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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 69, July, 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 12, No. 69, July, 1863" ***

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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

       *       *       *       *       *

VOLUME XII.

M DCCC LXIII.

       *       *       *       *       *


    [Transcriber's note: Converted page numbers to issue numbers.]


CONTENTS.                                                  ISSUE.

American, An,
  in the House of Lords        _Francis Wayland, Jr._      70.

Brothers, The                  _Louisa M. Alcott_          73.
Burke, Edmund,
  Interesting Manuscripts of   _Charles Sumner_            71.

Carlyle, Thomas, A Letter to   _D.A. Wasson_               72.
Civic Banquets                 _Nathaniel Hawthorne_       70.
Claims, The,
  to Service or Labor          _Robert Dale Owen_          69.
Continents, The Growth of      _Prof. Louis Agassiz_       69.
Cuba, The Conquest of          _C.C. Hazewell_             72.

Deacon's Holocaust, The        _J.P. Quincy_               72.
Debby's Début                  _Louisa M. Alcott_          70.
Délacroix, Eugene              _W.J. Stillman_             74.
De Quincy, Thomas              _Henry M. Alden_            71.
Doings of the Sunbeam          _O.W. Holmes_               69.

English Naval Power and
  English Colonies             _C. Reynolds_               69.

Fleur-de-Lis, The,
  at Port Royal                _F. Parkman_                69.
Fleur-de-Lis, The, in Florida  _F. Parkman_                70.
Freedmen, The, at Port Royal   _Edward L. Pierce_          71.
French Struggle for Naval and
  Colonial Power, The          _G. Reynolds_               73.

Gala-Days                      _Gail Hamilton_             69.
Geological Middle Age, The     _Prof. Louis Agassiz_       70.
Glacier, Internal Structure
  and Progression of the       _Prof. Louis Agassiz_       74.
Glaciers, The Formation of     _Prof. Louis Agassiz_       73.
Great Air-Engine, The          _Author of "Margret Howth"_ 74.
Great Instrument, The          _O.W. Holmes_               73.

Harvard's Heroes               _Walter Mitchell_           71.

Lamb's, Charles,
  Uncollected Writings         _J.E. Babson_               72.
Legend, The,
  of Monte del Diablo          _F.B. Harte_                72.
Letter to a Peace Democrat     _Francis Wayland, Jr_       74.
Life without Principle         _H.D. Thoreau_              72.
Literary Life in Paris                                     74.
Longfellow                     _George W. Curtis_          74.

Man without a Country, The     _Edward E. Hale_            74.
Mather Safe, The               _J.P. Quincy_               71.
Monograph from
  an Old Note-Book             _Charles Sumner_            73.
Mr. Martin's Disappointments                               71.
Mrs. Lewis                     _Mrs. C.A. Hopkinson_       71, 72, 73.
Musician, The                  _Miss L. Hale_              69.

Night and Moonlight            _H.D. Thoreau_              73.

Our Domestic Relations         _Charles Sumner_            72.
Our General                                                69.
Outside Glimpses of
  English Poverty              _Nathaniel Hawthorne_       69.

Paul Blecker                   _Author of "Margret Howth"_ 69.
Political Problems and
  Conditions of Peace          _Woodbury Davis_            70.
Puritan Minister, The          _T.W. Higginson_            71.

Sam Adams Regiments, The,
  in the Town of Boston        _Richard Frothingham_       73.
Schumann, Robert and Clara     _M.D. Conway_               71.
Side-Glances at
  Harvard Class-Day            _Gail Hamilton_             70.
Something about Bridges        _H.T. Tuckerman_            74.
Spaniard, The,
  and the Heretic              _F. Parkman_                73.
Sympathetic Lying                                          74.

Tertiary Age, The, and
  its Characteristic Animals   _Prof. Louis Agassiz_       71.

United States Armory, The      _G.B. Prescott_             72.

Wet-Weather Work               _Donald G. Mitchell_        70, 73.
Who is Roebuck?                _W.J. Austin_               71.
Winthrop's, Theodore, Writings _Charles Nordhoff_          70.


POETRY.

Andante                        _A. West_                   73.

Barbara Frietchie              _John G. Whittier_          72.
Birds of Killingworth, The     _H.W. Longfellow_           74.
By the River                   _J.T. Trowbridge_           69.

Equinoctial                    _Mrs. A.D.T. Whitney_       72.

Her Epitaph                    _T.W. Parsons_              69.
Hilary                         _Lucy Larcom_               70.

In an Attic                    _Mrs. Paul Akers_           74.

King's Wine, The               _T.B. Aldrich_              73.

Love's Challenge               _T.W. Parsons_              70.
Loyal Woman's No, A                                        74.
Lyrics of the Street           _Mrs. Julia Ward Howe_      71.

My Palace                      _A. West_                   72.

New Sangreal, The              _Rose Terry_                71.
No and Yes                     _Theodore Tilton_           71.

Pewee, The                     _J.T. Trowbridge_           72.

Seaward                        _Mrs. A.D.T. Whitney_       70.
Something Left Undone          _H.W. Longfellow_           73.

Thoreau's Flute                _Louisa M. Alcott_          71.
Two Scenes from
  the Life of Blondel          _James Russell Lowell_      73.

Voluntaries                    _R.W. Emerson_              72.

Weariness                      _H.W. Longfellow_           73.
White-Throated Sparrow, The    _A. West_                   70.
Wraith of Odin, The            _H.W. Longfellow_           69.


REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.

Cullum's Systems of Military Bridges                       74.

Dicey's Six Months in the Federal States                   71.

Fuller's Good Thoughts in Bad Times                        74.

Hospital Transports                                        71.
Howitt's History of the Supernatural                       71.

Kemble's, Frances Anne, Journal of a Residence on
  a Georgian Plantation                                    70.
Kirk's History of Charles the Bold                         74.

Livermore's Historical Research                            70.
Long's Translation of the Thoughts of
  the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus                    72.
Lyell's Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man       69.

Mitchell's Astronomy of the Bible                          69.

Phillips's, Wendell, Speeches, Lectures, and Letters       74.

Richter's Levana                                           72.

Spurgeon's Sermons                                         69.
Substance and Shadow                                       69.

Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature                    73.

Washburn on the American Law of Easements and Servitudes   69.


RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS                               69, 70, 73, 74.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

       *       *       *       *       *

VOL. XII.--JULY, 1863.--NO. LXIX.

       *       *       *       *       *



DOINGS OF THE SUNBEAM.


Few of those who seek a photographer's establishment to have their
portraits taken know at all into what a vast branch of commerce this
business of sun-picturing has grown. We took occasion lately to visit one
of the principal establishments in the country, that of Messrs. E. & H.T.
Anthony, in Broadway, New York. We had made the acquaintance of these
gentlemen through the remarkable instantaneous stereoscopic views
published by them, and of which we spoke in a former article in terms
which some might think extravagant. Our unsolicited commendation of these
marvellous pictures insured us a more than polite reception. Every detail
of the branches of the photographic business to which they are more
especially devoted was freely shown us, and "No Admittance" over the doors
of their inmost sanctuaries came to mean for us, "Walk in; you are
heartily welcome."

We should be glad to tell our readers of all that we saw in the two
establishments of theirs which we visited, but this would take the whole
space which we must distribute among several subdivisions of a subject
that offers many points of interest. We must confine ourselves to a few
glimpses and sketches.

       *       *       *       *       *

The guests of the neighboring hotels, as they dally with their morning's
omelet, little imagine what varied uses come out of the shells which
furnished them their anticipatory repast of disappointed chickens. If they
had visited Mr. Anthony's upper rooms, they would have seen a row of young
women before certain broad, shallow pans filled with the glairy albumen
which once enveloped those potential fowls.

The one next us takes a large sheet of photographic paper, (a paper made
in Europe for this special purpose, very thin, smooth, and compact,) and
floats it evenly on the surface of the albumen. Presently she lifts it
very carefully by the turned-up corners and hangs it _bias_, as a
seamstress might say, that is, cornerwise, on a string, to dry. This
"albumenized" paper is sold most extensively to photographers, who find it
cheaper to buy than to prepare it. It keeps for a long time uninjured, and
is "sensitized" when wanted, as we shall see by-and-by.

The amount of photographic paper which is annually imported from France
and Germany has been estimated at fifteen thousand reams. Ten thousand
native partlets--

    "_Sic vos non vobis nidificatis, aves_"--

cackle over the promise of their inchoate offspring, doomed to perish
unfeathered, before fate has decided whether they shall cluck or crow, for
the sole use of the minions of the sun and the feeders of the
caravanseras.

In another portion of the same establishment are great collections of the
chemical substances used in photography. To give an idea of the scale on
which these are required, we may state that the estimate of the annual
consumption of the precious metals for photographic purposes, in this
country, is set down at ten tons for silver and half a ton for gold. Vast
quantities of the hyposulphite of soda, which, we shall see, plays an
important part in the process of preparing the negative plate and
finishing the positive print, are also demanded.

In another building, provided with steam power, which performs much of the
labor, is carried on the great work of manufacturing photographic albums,
cases for portraits, parts of cameras, and of printing pictures from
negatives. Many of these branches of work are very interesting. The
luxurious album, embossed, clasped, gilded, resplendent as a tropical
butterfly, goes through as many transformations as a "purple emperor". It
begins a pasteboard larva, is swathed and pressed and glued into the
condition of a chrysalis, and at last alights on the centre table gorgeous
in gold and velvet, the perfect _imago_. The cases for portraits are made
in lengths, and cut up, somewhat as they say ships are built in Maine, a
mile at a time, to be afterwards sawed across so as to become sloops,
schooners, or such other sized craft as may happen to be wanted.

Each single process in the manufacture of elaborate products of skill
often times seems and is very simple. The workmen in large establishments,
where labor is greatly subdivided, become wonderfully adroit in doing a
fraction of something. They always remind us of the Chinese or the old
Egyptians. A young person who mounts photographs on cards all day long
confessed to having never, or almost never, seen a negative developed,
though standing at the time within a few feet of the dark closet where the
process was going on all day long. One forlorn individual will perhaps
pass his days in the single work of cleaning the glass plates for
negatives. Almost at his elbow is a toning bath, but he would think it a
good joke, if you asked him whether a picture had lain long enough in the
solution of gold or hyposulphite.

We always take a glance at the literature which is certain to adorn the
walls in the neighborhood of each operative's bench or place for work. Our
friends in the manufactory we are speaking of were not wanting in this
respect. One of the girls had pasted on the wall before her,

    "_Kind words can never die._"

It would not have been easy to give her a harsh one after reading her
chosen maxim. "The Moment of Parting" was twice noticed. "The Haunted
Spring", "Dearest May", "The _Bony_ Boat", "Yankee Girls", "Yankee Ship
and Yankee Crew", "My Country, 'tis of thee", and--was there ever anybody
that ever broke up prose into lengths who would not look to see if there
were not a copy of some performance of his own on the wall he was
examining, if he were exploring the inner chamber of a freshly opened
pyramid?

We left the great manufacturing establishment of the Messrs. Anthony, more
than ever impressed with the vast accession of happiness which has come to
mankind through this art, which has spread itself as widely as
civilization. The photographer can procure every article needed for his
work at moderate cost and in quantities suited to his wants. His prices
have consequently come down to such a point that pauperism itself need
hardly shrink from the outlay required for a family portrait-gallery. The
"tin-types," as the small miniatures are called,--stanno-types would be
the proper name,--are furnished at the rate of _two cents_ each! A
portrait such as Isabey could not paint for a Marshal of France,--a
likeness such as Malbone could not make of a President's Lady, to be had
for two coppers,--a dozen _chefs d'oeuvre_ for a quarter of a dollar!

       *       *       *       *       *

We had been for a long time meditating a devotion of a part of what is
left of our more or less youthful energies to acquiring practical
knowledge of the photographic art. The auspicious moment came at last, and
we entered ourselves as the temporary apprentice of Mr. J.W. Black of this
city, well known as a most skilful photographer and a friendly assistant
of beginners in the art.

We consider ourselves at this present time competent to set up a
photographic ambulance or to hang out a sign in any modest country town.
We should, no doubt, over-time and under-tone, and otherwise wrong the
countenances of some of our sitters; but we should get the knack in a week
or two, and if Baron Wenzel owned to having spoiled a hat-full of eyes
before he had fairly learned how to operate for cataract, we need not
think too much of libelling a few village physiognomies before considering
ourselves fit to take the minister and his deacons. After years of
practice there is always something to learn, but every one is surprised to
find how little time is required for the acquisition of skill enough to
make a passable negative and print a tolerable picture. We could not help
learning, with the aid that was afforded us by Mr. Black and his
assistants, who were all so very courteous and pleasant, that, as a token
of gratitude, we offered to take photographs of any of them who would sit
to us for that purpose. Every stage of the process, from preparing a plate
to mounting a finished sun-print, we have taught our hands to perform, and
can therefore speak with a certain authority to those who wish to learn
the way of working with the sunbeam.

Notwithstanding the fact that the process of making a photographic picture
is detailed in a great many books,--nay, although we have given a brief
account of the principal stages of it in one of our former articles, we
are going to take the reader into the sanctuary of the art with us, and
ask him to assist, in the French sense of the word, while we make a
photograph,--say, rather, while the mysterious forces which we place in
condition to act work that miracle for us.

We are in a room lighted through a roof of ground glass, its walls covered
with blue paper to avoid reflection. A camera mounted on an adjustable
stand is before us. We will fasten this picture, which we are going to
copy, against the wall. Now we will place the camera opposite to it, and
bring it into focus so as to give a clear image on the square of ground
glass in the interior of the instrument. If the image is too large, we
push the camera back; if too small, push it up towards the picture and
focus again. The image is wrong side up, as we see; but if we take the
trouble to reverse the picture we are copying, it will appear in its
proper position in the camera. Having got an image of the right size, and
perfectly sharp, we will prepare a sensitive plate, which shall be placed
exactly where the ground glass now is, so that this same image shall be
printed on it.

For this purpose we must quit the warm precincts of the cheerful day, and
go into the narrow den where the deeds of darkness are done. Its
dimensions are of the smallest, and its aspect of the rudest. A feeble
yellow flame from a gas-light is all that illuminates it. All round us are
troughs and bottles and water-pipes, and ill-conditioned utensils of
various kinds. Everything is blackened with nitrate of silver; every form
of spot, of streak, of splash, of spatter, of stain, is to be seen upon
the floor, the walls, the shelves, the vessels. Leave all linen behind
you, ye who enter here, or at least protect it at every exposed point.
Cover your hands in gauntlets of India-rubber, if you would not utter Lady
Macbeth's soliloque over them when they come to the light of day. Defend
the nether garments with overalls, such as plain artisans are wont to
wear. Button the ancient coat over the candid shirt-front, and hold up the
retracted wristbands by elastic bands around the shirt-sleeve above the
elbow. Conscience and nitrate of silver are telltales that never forget
any tampering with them, and the broader the light the darker their
record. Now to our work.

Here is a square of crown glass three-fourths as large as a page of the
"Atlantic Monthly," if you happen to know that periodical. Let us brush it
carefully, that its surface may be free from dust. Now we take hold of it
by the upper left-hand corner and pour some of this thin syrup-like fluid
upon it, inclining the plate gently from side to side, so that it may
spread evenly over the surface, and let the superfluous fluid drain back
from the right hand upper corner into the bottle. We keep the plate
rocking from side to side, so as to prevent the fluid running in lines, as
it has a tendency to do. The neglect of this precaution is evident in some
otherwise excellent photographs; we notice it, for instance, in Frith's
Abou Simbel, No. 1, the magnificent rock-temple façade. In less than a
minute the syrupy fluid has dried, and appears like a film of transparent
varnish on the glass plate. We now place it on a flat double hook of gutta
percha and lower it gently into the nitrate-of-silver bath. As it must
remain there three or four minutes, we will pass away the time in
explaining what has been already done.

The syrupy fluid was _iodized collodion_. This is made by dissolving
gun-cotton in ether with alcohol, and adding some iodide of ammonium. When
a thin layer of this fluid is poured on the glass plate, the ether and
alcohol evaporate very speedily, and leave a closely adherent film of
organic matter derived from the cotton, and containing the iodide of
ammonium. We have plunged this into the bath, which contains chiefly
nitrate of silver, but also some iodide of silver,--knowing that a
decomposition will take place, in consequence of which the iodide of
ammonium will become changed to the iodide of silver, which will now fill
the pores of the collodion film. The iodide of silver is eminently
sensitive to light. The use of the collodion is to furnish a delicate,
homogeneous, adhesive, colorless layer in which the iodide may be
deposited. Its organic nature may favor the action of light upon the
iodide of silver.

While we have been talking and waiting, the process just described has
been going on, and we are now ready to take the glass plate out of the
nitrate-of-silver bath. It is wholly changed in aspect. The film has
become in appearance like a boiled white of egg, so that the glass
produces rather the effect of porcelain, as we look at it. Open no door
now! Let in no glimpse of day, or the charm is broken in an instant! No
Sultana was ever veiled from the light of heaven as this milky tablet we
hold must be. But we must carry it to the camera which stands waiting for
it in the blaze of high noon. To do this we first carefully place it in
this narrow case, called a _shield_, where it lies safe in utter darkness.
We now carry it to the camera, and, having removed the ground glass on
which the camera-picture had been brought to an exact focus, we drop the
shield containing the sensitive plate into the groove the glass occupied.
Then we pull out a slide, as the blanket is taken from a horse before he
starts. There is nothing now but to remove the brass cap from the lens.
That is giving the word Go! It is a tremulous moment for the beginner.

As we lift the brass cap, we begin to count seconds,--by a watch, if we
are naturally unrhythmical,--by the pulsations in our souls, if we have an
intellectual pendulum and escapement. Most persons can keep tolerably even
time with a second-hand while it is traversing its circle. The light is
pretty good at this time, and we count only as far as thirty, when we
cover the lens again with the cap. Then we replace the slide in the
shield, draw this out of the camera, and carry it back into the shadowy
realm where Cocytus flows in black nitrate of silver and Acheron stagnates
in the pool of hyposulphite, and invisible ghosts, trooping down from the
world of day, cross a Styx of dissolved sulphate of iron, and appear
before the Rhadamanthus of that lurid Hades.

Such a ghost we hold imprisoned in the shield we have just brought from
the camera. We open it and find our milky-surfaced glass plate looking
exactly as it did when we placed it in the shield. No eye, no microscope,
can detect a trace of change in the white film that is spread over it. And
yet there is a potential image in it,--a latent soul, which will presently
appear before its judge. This is the Stygian stream,--this solution of
proto-sulphate of iron, with which we will presently flood the white
surface.

We pour on the solution. There is no change at first; the fluid flows over
the whole surface as harmless and as useless as if it were water. What if
there were no picture there? Stop! what is that change of color beginning
at this edge, and spreading as a blush spreads over a girl's cheek? It is
a border, like that round the picture, and then dawns the outline of a
head, and now the eyes come out from the blank as stars from the empty
sky, and the lineaments define themselves, plainly enough, yet in a
strange aspect,--for where there was light in the picture we have shadow,
and where there was shadow we have light. But while we look it seems to
fade again, as if it would disappear. Have no fear of that; it is only
deepening its shadows. Now we place it under the running water which we
have always at hand. We hold it up before the dull-red gas-light, and then
we see that every line of the original and the artist's name are
reproduced as sharply as if the fairies had engraved them for us. The
picture is perfect of its kind, only it seems to want a little more force.
That we can easily get by the simple process called "intensifying" or
"redeveloping." We mix a solution of nitrate of silver and of pyro-gallic
acid in about equal quantities, and pour it upon the pictured film and
back again into the vessel, repeating this with the same portion of fluid
several times. Presently the fluid grows brownish, and at the same time
the whole picture gains the depth of shadow in its darker parts which we
desire. Again we place it under the running water. When it is well washed,
we plunge it into this bath of hyposulphite of soda, which removes all the
iodide of silver, leaving only the dark metal impregnating the film. After
it has remained there a few minutes, we take it out and wash it again as
before under the running stream of water. Then we dry it, and when it is
dry, pour varnish over it, dry that, and it is done. This is a
_negative_,--not a true picture, but a reversed picture, which puts
darkness for light and light for darkness. From this we can take true
pictures, or _positives_.

Let us now proceed to take one of these pictures. In a small room, lighted
by a few rays which filter through a yellow curtain, a youth has been
employed all the morning in developing the sensitive conscience of certain
sheets of paper, which came to him from the manufacturer already glazed by
having been floated upon the white of eggs and carefully dried, as
previously described. This "albumenized" paper the youth lays gently and
skilfully upon the surface of a solution of nitrate of silver. When it has
floated there a few minutes, he lifts it, lets it drain, and hangs it by
one corner to dry. This "sensitized" paper is served fresh every morning,
as it loses its delicacy by keeping.

We take a piece of this paper of the proper size, and lay it on the
varnished or pictured side of the negative, which is itself laid in a
wooden frame, like a picture-frame. Then we place a thick piece of cloth
on the paper. Then we lay a hinged wooden back on the cloth, and by means
of two brass springs press all close together,--the wooden back against
the cloth, the cloth against the paper, the paper against the negative. We
turn the frame over and see that the plain side of the glass negative is
clean. And now we step out upon the roof of the house into the bright
sunshine, and lay the frame, with the glass uppermost, in the full blaze
of light. For a very little while we can see the paper darkening through
the negative, but presently it clouds so much that its further changes
cannot be recognized. When we think it has darkened nearly enough, we turn
it over, open a part of the hinged back, turn down first a portion of the
thick cloth, and then enough of the paper to see something of the forming
picture. If not printed dark enough as yet, we turn back to their places
successively the picture, the cloth, the opened part of the frame, and lay
it again in the sun. It is just like cooking: the sun is the fire, and the
picture is the cake; when it is browned exactly to the right point, we
take it off the fire. A photograph-printer will have fifty or more
pictures printing at once, and he keeps going up and down the line,
opening the frames to look and see how they are getting on. As fast as
they are done, he turns them over, back to the sun, and the cooking
process stops at once.

The pictures which have just been printed in the sunshine are of a
peculiar purple tint, and still sensitive to the light, which will first
"flatten them out," and finally darken the whole paper, if they are
exposed to it before the series of processes which "fixes" and "tones"
them. They are kept shady, therefore, until a batch is ready to go down to
the toning room.

When they reach that part of the establishment, the first thing that is
done with them is to throw them face down upon the surface of a salt bath.
Their purple changes at once to a dull red. They are then washed in clean
water for a few minutes, and after that laid, face up, in a solution of
chloride of gold with a salt of soda. Here they must lie for some minutes
at least; for the change, which we can watch by the scanty daylight
admitted, goes on slowly. Gradually they turn to a darker shade; the
reddish tint becomes lilac, purple, brown, of somewhat different tints in
different cases. When the process seems to have gone far enough, the
picture is thrown into a bath containing hyposulphite of soda, which
dissolves the superfluous, unstable compounds, and rapidly clears up the
lighter portions of the picture. On being removed from this, it is
thoroughly washed, dried, and mounted, by pasting it with starch or
dextrine to a card of the proper size.

The reader who has followed the details of the process may like to know
what are the common difficulties the beginner meets with.

The first is in coating the glass with collodion. It takes some practice
to learn to do this neatly and uniformly.

The second is in timing the immersion in the nitrate-of-silver bath. This
is easily overcome; the glass may be examined by the feeble lamp-light at
the end of two or three minutes, and if the surface looks streaky,
replunged in the bath for a minute or two more, or until the surface looks
smooth.

The third is in getting an exact focus in the camera, which wants good
eyes, or strong glasses for poor ones.

The fourth is in timing the exposure. This is the most delicate of all the
processes. Experience alone can teach the time required with different
objects in different lights. Here are four card-portraits from a negative
taken from one of Barry's crayon-pictures, illustrating an experiment
which will prove very useful to the beginner. The negative of No. 1 was
exposed only two seconds. The young lady's face is very dusky on a very
dusky ground. The lights have hardly come out at all. No. 2 was exposed
five seconds. Undertimed, but much cleared up. No. 3 was exposed fifteen
seconds, about the proper time. It is the best of the series, but the
negative ought to have been intensified. It looks as if Miss E.V. had
washed her face since the five-seconds picture was taken. No. 4 was
exposed sixty seconds, that is to say, three or four times too long. It
has a curious resemblance to No. 1, but is less dusky. The contrasts of
light and shade which gave life to No. 3 have disappeared, and the face
looks as if a second application of soap would improve it. A few trials of
this kind will teach the eye to recognize the appearances of under- and
over-exposure, so that, if the first negative proves to have been too long
or too short a time in the camera, the proper period of exposure for the
next may be pretty easily determined.

The printing from the negative is less difficult, because we can examine
the picture as often as we choose; but it may be well to undertime and
overtime some pictures, for the sake of a lesson like that taught by the
series of pictures from the four negatives.

The only other point likely to prove difficult is the toning in the gold
bath. As the picture can be watched, however, a very little practice will
enable us to recognize the shade which indicates that this part of the
process is finished.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have copied a picture, but we can take a portrait from Nature just as
easily, except for a little more trouble in adjusting the position and
managing the light. So easy is it to reproduce the faces that we love to
look upon; so simple is that marvellous work by which we preserve the
first smile of infancy and the last look of age: the most precious gift
Art ever bestowed upon love and friendship!

It will be observed that the glass plate, covered with its film of
collodion, was removed directly from the nitrate-of-silver bath to the
camera, so as to be exposed to its image while still wet. It is obvious
that this process is one that can hardly be performed conveniently at a
distance from the artist's place of work. Solutions of nitrate of silver
are not carried about and decanted into baths and back again into bottles
without tracking their path on persons and things. The _photophobia_ of
the "sensitized" plate, of course, requires a dark apartment of some kind:
commonly a folding tent is made to answer the purpose in photographic
excursions. It becomes, therefore, a serious matter to transport all that
is required to make a negative according to the method described. It has
consequently been a great desideratum to find some way of preparing a
sensitive plate which could be dried and laid away, retaining its
sensitive quality for days or weeks until wanted. The artist would then
have to take with him nothing but his camera and his dry sensitive plates.
After exposing these in the camera, they would be kept in dark boxes until
he was ready to develop them at leisure on returning to his _atelier_.

Many "dry methods" have been contrived, of which the _tannin process_ is
in most favor. The plate, after being "sensitized" and washed, is plunged
in a bath containing ten grains of tannin to an ounce of water. It is then
dried, and may be kept for a long time without losing its sensitive
quality. It is placed dry in the camera, and developed by wetting it and
then pouring over it a mixture of pyrogallic acid and the solution of
nitrate of silver. Amateurs find this the best way for taking scenery, and
produce admirable pictures by it, as we shall mention by-and-by.

       *       *       *       *       *

In our former articles we have spoken principally of stereoscopic
pictures. These are still our chief favorites for scenery, for
architectural objects, for almost everything but portraits,--and even
these last acquire a reality in the stereoscope which they can get in no
other way. In this third photographic excursion we must only touch briefly
upon the stereograph. Yet we have something to add to what we said before
on this topic.

One of the most interesting accessions to our collection is a series of
twelve views, on glass, of scenes and objects in California, sent us with
unprovoked liberality by the artist, Mr. Watkins. As specimens of art they
are admirable, and some of the subjects are among the most interesting to
be found in the whole realm of Nature. Thus, the great tree, the "Grizzly
Giant," of Mariposa, is shown in two admirable views; the mighty precipice
of El Capitan, more than three thousand feet in precipitous height,--the
three conical hill-tops of Yo Semite, taken, not as they soar into the
atmosphere, but as they are reflected in the calm waters below,--these and
others are shown, clear, yet soft, vigorous in the foreground, delicately
distinct in the distance, in a perfection of art which compares with the
finest European work.

The "London Stereoscopic Company" has produced some very beautiful paper
stereographs, very dear, but worth their cost, of the Great Exhibition.
There is one view, which we are fortunate enough to possess, that is a
marvel of living detail,--one of the series showing the opening
ceremonies. The picture gives principally the musicians. By careful
counting, we find there are _six hundred faces to the square inch_ in the
more crowded portion of the scene which the view embraces,--a part
occupied by the female singers. These singers are all clad in white, and
packed with great compression of crinoline,--if that, indeed, were worn on
the occasion. Mere points as their faces seem to the naked eye, the
stereoscope, and still more a strong magnifier, shows them with their
mouths all open as they join in the chorus, and with such distinctness
that some of them might readily be recognized by those familiar with their
aspect. This, it is to be remembered, is not a reduced stereograph for the
microscope, but a common one, taken as we see them taken constantly.

We find in the same series several very good views of Gibson's famous
colored "Venus," a lady with a pleasant face and a very pretty pair of
shoulders. But the grand "Cleopatra" of our countryman, Mr. Story, of
which we have heard so much, was not to be had,--why not we cannot say,
for a stereograph of it would have had an immense success in America, and
doubtless everywhere.

The London Stereoscopic Company has also furnished us with views of Paris,
many of them instantaneous, far in advance of the earlier ones of Parisian
origin. Our darling little church of St. Etienne du Mont, for instance,
with its staircase and screen of stone embroidery, its carved oaken pulpit
borne on the back of a carved oaken Samson, its old monuments, its stained
windows, is brought back to us in all its minute detail as we remember it
in many a visit made on our way back from the morning's work at La Pitié
to the late breakfast at the Café Procope. Some of the instantaneous views
are of great perfection, and carry us as fairly upon the Boulevards as Mr.
Anthony transports us to Broadway. With the exception of this series, we
have found very few new stereoscopic pictures in the market for the last
year or two. This is not so much owing to the increased expense of
importing foreign views as to the greater popularity _of card-portraits_,
which, as everybody knows, have become the social currency, the
sentimental "green-backs" of civilization, within a very recent period.

We, who have exhausted our terms of admiration in describing the
stereoscopic picture, will not quarrel with the common taste which prefers
the card-portrait. The last is the cheapest, the most portable, requires
no machine to look at it with, can be seen by several persons at the same
time,--in short, has all the popular elements. Many care little for the
wonders of the world brought before their eyes by the stereoscope; all
love to see the faces of their friends. Jonathan does not think a great
deal of the Venus of Milo, but falls into raptures over a card-portrait of
his Jerusha. So far from finding fault with him, we rejoice rather that
his affections and those of average mortality are better developed than
their taste; and lost as we sometimes are in contemplation of the shadowy
masks of ugliness which hang in the frames of the photographers, as the
skins of beasts are stretched upon tanners' fences, we still feel
grateful, when we remember the days of itinerant portrait-painters, that
the indignities of Nature are no longer intensified by the outrages of
Art.

The sitters who throng the photographer's establishment are a curious
study. They are of all ages, from the babe in arms to the old wrinkled
patriarchs and dames whose smiles have as many furrows as an ancient elm
has rings that count its summers. The sun is a Rembrandt in his way, and
loves to track all the lines in these old splintered faces. A photograph
of one of them is like one of those fossilized sea-beaches where the
raindrops have left their marks, and the shellfish the grooves in which
they crawled, and the wading birds the divergent lines of their
foot-prints,--tears, cares, griefs, once vanishing as impressions from the
sand, now fixed as the vestiges in the sand-stone.

Attitudes, dresses, features, hands, feet, betray the social grade of the
candidates for portraiture. The picture tells no lie about them. There is
no use in their putting on airs; the make-believe gentleman and lady
cannot look like the genuine article. Mediocrity shows itself for what it
is worth, no matter what temporary name it may have acquired. Ill-temper
cannot hide itself under the simper of assumed amiability. The
querulousness of incompetent complaining natures confesses itself almost
as much as in the tones of the voice. The anxiety which strives to smooth
its forehead cannot get rid of the telltale furrow. The weakness which
belongs to the infirm of purpose and vacuous of thought is hardly to be
disguised, even though the moustache is allowed to hide _the centre of
expression_.

All parts of a face doubtless have their fixed relations to each other and
to the character of the person to whom the face belongs. But there is one
feature, and especially one part of that feature, which more than any
other facial sign reveals the nature of the individual. The feature is
_the mouth_, and the portion of it referred to is _the corner_. A circle
of half an inch radius, having its centre at the junction of the two lips
will include the chief focus of expression.

This will be easily understood, if we reflect that here is the point where
more muscles of expression converge than at any other. From above comes
the elevator of the angle of the mouth; from the region of the cheek-bone
slant downwards the two _zygomatics_, which carry the angle outwards and
upwards; from behind comes the _buccinator_, or trumpeter's muscle, which
simply widens the mouth by drawing the corners straight outward; from
below, the depressor of the angle; not to add a seventh, sometimes well
marked,--the "laughing muscle" of Santorini. Within the narrow circle
where these muscles meet the ring of muscular fibres surrounding the mouth
the battles of the soul record their varying fortunes and results. This is
the "_noeud vital_"--to borrow Flourens's expression with reference to a
nervous centre,--the _vital knot_ of expression. Here we may read the
victories and defeats, the force, the weakness, the hardness, the
sweetness of a character. Here is the nest of that feeble fowl,
self-consciousness, whose brood strays at large over all the features.

If you wish to see the very look your friend wore when his portrait was
taken, let not the finishing artist's pencil intrude within the circle of
the vital knot of expression.

We have learned many curious facts from photographic portraits which we
were slow to learn from faces. One is the great number of aspects
belonging to each countenance with which we are familiar. Sometimes, in
looking at a portrait, it seems to us that this is just the face we know,
and that it is always thus. But again another view shows us a wholly
different aspect, and yet as absolutely characteristic as the first; and a
third and a fourth convince us that our friend was not one, but many, in
outward appearance, as in the mental and emotional shapes by which his
inner nature made itself known to us.

Another point which must have struck everybody who has studied
photographic portraits is the family likeness that shows itself throughout
a whole wide connection. We notice it more readily than in life, from the
fact that we bring many of these family-portraits together and study them
more at our ease. There is something in the face that corresponds to
_tone_ in the voice,--recognizable, not capable of description; and this
kind of resemblance in the faces of kindred we may observe, though the
features are unlike. But the features themselves are wonderfully tenacious
of their old patterns. The Prince of Wales is getting to look like George
III. We noticed it when he was in this country; we see it more plainly in
his recent photographs. Governor Endicott's features have come straight
down to some of his descendants in the present day. There is a dimpled
chin which runs through one family connection we have studied, and a
certain form of lip which belongs to another. As our _cheval de bataille_
stands ready saddled and bridled for us just now, we must indulge
ourselves in mounting him for a brief excursion. This is a story we have
told so often that we should begin to doubt it but for the fact that we
have before us the written statement of the person who was its subject.
His professor, who did not know his name or anything about him, stopped
him one day after lecture and asked him if he was not a relation of
Mr. ----, a person of some note in Essex County.--Not that he had ever
heard of.--The professor thought he must be,--would he inquire?--Two or
three days afterwards, having made inquiries at his home in Middlesex
County, he reported that an elder member of the family informed him that
Mr. ----'s great-grandfather on his mother's side and his own
great-grandfather on his father's side were own cousins. The whole class
of facts, of which this seems to us too singular an instance to be lost,
is forcing itself into notice, with new strength of evidence, through the
galleries of photographic family-portraits which are making everywhere.

In the course of a certain number of years there will have been developed
some new physiognomical results, which will prove of extreme interest to
the physiologist and the moralist. They will take time; for, to bring some
of them out fully, a generation must be followed from its cradle to its
grave.

The first is a precise study of the effects of age upon the features. Many
series of portraits taken at short intervals through life, studied
carefully side by side, will probably show to some acute observer that
Nature is very exact in the tallies that mark the years of human life.

The second is to result from a course of investigations which we would
rather indicate than follow out; for, if the student of it did not fear
the fate of Phalaris,--that he should find himself condemned as
unlifeworthy upon the basis of his own observations,--he would very
certainly become the object of eternal hatred to the proprietors of all
the semi-organizations which he felt obliged to condemn. It consists in
the study of the laws of physical degeneration,--the stages and
manifestations of the process by which Nature dismantles the complete and
typical human organism, until it becomes too bad for her own sufferance,
and she kills it off before the advent of the reproductive period, that it
may not permanently depress her average of vital force by taking part in
the life of the race. There are many signs that fall far short of the
marks of cretinism,--yet just as plain as that is to the _visus
eruditus_,--which one meets every hour of the day in every circle of
society. Many of these are partial arrests of development. We do not care
to mention all which we think may be recognized, but there is one which we
need not hesitate to speak of from the fact that it is so exceedingly
common.

The vertical part of the lower jaw is short, and the angle of the jaw is
obtuse, in infancy. When the physical development is complete, the lower
jaw, which, as the active partner in the business of mastication, must be
developed in proportion to the vigor of the nutritive apparatus, comes
down by a rapid growth which gives the straight-cut posterior line and the
bold right angle so familiar to us in the portraits of pugilists,
exaggerated by the caricaturists in their portraits of fighting men, and
noticeable in well-developed persons of all classes. But in imperfectly
grown adults the jaw retains the infantile character,--the short vertical
portion necessarily implying the obtuse angle. The upper jaw at the same
time fails to expand laterally: in vigorous organisms it spreads out
boldly, and the teeth stand square and with space enough; whereas in
subvitalized persons it remains narrow, as in the child, so that the large
front teeth are crowded, or slanted forward, or thrown out of line. This
want of lateral expansion is frequently seen in the jaws, upper and lower,
of the American, and has been considered a common cause of caries of the
teeth.

A third series of results will relate to the effect of character in
moulding the features. Go through a "rogues' gallery" and observe what the
faces of the most hardened villains have in common. All these villanous
looks have been shaped out of the unmeaning lineaments of infancy. The
police-officers know well enough the expression of habitual crime. Now, if
all this series of faces had been carefully studied in photographs from
the days of innocence to those of confirmed guilt, there is no doubt that
a keen eye might recognize, we will not say the first evil volition in the
change it wrought upon the face, nor each successive stage in the downward
process of the falling nature, but epochs and eras, with differential
marks, as palpable perhaps as those which separate the aspects of the
successive decades of life. And what is far pleasanter, when the character
of a neglected and vitiated child is raised by wise culture, the converse
change will be found--nay, has been found--to record itself unmistakably
upon the faithful page of the countenance; so that charitable institutions
have learned that their strongest appeal lies in the request, "Look on
this picture, and on that,"--the lawless boy at his entrance, and the
decent youth at his dismissal.

The field of photography is extending itself to embrace subjects of
strange and sometimes of fearful interest. We have referred in a former
article to a stereograph in a friend's collection showing the bodies of
the slain heaped up for burial after the Battle of Malignano. We have now
before us a series of photographs showing the field of Antietam and the
surrounding country, as they appeared after the great battle of the 17th
of September. These terrible mementos of one of the most sanguinary
conflicts of the war we owe to the enterprise of Mr. Brady of New York. We
ourselves were on the field upon the Sunday following the Wednesday when
the battle took place. It is not, however, for us to bear witness to the
fidelity of views which the truthful sunbeam has delineated in all their
dread reality. The photographs bear witness to the accuracy of some of our
own sketches in a paper published in the December number of this magazine.
The "ditch" is figured, still encumbered with the dead, and strewed, as we
saw it and the neighboring fields, with fragments and tatters. The
"colonel's gray horse" is given in another picture just as we saw him
lying.

Let him who wishes to know what war is look at this series of
illustrations. These wrecks of manhood thrown together in careless heaps
or ranged in ghastly rows for burial were alive but yesterday. How dear to
their little circles far away most of them!--how little cared for here by
the tired party whose office it is to consign them to the earth! An
officer may here and there be recognized; but for the rest--if enemies,
they will be counted, and that is all. "80 Rebels are buried in this hole"
was one of the epitaphs we read and recorded. Many people would not look
through this series. Many, having seen it and dreamed of its horrors,
would lock it up in some secret drawer, that it might not thrill or revolt
those whose soul sickens at such sights. It was so nearly like visiting
the battlefield to look over these views, that all the emotions excited by
the actual sight of the stained and sordid scene, strewed with rags and
wrecks, came back to us, and we buried them in the recesses of our cabinet
as we would have buried the mutilated remains of the dead they too vividly
represented. Yet war and battles should have truth for their delineator.
It is well enough for some Baron Gros or Horace Vernet to please an
imperial master with fanciful portraits of what they are supposed to be.
The honest sunshine

    "Is Nature's sternest painter, yet the best";

and that gives us, even without the crimson coloring which flows over the
recent picture, some conception of what a repulsive, brutal, sickening,
hideous thing it is, this dashing together of two frantic mobs to which we
give the name of armies. The end to be attained justifies the means, we
are willing to believe; but the sight of these pictures is a commentary on
civilization such as a savage might well triumph to show its missionaries.
Yet through such martyrdom must come our redemption. War Is the surgery of
crime. Bad as it is in itself, it always implies that something worse has
gone before. Where is the American, worthy of his privileges, who does not
now recognize the fact, if never until now, that the disease of our nation
was organic, not functional, calling for the knife, and not for washes and
anodynes?

It is a relief to soar away from the contemplation of these sad scenes and
fly in the balloon which carried Messrs. King and Black in their aërial
photographic excursion. Our townsman, Dr. John Jeffries, as is well
recollected, was one of the first to tempt the perilous heights of the
atmosphere, and the first who ever performed a journey through the air of
any considerable extent. We believe this attempt of our younger townsmen
to be the earliest in which the aëronaut has sought to work the two
miracles at once, of rising against the force of gravity, and picturing
the face of the earth beneath him without brush or pencil.

One of their photographs is lying before us. Boston, as the eagle and the
wild goose see it, is a very different object from the same place as the
solid citizen looks up at its eaves and chimneys. The Old South and
Trinity Church are two landmarks not to be mistaken. Washington Street
slants across the picture as a narrow cleft. Milk Street winds as if the
cowpath which gave it a name had been followed by the builders of its
commercial palaces. Windows, chimneys, and skylights attract the eye in
the central parts of the view, exquisitely defined, bewildering in
numbers. Towards the circumference it grows darker, becoming clouded and
confused, and at one end a black expanse of waveless water is whitened by
the nebulous outline of flitting sails. As a first attempt it is on the
whole a remarkable success; but its greatest interest is in showing what
we may hope to see accomplished in the same direction.

While the aëronaut is looking at our planet from the vault of heaven where
he hangs suspended, and seizing the image of the scene beneath him as he
flies, the astronomer is causing the heavenly bodies to print their images
on the sensitive sheet he spreads under the rays concentrated by his
telescope. We have formerly taken occasion to speak of the wonderful
stereoscopic figures of the moon taken by Mr. De la Rue in England, by Mr.
Rutherford and by Mr. Whipple in this country. To these most successful
experiments must be added that of Dr. Henry Draper, who has constructed a
reflecting telescope, with the largest silver reflector in the world,
except that of the Imperial Observatory at Paris, for the special purpose
of celestial photography. The reflectors made by Dr. Draper "will show
Debilissima quadruple, and easily bring out the companion of Sirius or the
sixth star in the trapezium of Orion." In taking photographs from these
mirrors, a movement of the sensitive plate of only one-hundredth of an
inch will render the image perceptibly less sharp. It was this accuracy of
convergence of the light which led Dr. Draper to prefer the mirror to the
achromatic lens. He has taken almost all the daily phases of the moon,
from the sixth to the twenty-seventh day, using mostly some of Mr.
Anthony's quick collodion, and has repeatedly obtained the full moon by
means of it in _one-third of a second_.

In the last "Annual of Scientific Discovery" are interesting notices of
photographs of the sun, showing the spots on his disk, of Jupiter with his
belts, and Saturn with his ring.

While the astronomer has been reducing the heavenly bodies to the
dimensions of his stereoscopic slide, the anatomist has been lifting the
invisible by the aid of his microscope into palpable dimensions, to remain
permanently recorded in the handwriting of the sun himself. Eighteen years
ago, M. Donné published in Paris a series of plates executed after figures
obtained by the process of Daguerre. These, which we have long employed in
teaching, give some pretty good views of various organic elements, but do
not attempt to reproduce any of the tissues. Professor O.N. Rood, of Troy,
has sent us some most interesting photographs, showing the markings of
infusoria enormously magnified and perfectly defined. In a stereograph
sent us by the same gentleman the epithelium scales from mucous membrane
are shown floating or half-submerged in fluid,--a very curious effect,
requiring the double image to produce it. Of all the microphotographs we
have seen, those made by Dr. John Dean, of Boston, from his own sections
of the spinal cord, are the most remarkable for the light they throw on
the minute structure of the body. The sections made by Dr. Dean are in
themselves very beautiful specimens, and have formed the basis of a
communication to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in which many
new observations have been added to our knowledge of this most complicated
structure. But figures drawn from images seen in the field of the
microscope have too often been known to borrow a good deal from the
imagination of the beholder. Some objects are so complex that they defy
the most cunning hand to render them with all their features. When the
enlarged image is suffered to delineate itself, as in Dr. Dean's views of
the _medulla oblongata_, there is no room to question the exactness of the
portraiture, and the distant student is able to form his own opinion as
well as the original observer. These later achievements of Dr. Dean have
excited much attention here and in Europe, and point to a new epoch of
anatomical and physiological delineation.

The reversed method of microscopic photography is that which gives
portraits and documents in little. The best specimen of this kind we have
obtained is another of those miracles which recall the wonders of Arabian
fiction. On a slip of glass, three inches long by one broad, is a circle
of thinner glass, as large as a ten-cent piece. In the centre of this is a
speck, as if a fly had stepped there without scraping his foot before
setting it down. On putting this under a microscope magnifying fifty
diameters there come into view the Declaration of Independence in full, in
a clear, bold type, every name signed in fac-simile; the arms of all the
States, easily made out, and well finished; with good portraits of all the
Presidents, down to a recent date. Any person familiar with the faces of
the Presidents would recognize any one of these portraits in a moment.

Still another application of photography, becoming every day more and more
familiar to the public, is that which produces enlarged portraits, even
life-size ones, from the old daguerreotype or more recent photographic
miniature. As we have seen this process, a closet is arranged as a
camera-obscura, and the enlarged image is thrown down through a lens above
on a sheet of sensitive paper placed on a table capable of being easily
elevated or depressed. The image, weakened by diffusion over so large a
space, prints itself slowly, but at last comes out with a clearness which
is surprising,--a fact which is parallel to what is observed in the
stereoscopticon, where a picture of a few square inches in size is
"extended" or diluted so as to cover some hundreds of square feet, and yet
preserves its sharpness to a degree which seems incredible.

The copying of documents to be used as evidence is another most important
application of photography. No scribe, however skilful, could reproduce
such a paper as we saw submitted to our fellow-workman in Mr. Black's
establishment the other day. It contained perhaps a hundred names and
marks, but smeared, spotted, soiled, rubbed, and showing every awkward
shape of penmanship that a miscellaneous collection of half-educated
persons could furnish. No one, on looking at the photographic copy, could
doubt that it was a genuine reproduction of a real list of signatures; and
when half a dozen such copies, all just alike, were shown, the conviction
became a certainty that all had a common origin. This copy was made with a
_Harrison's globe lens_ of sixteen inches' focal length, and was a very
sharp and accurate duplicate of the original. It is claimed for this new
American invention that it is "quite ahead of anything European"; and the
certificates from the United States Coast-Survey Office go far towards
sustaining its pretensions.

Some of our readers are aware that photographic operations are not
confined to the delineation of material objects. There are certain
establishments in which, for an extra consideration, (on account of the
_difficilis ascensus_, or other long journey they have to take,) the
spirits of the departed appear in the same picture which gives the
surviving friends. The actinic influence of a ghost on a sensitive plate
is not so strong as might be desired; but considering that spirits are so
nearly immaterial, that the stars, as Ossian tells us, can be seen through
their vaporous outlines, the effect is perhaps as good as ought to be
expected.

Mrs. Brown, for instance, has lost her infant, and wishes to have its
spirit-portrait taken with her own. A special sitting is granted, and a
special fee is paid. In due time the photograph is ready, and, sure
enough, there is the misty image of an infant in the background, or, it
may be, across the mother's lap. Whether the original of the image was a
month or a year old, whether it belonged to Mrs. Brown or Mrs. Jones or
Mrs. Robinson, King Solomon, who could point out so sagaciously the
parentage of unauthenticated babies, would be puzzled to guess. But it is
enough for the poor mother, whose eyes are blinded with tears, that she
sees a print of drapery like an infant's dress, and a rounded something,
like a foggy dumpling, which will stand for a face: she accepts the
spirit-portrait as a revelation from the world of shadows. Those who have
seen shapes in the clouds, or remember Hamlet and Polonius, or who have
noticed how readily untaught eyes see a portrait of parent, spouse, or
child in almost any daub intended for the same, will understand how easily
the weak people who resort to these places are deluded.

There are various ways of producing the spirit-photographs. One of the
easiest is this. First procure a bereaved subject with a mind "sensitized"
by long immersion in credulity. Find out the age, sex, and whatever else
you can, about his or her departed relative. Select from your numerous
negatives one that corresponds to the late lamented as nearly as may be.
Prepare a sensitive plate. Now place the negative against it and hold it
up close to your gas-lamp, which may be turned up pretty high. In this way
you get a foggy copy of the negative in one part of the sensitive plate,
which you can then place in the camera and take your flesh-and-blood
sitter's portrait upon it in the usual way. An appropriate background for
these pictures is a view of the asylum for feeble-minded persons, the
group of buildings at Somerville, and possibly, if the penitentiary could
be introduced, the hint would be salutary.

The number of amateur artists in photography is continually increasing.
The interest we ourselves have taken in some results of photographic art
has brought us under a weight of obligation to many of them which we can
hardly expect to discharge. Some of the friends in our immediate
neighborhood have sent us photographs of their own making which for
clearness and purity of tone compare favorably with the best professional
work. Among our more distant correspondents there are two so widely known
to photographers that we need not hesitate to name them: Mr. Coleman
Sellers of Philadelphia and Mr. S. Wager Hull of New York. Many beautiful
specimens of photographic art have been sent us by these gentlemen,--among
others, some exquisite views of Sunnyside and of the scene of Ichabod
Crane's adventures. Mr. Hull has also furnished us with a full account of
the dry process, as followed by him, and from which he brings out results
hardly surpassed by any method.

A photographic intimacy between two persons who never saw each other's
faces (that is, in Nature's original positive, the principal use of which,
after all, is to furnish negatives from which portraits may be taken) is a
new form of friendship. After an introduction by means of a few views of
scenery or other impersonal objects, with a letter or two of explanation,
the artist sends his own presentment, not in the stiff shape of a
purchased _carte de visite_, but as seen in his own study or parlor,
surrounded by the domestic accidents which so add to the individuality of
the student or the artist. You see him at his desk or table with his books
and stereoscopes round him; you notice the lamp by which he reads,--the
objects lying about; you guess his condition, whether married or single;
you divine his tastes, apart from that which he has in common with
yourself. By-and-by, as he warms towards you, he sends you the picture of
what lies next to his heart,--a lovely boy, for instance, such as laughs
upon us in the delicious portrait on which we are now looking, or an old
homestead, fragrant with all the roses of his dead summers, caught in one
of Nature's loving moments, with the sunshine gilding it like the light of
his own memory. And so these shadows have made him with his outer and his
inner life a reality for you; and but for his voice, which you have never
heard, you know him better than hundreds who call him by name, as they
meet him year after year, and reckon him among their familiar
acquaintances.

       *       *       *       *       *

To all these friends of ours, those whom we have named, and not less those
whom we have silently remembered, we send our grateful acknowledgments.
They have never allowed the interest we have long taken in the miraculous
art of photography to slacken. Though not one of them may learn anything
from this simple account we have given, they will perhaps allow that it
has a certain value for less instructed readers, in consequence of its
numerous and rich omissions of much which, however valuable, is not at
first indispensable.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE WRAITH OF ODIN.

    The guests were loud, the ale was strong,
    King Olaf feasted late and long;
    The hoary Scalds together sang;
    O'erhead the smoky rafters rang.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    The door swung wide, with creak and din;
    A blast of cold night-air came in,
    And on the threshold shivering stood
    An aged man, with cloak and hood.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    The King exclaimed, "O graybeard pale,
    Come warm thee with this cup of ale."
    The foaming draught the old man quaffed,
    The noisy guests looked on and laughed.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    Then spake the King: "Be not afraid;
    Sit here by me." The guest obeyed,
    And, seated at the table, told
    Tales of the sea, and Sagas old.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    And ever, when the tale was o'er,
    The King demanded yet one more;
    Till Sigurd the Bishop smiling said,
    "'T is late, O King, and time for bed."
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    The King retired; the stranger guest
    Followed and entered with the rest;
    The lights were out, the pages gone,
    But still the garrulous guest spake on.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    As one who from a volume reads,
    He spake of heroes and their deeds,
    Of lands and cities he had seen,
    And stormy gulfs that tossed between.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    Then from his lips in music rolled
    The Havamal of Odin old,
    With sounds mysterious as the roar
    Of billows on a distant shore.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    "Do we not learn from runes and rhymes
    Made by the Gods in elder times,
    And do not still the great Scalds teach
    That silence better is than speech?"
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    Smiling at this, the King replied,
    "Thy lore is by thy tongue belied;
    For never was I so enthralled
    Either by Saga-man or Scald."
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    The Bishop said, "Late hours we keep!
    Night wanes, O King! 't is time for sleep!"
    Then slept the King, and when he woke,
    The guest was gone, the morning broke.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    They found the doors securely barred,
    They found the watch-dog in the yard,
    There was no foot-print in the grass,
    And none had seen the stranger pass.
      Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

    King Olaf crossed himself and said,
    "I know that Odin the Great is dead;
    Sure is the triumph of our Faith,
    The white-haired stranger was his wraith."
    Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.

       *       *       *       *       *



GALA-DAYS.

II.


The descent from Patmore and poetry to New York is somewhat abrupt, not to
say precipitous, but we made it in safety; and so shall you, if you will
be agile. New York is a pleasant little Dutch city, on a dot of island a
few miles southwest of Massachusetts. For a city entirely unobtrusive and
unpretending, it has really great attractions and solid merit; but the
superior importance of other places will not permit me to tarry long
within its hospitable walls. In fact, we only arrived late at night, and
departed early the next morning; but even a six-hours' sojourn gave me a
solemn and "realizing sense" of its marked worth,--for, when, tired and
listless, I asked for a servant to assist me, the waiter said he would
send the housekeeper. Accordingly, when, a few moments after, it knocked
at the door with light, light finger, (See De la Motte Fouquè,) I drawled,
"Come in," and the Queen of Sheba stood before me, clad in purple and fine
linen, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. I stared in
dismay, and perceived myself rapidly transmigrating into a _ridiculus
mus_. My gray and dingy travelling-dress grew abject, and burned into my
soul like the tunic of Nessus. I should as soon have thought of asking
Queen Victoria to brush out my hair as that fine lady in brocade silk and
Mechlin lace. But she was good and gracious, and did not annihilate me on
the spot, as she might easily have done, for which I shall thank her as
long as I live.

"You sent for me?" she inquired, with the blandest accents imaginable. I
can't tell a lie, pa,--you know I can't tell a lie; besides, I had not
time to make up one, and I said, "Yes," and then, of all stupid devices
that could filter into my soggy brain, I must needs stammer out that I
should like a few matches! A pretty thing to bring a dowager duchess up
nine pairs of stairs for!

"I will ring the bell," she said, with a tender, reproachful sweetness and
dignity, which conveyed without unkindness the severest rebuke tempered by
womanly pity, and proceeded to instruct me in the nature and uses of the
bell-rope, as she would any little dairy-maid who had heard only the chime
of cow-bells all the days of her life. Then she sailed out of the room,
serene and majestic, like a seventy-four man-of-war, while I, a squalid,
salt-hay gundalow, (Venetian blind-ed into _gondola_,) first sank down in
confusion, and then rose up in fury and brushed all the hair out of my
head.

"I declare," I said to Halicarnassus, when we were fairly beyond ear-shot
of the city next morning, "I don't approve of sumptuary laws, and I like
America to be the El Dorado of the poor man, and I go for the largest
liberty of the individual; but I do think there ought to be a clause in
the Constitution providing that servants shall not be dressed and educated
and accomplished up to the point of making people uncomfortable."

"No," said Halicarnassus, sleepily; "perhaps it wasn't a servant."

"Well," I said, having looked at it in that light silently for half an
hour, and coming to the surface in another place, "if I could dress and
carry myself like that, I would not keep tavern."

"Oh! eh?" yawning; "who does?"

"Mrs. Astor. Of course nobody less rich than Mrs. Astor could go up-stairs
and down-stairs and in my lady's chamber in Shiraz silk and gold of Ophir.
Why, Cleopatra was nothing to her. I make no doubt she uses gold-dust for
sugar in her coffee every morning; and as for the three miserable little
wherries that Isabella furnished Columbus, and historians have towed
through their tomes ever since, why, bless your soul, if you know of
anybody that has a continent he wants to discover, send him to this
housekeeper, and she can fit out a fleet of transports and Monitors for
convoy with one of her bracelets."

"I don't," said Halicarnassus, rubbing his eyes.

"I only wish," I added, "that she would turn Rebel, so that Government
might confiscate her. Paper currency would go up at once from the sudden
influx of gold, and the credit of the country receive a new lease of life.
She must be a lineal descendant of Sir Roger de Coverley, for I am sure
her finger sparkles with a hundred of his richest acres."

Before bidding a final farewell to New York, I shall venture to make a
single remark. I regret to be forced to confess that I greatly fear even
this virtuous little city has not escaped quite free, in the general
deterioration of morals and manners. The New York hackmen, for instance,
are very obliging and attentive; but if it would not seem ungrateful, I
would hazard the statement that their attentions are unremitting to the
degree of being almost embarrassing, and proffered to the verge of
obtrusiveness. I think, in short, that they are hardly quite delicate in
their politeness. They press their hospitality on you till you sigh for a
little marked neglect. They are not content with simple statement. They
offer you their hack, for instance. You decline, with thanks. They say
that they will carry you to any part of the city. Where is the pertinence
of that, if you do not wish to go? But they not only say it, they repeat
it, they dwell upon it as if it were a cardinal virtue. Now you have never
expressed or entertained the remotest suspicion that they would not carry
you to any part of the city. You have not the slightest intention or
desire to discredit their assertion. The only trouble is, as I said
before, you do not wish to go to any part of the city. Very few people
have the time to drive about in that general way; and I think, that, when
you have once distinctly informed them that you do not design to inspect
New York, they ought to see plainly that you cannot change your whole plan
of operations out of gratitude to them, and that the part of true
politeness is to withdraw. But they even go beyond a censurable urgency;
for an old gentleman and lady, evidently unaccustomed to travelling, had
given themselves in charge of a driver, who placed them in his coach,
leaving the door open while he went back seeking whom he might devour.
Presently a rival coachman came up and said to the aged and respectable
couple,--

"Here's a carriage all ready to start."

"But," replied the lady, "we have already told the gentleman who drives
this coach that we would go with him."

"Catch me to go in that coach, if I was you!" responded the wicked
coachman. "Why, that coach has had the small-pox in it."

The lady started up in horror. At that moment the first driver appeared
again, and Satan entered into me, and I felt in my heart that I should
like to see a fight; and then conscience stepped up and drove him away,
but consoled me by the assurance that I should see the fight all the same,
for such duplicity deserved the severest punishment, and it was my duty to
make an _exposé_ and vindicate helpless innocence imposed upon in the
persons of that worthy pair. Accordingly I said to the driver, as he
passed me,--

"Driver, that man in the gray coat is trying to frighten the old lady and
gentleman away from your coach, by telling them it has had the small-pox."

Oh I but did not the fire flash into his honest eyes, and leap into his
swarthy cheek, and nerve his brawny arm, and clinch his horny fist, as he
marched straightway up to the doomed offender, fiercely denounced his
dishonesty, and violently demanded redress? Ah! then and there was
hurrying to and fro, and eagerness and delight on every countenance, and a
ring formed, and the prospect of a lovely "row,"--and I did it; but a
police-officer sprang up, full-armed, from somewhere underground, and
undid it all, and enforced a reluctant peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

And so we are at Saratoga. Now, of all places to stay at in the
summer-time, Saratoga is the very last one to choose. It may have
attractions in winter; but, if one wishes to rest and change and root down
and shoot up and branch out, he might as well take lodgings in the
water-wheel of a saw-mill. The uniformity and variety will be much the
same. It is all a noiseless kind of din, narrow and intense. There is
nothing in Saratoga nor of Saratoga to see or to hear or to feel. They
tell you of a lake. You jam into an omnibus and ride four miles. Then you
step into a cockle-shell and circumnavigate a pond, so small that it
almost makes you dizzy to sail around it. This is the lake,--a very nice
thing as far as it goes; but when it has to be constantly on duty as the
natural scenery of the whole surrounding country, it is putting altogether
too fine a point on it. The picturesque people will inform you of an
Indian encampment. You go to see it, thinking of the forest primeval, and
expecting to be transported back to tomahawks, scalps, and forefathers;
but you return without them, and that is all. I never heard of anybody's
going anywhere. In fact, there did not seem to be anywhere to go. Any
suggestion of mine to strike out into the champaign was frowned down in
the severest manner. As far as I could see, nobody ever did anything.
There never was any plan on foot. Nothing was ever stirring. People sat on
the piazza and sewed. They went to the springs, and the springs are
dreadful. They bubble up salts and senna. I never knew anything that
pretended to be water that was half as bad. It has no one redeeming
quality. It is bitter. It is greasy. Every spring is worse than the last,
whichever end you begin at. They told apocryphal stories of people's
drinking sixteen glasses before breakfast; and yet it may have been true;
for, if one could bring himself to the point of drinking one glass of it,
I should suppose it would have taken such a force to enable him to do it
that he might go on drinking indefinitely, from the mere action of the
original impulse. I should think one dose of it would render a person
permanently indifferent to savors, and make him, like Mithridates,
poison-proof. Nevertheless, people go to the springs and drink. Then they
go to the bowling-alleys and bowl. In the evening, if you are hilariously
inclined, you can make the tour of the hotels. In each one you see a large
and brilliantly lighted parlor, along the four sides of which are women
sitting solemn and stately, in rows three deep, with a man dropped in here
and there, about as thick as periods on a page, very young or very old or
in white cravats. A piano or a band or something that can make a noise
makes it at intervals at one end of the room. They all look as if they
were waiting for something, but nothing in particular happens. Sometimes,
after the mountain has labored awhile, some little mouse of a boy and girl
will get up, execute an antic or two and sit down again, when everything
relapses into its original solemnity. At very long intervals somebody
walks across the floor. There is a moderate fluttering of fans and an
occasional whisper. Expectation interspersed with gimcracks seems to be
the programme. The greater part of the dancing that I saw was done by boys
and girls. It was pretty and painful. Nobody dances so well as children;
no grace is equal to their grace: but to go into a hotel at ten o'clock at
night, and see little things, eight, ten, twelve years old, who ought to
be in bed and asleep, tricked out in flounces and ribbons and all the
paraphernalia of ballet-girls, and dancing in the centre of a hollow
square of strangers,--I call it murder in the first degree. What can
mothers be thinking of to abuse their children so? Children are naturally
healthy and simple; why should they be spoiled? They will have to plunge
into the world full soon enough; why should the world be plunged into
them? Physically, mentally, and morally, the innocents are massacred.
Night after night I saw the same children led out to the slaughter, and as
I looked I saw their round, red cheeks grow thin and white, their delicate
nerves lose tone and tension, their brains become feeble and flabby, their
minds flutter out weakly in muslin and ribbons, their vanity kindled by
injudicious admiration, the sweet child--unconsciousness withering away in
the glare of indiscriminate gazing, the innocence and simplicity and
naturalness and child-likeness swallowed up in a seething whirlpool of
artificialness, all the fine, golden butterfly-dust of modesty and
delicacy and retiring girlhood ruthlessly rubbed off forever before
girlhood had even reddened from the dim dawn of infancy. Oh! it is cruel
to sacrifice children so. What can atone for a lost childhood? What can be
given in recompense for the ethereal, spontaneous, sharply defined, new,
delicious sensations of a sheltered, untainted, opening life?

Thoroughly worked into a white heat of indignation, we leave the babes in
the wood to be despatched by their ruffian relatives, and go to another
hotel. A larger parlor, larger rows, but still three deep and solemn. A
tall man, with a face in which melancholy seems to be giving way to
despair, a man most proper for an undertaker, but palpably out of place in
a drawing-room, walks up and down incessantly, but noiselessly, in a
persistent endeavor to bring out a dance. Now he fastens upon a newly
arrived man. Now he plants himself before a bench of misses. You can hear
the low rumble of his exhortation and the tittering replies. After a
persevering course of entreaty and persuasion, a set is drafted, the music
galvanizes, and the dance begins.

I like to see people do with their might whatsoever their hands or their
tongues or their feet find to do. A half-and-half performance of the right
is just about as mischievous as the perpetration of the wrong. It is
vacillation, hesitation, lack of will, feebleness of purpose, imperfect
execution, that works ill in all life. Be monarch of all you survey. If a
woman decides to do her own housework, let her go in royally among her
pots and kettles and set everything a-stewing and baking and broiling and
boiling, as a queen might. If she decides not to do housework, but to
superintend its doing, let her say to her servant, "Go," and he goeth, to
another, "Come," and he cometh, to a third, "Do this," and he doeth it,
and not potter about. So, when girls get themselves up and go to Saratoga
for a regular campaign, I want their bearing to be soldierly. Let them be
gay with abandonment. Let them take hold of it as if they liked it. I do
not affect the word flirtation, but the thing itself is not half so
criminal as one would think from the animadversions visited upon it. Of
course, a deliberate setting yourself to work to make some one fall in
love with you, for the mere purpose of showing your power, is
abominable,--or would be, if anybody ever did it; but I do not suppose it
ever was done, except in fifth-rate novels. What I mean is, that it is
entertaining, harmless, and beneficial for young people to amuse
themselves with each other to the top of their bent, if their bent is a
natural and right one. A few hearts may suffer accidental, transient
injury; but hearts are like limbs, all the stronger for being broken.
Besides, where one man or woman is injured by loving too much, nine
hundred and ninety-nine die the death from not loving enough.

But these Saratoga girls did neither one thing nor another. They dressed
themselves in their best, making a point of it, and failed. They assembled
themselves together of set purpose to be lively, and they were
infectiously dismal. They did not dress well: one looked rustic; another
was dowdyish; a third was over-fine; a fourth was insignificant. Their
bearing was not good, in the main. They danced, and whispered, and
laughed, and looked like milkmaids. They had no style, no figure. Their
shoulders were high, and their chests were flat, and they were one-sided,
and they stooped,--all of which would have been of no account, if they had
only been unconsciously enjoying themselves; but they consciously were
not. It is possible that they thought they were happy, but I knew better.
You are never happy, unless you are master of the situation; and they were
not. They endeavored to appear at ease,--a thing which people who are at
ease never do. They looked as if they had all their lives been meaning to
go to Saratoga, and now they had got there and were determined not to
betray any unwontedness. It was not the timid, eager, delighted,
fascinating, graceful awkwardness of a new young girl; it was not the
careless, hearty, whole-souled enjoyment of an experienced girl; it was
not the natural, indifferent, imperial queening it of an acknowledged
monarch: but something that caught hold of the hem of the garment of them
all. It was they with the sheen damped off. So it was not imposing. I
could pick you up a dozen girls straight along, right out of the pantries
and the butteries, right up from the washing-tubs and the sewing-machines,
who should be abundantly able to "hoe their row" with them anywhere. In
short, I was extremely disappointed. I expected to see the high fashion,
the very birth and breeding, the cream cheese of the country, and it was
skim-milk. If that is birth, one can do quite as well without being born
at all. Occasionally you would see a girl with gentle blood in her veins,
whether it were butcher-blood or banker-blood, but she only made the
prevailing plebsiness more striking. Now I maintain that a woman ought to
be very handsome or very clever, or else she ought to go to work and do
something. Beauty is of itself a divine gift and adequate. "Beauty is its
own excuse for being" anywhere. It ought not to be fenced in or
monopolized, any more than a statue or a mountain. It ought to be free and
common, a benediction to all weary wayfarers. It can never be profaned;
for it veils itself from the unappreciative eye, and shines only upon its
worshippers. So a clever woman, whether she be a painter or a teacher or a
dress-maker,--if she really has an object in life, a career, she is safe.
She is a power. She commands a realm. She owns a world. She is bringing
things to bear. Let her alone. But it is a very dangerous and a very
melancholy thing for common women to be "lying on their oars" long at a
time. Some of these were, I suppose, what Winthrop calls "business-women,
fighting their way out of vulgarity into style." The process is rather
uninteresting, but the result may be glorious. Yet a good many of them
were good, honest, kind, common girls, only demoralized by long lying
around in a waiting posture. It had taken the fire and sparkle out of
them. They were not in a healthy state. They were degraded, contracted,
flaccid. They did not hold themselves high. They knew that in a marketable
point of view there was a frightful glut of women. The usually small ratio
of men was unusually diminished by the absence of those who had gone to
the war, and of those who, as was currently reported, were ashamed that
they had not gone. The few available men had it all their own way; the
women were on the look-out for them, instead of being themselves looked
out for. They talked about "gentlemen," and being "companionable to
_gen_-tlemen," and "who was fascinating to _gen_-tlemen," till the "grand
old name" became a nuisance. There was an under-current of unsated
coquetry. I don't suppose they were any sillier than the rest of us; but
when our silliness is mixed in with housekeeping and sewing and teaching
and returning visits, it passes off harmless. When it is stripped of all
these modifiers, however, and goes off exposed to Saratoga, and melts in
with a hundred other sillinesses, it makes a great show.

No, I don't like Saratoga. I don't think it is wholesome. No place can be
healthy that keeps up such an unmitigated dressing.

"Where do you walk?" I asked an artless little lady.

"Oh, almost always on the long piazza. It is so clean there, and we don't
like to soil our dresses."

Now I ask if girls could ever get into that state in the natural course of
things! It is the result of vile habits. They cease to care for things
which they ought to like to do, and they devote themselves to what ought
to be only an incident. People dress in their best without break. They go
to the springs before breakfast in shining raiment, and they go into the
parlor after supper in shining raiment, and it is shine, shine, shine, all
the way between, and a different shine each time. You may well suppose
that I was like an owl among birds of Paradise, for what little finery I
had was in my (eminently) travelling-trunk: yet, though it was but a dory,
compared with the Noah's arks that drove up every day, I felt, that, if I
could only once get inside of it, I could make things fly to some purpose.
Like poor Rabette, I would show the city that the country too could wear
clothes! I never walked down Broadway without seeing a dozen white trunks,
and every white trunk that I saw I was fully convinced was mine, if I
could only get at it. By-and-by mine came, and I blossomed. I arrayed
myself for morning, noon, and night, and everything else that came up, and
was, as the poet says,--

    "Prodigious in change,
    And endless in range,"--

for I would have scorned not to be as good as the best. The result was,
that in three days I touched bottom. But then we went away, and my
reputation was saved. I don't believe anybody ever did a larger business
on a smaller capital; but I put a bold face on it. I cherish the hope that
nobody suspected I could not go on in that ruinous way all summer,--I, who
in three days had mustered into service every dress and sash and ribbon
and rag that I had had in three years or expected to have in three more.
But I never will, if I can help it, hold my head down where other people
are holding their heads up.

I would not be understood as decrying or depreciating dress. It is a duty
as well as a delight. Mrs. Madison is reported to have said that she would
never forgive a young lady who did not dress to please, or one who seemed
pleased with her dress. And not only young ladies, but old ladies, and old
gentlemen, and everybody, ought to make their dress a concord and not a
discord. But Saratoga is pitched on a perpetual falsetto, and stuns you.
One becomes sated with an interminable _pièce de résistance_ of full
dress. At the sea-side you bathe; at the mountains you put on stout boots
and coarse frocks and go a-fishing; but Saratoga never "lets up,"--if I
may be pardoned the phrase. Consequently you see much of crinoline and
little of character. You have to get at the human nature just as Thoreau
used to get at bird-nature and fish-nature and turtle-nature, by sitting
perfectly still in one place and waiting patiently till it comes out. You
see more of the reality of people in a single day's tramp than in twenty
days of guarded monotone. Now I cannot conceive of any reason why people
should go to Saratoga, except to see people. True, as a general thing,
they are the last objects you desire to see, when you are summering. But
if one has been cooped up in the house or blocked up in the country during
the nine months of our Northern winter, he may have a mighty hunger and
thirst, when he is thawed out, to see human faces and hear human voices;
but even then Saratoga is not the place to go to, on account of this very
artificialness. By artificial I do not mean deceitful. I saw nobody but
nice people there, smooth, kind, and polite. By artificial I mean wrought
up. You don't get at the heart of things. Artificialness spreads and spans
all with a crystal barrier,--invisible, but palpable. Nothing was left to
grow and go at its own sweet will. The very springs were paved and
pavilioned. For green fields and welling fountains and a possibility of
brooks, which one expects from the name, you found a Greek temple, and a
pleasure-ground, graded and graced and pathed like a cemetery, wherein
nymphs trod daintily in elaborate morning-costume. Everything took pattern
and was elaborate. Nothing was left to the imagination, the taste, the
curiosity. A bland, smooth, smiling surface baffled and blinded you, and
threatened profanity. Now profanity is wicked and vulgar; but if you
listen to the reeds next summer, I am not sure that you will not hear them
whispering, "Thunder!"

For the restorative qualities of Saratoga I have nothing to say. I was
well when I went there; nor did my experience ever furnish me with any
disease that I should consider worse than an intermittent attack of her
spring waters. But whatever it may do for the body, I do not believe it is
good for the soul. I do not believe that such places, such scenes, such a
fashion of life ever nourishes a vigorous womanhood or manhood. Taken
homoeopathically, it may be harmless; but if it become a habit, a
necessity, it must vitiate, enervate, destroy. Men can stand it, for the
sea-breezes and the mountain-breezes may have full sweep through their
life; but women cannot, for they just go home and live air-tight.

       *       *       *       *       *

If the railroad-men at Saratoga tell you you can go straight from there to
the foot of Lake George, don't you believe a word of it. Perhaps you can,
and perhaps you cannot; but you are not any more likely to can for their
saying so. We left Saratoga for Fort-William-Henry Hotel in full faith of
an afternoon ride and a sunset arrival, based on repeated and unhesitating
assurances to that effect. Instead of which, we went a few miles, and were
then dumped into a blackberry-patch, where we were informed that we must
wait seven hours. So much for the afternoon ride through summer fields and
"Sunset on Lake George" from the top of a coach. But I made no unmanly
laments, for we were out of Saratoga, and that was happiness. We were
among cows and barns and homely rail-fences, and that was comfort; so we
strolled contentedly through the pastures, found a river,--I believe it
was the Hudson; at any rate, Halicarnassus said so, though I don't imagine
he knew; but he would take oath it was Acheron rather than own up to
ignorance on any point whatever,--watched the canal-boats and boatmen go
down, marvelled at the arbor-vitæ trees growing wild along the
river-banks, green, hale, stately, and symmetrical, against the dismal
mental background of two little consumptive shoots bolstered up in our
front yard at home, and dying daily, notwithstanding persistent and
affectionate nursing with "flannels and rum." And then we went back to the
blackberry-station and inquired whether there was nothing celebrated in
the vicinity to which visitors of received Orthodox creed should dutifully
pay their respects, and were gratified to learn that we were but a few
miles from Jane McCrea and her Indian murderers. Was a carriage
procurable? Well, yes, if the ladies would be willing to go in that. It
wasn't very smart, but it would take 'em safe,--as if "the ladies" would
have raised any objections to going in a wheelbarrow, had it been
necessary, and so we bundled in. The hills were steep, and our horse, the
property of an adventitious bystander, was of the Rosinante breed; but we
were in no hurry, seeing that the only thing awaiting us this side the
sunset was a blackberry-patch without any blackberries, and we walked up
hill and scraped down, till we got into a lane which somebody told us led
to the Fort, from which the village, Fort Edward, takes its name. But,
instead of a fort, the lane ran full tilt against a pair of bars.

"Now we are lost," I said, sententiously.

"A gem of countless price," pursued Halicarnassus, who never quotes poetry
except to inflame me.

"How long will it be profitable to remain here?" asked Grande, when we had
sat immovable and speechless for the space of five minutes.

"There seems to be nowhere else to go. We have got to the end," said
Halicarnassus, roaming as to his eyes over into the wheat-field beyond.

"We might turn," suggested the Anakim, looking bright,

"How can you turn a horse in this knitting-needle of a lane?" I demanded.

"I don't know," replied Halicarnassus, dubiously, "unless I take him up in
my arms, and set him down with his head the other way,"--and immediately
turned him deftly in a corner about half as large as the wagon.

The next lane we came to was the right one, and being narrow, rocky, and
rough, we left our carriage and walked.

A whole volume of the peaceful and prosperous history of our beloved
country could be read in the fact that the once belligerent, life-saving,
death-dealing fort was represented by a hen-coop; yet I was disappointed.
I was hungry for a ruin,--some visible hint of the past. Such is human
nature,--ever prone to be more impressed by a disappointment of its own
momentary gratification than by the most obvious well-being of a nation;
but, glad or sorry, of Fort Edward was not left one stone upon another.
Several single stones lay about promiscuous rather than belligerent.
Flag-staff and palisades lived only in a few straggling bean-poles. For
the heavy booming of cannon rose the "quauk!" of ducks and the cackling of
hens. We went to the spot which tradition points out as the place where
Jane McCrea met her death. River flowed, and raftsmen sang below; women
stood at their washing-tubs, and white-headed children stared at us from
above; nor from the unheeding river or the forgetful woods came shriek or
cry or faintest wail of pain.

When we were little, and geography and history were but printed words on
white paper, not places and events, Jane McCrea was to us no suffering
woman, but a picture of a low-necked, long-skirted, scanty dress, long
hair grasped by a half-naked Indian, and two unnatural-looking hands
raised in entreaty. It was interesting as a picture, but it excited no
pity, no horror, because it was only a picture. We never saw women dressed
in that style. We knew that women did not take journeys through woods
without bonnet or shawl, and we spread a veil of ignorant, indifferent
incredulity over the whole. But as we grow up, printed words take on new
life. The latent fire in them lights up and glows. The mystic words throb
with vital heat, and burn down into our souls to an answering fire. As we
stand, on this soft summer day, by the old tree which tradition declares
to have witnessed that fateful scene, we go back into a summer long ago,
but fair and just like this. Jane McCrea is no longer a myth, but a young
girl blooming and beautiful with the roses of her seventeen years. Farther
back still, we see an old man's darling, little Jenny of the Manse, a
light-hearted child, with sturdy Scotch blood leaping in her young
veins,--then a tender orphan, sheltered by a brother's care,--then a
gentle maiden, light-hearted no longer, heavy-freighted, rather, but with
a priceless burden,--a happy girl, to whom love calls with stronger voice
than brother's blood, stronger even than life. Yonder in the woods lurk
wily and wary foes. Death with unspeakable horrors lies in ambush there;
but yonder also stands the soldier lover, and possible greeting, after
long, weary absence, is there. What fear can master that overpowering
hope? Estrangement of families, political disagreement, a separated
loyalty, all melt away, are fused together in the warmth of girlish love.
Taxes, representation, what things are these to come between two hearts?
No Tory, no traitor is her lover, but her own brave hero and true knight.
Woe! woe! the eager dream is broken by mad war-whoops! Alas! to those
fierce wild men, what is love, or loveliness? Pride, and passion, and the
old accursed hunger for gold flame up in their savage breasts. Wrathful,
loathsome fingers clutch the long, fair hair that even the fingers of love
have caressed but with reverent half-touch,--and love, and hope, and life
go out in one dread moment of horror and despair. Now, through the
reverberations of more than fourscore years, through all the tempest-rage
of a war more awful than that, and fraught, we hope, with a grander joy, a
clear, young voice, made sharp with agony, rings through the shuddering
woods, cleaves up through the summer sky, and wakens in every heart a
thrill of speechless pain. Along these peaceful banks I see a bowed form
walking, youth in his years, but deeper furrows in his face than age can
plough, stricken down from the heights of his ambition and desire, all the
vigor and fire of manhood crushed and quenched beneath the horror of one
fearful memory. Sweet summer sky, bending above us soft and saintly,
beyond your blue depths is there not Heaven?

       *       *       *       *       *

"We may as well give Dobbin his oats here," said Halicarnassus.

We had brought a few in a bag for luncheon, thinking it might help him
over the hills. So the wagon was rummaged, the bag brought to light, and I
sent to one of the nearest houses to get something for him to eat out of.
I did not think to ask what particular vessel to inquire for; but after I
had knocked, I decided upon a meat-platter or a pudding-dish, and with the
good woman's permission finally took both, that Halicarnassus might have
his choice.

"Which is the best?" I asked, holding them up.

He surveyed them carefully, and then said,--

"Now run right back and get a tumbler for him to drink out of, and a
teaspoon to feed him with."

I started in good faith, from a mere habit of unquestioning obedience, but
with the fourth step my reason returned to me, and I returned to
Halicarnassus and--kicked him. That sounds very dreadful and horrible, and
it is, if you are thinking of a great, brutal, brogan kick, such as a
stupid farmer gives to his patient oxen; but not, if you mean only a
delicate, compact, penetrative punch with the toe of a tight-fitting
gaiter,--addressed rather to the conscience than the shins, to the
sensibilities rather than the senses. The kick masculine is coarse,
boorish, unmitigated, predicable only of Calibans. The kick feminine is
expressive, suggestive, terse, electric,--an indispensable instrument in
domestic discipline, as women will bear me witness, and not at all
incompatible with beauty, grace, and amiability. But, right or wrong,
after all this interval of rest and reflection, in full view of all the
circumstances, my only regret is that I did not tick him harder.

"Now go and fetch your own tools!" I cried, shaking off the yoke of
servitude. "I won't be your stable-boy any longer!"

Then, perforce, he gathered up the crockery, marched off in disgrace, and
came back with a molasses-hogshead, or a wash-tub, or some such overgrown
mastodon, to turn his sixpenny-worth of oats into.

Having fed our mettlesome steed, the next thing was to water him. The
Anakim remembered to have seen a pump with a trough somewhere, and they
proposed to reconnoitre while we should "wait _by_ the wagon" their
return. No, I said we would drive on to the pump, while they walked.

"You drive!" ejaculated Halicarnassus, contemptuously.

Now I do not, as a general thing, have an overweening respect for female
teamsters. There is but one woman in the world to whose hands I confide
the reins and my bones with entire equanimity; and she says, that, when
she is driving, she dreads of all things to meet a driving woman. If a man
said this, it might be set down to prejudice. I don't make any account of
Halicarnassus's assertion, that, if two women walking in the road on a
muddy day meet a carriage, they never keep together, but invariably one
runs to the right and one to the left, so that the driver cannot favor
them at all, but has to crowd between them, and drive both into the mud.
That is palpably interested false witness. He thinks it is fine fun to
push women into the mud, and frames such flimsy excuses. But as a woman's
thoughts about women, this woman's utterances are deserving of attention;
and she says that women are not to be depended upon. She is never sure
that they will not turn out on the wrong side. They are nervous; they are
timid; they are unreasoning; they are reckless. They will give a horse a
disconnected, an utterly inconsequent "cut," making him spring, to the
jeopardy of their own and others' safety. They are not concentrative, and
they are not infallibly courteous, as men are. I remember I was driving
with her once between Newburyport and Boston. It was getting late, and we
were very desirous to reach our destination before nightfall. Ahead of us
a woman and a girl were jogging along in a country-wagon. As we wished to
go much faster than they, we turned aside to pass them; but just as we
were well abreast, the woman started up her horse, and he skimmed over the
ground like a bird. We laughed, and followed well content. But after he
had gone perhaps an eighth of a mile, his speed slackened down to the
former jog-trot. Three times we attempted to pass before we really
comprehended the fact that that infamous woman was deliberately detaining
and annoying us. The third time, when we had so nearly passed them that
our horse was turning into the road again, she struck hers up so suddenly
and unexpectedly that her wheels almost grazed ours. Of course,
understanding her game, we ceased the attempt, having no taste for
horse-racing; and nearly all the way from Newburyport to Rowley, she kept
up that brigandry, jogging on and forcing us to jog on, neither going
ahead herself nor suffering us to do so,--a perfect and most provoking dog
in a manger. Her girl-associate would look behind every now and then to
take observations, and I mentally hoped that the frisky Bucephalus would
frisk his mistress out of the cart and break her ne-- arm, or at least put
her shoulder out of joint. If he did, I had fully determined in my own
mind to hasten to her assistance and shame her to death with delicate and
assiduous kindness. But fate lingered like all the rest of us. She reached
Rowley in safety, and there our roads separated. Whether she stopped
there, or drove into Ethiopian wastes beyond, I cannot say; but I have no
doubt that the milk which she carried into Newburyport to market was blue,
the butter frowy, and the potatoes exceedingly small.

Now do you mean to tell me that any man would have been guilty of such a
thing? I don't mean, would have committed such discourtesy to a woman? Of
course not; but would a man ever do it to a man? Never. He might try it
once or twice, just for fun, just to show off his horse, but he never
would have persisted in it till a joke became an insult, not to say a
possible injury.

Still, as I was about to say, when that Rowley jade interrupted me, though
I have small faith in Di-Vernonism generally, and no large faith in my own
personal prowess, I did feel myself equal to the task of holding the reins
while our Rosinante walked along an open road to a pump. I therefore
resented Halicarnassus's contemptuous tones, mounted the wagon with as
much dignity as wagons allow, sat straight as an arrow on the driver's
seat, took the reins in both hands,--as they used to tell me I must not,
when I was a little girl, because that was women's way, but I find now
that men have adopted it, so I suppose it is all right,--and proceeded to
show, like Sam Patch, that some things can be done as well as others.
Halicarnassus and the Anakim took up their position in line on the other
side of the road, hat in hand, watching.

"Go fast, and shame them," whispered Grande, from the back-seat, and the
suggestion jumped with my own mood. It was a moment of intense excitement.
To be or not to be. I jerked the lines. Pegasus did not start.

"C-l-k-l-k!" No forward movement.

"Huddup!" Still waiting for reinforcements.

"H-w-e." (Attempt at a whistle. Dead failure.)

(_Sotto voce._) "O you beast!" (_Pianissimo._) "Gee! Haw! haw! haw!" with
a terrible jerking of the reins.

A voice over the way, distinctly audible, utters the cabalistic words,
"Two forty." Another voice, as audible, asks, "Which'll you bet on?" It
was not soothing. It did seem as if the imp of the perverse had taken
possession of that terrible nag to go and make such a display at such a
moment. But as his will rose, so did mine, and as my will went up, my whip
went with it; but before it came down, Halicarnassus made shift to drone
out, "Wouldn't Flora go faster, if she was untied?"

To be sure, I had forgotten to unfasten him, and there those two men had
stood and known it all the time! I was in the wagon, so they were secure
from personal violence, but I have a vague impression of some "pet names"
flying wildly about in the air in that vicinity. Then we trundled safely
down the lane. We were to go in the direction leading away from home,--the
horse's. I don't think he perceived it at first, but as soon as he did
snuff the fact, which happened when he had gone perhaps three rods, he
quietly turned around and headed the other way, paying no more attention
to my reins or my terrific "whoas" than if I were a sleeping babe. A horse
is none of your woman's-rights men. He is Pauline. He suffers not the
woman to usurp authority over him. He never says anything nor votes
anything, but declares himself unequivocally by taking things into his own
hands, whenever he knows there is nobody but a woman behind him,--and
somehow he always does know. After Halicarnassus had turned him back and
set him going the right way, I took on a gruff, manny voice, to deceive.
Nonsense! I could almost see him snap his fingers at me. He minded my whip
no more than he did a fly,--not so much as he did some flies. Grande said
she supposed his back was all callous. I acted upon the suggestion, knelt
down in the bottom of the wagon, and leaned over the dasher to whip him on
his belly, then climbed out on the shafts and snapped about his ears; but
he stood it much better than I. Finally I found that by taking the small
end of the wooden whip-handle, and sticking it into him, I could elicit a
faint flash of light; so I did it with assiduity, but the moderate trot
which even that produced was not enough to accomplish my design, which was
to outstrip the two men and make them run or beg. The opposing forces
arrived at the pump about the same time.

Halicarnassus took the handle, and gave about five jerks. Then the Anakim
took it and gave five more. Then they both stopped and wiped their faces.

"What do you suppose this pump was put here for?" asked Halicarnassus.

"A mile-stone, probably," replied the Anakim.

Then they resumed their Herculean efforts till the water came, and then
they got into the wagon, and we drove into the blackberries once more,
where we arrived just in season to escape a thunder--shower, and pile
merrily into one of several coaches waiting to convey passengers in
various directions as soon as the train should come.

It is very selfish, but fine fun, to have secured your own chosen seat and
bestowed your own luggage, and have nothing to do but witness the
anxieties and efforts of other people. This exquisite pleasure we enjoyed
for fifteen minutes, edified at the last by hearing one of our coachmen
call out, "Here, Rosey, this way!"--whereupon a manly voice, in the
darkness, near us, soliloquized, "Respectful way of addressing a judge of
the Supreme Court!" and, being interrogated, the voice informed us that
"Rosey" was the vulgate for Judge Rosecranz; whereupon Halicarnassus
glossed over the rampant democracy by remarking that the diminutive was
probably a term of endearment rather than familiarity; whereupon the manly
voice--if I might say it--snickered audibly in the darkness, and we all
relapsed into silence. But could anything be more characteristic of a
certain phase of the manners of our great and glorious country? Where are
the Trollopes? Where is Dickens? Where is Basil Hall?

It is but a dreary ride to Lake George on a dark and rainy evening, unless
people like riding for its own sake, as I do. If there are suns and stars
and skies, very well. If there are not, very well too: I like to ride all
the same. I like everything in this world but Saratoga. Once or twice our
monotony was broken up by short halts before country-inns. At one an
excitement was going on. "Had a casualty here this afternoon," remarked a
fresh passenger, as soon as he was fairly seated. A casualty is a windfall
to a country-village. It is really worth while to have a head broken
occasionally, for the wholesome stirring-up it gives to the heads that are
not broken. On the whole, I question whether collisions and collusions do
not cause as much good as harm. Certainly, people seem to take the most
lively satisfaction in receiving and imparting all the details concerning
them. Our passenger-friend opened his budget with as much complacence as
ever did Mr. Gladstone or Disraeli, and with a confident air of knowing
that he was going not only to enjoy a piece of good-fortune himself, but
to administer a great gratification to us. Our "casualty" turned out to be
the affair of a Catholic priest, of which our informer spoke only in dark
hints and with significant shoulder-shrugs and eyebrow-elevations, because
it was "not exactly the thing to get out, you know"; but if it wasn't to
get out, why did he let it out? and so from my dark corner I watched him
as a cat does a mouse, and the lamp-light shone full upon him, and I
understood every word and shrug, and I am going to tell it all to the
world. I translated that the holy father had been "skylarking" in a boat,
and in gay society had forgotten his vows of frugality and abstinence and
general mortification of the flesh, and had become, not very drunk, but
drunk enough to be dangerous, when he came ashore and took a horse in his
hands, and so upset his carriage, and gashed his temporal artery, and came
to grief, which is such a casualty as does not happen every day, and I
don't blame people for making the most of it. Then the moral was pointed,
and the tale adorned, and the impression deepened, solemnized, and struck
home by the fact that the very horse concerned in the "casualty" was to be
fastened behind our coach, and the whole population came out with lanterns
and umbrellas to tie him on,--all but one man, who was deaf, and stood on
the piazza, anxious and eager to know everything that had been and was
still occurring, and yet sorry to give trouble, and so compromising the
matter and making it worse, as compromises generally do, by questioning
everybody with a deprecating, fawning air.

Item. We shall all, if we live long enough, be deaf, but we need not be
meek about it. I for one am determined to walk up to people and demand
what they are saying at the point of the bayonet. Deafness, if it must be
so, but independence at any rate.

And when the fulness of time is come, we alight at Fort-William-Henry
Hotel, and all night long through the sentient woods I hear the booming of
Johnson's cannon, the rattle of Dieskau's guns, and that wild war-whoop,
more terrible than all. Again old Monro watches from his fortress-walls
the steadily approaching foe, and looks in vain for help, save to his own
brave heart. I see the light of conquest shining in his foeman's eye,
darkened by no shadow of the fate that waits his coming on a bleak
Northern hill; but, generous in the hour of victory, he shall not be less
noble in defeat,--for to generous hearts all generous hearts are friendly,
whether they stand face to face or side by side.

Over the woods and the waves, when the morning breaks, like a bridegroom
coming forth from his chamber, rejoicing as a strong man to run a race,
comes up the sun in his might and crowns himself king. All the summer day,
from morn to dewy eve, we sail over the lakes of Paradise. Blue waters and
blue sky, soft clouds, and green islands, and fair, fruitful shores,
sharp-pointed hills, long, gentle slopes and swells, and the lights and
shadows of far-stretching woods; and over all the potence of the unseen
past, the grand, historic past,--soft over all the invisible mantle which
our fathers flung at their departing,--the mystic effluence of the spirits
that trod these wilds and sailed these waters,--the courage and the
fortitude, the hope that battled against hope, the comprehensive outlook,
the sagacious purpose, the resolute will, the unhesitating self-sacrifice,
the undaunted devotion which has made this heroic ground: cast these into
your own glowing crucible, O gracious friend, and crystallize for yourself
such a gem of days as shall worthily be set forever in your crown of the
beatitudes.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE FLEUR-DE-LIS AT PORT ROYAL.


In the year 1562 a cloud of black and deadly portent was thickening over
France. Surely and swiftly she glided towards the abyss of the religious
wars. None could pierce the future; perhaps none dared to contemplate it:
the wild rage of fanaticism and hate, friend grappling with friend,
brother with brother, father with son; altars profaned, hearthstones made
desolate; the robes of Justice herself bedrenched with murder. In the
gloom without lay Spain, imminent and terrible. As on the hill by the
field of Dreux, her veteran bands of pikemen, dark masses of organized
ferocity, stood biding their time while the battle surged below, then
swept downward to the slaughter,--so did Spain watch and wait to trample
and crush the hope of humanity.

In these days of fear, a Huguenot colony sailed for the New World. The
calm, stern man who represented and led the Protestantism of France felt
to his inmost heart the peril of the time. He would fain build up a city
of refuge for the persecuted sect. Yet Gaspar de Coligny, too high in
power and rank to be openly assailed, was forced to act with caution. He
must act, too, in the name of the Crown, and in virtue of his office of
Admiral of France. A nobleman and a soldier,--for the Admiral of France
was no seaman,--he shared the ideas and habits of his class; nor is there
reason to believe him to have been in advance of others of his time in a
knowledge of the principles of successful colonization. His scheme
promised a military colony, not a free commonwealth. The Huguenot party
was already a political, as well as a religious party. At its foundation
lay the religious element, represented by Geneva, the martyrs, and the
devoted fugitives who sang the psalms of Marot among rocks and caverns.
Joined to these were numbers on whom the faith sat lightly, whose hope was
in commotion and change. Of these, in great part, was the Huguenot
noblesse, from Condé, who aspired to the crown,--

    "Ce petit homme tant joli,
     Qui toujours chante, toujours rit,"--

to the younger son of the impoverished seigneur whose patrimony was his
sword. More than this, the restless, the factious, the discontented began
to link their fortunes to a party whose triumph would involve confiscation
of the bloated wealth of the only rich class in France. An element of the
great revolution was already mingling in the strife of religions.

America was still a land of wonder. The ancient spell still hung unbroken
over the wild, vast world of mystery beyond the sea. A land of romance, of
adventure, of gold.

Fifty-eight years later, the Puritans landed on the sands of Massachusetts
Bay. The illusion was gone,--the _ignis-fatuus_ of adventure, the dream of
wealth. The rugged wilderness offered only a stern and hard-won
independence. In their own hearts, not in the promptings of a great leader
or the patronage of an equivocal government, their enterprise found its
birth and its achievement. They were of the boldest, the most earnest of
their sect. There were such among the French disciples of Calvin; but no
Mayflower ever sailed from a port of France. Coligny's colonists were of a
different stamp, and widely different was their fate.

An excellent seaman and stanch Protestant, John Ribaut of Dieppe,
commanded the expedition. Under him, besides sailors, were a band of
veteran soldiers, and a few young nobles. Embarked in two of those
antiquated craft whose high poops and tub-like proportions are preserved
in the old engravings of De Bry, they sailed from Havre on the eighteenth
of February, 1562. They crossed the Atlantic, and on the thirtieth of
April, in the latitude of twenty-nine and a half degrees, saw the long,
low line where the wilderness of waves met the wilderness of woods. It was
the coast of Florida. Soon they descried a jutting point, which they
called French Cape, perhaps one of the headlands of Matanzas Inlet. They
turned their prows northward, skirting the fringes of that waste of
verdure which rolled in shadowy undulation far to the unknown West.

On the next morning, the first of May, they found themselves off the mouth
of a great river. Riding at anchor on a sunny sea, they lowered their
boats, crossed the bar that obstructed the entrance, and floated on a
basin of deep and sheltered water, alive with leaping fish. Indians were
running along the beach and out upon the sand-bars, beckoning them to
land. They pushed their boats ashore and disembarked,--sailors, soldiers,
and eager young nobles. Corslet and morion, arquebuse and halberd flashed
in the sun that flickered through innumerable leaves, as, kneeling on the
ground, they gave thanks to God who had guided their voyage to an issue
full of promise. The Indians, seated gravely under the neighboring trees,
looked on in silent respect, thinking that they worshipped the sun. They
were in full paint, in honor of the occasion, and in a most friendly mood.
With their squaws and children, they presently drew near, and, strewing
the earth with laurel-boughs, sat down among the Frenchmen. The latter
were much pleased with them, and Ribaut gave the chief, whom he calls the
king, a robe of blue cloth, worked in yellow with the regal fleur-de-lis.

But Ribaut and his followers, just escaped from the dull prison of their
ships, were intent on admiring the wild scenes around them. Never had they
known a fairer May-Day. The quaint old narrative is exuberant with
delight. The quiet air, the warm sun, woods fresh with young verdure,
meadows bright with flowers; the palm, the cypress, the pine, the
magnolia; the grazing deer; herons, curlews, bitterns, woodcock, and
unknown water-fowl that waded in the ripple of the beach; cedars bearded
from crown to root with long gray moss; huge oaks smothering in the
serpent folds of enormous grape-vines: such were the objects that greeted
them in their roamings, till their new-found land seemed "the fairest,
fruitfullest, and pleasantest of al the world."

They found a tree covered with caterpillars, and hereupon the ancient
black-letter says,--"Also there be Silke wormes in meruielous number, a
great deale fairer and better then be our silk wormes. To bee short, it is
a thing vnspeakable to consider the thinges that bee seene there, and
shalbe founde more and more in this incomperable lande."

Above all, it was plain to their excited fancy that the country was rich
in gold and silver, turquoises and pearls. One of the latter, "as great as
an Acorne at ye least," hung from the neck of an Indian who stood near
their boats as they reëmbarked. They gathered, too, from the signs of
their savage visitors, that the wonderful land of Cibola, with its seven
cities and its untold riches, was distant but twenty days' journey by
water. In truth, it was on the Gila, two thousand miles off, and its
wealth a fable.

They named the river the River of May,--it is now the St. John's,--and on
its southern shore, near its mouth, planted a stone pillar graven with the
arms of France. Then, once more embarked, they held their course
northward, happy in that benign decree which locks from mortal eyes the
secrets of the future.

Next they anchored near Fernandina, and to a neighboring river, probably
the St. Mary's, gave the name of the Seine. Here, as morning broke on the
fresh, moist meadows hung with mists, and on broad reaches of inland
waters which seemed like lakes, they were tempted to land again, and soon
"espied an innumerable number of footesteps of great Hartes and Hindes of
a wonderfull greatnesse, the steppes being all fresh and new, and it
seemeth that the people doe nourish them like tame Cattell." By two or
three weeks of exploration they seem to have gained a clear idea of this
rich semi-aquatic region. Ribaut describes it as "a countrie full of
hauens riuers and Ilands of such fruitfulnes, as cannot with tongue be
expressed." Slowly moving northward, they named each river, or inlet
supposed to be a river, after the streams of France,--the Loire, the
Charente, the Garonne, the Gironde. At length, they reached a scene made
glorious in after-years. Opening betwixt flat and sandy shores, they saw a
commodious haven, and named it Port Royal.

On the twenty--seventh of May they crossed the bar, where the war-ships of
Dupont crossed three hundred years later.[1] They passed Hilton Head,
where Rebel batteries belched their vain thunder, and, dreaming nothing of
what the rolling centuries should bring forth, held their course along the
peaceful bosom of Broad River. On the left they saw a stream which they
named Libourne, probably Skull Creek; on the right, a wide river, probably
the Beaufort. When they landed, all was solitude. The frightened Indians
had fled, but they lured them back with knives, beads, and
looking-glasses, and enticed two of them on board their ships. Here, by
feeding, clothing, and caressing them, they tried to wean them from their
fears, but the captive warriors moaned and lamented day and night, till
Ribaut, with the prudence and humanity which seem always to have
characterized him, gave over his purpose of carrying them to France, and
set them ashore again.

    [Footnote 1: The following is the record of this early visit to
    Port Royal, taken from Ribaut's report to Coliguy, translated and
    printed in London in 1563:--

    "And when wee had sounded the entrie of the Chanell (thanked be
    God), wee entered safely therein with our shippes, against the
    opinion of many, finding the same one of the fayrest, and greatest
    Hauens of the worlde. Howe be it, it must be remembred, least men
    approaching neare it within seven leagues of the lande, bee
    abashed and afraide on the East side, drawing toward the
    Southeast, the grounde to be flatte, for neuerthelesse at a full
    sea, there is eurey where foure fathome water keeping the right
    Chanel."

    Ribaut thinks that the Broad River of Port Royal is the _Jordan_
    of the Spanish navigator Vasquez de Ayllon, who was here in 1520,
    and gave the name St. Helena to a neighboring cape (_La Vega,
    Florida del Inca_). The adjacent district, now called St. Helena,
    is the Chicora of the old Spanish maps.]

Ranging the woods, they found them full of game, wild turkeys and
partridges, bears and lynxes. Two deer, of unusual size, leaped up from
the underbrush. Crossbow and arquebuse were brought to the level; but the
Huguenot captain, "moved with the singular fairness and bigness of them,"
forbade his men to shoot.

Preliminary exploration, not immediate settlement, had been the object of
the voyage, but all was still rose-color in the eyes of the voyagers, and
many of their number would fain linger in the New Canaan. Ribaut was more
than willing to humor them. He mustered his company on deck, and made them
a stirring harangue: appealed to their courage and their patriotism, told
them how, from a mean origin, men rise by enterprise and daring to fame
and fortune, and demanded who among them would stay behind and hold Port
Royal for the king. The greater part came forward, and "with such a good
will and joly corage," writes the commander, "as we had much to do to stay
their importunitie." Thirty were chosen, and Albert de Pierria was named
to command them.

A fort was forthwith begun, on a small stream called the Chenonceau,
probably Archer's Creek, about six miles from the site of Beaufort. They
named it Charlesfort, in honor of the unhappy son of Catherine de Médicis,
Charles IX., the future hero of St. Bartholomew. Ammunition and stores
were sent on shore, and, on the eleventh of June, with his diminished
company, Ribaut, again embarking, spread his sails for France.

From the beach at Hilton Head Albert and his companions might watch the
receding ships, growing less and less on the vast expanse of blue,
dwindling to faint specks, then vanishing on the pale verge of the waters.
They were alone in those fearful solitudes. From the North Pole to Mexico
no Christian denizen but they.

But how were they to subsist? Their thought was not of subsistence, but of
gold. Of the thirty, the greater number were soldiers and sailors, with a
few gentlemen, that is to say, men of the sword, born within the pale of
nobility, who at home could neither labor nor trade without derogation
from their rank. For a time they busied themselves with finishing their
fort, and, this done, set forth in quest of adventures.

The Indians had lost all fear of them. Ribaut had enjoined upon them to
use all kindness and gentleness in their dealing with the men of the
woods; and they more than obeyed him. They were soon hand and glove with
chiefs, warriors, and squaws; and as with Indians the adage that
familiarity breeds contempt holds with peculiar force, they quickly
divested themselves of the prestige which had attached at the outset to
their supposed character of children of the sun. Goodwill, however,
remained, and this the colonists abused to the utmost

Roaming by river, swamp, and forest, they visited in turn the villages of
five petty chiefs, whom they called kings, feasted everywhere on hominy,
beans, and game, and loaded with gifts. One of these chiefs, named
Audusta, invited them to the grand religious festival of his tribe.
Thither, accordingly, they went. The village was alive with preparation,
and troops of women were busied in sweeping the great circular area,
surrounded by the lodges, where the ceremonies were to take place. But as
the noisy and impertinent guests showed disposition to undue merriment,
the chief shut them all in his wigwam, lest their gentile eyes should
profane the mysteries. Here, immured in darkness, they listened to the
howls, yelpings, and lugubrious songs that resounded from without. One of
them, however, by some artifice, contrived to escape, hid behind a bush,
and saw the whole solemnity: the procession of the medicine-men and the
bedaubed and befeathered warriors; the drumming, the dancing, the
stamping; the wild lamentation of the women, as they gashed the arms of
the young girls with sharp mussel-shells and flung the blood into the air
with dismal outcries. A scene of ravenous feasting followed, in which the
French, released from durance, were summoned to share.

Their carousal over, they returned to Charlesfort, where they were soon
pinched with hunger. The Indians, never niggardly of food, brought them
supplies as long as their own lasted; but the harvest was not yet ripe,
and their means did not match their good-will. They told the French of two
other kings, Ouadé and Couexis, who dwelt towards the South, and were rich
beyond belief in maize, beans, and squashes. Embarking without delay, the
mendicant colonists steered for the wigwams of these potentates, not by
the open sea, but by a perplexing inland navigation, including, as it
seems, Calibogue Sound and neighboring waters. Arrived at the friendly
villages, on or near the Savannah, they were feasted to repletion, and
their boat laden with vegetables and corn. They returned rejoicing; but
their joy was short. Their storehouse at Charlesfort, taking fire in the
night, burned to the ground, and with it their newly acquired stock. Once
more they set forth for the realms of King Ouadé, and once more returned
laden with supplies. Nay, more, the generous savage assured them, that, so
long as his cornfields yielded their harvests, his friends should not
want.

How long this friendship would have lasted may well be matter of doubt.
With the perception that the dependants on their bounty were no demigods,
but a crew of idle and helpless beggars, respect would soon have changed
to contempt and contempt to ill-will. But it was not to Indian war-clubs
that the embryo colony was to owe its ruin. Within itself it carried its
own destruction. The ill-assorted band of landsmen and sailors, surrounded
by that influence of the wilderness which wakens the dormant savage in the
breasts of men, soon fell into quarrels. Albert, a rude soldier, with a
thousand leagues of ocean betwixt him and responsibility, grew harsh,
domineering, and violent beyond endurance. None could question or oppose
him without peril of death. He hanged a drummer who had fallen under his
displeasure, and banished La Chère, a soldier, to a solitary island, three
leagues from the fort, where he left him to starve. For a time his
comrades chafed in smothered fury. The crisis came at length. A few of the
fiercer spirits leagued together, assailed their tyrant, and murdered him.
The deed done, and the famished soldier delivered, they called to the
command one Nicholas Barré, a man of merit. Barré took the command, and
thenceforth there was peace.

Peace, such as it was, with famine, homesickness, disgust. The rough
ramparts and rude buildings of Charlesfort, hatefully familiar to their
weary eyes, the sweltering forest, the glassy river, the eternal silence
of the wild monotony around them, oppressed the senses and the spirits.
Did they feel themselves the pioneers of religious freedom, the
advance-guard of civilization? Not at all. They dreamed of ease, of home,
of pleasures across the sea,--of the evening cup on the bench before the
cabaret, of dances with kind damsels of Dieppe. But how to escape? A
continent was their solitary prison, and the pitiless Atlantic closed the
egress. Not one of them knew how to build a ship; but Ribaut had left them
a forge, with tools and iron, and strong desire supplied the place of
skill. Trees were hewn down and the work begun. Had they put forth, to
maintain themselves at Port Royal, the energy and resource which they
exerted to escape from it, they might have laid the cornerstone of a solid
colony.

All, gentle and simple, labored with equal zeal. They calked the seams
with the long moss which hung in profusion from the neighboring trees; the
pines supplied them with pitch; the Indians made for them a kind of
cordage; and for sails they sewed together their shirts and bedding. At
length a brigantine worthy of Robinson Crusoe floated on the waters of the
Chenonceau. They laid in what provision they might, gave all that remained
of their goods to the delighted Indians, embarked, descended the river,
and put to sea. A fair wind filled their patchwork sails and bore them
from the hated coast. Day after day they held their course, till at length
the favoring breeze died away and a breathless calm fell on the face of
the waters. Florida was far behind; France farther yet before. Floating
idly on the glassy waste, the craft lay motionless. Their supplies gave
out. Twelve kernels of maize a day were each man's portion; then the maize
failed, and they ate their shoes and leather jerkins. The water-barrels
were drained, and they tried to slake their thirst with brine. Several
died, and the rest, giddy with exhaustion and crazed with thirst, were
forced to ceaseless labor, baling out the water that gushed through every
seam. Head-winds set in, increasing to a gale, and the wretched
brigantine, her sails close-reefed, tossed among the savage billows at the
mercy of the storm. A heavy sea rolled down upon her, and threw her on her
side. The surges broke over her, and, clinging with desperate gripe to
spars and cordage, the drenched voyagers gave up all for lost. At length
she righted. The gale subsided, the wind changed, and the crazy,
water-logged vessel again bore slowly towards France.

Gnawed with deadly famine, they counted the leagues of barren ocean that
still stretched before. With haggard, wolfish eyes they gazed on each
other, till a whisper passed from man to man, that one, by his death,
might ransom all the rest. The choice was made. It fell on La Chère, the
same wretched man whom Albert had doomed to starvation on a lonely island,
and whose mind was burdened with the fresh memories of his anguish and
despair. They killed him, and with ravenous avidity portioned out his
flesh. The hideous repast sustained them till the French coast rose in
sight, when, it is said, in a delirium of insane joy, they could no longer
steer their vessel, but let her drift at the will of the tide. A small
English bark bore down upon them, took them all on board, and, after
landing the feeblest, carried the rest prisoners to Queen Elizabeth.

Thus closed another of those scenes of woe whose lurid clouds were thickly
piled around the stormy dawn of American history.

It was but the opening act of a wild and tragic drama. A tempest of
miseries awaited those who essayed to plant the banners of France and of
Calvin in the Southern forests; and the bloody scenes of the religious war
were acted in epitome on the shores of Florida.

       *       *       *       *       *



HER EPITAPH.

      The handful here, that once was Mary's earth,
    Held, while it breathed, so beautiful a soul,
      That, when she died, all recognized her birth,
    And had their sorrow in serene control.

      "Not here! not here!" to every mourner's heart
    The wintry wind seemed whispering round her bier;
      And when the tomb-door opened, with a start
    We heard it echoed from within,--"Not here!"

      Shouldst thou, sad pilgrim, who mayst hither pass,
    Note in these flowers a delicater hue,
      Should spring come earlier to this hallowed grass,
    Or the bee later linger on the dew,

      Know that her spirit to her body lent
    Such sweetness, grace, as only goodness can,
      That even her dust, and this her monument,
    Have yet a spell to stay one lonely man,--

      Lonely through life, but looking for the day
    When what is mortal of himself shall sleep,
      When human passion shall have passed away,
    And Love no longer be a thing to weep.

       *       *       *       *       *



OUTSIDE GLIMPSES OF ENGLISH POVERTY.


Becoming an inhabitant of a great English town, I often turned aside from
the prosperous thoroughfares, (where the edifices, the shops, and the
bustling crowd differed not so much from scenes with which I was familiar
in my own country,) and went designedly astray among precincts that
reminded me of some of Dickens's grimiest pages. There I caught glimpses
of a people and a mode of life that were comparatively new to my
observation, a sort of sombre phantasmagoric spectacle, exceedingly
undelightful to behold, yet involving a singular interest and even
fascination in its ugliness.

Dirt, one would fancy, is plenty enough all over the world, being the
symbolic accompaniment of the foul incrustation which began to settle over
and bedim all earthly things as soon as Eve had bitten the apple; ever
since which hapless epoch, her daughters have chiefly been engaged in a
desperate and unavailing struggle to get rid of it. But the dirt of a
poverty-stricken English street is a monstrosity unknown on our side of
the Atlantic. It reigns supreme within its own limits, and is
inconceivable everywhere beyond them. We enjoy the great advantage, that
the brightness and dryness of our atmosphere keep everything clean that
the sun shines upon, converting the larger portion of our impurities into
transitory dust which the next wind can sweep away, in contrast with the
damp, adhesive grime that incorporates itself with all surfaces (unless
continually and painfully cleansed) in the chill moisture of the English
air. Then the all-pervading smoke of the city, abundantly intermingled
with the sable snow-flakes of bituminous coal, hovering overhead,
descending, and alighting on pavements and rich architectural fronts, on
the snowy muslin of the ladies, and the gentlemen's starched collars and
shirt-bosoms, invests even the better streets in a half-mourning garb. It
is beyond the resources of Wealth to keep the smut away from its premises
or its own fingers' ends; and as for Poverty, it surrenders itself to the
dark influence without a struggle. Along with disastrous circumstances,
pinching need, adversity so lengthened out as to constitute the rule of
life, there comes a certain chill depression of the spirits which seems
especially to shudder at cold water. In view of so wretched a state of
things, we accept the ancient Deluge not merely as an insulated
phenomenon, but as a periodical necessity, and acknowledge that nothing
less than such a general washing-day could suffice to cleanse the slovenly
old world of its moral and material dirt.

Gin-shops, or what the English call spirit-vaults, are numerous in the
vicinity of these poor streets, and are set off with the magnificence of
gilded doorposts, tarnished by contact with the unclean customers who
haunt there. Ragged children come thither with old shaving-mugs, or
broken-nosed tea-pots, or any such make-shift receptacle, to get a little
poison or madness for their parents, who deserve no better requital at
their hands for having engendered them. Inconceivably sluttish women enter
at noonday and stand at the counter among boon-companions of both sexes,
stirring up misery and jollity in a bumper together, and quaffing off the
mixture with a relish. As for the men, they lounge there continually,
drinking till they are drunken,--drinking as long as they have a halfpenny
left, and then, as it seemed to me, waiting for a sixpenny miracle to be
wrought in their pockets, so as to enable them to be drunken again. Most
of these establishments have a significant advertisement of "Beds,"
doubtless for the accommodation of their customers in the interval between
one intoxication and the next. I never could find it in my heart, however,
utterly to condemn these sad revellers, and should certainly wait till I
had some better consolation to offer before depriving them of their dram
of gin, though death itself were in the glass; for methought their poor
souls needed such fiery stimulant to lift them a little way out of the
smothering squalor of both their outward and interior life, giving them
glimpses and suggestions, even if bewildering ones, of a spiritual
existence that limited their present misery. The temperance-reformers
unquestionably derive their commission from the Divine Beneficence, but
have never been taken fully into its counsels. All may not be lost, though
those good men fail.

Pawn-brokers' establishments, distinguished by the mystic symbol of the
three golden balls, were conveniently accessible; though what personal
property these wretched people could possess, capable of being estimated
in silver or copper, so as to afford a basis for a loan, was a problem
that still perplexes me. Old clothes-men, likewise, dwelt hard by, and
hung out ancient garments to dangle in the wind. There were butchers'
shops, too, of a class adapted to the neighborhood, presenting no such
generously fattened carcasses as Englishmen love to gaze at in the market,
no stupendous halves of mighty beeves, no dead hogs or muttons ornamented
with carved bas-reliefs of fat on their ribs and shoulders, in a
peculiarly British style of art,--not these, but bits and gobbets of lean
meat, selvages snipt off from steaks, tough and stringy morsels, bare
bones smitten away from joints by the cleaver, tripe, liver, bullocks'
feet, or whatever else was cheapest and divisible into the smallest lots.
I am afraid that even such delicacies came to many of their tables hardly
oftener than Christmas. In the windows of other little shops you saw half
a dozen wizened herrings, some eggs in a basket, looking so dingily
antique that your imagination smelt them, fly-speckled biscuits, segments
of a hungry cheese, pipes and papers of tobacco. Now and then a sturdy
milk-woman passed by with a wooden yoke over her shoulders, supporting a
pail on either side, filled with a whitish fluid, the composition of which
was water and chalk and the milk of a sickly cow, who gave the best she
had, poor thing! but could scarcely make it rich or wholesome, spending
her life in some close city-nook and pasturing on strange food. I have
seen, once or twice, a donkey coming into one of these streets with
panniers full of vegetables, and departing with a return cargo of what
looked like rubbish and street-sweepings. No other commerce seemed to
exist, except, possibly, a girl might offer you a pair of stockings or a
worked collar, or a man whisper something mysterious about wonderfully
cheap cigars. And yet I remember seeing female hucksters in those regions,
with their wares on the edge of the sidewalk and their own seats right in
the carriage-way, pretending to sell half-decayed oranges and apples,
toffy, Ormskirk cakes, combs and cheap jewelry, the coarsest kind of
crockery, and little plates of oysters,--knitting patiently all day long,
and removing their undiminished stock in trade at nightfall. All
indispensable importations from other quarters of the town were on a
remarkably diminutive scale: for example, the wealthier inhabitants
purchased their coal by the wheelbarrow-load, and the poorer ones by the
peck-measure. It was a curious and melancholy spectacle, when an overladen
coal-cart happened to pass through the street and drop a handful or two of
its burden in the mud, to see half a dozen women and children scrambling
for the treasure-trove, like a dock of hens and chickens gobbling up some
spilt corn. In this connection I may as well mention a commodity of boiled
snails (for such they appeared to me, though probably a marine production)
which used to be peddled from door to door, piping hot, as an article of
cheap nutriment.

The population of these dismal abodes appeared to consider the side-walks
and middle of the street as their common hall. In a drama of low life, the
unity of place might be arranged rigidly according to the classic rule,
and the street be the one locality in which every scene and incident
should occur. Courtship, quarrels, plot and counterplot, conspiracies for
robbery and murder, family difficulties or agreements,--all such matters,
I doubt not, are constantly discussed or transacted in this sky-roofed
saloon, so regally hung with its sombre canopy of coal-smoke. Whatever the
disadvantages of the English climate, the only comfortable or wholesome
part of life, for the city-poor, must be spent in the open air. The
stifled and squalid rooms where they lie down at night, whole families and
neighborhoods together, or sulkily elbow one another in the day-time, when
a settled rain drives them within doors, are worse horrors than it is
worth while (without a practical object in view) to admit into one's
imagination. No wonder that they creep forth from the foul mystery of
their interiors, stumble down from their garrets, or scramble up out of
their cellars, on the upper step of which you may see the grimy housewife,
before the shower is ended, letting the rain-drops gutter down her visage;
while her children (an impish progeny of cavernous recesses below the
common sphere of humanity) swarm into the daylight and attain all that
they know of personal purification in the nearest mud-puddle. It might
almost make a man doubt the existence of his own soul, to observe how
Nature has flung these little wretches into the street and left them
there, so evidently regarding them as nothing worth, and how all mankind
acquiesce in the great mother's estimate of her offspring. For, if they
are to have no immortality, what superior claim can I assert for mine? And
how difficult to believe that anything so precious as a germ of immortal
growth can have been buried under this dirt-heap, plunged into this
cesspool of misery and vice! As often as I beheld the scene, it affected
me with surprise and loathsome interest, much resembling, though in a far
intenser degree, the feeling with which, when a boy, I used to turn over a
plank or an old log that had long lain on the damp ground, and found a
vivacious multitude of unclean and devilish-looking insects scampering to
and fro beneath it. Without an infinite faith, there seemed as much
prospect of a blessed futurity for those hideous bugs and many-footed
worms as for these brethren of our humanity and co-heirs of all our
heavenly inheritance. Ah, what a mystery! Slowly, slowly, as after groping
at the bottom of a deep, noisome, stagnant pool, my hope struggles upward
to the surface, bearing the half-drowned body of a child along with it,
and heaving it aloft for its life, and my own life, and all our lives.
Unless these slime-clogged nostrils can be made capable of inhaling
celestial air, I know not how the purest and most intellectual of us can
reasonably expect ever to taste a breath of it. The whole question of
eternity is staked there. If a single one of those helpless little ones be
lost, the world is lost!

The women and children greatly preponderate in such places; the men
probably wandering abroad in quest of that daily miracle, a dinner and a
drink, or perhaps slumbering in the daylight that they may the better
follow out their catlike rambles through the dark. Here are women with
young figures, but old, wrinkled, yellow faces, tanned and blear-eyed with
the smoke which they cannot spare from their scanty fires,--it being too
precious for its warmth to be swallowed by the chimney. Some of them sit
on the door-steps, nursing their unwashed babies at bosoms which we will
glance aside from, for the sake of our mothers and all womanhood, because
the fairest spectacle is here the foulest. Yet motherhood, in these dark
abodes, is strangely identical with what we have all known it to be in the
happiest homes. Nothing, as I remember, smote me with more grief and pity
(all the more poignant because perplexingly entangled with an inclination
to smile) than to hear a gaunt and ragged mother priding herself on the
pretty ways of her ragged and skinny infant, just as a young matron might,
when she invites her lady-friends to admire her plump, white-robed darling
in the nursery. Indeed, no womanly characteristic seemed to have
altogether perished out of these poor souls. It was the very same creature
whose tender torments make the rapture of our young days, whom we love,
cherish, and protect, and rely upon in life and death, and whom we delight
to see beautify her beauty with rich robes and set it off with jewels,
though now fantastically masquerading in a garb of tatters, wholly unfit
for her to handle. I recognized her, over and over again, in the groups
round a door-step or in the descent of a cellar, chatting with prodigious
earnestness about intangible trifles, laughing for a little jest,
sympathizing at almost the same instant with one neighbor's sunshine and
another's shadow, wise, simple, sly, and patient, yet easily perturbed,
and breaking into small feminine ebullitions of spite, wrath, and
jealousy, tornadoes of a moment, such as vary the social atmosphere of her
silken-skirted sisters, though smothered into propriety by dint of a
well-bred habit. Not that there was an absolute deficiency of
good-breeding, even here. It often surprised me to witness a courtesy and
deference among these ragged folks, which, having seen it, I did not
thoroughly believe in, wondering whence it should have come. I am
persuaded, however, that there were laws of intercourse which they never
violated,--a code of the cellar, the garret, the common staircase, the
doorstep, and the pavement, which perhaps had as deep a foundation in
natural fitness as the code of the drawing-room.

Yet again I doubt whether I may not have been uttering folly in the last
two sentences, when I reflect how rude and rough these specimens of
feminine character generally were. They had a readiness with their hands
that reminded me of Molly Seagrim and other heroines in Fielding's novels.
For example, I have seen a woman meet a man in the street, and, for no
reason perceptible to me, suddenly clutch him by the hair and cuff his
ears,--an infliction which he bore with exemplary patience, only snatching
the very earliest opportunity to take to his heels. Where a sharp tongue
will not serve the purpose, they trust to the sharpness of their
finger-nails, or incarnate a whole vocabulary of vituperative words in a
resounding slap, or the downright blow of a doubled fist. All English
people, I imagine, are influenced in a far greater degree than ourselves
by this simple and honest tendency, in cases of disagreement, to batter
one another's persons; and whoever has seen a crowd of English ladies (for
instance, at the door of the Sistine Chapel, in Holy Week) will be
satisfied that their belligerent propensities are kept in abeyance only by
a merciless rigor on the part of society. It requires a vast deal of
refinement to spiritualize their large physical endowments. Such being the
case with the delicate ornaments of the drawing-room, it is the less to be
wondered at that women who live mostly in the open air, amid the coarsest
kind of companionship and occupation, should carry on the intercourse of
life with a freedom unknown to any class of American females, though
still, I am resolved to think, compatible with a generous breadth of
natural propriety. It shocked me, at first, to see them (of all ages, even
elderly, as well as infants that could just toddle across the street
alone) going about in the mud and mire, or through the dusky snow and
slosh of a severe week in winter, with petticoats high uplifted above
bare, red feet and legs; but I was comforted by observing that both shoes
and stockings generally reappeared with better weather, having been
thriftily kept out of the damp for the convenience of dry feet within
doors. Their hardihood was wonderful, and their strength greater than
could have been expected from such spare diet as they probably lived upon.
I have seen them carrying on their heads great burdens under which they
walked as freely as if they were fashionable bonnets; or sometimes the
burden was huge enough almost to cover the whole person, looked at from
behind,--as in Tuscan villages you may see the girls coming in from the
country with great bundles of green twigs upon their backs, so that they
resemble locomotive masses of verdure and fragrance. But these poor
English women seemed to be laden with rubbish, incongruous and
indescribable, such as bones and rags, the sweepings of the house and of
the street, a merchandise gathered up from what poverty itself had thrown
away, a heap of filthy stuff analogous to Christian's bundle of sin.

Sometimes, though very seldom, I detected a certain gracefulness among the
younger women that was altogether new to my observation. It was a charm
proper to the lowest class. One girl I particularly remember, in a garb
none of the cleanest and nowise smart, and herself exceedingly coarse in
all respects, but yet endowed with a sort of witchery, a native charm, a
robe of simple beauty and suitable behavior that she was born in and had
never been tempted to throw off, because she had really nothing else to
put on. Eve herself could not have been more natural. Nothing was
affected, nothing imitative; no proper grace was vulgarized by an effort
to assume the manners or adornments of another sphere. This kind of
beauty, arrayed in a fitness of its own, is probably vanishing out of the
world, and will certainly never be found in America, where all the girls,
whether daughters of the upper-ten-dom, the mediocrity, the cottage, or
the kennel, aim at one standard of dress and deportment, seldom
accomplishing a perfectly triumphant hit or an utterly absurd failure.
Those words, "genteel" and "ladylike," are terrible ones and do us
infinite mischief, but it is because (at least, I hope so) we are in a
transition state, and shall emerge into a higher mode of simplicity than
has ever been known to past ages.

In such disastrous circumstances as I have been attempting to describe, it
was beautiful to observe what a mysterious efficacy still asserted itself
in character. A woman, evidently poor as the poorest of her neighbors,
would be knitting or sewing on the door-step, just as fifty other women
were; but round about her skirts (though wofully patched) you would be
sensible of a certain sphere of decency, which, it seemed to me, could not
have been kept more impregnable in the coziest little sitting-room, where
the tea-kettle on the hob was humming its good old song of domestic peace.
Maidenhood had a similar power. The evil habit that grows upon us in this
harsh world makes me faithless to my own better perceptions; and yet I
have seen girls in these wretched streets, on whose virgin purity, judging
merely from their impression on my instincts as they passed by, I should
have deemed it safe, at the moment, to stake my life. The next moment,
however, as the surrounding flood of moral uncleanness surged over their
foot-steps, I would not have staked a spike of thistle-down on the same
wager. Yet the miracle was within the scope of Providence, which is
equally wise and equally beneficent, (even to those poor girls, though I
acknowledge the fact without the remotest comprehension of the mode of
it,) whether they were pure or what we fellow-sinners call vile. Unless
your faith be deep-rooted and of most vigorous growth, it is the safer way
not to turn aside into this region so suggestive of miserable doubt. It
was a place "with dreadful faces thronged," wrinkled and grim with vice
and wretchedness; and, thinking over the line of Milton here quoted, I
come to the conclusion that those ugly lineaments which startled Adam and
Eve, as they looked backward to the closed gate of Paradise, were no
fiends from the pit, but the more terrible foreshadowings of what so many
of their descendants were to be. God help them, and us likewise, their
brethren and sisters! Let me add, that, forlorn, ragged, care-worn,
hopeless, dirty, haggard, hungry, as they were, the most pitiful thing of
all was to see the sort of patience with which they accepted their lot, as
if they had been born into the world for that and nothing else. Even the
little children had this characteristic in as perfect development as their
grandmothers.

The children, in truth, were the ill-omened blossoms from which another
harvest of precisely such dark fruitage as I saw ripened around me was to
be produced. Of course, you would imagine these to be lumps of crude
iniquity, tiny vessels as full as they could hold of naughtiness; nor can
I say a great deal to the contrary. Small proof of parental discipline
could I discern, save when a mother (drunken, I sincerely hope) snatched
her own imp out of a group of pale, half-naked, humor-eaten abortions that
were playing and squabbling together in the mud, turned up its tatters,
brought down her heavy hand on its poor little tenderest part, and let it
go again with a shake. If the child knew what the punishment was for, it
was wiser than I pretend to be. It yelled, and went back to its playmates
in the mud. Yet let me bear testimony to what was beautiful, and more
touching than anything that I ever witnessed in the intercourse of happier
children. I allude to the superintendence which some of these small people
(too small, one would think, to be sent into the street alone, had there
been any other nursery for them) exercised over still smaller ones. Whence
they derived such a sense of duty, unless immediately from God, I cannot
tell; but it was wonderful to observe the expression of responsibility in
their deportment, the anxious fidelity with which they discharged their
unfit office, the tender patience with which they linked their less
pliable impulses to the wayward footsteps of an infant, and let it guide
them whithersoever it liked. In the hollow-cheeked, large-eyed girl of
ten, whom I saw giving a cheerless oversight to her baby-brother, I did
not so much marvel at it. She had merely come a little earlier than usual
to the perception of what was to be her business in life. But I admired
the sickly-looking little boy, who did violence to his boyish nature by
making himself the servant of his little sister,--she too small to walk,
and he too small to take her in his arms,--and therefore working a kind of
miracle to transport her from one dirt-heap to another. Beholding such
works of love and duty, I took heart again, and deemed it not so
impossible, after all, for these neglected children to find a path through
the squalor and evil of their circumstances up to the gate of heaven.
Perhaps there was this latent good in all of them, though generally they
looked brutish, and dull even in their sports; there was little mirth
among them, nor even a fully awakened spirit of blackguardism. Yet
sometimes, again, I saw, with surprise and a sense as if I had been asleep
and dreaming, the bright, intelligent, merry face of a child whose dark
eyes gleamed with vivacious expression through the dirt that incrusted its
skin, like sunshine struggling through a very dusty window-pane.

In these streets the belted and blue-coated policeman appears seldom in
comparison with the frequency of his occurrence in more reputable
thoroughfares. I used to think that the inhabitants would have ample time
to murder one another, or any stranger, like myself, who might violate the
filthy sanctities of the place, before the law could bring up its
lumbering assistance. Nevertheless, there is a supervision; nor does the
watchfulness of authority permit the populace to be tempted to any
outbreak. Once, in a time of dearth, I noticed a ballad-singer going
through the street hoarsely chanting some discordant strain in a
provincial dialect, of which I could only make out that it addressed the
sensibilities of the auditors on the score of starvation; but by his side
stalked the policeman, offering no interference, but watchful to hear what
this rough minstrel said or sang, and silence him, if his effusion
threatened to prove too soul-stirring. In my judgment, however, there is
little or no danger of that kind: they starve patiently, sicken patiently,
die patiently, not through resignation, but a diseased flaccidity of hope.
If ever they should do mischief to those above them, it will probably be
by the communication of some destructive pestilence; for, so the medical
men affirm, they suffer all the ordinary diseases with a degree of
virulence elsewhere unknown, and keep among themselves traditionary
plagues that have long ceased to afflict more fortunate societies. Charity
herself gathers her robe about her to avoid their contact. It would be a
dire revenge, indeed, if they were to prove their claims to be reckoned of
one blood and nature with the noblest and wealthiest by compelling them to
inhale death through the spread of their own poverty-poisoned atmosphere.

A true Englishman is a kind man at heart, but has an unconquerable dislike
to poverty and beggary. Beggars have heretofore been so strange to an
American that he is apt to become their prey, being recognized through his
national peculiarities, and beset by them in the streets. The English
smile at him, and say that there are ample public arrangements for every
pauper's possible need, that street-charity promotes idleness and vice,
and that yonder personification of misery on the pavement will lay up a
good day's profit, besides supping more luxuriously than the dupe who
gives him a shilling. By-and-by the stranger adopts their theory and
begins to practise upon it, much to his own temporary freedom from
annoyance, but not entirely without moral detriment or sometimes a too
late contrition. Years afterwards, it may be, his memory is still haunted
by some vindictive wretch whose cheeks were pale and hunger-pinched, whose
rags fluttered in the east-wind, whose right arm was paralyzed and his
left leg shrivelled into a mere nerveless stick, but whom he passed by
remorselessly because an Englishman chose to say that the fellow's misery
looked too perfect, was too artistically got up, to be genuine. Even
allowing this to be true, (as, a hundred chances to one, it was,) it would
still have been a clear case of economy to buy him off with a little loose
silver, so that his lamentable figure should not limp at the heels of your
conscience all over the world. To own the truth, I provided myself with
several such imaginary persecutors in England, and recruited their number
with at least one sickly-looking wretch whose acquaintance I first made at
Assisi, in Italy, and, taking a dislike to something sinister in his
aspect, permitted him to beg early and late, and all day long, without
getting a single baiocco. At my latest glimpse of him, the villain avenged
himself, not by a volley of horrible curses, as any other Italian beggar
would, but by taking an expression so grief-stricken, want-wrung,
hopeless, and withal resigned, that I could paint his life-like portrait
at this moment. Were I to go over the same ground again, I would listen to
no man's theories, but buy the little luxury of beneficence at a cheap
rate, instead of doing myself a moral mischief by exuding a stony
incrustation over whatever natural sensibility I might possess.

On the other hand, there were some mendicants whose utmost efforts I even
now felicitate myself on having withstood. Such was a phenomenon abridged
of his lower half, who beset me for two or three years together, and, in
spite of his deficiency of locomotive members, had some supernatural
method of transporting himself (simultaneously, I believe) to all quarters
of the city. He wore a sailor's jacket, (possibly, because skirts would
have been a superfluity to his figure,) and had a remarkably
broad-shouldered and muscular frame, surmounted by a large, fresh-colored
face, which was full of power and intelligence. His dress and linen were
the perfection of neatness. Once a day, at least, wherever I went, I
suddenly became aware of this trunk of a man on the path before me,
resting on his base, and looking as if he had just sprouted out of the
pavement, and would sink into it again and reappear at some other spot the
instant you left him behind. The expression of his eye was perfectly
respectful, but terribly fixed, holding your own as by fascination, never
once winking, never wavering from its point-blank gaze right into your
face, till you were completely beyond the range of his battery of one
immense rifled cannon. This was his mode of soliciting alms; and he
reminded me of the old beggar who appealed so touchingly to the charitable
sympathies of Gil Blas, taking aim at him from the roadside with a
long-barrelled musket. The intentness and directness of his silent appeal,
his close and unrelenting attack upon your individuality, respectful as it
seemed, was the very flower of insolence; or, if you give it a possibly
truer interpretation, it was the tyrannical effort of a man endowed with
great natural force of character to constrain your reluctant will to his
purpose. Apparently, he had staked his salvation upon the ultimate success
of a daily struggle between himself and me, the triumph of which would
compel me to become a tributary to the hat that lay on the pavement beside
him. Man or fiend, however, there was a stubbornness in his intended
victim which this massive fragment of a mighty personality had not
altogether reckoned upon, and by its aid I was enabled to pass him at my
customary pace hundreds of times over, quietly meeting his terribly
respectful eye, and allowing him the fair chance which I felt to be his
due, to subjugate me, if he really had the strength for it. He never
succeeded, but, on the other hand, never gave up the contest; and should I
ever walk those streets again, I am certain that the truncated tyrant will
sprout up through the pavement and look me fixedly in the eye, and perhaps
get the victory.

I should think all the more highly of myself, if I had shown equal heroism
in resisting another class of beggarly depredators, who assailed me on my
weaker side and won an easy spoil. Such was the sanctimonious clergyman,
with his white cravat, who visited me with a subscription-paper, which he
himself had drawn up, in a case of heart-rending distress;--the
respectable and ruined tradesman, going from door to door, shy and silent
in his own person, but accompanied by a sympathizing friend, who bore
testimony to his integrity, and stated the unavoidable misfortunes that
had crushed him down;--or the delicate and prettily dressed lady, who had
been bred in affluence, but was suddenly thrown upon the perilous
charities of the world by the death of an indulgent, but secretly
insolvent father, or the commercial catastrophe and simultaneous suicide
of the best of husbands;--or the gifted, but unsuccessful author,
appealing to my fraternal sympathies, generously rejoicing in some small
prosperities which he was kind enough to term my own triumphs in the field
of letters, and claiming to have largely contributed to them by his
unbought notices in the public journals. England is full of such people,
and a hundred other varieties of peripatetic tricksters, higher than
these, and lower, who act their parts tolerably well, but seldom with an
absolutely illusive effect. I knew at once, raw Yankee as I was, that they
were humbugs, almost without an exception,--rats that nibble at the honest
bread and cheese of the community, and grow fat by their petty
pilferings,--yet often gave them what they asked, and privately owned
myself a simpleton. There is a decorum which restrains you (unless you
happen to be a police-constable) from breaking through a crust of
plausible respectability, even when you are certain that there is a knave
beneath it.

       *       *       *       *       *

After making myself as familiar as I decently could with the poor streets,
I became curious to see what kind of a home was provided for the
inhabitants at the public expense, fearing that it must needs be a most
comfortless one, or else their choice (if choice it were) of so miserable
a life outside was truly difficult to account for. Accordingly, I visited
a great almshouse, and was glad to observe how unexceptionably all the
parts of the establishment were carried on, and what an orderly life,
full-fed, sufficiently reposeful, and undisturbed by the arbitrary
exercise of authority, seemed to be led there. Possibly, indeed, it was
that very orderliness, and the cruel necessity of being neat and clean,
and even the comfort resulting from these and other Christian-like
restraints and regulations, that constituted the principal grievance on
the part of the poor, shiftless inmates, accustomed to a life-long luxury
of dirt and harum-scarumness. The wild life of the streets has perhaps as
unforgettable a charm, to those who have once thoroughly imbibed it, as
the life of the forest or the prairie. But I conceive rather that there
must be insuperable difficulties, for the majority of the poor, in the way
of getting admittance to the almshouse, than that a merely aesthetic
preference for the street would incline the pauper-class to fare scantily
and precariously, and expose their raggedness to the rain and snow, when
such a hospitable door stood wide-open for their entrance. It might be
that the roughest and darkest side of the matter was not shown me, there
being persons of eminent station and of both sexes in the party which I
accompanied; and, of course, a properly trained public functionary would
have deemed it a monstrous rudeness, as well as a great shame, to exhibit
anything to people of rank that might too painfully shock their
sensibilities.

The women's ward was the portion of the establishment which we especially
examined. It could not be questioned that they were treated with kindness
as well as care. No doubt, as has been already suggested, some of them
felt the irksomeness of submission to general rules of orderly behavior,
after being accustomed to that perfect freedom from the minor proprieties,
at least, which is one of the compensations of absolutely hopeless
poverty, or of any circumstances that set us fairly below the decencies of
life. I asked the governor of the house whether he met with any difficulty
in keeping peace and order among his inmates; and he informed me that his
troubles among the women were incomparably greater than with the men. They
were freakish, and apt to be quarrelsome, inclined to plague and pester
one another in ways that it was impossible to lay hold of, and to thwart
his own authority by the like intangible methods. He said this with the
utmost good-nature, and quite won my regard by so placidly resigning
himself to the inevitable necessity of letting the women throw dust into
his eyes. They certainly looked peaceable and sisterly enough, as I saw
them, though still it might be faintly perceptible that some of them were
consciously playing their parts before the governor and his distinguished
visitors.

This governor seemed to me a man thoroughly fit for his position. An
American, in an office of similar responsibility, would doubtless be a
much superior person, better educated, possessing a far wider range of
thought, more naturally acute, with a quicker tact of external observation
and a readier faculty of dealing with difficult cases. The women would not
succeed in throwing half so much dust into his eyes. Moreover, his black
coat, and thin, sallow visage, would make him look like a scholar, and his
manners would indefinitely approximate to those of a gentleman. But I
cannot help questioning, whether, on the whole, these higher endowments
would produce decidedly better results. The Englishman was thoroughly
plebeian both in aspect and behavior, a bluff, ruddy-faced, hearty,
kindly, yeoman-like personage, with no refinement whatever, nor any
superfluous sensibility, but gifted with a native wholesomeness of
character which must have been a very beneficial element in the atmosphere
of the almshouse. He spoke to his pauper family in loud, good-humored,
cheerful tones, and treated them with a healthy freedom that probably
caused the forlorn wretches to feel as if they were free and healthy
likewise. If he had understood them a little better, he would not have
treated them half so wisely. We are apt to make sickly people more morbid,
and unfortunate people more miserable, by endeavoring to adapt our
deportment to their especial and individual needs. They eagerly accept our
well-meant efforts; but it is like returning their own sick breath back
upon themselves, to be breathed over and over again, intensifying the
inward mischief at every repetition. The sympathy that would really do
them good is of a kind that recognizes their sound and healthy parts, and
ignores the part affected by disease, which will thrive under the eye of a
too close observer like a poisonous weed in the sunshine. My good friend
the governor had no tendencies in the latter direction, and abundance of
them in the former, and was consequently as wholesome and invigorating as
the west-wind with a little spice of the north in it, brightening the
dreary visages that encountered us as if he had carried a sunbeam in his
hand. He expressed himself by his whole being and personality, and by
works more than words, and had the not unusual English merit of knowing
what to do much better than how to talk about it.

The women, I imagine, must have felt one imperfection in their state,
however comfortable otherwise. They were forbidden, or, at all events,
lacked the means, to follow out their natural instinct of adorning
themselves; all were dressed in one homely uniform of blue-checked gowns,
with such caps upon their heads as English servants wear. Generally, too,
they had one dowdy English aspect, and a vulgar type of features so nearly
alike that they seemed literally to constitute a sisterhood. We have few
of these absolutely unilluminated faces among our native American
population, individuals of whom must be singularly unfortunate, if, mixing
as we do, no drop of gentle blood has contributed to refine the turbid
element, no gleam of hereditary intelligence has lighted up the stolid
eyes, which their forefathers brought from the Old Country. Even in this
English almshouse, however, there was at least one person who claimed to
be intimately connected with rank and wealth. The governor, after
suggesting that this person would probably be gratified by our visit,
ushered us into a small parlor, which was furnished a little more like a
room in a private dwelling than others that we entered, and had a row of
religious books and fashionable novels on the mantel-piece. An old lady
sat at a bright coal-fire, reading a romance, and rose to receive us with
a certain pomp of manner and elaborate display of ceremonious courtesy,
which, in spite of myself, made me inwardly question the genuineness of
her aristocratic pretensions. But, at any rate, she looked like a
respectable old soul, and was evidently gladdened to the very core of her
frostbitten heart by the awful punctiliousness with which we responded to
her gracious and hospitable, though unfamiliar welcome. After a little
polite conversation, we retired; and the governor, with a lowered voice
and an air of deference, told us that she had been a lady of quality, and
had ridden in her own equipage, not many years before, and now lived in
continual expectation that some of her rich relatives would drive up in
their carriages to take her away. Meanwhile, he added, she was treated
with great respect by her fellow-paupers. I could not help thinking, from
a few criticisable peculiarities in her talk and manner, that there might
have been a mistake on the governor's part, and perhaps a venial
exaggeration on the old lady's, concerning her former position in society;
but what struck me was the forcible instance of that most prevalent of
English vanities, the pretension to aristocratic connection, on one side,
and the submission and reverence with which it was accepted by the
governor and his household, on the other. Among ourselves, I think, when
wealth and eminent position have taken their departure, they seldom leave
a pallid ghost behind them,--or, if it sometimes stalks abroad, few
recognize it.

We went into several other rooms, at the doors of which, pausing on the
outside, we could hear the volubility, and sometimes the wrangling, of the
female inhabitants within, but invariably found silence and peace when we
stepped over the threshold. The women were grouped together in their
sitting-rooms, sometimes three or four, sometimes a larger number,
classified by their spontaneous affinities, I suppose, and all busied, so
far as I can remember, with the one occupation of knitting coarse yarn
stockings. Hardly any of them, I am sorry to say, had a brisk or cheerful
air, though it often stirred them up to a momentary vivacity to be
accosted by the governor, and they seemed to like being noticed, however
slightly, by the visitors. The happiest person whom I saw there (and,
running hastily through my experiences, I hardly recollect to have seen a
happier one in my life, if you take a careless flow of spirits as
happiness) was an old woman that lay in bed among ten or twelve
heavy-looking females, who plied their knitting-work round about her. She
laughed, when we entered, and immediately began a talk to us, in a thin,
little, spirited quaver, claiming to be more than a century old; and the
governor (in whatever way he happened to be cognizant of the fact)
confirmed her age to be a hundred and four. Her jauntiness and cackling
merriment were really wonderful. It was as if she had got through with all
her actual business in life two or three generations ago, and now, freed
from every responsibility for herself or others, had only to keep up a
mirthful state of mind till the short time, or long time, (and, happy as
she was, she appeared not to care whether it were long or short,) before
Death, who had misplaced her name in his list, might remember to take her
away. She had gone quite round the circle of human existence, and come
back to the play-ground again. And so she had grown to be a kind of
miraculous old pet, the plaything of people seventy or eighty years
younger than herself, who talked and laughed with her as if she were a
child, finding great delight in her wayward and strangely playful
responses, into some of which she cunningly conveyed a gibe that caused
their ears to tingle a little. She had done getting out of bed in this
world, and lay there to be waited upon like a queen or a baby.

In the same room sat a pauper who had once been an actress of considerable
repute, but was compelled to give up her profession by a softening of the
brain. The disease seemed to have stolen the continuity out of her life,
and disturbed all healthy relationship between the thoughts within her and
the world without. On our first entrance, she looked cheerfully at us, and
showed herself ready to engage in conversation; but suddenly, while we
were talking with the century-old crone, the poor actress began to weep,
contorting her face with extravagant stage-grimaces, and wringing her
hands for some inscrutable sorrow. It might have been a reminiscence of
actual calamity in her past life, or, quite as probably, it was but a
dramatic woe, beneath which she had staggered and shrieked and wrung her
hands with hundreds of repetitions in the sight of crowded theatres, and
been as often comforted by thunders of applause. But my idea of the
mystery was, that she had a sense of wrong in seeing the aged woman (whose
empty vivacity was like the rattling of dry peas in a bladder) chosen as
the central object of interest to the visitors, while she herself, who had
agitated thousands of hearts with a breath, sat starving for the
admiration that was her natural food. I appeal to the whole society of
artists of the Beautiful and the Imaginative,--poets, romancers, painters,
sculptors, actors,--whether or no this is a grief that may be felt even
amid the torpor of a dissolving brain!

We looked into a good many sleeping-chambers, where were rows of beds,
mostly calculated for two occupants, and provided with sheets and
pillow-cases that resembled sackcloth. It appeared to me that the sense of
beauty was insufficiently regarded in all the arrangements of the
almshouse; a little cheap luxury for the eye, at least, might do the poor
folks a substantial good. But, at all events, there was the beauty of
perfect neatness and orderliness, which, being heretofore known to few of
them, was perhaps as much as they could well digest in the remnant of
their lives. We were invited into the laundry, where a great washing and
drying were in process, the whole atmosphere being hot and vaporous with
the steam of wet garments and bedclothes. This atmosphere was the
pauper-life of the past week or fortnight resolved into a gaseous state,
and breathing it, however fastidiously, we were forced to inhale the
strange element into our inmost being. Had the Queen been there, I know
not how she could have escaped the necessity. What an intimate brotherhood
is this in which we dwell, do what we may to put an artificial remoteness
between the high creature and the low one! A poor man's breath, borne on
the vehicle of tobacco-smoke, floats into a palace-window and reaches the
nostrils of a monarch. It is but an example, obvious to the sense, of the
innumerable and secret channels by which, at every moment of our lives,
the flow and reflux of a common humanity pervade us all. How superficial
are the niceties of such as pretend to keep aloof! Let the whole world be
cleansed, or not a man or woman of us all can be clean.

By-and-by we came to the ward where the children were kept, on entering
which, we saw, in the first place, several unlovely and unwholesome little
people lazily playing together in a court-yard. And here a singular
incommodity befell one member of our party. Among the children was a
wretched, pale, half-torpid little thing, (about six years old, perhaps,
but I know not whether a girl or a boy,) with a humor in its eyes and
face, which the governor said was the scurvy, and which appeared to bedim
its powers of vision, so that it toddled about gropingly, as if in quest
of it did not precisely know what. This child--this sickly, wretched,
humor-eaten infant, the offspring of unspeakable sin and sorrow, whom it
must have required several generations of guilty progenitors to render so
pitiable an object as we beheld it--immediately took an unaccountable
fancy to the gentleman just hinted at. It prowled about him like a pet
kitten, rubbing against his legs, following everywhere at his heels,
pulling at his coat-tails, and, at last, exerting all the speed that its
poor limbs were capable of, got directly before him and held forth its
arms, mutely insisting on being taken up. It said not a word, being
perhaps underwitted and incapable of prattle. But it smiled up in his
face,--a sort of woful gleam was that smile, through the sickly blotches
that covered its features,--and found means to express such a perfect
confidence that it was going to be fondled and made much of, that there
was no possibility in a human heart of balking its expectation. It was as
if God had promised the poor child this favor on behalf of that
individual, and he was bound to fulfil the contract, or else no longer
call himself a man among men. Nevertheless, it could be no easy thing for
him to do, he being a person burdened with more than an Englishman's
customary reserve, shy of actual contact with human beings, afflicted with
a peculiar distaste for whatever was ugly, and, furthermore, accustomed to
that habit of observation from an insulated stand-point which is said
(but, I hope, erroneously) to have the tendency of putting ice into the
blood.

So I watched the struggle in his mind with a good deal of interest, and am
seriously of opinion that he did an heroic act, and effected more than he
dreamed of towards his final salvation, when he took up the loathsome
child and caressed it as tenderly as if he had been its father. To be
sure, we all smiled at him, at the time, but doubtless would have acted
pretty much the same in a similar stress of circumstances. The child, at
any rate, appeared to be satisfied with his behavior; for when he had held
it a considerable time, and set it down, it still favored him with its
company, keeping fast hold of his forefinger till we reached the confines
of the place. And on our return through the court-yard, after visiting
another part of the establishment, here again was this same little
Wretchedness waiting for its victim, with a smile of joyful, and yet dull
recognition about its scabby mouth and in its rheumy eyes. No doubt, the
child's mission in reference to our friend was to remind him that he was
responsible, in his degree, for all the sufferings and misdemeanors of the
world in which he lived, and was not entitled to look upon a particle of
its dark calamity as if it were none of his concern: the offspring of a
brother's iniquity being his own blood-relation, and the guilt, likewise,
a burden on him, unless he expiated it by better deeds.

All the children in this ward seemed to be invalids, and, going up-stairs,
we found more of them in the same or a worse condition than the little
creature just described, with their mothers (or more probably other women,
for the infants were mostly foundlings) in attendance as nurses. The
matron of the ward, a middle-aged woman, remarkably kind and motherly in
aspect, was walking to and fro across the chamber--on that weary journey
in which careful mothers and nurses travel so continually and so far, and
gain never a step of progress--with an unquiet baby in her arms. She
assured us that she enjoyed her occupation, being exceedingly fond of
children; and, in fact, the absence of timidity in all the little people
was a sufficient proof that they could have had no experience of harsh
treatment, though, on the other hand, none of them appeared to be
attracted to one individual more than another. In this point they differed
widely from the poor child below-stairs. They seemed to recognize a
universal motherhood in womankind, and cared not which individual might be
the mother of the moment. I found their tameness as shocking as did
Alexander Selkirk that of the brute subjects of his else solitary kingdom.
It was a sort of tame familiarity, a perfect indifference to the approach
of strangers, such as I never noticed in other children. I accounted for
it partly by their nerveless, unstrung state of body, incapable of the
quick thrills of delight and fear which play upon the lively harp-strings
of a healthy child's nature, and partly by their woful lack of
acquaintance with a private home, and their being therefore destitute of
the sweet homebred shyness, which is like the sanctity of heaven about a
mother-petted child. Their condition was like that of chickens hatched in
an oven, and growing up without the especial guardianship of a matron-hen:
both the chicken and the child, methinks, must needs want something that
is essential to their respective characters.

In this chamber (which was spacious, containing a large number of beds)
there was a clear fire burning on the hearth, as in all the other occupied
rooms; and directly in front of the blaze sat a woman holding a baby,
which, beyond all reach of comparison, was the most horrible object that
ever afflicted my sight. Days afterwards--nay, even now, when I bring it
up vividly before my mind's eye--it seemed to lie upon the floor of my
heart, polluting my moral being with the sense of something grievously
amiss in the entire conditions of humanity. The holiest man could not be
otherwise than full of wickedness, the chastest virgin seemed impure, in a
world where such a babe was possible. The governor whispered me, apart,
that, like nearly all the rest of them, it was the child of unhealthy
parents. Ah, yes! There was the mischief. This spectral infant, a hideous
mockery of the visible link which Love creates between man and woman, was
born of disease and sin. Diseased Sin was its father, and Sinful Disease
its mother, and their offspring lay in the woman's arms like a nursing
Pestilence, which, could it live to grow up, would make the world a more
accursed abode than ever heretofore. Thank Heaven, it could not live! This
baby, if we must give it that sweet name, seemed to be three or four
months old, but, being such an unthrifty changeling, might have been
considerably older. It was all covered with blotches, and preternaturally
dark and discolored; it was withered away, quite shrunken and fleshless;
it breathed only amid pantings and gaspings, and moaned painfully at every
gasp. The only comfort in reference to it was the evident impossibility of
its surviving to draw many more of those miserable, moaning breaths; and
it would have been infinitely less heart-depressing to see it die, right
before my eyes, than to depart and carry it alive in my remembrance, still
suffering the incalculable torture of its little life. I can by no means
express how horrible this infant was, neither ought I to attempt it. And
yet I must add one final touch. Young as the poor little creature was, its
pain and misery had endowed it with a premature intelligence, insomuch
that its eyes seemed to stare at the by-standers out of their sunken
sockets knowingly and appealingly, as if summoning us one and all to
witness the deadly wrong of its existence. At least, I so interpreted its
look, when it positively met and responded to my own awe-stricken gaze,
and therefore I lay the case, as far as I am able, before mankind, on whom
God has imposed the necessity to suffer in soul and body till this dark
and dreadful wrong be righted.

Thence we went to the school-rooms, which were underneath the chapel. The
pupils, like the children whom we had just seen, were, in large
proportion, foundlings. Almost without exception, they looked sickly, with
marks of eruptive trouble in their doltish faces, and a general tendency
to diseases of the eye. Moreover, the poor little wretches appeared to be
uneasy within their skins, and screwed themselves about on the benches in
a disagreeably suggestive way, as if they had inherited the evil habits of
their parents as an innermost garment of the same texture and material as
the shirt of Nessus, and must wear it with unspeakable discomfort as long
as they lived. I saw only a single child that looked healthy; and on my
pointing him out, the governor informed me that this little boy, the sole
exception to the miserable aspect of his school-fellows, was not a
foundling, nor properly a workhouse child, being born of respectable
parentage, and his father one of the officers of the institution. As for
the remainder,--the hundred pale abortions to be counted against one
rosy-cheeked boy,--what shall we say or do? Depressed by the sight of so
much misery, and uninventive of remedies for the evils that force
themselves on my perception, I can do little more than recur to the idea
already hinted at in the early part of this article, regarding the speedy
necessity of a new deluge. So far as these children are concerned, at any
rate, it would be a blessing to the human race, which they will contribute
to enervate and corrupt,--a greater blessing to themselves, who inherit no
patrimony but disease and vice, and in whose souls if there be a spark of
God's life, this seems the only possible mode of keeping it aglow,--if
every one of them could be drowned to-night, by their best friends,
instead of being put tenderly to bed. This heroic method of treating human
maladies, moral and material, is certainly beyond the scope of man's
discretionary rights, and probably will not be adopted by Divine
Providence until the opportunity of milder reformation shall have been
offered us, again and again, through a series of future ages.

It may be fair to acknowledge that the humane and excellent governor, as
well as other persons better acquainted with the subject than myself, took
a less gloomy view of it, though still so dark a one as to involve scanty
consolation. They remarked that individuals of the male sex, picked up in
the streets and nurtured in the work-house, sometimes succeed tolerably
well in life, because they are taught trades before being turned into the
world, and, by dint of immaculate behavior and good luck, are not unlikely
to get employment and earn a livelihood. The case is different with the
girls. They can only go to service, and are invariably rejected by
families of respectability on account of their origin, and for the better
reason of their unfitness to fill satisfactorily even the meanest
situations in a well-ordered English household. Their resource is to take
service with people only a step or two above the poorest class, with whom
they fare scantily, endure harsh treatment, lead shifting and precarious
lives, and finally drop into the slough of evil, through which, in their
best estate, they do but pick their slimy way on stepping-stones.

From the schools we went to the bakehouse, and the brew-house, (for such
cruelty is not harbored in the heart of a true Englishman as to deny a
pauper his daily allowance of beer,) and through the kitchens, where we
beheld an immense pot over the fire, surging and walloping with some kind
of a savory stew that filled it up to its brim. We also visited a tailor's
shop and a shoemaker's shop, in both of which a number of men, and pale,
diminutive apprentices, were at work, diligently enough, though seemingly
with small heart in the business. Finally, the governor ushered us into a
shed, inside of which was piled up an immense quantity of new coffins.
They were of the plainest description, made of pine boards, probably of
American growth, not very nicely smoothed by the plane, neither painted
nor stained with black, but provided with a loop of rope at either end for
the convenience of lifting the rude box and its inmate into the cart that
shall carry them to the burial-ground. There, in holes ten feet deep, the
paupers are buried one above another, mingling their relics
indistinguishably. In another world may they resume their individuality,
and find it a happier one than here!

As we departed, a character came under our notice which I have met with in
all almshouses, whether of the city or village, or in England or America.
It was the familiar simpleton, who shuffled across the court-yard,
clattering his wooden-soled shoes, to greet us with a howl or a laugh, I
hardly know which, holding out his hand for a penny, and chuckling grossly
when it was given him. All underwitted persons, so far as my experience
goes, have this craving for copper coin, and appear to estimate its value
by a miraculous instinct, which is one of the earliest gleams of human
intelligence while the nobler faculties are yet in abeyance. There may
come a time, even in this world, when we shall all understand that our
tendency to the individual appropriation of gold and broad acres, fine
houses, and such good and beautiful things as are equally enjoyable by a
multitude, is but a trait of imperfectly developed intelligence, like the
simpleton's cupidity of a penny. When that day dawns,--and probably not
till then,--I imagine that there will be no more poor streets nor need of
almshouses.

I was once present at the wedding of some poor English people, and was
deeply impressed by the spectacle, though by no means with such proud and
delightful emotions as seem to have affected all England on the recent
occasion of the marriage of its Prince. It was in the Cathedral at
Manchester, a particularly black and grim old structure, into which I had
stepped to examine some ancient and curious wood-carvings within the
choir. The woman in attendance greeted me with a smile, (which always
glimmers forth on the feminine visage, I know not why, when a wedding is
in question,) and asked me to take a seat in the nave till some poor
parties were married, it being the Easter holidays, and a good time for
them to marry, because no fees would be demanded by the clergyman. I sat
down accordingly, and soon the parson and his clerk appeared at the altar,
and a considerable crowd of people made their entrance at a side-door, and
ranged themselves in a long, huddled line across the chancel. They were my
acquaintances of the poor streets, or persons in a precisely similar
condition of life, and were now come to their marriage-ceremony in just
such garbs as I had always seen them wear: the men in their loafers'
coats, out at elbows, or their laborers' jackets, defaced with grimy toil;
the women drawing their shabby shawls tighter about their shoulders, to
hide the raggedness beneath; all of them unbrushed, unshaven, unwashed,
uncombed, and wrinkled with penury and care; nothing virgin-like in the
brides, nor hopeful or energetic in the bridegrooms;--they were, in short,
the mere rags and tatters of the human race, whom some east-wind of evil
omen, howling along the streets, had chanced to sweep together into an
unfragrant heap. Each and all of them, conscious of his or her individual
misery, had blundered into the strange miscalculation of supposing that
they could lessen the sum of it by multiplying it into the misery of
another person. All the couples (and it was difficult, in such a confused
crowd, to compute exactly their number) stood up at once, and had
execution done upon them in the lump, the clergyman addressing only small
parts of the service to each individual pair, but so managing the larger
portion as to include the whole company without the trouble of repetition.
By this compendious contrivance, one would apprehend, he came dangerously
near making every man and woman the husband or wife of every other; nor,
perhaps, would he have perpetrated much additional mischief by the
mistake; but, after receiving a benediction in common, they assorted
themselves in their own fashion, as they only knew how, and departed to
the garrets, or the cellars, or the unsheltered street-corners, where
their honeymoon and subsequent lives were to be spent. The parson smiled
decorously, the clerk and the sexton grinned broadly, the female attendant
tittered almost aloud, and even the married parties seemed to see
something exceedingly funny in the affair; but for my part, though
generally apt enough to be tickled by a joke, I laid it away in my memory
as one of the saddest sights I ever looked upon.

Not very long afterwards, I happened to be passing the same venerable
Cathedral, and heard a clang of joyful bells, and beheld a bridal party
coming down the steps towards a carriage and four horses, with a portly
coachman and two postilions, that waited at the gate. The bridegroom's
mien had a sort of careless and kindly English pride; the bride floated
along in her white drapery, a creature so nice and delicate that it was a
luxury to see her, and a pity that her silk slippers should touch anything
so grimy as the old stones of the church-yard avenue. The crowd of ragged
people, who always cluster to witness what they may of an aristocratic
wedding, broke into audible admiration of the bride's beauty and the
bridegroom's manliness, and uttered prayers and ejaculations (possibly
paid for in alms) for the happiness of both. If the most favorable of
earthly conditions could make them happy, they had every prospect of it.
They were going to live on their abundance in one of those stately and
delightful English homes, such as no other people ever created or
inherited, a hall set far and safe within its own private grounds, and
surrounded with venerable trees, shaven lawns, rich shrubbery, and
trimmest pathways, the whole so artfully contrived and tended that summer
rendered it a paradise, and even winter would hardly disrobe it of its
beauty; and all this fair property seemed more exclusively and inalienably
their own, because of its descent through many forefathers, each of whom
had added an improvement or a charm, and thus transmitted it with a
stronger stamp of rightful possession to his heir. And is it possible,
after all, that there may be a flaw in the title-deeds? Is, or is not, the
system wrong that gives one married pair so immense a superfluity of
luxurious home, and shuts out a million others from any home whatever? One
day or another, safe as they deem themselves, and safe as the hereditary
temper of the people really tends to make them, the gentlemen of England
will be compelled to face this question.

       *       *       *       *       *



PAUL BLECKER.

PART III.

[Conclusion.]


"Skin cool, damp. Pha! pha! I thought that camphor and morphine last night
would cure you. Always good for sudden attacks."

The little woman's stumpy white fingers were very motherly, touching
Grey's forehead.

"I promised Doctor Blecker you would see him in half an hour."

"It is not best," the girl said, standing up, leaning against the
mantel-shelf.

"It is best. Yes. You say you will not consent to the marriage: are going
with me to-night. So, so. I ask no questions. No, child. Hush!"--with a
certain dignity. "I want no explanations. Sarah Sheppard's rough, maybe;
but she keeps her own privacy, and regards that of others. But you must
see him. He is your best friend, if nothing more. A woman cannot be wrong,
when she acts in that way from the inherent truth of things. That was my
mother's rule. In half an hour,"--putting her forefinger on Grey's temple,
and pursing her mouth. "Pulse low. Sharp seven the train goes. I'll bring
a bottle of nitre in my bag,"--and she bustled out.

Grey looked after her. Strong, useful, stable: how contented and happy she
had been since she was born! Love, wealth, coming to her as matters of
course. The girl looked out of the dingy window into the wearisome gray
sky. Well, what was the difference between them? What crime had _she_
committed, that God should have so set His face against her from the
first,--from the very first? She had trusted Him more than this woman whom
He seemed glad to bless. There were two or three creamy wild-lilies in a
broken glass on the sill. The girl always loved the flower, because Jesus
had touched it once: it brought her near to him, she fancied. She thought
of him now, seeing them, and put her hand to her head: remembering the
nameless agony he had chosen to bear to show her what a true life should
be; loving him with that desperate hope with which only a woman undone
clings to him upon the cross. And yet--

"It's hard," she said, turning sullenly away from the window.

Whatever the hours of this past day and night had been to her, they had
left one curious mark on her face,--a hollow sinking of the lines about
the mouth, as though years of pain had slowly crept over her. Suffering
had not ennobled her. It is only heroic, large-brained women, with a great
natural grasp of charity, that severe pain lifts out of themselves: weak
souls, like Grey, who starve without daily food of personal love, contract
under God's great judgments, sour into pettish discontent, or grow maudlin
as blind devotees, knowing but two things in eternity,--their own idea of
God, and their own salvation. Nunneries are full of them. Grey had no
vital pith of self-reliance to keep her erect, now that the storm came.
What strength she had was outside: her childlike grip on the hand of the
Man gone before.

"In half an hour." She tried to put that thought out, and look at the
chamber they had given her last night: odd enough for a woman; a
bare-floored, low-ceiled room, the upper story of the fire-engine house:
the same which they had used as a guard-house; but they had no prisoners
now. From this window where she stood John Brown had defended himself; the
marks of bullets were in the walls. She tried to think of all that had
followed that defence, of the four millions of slaves for whom he died,
whose friends in the North would convert their masters into their deadly
foes, and be slothful in helping them themselves. She tried to fill up the
half-hour thinking of this, but it seemed to her she was more to be pitied
than they. Chained to a man she hated. Why, more than four millions of
women had married as she had done: society drove them into it. "In half an
hour." He was coming then. She would be calm about it, would bid him
good-bye without crying. He would suffer less then,--poor Paul! She had
his likeness: she would give that back. She drew it from its hiding-place
and laid it down: the eyes looked at hers with a half-laugh: she turned
away quickly to the window, holding herself up by her shaking hands. If
she could keep it to look at,--at night, sometimes! She would grow old
soon, and in all her life if she had this one little pleasure!

"I will not," she said, pushing it from her. "I will go to God pure."

She heard a man's step on the clay path outside. Only the sentry's. Paul's
was heavier, more nervous. Pen came to her to button his coat.

"To-day are we going home, Sis?"

"Yes, to-day."

God forgive her, if for a moment she loathed the home!

"Pen, will you love me always?"--holding him tight to her breast. "I won't
have anybody but you."

Pen kissed her, the kiss meaning little, and ran out to the sentry, who
made a pet of him. But what the kiss meant was all the future held for
her: she knew that.

Now came the strange change which no logician can believe in or disprove.
While she stood there, holding her hands over her eyes, trying to accept
her fate, it grew too heavy and dark for her to bear. What Helper she
sought then, and how, only those who have found Him know. I only can tell
you that presently she bared her face, her nerves trembling, for the
half-hour was nearly over, but with a brave, still light in her hazel
eyes. The change had come of which every soul is susceptible. Very bitter
tears may have come after that; her life was but a tawdry remnant, she
might still think, for that foul lie of hers long ago; but she would take
up the days cheerfully, and do God's will with them.

There was another step: not the sentry's now. She bathed her red eyes, and
hastily drew her hair back plain. Paul liked the curls falling about her
throat. She must never try to please him again. Never! She must bid him
good-bye now. It meant forever. Maybe when she was dead--He was coming:
she heard his foot on the stairs, his hand on the latch. God help her to
be a true woman!

"Grey!"

He touched the hand covering her eyes.

"It is so cold! You mean to leave me, Grey?"

She drew back, sitting down on a camp-chest, and looked up at him. He had
not come there to tempt her by passionate evil: she saw that. This pain he
had fought with in his soul all night, trying to see what God meant by it,
had left his face subdued, earnest, sorrowful. Perhaps since Paul Blecker
left his mother's knee he had never been so like a child as now.

"Yes, I must go. He will not claim me. I am glad I was spared that. I'm
going to try and do right with the rest of my life, Paul."

Blecker said nothing, paced the floor of the room, his head sunk on his
breast.

"Let us go out of this," at last. "I'm choked. I think in the free air we
will know what is right, better."

She put on her hood, and they went out, the girl drawing back on the
steps, lest he should offer to assist her.

"I will not touch you, Grey," he said, gravely, "unless you give me
leave."

Somehow, as she followed him down the deserted street, she felt how puny
her trouble was, after all, to his. She had time to notice the drops of
sweat wrung out on his forehead, and wish she dared to wipe them away; but
he strode on in silence, forgetting even her, facing this inscrutable fate
that mastered them, with a strong man's desperation. They came to the
river, out of sight of the town. She stopped.

"We must wait here. I must stay where I can hear the train coming."

"The train,--yes. You are going in it? Yet, Grey, you love me?"

She wrung her hands with a frightened cry.

"Paul, don't tempt me. I'm weak: you know that. Don't make me fouler than
I am. There 's something in the world better for us than love: to try to
be pure and true. You'll help me to be that, dear Paul?"--laying her hand
on his arm, beseechingly. "You'll not keep me back? It's hard, you
know,"--trying to smile, her lips only growing colorless.

"I'll help you, Grey,"--his face distorted, touching her fingers for an
instant with an unutterable tenderness. "I knew this man was here from the
first. If there was crime in our marriage, I took it on myself. I was not
afraid to face hell for you, child. But, Grey," meeting her eye, "I love
you. I will not risk your soul for my selfish pleasure. If it be a crime
for you to stay with me, I will bid you go, and never attempt to see your
face again."

"If it be a crime? You cannot doubt that, Paul!"

"I do doubt it. You can obtain a divorce,"--looking at her, with his color
changing.

She pushed back the hair from her forehead. Her brain ached. Where was all
the clear reasoning she had meant to meet him with?

"No, I will not do that. I know the law says it is right; but Christ
forbade it. I can't argue. I only know his words."

He walked to and fro: he could not be still a minute, when in pain.

"Will you sit there?"--motioning her to a flat rock. "I want to speak to
you."

She sat down,--looked at the river. If she saw that look on his face
longer, she would go to him, though God's own arm stretched between them.
She clenched her little hands together, something in her soul crying out,
"I'm trying to do right," fiercely, to God. Martyrs for every religion
have said the same, when the heat crept closer over the fagots. They were
true to the best they could discover, and He asks no more of any man.

"I want you to hear me patiently," he said, standing near her, and looking
down. "You said there was something better for us in the world than love.
There is nothing for me. I've not been taught much about God or His ways.
I thought I'd learn them through you. I've lived a coarse, selfish life.
You took me out of it. I am not very selfish, loving you, little
Grey,"--with a sad smile,--"for I will give you up sooner than hurt you.
But if I had married you, I think it would have redeemed me. I want you,"
passing his hand over his forehead, uncertainly, "to look at this thing
calmly. We'll put feeling aside. Because--because it matters more than
life or death to me."

He was silent a moment.

"All night I have been trying to face it dispassionately, with reason. I
have succeeded now."

It is a pitiful thing to see a man choke down such weakness. Grey would
not see it: her eyes were fastened on her hands. He controlled himself,
going on rapidly.

"I say nothing of myself. I'm only a weak, passionate man; but I mean to
let your soul be pure. Yet I believe you judge wrongly in this. You think
of marriage, as women in your State and in the South are taught to think,
as a thing irrevocable. There are men in New England who hold other
views,--pure, good men, Grey. I've tried to put you from my mind, and look
at society as it is, with its corrupt, mercenary marriages, and I believe
their theory is the only feasible and just,--that only those bound by
secret affinity to each other are truly married."

Grey's face flushed.

"I have heard the theory, and its results,"--low.

"Because it has been seized upon as a cloak by false men. Use your reason,
Grey. Do not be blinded by popular prejudice. Your fate and mine rest on
this question."

"I will try to understand."

She faced him gravely.

"Whom God hath joined together no man shall put asunder. Somewhere, when
our souls were made, I think, He joined us, Grey. You know that."

"I do know it."

She stood up, not shrinking from his eye now,--her womanly nature, clear
and brave, looking out from hers.

"I will not speak of love: you know what that is. You know you need me:
you have moulded your very thought and life in mine. It is right it should
be so. God meant it. He made them male and female: taught them by that
instinct of nearness to know when the two souls mated in eternity had
found each other. Then the only true marriage comes,--pure, helpful,
resting on God, stretching out strong, healthy aid to His humanity. The
true souls, lovers, have found each other now, Grey."

He came to her,--took her hands in his.

"I know that,"--her pale face still lifted.

"Then,"--all the passion of a life in his voice,--"what shall come between
us? If, in God's eye, who is Love, you love me purely, have given me the
life of your life to keep, is a foul, lying vow, uttered to a man scarce
made in God's image, to keep us apart? I tell you, your soul's health and
mine depend on this."

She did not speak: her breath came labored and thick.

"You will come with me, Grey. You shall not go back to the slavery yonder,
dragging out the bit of time God gave you, in which to develop your soul,
in coddling selfish brats, and kitchen-work. There are homes where men and
women enfranchise themselves from the cursed laws of
society,--Phalansteries,--where each soul develops itself out of the inner
centre of eternal truth and love according to its primal bent, free to
yield to its instincts and affinities. I learned their theory long ago,
but I never believed in it until now. We will go there, Grey. We will be
governed by the laws of our own nature. It will be a free, beautiful life,
my own. Music and Art and Nature shall surround us with an eternal
harmony. We will have work, true work, such as suits our native power;
these talents smothered in your brain and mine shall come to life in
vigorous growth. Here in the world, struggling meanly for food, this
cannot be. That shall be the true Utopia, Grey. Some day all mankind shall
so live. We, now. "Will you come?"--drawing her softly towards him. "You
do not yield?"--looking in her face. "I am sincere. I see the truth of the
life-scheme of these people through my love for you. No human soul can
reach its full stature, unless it be free and happy. There is no chain on
women such as marriages like yours."

Still silence.

"I say that there are slaveries in society, and false marriages are the
worst; and until you and all women are free from them, you never can
become what God meant you to be. Do I speak truth?"

"It is true."

"You will come with me, then?"--his face growing red.

For one moment her head rested against the rock, languid and nerveless.
Then she stood erect.

"I will not go, Paul."

He caught her arm; but she shook him off, and held her hand to her side to
keep down an actual physical pain that some women suffer when their hearts
are tried. Her eyes, it may be, were wakened into a new resolve. It was
useless for him now to appeal to feeling or passion: he had left the
decision to her reason,--to her faith. They were stronger than he.

"I will not go, Paul."

No answer.

"I have no words like you,"--raising her hands to her head,--"but I feel
you are wrong in what you say."

She tried to collect herself, then went on.

"It is true that women sell themselves. I did it,--to escape. I was taught
wrong, as girls are. It's true, Paul, that women are cramped and unhappy
through false marriages, and that there are cursed laws in society that
defraud the poor and the slave."

She stopped, pale and frightened, struggling to find utterance, not being
used to put her thought into words. He watched her keenly.

"But it is _not_ true, Paul,"--with choked eagerness,--"that this life was
given to us only to develop our souls, to be free and happy. That will
come after,--in heaven. It is given here only to those who pray for it.
There's something better here."

"What?"

"To submit. It seems to me there are some great laws--for the good of all.
When we break them, we must submit. Let them go over us, and try to help
others,--what is that text?" holding her head a minute,--"'even as the Son
of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.'"

"You mean to submit?"

"I do. I married that man of my own free will: driven, maybe, by mean
fears,--but--I did it. I will not forswear myself."

She gained courage as she went on.

"I believe that God Himself, and that our Lord, taught the meaning of a
true marriage as you do,--that without that affinity it is none. The curse
comes to every woman who disregards it. It has come to me. I'll bear it."

"Throw it off. Come out of the foul lie."

"I will live no lie, Paul. I never would have gone with John Gurney as his
wife, if he had claimed me."

"Then you are free to be mine,"--coming a step nearer.

She drew back.

"I don't think He taught that. I cannot go behind His words."

"Grey, I will not drag you one step where your free will does not lead
you. Last night I said, 'I love this woman so well that I will leave her
sooner than drag her into crime.' You shall do what you think right. I
will be silent."

"Good bye, then, Paul."

Yet he did not take the offered hand: stood moodily looking down into the
water, crushing back something in his heart,--the only thing in his life
dear or pleasant, it may be.

"Oh, if women knew what it is to sell themselves! They will marry more
purely, maybe, soon. I believe that Christ made the marriage-vow binding,
Paul, because, though some might break it with pure intent, yet, if it
were of no avail, as it is in those Homes you talk of, and in Indiana,
women would become more degraded by brutal men, live falser lives, than
even now. I'm afraid, Paul,"--with a sorrowful smile,--"men will have to
educate the inner law of their natures more, before they can live out from
it: until then we'll have to obey an outer law. You know how your
Phalansteries have ended."

While she spoke, she gathered her mantle about her. It was a good thing to
talk, fast and lightly, so that he would leave her without more pain. God
had helped her do right. It was bravest, most Christ-like, for her to bear
the loss she had brought on herself, and to renounce a happiness she had
made guilty. But, if women knew--Sitting on the rock by the water's edge,
she thrust her fingers into the damp mould with a thought of the time when
she could lie under it,--grow clean, through the strange processes of
death, from all impurity. If she could but creep down there now, a
false-sworn, unloving wife, out of this man's sight, out of God's sight!

"Will you go?"--looking up with blanched cheek. "You were never so noble
as now, Paul Blecker, when you left me to myself to judge. If you had only
touched my love"--

"You would have yielded. I know. I'm not utterly base, Grey. I am glad,"
his face growing red, "you think I have been honorable. I tried to be. I
want to act as a man of gentle blood and a Christian would do,--though I'm
not either."

It was a chivalric face that looked down on her, though nervous and
haggard. She saw that. How bare and mean her life yawned before her that
moment! how all quiet and joy waited for her in the arms hanging
listlessly by his side, as if their work in life were done! Must she
sacrifice her life to an eternal law of God? _Was_ this Free Love so vile
a thing?

"Will you go?"--rising suddenly. "While you stand there, the Devil comes
very near me, Paul." She held out her hand. "You would despise me, if I
yielded now."

"I might, but I would love you all the same, Grey,"--with a miserable
attempt at a smile. He took the hand, holding it in his a moment. "Good
bye,"--all feeling frozen out of his voice. "You've done right, Grey. It
will be better for us some day. We'll think of that,--always."

"You suffer. I have made your life wretched,"--clinging suddenly to him,

"No."--turning his head away. "Never mind. I am not a child, Grey. Men do
not die of grief. They take up hard work, and that strengthens them. And
my little girl will be happy. Her God will bless her; for she _is_ a true,
good girl. Yes, true. You judged rightly."

For Blecker had taken up the alien Socialist dogma that day sincerely, but
driven to it by passion: now he swayed back to his old-fashioned faith in
marriage, as one comes to solid land after a plunge in the upheaving surf.

"Good bye, Paul."

The sunlight fell on their faces with a white brilliance, as they stood,
their hands clasped, for a moment. The girl never saw it afterwards
without a sudden feeling of hate, as though it had jeered at her mortal
pain. Then Paul Blecker stood alone by the river-side, with only a dull
sense that the day was bright and unfeeling, and that something was gone
from the world, never to come back. The life before he had known her
offered itself to him again in a bare remembrance: the heat to get
on,--the keen bargains,--friendships with fellows that shook him off when
they married, not caring that it hurt him,--he, without a home or
religion, keeping out of vice only from an inborn choice to be clean. That
was all. Pah! God help us! What was this life worth, after all? He glanced
at the town, laid in ashes. The war was foul indeed, yet in it there was
room for high chivalric purpose. Could he so end his life? She would know
it, and love him more that he died an honorable death. Shame! and cowardly
too!--was there nothing worth finding in the world besides a woman's
love?--he was no puling boy. If there were, what was it--for him?

He looked down at the dull sweep of the valley, heard the whistle of the
train that was carrying her away, and saw the black trail of smoke against
the sky,--stood silently watching it until the last bit of smoke even had
disappeared. A woman would have worked off in tears or hysteric cries what
pain came then; but the man only swallowed once or twice, lighted his
cigar, and with a grim smile went down the road.

       *       *       *       *       *

My story is nearly ended. I have no time nor wish, these war-days, to
study dramatic effects, or to shift large and cautiously painted scenes or
the actors, for the mere tickling of your eyes and ears. One or two facts
in the history of these people are enough to give for my purpose: they are
for women,--nervous, greedy, discontented women: to learn from them (if I
could put the truth into forcible enough English) that truth of Christ's
teaching, which has unaccountably been let slip out of our modern
theology, that his help is temporal as well as spiritual, deals with
coarsest, most practical needs, and is sworn to her who struggles to be
true to her best self, that what she asks, believing, she shall receive.
_That_ is the point,--believing. "Therefore I say unto you, What things
soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye
_shall_ have them."

How many tragedies of life besides finespun novels would suddenly be
brought to an end, if the heroine were only a common-sense, believing
Christian of the old-fashioned pattern! Doctor Blecker, going into the war
after the day he parted from the girl at Harper's Ferry, with a sense of
as many fighting influences in his life as there were in the army, had no
under-sight of the clear mapping-out of the years for him, controlled by
the simple request of the woman yonder who loved him. She dared not repeat
that prayer now; but it had gone up once out of a childish trust, and was
safely written down above.

Let us pass over five or six months, and follow Paul Blecker to
Fredericksburg, the night after that bloodiest day for the Federal forces,
in December. It was the fourth battle in which he had taken part. Now a
man grows _blasé_, in a manner, even of wholesale slaughter; he plodded
his way quietly, indifferently almost, therefore, over the plateau below
the first range of hills, his instrument-case in hand, drinking from his
brandy-flask now and then, to keep down nausea. The night was clear,--a
low, wan moon peering from the west, a warm wind from the river drifting
the heavy billows of smoke away from the battle-field. He picked his steps
with difficulty, unwilling to tread upon even the dead: they lay in heaps
here, thrown aside by the men who were removing the wounded. The day was
lost: he fancied he could read on even the white upturned faces a bitter
defeat. Firing had ceased an hour ago; only at long intervals on the far
left a dull throb was heard, as though the heart of the Night pulsed
heavily and feverishly in her sleep: no other sound, save the constant,
deadening roll of ambulances going out from this Valley of Death. The
field where he stood was below the ridge on which were placed Lee's
batteries; for ten hours the grand division of Sumner had charged the
heights here, the fog shutting out from them all but the impregnable foe
in front, and the bit of blue sky above, the last glimpse of life they
were to see,--charging with the slow, cumulative energy of an ocean-surf
upon a rock, and ebbing back at last, spent, leaving behind the drift of a
horrible wetness on the grass, and uncounted murdered souls to go back to
God.

The night now was bright and colorless, as I said, except where a burning
house down by the canal made a faded saffron glare. The Doctor had entered
a small thicket of locust-trees; the moonlight penetrated clearly through
their thin trunks, but the dead on the grass lay in shadow. He carried a
lantern, therefore, as he gently turned them over, searching for some one.
It was a Pennsylvania regiment which had held that wood
longest,--McKinstry's. Half a dozen other men were employed like the
Doctor,--Irish, generally: they don't forget the fellows that messed with
them as quickly as our countrymen do.

"We're in luck, Dan Reilly," said one. "Here's the Docthor himself. Av we
hed the b'ys now, we'd be complate,"--turning over one face after another,
unmistakably Dutch or Puritan.

"Ev it's Pat O'Shaughnessy yez want," said another, "he'd be afther
gittin' ayont the McManuses, an' here they are. They're Fardowners on'y.
Pat's Corkonian, _he_ is; he'll be nearer th' inemy by a fut, I'll ingage
yez."

"He's my cousin,"--hard tugging at the dead bodies with one arm;--the
other hung powerless. "I can't face Mary an' her childher agin an' say I
lift her man widout Christian burial.--Howld yer sowl! Dan Reilly, give us
a lift; here he is. Are ye dead, Pat?"

One eye in the blackened face opened.

"On'y my leg. 'O'Shaughnessy agin th' warld, an' the warld agin th'
Divil!'"--which was received with a cheer from the Corkonians.

"Av yer Honor," insinuated Dan, "wud attind to _this_ poor man, we'd be
proud to diskiver the frind you're in sarch of."

Blecker glanced at the stout Irishmen about him, with kind faces under all
the whiskey, and stronger arms than his own."

"I will, boys. You know him,--he's in your regiment,--Captain McKinstry.
He fell in this wood, they tell me."

"I think I know him,"--his head to one side. "Woodenish-looking chap, all
run up into shoulders, with yellow hair?"

Blecker nodded, and motioned them to carry O'Shaughnessy into a low
tool-house near, a mere shed, half tumbling down from a shell that had
shattered its side. There was a bench there, where they could lay the
wounded man, however. He stooped over the big mangled body, joking with
him,--it was the best comfort to Pat to give him a chance to show how
little he cared for the surgeon's knife,--glancing now and then at the
pearly embankment of clouds in the south, or at the delicate locust-boughs
in black and shivering tracery against the moonlight, trying to shut his
ears to the unceasing under-current of moans that reached him in the
silence.

Seeing him there with his lantern and instruments, they brought him one
wounded man after another, to whom he gave what aid he could, and then
despatched them in the army-wagons, looking impatiently after Dan, in his
search for the Captain. He had not known before how much he cared for
McKinstry, with a curious protecting care. Other men in the army were more
his chums than Mac, but they were coarse, able to take care of themselves.
Mac was like that simple-hearted old Israelite in whom there was no guile.
In the camp he had been perpetually imposed on by his men,--giving them
treats of fresh beef and bread, and tracts at the same time. They laughed
at him, but were oddly fond of him; he was a sharp disciplinarian, but was
too quiet, they always had thought, to have much pluck.

Blecker, glancing at his watch, saw that it was eleven; the moon was
sinking fast, her level rays fainter and bluer, as from some farther depth
of rest and quiet than before. His keenly set ears distinguished just then
an even tramp among the abrupt sounds without,--the feet of two or three
men carrying weight.

"He's here, Zur," said Dan, who held the feet, tenderly enough. "Aisy now,
b'ys. It's not bar'ls ye're liftin'." They laid him down. "Fur up th'
ridge he was: not many blue-coats furder an. That's true,"--in a loud,
hearty tone. "I'm doubtin'," in an aside, "it's all over wid him. I'll
howld the lantern, Zur."

"You, Blecker?" McKinstry muttered, as he opened his eyes with his usual
pleased smile. "We've lost the day?"

"Yes. No matter now, Mac. Quiet one moment,"--cutting the boot from his
leg.

"Not fifty of my boys escaped,"--a sort of spasm passing over his face.
"Tell them at home they fought nobly,--nobly."

His voice died down. Blecker finished his examination,--it needed but a
minute,--then softly replaced the leg, and, coming up, stood quiet, only
wiping the dampness off his forehead. Dan set down the lantern.

"I'll go, Zur," he whispered. "Ther' 's work outside, belike."

The Doctor nodded. McKinstry opened his eyes.

"Good bye, my friend,"--stretching out his hand to Dan. "My brother
couldn't have been kinder to me than you were to-night."

"Good bye, Zur." The rough thrust out his great fist eagerly. "God open
the gate wide for yer Honor, the night,"--clearing his voice, as he went
out.

"I'm going, then, Blecker?"

Paul could not meet the womanish blue eyes turned towards him: he turned
abruptly away.

"Why! why! Tut! I did not think you cared, Paul,"--tightening his grasp of
the hand in his. Then, closing his eyes, he covered his face with his left
hand, and was silent awhile.

"Go, Doctor," he said, at last. "I forgot that others need you. Go at
once. I'm very comfortable here."

"I will not go. Do you see this?"--pointing to the stream of bright
arterial blood. "It was madness to throw your life away thus; a
handkerchief tightened here would have sufficed until they carried you off
the field."

"Yes, yes, I knew. But the wound came just as we were charging. Sabre-cut,
it was. If I had said I was wounded, the men would have fallen back. I
thought we could take that battery; but we did not. No matter. All right.
You ought to go?"

"No. Have you no message for home?"--pushing back the yellow hair as
gently as a woman. The mild face grew distorted again and pale.

"I've a letter,--in my carpet-sack, in our tent. I wrote it last night.
It's to Lizzy,--you will deliver it, Doctor?"

"I will. Yes."

"It may be lost now,--there is such confusion in the camp. The key is in
my right pocket,--inside the spectacle-case: have you got it?"

"Yes."

Blecker could hardly keep back a smile: even the pocket-furniture was
neatly ordered in the hour of death.

"If it is lost,"--turning his head restlessly,--"light your lantern,
Blecker, it is so dark,--if it is,--tell her"--his voice was gone. "Tell
her," lifting himself suddenly, with the force of death, "to be pure and
true. My loving little girl, Lizzy,--wife." Blecker drew his head on his
shoulder. "I thought--the holidays were coming,"--closing his eyes again
wearily,--"for us. But God knows. All right!"

His lips moved, but the sound was inaudible; he smiled cheerfully, held
Paul's hand closer, and then his head grew heavy as lead, being nothing
but clay. For the true knight and loyal gentleman was gone to the Master
of all honor, to learn a broader manhood and deeds of higher emprise.

Paul Blecker stood silent a moment, and then covered the homely, kind face
reverently.

"I would as lief have seen a woman die," he said, and turned away.

Two or three men came up, carrying others on a broken door and on a
fence-board.

"Hyur's th' Doctor,"--laying them on a hillock of grass. "Uh wish ye'd see
toh these pore chaps, Doctor,"--with a strong Maryland accent. "One o'
them's t' other side, but"--and so left them.

One of them was a burly Western boatman, with mop-like red hair and beard.
Blecker looked at him, shook his head, and went on.

"No use?"--gritting his heavy jaw. "Well!"--swallowing, as if he accepted
death in that terrible breath. "Eh, Doctor? Do you hear? Wait a
bit,"--fumbling at his jacket. "I can't--There's a V in my pocket. I wish
you'd send it to the old woman,--mother,--Mrs. Jane Carr,
Cincinnati,--with my love."

The Doctor stopped to speak to him, and then passed to the next,--a
fair-haired boy, with three bullet-holes in his coat, one in his breast.

"Will I die?"--trying to keep his lips firm.

"Tut! tut! No. Only a flesh-wound. Drink that, and you'll be able to go
back to the hospital,--be well in a week or two."

"I did not want to die, though I was not afraid,"--looking up anxiously;
"but"--

"But the Doctor had left him, and, kneeling down in the mud, was turning
the wounded Confederate over on his back, that he might see his face.

The boy saw him catch up his lantern and peer eagerly at him with
shortened breath.

"What is it? Is he dead?"

"No, not dead,"--putting down the lantern.

But very near it, this man, John Gurney,--so near that it needed no deed
of Blecker's to make him pass the bound. Only a few moments' neglect. A
bandage, a skilful touch or two, care in the hospitals, might save him.

But what claim had he on Paul that he should do this? For a moment the hot
blood in the little Doctor's veins throbbed fiercely, as he rose slowly,
and, taking his lantern, stood looking down.

"In an hour," glancing critically at him, "he will be dead."

Something within him coolly added, "And Paul Blecker a murderer."

But he choked it down, and picked his steps through scorched winter
stubble, dead horses, men, wagon-wheels, across the field; thinking, as he
went, of Grey free, his child-love, true, coaxing, coming to his tired
arms once more; of the home on the farm yonder, he meant to buy,--he, the
rough, jolly farmer, and she, busy Grey, bustling Grey, with her loving,
fussing ways. Why, it came like a flash to him! Yet, as it came, tugging
at his heart with the whole strength of his blood, he turned, this poor,
thwarted, passionate little Doctor, and began jogging back to the
locust-woods,--passing many wounded men of his own kith and spirit, and
going back to Gurney.

Because--he was his enemy.

"Thank God, I am not utterly debased!"--grinding the tobacco vehemently in
his teeth.

He walked faster, seeing that the moon was going down, leaving the
battle-field in shadow. Overhead, the sinking light, striking upward from
the horizon, had worked the black dome into depths of fretted silver.
Blecker saw it, though passion made his step unsteady and his eye dim. No
man could do a mean, foul deed while God stretched out such a temple-roof
as that for his soul to live in, was the thought that dully touched his
outer consciousness. But little Grey! If he could go home to her
to-morrow, and, lifting her thin, tired face from the machine, hold it to
his breast, and say, "You're free now, forever!" O God!

He stopped, pulling his coat across his breast in his clenched
hands,--then, after a moment, went on, his arms falling powerless.

"I'm a child! It is of no use to think of it! Never!"--his hard, black
eyes, that in these last few months had grown sad and questioning as a
child's, looking to the north hill, as he strode along, as though he were
bidding some one good-bye. And when he came to the hillock and knelt down
again beside Gurney, there was no malice in them. He was faithful in every
touch and draught and probe. With the wish in his heart to thrust the
knife into the heart of the unconscious man lying before him, he touched
him as though he had been his brother.

Gurney, opening his eyes at last, saw the yellow, haggard face, in its
fringe of black beard, as rigid as if cut out of stone, very near his own.
The grave, hopeless eyes subdued him.

"Take me out of this," he moaned.

"You are going--to the hospital,"--helping some men lift him into an
ambulance.

"Slowly, my good fellows. I will follow you."

He did follow them. Let us give the man credit for every step of that
following, the more that the evil in his blood struggled so fiercely with
such a mortal pain as he went. In Fredericksburg, one of the old
family-homesteads had been taken for a camp-hospital. As they laid Gurney
on a heap of straw in the library, a surgeon passed through the room.

"Story," said Paul, catching his arm, "see to that man: this is your post,
I believe. I have dressed his wound. I cannot do more."

Story did not know the meaning of that. He stuck his eye-glasses over his
hook-nose, and stooped down, being nearsighted.

"Hardly worth while to put him under my care, or anybody's. The fellow
will not live until morning."

"I don't know. I did what I could."

"Nothing more to be done.--Parr's out of lint, did you know? He's enough
to provoke Job, that fellow! I warned him especially about lint and
supporters.--Why, Blecker, you are worn out,"--looking at him closer. "It
has been a hard fight."

"Yes, I am tired; it was a hard fight."

"I must find Parr about that lint, and"--

Paul walked to the window, breathing heavy draughts of the fresh morning
air. The man would not die, he thought. Grey would never be free. No. Yet,
since he was a child, before he began to grapple his way through the
world, he had never known such a cheerful quiet as that which filled his
eyes with tears now; for, if the fight had been hard, Paul Blecker had won
the victory.

Sunday morning dawned cold and windy. Now and then, volleys of musketry,
or a repulse from the Southern batteries on the heights, filled the blue
morning sky with belching scarlet flame and smoke: through all, however,
the long train of army-wagons passed over the pontoon-bridge, bearing the
wounded. About six o'clock some men came out from the camp-hospital.
Doctor Blecker stood on the outside of the door: all night he had been
there, like some lean, unquiet ghost. Story, the surgeon, met the men.
They carried something on a board, covered with an old patchwork quilt.
Story lifted the corner of the quilt to see what lay beneath. Doctor
Blecker stood in their way, but neither moved nor spoke to them.

"Take it to the trenches," said the surgeon, shortly nodding to
them.--"Your Rebel friend, Blecker."

"Dead?"

"Yes."

"Story, I did what I could?"

"Of course. Past help.--When are we to be taken out of this trap,
eh?"--going on.

"I did what I could."

As the Doctor's parched lips moved, he looked up. How deep the blue was!
how the cold air blew his hair about, fresh and boisterous! He went down
the field with a light, springing step, as he used, when a boy, long ago,
to run to the hay-field. The earth was so full of health, life, beauty, he
could have cried or laughed out loud. He stopped on the bridge, seeing
only the bright, rushing clouds, the broad river, the sunlight,--a little
way from him in the world, little Grey.

"I thank Thee," baring his head and bending it,--the words died in an
awestruck whisper in his heart,--"for _Thy_ great glory, O Lord!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"Will you come a little farther? Let a few months slip by, and let us see
what a March day is in the old Pennsylvania hills. The horrors of the war
have not crept hither yet, into these hill-homesteads. Never were crops
richer than those of '61 and '62, nor prices better. So the barns were
full to bursting through the autumn of those years, and the fires were big
enough to warm you to your very marrow in winter.

Even now, if young Corporal Simpson, or Joe Hainer, or any other of the
neighbors' boys come home wounded, it only spices the gossip for the
apple-butter-parings or spelling-matches. Then the men, being Democrats,
are reconciled to the ruin of the country, because it has been done by the
Republicans; and the women can construct secret hiding-places in the
meat-cellar for the dozen silver teaspoons and tea-pot, in dread of
Stuart's cavalry. Altogether, the war gives quite a zest to life up here.
Then, in these low-hill valleys of the Alleghanies the sun pours its
hottest, most life-breeding glow, and even the wintry wind puts all its
vigor into the blast, knowing that there are no lachrymose, whey-skinned
city-dyspeptics to inhale it, but full-breasted, strong-muscled women and
men,--with narrow brains, maybe, but big, healthy hearts, and _physique_
to match. Very much the same type of animal and moral organization, as
well as natural, you would have found before the war began, ran through
the valley of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

One farm, eight or ten miles from the village where the Gurneys lived,
might be taken as a specimen of these old homesteads. It lay in a sort of
meadow-cove, fenced in with low, rolling hills that were wooded with oaks
on the summits,--sheep-cots, barns, well-to-do plum and peach orchards
creeping up the sides,--a creek binding it in with a broad, flashing band.
The water was frozen on this March evening: it had plenty of time to
freeze, and stay there altogether, in fact, it moved so slowly, knowing it
had got into comfortable quarters. There was just enough cold crispiness
in the air to-night to make the two fat cows move faster into the stable,
with smoking breath, to bring out a crow of defiance from the chickens
huddling together on the roost; it spread, too, a white rime over the
windows, shining red in the sinking sun. When the sun was down, the
nipping northeaster grew sharper, swept about the little valley, rattled
the bare-limbed trees, blew boards off the corn-crib that Doctor Blecker
had built only last week, tweaked his nose and made his eyes water as he
came across the field clapping his hands to make the blood move faster,
and, in short, acted as if the whole of that nook in the hills belonged to
it in perpetuity. But the house, square, brick, solid-seated, began to
glow red and warm out of every window,--not with the pale rose-glow of
your anthracite, but fitful, flashing, hearty, holding out all its hands
to you like a Western farmer. That's the way our fires burn. The very
smoke went out of no stove-pipe valve, but rushed from great mouths of
chimneys, brown, hot, glowing, full of spicy smiles of supper below. Down
in the kitchen, by a great log-fire, where irons were heating, sat Oth,
feebly knitting, and overseeing a red-armed Dutch girl cooking
venison-steaks and buttermilk-biscuit on the coal-stove beside him.

"Put jelly on de table, you, mind! Strangers here fur tea. Anyhow it ort
to go down. Nuffin but de best ob currant Miss Grey 'ud use in her
father's house. Lord save us!"--in an underbreath. "But it's fur de honor
ob de family,"--in a mutter.

"Miss Grey" waited within. Not patiently: sure pleasure was too new for
her. She smoothed her crimson dress, pushed back the sleeves that the
white dimpled arms might show, and then bustled about the room, to tidy it
for the hundredth time. A bright winter's room: its owner had a Southern
taste for hot, heartsome colors, you could be sure, and would bring heat
and flavor into his life, too. There were soft astral lamps, and a charred
red fire, a warm, unstingy glow, wasting itself even in long streams of
light through the cold windows. There were bright bits of Turnerish
pictures on the gray walls, a mass of gorgeous autumn-leaves in the soft
wool of the carpet, a dainty white-spread table in the middle of the room,
jars of flowers everywhere, flowers that had caught most passion and
delight from the sun,--scarlet and purple fuchsias, heavy-breathed
heliotrope. Yet Grey bent longest over her own flower, that every
childlike soul loves best,--mignonette. She chose some of its brown sprigs
to fasten in her hair, the fragrance was so clean and caressing. Paul
Blecker, even at the other end of the field, and in the gathering
twilight, caught a glimpse of his wife's face pressed against the pane. It
was altered: the contour more emphatic, the skin paler, the hazel eyes
darker, lighted from farther depths. No glow of color, only in the meaning
lips and the fine reddish hair.

Doctor Blecker stopped to help a stout little lady out of a buggy at the
stile, then sent the boy to the stable with it: it was his own, with
saddle-bags under the seat. But there was a better-paced horse in the
shafts than suited a heavy country-practice. The lady looked at it with
one eye shut.

"A Morgan-Cottrell, eh? I know by the jaw,"--jogging up the stubble-field
beside him, her fat little satchel rattling as she walked. Doctor Blecker,
a trifle graver and more assured than when we saw him last, sheltered her
with his overcoat from the wind, taking it off for that purpose by the
stile. You could see that this woman was one of the few for whom he had
respect.

"Your wife understands horses, Doctor. And dogs. I did not expect it of
Grey. No. There's more outcome in her than you give her credit
for,"--turning sharply on him.

He smiled quietly, taking her satchel to carry.

"When we came to Pittsburg, I said to Pratt, 'I'll follow you to New York
in a day or two, but I'm going now to see Paul Blecker's little wife.
_She_'s sound, into the marrow.' And I'll tell you, too, what I said to
Pratt. 'That is a true marriage, heart and soul and ways of thinking. God
fitted those two into one another.' Some matches, Doctor Blecker, put me
in mind of my man Kellar, making ready the axes for winter's work, little
head on big heft, misjoined always: in consequence, thing breaks apart
with no provocation whatever. "When God wants work done down here, He
makes His axes better,--eh?"

There was a slight pause.

"Maybe, now, you'll think I take His name in vain, using it so often. But
I like to get at the gist of a matter, and I generally find God has
somewhat to do with everything,--down to the pleasement, to me, of my
bonnet: or the Devil,--which means the same, for he acts by leave.--Where
_did_ you get that Cottrell, Doctor? From Faris? Pha! pha! Grey showed me
the look in his face this morning, innocent, _naïf_, as all well-blooded
horses' eyes are. Like her own, eh? I says to Pratt, long ago,--twenty he
was then,--'When you want a wife, find one who laughs out from her heart,
and see if dogs and horses kinsfolk with her: that's your woman to marry,
if they do.'"

They had stopped by the front-steps for her to finish her soliloquy. Grey
tapped on the window-pane.

"Yes, yes, I see. You want to go in. But first,"--lowering her voice,--"I
was at the Gurney house this evening."

"You were?" laughed the Doctor, "And what did you do there?"

"Eh? What? Something is needed to be done, and I--Yes, I know my
reputation,"--her face flushing.

"You strike the nails where they are needed,--what few women do, Mrs.
Sheppard," said the Doctor, trying to keep his face grave. "Strike them on
the head, too."

"Umph!"

No woman likes to be classed properly,--no matter where she belongs.

"I never interfere, Doctor Blecker; I may advise. But, as I was going to
say, that father of Grey's seemed to me such a tadpole of a man, rooting
after tracks of lizards that crept ages ago, while the country is going to
mash, and his own children next door to starvation, I thought a little
plain talk would try if it was blood or water in his veins. So I went over
to spend the day there on purpose to give it to him."

"Yes. Well?"

She shrugged her shoulders.

"I see. Then you tried Joseph?"

"No, he is in able hands. That Loo is a thorough-pacer,--after my own
heart.--Talking of your family, my dear," as Grey opened the door. "Loo
will do better for them than you. Pardon me, but a lot of selfish men in a
family need to be treated like Pen here, when his stomach is sour. Give
them a little wholesome alkali: honey won't answer."

Grey only laughed. Some day, she thought, when her father had completed
his survey of the coal-formation, and Joseph had induced Congress to stop
the war, people would appreciate them. So she took off Mrs. Sheppard's
furs and bonnet, and smoothed the two black shiny puffs of hair, passing
her husband with only a smile, as a stranger was there, but his
dressing-gown and slippers waited by the fire.

"Paul may be at home before you," she said, nodding to them.

Grey had dropped easily through that indefinable change between a young
girl and a married woman: her step was firmer, her smile freer, her head
more quietly poised. Some other change, too, in her look, showed that her
affections had grown truer and wider of range than before. Meaner women's
hearts contract after marriage about their husband and children, like an
India-rubber ball thrown into the fire. Hers would enter into his nature
as a widening and strengthening power. Whatever deficiency there might be
in her brain, she would infuse energy into his care for people about
him,--into his sympathy for his patients; in a year or two you might be
sure he would think less of Paul Blecker _per se_, and hate or love fewer
men for their opinions than he did before.

The supper, a solid meal always in these houses, was brought in. Grey took
her place with a blush and a little conscious smile, to which Mrs.
Sheppard called Doctor Blecker's attention by a pursing of her lips, and
then, tucking her napkin under her chin, prepared to do justice to venison
and biscuits. She sipped her coffee with an approving nod, dear to a young
housekeeper's soul.

"Good! Grey begins sound, at the foundations, in cooking, Doctor. No
shams, child. Don't tolerate them in housekeeping. If not white sugar,
then no cake. If not silver, then not albata. So you're coming with me to
New York, my dear?"

Grey's face flushed.

"Paul says we will go."

"Sister there? Teaching, did you say?"

Doctor Blecker's moustache worked nervously. Lizzy Gurney was not of his
kind; now, more than ever, he would have cut every tie between her and
Grey, if he could. But his wife looked up with a smile.

"She is on the stage,--Lizzy. The opera,--singing;--in choruses only,
now,--but it will be better soon."

Mrs. Sheppard let her bit of bread fall, then ate it with a gulp. Why,
every drop of the Shelby blood was clean and respectable; it was not easy
to have an emissary of hell, a tawdry actress, brought on the carpet
before her, with even this mild flourish of trumpets.

The silence grew painful. Grey glanced around quickly, then her Welsh
blood made her eyelids shake a little, and her lips shut. But she said
gently,--

"My sister is not albata ware,--that you hate, Mrs. Sheppard. She is no
sham. When God said to her, 'Do this thing,' she did not ask the neighbors
to measure it by their rule of right and wrong."

"Well, well, little Grey,"--with a forbearing smile,--"she is your
sister,--you're a clannish body. Your heart's all right, my
dear,"--patting the hard nervous hand that lay on the table,--"but you
never studied theology, that's clear."

"I don't know."

Mrs. Blecker's face grew hot; but that might have been the steam of the
coffee-urn.

"We'll be just to Lizzy," said her husband, gravely. "She had a hurt
lately. I don't think she values her life for much now. It is a hungry
family, the Gurneys,"--with a quizzical smile. "My wife, here, kept the
wolf from the door almost single-handed, though she don't understand
theology. You are quite right about that. When I came home here two months
ago, she would not be my wife; there was no one to take her place, she
said. So, one day, when I was in my office alone, Lizzy came to me,
looking like a dead body out of which the soul had been crushed. She had
been hurt, I told you:--she came to me with an open letter in her hand. It
was from the manager of one of the second-rate opera-troupes. The girl can
sing, and has a curious dramatic talent, her only one.

"'It is all I am capable of doing,' she said. 'If I go, Grey can marry.
The family will have a sure support.'

"Then she folded the letter into odd shapes, with an idiotic look.

"'Do you want me to answer it?' I asked.

"'Yes, I do. Tell him I'll go. Grey can be happy then, and the others will
have enough to eat. I never was of any use before.'

"I knew that well enough. I sat down to write the letter.

"'You will be turned out of church for this,' I said.

"She stood by the window, her finger tracing the rain-drops on the pane,
for it was a rainy night. She said,--

"'They won't understand. God knows.'

"So I wrote on a bit, and then I said,--for I felt sorry for the girl,
though she was doing it for Grey,--I said,--

'"Lizzy, I'll be plain with you. There never was but one human being loved
you, perhaps. When he was dying, he said, "Tell my wife to be true and
pure." There is a bare possibility that you can be both as an
opera-singer, but he never would believe it. If you met him in heaven, he
would turn his back on you, if you should do this thing.'

"I could not see her face,--her back was towards me,--but the hand on the
window-pane lay there for a long while motionless, the blood settling blue
about the nails. I did not speak to her. There are some women with whom a
physician, if he knows his business, will never meddle when they grow
nervous; they come terribly close to God and the Devil then, I think. I
tell you, Mrs. Sheppard, now and then one of your sex has the vitality and
pain and affection of a thousand souls in one. I hate such women,"
vehemently.

"Men like you always do," quietly. "But I am not one of them."

"No, nor Grey, thank God! Whoever contrived that allegory of Eve and the
apple, though, did it well. If the Devil came to Lizzy Gurney, he would
offer no meaner temptation than 'Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and
evil.'"

"'_Allegory_'--eh? You forget your story, I think, Doctor Blecker,"--with
a frown.

The Doctor stopped to help her to jelly, with a serious face, and then
went on. "She turned round at last. I did not look up at her, only said,--

"'I will not write the letter.'

"'Go on,' she said.

"I wrote it, then; but when I went to give it to her, my heart failed me.

"'Lizzy,' I said, 'you shall not do this thing.'

"She looked so childish and pitiful, standing there!

"'You think you are cutting yourself off from your chance of love through
all time by it,--just for Grey and the others.'

"Her eyes filled at that; she could not bear the kind word, you see.

"'Yes, I do, Doctor Blecker,' she said. 'Nobody ever loved me but Uncle
Dan. Since he went away, I have gone every day to his house, coming nearer
to him that way, growing purer, more like other women. There's a picture
of his mother there, and his sister. They are dead now, but I think their
souls looked at me out of those pictures and loved me.'

"She came up, her head hardly reaching to the top of the chair I sat on,
half smiling, those strange gray eyes of hers.

"'I thought they said,--"This is Lizzy: this is the little girl Daniel
loves." Every day I'd kneel down by that dead lady's chair, and pray to
God to make me fit to be her son's wife. But he's dead now,' drawing
suddenly back, 'and I am going to be--an opera-singer.'

"'Not unless by your own free will,' I said.

"She did not hear me, I think, pulling at the fastening about her throat.

"'Daniel would say it was the Devil's calling. Daniel was all I had. But
he don't know. I know. God means it. I might have lived on here, keeping
myself true to his notions of right: then, when I went yonder, he would
have been kind to me, he would have loved me,'--looking out through the
rain, in a dazed way.

"'The truth is, Lizzy,' I said, 'you have a power within you, and you want
to give it vent; it's like a hungry devil tearing you. So you give up your
love-dream, and are going to be an opera-singer. That's the common-sense
of the matter.'

"I sealed the letter, and gave it to her.

"'You think that?'

"That was all she answered. But I'm sorry I said it; I don't know whether
it was true or not. There,--that is the whole story. I never told it to
Grey before. You can judge for yourselves."

"My dear," said Mrs. Sheppard, "let me go with you to see your sister in
New York. Some more coffee, please. My cup is cold."

       *       *       *       *       *

A clear, healthy April night: one of those bright, mountain-winded nights
of early spring, when the air is full of electric vigor,--starlight, when
the whole earth seems wakening slowly and grandly into a new life.

Grey, going with her husband and Mrs. Sheppard down Broadway, from their
hotel, had a fancy that the world was so cheerfully, heartily at work,
that the night was no longer needed. Overhead, the wind from the yet
frozen hills swept in such strong currents, the great city throbbed with
such infinite kinds of motion, and down in the harbor yonder the rush of
couriers came and went incessantly from the busy world without. Grey was a
country-girl: in this throbbing centre of human life she felt suddenly
lost, atom-like,--drew her breath quickly, as she clung to Paul's arm. The
world was so vast, was hurrying on so fast. She must get to work in
earnest: why, one must justify her right to live, here.

Mrs. Sheppard, as she plodded solidly along, took in the whole blue air
and outgoing ocean, and the city, with its white palaces and gleaming
lights.

"People look happy here," she said. "Even Grey laughs more, going down the
streets. Nothing talks of the war here."

Paul looked down into the brown depths of the eyes that were turned
towards him.

"It is a good, cheery world, ours, after all. More laughing than crying in
it,--when people find out their right place, and get into it."

Mrs. Sheppard said, "Umph?" Kentuckians don't like abstract propositions.

They stopped before a wide-open door, in a by-street. _Not_ an
opera-house; one of the haunts of the "legitimate drama," Yet the posters
assured the public in every color, that _La petite Élise_, the beautiful
_débutante_, etc., etc., would sing, etc., etc. Grey's hand tightened on
her husband's arm.

"This is the place,"--her face burning scarlet.

A pretty little theatre: softly lighted, well and quietly filled. Quietly
toned, too, the dresses of the women in the boxes,--of that neutral,
subdued caste that showed they belonged to the grade above fashion. People
of rank tastes did not often go there. The little Kentuckian, with her
emphatic, sham-hating face, and Grey, whose simple, calm outlook on the
world made her last year's bonnet and cloak dwindle into such irrelevant
trifles, did not misbecome the place. Others might go there to fever out
_ennui_, or with fouler fancies. Grey did not know. The play was a simple
little thing; its meaning was pure as a child's song; there was a good
deal of fun in it. Grey laughed with everybody else; she would ask God to
bless her to-night none the worse for that. It had some touches of pathos
in it, and she cried, and saw some men about her with the smug
New-York-city face doing the very same,--not just as she did, but
glowering at the footlights, and softly blowing their noses. Then the
music came, and _La petite Élise_. Grey drew back where she could not see
her. Blecker peered through his glass at every line and motion, as she
came out from the eternal castle in the back scene. Any gnawing power or
gift she had had found vent, certainly, now. Every poise and inflection
said, "Here I am what I am,--fully what God made me, at last: no more, no
less." God had made her an actress. Why, He knows. The Great Spirit of
Love says to the toad in your gutter,--"Thou, too, art my servant, in
whom, fulfilling the work I give, I am well pleased."

_La petite Élise_ had only a narrow and peculiar scope of power, suited to
vaudevilles: she could not represent her own character,--an actress's
talent and heart being as widely separated, in general, as yours are. She
could bring upon the stage in her body the presentment of a _naïve_,
innocent, pathetic nature, and use the influence such nature might have on
the people outside the orchestra-chairs there. It was not her own nature,
we know. She dressed and looked it. A timid little thing, in her
fluttering white slip, her light hair cut close to her head, in short
curls. So much for the actress and her power.

She sang at last. She sang ballads generally, (her voice wanting
cultivation,) such as agreed with her _rôle_. But it was Lizzy Gurney who
sang, not _la petite Élise_.

"Of course," a society-mother said to me, one day, "I do _not_ wish my
Rosa should have a great sorrow, but--how it would develop her voice!" The
bonnet-worshipper stumbled on a great truth.

So with Lizzy: life had taught her; and the one bitter truth of
self-renunciation she had wrung out of it must tell itself somehow. No
man's history is dumb. It came out vaguely, an inarticulate cry to God and
man, in the songs she sang, I think. That very night, as she stood there
with her gray eyes very sparkling and happy, (they were dramatic eyes, and
belonged to her brain,) and her baby-hands crossed archly before her, her
voice made those who listened quite forget her: _la petite Élise_ took
them up to the places where men's souls struggle with the Evil One and
conquer. A few, perhaps, understood that full meaning of her song: if
there was one, it was well she was an actress and sang it.

"I'm damned," growled a fellow in the pit, "if she a'n't a good little
thing!" when the song was ended. There was not a soul in the house that
did not think the same. Yet the girl turned fiercely towards the
side-scenes, hearing it, and pitied herself at that,--that she, a woman,
should stand before the public for them to examine and chatter over her
soul and her history, and her very dress and shoes. But that was gone in a
moment, and Lizzy laughed,--naturally now. Why, they were real friends,
heart-warm to her there: when they laughed and cried with her, she knew
it. Many of their faces she knew well: that pale lady's in the third box,
who brought her boys so often, and gave them a bouquet to throw to
Lizzy,--always white flowers; and the old grandfather yonder, with the
pretty, chubby-faced girls. The girl's thought now was earnest and
healthful, as everybody's grows, who succeeds in discovering his real
work. They encored her song: when she began, she looked up and balked
suddenly, her very neck turning crimson. She had seen Doctor Blecker. "A
tawdry actress!" She could have torn her stage-dress in rags from her.
Then her tone grew low and clear.

There was a young couple just facing her with a little child, a dainty
baby-thing in cap and plume. Neither of them listened to Lizzy: the mother
was tying the little fellow's shoe as he hoisted it on the seat, and the
father was looking at _her_. "I missed my chance," said Lizzy Gurney, in
her heart. "Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight!" A tawdry
actress. She might have stayed at home yonder, quiet and useless: that
might have been. Then she thought of Grey, well beloved,--of the other
house, full of hungry mouths she was feeding. Looking more sharply at
Doctor Blecker while she sang, she saw Grey beside him, drawn back behind
a pillar. Presently she saw her take the glass from her husband and lean
forward. There was a red heat under her eyes: she had been crying. They
applauded Lizzy just then, and Grey looked around frightened, and then
laughed nervously.

"How beautiful she is! Do you see? Oh, Paul! Mrs. Sheppard, _do_ you
see?"--tearing her fan, and drawing heavy breaths, moving on her seat
constantly.

"She never loved me heartily before," thought Lizzy, as she sang. "I never
deserved it. I was a heartless dog. I"--

People applauded again, the old grandfather this time nodding to the
girls. There was something so cheery and healthy and triumphant in the low
tones. Even the young mother looked up suddenly from her boy, listening,
and glanced at her husband. It was like a Christmas-song.

"She never loved me before. I deserve it."

That was what she said in it. But they did not know.

Doctor Blecker looked at her, unsmiling, critical. She could see, too, a
strange face beside him,--a motherly, but a keen, harsh-judging face.

"Grey," said Mrs. Sheppard, "I wish we could go behind the scenes. Can we?
I want to talk to Lizzy this minute."

"To tell her she is at the Devil's work, Mrs. Sheppard, eh?"

Doctor Blecker pulled at his beard, angrily.

"Suppose you and I let her alone. We don't understand her."

"I think I do. God help her!"

"We will go round when the song is over," said Grey, gently.

Lizzy, scanning their faces, scanning every face in pit or boxes,
discerned a good will and wish on each. Something wholesome and sound in
her heart received it, half afraid.

"I don't know," she thought.

One of the windows was open, and out beyond the gas-light and smells of
the theatre she could see a glimpse of far space, with the eternal stars
shining. There had been once a man who loved her: he, looking down, could
see her now. If she had stayed at home, selfish and useless, there might
have been a chance for her yonder.

Her song was ended; as she drew back, she glanced up again through the
fresh air.

They were curious words the soul of the girl cried out to God in that dumb
moment:--"Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Yet in that moment a
new feeling came to the girl,--a peace that never left her afterwards.

An actress: but she holds her work bravely and healthily and well in her
grasp, with her foot always on a grave, as one might say, and God very
near above. And it may be, that, when her work is nearer done, and she
comes closer to the land where all things are clearly seen at last in
their real laws, she will know that the faces of those who loved her wait
kindly for her, and of whatever happiness has been given to them they will
not deem her quite unworthy.

Perhaps they have turned Lizzy out of the church. I do not know. But her
Friend, the world's Christ, they could not make dead to her by shutting
him up in formula or church. He never was dead. From the girding sepulchre
he passed to save the spirits long in prison; and from the visible church
now he lives and works out from every soul that has learned, like Lizzy,
the truths of life,--to love, to succor, to renounce.

       *       *       *       *       *



BY THE RIVER.

I.

    In the beautiful greenwood's charmed light,
    And down through the meadows wide and bright,
    Deep in the silence, and smooth in the gleam,
    For ever and ever flows the stream.

    Where the mandrakes grow, and the pale, thin grass
    The airy scarf of the woodland weaves,
    By dim, enchanted paths I pass,
    Crushing the twigs and the last year's leaves.

    Over the wave, by the crystal brink,
    A kingfisher sits on a low, dead limb:
    He is always sitting there, I think,--
    And another, within the crystal brink,
    Is always looking up at him.

    I know where an old tree leans across
    From bank to bank, an ancient tree,
    Quaintly cushioned with curious moss,
    A bridge for the cool wood-nymphs and me:
    Half seen they flit, while here I sit
    By the magical water, watching it.

    In its bosom swims the fair phantasm
    Of a subterraneous azure chasm,
    So soft and clear, you would say the stream
    Was dreaming of heaven a visible dream.

    Where the noontide basks, and its warm rays tint
    The nettles and clover and scented mint,
    And the crinkled airs, that curl and quiver,
    Drop their wreaths in the mirroring river,--
    Under the shaggy magnificent drapery
    Of many a wild-woven native grapery,--
    By ivy-bowers, and banks of violets,
    And golden hillocks, and emerald islets,
    Along its sinuous shining bed,
    In sheets of splendor it lies outspread.

    In the twilight stillness and solitude
    Of green caves roofed by the brooding wood,
    Where the woodbine swings, and beneath the trailing
    Sprays of the queenly elm-tree sailing,--
    By ribbed and wave-worn ledges shimmering,
    Gilding the rocks with a rippled glimmering,
    All pictured over in shade and sun,
    The wavering silken waters run.

    Upon this mossy trunk I sit,
    Over the river, watching it.
    A shadowed face peers up at me;
    And another tree in the chasm I see,
    Clinging above the abyss it spans;
    The broad boughs curve their spreading fans,
    From side to side, in the nether air;
    And phantom birds in the phantom branches
    Mimic the birds above; and there,
    Oh I far below, solemn and slow,
    The white clouds roll the crumbling snow
    Of ever-pendulous avalanches,
    Till the brain grows giddy, gazing through
    Their wild, wide rifts of bottomless blue.

    II.

    Through the river, and through the rifts
    Of the sundered earth I gaze,
    While Thought on dreamy pinion drifts,
    Over cerulean bays,
    Into the deep ethereal sea
    Of her own serene eternity.

    Transfigured by my tranced eye,
    Wood and meadow, and stream and sky,
    Like vistas of a vision lie:
    THE WORLD is the River that flickers by.

    Its skies are the blue-arched centuries;
    And its forms are the transient images
    Flung on the flowing film of Time
    By the steadfast shores of a fadeless clime.

    As yonder wave-side willows grow,
    Substance above, and shadow below,
    The golden slopes of that upper sphere
    Hang their imperfect landscapes here.

    Fast by the Tree of Life, which shoots
    Duplicate forms from self-same roots,
    Under the fringes of Paradise,
    The crystal brim of the River lies.

    There are banks of Peace, whose lilies pure
    Paint on the wave their portraiture;
    And many a holy influence,
    That climbs to God like the breath of prayer,
    Creeps quivering into the glass of sense,
    To bless the immortals mirrored there.

    Through realms of Poesy, whose white cliffs
    Cloud its deeps with their hieroglyphs,
    Alpine fantasies heaped and wrought
    At will by the frolicsome winds of Thought,--
    By shores of Beauty, whose colors pass
    Faintly into the misty glass,--
    By hills of Truth, whose glories show
    Distorted, broken, and dimmed, as we know,--
    Kissed by the tremulous long green tress
    Of the glistening tree of Happiness,
    Which ever our aching grasp eludes
    With sweet illusive similitudes,--
    All pictured over in shade and gleam,
    For ever and ever runs the Stream.

    The orb that burns in the rifts of space
    Is the adumbration of God's Face.
    My Soul leans over the murmuring flow,
    And I am the image it sees below.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE GROWTH OF CONTINENTS.


Before entering upon a sketch of the growth of the European Continent from
the earliest times until it reached its present dimensions and outlines, I
will say something of the growth of continents in general, connecting
these remarks with a few words of explanation respecting some geological
terms, which, although in constant use, are nevertheless not clearly
defined. I will explain, at the outset, the meaning I attach to them and
the sense in which I use them, that there may be no misunderstanding
between me and my readers on this point. The words Age, Epoch, Period,
Formation, may be found on almost every page of any modern work on
geology; but if we sift the matter carefully, we shall find that there is
a great uncertainty as to the significance of these terms, and that
scarcely any two geologists use them in the same sense. Indeed, I shall
not be held blameless in this respect myself; for, on looking over
preceding articles, I find that I have, from old habit, used somewhat
indiscriminately names which should have a perfectly definite and
invariable meaning.

As long as zoölogical nomenclature was uncontrolled by any principle, the
same vagueness and indecision prevailed here also. The words Genus, Order,
Class, as well as those applied to the most comprehensive division of all
in the animal kingdom, the primary branches or types, were used
indiscriminately, and often allowed to include under one name animals
differing essentially in their structural character. It is only since it
has been found that all these groups are susceptible of limitation,
according to distinct categories of structure, that our nomenclature has
assumed a more precise and definite significance. Even now there is still
some inconsistency among zoölogists as to the use of special terms,
arising from their individual differences in appreciating, structural
features; but I believe it to be, nevertheless, true, that general orders,
classes, etc., are not merely larger or smaller groups of the same kind,
but are really based upon distinct categories of structure. As soon as
such a principle is admitted in geology, and investigators recognize
certain physical and organic conditions, more or less general in their
action, as characteristic of all those chapters in geological history
designated as Ages, Epochs, Periods, Formations, etc., all vagueness will
vanish from the scientific nomenclature of this department also, and there
will be no hesitation as to the use of words for which we shall then have
a positive, definite meaning.

Although the fivefold division of Werner, by which he separated the rocks
into Primitive, Transition, Secondary, Alluvial, and Volcanic, proved to
be based on a partial misapprehension of the nature of the earth-crust,
yet it led to their subsequent division into the three great groups now
known as the Primary, or Palaeozoic, as they are sometimes called, because
here are found the first organic remains, the Secondary, and the Tertiary.
I have said in a previous article that the general unity of character
prevailing throughout these three divisions, so that, taken from the
broadest point of view, each one seems a unit in time, justifies the
application to them of that term, _Age_, by which we distinguish in human
history those periods marked throughout by one prevailing tendency;--as we
say the age of Egyptian or Greek or Roman civilization,--the age of stone
or iron or bronze. I believe that this division of geological history into
these great sections or chapters is founded upon a recognition of the
general features by which they are characterized.

Passing over the time when the first stratified deposits were accumulated
under a universal ocean in which neither animals nor plants existed, there
was an age in the physical history of the world when the lands consisted
of low islands,--when neither great depths nor lofty heights diversified
the surface of the earth,--when both the animal and vegetable creation,
however numerous, was inferior to the later ones, and comparatively
uniform in character,--when marine Cryptogams were the highest plants, and
Fishes were the highest animals. And this broad statement holds good for
the whole of that time, even though it was not without its minor changes,
its new forms of animal and vegetable life, its variations of level, its
upheavals and subsidences; for, nevertheless, through its whole duration,
it was the age of low detached lands,--it was the age of Cryptogams,--it
was the age of Fishes. From its beginning to its close, no higher type in
the animal kingdom, no loftier group in the vegetable world, made its
appearance.

There was an age in the physical history of the world when the patches of
land already raised above the water became so united as to form large
islands; and though the aspect of the earth retained its insular
character, yet the size of the islands, their tendency to coalesce by the
addition of constantly increasing deposits, and thus to spread into wider
expanses of dry land, marked the advance toward the formation of
continents. This extension of the dry land was brought about not only by
the gradual accumulation of materials, but also by the upheaval of large
tracts of stratified deposits; for, though the loftiest mountain-chains
did not yet exist, ranges like those of the Alleghanies and the Jura
belong to this division of the world's history. During this time, the
general character of the animal and vegetable kingdoms was higher than
during the previous age. Reptiles, many and various, gigantic in size,
curious in form, some of them recalling the structure of fishes, others
anticipating birdlike features, gave a new character to the animal world,
while in the vegetable world the reign of the aquatic Cryptogams was over,
and terrestrial Cryptogams, and, later, Gymnosperms and Monocotyledonous
trees, clothed the earth with foliage. Such was the character of this
second age from its opening to its close; and though there are
indications, that, before it was wholly past, some low, inferior Mammalian
types of the Marsupial kind were introduced,[2] and also a few
Dicotyledonous plants, yet they were not numerous or striking enough to
change the general aspect of the organic world. This age was throughout,
in its physical formation, the age of large continental islands; while in
its organic character it was the age of Reptiles as the highest animal
type, and of Gymnosperms and Monocotyledonous plants as the highest
vegetable groups.

    [Footnote 2: I say nothing of the traces of Birds in the Secondary
    deposits, because the so-called bird-tracks seem to me of very
    doubtful character; and it is also my opinion that the remains of
    a feathered animal recently found in the Solenhofen lithographic
    limestone, and believed to be a bird by some naturalists, do not
    belong to a genuine bird, but to one of those synthetic types
    before alluded to, in which reptilian structure is combined with
    certain birdlike features.]

There was an age in the physical history of the world when great ranges of
mountains bound together in everlasting chains the islands which had
already grown to continental dimensions,--when wide tracts of land,
hitherto insular in character, became soldered into one by the upheaval of
Plutonic masses which stretched across them all and riveted them forever
with bolts of granite, of porphyry, and of basalt. Thus did the Rocky
Mountains and the Andes bind together North and South America; the
Pyrenees united Spain to France; the Alps, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas
bound Europe to Asia. The class of Mammalia were now at the head of the
animal kingdom; huge quadrupeds possessed the earth, and dwelt in forests
characterized by plants of a higher order than any preceding ones,--the
Beeches, Birches, Maples, Oaks, and Poplars of the Tertiaries. But though
the continents had assumed their permanent outlines, extensive tracts of
land still remained covered with ocean. Inland seas, sheets of water like
the Mediterranean, so unique in our world, were then numerous. Physically
speaking, this was the age of continents broken by large inland seas;
while in the organic world it was the age of Mammalia among animals, and
of extensive Dicotyledonous forests among plants. In a certain sense it
was the age of completion,--the one which ushered in the crowning work of
creation.

There was an age in the physical history of the world (it is in its
infancy still) when Man, with the animals and plants that were to
accompany him, was introduced upon the globe, which had acquired all its
modern characters. At last the continents were redeemed from the water,
and all the earth was given to this new being for his home. Among all the
types born into the animal kingdom before, there had never been one to
which positive limits had not been set by a law of geographical
distribution absolutely impassable to all. For Man alone those boundaries
were removed. He, with the domestic animals and plants which were to be
the companions of all his pilgrimages, could wander over the whole earth
and choose his home. Placed at the head of creation, gifted with intellect
to make both animals and plants subservient to his destinies, his
introduction upon the earth marks the last great division in the history
of our planet. To designate these great divisions in time, I would urge,
for the reasons above stated, that the term which is indeed often, though
not invariably, applied to them, be exclusively adopted,--that of the Ages
of Nature.

But these Ages are themselves susceptible of subdivisions, which should
also be accurately defined. What is the nature of these subdivisions? They
are all connected with sudden physical changes in the earth's surface,
more or less limited in their action, these changes being themselves
related to important alterations in the organic world. Although I have
stated that one general character prevailed during each of the Ages, yet
there was nevertheless a constant progressive action running through them
all, and at various intervals both the organic and the physical world
received a sudden impulse in consequence of marked and violent changes in
the earth-crust, bringing up new elevations, while at the same time the
existing animal creation was brought to a close, and a new set of beings
was introduced. These changes are not yet accurately defined in America,
because the age of her mountains is not known with sufficient accuracy;
but their limits have been very extensively traced in Europe, and this
coincidence of the various upheavals with the introduction of a new
population differing entirely from, the preceding one has been
demonstrated so clearly that it may be considered as an ascertained law.
What name, then, is most appropriate for the divisions thus marked by
sudden and violent changes? It seems to me, from their generally accepted
meaning, that the word Epoch or Era, both of which have been widely,
though indiscriminately, used in geology, is especially applicable here.
In their common use, they imply a condition of things determined by some
decisive event. In speaking of human affairs, we say, "It was an epoch or
an era in history,"--or in a more limited sense, "It was an epoch in the
life of such or such a man." It at once conveys the idea of an important
change connected with or brought about by some striking occurrence. Such
were those divisions in the history of the earth when a violent convulsion
in the surface of the globe and a change in its inhabitants ushered in a
new aspect of things.

I have said that we owe to Élie de Beaumont the discovery of this
connection between the successive upheavals and the different sets of
animals and plants which have followed each other on the globe. We have
seen in the preceding article upon the formation of mountains, that the
dislocations thus produced show the interruptions between successive
deposits: as, for instance, where certain strata are raised upon the sides
of a mountain, while other strata rest _unconformably_, as it is called,
above them at its base,--this term, unconformable, signifying merely that
the two sets of strata are placed at an entirely different angle, and must
therefore belong to two distinct sets of deposits. But there are two
series of geological facts connected with this result which are often
confounded, though they arise from very different causes. One is that
described above, in which a certain series of beds having been raised out
of their natural horizontal position, another series has been deposited
upon them, thus resting unconformably above. The other is where, one set
of beds having been deposited over any given region, at a later time, in
consequence of a recession of the sea-shore, for instance, or of some
other gradual disturbance of the surface, the next set of beds accumulated
above them cover a somewhat different area, and are therefore not
conformable with the first, though parallel with them. This difference,
however slight, is sufficient to show that some shifting of the ground on
which they were accumulated must have taken place between the two series
of deposits.

This distinction must not be confounded with that made by Élie de
Beaumont: we owe it to D'Orbigny, who first pointed out the importance of
distinguishing the dislocations produced by gradual movements of the earth
from those caused by mountain-upheavals. The former are much more numerous
than the latter, and in every epoch geologists have distinguished a number
of such changes in the surface of the earth, accompanied by the
introduction of a new set of animals, though the changes in the organic
world are not so striking as those which coincide with the
mountain-upheavals. Still, to the eye of the geologist they are quite as
distinct, though less evident to the ordinary observer. To these divisions
it seems to me that the name of Period is rightly applied, because they
seem to have been brought about by the steady action of time, and by
gradual changes, rather than by any sudden or violent convulsion.

It was my good fortune to be in some degree connected with the
investigations respecting the limitation of Periods, for which the geology
of Switzerland afforded peculiar facilities. My early home was near the
foot of the Jura, where I constantly faced its rounded domes, and the
slope by which they gently descend to the plain of Switzerland. I have
heard it said that there is something monotonous in the continuous
undulations of this range, so different from the opposite one of the Alps.
But I think it is only by contrast that it seems wanting in vigor and
picturesqueness; and those who live in its neighborhood become very much
attached to the more peaceful character of its scenery. Perhaps my readers
will pardon the digression, if I interrupt our geological discussion for a
moment, to offer them a word of advice, though it be uncalled for. I have
often been asked by friends who were intending to go to Europe what is the
most favorable time in the day and the best road to enter Switzerland in
order to have at once the finest impression of the mountains. My answer is
always,--Enter it in the afternoon over the Jura. If you are fortunate,
and have one of the bright, soft afternoons that sometimes show the Alps
in their full beauty, as you descend the slope of the Jura, from which you
command the whole panorama of the opposite range, you may see, as the day
dies, the last shadow pass with strange rapidity from peak to peak of the
Alpine summits. The passage is so rapid, so sudden, as the shadow vanishes
from one height and appears on the next, that it seems like the step of
some living spirit of the mountains. Then, as the sun sinks, it sheds a
brilliant glow across them, and upon that follows--strangest effect of
all--a sudden pallor, an ashy paleness on the mountains, that has a
ghastly, chilly look. But this is not their last aspect: after the sun has
vanished out of sight, in place of the glory of his departure, and of the
corpse-like pallor which succeeded it, there spreads over the mountains a
faint blush that dies gradually into the night. These changes--the glory,
the death, the soft succeeding life--really seem like something that has a
spiritual existence. While, however, I counsel my friends to see the Alps
for the first time in the afternoon, if possible, I do not promise them
that the hour will bring with it such a scene as I have tried to describe.
Perfect sunsets are rare in any land; but, nevertheless, I would advise
travellers to choose the latter half of the day and a road over the Jura
for their entrance into Switzerland.[3]

    [Footnote 3: The two most imposing views of the Alps from the Jura
    are those of Latourne, on the road from Pontarlier to Neufchatel,
    and of St. Cergues, on the road from Lons le Saulnier to Nyon; the
    next best is to be had above Boujean, on the road from Basle to
    Bienne. Very extensive views may be obtained from any of the
    summits in the southern range of the Jura; among which the
    Weissenstein above Soleure, the Chasseral above Bienne, the
    Chanmont above Neufchatel, the Chasseron above Grançon, the Suchet
    above Orbe, the Mont Tendre or the Noirmont above Morges, and the
    Dôle above Nyon, are the most frequented. Of all these pointe
    Chaumont is unquestionably to be preferred, as it commands at the
    same time an equally extensive view of the Bernese Alps and the
    Mont Blanc range.]

It was from the Jura itself that one of the great epochs in the history of
the globe received its name. It was in a deep gorge of the Jura, that,
more than half a century ago, Leopold von Buch first perceived the mode of
formation of mountains; and it was at the foot of the Jura, in the
neighborhood of Neufchatel, that the investigations were made which first
led to the recognition of the changes connected with the Periods. As I
shall have occasion hereafter to enter into this subject more at length, I
will only allude briefly here to the circumstances. In so doing I am
anticipating the true geological order, because I must treat of the
Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits, which are still far in advance of us;
but as it was by the study of these deposits that the circumscription of
the Periods, as I have defined them above, was first ascertained, I must
allude to them in this connection.

Facing the range of the Jura from the Lake of Neufchatel, there seems to
be but one uninterrupted slope by which it descends to the shore of the
lake. It will, however, be noticed by the most careless observer that this
slope is divided by the difference in vegetation into two strongly marked
bands of color: the lower and more gradual descent being of a lighter
green, while the upper portion is covered by the deeper hue of the
forest-trees, the Beeches, Birches, Maples, etc., above which come the
Pines. When the vegetation is fully expanded, this marked division along
the whole side of the range into two broad bands of green, the lighter
below and the darker above, becomes very striking. The lighter band
represents the cultivated portion of the slope, the vineyards, the farms,
the orchards, covering the gentler, more gradual part of the descent; and
the whole of this cultivated tract, stretching a hundred miles east and
west, belongs to the Cretaceous epoch. The upper slope of the range, where
the forest-growth comes in, is Jurassic. Facing the range, you do not, as
I have said, perceive any difference in the angle of inclination; but the
border-line between the two bands of green does in fact mark the point at
which the Cretaceous beds abut with a gentler slope against the Jurassic
strata, which continue their sharper descent, and are lost to view beneath
them.

This is one of the instances in which the contact of two epochs is most
directly traced. There is no question, from the relation of the deposits,
that the Jura in its upheaval carried with it the strata previously
accumulated. At its base there was then no lake, but an extensive stretch
of ocean; for the whole plain of Switzerland was under water, and many
thousand years elapsed before the Alps arose to set a new boundary to the
sea and inclose that inland sheet of water, gradually to be filled up by
more modern accumulations, and transformed into the fertile plain which
now lies between the Jura and the Alps. If the reader will for a moment
transport himself in imagination to the time when the southern side of the
Jurassic range sloped directly down to the ocean, he will easily
understand how this second series of deposits was collected at its base,
as materials are collected now along any sea-shore. They must, of course,
have been accumulated horizontally, since no loose materials could keep
their place even at so moderate an angle as that of the present lower
slope of the range; but we shall see hereafter that there were many
subsequent perturbations of this region, and that these Cretaceous
deposits, after they had become consolidated, were raised by later
upheavals from their original position to that which they now occupy on
the lower slope of the Jura, resting immediately, but in geological
language _unconformably_, against it. The two adjoining wood-cuts are
merely theoretical, showing by lines the past and the present relation of
these deposits; but they may assist the reader to understand my meaning.

[Illustration]

Figure 1 represents the Jura before the Alps were raised, with the
Cretaceous deposits accumulating beneath the sea at its base. The line
marked S indicates the ocean-level; the letter c, the Cretaceous deposits;
the letter j, the Jurassic strata, lifted on the side of the mountain.

[Illustration]

Figure 2 represents the Jura at the present time, when the later upheavals
have lifted the Jurassic strata to a sharper inclination with the
Cretaceous deposits, now raised and forming the lower slope of the
mountain, at the base of which is the Lake of Neufchatel.

Although this change of inclination is hardly perceptible, as one looks up
against the face of the Jura range, there is a transverse cut across it
which seems intended to give us a diagram of its internal structure.
Behind the city of Neufchatel rises the mountain of Chaumont, so called
from its bald head, for neither tree nor shrub grows on its summit.
Straight through this mountain, from its northern to its southern side,
there is a natural road, formed by a split in the mountain from top to
bottom. In this transverse cut, which forms one of the most romantic and
picturesque gorges leading into the heart of the Jura range, you get a
profile view of the change in the inclination of the strata, and can
easily distinguish the point of juncture between the two sets of deposits.
But even after this dislocation of strata had been perceived, it was not
known that it indicated the commencement of a new epoch, and it is here
that my own share in the work, such as it is, belongs. Accustomed as a boy
to ramble about in the beautiful gorges and valleys of the Jura, and in
riper years, as my interest in science increased, to study its formation
with closer attention, this difference in the inclination of the slope had
not escaped my observation. I was, however, still more attracted by the
fossils it contained than by its geological character: and, indeed, there
is no better locality for the study of extinct forms of life than the
Jura. In all its breaks and ravines, wherever the inner surface of the
rock is exposed, it is full of organic remains; and to take a handful of
soil from the road-side is often to gather a handful of shells. It is
actually built of the remains of animals, and there are no coral reefs in
existing seas presenting a better opportunity for study to the naturalist
than the coral reefs of the Jura. Being already tolerably familiar with
the fossils of the Jura, it occurred to me to compare those of the upper
and lower slope; and to my surprise I found that they were everywhere
different, and that those of the lower slope were invariably Cretaceous in
character, while those of the upper slope were Jurassic. In the course of
this investigation I discovered three periods in the Cretaceous and four
in the Jurassic epoch, all characterized by different fossils. This led to
a more thorough investigation of the different sets of strata, resulting
in the establishment by D'Orbigny of a still greater number of periods,
marked by the successive deposits of the Jurassic and Cretaceous seas, all
of which contained different organic remains. The attention of geologists
being once turned in this direction, the other epochs were studied with
the same view, and all were found to be susceptible of division into a
greater or less number of such periods.

I have dwelt at greater length on the Jurassic and Cretaceous divisions,
because I believe that we have in the relation of these two epochs, as
well as in that of the Cretaceous epoch with the Tertiary immediately
following it, facts which are very important in their bearing on certain
questions, now loudly discussed, not only by scientific men, but by all
who are interested in the mode of origin of animals. Certainly, in the
inland seas of the Cretaceous and subsequent Tertiary times, where we can
trace in the same sheet of water not only the different series of deposits
belonging to two successive epochs in immediate juxtaposition, but those
belonging to all the periods included within these epochs, with the
organic remains contained in each,--there, if anywhere, we should be able
to trace the transition-types by which one set of animals is said to have
been developed out of the preceding. We hear a great deal of the
interruption in geological deposits, of long intervals, the record of
which has vanished, and which may contain those intermediate links for
which we vainly seek. But here there is no such gap in the evidence. In
the very same sheets of water, covering limited areas, we have the
successive series of deposits containing the remains of animals which
continue perfectly unchanged during long intervals, and then, with a more
or less violent shifting of the surface,[4] traceable by the consequent
discordance of the strata, is introduced an entirely new set of animals,
differing as much from those immediately preceding them as do those of the
present period from the old Creation, (our predecessors, but _not_ our
ancestors,) traced by Cuvier in the Tertiary deposits underlying those of
our own geological age. I subjoin here a tabular view giving the Epochs in
their relation to the Ages, and indicating, at least approximately, the
number of Periods contained in each Epoch.

    [Footnote 4: I use surface often in its geological significance,
    meaning earth-crust, and applied to sea-bottom as well as to dry
    land.]

Age of Man                  Present.

Tertiary Age:             { Pliocene      }
  Age of Mammalia         { Miocene       }  with at least twelve Periods.
                          { Eocene        }

Secondary Age:            { Cretaceous    }
  Age of Reptiles         { Jurassic      }  with at least twenty Periods.
                          {
                          { Triassic      }
                          { Permian       }  with eight or nine Periods.
                          { Carboniferous }

Palæozoic or Primary Age: { Devonian      }
  Age of Fishes           { Silurian      }  with ten or twelve Periods.

It will be noticed by those who have any knowledge of geological
divisions, that in this diagram I consider the Carboniferous epoch as
forming a part of the Secondary age. Some geologists have been inclined,
from the marked and peculiar character of its vegetation, to set it apart
as forming in itself a distinct geological age, while others have united
it with the Palæozoic age. For many years I myself adopted the latter of
these two views, and associated the Carboniferous epoch with the Palæozoic
age. But it is the misfortune of progress that one is forced not only to
unlearn a great deal, but, if one has been in the habit of communicating
his ideas to others, to destroy much of his own work. I now find myself in
this predicament; and after teaching my students for years that the
Carboniferous epoch belongs to the Palæozoic or Primary age, I am
convinced--and this conviction grows upon me constantly as I free myself
from old prepossessions and bias on the subject--that with the
Carboniferous epoch we have the opening of the Secondary age in the
history of the world. A more intimate acquaintance with organic remains
has shown me that there is a closer relation between the character of the
animal and vegetable world of the Carboniferous epoch, as compared with
that of the Permian and Triassic epochs, than between that of the
Carboniferous epoch and any preceding one. Neither do I see any reason for
separating it from the others as a distinct age. The plants as well as the
animals of the two subsequent epochs seem to me to show, on the contrary,
the same pervading character, indicating that the Carboniferous epoch
makes an integral part of that great division which I have characterized
as the Secondary age.

Within the Periods there is a still more limited kind of geological
division, founded upon the special character of local deposits. These I
would call geological Formations, indicating concrete local deposits,
having no cosmic character, but circumscribed within comparatively narrow
areas, as distinguished from the other terms, Ages, Epochs, Periods, which
have a more universal meaning, and are, as it were, cosmopolitan in their
application. Let me illustrate my meaning by some formations of the
present time. The accumulations along the coast of Florida are composed
chiefly of coral sand, mixed of course with the remains of the animals
belonging to that locality; those along the coast of the Southern States
consist principally of loam, which the rivers bring down from their swamps
and low, muddy grounds; those upon the shores of the Middle States are
made up of clay from the disintegration of the eastern slopes of the
Alleghanies; while those farther north, along our own coast, are mostly
formed of sand from the New-England granites. Such deposits are the local
work of one period, containing the organic remains belonging to the time
and place. From the geological point of view, I would call them
Formations; from the naturalist's point of view, I would call them
Zoölogical Provinces.

Of course, in urging the application of these names, I do not intend to
assume any dictatorship in the matter of geological nomenclature. But I do
feel very strongly the confusion arising from an indiscriminate use of
terms, and that, whatever names be selected as most appropriate or
descriptive for these divisions, geologists should agree to use them in
the same sense.

There is one other geological term, bequeathed to us by a great authority,
and which cannot be changed for the better: I mean that of Geological
Horizon, applied by Humboldt to the whole extent of any one geological
division,--as, for instance, the Silurian horizon, including the whole
extent of the Silurian epoch. It indicates one level in time, as the
horizon which limits our view indicates the farthest extension of the
plain on which we stand in space.

       *       *       *       *       *

We left America at the close of the Carboniferous epoch, when the central
part of the United States was already raised above the water. Let us now
give a glance at Europe in those early days, and see how far her physical
history has advanced. What European countries loom up for us out of the
Azoic sea, corresponding in time and character to the low range of hills
which first defined the northern boundary of the United States? what did
the Silurian and Devonian epochs add to these earliest tracts of dry land
in the Old World? and where do we find the coal basins which show us the
sites of her Carboniferous forests? Since the relation between the epochs
of comparative tranquillity and the successive upheavals has been so
carefully traced in Europe, I will endeavor, while giving a sketch of that
early European world, to point out, at the same time, the connection of
the different systems of upheaval with the successive stratified deposits,
without, however, entering into such details as must necessarily become
technical and tedious.

In the European ocean of the Azoic epoch we find five islands of
considerable size. The largest of these is at the North. Scandinavia had
even then almost her present outlines; for Norway, Sweden, Finland, and
Lapland, all of which are chiefly granitic in character, were among the
first lands to be raised. Between Sweden and Norway, there is, however,
still a large tract of land under water, forming an extensive lake or a
large inland sea in the heart of the country. If the reader will take the
trouble to look on any geological map of Europe, he will see an extensive
patch of Silurian rock in the centre of Sweden and Norway. This represents
that sheet of water gradually to be filled by the accumulation of Silurian
deposits and afterwards raised by a later disturbance. There is another
mass of land far to the southeast of this Scandinavian island, which we
may designate as the Bohemian island, for it lies in the region now called
Bohemia, though it includes, also, a part of Saxony and Moravia. The
northwest corner of France, that promontory which we now call Bretagne,
with a part of Normandy adjoining it, formed another island; while to the
southeast of it lay the central plateau of France. Great Britain was not
forgotten in this early world; for a part of the Scotch hills, some of the
Welsh mountains, and a small elevation here and there in Ireland, already
formed a little archipelago in that region. By a most careful analysis of
the structure of the rocks in these ancient patches of land, tracing all
the dislocations of strata, all the indications of any disturbance of the
earth-crust whatsoever, Élie de Beaumont has detected and classified four
systems of upheavals, previous to the Silurian epoch, to which he refers
these islands in the Azoic sea. He has named them the systems of La
Vendée, of Finistère, of Longmynd, and of Morbihan. These names have, for
the present, only a local significance,--being derived, like so many of
the geological names, from the places where the investigations of the
phenomena were first undertaken,--but in course of time will, no doubt,
apply to all the contemporaneous upheavals, wherever they may be traced,
just as we now have Silurian, Devonian, Permian, and Jurassic deposits in
America as well as in Europe.

The Silurian and Devonian epochs seem to have been instrumental rather in
enlarging the tracts of land already raised than in adding new ones; yet
to these two epochs is traced the upheaval of a large and important island
to the northeast of France. We may call it the Belgian island, since it
covered the ground of modern Belgium; but it also extended considerably
beyond these limits, and included much of the Northern Rhine region. A
portion only of this tract, to which belongs the central mass of the
Vosges and the Black Forest, was lifted during the Silurian epoch,--which
also enlarged considerably Wales and Scotland, the Bohemian island, the
island of Bretagne, and Scandinavia. During this epoch the sheet of water
between Norway and Sweden became dry land; a considerable tract was added
to their northern extremity on the Arctic shore; while a broad band of
Silurian deposits, lying now between Finland and Russia, enlarged that
region. The Silurian epoch has been referred by Élie de Beaumont to the
system of upheaval called by him the system of Westmoreland and
Hundsrück,--again merely in reference to the spots at which these
upheavals were first studied, the centres, as it were, from which the
investigations spread. But in their geological significance they indicate
all the oscillations and disturbances of the soil throughout the region
over which the Silurian deposits have been traced in Europe. The Devonian
epoch added greatly to the outlines of the Belgian island. To it belongs
the region of the Ardennes, lying between France and Belgium, the
Eifelgebirge, and a new disturbance of the Vosges, by which that region
was also extended. The island of Bretagne was greatly increased by the
Devonian deposits, and Bohemia also gained in dimensions, while the
central plateau of France remained much the same as before. The changes of
the Devonian epoch are traced by Élie de Beaumont to a system of upheavals
called the Ballons of the Vosges and of Normandy,--so called from the
rounded, balloon-like domes characteristic of the mountains of that time.
To the Carboniferous epoch belong the mountain-systems of Forey, (to the
west of Lyons,) of the North of England, and of the Netherlands. These
three systems of upheaval have also been traced by Élie de Beaumont; and
in the depressions formed between their elevations we find the coal-basins
of Central France, of England, and of Germany. During all these epochs, in
Europe as in America, every such dislocation of the surface was attended
by a change in the animal creation.

If we take now a general view of the aspect of Europe at the close of the
Carboniferous epoch, we shall see that the large island of Scandinavia is
completed, while the islands of Bohemia and Belgium have approached each
other by their gradual increase till they are divided only by a
comparatively narrow channel. The island of Belgium, that of Bretagne, and
that of the central plateau of France, form together a triangle, of which
the plateau is the lowest point, while Belgium and Bretagne form the other
two corners. Between the plateau and Belgium flows a channel, which we may
call the Burgundian channel, since it covers old Burgundy; between the
plateau and Bretagne is another channel, which from its position we may
call the Bordeaux channel. The space inclosed between these three masses
of land is filled by open sea. To trace the gradual closing of these
channels and the filling up of the ocean by constantly increasing
accumulations, as well as by upheavals, will be the object of the next
article.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE MUSICIAN.


He did not move the hills and the rocks with his music, because those days
are passed away,--the days when Orpheus had all Nature for his audience,
when the audience would not keep its seat. In those days trees and rocks
may have held less firm root in the soil: it was nearer the old
Chaos-times, and they had not lost the habit of the whirling dance. The
trees had not found their "continental" home, and the rocks were not yet
wedded to their places: so they could each enjoy one more bachelor-dance
before settling into their staid vegetable and mineral domestic happiness.

Our musician had no power, then, to move them from their place of ages: he
did not stir them as much as the morning and evening breezes among the
leaves, or the streams trickling down among the great rocks and wearing
their way over precipices. But he moved men and women, of all natures and
feelings. He could translate Bach and Beethoven, Mendelssohn and
Mozart,--all the great poet-musicians that are silent now, and must be
listened to through an interpreter. All the great people and all the
little people came to hear him. A princess fell in love with him. She
would have married him. She did everything but ask him to marry her.
Indeed, some of his friends declared she did this; but that cannot be
believed.

"You ought to be satisfied," said one of his friends to the musician, one
day; "all the world admires you; money drops from the keys of your
piano-forte; and a princess is in love with you."

"With me?" answered the musician; "with my music, perhaps. You talk
nonsense, when you talk of her falling in love with me, of her marrying a
poor musician. What then? To have one instrument more in her palace! Let
her marry her piano-forte,--or her violin, if she objects to a quadruped!"

"You are as blind as Homer," said his friend. "Can't you see that her love
is purely personal? Would she care to give a title to a pianist, if he
were any other than Arnold Wulff? If you had other eyes in your head, or
if there were another man inside even that same face of yours, the strains
might flow out under your fingers like streams from Paradise, in vain, so
far as her heart was concerned. Your voice is quite as persuasive as your
music, with her."

"If so, why must she put a title in front of my name, before I am worthy
of her?" asked Arnold. "She offers me some square miles of uninhabitable
forest, because, as owner of them, I can wear a Von before my name. I can
put it on as an actor on the stage wears a chapeau of the Quatorze time.
It is one of the properties of the establishment. You may call it a livery
of the palace, if you please. I may make love to her on the stage as 'My
Lord.' But my own little meagre part of Arnold,--thank you, I prefer it,
without my princess."

"And yet, if you have the palace, a princess is necessary. With your love
of harmony, you yourself would not be pleased to see a cotton dress
hanging across a damask couch, or rude manners interrupt a stately dinner.
The sound of the titles clangs well as you are ushered up through the
redoubled apartments. If the play is in the Quatorze time, let it be
played out. A princess deserves at least a lord for a husband."

"Very well, if the question is of marriage," answered Arnold; "but in
love, a woman loves a man, not a title; and if a woman marries as she
loves, she marries the man, not the lordship."

"But this is a true princess," said his friend Carl.

"And a true princess," answered Arnold, "feels the peas under ever so many
mattresses. She would not fall in love with a false lord, or degrade
herself by marrying her scullion. But if she is a true princess, she sees
what is lordly in her subject. If she loves him, already he is above her
in station,--she looks up to him as her ideal. Whatever we love is above
self. We pay unconscious homage to the object of our love. Already it
becomes our lord or princess."

"I don't see, then," said Carl, "but that you are putting unnecessary peas
in your shoes. It is this princeliness that your princess has discovered
in you; and the titles she would give you are the signs of it, that she
wishes you to wear before the world."

"And they never will make me lord or prince, since I am not born such,"
answered Arnold. "If I were born such, I would make the title grand and
holy, so that men should see I was indeed prince and lord as well as man.
As it is, I feel myself greater than either, and born to rule higher
things. It would cramp me to put on a dignity for which I was not created.
Already I am cramped by the circumstances out of which I was born. I
cannot express strains of music that I hear in my highest dreams, because
my powers are weak, and fail me as often the strings of my instrument fail
my fingers. To put on any of the conventionalities of life, any of its
honors, even the loves of life, would be to put on so many constraints the
more."

"That is because you have never loved," said Carl.

"That may be," said Arnold,--"because I have never loved anything but
music. Still that does not satisfy me,--it scarcely gives me joy; it gives
me only longing, and oftener despair. I listen to it alone, in secret,
until I am driven by a strange desire to express it to a great world.
Then, for a few moments, the praise and flattery of crowds delight and
exalt me,--but only to let me fall back into greater despair, into remorse
that I have allowed the glorious art of music to serve me as a cup of
self-exaltation."

"You, Arnold, so unmoved by applause?" said Carl.

"It is only an outside coldness," answered Arnold; "the applause heats me,
excites me, till a moment when I grow to hate it. The flatteries of a
princess and her imitating train turn my head, till an old choral strain,
or a clutch that my good angel gives me, a welling-up of my own genius in
my heart, comes to draw me back, to cool me, to taunt me as traitor, to
rend me with the thought that in self I have utterly forgotten myself, my
highest self."

"These are the frenzies with which one has to pay for the gift of genius,"
said Carl. "A cool temperament balances all that. If one enjoys coolly,
one suffers as coolly. Take these fits of despair as the reverse side of
your fate. She offers you by way of balance cups of joy and pleasure and
success, of which we commonplace mortals scarcely taste a drop. When my
peasant-maiden Rosa gives me a smile, I am at the summit of bliss; but my
bliss-mountain is not so high that I fear a fall from it. If it were the
princess that gladdened me so, I should expect a tumble into the ravine
now and then, and would not mind the hard scramble up again, to reach the
reward at the top."

"It would not be worth the pains," said Arnold; "a princess's smiles are
not worth more than a peasant-girl's. I am tired of it all. I am going to
find another world. I am going to England."

"You are foolish," answered Carl. "The world is no different there; there
is as little heart in England as in Germany,--no more or less. You are
just touching success here; do give it a good grasp."

"I am cloyed with it already," said Arnold.

"It is not that," said Carl. "You are a child crying for the moon. You
would have your cake and eat it too. You want some one who shall love you,
you alone,--who shall have no other thought but yours, no other dream than
of you. Yet you are jealous for your music. If that is not loved as
warmly, you begin to suspect your lover. It is the old proverb, 'Love me,
love my dog.' But if your dog is petted too much, if we dream in last
night's strains of music, forget you a moment in the world you have lifted
us into,--why, then your back is turned directly; you upbraid us with
following you for the sake of the music,--we have no personal love of
you,--you are the violin or the fiddlestick!"

"You are right, old Carl," said Arnold. "I am all out of tune myself. I
have not set my inward life into harmony with the world outside. It is
true, at times I impress a great audience, make its feelings sway with
mine; but, alas! it does not impress me in return. There is a little
foolish joy at what you call success; but it lasts such a few minutes! I
want to have the world move me; I do not care to move the world!"

"And will England move you more than Germany?" asked Carl; "will the
hearts of a new place touch you more than those of home? The closer you
draw to a man, the better you can read his heart, and learn that he has a
heart. It is not the number of friends that gives us pleasure, but the
warmth of the few."

"In music I find my real life," Arnold went on, "because in music I forget
myself. Is music, then, an unreal life? In real life must self always be
uppermost? It is so with me. In the world, with people, I am
self-conscious. It is only in music that I am lifted above myself. When I
am not living in that, I need activity, restlessness, change. This is why
I must go away. Here I can easily be persuaded to become a conceited fool,
a flattered hanger-on of a court."

       *       *       *       *       *

We need scarcely tell of the musician's career in England. We are already
familiar with London fashionable life. We have had life-histories, three
volumes at a time, that have taken us into the very houses, told us of all
the domestic quarrels, some already healed, some still pending. It is easy
to imagine of whom the world was composed that crowded the concerts of the
celebrated musician. The Pendennises were there, and the Newcomes, Jane
Rochester with her blind husband, a young Lord St. Orville with one of the
Great-Grand-Children of the Abbey, Mr. Thornton and Margaret Thornton, a
number of semi-attached couples, Lady Lufton and her son, the De
Joinvilles visiting the Osbornes, from France, Miss Dudleigh and Sarona,
Alton Locke, on a visit home, Signor and Signora Mancini, sad-eyed Rachel
Leslie with her young brother, a stately descendant of Sir Charles
Grandison, the Royal Family, and all the nobility. When everybody
went,--every one fortunate enough to get a ticket and a seat in the
crowded hall,--it would be invidious to mention names. It was the fashion
to go; and so everybody went who was in the fashion. Then of course the
unfashionables went, that it might not be supposed they were of that
class; and with these, all those who truly loved music were obliged to
contend for a place. Fashion was on the side of music, till it got the
audience fairly into the hall and in their seats; and then music had to
struggle with fashion. It had to fix and melt the wandering eyes, to tug
at the worldly and the stony heart. And here it was that Arnold's music
won the victory. The ravishing bonnet of Madam This or That no longer
distracted the attention of its envying admirers, or of its owner; the
numerous flirtations that had been thought quite worth the price of the
ticket, and of the crushed flounces, died away for a few moments; the
dissatisfaction of the many who discovered themselves too late in
inconspicuous seats was drowned in the deeper and sadder unrest that the
music awakened. For the music spoke separately to each heart, roused up
the secrets hidden there, fanned dying hopes or silent longings. It made
the light-hearted lighter in heart, the light-minded heavy in soul. Where
there was a glimpse of heaven, it opened the heavens wider; where there
was already hell, it made the abysses gape deeper. For those few moments
each soul communed with itself, and met with a shuddering there, or an
exaltation, as the case might be.

After those few moments, outside life resumed its sway. Buzzing talk swept
out the memory of the music. One song from an opera brought thought back
to its usual level. Men and women looked at each other through their
opera-glasses, and, bringing distant outside life close to them, fancied
themselves in near communion with it. The intimacy of the opera-glass was
warm enough to suit them,--so very near at one moment, comfortably distant
at the next. It was an intimacy that could have no return, nor demanded
it. One could study the smile on the lip of one of these neighbors, even
the tear in her eye, with one's own face unmoved, an answer of sympathy
impossible, not required. Nevertheless, the music had stirred, had
excited; and the warmth it had awakened was often transferred to the man
who had kindled it. The true lovers of music could not express their joy
and were silent, while these others surrounded Arnold with their
flatteries and adoration.

He was soon wearied of this.

"I am going to America, to a new world," he said to his friend; "there
must be some variety there."

"Perhaps so," said Carl,--"something new, something that is neither man
nor woman, since they cannot satisfy you. Still I fancy you will find
nothing higher than men and women."

"A new land must develop men and women in a new way," answered Arnold.

"If you would only look at things in my microscopic way," said Carl, "and
examine into one man or one woman, you would not need all this travelling.
But I will go as far as New York with you."

       *       *       *       *       *

At New York the name of the musician had already awakened the same
excitement as in other places; the concert-room was crowded; there was the
same rush for places; the prices paid for the tickets seemed here even
more fabulous. Arnold was more of a lion than ever. His life was filled
with receptions, dinners, and evening parties, or with parlor and evening
concerts. His dreamy, poetic face, his distant, abstracted manner, proved
as fascinating as his music.

Carl tired of the whirl, and the adoration, of which he had his share.

"I shall go back to Germany," he said. "I shall go to my Rosa, and leave
you your world."

"I am tired of my world. I shall go to the Far West," said Arnold, when
Carl left him.

One day he went to a _matinée_ at one of the finest and most fashionable
houses in the place. There were beautiful women elegantly dressed, very
exquisite men walking up and down the magnificently furnished
drawing-rooms. The air was subdued, the voices were low, the wit was
quiet, the motion was full of repose, the repose breathed grace. Arnold
seated himself at the Steinway, at the half-expressed request of the
hostess, and partly from the suggestions of his own mood. He began with
dreamy music; it was heavy with odors, at first, drugged with sense, then
spiritualizing into strange, delicate fancies. Then came strength with a
sonata of Beethoven's; then the strains died back again into a song
singing without words.

"You would like some dance-music now," said Arnold to the beautiful
Caroline, who stood by his side. "Shall I play some music that will make
everybody dance?"

"Like the music in the fairy-tale," said Caroline; "oh, I should like
that! I often hear such dance-music, that sets me stirring; it seems as if
it ought to move old and young."

"There are no old people here," said Arnold. "I have not seen any."

"It seems to me there are no young," answered Caroline.

"There are neither young nor old," said Arnold; "that is the trouble."

But he began to play a soft, dreamy waltz. It was full of bewitching
invitation. No one could resist it. It passed into a wild, stirring polka,
into a maddening galop, back again to a dreamy waltz. Now it was dizzying,
whirling; now it was languishing, full of repose. Now it was the burst and
clangor of a full orchestra; now it was the bewitching appeal of a single
voice that invited to dance. Up and down the long room, across the broad
room, the dancers moved. The room, that had been so full of quiet, was
swaying with motion.

Caroline seized hold of the back of a chair to stay herself.

"It whirls me on; how dizzying it is! And you, would you not like to join
in the dance? I would be your partner."

"The piano is my partner," answered Arnold. "Do you not see how it whirls
with me?"

"Yes, everything moves," said Caroline. "Are Cupid and Psyche coming to
join us? Will my great-grand-aunt come down to the waltz in her brocade?
My sober cousin, and Marie, who gave up dancing long ago,--they are all
carried away. It seems to me like the strange dance of a Walpurgis
night,--as though I saw ghosts, and demons too, whirling over the Brocken,
across wild forests. It is no longer our gilded drawing-room, with its
tapestries, its _bijouterie_, its sound and light both muffled: we are out
in the wild tempest; there are sighing pines, dashing waterfalls. Do you
know that is where your music carries me always? Whether it is grave or
gay, it takes me out into whirling winds, and tosses me in tempests. They
call society gay here, and dizzying,--dance and music, show, excess,
following each other; but it is all sleep, Lethe, in comparison with the
mad world into which your music whirls me. Oh, stop a moment, Arnold! will
you not stop? It is too wild and maddening!"

The strains crashed into discord, crashed into harmony, and then there was
a wonderful silence. The dancers were suddenly stilled,--looked at each
other with flushed cheek,--would have greeted each other, as if they had
just met in a foreign land; but they recovered themselves in time. Nothing
unconventional was said or done.

"Did I dance?" Marie asked herself,--"or was I only looking on?"

One of the dancers scarcely dared to look round, lest it should prove to
be the great-grand-aunt's brocade that she heard rustle behind her; while
another thanked her partner for a chair, with eyes cast down, lest it
might be Cupid that offered it. But the room was the same; there was an
elegant calm over everything. Tea-poys, light chairs, fragile vases have
been undisturbed by crinoline even.

"Are you quite sure this Chinese joss was on this table, when the music
began?" asked Marie's companion of her, whisperingly.

"Oh, hush, you don't think _that_ danced, do you?" said Marie, with a
shudder.

"I hardly know. I think the musician was on this side of the room a little
while ago, piano and all."

"Don't talk so," replied Marie. "They are all going now. I am glad of it.
You will be at the opera to-night? I must say I like opera-music better
than this wild German stuff that sets one's brain whirling!"

"Heels, too, I should say," said her companion; and they took their leave
with the rest.

The next afternoon Arnold was sitting in his room with the windows open.
It was an early spring day, when the outer air was breathing of summer. He
was thinking of how the beautiful, cold Caroline had spoken to him the day
before,--of that wild, appealing tone with which she had called him
Arnold. Before, always, she had given him no more than the greeting of an
acquaintance. Now, the tone in which she had spoken took a significance.
As he was questioning it, recalling it, he suddenly heard his own name
called most earnestly and appealingly. There was a softness, and an agony
too, in its piercing tone, as if it came straight from the heart. "Arnold!
come, come back!" He hurried to the window, wondering if he were under the
influence of some dream. He looked down, and found himself a witness to a
scene that he could not interrupt, because he could not help, and a sudden
word might create danger. It passed very quickly, though it would take
many words to describe it. A piazza led across the windows of the story
below, to a projecting part of the building, the sloping roof of which it
touched. At the other end of the sloping roof, where it met an alley-way
that opened upon a street beyond, there was a little child leaning over to
look at some soldiers that were passing through the street across the
alley. He was supporting himself, by an iron wire that served as a
lightning-rod. Already it was bending beneath his weight; and in his
eagerness he was forgetting his slippery footing, and the dizzy height of
thirty feet, over which he was hanging. He was a little three year-old
fellow, too, and probably never knew anything about danger. His mother had
always screamed as loudly when he fell from a footstool as when she had
seen him leaning from a three-story window.

The voice came from a girl, who, at the moment Arnold came to the window,
was crossing the iron palisade of the piazza. She was on the slippery,
sloping leads as she repeated the cry, in a tone earnest and
thrilling,--"Dear Arnold, come in, only come, and George shall take you to
the soldiers."

The boy only gave another start of pleasure, that seemed to loosen still
more his support, crying out, "The drummer! Cousin Laura, come, see the
drummer!"

But Laura kept her way along the edge of the roof, reached the child,
seized him, and walked back across the perilous slope with the struggling
boy in her arms. Arnold the musician had noticed, even in her hurrying,
dangerous passage towards the child, the rich sunny folds of her hair,
golden like a German girl's. Now, as she returned, he saw the soft lines
of her terror-moved face, and the deep blue of her wide-opened eyes. Her
voice changed as she reached the piazza, and set the child down in safety.

"Oh, Arnold, darling, how could you, how could you frighten me so?"

The child began to cry, because it was reproved, because its pleasure was
stopped, and because Cousin Laura, pale and white, held to the railing of
the piazza for support. But the mamma came out, Laura was lifted in, the
boy was scolded, the windows were shut, and there was the end.

Arnold sat by the window, thinking. The thrilling tones of the voice still
rang in his ear, as though they were calling upon him, "Arnold, come, come
back!"

"If any voice would speak to me in that tone!" he thought; "if such a
voice would call upon my name with all that heart in its depths!"

And he compared it with the tone in which Caroline had appealed to him the
day before. Sometimes her voice assumed the same earnestness, and he felt
as if she were showing him in the words all her own heart, betraying love,
warmth, ardor. Sometimes, in comparison with that cry, her tones seemed
cold and metallic, a selfish appeal of danger, not a cry of love. He found
himself examining her more nearly than he had ever done before.

"Was she more than outwardly beautiful? Was there any warmth beneath that
cold manner? Could she warm as well as shine?"

He remembered that she had often complained to him of her longing for
sympathy; she had spoken to him of the coldness of the world, of the
heartlessness of society. She had envied him his genius,--the musical
talent that made him independent of the world, of the love of men and
women. He could never appreciate what it was to be alone in the world, to
find one's higher feelings misunderstood, to be obliged to pass from one
gayety to another, to be dissatisfied with the superficiality of life, and
yet to find no relief;--all this she had said to him.

But why was it so with her? She had a very substantial father and mother,
who seemed to devote themselves to her wishes,--some younger brothers,--he
had seen them pushed from the drawing-room the day of the _matinée_,--a
sister near her age, not yet out. Caroline had apologized for her sister's
crying while listening to his music. "She was unsophisticated still, and
had not forgotten her boarding-school nonsense." Then, if Caroline did not
enjoy city-life, there was a house in the country to which she might have
gone early in the spring. She had, too, her friend Marie. She imparted to
him some of Marie's confidences, her sad history; Marie must be enough of
a friend to be trusted in return. In short, Caroline's manner had always
been so conventional and unimpulsive, that these complaints of life had
seemed to him a part of her society-tone, aa easily taken on and off as
her bonnet or her _paletot_. They suited the enthusiasm that was necessary
with music, and would be forgotten in her talk with Mr. Gresham the
banker.

But she had called him by his own name: that had moved him. And now that
another voice had given the words a tone he had not before detected in
them, he began to question their meaning. Could Caroline put as much heart
into her voice as this golden-haired Laura had shown? Could Caroline have
exposed herself to danger as that girl had done? Perhaps any woman would
have done it. Perhaps the princess would have ventured so, to save a
child's life. Would he have ventured to do it himself? It could not have
been a pleasant thing to walk on a pointed roof, with some half-broken
spikes to catch one, in case of missing one's footing, or escaping the
fall of thirty feet below. And that little frightened-looking, timid
Laura, if he could only see her again!

He questioned whether this were not a possible thing. He had formed a
slight acquaintance with Mrs. Ashton, who was occupying the rooms below;
he had met her on the stairs, had exchanged some words with her. It struck
him it would be a proper thing to offer her some tickets to his next
concert. At this moment he was interrupted, was summoned away, and he
deferred his intention until the next day.

The next day he presented himself at the door of Mrs. Ashton's parlor. She
invited him to come in, cordially, and he was presented to her niece, who
sat in the window with her work. Laura scarcely looked up as he entered,
and went on with her crochet.

Presently Arnold opened his business.

"Would Mrs. Ashton accept some tickets for his concert that evening?"

Mrs. Ashton looked pleased, thought him very kind.

Arnold took out the tickets for herself, for Mr. Ashton. He offered
another.

"Would her niece be pleased to go? would Miss"--

Laura looked up from her work and hesitated.

"She was much obliged, she didn't know, but she had promised her cousin to
go to the theatre with him."

Mrs. Ashton, thinking the musician looked displeased, attempted to
explain.

"Laura was not very fond of music. She did not like concerts very well.
She seldom came to New York, and the theatre was a new thing to her."

"I do not wonder," said Arnold, withdrawing his ticket. "I sympathize with
Mademoiselle in her love for the theatre; and concert-music is but poor
stuff. If one finds a glimpse there of a higher style, a higher art, it is
driven away directly by the recurrence of something trifling and
frivolous."

Mrs. Ashton did not agree with the musician. She could not understand why
Laura did not like concerts. For herself, she liked the variety: the
singing relieved the piano, and one thing helped another.

Arnold looked towards Laura for a contradiction; he wanted to hear her
defence of her philosophy, for he was convinced she had some in not liking
music. To him every one had expressed a fondness for music; and it was a
rarity, an originality, to find some one who confessed she did not like
it.

But Laura did not seem inclined to reply; she was counting the stitches in
her crochet. In the silence, Arnold took his leave.

He had no sooner reached his own room than he reproached himself for his
sudden retreat. Why had he not stayed, and tried to persuade the young
lady to change her mind? An engagement for the theatre with a cousin might
have been easily postponed. And he would like to have made her listen to
some of his music. He would have compelled her to listen. He would have
played something that would have stirred all the audience; but for her, it
would have been like taking her back to her peril of the day before,--she
should have lived over again all its self-exaltation, all its triumph.

Laura meanwhile had laid down her work.

"I was stupid," she said, "not to take that ticket."

"I think you were," said her aunt, "when we know so many people who would
give their skins for a ticket."

"It is not that," said Laura; "but I didn't want to go, till I saw the
ticket going out of my grasp. I have always had such dreary associations
with concerts, since those I went to with Janet, last spring,--long,
dreary pieces that I couldn't understand, interrupted by Italian songs
that had more scream in them than music, and Janet flirting with her
friends all the time."

"I knew you didn't like music," said her aunt; "that was the only way I
could get you out of the scrape, for it did seem impolite to refuse the
ticket. Of course an engagement to the theatre appeared a mere excuse, as
long as Laura Keene plays every night now."

"It was not a mere excuse with me," said Laura; "I did not fancy the
exchange. But now I think I should like to know what _his_ music is. I
wonder if it is at all like mine."

"The music you make on the little old piano at home?" asked Mrs. Ashton;
"that is sweet enough in that room, but I fancy it is different from his
music."

"Oh, I don't mean that," said Laura; "it is because the piano seems to say
so little that I care so little for it. The music I mean is what I hear,
when, in a summer's afternoon, I carry my book out into the barn to read
as I lie on a bed of hay. I don't read, but I listen. The cooing of the
doves, the clatter even of the fowls in the barn-yard, the quiet noises,
with the whisperings of the great elm, and the rustling of the brook in
the field beyond,--all this is the music I like to hear. It puts me into
delicious dreams, and stirs me, too, into strange longing."

"Well, I doubt if our great musician can do all that. Anyhow, he wouldn't
bring in the hens and chickens," laughed Mrs. Ashton.

"But I should like to hear him, if he could show me what real music is,"
said Laura, dreamily, as her hands fell on her work.

"Well, I am sorry," said Mrs. Ashton, "and you might take my ticket: you
can, if you wish. Only one concert is like another, and I dare say you
would be disappointed, after all. I told Mrs. Campbell I should certainly
go to one of his concerts, and I suppose Mr. Ashton will hardly care for
the expense of tickets, now we have had them presented to us. And as I
know that Mrs. Campbell is going to-night, she will see that I am there,
so I should much prefer going tonight. But then, Laura, if you do care so
much about it"--

Oh, no,--Laura did not care; only she was sorry she had been so stupid.

She was very much surprised, when, in the evening, towards the end of the
performance at the theatre, the musician came and joined her party, and
talked most agreeably with them. Even her cousin George did not resent his
intrusion, and on the way home imparted to Laura that he had no doubt the
musician's talk was pleasanter than his music.

Laura did not agree with him. She met with the musician frequently now,
and his talk only made her more and more desirous to hear his music. He
came frequently to her aunt's room; he joined her and her aunt at the
Academy of Fine Arts many times. Here he talked to her most charmingly of
pictures, as a musician likes to talk about pictures, and as a painter
discusses music,--as though he had the whole art at his fingers' ends. It
was the opening of a new life to Laura. If he could tell her so much of
painting and sculpture, what would she not learn, if he would only speak
of music? But he never did, and he never offered to play to them. She was
very glad her aunt never suggested it. The piano in the drawingroom must
be quite too poor for him to touch. But he never offered her another
concert-ticket. She did not wonder that he never did, she had been so
ungracious at first. She was quite ashamed that he detected her once in
going to the Horse-Opera, he must think her taste so low. She wanted to
tell him it was her cousin George's plan; but then she did enjoy it.

Arnold found himself closely studying both Caroline and Laura now. "Carl
would be pleased at my microscopic examinations," he thought.

Frequently as he visited Laura, as frequently he saw Caroline. He was
constantly invited to her house,--to meet her at other places. Yet the
nearer she came to him, the farther he seemed from her. Can we more easily
read a form that flees from us than one that approaches us? He talked with
her constantly of music. She asked him his interpretation of this or that
sonata. She betrayed to him the impression he had made with this or that
fantasie. It was astonishing how closely she appreciated the vague changes
of tones and words of music.

But with Laura he never ventured to speak of music. Whenever he played
now, he played as if for her; and yet he never ventured to ask her to
listen.

"It seems to me sometimes," said Caroline to him once, "as though you were
playing to some one person. Your music is growing to have a beseeching
tone; there is something personal in it."

"It must always be so," replied Arnold, moodily; "can my music answer its
own questions?"

The spring days were opening into summer, the vines were coming into full
leaf, the magnolias were in blossom, the windows to the conservatories at
the street-corners were thrown open, and let out to sight some of the
gorgeous display of bright azaleas and gay geraniums.

Arnold sat with Caroline at an Opera Matinée. A seat had been left for him
near her. In an interval, she began to speak to him again of her weariness
of life; the next week was going on precisely as the last had gone, in the
same round of engagements.

"You will envy me my life," said Arnold. "I am going out West. I am going
to build my own house."

"You are joking; you would not think of it seriously," said Caroline.

"I planned it long ago," answered Arnold; "it was to be the next act after
New York,--the final act, perhaps. Scene I: The Log Cabin."

"How can you think of it?" exclaimed Caroline. "Give up everything? your
reputation, fortune, everything?"

"New York, in short," added Arnold.

"Very well, then,--New York, in short; that is the world," said Caroline.
"And your music, who is to listen to it?"

"My music?" asked Arnold; "that is of a subjective quality. A composer,
even, need not hear his own music."

"I don't understand you," said Caroline; "and I dare say you are insane."

"You do not understand me?" asked Arnold, "yet you could read to me all
that fantasie I played to you last night. It was my own composition, and I
had not comprehended it in the least."

"Now you are, satirical," said Caroline.

"Because you are inconsistent," pursued Arnold; "you wonder I do not stay
here, because my fortune can buy me a handsome house, horses, style and
all its elegancies; yet you yourself have found no happiness in them."

"But I never should find happiness out of them," answered Caroline. "It is
a pretty amusement for us who have the gold to buy our pleasures with, to
abuse it and speak ill of it. But those who have not it,--you do not hear
them depreciate it so. I believe they would sell out their home-evenings,
those simple enjoyments books speak of and describe so well,--they would
sell them as gladly as the author sells his descriptions of them, for our
equipages, our grand houses, our toilet."

Arnold looked at his neighbor. Her hands, in their exquisitely fitting
lilac gloves, lay carelessly across each other above the folds of the
dress with which they harmonized perfectly. A little sweetbrier rose fell
out from the white lace about her face, against the soft brown of her
hair. Arnold pictured Laura gathering just such a rose from the porch she
had described by the door of her country-home.

"Would you not have enjoyed gathering yourself that delicate rose that
looks coquettish out of its simplicity?" he asked.

"Thank you, no," Caroline interrupted. "I selected it from Madame's Paris
bonnets, because it suited my complexion. If I had picked the rose in the
sun, don't you see my complexion would no longer have suited it?"

"I see you would enjoy life merely as a looker-on," said Arnold. "I would
prefer to be an actor in it. When I have built my own house, and have
digged my own potatoes, I shall know the meaning of house and potatoes. My
wife, meanwhile, will be picking the roses for her hair."

"She will be learning the meaning of potatoes in cooking them," replied
Caroline. "I would, indeed, rather be above life than in it. I have just
enjoyed hearing Lucia sing her last song, and seeing Edgardo kill himself.
I should not care to commit either folly myself. I pity people that have
no money; I think they would as gladly hurry out of their restraints as
Brignoli hurries into his everyday suit, after killing himself nightly as
love-sick tenor."

"I would rather kill myself than think so," said Arnold.

This talk, which had been interrupted by the course of the opera, was
finished as they left their seats. At the door, Mr. Gresham offered to
help Caroline to her carriage. Arnold walked away.

"I would kill myself, if I could fancy that Laura thought so," he said, as
he hurried home.

There was a cart at the door of the house, men carrying furniture on the
stairs. The doors of Mrs. Ashton's rooms were wide-open; packing-paper and
straw were scattered about.

"What is the matter?" he asked of his landlady.

"A gentleman has taken Mrs. Ashton's rooms. This is his grand piano."

"Mrs. Ashton! where is she?" asked Arnold.

"She left this morning. I should have been glad of further notice, but
fortunately"--

"Where have they gone?" interrupted Arnold.

"Home. I don't know where. I can't keep the run."

"It is in New England. Is there a directory of New England?"

"A directory of New England! The names of its towns would make a large
book!"

Arnold went to his room. If he could only recall the name of the town near
which Laura lived! But American names had no significance. In Germany each
town had a history. The small places were famous because they were near
larger ones. And even in the smallest some drop of blood had been shed
that had given it a name, or had made its name noted.

She had gone; and why had she gone without telling him?

If he could only have heard Mrs. Ashton's talk the evening before with her
husband, he need not have asked the question.

"Do you know, dear, I think we had better leave New York
directly,--tomorrow?"

Mr. Ashton looked inquiries.

"I don't like this intimacy with a foreigner. He really has been very
devoted to Laura."

"And, pray, what is the harm?" asked Mr. Ashton.

"How can you ask? A foreigner, and we know nothing about him," answered
Mrs. Ashton.

"But that he is the richest man in New York, quiet, inexpensive in his
ways."

"If we were sure of all that! But I don't think her father would like it.
I had a dream last night of Red Riding-Hood and the Wolf, and I haven't
thought all day of anybody but Laura. We can get off early to-morrow. I
have sent Laura to pack her things now."

"I'm afraid it is too late for her, poor girl!" said Mr. Ashton.

"She would be miserable, and her father would blame me, and I don't like
it," said Mrs. Ashton. "And I am tired of New York."

"There's your dentist," suggested Mr. Ashton.

"I can come again," answered his wife.

Arnold's determination was made. He would visit every town in New England;
he would cross every square mile of her territory. Of course he would find
Laura. Since he should not stop till he found her, of course he would find
her before he stopped.

He began his quest. He gave concerts in all the larger places; he looked
anxiously through the large audiences that attended
them,--hopelessly,--for how could he expect to find Laura among them?
Often he left the railroads, to walk through the villages. It was the
summer time, and he enjoyed the zest of climbing hills and wandering
through quiet valleys.

He met with pleasant greetings in farm-houses, so far from the world that
a stranger was greeted as a friend, where hospitality had not been so long
worn upon but that it could offer a fresh cordiality to an unknown face.
He wished he were a painter, that he might paint the pretty domestic
scenes he saw: the cattle coming home at evening,--the children crowding
round the school-mistress, as they walked away with her from the
school-door,--the groups of girls sitting at sunset on the door-steps
under the elms,--the broad meadows,--the rushing mountain-streams. But
again, after the fresh delight of one of these country-walks, he would
reproach himself that he had left the more beaten ways and the crowded
cars, where he might have met Laura.

In passing in one of these from one of the larger towns to another, he met
Caroline, on her bridal tour as Mrs. Gresham.

"You are not gone to Kansas yet?" she asked. "Then you will be able to
come and visit us in Newport this summer. I assure you, you will find
cottage-life there far more romantic than log-cabin life."

Of course he found success at last. It was just as summer was beginning to
wane, but when in September she was putting on some of her last glories
and her most fervid heats. He had reached the summit of a hill, then
slowly walked down its slope, as he admired the landscape that revealed
itself to him. He saw, far away among the hills in the horizon, the town
towards which he was bound. The sunset was gathering brilliant colors over
the sky; hills and meadows were bathed in a soft light. He stopped in
front of a house that was separated from the road by a soft green of
clover. By the gate there was a seat, on which he sat down to rest. It was
all that was left of a great elm that some Vandal of the last generation
had cut away. Nature had meanwhile been doing her best to make amends for
the great damage. Soft mosses nestled over the broad, mutilated stump, the
rains of years had washed out the freshness of its scar, vines wound
themselves around, dandelions stretched their broad yellow shields above,
and falling leaves rested there to form a carpet over it.

As Arnold, tired with his day's walk, was resting himself in the repose of
the hour, the old master of the house came to talk with him. They spoke of
the distance to the town, of the hilly road that led to it, of the meadows
in the valley, and their rich crops. At last the old man asked Arnold into
his house, and offered him the old-fashioned hospitality of a mug of
cider, apologizing as he did so, telling how the times had changed, and
what had become of all the cider-mills in the neighborhood. He showed the
large stem of the sweetbrier under which they passed as they went into the
house, such as Arnold had seen hanging over many a New-England porch,
large enough for many initials to be carved upon it. They sat down in the
little front-room, and talked on as the mother brought the promised mug of
eider.

"Are you fond of music here?" asked Arnold, as he pointed to the old
many-legged piano that stood at one side of the room.

"My girls play a little," answered the old man; "they have gone up to town
this afternoon to get some tickets to that famous man's concert. They play
a little, but they complain that the old piano is out of tune."

"That I could help," said Arnold, as he took his tuning-key out of his
pocket.

"Oh, you are one of those tuners," said the old man, relieved; "my girls
have been looking out for one."

Arnold seated himself at the piano. The old people went in and out of the
room, but presently came back when he began to play. They sat in silent
listening. "When Arnold came to a pause, the old man said,--

"That takes me back to the old meeting-house. Do you remember, wife, when
I led in Dedham?"

"I," said the mother, "was thinking of that Ordination-ball, and of 'Money
Musk' and 'Hull's Victory.'"

"That is strange enough," said the old man, "that it should sound like
psalm-tunes and country-dances."

"It takes us back to our youth; that is it," she answered.

And Arnold went on. Soft home-strains came from the piano, and the two old
people sank into their chairs in happy musing. The twilight was growing
dimmer, the strains grew more soft and subdued, dying through gentle
shades into silence. There had been a little rustling sound in the
doorway. Arnold turned, when he had done, and saw a white figure standing
there, in listening attitude, the head half bent, the hands clasped over a
straw hat whose ribbons touched the ground. Behind her was the trellis of
the porch, with its sweet-brier hanging over it. It was Laura, in the very
frame in which his imagination had pictured her.

"Have the girls got home?" asked the old man, rousing himself, and going
towards the door.--"Come in, girls. I half think we have got your great
musician here. At any rate, he can work some magic, and has pulled out of
the old piano all the music ever your mother and I have listened to all
our life long.--My girls could not have hired me," he continued to Arnold,
"to go to one of your new-fangled concerts; but whether it is because the
little piano is so old, or because you know all that old music, you have
brought it all back as though the world were beginning again.--We must not
let him go from here to-night," he said to his wife and children. And when
he found that Laura had met the musician in New York, his urgencies upon
Arnold to stay were peremptory and unanswerable.

As Laura's younger sister, Clara, closed her eyes that night, she said,--

"Mamma and papa think his music sounded of home and old times. How did it
sound to you, Laura?"

Laura put her hands over her closed eyes in the dark, and said,
dreamily,--"It sounded to me like love-songs, sung by such a tender voice,
out in the woods, somewhere, where there were pine-trees and a brook."

"It seemed to me like butterflies," said Clara. She did not explain what
she meant.

The next morning, as it had been arranged in sisterly council, Laura was
to entertain the stranger while Clara made the preparations for breakfast.
Laura found him in the porch, already rejoicing in the morning view. But,
after the first greeting, she found talking with him difficult. They fell
into a silence; and to escape from it Laura finally ran into the kitchen,
blue muslin and all. She pushed Clara away from the fireplace.

"You must let me help," she said, and moved pots, pans, and kettles.

"Another stick of wood would make this water boil," she went on.

"Where shall I find it?" said a voice behind her; and Arnold directly
answered his own question with his ready help.

There followed great bustling, laughter, help, and interruption to work.
When Mrs. Ashton came down, she found the breakfast-table in its wonted
place in the broad kitchen, instead of being laid in the back-parlor, as
was the custom when there were guests in the house. It was a very happy
breakfast; the door opened wide upon the green behind the house, and the
September morning air brought in an appetite for the generously laden
table.

After breakfast, Arnold asked the way to the knoll behind the house,
covered with pines. Laura went to show him, though it was but a little
walk. In the woods, by the pine-trees, near the sound of the brook, Arnold
asked Laura, "What had his music said to her?" Whether she answered him in
the words she had given her sister the night before I will not say; but
late to dinner, out from the woods, two happy lovers walked home in the
bright September noon.

       *       *       *       *       *

The log-cabin was built. If in its walls there were any broad chinks
through which a wind might make its way, there were other draughts to send
it back again,--strains of music, that helped to kindle the household
hearth,--such strains as made sacred the seed that was laid in the earth,
that refined coarse labor, that softened the tone of the new colony rising
up around, so that life, even the rudest, was made noble, and the work was
not merely for the body, but for the spirit, and a new land was planted
under these strains of the musician.

       *       *       *       *       *



ENGLISH NAVAL POWER AND ENGLISH COLONIES.


What are the considerations which properly enter into any just estimate of
a people's naval power?

In the _first_ place, this certainly is a vital question: Are the people
themselves in any true sense naval in their tastes, habits, and training?
Do they love the sea? Is it a home to them? Have they that fertility of
resources and expedients which the emergencies of sea-life make so
essential, and which can come only from a long and fearless familiarity
with old Ocean in all his aspects of beauty and all his aspects of terror?
Or are they essentially landsmen,--landsmen just as much on the deck of a
frigate as when marshalled on a battle-field? This is a test question. For
if a nation has not sailors, men who smack of the salt sea, then vain are
proud fleets and strong armaments.

I am satisfied that the ordinary explanation of that naval superiority
which England has generally maintained over France is the true
explanation. Certainly never were there stouter ships than those which
France sent forth to fight her battles at the Nile and Trafalgar. Never
braver men trod the deck than there laid down their lives rather than
abase their country's flag. Yet they were beaten. The very nation which,
on land, fighting against banded Europe, kept the balance for more than a
generation at equipoise, on the water was beaten by the ships of one
little isle of the sea. In the statement itself you have the explanation.
The ships were from an isle of the sea. The men who manned them were born
within sight of the ocean. In their childhood they sported with its waves.
At twelve they were cabin-boys. At twenty, thorough seamen. Against the
skill born of such an experience, of what avail was mere courage, however
fiery?

A similar train of remarks may with truth be made about our Northern and
Southern States. No doubt, the Rebel Government may send to England and
purchase swift steamers like the Alabama, and man them with the reckless
outcasts of every nationality, and send them forth to prey like pirates
upon defenceless commerce. No doubt, in their hate, the Rebels may build
sea-monsters like the Merrimack, or the Arkansas, or those cotton-mailed
steamers at Galveston, and make all stand aghast at some temporary
disaster. These things are unpleasant, but they are unavoidable.
Desperation has its own peculiar resources. But these things do not alter
the law. The North is thoroughly maritime, and in the end must possess a
solid and permanent supremacy on the sea. The men of Cape Cod, the
fishermen of Cape Ann, and the hardy sailors who swarm from the hundred
islands and bays of Maine, are not to be driven from their own element by
the proud planters of the South. Naval habits and naval strength go hand
in hand. And in estimating the resources of any power, the first question
is, Has she sailors,--not men of the land, but men of the sea?

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a _second_ question, equally important. What is a nation's
capacity for naval production? What ship-yards has it? What docks? What
machine-shops? What stores of timber, iron, and hemp? And what skilled
workmen to make these resources available? A nation is not strong simply
because it has a hundred ships complete and armed floating on its waters.
"Iron and steel will bend and break," runs the old nursery-tale. And
practice shows that iron and steel wrought into ships have no better
fortune, and that the stoutest barks will strand and founder, or else
decay, and, amid the sharp exigencies of war, with wonderful rapidity. Not
what a nation has, then, but how soon it can fill up these gaps of war,
how great is its capacity to produce and reproduce, tells the story of its
naval power.

When Louis Napoleon completed that triumph of skill and labor, the port of
Cherbourg, England trembled more than if he had launched fifty frigates.
And well she might. For what is Cherbourg? Nothing less than an immense
permanent addition to the French power of naval production. Here,
protected from the sea by a breakwater miles in extent, and which might
have been the work of the Titans, and girdled by almost impregnable
fortifications, is more than a safe harbor for all the fleets of the
world. For here are docks for the repairs I dare not say of how many
vessels, and ship-houses for the construction of one knows not how many
more, and work-shops and arsenals and stores of timber and iron well-nigh
inexhaustible. This is to have more than a hundred ships. This is to
create productive capacity out of which may come many hundred ships, when
they are wanted. The faith men have in the maritime greatness of England
rests not simply on the fact that she has afloat a few hundred frail
ships, but rather on this more pregnant fact, that England, from Pentland
Frith to Land's End, is one gigantic work-shop,--and that, whether she
turn her attention to the clothing of the world or the building of navies,
there is no outmeasuring her mechanical activity. The world has called us
a weak naval power. But the world has been mistaken. We are strong almost
as the strongest, if not in fleets, then in the capacity to produce
fleets. Three hundred armed vessels, extemporized in eighteen months, and
maintaining what, considering the extent of coast to be watched, must be
called a most efficient blockade, will stand as an impressive evidence
that capacity to produce is one of the best of nautical gifts.

       *       *       *       *       *

But passing from these questions, which relate to what may be called a
nation's innate character and capacity, we come to a _third_
consideration, of perhaps even more immediate interest. One of the
elements which help to make a nation's power is certainly its available
strength. An important question, then, is, not only, How many ships can a
nation produce? but, How many has it complete and ready for use? In an
emergency, what force could it send at a moment's notice to the point of
danger? If we apply this consideration to European powers, we shall
appreciate better how young we are, and how little of our latent strength
has been organized into actual efficiency. In 1857 England had 300 steam
ships-of-war, carrying some 7,000 guns, nearly as many more sailing ships,
carrying 9,000 guns, an equal number of gun-boats and smaller craft,
besides a respectable navy connected with her East Indian colonies: a
grand sum-total of more than 900 vessels and not less than 20,000 guns.
Here, then, is a fleet, built and ready for service, which is many times
stronger than that which we have been able to gather after eighteen months
of constant and strenuous effort. And behind this array there is a
community essentially mercantile, unsurpassed in mechanic skill and
productiveness, and full of sailors of the best stamp. What tremendous
elements of naval power are these! One does not wonder that the remark
often made is so nearly true,--that, if there is any trouble in the
farthest port on the globe, in a few hours you will see a British bull-dog
quietly steaming up the harbor, to ask what it is all about, and whether
England can make anything out of the transaction.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is another consideration which perhaps many would put foremost. Has
the nation kept pace with the progress of science and mechanic arts? Once
her superior seamanship almost alone enabled England to keep the sea
against all comers. But it is not quite so now. Naval warfare has
undergone a complete revolution. The increasing weight of artillery, and
the precision with which it can be used, make it imperative that the means
of defence should approximate at least in effectiveness to the means of
offence. The question now is not, How many ships has England? but, How
many mail-clad ships? how many that would be likely to resist a
hundred-pound ball hurled from an Armstrong or Parrott gun? And if it
should turn out that in this race France had outrun England, and had
twenty or thirty of these gladiators of the sea, most would begin to doubt
whether the old dynasty could maintain its power. The interest and
curiosity felt on this subject have almost created a new order of
periodical literature. You open your "Atlantic," and the chances are ten
to one that you skip over the stories and the dainty bits of poetry and
criticism to see what Mr. Derby has to say about iron-clads. You receive
your "Harper" and you feel aggrieved, if you do not find a picture of the
Passaic, or of Timby's revolving turret, or of something similar which
will give you a little more light concerning these monsters which are
threatening to turn the world upside down. Now all this intense curiosity
shows how general and instinctive is the conviction of the importance of
this new element in naval force.

       *       *       *       *       *

The considerations to which we have alluded have already received a large
share of the public attention. They have been examined and discussed from
almost every possible point of view. Probably every one has some ideas,
more or less correct, concerning them. But there is a consideration which
is equally important, which has received very little attention in this
country, which indeed seems to have been entirely overlooked. It is this:
The degree to which naval efficiency is dependent upon a wise colonial
system.

If the only work of a fleet were to defend one's own harbors, then
colonies, whatever might be their commercial importance, as an arm of
naval strength, would be of but little value. If all the use England had
for her navy were to defend London and Liverpool, she would do well to
abandon many of her distant strongholds, which have been won at such cost,
and which are kept with such care. If all our ships had to do were to keep
the enemy out of Boston harbor and New York bay, it would not matter much,
if every friendly port fifty miles from our own borders were closed
against us. But the protection of our own ports is not by any means the
chief work of fleets. The protection of commerce is as vital a duty.
Commerce is the life-blood of a nation. Destroy that, and you destroy what
makes and mans your fleets. Destroy that, and you destroy what supports
the people and the government which is over the people. But if commerce is
to be protected, war-ships must not hug timidly the shore. They must put
boldly out to sea, and be wherever commerce is. They must range the stormy
Atlantic. They must ply to and fro over that primitive home of commerce,
the Mediterranean. Doubling the Cape, they must visit every part of the
affluent East and of the broad Pacific. With restless energy they must
plough every sea and explore every water where the hope of honest gain may
entice the busy merchantman.

See what new and trying conditions are imposed upon naval power. A ship,
however stanch, has her points of positive weakness. She can carry only a
limited supply either of stores or of ammunition. She is liable, like
everything else of human construction, to accidents of too serious a
nature to be repaired on ship-board. If, now, from any reason, from
disasters of storm or sea, or from deficient provisions, she is disabled,
and no friendly port be near,--and in time of war no ports but our own are
sure to be friendly,--then her efficiency is gone. And this difficulty
increases almost in the ratio that modern science adds to her might. The
old galley, which three thousand years ago, propelled by a hundred strong
oarsmen, swept the waters of the Great Sea, was a poor thing indeed
compared with a modern war-ship, in whose bosom beats a power as
resistless as the elements. But its efficiency, such as it was, was not
likely to be impaired. It had no furnace to feed, no machinery to watch,
only the rude wants of rude men to supply, and rough oars to replace. A
sailing ship, dependent upon the uncertain breeze, liable to be driven
from her course by storms or to be detained by calms, gives no such
impression of power as a steamship, mistress of her own movements,
scorning the control of the elements, and keeping straight on to her
destination in storm and calm alike. But in some respects the weak is
strong. The ship is equal to most of the chances of a sea-experience. If
the spar break, it can be replaced. If the storm rend the sails to
ribbons, there are skilful hands which can find or make new ones. But the
steamer has inexorable limitations. Break her machinery, and, if there be
no friendly dock open to receive her, she is reduced at once to a sailing
ship, and generally a poor one, too. Nor need you suppose accidents to
cause this loss of efficiency. The mode of propulsion implies brevity of
power. The galley depended upon the stalwart arms of its crew, and they
were as likely to be strong to-morrow as to-day, and next month as
to-morrow. The ship puts her trust in her white sails and in the free
winds of heaven, which, however fickle they may be, never absolutely fail.
But the steamer must carry in her own hold that upon which she feeds. You
can reckon in weeks, yes, in days, the time when, unless her stock be
renewed, her peculiar power will be lost.

What a tremendous limitation this is! A passenger-boat, whose engines move
with the utmost possible economy, having no cargo but the food of her
inmates, will carry only coal enough for thirty-three or -four days'
consumption. This is the maximum. The majority cannot carry twenty-five
days' supply. And when we add the armament and ammunition, and all that
goes to make up a well-furnished ship, you cannot depend upon carrying
twenty days' supply. Put now, in time of war with a great maritime power,
your ship where she would be most wanted, in the East Indies, and close
against her the ports of the civilized world, and the sooner she takes out
her propeller, and sends up her masts higher, and spreads her wings wider,
the better for her. That is, under such circumstances, modern improvements
would be worse than useless; a sailing ship would be the best possible
ship. Or come nearer home. Here is the Alabama, swift as the wind, the
dread of every loyal merchantman. How long would she remain a thing of
terror, if she were shut out from all ports but her own, or if our ships
were permitted to frequent British and French ports for her destruction,
as she is permitted to frequent them for our destruction? Or consider
another case equally pertinent. We are told, and no doubt truly, that the
loss of Norfolk, at the commencement of the war, was an incalculable
injury to us. That is to say, the removal of our place of naval supply and
repair only the few hundred miles which divide the Chesapeake from the
Hudson was an untold loss. Suppose it were removed as many thousand miles,
what then? One single fact, showing what, under the best of circumstances,
is the difficulty and expense of modern warfare, is worth a thousand
theories. In 1857, then, it took two hundred thousand tons of coal to
supply that part of the English fleet which was in the East,--two hundred
thousand tons to be brought from somewhere in sailing ships. If ever a
contest shall arise among great commercial powers, it will be seen that
modern science has made new conditions, and that the first inexorable
demand of modern warfare is coal depots, and docks and machine-shops,
established in ports easy of access, and protected by natural and
artificial strength, and scattered at easy distances all over the
commercial world. In short, men will appreciate better than they do now,
that the right arm of naval warfare is not mail-clad steamers, but
well-chosen colonies.

       *       *       *       *       *

The sagacity of England was never more clearly shown than in the foresight
with which she has provided against such an emergency. Let war come when
it may, it will not find England in this respect unprepared. So thickly
are her colonies scattered over the face of the earth, that her war-ships
can go to every commercial centre on the globe without spreading so much
as a foot of canvas to the breeze.

There is the Mediterranean Sea. A great centre of commerce. It was a great
centre as long ago as when the Phoenician traversed it, and, passing
through the Straits of Hercules, sped on his way to distant and then
savage Britain. It was a great centre when Rome and Carthage wrestled in a
death-grapple for its possession. But England is as much at home in the
Mediterranean as if it were one of her own lakes. At Gibraltar, at its
entrance, she has a magnificent bay, more than five miles in diameter,
deep, safe from storms, protected from man's assault by its more than
adamantine rock. In the centre, at Malta, she has a harbor, land-locked,
curiously indented, sleeping safely beneath the frowning guns of Valetta.
But from Southampton to Gibraltar is for a steamship an easy six days'
sail; from Gibraltar to Malta not more than five days; and from Malta to
the extreme eastern coast of the sea and back again hardly ten days' sail.

Take the grand highway of nations to India. England has her places of
refreshment scattered all along it with almost as much regularity as
depots on a railroad. From England to Gibraltar is six days' sail; thence
to Sierra Leone twelve days; to Ascension six days; to St. Helena three
days; to Cape Colony eight days; to Mauritius not more; to Ceylon about
the same; and thence to Calcutta three or four days. Going farther east, a
few days' sail will bring you to Singapore, and a few more to Hong Kong,
and then you are at the gates of Canton. Mark now that in this immense
girdle of some twelve or fifteen thousand miles there is no distance which
a well-appointed steamer may not easily accomplish with such store of coal
as she can carry. She may not, indeed, stop at all these ports. It may be
more convenient and economical to use sails a part of the distance, rather
than steam. But, if an exigency required it, she could stop and find
everywhere a safe harbor.

What is true of the East Indies is true of the West Indies, England has as
much power as we have to control the waters of the Western Atlantic and of
the Gulf of Mexico. If we have Boston and New York and Pensacola and New
Orleans and Key West, she has Halifax and the Bermudas and Balize and
Jamaica and Nassau and a score more of island-harbors stretching in an
unbroken line from the Florida Reefs to the mouth of the Orinoco. And if
our civil war were ended to-day, and we were in peaceable possession of
all our ports, she could keep a strong fleet in the Gulf and along our
coast quite as easily as we could.

       *       *       *       *       *

But it is not simply the number of the British colonies, or the evenness
with which they are distributed, that challenges our highest admiration.
The positions which these colonies occupy, and their natural military
strength, are quite as important facts. There is not a sea or a gulf in
the world, which has any real commercial importance, that England has not
a stronghold in the throat of it. And wherever the continents trending
southward come to points around which the commerce of nations, must sweep,
there, upon every one of them, is a British settlement, and the cross of
St. George salutes you as you are wafted by. There is hardly a little
desolate, rocky island or peninsula, formed apparently by Nature for a
fortress, and formed for nothing else, but the British lion has it secure
beneath his paw.

This is literal fact. Take, for example, the great overland route from
Europe to Asia. Despite its name, its real highway is on the waters of the
Mediterranean and Red Seas. It has three gates,--three alone. They are the
narrow strait of Gibraltar, fifteen miles wide, that place where the
Mediterranean narrows between Sicily and Africa to less than a hundred
miles wide, and the strait of Bab-el-mandeb, seventeen miles wide. England
holds the keys to every one of these gates. Count them,--Gibraltar, Malta,
and at the mouth of the Red Sea, not one, but many keys. There, midway in
the narrow strait, is the black, bare rock of Perim, sterile, precipitous,
a perfect counterpart of Gibraltar; and on either side, between it and the
main-land, are the ship-channels which connect the Red Sea with the great
Indian Ocean. This England seized in 1857. A little farther out is the
peninsula of Aden, another Gibraltar, as rocky, as sterile, as
precipitous, connected with the mainland by a narrow strait, and having at
its base a populous little town, a harbor safe in all winds, and a central
coal-depot. This England bought, after her fashion of buying, in 1839. And
to complete her security, we are now told that she has purchased of some
petty Sultan the neighboring islands of Socotra and Kouri, giving, as it
were, a retaining-fee, that, though she does not need them herself, no
rival power shall ever possess them.

As we sail a little farther on, we come to the Chinese Sea. What a beaten
track of commerce is this! What wealth of comfort and luxury is wafted
over it by every breeze! The teas of China! The silks of farther India!
The spices of the East! What ships of every clime and nation swarm on its
waters! The stately barks of England, France, and Holland! Our own swift
ships! And mingled with them, in picturesque confusion, the clumsy junk of
the Chinaman, the Malay prahu and the slender, darting bangkong of the Sea
Dyak! Has England neglected to secure on a permanent basis her mercantile
interests in the Chinese Sea? At the lower end of that sea, where it
narrows and bends into Malacca Strait, she holds Singapore, a little
island, mostly covered with jungles and infested by tigers, which to this
day destroy annually from two to three hundred lives,--a spot of no use to
her whatever, except as a commercial depot, but of inestimable value for
that, and which, under her fostering care, is growing up to take its place
among the great emporiums of the world. Half-way up this sea is the island
of Labuan, whose chief worth is this, that beneath its surface and that of
the neighboring mainland are hidden inexhaustible treasures of coal, which
are likely soon to be developed, and to yield wealth and power to the hand
that controls them. At the upper end of the sea is Hong Kong, a hot,
unhealthy, and disagreeable island, but which gives her what she wants, a
depot and a base from which to threaten and control the neighboring
waters. Clearly the Chinese Sea, the artery of Oriental commerce, belongs
far more to England than to the races which border it.

Even in the broad and as yet comparatively untracked Pacific she is making
silent advances toward dominion. The continent of Australia, which she has
monopolized, forms its southwestern boundary. And pushed out from this,
six hundred miles eastward, like a strong outpost, is New Zealand; itself
larger than Great Britain; its shores so scooped and torn by the waves
that it must be a very paradise of commodious bays and safe havens for the
mariner; and lifted up, as if to relieve it from island tameness, are
great mountains and dumb volcanoes, worthy of a continent, and which hide
in their bosoms deep, broad lakes. Yet the soil of the lowlands is of
extraordinary fertility, and the climate, though humid, deals kindly with
the Anglo-Saxon constitution. Nor is this all; for, advanced from it north
and south, like picket-stations, are Norfolk isle and the Auckland group,
which, if they have no other attractions, certainly have this great one,
good harbors. And it requires no prophet's eye to see, that, when England
needs posts farther eastward, she will find them among the innumerable
green coral islets which stud the Pacific.

Turn now your steps homeward, and pause a moment at the Bermudas, "the
still vexed Bermoothes." Beautiful isles, with their fresh verdure, green
gems in the ocean, with airs soft and balmy as Eden's were! They have
their homely uses too. They furnish arrowroot for the sick, and ample
supplies of vegetables earlier than sterner climates will grant. Is this
all that can be said? Reflect a little more deeply. Here is a military and
naval depot, and here a splendid harbor, land-locked, amply fortified,
difficult of access to strangers,--and all this as near to the whole
Southern coast as Boston and New York are, all this within three or four
days' sail of any one of the Atlantic ports North or South. England keeps
this, no doubt, as a sort of halfway house on the road to her West Indian
possessions; but should we go to war with her, she would use it none the
less as a base of offensive operations, where she might gather and hurl
upon any unprotected port all her gigantic naval power.

We have asserted that England holds all the Southern points in which the
continents of the world terminate. Examine this statement, and see how
much it means. Take your map of the world, and you will find that the
land-surface of the globe culminates at the south in five points, no
more,--America at Cape Horn,[5] Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, Asia in
Ceylon and the Malayan peninsula, and Australia in the island of Tasmania.
Is it not surprising that these wedges which cut into the steady flowing
stream of commerce, these choice points of mercantile and naval advantage,
are all in the hands of one single power? Can it be of chance? Or rather,
is it not the result of a well-ordered purpose, which, waiting its time,
seizing every favorable opportunity, has finally achieved success?

    [Footnote 5: It is not absolutely true that England holds Cape
    Horn; for the region is unfit for the residence of civilized man.
    And were it not so, the perpetual storms leave no secure
    anchorage. But Great Britain does hold the nearest _habitable_
    land, the Falkland Islands,--and notwithstanding the rudeness of
    the climate, Stanley, the principal settlement, does a
    considerable business in refitting and repairing ships bound round
    the Cape.]

The topic is not exhausted, but the facts already adduced prove clearly
enough that somewhere in the English government there has been sagacity to
plant colonies, not only at convenient distances, but also in such
commanding positions that they do their part to confirm and perpetuate her
maritime supremacy. Can any one fail to see how immeasurably this system
increases naval force? Of course such strongholds, wherever placed, would
be of no use to a power which had not ships. They could not be held by
such a power. But, given a fleet as powerful as ever rode the waves, given
seamen gallant and skilful as ever furled a sail or guided the helm, and
these depots and havens, scattered, but not blindly, over the earth,
quadruple the efficiency of the power which they could not create.

       *       *       *       *       *

The number of the English colonies, their happy distribution, and, above
all, their commanding position, furnish subjects of exceeding interest.
But the patience with which England has waited, the skill with which she
has seized the proper moment for success, and especially the fixed
determination with which she has held her prizes, are topics of equal or
greater interest.

The history of the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the earliest of these prizes,
supplies a good illustration. This had many owners before it came under
British rule. But none of them seemed to know its true value. All held it
with a loose grasp. Its surprise and capture by the sailors from Admiral
Rooke's fleet, creditable as it was to its captors, who swarmed up the
steep cliffs as they would have swarmed up the shrouds and yards of their
own frigates, leaping from rock to rock with fearless activity, was
equally discreditable to its defenders, who either did not appreciate the
worth of their charge or else had not the courage to hold it as such a
trust should have been held. But when England closed her strong hand upon
it, nothing could open it again, neither motives of profit nor motives of
fear. In 1729 Spain offered no less than ten million dollars for its
return. A great sum in those times, and to offer to a people who had been
impoverished by long wars! But the descendants of those sea-kings, Drake,
Hawkins, and Frobisher, who had carried England's flag and England's
renown into every sea, would not part with the brightest jewel in her
crown, and for a price. Three times, too, the besieger has appeared before
Gibraltar, and vainly. From 1779 to 1782 France and Spain exhausted all
their resources in a three-years' siege, which is one of the most
remarkable episodes in military history. By sea and by land, by blockade,
by bombardment, by assault, was it pressed. But the tenacity of England
was more than a match for the fire and pride of France and Spain, and it
ended in signal and disastrous failure.

Glance for a moment at the history of the seizure of Malta. For
generations the value of this citadel had been known. All the strong
nations of Europe had looked with covetous eyes upon it. But it was a
difficult thing to find any pretext for its capture. It was held by the
Knights of St. John, the decrepit remnant of an order whose heroism had
many times been the shield of Christendom against the Turk, and whose
praise had once filled the whole earth. They were now as inoffensive as
they were incapable. Their helplessness was their true defence,--and the
memory of their good deeds. At last, in 1798, Napoleon, on his way to
Egypt, partly by force and partly by treaty, obtained possession of it. So
strong were its fortresses, that he himself acknowledged that the knights
needed only to have shut their gates against him to have baffled him. Two
years after, the English, watching their time, by blockade, starved out
the French garrison. Its new owners held it with their usual
determination. Rather than surrender it,--though they had made
treaty-stipulations to that effect,--they deliberately entered upon a
ten-years' war with France. The indignation which Napoleon felt, and the
language which he used, show that he knew the value of the prize for which
he was struggling. "I would rather," said he, "see you in possession of
Montmartre than in possession of Malta." "Malta gives the dominion of the
Mediterranean; I thus lose the most important sea in the world, and the
respect of Europe. Let the English obtain a port to put into; to that I
have no objection; but I am determined that they shall not have two
Gibraltars in one sea,--one at the entrance, and one in the middle."
Nevertheless he was forced to yield to destiny stronger than his own iron
will. Eleven years more found him in sad exile, and the British flag still
waving over the Valetta.

Nothing better illustrates the firmness with which England holds her
purpose than the fate of Aden. This is the halfway station between England
and her East Indian possessions. It commands the Red Sea. It is the best
spot for a coal-depot in the East. Properly defended, it is almost
impregnable. The wide-roving eye of mercantile England had long ago
searched out and in fancy possessed it. Hear what one of her own
historians has said:--"Eager eyes had long been turned toward this spot."
To find an excuse, real or apparent, for its appropriation was the
trouble. The Sultan of Lahidge, its owner, was indeed little better than a
freebooter. But, though wild, lawless, and of piratical tendencies, he had
for a long time the wisdom not to molest British traders. In 1839,
however, whether from ignorance of its nationality, or from recklessness,
is uncertain, he seized and pillaged a native Madras boat sailing under
British colors. The East Indian government at once took advantage of the
opportunity thus afforded. An ambassador was sent to demand remuneration,
and this remuneration was--Aden. The Sultan was at first disposed to
accede to this demand, but soon kindling into rage, he attempted to lay
violent hands upon the ambassador. The reply was--a fleet and a military
force, which first cannonaded and then stormed the stronghold at the point
of the bayonet. So Aden passed into the hands which had been waiting for
years to grasp it. It is said by some writers that a compensation has been
made to the Sultan; but the sum is not mentioned, nor the authority for so
doubtful a statement given.

Hong Kong furnishes another illustration. Most, no doubt, are familiar
with the general outlines of the first Chinese War: how England stormed,
one after another, the ill-constructed and worse-defended Chinese forts,
until the courage and insolence of the Lord of the Central Flowery Kingdom
alike failed. Why, now, did not England retain military possession of
Canton, or some other important commercial town? That would have given her
much trouble and little profit. She chose rather to retain only one
sterile island of a few miles in diameter, whose possession would awaken
nobody's jealousy, but which would furnish a sufficient base for
operations in any future wars.

One more example. Until about the beginning of the present century, Ceylon
and Cape Colony were Dutch possessions. This is the history of their loss.
Soon after the French Revolution broke out, Holland, with the consent of a
portion of her people, was incorporated, if not in name, yet in reality,
into the French Empire. During the long wars of Napoleon, she shared the
fortunes of her master, and when continual defeats broke the power of both
on the sea, her colonies were left defenceless. Ceylon and Cape Colony
fell into the hands of the English; but so, too, did Java, Sumatra,
Borneo, Essequibo, Berbice, and, indeed, with but little exception, all
her colonial possessions, East and West. At the peace of 1814, England
restored to Holland the larger portion of this territory, though not
without many remonstrances from her own merchants and statesmen. But
Ceylon and Cape Colony she did not restore. These were more to her than
rich islands. They were links in a grand chain of commercial connection.
As Aden is the half-way station on the overland route, so Cape Colony is
the half-way station on the ocean route; and Ceylon, while it rounds out
and completes the great peninsula of which it may be considered to be a
part, furnishes in Point de Galle, at the south, a most needed port of
refuge, and on the east, at Trincomalee, one of the finest of naval
harbors, with dock-yards, machine-shops, and arsenal complete. Even
England could be generous to a fallen foe, whose enmity had been quite as
much a matter of necessity as inclination. But by no mistimed clemency
could she sacrifice such solid advantages as these.

This steady march toward the control of the commercial waters of the
earth, some of whose footsteps we have now traced, reveals the existence
of as steady a purpose. This colonial empire, so wide, so consistent, and
so well compacted, is not the work of dull men, or the result of a series
of fortunate blunders. Back of its history, and creating its history,
there must have been a clear, calm, persistent, ambitious policy,--a
policy which has usually regarded appearances, but which has also managed
to accomplish its cherished purposes. And the end towards which this
policy tends is always one and the same: to enlarge England's commercial
resources, and to build up side by side with this peaceful strength a
naval power which shall keep untarnished her proudest title,--"Mistress
and sovereign of the seas."

       *       *       *       *       *

With justice England is called the mightiest naval power in the world. And
well she may be. She has every element to make her mighty. The waves which
beat upon all her coasts train up a race of seamen as hardy, as skilful,
as courageous as ever sailed the sea. In her bosom are hidden
inexhaustible stores of iron, copper, and coal. Her Highland hills are
covered with forests of oak and larch, growing while men sleep. Her
borders are crowded with workshops, and her skies are dark with the smoke
of their chimneys, and the air rings with the sound of their hammers. Her
docks are filled with ships, and her watchful guardians are on every sea.
Her eyes are open to profit by every invention. And her strong colonies,
overlooking all waters, give new vigor and a better distribution to her
naval resources. A mighty naval power she is, and, for good or evil, a
mighty naval power she is likely to continue. The great revolutions in
warfare, which in our day are proceeding with such wonderful rapidity, may
for a time disturb this supremacy; but in the end, the genius of England,
essentially maritime, and as clear and strong on the sea as it is apt to
be weak and confused upon the land, will enable her to stand on her own
element, as she has stood for centuries, with no superior, and with
scarcely a rival.

       *       *       *       *       *



OUR GENERAL.


An officer on General Butler's staff, residing constantly, while in New
Orleans, under his roof, having had direct personal observation of him
during the entire progress of the "Ship-Island Expedition," may perhaps be
pardoned for putting on record in this magazine some characteristic traits
of the man whom this war has brought so prominently, not only before our
own people, but also the people of Europe.

In the execution of this task I shall confine myself to the mention of
incidents of his administration at New Orleans, and the relation of the
inside history (the history of motive and cause) of many of his public
acts which elicited from the European press and the enemies of the Union
in our own land the bitterest abuse,--believing that in so doing I offer
stronger proof of the injustice of their attacks than I could possibly
furnish by any attempt to argue them down. And that the patience of my
readers may not be unnecessarily taxed, I shall proceed without further
introduction to the consideration of OUR GENERAL in New Orleans.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the first difficulties which General Butler found in the way of the
restoration of the national authority in that city was the attitude of the
foreign consuls. Under the leadership of Mr. George Coppell, who was
acting for the British Government in the absence of the consul, Mr. Muir,
they tacitly declared an offensive and defensive war of the guerrilla
stamp against every step or order for the promotion of loyal sentiment or
the inculcation of a belief in the strength of our Government. Nothing
excited greater hostility abroad than the General's treatment of these
gentlemen, and in nothing has he been more admired by his loyal countrymen
than in his complete discomfiture of them.

I have noticed this little episode in the history of the Rebellion simply
with the view of showing, that, while officially he met their combined
attacks with "war to the knife," his personal intercourse with them was
friendly and pleasant.

After the consuls had apparently abandoned their unsuccessful alliance in
despair, Mr. Coppell, who had never yet met the General, expressed,
through the commander of Her Britannic Majesty's frigate Rinaldo, a desire
for an introduction to him.

The General received Mr. Coppell with marked cordiality, and was, I think,
pleased with his appearance; at all events, from that time until we left
the city Mr. Coppell was frequently at the office, oftentimes by
invitation of the General, and nothing ever occurred to disturb the
harmony of their personal relations.

On one occasion they were discussing the French and English statutes
prohibiting the subjects of those powers from holding slaves. A large
number of French and English subjects were living in open violation of
this prohibition in New Orleans, and the General remarked to Mr. Coppell
that he had a great mind to heap coals of fire on the heads of his friends
across the Atlantic by enforcing their laws. Mr. Coppell with eager
enthusiasm applauded the project, and urged the General to carry it into
effect.

The Spanish Government was represented in New Orleans by Don Juan
Callejon. Early in the summer the strictness of our quarantine of vessels
from Cuba produced some ill feeling on his part, which manifested itself
in the refusal of a clean bill of health to the steamer Roanoke, about to
leave New Orleans for Havana. In response to a request from the General,
Don Juan called immediately at the office; but owing to the unfortunate
circumstance of his entire ignorance of the English language, and the
consequent necessity of conversing through the medium of an interpreter, a
serious misunderstanding ensued, and the General, supposing the Consul to
be contemptuously setting our Government at defiance, threatened to send
him out of the country; but afterwards learning that their difference had
arisen purely from misinterpretation, and that Señor Callejon had proved
himself a patriot and hero in his country's service, the General, with the
honest admiration which one brave man always feels toward another, took
especial pains to render their intercourse, both official and personal, as
agreeable as might be. And to show the Spanish consul that in the matter
of quarantine he was inspired by no dislike toward his Government, he
placed more rigid restrictions, if possible, on American vessels from
infected ports than on the vessels of Spain.

To Señor Ruiz, the acting consul of the Republic of Mexico, who had the
singular consular virtue of sympathizing warmly with the free North, the
General's attentions were something more sincere than the hackneyed
"assurances of distinguished consideration" so necessary to diplomatic
correspondence and intercourse.

Indeed, I doubt if any of the foreign commercial agents at New Orleans
would claim that they ever had cause to complain against General Butler on
account of any personal grievance.

       *       *       *       *       *

Probably nothing in the history of General Butler's administration in New
Orleans drew from the foes of free government in every land such
unmeasured execration as the celebrated "Order No. 28," relating to the
conduct of women in the street, and I wish to give the most decided
testimony upon this subject. That something was necessary to be done to
stop the insults to which we were continually subjected by the other sex,
I presume no one who is well informed as to their frequency and
humiliating character will for a moment doubt. Upon our arrival in the
city I flattered myself that such demonstrations would excite in me no
sentiment more serious than pity for the childishness that prompted them;
but I confess, that, after a day or two, the sneers and contortions of
countenance, the angry withholding of the dress from contact with my
person, and the abrupt departure from the sidewalk to the middle of the
street to avoid even passing the hated uniform, were too much for my
philosophy, and gave me a sense of humiliation more painful than I can
express. And yet the insults I received were slight, compared to those
offered to many of our officers and men.

This condition of affairs continued about two weeks, until it became
positively intolerable.

Young officers, too gallant, and too deeply imbued with the American
respect for woman, to resent, by word or deed, the indignity, would come
to the General with their cheeks crimson with shame and the effort to
repress their just indignation, and beg him to take some measure for the
suppression of the evil.

Most men would have seen no other solution of the difficulty than the
arrest and punishment of a few of the offenders as a warning to the rest.
But General Butler foresaw, what was afterwards proved in the case of Mrs.
Larue, that the arrest of women would invariably provoke a
street-disturbance, which might lead to bloodshed; he, therefore,
remembering an old ordinance of the city of London, republished it in the
form of the General Order which has gained so universal a celebrity.

Mr. Monroe, who was mayor of the city at the time of its capture, came in
a paroxysm of anger to protest against the order as a libel on every lady
in New Orleans.

The General, with perfect good-nature, went over every word of it with
him, explaining its origin and its intent, and demonstrating beyond doubt
that it simply gave the female population of the city the opportunity to
choose in which of the two categories they would be classed,--ladies or
"common women,"--and assured the Mayor, that, above all, his idea was to
promulgate such an order as would execute itself, and prevent the very
thing which the Rebels have since charged upon him,--"a war upon women."

Three times Mr. Monroe left the General with the firm conviction that the
act was perfectly proper; but, instigated by crafty and able conspirators,
of whom the ruling spirit was Mr. Pierre Soulè, he repeatedly returned
with fresh attacks on the General's administration, and especially on this
order, until, the General's patience being exhausted, he said to
him,--"Mr. Mayor, you have played with me long enough. Your case is
settled. The boat leaves for Fort Jackson this afternoon, and you must be
ready to take passage on her at four o'clock."

I never witnessed greater forbearance than the General displayed in his
treatment of the Mayor; indeed, I was at the time quite indignant that he
allowed him such liberty of speech and action.

One word more about "Order No. 28." General Beauregard's fierce anger, and
his horrible construction of its provisions, intended for effect on his
troops, will be well remembered by my readers. It may not be uninteresting
to them to know that Beauregard's sister in New Orleans, when asked her
opinion of the order, answered,--"I have no interest in or objection to
it; it does not apply to me." Is it difficult to guess to which class she
belonged?

Can I say anything stronger in vindication of the propriety of this order,
or of the General's sagacity in issuing it, than that the first
twenty-four hours after its promulgation witnessed a complete, and, it
seemed to us who were there, almost miraculous, change in the deportment
of the ladies of the Crescent City? If success is the test of merit, then
was it one of the most meritorious acts of the war.

       *       *       *       *       *

The severity with which General Butler punished crimes against the
Government that he was determined should be respected, or against the poor
and oppressed, was of course in the Confederacy and in Europe denounced as
the most fiendish cruelty, and he was characterized as a man whose every
impulse was prompted by the most brutal passions.

I do not expect the people of the South to believe my statement, that I
never met a man of greater generosity and kindness of heart, or one more
pleased to do an act of clemency; but I think the loyal reader will find
in the following illustrations of these traits evidence of its truth.

Among the Rebel soldiers who were captured at the surrender of Fort
Jackson, in April, 1862, were four men who, with the remainder of the
garrison, were paroled as prisoners of war, but were soon after discovered
in an attempt to organize a company, of which they were elected officers,
with the view of crossing our lines by force and rejoining the Rebel army,
and upon their own confession were convicted and sentenced to be
shot,--the only expiation known to the rules of civilized warfare for so
flagrant a violation of the parole.

During the interval between their conviction and the day appointed for
their execution, I had occasion to see them frequently, and was strongly
impressed with the idea that they had sinned in ignorance of the magnitude
of their offence, and that a commutation of the death-penalty would be of
more benefit than injury to our cause. As the day of their death rapidly
drew near, and I observed their agonized despair of a reprieve, and their
earnest, sincere efforts to prepare for a fate they deemed inevitable, I
determined to make an urgent appeal to the General for their lives.

On the afternoon previous to the day of their expected execution, I went
to the General's room and implored him to relent toward the unhappy men.

The General, in a kind, but apparently decided manner, met my urgent
request by referring to the proofs of their guilt, and the necessity of
the severest punishment as an example to others.

I was well aware of the futility of attempting to reason with the astute
lawyer, who had all the law on his side, and twenty years' experience at
the bar in cases where he had met every argument that ingenuity could
devise; so, avoiding his reasoning, I appealed directly to his feelings.
In this I was most earnestly and efficiently aided by one of his
household, whose heart and influence were always on the side of tenderness
and mercy.

The earnestness with which I urged the cause of the wretched prisoners
excited in me an interest I was not before conscious of feeling, and I
suddenly found myself almost unable to speak from the choking emotions
which swelled up into my throat.

Beneath the General's argument for abstract justice, I thought, however, I
discovered a warm sympathy for my distress, and I gathered encouragement.

In a few minutes an officer who had been in the room during our interview,
and from whom the General desired to conceal his benevolent intention
toward the men, took his leave. The General turned to me immediately, and,
in a voice scarcely audible, said,--"Do not feel so badly, Captain; it
shall be all right."

Not daring to trust my voice, I bowed my thanks and left the room, happy
in the possession of so agreeable a secret.

The next morning, as I rode out to the spot assigned for the terrible
tragedy, and gazed upon the silent, curious crowd that followed, and upon
the four men sitting there upon those rough pine coffins, straining their
eager eyes for one long last look at the glorious sun whose rising they
were never again to see, I doubted if their happiness, when an hour hence
they would be returning to the city with joyous anticipations of assured
life, would be any more sincere than his,--"the American Haynau's,"--who,
in his room at the St. Charles Hotel, rejoiced that he had been able to
indulge the inclinations of his heart without detriment to the service.

In justice to others, I ought to add that a strong effort for the pardon
of these prisoners was made by a number of the prominent residents of New
Orleans.

It was in June of last year, I think, that a German bookseller named
Keller was sent by General Butler to Ship Island for two years for
exhibiting in his shop-window a human skeleton labelled "Chickahominy,"
claiming it to be the bones of some gallant soldier of the Union, army who
had fallen in one of the disastrous battles in Virginia.

At his examination, Keller protested that he was a Union man, and had been
imposed upon by some designing person who had taken advantage of his
ignorance to make his shop the medium of displaying contempt and hatred of
our cause by the revolting spectacle I have mentioned. It was proved,
however, that Keller had said these were the bones of a Yankee. His
defence may or may not have been true; but, at all events, he was
apparently not an evil-disposed person, and I always believed the General
punished the offence rather than the man.

After Keller had been on Ship Island some two or three months, his wife, a
very modest, respectable little woman, came to me frequently with a
piteous story of the suffering occasioned herself and her children by the
prolonged absence of her husband, and begged me to intercede with the
General for his pardon. Satisfied that the cause could suffer no injury by
the return of the unfortunate man to his home, I promised to do my best to
obtain his release. Accordingly, I took advantage of every favorable
opportunity to drop a word in the hearing of the General for the benefit
of poor Keller, who was pining away in his confinement at a rate that bade
fair soon to render him as valuable a subject for anatomical research as
the article he had exhibited in his shop-window.

At first my efforts met with very doubtful encouragement; but I was
satisfied that the General's obduracy was caused by a conflict between his
sense of public duty and his natural tendency toward forgiveness; so,
fully assured that a few weeks would produce the desired result, I
contented myself with merely recalling the ease to his memory whenever an
opportunity offered.

Toward the last of October, being somewhat impatient at my tardy progress,
I had just resolved to abandon my previous policy of waiting for time to
do its work, and to make a vigorous onslaught upon the General's
sympathies, when I learned that he had issued an order for Keller's
release; and thus I was confirmed in my opinion that the General's heart
was not proof against the claims of the unfortunate erring.

In the case of Mrs. Phillips, who was banished to Ship Island for her
ghastly levity over the dead body of the gallant and lamented young De
Kay, the General ordered a release after three months of exile, because he
learned that her health was suffering in consequence of separation from
her friends; and I doubt very much if she would have remained in duress
three weeks, if the Rebel newspapers had not taunted the General so much,
and threatened an expedition against the island for the purpose of
rescuing the fair prisoner.

Mrs. Larue and Mrs. Cowen, the only other women who were imprisoned,--the
former for openly distributing treasonable pamphlets in the street,
thereby causing a riot, and the latter for publishing in a newspaper a
card of defiance against the national authority,--after two weeks of
punishment, were pardoned on the first intimation that they were suffering
in health or comfort. Indeed, the General never desired the imprisonment
of any person a single day beyond the time necessary for his correction,
or longer than the requirements of justice demanded. I presume very few
persons are aware that one of his last acts in New Orleans was to
recommend to General Banks the pardon of all prisoners confined on mere
political charges.

       *       *       *       *       *

On account of the great and increasing pressure on the General's time by
the immense and miscellaneous crowd of visitors, it was found necessary to
establish an office outside of his, where every unknown caller should
state his business to the officer in charge, who would decide whether or
not it was essential for the person to see the General.

For a few weeks I had charge of this office, and nearly all my time was
occupied in refusing passes outside of our lines. In a majority of
instances, the applicants for the privilege of going into the
Confederacy--many of them women--told the most sorrowful tales of
destitution that could be relieved only by reaching their friends in the
enemy's country; others urged, that a husband, a father, or a brother was
enjoined by the physician to seek the country as the sole means of
securing a return of health; in short, I was plied with every conceivable
story of heart-rending woe and misery, related to induce the granting of
passes, which the General, in consequence of the fact that _in almost
every instance_ where he had yielded to such importunities his confidence
had been abused by the carrying of supplies and information to the Rebel
army, had ordered me invariably to refuse. Ordinarily I succeeded in
steeling my heart against these urgent entreaties; but occasionally some
story, peculiarly harrowing in its details, seemed to demand a special
effort in behalf of the applicant, and I would go to the General, and, in
the desperation of my cause, exclaim,--

"General, you must see some of these people. I know, if you would only
hear their stories, you would give them passes."

"You are entirely correct, Captain," he would reply. "I am sure I should;
and that is precisely why I want you to see them for me."

And with this very doubtful satisfaction I would return to my desk,
convinced that sensibility in a man who was allowed no discretion in its
exercise was an entirely useless attribute, and that in future I would set
my face as a flint against every appeal to my feelings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since my return to the North, I have heard a number of gentlemen--former
political associates of General Butler--compare his "marvellous
conversion" (here they always look, and apparently mean to be, severely
sarcastic) on the slavery-question with that of Saul of Tarsus to
Christianity.

If the last two years of our history have failed to educate them up to the
meaning of this war, I confess that I think them almost incorrigible; yet
I cannot believe that even they, if they had had the experience which has
placed not only General Butler, but almost every one of the twenty
thousand men composing the old "Army of the Gulf," firmly on the side of
freedom to all, of whatever complexion, could longer withstand the
dictates of God and humanity.

Let me describe one or two of the scenes I witnessed in New Orleans, that
opened our eyes to the true nature of human bondage. The following
incident is the same so well told by the General himself to the committee
of the New-York Chamber of Commerce, at the Fifth-Avenue Hotel, in January
last, and which was then reported in full in the New-York "Times." One of
my objects in repeating this story is to illustrate my implicit
confidence--inspired by my knowledge of his character--in the General's
humanity and championship of the weak and down-trodden.

Just previous to the arrival of General Banks in New Orleans I was
appointed Deputy-Provost-Marshal of the city, and held the office for some
days after he had assumed command. One day, during the last week of our
stay in the South, a young woman of about twenty years called upon me to
complain that her landlord had ordered her out of her house, because she
was unable longer to pay the rent, and she wished me to authorise her to
take possession of one of her father's houses that had been confiscated,
he being a wealthy Rebel, then in the Confederacy, and actively engaged in
the Rebellion.

The girl was a perfect blonde in complexion: her hair was of a very
pretty, light shade of brown, and perfectly straight; her eyes a clear,
honest gray; and her skin as delicate and fair as a child's. Her manner
was modest and ingenuous, and her language indicated much intelligence.

Considering these circumstances, I think I was justified in wheeling
around in my chair and indulging in an unequivocal stare of incredulous
amazement, when in the course of conversation she dropped a remark about
having been born a slave.

"Do you mean to tell me," said I, "that you have negro blood in your
veins?" And I was conscious of a feeling of embarrassment at asking a
question so apparently preposterous.

"Yes," she replied, and then related the history of her life, which I
shall repeat as briefly as possible.

"My father," she commenced, "is Mr. Cox, formerly a judge of one of the
courts in this city. He was very rich, and owned a great many houses here.
There is one of them over there," she remarked, naïvely, pointing to a
handsome residence opposite my office in Canal Street. "My mother was one
of his slaves. When I was sufficiently grown, he placed me at school at
the Mechanics' Institute Seminary, on Broadway, New York. I remained there
until I was about fifteen years of age, when Mr. Cox came on to New York
and took me from the school to a hotel, where he obliged me to live with
him as his mistress; and to-day, at the age of twenty-one, I am the mother
of a boy five years old who is my father's son. After remaining some time
in New York, he took me to Cincinnati and other cities at the North, in
all of which I continued to live with him as before. During this sojourn
in the Free States, I induced him to give me a deed of manumission; but on
our return to New Orleans he obtained it from me, and destroyed it. At
this time I tried to break off the unnatural connection, whereupon he
caused me to be publicly whipped in the streets of the city, and then
obliged me to marry a colored man; and now he has run off, leaving me
without the least provision against want or actual starvation, and I ask
you to give me one of his houses that I may have a home for myself and
three little children."

Strange and improbable as this story appeared, I remembered, as it
progressed, that I had heard it from Governor Shepley, who, as well as
General Butler, had investigated it, and learned that it was not only true
in every particular, but was perfectly familiar to the citizens of New
Orleans, by whom Judge Cox had been elected to administer JUSTICE.

The clerks of my office, most of whom were old residents of the city, were
well informed in the facts of the case, and attested the truth of the
girl's story.

I was exceedingly perplexed, and knew not what to do in the matter; but
after some thought I answered her thus:--

"This Department has changed rulers, and I know nothing of the policy of
the new commander. If General Butler were still in authority, I should not
hesitate a moment to grant your request,--for, even if I should commit an
error of judgment, I am perfectly certain he would overlook it, and
applaud the humane impulse that prompted the act; but General Banks might
be less indulgent, and make very serious trouble with me for taking a step
he would perhaps regard as unwarrantable."

I still hesitated, undecided how to act, when suddenly a happy thought
struck me, and, turning to the girl, I added,--

"To-day is Thursday; next Tuesday I leave this city with General Butler
for a land where, thank God! such wrongs as yours cannot exist; and, as
General Banks is deeply engrossed in the immediate business at
head-quarters, he will hardly hear of my action before the ship
leaves,--so I am going to give you the house."

I am sure the kind-hearted reader will find no fault with me that I took
particular pains to select one of the largest of her father's houses, (it
contained forty rooms,) when she told me that she wanted to let the
apartments as a means of support to herself and her children.

My only regret in the case was that Mr. Cox had not been considerate
enough to leave a carriage and pair of bays on my hands, that I might have
had the satisfaction of enabling his daughter to disport herself about the
city in a style corresponding to her importance as a member of so wealthy
and respectable a family.

And this story that I have just told reminds me of another, similar in
many respects.

One Sunday morning, late last summer, as I came down-stairs to the
breakfast-room, I was surprised to find a large number of persons
assembled in the library.

When I reached the door, a member of the Staff took me by the arm, and
drew me into the room toward a young and delicate mulatto girl who was
standing against the opposite wall, with the meek, patient bearing of her
race, so expressive of the system of repression to which they have been so
long subjected.

Drawing down the border of her dress, my conductor showed me a sight more
revolting than I trust ever again to behold.

The poor girl's back was flayed until the quivering flesh resembled a
fresh beefsteak scorched on a gridiron. With a cold chill creeping through
my veins, I turned away from the sickening spectacle, and for an
explanation of the affair scanned the various persons about the room.

In the centre of the group, at his writing-table, sat the General. His
head rested on his hand, and he was evidently endeavoring to fix his
attention upon the remarks of a tall, swarthy-looking man who stood
opposite, and who, I soon discovered, was the owner of the girl, and was
attempting a defence of the foul outrage he had committed upon the
unresisting and helpless person of his unfortunate victim, who stood
smarting, but silent, under the dreadful pain inflicted by the brutal
lash.

By the side of the slaveholder stood our Adjutant-General, his face livid
with almost irrepressible rage, and his fists tight-clenched, as if to
violently restrain himself from visiting the guilty wretch with summary
and retributive justice. Disposed about the room, in various attitudes,
but all exhibiting in their countenances the same mingling of horror and
indignation, were other members of the Staff,--while, near the door, stood
three or four house-servants, who were witnesses in the case.

To the charge of having administered the inhuman castigation, Landry (the
owner of the girl) pleaded guilty, but urged in extenuation that the girl
had dared to make an effort for that freedom which her instincts, drawn
from the veins of her abuser, had taught her was the God-given right of
all who possess the germ of immortality, no matter what the color of the
casket in which it is hidden.

I say "drawn from the veins of her abuser," because she declared she was
his daughter,--and every one in the room, looking upon the man and woman
confronting each other, confessed that the resemblance justified the
assertion.

After the conclusion of all the evidence in the case, the General
continued in the same position as before, and remained for some time
apparently lost in abstraction. I shall never forget the singular
expression on his face.

I had been accustomed to see him in a storm of passion at any instance of
oppression or flagrant injustice; but on this occasion he was too deeply
affected to obtain relief in the usual way.

His whole air was one of dejection, almost listlessness; his indignation
too intense, and his anger too stern, to find expression even in his
countenance.

Never have I seen that peculiar look but on three or four occasions
similar to the one I am narrating, when I knew he was pondering upon the
baleful curse that had cast its withering blight upon all around, until
the manhood and humanity were crushed out of the people, and outrages such
as the above were looked upon with complacency, and the perpetrators
treated as respected and worthy citizens,--and that he was realizing the
great truth, that, however man might endeavor to guide this war to the
advantage of a favorite idea or sagacious policy, the Almighty was
directing it surely and steadily for the purification of our country from
this greatest of national sins.

But to return to my story. After sitting in the mood which I have
described at such length, the General again turned to the prisoner, and
said, in a quiet, subdued tone of voice,--

"Mr. Landry, I dare not trust myself to decide to-day what punishment
would be meet for your offence, for I am in that state of mind that I fear
I might exceed the strict demands of justice. I shall therefore place you
under guard for the present, until I conclude upon your sentence."

A few days after, a number of influential citizens having represented to
the General that Mr. Landry was not only a "high-toned gentleman," but a
person of unusual "AMIABILITY" of character, and was consequently entitled
to no small degree of leniency, he answered, that, in consideration of the
prisoner's "high-toned" character, and especially of his "amiability," of
which he had seen so remarkable a proof, he had determined to meet their
views, and therefore ordered that Landry give a deed of manumission to the
girl, and pay a fine of five hundred dollars, to be placed in the hands of
a trustee for her benefit.

It is the passing through such scenes as I have described, and the
contemplation of the condition to which Slavery has reduced society at the
South, combined with a natural inclination to espouse the cause of the
oppressed, that has placed General Butler in the front rank of the
"Champions of Freedom."

I remember, so long ago as last July, his turning to me, after reading the
story of our sad reverses in Virginia, and remarking that he believed God
was directing the issues of the war for a great purpose, and that only in
so far as we followed His guidance should we be successful. I have heard
him repeat this in effect several times since, and have seen the
conviction growing within his mind deeper and deeper, as events proved its
correctness, down to the present time.

And yet an Episcopal clergyman of New York told me, the other evening,
that General Butler was an Atheist.

       *       *       *       *       *

General Butler's forbearance and kindness of heart are, I think, well
illustrated in the true history of his controversy with General Phelps
last summer, in regard to the employment of negroes coming within our
lines. His position on that question was at that time somewhat
misunderstood. Indeed, a gentleman observed to me only a short time since,
referring to General Butler's allowing General Phelps to resign, "General
Butler served General Phelps just right."

"So he did," I replied; "but you and I probably differ some in our ideas
of right and wrong."

The case, in brief, was this.

General Phelps--as good a man, as honest and whole-souled a patriot, and
as brave and thorough a soldier as there is in the service--was in command
at Carrolton,--our principal line of defence. The negroes escaping from
the plantations had gathered about his camp to the number of many
hundreds. General Phelps almost immediately initiated steps toward making
them soldiers. The residents, greatly alarmed, or affecting to be, lest
they should soon be the victims of an ungovernable armed mob, addressed
the most urgent remonstrances to General Butler against General Phelps's
proceedings. The General was much perplexed; the Government had not yet
indicated any policy on this important subject, and although I am
satisfied his sympathies were with General Phelps, (the alacrity with
which he soon after organized negro regiments is the best evidence of
this,) he did not feel justified in officially approving his course.
Determined to avoid anything like a bitter opposition to a measure that
his head and heart both told him was intrinsically right, he sought for a
means of compromise. Circumstances soon furnished the opportunity.

The enemy was threatening the city with speedy attack, and it was deemed
of the highest importance to cut away the thick growth of trees in front
of Carrolton for nearly a mile. The General at once ordered General Phelps
to set his negro brigade at this work, and in the order was particular to
quote General Phelps's own opinion, previously delivered, on the necessity
of the project. General Phelps, who was determined that the negroes should
be soldiers or nothing, evasively declined obeying the order. General
Butler then wrote him a letter presenting fresh arguments, showing how
essential it was that the soldiers, who would soon be obliged to defend
the city, should be spared as far as possible from unusual fatigue-duty,
and inclosed a peremptory order for the performance of the work by the
negroes. By the same messenger he also sent a confidential letter, which I
wrote at his dictation, in which, in terms of the warmest friendship and
honest appreciation of General Phelps's exalted courage, sincere
patriotism, and other noble qualities, he begged him not to place himself
in an attitude of hostility to his commanding officer. A more delicate,
generous, or considerate letter I never read; but it was of no avail.
General Phelps persisted in his refusal to obey, and tendered his
resignation. What did General Butler do?

He would have been justified in the arrest and court-martial of General
Phelps, and few men could resist so good an opportunity to assert their
authority; but he knew that General Phelps had been for years the victim
of the Slave Power, until his mind had become so absorbed in detestation
of the institution that he was conscientiously and inexorably opposed to
the slightest step that could even remotely be construed as assisting in
its support. Moreover, General Butler's esteem for General Phelps was deep
and sincere; and those who know the General well will readily understand
how repugnant to his nature is the abrupt change from warm friendship to
open hostility.

But to recur to my question,--What did General Butler do? He simply
forwarded General Phelps's resignation to Washington, with the earnest
request that the Government would proclaim some policy in regard to the
contrabands, and shortly after, learning that the story of an intended
attack on the city at that time was a canard, allowed the matter to drop.
When, a little later, the enrolment of negroes in the United States'
service was in order, where were they so promptly enlisted and equipped as
in the grand old "Department of the Gulf"?

Reading the other day the retaliatory resolutions of the Rebel Congress
recalled to my mind the terrible earnestness with which the General
declared in New Orleans, "For every one of my black soldiers who may be
murdered by their captors, two Rebel soldiers shall hang." And I know he
meant it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The London "Times" has said that General Butler is a "monster of cruelty,"
devoid of every sentiment of benevolence or tenderness, and the cry has
been taken up and echoed by the press of Continental Europe. Perhaps he
is; but the thirty-four thousand poor people of New Orleans whom he fed
every day refuse to believe it. I could wish that some of these libellers
of his humanity had been in New Orleans to see the character of the crowd
that thronged his office from morning till night. There were persons of
almost every condition and color,--the great majority being poor and
wretched men and women, who brought their every grief and trouble to lay
at the feet of the man whom they believed possessed of the power and the
will to redress every wrong and heal every sorrow. Was it surprising? Did
it look as though they feared his fierce anger and his cruel wrath? Was it
not rather the humble testimony of their instinct that he whose first and
every act in their city was for the amelioration of suffering was the one
to whom they should apply for relief in every woe? And what patience he
exhibited under this great and increasing addition to his official cares!
Unless the complaint or request were frivolous or disloyal, he always
listened respectfully, and then applied the remedy to the wrong, or
carefully explained the means suited to the relief of the distress, and
the proper course for obtaining it.

Shortly after our arrival in New Orleans, the Sisters in charge of the
Orphan Asylum of St. Elizabeth called upon the General and represented
that institution as in a state of literal destitution from lack of
provisions and the money with which to procure them. This unfortunate
condition of suffering was one of the legitimate consequences of active
Secession, and no one could be held responsible for it but the leaders of
the Rebellion. But the General did not stop to discuss the question of
responsibility; he knew that here were several hundred children who were
crying for bread, and with characteristic promptitude gave them an order
on the Chief Commissary for a very large amount of stores,--to be charged
to his personal account,--adding a sum of five hundred dollars in money
from his pocket.

The Convent of the Sacred Heart, near New Orleans, owed its continued
existence almost entirely to his individual charities; and the same may be
said of all the benevolent institutions in and about the city.

I have rarely seen him more angry than when he discovered that a committee
of the City Council, who held, as trustees, the Touro Fund, left by its
generous donor for the support of orphans, had outraged their trust by
applying a large amount of the legacy to the purchase of munitions of war
for the Rebellion. He had them brought under guard to the office, and,
unable to restrain his contempt for the dishonor of the act, expressed his
opinion in terms that must have scathed them fearfully, unless their
sensibilities were utterly callous. He then sent them to Fort Pickens,
there to remain until every cent of the money they had so wantonly
diverted from its legitimate purpose should be repaid.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most striking of the General's traits is the quick
comprehension which enables him to meet almost any question with a ready
and commonly a witty reply.

During the earlier period of our occupation of New Orleans, persons were
constantly applying to him to give them an order to search within our
lines for runaway negroes; and it is a good illustration of the assurance
of our enemies, that in a majority of cases the persons so applying were
avowed traitors. The following is a fair sample of the conversation that
would follow such an application.

"General, I wish you would give me an order to search for my negro," the
visitor would commence.

"Have you lost your horse?" the General would ask, in reply.

"No, Sir."

"Have you lost your mule?" the General would add.

"No, Sir," the applicant for the order would answer, looking exceedingly
puzzled at such unusual questions.

"Well, Sir, if you had lost your horse or your mule, would you come and
ask me to neglect my duty to the Government for the purpose of assisting
you to catch them?"

"Of course not," the visitor would reply, with increasing astonishment.

"Then why should you expect me to employ myself in hunting after any other
article of your property?"

And with this comforting and practical application of the Dred-Scott
decision, the ex-owner of the fugitive slave would take his departure, a
wiser, and, I doubt not, a sadder man.

During an interview between the General and the Reverend Doctor Leacock,
(Rector of Grace Church in New Orleans, and one of the three Episcopal
clergymen who refused to read the prayer for the President, and were
therefore sent North as prisoners, under my charge,) in which the General
urged upon the Doctor his views on the injurious influence of disloyalty
in the pulpit, sustaining his argument by prolific quotations from
Scripture, recited with an accuracy and appositeness that few theologians
could exceed, the Doctor replied,--

"But, General, your insisting upon the taking of the oath of allegiance is
causing half of my church-members to perjure themselves."

"If that is the case, I am glad I have not had the spiritual charge of
your church for the last nine years," (just the term of Dr. Leacock's
pastorate,) the General answered, promptly.

After a lengthy conversation, the Doctor finally asked,--

"Well, General, are you going to shut up the churches?"

"No, Sir, I am more likely to shut up the ministers," he replied.

To the casual observer this would appear but a brilliant repartee, while,
in fact, it was significant as indicative of a sagacious policy. Closing
the churches would have given warrant to the charge of interference with
the observances of religion. So careful was the General to avoid anything
of this nature, that, in every instance where a clergyman was removed from
his church, the very next Sunday found his pulpit occupied by a loyal
minister.

As a great many excellent Churchmen have misunderstood the cause of the
arrest of clergymen in New Orleans, I think I must add a word of
explanation. The ministers so arrested were of the Episcopal denomination,
in which the rector is required to read a liturgy prescribed by the
General Convention. In this liturgy occurs "a prayer for the President of
the United States," and its omission in their reading of the service was
clearly an overt act of disloyalty, in that it was by unmistakable
implication a declaration that they did not recognize the authority of the
President of the United States; and it is a fact not generally known, that
this omission in the service was supplied by the minister's regularly
announcing, "A few moments will now be spent in silent prayer." Who can
doubt the character and burden of this voiceless petition, when it is
understood that it was the successor to an audible appeal--which General
Butler suppressed--to Heaven for Jefferson Davis and the success of his
cause?

       *       *       *       *       *

Another of the General's strongest characteristics is his firm faith, his
ardent hopefulness. Never have I known him despondent as to the final
result of this war. He believes it to be a struggle for principle and
right, and therefore his confidence in the ultimate success of our arms
never falters. Frequently disheartened myself at our apparent ill-fortune,
I have listened to his cheerful predictions and expressions of unflagging
trust, and have come away strengthened and confident.

After our return to the North, an ex-mayor of Chicago was introduced to
the General at the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York. It was just at a time
when our cause looked very gloomy. The Mayor was evidently much depressed
by the indications of national misfortune, and in a tone of great
despondency asked the General,--

"Do you believe we shall ever get through this war successfully?"

"Yes, Sir," the General answered, very decidedly.

"Well, but how?" asked the Mayor.

"God knows, I don't; but I know He does, so I am satisfied," the General
replied.

And in this reply was contained an admirable expression of that earnest
faith in the inevitable triumph of good over evil which forms so prominent
a part of his nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this short sketch I have either entirely avoided or merely hinted at
the traits which have given General Butler a world-wide distinction. His
wonderful energy, his sagacity, his courage, his great executive and
administrative ability, and, more than all, the marvellous comprehension,
which, at the firing of the first gun at Fort Sumter, enabled him to grasp
the subject of this Rebellion in all its magnitude and bearings, and in
the means and measures for its suppression, are attributes made familiar
to the world as "household words" by his unprecedented administration in
New Orleans.

The story of the years of experience crowded into those eight short months
of our sojourn in that city is worthy the pen of our country's ablest
historian, and would fill volumes.

To relate all the instances of General Butler's kindness and generosity,
his forbearance and magnanimity, while in New Orleans, would require more
than all the space between the covers of the "Atlantic."

I have undertaken the grateful task of recording some of the more
prominent scenes, where he displayed the kindly, genial traits so utterly
inconsistent with the indiscriminate charges of cruelty, injustice, and
wrong, preferred by his enemies,--traits that have inexpressibly endeared
their possessor to every officer and soldier in his late army. Said an
officer, but just returned from New Orleans, to me a few days since,--"I
have heard of the infatuation of the Army of the Potomac to its earlier
leader, but I do not believe their devotion is near so deep and earnest as
that of the faithful men who followed General Butler from New England and
the Northwest, through the campaign of New Orleans."

Not one of us who have been closely associated with him but watches with
intense interest for the opportunity to arrive when he shall prove himself
to be (as every one of us believes him to be) among the foremost of those
predestined to lead our country through its baptism of blood and fire to a
higher and grander destiny and glory than the most ardent dared even to
hope for before the war.

Happy then shall I be, if in these few pages I have conveyed to the
indulgent readers of this article some idea of the inner life and
character of OUR GENERAL.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE CLAIMS TO SERVICE OR LABOR.


Some persons look upon the veneration with which the people of these
United States regard the Constitution as savoring of superstition. It is
at least a wholesome superstition, which cannot be disturbed without risk.

When a man, in calm moments of deliberate reflection, has settled and
adopted the principles of ethics and morality which ought to govern his
life, and when, under the pressure of urgent exigency, or in moments of
eager excitement, his view of their truth or value undergoes a sudden
change, it is not safe to give way to such influence. He would evince
wisdom in calling to mind, that, in hours of tranquil judgment, with no
passion to blind and no impulse of the moment to urge beyond reason, he
_had_ adopted certain principles of action, for guidance and safety.

Doubtless age may correct, and ought to correct, the errors of youth. But
when we change a life-rule, it should be from a matured conviction, that,
on general principles, the correction is just and proper; not because it
would afford relief or satisfaction for the time being, or prove
convenient for some special purpose.

So of the Constitution of the United States. Of fallible because human
origin, it is imperfect. A rule of political action in a progressive
world, it was by its founders properly made subject to amendment. At the
first session of the first Congress ten amendments were adopted; two have
been added since; and experience has approved this action.

That other amendments may hereafter be necessary and proper it would be
presumptuous to deny. But we ought to touch the ark of our political
testimony with careful and reverent hand.

All legislative bodies are liable to sudden and wayward impulses. To these
the Congress of our young country is more exposed than the Parliaments or
Chambers of older nations. It would have been very unsafe to trust a
Congressional majority with the power of amending the Constitution.

Difficulties and delays were properly put in the way of exercising such a
prerogative. To two-thirds of both houses, or to a convention called by
the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, was granted the
power of proposing amendments; while the power to ratify these was not
confided to less than to the legislatures, or to the conventions, of
three-fourths of the States composing the Union.

To alter the Constitution in any other way--as by the consent of a
majority only of the several States--would be a revolutionary act.
Doubtless revolutionary acts become a justifiable remedy on rare and great
occasions, as in 1776; but they are usually replete with danger. They are
never more dangerous than when employed by one section of a confederacy
against another, weaker section of the same. To the stability of
government, it is necessary that the rights of minorities should be
strictly respected. The end does not necessarily justify the means. "No
example," says an eminent and philosophical writer, "is more dangerous
than that of violence employed for a good purpose by well-meaning men."[6]

    [Footnote 6: "Il n'y a pas de plus dangereux exemple que celui de
    la violence exercée pour le bien et par les gens de
    bien."--"_L'Ancien Régime et la Révolution_," par Alexis de
    Tocqueville, Paris, 1856, p. 310.]

To such considerations has it been, in a measure, due that the people of
the United States, with as much unanimity as usually characterizes any
national decision, have held back, until now, from following the example
of the civilized nations of Europe in emancipating their slaves. Until the
Secessionists levied war against the Union, not the Democratic party
alone, but the mass of the Republican party also, assented to the
declaration in Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural, that they had "no purpose to
interfere, directly or indirectly, with the institution of Slavery in the
States where it exists." It had never been possible to obtain the votes of
three-fourths of the States in favor of emancipation; and a large majority
of those who held human servitude to be a moral wrong had looked upon its
toleration among our neighbors of the South as an evil of less magnitude
than the violation of the Constitution.

Though the wisdom of the ablest statesmen of the Revolution, without
distinction of sections, recognized negro slavery as an iniquity and as a
political element fraught with inevitable danger in the future, yet the
evils and the dangers which are inseparably connected with that element
have never been so clearly seen, have never made themselves so terribly
apparent, as in the course of this war.

The conviction that Slavery is a standing menace to the integrity of the
Union and the one great obstacle to peace gathers strength so rapidly from
day to day, that many men are adopting the opinion, that it must needs be
extirpated, if even at the cost of a revolutionary act.

It would be a misfortune, if this were the alternative. It is easy to pass
the limit of regulated authority, but impossible to estimate the dangers
we may encounter when that guardian limit is once transgressed. We may
resolve that we will go thus far and no farther. So thought the honest and
earnest Girondists of revolutionary France; but the current to which they
had first opened a passage swept them away. Though the experiment succeed
at last, a long Reign of Terror may overwhelm us ere success is reached.

And thus it is a matter of surpassing interest to determine whether the
present stupendous insurrectionary convulsion has brought about a state of
things under which, in strict accordance with the Constitution as it is,
we may emancipate all negroes throughout the Union who are now held in
involuntary servitude. This question I propose to discuss.

       *       *       *       *       *

Every one is familiar with the words in which the Constitution, while not
naming Slavery, recognizes, under a certain phase, its existence, and aids
it, under certain circumstances, to maintain the rights to involuntary
labor which, under State laws, it claims; thus:--

    "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws
    thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law
    or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor,
    but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such
    service or labor may be due."

The claims to service or labor here referred to may be for years or for
life: both are included in the above provision. In point of fact, there
were existing, at the time that provision was adopted, (as there still
exist,) both classes: the first class, for a term of years, then
consisting, in part, of claims against foreign adults who had bound
themselves to service for a limited time to repay the expenses of their
emigration,--but chiefly, as now, of claims to the service or labor of
what were called apprentices, usually white minors; the second, for life,
were claims to the service or labor of men, women, and children of all
ages, exclusively of African descent, who were called slaves.

The first class of claims were found chiefly in Northern States; the
second chiefly in Southern. There was a great disparity between the
numbers of the two classes. While the claims to service or labor for years
numbered but a few thousands, there were then held to service or labor for
life upwards of six hundred thousand persons: and the number has since
increased to about four millions.

The constitutional provision is, that persons from whom under State laws
service or labor is due shall not be exonerated from the performance of
the same by escaping to another State. The apprentice, or the slave,
shall, in that case, on demand of the proper claimant, be delivered up.

Such a provision clearly involves the recognition of certain rights of
property; but of what kind?

Is the ownership of one human being by another here involved? Is the
apprentice, or the slave, recognized in this clause as an article of
merchandise?

State laws regulating apprenticeship and slavery may give to the master of
the apprentice, or of the slave, the custody of the person and the right
of corporal punishment, in order the better to insure the performance of
the labor due. These laws may declare that an apprentice, or a slave, who
strikes his master, shall suffer death. They may provide that the
testimony of an apprentice, or of a slave, shall not be received in any
court of justice as evidence against his master. They may make the claims
to service or labor, whether for years or for life, transferable by
ordinary sale. They may declare such claims to be, under certain
circumstances, of the nature of real estate. They may enact that these
claims shall be hereditary, both as regards the claimant and the person
held to service, so that heirs shall inherit them,--and also so that the
children of apprentices, or of slaves, shall, in virtue of their birth, be
apprentices or slaves. But State laws or State constitutions, whatever
their provisions, cannot modify the Constitution of the United States. The
Supreme Court has decided that "the Government of the Union, though
limited in its power, is supreme within its sphere of action"; and again,
that "the laws of the United States, when made in pursuance of the
Constitution, form the supreme law of the land, anything in the
constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."[7]

    [Footnote 7: "_McCulloch against the State of Maryland._" 4
    Wheaton, _Rep._, p. 316.]

Therefore State laws or constitutions can neither determine the
interpretation of the Federal Constitution nor explain its intent. It is
to be interpreted by the words, fairly and candidly construed, of its
framers.

In the provision under consideration the phraseology is remarkable. The
word _slave_, though then in common use, to designate a negro held to
service or labor for life, is not employed. It is impossible to believe
that this peculiarity was accidental, or to overlook the inevitable
inference from it. This provision does not recognize slavery except as it
recognizes apprenticeship. African slavery, according to the expressly
selected words, and therefore according to the manifest intent, of the
framers of the Constitution, is here recognized as a claim to the service
or labor of a negro: nothing more, nothing else.

It avails nothing to allege, even if it were true, that in 1787, when
these words were written, a negro was commonly considered property.
Chief-Justice Taney, delivering the decision of the Supreme Court in the
Dred Scott case, asserts that in the thirteen colonies which formed the
Constitution "a negro of the African race was regarded as an article of
property." This may or it may not have been true of a majority in those
days. True or not, it refers only to the opinions of individual colonists;
and these cannot be received as a basis of construction for the words, nor
can they rebut the plain intent, of a constitutional provision. It is not
what individual colonists believed, but what the framers of the
Constitution incorporated in that instrument, that we have to deal with.

They avoided the use of the word slave. They incorporated the words
"person held to service or labor." They admitted the claim to service or
labor: none other: a claim (regarded in its constitutional aspect) in the
nature of what the law calls a _chose in action_,--or, in other words, a
thing to which, though it cannot be strictly said to be in actual
possession, one has a right.

In common parlance we employ words, in connection with Slavery, which
imply much more than such a claim. We say slave-holder and slave-owner; we
speak of the institution of Slavery: but we do not say apprentice-holder
or apprentice-owner; nor do we speak of the institution of Apprenticeship.
The reason, whether valid or invalid, for such variance of phraseology in
speaking of the two classes of claims, is not to be found in any
admission, express or implied, in the provision of the Constitution now
under consideration. In it the framers of that instrument employed one and
the same phrase to designate the master of the apprentice and the master
of the slave. Both are termed "the party to whom service or labor may be
due."

Is there any other clause in the Constitution in which a distinction is
made between the apprentice and the slave? There is one, and only one. In
determining the number of inhabitants in each State as a basis of
representation and taxation, it is provided that the whole number of
apprentices shall be included, while three-fifths only of the slaves are
to be taken into account. But the wording of this clause is especially
noteworthy. It reads thus:--

    "Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the
    several States which may be included within this Union according
    to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding
    to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to
    service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed,
    three-fifths of all other persons."

To avoid mistakes, it was deemed necessary to include apprentices by
express specification. Why this? Every one would have felt it to be
absurd, if the words had been, "the whole number of free persons,
including farm-laborers." But why absurd? Because persons engaged in free
labor are, beyond question, free persons. Not so those "bound to service."
While so bound, apprentices may be considered not free; when the "term of
years," and with it the bondage to service, expires, they become free, or,
as the common phrase is, "their own masters." It was necessary and proper,
therefore, to specify whether, in the enumeration of inhabitants, they
were to be estimated as free persons or as persons not free.

But would there be any fairness in construing this clause into an
admission, by inference or otherwise, that an apprentice, while "bound to
service," is a slave? Clearly not. He is a person not free for the time,
because another has a legal claim to his service or labor. The
Constitution admits this: nothing more.

And so of slaves. "Other persons" they are called, in contradistinction to
"free persons"; therefore persons not free: and properly so called, seeing
that, like the apprentice before his term expires, they are "bound to
service," and that, unlike him, they remain thus bound for life.

But unless we admit that the apprentice, bound to service for a season, is
a slave during that season, we cannot justly allege, that, by this
provision of the Constitution, the negro, held to service or labor for
life, is recognized as a slave.

A mere technical view of a great political question is usually a
contracted one, of little practical value, and unbecoming a statesman.
"The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." Yet we must not mistake
for technicality a careful interpretation, distinctly warranted by the
terms employed, of a public instrument. Every public instrument, by which
the governed delegate powers to those who govern, should be strictly
construed.

I am not arguing, that the men who framed the Constitution did not regard
negroes held to service or labor as slaves. I am not arguing that
temporary claims, to the number (let us suppose) of forty or fifty
thousand, may, for a moment, compare in importance with life-long claims,
to the number of four millions; or that it is safe or proper to legislate
in regard to the latter, involving as they do vast industrial interests,
with as light consideration as might suffice in enacting regulations for
the former. I am not arguing that a political element, which has gradually
assumed proportions so gigantic as has American Slavery, can, with any
safety or propriety, be dealt with, except after the gravest deliberation
and the most sedulous examination, in advance, of every step we propose to
take. I allege nothing of all this.

What I assert is, that neither the number of slaves nor the magnitude of
the interests involved can properly influence the judgment in determining
the just construction of a clause in the Constitution, or properly set
aside a fair deduction from the wording of that clause as to its true
spirit and intent. What I assert is, that the framers of the Constitution,
in studiously avoiding the employment of the word slave, undeniably
abstained from admitting into that instrument anything which the use of
that word might have implied. Therefore the Constitution does not
recognize the ownership of one human being by another. In it we seek in
vain any foundation for the doctrine declared by Chief-Justice Taney, that
persons held to service or labor for life are articles of property or
merchandise.

In one restricted sense, and only in one, is slavery recognized by the
Constitution of the United States: as a system under which one man may
have a legal claim to the involuntary labor of another.

Therefore the question, whether Congress has the constitutional right to
emancipate slaves, resolves itself into this:--Can Congress
constitutionally take private property for public use and destroy it,
making just compensation therefor? And is there anything in the nature of
the claim which a master has to the service or labor of an apprentice, or
of a slave, which legally exempts that species of property from the
general rule, if important considerations of public utility demand that
such claims should be appropriated and cancelled by the Government?

This is the sole issue. Let us not complicate it by mixing it up with
others. When we are discussing the expediency of emancipation and of
measures proposed to effect it, it is proper to take into account not only
State constitutions and State legislation, but also the popular conception
of slavery under the loose phraseology of the day, and public sentiment,
South as well as North, in connection with it. But when we are examining
the purely legal question, whether, under the Constitution as it is and
under the state of public affairs now existing, Congress has the power to
enact emancipation, we must dismiss popular fallacies and prejudices, and
confine ourselves to one task: namely, to decide, without reference to
subordinate constitutions or legislative action, what the supreme law of
the land--the Constitution of the United States--permits or forbids in the
premises.

It will be admitted that Congress has the right (Amendments to
Constitution, Article 5) to take private property, with just compensation
made, for public use. And it will not be argued that a claim of one
inhabitant of the United States to the service of another, whether for a
term of years or for life, is property which has been constitutionally
exempted from such appropriation. It is evident, that, if a claim to the
service of a slave cannot constitutionally be so taken and cancelled,
neither can the claim to the service of an apprentice.

On the other hand, it is to be conceded, as a feature of the utmost
importance in this case, that, when property of any kind to a vast amount
is thus appropriated, the considerations which influence its appropriation
should correspond in magnitude to the extent of the interests at stake.
When the taking and cancelling of certain claims practically involves the
social condition of four millions of the inhabitants of the United States
and the industrial and financial interests of six millions more, it is
desirable that the considerations to justify so radical and far-reaching a
change should be in the nature of imperative official duty rather than of
speculative opinion or philosophical choice.

Let us proceed a step farther, and inquire if there be circumstances, and
if so, what circumstances, under which it becomes the right and the duty
of Congress to take and cancel the claims in question.

The controlling circumstances which bear upon this case may be thus
briefly stated.

1. The Constitution (section 8) confers on Congress certain essential
powers: as, to collect taxes, without which no government can be
supported.

2. The Constitution (same section) authorizes Congress to "make all laws
that shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" these
powers.

3. If Congress fail to carry into execution these powers, the Government
is set at nought, and anarchy ensues.

4. An insurrection, extending over eleven of the States comprising the
Union, now prevails.

5. Because of that insurrection, the essential powers granted to Congress
by the Constitution cannot be carried into execution in these eleven
States.

6. Because of the resistance offered by these insurrectionary States to
constitutional powers, it becomes the duty of Congress to pass all laws
that are necessary and proper to enforce these powers.

All this will be conceded; but a question remains. Who is to judge what
laws are necessary and proper to carry into execution the powers,
expressly granted by the Constitution, which are thus obstructed and
defeated?

This question has been determined by the highest legal tribunal of the
United States, speaking by the mouth of one who will be acknowledged to
have been her most distinguished presiding officer.

In the well-known case of McCulloch against the State of Maryland,[8]
Chief-Justice Marshall delivered the decision of the Supreme Court; and by
that decision the following principles were established:--

    [Footnote 8: February term, 1819. 4 "Wheaton's _Rep._, 316.
    Unwilling here to multiply words, I pray reference to the decision
    itself.]

1. The construction of the words "necessary and proper" in the above
connection. The Chief-Justice says,--

    "The term 'necessary' does not import an absolute physical
    necessity, so strong that one thing to which another may be termed
    necessary cannot exist without that other."

2. As to the degree of the necessity which renders constitutional a law
framed to carry a constitutional power into execution, the rule by this
decision is,--

    "If a certain means to carry into effect any of the powers
    expressly given by the Constitution to the Government of the Union
    be an appropriate measure, not prohibited by the Constitution, the
    degree of its necessity is a question of legislative discretion,
    not of judicial cognizance."

3. But still more explicitly is the question answered, who is to be the
judge of the appropriateness and necessity of the means to be employed,
thus:--

    "The Government which has a right to do an act, and has imposed
    upon it the duty of performing that act, must, according to the
    dictates of reason, be allowed to select the means."

Thus, then, the matter stands. The powers to lay and collect taxes, to
exercise authority over forts and arsenals of the United States, to
suppress insurrection, and various others equally essential, are expressly
given by the Constitution to Congress. It is the right and duty of
Congress to carry these powers into effect. In case of obstruction or
defeat of existing laws framed to that intent, it is the right and duty of
Congress to select such means and pass such additional laws as may be
necessary and proper to overcome such obstruction and enforce obedience to
such laws. In the selection of the means to effect this constitutional
object, Congress is the sole judge of their propriety or necessity. These
means must not be prohibited by the Constitution; but whether they are the
most prudent or the most effectual means, or in what degree they are
necessary, are matters over which the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction.
As Chief-Justice Marshall has elsewhere in this decision expressed it, for
the Supreme Court to undertake to inquire into the degree of their
necessity "would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial
department and to tread on legislative ground."

There must, of course, be congruity or relevancy between the power to be
enforced and the means proposed to enforce it. While Congress is to judge
the degree of necessity or propriety of these means, they must not be such
as to be devoid of obvious connection with the object to be attained.

In this case, the object to be attained is the enforcement, in the
insurrectionary States, of laws without which no government can exist, and
the suppression in these States of an insurrection of which the object is
the dismemberment of the Union.

But these laws are resisted, and this insurrection prevails, in those
States, and in those States only, in which the life-long claims to the
service or labor of persons of African descent are held under State laws.
In States where slaves are comparatively few, as in Delaware, Maryland,
Missouri, disaffection only prevails; while in States where the number of
slaves approaches or exceeds that of whites, as in South Carolina,
Alabama, Georgia, insurrection against lawful authority is flagrant and
outspoken: the insurrectionary acts of these States being avowedly based
on the allegation that Slavery is not safe under the present
constitutionally elected President, and that its permanent preservation
can be insured by the disruption of the national unity alone.[9]

    [Footnote 9: The Secession Ordinance passed the Convention of
    South Carolina December 20, 1860. The next day, December 21, the
    Convention adopted the "Declaration of Causes" which led to that
    Secession. This document declares, as to the non-slaveholding
    States, that they have "denounced as sinful the institution of
    Slavery"; that they have "united in the election of a man to the
    high office of President of the United States whose opinions and
    purposes are hostile to Slavery," and who declares that "the
    public mind must rest in the belief that Slavery is in the course
    of ultimate extinction." And it winds up with this
    assertion:--"All hope of remedy is rendered vain by the fact that
    the public opinion of the North has invested a great political
    error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief."

    These, first put forth by South Carolina, afterwards indorsed by
    each seceding State, are the causes officially declared to have
    produced, and which are held to justify, the present
    insurrection.]

All this is matter of history. And there would be as much propriety in
denying the connection between the sun and the light of day, as that
between Slavery and the Rebellion.

There _is_ a question upon which men differ: namely, whether emancipation
is the most prudent or the most effectual means to enforce violated law
and suppress the insurrectionary movement.

It is my opinion that a majority of the people of the loyal States
believe, at this moment, that emancipation is the necessary and proper
means to effect the above objects. But whether this opinion be well
founded or not is immaterial to the present question. According to
Chief-Justice Marshall's decision, when it is the right and duty of the
Government to perform an act, (as here to enforce law and suppress
insurrection,) it "must, according to the dictates of reason, be allowed
to select the means." If Congress believes, that, in order to enforce law
and suppress insurrection, it is necessary and proper to take and cancel
all claims to life-long service or labor held in the Slave States, and if
claims to service or labor, whether for years or for life, held by one
inhabitant of the United States against another, be a species of property
not specially exempted by the Constitution from seizure for public use,
then an Act of Emancipation is strictly constitutional.

Congress is to be allowed to select the means; Congress is to be the judge
of the necessity and propriety of these means: Congress, not the Supreme
Court; not even the People in their primary meetings; but the People
constitutionally represented in their National Legislature; the People,
speaking by the voice of those whom their votes have elected to that
Legislature, there to act for them.

If Congress believes that Emancipation is no longer a question of
sectional interference, but of national preservation, it has the right to
judge, and the constitutional right to act upon that judgment. And if
Congress can properly allege, as motive for taking and cancelling a
multitude of life-long claims to service, the preservation of the national
existence, can a consideration of greater magnitude be imagined for any
legislative act?

In proceeding, however, to consummate such a measure, it is evidently most
fitting and proper, that, in the preamble to an Act of Emancipation, there
should be set forth, lucidly and succinctly, the causes and considerations
which impelled to so solemn and momentous an act.

As to the just compensation provided by the Constitution to be paid, when
private property is taken for public use, it is here to be remarked,--

1. If, when a minor is drafted, a father or an apprentice-master has no
claim against the Government for service lost, it may be argued with some
plausibility, that, under similar circumstances of public exigency, a
slave-owner has no claim when his slave is freed. But the argument fairly
applies only in cases in which a slave is drafted for military service,
and returned to slavery when that service terminates. In case of wholesale
taking and cancelling of life-long claims to service, a fair construction
of the Constitution may be held to require, as a general rule, that just
compensation should be made to the claimants.

2. But to Congress, by the Constitution, is expressly given the power to
declare the punishment of treason, without any limitation as to the
confiscation of personal property, including, of course, claims in the
nature of choses in action. Congress may, therefore, take and cancel
claims to service owned by Rebel slave-owners without any compensation
whatever. Under the feudal law, a serf, owing service to a noble guilty of
treason, became, because of his master's guilt, released from such
service.

3. If, because of the present insurrection, set on foot by claimants of
service or labor, such claims, from precariousness of tenure or otherwise,
have diminished in market-value, that diminution may be properly taken
into account in estimating just compensation.

These various considerations converge to this,--that a Preamble and Act of
Emancipation, somewhat in the terms following, may be constitutionally
enacted.

    _A Bill to emancipate Persons of African Descent held to Service
    or Labor in certain of the United States._

    Whereas there is now flagrant, in certain of the United States, an
    insurrection of proportions so gigantic that there has been
    required, to hold it in check, an increase of the army and navy of
    the United States to an extent seldom paralleled in the history of
    the world;

    And whereas, because of the said insurrection, the execution of
    the laws for collecting taxes, and of various other laws of the
    United States, heretofore enacted by the Congress in the just
    exercise of their constitutional powers, has been, for more than
    two years past, and still is, obstructed and defeated throughout
    the insurrectionary States;

    And whereas it is the right and duty of the Congress to make all
    laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into
    execution the said constitutional powers;

    And whereas the said insurrectionary portions of the Union consist
    exclusively of States wherein persons of African descent are held
    in large numbers to involuntary service or labor,--the white
    inhabitants thereof basing their insurrectionary acts upon the
    assumption that the security and perpetuation of such involuntary
    servitude require the disruption of the national unity, and the
    establishment, on a portion of the domain of the United States, of
    a separate and independent government;

    And whereas a large portion of the said persons of African
    descent, so held in servitude, contribute greatly, so long as such
    involuntary services are thus exacted from them, to the aid and
    comfort of the said insurrectionists, laboring for their behoof on
    their fortifications, and for the supply of their commissariat,
    and otherwise giving strength and support to various
    insurrectionary acts;

    And whereas, in an emergency so urgent as that which is now patent
    to the world, it is the duty of the Congress to place at the
    disposal of the Executive branch of the Government, for the common
    defence, the utmost power, civil and military, of the country, and
    to employ every means not forbidden by the usages of civilized
    warfare, and not in violation of the Constitution, that is placed
    within their reach, in order to repress and to bring to a speedy
    termination the present protracted and desolating insurrection;

    And whereas it appears from the above recitals, that the
    existence, throughout certain of the United States, of a
    labor-system which recognizes the claims of one race of men to the
    involuntary services of another race (always a moral wrong) has
    now shown itself to be destructive of the supremacy of the laws,
    and a constant menace to the Government, and that the continuance
    of such labor-system imminently jeopardizes the integrity of the
    Union, and has become incompatible with the domestic tranquillity
    of the country;

    And whereas it has thus become evident that claims to the
    involuntary service or labor of persons of African descent ought
    not to be possessed by any inhabitant of the United States, but
    should, in the just exercise of the power which inheres in every
    independent government to protect itself from destruction by
    seizing and destroying any private property of its citizens or
    subjects which imperils its own existence, be taken, as for public
    use, from their present possessors, and abrogated and
    annulled,--just compensation being made to so many of the said
    possessors of such claims as may demand it, and as may by their
    loyalty be entitled thereto, for the claims so abrogated and
    annulled; therefore,

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in
    Congress assembled, that from and after the ---- day of ---- next
    all claims to the services or labor of persons of African descent,
    who shall then be held to involuntary service or labor in any of
    the States of the Union under the laws thereof, be and the same
    are hereby taken by the Government of the United States. And the
    said claims are hereby abrogated and annulled. And all persons of
    African descent within the United States, who shall, on the
    said ---- day of ---- next, be held to involuntary service or
    labor, except for crime of which the party shall have been legally
    convicted, shall be released and emancipated from such claims in
    as full and complete a manner as if the same had never existed;
    the said release and emancipation to take effect from and after
    the said ---- day of ----, thenceforth and forevermore.

    And be it further enacted, that the faith of the United States be
    and the same is hereby pledged for the payment of just
    compensation to all persons who shall, on the said ---- day
    of ----, hold such claims to service or labor; provided, that such
    persons shall make application for such compensation in the form
    and manner hereinafter prescribed, and provided further, that said
    persons shall have been, throughout the present insurrection, and
    shall continue to the close of the same, true and loyal to the
    Government of the United States, and shall not, directly or
    indirectly, have incited to insurrectionary acts, or given aid or
    comfort to any persons engaged in the insurrection aforesaid.

    [Here should follow provisions in regard to the manner of
    application, the mode and rate of compensation, etc.]

It will probably be found that the number of slaves for the remuneration
of whose lost services applications will be made by loyal claimants, under
such an act, will scarcely reach the number emancipated in 1834 by Great
Britain, which was about seven hundred and seventy thousand; and that the
sum paid by England to colonial slave-owners, namely about a hundred
millions of dollars, (the probable cost of eight weeks war,) will suffice
as just compensation for all the services due to loyal claimants thus
taken and cancelled.[10]

    [Footnote 10: The exact number of slaves emancipated in the British
    colonies was 770,390; and the total amount of indemnity was
    £19,950,066 sterling.]

An act couched in the terms here proposed could not be declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, without a shameless encroachment on
legislative ground, nor without a reckless reversal of principles as well
established, and of as high authority, as any which form the basis of
constitutional law.

Those who demur to the passage of an act which meets the great difficulty
before us broadly, effectually, honestly, and in accordance with the
dictates of Christianity and civilization, would do well to consider
whether, in the progress of this insurrectionary upheaval, we have not
reached a point at which there is no prudent alternative left. By the
President's Proclamation some three millions of slaves have been already
declared free. Sundry laws of Congress have emancipated several hundred
thousands more. There remain legally enslaved probably less than three
quarters of a million,--chiefly scattered along a narrow border-strip that
is coterminous, North and South, with Freedom or Emancipation,--partly
dotted in isolated parishes or counties, surrounded by enfranchised
slaves. Can we maintain in perpetuity so anomalous a condition of things?
Clearly not. At every step embarrassments innumerable obstruct our
progress. No industry, no human sagacity, would suffice to determine the
ten thousand conflicting questions that must arise out of such a chaos.
Must the history of each negro be followed back, so as to determine his
_status_, whether slave or free? If negroes emancipated in insurrectionary
States are sold as slaves into Border States, or into excepted parishes or
counties, can we expect to trace the transaction? If slaves owned in
Border States, or in excepted parishes or counties, are sold to loyal men
in insurrectionary States, are they still slaves? or do they become free?
Are we to admit, or to deny, the constitutionality of Border-State laws,
which arrest, and imprison as vagrants, and sell into slavery to pay
expenses of arrest and imprisonment, free negro emigrants from
insurrectionary States?[11] But why multiply instances? The longer this
twilight of groping transition lasts, it will be only confusion the worse
confounded.

    [Footnote 11: If, hereafter, Attorney-General Bates's decision,
    that a free negro is a citizen, be sustained by the Supreme Court,
    then, should the question come up before it, the State laws above
    referred to will be declared unconstitutional. But meanwhile they
    have not been so declared, and are in force.

    The negro-excluding laws of Indiana and Illinois are in the same
    category.]

We cannot stand still. Shall we recede? We break faith solemnly plighted;
we submit, before the world, to base humiliation; we bow down to a system
which the voice of all Christendom condemns; we abandon the struggle for
nationality, and consent, for ages, perhaps, to a dismembered country.
Shall we advance? There is but one path--the plain, truth-lighted, onward
path--to victory and to peace.

       *       *       *       *       *



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.



_Substance and Shadow: or, Morality and Religion in their Relation to
Life._ An Essay on the Physics of Creation. By HENRY JAMES. Boston:
Ticknor & Fields.


Any one tolerably conversant with either the religion or the philosophy of
the last twenty-five years, as displayed in the current literature, must
have been convinced that both had left their ancient moorings, never again
to find them, and were floating about perilously in quest of a new
anchorage. We read the "Essays and Reviews" and "The Pentateuch and the
Book of Joshua critically Examined," and the replications long-drawn-out
from High Church and Low, with a decided impression that the combatants
are skirmishing on an immense ice-field, which is drifting them all
together into other and unknown seas. What cares any man profoundly
conscious of the wants both of the intellect and the heart whether Moses
wrote the Pentateuch or not, and if so, whether he was as accomplished a
geologist as Professors Buckland and Lyell? Admit that the whole letter of
Scripture comes from God, even to the vowel-points, by what laws and
methods shall we expound it so as to put an end to the internecine war
between Faith and Reason, between Religion and Philosophy?

We say without reserve, that this book of Mr. James's, if we except a
small and unpretending treatise by the same author, published a few years
since, on the "Nature of Evil," is the first we have met with, in the
range of modern religious controversy, which goes to the heart and marrow
of the subject.

To see into what straits we had been brought, call to mind the essentials
of the Kantian and Scotch philosophies, which have dominated the German
and English mind, and partially the French mind, for the last quarter of a
century. Kant resolves all our knowledge into the science of phenomena.
Our faculties give us nothing but the phenomena of consciousness; and the
phenomena of consciousness are not noumenal existence, or existence _in
se_. Nor have we any right to reason from phenomena to noumena, or to say
that the former authenticate the latter. We know only the Ego. The Non-Ego
lies on the other side of a yawning chasm,--if, indeed, there _is_
anything on the other side, which is doubtful. The Ego becomes the centre
of the Universe, and God, who comes under the Non-Ego, lies somewhere on
the circumference, and is only yielded to us as the product of our moral
instinct. Sir William Hamilton, following Reid, asserts a natural Realism,
or noumenal existence within the phenomenal; but he utterly denies that
either of these authenticates the Infinite and Absolute. He and his
disciple, Dr. Mansel, labor immensely to prove that there can be no such
thing as a philosophy of the Infinite, and that to attempt such a
philosophy leads us into inextricable confusion and self-contradiction.

In thus degrading Philosophy, unchurching her ignominiously, as fit only
to deal with the Finite,--in other words, making her the lackey of mere
Science,--they fancy they are doing famous service to Revelation. Very
well,--we are ready to say,--having scourged Philosophy out of the temple,
will you please, Gentlemen, to conduct us yourselves towards its hallowed
shrine? If Philosophy cannot yield us a knowledge of the Infinite, we take
it that Revelation, as you apprehend it, can. We, poor prodigals, have
been feeding long enough upon husks that the swine do eat, and crave a
little nourishing food.--The answer we get is, that Revelation does not
propose to give us any such fare. Not any more than Philosophy does
Revelation disclose to us the Infinite. It only gives us finite
conceptions and formulas about the Infinite. The gulf between us and God
yawns wide as ever, and is eternal. We must worship still an unknown God,
as the heathen did. But we have this consolation,--that we have
creed-articles which we can get by heart, though ignorant of what they
mean, and under what these philosophers call a "regulative" religion
repeat our paternosters to the end of time.

"These be thy gods, O Philosophy!" exclaims Dr. Mansel to the German
Pantheists, pointing to the bloodless spectres which they have evoked in
place of Christianity. "These be thy gods, O Scotch Metaphysics!" the
Pantheists might reply, when called upon to worship the wooden images in
which avowedly no pulse of the Infinite and Absolute ever beats or ever
can beat.

Mr. James's whole argument, as he deals with the German and Scotch
philosophies, is profound and masterly. He uses two sets of weapons, both
of them with admirable skill. One set is awfully destructive. He clears
off the rubbish of the pseudo-metaphysics with a logic so remorseless that
we are tempted sometimes to cry for mercy. But, on the whole, Mr. James is
right here. If men pretending to add to the stock of human knowledge
treacherously knock away its foundations, and bring down the whole
structure into a heap of rubbish, leaving us, if not killed outright,
unhoused in a limbo of Atheism,--or if men pretending to hold the keys of
knowledge will not go in themselves, and shut the doors in our faces when
we seek to enter, no matter how sharply their treachery and charlatanry
are exposed, however famous are the names they bear.

But Mr. James is quite as much constructive as destructive. He shows not
only that there must be a philosophy of the Infinite, but that herein is
its high office and glory. Sense deals only with facts,--science deals
with relations, or groups phenomena; and when these usurp the place of
philosophy, they turn things exactly upside down, or mistake the centre
for the circumference. This is the glaring fault both of the German and
the Scotch metaphysicians, that they swamp philosophy in mere science; and
hence they grovel in the Finite, and muddle everything they touch even
there. Revelation, on the other hand, does unfold to us a true philosophy
of the Infinite. It shows how the Infinite is contained in the Finite, the
Absolute in the Relative, not spatially or by continuation, but by exact
correspondency, as the soul is contained in the body. Mr. James
demonstrates the supreme absurdity of the notion of noumenal existence, or
of any created existence which has life _in se_. God alone has life in
Himself. All things else are only forms and receptacles of life, sheerly
phenomenal, except so far forth as He is their substance. The notion of
Creation as something made out of nothing, having life afterwards _in se_,
and so holding an external relation to Deity, falsifies all the
theologies, and degrades them into mere natural religions." It is the
mother-fallacy," says Mr. James, "which breeds all these petty fallacies
in the popular understanding." Those familiar with Dr. Mansel's argument
will see that he has not the remotest conception of Creation, except as an
exploit of God in time and space, or of the Infinite, except as an
unbounded aggregation of finites. That God reposed alone through all the
past eternities, but roused some day and sent forth a shout, or six
successive shouts, and spoke things out of nothing into "noumenal"
existence, were absurd enough, to use Mr. James's nervous English, "to
nourish a standing army of Tom Paines into annual fatness." The utter
childishness of the theological quarrels over the first chapter of Genesis
is obvious enough, so long as both parties swamp the spirit in the letter,
or deny that the Finite can reveal the Infinite.

Following out his favorite postulate, that God alone has life in Himself,
and all things else are only phenomena of life, Mr. James evolves the
doctrine of Creation, of Man and Nature, and of Redemption, steering clear
alike of the shoals of Atheism and the devouring jaws of Pantheism. In his
constructive argument he draws upon the vast wealth of Swedenborg, and
herein, as we conceive, he has done a rare service to our literature. Both
the popular and ecclesiastical conception of Swedenborg would be
ludicrously, if they were not shamefully inadequate. He has been known but
little, except as a ghost-seer, or as a Samson grinding painfully in
sectarian mills. Mr. James has done something like justice to his broad
humanity, and his incomparably profound and exhaustive philosophy. It was
Kant who first called him a ghost-seer; but while Kant was doing his best
to turn all realities into the ghastliest of spectres, and remove all the
underpinning of faith, till the heavens themselves should tumble through,
Swedenborg was laying the foundation of all knowledge on the solid floors
of Nature, subordinating sense to science, science to philosophy,
philosophy to revelation, each serving as the impregnable support of its
superior, and all filled and quickened with the life of God, and lighted
up with those divine illuminations in whose illustrious morning the first
and faintest cock-crowing would scare the ghosts of the Kantian philosophy
out of the universe.

We have regarded Mr. James for some time as among the first of American
essayists. There are few writers whose thought is more worthy to be
spoken, or whose grand and nervous English displays it in finer shades and
nobler proportions. The present volume is his crowning work, and he has
coined his life-blood into it. But as honest critics we have some grounds
of quarrel with him. A man has no right to be obscure who can make words
so flexible and luminous as he can. In the present volume, his readers who
here make his first acquaintance will inevitably misconstrue him, simply
because he alters the fundamental nomenclature of religion and chiefly
Ritualism, and we find only by the most wide-awake searching that he means
anything else. Morality means the Selfhood, not social justice, not that
which binds the individual in his relations to society and to humanity.
Very true, religion has operated mainly with precatory rites for the
purpose of deflecting God's wrath, or, as Mr. James would say, with some
sneaking design upon His bounty. And morality has been the starched
buckram in which men walk and strut for distinguished consideration. But
religion in its true and native meaning is that which binds man to God in
loving unison, and morality covers all the relations which bind a man to
his neighbor, not assumed as decorations of the selfhood, but with all
divine charities flowing through them. So Swedenborg uses the word
morality. See his noble chapter on Charity in the "True Christian
Religion." And for ourselves, we have not the least idea of abandoning
these honored words either to superstitious formalists or handsome
scoundrels.

We have no such respect for the Devil as Mr. James has expressed for him,
even when transformed into the gentleman and utilized for beneficent
purposes. Nor do we see how the gap in Mr. James's argument is to be
closed up, while he avows his belief in the eternity of the hells, and yet
holds that we are _ab intra_ the unqualified creations of God. Again, we
should take exception to his favorite position, or, rather, the batteries
he opens from it, that saints and scoundrels are not different in the
sight of God, allowing the sense which alone, of course, he intends,
different _in se_.

But the merits of the book, as one of the noblest and profoundest
contributions to philosophy which have been produced, are undeniable. Mr.
James possesses two qualities in very rare combination, the power of
subtile metaphysical analysis and the power of picturesque representation,
so that, while he tasks the thinking faculty of his readers to the utmost,
he chains their attention by the fascination of his rhetoric. His sturdy
honesty is everywhere apparent, and his success the most complete which we
have yet witnessed in rescuing Philosophy from her degrading bondage to
Sense, and restoring her to the divine service of Revelation.



_The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man, with Remarks on
Theories of the Origin of Species by Variation._ By SIR CHARLES LYELL,
F.R.S., Author of "The Principles of Geology," "Elements of Geology,"
etc., etc. Illustrated by Wood-Cuts. 8vo. Philadelphia: George W. Childs.


Human bones from time to time have been discovered associated with those
of extinct hyenas and cavern-bears, and specimens of them were in the
Museum of the Garden of Plants in Paris as long ago as 1829; but there was
then a doubt among geologists as to the human bones being coeval with the
bones with which they were associated, it being supposed that they might
have been washed into crevices of the rocks in which the bone-breccias are
found, and there, being incrusted with carbonate of lime, had the false
appearance of being as ancient as the fossil bones of extinct animals.

The indefatigable labors of Prestwich, in the basin of the Somme and among
the gravel-beds of Picardy, first called the attention of geologists to
the fact that works of men's hands were also found in undisturbed alluvial
deposits of high antiquity, and he had the honor of bringing to light
proofs of the existence of man in Europe in more remote times than had
been previously admitted, and of demonstrating the stone age of France.
Goss, Hébert, and Lartet followed in the same track, and added many
valuable facts, and a host of other laborers in the same field have since
appeared. So extensive have been the discoveries of the works of man
buried with the bones of the _Elephas primigenius_ and of cavern-bears and
extinct hyenas, that we are forced to recognize the fact of the
coexistence of man with those ancient animals, for the occurrence of
deposits containing the bones of the two cannot any longer be regarded as
doubtful; and certainly stone tools fashioned by man have been found so
widely spread in the ancient alluviums and deposits of the post-Pliocene
age, as to remove all doubt of the fact, and to destroy the objection that
they might be local accidents of an equivocal character.

More recently,--namely, within four or five years,--the discovery of the
habitations of lost races of men on the borders of the Swiss lakes, and of
remains of various articles which those people once used,--tools, weapons,
ornaments, bones of animals they fed upon, seeds of plants they cultivated
and consumed,--has given a new impetus to these researches into the
antiquity of the human race. Borings into the alluvial deposits of the
Nile have proved the existence of man in that valley more than thirty
thousand years ago, as estimated by the known rate of deposit of the
alluvium of the Nile. Considerations as to the origin and spread of
languages also seem to require a much greater antiquity for the human race
than has been popularly allowed; and geologists have always claimed
myriads of years as required for the sedimentary formations of the globe.
Sir Charles Lyell, ever an active collector of geological facts, and an
excellent writer on the science of Geology, has engaged with his usual
zeal in verifying the researches of the French, Swiss, and German
geologists, and has written a very readable book on these new revelations
concerning the ancient history of the human race. It is the best English
presentation of the subject, and is written in a style that every one can
read and understand.

We regret, however, that he has abandoned his former views as to the
persistency of species, and has adopted Darwin's theory of transmutation
and development by variation and natural relation, and must say, after
carefully reading his book, that he has not given any geological proofs of
the correctness of Darwin's opinions, but, like that distinguished writer,
he is obliged to take refuge behind the deficiency of the geological
record, and to suppose facts and proofs may hereafter be discovered, when
few are now known to favor the new hypothesis. We can see no more reason
why a giraffe should have had a long neck, because he wished to crop the
leaves of tall trees, than that mankind should have become winged, because
in all times both children and men have wished to fly. Nor do we think Mr.
Wallace's opinion any better founded, that, owing to a dearth of leaves on
the lower branches of trees, all the short-necked giraffes died out, and
left the long-necked ones to continue the species. This theory reminds us
of the "_astronomical expirimint_" proposed by Father Tom to his
"_Howliness_" the Pope, of the goose and the turkey-cock picking the stars
from the sky. As to the ape-like skull of Engis Cave, and the human
skeleton found near Dusseldorf in a cavern, we think it would not be
difficult to find full as bad skulls on living shoulders, and equally bad
forms in skeletons now walking about. To us they are no evidence that the
first man was a gorilla or a chimpanzee, nor does his or Darwin's argument
convince us that all vertebrates were once fishes. This question, however,
is still mooted; and we have no objections that people should amuse
themselves in thus tracing back their ancestry.

To this class of inquirers Sir Charles Lyell's book will furnish food for
reflection; and they will see that even so enthusiastic a writer as this
new convert to the Darwinian doctrine can furnish but very slender support
to it from his geologic lore.

There is much interesting matter in the book besides the generalizations
we object to, and enough to render it welcome to the library of any one
interested in the study of Geology and of the antiquity of the animal
creation.



_Spurgeon's Sermons._ Preached and revised by the Rev. C.H. SPURGEON.
Seventh Series. New York: Sheldon and Co.


Spurgeon is emphatically of the earth, earthy. This we say, not as
anything against him intellectually or spiritually, but simply as
indicating the material ballast, which in this man is grosser and heavier
than in most men, pulling forever against his sails, and absolutely
forbidding that freer movement of the imagination which usually belongs to
minds of a power equal in degree to his. Not that this freedom flows
necessarily out of a great degree of mental power, or by any organic law
is associated with what we term _genius_. Every one would admit that
Luther was a man of genius; yet Luther was in this respect no better off
than Spurgeon,--he was as totally destitute of wings, of the possibility
of aërial flight. His power we consider to be far higher than that of
Spurgeon; but this we argue from the fact, that, although equally with
Spurgeon he was excluded from the sovereignty of the air, although he was
equally denied both the faculty to create and the capacity to receive
subtile speculation, he had what Spurgeon has _not_, an almighty,
irresistible _impetus_ in his movements,--movements which, though
_centripetal_, forever seeking the earth, and forever trailing their
mountain-weight of glory along the line of and through the midst of
flesh-and-blood realities, yet never found any impediment in all their
course, but swept the ground like a whirlwind. This distinction between
Spurgeon and Luther in the matter of _strength_ is an important one; and
it is, moreover, a distinction which may easily be derived--even if no
other source lay open to us--from a palpable difference between their
faces. But the resemblance between these two men as to tendencies and
modes of operation is still more important, and especially as helping us
to draw the line between two distinct orders of human genius. Upon this
resemblance we desire to dwell at some length.

Luther and Spurgeon are both grossly _realistic_. They are both
_groundlings_. In their art, they build after the simple, but grand style
of the Cyclops; they have no upward reach; with no delicate steppings do
they haunt the clouds; because they _will_ not soar, they draw the sky
down low about them, and, wrapping themselves about with its thunders and
its sunlights, play with these mysteries as with magnificent toys. In them
there is no subtilizing of human affections, of human fears, or of human
faith. All these maintain their alliance magnetically, by channels seen or
unseen, but forever _felt_, with the earth, and, Antæus-like, from the
earth they derive all their peculiar strength as sentiments of the human
heart.

How widely different are these men from Bacon, Kant, or Fichte,--or, to
compare them more directly with the artists of literature, by what chasms
of space are they removed from Milton, Shakspeare, and even from Homer,
who, although he was a _realist_, yet had eagles' wings, and was at home
on the earth and in the clouds, amongst heroes, amongst the light-footed
nymphs, and amongst the Olympian gods! In these latter the movement of
imagination is _centrifugal_, it sustains itself in the loftiest
altitudes, and in the most evanescent and fleecy shapes of thought it
finds the materials from which it wreathes its climbing, "cloud-capped"
citadels. The opposite order of genius is, as we have previously called
it, _centripetal_, gravitating earthward.

Both orders are to be found among those celebrated as pulpit
orators,--all, indeed, who have ranked as powers in this department of
human effort belonging eminently, nay, we may almost say _exclusively_, to
one or the other. If we take Spurgeon, Whitefield, Bunyan, and Luther as
representatives of one order, we shall have also representatives of the
other in such orators as Jeremy Taylor,--the Shakspeare of the
pulpit,--and, though in a very different sort, Henry Ward Beecher. That in
which these two classes of orators differ is mainly the plane of their
movements,--the one hardly lifted above the earth's surface or above the
level of sensibility, while the other rises into the sphere of the ideal
and impalpable. In the latter class there are vast differences, but
uniformly intellect is prominent above sensibility; human faith and love
are _exhalant_, aspirant, and rendered of a vapory subtilty by the
interpenetration with them of the Olympian sunlight of thought and
imagination. In Beecher this ideality is of a _philosophic_ sort. Thought
in him is forever dividing and illustrating truth; and that which is his
great peculiarity is that he is at the same time so strictly
philosophical, even to a metaphysical nicety, and so very popular. We have
heard him, in a single discourse, give utterance to so much philosophic
truth relating to theology, as, if it were spread out over a dozen sermons
by doctors in divinity whom we have also heard, would be capital
sufficient to secure a professor's chair in any theological seminary in
the country. Yet he is never abundant in analytic statements of truth:
these in any one of his sermons are "few"--as they should be--"and far
between": the greater portion of his time and the most mighty efforts of
his dramatic power being devoted to the irradiation and illustration of
these truths. This is the fertility of his genius, that, out of the roots
which philosophy furnishes, it can, through its mysterious broodings,
bring forth into the breathing warmth of life organisms so delicate and
perfect. Here is the secret of his popularity. Jeremy Taylor, without
being at all metaphysical, without ever diving down to examine the
beginnings of things in Nature or in men's hearts, had an infinitely more
fertile imagination, and the result was therefore more various and
multiplex; it reached a higher point in the graduated scale of ideality,
it was the _afflatus_ of a diviner inspiration, and was more akin to the
effects of the most exalted poetry: yet it was of far less value as
something which was to operate on men's minds than the result of Beecher's
more pointed, more scintillating discourse of reason. The fact is, that
both Henry Ward Beecher and Jeremy Taylor must of necessity depend, for
any beneficial effects which they may seek to bring about in the lives of
their hearers, upon certain _intellectual_ qualities already existing in
their audience. Even in order to be appreciated, they must have at least
partially educated audiences. Give either of them Whitefield's auditory,
and these effects become impossible. Here we come upon the inert masses,
which cannot by any possibility be induced to ascend one single stair in
any upward movement, but must be swayed this way or that way upon a
thoroughly dead level.

It is just here that the _realistic_ preaching of the Spurgeon school is
available, and nothing else is. Here things must be taken just as they are
found,--must be taken and presented in their natural coloring, in their
roughest shape. Polish the thought here, or let it be anything save the
strictest rescript from Nature, and you make it useless for your purposes.
Here it is not the crystal that is wanted, but the unshapely boulder. And
provided you wield your weapons after a masterly fashion, it matters very
little what your manner or style may be as regards the graces of
composition; if only a giant, you may be the most unseemly and awkward one
of all Jötunheim.

Now these elements of success Spurgeon has in an eminent degree. He deals
not simply with realities of the grossest sort, but with those which are
forever present to common humanity; he seeks to move men to religious
feelings through precisely the same means that they are daily moved by,
the same things which daily excite whatever of thought is transacted in
their cramped-up world of mind. This is particularly evident in the
material structure upon which his sermons proceed.

Preaching from the text, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us
unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered
awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you," he causes the
whole matter to be indelibly impressed on their minds by the very
mechanical comparison of Perfection, Establishment, Strengthening, and
Settling to four sparkling jewels set in the jet-black foil of past
suffering. This is just that kind of illustration which his audience
craves. It matters not whether he meets this audience through a vague or a
transparent medium, provided the vagueness or the transparency be common
both to the speaker and his hearers. Nothing, for instance, could have
better accomplished the end designed, yet nothing could be more vague,
than such an appeal as the following:--"Have ye never on your bed dreamed
a dream, when your thoughts roamed at large and a bit was taken from your
imagination, when, stretching all your wings, _your soul floated through
the Infinite, grouping strange and marvellous things together, so that the
dream rolled on in something like supernatural splendor_? But, on a
sudden, you were awakened, and you have regretted hours afterwards that
the dream was never concluded. _And what is a Christian, if he does not
arrive at perfection, but an unfinished dream?_" Now there is nothing more
universal among the most unintellectual of the children of earth than just
this sort of mystical reverie, thus grand and thus inconclusive, where the
mind, moved, perhaps, to this enthusiastic rapture by that infusion of
animal force which comes from a hearty dinner, remaining always just in
the same place, seems to wheel away, it knows not whither, but seemingly,
and as it flatters itself, into the regions of the Infinite. Really there
is no mental movement at all,--nothing but an outgoing through the myriad
channels of animal sensibility; yet there is always associated, in such
minds, with reveries like these a spiritual elevation approaching to
inspiration. "Oh," think they, "if the dream might only be completed,
_that_ would be the consummation of a divinely spiritual being!" On this
association Spurgeon founds a comparison, which, though utterly false when
analyzed, is yet no less effective as illustrating the particular idea
which he wishes to convey. Such associations, where he cannot correct
them, it is the business of the popular preacher to inherit as if they
were his own, and to build upon as if they were gospel truths.

Spurgeon, again, is continually indulging in the most startling
suppositions, and just those which are most commonly entertained by vulgar
minds,--as, for instance, the supposition of some one, himself or some
unfortunate hearer, dropping down dead in his chamber. And, in general, he
makes abundant use of that apprehension of death, which is far stronger in
the uneducated than in the more refined, as a source from which he may
gather thunderbolt after thunderbolt with which to startle the indifferent
and hardened heart. What matter though the sentiment to which he appeals
be a perverted sentiment? what matter how severely wrenched out of its
normal channel? if through this tortuous channel something of the divine
truth reaches the awakened conscience, then is there hope, that, through
divine grace entering with the truth, all these perversions and anomalies
of sinful nature may be set right, and the soul again arrive at celestial
harmony with the universe.

The method of such preaching is as organic, considering the circumstances,
as that of Beecher's preaching. The only difference is, that the latter
finds an audience that through intellectual facility is able to follow him
in any path; while Spurgeon, on the other hand, finds his audience
destitute of any such facilities, yet finds them facile in every direction
where he can bring into alliance with his power their emotions or their
peculiar modes of mental action.

Nor do the grosser realities of the world, as present ever with the
hearer, and as present ever with the preacher, at all disturb the
efficiency of human faith: indeed, they form the most beautiful relief
upon which faith is ever to be discovered, for thus is that which in its
supernatural alliance is entirely heavenly seen shining through the lowest
bases of our nature, which in their alliance are everlastingly associated
with earth.



_A Treatise on the American Law of Easements and Servitudes._ By EMORY
WASHBURN, LL.D. Philadelphia: George W. Childs. pp. 640.


"Easements" is no easy subject for a law-writer. In its development he
will be thrown, to a great extent, upon his own resources in collating and
unfolding the topics, for the literature upon the subject existing in our
own language is so meagre that the form of its presentation has not been
cast in any conventional mould. We have heretofore had no American
treatise whatever upon the general subject, and the English bar has
furnished us only with that of Gale and Whately, which almost wholly
ignores the American cases. It is evident, therefore, that it required an
original and fresh intellectual effort to gather together the hundreds of
adjudications scattered through our various State reports, classify them,
compare them, study them, and construct a homogeneous and extensive
analysis of their doctrine. This sort of distillation, if we may so speak,
from the crude mass, has been most thoroughly performed by the author of
the work before us; and the result is, that, instead of merely _making_ a
book, he has indeed _written_ one. In reading it, we recall the great
authoritative treatises of the profession, such as Abbott on Shipping, or
Sugden on Vendors, and we are also the more disgusted with the hotchpots
of the "United States Digest," called law-books.

Professor Washburn is fairly before the public as the author of the
"Treatise on the American Law of Real Property," and his merits as a
writer have thus become so well known as to render any new commendation
superfluous. His style is plain, clear, and compact. He addresses himself
directly to the subject of which he is treating, spinning no curious
refinements, and admitting no irrelevant digressions. Nor does he keep the
reader oscillating between text and notes, in a state of dizzying,
unstable equilibrium which would task an acrobate. There be books we have
seen printed, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it
profanely, in which the text was so shingled over with layers of notes, or
the notes were so underpinned by a slight propping of text, that it was
difficult to say, in the language of Easements, which was the servient and
which the dominant tenement. Our author's volume, we are happy to say, is
not thus bifurcated. His law is in his text, and his sources are in his
notes.

There is another feature which we dare not overlook, and that is, the
hearty conscientiousness with which the writer does his work. He takes
nothing at secondhand, but goes straightway to the authorities. It begets
confidence in a writer, when he is enabled to say for himself, as the
Professor apologetically does in his Preface, "It has been my aim to
examine for myself every reported case which bore sufficiently upon the
topic under consideration to warrant a reference to it as an authority";
and when we are further told that "the cases thus examined considerably
exceed a thousand in number," we may form some conception of the great
industry as well as the rare literary honesty of the writer.

The arrangement of the book is admirable. At the commencement of each
chapter we have the titles of the various sections, and each successive
section is introduced by a statement of the contents of each clause. This
facilitates search, though it necessitates the cumbrous mode of reference
adopted in the foot-notes to chapter, section, and placitum.

It would be easy for us to prolong this notice, but we must content
ourselves with an earnest commendation of the work to the profession. It
is literally indispensable to the general practitioner, not merely because
it is the only book which contains the collected law on the subject as
administered in this country, but also because, if it had a dozen
competitors, its intrinsic value would be all the more fully developed by
the comparison.



_The Astronomy of the Bible._ By O.M. MITCHELL, LL.D. 12mo. New York
Blakeman & Mason.


This work contains seven Lectures, in which the distinguished and lamented
author has undertaken to prove not only that the science of Astronomy does
not discredit the inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures, but that it
affords many clear evidences that they are a Divine Revelation. The first
demonstrates, against the Atheist, the being of God. The second adduces
evidence that the God of the universe is the Jehovah of the Bible. The
third considers the cosmogony revealed by the present state of astronomy;
and the fourth compares the Mosaic account of creation with the theory
advanced in the preceding lecture. The fifth is devoted to the ancient and
venerable Book of Job with reference to the astronomical allusions it
contains. The sixth is on the astronomical miracles of the Bible; and the
seventh is on the language of the Bible with reference to astronomy.

This brief statement of the subjects discussed is sufficient to show that
the work is one of no ordinary character. The interest the publication of
these lectures will awaken will be intensified by the considerations, that
they contain the matured views of one of the first astronomers of the age,
on a subject of transcendent importance,--and that they are the last
contributions to the cause of science and religion from his gifted pen.
They were delivered within the last few years, in our principal cities, to
very large and deeply interested audiences; and their appearance in print
just now is most timely. The question respecting the relations of
Christianity and Science to each other is now exciting a very general and
intense interest. The Bible was written during a period in the history of
the world when true science was almost unknown. The writers of the several
books which compose the sacred volume, with scarcely an exception, made no
pretensions to scientific investigation; and they did not so much _reason
out_ as _announce_ great truths and principles intimately related to
almost every department of human knowledge. These venerable writings have
been and now are subjected to a test which no other professed revelation
has been able to bear. If, then, it shall be found that their direct
teachings and their numerous references to the works of Nature harmonize
with the averments of science in this age of its greatest
achievements--still more, if it shall appear that the different sciences,
unknown when they were written, strongly corroborate their teachings,
direct and indirect,--it will be difficult for candid minds to resist the
conviction that their origin is Divine.

No one of the sciences was less understood, in those remote ages, than
Astronomy; and yet to no part of the works of Nature does the Bible make
more frequent references than to the heavenly bodies. In this department,
therefore, if anywhere, we might expect to find discrepancy between the
teachings of science and revelation. But the impartial reader will rise
from the perusal of this volume, not only with his faith in the
inspiration of the Scriptures confirmed, but with the conviction that the
sublime science of Astronomy affords a far more just conception of the
pregnant meaning of the eloquent language of Job, David, and Isaiah, than
without it we could attain.

These lectures will be regarded as the more valuable, because they are the
voluntary contribution of a Christian layman, as well as of a man of
eminent scientific attainments, to the great argument on which depends the
religious faith of mankind. Possessing a mind of extraordinary powers,
trained under the promptings of an intense thirst for knowledge to patient
and thorough investigation, he made for himself a reputation which secures
the strongest confidence in his ability to treat the momentous and
difficult questions he undertook to discuss in these lectures; whilst the
remarkable clearness of his views, his brilliant imagination, and an
extraordinary affluence of language and felicity of expression, both
enlighten the understanding and gratify the most cultivated taste.
Professor Mitchell did more than any other man to popularize the science
of Astronomy; and the use he has made of it in defence of Christianity
seems a fitting termination of his noble labors.

       *       *       *       *       *



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Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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