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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 78, April, 1864
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 78, April, 1864" ***

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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of

       *       *       *       *       *


Young people are often charged with caring little for the past. The
charge is just; and the young are right. If they care little for the
past, then it is certain that it is in debt to them,--as for them the
past cared nothing. It is wonderful, considering how children used to be
treated, that the human race ever succeeded in getting established on
earth. Humanity should have died out, there was so little that was
humane in its bringing up. Because they had contrived to bring a
helpless creature into a world that every one wishes he had never known
at least twenty-four times a day, a father and mother of the very old
school indeed assumed that they had the right to make that creature a
slave, and to hold it in everlasting chains. They had much to say about
the duty of children, and very little about the love of parents. The
sacrificing of children to idols, a not uncommon practice in some
renowned countries of antiquity, the highest-born children being the
favorite victims,--for Moloch's appetite was delicate,--could never have
taken place in any country where the voice of Nature was heeded; and yet
those sacrifices were but so many proofs of the existence of a spirit of
pride, which caused men to offer up their offspring on the domestic
altar. Son and slave were almost the same word with the Romans; and your
genuine old Roman made little ado about cutting off the head of one of
his boys, perhaps for doing something of a praiseworthy nature. Old
Junius Brutus was doubly favored by Fortune, for he was enabled to kill
two of his sons in the name of Patriotism, and thereby to gain a
reputation for virtue that endures to this day,--though, after all, he
was but the first of the brutes. The Romans kept up the paternal rule
for many ages, and theoretically it long survived the Republic. It had
existed in the Kingdom, and it was not unknown to the Empire. We have an
anecdote that shows how strong was the supremacy of _paterfamilias_ at
the beginning of the eighth century, when Young Rome had already made
more than one audacious display of contempt for the Conscript Fathers.
When Pompeius was asked what he would do, if Cæsar should resist the
requirements of the Senate, he answered,--"What if my son should raise
his stick against me?"--meaning to imply, that, in his opinion,
resistance from Cæsar was something too absurd to be thought of. Yet
Cæsar _did_ resist, and triumphed; and, judging from their after-lives,
we should say that the Young Pompeys would have had small hesitation in
raising their sticks against their august governor, had he proved too
disobedient. A few years earlier, according to Sallust, a Roman, one
Fulvius, had caused his son to be put to death, because he had sought to
join Catiline. The old gentleman heard what his son was about, and when
Young Hopeful was arrested and brought before him, he availed himself of
his fatherly privilege, and had him strangled, or disposed of after some
other of those charming fashions which were so common in the model
republic of antiquity. "This imitation of the discipline of the ancient
republic," says Merivale, "excited neither applause nor indignation
among the languid voluptuaries of the Senate." They probably voted
Fulvius a brute, but they no more thought of questioning the legality of
his conduct than they did of imitating it. Law was one thing, opinion
another. If he liked to play Lucius Junius, well and good; but they had
no taste for the part. They felt much as we used to feel in
Fugitive-Slave-Law times: we did not question the law, but we would have
nothing to do with its execution.

Modern fathers have had no such powers as were held by those of Rome,
and if an Englishman of Red-Rose views had killed his son for setting
off to join Edward IV. when he had landed at Ravenspur, no one would
think of praising the act. What was all right in a Roman of the year 1
of the Republic would be considered shocking in a Christian of the
fifteenth century, a time when Christianity had become much diluted from
the inter-mixture of blood. In the next century, poor Lady Jane Grey
spoke of the torments which she had endured at the hands of her parents,
who were of the noblest blood of Europe, in terms that ought to make
every young woman thankful that her lot was not cast in the good old
times. Roger Ascham was her confidant. He had gone to Brodegate, to take
leave of her, and "found her in her chamber alone, reading Phædo
Platonis in Greek, and that with as much delight as some gentlemen would
read a merry tale of Boccace"; and as all the rest of the Greys were
hunting in the park, the schoolmaster inquired why she should lose such
pastime. The lady answered, that the pleasure they were having in the
park was but the shadow of that pleasure she found in Plato. The
conversation proceeding, Ascham inquired how it was that she had come to
know such true pleasure, and she answered,--"I will tell you, and tell
you a truth which perchance ye may marvel at. One of the greatest
benefits God ever gave me is that he sent me so sharp and severe parents
and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father
or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink,
be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else, I
must do it as it were in such weight, number, and measure, even so
perfectly as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so
cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nips, and
bobs, and other ways, (which I will not name for the honor I bear them,)
so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time
come that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so
pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the
time nothing while I am with him. And when I am called from him, I fall
on weeping, because whatsoever I do else beside learning is full of
grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath
been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily more pleasure and more,
that in respect of it all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles
and troubles to me." The Duke and Duchess of Suffolk were neither better
nor worse than other parents who tormented and tyrannized over their
children _temp._ Edward VI., and nothing but the prominence of the most
unfortunate of their unfortunate daughters has preserved the memory of
their domestic despotism. Throughout all England it was the same, from
palace to castle, and from castle to hovel; and father and tyrant were
convertible terms. Youth must have been but a dreary time in those old
days. Scott's Sir Henry Lee, according to his son, kept strict rule over
his children, and he was a type of the antique knight, not of the
debauched cavalier, and would be obeyed, with or without reason. The
letters and the literature of the seventeenth century show, that, how
loose soever became other ties, parents maintained their hold on their
children with iron hands. Even the license of the Restoration left
fatherly rule largely triumphant and undisputed. When even "husbands, of
decent station, were not ashamed to beat their wives," sons and
daughters were not spoiled by a sparing of the rod. Harshness was the
rule in every grade of life, and harsh indeed was parental rule, until
the reader wonders that there was not a general rebellion of women,
children, scholars, and apprentices against the savage ascendency of
husbands, fathers, pedagogues, and masters.

But the fashions of this world, whether good or evil, pass away. In the
eighteenth century we find parents becoming more humane, though still
keeping their offspring pretty stiffly bitted. They shared in the
general melioration of the age. The father was "honored sir," and was
not too familiar with his boys. The great outbreak at the close of the
century did much for the emancipation of the young; and by the time that
the present century had advanced to a third of its years, youth had so
far got the best of the conflict, and treated their elders with so
little consideration, that it was thought the latter were rather
presumptuous in remaining on earth after fifty. Youth began to organize
itself. Young Germany, Young France, and Young England became powers in
the world. Young Germany was revolutionary and metaphysical, and
nourished itself on bad beer and worse tobacco. Young France was
full-bearded and decidedly dirty, and so far deferred to the past as to
look for models in '93; and it had a strong reverence for that antique
sentiment which exhibited itself in the assassination of kings. Young
England was gentlemanly and cleanly, its leaders being of the patrician
order; and it looked to the Middle Ages for patterns of conduct. Its
chiefs wore white waistcoats, gave red cloaks and broken meat to old
women, and would have lopped off three hundred years from Old England's
life, by pushing her back to the early days of Henry VIII., when the
religious houses flourished, and when the gallows was a perennial plant,
bearing fruit that was _not_ for the healing of the nations. Some of the
cleverest of the younger members of the aristocracy belonged to the new
organization, and a great genius wrote some delightful novels to show
their purpose, and to illustrate their manner of how-not-to-do-it in
grappling with the grand social questions of the age. In "Coningsby"
they sing canticles and carry about the boar's head; in "Sibyl" they
sing hymns to the Holy Virgin and the song of labor, and steal
title-deeds, after setting houses on fire to distract attention from
their immediate object; and in "Tancred" they go on pilgrimage to the
Holy Sepulchre, by way of reviving their faith. All this is so well
done, that Young England will survive in literature, and be the source
of edification, long after there shall be no more left of the dust of
its chiefs than there is of the dust of Cheops or Cæsar. For all these
youths are already vanished, leaving no more traces than you would find
of the flowers that bloomed in the days of their lives. Young Germany
went out immediately after the failure of the revolutionists of 1848-9.
Young France thought it had triumphed in the fall of the Orléans
monarchy, but had only taken the first long step toward making its own
fall complete; and now some of its early members are of the firmest
supporters of the new phase of imperialism, the only result of the
Revolution of February that has given signs of endurance. Young England
went out as soberly and steadily as it had lived. The select few who
composed it died like gentlemen, and were as polite as Lord Chesterfield
in the article of death. Some of them turned Whigs, and have held office
under Lord Palmerston; and others are Tories, and expect to hold office
under Lord Derby, when he shall form his third ministry. Young America,
the worst of these youths, and the latest born, was never above an
assassin in courage, or in energy equal to more than the plundering of a
hen-roost. The fruits of his exertions are to be seen in some of the
incidents of the Secession War, and they were not worth the gathering.

The world had settled down into the belief, that, after all, a man was
not much to be blamed for growing old, and liberal-minded people were
fast coming to the conclusion, that years, on the whole, were not
dishonorable, when the breaking out of a great war led to the return of
youth to consideration. The English found themselves at war with Russia,
much to their surprise; and, still more to their surprise, their part in
that war was made subordinate to that of the French, who acted with
them, in the world's estimate of the deeds of the members of the new
Grand Alliance. This is not the place to discuss the question whether
that estimate was a just one. We have to do only with the facts that
England was made to stand in the background and that she seemed at first
disposed to accept the general verdict. There was, too, much
mismanagement in the conduct of the war, some of which might easily have
been avoided; and there was not a little suffering, as the consequence
of that mismanagement. John Bull must have his scape-goat, like the rest
of us; and, looking over the field, he discovered that all his leaders
were old men, and forthwith, though the oldest of old fellows himself,
he laid all his mishaps to the account of the years of his upper
servants. Sir Charles Napier, who never got into St. Petersburg, was
old, and had been a dashing sailor forty years before. Admiral Dundas,
who did not destroy Sweaborg, but only burned a lot of corded wood there
in summer time, was another old sailor. Lord Raglan, who never saw the
inside of Sebastopol, was well stricken in years, having served in
Wellington's military family during the Peninsular War. General Simpson,
Sir C. Campbell, General Codrington, Sir G. Brown, Sir G. Cathcart, and
others of the leaders of the English army in the Crimea, were of the
class of gentlemen who might, upon meeting, furnish matter for a
paragraph on "united ages." What more natural than to attribute all that
was unpleasant in the war to the stagnated blood of men who had heard
the music of that musketry before which Napoleon I.'s empire had gone
down? The world went mad on the subject, and it was voted that old
generals were nuisances, and that no man had any business in active war
who was old enough to have much experience. Age might be venerable, but
it was necessarily weak; and the last place in which it should show
itself was the field.

It was not strange that the English should have come to the conclusion
that the fogies were unfit to lead armies. They were in want of an
excuse for their apparent failure in the war, and they took the part
that was suggested to them,--therein behaving no worse than ourselves,
who have accounted for our many reverses in many foolish and
contradictory ways. But it was strange that their view was accepted by
others, whose minds were undisturbed, because unmistified,--and
accepted, too, in face of the self-evident fact that almost every man
who figured in the war was old. Maréchal Pelissier,[A] to whom the chief
honor of the contest has been conceded, was but six years the junior of
Lord Raglan; and if the Englishman's sixty-six years are to count
against age in war, why should not the Frenchman's sixty years count for
it? Prince Gortschakoff, who defended Sebastopol so heroically, was but
four years younger than Lord Raglan; and Prince Paskevitch was more than
six years his senior. Muravieff, Menschikoff, Luders, and other Russian
commanders opposed to the Allies, were all old men, all past sixty years
when the war began. Prince Menschikoff was sixty-four when he went on
his famous mission to Constantinople, and he did not grow younger in the
eighteen months that followed, and at the end of which he fought and
lost the Battle of the Alma. The Russian war was an old man's war, and
the stubbornness with which it was waged had in it much of that ugliness
which belongs to age.

  "The young man's wrath is like light straw on fire.
  But like red-hot steel is the old man's ire."

What rendered the attacks that were made on old generals in 1854-6 the
more absurd was the fact, that the English called upon an old man to
relieve them from bad government, and were backed by other nations. Lord
Palmerston, upon whom all thoughts and all eyes were directed, was older
than any one of those generals to whose years Englishmen attributed
their country's failure. When, with the all but universal approbation of
Great Britain and her friends, he became Prime-Minister, he was in his
seventy-first year, and his action showed that his natural force was not
abated. He was called to play the part of the elder Pitt at a greater
age than Pitt reached; and he did not disappoint expectation. It is
strange indeed, considering that the Premiership was a more difficult
post to fill than that held by any English general, that the English
should rely upon the oldest of their active statesmen to retrieve their
fortunes, while they were condemning as unfit for service men who were
his juniors by several years.

In truth, the position that youth is necessary to success in war is not
sustained by military history. It may he no drawback to a soldier's
excellence that he is young, but it is equally true that an old man may
possess every quality that is necessary in a soldier who would serve his
country well and win immortal fame for himself. The best of the Greek
commanders were men in advanced life, with a few exceptions. The precise
age of Miltiades at Marathon is unproven; but as he had become a noted
character almost thirty years before the date of that most memorable of
battles, he must have been old when he fought and won it. Even
Alcibiades, with whom is associated the idea of youth through his whole
career, as if Time had stood still in his behalf, did not have a great
command until he was approaching to middle age; and it was not until
some years more had expired that he won victories for the Athenians. The
date of the birth of Epaminondas--the best public man of all antiquity,
and the best soldier of Greece--cannot be fixed; but we find him a
middle-aged man when first he appears on that stage on which he
performed so pure and brilliant a part through seventeen eventful years.
Eight years after he first came forward he won the Battle of Leuctra,
which shattered the Spartan supremacy forever, and was the most perfect
specimen of scientific fighting that is to be found in classical
history, and which some of the greatest of modern commanders have been
proud merely to imitate. After that action, but not immediately after
it, he invaded the Peloponnesus, and led his forces to the vicinity of
Sparta, and then effected a revolution that bridled that power
perpetually. Nine years after Leuctra he won the Battle of Mantinea,
dying on the field. He must then have been an old man, but the last of
his campaigns was a miracle of military skill in all respects; and the
effect of his death was the greatest that ever followed the fall of a
general on a victorious field, actually turning victory into defeat. The
Spartan king, Agesilaus II., who was a not unworthy antagonist of the
great Theban, was an old man, and was over seventy when he saved Sparta
solely through his skill as a soldier and his energy as a statesman. As
a rule, the Greeks, the most intellectual of all races, were averse to
the employment of young men in high offices. The Spartan Brasidas, if it
be true that he fell in the flower of his age, as the historian asserts,
may have been a young man at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, in
which he was eminently distinguished; but it was his good fortune to be
singularly favored by circumstances on more than one occasion, and his
whole career was eminently exceptional to the general current of
Hellenic life.

The Romans, though not braver than the Greeks, were more fortunate in
their military career than the stayers of the march of Persia. Like the
Greeks, they had but few young generals of much reputation. Most of
their conquests, and, indeed, the salvation of their country, were the
work of old leaders. The grand crisis of Rome was in the years that
followed the arrival of Hannibal in Italy; and the two men who did most
to baffle the invader were Fabius and Marcellus, who were called,
respectively, Rome's shield and sword. They were both old men, though
Marcellus may have been looked upon as young in comparison with Fabius,
who was upward of seventy, and who, eight years after his memorable
pro-dictatorship, retook Tarentum and baffled Hannibal. The old
_Lingerer_ was, at eighty, too clever, slow as they thought him at Rome,
to be "taken in" by Hannibal, who had prepared a nice trap for him, into
which he would not walk. Marcellus was about fifty-two when he was
pitted against the victor of Cannæ, and he met him on various occasions,
and sometimes with striking success. At the age of fifty-six he took
Syracuse, after one of the most memorable of sieges, in which he had
Archimedes for an opponent. At sixty he was killed in a skirmish,
leaving the most brilliant military name of the republican times, so
highly are valor and energy rated, though in the higher qualities of
generalship he was inferior to men whose names are hardly known.
Undoubtedly, Mommsen is right when he says that Rome was saved by the
Roman system, and not by the labors of this man or that; but it is
something for a country to have men who know how to work under its
system, and in accordance with its requirements; and such men were
Fabius and Marcellus, the latter old enough to be Hannibal's father,
while the former was the contemporary of his grandfather.

The turning point in the Second Punic War was the siege of Capua by the
Romans. That siege Hannibal sought by all means in his power to raise,
well knowing, that, if the Campanian city should fall, he could never
hope to become master of Italy. He marched to Rome in the expectation of
compelling the besiegers to hasten to its defence; but without effect.
Two old Romans commanded the beleaguering army, and while one of them,
Q. Fulvius, hastened home with a small force, the other, Appius
Claudius, carried on the siege. Hannibal had to retreat, and Capua fell,
the effect of the tenacity with which ancient generals held on to their
prey. Had they been less firm, the course of history would have been
changed. At a later period of the war, Rome was saved from great danger,
if not from destruction, by the victory of the Metaurus, won by M.
Livius Salinator and C. Claudius Nero. Nero was an elderly man, having
been conspicuous for some years, and the consular age being forty. His
colleague was a very old man, having been consul before the war began,
and having long lived in retirement, because he had been unjustly
treated. The Romans now forced him to take office, against his wish,
though his actions and his language were of the most insulting
character. A great union of parties had taken place, for Hasdrubal was
marching to Italy, for the purpose of effecting a junction with his
brother Hannibal, and it was felt that nothing short of perfect union
could save the State. The State was saved, the two old consuls acting
together, and defeating and slaying Hasdrubal in the last great battle
of the war that was fought in Italy. The old fogies were too much for
their foe, a much younger man than either of them, and a soldier of high

It must be admitted, however, that the Second Punic War is fairly
quotable by those who insist upon the superiority of youthful generals
over old ones, for the two greatest men who appeared in it were young
leaders,--Hannibal, and Publius Cornelius Scipio, the first Africanus.
No man has ever exceeded Hannibal in genius for war. He was one of the
greatest statesmen that ever lived, and he was so because he was the
greatest of soldiers. He might have won pitched battles as a mere
general, but it was his statesmanship that enabled him to contend for
sixteen years against Rome, in Italy, though Rome was aided by
Carthaginian copperheads. But, though a young general, Hannibal was an
old soldier when he led his army from the Ebro to the Trebia, as the
avenging agent of his country's gods. His military as well as his moral
training began in childhood; and when his father, Hamilcar Barcas,[B]
was killed, Hannibal, though but eighteen, was of established reputation
in the Carthaginian service. Eight years later he took the place which
his father and brother-in-law had held, called to it by the voice of the
army. During those eight years he had been constantly employed, and he
brought to the command an amount and variety of experience such as it
has seldom been the lot of even old generals to acquire. Years brought
no decay to his faculties, and we have the word of his successful foe,
that at Zama, when he was forty-five, he showed as much skill as he had
displayed at Cannæ, when he was but thirty-one. Long afterward, when an
exile in the East, his powers of mind shine as brightly as they did when
he crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps to fulfil his oath. Scipio, too,
though in a far less degree than Hannibal, was an old soldier. He had
been often employed, and was present at Cannæ, before he obtained that
proconsular command in Spain which was the worthy foundation of his
fortunes. The four years that he served in that country, and his
subsequent services in Africa, qualified him to meet Hannibal, whose
junior he was by thirteen years. That he was Hannibal's superior,
because he defeated him at Zama, with the aid of Masinissa, no more
follows than that Wellington was Napoleon's superior, because, with the
aid of Blücher, he defeated him at Waterloo. It would not be more
difficult to account for the loss of the African field than it is to
account for the loss of the Flemish field, by the superior genius. The
elder Africanus is the most exceptional character in all history, and it
is impossible to place him. He seems never to have been young, and we
cannot associate the idea of age with him, even when he is dying at
Liternum at upwards of fifty. He was a man at seventeen, when first he
steps boldly out on the historic page, and there is no apparent change
in him when we find him leading great armies, and creating a new policy
for the redemption of Italy from the evils of war. He was intended to be
a king, but he was born two centuries too early to be of any use to his
country in accordance with his genius, out of the field. Such a man is
not to be judged as a mere soldier, and we were inclined not to range
him on the side of youthful generals; but we will be generous, and, in
consideration of his years, permit him to be claimed by those who insist
that war is the business of youth.

At later periods, Rome's greatest generals were men who were old. The
younger Africanus was fifty-one at Numantia, Marius did not obtain the
consulship until he was fifty; and he was fifty-five when he won his
first great victory over the Northern barbarians, and a year older when
he completed their destruction. Sulla was past fifty when he set out to
meet the armies of Mithridates, which he conquered; and he was fifty-six
when he made himself master of his country, after one of the fiercest
campaigns on record. Pompeius distinguished himself when very young, but
it is thought that the title of "the Great" was conferred upon him by
Sulla in a spirit of irony. The late Sir William Napier, who ought to
have been a good judge, said that he was a very great general, and in a
purely military sense perhaps greater than Cæsar. He was fifty-eight in
the campaign of Pharsalia, and if he then failed, his failure must be
attributed to the circumstances of his position, which was rather that
of a party leader than of a general; and a party leader, it has been
truly said, must sometimes obey, in order that at other times he may
command. Pompeius delivered battle at Pharsalia against his own
judgment. The "Onward to Rome!" cry of the fierce aristocrats was too
strong to be resisted; and "their general yielded with a sigh to the
importunities of his followers, declaring that he could no longer
command, and must submit to obey." Not long before he had beaten Cæsar
at Dyrrachium, with much loss to the vanquished, completely spoiling his
plans; and the great contest might have had a very different result, had
not political and personal considerations been permitted to outweigh
those of a military character. Politicians are pests in a camp. Cæsar
was in his fifty-first year when he crossed the Rubicon and began his
wonderful series of campaigns in the Civil War,--campaigns characterized
by an almost superhuman energy. The most remarkable of his efforts was
that which led to his last appearance in the field, at the Battle of
Munda, where he fought for existence; he was then approaching
fifty-five, and he could not have been more active and energetic, had he
been as young as Alexander at Arbela.

In modern days, the number of old generals who have gained great battles
is large, far larger than the number of young generals of the highest
class. The French claim to be the first of military peoples, and though
no other nation has been so badly beaten in battles, or so completely
crushed in campaigns, there is a general disposition to admit their
claim; and many of their best commanders were old men. Bertrand du
Gueselin performed his best deeds against the English after he was
fifty, and he was upward of sixty years when the commandant of Randon
laid the keys of his fortress on his body, surrendering, not to the
living, but to the dead. Turenne was ever great, but it is admitted that
his three last campaigns, begun when he was sixty-two, were his greatest
performances. Condé's victory at Rocroi was a most brilliant deed, he
being then but twenty-two; but it does not so strikingly illustrate his
genius as do those operations by which, at fifty-four, he baffled
Montecuculi, and prevented him from profiting from the fall of Turenne.
Said Condé to one of his officers, "How much I wish that I could have
conversed only two hours with the ghost of Monsieur de Turenne, so as to
be able to follow the scope of his ideas!" In these days, generals can
have as much ghostly talk as they please, but the privilege would not
seem to be much used, or it is not useful, for they do nothing that is
of consequence sufficient to be attributed to supernatural power.
Luxembourg was sixty-two when he defeated Prince Waldeck at Fleurus; and
at sixty-four and sixty-five he defeated William III. at Steinkirk and
Landen. Vendôme was fifty-one when he defeated Eugène at Cassano; and at
fifty-six he won the eventful Battle of Villaviciosa, to which the
Spanish Bourbons owe their throne. Villars, who fought the terrible
Battle of Malplaquet against Marlborough and Eugène, was then fifty-six
years old; and he had more than once baffled those commanders. At sixty
he defeated Eugène, and by his successes enabled France to conclude
honorably a most disastrous war. The Comte de Saxe was in his
forty-ninth year when he gained the Battle of Fontenoy;[C] and later he
won other successes. Rochambeau was in his fifty-seventh year when he
acted with Washington at Yorktown, in a campaign that established our
existence as a nation.

The Spanish army of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, down to the
date of the Battle of Rocroi, stood very high. Several of its best
generals were old men. Gonsalvo de Córdova, "the Great Captain," who may
be considered the father of the famous Spanish infantry, was fifty when
he completed his Italian conquests; and nine years later he was again
called to the head of the Spaniards in Italy, but the King of Aragon's
jealousy prevented him from going to that country. Alva was about sixty
when he went to the Netherlands, on his awful mission; and it must be
allowed that he was as great in the field as he was detestably cruel. At
seventy-four he conquered Portugal. Readers of Mr. Prescott's work on
Peru will remember his lively account of Francisco de Carbajal, who at
fourscore was more active than are most men at thirty. Francisco Pizarro
was an old man, about sixty, when he effected the conquest of Peru; and
his principal associate, Almagro, was his senior. Spinola, who died at
sixty-one, in the full possession of his reputation, was, perhaps, the
greatest military genius of his time, next to Gustavus Adolphus and

The Austrian military service has become a sort of butt with those who
shoot their arrows at what is called slowness, and who delight to
transfix old generals. Since Bonaparte, in less than a year, tumbled
over Beaulieu, Wurmser, and Alvinczy, (whose united ages exceeded two
hundred years,) it has been taken for granted that the Austrians never
have generals under threescore-and-ten years, and that they are always
beaten. There have been many old generals in the Austrian service, it is
true, and most of them have been very good leaders. Montecuculi was
fifty-six when he defeated the Turks at St. Gothard, which is counted
one of the "decisive battles" of the seventeenth century. Daun was
fifty-three when he won the victory of Kolin, June 18, 1757, inflicting
defeat on the Prussian Frederick, next to Marlborough the greatest
commander of modern times who had then appeared. Melas was seventy when
he met Bonaparte at Marengo, and beat him, the victory being with the
Austrian while he remained on the field; but infirmities having
compelled him to leave before he could glean it, the arrival of Desaix
and the dash of the younger Kellermann turned the tide of battle in
favor of the French. General Zach, Melas's chief of the staff, was in
command in the latter part of the battle, and it is supposed, that, if
he had not been captured, the Austrians would have kept what they had
won. He was fifty-six years old, but was not destined to be the "Old
Zach" of his country, as _the_ "Old Zach" was always victorious. Marshal
Radelzky was eighty-two when, in 1848, he found himself compelled to
uphold the Austrian cause in Italy, without the hope of aid from home;
and not only did he uphold it, but a year later he restored it
completely, and was the virtual ruler of the Peninsula until he had
reached the age of ninety. Of all the military men who took part in the
wars of 1848-9, he, it is admitted, displayed the most talent and
energy. So well was his work done, that it required the united forces of
France and Sardinia to undo it, shortly after his death; and he died in
the conviction that it could not be undone. Haynau, who certainly
displayed eminent ability in 1848-9, was in his sixty-second year when
the war began, and stands next to Radetzky as the preserver of the
Austrian monarchy; and we should not allow detestation of his cruelties
to detract from his military merits. The Devil is entitled to justice,
and by consequence so are his imps. Austria has often seen her armies
beaten when led by old men, but other old men have won victories for
her. Even those of her generals who were so rapidly beaten by young
Bonaparte had been good soldiers elsewhere; and when the Archduke
Charles, who was two years the junior of Bonaparte, was sent to meet the
Frenchman, he had no better luck than had been found by Beaulieu and
Wurmser, though his reverses were not on the same extraordinary scale
that had marked the fall of his predecessors. Twelve years later, in
1809, Napoleon again met the Archduke Charles, and defeated him
repeatedly; and though the Archduke was victorious at Essling, he, the
younger commander, had not sufficient boldness so to improve his success
as should have given to Austria the credit of the deliverance of
Germany, which was to come from Russia. Those who dwell so
pertinaciously on the failures of old Austrian generals should in
justice to age remember that it was a young Austrian general, and a good
soldier too, who showed a most extraordinary want of energy in 1809,
immediately after the French under Napoleon had met with the greatest
reverse which their arms had then experienced since Bonaparte had been
spoiled into a despot. Prince Schwartzenberg, who had nominal command of
the Allied Armies in 1813-14, was of the same age as the Archduke
Charles, but it would be absurd to call him a great soldier. He was a
brave man, and he had seen considerable service; but as a general he did
not rank even as second-rate. His appointment to command in 1813 was a
political proceeding, meant to conciliate Austria; but though it was a
useful appointment in some respects, it was injurious to the Allies in
the field; and had the Prince's plan at Leipsic been adhered to,
Napoleon would have won decided successes there. The Czar wished for the
command, and his zeal might have enabled him to do something; but the
entire absence of military talent from the list of his accomplishments
would have greatly endangered the Allies' cause. Schwartzenberg's merit
consisted in this, that he had sufficient influence and tact to "keep
things straight" in the councils of a jarring confederacy, until others
had gained such victories as placed the final defeat of Napoleon beyond
all doubt. His first battle was Dresden, and there Napoleon gave him a
drubbing of the severest character; and the loss of that battle would
have carried with it the loss of the cause for which it was fought by
the Allies, had it not been that at the very same time were fought and
won a series of battles, at the Katzbach and elsewhere, which were due
to the boldness of Blücher, who was old enough to be Schwartzenberg's
father, with more than a dozen years to spare. Blücher was also the real
hero at Leipsie, where he gained brilliant successes; while on that part
of the field where Schwartzenberg commanded, the Allies did but little
beyond holding their original ground. Had Blücher failed, Leipsie would
have been a French victory.

England's best generals mostly have been old men, or men well advance in
life, the chief exceptions being found among her kings and princes.[D]
The Englishmen who have exhibited the greatest genius for war, in what
may be called their country's modern history, are Oliver Cromwell,
Marlborough, and Wellington. Cromwell was in his forty-fourth year when
he received the baptism of fire at Edgehill, as a captain; and he was in
his fifty-third year when he fought, as lord-general, his last battle,
at Worcester, which closed a campaign, as well as an active military
career, that had been conducted with great energy. It was as a military
man that he subsequently ruled the British islands, and to the day of
his death there was no abatement in ability. Marlborough had a good
military education, served under Turenne when he was but twenty-two, and
attracted his commander's admiration; but he never had an independent
command until he was forty, when he led an expedition to Ireland, and
captured Cork and Kinsale. He was fifty-two when he assumed command of
the armies of the Grand Alliance against Louis XIV., and in his
fifty-fifth year when he won the Battle of Blenheim. At fifty-six he
gained the victory of Ramillies, and at fifty-eight that of Oudenarde.
His last great battle, Malplaquet, was fought when he was in his
sixtieth year; and after that the French never durst meet him in the
field. He never knew what defeat meant, from experience, and was the
most successful even of those commanders who have never failed. He left
his command at sixty-two, with no one to dispute his title of the first
of living soldiers; and with him victory left the Alliance. Subsequently
he was employed by George I., and to his measures the defeat of the
rebels of 1715 was due, he having predicted that they would be
overthrown precisely where they were overthrown. The story that he
survived his mental powers is without foundation, and he continued to
perform his official duties to the last, the King having refused to
accept his proffered resignation. Wellington had a thorough military
training, received his first commission at eighteen, and was a
lieutenant-colonel in his twenty-fifth year. After showing that he was a
good soldier in 1794-5, against the French, he went to India, where he
distinguished himself in subordinate campaigns, and was made a
major-general in 1802. Assaye, the first battle in which he commanded,
was won when he was in his thirty-fifth year. He had just entered on his
fortieth year when he took command of that force with which he first
defeated the French in Portugal. He was in his forty-seventh year when
he fought at Waterloo. If he cannot be classed with old generals,
neither can he be placed in the list of youthful soldiers; and so little
confidence had he in his military talents, that at twenty-six he
petitioned to be transferred to the civil service. His powers were
developed by events and time. Some of his Peninsular lieutenants were
older than himself. Craufurd was five years his senior, and was a
capital soldier. Picton, who had some of the highest military qualities,
was almost eleven years older than his chief, and was little short of
fifty-seven when he fell at Waterloo. Lord Hopetoun was six years older
than Wellington. Lord Lynedoch (General Sir Thomas Graham) was in his
sixty-first year when he defeated Maréchal Victor at Barrosa, and in his
sixty-third when he led the left wing of the Allies at Vittoria, which
was the turning battle of the long contest between England and France. A
few months later he took St. Sebastian, after one of the most terrible
sieges known to modern warfare. He continued to serve under Wellington
until France was invaded. Returning to England, he was sent to Holland,
with an independent command; and though his forces were few, so little
had his fire been dulled by time, that he carried the great fortress of
Bergen-op-Zoom by storm, but only to lose it again, with more than two
thousand men, because of the sense and gallantry of the French General
Bezanet, who, like our Rosecrans at Murfreesboro', would not accept
defeat under any circumstances. When Wellington afterward saw the place,
he remarked that it was very strong, and must have been extremely
difficult to enter; "but when once in," he added, "I wonder how the
Devil they suffered themselves to be beaten out again!" Though the old
Scotchman failed on this particular occasion, his boldness and daring
are to be cited in support of the position that energy in war is not the
exclusive property of youth.

Some of the best of the English second-class generals were old men. Lord
Clyde began his memorable Indian campaigns at sixty-six, and certainly
showed no want of talent and activity in their course. He restored, to
all appearance, British supremacy in the East. Sir C.J. Napier was in
his sixty-second year when he conquered Sinde, winning the great Battles
of Meanee and Doobah; and six years later he was sent out to India, as
Commander-in-chief, at the suggestion of Wellington, who said, that, if
Napier would not go, he should go himself. He reached India too late to
fight the Sikhs, but showed great vigor in governing the Indian army. He
died in 1853; had he lived until the next spring, he would
unquestionably have been placed at the head of that force which England
sent first to Turkey and then to Southern Russia. Lord Raglan was almost
sixty-six when he was appointed to his first command, and though his
conduct has been severely criticized, and much misrepresented by many
writers, the opinion is now becoming common that he discharged well the
duties of a very difficult position. Mr. Kinglake's brilliant work is
obtaining justice for the services and memory of his illustrious friend.
Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough were old men when they carried on some of
the fiercest hostilities ever known to the English in India. Sir Ralph
Abercromby was sixty-three when he defeated the French in Egypt, in
1801. Lord Cornwallis was fifty-two when he broke the power of Tippoo
Saib, and prepared the way for his ultimate overthrow. Lord Peterborough
was forty-seven, and had never before held a command or seen much
service, when he set out on that series of extraordinary campaigns which
came so near replacing the Austrian house in possession of Spain and the
Indies. Peterborough has been called the last of the knights-errant;
but, in fact, no book on knight-errantry contains anything half so
wonderful as his deeds in the country of Don Quixote. Sir Eyre Coote,
who had so boldly supported that bold policy which led to the victory of
Plassey, nearly a quarter of a century later supported Hastings in the
field with almost as much vigor as he had supported Clive in council,
and saved British India, when it was assailed by the ablest of all its
foes. His last victories were gained in advanced life, and are ranked
with the highest of those actions to which England owes her wonderful
Oriental dominion. Lord Keane was verging upon sixty when he led the
British forces into Afghanistan, and took Ghuznee. Against all her old
and middle-aged generals, her kings and princes apart, England could
place but very few young commanders of great worth. Clive's case was
clearly exceptional; and Wolfe owed his victory on the Heights of
Abraham as much to Montcalm's folly as to his own audacity. The
Frenchman should have refused battle, when time and climate would soon
have wrought his deliverance and his enemy's ruin.

It is generally held that the wars which grew out of the French
Revolution, and which involved the world in their flames, were chiefly
the work of young men, and that their history illustrates the
superiority of youth over age in the ancient art of human destruction.
But this belief is not well founded, and, indeed, bears a close
resemblance to that other error in connection with the French
Revolution, namely, that it proceeded from the advent of new opinions,
which obtained ascendency,--whereas those opinions were older than
France, and had more than once been aired in France, and there had
struggled for supremacy. The opinions before the triumph of which the
old monarchy went down were much older than that monarchy; but as they
had never before been able definitely to influence the nation's action,
it was not strange that they should be considered new, when there was
nothing new about them save their application. Young opinions, as they
are supposed to have been, are best championed by young men; and hence
it is assumed that the French leaders in the field were youthful heroes,
as were the civil leaders in many instances,--and a very nice mess the
latter made of the business they engaged in, doing little that was well
in it beyond getting their own heads cut off. There are some facts that
greatly help to sustain the position that France was saved from
partition by the exertions of young generals, the new men of the new
time. Hoche, Moreau, Bonaparte, Desaix, Soult, Lannes, Ney, and others,
who early rose to fame in the Revolutionary wars, were all young men,
and their exploits were so great as to throw the deeds of others into
the shade; but the salvation of France was effected before any one of
their number became conspicuous as a leader. Napoleon once said that it
was not the new levies that saved France, but the old soldiers of the
Bourbons; and he was right; and he might have added, that they were led
by old or elderly generals. Dumouriez was in his fifty-fourth year when,
in 1792, he won the Battles of Valmy and Jemmapes; and at Valmy he was
aided by the elder Kellermann, who was fifty-seven. Those two battles
decided the fate of Europe, and laid the foundation of that French
supremacy which endured for twenty years, until Napoleon himself
overthrew it by his mad Moscow expedition. Custine, who also was
successful in 1792, on the side of Germany, was fifty-two. Jourdan and
Pichegru, though not old men, were old soldiers, when, in 1794 and 1795,
they did so much to establish the power of the French Republic, the
former winning the Battle of Fleurus. It was in the three years that
followed the beginning of the war in 1792, that the French performed
those deeds which subsequently enabled Napoleon and his Marshals to
chain victory to their chariots, and to become so drunk from success
that they fell through their own folly rather than because of the
exertions of their enemies. Had the old French generals been beaten at
Valmy, the Prussians would have entered Paris in a few days, the
monarchy would have been restored, and the name of Bonaparte never would
have been heard; and equally unknown would have been the names of a
hundred other French leaders, who distinguished themselves in the
three-and-twenty years that followed the first successes of Dumouriez
and Kellermann. Let honor be given where it is due, and let the fogies
have their just share of it. There can be nothing meaner than to insist
upon stripping gray heads of green laurels.

After the old generals and old soldiers of France had secured
standing-places for the new generation, the representatives of the
latter certainly did make their way brilliantly and rapidly. The school
was a good one, and the scholars were apt to learn, and did credit to
their masters. They carried the tricolor over Europe and into Egypt, and
saw it flying over the capital of almost every member of those
coalitions which had purposed its degradation at Paris. It was the flag
to which men bowed at Madrid and Seville, at Milan and Rome, at Paris
and at the Hague, at Warsaw and Wilna, at Dantzie and in Dalmatia, at
the same time that it was fast approaching Moscow; and it was thought
of with as much fear as hatred at Vienna and Berlin. No wonder that the
world forgot or overlooked the earlier and fewer triumphs of the first
Republican commanders, when dazzled by the glories that shone from
Arcola, the Pyramids, Zürich, Marengo, Hohenlinden, Ulm, Austerlitz,
Jena, Eckmühl, Wagram, Borodino, Lützen, Bautzen, and Dresden. But those
young generals of the Republic and the Empire were sometimes found
unequal to the work of contending against the old generals of the
Coalitionists. Suvaroff was in his seventieth year when he defeated
Macdonald at the Battle of the Trebbia, the Frenchman being but
thirty-four; and a few months later he defeated Joubert, who was thirty,
at Novi. Joubert was one of Bonaparte's generals in his first Italian
wars, and was so conspicuous and popular that he had been selected to
command the Army of Italy by the moderate reactionists, in the hope that
he might there win such glory as should enable him to play the part
which Bonaparte played but a few months later,--Bonaparte being then in
the East, with the English fleets between him and France, so that he was
considered a lost man. "The striking similarity of situation between
Joubert and Bonaparte," says Madame d'Abrantes, "is most remarkable.
They were of equal age, and both, in their early career, suffered a sort
of disgrace; they were finally appointed to command, first, the
seventeenth military division, and afterward the Army of Italy. There is
in all this a curious parity of events; but death soon ended the career
of one of the young heroes. That which ought to have constituted the
happiness of his life was the cause of Joubert's death,--his marriage.
But how could he refrain from loving the woman he espoused? Who can
have forgotten Zaphirine de Montholon, her enchanting grace, her playful
wit, her good humor, and her beauty?" Like another famous soldier,
Joubert loved too well to love wisely. Bonaparte, who never was young,
had received the command of the Army of Italy as the portion of the
ex-mistress of Barras, who was seven years his senior, and, being a
matter-of-fact man, he reduced his _lune de miel_ to three days, and
posted off to his work. He knew the value of time in those days, and not
Cleopatra herself could have kept him from his men. Joubert, more of a
man, but an inferior soldier, took his honeymoon in full measure,
passing a month with his bride; and the loss of that month, if so sweet
a thirty days could be called a loss, ruined him, and perhaps prevented
him from becoming Emperor of the French. The enemy received
reinforcements while he was so lovingly employed, and when he at length
arrived on the scene of action he found that the Allies had obtained
mastery of the situation. It was no longer in the power of the French to
say whether they would fight or not. They had to give battle at Novi,
where the tough old Russian of seventy years asserted his superiority
over the _héros de roman_ who had posted from Paris to retrieve the
fortune of France, and to make his own. When he left Paris, he said to
his wife, "You will see me again, dead or victorious,"--and dead he was,
in less than a month. He fell early in the action, on the fifteenth of
August, 1799, the very day on which Bonaparte completed his thirtieth
year. Moreau took the command, but failed to turn the tide of disaster.
The French are unanimous in ascribing their defeat to Joubert's delay at
Paris, and it is certain that the enemy did take Alexandria and Mantua
during that month's delay, and thus were enabled to add the besieging
forces to their main army, so that Joubert was about to retreat to the
Apennines, and to assume a defensive position, when Suvaroff forced him
to accept battle. But something should be allowed for the genius of the
Russian general, who was one of the great master-spirits of war, and who
seldom fought without being completely victorious. He had mostly been
employed against the Turks, whose military reputation was then at the
lowest, or the Poles, who were too divided and depressed to do
themselves and their cause justice, and therefore his character as a
soldier did not stand so high as that of more than one man who was his
inferior; but when, in his seventieth year, he took command in Italy,
there to encounter soldiers who had beaten the armies of almost all
other European nations, and who were animated by a fanatical spirit as
strong as that which fired his own bosom, he showed himself to be more
than equal to his position. He was not at all at fault, though brought
face to face with an entirely new state of things, but acted with his
accustomed vigor, marching from victory to victory, and reconquering
Italy more rapidly than it had been conquered three years before by
Bonaparte. When Bonaparte was destroying the Austrian armies in Italy,
Suvaroff watched his operations with deep interest, and said that he
must go to the West to meet the new genius, or that Bonaparte would
march to the East against Russia,--a prediction, it has been said, that
was fulfilled to the Frenchman's ruin. Whether, had he encountered
Bonaparte, he would have beaten him, is a question for the ingenious to
argue, but which never can be settled. But one thing is certain, and
that is, that Bonaparte never encountered an opponent of that determined
and energetic character which belonged to Suvaroff until his latter
days, and then his fall was rapid and his ruin utter. That Suvaroff
failed in Switzerland, to which country he had been transferred from
Italy, does not at all impeach his character for generalship. His
failure was due partly to the faults of others, and partly to
circumstances. Switzerland was to him what Russia became to Napoleon in
1812. Massena's victory at Zürich, in which half of Korsakoff's army was
destroyed, rendered Russian failure in the campaign inevitable. All the
genius in the world, on that field of action, could not have done
anything that should have compensated for so terrible a calamity. Zürich
saved France far more than did Marengo, and it is to be noted that it
was fought and won by the oldest of all the able men who figure in
history as Napoleon's Marshals. There were some of the Marshals who were
older than Massena, but they were not men of superior talents. Massena
was forty-one when he defeated Korsakoff, and he was a veteran soldier
when the Revolutionary wars began.

The three commanders who did most to break down Napoleon's power, and to
bring about his overthrow, namely,--Benningsen, and Kutusoff, and
Blücher,--were all old men; and the two last-named were very old men. It
would be absurd to call either of them a great commander, but it is
indisputable that they all had great parts in great wars. Benningsen can
scarcely be called a good general of the second class, and he is mostly
spoken of as a foolish braggart and boaster; but it is a fact that he
did some things at an important time which indicated his possession of
qualities that were highly desirable in a general who was bound to act
against Napoleon. Having, in 1807, obtained command of the Russian army
in Poland, he had what the French considered the consummate impudence to
take the offensive against the Emperor, and compelled him to mass his
forces, and to fight in the dead of winter, and a Polish winter to boot,
in which all that is not ice and snow is mud. True, Napoleon would have
made him pay dear for his boldness, had there not occurred one or two of
those accidents which often spoil the best-laid plans of war; but as it
was, the butcherly Battle of Eylau was fought, both parties, and each
with some show of reason, claiming the victory. Had the Russians acted
on the night after Eylau as the English acted on the night after
Flodden, and remained on the field, the world would have pronounced them
victorious, and the French Empire might have been shorn of its
proportions, and perhaps have fallen, seven years in advance of its
time; but they retreated, and thus the French made a fair claim to the
honors of the engagement, though virtually beaten in the fight.
Benningsen boasted tremendously, and as there were men enough to believe
what he said to be true, because they wished it to be true, and as he
had behaved well on some previous occasions, his reputation was vastly
raised, and his name was in all mouths and on all pens. If the reader
will take the trouble to look over a file of some Federal journal of
1807, he will find Benningsen as frequently and as warmly praised as Lee
or Stonewall Jackson is (or was) praised by English journals in
1863,--for the Federalists hated Napoleon as bitterly as the English
hate us, and read of Eylau with as much unction as the English of to-day
read of the American reverses at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville,
while Austerlitz and Friedland pleased our Federalists about as well as
Donelson and Pulaski please the English of these times. A few months
after Eylau, Benningsen repulsed an attack which Napoleon imprudently
made on his intrenched camp at Heilsberg, which placed another feather
in his cap; nor did the smashing defeat he met with four days later, at
Friedland, lessen his reputation. The world is slow to think poorly of a
man who has done some clever things. We have seen how it was with the
late Stonewall Jackson, concerning whom most men spoke as if he had
never known defeat, though it is, or it should be, notorious, that he
was as often beaten as successful, that more than once he had to fly
with wind-like swiftness to escape personal destruction, and that on one
occasion he was saved from ruin only because of an exhibition on our
side of more than a usual amount of stupidity. But he had repeatedly
showed some of the best qualities of a dashing general, and all else was
overlooked in admiration of the skill and the audacity with which he
then had done his evil work. So it was with Benningsen, and with more
justice. The man who had bearded Napoleon but a few months after Jena,
and not much more than a year after Austerlitz, and who had fought an
even battle with him, in which fifty thousand men fell, must have had
some high moral qualities that entitled him to respect; and he continued
to be much talked of until greater and more fruitful campaigns had
obscured his deeds. The pluck which he had exhibited tended to keep
alive the spirit of European resistance to Napoleon, as it showed that
the conqueror had only to be firmly met to be made to fight hardly for
victory; and that was much, in view of the rapidity with which Napoleon
had beaten both Austria and Russia in 1805, and Prussia in 1806.
Benningsen completed his sixty-second year two days after the Battle of
Eylau. He was employed in 1812, '13, '14, but not in the first line, and
his name is not of much mention in the histories of those eventful

Prince Kutusoff, though a good soldier in the Turkish and Polish wars,
did not have a command against the French until he had completed his
sixtieth year, in 1805, when he led a Russian army to the aid of
Austria. He checked the advance of the French after Ulm, and was in
nominal command of the Allies at Austerlitz; but that battle was really
fought in accordance with the plans of General Weyrother, for which
Kutusoff had a profound contempt. If thorough beating could make good
soldiers of men, the vanquished at Austerlitz ought to have become the
superiors of the victors. In 1812, when the Russians had become weary of
that sound policy which was drawing Napoleon to destruction, Kutusoff
assumed command of their army, and fought the Battle of Borodino, which
was a defeat in name, but a victory in its consequences, to the invaded
party. His conduct while the French were at Moscow had the effect of
keeping them in that trap until their fate was sealed; and his action
while following them on their memorable retreat was a happy mixture of
audacity and prudence, and completed the Russian triumph. Sir Robert
Wilson, who was with the Russian general, who must have found him a bore
of the first magnitude, is very severe on Kutusoff's proceedings; but
all that he says makes it clear that the stout old Russian knew what he
was about, and that he was determined not to be made a mere tool of
England. If success is a test of merit, Kutusoff's action deserves the
very highest admiration, for the French army was annihilated. He died
just after he had brought the greatest of modern campaigns to a
triumphant close, at the age of sixty-eight, and before he could hear
the world's applause. The Germans, who were to owe so much to his
labors, rejoiced at his removal, because he was supposed to belong to
the peace party, who were opposed to further action, and who thought
that their country was under no obligation to fight for the deliverance
of other nations. They feared, too, that, if the war should go on, his
"Muscovite hoof" would be too strong for the Fatherland to bear it; and
they saw in his death a Providential incident, which encouraged them to
move against the French. It is altogether probable, that, if he had
lived but three months longer, events would have taken quite a different
turn. Baron von Müffling tells us that Kutusoff "would not hear a word
of crossing the Elbe; and all Scharnhorst's endeavors to make him more
favorably disposed toward Prussia were fruitless. The whole peace party
in the Russian army joined with the Field-Marshal, and the Emperor was
placed in a difficult position. On my arrival at Altenberg, I found
Scharnhorst deeply dejected, for he could not shut his eyes to the
consequences of this resistance. Unexpectedly, the death of the
obstinate old Marshal occurred on the twenty-eighth of April, and the
Emperor was thus left free to pursue his own policy." The first general
who had successfully encountered Napoleon, it would have been the
strangest of history's strange facts, if the Emperor had owed the
continuance of his reign to Kutusoff's influence, and that was the end
to which the Russian's policy was directed; for, though he wished to
confine French power within proper limits, he had no wish to strengthen
either England or any of the German nations, deeming them likely to
become the enemies of Russia, while he might well suppose that the
French had had enough of Russian warfare to satisfy them for the rest of
the century. Had his astute policy been adopted and acted on, there
never would have been a Crimean War, and Sebastopol would not now be a
ruin; and Russia would have been greater than she is likely to be in our
time, or in the time of our children.

Blücher, who completed the work which Kutusoff began, and in a manner
which the Russian would hardly have approved, was an older man than the
hero of Borodino. When called to the command of the Prussian army, in
March, 1813, he was in his seventy-first year; and he was in his
seventy-third year when his energy enabled him, in the face of
difficulties that no other commander could have overcome, to bring up
more than fifty thousand men to the assistance of Wellington at
Waterloo, losing more than an eighth of their number. He had no military
talent, as the term is generally used. He could not tell whether a plan
was good or bad. He could not understand the maps. He was not a
disciplinarian, and he was ignorant of all the details of preparing an
army, of clothing and feeding and arming it. In all those things which
it is supposed a commander should know, and which such commanders as
Napoleon and Wellington did know well, he was so entirely ignorant, that
he might have been raised to the head of an army of United States
Volunteers amid universal applause. He was vicious to an extent that
surprised even the fastest men of that vicious time,--a gambler, a
drunkard, and a loose liver every way, indulging in vices that are held
by mild moralists to be excusable in youth who are employed in sowing
wild oats, but which are universally admitted to be disgusting in those
upon whom age has laid its withering hand. Yet this vicious and ignorant
old man had more to do with bringing about the fall of Napoleon than all
the generals and statesmen of the Allies combined. He had energy, which
is the most valuable of all qualities in a military leader; and he
hated Napoleon as heartily as he hated Satan, and a great deal more
heartily than he hated sin. Mr. Dickens tells us that the vigorous
tenacity of love is always much stronger than hate, and perhaps he is
right, so far as concerns private life; but in public life hate is by
far the stronger passion. But for Blücher's hatred of Napoleon the
campaign of 1813 would have terminated in favor of the Emperor, that of
1814 never would have been undertaken, and that of 1815, if ever
attempted, would have had a far different issue. The old German
disregarded all orders and suggestions, and set all military and
political principles at defiance, in his ardor to accomplish the one
purpose which he had in view; and as that purpose was accomplished, he
has taken his place in history as one of the greatest of soldiers.
Napoleon himself is not more secure of immortality. He was greatly
favored by circumstances, but he is a wise man who knows how to profit
from circumstances. Take Blücher out of the wars of 1813-15, and there
is little left in them on the side of the Allies that is calculated to
command admiration. Next to Blücher stands his celebrated chief of the
staff, General Count Gneisenau, who was the brains of the Army of
Silesia, Blücher being its head. When Blücher was made an LL.D. at
Oxford, he facetiously remarked, "If I am a doctor, here is my
pill-maker," placing his hand on Gneisenau's head,--which was a frank
acknowledgment that few men would have been able to make. Gneisenau was
fifty-three when he became associated with Blücher, and he was
fifty-five when he acted with him in 1815. In 1831 he was appointed to
an important command, being then seventy-one. The celebrated
Scharnhorst, Gneisenau's predecessor, and to whom the Prussians owed so
much, was in his fifty-seventh year when he died of the wounds he had
received at the Battle of Lützen.

There are some European generals whom it is difficult to class, as they
showed great capacity and won great victories as well in age as in
youth. Prince Eugène was one of these, and Frederick of Prussia was
another. Eugène showed high talent when very young, and won the first of
his grand victories over the Turks at thirty-four; but it was not so
splendid an affair as that of Belgrade, which he won at fifty-four. He
was forty-three when he defeated the French at Turin, under
circumstances and with incidents that took attention even from
Marlborough, whom he subsequently aided to gain the victories of
Oudenarde and Malplaquet, as he had previously aided him at Blenheim. At
seventy-one Eugène led an Austrian army against the French; and though
no battle was fought, his conduct showed that he had not lost his
capacity for command. Frederick began his military life when in his
thirtieth year, and was actively engaged until thirty-three, showing
striking ability on several occasions, though he began badly, according
to his own admission. But it was in the Seven Years' War that his fame
as a soldier was won, and that contest began when he was in his
forty-fifth year. He was close upon forty-six when he gained the Battles
of Rossbach and Leuthen. Whatever opinion others may entertain as to his
age, it is certain that he counted himself an old man in those days.
Writing to the Marquis d'Argens, a few days before he was forty-eight,
he said, "In my old age I have come down almost to be a theatrical
king"; and not two years later he wrote to the same friend, "I have
sacrificed my youth to my father, and my manhood to my fatherland. I
think, therefore, I have acquired the right to my old age." He reckoned
by trials and events, and he had gone through enough to have aged any
man. Those were the days when he carried poison on his person, in order
that, should he be completely beaten, or captured, he might not adorn
Maria Theresa's triumph, but end his life "after the high Roman
fashion." When the question of the Bavarian succession threatened to
lead to another war with Austria, Frederick's action, though he was in
his sixty-seventh year, showed, to use the homely language of the
English soldier at St. Helena when Napoleon arrived at that famous
watering place, that he had many campaigns in his belly yet. The
youthful Emperor, Joseph II., would have been no match for the old
soldier of Liegnitz and Zorndorf.

Some of Frederick's best generals were old men. Schwerin, who was killed
in the terrible Battle of Prague, was then seventy-three, and a soldier
of great reputation. Sixteen years before he had won the Battle of
Mollwitz, one of the most decisive actions of that time, from which
Frederick himself is said to have run away in sheer fright. General
Ziethen, perhaps the best of all modern cavalry commanders, was in his
fifty-eighth year when the Seven Years' War began, and he served through
it with eminent distinction, and most usefully to his sovereign. He
could not have exhibited more dash, if he had been but eight-and-twenty,
instead of eight-and-fifty, or sixty-five, as he was when peace was
made. Field-Marshal Keith, an officer of great ability, was sixty when
he fell at Hochkirchen, after a brilliant career.

American military history is favorable to old generals. Washington was
in his forty-fourth year when he assumed command of the Revolutionary
armies, and in his fiftieth when he took Yorktown. Wayne and Greene were
the only two of our young generals of the Revolution who showed decided
fitness for great commands. Had Hamilton served altogether in the field,
his would have been the highest military name of the war. The absurd
jealousies that deprived Schuyler of command, in 1777, alone prevented
him from standing next to Washington. He was close upon forty-four when,
he gave way to Gates, who was forty-nine. The military reputation of
both Schuyler and Hamilton has been most nobly maintained by their
living descendants. Washington was called to the command of the American
forces at sixty-six, when it was supposed that the French would attempt
to invade the United States, which shows that the Government of that day
had no prejudice against old generals. General Jackson's great Louisiana
campaign was conducted when he was nearly forty-eight, and he was, from
almost unintermitted illness, older in constitution than in years. Had
General Scott had means at his disposal, we should have been able to
point to a young American general equal to any who is mentioned in
history; but our poverty forbade him an opportunity in war worthy of his
genius. It "froze the genial current of his soul." As a veteran leader,
he was most brilliantly distinguished. He was in his sixty-first year
when he set out on his memorable Mexican campaign, which was an unbroken
series of grand operations and splendid victories, such as are seldom to
be found in the history of war. The weight of years had no effect on
that magnificent mind. Of him, as it was of Carnôt, it can be said that
he organized victory, and made it permanent. His deeds were all the
greater because of the feeble support he received from his Government.
Like Wellington, in some of his campaigns, he had to find within himself
the resources which were denied him by bad ministers. General Taylor was
in his sixty-second year when the Mexican War began, and in less than a
year he won the Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, and
Buena Vista. He, too, was badly supported. The Secession War has been
conducted by elderly or middle-aged men. General Lee, whom the world
holds to have displayed the most ability in it, is about fifty-six.
General Rosecrans is forty-four, and General Grant forty-two. Stonewall
Jackson died at thirty-seven. General Banks is forty-eight, General
Hooker forty-five, General Beauregard forty-six, General Bragg
forty-nine, General Burnside forty, General Gillmore thirty-nine,
General Franklin forty-one, General Magruder fifty-three, General Meade
forty-eight, General Schuyler Hamilton forty-two, General Charles S.
Hamilton forty, and General Foster forty. General Lander, a man of
great promise, died in his fortieth year. General Kearney was killed at
forty-seven, and General Stevens at forty-five. General Sickles was in
his forty-first year when he was wounded at Gettysburg, and General Reno
was thirty-seven when he died so bravely at South Mountain. General
Pemberton lost Vicksburg at forty-five. General T.W. Sherman is
forty-six, and General W. T. Sherman forty-four. General McClellan was
in his thirty-fifth year when he assumed command at Washington in 1861.
General Lyon had not completed the first month of his forty-third year
when he fell at Wilson's Creek. General McDowell was in his forty-third
year when he failed at Bull Run, in consequence of the coming up of
General Joe Johnston, who was fifty-one. General Keyes is fifty-three,
General Kelley fifty-seven, General King forty, and General Pope
forty-one. General A.S. Johnston was fifty-nine when he was killed at
Shiloh. General Halleck is forty-eight. General Longstreet is forty. The
best of the Southern cavalry-leaders was General Ashby, who was killed
at thirty-eight. General Stuart is twenty-nine. On our side, General
Stanley is thirty, General Pleasonton forty, and General Averell about
thirty. General Phelps is fifty-one, General Polk fifty-eight, General
S. Cooper sixty-eight, General J. Cooper fifty-four, and General Blunt
thirty-eight. The list might be much extended, but very few young men
would be found in it,--or very few old men, either. The best of our
leaders are men who have either passed beyond middle life, or who may be
said to be in the enjoyment of that stage of existence. It is so, too,
with the Rebels. If the war does not afford many facts in support of the
position that old generals are very useful, neither does it afford many
to be quoted by those who hold that the history of heroism is the
history of youth.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Rivermouth Rocks are fair to see,
    By dawn or sunset shone across,
  When the ebb of the sea has left them free
    To dry their fringes of gold-green moss:
  For there the river comes winding down
  From salt sea-meadows and uplands brown,
  And waves on the outer rocks afoam
  Shout to its waters, "Welcome home!"

  And fair are the sunny isles in view
    East of the grisly Head of the Boar,
  And Agamenticus lifts its blue
    Disk of a cloud the woodlands o'er;
  And southerly, when the tide is down,
  'Twixt white sea-waves and sand-hills brown,
  The beach-birds dance and the gray gulls wheel
  Over a floor of burnished steel.

  Once, in the old Colonial days,
    Two hundred years ago and more,
  A boat sailed down through the winding ways
    Of Hampton river to that low shore,
  Full of a goodly company
  Sailing out on the summer sea,
  Veering to catch the land-breeze light,
  With the Boar to left and the Rocks to right.

  In Hampton meadows, where mowers laid
    Their scythes to the swaths of salted grass,
  "Ah, well-a-day! our hay must be made!"
    A young man sighed, who saw them pass.
  Loud laughed his fellows to see him stand
  Whetting his scythe with a listless hand,
  Hearing a voice in a far-off song,
  Watching a white hand beckoning long.

  "Fie on the witch!" cried a merry girl,
    As they rounded the point where Goody Cole
  Sat by her door with her wheel atwirl,
    A bent and blear-eyed poor old soul.
  "Oho!" she muttered, "ye're brave to-day!
  But I hear the little waves laugh and say,
  'The broth will be cold that waits at home;
  For it's one to go, but another to come!'"

  "She's curst," said the skipper; "speak her fair:
    I'm scary always to see her shake
  Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair,
    And nose like a hawk, and eyes like a snake."
  But merrily still, with laugh and shout,
  From Hampton river the boat sailed out,
  Till the huts and the flakes on Star seemed nigh,
  And they lost the scent of the pines of Rye.

  They dropped their lines in the lazy tide,
    Drawing up haddock and mottled cod;
  They saw not the Shadow that walked beside,
    They heard not the feet with silence shod.
  But thicker and thicker a hot mist grew,
  Shot by the lightnings through and through;
  And muffled growls, like the growl of a beast,
  Ran along the sky from west to east.

  Then the skipper looked from the darkening sea
    Up to the dimmed and wading sun,
  But he spake like a brave man cheerily,
    "Yet there is time for our homeward run."
  Veering and tacking, they backward wore;
  And just as a breath from the woods ashore
  Blew out to whisper of danger past,
  The wrath of the storm came down at last!

  The skipper hauled at the heavy sail:
    "God be our help!" he only cried,
  As the roaring gale, like the stroke of a flail,
    Smote the boat on its starboard side.
  The Shoalsmen looked, but saw alone
  Dark films of rain-cloud slantwise blown,
  Wild rocks lit up by the lightning's glare,
  The strife and torment of sea and air.

  Goody Cole looked out from her door:
    The Isles of Shoals were drowned and gone,
  Scarcely she saw the Head of the Boar
    Toss the foam from tusks of stone.
  She clasped her hands with a grip of pain,
  The tear on her cheek was not of rain:
  "They are lost," she muttered, "boat and crew!
  Lord, forgive me! my words were true!"

  Suddenly seaward swept the squall;
   The low sun smote through cloudy rack;
  The Shoals stood clear in the light, and all
    The trend of the coast lay hard and black.
  But far and wide as eye could reach,
  No life was seen upon wave or beach;
  The boat that went out at morning never
  Sailed back again into Hampton river.

  O mower, lean on thy bended snath,
    Look from the meadows green and low:
  The wind of the sea is a waft of death,
    The waves are singing a song of woe!
  By silent river, by moaning sea,
  Long and vain shall thy watching be:
  Never again shall the sweet voice call,
  Never the white hand rise and fall!

  O Rivermouth Rocks, how sad a sight
    Ye saw in the light of breaking day!
  Dead faces looking up cold and white
    From sand and sea-weed where they lay!
  The mad old witch-wife wailed and wept,
  And cursed the tide as it backward crept:
  "Crawl back, crawl back, blue water-snake!
  Leave your dead for the hearts that break!"

  Solemn it was in that old day
    In Hampton town and its log-built church,
  Where side by side the coffins lay
    And the mourners stood in aisle and porch.
  In the singing-seats young eyes were dim,
  The voices faltered that raised the hymn,
  And Father Dalton, grave and stern,
  Sobbed through his prayer and wept in turn.

  But his ancient colleague did not pray,
    Because of his sin at fourscore years:
  He stood apart, with the iron-gray
    Of his strong brows knitted to hide his tears.
  And a wretched woman, holding her breath
  In the awful presence of sin and death,
  Cowered and shrank, while her neighbors thronged
  To look on the dead her shame had wronged.

  Apart with them, like them forbid,
    Old Goody Cole looked drearily round,
  As, two by two, with their faces hid,
    The mourners walked to the burying-ground.
  She let the staff from her clasped hands fall:
  "Lord, forgive us! we're sinners all!"
  And the voice of the old man answered her:
  "Amen!" said Father Bachiler.

  So, as I sat upon Appledore
    In the calm of a closing summer day,
  And the broken lines of Hampton shore
    In purple mist of cloudland lay,
  The Rivermouth Rocks their story told;
  And waves aglow with sunset gold,
  Rising and breaking in steady chime,
  Beat the rhythm and kept the time.

  And the sunset paled, and warmed once more
    With a softer, tenderer after-glow;
  In the east was moon-rise, with boats off-shore
    And sails in the distance drifting slow.
  The beacon glimmered from Portsmouth bar,
  The White Isle kindled its great red star;
  And life and death in my old-time lay
  Mingled in peace like the night and day!

       *       *       *       *       *


I was in the shop of my friend on the day of the great snow-storm, when
the plan was proposed which he mentions in the beginning of his story,
called "Pink and Blue," printed in this magazine in the month of May,
1861. Fears were entertained that some of the women might object. And
they did. My sister Fanny, Mrs. Maylie, said it was like being set in a
frame. Farmer Hill's wife hoped we shouldn't tell _exactly_ how much we
used to think of them, for "praise to the face was open disgrace." But
my wife, Mrs. Browne, thought the stories should be made as good as
possible, for praise could not hurt them so long as they knew
themselves, just what they were. It was suggested by some one, that, if
the married men told how they won their wives, there were a couple of
old bachelors belonging to our set who ought to tell how they came to be
without, which seemed very fair.

When the lot fell upon me, my wife laughed, and declared that our
affairs ran so crooked, she didn't believe I could tell a straight
story. But Fanny said _that_ would make it seem more like a book; the
puzzle to her was what I should call myself, seeing that I was neither
one thing nor another. It was finally agreed, however, that, as I had
taught school one winter, and that an important one, I should call mine
"The Schoolmaster's Story." The truth is, my own calling would not look
well at the head of an article, for I am by profession a loafer. For
this vocation, which was my own deliberate choice, I was well prepared,
having graduated, with a moderate degree of honor, from Cambridge
College. I know of no profession requiring for its complete enjoyment a
more thorough and varied preparation.

My sister Fanny and I were two poor orphans, brought up, fed, clothed,
and loved by our Aunt Huldah. If it had not been for her, I don't know
what we should have done. Our Aunt Huldah was a widow and a _manager_.
Nearly every person has among his acquaintances one individual, usually
a female, who is called _a good manager_. She knows what is to be done,
and who should do it,--picks out wives for the young men, husbands for
the maidens, and attends herself to the matter of bringing them
together. Sometimes these individuals become tyrannical, standing with
vials of wrath all ready to be poured forth upon the heads of the
unsubmissive, and it must be owned that our aunt was in this not wholly
unlike the rest; but then she was so good-natured, so reasonable, that,
although the aforesaid vials were often known to be well filled, yet her
kindness and good sense always kept the corks in.

I think she took us partly from love, and partly to show how children
ought to be managed. We got on admirably together. I was by no means a
fiery youth. I was amiable, fond of books, had soft, light hair, fair
complexion, a quiet, persevering way, and never _ran_ after the girls.
Taking all these things into consideration, my aunt determined that I
should go to college, and become an honor to the family.

Fanny, though not a bit like me, got along equally as well with the
reigning power. She was a smart, black-eyed maiden, full of life, and
had herself some of the managing blood in her veins. In fact, so bright
and so sly was my dear little sister, that she often succeeded in
managing the Grand Panjandra herself. I speak thus particularly of
Fanny, because, if it had not been for her, I might now have no story to
tell. I never, from childhood to manhood, worked myself into any tight
place, that her little scheming brain did not invent some way of getting
me out.

When my collegiate labors were nearly finished, our aunt was taken
_poor_. She was subject to these attacks, under which she always
resorted to the heroic treatment, retrenching and economizing with the
greatest zeal. This attack of hers was the primary cause of my taking a
winter school in the little village of Norway, about twenty miles from
home. I was perfectly willing to keep school; it seemed the easiest
thing in the world.

The night before leaving home, my aunt summoned me to her chamber. She
sat erect in her straight-backed chair, a tall, dark woman, in a
bombazine gown, with white muslin frill and turban. Her eyes were black
and deep. Her nose was rather above than below the usual height, and
eminently fitted to bear its spectacles. She was evidently a person who
thought before she acted, but who was sure to act after she had thought.

Good advice was what she wanted to give me. The world was a snare. The
Devil was always on the lookout, and everywhere in a minute. She read
considerable portions from the "Boston Recorder," after which she
dropped some hints about the marriage-state,--said she had noticed, with
pleasure, my prudence in not hurrying these matters, adding, that it was
much safer to choose a wife from among our own neighbors and friends
than to run the risk of marrying a stranger. No names were mentioned,
but I knew she was thinking of Alice, the postmaster's daughter, a fair
young maiden, soft in speech, quiet in manners, and constant at
meeting,--a maiden, in fact, of whom I had long stood in dread.

My school commenced the week after Thanksgiving. I had fancied myself
appearing among my scholars like a king surrounded by his subjects. But
these lofty notions soon melted down beneath the searching glances of
forty pairs of eyes. A sense of my incompetency came over me, and I felt
like saying,--"Young people, little children, what can I do for you, and
how shall I show you any good?"

The first thing I did was to take the names. Ah! in what school-record
of modern times could be found such a catalogue of the Christian
virtues? Think of mending pens for Faith and Prudence!--of teaching
arithmetic to Love, Hope, and Charity!--of imparting general knowledge
to Experience! There were three of this last name, and it was only after
a long _experience_ of my own that I learned that the first was called
"Pelly," the second, "Exy," and the third, "Sperrence." Penelope was
rendered "Pep."

It gave me peculiar sensations to find among my scholars so many large
girls. I have said that I had never been in the habit of running after
the girls, and I never had. I was one of those quiet young men who read
poetry, buy pictures and statues, and play the flute on still, moonlight
evenings. Not that I was indifferent to female charms, or let beauty
pass by unnoticed. In fact, I was keenly alive to the beautiful in all
its forms. I had seen, in the course of my life, a great many handsome
faces, which, in my quiet way, I had studied, when nobody was minding,
comparing beauties, or imagining alterations for the better, just as if
I had been studying a picture or a statue, and with no more fear of
being myself affected. Passing strange it was, that, exposed as I had
been, I should have remained so long unscathed. My time had not yet
come. But now dangers thickened around me, and I felt that Aunt Huldah
knew the world, when she said it was a _snare_. For, in glancing about
the room carelessly, while taking the names, I could not but perceive
that I was beset by perils on every side,--perils from which there
seemed no possible escape: for no sooner did I turn resolutely away from
a dove-like face in one corner than my eye was caught by a bright eye or
a sweet smile in another; and the admiring glance which with reluctance
I withdrew from a graceful figure was arrested by a well-shaped head or
a rosy cheek. One was almost a beauty, with her light curls and delicate
pink cheeks; another was quite such: her smile was bewitching, and her
eyes were roguish. But I soon found that there were other things to be
attended to besides picking out the prettiest flowers in my winter

I have intimated that my ideas regarding school-keeping were exceedingly
vague. Nevertheless, I had in the course of my studies picked out and
put together a system for the instruction and management of youth. This
system I now proceeded to apply.

It is curious, as we trace back the current of our lives, to discover
the multitude of whims, plans, and mighty resolves which lie wrecked
upon the shore. I cannot help smiling, as, in looking back upon my own
life-stream, I discern the remains of my precious system lying high and
dry among the rocks of that winter's experience. Yet I tried all ways to
make it go. I was like a boy with a new boat, who increases or lessens
his ballast, now tries her with mainsail, foresail, topsail, jib, flying
jib, and jibber jib, and now with bare poles,--_anything_ to make her
float. Each night I took my poor system home for repairs, and each
morning, full of hope, tried to launch it anew in my school-room. I have
always felt that I wronged those scholars, that I learned more than I
taught. I have no doubt of it.

I, of course, as was then the custom, boarded round; and this method of
obtaining nourishment, though savoring somewhat of the Arab or the
common beggar, I, on the whole, enjoyed. It gave me a much stronger
interest in the children, seeing them thus in their own homes, where was
so much love, so much solicitude for even the dullest of them. Besides
this, I came in contact with all sorts of curious people, found new
faces to study.

Another custom of the place I also fell in with, which was, to keep an
evening-school. All the schoolmasters had kept one from time immemorial.
This evening-school I really enjoyed. Plenty of charming girls, too big
or too busy to waste their daylight upon books, came from great
distances, bringing their brothers and their beaux, all intent upon
having a good time and getting on in their ciphering. Teaching them was
a pleasure, for they felt the need of knowledge. I feel bound to say,
however, that imparting knowledge was not my only pleasure. In intervals
of leisure, before or after school, or at recess, I found much that was
worthy attention. Seated at my desk, wrapped in my dignity, I watched,
with many a sidelong glance, the progress of rustic love-making. I only
mean by this, that from their general movements I constructed such
love-stories as seemed to me probable. I learned who went with whom, who
wished they could go with whom, who could and who couldn't, who did and
who didn't.

Did I not go into the business on my own account? That is by no means an
improper question. In fact, I might have expected it. Some have, no
doubt, considered it a settled thing that I fell in love with the
bright-eyed beauty, before mentioned, or with the pink-cheeked; but I
beg that such fancies may be brushed away, that all may be in readiness
to receive the true queen, who in due time will come to take possession
of her kingdom. For I will be honest with you, and not, like most
story-tellers, try to pull wool over your eyes all the way through. I
will say openly, that I did first see the girl who was afterwards my
wife in that cold little village of Norway. Cold it seems not to me now,
in the light of so many warm, sunshiny memories!

When my evening-school had been in operation a few weeks, I noticed, one
evening, at the end of the back-form on the girls' side a new face. The
owner of this new face was very quietly studying her book, a thin,
blue-covered book, Temple's Arithmetic. She was dressed in black,--not
fine, glossy black, but black that was gray, rusty, and well worn. A
very small silk handkerchief of the same color was drawn over her
shoulders and pinned where its two corners met her gown in front, making
a sort of triangle of whiteness,--some would say, "revealing a neck and
throat pure and white as a lily-leaf"; and they would say no more than
the truth, only I never like to put things in that way. Just so white
was her face. Her hair was black, soft, but not what the other girls
would have called smooth, or "slick." It was pulled away behind her
ears, and fixed up rather queerly in a great bunch behind, as if the
only aim were to get it out of the way. The upper part of her face was
the most striking,--the black eyebrows upon such a white, straight
forehead. I am rather particular in describing this new face,
because--well, perhaps because I remember it so distinctly. While I was
studying her as, I might perhaps say, a work of Art, she suddenly raised
her eyes, as people always do when they are watched. I looked away in a
hurry, though her eyes were just what I wanted to see more of, for they
were splendid eyes. "Splendid" is not the right word, though. Deep,
thoughtful, sorrowful, are the words which are floating about in my
mind. I wondered how she would look when animated, and watched, at
recess, for some of the others to talk to her.

But she seemed one by herself. While other girls chatted with their
beaux, or whispered wonderful secrets, she remained sitting alone, now
looking at her book, and now glancing around in a pitiful sort of way,
that made me feel like going to speak to her. In fact, as her teacher, I
was bound to do this, and, true to the promptings of duty, I walked
slowly down the alley. As I paused by her side, she glanced up in my
face. I never forgot that look. I might say that I never recovered from
the effects of it. I asked about her studies, and very willingly
explained a sum over which she had stumbled.

After this, she came every evening, and it usually happened that it was
most convenient for me to attend to her at recess. Helping her in her
sums was a pleasant thing to do, but in nothing was I more interested
than in the writing-exercise. I felt that I was indeed fortunate to be
in duty bound to follow the movement of her charming little hand across
the page, to teach her pretty fingers how to hold the pen; but then, if
pleasure and duty _would_ unite, how could I help it? Then I had a way,
all my own, of throwing looks sidelong at her face, while thus engaged;
but sometimes my eyes would get so entangled in her long lashes, that I
could hardly turn them away before she looked up.

Yet I never thought then of being in love with the girl. Marriage was a
subject upon which I had never seriously reflected. Much as I liked to
watch, to criticize pretty faces, I never had thought of taking one for
my own. I was like a good boy in a flower-garden, who looks about him
with delight, admiring each beautiful blossom, but plucking none. Not
that I meant to live a bachelor; for, whenever I looked forward,--an
indefinite number of years,--I invariably saw myself sitting by my own
fireside, with a gentle-faced woman making pinafores near me, a cradle
close by, and one or two chaps reading stories, or playing checkers with
beans and buttons. But this gentle maker of pinafores had never yet
assumed a tangible shape. She had only floated before me, in my lonely
moments, enveloped in mist, and far too indistinct for revealing the
color of the eyes and hair. So I could not be in love with Rachel,--her
name was Rachel Lowe,--only a sort of magnetism, as it would be called
in these days, drew my eyes constantly that way. I soon found, however,
that it was impossible to watch her face with that indifference with
which, as I have before stated, it had been my custom to regard female
beauty. Its peculiar expression puzzled me, and I kept trying to study
it out. Interesting, but dangerous study! The difficulties of
school-keeping are by no means fully appreciated.

One evening, after school, the young folks stopped to slide down-hill.
Rachel and a few little girls stood awhile, watching the sleds go by;
but it was cold standing still, and they soon moved homewards. I walked
along by the side of Rachel: this was the first time I ever went home
with her. I found she was living in the family of Squire Brewster, a
family in which I had not yet boarded. After this I frequently walked
home with her. Sometimes I would determine not to do so again, for I was
afraid I was getting--I didn't know where, but where I had never been
before; but when evening came, and I saw how handsome she looked, and
how all alone, I couldn't help it. It was not often I could get her to
talk much. She was bashful, different from any girl I had ever met. The
only friend she seemed to have was the young wife of the Doctor, Mrs.
James. The Doctor, she said, had attended her through a fever, and asked
no pay. His wife was kind, and lent her books to read.

I was boarding at that time with a poor widow-woman, and one night I
asked her about Rachel. She warmed up immediately, said Rachel Lowe was
a good girl and ought to be "sot by," and not slighted on her parents'

"And who were her parents?" I asked.

"Why, when her father was a poor boy, the Squire thought he would take
him and bring him up to learnin'; but when he came to be a man grown
almost, he ran away to sea; and long afterwards we heard of his marryin'
some outlandish girl, half English, half French,--but Rachel's no worse
for that. After his wife died,--and, as far as I can find out, the way
he carried on was what killed her,--he started to bring Rachel here; but
he died on the passage, and she came with only a letter. I suppose he
thought the ones that had been kind to him would be kind to her; but,
you see, the Squire is a-livin' with his second wife, and she isn't the
woman the first Miss Brewster was. In time folks will come round, but
now they sort of look down upon her; for, you see, everybody knows who
her father was, and how he didn't do any credit to his bringin' up, and
nobody knows who her mother was, only that she was a furrener, which was
so much agin her. But you are goin' right from here to the Squire's; and
mebby, if you make of her, and let folks see that you set store by her,
they'll begin to open their eyes."

I thought I felt just like kissing the poor widow; anyway, I knew I felt
like kissing somebody. To be sure, the talk was all about Rachel, and it
might--But no matter; what difference does it make now who it was I
wanted to kiss forty or fifty years ago?

The next day I went to board at the Squire's. It was dark when I reached
the house; the candles were just being lighted. The Squire, a kindly old
man, met me in the porch and took my bundle. I followed him into the
kitchen. There something more than common seemed to be going on, for
chairs were being arranged in rows, and Mrs. Brewster was putting out of
sight every article suggestive of work. There was to be an evening
meeting. I watched the people as they came in, still and solemn. Not
many of the women wore bonnets. All who lived within a moderate distance
just stepped in with a little homespun blanket over the head, or a
patchwork cradle-quilt. I noticed Rachel when she entered and took her
seat upon the settle. It will only take a minute to tell what a settle
is, or, rather, was. If you should take a low wooden bench and add to it
a high back and ends, you would make a settle. It usually stood near the
fireplace, and was a most luxurious seat,--its high back protecting you
from cold draughts and keeping in the heat of the fire. It was now
shoved back against the wall. This neighborhood-gathering was called a
conference-meeting, being carried on by the brethren. I liked to hear
them speak, because they were so much in earnest. The exercises closed
with singing "Old Hundred." I joined at first, but soon there fell upon
my ear such sweet strains from the other side of the room that I was
glad to stop and listen. They came from the settle. It was Rachel,
singing counter. Only those who have heard it know what counter is, and
how particularly beautiful it is in "Old Hundred." I think it has
already been intimated that I was somewhat poetical. It will not,
therefore, be considered strange, that, when I heard those clear tones,
rising high above the harsher ones around, above the grating bass of the
brethren and the cracked voices of elderly females, I thought of summer
days in the woods, when I had listened to the notes of the robin amid a
chorus of locusts and grasshoppers.

Squire Brewster treated Rachel kindly; but women make the home, and Mrs.
Brewster was a hard woman. The neighbors said she was close, and would
have more of a cat than her skin. Miss Sarah had been out of town to
school, and was proud. Sam, the grown-up son, was coarse, but just as
proud as his sister. I disliked the way he looked at Rachel. Her
position in the family I soon understood. She was there to take the
drudgery from Mrs. Brewster, to be ordered about by Miss Sarah,
tormented by the younger children, and teased, if not insulted, by Sam.
What puzzled me was her manner towards them. She spoke but seldom, and,
it seemed to me, had a way of looking _down_ upon these people, who were
so bent upon making her look _up_ to them. The cross looks and words
seemed not to hit her. Her deep, dark eyes appeared as if they were
looking away beyond the scenes around her. I was very glad to see,
however, that she could notice Sam enough to avoid him; for to that
young man I had taken a dislike, and not, as it turned, without reason.

One evening, during my second week at the Brewsters', I sat long at my
chamber-window, watching the fading twilight, the growing moonlight, and
the steady snow-light. Presently I saw Rachel come out to take in the
clothes. It seemed just right that she should appear then, for in her
face were all three,--the shadowy twilight, the soft moonlight, and the
white snow-light.

She wore a little shawl, crossed in front, and tied behind at the waist,
and over her head a bright-colored blanket, just pinned under the chin.
This exposed her face, and while I watched it, as it showed front-view
or profile, not knowing which I liked best, admiring, meanwhile, the
grace with which she reached up, where the line was high, sometimes
springing from the ground, I saw Sam approaching, very slowly and
softly, from behind. When quite near, watching his opportunity, he
seized her by the waist. He was going to kiss her. I started up, as if
to do something, but there was nothing to be done. With a quick motion
she slid from his grasp, stepped back, and looked him in the face. Not a
word fell from her lips, only her silence spoke. "I despise you! There
is nothing in you that words can reach!" was the speech which I felt in
my heart she was making, though her lips never moved. Other things, too,
I felt in my heart,--rather perplexing, agitating, but still pleasing
sensations, which I did not exactly feel like analyzing. One of the
children came out to take hold one side of the basket, and Sam walked

I went down soon after and look my favorite seat upon the settle, which
was then in its own place by the fire. The children were in bed, the
older ones had gone to singing-school, and Mrs. Brewster was at an
evening-meeting. The Squire was at home with his rheumatism.

I liked a nice chat with the Squire. He was a great reader, and
delighted to draw me into long talks, political or theological. My
remarks on this particular evening would have been more brilliant, had
not Rachel been sprinkling and folding clothes at the back of the room.
The Squire, in his roundabout, came exactly between us, so that, in
looking up to answer his questions, I could not help seeing a white arm
with the sleeve rolled above the elbow, could not help watching the
drops of water, as she shook them from her fingers. I wondered how it
was, that, while working so hard, her hands should be so white. My
sister Fanny told me, long afterwards, that some girls always have white
hands, no matter how hard they work.

This question interested me more than the political ones raised by the
Squire, and I became aware that my answers were getting wild, by his
eying me over his spectacles. Rachel finished the clothes, and seated
herself, with her knitting-work, at the opposite corner of the
fireplace. I changed to the other end of the settle: sitting long in one
position is tiresome. She was knitting a gray woollen stocking. I think
she must have been "setting the heel," for she kept counting the
stitches. I had often noticed Fanny doing the same thing, at this
turning-point in the progress of a stocking; but then it never took her
half as long. After knitting so many feet of leg, though, any change
must have been pleasant.

A mug of cider stood near one andiron; leaning against the other was a
flat stone,--the Squire's "Simon." It would soon be needed, for he was
already nodding,--nodding and brightening up,--nodding and brightening
up. While he slept, the room was still, unless the fire snapped, or a
brand fell down. I said within myself, "This is a pleasant time! It is
good to be here!" That cozy settle, that glowing fire, that good old
man, that pure-hearted girl,--how distinctly do they now rise before me!
It seems such a little, little while ago! For I feel young. I like to be
with young folks; I like what they like. Yet deep lines are set in my
forehead, the veins stand out upon my hands, and my shadow is the shadow
of a stooping old man; and when, from frequent weariness, I rest my head
on my hand, the fingers clasp only smoothness, or, at best, but a few
scattered locks,--_wisps_, I might as well say. If ever I took pride in
anything, it was in my fine head of hair. Well, what matters it? Since
_heart_ of youth is left me, I'll never mind the _head_.

Many writers speak well of age, and it certainly is not without its
advantages, meeting everywhere, as it does, with respect and indulgence.
Neither is it, so the books say, without its own peculiar beauty. An old
man leaning upon his staff, with white locks streaming in the wind, they
call a picturesque object. All this may be; still, I have tried both,
and must say that my own leaning is towards youth.

Remembering the desire of the poor widow, that Rachel should be "made
of," I continued to walk home with her from evening-school, and to pay
her many little attentions, even after I had left the Squire's. The
widow was right in saying, that, when folks saw that I "set store" by
her, they would open their eyes. They did,--in wonder that "the
schoolmaster should be so attentive to Rachel Lowe!" We were
"town-talk." I often, in the school-house entry, overheard the scholars
joking about us; and once I saw them slyly writing our names together on
the bricks of the fireplace. Everybody was on the look-out for what
might happen.

One evening, in school-time, I stood a long while leaning over her desk,
working out for her a difficult sum. On observing me change my position,
to rest myself, she, very naturally, and almost unconsciously, moved for
me to sit down, and I took a seat beside her, going on, all the while,
with my ciphering. Happening to look up suddenly, I saw that half the
school were watching us. I kept my seat with calmness, though I knew I
turned red. I glanced at Rachel, and really pitied her, she looked so
distressed, so conscious. That night she hurried home before I had put
away my books, and for several evenings did not appear.

But if she could do without me, I could not do without her. I missed her
face there at the end of the back-seat. I missed the walk home with her:
I had grown to depend upon it. She was just getting willing to talk, and
in what she said and the way she said it, in the tone of her voice and
in her whole manner, there was something to me extremely bewitching. She
had been strangely brought up, was familiar with books, but, having
received no regular education, fancied herself ignorant, and different
from everybody.

Finding that she still kept away from the school, I resolved one night
to call at the Squire's. It was some time after dark when I reached
there; and as I stood in the porch, brushing the snow from my boots, I
became aware of loud talking in the kitchen. Poor Rachel! both Mrs.
Brewster and Sarah were upon her, laughing and sneering about her
"setting her cap" for the schoolmaster, and accusing her of trying to
get him to come home with her, of moving for him to sit down by her
side! Once I heard Rachel's voice,--"Oh, please don't talk so! I don't
do as you say. It is dreadful for you to talk so!" I judged it better to
defer my call, and walked slowly along the road. It was not very cold,
and I sat down upon the stone wall. I sat down to think. Presently
Rachel herself hurried by, carrying a pitcher. She was bound on some
errand up the road. I called out,--

"Rachel, stop!"

She turned, in affright, and, upon seeing me, hurried the more. But I
overtook her, and placed her arm within mine in a moment, saying,--

"Rachel, you are not afraid of me, I hope!"

"Oh, no, Sir! no, indeed!" she exclaimed.

"And yet you run away from me."

She made no answer.

"Rachel," I said, at last, "I wish you would talk to me freely. I wish
you would tell what troubles you."

She hesitated a moment; and when, at last, she spoke, her answer rather
surprised me.

"I ought not to be so weak, I know," she replied; "but it is so hard to
stand all alone, to live my life just right, that sometimes I get

I had expected complaints of ill treatment, but found her blaming no one
but herself.

"And who said you must stand alone?" I asked.

"That was one of the things my mother used to say."

"And what other things did she say?"

"Oh, Mr. Browne," she replied, "I wish I could tell you about my mother!
But I can't talk; I am too ignorant; I don't know how to say it. When
she was alive," she continued, speaking very slowly, "I never knew how
good she was; but now her words keep coming back to me. Sometimes I
think she whispers them,--for she is an angel, and you know the hymn

  'There are angels hovering round.'

When we sing,

  'Ye holy throng of angels bright,'

I always sing to her, for I know she is listening."

Here she stopped suddenly, as if frightened that she had said so much.
The house to which she was going was now close by. I waited for her to
come out, and walked back with her towards home. After proceeding a
little way in silence, I said, abruptly,--

"Rachel, do they treat you well at the house yonder?"

She seemed reluctant to answer, but said, at last,--

"Not very well."

"Then, why stay? Why not find some other home?"

"I don't think it is time yet," she replied.

"I don't understand you. I wish--Rachel, can't you make a friend of me,
since you have no other?"

"I will tell you as well as I can," she replied, "what my mother used to
say. She said we must act rightly."

"That is true," I replied; "and what else did she say?"

"She said, that _that_ would only be the outside life, but the inside
life must be right too, must be pure and strong, and that the way to
make it pure and strong was to learn to _bear_."

"Still," I urged, "I wish you would find a better home. You cannot learn
to bear any more patiently than you do."

She shook her head.

"That shows that you don't know," she answered. "It seems to me right to
remain. Why, you know they can't hurt me any. Suppose they scold me
when I am not to blame, and my temper rises,--for I am very

"Oh, no, Rachel!"

"Oh, yes, Mr. Browne! Suppose my temper rises, and I put it down, and
keep myself pleasant, do I not do myself good? And thinking about it in
this way, is not their unkindness a benefit to me,--to the real me,--to
the soul of Rachel Lowe?"

I hardly knew what to say. Somehow, she seemed away up above me, while I
found that I had, in common with the Brewsters, only in a different way,
taken for granted my own superiority.

"All this may be true," I remarked, after a pause, "but it is not the
common way of viewing things."

"Perhaps not," she answered. "My mother was not like other people. My
father was a strong man, but he looked _up_ to her, and he loved her;
but he killed her at last,--with his conduct, he killed her. But when
she was dead, he grew crazy with grief, he loved her so. He talked about
her always,--talked in an absent, dreamy way about her goodness, her
beauty, her white hands, her long hair. Sometimes he would seem to be
whispering with her, and would say, softly,--'Oh, yes! I'll take care of
Rachel! pretty Rachel! your Rachel!'"

I longed to have her go on; but we had now reached the bars, and she was
not willing to walk farther.

"I have been talking a great deal about myself," she said; "but you know
you kept asking me questions."

"Yes, Rachel, I know I kept asking you questions. Do you care? I may
wish to ask you others."

"Oh, no," she replied; "but I could not answer many questions. I have
only a few thoughts, and know very little."

I watched her into the house, and then walked slowly homewards,
thinking, all the way, of this strange young girl, striving thus to
stand alone, working out her own salvation. I passed a pleasant night,
half sleeping, half waking, having always before my eyes that white
face, earnest and beautiful, as it looked up to me in the winter
starlight, and in my ears her words, "Is not their unkindness a benefit
to me,--to the real me,--to the soul of Rachel Lowe?"

But spring came; my school drew to a close; and I began to think of
home, Aunt Huldah, and Fanny. I wished that my sister could see Rachel.
I knew she would appreciate her, for there was depth in Fanny, with all
her liveliness. Sometimes I imagined, just imagined, myself married to
Rachel. But then there was Aunt Huldah,--what would she say to a
foreigner? And I was dependent upon Aunt Huldah. Besides, how did I know
that Rachel would have me? Was I equal to her? How worthless seemed my
little stock of book-learning by the side of that heart-wisdom which she
had coined, as it were, from her own sorrow!

My last day came, and I had not spoken. In fact, we latterly had both
grown silent. I was to leave in the afternoon stage. I gave the driver
my trunk, telling him to call for me at the Squire's,--for I must bid
Rachel good-bye, and in some way let her know how I felt towards her. As
I drew near the house, I saw that she was drawing water. I stepped
quickly towards the well, but Sam appeared just then, and I could not
say one word. She walked into the house. I went behind with the
water-pail, and Sam followed us into the porch. Rachel was going
up-stairs, but I took her hand to bid her good-bye. Mrs. Brewster and
Sarah were in the kitchen, watching. "Quite a love-scene!" I heard them
whisper. "I do believe he'll marry her!"

Now, although I was by nature quiet, yet I _could_ be roused. Bidding
good-bye to Rachel had stirred the very depths of my nature. I longed to
take her in my arms, and bear her away to my own quiet home. And when,
instead of this, I thought of the life to which I must leave her, it
needed but those sneering whispers to make me speak out,--and I did
speak out. Taking her by the hand, I stepped quickly forward, and stood
before them.

"And so I _will_ marry her!" I exclaimed. "If she will accept me, I
shall be _proud_ to marry her!"

"Rachel," said I, turning towards her, "this is strange wooing; but
before these people I ask, Will you be my wife?"

The astonished spectators of our love-scene looked on in dismay.

"Mr. Browne!" exclaimed Mrs. Brewster, "do you know what you are doing?
I have no ill-will to the girl; but I feel it my duty to tell you who
and what she is."

"I know what Rachel Lowe is, Madam!" I cried, almost fiercely; "you
don't,--you can't!"

Then, turning to the trembling girl, I said again,--

"Rachel, say, _will_ you be my wife?"

At this moment Sam came forward. His face was pale, and he trembled.

"No, Rachel," said he, "don't be his wife! Be mine! I haven't treated
you right, I know I haven't; but I love you, you don't know how much!
The very way you have tried to keep me off has made me love you!"

"Sam! stop!" cried his mother, in a rage. "What do you mean? You _know_
you won't marry that girl!"

"Mother," exclaimed Sam, "you don't know anything about her! She is
worth every other girl in the place, and handsomer than all of them put

"Sam!" began Miss Sarah.

"Now, Sarah, you stop!" cried he. "I've begun, and now I'll _tell_. At
first I teased her for fun. Then I watched her to see how she bore
everything so well. And while I was watching, I--before I knew it--I
began to love her. You may talk, if you want to; but I shall never _be_
anybody, if she won't have me!"

"Stage coming!" said a little boy, running in.

I took Rachel by the hand, and drew her with me into the porch.

"Don't promise to marry him!" cried Sam, as we passed through the
door-way. "But she will,--I know she will!" he added, as I closed the

He spoke in a pitiful tone, and his voice trembled. I was surprised that
he showed so much feeling.

"Rachel," said I, as soon as we were alone, "won't you answer me now?
You must know how much I love you. Will you be my wife?"

"Oh, Mr. Browne, I cannot! I cannot!" she whispered.

I was silent, for my fears came uppermost. Pressing one hand to my
forehead, I thought of a thousand things in a moment. Nothing seemed
more probable than that she should already have a lover across the sea.
Seeing my distress, she spoke.

"Don't think, Mr. Browne," she began, earnestly, "that it is because I
do not"--

There she stopped. I gazed eagerly in her face. It was strangely
agitated. I should hardly have known my calm, white-faced Rachel. Just
then I heard the stage stop at the bars.

"Oh, Rachel!" I cried, "go on! What mustn't I think? What shall I

"Don't think me ungrateful,--you have been so kind," she said, softly.

"And is that all?" I asked.

"Stage ready!" called out the driver.

I opened the door, to show that I was coming; then, taking her hand, I

"Good bye, Rachel! And so--you can't love me!"

An expression of pain crossed her face. She leaned against the wall, but
did not speak.

"Hurry up there!" shouted the driver.

"Yes, yes!" I cried, impatiently.

"If you can't speak," I went on to Rachel, "press my hand, if you can
love me,--now, for I am going. Good bye!"

She did not press my hand, and I could not go.

"You can't say you love me," I cried; "then say you don't. Anything
rather than this doubt."

"Oh, Mr. Browne!" she replied, at last, "I can't say anything--but--good

"Good bye, then," I said, sadly. "But shall you still live here?"

"Oh, no!" she exclaimed, earnestly; "you can't think that I"--

Here she stopped, and glanced towards the kitchen-door.

"No," said I, "I won't think it. But where will you stay?"

"With Mrs. James. You know her. I have already spoken with her."

The tramp of the driver was now heard, approaching.

"Any passenger here bound for Boston?"

"Yes, Sir," I answered, and with one more whispered good-bye, one wring
of the hand, I passed out, gave my bundle to the driver, and entered the

What a ride home that was! What a half-day of doubting, hoping,
despairing! I had not before realized how sure I had been of her
accepting me; and now that I felt how much I loved her, and thought of
the many causes which might separate us, I could not but say over in my
heart the sorrowful words of poor Sam,--"I shall never _be_ anybody, if
she won't have me." Still, though not accepted, I could not feel
refused; for what was it I read in her face? why so agitated? That she
struggled with some strong feeling was evident. The remembrance,
perhaps, of a former love.

In this tumult, this miserable condition, I reached home, where,
spreading my old calmness over my new agitation, I received, as best I
might, the joyful greeting of Fanny, the heartfelt welcome of Aunt
Huldah. I tried hard to be my own old self, and could not but hope that
even my sharp-eyed sister was blinded. But no sooner had I entered my
room for the night, no sooner had I thrown myself into my deep-cushioned
arm-chair, than this lively sprite entered, on her way to bed. She
seated herself on the trunk close by me, laid her hand upon my arm, and

"What is it, Charley?"

"What, Fanny?" I asked.

"Now, Charley," said she, "you might as well speak out at once. Why was
I left, when all the rest were taken, but that you might have at least
_one_ that you loved to tell your troubles to? Come, now! Take off that
manner of yours; you might as well, for I can see right through it. You
will feel better to let everything out,--and then, who knows but I might
help you?"

Sure enough. It was strange, considering what Fanny had always been to
me, that this had not occurred to my own mind. How natural it seemed now
to tell her all about it! What a relief it would be! But how should I
begin? I shrank from it. I began to come round to my first position. It
seemed as if the corner of my heart which held Rachel was a holy of
holies, too sacred to be entered even by my dear, good sister. While I
was thinking, she watched my face.

"Ah!" said she, "I see you don't know how to begin, and that I must both
listen and talk. Give me your hand. Haven't I got gypsy eyes? I will
tell your fortune."

Dear little bright-faced Fanny! I smiled a real smile when she took my

"It is about a girl?" she said, half inquiringly.

I colored, though it was only Fanny, and nodded,--


"You love the girl?" she continued, after a pause.

"I _do_ love the girl!" I said, earnestly,--for, now that the curtain
was lifted, she might see all she chose.

"And she loves you?"

"No,--I think so,--I don't know," was my satisfactory reply.

"But why don't you ask her?"

"I _have_ asked her."

"And what did she say? I wish, Charley, you would begin at the beginning
and tell me all about it. How can I help you, if I don't know?"

I was glad enough to do it. I began at the beginning, and told all there
was to tell. It was not much,--for the beauty, the goodness, the
patience of Rachel could not be told. When all was over, she said,--

"I am glad you have told me, for I can make you easy on one point. She
loves you. Ah, I can see! Women can always see, but men are stupid. Your
declaration was too sudden. She might have thought you were forced into
it. She is too high-minded to take advantage of a moment when your
feelings were all excited. Wait awhile. Let her see that you do not
change, and she will give you just such an answer as you will like to
hear. Why, Charley, I like her better for not accepting you than for
anything you have told about her."

"Well, Fanny," I said, half sighing, "it may be so,--I hope it may be
so; but if it does turn out as you say, how shall we manage about Aunt
Huldah? You know how she feels; and then there is Alice."

"What a brother you are!" exclaimed Fanny. "No sooner do I get you out
of one difficulty than you go beating against another! Perhaps _I_
shan't like her; then how will you manage about _me_? It is not every
girl I will take for a sister! And as for Alice, do you think she is
waiting for you all this time, vain man? She's got another beau. But
now," she went on, as soon as she could stop laughing, "go to bed, and
sleep easy, knowing that Rachel loves you, for I have said it. She loves
you too well to take you at your word. I hope she isn't too good for
you. I will think it all over, and see what can be done. Good night!
Kiss me now for what I have told you, just as you would Rachel, if she
had told you herself."

And I did, almost.

The next afternoon Fanny and I went out for a long walk. Aunt Huldah
encouraged our going, for she was coloring, and wanted from the store
both indigo and alum.

"Do you know the person with whom Rachel is staying?" asked Fanny, as
soon as we were fairly started.

"Mrs. James? Yes, she is a nice young woman."

"Do you think Rachel would like to learn the milliner's trade? It would
be a good thing for her."

"So it would; but where?"

"Does she know much of your friends, of how you are situated?"

"No. In the few hours we were together I was too much occupied in
drawing her out to speak of my own affairs."

"I suppose she knows where you live?"

"I don't know; I think, if I spoke of any place, it was Cambridge,--I
hailed from there."

"Well," said Fanny, thoughtfully, "perhaps it will make no difference.
Anyway, it will do to try it. There are many Brownes. Besides, Aunt
Huldah will be different. She will be Sprague, I shall be only Fanny,
and Charley will be Charley."

"My dear Fanny!" I exclaimed, "what _are_ you saying?"

"Why, you see, buddy,"--she often called me "buddy" for
"brother,"--"that, if Rachel loves you, and you love her, you will
_have_ each other. If Aunt Huldah is angry, and won't give you any of
her money, still you will be married, even if you both have to work by
the day. Does this seem clear?"

I laughed, and said,--

"Very,--and right, too."

"Still," she went on, "it will be better for all concerned to have Aunt
Huldah like her. Don't you remember that one summer a young girl from
the milliner's boarded with us, and helped us, to pay her board?"

"Capital!" I said. "But can you manage it?"

"I think I can. Mrs. Sampson is, I know, wanting a girl for the busy

"But Rachel wouldn't come here,--to my home!"

"She need not know it is your home. I will write to Mrs. James, and tell
her all about it,--tell why I want Rachel here, and what a good
situation it will be for her at Mrs. Sampson's. She can find out whether
the plan is pleasing to her; and if it is, she can herself make all the
arrangements. Of course I shall charge her not to tell. Then, when
everything is settled, I can just say to the milliner that we should
like to make the same little arrangement that we did before."

"And she live here with you, with Aunt Huldah?"

"Why not? She needn't know that Mrs. Huldah Sprague is your aunt, or
that this is your home."

"But she would find it out some way. People calling would mention me.
Aunt herself would."

"I know it," said Fanny, not quite so hopefully; "and that is the weak
point of my plan. But then, you know, we are Charley and Fanny to
everybody. _She_ only thinks of you as Mr. Browne. Anyway, something
will be gained. I shall see her, and decide about liking her, which is
quite important; and it will be well for her to have the situation, even
if nothing else comes of it. I don't see any harm our scheme can do; do
you, Charley?"

"No,--no harm; but still, things don't look--exactly clear."

"Of course not; it is not to be expected. I have read in books that
lovers have always a mist before their eyes. Mine are clear yet; and I
will tell you what to do,--or, rather, what not to do. Don't write her
from here; wait till you are in Cambridge."

By this time we reached the house. The moment we entered, Aunt Huldah
stretched out her hand for the dye-stuff. We had forgotten all about it!

Those few days at home were pleasant. Aunt Huldah was unusually kind. It
was such a satisfaction to her to know that I had kept a school,--to
think that some of her own pluck was hid beneath my quiet seeming. She
proposed my becoming a lawyer, to which I made no objection,--for I knew
I could make a _dumb_ lawyer, one of the kind who only sit and write.

I wrote to Rachel from Cambridge, and she answered my letter. It was
like herself. "How very kind you have been," she wrote, "to me, a poor
stranger-girl! If I knew how to write, I would try to let you know how
much I feel it. I can't understand your wanting to marry a girl like me.
I know so little, _am_ so little. I hope it will not offend you, but I
think I ought to say, even if it does, that you must not write any more.
Sometime you will thank me, in your heart, for not doing as you want me
to now."

I saw that I had indeed a noble nature to deal with. Here was a girl,
all alone in the world, rejecting the sweetest offering that could be
made to a friendless one,--a loving heart,--lest that heart should be
made to suffer on her account! Of course I kept on writing, though my
letters were not answered. I sent her letter to Fanny, who wrote me to
keep up good courage, for she had already put her irons in the
fire,--that, although now fully convinced that Rachel was too good for
me, she had herself begun to love her, and was at work on her own

I always kept Fanny's letters. Here is a part of one I received after
having been a few weeks from home:--

"I have just got my answer from Mrs. James. She is just the woman to
help us along. Rachel wants to come! I have spoken to Aunt Huldah. It is
too bad, but I had to be a bit of a hypocrite, to hint that I was rather
poorly, and how nice it would be to have a little help. She had just got
in a new piece to weave, and so was quite ready to take up with my plan.
I shall get well as soon as it will do, for she seems anxious. Aunt has
a stiff way, I know, but there's a warm corner somewhere in her heart,
and we are in it, and you know there's always room for one more."

It was a week, and more, before I got another letter from my scheming
sister. It began this way:--

"Your Rachel is a beauty! Just as sweet and modest as she can be! She is
sitting at the end-window of my room, watching the vessels. I am writing
at the front-window. She has just looked at me. What eyes she has! If
she _only_ knew whom I was writing to! When I see you, I shall tell you
the particulars. But don't come posting home now, and spoil everything.
You shall hear all that is necessary for you to know."

Fanny need not have cautioned me about coming home. It was happiness
enough then to think of Rachel sitting in my sister's room,--of Aunt
Huldah's keen eyes watching her daily life.

"My plan works," writes Fanny, a week afterwards. "Aunt seems to take a
liking to Rachel, which I, if anything, rather discourage, thinking she
will be more likely to stick to it. Rachel is a sister after my own
heart. I do like those people who, while they are so steady and calm,
show by their eyes and the tone of the voice what warm, delicate
feelings they are keeping to themselves! She is one of the real good
kind! What a way she has with her!--I saw her to-day, when she received
a letter from you. It came in one from Mrs. James. I was making believe
read, but peeped at her sideways, just as I have seen you do at the
girls in meeting-time. She slipped yours into her pocket, with such a
blush,--then looked up, sort of scared, to see if I noticed anything;
but I was reading my book. Then she stepped quickly out of the room, and
I saw her, a moment after, go through the garden into the apple-orchard,
and along the path to the low-branching apple-tree, to read it all

This tree I knew well. It was an irregular old apple-tree, one of whose
branches formed of itself a nice seat, where Fanny and I had often sat
from childhood up.

Afterwards she writes,--

"You have sent Rachel a ring,--a pearl ring; you didn't tell me, but I
know. I have seen her kiss it. (Does this please you?) I happened to
find it yesterday, while rummaging her box for the buttonhole scissors.
(She sent me there.) Said I,--'Oh, what a pretty ring! Why don't you
wear it?' I never thought till I had spoken; but then I knew in a
minute, by her looking so red. She said she'd a reason for thinking it
would not be quite right to wear it,--said perhaps she would tell
sometime. It was last night I saw her kiss it, when she thought I was
asleep,--we sleep in the same room. She tried it on her finger, but took
it right off again, sighing, and looking so sad that I don't know what I
should have done, had I not known how it was all coming out right pretty
soon.--Aunt Huldah is completely entangled in my web. She has come into
it with her sharp eyes wide open! She likes Rachel,--says she always
knows where to _take hold_, and makes no fuss about doing things. She
gets her to read the chapter, because she says she likes the sound of
her voice. There is not only _sound_, but _feeling_ in her voice, and
that is what aunt means; but you know she never says _all_ she
means,--she isn't one of the kind. Rachel is always doing little things
for her, and bringing home bunches of sweet-fern and everlasting. Even
if my plan upsets now, much will be gained,--for aunt can't get back her
liking, I have found a dear friend, and Rachel a good place. Your name
has been mentioned, but only as Charley. I am in daily fear that aunt
will allude to your school, though, to be sure, she is not at all
communicative, (girls having brothers in college should use a big word
now and then,) but we are getting so well acquainted that I begin to
shake in my shoes. But the mornings are busy, the noons are short, and
you know aunt always goes to bed with the hens. My dread is of
_callers_,--not just the neighbors running in, but the _regulars_. It is
so natural for them to say, 'How is your nephew?'--not that they care
for you, except as being something to talk about."

Soon after, came the following:--

"Charley, my boy, what I feared has come to pass! Last night our new
young minister called. He is a good young man, I know, but so stiff! Not
too stiff, though, to take a good look at Rachel. We all sat up straight
in our chairs. His eyes were deep and black, his face pale and solemn.
He was all in black, but just the white about his throat. When the
weather, the prospects of the farmers, and of the church, were all over
with, then came an awful pause. _Then_ it was that I began to shiver,
and that the mischief was done. 'Mrs. Sprague.' he began, 'I understand
you have a nephew, not now at home, who taught school last winter in the
little village of Norway.' You may guess the rest. There was a long talk
about you. Rachel hasn't said a word, but I see by her face that she is
laying some desperate plan. Now, Charley, is your time! Hurry home! Come
and spend next Sunday. Aunt spoke of your coming in four weeks, but I
shall look for you next Saturday night. She gets through work earlier
then. The stage reaches here about sunset. Stop at the tavern, and run
home over the hills. You will come out behind the orchard, and Rachel
and I will be sitting on the branch of the low apple-tree."

Now I had been getting uneasy for some time. All this while I had been
living on Fanny's letters. Now I wanted more. It was much to know that
Rachel loved me, but I longed to hear her say so. I depended upon her.
She seemed already a part of myself. My shadowy pinafore-maker had
assumed a living form of beauty, and was already more to me than I had
ever imagined woman could be to man, than one soul could be to another.
I had always, in common with other men, considered myself as an oak
destined in the course of Nature to support some clinging vine; but, if
I were an oak-tree, she was another, with an infinitude more of grace
and beauty.

As may be supposed, I required no urging to take the Saturday's stage
for home. We arrived at sunset. I made for the hills with all speed,
rushing through bushes and briers, leaping brooks at a bound, until I
came out just behind the orchard. There I paused. My happiness seemed so
near that I would fain enjoy, before grasping it. I walked softly along
under the trees, until I came in sight of two girls sitting with their
arms around each other's waists upon the low branch of the apple-tree.
There was just room for two. The branch, after running parallel with the
ground for a little way, took a sudden turn upwards; and to this natural
seat I had myself, in my younger days, added a back of rough branches. I
came towards them, from behind, and hid myself awhile behind the trunk
of a tree. Fanny was making Rachel talk, making her laugh, in spite of
herself, as I could well see. Then she began to play with her dark hair,
twining it prettily about her head, and twisting among it damask roses
with their buds,--for it was June, and our damask rose-bush was then
always in full bloom.

If Rachel had been beautiful in her rusty black dress, what could I say
of her now? She wore a gown of pink gingham, made after the fashion of
the day, short-waisted and low in the neck, with a--finishing-off--of
white muslin or lace, edged with a tucker. There was color in her
cheeks, and added to this was the glow from the roses, and from the pink
gown. When she smiled, her mouth was beautiful. I had not been used to
seeing her smile. As she threw her arm over the back of the seat, in
turning her face towards Fanny, laughing as I had never before seen her
laugh, I was so bewildered by the beauty of her face and figure that I
forgot my caution, and made a hasty step towards her. The grass was
soft, but they heard the noise and turned full upon me.

"Why, Charley! you dear boy!" exclaimed Fanny; and she came running up,
throwing both arms around my neck.

I kissed her; and then she drew me towards Rachel, who stood, like one
in despair, trembling, blushing, almost weeping.

"Charley," cried Fanny, roguishly, "kiss me, kiss my friend. This is my
friend. Won't you kiss her, too?"

"With pleasure," I answered, with too much of deep feeling to laugh.
"Rachel, I always mind Fanny; you will not, then, think it strange, if

I cannot finish the sentence on paper, because it had not a grammatical
ending. I kept hold of Rachel's hand, thus adding to her
distress,--telling her, all the while, how good it was to see her, and
to see her there. She tried to withdraw her hand, tried to speak, tried
to keep silent, and at last burst out with,--

"Oh, Fanny! do tell him that I didn't know,--that I had no idea,--that
you asked me,--that you never told me!"

"Charley," said Fanny, laughing, "did you ever know me to tell a lie? To
my certain knowledge, this young woman came here to board, expecting to
find nothing worse than Aunt Huldah and myself; and it was at my
suggestion she came."

Then taking Rachel by the hand, she said,--

"Be easy, my dear child. You need not feel so pained. Charley loves you,
and you love him, and we all love one another. Charley is a dear boy,
and you mustn't plague him. I will tell you all about it, dear. When
Charley came home, and I made him tell me about you, I know, from what
he said, that you were--But I won't praise you to your face. Hasn't
Charley seen plenty of girls, handsome girls, educated, accomplished?
And haven't I watched him these years, to see when Love would catch him?
Haven't I searched his face, time and again, for signs of love at his
heart? When he came home in the spring, I saw that his time had come,
and trouble with it. I made him _tell_, for I would not send him away
with a grief shut up in his heart. Then I contrived this plan of seeing
and knowing you, dear. I knew that Charley would never have been so
deeply moved, had you not been worthy; but, my dear child, I never
thought of loving you so! I shall be so proud, if you will be my
sister,--for you will, I know. You can't refuse such a dear boy as

I still held Rachel by the hand; and while Fanny was speaking so
earnestly, my other hand, of itself, went creeping around her waist, and
drew her close to me.

"You can't refuse," I whispered, reposting Fanny's words; and I knew by
the look in her face, and the way her heart beat, that she couldn't.

But Fanny was one who never liked deep waters. Seeing that matters were
growing earnest, she rose quickly to the surface, and went rattling on,
in her lively way.

"Now, come, you two, and sit down in this cozy seat. You have never had
a nice time all to yourselves, to make love in. Ah! how well you look
together! Just room enough! Rachel, dear, rest your head on Charley's
shoulder. You must. Charley always minds me, and you will have to. Now,
buddy, just drop your head on hers a minute. Capital! Your light curls
make her hair look more like black velvet than ever! That will do. Now I
leave you to your fate. I am rattle-headed, I know, but I hope I have
some consideration."

And so she left us, sitting there in the twilight, in the solemn hush of
Saturday night.

The next day we all went to meeting. It seemed good that I was only to
spend Sunday at home. The quiet, the air of solemnity all around us,
harmonized well with the song my own soul was singing. It was
Sabbath-day within, one long, blessed Sabbath, with which the bustle of
week-day life would ill accord. That perfect day I never forgot. Even
now I can scent its roses in the air. Even now I can almost feel the
daisies brushing against my feet, while walking up the narrow lane on
our way to church,--can see the sweetbrier by the red gate, and myself
giving Rachel one of its blossoms.

During the rest of the term I had frequent letters from Fanny and
Rachel, telling how happy they both were, and what talks they had in the
apple-tree,--telling that Aunt Huldah _knew_, but wasn't angry, only
just a little at Fanny, for being so sly. Then came the long summer
vacation. The very day I got home, the solemn young minister called.
Fanny said that he came often, but she thought he would do so no longer,
for he would see that it was of no use to be looking at Rachel. He did,
however, and Rachel said he came to look at Fanny. I bestirred myself,
therefore, to become acquainted with him. His stiffness was only of the
manners. I found him a genial, cultivated, warm-hearted person; in fact,
I liked him. How cold the word sounds now, applied to one whom I
afterwards came to love as a brother, whose gentle heart sympathized in
all our troubles, whose tears were ever ready to mingle with our own!

He gave us every opportunity of finding him out, joined us in our sunset
walks, and in our long sittings under the trees. I soon came to be well
satisfied that he should look at Fanny,--satisfied that she should watch
for his coming, and blush when he came. I was happy to see the mist she
once spoke of slowly gathering before her own eyes, and to know, from
the strange quiet which came over her, that some new influence was at
work within her heart.

The beauty of Rachel seemed each day more brilliant. Amid such happy
influences, the lively, genial side of her nature expanded like a flower
in the sunshine. "The soul of Rachel Lowe," having no longer to stand
alone, bearing the weight of its own sorrows, brought its energies to
promote the happiness of us all. She contrived pleasant surprises, and
charmed Aunt Huldah with her constant acts of kindness. She sang
beautiful songs, and filled the house with flowers; and when we sat
long, in the cool of the evening, out under the trees, she would relate
strange, wild stories which she had heard from her mother,--stories of
other times and distant lands.

Meanwhile Aunt Huldah was as kind as heart could wish, treating us
tenderly, and as if we were little children; and one stormy night, when
we four sat with her in the keeping-room, talking, until daylight faded,
and the short twilight left us nearly in darkness, she told us some
things about her own youth, things of which, by daylight, she would
never have spoken,--and told, too, of a dear, only brother, who was
ruined for all time, and, she feared, for eternity also, from being
crossed in love by the strong will of his father. Aunt Huldah had a
tender heart. Her voice grew thick and hoarse, while telling the story.
I was always glad we had that talk. It made us know her better. She
lived only a year after. She died in June, when the grass was green and
the roses were in bloom,--just a year from that Sabbath I spent at home,
that perfect day when I walked to meeting with Rachel up the grassy
lane. With sad hearts, we laid her to rest in a spot that she loved,
where the sweet-fern and wild-roses were growing,--with sad, grateful
hearts, for she had been to us as father, mother, and true friend. We
loved her for the affection she showed, and still more for that which we
knew she concealed within herself,--for the tenderness she would not let
be revealed.

The next year Rachel and I were married, thus making the month of June
trebly sacred. We had a double wedding; for the young minister, finding
that he had looked at Fanny too long for his own tranquillity, proposed
to mend matters in a way which no one whose faculties were not strangely
betwisted by love would ever have thought of. And my sister must either
have secretly liked the plan, or else have lost her old faculty of
managing; for, when he said, "Come, Fanny, and let us dwell together in
the parsonage," she went, just as quiet as a lamb.

Rachel and I remained, and do remain to this day, at the old house.
Fanny said we ought to go into the world,--that I might possibly become
brilliant, and Rachel would certainly be admired. But the first of these
suggestions had little weight with me; and Rachel said how nice it would
be to live here among the apple-trees, near Fanny, to read books, sing
songs, and so have a good time all our lives!

"And have nobody but Charley see how handsome you are!" exclaimed Fanny.

Rachel didn't color at this, but remarked, a little roguishly, that she
would rather have one of those sidelong looks I used to give her in the
old school-house than all the admiration in the world.

This was the time when I chose my profession, as mentioned in the
beginning. And I may say that we _have_ had a good time all our lives.
Yet we have known sorrow. Four times has the dark shadow fallen upon our
hearts; four sad processions have passed up the narrow lane; four little
graves, by the side of Aunt Huldah's, show where, standing together, we
wept tears of agony! Yet we stood together; and Rachel, who knew so
well, taught me how to bear. In every hour of anguish I have found
myself leaning upon the strong, steadfast "soul of Rachel Lowe." I say
still, therefore, that we have had a good time, for we have loved one
another all our lives. And we have never been too much alone. Plenty of
friends have been glad to come and see us; and on Anniversary Week we
have usually made a journey to Boston, to wear off the rust, and get
stirred up generally. We attend most frequently the Anti-Slavery
Conventions. I know of no better place, whether for getting stirred up,
or wearing off the rust. That couple whom you may have noticed
sitting near the platform--that bald-headed old gentleman and
intelligent-looking elderly lady--are my wife and I. We met with the
early Abolitionists in a stable; we saw Garrison dragged through the
streets, and heard Phillips's first speech in Faneuil Hall.

I have always kept my old habit of watching pretty faces; only I don't
look sideways now: for the girls never think that an old man cares to
see them; but he does. We have one son, who Fanny devoutly hopes will
turn out better than his father. May he go through life as happily! And
he is in a fair way for it. I like to see him with Jenny, the pretty
daughter of my friend the watchmaker. If my good friend thinks to keep
always with him that youngest one of his flock, he will find his
mistake; for it was only yesterday that I saw them sitting together on
the seat in the low-branching apple-tree.

       *       *       *       *       *


Human nature is impatient of mysteries. The occurrence of an event out
of the line of common causation, the advent of a person not plastic to
the common moulds of society, causes a great commotion in this little
ant-hill of ours. There is perplexity, bewilderment, a running hither
and thither, until the foreign substance is assigned a place in the
ranks; and if there be no rank to which it can be ascertained to belong,
a new rank shall be created to receive it, rather than that it shall be
left to roam up and down, baffling, defiant, and alone. Indeed, so great
is our abhorrence of outlying, unclassified facts, that we are often
ready to accept classification for explanation; and having given our
mystery a niche and a name, we cease any longer to look upon it as
mysterious. The village-schoolmaster, who displayed his superior
knowledge to the rustics gazing at an eclipse of the sun by assuring
them that it was "only a phenomenon," was but one of a great host of
wiseacres who stand ready with brush and paint-pot to label every new
development, and fancy that in so doing they have abundantly answered
every reasonable inquiry concerning cause, character, and consequence.

When William Blake flashed across the path of English polite society,
society was confounded. It had never had to do with such an apparition
before, and was at its wits' end. But some Daniel was found wise enough
to come to judgment, and pronounce the poet-painter mad; whereupon
society at once composed itself, and went on its way rejoicing.

There are a few persons, however, who are not disposed to let this
verdict stand unchallenged. Mr. Arthur Gilchrist, late a barrister of
the Middle Temple, a man, therefore, who must have been accustomed to
weigh evidence, and who would not have been likely to decide upon
insufficient grounds, wrote a life of Mr. Blake, in which he strenuously
and ably opposed the theory of insanity. From this book, chiefly, we
propose to lay before our readers a slight sketch of the life of a man
who, whether sane or insane, was one of the most remarkable productions
of his own or of any age.

One word, in the beginning, regarding the book before us. The death of
its author, while as yet but seven chapters of his work had been
printed, would preclude severe criticism, even if the spirit and purpose
with which he entered upon his undertaking, and which he sustained to
its close, did not dispose us to look leniently upon imperfections of
detail. Possessing that first requisite of a biographer, thorough
sympathy with his subject, he did not fall into the opposite error of
indiscriminate panegyric. Looking at life from the standpoint of the
"madman," he saw how fancies could not only appear, but be, facts; and
then, crossing over, he looked at the madman from the world's
standpoint, and saw how these soul-born facts could seem not merely
fancies, but the wild vagaries of a crazed brain. For the warmth with
which he espoused an unpopular cause, for the skill with which he set
facts in their true light, for the ability which he brought to the
defence of a man whom the world had agreed to condemn, for the noble
persistence with which he forced attention to genius that had hitherto
received little but neglect, we cannot too earnestly express our
gratitude. But the greater our admiration of material excellence, the
greater is our regret for superficial defects. The continued oversight
of the author would doubtless have removed many infelicities of style;
yet we marvel that one with so clear an insight should ever, even in the
first glow of composition, have involved himself in sentences so
complicated and so obscure. The worst faults of Miss Sheppard's worst
style are reproduced here, joined to an unthriftiness in which she had
no part nor lot. Not unfrequently a sentence Is a conglomerate in which
the ideas to be conveyed are heaped together with no apparent attempt at
arrangement, unity, or completeness. Surely, it need be no presumptuous,
but only a tender and reverent hand that should have organized these
chaotic periods, completing the work which death left unfinished, and
sending it forth to the world in a garb not unworthy the labor of love
so untiringly bestowed upon it by the lamented author.

To show that our strictures are not undeserved, we transcribe a few
sentences, taken at random from the memoir:--

"Which decadence it was led this Pars to go into the juvenile
Art-Academy line, _vice_ Shipley retired."

"The unusual notes struck by William Blake, in any case appealing but to
one class and a small one, were fated to remain unheard, even by the
Student of Poetry, until the process of regeneration had run its course,
and, we may say, the Poetic Revival gone to seed again: seeing that the
virtues of simplicity and directness the new poets began by bringing
once more into the foreground, are those least practised now."

"In after years of estrangement from Stothard, Blake used to complain of
this mechanical employment as engraver to a fellow-designer, who (he
asserted) first borrowed from one that, in his servile capacity, had
then to copy that comrade's version of his own inventions--as to motive
and composition his own, that is."

"And this imposing scroll of fervid truisms and hap-hazard generalities,
as often disputable as not, if often acute and striking, always
ingenuous and pleasant, was, like all his other writings, warmly
welcomed in this country."

Let us now go back a hundred years, to the time when William Blake was a
fair-haired, smooth-browed boy, wandering aimlessly, after the manner of
boys, about the streets of London. It might seem at first a matter of
regret that a soul full of all glowing and glorious fancies should have
been consigned to the damp and dismal dulness of that crowded city; but,
in truth, nothing could be more fit. To this affluent, creative mind
dinginess and dimness were not. Through the grayest gloom golden palaces
rose before him, silver pavements shone beneath his feet, jewelled gates
unfolded on golden hinges turning, and he wandered forth into a fair
country. What need of sunshine and bloom for one who saw in the deepest
darkness a "light that never was on sea or land"? Rambling out into the
pleasant woods of Dulwich, through the green meadows of Walton, by the
breezy heights of Sydenham, bands of angels attended him. They walked
between the toiling haymakers, they hovered above him in the
apple-boughs, and their bright wings shone like stars. For him there was
neither awe nor mystery, only delight. Angels were no more unnatural
than apples. But the honest hosier, his father, took different views.
Never in all his life had that worthy citizen beheld angels perched on
tree-tops, and he was only prevented from administering to his son a
sound thrashing for the absurd falsehood by the intercession of his
mother. Ah, these mothers! By what fine sense is it that they detect the
nascent genius for which man's coarse perception can find no better name
than perverseness, and no wiser treatment than brute force?

The boy had much reason to thank his mother, for to her intervention it
was doubtless largely due that he was left to follow his bent, and haunt
such picture-galleries as might be found in noblemen's houses and public
sale-rooms. There he feasted his bodily eyes on earthly beauty, as his
mental gaze had been charmed with heavenly visions. From admiration to
imitation was but a step, and the little hands soon began to shape such
rude, but loving copies as Raffaelle, with tears in his eyes, must have
smiled to see. His father, moved by motherly persuasions, as we can
easily infer, bought him casts for models, that he might continue his
drawing-lessons at home; his own small allowance of pocket-money went
for prints; his wistful child-face presently became known to dealers,
and many a cheap lot was knocked down to him with amiable haste by
friendly auctioneers. Then and there began that life-long love and
loyalty to the grand old masters of Germany and Italy, to Albrecht
Dürer, to Michel Angelo, to Raffaelle, which knew no diminution, and
which, in its very commencement, revealed the eclecticism of true
genius, because the giants were not the gods in those days.

But there came a time when Pegasus must be broken in to drudgery, and
travel along trodden ways. By slow, it cannot be said by toilsome
ascent, the young student had reached the vestibule of the temple; but

    "Every door was barred with gold, and opened but to golden keys,"

which, alas! to him were wanting. Nothing daunted, his sincere soul
preferred to be a doorkeeper in the house of his worship rather than a
dweller in the tents of Mammon. Unable to be an artist, he was content
for the time to become an artisan, and chose to learn engraving,--a
craft which would keep him within sight and sound of the heaven from
which he was shut out. Application was first made to Ryland, then in the
zenith of his fame, engraver to the King, friend of authors and artists,
himself a graceful, accomplished, and agreeable gentleman. But the
marvellous eyes that pierced through mortal gloom to immortal glory saw
also the darkness that brooded behind uncanny light. "I do not like the
man's face," said young Blake, as he was leaving the shop with his
father; "it looks as if he will live to be hanged." The negotiation
failed; Blake was apprenticed to Basire; and twelve years after, the
darkness that had lain so long in ambush came out and hid the day:
Ryland was hanged.

His new master, Basire, was one of those workmen who magnify their
office and make it honorable. The most distinguished of four generations
of Basires, engravers, he is represented as a superior, liberal-minded,
upright man, and a kind master. With him Blake served out his seven
years of apprenticeship, as faithful, painstaking, and industrious as
any blockhead. So great was the confidence which he secured, that, month
after month, and year after year, he was sent out alone to Westminster
Abbey and the various old churches in the neighborhood, to make drawings
from the monuments, with no oversight but that of his own taste and his
own conscience. And a rich reward we may well suppose his integrity
brought him, in the charming solitudes of those old-time sanctuaries.
Wandering up and down the consecrated aisles,--eagerly peering through
the dim, religious light for the beautiful forms that had leaped from
many a teeming brain now turned to dust,--reproducing, with patient
hand, graceful outline and deepening shadow,--his daring, yet reverent
heart held high communion with the ages that were gone. The Spirit of
the Past overshadowed him. The grandeur of Gothic symbolism rose before
him. Voices of dead centuries murmured low music down the fretted vault.
Fair ladies and brave gentlemen came up from the solemn chambers where
they had lain so long in silent state, and smiled with their olden
grace. Shades of nameless poets, who had wrought their souls into a
cathedral and died unknown and unhonored, passed before the dreaming
boy, and claimed their immortality. Nay, once the Blessed Face shone
through the cloistered twilight, and the Twelve stood roundabout. In
this strange solitude and stranger companionship many an old problem
untwined its Gordian knot, and whispered along its loosened length,--

  "I give you the end of a golden string:
    Only wind it into a ball,
  It will lead you in at Heaven's gate,
    Built in Jerusalem wall."

To an engraving of "Joseph of Arimathea among the Rocks of Albion,"
executed at this time, he appends,--"This is one of the Gothic artists
who built the Cathedrals in what we call the Dark Ages, wandering about
in sheepskins and goatskins; of whom the world was not worthy. Such were
the Christians in all ages."

Yet, somewhere, through mediæval gloom and modern din, another spirit
breathed upon him,--a spirit of green woods and blue waters, the
freshness of May mornings, the prattle of tender infancy, the gambols of
young lambs on the hill-side. From his childhood, Poetry walked hand in
hand with Painting, and beguiled his loneliness with wild, sweet
harmonies. Bred up amid the stately, measured, melodious platitudes of
the eighteenth century, that Golden Age of commonplace, he struck down
through them all with simple, untaught, unconscious directness, and
smote the spring of ever-living waters. Such wood-notes wild as trill in
Shakspeare's verse sprang from the stricken chords beneath his hand. The
little singing-birds that seem almost to have leaped unbidden into life
among the gross creations of those old Afreets who

  "Stood around the throne of Shakspeare,
  Sturdy, but unclean,"

carolled their clear, pure lays to him, and left a quivering echo. Fine,
fleeting fantasies we have, a tender, heartfelt, heart-reaching pathos,
laughter that might at any moment tremble into tears, eternal truths,
draped in the garb of quaint and simple story, solemn fervors, subtile
sympathies, and the winsomeness of little children at their
play,--sometimes glowing with the deepest color, often just tinged to
the pale and changing hues of a dream, but touched with such coy grace,
modulated to such free, wild rhythm, suffused with such a delicate,
evanishing loveliness, that they seem scarcely to be the songs of our
tangible earth, but snatches from fairy-land. Often rude in form, often
defective in rhyme, and not unfrequently with even graver faults than
these, their ruggedness cannot hide the gleam of the sacred fire. "The
Spirit of the Age," moulding her pliant poets, was wiser than to meddle
with this sterner stuff. From what hidden cave in Rare Ben Jonson's
realm did the boy bring such an opal as this


  "My silks and fine array,
    My smiles and languished air,
  By Love are driven away;
    And mournful, lean Despair
  Brings me yew to deck my grave:
  Such end true lovers have!

  "His face is fair as heaven,
    Where springing buds unfold;
  Oh, why to him was 't given,
    Whose heart is wintry cold?
  His breast is Love's all-worshipped tomb,
  Where all Love's pilgrims come.

  "Bring me an axe and spade,
    Bring me a winding-sheet;
  When I my grave have made,
    Let winds and tempests beat:
  Then down I'll lie, as cold as clay.
  True love doth pass away."

What could the Spirit of the Age hope to do with a boy scarcely yet in
his teens, who dared arraign her in such fashion as is set forth in his


  "Whether on Ida's shady brow,
    Or in the chambers of the East,
  The chambers of the Sun, that now
    From ancient melody have ceased;

  "Whether in heaven ye wander fair,
    Or the green corners of the earth,
  Or the blue regions of the air,
    Where the melodious winds have birth;

  "Whether on crystal rocks ye rove
    Beneath the bosom of the sea,
  Wandering in many a coral grove,
    Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

  "How have you left the ancient love
    That bards of old enjoyed in you!
  The languid strings do scarcely move,
    The sound is forced, the notes are few."

Whereabouts in its Elegant Extracts would a generation that strung
together sonorous couplets, and compiled them into a book to Enforce the
Practice of Virtue, place such a ripple of verse as this?--

  "Piping down the valleys wild,
    Piping songs of pleasant glee,
  On a cloud I saw a child,
    And he, laughing, said to me:

  "'Pipe a song about a lamb!'
    So I piped with merry cheer.
  'Piper, pipe that song again!'
    So I piped; he wept to hear.

  "'Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
    Sing thy songs of happy cheer!'
  So I sang the same again,
    While he wept with joy to hear.

  "'Piper, sit thee down and write
    In a book, that all may read!'
  So he vanished from my sight.
    And I plucked a hollow reed,

  "And I made a rural pen,
    And I stained the water clear,
  And I wrote my happy songs
    Every child may joy to hear."

A native of the jungle, leaping into the fine drawing-rooms of Cavendish
Square, would hardly create more commotion than such a poem as "The
Tiger," charging in among Epistles to the Earl of Dorset, Elegies
describing the Sorrow of an Ingenuous Mind, Odes innumerable to Memory,
Melancholy, Music, Independence, and all manner of odious themes.

  "Tiger, tiger, burning bright
  In the forests of the night,
  What immortal hand or eye
  Framed thy fearful symmetry?

  "In what distant deeps or skies
  Burned that fire within thine eyes?
  On what wings dared he aspire?
  What the hand dared seize the fire?

  "And what shoulder, and what art,
  Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
  When thy heart began to beat,
  What dread hand formed thy dread feet?

  "What the hammer, what the chain,
  Knit thy strength and forged thy brain?
  What the anvil? What dread grasp
  Dared thy deadly terrors clasp?

  "When the stars threw down their spears,
  And watered heaven with their tears,
  Did he smile his work to see?
  Did He who made the lamb make thee?"

Mrs. Montagu, by virtue of the "moral" in the last line, may possibly
have ventured to read the "Chimney-Sweeper" at her annual festival to
those swart little people; but we have not space to give the gem a
setting here; nor the "Little Black Boy," with its matchless, sweet
child-sadness. Indeed, scarcely one of these early poems--all written
between the ages of eleven and twenty--is without its peculiar, and
often its peerless charm.

Arrived at the age of twenty-one, he finished his apprenticeship to
Basire, and began at once the work and worship of his life,--the latter
by studying at the Royal Academy, the former by engraving for the
booksellers. Introduced by a brother-artist to Flaxman, he joined him in
furnishing designs for the famous Wedgwood porcelain, and so one
dinner-set gave bread and butter to genius, and nightingales' tongues to
wealth. That he was not a docile, though a very devoted pupil, is
indicated by his reply to Moser, the keeper, who came to him, as he was
looking over prints from his beloved Raffaelle and Michel Angelo, and
said, "You should not study these old, hard, stiff, and dry, unfinished
works of Art: stay a little, and _I_ will show you what you should
study." He brought down Le Brun and Rubens. "How did I secretly rage!"
says Blake. "I also spake my mind! I said to Moser, 'These things that
you call finished are not even begun; how, then, can they be finished?'"
The reply of the startled teacher is not recorded. In other respects,
also, he swerved from Academical usage. Nature, as it appeared in models
artificially posed to enact an artificial part, became hateful to him,
seemed to him a caricature of Nature, though he delighted in the noble
antique figures.

Nature soon appeared to him in another shape, and altogether charming. A
lively miss to whom he had paid court showed herself cold to his
advances; which circumstance he was one evening bemoaning to a
dark-eyed, handsome girl,--(a dangerous experiment, by the way,)--who
assured him that she pitied him from her heart. "_Do_ you pity me?" he
eagerly asked. "Yes, I do, most sincerely." "Then I love you for that,"
replied the new Othello to his Desdemona; and so well did the wooing go
that the dark-eyed Catharine presently became his wife, the Kate of a
forty-five years' marriage. Loving, devoted, docile, she learned to be
helpmeet and companion. Never, on the one side, murmuring at the narrow
fortunes, nor, on the other, losing faith in the greatness to which she
had bound herself, she not only ordered well her small household, but
drew herself up within the range of her husband's highest sympathy. She
learned to read and write, and to work off his engravings. Nay, love
became for her creative, endowed her with a new power, the vision and
the faculty divine, and she presently learned to design with a spirit
and a grace hardly to be distinguished from her husband's. No children
came to make or mar their harmony; and from the summer morning in
Battersea that placed her hand in his, to the summer evening in London
that loosed it from his dying grasp, she was the true angel-vision,
Heaven's own messenger to the dreaming poet-painter.

Being the head of a family, Blake now, as was proper, went into
"society." And what a society it was to enter! And what a man was Blake
to enter it! The society of President Reynolds, and Mr. Mason the poet,
and Mr. Sheridan the play-actor, and pompous Dr. Burney, and abstract
Dr. Delap,--all honorable men; a society that was dictated to by Dr.
Johnson, and delighted by Edmund Burke, and sneered at by Horace
Walpole, its untiring devotee: a society presided over by Mrs. Montagu,
whom Dr. Johnson dubbed Queen of the Blues; Mrs. Carter, borrowing, by
right of years, her matron's plumes; Mrs. Chapone, sensible, ugly, and
benevolent; the beautiful Mrs. Sheridan; the lively, absurd, incisive
Mrs. Cholmondeley; sprightly, witty Mrs. Thrale; and Hannah More, coiner
of guineas, both as saint and sinner: a most piquant, trenchant, and
entertaining society it was, and well might be, since the bullion of
genius was so largely wrought into the circulating medium of small talk;
but a society which, from sheer lack of vision, must have entertained
its angels unawares. Such was the current which caught up this
simple-hearted painter, this seer of unutterable things, this "eternal
child,"--caught him up only to drop him, with no creditable, but with
very credible haste. As a lion, he was undoubtedly thrice welcome in
Rathbone Place; but when it was found that the lion would not roar there
gently, nor be bound by their silken strings, but rather shook his mane
somewhat contemptuously at his would-be tamers, and kept, in their grand
saloons, his freedom of the wilderness, he was straightway suffered to
return to his fitting solitudes. One may imagine the consternation that
would be caused by this young fellow turning to Mrs. Carter, whose "talk
was all instruction," or to Mrs. Chapone, bent on the "improvement of
the mind," or to Miss Streatfield, with her "nose and notions _à la
Grecque_," and abruptly inquiring, "Madam, did you ever see a fairy's
funeral?" "Never, Sir!" responds the startled Muse. "I have," pursues
Blake, as calmly as if he were proposing to relate a _bon mot_ which he
heard at Lady Middleton's rout last night. "I was walking alone in my
garden last night: there was great stillness among the branches and
flowers, and more than common sweetness in the air. I heard a low and
pleasant sound, and knew not whence it came. At last I saw the broad
leaf of a flower move, and underneath I saw a procession of creatures of
the size and color of green and gray grasshoppers, bearing a body laid
out on a rose-leaf, which they buried with songs, and then disappeared.
It was a fairy funeral." Or they are discussing, somewhat pompously,
Herschel's late discovery of Uranus, and the immense distances of
heavenly bodies, when Blake bursts out uproariously, "'Tis false! I was
walking down a lane the other day, and at the end of it I touched the
sky with my stick." Truly, for this wild man, who obstinately refuses to
let his mind be regulated, but bawls out his mad visions the louder, the
more they are combated, there is nothing for it but to go back to his
Kitty, and the little tenement in Green Street.

But real friends Blake found, who, if they could not quite understand
him, could love and honor and assist. Flaxman, the "Sculptor for
Eternity," and Fuseli, the fiery-hearted Swiss painter, stood up for him
manfully. His own younger brother, Robert, shared his talents, and
became for a time a loved and honored member of his family,--too much
honored, if we may credit an anecdote in which the brother appears to
much better advantage than the husband. A dispute having one day arisen
between Robert and Mrs. Blake, Mr. Blake, after a while, deemed her to
have gone too far, and bade her kneel down and beg Robert's pardon, or
never see her husband's face again. Nowise convinced, she nevertheless
obeyed the stern command, and acknowledged herself in the wrong. "Young
woman, you lie!" retorted Robert "_I_ am in the wrong!" This beloved
brother died at the age of twenty-five. During his last illness, Blake
attended him with the most affectionate devotion, nor ever left the
bedside till he beheld the disembodied spirit leave the frail clay and
soar heavenward, clapping its hands for joy!

His brother gone, though not so far away that he did not often revisit
the old home,--friendly Flaxman in Italy, but more inaccessible there
than Robert in the heaven which lay above this man in his perpetual
infancy,--the _bas-bleus_ reinclosed in the charmed circle in which
Blake had so riotously disported himself, a small attempt at
partnership, shop-keeping, and money-making, wellnigh "dead before it
was born,"--the poet began to think of publishing. The verses of which
we have spoken had been seen but by few people, and the store was
constantly increasing. Influence with the publishers, and money to
defray expenses, were alike wanting. A copy of Lavater's "Aphorisms,"
translated by his fellow-countryman, Fuseli, had received upon its
margins various annotations which reveal the man in his moods. "The
great art to love your enemy consists in never losing sight of _man_ in
him," says Lavater. "None _can_ see the man in the enemy," pencils
Blake. "If he is ignorantly so, he is not truly an enemy; if maliciously
so, not a man. I cannot love my enemy; for my enemy is not a man, but a
beast. And if I have any, I can love him as a beast, and wish to beat
him." No equivocation here, surely. On superstition he comments,--"It
has been long a bugbear, by reason of its having been united with
hypocrisy. But let them be fairly separated, and then superstition will
be honest feeling, and God, who loves all honest men, will lead the poor
enthusiast in the path of holiness." Herein lies the germ of a truth.
Again, Lavater says,--"A great woman not imperious, a fair woman not
vain, a woman of common talents not jealous, an accomplished woman who
scorns to shine, are four wonders just great enough to be divided among
the four corners of the globe." Whereupon Blake adds,--"Let the men do
their duty, and the women will be such wonders; the female life lives
from the life of the male. See a great many female dependents, and you
know the man." If this be madness, would that the madman might have
bitten all mankind before he died! To the advice, "Take here the grand
secret, if not of pleasing all, yet of displeasing none: court
mediocrity, avoid originality, and sacrifice to fashion," he appends,
with an evident reminiscence of Rathbone Place, "And go to hell."

But this private effervescence was not enough; and long thinking
anxiously as to ways and means, suddenly, in the night, Robert stood
before him, and revealed to him a secret by which a facsimile of poetry
and design could be produced. On rising in the morning, Mrs. Blake was
sent out with a half-crown to buy the necessary materials, and with that
he began an experiment which resulted in furnishing his principal means
of support through life. It consisted in a species of engraving in
relief both of the words and the designs of his poems, by a process
peculiar and original. From his plates he printed off in any tint he
chose, afterwards coloring up his designs by hand. Joseph, the sacred
carpenter, had appeared in a vision, and revealed to him certain secrets
of coloring. Mrs. Blake delighted to assist him in taking impressions,
which she did with great skill, in tinting the designs, and in doing up
the pages in boards; so that everything, except manufacturing the paper,
was done by the poet and his wife. Never before, as his biographer
justly remarks, was a man so literally the author of his own book. If we
may credit the testimony that is given, or even judge from such proofs
as Mr. Gilchrist's book can furnish, these works of his hands were
exquisitely beautiful. The effect of the poems imbedded in their designs
is, we are told, quite different from their effect set naked upon a
blank page. It was as if he had transferred scenery and characters from
that spirit-realm where his own mind wandered at will; and from wondrous
lips wondrous words came fitly, and with surpassing power. Confirmation
of this we find in the few plates of "Songs of Innocence" which have
been recovered. Shorn of the radiant rainbow hues, the golden sheen,
with which the artist, angel-taught, glorified his pictures, they still
body for us the beauty of his "Happy Valley." Children revel there in
unchecked play. Springing vines, in wild exuberance of life, twine
around the verse, thrusting their slender coils in among the lines.
Weeping willows dip their branches into translucent pools. Heavy-laden
trees droop their ripe, rich clusters overhead. Under the shade of
broad-spreading oaks little children climb on the tiger's yielding back
and stroke the lion's tawny mane in a true Millennium.

The first series, "Songs of Innocence," was succeeded by "Songs of
Experience," subsequently bound in one volume. Then came the book of
"Thel," an allegory, wherein Thel, beautiful daughter of the Seraphim,
laments the shortness of her life down by the River of Adona, and is
answered by the Lily of the Valley, the Little Cloud, the Lowly Worm,
and the Clod of Clay; the burden of whose song is--

  "But how this is, sweet maid, I know not, and I cannot know,
  I ponder, and I cannot ponder: yet I live and love!"

The designs give the beautiful daughter listening to the Lily and the
Cloud. The Clod is an infant wrapped in a lily-leaf. The effect of the
whole poem and design together is as of an "angel's reverie."

The "Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is considered one of the most curious
and original of his works. After an opening "Argument" comes a series of
"Proverbs of Hell," which, however, answer very well for earth: as, "A
fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees"; "He whose face gives
no light shall never become a star"; "The apple-tree never asks the
beech how he shall grow, nor the lion the horse how he shall take his
prey." The remainder of the book consists of "Memorable Fancies," half
dream, half allegory, sublime and grotesque inextricably commingling,
but all ornamented with designs most daring and imaginative in
conception, and steeped in the richest color. We subjoin a description
of one or two, as a curiosity. "A strip of azure sky surmounts, and of
land divides, the words of the title-page, leaving on each side scant
and baleful trees, little else than stem and spray. Drawn on a tiny
scale lies a corpse, and one bends over it. Flames burst forth below and
slant upward across the page, gorgeous with every hue. In their very
core, two spirits rush together and embrace." In the seventh design is
"a little island of the sea, where an infant springs to its mother's
bosom. From the birth-cleft ground a spirit has half emerged. Below,
with outstretched arms and hoary beard, an awful, ancient man rushes at
you, as it were, out of the page." The eleventh is "a surging of mingled
fire, water, and blood, wherein roll the volumes of a huge,
double-fanged serpent, his crest erect, his jaws wide open." "The
ever-fluctuating color, the spectral pigmies rolling, flying, leaping
among the letters, the ripe bloom of quiet corners, the living light and
bursts of flame, the spires and tongues of fire vibrating with the full
prism, make the page seem to move and quiver within its boundaries, and
you lay the book down tenderly, as if you had been handling something

We have not space to give a description, scarcely even a catalogue, of
Blake's numerous works. Wild, fragmentary, gorgeous dreams they are,
tangled in with strange allegoric words and designs, that throb with
their prisoned vitality. The energy, the might, the intensity of his
lines and figures it is impossible for words to convey. It is power in
the fiercest, most eager action,--fire and passion, the madness and the
stupor of despair, the frenzy of desire, the lurid depths of woe, that
thrill and rivet you even in the comparatively lifeless rendering of
this book. The mere titles of the poems give but a slight clue to their
character. Ideas are upheaved in a tossing surge of words. It is a
mystic, but lovely Utopia, into which "The Gates of Paradise" open. The
practical name of "America" very faintly foreshadows the Ossianic Titans
that glide across its pages, or the tricksy phantoms, the headlong
spectres, the tongues of flame, the folds and fangs of symbolic
serpents, that writhe and leap and dart and riot there. With a poem
named "Europe," we should scarcely expect for a frontispiece the Ancient
of Days, in unapproached grandeur, setting his "compass upon the face of
the Earth,"--a vision revealed to the designer at the top of his own

Small favor and small notice these works secured from the public, which
found more edification in the drunken courtship and brutal squabbles of
"the First Gentleman of Europe" than in Songs of Innocence or Sculptures
for Eternity. The poet's own friends constituted his public, and
patronized him to the extent of their power. The volume of Songs he sold
for thirty shillings and two guineas. Afterwards, with the delicate and
loving design of helping the artist, who would receive help in no other
way, five and even ten guineas were paid, for which sum he could hardly
do enough, finishing off each picture like a miniature. One solitary
patron he had, Mr. Thomas Butts, who, buying his pictures for thirty
years, and turning his own house into "a perfect Blake Gallery, often
supplied the painter with his sole means of subsistence." May he have
his reward! Most pathetic is an anecdote related by Mr. H.C. Robinson,
who found himself one morning sole visitor at an Exhibition which Blake
had opened, on his own account, at his brother James's house. In view of
the fact that he had bought four copies of the Descriptive Catalogue,
Mr. Robinson inquired of James, the custodian, if he might not come
again free. "Oh, yes! _free as long an you live_!" was the reply of the
humble hosier, overjoyed at having so munificent a visitor, or a visitor
at all.

We have a sense of incongruity in seeing this defiant, but sincere
pencil employed by publishers to illustrate the turgid sorrow of Young's
"Night Thoughts." The work was to have been issued in parts, but got no
farther than the first. (It would have been no great calamity, if the
poem itself had come to the same premature end!) The sonorous mourner
could hardly have recognized himself in the impersonations in which he
was presented, nor his progeny in the concrete objects to which they
were reduced. The well-known couplet,

  "'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours
  And ask them what report they've borne to heaven,"

is represented by hours "drawn as aërial and shadowy beings," some of
whom are bringing their scrolls to the inquirer, and others are carrying
their records to heaven.

  "Oft burst my song beyond the bounds of life"

has a lovely figure, holding a lyre, and springing into the air, but
confined by a chain to the earth. Death puts off his skeleton, and
appears as a solemn, draped figure; but in many cases the clerical poet
is "taken at his word," with a literalness more startling than

Introduced by Flaxman to Hayley, friend and biographer of Cowper,
favorably known to his contemporaries, though now wellnigh forgotten,
Blake was invited to Felpham, and began there a new life. It is pleasant
to look back upon this period. Hayley, the kindly, generous, vain,
imprudent, impulsive country squire, not at all excepting himself in his
love for mankind, pouring forth sonnets on the slightest
provocation,--indeed, so given over to the vice of verse, that

            "he scarce could ope
  His mouth but out there flew a trope,"--

floating with the utmost self-complacence down the smooth current of his
time; and Blake, sensitive, unique, protestant, impracticable,
aggressive: it was a rare freak of Fate that brought about such
companionship; yet so true courtesy was there that for four years they
lived and wrought harmoniously together,--Hayley pouring out his
harmless wish-wash, and Blake touching it with his fiery gleam. Their
joint efforts were hardly more pecuniarily productive than Blake's
single-handed struggles; but his life there had other and better fruits.
In the little cottage overlooking the sea, fanned by the pure breeze,
and smiled upon by sunshine of the hills, he tasted rare spiritual joy.
Throwing off mortal incumbrance,--never, indeed, an overweight to
him,--he revelled in his clairvoyance. The lights that shimmered across
the sea shone from other worlds. The purple of the gathering darkness
was the curtain of God's tabernacle. Gray shadows of the gloaming
assumed mortal shapes, and he talked with Moses and the prophets, and
the old heroes of song. The Ladder of Heaven was firmly fixed by his
garden-gate, and the angels ascended and descended. A letter written to
Flaxman, soon after his arrival at Felpham, is so characteristic that we
cannot refrain from transcribing it:--

    "DEAR SCULPTOR OF ETERNITY,--We are safe arrived at our cottage,
    which is more beautiful than I thought it, and more convenient. It
    is a perfect model for cottages, and, I think, for palaces of
    magnificence,--only enlarging, not altering, its proportions, and
    adding ornaments, and not principles. Nothing can be more grand
    than its simplicity and usefulness. Simple, without intricacy, it
    seems to be the spontaneous expression of humanity, congenial to
    the wants of man. No other formed house can ever please me so
    well, nor shall I ever be persuaded, I believe, that it can be
    improved, either in beauty or use.

    "Mr. Hayley received us with his usual brotherly affection. I have
    begun to work. Felpham is a sweet place for study, because it is
    more spiritual than London. Heaven opens here on all sides her
    golden gates; her windows are not obstructed by vapors; voices of
    celestial inhabitants are more distinctly heard, and their forms
    more distinctly seen; and my cottage is also a shadow of their
    houses. My wife and sister are both well, courting Neptune for an

    "Our journey was very pleasant; and though we had a great deal of
    luggage, no grumbling. All was cheerfulness and good-humor on the
    road, and yet we could not arrive at our cottage before half-past
    eleven at night, owing to the necessary shifting of our luggage
    from one chaise to another; for we had seven different chaises,
    and as many different drivers. We set out between six and seven in
    the morning of Thursday, with sixteen heavy boxes and portfolios
    full of prints.

    "And now begins a new life, because another covering of earth is
    shaken off. I am more famed in heaven for my works than I could
    well conceive. In my brain are studies and chambers filled with
    books and pictures of old, which I wrote and painted in ages of
    Eternity, before my mortal life, and those works are the delight
    and study of archangels. Why, then, should I be anxious about the
    riches or fame of mortality? The Lord our Father will do for us
    and with us according to Ins Divine will, for our good.

    "You, O dear Flaxman, are a sublime archangel,--my friend and
    companion from Eternity. In the Divine bosom is our
    dwelling-place. I look back into the regions of reminiscence, and
    behold our ancient days, before this earth appeared in its
    vegetated mortality to my mortal vegetated eyes. I see our houses
    of eternity, which can never be separated, though our mortal
    vehicles should stand at the remotest corners of heaven from each

    "Farewell, my best friend! Remember me and my wife in love and
    friendship to our dear Mrs. Flaxman, whom we ardently desire to
    entertain beneath our thatched roof of rusted gold. And believe me
    forever to remain your grateful and affectionate


Other associations than spiritual ones mingle with the Felpham sojourn.
A drunken soldier one day broke into his garden, and, being great of
stature, despised the fewer inches of the owner. But between spirits of
earth and spirits of the skies there is but one issue to the conflict,
and Blake "laid hold of the intrusive blackguard, and turned him out
neck and crop, in a kind of inspired frenzy." The astonished ruffian
made good his retreat, but in revenge reported sundry words that
exasperation had struck from his conqueror. The result was a trial for
high treason at the next Quarter Sessions. Friends gathered about him,
testifying to his previous character; nor was Blake himself at all
dismayed. When the soldiers trumped up their false charges in court, he
did not scruple to cry out, "False!" with characteristic and convincing
vehemence. Had this trial occurred at the present day, it would hardly
be necessary to say that he was triumphantly acquitted. But fifty years
ago such a matter wore a graver aspect. In his early life he had been an
advocate of the French Revolution, an associate of Price, Priestley,
Godwin, and Tom Paine, a wearer of white cockade and _bonnet rouge_. He
had even been instrumental in saving Tom Paine's life, by hurrying him
to France, when the Government was on his track; but all this was
happily unknown to the Chichester lawyers, and Blake, more fortunate
than some of his contemporaries, escaped the gallows.

The disturbance caused by this untoward incident, the repeated failures
of literary attempts, the completion of Cowper's Life, which had been
the main object of his coming, joined, doubtless, to a surfeit of
Hayley, induced a return to London. He feared, too, that his imaginative
faculty was failing. "The visions were angry with me at Felpham," he
used afterwards to say. We regret to see, also, that he seems not always
to have been in the kindest of moods towards his patron. Indeed, it was
a weakness of his to fall out occasionally with his best friends; but
when a man is waited upon by angels and ministers of grace, it is not
surprising that he should sometimes be impatient with mere mortals. Nor
is it difficult to imagine that the bland and trivial Hayley,
perpetually kind, patronizing, and obvious, should, without any definite
provocation, become presently insufferable to such a man as Blake.

Returned to London, he resumed the production of his oracular
works,--"prophetic books," he called them. These he illustrated with his
own peculiar and beautiful designs, "all sanded over with a sort of
golden mist." Among much that is incoherent and incomprehensible may be
found passages of great force, tenderness, and beauty. The concluding
verses of the Preface to "Milton" we quote, as shadowing forth his great
moral purpose, and as revealing also the luminous heart of the cloud
that so often turns to us only its gray and obscure exterior:--

  "And did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England's mountain green?
  And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England's pleasant pastures seen?

  "And did the countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
  And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark, Satanic hills?

  "Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
  Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!

  "I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
  Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England's green and pleasant land."

The same lofty aim is elsewhere expressed in the line,--

  "I touch the heavens as an instrument to glorify the Lord!"

Our rapidly diminishing space warns us to be brief, and we can only
glance at a few of the remaining incidents of this outwardly calm, yet
inwardly eventful life. In an evil hour--though to it we owe the
"Illustrations to Blair's Grave"--he fell into the hands of Cromek, the
shrewd Yorkshire publisher, and was tenderly entreated, as a dove in the
talons of a kite. The famous letter of Cromek to Blake is one of the
finest examples on record of long-headed worldliness bearing down upon
wrong-headed genius. Though clutching the palm in this case, and in some
others, it is satisfactory to know that Cromek's clever turns led to no
other end than poverty; and nothing worse than poverty had Blake, with
all his simplicity, to encounter. But Blake, in his poverty, had meat to
eat which the wily publisher knew not of.

In the wake of this failure followed another. Blake had been engaged to
make twenty drawings to illustrate Ambrose Philips's "Virgil's
Pastorals" for schoolboys. The publishers saw them, and stood aghast,
declaring he must do no more. The engravers received them with derision,
and pronounced sentence, "This will never do." Encouraged, however, by
the favorable opinion of a few artists who saw them, the publishers
admitted, with an apology, the seventeen which had already been
executed, and gave the remaining three into more docile hands. Of the
two hundred and thirty cuts, the namby-pambyism, which was thought to be
the only thing adapted to the capacity of children, has sunk to the
level of its worthlessness, and the book now is valued only for Blake's
small contribution.

Of an entirely different nature were the "Inventions from the Book of
Job," which are pronounced the most remarkable series of etchings on a
Scriptural theme that have been produced since the days of Rembrandt and
Albrecht Dürer. Of these drawings we have copies in the second volume of
the "Life," from which one can gather something of their grandeur, their
bold originality, their inexhaustible and often terrible power. His
representations of God the Father will hardly accord with modern taste,
which generally eschews all attempt to embody the mind's conceptions of
the Supreme Being; but Blake was far more closely allied to the ancient
than to the modern world. His portraiture and poetry often remind us of
the childlike familiarity--not rude in him, but utterly reverent--which
was frequently, and sometimes offensively, displayed in the old miracle
and moral plays.

These drawings, during the latter part of his life, secured him from
actual want. A generous friend, Mr. Linnell, himself a struggling young
artist, gave him a commission, and paid him a small weekly stipend: it
was sufficient to keep the wolf from the door, and that was enough: so
the wolf was kept away, his lintel was uncrossed 'gainst angels. It was
little to this piper that the public had no ear for his piping,--to this
painter, that there was no eye for his pictures.

  "His soul was like a star, and dwelt apart."

He had but to withdraw to his inner chamber, and all honor and
recognition awaited him. The pangs of poverty or coldness he never
experienced, for his life was on a higher plane:--

  "I am in God's presence night and day,
  He never turns his face away."

When a little girl of extraordinary beauty was brought to him, his
kindest wish, as he stood stroking her long ringlets, was, "May God make
this world to you, my child, as beautiful as it has been to me!" His own
testimony declares,--

  "The angel who presided at my birth
  Said,--'Little creature, formed of joy and mirth,
  Go, love without the help of anything on earth!'"

But much help from above came to him. The living lines that sprung
beneath his pencil were but reminiscences of his spiritual home.
Immortal visitants, unseen by common eyes, hung enraptured over his
sketches, lent a loving ear to his songs, and left with him their legacy
to Earth. There was no looking back mournfully on the past, nor forward
impatiently to the future, but a rapturous, radiant, eternal now. Every
morning came heavy-freighted with its own delights; every evening
brought its own exceeding great reward.

So, refusing to the last to work in traces,--flying out against
Reynolds, the bland and popular President of the Royal Academy, yet
acknowledging with enthusiasm what he deemed to be excellence,--loving
Fuseli with a steadfast love through all neglect, and hurling his
indignation at a public that refused to see his worth,--flouting at
Bacon, the great philosopher, and fighting for Barry, the restorer of
the antique, he resolutely pursued his appointed way unmoved. But the
day was fast drawing on into darkness. The firm will never quailed, but
the sturdy feet faltered. Yet, as the sun went down, soft lights
overspread the heavens. Young men came to him with fresh hearts, and
drew out all the freshness of his own. Little children learned to watch
for his footsteps over the Hampstead hills, and sat on his knee, sunning
him with their caresses. Men who towered above their time, reverencing
the god within, and bowing not down to the _dæmon à la mode_, gathered
around him, listened to his words, and did obeisance to his genius. They
never teased him with unsympathetic questioning, or enraged him with
blunt contradiction. They received his visions simply, and discussed
them rationally, deeming them worthy of study rather than of ridicule or
vulgar incredulity. To their requests the spirits were docile. Sitting
by his side at midnight, they watched while he summoned from unknown
realms long-vanished shades. William Wallace arose from his "gory bed,"
Edward I. turned back from the lilies of France, and, forgetting their
ancient hate, stood before him with placid dignity. The man who built
the Pyramids lifted his ungainly features from the ingulfing centuries;
souls of blood--thirsty men, duly forced into the shape of fleas, lent
their hideousness to his night; and the Evil One himself did not disdain
to sit for his portrait to this undismayed magician. That these are
actual portraits of concrete object? is not to be affirmed. That they
are portraits of what Blake saw is as little to be denied. We are
assured that his whole manner was that of a man copying, and not
inventing, and the simplicity and sincerity of his life forbid any
thought of intentional deceit. No criticism affected him. Nothing could
shake his faith. "It must be right: I saw it so," was the beginning and
end of his defence. The testimony of these friends of his is that he was
of all artists most spiritual, devoted, and single-minded. One of them
says, if asked to point out among the intellectual a happy man, he
should at once think of Blake. One, a young artist, finding his
invention flag for a whole fortnight, had recourse to Blake.

"It is just so with us," he exclaimed, turning to his wife, "is it not,
for weeks together, when the visions forsake us? What do we do then,

"We kneel down and pray, Mr. Blake."

To these choice spirits, these enthusiastic and confiding friends, his
house was the House of the Interpreter. The little back-room, kitchen,
bedroom, studio, and parlor in one, plain and neat, had for them a kind
of enchantment. That royal presence lighted up the "hole" into a palace.
The very walls widened with the greatness of his soul. The windows that
opened on the muddy Thames seemed to overlook the river of the water of
life. Among the scant furnishings, his high thoughts, set in noble
words, gleamed like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Over the gulf
that yawns between two worlds he flung a glorious arch, and walked
tranquilly back and forth. Heaven was as much a matter-of-fact to him as
earth. Of sacred things he spoke with a familiarity which, to those who
did not understand him, seemed either madness or blasphemy; but his
friends never misunderstood. With one exception, none who knew him
personally ever thought of calling his sanity in question. To them he
was a sweet, gentle, lovable man. They felt the truth of his life. They
saw that

  "Only that fine madness still he did retain
  Which rightly should possess a poet's brain."

Imagination was to him the great reality. The external, that which makes
the chief consciousness of most men, was to him only staging, an
incumbrance, and uncouth, but to be endured and made the most of. The
world of the imagination was the true world. Imagination _bodied_ forth
the forms of things unknown in a deeper sense, perhaps, than the great
dramatist meant. His poet's pen, his painter's pencil turned them to
shapes, and gave to airy nothings a local habitation and a name. Nay, he
denied that they were nothings. He rather asserted the actual existence
of his visions,--an existence as real, though not of the same nature, as
those of the bed or the table. Imagination was a kind of sixth sense,
and its objects were as real as the objects of the other senses. This
sense he believed to exist, though latent, in every one, and to be
susceptible of development by cultivation. This is surely a very
different thing from madness. Neither is it the low superstition of
ghosts. He recounted no miracle, nothing supernatural. It was only that
by strenuous effort and untiring devotion he had penetrated beyond the
rank and file--but not beyond the possibilities of the rank and
file--into the unseen world. Undoubtedly this power finally assumed
undue proportions. In his isolation it led him on too unresistingly. His
generation knew him not. It neglected where it should have trained, and
stared where it should have studied. He was not wily enough to conceal
or gloss over his views. Often silent with congenial companions, he
would thrust in with boisterous assertion in the company of captious
opponents. Set upon by the unfriendly and the conventional, he wilfully
hurled out his wild utterances, exaggerating everything, scorning all
explanation or modification, goading peculiarities into reckless
extravagance, on purpose to puzzle and startle, and so avenging himself
by playing off upon those who attempted to play off upon him. To the
gentle, the reverent, the receptive, the simple, he, too, was gentle and

Nearest and dearest of all, the "beloved Kate" held him in highest
honor. The ripples that disturbed the smooth flow of their early life
had died away and left an unruffled current. To the childless wife, he
was child, husband, and lover. No sphere so lofty, but he could come
quickly down to perform the lowliest duties. The empty platter, silently
placed on the dinner-table, was the signal for his descent from
Parnassus to the money-earning graver. No angel-faces kept him from
lighting the morning fire and setting on the breakfast-kettle before his
Kitty awoke. Their life became one. Her very spirit passed into his. By
day and by night her love surrounded him. In his moments of fierce
inspiration, when he would arise from his bed to sketch or write the
thoughts that tore his brain, she, too, arose and sat by his side,
silent, motionless, soothing him only by the tenderness of her presence.
Years and wintry fortunes made havoc of her beauty, but love renewed it
day by day for the eyes of her lover, and their hands only met in firmer
clasp as they neared the Dark River.

It was reached at last. No violent steep, but a gentle and gracious
slope led to the cold waters that had no bitterness for him. Shining
already in the glory of the celestial city, his eyes rested upon the
dear form that had stood by his side through all these years, and with
waning strength he cried, "Stay! Keep as you are! _You_ have been ever
an angel to me: I will draw you." And, summoning his forces, he sketched
his last portrait of the fond and faithful wife. Then, comforting her
with the shortness of their separation, assuring her that he should
always be about her to take care of her, he set his face steadfastly
towards the Beautiful Gate. So joyful was his passage, so triumphant his
march, that the very sight was to them that could behold it as if heaven
itself were come down to meet him. Even the sorrowing wife could but
listen enraptured to the sweet songs he chanted to his Maker's praise;
but, "They are _not_ mine, my beloved!" he tenderly cried; "_No!_ they
are _not_ mine!" The strain he heard was of a higher mood; and
continually sounding as he went, with melodious noise, in notes on high,
he entered in through the gates into the City.

       *       *       *       *       *


One chill morning in the autumn of 1826, in the town of Keene, New
Hampshire, lights might have been seen at an unusually early hour in the
windows of a yellow one-story-and-a-half house, that stood--and still
stands, perhaps--on the corner of the main street and the Swanzey road.

There was living in that house a blind widow, the mother of a large
family of children, now mostly scattered; and the occasion of the
unseasonable lights was the departure from home of a son yet left to
her, upon a long and uncertain adventure.

He was a young man, eighteen years old, just out of college. Graduating
at Dartmouth, he had brought away from that institution something better
than book-learning,--a deep religious experience, which was to be his
support through trials now quickly to come, and through a subsequent
prosperity more dangerous to the soul than trials. He had been bred a
farmer's boy. He was poor, and had his living to get. And he was now
going out into the world, he scarcely knew whither, to see what prizes
were to be won. In person he was tall, slender, slightly bent; shy and
diffident in his manners; in his appearance a little green and awkward.
He had an impediment in his speech also. His name--it is an odd one, but
you may perhaps have heard it--was Salmon.

He had been up long before day, making preparations for the journey. His
mother was up also, busily assisting him, though blind,--her intelligent
hands placing together the linen that was to remind him affectingly of
her, when unpacked in a distant city.

A singular hush was upon the little household, though all were so
active. The sisters moved about noiselessly by candle-light, their pale
cheeks and constrained lips betraying the repressed emotion. The early
breakfast was eaten in silence,--anxious eyes looking up now and then at
the clock. It was only when the hour for the starting of the stage
struck that all seemed suddenly to remember that there were a thousand
things to be said; and so the last moments were crowded with last words.

"Your blessing, mother!" said Salmon, (for we shall call the youth by
the youth's name,) bending before her with his heart chokingly full.

She rose up from her chair. Her right hand held his; the other was laid
lovingly over his neck. Her blind eyes were turned upward prayerfully,
and tears streamed from them as she spoke and blessed him. Then a last
embrace; and he hurried forth from the house, his checks still wet,--not
with his own tears.

The stage took him up. He climbed to the driver's seat. Then again the
dull clank of the lumbering coach-wheels was heard,--a heavy sound to
the mother's ears. In the dim, still light of the frosty morning he
turned and waved back his farewell to her who could not see, took his
last look at the faces at the door, and so departed from that home
forever. The past was left behind him, with all its dear associations;
and before him rose the future, chill, uncertain, yet not without gleams
of rosy brightness, like the dawn then breaking upon Monadnock's misty

Thus went forth the young man into the world, seeking his fortune.
Conscious of power, courageous, shrinking from no hardship, palpitating
with young dreams, he felt that he had his place off yonder somewhere,
beneath that brightening sky, beyond those purple hills,--but where?

In due time he arrived in New York; but something within assured him
that here was not the field of his fortunes. So he went on to
Philadelphia. There he made a longer stop. He had a letter of
introduction to the Rev. Mr. ----, who received him with hospitality,
and used his influence to assist him in gaining a position. But the door
of Providence did not open yet: Philadelphia was not that door: his path
led farther.

So he kept on, still drawn by that magnet which we call Destiny. He went
to Frederick: still the invisible finger pointed on. At last there was
but one more step. He secured a seat in the stage going down the
Frederick road to Washington.

Years after he was to approach the capital of the nation with far
different prospects! But this was his first visit. It was at the close
of a bleak day, late in November, that he came in sight of the city. The
last tint of daylight was fading from a sullen sky. The dreary twilight
was setting in. Cold blew the wind from over the Maryland hills. The
trees were leafless; they shook and whistled in the blast. Gloom was
shutting down upon the capital. The city wore a dismal and forbidding
aspect; and the whole landscape was desolate and discouraging in the
extreme. Here was mud, in which the stage-coach lurched and rolled as it
descended the hills. Yonder was the watery spread of the Potomac, gray,
cold, dimly seen under the shadow of coming night. Between this mud and
that water what was there for him? Yet here was his destination.

Years after there dwelt in Washington a man high in position, wielding a
power that was felt not only throughout this nation, but in Europe
also,--his hand dispensing benefits, his door thronged by troops of
friends. But now it was a city of strangers he was entering, a youth. Of
all the dwellers there he knew not a living soul. There was no one to
dispense favors to _him_,--to receive _him_ with cheerful look and
cordial grasp of the hand. A heavy foreboding settled upon his spirit,
as the darkness settled upon the hills. Here he was, alone and
unknown,--a bashful boy as yet, utterly wanting in that ready audacity
by means of which persons of extreme shallowness often push themselves
into notice. Well might he foresee days of gloom, long days of waiting
and struggle, stretching like the landscape before him!

But he was not disheartened. From the depths of his spirit arose a hope,
like a bubble from a deep spring. That spring was FAITH. There, in that
dull, bleak November twilight, he seemed to feel the hand of Providence
take hold of his. And a prayer rose to his lips,--a prayer of earnest
supplication for guidance and support. Was that prayer answered?

The stage rumbled through the naked suburbs and along the unlighted

"Where do you stop?" asked the driver.

"Set me down at a boarding-house, if you know of a good one." For Salmon
could not afford to go to a hotel.

"What sort of a boarding-house? I know of a good many. Some 's right
smart,--'ristocratic, and 'ristocratic prices. Then there's some good
enough in every way, only not quite so smart,--and with this advantage,
you don't have the smartness to pay for."

"I prefer to go to a good house, where there are nice people, without
too much smartness to be put into the bill."

"I know jest the kind of place, I reckon!"--and the driver whipped up
his jaded horses.

He drew up before a respectable-looking wooden tenement on Pennsylvania
Avenue, the windows of which, just lighted up, looked warm and inviting
to the chilled and weary traveller.

"Good evening, Mrs. Markham!" said the driver to a kindly-looking lady
who came to the door at his knock. "Got room for a boarder?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. I'm afraid not," said the lady, loud enough for
Salmon to hear and be discouraged. "There's only half a room
unoccupied,--if he would be content with that, and if he's the right
sort of person"--

Here she said something in a whisper to the driver, who apparently
pointed out Salmon to her inspection.

But it was too dark for her to decide whether he would do to put into
the room with Williams; so Salmon had to get down and show himself. She
examined him, and he inquired her terms. They appeared mutually
satisfied. Accordingly the driver received directions to deposit
Salmon's baggage in the entry; and the hungry and benumbed young
traveller had the comfort of feeling that he had reached a home.

Grateful at finding a kind woman's face to welcome him,--glad of the
opportunity to economize his slender means by sharing a room with
another person, strongly-recommended as "very quiet" by Mrs.
Markham,--Salmon washed his face, combed his hair, and ate his first
supper in Washington. He has eaten better suppers there since, no
doubt,--but not many, I fancy, that have been sweetened by a more devout
sense of reliance upon Providence.

"Williams was a companionable person, who had a place in the Treasury
Department, and talked freely about the kind of work he had to do, and
the salary.

"Eight hundred a year!" thought Salmon, deeming that man enviable who
had constant employment, an assured position, and eight hundred a year.
_His_ ambition was to get a living simply,--to place his foot upon some
certainty, however humble, with freedom from this present gnawing
anxiety, and with a prospect of rising, he cared not how slowly, to the
place which he felt belonged to him in the future. Little did he dream
what that place was, when he questioned Williams so curiously as to what
sort of thing the Treasury Department might be.

"If I could be sure of half that salary,--or even of three, or two
hundred, just enough to pay my expenses, the first year,--I should be
perfectly happy!"

"Haven't you any idea what you are going to do?"

"None whatever."

"What _can_ you do?"

"For one thing, I can teach. I think I shall try that."

"You'll find it a mighty hard place to get pupils!" said Williams, with
a dubious smile.

Which rather gloomy prediction Salmon had to think of before going to

But soon another subject, which he deemed of far greater importance,
occupied his mind. He had of late been seriously considering whether it
was his duty to continue his private devotions openly, or in
secret,--and had concluded, that, when occasion seemed to require it, he
ought to make an open manifestation of his faith. Here now was a test
for his conscience. His room-mate showed no signs of going out again
that night: he had pulled off his boots, put on his slippers, and
lighted his pipe. Salmon had already inferred, from the tone of his
conversation, that he was not a person who could sympathize with him in
his religious sentiments. Yet he must kneel there in his presence, if he
knelt at all. It was not the fear of ridicule, but a certain
sensitiveness of spirit, which caused him to shrink from the act. He did
not hesitate long, however. He turned, and knelt by his chair. Williams
took the pipe out of his mouth, and looked at him over his shoulder with
curious amazement. Not a word was spoken. Salmon, feeling that he had no
right to intrude his devotions upon the ear of another, prayed silently;
and Williams, compelled to respect the courageous, yet quiet manner in
which he performed what he regarded as a solemn duty, kept his
astonishment to himself.

Then Salmon arose, and went to bed for that first time in Washington
under Mrs. Markham's roof.

On the twenty-third of December, 1826, the following advertisement
appeared in the columns of the "National Intelligencer":--


    "The Subscriber intends opening a Select Classical School, in the
    Western part of the City, to commence on the second Monday in
    January. His number of pupils will be limited to twenty, which
    will enable him to devote a much larger portion of his time and
    attention than ordinary to each individual student. Instruction
    will be given in all the studies preparatory to entering College,
    or, if desired, in any of the higher branches of a classical
    education. The subscriber pledges himself that no effort shall be
    wanting on his part to promote both the moral and intellectual
    improvement of those who may be confided to his care. He may be
    found at his room, three doors west of Brown's Hotel. Reference
    may be made to the Hon. Henry Clay; Hon. D. Chase and Hon. H.
    Seymour, of the Senate; Hon. I. Bartlett and Hon. William C.
    Bradley, of the House of Representatives; Rev. Wm. Hawley and Rev.
    E. Allen.

    "SALMON ----.

    "Dec. 23--3td & eotJ8."

The "Hon. Henry Clay" was then Secretary of State. The "Hon. D. Chase"
referred to was Salmon's uncle Dudley, then United States Senator from
Vermont. Congress was now in session, and he had arrived in town. He was
a man of great practical sagacity, and kept a true heart beating under
an exterior which appeared sometimes austere and eccentric. He had the
year before been a second time elected to the Senate; and when he was on
his way to Washington, Salmon had gone over from Hanover to Woodstock to
meet him. They occupied the same room at the tavern, and the uncle had
given the nephew some very good advice. What he said of the human
passions was characteristic of the man; and it made a strong impression
upon the mind of the youth:--

"A man's passions are given him for good, and not evil. They are not to
be destroyed, but controlled. If they get the mastery, they destroy the
man; but kept in their place, they are sources of power and happiness."

And he used this illustration, which, though the same thing has been
said by others, remains, nevertheless, fresh as truth itself:--

"The passions are the winds that fill our sails; but the helmsman must
be faithful, if we would avoid shipwreck, and reach the happy port at

Salmon had remembered well these words of his uncle, and the night spent
with him at the Woodstock inn. Hearing of his arrival in Washington, he
had called on him at his boarding-house. The Senator received him
kindly, listened to his plans, approved them, and helped him to procure
the references named in the advertisement.

Day after day the advertisement appeared; and day after day Salmon
waited for pupils. But his room, "three doors west of Brown's Hotel,"
remained unvisited. Sometimes, at first, when there came a knock at Mrs.
Markham's door, his heart gave a bound of expectation; but it was never
a knock for him.

So went out the old year, drearily enough for Salmon. He had made the
acquaintance of several people; but friends he had none. There was
nobody to whom he could open his heart,--for he was not one of those
persons "of so loose soul" that they hasten to pour out their troubles
and appeal for sympathy to the first chance-comer. In the mean time the
advertisement was to be paid for, barren of benefit though it had been
to him. There was also his board-bill to be settled at the end of each
week; and Salmon saw his slender purse grow lank and lanker than ever,
with no means within his reach of replenishing it.

The new year came; but it brought no brightening skies to him. Lonely
enough those days were! When tired of waiting in his room, he would go
out and walk,--always alone. He strolled up and down the Potomac, and
sometimes crossed over to the Virginia shore, and climbed the brown,
wooded banks there, and listened to the clamor of the crows in the
leafless oak-trees. There was something in their wild cawing, in the
desolateness of the fields, in the rush of the cold river, that suited
his mood. It was winter in his spirit too, just then.

Sometimes he visited the halls of Congress, and saw the great
legislators of those days. There was something here that fed his heart.
Wintry as his prospects were, the sun still shone overhead; his courage
never failed him; he never gave way to weak repining; and when he
entered those halls,--when he saw the deep fire in the eyes of Webster,
and heard the superb thunder of his voice,--when he listened to the
witty and terrible invectives of Randolph, that "meteor of Congress," as
Benton calls him, and watched the electric effect of the "long and
skinny forefinger" pointed and shaken,--when charmed by this speaker, or
convinced by that, or roused to indignation by another,--there was
kindled a sense of power within his own breast, a fire prophetic of his

On returning home, he would look on his table for communications, or he
would ask, "Has anybody called for me to-day?" But there was never any
letter; and Mrs. Markham's gentle response always was, "No one, Sir."

The thirteenth of January passed,--his birthday. He was now nineteen.
When the world is bright before us, birthdays are not so unpleasant. But
to feel that your time is slipping away from you, with nothing
accomplishing,--to see no rainbow of promise in the clouds,--to walk the
streets of a lonely city, and think of home,--these things make a
birthday sad and solitary.

At last his money was all gone. The prospect was more than dismal,--it
was appalling. What was he to do?

Should he borrow of his uncle? "Not unless it be to keep me from
starvation!" was his proud resolve.

Should he apply to his mother? The remembrance of what she had already
done for him was as much as his heart could bear. Her image, venerable,
patient, blind, was before him: he recalled the sacrifices she had made
for his sake, postponing her own comfort, and accepting pain and
privation, in order that her boy might have an education; and he was
filled with remorse at the thought that he had never before fully
appreciated all that love and devotion. For so it is: seldom, until too
late, comes any true recognition of such sacrifices. But when she who
made them is no longer with us,--too often, alas, when she has passed
forever beyond the reach of filial gratitude and affection,--we awake at
once to a realization of her worth and of our loss.

What Salmon did was to make a confidant of Mrs. Markham; for he felt
that she at least ought to know his resources.

"This is all _I_ have for the present," he said to her one day, when
paying his week's bill. "I thought you ought to know. I do not wish to
appear a swindler,"--with a gloomy smile.

"You a swindler!" exclaimed the good woman, with glistening eyes. "I
would trust you as far as I would trust myself. If you haven't any
money, never mind. You shall stay, and pay me when you can. Don't worry
yourself at all. It will turn out right, I am sure. You'll have pupils

"I trust so," said Salmon, touched by her kindness. "At all events, if
my life is spared, you shall be paid some day. Now you know how I am
situated; and if you choose to keep me longer on an uncertainty, I shall
be greatly obliged to you."

His voice shook a little as he spoke.

"As long as you please," she replied.

Just then there was a knock.

"Maybe that is for you!"

And she hastened away, rather to conceal her emotion, I suspect, than in
the hope of admitting a patron for her boarder.

She returned in a minute with shining countenance.

"A gentleman and his little boy, to see Mr. ----! I have shown them into
the parlor."

Salmon was amazed. Could it be true? A pupil at last! He gave a hurried
glance at himself In the mirror, straightened his shirt-collar, gave his
hair a touch, and descended, with beating heart, to meet his visitor.

He was dignified enough, however, on entering the parlor, and so cool
you would never have suspected that he almost felt his fate depending
upon this gentleman's business.

He was a Frenchman,--polite, affable, and of a manner so gracious, you
would have said he had come to beg a favor, rather than to grant one.

"This is Mr. ----? My name is Bonfils. This is my little boy. We have
come to entreat of you the kindness to take him into your school."

"I will do so most gladly!" said Salmon, shaking the boy's hand.

"You are very good. We shall be greatly indebted to you. When does your
school commence?"

"As soon, Sir, as I shall have engaged a sufficient number of pupils."

"All! you have not a great number, then?"

"I have none," Salmon was obliged to confess.

"None? You surprise me! I have seen your advertisement, I hear good
things said of you,--why, then, no pupils?"

"I am hardly known yet. Allow me to count your son here my first, and I
have no doubt but others will soon come in."

"Assuredly! Make your compliments to Mr. ----, my son. I shall interest
myself. I think I shall send you some pupils. In mean time, my son will

And with many expressions of good-will the cheerful Monsieur Bonfils

This was a gleam of hope. The door of Providence had opened just a

It opened no farther, however. No more pupils came. Salmon waited. Day
after day glided by like sand under his feet. He could not afford even
to advertise now. He was getting fearfully in debt; and debt is always a
nightmare to a generous and upright mind.

"Any pupils yet?" asked Monsieur Bonfils, meeting him, one day, in the

"Not one!" said Salmon, with gloomy emphasis.

"Ah, that is unfortunate!"

He expected nothing less than that the Frenchman would add,--"Then I
must place my son elsewhere." But no; he was polite as ever; he was

"You should have many before now. I have spoken for you to my friends.
But patience, my dear Sir. You will succeed. In mean time we will wait."

And with a cordial hand-shake, and a Parisian flourish, he smilingly
passed on, leaving a gleam of sunshine on the young man's path.

Now Salmon was one who would never, if he could help it, abandon an
undertaking in which he had once embarked. But when convinced that
persistence was hopeless, then, however reluctantly, he would give it
up. On the present occasion, he was not only spending his time and
exhausting his energies in a pursuit which grew each day more and more
dubious, but his conscience was stung with the thought that he was
wronging others. Kind as Mrs. Markham was to him, he did not like to
look her in the face and feel that he owed her a debt which was always
increasing, and which he knew not how he should ever pay.

"Why don't you get a place in the Department?" said Williams, that
enviable fellow, who had light duties, several hours each day to
himself, and eight hundred a year!

"That's more easily said than done!" And Salmon shook his head.

"No, it isn't!" The fortunate Williams sat with his legs upon the table,
one foot on the other, a pipe in his mouth, and a book in his hand,
enjoying himself. "You have an uncle in the Senate. Ask him to use his
influence for you. He can get you a place." And puffing a fragrant cloud
complacently into the air, he returned to his pleasant reading.

Salmon walked the room. He went out and walked the street. A sore
struggle was taking place in his breast. Should he give up the school?
Should he go and ask this thing of his uncle? Oh, for somebody to whom
he could go for counsel and sympathy!

"Williams is perhaps right I may wait a year, and not get another pupil.
Meanwhile I am growing shabby. I need a new pair of boots. My
washerwoman must be paid. Why not get a clerkship as a temporary thing,
if nothing more? My uncle can get it for me, without any trouble to
himself. It is not like asking him for money."

Yet he dreaded to trouble the Senator even thus much. Proud and
sensitive natures do not like to beg favors, any way.

"I'll wait one day longer. Then, if not a pupil applies, I'll go to my

He waited twenty-four hours. Not a pupil. Then, desperate and
discouraged at last, Salmon buttoned his coat, and walked fast through
the streets to his uncle's boarding-house.

It was evening. The Senator was at home.

"Well, Salmon?" inquiringly. "How do you get on?"

"Poorly," said Salmon, sitting down, with his hat on his knee.

"You must have patience, boy!" said the Senator, laying down a pamphlet
open at the page where he was reading when his nephew came in. "Pluck
and patience,--those are the two oars that pull the boat."

"I have patience enough, and I don't think I'm lacking in pluck,"
replied Salmon, coldly. "But one thing I lack, and am likely to
lack,--pupils, I've only one, and I expect every day to lose him."

"Well, what can I do for you?" said the Senator, perceiving that his
nephew had come for something.

"I would like to have you get me a place in the Treasury Department."

It was a minute before Dudley Chase replied. He took up the pamphlet,
rolled it together, then threw it abruptly upon the table.

"Salmon," said he, "listen. I once got an appointment for a nephew of
mine, and it ruined him. If you want half-a-dollar with which to buy a
spade, and go out and dig for your living, I'll give it to you
cheerfully. But I will not get you a place under Government."

Salmon felt a choking sensation in his throat. He knew his uncle did not
mean it for unkindness; but the sentence seemed hard. He arose,
speechless for a moment, mechanically brushing his hat.

"Thank you. I will not trouble you for the half-dollar. I shall try to
get along without the appointment. Good night, uncle."

"Good night, Salmon." Dudley accompanied him to the door. He must have
seen what a blow he had given him. "You think me harsh," he added; "but
the time will come when you will see that this is the best advice I
could give you."

"Perhaps," said Salmon, stiffly; and be walked away, filled with
disappointment and bitterness.

"Well, did he promise it?" asked Williams, who sat up awaiting his

He had been thinking he would like to have Salmon in his own room at the
Department; but now, seeing how serious he looked, his own countenance

"What! Didn't he give you any encouragement?"

"On the other hand," said Salmon, "he advised me to buy a spade and go
to digging for my living! And I shall do it before I ask again for an

Williams was astonished. He thought the Senator from Vermont must be

But, after the lapse of a few years, perhaps he, too, saw that the uncle
had given his nephew good advice indeed. Williams remained a clerk in
the Department, and was never anything else. Perhaps, if Salmon had got
the appointment he sought, he would have become a clerk like him, and
would never have been anything else.

In a little more than twenty years Salmon was himself a Senator, and had
the making of such clerks. And what happened a dozen years later? This:
he who had once sought in vain a petty appointment was called to
administer the finances of the nation. Instead of a clerk grown gray in
the Department, to whom the irreverent youngsters might be saying
to-day, "----, do this," or, "----, do that," and he doeth it, he is
himself the supreme ruler there. He could never have got _that_ place by
promotion in the Department itself. I mention this, not to speak
slightingly of clerkships,--for he who does his duty faithfully in any
calling, however humble, is worthy of honor,--but to show that the ways
of Providence are not our ways, and that often we are disappointed for
our own good. Had a clerkship been what was in store for Salmon, he
would have obtained it; but since, had he got it, he would probably have
never been ready to give it up, how fortunate that he received instead
the offer of fifty cents wherewith to purchase a spade!

It may be, when the new Secretary entered upon his duties, Williams was
there still; for there were men in the Treasury who had been there a
much longer term than from 1826 to 1861. I should like to know. I can
fancy him, gray now, slightly bald, and rather round-shouldered, but
cheerful as a cricket, introducing himself to the chief.

"My name is Williams. Don't you remember Williams,--boarded at Mrs.
Markham's in '26 and '27, when you did?"

"What! David Williams? Are you here yet?"

"Yes, your Honor." (These old clerks all say, "Your Honor," in
addressing the Secretary. The younger ones are not so respectful.) "I
was never so lucky as to be turned out, and I was never quite prepared
to leave. You have got in at last, I see! But it was necessary for you
to make a wide circuit first, in order to come in at the top!"

Did such an interview ever take place, I wonder?

But we are talking of that evening so long ago, when Williams seemed the
lucky one, and things looked so black to Salmon, after he had asked of
his uncle bread, and received (as he then thought) a stone.

"Well, then I don't know what the deuse you _will_ do!" said Williams,
knocking the ashes out of his pipe.

You would have said that his hopes of Salmon were likewise ashes: he had
entertained himself with them a little while; now they were burnt out;
and he seemed to knock them out of his pipe, too, into the fire. He got
up, yawned, said he pitied ----, and went to bed.

In a little while his breathing denoted that he was fast asleep.

Salmon went to bed, too; but did he sleep?

Do not think, after all this, that he gave way to weak despondency.
Something within him seemed to say, "What you have you must obtain
through earnest struggle and endeavor. It is only commonplace people and
weaklings who find the hinges of life all smoothly oiled. Great doors do
not open so easily. Be brave, be strong, be great." It was the voice of
Faith speaking within him.

The next morning he arose, more a man than he had ever felt before. This
long and severe trial had been necessary to develop what was in him. His
self-reliance, his strength of character, his faith in God's
providence,--these were tried, and not found wanting.

Still the veil of the future remained impenetrable. Not a gleam of light
shone through its sable folds. He could only watch for its uplifting,
and sit still.

"A bad beginning makes a good ending," said Williams, one evening, to
comfort him.

"Yes,--and a good beginning sometimes makes a bad ending. I had a lesson
on that subject once. When I was about eleven years old, I started from
Keene, with one of my sisters, to go and visit another sister, who was
married and living at Hookset Falls, over on the Merrimac. It was in
winter, and we set out in a sleigh with one horse. I was driver. My idea
of sleighing was bells and fast driving; and I put the poor beast up to
all he knew. We intended to reach a friend's house, at Peterborough,
before night; but I found I had used up our horse-power before we had
made much more than half the journey. Then came on a violent
snow-squall, which obliterated the track. It grew dark; we were blinded
by the storm; we got into drifts, and finally quite lost our way. Not a
house was in sight, and the horse was tired out. The prospect of a night
in the storm, and only a winding-sheet of snow to cover us, made me
bitterly regret the foolish ambition with which I had set out. At last
my sister, whose eyes were better than mine, saw a light. We went
wallowing through the drifts towards it, and discovered a house. Here we
got a boy to guide us; and so at last reached our friend's, in as sad a
plight as ever two such mortals were in. Since which time," added
Salmon, "I have rather inclined to the opinion that slow beginnings,
with steady progress, are best."

"That's first-rate philosophy!" said Williams, secretly congratulating
himself, however, on having made what he considered a brisk start in

One day Salmon passed a store where some spades were exposed for sale.
He stopped to look at them. There was a strange smile on his face.

"Perhaps, after all, digging is my vocation! Well, it is an honorable
one. I only wish to know what God would have me to do. If to dig, then I
will undertake it cheerfully."

However, there was one great objection to his lifting a spade. It would
first have been necessary to apply to his uncle for the once-rejected
half-dollar. He was determined never to do that.

He walked home, very thoughtful. He could not see how it was possible
that any good fortune should ever happen to him in Washington. The
sights of the city had become exceedingly distasteful to him, associated
as they were with his hopes deferred and his heart-sickness. He reached
his door. Mrs. Markham met him with beaming countenance.

"There is a gentleman waiting for you! I reckon it's another pupil!"

His face brightened for an instant. But it was clouded again quickly, as
be reflected,--

"_One_ more pupil! Very likely! That makes two! At this rate, I shall
have four in the course of a year!"

He was inclined to be sarcastic with himself. But he checked the
ungrateful thoughts at once.

"What Providence sends me, that let me cheerfully and thankfully

He entered the parlor. A gentlemanly person, with an air of culture,
advanced to meet him.

"This is Mr. ----?"

"That is my name, Sir."

"Mrs. Markham said you would be in in a minute; so I have waited."

"You are very kind to do so, Sir. Sit down."

"I have seen your advertisement in the 'Intelligencer.' You still think
of establishing a school?"

"That is my intention."

"May I ask if you have been successful in obtaining pupils?"

"Not very. I have one engaged. I would like a dozen more, to begin

The gentleman took his hat. "Of course he will go, now he knows what my
prospects are!" But Salmon was mistaken. The visitor seemed to have
taken his hat merely for the sake of having something in his hands, to
occupy them.

"Then perhaps you will be pleased to listen to my proposition?

"Certainly, Sir."

"My name is Plumley. I have established a successful classical school,
as you may be aware. It is in G-Street."

"I have heard of you, Sir." And Salmon might have added, "I have envied

"Well, Mrs. Phimley has recently opened a young ladies' school, which
has succeeded beyond all our expectations."

"I congratulate you sincerely!"

"But it is found that the two schools are more than we can attend to. I
propose to give up one. Now, if you choose to take the boys' school off
my hands, I will make over my entire interest in it to you. Perhaps you
may know the character the school sustains. We have, as pupils, sons of
the Honorable Henry Clay, William Wirt, Southard, and other eminent men.
The income amounts to something like eight hundred a year. You can go in
next Monday, if you like."

Thus suddenly the door, so long mysteriously closed, flew open wide, "on
golden hinges turning." What Salmon saw within was heaven. He was
dazzled. He was almost stunned with happiness. His lips quivered, his
voice failed him as he spoke.

"Mr. Plumley, this is--you are--too kind!"

"You accept?"

"Most gratefully!"

The young man was regaining possession of himself. He grasped the
other's hand.

"You do not know what this is to me, Sir! You cannot know from what you
have saved me! Providence has surely sent you to me! I cannot thank you
now; but some day--perhaps--it may be in my power to do you a service."

He was not the only one happy. Mr. Plumley felt the sweetness of doing a
kind action for one who was truly worthy and grateful. From that moment
they were friends. Salmon engaged to see him again, and make
arrangements for entering the school the next Monday; and they parted.

His benefactor gone, Salmon hastened to tell the good news to Mrs.
Markham. But he could not remain in the house. His joy was too great to
be thus confined. Again he went out,--but how different now the world
looked to his eyes! He had not observed before that it was such a lovely
spring day. The sky overhead was of heaven's deepest hue. The pure,
sweet air was like the elixir of life. The hills were wondrously
beautiful, all about the city; and it seemed, that, whichever way he
turned, there were birds singing in sympathy with his joy. The Potomac,
stretching away with soft and misty glimmer between its hazy banks, was
like the river of some exquisite dream.

It was no selfish happiness he felt. He thought of his mother and
sisters at home,--of all those to whom he was indebted; and in the
lightness of his spirit, after its heavy burden had been taken away, he
lifted up his heart in thanksgiving to the Giver of all blessings.

The school, transferred to his charge, continued successful; and it
opened the way to successes of greater magnitude. Through all his
subsequent career he looked back to this as the beginning; and he ever
retained for Mr. Plumley the feeling we cherish for one whom we regard
as a Heaven-appointed agent of some great benefaction. Were it not for
trenching upon ground too private and personal, we might here complete
the romance, by relating how the young man's vaguely uttered
presentiment, that he might some day render him a service, was, long
afterwards, touchingly realized. But enough. All we promised ourselves
at the start was a glance at the Secretary's first visit to Washington.

       *       *       *       *       *




Talking to you in this way once a month, O my confidential reader, there
seems to be danger, as in all intervals of friendship, that we shall not
readily be able to take up our strain of conversation, just where we
left off. Suffer me, therefore, to remind you that the month past left
us seated at the fireside, just as we had finished reading of what a
home was, and how to make one.

The fire had burned low, and great, solid hickory coals were winking
dreamily at us from out their fluffy coats of white ashes,--just as if
some household sprite there were opening now one eye and then the other,
and looking in a sleepy, comfortable way at us.

The close of my piece, about the good house-mother, had seemed to tell
on my little audience. Marianne had nestled close to her mother, and
laid her head on her knee; and though Jennie sat up straight as a pin,
yet her ever-busy knitting was dropped in her lap, and I saw the glint
of a tear in her quick, sparkling eye,--yes, actually a little bright
bead fell upon her work; whereupon she started up actively, and declared
that the fire wanted just one more stick to make a blaze before bedtime;
and then there was such a raking among the coals, such an adjusting of
the andirons, such vigorous arrangement of the wood, and such a brisk
whisking of the hearth-brush, that it was evident Jennie had something
on her mind.

When all was done, she sat down again and looked straight into the
blaze, which went dancing and crackling up, casting glances and flecks
of light on our pictures and books, and making all the old, familiar
furniture seem full of life and motion.

"I think that's a good piece," she said, decisively. "I think those are
things that should be thought about."

Now Jennie was the youngest of our flock, and therefore, in a certain
way, regarded by my wife and me as perennially "the baby"; and these
little, old-fashioned, decisive ways of announcing her opinions seemed
so much a part of her nature, so peculiarly "Jennyish," as I used to
say, that my wife and I only exchanged amused glances over her head,
when they occurred.

In a general way, Jennie, standing in the full orb of her feminine
instincts like Diana in the moon, rather looked down on all masculine
views of women's matters as "_tolerabiles ineptiae_"; but towards her
papa she had gracious turns of being patronizing to the last degree; and
one of these turns was evidently at its flood-tide, as she proceeded to

"_I_ think papa is right,--that keeping house and having a home, and all
that, is a very serious thing, and that people go into it with very
little thought about it. I really think those things papa has been
saying there ought to be thought about."

"Papa," said Marianne, "I wish you would tell me exactly how _you_ would
spend that money you gave me for house-furnishing. I should like just
your views."

"Precisely," said Jennie, with eagerness; "because it is just as papa
says,--a sensible man, who has thought, and had experience, can't help
having some ideas, even about women's affairs, that are worth attending
to. I think so, decidedly."

I acknowledged the compliment for my sex and myself with my best bow.

"But then, papa," said Marianne, "I can't help feeling sorry that one
can't live in such a way as to have beautiful things around one. I'm
sorry they must cost so much, and take so much care, for I am made so
that I really want them. I do so like to see pretty things! I do like
rich carpets and elegant carved furniture, and fine china and cut-glass
and silver. I can't bear mean, common-looking rooms. I should so like to
have my house look beautiful!"

"Your house ought not to look mean and common,--your house ought to look
beautiful," I replied. "It would be a sin and a shame to have it
otherwise. No house ought to be fitted up for a future home without a
strong and a leading reference to beauty in all its arrangements. If I
were, a Greek, I should say that the first household libation should be
made to beauty; but, being an old-fashioned Christian, I would say that
he who prepares a home with no eye to beauty neglects the example of the
great Father who has filled our earth-home with such elaborate

"But then, papa, there's the money!" said Jennie, shaking her little
head wisely. "You men don't think of that. You want us girls, for
instance, to be patterns of economy, but we must always be wearing
fresh, nice things; you abhor soiled gloves and worn shoes: and yet how
is all this to be done without money? And it's just so in housekeeping.
You sit in your arm-chairs and conjure up visions of all sorts of
impossible things to be done; but when mamma there takes out that little
account-book, and figures away on the cost of things, where do the
visions go?"

"You are mistaken, my little dear, and you talk just like a
woman,"--(this was my only way of revenging myself,)--"that is to say,
you jump to conclusions, without sufficient knowledge. I maintain that
in house-furnishing, as well as woman-furnishing, there's nothing so
economical as beauty."

"There's one of papa's paradoxes!" said Jennie.

"Yes," said I, "that is my thesis, which I shall nail up over the
mantel-piece there, as Luther nailed his to the church-door. It is time
to rake up the fire now; but to-morrow night I will give you a paper on
the Economy of the Beautiful."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Come, now we are to have papa's paradox," said Jennie, as soon as the
teachings had been carried out.

_Entre nous_, I must tell you that insensibly we had fallen into the
habit of taking our tea by my study-fire. Tea, you know, is a mere
nothing in itself, its only merit being its social and poetic
associations, its warmth and fragrance,--and the more socially and
informally it can be dispensed, the more in keeping with its airy and
cheerful nature.

Our circle was enlightened this evening by the cheery visage of Bob
Stephens, seated, as of right, close to Marianne's work-basket.

"You see, Bob," said Jennie, "papa has undertaken to prove that the most
beautiful things are always the cheapest."

"I'm glad to hear that," said Bob,--"for there's a carved antique
bookcase and study-table that I have my eye on, and if this can in any
way be made to appear"--

"Oh, it won't be made to appear," said Jennie, settling herself at her
knitting, "only in some transcendental, poetic sense, such as papa can
always make out. Papa is more than half a poet, and his truths turn out
to be figures of rhetoric, when one comes to apply them to matters of

"Now, Miss Jennie, please remember my subject and thesis," I
replied,--"that in house-furnishing there is nothing so economical as
beauty; and I will make it good against all comers, not by figures of
rhetoric, but by figures of arithmetic. I am going to be very
matter-of-fact and commonplace in my details, and keep ever in view the
addition-table. I will instance a case which has occurred under my own

       *       *       *       *       *


Two of the houses lately built on the new land in Boston were bought by
two friends, Philip and John. Philip had plenty of money, and paid the
cash down for his house, without feeling the slightest vacancy in his
pocket. John, who was an active, rising young man, just entering on a
flourishing business, had expended all his moderate savings for years in
the purchase of his dwelling, and still had a mortgage remaining, which
he hoped to clear off by his future successes. Philip begins the work of
furnishing as people do with whom money is abundant, and who have simply
to go from shop to shop and order all that suits their fancy and is
considered 'the thing' in good society. John begins to furnish with very
little money. He has a wife and two little ones, and he wisely deems
that to insure to them a well-built house, in an open, airy situation,
with conveniences for warming, bathing, and healthy living, is a wise
beginning in life; but it leaves him little or nothing beyond.

Behold, then, Philip and his wife, well pleased, going the rounds of
shops and stores in fitting up their new dwelling, and let us follow
step by step. To begin with the wall-paper. Imagine a front and back
parlor, with folding-doors, with two south windows on the front, and two
looking on a back court, after the general manner of city houses. We
will suppose they require about thirty rolls of wall-paper. Philip buys
the heaviest French velvet, with gildings and traceries, at four dollars
a roll. This, by the time it has been put on, with gold mouldings,
according to the most established taste of the best paper-hangers, will
bring the wall-paper of the two rooms to a figure something like two
hundred dollars. Now they proceed to the carpet-stores, and there are
thrown at their feet by obsequious clerks velvets and Axminsters, with
flowery convolutions and medallion-centres, as if the flower-gardens of
the tropics were whirling in waltzes, with graceful lines of
arabesque,--roses, callas, lilies, knotted, wreathed, twined, with blue
and crimson and golden ribbons, dazzling marvels of color and tracery.
There, is no restraint in price,--four or six dollars a yard, it is all
the same to them,--and soon a magic flower-garden blooms on the floors,
at a cost of five hundred dollars. A pair of elegant rugs, at fifty
dollars apiece, complete the inventory, and bring our rooms to the mark
of eight hundred dollars for papering and carpeting alone. Now come the
great mantel-mirrors for four hundred more, and our rooms progress. Then
comes the upholsterer, and measures our four windows, that he may
skilfully barricade them from air and sunshine. The fortifications
against heaven, thus prepared, cost, in the shape of damask, cord,
tassels, shades, laces, and cornices, about two hundred dollars per
window. To be sure, they make the rooms close and sombre as the grave;
but they are of the most splendid stuffs; and if the sun would only
reflect, he would see, himself, how foolish it was for him to try to
force himself into a window guarded by his betters. If there is anything
cheap and plebeian, it is sunshine and fresh air! Behold us, then, with
our two rooms papered, carpeted, and curtained for two thousand dollars;
and now are to be put in them sofas, lounges, étageres, centre-tables,
screens, chairs of every pattern and device, for which it is but
moderate to allow a thousand more. We have now two parlors furnished at
an outlay of three thousand dollars, without a single picture, a single
article of statuary, a single object of Art of any kind, and without any
light to see them by, if they were there. We must say for our Boston
upholsterers and furniture-makers that such good taste generally reigns
in their establishments that rooms furnished at hap-hazard from them
cannot fail of a certain air of good taste, so far as the individual
things are concerned. But the different articles we have supposed,
having been ordered without reference to one another or the rooms, have,
when brought together, no unity of effect, and the general result is
scattering and confused. If asked how Philip's parlors look, your reply
is,--"Oh, the usual way of such parlors,--everything that such people
usually get,--medallion-carpets, carved furniture, great mirrors, bronze
mantel-ornaments, and so on." The only impression a stranger receives,
while waiting in the dim twilight of these rooms, is that their owner
is rich, and able to get good, handsome things, such as all other rich
people get.

Now our friend John, as often happens in America, is moving in the same
social circle with Philip, visiting the same people,--his house is the
twin of the one Philip has been furnishing, and how shall he, with a few
hundred dollars, make his rooms even presentable beside those which
Philip has fitted up elegantly and three thousand?

Now for the economy of beauty. Our friend must make his prayer to the
Graces,--for, if they cannot save him, nobody can. One thing John has to
begin with, that rare gift to man, a wife with the magic cestus of
Venus,--not around her waist, but, if such a thing could be, in her
finger-ends. All that she touches falls at once into harmony and
proportion. Her eye for color and form is intuitive: let her arrange a
garret, with nothing but boxes, barrels, and cast-off furniture in it,
and ten to one she makes it seem the most attractive place in the house.
It is a veritable "gift of good faërie," this tact of beautifying and
arranging, that some women have,--and, on the present occasion, it has a
real material value, that can be estimated in dollars and cents. Come
with us and you can see the pair taking their survey of the yet
unfurnished parlors, as busy and happy as a couple of blue-birds picking
up the first sticks and straws for their nest.

"There are two sunny windows to begin with," says the good fairy, with
an appreciative glance. "That insures flowers all winter."

"Yes," says John; "I never would look at a house without a good sunny
exposure. Sunshine is the best ornament of a house, and worth an extra
thousand a year.

"Now for our wall-paper," says she. "Have you looked at wall-papers,

"Yes; we shall get very pretty ones for thirty-seven cents a roll; all
you want of a paper, you know, is to make a ground-tint to throw out
your pictures and other matters, and to reflect a pleasant tone of

"Well, John, you know Uncle James says that a stone-color is the
best,--but I can't bear those cold blue grays."

"Nor I," says John. "If we must have gray, let it at least be a gray
suffused with gold or rose-color, such as you see at evening in the

"So I think," responds she; "but better, I should like a paper with a
tone of buff,--something that produces warm yellowish reflections, and
will almost make you think the sun is shining in cold gray weather; and
then there is nothing that lights up so cheerfully in the evening. In
short, John, I think the color of a _zafferano_ rose will be just about
the shade we want."

"Well, I can find that, in good American paper, as I said before, at
from thirty-seven to forty cents a roll. Then, our bordering: there's an
important question, for that must determine the carpet, the chairs, and
everything else. Now what shall be the ground-tint of our rooms?"

"There are only two to choose between," says the lady,--"green and
maroon: which is the best for the picture?"

"I think," says John, looking above the mantel-piece, as if he saw a
picture there,--"I think a border of maroon velvet, with maroon
furniture, is the best for the picture."

"I think so too," said she; "and then we will have that lovely maroon
and crimson carpet that I saw at Lowe's;--it is an ingrain, to be sure,
but has a Brussels pattern, a mossy, mixed figure, of different shades
of crimson; it has a good warm, strong color, and when I come to cover
the lounges and our two old arm-chairs with a pretty maroon _rep_, it
will make such a pretty effect."

"Yes," said John; "and then, you know, our picture is so bright, it will
light up the whole. Everything depends on the picture."

Now as to "the picture," it has a story must be told. John, having been
all his life a worshipper and adorer of beauty and beautiful things,
had never passed to or from his business without stopping at the
print-shop windows, and seeing a little of what was there.

On one of these occasions he was smitten to the heart with the beauty of
an autumn landscape, where the red maples and sumachs, the purple and
crimson oaks, all stood swathed and harmonized together in the hazy
Indian-summer atmosphere. There was a great yellow chestnut-tree, on a
distant hill, which stood out so naturally that John instinctively felt
his fingers tingling for a basket, and his heels alive with a desire to
bound over on to the rustling hill-side and pick up the glossy brown
nuts. Everything was there of autumn, even to the golden-rod and purple
asters and scarlet creepers in the foreground.

John went in and inquired. It was by an unknown French artist, without
name or patrons, who had just come to our shores to study our scenery,
and this was the first picture he had exposed for sale. John had just
been paid a quarter's salary; he bethought him of board-bill and
washerwoman, sighed, and faintly offered fifty dollars.

To his surprise he was taken up at once, and the picture became his.
John thought himself dreaming. He examined his treasure over and over,
and felt sure that it was the work of no amateur beginner, but of a
trained hand and a true artist-soul. So he found his way to the studio
of the stranger, and apologized for having got such a gem for so much
less than its worth. "It was all I _could_ give, though," he said; "and
one who paid four times as much could not value it more." And so John
took one and another of his friends, with longer purses than his own, to
the studio of the modest stranger; and now his pieces command their full
worth in the market, and he works with orders far ahead of his ability
to execute, giving to the canvas the traits of American scenery as
appreciated and felt by the subtile delicacy of the French mind,--our
rural summer views, our autumn glories, and the dreamy, misty delicacy
of our snowy winter landscapes. Whoso would know the truth of the same,
let him inquire for the modest studio of Morvillier, at Malden, scarce a
bow-shot from our Boston.

This picture had always been the ruling star of John's house, his main
dependence for brightening up his bachelor-apartments; and when he came
to the task of furbishing those same rooms for a fair occupant, the
picture was still his mine of gold. For a picture, painted by a real
artist, who studies Nature minutely and conscientiously, has something
of the charm of the good Mother herself,--something of her faculty of
putting on different aspects under different lights. John and his wife
had studied their picture at all hours of the day: they had seen how it
looked when the morning sun came aslant the scarlet maples and made a
golden shimmer over the blue mountains, how it looked toned down in the
cool shadows of afternoon, and how it warmed up in the sunset, and died
off mysteriously into the twilight; and now, when larger parlors were to
be furnished, the picture was still the tower of strength, the
rallying-point of their hopes.

"Do you know, John," said the wife, hesitating, "I am really in doubt
whether we shall not have to get at least a few new chairs and a sofa
for our parlors? They are putting in such splendid things at the other
door that I am positively ashamed of ours; the fact is, they look almost
disreputable,--like a heap of rubbish."

"Well," said John, laughing, "I don't suppose all together sent to an
auction-room would bring us fifty dollars, and yet, such as they are,
they answer the place of better things for us; and the fact is, Mary,
the hard impassable barrier in the case is, that there really _is no
money to get any more_."

"Ah, well, then, if there isn't, we must see what we can do with these,
and summon all the good fairies to our aid," said Mary. "There's your
little cabinet-maker, John, will look over the things, and furbish them
up; there's that broken arm of the chair must be mended, and everything
revarnished; then I have found such a lovely _rep_, of just the richest
shade of maroon, inclining to crimson, and when we come to cover the
lounges and arm-chairs and sofas and ottomans all alike, you know they
will be quite another thing."

"Trust you for that, Mary! By-the-by, I've found a nice little woman,
who has worked on upholstery, who will come in by the day, and be the
hands that shall execute the decrees of your taste."

"Yes, I am sure we shall get on capitally. Do you know that I'm almost
glad we can't get new things? it's a sort of enterprise to see what we
can do with old ones."

"Now, you see, Mary," said John, seating himself on a lime-cask which
the plasterers had left, and taking out his memorandum-book, "you see,
I've calculated this thing all over; I've found a way by which I can
make our rooms beautiful and attractive without a cent expended on new

"Well, let's hear."

"Well, my way is short and simple. We must put things into our rooms
that people will look at, so that they will forget to look at the
furniture, and never once trouble their heads about it. People never
look at furniture so long as there is anything else to look at; just as
Napoleon, when away on one of his expeditions, being told that the
French populace were getting disaffected, wrote back, 'Gild the _dome
des Invalides_' and so they gilded it, and the people, looking at that,
forgot everything else."

"But I'm not clear yet," said Mary, "what is coming of this rhetoric."

"Well, then, Mary, I'll tell you. A suit of new carved black-walnut
furniture, severe in taste and perfect in style, such as I should choose
at David and Saul's, could not be got under three hundred dollars, and I
haven't the three hundred to give. What, then, shall we do? We must fall
back on our resources; we must look over our treasures. We have our
proof cast of the great glorious head of the Venus di Milo; we have
those six beautiful photographs of Rome, that Brown brought to us; we
have the great German lithograph of the San Sisto Mother and Child, and
we have the two angel-heads, from the same; we have that lovely golden
twilight sketch of Heade's; we have some sea-photographs of Bradford's;
we have an original pen-and-ink sketch by Billings; and then, as before,
we have 'our picture.' What has been the use of our watching at the
gates and waiting at the doors of Beauty all our lives, if she hasn't
thrown us out a crust now and then, so that we might have it for time of
need? Now, you see, Mary, we must make the toilet of our rooms just as a
pretty woman makes hers when money runs low, and she sorts and freshens
her ribbons, and matches them to her hair and eyes, and, with a bow
here, and a bit of fringe there, and a button somewhere else, dazzles us
into thinking that she has an infinity of beautiful attire. Our rooms
are new and pretty of themselves, to begin with; the tint of the paper,
and the rich coloring of the border, corresponding with the furniture
and carpets, will make them seem prettier. And now for arrangement. Take
this front-room. I propose to fill those two recesses each side of the
fireplace with my books, in their plain pine cases, just breast-high
from the floor: they are stained a good dark color, and nobody need
stick a pin in them to find out that they are not rosewood. The top of
these shelves on either side to be covered with the same stuff as the
furniture, finished with a crimson fringe. On top of the shelves on one
side of the fireplace I shall set our noble Venus di Milo, and I shall
buy at Cicci's the lovely Clytie and put it the other side. Then I shall
get of Williams and Everett two of their chromo-lithographs, which give
you all the style and charm of the best English water-color school. I
will have the lovely Bay of Amalfi over my Venus, because she came from
those suns and skies of Southern Italy, and I will hang Lake Como over
my Clytie. Then, in the middle, over the fireplace, shall be 'our
picture.' Over each door shall hang one of the lithographed angel-heads
of the San Sisto, to watch our going-out and coming-in; and the glorious
Mother and Child shall hang opposite the Venus di Milo, to show how
Greek and Christian unite in giving the noblest type to womanhood. And
then, when we have all our sketches and lithographs framed and hung here
and there, and your flowers blooming as they always do, and your ivies
wandering and rambling as they used to, and hanging in the most graceful
ways and places, and all those little shells and ferns and vases, which
you are always conjuring with, tastefully arranged, I'll venture to say
that our rooms will be not only pleasant, but beautiful, and that people
will oftener say, 'How beautiful!' when they enter, than if we spent
three times the money on new furniture."

In the course of a year after this conversation, one and another of my
acquaintances were often heard speaking of John Merton's house. "Such
beautiful rooms,--so charmingly furnished,--you must go and see them.
What does make them so much pleasanter than those rooms in the other
house, which have everything in them that money can buy?" So said the
folk,--for nine people out of ten only feel the effect of a room, and
never analyze the causes from which it flows: they know that certain
rooms seem dull and heavy and confused, but they don't know why; that
certain others seem cheerful, airy, and beautiful, but they know not
why. The first exclamation, on entering John's parlors, was so often,
"How beautiful!" that it became rather a by-word in the family.
Estimated by their mere money-value, the articles in the rooms were of
very trifling worth; but as they stood arranged and combined, they had
all the effect of a lovely picture. Although the statuary was only
plaster, and the photographs and lithographs such as were all within the
compass of limited means, yet every one of them was a good thing of its
own kind, or a good reminder of some of the greatest works of Art. A
good plaster cast is a daguerrotype, so to speak, of a great statue,
though it may be bought for five or six dollars, while its original is
not to be had for any nameable sum. A chromo-lithograph of the best sort
gives all the style and manner and effect of Turner or Stanfield, or any
of the best of modern artists, though you buy it for five or ten
dollars, and though the original would command a thousand guineas. The
lithographs from Raphael's immortal picture give you the results of a
whole age of artistic culture, in a form within the compass of very
humble means. There is now selling for five dollars at Williams and
Everett's a photograph of Cheney's crayon drawing of the San Sisto
Madonna and Child, which has the very spirit of the glorious original.
Such a picture, hung against the wall of a child's room, would train its
eye from infancy; and yet how many will freely spend five dollars in
embroidery on its dress, that say they cannot afford works of Art!

There was one advantage which John and his wife found in the way in
which they furnished their house, that I have hinted at before: it gave
freedom to their children. Though their rooms were beautiful, it was not
with the tantalizing beauty of expensive and frail knick-knacks.
Pictures hung against the wall, and statuary safely lodged on brackets,
speak constantly to the childish eye, but are out of reach of childish
fingers, and are not upset by childish romps. They are not like china
and crystal, liable to be used and abused by servants; they do not wear
out; they are not spoiled by dust, nor consumed by moths. The beauty
once there is always there; though the mother be ill and in her chamber,
she has no fears that she shall find it all wrecked and shattered. And
this style of beauty, inexpensive as it is, compared with luxurious
furniture, is a means of cultivation. No child is ever stimulated to
draw or to read by an Axminster carpet or a carved centre-table; but a
room surrounded with photographs and pictures and fine casts suggests a
thousand inquiries, stimulates the little eye and hand. The child is
found with its pencil, drawing; or he asks for a book on Venice, or
wants to hear the history of the Roman Forum.

But I have made my article too long. I will write another on the moral
and intellectual effects of house-furnishing.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I have proved my point, Miss Jennie, have I not? _In house-furnishing,
nothing is more economical than beauty_."

"Yes, papa," said Jennie; "I give it up."

       *       *       *       *       *



  At Carnac in Brittany, close on the bay,
  They show you a church, or rather the gray
  Ribs of a dead one, left there to bleach
  With the wreck lying near on the crest of the beach;
  Roofless and splintered with thunder-stone,
  'Mid lichen-blurred gravestones all alone,
  'Tis the kind of ruin strange sights to see
  That may have their teaching for you and me.

  Something like this, then, my guide had to tell,
  Perched on a saint cracked across when he fell.
  But since I might chance give his meaning a wrench,
  He talking his _patois_ and I English-French,
  I'll put what he told me, preserving the tone,
  In a rhymed prose that makes it half his, half my own.

  An abbey-church stood here, once on a time,
  Built as a death-bed atonement for crime:
  'Twas for somebody's sins, I know not whose;
  But sinners are plenty, and you can choose.
  Though a cloister now of the dusk-winged bat,
  'Twas rich enough once, and the brothers grew fat,
  Looser in girdle and purpler in jowl,
  Singing good rest to the founder's lost soul.
  But one day came Northmen, and lithe tongues of fire
  Lapped up the chapter-house, licked off the spire,
  And left all a rubbish-heap, black and dreary,
  Where only the wind sings _miserere_.
  Of what the monks came by no legend runs,
  At least they were lucky in not being nuns.

  No priest has kneeled since at the altar's foot,
  Whose crannies are searched by the nightshade's root,
  Nor sound of service is ever heard,
  Except from throat of the unclean bird,
  Hooting to unassoiled shapes as they pass
  In midnights unholy his witches' mass,
  Or shouting "Ho! ho!" from the belfry high
  As the Devil's sabbath-train whirls by;
  But once a year, on the eve of All-Souls,
  Through these arches dishallowed the organ rolls,
  Fingers long fleshless the bell-ropes work,
  The chimes peal muffled with sea-mists mirk,
  The skeleton windows are traced anew
  On the baleful flicker of corpse-lights blue,
  And the ghosts must come, so the legend saith,
  To a preaching of Reverend Doctor Death.

  Abbots, monks, barons, and ladies fair
  Hear the dull summons and gather there:
  No rustle of silk now, no clink of mail,
  Nor ever a one greets his church-mate pale;
  No knight whispers love in the _châtelaine's_ ear,
  His next-door neighbor this five hundred year;
  No monk has a sleek _benedicite_
  For the great lord shadowy now as he;
  Nor needeth any to hold his breath,
  Lest he lose the least word of Doctor Death.

  He chooses his text in the Book Divine,
  Tenth verse of the Preacher in chapter nine:--
  "'Whatsoever thy hand shall find thee to do,
  That do with thy whole might, or thou shalt rue;
  For no man is wealthy or wise or brave
  In that quencher of might-bes and would-bes, the grave.'
  Bid by the Bridegroom, 'To-morrow,' ye said,
  And To-morrow was digging a trench for your bed;
  Ye said, 'God can wait; let us finish our wine';
  Ye had wearied Him, fools, and that last knock was mine!"

  But I can't pretend to give you the sermon,
  Or say if the tongue were French, Latin, or German;
  Whatever he preached in, I give you my word
  The meaning was easy to all that heard;
  Famous preachers there have been and be,
  But never was one so convincing as he;
  So blunt was never a begging friar,
  No Jesuit's tongue so barbed with fire,
  Cameronian never, nor Methodist,
  Wrung gall out of Scripture with such a twist.

  And would you know who his hearers must be?
  I tell you just what my guide told me:
  Excellent teaching men have, day and night,
  From two earnest friars, a black and a white,
  The Dominican Death and the Carmelite Life;
  And between these two there is never strife,
  For each has his separate office and station,
  And each his own work in the congregation;
  Whoso to the white brother deafens his ears,
  And cannot be wrought on by blessings or tears,
  Awake in his coffin must wait and wait,
  In that blackness of darkness that means _too late_,
  And come once a year, when the ghost-bell tolls,
  As till Doomsday it shall on the eve of All-Souls,
  To hear Doctor Death, whose words smart with the brine
  Of the Preacher, the tenth verse of chapter nine.

       *       *       *       *       *


Modern times began in France with the death of Mazarin. Spain, Austria,
and Italy no longer led the world in politics, literature, and
refinement. The _grande nation_, delivered from _Ligue_ and _Fronde_,
took her position with England at the head of civilized Europe. This
great change had been going on during eighty years of battle, murder,
anarchy, and confusion. As always, the new grew up unnoticed, until it
overtopped the old. The transformation was complete in 1661, when Louis
XIV. appeared upon the scene, and gave his name to this brilliant
period, with not much better claim to the distinction than had Vespucci
to America.

There had been a prodigious yield of brains in France. A host of clever
men developed the new ideas in every direction. Philosophy and science,
literature and language, manners, habits, dress, assumed the forms with
which we are so familiar. Then commenced the _grand siècle_, the era
Frenchmen date from. They look upon those gallant ancestors almost as
contemporaries, and still admire their feats in war, and laugh over
their strokes of wit. The books they wrote became classics, and were in
all hands until within the last twenty or thirty years. Latterly,
indeed, they have been less read, for thought is turning to fresh
fields, and society seems to be entering upon a new era.

No man more fully recognized the great change that was going on, or did
more to help it forward, than Nicolas Fouquet, Vicomte de Vaux, and
Marquis de Belleîle,--but better known as the _Surintendant_. In the
pleasant social annals of France, Fouquet is the type of splendor, and
of sudden, hopeless ruin. "There was never a man so magnificent, there
was never a man so unfortunate," say the lively gentlemen and ladies in
their _Mémoires_. His story is told to point the old and dreary moral of
the instability of human prosperity. It is, indeed, like a tale of the
"Arabian Nights." The Dervish is made Grand Vizier. He marries the
Sultan's daughter. His palace owes its magical beauty to the Genies. The
pillars are of jasper, the bases and capitals of massive gold. The
Sultan frowns, waves his hand, and the crowd, who kissed the favorite's
slipper yesterday, hoot and jeer as they see him pass by to his dungeon,
disgraced, stripped, and beaten, Fouquet was of good family, the son of
a Councillor of State in Louis XIII.'s time. Educated for the
magistracy, he became a _Maître des Requétes_ (say Master in Chancery)
at twenty, and at thirty-five _Procureur-Général_ (or Attorney-General)
of the Parliament of Paris, which was only a court of justice, although
it frequently attempted to usurp legislative, and even executive
functions. During the rebellious troubles of the Fronde, the Procureur
and his brother, the Abbé Fouquet, remained faithful to Mazarin and to
the throne. The Abbé, in the ardor of his zeal, once offered the Queen
his services to kill De Retz and salt him, if she would give her
consent. It was at the request of the Queen that the Cardinal made the
trusty Procureur _Surintendant des Finances_, the first position in
France after the throne and the prime-ministership.

Pensions, and the promise of comfortable places, had collected about the
Surintendant talent, fashion, and beauty. Some of the ablest men in the
kingdom were in his employ. Pellisson, famous for ugliness and for wit,
the _Acanthe_ of the Hôtel de Rambouillet, the beloved of Sappho
Scudéry, was his chief clerk. Pellisson was then a Protestant; but
Fouquet's disgrace, and four years in the Bastille, led him to reëxamine
the grounds of his religious faith. He became, luckily, enlightened on
the subject of his heresies at a time when the renunciation of
Protestantism led to honors and wealth. Change of condition followed
change of doctrine. The King attached him to his person as Secretary and
Historiographer, and gave him the management of the fund for the
conversion of Huguenots. Gourville, whom Charles II., an excellent
judge, called the wisest of Frenchmen, belonged to Fouquet, as a
receiver-general of taxes. Molière wrote two of his earlier plays for
the Surintendant. La Fontaine was an especial favorite. He bound himself
to pay for his quarterly allowance in quarterly madrigals, ballads, or
sonnets. If he failed, a bailiff was to be sent to levy on his stanzas.
He paid pretty regularly, but in a depreciated currency. The verses have
not the golden ring of the "Contes" and the "Fables."

  "Le Roi, l'État, la Patrie,
  Partagent toute votre vie."

That is a sample of their value. Quack-medicine poets often do as well.
He wrote "Adonis" for Fouquet, and had worked three years at the "Songe
de Vaux," when the ruin of his patron caused him to lay it aside. It is
a dull piece. Four fairies, _Palatiane, Hortésie, Apellanire, and
Calliopée_, make long speeches about their specialty in Art, as seen at
Vaux. Their names sufficiently denote it. A fish comes as ambassador
from Neptune to Vaux, the glory of the universe, where Oronte (Fouquet's
_alias_, in the affected jargon of the period)

    "fait bâtir un palais magnifique,
  Où règne l'ordre Ionique
  Avec beaucoup d'agrément."

Apollo comes and promises to take charge of the live-stock, and of the
picture-gallery. The Muses, too, are busy.

  "Pour lui Melpomène médite,
  Thalie en est jalouse,"--

and soon--

Fouquet's physician, Pecquet, is well known to physiologists by his
treatise, "_De Motu Chyli_," and by "Pecquet's reservoir." His patron
was warmly interested in the new discoveries in circulation, which were
then, and so long after, violently opposed by the _Purgons_ and the
_Diafoirus_ of the old school. The Surintendant's judgment was equally
good in Art. Le Brun, the painter, owed fame and fortune to him. He gave
him twelve thousand livres a year, besides paying a fixed price for each
of his works. With the exception of Renaudot's journal, Loret's weekly
gazette, published in the shape of a versified letter to Mademoiselle de
Longueville, was the only newspaper in France. Fouquet furnished the
editor with money and with items. He allowed Scarron sixteen hundred
livres a year, when Mazarin struck his name from the pension-list, as
punishment for a "_Mazarinade_," the only squib of the kind the Cardinal
had ever noticed. Poor Scarron was hopelessly paralyzed, and bedridden.
He had been a comely, robust fellow in his youth, given to dissipated
courses. In a Carnival frolic, he appeared in the streets with two
companions in the character of bipeds with feathers,--a scanty addition
to Plato's definition of man. This airy costume was too much for French
modesty, proverbially shrinking and sensitive. The mob hooted and gave
chase. The maskers fled from the town and hid themselves in a marsh to
evade pursuit. The result of this venturesome _travestissement_ was the
death of both his friends, and an attack of inflammatory rheumatism
which twisted Scarron for life into the shape of the letter Z.

The Surintendant's _hôtel_, at St. Mandé, was a marvel of art, his
library the best in France. The number and value of his books was urged
against him, on his trial, as evidence of his peculations. His
country-seat, at Vaux, cost him eighteen millions of livres. Three
villages were bought and razed to enlarge the grounds. Le Vau built the
_château_. Le Brun painted the ceilings and panels. La Fontaine and
Michel Gervaise furnished French and Latin mottoes for the allegorical
designs. Le Nôtre laid out the gardens in the style which may still be
seen at Versailles. Torelli, an Italian engineer, decorated them with
artificial cascades and fountains, a wonder of science to Frenchmen in
the seventeenth century. Puget had collected the statues which
embellished them. There was a collection of wild animals, a rare
spectacle before the days of zoological gardens,--an aviary of foreign
birds,--tanks as large as ponds, in which, among other odd fish, swam a
sturgeon and a salmon taken in the Seine. Everything was magnificent,
and everything was new,--so original and so perfect, that Louis XIV.,
after he had crushed the Surintendant, could find no plans so good and
no artists so skilful as these _pour embellir son règne_. He was obliged
to imitate the man he hated. Even Fouquet's men of letters were soon
enrolled in the service of the King.

In March, 1661, Mazarin died, full of honor. His favorite saying, "_Il
tiempo è un galantuomo_," was fulfilled for him. In spite of many
desperate disappointments and defeats, _Messer Tiempo_ had made him
rich, powerful, and triumphant. The young King, who had already
announced his theory of government in the well-known speech, "_L'État,
c'est moi_," waited patiently, and with respect, (filial, some have
said,) for the old man to depart. He put on mourning, a compliment never
paid but once before by a French sovereign to the memory of a
subject,--by Henry IV. to Gabrielle d'Estrées. When the Council came
together, the King told them, that hitherto he had permitted the late
Cardinal to direct the affairs of State, but that in future he should
take the duty upon himself,--the gentlemen present would aid him with
their advice, if he should see fit to ask for it. It was a "neat little
speech," and very much to the point: Louis XIV. had the talent of making
neat little speeches. But the Surintendant, who presided in the Council,
did not believe him. A prince, he thought, two-and-twenty years of age,
fond of show and of pleasure, of moderate capacity, and with no
education, might undertake for a while the cares of government, but,
when the novelty wore off, would tire of the labor. And then, whose
pretensions to shoulder the burden were so well founded as Fouquet's? He
was almost a king, and had the political patronage of a president. The
revenue of the nation passed through his hands. _Fermiers_ and
_traitants_, those who farmed the taxes and those who gathered them for
a consideration, obeyed his nod and laid their offerings at his feet. A
judicious mixture of presents and promises had given him the control of
judges enough in the different Parliaments to fortify his views of the
public business by legal decisions. In his own Parliament he was
supreme. Clever agents, stationed in important places, both at home and
abroad, watched over his interests, and kept him informed of all that
transpired, by faithful couriers. But he misunderstood his position, and
was mistaken in his King. Louis XIV. had, indeed, little talent and less
education. He could never learn Latin, at that time as much a part of a
gentleman's training as French is now with us; but he had what for want
of a more distinctive word we may call character,--that
well-proportioned mixture of sense, energy, and self-reliance which
obtains for its possessor more success in life, and more respect from
those about him, than brilliant mental endowments. It was the moral side
of his nature which was deficient. He was selfish, envious, and cruel;
and he had not that noble hatred of the crooked, the mean, and the
dishonorable which becomes a gentleman. Mazarin once said,--"There is
stuff enough in him to make four kings and one worthy man." Divide this
favorable opinion by four, and the result will be an approximation to
the value of Louis XIV. as a monarch and a man. There was a king in
him,--a determination to be master, and to bear no rival near the
throne, no matter of how secondary or trifling a nature the rivalry
might be.

Fouquet had been deep in Mazarin's confidence, his agent and partner in
those sharp financial operations which had brought so much profit to the
Cardinal and so little to the Crown. One of their jobs was to buy up, at
an enormous discount, old and discredited claims against the Treasury,
dating from the Fronde, which, when held by the right parties, were paid
in full,--a species of fraud known by various euphemisms in the purest
of republics. All the checks and balances of our enlightened system of
administration, whether federal, state, or municipal, do not prevent
skilful officials from perverting vast sums of money to their own uses.
In France, demoralized by years of civil war, the official facilities
for plundering were concentrated in the hands of one clever man. We can
easily understand that his wealth was enormous, and his power
correspondingly great.

When the late Cardinal, surfeited with spoils, was drawing near his end,
scruples of conscience, never felt before, led him to advise the King to
keep a strict watch upon the Surintendant. He recommended for that
purpose his steward, Colbert, of whose integrity and knowledge of
business he had the highest opinion. Colbert was made Under-Secretary of
State, and Fouquet's dismissal from office determined upon from that

The Surintendant had no previsions of danger. With his usual boldness,
he laid the financial "situation" of the kingdom before his new master,
confessed frankly what it was impossible to conceal, laid the blame of
all irregularities upon Mazarin, or upon the exigencies of the times,
and ended by imploring an amnesty for the past, and promising thrift and
economy for the future. The King appeared satisfied, and granted a full
pardon. Fouquet, more confident than ever, dashed on in the old way,
while Colbert and his clerks were quietly digging the pit into which he
was soon to fall. Colbert was reinforced by Séguier, the Chancellor, and
by Le Tellier, a Secretary of State, who had an energetic son, Louvois,
in the War Department. All three hated the Surintendant, and each hoped
to succeed him. Fouquet's ostentation and haughtiness had made him
enemies among the old nobility. Many of them were eager to see the proud
and prosperous man humiliated,--merely to gratify that wretched feeling
of envy and spite so inherent in poor human nature, and one of the
strongest proofs of that corruption "which standeth in the following of

Louis XIV. had reasons of his own for his determination to destroy the
Surintendant. First of all, he was afraid of him. The Fronde was fresh
in the royal memory. Fouquet had enormous wealth, an army of friends and
retainers; he could command Brittany from his castle of Belleîle, which
he had fortified and garrisoned. Why might he not, if his ambition were
thwarted, revive rebellion, and bring back misery upon France? The
personal reminiscences of the King's whole life must have made him feel
keenly the force of this apprehension. He was ten years old, when, to
escape De Retz and Beaufort, the Queen-Mother fled with him to St.
Germain, and slept there upon straw, in want of the necessaries of life.
After their return to Paris, the mob broke into the Louvre, and
penetrated to the royal bedchamber. He could not well forget the night
when his mother placed him upon his knees to pray for the success of the
attempt to arrest Condé, who thought himself the master. He was twelve
when Mazarin marched into France with seven thousand men wearing green
scarfs, the Cardinal's colors, and in the Cardinal's pay. After the
young King had joined them, the Parliament of Paris offered fifty
thousand crowns for the Cardinal's head. He was thirteen when Condé, in
command of Spanish troops, surprised the royalists at Bléneau, and would
have captured King and Court, had it not been for the skill of Turenne.
A few years before, Turenne had served against France, under the Spanish
flag. The boy-King had witnessed the battle of St. Antoine,--had seen
the gates of Paris closed against him, and the cannon of the Bastille
firing upon his army, by order of his cousin, _Mademoiselle_, the
grand-daughter of Henry IV. He had known a Parliament at Paris, and an
Anti-Parliament at Pontoise. In 1651, Condé, De Retz, and La
Rochefoucauld fought in the Palais Royal, almost in the royal presence.
In 1652 he had been compelled to exile Mazarin again; and it was not
until 1658 that Turenne finally defeated Condé and Don John of Austria,
and opened the way to the Peace of the Pyrenees, and the marriage with
the Infanta. Oliver Cromwell aided the King with six thousand of his
soldiers in this battle, and seized upon Dunkirk to repay himself,--only
three years before. No wonder Louis was anxious to place the throne
beyond the reach of danger and insult, and to crush the only man who
seemed to have the power to rekindle a civil war.

A stronger and a meaner motive he kept to himself. He was small-minded
enough to think that a subject overshadowed him, _nec pluribus impar_.
He hated Fouquet because he was so much admired,--because he was called
the Magnificent,--because his _châteaux_ and gardens were incomparably
finer than St. Germain or Fontainebleau,--because he was surrounded by
the first wits and artists,--no trifling matter in that bright morning
of French literature, when every gentleman of station in Paris aspired
to be a _bel-esprit_, or, if that was impossible, to keep one in his
employ. "_Le Roi s'abaissa jusqu'à se croire humilié par un sujet_." His
"_gloire_" as he called it, was his passion, not only in war and in
government, where it meant something, but in buildings and furniture,
dress and dinners, madrigals and _bon-mots_. The monopoly of _gloire_ he
must and would have,--nobly, if possible, but at any rate, and in every
kind, _gloire_.

And the unlucky Surintendant had sinned against the royal feelings in a
still more unpardonable way. The King was in love with La Vallière. He
had surrounded his attachment with the mystery the young and sentimental
delight in. Fouquet, quite unconscious of the royal fancy, had cast eyes
of favor upon the same lady. Proceeding according to the custom of men
of middle age and of abundant means, he had wasted no time in _petits
soins_ and sighs, but, Jupiter-like, had offered to shower two hundred
thousand livres upon the fair one. This proposition was reported to the
King, and was the cause of the _acharnement_, the relentless fury, he
showed in persecuting Fouquet. He would have dealt with him as Queen
Christina had dealt with Monaldeschi, if he had dared. The hatred
survived long after he had dismissed the fair cause of it from his
affections, and from his palace.

Such was the Surintendant's position when he issued his invitation to
the King, Court, and _bel-air_ for the seventeenth of August, 1661,--the
_fête de Vaux_, which fills a paragraph in every history of France. In
June, he had entertained the Queen of England in a style which made
Mazarin's pageants for the Infanta Queen seem tasteless and
old-fashioned. The present festival cast the preceding one into the
shade. It began in the early afternoon, like a _déjeuner_ of our day.
The King was there, the Queen-Mother, Monsieur, brother to the King, and
Madame, daughter of Charles I. of England, attended by Princes, Dukes,
Marquises, and Counts, with their quick-witted, sharp-tongued, and
independent spouses. The highest and noblest of France came to stare at
Fouquet's magnificence, to wonder at the strange birds and beasts, and
to admire the fountains and cascades. After a walk about the grounds,
the august company were served with supper in the _château_. Vatel was
the _maître d'hôtel_. The King could not conceal his astonishment at the
taste and luxury of the Surintendant, nor his annoyance when he
recognized the portrait of La Vallière in a mythological panel. Over
doors and windows were carved and painted Fouquet's arms,--a squirrel,
with the motto, "_Quò non ascendam_?" The King asked a chamberlain for
the translation. When the device was interpreted, the measure of his
wrath was full. He was on the point of ordering Fouquet's instant
arrest; but the Queen-Mother persuaded him to wait until every
precaution had been taken.

After supper, the guests were conducted to the play. The theatre was at
the end of an alley of pines, almost _al fresco_. The stage represented
a garden decorated with fountains and with statues of Terminus. Scenery
by Le Brun; machinery and transmutations by Torelli; stage-manager,
Molière; the comedy, "_Les Fâcheux_," "The Bores," composed, written,
and rehearsed expressly for this occasion, in the short space of fifteen
days. This piece was put upon the stage in a new way. The ballet,
introduced by Mazarin a few years before, was the fashion, and
indispensable. As Molière had only a few good dancers, he placed the
scenes of the ballet between the acts of the comedy, in order to give
his artists time to change their dresses and to take three or four
different parts. To avoid awkwardness in these transitions, the plot of
the comedy was carried over into the pantomime. This arrangement proved
so successful that Molière made use of it in many of his later plays.

The curtain rises upon a man in citizen's-dress (Molière). He expresses
amazement and dismay at seeing so large and so distinguished an
audience, and implores His Majesty to pardon him for being there without
actors enough and without time enough to prepare a suitable
entertainment. While he is yet speaking, twenty jets of water spring
into the air,--a huge rock in the foreground changes into a shell,--the
shell opens,--forth steps a Naiad (pretty Mademoiselle Béjart, a
well-known actress,--too well known for Moliere's domestic comfort) and
declaims verses written by Pellisson for the occasion. Here is a part of
this prologue in commonplace prose; Pellisson's verses are of a kind
which loses little by translation. The flattery is heavy, but Louis XIV.
was not dainty; he liked it strong, and probably swallowed more of it
with pleasure and comfort during fifty years than any other man.

"Mortals," said _la Béjart_, "I come from my grotto to look upon the
greatest king in the world. Shall the land or the water furnish a new
spectacle for his amusement? He has only to speak,--to wish; nothing is
impossible to him. Is he not himself a miracle? And has he not the right
to demand miracles of Nature? He is young, victorious, wise, valiant,
and dignified,--as benevolent and just as he is powerful. He governs his
desires as well as his subjects; he unites labor and pleasure; always
busy, never at fault, seeing all, hearing all. To such a prince Heaven
can refuse nothing. If Louis commands, these Termini shall walk from
their places, these trees shall speak better than the oaks of Dodona.
Come forth, then, all of you! Louis commands it. Come forth to amuse
him, and transform yourselves upon this novel stage!" Trees and Termini
fly open. Dryads, Fauns, and Satyrs skip out. Then the Naiad invokes
Care, the goddess whose hand rests heavily upon monarchs, and implores
her to grant the great King an hour's respite from the business of
State and from his anxiety for his people. "Let him give his great heart
up to pleasure. To-morrow, with strength renewed, he will take up his
burden, sacrifice his own rest to give repose to mankind and maintain
peace throughout the universe. But to-night let all _fâcheux_ stand
back, except those who can make themselves agreeable to him." The Naiad
vanishes. The Fauns dance to the violins and hautboys, until the play

After the comedy, the spectators walked slowly to the _château_. A _feu
d'artifice_, ending in a bouquet of a thousand rockets from the dome,
lighted them on their way back. Another repast followed, which lasted
until the drums of the royal _mousquetaires_, the King's escort, were
heard in the courtyard. This was the signal for breaking up.

The Surintendant seemed to be on the highest pinnacle of prosperity,
beyond the reach of Fate. There was at Rome a Sire de Maucroix, sent
thither by Fouquet on his private business. To him his friend La
Fontaine wrote a full description of the day, and of the effect Vaux had
produced upon the fashionable world. "You would think that Fame [_la
Renommée_] was made only for him, he gives her so much to do at once.

  'Plein d'éclat, plein de gloire, adoré des mortels,
  Il reçoit des honneurs qu'on ne doit qu'aux autels.'"

A few days later, the Surintendant arrived at Angers, on his way to
Nantes. Arnauld writes, that the Bishop of Angers and himself waited
upon the great man to pay their respects. "From the height upon which he
stood, all others seemed so far removed from him that he could not
recognize them. He scarcely looked at us, and Madame, his wife, seemed
neither less frigid nor more civil." On the fifth of September, nineteen
days after the _fête_, the thunderbolt fell upon him.

A _Procureur-Général_ could be tried only by the Parliament to which he
belonged. To make Fouquet's destruction more certain, Colbert had
induced him, by various misrepresentations, to sell out. He received
fourteen hundred thousand livres for the place, and presented the
enormous sum to the Treasury. This act of munificence, or of
restitution, did not save him. If he had been backed by fifty thousand
men, the King could hardly have taken greater precautions. His Majesty's
manner was more gracious than ever. To prevent a rising in the West,
Louis journeyed to Nantes, which is near Belleîle. Fouquet accompanied
the progress with almost equal state. He had his court, his guards, his
own barge upon the Loire,--and travelled brilliantly onward to ruin. The
palace in Nantes was the scene of the arrest. Fouquet, suspecting
nothing, waited upon the King. Louis kept him engaged in conversation,
until he saw D'Artagnau, a name famous in storybooks, and the
_mousquetaires_ in the courtyard. Then he gave the signal. The
Surintendant was seized and taken to Angers, thence to Amboise,
Vincennes, and finally to the Bastille. He was confined in a room
lighted only from above, and allowed no communication with family or
friends. The mask was now thrown off, and the blow followed up with a
malignant energy which showed the determination to destroy. The King was
very violent, and said openly that he had matter in his possession which
would hang the Surintendant. His secretaries and agents were arrested.
His friends, not knowing how much they might be implicated, either fled
the kingdom, or kept out of the way in the provinces. Pellisson and Dr.
Pecquet were sent to the Bastille; Guénégaud lost half his fortune; the
Bishop of Avranches had to pay twelve thousand francs; Gourville fled to
England; Pomponne was ordered to reside at Verdun. Fouquet's papers were
examined in the presence of the King. Letters were there from persons in
every class of life,--a very large number from women, for the prisoner
had charms which the fair sex have always found it difficult to resist.
Madame Scarron had written to thank him for his bounty to the poor
cripple whose name and roof protected her. The King had probably never
before heard of this lady, who was to be the wife and ruler of his old
age. The portfolio contained specimens of the gayest and brightest of
letter-writers. In the course of his career, the gallant Surintendant
had attempted to add the charming widow Sévigné to his conquests. She
refused the temptation, but always remained grateful for the compliment.
Le Tellier told her cousin, Bussy-Rabutin, that the King liked her
letters,--"very different," he said, "from the _douceurs fades_"--the
insipid sweet things--"of the other feminine scribes." Nevertheless, she
thought it prudent to reside for a time upon her estate in Brittany. A
copy of a letter by St. Évremond was found, written three years before
from the Spanish frontier. It was a sarcastic pleasantry at the expense
of Mazarin and the _Paix des Pyrénées_, St. Évremond was a soldier, a
wit, and the leader of fashion; Colbert hated him, and magnified a _jeu
d'esprit_ into a State-crime. He was exiled, and spent the rest of his
long life in England. Of the baser sort, hundreds were turned out of
their places and thrown penniless upon the world. It was a _coup
d'état_, a revolution, and most people were against Fouquet. It is such
a consolation for the little to see the mighty fall!

The instinct which impels friends and servants to fly from sinking
fortunes is a well-established fact in human natural history; but
Fouquet's hold upon his followers was extraordinary: it resisted the
shock of ruin. They risked court-favor, purse, and person, to help him.
Gourville, before he thought of his own safety, carried a hundred
thousand livres to Madame Fouquet, to be used in defending the
Surintendant, or in bribing a judge or a jailer. The rest of his
property he divided, intrusting one half to a devout friend, the other
to a sinful beauty, Ninon de l'Enclos, and fled the country. The
"professor" absorbed all that was left in his hands; Ninon returned her
trust intact. This little incident was made much use of at a later day
by the _Philosophes_, and Voltaire worked it up into "Le Dépositaire."
From the Bastille, Pellisson addressed to the King three papers in
defence of his chief: "masterpieces of prose, worthy of Cicero,"
Voltaire says,--"_ce que l'éloquence a produit de plus beau_." And
Sainte-Beuve thinks that Louis must have yielded to them, if he had
heard them spoken, instead of reading them in his closet. The faithful
La Fontaine fearlessly sang the sorrows of his patron, and accustomed
"_chacun à plaindre ses malheurs_." He begged to the King for mercy, in
an ode full of feeling, if not of poetry. "Has not Oronte been
sufficiently punished by the withdrawal of thy favor? Attack Rome,
Vienna, but be merciful to us. _La Clémence est fille des Dieux_." A
copy of this ode found its way to the prisoner. He protested against
these lines:--

  "Mais, si tu crois qu'il est coupable,
  Il ne veut point être innocent."

Two years of prison had not broken him down to this point of
self-abasement. Could any Sultan, or even the "Oriental Despot" of a
radical penny-a-liner, be implored in more abject terms? Madame de
Sévigné, Madame de Scudéry, Le Fèvre, talked, wrote, and spared no
expense for their dear friend. Brébeuf, the poet, who had neither
influence nor money, took to his bed and died of grief. Hesnault, author
of the "Avorton," a sonnet much admired in those days, and translated
with approval into English verse, as,

  "Frail spawn of nought and of existence mixed,"

eased his feelings by insulting Colbert in another sonnet, beginning

  "Ministre avare et lâche, esclave malheureux."

The poet escaped unpunished. His affront gave Colbert the chance for a
_mot_,--an opportunity which Frenchmen seldom throw away. When the
injurious verses were reported to the Minister, he asked,--"Is there
anything in them offensive to the King?" "No." "Then there can be
nothing in them offensive to me." Loret, of the Gazette, was not so
lucky. A gentle appeal in his journal for less severity was punished by
striking the editor from the pension-list,--a fine of fifteen hundred
livres a year. Fouquet heard of it, and found means to send, by the
hands of Madame Scudéry, a year's allowance to the faithful newsman.

The Government was not ready to proceed to trial until 1664. For three
years the sharpest lawyers in France had been working on the Act of
Accusation. It was very large even for its age. The accompanying
_Pièces_ were unusually voluminous. The accused had not been idle. His
_Défenses_ may be seen in fourteen closely printed Elzevir 18mos.

The unabated rigor of Fouquet's prison had convinced his friends that it
was useless to hope for clemency, and that it might be difficult to save
his life. The King was as malignant as at first; Colbert and Le Tellier
as venomous, as if it had been a question of Fouquet's head or their
own. They talked about justice, affected moderation, and deceived
nobody. Marshal Turenne, speaking of their respective feelings in the
matter, said a thing which was considered good by the _bel-esprits_:--"I
think that Colbert is the more anxious to have him hanged, and Le
Tellier the more afraid he will not be."

But meantime the Parisians had changed their minds about the
Surintendant. Now, they were all for him. His friends had done much to
bring this about; time, and the usual reaction of feeling, had done
more. His haughtiness and his pomp were gone and forgotten; there
remained only an unfortunate gentleman, crushed, imprisoned, threatened
with death, attacked by his enemies with a bitterness which showed they
were seeking to destroy the man rather than to punish the criminal,--yet
bearing up against his unexampled afflictions with unshaken courage. The
great Public has strong levelling propensities, both upward and
downward. If it delights to see the prosperous humbled, it is always
ready to pity the unfortunate; and even in 1664 the popular feeling in
Paris was powerful enough to check the ministers of an absolute king,
and to save Fouquet's life. His persecutors were so eager to run down
their prey that they overran it "In their anxiety to hang him," some one
said, "they have made their rope so thick that they cannot tighten it
about his neck."

In November, 1664, Fouquet was brought before a commission of twenty-two
judges, selected from the different Parliaments of the kingdom. After
protesting against the jurisdiction of the court, he took his seat upon
the _sellette_, although a chair had been prepared for him beside it.
The interrogatories commenced. There were two principal charges against
him. First, diversion of the public funds to his own use,--embezzlement
or defalcation we should call it. Proof: his great expenditure, too
large for any private fortune. Answer: that his expenses were within the
income he derived from his salaries, pensions, and the property of
himself and wife. He was questioned closely upon his administration of
the finances. He was invariably self-possessed and ready with an answer,
and he eluded satisfactorily every attempt of the judges to entrap him,
although, as one of his best friends confessed, "some places were very
slippery." The second charge, treason against the State, was based upon
a paper addressed to his wife, and found in his desk. Fifteen years
before, after a quarrel with Mazarin, he had drawn up a plan of the
measures to be taken by his family and adherents in case of an attack
upon his life or liberty. It was a mere rough draught, incomplete, which
had remained unburned because forgotten. The fortifications of Belleîle
and the number of his retainers were brought up as evidence of his
intention to carry out the "_projet_," as it was called, if it became
necessary. Fouquet's explanations, and the date of the paper, were
satisfactory to the majority of the Commission. At last even the
Chancellor admitted that the proof was insufficient to sustain this part
of the accusation. Fouquet's answer to Séguier, during the examination
on the "_projet_," was much admired, and repeated out-of-doors. Séguier
asserted more than once, "This is clearly treason." "No," retorted
Fouquet, "it is not treason; but I will tell you what is treason. To
hold high office, to be in the confidence of the King; then suddenly to
desert to the enemies of that King, to carry over relatives, with the
regiments and the fortresses under their command, and to betray the
secrets of State: that is treason." And that was exactly what Chancellor
Séguier had done in the Fronde.

In French criminal jurisprudence, the theory seems to be that the
accused is guilty until he has proved his innocence, and those
conversant with French trials need not be told that the judges assist
the public prosecutor. In this case, they sought by cross-examinations
to confuse Fouquet, and to entrap him into dangerous admissions. Séguier
sternly repressed any leanings in his favor; he even reproved some of
the judges for returning the salutation of the prisoner, as he entered
the court-room.

The trial lasted five weeks. All Paris looked on absorbed, as at a drama
of the most exciting interest. Fouquet never appeared so admirable as
then, at bay, firmly facing king, ministers, judges, eager for his
blood, excited by the ardor of pursuit, and embittered by the roar of
applause with which his masterly defence was received out-of-doors. Even
those who knew the Surintendant best were astonished at his courage and
his presence of mind. He seemed greater in his adversity than in his
magnificence. Some of the judges began to waver. Renard, J., said,--"I
must confess that this man is incomparable. He never spoke so well when
he was _Procureur_; he never showed so much self-possession." Another,
one Nesmond, died during the trial, and regretted openly on his
death-bed that he had lent himself to this persecution. The King ordered
that this dying speech and confession should not be repeated, but it
circulated only the more widely.

"No public man," Voltaire says, "ever had so many personal friends"; and
no friends were ever more faithful and energetic. They repeated his
happy answers in all quarters, praised his behavior, pitied his
sufferings, and reviled and ridiculed his enemies. They managed to meet
him, as he walked to and from the Arsenal, where the Commission sat, and
cheered him with kind looks. Madame de Sévigné tells us how she and
other ladies of the same faith took post at a window to see "_notre
pauvre ami_" go by. "M. d'Artagnau walked by his side, followed by a
guard of fifty _mousquetaires_. He seemed sad. D'Artagnau touched him to
let him know that we were there. He saluted us with that quiet smile we
all knew so well." She says that her heart beat and her knees trembled.
The lively lady was still grateful for that compliment.

The animosity which the King did not conceal made an acquittal almost
hopeless, but great efforts were made to save the life of the
Surintendant. Money was used skilfully and abundantly. Several judges
yielded to the force of this argument; others were known to incline to
mercy. Fouquet himself thought the result doubtful. He begged his
friends to let him know the verdict by signal, that he might have half
an hour to prepare himself to receive his sentence with firmness.

The Commission deliberated for one week,--an anxious period for
Fouquet's friends, who trembled lest they had not secured judges enough
to resist the pressure from above. At last the court was reopened.
D'Ormesson, a man of excellent family and social position, who had
favored the accused throughout the trial, delivered his opinion at
length. He concluded for banishment. The next judge voted for
decapitation, but with a recommendation to mercy. Next, one Pussort, a
malignant tool of the Chancellor, inveighed against Fouquet for four
hours, so violently that he injured his case. His voice was for the
gallows,--but, in consideration of the criminal's rank, he would consent
to commute the cord for the axe. After him, four voted for death; then,
five for banishment. Six to six. Anxiety had now reached a distressing
point. The Chancellor stormed and threatened; but in vain. On the
twenty-fifth of December the result was known. Nine for death, thirteen
for banishment. Saved! "I am so glad," Sévigné wrote to Simon Arnauld,
"that I am beside myself." She exulted too soon. The King was not to be
balked of his vengeance. He refused to abide by the verdict of the
Commission he himself had packed, and arbitrarily changed the decree of
banishment to imprisonment for life in the Castle of Pignerol,--to
solitary confinement,--wife, family, friends, not to be permitted to see
the prisoner, or to write to him; even his valet was taken away.

Thus the magnificent Surintendant disappeared from the world
forever,--buried alive, but indomitable and cheerful. His last message
to his wife was, "I am well. Keep up your courage; I have enough for
myself, and to spare."

"We still hope for some relaxation," Sévigné writes again; but none ever
came from the narrow-hearted, vindictive King. He exiled Roquesante, the
judge who had shown the most kindness to Fouquet, and turned an
_Avocat-Général_ out of office for saying that Pussort was a disgrace to
the Parliament he belonged to. Madame Fouquet, the mother, famous for
her book of prescriptions, "Recueil de Recettes Choisies," who had
cured, or was supposed to have cured, the Queen by a plaster of her
composition, threw herself at the King's feet, with her son's wife and
children. Their prayer was coldly refused, and they soon received an
order to reside in remote parts of France. Time seemed to have no
mollifying effect upon the animosity of the King. Six years later, a
young man who attempted to carry a letter from Fouquet to his wife was
sent to the galleys; and in 1676, fifteen years after the arrest, Madame
de Montespan had not influence enough to obtain permission for Madame
Fouquet and her children to visit the prisoner.

This cruel and illegal punishment lasted for twenty years, until an
attack of apoplexy placed the Surintendant beyond the reach of his
torturer. So lost had he been in his living tomb, that it is a debated
point whether he died in Piguerol or not. He has even been one of the
candidates for the mysterious dignity of the Iron Mask. In his dungeon
he could learn nothing of what was passing in the world. Lauzun, whose
every-day life seemed more unreal and romantic than the dreams of
ordinary men, was confined in Pignerol. Active and daring as Jack
Sheppard, he dug through the wall of his cell, and discovered that his
next neighbor was Fouquet. When he told his fellow-prisoner of his
adventures and of his honors, how he had lost the place of Grand Master
of the Artillery through Louvois, and had only missed being the
acknowledged husband of the grand-daughter of Henry IV. because Madame
de Montespan persuaded the King to withdraw his consent, Fouquet, who
recollected him as a poor _cadet de famille_, thought him crazy, and
begged the jailer to have him watched and properly cared for.

The Surintendant had twice wounded the vanity of his King. He had
presumed to have a more beautiful _château_ than his master, and had
unluckily fancied the same woman. Louis revenged himself by burying his
rival alive for twenty years. That Fouquet had plotted rebellion nobody
believed. He was too wise a politician not to know that the French were
weary of civil war and could not be tempted to exchange one master for
half a dozen military tyrants. That he had taken the public money for
his own use was not denied, even by his friends; and banishment would
have been a just punishment, although, perhaps, a harsh one. For it is
hardly fair to judge Fouquet by our modern standard of financial
honesty, low as that may be. We, at least, try to cover up jobs,
contracts, and defalcations by professions or appearances. The
difficulty of raising money for the expenses of Government in a state
impoverished by years of internal commotions had accustomed public men
to strange and irregular expedients, and unscrupulous financiers catch
fine fish in troubled waters. Mazarin openly put thousands of livres
into his pocket; the Surintendant imitated him on a smaller scale. But,
if he paid himself liberally for his services, he also showed energy and
skill in his attempts to restore order and economy in the administration
of the revenue. After his disgrace money was not much more plenty.
France, it is true, tranquil and secure within her borders, again showed
signs of wealth, and was able to pay heavier taxes; but the King wasted
them on his wars, his _châteaux_, and his mistresses, as recklessly as
the Surintendant. He had no misgivings as to his right to spend the
people's money. From his principle, "_L'État, c'est moi_," followed the
corollary, "The income of the State is mine." From 1664 to 1690 one
hundred and sixteen millions of livres were laid out in unnecessary
_hôtels, châteaux_, and gardens. His ministers imitated him at a humble
distance. Louvois boasted that he had reached his fourteenth million at
Meudon. "I like," said Louis, "to have those who manage my affairs
skilfully do a good business for themselves."

Before many years had passed, it was evident that Colbert, with all his
energy and his systems, did not make both the financial ends meet any
better than the Surintendant. A merchant of Paris, with whom he
consulted, told him,--"You found the cart upset on one side, and you
have upset it on the other." Colbert had tried to lighten it by striking
eight millions of _rentes_ from the funded debt; but it was too deeply
imbedded in the mire; the shoulder of Hercules at the wheel could not
have extricated it. After Colbert was removed, times grew harder. Long
before the King's death the financial distress was greater than in the
wars and days of the Fronde. Every possible contrivance by which money
could be raised was resorted to. Lotteries were drawn, tontines
established, letters of nobility offered for sale at two thousand crowns
each. Those who preferred official rank could buy the title of
Councillor of State or of Commissioner of Police. New and
profitable offices were created and disposed of to the highest
bidder,--inspectorships of wood, of hay, of wine, of butter. Arbitrary
power, no matter whether we call it sovereign prince or sovereign
people, falls instinctively into the same ways in all times and
countries. The Demos of a neighboring State, absolute and greedy as any
monarch, have furnished us with plenty of examples of this last
imposition upon industry. Zealous servants are rewarded and
election-expenses paid by similar inspectorships and commissionerships,
not only useless, but injurious, to every one except those who hold

When these resources became exhausted, a capitation-tax was laid,
followed by an assessment of one tenth, and the adulteration of the
currency. The King cut off the pension-list, sold his plate, and
dismissed his servants. Misery and starvation laid waste the realm. At
last, the pompous, "stagy" old monarch died, full of infirmities and of
humiliations; and the road from the Boulevard to St. Denis was lined
with booths as for a _fête_, and the people feasted, sang, and danced
for joy that the tyrant was in his coffin. Time, the _galantuomo_, amply
avenged Fouquet.

       *       *       *       *       *


The approach to Salt Lake City from the east is surprisingly harmonious
with the genius of Mormonism. Nature, usually so unpliant to the spirit
of people who live with her, showing a bleak and rugged face, which
poetically should indicate the abode of savages and ogres, to Hans
Christian Andersen and his hospitable countrymen, but lavishing the
eternal summer of her tropic sea upon barbarians who eat baked enemy
under her palms, or throw their babies to her crocodiles,--this stiff,
unaccommodating Nature relents into a little expressiveness in the
neighborhood of the Mormons, and you feel that the grim, tremendous
_cañons_ through which your overland stage rolls down to the City of the
Saints are strangely fit avenues to an anomalous civilization.

We speak of crossing the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Salt Lake; but,
in reality, they reach all the way between those places. They are not a
chain, as most Eastern people imagine them, but a giant ocean caught by
petrifaction at the moment of maddest tempest. For six hundred miles the
overland stage winds over, between, and around the tremendous billows,
lying as much as may be in the trough, and reaching the crest at
Bridger's Pass, (a sinuous gallery, walled by absolutely bare yellow
mountains between two and three thousand feet in height at the
road-side,) but never getting entirely out of the Rocky-Mountain system
till it reaches the Desert beyond Salt Lake. Even there it runs
constantly among mountains; in fact, it never loses sight of lofty
ranges from the moment it makes Pike's Peak till its wheels
(metaphorically) are washed by the Pacific Ocean; but the mountains of
the Desert may legitimately set up for themselves, belonging, as I
believe, to a system independent of the Rocky Mountains on the one side
and the Sierra Nevada on the other. At a little _plateau_ among snowy
ridges a few miles east of Bridger's Pass, the driver leans over and
tells his insiders, in a matter-of-fact manner, through the window, that
they have reached the summit-level. Then, if you have a particle of true
cosmopolitanism in you, it is sure to come out. There is something
indescribably sublime, a conception of universality, in that sense of
standing on the water-shed of a hemisphere. You have reached the secret
spot where the world clasps her girdle; your feet are on its granite
buckle; perhaps there sparkles in your eyes that fairest gem of her
cincture, a crystal fountain, from which her belt of rivers flows in two
opposite ways. Yesterday you crossed the North Platte, almost at its
source (for it rises out of the snow among the Wind-River Mountains, and
out of your stage-windows you can see, from Laramie Plains, the Lander's
Peak which Bierstadt has made immortal); that stream runs into the sea
from whose historic shores you came; you might drop a waif upon its
ripples with the hope of its reaching New Orleans, New York, Boston, or
even Liverpool. To-morrow you will be ferried over Green River, as near
its source,--a stream whose cradle is in the same snow-peaks as the
Platte,--whose mysterious middle-life, under the new name of the
Colorado, flows at the bottom of those tremendous fissures, three
thousand feet deep, which have become the wonder of the
geologist,--whose grave, when it has dribbled itself away into the
dotage of shallows and quicksands, is the desert-margined Gulf of
California and the Pacific Sea. Between Green River and the Mormon city
no human interest divides your perpetually strained attention with
Nature. Fort Bridger, a little over a day's stage-ride east of the city,
is a large and quite a populous trading-post and garrison of the United
States; but although we found there a number of agreeable officers,
whose acquaintance with their wonderful surroundings was thorough and
scientific, and though at that period the fort was a rendezvous for our
only faithful friend among the Utah Indians, Washki, the Snake chief,
and that handful of his tribe who still remained loyal to their really
noble leader and our Government, Fort Bridger left the shadowiest of
impressions on my mind, compared with the natural glories of the
surrounding scenery.

Mormondom being my theme, and my space so limited, I must resist the
temptation to give detailed accounts of the many marvellous masterpieces
of mimetic art into which we find the rocks of this region everywhere
carved by the hand of Nature. Before we came to the North Platte, we
were astonished by a ship, equalling the Great Eastern in size, even
surpassing it in beauty of outline, its masts of columnar sandstone
snapped by a storm, its prodigious hulk laboring in a gloomy sea of
hornblendic granite, its deck-houses, shapen with perfect accuracy of
imitation, still remaining in their place, and a weird-looking demon at
the wheel steering it on to some invisible destruction. This naval
statue (if its bulk forbid not the name) was carved out of a coarse
millstone-grit by the chisel of the wind, with but slight assistance
from the infrequent rain-storms of this region. In Colorado I first
began to perceive how vast an omission geologists had been guilty of in
their failure to give the wind a place in the dynamics of their science.
Depending for a year at a time, as that Territory sometimes does, upon
dews and meltings from the snow-peaks for its water, it is nevertheless
fuller than any other district in the world of marvellous architectural
simulations, vast cemeteries crowded with monuments, obelisks, castles,
fortresses, and natural colossi from two to five hundred feet high, done
in argillaceous sandstone or a singular species of conglomerate, all of
which owe their existence almost entirely to the agency of wind. The
arid plains from which the conglomerate crops out rarefy the
superincumbent air-stratum to such a degree that the intensely chilled
layers resting on the closely adjoining snow-peaks pour down to
reëstablish equilibrium, with the wrathful force of an invisible
cataract, eight, ten, even seventeen thousand feet in height. These
floods of cold wind find their appropriate channels in the
characteristic _cañons_ which everywhere furrow the whole Rocky-Mountain
system to its very base. Most of these are exceedingly tortuous, and the
descending winds, during their passage through them, acquire a spiral
motion as irresistible as the fiercest hurricane of the Antilles, which,
moreover, they preserve for miles after they have issued from the mouth
of the _cañon_. Every little cold gust that I observed in the Colorado
country had this corkscrew character. The moment the spiral reaches a
loose sand-bed, it sweeps into its vortex all the particles of grit
which it can hold. The result is an auger, of diameter varying from an
inch to a thousand feet, capable of altering its direction so as to bore
curved holes, revolving with incalculable rapidity, and armed with a
cutting edge of silex. Is it possible to conceive an instrument more
powerful, more versatile? Indeed, practically, there is no description
of surface, no kind of cut, which it is not capable of making. I have
repeatedly seen it in operation. One day, while riding from Denver to
Pike's Peak, I saw it (in this instance, one of the smaller diameters)
burrow its way six or seven feet into a sand-bluff, making as smooth a
hole as I could cut in cheese with a borer, of the equal diameter of six
inches throughout, all in less time than I have taken to describe it.
Repeatedly, on the same trip, I saw it gouge out a circular groove
around portions of a similar bluff, and leave them standing as isolated
columns, with heavy base and capital, presently to be solidified into
just such rock pillars as throng the cemeteries or aid in composing the
strange architectural piles mentioned above. Surveyor-General Pierce of
Colorado, (a man whose fine scientific genius and culture have already
done yeoman's service in the study of that most interesting Territory,)
on a certain occasion, saw one of these wind-and-silex augers meet at
right angles a window-pane in a settler's cabin, which came out from the
process, after a few seconds, a perfect opaque shade, having been
converted into ground-glass as neatly and evenly as could have been
effected by the manufacturer's wheel. It is not a very rare thing in
Colorado to be able to trace the spiral and measure the diameter of the
auger by rocks of fifty pounds' weight and tree-trunks half as thick as
an average man's waist, torn up from their sites, and sent revolving
overhead for miles before the windy turbine loses its impetus. The
efficiency of an instrument like this I need not dwell upon. After some
protracted examination and study of many of the most interesting
architectural and sculpturesque structures of the Rocky-Mountain system,
I am convinced that they are mainly explicable on the hypothesis of the
wind-and-silex instrument operating upon material in the earthy
condition, which petrified after receiving its form. Indeed, this same
instrument is at present nowise restricted by that condition in
Colorado, and is not only, year by year, altering the conformation of
all sand and clay bluff's on the Plains, but is tearing down,
rebuilding, and fashioning on its facile lathe many rock-strata of the
solidity of the more friable grits, wherever exposed to its action.
Water at the East does hardly more than wind at the West.

Before we enter the City of the Saints, let me briefly describe the
greatest, not merely of the architectural curiosities, but, in my
opinion, the greatest natural curiosity of any kind which I have ever
seen or heard of. Mind, too, that I remember Niagara, the Cedar-Creek
Bridge, and the Mammoth Cave, when I speak thus of the _Church Buttes_.

They are situated a short distance from Fort Bridger; the overland road
passes by their side. They consist of a sandstone bluff, reddish-brown
in color, rising with the abruptness of a pile of masonry from the
perfectly level plain, carved along its perpendicular face into a series
of partially connected religious edifices, the most remarkable of which
is a cathedral as colossal as St. Peter's, and completely relieved from
the bluff on all sides save the rear, where a portico joins it with the
main precipice. The perfect symmetry of this marvellous structure would
ravish Michel Angelo. So far from requiring an effort of imagination to
recognize the propriety of its name, this church almost staggers belief
in the unassisted naturalness of its architecture. It belongs to a style
entirely its own. Its main and lower portion is not divided into nave
and transept, but seems like a system of huge semi-cylinders erected on
their bases, and united with reëntrant angles, their convex surfaces
toward us, so that the ground-plan might be called a species of
quatre-foil. In each of the convex faces is an admirably proportioned
door-way, a Gothic arch with deep-carved and elaborately fretted
mouldings, so wonderfully perfect in its imitation that you almost feel
like knocking for admittance, secure of an entrance, did you only know
the "Open sesame." Between and behind the doors, alternating with
flying-buttresses, are a series of deep-niched windows, set with
grotesque statues, varying from the pigmy to the colossal size,
representing demons rather than saints, though some of the figures are
costumed in the style of religious art, with flowing sacerdotal

The structure terminates above in a double dome, whose figure may be
imagined by supposing a small acorn set on the truncated top of a large
one, (the horizontal diameter of both being considerably longer in
proportion to the perpendicular than is common with that fruit,) and
each of these domes is surrounded by a row of prism-shaped pillars, half
column, half buttress in their effect, somewhat similar to the exquisite
columnar _entourage_ of the central cylinder of the leaning tower of
Pisa. The result of this arrangement is an aërial, yet massive beauty,
without parallel in the architecture of the world. I have not conveyed
to any mind an idea of the grandeur of this pile, nor could I, even with
the assistance of a diagram. I can only say that the Cathedral Buttes
are a lesson for the architects of all Christendom,--a purely novel and
original creation, of such marvellous beauty that Bierstadt and I
simultaneously exclaimed,--"Oh that the master-builders of the world
could come here even for a single day! The result would be an entirely
new style of architecture,--an American school, as distinct from all the
rest as the Ionic from the Gothic or Byzantine." If they could come, the
art of building would have a regeneration. "Amazing" is the only word
for this glorious work of Nature. I could have bowed down with awe and
prayed at one of its vast, inimitable doorways, but that the mystery of
its creation, and the grotesqueness of even its most glorious statues,
made one half dread lest it were some temple built by demon-hands for
the worship of the Lord of Hell, and sealed in the stone-dream of
petrifaction, with its priests struck dumb within it, by the hand of
God, to wait the judgment of Eblis and the earthquakes of the Last Day.

After leaving Church Buttes and passing Fort Bridger, our attention
slept upon what it had seen until we entered the region of the _cañons_.
These are defiles, channelled across the whole breadth of the Wahsatch
Mountains almost to the level of their base, walled by precipices of red
sandstone or sugar-loaf granite, compared with which the Palisades of
the Hudson become insignificant as a garden-fence. The least poetical
man who traverses these giant fissures cannot help feeling their fitness
as the avenues to a paradoxical region, an anomalous civilization, and a
people whose psychological problem is the most unsolvable of the
nineteenth century. During the Mormon War, Brigham Young made some rude
attempts at a fortification of the great Echo Cañon, half a day's
journey from his city, and this work still remains intact. He need not
have done it; a hundred men, ambushed among the ledges at the top of the
cañon-walls, and well provided with loose rocks and Minié-rifles, could
convert the defile into a new Thermopylae, without exposure to
themselves. In an older and more superstitious age, the unassisted
horrors of Nature herself would have repelled an invading host from the
passage of this grizzly _cañon_, as the profane might have been driven
from the galleries of Isis or Eleusis.

About forty miles from Salt Lake City we began to find Nature's
barrenness succumbing to the truly marvellous industry of the Mormon
people. To understand the exquisite beauty of simple green grass, you
must travel through eight hundred miles of sage-brush and _grama_,--the
former, the homely gray-leaved plant of our Eastern goose-stuffing,
grown into a dwarf tree six feet high, with a twisted trunk sometimes as
thick as a man's body; the latter, a stunted species of herbage, growing
in ash-tinted spirals, only two inches from the ground, and giving the
Plains an appearance of being matted with curled hair or gray
corkscrews. Its other name is "buffalo-grass"; and in spite of its
dinginess, with the assistance of the sage, converting all the Plains
west of Fort Kearney into a model Quaker landscape, it is one of the
most nutritious varieties of cattle-fodder, and for hundreds of miles
the emigrant-drover's only dependence.

By incredible labor, bringing down rivulets from the snow-peaks of the
Wahsatch range and distributing them over the levels by every ingenious
device known to artificial irrigation, the Mormon farmers have converted
the bottoms of the _cañons_ through which we approached Salt Lake into
fertile fields and pasture-lands, whose emerald sweep soothed our eyes
wearied with so many leagues of ashen monotony, as an old home-strain
mollifies the ear irritated by the protracted rhythmic clash or the
dull, steady buzz of iron machinery. Contrasting the Mormon settlements
with their surrounding desolation, we could not wonder that their
success has fortified this people in their delusion. The superficial
student of rewards and punishments might well believe that none but
God's chosen people could cause this horrible desert, after such
triumphant fashion, to blossom like the rose.

The close observer soon notices a painful deficiency in these green and
smiling Mormon settlements. Everything has been done for the
farm,--nothing for the home. That blessed old Anglo-Saxon idea seems
everywhere quite extinct. The fields are billowing over with dense,
golden grain, the cattle are wallowing in emerald lakes of juicy grass,
the barns are substantial, the family-windmill buzzes merrily on its
well-oiled pivot, drawing water or grinding feed, the fruit-trees are
thrifty,--but the house is desolate. Even where its owner is
particularly well off, and its architecture somewhat more ambitious than
the average, (though, as yet, this superiority is measured by little
more than the difference between logs and clapboards,) there is still no
air about it of being the abode of happy people, fond of each other, and
longing after it in absence. It looks like a mere inclosure to eat and
sleep in. Nobody seems to have taken any pride in it, to feel any
ambition for it. Woman's tender little final touches, which make a dear
refuge out of a mud-cabin, and without which palatial brownstone is only
a home in the moulding-clay,--those dexterous ornamentations which make
so little mean so much,--the brier-rose-slip by the doorstep, growing
into the fragrant welcome of many Junes,--the trellised
Madeira-vines,--the sunny spot of chrysanthemums, charming summer on to
the very brink of frost,--all these things are utterly and everywhere
lacking to the Mormon inclosure. Sometimes we passed a fence which
guarded three houses instead of one. Abundant progeny played at their
doors, or rolled in their yard, watched by several unkempt, bedraggled
mothers owning a common husband,--and we could easily understand how
neither of these should feel much interest in the looks of a demesne
held by them in such unhappy partnership. The humblest New-England
cottage has its climbing flowers at the door-post, or its garden-bed in
front; but how quickly would these wither, if the neat, brisk
house-mistress owned her husband in common with Mrs. Deacon Pratt next

The first Mormon household I ever visited belonged to a son of the
famous Heber Kimball, Brigham Young's most devoted follower, and next to
him in the Presidency. It was the last stage-station but one before we
entered Salt Lake, situated at the bottom of a green valley in Parley's
Cañon (named after the celebrated Elder, Parley Pratt); and as it looked
like the residence of a well-to-do farmer, I went in, and asked for a
bowl of bread and milk,--the greatest possible luxury after a life of
bacon and salt-spring water, such as we had been leading in the
mountains. A fine-looking, motherly woman, with a face full of
character, gray-haired, and about sixty years old, rose promptly to
grant my request, and while the horses were changing I had ample time to
make the acquaintance of two pretty young girls, hardly over twenty,
holding two infants, of ages not more than three months apart. Green as
I was to saintly manners, I supposed that one of these two young mothers
had run in from a neighbor's to compare babies with the mistress of the
house, after our Eastern fashion, universal with the owners of juvenile
phenomena. When the old lady came back with the bread and milk, and both
of the young girls addressed her as "mother," I was emboldened to tell
her that her daughters had a pretty pair of children.

"They _are_ pretty," said the old lady, demurely; "but they are the
children of my son"; then, as if resolved to duck a Gentile head and
heels into Mormon realities at once, she added,--"Those young ladies are
the wives of my son, who is now gone on a mission to Liverpool,--young
Mr. Kimball, the son of Heber Kimball; and I am Heber Kimball's wife."

A cosmopolitan, especially one knowing beforehand that Utah was not
distinguished for monogamy, might well be ashamed to be so taken off
his feet as I was by my first view of Mormonism in its practical
workings. I stared,--I believe I blushed a little,--I tried to stutter a
reply; and the one dreadful thought which persistently kept uppermost,
so that I felt they must read it in my face, was, "How _can_ these young
women sit looking at each other's babies without flying into each
other's faces with their fingernails, and tearing out each other's
hair?" Heber Kimball afterwards solved the question for me, by saying
that it was a triumph of grace.

Such another triumph was Mrs. Heber Kimball herself. She was a woman of
remarkable presence, in youth must have been very handsome, would have
been the oracle of tea-fights, the ruling spirit of donation-visits, in
any Eastern village where she might have lived, and, had her home been
New York, would have fallen by her own gravity into the Chief
Directress's chair of half a dozen Woman's Aid Societies and
Associations for Moral Reform. Yet here was this strong-minded woman, as
her husband afterward acknowledged to me, his best counsellor and
right-hand helper through a married life reaching into middle-age,
witnessing her property in that husband's affections subdivided and
parcelled out until she owned but a one-thirtieth share, not only
without a pang, but with the acquiescence of her conscience and the
approbation of her intellect. Though few first wives in Utah had learned
to look concubinage in the face so late in life as this emphatic and
vigorous-natured woman, I certainly met none whose partisanship of
polygamy was so unquestioning and eloquent. She was one of the strangest
psychological problems I ever met. Indeed, I am half inclined to think
that she embraced Mormonism earlier than her husband, and, by taking the
initiative, secured for herself the only true wifely place in the
harem,--the marital after-thoughts of Brother Heber being her servants
rather than her sisters. She was most unmistakably his favorite.

One day in the Opera-House at Salt Lake, when the carpenters were laying
the floor for the Fourth-of-July-Eve Ball, Heber and I got talking of
the _pot-pourri_ of nationalities assembled in Utah. Heber waxed
unctuously benevolent, and expressed his affection for each succeeding
race as fast as mentioned.

"I love the Danes dearly! I've got a Danish wife." Then turning to a
rough-looking carpenter, hammering near him,--"You know Christiny,--eh,
Brother Spudge?"

"Oh, yes! know her very well!"

A moment after,--"The Irish are a dear people. My Irish wife is among
the best I've got."

Again,--"I love the Germans! Got a Dutch wife, too! Know Katrine,
Brother Spudge? Remember she couldn't scarcely talk a word o' English
when she come,--eh, Brother Spudge?"

Brother Spudge remembered,--and Brother Heber continued to trot out the
members of his marital stud for discussion of their points with his more
humble fellow-polygamist of the hammer; but when I happened to touch
upon the earliest Mrs. Heber, whom I naturally thought he would by this
time regard as a forgotten fossil in the Lower Silurian strata of his
connubial life, and referred to the interview I had enjoyed with her on
the afternoon before entering the city, his whole manner changed to a
proper husbandly dignity, and, without seeking corroboration from the
carpenter, be replied, gravely,--

"Yes! that is my first wife, and the best woman God ever made!"

The ball to which I have referred was such an opportunity for studying
Mormon sociology as three months' ordinary stay in Salt Lake might not
have given me. Though Mormondom is disloyal to the core, it still
patronizes the Fourth of July, at least in its phase of festivity,
omitting the patriotism, but keeping the fireworks of our Eastern
celebration, substituting "Utah" for "Union" in the Buncombe speeches,
and having a ball instead of the Declaration of Independence. All the
saints within half a day's ride of the city come flocking into it to
spend the Fourth. A well-to-do Mormon at the head of his wives and
children, all of whom are probably eating candy as they march through
the metropolitan streets in solid column, looks to the uninitiated like
the principal of a female seminary, weak in its deportment, taking out
his charge for an airing.

Last Fourth of July, it may be remembered, fell on a Saturday. In their
ambition to reproduce ancient Judaism (and this ambition is the key to
their whole puzzle) the Mormons are Sabbatarians of a strictness which
would delight Lord Shaftesbury. Accordingly, in order that their
festivities might not encroach on the early hours of the Sabbath, they
had the ball on Fourth-of-July eve, instead of the night of the Fourth.
I could not realize the risk of such an encroachment when I read the
following sentence printed on my billet of invitation:--

"_Dancing to commence at_ 4 P.M."

Bierstadt, myself, and three gentlemen of our party were the only
Gentiles whom I found invited by President Young to meet in the
neighborhood of three thousand saints. Under these circumstances I felt
like the three-thousandth homoeopathic dilution of monogamy. Morality in
this world is so mainly a matter of convention that I dreaded to appear
in decent polygamic society, lest respectable women, owning their
orthodox tenth of a husband, should shrink from the pollution of my
presence, whispering, with a shudder, "Ugh! Well, I never! How that
one-wifed reprobate can dare to show his face!" But they were very
polite, and received me with as skilfully veiled disapprobation as is
shown by fashionable Eastern belies to brilliant seducers immoral in
_our_ sense. Had I been a woman, I suppose there would have been no
mercy for me.

I sought out our entertainer, Brigham Young, to thank him for the
flattering exception made in our Gentile favor. He was standing in the
dress-circle of the theatre, looking down on the dancers with an air of
mingled hearty kindness and feudal ownership. I could excuse the latter,
for Utah belongs to him of right. He may justly say of it, "Is not this
great Babylon which I have built?" His sole executive tact and personal
fascination are the key-stone of the entire arch of Mormon society.
While he remains, eighty thousand (and increasing) of the most
heterogeneous souls that could be swept together from the by-ways of
Christendom will continue builded up into a coherent nationality. The
instant he crumbles, Mormondom and Mormonism will fall to pieces at
once, irreparably. His individual magnetism, his executive tact, his
native benevolence, are all immense; I regard him as Louis Napoleon,
_plus_ a heart; but these advantages would avail him little with the
dead-in-earnest fanatics who rule Utah under him, and the entirely
persuaded fanatics whom they rule, were not his qualities all
coordinated in this one,--_absolute sincerity of belief and motive_.
Brigham Young is the farthest remove on earth from a hypocrite; he is
that grand, yet awful sight in human nature, a man who has brought the
loftiest Christian self-devotion to the altar of the Devil,--who is
ready to suffer crucifixion for Barabbas, supposing him Christ. Be sure,
that, were he a hypocrite, the Union would have nothing to fear from
Utah. When he dies, at least four hostile factions, which find their
only common ground in deification of his person, will snatch his mantle
at opposite corners. Then will come such a rending as the world has not
seen since the Macedonian generals fought over the coffin of
Alexander,--and then Mormonism will go out of Geography into the History
of Popular Delusions. There is not a single chief, apostle, or bishop,
except Brigham, who possesses any catholicity of influence. I found this
tacitly acknowledged in every quarter. The people seem like citizens of
a beleaguered town, who know they have but a definite amount of bread,
yet have made up their minds to act while it lasts as if there were no
such thing as starvation. The greatest comfort you can afford a Mormon
is to tell him how young Brigham looks; for the quick, unconscious
sequence is, "Then Brigham may last out my time." Those who think at all
have no conjecture of any Mormon future beyond him, and I know that many
Mormons (Heber Kimball included) would gladly die to-day rather than
survive him and encounter that judgment-day and final perdition of their
faith which must dawn on his new-made grave.

Well, we may give them this comfort without any insincerity. Let us
return to where he stands gazing down on the _parquet_. Like any Eastern
party-goer, he is habited in the "customary suit of solemn black," and
looks very distinguished in this dress, though his daily homespun
detracts nothing from the feeling, when in his presence, that you are
beholding a most remarkable man. He is nearly seventy years old, but
appears very little over forty. His height is about five feet ten
inches; his figure very well made and slightly inclining to portliness.
His hair is a rich curly chestnut, formerly worn long, in supposed
imitation of the apostolic coiffure, but now cut in our practical
Eastern fashion, as accords with the man of business, whose _métier_ he
has added to apostleship with the growing temporal prosperity of Zion.
Indeed, he is the greatest business-man on the continent,--the cashier
of a firm of eighty thousand silent partners, and the only auditor of
that cashier, besides. If I to-day signified my conversion to Mormonism,
to-morrow I should be baptized by Brigham's hands. The next day I should
be invited to appear at the Church-Office (Brigham's) and exhibit to the
Church (Brigham) a faithful inventory of my entire estate. I am a
cabinet-maker, let us say, and have brought to Salt Lake the entire
earnings of my New-York shop,--twenty thousand dollars. The Church
(Brigham sole and simple) examines and approves my inventory. It
(Brigham alone) has the absolute decision of the question whether any
more cabinet-makers are needed in Utah. If the Church (Brigham) says,
"No," it (Brigham again) has the right to tell me where labor is wanted,
and set me going in my new occupation. If the Church (Brigham) says,
"Yes," it further goes on to inform me, without appeal, exactly what
proportion of the twenty thousand dollars on my inventory can be
properly turned into the channels of the new cabinet-shop. I am making
no extraordinary or disproportionate supposition when I say that the
Church (Brigham) permits me to retain just one-half of my property. The
remaining ten thousand dollars goes into the Church-Fund, (Brigham's
Herring-safe,) and from that portion of my life's savings I never hear
again, in the form either of capital, interest, bequeathable estate, or
dower to my widow. Except for the purposes of the Church, (Brigham's
unquestionable will,) my ten thousand dollars is as though it had not
been. I am a sincere believer, however, and go home light-hearted, with
a certified check written by the Recording Angel on my conscience for
that amount, passed to my credit in the bank where thieves break not
through nor steal,--it being no more accessible to them than to the
depositor, which is a comfort to the latter. The first year I net from
my chairs and tables two thousand dollars. The Church (Brigham) sends me
another invitation to visit it, make a solemn averment of the sum, and
pay over to that ecclesiastical edifice, the Herring-safe, two hundred
dollars. Or suppose I have not sold any of my wares as yet, but have
only imported, to be sold by-and-by, five hundred Boston rockers. On
learning this fact, the Church (Brigham) graciously accepts fifty for
its own purposes.--Being founded upon a rock, it does not care, in its
collective capacity, to sit upon rockers, but has an immense series of
warehouses, omnivorous and eupeptic, which swallow all manner of tithes,
from grain and horseshoes to the less stable commodities of fresh fish
and melons, assimilating them by admirable processes into coin of the
realm. These warehouses are in the Church (Brigham's own private)
inclosure.--If success in my cabinet-making has moved me to give a
feast, and I thereat drink more healths than are consistent with my own,
the Church surely knows that fact the very next day; and as Utah
recognizes no impunitive "getting drunk in the bosom of one's family," I
am again sent for, on this occasion to pay a fine, probably exceeding
the expenses of my feast. A second offence is punished with imprisonment
as well as fine; for no imprisonment avoids fine,--this comes in every
case. The hand of the Church holds the souls of the saints by inevitable
purse-strings. But I cannot waste time by enumerating the multitudinous
lapses and offences which all bring revenue to the Herring-safe.

Over all these matters Brigham Young has supreme control. His power is
the most despotic known to mankind. Here, by the way, is the
constitutionally vulnerable point of Mormonism. If fear of establishing
a bad precedent hinder the United States at any time from breaking up
that nest of all disloyalty, because of its licentious
marriage-institutions, Utah is still open to grave punishment, and the
Administration inflicting it would have duty as well as vested right
upon its side, on the ground that it stands pledged to secure to each
of the nation's constituent sections a republican form of
government,--something which Utah has never enjoyed any more than
Timbuctoo. I once asked Brigham if Dr. Bernhisel would be likely to get
to Congress again. "No," he replied, with perfect certainty; "_we_ shall
send ---- as our Delegate." (I think he mentioned Colonel Kinney, but do
not remember absolutely.) Whoever it was, when the time came, Brigham
would send in his name to the "Deseret News,"--whose office, like
everything else valuable and powerful, is in his inclosure. It would be
printed as a matter of course; a counter-nomination is utterly unheard
of; and on election-day ---- would be Delegate as surely as the sun
rose. The mountain-stream that irrigates the city, flowing to all the
gardens through open ditches on each side of the street, passes through
Brigham's inclosure: if the saints needed drought to humble them, he
could set back the waters to their source. The road to the only _cañon_
where firewood is attainable runs through the same close, and is barred
by a gate of which he holds the sole key. A family-man, wishing to cut
fuel, must ask his leave, which is generally granted on condition that
every third or fourth load is deposited in the inclosure, for
Church-purposes. Thus everything vital, save the air he breathes,
reaches the Mormon only through Brigham's sieve. What more absolute
despotism is conceivable? Here lies the _pou-sto_ for the lever of
Governmental interference. The mere fact of such power resting in one
man's irresponsible hands is a crime against the Constitution. At the
same time, this power, wonderful as it may seem, is practically wielded
for the common good. I never heard Brigham's worst enemies accuse him of
peculation, though such immense interests are controlled by his one pair
of hands. His life is all one great theoretical mistake, yet he makes
fewer practical mistakes than any other man, so situated, whom the world
ever saw. Those he does make are not on the side of self. He merges his
whole personality in the Church, with a self-abnegation which would
establish in business a whole century of martyrs having a worthy cause.

The cut of Brigham's hair led me away from his personal description. To
return to it: his eyes are a clear blue-gray, frank and straightforward
in their look; his nose a finely chiselled aquiline; his mouth
exceedingly firm, and fortified in that expression by a chin almost as
protrusive beyond the rest of the profile as Charlotte Cushman's, though
less noticeably so, being longer than hers; and he wears a narrow ribbon
of brown beard, meeting under the chin. I think I have heard Captain
Burton say that he had irregular teeth, which made his smile unpleasant.
Since the Captain's visit, our always benevolent President, Mr. Lincoln,
has altered all that, sending out as Territorial Secretary a Mr. Fuller,
who, besides being a successful politician, was an excellent dentist.
He secured Brigham's everlasting gratitude by making him a very handsome
false set, and performing the same service for all of his favorite, but
edentate wives. Several other apostles of the Lord owe to Mr. Fuller
their ability to gnash their teeth against the Gentiles. The result was
that he became the most popular Federal officer (who didn't turn Mormon)
ever sent to Utah. The man who obtains ascendency over the mouths of the
authorities cannot fail ere-long to get their ears.

Brigham's manners astonish any one who knows that his only education was
a few quarters of such common-school experience as could be had in
Ontario County, Central New York, during the early part of the century.
There are few courtlier men living. His address is a fine combination of
dignity with the desire to confer happiness,--of perfect deference to
the feelings of others with absolute certainty of himself and his own
opinions. He is a remarkable example of the educating influence of
tactful perception, combined with entire singleness of aim, considered
quite apart from its moral character. His early life was passed among
the uncouth and illiterate; his daily associations, since he embraced
Mormonism, have been with the least cultivated grades of human
society,--a heterogeneous peasant-horde, looking to him for erection
into a nation: yet he has so clearly seen what is requisite in the man
who would be respected in the Presidency, and has so unreservedly
devoted his life to its attainment, that in protracted conversations
with him I heard only a single solecism, ("a'n't you" for "aren't you,")
and saw not one instance of breeding which would be inconsistent with
noble lineage.

I say all this good of him frankly, disregarding any slur that maybe
cast on me as his defender by those broad-effect artists who always
paint the Devil black,--for I think it high time that the Mormon enemies
of our American Idea should be plainly understood as far more dangerous
antagonists than hypocrites or idiots can ever hope to be. Let us not
twice commit the blunder of underrating our foes.

Brigham began our conversation at the theatre by telling me I was
late,--it was after nine o'clock. I replied, that this was the time we
usually set about dressing for an evening party in Boston or New York.

"Yes," said he, "you find us an old-fashioned people; we are trying to
return to the healthy habits of patriarchal times."

"Need you go back so far as that for your parallel?" suggested I. "It
strikes me that we might have found four-o'clock balls among the _early_

He smiled, without that offensive affectation of some great men, the air
of taking another's joke under their gracious patronage, and went on to
remark that there were, unfortunately, multitudinous differences between
the Mormons and Americans at the East, besides the hours they kept.

"You find us," said he, "trying to live peaceably. A sojourn with people
thus minded must be a great relief to you, who come from a land where
brother hath lifted hand against brother, and you hear the confused
noise of the warrior perpetually ringing in your ears."

Despite the courtly deference and Scriptural dignity of this speech, I
detected in it a latent crow over that "perished Union" which was the
favorite theme of every saint I met in Utah, and hastened to assure the
President that I had no desire for relief from sympathy with my
country's struggle for honor and existence.

"Ah!" he replied, in a voice slightly tinged with sarcasm. "You differ
greatly, then, from multitudes of your countrymen, who, since the draft
began to be talked of, have passed through Salt Lake, flying westward
from the crime of their brothers' blood."

"I do indeed."

"Still, they are excellent men. Brother Heber Kimball and myself are
every week invited to address a train of them down at Emigrant Square.
They are honest, peaceful people. You call them 'Copperheads,' I
believe. But they are real, true, good men. We find them very
truth-seeking, remarkably open to conviction. Many of them have stayed
with us. Thus the Lord makes the wrath of man to praise Him. The
Abolitionists--the same people who interfered with our institutions, and
drove us out into the wilderness--interfered with the Southern
institutions till they broke up the Union. But it's all coming out
right,--a great deal better than we could have arranged it for
ourselves. The men who flee from Abolitionist oppression come out here
to our ark of refuge, and people the asylum of God's chosen. You'll all
be out here before long. Your Union's gone forever. Fighting only makes
matters worse. When your country has become a desolation, we, the saints
whom you cast out, will forget all your sins against us, and give you a

There was something so preposterous in the idea of a mighty and
prosperous people abandoning, through abject terror of a desperate set
of Southern conspirators, the fertile soil and grand commercial avenues
of the United States, to populate a green strip in the heart of an
inaccessible desert, that, until I saw Brigham Young's face glowing with
what he deemed prophetic enthusiasm, I could not imagine him in earnest.
Before I left Utah, I discovered, that, without a single exception, all
the saints were inoculated with a prodigious craze, to the effect that
the United States was to become a blighted chaos, and its inhabitants
Mormon proselytes and citizens of Utah within the next two years,--the
more sanguine said, "next summer."

At first sight, one point puzzled me. Where were they to get the
orthodox number of wives for this sudden accession of converts? My
gentlemen-readers will feel highly nattered by a solution of this
problem which I received from no leaser light of the Latter-Day Church
than that jolly apostle, Heber Kimball.

"Why," said the old man, twinkling his little black eyes like a godly
Silenus, and nursing one of his fat legs with a lickerish smile, "isn't
the Lord Almighty providin' for His beloved heritage jist as fast as He
anyways kin? This war's a-goin' on till the biggest part o' you male
Gentiles hez killed each other off, then the leetle handful that's left
and comes a-fleein' t' our asylum 'll bring all the women o' the nation
along with 'em, so we shall hev women enough to give every one on 'em
all they want, and hev a large balance left over to distribute round
among God's saints that hez been here from the beginnin' o' the

The sweet taste which this diabolical reflection seemed to leave in
Heber Kimball's mouth made me long to knock him down worse than I had
ever felt regarding either saint or sinner. But it is costly to smite an
apostle of the Lord in Salt Lake City; and I merely retaliated by
telling him I wished I could hear him say that in a lecture-room full of
Sanitary-Commission ladies scraping lint for their husbands,
sweethearts, and brothers in the Union army. I didn't know whether
saints made good lint, but I thought I knew one who'd get scraped a

To resume Brigham for the last time. After a conversation about the
Indians, in which he denounced the military policy of the Government,
averring that one bale of blankets and ten pounds of beads would go
farther to protect the mails from stoppage and emigrants from massacre
than a regiment of soldiers, he discovered that we crossed swords on
every war-question, and tactfully changed the subject to the beauty of
the Opera-House.

As to the Indians, let me remark by-the-by, I did not tell him that I
understood the reason of his dislike to severe measures in that
direction. Infernally bestial and cruel as are the Goshoots, Pi-Utes,
and other Desert tribes, still they have never planned any extensive
raid since the Mormons entered Utah. In every settlement of the saints
you will find from two to a dozen young men who wear their black hair
cut in the Indian fashion, and speak all the surrounding dialects with
native fluency. Whenever a fatly provided wagon-train is to be attacked,
a fine herd of emigrants' beeves stampeded, the mail to be stopped, or
the Gentiles in any way harassed, these desperadoes stain their skin,
exchange their clothes for a breech-clout, and rally a horde of the
savages, whose favor they have always propitiated, for the ambush and
massacre, which in all but the element of brute force is their work in
plan, leadership, and execution. I have multitudes of most interesting
facts to back this assertion, but am already in danger of overrunning my
allowed limits.

The Opera-House was a subject we could agree upon. I was greatly
astonished to find in the desert heart of the continent a place of
public amusement which for capacity, beauty, and comfort has no superior
in America, except the opera-houses of New York, Boston, and
Philadelphia. It is internally constructed somewhat like the first of
these, seats twenty-five hundred people, and commodiously receives five
hundred more, when, as in the present instance, the stage is thrown into
the _parquet_, and the latter boarded up to the level of the former for
dancing. Externally the building is a plain, but not ungraceful
structure, of stone, brick, and stucco. My greatest surprise was excited
by the really exquisite artistic beauty of the gilt and painted
decorations of the great arch over the stage, the cornices, and the
moulding about the _proscenium_-boxes. President Young, with a proper
pride, assured me that every particle of the ornamental work was by
indigenous and saintly hands.

"But you don't know yet," he added, "how independent we are of you at
the East. Where do you think we got that central chandelier, and what d'
ye suppose we paid for it?"

It was a piece of workmanship which would have been creditable to any
New York firm,--apparently a richly carved circle, twined with gilt
vines, leaves, and tendrils, blossoming all over with flaming
wax-lights, and suspended by a massive chain of golden lustre. So I
replied that he probably paid a thousand dollars for it in New York.

"Capital!" exclaimed Brigham. "I made it myself! That circle is a
cartwheel which I washed and gilded; it hangs by a pair of gilt
ox-chains; and the ornaments of the candlesticks were all cut after my
patterns out of sheet-tin!"

I talked with the President till a party of young girls, who seemed to
regard him with idolatry, and whom, in return, he treated with a sage
mixture of gallantry and fatherliness, came to him with an invitation to
join in some old-fashioned contra-dance long forgotten at the East. I
was curious to see how he would acquit himself in this supreme ordeal of
dignity; so I descended to the _parquet_, and was much impressed by the
aristocratic grace with which he went through his figures.

After that I excused myself from numerous kind invitations by the
ball-committee to be introduced to a partner and join in the dances. The
fact was that I greatly wished to make a thorough physiognomical study
of the ball-room, and I know that my readers will applaud my self-denial
in not dancing, since it enables me to tell them how Utah good society

After spending an hour in a circuit and survey of the room as minute as
was compatible with decency, I arrived at the following results.

There was very little ostentation in dress at the ball, but there was
also very little taste in dressing. Patrician broadcloth and silk were
the rare exceptions, generally ill-made and ill-worn, but they cordially
associated with the great mass of plebeian tweed and calico. Few ladies
wore jewelry or feathers. There were some pretty girls swimming about in
tasteful whip-syllabub of puffed tarlatan. Where saintly gentlemen came
with several wives, the oldest generally seemed the most elaborately
dressed, and acted much like an Eastern chaperon toward her younger
sisters. (Wives of the same man habitually besister each other in Utah.
Another triumph of grace!) Among the men I saw some very strong and
capable faces; but the majority had not much character in their
looks,--indeed, differed little in that regard from any average crowd of
men anywhere. Among the women, to my surprise, I found no really
degraded faces, though many stolid ones,--only one deeply dejected,
(this belonged to the wife of a hitherto monogamic husband, who had left
her alone in the dress-circle, while he was dancing with a chubby young
Mormoness, likely to be added to the family in a month or two,) but many
impassive ones; and though I saw multitudes of kindly, good-tempered
countenances, and a score which would have been called pretty anywhere,
I was obliged to confess, after a most impartial and anxious search,
that I had not met a single woman who looked high-toned, first-class,
capable of poetic enthusiasm or heroic self-devotion,--not a single
woman whom an artist would dream of and ask to sit for a study,--not one
to whom a finely constituted intellectual man could come for
companionship in his pursuits or sympathy in his yearnings. Because I
knew that this verdict would be received at the East with a "Just as you
might have expected!" I cast aside everything like prejudice, and forgot
that I was in Utah, as I threaded the great throng.

I must condense greatly what I have to say about two other typical men
besides Brigham Young, or I shall have no room to speak of the Lake and
the Desert. Heber Kimball, second President, (_proximus longo
intervallo!_) Brigham's most devoted worshipper, and in all respects the
next most important man, although utterly incapable of keeping coherent
the vast tissue of discordant Mormon elements, in case he should survive
Brigham, is the latter's equal in years, but in all things else his
antipodes. His height is over six feet, his form of aldermanic
rotundity, his face large, plethoric, and lustrous with the stable red
of stewed cranberries, while his small, twinkling black beads of eyes
and a Satyric sensualism about the mouth would indicate a temperament
fatally in the way of any apostleship save that of polygamy, even
without the aid of an induction from his favorite topics of discourse
and his patriarchally unvarnished style of handling them. Men,
everywhere, unfortunately, tend little toward the error of bashfulness
in their chat among each other, but most of us at the East would feel
that we were insulting the lowest member of the _demi-monde_, if we
uttered before her a single sentence of the talk which forms the
habitual staple of all Heber Kimball's public sermons to the wives and
daughters who throng the Sunday Tabernacle.

Heber took a vivid interest in Bierstadt's and my own eternal welfare.
He quite laid himself out for our conversion, coming to sit with us at
breakfast in our Mormon hotel, dressed in a black swallow-tail, buff
vest, and a stupendous truncate cone of Leghorn, which made him look
like an Italian mountebank-physician of the seventeenth century. I have
heard men who could misquote Scripture for their own ends, and talk a
long while without saying anything; but he so far surpassed in these
particulars the loftiest efforts within my former experience, that I
could think of no comparison for him but Jack Bunsby taken to exhorting.
Witness a sample:--

"Seven women shall take a hold o' one man! There!" (with a slap on the
back of the nearest subject for conversion). "What d' ye think o' that?
Shall! _Shall_ take a hold on him! That don't mean they _sha'n't_, does
it? No! God's word means what it says. And therefore means no
otherwise,--not in no way, shape, nor manner. Not in no _way_, for He
saith, 'I am the _way_--and the truth and the life.' Not in no _shape_,
for a man beholdeth his nat'ral _shape_ in a glass; nor in no _manner_,
for he straightway forgetteth what manner o' man he was. Seven women
_shall_ catch a hold on him. And ef they _shall_, then they _will_! For
everything shall come to pass, and not one good word shall fall to the
ground. You who try to explain away the Scriptur' would make it
fig'rative. But don't come to ME with none o' your spiritooalizers! Not
_one_ good word shall fall. Therefore _seven_ shall not fall. And ef
seven shall catch a hold on him,--and, as I jist proved, seven _will_
catch a hold on him,--then seven _ought_,--and in the Latter-Day Glory,
_seven_, yea, as our Lord said un-tew Peter, 'Verily I say un-tew you,
not seven, but seventy times seven,' these seventy times seven shall
catch a hold and cleave. Blessed day! For the end shall be even as the
beginnin', and seventy-fold more abundantly. Come over into my garden."

This invitation would wind up the homily. We gladly accepted it, and I
must confess, that, if there ever could be any hope of our conversion,
it was just about the time we stood in Brother Heber's fine orchard,
eating apples and apricots between exhortations, and having sound
doctrine poked down our throats with gooseberries as big as plums, to
take the taste out of our mouths, like jam after castor-oil.

Porter Rockwell is a man whom my readers must have heard of in every
account of fearlessly executed massacre committed in Utah during the
last thirteen years. He is the chief of the Danites,--a band of saints
who possess the monopoly of vengeance upon Gentiles and apostates. If a
Mormon tries to sneak off to California by night, after converting his
property into cash, their knives have the inevitable duty of changing
his destination to another state, and bringing back his goods into the
Lord's treasury. Their bullets are the ones which find their unerring
way through the brains of external enemies. They are the Heaven-elected
assassins of Mormonism,--the butchers by divine right. Porter Rockwell
has slain his forty men. This is historical. His probable private
victims amount to as many more. He wears his hair braided behind, and
done up in a knot with a back-comb, like a woman's. He has a face full
of bull-dog courage,--but vastly good-natured, and without a bad trait
in it. I went out riding with him on the Fourth of July, and enjoyed his
society greatly,--though I knew that at a word from Brigham he would cut
my throat in as matter-of-fact a style as if I had been a calf instead
of an author. But he would have felt no unkindness toward me on that
account. I understood his anomaly perfectly, and found him one of the
pleasantest murderers I ever met. He was mere executive force, from
which the lever, conscience, had suffered entire disjunction, being in
the hand of Brigham. He was everywhere known as the Destroying Angel,
but he seemed to have little disagreement with his toddy, and took his
meals regularly. He has two very comely and pleasant wives. Brigham has
about seventy, Heber about thirty. The seventy of Brigham do not include
those spiritually married, or "sealed" to him, who may never see him
again after the ceremony is performed in his back-office. These often
have temporal husbands, and marry Brigham only for the sake of belonging
to his lordly establishment in heaven.

Salt Lake City, Brigham told me, he believed to contain sixteen thousand
inhabitants. Its houses are built generally of adobe or wood,--a few of
stone,--and though none of them are architecturally ambitious, almost
all have delightful gardens. Both fruit- and shade-trees are plenty and
thrifty. Indeed, from the roof of the Opera-House the city looks fairly
embowered in green. It lies very picturesquely on a plain quite
embasined among mountains, and the beauty of its appearance is much
heightened by the streams which run on both sides of all the broad
streets, brought down from the snow-peaks for purposes of irrigation.
The Mormons worship at present in a plain, low building,--I think, of
adobe,--called the Tabernacle, save during the intensely hot weather,
when an immense booth of green branches, filled with benches,
accommodates them more comfortably. Brigham is erecting a Temple of
magnificent granite, (much like the Quincy,) about two hundred feet long
by one hundred and twenty-five feet wide. If this edifice be ever
finished, it will rank among the most capacious religious structures of
the continent.

The lake from which the city takes its name is about twenty miles
distant from the latter, by a good road across the level valley-bottom.
Artistically viewed, it is one of the loveliest sheets of water I ever
saw,--bluer than the intensest blue of the ocean, and practically as
impressive, since, looking from the southern shore, you see only a
water-horizon. This view, however, is broken by a magnificent
mountainous island, rising, I should think, seven or eight hundred feet
from the water, half a dozen miles from shore, and apparently as many
miles in circuit. The density of the lake-brine has been under- instead
of over-stated. I swam out into it for a considerable distance, then lay
upon my back _on_, rather than in, the water, and suffered the breeze to
waft me landward again. I was blown to a spot where the lake was only
four inches deep, without grazing my back, and did not know I had got
within my depth again until I depressed my hand a trifle and touched
bottom! It is a mistake to call this lake azoic. It has no fish, but
breeds myriads of strange little maggots, which presently turn into
troublesome gnats. The rocks near the lake are grandly castellated and
cavernous crags of limestone, some of it finely crystalline, but most of
it like our coarser Trenton and Black-River groups. There is a large
cave in this formation, ten minutes' climb from the shore.

I must abruptly leap to the overland stage again.

From Salt Lake City to Washoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the road
lies through the most horrible desert conceivable by the mind of man.
For the sand of the Sahara we find substituted an impalpable powder of
alkali, white as the driven snow, stretching for ninety miles at a time
in one uninterrupted dazzling sheet, which supports not even that last
obstinate _vidette_ of vegetation, the wild-sage brush. Its springs are
far between, and, without a single exception, mere receptacles of a
salt, potash, and sulphur hell-broth, which no man would drink, save _in
extremis_. A few days of this beverage within, and of wind-drifted
alkali invading every pore of the body without, often serve to cover the
miserable passenger with an erysipelatous eruption which presently
becomes confluent and irritates him to madness. Meanwhile he jolts
through alkali-ruts, unable to sleep for six days and nights together,
until frenzy sets in, or actual delirium comes to his relief. I look
back on that desert as the most frightful nightmare of my existence.

As if Nature had not done her worst, we were doomed, on the second day
out from Salt Lake, to hear, at one station, where we stopped, horrid
rumors of Goshoots on the war-path, and, ere the day reached its noon,
to find their proofs irrefragable. Every now and then we saw in the
potash-dust moccasin-tracks, with the toes turned in, and presently my
field-glass revealed a hideous devil skulking in the mile-off ledges,
who was none other than a Goshoot spy. How far off were the scalpers and

The first afternoon-stage that day was a long and terrible one. The poor
horses could hardly drag our crazy wagon, up to its hubs in potash; and
yet we knew our only safety, in case of attack, was a running fight. We
must fire from our windows as the horses flew.

About four o'clock we entered a terrible defile, which seemed planned by
Nature for treachery and ambush. The great, black, barren rocks of
porphyry and trachyte rose three hundred feet above our heads, their
lower and nearer ledges being all so many natural parapets to fire over,
loop-holed with chinks to fire through. There were ten rifles in our
party. We ran them out, five on a side, ready to send the first red
villain who peeped over the breastworks to quick perdition. Our
six-shooters lay across our laps, our bowie-knives were at our sides,
our cartouch-boxes, crammed with ready vengeance, swung open on our
breast-straps. We sat with tight-shut teeth,--only muttering now and
then to each other, in a glum undertone, "Don't get nervous,--don't
throw a single shot away,--take aim,--remember it's for _home_!"
Something of that sort, or a silent squeeze of the hand, was all that
passed, as we sat with one eye glued to the ledges and our guns
unswerving. None of us, I think, were cowards; but the agony of sitting
there, tugging along two miles an hour, expecting to hear a volley of
yells and musketry ring over the next ledge, drinking the cup of thought
to its miscroscopic dregs,--_that_ was worse than fear!

Only one consolation was left us. In the middle of the defile stood an
overland station, where we were to get fresh horses. The next stage was
twenty miles long. If we were attacked in force, we might manage to run
it, almost the whole way, unless the Indians succeeded in shooting one
of our team,--the _coup_ they always attempt.

I have no doubt we were ambushed at several points in that defile, but
our perfect preparation intimidated our foes. The Indian is cruel as the
grave, but he is an arrant coward. He will not risk being the first man
shot, though his band may overpower the enemy afterward.

At last we turned the corner around which the station-house should come
in view.

A thick, nauseous smoke was curling up from the site of the buildings.
We came nearer. Barn, stables, station-house,--all were a smouldering
pile of rafters. We came still nearer. The whole stud of horses--a dozen
or fifteen--lay roasting on the embers. We came close to the spot.
There, inextricably mixed with the carcasses of the beasts, lay six men,
their brains dashed out, their faces mutilated beyond recognition, their
limbs hewn off,--a frightful holocaust steaming up into our faces. I
must not dwell on that horror of all senses. It comes to me now at high
noonday with a grisly shudder.

       *       *       *       *       *

After that, we toiled on twenty miles farther with our nearly dying
horses; a hundred miles more of torturing suspense on top of that sight
branded into our brains before we gained Ruby Valley, at the foot of the
Humboldt Mountains, and left the last Goshoot behind us.

The remainder of our journey was horrible by Nature only, without the
atrocious aid of man. But the past had done its work. We reached Washoe
with our very marrows almost burnt out by sleeplessness, sickness, and
agony of mind. The morning before we came to the silver-mining
metropolis, Virginia City, a stout, young Illinois farmer, whom we had
regarded as the stanchest of all our fellow-passengers, became
delirious, and had to be held in the stage by main force. (A few weeks
afterward, when the stage was changing horses near the Sink of Carson,
another traveller became suddenly insane, and blew his brains out.) As
for myself, the moment that I entered a warm bath, in Virginia City, I
swooned entirely away, and was resuscitated with great difficulty after
an hour and a half's unconsciousness.

We stopped at Virginia for three days,--saw the California of '49
reënacted in a feverish, gambling, mining town,--descended to the bottom
of the exhaustlessly rich "Ophir" shaft,--came up again, and resumed our
way across the Sierra. By the mere act of crossing that ridge and
stepping over the California line, we came into glorious forests of
ever-living green, a rainbow-affluence of flowers, an air like a draught
from windows left open in heaven.

Just across the boundary, we sat down on the brink of glorious Lake
Tahoe, (once "Bigler," till the ex-Governor of that name became a
Copperhead, and the loyal Californians kicked him out of their
geography, as he had already been thrust out of their politics,)--a
crystal sheet of water fresh-distilled from the snow-peaks, its granite
bottom visible at the depth of a hundred feet, its banks a celestial
garden, lying in a basin thirty-five miles long by ten wide, and nearly
seven thousand feet above the Pacific level. Geography has no superior
to this glorious sea, this chalice of divine cloud-wine held sublimely
up against the very press whence it was wrung. Here, virtually at the
end of our overland journey, since our feet pressed the green borders of
the Golden State, we sat down to rest, feeling that one short hour, one
little league, had translated us out of the infernal world into heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Within a green and shadowy wood,
  Circled with spring, alone I stood:
  The nook was peaceful, fair, and good.

  The wild-plum blossoms lured the bees,
  The birds sang madly in the trees,
  Magnolia-scents were on the breeze.

  All else was silent; but the ear
  Caught sounds of distant bugle clear,
  And heard the bullets whistle near,--

  When from the winding river's shore
  The Rebel guns began to roar,
  And ours to answer, thundering o'er;

  And echoed from the wooded hill,
  Repeated and repeated still,
  Through all my soul they seemed to thrill.

  For, as their rattling storm awoke,
  And loud and fast the discord broke,
  In rude and trenchant _words_ they spoke.

  "_We hate!_" boomed fiercely o'er the tide;
  "We fear not!" from the other side;
  "_We strike!_" the Rebel guns replied.

  Quick roared our answer, "We defend!"
  "_Our rights!_" the battle-sounds contend;
  "The rights of _all_!" we answer send.

  "_We conquer!_" rolled across the wave;
  "We persevere!" our answer gave;
  "_Our chivalry!_" they wildly rave.

  "Ours _are the brave_!" "Be _ours_ the free!"
  "_Be ours the slave, the masters we_!"
  "On us their blood no more shall be!"

  As when some magic word is spoken,
  By which a wizard spell is broken,
  There was a silence at that token.

  The wild birds dared once more to sing,
  I heard the pine-bough's whispering,
  And trickling of a silver spring.

  Then, crashing forth with smoke and din,
  Once more the rattling sounds begin,
  Our iron lips roll forth, "We win!"

  And dull and wavering in the gale
  That rushed in gusts across the vale
  Came back the faint reply, "_We fail_!"

  And then a word, both stern and sad,
  From throat of huge Columbiad,--
  "Blind fools and traitors! ye are mad!"

  Again the Rebel answer came,
  Muffled and slow, as if in shame,--
  "_All, all is lost_!" in smoke and flame.

  Now bold and strong and stern as Fate
  The Union guns sound forth, "We wait!"
  Faint comes the distant cry, "_Too late_!"

  "Return! return!" our cannon said;
  And, as the smoke rolled overhead,
  "_We dare not_!" was the answer dread.

  Then came a sound, both loud and clear,
  A godlike word of hope and cheer,--
  "Forgiveness!" echoed far and near;

  As when beside some death-bed still
  We watch, and wait God's solemn will,
  A blue-bird warbles his soft trill.

  I clenched my teeth at that blest word,
  And, angry, muttered, "Not so, Lord!
  The only answer is the sword!"

  I thought of Shiloh's tainted air,
  Of Richmond's prisons, foul and bare,
  And murdered heroes, young and fair,--

  Of block and lash and overseer,
  And dark, mild faces pale with fear,
  Of baying hell-hounds panting near.

  But then the gentle story told
  My childhood, in the days of old,
  Rang out its lessons manifold.

  O prodigal, and lost! arise
  And read the welcome blest that lies
  In a kind Father's patient eyes!

  Thy elder brother grudges not
  The lost and found should share his lot,
  And wrong in concord be forgot.

  Thus mused I, as the hours went by,
  Till the relieving guard drew nigh,
  And then was challenge and reply.

  And as I hastened back to line,
  It seemed an omen half divine
  That "Concord" was the countersign.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is among the possibilities of the future, that, in due course of
time, the United States of America shall become to England what England
has become to Saxony. We cannot be sure, it is true, that the
mother-country will live, a prosperous and independent kingdom, to see
the full maturity of her gigantic offspring. We have no right to assume
it as a matter of course, that the Western Autocracy will fill up,
unbroken, the outline traced for it by Nature and history. But England,
forced as her civilization must be considered ever since the Conquest,
has a reasonable chance for another vigorous century, and the Union, the
present storm once weathered, does not ask a longer time than this to
become, according to the prediction of the London "Times," the
master-power of the planet.

The class that guides the destinies of Great Britain and her
dependencies is far-reaching in its anticipations as it is deep-rooted
in its recollections. _Quantum radice in Tartara, tantum vertice ad
auras_,--if we may invert the poet's words. An American millionnaire may
be anxious about the condition of his grandchildren, but a peer whose
ancestors came in with the Conqueror looks ahead at least as far as the
end of the twentieth century. The royal astrologers have cast the
horoscope of the nationality born beneath the evening-star, and report
it as being ominous for that which finds its nativity in the House of

Every dynasty sees a natural enemy in a self-governing state. Its dread
of that enemy is in exact proportion to the amount of liberty enjoyed by
its own people. Freedom is the ferment of Freedom. The moistened sponge
drinks up water greedily; the dry one sheds it. Russia has no popular
legislation, and her Emperor almost, perhaps quite, loves us. England
boasts of her freeborn people, and her governing class, to say the
least, does not love us.

An unexpected accident of situation startled us by the revelation of a
secret which had been, on the whole, very well kept. No play of mirrors
in a story, no falling of a screen in a comedy, no flash of
stage-lightning in a melodrama, ever betrayed a lover's or a murderer's
hidden thought and purpose more strikingly than the over-hasty
announcement that the Union was broken into warring fragments, never
again to be joined together, unveiled the cherished hope of its
Old-World enemies. The whispers of expectant heirs at the opening of a
miser's will are decorous and respectful, compared to the chuckle of the
leading English social and political organ and its echoes, when the
bursting of the Republican "bubble" was proclaimed as an accomplished
fact, and the hour was thought to have come when the "Disunited States"
could be held up as a spectacle to the people of Europe. A _Te Deum_ in
Westminster Abbey would hardly have added emphasis to the expression of
what appeared to be the prevailing sentiment of the upper classes.

If the comparative prudence of the British Government had not tempered
this exultant movement, the hopes of civilization would have been
blasted by such a war as it is sickening to think of: England in
alliance with an empire trying to spread and perpetuate Slavery as its
very principle of life, against a people whose watchwords were freedom,
education, and the dignity of labor. If the silent masses of the British
people had not felt that our cause was theirs, there would have been no
saying how far the passionate desire to see their predictions made facts
might have led the proud haters of popular government.

Between these two forces the British Cabinet has found a diagonal which
has met with the usual success of compromises. The aristocracy, which
very naturally wishes to see the Union divided, is in a fair way of
being disappointed, because, as its partisans may claim, England did not
force herself into our quarrel. That portion of the middling classes
which could not tolerate the thought of a Slave Empire has been
compelled to witness a deliberate exposure in the face of the whole
world of the hollowness of those philanthropic pretensions which have
been so long the boast of British patriots. The people of the Union, who
expected moral support and universal indignant repudiation of the
slaveholding Rebel conspiracy, have been disgusted and offended. The
Rebels, who supposed Great Britain, and perhaps France also, would join
them in a war which was virtually a crusade against free institutions,
have been stung into a second paroxysm of madness. Western Europe failed
us in the storm; it leaves them in the moment of shipwreck.

The recent action of the British Government, under the persuasive
influence of Mr. Seward's polite representation, that instant
hostilities would be sure to follow, if England did not keep her iron
pirates at home, has improved somewhat the tone of Northern feeling
towards her. The late neighborly office of the Canadian Government, in
warning us of the conspiracy to free our prisoners, has produced a very
favorable impression, so far as the effect of a single act is felt in
striking the balance of a long account.

We can, therefore, examine some of our relations with Great Britain in a
better temper now than we could do some months ago, when we never went
to sleep without thinking that before morning we might be shelled out of
our beds by a fleet of British iron-clad steamers. But though we have
been soothed, and in some measure conciliated, by the change referred
to, there is no such thing possible as returning to the _status quo ante
bellum_. We can never feel in all respects to England as we felt of old.
This is a fact which finds expression in so many forms that it is
natural to wish to see how deep it lies: whether it is an effect of
accidental misunderstanding and collision of interests, or whether it
is because the events of the last few years have served to bring to
light the organic, inherent, and irreconcilable antagonism of the two

We are all of us in the habit of using words so carelessly, that it will
help us to limit their vagueness as here employed. We speak of "England"
for Great Britain, for the simple reason that Ireland is but a reluctant
alien she drags after her, and Scotland only her most thriving province.
We are not surprised, for instance, when "Blackwood" echoes the abusive
language of the metropolitan journals, for it is only as a village-cur
joins the hounds that pass in full cry. So, when we talk of "the
attitude of England," we have a tolerably defined idea, made up of the
collective aspect of the unsympathetic Government, of the mendacious and
insolent press, of the mercenary trading allies of the Rebels, of the
hostile armaments which have sailed from British ports, of the
undisguised enmity of many of her colonists, neighbors of the North as
well as neighbors of the South; all of which shape themselves into an
image having very much the look of representing the nation,--certainly
much more the look of it than the sum of all those manifestations which
indicate sympathy with the cause of the North.

The attitude of England, then, has been such, since the Rebellion began,
as to alienate much of the affection still remaining among us for the
mother-country. It has gone far towards finishing that process of
separation of the child from the parent which two centuries of exile and
two long wars had failed to complete. But, looking at the matter more
clearly, we shall find that our causes of complaint must be very
unequally distributed among the different classes of the British people.

The _Government_ has carefully measured out to us, in most cases
certainly, strict, technical justice. It could not well do otherwise,
for it knows the force of precedents. But we have an unpleasing sense
that our due, as an ally and a Christian nation, striving against an
openly proclaimed heathen conspiracy, has been paid us grudgingly,
tardily, sparingly, while our debt, as in the case of the Rebel
emissaries, has been extorted fiercely, swiftly, and to the last
farthing. We have recognized a change, it is true, ever since Earl
Russell gave the hint that our cause was more popular in England than
that of the South. We have gratefully accepted the friendly acts already
alluded to. Better late than not at all. But the past cannot be undone.
British "neutrality" has strengthened the arms that have been raised
against our national life, and winged the bloody messengers that have
desolated our households. Still, every act of justice which has even a
show of good-will in it is received only too graciously by a people
which has known what it is to be deserted by its friends in the hour of
need. Whatever be the motives of the altered course of the British
Government,--an awakened conscience, or a series of "Federal"
successes,--Mr. Sumner's arguments, or General Gillmore's long-range
practice,--a more careful study of the statistics of Slavery, or of the
lists of American iron-clad steamers,--we welcome it at once; we take
the offered hand, if not with warm pressure, at least with decent
courtesy. We only regret that forbearance and good offices, and that
moral influence which would have been almost as important as an
offensive and defensive alliance, had not come before the flower of our
youth was cut down in the battle-field, and mourning and misery had
entered half the families of the land.

The British _aristocracy_, with all its dependent followers, cannot help
being against us. The bearing which our success would have on its
interests is obvious enough, and we cannot wonder that the instinct of
self-preservation opens its eyes to the remote consequences which will
be likely to flow from the continued and prosperous existence of the
regenerated, self-governing Union. The privileged classes feel to our
labor- and money-saving political machinery just as the hand-weavers
felt to the inventor and introducers of the power-loom. The simple fact
is, that, if a great nation like ours can govern itself, they are not
needed, and Nobility has a nightmare of Jews going about the streets
with half a dozen coronets on their heads, one over another, like so
many old beavers. What can we expect of the law-spinning heir-loom
owners, but that they should wish to break this new-fangled machine, and
exterminate its contrivers? The right to defend its life is the claim of
everything that lives, and we must not lose our temper because the
representatives of an hereditary ruling class wish to preserve those
privileges which are their very existence, nor because they have
foresight enough to know, that, if the Western Continent remains the
seat of a vast, thriving, irresistible, united republic, the days of
their life, as an order, are numbered.

"The _people_," as Mr. Motley has said, in one of his official letters,
"everywhere sympathize with us; for they know that our cause is that of
free institutions,--that our struggle is that of the people against an
oligarchy." We have evidence that this is partially true of the British
people. But we know also how much they are influenced by their political
and social superiors, and we know, too, what base influences have been
long at work to corrupt their judgment and inflame their prejudices. We
have too often had occasion to see that the middle classes had been
reached by the passions of their superiors, or infected by the poison
instilled by traitorous emissaries. We have been struck with this
particularly in some of the British colonies. It is the livid gleam of a
reflected hatred they shed upon us; but the angle of reflection is equal
to the angle of incidence, and we feel sure that the British inhabitants
of an African cape or of a West-India islet would not have presumed to
sympathize with the Rebels, unless they had known that it was
respectable, if not fashionable, to do so at home. It is one of the most
painful illustrations of the influence of a privileged class that the
opinions and prejudices and interests of the English aristocracy should
have been so successfully imposed upon a large portion of the people,
for whom the North was fighting over again the battles of that long
campaign which will never end until the rightful Sovereigns have
dispossessed the whole race of Pretenders.

The effect of this course on the part of the mother-country has been
like that of harsh treatment upon children generally. It chills their
affections, lessens their respect for the parental authority, interrupts
their friendly intercourse, and perhaps drives them from the
family-mansion. But it cannot destroy the ties of blood and the
recollections of the past. It cannot deprive the "old home" of its
charm. If there has been but a single member of the family beneath its
roof who has remained faithful and kind, all grateful memories will
cluster about that one, though the hearts of the rest were hard as the
nether millstone.

The soil of England will always be dearer to us of English descent than
any except our own. The Englishman will always be more like one of
ourselves than any "foreigner" can be. We shall never cease to feel the
tenderest regard for those Englishmen who have stood by us like brothers
in the day of trial. They have hardly guessed in our old home how sacred
to us is the little island from which our fathers were driven into the
wilderness,--not saying, with the Separatists, "Farewell, Babylon!
farewell, Rome!" but "Farewell, _dear_ England!" At that fearful thought
of the invasion of her shores,--a thought which rises among the spectral
possibilities of the future,--we seem to feel a dull aching in the bones
of our forefathers that lie beneath her green turf, as old soldiers feel
pain in the limbs they have left long years ago on the battle-field.

But hard treatment often proves the most useful kind of discipline. One
good effect, so far as we are concerned, that will arise from the harsh
conduct of England, will be the promotion of our intellectual and moral
independence. We declared our political independence a good while ago,
but this was as a small dividend is declared on a great debt. We owed a
great deal more to posterity than to insure its freedom from political
shackles. The American republic was to be emancipated from every
Old-World prejudice that might stand in the way of its entire fulness of
development according to its own law, which is in many ways different
from any precedent furnished by the earlier forms of civilization. There
were numerous difficulties in the way. The American talked the language
of England, and found a literature ready-made to his hands. He brought
his religion with him, shaped under English influences, whether he
called himself Dissenter or not. He dispensed justice according to the
common law of England. His public assemblies were guided by
Parliamentary usage. His commerce and industry had been so long in
tutelage that both required long exercise before they could know their
own capacities.

The mother-country held her American colonies as bound to labor for her
profit, not their own, just as an artisan claims the whole time of his
apprentice. If we think the policy of England towards America in the
year 1863 has been purely selfish, looking solely to her own interest,
without any regard to the principles involved in our struggle, let us
look back and see whether it was any different in 1763, or in 1663. If
her policy has been uniform at these three periods, it is time for us to
have learned our lesson.

Two hundred years ago, in the year 1663, an Act of Parliament was passed
to monopolize the Colonial trade for England, for the sake, as its
preamble stated, "of keeping them [the Colonies] in a firmer dependence
upon it, and rendering them yet more beneficial and advantageous unto
it, in the further employment and increase of English shipping and
seamen, vent of English woollens and other manufactures and
commodities," etc. This act had, of course, the effect of increasing and
perpetuating the naturally close dependence of the Colonies on the
mother-country for most of the products of industry. But in an infant
community the effect of such restrictions would be little felt, and it
required another century before an extension of the same system was
publicly recognized as being a robbery of the child by the parent. To
show how far the system was carried, and what was the effect on the
public mind of a course founded in pure, and, as it proved,
short-sighted selfishness, it will be necessary to recall some of the
details which help to account for the sudden change at last in the
disposition of the Colonists.

One hundred years ago, on the tenth of February, 1763, a treaty of peace
between England and France, as the leading powers, was signed at Paris.
This was no sooner arranged than the Ministry began that system of
Colonial taxation which the Massachusetts House of Representatives
denounced as tending to give the Crown and Ministers "an absolute and
uncontrollable power of raising money upon the people, which by the wise
Constitution of Great Britain is and can be only lodged with safety in
the legislature." Part and parcel of this system was that comprehensive
scheme of tyranny by means of which England attempted to secure the
perpetual industrial dependence of the American Colonies, the principle
of which we have already seen openly avowed in the Act of Parliament of
1663, a hundred years earlier.

It was her fixed policy, as is well known, to keep her skilled artisans
at home, and to discourage as far as possible all manufactures in the
Colonies. By different statutes, passed in successive reigns, persons
enticing artificers into foreign countries incur the penalty of five
hundred pounds and twelve months' imprisonment for the first offence,
and of one thousand pounds and two years' imprisonment for the second
offence. If the workmen did not return within six months after warning,
they were to be deemed aliens, forfeit all their lands and goods, and be
incapable of receiving any legacy or gift. A similar penalty was laid so
late as the reign of George III. upon any person contracting with or
endeavoring to persuade any artificer concerned in printing calicoes,
cottons, muslins, or linens, or preparing any tools for such
manufacture, to go out of the kingdom.

The same jealousy of the Colonies, lest they should by their success in
the different branches of industry interfere with the home monopoly,
shows itself in various other forms. There was, naturally enough, a
special sensitiveness to the practice of the art of printing. Sir Edmund
Andros, when he came out as Governor of the Northern Colonies, was
instructed "to allow of no printing-press"; and Lord Effingham, on his
appointment to the government of Virginia, was directed "to allow no
person to use a printing-press on any occasion whatever."

The Board of Trade and Plantations made a report, in 1731, to the
British Parliament concerning the "trades carried on, and manufactures
set up, in the Colonies," in which it is recommended that "some
expedient be fallen upon to direct the thoughts of the Colonists from
undertakings of this kind; so much the rather, because these
manufactures in process of time may be carried on in a greater degree,
unless an early stop be put to their progress."

In one of Franklin's papers, published in London in 1768, are enumerated
some instances of the way in which the Colonists were actually
interfered with by legislation.

"Iron is to be found everywhere in America, and beaver are the natural
produce of that country: hats and nails and steel are wanted there as
well as here. It is of no importance to the common welfare of the empire
whether a subject of the king gets his living by making hats on this or
on that side of the water. Yet the hatters of England have prevailed to
obtain an act in their own favor restraining that manufacture in
America, in order to oblige the Americans to send their beaver to
England to be manufactured, and purchase back the hats, loaded with the
charges of a double transportation. In the same manner have a few
nail-makers, and a still smaller body of steel-makers, (perhaps there
are not half a dozen of these in England,) prevailed totally to forbid,
by an Act of Parliament, the erecting of slitting-mills or
steel-furnaces in America, that the Americans may be obliged to take all
their nails for their buildings, and steel for their tools, from these
artificers," etc.

"It is an idle argument in the Americans," said Governor Pownall, "when
they talk of setting up manufactures _for trade_; but it would be
equally injudicious in Government here to force any measure that may
render the manufacturing for _home consumption_ an object of prudence,
or even of pique, in the Americans."

The maternal Government pressed this matter a little too fast and too
far. The Colonists became _piqued_ at last, and resolved, in 1764, not
to purchase English stuffs for clothing, but to use articles of domestic
manufacture as far as possible. Boston, always a ringleader in these
mischiefs, diminished her consumption of British merchandise ten
thousand pounds and more in this one year. The Harvard-College youth
rivalled the neighboring town in their patriotic self-sacrifice, and the
whole graduating class of 1770, with the names of Hutchinson,
Saltonstall, and Winthrop at the head of the list, appeared at
Commencement in black cloth of home-manufacture. This act of defiance
only illustrates more forcibly the almost complete dependence of
Colonial industry at the time of its occurrence, the effect of a policy
which looked upon the Colonies with no reference to any other
consideration than the immediate profit to be derived from them.

In spite, however, of the hard measures employed by England to cripple
the development of the Colonies in every direction, except such as might
be profitable to herself, it was a very difficult matter to root out
their affection for the mother-country. Pownall, who was in this country
from 1753 to 1761, successively Governor of Massachusetts,
Lieutenant-Governor of New Jersey, and Governor of South Carolina, gives
us the most ample testimony on this point. His words are so strong that
none can fail to be impressed with the picture he draws of a people who
ten years later were in open revolt against the home authorities.

"The duty of a colony is affection for the mother-country: here I may
affirm, that, in whatever form and temper this affection can lie in the
human breast, in that form, by the deepest and most permanent
impression, it ever did lie in the breast of the American people. They
have no other idea of this country [England] than as their home; they
have no other word by which to express it, and, till of late, it has
constantly been expressed by the name of home. That powerful affection,
the love of our native country, which operates in every heart, operates
in this people towards England, which they consider as their native
country; nor is this a mere passive impression, a mere opinion in
speculation,--it has been wrought up in them to a vigilant and active
zeal for the service of this country."

And Franklin's testimony confirms that of the English Governor.

"The true loyalists," he says, "were the people of America against whom
the royalists of England acted. No people were ever known more truly
loyal, and universally so, to their sovereigns.... They were
affectionate to the people of England, zealous and forward to assist in
her wars, by voluntary contributions of men and money, even beyond their

Such was the people whose love and obedience the greedy and grasping
policy of the British Government threw away, never to be regained. The
Revolution came at last, and the people reckoned up the long arrears of
oppression. "In the short space of two years," says a contemporary
writer, "nearly three millions of people passed over from the love and
duty of loyal subjects to the hatred and resentment of enemies."

We have seen that our cautious parent had taken good care not to let her
American children learn the use of her tools any farther or faster than
she thought good for them--and herself. They no sooner got their hands
free than they set them at work on various new contrivances. One of the
first was the nail-cutting machinery which has been in use ever since.
All our old houses--the old gambrel-roofed Cambridge mansions, for
instance--are built with wrought nails, no doubt every one of them
imported from England. Many persons do not know the fact that the
screw-auger is another native American invention, having been first
manufactured for sale at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1776, or a little
earlier. Eli Whitney contrived the cotton-gin in 1792, and some years
later the machinery for the manufacture of fire-arms, involving the
principle of absolute uniformity in the pattern of each part, so that
any injured or missing portion of a gun may be instantly supplied
without special fitting.

We claim to have done our full share in the way of industrial inventions
since we have become a nation. The four elements have all accepted the
American as their master. The great harvests of the earth are gathered
by his mowing and reaping machines. The flame that is creeping from its
lair to spring at the roofs of the crowded city is betrayed to its
watchful guardians by the American telegraphic fire-alarm, and the
conflagration that reddens the firmament is subdued by the inundation
that flows upon it from an American steam-fire-engine. In the realm of
air, the Frenchman who sent a bubble of silk to the clouds must divide
his honors with the American who emptied the clouds themselves of their
electric fires. Water, the mightiest of all, which devours the earth
and quenches the fire, and rides over the air in vaporous exhalations,
has been the chosen field of ingenious labor for our people. The great
American invention of _ice_,--perhaps there is a certain approach to its
own coolness in calling it an invention, though Sancho, it may be
remembered, considered sleep in that light,--this remarkable invention
of ice, as a tropical commodity, could have sprung only from a
republican and revolutionary brain. The steamboat has been claimed for
various inventors, for one so far back as 1543; but somehow or other it
happened, as it has so often happened, that "the chasm from mere
attempts to positive achievement was first bridged by an American." Our
wave-splitting clippers have changed the whole model of sailing-vessels.
One of them, which was to have been taken in tow by the steam-vessels of
the Crimean squadron, spread her wings, and sailed proudly by them all.
Our iron water-beetles would send any of the old butterfly three-deckers
to the bottom, as quickly as one of these would sink a Roman trireme.

The Yankee whittling a shingle with his jack-knife is commonly accepted
as a caricature, but it is an unconscious symbolization of the plastic
instinct which rises step by step to the clothes-pin, the apple-parer,
the mowing-machine, the wooden truss-bridge, the clipper-ship, the
carved figure-head, the Cleopatra of the World's Exhibition.

One American invention, or discovery, has gone far towards paying back
all that the new continent owes to the old civilizations. The cradle of
artificial _anæsthesia_--man's independence of the tyranny of pain--must
be looked for at the side of the Cradle of Liberty. Never was a greater
surprise than the announcement of this miraculous revelation to the
world. One evening in October, 1846, a professional brother called upon
the writer of this paper. He shut the door carefully, and looked
nervously around him. Then he spoke, and told of the wondrons results of
the experiment which had just been made in the operating-room. "In one
fortnight's time," he said, "all Europe will be ablaze with this
discovery." He then produced and read a paper that he had just drawn up
for a learned society of which we were both members, the first paper
ever written on this subject. On that day not a surgeon in the world,
out of a little New-England circle, made any profession of knowing how
to render a patient quickly, completely, pleasantly, safely insensible
to pain for a limited period. In a few weeks every surgeon in the world
knew how to do it, and the atmosphere of the planet smelt strong of
sulphuric ether. The discovery started from the Massachusetts General
Hospital, just as definitely as the cholera started from Jessore, to
travel round the globe.

The advance of our civilization is still more strongly marked by the
number and excellence of musical instruments, especially pianos, which
are made in this country. It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that
the piano keeps pace with the plough, as our population advances. More
striking evidence than even this is found in the fact that the highest
grade of the highest instruments used for scientific research is
produced by our artisans. One of the two largest telescope-lenses in the
world is that made by Mr. Clark, of Cambridge, whose reputation is not
confined to our own country. The microscopes of Mr. Spencer, which threw
those of the Continent into the shade at once, and challenged
competition with the work of the three great London opticians, were made
in a half-cleared district of Central New York, where, in our
pilgrimages to that Mecca of microscopists, Canastota, we found the
shrine we sought in the midst of the charred stumps of the primeval
forest. While Mr. Quekett was quoting Andrew Ross, the most famous of
the three opticians referred to, as calling "135° the largest angular
pencil that can be passed through a microscopic object-glass," Mr.
Spencer was actually making twelfths with an angle of more than 170°.
Those who remember the manner in which the record of his extraordinary
success was deliberately omitted from the second edition of a work which
records the minutest contrivance of any English amateur,--the first
edition having already mentioned the "young artist living in the
backwoods,"--will recognize in it something of the old style in which
the mother-country used to treat the Colonists.

It may be fairly claimed that the alert and inventive spirit of the
American has lightened the cumbrous awkwardness of Old-World implements,
has simplified their traditional complexity, has systematized methods of
manufacture, and has shown a certain audacity in its innovations which
might be expected from a community where every mechanic is a voter, and
a maker of lawgivers, if not of laws. We are deficient principally in
patience of detail, and the skill which springs from minute subdivision
of labor and from hereditary training. All this will come
by-and-by,--all the sooner, if our ports are closed by foreign war. No
natural incapacity prevents us from making as good broadcloth, as fine
linen, as rich silks, as pure porcelain, as the Old World can send us.
If England wishes to hasten our complete industrial independence, she
has only to quarrel with us. We should miss many things at first which
we owe to her longer training, but they are mostly products of that kind
of industry which furnishes whatever the market calls for.

The intellectual development of the Colonists was narrowed and limited
by the conditions of their new life. There was no need of legislation to
discourage the growth of an American literature. At the period of the
Revolution two books had been produced which had a right to live, in
virtue of their native force and freshness; hardly more than two; for we
need not count in this category the records of events, such as
Winthrop's Journal, or Prince's Annals, or even that quaint, garrulous,
conceited farrago of pedantry and piety, of fact and gossip, Mather's
"Magnalia." The two real American books were a "Treatise on the Will,"
and "Poor Richard's Almanack." Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin
were the only considerable names in American literature in all that
period which, beginning with Milton and Dryden, and including the whole
lives of Newton and Locke, reached the time of Hume and Gibbon, of Burke
and Chatham, of Johnson and Goldsmith,--a period embracing five
generations, filled with an unbroken succession of statesmen,
philosophers, poets, divines, historians, who wrote for mankind and
immortality. The Colonies, in the mean time, had been fighting Nature
and the wild men of the forest, getting a kind of education as they went
along. Out of their religious freedom, such as it was, they were
rough-hewing the ground-sills of a free state: for religion and politics
always play into each other's hands, and the constitution is the child
of the catechism. Harvard College was dedicated to "Christ and the
Church," but already, in 1742, the question was discussed at
Commencement, "Whether it be lawful to resist the supreme magistrate, if
the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved,"--Samuel Adams speaking
in the affirmative.

Such was the condition of America at the period just preceding the
Revolutionary movement. Commercial and industrial dependence maintained
by Acts of Parliament, and only beginning to be openly rebelled against
under the irritation produced by oppressive enactments. Native
development in the fields of letters and science hardly advanced beyond
the embryonic stage; a literature consisting of a metaphysical treatise
and a popular almanac, with some cart-loads of occasional sermons, some
volumes of historical notes, but not yet a single history, such as we
should now hold worthy of that name, and an indefinite amount of painful
poetry. Not a line, that we can recall, had ever been produced in
America which was fit to sparkle upon the "stretched forefinger" of
Time. Berkeley's "Westward the course of Empire" _ought_ to have been
written here; but the curse of sterility was on the Western Muse, or her
offspring were too puny to live.

The outbreak of the Revolution arrested what little growth there was in
letters and science. Franklin carried his reputation, the first one born
of science in the country, to the French court, and West and Copley
sought fame and success, and found them, in England. All the talent we
had was absorbed in the production of political essays and state-papers.
Patriotic poems, satires, _jeux d'esprit_, with more or less of the
_esprit_ implied in their name, were produced, not sparingly; but they
find it hard work to live, except in the memory of antiquaries. Philip
Freneau is known to more readers from the fact that Campbell did him the
honor to copy a line from him without acknowledgment than by all his
rhymes. It is not gratifying to observe the want, so noticeable in our
Revolutionary period, of that inspiration which the passions of such a
struggle might have been expected to bring with them.

If we are forced to put this estimate upon our earlier achievements in
the domain of letters, it is not surprising that they were held of small
account in the mother-country. It is not fair to expect the British
critics to understand our political literature, which was until these
later years all we had to show. They had to wait until De Lolme, a Swiss
exile, explained their own Constitution to them, before they had a very
clear idea of it. One British tourist after another visited this
country, with his glass at his eye, and his small vocabulary of "Very
odd!" for all that was new to him; his "Quite so!" for whatever was
noblest in thought or deed; his "Very clever!" for the encouragement of
genius; and his "All that sort of thing, you know!" for the less
marketable virtues and heroisms not to be found in the Cockney
price-current. They came, they saw, they made their books, but no man
got from them any correct idea of what the Great Republic meant in the
history of civilization. For this the British people had to wait until
De Tocqueville, a Frenchman, made it in some degree palpable to insular

The true-born Briton read as far as the first sentence of the second
paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. There he stopped, and
there he has stuck ever since. That sentence has been called a
"glittering generality,"--as if there were some shallow insincerity
about it. But because "all that glitters is not gold," it does not
follow that nothing which glitters is gold. Because a statement is
general, it does not follow that it is either untrue or unpractical.
"Glittering generality" or not, the voice which proclaimed that the
birthright of equality belonged to all mankind was the _fiat lux_ of the
new-born political universe. This, and the terrible series of logical
consequences that flowed from it, threatening all the dynasties,
menacing all the hierarchies, undermining the seemingly solid
foundations of all Old-World abuses,--this parent truth, and all to
which it gave birth, made up the literature of Revolutionary America,
and dwarfed all the lesser growths of culture for the time, as the
pine-tree dwarfs the herbage beneath the circle of its spreading

As English policy had pursued the uniform course of provincializing our
industry during the colonial period, discouraging every form of native
ingenuity, so English criticism, naturally enough, after industry was
set free, discountenanced the growth of a native American literature.
That famous question of the "Quarterly Review," "Who reads an American
book?" was the key--note of the critical chorus. There were shortcomings
enough, no doubt, and all the faults that belong to an imperfectly
educated people. But there was something more than the feeling of
offended taste or unsatisfied scholarship in the _animus_ of British
criticism. Mr. Tudor has expressed the effect it produced upon our own
writers very clearly in his account of the "North American Review,"
written in 1820. He recognizes the undue deference paid to foreign
critics, and, as its consequence, "a want, or rather a suppression, of
national feeling and independent judgment, that would sooner or later
have become highly injurious."

It is not difficult to find examples, of earlier and of later date,
which illustrate the tone of British feeling towards this country, as it
has existed among leading literary men, and at times betrayed itself in
an insolence which amuses us after the first sense of irritation has
passed away.

In 1775, Dr. Samuel Johnson, champion of the heavy-weights of English
literature, the "Great Moralist," the typical Englishman of his time,
wrote the pamphlet called "Taxation no Tyranny." It is what an
Englishman calls a "clever" production, smart, epigrammatic,
impertinent, the embodiment of all that is odious in British assumption.
No part of the Old World, he says, has reason to rejoice that Columbus
discovered the New. Its inhabitants--the countrymen of Washington and
Franklin, of Adams and Jefferson--multiply, as he tells us, "with the
fecundity of their own rattlesnakes." Of the fathers of our Revolution
he speaks in no more flattering terms:--"Probably in _America_, as in
other places, the chiefs are incendiaries, that hope to rob in the
tumults of a conflagration, and toss brands among a rabble passively
combustible." All these atrocities and follies amuse and interest us
now; they are the coprolites of a literary megatherium, once hateful to
gods and men, now inoffensive and curious fossilized specimens.

In 1863, a Scotchman, whom Dr. Johnson would have hated for his birth,
and have knocked down with his Dictionary for his assaults upon the
English language, has usurped the chair of the sturdy old dogmatist. The
specious impertinence and shallow assumptions of the English sage find
their counterpart in the unworthy platitude of the Scottish seer, not
lively enough for "Punch," a mere disgrace to the page which admitted
it; whether a proof of a hardening heart or a softening brain is
uncertain, but charity hopes the latter is its melancholy apology.

But in the interval between the cudgel-stroke of Johnson and the
mud-throwing of Carlyle, America had grown strong enough to bear the
assaults of literary bullies and mountebanks without serious annoyance.
The question which had been so superciliously asked was at last
answered. _Everybody_ reads an American book. The morning-star of our
literature rose in the genius of IRVING. There was something in his
personal conditions which singularly fitted him to introduce the New
World in its holiday-dress to the polite company of the Old World. His
father was a Scotchman, his mother was an Englishwoman, and he was born
in America. "Diedrich Knickerbocker" is a near relation of some of
Scott's characters; "Bracebridge Hall" might have been written by an
Englishman; while "Ichabod Crane" and "Rip Van Winkle" are American to
their marrow. The English naturally found Irving too much like their own
writers in his English subjects, and they could not thoroughly relish
his purely American pictures and characters. Cooper, who did not love
the English, and showed it, a navy officer, too, who dwelt with delight
on the sea-fights of the War of 1812, was too American to please them.
Dr. Channing had a limited circle of admirers in Great Britain, but
could reach only a few even of the proscribed Dissenting class in any
effective way.

Prescott, we believe, did more than any other one man to establish the
independence of American authorship. He was the first, so far as we
know, who worked with a truly adequate literary apparatus, and at the
same time brought the results of his extensive, long-continued, costly
researches into picture-like and popular forms. It was not the judgment
of England, but of Europe, that settled his claims in the world of
letters; and from the day when the verdict of the learned world awarded
him a place in the first rank of historians, the hereditary curse of
American authorship was removed, and the insolent question of the
Quarterly was asked no more.

From that time nearly to this the literary relations between England and
America have been growing more and more intimate, until every English
writer of repute reckoned upon his great circle of readers in the United
States, and every native author of a certain distinction depended upon a
welcome, more or less cordial, but still a welcome, from a British
reading constituency.

Never had the mutual interchange of literary gifts from the one people
to the other been so active as during the years preceding the outbreak
of the Great Conspiracy. So close was the communication of thought and
feeling, that it seemed as if there were hardly need of a submarine
cable to stretch its nervous strands between two national brains that
were locked in Siamese union by the swift telegraph of thought. We
reprinted each other's books, we made new reputations for each other's
authors, we wrote in each other's magazines, and introduced each other's
young writers to our own several publics. Thought echoed to thought,
voice answered to voice across the Atlantic.

But for one fatal stain upon our institutions,--a stain of which we were
constantly reminded, as the one thing that shamed all our
pretensions,--it seemed as if the peaceful and prosperous development of
the great nation sprung from the loins of England were accepted as a
gain to universal civilization. In the fulness of time the heir of Great
Britain's world-shadowing empire came among us to receive the wide and
cordial welcome which we could afford to give without compromising our
republicanism, and he to receive without lessening his dignity. It was
the seal upon the _entente cordiale_ which seemed to have at last
established itself between the thinkers as well as the authorities of
the two countries.

A few months afterwards came the great explosion which threatened the
eternal rending asunder of the Union. That the British people had but an
imperfect understanding of the quarrel, we are ready to believe. That
they were easily misled as to some of the motives and intentions of the
North is plain enough. But this one fact remains: Every one of them
knew, by public, official statements, that what _the South_ meant to do
was to build a new social and political order on Slavery,--recognized,
proclaimed, boasted of, theoretically justified, and practically
incorporated with its very principle of existence. They might have their
doubts about the character of the North, but they could have none about
the principles or intentions of the South. That ought to have settled
the question for civilized Europe. It would have done so, but that
jealousy of the great self-governing state swallowed up every other

We will not be unjust nor ungrateful. We have as true friends, as brave
and generous advocates of our sacred cause, in Great Britain as our
fathers found in their long struggle for liberty. We have the
intelligent coöperation of a few leading thinkers, and the instinctive
sympathy of a large portion of the people,--may God be merciful to them
and to their children in the day of reckoning, which, sooner or later,
awaits a nation that is false to advancing civilization!

But, with all our gratitude to the noble few who have pleaded our cause,
we are obliged to own that we have looked in vain for sympathy in many
quarters where we should assuredly have expected it. Where is the
English Church in this momentous struggle? Has it blasted with its
anathema the rising barbarism, threatening, or rather promising, to
nationalize itself, which, as a cardinal principle, denies the Word of
God and the sanctities of the marriage relation to millions of its
subjects? or does it save its indignation for the authors of "Essays and
Reviews" and the over-curious Bishop of Natal? Where are the men whose
voices ought to ring like clarions among the hosts of their brethren in
the Free States of the North? Where is Lord Brougham, ex-apostle of the
Diffusion of Knowledge, while the question is of enforced perpetual
ignorance as the cement of that unhallowed structure with which this
nineteenth century is to be outraged, if treason has its way? Where is
Dickens, the hater of the lesser wrongs of Chancery Courts, the scourge
of tyrannical beadles and heartless schoolmasters? Has he no word for
those who are striving, bleeding, dying, to keep from spreading itself
over a continent a system which legalizes outrages almost too fearful to
be told even to those who know all that is darkest in the record of
English pauperism and crime? Where is the Laureate, so full of fine
indignations and high aspirations? Has he, who holds so cheap those who
waste their genius

  "To make old baseness picturesque,"

no single stanza for the great strife of this living century? is he too
busy with his old knights to remember that

  "One great clime....
  Yet rears her crest, unconquered and sublime,
  Above the far Atlantic?"

has he a song for the six hundred, and not a line for the six hundred
thousand? Where is the London "Times," so long accepted as the true
index of English intelligence and enlightened humanity? Where are those
grave organs of thought which were always quarrelling with Slavery so
long as it was the thorn in the breast of our nation, but almost do
homage to it now that it is a poisoned arrow aimed at her life? Where is
the little hunchback's journal, whose wit was the dog-vane of
fashionable opinion, once pointing towards freedom as the prevailing
wind seemed to blow, now veered round to obey the poisoned breath of
Slavery? All silent or hostile, subject as they are themselves to the
overmastering influence of a class which dreads the existence of a
self-governing state, like this majestic Union, worse than falsehood,
worse than shame, worse than robbery, worse than complicity with the
foulest of rebellions, worse than partnership in the gigantic scheme
which was to blacken half a hemisphere with the night of eternal

It is the miserable defection of so many of the thinking class, in this
time of the greatest popular struggle known to history, which impresses
us far more than the hostility of a few land-grasping nobles, or the
coldness of a Government mainly guided by their counsels. The natural
consequence has been the complete destruction of that undue deference to
foreign judgments which was so long a characteristic of our literature.
The current English talk about the affairs that now chiefly interest us
excites us very moderately. The leading organs of thought have lost
their hold upon the mind of most thinking people among us. We have
learned to distrust the responses of their timeserving oracles, and to
laugh at the ignorant pretensions of their literary artisans. These
"outsiders" have shown, to our entire satisfaction, that they are
thoroughly incompetent to judge our character as a community, and that
they have no true estimate of its spirit and its resources. The view
they have taken of the strife in which we have been and are engaged is
not only devoid of any high moral sympathy, but utterly shallow, and
flagrantly falsified by the whole course of events, political,
financial, and military.

Perhaps we ought not to be surprised or disappointed. With a congenital
difference of organization, with a new theory of human rights involving
a virtual reconstruction of society, with larger views of human destiny,
with a virgin continent for them to be worked out in, the American
should expect to be misunderstood by the civilizations of the past,
based on a quagmire of pauperism and ignorance, or overhung by an
avalanche of revolution. Other peoples, emerging from, a condition of
serfdom, retaining many of the instincts of a conquered race, get what
liberty they have by extorting it piecemeal from their masters. Magna
Charta was forced from a weak monarch by a conspiracy of nobles, acting
from purely selfish motives, in behalf of their own order. The Habeas
Corpus Act was unpalatable to the Lords, and was passed only by a trick
or a blunder. What is there in common between the states which recognize
the rule of any persons who happen to be descended from the bold or
artful men who obtained their power by violence or fraud, and a state
which starts with the assumption that the government belongs to the
governed, subject, we must remember, to the laws which make a people a
nation,--laws recognized just as unhesitatingly by the Rebel States as
applying to Western Virginia or East Tennessee, as the Union recognizes
their application to these same Rebel States?

Of course, it is conceivable that we are all wrong in our theory of
human rights and our plan of government. It is possible that the true
principle of selecting the rulers of a nation is to take the descendants
of the cut-throat, the assassin, the poisoner, the traitor, who got his
foot upon a people's neck some centuries ago. It may be that there is an
American people which will hold itself fortunate, if it can be ruled
over by a descendant of Charles V.,--though Philip II. was the son of
that personage, and an American historian has made us familiar with his
doings, and those of his vicegerent, the Duke of Alva. If this is the
way that people should be governed, then we _are_ wrong, and have no
right to look for sympathy from Old-World dynasties. The only question
is, How soon it will be safe to send a Grand Duke over to govern us.

But if our theory of human rights and our plan of government are the
true ones, then our success is the inevitable downfall of every dynasty
on the face of the earth. It is not our fault that this must be so; the
blameless fact of our existence, prosperity, power, civilization,
culture, as they will show themselves on the supposition that we are
working in the divine parallels, will necessarily revolutionize all the
empirical and accidental systems which have come down to us from the
splendid semi-barbarism of the Middle Ages. What all good men desire,
here and everywhere, is that this necessary change may be effected
gradually and peaceably. We do not find fault with men for being born in
positions that confer powers upon them incommensurate with their rights.
We do not wish to cut a man's head off because he comes of a dull race
that has been taught for generations to think itself better than the
rest of mankind, and has learned to believe it and practise on it. But
if nations are fast becoming educated to a state in which they are
competent to manage their own interests, we wish these privileged
personages to recognize it, for their own sake, as well as for that of
the people.

The spirit of republican America is not that of a wild propagandism. It
is not by war that we have sought or should ever seek to convert the Old
World to our theories and practice in government. If this young nation
is permitted, in the Providence of God, to unfold all its possibilities
into powers, the great lesson it will teach will be that of peaceful
development. Where the public wealth is mainly for the governing class,
the splendid machinery of war is as necessary as the jewels which a
province would hardly buy are to the golden circlet that is the mark of
sovereignty. Where the wealth of a country is for the people, this
particular form of pyrotechnics is too costly to be indulged in for
amusement. American civilization hates war, as such. It values life,
because it honors humanity. It values property, because property is for
the comfort and good of all, and not merely plunder, to be wasted by a
few irresponsible lawgivers. It wants all the forces of its population
to subdue Nature to its service. It demands all the intellect of its
children for construction, not for destruction. Its business is to build
the world's great temple of concord and justice; and for this it is not
Dahlgren and Parrott that are the architects, but men of thought, of
peace, of love.

Let us not, therefore, waste our strength in threats of vengeance
against those misguided governments who mistook their true interest in
the prospect of our calamity. We can conquer them by peace better than
by war. When the Union emerges from the battle-smoke,--her crest
towering over the ruins of traitorous cities and the wrecks of Rebel
armies, her eye flashing defiance to all her evil-wishers, her breast
heaving under its corselet of iron, her arm wielding the mightiest
enginery that was ever forged into the thunderbolts of war,--her triumph
will be grand enough without her setting fire to the stubble with which
the folly of the Old World has girt its thrones. No deeper humiliation
could be asked for our foreign enemies than the spectacle of our
triumph. If we have any legal claims against the accomplices of pirates,
they will be presented, and they will be paid. If there are any
uncomfortable precedents which have been introduced into international
law, the jealous "Mistress of the Seas" must be prepared to face them in
her own hour of trouble. Had her failings but leaned to Freedom's
side,--had she but been true to her traditions, to her professions, to
her pretended principles,--where could she have found a truer ally than
her own offspring, in the time of trial which is too probably preparing
for her? "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the
things which belong unto thy peace!" No tardy repentance can efface the
record of the past. We may forgive, but history is inexorable.

England was startled the other day by an earthquake. The fast-anchored
isle was astonished at such a tropical phenomenon. It was all very well
for Jamaica or Manila, but who would have thought of solid,
constitutional England shaking like a jelly? The London "Times"
moralized about it in these words:--"We see, afar off, a great empire,
that had threatened to predominate over all mankind, suddenly broken up
by moral agencies, and shattered into no one knows how many fragments.
We are safe from that fate, at least so we deem ourselves, for never
were we so united." "_A great empire, that had threatened to predominate
over all mankind_." That was the trouble. That was the reason the
"Times" was so pleased to say, a few months ago, "The bubble has burst."
How, if the great empire should prove not to have been shattered? how,
if the bubble has not burst?--nay, if that great system of intelligent
self-government which was taken for a bubble prove to be a sphere of
adamant, rounded in the mould of Divine Law, and filled with the pure
light of Heaven?

England is happy in a virtuous queen; but what if another profligate
like George IV. should, by the accident of birth, become the heir of her
sovereignty? France is as strong as one man's life can make her; but
what if that man should run against some fanatic's idea which had taken
shape in a bullet-mould, or receive a sudden call from that pale visitor
who heeds no challenge from the guards at the gate of the Tuileries, and
stalks unannounced through antechambers and halls of audience?

The "Times" might have found a moral for the earthquake nearer home. The
flame that sweeps our prairies is terrible, but it only scorches the
surface. What all the governments based on smothered pauperism,
tolerated ignorance, and organized degradation have to fear is the
subterranean fire, which finds its vent in blazing craters, or breaks up
all the ancient landmarks in earth-shattering convulsions. God forbid
that we should invoke any such catastrophe even for those who have been
hardest upon us in our bitter trial! Yet so surely as American society
founds itself upon the rights of civilized man, there is no permanent
safety for any nation but in the progressive recognition of the American
principle. The right of governing a nation belongs to the people of the
nation; and the urgent duty of those provisional governments which we
call monarchies, empires, aristocracies is to educate their people with
a view to the final surrender of all power into their hands. A little
longer patience, a little more sacrifice, a little more vigorous,
united action, on the part of the Loyal States, and the Union will
behold herself mirrored in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the stateliest
of earthly empires,--not in her own aspiring language, but by the
confession of her most envious rival, _predominating over all mankind_.
No Tartar hordes pouring from the depths of Asia, no Northern barbarians
swarming out of the hive of nations, no Saracens sweeping from their
deserts to plant the Crescent over the symbol of Christendom, were more
terrible to the principalities and powers that stood in their way, than
the Great Republic, by the bare fact of its existence, will become to
every government which does not hold its authority from the people.
However our present conflict may seem at first sight to do violence, in
certain respects, to the principles of self-government, everybody knows
that it is a strife of democratic against oligarchic institutions, of a
progressive against a stationary civilization, of the rights of manhood
against the claims of a class, of a national order representing the will
of a people against a conspiracy organized by a sectional minority.

Just so far as _the people_ of Europe understand the nature of our armed
controversy, they will understand that we are pleading their cause. Nay,
if the mass of our Southern brethren did but know it, we are pleading
theirs just as much. The emancipation of industry has never taken effect
in the South, and never could until labor ceased to be degrading.

We should be unreasonable to demand the sympathy of those classes which
have everything to lose from the extension of the self-governing
principle. What we have to thank them for is the frankness with which
they have betrayed their hostility to us and our cause, under
circumstances which showed that they would ruin us, if it could be done
safely and decently. We shall never be good friends again, it may be
feared, until we change our eagles into sovereigns, or they change their
sovereigns for a coin which bears the head of Liberty. But in the mean
time it is a great step in our education to find out that a new order of
civilization requires new modes of thought, which must, of necessity,
shape themselves out of our conditions. Thus it seems probable, that, as
the first revolution brought about our industrial independence of the
mother-country, not preventing us in any way from still availing
ourselves of the skill of her trained artisans, so this second civil
convulsion will complete that intellectual independence towards which we
have been growing, without cutting us off from whatever in knowledge or
art is the common property of Republics and Despotisms.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Heat considered as a Mode of Motion_; being a Course of Twelve Lectures
delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, by JOHN TYNDALL,
F.R.S., Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Royal Institution. New
York: D. Appleton & Co.

The readers of the "Glaciers of the Alps" have made the acquaintance of
Professor Tyndall as an Alpine adventurer, with a passion for frost and
philosophy, and a remarkable ability both in describing his
mountain-experiences and in explaining the interesting phenomena which
he there encountered. All who have read this inimitable volume will
testify to its rare attractions. It is at once dramatic and philosophic,
poetic and scientific; and the author wins our admiration alike as a
daring and intrepid explorer, a keen observer, a graphic delineator,
and an acute and original investigator.

In the new work on Heat we are introduced to Professor Tyndall upon the
lecturing-platform, where he follows up some of the inquiries started in
the "Glaciers" in a systematic and comprehensive manner. His problem is,
the nature and laws of Heat, its relation to other forms of force, and
the part it plays in the vast scheme of the universe: an imposing task,
but executed in a manner worthy of the gifted young successor of Faraday
as Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Royal Institution of Great

A comparison of the volume before us with any of the previously
published treatises on Heat will afford a striking and almost startling
proof of the present activity of inquiry, and the rapid progress of
scientific research. The topics treated are the same. The first seven
lectures of the course deal with _thermometric_ heat, expansion,
combustion, conduction, specific and latent heat, and the relation of
this force to mechanical processes; while the remaining five treat of
_radiant_ heat, the law and conditions of its movement, its influence
upon matter, its relations to other forces, terrestrial and solar
radiation, and the thermal energies of the solar system. But these
subjects no longer wear their old aspect. Novel questions are presented,
starting fresh trains of experiment; facts assume new relationships, and
are interpreted in the light of a new and higher philosophy.

The old view of the forces, which regarded them as material entities,
may now be regarded as abandoned. Light, Heat, Electricity, Magnetism,
etc., which have hitherto been considered under the self-contradictory
designation of "Imponderable Elements," or immaterial matter, are now,
by common consent, beginning to be ranked as pure forces; having passed
through their material stage, they are regarded as kindred and
convertible forms of motion in matter itself. The old notions, that
light consisted of moving corpuscles, and that heat, electricity, and
magnetism were produced by the agency of various fluids, have done good
service in times past; but their office was only provisional, and,
having served to advance the philosophy of forces beyond themselves,
they must now take rank among the outgrown and effete theories which
belong to the infantile period of science. This change, as will be seen,
involves the fundamental conceptions of science, and is nothing less
than the substitution of dynamical for material ideas in dealing with
the phenomena of Nature.

The new views, of which Professor Tyndall is one of the ablest
expositors, are expressed by the terms "Conservation and Correlation of
Forces." The first term implies that force is indestructible, that an
impulse of power can no more be annihilated than a particle of matter,
and than the total amount of energy in the universe remains forever the
same. This principle has been well characterized by Faraday as "the
highest law in physical science which our faculties permit us to
perceive." The phrase "Correlation of Forces" is employed rather to
express their mutual convertibility, or change from one to the others.
Thus, heat excites electricity, and, through that force, magnetism,
chemical action, and light. Or, if we start with magnetism, this may
give rise to electricity, and this again to heat, chemical action, and
light. Or we can begin with chemical action, and obtain the same train
of effects.

It has long been known that machines do not create force, but only
communicate, distribute, and apply that which has been imparted to them,
and also that a definite amount of fuel corresponds to a definite amount
of work performed by the steam-engine. This means simply that a fixed
quantity of the chemical force of combustion gives rise to a
corresponding quantity of heat, and this again to a determinate amount
of mechanical effect. Now this principle of equivalency is found to
govern the transmutations of all forms of energy. The doctrine of the
conservation and correlation of forces has been illustrated in various
ways, but nothing has so powerfully contributed to its establishment as
the investigation of the relations of heat to mechanical force.
Percussion and friction produce heat. A cold bullet, struck upon an
anvil by a cold sledge-hammer, is heated. Iron plates, ground against
each other by water-power, have yielded a large and constant supply of
heat for warming the air of a factory in winter; while water inclosed in
a box, which was made to revolve rapidly, rose to the boiling-point.
What, now, is the source of heat in these cases? The old caloric
hypothesis utterly fails to explain it; for to suppose that there is an
indefinite and inexhaustible store of latent heat in the rubbing iron
plates is purely gratuitous. It is now established, that the heat of
collision, and of friction depends, not upon the nature of the bodies in
motion, but upon the force spent in producing it.

When a moving body is stopped, its force is not annihilated, but simply
takes another form. When the sledge-hammer strikes the leaden bullet and
comes to rest, the mechanical force is not destroyed, but is simply
converted into heat; and if all the heat produced could be collected, it
would be exactly sufficient, when reconverted into mechanical force, to
raise the hammer again to the height from which it fell. So, when bodies
are rubbed together, their surface-particles are brought into collision,
mechanical force is destroyed, and heat appears,--the heat of friction.
The conversion of heat into mechanical motion, and of that motion back
again into heat, may be familiarly illustrated in the case of a
railway-train. The heat generated by combustion in the locomotive is
converted into motion of the cars. But when it is desired to stop the
train, what is to be done? Its mechanical force cannot be annihilated;
it can only be transmuted; and so the brakes are applied, and the train
brought to rest by reconverting its motion into heat, as is manifested
by the smoke and sparks produced by the friction. Now, as heat produces
mechanical motion, and mechanical motion heat, they must clearly have
some common quality. The dynamical theory asserts, that, as they are
both modes of motion, they must be mutually and easily convertible. When
a moving mass is checked or stopped, its force is not annihilated, but
the gross, palpable motion is infinitely subdivided and communicated to
the atoms of the body, producing increased vibrations, which appear as
heat. Heat is thus inferred to be, not a material fluid, but a motion
among the ultimate atoms of matter.

The acceptance of this view led to the highly important inquiry, What is
the equivalent relation between mechanical force and heat? or, how much
heat is produced by a definite quantity of mechanical force? To Dr.
Joule, of Manchester, England, is due the honor of having answered this
question, and experimentally established the numerical relation. He
demonstrated that a one-pound weight, falling through seven hundred and
seventy-two feet and then arrested, produces sufficient heat to raise
one pound of water one degree. Hence this is known as the mechanical
equivalent of heat, or "Joule's Law."

The establishment of the principle of correlation between mechanical
force and heat constitutes one of the most important events in the
progress of science. It teaches us that the movements we see around us
are not spontaneous or independent occurrences, but links in the eternal
chain of forces,--that, when bodies are put in motion, it is at the
expense of some previously existing energy, and that, when they come to
rest, their force is not destroyed, but lives on in other forms. Every
motion we see has its thermal value; and when it ceases, its equivalent
of heat is an invariable result. When a cannon-ball strikes the side of
an iron-plated ship, a flash of light shows that collision has converted
the motion of the ball into intense heat, or when we jump from the table
to the floor, the temperature of the body is slightly raised,--the
degree of heat produced in both cases being ascertainable by the
application of Joule's law.

The principle thus demonstrated has given a new interest and a vast
impulse to the science of Thermotics. It is the fundamental and
organizing conception of Professor Tyndall's work, and in his last
chapter he carries out its application to the planetary system. The
experiments of Herschel and Pouillet upon the amount of solar heat
received upon the earth's surface form the starting-point of the
computations. The total amount of heat received by the earth from the
sun would be sufficient to boil three hundred cubic miles of ice-cold
water per hour, and yet the earth arrests but 1/2,300,000,000 of the
entire thermal force which the sun emits. The entire solar radiation
each hour would accordingly be sufficient to boil 700,000,000,000 cubic
miles of ice-cold water! Speculation has hardly dared venture upon the
source of this stupendous amount of energy, but the mechanical
equivalent of heat opens a new aspect of the question. All the celestial
motions are vast potential stores of heat, and if checked or arrested,
the heat would at once become manifest. Could we imagine brakes applied
to the surface of the sun and planets, so as to arrest, by friction,
their motions upon their axes, the heat thus produced would be
sufficient to maintain the solar emission for a period of one hundred
and sixteen years. As the earth is eight thousand miles in diameter,
five and a half times heavier than water, and moves through its orbit at
the rate of sixty-eight thousand miles an hour, a sudden arrest of its
motion would generate a heat equal to the combustion of fourteen globes
of anthracite coal as large as itself. Should it fall into the sun, the
shock would produce a heat equal to the combustion of five thousand four
hundred earth-globes of solid coal,--sufficient to maintain the solar
radiation nearly a hundred years. Should all the planets thus come to
rest in the sun, it would cover his emission for a period of forty-five
thousand five hundred and eighty-nine years. It has been maintained that
the solar heat is actually produced in this way by the constant
collision upon his surface of meteoric bodies, but for the particulars
of this hypothesis we must refer to the book itself.

Professor Tyndall opens the question in his volume respecting the share
which different investigators have had in establishing the new theory of
forces, and his observations have given rise to a sharp controversy in
the scientific journals. The point in dispute seems to have been the
relative claims of an Englishman and a German--Dr. Joule and Dr.
Mayer--to the honor of having founded the new philosophy. Tyndall
accords a high place to the German as having worked out the view in an
_a priori_ way with remarkable precision and comprehensiveness, while he
grants to the Englishman the credit of being the first to experimentally
establish the law of the mechanical equivalent of heat. But his English
critics seem to be satisfied with nothing short of an entire monopoly of
the honor. The truth is, that, in this case, as in that of many others
furnished us in the history of science, the discovery belongs rather to
an epoch than to an individual. In the growth of scientific thought, the
time had come for the evolution of this principle, and it was seized
upon by several master-minds in different countries, who worked out
their results contemporaneously, but in ignorance of the efforts of
their fellow-laborers. But if individual claims are to be pressed, and
each man accorded his aliquot share of the credit, we apprehend that
America must be placed before either England or Germany, and for the
explicit evidence we need look no farther than the volume of Professor
Tyndall before us. The first clear connection and experimental
proof of the modern theory was made by our countryman Benjamin
Thompson,--afterwards knighted as Count Rumford by the Elector of
Bavaria. He went to Europe in the time of the American Revolution, and,
devoting himself to scientific investigations, became the founder of the
Royal Institution of Great Britain. Davy was his associate, and, so far
as the new views of heat are concerned, his disciple. He exploded the
notion of caloric, demonstrated experimentally the conversion of
mechanical force into heat, and arrived at quantitative results, which,
considering the roughness of his experiments, are remarkably near the
established facts. He revolved a brass cannon against a steel borer by
horse-power for two and one-half hours, thereby generating heat enough
to raise eighteen and three-fourths pounds of water from sixty to two
hundred and twelve degrees. Concerning the nature of heat he wrote as
follows, the Italics being his own:--"What is heat? Is there any such
thing as an _igneous fluid_? Is there anything that with propriety can
be called caloric? We have seen that a very considerable quantity of
heat may be excited by the friction of two metallic surfaces, and given
off in a constant stream, or flux, in _all directions_, without
interruption or intermission, and without any signs of _diminution_ or
_exhaustion_. In reasoning on this subject, we must not forget that
_most remarkable circumstance_, that the source of the heat generated by
friction in these experiments appeared to be _inexhaustible_. It is
hardly necessary to add, that anything which any insulated body or
system of bodies can continue to furnish _without limitation_ cannot
possibly be _a material substance_; and it appears to me to be extremely
difficult, if not quite impossible, to form any distinct idea of
anything capable of being excited and communicated in these experiments,
except it be MOTION."

In style, Professor Tyndall's work is remarkably clear, spirited, and
vigorous, and many of its pages are eloquent with the beautiful
enthusiasm and poetic spirit of its author. These attractions, combined
with the comprehensiveness and unity of the discussion, the range and
authenticity of the facts, and the delicacy, originality, and vividness
of the experiments, render the work at once popular and profound. It is
s classic upon the subject of which it treats.

_My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field_. A Book for Boys. By
"CARLETON." Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

The literature of the war has already reached the dimensions of a
respectable library. The public mind at the instant of the outbreak felt
an assurance that it was to be one of the memorable epochs of mankind.
However blinded to the significance of the previous conflicts in the
forum and at the ballot-box, there was a sudden and universal instinct
that their armed culmination was a world-era. The event instantly
assumed its true grandeur.

The previous discussions seemed local and limited. They were squabbles,
we fancied, among ourselves, which did not touch the vitals of our
system, and in which the world without had neither lot nor interest.
Even when the fires of debate and division waxed hotter and hotter, and
began to break out in violent eruptions in Congress, Kansas, throughout
the South, and especially at Harper's Ferry, we still said, These are
political conflicts, mob-violences, raids, abnormal eccentricities,
which will pass quietly away, when the dynasty is changed, and the reins
of power are fairly grasped by the successful rival.

Europe sends her doctors to witness our dissolution. They go South and
see the mustering of arms and the intensity of purpose, and coming North
find the whole community at their usual pursuits and pleasures,
regarding the controversy as a mere political breeze, and the results in
which it is beginning to issue as but the waves that ever for a short
season roll fiercely after the storm.

This indifference was one of the best signs of our health. We felt such
confidence in ourselves, that we distrusted no future, however
cloud-cast. The Constitution, sold for a penny-ha'penny in New York,
suggested to the mildly sarcastic humor of Dr. Russell that it had
better be a little more valuable in tact, if not so cheap in form. He
did not see how the People were the rightful masters of the
Constitution, as Mr. Lincoln had said they were of Congress and the
Courts, and that they would take care of it and of themselves when the
hour really came.

We did not see it. Blindness in part had happened unto the whole nation.
The shot at Sumter cleft the burdened head of Jove. A Nation was born in
a day. It saw instantly the length and the breadth, the height and the
depth of the conflict. It was not a struggle about Slavery and
Abolitionism, about the white race and the black, about union and
disunion; but it was a war for the rights of man, here and everywhere,
to-day and forever. The "glittering generalities" of our Declaration and
Constitution suddenly blazed with light, while the dull particularities
of mere routine faded as a waning moon before the glowing sun. These
were lost in the fiery splendors of the grand principles in which alone
they live and move and have their being. They will reappear, meekly
shining in their humbler sphere, when the great light shall withdraw its
intenser rays, the object of their blazing being accomplished. The body
of the war is Union, its soul Democracy: union for the sake of
democracy, and democracy for the sake of the world. Abolitionism is
simply a stepping-stone to the perfection of the Idea in our society.

The instinct that apprehended the full significance of the struggle was
universal: Europe saw it in the same flash that revealed it to us. The
lightning of the opening gun, or ever its accompanying thunder could
follow, leaped, like the lightnings of the final judgment, in an instant
from west to east, and illumined the whole earth with its glare.

In such an awakening it was inevitable but that literature should share.
And biographies, histories, pictorials, and juveniles, in Europe and
America, testify to the general consciousness. Into this last-named
class the little book at the head of this notice modestly essays to
enter. Had it put on airs and spread itself out into the broad-margined
and large-lettered octavo, it might have stood in libraries as a worthy
compeer of the ablest chronicles. Such a presentation would not have
been beyond its desert, and would have been more consistent with the
author's type of mind. Yet his simplicity, fidelity, and
straightforwardness will make him a better guide to advanced youth than
the too prattling habits of mere child-writers. They ever incline to the
baby-talk style of composition,--"mumming," as the tavern-woman
proposed, the bread and milk which they set before their youthful
readers. "Carleton" ever treats his boy-readers as his intelligent
equals, and considers them capable of understanding the common language
of books and men. It is refreshing to read a book for boys that is not,
as most of this class are, while pretending to be juvenile, actually

The work opens with the story of the causes of the war, in which the
author gives the old and new counterblasters a quid, or, as they will
doubtless prefer to call it, a crumb of comfort. He traces the origin of
the war, not to Slavery, but to Tobacco. The demand for the new drug was
general throughout Europe. Virginia was the main source of supply. The
vagabondish farmers would not labor. Negroes arrive, and European
appetite creates American Slavery. Two hundred years after, the
descendants of these slaveholders fancy that a like European demand for
another plant will insure this Slavery a national sovereignty. Tobacco
thus verifies Charles Lamb's unwilling execration. It is not Bacchus's
only, but Slavery's "black servant, negro fine," and belongs, after all,
to that Africa which he says "breeds no such prodigious poison." The
Union lovers of "the Great Plant" may be called to decide between their
country and their cigar. Will patriotism or the pipe then prevail? We
tremble for our country in that conflict of duty and desire. It is odd
that the two favorite plants of the South should thus be charged with
our war. These innocent leaves and blossoms, babes in the wood, are made
the bearers of our iniquities. Cotton and Tobacco are the white and
black representatives of the vegetable races. Perhaps some fanciful
theorist may show from this fact, that not only all the human races, but
those of the lower kingdoms, are involved in this struggle, and, as in
the greater warfare of Earth and Time, so in this, its condensed type,
the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in common with its head and

The anti-tobacco doctrine of the opening chapter gives place to a clear
statement of the gathering and organizing of the great army; which is
followed by descriptions of the Battles of Bull Run, Fort Henry, Fort
Donelson, Shiloh, the Siege of Island No. 10, and the capture of
Memphis. The narratives are illustrated with diagrams which set the
movements of the contending forces clearly before the eye. No
description of the first great battle of the war is superior to that
here given. It is a photographic view of the field and the combatants.
We see where the Rebels posted their divisions, how our forces were
stationed, how we attempted to outflank them, how they left their
original positions to protect the assailed outpost, how the battle raged
and was decided around that point, and how a single mistake caused our
first repulse, and, for lack of subsequent generalship, produced the
shameful and disastrous rout. Russell's description is far less clear
and concise. "Carleton" confirms McDowell's military scholarship, but
not his generalship. It is one thing to set squadrons in the field, it
is another to be equal to all the emergencies of the strife. He traces
our defeat to a single mistake, not alone nor chiefly to the arrival of
reinforcements. He puts it thus. Two regiments, the Second and Eighth
South Carolina, get in the rear of Griffin's and Rickett's batteries.
Griffin sees them, and turns his guns upon them. Major Barry declares
they are his supporters. Griffin says they are Rebels. The Major
persists in his opinion, and the Captain yields. The guns are turned
back, the South-Carolinians leap upon the batteries, and the panic

The book is especially valuable as it describes from personal
observation the first battles of General Grant. It has no better
war-pictures than the taking of Fort Donelson and the Battle of Shiloh
or Pittsburg Landing. These were the beginnings of Grant's reputation.
In them are seen the elements of his character, writ larger in the more
renowned deeds of Vicksburg and Chattanooga. They are strangely alike.
In both he is surprised by the enemy at daybreak, and while his soldiers
are asleep. In both he is at first driven from his camp, losing largely
of men and guns. In both, after a repulse so severe that the Rebel
generals fancy the day is theirs, and while their men give themselves up
to the spoiling of his tents, Grant, abating no jot of heart or hope,
rearranges his broken columns, and plants his guns in new positions, in
both cases on a hill rising from a ravine, whose opposite summit is
crowned with the Rebel artillery. In each case the Rebels cross the
ravine and attempt to scale the hill, and in each case are repulsed with
horrible slaughter. The parallel stops not here. Grant in both battles,
as soon as he has stayed the advance of the enemy, assumes the
offensive. The bugles sound the charge, and the Rebels are driven back
through our despoiled camp, and within their own intrenchments. These
first-fruits of the great general of the war show the difference between
him and the long-time pet of the nation, McClellan. The latter could not
move an inch without supplies as numerous and superfluous as those of a
summer sauntering lady at a watering-place. Grant does not wait for
Foote's gunboats to coöperate at Donelson, but begins the fight the
instant he reaches the fort. When the boats are disabled and retire, he
does not wait for them to refit and return; nor when the enemy fails to
rout him, does he rest on his well-earned laurels till reinforcements
arrive, but turns upon them instantly and drives them with headlong fury
from their spoils and defences. There is no Antietam or Williamshurg
procrastinating. That very afternoon his exhausted troops storm the
fort, and the night beholds him the master of the outer works, and with
his guns raking the innermost fortifications. This heroic treatment of
the disease of Rebellion, with all its loss, results in far less
fatality than the rose-water generalship of the Peninsula, as the
statistics of the Eastern and Western armies will show.

The peculiar qualities of General Grant, as seen in these battles, are
coolness, readiness, and confidence. He is not embarrassed by reverses.
He seems the rather to court them. He prefers to take arms against a sea
of troubles. He thinks little of rations, ambulances, Sanitary, and, we
fear, Christian Commissions, but much of victory. These creature and
spiritual comforts are all well enough in their place, but they do not
take batteries and redoubts. McClellan is the pet of his soldiers, Grant
the pride of his. McClellan cares for their bodies, Grant for their
fame. McClellan kills by kindness, Grant by courage.

This battle-book for boys will hold no unimportant place in the
war-library of the times. Its style is usually as limpid as the
camp-brooks by which much of it was written. In the heat of the contest
it becomes a succession of short, sharp sentences, as if the musketry
rang in the writer's brain and moulded and winged his thoughts. It is
calm in the midst of its intensity, and thus happily illustrates by its
popularity that self-control of the nation so well expressed by
Hawthorne,--that our movements are as cool and collected, if as noisy,
as that of a thousand gentlemen in a hall quietly rising at the same
moment from their chairs. The battle-grounds of Vicksburg,
Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and Chattanooga, all of which he saw, or by
subsequent study of the field has made his own, and descriptions of
which are promised in a companion-volume, will find no truer nor
worthier chronicler.

_A Compendious History of English Literature, and of the English
Language, from the Norman Conquest. With Numerous Specimens._ By GEORGE
L. CRAIK, LL.D., Professor of History and of English Literature in
Queen's College, Belfast. 2 vols. 8vo. New York: Charles Scribner.

This is a thorough and an exhaustive work, having for its subject that
which must be of perpetual and increasing interest to all those
colonists who, in different parts of the world, are founding nations
which shall inherit the imperial language, and therefore will be
entitled to claim a share in the literary glories of the mother-land.
Professor Craik is favorably known as the author of works that depend
chiefly upon industry for their worth; and this elaborate production
must add to the esteem in which his learned labors have long been held
in many quarters. He has left no portion of his subject untouched, but
affords to his readers a full and lucid account of every part of it,
according to the materials that are at the command of scholars. If
defective on any points, it is owing to the want of authorities. His
survey of English literature includes not only all writers of the first
class, but all who can be regarded as of any considerable distinction;
and he has noticed many names which have no pretension to be considered
as even of second-rate importance, but concerning which general readers
may be curious, though their curiosity may not carry them so far as to
induce them to hunt up their works. A book of reference, such as this
book must be to most of those who shall use it, is bound to make mention
of writers whose names are of rare occurrence, but who had their parts,
though they may have been insignificant ones, in building up their
country's literature. Of the great writers, Professor Craik devotes but
little space to Shakspeare and Milton, because their works are in
everybody's hands; while from Chaucer and Spenser, Swift and Burke,
ample specimens are given, the author assuming that their writings are
but little read. Indeed, he declares that the great poets and other
writers even of the last generation have already faded from the view of
the most numerous class of the educated and reading public,--and that
scarcely anything is generally read except the publications of the day.
He correctly remarks that no true cultivation can be acquired by reading
nothing but the current literature. This, he says, "is the extreme case
of that entire ignorance of history, or of what had been done in the
world before we ourselves came into it, which has been affirmed, not
with more point than truth, to leave a person always a child." No doubt;
but we think the learned Professor overrates the extent of that neglect
of the literature of the past of which he complains,--for the editions
of the works of writers long dead, published in the last twenty years,
are numerous, and we know that books are not printed for people who do
not care for them. The number of readers of contemporary works is small,
if we compare those readers with the population of any given country;
but there are more readers now than could be found in any other age, not
only of the books of the day, but of the books of the past.

This work combines the history of English Literature with the history of
the English Language. The author's scheme of the course is, as described
by himself, extremely simple, and rests, not upon arbitrary, but upon
natural or real distinctions, giving us the only view of the subject
that can claim to be regarded as of a scientific character. This part of
his work will be found very valuable, as it popularizes a subject which
has few attractions for most readers.

The volumes are printed with great beauty, and do credit to the
Riverside Press, from which they come.

_The Foederalist_: A Collection of Essays, written in Favor of the New
Constitution, as agreed upon by the Foederal Convention, September 17,
1787. Reprinted from the Original Text. With an Historical Introduction
and Notes, by HENRY DAWSON. In Two Volumes. Volume I. 8vo. New York:
Charles Scribner.

This volume contains the entire text of "The Federalist," with the notes
appended by the authors to their productions, preceded by an historical
and bibliographical Introduction, and an analytical Table of Contents;
in the second volume will appear the Notes prepared by Mr. Dawson, which
will embrace the more important of the alterations and corruptions of
the text, manuscript notes which have been found on the margins and
blank leaves of copies formerly owned by eminent statesmen, and other
illustrative matter, such as the author justly supposes will be useful
to those who may examine the text of the work, together with a complete
and carefully prepared Index. Mr. Dawson has devoted himself to the
preparation of this edition of "The Federalist," and labored diligently
to make it perfect, generally with success; but he is in error when he
says, in the Introduction, that there does not appear to be a copy of
the first edition of the work in any public library in Boston. There are
two copies of it in the Library of the Boston Athenaeum, both of which
we have seen. This mistake is an unhappy one, as it tends to shake our
faith in the accuracy of the editor's researches. Of "The Foederalist"
itself it is not necessary to say more than that it has the position of
an American classic, and that the political principles which it
advocates are of peculiar importance at this time, when the loyal
portion of the American people are engaged in a terrible struggle to
maintain the existence of that government which Hamilton and Madison
labored so diligently and successfully to establish. Mr. Dawson's
edition is one of rare excellence in everything that relates to
externals, and in this respect is beyond rivalry. An edition of "The
Foederalist," edited by John C. Hamilton, Esq., son of General
Hamilton, is announced to appear, and will undoubtedly be welcomed
warmly by all who feel an interest in the fame of the chief author of
the work, the man, next to Washington, to whom we are most indebted for
the establishment of our constitutional system of government.

       *       *       *       *       *



The Healing of the Nations. Second Series. By Charles Linton.
Philadelphia. Published by the Author. 8vo. pp. 363. $1.50.

Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools of Pennsylvania, for the
Year ending June 4, 1863. Harrisburg. Singerly & Myers, State Printers.
8vo. pp. xxxii., 287.

The Life and Services, as a Soldier, of Major-General Grant.
Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson & Brothers. 16mo. paper, pp. 66. 25 cts.

Of the Imitation of Christ. Four Books. By Thomas à Kempis. Boston. E.P.
Dutton & Co. 16mo. pp. 347. $1.25.

Redeemer and Redeemed. An Investigation of the Atonement and of Eternal
Judgment. By Charles Beecher, Georgetown, Mass. Boston. Lee & Shepard.
12mo. pp. xii., 357. $1.50.

The Irish Sketch-Book. By W.M. Thackeray. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson &
Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 179. 50 cts.

A Text-Book of Geology. Designed for Schools and Academies. By James D.
Dana, LL.D., Silliman Professor of Geology and Natural History in Yale
College, Author of "A Manual of Geology," etc. Illustrated by 375
Wood-Cuts. Philadelphia. Theodore Bliss & Co. 12mo. pp. vi., 354. $1.75.

The Book of Praise, from the Best English Hymn-Writers. Selected and
arranged by Roundell Palmer. Cambridge. Sever & Francis. 16mo. pp. xx.,
480. $1.50.

Dream-Children. By the Author of "Seven Little People and their
Friends." Cambridge. Sever & Francis. 16mo. pp. 241. $1.00.

Life of Edward Livingston. By Charles Havens Hunt. With an Introduction
by George Bancroft. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 8vo. pp. xxiv., 448.

Poems. By Henry Peterson. Philadelphia. J.B. Lippincott & Co. 12mo. pp.
203. $1.00.

Miscegenation. The Theory of the Blending of the Races, applied to the
American White Man and Negro. New York. H. Dexter, Hamilton, & Co. 12mo.
paper, pp. 72. 25 cts.

Hand-Book of Calisthenics and Gymnastics. A Complete Drill-Book for
Schools, Families, and Gymnasiums. With Music to accompany the
Exercises. Illustrated from Original Designs. By J. Madison Watson. New
York and Philadelphia. Schermerhorn, Bancroft, & Co. 12mo. pp. 388.

Rifled Ordnance. A Practical Treatise on the Application of the
Principle of the Rifle to Guns and Mortars of every Calibre. To which is
added a New Theory of the Initial Action and Force of Fired Gunpowder.
Read before the Royal Society, 16th December, 1858. First American, from
the Fifth English Edition, revised. By Lynall Thomas, F.R.S.L. New York.
D. Van Nostrand. 8vo. pp. 200. $2.00.

Report of the Engineer and Artillery Operations of the Army of the
Potomac, from its Organization to the Close of the Peninsular Campaign.
By Brigadier-General J.G. Barnard, Chief Engineer, and Brigadier-General
W.F. Barry, Chief of Artillery. Illustrated by Eighteen Maps, Plans,
etc. New York. D. Van Nostrand. 8vo. pp. 230. $3.50.

Poems in the Dorset Dialect. By William Barnes. Boston. Crosby &
Nichols. 16mo. pp. viii., 207. $1.00.

Faith and Fancy. By John Savage, Author of "Sibyl, a Tragedy." New York.
J.B. Kirker. 16mo. pp. 114. 75 cts.

The Great Consummation. The Millennial Rest; or, The World as it Will
Be. By the Rev. John Cumming, D.D., F.R.S.E., etc. Second Series. New
York. G.W. Carleton. 16mo. pp. 295. $1.00

The Indian Chief. By Gustavo Aimard. Philadelphia. T.B. Peterson &
Brothers. 8vo. paper, pp. 164. 50 cents.


[Footnote A: There are three accounts as to the time of the birth of
"St. Arnaud, formerly Leroy." That which makes him oldest represents him
as being fifty-eight at the Battle of the Alma. The second makes him
fifty-six, and the third fifty-three. In either case he was not a young
man; but, though suffering from mortal illness, he showed no want of
vigor on almost every occasion when its display was required.]

[Footnote B: The advocates of youth in generals have never, that we are
aware, claimed Hamilcar Barcas as one of the illustrations of their
argument; yet he must have been a very young man when he began his
extraordinary career, if, as has been stated on good authority, he was
not beyond the middle age when he lost his life in battle. He was a
great man, perhaps even as great a man as his son Hannibal, who did but
carry out his father's designs.]

[Footnote C: At Fontenoy the Duke of Cumberland was but half the age of
the Comte de Saxe. In that battle an English soldier was taken prisoner,
after fighting with heroic bravery. A French officer complimented him,
saying, that, if there had been fifty thousand men like him on the other
side, the victory would have been theirs. "No," said the Englishman, "it
was not the fifty thousand brave men who were wanting, but a Marshal
Saxe." Cumberland was ever unlucky, save at Culloden. Saxe was old
beyond his years, being one of the fastest of the fast men of his time,
as became the son of Augustus the Strong and Aurora von Königsmark.]

[Footnote D: Henry V. was present, as Prince of Wales, at the Battle of
Shrewsbury, before he was sixteen; and there is some reason for
supposing that he commanded the royal forces in the Battle of Grosmont,
fought and won in his eighteenth year. He was but twenty-eight at
Agincourt. Splendid as was his military career, it was all over before
he had reached to thirty-six years. The Black Prince was but sixteen at
Crécy, and in his twenty-seventh year at Poitiers. Edward IV. was not
nineteen when he won the great Battle of Towton, and that was not his
first battle and victory. He was always successful. Richard III., as
Duke of Gloucester, was not nineteen when he showed himself to be an
able soldier, at Barnet; and he proved his generalship on other fields.
William I., Henry I., Stephen, Henry II., Richard I., Edward I., Edward
III., Henry IV., and William III. were all distinguished soldiers. The
last English sovereign who took part in a battle was George II., at

[Footnote E: See _Norfolk County Records_, 1657; _New England Historical
and Genealogical Register_, No. II. p. 192. The moral lapse of the first
minister of Hampton at the age of fourscore is referred to in the third
number of the same periodical. Goody Cole, the Hampton witch, was twice
imprisoned for the alleged practice of her arts.]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 78, April, 1864" ***

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