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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 70, August, 1863
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 70, August, 1863" ***

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THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

       *       *       *       *       *

VOL. XII.--AUGUST, 1863.--NO. LXX.

       *       *       *       *       *

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

       *       *       *       *       *



AN AMERICAN IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.


Having in a former number of this magazine attempted to give some
account of the House of Commons, and to present some sketches of its
leading members,[1] I now design to introduce my readers to the House of
Lords.

[Footnote 1: _Atlantic Monthly_ for December, 1861.]

It is obviously unnecessary to repeat so much of the previous
description as applies to the general external and internal appearance
of the New Palace of Westminster. It only remains to speak of the hall
devoted to the sessions of the House of Lords. And certainly it is an
apartment deserving a more extended notice than our limits will allow.
As the finest specimen of Gothic civil architecture in the world,
perfect in its proportions, beautiful and appropriate in its
decorations, the frescoes perpetuating some of the most striking scenes
in English history, the stained glass windows representing the Kings and
Queens of the United Kingdom from the accession of William the Conqueror
down to the present reign, the niches filled with effigies of the Barons
who wrested Magna Charta from King John, the ceiling glowing with gold
and colors presenting different national symbols and devices in most
elaborate workmanship and admirable intricacy of design, it is
undeniably worthy of the high purpose to which it is dedicated.

The House of Lords also contains the throne occupied by the reigning
sovereign at the opening and prorogation of Parliament. Perhaps its more
appropriate designation would be a State-Chair. In general form and
outline it is substantially similar to the chairs in which the
sovereigns of England have for centuries been accustomed to sit at their
coronations. We need hardly add that no expense has been spared to give
to the throne such intrinsic value, and to adorn it with such emblems of
national significance, as to furnish renewed evidence of England's
unwavering loyalty to the reigning house.

In pointing out what is peculiar to the House of Lords, I am aware that
there is danger of falling into the error of stating what is already
familiar to some of my readers. And yet a traveller's narrative is not
always tiresome to the tourist who has himself visited the same
localities and witnessed the same scenes. If anxious for the "diffusion
of useful knowledge," he will cheerfully consent that the curiosity of
others, who have not shared his good fortune, should be gratified,
although it be at his expense. At the same time, he certainly has a
right to insist that the extraordinary and improbable stories told to
the too credulous _voyageur_ by some lying scoundrel of a courier or
some unprincipled _valet-de-place_ shall not be palmed upon the
unsuspecting public as genuine tales of travel and adventure.

The House of Lords is composed of lords spiritual and lords temporal. As
this body is now constituted, the lords spiritual are two archbishops,
twenty-four bishops, and four Irish representative prelates. The lords
temporal are three peers of the blood royal, twenty dukes, nineteen
marquises, one hundred and ten earls, twenty-two viscounts, two hundred
and ten barons, sixteen Scotch representative peers, and twenty-eight
Irish representative peers. There are twenty-three Scotch peers and
eighty-five Irish peers who have no seats in Parliament. The
representative peers for Scotland are elected for every Parliament,
while the representative peers for Ireland are elected for life. As has
been already intimated, this enumeration applies only to the present
House of Lords, which comprises four hundred and fifty-eight
members,--an increase of about thirty noblemen in as many years.

The persons selected from time to time for the honor of the peerage are
members of families already among the nobility, eminent barristers,
military and naval commanders who have distinguished themselves in the
service, and occasionally persons of controlling and acknowledged
importance in commercial life. Lord Macaulay is the first instance in
which this high compliment has been conferred for literary merit; and it
was well understood, when the great essayist and historian was ennobled,
that the exception in his favor was mainly due to the fact that he was
unmarried. With his untimely death the title became extinct. Lord
Overstone, formerly Mr. Loyd, and a prominent member of the banking firm
of Jones, Loyd, and Co. of London, elevated to the peerage in 1850, is
without heirs apparent or presumptive, and there is good reason to
believe that this circumstance had a material bearing upon his
well-deserved promotion. But these infrequent exceptions, these rare
concessions so ungraciously made, only prove the rigor of the rule.
Practically, to all but members of noble families, and men distinguished
for military, naval, or political services, or eminent lawyers or
clergymen, the House of Lords is unattainable. Brown may reach the
highest range of artistic excellence, he may achieve world-wide fame as
an architect, his canvas may glow with the marvellous coloring of Titian
or repeat the rare and delicate grace of Correggio, the triumphs of his
chisel may reflect honor upon England and his age; the inventive genius
of Jones, painfully elaborating, through long and suffering years of
obscure poverty, the crude conceptions of his boyhood, may confer
inestimable benefits upon his race; the scientific discoveries of
Robinson may add incalculable wealth to the resources of his nation: but
let them not dream of any other nobility than that conferred by Nature;
let them be content to live and die plain, untitled Brown, Jones, and
Robinson, or at best look forward only to the barren honors of
knighthood. Indeed, it is not too much to say that for plebeian merit
the only available avenues to the peerage are the Church and the Bar.

The proportion of law lords now in the House of Lords is unusually
large,--there being, besides Lord Westbury, the present
Lord-High-Chancellor, no fewer than six Ex-Lord-Chancellors, each
enjoying the very satisfactory pension of five thousand pounds per
annum. Lord Lyndhurst still survives at the ripe age of ninety-one; and
Lord Brougham, now in his eighty-sixth year, has made good his promise
that he would outlive Lord Campbell, and spare his friends the pain of
seeing his biography added to the lives of the Lord-Chancellors to
whom, in Lord Brougham's opinion, Lord Campbell had done such inadequate
justice.

The course of proceeding in the House of Lords differs considerably from
that pursued in the House of Commons. The Lord-High-Chancellor, seated
on the wool-sack,--a crimson cushion, innocent of any support to the
back, and by no means suggestive of comfort, or inviting deliberations
of the peers, but is never addressed by the speakers. "My lords" is the
phrase with which every peer commences his remarks.

Another peculiarity patent to the stranger is the small number usually
present at the debates. The average attendance is less than fifty, and
often one sees only fifteen or twenty peers in their seats. Two or three
leading members of the Ministry, as many prominent members of the
opposition, a bishop or two, a score of deluded, but well-meaning
gentlemen, who obstinately adhere to the unfashionable notion, that,
where great political powers are enjoyed, there are certain serious
duties to the public closely connected therewith, a few prosy and
pompous peers who believe that their constant presence is essential to
the welfare and prosperity of the kingdom,--such, I think, is a correct
classification of the ordinary attendance of noblemen at the House of
Lords.

This body possesses several obvious advantages over any other
deliberative assembly now existing. Not the least among these is the
fact that the oldest son of every peer is prepared by a careful course
of education for political and diplomatic life. Every peer, except some
of recent creation, has from childhood enjoyed all conceivable
facilities for acquiring a finished education. In giving direction to
his studies at school and at the university, special reference has been
had to his future Parliamentary career. Nothing that large wealth could
supply, or the most powerful family-influence could command, has been
spared to give to the future legislator every needed qualification for
the grave and responsible duties which he will one day be called to
assume. His ambition has been stimulated by the traditional achievements
of a long line of illustrious ancestors, and his pride has been awakened
and kept alive by the universal deference paid to his position as the
heir apparent or presumptive of a noble house.

This view is so well presented in "The Caxtons," that I need offer no
apology for making an extract from that most able and discriminating
picture of English society. "The fact is, that Lord Castleton had been
taught everything that relates to property (a knowledge that embraces
very wide circumference). It had been said to him, 'You will be an
immense proprietor: knowledge is essential to your self-preservation.
You will be puzzled, ridiculed, duped every day of your life, if you do
not make yourself acquainted with all by which property is assailed or
defended, impoverished or increased. You have a stake in the country:
you must learn all the interests of Europe, nay, of the civilized world;
for these interests react on the country, and the interests of the
country are of the greatest possible consequence to the interests of the
Marquis of Castleton.' Thus, the state of the Continent, the policy of
Metternich, the condition of the Papacy, the growth of Dissent, the
proper mode of dealing with the spirit of democracy which was the
epidemic of European monarchies, the relative proportions of the
agricultural and manufacturing population, corn-laws, currency, and the
laws that regulate wages, a criticism on the leading speakers in the
House of Commons, with some discursive observations on the importance of
fattening cattle, the introduction of flax into Ireland, emigration, the
condition of the poor: these and such-like stupendous subjects for
reflection--all branching more or less intricately from the single idea
of the Castleton property--the young lord discussed and disposed of in
half a dozen prim, poised sentences, evincing, I must say in justice, no
inconsiderable information, and a mighty solemn turn of mind. The
oddity was, that the subjects so selected and treated should not come
rather from some young barrister, or mature political economist, than
from so gorgeous a lily of the field."

But to all these preëminent advantages of early education and training
there must be added the invaluable opportunities of enlarged and
extended legislative experience in the House of Commons. If we examine
the antecedents of some of the most prominent men now in the House of
Lords, we shall discover abundant evidence of this fact. Earl Russell
was a member of the House of Commons for more than thirty years; Earl
Derby, more than twenty-five years; the Earl of Shaftesbury, for about
twenty-four years; the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the
Duke of Rutland, for about the same period. And of the present House of
Commons more than fifty members are heirs apparent or presumptive to
existing peerages.

And then there is the further circumstance that seats in the House of
Lords are for life. Members of this body do not stand in fear of removal
by the votes of disappointed or indignant constituents. Entirely
independent of public opinion, they can defy the disapprobation of the
masses, and smile at the denunciation of the press. Undoubtedly, this
fact has a twofold bearing, and deprives the peers of that strong
incentive to active exertion and industrious legislation which the House
of Commons, looking directly to the people for support and continuance,
always possesses. Yet the advantages in point of prolonged experience
and ever increasing familiarity with the details of public business are
unquestionable.

As a matter of course, there are many noblemen upon whom these rare
facilities of education and this admirable training for public life
would seem to have been wasted. As Americans, we must be pardoned for
expressing our belief in the venerable doctrine that there is no royal
road to learning. If a peer of the realm is determined to be a dunce,
nothing in the English Constitution prevents him from being a dunce, and
"not all the blood of all the Howards" can make him a scholar or a
statesman. If, resting securely in the conviction that a nobleman does
not need to be instructed, he will not condescend to study, and does not
avail himself of his most enviable advantages, whatever may be his
social rank, his ignorance and incapacity cannot be disguised, but will
even become more odious and culpable in the view of impartial criticism
by reason of his conspicuous position and his neglect of these very
advantages.

But frequent as these instances are, it will not be for a moment
supposed that the whole peerage would justly fall under such censure.
Nor will it be thought surprising that the House of Lords contains a
considerable number of men of sterling ability, statesmen of broad and
comprehensive views, accustomed to deal with important questions of
public interest and national policy with calm, deliberate judgment, and
far-reaching sagacity. Hampered as they certainly are by a traditional
conservatism often as much at variance with sound political philosophy
as it is with the lessons of all history, and characterized as their
attitude towards foreign nations always has been by a singular want of
all generosity, still it must be confessed that their steady and
unwavering adherence to a line of conduct which has made England feared
and her power respected by every country in the world has a certain
element of dignity and manly self-reliance which compels our admiration.
And while they have been of late so frequently outwitted by the
flexible, if not tortuous, policy of Louis Napoleon, it yet remains to
be seen whether the firm and unyielding course of the English Ministry
will not in the end prove quite as successful as the more Machiavellian
management of the French Emperor.

I hardly know how to describe accurately the impression made upon the
mind of an American by his first visit to the House of Lords. What
memories haunt him of the Norman Conquest and the Crusades, of Magna
Charta and the King-Maker, of noblemen who suffered with Charles I. and
supped with Charles II., and of noblemen still later whose family-pride
looked down upon the House of Hanover, and whose banded political power
and freely lavished wealth checked the brilliant career of Napoleon, and
maintained, the supremacy of England on sea and land!

Enter, then, the House of Lords with these stirring memories, and
confess frankly to a feeling of disappointment. Here are seated a few
well-behaved gentlemen of all ages, often carelessly dressed, and almost
invariably in English morning-costume. They are sleepily discussing some
uninteresting question, and you are disposed to retire in view of the
more powerful attractions of Drury Lane or the Haymarket, or the chance
of something better worth hearing in the House of Commons. Take my
advice, and wait until the adjournment. It will not be long, and by
leaving now you may lose an important debate and the sight of some men
whose fame is bounded only by the limits of Christendom. Even now there
is a slight stir in the House. A nobleman has entered whose movements
you will do well to follow. He takes his place just at the left of the
Lord-Chancellor, but remains seated only for a moment. If you are
familiar with the pencil of Punch, you will recognize him at a glance. A
thin, wiry, yet muscular frame, a singularly marked and expressive face
and mobile features, a nose that defies description, a high cravat like
a poultice covered with a black silk bandage, clothes that seem to have
been made for a much larger man, and always a pair of old-fashioned
checked trousers,--of course, this can only be Lord Brougham. He is
eighty-five years old, and yet his physical activity would do no
injustice to a man in the prime of life. If you watch him a few moments,
you will have abundant evidence of his restless energy. While we look,
he has crossed to the opposite side of the House, and is enjoying a
hearty laugh with the Bishop of Oxford. The round, full face of
"Slippery Sam" (as he is disrespectfully called throughout England) is
beaming with appreciative delight; but before the Bishop has time to
reply, the titled humorist is on the wing again, and in an instant we
see him seated between Earl Granville and the Duke of Somerset,
conversing with all the vivacity and enthusiasm of a school-boy. In a
moment he is in motion again, and has shaken hands with half a dozen
peers. Undeterred by the supernaturally solemn countenance of the
Marquis of Normanby, he has actually addressed a joke to that dignified
fossil, and has passed on without waiting to observe its effect. A few
words with Earl Derby, a little animated talk with the Earl of
Ellenborough, and he has made the circuit of the House, everywhere
received with a welcoming smile and a kindly grasp of the hand, and
everywhere finding willing and gratified listeners. Possibly that is
pardoned to his age and eminence which would be resented as impertinence
in a younger man, but certainly he enjoys a license accorded to no one
else in this aristocratic assembly.

The dull debate of the past hour is now concluded, the House is thin,
and there are indications of immediate adjournment. Remain a little
longer, however, and your patience may possibly be richly rewarded.
There is no order in the discussion of topics, and at any moment while
the House continues in session there may spring up a debate calling out
all the ability of the leading peers in attendance. After a short pause
the quiet is broken by an aged nobleman on the opposition benches. He
rises slowly and feebly with the assistance of a cane, but his voice is
firm and his manner is forcible. That he is a man of mark is evident
from the significant silence and the deferential attention with which
his first words are received. You ask his name, and with ill-disguised
amazement at your ignorance a gentleman by your side informs you that
the speaker is Lord Lyndhurst.

Perhaps the life of no public man in England has so much of interest to
an American as that of this distinguished nobleman. Born in Boston while
we were still in a condition of colonial dependence, he has lived to see
his native land emerge from her state of vassalage, pass through a
long-protracted struggle for liberty with the most powerful nation on
earth, successfully maintain her right to be free and independent,
advance with giant strides in a career of unexampled prosperity, assume
an undisputed position as one of the great powers of Christendom, and
finally put forth the most gigantic efforts to crush a rebellion
compared with which the conspiracy of Catiline was but the impotent
uprising of an angry dwarf.

Lord Lyndhurst was called to the bar of England in 1804. It was before
the splendid forensic successes of Erskine had been rewarded by a seat
on the wool-sack, or Wellington had completed his brilliant and decisive
campaign in India, or the military glory of Napoleon had culminated at
Austerlitz, or Pitt, turning sadly from the map of Europe and saying,
"Henceforth we may close that map for half a century," had gone
broken-hearted to an early grave, or Nelson had defeated the combined
navies of France and Spain at Trafalgar. Lord Byron had not yet entered
Cambridge University, Sir Walter Scott had not published his first poem,
and Canova was still in the height of his well-earned fame. It was
before the first steamboat of Robert Fulton had vexed the quiet waters
of the Hudson, or Aaron Burr had failed in his attempted treason, or
Daniel Welter had entered upon his professional career, or Thomas
Jefferson had completed his first official term as President of the
United States.

Lord Lyndhurst's advancement to the highest honors of his profession and
to a commanding place in the councils of his adopted country was rapid
almost beyond precedent. He was appointed Solicitor-General in 1819,
Attorney-General in 1823, Master of the Rolls in 1826, and
Lord-Chancellor in 1827. He remained in this office until 1830, and
retired only to be created Lord-Chief-Baron of the Exchequer. In 1835 he
was again appointed Lord-Chancellor, and once more, for the third time,
in 1841.

The characteristic qualities of the oratory of Lord Lyndhurst, when in
his prime, were perfect coolness and self-possession, a most pleasing
and plausible manner, singular ingenuity in dealing with a difficult
question or in weakening the effect of an argument really unanswerable,
a clear and musical voice, great ease and felicity of expression, and a
wonderful command, always discreetly used, of all the weapons of irony
and invective. He is, perhaps, the only nobleman in the House of Lords
whom Lord Brougham has ever feared to encounter. All these elements of
successful oratory Lord Lyndhurst has retained to an extraordinary
degree until within a year or two.

I chanced to hear this remarkable man during an evening in the month of
July, 1859. The House of Lords was thinly attended. There had been a
short and uninteresting debate on "The Atlantic-Telegraph Bill," and an
early adjournment seemed certain. But at this juncture Lord Lyndhurst
rose, and, after adverting to the fact that he had previously given
notice of his design to draw their lordships' attention to the military
and naval defences of the country, proceeded to address the House upon
this question. It should be borne in mind that this was a period of
great and engrossing excitement in England, created by the supposed
danger of invasion by France. Volunteer rifle-companies were springing
up all over the kingdom, newspapers were filled with discussions
concerning the sufficiency of the national defences, and speculations on
the chances for and against such an armed invasion. There was,
meanwhile, a strong peace-party which earnestly deprecated all agitation
of the subject, maintained that the sentiments of the French Emperor and
the French nation were most friendly to England, and contended that to
incur largely increased expenses for additional war-preparations was
unnecessary, impolitic, and ruinously extravagant. At the head of this
party were Cobden and Bright.

It was to answer these arguments, to convince England that there was a
real and positive peril, and to urge upon Her Majesty's Government the
paramount importance of preparing to meet not only a possible, but a
probable danger, that Lord Lyndhurst addressed the House of Lords. He
began by impressing upon their lordships the fact that the policy which
he advocated was not aggressive, but strictly defensive. He reviewed the
history of previous attempts to invade England. He pointed out the
significant circumstance, that these attempts had hitherto failed mainly
by reason of the casualties to which sailing-vessels were always
exposed. He pressed upon their attention the change which
steam-navigation had recently wrought in naval warfare. He quoted the
pithy remark of Lord Palmerston, that "steam had converted the Channel
into a river, and thrown a bridge across it."

He demonstrated from recent history the facility with which France could
transport large forces by sea to distant points. Then, in tones
tremulous with emotion, he drew upon the resources of his own marvellous
memory. "I have experienced, my lords, something like a sentiment of
humiliation in going through these details. I recollect the day when
every part of the opposite coast was blockaded by an English fleet. I
remember the victory of Camperdown, and that of St. Vincent, won by Sir
J. Jervis. I do not forget the great victory of the Nile, nor, last of
all, that triumphant fight at Trafalgar, which almost annihilated the
navies of France and Spain, I contrast the position which we occupied at
that period with that which we now hold. I recollect the expulsion of
the French from Egypt, the achievement of victory after victory in
Spain, the British army established in the South of France, and then the
great battle by which that war was terminated. I cannot glance back over
that series of events without feeling some degree of humiliation when I
am called upon to state in this House the measures which I deem it to be
necessary to take in order to provide for the safety of the country."

Then pausing a moment and overcoming his evident emotion, he continued,
with a force of manner and dignity of bearing which no words can fitly
describe,--"But I may be asked, 'Why do you think such measures
requisite? Are we not in alliance with France? Are we not on terms of
friendship with Russia? What other power can molest us?' To these
questions, my lords, my answer shall be a short and simple one. I will
not consent to live in dependence on the friendship or forbearance of
any country. I rely solely on my own vigor, my own exertion, and my own
intelligence." It will be readily believed that cheer after cheer rang
through the House when this bold and manly announcement was made.

Then, after alluding to the immense armament by sea and land which
France had hurled with such incredible rapidity upon the Austrian Empire
during the recent war in Italy, he concluded by saying,--"Are we to sit
supine on our own shores, and not to prepare the means necessary in case
of war to resist that power? I do not wish to say that we should do this
for any aggressive purpose. What I insist upon is, that we are bound to
make every effort necessary for our own shelter and protection. Beside
this, the question of expense and of money sinks into insignificance. It
is the price we must pay for our insurance, and it is but a moderate
price for so important an insurance. I know there are persons who will
say, 'Let us run the risk.' Be it so. But, my lords, if the calamity
should come, if the conflagration should take place, what words can
describe the extent of the calamity, or what imagination can paint the
overwhelming ruin that would fall upon us? I shall be told, perhaps,
that these are the timid counsels of old age. My lords, for myself, I
should run no risk. Personally I have nothing to fear. But to point out
possible peril and how to guard effectively against it,--that is surely
to be considered not as timidity, but as the dictate of wisdom and
prudence. I have confined myself to facts that cannot be disputed. I
think I have confined myself to inferences that no man can successfully
contravene. I hope what I have said has been in accordance with your
feelings and opinions. I shall terminate what I have to say in two
emphatic words, '_Voe victis!_'--words of solemn and most significant
import."

So spoke the Nestor of the English nation. Has our country no lesson to
learn from the well-considered words of this aged and accomplished
statesman? Are we not paying a large insurance to secure permanent
national prosperity? And is it not a wise and profitable investment, at
any cost of blood and treasure, if it promises the supremacy of our
Constitution, the integrity of our Union, and the impartial enforcement
of our laws?

When it is remembered that Lord Lyndhurst was at this time in his
eighty-eighth year, this speech of nearly an hour in length, giving no
evidence from first to last of physical debility or mental decay,
delivered in a firm, clear, and unfaltering voice, admirable for its
logical arrangement, most forcible and telling in its treatment of the
subject, and irresistible in its conclusions, must be considered as
hardly finding a parallel in ancient or modern times. We might almost
call it his valedictory; for his lordship's subsequent speeches have
been infrequent, and, with, we believe, a single exception, short, and
he is now rarely, if ever, seen in the House of Lords.

I shall not dwell upon the speeches that followed this earnest and
eloquent appeal to the wisdom and patriotism of the listening peers.
They were mainly confined to grateful recognition of the service which
Lord Lyndhurst had rendered to the nation by his frank and fearless
avowal of those principles which alone could preserve the honor and
independence of England. The opposition urged the most vigorous
preparations for resisting invasion, while Her Majesty's ministers
disclaimed any intention of weakening or neglecting the national
defences. As the speeches, however exhibited little worthy of mention
beyond the presentation of these points, I have supposed that a more
general description of some of the leading members of the Upper House
would be more interesting to my readers than a detailed account of what
was said upon this particular occasion.

I have already alluded to the personal appearance and bearing of Lord
Brougham. By reason of his great age, his long Parliamentary experience,
(he has been in the House of Commons and House of Lords for nearly fifty
years,) his habit of frequent speaking, and the commanding ability of
many of his public efforts, his name as an orator is perhaps more widely
known, and his peculiar style of declamation more correctly appreciated,
than those of any other man now living. It would therefore seem
unnecessary to give any sketch of his oratory, or of his manner in
debate. Very few educated men in this country are unfamiliar with his
eloquent defence of Queen Caroline, or his most bitter attack upon Mr.
Canning, or his brilliant argument for Mr. Williams when prosecuted by
the Durham clergy. Lord Brougham retains to this day the same fearless
contempt of all opposition, the same extravagant and often inconsistent
animosity to every phase of conservative policy, and the same fiery zeal
in advocating every measure which he has espoused, that have ever
characterized his erratic career. The witty author of "The Bachelor of
the Albany" has tersely, and not without a certain spice of truth,
described him as "a man of brilliant incapacity, vast and various
misinformation, and immense moral requirements."

The Duke of Argyle deserves more than a passing mention. Although
comparatively a young man, he has already had a most creditable career,
and given new lustre to an old and honored name. In politics he is a
decided and consistent Liberal, and he merits the favorable
consideration of all loyal Americans from the fact that he has not
failed on every proper occasion to advocate our cause with such
arguments as show clearly that he fully understands our position and
appreciates the importance of the principles for which we are
contending. It is a curious coincidence, that his style of address bears
a close resemblance to what may be called the American manner. Rapid,
but distinct, in utterance, facile and fluent in speech, natural and
graceful in gesticulation, he might almost be transplanted to the halls
of Congress at Washington without betraying his foreign birth and
education.

Lord Derby is undoubtedly the most skillful Parliamentary tactician and
the most accomplished speaker in the House of Lords. In 1834, (when he
was a member of the House of Commons,) Macaulay said of him, that "his
knowledge of the science of parliamentary defence resembled an
instinct." He is the acknowledged leader of the Tories or Conservatives
in England, and dictates the policy of his party with absolute
despotism. Belonging to one of the oldest peerages in the kingdom,
having already filled some of the most important offices in Her
Majesty's Government, occupying the highly honorable position of
Chancellor of the University of Oxford, (as successor of the first Duke
of Wellington,) an exact and finished scholar, enjoying an immense
income, and the proprietor of vast landed estates, he may be justly
considered one of the best types of England's aristocracy. He has that
unmistakable air of authority without the least alloy of arrogance, that
"pride in his port," which quietly asserts the dignity of long descent.
As a speaker, his manner is impressive and forcible, with a rare command
of choice language, an accurate and comprehensive knowledge of all
subjects connected with the administration of public affairs, and that
entire self-control which comes from life-long contact on terms of
equality with the best society in Europe and a thorough confidence in
his own mental resources. Lord Derby is preëminently a Parliamentary
orator, and furnishes one of the unusual instances where a reputation
for eloquence earned in the House of Commons has been fully sustained by
a successful trial in the House of Lords.

Another debater of marked ability in this body is Dr. Samuel
Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford. He is the third son of William
Wilberforce, the celebrated philanthropist, but by no means inherits the
simplicity of character and singular absence of all personal ambition
which made his father so widely beloved and respected. He is known as
the leading exponent of High-Church views, and has been heard in the
House of Lords on every question directly or indirectly affecting the
interests of the Establishment. It was long ago said of him, that, had
he been in political life, he would surely and easily have risen to the
position of Premier. He has for years been charged with a marked
proclivity to the doctrines of the Puseyites; and his adroitness in
baffling all attempted investigation into the manner in which he has
conducted the discipline of his diocese has perhaps contributed more
than any other cause to fasten upon him the significant _sobriquet_ to
which I have already alluded.

Any sketch of the prominent members of the House of Lords would be
imperfect which should omit to give some account of Lord Westbury, the
present Lord-High-Chancellor. Having been Solicitor-General in two
successive Administrations, he was filling for the second time the
position of Attorney-General, when, upon the death of Lord Campbell, he
was raised to the wool-sack. As a Chancery practitioner he was for years
at the head of his profession, and is supposed to have received the
largest income ever enjoyed by an English barrister. During the four
years next preceding his elevation to the peerage his average annual
earnings at the bar were twenty thousand pounds. In the summer of 1860
it was my good fortune to hear the argument of Lord Westbury (then Sir
Richard Bethell) in a case of great interest and importance, before
Vice-Chancellor Wood. The point at issue involved the construction of a
marriage-settlement between the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Prince
Borghese of Rome, drawn up on the occasion of the marriage of the Prince
with Lady Talbot, second daughter of the Earl. The interpretation of the
terms of the contract was by express stipulation to be in accordance
with the Roman common law. A commission sent to Rome to ascertain the
meaning of certain provisions contained in the contract resulted in
several folio volumes, embodying "the conflicting opinions of the most
eminent Roman lawyers," supported by references to the Canonists, the
decisions of the "Sacred Rota," the great text-writers upon
jurisprudence, the Institutes and Pandects, and ascending still higher
to the laws of the Roman Republic and the Augustan era.

The leading counsel in the kingdom were retained in the case, and
unusual public interest was enlisted. The amount at stake was twenty
thousand pounds, and it was estimated that nearly, if not quite, that
amount had already been consumed in costs. Legal proceedings are not an
inexpensive luxury anywhere; but "the fat contention and the flowing
fee" have a significance to English ears which we can hardly appreciate
in this country.

It will be at once apparent even to the unprofessional reader that most
difficult and complicated questions were presented by this
case,--questions turning on the exact interpretation of contracts,
involving delicate verbal distinctions, and demanding a thorough
comprehension of an immense and unwieldy mass of Roman law embraced in
the dissenting _dicta_ of Roman lawyers. It required the exercise of the
very highest legal ability, trained and habituated by long and patient
discipline to grapple with great issues.

The argument of Sir Richard Bethell abundantly demonstrated his capacity
to satisfy the demands of the occasion, and displayed most triumphantly
his perfect mastery of the whole subject. As the time drew near when he
was expected to close for the defence, barristers and students-at-law
began to flock into the small and inconveniently arranged courtroom. A
stranger and a foreigner could not but see at once that the
Attorney-General was the cynosure of all eyes. And, indeed, no one in
the room more thoroughly appreciated the fact that he was the central
and controlling attraction than Sir Richard himself. I must be pardoned
for using an English slang-phrase, but I can convey the impression which
he inevitably makes upon a spectator in no other way than by saying that
he is "a most magnificent swell." And I do this with the more confidence
as I have heard him characterized in precisely these words by members of
the English bar. Every motion, every attitude, indicates an intense
self-consciousness. The Earl of Chatham had not a greater passion for
theatrical effect, nor has a more consummate and finished actor ever
graced the stage. If the performance had been less perfect, it would
have been ludicrous in the extreme; for it did not overlook the minutest
details. He could not examine his brief, or make a suggestion to one of
his associates, or note an important point in the argument of opposing
counsel, or listen to an intimation of opinion from the Bench, without
an obvious eye to dramatic propriety. During the trial, an attorney's
clerk handed him a letter, and the air with which it was opened, read,
and answered was of itself a study. Yet it was all in the highest style
of the art. No possible fault could be found with the execution. Not a
single spectator ventured to smile. The supremacy of undoubted genius
was never more apparent, and never exacted nor received more willing
worship. Through the kindness of a friendly barrister I was introduced
to one of the juniors of the Attorney-General,--a stripling of about
fifty years of age. While we were conversing about the case, Sir Richard
turned and made some comment upon the conduct of the trial; but my
friend would no more have thought of introducing me to the leader of the
bar than he would have ventured to stop the carriage of the Queen in
Hyde Park and present me then and there to Her Majesty.

I remember as well as if it were but yesterday how attorneys and junior
counsel listened with the utmost deference to every suggestion which he
condescended to address to them, how narrowly the law-students watched
him, as if some legal principle were to be read in his cold, hard
countenance, and, as he at last rose slowly and solemnly to make his
long-expected argument, how court, bar, and by-standers composed
themselves to hear. He spoke with great deliberation and distinctness,
with singular precision and propriety of language, without any parade of
rhetoric or attempt at eloquence. After a very short and appropriate
exordium, he proceeded directly to the merits of the case. His words
were well-weighed, and his manner was earnest and impressive. It was, in
short, the perfection of reason confidently addressed to a competent
tribunal.

And yet his manner was by no means that of a man seeking to persuade a
superior, but rather that of one comparing opinions with an equal, if
not an inferior mind, elevated by some accident to a position of
factitious importance. One could not but feel that here was a power
behind the throne greater than the throne itself.

It cannot be doubted that this consciousness of mental and professional
preëminence, sustained by the unanimous verdict of public opinion, has
given to Lord Westbury a defiant, if not an insolent bearing. The story
is current at the English bar, that, some years ago, when offered a seat
on the Bench, with a salary of five thousand pounds, he promptly
declined, saying, "I would rather earn ten thousand pounds a year by
talking sense than five thousand pounds a year by hearing other men talk
nonsense." Anecdotes are frequent in illustration of his supercilious
treatment of attorneys and clients while he was a barrister. And since
his elevation to the wool-sack there has been no abatement or
modification of his offensive manner. His demeanor toward counsel
appearing before him has been the subject of constant and indignant
complaint. It will be remembered by some of my readers, that, not long
since, during a session of the House of Lords, he gave the lie direct to
one of the peers,--an occurrence almost without precedent in that
decorous body. Far different from this was the tone in which Lord
Thurlow, while Lord-Chancellor, asserted his independence and vindicated
his title to respect in his memorable rebuke addressed to the Duke of
Grafton. If the testimony of English travellers in this country is to be
believed, the legislative assemblies of our own land have hitherto
enjoyed the unenviable monopoly of this species of retort.

The House of Lords contains other peers of marked ability and protracted
Parliamentary experience, among whom are Earl Granville, the Earl of
Ellenborough, the Duke of Somerset, and the Earl of Shaftesbury; but we
cannot dwell in detail upon their individual characteristics as
speakers, or upon the share they have severally taken in the public
councils, without extending this article beyond its legitimate limits.

As genius is not necessarily or usually transmitted from generation to
generation, while a seat in the House of Lords is an inheritable
privilege, it will be readily believed that there is a considerable
number of peers with no natural or acquired fitness for legislative
duties,--men whose dullness in debate, and whose utter incapacity to
comprehend any question of public interest or importance, cannot be
adequately described. They speak occasionally, from a certain
ill-defined sense of what may be due to their position, yet are
obviously aware that what they say is entitled to no weight, and are
greatly relieved when the unwelcome and disagreeable duty has been
discharged. They are the men who hesitate and stammer, whose hats and
canes are always in their way, and who have no very clear notions about
what should be done with their hands. A visitor who chances to spend an
evening in the House of Lords for the first and last time, while
noblemen of this stamp are quieting their tender consciences by a
statement of their views upon the subject under discussion, will be sure
to retire with a very unfavorable and wholly incorrect estimate of the
speaking talent of English peers.

It would hardly seem necessary to devote time or space to those members
of the House of Lords who are rarely, if ever, present at the debates.
As has been already stated, the whole number of peers is about four
hundred and sixty, of whom less than twenty-five are minors, while the
average attendance is less than fifty. The right to vote by proxy is a
peculiar and exclusive privilege of the Upper House, and vicarious
voting to a great extent is common on all important issues. Macaulay,
many years ago, pronounced the House of Lords "a small and torpid
audience"; and certainly, since the expression of this opinion, there
has been no increase of average attendance. A considerable proportion of
the absentees will be found among the "fast noblemen" of the
kingdom,--the men who prostitute their exalted social position to the
basest purposes, squandering their substance and wasting their time in
degrading dissipation, the easy prey of accomplished sharpers, and a
burning disgrace to their order. Sometimes, indeed, they pause on the
brink of utter ruin, only to become in their turn apostles of iniquity,
and to lure others to a like destruction. The unblushing and successful
audacity of these titled _roués_ is beginning to attract the attention
and awaken the fears of the better part of the English people. Their
pernicious example is bearing most abundant and bitter fruit in the
depraved morals of what are called the "lower classes" of society, and
their misdeeds are repeated in less fashionable quarters, with less
brilliant surroundings. Against this swelling tide of corrupting
influence the press of England is now raising its warning voice, and the
statements which are publicly and unreservedly made, and the predictions
which are confidently given, are very far from being welcome to English
eyes or grateful to English ears.

Another class of the House of Lords, and it is a large one, is most
happily characterized by Sydney Smith in his review of "Granby." "Lord
Chesterton we have often met with, and suffered a good deal from his
lordship: a heavy, pompous, meddling peer, occupying a great share of
the conversation, saying things in ten words which required only two,
and evidently convinced that he is making a great impression; a large
man, with a large head, and a very landed manner; knowing enough to
torment his fellow-creatures, not to instruct them; the ridicule of
young ladies, and the natural butt and target of wit. It is easy to talk
of carnivorous animals and beasts of prey; but does such a man, who lays
waste a whole civilized party of beings by prosing, reflect upon the joy
he spoils and the misery he creates in the course of his life, and that
any one who listens to him through politeness would prefer toothache or
ear-ache to his conversation? Does he consider the great uneasiness
which ensues, when the company has discovered a man to be an extremely
absurd person, at the same time that it is absolutely impossible to
convey by words or manner the most distant suspicion of the discovery?"

Now, most unfortunately, the noble House of Chesterton is still extant,
and its numerous representatives cherish with jealous care every
inherited absurdity of the family. Their favorite field of operations is
the House of Lords, partly because the strict proprieties of the place
protect them from rude and inconvenient interruption, and partly because
they can be sure of a "fit audience found, though few,"--an audience
of equals, whom it is no condescension to address. In the House of
Commons they would be coughed down or groaned down before they had
wasted ten minutes of the public time, and that they escape as swift
suppression in the House of Lords is much more creditable to the
courtesy of that body than to its just appreciation of the shortness of
human life. There is rarely a debate of importance in the House of Lords
during which some one of the Chesterton family does not contribute his
morsel of pompous imbecility, or unfold his budget of obsolete and
exploded prejudices, or add his mite of curious misinformation. That
such painful exhibitions of callow and contracted bigotry should so
frequently be made in a body claiming for itself the finest culture and
the highest civilization in Christendom is certainly a most mortifying
circumstance, and serves to show that narrow views and unstatesmanlike
opinions are not confined to democratic deliberative assemblies, and
that the choicest advantages of education, literary and political, are
not at all inconsistent with ignorance and arrogance.

But we will allow his lordship to tell his own story. Here is his set
speech, only slightly modified from evening to evening, as may be
demanded by the difference in the questions under debate.

"My lords, the noble lord who has just taken his seat, although, I am
bound to say, presenting his view of the case with that candor which my
noble friend (if the noble lord will allow me to call him so) always
displays, yet, my lords, I cannot but add, omitted one important feature
of the subject. Now, my lords, I am exceedingly reluctant to take up the
time of your lordships with my views upon the subject-matter of this
debate; yet, my lords, as the noble and learned lord who spoke last but
one, as well as the noble earl at the head of Her Majesty's Government,
and the noble marquis who addressed your lordships early in the evening,
have all fallen into the same mistake, (if these noble lords will permit
me to presume that they could be mistaken,) I must beg leave to call
your lordships' attention to the significant fact, that each and all of
these noble lords have failed to point out to your lordships, that,
important and even conclusive as the arguments and statistics of their
lordships may at first sight appear, yet they have not directed your
lordships to the very suspicious circumstance that our noble ancestors
have never discovered the necessity of resorting to this singular
expedient.

"For myself, my lords, I confess that I am filled with the most gloomy
forebodings for the future of this country, when I hear a question of
this transcendent importance gravely discussed by noble lords without
the slightest allusion to this vital consideration. I beg to ask noble
lords, Are we wiser than our forefathers? Are any avenues of information
open to us which were closed to them? Were they less patriotic, less
intelligent, less statesmanlike, than the present generation? Why, then,
I most earnestly put it to your lordships, should we disregard, or,
certainly, lose sight of their wisdom and their experience? I implore
noble lords to pause before it is too late. I solemnly call upon them to
consider that the proposed measure is, after all, only democracy under a
thin disguise. Has it never occurred to noble lords that this project
did not originate in this House? that its warmest friends and most
ardent and persevering advocates are found among those who come from the
people, and who, from the very nature of the case, are incompetent to
decide upon what will be for the, best interests of the kingdom? My
lords, I feel deeply upon this subject, and I must be pardoned for
expressing myself in strong terms. I say again, that I see here the
clearest evidence of democratic tendencies, a contempt for existing and
ancient institutions, and an alarming want of respect for time-honored
precedents, which, I am bound to say, demand our prompt and indignant
condemnation," etc., etc., etc.[2]

[Footnote 2: If any one of my readers is inclined to suspect that I have
drawn upon my imagination for this specimen speech, I will only say,
that, if he were my bitterest enemy, I could wish him no more severe
punishment than to undergo as I have done, (_horresco referens_,) an
hour of the Marquis of Normanby, the Earl of Malmesbury, and a few other
kindred spirits. If he have no opportunity of subjecting the truth of my
statement and the accuracy of my report to this most grievous test, I
beg to assure him that I have given no fancy sketch, but that I have
heard speeches from these noblemen in precisely this tone and to exactly
this effect.]

This is the regular speech, protracted in the same strain for perhaps
half an hour. Of the manner of the noble orator I will not venture a
description. Any attempt to convey an idea of the air of omniscience
with which these dreary platitudes are delivered would surely result in
failure. It is enough to say that the impression which the noble lord
leaves upon an unprejudiced and un-English mind is in all respects
painful. Indeed, one sees at a glance how absolutely hopeless would be
any finite effort to convince him of the absurdity of his positions or
the weakness of his understanding. There he stands, a solemn, shallow,
conceited, narrow-minded, imperturbable, impracticable, incorrigible
blockhead, on whom everything in the shape of argument is utterly
wasted, and from whom all the arrows of wit and sarcasm fall harmless to
the ground. In fact, he is perfectly proof against any intellectual
weapons forged by human skill or wielded by mortal arm, and he awaits
and receives every attack with a stolid and insulting indifference which
must be maddening to an opponent.

I hasten to confess my entire incapacity to describe the uniform
personal bearing of a Chesterton in or out of the House of Lords. It is
strictly _sui generis_. It has neither the quiet, unassuming dignity of
the Derbys, the Shaftesburys, or the Warwicks, nor the vulgar vanity of
the untravelled Cockney. It simply defies accurate delineation. Dickens
has attempted to paint the portrait of such a character in "Bleak
House"; but Sir Leicester Dedlock, even in the hands of this great
artist, is not a success,--merely because, in the case of the Baronet,
selfishness and self-importance are only a superficial crust, while with
your true Chesterton these attributes penetrate to the core and are as
much a part of the man as any limbs or any feature of his face. A
genuine Chesterton is as unlike his stupid caricature in our own
theaters in the person of "Lord Dundreary," as the John Bull of the
French stage, leading a woman by a halter around her neck, and
exclaiming, "G---- d----! I will sell my wife at Smithfield," is unlike
the Englishman of real life. Lord Chesterton does not wear a small glass
in his right eye, nor commence every other sentence with "Aw! weally
now." He does not stare you out of countenance in a _café_, nor wonder
"what the Devil that fellaw means by his insolence." So much by way of
negative description. To appreciate him positively, one must see him and
hear him. No matter when or where you encounter him, you will find him
ever the same; and you will at last conclude that his manners are not
unnatural to a very weak man inheriting the traditions of an ancient and
titled family, and educated from childhood to believe that he belongs to
a superior order of beings.

Of course the strong point of a Chesterton is what he calls his
"conservatism." He values everything in proportion to its antiquity, and
prefers a time-honored abuse to a modern blessing. With a former Duke of
Somerset, he would pity Adam, "because he had no ancestors." His
sympathies, so far as he has any sentiments which deserve to be
dignified by that name, are ever on the side of tyranny. He condescends
to give his valuable sanction to the liberal institutions of England,
not because they are liberal, but because they are English. Next after
the Established Church, the reigning sovereign and the royal family, his
own order and his precious self, his warmest admiration is bestowed on
some good old-fashioned, thorough-going, grinding despotism. He defends
the Emperor of Austria, and considers the King of Naples a much-abused
monarch.

If his lordship has ever been in diplomatic life,--an event highly
probable,--he becomes the most intolerable nuisance that ever belied the
noblest sentiments of civilized society or blocked the wheels of public
debate. Flattered by the interested attention of despotic courts, his
poor weak head has been completely turned. He has seen everything _en
couleur de rose_. He assures their lordships that he has never known a
single well-authenticated case of oppression of the lower classes, while
it is within his personal knowledge that many of the best families (in
Italy, for instance) have been compelled to leave all their property
behind them, and fly for their lives before an insolent and unreasoning
mob. How he deluges the House with distorted facts and garbled
statistics! How he warns noble lords against the wiles of Mazzini, the
unscrupulous ambition of Victor Emmanuel, and the headlong haste of
Garibaldi!

Of course, his lordship's bitterest hatred and intensest aversion are
reserved for democratic institutions. Against these he wages a constant
crusade. Armed _cap-à-pie_ in his common-sense-proof coat of mail, he
charges feebly upon them with his blunt lance, works away furiously with
his wooden sword, and then ambles off with a triumphant air very
ludicrous to behold. Democracy is the _bête noir_ of all the
Chestertons. They attack it not only because they consider it a recent
innovation, but also because it threatens the permanence of their order.
About the practical working of a republic they have no better
information than they have about the institutions of Iceland or the
politics of Patagonia. It is quite enough for them to know that the
theory of democracy is based on the equality of man, and that where
democracy prevails a privileged class is unknown.

It is hardly necessary to add, that the present condition of the United
Stales is a perfect godsend to the whole family of Chestertons. Have
they not long predicted our disgrace and downfall? Have they not,
indeed, ever since our unjustifiable Declaration of Independence,
anticipated precisely what has happened? Have they not always and
everywhere contended that a republic had no elements of national
cohesion? In a word, have they not feared our growing power and
population as only such base and ignoble spirits can fear the sure and
steady progress of a rival nation? Unhappily, their influence in the
councils of the kingdom is by no means inconsiderable. The prestige of
an ancient family, the obsequious deference paid in England to exalted
social position, and the power of patronage, all combine to confer on
the Chestertons a commanding and controlling authority absurdly out of
proportion to their intrinsic ability.

There has been a prevalent notion in this country that England was
slowly, but certainly, tending towards a more democratic form of
government, and a more equal and equitable distribution of power among
the different orders of society. This is very far from being the case.
It has been well said, that "it is always considered a piece of
impertinence in England, if a man of less than two or three thousand a
year has any opinions at all upon important subjects." But if this
income is quadrupled, and the high honor of a seat in the House of Lords
is superadded, it is not difficult to understand that the titled
recipient of such a revenue will find that his opinions command the
greatest consideration. The organization of the present Cabinet of
England is a fresh and conclusive illustration of this principle. It is
not too much to say, that at this moment the home and foreign
administration of the government is substantially in the hands of the
House of Lords. Indeed, the aristocratic element of English society is
as powerful to-day as it has been at any time during the past century.
To fortify this statement by competent authority, we make an extract
from a leader in the London "Times," on the occasion of the elevation of
Lord John Russell to the peerage. "But however welcome to the House of
Lords may be the accession of Lord John Russell, the House of Commons,
we apprehend, will contemplate it with very little satisfaction. While
the House of Lords does but one-twentieth part of the business of the
House of Commons, it boasts a lion's share of the present
administration. Three out of our five Secretaries of State, the
Lord-Chancellor, the First Lord of the Admiralty, the Lord-President of
the Council, the Postmaster-General, the Lord Privy Seal, all hold seats
in the Upper House, while the Home-Secretary, and the Secretary for
India, the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
the President of the Board of Trade, the President of the Poor-Law
Board, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Secretary for
Ireland hold seats in the House of Commons. Lord John Russell goes to
give more to that which had already too much. At the present moment, the
two ministers whose united departments distribute between twenty and
thirty millions of the national revenue sit in the House which does not
represent the people. In voting the army and navy estimates, the House
of Commons received this year from the Under-Secretaries that
information which they ought to have from the best and most authentic,
sources. To these is now added the all-important department of Foreign
Affairs; so that, if things remain as they are, the representatives of
the people must be content to feed on second-hand information.... Most
of us can remember a time when it was a favorite topic with popular
agitators to expatiate on the number of lords which a government
contained, as if every peer of Parliament wielded an influence
necessarily hostile to the liberties of the country. We look down in the
present age with contempt on such vulgar prejudices; but we seem to be
running into the contrary extreme, when we allow almost all the
important offices of our government to be monopolized by a chamber where
there is small scope for rhetorical ability, and the short sittings and
unbusiness-like habits of which make it very unsuited for the
enforcement of ministerial responsibility. The statesmen who have charge
of large departments of expenditure, like the army and navy, and of the
highest interests of the nation, ought to be in the House of Commons, is
necessarily superior to a member of the House of the House of Lords, but
it is to the House of Commons that these high functionaries are
principally accountable, and because, if they forfeit the confidence of
the House of Commons, the House of Lords can avail them but little. The
matter is of much importance and much difficulty. We can only hope that
the opportunity of redressing this manifest imperfection in the
structure of the present government will not be lost, and that the House
of Commons may recover those political privileges which it has hitherto
been its pride to enjoy."

This distribution of power in the English Cabinet furnishes a sufficient
solution of the present attitude of the English Government towards this
country. The ruling classes of England can have no sincere sympathy with
the North, because its institutions and instincts are democratic. They
give countenance to the South, because at heart and in practice it is
essentially an aristocracy. To remove the dangerous example of a
successful and powerful republic, where every man has equal rights,
civil and religious, and where a privileged order in Church and State is
impossible, has become in the minds of England's governing classes an
imperious necessity. Compared with the importance of securing this
result, all other considerations weigh as nothing. Brothers by blood,
language, and religion, as they have been accustomed to call us while we
were united and formidable, we are now, since civil war has weakened us
and great national questions have distracted our councils, treated as
aliens, if not as enemies. On the other hand, the South, whose leaders
have ever been first to take hostile ground against England, and whose
"peculiar institution" has drawn upon us the eloquent and unsparing
denunciations of English philanthropists, is just now in high favor with
the "mother-country." Not only has the ill-disguised dislike of the
Tories ripened into open animosity, not only are we the target for the
shallow scorn of the Chestertons, (even a donkey may dare to kick a
dying lion,) but we have lost the once strongly pronounced friendship of
such ardent anti-slavery men as Lord Brougham and the Earl of
Shaftesbury. Why is this? Does not the explanation lie in a nutshell? We
were becoming too strong. We were disturbing the balance of power. We
were demonstrating too plainly the inherent activity and irresistible
energy of a purely democratic form of government. Therefore _Carthago
delenda est_. "But yet the pity of it, Iago!" Mark how a Christian
nation deals with a Christian ally. Our destruction is to be
accomplished, not by open warfare, but by the delusive and dastardly
pretence of neutrality. There is to be no diplomatic recognition of an
independent Southern Confederacy, but a formidable navy is to be
furnished to our enemies, and their armies are to be abundantly supplied
with the munitions of war. But how? By the English Government? Oh, no!
This would be in violation of solemn treaties. Earl Russell says, "We
have long maintained relations of peace and amity" with the United
States. England cannot officially recognize or aid the South without
placing herself in a hostile attitude towards this country. Yet
meanwhile English capitalists can publicly subscribe to the loan which
our enemies solicit, and from English ship-yards a fleet of iron-clad
war-vessels can be sent to lay waste our commerce and break our blockade
of Southern ports. What the end will be no one may venture to foretell;
but it needs no prophet to predict that many years will not obliterate
from the minds of the American people the present policy of the English
Cabinet, controlled as it is by the genius of English aristocracy.

       *       *       *       *       *



THEODORE WINTHROP'S WRITINGS.


"The first time I saw Theodore Winthrop," said one to me a few days ago,
"he came into my office with a common friend. They were talking as they
entered, and Winthrop said, 'Yes, the fellows who came over in the
Mayflower can't afford to do that!'

"'There,' thought I to myself, 'there's another of the Mayflower men! I
wish to my soul that ship had sunk on her voyage out!' But when I came
to know him, I quickly learned that with him origin was not a matter of
vain pride, but a fact inciting him to all nobleness of thought and
life, and spurring him on to emulate the qualities of his ancestor."

That is to say, he was not a prig, or a snob, but a gentleman. And if he
remembered that he "came over in the Mayflower," it was because he felt
that that circumstance bound him to higher enterprises, to better work,
than other men's. And he believed in his heart, as he wrote in the
opening chapter of "John Brent," that "deeds of the heroic and chivalric
times do not utterly disdain our day. There are men," he continues, "as
ready to gallop for love and strike for love now as in the age of
Amadis." Ay, and for a nobler love than the love of woman--for love of
country, and of liberty--he was ready to strike, and to die.

Ready to do, when the time came; but also--what required a greater
soul--ready to wait in cheerful content till the fitting time should
come. Think of these volumes lying in his desk at home, and he, their
author, going about his daily tasks and pleasures, as hearty and as
unrepining as though no whisper of ambition had ever come to his
soul,--as though he had no slightest desire for the pleasant fame which
a successful book gives to a young man. Think of it, O race of
scribblers, to whom a month in the printer's hands seems a monstrous
delay, and who bore publishers with half-finished manuscripts, as
impatient hens begin, untimely, to cackle before the egg is laid.

That a young man, not thirty-three when he died, should have written
these volumes, so full of life, so full of strange adventure, of wide
reading, telling of such large and thorough knowledge of books and men
and Nature, is a remarkable fact in itself. That he should have let the
manuscripts lie in his desk has probably surprised the world more. But,
much as he wrote, Winthrop, perhaps, always felt that his true life was
not that of the author, but of the actor. He has often told me that it
was a pleasure to write,--probably such a pleasure as it is to an old
tar to spin his yarns. His mind was active, stored with the accumulated
facts of a varied experience. How keen an observer of Nature he was,
those who have read "John Brent" or the "Canoe and Saddle" need not be
told; how appreciative an observer of every-day life, was shown in that
brilliant story which appeared in these pages some eighteen months ago,
under the title of "Love and Skates." Our American life lost by his
death one who, had he lived, would have represented it, reported it to
the world, soul and body together; for he comprehended its spirit, as
well as saw its outer husk; he was in sympathy with all its
manifestations.

That quick, intelligent eye saw everything; that kindly, sympathetic
spirit comprehended always the soul of things; and no life, however
common, rugged, or coarse, was to him empty. If he added always
something of his own nobility of heart, if he did not pry out with
prurient eyes the meannesses of life around him, the picture he drew was
none the less true,--was, indeed, it seems to me, all the more true.
Therefore I say that his early death was a loss to American literature,
or, to speak more accurately, to that too small part of our literature
which concerns itself with American life. To him the hard-featured
Yankee had something besides hard features and ungainly manners; he saw
the better part as well as the grosser of the creature, and knew that

    "Poor lone Hannah,
    Sitting by the window, binding shoes,"

had somewhat besides coarse hands and red eyes. He was not tainted with
the vicious habit of caricature, which is the excuse with which
superficial and heartless writers impose their false art upon the
public. Nor did he need that his heroes should wear kid gloves,--though
he was himself the neatest-gloved man I knew. "Armstrong of Oregon" was
a rough figure enough; but how well he knew how to bring out the kindly
traits in that rude lumberman's character! how true to Nature is that
sketch of a gentleman in homespun! And even Jake Shamberlain, the Mormon
mail-carrier, a rollicking, untidy rover, fond of whiskey, and doubtless
not too scrupulous in a "trade," has yet, in Winthrop's story, qualities
which draw us to him.

To sit down to "John Brent" after rending one of the popular novels of
these days, by one of the class of writers who imagine photography the
noblest of arts, is like getting out of a fashionable "party" into the
crisp air of a clear, starlight, December night. And yet Winthrop was a
"society" man; one might almost say he knew that life better than the
other, the freer, the nobler, which he loved to describe, as he loved to
live it.

A neat, active figure of a man, carefully dressed, as one who pays all
proper honor to the body in which he walks about; a gentleman, not only
in the broader and more generous sense, but also according to the
narrower, conventional meaning of the term; plainly a scholarly man,
fond of books, and knowing the best books; with that modest, diffident
air which bookish men have; with a curious shyness, indeed, as of one
who was not accustomed and did not like to come into too close contact
with the every-day world: such Theodore Winthrop appeared to me. I
recollect the surprise with which I heard--not from him--that he had
ridden across the Plains, had camped with Lieutenant Strain, had
"roughed it" in the roughest parts of our continent. But if you looked a
little closely into the face, you saw in the fine lines of the mouth the
determination of a man who can bear to carry his body into any peril or
difficulty; and in the eye--he had the eye of a born sailor, an eye
accustomed to measure the distance for a dangerous leap, quick to
comprehend all parts of a novel situation--you saw there presence of
mind, unfaltering readiness, and a spirit equal to anything the day
might bring forth.

In the Memoir prefixed to "Cecil Dreeme" Curtis has drawn a portrait,
tender and true, of his friend and neighbor. The few words which have
written themselves here tell of him only as he appeared to one who knew
him less intimately, who saw him not often.

I come now to speak of the writings which Winthrop left. These have the
singular merit, that they are all American. From first to last, they are
plainly the work of a man who had no need to go to Europe for characters
or scenery or plot,--who valued and understood the peculiar life and
the peculiar Nature of this continent, and, like a true artist and poet,
chose to represent that life and Nature of which he was a part. His
stories smack of the soil; his characters--especially in "John Brent,"
where his own ride across the continent is dramatized--are as fresh and
as true as only a true artist could make them. Take, for instance, the
"Pike," the border-ruffian transplanted to a California "ranch,"--not a
ruffian, as he says, but a barbarian.

"America is manufacturing several new types of men. The Pike is one of
the newest. He is a bastard pioneer. With one hand he clutches the
pioneer vices; with the other he beckons forward the vices of
civilization. It is hard to understand how a man can have so little
virtue in so long a body, unless the shakes are foes to virtue in the
soul, as they are to beauty in the face.

"He is a terrible shock, this unlucky Pike, to the hope that the new
race on the new continent is to be a handsome race. I lose that faith,
which the people about me now have nourished, when I recall the Pike. He
is hung together, not put together. He inserts his lank fathom of a man
into a suit of molasses-colored homespun. Frowzy and husky is the hair
Nature crowns him with; frowzy and stubby the beard. He shambles in his
walk. He drawls in his talk. He drinks whiskey by the tank. His oaths
are to his words as Falstaff's sack to his bread. I have seen Maltese
beggars, Arab camel-drivers, Dominican friars, New-York aldermen, Digger
Indians; the foulest, frowziest creatures I have ever seen are
thorough-bred Pikes."

This is not complimentary, but any one who has seen the creature knows
that it is a portrait done by a first-rate artist.

Take, again, that other vulgarer ruffian, "Jim Robinson," "a little man,
stockish, oily, and red in the face, a jaunty fellow, too, with a
certain shabby air of coxcombry even in his travel-stained attire,"--and
how accurately does he describe the metamorphosis of this nauseous grub
into a still more disgusting butterfly!

"I can imagine him when he arrives at St. Louis, blossomed into a purple
coat with velvet lappels, a brocaded waistcoat, diamond shirt-studs, or
a flamboyant scarf pinned with a pinchbeck dog, and red-legged,
patent-leather boots, picking his teeth on the steps of the Planters'
House."

Or, once more, that more saintly villain, the Mormon Elder Sizzum.

"Presently Sizzum appeared. He had taken time to tone down the pioneer
and develop the deacon in his style, and a very sleek personage he had
made of himself. He was clean shaved: clean shaving is a favorite
coxcombry of the deacon class. His long black hair, growing rank from a
muddy skin, was sleekly put behind his ears. A large white blossom of
cravat expanded under his nude, beefy chin, and he wore a black
dress-coat, creased with its recent packing. Except that his pantaloons
were thrust into boots with the maker's name (Abel Gushing, Lynn, Mass.)
stamped in gold on a scarlet morocco shield in front, he was in correct
go-to-meetin' costume,--a Chadband of the Plains."

When you see one of these men, you will know him again. Winthrop has
sketched these rascals with a few touches, as felicitous as any of
Dickens's, and they will bear his mark forever: _T.W. fecit._

As for Jake Shamberlain, with his odd mixture of many religious and
irreligious dialects, what there is of him is as good as Sam Weller or
Mrs. Poyser.

"'Hillo, Shamberlain!' hailed Brent, riding up to the train.

"'Howdydo? Howdydo? No swap!' responded Jake, after the Indian fashion.
'Bung my eyes, ef you're not the mate of all mates I'm glad to see! Pax
vobiscrum, my filly! You look as fresh as an Aperel shad. Praisèd be the
Lord,' continued he, relapsing into Mormon slang, 'who has sent thee
again, like a brand from the burning, to fall into paths of pleasantness
with the Saints, as they wander from the Promised Land to the mean
section where the low-lived Gentiles ripen their souls for hell!'"

Or Jake's droll commentary on the story of Old Bridger, ousted from his
fort, and robbed of his goods, by the Saints, in the name of the Prophet
Brigham.

"'It's olluz so,' says Jake; 'Paul plants, and Apollyon gets the
increase. Not that Bridger's like Paul, any more 'n we're like Apollyon;
but we're goan to have all the cider off his apple-trees.'"

Or, again, Jake's compliments to "Armstrong of Oregon," that galloping
Vigilant Committee of one.

"I'll help you, if I know how, Armstrong. I ha'n't seen no two in my
life, Old Country or New Country, Saints or Gentiles, as I'd do more for
'n you and your brother. I've olluz said, ef the world was chock full of
Armstrongs, Paradise wouldn't pay, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob mout
just as well blow out their candle and go under a bushel-basket,--unless
a half-bushel would kiver 'em."

But the true hero of the book is the horse Don Fulano. It is easy to see
that Winthrop was a first-rate horseman, from the loving manner in which
he describes and dwells on the perfections of the matchless stallion.
None but one who knew every point of a horse, none but one of the
Centaur breed, could have drawn Don Fulano,--just as none but a born
skater could have written those inimitable skating-scenes in his story
of "Love and Skates."

"He was an American horse,--so they distinguish in California one
brought from the old States,--A SUPERB YOUNG STALLION, PERFECTLY BLACK,
WITHOUT MARK. It was magnificent to see him, as he circled about me,
fire in his eye, pride in his nostril, tail flying like a banner, power
and grace from tip to tip. No one would ever mount him, or ride him,
unless it was his royal pleasure. He was conscious of his representative
position, and showed his paces handsomely."

This is the creature who takes the lead in that stirring and matchless
"Gallop of Three" to the Luggernel Spring, to quote from which would be
to spoil it. It must be read entire.

In the "Canoe and Saddle" is recorded Winthrop's long ride across the
continent. Setting out in a canoe, from Port Townsend, in Vancouver's
Island, he journeyed, without company of other white men, to the Salt
Lake City and thence to "the States,"--a tedious and barbarous
experience, heightened, in this account of it, by the traveller's cheery
spirits, his ardent love of Nature, and capacity to describe the grand
natural scenery, of the effect of which upon himself he says, at the
end,--

"And in all that period, while I was so near to Nature, the great
lessons of the wilderness deepened into my heart day by day, the hedges
of conventionalism withered away from my horizon, and all the pedantries
of scholastic thought perished out of my mind forever."

He bore hardships with the courage and imperturbable good-nature of a
born gentleman. It is when men are starving, when the plating of romance
is worn off by the chafe of severe and continued suffering,--it is then
that "blood tells." Winthrop had evidently that keen relish for rough
life which the gently nurtured and highly cultivated man has oftener
than his rude neighbor, partly because, in his case, contrast lends a
zest to the experience. Thus, when he camps with a gang of
"road-makers," in the farthest Western wilderness,--a part of Captain
McClellan's Pacific Railroad Expedition,--how thoroughly he enjoys the
rough hospitality and rude wit of these pioneers!

"In such a Platonic republic as this a man found his place according to
his powers. The cooks were no base scullions; they were brethren, whom
conscious ability, sustained by universal suffrage, had endowed with the
frying-pan."

"My hosts were a stalwart gang.... Their talk was as muscular as their
arms. When these laughed, as only men fresh and hearty and in the open
air can laugh, the world became mainly grotesque: it seemed at once a
comic thing to live,--a subject for chuckling, that we were bipeds, with
noses,--a thing to roar at, that we had all met there from the wide
world, to hobnob by a frolicsome fire with tin pots of coffee, and
partake of crisped bacon and toasted dough-boys in ridiculous abundance.
Easy laughter infected the atmosphere. Echoes ceased to be pensive, and
became jocose. A rattling humor pervaded the forest, and Green River
rippled with noise of fantastic jollity. Civilization and its
_dilettante_ diners-out sneer when Clodpole at Dives's table doubles his
soup, knifes his fish, tilts his plate into his lap, puts muscle into
the crushing of his _méringue_, and tosses off the warm beaker in his
finger-bowl. Camps by Tacoma sneer not at all, but candidly roar, at
parallel accidents. Gawky makes a cushion of his flapjack. Butterfingers
drops his red-hot rasher into his bosom, or lets slip his mug of coffee
into his boot drying at the fire,--a boot henceforth saccharine. A mule,
slipping his halter, steps forward unnoticed, puts his nose into the
circle, and brays resonant. These are the jocular boons of life, and at
these the woodsmen guffaw with lusty good-nature. Coarse and rude the
jokes may be, but not nasty, like the innuendoes of pseudo-refined
cockneys. If the woodsmen are guilty of uncleanly wit, it differs from
the uncleanly wit of cities as the mud of a road differs from the sticky
slime of slums.

"It is a stout sensation to meet masculine, muscular men at the brave
point of a penetrating Boston hooihut,--men who are mates,--men to whom
technical culture means nought,--men to whom myself am nought, unless I
can saddle, lasso, cook, sing, and chop,--unless I am a man of nerve and
pluck, and a brother in generosity and heartiness. It is restoration to
play at cudgels of jocoseness with a circle of friendly roughs, not one
of whom ever heard the word bore,--with pioneers, who must think and
act, and wrench their living from the closed hand of Nature."

And here is a dinner "in the open."

"Upon the _carte du jour_ at Restaurant Sowee was written Grouse. 'How
shall we have them?' said I, cook and convive, to Loolowcan, marmiton
and convive. 'One of these cocks of the mountain shall be fried, since
gridiron is not,' responded I to myself, after meditation; 'two shall be
spitted and roasted; and, as Azrael may not want us before breakfast
to-morrow, the fourth shall go upon the _carte de déjeuner'_.

"'O Pork! what a creature thou art!' continued I, in monologue, cutting
neat slices of that viand with my bowie-knife, and laying them
fraternally, three in a bed, in the frying-pan. 'Blessed be Moses, who
forbade thee to the Jews, whereby we, of freer dispensations, heirs of
all the ages, inherit also pigs more numerous and bacon cheaper! O Pork!
what could campaigners do without thy fatness, thy leanness, thy
saltness, thy portableness?'

"Here Loolowcan presented me the three birds, plucked featherless as
Plato's man. The two roasters we planted carefully on spits before a
sultry spot of the fire. From a horizontal stick, supported on forked
stakes, we suspended by a twig over each roaster an automatic baster, an
inverted cone of pork, ordained to yield its spicy juices to the wooing
flame, and drip bedewing on each bosom beneath. The roasters ripened
deliberately, while keen and quick fire told upon the frier, the first
course of our feast. Meanwhile I brewed a pot of tea, blessing Confucius
for that restorative weed, as I had blessed Moses for his abstinence
from porkers.

"Need I say that the grouse were admirable, that everything was
delicious, and the Confucian weed first chop? Even a scouse of mouldy
biscuit met the approval of Loolowcan. Feasts cooked under the greenwood
tree, and eaten by their cooks after a triumphant day of progress, are
sweeter than the conventional banquets of languid Christendom."

"Life in the Open Air"--containing sketches of travel among the
mountains and lakes of Maine, as well as the story of "Love and Skates,"
which has been spoken of, "The March of the Seventh Regiment,"
"Washington as a Camp," an essay descriptive of Church's great picture,
"The Heart of the Andes," and two fragments, one of them the charming
commencement of a story which promised to be one of his best and most
enjoyable efforts in this direction--is the concluding volume of
Winthrop's collected writings. I speak of it in this place, because it
is in some part a companion-book to the volumes we have been discussing.
It is as full of buoyant life, of fresh and noble thought, of graceful
wit and humor, as those; in parts it contains the most finished of his
literary work. Few Americans who read it at the time will ever forget
that stirring description of the march of the New-York Seventh; it is a
piece of the history of our war which will live and be read as long as
Americans read their history. It moved my blood, in the reading,
tonight, as it did in those days--which seem already some centuries old,
so do events crowd the retrospect--when we were all reading it in the
pages of the "Atlantic." In the unfinished story of "Brightly's Orphan"
there is a Jew boy from Chatham Street, an original of the first water,
who, though scarce fairly introduced, will, I am sure, make a place for
himself and for his author in the memories of all who relish humor of
the best kind.

"Cecil Dreeme" and "Edwin Brothertoft" are quite other books than these
we have spoken of. Here Winthrop tried a different vein,--two different
veins, perhaps. Both are stories of suffering and crime, stories of the
world and society. In one it is a woman, in the other a man, who is
wronged. One deals with New York city-life of the very present day; the
other is a story of the Revolutionary War, and of Tories and Patriots.
The popular verdict has declared him successful, even here. "Cecil
Dreeme" has run through no less than fifteen editions.

In this story we are shown New York "society" as doubtless Winthrop knew
it to be. Yet the book has a curious air of the Old-World; it might be a
story of Venice, almost. It tells us of Old-World vices and crimes, and
the fittings and furnishings are of a piece. The localities, indeed, are
sketched so faithfully, that a stranger to the city, coming suddenly, in
his wanderings, upon Chrysalis College Buildings, could not fail to
recognize them at once,--as indeed happened to a country friend of mine
recently, to his great delight. But the men are Americans, bred and
formed--and for the most part spoiled--in Europe; Americans who have
gone to Paris before their time, if it be true, what a witty Bostonian
said, that good Americans go to Paris when they die. With all this, the
book has a strange charm, so that it takes possession of you in spite of
yourself. It is as though it drew away the curtain, for one slight
moment, from the mysteries which "society" decorously hides,--as though
he who drew the curtain stood beside it, pointing with solemn finger and
silent indignation to the baseness of which he gives you a glimpse. Yet
even here the good carries the day, and that in no maudlin way, but
because the true men are the better men.

These, then, are Winthrop's writings,--the literary works of a young man
who died at thirty-two, and who had spent a goodly part of his mature
life in the saddle and the canoe, exploring his own country, and in
foreign travel. As we look at the volumes, we wonder how he found time
for so much; but when we have read, we wonder yet more at the excellence
of all he wrote. In all and through all shines his own noble spirit; and
thus these books of his, whose printed pages he never saw, will keep his
memory green amongst us; for, through them, all who read may know that
there wrote a true gentleman.

Once he wrote,--

    "Let me not waste in skirmishes my power,
    In petty struggles. Rather in the hour
    Of deadly conflict may I nobly die,
    In my first battle perish gloriously."

Even so he fell; but in these written works, as in his gallant death, he
left with us lessons which will yet win battles for the good cause of
American liberty, which he held dearest in his heart.

       *       *       *       *       *



HILARY.


                 Hilary,
    Summer calls thee, o'er the sea!
      Like white flowers upon the tide,
      In and out the vessels glide;
      But no wind on all the main
      Sends thy blithe soul home again:
    Every salt breeze moans for thee,
                 Hilary!

                 Hilary,
    Welcome Summer's step will be,
      Save to those beside whose door
      Doleful birds sit evermore
      Singing, "Never comes he here
      Who made every season's cheer!"
    Dull the June that brings not thee,
                 Hilary!

                 Hilary,
    What strange world has sheltered thee?
      Here the soil beneath thy feet
      Rang with songs, and blossomed sweet;
      Blue skies ask thee yet of Earth,
      Blind and dumb without thy mirth:
    With thee went her heart of glee,
                 Hilary!

                 Hilary,
    All things shape a sigh for thee!
      O'er the waves, among the flowers,
      Through the lapse of odorous hours,
      Breathes a lonely, longing sound,
      As of something sought, unfound:
    Lorn are all things, lorn are we,
                 Hilary!

                 Hilary,
    Oh, to sail in quest of thee,
      To the trade-wind's steady tune,
      Past the hurrying monsoon,
      Into torrid seas, that lave
      Dry, hot sands,--a breathless grave,--
    Sad as vain the search would be,
                 Hilary!

                 Hilary,
    Chase the sorrow from the sea!
      Summer-heart, bring summer near,
      Warm, and fresh, and airy-clear!
      --Dead thou art not: dead is pain;
      Now Earth sees and sings again:
    Death, to hold thee, Life must be,
                 Hilary!

       *       *       *       *       *



DEBBY'S DÉBUT.


On a cheery June day Mrs. Penelope Carroll and her niece Debby Wilder
were whizzing along on their way to a certain gay watering-place, both
in the best of humors with each other and all the world beside. Aunt Pen
was concocting sundry mild romances, and laying harmless plots for the
pursuance of her favorite pastime, match-making; for she had invited her
pretty relative to join her summer jaunt, ostensibly that the girl might
see a little of fashionable life, but the good lady secretly proposed to
herself to take her to the beach and get her a rich husband, very much
as she would have proposed to take her to Broadway and get her a new
bonnet; for both articles she considered necessary, but somewhat
difficult for a poor girl to obtain.

Debby was slowly getting her poise, after the excitement of a first
visit to New York; for ten days of bustle had introduced the young
philosopher to a new existence, and the working-day world seemed to have
vanished when she made her last pat of butter in the dairy at home. For
an hour she sat thinking over the good-fortune which had befallen her,
and the comforts of this life which she had suddenly acquired. Debby was
a true girl,--with all a girl's love of ease and pleasure; and it must
not be set down against her that she surveyed her pretty travelling-suit
with much complacency, rejoicing inwardly that she could use her hands
without exposing fractured gloves, that her bonnet was of the newest
mode, needing no veil to hide a faded ribbon or a last year's shape,
that her dress swept the ground with fashionable untidiness, and her
boots were guiltless of a patch,--that she was the possessor of a mine
of wealth in two of the eight trunks belonging to her aunt, that she was
travelling like any lady of the land with man-and maid-servant at her
command, and that she was leaving work and care behind her for a month
or two of novelty and rest.

When these agreeable facts were fully realized, and Aunt Pen had fallen
asleep behind her veil, Debby took out a book, and indulged in her
favorite luxury, soon forgetting past, present, and future in the
inimitable history of Martin Chuzzlewit. The sun blazed, the cars
rattled, children cried, ladies nodded, gentlemen longed for the solace
of prohibited cigars, and newspapers were converted into sun-shades,
nightcaps, and fans; but Debby read on, unconscious of all about her,
even of the pair of eyes that watched her from the opposite corner of
the car. A gentleman with a frank, strong-featured face sat therein, and
amused himself by scanning with thoughtful gaze the countenances of his
fellow-travellers. Stout Aunt Pen, dignified even in her sleep, was a
"model of deportment" to the rising generation; but the student of human
nature found a more attractive subject in her companion, the girl with
an apple-blossom face and merry brown eyes, who sat smiling into her
book, never heeding that her bonnet was awry, and the wind taking
unwarrantable liberties with her ribbons and her hair.

Innocent Debby turned her pages, unaware that her fate sat opposite in
the likeness of a serious, black-bearded gentleman, who watched the
smiles rippling from her lips to her eyes with an interest that deepened
as the minutes passed. If his paper had been full of anything but
"Bronchial Troches" and "Spalding's Prepared Glue," he would have found
more profitable employment; but it wasn't, and with the usual readiness
of idle souls he fell into evil ways, and permitted curiosity, that
feminine sin, to enter in and take possession of his manly mind. A great
desire seized him to discover what book so interested his pretty
neighbor; but a cover hid the name, and he was too distant to catch it
on the fluttering leaves. Presently a stout Emerald-Islander, with her
wardrobe oozing out of sundry paper parcels, vacated the seat behind the
two ladies; and it was soon quietly occupied by the individual for whom
Satan was finding such indecorous employment. Peeping round the little
gray bonnet, past a brown braid and a fresh cheek, the young man's eye
fell upon the words the girl was reading, and forgot to look away again.
Books were the desire of his life; but an honorable purpose and an
indomitable will kept him steady at his ledgers till he could feel that
he had earned the right to read. Like wine to many another was an open
page to him; he read a line, and, longing for more, took a hasty sip
from his neighbor's cup, forgetting that it was a stranger's also.

Down the page went the two pairs of eyes, and the merriment from Debby's
seemed to light up the sombre ones behind her with a sudden shine that
softened the whole face and made it very winning. No wonder they
twinkled, for Elijah Pogram spoke, and "Mrs. Hominy, the mother of the
modern Gracchi, in the classical blue cap and the red cotton
pocket-handkerchief, came down the room in a procession of one." A low
laugh startled Debby, though it was smothered like the babes in the
Tower; and, turning, she beheld the trespasser scarlet with confusion,
and sobered with a tardy sense of his transgression. Debby was not a
starched young lady of the "prune and prism" school, but a frank,
free-hearted little body, quick to read the sincerity of others, and to
take looks and words at their real value. Dickens was her idol; and for
his sake she could have forgiven a greater offence than this. The
stranger's contrite countenance and respectful apology won her good-will
at once; and with a finer courtesy than any Aunt Pen would have taught,
she smilingly bowed her pardon, and, taking another book from her
basket, opened it, saying, pleasantly,--

"Here is the first volume, if you like it, Sir. I can recommend it as an
invaluable consolation for the discomforts of a summer day's journey,
and it is heartily at your service."

As much surprised as gratified, the gentleman accepted the book, and
retired behind it with the sudden discovery that wrong-doing has its
compensation in the pleasurable sensation of being forgiven. Stolen
delights are well known to be specially saccharine; and much as this
pardoned sinner loved books, it seemed to him that the interest of the
story flagged, and that the enjoyment of reading was much enhanced by
the proximity of a gray bonnet and a girlish profile. But Dickens soon
proved more powerful than Debby, and she was forgotten, till, pausing to
turn a leaf, the young man met her shy glance, as she asked, with the
pleased expression of a child who has shared an apple with a playmate,--

"Is it good?"

"Oh, very!"--and the man looked as honestly grateful for the book as the
boy would have done for the apple.

Only five words in the conversation, but Aunt Pen woke, as if the
watchful spirit of propriety had roused her to pluck her charge from the
precipice on which she stood.

"Dora, I'm astonished at you! Speaking to strangers in that free manner
is a most unladylike thing. How came you to forget what I have told you
over and over again about a proper reserve?"

The energetic whisper reached the gentleman's ear, and he expected to be
annihilated with a look when his offence was revealed; but he was spared
that ordeal, for the young voice answered, softly,--

"Don't faint, Aunt Pen; I only did as I'd be done by; for I had two
books, and the poor man looked so hungry for something to read that I
couldn't resist sharing my 'goodies.' He will see that I'm a countrified
little thing in spite of my fine feathers, and won't be shocked at my
want of rigidity and frigidity; so don't look dismal, and I'll be prim
and proper all the rest of the way,--if I don't forget it."

"I wonder who he is; may belong to some of our first families, and in
that case it might be worth while to exert ourselves, you know. Did you
learn his name, Dora?" whispered the elder lady.

Debby shook her head, and murmured, "Hush!"--but Aunt Pen had heard of
matches being made in cars as well as in heaven; and as an experienced
general, it became her to reconnoitre, when one of the enemy approached
her camp. Slightly altering her position, she darted an
all-comprehensive glance at the invader, who seemed entirely absorbed,
for not an eyelash stirred during the scrutiny. It lasted but an
instant, yet in that instant he was weighed and found wanting; for that
experienced eye detected that his cravat was two inches wider than
fashion ordained, that his coat was not of the latest style, that his
gloves were mended, and his handkerchief neither cambric nor silk. That
was enough, and sentence was passed forthwith,--"Some respectable clerk,
good-looking, but poor, and not at all the thing for Dora"; and Aunt Pen
turned to adjust a voluminous green veil over her niece's bonnet, "To
shield it from the dust, dear," which process also shielded the face
within from the eye of man.

A curious smile, half mirthful, half melancholy, passed over their
neighbor's lips; but his peace of mind seemed undisturbed, and he
remained buried in his book till they reached ----, at dusk. As he
returned it, he offered his services in procuring a carriage or
attending to luggage; but Mrs. Carroll, with much dignity of aspect,
informed him that her servants would attend to those matters, and,
bowing gravely, he vanished into the night.

As they rolled away to the hotel, Debby was wild to run down to the
beach whence came the solemn music of the sea, making the twilight
beautiful. But Aunt Pen was too tired to do anything but sup in her own
apartment and go early to bed; and Debby might as soon have proposed to
walk up the Great Pyramid as to make her first appearance without that
sage matron to mount guard over her; so she resigned herself to pie and
patience, and fell asleep, wishing it were to-morrow.

At five, A.M., a nightcapped head appeared at one of the myriad windows
of the ---- Hotel, and remained there as if fascinated by the miracle of
sunrise over the sea. Under her simplicity of character and girlish
merriment Debby possessed a devout spirit and a nature full of the real
poetry of life, two gifts that gave her dawning womanhood its sweetest
charm, and made her what she was. As she looked out that summer dawn
upon the royal marriage of the ocean and the sun, all petty hopes and
longings faded out of sight, and her young face grew luminous with
thoughts too deep for words. Her day was happier for that silent hour,
her life richer for the aspirations that uplifted her like beautiful
strong angels, and left a blessing when they went. The smile of the June
sky touched her lips, the morning red seemed to linger on her cheek, and
in her eye arose a light kindled by the shimmer of that broad sea of
gold; for Nature rewarded her young votary well, and gave her beauty,
when she offered love. How long she leaned there Debby did not know;
steps from below roused her from her reverie, and led her back into the
world again. Smiling at herself, she stole to bed, and lay wrapped in
waking dreams as changeful as the shadows dancing on her chamber-wall.

The advent of her aunt's maid, Victorine, some two hours later, was the
signal to be "up and doing"; and she meekly resigned herself into the
hands of that functionary, who appeared to regard her in the light of an
animated pin-cushion, as she performed the toilet-ceremonies with an
absorbed aspect, which impressed her subject with a sense of the
solemnity of the occasion.

"Now, Mademoiselle, regard yourself, and pronounce that you are
ravishing," Victorine said at length, folding her hands with a sigh of
satisfaction, as she fell back in an attitude of serene triumph.

Debby obeyed, and inspected herself with great interest and some
astonishment; for there was a sweeping amplitude of array about the
young lady whom she beheld in the much-befrilled gown and embroidered
skirts, which somewhat alarmed her as to the navigation of a vessel
"with such a spread of sail," while a curious sensation of being
somebody else pervaded her from the crown of her head, with its shining
coils of hair, to the soles of the French slippers, whose energies
seemed to have been devoted to the production of marvellous rosettes.

"Yes, I look very nice, thank you; and yet I feel like a doll, helpless
and fine, and fancy I was more of a woman in my fresh gingham, with a
knot of clovers in my hair, than I am now. Aunt Pen was very kind to get
me all these pretty things; but I'm afraid my mother would look
horrified to see me in such a high state of flounce externally and so
little room to breathe internally."

"Your mamma would not flatter me, Mademoiselle; but come now to Madame;
she is waiting to behold you, and I have yet her toilet to make"; and,
with a pitying shrug, Victorine followed Debby to her aunt's room.

"Charming! really elegant!" cried that lady, emerging from her towel
with a rubicund visage. "Drop that braid half an inch lower, and pull
the worked end of her handkerchief out of the right-hand pocket, Vic.
There! Now, Dora, don't run about and get rumpled, but sit quietly down
and practise repose till I am ready."

Debby obeyed, and sat mute, with the air of a child in its Sunday-best
on a week-day, pleased with the novelty, but somewhat oppressed with the
responsibility of such unaccustomed splendor, and utterly unable to
connect any ideas of repose with tight shoes and skirts in a rampant
state of starch.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Well, you see, I bet on Lady Gay against Cockadoodle, and if you'll
believe me--Hullo! there's Mrs. Carroll, and deuse take me if she hasn't
got a girl with her! Look, Seguin!"--and Joe Leavenworth, a "man of the
world," aged twenty, paused in his account of an exciting race to make
the announcement.

Mr. Seguin, his friend and Mentor, as much his senior in worldly
wickedness as in years, tore himself from his breakfast long enough to
survey the new-comers, and then returned to it, saying, briefly,--

"The old lady is worth cultivating,--gives good suppers, and thanks you
for eating them. The girl is well got up, but has no style, and blushes
like a milk-maid. Better fight shy of her, Joe."

"Do you think so? Well, now I rather fancy that kind of thing. She's
new, you see, and I get on with that sort of girl the best, for the old
ones are so deused knowing that a fellow has no chance of a--By the Lord
Harry, she's eating bread and milk!"

Young Leavenworth whisked his glass into his eye, and Mr. Seguin put
down his roll to behold the phenomenon. Poor Debby! her first step had
been a wrong one.

All great minds have their weak points. Aunt Pen's was her breakfast,
and the peace of her entire day depended upon the success of that meal.
Therefore, being down rather late, the worthy lady concentrated her
energies upon the achievement of a copious repast, and, trusting to
former lessons, left Debby to her own resources for a few fatal moments.
After the flutter occasioned by being scooped into her seat by a
severe-nosed waiter, Debby had only courage enough left to refuse tea
and coffee and accept milk. That being done, she took the first familiar
viand that appeared, and congratulated herself upon being able to get
her usual breakfast. With returning composure, she looked about her and
began to enjoy the buzz of voices, the clatter of knives and forks, and
the long lines of faces all intent upon the business of the hour; but
her peace was of short duration. Pausing for a fresh relay of toast,
Aunt Pen glanced toward her niece with the comfortable conviction that
her appearance was highly creditable; and her dismay can be imagined,
when she beheld that young lady placidly devouring a great cup of
brown-bread and milk before the eyes of the assembled multitude. The
poor lady choked in her coffee, and between her gasps whispered irefully
behind her napkin,--

"For Heaven's sake, Dora, put away that mess! The Ellenboroughs are
directly opposite, watching everything you do. Eat that omelet, or
anything respectable, unless you want me to die of mortificátion."

Debby dropped her spoon, and, hastily helping herself from the dish her
aunt pushed toward her, consumed the leathery compound with as much
grace as she could assume, though unable to repress a laugh at Aunt
Pen's disturbed countenance. There was a slight lull in the clatter, and
the blithe sound caused several heads to turn toward the quarter whence
it came, for it was as unexpected and pleasant a sound as a bobolink's
song in a cage of shrill-voiced canaries.

"She's a jolly little thing and powerful pretty, so deuse take me if I
don't make up to the old lady and find out who the girl is. I've been
introduced to Mrs. Carroll at our house; but I suppose she won't
remember me till I remind her."

The "deuse" declining to accept of his repeated offers, (probably
because there was still too much honor and honesty in the boy,) young
Leavenworth sought out Mrs. Carroll on the piazza, as she and Debby were
strolling there an hour later.

"Joe Leavenworth, my dear, from one of our first families,--very
wealthy,--fine match,--pray, be civil,--smooth your hair, hold back your
shoulders, and put down your parasol," murmured Aunt Pen, as the
gentleman approached with as much pleasure in his countenance as it was
consistent with manly dignity to express upon meeting two of the
inferior race.

"My niece, Miss Dora Wilder. This is her first season at the beach, and
we must endeavor to make it pleasant for her, or she will be getting
homesick and running away to mamma," said Aunt Pen, in her society-tone,
after she had returned his greeting, and perpetrated a polite fiction,
by declaring that she remembered him perfectly, for he was the image of
his father.

Mr. Leavenworth brought the heels of his varnished boots together with a
click, and executed the latest bow imported, then stuck his glass in his
eye and stared till it fell out, (the glass, not the eye,) upon which he
fell into step with them, remarking,--

"I shall be most happy to show the lions: they are deused tame ones, so
you needn't be alarmed, Miss Wilder."

Debby was good-natured enough to laugh; and, elated with that success,
he proceeded to pour forth his stores of wit and learning in true
collegian style, quite unconscious that the "jolly little thing" was
looking him through and through with the smiling eyes that were
producing such pleasurable sensations under the mosaic studs. They
strolled toward the beach, and, meeting an old acquaintance, Aunt Pen
fell behind, and beamed upon the young pair as if her prophetic eye even
at this early stage beheld them walking altarward in a proper state of
blond white vest and bridal awkwardness.

"Can you skip a stone, Mr. Leavenworth?" asked Debby, possessed with a
mischievous desire to shock the piece of elegance at her side.

"Eh? what's that?" he inquired, with his head on one side, like an
inquisitive robin.

Debby repeated her question, and illustrated it by sending a stone
skimming over the water in the most scientific manner. Mr. Joe was
painfully aware that this was not at all "the thing," that his sisters
never did so, and that Seguin would laugh confoundedly, if he caught him
at it; but Debby looked so irresistibly fresh and pretty under her
rose-lined parasol that he was moved to confess that he _had_ done such
a thing, and to sacrifice his gloves by poking in the sand, that he
might indulge in a like unfashionable pastime.

"You'll be at the hop tonight, I hope, Miss Wilder," he observed,
introducing a topic suited to a young lady's mental capacity.

"Yes, indeed; for dancing is one of the joys of my life, next to husking
and making hay"; and Debby polked a few steps along the beach, much to
the edification of a pair of old gentlemen, serenely taking their first
"constitutional."

"Making what?" cried Mr. Joe, polking after her.

"Hay; ah, that is the pleasantest fun in the world,--and better
exercise, my mother says, for soul and body, than dancing till dawn in
crowded rooms, with everything in a state of unnatural excitement. If
one wants real merriment, let him go into a new-mown field, where all
the air is full of summer odors, where wild-flowers nod along the walls,
where blackbirds make finer music than any band, and sun and wind and
cheery voices do their part, while windrows rise, and great loads go
rumbling through the lanes with merry brown faces atop. Yes, much as I
like dancing, it is not to be compared with that; for in the one case we
shut out the lovely world, and in the other we become a part of it, till
by its magic labor turns to poetry, and we harvest something better than
dried buttercups and grass."

As she spoke, Debby looked up, expecting to meet a glance of
disapproval; but something in the simple earnestness of her manner had
recalled certain boyish pleasures as innocent as they were hearty, which
now contrasted very favorably with the later pastimes in which fast
horses, and that lower class of animals, fast men, bore so large a part.
Mr. Joe thoughtfully punched five holes in the sand, and for a moment
Debby liked the expression of his face; then the old listlessness
returned, and, looking up, he said, with an air of _ennui_ that was half
sad, half ludicrous, in one so young and so generously endowed with
youth, health, and the good gifts of this life,--

"I used to fancy that sort of thing years ago, but I'm afraid I should
find it a little slow now, though you describe it in such an inviting
manner that I should be tempted to try it, if a hay-cock came in my way;
for, upon my life, it's deused heavy work loafing about at these
watering-places all summer. Between ourselves, there's a deal of humbug
about this kind of life, as you will find, when you've tried it as long
as I have."

"Yes, I begin to think so already; but perhaps you can give me a few
friendly words of warning from the stores of your experience, that I may
be spared the pain of saying what so many look,--'Grandma, the world is
hollow; my doll is stuffed with sawdust; and I should like to go into a
convent, if you please.'"

Debby's eyes were dancing with merriment; but they were demurely
downcast, and her voice was perfectly serious.

The milk of human kindness had been slightly curdled for Mr. Joe by
sundry college-tribulations; and having been "suspended," he very
naturally vibrated between the inborn jollity of his temperament and the
bitterness occasioned by his wrongs. He had lost at billiards the night
before, had been hurried at breakfast, had mislaid his cigar-case, and
splashed his boots; consequently the darker mood prevailed that morning,
and when his counsel was asked, he gave it like one who had known the
heaviest trials of this "Piljin Projiss of a wale."

"There's no justice in the world, no chance for us young people to enjoy
ourselves, without some penalty to pay, some drawback to worry us like
these confounded 'all-rounders.' Even here, where all seems free and
easy, there's no end of gossips and spies who tattle and watch till you
feel as if you lived in a lantern. 'Every one for himself, and the Devil
take the hindmost': that's the principle they go on, and you have to
keep your wits about you in the most exhausting manner, or you are done
for before you know it. I've seen a good deal of this sort of thing, and
hope you'll get on better than some do, when it's known that you are the
rich Mrs. Carroll's niece; though you don't need that fact to enhance
your charms,--upon my life, you don't."

Debby laughed behind her parasol at this burst of candor; but her
independent nature prompted her to make a fair beginning, in spite of
Aunt Pen's polite fictions and well-meant plans.

"Thank you for your warning, but I don't apprehend much annoyance of
that kind," she said, demurely. "Do you know, I think, if young ladies
were truthfully labelled when they went into society, it would be a
charming fashion, and save a world of trouble? Something in this
style:--'Arabella Marabout, aged nineteen, fortune $100,000, temper
warranted'; 'Laura Eau-de-Cologne, aged twenty-eight, fortune $30,000,
temper slightly damaged'; 'Deborah Wilder, aged eighteen, fortune, one
pair of hands, one head, indifferently well filled, one heart, (not in
the market,) temper decided, and _no expectations_.' There, you see,
that would do away with much of the humbug you lament, and we poor
souls would know at once whether we were sought for our fortunes or
ourselves, and that would be so comfortable!"

Mr. Leavenworth turned away, with a convicted sort of expression, as she
spoke, and, making a spyglass of his hand, seemed to be watching
something out at sea with absorbing interest. He had been guilty of a
strong desire to discover whether Debby was an heiress, but had not
expected to be so entirely satisfied on that important subject, and was
dimly conscious that a keen eye had seen his anxiety, and a quick wit
devised a means of setting it at rest forever. Somewhat disconcerted, he
suddenly changed the conversation, and, like many another distressed
creature, took to the water, saying briskly,--

"By-the-by, Miss Wilder, as I've engaged to do the honors, shall I have
the pleasure of bathing with you when the fun begins? As you are fond of
haymaking, I suppose you intend to pay your respects to the old
gentleman with the three-pronged pitchfork?"

"Yes, Aunt Pen means to put me through a course of salt water, and any
instructions in the art of navigation will be gratefully received; for I
never saw the ocean before, and labor under a firm conviction, that,
once in, I never shall come out again till I am brought, like Mr.
Mantilini, a 'damp, moist, unpleasant body.'"

As Debby spoke, Mrs. Carroll hove in sight, coming down before the wind
with all sails set, and signals of distress visible long before she
dropped anchor and came along-side. The devoted woman had been strolling
slowly for the girl's sake, though oppressed with a mournful certainty
that her most prominent feature was fast becoming a fine copper-color;
yet she had sustained herself like a Spartan matron, till it suddenly
occurred to her that her charge might be suffering a like

                        "sea-change
    Into something rich and strange."

Her fears, however, were groundless, for Debby met her without a
freckle, looking all the better for her walk; and though her feet were
wet with chasing the waves, and her pretty gown the worse for salt
water, Aunt Pen never chid her for the destruction of her raiment, nor
uttered a warning word against an unladylike exuberance of spirits, but
replied to her inquiry most graciously,--

"Certainly, my love, we shall bathe at eleven, and there will be just
time to get Victorine and our dresses; so run on to the house, and I
will join you as soon as I have finished what I am saying to Mrs.
Earle,"--then added, in a stage-aside, as she put a fallen lock off the
girl's forehead, "You are doing beautifully! He is evidently struck;
make yourself interesting, and don't burn your nose, I beg of you."

Debby's bright face clouded over, and she walked on with so much
stateliness that her escort wondered "what the deuse the old lady had
done to her," and exerted himself to the utmost to recall her merry
mood, but with indifferent success.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Now I begin to feel more like myself, for this is getting back to first
principles, though I fancy I look like the little old woman who fell
asleep on the king's highway and woke up with abbreviated drapery; and
you look funnier still, Aunt Pen," said Debby, as she tied on her
pagoda-hat, and followed Mrs. Carroll, who walked out of her
dressing-room an animated bale of blue cloth surmounted by a gigantic
sun-bonnet.

Mr. Leavenworth was in waiting, and so like a blond-headed lobster in
his scarlet suit that Debby could hardly keep her countenance as they
joined the groups of bathers gathering along the breezy shore.

For an hour each day the actors and actresses who played their different
_rôles_ at the ---- Hotel with such precision and success put off their
masks and dared to be themselves. The ocean wrought the change, for it
took old and young into its arms, and for a little while they played
like children in their mother's lap. No falsehood could withstand its
rough sincerity; for the waves washed paint and powder from worn faces,
and left a fresh bloom there. No ailment could entirely resist its
vigorous cure; for every wind brought healing on its wings, endowing
many a meagre life with another year of health. No gloomy spirit could
refuse to listen to its lullaby, and the spray baptized it with the
subtile benediction of a cheerier mood. No rank held place there; for
the democratic sea toppled down the greatest statesman in the land, and
dashed over the bald pate of a millionnaire with the same white-crested
wave that stranded a poor parson on the beach and filled a fierce
reformer's mouth with brine. No fashion ruled, but that which is as old
as Eden,--the beautiful fashion of simplicity. Belles dropped their
affectations with their hoops, and ran about the shore blithe-hearted
girls again. Young men forgot their vices and their follies, and were
not ashamed of the real courage, strength, and skill they had tried to
leave behind them with their boyish plays. Old men gathered shells with
the little Cupids dancing on the sand, and were better for that innocent
companionship; and young mothers never looked so beautiful as when they
rocked their babies on the bosom of the sea.

Debby vaguely felt this charm, and, yielding to it, splashed and sang
like any beach-bird, while Aunt Pen bobbed placidly up and down in a
retired corner, and Mr. Leavenworth swam to and fro, expressing his firm
belief in mermaids, sirens, and the rest of the aquatic sisterhood,
whose warbling no manly ear can resist.

"Miss Wilder, you must learn to swim. I've taught quantities of young
ladies, and shall be delighted to launch the 'Dora,' if you'll accept me
as a pilot. Stop a bit; I'll get a life-preserver"; and leaving Debby to
flirt with the waves, the scarlet youth departed like a flame of fire.

A dismal shriek interrupted his pupil's play, and looking up, she saw
her aunt beckoning wildly with one hand, while she was groping in the
water with the other. Debby ran to her, alarmed at her tragic
expression, and Mrs. Carroll, drawing the girl's face into the privacy
of her big bonnet, whispered one awful word, adding, distractedly,--

"Dive for them! oh, dive for them! I shall be perfectly helpless, if
they are lost!"

"I can't dive, Aunt Pen; but there is a man, let us ask him," said
Debby, as a black head appeared to windward.

But Mrs. Carroll's "nerves" had received a shock, and, gathering up her
dripping garments, she fled precipitately along the shore and vanished
into her dressing-room.

Debby's keen sense of the ludicrous got the better of her respect, and
peal after peal of laughter broke from her lips, till a splash behind
her put an end to her merriment, and, turning, she found that this
friend in need was her acquaintance of the day before. The gentleman
seemed pausing for permission to approach, with much the appearance of a
sagacious Newfoundland, wistful and wet.

"Oh, I'm very glad it's you, Sir!" was Debby's cordial greeting, as she
shook a drop off the end of her nose, and nodded, smiling.

The new comer immediately beamed upon her like an amiable Triton,
saying, as they turned shoreward,--

"Our first interview opened with a laugh on my side, and our second with
one on yours. I accept the fact as a good omen. Your friend seemed in
trouble; allow me to atone for my past misdemeanors by offering my
services now. But first let me introduce myself; and as I believe in the
fitness of things, let me present you with an appropriate card"; and,
stooping, the young man wrote "Frank Evan" on the hard sand at Debby's
feet.

The girl liked his manner, and, entering into the spirit of the thing,
swept as grand a curtsy as her limited drapery would allow, saying,
merrily,--

"I am Debby Wilder, or Dora, as aunt prefers to call me; and instead of
laughing, I ought to be four feet under water, looking for something we
have lost; but I can't dive, and my distress is dreadful, as you see."

"What have you lost? I will look for it, and bring it back in spite of
the kelpies, if it is a human possibility," replied Mr. Evan, pushing
his wet locks out of his eyes, and regarding the ocean with a determined
aspect.

Debby leaned toward him, whispering with solemn countenance,--

"It is a set of teeth, Sir."

Mr. Evan was more a man of deeds than words, therefore he disappeared at
once with a mighty splash, and after repeated divings and much laughter
appeared bearing the chief ornament of Mrs. Penelope Carroll's comely
countenance. Debby looked very pretty and grateful as she returned her
thanks, and Mr. Evan was guilty of a secret wish that all the worthy
lady's features were at the bottom of the sea, that he might have the
satisfaction of restoring them to her attractive niece; but curbing this
unnatural desire, he bowed, saying, gravely,--

"Tell your aunt, if you please, that this little accident will remain a
dead secret, so far as I am concerned, and I am very glad to have been
of service at such a critical moment."

Whereupon Mr. Evan marched again into the briny deep, and Debby trotted
away to her aunt, whom she found a clammy heap of blue flannel and
despair. Mrs. Carroll's temper was ruffled, and though she joyfully
rattled in her teeth, she said, somewhat testily, when Debby's story was
done,--

"Now that man will have a sort of claim on us, and we must be civil,
whoever he is. Dear! dear! I wish it had been Joe Leavenworth instead.
Evan,--I don't remember any of our first families with connections of
that name, and I dislike to be under obligations to a person of that
sort, for there's no knowing how far he may presume; so, pray, be
careful, Dora."

"I think you are very ungrateful, Aunt Pen; and if Mr. Evan should
happen to be poor, it does not become me to turn up my nose at him, for
I'm nothing but a make-believe myself just now. I don't wish to go down
upon my knees to him, but I do intend to be as kind to him as I should
to that conceited Leavenworth boy; yes, kinder even; for poor people
value such things more, as I know very well."

Mrs. Carroll instantly recovered her temper, changed the subject, and
privately resolved to confine her prejudices to her own bosom, as they
seemed to have an aggravating effect upon the youthful person whom she
had set her heart on disposing of to the best advantage.

Debby took her swimming-lesson with much success, and would have
achieved her dinner with composure, if white-aproned gentlemen had not
effectually taken away her appetite by whisking bills-of-fare into her
hands, and awaiting her orders with a fatherly interest, which induced
them to congregate mysterious dishes before her, and blandly rectify
her frequent mistakes. She survived the ordeal, however, and at four
P.M. went to drive with "that Leavenworth boy" in the finest turnout
---- could produce. Aunt Pen then came off guard, and with a sigh of
satisfaction subsided into a peaceful doze, still murmuring, even in
her sleep,--

"Propinquity, my love, propinquity works wonders."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Aunt Pen, are you a modest woman?" asked the young crusader against
established absurdities, as she came into the presence-chamber that
evening ready for the hop.

"Bless the child, what does she mean?" cried Mrs. Carroll, with a start
that twitched her back-hair out of Victorine's hands.

"Would you like to have a daughter of yours go to a party looking as I
look?" continued her niece, spreading her airy dress, and standing very
erect before her astonished relative.

"Why, of course I should, and be proud to own such a charming
creature," regarding the slender white shape with much
approbation,--adding, with a smile, as she met the girl's eye,--

"Ah, I see the difficulty, now; you are disturbed because there is not a
bit of lace over these pretty shoulders of yours. Now don't be absurd,
Dora; the dress is perfectly proper, or Madame Tiphany never would have
sent it home. It is the fashion, child; and many a girl with such a
figure would go twice as _décolletée_, and think nothing of it, I assure
you."

Debby shook her head with an energy that set the pink heather-bells
a-tremble in her hair, and her color deepened beautifully as she said,
with reproachful eyes,--

"Aunt Pen, I think there is a better fashion in every young girl's heart
than any Madame Tiphany can teach. I am very grateful for all you have
done for me, but I cannot go into public in such an undress as this; my
mother would never allow it, and father never forgive it. Please don't
ask me to, for indeed I cannot do it even for you."

Debby looked so pathetic that both mistress and maid broke into a laugh
which, somewhat reassured the young lady, who allowed her determined
features to relax into a smile, as she said,--

"Now, Aunt Pen, you want me to look pretty and be a credit to you; but
how would you like to see my face the color of those geraniums all the
evening?"

"Why, Dora, you are out of your mind to ask such a thing, when you know
it's the desire of my life to keep your color down and make you look
more delicate," said her aunt, alarmed at the fearful prospect of a
peony-faced _protégée_.

"Well, I should be anything but that, if I wore this gown in its present
waistless condition; so here is a remedy which will prevent such a
calamity and ease my mind."

As she spoke, Debby tied on her little _blonde fichu_ with a gesture
which left nothing more to be said.

Victorine scolded, and clasped her hands; but Mrs. Carroll, fearing to
push her authority too far, made a virtue of necessity, saying,
resignedly,--

"Have your own way, Dora, but in return oblige me by being agreeable to
such persons as I may introduce to you; and some day, when I ask a
favor, remember how much I hope to do for you, and grant it cheerfully."

"Indeed I will, Aunt Pen, if it is anything I can do without disobeying
mother's 'notions', as you call them. Ask me to wear an orange-colored
gown, or dance with the plainest, poorest man in the room, and I'll do
it; for there never was a kinder aunt than mine in all the world," cried
Debby, eager to atone for her seeming wilfulness, and really grateful
for her escape from what seemed to her benighted mind a very imminent
peril.

Like a clover-blossom in a vase of camellias little Debby looked that
night among the dashing or languid women who surrounded her; for she
possessed the charm they had lost,--the freshness of her youth. Innocent
gayety sat smiling in her eyes, healthful roses bloomed upon her cheek,
and maiden modesty crowned her like a garland. She _was_ the creature
that she seemed, and, yielding to the influence of the hour, danced to
the music of her own blithe heart. Many felt the spell whose secret they
had lost the power to divine, and watched the girlish figure as if it
were a symbol of their early aspirations dawning freshly from the
dimness of their past. More than one old man thought again of some
little maid whose love made his boyish days a pleasant memory to him
now. More than one smiling fop felt the emptiness of his smooth speech,
when the truthful eyes looked up into his own; and more than one pale
woman sighed regretfully within herself, "I, too, was a happy-hearted
creature once!"

"That Mr. Evan does not seem very anxious to claim our acquaintance,
after all, and I think better of him on that account. Has he spoken to
you tonight, Dora?" asked Mrs. Carroll, as Debby dropped down beside her
after a "splendid polka."

"No, Ma'am, he only bowed. You see some people are not so presuming as
other people thought they were; for we are not the most attractive
beings on the planet; therefore a gentleman can be polite and then
forget us without breaking any of the Ten Commandments. Don't be
offended with him yet, for he may prove to be some great creature with a
finer pedigree than any of 'our first families.' Mr. Leavenworth, as you
know everybody, perhaps you can relieve Aunt Pen's mind, by telling her
something about the tall, brown man standing behind the lady with
salmon-colored hair."

Mr. Joe, who was fanning the top of Debby's head with the best
intentions in life, took a survey, and answered readily,--

"Why, that's Frank Evan. I know him, and a deused good fellow he
is,--though he don't belong to our set, you know."

"Indeed! pray, tell us something about him, Mr. Leavenworth. We met in
the cars, and he did us a favor or two. Who and what is the man?" asked
Mrs. Carroll, relenting at once toward a person who was favorably spoken
of by one who did belong to her "set."

"Well, let me see," began Mr. Joe, whose narrative powers were not
great. "He is a book-keeper in my Uncle Josh Loring's importing concern,
and a powerful smart man, they say. There's some kind of clever story
about his father's leaving a load of debts, and Frank's working a deused
number of years till they were paid. Good of him, wasn't it? Then, just
as he was going to take things easier and enjoy life a bit, his mother
died, and that rather knocked him up, you see. He fell sick, and came to
grief generally, Uncle Josh said; so he was ordered off to get righted,
and here he is, looking like a tombstone. I've a regard for Frank, for
he took care of me through the smallpox a year ago, and I don't forget
things of that sort; so, if you wish to be introduced, Mrs. Carroll,
I'll trot him out with pleasure, and make a proud man of him."

Mrs. Carroll glanced at Debby, and as that young lady was regarding Mr.
Joe with a friendly aspect, owing to the warmth of his words, she
graciously assented, and the youth departed on his errand. Mr. Evan went
through the ceremony with a calmness wonderful to behold, considering
the position of one lady and the charms of the other, and soon glided
into the conversation with the ease of a more accomplished courtier.

"Now I must tear myself away, for I'm engaged to that stout Miss
Bandoline for this dance. She 's a friend of my sister's, and I must do
the civil, you know; powerful slow work it is, too, but I pity the poor
soul,--upon my life, I do"; and Mr. Joe assumed the air of a martyr.

Debby looked up with a wicked smile in her eyes, as she said,--

"Ah, that sounds very amiable here; but in five minutes you'll be
murmuring in Miss Bandoline's ear,--'I've been pining to come to you
this half hour, but I was obliged to take out that Miss Wilder, you
see,--countrified little thing enough, but not bad-looking, and has a
rich aunt; so I've done my duty to her, but deuse take me if I can stand
it any longer.'"

Mr. Evan joined in Debby's merriment; but Mr. Joe was so appalled at the
sudden attack that he could only stammer a remonstrance and beat a hasty
retreat, wondering how on earth she came to know that his favorite style
of making himself agreeable to one young lady was by decrying another.

"Dora, my love, that is very rude, and 'Deuse' is not a proper
expression for a woman's lips. Pray, restrain your lively tongue, for
strangers may not understand that it is nothing but the sprightliness of
your disposition which sometimes runs away with you."

"It was only a quotation, and I thought you would admire anything Mr.
Leavenworth said, Aunt Pen," replied Debby, demurely.

Mrs. Carroll trod on her foot, and abruptly changed the conversation, by
saying, with an appearance of deep interest,--

"Mr. Evan, you are doubtless connected with the Malcoms of Georgia; for
they, I believe, are descended from the ancient Evans of Scotland. They
are a very wealthy and aristocratic family, and I remember seeing their
coat-of-arms once: three bannocks and a thistle."

Mr. Evan had been standing before them with a composure which impressed
Mrs. Carroll with a belief in his gentle blood, for she remembered her
own fussy, plebeian husband, whose fortune had never been able to
purchase him the manners of a gentleman. Mr. Evan only grew a little
more erect, as he replied, with an untroubled mien,--

"I cannot claim relationship with the Malcoms of Georgia or the Evans of
Scotland, I believe, Madam. My father was a farmer, my grandfather a
blacksmith, and beyond that my ancestors may have been street-sweepers,
for anything I know; but whatever they were, I fancy they were honest
men, for that has always been our boast, though, like President
Jackson's, our coat-of-arms is nothing but 'a pair of shirt-sleeves.'"

From Debby's eyes there shot a bright glance of admiration for the young
man who could look two comely women in the face and serenely own that he
was poor. Mrs. Carroll tried to appear at ease, and, gliding out of
personalities, expatiated on the comfort of "living in a land where fame
and fortune were attainable by all who chose to earn them," and the
contempt she felt for those "who had no sympathy with the humbler
classes, no interest in the welfare of the race," and many more moral
reflections as new and original as the Multiplication-Table or the
Westminster Catechism. To all of which Mr. Evan listened with polite
deference, though there was something in the keen intelligence of his
eye that made Debby blush for shallow Aunt Pen, and rejoice when the
good lady got out of her depth and seized upon a new subject as a
drowning mariner would a hen-coop.

"Dora, Mr. Ellenborough is coming this way; you have danced with him but
once, and he is a very desirable partner; so, pray, accept, if he asks
you," said Mrs. Carroll, watching a far-off individual who seemed
steering his zigzag course toward them.

"I never intend to dance with Mr. Ellenborough again, so please don't
urge me, Aunt Pen"; and Debby knit her brows with a somewhat irate
expression.

"My love, you astonish me! He is a most agreeable and accomplished young
man,--spent three years in Paris, moves in the first circles, and is
considered an ornament to fashionable society. What _can_ be your
objection, Dora?" cried Mrs. Carroll, looking as alarmed as if her niece
had suddenly announced her belief in the Koran.

"One of his accomplishments consists in drinking Champagne till he is
not a 'desirable partner' for any young lady with a prejudice in favor
of decency. His moving in 'circles' is just what I complain of; and if
he is an ornament, I prefer my society undecorated. Aunt Pen, I cannot
make the nice distinctions you would have me, and a sot in broadcloth is
as odious as one in rags. Forgive me, but I cannot dance with that
silver-labelled decanter again."

Debby was a genuine little piece of womanhood; and though she tried to
speak lightly, her color deepened, as she remembered looks that had
wounded her like insults, and her indignant eyes silenced the excuses
rising to her aunt's lips. Mrs. Carroll began to rue the hour she ever
undertook the guidance of Sister Deborah's headstrong child, and for an
instant heartily wished she had left her to bloom unseen in the shadow
of the parsonage; but she concealed her annoyance, still hoping to
overcome the girl's absurd resolve, by saying, mildly,--

"As you please, dear; but if you refuse Mr. Ellenborough, you will be
obliged to sit through the dance, which is your favorite, you know."

Debby's countenance fell, for she had forgotten that, and the Lancers
was to her the crowning rapture of the night. She paused a moment, and
Aunt Pen brightened; but Debby made her little sacrifice to principle
as heroically as many a greater one had been made, and, with a wistful
look down the long room, answered steadily, though her foot kept time to
the first strains as she spoke,--

"Then I will sit, Aunt Pen; for that is preferable to staggering about
the room with a partner who has no idea of the laws of gravitation."

"Shall I have the honor of averting either calamity?" said Mr. Evan,
coming to the rescue with a devotion beautiful to see; for dancing was
nearly a lost art with him, and the Lancers to a novice is equal to a
second Labyrinth of Crete.

"Oh, thank you!" cried Debby, tumbling fan, bouquet, and handkerchief
into Mrs. Carroll's lap, with a look of relief that repaid him fourfold
for the trials he was about to undergo. They went merrily away together,
leaving Aunt Pen to wish that it was according to the laws of etiquette
to rap officious gentlemen over the knuckles, when they introduce their
fingers into private pies without permission from the chief cook. How
the dance went Debby hardly knew, for the conversation fell upon books,
and in the interest of her favorite theme she found even the "grand
square" an impertinent interruption, while her own deficiencies became
almost as great as her partner's; yet, when the music ended with a
flourish, and her last curtsy was successfully achieved, she longed to
begin all over again, and secretly regretted that she was engaged four
deep.

"How do you like our new acquaintance, Dora?" asked Aunt Pen, following
Joe Leavenworth with her eye, as the "yellow-haired laddie" whirled by
with the ponderous Miss Flora.

"Very much; and I'm glad we met as we did, for it makes things free and
easy, and that is so agreeable in this ceremonious place," replied
Debby, looking in quite an opposite direction.

"Well, I'm delighted to hear you say so, dear, for I was afraid you had
taken a dislike to him, and he is really a very charming young man, just
the sort of person to make a pleasant companion for a few weeks. These
little friendships are part of the summer's amusement, and do no harm;
so smile away, Dora, and enjoy yourself while you may."

"Yes, Aunt, I certainly will, and all the more because I have found a
sensible soul to talk to. Do you know, he is very witty and well
informed, though he says he never had much time for self-cultivation?
But I think trouble makes people wise, and he seems to have had a good
deal, though he leaves it for others to tell of. I am glad you are
willing I should know him, for I shall enjoy talking about my pet heroes
with him as a relief from the silly chatter I must keep up most of the
time."

Mrs. Carroll was a woman of one idea; and though a slightly puzzled
expression appeared in her face, she listened approvingly, and answered,
with a gracious smile,--

"Of course, I should not object to your knowing such a person, my love;
but I'd no idea Joe Leavenworth was a literary man, or had known much
trouble, except his father's death and his sister Clementina's
runaway-marriage with her drawing-master."

Debby opened her brown eyes very wide, and hastily picked at the down on
her fan, but had no time to correct her aunt's mistake, for the real
subject of her commendations appeared at that moment, and Mrs. Carroll
was immediately absorbed in the consumption of a large pink ice.

       *       *       *       *       *

"That girl is what I call a surprise-party, now," remarked Mr. Joe
confidentially to his cigar, as he pulled off his coat and stuck his
feet up in the privacy of his own apartment. "She looks as mild as
strawberries and cream till you come to the complimentary, then she
turns on a fellow with that deused satirical look of hers, and makes him
feel like a fool. I'll try the moral dodge to-morrow, and see what
effect that will have; for she is mighty taking, and I must amuse myself
somehow, you know."

"How many years will it take to change that fresh-hearted little girl
into a fashionable belle, I wonder?" thought Frank Evan, as he climbed
the four flights that led to his "sky-parlor."

"What a curious world this is!" mused Debby, with her nightcap in her
hand. "The right seems odd and rude, the wrong respectable and easy, and
this sort of life a merry-go-round, with no higher aim than pleasure.
Well, I have made my Declaration of Independence, and Aunt Pen must be
ready for a Revolution, if she taxes me too heavily."

As she leaned her hot cheek on her arm, Debby's eye fell on the quaint
little cap made by the motherly hands that never were tired of working
for her. She touched it tenderly, and love's simple magic swept the
gathering shadows from her face, and left it clear again, as her
thoughts flew home like birds into the shelter of their nest.

"Good night, mother! I'll face temptation steadily. I'll try to take
life cheerily, and do nothing that shall make your dear face a reproach,
when it looks into my own again."

Then Debby said her prayers like any pious child, and lay down to dream
of pulling buttercups with Baby Bess, and sinking in the twilight on her
father's knee.

       *       *       *       *       *

The history of Debby's first day might serve as a sample of most that
followed, as week after week went by with varying pleasures and
increasing interest to more than one young _débutante_. Mrs. Carroll did
her best, but Debby was too simple for a belle, too honest for a flirt,
too independent for a fine lady; she would be nothing but her sturdy
little self, open as daylight, gay as a lark, and blunt as any Puritan.
Poor Aunt Pen was in despair, till she observed that the girl often
"took" with the very peculiarities which she was lamenting; this
somewhat consoled her, and she tried to make the best of the pretty bit
of homespun which would not and could not become velvet or brocade.
Seguin, Ellenborough, & Co. looked with lordly scorn upon her, as a worm
blind to their attractions. Miss MacFlimsy and her "set" quizzed her
unmercifully behind her back, after being worsted in several passages of
arms; and more than one successful mamma condoled with Aunt Pen upon the
terribly defective education of her charge, till that stout matron could
have found it in her heart to tweak off their caps and walk on them,
like the irascible Betsey Trotwood.

But Debby had a circle of admirers who loved her with a sincerity few
summer queens could boast; for they were real friends, won by gentle
arts, and retained by the gracious sweetness of her nature. Moon-faced
babies crowed and clapped their chubby hands when she passed by their
wicker thrones; story-loving children clustered round her knee, and
never were denied; pale invalids found wild-flowers on their pillows;
and forlorn papas forgot the state of the money-market when she sang for
them the homely airs their daughters had no time to learn. Certain plain
young ladies poured their woes into her friendly ear, and were
comforted; several smart Sophomores fell into a state of chronic
stammer, blush, and adoration, when she took a motherly interest in
their affairs; and a melancholy old Frenchman blessed her with the
enthusiasm of his nation, because she put a posy in the button-hole of
his rusty coat, and never failed to smile and bow as he passed by. Yet
Debby was no Edgeworth heroine, preternaturally prudent, wise, and
untemptable; she had a fine crop of piques, vanities, and dislikes
growing up under this new style of cultivation. She loved admiration,
enjoyed her purple and fine linen, hid new-born envy, disappointed hope,
and wounded pride behind a smiling face, and often thought with a sigh
of the humdrum duties that awaited her at home. But under the airs and
graces Aunt Pen cherished with such sedulous care, under the flounces
and furbelows Victorine daily adjusted with groans, under the polish
which she acquired with feminine ease, the girl's heart still beat
steadfast and strong, and conscience kept watch and ward that no
traitor should enter in to surprise the citadel which mother-love had
tried to garrison so well.

In pursuance of his sage resolve, Mr. Joe tried the "moral dodge," as he
elegantly expressed it, and, failing in that, followed it up with the
tragic, religious, negligent, and devoted ditto; but acting was not his
forte, so Debby routed him in all; and at last, when he was at his wit's
end for an idea, she suggested one, and completed her victory by saying
pleasantly,--

"You took me behind the curtain too soon, and now the paste diamonds and
cotton-velvet don't impose upon me a bit. Just be your natural self, and
we shall get on nicely, Mr. Leavenworth."

The novelty of the proposal struck his fancy, and after a few relapses
it was carried into effect, and thenceforth, with Debby, he became the
simple, good-humored lad Nature designed him to be, and, as a proof of
it, soon fell very sincerely in love.

Frank Evan, seated in the parquet of society, surveyed the dress-circle
with much the same expression that Debby had seen during Aunt Pen's
oration; but he soon neglected that amusement to watch several actors in
the drama going on before his eyes, while a strong desire to perform a
part therein slowly took possession of his mind. Debby always had a look
of welcome when he came, always treated him with the kindness of a
generous woman who has had an opportunity to forgive, and always watched
the serious, solitary man with a great compassion for his loss, a
growing admiration for his upright life. More than once the beach birds
saw two figures pacing the sands at sunrise with the peace of early day
upon their faces and the light of a kindred mood shining in their eyes.
More than once the friendly ocean made a third in the pleasant
conversation, and its low undertone came and went between the mellow
bass and silvery treble of the human voices with a melody that lent
another charm to interviews which soon grew wondrous sweet to man and
maid. Aunt Pen seldom saw the twain together, seldom spoke of Evan; and
Debby held her peace, for, when she planned to make her innocent
confessions, she found that what seemed much to her was nothing to
another ear and scarcely worth the telling; so, unconscious as yet
whither the green path led, she went on her way, leading two lives, one
rich and earnest, hoarded deep within herself, the other frivolous and
gay for all the world to criticize. But those venerable spinsters, the
Fates, took the matter into their own hands, and soon got the better of
those short-sighted matrons, Mesdames Grundy and Carroll; for, long
before they knew it, Frank and Debby had begun to read together a book
greater than Dickens ever wrote, and when they had come to the fairest
part of the sweet story Adam first told Eve, they looked for the name
upon the title-page, and found that it was "Love."

Eight weeks came and went,--eight wonderfully happy weeks to Debby and
her friend; for "propinquity" had worked more wonders than poor Mrs.
Carroll knew, as the only one she saw or guessed was the utter
captivation of Joe Leavenworth. He had become "himself" to such an
extent that a change of identity would have been a relief; for the
object of his adoration showed no signs of relenting, and he began to
fear, that, as Debby said, her heart was "not in the market." She was
always friendly, but never made those interesting betrayals of regard
which are so encouraging to youthful gentlemen "who fain would climb,
yet fear to fall." She never blushed when he pressed her hand, never
fainted or grew pale when he appeared with a smashed trotting-wagon and
a black eye, and actually slept through a serenade that would have won
any other woman's soul out of her body with its despairing quavers.
Matters were getting desperate; for horses lost their charms, "flowing
bowls" palled upon his lips, ruffled shirt-bosoms no longer delighted
him, and hops possessed no soothing power to allay the anguish of his
mind. Mr. Seguin, after unavailing ridicule and pity, took compassion
on him, and from his large experience suggested a remedy, just as he was
departing for a more congenial sphere.

"Now don't be an idiot, Joe, but, if you want to keep your hand in and
go through a regular chapter of flirtation, just right about face, and
devote yourself to some one else. Nothing like jealousy to teach
womankind their own minds, and a touch of it will bring little Wilder
round in a jiffy. Try it, my boy, and good luck to you!"--with which
Christian advice Mr. Seguin slapped his pupil on the shoulder, and
disappeared, like a modern Mephistopheles, in a cloud of cigar-smoke.

"I'm glad he's gone, for in my present state of mind he's not up to my
mark at all. I'll try his plan, though, and flirt with Clara West; she's
engaged, so it won't damage her affections; her lover isn't here, so it
won't disturb his; and, by Jove! I must do something, for I can't stand
this suspense."

Debby was infinitely relieved by this new move, and infinitely amused as
she guessed the motive that prompted it but the more contented she
seemed, the more violently Mr. Joe flirted with her rival, till at last
weak-minded Miss Clara began to think her absent George the most
undesirable of lovers, and to mourn that she ever said "Yes" to a
merchant's clerk, when she might have said it to a merchant's son. Aunt
Pen watched and approved this stratagem, hoped for the best results, and
believed the day won when Debby grew pale and silent, and followed with
her eyes the young couple who were playing battledoor and shuttlecock
with each other's hearts, as if she took some interest in the game. But
Aunt Pen clashed her cymbals too soon; for Debby's trouble had a better
source than jealousy, and in the silence of the sleepless nights that
stole her bloom she was taking counsel of her own full heart, and
resolving to serve another woman as she would herself be served in a
like peril, though etiquette was outraged and the customs of polite
society turned upside down.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Look, Aunt Pen! what lovely shells and moss I've got! Such a splendid
scramble over the rocks as I've had with Mrs. Duncan's boys! It seemed
so like home to run and sing with a troop of topsy-turvy children that
it did me good; and I wish you had all been there to see," cried Debby,
running into the drawing-room, one day, where Mrs. Carroll and a circle
of ladies sat enjoying a dish of highly flavored scandal, as they
exercised their eyesight over fancy-work.

"My dear Dora, spare my nerves; and if you have any regard for the
proprieties of life, don't go romping in the sun with a parcel of noisy
boys. If you could see what an object you are, I think you would try to
imitate Miss Clara, who is always a model of elegant repose."

Miss West primmed up her lips, and settled a fold in her ninth flounce,
as Mrs. Carroll spoke, while the whole group fixed their eyes with
dignified disapproval on the invader of their refined society. Debby had
come like a fresh wind into a sultry room; but no one welcomed the
healthful visitant, no one saw a pleasant picture in the bright-faced
girl with wind-tossed hair and rustic hat heaped with moss and
many-tinted shells; they only saw that her gown was wet, her gloves
forgotten, and her scarf trailing at her waist in a manner no well-bred
lady could approve. The sunshine faded out of Debby's face, and there
was a touch of bitterness in her tone, as she glanced at the circle of
fashion-plates, saying, with an earnestness which caused Miss West to
open her pale eyes to their widest extent,--

"Aunt Pen, don't freeze me yet,--don't take away my faith in simple
things, but let me be a child a little longer,--let me play and sing and
keep my spirit blithe among the dandelions and the robins while I can;
for trouble comes soon enough, and all my life will be the richer and
the better for a happy youth."

Mrs. Carroll had nothing at hand to offer in reply to this appeal, and
four ladies dropped their work to stare; but Frank Evan looked in from
the piazza, saying, as he beckoned like a boy,--

"I'll play with you, Miss Dora; come and make sand pies upon the shore.
Please let her, Mrs. Carroll; we'll be very good, and not wet our
pinafores or feet."

Without waiting for permission, Debby poured her treasures into the lap
of a certain lame Freddy, and went away to a kind of play she had never
known before. Quiet as a chidden child, she walked beside her companion,
who looked down at the little figure, longing to take it on his knee and
call the sunshine back again. That he dared not do; but accident, the
lover's friend, performed the work, and did him a good turn beside. The
old Frenchman was slowly approaching, when a frolicsome wind whisked off
his hat and sent it skimming along the beach. In spite of her late
lecture, away went Debby, and caught the truant chapeau just as a wave
was hurrying up to claim it. This restored her cheerfulness, and when
she returned, she was herself again.

"A thousand thanks; but does Mademoiselle remember the forfeit I might
demand to add to the favor she has already done me?" asked the gallant
old gentleman, as Debby took the hat off her own head, and presented it
with a martial salute.

"Ah, I had forgotten that; but you may claim it, Sir,--indeed, you may;
I only wish I could do something more to give you pleasure"; and Debby
looked up into the withered face which had grown familiar to her, with
kind eyes, full of pity and respect.

Her manner touched the old man very much; he bent his gray head before
her, saying, gratefully,--

"My child, I am not good enough to salute these blooming cheeks; but I
shall pray the Virgin to reward you for the compassion you bestow on the
poor exile, and I shall keep your memory very green through all my
life."

He kissed her hand, as if it were a queen's, and went on his way,
thinking of the little daughter whose death left him childless in a
foreign land.

Debby softly began to sing, "Oh, come unto the yellow sands!" but
stopped in the middle of a line, to say,--

"Shall I tell you why I did what Aunt Pen would call a very unladylike
and improper thing, Mr. Evan?"

"If you will be so kind"; and her companion looked delighted at the
confidence about to be reposed in him.

"Somewhere across this great wide sea I hope I have a brother," Debby
said, with softened voice and a wistful look into the dim horizon. "Five
years ago he left us, and we have never heard from him since, except to
know that he landed safely in Australia. People tell us he is dead; but
I believe he will yet come home; and so I love to help and pity any man
who needs it, rich or poor, young or old, hoping that as I do by them
some tender-hearted woman far away will do by Brother Will."

As Debby spoke, across Frank Evan's face there passed the look that
seldom comes but once to any young man's countenance; for suddenly the
moment dawned when love asserted its supremacy, and putting pride,
doubt, and fear underneath its feet, ruled the strong heart royally and
bent it to its will. Debby's thoughts had floated across the sea; but
they came swiftly back when her companion spoke again, steadily and
slow, but with a subtile change in tone and manner which arrested them
at once.

"Miss Dora, if you should meet a man who had known a laborious youth, a
solitary manhood, who had no sweet domestic ties to make home beautiful
and keep his nature warm, who longed most ardently to be so blessed, and
made it the aim of his life to grow more worthy the good gift, should it
ever come,--if you should learn that you possessed the power to make
this fellow-creature's happiness, could you find it in your gentle heart
to take compassion on him for the love of 'Brother Will'?"

Debby was silent, wondering why heart and nerves and brain were stirred
by such a sudden thrill, why she dared not look up, and why, when she
desired so much to speak, she could only answer, in a voice that sounded
strange to her own ears,--

"I cannot tell."

Still, steadily and slow, with strong emotion deepening and softening
his voice, the lover at her side went on,--

"Will you ask yourself this question in some quiet hour? For such a man
has lived in the sunshine of your presence for eight happy weeks, and
now, when his holiday is done, he finds that the old solitude will be
more sorrowful than ever, unless he can discover whether his summer
dream will change into a beautiful reality. Miss Dora, I have very
little to offer you; a faithful heart to cherish you, a strong arm to
work for you, an honest name to give into your keeping,--these are all;
but if they have any worth in your eyes, they are most truly yours
forever."

Debby was steadying her voice to reply, when a troop of bathers came
shouting down the bank, and she took flight into her dressing-room,
there to sit staring at the wall, till the advent of Aunt Pen forced her
to resume the business of the hour by assuming her aquatic attire and
stealing shyly down into the surf.

Frank Evan, still pacing in the footprints they had lately made, watched
the lithe figure tripping to and fro, and, as he looked, murmured to
himself the last line of a ballad Debby sometimes sang,--

    "Dance light! for my heart it lies under your feet, love!"

Presently a great wave swept Debby up, and stranded her very near him,
much to her confusion and his satisfaction. Shaking the spray out of her
eyes, she was hurrying away, when Frank said,--

"You will trip, Miss Dora; let me tie these strings for you"; and,
suiting the action to the word, he knelt down and began to fasten the
cords of her bathing-shoe.

Debby stood looking down at the tall head bent before her, with a
curious sense of wonder that a look from her could make a strong man
flush and pale, as he had done; and she was trying to concoct some
friendly speech, when Frank, still fumbling at the knots, said, very
earnestly and low,--

"Forgive me, if I am selfish in pressing for an answer; but I must go
to-morrow, and a single word will change my whole future for the better
or the worse. Won't you speak it, Dora?"

If they had been alone, Debby would have put her arms about his neck,
and said it with all her heart; but she had a presentiment that she
should cry, if her love found vent; and here forty pairs of eyes were on
them, and salt water seemed superfluous. Besides, Debby had not breathed
the air of coquetry so long without a touch of the infection; and the
love of power, that lies dormant in the meekest woman's breast, suddenly
awoke and tempted her.

"If you catch me before I reach that rock, perhaps I will say 'Yes,'"
was her unexpected answer; and before her lover caught her meaning, she
was floating leisurely away.

Frank was not in bathing-costume, and Debby never dreamed that he would
take her at her word; but she did not know the man she had to deal with;
for, taking no second thought, he flung hat and coat away, and dashed
into the sea. This gave a serious aspect to Debby's foolish jest. A
feeling of dismay seized her, when she saw a resolute face dividing the
waves behind her, and thought of the rash challenge she had given; but
she had a spirit of her own, and had profited well by Mr. Joe's
instructions; so she drew a long breath, and swam as if for life,
instead of love. Evan was incumbered by his clothing, and Debby had much
the start of him; but, like a second Leander, he hoped to win his Hero,
and, lending every muscle to the work, gained rapidly upon the little
hat which was his beacon through the foam. Debby heard the deep
breathing drawing nearer and nearer, as her pursuer's strong arms cleft
the water and sent it rippling past her lips. Something like terror took
possession of her; for the strength seemed going out of her limbs, and
the rock appeared to recede before her; but the unconquerable blood of
the Pilgrims was in her veins, and "_Nil desperandum_" her motto; so,
setting her teeth, she muttered, defiantly,--

"I'll not be beaten, if I go to the bottom!"

A great splashing arose, and when Evan recovered the use of his eyes,
the pagoda-hat had taken a sudden turn, and seemed making for the
farthest point of the goal. "I am sure of her now," thought Frank; and,
like a gallant sea-god, he bore down upon his prize, clutching it with a
shout of triumph. But the hat was empty, and like a mocking echo came
Debby's laugh, as she climbed, exhausted, to a cranny in the rock.

"A very neat thing, by Jove! Deuse take me if you a'n't 'an honor to
your teacher, and a terror to the foe,' Miss Wilder," cried Mr. Joe, as
he came up from a solitary cruise and dropped anchor at her side. "Here,
bring along the hat, Evan; I'm going to crown the victor with
appropriate what-d'-ye-call-'ems," he continued, pulling a handful of
sea-weed that looked like well-boiled greens.

Frank came up, smiling; but his lips were white, and in his eye a look
Debby could not meet; so, being full of remorse, she naturally assumed
an air of gayety, and began to sing the merriest air she knew, merely
because she longed to throw herself upon the stones and cry violently.

"It was 'most as exciting as a regatta, and you pulled well, Evan; but
you had too much ballast aboard, and Miss Wilder ran up false colors
just in time to save her ship. What was the wager?" asked the lively
Joseph, complacently surveying his marine millinery, which would have
scandalized a fashionable mermaid.

"Only a trifle," answered Debby, knotting up her braids with a
revengeful jerk.

"It's taken the wind out of your sails, I fancy, Evan, for you look
immensely Byronic with the starch minus in your collar and your hair in
a poetic toss. Come, I'll try a race with you; and Miss Wilder will
dance all the evening with the winner. Bless the man, what's he doing
down there? Burying sunfish, hey?"

Frank had been sitting below them on a narrow strip of sand, absently
piling up a little mound that bore some likeness to a grave. As his
companion spoke, he looked at it, and a sudden flush of feeling swept
across his face, as he replied,--

"No, only a dead hope."

"Deuse take it, yes, a good many of that sort of craft founder in these
waters, as I know to my sorrow"; and, sighing tragically, Mr. Joe turned
to help Debby from her perch, but she had glided silently into the sea,
and was gone.

For the next four hours the poor girl suffered the sharpest pain she had
ever known; for now she clearly saw the strait her folly had betrayed
her into. Frank Evan was a proud man, and would not ask her love again,
believing she had tacitly refused it; and how could she tell him that
she had trifled with the heart she wholly loved and longed to make her
own? She could not confide in Aunt Pen, for that worldly lady would have
no sympathy to bestow. She longed for her mother; but there was no time
to write, for Frank was going on the morrow,--might even then be gone;
and as this fear came over her, she covered up her face and wished that
she were dead. Poor Debby! her last mistake was sadder than her first,
and she was reaping a bitter harvest from her summer's sowing. She sat
and thought till her cheeks burned and her temples throbbed; but she
dared not ease her pain with tears. The gong sounded like a Judgment-Day
trump of doom, and she trembled at the idea of confronting many eyes
with such a telltale face; but she could not stay behind, for Aunt Pen
must know the cause. She tried to play her hard part well; but wherever
she looked, some fresh anxiety appeared, as if every fault and folly of
those months had blossomed suddenly within the hour. She saw Frank Evan
more sombre and more solitary than when she met him first, and cried
regretfully within herself, "How could I so forget the truth I owed
him?" She saw Clara West watching with eager eyes for the coming of
young Leavenworth, and sighed, "This is the fruit of my wicked vanity!"
She saw Aunt Pen regarding her with an anxious face, and longed to say,
"Forgive me, for I have not been sincere!" At last, as her trouble grew,
she resolved to go away and have a quiet "think,"--a remedy which had
served her in many a lesser perplexity; so, stealing out, she went to a
grove of cedars usually deserted at that hour. But in ten minutes Joe
Leavenworth appeared at the door of the summer-house, and, looking in,
said, with a well-acted start of pleasure and surprise,--

"Beg pardon, I thought there was no one here. My dear Miss Wilder, you
look contemplative; but I fancy it wouldn't do to ask the subject of
your meditations, would it?"

He paused with such an evident intention of remaining that Debby
resolved to make use of the moment, and ease her conscience of one care
that burdened it; therefore she answered his question with her usual
directness,--

"My meditations were partly about you."

Mr. Joe was guilty of the weakness of blushing violently and looking
immensely gratified; but his rapture was of short duration, for Debby
went on very earnestly,--

"I believe I am going to do what you may consider a very impertinent
thing; but I would rather be unmannerly than unjust to others or untrue
to my own sense of right. Mr. Leavenworth, if you were an older man, I
should not dare to say this to you; but I have brothers of my own, and,
remembering how many unkind things they do for want of thought, I
venture to remind you that a woman's heart is a perilous plaything, and
too tender to be used for a selfish purpose or an hour's pleasure. I
know this kind of amusement is not considered wrong; but it _is_ wrong,
and I cannot shut my eyes to the fact, or sit silent while another woman
is allowed to deceive herself and wound the heart that trusts her. Oh,
if you love your own sisters, be generous, be just, and do not destroy
that poor girl's happiness, but go away before your sport becomes a
bitter pain to her!"

Joe Leavenworth had stood staring at Debby with a troubled countenance,
feeling as if all the misdemeanors of his life were about to be paraded
before him; but, as he listened to her plea, the womanly spirit that
prompted it appealed more loudly than her words, and in his really
generous heart he felt regret for what had never seemed a fault before.
Shallow as he was, nature was stronger than education, and he admired
and accepted what many a wiser, worldlier man would have resented with
auger or contempt. He loved Debby with all his little might; he meant to
tell her so, and graciously present his fortune and himself for her
acceptance; but now, when the moment came, the well-turned speech he had
prepared vanished from his memory, and with the better eloquence of
feeling he blundered out his passion like a very boy.

"Miss Dora, I never meant to make trouble between Clara and her lover;
upon my soul, I didn't, and wish Seguin had not put the notion into my
head, since it has given you pain. I only tried to pique you into
showing some regret, when I neglected you; but you didn't, and then I
got desperate and didn't care what became of any one. Oh, Dora, if you
knew how much I loved you, I am sure you'd forgive it, and let me prove
my repentance by giving up everything that you dislike. I mean what I
say; upon my life I do; and I'll keep my word, if you will only let me
hope."

If Debby had wanted a proof of her love for Frank Evan, she might have
found it in the fact that she had words enough at her command now, and
no difficulty in being sisterly pitiful toward her second suitor.

"Please get up," she said; for Mr. Joe, feeling very humble and very
earnest, had gone down upon his knees, and sat there entirely regardless
of his personal appearance.

He obeyed; and Debby stood looking up at him with her kindest aspect, as
she said, more tenderly than she had ever spoken to him before,--

"Thank you for the affection you offer me, but I cannot accept it, for I
have nothing to give you in return but the friendliest regard, the most
sincere good-will. I know you will forgive me, and do for your own sake
the good things you would have done for mine, that I may add to my
esteem a real respect for one who has been very kind to me."

"I'll try,--indeed, I will, Miss Dora, though it will be powerful hard
without yourself for a help and a reward."

Poor Joe choked a little, but called up an unexpected manliness, and
added, stoutly,--

"Don't think I shall be offended at your speaking so, or saying 'No' to
me,--not a bit; it 's all right, and I'm much obliged to you. I might
have known you couldn't care for such a fellow as I am, and don't blame
you, for nobody in the world is good enough for you. I'll go away at
once, I'll try to keep my promise, and I hope you'll be very happy all
your life."

He shook Debby's hands heartily, and hurried down the steps, but at the
bottom paused and looked back. Debby stood upon the threshold with
sunshine dancing on her winsome face, and kind words trembling on her
lips; for the moment it seemed impossible to part, and, with an
impetuous gesture, he cried to her,--

"Oh, Dora, let me stay and try to win you! for everything is possible to
love, and I never knew how dear you were to me till now!"

There were sudden tears in the young man's eyes, the flush of a genuine
emotion on his cheek, the tremor of an ardent longing in his voice, and,
for the first time, a very true affection strengthened his whole
countenance. Debby's heart was full of penitence; she had given so much
pain to more than one that she longed to atone for it,--longed to do
some very friendly thing, and soothe some trouble such as she herself
had known. She looked into the eager face uplifted to her own and
thought of Will, then stooped and touched her lover's forehead with the
lips that softly whispered, "No."

If she had cared for him, she never would have done it; poor Joe knew
that, and murmuring an incoherent "Thank you!" he rushed away, feeling
very much as he remembered to have felt when his baby sister died and he
wept his grief away upon his mother's neck. He began his preparations
for departure at once, in a burst of virtuous energy quite refreshing to
behold, thinking within himself, as he flung his cigar-case into the
grate, kicked a billiard-ball into a corner, and suppressed his favorite
allusion to the Devil,--

"This is a new sort of thing to me, but I can bear it, and upon my life
I think I feel the better for it already."

And so he did; for though he was no Augustine to turn in an hour from
worldly hopes and climb to sainthood through long years of inward
strife, yet in after-times no one knew how many false steps had been
saved, how many small sins repented of, through the power of the memory
that far away a generous woman waited to respect him, and in his secret
soul he owned that one of the best moments of his life was that in which
little Debby Wilder whispered "No," and kissed him.

As he passed from sight, the girl leaned her head upon her hand,
thinking sorrowfully to herself,--

"What right had I to censure him, when my own actions are so far from
true? I have done a wicked thing, and as an honest girl I should undo
it, if I can. I have broken through the rules of a false propriety for
Clara's sake; can I not do as much for Frank's? I will. I'll find him,
if I search the house,--and tell him all, though I never dare to look
him in the face again, and Aunt Pen sends me home to-morrow."

Full of zeal and courage, Debby caught up her hat and ran down the
steps, but, as she saw Frank Evan coming up the path, a sudden panic
fell upon her, and she could only stand mutely waiting his approach.

It is asserted that Love is blind; and on the strength of that popular
delusion novel heroes and heroines go blundering through three volumes
of despair with the plain truth directly under their absurd noses: but
in real life this theory is not supported; for to a living man the
countenance of a loving woman is more eloquent than any language, more
trustworthy than a world of proverbs, more beautiful than the sweetest
love-lay ever sung.

Frank looked at Debby, and "all her heart stood up in her eyes," as she
stretched her hands to him, though her lips only whispered very low,--

"Forgive me, and let me say the 'Yes' I should have said so long ago."

Had she required any assurance of her lover's truth, or any reward for
her own, she would have found it in the change that dawned so swiftly in
his face, smoothing the lines upon his forehead, lighting the gloom of
his eye, stirring his firm lips with a sudden tremor, and making his
touch as soft as it was strong. For a moment both stood very still,
while Debby's tears streamed down like summer rain; then Frank drew her
into the green shadow of the grove, and its peace soothed her like a
mother's voice, till she looked up smiling with a shy delight her glance
had never known before. The slant sunbeams dropped a benediction on
their heads, the robins peeped, and the cedars whispered, but no rumor
of what further passed ever went beyond the precincts of the wood; for
such hours are sacred, and Nature guards the first blossoms of a human
love as tenderly as she nurses May-flowers underneath the leaves.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Carroll had retired to her bed with a nervous headache, leaving
Debby to the watch and ward of friendly Mrs. Earle, who performed her
office finely by letting her charge entirely alone. In her dreams Aunt
Pen was just imbibing a copious draught of Champagne at the
wedding-breakfast of her niece, "Mrs. Joseph Leavenworth," when she was
roused by the bride elect, who passed through the room with a lamp and a
shawl in her hand.

"What time is it, and where are you going, dear?" she asked, dozily
wondering if the carriage for the wedding-tour was at the door so soon.

"It's only nine, and I am going for a sail, Aunt Pen."

As Debby spoke, the light flashed full into her face, and a sudden
thought into Mrs. Carroll's mind. She rose up from her pillow, looking
as stately in her nightcap as Maria Theresa is said to have done in like
unassuming head-gear.

"Something has happened, Dora! What have you done? What have you said? I
insist upon knowing immediately," she demanded, with somewhat startling
brevity.

"I have said 'No' to Mr. Leavenworth and 'Yes' to Mr. Evan; and I should
like to go home to-morrow, if you please," was the equally concise
reply.

Mrs. Carroll fell flat in her bed, and lay there stiff and rigid as
Morlena Kenwigs. Debby gently drew the curtains, and stole away, leaving
Aunt Pen's wrath to effervesce before morning.

The moon was hanging luminous and large on the horizon's edge, sending
shafts of light before her till the melancholy ocean seemed to smile,
and along that shining pathway happy Debby and her lover floated into
that new world where all things seem divine.

       *       *       *       *       *



WET-WEATHER WORK.

BY A FARMER.

III.


Will any of our artists ever give us, on canvas, a good, rattling, saucy
shower? There is room in it for a rare handling of the brush:--the
vague, indistinguishable line of hills, (as I see them to-day,)--the
wild scud of gray, with fine gray lines, slanted by the wind, and
trending eagerly downward,--the swift, petulant dash into the little
pools of the highway, making fairy bubbles that break as soon as they
form,--the land smoking with excess of moisture,--and the pelted leaves
all wincing and shining and adrip.

I know no painter who has so well succeeded in putting a wet sky into
his pictures as Turner; and in this I judge him by the literal
_chiaroscuro_ of engraving. In proof of it, I take down from my shelf
his "Rivers of France": a book over which I have spent a great many
pleasant hours, and idle ones too,--if it be idle to travel leagues at
the turning of a page, and to see hill-sides spotty with vineyards, and
great bridges wallowing through the Loire, and to watch the fishermen of
Honfleur putting to sea. There are skies, as I said, in some of these
pictures which make a man instinctively think of his umbrella, or of his
distance from home: no actual rain-drift stretching from them, but such
unmistakable promise of a rainy afternoon, in their little parallel
wisps of dark-bottomed clouds, as would make a provident farmer order
every scythe out of the field.

In the "Chair of Gargantua," on which my eye falls, as I turn over the
pages, an actual thunder-storm is breaking. The scene is somewhere upon
the Lower Seine. From the middle of the left of the picture the lofty
river-bank stretches far across, forming all the background;--its
extreme distance hidden by a bold thrust of the right bank, which juts
into the picture just far enough to shelter a white village, which lies
gleaming upon the edge of the water. On all the foreground lies the
river, broad as a bay. The storm is coming down the stream. Over the
left spur of the bank, and over the meeting of the banks, it broods
black as night. Through a little rift there is a glimpse of serene sky,
from which a mellow light streams down upon the edges and angles of a
few cliffs upon the farther shore. All the rest is heavily shadowed. The
edges of the coming tempest are tortuous and convulsed, and you know
that a fierce wind is driving the black billows on; yet all the water
under the lee of the shores is as tranquil as a dream; a white sail,
near to the white village, hangs slouchingly to the mast: but in the
foreground the tempest has already caught the water; a tall lugger is
scudding and careening under it as if mad; the crews of three
fishermen's boats, that toss on the vexed water, are making a confused
rush to shorten sail, and you may almost fancy that you hear their
outcries sweeping down the wind. In the middle scene, a little steamer
is floating tranquilly on water which is yet calm; and a column of smoke
piling up from its tall chimney rises for a space placidly enough, until
the wind catches and whisks it before the storm. I would wager ten to
one, upon the mere proof in the picture, that the fishermen and the
washerwomen in the foreground will be drenched within an hour.

When I have once opened the covers of Turner,--especially upon such a
wet day as this,--it is hard for me to leave him until I have wandered
all up and down the Loire, revisited Tours and its quiet cathedral, and
Blois with its stately chateau, and Amboise with its statelier, and
coquetted again with memories of the Maid of Orléans.

From the Upper Loire it is easy to slip into the branching valleys
which sidle away from it far down into the country of the Auvergne.
Turner does not go there, indeed; the more's the pity; but I do, since
it is the most attractive region rurally (Brittany perhaps excepted) in
all France. The valleys are green, the brooks are frequent, the rivers
are tortuous, the mountains are high, and luxuriant walnut-trees embower
the roads. It was near to Moulins, on the way hither, through the
pleasant Bourbonnois, that Tristram Shandy met with the poor,
half-crazed Maria, piping her evening service to the Virgin.

And at that thought I must do no less than pull down my "Tristram
Shandy," (on which the dust of years has accumulated,) and read again
that tender story of the lorn maiden, with her attendant goat, and her
hair caught up in a silken fillet, and her shepherd's pipe, from which
she pours out a low, plaintive wail upon the evening air.

It is not a little singular that a British author should have supplied
the only Arcadian resident of all this Arcadian region. The Abbé Delille
was, indeed, born hereabout, within sight of the bold Puy de Dome, and
within marketing-distance of the beautiful Clermont. But there is very
little that is Arcadian, in freshness or simplicity, in either the
"Gardens" or the other verse of Delille.

Out of his own mouth (the little green-backed book, my boy) I will
condemn him:--

    "Ce n'est plus cette simple et rustique déesse
    Qui suit ses vieilles lois; c'est une enchanteresse
    Qui, la baguette en main, par des hardis travaux
    Fait naître des aspects et des trésors nouveaux,
    Compose un sol plus riche et des races plus belles,
    Fertilise les monts, dompte les rocs rebelles."

The _baguette_ of Delille is no shepherd's crook; it has more the
fashion of a drumstick,--_baguette de tambour_.

If I follow on southward to Provence, whither I am borne upon the scuds
of rain over Turner's pictures, and the pretty Bourbonnois, and the
green mountains of Auvergne, I find all the characteristic literature of
that land of olives is only of love or war: the vines, the
olive-orchards, and the yellow hill-sides pass for nothing. And if I
read an old _Sirvente_ of the Troubadours, beginning with a certain
redolence of the fields, all this yields presently to knights, and
steeds caparisoned,--

    "Cavalliers ab cavals armatz."

It is smooth reading, and is attributed to Bertrand de Born,[3] who
lived in the time when even the lion-hearted King Richard turned his
brawny fingers to the luting of a song. Let us listen:--

    "The beautiful spring delights me well,
      When flowers and leaves are growing;
    And it pleases my heart to hear the swell
      Of the birds' sweet chorus flowing
        In the echoing wood;
    And I love to see, all scattered around,
    Pavilions and tents on the martial ground;
        And my spirit finds it good
    To see, on the level plains beyond,
    Gay knights and steeds caparisoned."

[Footnote 3: M. Raynouard, _Poésies de Troubadours_, II. 209.]

But as the Troubadour nestles more warmly into the rhythm of his verse,
the birds are all forgotten, and the beautiful spring, and there is a
sturdy clang of battle, that would not discredit our own times:--

    "I tell you that nothing my soul can cheer,
      Or banqueting or reposing,
    Like the onset cry of 'Charge them!' rung
      From each side, as in battle closing;
        Where the horses neigh,
    And the call to 'aid' is echoing loud,
    And there, on the earth, the lowly and proud
        In the foss together lie,
    And yonder is piled the mingled heap
    Of the brave that scaled the trenches steep.

    "Barons! your castles in safety place,
      Your cities and villages, too,
    Before ye haste to the battle-scene:
      And Papiol! quickly go,
    And tell the lord of 'Yes and No'
    That peace already too long hath been!"[4]

[Footnote 4: I cannot forbear taking a bit of margin to print the
closing stanzas of the original, which carry the clash of sabres in
their very sound.

    "Ie us dic que tan no m' a sabor
      Manjars ni beure ni dormir
    Cum a quant aug cridar: A lor!
      D'ambas las partz; et aug agnir
        Cavals voitz per l'ombratge,
    Et aug cridar: Aidatz! Aidatz!
    E vei cazer per los fossatz
        Paucs e grans per l'erbatge,
    E vei los mortz que pels costatz
    An los tronsons outre passatz.

      "Baros, metetz et gatge
      Castels e vilas e ciutatz,
      Enans q' usquecs no us guerreiatz.

      "Papiol, d'agradatge
      Ad _Oc e No_ t' en vai viatz,
      Dic li que trop estan en patz."

It would seem that the men of that time, like men of most times, bore a
considerable contempt for people who said "Yes" one day, and "No" the
next.]

I am on my way to Italy, (it may as well be confessed,) where I had
fully intended to open my rainy day's work; but Turner has kept me, and
then Auvergne, and then the brisk battle-song of a Troubadour.

When I was upon the Cajano farm of Lorenzo the Magnificent, during my
last "spell of wet," it was uncourteous not to refer to the pleasant
commemorative poem of "Ambra," which Lorenzo himself wrote, and which,
whatever may be said against the conception and conduct of it, shows in
its opening stanzas that the great Medici was as appreciative of rural
images--fir-boughs with loaded snows, thick cypresses in which late
birds lurked, sharp-leaved junipers, and sturdy pines fighting the
wind--as ever he had been of antique jewels, or of the rhythm of such as
Politiano. And if I have spoken slightingly of this latter poet, it was
only in contrast with Virgil, and in view of his strained Latinity. When
he is himself, and wraps his fancies only in his own sparkling Tuscan,
we forget his classic frigidities, and his quarrels with Madonna
Clarice, and are willing to confess that no pen of his time was dipped
with such a relishing _gusto_ into the colors of the hyacinths and
trembling pansies, and into all the blandishments of a gushing and
wanton spring.[5]


[Footnote 5: See Wm. Parr Greswell's _Memoirs of Politiano_, with
translations.]

But classical affectation was the fashion of that day. A certain
Bolognese noble, Berò by name, wrote ten Latin books on rural affairs:
Tiraboschi says he never saw them; neither have I. Another scholar,
Pietro da Barga, who astonished his teachers by his wonderful
proficiency at the age of twelve, and who was afterward guest of the
French ambassador in Venice, wrote a poem on rural matters, to which,
with an exaggerated classicism, he gave the Greek name of
"_Cynegeticon_"; and about the same time Giuseppe Voltolina composed
three books on kitchen-gardening. I name these writers only out of
sympathy with their topics: I would not advise the reading of them: it
would involve a long journey and scrupulous search to find them, through
I know not what out-of-the-way libraries; and if found, no essentially
new facts or theories could be counted on which are not covered by the
treatise of Crescenzi. The Pisans or Venetians may possibly have
introduced a few new plants from the East; the example of the Medici may
have suggested some improvements in the arrangement of forcing-houses,
or the outlay of villas; but in all that regarded general husbandry,
Crescenzi was still the man.

I linger about this period, and the writers of this time, because I
snuff here and there among them the perfume of a country bouquet, which
carries the odor of the fields with it, and transports me to the
"empurpled hill-sides" of Tuscany. Shall I name Sannazaro, with his
"Arcadia"?--a dead book now,--or "Amyntas," who, before he is tall
enough to steal apples from the lowest boughs, (so sings Tasso,) plunges
head and ears in love with Sylvia, the fine daughter of Montano, who has
a store of cattle, "_richissimo d'armenti_"?

Then there is Rucellai, who, under the pontificate of Leo X., came to
be Governor of the Castle of Sant' Angelo, and yet has left a poem of
fifteen hundred lines devoted to Bees. In his suggestions for the
allaying of a civil war among these winged people, he is quite beyond
either Virgil or Columella or Mr. Lincoln. "Pluck some leafy branch," he
says, "and with it sprinkle the contending factions with either honey or
sweet grape-juice, and you shall see them instantly forego their
strife":--

            "The two warring bands joyful unite,
    And foe embraces foe: each with its lips
    Licking the others' wings, feet, arms, and breast,
    Whereon the luscious mixture hath been shed,
    And all inebriate with delight."

So the Swiss,[6] he continues, when they fall out among themselves, are
appeased by some grave old gentleman, who says a few pleasant words, and
orders up a good stoop of sweet wine, in which all parties presently dip
their beards, and laugh and embrace and make peace, and so forget
outrage. It may have been the sixteenth-century way of closing a battle.

[Footnote 6:
    "Come quando nei Suizzeri si muove
    Sedizione, e che si grida a l' arme;
    Se qualche nom grave allor si leva in piede
    E comincia a parlar con dolce lingua,
    Mitiga i petti barbari e feroci;
    E intanto fa portare ondanti vasi
    Pieni di dolci ed odorati vini;
    Ahora ognun le labbra e 'l mento immerge
    Ne' le spumanti tazze," etc.
]

Guarini, with all his affectations, has little prettinesses which charm
like the chirping of a bird;--as where he paints (in the very first
scene of the "Pastor Fido") the little sparrow flitting from fir to
beech, and from beech to myrtle, and twittering, "How I love! how I
love!" And the bird-mate ("_il suo dolce desio_") twitters in reply,
"How I love, how I love, too!" "_Ardo d' amore anch' io._"

Messer Pietro Bembo was a different man from Guarini. I cannot imagine
him listening to the sparrows; I cannot imagine him plucking a
flower,--except he have some courtly gallantry in hand, perhaps toward
the Borgia. He was one of those pompous, stiff, scholastic prigs who
wrote by rules of syntax; and of syntax he is dead. He was clever and
learned; he wrote in Latin, Italian, Castlian: but nobody reads him; he
has only a little crypt in the "Autori Diversi." I think of him as I
think of fine women who must always rustle in brocade embossed with hard
jewels, and who never win the triumphs that belong to a charming morning
_déshabillé_ with only the added improvisation of a rose.

In his "Asolani" Bembo gives a very full and minute description of the
gardens at Asolo, which relieved the royal retirement of Caterina, the
Queen of Cyprus. Nothing could be more admirable than the situation:
there were skirts of mountain which were covered, and are still covered,
with oaks; there were grottos in the sides of cliffs, and water so
disposed--in jets, in pools inclosed by marble, and among rocks--as to
counterfeit all the wildness of Nature; there was the same stately array
of cypresses, and of clipped hedges, which had belonged to the villas of
Pliny; temples were decorated with blazing frescoes, to which, I dare
say, Carpaccio may have lent a hand, if not that wild rake, Giorgione.
Here the pretty Queen, with eight thousand gold ducats a year, (whatever
that amount may have been,) and some seventy odd retainers, held her
court; and here Bembo, a dashing young fellow at that time of seven or
eight and twenty, became a party to those disquisitions on Love, and to
those recitations of song, part of which he has recorded in the
"Asolani." I am sorry to say, the beauty of the place, so far as regards
its artificial features, is now all gone. The hall, which may have
served as the presence-chamber of the Queen, was only a few years since
doing service as a farmer's barn; and the traces of a Diana and an
Apollo were still coloring the wall under which a few cows were
crunching their clover-hay.

All the gardening of Italy at that period, as, indeed, at almost all
times, depended very much upon architectural accessories: colonnades and
wall-veil with frescoes make a large part of Italian gardening to this
day. The Isola Bella in the Lago Maggiore, and the Borghese Garden at
Rome, are fair types. And as I recall the sunny vistas of this last, and
the noontide loungings upon the marble seats, counting white flecks of
statues amid the green of cypresses, and watching the shadow which some
dense-topped pine flings upon a marble flight of steps or a marble
balustrade, I cannot sneer at the Italian gardening, or wish it were
other than it is. The art-life of Italy is the crowning and the
overlapping life. The Campagna seems only a bit of foreground to carry
the leaping arches of the aqueducts, and to throw the hills of Tivoli
and Albano to a purple distance. The farmers (_fattori_) who gallop
across the fields, in rough sheepskin wrappers, and upon scurvy-looking
ponies, are more picturesque than thrifty; and if I gallop in company
with one of them to his home upon the farther edge of the Campagna,
(which is an allowable wet-day fancy,) I shall find a tall stone house
smeared over roughly with plaster, and its ground-floor devoted to a
crazy cart, a pony, a brace of cows, and a few goats; a rude court is
walled in adjoining the house, where a few pigs are grunting. Ascending
an oaken stair-way within the door, I come upon the living-room of the
_fattore_; the beams overhead are begrimed with smoke, and garnished
here and there with flitches of bacon; a scant fire of fagots is
struggling into blaze upon an open hearth; and on a low table bare of
either cloth or cleanliness, there waits him his supper of _polenta_,
which is nothing more or less than our plain boiled Indian-pudding. Add
to this a red-eyed dog, that seems to be a savage representative of a
Scotch colley,--a lean, wrinkled, dark-faced woman, who is unwinding the
bandages from a squalling _Bambino_,--a mixed odor of garlic and of
goats, that is quickened with an ammoniacal pungency,--and you may form
some idea of the home of a small Roman farmer in our day. It falls away
from the standard of Cato; and so does the man.

He takes his twenty or thirty acres, upon shares, from some wealthy
proprietor of Rome, whose estate may possibly cover a square mile or two
of territory. He sells vegetables, poultry, a little grain, a few curds,
and possibly a butt or two of sour wine. He is a type of a great many
who lived within the limits of the old Papal territory; whether he and
they have dropped their musty sheepskins and shaken off their unthrift
under the new government, I cannot say.

Around Bologna, indeed, there was a better race of farmers: the
intervening thrift of Tuscany had always its influence. The meadows of
Terni, too, which are watered by the Velino, bear three full crops of
grass in the season; the valley of the Clitumnus is like a miniature of
the Genesee; and around Perugia the crimson-tasselled clovers, in the
season of their bloom, give to the fields the beauty of a garden.

The old Duke of Tuscany, before he became soured by his political
mishaps, was a great patron of agricultural improvements. He had
princely farms in the neighborhood both of his capital and of Pisa. Of
the latter I cannot speak from personal observation; but the dairy-farm,
_Cascina_, near to Florence, can hardly have been much inferior to the
Cajano property of the great Lorenzo. The stables were admirably
arranged, and of permanent character; the neatness was equal to that of
the dairies of Holland. The Swiss cows, of a pretty dun-color, were kept
stalled, and luxuriously fed upon freshly cut ray-grass, clover, or
vetches, with an occasional sprinkling of meal; the calves were
invariably reared by hand; and the average _per diem_ of milk,
throughout the season, was stated at fourteen quarts; and I think
Madonna Clarice never strained more than this into the cheese-tubs of
Ambra. I trust the burghers of Florence, and the new _Gonfaloniere_,
whoever he may be, will not forget the dun cows of the Cascina, or their
baitings with the tender vetches.

The redemption of the waste marshlands in the Val di Chiana by the
engineering skill of Fossombroni, and the consequent restoration of many
thousands of acres which seemed hopelessly lost to fertility, is a
result of which the Medici would hardly have dreamed, and which would do
credit to any age or country.

About the better-cultivated portions of Lombardy there is an almost
regal look. The roads are straight, and of most admirable construction.
Lines of trees lift their stateliness on either side, and carry trailing
festoons of vines. On both sides streams of water are flowing in
artificial canals, interrupted here and there by cross sluices and
gates, by means of which any or all of the fields can be laid under
water at pleasure, so that old meadows return three and four cuttings of
grass in the year. There are patches of Indian-corn which are equal to
any that can be seen on the Miami; hemp and flax appear at intervals,
and upon the lower lands rice. The barns are huge in size, and are
raised from the ground upon columns of masonry.

I have a dapper little note-book of travel, from which these facts are
mainly taken; and at the head of one of its pages I observe an old
ink-sketch of a few trees, with festoons of vines between. It is
yellowed now, and poor always; for I am but a dabbler at such things.
Yet it brings back, clearly and briskly, the broad stretch of Lombard
meadows, the smooth Macadam, the gleaming canals of water, the white
finials of Milan Cathedral shining somewhere in the distance, the
thrushes, as in the "Pastor Fido," filling all the morning air with
their sweet

    "Ardo d' amore! ardo d' amore!"

the dewy clover-lots, looking like wavy silken plush, the green glitter
of mulberry-leaves, and the beggar in steeple-crowned hat, who says,
"_Grazia_," and "_Á rivedervi!_" as I drop him a few kreutzers, and
rattle away to the North, and out of Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

About the year 1570, a certain Conrad Heresbach, who was Councillor to
the Duke of Cleves, (brother to that unfortunate Anne of Cleves who was
one of the wife-victims of Henry VIII.,) wrote four Latin books on
rustic affairs, which were translated by Barnaby Googe, a Lincolnshire
farmer and poet, who was in his day gentleman-pensioner to Queen
Elizabeth. Our friend Barnaby introduces his translation in this
style:--"I haue thought it meet (good Reader) for thy further profit &
pleasure, to put into English these foure Bookes of Husbandry, collected
& set forth by Master Conrade Heresbatch, a great & a learned Counceller
of the Duke of Cleues: not thinking it reason, though I haue altered &
increased his worke, _with mine owne readings & obseruations_, joined
with the experience of sundry my friends, to take from him (as diuers in
the like case haue done) the honour & glory of his owne trauaile:
Neither is it my minde, that this either his doings or mine, should
deface, or any waves darken the good enterprise, or painfull trauailes
of such our countrymen, of England, as haue plentifully written of this
matter: but always haue, & do giue them the reuerence & honour due to so
vertuous, & well disposed Gentlemen, namely, _Master Fitz herbert_, &
_Master Tusser_: whose workes may, in my fancie, without any
presumption, compare with any, either _Varro_, _Columella_, or
_Palladius_ of _Rome_."

The work is written in the form of a dialogue, the parties being Cono, a
country-gentleman, Metella, his wife, Rigo, a courtier, and Hermes, a
servant. The first book relates to tillage, and farm-practice in
general; the second, to orcharding, gardens, and woods; the third, to
cattle; and the fourth, to fowl, fish, and bees. He had evidently been
an attentive reader of the older authors I have discussed, and his
citations from them are abundant. He had also opportunity for every-day
observation in a region which, besides being one of the most fertile,
was probably at that time the most highly cultivated in Europe; and his
work may be regarded as the most important contribution to agricultural
literature since the days of Crescenzi. He reaffirms, indeed, many of
the old fables of the Latinists,--respects the force of proper
incantations, has abiding faith in "the moon being aloft" in time of
sowing, and insists that the medlar can be grafted on the pine, and the
cherry upon the fir. Rue, he tells us, "will prosper the better for
being stolen"; and "If you breake to powder the horne of a Ram & sowe it
watrying it well, it is thought it will come to be good Sperage"
(Asparagus). He assures us that he has grafted the pear successfully
when in full bloom; and furthermore, that he has seen apples which have
been kept sound for three years.

Upon the last page are some rules for purchasing land, which I suspect
are to be attributed to the poet of Lincolnshire, rather than to
Heresbach. They are as good as they were then; and the poetry none the
worse:--

    "First see that the land be clear
    In title of the seller;
    And that it stand in danger
    Of no woman's dowrie;
    See whether the tenure be bond or free,
    And release of every fee of fee;
    See that the seller be of age,
    And that it lie not in mortgage;
    Whether ataile be thereof found,
    And whether it stand in statute bound;
    Consider what service longeth thereto,
    And what quit rent thereout must goe;
    And if it become of a wedded woman,
    Think thou then on covert baron;
    And if thou may in any wise,
    Make thy charter in warrantise,
    To thee, thine heyres, assignes also;
    Thus should a wise purchaser doe."

The learned Lipsius was a contemporary of Councillor Heresbach, and
although his orthodoxy was somewhat questionable, and his Calvinism
somewhat stretchy, there can be no doubt of the honest rural love which
belongs to some of his letters, and especially to this smack of verse (I
dare not say poetry) with which he closes his _Eighth (Cent. I.)_

    "Vitam si liceat mihi
    Formare arbitriis meis:
    Non fasces cupiam aut opes,
    Non clarus niveis equis
    Captiva agmina traxerim.
      In solis habitem locis,
    Hortos possideam atque agros,
    Illic ad strepitus aquæ
    Musarum studiis fruar.
      Sic cum fata mihi ultima
    Pernerit Lachesis mea;
    Tranquillus moriar senex."

And with this I will have done with a dead language; for I am come to a
period now when I can garnish my talk with the flowers of good old
English gardens. At the very thought of them, I seem to hear the royal
captive James pouring madrigals through the window of his Windsor
prison,--

    "the hymnis consecrat
    Of lovis use, now soft, now loud among,
    That all the gardens and the wallis rung."

And through the "Dreme" of Chaucer I seem to see the great plain of
Woodstock stretching away under my view, all white and green, "green
y-powdered with daisy." Upon the half-ploughed land, lying yonder veiled
so tenderly with the mist and the rain, I could take oath to the very
spot where five hundred years ago the plowman of Chaucer, all "forswat,"

    "plucked up his plowe
    Whan midsomer mone was comen in
    And shoke off shear, and coulter off drowe,
    And honged his harnis on a pinne,
    And said his beasts should ete enowe
    And lie in grasse up to the chin."

But Chaucer was no farmer, or he would have known it to be bad husbandry
(even for poetry) to allow cattle steaming from the plough to lie down
in grass of that height.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Anthony Fitz-herbert is the first duly accredited writer on British
husbandry. There are some few earlier ones, it is true,--a certain
"Mayster Groshede, Bysshop of Lyncoln," and a Henri Calcoensis, among
them. Indeed, Mr. Donaldson, who has compiled a bibliography of British
farm-writers, and who once threatened a poem on kindred subjects, has
the effrontery to include Lord Littleton. Now I have a respect for Lord
Littleton, and for Coke on Littleton, but it is tempered with some early
experiences in a lawyer's office, and some later experiences of the
legal profession; he may have written well upon "Tenures," but he had
not enough of tenderness even for a teasel.

I think it worthy of remark, in view of the mixed complexion which I
have given to these wet-day studies, that the oldest printed copy of
that sweet ballad of the "Nut Browne Mayde" has come to us in a
Chronicle of 1503, which contains also a chapter upon "the crafte of
graffynge & plantynge & alterynge of fruyts." What could be happier than
the conjunction of the knight of "the grenwode tree" with a good chapter
on "graffynge"?

Fitz-herbert's work is entitled a "Boke of Husbandrie," and counts,
among other headings of discourse, the following:--

"Whether is better a plough of horses or a plough of oxen."

"To cary out dounge & mucke, & to spreade it."

"The fyrste furryng of the falowes."

"To make a ewe to love hir lambe."

"To bye lean cattel."

"A shorte information for a young gentyleman that entendeth to thryve."

"What the wyfe oughte to dooe generally."

(_seq._) "To kepe measure in spendynge."

"What be God's commandments."

By all which it may be seen that Sir Anthony took as broad a view of
husbandry as did Xenophon.

Among other advices to the "young gentyleman that entendeth to thryve"
he counsels him to rise betime in the morning, and if "he fynde any
horses, mares, swyne, shepe, beastes in his pastures that be not his
own; or fynde a gap in his hedge, or any water standynge in his pasture
uppon his grasse, whereby he may take double herte, bothe losse of his
grasse, & rotting of his shepe, & calves; or if he fyndeth or seeth
anything that is amisse, & wold be amended, let him take out his tables
& wryte the defautes; & when he commeth home to dinner, supper, or at
nyght, then let him call his bayley, & soo shewe him the defautes. For
this," says he, "used I to doo x or xi yeres or more; & yf he cannot
wryte, lette him nycke the defautes uppon a stycke."

Sir Anthony is gracious to the wife, but he is not tender; and it may be
encouraging to country-housewives nowadays to see what service was
expected of their mothers in the days of Henry VIII.

"It is a wives occupacion to winow al maner of cornes, to make malte,
wash & wring, to make hey, to shere corne, & in time of neede to helpe
her husbande to fyll the mucke wayne or donge carte, dryve the plough,
to lode hay corne & such other. Also to go or ride to the market to sell
butter, chese, mylke, egges, chekens, kapons, hennes, pygges, gees & al
maner of corne. And also to bye al maner of necessary thinges belonging
to a household, & to make a true rekening & accompt to her husband what
she hath receyved & what she hathe payed. And yf the husband go to
market to bye or sell as they ofte do, he then to shew his wife in lyke
maner. For if one of them should use to disceive the other, he
disceyveth himselfe, & he is not lyke to thryve, & therfore they must be
true ether to other."

       *       *       *       *       *

I come next to Master Tusser,--poet, farmer, chorister, vagabond,
happily dead at last, and with a tomb whereon some wag wrote this:--

    "Tusser, they tell me, when thou wert alive,
    Thou teaching thrift, thyself could never thrive;
    So, like the whetstone, many men are wont
    To sharpen others when themselves are blunt."

I cannot help considering poor Tusser's example one of warning to all
poetically inclined farmers.

He was born at a little village in the County of Essex. Having a good
voice, he came early in life to be installed as singer at Wallingford
College; and showing here a great proficiency, he was shortly after
impressed for the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral. Afterward he was for
some time at Eton, where he had the ill-luck to receive some fifty-four
stripes for his shortcomings in Latin; thence he goes to Trinity
College, Cambridge, where he lives "in clover." It appears that he had
some connections at Court, through whose influence he was induced to go
up to London, where he remained some ten years,--possibly as
singer,--but finally left in great disgust at the vices of the town, and
commenced as farmer in Suffolk,--

           "To moil and to toil
    With loss and pain, to little gain,
            To cram Sir Knave";--

from which I fancy that he had a hard landlord, and but little sturdy
resolution. Thence he goes to Ipswich, or its neighborhood, with no
better experience. Afterward we hear of him with a second wife at
Dereham Abbey; but his wife is young and sharp-tempered, and his
landlord a screw: so he does not thrive here, but goes to Norwich and
commences chorister again; but presently takes another farm in
Fairstead, Essex, where it would seem he eked out a support by
collecting tithes for the parson. But he says,--

           "I spyed, if parson died,
    (All hope in vain,) to hope for gain
            I might go dance."

Possibly he did go dance: he certainly left the tithe-business, and
after settling in one more home, from which he ran to escape the plague,
we find him returned to London, to die,--where he was buried in the
Poultry.

There are good points in his poem, showing close observation, good
sense, and excellent judgment. His rules of farm-practice are entirely
safe and judicious, and make one wonder how the man who could give such
capital advice could make so capital a failure. In the secret lies all
the philosophy of the difference between knowledge and practice. The
instance is not without its modern support: I have the honor of
acquaintance with several gentlemen who lay down charming rules for
successful husbandry, every time they pay the country a visit; and yet
even their poultry-account is always largely against the constipated
hens.

What is specially remarkable about Tusser is his air of entire
resignation amid all manner of vicissitudes: he does not seem to count
his hardships either wonderful or intolerable or unmerited. He tells us
of the thrashing he had at Eton, (fifty-four licks,) without greatly
impugning the head-master; and his shiftlessness in life makes us
strongly suspect that he deserved it all.

Fuller, in his "Worthies," says Tusser "spread his bread with all sorts
of butter, yet none would stick thereon." In short, though the poet
wrote well on farm-practice, he certainly was not a good exemplar of
farm-successes. With all his excellent notions about sowing and reaping,
and rising with the lark, I should look for a little more of stirring
mettle and of dogged resolution in a man to be recommended as a tenant.
I cannot help thinking less of him as a farmer than as a kind-hearted
poet; too soft of the edge to cut very deeply into hard-pan, and too
porous and flimsy of character for any compacted resolve: yet taking
life tenderly, withal; good to those poorer than himself; making a
rattling appeal for Christmas charities; hospitable, cheerful, and
looking always to the end with an honest clearness of vision:--

    "To death we must stoop, be we high, be we low,
    But how, and how suddenly, few be that know,
    What carry we, then, but a sheet to the grave,
    (To cover this carcass,) of all that we have?"

       *       *       *       *       *

I now come to Sir Hugh Platt, called by Mr. Weston, in his catalogue of
English authors, "the most ingenious husbandman of his age."[7] He is
elsewhere described as a gentleman of Lincoln's Inn, who had two
estates in the country, besides a garden in St. Martin's Lane. He was an
enthusiast in agricultural, as well as horticultural inquiries,
corresponding largely with leading farmers, and conducting careful
experiments within his own grounds. In speaking of that "rare and
peerless plant, the grape," he insists upon the wholesomeness of the
wines he made from his Bednall-Greene garden: "And if," he says, "any
exception shold be taken against the race and delicacie of them, I am
content to submit them to the censure of the best mouthes, that professe
any true skill in the judgment of high country wines: although for their
better credit herein, I could bring in the French Ambassador, who (now
almost two yeeres since, comming to my house of purpose to tast these
wines) gaue this sentence upon them: that he neuer drank any better new
wine in France."

[Footnote 7: Latter part of sixteenth century; and was living, according
to Johnson, as late as 1606.]

I must confess to more doubt of the goodness of the wine than of the
speech of the ambassador; French ambassadors are always so complaisant!

Again he indulges us in the story of a pretty conceit whereby that
"delicate Knight," Sir Francis Carew, proposed to astonish the Queen by
a sight of a cherry-tree in full bearing, a month after the fruit had
gone by in England. "This secret he performed, by straining a Tent or
couer of canuass ouer the whole tree, and wetting the same now and then
with a scoope or horne, as the heat of the weather required: and so, by
witholding the sunne beams from reflecting upon the berries, they grew
both great, and were very long before they had gotten their perfect
cherrie-colour: and when he was assured of her Majestie's comming, he
remoued the Tent, and a few sunny daies brought them to their full
maturities."

These notices are to be found in his "Flores Paradise." Another work,
entitled "Dyuers Soyles for manuring pasture & arable land," enumerates,
in addition to the usual odorous galaxy, such extraordinarily new
matters (in that day) as "salt, street-dirt, clay, Fullers earth,
moorish earth, fern, hair, calcination of all vegetables, malt dust,
soap-boilers ashes, and marle." But what I think particularly commends
him to notice, and makes him worthy to be enrolled among the pioneers,
is his little tract upon "The Setting of Corne."[8]

[Footnote 8: This is not mentioned either by Felton in his _Portraits_,
etc., or by Johnson in his _History of Gardening_. Donaldson gives the
title, and the headings of the chapters.]

In this he anticipates the system of "dibbling" grain, which,
notwithstanding, is spoken of by writers within half a century[9] as a
new thing; and which, it is needless to say, still prevails extensively
in many parts of England. If the tract alluded to be indeed the work of
Sir Hugh Platt, it antedates very many of the suggestions and
improvements which are usually accorded to Tull. The latter, indeed,
proposed the drill, and repeated tillage; but certain advantages, before
unconsidered, such as increased tillering of individual plants, economy
of seed, and facility of culture, are common to both systems. Sir Hugh,
in consecutive chapters, shows how the discovery came about; "why the
corne shootes into so many eares"; how the ground is to be dug for the
new practice; and what are the several instruments for making the holes
and covering the grain.

[Footnote 9: See Young, _Annals of Agriculture_, Vol. III. p. 219, _et
seq._]

I cannot take a more courteous leave of this worthy gentleman than by
giving his own _envoi_ to the most considerable of his books:--"Thus,
gentle Reader, having acquainted thee with my long, costly, and
laborious collections, not written at Adventure, or by an imaginary
conceit in a Scholler's private studie, but wrung out of the earth, by
the painfull hand of experience: and having also given thee a touch of
Nature, whom no man as yet ever durst send naked into the worlde without
her veyle: and Expecting, by thy good entertainement of these, some
encouragement for higher and deeper discoveries hereafter, I leave thee
to the God of Nature, from whom all the true light of Nature
proceedeth."

       *       *       *       *       *

Gervase Markham must have been a roistering gallant about the time that
Sir Hugh was conducting his experiments on "Soyles"; for, in 1591, he
had the honor to be dangerously wounded in a duel which he fought in
behalf of the Countess of Shrewsbury; there are also some painful rumors
current (in old books) in regard to his habits in early life, which
weaken somewhat our trust in him as a quiet country counsellor. I
suspect, that, up to mature life, at any rate, he knew much more about
the sparring of a game-cock than the making of capons. Yet he wrote
books upon the proper care of beasts and fowls, as well as upon almost
every subject connected with husbandry. And that these were good books,
or at least in large demand, we have in evidence the memorandum of a
promise which some griping bookseller extorted from him, under date of
July, 1617:--

"I, Gervase Markham, of London, Gent, do promise hereafter never to
write any more book or books to be printed of the diseases or cures of
any cattle, as horse, oxe, cowe, sheepe, swine and goates, &c. In
witness whereof, I have hereunto sett my hand, the 24th day of Julie.

"GERVIS MARKHAM."

He seems to have been a man of some literary accomplishments, and one
who knew how to turn them to account. He translated the "Maison
Rustique" of Liebault, and had some hand in the concoction of one or two
poems which kindled the ire of the Puritan clergy. There is no doubt but
he was an adroit bookmaker; and the value of his labors, in respect to
practical husbandry, was due chiefly to his art of arranging,
compacting, and illustrating the maxims and practices already received.
His observations upon diseases of cattle and upon horsemanship were
doubtless based on experimental knowledge; for he was a rare and ardent
sportsman, and possessed all a sportsman's keenness in the detection of
infirmities.

I suspect, moreover, that there were substantial grounds for that
acquaintance with gastronomy shown in the "Country Housewife." In this
book, after discoursing upon cookery and great feasts, he gives the
details of a "humble feast of a proportion which any good man may keep
in his family."

"As thus:--first, a shield of brawn with mustard; secondly, a boyl'd
capon; thirdly, a boyl'd piece of beef; fourthly, a chine of beef
rosted; fifthly, a neat's tongue rosted; sixthly, a pig rosted;
seventhly chewits baked; eighthly, a goose rosted; ninthly, a swan
rosted; tenthly, a turkey rosted; eleventh, a haunch of venison rosted;
twelfth, a pasty of venison; thirteenth, a kid with a pudding in the
belly; fourteenth, an olive pye; the fifteenth, a couple of capons; the
sixteenth, a custard or dowsets."

This is what Master Gervase calls a frugal dinner, for the entertainment
of a worthy friend; is it any wonder that he wrote about "Country
Contentments"?

       *       *       *       *       *

My chapter is nearly full; and a burst of sunshine is flaming over all
the land under my eye; and yet I am but just entered upon the period of
English literary history which is most rich in rural illustration. The
mere backs of the books relating thereto, as my glance ranges over them,
where they stand in tidy platoon, start a delightfully confused picture
to my mind.

I think it possible that Sir Hugh Platt may some day entertain at his
Bednall-Greene garden the worshipful Francis Bacon, who is living down
at Twickenham, and who is a thriving lawyer, and has written essays,
which Sir Hugh must know,--in which he discourses shrewdly upon gardens,
as well as many kindred matters; and through his wide correspondence,
Sir Hugh must probably have heard of certain new herbs which have been
brought home from Virginia and the Roanoke, and very possibly he is
making trial of a tobacco-plant in his garden, to be submitted some day
to his friend, the French Ambassador.

I can fancy Gervase Markham "making a night of it" with those rollicking
bachelors, Beaumont and Fletcher, at the "Mermaid," or going with them
to the Globe Theatre to see two Warwickshire brothers, Edmund and Will
Shakspeare, who are on the boards there,--the latter taking the part of
Old Knowell, in Ben Jonson's play of "Every Man in his Humour." His
friends say that this Will has parts.

Then there is the fiery and dashing Sir Philip Sidney, who threatened to
thrust a dagger into the heart of poor Molyneux, his father's steward,
for opening private letters (which poor Molyneux never did); and Sir
Philip knows all about poetry and the ancients; and in virtue of his
knowledges, he writes a terribly magniloquent and tedious "Arcadia,"
which, when he comes to die gallantly in battle, is admired and read
everywhere: nowadays it rests mostly on the shelf. But the memory of his
generous and noble spirit is far livelier than his book. It was through
him, and his friendship, probably, that the poet Spenser was gifted by
the Queen with a fine farm of three thousand acres among the Bally-Howra
hills of Ireland.

And it was here that Sir Walter Raleigh, that "shepherd of the sea,"
visited the poet, and found him seated

                    "amongst the coolly shade
    Of the green alders, by the Mulla's shore."

Did the gallant privateer possibly talk with the farmer about the
introduction of that new esculent, the potato? Did they talk tobacco?
Did Colin Clout have any observations to make upon the rot in sheep, or
upon the probable "clip" of the year?

Nothing of this; but

    "He pip'd, I sung; and when he sung, I pip'd:
    By chaunge of tunes each making other merry."

The lines would make a fair argument of the poet's bucolic life. I have
a strong faith that his farming was of the higgledy-piggledy order; I do
not believe that he could have set a plough into the sod, or have made a
good "cast" of barley. It is certain, that, when the Tyrone rebels
burned him out of Kilcolman Castle, he took no treasure with him but his
Elizabeth and the two babes; and the only treasures he left were the
ashes of the dear child whose face shone on him there for the last
time,--

          "bright with many a curl
    That clustered round her head."

I wish I could love his "Shepherd's Calendar"; but I cannot. Abounding
art of language, exquisite fancies, delicacies innumerable there may be;
but there is no exhilarating air from the mountains, no crisp breezes,
no songs that make the welkin ring, no river that champs the bit, no
sky-piercing falcon.

And as for the "Faëry Queene," if I must confess it, I can never read
far without a sense of suffocation from the affluence of its beauties.
It is a marvellously fair sea and broad,--with tender winds blowing over
it, and all the ripples are iris-hued; but you long for some brave blast
that shall scoop great hollows in it, and shake out the briny beads from
its lifted waters, and drive wild scuds of spray among the screaming
curlew.

In short, I can never read far in Spenser without taking a rest--as we
farmers lean upon our spades, when the digging is in unctuous fat soil
that lifts heavily.

And so I leave the matter,--with the "Faëry Queene" in my thought, and
leaning on my spade.

       *       *       *       *       *



CIVIC BANQUETS.


It has often perplexed me to imagine how an Englishman will be able to
reconcile himself to any future state of existence from which the
earthly institution of dinner shall be excluded. Even if he fail to take
his appetite along with him, (which it seems to me hardly possible to
believe, since this endowment is so essential to his composition,) the
immortal day must still admit an interim of two or three hours during
which he will be conscious of a slight distaste, at all events, if not
an absolute repugnance, to merely spiritual nutriment. The idea of
dinner has so imbedded itself among his highest and deepest
characteristics, so illuminated itself with intellect and softened
itself with the kindest emotions of his heart, so linked itself with
Church and State, and grown so majestic with long hereditary customs and
ceremonies, that, by taking it utterly away, Death, instead of putting
the final touch to his perfection, would leave him infinitely less
complete than we have already known him. He could not be roundly happy.
Paradise, among all its enjoyments, would lack one daily felicity which
his sombre little island possessed. Perhaps it is not irreverent to
conjecture that a provision may have been made, in this particular, for
the Englishman's exceptional necessities. It strikes me that Milton was
of the opinion here suggested, and may have intended to throw out a
delightful and consolatory hope for his countrymen, when he represents
the genial archangel as playing his part with such excellent appetite at
Adam's dinner-table, and confining himself to fruit and vegetables only
because, in those early days of her housekeeping, Eve had no more
acceptable viands to set before him. Milton, indeed, had a true English
taste for the pleasures of the table, though refined by the lofty and
poetic discipline to which he had subjected himself. It is delicately
implied in the refection in Paradise, and more substantially, though
still elegantly, betrayed in the sonnet proposing to "Laurence, of
virtuous father virtuous son," a series of nice little dinners in
midwinter; and it blazes fully out in that untasted banquet which,
elaborate as it was, Satan tossed up in a trice from the kitchen-ranges
of Tartarus.

Among this people, indeed, so wise in their generation, dinner has a
kind of sanctity quite independent of the dishes that may be set upon
the table; so that, if it be only a mutton-chop, they treat it with due
reverence, and are rewarded with a degree of enjoyment which such
reckless devourers as ourselves do not often find in our richest
abundance. It is good to see how stanch they are after fifty or sixty
years of heroic eating, still relying upon their digestive powers and
indulging a vigorous appetite; whereas an American has generally lost
the one and learned to distrust the other long before reaching the
earliest decline of life; and thenceforward he makes little account of
his dinner, and dines at his peril, if at all. I know not whether my
countrymen will allow me to tell them, though I think it scarcely too
much to affirm, that, on this side of the water, people never dine. At
any rate, abundantly as Nature has provided us with most of the material
requisites, the highest possible dinner has never yet been eaten in
America. It is the consummate flower of civilization and refinement; and
our inability to produce it, or to appreciate its admirable beauty, if a
happy inspiration should bring it into bloom, marks fatally the limit of
culture which we have attained.

It is not to be supposed, however, that the mob of cultivated Englishmen
know how to dine in this elevated sense. The unpolishable ruggedness of
the national character is still an impediment to them, even in that
particular line where they are best qualified to excel. Though often
present at good men's feasts, I remember only a single dinner, which,
while lamentably conscious that many of its higher excellences were
thrown away upon me, I yet could feel to be a perfect work of art. It
could not, without unpardonable coarseness, be styled a matter of animal
enjoyment, because out of the very perfection of that lower bliss there
had arisen a dream-like development of spiritual happiness. As in the
master-pieces of painting and poetry, there was a something intangible,
a final deliciousness that only fluttered about your comprehension,
vanishing whenever you tried to detain it, and compelling you to
recognize it by faith rather than sense. It seemed as if a diviner set
of senses were requisite, and had been partly supplied, for the special
fruition of this banquet, and that the guests around the table (only
eight in number) were becoming so educated, polished, and softened, by
the delicate influences of what they ate and drank, as to be now a
little more than mortal for the nonce. And there was that gentle,
delicious sadness, too, which we find in the very summit of our most
exquisite enjoyments, and feel it a charm beyond all the gayety through
which it keeps breathing its undertone. In the present case, it was
worth a heavier sigh, to reflect that such a festal achievement,--the
production of so much art, skill, fancy, invention, and perfect
taste,--the growth of all the ages, which appeared to have been ripening
for this hour, since man first began to eat and to moisten his food with
wine,--must lavish its happiness upon so brief a moment, when other
beautiful things can be made a joy forever. Yet a dinner like this is no
better than we can get, any day, at the rejuvenescent Cornhill
Coffee-House, unless the whole man, with soul, intellect, and stomach,
is ready to appreciate it, and unless, moreover, there is such a harmony
in all the circumstances and accompaniments, and especially such a pitch
of well-according minds, that nothing shall jar rudely against the
guest's thoroughly awakened sensibilities. The world, and especially our
part of it, being the rough, ill-assorted and tumultuous place we find
it, a beefsteak is about as good as any other dinner.

The foregoing reminiscence, however, has drawn me aside from the main
object of my sketch, in which I purposed to give a slight idea of those
public or partially public banquets, the custom of which so thoroughly
prevails among the English people, that nothing is ever decided upon, in
matters of peace or war, until they have chewed upon it in the shape of
roast-beef, and talked it fully over in their cups. Nor are these
festivities merely occasional, but of stated recurrence in all
considerable municipalities and associated bodies. The most ancient
times appear to have been as familiar with them as the Englishmen of
to-day. In many of the old English towns, you find some stately Gothic
hall or chamber in which the Mayor and other authorities of the place
have long held their sessions; and always, in convenient contiguity,
there is a dusky kitchen, with an immense fireplace, where an ox might
lie roasting at his ease, though the less gigantic scale of modern
cookery may now have permitted the cobwebs to gather in its chimney. St.
Mary's Hall, in Coventry, is so good a specimen of an ancient
banqueting-room that perhaps I may profitably devote a page or two to
the description of it.

In a narrow street, opposite to St. Michael's Church, one of the three
famous spires of Coventry, you behold a mediæval edifice, in the
basement of which is such a venerable and now deserted kitchen as I have
above alluded to, and, on the same level, a cellar, with low stone
pillars and intersecting arches, like the crypt of a cathedral. Passing
up a well-worn staircase, the oaken balustrade of which is as black as
ebony, you enter the fine old hall, some sixty feet in length, and broad
and lofty in proportion. It is lighted by six windows of modern stained
glass, on one side, and by the immense and magnificent arch of another
window at the farther end of the room, its rich and ancient panes
constituting a genuine historical piece, in which are represented some
of the kingly personages of old times, with their heraldic blazonries.
Notwithstanding the colored light thus thrown into the hall, and though
it was noonday when I last saw it, the panelling of black oak, and some
faded tapestry that hung round the walls, together with the cloudy vault
of the roof above, made a gloom which the richness only illuminated into
more appreciable effect. The tapestry is wrought with figures in the
dress of Henry VI.'s time, (which is the date of the hall,) and is
regarded by antiquaries as authentic evidence both for the costume of
that epoch, and, I believe, for the actual portraiture of men known in
history. They are as colorless as ghosts, however, and vanish drearily
into the old stitch-work of their substance, when you try to make them
out. Coats-of-arms were formerly emblazoned all round the hall, but have
been almost rubbed out by people hanging their overcoats against them,
or by women with dish-clouts and scrubbing-brushes, obliterating
hereditary glories in their blind hostility to dust and spiders' webs.
Full-length portraits of several English kings, Charles II. being the
earliest, hang on the walls; and on the daïs, or elevated part of the
floor, stands an antique chair of state, which more than one royal
character is traditionally said to have occupied while feasting here
with their loyal subjects of Coventry. It is roomy enough for a person
of kingly bulk, or even two such, but angular and uncomfortable,
reminding me of the oaken settles which used to be seen in old-fashioned
New-England kitchens.

Overhead, supported by a self-sustaining power, without the aid of a
single pillar, is the original ceiling of oak, precisely similar in
shape to the roof of a barn, with all the beams and rafters plainly to
be seen. At the remote height of sixty feet, you hardly discern that
they are carved with figures of angels, and doubtless many other
devices, of which the admirable Gothic art is wasted in the duskiness
that has so long been brooding there. Over the entrance of the hall,
opposite the great arched window, the party-colored radiance of which
glimmers faintly through the interval, is a gallery for minstrels; and a
row of ancient suits of armor is suspended from its balustrade. It
impresses me, too, (for, having gone so far, I would fain leave nothing
untouched upon,) that I remember, somewhere about these venerable
precincts, a picture of the Countess Godiva on horseback, in which the
artist has been so niggardly of that illustrious lady's hair, that, if
she had no ampler garniture, there was certainly much need for the good
people of Coventry to shut their eyes. After all my pains, I fear that I
have made but a poor hand at the description, as regards a transference
of the scene from my own mind to the reader's. It gave me a most vivid
idea of antiquity that had been very little tampered with; insomuch
that, if a group of steel-clad knights had come clanking through the
door-way, and a bearded and beruffed old figure had handed in a stately
dame, rustling in gorgeous robes of a long-forgotten fashion, unveiling
a face of beauty somewhat tarnished in the mouldy tomb, yet stepping
majestically to the trill of harp and viol from the minstrels' gallery,
while the rusty armor responded with a hollow ringing sound
beneath,--why, I should have felt that these shadows, once so familiar
with the spot, had a better right in St. Mary's Hall than I, a stranger
from a far country which has no Past. But the moral of the foregoing
pages is to show how tenaciously this love of pompous dinners, this
reverence for dinner as a sacred institution, has caught hold of the
English character; since, from, the earliest recognizable period, we
find them building their civic banqueting-halls as magnificently as
their palaces or cathedrals.

I know not whether the hall just described is still used for festive
purposes, but others of similar antiquity and splendor are so. For
example, there is Barber-Surgeons' Hall, in London, a very fine old
room, adorned with admirably carved wood-work on the ceiling and walls.
It is also enriched with Holbein's master-piece, representing a grave
assemblage of barbers and surgeons, all portraits, (with such extensive
beards that methinks one-half of the company might have been profitably
occupied in trimming the other,) kneeling before King Henry VIII. Sir
Robert Peel is said to have offered a thousand pounds for the liberty of
cutting out one of the heads from this picture, he conditioning to have
a perfect fac-simile painted in. The room has many other pictures of
distinguished members of the company in long-past times, and of some of
the monarchs and statesmen of England, all darkened with age, but
darkened into such ripe magnificence as only age could bestow. It is not
my design to inflict any more specimens of ancient hall-painting on the
reader; but it may be worth while to touch upon other modes of
stateliness that still survive in these time-honored civic feasts, where
there appears to be a singular assumption of dignity and solemn pomp by
respectable citizens, who would never dream of claiming any privilege of
rank outside of their own sphere. Thus, I saw two caps of state for the
warden and junior warden of the company, caps of silver (real coronets
or crowns, indeed, for these city-grandees) wrought in open-work and
lined with crimson velvet. In a strong-closet, opening from the hall,
there was a great deal of rich plate to furnish forth the banquet-table,
comprising hundreds of forks and spoons, a vast silver punch-bowl, the
gift of some jolly king or other, and, besides a multitude of less
noticeable vessels, two Loving-Cups, very elaborately wrought in silver
gilt, one presented by Henry VIII., the other by Charles II. These cups,
including the covers and pedestals, are very large and weighty, although
the bowl-part would hardly contain more than half a pint of wine, which,
when the custom was first established, each guest was probably expected
to drink off at a draught. In passing them from hand to hand adown a
long table of compotators, there is a peculiar ceremony which I may
hereafter have occasion to describe. Meanwhile, if I might assume such a
liberty, I should be glad to invite the reader to the official
dinner-table of his Worship, the Mayor, at a large English seaport where
I spent several years.

The Mayor's dinner-parties occur as often as once a fortnight, and,
inviting his guests by fifty or sixty at a time, his Worship probably
assembles at his board most of the eminent citizens and distinguished
personages of the town and neighborhood more than once during his year's
incumbency, and very much, no doubt, to the promotion of good feeling
among individuals of opposite parties and diverse pursuits in life. A
miscellaneous party of Englishmen can always find more comfortable
ground to meet upon than as many Americans, their differences of opinion
being incomparably less radical than ours, and it being the sincerest
wish of all their hearts, whether they call themselves Liberals or what
not, that nothing in this world shall ever be greatly altered from what
it has been and is. Thus there is seldom such a virulence of political
hostility that it may not be dissolved in a glass or two of wine,
without making the good liquor any more dry or bitter than accords with
English taste.

The first dinner of this kind at which I had the honor to be present
took place during assize time, and included among the guests the judges
and the prominent members of the bar. Reaching the Town-Hall at seven
o'clock, I communicated my name to one of several splendidly dressed
footmen, and he repeated it to another on the first staircase, by whom
it was passed to a third, and thence to a fourth at the door of the
reception-room, losing all resemblance to the original sound in the
course of these transmissions; so that I had the advantage of making my
entrance in the character of a stranger, not only to the whole company,
but to myself as well. His Worship, however, kindly recognized me, and
put me on speaking-terms with two or three gentlemen, whom I found very
affable, and all the more hospitably attentive on the score of my
nationality. It is very singular how kind an Englishman will almost
invariably be to an individual American, without ever bating a jot of
his prejudice against the American character in the lump. My new
acquaintances took evident pains to put me at my ease; and, in requital
of their good-nature, I soon began to look round at the general company
in a critical spirit, making my crude observations apart, and drawing
silent inferences, of the correctness of which I should not have been
half so well satisfied a year afterwards as at that moment.

There were two judges present, a good many lawyers, and a few officers
of the army in uniform. The other guests seemed to be principally of the
mercantile class, and among them was a ship-owner from Nova Scotia, with
whom I coalesced a little, inasmuch as we were born with the same sky
over our heads, and an unbroken continuity of soil between his abode and
mine. There was one old gentleman, whose character I never made out,
with powdered hair, clad in black breeches and silk stockings, and
wearing a rapier at his side; otherwise, with the exception of the
military uniforms, there was little or no pretence of official costume.
It being the first considerable assemblage of Englishmen that I had
seen, my honest impression about them was, that they were a heavy and
homely set of people, with a remarkable roughness of aspect and
behavior, not repulsive, but beneath which it required more familiarity
with the national character than I then possessed always to detect the
good-breeding of a gentleman. Being generally middle-aged, or still
farther advanced, they were by no means graceful in figure; for the
comeliness of the youthful Englishman rapidly diminishes with years, his
body appearing to grow longer, his legs to abbreviate themselves, and
his stomach to assume the dignified prominence which justly belongs to
that metropolis of his system. His face (what with the acridity of the
atmosphere, ale at lunch, wine at dinner, and a well-digested abundance
of succulent food) gets red and mottled, and develops at least one
additional chin, with a promise of more; so that, finally, a stranger
recognizes his animal part at the most superficial glance, but must take
time and a little pains to discover the intellectual. Comparing him with
an American, I really thought that our national paleness and lean habit
of flesh gave us greatly the advantage in an æsthetic point of view. It
seemed to me, moreover, that the English tailor had not done so much as
he might and ought for these heavy figures, but had gone on wilfully
exaggerating their uncouthness by the roominess of their garments: he
had evidently no idea of accuracy of fit, and smartness was entirely out
of his line. But, to be quite open with the reader, I afterwards learned
to think that this aforesaid tailor has a deeper art than his brethren
among ourselves, knowing how to dress his customers with such individual
propriety that they look as if they were born in their clothes, the fit
being to the character rather than the form. If you make an Englishman
smart, (unless he be a very exceptional one, of whom I have seen a few,)
you make him a monster: his best aspect is that of ponderous
respectability.

To make an end of these first impressions, I fancied that not merely the
Suffolk bar, but the bar of any inland county in New England, might show
a set of thin-visaged, green-spectacled men, looking wretchedly worn,
sallow with the intemperate use of strong coffee, deeply wrinkled across
the forehead, and grimly furrowed about the month, with whom these
heavy-cheeked English lawyers, slow-paced and fat-witted as they must
needs be, would stand very little chance in a professional contest. How
that matter might turn out I am unqualified to decide. But I state these
results of my earliest glimpses of Englishmen, not for what they are
worth, but because I ultimately gave them up as worth little or nothing.
In course of time, I came to the conclusion that Englishmen of all ages
are a rather good-looking people, dress in admirable taste from their
own point of view, and, under a surface never silken to the touch, have
a refinement of manners too thorough and genuine to be thought of as a
separate endowment,--that is to say, if the individual himself be a man
of station, and has had gentlemen for his father and grandfather. The
sturdy Anglo-Saxon nature does not refine itself short of the third
generation. The tradesmen, too, and all other classes, have their own
proprieties. The only value of my criticisms, therefore, lay in their
exemplifying the proneness of a traveller to measure one people by the
distinctive characteristics of another,--as English writers invariably
measure us, and take upon themselves to be disgusted accordingly,
instead of trying to find out some principle of beauty with which we may
be in conformity.

In due time we were summoned to the table, and went thither in no solemn
procession, but with a good deal of jostling, thrusting behind, and
scrambling for places when we reached our destination. The legal
gentlemen, I suspect, were responsible for this indecorous zeal, which I
never afterwards remarked in a similar party. The dining-hall was of
noble size, and, like the other rooms of the suite, was gorgeously
painted and gilded and brilliantly illuminated. There was a splendid
table-service, and a noble array of footmen, some of them in plain
clothes, and others wearing the town-livery, richly decorated with
gold-lace, and themselves excellent specimens of the blooming
young-manhood of Britain. When we were fairly seated, it was certainly
an agreeable spectacle to look up and down the long vista of earnest
faces, and behold them so resolute, so conscious that there was an
important business in hand, and so determined to be equal to the
occasion. Indeed, Englishman or not, I hardly know what can be prettier
than a snow-white table-cloth, a huge heap of flowers as a central
decoration, bright silver, rich china, crystal glasses, decanters of
Sherry at due intervals, a French roll and an artistically folded napkin
at each plate, all that airy portion of a banquet, in short, that comes
before the first mouthful, the whole illuminated by a blaze of
artificial light, without which a dinner of made-dishes looks spectral,
and the simplest viands are the best. Printed bills-of-fare were
distributed, representing an abundant feast, no part of which appeared
on the table until called for in separate plates. I have entirely
forgotten what it was, but deem it no great matter, inasmuch as there is
a pervading commonplace and identicalness in the composition of
extensive dinners, on account of the impossibility of supplying a
hundred guests with anything particularly delicate or rare. It was
suggested to me that certain juicy old gentlemen had a private
understanding what to call for, and that it would be good policy in a
stranger to follow in their footsteps through the feast. I did not care
to do so, however, because, like Sancho Panza's dip out of Camacho's
caldron, any sort of pot-luck at such a table would be sure to suit my
purpose; so I chose a dish or two on my own judgment, and, getting
through my labors betimes, had great pleasure in seeing the Englishmen
toil onward to the end.

They drank rather copiously, too, though wisely; for I observed that
they seldom took Hock, and let the Champagne bubble slowly away out of
the goblet, solacing themselves with Sherry, but tasting it warily
before bestowing their final confidence. Their taste in wines, however,
did not seem so exquisite, and certainly was not so various, as that to
which many Americans pretend. This foppery of an intimate acquaintance
with rare vintage: does not suit a sensible Englishman, as he is very
much in earnest about his wines, and adopts one or two as his life-long
friends, seldom exchanging them for any Delilahs of a moment, and
reaping the reward of his constancy in an unimpaired stomach, and only
so much gout as he deems wholesome and desirable. Knowing well the
measure of his powers, he is not apt to fill his glass too often.
Society, indeed, would hardly tolerate habitual imprudences of that
kind, though, in my opinion, the Englishmen now upon the stage could
carry off their three bottles, at need, with as steady a gait as any of
their forefathers. It is not so very long since the three-bottle heroes
sank finally under the table. It may be (at least, I should be glad if
it were true) that there was an occult sympathy between our
temperance-reform, now somewhat in abeyance, and the almost simultaneous
disappearance of hard-drinking among the respectable classes in England.
I remember a middle-aged gentleman telling me (in illustration of the
very slight importance attached to breaches of temperance within the
memory of men not yet old) that he had seen a certain magistrate, Sir
John Linkwater, or Drinkwater,--but I think the jolly old knight could
hardly have staggered under so perverse a misnomer as this last,--while
sitting on the magisterial bench, pull out a crown-piece and hand it to
the clerk. "Mr. Clerk," said Sir John, as if it were the most
indifferent fact in the world, "I was drunk last night. There are my
five shillings."

During the dinner, I had a good deal of pleasant conversation with the
gentlemen on either side of me. One of them, a lawyer, expatiated with
great unction on the social standing of the judges. Representing the
dignity and authority of the Crown, they take precedence, during
assize-time, of the highest military men in the kingdom, of the
Lord-Lieutenant of the county, of the Archbishops, of the royal Dukes,
and even of the Prince of Wales. For the nonce, they are the greatest
men in England. With a glow of professional complacency that amounted to
enthusiasm, my friend assured me, that, in case of a royal dinner, a
judge, if actually holding an assize, would be expected to offer his arm
and take the Queen herself to the table. Happening to be in company with
some of these elevated personages, on subsequent occasions, it appeared
to me that the judges are fully conscious of their paramount claims to
respect, and take rather more pains to impress them on their ceremonial
inferiors than men of high hereditary rank are apt to do. Bishops, if it
be not irreverent to say so, are sometimes marked by a similar
characteristic. Dignified position is so sweet to an Englishman, that he
needs to be born in it, and to feel it thoroughly incorporated with his
nature from its original germ, in order to keep him from flaunting it
obtrusively in the faces of innocent by-standers.

My companion on the other side was a thick-set, middle-aged man, uncouth
in manners, and ugly where none were handsome, with a dark, roughly hewn
visage, that looked grim in repose, and seemed to hold within itself the
machinery of a very terrific frown. He ate with resolute appetite, and
let slip few opportunities of imbibing whatever liquids happened to be
passing by. I was meditating in what way this grisly-featured
table-fellow might most safely be accosted, when he turned to me with a
surly sort of kindness, and invited me to take a glass of wine. We then
began a conversation that abounded, on his part, with sturdy sense, and,
somehow or other, brought me closer to him than I had yet stood to an
Englishman. I should hardly have taken him to be an educated man,
certainly not a scholar of accurate training; and yet he seemed to have
all the resources of education and trained intellectual power at
command. My fresh Americanism, and watchful observation of English
characteristics, appeared either to interest or amuse him, or perhaps
both. Under the mollifying influences of abundance of meat and drink, he
grew very gracious, (not that I ought to use such a phrase to describe
his evidently genuine good-will,) and by-and-by expressed a wish for
further acquaintance, asking me to call at his rooms in London and
inquire for Sergeant Wilkins,--throwing out the name forcibly, as if he
had no occasion to be ashamed of it. I remembered Dean Swift's retort to
Sergeant Bettesworth on a similar announcement,--"Of what regiment,
pray, Sir?"--and fancied that the same question might not have been
quite amiss, if applied to the rugged individual at my side. But I heard
of him subsequently as one of the prominent men at the English bar, a
rough customer, and a terribly strong champion in criminal cases; and it
caused me more regret than might have been expected, on so slight an
acquaintanceship, when, not long afterwards, I saw his death announced
in the newspapers. Not rich in attractive qualities, he possessed, I
think, the most attractive one of all,--thorough manhood.

After the cloth was removed, a goodly group of decanters were set before
the Mayor, who sent them forth on their outward voyage, full freighted
with Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Claret, of which excellent liquors,
methought, the latter found least acceptance among the guests. When
every man had filled his glass, his Worship stood up and proposed a
toast. It was, of course, "Our gracious Sovereign," or words to that
effect; and immediately a band of musicians, whose preliminary tootings
and thrummings I had already heard behind me, struck up "God save the
Queen," and the whole company rose with one impulse to assist in singing
that famous national anthem. It was the first time in my life that I had
ever seen a body of men, or even a single man, under the active
influence of the sentiment of Loyalty; for, though we call ourselves
loyal to our country and institutions, and prove it by our readiness to
shed blood and sacrifice life in their behalf, still the principle is as
cold and hard, in an American bosom, as the steel spring that puts in
motion a powerful machinery. In the Englishman's system, a force similar
to that of our steel spring is generated by the warm throbbings of human
hearts. He clothes our bare abstraction in flesh and blood,--at present,
in the flesh and blood of a woman,--and manages to combine love, awe,
and intellectual reverence, all in one emotion, and to embody his
mother, his wife, his children, the whole idea of kindred, in a single
person, and make her the representative of his country and its laws. We
Americans smile superior, as I did at the Mayor's table; and yet, I
fancy, we lose some very agreeable titillations of the heart in
consequence of our proud perogative of caring no more about our
President than for a man of straw, or a stuffed scarecrow straddling in
a cornfield.

But, to say the truth, the spectacle struck me rather ludicrously, to
see this party of stout middle-aged and elderly gentlemen, in the
fulness of meat and drink, their ample and ruddy faces glistening with
wine, perspiration, and enthusiasm, rumbling out those strange old
stanzas from the very bottom of their hearts and stomachs, which two
organs, in the English interior arrangement, lie closer together than in
ours. The song seemed to me the rudest old ditty in the world; but I
could not wonder at its universal acceptance and indestructible
popularity, considering how inimitably it expresses the national faith
and feeling as regards the inevitable righteousness of England, the
Almighty's consequent respect and partiality for that redoubtable little
island, and His presumed readiness to strengthen its defence against the
contumacious wickedness and knavery of all other principalities or
republics. Tennyson himself, though evidently English to the very last
prejudice, could not write half so good a song for the purpose. Finding
that the entire dinner-table struck in, with voices of every pitch
between rolling thunder and the squeak of a cartwheel, and that the
strain was not of such delicacy as to be much hurt by the harshest of
them, I determined to lend my own assistance in swelling the triumphant
roar. It seemed but a proper courtesy to the first Lady in the land,
whose guest, in the largest sense, I might consider myself. Accordingly,
my first tuneful efforts (and probably my last, for I purpose not to
sing any more, unless it be "Hail Columbia" on the restoration of the
Union) were poured freely forth in honor of Queen Victoria. The
Sergeant smiled like the carved head of a Swiss nutcracker, and the
other gentlemen in my neighborhood, by nods and gestures, evinced grave
approbation of so suitable a tribute to English superiority; and we
finished our stave and sat down in an extremely happy frame of mind.

Other toasts followed in honor of the great institutions and interests
of the country, and speeches in response to each were made by
individuals whom the Mayor designated or the company called for. None of
them impressed me with a very high idea of English postprandial oratory.
It is inconceivable, indeed, what ragged and shapeless utterances most
Englishmen are satisfied to give vent to, without attempting anything
like artistic shape, but clapping on a patch here and another there, and
ultimately getting out what they want to say, and generally with a
result of sufficiently good sense, but in some such disorganized mass as
if they had thrown it up rather than spoken it. It seemed to me that
this was almost as much by choice as necessity. An Englishman, ambitious
of public favor, should not be too smooth. If an orator is glib, his
countrymen distrust him. They dislike smartness. The stronger and
heavier his thoughts, the better, provided there be an element of
commonplace running through them; and any rough, yet never vulgar force
of expression, such as would knock an opponent down, if it hit him, only
it must not be too personal, is altogether to their taste; but a studied
neatness of language, or other such superficial graces, they cannot
abide. They do not often permit a man to make himself a fine orator of
malice aforethought, that is, unless he be a nobleman, (as, for example,
Lord Stanley, of the Derby family,) who, as an hereditary legislator and
necessarily a public speaker, is bound to remedy a poor natural delivery
in the best way he can. On the whole, I partly agree with them, and, if
I cared for any oratory whatever, should be as likely to applaud theirs
as our own. When an English speaker sits down, you feel that you have
been listening to a real man, and not to an actor; his sentiments have a
wholesome earth-smell in them, though, very likely, this apparent
naturalness is as much an art as what we expend in rounding a sentence
or elaborating a peroration.

It is one good effect of this inartificial style, that nobody in England
seems to feel any shyness about shovelling the untrimmed and untrimmable
ideas out of his mind for the benefit of an audience. At least, nobody
did on the occasion now in hand, except a poor little Major of
Artillery, who responded for the Army in a thin, quavering voice, with a
terribly hesitating trickle of fragmentary ideas, and, I question not,
would rather have been bayoneted in front of his batteries than to have
said a word. Not his own mouth, but the cannon's, was this poor Major's
proper organ of utterance.

While I was thus amiably occupied in criticizing my fellow-guests, the
Mayor had got up to propose another toast; and listening rather
inattentively to the first sentence or two, I soon became sensible of a
drift in his Worship's remarks that made me glance apprehensively
towards Sergeant Wilkins. "Yes," grumbled that gruff personage, shoving
a decanter of Port towards me, "it is your turn next"; and seeing in my
face, I suppose, the consternation of a wholly unpractised orator, he
kindly added,--"It is nothing. A mere acknowledgment will answer the
purpose. The less you say, the better they will like it." That being the
case, I suggested that perhaps they would like it best, if I said
nothing at all. But the Sergeant shook his head. Now, on first receiving
the Mayor's invitation to dinner, it had occurred to me that I might
possibly be brought into my present predicament; but I had dismissed the
idea from my mind as too disagreeable to be entertained, and, moreover,
as so alien from my disposition and character that Fate surely could not
keep such a misfortune in store for me. If nothing else prevented, an
earthquake or the crack of doom would certainly interfere before I need
rise to speak. Yet here was the Mayor getting on inexorably,--and,
indeed, I heartily wished that he might get on and on forever, and of
his wordy wanderings find no end.

If the gentle reader, my kindest friend and closest confidant, deigns to
desire it, I can impart to him my own experience as a public speaker
quite as indifferently as if it concerned another person. Indeed, it
does concern another, or a mere spectral phenomenon, for it was not I,
in my proper and natural self, that sat there at table or subsequently
rose to speak. At the moment, then, if the choice had been offered me
whether the Mayor should let off a speech at my head or a pistol, I
should unhesitatingly have taken the latter alternative. I had really
nothing to say, not an idea in my head, nor, which was a great deal
worse, any flowing words or embroidered sentences in which to dress out
that empty Nothing, and give it a cunning aspect of intelligence, such
as might last the poor vacuity the little time it had to live. But time
pressed; the Mayor brought his remarks, affectionately eulogistic of the
United States and highly complimentary to their distinguished
representative at that table, to a close, amid a vast deal of cheering;
and the band struck up "Hail Columbia," "Old Hundred," or "God save the
Queen" over again, for anything that I should have known or cared. When
the music ceased, there was an intensely disagreeable instant, during
which I seemed to rend away and fling off the habit of a lifetime, and
rose, still void of ideas, but with preternatural composure, to make a
speech. The guests rattled on the table, and cried, "Hear!" most
vociferously, as if now, at length, in this foolish and idly garrulous
world, had come the long-expected moment when one golden word was to be
spoken; and in that imminent crisis, I caught a glimpse of a little bit
of an effusion of international sentiment, which it might, and must, and
should do to utter.

Well; it was nothing, as the Sergeant had said. What surprised me most
was the sound of my own voice, which I had never before heard at a
declamatory pitch, and which impressed me as belonging to some other
person, who, and not myself, would be responsible for the speech: a
prodigious consolation and encouragement under the circumstances! I went
on without the slightest embarrassment, and sat down amid great
applause, wholly undeserved by anything that I had spoken, but well won
from Englishmen, methought, by the new development of pluck that alone
had enabled me to speak at all. "It was handsomely done!" quoth Sergeant
Wilkins; and I felt like a recruit who had been for the first time under
fire.

I would gladly have ended my oratorical career then and there forever,
but was often placed in a similar or worse position, and compelled to
meet it as I best might; for this was one of the necessities of an
office which I had voluntarily taken on my shoulders, and beneath which
I might be crushed by no moral delinquency on my own part, but could not
shirk without cowardice and shame. My subsequent fortune was various.
Once, though I felt it to be a kind of imposture, I got a speech by
heart, and doubtless it might have been a very pretty one, only I forgot
every syllable at the moment of need, and had to improvise another as
well as I could. I found it a better method to prearrange a few points
in my mind, and trust to the spur of the occasion, and the kind aid of
Providence, for enabling me to bring them to bear. The presence of any
considerable proportion of personal friends generally dumbfounded me. I
would rather have talked with an enemy in the gate. Invariably, too, I
was much embarrassed by a small audience, and succeeded better with a
large one,--the sympathy of a multitude possessing a buoyant effect,
which lifts the speaker a little way out of his individuality and tosses
him towards a perhaps better range of sentiment than his private one.
Again, if I rose carelessly and confidently, with an expectation of
going through the business entirely at my ease, I often found that I
had little or nothing to say; whereas, if I came to the scratch in
perfect despair, and at a crisis when failure would have been horrible,
it once or twice happened that the frightful emergency concentrated my
poor faculties, and enabled me to give definite and vigorous expression
to sentiments which an instant before looked as vague and far-off as the
clouds in the atmosphere. On the whole, poor as my own success may have
been, I apprehend that any intelligent man with a tongue possesses the
chief requisite of oratorical power, and may develop many of the others,
if he deems it worth while to bestow a great amount of labor and pains
on an object which the most accomplished orators, I suspect, have not
found altogether satisfactory to their highest impulses. At any rate, it
must be a remarkably true man who can keep his own elevated conception
of truth when the lower feeling of a multitude is assailing his natural
sympathies, and who can speak out frankly the best that there is in him,
when by adulterating it a little, or a good deal, he knows that he may
make it ten times as acceptable to the audience.

       *       *       *       *       *

This slight article on the civic banquets of England would be too
wretchedly imperfect, without an attempted description of a Lord-Mayor's
dinner at the Mansion-House in London. I should have preferred the
annual feast at Guildhall, but never had the good-fortune to witness it.
Once, however, I was honored with an invitation to one of the regular
dinners, and gladly accepted it,--taking the precaution, nevertheless,
though it hardly seemed necessary, to inform the City-King, through a
mutual friend, that I was no fit representative of American eloquence,
and must humbly make it a condition that I should not be expected to
open my mouth, except for the reception of his Lordship's bountiful
hospitality. The reply was gracious and acquiescent; so that I presented
myself in the great entrance-hall of the Mansion-House, at half-past six
o'clock, in a state of most enjoyable freedom from the pusillanimous
apprehensions that often tormented me at such times. The Mansion-House
was built in Queen Anne's days, in the very heart of old London, and is
a palace worthy of its inhabitant, were he really as great a man as his
traditionary state and pomp would seem to indicate. Times are changed,
however, since the days of Whittington, or even of Hogarth's Industrious
Apprentice, to whom the highest imaginable reward of life-long integrity
was a seat in the Lord-Mayor's chair. People nowadays say that the real
dignity and importance have perished out of the office, as they do,
sooner or later, out of all earthly institutions, leaving only a painted
and gilded shell like that of an Easter egg, and that it is only
second-rate and third-rate men who now condescend to be ambitious of the
Mayoralty. I felt a little grieved at this; for the original emigrants
of New England had strong sympathies with the people of London, who were
mostly Puritans in religion and Parliamentarians in politics, in the
early days of our country; so that the Lord-Mayor was a potentate of
huge dimensions in the estimation of our forefathers, and held to be
hardly second to the prime-minister of the throne. The true great men of
the city now appear to have aims beyond city-greatness, connecting
themselves with national politics, and seeking to be identified with the
aristocracy of the country.

In the entrance-hall I was received by a body of footmen dressed in a
livery of blue and buff, in which they looked wonderfully like American
Revolutionary generals, only bedizened with far more lace and embroidery
than those simple and grand old heroes ever dreamed of wearing. There
were likewise two very imposing figures, whom I should have taken to be
military men of rank, being arrayed in scarlet coats and large silver
epaulets; but they turned out to be officers of the Lord-Mayor's
household, and were now employed in assigning to the guests the places
which they were respectively to occupy at the dinner-table. Our names
(for I had included myself in a little group of friends) were announced;
and ascending the staircase, we met his Lordship in the door-way of the
first reception-room, where, also, we had the advantage of a
presentation to the Lady-Mayoress. As this distinguished couple retired
into private life at the termination of their year of office, it is
inadmissible to make any remarks, critical or laudatory, on the manners
and bearing of two personages suddenly emerging from a position of
respectable mediocrity into one of preëminent dignity within their own
sphere. Such individuals almost always seem to grow nearly or quite to
the full size of their office. If it were desirable to write an essay on
the latent aptitude of ordinary people for grandeur, we have an
exemplification in our own country, and on a scale incomparably greater
than that of the Mayoralty, though invested with nothing like the
outward magnificence that gilds and embroiders the latter. If I have
been correctly informed, the Lord-Mayor's salary is exactly double that
of the President of the United States, and yet is found very inadequate
to his necessary expenditure.

There were two reception-rooms, thrown into one by the opening of wide
folding-doors; and though in an old style, and not yet so old as to be
venerable, they are remarkably handsome apartments, lofty as well as
spacious, with carved ceilings and walls, and at either end a splendid
fireplace of white marble, ornamented with sculptured wreaths of flowers
and foliage. The company were about three hundred, many of them
celebrities in politics, war, literature, and science, though I
recollect none preëminently distinguished in either department. But it
is certainly a pleasant mode of doing honor to men of literature, for
example, who deserve well of the public, yet do not often meet it face
to face, thus to bring them together, under genial auspices, in
connection with persons of note in other lines. I know not what may be
the Lord-Mayor's mode or principle of selecting his guests, nor whether,
during his official term, he can proffer his hospitality to every man of
noticeable talent in the wide world of London, nor, in fine, whether his
Lordship's invitation is much sought for or valued; but it seemed to me
that this periodical feast is one of the many sagacious methods which
the English have contrived for keeping up a good understanding among
different sorts of people. Like most other distinctions of society,
however, I presume that the Lord-Mayor's card does not often seek out
modest merit, but comes at last when the recipient is conscious of the
bore, and doubtful about the honor.

One very pleasant characteristic, which I never met with at any other
public or partially public dinner, was the presence of ladies. No doubt,
they were principally the wives and daughters of city-magnates; and if
we may judge from the many sly allusions in old plays and satirical
poems, the city of London has always been famous for the beauty of its
women and the reciprocal attractions between them and the men of
quality. Be that as it might, while straying hither and thither through
those crowded apartments, I saw much reason for modifying certain
heterodox opinions which I had inbibed, in my Transatlantic newness and
rawness, as regarded the delicate character and frequent occurrence of
English beauty. To state the entire truth, (being, at this period, some
years old in English life,) my taste, I fear, had long since begun to be
deteriorated by acquaintance with other models of feminine loveliness
than it was my happiness to know in America. I often found, or seemed to
find, if I may dare to confess it, in the persons of such of my dear
countrywomen as I now occasionally met, a certain meagreness, (Heaven
forbid that I should call it scrawniness!) a deficiency of physical
development, a scantiness, so to speak, in the pattern of their material
make, a paleness of complexion, a thinness of voice,--all which
characteristics, nevertheless, only made me resolve so much the more
sturdily to uphold these fair creatures as angels, because I was
sometimes driven to a half-acknowledgment, that the English ladies,
looked at from a lower point of view, were perhaps a little finer
animals than they. The advantages of the latter, if any they could
really be said to have, were all comprised in a few additional lumps of
clay on their shoulders and other parts of their figures. It would be a
pitiful bargain to give up the ethereal charm of American beauty in
exchange for half a hundred-weight of human clay!

At a given signal we all found our way into an immense room, called the
Egyptian Hall, I know not why, except that the architecture was classic,
and as different as possible from the ponderous style of Memphis and the
Pyramids. A powerful band played inspiringly as we entered, and a
brilliant profusion of light shone down on two long tables, extending
the whole length of the hall, and a cross-table between them, occupying
nearly its entire breadth. Glass gleamed and silver glistened on an acre
or two of snowy damask, over which were set out all the accompaniments
of a stately feast. We found our places without much difficulty, and the
Lord-Mayor's chaplain implored a blessing on the food,--a ceremony which
the English never omit, at a great dinner or a small one, yet consider,
I fear, not so much a religious rite as a sort of preliminary relish
before the soup.

The soup, of course, on this occasion, was turtle, of which, in
accordance with immemorial custom, each guest was allowed two platefuls,
in spite of the otherwise immitigable law of table-decorum. Indeed,
judging from the proceedings of the gentlemen near me, I surmised that
there was no practical limit, except the appetite of the guests and the
capacity of the soup-tureens. Not being fond of this civic dainty, I
partook of it but once, and then only in accordance with the wise maxim,
always to taste a fruit, a wine, or a celebrated dish, at its indigenous
site; and the very fountain-head of turtle-soup, I suppose, is in the
Lord-Mayor's dinner-pot. It is one of those orthodox customs which
people follow for half a century without knowing why, to drink a sip of
rum-punch, in a very small tumbler, after the soup. It was excellently
well-brewed, and it seemed to me almost worth while to sup the soup for
the sake of sipping the punch. The rest of the dinner was catalogued in
a bill-of-fare printed on delicate white paper within an arabesque
border of green and gold. It looked very good, not only in the English
and French names of the numerous dishes, but also in the positive
reality of the dishes themselves, which were all set on the table to be
carved and distributed by the guests. This ancient and honest method is
attended with a good deal of trouble, and a lavish effusion of gravy,
yet by no means bestowed or dispensed in vain, because you have thereby
the absolute assurance of a banquet actually before your eyes, instead
of a shadowy promise in the bill-of-fare, and such meagre fulfilment as
a single guest can contrive to get upon his individual plate. I wonder
that Englishmen, who are fond of looking at prize-oxen in the shape of
butcher's-meat, do not generally better estimate the æsthetic gormandism
of devouring the whole dinner with their eyesight, before proceeding to
nibble the comparatively few morsels which, after all, the most heroic
appetite and widest stomachic capacity of mere mortals can enable even
an alderman really to eat. There fell to my lot three delectable things
enough, which I take pains to remember, that the reader may not go away
wholly unsatisfied from the Barmecide feast to which I have bidden
him,--a red mullet, a plate of mushrooms, exquisitely stewed, and part
of a ptarmigan, a bird of the same family as the grouse, but feeding
high up towards the summit of the Scotch mountains, whence it gets a
wild delicacy of flavor very superior to that of the artificially
nurtured English game-fowl. All the other dainties have vanished from my
memory as completely as those of Prospero's banquet after Ariel had
clapped his wings over it. The band played at intervals, inspiriting us
to new efforts, as did likewise the sparkling wines which the footmen
supplied from an inexhaustible cellar, and which the guests quaffed with
little apparent reference to the disagreeable fact that there comes a
to-morrow morning after every feast. As long as that shall be the case,
a prudent man can never have full enjoyment of his dinner.

Nearly opposite to me, on the other side of the table, sat a young lady
in white, whom I am sorely tempted to describe, but dare not, because
not only the supereminence of her beauty, but its peculiar character,
would cause the sketch to be recognized, however rudely it might be
drawn. I hardly thought that there existed such a woman outside of a
picture-frame, or the covers of a romance: not that I had ever met with
her resemblance even there, but, being so distinct and singular an
apparition, she seemed likelier to find her sisterhood in poetry and
picture than in real life. Let us turn away from her, lest a touch too
apt should compel her stately and cold and soft and womanly grace to
gleam out upon my page with a strange repulsion and unattainableness in
the very spell that made her beautiful. At her side, and familiarly
attentive to her, sat a gentleman of whom I remember only a hard outline
of the nose and forehead, and such a monstrous portent of a beard that
you could discover no symptom of a mouth, except when he opened it to
speak, or to put in a morsel of food. Then, indeed, you suddenly became
aware of a cave hidden behind the impervious and darksome shrubbery.
There could be no doubt who this gentleman and lady were. Any child
would have recognized them at a glance. It was Bluebeard and a new wife
(the loveliest of the series, but with already a mysterious gloom
overshadowing her fair young brow) travelling in their honey-moon, and
dining, among other distinguished strangers, at the Lord-Mayor's table.

After an hour or two of valiant achievement with knife and fork came the
dessert; and at the point of the festival where finger-glasses are
usually introduced, a large silver basin was carried round to the
guests, containing rose-water, into which we dipped the ends of our
napkins and were conscious of a delightful fragrance, instead of that
heavy and weary odor, the hateful ghost of a defunct dinner. This seems
to be an ancient custom of the city, not confined to the Lord-Mayor's
table, but never met with westward of Temple Bar.

During all the feast, in accordance with another ancient custom, the
origin or purport of which I do not remember to have heard, there stood
a man in armor, with a helmet on his head, behind his Lordship's chair.
When the after-dinner wine was placed on the table, still another
official personage appeared behind the chair, and proceeded to make a
solemn and sonorous proclamation, (in which he enumerated the principal
guests, comprising three or four noblemen, several baronets, and plenty
of generals, members of Parliament, aldermen, and other names of the
illustrious, one of which sounded strangely familiar to my ears,) ending
in some such style as this: "and other gentlemen and ladies, here
present, the Lord-Mayor drinks to you all in a loving-cup,"--giving a
sort of sentimental twang to the two words,--"and sends it round among
you!" And forthwith the loving-cup--several of them, indeed, on each
side of the tables--came slowly down with all the antique ceremony.

The fashion of it is thus. The Lord-Mayor, standing up and taking the
covered cup in both hands, presents it to the guest at his elbow, who
likewise rises, and removes the cover for his Lordship to drink, which
being successfully accomplished, the guest replaces the cover and
receives the cup into his own hands. He then presents it to his next
neighbor, that the cover may be again removed for himself to take a
draught, after which the third person goes through a similar manoeuvre
with a fourth, and he with a fifth, until the whole company find
themselves inextricably intertwisted and entangled in one complicated
chain of love. When the cup came to my hands, I examined it critically,
both inside and out, and perceived it to be an antique and richly
ornamented silver goblet, capable of holding about a quart of wine.
Considering how much trouble we all expended in getting the cup to our
lips, the guests appeared to content themselves with wonderfully
moderate potations. In truth, nearly or quite the original quart of wine
being still in the goblet, it seemed doubtful whether any of the company
had more than barely touched the silver rim before passing it to their
neighbors,--a degree of abstinence that might be accounted for by a
fastidious repugnance to so many compotators in one cup, or possibly by
a disapprobation of the liquor. Being curious to know all about these
important matters, with a view of recommending to my countrymen whatever
they might usefully adopt, I drank an honest sip from the loving-cup,
and had no occasion for another,--ascertaining it to be Claret of a poor
original quality, largely mingled with water, and spiced and sweetened.
It was good enough, however, for a merely spectral or ceremonial drink,
and could never have been intended for any better purpose.

The toasts now began in the customary order, attended with speeches
neither more nor less witty and ingenious than the specimens of
table-eloquence which had heretofore delighted me. As preparatory to
each new display, the herald, or whatever he was, behind the chair of
state, gave awful notice that the Right Honorable the Lord-Mayor was
about to propose a toast. His Lordship being happily delivered thereof,
together with some accompanying remarks, the band played an appropriate
tune, and the herald again issued proclamation to the effect that such
or such a nobleman, or gentleman, general, dignified clergyman, or what
not, was going to respond to the Right Honorable the Lord-Mayor's toast;
then, if I mistake not, there was another prodigious flourish of
trumpets and twanging of stringed instruments; and finally the doomed
individual, waiting all this while to be decapitated, got up and
proceeded to make a fool of himself. A bashful young earl tried his
maiden oratory on the good citizens of London, and having evidently got
every word by heart, (even including, however he managed it, the most
seemingly casual improvisations of the moment,) he really spoke like a
book, and made incomparably the smoothest speech I ever heard in
England.

The weight and gravity of the speakers, not only on this occasion, but
all similar ones, was what impressed me as most extraordinary, not to
say absurd. Why should people eat a good dinner, and put their spirits
into festive trim with Champagne, and afterwards mellow themselves into
a most enjoyable state of quietude with copious libations of Sherry and
old Port, and then disturb the whole excellent result by listening to
speeches as heavy as an after-dinner nap, and in no degree so
refreshing? If the Champagne had thrown its sparkle over the surface of
these effusions, or if the generous Port had shone through their
substance with a ruddy glow of the old English humor, I might have seen
a reason for honest gentlemen prattling in their cups, and should
undoubtedly have been glad to be a listener. But there was no attempt
nor impulse of the kind on the part of the orators, nor apparent
expectation of such a phenomenon on that of the audience. In fact, I
imagine that the latter were best pleased when the speaker embodied his
ideas in the figurative language of arithmetic, or struck upon any hard
matter of business or statistics, as a heavy-laden bark bumps upon a
rock in mid-ocean. The sad severity, the too earnest utilitarianism, of
modern life, have wrought a radical and lamentable change, I am afraid,
in this ancient and goodly institution of civic banquets. People used to
come to them, a few hundred years ago, for the sake of being jolly; they
come now with an odd notion of pouring sober wisdom into their wine by
way of wormwood-bitters, and thus make such a mess of it that the wine
and wisdom reciprocally spoil one another.

Possibly, the foregoing sentiments have taken a spice of acridity from a
circumstance that happened about this stage of the feast, and very much
interrupted my own further enjoyment of it. Up to this time, my
condition had been exceedingly felicitous, both on account of the
brilliancy of the scene, and because I was in close proximity with three
very pleasant English friends. One of them was a lady, whose honored
name my readers would recognize as a household word, if I dared write
it; another, a gentleman, likewise well known to them, whose fine taste,
kind heart, and genial cultivation are qualities seldom mixed in such
happy proportion as in him. The third was the man to whom I owed most in
England, the warm benignity of whose nature was never weary of doing me
good, who led me to many scenes of life, in town, camp, and country,
which I never could have found out for myself, who knew precisely the
kind of help a stranger needs, and gave it as freely as if he had not
had a thousand more important things to live for. Thus I never felt
safer or cozier at anybody's fireside, even my own, than at the
dinner-table of the Lord-Mayor.

Out of this serene sky came a thunderbolt. His Lordship got up and
proceeded to make some very eulogistic remarks upon "the literary and
commercial"--I question whether those two adjectives were ever before
married by a copulative conjunction, and they certainly would not live
together in illicit intercourse, of their own accord--"the literary and
commercial attainments of an eminent gentleman there present," and then
went on to speak of the relations of blood and interest between Great
Britain and the aforesaid eminent gentleman's native country. Those
bonds were more intimate than had ever before existed between two great
nations, throughout all history, and his Lordship felt assured that that
whole honorable company would join him in the expression of a fervent
wish that they might be held inviolably sacred, on both sides of the
Atlantic, now and forever. Then came the same wearisome old toast, dry
and hard to chew upon as a musty sea-biscuit, which had been the text of
nearly all the oratory of my public career. The herald sonorously
announced that Mr. So-and-so would now respond to his Right Honorable
Lordship's toast and speech, the trumpets sounded the customary flourish
for the onset, there was a thunderous rumble of anticipatory applause,
and finally a deep silence sank upon the festive hall.

All this was a horrid piece of treachery on the Lord-Mayor's part, after
beguiling me within his lines on a pledge of safe-conduct; and it seemed
very strange that he could not let an unobtrusive individual eat his
dinner in peace, drink a small sample of the Mansion-House wine, and go
away grateful at heart for the old English hospitality. If his Lordship
had sent me an infusion of ratsbane in the loving-cup, I should have
taken it much more kindly at his hands. But I suppose the secret of the
matter to have been somewhat as follows.

All England, just then, was in one of those singular fits of panic
excitement, (not fear, though as sensitive and tremulous as that
emotion,) which, in consequence of the homogeneous character of the
people, their intense patriotism, and their dependence for their ideas
in public affairs on other sources than their own examination and
individual thought, are more sudden, pervasive, and unreasoning than any
similar mood of our own public. In truth, I have never seen the American
public in a state at all similar, and believe that we are incapable of
it. Our excitements are not impulsive, like theirs, but, right or wrong,
are moral and intellectual. For example, the grand rising of the North,
at the commencement of this war, bore the aspect of impulse and passion
only because it was so universal, and necessarily done in a moment, just
as the quiet and simultaneous getting-up of a thousand people out of
their chairs would cause a tumult that might be mistaken for a storm. We
were cool then, and have been cool ever since, and shall remain cool to
the end, which we shall take coolly, whatever it may be. There is
nothing which the English find it so difficult to understand in us as
this characteristic. They imagine us, in our collective capacity, a kind
of wild beast, whose normal condition is savage fury, and are always
looking for the moment when we shall break through the slender barriers
of international law and comity, and compel the reasonable part of the
world, with themselves at the head, to combine for the purpose of
putting us into a stronger cage. At times this apprehension becomes so
powerful, (and when one man feels it, a million do,) that it resembles
the passage of the wind over a broad field of grain, where you see the
whole crop bending and swaying beneath one impulse, and each separate
stalk tossing with the self-same disturbance as its myriad companions.
At such periods all Englishmen talk with a terrible identity of
sentiment and expression. You have the whole country in each man; and
not one of them all, if you put him strictly to the question, can give a
reasonable ground for his alarm. There are but two nations in the
world--our own country and France--that can put England into this
singular state. It is the united sensitiveness of a people extremely
well-to-do, most anxious for the preservation of the cumbrous and
moss-grown prosperity which they have been so long in consolidating, and
incompetent (owing to the national half-sightedness, and their habit of
trusting to a few leading minds for their public opinion) to judge when
that prosperity is really threatened.

If the English were accustomed to look at the foreign side of any
international dispute, they might easily have satisfied themselves that
there was very little danger of a war at that particular crisis, from
the simple circumstance that their own Government had positively not an
inch of honest ground to stand upon, and could not fail to be aware of
the fact. Neither could they have met Parliament with any show of a
justification for incurring war. It was no such perilous juncture as
exists now, when law and right are really controverted on sustainable or
plausible grounds, and a naval commander may at any moment fire off the
first cannon of a terrible contest. If I remember it correctly, it was a
mere diplomatic squabble, which the British ministers, with the politic
generosity which they are in the habit of showing towards their official
subordinates, had tried to browbeat us for the purpose of sustaining an
ambassador in an indefensible proceeding; and the American Government
(for God had not denied us an administration of Statesmen then) had
retaliated with stanch courage and exquisite skill, putting inevitably a
cruel mortification upon their opponents, but indulging them with no
pretence whatever for active resentment.

Now the Lord-Mayor, like any other Englishman, probably fancied that War
was on the western gale, and was glad to lay hold of even so
insignificant an American as myself, who might be made to harp on the
rusty old strings of national sympathies, identity of blood and
interest, and community of language and literature, and whisper peace
where there was no peace, in however weak an utterance. And possibly his
Lordship thought, in his wisdom, that the good feeling which was sure to
be expressed by a company of well-bred Englishmen, at his august and
far-famed dinner-table, might have an appreciable influence on the grand
result. Thus, when the Lord-Mayor invited me to his feast, it was a
piece of strategy. He wanted to induce me to fling myself, like a lesser
Curtius, with a larger object of self-sacrifice, into the chasm of
discord between England and America, and, on my ignominious demur, had
resolved to shove me in with his own right-honorable hands, in the hope
of closing up the horrible pit forever. On the whole, I forgive his
Lordship. He meant well by all parties,--himself, who would share the
glory, and me, who ought to have desired nothing better than such an
heroic opportunity,--his own country, which would continue to get cotton
and breadstuffs, and mine, which would get everything that men work with
and wear.

As soon as the Lord-Mayor began to speak, I rapped upon my mind, and it
gave forth a hollow sound, being absolutely empty of appropriate ideas.
I never thought of listening to the speech, because I knew it all
beforehand in twenty repetitions from other lips, and was aware that it
would not offer a single suggestive point. In this dilemma, I turned to
one of my three friends, a gentleman whom I knew to possess an enviable
flow of silver speech, and obtested him, by whatever he deemed holiest,
to give me at least an available thought or two to start with, and, once
afloat, I would trust to my guardian-angel for enabling me to flounder
ashore again, He advised me to begin with some remarks complimentary to
the Lord-Mayor, and expressive of the hereditary reverence in which his
office was held--at least, my friend thought that there would be no harm
in giving his Lordship this little sugar-plum, whether quite the fact or
no--was held by the descendants of the Puritan forefathers. Thence, if I
liked, getting flexible with the oil of my own eloquence, I might easily
slide off into the momentous subject of the relations between England
and America, to which his Lordship had made such weighty allusion.

Seizing this handful of straw with a death-grip, and bidding my three
friends bury me honorably, I got upon my legs to save both countries, or
perish in the attempt. The tables roared and thundered at me, and
suddenly were silent again. But, as I have never happened to stand in a
position of greater dignity and peril, I deem it a stratagem of sage
policy here to close the sketch, leaving myself still erect in so heroic
an attitude.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE GEOLOGICAL MIDDLE AGE.


I shall pass lightly over the Permian and Triassic epochs, as being more
nearly related in their organic forms to the Carboniferous epoch, with
which we are already somewhat familiar, while in those next in
succession, the Jurassic and Cretaceous epochs, the later conditions of
animal life begin to be already foreshadowed. But though less
significant for us in the present stage of our discussion, it must not
be supposed that the Permian and Triassic epochs were unimportant in the
physical and organic history of Europe. A glance at any geological map
of Europe will show the reader how the Belgian island stretched
gradually in a southwesterly direction during the Permian epoch,
approaching the coast of France by slowly increasing accumulations, and
thus filling the Burgundian channel; a wide border of Permian deposits
around the coal-field of Great Britain marks the increase of this region
also during the same time, and a very extensive tract of a like
character is to be seen in Russia. The latter is, however, still under
doubt and discussion among geologists, and more recent investigations
tend to show that this Russian region, supposed at first to be
exclusively Permian, is at least in part Triassic.

With the coming in of the Triassic epoch began the great deposits of Red
Sandstone, Muschel-Kalk, and Keuper, in Central Europe. They united the
Belgian island to the region of the Vosges and the Black Forest, while
they also filled to a great extent the channel between Belgium and the
Bohemian island. Thus the land slowly gained upon the Triassic ocean,
shutting it within ever-narrowing limits, and preparing the large inland
seas so characteristic of the later Secondary times. The character of
the organic world still retained a general resemblance to that of the
Carboniferous epoch. Among Radiates, the Corals were more nearly allied
to those of the earlier ages than to those of modern times, and Crinoids
abounded still, though some of the higher Echinoderm types were already
introduced. Among Mollusks, the lower Bivalves, that is, the Brachiopods
and Bryozoa, still prevailed, while Ammonites continued to be very
numerous, differing from the earlier ones chiefly in the ever-increasing
complications of their inner partitions, which become so deeply
involuted and cut upon their margins, before the type disappears, as to
make an intricate tracery of very various patterns on the surface of
these shells. The most conspicuous type of Articulates continues as
before to be that of Crustacea; but Trilobites have finished their
career, and the Lobster-like Crustacea make their appearance for the
first time. It does not seem that the class of Insects has greatly
increased since the Carboniferous epoch; and Worms are still as
difficult to trace as ever, being chiefly known by the cases in which
they sheltered themselves. Among Vertebrates, the Fishes still resemble
those of the Carboniferous epoch, belonging principally to the
Selachians and Ganoids. They have, however, approached somewhat toward a
modern pattern, the lobes of the tail being more evenly cut, and their
general outline more like that of common fishes. The gigantic marsh
Reptiles have become far more numerous and various. They continue
through several epochs, but may be said to reach their culminating point
in the Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits.

I cannot pass over the Triassic epoch without some allusion to the
so-called bird-tracks, so generally believed to mark the introduction of
Birds at this time. It is true that in the deposits of the Trias there
have been found many traces of footsteps, indicating a vast number of
animals which, except for these footprints, remain unknown to us. In the
sandstone of the Connecticut Valley they are found in extraordinary
numbers, as if these animals, whatever they were, had been in the habit
of frequenting that shore. They appear to have been very diversified;
for some of the tracks are very large, others quite small, while some
would seem, from the way in which the footsteps follow each other, to
have been quadrupedal, and others bipedal. We can even measure the
length of their strides, following the impressions which, from their
succession in a continuous line, mark the walk of a single animal.[10]
The fact that we find these footprints without any bones or other
remains to indicate the animals by which they were made is accounted for
by the mode of deposition of the sandstone. It is very unfavorable for
the preservation of bones; but, being composed of minute sand mixed with
mud, it affords an admirable substance for the reception of these
impressions, which have been thus cast in a mould, as it were, and
preserved through ages. These animals must have been large, when
full-grown, for we find strides measuring six feet between, evidently
belonging to the same animal. In the quadrupedal tracks, the front feet
seem to have been smaller than the hind ones. Some of the tracks show
four toes all turned forward, while in others three toes are turned
forward and one backward. It happened that the first tracks found
belonged to the latter class; and they very naturally gave rise to the
idea that these impressions were made by birds, on account of this
formation of the foot. This, however, is a mere inference; and since the
inductive method is the only true one in science, it seems to me that we
should turn to the facts we have in our possession for the explanation
of these mysterious footprints, rather than endeavor to supply by
assumption those which we have not. As there are no bones found in
connection with these tracks, the only way to arrive at their true
character, in the present state of our knowledge, is by comparing them
with bones found in other localities in the deposits of the same period
in the world's history. Now there have never been found in the Trias any
remains of Birds, while it contains innumerable bones of Reptiles; and
therefore I think that it is in the latter class that we shall
eventually find the solution of this mystery.

[Footnote 10: For all details respecting these tracks see Hitchcock's
_Ichnology of New England_. Boston, 1858. 4to.]

It is true that the bones of the Triassic Reptiles are scattered and
disconnected; no complete skeleton has yet been discovered, nor has any
foot been found; so that no direct comparison can be made with the
steps. It is, however, my belief, from all we know of the character of
the Animal Kingdom in those days, that these animals were reptilian, but
combined, like so many of the early types, characters of their own class
with those of higher animals yet to come. It seems to me probable, that,
in those tracks where one toe is turned backward, the impression is made
not by a toe, but by a heel, or by a long sole projecting backward; for
it is not pointed, like those of the front toes, but is blunt. It is
true that there is a division of joints in the toes, which seems in
favor of the idea that they were those of Birds; for when the three toes
are turned forward, there are two joints on the inner one, three on the
middle, and four on the outer one, as in Birds. But this feature is not
peculiar to Birds; it is found in Turtles also. The correspondence of
these footprints with each other leaves no doubt that they were all by
one kind of animal; for both the bipedal and the quadrupedal tracks have
the same character. The only quadrupedal animals now known to us which
walk on two legs are the Kangaroos. They raise themselves on their hind
legs, using the front ones to bring their food to their mouth. They leap
with the hind legs, sometimes bringing down their front feet to steady
themselves after the spring, and making use also of their tails, to
balance the body after leaping. In these tracks we find traces of a tail
between the feet. I do not bring this forward as any evidence that these
animals were allied to Kangaroos, since I believe that nothing is more
injurious in science than assumptions which do not rest on a broad basis
of facts; but I wish only to show that these tracks recall other animals
besides Birds, with which they have been universally associated. And
seeing, as we do, that so many of the early types prophesy future forms,
it seems not improbable that they may have belonged to animals which
combined with reptilian characters some birdlike features, and also some
features of the earliest and lowest group of Mammalia, the Marsupials.
To sum up my opinion respecting these footmarks, I believe that they
were made by animals of a prophetic type, belonging to the class of
Reptiles, and exhibiting many synthetic characters.

The more closely we study past creations, the more impressive and
significant do the synthetic types, presenting features of the higher
classes under the guise of the lower ones, become. They hold the promise
of the future. As the opening overture of an opera contains all the
musical elements to be therein developed, so this living prelude of the
Creative work comprises all the organic elements to be successively
developed in the course of time. When Cuvier first saw the teeth of a
Wealden Reptile, he pronounced them to be those of a Rhinoceros, so
mammalian were they in their character. So, when Sommering first saw the
remains of a Jurassic Pterodactyl, he pronounced them to be those of a
Bird. These mistakes were not due to a superficial judgment in men who
knew Nature so well, but to this prophetic character in the early types
themselves, in which features were united never known to exist together
in our days.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Jurassic epoch, next in succession, was a very important one in the
history of Europe. It completed the junction of several of the larger
islands, filling the channel between the central plateau of France and
the Belgian island, as well as that between the former and the island of
Bretagne, so that France was now a sort of crescent of land holding a
Jurassic sea in its centre, Bretagne and Belgium forming the two horns.
This Jurassic basin or inland sea united England and France, and it may
not be amiss to say a word here of its subsequent transformations.
During the long succession of Jurassic periods, the deposits of that
epoch, chiefly limestone and clays, with here and there a bed of sand,
were accumulated at its bottom. Upon these followed the chalk deposits
of the Cretaceous epoch, until the basin was gradually filled, and
partially, at least, turned to dry land. But at the close of the
Cretaceous epoch a fissure was formed, allowing the entrance of the sea
at the western end, so that the constant washing of the tides and storms
wore away the lower, softer deposits, leaving the overhanging chalk
cliffs unsupported. These latter, as their support were undermined,
crumbled down, thus widening the channel gradually. This process must,
of course, have gone on more rapidly at the western end, where the sea
rushed on with most force, till the channel was worn through to the
German Ocean on the other side, and the sea then began to act with like
power at both ends of the channel. This explains its form, wider at the
western end, narrower between Dover and Calais, and widening again at
the eastern extremity. This ancient basin, extending from the centre of
France into England, is rich in the remains of a number of successive
epochs. Around its margin we find the Jurassic deposits, showing that
there must have been some changes of level which raised the shores and
prevented later accumulations from covering them, while in the centre
the Jurassic deposits are concealed by those of the Cretaceous epoch
above them, these being also partially hidden under the later Tertiary
beds. Let us see, then, what this inland sea has to tell us of the
organic world in the Jurassic epoch.

At that time the region where Lyme-Regis is now situated in modern
England was an estuary on the shore of that ancient sea. About forty
years ago a discovery of large and curious bones, belonging to some
animal unknown to the scientific world, turned the attention of
naturalists to this locality, and since then such a quantity and variety
of such remains have been found in the neighborhood as to show that the
Sharks, Whales, Porpoises, etc., of the present ocean are not more
numerous and diversified than were the inhabitants of this old bay or
inlet. Among these animals, the Ichthyosauri (Fish-Lizards) form one of
the best-known and most prominent groups. They are chiefly found in the
Lias, the lowest set of beds of the Jurassic deposits, and seem to have
come in with the close of the Triassic epoch. It is greatly to be
regretted that all that is known of the Triassic Reptiles antecedent to
the Ichthyosauri still remains in the form of original papers, and is
not yet embodied in text-books. They are quite as interesting, as
curious, and as diversified as those of the Jurassic epoch, which are,
however, much more extensively known, on account of the large
collections of these animals belonging to the British Museum. It will be
more easy to understand the structural relations of the latter, and
their true position in the Animal Kingdom, when those which preceded
them are better understood. One of the most remarkable and numerous of
these Triassic Reptiles seems to have been an animal resembling, in the
form of the head, and in the two articulating surfaces at the juncture
of the head with the backbone, the Frogs and Salamanders, though its
teeth are like those of a Crocodile. As yet nothing has been found of
these animals except the head,--neither the backbone nor the limbs; so
that little is known of their general structure.

[Illustration: Fig. 1. An Ichthyosaurus.]

The Ichthyosauri (Figure 1) must have been very large, seven or eight
feet being the ordinary length, while specimens measuring from twenty to
thirty feet are not uncommon. The large head is pointed, like that of
the Porpoise; the jaws contain a number of conical teeth, of reptilian
form and character; the eyeball was very large, as may be seen by the
socket, and it was supported by pieces of bone, such as we find now only
in the eyes of birds of prey and in the bony fishes. The ribs begin at
the neck and continue to the tail, and there is no distinction between
head and neck, as in most Reptiles, but a continuous outline, as in
Fishes. They had four limbs, not divided into fingers, but forming mere
paddles. Yet fingers seem to be hinted at in these paddles, though not
developed, for the bones are in parallel rows, as if to mark what might
be such a division. The back-bones are short, but very high, and the
surfaces of articulation are hollow, conical cavities, as in Fishes,
instead of ball-and-socket joints, as in Reptiles. The ribs are more
complicated than in Vertebrates generally: they consist of several
pieces, and the breast-bone is formed of a number of bones, making
together quite an intricate bony net-work. There is only one living
animal, the Crocodile, characterized by this peculiar structure of the
breast-bone. The Ichthyosaurus is, indeed, one of the most remarkable of
the synthetic types: by the shape of its head one would associate it
with the Porpoises, while by its paddles and its long tail it reminds
one of the whole group of Cetaceans to which the Porpoises belong; by
its crocodilian teeth, its ribs, and its breast-bone, it seems allied to
Reptiles; and by its uniform neck, not distinguished from the body, and
the structure of the backbone, it recalls the Fishes.

[Illustration: Fig. 2. A Plesiosaurus.]

Another most curious member of this group is the Plesiosaurus, odd
Saurian (Figure 2). By its disproportionately long and flexible neck,
and its small, flat head, it unquestionably foreshadows the Serpents,
while by the structure of the backbone, the limbs, and the tail, it is
closely allied with the Ichthyosaurus. Its flappers are, however, more
slender, less clumsy, and were, no doubt, adapted to more rapid motion
than the fins of the Ichthyosaurus, while its tail is shorter in
proportion to the whole length of the animal. It seems probable, from
its general structure, that the Ichthyosaurus moved like a Fish, chiefly
by the flapping of the tail, aided by the fins, while in the
Plesiosaurus the tail must have been much less efficient as a locomotive
organ, and the long, snake-like, flexible neck no doubt rendered the
whole body more agile and rapid in its movements. In comparing the two,
it may be said, that, as a whole, the Ichthyosaurus, though belonging by
its structure to the class of Reptiles, has a closer external
resemblance to the Fishes, while the Plesiosaurus is more decidedly
reptilian in character. If there exists any animal in our waters, not
yet known to naturalists, answering to the descriptions of the
"Sea-Serpent," it must be closely allied to the Plesiosaurus. The
occurrence in the fresh waters of North America of a Fish, the
Lepidosteus, which is closely allied to the fossil Fishes found with the
Plesiosaurus in the Jurassic beds, renders such a supposition probable.

[Illustration: Fig. 3. A Pterodactylus.]

Of all these strange old forms, so singularly uniting features of Fishes
and Reptiles, none has given rise to more discussion than the
Pterodactylus, (Figure 3,) another of the Saurian tribe, associated,
however, with Birds by some naturalists, on account of its large
wing-like appendages. From the extraordinary length of its anterior
limbs, they have generally been described as wings, and the animal is
usually represented as a flying Reptile. But if we consider its whole
structure, this does not seem probable, and I believe it to have been an
essentially aquatic animal, moving after the fashion of the Sea-Turtle.
Its so-called wings resemble in structure the front paddles of the
Sea-Turtles far more than the wings of a Bird; differing from them,
indeed, only by the extraordinary length of the inner toe, while the
outer ones are comparatively much shorter. But, notwithstanding this
difference, the hand of the Pterodactylus is constructed like that of an
aquatic swimming marine Reptile; and I believe, that, if we represent it
with its long neck stretched upon the water, its large head furnished
with powerful, well-armed jaws, ready to dive after the innumerable
smaller animals living in the same ocean, we shall have a more natural
picture of its habits than if we consider it as a flying animal, which
it is generally supposed to have been. It has not the powerful
breast-bone, with the large projecting keel along the middle line, such
as exists in all the flying animals. Its breast-bone, on the contrary,
is thin and flat, like that of the present Sea-Turtle; and if it moved
through the water by the help of its long flappers, as the Sea-Turtle
does now, it could well dispense with that powerful construction of the
breast-bone so essential to all animals which fly through the air.
Again, the powerful teeth, long and conical, placed at considerable
intervals in the jaw, constitute a feature common to all predaceous
aquatic animals, and would seem to have been utterly useless in a flying
animal at that time, since there were no aërial beings of any size to
prey upon. The Dragon-Flies found in the same deposits with the
Pterodactylus were certainly not a game requiring so powerful a battery
of attack.

The Fishes of the Jurassic sea were exceedingly numerous, but were all
of the Ganoid and Selachian tribes. It would weary the reader, were I to
introduce here any detailed description of them, but they were as
numerous and varied as those living in our present waters. There was the
Hybodus, with the marked furrows on the spines and the strong hooks
along their margin,--the huge Chimera, with its long whip, its curved
bone over the back, and its parrot-like bill,--the Lepidotus, with its
large square scales, its large head, its numerous rows of teeth, one
within another, forming a powerful grinding apparatus,--the Microdon,
with its round, flat body, its jaw paved with small grinding teeth,--the
swift Aspidorhynchus, with its long, slender body and massive tail,
enabling it to strike the water powerfully and dart forward with great
rapidity. There were also a host of small Fishes, comparing with those
above mentioned as our Perch, Herring, Smelts, etc., compare with our
larger Fishes; but, whatever their size or form, all the Fishes of those
days had the same hard scales fitting to each other by hooks, instead of
the thin membranous scales overlapping each other at the edge, like the
common Fishes of more modern times. The smaller Fishes, no doubt,
afforded food to the larger ones, and to the aquatic Reptiles. Indeed,
in parts of the intestines of the Ichthyosauri, and in their petrified
excrements, have been found the scales and teeth of these smaller Fishes
perfectly preserved. It is amazing that we can learn so much of the
habits of life of these past creatures, and know even what was the food
of animals existing countless ages before man was created.

There are traces of Mammalia in the Jurassic deposits, but they were of
those inferior kinds known now as Marsupials, and no complete specimens
have yet been found.

The Articulates were largely represented in this epoch. There were
already in the vegetation a number of Gymnosperms, affording more
favorable nourishment for Insects than the forests of earlier times; and
we accordingly find that class in larger numbers than ever before,
though still meagre in comparison with its present representation.
Crustacea were numerous,--those of the Shrimp and Lobster kinds
prevailing, though in some of the Lobsters we have the first advance
towards the highest class of Crustacea in the expansion of the
transverse diameter now so characteristic of the Crabs. Among Mollusks
we have a host of gigantic Ammonites; and the naked Cephalopods, which
were in later times to become the prominent representatives of that
class, already begin to make their appearance. Among Radiates, some of
the higher kinds of Echinoderms, the Ophiurans and Echinolds, take the
place of the Crinoids, and the Acalephian Corals give way to the Astræan
and Meandrina-like types, resembling the Reef-Builders of the present
time.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have spoken especially of the inhabitants of the Jurassic sea lying
between England and France, because it was there that were first found
the remains of some of the most remarkable and largest Jurassic animals.
But wherever these deposits have been investigated, the remains
contained in them reveal the same organic character, though, of course,
we find the land Reptiles only where there happen to have been marshes,
the aquatic Saurians wherever large estuaries or bays gave them an
opportunity of coming in near shore, so that their bones were preserved
in the accumulations of mud or clay constantly collecting in such
localities,--the Crustacea, Shells, or Sea-Urchins on the old
sea-beaches, the Corals in the neighborhood of coral reefs, and so on.
In short, the distribution of animals then as now was in accordance with
their nature and habits, and we shall seek vainly for them in the
localities where they did not belong.

But when I say that the character of the Jurassic animals is the same, I
mean, that, wherever a Jurassic sea-shore occurs, be it in France,
Germany, England, or elsewhere throughout the world, the Shells,
Crustacea, or other animals found upon it have a special character, and
are not to be confounded by any one thoroughly acquainted with these
fossils with the Shells or Crustacea of any preceding or subsequent
time,--that, where a Jurassic marsh exists, the land Reptiles inhabiting
it are Jurassic, and neither Triassic nor Cretaceous,--that a Jurassic
coral reef is built of Corals belonging as distinctly to the Jurassic
creation as the Corals on the Florida reefs belong to the present
creation,--that, where some Jurassic bay or inlet is disclosed to us
with the Fishes anciently inhabiting it, they are as characteristic of
their time as are the Fishes of Massachusetts Bay now.

And not only so, but, while this unity of creation prevails throughout
the entire epoch as a whole, there is the same variety of geographical
distribution, the same circumscription of faunæ within distinct
zoölogical provinces, as at the present time. The Fishes of
Massachusetts Bay are not the same as those of Chesapeake Bay, nor those
of Chesapeake Bay the same as those of Pamlico Sound, nor those of
Pamlico Sound the same as those of the Florida coast. This division of
the surface of the earth into given areas within which certain
combinations of animals and plants are confined is not peculiar to the
present creation, but has prevailed in all times, though with
ever-increasing diversity, as the surface of the earth itself assumed a
greater variety of climatic conditions. D'Orbigny and others were
mistaken in assuming that faunal differences have been introduced only
in the last geological epochs. Besides these adjoining zoölogical faunæ,
each epoch is divided, as we have seen, into a number of periods,
occupying successive levels one above another, and differing
specifically from each other in time as zoölogical provinces differ from
each other in space. In short, every epoch is to be looked upon from two
points of view: as a unit, complete in itself, having one character
throughout, and as a stage in the progressive history of the world,
forming part of an organic whole.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the Jurassic epoch was ushered in by the upheaval of the Jura, so its
close was marked by the upheaval of that system of mountains called the
Côte d'Or. With this latter upheaval began the Cretaceous epoch, which
we will examine with special reference to its subdivision into periods,
since the periods in this epoch have been clearly distinguished, and
investigated with especial care. I have alluded in the preceding article
to the immediate contact of the Jurassic and Cretaceous epochs in
Switzerland, affording peculiar facilities for the direct comparison of
their organic remains. But the Cretaceous deposits are well known, not
only in this inland sea of ancient Switzerland, but in a number of
European basins, in France, in the Pyrenees, on the Mediterranean
shores, and also in Syria, Egypt, India, and Southern Africa, as well as
on our own continent. In all these localities, the Cretaceous remains,
like those of the Jurassic epoch, have one organic character, distinct
and unique. This fact is especially significant, because the contact of
their respective deposits is in many localities so immediate and
continuous that it affords an admirable test for the development-theory.
If this is the true mode of origin of animals, those of the later
Jurassic beds must be the progenitors of those of the earlier Cretaceous
deposits. Let us see now how far this agrees with our knowledge of the
physiological laws of development.

Take first the class of Fishes. We have seen that in the Jurassic
periods there were none of our common Fishes, none corresponding to our
Herring, Pickerel, Mackerel, and the like,--no Fishes, in short, with
thin membranous scales, but that the class was represented exclusively
by those with hard, flint-like scales. In the Cretaceous epoch, however,
we come suddenly upon a horde of Fishes corresponding to our smaller
common Fishes of the Pickerel and Herring tribes, but principally of the
kinds found now in tropical waters; there are none like our Cods,
Haddocks, etc., such as are found at present in the colder seas. The
Fishes of the Jurassic epoch corresponding to our Sharks and Skates and
Gar-Pikes still exist, but in much smaller proportion, while these more
modern kinds are very numerous. Indeed, a classification of the
Cretaceous Fishes would correspond very nearly to one founded on those
now living. Shall we, then, suppose that the large reptilian Fishes of
the Jurassic time began suddenly to lay numerous broods of these
smaller, more modern, scaly Fishes? And shall we account for the
diminution of the previous forms by supposing that in order to give a
fair chance to the new kinds they brought them forth in large numbers,
while they reproduced their own kind less abundantly? According to very
careful estimates, if we accept this view, the progeny of the Jurassic
Fishes must have borne a proportion of about ninety per cent, of
entirely new types to some ten per cent, of those resembling the
parents. One would like a fact or two on which to rest so very
extraordinary a reversal of all known physiological laws of
reproduction, but, unhappily, there is not one.

Still more unaccountable, upon any theory of development according to
ordinary laws of reproduction, are those unique, isolated types limited
to a single epoch, or sometimes even to a single period. There are some
very remarkable instances of this in the Cretaceous deposits. To make my
statement clearer, I will say a word of the sequence of these deposits
and their division into periods.

These Cretaceous beds were at first divided only into three sets, called
the Neocomian, or lower deposits, the Green-Sands, or middle deposits,
and the Chalk, or upper deposits. The Neocomian, the lower division, was
afterwards subdivided into three sets of beds, called the Lower, Middle,
and Upper Neocomian by some geologists, the Valengian, Neocomian, and
Urgonian by others. These three periods are not only traced in immediate
succession, one above another, in the transverse cut before described,
across the mountain of Chaumont, near Neufchatel, but they are also
traced almost on one level along the plain at the foot of the Jura. It
is evident that by some disturbance of the surface the eastern end of
the range was raised slightly, lifting the lower or Valengian deposits
out of the water, so that they remain uncovered, and the next set of
deposits, the Neocomian, is accumulated along their base, while these in
their turn are slightly raised, and the Urgonian beds are accumulated
against them a little lower down. They follow each other from east to
west in a narrower area, just as the Azoic, Silurian, and Devonian
deposits follow each other from north to south in the northern part of
the United States. The Cretaceous deposits have been intimately studied
in various localities by different geologists, and are now subdivided
into at least ten, or it may be fifteen or sixteen distinct periods, as
they stand at present. This is, however, but the beginning of the work;
and the recent investigations of the French geologist, Coquand, indicate
that several of these periods at least are susceptible of further
subdivision. I present here a table enumerating the periods of the
Cretaceous epoch best known at present, in their sequence, because I
want to show how sharply and in how arbitrary a manner, if I may so
express it, new forms are introduced. The names are simply derived from
the localities, or from some circumstances connected with the locality
where each period has been studied.

    _Table of Periods in the Cretaceous Epoch._

      Maestrichtian } Chalk.
      Senonian      }

      Turonian      } Chalk Marl.
      Cenomanian    }

      Albian        }
      Aptian        } Green Sands.
      Rhodanian     }

      Urgonian      }
      Neocomian     } Wealden.
      Valengian     }

One of the most peculiar and distinct of those unique types alluded to
above is that of the Rudistes, a singular Bivalve, in which the lower
valve is very deep and conical, while the upper valve sets into to it as
into a cup. The subjoined woodcut represents such a Bivalve. These
Rudistes are found suddenly in the Urgonian deposits; there are none in
the two preceding sets of beds; they disappear in the three following
periods, and reappear again in great numbers in the Cenomanian,
Turonian, and Senonian periods, and disappear again in the succeeding
one. These can hardly be missed from any negligence or oversight in the
examination of these deposits, for they are by no means rare. They are
found always in great numbers, occupying crowded beds, like Oysters in
the present time. So numerous are they, where they occur at all, that
the deposits containing them are called by many naturalists the first,
second, third, and fourth _bank_ of Rudistes. Which of the ordinary
Bivalves, then, gave rise to this very remarkable form in the class,
allowed it to die out, and revived it again at various intervals? This
is by no means the only instance of the same kind. There are a number of
types making their appearance suddenly, lasting during one period or
during a succession of periods, and then disappearing forever, while
others, like the Rudistes, come in, vanish, and reappear at a later
time.

[Illustration: Rudistes.]

I am well aware that the advocates of the development-theory do not
state their views as I have here presented them. On the contrary, they
protest against any idea of sudden, violent, abrupt changes, and
maintain that by slow and imperceptible modifications during immense
periods of time these new types have been introduced without involving
any infringement of the ordinary processes of development; and they
account for the entire absence of corroborative facts in the past
history of animals by what they call the "imperfection of the geological
record." Now, while I admit that our knowledge of geology is still very
incomplete, I assert that just where the direct sequence of geological
deposits is needed for this evidence, we have it. The Jurassic beds,
without a single modern scaly Fish, are in immediate contact with the
Cretaceous beds, in which the Fishes of that kind are proportionately
almost as numerous as they are now; and between these two sets of
deposits there is not a trace of any transition or intermediate form to
unite the reptilian Fishes of the Jurassic with the common Fishes of the
Cretaceous times. Again, the Cretaceous beds in which the crowded banks
of Rudistes, so singular and unique in form, first make their
appearance, follow immediately upon those in which all the Bivalves are
of an entirely different character. In short, the deposits of this year
along any sea-coast or at the mouth of any of our rivers do not follow
more directly upon those of last year than do these successive sets of
beds of past ages follow upon each other. In making these statements, I
do not forget the immense length of the geological periods; on the
contrary, I fully accede to it, and believe that it is more likely to
have been underrated than overstated. But let it be increased a
thousand-fold, the fact remains, that these new types occur commonly at
the dividing line where one period joins the next, just on the margin of
both.

For years I have collected daily among some of these deposits, and I
know the Sea-Urchins, Corals, Fishes, Crustacea, and Shells of those old
shores as well as I know those of Nahant Beach, and there is nothing
more striking to a naturalist than the sudden, abrupt changes of species
in passing from one to another. In the second set of Cretaceous beds,
the Neocomian, there is found a little Terebratula (a small Bivalve
Shell) in immense quantities: they may actually be collected by the
bushel. Pass to the Urgonian beds, resting directly upon the Neocomian,
and there is not one to be found, and an entirely new species comes in.
There is a peculiar Spatangus (Sea-Urchin) found throughout the whole
series of beds in which this Terebratula occurs. At the same moment that
you miss the Shell, the Sea-Urchin disappears also, and another takes
its place. Now, admitting for a moment that the later can have grown out
of the earlier forms, I maintain, that, if this be so, the change is
immediate, sudden, without any gradual transitions, and is, therefore,
wholly inconsistent with all our known physiological laws, as well as
with the transmutation-theory.

There is a very singular group of Ammonites in the Cretaceous epoch,
which, were it not for the suddenness of its appearance, might seem
rather to favor the development-theory, from its great variety of
closely allied forms. We have traced the Chambered Shells from the
straight, simple ones of the earliest epochs up to the intricate and
closely coiled forms of the Jurassic epoch. In the so-called Portland
stone, belonging to the upper set of Jurassic beds, there is only one
type of Ammonite; but in the Cretaceous beds, immediately above it,
there set in a number of different genera and distinct species,
including the most fantastic and seemingly abnormal forms. It is as if
the close coil by which these shells had been characterized during the
Middle Age had been suddenly broken up and decomposed into an endless
variety of outlines. Some of these new types still retain the coil, but
the whorls are much less compact than before, as in the Crioceras; in
others, the direction of the coil is so changed as to make a spiral, as
in the Turrilites; or the shell starts with a coil, then proceeds in a
straight line, and changes to a curve again at the other extremity, as
in the Ancyloceras, or in the Scaphites, in which the first coil is
somewhat closer than in the Ancyloceras; or the tendency to a coil is
reduced to a single curve, so as to give the shell the outline of a
horn, as in the Toxoceras; or the coil is entirely lost, and the shell
reduced to its primitive straight form, as in the Baculites, which,
except for their undulating partitions, might be mistaken for the
Orthoceratites of the Silurian and Devonian epochs. I have presented
here but a few species of these extraordinary Cretaceous Ammonites, and,
strange to say, with this breaking-up of the type into a number of
fantastic and often contorted shapes, it disappears. It is singular that
forms so unusual and so contrary to the previous regularity of this
group should accompany its last stage of existence, and seem to shadow
forth by their strange contortions the final dissolution of their type.
When I look upon a collection of these old shells, I can never divest
myself of an impression that the contortions of a death-struggle have
been made the pattern of living types, and with that the whole group has
ended.

[Illustration: Crioceras.]

[Illustration: Turrilites.]

[Illustration: Ancyloceras.]

[Illustration: Scaphites.]

[Illustration: Toxoceras.]

[Illustration: Baculites.]

Now shall we infer that the compact, closely coiled Ammonites of the
Jurassic deposits, while continuing their own kind, brought forth a
variety of other kinds, and so distributed these new organic elements as
to produce a large number of distinct genera and species? I confess that
these ideas are so contrary to all I have learned from Nature in the
course of a long life that I should be forced to renounce completely the
results of my studies in Embryology and Palæontology before I could
adopt these new views of the origin of species. And while the
distinguished originator of this theory is entitled to our highest
respect for his scientific researches, yet it should not be forgotten
that the most conclusive evidence brought forward by him and his
adherents is of a negative character, drawn from a science in which they
do not pretend to have made personal investigations, that of Geology,
while the proofs they offer us from their own departments of science,
those of Zoölogy and Botany, are derived from observations, still very
incomplete, upon domesticated animals and cultivated plants, which can
never be made a test of the origin of wild species.[11]

[Footnote 11: The advocates of the development-theory allude to the
metamorphosis of animals and plants as supporting their view of a change
of one species into another. They compare the passage of a common leaf
into the calyx or crown-leaves in plants, or that of a larva into a
perfect insect, to the passage of one species into another. The only
objection to this argument seems to be, that, whereas Nature daily
presents us myriads of examples of the one set of phenomena, showing it
to be a norm, not a single instance of the other has ever been known to
occur either in the animal or in the vegetable kingdom.]

In my next article I shall show the relation between the Cretaceous and
Tertiary epochs, and see whether there is any reason to believe that the
gigantic Mammalia of more modern times were derived from the Reptiles of
the Secondary age.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.


    Hark! 't is our Northern Nightingale that sings
    In far-off, leafy cloisters, dark and cool,
    Flinging his flute-notes bounding from the skies!

    Thou wild musician of the mountain-streams,
    Most tuneful minstrel of the forest-choirs,
    Bird of all grace and harmony of soul,
    Unseen, we hail thee for thy blissful voice!

    Up in yon tremulous mist where morning wakes
    Illimitable shadows from their dark abodes,
    Or in this woodland glade tumultuous grown
    With all the murmurous language of the trees,
    No blither presence fills the vocal space.
    The wandering rivulets dancing through the grass,
    The gambols, low or loud, of insect-life,
    The cheerful call of cattle in the vales,
    Sweet natural sounds of the contented hours,--
    All seem less jubilant when thy song begins.

    Deep in the shade we lie and listen long;
    For human converse well may pause, and man
    Learn from such notes fresh hints of praise,
    That upward swelling from thy grateful tribe
    Circles the hills with melodies of joy.

       *       *       *       *       *



THE FLEUR-DE-LIS IN FLORIDA.

    [In the July number of this magazine is a sketch of the attempt
    of the Huguenots, under the auspices of Coligny, to found a
    colony at Port Royal. Two years later, an attempt was made to
    establish a Protestant community on the banks of the River St.
    John's, in Florida. The following paper embodies the substance
    of the letters and narratives of the actors in this striking
    episode of American history.]



CHAPTER I.


On the 25th of June, 1564, a French squadron anchored a second time off
the mouth of the River of May. There were three vessels, the smallest of
sixty tons, the largest of one hundred and twenty, all crowded with men.
René de Laudonnière held command. He was of a noble race of Poitou,
attached to the House of Châtillon, of which Coligny was the head;
pious, we are told, and an excellent marine officer. An engraving,
purporting to be his likeness, shows us a slender figure, leaning
against the mast, booted to the thigh, with slouched hat and plume,
slashed doublet, and short cloak. His thin oval face, with curled
moustache and close-trimmed beard, wears a thoughtful and somewhat
pensive look, as if already shadowed by the destiny that awaited him.

The intervening year since Ribaut's voyage had been a dark and deadly
year for France. From the peaceful solitude of the River of May, that
voyager returned to a land reeking with slaughter. But the carnival of
bigotry and hate had found a respite. The Peace of Amboise had been
signed. The fierce monk choked down his venom; the soldier sheathed his
sword; the assassin, his dagger; rival chiefs grasped hands, and masked
their rancor under hollow smiles. The king and the queen-mother,
helpless amid the storm of factions which threatened their destruction,
smiled now on Condé, now on Guise,--gave ear to the Cardinal of
Lorraine, or listened in secret to the emissaries of Theodore Beza.
Coligny was again strong at Court. He used his opportunity, and
solicited with success the means of renewing his enterprise of
colonization. With pains and zeal, men were mustered for the work. In
name, at least, they were all Huguenots; yet again, as before, the
staple of the projected colony was unsound: soldiers, paid out of the
royal treasury, hired artisans and tradesmen, joined with a swarm of
volunteers from the young Huguenot noblesse, whose restless swords had
rusted in their scabbards since the peace. The foundation-stone was left
out. There were no tillers of the soil. Such, indeed, were rare among
the Huguenots; for the dull peasants who guided the plough clung with
blind tenacity to the ancient faith. Adventurous gentlemen, reckless
soldiers, discontented tradesmen, all keen for novelty and heated with
dreams of wealth,--these were they who would build for their country and
their religion an empire beyond the sea.

With a few officers and twelve soldiers, Laudonnière landed where Ribaut
had landed before him; and as their boat neared the shore, they saw an
Indian chief who ran to meet them, whooping and clamoring welcome from
afar. It was Satouriona, the savage potentate who ruled some thirty
villages around the lower St. John's and northward along the coast. With
him came two stalwart sons, and behind trooped a host of tribesmen
arrayed in smoke-tanned deerskins stained with wild devices in gaudy
colors. They crowded around the voyagers with beaming visages and yelps
of gratulation. The royal Satouriona could not contain the exuberance of
his joy, since in the person of the French commander he recognized the
brother of the Sun, descended from the skies to aid him against his
great rival, Outina.

Hard by stood the column of stone, graven with the fleur-de-lis,
planted here on the former voyage. The Indians had crowned the mystic
emblem with evergreens, and placed offerings of maize on the ground
before it; for with an affectionate and reverent wonder they had ever
remembered the steel-clad strangers whom, two summers before, John
Ribaut had led to their shores.

Five miles up the St. John's, or River of May, there stands, on the
southern bank, a hill some forty feet high, boldly thrusting itself into
the broad and lazy waters. It is now called St. John's Bluff. Thither
the Frenchmen repaired, pushed through the dense semi-tropical forest,
and climbed the steep acclivity. Thence they surveyed their Canaan.
Beneath them moved the unruffled river, gliding around the reed-grown
shores of marshy islands, the haunt of alligators, and betwixt the
bordering expanse of wide, wet meadows, studded with island-like clumps
of pine and palmetto, and bounded by the sunny verge of distant forests.
Far on their right, seen by glimpses between the shaggy cedar-boughs,
the glistening sea lay stretched along the horizon. Before, in hazy
distance, the softened green of the woodlands was veined with the mazes
of the countless interlacing streams that drain the watery region behind
St. Mary's and Fernandina. To the left, the St. John's flowed gleaming
betwixt verdant shores beyond whose portals lay the El Dorado of their
dreams. "Briefly," writes Laudonnière, "the place is so pleasant that
those which are melancholicke would be inforced to change their humour."

A fresh surprise awaited them. The allotted span of mortal life was
quadrupled in that benign climate. Laudonnière's lieutenant, Ottigny,
ranging the neighboring forest with a party of soldiers, met a troop of
Indians who invited him to their dwellings. Mounted on the back of a
stout savage, who plunged with him through the deep marshes, and guided
him by devious pathways through the tangled thickets, he arrived at
length, and beheld a wondrous spectacle. In the lodge sat a venerable
chief, who assured him that he was the father of five successive
generations, and that he had lived two hundred and fifty years.
Opposite, sat a still more ancient veteran, the father of the first,
shrunken to a mere anatomy, and "seeming to be rather a dead carkeis
than a living body." "Also," pursues the history, "his age was so great
that the good man had lost his sight, and could not speak one onely word
but with exceeding great paine." Despite his dismal condition, the
visitor was told that he might expect to live in the course of Nature
thirty or forty years more. As the two patriarchs sat face to face, half
hidden with their streaming white hair, Ottigny and his credulous
soldiers looked from one to the other, lost in wonder and admiration.

Man and Nature alike seemed to mark the borders of the River of May as
the site of the new colony; for here, around the Indian towns, the
harvests of maize, beans, and pumpkins promised abundant food, while the
river opened a ready way to the mines of gold and silver and the stores
of barbaric wealth which glittered before the dreaming vision of the
colonists. Yet, the better to content himself and his men, Laudonnière
weighed anchor, and sailed for a time along the neighboring coasts.
Returning, confirmed in his first impression, he set forth with a party
of officers and soldiers to explore the borders of the chosen stream.
The day was hot. The sun beat fiercely on the woollen caps and heavy
doublets of the men, till at length they gained the shade of one of
those deep forests of pine where the dead and sultry air is thick with
resinous odors, and the earth, carpeted with fallen leaves, gives no
sound beneath the foot. Yet, in the stillness, deer leaped up on all
sides as they moved along. Then they emerged into sunlight. A broad
meadow, a running brook, a lofty wall of encircling forests. The men
called it the Vale of Laudonnière. The afternoon was spent, and the sun
was near its setting, when they reached the bank of the river. They
strewed the ground with boughs and leaves, and, stretched on that
sylvan couch, slept the sleep of travel-worn and weary men.

At daybreak they were roused by sound of trumpet. Men and officers
joined their voices in a psalm, then betook themselves to their task.
Their task was the building of a fort, and this was the chosen spot. It
was a tract of dry ground on the brink of the river, immediately above
St. John's Bluff. On the right was the bluff; on the left, a marsh; in
front, the river; behind, the forest.

Boats came up the stream with laborers, tents, provision, cannon, and
tools. The engineers marked out the work in the form of a triangle; and,
from the noble volunteer to the meanest artisan, all lent a hand to
complete it. On the river side the defences were a palisade of timber.
On the two other sides were a ditch, and a rampart of fascines, earth,
and sods. At each angle was a bastion, in one of which was the magazine.
Within was a spacious parade, and around it various buildings for
lodging and storage. A large house with covered galleries was built on
the side towards the river for Laudonnière and his officers. In honor of
Charles IX the fort was named Fort Caroline.

Meanwhile, Satouriona, "lord of all that country," as the narratives
style him, was seized with misgivings, learning these mighty
preparations. The work was but begun, and all was din and confusion
around the incipient fort, when the startled Frenchmen saw the
neighboring height of St. John's swarming with naked warriors. The
prudent Laudonnière set his men in array, and for a season pick and
spade were dropped for arquebuse and pike. The savage potentate
descended to the camp. The artist Le Moyne, who saw him, drew his
likeness from memory,--a tall, athletic figure, tattooed in token of his
rank, plumed with feathers, hung with strings of beads, and girdled with
tinkling pieces of metal which hung from the belt, his only garment. He
came in regal state, a crowd of warriors around him, and, in advance, a
troop of young Indians armed with spears. Twenty musicians followed,
blowing a hideous discord through pipes of reeds. Arrived, he seated
himself on the ground "like a monkey," as Le Moyne has it in the grave
Latin of his "Brevis Narratio." A council followed, in which broken
words were aided by signs and pantomime. A treaty of alliance was made,
and Laudonnière had the folly to promise the chief that he would lend
him aid against his enemies. Satouriona, well pleased, ordered his
Indians to aid the French at their work. They obeyed with alacrity, and
in two days the buildings of the fort were all thatched after the native
fashion with leaves of the palmetto.

A word touching these savages. In the peninsula of Florida were several
distinct Indian confederacies, with three of which the French were
brought into contact. The first was that of Satouriona. The next was the
potent confederacy of the Thimagoa, under a chief called Outina, whose
forty villages were scattered among the lakes and forests around the
upper waters of this remarkable river. The third was that of "King
Potanou," whose domain lay among the pine-barrens, cypress-swamps, and
fertile hummocks, westward and northwestward of the St. John's. The
three communities were at deadly enmity. Their social state was more
advanced than that of the wandering hunter-tribes of the North. They
were an agricultural people. Around all their villages were fields of
maize, beans, and pumpkins. The harvest, due chiefly to the labor of the
women, was gathered into a public granary, and on this they lived during
three-fourths of the year, dispersing in winter to hunt among the
forests.

Their villages were clusters of huts thatched with palmetto. In the
midst was the dwelling of the chief, much larger than the rest, and
sometimes raised on an artificial mound. They were inclosed with
palisades, and, strange to say, some of them were approached by wide
avenues, artificially graded, and several hundred yards in length.
Remains of them may still be seen, as may also the mounds in which the
Floridians, like the Hurons and various other tribes, collected at
stated intervals the bones of their dead.

The most prominent feature of their religion was sun-worship, and, like
other wild American tribes, they abounded in "medicine-men," who
combined the functions of priest, physician, and necromancer.

Social distinctions were sharply defined among them. Their chiefs, whose
office was hereditary, sometimes exercised a power almost absolute. Each
village had its chief, subordinate to the grand chief of the nation. In
the language of the French narratives, they were all kings or lords,
vassals of the great monarch Satouriona, Outina, or Potanou. All these
tribes are now extinct, and it is difficult to ascertain with precision
their tribal affinities. There can be no doubt that they were the
authors of the mounds and other remains at present found in various
parts of Florida.

Their fort nearly finished, and their league made with Satouriona, the
gold-hunting Huguenots were eager to spy out the secrets of the
interior. To this end the lieutenant, Ottigny, went up the river in a
sail-boat. With him were a few soldiers and two Indians, the latter
going forth, says Laudonnière, as if bound to a wedding, keen for a
fight with the hated Thimagoa, and exulting in the havoc to be wrought
among them by the magic weapons of their white allies. They were doomed
to grievous disappointment.

The Sieur d'Ottigny spread his sail, and calmly glided up the dark
waters of the St. John's. A scene fraught with strange interest to the
naturalist and the lover of Nature. Here, two centuries later, the
Bartrams, father and son, guided their skiff and kindled their nightly
bivouac-fire; and here, too, roamed Audubon, with his sketch-book and
his gun. Each alike has left the record of his wanderings, fresh as the
woods and waters that inspired it. Slight, then, was the change since
Ottigny, first of white men, steered his bark along the still breast of
the virgin river. Before him, like a lake, the redundant waters spread
far and wide; and along the low shores, or jutting points, or the
waveless margin of deep and sheltered coves, towered wild, majestic
forms of vegetable beauty. Here rose the magnolia, high above
surrounding woods; but the gorgeous bloom had fallen, that a few weeks
earlier studded the verdant dome with silver. From the edge of the
bordering swamp the cypress reared its vast buttressed column and leafy
canopy. From the rugged arms of oak and pine streamed the gray drapery
of the long Spanish moss, swayed mournfully in the faintest breeze. Here
were the tropical plumage of the palm, the dark green masses of the
live-oak, the glistening verdure of wild orange-groves; and from out the
shadowy thickets hung the wreaths of the jessamine and the scarlet
trumpets of the bignonia.

Nor less did the fruitful river teem with varied forms of animal life.
From the caverns of leafy shade came the gleam and flicker of
many-colored plumage. The cormorant, the pelican, the heron, floated on
the water, or stalked along its pebbly brink. Among the sedges, the
alligator, foul from his native mud, outstretched his hideous length,
or, sluggish and sullen, drifted past the boat, his grim head level with
the surface, and each scale, each folding of his horny hide, distinctly
visible, as, with the slow movement of distended paws, he balanced
himself in the water. When, at sunset, they drew up their boat on the
strand, and built their camp-fire under the arches of the woods, the
shores resounded with the roaring of these colossal lizards; all night
the forest rang with the whooping of the owls; and in the morning the
sultry mists that wrapped the river were vocal, far and near, with the
clamor of wild turkeys.

Among such scenes, for twenty leagues, the adventurous sail moved on.
Far to the right, beyond the silent waste of pines, lay the realm of
the mighty Potanou. The Thimagoa towns were still above them on the
river, when they saw three canoes of this people at no great distance in
front. Forthwith the two Indians in the boat were fevered with
excitement. With glittering eyes they snatched pike and sword, and
prepared for fight; but the sage Ottigny, bearing slowly down on the
strangers, gave them time to run their craft ashore and escape to the
woods. Then, landing, he approached the canoes, placed in them a few
trinkets, and withdrew to a distance. The fugitives took heart, and,
step by step, returned. An amicable intercourse was opened, with
assurances of friendship on the part of the French, a procedure viewed
by Satouriona's Indians with unspeakable disgust and ire.

The ice thus broken, Ottigny returned to Fort Caroline; and a fortnight
later, an officer named Vasseur sailed up the river to pursue the
adventure: for the French, thinking that the nation of the Thimagoa lay
betwixt them and the gold-mines, would by no means quarrel with them,
and Laudonnière repented him already of his rash pledge to Satouriona.

As Vasseur moved on, two Indians hailed him from the shore, inviting him
to their dwellings. He accepted their guidance, and presently saw before
him the cornfields and palisades of an Indian town. Led through the
wondering crowd to the lodge of the chief, Mollua, Vasseur and his
followers were seated in the place of honor and plentifully regaled with
fish and bread. The repast over, Mollua began his discourse. He told
them that he was one of the forty vassal chiefs of the great Outina,
lord of all the Thimagoa, whose warriors wore armor of gold and silver
plate. He told them, too, of Potanou, his enemy, a mighty and redoubted
prince; and of the two kings of the distant Appalachian Mountains, rich
beyond utterance in gems and gold. While thus, with earnest pantomime
and broken words, the chief discoursed with his guests, Vasseur, intent
and eager, strove to follow his meaning; and no sooner did he hear of
these Appalachian treasures than he promised to join Outina in war
against the two potentates of the mountains. Hereupon the sagacious
Mollua, well pleased, promised that each of Outina's vassal chiefs
should requite their French allies with a heap of gold and silver two
feet high. Thus, while Laudonnière stood pledged to Satouriona, Vasseur
made alliance with his mortal enemy.

Returning, he was met, near the fort, by one of Satouriona's chiefs, who
questioned him touching his dealings with the Thimagoa. Vasseur replied,
that he had set upon and routed them with incredible slaughter. But as
the chief, seeming as yet unsatisfied, continued his inquiries, the
sergeant, Francis la Caille, drew his sword, and, like Falstaff before
him, re-enacted his deeds of valor, pursuing and thrusting at the
imaginary Thimagoa as they fled before his fury. Whereat the chief, at
length convinced, led the party to his lodge, and entertained them with
a certain savory decoction with which the Indians were wont to regale
those whom they delighted to honor.

Elate at the promise of a French alliance, Satouriona had summoned his
vassal chiefs to war. From the St. Mary's and the Satilla and the
distant Altamaha, from every quarter of his woodland realm, they had
mustered at his call. By the margin of the St. John's, the forest was
alive with their bivouacs. Ten chiefs were here, and some five hundred
men. And now, when all was ready, Satouriona reminded Laudonnière of his
promise, and claimed its fulfilment; but the latter gave evasive answers
and a virtual refusal. Stifling his rage, the chief prepared to go
without him.

Near the bank of the river, a fire was kindled, and two large vessels of
water placed beside it. Here Satouriona took his stand. His chiefs
crouched on the grass around him, and the savage visages of his five
hundred warriors filled the outer circle, their long hair garnished with
feathers, or covered with the heads and skins of wolves, panthers,
bears, or eagles. Satouriona, looking towards the country of his enemy,
distorted his features to a wild expression of rage and hate; then
muttered to himself; then howled an invocation to his god, the sun; then
besprinkled the assembly with water from one of the vessels, and,
turning the other upon the fire, suddenly quenched it. "So," he cried,
"may the blood of our enemies be poured out, and their lives
extinguished!" and the concourse gave forth an explosion of responsive
yells, till the shores resounded with the wolfish din.

The rites over, they set forth, and in a few days returned exulting with
thirteen prisoners and a number of scalps. The latter were hung on a
pole before the royal lodge, and when night came, it brought with it a
pandemonium of dancing and whooping, drumming and feasting.

A notable scheme entered the brain of Laudonnière. Resolved, cost what
it might, to make a friend of Outina, he conceived it a stroke of policy
to send back to him two of the prisoners. In the morning he sent a
soldier to Satouriona to demand them. The astonished chief gave a flat
refusal, adding that he owed the French no favors, for they had
shamefully broken faith with him. On this, Laudonnière, at the head of
twenty soldiers, proceeded to the Indian town, placed a guard at the
opening of the great lodge, entered with his arquebusiers, and seated
himself without ceremony in the highest place. Here, to show his
displeasure, he remained in silence for a half-hour. At length he spoke,
renewing his demand. For some moments Satouriona made no reply, then
coldly observed that the sight of so many armed men had frightened the
prisoners away. Laudonnière grew peremptory, when the chiefs son,
Athore, went out, and presently returned with the two Indians, whom the
French led back to Fort Caroline.

Satouriona dissembled, professed good-will, and sent presents to the
fort; but the outrage rankled in his savage breast, and he never forgave
it.

Captain Vasseur, with Arlac, the ensign, a sergeant, and ten soldiers,
embarked to bear the ill-gotten gift to Outina. Arrived, they were
showered with thanks by that grateful potentate, who, hastening to avail
himself of his new alliance, invited them to join in a raid against his
neighbor, Potanou. To this end, Arlac and five soldiers remained, while
Vasseur with the rest descended to Fort Caroline.

The warriors were mustered, the dances were danced, and the songs were
sung. Then the wild cohort took up its march. The wilderness through
which they passed holds its distinctive features to this day,--the shady
desert of the pine-barrens, where many a wanderer has miserably died,
with haggard eye seeking in vain for clue or guidance in the pitiless,
inexorable monotony. Yet the waste has its oases, the "hummocks," where
the live-oaks are hung with long festoons of grape-vines,--where the air
is sweet with woodland odors, and vocal with the song of birds. Then the
deep cypress-swamp, where dark trunks rise like the columns of some vast
sepulchre. Above, the impervious canopy of leaves; beneath, a black and
root-encumbered slough. Perpetual moisture trickles down the clammy
bark, while trunk and limb, distorted with strange shapes of vegetable
disease, wear in the gloom a semblance grotesque and startling. Lifeless
forms lean propped in wild disorder against the living, and from every
rugged stem and lank limb outstretched hangs the dark drapery of the
Spanish moss. The swamp is veiled in mourning. No breath, no voice. A
deathly stillness, till the plunge of the alligator, lashing the waters
of the black lagoon, resounds with hollow echo through the tomb-like
solitude.

Next, the broad sunlight and the wide savanna. Wading breast-deep in
grass, they view the wavy sea of verdure, with headland and cape and
far-reaching promontory, with distant coasts, hazy and dim, havens and
shadowed coves, islands of the magnolia and the palm, high, impending
shores of the mulberry and the elm, the ash, hickory, and maple. Here
the rich _gordonia_, never out of bloom, sends down its thirsty roots to
drink at the stealing brook. Here the _halesia_ hangs out its silvery
bells, the purple clusters of the _wistaria_ droop from the supporting
bough, and the coral blossoms of the _erythryna_ glow in the shade
beneath. From tufted masses of sword-like leaves shoot up the tall
spires of the _yucca_, heavy with pendent flowers, of pallid hue, like
the moon, and from the grass gleams the blue eye of the starry _ixia_.

Through forest, swamp, savanna, the valiant Frenchmen held their way. At
first, Outina's Indians kept always in advance; but when they reached
the hostile district, the modest warriors fell to the rear, resigning
the post of honor to their French allies.

An open country; a rude cultivation; the tall palisades of an Indian
town. Their approach was seen, and the warriors of Potanou, nowise
daunted, came swarming forth to meet them. But the sight of the bearded
strangers, the flash and report of the fire-arms, the fall of their
foremost chief, shot through the brain with the bullet of Arlac, filled
them with consternation, and they fled headlong within their defences.
The men of Thimagoa ran screeching in pursuit. Pell-mell, all entered
the town together. Slaughter; pillage; flame. The work was done, and the
band returned triumphant.



CHAPTER II.


In the little world of Fort Caroline, a miniature France, cliques and
parties, conspiracy and sedition, were fast stirring into life. Hopes
had been dashed; wild expectations had come to nought. The adventurers
had found, not conquest and gold, but a dull exile in a petty fort by a
hot and sickly river, with hard labor, ill fare, prospective famine, and
nothing to break the weary sameness but some passing canoe or floating
alligator. Gathered in knots, they nursed each other's wrath, and
inveighed against the commandant.

Why are we put on half-rations, when he told us that provision should be
made for a full year? Where are the reinforcements and supplies that he
said should follow us from France? Why is he always closeted with
Ottigny, Arlac, and this and that favorite, when we, men of blood as
good as theirs, cannot gain his ear for a moment? And why has he sent La
Roche Ferrière to make his fortune among the Indians, while we are kept
here, digging at the works?

Of La Roche Ferrière and his adventures, more hereafter. The young
nobles, of whom there were many, were volunteers, who had paid their own
expenses, in expectation of a golden harvest, and they chafed in
impatience and disgust. The religious element in the colony--unlike the
former Huguenot emigration to Brazil--was evidently subordinate. The
adventurers thought more of their fortunes than of their faith; yet
there were not a few earnest enough in the doctrine of Geneva to
complain loudly and bitterly that no ministers had been sent with them.
The burden of all grievances was thrown upon Laudonnière, whose greatest
errors seem to have arisen from weakness and a lack of judgment,--fatal
defects in his position.

The growing discontent was brought to a partial head by one Roquette,
who gave out that by magic he had discovered a mine of gold and silver,
high up the river, which would give each of them a share of ten thousand
crowns, besides fifteen hundred thousand for the king. But for
Laudonnière, he said, their fortunes would all be made. He found an ally
in a gentleman named Genre, one of Laudonnière's confidants, who, still
professing fast adherence to the interests of the latter, is charged by
him with plotting against his life. Many of the soldiers were in the
conspiracy. They made a flag of an old shirt, which they carried with
them to the rampart when they went to their work, at the same time
wearing their arms, and watching an opportunity to kill the commandant.
About this time, overheating himself, he fell ill, and was confined to
his quarters. On this, Genre made advances to the apothecary, urging him
to put arsenic into his medicines; but the apothecary shrugged his
shoulders. They next devised a scheme to blow him up, by hiding a keg of
gunpowder under his bed; but here, too, they failed. Hints of Genre's
machinations reaching the ears of Laudonnière, the culprit fled to the
woods, whence he wrote repentant letters, with full confession, to his
commander.

Two of the ships meanwhile returned to France,--the third, the Breton,
remaining at anchor opposite the fort. The malecontents took the
opportunity to send home charges against Laudonnière of peculation,
favoritism, and tyranny.

Early in September, Captain Bourdet, apparently a private adventurer,
had arrived from France with a small vessel. When he returned, about the
tenth of November, Laudonnière persuaded him to carry home seven or
eight of the malecontent soldiers. Bourdet left some of his sailors in
their place. The exchange proved most disastrous. These pirates joined
with others whom they had won over, stole Laudonnière's two pinnaces,
and set forth on a plundering excursion to the West Indies. They took a
small Spanish vessel off the coast of Cuba, but were soon compelled by
famine to put into Havana and surrender themselves. Here, to make their
peace with the authorities, they told all they knew of the position and
purposes of their countrymen at Fort Caroline, and hence was forged the
thunderbolt soon to be hurled against the wretched little colony.

On a Sunday morning, Francis de la Caille came to Laudonnière's
quarters, and, in the name of the whole company, requested him to come
to the parade-ground. He complied, and, issuing forth, his inseparable
Ottigny at his side, saw some thirty of his officers, soldiers, and
gentlemen-volunteers waiting before the building with fixed and sombre
countenance. La Caille, advancing, begged leave to read, in behalf of
the rest, a paper which he held in his hand. It opened with
protestations of duty and obedience; next came complaints of hard work,
starvation, and broken promises, and a request that the petitioners
should be allowed to embark in the vessel lying in the river, and cruise
along the Spanish main in order to procure provision by purchase "or
otherwise." In short, the flower of the company wished to turn
buccaneers.

Laudonnière refused, but assured them, that, so soon as the defences of
the fort should be completed, a search should be begun in earnest for
the Appalachian gold-mine, and that meanwhile two small vessels then
building on the river should be sent along the coast to barter for
provisions with the Indians. With this answer they were forced to
content themselves; but the fermentation continued, and the plot
thickened. Their spokesman, La Caille, however, seeing whither the
affair tended, broke with them, and, beside Ottigny, Vasseur, and the
brave Swiss, Arlac, was the only officer who held to his duty.

A severe illness again seized Laudonnière and confined him to his bed.
Improving their advantage, the malecontents gained over nearly all the
best soldiers in the fort. The ringleader was one Fourneaux, a man of
good birth, but whom Le Moyne calls an avaricious hypocrite. He drew up
a paper to which sixty-six names were signed. La Caille boldly opposed
the conspirators, and they resolved to kill him. His room-mate, Le
Moyne, who had also refused to sign, received a hint from a friend that
he had better change his quarters; upon which he warned La Caille, who
escaped to the woods. It was late in the night. Fourneaux, with twenty
men armed to the teeth, knocked fiercely at the commandant's door.
Forcing an entrance, they wounded a gentleman who opposed them, and
crowded around the sick man's bed. Fourneaux, armed with steel cap and
cuirass, held his arquebuse to Laudonnière's breast, and demanded leave
to go on a cruise among the Spanish islands. The latter kept his
presence of mind, and remonstrated with some firmness; on which, with
oaths and menaces, they dragged him from his bed, put him in fetters,
carried him out to the gate of the fort, placed him in a boat, and rowed
him to the ship anchored in the river.

Two other gangs at the same time visited Ottigny and Arlac, whom they
disarmed, and ordered to keep their rooms till the night following, on
pain of death. Smaller parties were busied, meanwhile, in disarming all
the loyal soldiers. The fort was completely in the hands of the
conspirators. Fourneaux drew up a commission for his meditated
West-India cruise, which he required Laudonnière to sign. The sick
commandant, imprisoned in the ship, with one attendant, at first
refused; but, receiving a message from the mutineers, that, if he did
not comply, they would come on board and cut his throat, he at length
yielded.

The buccaneers now bestirred themselves to finish the two small vessels
on which the carpenters had been for some time at work. In a fortnight
they were ready for sea, armed and provided with the king's cannon,
munitions, and stores. Trenchant, an excellent pilot, was forced to join
the party. Their favorite object was the plunder of a certain church, on
one of the Spanish islands, which they proposed to assail during the
midnight mass of Christmas, whereby a triple end would be achieved:
first, a rich booty; secondly, the punishment of idolatry; thirdly,
vengeance on the arch-enemies of their party and their faith. They set
sail on the eighth of December, taunting those who remained, calling
them greenhorns, and threatening condign punishment, if, on their
triumphant return, they should be refused free entrance to the fort.

They were no sooner gone than the unfortunate Laudonnière was gladdened
in his solitude by the approach of his fast friends, Ottigny and Arlac,
who conveyed him to the fort, and reinstated him. The entire command was
reorganized and new officers appointed. The colony was wofully depleted;
but the bad blood had been drawn, and thenceforth all internal danger
was at an end. In finishing the fort, in building two new vessels to
replace those of which they had been robbed, and in various intercourse
with the tribes far and near, the weeks passed until the twenty-fifth of
March, when an Indian came in with the tidings that a vessel was
hovering off the coast. Laudonnière sent to reconnoitre. The stranger
lay anchored at the mouth of the river. She was a Spanish brigantine,
manned by the returning mutineers, starving, downcast, and anxious to
make terms. Yet, as their posture seemed not wholly pacific, Laudonnière
sent down La Caille with thirty soldiers, concealed at the bottom of his
little vessel. Seeing only two or three on deck, the pirates allowed her
to come along-side; when, to their amazement, they were boarded and
taken before they could snatch their arms. Discomfited, woebegone, and
drunk, they were landed under a guard. Their story was soon told.
Fortune had flattered them at the outset. On the coast of Cuba, they
took a brigantine, with wine and stores. Embarking in her, they next
fell in with a caravel, which they also captured. Landing at a village
of Jamaica, they plundered and caroused for a week, and had hardly
reëmbarked when they fell in with a small vessel having on board the
governor of the island. She made desperate fight, but was taken at last,
and with her a rich booty. They thought to put the governor to ransom;
but the astute official deceived them, and, on pretence of negotiating
for the sum demanded, together with certain apes and parrots, for which
his captors had also bargained, contrived to send instructions to his
wife. Whence it happened that at daybreak three armed vessels fell upon
them, retook the prize, and captured or killed all the pirates but
twenty-six, who, cutting the moorings of their brigantine, fled out to
sea. Among these was the ringleader, Fourneaux, and, happily, the pilot,
Trenchant. The latter, eager to return to Fort Caroline, whence he had
been forcibly taken, succeeded during the night in bringing the vessel
to the coast of Florida. Great were the wrath and consternation of the
discomfited pirates, when they saw their dilemma; for, having no
provision, they must either starve or seek succor at the fort. They
chose the latter alternative, and bore away for the St. John's. A few
casks of Spanish wine yet remained, and nobles and soldiers, fraternized
by the common peril of a halter, joined in a last carouse. As the wine
mounted to their heads, in the mirth of drink and desperation, they
enacted their own trial. One personated the judge, another the
commandant; witnesses were called, with arguments and speeches on either
side.

"Say what you like," said one of them, after hearing the counsel for the
defence, "but if Laudonnière does not hang us all, I will never call him
an honest man."

They had some hope of gaining provision from the Indians at the mouth of
the river, and then patting to sea again; but this was frustrated by La
Caille's sudden attack. A court-martial was called near Fort Caroline,
and all were found guilty. Fourneaux and three others were sentenced to
be hanged.

"Comrades," said one of the condemned, appealing to the soldiers, "will
you stand by and see us butchered?"

"These," retorted Laudonnière, "are no comrades of mutineers and
rebels."

At the request of his followers, however, he commuted the sentence to
shooting.

A file of men; a rattling volley; and the debt of justice was paid. The
bodies were hanged on gibbets at the river's mouth, and order reigned at
Fort Caroline.



CHAPTER III.


While the mutiny was brewing, one La Roche Ferrière had been sent out as
an agent or emissary among the more distant tribes. Sagacious, bold, and
restless, he pushed his way from town to town, and pretended to have
reached the mysterious mountains of Appalachee. He sent to the fort
mantles woven with feathers, quivers covered with choice furs, arrows
tipped with gold, wedges of a green stone like beryl or emerald, and
other trophies of his wanderings. A gentleman named Grotaut took up the
quest, and penetrated to the dominions of Hostaqua, who could muster
three or four thousand warriors, and who promised with the aid of a
hundred arquebusiers to conquer all the kings of the adjacent mountains,
and subject them and their gold-mines to the rule of the French. A
humbler adventurer was Peter Gamble, a robust and daring youth, who had
been brought up in the household of Coligny, and was now a soldier under
Laudonnière. The latter gave him leave to trade with the Indians, a
privilege which he used so well that he grew rich with his traffic,
became prime favorite with the chief of Edelano, married his daughter,
and, in his absence, reigned in his stead. But, as his sway verged
towards despotism, his subjects took offence, and beat out his brains
with a hatchet.

During the winter, Indians from the neighborhood of Cape Canaveral
brought to the fort two Spaniards, wrecked fifteen years before on the
southwestern extremity of the peninsula. They were clothed like the
Indians,--in other words, were not clothed at all,--and their uncut hair
streamed wildly down their backs. They brought strange tales of those
among whom they had dwelt. They told of the King of Calos, on whose
domains they had suffered wreck, a chief mighty in stature and in power.
In one of his villages was a pit, six feet deep and as wide as a
hogshead, filled with treasure gathered from Spanish wrecks on adjacent
reefs and keys. The monarch was a priest, too, and a magician, with
power over the elements. Each year he withdrew from the public gaze to
hold converse in secret with supernal or infernal powers; and each year
he sacrificed to his gods one of the Spaniards whom the fortune of the
sea had cast upon his shores. The name of the tribe is preserved in that
of the River Caloosa. In close league with him was the mighty Oathcaqua,
dwelling near Cape Canaveral, who gave his daughter, a maiden of
wondrous beauty, in marriage to his great ally. But, as the bride, with
her bridesmaids, was journeying towards Calos, escorted by a chosen
band, they were assailed by a wild and warlike race, inhabitants of an
island called Sarrope, in the midst of a great lake, who put the
warriors to flight, bore the maidens captive to their watery fastness,
espoused them all, and, as we are assured, "loved them above all
measure."

Outina, taught by Arlac the efficacy of the French fire-arms, begged for
ten arquebusiers to aid him on a new raid among the villages of Potanou,
again alluring his greedy allies by the assurance, that, thus
reinforced, he would conquer for them a free access to the phantom
gold-mines of Appalachec. Ottigny set forth on this fool's-errand with
thrice the force demanded. Three hundred Thimagoa and thirty Frenchmen
took up their march through the pine-barrens. Outina's conjurer was of
the number, and had well-nigh ruined the enterprise. Kneeling on
Ottigny's shield, that he might not touch the earth, with hideous
grimaces, howlings, and contortions, he wrought himself into a prophetic
frenzy, and proclaimed to the astounded warriors that to advance farther
would be destruction. Outina was for instant retreat, but Ottigny's
sarcasms shamed him into a show of courage. Again they moved forward,
and soon encountered Potanou with all his host. Le Moyne drew a picture
of the fight. In the foreground Ottigny is engaged in single combat with
a gigantic savage, who, with club upheaved, aims a deadly stroke at the
plumed helmet of his foe; but the latter, with target raised to guard
his head, darts under the arms of the naked Goliath, and transfixes him
with his sword. The arquebuse did its work: panic, slaughter, and a
plentiful harvest of scalps. But no persuasion could induce Outina to
follow up his victory. He went home to dance around his trophies, and
the French returned disgusted to Fort Caroline.

And now, in ample measure, the French began to reap the harvest of their
folly. Conquest, gold, military occupation,--such had been their aims.
Not a rood of ground had been stirred with the spade. Their stores were
consumed; the expected supplies had not come. The Indians, too, were
hostile. Satouriona hated them as allies of his enemies; and his
tribesmen, robbed and maltreated by the lawless soldiers, exulted in
their miseries. Yet in these, their dark and subtle neighbors, was their
only hope.

May-day came, the third anniversary of the day when Ribaut and his
companions, full of delighted anticipations, had explored the flowery
borders of the St. John's. Dire was the contrast; for, within the
homesick precinct of Fort Caroline, a squalid band, dejected and worn,
dragged their shrunken limbs about the sun-scorched area, or lay
stretched in listless wretchedness under the shade of the barracks. Some
were digging roots in the forest, or gathering a kind of sorrel upon the
meadows. One collected refuse fish-bones and pounded them into meal.
Yet, giddy with weakness, their skin clinging to their bones, they
dragged themselves in turn to the top of St. John's Bluff, straining
their eyes across the sea to descry the anxiously expected sail.

Had Coligny left them to perish? or had some new tempest of calamity,
let loose upon France, drowned the memory of their exile? In vain the
watchman on the hill surveyed the solitude of waters. A deep dejection
fell upon them, a dejection that would have sunk to despair, could their
eyes have pierced the future.

The Indians had left the neighborhood, but, from time to time, brought
in meagre supplies of fish, which they sold to the famished soldiers at
exorbitant prices. Lest they should pay the penalty of their extortion,
they would not enter the fort, but lay in their canoes in the river,
beyond gunshot, waiting for their customers to come out to them.
"Oftentimes," says Laudonnière, "our poor soldiers were constrained to
give away the very shirts from their backs to get one fish. If at any
time they shewed unto the savages the excessive price which they tooke,
these villaines would answere them roughly and churlishly: If thou make
so great account of thy marchandise, eat it, and we will eat our fish:
then fell they out a laughing and mocked us with open throat."

The spring wore away, and no relief appeared. One thought now engrossed
the colonists, the thought of return to France. Vasseur's ship, the
Breton, still remained in the river, and they had also the Spanish
brigantine brought by the mutineers. But these vessels were
insufficient, and they prepared to build a new one. The energy of
reviving hope lent new life to their exhausted frames. Some gathered
pitch in the pine forests; some made charcoal; some cut and sawed the
timber. The maize began to ripen, and this brought some relief; but the
Indians, exasperated and greedy, sold it with reluctance, and murdered
two half-famished Frenchmen who gathered a handful in the fields.

The colonists applied to Outina, who owed them two victories. The result
was a churlish message and a niggardly supply of corn, coupled with an
invitation to aid him against an insurgent chief, the plunder of whose
villages would yield an ample supply. The offer was accepted. Ottigny
and Vasseur set forth, but were grossly deceived, led against a
different enemy, and sent back empty-handed and half-starved.

Pale with famine and with rage, a crowd of soldiers beset Laudonnière,
and fiercely demanded to be led against Outina to take him prisoner and
extort from his fears the supplies which could not be looked for from
his gratitude. The commandant was forced to comply. Those who could bear
the weight of their armor put it on, embarked, to the number of fifty,
in two barges, and sailed up the river under the commandant himself.
Outina's landing reached, they marched inland, entered his village,
surrounded his mud-plastered palace, seized him amid the yells and
howlings of his subjects, and led him prisoner to their boats. Here,
anchored in mid-stream, they demanded a supply of corn and beans as the
price of his ransom.

The alarm spread. Excited warriors, bedaubed with red, came thronging
from all his villages. The forest along the shore was full of them; and
troops of women gathered at the water's edge with moans, outcries, and
gestures of despair. Yet no ransom was offered, since, reasoning from
their own instincts, they never doubted, that, the price paid, the
captive would be put to death.

Laudonnière waited two days, then descended the river. In a rude chamber
of Fort Caroline, pike in hand, the sentinel stood his guard, while
before him crouched the captive chief, mute, impassive, brooding on his
woes. His old enemy, Satouriona, keen as a hound on the scent of prey,
tried, by great offers, to bribe Laudonnière to give the prisoner into
his hands. Outina, however, was kindly treated, and assured of immediate
freedom on payment of the ransom.

Meanwhile his captivity was entailing dire affliction on his realm; for,
despairing of his return, his subjects mustered to the election of a new
chief. Party-strife ran high. Some were for a boy, his son, and some for
an ambitious kinsman who coveted the vacant throne. Outina chafed in his
prison, learning these dissensions, and, eager to convince his
over-hasty subjects that their king still lived, he was so profuse of
promises, that he was again embarked and carried up the river.

At no great distance below Lake George, a small affluent of the St.
John's gave access by water to a point within eighteen miles of Outina's
principal town. The two barges, crowded with soldiers, and bearing also
the royal captive, rowed up this little stream. Indians awaited them at
the landing, with gifts of bread, beans, and fish, and piteous prayers
for their chief, upon whose liberation they promised an ample supply of
corn. As they were deaf to all other terms, Laudonnière yielded,
released the chief, and received in his place two hostages, who were
fast bound in the boats. Ottigny and Arlac, with a strong detachment of
arquebusiers, set forth to receive the promised supplies, for which,
from the first, full payment in merchandise had been offered. Arrived at
the village, they filed into the great central lodge, within whose dusky
precincts were gathered the magnates of the tribe. Council-chamber,
forum, banquet-hall, dancing-hall, palace, all in one, the royal
dwelling could hold half the population in its capacious confines. Here
the French made their abode. Their armor buckled, their
arquebuse-matches lighted, they stood, or sat, or reclined on the
earthen floor, with anxious eyes watching the strange, dim scene, half
lighted by the daylight that streamed down through the hole at the apex
of the roof. Tall, dark forms stalked to and fro, quivers at their
backs, bows and arrows in their hands, while groups, crouched in the
shadow beyond, eyed the hated guests with inscrutable visages, and
malignant, sidelong eyes. Corn came in slowly, but warriors were
mustering fast. The village without was full of them. The French
officers grew anxious, and urged the chiefs to greater alacrity in
collecting the promised ransom. The answer boded no good, "Our women are
afraid, when they see the matches of your guns burning. Put them out,
and they will bring the corn faster."

Outina was nowhere to be seen. At length they learned that he was in one
of the small huts adjacent. Several of the officers went to him,
complaining of the slow payment of his ransom. The kindness of his
captors at Fort Caroline seemed to have won his heart. He replied, that
such was the rage of his subjects that he could no longer control
them,--that the French were in danger,--and that he had seen arrows
stuck in the ground by the side of the path, in token that war was
declared. Their peril was thickening hourly, and Ottigny resolved to
regain the boats while there was yet time.

On the twenty-seventh of July, at nine in the morning, he set his men in
order. Each shouldering a sack of corn, they marched through the rows of
squalid huts that surrounded the great lodge, and out betwixt the
interfolding extremities of the palisade that encircled the town. Before
them stretched a wide avenue, three or four hundred paces long, flanked
by a natural growth of trees,--one of those curious monuments of native
industry to which allusion has been already made. Here Ottigny halted
and formed his line of march. Arlac with eight matchlockmen was sent in
advance, and flanking parties thrown into the woods on either side.
Ottigny told his soldiers, that, if the Indians meant to attack them,
they were probably in ambush at the other end of the avenue. He was
right. As Arlac's party reached the spot, the whole pack gave tongue at
once. The war-whoop quavered through the startled air, and a tempest of
stone-headed arrows clattered against the breastplates of the French, or
tore, scorching like fire, through their unprotected limbs. They stood
firm, and sent back their shot so steadily that several of the
assailants were laid dead, and the rest, two or three hundred in number,
gave way as Ottigny came up with his men.

They moved on for a quarter of a mile through a country, as it seems,
comparatively open; when again the war-cry pealed in front, and three
hundred savages came bounding to the assault. Their whoops were echoed
from the rear. It was the party whom Arlac had just repulsed, who,
leaping and showering their arrows, were rushing on with a ferocity
restrained only by their lack of courage. There was no panic. The men
threw down their corn-bags, and took to their weapons. They blew their
matches, and, under two excellent officers, stood well to their work.
The Indians, on their part, showed a good discipline, after their
fashion, and were perfectly under the control of their chiefs. With
cries that imitated the yell of owls, the scream of cougars, and the
howl of wolves, they ran up in successive bands, let fly their arrows,
and instantly fell back, giving place to others. At the sight of the
levelled arquebuse, they dropped flat on the earth. Whenever, sword in
hand, the French charged upon them, they fled like foxes through the
woods; and whenever the march was resumed, the arrows were showering
again upon the flanks and rear of the retiring band. The soldiers coolly
picked them up and broke them as they fell. Thus, beset with swarming
savages, the handful of Frenchmen pushed their march till nightfall,
fighting as they went.

The Indians gradually drew off, and the forest was silent again. Two of
the French had been killed and twenty-two wounded, several so severely
that they were supported to the boats with the utmost difficulty. Of the
corn, two bags only had been brought off.

Famine and desperation now reigned at Fort Caroline. The Indians had
killed two of the carpenters; hence long delay in the finishing of the
new ship. They would not wait, but resolved to put to sea in the Breton
and the brigantine. The problem was to find food for the voyage; for
now, in their extremity, they roasted and ate snakes, a delicacy in
which the neighborhood abounded.

On the third of August, Laudonnière, perturbed and oppressed, was
walking on the hill, when, looking seaward, he saw a sight that shot a
thrill through his exhausted frame. A great ship was standing towards
the river's mouth. Then another came in sight, and another, and another.
He called the tidings to the fort below. Then languid forms rose and
danced for joy, and voices, shrill with weakness, joined in wild
laughter and acclamation.

A doubt soon mingled with their joy. Who were the strangers? Were they
the succors so long hoped in vain? or were they Spaniards bringing steel
and fire? They were neither. The foremost was a stately ship, of seven
hundred tons, a mighty burden at that day. She was named the Jesus; and
with her were three smaller vessels, the Solomon, the Tiger, and the
Swallow. Their commander was "a right worshipful and valiant
knight,"--for so the record styles him,--a pious man and a prudent, to
judge him by the orders he gave his crew, when, ten months before, he
sailed out of Plymouth:--"Serve God daily, love one another, preserve
your victuals, beware of fire, and keepe good companie." Nor were the
crew unworthy the graces of their chief; for the devout chronicler of
the voyage ascribes their deliverance from the perils of the seas to
"the Almightie God, who never suffereth his Elect to perish."

Who, then, were they, this chosen band, serenely conscious of a special
Providential care? Apostles of the cross, bearing the word of peace to
benighted heathendom? They were the pioneers of that detested traffic
destined to inoculate with its black infection nations yet unborn,
parent of discord and death, with the furies in their train, filling
half a continent with the tramp of armies and the clash of fratricidal
swords. Their chief was Sir John Hawkins, father of the English
slave-trade.

He had been to the coast of Guinea, where he bought and kidnapped a
cargo of slaves. These he had sold to the jealous Spaniards of
Hispaniola, forcing them, with sword, matchlock, and culverin, to grant
him free trade, and then to sign testimonials that he had borne himself
as became a peaceful merchant. Prospering greatly by this summary
commerce, but distressed by the want of water, he had put into the River
of May to obtain a supply.

Among the rugged heroes of the British marine, Sir John stood in the
front rank, and along with Drake, his relative, is extolled as "a man
borne for the honour of the English name.... Neither did the West of
England yeeld such an Indian Neptunian paire as were these two Ocean
peeres, Hawkins and Drake." So writes the old chronicler, Purchas, and
all England was of his thinking. A hardy seaman, a bold fighter,
overbearing towards equals, but kind, in his bluff way, to those beneath
him, rude in speech, somewhat crafty withal, and avaricious, he buffeted
his way to riches and fame, and died at last full of years and honor. As
for the abject humanity stowed between the reeking decks of the ship
Jesus, they were merely in his eyes so many black cattle tethered for
the market. Queen Elizabeth had an interest in the venture, and received
her share of the sugar, pearls, ginger, and hides which the vigorous
measures of Sir John gained from his Spanish customers.

Hawkins came up the river in a pinnace, and landed at Fort Caroline,
"accompanied," says Laudonnière, "with gentlemen honorably apparelled,
yet unarmed." Between the Huguenots and the English there was a double
tie of sympathy. Both hated priests, and both hated Spaniards. Wakening
from their apathetic misery, the starveling garrison hailed him as a
deliverer. Yet Hawkins secretly rejoiced, when he learned their purpose
to abandon Florida; for, though, not to tempt his cupidity, they hid
from him the secret of their Appalachian gold-mine, he coveted for his
royal mistress the possession of this rich domain. He shook his head,
however, when he saw the vessels in which they proposed to embark, and
offered them all a free passage to France in his own ships. This, from
obvious motives of honor and prudence, Laudonnière declined, upon which
Hawkins offered to lend or sell to him one of his smaller vessels.

Hereupon arose a great clamor. A mob of soldiers and artisans beset
Laudonnière's chamber, threatening loudly to desert him, and take
passage with Hawkins, unless the offer of the latter were accepted. The
commandant accordingly resolved to buy the vessel. The generous slaver,
whose reputed avarice nowise appears in the transaction, desired him to
set his own price; and, in place of money, took the cannon of the fort,
with other articles now useless to their late owners. He sent them, too,
a gift of wine and biscuit, and supplied them with provision for the
voyage, receiving in payment Laudonnière's note,--"for which," adds the
latter, "I am until this present indebted to him." With a friendly
leave-taking he returned to his ships and stood out to sea, leaving
golden opinions among the grateful inmates of Fort Caroline.

Before the English top-sails had sunk beneath the horizon, the colonists
bestirred themselves to depart. In a few days their preparations were
made. They waited only for a fair wind. It was long in coming, and
meanwhile their troubled fortunes assumed a new phase.

On the twenty-eighth of August, the two captains, Vasseur and Verdier,
came in with tidings of an approaching squadron. Again the fort was wild
with excitement. Friends or foes, French or Spaniards, succor or death:
betwixt these were their hopes and fears divided. With the following
morning, they saw seven barges rowing up the river, bristling with
weapons and crowded with men in armor. The sentries on the bluff
challenged, and received no answer. One of them fired at the advancing
boats. Still no response. Laudonnière was almost defenceless. He had
given his heavier cannon to Hawkins, and only two field-pieces were
left. They were levelled at the foremost boats, and the word was about
to be given, when a voice from among the strangers called that they were
French, commanded by John Ribaut.

At the eleventh hour, the long-looked-for succors were come. Ribaut had
been commissioned to sail with seven ships for Florida. A disorderly
concourse of disbanded soldiers, mixed with artisans and their families,
and young nobles weary of a two-years' peace, were mustered at the port
of Dieppe, and embarked, to the number of three hundred men, bearing
with them all things thought necessary to a prosperous colony.

No longer in dread of the Spaniards, the colonists saluted the
new-comers with the cannon by which a moment before they had hoped to
blow them out of the water. Laudonnière issued from his stronghold to
welcome them, and regaled them with what cheer he might. Ribaut was
present, conspicuous by his long beard, the astonishment of the Indians;
and here, too, were officers, old friends of Laudonnière. Why, then, had
they approached in the attitude of enemies? The mystery was soon
explained; for they expressed to the commandant their pleasure at
finding that the charges made against him had proved false. He begged to
know more, on which Ribaut, taking him aside, told him that the
returning ships had brought home letters filled with accusations of
arrogance, tyranny, cruelty, and a purpose of establishing an
independent command: accusations which he now saw to be unfounded, but
which had been the occasion of his unusual and startling precaution. He
gave him, too, a letter from the Admiral Coligny. In brief, but
courteous terms, it required him to resign his command, and invited his
return to France to clear his name from the imputations cast upon it.
Ribaut warmly urged him to remain; but Laudonnière declined his friendly
proposals.

Worn in body and mind, mortified and wounded, he soon fell ill again. A
peasant-woman attended him, brought over, he says, to nurse the sick and
take charge of the poultry, and of whom Le Moyne also speaks as a
servant, but who had been made the occasion of additional charges
against him, most offensive to the austere Admiral.

Stores were landed, tents were pitched, women and children were sent on
shore, feathered Indians mingled in the throng, and the sunny borders of
the River of May swarmed with busy life. "But, lo, how oftentimes
misfortune doth search and pursue us, even then when we thinke to be at
rest!" exclaims the unhappy Laudonnière. Behind the light and cheer of
renovated hope, a cloud of blackest omen was gathering in the east.

At half-past eleven on the night of Tuesday, the fourth of September,
the crew of Ribaut's flag-ship, anchored on the still sea outside the
bar, saw a huge hulk, grim with the throats of cannon, drifting towards
them through the gloom; and from its stern rolled on the sluggish air
the portentous banner of Spain.

Here opens a wilder act of this eventful drama. At another day we shall
lift the curtain on its fierce and bloody scenes.

       *       *       *       *       *



SEAWARD.

TO ----.


    How long it seems since that mild April night,
      When, leaning from the window, you and I
    Heard, clearly ringing from the shadowy bight,
                 The loon's unearthly cry!

    Southwest the wind blew; million little waves
      Ran rippling round the point in mellow tune;
    But mournful, like the voice of one who raves,
                 That laughter of the loon.

    We called to him, while blindly through the haze
      Upclimbed the meagre moon behind us, slow,
    So dim, the fleet of boats we scarce could trace,
                 Moored lightly, just below.

    We called, and, lo, he answered! Half in fear,
      I sent the note back. Echoing rock and bay
    Made melancholy music far and near;
                 Slowly it died away.

    That schooner, you remember? Flying ghost!
      Her canvas catching every wandering beam,
    Aërial, noiseless, past the glimmering coast
                 She glided like a dream.

    Would we were leaning from your window now,
      Together calling to the eerie loon,
    The fresh wind blowing care from either brow,
                 This sumptuous night of June!

    So many sighs load this sweet inland air,
      'T is hard to breathe, nor can we find relief;
    However lightly touched, we all must share
                 The nobleness of grief.

    But sighs are spent before they reach your ear,
      Vaguely they mingle with the water's rune;
    No sadder sound salutes you than the clear,
                 Wild laughter of the loon.

       *       *       *       *       *



SIDE-GLANCES AT HARVARD CLASS-DAY.


It happened to me once to "assist" at the celebration of Class-Day at
Harvard University. Class-Day is the peculiar institution of the Senior
Class, and marks its completion of college study and release from
college rules. It is also an institution peculiar, I believe, to
Harvard, and I was somewhat curious to observe its ceremonials, besides
feeling a not entirely _unawful_ interest in being introduced for the
first time to the _arcana_ of that renowned Alma Mater.

She has set up her Lares and Penates in a fine old grove, or a fine old
grove and green have sprouted up around her, as the case may be. At all
events, there is sufficient groundwork for any quantity of euphuism
about "classic shades," "groves of Academe," _et cetera_. Trollope had
his fling at the square brick buildings; but it was a fling that they
richly deserved, for they are in very deed as ugly as it is possible to
conceive,--angular, formal, stiff, windowy, bricky,--and the farther in
you go, the worse it grows. Why, I pray to know, as the first inquiry
suggested by Class-Day, is it necessary for boys' schools to be placed
without the pale of civilization? Do boys take so naturally to the
amenities of life that they can safely dispense with the conditions of
amenity? When I entered those brick boxes, I felt as if I were going
into a stable. Wood-work dingy, unpainted, gashed, scratched; windows
dingy and dim; walls dingy and gray and smoked; everything unhomelike,
unattractive, narrow, and rickety. Think, now, of taking a boy away from
his home, from his mother and sisters, from carpets and curtains and all
the softening influences of cultivated taste, and turning him loose with
dozens of other boys into a congeries of pens like this! Who wonders
that he comes out a boor? I felt a sinking at the heart in climbing up
those narrow, uncouth staircases. We talk about education. We boast of
having the finest system in the world. Harvard is, if not the most
distinguished, certainly among the first institutions in the country;
but, in my opinion, formed in the entry of the first Harvard house I
entered, Harvard has not begun to hit the nail on the head. Education!
Do you call it education, to put a boy into a hole, and work out of him
a certain amount of mathematics, and work into him a certain number of
languages? Is a man dressed, because one arm has a spotless wristband,
unquestionable sleeve-buttons, a handsome sleeve, and a well-fitting
glove at the end, while the man is out at the other elbow, patched on
both knees, and down at the heels? Should we consider Nature a success,
if she concerned herself only with carrying nutriment to the stomach,
and left the heart and the lungs and the liver and the nerves to shift
for themselves? Yet so do we, educating boys in these dens called
colleges. We educate the mind, the memory, the intellectual faculties;
but the manners, the courtesies, the social tastes, the greater part of
what goes to make life happy and genial, not to say good, we leave out
of view. People talk about the "awkward age" of boys,--the age in which
their hands and feet trouble them, and in which they are a social burden
to themselves and their friends. But one age need be no more awkward
than another. I have seen boys that were gentlemen from the cradle to
the grave,--almost; certainly from the time they ceased to be babies
till they passed altogether out of my sight. Let boys have the
associations, the culture, the training, and the treatment of gentlemen,
and I do not believe there will be a single moment of their lives in
which they will be clowns.

And among the first necessities are the surroundings of a gentleman.
When a man is grown up, he can live in a sty and not be a pig; but turn
a horde of boys in, and when they come out they will root out. A man is
strong and stiff. His inward, inherent power, toughened by exposure and
fortified by knowledge, overmasters opposing circumstances. He can
neglect the prickles and assume the rose of his position. He stands
scornfully erect amid the grovelling influences that would pull him
down. It may perhaps be, also, that here and there a boy, with a strong
native predilection to refinement, shall be eclectic, and, with the
water-lily's instinct, select from coarse contiguities only that which
will nourish a delicate soul. But human nature in its infancy is usually
a very susceptible material. It grows as it is trained. It will be rude,
if it is left rude, and fine only as it is wrought finely. Educate a boy
to tumbled hair and grimy hands, and he will go tumbled and grimy to his
grave. Put a hundred boys together where they will have the
appurtenances of a clown, and I do not believe there will be ten out of
the hundred who will not become precisely to that degree clownish. I am
not battling for the luxuries of life, but I am for its decencies. I
would not turn boys into Sybarites, but neither would I let them riot
into Satyrs. The effeminacy of a false aristocracy is no nearer the
heights of true manhood than the clumsiness of the clod, but I think it
is just as near. I would have college rooms, college entrances, and all
college domains cleanly and attractive. I would, in the first place,
have every rough board planed, and painted in soft and cheerful tints. I
would have the walls pleasantly colored, or covered with delicate, or
bright, or warm-hued paper. The floor should be either tiled, or hidden
under carpets, durable, if possible, at any rate, decent. Straw or rope
matting is better than brown, yawning boards. There you have things put
upon an entirely new basis. At no immoderate expense there is a new sky,
a new earth, a new horizon. If a boy is rich and can furnish his room
handsomely, the furnishings will not shame the room and its vicinity. If
he is poor and can provide but cheaply, he will still have a comely home
provided for him by the Mater who then will be Alma to some purpose.

Do you laugh at all this? So did Sarah laugh at the angels, but the
angels had the right of it for all that.

I am told that it would all be useless,--that the boys would deface and
destroy, till the last state of the buildings would be worse than the
first. I do not believe one word of it. It is inferred that they would
deface, because they deface now. But what is it that they deface?
Deformity. And who blames them? You see a rough board, and, by natural
instinct, you dive into it with your jackknife. A base bare wall is a
standing invitation to energetic and unruly pencils. Give the boys a
little elegance and the tutors a little tact, and I do not believe there
would be any trouble. If I had a thousand dollars,--as I did have once,
but it is gone: shall I ever look upon its like again?--I would not be
afraid to stake the whole of it upon the good behavior of college
students,--that is, if I could have the managing of them. I would make
them "a speech," when they came back at the end of one of their long
vacations, telling them what had been done, why it had been done, and
the objections that had been urged against doing it. Then I would put
the matter entirely into their hands. I would appeal solely to their
honor. I would repose in them so much confidence that they could by no
possibility betray it. We don't trust people half enough. We hedge
ourselves about with laws and locks and deeds and bonds, and neglect the
weightier matters of inherent right and justice that lie in every bosom.

It may be thought hardly polite to accept hospitality and then go away
and inveigh against the hospital; but my animadversions, you will do me
the justice to observe, are not aimed at my entertainers. I am marauding
for, not against them.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Oration and Poem form the first public features of Class-Day, but,
arriving late, I could only eddy on the surge that swept around the
door. Strains of distant eloquence would occasionally float musically to
my ear; now and then a single word would steer clear of the thousands of
heads and come into my port unharmed. Frequent waves of laughter beat
and broke into the vestibule; but what is more "trying" to a frail
temper than laughter in which one cannot join? So we tarried long enough
to mark the fair faces and fine dresses, and then rambled under the old
trees till the hour for the "collation" came; and this is the second
point on which I purpose to dwell.

Each member of the Senior Class prepares a banquet,--sometimes
separately and sometimes in clubs, at an expense varying from fifty to
five hundred dollars,--to which he invites as many friends as he
chooses, or as are available. The banquet is quite as rich, varied, and
elegant as you find at ordinary evening parties, and the occasion is a
merry and pleasant one. But it occurred to me that there may be
unpleasant things connected with this custom. In a class of
seventy-five, in a country like America, it is quite probable that a
certain proportion are ill able to meet the expense which such a custom
necessitates. Some have fought their own way through college. Some must
have been fought through by their parents. To them I should think this
elaborate and considerable outlay must be a very sensible inconvenience.
The mere expense of books and board, tuition and clothing, cannot be met
without strict economy and much parental and family sacrifice. And at
the end of it all, when every nerve has been strained, and must be
strained harder still before the man can be considered fairly on his
feet and able to run his own race in life, comes this new call for
entirely uncollegiate disbursements. Of course it is only a custom.
There is no college by-law, I suppose, which prescribes a valedictory
_symposium_. Probably it grew up gradually from small ice-cream
beginnings to its present formidable proportions; but a custom is as
rigid as a chain. I wondered whether the moral character of the young
men was generally strong enough, by the time they were in their fourth
collegiate year, to enable them to go counter to the custom, if it
involved personal sacrifice at home,--whether there was generally
sufficient courtliness, not to say Christianity, in the class, whether
there was sufficient courtesy, chivalry, high-breeding, to make the
omission of this party-giving unnoticeable or not unpleasant. I by no
means say that the inability of a portion of the students to entertain
their friends sumptuously should prevent those who are able from doing
so. As the world is, some will be rich and some will be poor. This is a
fact which they have to face the moment they go out into the world; and
the sooner they grapple with it, and find out its real bearings and
worth or worthlessness, the better. Boys are usually old enough by the
time they are graduated to understand and take philosophically such a
distinction. Nor do I admit that poor people have any right to be sore
on the subject of their poverty. The one sensitiveness which I cannot
comprehend, with which I have no sympathy, for which I have no pity, and
of which I have no tolerance, is sensitiveness about poverty. I think it
is an essentially vulgar feeling. I cannot conceive how a man who has
any exaltation of life, any real elevation of character, any
self-respect, can for a moment experience so ignoble a shame. One may be
annoyed at the inconveniences and impatient of the restraints of
poverty; but to be ashamed to be called poor or to be thought poor, to
resort to shifts, not for the sake of being comfortable or elegant, but
of seeming to be above the necessity of shifts, is an indication of an
inferior mind, whether it dwell in prince or in peasant. The man who
does it shows that he has not in his own opinion character enough to
stand alone. He must be supported by adventitious circumstances, or he
must fall. Nobody, therefore, need ever expect to receive sympathy from
me in recounting the social pangs or slights of poverty. You never can
be slighted, if you do not slight yourself. People may attempt to do
it, but their shafts have no barb. You turn it all into natural history.
It is a psychological phenomenon, a study, something to be analyzed,
classified, reasoned from, and bent to your own convenience, but not to
be taken to heart. It amuses you; it interests you; it adds to your
stock of facts; it makes life curious and valuable: but if you suffer
from it, it is because you have not basis, stamina; and probably you
deserve to be slighted. This, however, is true only when people have
become somewhat concentrated. Children know nothing of it. They live
chiefly from without, not from within. Only gradually as they approach
maturity do they cut loose from the scaffolding and depend upon their
own centre of gravity. Appearances are very strong in school. Money and
prodigality have great weight there, notwithstanding the democracy of
attainments and abilities. If I live a thousand years, I do not believe
I shall ever do a more virtuous deed than I did long ago in staying at
home for the sake of a quarter of a dollar when the rest of the school
went to see Tom Thumb, the late bewritten bridegroom. I call it
virtuous, because I had the quarter and could have gone, and could not
explain the reason why I did not go. And though a senior class in
Harvard College may reasonably be supposed to be beyond the eminent
domain of Tom Thumb and quarter-dollars, the principle is precisely the
same,--only the temptation, I suppose, is much stronger, as the stake is
larger. Have they self-poise enough to refrain from these festive
expenses without suffering mortification? Have they virtue enough to
refrain from them with the certainty of incurring such suffering? Have
they nobility and generosity and largeness of soul enough, while
abstaining themselves for conscience sake, to share in the plans and
sympathize without servility in the pleasures of their rich comrades? to
look on with friendly interest, without cynicism or concealed malice, at
the preparations in which they do not join? Or do they yield to
selfishness, and gratify their own vanity, weakness, self-indulgence,
and love of pleasure, at whatever cost to their parents? Or is there
such a state of public opinion and usage in college that this custom is
equally honored in the breach and in the observance?

       *       *       *       *       *

When the feasting was over, the most picturesque part of the day began.
The college green put off suddenly its antique gravity, and became

    "Embrouded ... as it were a mede
    Alle ful of fresshe floures, white and rede,"--

"floures" which to their gay hues and graceful outlines added the rare
charm of fluttering in perpetual motion. It was a kaleidoscope without
angles. To me, niched in the embrasure of an old upper window, the
scene, it seemed, might have stepped out of the Oriental splendor of
Arabian Nights. I think I may safely say I never saw so many
well-dressed people together in my life before. That seems a rather tame
fact to buttress Arabian Nights withal, but it implies much. The
distance was a little too great for one to note personal and individual
beauty; but since I have heard that Boston is famous for its ugly women,
perhaps that was an advantage, as diminishing likewise individual
ugliness. If no one was strikingly handsome, no one was strikingly
plain. And though you could not mark the delicacies of faces, you could
have the full effect of costumes,--rich, majestic, floating, gossamery,
impalpable. Everything was fresh, spotless, and in tune. It scarcely
needed music to resolve all the incessant waver and shimmer into a
dance; but the music came, and, like sand-grains under the magnet, the
beautiful atoms swept into stately shapes and tremulous measured
activity,--

    "A fine, sweet earthquake gently moved
    By the soft wind of whispering silks."

Then it seemed like a German festival, and came back to me the
Fatherland, the lovely season of the Blossoming, the short, sweet
bliss-month among the Blumenthal Mountains.

Nothing can be more appropriate, more harmonious, than dancing on the
green. Youth and gayety and beauty--and in summer we are all young and
gay and beautiful--mingle well with the eternal youth of blue sky and
velvet sward and the light breezes toying in the tree-tops. Youth and
Nature kiss each other in the bright, clear purity of the happy
summer-tide. Whatever objections lie against dancing elsewhere must veil
their faces there.

Yet I must confess I wish men would not dance. It is the most unbecoming
exercise which they can adopt. In women you have the sweep and wave of
drapery, gentle undulations, summer-cloud floatings, soft, sinuous
movements, the fluency of pliant forms, the willowy bend and rebound of
lithe and lovely suppleness. It is grace generic,--the sublime, the
evanescent mysticism of motion, without use, without aim, except its own
overflowing and all-sufficing fascination. But when a man dances, it
reminds me of that amusing French book called "Le Diable Boiteux," which
has been or may be free-thinkingly translated, "The Devil on Two
Sticks." In saying this, I design to cast no slur on the moral character
of masculine dancers. It is unquestionably above reproach; but let an
angel put on the black coat and trousers which constitute the
"full-dress" of a modern gentleman, and therein antic through the
"Lancers," and he would simply be ridiculous,--which is all I allege
against Thomas, Richard, and Henry, Esq. A woman's dancing is gliding,
swaying, serpentine. A man's is jerks, hops, convulsions, and acute
angles. The woman is light, airy, indistinctly defined: airy movements
are in keeping. The man is sombre in hue, grave in tone, distinctly
outlined; and nothing is more incongruous, to my thinking, than this
dancing, well portrayed in the contraband melody of

    "Old Joe," etc.

The feminine drapery conceals processes and gives results. The masculine
absence of drapery reveals processes and thereby destroys results.

Once upon a time, long before the Flood, the clergyman of a
country-village, possessed with such a zeal as Paul bore record of
concerning Israel, conceived it his duty to "make a note" of sundry
young members of his flock who had met for a drive and a supper, with a
dance fringed upon the outskirts. The fame thereof being noised abroad,
a sturdy old farmer, with a good deal of shrewd sense and mother-wit in
his brains, and a fine, indirect way of hitting the nail on the head
with a side-stroke, was questioned in a neighboring village as to the
facts of the case. "Yes," he said, surlily, "the young folks had a
party, and got up a dance, and the minister was mad,--and I don't blame
him,--he thinks nobody has any business to dance, unless he knows how
better than they did!" It was a rather different _casus belli_ from that
which the worthy clergyman would have preferred before a council; but it
"meets my views" precisely as to the validity of the objections urged
against dancing. I would have women dance, because it is the most
beautiful thing in the world. I would have men dance, if it is
necessary, in order to "set off" women, and to keep themselves out of
mischief; but in point of grace, or elegance, or attractiveness, I
should beg men to hold their peace--and their pumps.

From my window overlooking the green, I was led away into some one or
other of the several halls to see the "round dances"; and it was like
going from Paradise to Pandemonium. From the pure and healthy lawn, all
the purer for the pure and peaceful people pleasantly walking up and
down in the sunshine and shade, or grouped in the numerous windows, like
bouquets of rare tropical flowers,--from the green, rainbowed in vivid
splendor, and alive with soft, tranquil motion, fair forms, and the
flutter of beautiful and brilliant colors,--from the green, sanctified
already by the pale faces of sick and wounded and maimed soldiers who
had gone out from the shadows of those sheltering trees to draw the
sword for country, and returned white wraiths of their vigorous youth,
the sad vanguard of that great army of blessed martyrs who shall keep
forever in the mind of this generation how costly and precious a thing
is liberty, who shall lift our worldly age out of the plough of its
material prosperity into the sublimity of suffering and sacrifice,--from
suggestions and fancies and dreamy musing and "phantasms sweet," into
the hall, where, for flower-scented summer air were thick clouds of
fine, penetrating dust, and for lightly trooping fairies a jam of heated
human beings, so that you shall hardly come nigh the dancers for the
press; and when you have, with difficulty and many contortions and much
apologizing, threaded the solid mass, piercing through the forest of
fans,--what? An inclosure, but no more illusion.

Waltzing is a profane and vicious dance. Always. When it is prosecuted
in the centre of a great crowd, in a dusty hall, on a warm midsummer
day, it is also a disgusting dance. Night is its only appropriate time.
The blinding, dazzling gas-light throws a grateful glare over the
salient points of its indecency, and blends the whole into a wild whirl
that dizzies and dazes one; but the uncompromising afternoon, pouring in
through manifold windows, tears away every illusion, and reveals the
whole coarseness and commonness and all the repulsive details of this
most alien and unmaidenly revel. The very _pose_ of the dance is
profanity. Attitudes which are the instinctive expression of intimate
emotions, glowing rosy-red in the auroral time of tenderness, and
justified in unabashed freedom only by a long and faithful habitude of
unselfish devotion, are here openly, deliberately, and carelessly
assumed by people who have but a casual and partial
society-acquaintance. This I reckon profanity. This is levity the most
culpable. This is a guilty and wanton waste of delicacy.

That it is practised by good girls and tolerated by good mothers does
not prove that it is good. Custom blunts the edge of many perceptions. A
good thing soiled may be redeemed by good people; but waltz as many as
you may, spotless maidens, you will only smut yourselves, and not
cleanse the waltz. It is of itself unclean.

There were, besides, peculiar _désagréments_ on this occasion. How can
people,--I could not help saying to myself,--how can people endure such
proximity in such a sweltering heat? For, as I said, there was no
illusion,--not a particle. It was no Vale of Tempe, with Nymphs and
Apollos. The boys were boys, appallingly young, full of healthful
promise, but too much in the husk for exhibition, and not entirely at
ease in their situation,--indeed, very much _not_ at ease,--unmistakably
warm, nervous, and uncomfortable. The girls were pretty enough girls, I
dare say, under ordinary circumstances,--one was really lovely, with
soft cheeks, long eyelashes, eyes deep and liquid, and Tasso's gold in
her hair, though of a bad figure, ill set off by a bad dress,--but Venus
herself could not have been seen to advantage in such evil plight as
they, panting, perspiring, ruffled, frowsy,--puff-balls revolving
through an atmosphere of dust,--a maze of steaming, reeking human
couples, inhumanly heated and simmering together with a more than
Spartan fortitude.

It was remarkable, and at the same time amusing, to observe the
difference in the demeanor of the two sexes. The lions and the fawns
seemed to have changed hearts,--perhaps they had. It was the boys that
were nervous. The girls were unquailing. The boys were, however, heroic.
They tried bravely to hide the fox and his gnawings; but traces were
visible. They made desperate feint of being at the height of enjoyment
and unconscious of spectators; but they had much modesty, for all that.
The girls threw themselves into it _pugnis et calcibus_,--unshrinking,
indefatigable.

There is another thing which girls and their mothers do not seem to
consider. The present mode of dress renders waltzing almost as
objectionable in a large room as the boldest feats of a French
ballet-dancer. Not to put too fine a point on it, I mean that these
girls' gyrations in the centre of their gyrating and centrifugal hoops
make a most operatic drapery-display. I saw scores and scores of public
waltzing-girls last summer, and among them all I saw but one who
understood the art, or, at any rate, who practised the art, of avoiding
an indecent exposure. In the glare and glamour of gas-light it is only
flash and clouds and indistinctness. In the broad and honest daylight,
it is not. Do I shock ears polite? I trust so. If the saying of shocking
things might prevent the doing of shocking things, I should be well
content. And is it an unpardonable sin for me to sit alone in my own
room and write about what you go into a great hall, before hundreds of
strange men and women, and do?

I do not speak thus about waltzing because I like to say it; but ye have
compelled me. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. I
respect and revere woman, and I cannot see her destroying or debasing
the impalpable fragrance and delicacy of her nature without feeling the
shame and shudder in my own heart. Great is my boldness of speech
towards you, because great is my glorying of you. Though I speak as a
fool, yet as a fool receive me. My opinions may be rustic. They are at
least honest; and may it not be that the first fresh impressions of an
unprejudiced and uninfluenced observer are as likely to be natural and
correct views as those which are the result of many afterthoughts, long
use, and an experience of multifold fascinations, combined with the
original producing cause? My opinions may be wrong, but they will do no
harm; the penalty will rest alone on me: while, if they are right, they
may serve as a nail or two to be fastened by the masters of assemblies.

The funny part of Class-Day comes last,--not so very funny to tell, but
amazingly funny to see,--only a wreath of bouquets fastened around the
trunk of an old tree, perhaps eight or ten feet from the ground, and
then the four classes range themselves around it in four circles with
their hands fast locked together, the Freshman Class on the outside, the
Senior Class within, grotesquely tricked out in vile old coats and
"shocking bad hats." Then the two alternate classes go one way around
the tree and the two others the opposite, pell-mell, harum-scarum,
pushing and pulling, down and up again, only keeping fast hold of hands,
singing, shouting, cheering _ad libitum_, _ad throatum_, (theirs,) _ad
earsum_, (ours,) and going all the time in that din and yell and crowd
and crash dear to the hearts of boys. At a given signal there is a
pause, and the Senior Class make sudden charge upon the bouquets,
huddling and hustling and crowding and jumping at the foot of the old
tree; bubbling up on each other's shoulders into momentary prominence
and prospect of success, and immediately disappearing ignominiously;
making frantic grasps and clutches with a hundred long arms and eager
outstretched hands, and finally succeeding, by shoulders and fists, in
bringing the wreath away piecemeal; and then they give themselves up to
mutual embraces, groans, laments, and all the enginery of pathetic
affection in the last gasping throes of separation,--to the doleful
tearing of hair and the rending of their fantastic garments. It is the
personification of legalized rowdyism; and if young men would but
confine themselves to such rowdyism as may be looked at and laughed at
by their mothers and sisters, they would find life just as amusing and a
thousand times more pure and profitable.

       *       *       *       *       *

It occurs to me here that there is one subject on which I desire to
"give my views," though it is quite unconnected with Class-Day. But it
is probable that in the whole course of my natural life it will never
again happen to me to be writing about colleges, so I desire to say in
this paper everything I have to say on the subject. I refer to the
practice of "hazing," which is an abomination. If we should find it
among hinds, a remnant of the barbarisms of the Dark Ages, blindly
handed down by such slow-growing people as go to mill with their meal on
one side of the saddle and a stone on the other to balance, as their
fathers did, because it never occurred to their loggerheads to divide
the meal into two parcels and make it balance itself, we should not be
surprised; but hazing occurs among boys who have been accustomed to the
circulation of ideas, boys old enough and intelligent enough to
understand the difference between brutality and frolic, old enough to
know what honor and courage mean, and therefore I cannot conceive how
they should countenance a practice which entirely ignores and defies
honor, and whose brutality has not a single redeeming feature. It has
neither wisdom nor wit, no spirit, no genius, no impulsiveness, scarcely
the mirth of boyish frolic. A narrow range of stale practical jokes,
lighted up by no gleam of originality, is transmitted from year to year
with as much fidelity as the Hebrew Bible, and not half the latitude
allowed to clergymen of the English Established Church. But besides its
platitude, its one overpowering and fatal characteristic is its intense
and essential cowardice. Cowardice is its head and front and bones and
blood. One boy does not single out another boy of his own weight, and
take his chances in a fair stand-up fight. But a party of Sophomores
club together in such numbers as to render opposition useless, and
pounce upon their victim unawares, as Brooks and his minions pounced
upon Sumner, and as the Southern chivalry is given to doing. For sweet
pity's sake, let this mode of warfare be monopolized by the Southern
chivalry.

The lame excuse is offered, that it does the Freshmen good,--takes the
conceit out of them. But if there is any class in college so divested of
conceit as to be justified in throwing stones, it is surely not the
Sophomore Class. Moreover, whatever good it may do the sufferers, it
does harm, and only harm, to the perpetrators; and neither the law nor
the gospel requires a man to improve other people's characters at the
expense of his own. Nobody can do a wrong without injuring himself; and
no young man can do a mean, cowardly wrong like this without suffering
severest injury. It is the very spirit of the slaveholder, a dastardly
and detestable, a tyrannical and cruel spirit. If young men are so
blinded by custom and habit that a meanness is not to them a meanness
because it has been practised for years, so much the worse for the young
men, and so much the worse for our country, whose sweat of blood attests
the bale and blast which this evil spirit has wrought. If uprightness,
if courage, if humanity and rectitude and the mind conscious to itself
of right, are anything more than a name. Let the young men who mean to
make time minister to life scorn and scotch and kill this debasing and
stupid practice.

And why is not some legitimate and wholesome safety-valve provided by
authority to let off superabundant vitality, that boys may not, by the
mere occasions of their own natures, be driven into wickedness?
Class-Day is very well, but it comes only once a year, and what is
needed is an opportunity for daily ebullition, so that each night may
square its own account and forestall explosion. Why should there not be,
for instance, a military department to every college, as well as a
mathematical department? Why might not every college be a military
normal school? The exuberance and riot of animal spirits, the young,
adventurous strength and joy in being, would not only be kept from
striking out as now in illegitimate, unworthy, and hurtful directions,
but it would become the very basis and groundwork of useful purposes.
Such exercise would be so promotive of health and discipline, it would
so train and harmonize and _limber_ the physical powers, that the
superior quality of study would, I doubt not, more than atone for
whatever deficiency in quantity might result. And even suppose a little
less attention should be given to Euclid and Homer, which is of the
greater importance nowadays, an ear that can detect a false quantity in
a Greek verse, or an eye that can sight a Rebel nine hundred yards off,
and a hand that can pull a trigger and shoot him? Knowledge is power;
but knowledge must sharpen its edges and polish its points, if it would
be greatliest available in days like these. The knowledge that can plant
batteries and plan campaigns, that is fertile in expedients and wise to
baffle the foe, is just now the strongest power. Diagrams and
first-aorists are good, and they who have fed on such meat have grown
great, and done the State service in their generation; but these times
demand new measures and new men. It is conceded that we shall probably
be for many years a military nation. At least a generation of vigilance
shall be the price of our liberty. And even of peace we can have no
stronger assurance than a wise and wieldy readiness for war. Now the
education of our unwarlike days is not adequate to the emergencies of
this martial hour. We must be seasoned with something stronger than
Attic salt, or we shall be cast out and trodden under foot of men. True,
all education is worthy. Everything that exercises the mind fits it for
its work; but professional education is indispensable to professional
men. And the profession, _par excellence_, of every man of this
generation is war. Country overrides all personal considerations.
Lawyer, minister, what not, a man's first duty is the salvation of his
country. When she calls, he must go; and before she calls, let him, if
possible, prepare himself to serve her in the best manner. As things are
now, college-boys are scarcely better than cow-boys for the army. Their
costly education runs greatly to waste. It gives them no direct
advantage over the clod who stumbles against a trisyllable. So far as it
makes them better men, of course they are better soldiers; but for all
of military education which their college gives them, they are fit only
for privates, whose sole duty is to obey. They know nothing of military
drill or tactics or strategy. The State cannot afford this waste. She
cannot afford to lose the fruits of mental toil and discipline. She
needs trained mind even more than trained muscle. It is harder to find
brains than to find hands. The average mental endowment may be no higher
in college than out; but granting it to be as high, the culture which it
receives gives it immense advantage. The fruits of that culture,
readiness, resources, comprehensiveness, should all be held in the
service of the State. Military knowledge and practice should be imparted
and enforced to utilize ability, and make it the instrument, not only of
personal, but of national welfare. That education which gives men the
advantage over others in the race of life should be so directed as to
convey that advantage to country, when she stands in need. Every college
might and should be made a nursery of athletes in mind and body,
clear-eyed, stout-hearted, strong-limbed, cool-brained,--a nursery of
soldiers, quick, self-possessed, brave and cautious and wary, ready in
invention, skilful to command men and evolve from a mob an army,--a
nursery of gentlemen, reminiscent of no lawless revels, midnight orgies,
brutal outrages, launching out already attainted into an attainting
world, but with many a memory of adventure, wild, it may be, and not
over-wise, yet pure as a breeze from the hills,--banded and sworn

    "To serve as model for the mighty world,
    To break the heathen and uphold the Christ,
    To ride abroad redressing human wrongs,
    To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it,
    To lead sweet lives in purest chastity,
    Not only to keep down the base in man,
    But teach high thought, and amiable words.
    And courtliness, and the desire of fame,
    And love of truth, and all that makes a man."

       *       *       *       *       *



LOVE'S CHALLENGE.


    I picked this trifle from the floor,
       Unknowing from whose tender hand
    It fell,--but now would fain restore
       A thing which hath my heart unmanned.

    I say unmanned, for 't is not now
       A manly mood to dream of Love,
    When each bold champion knits his brow,
       And for War's gauntlet doffs his glove.

    But we're exempt, and have no heart
       Of wreak within us for the fray;
    And therefore teach our souls the art
       With life and life's concerns to play.

    Yet, lady, trust me, 't is not all
       In play that I proclaim intent,
    When next thou lett'st thy gauntlet fall,
       To take it as a challenge meant.

    REPLY.

    SIR CARPET-KNIGHT, who canst not fight,
       Thy gallantries are not for me;
    The man whom I with love requite
       Must sing in a more martial key.

    I have two brothers on the field,
       And one beneath it,--none knows where;
    And I shall keep my spirit steeled
       To any save a soldier's prayer.

    If thou have music in thy soul,
       Yet hast no sinew for the strife,
    Go teach thyself the war-drum's roll,
       And woo me better with a fife!

       *       *       *       *       *



POLITICAL PROBLEMS, AND CONDITIONS OF PEACE.


The relations existing between the Federal Government and the several
States, and the reciprocal rights and powers of each, have never been
settled, except in part. Upon matters of taxation and commerce, and the
diversified questions that arise in times of peace, the decisions of the
Supreme Court have marked the boundary-lines of State and Federal power
with considerable clearness and precision. But all these questions are
superficial and trivial, when compared with those which are coming up
for decision out of the great struggle in which we are now engaged. The
Southern Rebellion, greater than any recorded in history since the world
began, must necessarily call for the exercise of all the powers with
which the Government is clothed. And we need not be surprised, if, in
resorting to the new measures which the great exigency of the new
condition seems to require, it shall be found, after the storm has
ceased and the clouds have rolled away, that in some things the
Government has transcended its legitimate powers, while in others it has
suffered, because fearing to use those which it really possesses. It is
dependent in many things upon the States; and yet it is supreme over
them all. There can be no Senate, as a branch either of the executive or
of the legislative department, without the action of the States; and yet
the Government emanates directly from the people. In defending itself
against an armed rebellion of nearly half the States themselves,
struggling for self-preservation, it may rightfully, as in other wars,
grasp all the means within its reach. War makes its own methods, for all
of which necessity is a sufficient plea. But when the defence shall have
been made, when the attack is repelled, and the Rebellion shall have
been fully suppressed, then will come the questions, What are the best
means of restoration? and, How shall a recurrence of the evil be
prevented?

Though the Federal Government is one of limited powers, _the people_
possess _all governmental powers_; and these are spoken of as powers
_delegated_ and powers _reserved_. So far as these are reserved to _the
people_, they may be exercised either through the _Federal Government_
or the _State_. And the Federal Government, though limited in its
powers, is restricted in _the subjects upon which it can act_, rather
than in the _quantum_ of power it can exercise over those matters within
its jurisdiction. Over those interests which are committed to its care
it has all the powers incident to any other government in the
world,--powers necessary by implication to accomplish the purpose
intended. The construction of the grant in the Constitution is not to be
critical and stringent, as if the people, by its adoption, were
_selling_ power to a _stranger_,--but liberal, considering that they
were enabling _their own agents_ to achieve a noble work for them.

We have been accustomed to extol the wisdom of our fathers, in framing
and establishing such a form of government; but our highest praises have
been too small. We have hitherto had but a partial conception of their
wisdom. We knew not the terrible test to which their work was to be
exposed. After the long discipline of the Revolutionary War, and the
experience of the weakness and impending anarchy of the Confederation,
they understood, far better than we, the dangers to which every
government is liable, from within and from without. And we are just now
beginning to see, that, in the Constitution they adopted, they not only
provided for the interests of peace, but for the dangers and emergencies
of war. Brief sentences, hardly noticed before, now throw open their
doors like a magazine of arms, ready for use in the hour of peril. And
while we shall come out of this struggle, and the political contest
that will follow it, without impairing any of the rights of the States,
the Federal Government _restored_ will stand before the world in a
majesty of strength of which we have before had no conception.

The questions evolved by the war are already attracting public
attention. It is well that they should do so. The peace and prosperity
of the country in future years depend upon their solution. They are so
interwoven that a mistake in regard to one may involve us in other
errors. The power of the Government so to remove the cause of the
present rebellion as to prevent its recurrence, if it have any such
power, is one which it is imperatively bound to exercise,--else all the
treasure and blood expended in quelling it will be wasted. Has it any
such power? Can Slavery be exterminated? And can the Rebel States be
held as conquests, and be restored only upon condition of being forever
free? It is proposed briefly to discuss these questions.



EMANCIPATION.


There are those who believe that the President's Proclamation will cease
to be of any force at the close of the war, and that no slaves will have
any right to their freedom by it except such as may be actually
liberated by the military authorities.

There are others, who hold that the Proclamation has the force of
law,--that by it every slave within the designated territory has now a
legal right to his liberty,--and that, if the military power does not
secure that right to him _during the war_, he may successfully appeal to
the civil power _afterwards_.

If the Proclamation is a law, it must be conceded, that, like all the
laws of war, it will cease to be in force when the war is closed. But
if, like a legislative act, it confers actual rights on the slaves,
whether they are able to secure them in fact or not, then those _rights_
are not lost, though the law cease to exist. On the other hand, if it
confers no actual rights on any who are beyond its reach,--if it is
merely an _offer_ of freedom to all who can come and receive it,--then
those only who do receive it while the offer continues will have any
rights by it when it has ceased to be in force.

The position of Mr. Adams on this subject seems to have been
misunderstood. When his remarks in Congress are carefully examined, it
will be found that he did not claim that the proclamation of a military
commander would operate, like a statute, to confer the right of freedom
upon all the slaves in an invaded country. But he asserted a general
principle of international law,--that the commander of an invading army
is not bound to recognize the municipal laws of the country,--that he
may treat all as freemen, though some are slaves. And he claimed, that,
in case of a servile war in this country, our army would have a right to
suppress the insurrection by giving freedom to the insurgents. In regard
to the effect of such a proclamation upon those not liberated by the
military power, he expressed no opinion.

The precedents usually cited are not any more satisfactory. In Hayti,
and in the South-American republics, emancipation became an established
fact by the action of the civil power. In each case a proclamation by
the military power was the initial step; but the consummation was
attained by the fact that the same power afterwards became dominant in
civil, as well as in military affairs.

Conceding, then, that the Proclamation is but a declaration of the
war-policy, designed and adapted to secure a still higher end,--the
preservation and perpetuity of our free institutions,--it is still
claimed that the Government has the right to pursue this policy until
Slavery is abolished, _and forever prohibited_, within all the Rebel
States.

Though we speak of the Rebellion as an "insurrection," it has assumed
such proportions that we are in a state of actual war. Nor does it make
any difference that it is a _civil_ war. It has just been decided by
the Supreme Court of the United States, _that we have the same rights
against the people and States in rebellion_, by the law of nations, that
we should have against _alien enemies_. The property of non-combatants
is liable to confiscation, as _enemies'_ property; and it makes no
difference that some of them are _personally_ loyal. All the inhabitants
of the Rebel States have the rights of _enemies_ only. The recent cases
of the Brilliant, Hiawatha, and Amy Warwick settle this beyond all
question. There was some difference of opinion among the judges, but
only on the question whether this condition _preceded_ the Act of
Congress of July, 1861,--a majority holding that it did, commencing with
the proclamation of the blockade. So that it cannot be denied that we
may treat the Rebel States as _enemies_, and adopt all measures against
them _which any belligerents engaged in a just war may adopt_.

And no principle of the law of nations is more universally admitted than
this,--that the party in the right, after the war is commenced, may
continue to carry it on until the enemy shall submit to such terms as
will be a sufficient indemnity for all the losses and expenses caused by
it, _and will prevent another war in the future_. And to this end he may
conquer and hold in subjection people and territory, until such terms
are submitted to. And until then, the state of war continues. The right
to impose such terms as will _secure peace in the future_ is one of the
fundamental principles of international law.

"Of the absolute international rights of States," says Mr. Wheaton, "one
of the most essential and important, and that which lies at the
foundation of all the rest, is _the right of self-preservation_. This
right necessarily involves all other incidental rights which are
essential as means to give effect to the principal end."

"The end of a just war," says Vattel, "is to avenge, _or prevent_,
injury."

"If _the safety of the State_ lies at stake, our precaution and
foresight cannot be extended too far. Must we delay to arrest our ruin
until it has become inevitable?"

"Where the end is lawful, he who has the right to pursue that end has,
of course, a right to employ all the means necessary for its
attainment."

"When the conqueror has totally subdued a nation, he undoubtedly may, in
the first place, do himself justice respecting the object which had
given rise to the war, and indemnify himself for the expenses and
damages sustained by it; he may, according to the exigency of the case,
subject the nation to punishment by way of example; and he may, _if
prudence require it, render her incapable of doing mischief with the
same ease in future_."

"Every nation," says Chancellor Kent, "has an undoubted right to provide
for its own safety, and to take due precaution against _distant_, as
well as impending danger."

Our rights _as belligerents_, therefore, are ample for our security in
time to come. The Rebel States will not cease to be enemies by being
defeated and exhausted and disabled from continuing active hostilities.
They have invoked the laws of war, and they must abide the decision of
the tribunal to which they have appealed. We may hold them _as enemies_
until they submit to such reasonable terms of peace as we may demand.
Whether we shall require any indemnity for the vast expenditures and
losses to which we have been subjected is a question of great magnitude;
but it is of little importance compared with that of guarding against a
recurrence of the Rebellion, by removing _the cause_ of it. It would be
worse than madness to restore them to all their former rights under the
government they have done their utmost to destroy, and at the same time
permit them to retain a system that would surely involve us or our
children in another struggle of the same kind.

Slavery and freedom cannot permanently coexist under the same
government. There is an inevitable, perpetual, irrepressible conflict
between them. The present rebellion is but the culmination of this
conflict, long existing,--transferred from social and political life to
the camp and the battle-field. _In the new arena, we have all the rights
of belligerents in an international war._ Slavery has taken the sword;
let it perish by the sword. If we spare it, its wickedness will be
exceeded by our folly. As victors, the world concedes our right to
demand, for our own future peace, as the only terms of restoration, not
only the abolition of Slavery in all the Rebel States, but its
prohibition in all coming time. It cannot be, that, with the terrible
lessons of these passing years, we shall be so utterly destitute of
wisdom and prudence as to leave our children exposed to the dangers of
another rebellion, after entailing upon them the vast burdens of this,
by our national debt.

It has been said, that, if Slavery should be abolished, the States could
afterwards reestablish it. This is claimed, on the ground that every
State may determine for itself the character of its own domestic
institutions. The right to do so has been conceded to some of the new
States.

But it should be remembered that this right has been, to establish
Slavery _by bringing in slaves from the old States_,--not by taking
_citizens of the United States_, and reducing _them_ to slavery. If one
such citizen can be enslaved, then can any other; and the very
foundations of the Federal Government can be overturned by a State. For
a government that cannot protect _its own citizens_ from loss of
citizenship by being chattellized is no government at all.

Citizenship is a reciprocal relation. The citizen owes allegiance; the
government owes protection. When a person is naturalized, he takes the
oath of allegiance. Does he got nothing in return? Can a State annul all
the rights which the Federal Government has conferred? Then, indeed,
would it be better for those who come to our shores to remain citizens
of the old nations; for _they_ could protect them, but _we_ cannot.
Then, to be a citizen of the United States--a privilege we had thought
greater than that of Roman citizenship when that empire was in its
glory--is a privilege which any State may annul at its pleasure!

The power and position of a nation depend upon the number, wealth,
intelligence, and power of its citizens. And the nation, in order to
employ and develop its resources, must have free scope for the use of
its powers. No State has a right to block the path of the United States,
or in any way to "retard, impede, or burden it, in the execution of its
powers." For this reason, if a citizen is wealthy enough to lend money
to the Federal Government, a State cannot _tax his scrip_ to the amount
of one cent. But, if the doctrine contended for by some is sound, then
it may take _the citizen himself_, confiscate the whole of his property,
blot out his citizenship, and make a chattel of him, and the Federal
Government can afford him no protection! Among all the doctrines that
Slavery has originated in this country, there is none more monstrous
than this.

But this is not a question of any practical importance at this time.
There is no danger that Slavery will ever be tolerated where it has been
once abolished. It may go into new fields; it seldom returns to those
from which it has been driven. The institutions of learning and religion
that follow in the path of freedom, if they find a congenial soil, are
not likely to be supplanted by the dark and noxious exotics of ignorance
and barbarism.

And besides, as we have already seen, it is our right, as one of the
conditions of restoration, to provide for the _perpetual prohibition_ of
Slavery within the Rebel States. This, like the Ordinance of 1787, will
stand as an insurmountable barrier in all time to come. And the security
it will afford will be even more certain. For, while there may be a
difference of opinion in regard to the effect of a law of Congress
relating to existing Territories, there is no doubt that conditions
imposed at the time upon the admission of new States, or the restoration
of the Rebel States, will be of perpetual obligation.



RIGHTS OF REBEL STATES.


On this subject there are two theories, each of which has advocates
among our most eminent statesmen.

By some it is claimed that the Rebels have lost all rights as citizens
of States, and are in the condition of the inhabitants of unorganized
territories belonging to the United States,--and that, having forfeited
their rights, they can never be restored to their former position,
except by the consent of the Federal Government. This consent may be
given by admitting them as new States, or restoring them as old,--the
Government having the right in either case to annex terms and
conditions.

There are others who contend that the Rebel States, though in rebellion,
have lost none of their rights as States,--that the moment they submit
they may choose members of Congress and Presidential electors, and
demand, and we must concede, the same position they formerly held. This
theory has been partially recognized by the present Administration, but
not to an extent that precludes the other from being adopted, if it is
right.

If the people of the States which have seceded, as soon as they submit,
have an absolute right to resume their former position in the
Government, with their present constitutions upholding Slavery, it
certainly will be a great, if not an insurmountable, obstacle to the
adoption of those measures which may be necessary to secure our peace in
the future. That they have no such right, it is believed may be made
perfectly clear.

If we triumph, we shall have all the rights which, by the laws of
nations, belong to conquerors in a just war. In a civil war, the rights
of conquest may not be of the same nature as in a war between different
nations; but that there are such rights in all wars has already been
stated on the highest authority. If a province, having definite
constitutional rights, revolts, and attempts to overthrow the power of
the central government, it would be a strange doctrine, to claim, that,
after being subdued, it had risked and lost nothing by the undertaking.
No authority can be found to sustain such a proposition. A rebellion
puts everything at risk. Any other doctrine would hold out encouragement
to all wicked and rebellious spirits. If they revolt, they know that
everything is staked upon the chances of success. Everything is lost by
defeat. By the laws of war, long established among the nations,--laws
which the Rebel States have themselves invoked,--if they fail, they will
have no right to be restored, except upon such terms as our Government
may prescribe. The right to make war, conferred by the Constitution,
carries with it all the rights and powers incident to a war, necessary
for its successful prosecution, and essential to prevent its recurrence.

But without resorting to the extraordinary powers incident to a state of
war, the same conclusion, in regard to the effect of a rebellion by a
State Government, results from the relations which the States sustain to
the Federal Government. Though they cannot escape its jurisdiction,
their position, _as States_, is one which may be forfeited and lost.

It has been objected that this doctrine is equivalent to a recognition
of the right of Secession, because it concedes the power of any one
State to withdraw from the Union. But the fallacy of this objection is
easily demonstrated.

The Federal Government does not emanate from the States, but directly
from the people. The relation between them is that _of protection_ on
the one hand and _allegiance_ on the other. This relation cannot be
dissolved by either party, unless by voluntary or compulsory
expatriation. It subsists alike in States and Territories, not being
dependent upon any local government. The Rebels claim the right to
dissolve this relation, and to become free from and independent of the
Federal Government, though retaining the same territory as before. We
deny any such right, and hold, that, though they may forfeit their
rights _as a State_, they are still bound by, and under the jurisdiction
of, the Federal Government. This jurisdiction, though absolute in all
places, is not the same in all.

In the District of Columbia, and in all unorganized territories, the
jurisdiction of the Federal Government is exclusive in its _extent_, as
well as in its _nature_. It must protect the inhabitants in _all_ their
rights,--for there is no other power to protect them. They owe
allegiance to it, and to no other.

The inhabitants of the _organized_ territories, though under the general
jurisdiction of the Federal Government, are, to some extent, under the
jurisdiction of the Territorial Governments. Each is bound to protect
them in certain things; they are bound to support and obey each in
certain things.

The people of a State are also under the absolute jurisdiction of the
Federal Government in all matters embraced in the Constitution. They owe
it unqualified allegiance and support in those things. But they are
also, in some matters, under the jurisdiction of the State Government,
and owe allegiance to that. There are many matters over which both have
jurisdiction, and in which the citizens have a right to look to each, or
both, for protection. The courts of each issue writs of _habeas corpus_,
and give the citizens their liberty, unless there is legal cause for
their custody or restraint.

Now, if a State Government forfeits all right to the allegiance and
support of its citizens, they are not thereby absolved from their
allegiance to the Federal Government. On the contrary, the jurisdiction
of the Federal Government is thereby enlarged; for it is then the only
Government which the citizens are bound to obey. Take, for illustration,
the State of Arkansas. By seceding, the State Government forfeited all
claim to the obedience of the citizens. The inhabitants no longer owe it
any allegiance. If loyal, they will not obey it, except as compelled by
force. But they still owe allegiance to the United States Government.
And there being no other Government which they are bound to obey, they
are in the same condition as before the State was admitted into the
Union, or any Territorial Government was organized.

The same is true of South Carolina. For, though it was an independent
State before the Constitution was adopted, its citizens voluntarily
yielded up that position, and became subject to the Federal Government,
claiming the privileges and assuming the liabilities of a higher
citizenship. And if, by reason of its rebellion, their State Government
has forfeited its claim upon them, and its right to rule over them, they
owe no allegiance to any except the Government of the United States.

But it is argued by some, that a State, once admitted into the Union,
cannot forfeit its rights as a State under the Constitution, because it
cannot, as such, be guilty of treason; that the inhabitants may all be
traitors, and the State Government secede, and engage in a war against
the Republic, and yet retain all its rights intact.

A State, in the meaning of public law, has been defined to be a body of
persons _united together_ in one community, for the defence of their
rights. They do not constitute a State until _organized_. If the
organization ceases to exist, they are no longer a State. If the State
organization becomes despotic, and the inhabitants overthrow it by a
revolution, it then ceases to exist. The people are remitted to their
original rights, and must organize a new State.

A State, as such, may be guilty of treason. Crimes may be committed by
organized bodies of men. Corporations are often convicted, and punished
by fines, or by a forfeiture of all corporate rights. And though we have
no provision for putting a State on trial, it may, as a State, be
guilty. Treason is defined by the Constitution to be "levying war
against the United States." This is just what South Carolina, as a
State, is doing. Not only the people, but _the State Government_, has
revolted. The people owe it no allegiance. It is their duty, not to
support, but to _oppose_ it. The Federal Government owes it no
recognition. It has the right to destroy and exterminate it. A State
Government in rebellion has no rights under the Constitution. _It is
itself a rebellion_, and must necessarily cease to exist when the
rebellion is suppressed.

And when the State Government which has revolted shall be conquered and
overthrown, there will then be no South Carolina in existence. If there
were loyal people enough there, bond or free, to rise up and overthrow
it, they would be no more bound to revive the old Constitution, with its
tyrannical provisions, than were our fathers to return to the British
Government. Such a revolution is inaugurated in that State, by loyal
men, to overthrow the despotic power of the State Government. If the
State Government had remained loyal, it might have called on the Federal
Government. But by seceding it has justified the Federal Government in
aiding or organizing a revolution against it, for its utter overthrow
and extinction.

It is true, indeed, the idea prevails that there is still, somehow, a
State of South Carolina, besides that which is in rebellion. But the
State must exist _in fact_, or it has no existence. There is no such
thing as a merely theoretical State, separate and different from the
actual. The revolted States are the same States that were once loyal.
And when some loyal citizens in each of them, with the aid of the
Federal Government, have overthrown and destroyed them, the ground will
be cleared for the formation of new States, or the _reorganization_ of
the old; and they may be admitted or restored, upon such conditions as
may be deemed wise and prudent, to promote and secure the future peace
and welfare of the whole country.

There is no evidence that loyal persons in the Rebel States claim or
desire to uphold the existence of those States, under their present
constitutions, with the system of Slavery. But if there are any such
persons, their wishes are not to override the interests of the Republic.
It is their misfortune to reside in States that have revolted; and all
their losses, pecuniary and political, are chargeable to those States,
and not to the Federal Government. If they are so blind as to suppose
that their losses will be increased by emancipation, _that_, also, will
be chargeable to the rebellion of those States. _Their_ loyalty does not
save those States from being treated as enemies; it does not prevent
_their own_ condition from being determined by that of their States. As
it is well known, a portion of their property has been confiscated by an
Act of Congress, on the ground that they are, in part, responsible for
the rebellion of those States. The theory, therefore, that such loyal
men constitute loyal States, still existing, in distinction from the
States that have rebelled, is utterly groundless. On this point we
cannot do better than quote from the opinion of the Supreme Court of the
United States in a case already referred to, sustaining the belligerent
legislation of Congress.

"In organizing this rebellion, _they have acted as States_, claiming to
be sovereign over all persons and property within their respective
limits, and claiming the right to absolve their citizens from their
allegiance to the Federal Government. Several of these States have
combined to form a new Confederacy, claiming to be acknowledged by the
world as a sovereign State. Their right to do so is now being decided by
wager of battle. The ports and territory of each of these States are
held in hostility to the General Government. It is no loose, unorganized
insurrection, having no defined boundary or possession. It has a
boundary, marked by lines of bayonets, and which can be crossed only by
force. South of this line is enemy's territory, because it is claimed
and held in possession by an organized, hostile, and belligerent power.
All persons residing within this territory, whose property may be used
to increase the revenues of the hostile power, are in this contest
liable to be treated as enemies."

It is not to be presumed that Congress will do anything unnecessarily to
add to the misfortunes of loyal men in the South. On the contrary, all
that is being done is more directly for their benefit than for that of
any other class of men. The vast expenditure of treasure and blood in
this war is for the purpose of protecting them first of all, and
restoring to them the blessings of a good government. And if it shall be
found practicable to indemnify them for all losses, whether by
emancipation or otherwise, no one will object.

       *       *       *       *       *

The object of this article is to prove that the Government possesses
ample power, according to the law of nations, to suppress the Rebellion,
and secure the country against the danger of another, by Emancipation,
through the military power; that, though Emancipation is a _policy_, and
not a _law_, the war may be prosecuted until this end is accomplished,
and Slavery in future forever prohibited; that, by secession and
rebellion, the revolted States have forfeited all right to the
allegiance of their citizens, who are thereby remitted to the condition
and rights of citizens solely of the United States; and that the Federal
Government, as well _under the Constitution_ as _by right of conquest_,
may impose such terms upon the reorganization and restoration of those
States as may be necessary to secure present safety, and avert danger in
time to come. These views are presented in as brief and simple terms as
possible, with the hope that they may be adopted by the people and by
the Government. It is confidently believed, that, if the President and
Congress will act in accordance with them, their acts will be fully
sustained by the Supreme Court,--and that, the element and source of
discord being at last entirely removed from the country, a career of
peace and prosperity will then begin which shall be the admiration of
the world.

At this time we present a humiliating spectacle to other nations: nearly
half of our national temple in ruins,--the work of blind folly and mad
ambition. The people of the North claimed no right to tear it down, or
even to repair it. But since the people of the South have risen in
rebellion, let us believe that there is now an opportunity, nay, an
imperative _necessity_, to remove from its foundations the rock of
Oppression, that was sure to crumble in the refining fires of a
Christian civilization, and establish in its place the stone of
LIBERTY,--unchanging and eternal as its Author. Let us rejoice in the
hope, already brightening into fruition, that out of these ruins our
temple shall rise again, in a fresher beauty, a firmer strength, a
brighter glory,--and above it again shall float the old flag, every star
restored, henceforth to all, of every color and every race, the flag of
the free.

       *       *       *       *       *



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.



_Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-39._ By FRANCES
ANNE KEMBLE. New York: Harper & Brothers.


Those who remember the "Journal of a Residence in America," of Frances
Anne Kemble, or, as she was universally and kindly called, Fanny
Kemble,--a book long since out of print, and entirely out of the
knowledge of our younger readers,--will not cease to wonder, as they
close these thoughtful, tranquil, and tragical pages. The earlier
journal was the dashing, fragmentary diary of a brilliant girl, half
impatient of her own success in an art for which she was peculiarly
gifted, yet the details of which were sincerely repugnant to her. It
crackled and sparkled with _naïve_ arrogance. It criticized a new world
and fresh forms of civilization with the amusing petulance of a spoiled
daughter of John Bull. It was flimsy, flippant, laughable, rollicking,
vivid. It described scenes and persons, often with airy grace, often
with profound and pensive feeling. It was the slightest of diaries,
written in public for the public; but it was universally read, as its
author had been universally sought and admired in the sphere of her art;
and no one who knew anything of her truly, but knew what an incisive
eye, what a large heart, what a candid and vigorous mind, what real
humanity, generosity, and sympathy, characterized Miss Kemble.

The dazzling phantasmagoria which life had been to the young actress was
suddenly exchanged for the most practical acquaintance with its
realities. She was married, left the stage, and as a wife and mother
resided for a winter on the plantations of her husband upon the coast of
Georgia. And now, after twenty-five years, the journal of her residence
there is published. It has been wisely kept. For never could such a book
speak with such power as at this moment. The tumult of the war will be
forgotten, as you read, in the profound and appalled attention enforced
by this remarkable revelation of the interior life of Slavery. The
spirit, the character, and the purpose of the Rebellion are here laid
bare. Its inevitability is equally apparent. The book is a permanent and
most valuable chapter in our history; for it is the first ample, lucid,
faithful, detailed account, from the actual head-quarters of a
slave-plantation in this country, of the workings of the system,--its
persistent, hopeless, helpless crushing of humanity in the slave, and
the more fearful moral and mental dry-rot it generates in the master.

We have had plenty of literature upon the subject. First of all, in
spirit and comprehension, the masterly, careful, copious, and patient
works of Mr. Olmsted. But he, like Arthur Young in France, was only an
observer. He could be no more. "Uncle Tom," as its "Key" shows, and as
Mrs. Kemble declares, was no less a faithful than the most famous
witness against the system. But it was a novel. Then there was "American
Slavery as it is," a work of authenticated facts, issued by the American
Anti-Slavery Society in 1839, and the fearful mass of testimony
incessantly published by the distinctively Abolition papers,
periodicals, books, and orators, during the last quarter of a century.
But the world was deaf. "They have made it a business. They select all
the horrors. They accumulate exceptions." Such were the objections that
limited the power of this tremendous battery. Meanwhile, also, it was
answered. Foreign tourists were taken to "model plantations." They shed
tears over the patriarchal benignity of this venerable and beautiful
provision of Divine Providence for the spiritual training of our African
fellow-creatures. The affection of "Mammy" for "Massa and Missis" was
something unknown where hired labor prevailed. Graver voices took up the
burden of the song. There was no pauperism in a slave-country. There
were no prostitutes. It had its disadvantages, certainly; but what form
of society, what system of labor has not? Besides, here it was. It was
the interest of slaveholders to be kind. And what a blessing to bring
the poor heathen from benighted Africa and pagan servitude to the
ennobling influences of Slavery, as practised among Southwestern
Christians in America, and "professors" in South Carolina and Georgia!
See the Reverend Mr. Adams and Miss Murray _passim_. This was the
answer made to the statements of the actual facts of the system, when it
was found that the question had gone before public opinion, and would be
decided upon its merits by that tribunal, all the panders, bullies,
assassins, apologists, and chaplains of Slavery to the contrary
notwithstanding. In fact, when that was once clearly perceived, the
issue was no less visible; only whether it were to be reached by war or
peace was not so plain.

Yet in all this tremendous debate which resounds through the last thirty
years of our history, rising and swelling until every other sound was
lost in its imperious roar, one decisive voice was silent. It was
precisely that which is heard in this book. General statements,
harrowing details from those who had been slaveholders, and who had
renounced Slavery, were sometimes made public. Indeed, the most cruel
and necessary incidents, the hunting with blood-hounds, the branding,
the maiming, the roasting, the whipping of pregnant women, could not be
kept from knowledge. They blazed into print. But the public, hundreds of
miles away, while it sighed and shuddered a little, resolved that such
atrocities were exceptional. 'Twas a shocking pity, to be sure! Poor
things! Women, too! Tut, tut!

Now, at last, we have no general statement, no single, sickening
incident, but the diary of the mistress of plantations of seven hundred
slaves, living under the most favorable circumstances, upon the islands
at the mouth of the Altamaha River, in Georgia. It is a journal, kept
from day to day, of the actual ordinary life of the plantation, where
the slaves belonged to educated, intelligent, and what are called the
most respectable people,--not persons imbruted by exile among slaves
upon solitary islands, but who had lived in large Northern cities and
the most accomplished society, subject to all the influences of the
highest civilization. It is the journal of a hearty, generous,
clear-sighted woman, who went to the plantation, loving the master, and
believing, that, though Slavery might be sad, it might also be
mitigated, and the slave might be content. It is the record of ghastly
undeceiving,--of the details of a system so wantonly, brutally, damnably
unjust, inhuman, and degrading, that it blights the country, paralyzes
civilization, and vitiates human nature itself. The brilliant girl of
the earlier journal is the sobered and solemnized matron of this. The
very magnitude of the misery that surrounds her, the traces of which
everywhere sadden her eye and wring her heart, compel her to the
simplest narration. There is no writing for effect. There is not a
single "sensational" passage. The story is monotonous; for the wrong it
describes is perpetual and unrelieved. "There is not a single natural
right," she says, after some weeks' residence, "that is not taken away
from these unfortunate people; and the worst of all is, that their
condition does not appear to me, upon further observation of it, to be
susceptible of even partial alleviation, as long as the fundamental
evil, the Slavery itself, remains."

As the mistress of the plantation, she was brought into constant
intercourse with the slave-women; and no other account of this class is
so thorough and plainly stated. So pitiful a tale was seldom told. It
was a "model plantation"; but every day was darkened to the mistress by
the appeals of these women and her observation of their condition. The
heart of the reader sickens as hers despaired. To produce "little
niggers" for Massa and Missis was the enforced ambition of these poor
women. After the third week of confinement they were sent into the
fields to work. If they lingered or complained, they were whipped. For
beseeching the mistress to pray for some relief in their sad straits,
they were also whipped. If their tasks were unperformed, or the driver
lost his temper, they were whipped again. If they would not yield to the
embrace of the overseer, they were whipped once more. How are they
whipped? They are tied by the wrists to a beam or the branch of a tree,
their feet barely touching the ground, so that they are utterly
powerless to resist; their clothes are turned over their heads, and
their backs scarred with a leathern thong, either by the driver himself,
or by father, brother, husband, or lover, if the driver choose to order
it. What a blessing for these poor heathen that they are brought to a
Christian land! When a band of pregnant women came to their master to
implore relief from overwork, he seemed "positively degraded" to his
wife, as he stood urging them to do their allotted tasks. She began to
fear lest she should cease to respect the man she loved; "for the
details of slaveholding are so unmanly, letting alone every other
consideration, that I know not how any one with the spirit of a man can
condescend to them." The master gives a slave as a present to an
overseer whose administration of the estate was agreeable to him. The
slave is intelligent and capable, the husband of a wife and the father
of children, and they are all fondly attached to each other. He
passionately declares that he will kill himself rather than follow his
new master and leave wife and children behind. Roused by the storm of
grief, the wife opens the door of her room, and beholds her husband,
with his arms folded, advising his slave "not to make a fuss about what
there is no help for." The same master insists that there is no hardship
or injustice in whipping a woman who asks his wife to intercede for her,
but confesses that it is "disagreeable." At last he tells her that she
must no longer fatigue him with the "stuff" and "trash" which "the
niggers," who are "all d----d liars," make her believe, and
henceforward closes his ears to all complaint.

Yet this was a model plantation, and this was probably not a hard
master, as masters go. "These are the conditions which can only be known
to one who lives among them. Flagrant acts of cruelty may be rare, but
this ineffable state of utter degradation, this really _beastly_
existence, is the normal condition of these men and women; and of that
no one seems to take heed, nor had I ever heard it described so as to
form any adequate conception of it, till I found myself plunged into
it.... Industry, man's crown of honor elsewhere, is here his badge of
utter degradation; and so comes all by which I am here
surrounded,--pride, profligacy, idleness, cruelty, cowardice, ignorance,
squalor, dirt, and ineffable abasement."

And yet this is the system which we have been in the habit of calling
patriarchal, because the model masters said it was so, and trade was too
prosperous to allow any difference with them! And these are the model
masters, supported in luxury by all this unpaid labor and untold woe,
these women-whippers and breeders of babies for sale, who have figured
in our talk and imaginations as "the chivalry" and "gentlemen"! These
are they to whom American society has koo-too'd, and in whose presence
it has been ill-bred and uncourteous to say that every man has rights,
that every laborer is worthy of his hire, that injustice is unjust, and
uncleanness foul. No wonder that Russell, coming to New York, and
finding the rich men and the political confederates of the conspirators
declaring that the Government of the United States could not help
itself, and that they would allow no interference with their Southern
friends, sincerely believed what he wished to, and wrote to John Bull,
whose round face was red with eager desire to hear it, that the
Revolution was virtually accomplished. No wonder that the haughty
slaveholders, smeared with sycophantic slime, at Newport, at Saratoga,
in the "polite" and "conservative" Northern circles, believed what Mr.
Hunter of Virginia told a Massachusetts delegate to the Peace
Congress,--that there would be no serious trouble, and that the
Montgomery Constitution would be readily adopted by the "conservative"
sentiment of the North.

Mrs. Kemble's book shows what the miserable magic is that enchants these
Southern American citizens into people whose philosophy of society would
disgrace the Dark Ages, and whose social system is that of Dahomey.

The life that she describes upon the model plantation is the necessary
life of Slavery everywhere,--injustice, ignorance, superstition, terror,
degradation, brutality; and this is the system to which a great
political party--counting upon the enervation of prosperity, the
timidity of trade, the distance of the suffering, the legal quibbles,
the moral sophisms, the hatred of ignorance, the jealousy of race, and
the possession of power--has conspired to keep the nation blind and
deaf, trusting that its mind was utterly obscured and its conscience
wholly destroyed.

But the nation is young, and of course the effort has ended in civil
war. Slavery, industrially and politically, inevitably resists Christian
civilization. The natural progress and development of men into a
constantly higher manhood must cease, or this system, which strives to
convert men into things, must give way. Its haughty instinct knows it,
and therefore Slavery rebels. This Rebellion is simply the insurrection
of Barbarism against Civilization. It would overthrow the Government,
not for any wrong the Government has done, for that is not alleged. It
knows that the people are the Government,--that the spirit of the people
is progressive and intelligent,--and that there is no hope for permanent
and expansive injustice, so long as the people freely discuss and
decide. It would therefore establish a new Government, of which this
meanest and most beastly despotism shall be the chief corner-stone. In a
letter to C.G., in the appendix of her book, Mrs. Kemble sets this truth
in the clearest light. But whoever would comprehend the real social
scope of the Rebellion should ponder every page of the journal itself.
It will show him that Slavery and rebellion to this Government are
identical, not only in fact, but of necessity. It will teach him that
the fierce battle between Slavery and the Government, once engaged, can
end only in the destruction of one or the other.

This is not a book which a woman like Mrs. Kemble publishes without a
solemn sense of responsibility. A sadder book the human hand never
wrote, nor one more likely to arrest the thoughts of all those in the
world who watch our war and are yet not steeled to persuasion and
conviction. An Englishwoman, she publishes it in England, which hates
us, that a testimony which will not be doubted may be useful to the
country in which she has lived so long, and with which her sweetest and
saddest memories are forever associated. It is a noble service nobly
done. The enthusiasm, the admiration, the affection, which in our day of
seemingly cloudless prosperity greeted the brilliant girl, have been
bountifully repaid by the true and timely words now spoken in our
seeming adversity by the grave and thoughtful woman.

       *       *       *       *       *

_An Historical Research respecting the Opinions of the Founders of the
Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers._ Read
before the Massachusetts Historical Society, August 14, 1862. By GEORGE
LIVERMORE. Third Edition. Boston: A. Williams & Co.


This Historical Research is one of the most valuable works that have
been called out by the existing Rebellion. It is a thorough and candid
exposition of the opinions of the founders of the Republic on negroes as
slaves, as citizens, and as soldiers, and has done more, perhaps, than
any other single essay to form the public opinion of the present time in
respect to the position that the negro should rightfully hold in our
State and our army. It has, therefore, and will retain, a double
interest, as exhibiting and illustrating the opinions prevalent during
the two most important periods of our history. It was first printed,
several months since, for private distribution only. More than a
thousand copies were thus distributed by its public-spirited author. By
this means the attention of persons in positions of influence was more
readily secured than it could have been, had the essay been published in
the ordinary way. The manner in which the research was conducted, the
evidence afforded by every page of the author's conscientious labor,
impartial selection, and exhaustive investigation, won immediate
confidence in his statements, while his obvious candor, fairness of
judgment, and love of truth secured respect for his conclusions. The
interest excited by the work extended to a wider circle than could be
satisfied by any private issue, while its value became more and more
evident, so that, after its publication in the Proceedings of the
Massachusetts Historical Society, the permission of the author was
obtained by the New-England Loyal Publication Society to issue the work
in a form for general circulation.

We are glad to assist, by our hearty commendation, the extension of the
influence of this essay. It forms, as now issued, a handsome pamphlet of
two hundred pages, with a full Table of Contents and a copious Index,
and is for sale at a price which brings it within the means of every one
who may wish to obtain it. It is a book which should be in the
reading-room of every Loyal League throughout the country, and of every
military hospital. Editors of the loyal press should be provided with
it, as containing an arsenal of incontrovertible arguments with which to
meet the false assertions by which the maligners of the negro race and
the supporters of Slavery too often undertake to maintain their bad
cause.

Exhibiting, as Mr. Livermore's book does, the contrast between the
opinions of the founders of the Republic and those professed by the
would-be destroyers of the Republic, and showing, as it does, how far a
large portion even of the people of the North have fallen away from the
just and generous doctrine of the earlier time, it must lead every
thoughtful reader to a deep sense of the need of a regeneration of the
spirit of the nation, and to a confirmed conviction of the
incompatibility of Slavery with national greatness and virtue. The
Rebellion has taught us that the Republic is not safe while Slavery is
permitted to exercise any political power. It ought to teach us also,
that, as long as Slavery exists in any of the States, it will not cease
to exercise political power, and that the only means to make the nation
safe is utterly to abolish and destroy Slavery, wherever it is found
within its limits. Nor is this all; the lesson of the Rebellion is but
half learned, unless we resolve that henceforth there shall be no fatal
division between our consciences, our principles, our theories, and our
treatment of the black race, and unless we acknowledge their inalienable
right to that justice by which alone the most ancient heavens and the
most sacred institutions are fresh and strong.

There is no better textbook for enforcing these lessons than Mr.
Livermore's Research.

       *       *       *       *       *



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