable mansion to our house in their
arms; and I believe, that, the son's strength failing, for some way
down the hill into the Vale of Health Shelley carried her on his back.
I cannot help contrasting this action of the wanderer with the careful
self-regard of another friend who often came to see us, though I do
not remember that any of us were ever inside his doors. He was, I
believe, for some time actually a pensioner on Shelley's generosity,
though he ultimately rose to be comparatively wealthy. One night, when
he had been visiting us, he was in trouble because no person had been
sent from a tavern at the top of the hill to light him up the pathway
across the heath. That same self-caring gentleman afterwards became
one of the apologists who most powerfully contributed to mislead
public opinion in regard to his benefactor.

Shelley often called me for a long ramble on the heath, or into
regions which I then thought far distant; and I went with him rather
than with my father, because he walked faster, and talked with
me while he walked, instead of being lost in his own thoughts and
conversing only at intervals. A love of wandering seemed to possess
him in the most literal sense; his rambles appeared to be without
design, or any limit but my fatigue; and when I was "done up,"
he carried me home in his arms, on his shoulder, or pickback. Our
communion was not always concord; as I have intimated, he took a
pleasure in frightening me, though I never really lost my confidence
in his protection, if he would only drop the fantastic aspects that
he delighted to assume. Sometimes, but much more rarely, he teased me
with exasperating banter; and, inheriting from some of my progenitors
a vindictive temper, I once retaliated severely. We were in the
sitting-room with my father and some others, while I was tortured. The
chancery-suit was just then approaching its most critical point, and,
to inflict the cruellest stroke I could think of, I looked him in the
face, and expressed a hope that he would be beaten in the trial and
have his children taken from him. I was sitting on his knee, and as
I spoke, he let himself fall listlessly back in his chair, without
attempting to conceal the shock I had given him. But presently he
folded his arms round me and kissed me; and I perfectly understood
that he saw how sorry I was, and was as anxious as I was to be friends
again. It was not very long after that we were playing with paper
boats on the pond in the Vale of Health, watching the way in which the
wind carried some of them over, or swamped most of them before they
had surmounted many billows; and Shelley then playfully said how
much he should like it, if we could get into one of the boats and be
shipwrecked,--it was a death he should like better than any other.

After the death of Harriet, Shelley's life entirely changed; and I
think I shall be able to show in the sequel that the change was far
greater than any of his biographers, except perhaps one who was most
likely to know, have acknowledged. Conventional form and Shelley are
almost incompatible ideas; as his admirable wife has said of him, "He
lived to idealize reality,--to ally the love of abstract truth, and
adoration of abstract good, with the living sympathies. And long as he
did this without injury to others, he had the reverse of any respect
for the dictates of orthodoxy or convention." As soon, therefore,
as the obstacle to a second marriage was removed, he and Mary
Wollstonecraft Godwin were regularly joined in matrimony, and retired
to Great Marlow, in Buckinghamshire. A brief year Shelley passed in
the position of a country-gentleman on a small scale. His abode was
a rough house in the village, with a garden at the back and nothing
beyond but the country. Close to the house there was a small
pleasure-ground, with a mound at the farther end of the lawn slightly
inclosing the view. Behind the mound there was a kitchen-garden, not
unintermixed with flowers and ornamental vegetation; and farther still
was a piece of ground traversed by a lane deeply excavated in the
chalk soil. At that time Shelley had a thousand a year allowed to
him by his father; but although he was in no respect the unreckoning,
wasteful person that many have represented him to be, such a sum must
have been insufficient for the mode in which he lived. His family
comprised himself, Mary, William their eldest son, and Claire
Claremont,--the daughter of Godwin's second wife, and therefore
the half-sister of Mary Shelley,--a girl of great ability, strong
feelings, lively temper, and, though not regularly handsome, of
brilliant appearance. They kept three servants, if not a fourth
assistant: a cook; Élise, a Swiss _gouvernante_ for the child; and
Harry, a man who did the work of gardener and man-servant in general.
He kept something like open house; for while I was there with my
father and mother, there also came, for a short time, several other
friends, some of whom stopped for more than a passing visit. He played
the Lord Bountiful among his humbler neighbors, not only helping them
with money or money's-worth, but also advising them in sickness; for
he had made some study of medicine, in part, I suspect, to be the more

I have already intimated that he had assisted certain of his
companions; and I am convinced that these circumstances contributed to
the resolution which Shelley formed to leave England for Italy in
the year 1818, although he then ascribed his doing so to the score of
health,--or rather, as he said, of life. He then believed himself
to be laboring under a tendency to consumption, not without medical
warnings to that effect, although there were strong reasons for
doubting the validity of the belief, which was based upon less precise
grounds before the introduction of auscultation and the careful
examinations of our day. It was, however, characteristic of Shelley
to rest his actions upon the dominant motive; so that, if several
inducements operated to the same end, he absolutely discarded the
minor considerations, and acted solely upon the grand one. I can well
remember, that, when other persons urged upon him cumulative reasons
for any course of action, whether in politics, or morality, or
trifling personal matters of the day, he indignantly cast aside all
such makeweights, and insisted upon the one sufficient motive. I
mention this the more explicitly because the opposite course is the
most common, and some who did not sympathize with his concentration
of purpose afterwards imputed the suppression of all but one, out of
several apparent motives, to reserve, or even to a want of candor.
The accusation was first made by some of Shelley's false
friends,--creatures who gathered round him to get what they could, and
afterwards made a market of their connection, to his disadvantage. But
I was shocked to find a sanction for the notion under the hand of one
of Shelley's first and most faithful friends, and I discovered it,
too, when death had barred me from the opportunity of controverting
the mistake. It was easily accounted for. The writer to whom I allude
was himself a person whose scrupulous conscience and strong mistrust
of his own judgment, unless supported on every side, induced him to
accumulate and to avow as many motives as possible for each single
act. He could scarcely understand or believe the existence of a
mind which, although powerful and comprehensive in its grasp, should
nevertheless deliberately set aside all motives but one, and actually
proceed upon that exclusive ground without regard to the others.

Both Shelley and his friends seem to have underrated his strength, and
one little incident will illustrate my meaning. He kept no horse or
carriage; but in accordance with his ruling passion he had a boat on
the river of sufficient size to carry a numerous party. It was made
both for sailing and rowing; and I can remember being one of an
expedition which went some distance up the Thames, when Shelley
himself towed the boat on the return home, while I walked, by his
side. His health had very much improved with the change that had
taken place in his mode of life, his more settled condition, and the
abatement of anxiety, with the absolute removal of some of its causes.
I am well aware that he _had_ suffered severely, and that he continued
to be haunted by certain recollections, partly real and partly
imaginative, which pursued him like an Orestes. He frequently talked
on such subjects; but it has always appeared to me that those who
have reported what he said have been guilty of a singular confusion in
their interpretations. As I proceed, you will find that certain facts
in his life have never yet been distinctly related, and I have a
strong reason for believing that some circumstances of which I became
accidentally aware were never disclosed at all, except to Mary; while
in her writings I can trace allusions to them, that remind me of
passages in ancient authors,--in Ovid, for instance,--which would have
been absolutely unintelligible, except for accidental references. In
spite, however, of the rude trials to which his constitution had
been subjected, and of new symptoms supposed to indicate pulmonary
weakness, there was a marked improvement in his aspect since he had
visited London. He still had that ultra-youthful figure that partook
the traits of the hobbledehoy, arrived at man's stature, but not yet
possessing the full manly proportions. His extremities were large, his
limbs long, his face small, and his thorax very partially developed,
especially in girth. An habitual eagerness of mood, thrusting forward
his face, made him stoop, with sunken chest and rounded shoulders; and
this was even more apparent in the easy costume of the country than
in London dress. But in his countenance there was life instead of
weariness; melancholy more often yielded to alternations of bright
thoughts; and paleness had given way to a certain freshness of color,
with something like roses in the cheeks. Notwithstanding the sense of
weakness in the chest, which attacked him on any sudden effort,
his power of exertion was considerable. Once, returning from a long
excursion, and entering the house by the back way, up a precipitous,
though not perpendicular bank, the women of the party had to be
helped; and Shelley was the most active in rendering that assistance.
While others were content to accomplish the feat for one, he, I think,
helped three up the bank, sliding in a half-sitting posture when he
returned to fetch a new charge. I well remember his shooting past me
in a cloud of chalk-dust, as I was slowly climbing up. He had a fit
of panting after it, but he made light of the exertion. I can also
recollect, that, although he frequently preferred to steer rather than
to put forth his strength, yet, if it were necessary, he would take
an oar, and could stick to his seat for any time against any force of
current or of wind, not only without complaining, but without being
compelled to give in until the set task was accomplished, though it
should involve some miles of hard pulling. These facts indicate the
amount of "grit" that lay under the outward appearance of weakness and
excitable nerves.

Shelley's fulness of vitality did not at that time seem to be shared
by the partner of his life. Mary's intellectual powers had already
been manifested. He must to some extent have known the force of her
affection, and the tenderness of her nature; but it is remarkable that
her youth was not the period of her greatest beauty, and certainly at
that date she did not do justice to herself either in her aspect or in
the tone of her conversation. She was singularly pale. With a figure
that needed to be set off, she was careless in her dress; and the
decision of purpose which ultimately gained her the playful title of
"Wilful Woman" then appeared, at least in society, principally in the
negative form,--her temper being easily crossed, and her resentments
taking a somewhat querulous and peevish tone. Both of the pair were
still young, and their ideas of education were adverse to the
received doctrines of the day, rather than substantive; and their
own principles in this matter were exemplified somewhat perversely by
little William. Even at that early age the child called forth frequent
and poignant remonstrances from his _gouvernante_, and occasionally
drew perplexed exclamations or desponding looks from his father, who
took the child's little perversities seriously to heart, and sometimes
vented his embarrassment in generalized remarks on human nature.

Some years elapsed between the night when I saw Shelley pack up his
pistols--which he allowed me to examine--for his departure for
the South, and the moment when, after our own arrival in Italy, my
attention was again called to his presence by the shrill sound of
his voice, as he rushed into my father's arms, which he did with an
impetuousness and a fervor scarcely to be imagined by any who did
not know the intensity of his feelings and the deep nature of his
affection for that friend. I remember his crying out that he was "so
_inexpressibly_ delighted!--you cannot think how _inexpressibly_ happy
it makes me!"

The history of Shelley's brief visit to Pisa has been related by many,
and is, I believe, told in his published letters; but it appears to me
that those who have recounted it have in some respects fallen short.
Excepting Mary Shelley, the best-informed spoke too soon after the
event. Shelley's own letters are slightly misleading, from a very
intelligible cause. After he had encouraged, if he did not suggest,
the enterprise of "The Liberal,"--and I believe it would be nearly
impossible for any one of the three men interested in that venture to
ascertain exactly who was its author,--his mind misgave him. He knew
my father's necessities and his childish capacities for business. With
a keen sense of the power displayed in "Don Juan," and even in more
melodramatic works, Shelley had acquired a full knowledge of the
singularly licentious training from which Byron had then scarcely
emerged, and of the vacillating caprice which enfeebled all his
actions. His own ability to grapple with practical affairs was very
great; but he himself had scarcely formed a sufficient estimate of it.
Determined to maintain a thorough equality and freedom with the noble
bard in their social relations, he shrank from any position which
might raise in Byron's jealous and unstable mind the idea that he was
under pressure; yet he was anxious to prevent disappointment for Leigh
Hunt. He dreaded failure, and resolved that he would do his best to
prevent it; and yet again he scarcely anticipated success.

As early as the end of 1818, he described the way in which Byron spent
his life, after he had been partly exiled, partly emancipated from the
ordinary restraints of society. At that time, "the Italian women were
the most contemptible of all who existed under the moon,--an ordinary
Englishman could not approach them"; "but," writes Shelley, "Lord
Byron is familiar with the lowest sort of these women,--the people
his _gondolieri_ pick up in the streets." Byron's curiosity, indeed,
tempted him to learn something of vice in its most revolting aspects.
"He has," writes Shelley, "a certain degree of candor, while you talk
to him, but unfortunately it does not outlast your departure." I am
sure that before 1821 Byron had risen in his friend's estimation, or
the "Liberal" scheme would never have been contemplated; and there
were excellent reasons for the change. It is only by degrees that men
have learned to appreciate at once the extraordinary nature and force
of Byron's genius and the equally monstrous and marvellous nature
of the evil training by which he was "dragged up." In the midst
of extravagant license he gained experiences which might have
extinguished his mind, but which, as they did not have that effect,
added to his resources. In the process some of his personal qualities
as a companion suffered severely. Very few grown men have been so
extravagantly sensitive to personal approbation; and he was anxious
to conciliate the liking of all who approached him, however foreign
to his own set, however humble, or however insignificant. He was as
mistrustful as a greedy child. He could be extravagant, but he was not
open-handed; and yet he would give up what he coveted for himself,
if he were urged by those whose esteem he desired to win. Now, of
all persons who came near him, Shelley was the one that combined the
greatest number of qualities calculated to influence a creature like
Byron. He was of gentle blood; he was as resolute as he was able to
maintain what is popularly called an independent position; he was
truly sincere; and his way of life displayed a purity which Byron
admired, though he fell from it so lamentably. On the other hand,
Shelley was at odds with society on the very same questions of morals;
he possessed all the philosophy for understanding the complicated
perplexities of aberrant genius; did actually make allowances for
Byron; estimated his powers more accurately, and therefore more
highly, than any other person who came near him; and thus commanded at
once his sympathies, his ambition, and his confidence. Everybody
knows that in the interval between 1818 and the date of his death at
Missolonghi, Byron's discipline of life had undergone a marked
and beneficial change, and many agencies have been mentioned as
contributing to that result, but I am sure that no one was so
all-sufficient as the personal association with Shelley. Nothing of
this is gainsaid by the fact that the greater part of this improvement
was displayed after Shelley's death. Change of scene, intercourse with
others, opportunities for acting upon his new principles, all helped,
together, probably, with the graver sense of counsel bequeathed by
the friend whom he had lost. Certain it is that Byron never mentioned
Shelley in my hearing without a peculiarly emphatic manner. I know
that to more than one person he performed acts of kindness and
friendly aid as tributes to the memory of Shelley; and if any action
were urged upon him as worthy of his own genius and dignity, nothing
clenched the appeal like the name of Shelley. But if you will for a
moment compare the characters of the two men,--if you will contrast
the large self-sacrifice of the one with the self-indulgence of the
other, the independence of the one with the craving of the other for
approval, the absolute trust in human hope and goodness of Shelley
with the _blasé_ cynicism of Byron, I think two conclusions must
instantly strike you,--first, that Shelley must have possessed almost
unequalled power of influence over those who surrounded him, and,
secondly, that Byron himself must have been a much better man, or
possessing much more in common with Shelley than society or some of
his most intellectual companions at all imagined. Part of the facts
bearing upon the subject have come out since the death of both. My own
attention was drawn to the point by the striking discord between the
way in which other people speak of their relations and the manner of
Shelley and Byron towards each other, and especially Byron's way in
speaking of Shelley. It is not probable that Shelley formed to himself
any such idea of his own power; yet you will find hints at it in his
letters, you will see, curious traces of it in the letters of others,
and nothing else will fully explain the change in Byron's life.
Moreover, it reconciles the apparent inconsistencies of Shelley's
reservations in talking about Byron with his manifest and practical
confidence in the result of their joint working.

When I met Shelley again in Italy, it was easy to see that a grand
change had come over his appearance and condition. The Southern
climate had suited him, and the boat which caused his death had in the
mean while been instrumental in developing his life. His retirement
from painful personal conflict had given him greater ease; intercourse
with Mary had made his life better; and, not to overlook one important
fact, he had _grown_ since he left England. For physiologists attest
the truth, that growth continues throughout human existence, even
until after decay begins; and Shelley's constitution was of that
kind--strong in some of its developments, slow in others--which needed
longer time than many to arrive at its full proportions. For instance,
in the interval since I had seen him his chest had manifestly become
of a larger girth. I am speaking only upon distant recollection; but
I should judge it to have been three or four inches larger round, or
perhaps more. His voice was stronger, his manner more confident
and downright, and, although not less emphatic, yet decidedly less
impulsively changeful. I can recall his reading from an ancient
author, translating as he went, a passage about the making of the
first man; and I remember it from the subject and from the easy
flow of his translation, but chiefly from the air of strength and
cheerfulness which I noticed in his voice and manner. In nothing,
however, does Shelley appear to me to have been so misdescribed as
in the outward man,--partly, as usual, from overstatement of
peculiarities, and partly because each artist has painted the portrait
from his own favorite view. Many, through exaggeration, or imperfect
knowledge, have equally misconstrued his moral character, and have
omitted to report the real conduct of his understanding as he advanced
towards "the middle of the way of life."

From the story of his life after I first saw him, as well as from
many things that I have heard him say of his family, and the strange
recollections that he had of home, it is easy to understand the
general tenor of his early life. Through some caprice in genealogical
chemistry, in Percy the Shelley race struck out an entirely new idea:
an apparent caprice in the sequence of houses that has often been
noticed. For how often may we observe that the union of the most
remarkable intellects produces a _tertium quid_ which is the reverse
of an equivalent to the combined totals, representing only a fraction
of their qualities, and that fraction in its negative aspect; while,
on the other hand, rivulets of blood which have gained for themselves
no name upon earth may combine to form a river illustrious to the
whole world. In the latter case, not an unusual effect is that those
who are charged with the infancy of the new type in the family are
incompetent to their duty; and accordingly Shelley was regarded merely
as "a strange boy," wayward, mutinous, and to be severely chastised
into obedience. It has been said that he attracted no particular
notice at school; but this is not true. At Eton his resentment of
tyrannical authority displayed itself not only against the masters,
but against the privileges of young patricians. He refused to be
"fag"; and on one occasion he so braved the youthful public-opinion,
that, on being dared to the act by the surrounding boys, he pinned
a companion's hand to the table with a fork. According to my
recollection, the immediate provocative was that he was dared to
do it; but the incident arose out of his resistance to the seniors
amongst the scholars and to the customs of the school. It was evident
that the masters had their eye upon him. Such a youth, with a command
of language that was a born faculty and not simply acquired, _must_
have attracted very positive attention on the part of the teachers;
but it was certain, that, with the tendencies of those days, they
would have thought it discreet to say as little as possible about the
slender mutineer. It is equally well known, that, notwithstanding his
youth, religious opinions caused his expulsion from college; and when
we turn to the earliest of his writings which assumed anything like a
complete shape, we discover at once the nature of those powers
which could not have been overlooked,--we detect the genius, the
revolutionary ideas, and the extraordinary command which he had
acquired over the subject-matter of much that is taught in schools
and colleges. Amid the orthodox reaction that followed upon the French
Revolution, he was struck with the excesses to which despotic power
could be carried. He read history with sympathies for the natural
impulses and aspirations of the race, as opposed to the small circles
which comprise established authorities. He looked upon knowledge as
the means of serving, not enslaving the race. And therefore, while he
excused the crimes of the Revolution, on the score of the ignorance
in which the people had been kept, their sufferings, and the natural
revulsion against such painful down-treading, he regarded the counter
acts of authority as a treachery to wisdom itself. He says,--

                 "Hath Nature's soul,
  That formed this world so beautiful....
  And filled the meanest worm that crawls in dust
  With spirit, thought, and love, on Man alone,
  Partial in causeless malice, wantonly
  Heaped ruin, vice, and slavery?
  Kings, priests, and statesmen blast the human flower
  Even in its tender bud; their influence darts
  Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins
  Of desolate society."

The pretension of authority to speak with a supernatural warrant
provoked him to deny the warrant itself, or the sources from which it
was said to emanate.

  "Is there a God?--ay, an almighty God,
  And vengeful as almighty? Once his voice
  Was heard on earth; earth shuddered at the sound,
  The fiery-visaged firmament expressed
  Abhorrence, and the grave of Nature yawned
  To swallow all the dauntless and the good
  That dared to hurl defiance at his throne,
  Girt as it was with power. None but slaves
  Survived,--cold-blooded slaves, who did the work
  Of tyrranous omnipotence."

To these superstitious and ambitious pretensions he traced the
corruption which disorganized society, leading it down even to the
very worst immoralities.

  "All things are sold: the very light of heaven
  Is venal....
  Those duties which heart of human love
  Should urge him to perform instinctively
  Are bought and sold as in a public mart.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Even love is sold; the solace of all woe
  Is turned to deadliest agony, old age
  Shivers in selfish beauty's loathing arms,
  And youth's corrupted impulses prepare
  A life of horror from the blighting bane
  Of commerce; whilst the pestilence that springs
  From unenjoying sensualism has filled
  All human life with hydra-headed woes."

"Shelley," says Mary, in her note on the poem, "was eighteen when he
wrote 'Queen Mab.' He never published it. When it was written, he
had come to the decision that he was too young to be a judge of
controversies." The wife-editor refers to a series of
articles published in the "New Monthly Magazine" for 1832 by a
fellow-collegian, a warm friend of Shelley's, touching upon his
school-life, and describing the state of his mind at college. The
worst of all these biographical sketches of remarkable men is, that
delicacy, discretion, or some other euphemistically named form of
hesitancy, induces writers to suppress the incidents which supply the
very angles of the form they want to delineate; and it is especially
so in Shelley's case. I am sure, that, if Mary, or my father, or any
of those with whom Shelley conversed most thoroughly, had related some
of the more extravagant incidents of his early life exactly as they
occurred, we should better understand the tenor of his thought,--and
we should also have the most valuable complement to that part of
his intellectual progress which stands in contrast with the earlier
portion. Now, as I have said, at school Shelley was a more practical
and impracticable mutineer than his friends have generally allowed.
They have been anxious to soften his "faults"; and the consequence
is, that we miss the force of the boy's logic and the vigor of his
Catonian experiments.

Again, accident has made me aware of facts which give me to
understand, that, in passing through the usual curriculum of a college
life in all its paths, Shelley did not go scathless,--but that, in
the tampering with venal pleasures, his health was seriously, and not
transiently, injured. The effect was far greater on his mind than on
his body; and the intellectual being greater than the physical
power, the healthy reaction was greater. But that reaction was
also, especially in early youth, principally marked by horror and
antagonism. Conscientious, far beyond even the ordinary maximum
amongst ordinary men, he felt bound to denounce the mischief from
which he saw others suffer more severely than himself, since in them
there was no such reaction. I have no doubt that he himself would have
spoken even plainer language, though to me his language is perfectly
transparent, if he had not been restrained by a superstitious notion
of his own, that the true escape from the pestilent and abhorrent
brutalities which he detected around him in "real" life is found in
"the ideal" form of thought and language. Ardent and romantic, he was
eager to discover beauty "beneath" every natural aspect. Of all men
living, I am the one most bound to be aware of the inconsistency; but
you will see it reconciled a little later.

Shelley left college prone "to fall in love,"--having already, indeed,
gone through some very slight experiences of that process. In his
wanderings, in a humble position which conciliated rather than
repelled him, he met with Harriet Westbrooke, a very comely, pleasing,
and simple type of girlhood. She was at some disadvantage, under some
kind of domestic oppression; so she served at once as an object for
his disengaged affection, and a subject for his liberating theories,
and as a substratum for the idealizing process upon which he
constructed a fictitious creation of Harriet Westbrooke. His dreams
bearing but a faint and controversial resemblance to the Harriet
Westbrooke of daily life, the fictitious image prevented him from
knowing her, until the reality broke through the poetical vision only
to shock him by its inferiority or repulsiveness. As to the poor girl
herself, she never had the capacity for learning to know him. In the
sequel she proved to be the not unwilling slave of a petty domestic
intrigue,--oppression from which he would have rescued her. Married
life enabled him to discover that she was the reverse of the being
that he had fancied. They were first married in Scotland in 1811.
Shelley made acquaintance with the Godwins in 1812, before his eldest
child was born. I am not sure whether he was acquainted with Mary at
that time; but some circumstances which I cannot verify make me doubt
it. Harriet's daughter was born early in the summer of 1813, and it
was before the close of that year that the couple began to disagree.
The wife was evidently under the dominion of a relative whose
influence was injurious to her. I do not find a hint of any imputation
upon what is usually called her "fidelity"; but the relative
manifestly desired to show her power over both. It is probable that at
an early day Shelley's disposition to see "sermons in stones and good
in everything" made him think better of that interloping lady than she
deserved,--and that consequently he not only gave her encouragement,
but committed himself to something which, to Harriet's mind, justified
her deference for ill-considered advice. It is very likely that she
was counselled to extend her power over Shelley in a manner which her
own simple nature would not have suggested; but, being as foolish as
it was cunning and vulgar, such conduct could no result but that of
repelling a man like Shelley. That he acquired a detestation of the
relative is a certain fact. He must have been expecting a second child
when he formally remarried Harriet in England on the twenty-fourth of
March, 1814; and that ceremony has been mentioned by several writers
to prove the most opposite conclusions,--that Shelley was devoted to
his first wife, and that he behaved to her with the basest hypocrisy.
It proves nothing but his desire to place the hereditary rights of the
second child, who might be a boy, beyond doubt; and the precaution
was justified by the event. Before the close of the same year Harriet
returned to her father's house, and there she gave birth to a son,
Charles, who would have inherited the baronetcy, if he had not died
in 1826, after his father's death. The parting took place about the
twenty-fourth of June, 1814; and at the same time Shelley wrote a
poem, of which fragments are given in the recently published "Relics."
The verse shows, first, that Shelley was suffering severely from the
chronic conflict which he had undergone, and, secondly, that he had
found some novel comfort in the intercourse with Mary.

  "To sit and curb the soul's mute rage,
  Which preys upon itself alone;
  To curse the life which is the cage
  Of fettered grief that dares not groan,
  Hiding from many a careless eye
  The scorned load of agony.

  "Upon my heart thy accents sweet
  Of peace and pity fell like dew
  On flowers half dead....

  "We are not happy, sweet! our state
  Is strange and full of doubt and fear;
  More need of words that ills abate;--
  Reserve or censure come not near
  Our sacred friendship, lest there be
  No solace left for thee and me."

It is obvious that considerably after the date of this poem, Harriet
remained in amicable correspondence with Shelley; and not only so,
but, while she altogether abstained from opposing his new connection,
she was actually on friendly terms with Mary. It is easy to understand
how a limited nature like Harriet's should be worn out by the
exaction and impracticability of one like Shelley; for to her most
impracticable would seem his lofty and ideal requirements. On the
other hand, it is evident that Shelley regarded the unfortunate girl
with feelings of deep commiseration; and I know that he not only
pitied her, but felt strong compunctions for the share which his own
mistaken conduct at the beginning, even more than at the end, had had
in drawing her aside from what would have been her natural course in
ordinary life. Mary, I believe, clearly understood the whole case,
and felt nothing but compassion for one who was a "victim to

The sequel has been alluded to in several publications, but so
obscurely as to be more than unintelligible; for the reader is led to
conclusions the reverse of the fact. In the "Memorials," at page 63,
the subject is barely touched upon. I take the whole passage.

"Towards the close of 1813, estrangements, which for some time had
been slowly growing between Mr. and Mrs. Shelley, came to a crisis.
Separation ensued; and Mrs. Shelley returned to her father's house.
Here she gave birth to her second child,--a son, who died in 1826.

"The occurrences of this painful epoch in Shelley's life, and the
causes which led to them, I am spared from relating. In Mary Shelley's
own words:--'This is not the time to relate the truth; and I should
reject any coloring of the truth.'

       *       *       *       *       *

"Of those remaining who were intimate with Shelley at this time, each
has given us a different version of this sad event, colored by his own
views and personal feelings. Evidently, Shelley confided to none of
these friends. We, who bear his name and are of his family, have in
our possession papers written by his own hand, which, in after-years,
may make the story of his life complete, and which few now living,
except Shelley's own children, have ever perused.

"One mistake which has gone forth to the world we feel ourselves
called upon positively to contradict. Harriet's death has sometimes
been ascribed to Shelley. This is entirely false. There was no
immediate connection whatever between her tragic end and any conduct
on the part of her husband."

At the end of the "Relics" is a memorandum entitled, "Harriet
Shelley and Mr. Thomas Love Peacock." Mr. Peacock had been writing in
"Fraser's Magazine" a series of articles on Shelley; in "Macmillan's
Magazine" for June, 1866, was an article by Mr. Richard Garnet,
entitled, "Shelley in Pall-Mall"; to this Mr. Peacock replied in
"Percy Bysshe Shelley: Supplementary Notice"; and Mr. Garnet rejoined
in the new little volume which he ha; edited. The main purpose of
this last notice is, to show that Mr. Peacock was not accurate in his
chronology or in his interpretation of the severance between Shelley
and Harriet. Alluding either to the discretion which prevented Shelley
from making a confidant of Mr. Peacock, or to his grief occasioned by
the fate of Harriet, the writer refers to "the proof which exists in a
series of letters written by Shelley at this very time to one in whom
he had confidence, and at present in possession of his family," and
then proceeds thus:--"Nothing more beautiful or characteristic ever
proceeded from his pen; and they afford the most unequivocal testimony
of the grief and horror occasioned by the tragical incident to which
they bear reference. Yet self-reproach formed no element of his
sorrow, in the midst of which he could proudly say, '------, ------,'
(mentioning two dry, unbiased men of business,) 'every one, does me
full justice, bears testimony to the uprightness and liberality of my
conduct to her.'"

In the "Memorials" and the "Relics" there is no further allusion to
the circumstances which preceded Harriet's suicide; but it appears to
me very desirable that the whole story should be brought out much more
distinctly, and I can at least show why I say so. The correspondence
in question took place in the middle of December, 1816. Shelley was
married to Mary about a fortnight later; and in the most emphatic
terms he alluded not only to the solace which he derived from the
conversation of his host, but to the manner in which my father spoke
of Mary. My own recollection goes back to the period, and I have
already testified to the state of Shelley's mind. He was just then
instituting the process to recover the children, and he caught at
an opinion that had been expressed, that, in the event of his again
becoming contracted in marriage, there would be no longer any pretence
to deprive him of the children.

Let me for a moment pause on this incident, as it establishes two
facts of some interest. In the first place, it shows some of the
grounds of the very strong and unalterable friendship which subsisted
between my father and Mary,--a friendship which stood the test of many
vicissitudes, and even of some differences of opinion; both persons
being very sensitive in feeling, quick in temper, thoroughly
outspoken, and obstinately tenacious of their own convictions.
Secondly, it corroborates what I have said with regard to the
community of spirit that Shelley found in his real wife,--the woman
who became the companion of his fortunes, of his thoughts, of his
sufferings, and of his hopes. It will be seen, that, even before
marriage with his second wife, he was counting upon Mary's help in
preventing his separation from the two children already born to him.
She was a woman uniting intellectual faculties with strong ambitions
of affection as well as intellect; and esteem thus substantially
shown, at that early age, by two such men as Percy Shelley and Leigh
Hunt, must have conveyed the deepest gratification.

Throughout these communications Shelley evinced the strong pity that
he felt for the unhappy being whom he had known. Circumstances had
come to his knowledge which had thrown considerable light upon his
relations with Harriet. There can be no doubt that one member of the
family had hoped to derive gain from the connection with himself, as a
person of rank and property. There seems also reason to suppose, that,
about the same time, Harriet's father, an aged man, became so ill that
his death might be regarded as approaching, and he had something to
leave. Poor, foolish Harriet had undoubtedly formed an attachment to
Shelley, whom she had been allowed to marry; but she had then
suffered herself to become a tool in the hands of others, and the fact
accounted for the idle way in which she importuned him to do things
repugnant to his feelings and convictions. She thus exasperated his
temper, and lost her own; they quarrelled, in the ordinary conjugal
sense, and, from all I have learned, I am induced to guess, that, when
she left him, it was not only in the indulgence of self-will, but also
in the vain hope that her retreating would induce him to follow her,
perhaps in a more obedient spirit. She sought refuge in her father's
house, where she might have expected kindness; but, as the old man
bent towards the grave, with rapid loss of faculties, he became more
severe in his treatment of the poor woman; and she was driven from the
paternal roof. This Shelley did not know at the time; nor did he until
afterwards learn the process by which she arrived at her fate.
Too late she became aware how fatal to her interests had been the
intrigues of which she had been the passive instrument; and I suspect
that she was debarred from seeking forgiveness and help partly by
false shame, and partly by the terrible adaptability of weak natures
to the condition of the society in which they find themselves. I have
said that there is not a trace of evidence or a whisper of scandal
against her before her voluntary departure from Shelley, and I have
indicated the most probable motives of that step; but subsequently she
forfeited her claim to a return, even in the eye of the law. Shelley
had information which made him believe that she fell even to the depth
of actual prostitution. If she left him, it would appear that she
herself was deserted in turn by a man in a very humble grade of life;
and it was in consequence of this desertion that she killed herself.

The change in his personal aspect that showed itself at Marlow
appeared also in his writings,--the most typical of his works for this
period being naturally the most complete that issued from his pen, the
"Revolt of Islam." We find there identically the same doctrine that
there is in "Queen Mab,"--a systematic abhorrence of the servility
which renders man captive to power, denunciation of the love of gain
which blinds his insight and destroys his energy, of the prostitution
of religious faith, and, above all, of the slavery of womanhood. But
by this time the doctrine has more distinct in its expression, and far
more powerful in its utterance.

  "Man seeks for gold in mines, that he may weave
  A lasting chain for his own slavery;
  In fear and restless care that he may live,
  He toils for others, who must ever be
  The joyless thralls of like captivity;
  He murders, for his chiefs delight in ruin;
  He builds the altar, that its idol's fee
  May be his very blood; he is pursuing,
  O blind and willing wretch! his own obscure undoing.

  "Woman!--she is his slave, she has become
  A thing I weep to speak,--the child of scorn,
  The outcast of a desolated home.
  Falsehood and fear and toil, like waves, have worn
  Channels upon her cheek, which smiles adorn,
  As calm decks the false ocean. Well ye know
  What woman is; for none of woman born
  Can choose but drain the bitter dregs of woe,
  Which ever from the oppressed to the oppressors flow."

The indignation against the revolting subjugation of womanhood comes
out still more distinctly in the preceding canto, where Cythna relates
the horrors to which she was subjected.

  "One was she among the many there, the thralls
  Of the cold tyrant's cruel lust; and they
  Laughed mournfully in those polluted halls;
  But she was calm and sad, musing alway
  On loftiest enterprise, till on a day

         *       *       *       *       *

  She told me what a loathsome agony
  Is that when selfishness mocks love's delight,
  Foul as in dreams' most fearful imagery
  To dally with the mowing dead;--that night
  All torture, fear, or horror made seem light
  Which the soul dreams or knows."

The poet bears testimony to the spiritual power which rules throughout
Nature; the monster recovering his dignity while he is under the
higher influence.

  "Even when he saw her wondrous loveliness,
  One moment to great Nature's sacred power
  He bent and was no longer passionless;
  But when he bade her to his secret bower
  Be borne a loveless victim, and she tore
  Her locks in agony, and her words of flame
  And mightier looks availed not, then he bore
  Again his load of slavery, and became
  A king, a heartless beast, a pageant and a name.

                       ...."When the day
  Shone on her awful frenzy, from the sight,
  Where like a spirit in fleshly chains she lay
  Struggling, aghast and pale the tyrant fled away.

  "Her madness was a beam of light, a power
  Which dawned through the rent soul; and words it gave,
  Gestures and looks, such as in whirlwinds bore
  Which might not be withstood."

The doctrine involved in this passage is very clear, and it marks a
decided progress since the days of "Queen Mab." It will be observed
that Shelley's mind had become familiarized with the idea of a spirit
ruling throughout Nature, obedience to which constitutes human power.
Most remarkable is the passage in which the tyrant recovers his
faculties through his subjection to this spirit; because it indicates
Shelley's faithful adhesion to the universal, though oft obscurely
formed belief, that the ability to _receive_ influence is the most
exalted faculty to which human nature can attain, while the exercise
of an arbitrary power centring in self is not only debasing, but is an
actual destroyer of human faculty.

There can be no doubt that he had profited greatly in his moral
condition, as well as in his bodily health, by the greater
tranquillity which he enjoyed in the society of Mary, and also by the
sympathy which gave full play to his ideas, instead of diverting and
disappointing them. She was, indeed, herself a woman of extraordinary
power, of heart as well as head. Many circumstances conspired to
conceal some of her natural faculties. She lost her mother very young;
her father--speaking with great diffidence, from a very slight and
imperfect knowledge--appeared to me a harsh and ungenial man. She
inherited from him her thin voice, but not the steel-edged sharpness
of his own; and she inherited, not from him, but from her mother, a
largeness of heart that entered proportionately into the working
of her mind. She had a masculine capacity for study; for, though I
suspect her early schooling was irregular, she remained a student all
her life, and by painstaking industry made herself acquainted with
any subject that she had to handle. Her command of history and
her imaginative power are shown in such books as "Valperga" and
"Castruccio"; but the daring originality of her mind comes out most
distinctly in her earliest published work, "Frankenstein." Its leading
idea has been ascribed to her husband, but, I am sure, unduly; and the
vividness with which she has brought out the monstrous tale in all its
horror, but without coarse or revolting incidents, is a proof of the
genius which she inherited alike from both her parents. It is clear,
also, that the society of Shelley was to her a great school, which she
did not appreciate to the full until most calamitously it was taken
away; and yet, of course, she could not fail to learn the greater part
of what it had become to her. This again showed itself even in her
appearance, after she had spent some years in Italy; for, while she
had grown far more comely than she was in her mere youth, she had
acquired a deeper insight into many subjects that interested Shelley,
and some others; and she had learned to express the force of natural
affection, which she was born to feel, but which had somehow been
stunted and suppressed in her youth. In the preface to the collected
edition of his works, she says: "I have the liveliest recollection of
all that was done and said during the period of my knowing him.
Every impression is as clear as if stamped yesterday, and I have no
apprehension of any mistake in my statements, as far as they go. In
other respects I am, indeed, incompetent; but I feel the importance of
the task, and regard it as my most sacred duty. I endeavor to fulfil
it in a manner he would himself approve; and hope in this publication
to lay the first stone of a monument due to Shelley's genius, his
sufferings, and his virtues." And in the postscript, written in
November, 1839, she says: "At my request, the publisher has restored
the omitted passages of 'Queen Mab.' I now present this edition as
a complete collection of my husband's poetical works, and I do not
foresee that I can hereafter add to or take away a word or line." So
writes the wife-editor; and then "The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe
Shelley" begin with a dedication to Harriet, restored to its place
by Mary. While the biographers of Shelley are chargeable with
suppression, the most straightforward and frank of all of them is
Mary, who, although not insensible to the passion of jealousy, and
carrying with her the painful sense of a life-opportunity not fully
used, thus writes the name of Harriet the first on her husband's
monument, while she has nobly abstained from telling those things that
other persons should have supplied to the narrative. I have heard her
accused of an over-anxiety to be admired; and something of the sort
was discernible in society: it was a weakness as venial as it was
purely superficial. Away from society, she was as truthful and simple
a woman as I have ever met,--was as faithful a friend as the world
has produced,--using that unreserved directness towards those whom she
regarded with affection which is the very crowning glory of friendly
intercourse. I suspect that these qualities came out in their greatest
force after her calamity; for many things which she said in her
regret, and passages in Shelley's own poetry, make me doubt whether
little habits of temper, and possibly of a refined and exacting
coquettishness, had not prevented him from acquiring so full a
knowledge of her as she had of him. This was natural for many reasons,
and especially two. Shelley had not the opportunity of retrospectively
studying her character, and his mind was by nature more constructed
than hers was to be preoccupied. If the reader desires a portrait
of Mary, he has one in the well-known antique bust sometimes called
"Isis" and sometimes "Clytie": a woman's head and shoulders rising
from a lotus-flower. It is most probably the portrait of a Roman lady,
is in some degree more elongated and "classic" than Mary; but, on the
other hand, it falls short of her, for it gives no idea of her
tall and intellectual forehead, nor has it any trace of the bright,
animated, and sweet expression that so often lighted up her face.

Attention has often been concentrated on the passage in
"Epipsychidion" which appears to relate Shelley's experiences from
earliest youth until he met with the noble and unfortunate "Lady
Emilia V., now imprisoned in the convent of--," whose own words form
the motto to the poem, and a key to the sympathy which the writer felt
for her:--"The loving soul launches itself out of the created, and
creates in the infinite a world all its own, far different from this
dark and fearful abysm." The passage begins,--

  "There was a being whom my spirit oft
  Met on its visioned wanderings, far aloft,
  In the clear golden prime of my youth's

And this being was the worshipped object of Shelley's adoring
aspirations in extreme youth; but it passed by him as a vision,

  "And as a man with mighty loss dismayed,
  I would have followed, though the grave between
  Yawned like a gulf whose spectres are unseen:
  When a voice said,--'O thou of hearts the weakest,
  The phantom is beside thee whom thou seekest.'
  Then I,--'Where?' The world's echo answered, 'Where'!"

She ever remained the veiled divinity of thoughts that worshipped her,
while he went forth into the world with hope and fear,--

  "Into the wintry forest of our life;
  And struggling through its error with vain strife,
  And stumbling in my weakness and my haste,
  And half bewildered by new forms, I passed
  Seeking among those untaught foresters
  If I could find one form resembling hers
  In which she might have masked herself from me."

The passage grows more and more intelligible. Hitherto he has been
simply a dreamy seeker; but now, at last, he thinks that Fate has
answered his questioning exclamation, "Where?"

  "There, one whose voice was venomed melody
  Sat by a well, under the nightshade bowers;
  The breath of her false mouth was like faint flowers;
  Her touch was as electric poison; flame
  Out of her looks into my vitals came;
  And from her living cheeks and bosom flew
  A killing air which pierced like honey-dew
  Into the core of my green heart, and lay
  Upon its leaves,--until, as hair grown gray
  O'er a young brow, they hid its unblown prime
  With ruins of unseasonable time."

This is a plain and only too intelligible reference to the college
experiences to which I have alluded. The youth for the moment thought
that he had encountered her whom he was seeking, but, instead of the
Florimel, he found her venal, hideous, and fatal _simulacrum_; and
he indicates even the material consequences to himself in his injured
aspect and hair touched with gray. He continues his search.

  "In many mortal forms I rashly sought
  The shadow of that idol of my thought:
  And some were fair,--but beauty dies away;
  Others were wise,--but honeyed words betray;
  And one was true,--oh! why not true to me?
  Then, as a hunted deer that could not flee,
  I turned upon my thoughts and stood at bay."

"Oh! why not true to me?" has been taken by some very few who were
cognizant of the facts as constituting an imputation on the one whom
he first married; but I am convinced that the interpretation is wrong,
although the surmise on which that interpretation is based was partly
correct. Nothing is more evident than the fact that Harriet possessed
rather an unusual degree of ability, but enormously less than Shelley
desired in the being whom he sought, and equally less than his
idealizing estimate originally ascribed to her. It is also plain, from
her own letters, that she courted his approval in a way far too common
with the wives of the artist-tribe, and perhaps with most wives: not
being exactly what he wished her to be, and lacking the faculties to
become so, she tried to seem it. The desire was partly sincere, partly
an affectation, as we discern in such little trifles as her suddenly
using the word "thou" in a letter to Hookham where she had previously
been using the ordinary colloquial "you." That she was not quite
ingenuous we also detect in the fast-and-loose conduct which enabled
her, while affecting to become what Shelley deemed her to be, also to
play into the hands of very inferior people, who must sometimes have
counselled her against him behind his back; and this, I am sure, is
what he means by "Oh! why not true to me?" though he may include
in the question a fervent regret for the fate which attended her
wandering from him. "Then like a hunted deer he turned upon his
thoughts and stood at bay," until

                            "The cold day
  Trembled, for pity of my strife and pain,
  When, like a noonday dawn, there shone again
  Deliverance. One stood on my path who seemed
  As like the glorious shape that I had dreamed
  As is the Moon, whose changes ever run
  Into themselves, to the eternal Sun."

"The cold chaste moon" fails to satisfy the longing of his soul.
"At her silver voice came death and life"; hope and despondency,
expectation from her noble qualities, disappointment at the failure
of response, were feelings that sprang from the exaggerations of his
ideal longings.

  "What storms then shook the ocean of my sleep,
  Blotting that Moon whose pale and waning lips
  Then shrank as in the sickness of eclipse!"

The whole passage is worth perusing; and again wrong interpretation
has been given to this portion of his writing. I am still more firmly
convinced that in the other case, when he says, "The planet of that
hour was quenched," he alludes to nothing more than the partial
failure of his own ideal requirements. At length into the obscure
forest came

  "The vision I had sought through grief and shame.

         *       *       *       *       *

  I stood and felt the dawn of my long night
  Was penetrating me with living light:
  I knew it was the vision veiled from me
  So many years,--that it was Emily."

To grasp the entire meaning of this autobiographical episode, we must
remember the extent to which Shelley idealizes. "More popular poets
clothe the ideal with familiar and sensible imagery; Shelley loved
to idealize the real,--to gift the mechanism of the material universe
with a soul and a voice, and to bestow such also on the most delicate
and abstract emotions and thoughts of the mind. Sophocles was
his great master in this species of imagery." The heroine of the
"Epipsychidion" is an imagination; a creature, like Raphael's Galatea,
copied from no living model, but from "_una certa idea_"; a thing
originally created by himself, and suggested only by the living
portrait, as each one of the admired had previously suggested its
ideal counterpart. Emilia, then, was the bride of a dream, and, in the
indulgence of disappointed longing for a fuller satisfaction of his
soul, Shelley mournfully contrasts this vision, who had so eloquently
responded to his idealizing through her convent-bars, with Mary, whose
stubborn, independent realism had checked and daunted him.

But the last year of Shelley's life had involved a very considerable
progress in the formation of his intellectual character. The
"Prometheus Unbound," perhaps at once the most characteristic and the
most perfect of all his works, is identical in spirit and tendency
even with the earliest, "Queen Mab"; but a re-perusal of it in
comparison with the other writings, even the "Revolt of Islam," will
show a more distinct presentment of the original ideas, coupled with
a much more measured suggestion for acting on them, and a far less
bitter allusion to the obstacles; while the charity and love are more
all-embracing and apparent than ever. Imperfect as it is for dramatic
representation, shortcoming even in the power to trace the working
of emotions and ideas in utterly diverse characters, the "Cenci" does
indicate a stronger aptitude for sympathy with other creatures
on their own terms than any other of the poet's writings. He had,
therefore, sobered in judgment, without declining in his inborn
genius; but, on the contrary, with a clearer sense of the limits
placed upon individual action, he had gained strength; and I feel
certain that a corresponding change had taken place in his perception
of the true import and value of characters unlike his own. The last
few months of his life at Lerici had very materially contributed to
this change. Although I cannot recall any distinct statement to that
effect by Mary Shelley, her conversation had left that impression on
me; it is also suggested by the way in which he himself spoke of it,
and is fully confirmed by the tone of the letters addressed to her
from Pisa.

All who have attempted to portray Shelley, either intellectually or
physically, have done so from some appreciable, almost personal point
of view. When many eyes see one object, it presents itself in as many
different aspects, and the description given by each bears often a
slight resemblance to that of others. So it has been with Shelley. The
artistic portraits of him have happened to be particularly imperfect.
I remember seeing a miniature by an amateur friend which actually
suggested a form broad and square. The ordinarily received miniature
is like almost all of its tribe, and resembles Shelley about as
much as a lady in a book of fashions resembles real women; and it
constitutes evidence all the more detrimental and misleading, since it
appears to give as well as to receive a color of verisimilitude from
the usual written description, which represents Shelley as "feminine,"
"almost girlish," "ideal," "angelic," and so forth. The accounts of
him by firmer hands are still cramped by the individuality of the

His school-friend, Hogg, is a gentleman of independent property;
Shelley detected the sensitiveness of his nature; and I know that the
man has been capable of truly generous conduct. How is it, then, that
he has written such utterly unintelligible stuff, and has descended to
such evasions as to insert initials, lest people should detect amongst
Shelley's correspondents a most admirable friend, who happened, it
is supposed, to be of plebeian origin? Mr. Thomas Jefferson Hogg,
I surmise, was conscious, somewhat early in life, that his better
qualities were not fully appreciated; and his love of ease, his wit,
his perception of the ludicrous, made him take refuge in cynicism
until he learned almost to forget the origin of the real meaning of
the things he talked about. His account of Shelley is like a figure
seen through fantastically distorting panes of glass.

Thomas Love Peacock, again, is a man to whose extraordinary powers
Shelley did full justice. He has worked through a long official career
without losing his very peculiar dry wit; but a dry wit was not the
man exactly to discern the form of Shelley's mind, or to portray it
with accuracy and distinctness.

Few men knew the poet better than my father; but a mind checked by
"over-refinement," excessive conscientiousness, and an irresistible
tendency to find out niceties of difference,--a mind, in short, like
that of Hamlet, cultivated rather than corrected by the trials
of life, was scarcely suited to comprehend the strong instincts,
indomitable will, and complete unity of idea which distinguished
Shelley. Accordingly we have from my father a very doubtful portrait,
seldom advancing beyond details, which are at once exaggerated and
explained away by qualifications.

Byron, I suspect, through the natural strength of his perceptive
power, was likely to have formed a better design; but the two were
separated soon after he had begun to learn that such a man as Shelley
might be found on the same earth with himself.

One or two others that have written have been mere tourists or
acquaintances. Unquestionably the companion who knew him best of all
was Mary; and although she lacked the power of distinct, positive, and
absolute portraiture, her writings will be found to contain, together
with his own, the best materials for forming an estimate of his
natural character.

The real man was reconcilable with all these descriptions. His traits
suggested everything that has been said of him; but his aspect,
conformation, and personal qualities contained more than any one has
ascribed to him, and more indeed than all put together. A few plain
matters-of-fact will make this intelligible. Shelley was a tall
man,--nearly, if not quite, five feet ten in height. He was peculiarly
slender, and, as I have said already, his chest had palpably
enlarged after the usual growing period. He retained the same kind
of straitness in the perpendicular outline on each side of him; his
shoulders were the reverse of broad, but yet they were not sloping,
and a certain squareness in them was naturally incompatible with
anything feminine in his appearance. To his last days he still
suffered his chest to collapse; but it was less a stoop than a
peculiar mode of holding the head and shoulders,--the face thrown a
little forward, and the shoulders slightly elevated; though the whole
attitude below the shoulders, when standing, was unusually upright,
and had the appearance of litheness and activity. I have mentioned
that bodily vigor which he could display; and from his action when I
last saw him, as well as from Mary's account, it is evident that he
had not abandoned his exercises, but the reverse. He had an oval face
and delicate features, not unlike those given to him in the well-known
miniature. His forehead was high. His fine, dark brown hair, when not
cut close, disposed itself in playful and very beautiful curls over
his brows and round the back of his neck. He had brown eyes, with
a color in his cheek "like a girl's"; but as he grew older, his
complexion bronzed. So far the reality agrees with the current
descriptions; nevertheless they omit material facts. The outline of
the features and face possessed a firmness and _hardness_ entirely
inconsistent with a feminine character. The outline was sharp and
firm; the markings distinct, and indicating an energetic _physique_.
The outline of the bone was distinctly perceptible at the temples, on
the bridge of the nose, at the back portion of the cheeks, and in the
jaw, and the artist could trace the principal muscles of the face.
The beard also, although the reverse of strong, was clearly marked,
especially about the chin. Thus, although the general aspect was
peculiarly slight, youthful, and delicate, yet, when you looked to
"the points" of the animal, you saw well enough the indications of a
masculine vigor, in many respects far above the average. And what I
say of the physical aspect of course bears upon the countenance. That
changed with every feeling. It usually looked earnest,--when
joyful, was singularly bright and animated, like that of a gay young
girl,--when saddened, had an aspect of sorrow peculiarly touching, and
sometimes it fell into a listless weariness still more mournful; but
for the most part there was a look of active movement, promptitude,
vigor, and decision, which bespoke a manly, and even a commanding

The general tendency that all who approached Shelley displayed to
yield to his dictate is a practical testimony to these qualities;
for his earnestness was apt to take a tone of command so generous,
so free, so simple, as to be utterly devoid of offence, and yet to
constitute him a sort of tyrant over all who came within his reach.

The weakness ascribed to Shelley's voice was equally taken from
exceptional instances, and the account of it usually suggests the idea
that he spoke in a falsetto which might almost be mistaken for the
"shriek" of a harsh-toned woman. Nothing could be more unlike the
reality. The voice was indeed quite peculiar, and I do not know where
any parallel to it is likely to be found unless in Lancashire. Shelley
had no ear for music,--the words that he wrote for existing airs
being, strangely enough, inappropriate in rhythm and even in cadence;
and though he had a manifest relish for music and often talked of it,
I do not remember that I ever heard him sing even the briefest snatch.
I cannot tell, therefore, what was the "register" of his singing
voice; but his speaking voice unquestionably was then of a high
natural counter-tenor. I should say that he usually spoke at a pitch
somewhere about the D natural above the base line; but it was in no
respect a falsetto. It was a natural chest-voice, not powerful, but
telling, musical, and expressive. In reading aloud, the strain was
peculiarly clear, and had a sustained, song-like quality, which came
out more strongly when, as he often did, he recited verse. When he
called out in pain,--a very rare occurrence,--or sometimes in comic
playfulness, you might hear the "shrillness" of which people talk; but
it was only because the organ was forced beyond the ordinary effort.
His usual speech was clear, and yet with a breath in it, with an
especially distinct articulation, a soft, vibrating tone, emphatic,
pleasant, and persuasive.

It seems to me that these physical characteristics forcibly illustrate
the moral and intellectual genius of the man. The impulsiveness which
has been ascribed to him is a wrong expression, for it is usually
interpreted to mean the action of sudden motives waywardly,
capriciously, or at least intermittingly working; whereas the
character which Shelley so constantly displayed was an overbearing
strength of conviction and feeling, a species of audacious, but
chivalrous readiness to act upon conviction as promptly as possible,
and, above all, a zealous disposition to say out all that was in his
mind. It is better expressed by the word which some satirist put
into the mouth of Coleridge, speaking of himself, and, instead of
impulsiveness, it should have been called an "utterancy," coupled with
decision and promptitude of action. The physical development of the
man with the progress of time may be traced in the advancement of his
writings. The physical qualities which are equally to be found in his
poetry and prose were quite as manifest in his aspect, and not less
so in his conduct of affairs. It must be remembered that his life
terminated long before he had arrived half-way, "_nel mezzo del cammin
di nostra vita_," when more than one other great intellect has been
but commencing its true work. I believe, that, if Shelley had lived,
he would himself have been the most potent and useful commentator on
his own writings, in the production of other and more complete works.
But meanwhile the true measure of his genius is to be found in the
influence which he has had, not only over those who have proclaimed
their debt to him, but over numbers who have mistrusted and even
denounced him.


  "Farewell awhile, my bonnie darling!
    One long, close kiss, and I depart:
  I hear the angry trumpet snarling,
    The drum-beat tingles at my heart."

  Behind him, softest flutes were breathing
    Across the vale their sweet recall;
  Before him burst the battle, seething
    In flame beneath its thunder-pall.

  All sights and sounds to stay invited;
    The meadows tossed their foam of flowers;
  The lingering Day beheld, delighted,
    The dances of his amorous Hours.

  He paused: again the fond temptation
    Assailed his heart, so firm before,
  And tender dreams, of Love's creation,
    Persuaded from the peaceful shore.

  "But no!" he sternly cried; "I follow
    The trumpet, not the shepherd's reed:
  Let idlers pipe in pastoral hollow,--
    Be mine the sword, and mine the deed!

  "Farewell to Love!" he murmured, sighing:
    "Perchance I lose what most is dear;
  But better there, struck down and dying,
    Than be a man and wanton here!"

  He went where battle's voice was loudest;
    He pressed where danger nearest came;
  His hand advanced, among the proudest,
    Their banner through the lines of flame.

  And there, when wearied Carnage faltered,
    He, foremost of the fallen, lay,
  While Night looked down with brow unaltered,
    And breathed the battle's dust away.

  There lying, sore from wounds untended,
    A vision crossed the starry gleam:
  The girl he loved beside him bended,
    And kissed him in his fever-dream.

  "Oh, love!" she cried, "you fled, to find me;
    I left with you the daisied vale;
  I turned from flutes that wailed behind me,
    To hear your trumpet's distant hail.

  "Your tender vows, your peaceful kisses,
    They scarce outlived the moment's breath;
  But now we clasp immortal blisses
    Of passion proved on brinks of Death!

  "No fate henceforward shall estrange her
    Who finds a heart more brave than fond;
  For Love, forsook this side of danger,
    Waits for the man who goes beyond!"


Sitting in my New-England study, as do so many of my tribe, to peruse
the "Atlantic," I wonder whether, like its namesake, hospitable to
many persons and things, it will for once let me write as well as
read, and launch from my own calling a theme on its bosom. Our cloth
has been worn so long in the world, I doubt how far it may suit with
new fashions in fine company-parlors; but, seeing room is so cordially
made for some of my brethren, as the Reverend Mr. Wilbur and "The
Country Parson," to keep up the dignity of the profession, I am
emboldened to come for a day with what the editorial piety may accept,
"rejected article" as it might be elsewhere.

The pulpit has lost something of its old sacredness in the general
mind. There is little popular superstition to endure its former
dictation. No exclusive incarnate theocracy in any particular persons
is left, Leviticus and the Hebrew priesthood are gone. Church,
ministry, and Sabbath are the regular targets taken out by our moral
riflemen and archers, though so seldom to hit fair in the centre, that
we may find ourselves, like spectators at the match, respecting the
old targets more than we do the shots. Yet homilies and exporters are
thought fair game. I have even heard splendid lecturers whose wit
ran so low or who were so pushed for matter as to talk of what
divinity-students wear round their necks, which seems a superficial
consideration. The anciently venerated desk has two sharp enemies,
the radical and the conservative, aiming their artillery from opposite
sides, putting it somewhat in the position of the poor fish who is in
danger from diverse classes of its fellow-creatures, one in the air
and one in the water, and knows not whether to dive or rise to the
surface, till it can conclude which is the more pleasant exit from
life, to be hawked at or swallowed outright.

While, however, critics and reformers fail to furnish a fit substitute
for the sermon, and the finest essays show not only Bacon's "dry
light," but a very cold one too, and the wit and humor of the lyceum
fall short of any mark in the conscience of mankind, and philanthropy
uses stabbing often instead of surgery, a clerical institution, on
whose basis direct admonition can be administered by individuals
without egotism or impertinence, maintains an indefeasible claim.
Indeed, as was fancied of the innocent in the ordeal by fire, or like
the children from the furnace, it comes out the other side of all
censure, with some odor of sanctity yet on its unsinged robes and new
power in higher quarters in its hands. Defective, indeed, it is. If
some of its organs could speak a little more in their natural voice,
and could, moreover, wash off the deformity of this Indian war-paint
of high-wrought rhetoric,--if they could use a little more of the
colloquial earnestness of the street and table in their style, instead
of those freaks of eloquence which, among all our associations,
there ought to be a society to put down,--they would more honor their
vocation, and effect its purpose of saving human souls. Let us not be
so loudmouthed, or bluster as we do. Our declamation will have to hush
its barbarian noise some time. Nothing but conversation will be
left in heaven; and it were well, could we have on earth sober and
thoughtful assemblies, at blood-warmth instead of fever-heat, rather
than those over-crowded halls from which _hundreds go away unable to
obtain admission_.

But the present design is a plea for justice, not a fresh charge.
The pulpit is to teach religion in application to life. But when we
reflect what life is, how deep in the soul, how wide in the world,
how complicated and delicate in its affairs and ties,--and when, we
consider what religion is, the whole truth of heaven respecting
all the operations of earth,--a kindly judgment is required for
unavoidable short-comings and ministerial mistakes. With different
ages, sexes, experiences, states of mind, degrees of intelligence and
impressibleness in a congregation, it is a rare felicity for a sermon
to reach all its members with equal impressiveness or acceptance. Who
ever heard a uniform estimate of any discourse? There seems almost a
curse upon the preacher's office from its very greatness, so that it
is never finished, and no portion of it can be done perfectly well and
secure against all objection. If he try to unfold the deep things
of the Spirit, and bring his best thoughts, which he would not throw
away, before his audience, though in language clearer than many a
chapter of Paul's Epistles, _some_ will call the topic obscure, and
complain that their children cannot understand it, quoting, perhaps,
the old sentence, that all truth necessary to salvation is so plain
that he who runs may read, and the wayfaring man, though a fool,
cannot err therein, and commending superficial homilies on other
tongues to censure whatever is profound from his. But should the
poor occupant of the desk venture to emulate this eulogized sonorous
exhortation, exerting himself to come down to the ignorant and the
young, there will be _some_ to stigmatize that, too, as a sort of
trifling and disrespect to mature minds. He has by a senior now and
then been blamed for excessive attention to the lambs of his flock,
and annoyed with the menace to stay away, if they were especially
to be noticed. If a visitation of special grace or an exaltation of
physical strength make the mortal incumbent happy in his exposition,
so that he is listened to with edification and delight, it is, by
some, not passed over to his credit at the ebb-tide of his power. Half
the time the house is not half full, as though the institution which
all order to be conducted nobody but he is bound to shoulder. If the
preacher labor to express the mysterious relationship between God and
Christ, the divine and human nature, he will be considered by _some_
a sectarian, controversialist, or heretic. If he unfold what is
above all denominational disputes, he will be fortunate to escape
accusations of transcendentalism, pantheism, spiritualism. If, lucky
man, he go scot-free of such indictment, a last stunning stroke, in
the gantlet he runs, will be sure to fetch him up, in the vague and
unanswerable imputation of being _very peculiar in his views_. If
he insist on the miracles as literal facts, he will be laughed at as
old-fashioned in one pew; if he slight them, he will be mourned over
as unsound in the next. Men grumble at taxes and tolls; alas! nobody
is stopped at so many gates and questioned in so many ways as he. If
he take in hand the tender matter of consoling stricken hearts, the
ecstasy of his visions will not save his topic from being regarded by
some as painful, and by others as a mere shining of the moon. He will
receive special requests not to harrow up the feelings he only meant
to bind up in balm. He may be informed of an aversion, more or less
extensive, to naming the _grave_ or _coffin_ and what it contains,
though he only puts one foot by pall or bier to plant the other in
paradise. If he turn the everlasting verities he is intrusted with to
events transpiring on the public stage, though he never sided with any
party in his life, and has no more committed himself to men than did
his Master, _some_ will be grieved at his _preaching politics_. His
head has throbbed, his heart ached, his eyes were hot and wet
once before he uttered himself; but he must suffer and weep worse
afterwards, because he went too far for one man and not far enough for
another. He is told, one day, that he is too severe on seceders, and
the next, ironically, that, with such merciful sentiments towards
them, he ought always to wear a cravat completely white. One man is
amused at his sermon, and another thinks the same is sad. He will be
asked if he cannot give a little less of one thing or more of another,
as though he were a dealer in wares or an exhibiter of curious
documents for a price, and could take an article from this or that
shelf, or a paper from any one of a hundred pigeon-holes, when, if he
be a servant of the Lord and organ of the Holy Ghost, he has no choice
and is shut up to his errand,--necessity is laid upon him, woe is unto
him if he deliver it not, but, like another Jonah, flee to Tarshish
when the Lord tells him to go to Nineveh and cry against its
wickedness; and he feels through every nerve that truth is not a
thing to be carried round as merchandise or peddled out at all to suit
particular tastes, to retain old friends or win new ones, hard as it
may go, to the anguish of his soul, to lose the good-will of those he
loves, and whose distrust is a chronic pang, though they come to love
him again all the more for what he has suffered and said. But if,
passing by discussions of general interest, and exposing himself
to the hint of being behind the times, he grapple with the sins
immediately about him, board the false customs of society and trade,
and strike with the sword of the Lord at private vices and family
faults, he will be blamed as very _personal_, and be apprised of his
insults to those of whom in his delivery he never thought, as he may
never preach _at_ anybody, or even _to_ anybody, in his most direct
thrusting, more than to himself, reaching others only through his own
wounded heart. Meantime, some of his ecclesiastical constituents
will suspect him, in his local ethics, of leniency to wide-spread
corruption; and professed philanthropists will brand him as a trimmer
and coward, recreant, fawning, and dumb,--the term _spaniel_ having
been flung at one of the best men and most conscientious ministers
that ever lived, simply because he could not vituperate as harshly
as some of his neighbors. Some would have him remember only those in
bonds; others say they cannot endure from him even the word _slavery_.
Blessed, if, from all these troubles, he can, for solace, and with a
sense of its significance, bethink himself of Christ's saying to
his disciples, "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!"
Thrice blessed, if he have an assurance and in that inward certificate
possess the peace which passeth understanding!

I intend not, by my simple story, which has in it no fiction, to add
to the lamentations of the old prophet, nor will allow Jeremiah to
represent all my mood. It is perfectly fit the laity should criticize
the clergy. The minister,--who is he but one of the people, set apart
to particular functions, open to a judgment on the manner of their
discharge, from which no sacred mission or supposed apostolic
succession can exempt, the Apostles having been subject to it
themselves? Under their robes and ordinances, in high-raised desks,
priest and bishop are but men, after all. Ministers should be grateful
for all the folk's frankness. Only let the criticism be considerate
and fair; and in order to its becoming so, let us ascertain the
perfect model of their calling. Did not their Master give it, when he
said, "The field is the world"? If so, then to everything in the world
must the pulpit apply the moral law. What department of it shall be
excused? _Politics_,--because it embraces rival schools in the same
worshipping body, and no disinterested justice in alluding to its
principles can be expected from a preacher, or because whoever
disagrees with his opinions must be silent, there being on Sunday and
in the sanctuary no decency allowed of debate or reply, and therefore
whatever concerns the civil welfare and salvation of the community is
out of the watchman's beat now, though God so expressly bade him warn
the city of old? _Commerce_,--because a minister understands nothing
of the elements and necessities of business, and must blunder in
pointing to banks and shops or any transactions of the street, though
an old preacher, called Solomon, in his Proverbs refers so sharply to
the buyer and the seller? _Pleasure_,--because the servant of the Lord
cannot be supposed to sympathize with, but only to denounce, amusement
which poor tired humanity employs for its recreation, though Miriam's
smiting of her timbrel, which still rings from the borders of the
raging Red Sea, and David's dancing in a linen ephod with all his
might before the Lord, when the ark on a new cart came into the
city, were a sort of refreshment of triumphant sport? _The social
circle_,--because of course he cannot go to parties or comprehend the
play of feeling in which the natural affections run to and fro,
and should rather be at home reading his Bible, turning over his
Concordance, and writing his sermon, letting senate and dance, market
and exchange, opera and theatre, fights and negotiations go to the
winds, so he only comes duly with his _exegesis_ Sunday morning to his
place? In short, is the minister's concern and call of God only, with
certain imposing formalities and prearranged dogmas, to greet in their
Sunday-clothes his friends who have laid aside their pursuits and
delights with the gay garments or working-dress of the week, never
reminding them of what, during the six days, they have heard or where
they have been? "No!" let him say; "if this is to be a minister, no
minister can I be!" For what is left of the field the Lord sends the
minister into? It is cut up and fenced off into countless divisions,
to every one of which some earthly-agent or interest brings a
title-deed. The minister finds the land of the world, like some vast
tract of uncivilized territory, seized by wild squatters, owned and
settled by other parties, and, as a famous political-economist said
in another connection, there is no cover at Nature's table for him.
As with the soldier in the play, whose wars were over, _his_
"occupation's gone."

What is the minister, then? A ghost, or a figure like some in the
shop-window, all made up of dead cloth and color into an appearance of
life? Verily, he comes almost to that. But no such shape, no spectre
from extinct animation of thousands of years ago, like the geologist's
skeletons reconstructed from lifeless strata of the earth, can answer
the vital purposes of the revelation from God. Of no pompous or
abstract ritual administration did the Son of God set an example. He
had a parable for the steward living when _He_ did; He called
King Herod, then reigning, _a fox_, and the Scribes and Pharisees
hypocrites; He declared the prerogatives of His Father beyond Cæsar's;
He maintained a responsibility of human beings coextensive with the
stage and inseparable from the smallest trifle of their existence. He
did not limit His marvellous tongue to antiquities and traditions. He
used the mustard-seed in the field and the leaven in the lump for His
everlasting designs. His finger was stretched out to the cruel stones
of self-righteousness flying through the air, and phylacteries of
dissimulation worn on the walk. He was so _political_, He would have
saved Jerusalem and Judea from Roman ruin, and wept because He could
not, with almost the only tears mentioned of His. Those who teach in
His name should copy after His pattern.

"_Confine yourselves to the old first Gospel, preach Christianity,
early Christianity_," we ministers are often told. But what is
Christianity, early or late, and what does the Gospel mean, but a rule
of holy living in every circumstance now? Grief and offence may come,
as Jesus says they must; misapplications and complaints, which are
almost always misapprehensions, may be made; but are not these better
than indifference and death? No doubt there is a prudence, and still
more an impartial candor and equity, in treating every matter, but
no beauty in timid flight from any matter there is to treat. The
clergyman, like every man, speaks at his peril, and is as accountable
as any one for what he says. He ought justly and tenderly to remember
the diverse tenets represented among his auditors, to side with
no sect as such, to give no individual by his indorsement a mean
advantage over any other, nor any one a handle of private persecution
by his open anathema. Moreover, he should abstain from that
particularity in secular themes which so easily wanders from all
sight of spiritual law amid regions of uncertainty and speculative
conjecture. He should shun explorations less fit for prophets than for
experts. He should lay his finger on no details in which questions of
right and wrong are not plainly involved. He must be public-spirited;
he cannot be more concerned for his country and his race, that
righteousness and liberty and love may prevail, than divine seers have
ever been, as their books of record show; but, if he becomes a mere
diplomatist, financier, secretary-of-state, or military general, in
his counsels or his tone, he evacuates his own position, flees as
a craven from his post, and assumes that of other men. Yet it is an
extreme still worse for him to resort to lifeless generalities of
doctrine and duty, producing as little effect as comes from electric
batteries or telegraphic wires when no magnetic current is established
and no object reached. What section, of the world should evade or defy
the law of God?

O preachers, beware of your sentimental descant on the worth of
goodness, the goodness of being good, and the sinfulness of sin,
without specifying either! It is a blank cartridge, or one of
treacherous sand instead of powder, or a spiked gun, only whose
priming explodes without noise or execution. Let nobody dodge the sure
direction of that better than lead or iron shot with which from you
the conscience is pierced and iniquity slain. Suffer not the statesman
to withdraw his policy, nor the broker his funds, nor the captain the
cause he fights for, from the sentence of divine truth on the good or
evil in all the acts of men.

The preacher, however, as he pronounces or reports that sentence, must
never forget the bond he is under in his own temper to the spirit of
impartial love. Whatever is vindictive vitiates his announcement all
the more that he cannot be rebuked for it, as he ought to be, on the
spot. Only let not the hearers mistake earnestness for vindictiveness.
If kindly and with intense serenity he communicates what he has
struggled long and hard to attain, then for their own sake, if not for
his, they should beware of visiting him either with silent distrust or
open reproach. He, just like them, must stand or fall according to his
fidelity to the oracles of God. Only, once more, let him and let
the Church comprehend that those oracles are not summed up in any
laborious expounding of verbal texts. "The letter killeth," unless
itself enlivened through the immediate Providence.

To be true to God, the preacher must be true to his time, as the
Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles were to theirs. The pulpit dies of
its dignity, when it creeps into the exhausted receiver of foregone
conclusions, and has nothing to say but of Adam and Pharaoh, Jew
and Gentile, Palestine and Tyre so far away. Its decorum of being
inoffensive to others is suicidal for itself. It is the sleep of
death for all. As the inductive philosopher took all knowledge for
his province, it must take all life. We have, indeed, a glorious and
venerable charter of inestimable worth in our map of the religious
history of mankind through centuries that are gone. We must study
the true meaning of the Bible, _the book_ and chief collection of
the records of faith, precious above all for the immortal image and
photograph, in so many a shifting light and various expression, of
the transcendent form of divinity through manhood in Him to be ever
reverently and lovingly named, Jesus Christ. But there is a spirit in
man. "The word of God," says an Apostle, "is not bound"; nor can it
be wholly bound up. The Holy Spirit of God that first descended never
died, and never ceased to act on the human soul. The day of miracles
is not past,--or, if none precisely like those of Jesus are
still wrought, miracles of grace, the principal workings of the
supernatural, of which external prodigies are the lowest species, are
performed abundantly in the living breast. Jesus Himself, after all
the sufficient and summary grandeur of His instructions, assures
His followers of the Spirit that would come to lead them, beyond
whatsoever He had said, into all truth. In that dispensation of the
Spirit we live. Its sphere endures through all change, impregnable.
It is "builded far from accident." No progress of earthly science can
threat or hurt its eternal proportions. It is the supreme knowledge,
and to whoever enters it a whisper comes whose only response is the
confession of our noble hymn,--

    "True science is to read Thy name."

Much is said of a contradictory relation of science to faith. But the
statement is a misnomer. True faith is the lushest science, even the
knowledge of God. Putting fishes or birds, shells or flowers, stones
or stars, in a circle or a row is a lower science than the sublime
intercommunication of the soul by prayer and love with its Father.
Mere physical, without spiritual science, has no bottom to hold
anything, and no foundation of peace. The king of science is not the
naturalist as such, but the saint conversing with Divinity,--not so
much Humboldt or La Place as Fénelon or Luther. So far as the progress
of outward science saps accredited writings, they must give way, or
rather any false conceptions of Nature they imply must yield, leaving
whatever spirituality there is in them untouched. But this is from
no essential contradiction between science and religious faith. What
faith or religion is there in believing the world was made in six
days? Less than in calculating, with Agassiz, by the coral reefs of
Florida, that to make one bit of it took more than sixty thousand
years. Religious faith, what is it? It is the trembling transport with
which the soul hearkens and gives itself up to God, in sympathy with
all likewise entranced souls. But from such consecrated listening to
the voice of Deity, fresh in our bosom or echoed from without by those
He has inspired, we verify the rule already affirmed, and fetch
advice and command for all the affairs of life. It is emphatically
the minister's duty thus to join the vision to the fact, that they
may strike through and through one another. Certainly, so the true
minister's speech should run. Let him stand up and boldly say, or
always imply, "I so construe it; and if the _Church_ interpret it
otherwise, the Church is no place for me. If the _world_ will accept
no such method, the world is no place for me. I see not why I was
born, or what with Church or world I have to do. From Church and world
I should beg leave to retire, trusting that God's Universe, somewhere
beyond this dingy spot, is true to the persuasion of His mind. I must
apply religion universally to life, or not at all. If, when my country
is in peril, I cannot bring her to the altar and ask that she may be
lifted up in the arms of a common supplication,--if, in the terrible
game of honesty with political corruption, when '_Check_' is said
to the adverse power, I cannot wish and pray that '_Checkmate_' may
follow,--when some huge evil, sorely wounded, in its fierce throes
spreads destruction about, as the dying monster in Northern seas casts
up boat-loads of dying men who fall bruised and bleeding among the
fragments into the waves with the threshing of its angry tail, if
then I cannot hope that the struggle may be short, and the ship of the
Republic gather back her crew from prevailing in the conflict to sail
prosperous with all her rich cargo of truth and freedom on the voyage
over the sea of Time,--if no sound of the news-boy's cry must mix with
the echoes of solemn courts, and no reflection of wasting fires in
which life and treasure melt can flash through their windows, and
no deeds of manly heroism or womanly patriotism are to have applause
before God and Christ in the temple,--if nothing but some preexisting
scheme of salvation, distinct from all living activity, must absorb
the mind,--then I totally misunderstand and am quite out of my place.
Then let me go. It is high time I were away. I have stayed too long
already." Such should be the speech of the minister, knowing he is
not tempted to be a partisan, and is possessed with but an over-kind
sensibility to dread any ruffling of others' feelings or discord with
those that are dear.

In the first year of a young minister's service, Dr. Channing besought
him to let no possible independence of parochial support relax his
industry: a needless caution to one not constituted to feel seductions
of sloth, in whom active energy is no merit, and who can have no
motive but the people's good. What else is there for him to seek?
There is no by-end open, and no virtue in a devotedness there is no
lure to forego. There is no position he can covet, as politicians are
said to bid for the Presidency. But one thing is indispensable: he
must tell what he thinks; he is strong only in his convictions; the
sacrifice of them he cannot make; it were but his debility, if he did;
and the treasury of all the fortunes of the richest parish were no
more than a cipher to purchase it from any one who, quick as he may
be to human kindness, may have a more tremulous rapture for the
approbation of God.

After all, to his profession and parish the preacher is in debt.
Exquisite rewards his work yields. If controversy arise on some point
with his friends, there may, after a while, be no remnant of hard
feeling,--as there are heavy cannonades, and no bit of wadding picked
up. Those who have striven with or defamed may come to cherish him all
the more for their alienation. Those who could not hear him, or, when
they heard, thought him too long, or what they heard did not like, may
own with him, out of their discontent, closer and sweeter bonds. His
business is expansive in its nature. The seasons of human life in
broad representation are always before him. How many moral springs and
summers, autumns and winters he sees, till he can hardly tell whether
his musing on this curious existence be memory or hope, retrospect
of earth or prospect of heaven! and he begins to think the spiritual
world abolishes distinctions of spheres and times, as parents, that
were his lambs, bring their babes to his arms, and, even in the
flesh, his mortal passing into eternal vision, he beholds, as in
vivid dreaming, other parents leading their children on other shores,
unseen, though hard by. Where, after a score or two of years, is his
church? He has several congregations,--one within the dedicated walls,
one of emigrants whom his fancy instead of the bell assembles, and
a third of elders and little ones gone back through the shadow of
mystery whence they came. In what abides of the flock nothing remains
as it was. Wondrous transformations snow maturity or decline in the
very forms that, to his also changing eye and hand, once wore soft
cheeks and silken locks. In his experience, miracle is less than
creation and lower than truth. He cannot credit Memory's ever losing
her seat, he has such things to remember. The best thereof can never
be written down, published, uttered by orators, or blown from the
trumpet of Fame, whose "brave instrument" must put up with a meaner
message and inferior breath. Out of his affections are born his
beliefs; earth is the cradle of his expectancy and persuasion of
heaven; and not otherwise than through the glass of his experience
could he have sight of a sphere of ineffable glory for better growth
than Nature here affords in all her gardens and fields.

So let the preacher stand by his order. But let him be just, also, to
the constituency from which it springs. Hearty and cheerful, though
obscure worker, let him be. Let him fling his weaver's shuttle still,
daily while he lives, through the crossing party-colored threads of
human life, till, in his factory too, beauty flows from confusion,
contradiction ends in harmony, and the blows with which each one has
been stricken form the perfect pattern from all. There is a unity
which all faithful labor, through whatever jars, consults and creates.
Of all criticisms the resultant is truth; be the conflicts what they
may, the issue shall be peace; and one music of affection is yet
angelically to flow from the many divided notes of human life. Who is
the _minister_, then? No ordained functionary alone, but every man or
woman that has lived and served, loved and lamented, and now, for such
ends, suffers and hopes.


How quiet the saloon was, that morning, as I groped my way through the
little white tables, the light chairs, and the dimness of early dawn
to the windows. It was my business to open the windows every morning,
finding my way down as best I could; for it was not permitted to light
the gas at that hour, and no candles were allowed, lest they should
soil the furniture. This morning the glass dome which brightened the
ceiling, and helped to lighten the saloon, was of very little effect,
so cloudy and dusk was the sky. The high houses which shut in the
strip of garden on all sides reflected not a ray of light. A
chill struck through me, as I passed along the marble pavement; a
saloon-dampness, empty, vault-like, hung about the fireless, sunless
place; and the plashing of the fountain which dripped into the marble
basin beyond--dropping, dropping, incessantly--struck upon my ear like
water trickling down the side of a cave.

It had never occurred to me to think the place lonely or dreary
before, or to demur at this morning operation of opening it for the
day; a tawdry, gilded, showy hall, it had seemed to me quite a grand
affair, compared with those in which I had hitherto found employment.
Now I shuddered and shivered, and felt the task, always regarded as a
compliment to my honesty, to be indeed hard and heavy enough.

It might have been--yet I was not a coward--that the little coffin
in that little room at the end of the saloon had something to do with
this uneasiness. On each side of that narrow room (which opened upon a
long hall leading to the front of the building) were the small windows
looking out upon the garden, which I always unbolted first. I say I
do not know that this presence of death had anything to do with my
trepidation. The death of a child was no very solemn or very uncommon
thing in my master's family. He had many children, and, when death
thinned their ranks, took the loss like a philosopher,--as he was,--a
French philosopher. He philosophized that his utmost exertions could
not do much more for the child than bequeath to him just such a
life as he led, and a share in just such a saloon as he owned; and
therefore, if a priest and a coffin insured the little innocent
admission into heaven without any extra charge, he would not betray
such lack of wisdom as to demur at the proposition. Therefore, very
quietly, since I had been in his employ, (about a twelvemonth,) three
of his children, one by one, had been brought down to that little room
at the end of the saloon, and thence through the long hall, through
the crowded street out to some unheard-of burying-ground, where a pot
of flowers and a painted cross supplied the place of a head-stone.
The shop was not shut up on these occasions: that would have been an
unnecessary interference with the comfort of customers, and loss
of time and money. The necessity of providing for his little living
family had quite disenthralled Monsieur C---- from any weakly
sentimentality in regard to his little dead family.

So I do not know why I shuddered, being also myself somewhat of a
philosopher,--of such cool philosophy as grows out inevitably from the
hard and stony strata of an overworked life. The sleeper within
was certainly better cared for now than he ever had been in life.
Monsieur's purse afforded no holiday-dress but a shroud; three of
these in requisition within so short a time quite scanted the wardrobe
of the other children. Little Jacques had always been a somewhat
restless and unhappy baby, longing for fresh air, and a change which
he never got; it seemed likely, so far as the child's promise was
concerned, that the "great change" was his only chance of variety, and
the very best thing that could have happened to him.

And yet, after all, there was something about his death which
individualized it, and hung a certain sadness over its occurrence that
does not often belong to the death of children, or at least had not
marked the departure of his two stout little brothers. Scarlet-fever
and croup and measles are such every-day, red-winged, mottled angels,
that no one is appalled at their presence; they take off the little
sufferer in such vigorous fashion, clutch him with so hearty a
grip, that one is compelled to open the door, let them out, and
feel relieved when the exit is made. It is only when some dim-eyed,
white-robed shape, scarcely seen, scarcely felt, steps softly in and
steals away the little troublesome bundle of life with solemn eye and
hushed lip, that we have time to pause, to look, to grieve.

This little Jacques, when I came to his father's house, was a rampant,
noisy, cunning child, with the vivacity of French and American blood
mingling in his veins, and filling him with strongest tendencies to
mischief, and prompting elfish feats of activity. He was not by any
means a fascinating child,--in fact, no children ever fascinated
me,--but this little fellow was rather disagreeable, a wonder to his
father, a horror to his mother, and a great annoyance generally;
we were all rather cross with him, and he was universally put down,
thrust aside, and ordered out of the way.

This was the state of affairs when I came. It was little Jacques, with
a high forehead, white, tightly curling hair, and mischief-full blue
eye, who made himself translator of all imaginable inquisitorial
French phrases for my benefit,--who questioned, and tormented,
and made faces at me,--who pulled my apron, disappeared with my
carpet-bag, and placed a generous slice of molasses-candy upon the
seat of my chair, when I sat down to rest myself.

Little Jacques ardently loved a sly fishing-expedition on the edge
of the marble fountain-basin, and had lured one or two unthinking
gold-fish to destruction with fly and a crooked pin. He would sit
perched up there at an odd chance, when his father was away, and he
dared venture into the saloon,--his little bare feet twinkling against
the water, his plump figure curled up into the minutest size, but
ready for a spring and a dart up-stairs at the shortest notice of
danger. This piscatory propensity had been severely punished by both
Monsieur and Madame C----, who could not afford to encourage such an
expensive Izaak Walton; but there was no managing the child. He
seemed to possess an impish capability of eluding detection and angry
denunciations. To be sure, circumstances were against any very strict
guard being kept over the youngster. Madame C---- was a very weak
woman, a very weak woman indeed,--she declared that such was the
case,--a nervous, dispirited woman, whom everything troubled, who
could not bear the noise and tramp of life, and altogether sank under
it. Destiny had had no mercy on her weakness, however, and had left
her to get along with an innumerable family of children, a philosophic
husband, who took all her troubles coolly, and a constant demand
for her services either in the shop or at the cradle. She could not,
therefore, have patience with the incessant anxiety which little
Jacques excited by his pranks.

One day Madame C---- had gone out for a walk, leaving the children
locked in a room above, five of them, two younger and two older
than Jacques; and these together had been in a state of riotous
insurrection the whole morning. Little Jacques was not of a
disposition to submit to ignominious imprisonment, when human
ingenuity could devise means of escape; while his brothers were
running wild together, he soberly hunted up another key, screwed and
scraped and got it into the key-hole; it turned, and he was out.

Half an hour afterwards, his mother, returning, caught the unfortunate
fugitive contemplatively perched on the edge of the fountain-basin. In
such a frenzy of anger as only unreasonable people are subject to,
she caught the child, shivering with terror, and thrust him into the
water. The gold-fish splashed and swirled, and the water streamed over
the sides of the basin. It was only an instant's work; snatching up
the forlorn fisher, she shook him unmercifully, and set him upon the
floor, dripping and breathless. I saw nothing of them until night.
His mother had then recovered her usual peevishness, weakness, and
inefficiency; the ebullition of energy had entirely subsided. I was
curious to know whether the summary punishment had had any effect upon
Jacques; but he was asleep, as soundly as usual after a day's hard

My curiosity was likely to be gratified to satiety. A strange change
came over the little fellow after this. To one accustomed to his apish
activity, and to being annoyed by it, there was something plaintive
in the fact of having got rid of that trouble. The child was silent,
mopish, "good," as his mother said, congratulating herself on the
effect of her summary visitation upon the offender.

When, however, a month passed without any return of the evil
propensities, this continued quiescence grew to be something ghostly,
and, to people who had only their own hands to depend on for a living,
a subject of anxiety and alarm: it was expensive to clothe and feed a
child who promised but little service in future.

"The _enfant_ will never come to anything," said Monsieur; "we could
better have spared him than Jean."

To which his wife shook her head, and solemnly assented.

The '_enfant_,' however, gave no signs of taking the hint. Day after
day his little ministerial head and flaxen curls were visible over
the top of his old-fashioned arm-chair, and day after day his food was
demanded, and his appetite was as good as ever.

Watching the child, whose blue eyes, now the mischief was out of them,
grew utterly vacant of expression, I unaccountably to myself came to
feel an uncomfortable interest in, a morbid sympathy with him,--an
uneasy, unhappy sympathy, more physical than mental.

No fault could have been found with the motherly carefulness and
attention of Madame C----. It was charmingly polite and French. But
the sight of her preparing the child's food, or coaxing him
with unaccustomed delicacies and _bonbons_, grew to be utterly
distasteful,--an infliction so nervously annoying that I could not
overcome it. A secret antipathy which I had nourished against Madame
seemed to be germinating; every action of hers irritated me, every
sound of her sharp, yet well-modulated voice gave me a tremor. The
truth was, that plunge into the water, taking place so unexpectedly in
my presence, had startled and upset me almost as completely as if it
had befallen myself. A hard-working woman had no business with such
nerves. I knew that, and tried to annihilate them; but the more I
cut them down, the more they bled. The thing was a mere trifle,--the
fountain-basin was shallow, the water healthy,--nothing could be more
healthy than bathing,--and, at any rate, it was no affair of mine.
Yet my mind in some unhealthy mood aggravated the circumstances, and
colored everything with its own dark hue.

I could not give up my place, of course not; I was not likely to get
so good a situation anywhere else; I could not risk it; and yet the
servitude of horror under which I was held for a few weeks was almost
enough to reconcile one to starvation. Only that I was kept busy
in the shop most of the time, and had little leisure to observe the
course of affairs, or to be in Madame's society, I should have given
warning,--foolishly enough,--for there was not a tangible thing of
which I had to complain. But a shapeless suspicion which for some days
had been brooding in my mind was taking form, too dim for me to
dare to recognize it, but real enough to make me feel a miserable
fascination to the house while little Jacques still lived, a magnetic,
uncomfortable necessity for my presence, as though it were in some
sort a protection against an impending evil.

Such suspicion I did not, of course, presume to name, scarcely
presumed to think, it seemed so like an unnatural monstrosity of my
own mind. But when, one morning, the child died, holding in his
hands the _bonbons_ his mother had given him, and Madame C----, all
agitation and frenzy and weeping, still contrived to extract them from
the tightly closed, tiny fists, and threw them into the grate, I felt
a horrid thrill like the effect of the last scene in a tragedy. _I
knew that the bonbons were poisoned_.

So that is the reason I shuddered as I passed through the saloon.

Throwing open the window, a dim light flickered through, and a sickly
ray fell upon the fountain. It shivered upon the dripping marble
column in its centre, and struck with an icy hue the water in the
basin below. The fountain was not in my range of vision from the
window; but I often turned to look at it as I opened the shutters,
thinking it a pretty sight when the drops sparkled in the misty light
against the background of the otherwise darkened room. It pleased my
imagination to watch the effect produced by a little more or a little
less opening of the shutters,--a nonsensical morning play-spell, which
quite enlivened me for the sedate occupations of the day. It was,
however, not imagination now which whispered to me that there was
something else to look at beside the jet of water and the shadowy
play of light. Stooping down upon the fountain-brink, absorbed in
contemplating the gold-fish swimming below, and with its naked little
feet touching the water's edge, a tiny figure sat. My first thought
(the first thoughts of fear are never reasonable) was, that some child
from up-stairs had stolen down unawares, (as children are quite as
fond as grown folks of forbidden pleasures,) to amuse itself with the
water. But the children were not risen yet, and the saloon was too
utterly dark and dismal at that hour to tempt the bravest of them.
Second thoughts reminded me of that certainty, and I looked again. The
figure raised its head from its drooping posture, and gazed vacantly,
out of a pair of dim blue eyes, at me. The eyes were the eyes of
little Jacques.

I do not know how I should have been so utterly overcome, but I
started up in terror as I felt the dreamy phantom-gaze fixed upon me,
raising my hands wildly above my head. The hammer which I held in my
hand to drive back the bolts of the shutters flew from my grasp and
struck the great mirror,--the new mirror which had just been bought,
and was not yet hung up. All the savings of a year were shivered to
fragments in an instant. My horror at this catastrophe recalled my
presence of mind; for I was a poor woman, dependent for my bread on
the family. Poor women cannot afford to have fancies; some prompt
reality always startles them out of dream or superstition. My
superstition fled in dismay as I stooped over the fragments of
the looking-glass. What should I do? Where should I hide myself? I
involuntarily took hold of the mirror with the instinctive intention
of turning it to the wall. It was very heavy; I could scarcely lift
it. Pausing a moment, and looking forward at its shattered face in
utter anguish of despair, I saw again, repeated in a hundred jagged
splinters, up and down in zigzag confusion, in demoniac omnipresence,
the uncanny eye, the spectral shape, which had so appalled me. The
little phantom had arisen, its slim finger was outstretched,--it
beckoned, slowly beckoned, growing indistinct, it receded farther and
farther out from the saloon towards the shop.

The fascination of a spell was upon me; I turned and followed the
retreating figure. The shutters of the show-window were not yet taken
down, but thin lines of light filtered through them,--light enough to
see that the apparition made its way to a forbidden spot slyly haunted
by the little boy in his days of mischief,--a certain shelf where a
box of some peculiar sort of expensive confections was kept. I had
seen his mother, with unwonted generosity, give the child a handful of
these a day or two before his death. I could go no farther. A mighty
fear fell upon me, a dimness of vision and a terrible faintness; for
that child-phantom, gliding on before, stopped like a retribution at
that very spot, and, raising its little hand, pointed to that very
box, glancing upward with its solemn eye, as, rising slowly in the
air, it grew indistinct, its outlines fading into darkness, and

I did not fall or faint, however; I hastened out to the saloon again.
The door of the little room where the coffin stood was open, and
Madame stepping out, looked vaguely about her.

"Madame! Madame!" I cried, "oh, I have seen--I have seen a terrible

Madame's face grew white, very white. She grasped me harshly by the

"What _are_ you talking about, you crazy woman? You are getting quite
wild, I think. Do you imagine you can hide your guilt in that way?"
and she shook me with a savage fierceness that made my very bones
ache. "This is carrying it with a high hand, to be sure, to flatter
yourself that such wilful carelessness will not be discovered. Do you
suppose," she cried, pointing to the fragments of glass, "that _my_
nerves could feel a crash like that, and I not come down to see what
had happened?"

She spoke so volubly, and kept so firm a grip of my arm, that I could
not get breath to utter a word of self-defence,--indeed, what defence
could I make? Yet I should say, from my mistress's singular manner,
that _she_ had seen that vision too, so wild were her eyes, so haggard
her face.

Little Jacques was buried. His attentive parents enjoyed a
carriage-ride, with his miniature coffin between them, quite as
well as if the little fellow had accompanied them alive and full of

Outside matters, as Monsieur said, being now off his mind, he could
attend to business again.

The mirror belonged to "business." I had been writhing under that
knowledge all the morning of their absence.

Monsieur took the sight of his despoiled glass as calmly as Diogenes
might have viewed a similar disaster from his tub. Monsieur's
philosophy was grounded upon common sense. He knew that the frame
was valuable. He knew also that I had saved enough to pay for the
accident. I knew it, too, and was well aware that he would exact
payment to the uttermost farthing. Monsieur, therefore, was quite
cool. He laughed loudly at Madame's excitement, and the feverish
account she gave of my fright, my deceitfulness, and pretending to see
what nobody else saw.

"Little Jacques!" I heard him exclaim, as I entered the room,
shrugging his shoulders with such a contemptuously good-natured
sneer as only a Frenchman can manufacture; and raising both his hands
derisively, he went off with vivacity to his business.

In the morning I left. Monsieur endeavored to persuade me to stay. But
my business there was finished. I was quite as cool as Monsieur,--in
fact, a little chilly. I was determined to go. Madame was determined
also; we could no longer get along together; each hated and feared
the other; and Madame C---- having used overnight what influence she
possessed to bring her husband to see the necessity of my departure,
his objections were not very difficult to remove.

I could not afford to be out of work, that was true, and it might take
me a long time to get it; but I was tired to death, and glad of any
excuse for a little rest. What, after all, if I did lie by for a
little while? there was not much pleasure or profit either way.

I should not grow rich by my work; I could not grow much poorer
by being idle. The past year, which I had spent in the service of
Monsieur and Madame C----, had been one of constant annoyance and
irritating variety of employment. I had grown fretful in the constant
hurry and drive, and the baneful atmosphere of Madame's peevishness.
Body and soul cried out for a season of release, which never in all my
life of service had I thought of before.

I had my desire now. I had put away my bondage. I had ceased my
unprofitable labor. The rest I had so long craved was at hand. I might
take a jubilee, a siesta, if I pleased, of half a year, and nobody be
the wiser. I was responsible to nobody. Nobody had any demands upon
my time or exertion. Free! I stood in a vacuum; no rush of air, no
tempest or whirlpool stirred its infinite profundity. At length I
was at peace,--a peace which seemed likely to last as long as my slim
purse held out; for employment was not easy to obtain. Did I enjoy it?
Did I lap myself in the long-desired repose in thankful quiescence
of spirit? Perhaps,--I cannot tell; restlessness had become a chronic
disease with me. I felt like a ship drifted from its moorings: the
winds and the tides were pleasant; the ocean was at lull; but the ship
rocked aimless and unsteady upon the waters. The heavy weights of
life and activity so suddenly withdrawn left painful lightness akin to
emptiness. The broken chains trailed noisily after me. The time hung
heavily which I had so long prayed for. Long years of monotonous
servitude had made a very machine of me. I could only rust in
inaction. Some other power, to rack and grind and urge me on, was
necessary to my very existence.

So it happened, that, at last, my holiday having spun out to the end
of my means, I left the city, and engaged work at very low wages in
a country-village. The situation and the remuneration were not in
the least calculated to stimulate ambition or avarice; and I remained
obscurely housed, incessantly busy, and coarsely clothed and fed, in
this place, for two years. They were not long years either. I had
no hard taskmaster, however hard my task, no uneasy, unexplainable
apprehensions, no moody forebodings of evil, no troublesome children
to distress me. At the end of that time I heard of a better situation,
and returned to the city.

I had been engaged about a twelvemonth in my new place, a very
pleasant little shop, though the pay was less and the work harder
than I had had with Monsieur C----, when, one morning, standing at the
shop-window, I saw that gentleman pass: very brisk, very spruce, very
plump he looked. Glancing in, (I flatter myself that a show-window
arranged as I could arrange it would attract any one's eye,) he espied
me. A speedy recognition and a long conversation were the result. It
was early morning, and we had the store to ourselves. Monsieur was
very friendly. His business was very good. Poor Madame! he wished
she could have lived to see it; but she was gone, poor soul! out of a
world of trouble. And Monsieur plaintively fixed his eyes on the black
crape upon his hat. The unhappy exit took place a few months after my
departure. The children had gone to one or another relative. Monsieur
was all alone; he had been away since then himself, had been doing as
well as a bereaved man could do, and, having saved a snug little sum,
had returned to buy out the old stand, and reëstablish himself in the
old place. No one was with him; he wished he could get a good hand to
superintend the concern, now his own hands were so full. It would be a
good situation for somebody. In short, Monsieur came again and again,
until, as I was poor and lonely, and had almost overworked myself
just to keep soul and body together, whose union, after all, was of
no importance to any one save myself, and as I was quite glad to
find some one else who was interested in the preservation of the
partnership, I consented to be his wife. It was a very sensible and
philosophic arrangement for both of us. We could make more money
together than apart, and were stout and well able to help each other,
if only well taken care of. So we settled the business, and settled
ourselves as partners in the saloon.

Three years had passed, and we were in the old place still. We had
been very busy that day. Many orders to fill, many customers to wait
upon. Monsieur, completely worn out, was sound asleep on the sofa
up-stairs. It was late; I was very much fatigued, as I descended,
according to my usual custom, to see that everything was safe about
the house and shop. The place was all shut and empty; the lights were
all out. A cushioned lounge in one corner of the saloon--_my_ saloon
now--attracted my weary limbs, and I threw myself upon it, setting the
lamp upon a marble table by its side. With a complacent sense of rest
settling upon me, I drowsily looked about at the dim magnificence of
loneliness which surrounded me. The night-lamp made more shadow than
shine; but even by its obscured rays one who had known the old place
would have been struck with the wonderful improvement we had made. So
I thought. It was almost like a palace, gilded, and mirrored, and hung
with silken curtains. Monsieur and I had thriven together, had worked
hard and saved much these many years to produce the change. But the
change had been, as everything we effected was, well considered, and
had proved very profitable in the end. Better reception-rooms brought
better customers; higher prices a higher class of patronage. It
was very pleasant, lying there, to reflect that we were actually
succeeding in the world; and a pleasant and quiet mood fell upon me,
as, hopeful of the future, I looked back at the past. I thought of my
old days in that saloon; I thought of little Jacques. Little Jacques
was still a thought of some horror to me, and I generally avoided any
allusion to him. But to-night, in this subdued and contemplative mood,
I even let the little phantom glide into my reverie without being
startled. I even speculated on the old theme which had so haunted
me. I wondered whether my suspicions had been correct, and
whether--whether Madame C---- was guilty of sending her little son
before her into the other world. So thinking,--I might have been
almost dreaming,--a slight rustle in the shop aroused me. I was not
alarmed; my nerves are now much healthier, and I wisely make a point
of not getting them unstrung by violent movements, or unaccustomed
feats of activity, when anything astonishing happens. I therefore
lifted my head calmly and looked about,--it might be a mouse. The
noise ceased that instant, as if the intruder were aware of being
observed. Mice sometimes have this instinct. We had some valuable
new confections, which I had no desire should be disposed of by such
customers. So, taking up my lamp, and peering cautiously about me, I
proceeded to the shop. The light flickered,--flickered on something
tall and white,--something white and shadowy, standing erect,
and shrinking aside, behind the counter. My heart stood still;
a sepulchral chill came over me. My old self, trembling,
angry, foreboding, stepped suddenly within the niche whence the
self-confident, full-grown, sensible woman had vanished utterly. For
an instant, I felt like a ghost myself. It seemed natural that ghosts,
if such there were, should spy me out, and appall my heart with their
presence. For there, in that old, haunted spot, where long years ago
the spectre of little Jacques had lifted its menacing finger, stood
the form of Marie, Madame C----. I knew it well; shuddering and
shivering myself, more like an intruder than one intruded upon, I laid
my hand upon the chill marble counter for support. It was no creation
of imagination; the figure laid its hand also upon the marble, and,
stretching over its gaunt neck, stood and peered into my eyes.

"Madame C----! Madame C----!" I cried; "what in the name of God would
you have of me?"

"Nothing," she answered,--"nothing of you,--and nothing in the name
of God. Oh, you need not shudder at me,--Christine C----! I know _you_
well enough. You haven't got over your old tricks yet. I'm no ghost,
though. Mayhap you'd rather I'd be, for all your nerves, eh?"--and she
shook her head in the old vengeful, threatening way.

It was true enough. "What evil atmosphere surrounded me? What fell
snare environed me? I looked about like a hunted animal brought to
bay,--like a robber suddenly entrapped in the midst of his ill-gotten
gains. For this was no dead woman, but a living vengeance, more
terrible than death, brought to my very door. Some unseen power, it
seemed, full of evil influence, full of malignant justice, stretched
its long arms through my life, and would not let me by any means
escape to peace, to rest. A direful vision of horrible struggles yet
to come--of want, despair, disgrace in reservation--sickened my soul.

"I will call--I will call," said I, gasping,--"I will call Monsieur
C----; he"----

"Don't, don't, I beg of you!" she cried, catching me by the sleeve,
with a sardonic laugh; low, whispering, full of direful meaning, it
stealthily echoed through the saloon. "Don't disturb the good man. He
sleeps so soundly after his well-spent days! _He_ doesn't have any bad
dreams, I fancy,--rid of such a troublesome, vicious wife,--a wife who
harassed her husband to death, and murdered her little boy,--he sleeps
sound, doesn't he? And yet--I declare, in the name of God, Christine
C----,"--and she lifted up her bony finger like an avenging
fate,--"_he did it_!"

I had been endeavoring to calm myself while this woman of spectral
face and form stared at me with her maniac eye across the counter. I
had succeeded. At any rate, this was a tangible horror, and could be
grappled with; it was not beyond human reach, a shadowy retribution
from the invisible world. To face the circumstances, however
repulsive, is less depressing than to await in suspense the coming
of their footsteps, and the descent of that blow we know they will
inflict. I had always found that policy best which was bravest. I
remembered this now. Dropping my high tone, and soothing my excited
features, I beckoned the woman and gave her a chair; I took a chair
myself, wrapping a shawl close about me to repress the shivering I
could not yet overcome, and I and that woman, returned from the grave,
as it seemed to me, sat calmly down in business-fashion, and held a
long conversation.

Madame C---- had loved her husband with that sort of respectful,
awe-filled affection which lower natures experience towards those
which are a grade above them. She had loved her children, too,
although they were her torment. Her inability to manage or keep
them in order fretted and irritated her excessively. Monsieur, as a
philosopher, could not understand the anomaly, that a woman who was
perpetually unhappy and ill-tempered, while her children, young,
buoyant, and mischievous, were about her, should sympathize with
and care for them when sick. He could not understand her
conscience-stricken misery when little Jacques drooped after her
severity towards him. Monsieur was a kind husband, however, and a wise
man in many things. He had studied much in his youth, chiefly medical
works, of which he had quite a collection. He could not understand
the whimsical nervousness of women, but, when so slight a thing as a
child's illness appeared to be the cause of it, could unhesitatingly
undertake to remove the difficulty. He had prescribed attentively
for the two children who died before Jacques, thereby rendering them
comfortable and quiet, and saving quite an item in the doctor's bill.

When little Jacques fell ill, and Madame fretted incessantly about
his loss of vigor and vivacity, Monsieur, with fatherly kindness,
undertook, in the midst of his pressing business, to give the child
his medicine, which had to be most carefully prepared. Sometimes the
powders were disguised in _bonbons_, the more agreeably to dose
the patient little fellow; these were prepared with Monsieur's own
fatherly hands, and during his absence were once in a while left
for Madame to administer. Madame had great faith in these
medicines,--great faith in her husband's skill; but the child's
disease was obstinate, very; no progress could be discovered. It was
a comforting thought, at least, that, if his recovery was beyond
possibility, something had been done to soothe his pain and quiet
the vexed spirit in its bitter struggle with dissolution. Yes, the
medicines were certainly very quieting,--so quieting, so death-like
in their influence,--she could not tell how a suspicion (perhaps the
strange expression of the child's eye, when they were administered)
glided into her imagination (having so great a reverence for her
husband, it took no place in her mind for an instant,--it was merely a
spectral, haunting shadow) that these things were getting the child
no better,--that they were not medicine for keeping him here, but for
helping him away. This suspicion, breathing its baleful breath across
her mind, weak, vacillating, incapable of energetic action, had
rendered her miserable, morose, irritable, more so than ever before.
Yet little Jacques in his last hour hankered for the medicine, and
craved feverishly the delicate powder, the sweet confection, his
father prepared for him.

While inwardly brooding over this unnamed terror, and cowering before
this shapeless thought which loomed in the darkness of her mental
gloom, an idea entered her mind that I, too, was suspicious that
something was going wrong,--that I was watching,--waiting the evil to
come. The child died. Her fear for him was utterly superseded by fear
for her husband. What if I should find him out and betray him? The
anxiety occasioned by this possibility made her hate me. The agony
of her little one's departure, the fear of some dire discovery, the
consciousness of guilt near enough of vicinage almost to seem her
own, combined to nearly distract her mind, and it seemed like a joyful
relief when I departed. The sudden release from that constant pressure
of fear (she knew I could do nothing against them without money,
credit, or friends) made her ill for a time, quite ill, she said. She
knew not what was done for her during this sickness,--who nursed her,
or who gave her medicine. But one morning, on waking from what seemed
a long sleep, in which she had dreamed strangely and talked wildly,
she beheld Monsieur, smiling kindly, standing beside her bed with a
vial and a spoon in his hand.

"It is a cordial, my dear, which will strengthen and bring you round
again very soon. You need a sedative,--something to allay fever and

"Is it little Jacques's medicine?"

"Quite similar, my dear,--not the powders,--the liquid. Equally
soothing to the nerves, and promotive of sleep."

She turned her face away. She had slept long enough. She thanked
Monsieur, not daring to look up, but capriciously refused to touch
little Jacques's medicine.

"And Monsieur," she said, "Monsieur was very angry. He said I was a
disobedient wife, who did not wish to get well, but desired to be a
constant expense and trouble to her husband.

"And so, Christine C----, I trembled and shook, and let fall words I
never meant to have uttered to Monsieur, and I said he had killed
the child, and wished to kill me, that he might marry Mademoiselle
Christine. I did not say any more that day. In the morning, Monsieur
and I discoursed together again. I declared I would get well and go
away. Oh! Monsieur knew well I would not betray him. He was willing,
very willing to consent to my departure. He cared for me well, and
gave me much money; and I went away to my old aunt, who lived in
Paris. I have been dead,--I have died to Monsieur. I should never have
returned, but that my good aunt is gone. When I buried her,--shut her
kind eyes, and wrapped her so snugly in her shroud,--I thought it a
horrible thing to be living without a soul to care for me, or comfort
me, or even to wrap me up as I did her when the time was come. I felt
then a thirsty spirit rising within me to see my old place where I had
comfort and shelter long ago, and to see my children. I have been to
see them: they are in B----; they did not know me there. I did not
tell them who I was. I have been faithful to my promise. I tell no one
but you, Christine C----, who have stepped into my place, and stolen
away my home. A prettier home you have made of it for a prettier wife;
but it's the old place yet, with the old stain upon it."

Wishing to consider a moment what I should do, half paralyzed, like
one who is stricken with death, I left that other ME, (for was she not
also my husband's wife?) apparently exhausted, lying upon the sofa,
and went wearily up-stairs, with heavy steps, like one whose life
has suddenly become a weight to him. What, indeed, _should_ I do?
Starvation and misery stared me in the face. If I left the house,
casting its guilt and its comfort behind me, where could I go? I could
do nothing, earn nothing now. My reputation, now that we were so lone
established, would be entirely gone. And if I left all for which I had
labored so hard, for another to enjoy, would that better the matter?
Great God! would _anything_ help me? Before me in terrific vision
rose a dim vista of future ruin, of ineffectual years writhing in the
inescapable power of the law, of long trial, of horrible suspense, of
garish publicity, of my name handed from mouth to mouth, a forlorn,
duped, degraded thing, whose blighted life was a theme of newspaper
comment and cavil. These thoughts swept over me as a tempest sweeps
over the young tree whose roots are not firm in the soil, whose
writhing and wrestling are impotent to defend it from certain
destruction. There was no one I loved especially, no one I cared for
anxiously, to relieve the bitter thoughts which centred in myself
alone. Monsieur awoke as I was sitting thus, in ineffectual effort to
compose myself. Seeing me sitting near him, still dressed, the door
open, and the light burning, he inquired what was the matter. I had
something below requiring his attention, I said, and, taking up the
lamp, ushered him down-stairs. My chaotic thoughts were beginning to
settle themselves,--to form a nucleus about the first circumstance
that thrust itself definitely before them. That poor wretch waiting
below,--that forsaken, abject, dishonored wife,--I would confront him
with her, and charge him with his guilt. Opening the saloon-door, I
stepped in before him. The lamp which I had left upon the stand was
out, and the slender thread of light which fell from the one in my
hand, sweeping across the gloom, rested upon the deserted sofa. The
saloon was empty; no trace, no sign could be discovered of any human
being. The hush, the solemnity of night brooded over the place.
Monsieur mockingly, but unsteadily, inquired what child's game I
was playing,--he was too tired to be fooled with. He spoke hotly and
quickly, as he never had spoken to me before,--like one who has long
been ill at ease, and deems a slight circumstance portentous.

So I turned upon him, with all the bitterness in my heart rising to
my tongue. I told him the story. I charged him with the guilt. He
listened in silence; marble-like he stood with folded arms, and heard
the conclusion of the whole matter. When I was silent, he strode up
to me, and, stooping, peered into my face steadily. His teeth were
clenched, his eyes shot fire; otherwise he was calm, quite composed.
He said, quietly,--

"Would you blame me for making an angel out of an idiot?"

Monsieur's philosophy was too subtile for me. GUILTY seemed a coarse
word to apply to so fine a nature.

He denied having attempted to injure his wife in any way.

"Women are all fools," he said; "they are all alike,--go just as
they are led, and do just as they are taught. They cannot think
for themselves. They have no ideas of justice but just what the law
furnishes them with. It was silly to complain; it argued a narrow mind
to condemn merely because the laws condemn. In that case all should
be acquitted whom the laws acquit,--did we ever do this? Would his
darling Jacques, happy, angelic, condemn his parent for releasing him
from the drudgery of life? Was it not better to play on a golden harp
than to be a confectioner? Were not all men, in fact, more or less
slayers of their brothers? Was I not myself guilty in attributing
to Madame a deed in my eyes worthy of death, and of which she was
innocent? It was only those whose courage induced them to venture a
little farther who received condemnation. In some way or other,
every soul is wearing out and overtasking somebody else's soul, and
shortening somebody's days. A man who should throw his child into the
water, in order to save him from being burned to death, would not
be arraigned for the fierce choice. Little Jacques, if he had lived,
would have lingered in misery and imbecility. Was a lingering death of
torture to be preferred by a tenderhearted woman to one more rapid and
less painful, where the certainty of death left only such preference?
Ah, well! it was consolation that his little son was safe from all
vicissitude, whatever might befall his devoted father!" and Monsieur
wiped his eyes, and drew out a little miniature he always carried in
his bosom. It was the portrait of little Jacques.

Well, as I have said, Monsieur was a philosopher, and I was a
philosopher; and yet I must have been a woman incapable of reason,
incapable of comprehending an argument; for the thought of this thing,
and of being in the presence of a man capable of such a deed, made me
uneasy, restless, unhappy, as though I were in some sort a partaker of
the crime. I could not sleep; I was haunted with horrific dreams; and
when, in few days, among the "accidents" the death of an unknown woman
was recorded, whose body had drifted ashore at night, and I recognized
by the description poor, unknown, uncared-for Madame C----, a wild
fever burned in my veins, a frenzy of anguish akin to remorse, as if
_I_ had wronged the dead, and sent her drifting, helpless, out to the
unknown world. A pitiable soul, who preferred misery for her portion,
rather than betray the man she loved, or become partaker of his crime,
had crept back, after years of self-imposed absence, with death in her
heart, to see the old place and the new wife,--and how had I received
her? With horror and shuddering, as though she were some guilty thing,
to be held at arm's-length. Not as one woman, generous, forgiving,
hoping for mercy hereafter, should receive another, however erring. It
was a sad boon, perhaps, she had endowed me with; yet it was all she
prized and cherished.

With a nobleness of magnanimity, a passionate self-sacrifice, which
none but a woman could be capable of, Madame C---- had divested
herself of all peculiarities of clothing by which she could be
identified. It was only by recognizing the features, and a singular
scar upon the forehead, that I knew it was herself. She was buried by
stranger hands, however; we dared not come forward to claim her.

The excitement attendant on this miserable death, and the
circumstances which preceded it, laid me, for the first time in my
life, upon a sick-bed. I was unconscious for many weeks of anything
save intolerable pain and intolerable heat. A fiery agony of fever
leaped in my veins, and scorched up my life-blood. I believe Monsieur
cared for me, and nursed me attentively during this illness.

The fever left me; exhausted, spent, my life shrunken up within me, my
energy burned out, a puny, spiritless remnant of the strong woman who
lay down upon that couch, I lay despondent, vacant of all interest in
the world hitherto so exciting to me. I had not seen Monsieur since
this apparent commencement of recovery. A great, good-natured nurse
kept watch over me, and fed me with spiritless dainties, tasteless,

One day, when my senses began to settle a little, and things began
to take shape again, I asked for Monsieur. He came and stood at my

"Christine," said he, "you have no faith in my power of making angels.
I have not made one of you. Being divided in our theories, we will
divide our earthly goods. We will part. Should you as a woman deem it
your duty to inform against me, I shall not think it wrong. I shall
bear it as a philosopher. You have no proof, you can substantiate
nothing; but it may be a satisfaction. I do not understand women;
therefore I cannot tell."

"Monsieur," I answered, "leave it to God to fill His heaven as He
thinks best. He has not invited your assistance; neither has He
invited me to avenge Him. Since He does not punish, dare I invade His

And we did not part.

We will live together in peace, we said, and the past shall be utterly
forgotten; shall not a whole lifetime of unwavering rectitude atone
for this one crime?

I accepted my fate,--weakly, in the dread of poverty, in the horror
of disgrace, shrinking within myself with the secret thrust upon me.
I said we are all the makers of our own destiny, and there is
nothing supernatural in life. If this course is best and wisest in my
judgment, nothing evil will come of it. I said this, ignorant of the
mystery of existence, and inexperienced in that subtile power which
penetrates all the windings and turnings of humanity, searching out
hidden things,--the Purifier, and the Avenger, allotting to each one
his portion of bitterness, his inexorable punishment. "We will live
together in peace": it was the thought of a sudden moment of fervor,
which overleaped the dreary length of life, and assumed to compass the
repentance of a whole existence in a single day.

But destiny holds always in store its retribution. God suffers no
dropped stitches in the web of His universe, and the smallest truth
evaded, the least wretch neglected, will surely be picked up again
in the unending circle that is winding its certain thread around all
beings, connecting by invisible links the most insignificant chances
with the most significant events.

When I said we will be one, we will endure together, I thought that
so, in my enduring strength, I could bear up whatever burden came. I
know not how, by what invisible process, the load which I had lifted
to my shoulders grew into leaden heaviness,--heavy, heavy, like the
weight of some dead soul resting its lifeless shape upon my living
spirit, till I staggered under the unbearable presence. I had doomed
myself to stand side by side, to work hand in hand with guilt, to feel
hourly the dread lest in some moment of frenzy engendered by the dumb
anguish within me I might betray the secret whose rust was eating into
my soul, and shriek out my misery in the ears of all men.

Monsieur, seeing me grow thin and pale, declared that I must have a
change, I must go somewhere, to the sea-shore. To the sea-shore! No,
I would not go to the sea-shore, or to any other shore; a stranded
vessel, I could not struggle from the place of shipwreck.

Monsieur grew vexed and anxious, when I stubbornly shook my head. And
when week after week I still refused, he grew strangely uneasy. I had
better go; if I would not go alone, he would go with me, shut up the
shop, and take a holiday.

I considered the matter that day. The project was a wild one; at this
busiest season of the year, it would be an injury to our business.
And what might the neighbors say? It might lead them to unpleasant
suspicions. We were not popular among them. No, it would not do.

I explained this to Monsieur very calmly at the supper-table. His
face was pale and quiet as usual. He did not interrupt me. When I
concluded, he rose as if he would go out, but turning back suddenly
and striking the table with his clenched fist,--

"God!" he exclaimed. "Woman would you see me die like a dog? The
neighbors! for all I know, they have got me at their finger-ends
now,--the vile rabble! That old hag, Madame Justine, at the
ribbon-shop below,--some demon possessed her to look out that night
when SHE came crawling home. She noted her well with her greedy eyes;
some one _so_ like my dear first wife, she told me. There is mischief
and death in her eyes. She knows or guesses too much."

"What can she guess?" I asked; "she has only lately come into the

In answer to this, Monsieur informed me that she professed to
have been an old friend of his wife's, who, in times gone by, half
bewildered with her troubles, had probably dropped many unguarded
words in this woman's presence. Madame C---- had died (to her old
home) while this woman was away on a visit. "Ah!" she said, "she had
her misgivings many a time. Did the same doctor attend Madame C----
who prescribed for little Jacques? _He_ ought to be hung, then. Ah,
well, if all men had their deserts, she knew many things that would
hang some folks who looted all fair and square, and held their guilty
heads higher than their neighbors."

"Well?" I said.

"Well!--you women are so virtuous, you have no mercy, Madame. Go,
hang--go, drown the wretch who comes under the malediction of the
ladies! Oh, there is nothing too hard for him! And this one owed me a
grudge lately about a mistake,--a little mistake I made in an account
with her, and would not alter because I thought it all right."

The preparations were going on silently and steadily that night. I
would go anywhere now, anything would I do, to escape the fate whose
stealthy footsteps were tracking us out. Well I knew, that, once in
the power of the law, its firm grasp would wrest every secret from
the deepest depths where it was hidden. Once out of the city, we could
readily take flight, if immediate danger threatened.

The doors were all closed; the trunks stood corded in the hall. I was
down-stairs, getting the silver together. Monsieur was in his room,
packing up his medicine-chest. There was no weakness in my nerves
now, no trembling in my limbs. I was determined. While thus engaged,
pausing a moment amid the light tinkle of the silver spoons, I thought
I heard footsteps in the saloon above. Softly ascending the stairs, I
met Monsieur at the door. He had come down under the same impression,
that some one was walking in the saloon, still holding in his hand the
tiny cup in which he measured his medicines. It was full, and Monsieur
carried it very carefully, as, opening the door, he looked cautiously
about. Nothing stirred; all was silent as death; and walking forward
toward the fountain, he straightened himself up, and his white face
flushed as he said in a whisper,--

"Christine, everything is ready. We are safe yet; we shall escape.
Once away, we will never return to this doomed place, let what will
come of it. Yes, I am certain that we shall escape!"

Monsieur took a step forward as he said this, and stood transfixed.
The light shook which he held in his hand, as if a strong wind
had passed over it; his eye quailed; his cheek blanched to ghastly
whiteness. I thought that undue excitement had brought on a
fainting-fit of some kind, and was stooping to dip my hands in the
water and bathe his forehead, when I saw, distinctly, like a white
mist in the darkness, a visible shape sitting solemn upon the
basin-edge; the room was very dim, and the falling spray fell over the
shape like a weeping-willow, yet my eyes discerned it clearly. Oh, it
was no dream that I had dreamed in my young days long ago! That little
figure was no stranger to my vision, no stranger to the changeless
waterfall. Did Monsieur see it also? He stood close beside the
fountain now, with his face towards the spectre. The tiny cup in his
hand fell from the loosened fingers down into the water; a lonely
gold-fish, swimming there, turned over on its golden side and floated
motionless upon the surface.

I scarcely noticed this, for, at the time, I heard the knob of the
shop-door turn quickly, and the door was shaken violently. It was
probably the night-watchman going his rounds; but, in my alarm and
excitement, I thought we were betrayed. I stepped swiftly to the door,
and pushed an extra bolt inside.

"Monsieur!" I cried, under my breath, "hide! hide yourself! Quick! in
the name of Heaven!"

But he did not answer, and, hastening to his side, I saw the faint
outlines of that shadowy visitant growing indistinct and disappearing.
As it vanished, Monsieur turned deliberately toward me; his eyes were
clear, the faintness was over; his voice was grave and steady, as he

"Christine! I have seen it. It is the warning of death. There is
no future and no escape for me. The retribution is at hand,"--and
stooping swiftly down, he lifted the tiny cup brimming to his lips.
"Go you," he said, huskily, "to the sea-shore. I have an errand

In the morning came the officers of justice; my dim eyes saw them, my
ears heard unshrinking their stern voices demanding Monsieur C----. I
did not answer; I pointed vaguely forward; and forward they marched,
with a heavy tramp, to where the one whom they were seeking lay prone
upon the marble floor, his head hanging nervelessly down over the
water. He had been arrested by a Higher Power. Monsieur C---- was


  The word of the Lord by night
  To the watching Pilgrims came,
  As they sat by the sea-side,
  And filled their hearts with flame.

  God said,--I am tired of kings,
  I suffer them no more;
  Up to my ear the morning brings
  The outrage of the poor.

  Think ye I made this ball
  A field of havoc and war,
  Where tyrants great and tyrants small
  Might harry the weak and poor?

  My angel,--his name is Freedom,
  Choose him to be your king;
  He shall cut pathways east and west,
  And fend you with his wing.

  Lo! I uncover the land
  Which I hid of old time in the West,
  As the sculptor uncovers his statue,
  When he has wrought his best.

  I show Columbia, of the rocks
  Which dip their foot in the seas
  And soar to the air-borne flocks
  Of clouds, and the boreal fleece.

  I will divide my goods,
  Call in the wretch and slave:
  None shall rule but the humble,
  And none but Toil shall have.

  I will have never a noble,
  No lineage counted great:
  Fishers and choppers and ploughmen
  Shall constitute a State.

  Go, cut down trees in the forest,
  And trim the straightest boughs;
  Cut down trees in the forest,
  And build me a wooden house.

  Call the people together,
  The young men and the sires,
  The digger in the harvest-field,
  Hireling, and him that hires.

  And here in a pine state-house
  They shall choose men to rule
  In every needful faculty,
  In church, and state, and school.

  Lo, now! if these poor men
  Can govern the land and sea,
  And make just laws below the sun,
  As planets faithful be.

  And ye shall succor men;
  'T is nobleness to serve;
  Help them who cannot help again;
  Beware from right to swerve.

  I break your bonds and masterships,
  And I unchain the slave:
  Free be his heart and hand henceforth,
  As wind and wandering wave.

  I cause from every creature
  His proper good to flow:
  So much as he is and doeth,
  So much he shall bestow.

  But, laying his hands on another
  To coin his labor and sweat,
  He goes in pawn to his victim
  For eternal years in debt.

  Pay ransom to the owner,
  And fill the bag to the brim.
  Who is the owner? The slave is owner,
  And ever was. Pay him.

  O North! give him beauty for rags,
  And honor, O South! for his shame;
  Nevada! coin thy golden crags
  With Freedom's image and name.

  Up! and the dusky race
  That sat in darkness long,--
  Be swift their feet as antelopes,
  And as behemoth strong.

  Come, East, and West, and North,
  By races, as snow-flakes,
  And carry my purpose forth,
  Which neither halts nor shakes.

  My will fulfilled shall be,
  For, in daylight or in dark,
  My thunderbolt has eyes to see
  His way home to the mark.


The live man of the old Revolution, the daring Hotspur of those
troublous days, was Anthony Wayne. The live man to-day of the great
Northwest is Lewis Wallace. With all the chivalric clash of the
stormer of Stony Point, he has a cooler head, with a capacity for
larger plans, and the steady nerve to execute whatever he conceives.
When a difficulty rises in his path, the difficulty, no matter what
its proportions, moves aside; he does not. When a river like the Ohio
at Cincinnati intervenes between him and his field of operations,
there is a sudden sound of saws and hammers at sunset, and the
next morning beholds the magic spectacle of a great pontoon-bridge
stretching between the shores of Freedom and Slavery, its planks
resounding to the heavy tread of almost endless regiments and
army-wagons. Is a city like Cincinnati menaced by a hungry foe,
striding on by forced marches, that foe sees his path suddenly blocked
by ten miles of fortifications thoroughly manned and armed, and he
finds it prudent, even with his twenty thousand veterans, to retreat
faster than he came, strewing the road with whatever articles impede
his haste. Some few incidents in the career of such a man, since he
has taken the field, ought not to be uninteresting to those for whom
he has fought so bravely; and we believe his services, when known,
will be appreciated, otherwise we will come under the old ban against
Republics, that they are ungrateful.

While returning from New York at the expiration of a short leave of
absence, the first asked for since the beginning of the war, General
Wallace was persuaded by Governor Morton to stump the State of Indiana
in favor of voluntary enlistments, which at that time were progressing
slowly. Wallace went to work in all earnestness. His idea was to
obtain command of the new levies, drill them, and take them to the
field; and this idea was circulated throughout the State. The result
was, enlisting increased rapidly; the ardor for it rose shortly into
a fever, and has not yet abated. Regiments are still forming, shedding
additional lustre upon the name of patriotic Indiana.

General Wallace was thus engaged when the news was received from
Morgan of the invasion of Kentucky by Kirby Smith. All eyes turned
at once to Governor Morton, many of whose regiments were now ready to
take the field, if they only had officers to lead them. Wallace came
promptly to the Governor's assistance, and offered to take command of
a regiment for the crisis. His offer was accepted, and he was sent to
New Albany, where the Sixty-Sixth Indiana was in camp. In twelve
hours he mustered it, paid its bounty money, clothed and armed it, and
marched it to Louisville. Brigadier-General Boyle was in command of
Kentucky. Wallace, who is a Major-General, reported to him at the
above-named city, and a peculiar scene occurred.

"General Boyle," said Wallace, "I report to you the Sixty-Sixth
Indiana Regiment."

"Who commands it?" asked the General.

"I have that honor, Sir," was the reply.

"You want orders, I suppose?"


"It is a difficult matter for me," said Boyle. "I have no right to
order you."

"That difficulty is easily solved," Wallace replied, with
characteristic promptness. "I come to report to you as a Colonel. I
come to take orders as such."

General Boyle consulted with his Adjutant-General, and the result was
_a request_ that General Wallace would proceed to Lexington with his
command. Here was exhibited the ready, self-sacrificing spirit of
a true patriot: he did not stand and wait until he could find the
position to which his high rank entitled him, but stepped into the
place where he could best and quickest serve his country in her hour
of peril.

While Wallace was still at the railway-station, he received an order
from General Boyle, putting him in command of all the forces in
Lexington. Here was a golden opportunity for our young commander. What
higher honor could be coveted than to relieve the brave Morgan,
pent up as he was with his little army in the mountain-gorges of the
Cumberland? The idea fired the soul of Wallace, and he pushed on to
Lexington. But here he was sadly disappointed. He found the forces
waiting there inadequate to the task: instead of an army, there were
only three regiments. He telegraphed for more troops. Indiana and Ohio
responded promptly and nobly. In three days he received and brigaded
nine regiments and started them toward the Gap.

No one but an experienced soldier, one who has indeed tried it, can
conceive of the labor involved in such an undertaking. The material in
his hands was, to say the best of it, magnificently _raw_. Officers,
from colonels to corporals, brave though they might be as lions, knew
literally nothing of military affairs. The men had not learned even to
load their guns. Companies had to be led, like little children, by
the hand as it were, into their places in line of battle. There was
no cavalry, no artillery. It happened, however, that guns, horses, and
supplies intended for Morgan at the Gap were in depot at Lexington.
Then Wallace began to catch a glimpse of dawn through the dark tangle
of the wilderness. Some kind of order, prompt and immediate, must be
forced out of this chaos; and it came, for the master-spirit was there
to arrange and compel. He mounted several hundred men, giving them
rifles instead of sabres. He manned new guns, procuring harness and
ammunition for them from Louisville. Where there were no caissons, he
supplied wagons. But his regiments were not his sole reliance; he is
a believer in riflemen, a fighting class of which Kentucky was full.
These he summoned to his assistance, and was met by a ready and hearty
response: they came trooping to him by hundreds. Among others,
Garrett Davis, United States Senator, led a company of Home-Guards to
Lexington. In this way General Wallace composed, or rather improvised
a little army, and all without help, his regular staff being absent,
mostly in Memphis.

"Kentucky has not been herself in this war," exclaimed General
Wallace; "she must be aroused; and I propose to do it thoroughly."

"How will you do it?" asked a skeptic.

"Easily enough, Sir. Kentucky has a host of great names. Kentuckians
believe in great names. It is to this tune that the traitors have
carried them to the field against us. I will take with me to the field
all the men living, old and young, who have made those names great.
Buckner took the young Crittendens and Clays; by Heaven, I'll take
their fathers!"

"But they can't march."

"I'll haul them, then."

"They can be of no service in that way."

"But the magic of their names!" exclaimed Wallace. "What will the
young Kentuckians say, when they hear John J. Crittenden, Leslie
Combs, Robert Breckenridge, Tom Clay, Garrett Davis, Judge Goodloe,
and fathers of that kind, are going down to battle with me?"

The skeptics held their peace.

General Wallace now constituted a volunteer staff. Wadsworth, M.C.
from Maysville district, was his adjutant-general. Brand, Gratz,
Goodloe, and young Tom Clay were his aids. Old Tom Clay, John J.
Crittenden, Leslie Combs, Judge Goodloe, Garrett Davis, were all
prepared and going, when General Wallace was suddenly relieved of his
command by General Nelson.

Without instituting any comparison between these two generals, it
is enough to say that the supersession of Wallace by Nelson at that
moment was most unfortunate and untimely, as the sequel proved,
fraught as it was with disastrous consequences. The circumstances were

Scott's Rebel cavalry had whipped Metcalf's regiment of Loyalists at
Big Hill, some twelve or fifteen miles beyond Richmond, Kentucky,
and followed them to within four miles of that town, where they were
stopped by Lenck's brigade of infantry. The affair was reported to
Wallace, with the number and situation of the enemy. He at once took
prompt measures to meet the exigence of the situation. He could throw
Lenck's and Clay's brigades upon the Rebel front; the brigade at
Nicholasville could take them in flank by crossing the Kentucky River
at Tatt's Ford; while, by uniting Clay Smith's command with that of
Jacob, then _en route_ for Nicholasville, he could plant seventeen
hundred cavalry in their rear between Big Hill and Mount Vernon.

The enemy at this time were at least twenty miles in advance of their
supports, and a night's march would have readily placed the several
forces mentioned in position to attack them by daylight. This was
Wallace's plan,--simple, feasible, and soldier-like. All his orders
were given. A supply-train with extra ammunition and abundant rations
was in line on the road to Richmond. Clay's brigade was drawn up ready
to move, and General Wallace's horse was saddled. He was writing a
last order in reference to the city of Lexington in his absence, and
directing the officer left in charge to forward regiments to him at
Richmond as fast as they should arrive, when General Nelson came and
instantly took the command. Fifteen minutes more and General Wallace
would have been on the road to Richmond to superintend the execution
of his plan of attack. The supersession was, of course, a bitter
disappointment; yet he never grumbled or demurred in the least, but,
like a true soldier who knows his duty, offered that evening to serve
his successor in any capacity, a generosity which General Nelson
declined. The well-conceived plan which Wallace had matured failed for
the simple reason, that, instead of marching to execute it that night,
as common sense would seem to have dictated, Nelson did not leave
Lexington until the next day at one o'clock; and at daylight, when the
attack was to have been made, the Rebel leader, Scott, discovered his
danger, and wisely retreated, finding nobody in his rear. The result
was, Nelson went to Richmond and was defeated. It is possible that
the same result might have followed Wallace; but by those competent to
judge it is thought otherwise.

He had a plan adapted to the troops he was leading, who, although very
raw, would have been invincible behind breastworks, as American troops
have always shown themselves to be. Wallace never intended arraying
these inexperienced men in the open field against the veteran troops
of the Rebels. Neither did he intend they should dig. He had collected
large quantities of intrenching tools, and was rapidly assembling
a corps of negroes, nearly five hundred of whom he had already in
waiting in Morgan's factory, all prepared to follow his column, armed
with spades and picks. In Madison County he intended getting at least
five hundred more. "I will march," he said, "like Cæsar in Gaul, and
intrench my camp every night. If I am attacked at any time in too
great numbers, I can drop back to my nearest works, and wait for
reinforcements." Such was his plan, and those who know him believe
firmly that he could have been at the Cumberland Gap in time not only
to succor our little army there, but to have prevented the destruction
and evacuation of that very important post.

Wallace, finding himself thus suddenly superseded, his plans ignored,
and his voluntary service bluffly refused, left Lexington for
Cincinnati. While there the Battle of Richmond was fought, the
disastrous results of which are still too fresh in the public mind to
require repeating. Nelson, who did not arrive upon the field until the
day was about lost, and only in time to use his sword against his own
men in a fruitless endeavor to rally them, received a flesh-wound,
and hastened back the same night to Cincinnati, leaving many dead and
wounded on the field, and thousands of our brave boys prisoners to be
paroled by the Rebels. These are simple matters of record, and are not
here set down in any spirit of prejudice, or to throw a shadow upon
the memory of the misguided, unfortunate, but courageous Nelson.

At this juncture General Wallace was again ordered to Lexington, this
time by General Wright, a general whose gentlemanly bearing in all
capacities makes him an ornament to the American army. Wallace was
ordered thither to resume command of the forces; but on arriving
at Paris, the order was countermanded, and he was sent back to take
charge of the city of Cincinnati. Shrewdly suspecting that our forces
would evacuate Lexington, he hastened to his new post. General Wright
was at that time in Louisville. On his way back, Wallace was asked by
one of his aids,--

"Do you believe the enemy will come to Cincinnati?"

"Yes," was the reply. "Kirby Smith will first go to Frankfort. He must
have that place, if possible, for the political effect it will have.
If he gets it, he will surely come to Cincinnati. He is an idiot, if
he does not. Here is the material of war,--goods, groceries, salt,
supplies, machinery, etc.,--enough to restock the whole bogus

"What are you going to do? You have nothing to defend the city with."

"I will show you," was the reply.

Within the first half-hour after his arrival in Cincinnati, General
Wallace wrote and sent to the daily papers the following proclamation,
which fully and clearly develops his whole plan.


"The undersigned, by order of Major-General Wright, assumes command of
Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport.

"It is but fair to inform the citizens, that an active, daring, and
powerful enemy threatens them with every consequence of war; yet the
cities must be defended, and their inhabitants must assist in the

"Patriotism, duty, honor, self-preservation, call them to the labor,
and it must be performed equally by all classes.

"First. All business must be suspended at nine o'clock to-day. Every
business-house must be closed.

"Second. Under the direction of the Mayor, the citizens must, within
an hour after the suspension of business, (ten o'clock, A.M.,)
assemble in convenient public places ready for orders. As soon as
possible they will then be assigned to their work.

"This labor ought to be that of love, and the undersigned trusts and
believes it will be so. Anyhow, it must be done.

"The willing shall be properly credited; the unwilling promptly
visited. The principle adopted is, Citizens for the labor, soldiers
for the battle.

"Third. The ferry-boats will cease plying the river after four
o'clock, A.M., until further orders.

"Martial law is hereby proclaimed in the three cities; but until they
can be relieved by the military, the injunctions of this proclamation
will be executed by the police.

  "Maj.-Gen'r'l Commanding."

Could anything be bolder and more to the purpose? It placed Cincinnati
under martial law. It totally suspended business, and sent every
citizen, without distinction, to the ranks or into the trenches.
"Citizens for labor, soldiers for battle," was the principle
underlying the whole plan,--a motto by which he reached every
able-bodied man in the metropolis, and united the energies of forty
thousand people,--a motto original with himself, and for which he
should have the credit.

Imagine the astonishment that seized the city, when, in the morning,
this bold proclamation was read,--a city unused to the din of war and
its impediments. As yet there was no word of an advance of the enemy
in the direction of Cincinnati. It was a question whether they would
come or not. Thousands did not believe in the impending danger; yet
the proclamation was obeyed to the letter, and this, too, when there
was not a regiment to enforce it. The secret is easy of comprehension:
it was the universal confidence reposed in the man who issued the
order; and he was equally confident, not only in his own judgment, but
in the people with whom he had to deal.

"If the enemy should not come after all this fuss," said one of the
General's friends, "you will be ruined."

"Very well," he replied; "but they will come. And if they do not, it
will be because this same fuss has caused them to think better of it."

The ten days ensuing will be forever memorable in the annals of the
city of Cincinnati. The cheerful alacrity with which the people rose
_en masse_ to swell the ranks and crowd into the trenches was a sight
worth seeing, and being seen could not readily be forgotten.

Here were the representatives of all nations and classes. The sturdy
German, the lithe and gay-hearted Irishman, went shoulder to shoulder
in defence of their adopted country. The man of money, the man of law,
the merchant, the artist, and the artisan swelled the lines hastening
to the scene of action, armed either with musket, pick, or spade.
Added to these was seen Dickson's long and dusky brigade of colored
men, cheerfully wending their way to labor on the fortifications,
evidently holding it their especial right to put whatever impediments
they could in the northward path of those whom they considered their
own peculiar foe. But the pleasantest and most picturesque sight of
those remarkable days was the almost endless stream of sturdy men who
rushed to the rescue from the rural districts of the State. These
were known as the "Squirrel-Hunters." They came in files numbering
thousands upon thousands, in all kinds of costumes, and armed with all
kinds of fire-arms, but chiefly the deadly rifle, which they knew so
well bow to use. Old men, middle-aged men, young men, and often mere
boys, like the "minute-men" of the old Revolution, they left the
plough in the furrow, the flail on the half-threshed sheaves, the
unfinished iron upon the anvil,--in short, dropped all their peculiar
avocations, and with their leathern pouches full of bullets and their
ox-horns full of powder, poured into the city by every highway and
by-way in such numbers that it seemed as if the whole State of Ohio
were peopled only with hunters, and that the spirit of Daniel Boone
stood upon the hills opposite the town beckoning them into Kentucky.
The pontoon-bridge, which had been begun and completed between sundown
and sundown, groaned day and night with the perpetual stream of
life all setting southward. In three days there were ten miles of
intrenchments lining the hills, making a semicircle from the river
above the city to the banks of the river below; and these were thickly
manned from end to end, and made terrible to the astonished enemy by
black and frowning cannon. General Heath, with his twenty thousand
Rebel veterans, flushed with their late success at Richmond, drew up
before these formidable preparations, and deemed it prudent to take
the matter into serious consideration before making the attack.

Our men were eagerly awaiting their approach, thousands in rifle-pits
and tens of thousands along the whole line of the fortifications,
while our scouts and pickets were skirmishing with their outposts in
the plains in front. Should the foe make a sudden dash and carry any
point of our lines, it was thought by some that nothing would prevent
them from entering Cincinnati.

But for this also provision was made. The river about the city, above
and below, was well protected by a flotilla of gun-boats improvised
from the swarm of steamers which lay at the wharves. A storm of shot
and shell, such as they had not dreamed of, would have played upon
their advancing columns, while our regiments, pouring down from the
fortifications, would have fallen upon their rear. The shrewd leaders
of the Rebel army were probably kept well posted by traitors within
our own lines in regard to the reception prepared for them, and,
taking advantage of the darkness of night and the violence of a
thunder-storm, made a hasty and ruinous retreat. Wallace was anxious
to follow them, and was confident of success, but was overruled by
those higher in authority.

The address which he now published to the citizens of Cincinnati,
Covington, and Newport was manly and well-deserved. He said,--

"For the present, at least, the enemy has fallen back, and your cities
are safe. It is the time for acknowledgments. I beg leave to make you
mine. When I assumed command, there was nothing to defend you with,
except a few half-finished works and some dismounted guns; yet I was
confident. The energies of a great city are boundless; they have only
to be aroused, united, and directed. You were appealed to. The answer
will never be forgotten. Paris may have seen something like it in her
revolutionary days, but the cities of America never did. Be proud that
you have given them an example so splendid. The most commercial of
people, you submitted to a total suspension of business, and without
a murmur adopted my principle, 'Citizens for labor, soldiers for
battle.' In coming times, strangers viewing the works on the hills of
Newport and Covington will ask, 'Who built these intrenchments? You
can answer, 'We built them.' If they ask, 'Who guarded them?' you
can reply, 'We helped in thousands.' If they inquire the result, your
answer will be, 'The enemy came and looked at them, and stole away in
the night.' You have won much honor. Keep your organizations ready to
win more. Hereafter be always prepared to defend yourselves.


It can safely be claimed for our young General, that he was the moving
spirit which inspired and directed the people, and thereby saved
Cincinnati and the surrounding cities, and, in the very face of Heath
and his victorious horde from Richmond, organized a new and formidable
army. That the citizens fully indorsed this was well exemplified on
the occasion of his leading back into the metropolis a number of her
volunteer regiments when the danger was over. They lined the streets,
crowded the doors and windows, and filled the air with shouts of
applause, in honor of the great work he had done.

In writing this notice of Wallace and the siege, we have had no
intention to overlook the services of his co-laborers, especially
those rendered to the West by the gallant Wright, who holds command
of the department. The writer has attempted to give what came directly
under his own observation, and what he believes to be the core of the
matter, and consequently most interesting to the public.


In the old Cathedral of Winchester stand the tombs of kings, with
dates stretching back to William Rufus and Canute; here, too, are the
marble effigies of queens and noble ladies, of crusaders and warriors,
of priests and bishops. But our pilgrimage led us to a slab of black
marble set into the pavement of the north aisle, and there, under the
grand old arches, we read the name of Jane Austen. Many-colored as the
light which streams through painted windows, came the memories which
floated in our soul as we read the simple inscription: happy hours,
gladdened by her genius, weary hours, soothed by her touch; the
honored and the wise who first placed her volumes in our hand; the
beloved ones who had lingered over her pages, the voices of our
distant home, associated with every familiar story.

The personal history of Jane Austen belongs to the close of the last
and the beginning of the present century. Her father through forty
years was rector of a parish in the South of England. Mr. Austen was
a man of great taste in all literary matters; from him his daughter
inherited many of her gifts. He probably guided her early education
and influenced the direction of her genius. Her life was passed
chiefly in the country. Bath, then a fashionable watering-place, with
occasional glimpses of London, must have afforded all the intercourse
which she held with what is called "the world." Her travels were
limited to excursions in the vicinity of her father's residence.
Those were days of post-chaises and sedan-chairs, when the rush of
the locomotive was unknown. Steam, that genie of the vapor, was yet a
little household elf, singing pleasant times by the evening fire, at
quiet hearthstones; it has since expanded into a mighty giant, whose
influences are no longer domestic. The circles of fashion are changed
also. Those were the days of country-dances and India muslins; the
beaux and belles of "the upper rooms" at Bath knew not the whirl of
the waltz, nor the ceaseless involvements of "the German." Yet the
measures of love and jealousy, of hope and fear, to which their hearts
beat time, would be recognized to-night in every ballroom. Infinite
sameness, infinite variety, are not more apparent in the outward than
in the inward world, and the work of that writer will alone be lasting
who recognizes and embodies this eternal law of the great Author.

Jane Austen possessed in a remarkable degree this rare intuition. The
following passage is found in Sir Walter Scott's journal, under date
of the fourteenth of March, 1826:--"Read again, and for the third time
at least, Miss Austen's finely written novel of 'Pride and Prejudice.'
That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and
feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most
wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself
like any now going; but the exquisite touch which renders ordinary
commonplace things and characters interesting from truth of the
description and the sentiment is denied to me." This is high praise,
but it is something more when we recur to the time at which Sir Walter
writes this paragraph. It is amid the dreary entries in his journal
of 1826, many of which make our hearts ache and our eyes overflow. He
read the pages of Jane Austen on the fourteenth of March, and on the
fifteenth he writes, "This morning I leave 39 Castle Street for the
last time." It was something to have written a book sought for by him
at such a moment. Even at Malta, in December, 1831, when the pressure
of disease, as well as of misfortune, was upon him, Sir Walter was
often found with a volume of Miss Austen in his hand, and said to a
friend, "There is a finishing-off in some of her scenes that is really
quite above everybody else."

Jane Austen's life-world presented such a limited experience that it
is marvellous where she could have found the models from which she
studied such a variety of forms. It is only another proof that the
secret lies in the genius which seizes, not in the material which is
seized. We have been told by one who knew her well, that Miss Austen
never intentionally drew portraits from individuals, and avoided,
if possible, all sketches that could be recognized. But she was so
faithful to Nature, that many of her acquaintance, whose characters
had never entered her mind, were much offended, and could not be
persuaded that they or their friends had not been depicted in some
of her less attractive personages: a feeling which we have frequently
shared; for, as the touches of her pencil brought out the light
and shades very quietly, we have been startled to recognize our own
portrait come gradually out on the canvas, especially since we are not
equal to the courage of Cromwell, who said, "Paint me as I am."

In the "Autobiography of Sir Egerton Brydges" we find the following
passage: it is characteristic of the man:--

"I remember Jane Austen, the novelist, a little child. Her mother was
a Miss Leigh, whose paternal grandmother was a sister of the first
Duke of Chandos. Mr. Austen was of a Kentish family, of which several
branches have been settled in the Weald, and some are still remaining
there. When I knew Jane Austen, I never suspected she was an
authoress; but my eyes told me that she was fair and handsome, slight
and elegant, with cheeks a little too full. The last time, I think,
I saw her was at Ramsgate, in 1803; perhaps she was then about
twenty-seven years old. Even then I did not know that she was addicted
to literary composition."

We can readily suppose that the spheres of Jane Austen and Sir Egerton
could not be very congenial; and it does not appear that he was ever
tempted from the contemplation of his own performances, to read her
"literary compositions." A letter from Robert Southey to Sir Egerton
shows that the latter had not quite forgotten her. Southey writes,
under the dale of Keswick, April, 1830:--

"You mention Miss Austen; her novels are more true to Nature, and have
(for my sympathies) passages of finer feeling than any others of
this age. She was a person of whom I have heard so much, and think so
highly, that I regret not having seen her, or ever had an opportunity
of testifying to her the respect which I felt for her."

A pleasant anecdote, told to us on good authority in England, is
illustrative of Miss Austen's power over various minds. A party of
distinguished literary men met at a country-seat; among them was
Macaulay, and, we believe, Hallam; at all events, they were men of
high reputation. While discussing the merits of various authors, it
was proposed that each should write down the name of that work of
fiction which had given him the greatest pleasure. Much surprise and
amusement followed; for, on opening the slips of paper, _seven_ bore
the name of "Mansfield Park,"--a coincidence of opinion most rare, and
a tribute to an author unsurpassed.

Had we been of that party at the English country-house, we should have
written, "The _last_ novel by Miss Austen which we have read"; yet,
forced to a selection, we should have named "Persuasion." But we
withdraw our private preference, and, yielding to the decision of
seven wise men, place "Mansfield Park" at the head of the list, and
leave it there without further comment.

"Persuasion" was her latest work, and bears the impress of a matured
mind and perfected style. The language of Miss Austen is, in all her
pages, drawn from the "wells of English undefiled." Concise and clear,
simple and vigorous, no word can be omitted that she puts down,
and none can be added to heighten the effect of her sentences. In
"Persuasion" there are passages whose depth and tenderness, welling
up from deep fountains of feeling, impress us with the conviction that
the angel of sorrow or suffering had troubled the waters, yet had left
in them a healing influence, which is felt rather than revealed. Of
all the heroines we have known through a long and somewhat varied
experience, there is not one whose life-companionship we should so
desire to secure as that of Anne Elliot. Ah! could she also forgive
our faults and bear with our weaknesses, while we were animated by
her sweet and noble example, existence would be, under any aspect, a
blessing. This felicity was reserved for Captain Wentworth. Happy man!
In "Persuasion" we also find the subtle Mr. Elliot. Here, as with Mr.
Crawford in "Mansfield Park," Miss Austen deals dexterously with the
character of a man of the world, and uses a nicer discernment than is
often found in the writings of women, even those who assume masculine

"Emma" we know to have been a favorite with the author. "I have drawn
a character full of faults," said she, "nevertheless I like her."
In Emma's company we meet Mr. Knightley, Harriet Smith, and Frank
Churchill. We sit beside good old Mr. Woodhouse, and please him by
tasting his gruel. We walk through Highbury, we are patronized by Mrs.
Elton, listen forbearingly to the indefatigable Miss Bates, and take
an early walk to the post-office with Jane Fairfax. Once we found
ourselves actually on "Box Hill," but it did not seem half so real as
when we "explored" there with the party from Highbury.

"Pride and Prejudice" is piquant In style and masterly in portraiture.
We make perhaps too many disagreeable acquaintances to enjoy ourselves
entirely; yet who would forego Mr. Collins, or forget Lady Catherine
de Bourgh, though each in their way is more stupid and odious than any
one but Miss Austen could induce us to endure. Mr. Darcy's character
is ably given; a very difficult one to sustain under all the
circumstances in which he is placed. It is no small tribute to the
power of the author to concede that she has so managed the workings
of his real nature as to make it possible, and even probable, that a
high-born, high-bred Englishman of Mr. Darcy's stamp could become the
son-in-law of Mrs. Bennet. The scene of Darcy's declaration of love
to Elizabeth, at the Hunsford Parsonage, is one of the most remarkable
passages in Miss Austen's writings, and, indeed, we remember nothing
equal to it among the many writers of fiction who have endeavored to
describe that culminating point of human destiny.

"Northanger Abbey" is written in a fine vein of irony, called forth,
in some degree, by the romantic school of Mrs. Radcliffe and her
imitators. We doubt whether Miss Austen was not over-wise with regard
to these romances. Though born after the Radcliffe era, we well
remember shivering through the "Mysteries of Udolpho" with as quaking
a heart as beat in the bosom of Catherine Morland. If Miss Austen was
not equally impressed by the power of these romances, we rejoice
that they were written, as with them we should have lost "Northanger
Abbey." For ourselves, we spent one very rainy day in the streets of
Bath, looking up every nook and corner familiar in the adventures
of Catherine, and time, not faith, failed, for a visit to Northanger
itself. Bath was also sanctified by the presence of Anne Elliot. Our
inn, the "White Hart," (made classic by the adventures of various
well-remembered characters,) was hallowed by exquisite memories
which connected one of the rooms (we faithfully believed it was our
apartment) with the conversation of Anne Elliot and Captain Harville,
as they stood by the window, while Captain Wentworth listened and
wrote. In vain did we gaze at the windows of Camden Place. No Anne
Elliot appeared.

"Sense and Sensibility" was the first novel published by Miss Austen.
It is marked by her peculiar genius, though it may be wanting in the
nicer finish which experience gave to her later writings.

The Earl of Carlisle, when Lord Morpheth, wrote a poem for some now
forgotten annual, entitled "The Lady and the Novel." The following
lines occur among the verses:--

  "Or is it thou, all-perfect Austen? here
  Let one poor wreath adorn thy early bier,
  That scarce allowed thy modest worth to claim
  The living portion of thy honest fame:
  Oh, Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Morris, too,
  While Memory survives, she'll dream of you;
  And Mr. Woodhouse, with abstemious lip,
  Must thin, but not too thin, the gruel sip;
  Miss Bates, _our_ idol, though the village bore,
  And Mrs. Elton, ardent to explore;
  While the clear style flows on without pretence,
  With unstained purity, and unmatched sense."

If the Earl of Carlisle, in whose veins flows "the blood of all the
Howards," is willing to acknowledge so many of our friends, who are
anything but aristocratic, our republican soul shrinks not from the
confession that we should like to accompany good-natured Mrs. Jennings
in her hospitable carriage, (so useful to our young ladies of sense
and sensibility,) witness the happiness of Elinor at the parsonage,
and the reward of Colonel Brandon at the manor-house of Delaford, and
share with Mrs. Jennings all the charms of the mulberry-tree and the
yew arbor.

An article on "Recent Novels," in "Fraser's Magazine" for
December, 1847, written by Mr. G.H. Lewes, contains the following
paragraphs:--"What we most heartily enjoy and applaud is truth in the
delineations of life and character.... To make our meaning precise, we
would say that Fielding and Miss Austen are the greatest novelists in
our language.... We would rather have written 'Pride and Prejudice,'
or 'Tom Jones,' than any of the 'Waverley Novels'.... Miss Austen has
been called a prose Shakspeare,--and among others, by Macaulay. In
spite of the sense of incongruity which besets us in the words _prose_
Shakspeare, we confess the greatness of Miss Austen, her marvellous
dramatic power, seems, more than anything in Scott, akin to

The conclusion of this article is devoted to a review of 'Jane Eyre,'
and led to the correspondence between Miss Brontè and Mr. Lewes
which will be found in the memoir of her life. In these letters it is
apparent that Mr. Lewes wishes Miss Brontè to read and to enjoy Miss
Austen's works, as he does himself. Mr. Lewes is disappointed, and
felt, doubtless, what all true lovers of Jane Austen have experienced,
a surprise to find how obtuse otherwise clever people sometimes
are. In this instance, however, we think Mr. Lewes expected what was
impossible. Charlotte Brontè could not harmonize with Jane Austen. The
luminous and familiar star which comes forth into the quiet evening
sky when the sun sets amid the amber light of an autumn evening, and
the comet which started into sight, unheralded and unnamed, and flamed
across the midnight sky, have no affinity, except in the Divine Mind,
whence both originate.

The notice of Miss Austen, by Macaulay, to which Mr. Lewes alludes,
must be, we presume, the passage which occurs in Macaulay's article on
Madame D'Arblay, in the "Edinburgh Review," for January, 1843. We do
not find the phrase, "prose Shakspeare," but the meaning is the same;
we give the passage as it stands before us:--

"Shakspeare has neither equal nor second; but among writers who, in
the point we have noticed, have approached nearest the manner of the
great master, we have no hesitation in placing Jane Austen, as a
woman of whom England is justly proud. She has given us a multitude of
characters, all, in a certain sense, commonplace, all such as we meet
every day. Yet they are all as perfectly discriminated from each other
as if they were the most eccentric of human beings. There are, for
example, four clergymen, none of whom we should be surprised to
find in any parsonage in the kingdom,--Mr. Edward Ferrars, Mr. Henry
Tilney, Mr. Edward Bertram, and Mr. Elton. They are all specimens
of the upper part of the middle class. They have been all liberally
educated. They all lie under the restraints of the same sacred
profession. They are all young. They are all in love. Not any one of
them has any hobby-horse, to use the phrase of Sterne. Not one has any
ruling passion, such as we read in Pope. Who would not have expected
them to be insipid likenesses of each other? No such thing. Harpagon
is not more unlike Jourdain, Joseph Surface is not more unlike Sir
Lucius O'Trigger, than every one of Miss Austen's young divines to
all his reverend brethren. And almost all this is done by touches
so delicate that they elude analysis, that they defy the powers of
description, and that we know them to exist only by the general effect
to which they have contributed."

Dr. Whately, the Archbishop of Dublin, in the "Quarterly Review,"
1821, sums up his estimate of Miss Austen with these words: "The
Eastern monarch who proclaimed a reward to him who should discover a
new pleasure would have deserved well of mankind, had he stipulated
it should be blameless. Those again who delight in the study of human
nature may improve in the knowledge of it, and in the profitable
application of that knowledge, by the perusal of such fictions. Miss
Austen introduces very little of what is technically called religion
into her books, yet that must be a blinded soul which does not
recognize the vital essence, everywhere present in her pages, of a
deep and enlightened piety.

There are but few descriptions of scenery in her novels. The figures
of the piece are her care; and if she draws in a tree, a hill, or a
manor-house, it is always in the background. This fact did not arise
from any want of appreciation for the glories or the beauties of the
outward creation, for we know that the pencil was as often in her hand
as the pen. It was that unity of purpose, ever present to her mind,
which never allowed her to swerve from the actual into the ideal, nor
even to yield to tempting descriptions of Nature which might be near,
and yet aside from the main object of her narrative. Her creations
are living people, not masks behind which the author soliloquizes
or lectures. These novels are impersonal; Miss Austen never herself
appears; and if she ever had a lover, we cannot decide whom he
resembled among the many masculine portraits she has drawn.

Very much has been said in her praise, and we, in this brief article,
have summoned together witnesses to the extent of her powers, which
are fit and not few. Yet we are aware that to a class of readers Miss
Austen's novels must ever remain sealed books. So be it. While the
English language is read, the world will always be provided with souls
who can enjoy the rare excellence of that rich legacy left to them by
her genius.

Once in our lifetime we spent three delicious days in the Isle of
Wight, and then crossed the water to Portsmouth. After taking a turn
on the ramparts in memory of Fanny Price, and looking upon the harbor
whence the Thrush went out, we drove over Portsdown Hill to visit the
surviving member of that household which called Jane Austen their own.

We had been preceded by a letter, introducing us to Admiral Austen as
fervent admirers of his sister's genius, and were received by him with
a gentle courtesy most winning to our heart.

In the finely-cut features of the brother, who retained at eighty
years of age much of the early beauty of his youth, we fancied we must
see a resemblance to his sister, of whom there exists no portrait.

It was delightful to us to hear him speak of "Jane," and to be brought
so near the actual in her daily life. Of his sister's fame as a writer
the Admiral spoke understandingly, but reservedly.

We found the old Admiral safely moored in that most delightful of
havens, a quiet English country-home, with the beauty of Nature around
the mansion, and the beauty of domestic love and happiness beneath its
hospitable roof.

There we spent a summer day, and the passing hours seemed like the
pages over which we had often lingered, written by her hand whose
influence had guided us to those she loved. That day, with all its
associations, has become a sacred memory, and links us to the sphere
where dwells that soul whose gift of genius has rendered immortal the
name of Jane Austen.

       *       *       *       *       *


    "I order and declare that all persons held as slaves in the
    said designated States and parts of States are and hereafter
    shall be free,... and I hereby enjoin upon the people so
    declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in
    necessary self-defence."


  Saint Patrick, slave to Milcho of the herds
  Of Ballymena, sleeping, heard these words:
      "Arise, and flee
  Out from the land of bondage, and be free!"

  Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven
  The angels singing of his sins forgiven,
      And, wondering, sees
  His prison opening to their golden keys,

  He rose a man who laid him down a slave,
  Shook from his locks the ashes of the grave,
      And outward trod
  Into the glorious liberty of God.

  He cast the symbols of his shame away;
  And passing where the sleeping Milcho lay,
      Though back and limb
  Smarted with wrong, he prayed, "God pardon him!"

  So went he forth: but in God's time he came
  To light on Uilline's hills a holy flame;
      And, dying, gave
  The land a saint that lost him as a slave.

  O dark, sad millions, patiently and dumb
  Waiting for God, your hour, at last, has come,
      And freedom's song
  Breaks the long silence of your night of wrong!

  Arise and flee! shake off the vile restraint
  Of ages! but, like Ballymena's saint,
      The oppressor spare,
  Heap only on his head the coals of prayer!

  Go forth, like him! like him, return again,
  To bless the land whereon in bitter pain
      Ye toiled at first,
  And heal with freedom what your slavery cursed!

       *       *       *       *       *


Our nation is now paying the price, not only of its vice, but also
of its virtue,--not alone of its evil doing, but of its noble and
admirable doing as well. It has of late been a customary cry with
a certain class, that those who cherish freedom and advocate social
justice are the proper authors of the present war. No doubt there
is in this allegation an ungracious kind of truth; that is, had the
nation been destitute of a political faith and of moral feeling, there
would have been no contest. But were one lying ill of yellow-fever
or small-pox, there would be the same sort of lying truth in the
statement, that the _life_ in him, which alone resists the disease, is
really its cause; since to yellow-fever, or to any malady, dead bodies
are not subject. There is no preventive of disease so effectual as
death itself,--no place so impregnable to pestilence as the grave. So,
had the vitality gone out of the nation's heart, had that lamp of love
for freedom and justice and of homage to the being of man, which once
burned in its bosom so brightly, already sunk into death-flicker and
extinction, then in the sordid and icy dark that would remain there
could be no war of like nature with this that to-day gives the land
its woful baptism of blood and tears. Oh, no! there would have been
peace--_and_ putrefaction: peace, but without its sweetness, and
death, but without its hopes.

In one important sense, however, this war--hateful and horrible though
it be--is the price which the nation must pay for its ideas and its
magnanimity. If you take a clear initial step toward any great end,
you thereby assume as a debt to destiny the pursuit and completion of
your action; and should you fail to meet this debt, it will not fail
to meet you, though now in the shape of retribution and with a biting
edge. The seaman who has signed shipping-papers owes a voyage, and
must either sail or suffer. The nation which has recognized absolute
rights of man, and in their name assumed to shed blood, has taken
upon itself the burden of a high destination, and must bear it, if
not willingly, reluctantly, if not in joy and honor, then in shame and

Our nation, by the early nobility of its faith and action, assumed
such a debt to destiny, and now must pay it. It needed not to come in
this shape: there need have been no horror of carnage,--no feast of
vultures, and carnival of fiends,--no weeping of Rachel, mourning
for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
There was required only a magnanimity in proceeding to sustain that of
our beginning,--only a sympathy broad enough to take our little planet
and all her human tribes in its arms, deep enough to go beneath
the skin in which men differ, to the heart's blood in which they
agree,--only pains and patience, faith and forbearance,--only a
national obedience to that profound precept of Christianity which
prescribes service to him that would be greatest, making the knowledge
of the wise due to the ignorant, and the strength of the strong due
to the weak. The costs of freedom would have been paid in the patient
lifting up of a degraded race from the slough of servitude; and the
nation would at the same time have avoided that slough of lava and
fire wherein it is now ingulfed.

It was not to be so. History is coarse; it gets on by gross feeding
and fevers, not by delicacy of temperance and wisdom of regimen. Our
debt was to be paid, not in a pure form, but mixed with the costs of
unbelief, cowardice, avarice. Yet primarily it is the cost, not of
meanness, but of magnanimity, that we are now paying,--not of a base
skepticism, but of a noble faith. For, in truth, normal qualities and
actions involve costs no less than vicious and abnormal. Such is the
law of the world; and it is this law of the costs of worthiness, of
knowledge and nobility, of all memorable being and doing, that I now
desire to set forth. Having obtained the scope and power of the law,
having considered it also as applying to individuals, we may proceed
to exhibit its bearing upon the present struggle of our Republic.

The general statement is this,--that whatever has a worth has also
a cost. "The law of the universe," says a wise thinker, "is, Pay and
take." If you desire silks of the mercer or supplies at the grocery,
you, of course, pay money. Is it a harvest from the field that
you seek? Tillage must be paid. Would you have the river toil in
production of cloths for your raiment? Only pay the due modicum of
knowledge, labor, and skill, and you shall bind its hand to your
water-wheels, and turn all its prone strength into pliant service. Or
perhaps you wish the comforts of a household. By payment of the
due bearing of its burdens, you may hope to obtain it,--surely not
otherwise. Do you ask that this house may be a true home, a treasury
for wealth of the heart, a little heaven? Once more the word
is _pay_,--pay your own heart's unselfish love, pay a generous
trustfulness, a pure sympathy, a tender consideration, and a sweet
firm-heartedness withal. And so, wherever there is a gaining, there
is a warning,--wherever a well-being, a well-doing,--wherever a
preciousness, a price of possession; and he who scants the payment
stints the purchase; and he that will proffer nothing shall profit
nothing; but he that freely and wisely gives shall receive as freely.

But these _desiderata_ which I have named are all prices either of
ordinary use, of comfort, or felicity; and it is generally understood
that happiness is costly: but virtue? Virtue, so far from costing
anything, is often supposed to be itself a price that you pay for
happiness. It is told us that we shall be rewarded for our virtue;
what moralistic commonplace is more common than this? But rewarded
for your virtue you are not to be; you are to pay for it; at least,
payment made, rather than received, is the principal fact. He who
is honest for reward is a knave without reward. He who asks pay for
telling truth has truth only on his tongue and a double lie in his
heart. Do you think that the true artist strives to paint well that he
may get money for his work? Or rather, is not his desire to pay money,
to pay anything in reason, for the sake of excellence in his art? And,
indeed, what is worthier than Worth? What fitter, therefore, to be
paid for? And that payment is made, even under penal forms, every one
may see. For what did Raleigh give his lofty head? For the privilege
of being Raleigh, of being a man of great heart and a statesman of
great mind, with a King James, a burlesque of all sovereignty, on the
throne. For what did Socrates quaff the poison? For the privilege of
that divine sincerity and penetration which characterized his life.
For what did Kepler endure the last straits of poverty, his children
crying for bread, while his own heart was pierced with their wailing?
For the privilege--in his own noble words--"of reading God's thoughts
after Him,"--God's thoughts written in stellar signs on the scroll of
the skies. And Cicero and Thomas Cromwell, John Huss and John Knox,
John Rogers and John Brown, and many another, high and low, famed and
forgotten, must they not all make, as it were, penal payment for the
privilege of being true men, truest among true? And again I say, that,
if one knows something worthier than Worth, something more excellent
than Excellence, then only does he know something fitter than they to
be paid for.

Payment _may_ assume a penal form: do not think this its only form.
And to take the law at once out of the limitations which these
examples suggest, let me show you that it is a law of healthy and
unlamenting Nature. Look at the scale of existence, and you will see
that for every step of advance in that scale payment is required.
The animal is higher than the vegetable; the animal, accordingly, is
subject to the sense of pain, the vegetable not; and among animals the
pain may be keener as the organization is nobler. The susceptibility
not only to pain, but to vital injury, observes the same gradation.
A little girdling kills an oak; but some low fungus may be cut and
troubled and trampled _ad libitum_, and it will not perish; and along
the shores, farmers year after year pluck sea-weed from the rocks,
and year after year it springs again lively as ever. Among the lowest
orders of animals you shall find a creature that, if you cut it in
two, straightway duplicates its existence and floats away twice as
happy as before; but of the prick of a bodkin or the sting of a bee
the noblest of men may die.

In the animal body the organs make a draft from the general vigors
of the system just in proportion to their dignity. The eye,--what
an expensive boarder at the gastric tables is that! Considerable
provinces of the brain have to be made over to its exclusive use;
and it will be remembered that a single ounce of delicate, sensitive
brain, full of mysterious and marvellous powers, requires more vital
support than many pounds of common muscle. The powers of the eye are
great; it has a right to cost much, and it does cost. Also we observe
that in this organ there is the exceeding susceptibility to injury,
which, as we have observed, invariably accompanies powers of a lofty

Noble senses cost much; noble susceptibilities cost vastly more.
Compare oxen with men in respect to the amount of feeling and nervous
wear and tear which they severally experience. The ox enjoys grass and
sleep; he feels hunger and weariness, and he is wounded by that which
goes through his hide. But upon the nerve of the man what an incessant
thousandfold play! Out of the eyes of the passers-by pleasures and
pains are rained upon him; a word, a look, a tone thrills his every
fibre; the touch of a hand warms or chills the very marrow in his
bones. Anticipation and memory, hope and regret, love and hate,
ideal joy and sorrow and shame, ah, what troops of visitants are
ever present with his soul, each and all, whether welcome guests or
unwelcome, to be nourished from the resources of his bosom! And out of
this high sensibility of man must come what innumerable stabs of quick
agony, what slow, gasping hours of grief and pain, that to the cattle
upon the hills are utterly unknown! But do you envy the ox his bovine
peace? It is precisely that which makes him an ox, It is due to
nothing but his insensibility,--by no means, as I take occasion to
assure those poets who laud outward Nature and inferior creatures
to the disparagement of man,--by no means due to composure and
philosophy. The ox is no great hero, after all, for he will bellow at
a thousandth part the sense of pain which from a Spartan child wrings
no tear nor cry.

Yes, it is precisely this sensibility which makes man human. Were he
incapable of ideal joy and sorrow, he, too, were brute. It is through
this delicacy of conscious relationship, it is through this openness
to the finest impressions, that he can become an organ of supernal
intelligence, that he is capable of social and celestial inspirations.
High spiritual sensibility is the central condition of a noble and
admirable life; it is the hinge on which turn and open to man the
gates of his highest glory and purest peace. Yet for this he must pay
away all that induration of brutes and boors which sheds off so many
a wasting excitement and stinging chagrin, as the feathers of the
water-fowl shed rain.

In entering, therefore, upon any noble course of life, any generous
and brave pursuit of excellence, understand, that, so far as ordinary
coin is concerned, you are rather to pay, than to be paid, for your
superiorities. Understand that the pursuit of excellence must indeed
be brave to be prosperous,--that is, it is always in some way opposed
and imperilled. Understand, that, with every step of spiritual
elevation which you attain, some part of your audience and
companionship will be left behind. Understand, that, if you carry
lofty principles and philosophic intelligence into camps, these
possessions will in general not be passed to your credit, but will be
charged against you; and you must surpass your inferiors in their
own kinds of virtue to regain what of popular regard these cost you.
Understand, that, if you have a reverence for theoretical and absolute
truth, less of common fortune will come to you in answer to equal
business and professional ability than to those who do care for money,
and do not care for truth. Are you a physician? Let me tell you that
there is a possible excellence in your profession which will rather
limit than increase your practice; yet that very excellence you must
strive to attain, for your soul's life is concerned in your doing so.
Are you a lawyer? Know that there is a depth and delicacy in the sense
of justice, which will sometimes send clients from your office, and
sometimes tie your tongue at the bar; yet, as you would preserve the
majesty of your manhood, strive just for that unprofitable sense of
justice,--unprofitable only because infinitely, rather than finitely,
profitable. In a stormy and critical time, when much is ending
and much beginning, and a great land is heaving and quivering with
commingled agonies of dissolution and throes of new birth, are you a
statesman of earnestness and insight, with your eye on the cardinal
question of your epoch, its answer clearly in your heart, and your
will irrevocably set to give it due enunciation and emphasis? Expect
calumny and affected contempt from the base; expect alienation
and misconstruction and undervaluing on the part of some who are
honorable. Are you a woman rich in high aims, in noble sympathies and
thrilling sensibilities, and, as must ever be the case with such, not
too rich in a meet companionship? Expect loneliness, and wear it as
a grace upon your brow; it is your laurel. Are you a true artist or
thinker? Expect to go beyond popular appreciation; _go_ beyond it,
or the highest appreciation you will not deserve. In fine, for all
excellence expect and _seek_ to pay.

No one ever held this law more steadily in view than Jesus; and when
ardent young people came to him proposing pupilage, he was wont at
once to bring it before their eyes. It was on such an occasion that he
uttered the words, so simple and intense that they thrill to the touch
like the string of a harp, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the
air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head."
Of like suggestion his question of the king going to war, who first
sitteth down and consulteth whether he be able, and of the man about
to build a house, who begins by counting the cost.

The cost,--question of this must arise; question of this must on all
sides either be honestly met or dishonestly eluded. For observe, that
attempt to escape payment for the purest values, no less than for
the grossest, _is_ dishonest. If one seek to compass possession of
ordinary goods without compensation, we at once apply the opprobrious
term of _theft_ or _fraud_. Why does the same sort of attempt cease to
be fraudulent when it is carried up to a higher degree and applied to
possessions more precious? If he that evades the revenue law of the
State be guilty of fraud, what of him who would import Nature's
goods and pay no duties? For Nature has her own system of impost, and
permits no smuggling. There was a tax on truth ere there was one on
tea or on silver plate. Character, genius, high parts in history are
all assessed upon. Nature lets out her houses and lands on liberal
terms; but resorts to distraint, if her dues be not forthcoming. Be
sure, therefore, that little success and little honor will wait upon
any would-be thieving from God. He who attempts to purloin on this
high scale has set all the wit of the universe at work to thwart him,
and will certainly be worsted sorely in the end.

The moment, therefore, that any man is found engaged in this business,
how to estimate him is clear. Daniel O'Connell tried the experiment of
being an heroic patriot and making money by it. It is conceded by
his friends that he applied to his private uses, to sustaining the
magnificence of his household, the rent-moneys sweated from the
foreheads of Irish peasants. But, they say, he had sacrificed many
ambitions in taking up the _rôle_ of a patriot; and he felt entitled
to revenues as liberal as any indulgence of them could have procured
him! The apology puts his case beyond all apology. He who--to employ
the old phraseology--seeks to exact the same bribe of God that he
might have obtained from the Devil is always the Devil's servant, no
matter whose livery he wears. Had one often to apply the good word
_patriot_ to such men, it would soon blister his mouth. I find, in
fact, no vice so bad as this spurious virtue, no sinners so unsavory
as these mock saints.

To nations, also, this comprehensive law applies. Would you have
a noble and orderly freedom? Buy it, and it is yours. "Liberty or
death," cried eloquent Henry; and the speech is recited as bold and
peculiar; but, by an enduring ordinance of Nature, the people that
does not in its heart of hearts say, "Liberty or death," cannot have
liberty. Many of us had learned to fancy that the stern tenure by
which ancient communities held their civilization was now become an
obsolete fact, and that without peril or sacrifice we might forever
appropriate all that blesses nations; but by the iron throat of this
war Providence is thundering down upon us the unalterable law, that
man shall hold no ideal possession longer than he places all his lower
treasures at its command.

But there was a special form of cost, invited by the virtue of our
national existence; and it is this in particular that we are now
paying,--paying it, I am sorry to say, in the form of retribution
because the nation declined to meet it otherwise. But the peculiarity
of the case is, as has been affirmed, that it was chiefly the virtue
and nobility of the nation which created this debt at the outset.

And now what is the peculiar virtue and glory of this nation? Why,
that its national existence is based upon a recognition of the
absolute rights and duties of humanity. Theoretically this is our
basis; practically there is a commixture; much of this cosmopolitan
faith is mingled with much of confined self-regard. But the
theoretical fact is the one here in point: since the question now
is not of the national _un_faith or infidelity, but of the national
faith. And beyond a question, the real faith of the nation, so far as
it has one, is represented by its formal declaration, made sacred by
the shedding of blood. Our belief really is not in the special
right or privilege of Americans, but in the prerogative of man.
This prerogative we may have succeeded well or ill in stating and
interpreting; the fact, that our appeal is to this, alone concerns us

Now this national attitude, so far as history informs me, is
unprecedented. The true-born son of Albion, save as an exceptional
culture enlarges his soul, believes religiously that God is an
Englishman, and that the interests of England precede those of the
universe. When, therefore, he sees anything done which depletes the
pocket of England, it affects him with a sense of infidelity in those
to whom this loss is due. England professes to have a _national_
religion; she has, and in a deeper sense than is commonly meant.

We will not disparage England overmuch; she has done good service in
history. We will not boast of ourselves; the actual politics of this
country have been, in no small part, base and infidel to a degree
that is simply sickening. Nevertheless, it remains true that the
fundamental idea of the State here represents a new phase of human
history. Every European nationality had taken shape and character
while yet our globe was not known to be a globe, while before the eyes
of all lookers land and sea faded away into darkness and mystery; and
it was not possible that common human sympathy should take into its
arms a world of which it could not conceive. But a national spirit
was here generated when the ocean had been crossed, when the earth had
been rounded, when, too, Newton had, as it were, circumnavigated the
solar system,--when, therefore, there could be, and must be, a new
recognition of humanity. Our country, again, was peopled from the
minorities of Europe, from those whom the spirit of the new time
had touched, and taken away their content with old institutions,--a
population restless, uncertain, yeasty, chaotic, it might be, full of
the rawness of new conditions, mean and magnanimous by turns, as such
people are wont, but all leavened more or less with a sentiment new in
history,--all leavened with a kind of whole-world feeling, a sense
of the oneness of humanity, and, as derived from this, a sense of
absolute rights of man, of prerogatives belonging to human nature as

The truth of all this has been brought under suspicion by the
flatulent oratory of our Fourth-of-Julys; but truth it remains. Our
nation did enunciate a grand idea never equally felt by any other. Our
nation has said, and said with the sword in its right hand, "Every man
born into this world has the right from God to make the most and best
of his existence, and society is established only to further and guard
this sacred right." We thus established a new scale of justice; we
raised a demand for the individual which had not been so made before.
Freedom and order were made one; both were identified with justice,
simple, broad, equal, universal justice. The American idea, then, what
is it? _The identification of politics with justice_, this it is. With
justice, and this, too, not on a scale of conventional usage, but
on the scale of natural right. That, as I read, is the American
idea,--making politics moral by their unity with natural justice,
justice world-old and world-wide.

This conception--obscurely seen and felt, and mixed with the
inevitable amount of folly and self-seeking, yet, after, all,
this conception--our nation dared to stand up and announce, and to
consecrate it by the shedding of blood, calling God and all good men
to witness. The deed was grand; the hearts of men everywhere were more
or less its accomplices; all the tides of history ran in its favor;
kings, forgetting themselves into virtue and generosity, lent it
good wishes or even good arms; it was successful; and on its primary
success waited such prosperities as the world has seldom seen.

But, because the deed was noble, great costs must needs attend it,
attend it long. And first of all the cost of _applying our principle
within our own borders_. For, when a place had been obtained for us
among nations, we looked down, and, lo! at our feet the African--in
chains. A benighted and submissive race, down-trodden and despised
from of old, a race of outcasts, of Pariahs, covered with the shame of
servitude, and held by the claim of that terrible talisman, the
word _property_,--here it crouched at our feet, lifting its hands,
imploring. Yes, America, here is your task now; never flinch nor
hesitate, never begin to question now; thrust your right hand deep
into your heart's treasury, bring forth its costliest, purest justice,
and lay its immeasurable bounty into this sable palm, bind its
blessing on this degraded brow. Ah, but America did falter and
question. "How can I?" it said. "This is a Negro, a _Negro_! Besides,
he is PROPERTY!" And so America looked up, determined to ignore
the kneeling form. With pious blasphemy it said, "He is here
providentially; God in His own good time will dispose of him"; as
if God's hour for a good effect were not the earliest hour at
which courage and labor can bring it about, not the latest to which
indolence and infidelity can postpone it. Then it looked away across
oceans to other continents, and began again the chant, "Man is man;
natural right is sacred forever; and of politics the sole basis is
universal justice." Joyfully it sang for a while, but soon there began
to come up the clank of chains mingling with its chant, and the groans
of oppressed men and violated women, and prayers to Heaven for another
justice than this; and then the words of its chant grew bitter in the
mouth of our nation, and a sickness came in its heart, and an evil
blush mounted and stood on its brow; and at length a devil spoke in
its bosom and said, "The negro has no rights that a white man is bound
to respect"; and ere the words were fairly uttered, their meaning, as
was indeed inevitable, changed to this,--"A Northern 'mudsill' has no
rights that a Southern gentleman is bound to respect"; and soon guns
were heard booming about Sumter, and a new chapter in our history and
in the world's history began.

Our nation refused allegiance to its own principles, refused to pay
the lawful costs of its virtue and nobility; therefore it is sued in
the courts of destiny, and the case is this day on trial.

The case is plain, the logic clear. Natural right is sacred, or it is
not. If it is, the negro is lawfully free; if it is not, you may be
lawfully a slave. Just how all this stands in the Constitution of the
United States I do not presume to say. Other heads, whose business it
is, must attend to that. Every man to his vocation. I speak from the
stand-point of philosophy, not of politics; I attend to the logic of
history, the logic of destiny, according to which, of course, final
judgment will be rendered. It is not exactly to be supposed that
the statute of any nation makes grass green, or establishes the
relationship between cause and effect. The laws of the world are
considerably older than our calendar, and therefore date yet more
considerably beyond the year 1789. And by the laws of the world, by
the eternal relationship between cause and effect, it stands enacted
beyond repeal, and graven upon somewhat more durable than marble or
brass, that the destiny of this nation for more than one century to
come hinges upon its justice to that outcast race,--outcast, but not
henceforth to be cast out by us, save to the utter casting down of
ourselves. Once it might have been otherwise; now we have made it
so. Justice to the African is salvation to the white man upon this
continent. Oh, my America, you must not, cannot, shall not be blind
to this fact! America, deeper in my love and higher in my esteem than
ever before, newly illustrated in worth, newly proven to be capable
still, in some directions, of exceeding magnanimity, open your eyes
that your feet may have guidance, now when there is such need! Open
your eyes to see, that, if you deliberately deny justice and human
recognition to one innocent soul in all your borders, you stab at your
own existence; for, in violating the unity of humanity, you break the
principle that makes you a nation and alive. Give justice to black
and white, recognize man as man; or the constituting idea, the vital
faith, the crystallizing principle of the nation perishes, and the
whole disintegrates, falls into dust.

I invite the attention of conservative men to the fact that in this
due paying of costs lies the true conservation. I invite them to
observe, that, as every living body has a principle which makes it
alive, makes it a unit, harmonizing the action of its members,--as
every crystal has a unitary law, which commands the arrangement of its
particles, the number and arrangement of its faces and angles,--so
it is with every orderly or living state. To this also there is a
central, clarifying, unifying faith. Without this you may collect
hordes into the brief, brutal empire of a Chingis Khan or Tamerlane;
but you can have no firm, free, orderly, inspiring national life.

Whenever and wherever in history this central condition of national
existence has been destroyed, there a nation has fallen into chaos,
into imbecility, losing all power to produce genius, to generate able
souls, to sustain the trust of men in each other, or to support any of
the conditions of social health and order. Even advances in the right
line of progress have to be made slowly, gradually, lest the shock of
newness be too great, and break off a people from the traditions in
which its faith is embodied; but a mere recoil, a mere denial and
destruction of its centralizing principle, is the last and utmost
calamity which can befall any nation.

This is no fine-spun doctrine, fit for parlors and lecture-rooms, but
not for counting-rooms and congressional halls. It is solid, durable
fact. History is full of it; and he is a mere mole, and blinder than
midnight, who cannot perceive it. The spectacle of nations falling
into sudden, chronic, careless imbecility is frequent and glaring
enough for even wilfulness to see; and the central secret of this
sad phenomenon, so I am _sure_, has been suggested here. When the
socializing faith of a nation has perished, the alternative for
it becomes this, that it can be stable only as it is stagnant, and
vigorous only as it is lawless.

Of this I am sure; but whether Bullion Street can be willing to
understand it I am not so sure. Yet if it cannot, or some one in its
behalf, grass will grow there. And why should it refuse heed? Who is
more concerned? Does Bullion Street desire chaos? Does it wish that
the pith should be taken out of every statute, and the chief value
from every piece of property? If not, its course is clear. This nation
has a vital faith,--or had one,--well grounded in its traditions.
Conserve this; or, if it has been impaired, renew its vigor. This
faith is our one sole pledge of order, of peace, of growth, of all
that we prize in the present, or hope for the future. That it is
a noble faith, new in its breadth, its comprehension and
magnanimity,--this would seem in my eyes rather to enhance than
diminish the importance of its conservation. Yet the only argument
against it is, that it is generous, broad, inspiring; and the only
appeal in opposition to it must be made to the coldness of skepticism,
the suicidal miserliness of egotism, or the folly and fatuity of

Our nation has a political faith. Will you, conservative men, conserve
this, and so regain and multiply the blessing it has already brought?
or will you destroy it, and wait till, through at least a century
of tossing and tumult, another, and that of less value, is grown? A
faith, a crystallizing principle for many millions of people is not
grown in a day; if it can be grown in a century is problematical. The
fact, and the choice, are before you.

Our nation _had_ a faith which it cherished with sincerity and
sureness. If half the nation has fallen away from this,--if half the
remaining moiety is doubtful, skeptical about it,--if, therefore,
we are already a house divided against itself and tottering to its
fall,--to what is all due? Simply to the fact that no nation can long
unsay its central principle, and yet preserve it in faithfulness and
power,--that no nation can long preach the sanctity of natural right,
the venerableness of man's nature, and the identity of pure justice
with political interest, from an auction-block on which men and
maidens are sold,--that, in fine, a nation cannot continue long with
impunity to play within its own borders the part both of Gessler and
Tell, both of Washington and Benedict Arnold, both of Christ and of
him that betrayed him.

We must choose. For our national faith we must make honest payment,
so conserving it, and with it all for which nations may hope; or else,
refusing to meet these costs, we must suffer the nation's soul to
perish, and in the imbecility, the chaos, and shame that will follow,
suffer therewith all that nations may lawfully fear.

What good omens, then, attend our time, now when the first officer of
the land has put the trumpet to his mouth and blown round the world an
intimation that, to the extent of the nation's power, these costs will
begin to be paid, this true conservation to be practised! The work
is not yet done; and the late elections betoken too much of moral
debility in the people. But my trust continues firm. The work will be
done,--at least, so far as we are responsible for its doing. And then!
Then our shame, our misery, our deadly sickness will be taken away;
no more that poison in our politics; no more that degradation in our
commercial relations; no more that careful toning down of sentiment
to low levels, that it may harmonize with low conditions; no more that
need to shun the company of all healthful and heroic thoughts, such
as are fit, indeed, to brace the sinews of a sincere social order, but
sure to crack the sinews of a feeble and faithless conventionalism.
Base men there will yet be, and therefore base politics; but when once
our nation has paid the debt it owes to itself and the human race,
when once it has got out of its blood the venom of this great
injustice, it will, it must, arise beautiful in its young strength,
noble in its new-consecrated faith, and stride away with a generous
and achieving pace upon the great highways of historical progress.
Other costs will come, if we are worthy; other lessons there will be
to learn. I anticipate a place for brave and wise restrictions,--for
I am no Red Republican,--as well as for brave and generous expansions.
Lessons to learn, errors to unlearn, there will surely be; tasks to
attempt, and disciplines to practise; but once place the nation in the
condition of _health_, once get it at one with its own heart, once get
it out of these aimless eddies into clear sea, out of these accursed
"doldrums," (as the sailors phrase it,) this commixture of broiling
calm and sky-bursting thunder-gust, into the great trade-winds of
natural tendency that are so near at hand,--and I can trust it to meet
all future emergency. All the freshest blood of the world is flowing
hither: we have but to wed this with the life-blood of the universe,
with eternal truth and justice, and God has in store no blessing for
noblest nations that will not be secured for ours.

       *       *       *       *       *


Among the most celebrated corps of the French army, one of the most
conspicuous and remarkable is that peculiar body of troops to which
has been given the name of _Chasseurs à Pied_, or _Foot-Chasseurs_,
to distinguish it from an organization of mounted men in the same
service, uniformed and trained on similar principles. The Chasseurs
à Pied have not attained the same romantic renown as that acquired
by their brethren and rivals in arms, the Zouaves, but, nevertheless,
they have had an exceedingly brilliant career in the late wars
and conquests of France. They possess their own characteristics of
originality, too, and are, in many respects, one of the most efficient
and formidable forces in existence.

In order to convey a clear and correct idea of the new principles
adopted in the organization and equipment of the Chasseurs, and to
furnish our readers with some facts that may be interesting to them
as historical students, and most useful to such among them as are
connected with or may have any aspiration for military life, we must
beg them to go back with us, for a moment, to the very period of the
invention of gunpowder. It would be out of the question, of course, to
attempt, in these pages, a description of all the curious weapons
that were at first employed under the name of fire-arms. We will only
remark that such weapons were, despite the anathemas of Bayard and
the sarcasms of Ariosto, very much used as early as the middle of the
sixteenth century, and played an important part on the battle-fields
of that epoch.

To the Spaniards belongs the credit of having rendered the use of
fire-arms more easy, more regular, and more general among the nations.
For more than a hundred years the Spaniards were the very masters
of the art of war. Their power had begun to decline, but they still
retained their military superiority; and from the Battle of Ceresole,
won by the Count of Enghien in 1544, down to the memorable victory of
Rocroy, gained in 1643 by a hero of the same race and the same name,
they had the upper-hand in all pitched engagements. Their generals
were the very best and most thoroughly instructed, and formed a real
school; they, too, were the only officers who practised strategy.
Their organization was better than any other, and their celebrated
_tercios_ were the very model of all regiments. Their armament was
likewise superior, as they had adopted the musket, which was the
first fire-arm that a man could handle with any facility, load with
rapidity, and aim with any precision. Each of their _tercios_ or
battalions contained a regulated proportion of these musketeers, and
the number was large, compared to the whole mass of troops.

The excellent results attained by the Spaniards, in the more perfect
organization and equipment of their infantry, did not escape the
attention of the French officers; and one of them especially, the Duke
Francis de Guise, endeavored to turn his observations to good account.
It is to him that we are indebted for the first rough sketch of
regimental organization modelled upon that of the _tercios_, and, in
more than one encounter with the Huguenots, the numbers of thoroughly
skilled arquebuse-men embodied in the old French bands in Picardy and
Piedmont secured advantages to the Catholic armies. In the opposite
party, a young general who was destined to become a great king,
endowed with that creative instinct, that genius which is as readily
applicable to the science of government as to that of war, and which,
when tempered with good sense, may bestow glory and happiness upon
whole nations, Henry IV., had taken particular pains to increase the
number and the efficiency of his arquebuse-men, and frequently managed
to employ them in ways as novel as they were successful. At the Battle
of Coutras, he distributed them in groups of twenty-five, in the midst
of his squadrons of cavalry, so that, when the royal _gendarmerie_
advanced to charge the latter, they were suddenly received with
murderous volleys by these arquebuse-men _of the spur_, as they were
called, owing to their combination with the cavalry, and the shock
they thus encountered gave victory to the Protestants. Henry IV. went
even too far with his passion for fire-arms. He increased their number
and their use among cavalry so extravagantly, that the latter arm was
perverted from its proper object. The cavalry, for a long time, forgot
that their strength lay in the points of their sabres, in the dash of
the men, and the speed of their horses.

Most of the great captains of an early day thus signalized their
progress by some improvement in the equipment of their infantry. One
of the most formidable enemies of Spanish power, Maurice of Nassau,
a skilful engineer and tactician, was the first to array infantry in
such a manner as to combine the simultaneous use of the musket and the
pike. Before his time, fire-arms had been used only for skirmishing
service; he commenced to use them in line. This reform was, however,
only foreshadowed, as it were, by the Dutch General; it was reserved
for Gustavus Adolphus to complete it. While he was executing a series
of military operations such as the world had not beheld since the days
of Cæsar, he was also creating a movable artillery, and giving to the
fire of his infantry an efficacy which had not been attained before.
For the heavy machines of war which were drawn by oxen to the field
of battle, and which remained there motionless and paralyzed by the
slightest movements of the contending armies, he substituted light
cannon drawn by horses and following up all the manoeuvres of either
cavalry or foot. He had found the infantry formed in dense battalions.
His system arranged it in long continuous lines in which each rank
of musketeers was sustained by several ranks of pikemen, so that his
array, thus distributed, should present to the enemy a front bristling
with steel, while, at the same time, it could cover a large space of
ground with its discharge of lead. Attentive to all kinds of detail,
he also gave his soldiers the cartouch-box and knapsack instead of
the cumbersome apparatus to which they had been accustomed. In fact,
Gustavus Adolphus was the founder of the modern science of battle. In
strategy and the grand combinations of warfare, he was the disciple
and rival of the ancient masters; for, even if this "divine portion"
of the military art be inaccessible to the vast number of its
votaries, and if history can easily enumerate those who were capable
of comprehending it, and, more especially, of applying it, its rules
and principles have, nevertheless, been by no means the same in all
ages. On the contrary, the invention of fire-arms demanded an entirely
new system of tactics, and this the Swedish hero introduced.

The example set by Gustavus was not, however, very rapidly followed,
and, although some slight improvements were introduced by French
officers during the seventeenth century, it was not until the time
of Louis XIV. that the reforms started by Maurice of Nassau, and so
successfully continued by the Swedish army, began to attain their
consummation. The progress made in that direction was due to Vauban,
whose eminent genius had mastered every question and every branch of
study so completely, that, when applied to on any subject connected
with politics or war, his opinion was always clear and correct.
The very numerous essays and sketches from his hand which are found
deposited in the fortresses and in the archives of France all reveal
some flash of genius, and even his wildest speculations bear the stamp
of his high intellect and excellent heart. Engineering science was
carried by him to such a degree of perfection that it has made but few
advances since his time; and it was Vauban who induced Louis XIV. to
replace the pike and the musket with a weapon which should be, at
one and the same time, an instrument for both firing and thrusting,
namely, the bayonet-gun. The Royal Fusileer Regiment, since called the
Royal Artillery, was the first one armed with this weapon, (in
1670,) and in 1703 the whole French army finally gave up the pike.
Notwithstanding some reverses sustained by the infantry thus armed,
and notwithstanding the disapproval of Puységur and others, this gun
was soon adopted by all Europe, and the success of the great Frederick
put a conclusive indorsement on this new style of weapon. Frederick
had taken up and perfected the ideas of Gustavus Adolphus; and he now
laid down certain rules for the formation and manoeuvring of infantry,
which are still followed at this day; and since that time, no one has
disputed the fact that the strength of foot-troops lies in their guns
and their legs.

Our present firelock differs from the article used during the
Seven Years' War only in its more careful construction and some
modifications of detail. The most important of these relates to the
more rapid explosion of the charge. In 1840 the old flint-locks were
generally replaced by the percussion-lock, which is simpler, is
less exposed to the effects of dampness, and more quickly and surely
ignites the powder. Even the ordinary regulation-musket with its
bayonet was spoken of by Napoleon in his time as "the best engine of
warfare ever invented by man." Since the day of the Great Emperor, and
even during the reign of the present Napoleon, continued improvements
have been made in the character of the weapon used by the French
infantry. The weight, length, correctness of aim, durability, and
handiness of the gun have all been carefully examined and modified, to
the advantage of the soldier, until, finally, we have a weapon which
combines wonderful qualities of lightness, strength, correctness of
equipoise, ease and rapidity of loading, with perfect adaptability as
a combination of the lance, pike, and sword, when it has ceased to be
a fire-arm.

We have not here the space to enter upon a disquisition concerning
these progressive changes; but suffice it to say that nearly all the
peculiar styles of fire-arms were well known at an early period,
and that the rifling, etc., of guns and cannon, with the other
modifications now adopted, are merely the development and consummation
of old ideas. For instance, the rifled arquebuse was known and used
at the close of the fifteenth century, and, although the rifled musket
was not put in general use by the French infantry, from the fact that
its reduced length and the greater complication of movements required
in loading and discharging it deprived it of other advantages when
in the hands of troops of the line, still it was adopted in a certain
proportion in some branches of the French service.

As early as the middle of the seventeenth century, some corps of light
cavalry called _Carabins_ were armed with the short rifle-musket, and
hence the derivation of the term _carabines_ applied to the weapon.
These "carabines" were also very promptly adopted by hunters and
sportsmen everywhere. The Swiss and the Tyrolese employed them in
chasing the chamois among their mountains, and practised their skill
in the use of them at general shooting-matches, which to this very day
are celebrated as national festivals. The Austrian Government was the
first to profit by this preference on the part of certain populations
for accurate fire-arms, and at once proceeded to organize battalions
of Tyrolese _Chasseurs_, or _Huntsmen_,--to give the meaning of the
French word. These Chasseurs were applied in the Austrian service as
light troops, and so great was their efficiency against the Prussians
that Frederick the Great was compelled, in his turn, to organize a
battalion of Chasseur sharp-shooters. France followed suit, in the
course of the eighteenth century, and called into existence various
corps of the same description, under different names. These, however,
were but short-lived, although some of them, for instance, the Grassin
Legion, acquired quite a reputation.

Finally came the French Revolution. The troops of the Republic were
more remarkable for courage and enthusiasm than for tactics and drill.
They usually attacked as skirmishers,--a system which may be employed
successfully by even the most regularly disciplined armies, but which
is sometimes more especially useful to raw troops, because it
gives the private soldier an opportunity to compensate by personal
intelligence for the lack of thorough instruction. Struck by the
aptitude of the French recruits for that kind of fighting, the
Convention, in reorganizing the army, decreed the formation of some
half-brigades of light infantry. The picked men were to be armed with
the new weapon, and received the name of _Carabiniers_. The carabine
of 1793 is the first specimen of that kind of arm which was regularly
employed in France.

Subsequently, owing to many practical defects, when Napoleon
reorganized the equipment of the French armies, the carabine was
dropped from the service, although the regiments of light infantry
were retained, and their picked companies preserved the title of
Carabiniers. In the Imperial Guard, too, there were companies of
Skirmishers, Flankers, and Chasseurs, but neither one of these corps
was distinguished by any particular style of arms or drill. The
Emperor's wish was to have the armament and training of all his
infantry uniform, so that all the regiments should be equally adapted
to the service of troops of the line or light troops. Finally, to
carry out his design with greater ease, he formed all the men who were
more active and agile than the rest, or whose low stature prevented
them from becoming Grenadiers, into companies of Voltigeurs,--and this
was one of his finest military creations.

However, notwithstanding the correctness of Napoleon's views, as a
general principle, the thousand and one uses of a corps of picked
marksmen as light troops were so universally admitted that the
different nations of Europe continued and even augmented that branch
of their military service. Under different names they were found not
only in the armies of England, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, but also
under the banners of the secondary powers, such as Sweden, Piedmont,
and Switzerland.

After the disasters of 1815, the reorganization of the French army
was confided to Marshal Gouvion de St. Cyr, who united to sincere
patriotism every qualification of an able general. He gave to the
French service the basis of its present success, his suggestions
having, of course, been perfected and expanded in the mean time. Among
other things, he prescribed the formation of battalions of Chasseurs,
to be organized in legions, side by side with the infantry of
the line, but with their own special equipment. This plan was not
efficiently executed, and the Chasseur battalions shared the fate
of the Department Legions of France, and were merged in the existing

The project, in a different form, was revived by Marshal Soult, who,
as Minister of War, in 1833, succeeded in securing the passage of
a royal ordinance prescribing the formation of companies of
sharp-shooters "armed with carabines and uniformed in a manner
befitting their special service." These companies were to be united
subsequently into battalions, and were to undergo a particular course
of training. Although the ordinance was not immediately carried
into execution, the impulse had been given, and erelong successful
improvements in the rifle having been effected by an old officer of
the Royal Guard, named Delvigne, and a certain Colonel Poncharra,
inspector of the manufacture of arms, the Duke of Orléans brought
about the formation of a company of marksmen peculiarly trained and
equipped, and provided with the so-called Delvigne-Poncharra carabine.
This company was placed in garrison at Vincennes, where, under skilful
and popular commanders, it gave such satisfaction that it was finally
decided to try the experiment on a larger scale, and a decree of
November 14, 1838, created a battalion of the same character.

This corps, then, and even now, known to the people as the
_Tirailleurs de Vincennes_, wore a uniform very similar to that of the
present Chasseurs, but quite different from that of the infantry of
the period. Instead of the stiff accoutrements and heavy headgear of
the latter, they assumed a frock, wide and roomy pantaloons, and a
light military shako. The double folds of white buckskin, which were
very fine to look at, to be sure, but which oppressed the lungs and
offered a conspicuous mark to the enemy, were discarded; the sabre was
no longer allowed to dangle between the legs of the soldier and impede
his movements; while the necessary munitions were carried in a manner
more convenient and better adapted to their preservation. The arms
consisted of a carabine, and a long, solid, sharpened appendage to
it, termed the _sword-bayonet_. This latter weapon was provided with
a hilt, and could be used for both cut and thrust, with considerable
effect, while, affixed to the end of the carabine, it furnished a most
formidable pike.

Although the Delvigne-Poncharra carabine had great advantages, it
still did not command the range of the coarser and heavier muskets of
the line, and, in order to make up for this in some degree, the most
robust and skilful men of the corps were armed with a heavier gun,
constructed on the same principles, but capable of throwing a heavier
charge with precision, to greater distances. The proportion of men so
armed was one-eighth of the battalion. The use of these two
different calibres of fire-arms had some drawbacks, but they were
counterbalanced by some curious advantages. For instance, the
battalion could keep up a steady fire at ordinary distances, while,
at the same moment, the men armed with the heavy carabines, or
_Carabiniers_, as they were distinctively called, even within their
own battalion, could reach the enemy at points where he deemed himself
beyond the range of the force he saw in front of him. United in
groups, the Carabiniers could thus produce severe effect, and actually
formed a sort of _hand artillery_,--to use an expression often
employed concerning them.

The Tirailleurs thus composed were, owing to the shortness of their
carabines, drawn up in two ranks, instead of in the regimental style
of three ranks. They manoeuvred in line, like all other infantry
battalions, but, in addition to the ordinary drill, were trained in
gymnastics and double-quick evolutions, as well as in fencing with the
bayonet, a special course of sharp-shooting, and what was termed _the
new Tirailleur drill_.

Gymnastics have always been encouraged in the French army, and, when
not carried to excess, they are of the greatest use, particularly in
developing the strength of young men, giving suppleness and confidence
to raw recruits, and facilitating their manoeuvres. Running was
naturally a portion of these exercises, although it was rarely
permitted in the evolutions of French troops, since it was found to
produce much disorder. The Tirailleurs were so trained, however, that
they could move, with all their accoutrements, in ranks, without noise
and without confusion, at a cadenced and measured running step termed
the _pas gymnastique_, or gymnastic step,--and they could use it
even during complicated field-manoeuvres. This was a most excellent
innovation, for it enabled infantry to pass rapidly to any important
point, and to execute many evolutions with the promptitude in some
degree which cavalry obtains from the combination of the two gaits.

The bayonet-exercise was very acceptable to the men, for it augmented
their confidence in their weapons and their skill in handling them.

The target or sharp-shooting drill was much the most complicated and
difficult, as the troops were taught to fire when kneeling and lying
on the ground, and to avail themselves of the slightest favoring
circumstances of the soil. The rules and methods adopted in this
branch of the drill have been the subject of profound and careful
study, and are exceedingly ingenious.

The approval of these measures by the French Government was such,
that, by a decree of August 28th, 1839, the merely temporary
organization of the Tirailleurs was made permanent and separate, and
the corps was sent to camp at Fontainebleau. There, the agility of
the men, their neat and convenient uniforms and equipments, and their
rapid and orderly evolutions struck every one who saw them. When, at
the close of their period of encampment, the King was passing them in
review as a special compliment, he warmly asked Marshal Soult what
he thought of the new corps. The Marshal, in replying, emphatically
expressed the wish that His Majesty had thirty such battalions instead
of only one.

However, the new organization found some opponents, and many urgent
arguments were adduced to prevent its extension. In order to put all
these to the test, it was finally determined to submit the Tirailleurs
to the ordeal of actual warfare; and they were speedily shipped to
Africa, where it was quickly discovered that their gymnastic training
had so prepared them that they easily became inured to the fatigues
and privations of campaigning life. Their heavy carabines succeeded
admirably, and the skill of their marksmen--among others, of a certain
Sergeant Pistouley--was the theme of universal praise.

The Tirailleurs were now brigaded with the Zouaves, and erelong had
shared glorious laurels with those celebrated troops.

Finally, in 1840, the dangers that seemed to be accumulating over
France on all sides assumed so dark a form that the patriotism of the
whole nation was aroused, and, in the midst of the general outpouring
of men and means, the Duke of Orléans was authorized to form no less
than ten battalions of Chasseurs.

The Duke set himself about this important task with all the zeal that
had characterized his first effort to create the organization, and
all the erudition he had gleaned from years of military study and
research. In the first place, he abandoned the title of Tirailleurs,
as being not sufficiently distinctive, and adopted that of Chasseurs à
Pied, or Foot-Chasseurs. The organization by battalions was retained,
and the one formed two years before at Vincennes was designated as the
First Battalion, and recalled from Africa to St. Omer as a model for
the other nine that were to be organized. St. Omer offered extensive
barracks, a vast field suitable to military exercise, and, in fine,
all the establishments requisite for a large concourse of troops. The
ranks were soon filled with picked men from all sides, and ardent,
ambitious officers from every corps of the army sought commands. Among
the latter we may mention a certain Captain, since Marshal de M'Mahon,
who was put at the head of the Tenth Battalion.

Under the eyes of the Prince Royal, and in accordance with a series
of regulations drawn up by him with the greatest care, and constantly
modified to suit circumstances, the battalions were drilled and
trained assiduously in all the walks of their profession connected
with their own destined service. Every branch of their military life
was illustrated by their exercises, and even the officers went through
a thorough course of special instruction under accomplished tutors,
who were also officers of peculiar ability and experience. While
the Duke of Orléans, with the distinguished General Rostolan and two
picked lieutenant-colonels, remained at St. Omer in charge of the
growing force, another lieutenant-colonel was intrusted with the task
of training subordinates to serve as teachers in sharp-shooting, and
for this purpose a detachment was assembled at Vincennes, consisting
of ten officers and a number of subalterns who had attracted attention
by their particular aptitude. These, after having been thoroughly
instructed in the manufacture of small arms, the preparation of
munitions, and the rules and practice of sharp-shooting, were sent to
St. Omer to furnish the new battalions with the officers who were to
form part of the permanent organization. The weapon selected was an
improvement upon the former carabines of the Tirailleurs; and while
the old proportion, to wit, the eighth part of each battalion, were
armed with guns of longer range, and styled distinctively Carabiniers,
these were set apart as the picked company of each battalion. The
Duke, taking up his residence at St. Omer, attended in person to all
that was going forward; and so constant were his exertions, and so
warm the zeal of those who assisted the enterprise, that in a few
months all the battalions were equipped, armed, and well drilled.

One fine spring morning,--it was in May, 1841,--a long column of
troops entered Paris with a celerity hitherto unknown. There was no
false glitter, no tinsel; everything was neat and martial, with bugles
for their only music, and a uniform that was sombre, indeed, but of
such harmonious simplicity as to be by no means devoid of elegance.
This column consisted of the Chasseurs, coming to receive their
standard from the hands of Louis Philippe, and speeding through the
streets with their _gymnastic step_. On the very next day, as though
to signalize the serious and entirely military character of the
organization, four of these battalions were sent off to Africa,
and the remaining six posted at the different leading fortresses of
France, where the collections of artillery, etc., enabled them to
proceed with the perfect development of their training.

It was only a year later, when the Duke of Orléans was snatched away,
on the very eve of some crowning experiments he was about to make in
illustration of the full uses and capacities of this force, that it
received the title of Chasseurs d'Orléans, which the modesty of
its founder would not tolerate during his lifetime. This name they
gallantly bore through the combats that marked their novitiate in
Africa, where it was at once found that the complete preparation of
both officers and men made victory comparatively easy for them. The
deadly precision of their aim struck terror into the Arabs, and, as
early as 1842, the splendid behavior of the Sixth Battalion in the
bloody fights of the Oued Foddah at once ranged the Chasseurs among
the finest troops in Africa. To attempt to follow them step by step
in their career would be idle in the space we have here allotted to
ourselves. We shall therefore cite merely a few instances where their
courage and efficiency shone with peculiar lustre.

In the course of the year 1845, an impostor, playing upon the
credulity of the Arabs, and artfully availing himself of the
organization ready furnished by the religious sect to which he
belonged, succeeded in bringing about a revolt of a great portion of
the tribes in Algiers and Oran. He went by the title of "Master of the
Hour," a sort of Messiah who had been long expected in that region.
But he was more generally known as Bou-Maza, or _The Father with the
She-Goat_, from the fact that a she-goat was his customary companion,
and was supposed by the populace to serve him as a medium of
communication with the supernatural Powers. This man exhibited a great
deal of skill and audacity. His activity was so extraordinary, and
he had been seen at so many different points at almost the same time,
that his very existence was at first doubted, and many supposed him to
be a myth. At one time it was thought that the insurrection had been
quelled, as a chief calling himself Bou-Maza had been captured and
shot, when, suddenly, the real leader reappeared among the Flittas,
one of the most warlike tribes of Algeria, and living in a region very
difficult of access. Against these and the Prophet, General Bourjolly,
the French commander, marched at once, but unfortunately with very
inadequate force. A terrible combat ensued, the Fourth Regiment of the
Chasseurs d'Afrique and the Ninth Battalion of the Chasseurs d'Orléans
having to sustain the brunt of it. Both these corps performed
prodigies of valor, and it was worth while to hear the men of
each reciprocally narrating the glory and the peril of their
comrades,--these telling by what noble exploits the mounted Chasseurs
(d'Afrique) had saved the remains of Lieutenant-Colonel Berthier, and
the others describing the Chasseurs à Pied, how they stood immovable,
although without cartridges, around the body of their commander,
Clère, with their terrible sword-bayonets bloody to the hilt!

On almost the same day, the Eighth Battalion succumbed to a frightful
catastrophe. At a period of supposed tranquillity, the Souhalia
tribe, who had been steadfast allies of the French, were unexpectedly
attacked by Abd-el-Kader at the head of an overwhelming force.
Lieutenant-Colonel Montagnac, with only sixty-two horsemen of the
Second Hussars and three hundred and fifty men of the Eighth Chasseurs
d'Orléans, hurried to the rescue. He was repeatedly warned of the
danger, but, despite all that could be said, he dashed at the whole
force of Abd-el-Kader. At the very first discharge, Montagnac fell
mortally wounded, and in a few moments all the horses and nearly all
the men were disabled. Captain Cognord, of the Second Hussars, rallied
the survivors, and this little handful of heroes, huddled together
upon a hillock, fought like tigers, until their ammunition was
exhausted. The Arabs then closed in upon the group, which had become
motionless and silent, and, to use the expressive language of an
eye-witness, "felled them to the earth as they would overturn a wall."
The enemy found none remaining but the dead, or those who were
so badly wounded that they gave no sign of life. Before expiring,
Montagnac had summoned to his aid a small detachment he had left in
reserve. The latter, on its approach, was immediately surrounded, and
perished to the very last man. There was now surviving of the whole
French force only the Carabinier company of the Eighth Chasseurs, upon
whom the Arabs rushed with fury, from every side. After a resistance
of almost fabulous heroism, during which the flag of the company was
shot away in shreds, and the Carabiniers cut their bullets into
six and eight pieces so as to prolong their defence, every volley
decimating the foe, this little band of seventy men, encumbered with
ten wounded, succeeded in wearying and disheartening the Emir to such
an extent that he determined to abandon the direct assault which was
costing him so dearly, and to surround the French detachment in the
ruined building which served them for a refuge, and so starve them
out. Captain Dutertre, Adjutant of the Eighth, who had been captured
by the Arabs in the early part of the action, was sent forward by the
enemy toward his old comrades. For a moment the firing ceased, and
the Captain shouted so that all could hear him,--"Chasseurs, they have
sworn to behead me, if you do not lay down your arms; and I say to
you, Die, rather than surrender one single man!"

The Captain was instantly sabred, and the conflict recommenced. The
same summons was repeated twice afterwards, and twice failed, when,
finally, the firing ceased, and the Arabs bivouacked around their
prey. Every possible approach was closed and guarded, and, thus caged
in, the Chasseurs remained for three nights and days without food or
drink. At length, by a sudden and desperate dash, on the morning
of September 20th, the seventy heroes, bearing their ten wounded
comrades, succeeded in breaking through the line of Arab sentinels,
and escaped to a neighboring chain of hills. Thither they were pursued
by their wild foemen, who, although infuriated at the daring and
success of this sally, had a sufficient respect for the heavy
carabines of the French, and merely hovered closely on their rear,
awaiting some favorable opportunity to dash in upon them. This moment
soon came. The French soldiers, no longer able to withstand the
torments of thirst, descending from the hills, in spite of the
entreaties of their officers, dashed into a neighboring stream to cool
their burning lips. The instant of doom had come, and, in less time
than it takes to recite the narrative, all but twelve of the little
band were massacred by the exulting Arabs. The twelve escaped to
Djemaa only after terrible privations and sufferings.

We might readily fill a volume with episodes equally glorious and
equally gloomy in the career of the Chasseurs. They were in nearly
all the brilliant actions of the ensuing Algerian campaigns, and, at
Zaatcha, Isly, and other famed engagements, they contended side by
side with the renowned Zouaves for the palm of military excellence.
Their agility, their promptitude in action, their ardor in attack, and
their solidity in retreat, their endurance on the march, their skill
and intelligence in availing themselves of every inequality of ground
and in turning everything to account, made them so conspicuously
preferable, as an infantry corps, for certain operations, that Marshal
Bugeaud caused the number of battalions employed in Africa to be
increased to six. From that time to the present, continual progress
has been, made in the organization, discipline, and instruction of
the Chasseurs, and all the objections which at different periods were,
raised against the special composition and details of the force having
been one by one met and obviated, France now counts no less than
twenty-one battalions of them in her army.

It was for a long time thought by some, that, although the Chasseurs,
like the Zouaves, had been successful in the skirmishing engagements
of Algeria, they would not be found so useful in European warfare.
This opinion was proved to be erroneous at the siege of Rome, in 1849,
where the Chasseurs, armed with their new and terrible weapon, the
_carabine à tige_, in the management of which they had been thoroughly
drilled, rendered the most important service; and from what was seen
of them there it became evident that the existence of such a force,
so perfected in every particular, would hereafter greatly modify the
relations and conditions of the defence and attack of fortified works.
The importance of this fact will impress the reader, when he remembers
how large a part fortresses have played in warfare since 1815, and
especially when he glances at the tendency everywhere perceptible now
toward transforming military strongholds into great intrenched camps,
as revealed at Antwerp in Belgium, Fredericia in Denmark, Buda and
Comorn in Hungary, Peschiera, Mantua, Venice, Verona, and Rome in
Italy, Silistria and Sebastopol in the East, and Washington, Manassas,
and Richmond in America.

Other nations have not been slow to follow French example. Russia
is rapidly manufacturing rifled pieces for her service; England
is providing her whole army with the Minié musket, and Austria and
Prussia are applying inventions of their own to the armament of corps
organized and trained on the principle of the French Chasseurs.

The Duke of Wellington is said to have remarked, not long before his
death, while speaking of the English troops, that they had, indeed,
adopted the new musket, but that it would be physically difficult for
them to transform themselves into light infantry. The same observation
will undoubtedly apply to all the Continental nations excepting the
French; but in the United States, while we could muster the finest
heavy troops in the world, we have also the most abundant material for
just such light infantry as those described in the foregoing sketch.

The Chasseurs are not merely distinguished as perfect light infantry,
but they also form excellent troops of the line. By the weight of
their fire, they are capable of producing in battles and sieges
effects unknown before their appearance on the scene, and that is the
great point, the entirely new feature about them.

The creation of these battalions, well planned and happily executed
as it has been, remains a most important event in military history.
Consecrated by the valor and the intelligence of the officers and
soldiers of France, it has been the signal and the source of new
and rapid reforms. One of these battalions attached to each infantry
division adds fresh force to that fine classification which first
arose under the Republic, and, although somewhat perverted under the
Empire, still remains the basis of the French grand organization,
recalling, as it does, the immortal idea of the Roman Legion.

With the aid of its example, and the emulation inspired by the success
of the Chasseurs, the splendid system of the French infantry-service
has been completed under the present Napoleon; and we now behold the
race he rules so disciplined for war, the respective qualities of the
North and the South of France, the firmness and solidity of the former
and the enthusiasm and ardor of the latter, so beautifully blended,
that we may well exclaim, "Here, indeed, is a whole nation armed! _in
pedite robur_!"

In conclusion, the writer and compiler of this sketch would not be
venturing too far, perhaps, were he to remark that so excellent an
example can be nowhere better followed than in this country, if, as
would to-day appear a certainty, we are to turn aside from the ways of
peace to study the art of war. We have here precisely the material
for whole armies of light infantry, the most favorable conditions
for their equipment and instruction, and, owing to the nature of the
region we inhabit, its dense woodlands, its wide savannas, its broad
rivers, and its numerous ranges of rough mountains, the very land
in which the tactics and marksmanship of the Chasseurs would be most



[It is with feelings of the liveliest pain that we inform our readers
of the death of the Reverend Homer Wilbur, A.M., which took place
suddenly, by an apoplectic stroke, on the afternoon of Christmas day,
1862. Our venerable friend (for so we may venture to call him, though
we never enjoyed the high privilege of his personal acquaintance)
was in his eighty-fourth year, having been born June 12, 1779, at
Pigsgusset Precinct (now West Jerusha) in the then District of Maine.
Graduated with distinction at Hubville College in 1805, he pursued his
theological studies with the late Reverend Preserved Thacker, D.D.,
and was called to the charge of the First Society in Jaalam in 1809,
where he remained till his death.

"As an antiquary he has probably left no superior, if, indeed,
an equal," writes his friend and colleague, the Reverend Jeduthun
Hitchcock, to whom we are indebted for the above facts; "in proof
of which I need only allude to his 'History of Jaalam, Genealogical,
Topographical, and Ecclesiastical,' 1849, which has won him an eminent
and enduring place in our more solid and useful literature. It is only
to be regretted that his intense application to historical studies
should have so entirely withdrawn him from the pursuit of poetical
composition, for which he was endowed by Nature with a remarkable
aptitude. His well-known hymn, beginning, 'With clouds of care
encompassed round,' has been attributed in some collections to the
late President Dwight, and it is hardly presumptuous to affirm that
the simile of the rainbow in the eighth stanza would do no discredit
to that polished pen."

We regret that we have not room at present for the whole of Mr.
Hitchcock's exceedingly valuable communication. We hope to lay more
liberal extracts from it before our readers at an early day. A summary
of its contents will give some notion of its importance and interest.
It contains: 1st, A biographical sketch of Mr. Wilbur, with notices
of his predecessors in the pastoral office, and of eminent clerical
contemporaries; 2d, An obituary of deceased, from the Punkin-Falls
"Weekly Parallel"; 3d, A list of his printed and manuscript
productions and of projected works; 4th, Personal anecdotes and
recollections, with specimens of table-talk; 5th, A tribute to his
relict, Mrs. Dorcas (Pilcox) Wilbur; 6th, A list of graduates fitted
for different colleges by Mr. Wilbur, with biographical memoranda
touching the more distinguished; 7th, Concerning learned, charitable,
and other societies, of which Mr. Wilbur was a member, and of those
with which, had his life been prolonged, he would doubtless have been
associated, with a complete catalogue of such Americans as have been
Fellows of the Royal Society; 8th, A brief summary of Mr. Wilbur's
latest conclusions concerning the Tenth Horn of the Beast in its
special application to recent events, for which the public, as Mr.
Hitchcock assures us, have been waiting with feelings of lively
anticipation; 10th, Mr. Hitchcock's own views on the same topic; and,
11th, A brief essay on the importance of local histories. It will be
apparent that the duty of preparing Mr. Wilbur's biography could not
have fallen into more sympathetic hands.

In a private letter with which the reverend gentleman has since
favored us, he expresses the opinion that Mr. Wilbur's life was
shortened by our unhappy civil war. It disturbed his studies,
dislocated all his habitual associations and trains of thought, and
unsettled the foundations of a faith, rather the result of habit than
conviction, in the capacity of man for self-government. "Such has
been the felicity of my life," he said to Mr. Hitchcock, on the very
morning of the day he died, "that, through the divine mercy, I could
always say, _Summum nec metuo diem, nec opto_. It has been my habit,
as you know, on every recurrence of this blessed anniversary, to read
Milton's 'Hymn of the Nativity' till its sublime harmonies so dilated
my soul and quickened its spiritual sense that I seemed to hear that
other song which gave assurance to the shepherds that there was
One who would lead them also in green pastures and beside the still
waters. But to-day I have been unable to think of anything but that
mournful text, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword,' and, did it
not smack of pagan presumptuousness, could almost wish I had never
lived to see this day."

Mr. Hitchcock also informs us that his friend "lies buried in the
Jaalam graveyard, under a large red-cedar which he specially admired.
A neat and substantial monument is to be erected over his remains,
with a Latin epitaph written by himself; for he was accustomed to say
pleasantly that there was at least one occasion in a scholar's life
when he might show the advantages of a classical training."

The following fragment of a letter addressed to us, and apparently
intended to accompany Mr. Biglow's contribution to the present
number, was found upon his table after his decease.--EDITORS ATLANTIC

_To the Editors of the_ ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

Jaalam, 24th Dec'r, 1862

RESPECTED SIRS,--The infirm state of my bodily health would be a
sufficient apology for not taking up the pen at this time, wholesome
as I deem it for the mind to apricate in the shelter of epistolary
confidence, were it not that a considerable, I might even say a large,
number of individuals in this parish expect from their pastor some
publick expression of sentiment at this crisis. Moreover, _Qui tacitus
ardet magis uritur_. In trying times like these, the besetting sin of
undisciplined minds is to seek refuge from inexplicable realities
in the dangerous stimulant of angry partisanship or the indolent
narcotick of vague and hopeful vaticination; _fortunamque suo temperat
arbitrio_. Both by reason of my age and my natural temperament, I am
unfitted for either. Unable to penetrate the inscrutable judgments of
God, I am more than ever thankful that my life has been prolonged till
I could in some small measure comprehend His mercy. As there is no man
who does not at some time render himself amenable to the one,--_quum
vix Justus sit securus_,--so there is none that does not feel himself
in daily need of the other.

I confess, I cannot feel, as some do, a personal consolation for the
manifest evils of this war in any remote or contingent advantages
that may spring from it. I am old and weak, I can bear little, and can
scarce hope to see better days; nor is it any adequate compensation
to know that Nature is old and strong and can bear much. Old men
philosophize over the past, but the present is only a burthen and a
weariness. The one lies before them like a placid evening landscape;
the other is full of the vexations and anxieties of housekeeping.
It may be true enough that _miscet haec illis, prohibetque Clotho
fortunam stare_, but he who said it was fain at last to call in
Atropos with her shears before her time; and I cannot help selfishly
mourning that the fortune of our Republick could not at least stand
till my days were numbered.

Tibullus would find the origin of wars in the great exaggeration of
riches, and does not stick to say that in the days of the beechen
trencher there was peace. But averse as I am by nature from all wars,
the more as they have been especially fatal to libraries, I would have
this one go on till we are reduced to wooden platters again, rather
than surrender the principle to defend which it was undertaken. Though
I believe Slavery to have been the cause of it, by so thoroughly
demoralizing Northern politicks for its own purposes as to give
opportunity and hope to treason, yet I would not have our thought and
purpose diverted from their true object,--the maintenance of the idea
of Government. We are not merely suppressing an enormous riot, but
contending for the possibility of permanent order coexisting with
democratical fickleness; and while I would not superstitiously
venerate form to the sacrifice of substance, neither would I forget
that an adherence to precedent and prescription can alone give that
continuity and coherence under a democratical constitution which are
inherent in the person of a despotick monarch and the selfishness of
an aristocratical class. _Stet pro ratione voluntas_ is as dangerous
in a majority as in a tyrant.

I cannot allow the present production of my young friend to go out
without a protest from me against a certain extremeness in his views,
more pardonable in the poet than the philosopher. While I agree with
him that the only cure for rebellion is suppression by force, yet I
must animadvert upon certain phrases where I seem to see a coincidence
with a popular fallacy on the subject of compromise. On the one hand
there are those who do not see that the vital principle of Government
and the seminal principle of Law cannot properly be made a subject of
compromise at all, and on the other those who are equally blind to the
truth that without a compromise of individual opinions, interests, and
even rights, no society would be possible. _In medio tutissimus_. For
my own part, I would gladly----

  Ef I a song or two could make,
     Like rockets druv by their own burnin',
  All leap an' light, to leave a wake
     Men's hearts an' faces skyward turnin'!--
  But, it strikes me, 't ain't jest the time
     Fer stringin' words with settisfaction:
  Wut's wanted now's the silent rhyme
     'Twixt upright Will an' downright Action.

  Words, ef you keep 'em, pay their keep,
    But gabble's the short cut to ruin;
  It's gratis, (gals half-price,) but cheap
    At no rate, ef it henders doin';
  Ther' 's nothin' wuss, 'less 't is to set
    A martyr-prem'um upon jawrin':
  Teapots git dangerous, ef you shet
    Their lids down on 'em with Fort Warren.

  'Bout long enough it's ben discussed
    Who sot the magazine afire,
  An' whether, ef Bob Wickliffe bust,
    'T would scare us more or blow us higher,
  D' ye s'pose the Gret Foreseer's plan
    Wuz settled fer him in town-meetin'?
  Or thet ther' 'd ben no Fall o' Man,
    Ef Adam'd on'y bit a sweetin'?

  Oh, Jon'than, ef you want to be
    A rugged chap agin an' hearty,
  Go fer wutever'll hurt Jeff D.,
    Nut wut'll boost up ary party.
  Here's hell broke loose, an' we lay flat
    With half the univarse a-singein',
  Till Sen'tor This an' Gov'nor Thet
    Stop squabblin' fer the garding-ingin'.

  It's war we're in, not politics;
    It's systems wrastlin' now, not parties;
  An' victory in the eend'll fix
    Where longest will an' truest heart is.
  An' wut's the Guv'ment folks about?
    Tryin' to hope ther' 's nothin' doin',
  An' look ez though they didn't doubt
    Sunthin' pertickler wuz a-brewin'.

  Ther' 's critters yit thet talk an' act
    Fer wut they call Conciliation;
  They'd hand a buff'lo-drove a tract
    When they wuz madder than all Bashan.
  Conciliate? it jest means _be kicked_,
    No metter how they phrase an' tone it;
  It means thet we're to set down licked,
    Thet we're poor shotes an' glad to own it!

  A war on tick's ez dear'z the deuce,
    But it wun't leave no lastin' traces,
  Ez't would to make a sneakin' truce
    Without no moral specie-basis:
  Ef green-backs ain't nut jest the cheese,
    I guess ther' 's evils thet's extremer,--
  Fer instance,--shinplaster idees
    Like them put out by Gov'nor Seymour.

  Last year, the Nation, at a word,
    When tremblin' Freedom cried to shield her,
  Flamed weldin' into one keen sword
    Waitin' an' longin' fer a wielder:
  A splendid flash!--an' how'd the grasp
    With sech a chance ez thet wuz tally?
  Ther' warn't no meanin' in our clasp,--
    Half this, half thet, all shilly-shally.

  More men? More Man! It's there we fail;
    Weak plans grow weaker yit by lengthenin':
  Wut use in addin' to the tail,
    When it's the head's in need o' strengthenin'?
  We wanted one thet felt all Chief
    From roots o' hair to sole o' stockin',
  Square-sot with thousan'-ton belief
    In him an' us, ef earth went rockin'!

  Ole Hick'ry wouldn't ha' stood see-saw
    'Bout doin' things till they wuz done with,--
  He'd smashed the tables o' the Law
    In time o' need to load his gun with;
  He couldn't see but jest one side,--
    Ef his, 'twuz God's, an' thet wuz plenty;
  An' so his "_Forrards_!" multiplied
    An army's fightin' weight by twenty.

  But this 'ere histin', creak, creak, creak,
    Your cappen's heart up with a derrick,
  This tryin' to coax a lightnin'-streak
    Out of a half-discouraged hay-rick,
  This hangin' on mont' arter mont'
    Fer one sharp purpose 'mongst the twitter,--
  I tell ye, it doos kind o' stunt
    The peth an' sperit of a critter.

  In six months where'll the People be,
    Ef leaders look on revolution
  Ez though it wuz a cup o' tea,--
    Jest social el'ments in solution?
  This weighin' things doos wal enough
    When war cools down, an' comes to writin';
  But while it's makin', the true stuff
    Is pison-mad, pig-headed fightin'.

  Democ'acy gives every man
    A right to be his own oppressor;
  But a loose Gov'ment ain't the plan,
    Helpless ez spilled beans on a dresser:
  I tell ye one thing we might larn
    From them smart critters, the Seceders,--
  Ef bein' right's the fust consarn,
    The 'fore-the-fust 's cast-iron leaders.

  But 'pears to me I see some signs
    Thet we're a-goin' to use our senses:
  Jeff druv us into these hard lines,
    An' ough' to bear his half th' expenses;
  Slavery's Secession's heart an' will,
    South, North, East, West, where'er you find it,
  An' ef it drors into War's mill,
    D' ye say them thunder-stones sha'n't grind it?

  D' ye s'pose, ef Jeff giv _him_ a lick,
    Ole Hick'ry'd tried his head to sof'n
  So 's 't wouldn't hurt thet ebony stick
    Thet's made our side see stars so of'n?
  "No!" he'd ha' thundered, "on your knees,
    An' own one flag, one road to glory!
  Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
    Shows sof'ness in the upper story!"

  An' why should we kick up a muss
    About the Pres'dunt's proclamation?
  It ain't a-goin' to lib'rate us,
    Ef we don't like emancipation:
  The right to be a cussed fool
    Is safe from all devices human,
  It's common (ez a gin'l rule)
    To every critter born o' woman.

  So _we_'re all right, an' I, fer one,
    Don't think our cause'll lose in vally
  By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun,
    An' gittin' Natur' fer an ally:
  Thank God, say I, fer even a plan
    To lift one human bein's level,
  Give one more chance to make a man,
    Or, anyhow, to spile a devil!

  Not thet I'm one thet much expec'
    Millennium by express to-morrer;
  They _will_ miscarry,--I rec'lec'
    Tu many on 'em, to my sorrer:
  Men ain't made angels in a day,
    No matter how you mould an' labor 'em,--
  Nor 'riginal ones, I guess, don't stay
    With Abe so of'n ez with Abraham,

  The'ry thinks Fact a pooty thing,
    An' wants the banns read right ensuin';
  But Fact wun't noways wear the ring
    'Thout years o' settin' up an' wooin':
  But, arter all, Time's dial-plate
    Marks cent'ries with the minute-finger,
  An' Good can't never come tu late,
    Though it doos seem to try an' linger.

  An' come wut will, I think it's grand
    Abe's gut his will et last bloom-furnaced
  In trial-flames till it'11 stand
    The strain o' bein' in deadly earnest:
  Thet's wut we want,--we want to know
    The folks on our side hez the bravery
  To b'lieve ez hard, come weal, come woe,
    In Freedom ez Jeff doos in Slavery.

  Set the two forces foot to foot,
    An' every man knows who'll be winner,
  Whose faith in God hez ary root
    Thet goes down deeper than his dinner:
  _Then_ 'twill be felt from pole to pole,
    Without no need o' proclamation,
  Earth's Biggest Country's gut her soul
    An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation!


_Slavery and Secession in America, Historical and Economical; together
with a Practical Scheme of Emancipation_. By THOMAS ELLISON, F.S.S.,
etc. Second Edition: Enlarged. With a Reply to the Fundamental
Arguments of Mr. James Spence, contained in his Work on the American
Union, and Remarks on the Productions of Other Writers. With Map and
Appendices. London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co.

We have too long delayed to speak of Mr. Ellison's book. More than a
year ago, before Mr. Stuart Mill or Professor Cairnes had written
in our behalf, before we had received a word of sympathy from any
representative Englishman, save Mr. John Bright, the first edition of
this work was placed before the British public. And we could not
have asked for a better informed or more judicious defender than Mr.
Ellison. "Slavery and Secession in America" is a temperate and concise
statement of the essential features of our national struggle. The
supposed interest of half a million of slaveholders in the extension
of the Southern institution is truly represented as the cause of their
guilty insurrection against the liberties of their countrymen.
Mr. Ellison does not desire immediate emancipation, and wastes no
sentiment upon the sufferings of the negro. But the economical and
social position of Slavery is given with the unanswerable emphasis of
careful figures. He traces the rise and increase of the institution
in the States, until its disgrace culminates in a bloody rebellion.
He clearly shows, that, by acknowledging the doctrine involved in
Secession, by allowing it to govern the intercourse between
nations, the morality of society would be shaken from its base. The
anti-slavery character of the strife in which we are involved is
made to appear,--slavery-diffusion being the object of the South,
slavery-restriction the aim of the North. It is shown that the
Secession ordinances utterly failed to point out a single instance
in which the rights of the Southern people were infringed upon by
the National Executive; also, that the alleged right of Secession is
neither Constitutional, nor, when backed by no tangible grievance,
can it he called revolutionary. In short, Mr. Ellison takes the only
ground which seems possible to loyalists in America: namely, that
Secession--in other words, the treason of slaveholders against the
Constitution of their country--is of necessity punishable by law; and
that good men of all nationalities should unite in the moral support
of a benignant government thus wantonly assailed.

The "practical scheme of emancipation" promised us in the title can
hardly be said to amount to a scheme at all; but there are suggestions
worth attending to, if that delicate matter might be managed as we
would, not as we must.

We have marked but two passages for a questioning comment. General
Taylor, by an inadvertency strange to pass to a second edition, is
represented as putting down the South-Carolina Nullifiers in 1838.
Also, Dr. Charles Mackay, the New-York Correspondent of the London
"Times," is quoted as having once borne anti-slavery testimony. This
is certainly hard. Whatever emoluments slave-masters or their allies
may hereafter have it in their power to bestow this gentleman has
fairly earned. If he ever did say anything that was disagreeable to
them, it should not be remembered against him.

The merit of Mr. Ellison's book is neither in rhetoric, philanthropic
sentiment, nor any exalted theory of political philosophy; it is in an
unanswerable appeal to statistics, and a condensed statement of facts.
The work may be commended to all desirous of arriving at the truth.

But no conventional phrases of a book-notice can express our
obligations to Mr. Ellison and those few of his countrymen who have
publicly rebuked the noisy bitterness of writers striving, with too
much success, to debauch the sentiment of England. Most dear to us is
an occasional lull in that storm of insolence and mendacity designed
to embarrass the Government of the United States in the august and
solemn championship of human liberty committed to its charge. And let
it be remarked that our expectations of English approval were never
Utopian. The great principle involved in the American contest was so
far above the level of the ordinary pursuits of men, that, even
among ourselves, few have been able to transfuse it into their daily
consciousness. We never looked to England for the encouragement of a
popular enthusiasm,--hardly, perhaps, for a cold acquiescence. John
Bull, we said, is proverbially a grumbler, proverbially indifferent to
all affairs but his own; he will be annoyed by tariffs, and plagued
by scarcity of cotton;--what wonder, if we are a little misunderstood?
The minor contributors to his daily press will not be able to think
long or wisely of what they write; we must be ready to pardon a
certain amount of irritation and misstatement. That such was the
feeling of intelligent Americans towards England, at the beginning of
our troubles, we have no doubt. But for the scurrility heaped upon
us by what claims to be the higher British press we were totally
unprepared,--and for this good reason, that such malignity of
criticism as is possible in America could never have suggested it. Let
us not be misunderstood. We acknowledge the "Rowdy Journal" and Mr.
Jefferson Brick. Undoubtedly, newspapers exist among us of which the
description of Mr. Dickens is no very extravagant caricature. But
their editors, if not of notoriously infamous life, are those whose
minds are unenlarged by any generous education,--men whose lack of
grammar suggests a certain palliation of their want of veracity and
good-breeding. Such journals are seldom or never seen by the
large class of cultivated American readers, and are in no sense
representative of them. The "Saturday Review" and "Blackwood's
Magazine" are said to be conducted by men of University training.
Their articles are written in clear and precise English, and often
contain vigorous thought. They publish few papers which do not give
evidence of at least tolerable scholarship in their writers. Of
kindred periodicals on this side of the ocean it may be safely said,
that the intelligence of the reader forces their criticism up to
some decent standard of honest painstaking. We may thus explain the
bewilderment which came over us at that burst of vulgar ribaldry
from the leading British press, in which the organs above named have
achieved a scandalous preeminence. Vibrating from the extreme of
shallowness to the extreme of sufficiency, scorning to be limited in
abuse by adhering to any single hypothesis, the current literature
of England has gloated over the rebellion of Slavery with the cynical
chuckles of a sour spinster. Would that language less strong could
express our meaning! President Lincoln--whatever may be judged his
deficiency in resources of statesmanship--will be embalmed by history
as one possessing many qualities peculiarly adapted to our perilous
crisis, together with an integrity of life and purpose honorably
representing the yeomanry of the Republic. This man, the ruler of a
friendly people, British journalists have proclaimed guilty of crimes
to which the records of the darkest despotisms can scarcely furnish a
parallel. The precious blood of Ellsworth was taken by the "Saturday
Review" as the text of such disgraceful banter as we trust few
bar-keepers in America would bestow upon a bully killed in a
pot-house fray. General Butler, for a verbal infelicity in an order
of imperative necessity and wholesome effect, has been befouled by
language which no careful historian would apply to Tiberius or Louis
XV. But enough of this. We should be glad to believe that these
utterers of false witness were boorish men, in dark and desperate
ignorance of the true bearing of our current affairs. We are unable so
to believe.

It is a relief to turn to that small company of Englishmen who
have extended brother-hands to us in the day of our necessity. No
world-homage of literary admiration is worth the personal emotion with
which they are recognized in America as representatives of that
_Old_ England which has place in the affection and gratitude of every
cultivated man among us. They have done us justice, when contempt for
justice alone was popular, and a cynical skepticism seemed the only
retreat from blatant abuse. Cairnes, Mill, Ellison, and others whom we
need not name,--for the sake of such men let us still think of England
in generous temper. Their sympathies have been with us through this
terrible arbitrament of arms; they were with us in that solemn close
of the old year, when the destiny of our dumb four millions weighed
upon the night. These men have told us that the principle for which we
contend is sound and worthy: they may also tell us that we have made
occasional mistakes in reducing the principle to practice; and of this
we are painfully conscious. It is well for us to forego that reckless
bravado of unexampled prosperity once so offensive to foreign ears.
Yet the best thing we ever had to boast of has been with us in the
storm. According to the admirable observation of Niebuhr,--"Liberty
exists where public opinion can constrain Government to fulfil its
duties, and where, on the other side, in times of popular infatuation,
the Government can maintain a wise course in spite of public opinion."
This liberty has been preserved to us through all the turbulence of
war. Like some divine element, it has mingled in the convulsion of
human passion, and already prophesies the day when the service of man
to man, as of man to God, shall be rendered in perfect freedom.

_A Treatise on Military Law and the Practice of Courts-Martial_. By
CAPTAIN S.V. BENÉT, Ordnance Department, U.S. Army, late Assistant
Professor of Ethics, Law, etc., Military Academy, West Point. Mew
York: D. Van Nostrand.

In these days of large armies and intense military enthusiasm, the
very title of a military book commends it, _primâ facie_, to public
interest; and when it promises to elucidate and systematize the
intricate subject of military law, it has great specific importance
in the eyes of the tens of thousands of officers who are constantly
called upon to administer that law, and to whom the duties of
courts-martial are new and difficult. But, to understand still more
clearly the great value of such a work, supposing it to be well
written, we must go back in the history of military courts, and see
how little had been done to render them systematic and uniform,--what
a comparatively unoccupied field the author had to reap in,--what
needs there were to supply; and then we shall be better able to
criticize his work, and to judge of its practical value.

For a very long period we followed, in our army, the practice of the
English courts-martial, as we adopted the English Common Law in our
civic courts.

The military code to be applied and administered by courts-martial is
contained in the Act of Congress of the 10th of April, 1806, commonly
called "The Rules and Articles of War," and in a few other acts and
parts of acts, supplementary to these, which have been enacted from
time to time, as circumstances seemed to require.

In the year 1839, Major-General Macomb, commander-in-chief of the
army, prepared a little treatise on "The Practice of Courts-Martial,"
which, in lieu of something better, was generally used; and the modes
of proceeding and forms of orders and records there given established
uniformity in the actions and duties of such courts throughout the

Five or six years later, Captain John P. O'Brien, of the Fourth
Artillery, issued "A Treatise on American Military Law and Practice of
Courts-Martial." This work evinced a great deal of legal research, and
a thorough knowledge of the practical applications of military law;
but it is voluminous, wanting in arrangement, and, while valuable as
a storehouse from which to draw materials, not suited for ready
reference, or for the study of beginners. It is now, we believe, out
of print; and, as its accomplished author is not living, it can hardly
be adapted to the wants of the army at the present day.

In the year 1846, Captain William C. De Hart, of the Second Artillery,
published his excellent work, entitled, "Observations on Military Law,
and the Constitution and Practice of Courts-Martial." In his Preface
he says,--"Since the legal establishment of the army and navy of
the United States, there has been no work produced, written for the
express purpose,... and intended as a guide for the administration
of military justice." And, in a note, he adds, "The small treatise on
courts-martial by the late Major-General Macomb is no exception to
the remark." He makes, if we remember rightly, no reference to Captain
O'Brien's work, which appeared but a short time before his own.

The work of Captain De Hart, so far in advance of what had yet
appeared on this subject, written, too, by an expert, who had been
long employed under the orders of the War Department as the acting
judge-advocate of the army, (the office of judge-advocate not being
created till a later day,) was regarded as the chief authority in the
army. But it was never designed, nor can it be easily adapted,
for instruction. It is a philosophical discussion of the subject,
containing many historical citations and illustrations, which show
the reader his authorities without fortifying his positions. For a
text-book, therefore, it lacks arrangement, and is too discursive.

Up to this time, the subject of military law was not studied at the
Military Academy; but in the year 1856, when the course of studies in
that institution was lengthened, so as to consume five years instead
of four, this branch was added to the curriculum, and has since been
retained,--its importance being made every day more manifest. Then a
treatise was wanted, which, while it could be used as authority in our
vast army, should be also suited as a text-book for the cadets, from
which they could recite in the section-room, and which should be their
_vade-mecum_ for future reference,--originally learned, and always

This was Captain Benét's self-appointed task, and he has performed it
admirably. He has examined all the authorities, French and English,
and his book bears the evidences of this original investigation. For
purposes of study, his system is clear, his arrangement logical, and
his divisions numerous and just. All the directions as to _trials_ are
very practically set forth, so that any sensible volunteer officer,
appointed upon a court unexpectedly, could very soon, by the aid of
these pages, make himself "master of the position." And as there is
much concurrent, and sometimes apparently conflicting, jurisdiction of
military and civic courts, this volume ought to be on every lawyer's
table as the special expounder of military law, wherever it may
approach the action of the civil code.

Having said thus much of the general plan, scope, and merits of the
work, let us cast a brief glance at the nature of its contents. It is
called a treatise on _Military Law_. What is military law? It is that
law which governs the army, and all individuals connected with it. In
other words, it has respect to military organization and discipline.
It must not be confounded with _Martial Law_, which is the suspension
of civic law, and the substitution of military law over citizens, not
soldiers, in extraordinary circumstances.

Military law, which cannot wait for the slow processes of civic
courts, is immediate and condign in its action, and is administered
by courts-martial, to which are confided the powers of judge and jury.
These courts examine into the cases, find verdicts, and pronounce
sentences,--all, however, subject to the revision and sanction of the
supreme authority which convened them.

Courts--martial are divided into two classes: _General Courts_, for
the trial of officers, and of the higher grades of offences; and
_Regimental_ or _Garrison Courts_, for the consideration of less
important cases in a regiment or garrison. General courts vary in the
number of members: they must be composed of not less than _five_, and
of never more than _thirteen_. Regimental or garrison courts are
never composed of more than three members. For general courts, only, a
judge-advocate is appointed to conduct the prosecution for the United

The offences against military law are determined by the "Rules and
Articles of War," in which the principal offences are distinctly set
forth and forbidden; and, that unanticipated misconduct may not be
without cognizance and punishment, the _ninety-ninth_ article includes
all such cases under the charge of "conduct to the prejudice of good
order and military discipline," which is of universal scope.

The punishments are also set forth in the Articles of War. Those
prescribed for officers include death,--cashiering,[A]--cashiering,
with a clause disabling the officer from ever holding any office
under the United States,--dismissal,--suspension from rank and
pay,--reprimand. For soldiers the principal punishments are
death,--confinement,--confinement on bread-and-water diet,--solitary
confinement,--forfeiture of pay and allowances,--discharges.

[Footnote A: Cashiering implies something infamous in the British
service; and although it has been attempted to make no distinction
between cashiering and dismissing in our service, something of the
opprobrium still attaches to the former punishment.]

The conduct of the trial, the duties of all persons concerned,
members, judge-advocate, prisoner, witnesses, counsel, etc., are
given in detail, and will be very easily learned. Forms of orders for
convening courts-martial, modes of recording the proceedings, the form
of a general order confirming or disapproving the proceedings, the
form of the judge-advocate's certificate, and the forms of charges
and specifications under different articles of war, are given in
the Appendix, and are used _verbatim_ by all judge-advocates and
recorders. There are also explanations of the duties of courts of
inquiry, and of boards for retiring disabled officers; and extracts
from the Acts of Congress bearing upon military law. The Articles of
War are also given for reference. The book is thus rendered complete
as a manual for the conduct of courts-martial, from the original order
to the execution of the sentence.

From what has been said, it will be gathered that the work was needed,
that it admirably supplies the need, and that it may be recommended,
without qualification, as providing all the information which it
purports to provide, and which could be demanded of it, in a lucid,
systematic, and simple manner. It is an octavo volume, containing
377 pages, clearly printed in large type, and on excellent paper;
the binding is serviceable, being in strong buff leather, like other

_Lectures on Moral Science_. Delivered before the Lowell Institute,
Boston. By MARK HOPKINS, D.D., LL.D. Boston: Gould and Lincoln. 12mo.

It is a little curious that there is not a single science in which
man is constitutionally, and therefore directly interested, to which
Emanuel Kant has not, in one way or another, written a _Prolegomena_.
Professionally he did so in the case of Metaphysic: and out of the
great original claim which he here established there emanates a
separate claim, in each particular science of the order already
indicated, to a sublime dictatorship. And chiefly is this claim valid
in Moral Philosophy; for it was his province, the first of all men,
clearly to reveal, as a scientific fact certified by demonstration,
the divine eminence of the practical above the merely speculative
powers of man,--the fulfilment of which mission justly entitled him
to all the privileges incident to the vantage-ground thus
gained,--privileges widely significant in a survey of that field where
chiefly these practical powers hold their Olympian supremacy, the
field of Moral Philosophy.

Nothing could have afforded us a better excuse for a _résumé_ of Kant,
in this connection, than the new work of Dr. Hopkins. Of the many
treatises on Moral Science with which the reading world has been
flooded and bewildered since the time of Coleridge, there is this one
alone found worthy of being ranged along-side of the works of the
old Königsberg seer,--the one alone which, like his, deals with
the grander features of the science. It is the best realization
objectively of Kant's subjective principles that has yet been given.
But how, the plain English reader will ask, are we to understand from
this the place which the new work takes in literature? Not readily,
indeed, unless one has already taken the trouble to examine such of
Kant's treatises as have found their way out of German into hardly
tolerable English, and has, moreover, reflected upon the importance of
the principles therein established. But, of those who will read
this notice, not one out of fifty has had even the opportunity
for examination, not one out of five thousand has really taken the
opportunity, and, of those that have, one half, at least, have done so
independently of any philosophic aim, and have therefore reflected to
very little purpose on the principles involved. Therefore, what the
reader could not or has not chosen to do for himself we will do for
him, at the same time congratulating him that there is now placed in
his hands as complete and perfect a structure outwardly, in the work
under notice, as the groundwork furnished by the old master was, in
its subjective analysis, simple and profound.

Those who approach human nature, or the nature outside of us, with
a reverence for reality, will give precedence, after the manner of
Nature, to those powers which are predominant and determinative; and
in man these are Reason and Will. These two exist as identical in
Personality, which we may denominate as we choose, whether Rational
Will, or, as Kant does more frequently, Practical Reason. Here, in the
identity of these two powers in Personality, and still more in
their relation to each other as they are differentiated in personal
existence, does Morality originate and develop according to

Now let it be remembered that Kant's mission was, as above indicated,
to exclude the speculative side of our nature from any direct relation
to human destiny, inasmuch as it could not answer either of the
three great questions which every man everywhere and of necessity
puts,--Whence am I? What am I? and Whither do I tend?--and therefore
stood confused in the presence of any grand reality, whether human or
divine, and to make the Practical Reason the sole and immediate link
of connection between ourselves and the realities from the presence of
which the Speculative Reason had been driven. Then will it be
clearly seen how he would answer the fundamental question of Moral
Philosophy,--Wherein does the quality of Goodness originally reside?

The answer, from Kant's own lips, is this: "There is nothing in
the world, nor, generally speaking, even out of it, possible to be
conceived, which can without limitation be held good, but a _Good
Will_." The good is not in the end attained, not even in the volition,
but is a principle resident in the will itself. "The volition is
between its principle _a priori_, which is formal, and its spring _a
posteriori_, which is material; and since it must be determined by
something, and being deprived of every material principle, it must be
determined by the formal."

Now, although President Hopkins considers Moral Philosophy as a
philosophy of _ends_, he evidently does not mean ends _a posteriori_
and _material_, but ends _a priori_, using the term as the best
objective translation of _principles_. Almost as if with the conscious
design of making his work harmonize with the groundwork furnished by
Kant, he has developed a graduated series of conditions, according
to which we ascend "the great world's altar-stairs," from lower and
conditioned good up to that good which is the condition of all, itself
unlimited, namely, in the will fulfilling its original design. The
"law of limitation," according to which not only the subordinate
powers of man, but even the forces of Nature, from those concerned in
the highest animal organization down to that of gravitation, are made
to take their places in the chain of dependence which hangs from the
human will, is the most important part, scientifically, of the whole
work. It is in accordance with this law that the science of Morals
becomes a structure,--universal in its base and regularly ascending
after the order of Nature, harmonious in all its parts, and proceeding
upward within hearing of universal harmonies. Hitherto there has been
no such structure; but only tabernacles have been built, because there
was no Solomon to build a temple.

Once having determined the connection which there is between the Will
and the principle of Good, there still remains to be determined the
place which Reason has in this connection.

Merely to act according to some teleological or determining principle
gives man no preëminence above Nature, except in degree. That which is
peculiar to man is that he has the faculty of acting according to laws
_as represented and reflected upon in the light of thought_,--to which
reason is absolutely indispensable. Reason is therefore necessary to
choice,--to freedom. There can, therefore, no more be goodness without
reason than there can be without will. Yet there might be, as Kant
justly argues, if good were to be in any case identified with mere
happiness. "For," says he, "all the actions which man has to perform
with a view to happiness, and the whole rule of his conduct, would be
much more exactly presented to him by instinct, and that end had been
much more certainly attained than it ever can be by reason; and should
the latter also be bestowed on the favored creature, it must be of use
only in contemplating the happy predisposition lodged in instinct,
to admire this, to rejoice in it, and be grateful for it to the
beneficent Cause; in short, Nature would have prevented reason from
any practical use in subduing appetite, etc., and from excogitating
for itself a project of happiness; she would have taken upon herself
not only the choice of ends, but the means, and had with wise care
intrusted both to instinct merely." The fact, then, that reason has
been given, and has been endowed with a practical use, is sufficient
to prove that some more worthy end than felicity is designed,--namely,
a will good in itself,--rationally good,--that is, _from choice_.

Out of the _rationality_ of will is developed its _morality_. Here,
only, is found the possibility of failure in respect of the end
constitutionally indicated,--here only the avenues of temptation, by
which alien elements come in to array the man against himself in
a terrible conflict, so sublime that it is a spectacle to heavenly
powers. It is only as this rationality is clearly developed, and is
allotted its just place in Moral Science, that the universal structure
to which we have already alluded, and which, as we saw, culminated
in the will, assumes its peculiar sublimity. For the _voluntariness_
which is consciously realized in reason gives man the mastery over
constitutional processes, not merely to direct, but even to thwart
them; nor this merely for himself, but it is in his power, through
the nullification of his own constitution, to nullify also that of the
world, to dally with the institutions of Nature, and on the grandest
scale to play the meddler.

Merely of itself, apart from reason, the will could only work out its
teleological type in darkness and by blind necessity; there could be
no goodness, for this involves conscious elements. But through reason,
that which of itself the will would yield as unconscious impulse
obtains _representation_, and thus becomes a recognized principle,
which in connection with the feelings involves an element of

Conscience, thus, instead of being a separate and independent faculty,
is, as Dr. Hopkins also places it, a function of the moral reason.
Into the courts of this reason come not only the higher indications of
will, but also the impulses of appetite, instinct, and affection,--not
moral in themselves, indeed, but yet assuming the garments of morality
as seen in this high presence.

That which was made fundamental by Kant, in all that he has left on
the subject of Moral Philosophy, is the position that it is wholly
to be developed out of practical reason, or will as represented in
reason. The same position is fundamental in President Hopkins's work,
and it is here that its philosophic value chiefly rests. This position
is developed in plain English, with strict scientific truth, and yet
with a warm and sympathetic glow, as regards outward embodiment,
that very much heightens the elevating power of the principles
and conclusions evolved. Nor is man, because of his independent
personality, made to stand alone, but always is he seen in the
higher and All-Comprehending Presence. Ideal truth is reached without
necessitating Idealism, and harmony is attained without Pantheism.

We have purposely confined ourselves to the most general feature of
the work, because it is this which gives it its great and distinctive
importance; yet the whole structure is as elaborately and beautifully
wrought as it is fitly grounded in the truth of Nature.

_The National Almanac and Annual Record for 1863_. Philadelphia:
George W. Childs. 12mo. pp. 600.

Volumes like this are the very staff of history. What a stride in
literature from the "Prognostications" of Nostradamus and Partridge,
and the imposture of such prophetic chap-books as the almanacs of
Moore and Poor Robin, to the bulky volumes teeming with all manner of
information, such as the "Almanach Impérial," the "New Edinburgh," or
"Thorn's Irish Almanac"! In the list of superior works ranking with
those just named is to be included the new "National Almanac." We have
here assuredly a vast improvement over anything in this way which
has heretofore been attempted among us. A more comprehensive range of
topics is presented, and such standard subjects as we should naturally
expect to find introduced are worked up with much more copiousness and
accuracy of treatment. It is evident on every page that a thoroughly
active and painstaking industry has presided over the preparation of
the volume. Statistics have not been taken at second-hand, where the
primary sources of knowledge could be rendered available. The details
of the great Departments of the Federal Government have been revised
by the Departments themselves. In like manner, the particulars
concerning the several States have in most cases been corrected by a
State officer. Thus, as respects the leading subjects in the book, we
have here not only the most accurate information before the public,
but we have it in the latest authorized or official form. Facts are
as a general rule brought down to date, instead of being six or
twelve months behind-hand, as has been the case heretofore in similar
publications, the compilers of which were content to await the tardy
printing by Congress of documents and reports. Hence the work is
pervaded by an air of freshness and vitality. It is not merely
a receptacle of outgrown facts and accomplished events, but the
companion and interpreter of the scenes and activities of the stirring
present. It strives to seize and embody the whole being and doing of
the passing time.

It is quite impossible to exhibit in these few lines any adequate
conception of the diversity and fulness of the subjects. All the
valuable results of the last census are classified and incorporated.
Then we have the entire organization of the military, naval, and
civil service,--the tariff and tax laws conveniently arranged,--the
financial, industrial, commercial, agricultural, literary,
educational, and ecclesiastical elements of our condition,--the
legislation of the last three sessions of Congress, and full and
detailed statistics of the individual States,--to which is added a
minute sketch of the foreign Governments. Nor can we overlook the
fact, that, in the abundant matter relating to our present war,
the narrative of events, obituary notices, etc., reach back to
the commencement of the Rebellion, so as to furnish a complete and
unbroken record of the contest from its outbreak. So much for the
diversified nature of the matter; and an idea may be formed of its
aggregate bulk from the fact that it exceeds, by nearly one-third, the
size of the "American Almanac."

The publication is, we trust, the dawning of a new era in this
department of our literature. We have done well heretofore, but we
have been behind many of the leading foreign works. There are in this
initial volume indications that the new series which it inaugurates
will be conducted with a thoroughness, enterprise, and skill which
cannot fail to supply a great want. The politician, statesman,
and scholar, the merchant, mechanic, and tradesman, every
newspaper-reader, and, in truth, every observant and thoughtful man,
of whatsoever profession or business, always wants at hand a minute
and trustworthy exhibition of the manifold elements which constitute
the changeful present as it ebbs and flows around him. Such hand-books
are indispensable for present reference, and they constitute an
invaluable storehouse for the future.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, No. 64, February, 1863" ***

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