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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 79, May, 1864
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 79, May, 1864" ***

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[Transcriber's note: Footnotes moved to end of text.]



THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

A MAGAZINE OF LITERATURE, ART, AND POLITICS.

VOL. XIII.--MAY, 1864.--NO. LXXIX.

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
Massachusetts.

       *       *       *       *       *

A CRUISE ON LAKE LADOGA.


"Dear Q.,--The steamboat Valamo is advertised to leave on Tuesday, the
26th, (July 8th, New Style,) for Serdopol, at the very head of Lake
Ladoga, stopping on the way at Schlüsselburg, Konewitz Island, Kexholm,
and the island and monastery of Valaam. The anniversary of Saints
Sergius and Herrmann, miracle-workers, will be celebrated at the
last-named place on Thursday, and the festival of the Apostles Peter and
Paul on Friday. If the weather is fine, the boat will take passengers to
the Holy Island. The fare is nine rubles for the trip. You can be back
again in St. Petersburg by six o'clock on Saturday evening. Provisions
can be had on board, but (probably) not beds; so, if you are luxurious
in this particular, take along your own sheets, pillow-cases, and
blankets. I intend going, and depend upon your company. Make up your
mind by ten o'clock, when I will call for your decision.

"Yours,

"P."

I laid down the note, looked at my watch, and found that I had an hour
for deliberation before P.'s arrival. "Lake Ladoga?" said I to myself;
"it is the largest lake in Europe,--I learned that at school. It is full
of fish; it is stormy; and the Neva is its outlet. What else?" I took
down a geographical dictionary, and obtained the following additional
particulars: The name _Lad'oga_ (not _Lado'ga,_ as it is pronounced in
America) is Finnish, and means "new." The lake lies between 60° and 61°
45' north latitude, is 175 versts--about 117 miles--in length, from
north to south, and 100 versts in breadth; receives the great river
Volkhoff on the south, the Svir, which pours into it the waters of Lake
Onega, on the east, and the overflow of nearly half the lakes of
Finland, on the west; and is, in some parts, fourteen hundred feet deep.

Vainly, however, did I ransack my memory for the narrative of any
traveller who had beheld and described this lake. The red hand-book,
beloved of tourists, did not even deign to notice its existence. The
more I meditated on the subject, the more I became convinced that here
was an untrodden corner of the world, lying within easy reach of a great
capital, yet unknown to the eyes of conventional sight-seers. The name
of Valaam suggested that of Barlaam, in Thessaly, likewise a Greek
monastery; and though I had never heard of Sergius and Herrmann, the
fact of their choosing such a spot was the beginning of a curious
interest in their history. The very act of poring over a map excites the
imagination: I fell into conjectures about the scenery, vegetation, and
inhabitants, and thus, by the time P. arrived, was conscious of a
violent desire to make the cruise with him. To our care was confided an
American youth, whom I shall call R.,--we three being, as we afterwards
discovered, the first of our countrymen to visit the northern portion of
the lake.

The next morning, although it was cloudy and raw, R. and I rose betimes,
and were jolted on a _droshky_ through the long streets to the Valamo's
landing-place. We found a handsome English-built steamer, with tonnage
and power enough for the heaviest squalls, and an after-cabin so
comfortable that all our anticipations of the primitive modes of travel
were banished at once. As men not ashamed of our health, we had decided
to omit the sheets and pillow-cases, and let the tooth-brush answer as
an evidence of our high civilization; but the broad divans and velvet
cushions of the cabin brought us back to luxury in spite of ourselves.
The captain, smoothly shaven and robust, as befitted his
station,--English in all but his eyes, which were thoroughly
Russian,--gave us a cordial welcome in passable French. P. drove up
presently, and the crowd on the floating pier rapidly increased, as the
moment of departure approached. Our fellow-pilgrims were mostly peasants
and deck--passengers: two or three officers, and a score of the
bourgeois, were divided, according to their means, between the first and
second cabins. There were symptoms of crowding, and we hastened to put
in preëmption-claims for the bench on the port--side, distributing our
travelling sacks and pouches along it, as a guard against squatters. The
magic promise of _na chaï_ (something to buy tea with) further inspired
the waiters with a peculiar regard for our interest, so that, leaving
our important possessions in their care, we went on deck to witness the
departure.

By this time the Finnish sailors were hauling in the slack hawsers, and
the bearded stevedores on the floating quay tugged at the gangway. Many
of our presumed passengers had only come to say good-bye, which they
were now waving and shouting from the shore. The rain fell dismally, and
a black, hopeless sky settled down upon the Neva. But the Northern
summer, we knew, is as fickle as the Southern April, and we trusted that
Sergius and Herrmann, the saints of Valaam, would smooth for us the
rugged waters of Ladoga. At last the barking little bell ceased to snarl
at the tardy pilgrims. The swift current swung our bow into the stream,
and, as we moved away, the crowd on deck uncovered their heads, not to
the bowing friends on the quay, but to the spire of a church which rose
to view behind the houses fronting the Neva. Devoutly crossing
themselves with the joined three fingers, symbolical of the Trinity,
they doubtless murmured a prayer for the propitious completion of the
pilgrimage, to which, I am sure, we could have readily echoed the amen.

The Valamo was particularly distinguished, on this occasion, by a flag
at the fore, carrying the white Greek cross on a red field. This
proclaimed her mission as she passed along, and the bells of many a
little church pealed God-speed to her and her passengers. The latter, in
spite of the rain, thronged the deck, and continually repeated their
devotions to the shrines on either bank. On the right, the starry domes
of the Smolnoi, rising from the lap of a linden--grove, flashed upon us;
then, beyond the long front of the college of _demoiselles nobles_ and
the military storehouses, we hailed the silver hemispheres which canopy
the tomb and shrine of St. Alexander of the Neva. On the left, huge
brick factories pushed back the gleaming groves of birch, which flowed
around and between them, to dip their hanging boughs in the river; but
here and there peeped out the bright green cupolas of some little
church, none of which, I was glad to see, slipped out of the panorama
without its share of reverence.

For some miles we sailed between a double row of contiguous villages,--a
long suburb of the capital, which stretched on and on, until the slight
undulations of the shore showed that we had left behind us the dead
level of the Ingrian marshes. It is surprising what an interest one
takes in the slightest mole-hill, after living for a short time on a
plain. You are charmed with an elevation which enables you to look over
your neighbor's hedge. I once heard a clergyman, in his sermon, assert
that "the world was perfectly smooth before the fall of Adam, and the
present inequalities in its surface were the evidences of human sin." I
was a boy at the time, and I thought to myself, "How fortunate it is
that we are sinners!" Peter the Great, however, had no choice left him.
The piles he drove in these marshes were the surest foundation of his
empire.

The Neva, in its sudden and continual windings, in its clear, cold,
sweet water, and its fringing groves of birch, maple, and alder,
compensates, in a great measure, for the flatness of its shores. It has
not the slow magnificence of the Hudson or the rush of the Rhine, but
carries with it a sense of power, of steady, straightforward force, like
that of the ancient warriors who disdained all clothing except their
swords. Its naked river-god is not even crowned with reeds, but the full
flow of his urn rolls forth undiminished by summer and unchecked beneath
its wintry lid. Outlets of large lakes frequently exhibit this
characteristic, and the impression they make upon the mind does not
depend on the scenery through which they flow. Nevertheless, we
discovered many points the beauty of which was not blotted out by rain
and cloud, and would have shone freshly and winningly under the touch of
the sun. On the north bank there is a palace of Potemkin, (or
Potchómkin, as his name is pronounced in Russian,) charmingly placed at
a bend, whence it looks both up and down the river. The gay color of the
building, as of most of the _datchas_, or country-villas, in Russia,
makes a curious impression upon the stranger. Until he has learned to
accept it as a portion of the landscape, the effect is that of a scenic
design on the part of the builder. These dwellings, these villages and
churches, he thinks, are scarcely intended to be permanent: they were
erected as part of some great dramatic spectacle, which has been, or is
to be, enacted under the open sky. Contrasted with the sober,
matter-of-fact aspect of dwellings in other countries, they have the
effect of temporary decorations. But when one has entered within these
walls of green and blue and red arabesques, inspected their thickness,
viewed the ponderous porcelain stores, tasted, perhaps, the bountiful
cheer of the owner, he realizes their palpable comforts, and begins to
suspect that all the external adornment is merely an attempt to restore
to Nature that coloring of which she is stripped by the cold sky of the
North.

A little farther on, there is a summer villa of the Empress
Catharine,--a small, modest building, crowning a slope of green turf.
Beyond this, the banks are draped with foliage, and the thinly clad
birches, with their silver stems, shiver above the rush of the waters.
We, also, began to shiver under the steadily falling rain, and retreated
to the cabin on the steward's first hint of dinner. A _table d'hôte_ of
four courses was promised us, including the preliminary _zakouski_ and
the supplementary coffee,--all for sixty _copéks_, which is about
forty-five cents. The _zakouski_ is an arrangement peculiar to Northern
countries, and readily adopted by foreigners. In Sweden it is called the
_smörgås_, or "butter-goose" but the American term (if we had the
custom) would be "the whetter." On a side-table there are various plates
of anchovies, cheese, chopped onions, raw salt herring, and bread, all
in diminutive slices, while glasses of corresponding size surround a
bottle of _kümmel_, or cordial of caraway-seed. This, at least, was the
_zakouski_ on board the Valamo, and to which our valiant captain
addressed himself, after first bowing and crossing himself towards the
Byzantine Christ and Virgin in either corner of the cabin. We, of
course, followed his example, finding our appetites, if not improved,
certainly not at all injured thereby. The dinner which followed far
surpassed our expectations. The national _shchee_, or cabbage-soup, is
better than the sound of its name; the fish, fresh from the cold Neva,
is sure to be well cooked where it forms an important article of diet;
and the partridges were accompanied by those plump little Russian
cucumbers, which are so tender and flavorous that they deserve to be
called fruit rather than vegetables.

When we went on deck to light our Riga cigars, the boat was approaching
Schlüsselburg, at the outlet of the lake. Here the Neva, just born,
sweeps in two broad arms around the island which bears the
Key-Fortress,--the key by which Peter opened this river-door to the Gulf
of Finland. The pretty town of the same name is on the south bank, and
in the centre of its front yawn the granite gates of the canal which,
for a hundred versts, skirts the southern shore of the lake, forming,
with the Volkhoff River and another canal beyond, a summer communication
with the vast regions watered by the Volga and its affluents. The Ladoga
Canal, by which the heavy barges laden with hemp from Mid-Russia, and
wool from the Ural, and wood from the Valdaï Hills, avoid the sudden
storms of the lake, was also the work of Peter the Great. I should have
gone on shore to inspect the locks, but for the discouraging persistence
of the rain. Huddled against the smoke-stack, we could do nothing but
look on the draggled soldiers and _mujiks_ splashing through the mud,
the low yellow fortress, which has long outlived its importance, and the
dark-gray waste of lake which loomed in front, suggestive of rough water
and kindred abominations.

There it was, at last,--Lake Ladoga,--and now our prow turns to unknown
regions. We steamed past the fort, past a fleet of brigs, schooners, and
brigantines, with huge, rounded stems and sterns, laden with wood from
the Wolkonskoi forests, and boldly entered the gray void of fog and
rain. The surface of the lake was but slightly agitated, as the wind
gradually fell and a thick mist settled on the water. Hour after hour
passed away, as we rushed onward through the blank, and we naturally
turned to our fellow-passengers in search of some interest or diversion
to beguile the time. The heavy-bearded, peasants and their
weather-beaten wives were scattered around the deck in various
attitudes, some of the former asleep on their backs, with open mouths,
beside the smoke-stack. There were many picturesque figures among them,
and, if I possessed the quick pencil of Kaulbach, I might have filled a
dozen leaver of my sketch-book. The _bourgeoisie_ were huddled on the
quarter-deck benches, silent, and fearful of sea-sickness. But a very
bright, intelligent young officer turned up, who had crossed the Ural,
and was able to entertain us with an account of the splendid
sword-blades of Zlatáoust. He was now on his way to the copper mines of
Pitkaranda, on the northeastern shore of the lake.

About nine o'clock in the evening, although still before sunset, the fog
began to darken, and I was apprehensive that we should have some
difficulty in finding the island of Konewitz, which was to be our
stopping-place for the night. The captain ordered the engine to be
slowed, and brought forward a brass half-pounder, about a foot long,
which was charged and fired. In less than a minute after the report, the
sound of a deep, solemn bell boomed in the mist, dead ahead. Instantly
every head was uncovered, and the rustle of whispered prayers fluttered
over the deck, as the pilgrims bowed and crossed themselves. Nothing was
to be seen; but, stroke after stroke, the hollow sounds, muffled and
blurred in the opaque atmosphere, were pealed out by the guiding bell.
Presently a chime of smaller bells joined in a rapid accompaniment,
growing louder and clearer as we advanced. The effect was startling.
After voyaging for hours over the blank water, this sudden and solemn
welcome, sounded from some invisible tower, assumed a mystic and
marvellous character. Was it not rather the bells of a city ages ago
submerged, and now sending its ghostly summons up to the pilgrims
passing over its crystal grave?

Finally a tall mast, its height immensely magnified by the fog, could be
distinguished; then the dark hulk of a steamer, a white gleam of sand
through the fog, indistinct outlines of trees, a fisherman's hut, and a
landing-place. The bells still rang out from some high station near at
hand, but unseen. We landed as soon as the steamer had made fast, and
followed the direction of the sound. A few paces from the beach stood a
little chapel, open, and with a lamp burning before its brown Virgin and
Child. Here our passengers stopped, and made a brief prayer before going
on. Two or three beggars, whose tattered dresses of tow suggested the
idea of their having clothed themselves with the sails of shipwrecked
vessels, bowed before us so profoundly and reverently that we at first
feared they had mistaken us for the shrines. Following an avenue of
trees, up a gentle eminence, the tall white towers and green domes of a
stately church gradually detached themselves from the mist, and we found
ourselves at the portal of the monastery. A group of monks, in the usual
black robes, and high, cylindrical caps of crape, the covering of which
overlapped and fell upon their shoulders, were waiting, apparently to
receive visitors. Recognizing us as foreigners, they greeted us with
great cordiality, and invited us to take up our quarters for the night
in the house appropriated to guests. We desired, however, to see the
church before the combined fog and twilight should make it too dark; so
a benevolent old monk led the way, hand in hand with P., across the
court-yard.

The churches of the Greek faith present a general resemblance in their
internal decorations. There is a glitter of gold, silver, and flaring
colors in the poorest. Statues are not permitted, but the pictures of
dark Saviours and Saints are generally covered with a drapery of silver,
with openings for the head and hands. Konewitz, however, boasts of a
special sanctity, in possessing the body of Saint Arsenius, the founder
of the monastery. His remains are inclosed in a large coffin of silver,
elaborately chased. It was surrounded, as we entered, by a crowd of
kneeling pilgrims; the tapers burned beside it, and at the various
altars; the air was thick with incense, and the great bell still boomed
from the misty tower. Behind us came a throng of our own
deck-passengers, who seemed to recognize the proper shrines by a sort of
devotional instinct, and were soon wholly absorbed in their prayers and
prostrations. It is very evident to me that the Russian race requires
the formulas of the Eastern Church; a fondness for symbolic ceremonies
and observances is far more natural to its character than to the nations
of Latin or Saxon blood. In Southern Europe the peasant will exchange
merry salutations while dipping his fingers in the holy water, or turn
in the midst of his devotions to inspect a stranger; but the Russian, at
such times, appears lost to the world. With his serious eyes fixed on
the shrine or picture, or, maybe, the spire of a distant church, his
face suddenly becomes rapt and solemn, and no lurking interest in
neighboring things interferes with its expression.

One of the monks, who spoke a little French, took us into his cell. He
was a tall, frail man of thirty-five, with a wasted face, and brown hair
flowing over his shoulders, like most of his brethren of the same age.
In those sharp, earnest features, one could see that the battle was not
yet over. The tendency to corpulence does not appear until after the
rebellious passions have been either subdued, or pacified by compromise.
The cell was small, but neat and cheerful, on the ground-floor, with a
window opening on the court, and a hard, narrow pallet against the wall.
There was also a little table, with books, sacred pictures, and a bunch
of lilacs in water. The walls were whitewashed, and the floor cleanly
swept. The chamber was austere, certainly, but in no wise repulsive.

It was now growing late, and only the faint edges of the twilight
glimmered overhead, through the fog. It was not night, but a sort of
eclipsed day, not much darker than our winter days under an overcast
sky. We returned to the tower, where an old monk took us in charge.
Beside the monastery is a special building for guests, a room in which
was offered to us. It was so clean and pleasant, and the three broad
sofa-couches with leather cushions looked so inviting, that we decided
to sleep there, in preference to the crowded cabin. Our supply of
shawls, moreover, enabled us to enjoy the luxury of undressing. Before
saying good-night, the old monk placed his hand upon R.'s head. "We have
matins at three o'clock," said he; "when you hear the bell, get up, and
come to the church: it will bring blessing to you." We were soon buried
in a slumber which lacked darkness to make it profound. At two o'clock,
the sky was so bright that I thought it six, and fell asleep again,
determined to make three hours before I stopped. But presently the big
bell began to swing: stroke after stroke, it first aroused, but was fast
lulling me, when the chimes struck in and sang all manner of incoherent
and undevout lines. The brain at last grew weary of this, when, close to
our door, a little, petulant, impatient bell commenced barking for dear
life. R. muttered and twisted in his sleep, and brushed away the sound
several times from his upper ear, while I covered mine,--but to no
purpose. The sharp, fretful jangle went through shawls and cushions, and
the fear of hearing it more distinctly prevented me from rising for
matins. Our youth, also, missed his promised blessing, and so we slept
until the sun was near five hours high,--that is, seven o'clock.

The captain promised to leave for Kexholm at eight, which left us only
an hour for a visit to the _Konkamen_, or Horse-Rock, distant a mile, in
the woods. P. engaged as guide a long-haired acolyte, who informed us
that he had formerly been a lithographer in St. Petersburg. We did not
ascertain the cause of his retirement from the world: his features were
too commonplace to suggest a romance. Through the mist, which still hung
heavy on the lake, we plunged into the fir-wood, and hurried on over its
uneven carpet of moss and dwarf whortleberries. Small gray boulders then
began to crop out, and gradually became so thick that the trees thrust
them aside as they grew. All at once the wood opened on a rye-field
belonging to the monks, and a short turn to the right brought us to a
huge rock, of irregular shape, about forty feet in diameter by twenty in
height. The crest overhung the base on all sides except one, up which a
wooden staircase led to a small square chapel perched upon the summit.

The legends attached to this rock are various, but the most authentic
seems to be, that in the ages when the Carelians were still heathen,
they were accustomed to place their cattle upon this island in summer,
as a protection against the wolves, first sacrificing a horse upon the
rock. Whether their deity was the Perun of the ancient Russians or the
Jumala of the Finns is not stated; the inhabitants at the present day
say, of course, the Devil. The name of the rock may also be translated
"Petrified Horse," and some have endeavored to make out a resemblance to
that animal, in its form. Our acolyte, for instance, insisted thereupon,
and argued very logically--"Why, if you omit the head and legs, you
must see that it is exactly like a horse." The peasants say that the
Devil had his residence in the stone, and point to a hole which he made,
on being forced by the exorcisms of Saint Arsenius to take his
departure. A reference to the legend is also indicated in the name of
the island, Konewitz,--which our friend, the officer, gave to me in
French as _Chevalisé_, or, in literal English, _The Horsefied_.

The stones and bushes were dripping from the visitation of the mist, and
the mosquitoes were busy with my face and hands while I made a rapid
drawing of the place. The quick chimes of the monastery, through which
we fancied we could hear the warning boat-bell, suddenly pierced through
the forest, recalling us. The Valamo had her steam up, when we arrived,
and was only waiting for her rival, the Letuchie (Flyer), to get out of
our way. As we moved from the shore, a puff of wind blew away the fog,
and the stately white monastery, crowned with its bunch of green domes,
stood for a moment clear and bright in the morning sun. Our pilgrims
bent, bareheaded, in devotional farewell; the golden crosses sparkled an
answer, and, the fog rushed down again like a falling curtain.

We steered nearly due north, making for Kexholm, formerly a frontier
Swedish town, at the mouth of the River Wuoxen. For four hours it was a
tantalizing struggle between mist and sunshine,--a fair blue sky
overhead, and a dense cloud sticking to the surface of the lake. The
western shore, though near at hand, was not visible; but our captain,
with his usual skill, came within a quarter of a mile of the channel
leading to the landing-place. The fog seemed to consolidate into the
outline of trees; hard land was gradually formed, as we approached; and
as the two river-shores finally inclosed us, the air cleared, and long,
wooded hills arose in the distance. Before us lay a single wharf, with
three wooden buildings leaning against a hill of sand.

"But where is Kexholm?"

"A verst inland," says the captain; "and I will give you just half an
hour to see it."

There were a score of peasants, with clumsy two-wheeled carts and shaggy
ponies at the landing. Into one of these we clambered, gave the word of
command, and were whirled off at a gallop. There may have been some
elasticity in the horse, but there certainly was none in the cart. It
was a perfect conductor, and the shock with which it passed over stones
and leaped ruts was instantly communicated to the _os sacrum_, passing
thence along the vertebræ, to discharge itself in the teeth. Our driver
was a sunburnt Finn, who was bent upon performing his share of the
contract, in order that he might afterwards with a better face demand a
ruble. On receiving just the half, however, he put it into his pocket,
without a word of remonstrance.

"_Suomi?_" I asked, calling up a Finnish word with an effort.

"_Suomi-laïnen_" he answered, proudly enough, though the exact meaning
is, "I am a Swamplander."

Kexholm, which was founded in 1295, has attained since then a population
of several hundreds. Grass grows between the cobble-stones of its broad
streets, but the houses are altogether so bright, so clean, so
substantially comfortable, and the geraniums and roses peeping out
between snowy curtains in almost every window suggested such cozy
interiors, that I found myself quite attracted towards the plain little
town. "Here," said I to P., "is a nook which is really out of the world.
No need of a monastery, where you have such perfect seclusion, and the
indispensable solace of natural society to make it endurable." Pleasant
faces occasionally looked out, curiously, at the impetuous strangers:
had they known our nationality, I fancy the whole population would have
run together. Reaching the last house, nestled among twinkling
birch-trees on a bend of the river beyond, we turned about, and made for
the fortress,--another conquest of the Great Peter. Its low ramparts
had a shabby, neglected look; an old drawbridge spanned the moat, and
there was no sentinel to challenge us as we galloped across. In and out
again, and down the long, quiet street, and over the jolting level to
the top of the sandhill,--we had seen Kexholm in half an hour.

At the mouth of the river still lay the fog, waiting for us, now and
then stretching a ghostly arm over the woods and then withdrawing it,
like a spirit of the lake, longing and yet timid to embrace the land.
With the Wuoxen come down the waters of the Saïma, that great, irregular
lake, which, with its innumerable arms, extends for a hundred and fifty
miles into the heart of Finland, clasping the forests and mountains of
Savolax, where the altar-stones of Jumala still stand in the shade of
sacred oaks, and the song of the Kalewala is sung by the descendants of
Waïnamöinen. I registered a vow to visit those Finnish solitudes, as we
shot out upon the muffled lake, heading for the holy isles of Valaam.
This was the great point of interest in our cruise, the shrine of our
pilgrim-passengers. We had heard so little of these islands before
leaving St. Petersburg, and so much since, that our curiosity was keenly
excited; and thus, though too well seasoned by experience to worry
unnecessarily, the continuance of the fog began to disgust us. We shall
creep along as yesterday, said we, and have nothing of Valaam but the
sound of its bells. The air was intensely raw; the sun had disappeared,
and the bearded peasants again slept, with open mouths, on the deck.

Saints Sergius and Herrmann, however, were not indifferent either to
them or to us. About the middle of the afternoon we suddenly and
unexpectedly sailed out of the fog, passing, in the distance of a ship's
length, in to a clear atmosphere, with a far, sharp horizon! The
nuisance of the lake lay behind us, a steep, opaque, white wall. Before
us, rising in bold cliffs from the water and dark with pines, were the
islands of Valaam. Off went hats and caps, and the crowd on deck bent
reverently towards the consecrated shores. As we drew near, the granite
fronts of the separate isles detached themselves from the plane in which
they were blended, and thrust boldly out between the dividing inlets of
blue water; the lighter green of birches and maples mingled with the
sombre woods of coniferæ; but the picture, with all its varied features,
was silent and lonely. No sail shone over the lake, no boat was hauled
up between the tumbled masses of rock, no fisher's hut sat in the
sheltered coves,--only, at the highest point of the cliff, a huge wooden
cross gleamed white against the trees.

As we drew around to the northern shore, point came out behind point,
all equally bold with rock, dark with pines, and destitute of any sign
of habitation. We were looking forward, over the nearest headland, when,
all at once, a sharp glitter, through the tops of the pines, struck our
eyes. A few more turns of the paddles, and a bulging dome of gold
flashed splendidly in the sun! Our voyage, thus far, had been one of
surprises, and this was not the least. Crowning a slender, pointed roof,
its connection with the latter was not immediately visible: it seemed to
spring into the air and hang there, like a marvellous meteor shot from
the sun. Presently, however, the whole building appeared,--an hexagonal
church, of pale-red brick, the architecture of which was an admirable
reproduction of the older Byzantine forms. It stood upon a rocky islet,
on either side of which a narrow channel communicated with a deep cove,
cleft between walls of rock.

Turning in towards the first of these channels, we presently saw the
inlet of darkest-blue water, pushing its way into the heart of the
island. Crowning its eastern bank, and about half a mile distant, stood
an immense mass of buildings, from the centre of which tall white towers
and green cupolas shot up against the sky. This was the monastery of
Valaam. Here, in the midst of this lonely lake, on the borders of the
Arctic Zone, in the solitude of unhewn forests, was one of those
palaces which Religion is so fond of rearing, to show her humility. In
the warm afternoon sunshine, and the singular luxuriance of vegetation
which clothed the terraces of rock on either hand, we forgot the high
latitude, and, but for the pines in the rear, could have fancied
ourselves approaching some cove of Athos or Euboea. The steamer ran so
near the rocky walls that the trailing branches of the birch almost
swept her deck; every ledge traversing their gray, even masonry, was
crowded with wild red pinks, geranium, saxifrage, and golden-flowered
purslane; and the air, wonderfully pure and sweet in itself, was
flavored with delicate woodland odors. On the other side, under the
monastery, was an orchard of large apple-trees in full bloom, on a shelf
near the water; above them grew huge oaks and maples, heavy with their
wealth of foliage; and over the tops of these the level coping of the
precipice, with a balustrade, upon which hundreds of pilgrims, who had
arrived before us, were leaning and looking down.

Beyond this point, the inlet widened into a basin where the steamer had
room to turn around. Here we found some forty or fifty boats moored to
the bank, while the passengers they had brought (principally from the
eastern shore of the lake, and the district lying between it and Onega)
were scattered over the heights. The captain pointed out to us a
stately, two-story brick edifice, some three hundred feet long, flanking
the monastery, as the house for guests. Another of less dimensions, on
the hill in front of the landing-place, appeared to be appropriated
especially to the use of the peasants. A rich succession of musical
chimes pealed down to us from the belfry, as if in welcome, and our
deck-load of pilgrims crossed themselves in reverent congratulation as
they stepped upon the sacred soil.

We had determined to go on with our boat to Serdopol, at the head of the
lake, returning the next morning in season for the solemnities of the
anniversary. Postponing, therefore, a visit to the church and monastery,
we climbed to the summit of the bluff, and beheld the inlet in all its
length and depth, from the open, sunny expanse of the lake to the dark
strait below us, where the overhanging trees of the opposite cliffs
almost touched above the water. The honeyed bitter of lilac and apple
blossoms in the garden below steeped the air; and as I inhaled the
scent, and beheld the rich green crowns of the oaks which grew at the
base of the rocks, I appreciated the wisdom of Sergius and Herrmann that
led them to pick out this bit of privileged summer, which seems to have
wandered into the North from a region ten degrees nearer the sun. It is
not strange if the people attribute miraculous powers to them; naturally
mistaking the cause of their settlement on Valaam for its effect.

The deck was comparatively deserted, as we once more entered the lake.
There were two or three new passengers, however, one of whom inspired me
with a mild interest. He was a St. Petersburger, who, according to his
own account, had devoted himself to Art, and, probably for that reason,
felt constrained to speak in the language of sentiment. "I enjoy above
all things," said he to me, "communion with Nature. My soul is uplifted,
when I find myself removed from the haunts of men. I live an ideal life,
and the world grows more beautiful to me every year." Now there was
nothing objectionable in this, except his saying it. Those are only
shallow emotions which one imparts to every stranger at the slightest
provocation. Your true lover of Nature is as careful of betraying his
passion as the young man who carries a first love in his heart. But my
companion evidently delighted in talking of his feelings on this point.
His voice was soft and silvery, his eyes gentle, and his air
languishing; so that, in spite of a heavy beard, the impression he made
was remarkably smooth and unmasculine. I involuntarily turned to one of
the young Finnish sailors, with his handsome, tanned face, quick,
decided movements, and clean, elastic limbs, and felt, instinctively,
that what we most value in every man, above even culture or genius, is
the stamp of sex,--the asserting, self-reliant, conquering air which
marks the male animal. Wide-awake men (and women, too) who know what
this element is, and means, will agree with me, and prefer the sharp
twang of true fibre to the most exquisite softness and sweetness that
were ever produced by sham refinement.

After some fifteen or twenty miles from the island, we approached the
rocky archipelago in which the lake terminates at its northern end,--a
gradual transition from water to land. Masses of gray granite, wooded
wherever the hardy Northern firs could strike root, rose on all sides,
divided by deep and narrow channels. "This is the _scheer_," said our
captain, using a word which recalled to my mind, at once, the Swedish
_skär_, and the English _skerry_, used alike to denote a coast-group of
rocky islets. The rock encroached more and more as we advanced; and
finally, as if sure of its victory over the lake, gave place, here and
there, to levels of turf, gardens, and cottages. Then followed a calm,
land-locked basin, surrounded with harvest-fields, and the spire of
Serdopol arose before us.

Of this town I may report that it is called, in Finnish, _Sordovala_,
and was founded about the year 1640. Its history has no doubt been very
important to its inhabitants, but I do not presume that it would be
interesting to the world, and therefore spare myself a great deal of
laborious research. Small as it is, and so secluded that Ladoga seems a
world's highway in comparison with its quiet harbor, it nevertheless
holds three races and three languages in its modest bounds. The
government and Its tongue are Russian; the people are mostly Finnish,
with a very thin upper-crust of Swedish tradition, whence the latter
language is cultivated as a sign of aristocracy.

We landed on a broad wooden pier, and entered the town through a crowd
which was composed of all these elements. There was to be a fair on the
morrow, and from the northern shore of the lake, as well as the wild
inland region towards the Saïma, the people had collected for trade,
gossip, and festivity. Children in ragged garments of hemp, bleached
upon their bodies, impudently begged for pocket-money; women in scarlet
kerchiefs curiously scrutinized us; peasants carried bundles of freshly
mown grass to the horses which were exposed for sale; ladies with
Hungarian hats crushed their crinolines into queer old cabriolets;
gentlemen with business-faces and an aspect of wealth smoked paper
cigars; and numbers of hucksters offered baskets of biscuit and cakes,
of a disagreeable yellow color and great apparent toughness. It was a
repetition, with slight variations, of a village-fair anywhere else, or
an election-day in America.

Passing through the roughly paved and somewhat dirty streets, past shops
full of primitive hardware, groceries which emitted powerful whiffs of
salt fish or new leather, bakeries with crisp padlocks of bread in the
windows, drinking-houses plentifully supplied with _qvass_ and _vodki_,
and, finally, the one watch-maker, and the vender of paper, pens, and
Finnish almanacs, we reached a broad suburban street, whose substantial
houses, with their courts and gardens, hinted at the aristocracy of
Serdopol. The inn, with its Swedish sign, was large and comfortable, and
a peep into the open windows disclosed as pleasant quarters as a
traveller could wish. A little farther the town ceased, and we found
ourselves upon a rough, sloping common, at the top of which stood the
church with its neighboring belfry. It was unmistakably Lutheran in
appearance,--very plain and massive and sober in color, with a steep
roof for shedding snow. The only attempt at ornament was a fanciful
shingle-mosaic, but in pattern only, not in color. Across the common ran
a double row of small booths, which had just been erected for the coming
fair; and sturdy young fellows from the country, with their rough carts
and shaggy ponies, were gathering along the highway, to skirmish a
little in advance of their bargains.

The road enticed us onward, into the country. On our left, a long slope
descended to an upper arm of the harbor, the head of which we saw to be
near at hand. The opposite shore was fairly laid out in grain-fields,
through which cropped out, here and there, long walls of granite, rising
higher and higher towards the west, until they culminated in the round,
hard forehead of a lofty hill. There was no other point within easy
reach which promised much of a view; so, rounding the head of the bay,
we addressed ourselves to climbing the rocks, somewhat to the surprise
of the herd-boys, as they drove their cows into the town to be milked.

Once off the cultivated land, we found the hill a very garden of wild
blooms. Every step and shelf of the rocks was cushioned with tricolored
violets, white anemones, and a succulent, moss-like plant with a golden
flower. Higher up there were sheets of fire-red pinks, and on the summit
an unbroken carpet of the dwarf whortleberry, with its waxen bells.
Light exhalations seemed to rise from the damp hollows, and drift
towards us; but they resolved themselves into swarms of mosquitoes, and
would have made the hill-top untenable, had they not been dispersed by a
sudden breeze. We sat down upon a rock and contemplated the widespread
panorama. It was nine o'clock, and the sun, near his setting, cast long
gleams of pale light through the clouds, softening the green of the
fields and forests where they fell, and turning the moist evening haze
into lustrous pearl. Inlets of the lake here and there crept in between
the rocky hills; broad stretches of gently undulating grain-land were
dotted with the houses, barns, and clustered stables of the Finnish
farmers; in the distance arose the smokes of two villages; and beyond
all, as we looked inland, ran the sombre ridges of the fir-clad hills.
Below us, on the right, the yellow houses of the town shone in the
subdued light,--the only bright spot in the landscape, which elsewhere
seemed to be overlaid with a tint of dark, transparent gray. It was
wonderfully silent. Not a bird twittered; no bleat of sheep or low of
cattle was heard from the grassy fields; no shout of children, or
evening hail from the returning boats of the fishers. Over all the land
brooded an atmosphere of sleep, of serene, perpetual peace. To sit and
look upon it was in itself a refreshment like that of healthy slumber.
The restless devil which lurks in the human brain was quieted for the
time, and we dreamed--knowing all the while the vanity of the dream--of
a pastoral life in some such spot, among as ignorant and simple-hearted
a people, ourselves as untroubled by the agitations of the world.

We had scarce inhaled--or, rather, _insuded_, to coin a paradoxical word
for a sensation which seems to enter at every pore--the profound quiet
and its suggestive fancies for the space of half an hour, when the wind
fell at the going down of the sun, and the humming mist of mosquitoes
arose again. Returning to the town, we halted at the top of the common
to watch the farmers of the neighborhood at their horse-dealing. Very
hard, keen, weather-browned faces had they, eyes tight-set for the main
chance, mouths worn thin by biting farthings, and hands whose hard
fingers crooked with holding fast what they had earned. Faces almost of
the Yankee type, many of them, but relieved by the twinkling of a
humorous faculty or the wild gleam of imagination. The shaggy little
horses, of a dun or dull tan-color, seemed to understand that their best
performance was required, and rushed up and down the road with an
amazing exhibition of mettle. I could understand nothing of the Finnish
tongue except its music; but it was easy to perceive that the remarks of
the crowd were shrewd, intelligent, and racy. One young fellow, less
observant, accosted us in the hope that we might be purchasers. The
boys, suspecting that we were as green as we were evidently foreign,
held out their hands for alms, with a very unsuccessful air of
distress, but readily succumbed to the Russian interjection "_proch"_
(be off!) the repetition of which, they understood, was a reproach.

That night we slept on the velvet couches of the cabin, having the
spacious apartment to ourselves. The bright young officer had left for
the copper mines, the pilgrims were at Valaam, and our stout, benignant
captain looked upon us as his only faithful passengers. The stewards,
indeed, carried their kindness beyond reasonable anticipations. They
brought us real pillows and other conveniences, bolted the doors against
nightly intruders, and in the morning conducted us into the pantry, to
wash our faces in the basin sacred to dishes. After I had completed my
ablutions, I turned dumbly, with dripping face and extended hands, for a
towel. My steward understood the silent appeal, and, taking a napkin
from a plate of bread, presented it with alacrity. I made use of it, I
confess, but hastened out of the pantry, lest I should happen to see it
restored to its former place. _How not to observe_ is a faculty as
necessary to the traveller as its reverse. I was reminded of this truth
at dinner, when I saw the same steward take a napkin (probably my
towel!) from under his arm, to wipe both his face and a plate which he
carried. To speak mildly, these people on Lake Ladoga are not sensitive
in regard to the contact of individualities. But the main point is to
avoid seeing what you don't like.

We got off at an early hour, and hastened back to Valaam over glassy
water and under a superb sky. This time the lake was not so deserted,
for the white wings of pilgrim-boats drew in towards the dark island,
making for the golden sparkle of the chapel-dome, which shone afar like
a light-house of the daytime. As we rounded to in the land-locked inlet,
we saw that the crowds on the hills had doubled since yesterday, and,
although the chimes were pealing for some religious service, it seemed
prudent first to make sure of our quarters for the night. Accordingly we
set out for the imposing house of guests beside the monastery, arriving
in company with the visitors we had brought with us from Serdopol. The
entrance-hall led into a long, stone-paved corridor, in which a monk,
bewildered by many applications, appeared to be seeking relief by
promises of speedy hospitality. We put in our plea, and also received a
promise. On either side of the corridor were numbered rooms, already
occupied, the fortunate guests passing in and out with a provoking air
of comfort and unconcern. We ascended to the second story, which was
similarly arranged, and caught hold of another benevolent monk, willing,
but evidently powerless to help us. Dinner was just about to be served;
the brother in authority was not there; we must be good enough to wait a
little while;--would we not visit the shrines, in the mean time?

The advice was sensible, as well as friendly, and we followed it.
Entering the great quadrangle of the monastery, we found it divided,
gridiron-fashion, into long, narrow court-yards by inner lines of
buildings. The central court, however, was broad and spacious, the
church occupying a rise of ground on the eastern side. Hundreds of men
and women--Carelian peasants--thronged around the entrance, crossing
themselves in unison with the congregation. The church, we found, was
packed, and the most zealous wedging among the blue _caftans_ and
shining flaxen heads brought us no farther than the inner door.
Thence we looked over a tufted level of heads that seemed to
touch,--intermingled tints of gold, tawny, _silver_-blond, and the
various shades of brown, touched with dim glosses through the
incense-smoke, and occasionally bending in concert with an undulating
movement, like grain before the wind. Over these heads rose the vaulted
nave, dazzling with gold and colors, and blocked up, beyond the
intersection of the transept, by the _ikonostast_, or screen before the
Holy of Holies, gorgeous with pictures of saints overlaid with silver.
In front of the screen the tapers burned, the incense rose thick and
strong, and the chant of the monks gave a peculiar solemnity to their
old Sclavonic litany. The only portion of it which I could understand
was the recurring response, as in the English Church, of, "Lord, have
mercy upon us!"

Extricating ourselves with some difficulty, we entered a chapel-crypt,
which contains the bodies of Sergius and Herrmann. They lie together, in
a huge coffin of silver, covered with cloth-of-gold. Tapers of immense
size burned at the head and foot, and the pilgrims knelt around, bending
their foreheads to the pavement at the close of their prayers. Among
others, a man had brought his insane daughter, and it was touching to
see the tender care with which he led her to the coffin and directed her
devotions. So much of habit still remained, that it seemed, for the time
being, to restore her reason. The quietness and regularity with which
she went through the forms of prayer brought a light of hope to the
father's face. The other peasants looked on with an expression of pity
and sympathy. The girl, we learned, had but recently lost her reason,
and without any apparent cause. She was betrothed to a young man who was
sincerely attached to her, and the pilgrimage was undertaken in the hope
that a miracle might be wrought in her favor. The presence of the
shrine, indeed, struck its accustomed awe through her wandering senses,
but the effect was only momentary.

I approached the coffin, and deposited a piece of money on the
offering-plate, for the purpose of getting a glimpse of the pictured
faces of the saints, in their silver setting. Their features were hard
and regular, flatly painted, as if by some forerunner of Cimabue, but
sufficiently modern to make the likeness doubtful. I have not been able
to obtain the exact date of their settlement on the island, but I
believe it is referred to the early part of the fifteenth century. The
common people believe that the island was first visited by Andrew, the
Apostle of Christ, who, according to the Russian patriarch Nestor, made
his way to Kiev and Novgorod. The latter place is known to have been an
important commercial city as early as the fourth century, and had a
regular intercourse with Asia. The name of Valaam does not come from
Balaam, as one might suppose, but seems to be derived from the Finnish
_varamo_, which signifies "herring-ground." The more I attempted to
unravel the history of the island, the more it became involved in
obscurity, and this fact, I must confess, only heightened my interest in
it. I found myself ready to accept the tradition of Andrew's visit, and
I accepted without a doubt the grave of King Magnus of Sweden.

On issuing from the crypt, we encountered a young monk who had evidently
been sent in search of us. The mass was over, and the court-yard was
nearly emptied of its crowd. In the farther court, however, we found the
people more dense than ever, pressing forward towards a small door. The
monk made way for us with some difficulty,--for, though the poor fellows
did their best to fall back, the pressure from the outside was
tremendous. Having at last run the gantlet, we found ourselves in the
refectory of the monastery, inhaling a thick steam of fish and cabbage.
Three long tables were filled with monks and pilgrims, while the
attendants brought in the fish on large wooden trenchers. The plates
were of common white ware, but the spoons were of wood. Officers in gay
uniforms were scattered among the dark anchorites, who occupied one end
of the table, while the _bourgeoisie_, with here and there a
blue-caftaned peasant wedged among them, filled the other end. They were
eating with great zeal, while an old priest, standing, read from a
Sclavonic Bible. All eyes were turned upon us as we entered, and there
was not a vacant chair in which we could hide our intrusion. It was
rather embarrassing, especially as the young monk insisted that we
should remain, and the curious eyes of the eaters as constantly asked,
"Who are these, and what do they want?" We preferred returning through
the hungry crowd, and made our way to the guests' house.

Here a similar process was going on. The corridors were thronged with
peasants of all ages and both sexes, and the good fathers, more than
ever distracted, were incapable of helping us. Seeing a great crowd
piled up against a rear basement-door, we descended the stairs, and
groped our way through manifold steams and noises to a huge succession
of kitchens, where caldrons of cabbage were bubbling, and shoals of fish
went in raw and came out cooked. In another room some hundreds of
peasants were eating with all the energy of a primitive appetite. Soup
leaked out of the bowls as if they had been sieves; fishes gave a whisk
of the tail and vanished; great round boulders of bread went off, layer
after layer, and still the empty plates were held up for more. It was
_grand_ eating,--pure appetite, craving only food in a general sense: no
picking out of tidbits, no spying here and there for a favorite dish,
but, like a huge fire, devouring everything that came in its way. The
stomach was here a patient, unquestioning serf, not a master full of
whims, requiring to be petted and conciliated. So, I thought, people
must have eaten in the Golden Age: so Adam and Eve must have dined,
before the Fall made them epicurean and dyspeptic.

We--degenerate through culture--found the steams of the strong, coarse
dishes rather unpleasant, and retreated by a back-way, which brought us
to a spiral staircase. We ascended for a long time, and finally emerged
into the garret of the building, hot, close, and strawy as a barn-loft.
It was divided into rooms, in which, on the floors covered deep with
straw, the happy pilgrims who had finished their dinner were lying on
their bellies, lazily talking themselves to sleep. The grassy slope in
front of the house, and all the neighboring heights, were soon covered
in like manner. Men, women, and children threw themselves down, drawing
off their heavy boots, and dipping their legs, knee-deep, into the sun
and air. An atmosphere of utter peace and satisfaction settled over
them.

Being the only foreign and heterodox persons present, we began to feel
ourselves deserted, when the favor of Sergius and Herrmann was again
manifested. P. was suddenly greeted by an acquaintance, an officer
connected with the Imperial Court, who had come to Valaam for a week of
devotion. He immediately interested himself in our behalf, procured us a
room with a lovely prospect, transferred his bouquet of lilacs and
peonies to our table, and produced his bottle of lemon-syrup to flavor
our tea. The rules of the monastery are very strict, and no visitor is
exempt from their observance. Not a fish can be caught, not a bird or
beast shot, no wine or liquor of any kind, nor tobacco in any form, used
on the island. Rigid as the organization seems, it bears equally on
every member of the brotherhood: the equality upon which such
associations were originally based is here preserved. The monks are only
in an ecclesiastical sense subordinate to the abbot. Otherwise, the
fraternity seems to be about as complete as in the early days of
Christianity.

The Valamo, and her rival, the Letuchie, had advertised a trip to the
Holy Island, the easternmost of the Valaam group, some six miles from
the monastery, and the weather was so fair that both boats were crowded,
many of the monks accompanying us. Our new-found friend was also of the
party, and I made the acquaintance of a Finnish student from the Lyceum
at Kuopio, who gave me descriptions of the Saïma Lake and the wilds of
Savolax. Running eastward along the headlands, we passed Chernoi Noss,
(Black-Nose,) the name of which again recalled a term common in the
Orkneys and Shetlands,--_noss_, there, signifying a headland. The Holy
Island rose before us,--a circular pile of rock, crowned with wood, like
a huge, unfinished tower of Cyclopean masonry, built up out of the deep
water. Far beyond it, over the rim of the lake, glimmered the blue
eastern shore. As we drew near, we found that the tumbled fragments of
rock had been arranged, with great labor, to form a capacious foot-path
around the base of the island. The steamers drew up against this narrow
quay, upon which we landed, under a granite wall which rose
perpendicularly to the height of seventy or eighty feet. The firs on the
summit grew out to the very edge and stretched their dark arms over us.
Every cranny of the rock was filled with tufts of white and pink
flowers, and the moisture, trickling from above, betrayed itself in long
lines of moss and fern.

I followed the pilgrims around to the sunny side of the island, and
found a wooden staircase at a point where the wall was somewhat broken
away. Reaching the top of the first ascent, the sweet breath of a spring
woodland breathed around me. I looked under the broken roofage of the
boughs upon a blossoming jungle of shrubs and plants which seemed to
have been called into life by a more potent sun. The lily of the valley,
in thick beds, poured out the delicious sweetness of its little cups;
spikes of a pale-green orchis emitted a rich cinnamon odor; anemones,
geraniums, sigillarias, and a feathery flower, white, freckled with
purple, grew in profusion. The top of the island, five or six acres in
extent, was a slanting plane, looking to the south, whence it received
the direct rays of the sun. It was an enchanting picture of woodland
bloom, lighted with sprinkled sunshine, in the cold blue setting of the
lake, which was visible on all sides, between the boles of the trees. I
hailed it as an idyl of the North,--a poetic secret, which the Earth,
even where she is most cruelly material and cold, still tenderly hides
and cherishes.

A peasant, whose scarlet shirt flashed through the bushes like a sudden
fire, seeing me looking at the flowers, gathered a handful of lilies,
which he offered to me, saying, "_Prekrasnie_" (Beautiful). Without
waiting for thanks, he climbed a second flight of steps and suddenly
disappeared from view. I followed, and found myself in front of a narrow
aperture in a rude wall, which had been built up under an overhanging
mass of rocks. A lamp was twinkling within, and presently several
persons crawled out, crossing themselves and muttering prayers.

"What is this?" asked a person who had just arrived.

"The cave of Alexander Svirski," was the answer.

Alexander of the Svir--a river flowing from the Onega Lake into
Ladoga--was a hermit who lived for twenty years on the Holy Island,
inhabiting the hole before us through the long, dark, terrible winters,
in a solitude broken only when the monks of Valaam came over the ice to
replenish his stock of provisions. Verily, the hermits of the Thebaïd
were Sybarites, compared to this man! There are still two or three
hermits who have charge of outlying chapels on the islands, and live
wholly secluded from their brethren. They wear dresses covered with
crosses and other symbols, and are considered as dead to the world. The
ceremony which consecrates them for this service is that for the burial
of the dead.

I managed, with some difficulty, to creep into Alexander Svirski's den.
I saw nothing, however, but the old, smoky, and sacred picture before
which the lamp burned. The rocky roof was so low that I could not stand
upright, and all the walls I could find were the bodies of pilgrims who
had squeezed in before me. A confused whisper surrounded me in the
darkness, and the air was intolerably close. I therefore made my escape
and mounted to the chapel, on the highest part of the island. A little
below it, an open pavilion, with seats, has been built over the sacred
spring from which the hermit drank, and thither the pilgrims thronged.
The water was served in a large wooden bowl, and each one made the sign
of the cross before drinking. By waiting for my turn I ascertained that
the spring was icy-cold, and very pure and sweet.

I found myself lured to the highest cliff, whence I could look out,
through the trees, on the far, smooth disk of the lake. Smooth and fair
as the Ægean it lay before me, and the trees were silent as olives at
noonday on the shores of Cos. But how different in color, in sentiment!
Here, perfect sunshine can never dust the water with the purple bloom of
the South, can never mellow its hard, cold tint of greenish-blue. The
distant hills, whether dark or light, are equally cold, and are seen too
nakedly through the crystal air to admit of any illusion. Bracing as is
this atmosphere, the gods could never breathe it. It would revenge on
the ivory limbs of Apollo his treatment of Marsyas. No foam-born
Aphrodite could rise warm from yonder wave; not even the cold, sleek
Nereïds could breast its keen edge. We could only imagine it disturbed,
temporarily, by the bath-plunge of hardy Vikings, whom we can see, red
and tingling from head to heel, as they emerge.

"Come!" cried P., "the steamer is about to leave!"

We all wandered down the steps, I with my lilies in my hand. Even the
rough peasants seemed reluctant to leave the spot, and not wholly for
the sake of Alexander Svirski. We were all safely embarked and carried
back to Valaam, leaving the island to its solitude. Alexis (as I shall
call our Russian friend) put us in charge of a native artist who knew
every hidden beauty of Valaam, and suggested an exploration of the
inlet, while he went back to his devotions. We borrowed a boat from the
monks, and impressed a hardy fisherman into our service. I supposed we
had already seen the extent of the inlet, but on reaching its head a
narrow side-channel disclosed itself, passing away under a quaint bridge
and opening upon an inner lake of astonishing beauty. The rocks were
disposed in every variety of grouping,--sometimes rising in even
terraces, step above step, sometimes thrusting out a sheer wall from the
summit, or lying slant-wise in masses split off by the wedges of the
ice. The fairy birches, in their thin foliage, stood on the edge of the
water like Dryads undressing for a bath, while the shaggy male firs
elbowed each other on the heights for a look at them. Other channels
opened in the distance, with glimpses of other and as beautiful harbors
in the heart of the islands. "You may sail for seventy-five versts,"
said the painter, "without seeing them all."

The fearlessness of all wild creatures showed that the rules of the good
monks had been carefully obeyed. The wild ducks swam around our boat, or
brooded, in conscious security, on their nests along the shore. Three
great herons, fishing in a shallow, rose slowly into the air and flew
across the water, breaking the silence with their hoarse trumpet-note.
Farther in the woods there are herds of wild reindeer, which are said to
have become gradually tame. This familiarity of the animals took away
from the islands all that was repellent in their solitude. It half
restored the broken link between man and the subject-forms of life.

The sunset-light was on the trees when we started, but here in the North
it is no fleeting glow. It lingers for hours even, fading so
imperceptibly that you scarcely know when it has ceased. Thus, when we
returned after a long pull, craving the Lenten fare of the monastery,
the same soft gold tinted its clustering domes. We were not called upon
to visit the refectory, but a table was prepared in our room. The first
dish had the appearance of a salad, with the accompaniment of black
bread. On carefully tasting, I discovered the ingredients to be raw salt
fish chopped fine, cucumbers, and--beer. The taste of the first spoonful
was peculiar, of the second tolerable, of the third decidedly palatable.
Beyond this I did not go, for we had fresh fish, boiled in enough water
to make a soup. Then the same, fried in its own fat, and, as salt and
pepper were allowed, we did not scorn our supper. P. and R. afterwards
walked over to the Skit, a small church and branch of the monastery,
more than a mile distant; while I tried, but all in vain, to reproduce
the Holy Island in verses. The impression was too recent.

The next day was the festival of Peter and Paul, and Alexis had advised
us to make an excursion to a place called Jelesniki. In the morning,
however, we learned that the monastery and its grounds were to be
consecrated in solemn procession. The chimes pealed out quick and
joyously, and soon a burst of banners and a cloud of incense issued from
the great gate. All the pilgrims--nearly two thousand in
number--thronged around the double line of chanting monks, and it was
found necessary to inclose the latter in a hollow square, formed by a
linked chain of hands. As the morning sun shone on the bare-headed
multitude, the beauty of their unshorn hair struck me like a new
revelation. Some of the heads, of lustrous, flossy gold, actually shone
by their own light. It was marvellous that skin so hard and coarse in
texture should produce such beautiful hair. The beards of the men, also,
were strikingly soft and rich. They never shave, and thus avoid
bristles, the down of adolescence thickening into a natural beard.

As the procession approached, Alexis, who was walking behind the monks,
inside the protecting guard, beckoned to us to join him. The peasants
respectfully made way, two hands unlinked to admit us, and we became,
unexpectedly, participants in the ceremonies. From the south side the
procession moved around to the east, where a litany was again chanted.
The fine voices of the monks lost but little of their volume in the open
air; there was no wind, and the tapers burned and the incense diffused
itself, as in the church. A sacred picture, which two monks carried on a
sort of litter, was regarded with particular reverence by the pilgrims,
numbers of whom crept under the line of guards to snatch a moment's
devotion before it. At every pause in the proceedings there was a rush
from all sides, and the poor fellows who formed the lines held each
other's hands with all their strength. Yet, flushed, sweating, and
exhausted as they were, the responsibility of their position made them
perfectly proud and happy. They were the guardians of cross and shrine,
of the holy books, the monks, and the abbot himself.

From the east side we proceeded to the north, where the dead monks sleep
in their cemetery, high over the watery gorge. In one corner of this
inclosure, under a group of giant maples, is the grave of King Magnus of
Sweden, who is said to have perished by shipwreck on the island. Here,
in the deep shade, a solemn mass for the dead was chanted. Nothing could
have added to the impressiveness of the scene. The tapers burning under
the thick-leaved boughs, the light smoke curling up in the shade, the
grave voices of the monks, the bending heads of the beautiful-haired
crowd, and the dashes of white, pink, scarlet, blue, and gold in their
dresses, made a picture the solemnity of which was only heightened by
its pomp of color. I can do no more than give the features; the reader
must recombine them in his own mind.

The painter accompanied us to the place called Jelesniki, which, after a
walk of four miles through the forests, we found to be a deserted
village, with a chapel on a rocky headland. There was a fine bridge
across the dividing strait, and the place may have been as picturesque
as it was represented. On that side of the islands, however, there was a
dense fog, and we could get no view beyond a hundred yards. We had hoped
to see reindeer in the woods, and an eagle's nest, and various other
curiosities; but where there was no fog there were mosquitoes, and the
search became discouraging.

On returning to the monastery, a register was brought to us, in which,
on looking back for several years, we could find but one foreign
visitor,--a Frenchman. We judged, therefore, that the abbot would
possibly expect us to call upon him, and, indeed, the hospitality we had
received exacted it. We found him receiving visitors in a plain, but
comfortable room, in a distant part of the building. He was a man of
fifty-five, frank and self-possessed in his manners, and of an evident
force and individuality of character. His reception of the visitors,
among whom was a lady, was at once courteous and kindly. A younger monk
brought us glasses of tea. Incidentally learning that I had visited the
Holy Places in Syria, the abbot sent for some pictures of the monastery
and its chosen saints, which he asked me to keep as a souvenir of
Valaam. He also presented each of us with a cake of unleavened bread,
stamped with the cross, and with a triangular piece cut out of the top,
to indicate the Trinity. On parting, he gave his hand, which the
orthodox visitors devoutly kissed. Before the steamer sailed, we
received fresh evidence of his kindness, in the present of three large
loaves of consecrated bread, and a bunch of lilacs from the garden of
the monastery.

Through some misunderstanding, we failed to dine in the refectory, as
the monks desired, and their hospitable regret on this account was the
only shade on our enjoyment of the visit. Alexis remained, in order to
complete his devotions by partaking the Communion on the following
Sabbath; but as the anniversary solemnities closed at noon, the crowd of
pilgrims prepared to return home. The Valamo, too, sounded her warning
bell, so we left the monastery as friends where we had arrived as
strangers, and went on board. Boat after boat, gunwale-deep with the gay
Carelians, rowed down the inlet, and in the space of half an hour but a
few stragglers were left of all the multitude. Some of the monks came
down to say another good-bye, and the under-abbot, blessing R., made the
sign of the cross upon his brow and breast.

When we reached the golden dome of St. Nicholas, at the outlet of the
harbor, the boats had set their sails, and the lake was no longer
lonely. Scores of white wings gleamed in the sun, as they scattered away
in radii from the central and sacred point, some north, some east, and
some veering south around Holy Island. Sergius and Herrmann gave them
smooth seas, and light, favorable airs; for the least roughness would
have carried them, overladen as they were, to the bottom. Once more the
bells of Valaam chimed farewell, and we turned the point to the
westward, steering back to Kexholm.

Late that night we reached our old moorage at Konewitz, and on Saturday,
at the appointed hour, landed in St. Petersburg. We carried the white
cross at the fore as we descended the Neva, and the bells of the
churches along the banks welcomed our return. And now, as I recall those
five days among the islands of the Northern Lake, I see that it is good
to go on a pilgrimage, even if one is not a pilgrim.

       *       *       *       *       *

WET-WEATHER WORK.

BY A FARMER.

VI.


I begin my day with a canny Scot, who was born in Edinburgh in 1726,
near which city his father conducted a large market-garden. As a youth,
aged nineteen, John Abercrombie (for it is of him I make companion this
wet morning) saw the Battle of Preston Pans, at which the Highlanders
pushed the King's-men in defeat to the very foot of his father's
garden-wall. Whether he shouldered a matchlock for the Castle-people and
Sir John Hope, or merely looked over from the kale-beds at the
victorious fighters for Prince Charley, I cannot learn; it is certain
only that before Culloden, and the final discomfiture of the Pretender,
he avowed himself a good King's-man, and in many an after-year, over his
pipe and his ale, told the story of the battle which surged wrathfully
around his father's kale-garden by Preston Pans.

But he did not stay long in Scotland; he became gardener for Sir James
Douglas, into whose family (below-stairs) he eventually married;
afterwards he had experience in the royal gardens at Kew, and in
Leicester Fields. Finally he became proprietor of a patch of ground in
the neighborhood of London; and his success here, added to his success
in other service, gave him such reputation that he was one day waited
upon (about the year 1770) by Mr. Davis, a London bookseller, who
invited him to dine at an inn in Hackney; and at the dinner he was
introduced to a certain Oliver Goldsmith, an awkward man, who had
published four years before a book called "The Vicar of Wakefield." Mr.
Davis thought John Abercrombie was competent to write a good practical
work on gardening, and the Hackney dinner was intended to warm the way
toward such a book. Dinners are sometimes given with such ends even now.
The shrewd Mr. Davis was a little doubtful of Abercrombie's style, but
not at all doubtful of the style of the author of "The Traveller." Dr.
Goldsmith was not a man averse to a good meal, where he was to meet a
straightforward, out-spoken Scotch gardener; and Mr. Davis, at a mellow
stage of the dinner, brought forward his little plan, which was that
Abercrombie should prepare a treatise upon gardening, to be revised and
put in shape by the author of "The Deserted Village." The dinner at
Hackney was, I dare say, a good one; the scheme looked promising to a
man whose vegetable-carts streamed every morning into London, and to the
Doctor, mindful of his farm-retirement at the six-mile stone on the
Edgeware Road; so it was all arranged between them.

But, like many a publisher's scheme, it miscarried. The Doctor perhaps
saw a better bargain in the Lives of Bolingbroke and Parnell;[A] or
perhaps his appointment as Professor of History to the Royal Society put
him too much upon his dignity. At any rate, the world has to regret a
gardening-book in which the shrewd practical knowledge of Abercrombie
would have been refined by the grace and the always alluring limpidity
of the style of Goldsmith.

I know that the cultivators pretend to spurn graces of manner, and
affect only a clumsy burden of language, under which, I am sorry to say,
the best agriculturists have most commonly labored; but if the
transparent simplicity of Goldsmith had once been thoroughly infused
with the practical knowledge of Abercrombie, what a book on gardening we
should have had! What a lush verdure of vegetables would have tempted
us! What a wealth of perfume would have exuded from the flowers!

But the scheme proved abortive. Goldsmith said, "I think our friend
Abercrombie can write better about plants than I can." And so doubtless
he could, so far as knowledge of their habits went. Eight years after,
Abercrombie prepared a book called "Every Man his own Gardener"; but so
doubtful was he of his own reputation, that he paid twenty pounds to Mr.
Thomas Mawe, the fashionable gardener of the Duke of Leeds, to allow him
to place his name upon the title-page. I am sorry to record such a
scurvy bit of hypocrisy in so competent a man. The book sold, however,
and sold so well, that, a few years after, the elegant Mr. Mawe begged a
visit from the nurseryman of Tottenham Court, whom he had never seen; so
Abercrombie goes down to the seat of the Duke of Leeds, and finds his
gardener so bedizened with powder, and wearing such a grand air, that he
mistakes him for his Lordship; but it is a mistake, we may readily
believe, which the elegant Mr. Mawe forgives, and the two gardeners
become capital friends.

Abercrombie afterward published many works under his own name;[B] among
these was "The Gardener's Pocket Journal," which maintained an
unflagging popularity as a standard book for a period of half a century.
This hardy Scotchman lived to be eighty; and when he could work no
longer, he was constantly afoot among the botanical gardens about
London. At the last it was a fall "down-stairs in the dark" that was the
cause of death; and fifteen days after, as his quaint biographers tell
us, "he expired, just as the clock upon St. Paul's struck
twelve,--between April and May": as if the ripe old gardener could not
tell which of these twin garden-months he loved the best; and so, with a
foot planted in each, he made the leap into the realm of eternal spring.

A noticeable fact in regard to this out-of-door old gentleman is, that
he never took "doctors'-stuff" in his life, until the time of that fatal
fall in the dark. He was, however, an inveterate tea-drinker; and there
was another aromatic herb (I write this with my pipe in my mouth) of
which he was, up to the very last, a most ardent consumer.

In the year 1766 was published for the first time a posthumous
work by John Locke, the great philosopher and the good Christian,
entitled, "Observations upon the Growth and Culture of Vines and
Olives,"--written, very likely, after his return from France, down in
his pleasant Essex home, at the seat of Sir Francis Masham. I should
love to give the reader a sample of the way in which the author of "An
Essay concerning Human Understanding" wrote regarding horticultural
matters. But, after some persistent search and inquiry, I have not been
able to see or even to hear of a copy of the book.[C] No one can doubt
but there is wisdom in it. "I believe you think me," he writes in a
private letter to a friend, "too proud to undertake anything wherein I
should acquit myself but unworthily." This is a sort of pride--not very
common in our day--which does _not_ go before a fall.

I name a poet next,--not because a great poet, for he was not, nor yet
because he wrote "The English Garden,"[D] for there is sweeter
garden-perfume in many another poem of the day that does not pique our
curiosity by its title. But the Reverend William Mason, if not among the
foremost of poets, was a man of most kindly and liberal sympathies. He
was a devoted Whig, at a time when Whiggism meant friendship for the
American Colonists; and the open expression of this friendship cost him
his place as a Royal Chaplain. I will remember this longer than I
remember his "English Garden,"--longer than I remember his best couplet
of verse:--

    "While through the west, where sinks the crimson day,
    Meek twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray."

It was alleged, indeed, by those who loved to say ill-natured things,
(Horace Walpole among them,) that in the later years of his life he
forgot his first love of Liberalism and became politically conservative.
But it must be remembered that the good poet lived into the time when
the glut and gore of the French Revolution made people hold their
breath, and when every man who lifted a humane plaint against the
incessant creak and crash of the guillotine was reckoned by all mad
reformers a conservative. I think, if I had lived in that day, I should
have been a conservative, too,--however much the pretty and bloody
Desmoulins might have made faces at me in the newspapers.

I can find nothing in Mason's didactic poem to quote. There are tasteful
suggestions scattered through it,--better every way than his poetry. The
grounds of his vicarage at Aston must have offered charming
loitering-places. I will leave him idling there,--perhaps conning over
some letter of his friend the poet Gray; perhaps lounging in the very
alcove where he had inscribed this verse of the "Elegy,"--

    "Here scattered oft, the loveliest of the year,
      By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
    The redbreast loves to build and warble here,
      And little footsteps lightly print the ground."

If, indeed, he had known how to strew such gems through his "English
Garden," we should have had a poem that would have out-shone "The
Seasons."

And this mention reminds me, that, although I have slipped past his
period, I have said no word as yet of the Roxburgh poet; but he shall be
neglected no longer. (The big book, my boy, upon the third shelf, with a
worn back, labelled THOMSON.)

This poet is not upon the gardeners' or the agricultural lists. One can
find no farm-method in him,--indeed, little method of any sort; there is
no description of a garden carrying half the details that belong to
Tasso's garden of Armida, or Rousseau's in the letter of St. Preux.[E]
And yet, as we read, how the country, with its woods, its valleys, its
hillsides, its swains, its toiling cattle, comes swooping to our vision!
The leaves rustle, the birds warble, the rivers roar a song. The sun
beats on the plain; the winds carry waves into the grain; the clouds
plant shadows on the mountains. The minuteness and the accuracy of his
observation are something wonderful; if farmers should not study him,
our young poets may. _He_ never puts a song in the throat of a jay or a
wood-dove; _he_ never makes a mother-bird break out in bravuras; _he_
never puts a sickle into green grain, or a trout in a slimy brook; _he_
could picture no orchis growing on a hillside, or columbine nodding in a
meadow. If the leaves shimmer, you may be sure the sun is shining; if a
primrose lightens on the view, you may be sure there is some covert
which the primroses love; and never by any license does a white flower
come blushing into his poem.

I will not quote, where so much depends upon the atmosphere which the
poet himself creates, as he waves his enchanter's wand. Over all the
type his sweet power compels a rural heaven to lie reflected; I go from
budding spring to blazing summer at the turning of a page; on all the
meadows below me (though it is March) I see ripe autumn brooding with
golden wings; and winter howls and screams in gusts, and tosses tempests
of snow into my eyes--out of the book my boy has just now brought me.

One verse, at least, I will cite,--so full it is of all pastoral
feeling, so brimming over with the poet's passion for the country: it is
from "The Castle of Indolence":--

    "I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
    You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
    You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
    Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
    You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
    The woods and lawns, by living stream at eve:
    Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
    And I their toys to the great children leave;
    Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave."

Another Scotchman, Lord Kames, (Henry Home by name,) who was Senior Lord
of Sessions in Scotland about the year 1760, was best known in his own
day for his discussion of "The Principles of Equity"; he is known to the
literary world as the author of an elegant treatise upon the "Elements
of Criticism"; I beg leave to introduce him to my readers to-day as a
sturdy, practical farmer. The book, indeed, which serves for his card of
introduction, is called "The Gentleman Farmer";[F] but we must not judge
it by our experience of the class who wear that title nowadays. Lord
Kames recommends no waste of money, no extravagant architecture, no mere
prettinesses. He talks of the plough in a way that assures us he has
held it some day with his own hands. People are taught, he says, more by
the eye than the ear; _show_ them good culture, and they will follow it.

As for what were called the principles of agriculture, he found them
involved in obscurity; he went to the book of Nature for instruction,
and commenced, like Descartes, with doubting everything. He condemns the
Roman husbandry as fettered by superstitions, and gives a piquant sneer
at the absurd rhetoric and verbosity of Varro.[G] Nor is he any more
tolerant of Scotch superstitions. He declares against wasteful and
careless farming in a way that reminds us of our good friend Judge ----,
at the last county-show.

He urges good ploughing as a primal necessity, and insists upon the use
of the roller for rendering the surface of wheatlands compact, and so
retaining the moisture; nor does he attempt to reconcile this
declaration with the Tull theory of constant trituration. A great many
excellent Scotch farmers still hold to the views of his Lordship, and
believe in "keeping the sap" in fresh-tilled land by heavy rolling; and
so far as regards a wheat or rye crop upon _light_ lands, I think the
weight of opinion, as well as of the rollers, is with them.

Lord Kames, writing before the time of draining-tile, dislikes open
ditches, by reason of their interference with tillage, and does not
trust the durability of brush or stone underdrains. He relies upon
ridging, and the proper disposition of open furrows, in the old Greek
way. Turnips he commends without stint, and the Tull system of their
culture. Of clover he thinks as highly as the great English farmer, but
does not believe in his notion of economizing seed: "Idealists," he
says, "talk of four pounds to the acre; but when sown for cutting green,
I would advise twenty-four pounds." This amount will seem a little
startling, I fancy, even to farmers of our day.

He advises strongly the use of oxen in place of horses for all
farm-labor; they cost less, keep for less, and sell for more; and he
enters into arithmetical calculations to establish his propositions. He
instances Mr. Burke, who ploughs with four oxen at Beaconsfield. How
drolly it sounds to hear the author of "Letters on a Regicide Peace"
cited as an authority in practical farming! He still further urges his
ox-working scheme, on grounds of public economy: it will cheapen food,
forbid importation of oats, and reduce wages. Again, he recommends
soiling,[H] by all the arguments which are used, and vainly used, with
us. He shows the worthlessness of manure dropped upon a parched field,
compared with the same duly cared for in court or stable; he proposes
movable sheds for feeding, and enters into a computation of the weight
of green clover which will be consumed in a day by horses, cows, or
oxen: "a horse, ten Dutch stone daily; an ox or cow, eight stone; ten
horses, ten oxen, and six cows, two hundred and twenty-eight stone per
day,"--involving constant cartage: still he is convinced of the profit
of the method.

His views on feeding ordinary store cattle, or accustoming them to
change of food, are eminently practical. After speaking of the
desirableness of providing a good stock of vegetables, he
continues,--"And yet, after all, how many indolent farmers remain, who
for want of spring food are forced to turn their cattle out to grass
before it is ready for pasture! which not only starves the cattle, but
lays the grass-roots open to be parched by sun and wind."

Does not this sound as if I had clipped it from the "Country Gentleman"
of last week? And yet it was written ninety-seven years ago, by one of
the most accomplished Scotch judges, and in his eightieth year,--another
Varro, packing his luggage for his last voyage.

One great value of Lord Kames's talk lies in the particularity of his
directions: he does not despise mention of those minutiæ a neglect of
which makes so many books of agricultural instruction utterly useless.
Thus, in so small a matter as the sowing of clover-seed, he tells how
the thumb and finger should be held, for its proper distribution; in
stacking, he directs how to bind the thatch; he tells how mown grass
should be raked, and how many hours spread;[I] and his directions for
the making of clover-hay could not be improved upon this very summer.
"Stir it not the day it is cut. Turn it in the swath the forenoon of the
next day; and in the afternoon put it up in small cocks. The third day
put two cocks into one, enlarging every day the cocks till they are
ready for the tramp rick [temporary field-stack]."

A small portion of his book is given up to the discussion of the theory
of agriculture; but he fairly warns his readers that he is wandering in
the dark. If all theorists were as honest! He deplores the ignorance of
Tull in asserting that plants feed on earth; air and water alone, in his
opinion, furnish the supply of plant-food. All plants feed alike, and on
the same material. Degeneracy appearing only in those which are not
native: white clover never deteriorates in England, nor bull-dogs.

But I will not linger on his theories. He is represented to have been a
kind and humane man; but this did not forbid a hearty relish (appearing
often in his book) for any scheme which promised to cheapen labor. "The
people on landed estates," he says, "are trusted by Providence to the
owner's care, and the proprietor is accountable for the management of
them to the Great God, who is the Creator of both." It does not seem to
have occurred to the old gentleman that some day people might decline to
be "managed."

He gave the best proof of his practical tact, in the conduct of his
estate of Blair-Drummond,--uniting there all the graces of the best
landscape-gardening with profitable returns.

I take leave of him with a single excerpt from his admirable chapter of
Gardening in the "Elements of Criticism":--"Other fine arts may be
perverted to excite irregular, and even vicious emotions; but gardening,
which inspires the purest and most refined pleasures, cannot fail to
promote every good affection. The gayety and harmony of mind it
produceth inclineth the spectator to communicate his satisfaction to
others, and to make them happy as he is himself, and tends naturally to
establish in him a habit of humanity and benevolence."

It is humiliating to reflect, that a thievish orator at one of our
Agricultural Fairs might appropriate page after page out of the
"Gentleman Farmer" of Lord Kames, written in the middle of the last
century, and the county-paper, and the aged directors, in clean
shirt-collars and dress-coats, would be full of praises "of the
enlightened views of our esteemed fellow-citizen." And yet at the very
time when the critical Scotch judge was meditating his book, there was
erected a land light-house, called Dunston Column, upon Lincoln Heath,
to guide night travellers over a great waste of land that lay a
half-day's ride south of Lincoln. And when Lady Robert Manners, who had
a seat at Bloxholme, wished to visit Lincoln, a groom or two were sent
out the morning before to explore a good path, and families were not
unfrequently lost for days[J] together in crossing the heath. And this
same heath, made up of a light fawn-colored sand, lying on "dry, thirsty
stone," was, twenty years since at least, blooming all over with rank,
dark lines of turnips; trim, low hedges skirted the level highways; neat
farm-cottages were flanked with great saddle-backed ricks; thousands
upon thousands of long-woolled sheep cropped the luxuriant pasturage,
and the Dunston column was down.

About the time of Lord Kames's establishment at Blair-Drummond, or
perhaps a little earlier, a certain Master Claridge published "The
Country Calendar; or, The Shepherd of Banbury's Rules to know of the
Change of the Weather." It professed to be based upon forty years'
experience, and is said to have met with great favor. I name it only
because it embodies these old couplets, which still lead a vagabond life
up and down the pages of country-almanacs:--

    "If the grass grows in Janiveer,
    It grows the worst for't all the year."

    "The Welshman had rather see his dam on the bier.
    Than to see a fair Februeer."

    "When April blows his horn,
    It's good both for hay and corn."

    "A cold May and a windy
    Makes a full barn and a findy."

    "A swarm of bees in May
    Is worth a load of hay;
    But a swarm in July
    Is not worth a fly."

Will any couplets of Tennyson reap as large a fame?

About the same period, John Mills, a Fellow of the Royal Society,
published a work of a totally different character,--being very methodic,
very full, very clear. It was distributed through five volumes. He
enforces the teachings of Evelyn and Duhamel, and is commendatory of the
views of Tull. The Rotherham plough is figured in his work, as well as
thirteen of the natural grasses. He speaks of potatoes and turnips as
established crops, and enlarges upon their importance. He clings to the
Virgilian theory of small farms, and to the better theory of thorough
tillage.

In 1759 was issued the seventh edition of Miller's "Gardener's
Dictionary,"[K] in which was for the first time adopted (in English) the
classical system of Linnæus. If I have not before alluded to Philip
Miller, it is not because he is undeserving. He was a correspondent of
the chiefs in science over the Continent of Europe, and united to his
knowledge a rare practical skill. He was superintendent of the famous
Chelsea Gardens of the Apothecaries Company, He lies buried in the
Chelsea Church-yard, where the Fellows of the Linnæan and Horticultural
Societies of London have erected a monument to his memory. Has the
reader ever sailed up the Thames, beyond Westminster? And does he
remember a little spot of garden-ground, walled in by dingy houses, that
lies upon the right bank of the river near to Chelsea Hospital? If he
can recall two gaunt, flat-topped cedars which sentinel the walk leading
to the river-gate, he will have the spot in his mind, where, nearly two
hundred years ago, and a full century before the Kew parterres were laid
down, the Chelsea Garden of the Apothecaries Company was established. It
was in the open country then; and even Philip Miller, in 1722, walked to
his work between hedge-rows, where sparrows chirped in spring, and in
winter the fieldfare chattered: but the town has swallowed it; the
city-smoke has starved it; even the marble image of Sir Hans Sloane in
its centre is but the mummy of a statue. Yet in the Physic Garden there
are trees struggling still which Philip Miller planted; and I can
readily believe, that, when the old man, at seventy-eight, (through some
quarrel with the Apothecaries,) took his last walk to the river-bank, he
did it with a sinking at the heart which kept by him till he died.

I come now to speak of Thomas Whately, to whom I have already alluded,
and of whom, from the scantiness of all record of his life, it is
possible to say only very little. He lived at Nonsuch Park, in Surrey,
not many miles from London, on the road to Epsom. He was engaged in
public affairs, being at one time secretary to the Earl of Suffolk, and
also a member of Parliament. But I enroll him in my wet-day service
simply as the author of the most appreciative and most tasteful treatise
upon landscape-gardening which has ever been written,--not excepting
either Price or Repton. It is entitled, "Observations on Modern
Gardening," and was first published in 1770. It was the same year
translated into French by Latapie, and was to the Continental gardeners
the first revelation of the graces which belonged to English cultivated
landscape. In the course of the book he gives vivid descriptions of
Blenheim, Hagley, Leasowes, Claremont, and several other well-known
British places. He treats separately of Parks, Water, Farms, Gardens,
Ridings, etc., illustrating each with delicate and tender transcripts of
natural scenes. Now he takes us to the cliffs of Matlock, and again to
the farm-flats of Woburn. His criticisms upon the places reviewed are
piquant, full of rare apprehension of the most delicate natural
beauties, and based on principles which every man of taste must accept
at sight. As you read him, he does not seem so much a theorizer or
expounder as he does the simple interpreter of graces which had escaped
your notice. His suggestions come upon you with such a momentum of
truthfulness, that you cannot stay to challenge them.

There is no argumentation, and no occasion for it. On such a bluff he
tells us wood should be planted, and we wonder that a hundred people had
not said the same thing before; on such a river-meadow the grassy level
should lie open to the sun, and we wonder who could ever have doubted
it. Nor is it in matters of taste alone, I think, that the best things
we hear seem always to have a smack of oldness in them,--as if we
_remembered_ their virtue. "Capital!" we say; "but hasn't it been said
before?" or, "Precisely! I wonder I didn't do or say the same thing
myself." Whenever you hear such criticisms upon any performance, you may
be sure that it has been directed by a sound instinct. It is not a sort
of criticism any one is apt to make upon flashy rhetoric, or upon flash
gardening.

Whately alludes to the analogy between landscape-painting and
landscape-gardening: the true artists in either pursuit aim at the
production of rich pictorial effects, but their means are different.
Does the painter seek to give steepness to a declivity?--then he may add
to his shading a figure or two toiling up. The gardener, indeed, cannot
plant a man there; but a copse upon the summit will add to the apparent
height, and he may indicate the difficulty of ascent by a hand-rail
running along the path. The painter will extend his distance by the
_diminuendo_ of his mountains, or of trees stretching toward the
horizon: the gardener has, indeed, no handling of successive mountains,
but he may increase apparent distance by leafy avenues leading toward
the limit of vision; he may even exaggerate the effect still further by
so graduating the size of his trees as to make a counterfeit
perspective.

When I read such a book as this of Whately's,--so informed and leavened
as it is by an elegant taste,--I am most painfully impressed by the
shortcomings of very much which is called good landscape-gardening with
us. As if serpentine walks, and glimpses of elaborated turf-ground, and
dots of exotic evergreens in little circlets of spaded earth, compassed
at all those broad effects which a good designer should keep in mind! We
are gorged with _petit-maître-_ism, and pretty littlenesses of all
kinds. We have the daintiest of walks, and the rarest of shrubs, and the
best of drainage; but of those grand, bold effects which at once seize
upon the imagination, and inspire it with new worship of Nature, we have
great lack. In private grounds we cannot of course command the
opportunity which the long tenure under British privilege gives; but the
conservators of public parks have scope and verge; let them look to it,
that their resources be not wasted in the niceties of mere gardening, or
in elaborate architectural devices. Banks of blossoming shrubs and
tangled wild vines and labyrinthine walks will count for nothing in
park-effect, when, fifty years hence, the scheme shall have ripened, and
hoary pines pile along the ridges, and gaunt single trees spot here and
there the glades, to invite the noontide wayfarer. A true artist should
keep these ultimate effects always in his eye,--effects that may be
greatly impaired, if not utterly sacrificed, by an injudicious
multiplication of small and meretricious beauties, which in no way
conspire to the grand and final poise of the scene.

But I must not dwell upon so enticing a topic, or my wet day will run
over into sunshine. One word more, however, I have to say of the
personality of the author who has suggested it. The reader of Sparks's
Works and Life of Franklin may remember, that, in the fourth volume,
under the head of "Hutchinson's Letters," the Doctor details
difficulties which he fell into in connection with "certain papers" he
obtained indirectly from one of His Majesty's officials, and
communicated to Thomas Gushing, Speaker of the House of Representatives
of Massachusetts Bay. The difficulty involved others besides the Doctor,
and a duel came of it between a certain William Whately and Mr. Temple.
This William Whately was the brother of Thomas Whately,--the author in
question,--and secretary to Lord Grenville,[L] in which capacity he died
in 1772.[M] The "papers" alluded to were letters from Governor
Hutchinson and others, expressing sympathy with the British Ministry in
their efforts to enforce a grievous Colonial taxation. It was currently
supposed that Mr. Secretary Whately was the recipient of these letters;
and upon their being made public after his death, Mr. Whately, his
brother and executor, conceived that Mr. Temple was the instrument of
their transfer. Hence the duel. Dr. Franklin, however, by public letter,
declared that this allegation was ill-founded, but would never reveal
the name of the party to whom he was indebted. The Doctor lost his place
of Postmaster-General for the Colonies, and was egregiously insulted by
Wedderburn in open Council; but he could console himself with the
friendship of such men as Lawyer Dunning, (one of the suspected authors
of "Junius,") and with the eulogium of Lord Chatham.

There are three more names belonging to this period which I shall bring
under review, to finish up my day. These are Horace Walpole, (Lord
Orford,) Edmund Burke, and Oliver Goldsmith. Walpole was the proprietor
of Strawberry Hill, and wrote upon gardening: Burke was the owner of a
noble farm at Beaconsfield, which he managed with rare sagacity:
Goldsmith could never claim land enough to dig a grave upon, until the
day he was buried; but he wrote the story of "The Vicar of Wakefield,"
and the sweet poem of "The Deserted Village."

I take a huge pleasure in dipping from time to time, into the books of
Horace Walpole, and an almost equal pleasure in cherishing a hearty
contempt for the man. With a certain native cleverness, and the tact of
a showman, he paraded his resources, whether of garden, or villa, or
memory, or ingenuity, so as to carry a reputation for ability that he
never has deserved. His money, and the distinction of his father, gave
him an association with cultivated people,--artists, politicians,
poets,--which the metal of his own mind would never have found by reason
of its own gravitating power. He courted notoriety in a way that would
have made him, if a poorer man, the toadying Boswell of some other
Johnson giant, and, if very poor, the welcome buffoon of some gossiping
journal, who would never weary of contortions, and who would brutify
himself at the death, to kindle an admiring smile.

He writes pleasantly about painters, and condescendingly of gardeners
and gardening. Of the special beauties of Strawberry Hill he is himself
historiographer; elaborate copper plates, elegant paper, and a
particularity that is ludicrous, set forth the charms of a villa which
never supplied a single incentive to correct taste, or a single scene
that has the embalmment of genius. He tells us grandly how this room was
hung with crimson, and that other with gold; how "the tearoom was
adorned with green paper and prints, ...on the hearth, a large green
vase of German ware, with a spread eagle, and lizards for
handles,"--which vase (if the observation be not counted disloyal by
sensitive gentlemen) must have been a very absurd bit of pottery. "On a
shelf and brackets are two _potpourris_ of Hankin china; two pierced
blue and white basons of old Delft; and two sceaus [_sic_] of coloured
Seve; a blue and white vase and cover; and two old Fayence bottles."

When a man writes about his own furniture in this style for large type
and quarto, we pity him more than if he had kept to such fantastic
nightmares as the "Castle of Otranto." The Earl of Orford speaks in high
terms of the literary abilities of the Earl of Bath: have any of my
readers ever chanced to see any literary work of the Earl of Bath? If
not, I will supply the omission, in the shape of a ballad, "to the tune
of a former song by George Bubb Doddington." It is entitled, "Strawberry
Hill."

    "Some cry up Gunnersbury,
       For Sion some declare;
    And some say that with Chiswick House
       No villa can compare.
    But ask the beaux of Middlesex,
       Who know the country well,
    If Strawb'ry Hill, if Strawb'ry Hill
       Don't bear away the bell?

    "Since Denham sung of Cooper's,
       There's scarce a hill around
    But what in song or ditty
       Is turned to fairy ground.
    Ah, peace be with their memories!
       I wish them wondrous well;
    But Strawb'ry Hill, but Strawb'ry Hill
       Must bear away the bell."

It is no way surprising that a noble poet capable of writing such a
ballad should have admired the villa of Horace Walpole: it is no way
surprising that a proprietor capable of admiring such a ballad should
have printed his own glorification of Strawberry Hill.

I am not insensible to the easy grace and the piquancy of his letters;
no man could ever pour more delightful twaddle into the ear of a great
friend; no man could more delight in doing it, if only the friend were
really great. I am aware that he was highly cultivated,--that he had
observed widely at home and abroad,--that he was a welcome guest in
distinguished circles; but he never made or had a real friend; and the
news of the old man's death made no severer shock than if one of his
Fayence pipkins had broken.

But what most irks me is the absurd dilettanteism and presumption of the
man. He writes a tale as if he were giving dignity to romance; he
applauds an artist as Dives might have thrown crumbs to Lazarus; vain to
the last degree of all that he wrote or said, he was yet too fine a
gentleman to be called author; if there had been a way of printing
books, without recourse to the vulgar _media_ of type and paper,--a way
of which titled gentlemen could command the monopoly,--I think he would
have written more. As I turn over the velvety pages of his works, and
look at his catalogues, his _bon-mots_, his drawings, his affectations
of magnificence, I seem to see the fastidious old man shuffling with
gouty step up and down, from drawing-room to library,--stopping here and
there to admire some newly arrived bit of pottery,--pulling out his
golden snuff-box, and whisking a delicate pinch into his old
nostrils,--then dusting his affluent shirt--frill with the tips of his
dainty fingers, with an air of gratitude to Providence for having
created so fine a gentleman as Horace Walpole, and of gratitude to
Horace Walpole for having created so fine a place as Strawberry Hill.

I turn from this ancient specimen of titled elegance to a consideration
of Mr. Burke, with much the same relief with which I would go out from a
perfumed drawing-room into the breezy air of a June morning. Lord Kames
has told us that Mr. Burke preferred oxen to horses for field-labor; and
we have Burke's letters to his bailiff, showing a nice attention to the
economies of farming, and a complete mastery of its working details. But
more than anywhere else does his agricultural sagacity declare itself in
his "Thoughts and Details on Scarcity."[N]

Will the reader pardon me the transcript of a passage or two? "It is a
perilous thing to try experiments on the farmer. The farmer's capital
(except in a few persons, and in a very few places) is far more feeble
than is commonly imagined. The trade is a very poor trade; it is subject
to great risks and losses. The capital, such as it is, is turned but
once in the year; in some branches it requires three years before the
money is paid; I believe never less than three in the turnip and
grass-land course ...It is very rare that the most prosperous farmer,
counting the value of his quick and dead stock, the interest of the
money he turns, together with his own wages as a bailiff or overseer,
ever does make twelve or fifteen _per centum_ by the year on his
capital. In most parts of England which have fallen within my
observation, I have rarely known a farmer who to his own trade has not
added some other employment traffic, that, after a course of the most
remitting parsimony and labor, and persevering in his business for a
long course of years, died worth more than paid his debts, leaving his
posterity to continue in nearly the same equal conflict between industry
and want in which the last predecessor, and a long line of predecessors
before him, lived and died."

In confirmation of this last statement, I may mention that Samuel
Ireland, writing in 1792, ("Picturesque Views on the River Thames,")
speaks of a farmer named Wapshote, near Chertsey, whose ancestors had
resided on the place ever since the time of Alfred the Great; and amid
all the chances and changes of centuries, not one of the descendants had
either bettered or marred his fortunes. The truthfulness of the story is
confirmed in a number of the "Monthly Review" for the same year.

Mr. Burke commends the excellent and most useful works of his "friend
Arthur Young," (of whom I shall have somewhat to say another time,) but
regrets that he should intimate the largeness of a farmer's profits. He
discusses the drill-culture, (for wheat,) which, he says, is well,
provided "the soil is not excessively heavy, or encumbered with large,
loose stones, and provided the most vigilant superintendence, the most
prompt activity, _which has no such day as to-morrow in its
calendar_,[O] combine to speed the plough; in this case I admit," he
says, "its superiority over the old and general methods." And again he
says,--"It requires ten times more of labor, of vigilance, of attention,
of skill, and, let me add, of good fortune also, to carry on the
business of a farmer with success, than what belongs to any other
trade."

May not "A Farmer" take a little pride in such testimony as this?

One of his biographers tells us, that, in his later years, the neighbors
saw him on one occasion, at his home of Beaconsfield, leaning upon the
shoulder of a favorite old horse, (which had the privilege of the lawn,)
and sobbing. Whereupon the gossiping villagers reported the great man
crazed. Ay, crazed,--broken by the memory of his only and lost son
Richard, with whom this aged saddle-horse had been a special
favorite,--crazed, no doubt, at thought of the strong young hand whose
touch the old beast waited for in vain,--crazed and broken,--an oak,
ruined and blasted by storms. The great mind in this man was married to
a great heart.

It is almost with a feeling of awe that I enter upon my wet-day studies
the name of Oliver Goldsmith: I love so much his tender story of the
good Vicar; I love so much his poems. The world is accustomed to regard
that little novel, which Dr. Johnson bargained away for sixty guineas,
as a rural tale: it is so quiet; it is so simple; its atmosphere is
altogether so redolent of the country. And yet all, save some few
critical readers, will be surprised to learn that there is not a picture
of natural scenery in the book of any length; and wherever an allusion
of the kind appears, it does not bear the impress of a mind familiar
with the country, and practically at home there. The Doctor used to go
out upon the Edgeware road,--not for his love of trees, but to escape
noise and duns. Yet we overlook literalness, charmed as we are by the
development of his characters and by the sweet burden of his story. The
statement may seem extraordinary, but I could transcribe every rural,
out-of-door scene in the "Vicar of Wakefield" upon a single half-page of
foolscap. Of the first home of the Vicar we have only this account:--"We
had an elegant house, situated in a fine country and a good
neighborhood." Of his second home there is this more full
description:--"Our little habitation was situated at the foot of a
sloping hill, sheltered with a beautiful underwood behind, and a
prattling river before: on one side a meadow, on the other a green. My
farm consisted of about twenty acres of excellent land, having given a
hundred pounds for my predecessor's good-will. Nothing could exceed the
neatness of my little inclosures: the elms and hedge-rows appearing with
inexpressible beauty. My house consisted of but one story, and was
covered with thatch, which gave it an air of great snugness." It is
quite certain that an author familiar with the country, and with a
memory stocked with a multitude of kindred scenes, would have given a
more determinate outline to this picture. But whether he would have
given to his definite outline the fascination that belongs to the
vagueness of Goldsmith, is wholly another question.

Again, in the sixth chapter, Mr. Burchell is called upon to assist the
Vicar and his family in "saving an after-growth of hay." "Our labors,"
he says, "went on lightly; we turned the swath to the wind." It is plain
that Goldsmith never saved much hay; turning a swath to the wind may be
a good way of making it, but it is a slow way of gathering it. In the
eighth chapter of this charming story, the Doctor says,--"Our family
dined in the field, and we sat, or rather reclined, round a temperate
repast, _our cloth spread upon the hay_. To heighten our satisfaction,
the blackbirds answered each other from opposite hedges, the familiar
redbreast came and pecked the crumbs from our hands, and every sound
seemed but the echo of tranquillity." This is very fascinating; but it
is the veriest romanticism of country-life. Such sensible girls as
Olivia and Sophia would, I am quite sure, never have spread the
dinner-cloth upon hay, which would most surely have set all the gravy
aflow, if the platters had not been fairly overturned; and as for the
redbreasts, (with that rollicking boy Moses in my mind,) I think they
must have been terribly tame birds.

But this is only a farmer's criticism,--a Crispin feeling the bunions on
some Phidian statue. And do I think the less of Goldsmith, because he
wantoned with the literalism of the country, and laid on his prismatic
colors of romance where only white light lay? Not one whit. It only
shows how Genius may discard utter faithfulness to detail, if only its
song is charged with a general simplicity and truthfulness that fill our
ears and our hearts.

As for Goldsmith's verse, who does not love it? It is wicked to consume
the pages of a magazine with extracts from a poem that is our daily
food, else I would string them all down this column and the next, and
every one should have a breezy reminder of the country in it. Not all
the arts of all the modernists,--not "Maud," with its garden-song,--not
the caged birds of Killingworth, singing up and down the
village-street,--not the heather-bells out of which the springy step of
Jean Ingelow crushes perfume,--shall make me forget the old, sweet, even
flow of the "Deserted Village."

Down with it, my boy, from the third shelf! G-O-L-D-S-M-I-T-H--a worker
in gold--is on the back.

And I sit reading it to myself, as a fog comes weltering in from the
sea, covering all the landscape, save some half-dozen of the
city-spires, which peer above the drift-like beacons.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE REAPER'S DREAM.


    The road was lone; the grass was dank
    With night-dews on the briery bank
    Whereon a weary reaper sank.
    His garb was old,--his visage tanned;
    The rusty sickle in his hand
    Could find no work in all the land.

    He saw the evening's chilly star
    Above his native vale afar;
    A moment on the horizon's bar
    It hung,--then sank as with a sigh:
    And there the crescent moon went by,
    An empty sickle down the sky.

    To soothe his pain, Sleep's tender palm
    Laid on his brow its touch of balm,--
    His brain received the slumberous calm;
    And soon, that angel without name,
    Her robe a dream, her face the same,
    The giver of sweet visions, came.

    She touched his eyes: no longer sealed,
    They saw a troop of reapers wield
    Their swift blades in a ripened field:
    At each thrust of their snowy sleeves,
    A thrill ran through the future sheaves,
    Bustling like rain on forest-leaves.

    They were not brawny men who bowed
    With harvest-voices rough and loud,
    But spirits moving as a cloud:
    Like little lightnings in their hold,
    The silver sickles manifold
    Slid musically through the gold.

    Oh, bid the morning-stars combine
    To match the chorus clear and fine
    That rippled lightly down the line,--
    A cadence of celestial rhyme,
    The language of that cloudless clime,
    To which their shining hands kept time!

    Behind them lay the gleaming rows,
    Like those long clouds the sunset shows
    On amber meadows of repose:
    But like a wind the binders bright
    Soon followed in their mirthful might,
    And swept them into sheaves of light.

    Doubling the splendor of the plain,
    There rolled the great celestial wain
    To gather in the fallen grain:
    Its frame was built of golden bars,
    Its glowing wheels were lit with stars,
    The royal Harvest's car of cars.

    The snowy yoke that drew the load
    On gleaming hoofs of silver trode,
    And music was its only goad:
    To no command of word or beck
    It moved, and felt no other check
    Than one white arm laid on the neck,--

    The neck whose light was overwound
    With bells of lilies, ringing round
    Their odors till the air was drowned:
    The starry foreheads meekly borne,
    With garlands looped from horn to horn,
    Shone like the many-colored morn.

    The field was cleared. Home went the bands,
    Like children linking happy hands
    While singing through their father's lands;
    Or, arms about each other thrown,
    With amber tresses backward blown,
    They moved as they were Music's own.

    The vision brightening more and more,
    He saw the garner's glowing door,
    And sheaves, like sunshine, strew the floor,--
    The floor was jasper,--golden flails,
    Swift sailing as a whirlwind sails,
    Throbbed mellow music down the vales.

    He saw the mansion,--all repose,--
    Great corridors and porticos
    Propped with the columns' shining rows;
    And these--for beauty was the rule--
    The polished pavements, hard and cool,
    Redoubled, like a crystal pool.

    And there the odorous feast was spread:
    The fruity fragrance widely shed
    Seemed to the floating music wed.
    Seven angels, like the Pleiad Seven,
    Their lips to silver clarions given,
    Blew welcome round the walls of heaven.

    In skyey garments, silky thin,
    The glad retainers floated in,--
    A thousand forms, and yet no din:
    And from the visage of the Lord,
    Like splendor from the Orient poured,
    A smile illumined all the board.

    Far flew the music's circling sound,
    Then floated back with soft rebound,
    To join, not mar, the converse round,--
    Sweet notes that melting still increased,
    Such as ne'er cheered the bridal feast
    Of king in the enchanted East.

    Did any great door ope or close,
    It seemed the birth-time of repose,--
    The faint sound died where it arose;
    And they who passed from door to door,
    Their soft feet on the polished floor
    Met their soft shadows,--nothing more.

    Then once again the groups were drawn
    Through corridors, or down the lawn,
    Which bloomed in beauty like a dawn:
    Where countless fountains leap alway,
    Veiling their silver heights in spray,
    The choral people held their way.

    There, 'mid the brightest, brightly shone
    Dear forms he loved in years agone,--
    The earliest loved,--the earliest flown:
    He heard a mother's sainted tongue,
    A sister's voice who vanished young,
    While one still dearer sweetly sung!

    No further might the scene unfold,
    The gazer's voice could not withhold,
    The very rapture made him bold:
    He cried aloud, with claspèd hands,
    "O happy fields! O happy bands,
    Who reap the never-failing lands!

    "O master of these broad estates,
    Behold, before your very gates
    A worn and wanting laborer waits!
    Let me but toil amid your grain,
    Or be a gleaner on the plain,
    So I may leave these fields of pain!

    "A gleaner, I will follow far,
    With never look or word to mar,
    Behind the Harvest's yellow car:
    All day my hand shall constant be,
    And every happy eve shall see
    The precious burden borne to Thee!"

    At morn some reapers neared the place,
    Strong men, whose feet recoiled apace,--
    Then gathering round the upturned face,
    They saw the lines of pain and care,
    Yet read in the expression there
    The look as of an answered prayer.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE NEW-ENGLAND REVOLUTION OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.


In the first week of March, 1689, Sir Edmund Andros returned to Boston
from an expedition against the Indians of Maine. He had now governed New
England more than two years for King James II., imitating, in his narrow
sphere, the insolent despotism of his master.

The people had no share in the government, which was conducted by Andros
with the aid of Counsellors appointed by the King. Some of these were
the Governor's creatures,--English adventurers, who came to make their
fortunes. Their associates of a different character were so treated that
they absented themselves from the Council-Board, and at length not even
formal meetings were held. Heavy taxes were arbitrarily imposed on the
inhabitants. Excessive fees were demanded for the transaction of
business in the courts and public offices. Town-meetings were forbidden,
except one to be held in each year for the choice of assessing-officers.
The ancient titles to land in the Colony were declared to be worthless,
and proprietors were required to secure themselves by taking out new
patents from the Governor, for which high prices were extorted.
Complaint of these usurpations was severely punished by fine and
imprisonment. An order that "no man should remove out of the country
without the Governor's leave" cut off whatever small chance existed of
obtaining redress in England. The religious feelings of the people were
outraged. The Governor directed the opening of the Old South Church in
Boston for worship according to the English ritual. If the demand had
been for the use of the building for a mass, or for a carriage-house for
Juggernaut, it would scarcely have given greater displeasure.

Late in the autumn of 1688, the Governor had led a thousand New-England
soldiers into Maine against the Indians. His operations there were
unfortunate. The weather was cold and stormy. The fatigue of long
marches through an unsettled country was excessive. Sickness spread
among the companies. Shelter and hospital-stores had been insufficiently
provided. The Indians fled to the woods, and there laughed at the
invader.

The costliness, discomforts, and miserable ill-success of this
expedition, while they occasioned clamor in the camp, sharpened the
discontents existing at the capital. Suspicions prevailed of treachery
on the Governor's part, for he was well known to be without the excuse
of incompetence. Plausible stories were told of his being in friendly
relations with the murderous Indians. An apprehension that he was
instructed by his Popish master to turn New England over to the French,
in the contingency of a popular outbreak in England, was confirmed by
reports of French men-of-war hovering along the coast for the
consummation of that object. When, in mid-winter, Andros was informed of
the fears entertained at Court of a movement of the Prince of Orange, he
issued a proclamation, commanding His Majesty's subjects in New England,
and especially all officers, civil and military, to be on the alert,
should any foreign fleet approach, to resist such landing or invasion as
might be attempted. Not causelessly, even if unjustly, the Governor's
object was understood to be to hold New England for King James, if
possible, should the parent-country reassert its rights.

Of course, no friendly welcome met him, when, on the heels of his
proclamation, he returned to Boston from the Eastern Country. He was
himself so out of humor as to be hasty and imprudent, and one of his
first acts quickened the popular resentment. The gloomy and jealous
state of men's minds had gained some degree of credit for a story that
he had furnished the hostile natives with ammunition for the destruction
of the force under his command. An Indian declared, in the hearing of
some inhabitants of Sudbury, that he knew this to be true. Two of the
townsmen took the babbler to Boston, ostensibly to be punished for his
license of speech. The Governor treated the informers with great
harshness, put them under heavy bonds, and sent one of them to jail. The
comment of the time was not unnatural nor uncandid:--"Although no man
does accuse Sir Edmund merely upon Indian testimony, yet let it be duly
weighed whether it might not create suspicion and an astonishment in the
people of New England, in that he did not punish the Indians who thus
charged him, but the English who complained of them for it."

The nine-days' wonder of this transaction was not over, when tidings of
far more serious import claimed the public ear. On the fourth day of
April, a young man named John Winslow arrived at Boston from the Island
of Nevis, bringing a copy of the Declarations issued by the Prince of
Orange on his landing in England. Winslow's story is best told in the
words of an affidavit made by him some months after.

"Being at Nevis," he says, "there came in a ship from some part of
England with the Prince of Orange's Declarations, and brought news also
of his happy proceedings in England, with his entrance there, which was
very welcome news to me, and I knew it would be so to the rest of the
people in New England; and I, being bound thither, and very willing to
convey such good news with me, gave four shillings sixpence for the said
Declarations, on purpose to let the people in New England understand
what a speedy deliverance they might expect from arbitrary power. We
arrived at Boston harbor the fourth day of April following; and as soon
as I came home to my house, Sir Edmund Andros, understanding I brought
the Prince's Declarations with me, sent the Sheriff to me. So I went
along with him to the Governor's house, and, as soon as I came in, he
asked me why I did not come and tell him the news. I told him I thought
it not my duty, neither was it customary for any passenger to go to the
Governor, when the master of the ship had been with him before, and told
him the news. He asked me where the Declarations I brought with me were.
I told him I could not tell, being afraid to let him have them, because
he would not let the people know any news. He told me I was a
saucy-fellow, and bid the Sheriff carry me away to the Justices of the
Peace; and as we were going, I told the Sheriff I would choose my
Justice. He told me, No, I must go before Dr. Bullivant, one picked on
purpose (as I judged) for the business. Well, I told him, I did not care
who I went before, for I knew my cause was good. So soon as I came in,
two more of the Justices dropped in, Charles Lidgett and Francis
Foxcroft, such as the former, fit for the purpose. So they asked me for
my papers. I told them I would not let them have them, by reason they
kept all the news from the people. So when they saw they could not get
what I bought with my money, they sent me to prison for bringing
traitorous and treasonable libels and papers of news, notwithstanding I
offered them security to the value of two thousand pounds."

The intelligence which reached Winslow at Nevis, and was brought thence
by him to Boston, could scarcely have embraced transactions in England
of a later date than the first month after the landing of the Prince of
Orange. Within that time, the result of the expedition was extremely
doubtful. There had been no extensive rising against the King, and every
day of delay was in his favor. He had a powerful army and fleet, and it
had been repeatedly shown how insecure were any calculations upon
popular discontent in England, when an occasion arose for putting
English loyalty to the last proof. Should the clergy, after all, be true
to their assertions of the obligation of unqualified obedience,--should
the army be faithful,--should the King, by artifice or by victory,
attract to his side the wavering mass of his subjects, and expel the
Dutch invader,--there would be an awful reckoning for all who had taken
part against the Court. The proceedings after the insurrection under
Monmouth had not entirely shown how cruel James could be. His position
then had been far less critical than now. Then he enjoyed some degree of
popular esteem, and the preparations against him were not on a
formidable scale. Now he was thoroughly frightened. In proportion to his
present alarm would be his fury, if he should come off victorious. The
last chance was pending. If now resisted in vain, he would be
henceforward irresistible. Englishmen who should now oppose their king
must be sure to conquer him, or they lost all security for property,
liberty, and life. Was it any way prudent for the feeble, colony of
Massachusetts, divided by parties, and with its administration in the
hands of a tool of the tyrant, to attempt to throw itself into the
contest at this doubtful stage?

It is unavoidable to suppose that these considerations were anxiously
weighed by the patriots of Massachusetts after the reception of the
intelligence from England. It is natural to believe, that, during the
fortnight which followed, there were earnest arguments between the more
and the less sanguine portions of the people. It seems probable that the
leaders, who had most to fear from rashness, if it should be followed by
defeat, pleaded for forbearance, or at least for delay. If any of them
took a different part, they took it warily, and so as not to be publicly
committed. But the people's blood was up. Though any day now might bring
tidings which would assure them whether a movement of theirs would be
safe or disastrous, their impatience could not be controlled. If the
leaders would not lead, some of the followers must take their places.
Massachusetts must at all events have her share in the struggle,--and
her share, if King James should conquer, in the ruin.

It may be presumed that Andros saw threatening signs, as, when next
heard of, he was within the walls of the work on Fort Hill. Two weeks
had passed after Winslow came with his news, when suddenly, at an early
hour of the day, without any note of preparation, Boston was all astir.
At the South end of the town a rumor spread that armed men were
collecting at the North end. At the North it was told that there was a
bustle and a rising at the South; and a party having found Captain
George, of the Rose frigate, on shore, laid hands on him, and put him
under a guard. "About nine of the clock the drums beat through the town,
and an ensign was set up upon the beacon." Presently Captain Hill
marched his company up King [State] Street, escorting Bradstreet,
Danforth, Richards, Cooke, Addington, and others of the old Magistrates,
who proceeded together to the Council-Chamber. Meantime, Secretary
Randolph, Counsellor Bullivant, Sheriff Sherlock, and "many more" of the
Governor's party, were apprehended and put in gaol. The gaoler was added
to their company, and his function was intrusted to "Scates, the
bricklayer."

About noon, the gentlemen who had been conferring together in the
Council-Chamber appeared in the eastern gallery of the Town-House in
King Street, and there read to the assembled people what was entitled a
"Declaration of the Gentlemen, Merchants, and Inhabitants of Boston, and
the Country Adjacent." The document contains a brief narrative of the
oppressions that had been suffered by the Colony, under the recent
maladministration. Towards the end it refers in a few words to "the
noble undertaking of the Prince of Orange, to preserve the three
kingdoms from the horrible brinks of Popery and Slavery, and to bring to
a condign punishment those worst of men by whom English liberties have
been destroyed." One point was delicate; for among the recent
Counsellors of the Governor had been considerable men, who, it was
hoped, would hereafter act with the people. It is thus disposed
of:--"All the Council were not engaged in these ill actions, but those
of them which were true lovers of their country were seldom admitted to,
and seldomer consulted at, the debates which produced these unrighteous
things. Care was taken to keep them under disadvantages, and the
Governor, with five or six more, did what they would." The Declaration
concludes as follows:--

"We do therefore seize upon the persons of those few ill men which have
been (next to our sins) the grand authors of our miseries; resolving to
secure them, for what justice, orders from his Highness, with the
English Parliament, shall direct, lest, ere we are aware, we find (what
we may fear, being on all sides in danger) ourselves to be by them given
away to a foreign power before such orders can reach unto us; for which
orders we now humbly wait. In the mean time, firmly believing that we
have endeavored nothing but what mere duty to God and our country calls
for at our hands, we commit our enterprise unto the blessing of Him who
hears the cry of the oppressed, and advise all our neighbors, for whom
we have thus ventured ourselves, to join with us in prayers and all just
actions for the defence of the land."

Andros sent the son of the Chief Justice with a message to the
ministers, and to two or three other considerable citizens, inviting
them to the Fort for a conference, which they declined. Meanwhile the
signal on Beacon Hill had done its office, and by two o'clock in the
afternoon, in addition to twenty companies in Boston under arms, several
hundred soldiers were seen on the Charlestown side, ready to cross over.
Fifteen principal gentlemen, some of them lately Counsellors, and others
Assistants under the old Charter, signed a summons to Andros. "We judge
it necessary," they wrote, "you forthwith surrender and deliver up the
government and fortification, to be preserved and disposed according to
order and direction from the Crown of England, which suddenly is
expected may arrive, promising all security from violence to yourself or
any of your gentlemen or soldiers in person or estate. Otherwise we are
assured they will endeavor the taking of the fortification by storm, if
any opposition be made."

"The frigate, upon the news, put out all her flags and pendants, and
opened all her ports, and with all speed made ready for fight, under the
command of the lieutenant, he swearing that he would die before she
should be taken." He sent a boat to bring off Andros and his attendants;
but it had scarcely touched the beach when the crew were encountered and
overpowered by the party from the Town-House, which, under the command
of Mr. John Nelson, was bearing the summons to the Governor. The boat
was kept, with the sailors manning it, who were disarmed. Andros and his
friends withdrew again within the Port, from which they had come down to
go on board the frigate. Nelson disposed his party on two sides of the
Fort, and getting possession of some cannon in an outwork, pointed them
against the walls. The soldiers within were daunted. The Governor asked
a suspension of the attack till he should send West and another person
to confer with the Provisional Council at the Town-House. The reply,
whatever it was, decided him how to proceed, and he and his party "came
forth from the Fort, and went disarmed to the Town-House, and from
thence, some to the close gaol, and the Governor, under a guard, to Mr.
Usher's house."

So ended the first day of the insurrection. The Castle and the frigate
were still defiant in the harbor. The nineteenth of April is a
red-letter day in Massachusetts. On the nineteenth of April, 1861,
Massachusetts fought her way through Baltimore to the rescue of the
imperilled capital of the United States. On the nineteenth of April,
1775, she began at Lexington the war of American Independence. On the
nineteenth of April, 1689, King James's Governor was brought to yield
the Castle of Boston by a threat, that, "if he would not give it
presently, under his hand and seal, he would be exposed to the rage of
the people." A party of Colonial militia then "went down, and it was
surrendered to them with cursings, and they brought the men away, and
made Captain Fairweather commander in it. Now, by the time the men came
back from the Castle, all the guns, both in ships and batteries, were
brought to bear against the frigate, which were enough to have shattered
her in pieces at once, resolving to have her."

Captain George, who had long nursed a private quarrel with the
arch-disturber of Massachusetts, and chief adviser of the Governor,
"cast all the blame now upon that devil, Randolph; for, had it not been
for him, he had never troubled this good people;--earnestly soliciting
that he might not be constrained to surrender the ship, for by so doing
both himself and all his men would lose their wages, which otherwise
would be recovered in England; giving leave to go on board, and strike
the top-masts, and bring the sails on shore." The arrangement was made,
and the necessity for firing on a ship of the royal navy was escaped.
The sails were brought on shore, and there put away, and the vessel
swung to her anchors off Long Wharf, a harmless and a ridiculous hulk.
"The country-people came armed into the town, in the afternoon, in such
rage and heat that it made all tremble to think what would follow; for
nothing would satisfy them, but that the Governor should be bound in
chains or cords, and put in a more secure place, and that they would see
done before they went away; and to satisfy them, he was guarded by them
to the Fort."

The Fort had been given in charge to Nelson, and Colonel Lidgett shared
the Governor's captivity. West, Graham, Palmer, and others of his set,
were placed in Fairweather's custody at the Castle. Randolph was taken
care of at the common gaol, by the new keeper, "Scates, the
bricklayer." Andros came near effecting his escape. Disguised in woman's
clothes, he had safely passed two sentries, but was stopped by a third,
who observed his shoes, which he had neglected to change. Dudley, the
Chief Justice, was absent on the circuit at Long Island. Returning
homeward, he heard the great news at Newport. He crossed into the
Narragansett Country, where he hoped to keep secret at Major Smith's
house; but a party got upon his track, and took him to his home at
Roxbury. "To secure him against violence," as the order expresses it, a
guard was placed about his house. Dudley's host, Smith, was lodged in
gaol at Bristol.

To secure Dudley against popular violence might well be an occasion of
anxious care to those who had formerly been his associates in public
trusts. Among the oppressors, he it was whom the people found hardest to
forgive. If Andros, Randolph, West, and others, were tyrants and
extortioners, at all events they were strangers; they had not been
preying on their own kinsmen. But this man was son of a brave old
emigrant Governor; he had been bred by the bounty of Harvard College; he
had been welcomed at the earliest hour to the offices of the
Commonwealth, and promoted in them with a promptness out of proportion
to the claims of his years. Confided in, enriched, caressed, from youth
to middle life by his native Colony beyond any other man of his time, he
had been pampered into a power which, as soon as the opportunity was
presented, he used for the grievous humiliation and distress of his
generous friends. That he had not brought them to utter ruin seemed to
have been owing to no want of resolute purpose on his part to advance
himself as the congenial instrument of a despot.

A revolution had been consummated, and the government of the King of
England over Massachusetts was dissolved. The day after Andros was led
to prison, the persons who had been put forward in the movement
assembled again to deliberate on the state of affairs. The result was,
that several of them, with twenty-two others whom they now associated,
formed themselves into a provisional government, which took the name of
a "Council for the Safety of the People and Conservation of the Peace."
They elected Simon Bradstreet, the last Charter Governor, now
eighty-seven years of age, to be their President, and Wait Winthrop,
grandson of the first Governor, to command the Militia. Among the orders
passed on the first day of this new administration was one addressed to
Colonel Tyng, Major Savage, and Captains Davis and Willard, serving in
the Eastern Country, to send certain officers to Boston, and dismiss a
portion of their force. There was probably a threefold purpose in this
order: to get possession of the persons of some distrusted officers; to
gratify a prevailing opinion that the exposures of the campaign had been
needless as well as cruel; and to obtain a reinforcement of skilled
troops at the centre of affairs.

The Council felt the weakness of their position. They held their place
neither by deputation from the sovereign, nor by election of the people.
They hesitated to set up the Colonial Charter again, for it had been
formally condemned in the King's courts, and there was a large party
about them who bore it no good-will; nor was it to be expected that
their President, the timid Bradstreet, whatever were his own wishes,
could be brought to consent to so bold a measure. Naturally and not
improperly desirous to escape from such a responsibility, they decided
to summon a Convention of delegates from the towns.

On the appointed day, sixty-six delegates came together. They brought
from their homes, or speedily reached, the conclusion that of right the
old Charter was still in force; and they addressed a communication to
that effect to the Magistrates who had been chosen just before the
Charter government was superseded, desiring them to resume their
functions, and to constitute, with the delegates just now sent from the
towns, the General Court of the Colony, according to ancient law and
practice. Their request was denied. Either the wisdom or the timidity of
the Magistrates held them back from so bold a venture. The delegates
then desired the Council to continue to act as a Committee of Public
Safety till another Convention might assemble, of delegates bringing
express instructions from their towns.

Fifty-four towns were represented in the new Convention. All but
fourteen of them had instructed their delegates to insist on the
resumption of the Charter. In the Council, the majority was opposed to
that scheme. After a debate of two days, the popular policy prevailed,
and the Governor and Magistrates chosen at the last election under the
Charter consented to assume the trusts then committed to them, and, in
concert with the delegates recently elected, to form a General Court,
and administer the Colony for the present according to the ancient
forms. They desired that the other gentlemen lately associated with them
in the Council should continue to hold that relation. But this the
delegates would not allow; and accordingly those gentlemen, among whom
were Wait Winthrop, the newly appointed commander-in-chief, and
Stoughton, whom the people could not yet forgive for his recent
subserviency, relinquished their part in the conduct of affairs. They
did so with prudence and magnanimity, engaging to exert themselves to
allay the dissatisfaction of their friends, and only avowing their
expectation that the state-prisoners would be well treated, and that
there should be no encouragement to popular manifestations of hostility
to England.

Scarcely had this arrangement been made, when it became known, that, if
dangers still existed, at least the chief danger was over. On the
twenty-sixth of May a ship arrived from England with an order to the
authorities on the spot to proclaim King William and Queen Mary. Never,
since the Mayflower groped her way into Plymouth harbor, had a message
from the parent-country been received in New England with such joy.
Never had such a pageant as, three days after, expressed the prevailing
happiness been seen in Massachusetts. From far and near the people
flocked into Boston; the Government, attended by the principal gentlemen
of the capital and the towns around, passed in procession on horseback
through the thoroughfares; the regiment of the town, and companies and
troops of horse and foot from the country, lent their pomp and noise to
the show; there was a great dinner at the Town-House for the better
sort; wine was served out in the streets; and the evening was made noisy
with acclamations till the bell rang at nine o'clock, and families met
to thank God at the domestic altar for causing the great sorrow to pass
away, and giving a Protestant King and Queen to England.

The revolution in Massachusetts determined the proceedings in the other
Colonies of New England. On learning what had been done in Boston, the
people of Plymouth seized the person of their townsman, Nathaniel Clark,
one of Andros's Counsellors and tools, and, recalling Governor Hinckley,
set up again the ancient government. When the news reached Rhode Island,
a summons was issued to "the several towns," inviting them to send their
"principal persons" to Newport "before the day of usual election by
Charter, ... there to consult of some suitable way in this present
juncture." Accordingly, at a meeting held on the day appointed by the
ancient Charter for annual elections, it was determined "to reassume the
government according to the Charter," and "that the former Governor,
Deputy-Governor, and Assistants that were in place ... before the coming
over of Sir Edmund Andros, the late Governor, should be established in
their respective places for the year ensuing, or further order from
England." Walter Clarke was the Governor who had been superseded by
Andros. But he had no mind for the hazardous honor which was now thrust
upon him, and Rhode Island remained without a Governor.

On the arrival in Connecticut of the news of the deposition of Andros,
the plan of resuming the Charter of that Colony, and reëstablishing the
government under it, was immediately canvassed in all the settlements.
Agreeably to some general understanding, a number of principal men, most
of them elected as Deputies by their respective towns, assembled, on the
eighth of May, at Hartford, to consult together on the expediency of
taking that step. They determined to submit, the next day, to the
decision of the assembled freemen three questions, namely: 1. "Whether
they would that those in place and power when Sir Edmund Andros took the
government should resume their place and power as they were then; or, 2.
Whether they would continue the present government; or, 3. Whether they
would choose a Committee of Safety."

The adoption of any one of these proposals disposed of the others. The
first of them was first submitted to a vote, and prevailed. A General
Court after the ancient pattern was constituted accordingly. The persons
just deputed from the towns made the Lower House. Governor Treat and
Lieutenant-Governor Bishop resumed their functions, with ten Magistrates
elected with them two years before, besides others now chosen to fill
the places of Magistrates who had died meanwhile.

The first measure of the Court was, to order "that all the laws of this
Colony formerly made according to Charter, and courts constituted in
this Colony for administration of justice, as they were before the late
interruption, should be of full force and virtue for the future, and
till the Court should see cause to make further and other alteration and
provision according to Charter." The second vote was, to confirm "all
the present military officers." Justices of the Peace were appointed for
the towns. The armament of the fort at Saybrook was provided for. The
Governor was charged to convene the General Court, "in case any occasion
should come on in reference to the Charter or Government." It was soon
convened accordingly, in consequence of the arrival of intelligence of
the accession of William and Mary to the throne; a day of Thanksgiving
was appointed; and the King and Queen were proclaimed with all
solemnity.

Again Englishmen were free and self-governed in all the settlements of
New England.

       *       *       *       *       *

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE EARLY LIFE OF AN OLD BACHELOR.


Allusion was made in "The Schoolmaster's Story," told in these pages
last month, to two old bachelors. I am one of them. Early this morning,
while taking my walk, I saw, growing about a rock, some little blue
flowers, such as I used to pick when a child. I had broken off a few,
and was stooping for more, when some one near said, "Good morning,
Captain Joseph!"

It was Mrs. Maylie, the minister's wife, going home from watching. After
a little talk, she told me, in her pleasant way, that I had two things
to do, of which, by the doing, I should make but one: I was to write a
story, and to show good reason for keeping myself all to myself.

"Mrs. Maylie," said I, "do I look like a person who has had a story? I
am a lonely old man,--a hard old man. A story should have warmth. Don't
you see I'm an icicle?"

"Not quite," said she. "I know of two warm spots. I see you every day
watching the children go past; and then, what have you there? Icicles
never cling to flowers!"

After she had gone, I began thinking what a beautiful story mine might
have been, if things had been different,--if I had been different. And
at last it occurred to me that a relation of some parts of it might be
useful reading for young men; also, that it might cause our whole class
to be more kindly looked upon.

Suppose it is not a pleasant story. Life is not all brightness. See how
the shadows chase each other across our path! To-day our friend weeps
with us; to-morrow we weep with our friend. The hearse is a carriage
which stops at every door.

No picture is without its shading. We have before us the happy
experiences of my two friends. By those smiling groups let there stand
one dark, solitary figure, pointing out the moral of the whole.

There is one thing, however, in the story of my neighbor Browne,
pleasant as it is, which reminds me of a habit of my own. I mean, his
liking to watch pretty faces. I do, when they belong to children.

This practice of mine, which I find has been noticed by my valued
friend, Mrs. Maylie, is partly owing to the memories of my own
childhood.

When the past was so suddenly recalled, on that stormy day,--as
mentioned by my friend Allen,--I felt as I have often felt upon the sea,
when, after hours of dull sailing, through mist and darkness, I have
looked back upon the lights of the town we were leaving.

My life began in brightness. And now, amid that brightness, appear
fresh, happy little faces, which haunt me more and more, as I become
isolated from the humanity about me, until at times it is those only
which are real, while living forms seem but shadows.

I see whole rows of these young faces in an old school-house, far from
here, close by the sea,--can see the little girls running in, when the
schoolma'am knocked, and settling down in their forms, panting for
breath.

One of these the boys called my girl. I liked her, because she had curls
and two rows of cunning teeth, and because she never laughed when the
boys called me "Spunky Joe." For I was wilful, and of a hasty temper.
Her name was Margaret. My father took me a long voyage with him, and
while I was gone she moved down East. I never saw her afterwards. If
living, it must have been a score of years since she bought her first
glasses.

No doubt I should have been of a pleasanter disposition, had I not been
the only boy and the youngest child. I was made too much of. Aunt Chloë,
who was aunt to the neighborhood, and did its washing, said I was
"humored to death."

We had a great family of girls, but Mary was the one I loved best. She
was a saint. Her face made you think of "Peace on earth, and good-will
to men." Aunt Chloë used to say that "Mary Bond was pretty to look at,
and facultied; pity she hadn't the 'one thing needful.'" For Mary was
not a professor.

I went pretty steadily to school until about sixteen. At that time I had
a misunderstanding with father. I got the idea that he looked upon me as
an incumbrance, and declared I would go to sea.

Mother and the girls were full of trouble, but I wasn't used to being
crossed, and to sea I went. I knew afterwards that father had set his
heart upon my getting learning.

He said going to sea was a dog's life. But I liked it, and followed it
up. I think it was in my twentieth year that I shipped on board the
Eliza Ann, Captain. Saunders, bound from Boston to Calcutta. This was my
first long voyage as a sailor. Among the crew was one they called Jamie,
as smart as a steel-trap, and handsome as a picture. He was not our
countryman. I think he was part Scotch. The passengers were always
noticing him. One day, when he stood leaning against the foremast, with
his black hair blowing out in the wind, a young man with a portfolio got
me to keep him there, still, for a while: he was an artist, and wanted
to make a drawing of him. The sailors all liked him because he was so
clever, and so lively, and knew so many songs, and could hop about the
rigging, light as a bird. Only a few knew him. They said he had no home
but the sea.

He afterwards told me this himself, one dark night, when we were leaning
together over the rail, as if listening to the splash of the water. He
began his sea-life by running away. He said but little, and that in a
mournful way that made me pity him, and wonder he could be so lively. I
didn't know then that sometimes people have to laugh to keep from
crying. "I was all she had," said he; "and I left her. I never thought
how much she cared for me until I got among all strangers; then I wanted
my mother." At another time he told me about his return home and finding
no mother. And I told him of my own home and my great flock of sisters.

After this he rather clung to me. And thus it happened, from my liking
Jamie's handsome face, and from Jamie's telling me his trouble, that we
became fast friends.

When the ship arrived in Boston, I took him home with me. Father had
left off going to sea; but some of the girls were married, and mother
called her family small. I knew she would take the homeless boy into her
great motherly heart, along with the rest of us.

We couldn't have arrived at a better time. Thanksgiving was just at
hand, work was plenty, and Jamie soon in the thickest of it. 'Twas so
good to him, being in a home, though none of his. The girls were glad
enough of his help and his company; for he was full of his fun, and
never at a loss for a word. We never had so much light talk in the house
before. Mother was rather serious, and father did his laughing at the
stores.

When Thanksgiving-Day came, however, and the married ones began to flock
in with their families, he spoke of going,--of not belonging. But we
persuaded him, and the girls did all they could to take up his mind,
knowing what his feelings must be.

The Thanksgiving dinner was a beautiful sight to see. I mean, of course,
the people round it. Father talked away, and could eat. But mother sat
in her frilled cap, looking mildly about, with the tears in her eyes,
making believe eat, helping everybody, giving the children two pieces of
pie, and letting them talk at table. This last, when we were little, was
forbidden. Mother never scolded. She had a placid, saintly face,
something like Mary's. But if we ever giggled at table, she used to say,
"Sho! girls! Don't laugh over your victuals."

At sunset we missed Jamie. I found him in the hay-mow, crying as if his
heart would break. "Oh, Joseph," said he, "she was just as pleasant as
your mother!" It was sunset when he first ran away, and sunset when he
returned to find his mother dead. He told me that "God brought him home
at that hour to make him _feel_."

Our ship was a long while repairing. Then freights were dull, and so it
lingered along, week after week. Jamie often spoke of going, but nobody
would let him. Father said he had always wanted another boy. Mother told
him I should be lonesome without him. The girls said as much as they
thought it would do for girls to say, and he stayed on. I knew he wanted
to badly enough, for I saw he liked Mary. I thought, too, that she liked
him, because she said so little about his staying. To be sure, they were
in nothing alike; but then, as Aunt Chloë said, "Opposites are more
harmonious."

My sister Cynthia was going to be published soon, and all the rest were
helping her "make her fix." Coverlets were being got into the loom, and
the great wheel and little wheel going all day Jamie liked to help them
"quill." But the best of all, both for him and me, were the quiltings;
for these brought all the young folks together.

Our nearest neighbor was a large, stout-looking man, by the name of
Wilbur. He was called Mr. Nathaniel, to distinguish him from his
brother. His house was next ours, with a hill between. He was a good,
jolly soul, had no children of his own, and was always begging mother
for a few of her girls. Nothing suited him better than a good time. If
there was anything going on at our house, he was always on the spot.

One December evening, our kitchen was full of young people. The best
bed-quilt had been quilted, and Jamie and I had been helping "roll
over," all the afternoon. In the evening, as soon as the young men came,
we hung over the molasses, and set Mr. Nathaniel stirring it. We all sat
around, naming apples. All at once he called out, "Which of you chaps
has got pluck enough to ride over to Swampsey Village to-morrow, after a
young woman he never saw?"

They all looked up, especially the girls who had beaux present. Then
came questions,--"Who is she?" "Give her name"; "Good-looking?" and many
others.

"Be thinking it over awhile," said he, and kept on stirring. But when he
was pulling the candy, he explained, dropping a few words at every pull.

"The girl," said he, "is a nice girl, and I'll be bound she's handsome.
I used to have dealings with her father, while he kept store in Boston.
We've never let the acquaintance die out. When he wrote me that he was
going to take his wife a journey South, and inquired if I knew of a
safe, quiet family where he could leave his daughter, wifey and I
concluded to take her ourselves. We couldn't think of a quieter family,
or one where daughters were more needed. I promised to meet her at
Swampsey Village; but if any of you young men want the chance, you can
have it."

There was one fellow in the company who hardly ever spoke. He was looked
upon as a sort of crooked stick. As he sat in the corner, paring his
apple, he said in a drawling voice, without looking up,--

"Better send Joe."

"Oh, he won't go, I'll bet anything," said two or three at once.

"What'll you bet?" said I.

"Bet a kiss from the prettiest girl in the room!"

"Done!" said I, and jumped up as if to pick out the girl. But they all
cried out, "Wait till you've done it."

They thought I wouldn't go, because I'd never been particular to any
girl.

After we went to bed that night, Jamie offered to go in my stead. But I
had made up my mind, and was not so easily turned.

Early next morning, Mr. Nathaniel drove up to the door in his
yellow-bottomed chaise. The wheeling was better than the sleighing,
except in the woods.

"Here," he said, "I've ballasted your craft, and made out your papers.
You go in ballast, but'll have good freight back. When you get to
Swampsey-Village meeting-house, turn off to the left, and it's the
second house. The roof behind slants almost to the ground."

The "ballast" was heated stones. The "papers" consisted of a letter,
addressed to "Miss Margaret Holden, at the house of Mr. Oliver Barrows."

The road to Swampsey Village, after running a few miles along by the
sea, branched off to the southwest, over a range of high, wooded hills,
called "The Mountains." 'Twas a long ride, and I couldn't help
_guessing_ what manner of girl would in a few hours be sitting by my
side. Would she be sober, or sociable? pretty, or homely? I hoped she
wouldn't be citified, all pride and politeness. And of all things, I
hoped she would not be bashful. Two dummies, one in each corner, riding
along in the cold!

"Any way," I thought at last, "it's no affair of mine. I'm only sent of
an errand. It's all the same as going for a sheep or a bag of corn." And
with this idea, I whipped up. But the sight of the slanting roof made
me slacken the reins; and when I found myself really hitching my horse,
I was sorry I came.

Before I reached the door, it opened, and there stood a white-haired old
man, leaning upon two canes. He wanted to see who had come. I told my
errand. He asked me into the kitchen. As I entered, I looked slyly
about, to see what I could see. But there was only a short old woman.
She was running candles. She looked straight in my face. The old man
stooped down and shouted in her ear,--

"He's come arter Peggy! where is she?"

"Denno," said she, toddling along to the window, and looking up and down
the road. "Denno. Mile off, mebbe. Master critter to be on the go!"

"There she is!" cried Mr. Barrows, from a back-window,--"in the parster,
slidin' down-hill on her jumper. Guess you'll have to go look her, young
man; the old woman's poorly, an' so be I."

But the old woman told me to sit up to the fire and warm my feet; said
she would hang out a cloth, and Peggy would be in directly. I would have
gone very willingly; for, after expecting to be introduced to Miss
Margaret Holden, being sent out after Peggy was just nothing.

'Twas but a little while before we heard the jumper rattling along, and
then a stamping in the porch. Then we heard her hand upon the latch.

"She's a little young thing," said the old man, almost in a whisper;
"but she's knowin'.--Peggy," he continued, as she entered, "you'm sent
for."

That was the first time I ever saw Margaret. She had on some little
child's hood, and an old josey-coat, which covered her all over. The
hood was red, and ruffled about the border, which made her face look
like a little girl's.

"To go to Mr. Wilbur's?" she asked, looking towards me.

I rose to explain, and handed the letter.

She threw off her things, opened it, and began reading. When I saw the
smile spreading over her face, I knew Mr. Nathaniel had been writing
some of his nonsense.

"Perhaps," said I, as she was folding it up, "you don't know Mr.
Nathaniel. He says anything. I don't know what he's been writing, but"--

"Oh, nothing bad," said she, laughing. "He only says you are a nice
young man."

"Ah!" I replied. "Well, he does sometimes speak the truth."

Then we both laughed, and, for new acquaintances, seemed on pretty good
terms.

There was something about her face which made me think of the little
Margaret who had moved away. She had the same pretty laugh, the same
innocent-looking mouth,--only the child Margaret was not so
fair-complexioned. Her figure, and the way of carrying her head,
reminded me of the West-India girls, as I had seen them riding out in
their _volantes_. I decided that I was pleased with her. When she was
ready to go, with her blue silk pelisse and the plumes in her hat, I was
glad I came, and thought, "How much better is a girl than a sheep!"

The old man made us stay to dinner; but then he hurried us off, that we
might be over The Mountains before dark.

The air was chilly when we started, and a few snow-flakes were flying.
But we had everything to make us comfortable. The old horse always
stepped quick, going home; the wind was in our favor; our chaise had a
boot which came up, and a top which tipped down. We should soon be home.
There is nothing very bad, after all, in being sent for a girl you never
saw!

And we were not two dummies. She was willing to do her part in talking,
and I could always hold my own, if no more.

She seemed, in conversation, not at all like a "little young thing,"--so
that I kept turning round to see if the look of the child Margaret was
still in her face. Oh, how that face played the mischief with me! And
in more ways than one.

We were speaking of large families; I had told her about ours. All at
once she exclaimed at a big rock ahead, which overhung the road.

The moment I placed my eye on it, I turned the horse's head.

"Wrong road," said I.

The horse had turned off, when I wasn't minding, and was taking us to
Cutler's Mills. We tried several ways to set ourselves right by a short
cut, but were finally obliged to go all the way back to where we turned
off. In a summer day this would only have been lengthening out a
pleasant ride. But the days were at the shortest. Snow-flakes fell
thicker, and, what was worse, the wind changed, and blew them straight
into our faces. By the time we reached the foot of The Mountains it was
nearly dark, and snowing furiously. I never knew a storm come on faster.
'Twas a regular, old-fashioned, driving snow-storm, with the wind to the
eastward.

Margaret seemed noways down-hearted. But I feared she would suffer. I
shook the snow from the blanket and wrapped her in it. I drew it over
her head, pinned it under her chin, and tucked it all about her.

'Twas hard pulling for the old horse, but he did well. I felt uneasy,
thinking about the blind roads, which led nowhere but to wood-lots.
'Twas quite likely that the horse would turn into one of these, and if
he did, we should be taken into the very middle of the woods.

It seemed to me we were hours creeping on in the dark, right in the
teeth of the storm. 'Twas an awful night; terribly cold; seemed as if it
was window-glass beating against our faces.

By the time I judged we had reached the top of The Mountains, the wind
blew a hurricane. Powerful gusts came tearing through the trees,
whirling the snow upon us in great smothering heaps. The chaise was
full. My hands grew numb, and I began slapping them upon my knees.
Margaret threw off the blanket with a jerk, and seized the reins.

"Stupid!" said she, "to be sitting here wrapped up, letting you freeze!"

But the horse felt a woman's hand upon the reins, and stopped short.

I urged him on a few yards, but we were in a cleared place, and the snow
had drifted. 'Twas no use. He was tired out.

"Take him out!" cried Margaret; "we can ride horseback."

I sprang out, knowing that no time should be lost. Margaret had not
complained. But I was chilled through. My feet were like blocks of wood.
I knew she must be half frozen. It seemed as if I never should do
anything with the tackling. My fingers were numb, and I could hardly
stand up, the wind blew so.

With the help of my jack-knife I cleared the horse. I rode him round to
the chaise, and took Margaret up in front of me, then let him take his
own course.

I asked Margaret if she was cold. She said, "Yes," in a whisper.
Throwing open the blanket had let in the snow upon her, and the sharp
wind. The horse floundered about in the drifts. Every minute I expected
to be thrown off. Time never seemed so long before.

All at once it occurred to me that Margaret was very quiet. I asked
again if she was cold. She said, "No; only sleepy." I knew in a minute
what that meant. That was a terrible moment. Freezing as I was, the
sweat started out at every pore. The pretty, delicate thing would die!
And I, great strong man, couldn't save her!

But I wouldn't despair. I made her talk. Kept asking her questions: If
the wind had not gone down? If she heard the surf upon the beach? If she
saw a light?

"Yes," said she at last,--"I see a light."

At first I was frightened, thinking her mind wandered. But directly I
saw that towards the right, and a little in advance of us, was a misty
spot of light.

When we were near enough to see where it came from, it seemed as if all
my strength left me at once,--the relief was so sudden.

'Twas a squaw's hut. I knew then just where we were. I climbed up the
bank, with Margaret in my arms, and pounded with all my might upon the
side of the hut, calling out, "For God's sake, open the door!" A latch
rattled close to my ears, and a door flew open. 'Twas Old Suke. I had,
many a time, when a boy, called out to her, "Black clouds arising!"--for
we always would torment the colored folks, when they came down with
their brooms.

I pushed past her into the hut,--into the midst of rushes, brooms, and
baskets,--into a shelter. I never knew before what the word meant.

The fireplace was full of blazing pine-knots, which made the room as
light as day. Old Suke showed herself a Christian. She told me where to
find a shed for my horse; and while I was gone, she took the wet things
off Margaret, and rubbed her hands and feet with snow. She took red
peppers from a string over the fireplace, boiled them in milk, and made
us drink it. I thought of "heaping coals of fire." She dipped up hulled
corn from a pot on the hearth, and made us eat. I felt like singing the
song of Mungo Park.

Margaret kept pretty still. I knew the reason. The warm blood was
rushing back to her fingers and toes, and they ached like the toothache.
Mine did. 'Twas a long while before Old Suke would let us come nearer
the fire. Her old mother was squatting upon the hearth. She looked to be
a hundred and fifty. Her face was like a baked apple,--for she was part
Indian, not very black. She had a check-handkerchief tied round her
head, and an old pea-jacket over her shoulders, with the sleeves
hanging. She hardly noticed us, but sat smoking her pipe, looking at the
coals. 'Twas curious to see Margaret's face by hers in the firelight.

A little after midnight the storm abated, and by four o'clock the stars
were out. I asked Margaret if she would be afraid to stay there, while I
went home to tell the folks what had become of us.

"Oh, no," she said. "'Twas just what she'd been thinking about. She
would be making baskets."--Some girls would never have dared stay in
such a place.

I promised to be back as soon as possible, and left her there by the old
woman.

'Twas just about daylight when I came in sight of father's. Mr.
Nathaniel was walking about the yard, looking up the road at every turn.
He hurried towards me.

"All safe!" I called out.

"Thank God!" he cried. "It has been a dreadful night."

Jamie was in the house. They two had been sitting up. They wouldn't hear
of my going back, but put me into bed, almost by main strength. Then
they started with fresh horses. They took a pillion for Margaret, and a
shovel to dig through the drifts when they couldn't go round.

Mother gave me warm drinks, and piled on the bed-clothes. But I couldn't
sleep for worrying about Margaret. I was afraid the exposure would be
the death of her.

About noon Mary came running up to tell me they had just gone past. The
window was near my bed. I pulled aside the curtain, and looked out. They
were just going over the hill,--Jamie, with Margaret on the pillion, and
Mr. Nathaniel along-side.

I often think what a mysterious Providence it was that made me the means
of bringing together the two persons who, as it turned, controlled my
whole life. In fact, it seems as if it were only then that my real life
began.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nobody could have been more pleased with a bright, beautiful, grown-up
daughter than was Mr. Nathaniel. He was always bragging about her. And
well he might,--for never was a better-dispositioned girl, or a
livelier. She entered right into our country-life, was merry with the
young folks and wise with the old ones. Aunt Chloë said she was good
company for anybody.

She was a real godsend to our neighborhood, especially at the
merry-makings; for she could make fun for a roomful, and tell us what
they played at the Boston parties.

Of course, that long ride with her in the snow-storm had given me an
advantage over the other young men. It seemed to be taken for granted by
them, that, as I brought her to town, I should be the one privileged to
wait upon her about. 'Twas a privilege I was glad enough to claim, and
she never objected. Many would have been glad to be in my place, but
they never tried to cut me out. Margaret was sociable enough with
them,--sometimes I thought too much so. But then I knew 'twas only her
pleasant way. When we two were walking home together, she dropped her
fun, and seemed like another person. I felt pleased that she kept the
best part of herself for me.

I was pleased, too, to see that she took to Mary, and Mary to her. The
women were hurried with their sewing, and Margaret used to be often at
our house helping. Cynthia was glad enough of her help, because she knew
the fashions, and told how weddings were carried on in Boston. Thus it
happened that she and Mary were brought much together; and before winter
was over they were like two sisters.

And before winter was over, what was I? Certainly not the same Joseph
who went to Swampsey Village. My eagerness to be on the sea, my pride,
my temper, were gone; and all I cared for was to see the face and hear
the voice of Margaret Holden.

At first, I would not believe this thing of myself; said it was folly to
be so led about by a woman. But the very next moment, her sitting down
by my side would set me trembling, I didn't know myself; it seemed as if
I were wrong side up, and all my good feelings had come to the top.

Our names were always called together, but I felt noways sure. I
couldn't think that a girl every way so desirable as Margaret should
take up with a fellow so undesirable as myself. I felt that she was too
good for me. I thought then that this was peculiar to our case. But I
have since observed, that, as a general thing, all women are too good
for all men. I am very sure I have seen something of the kind in print.

Then there was another feeling which worked itself in by degrees,--one
which would come back as often as I drove it away. And once admitted, it
gained strength. 'Twas not a pleasant feeling, and it had to do with
Jamie.

I had all along felt sure that he was attached to Mary. I had therefore
never thought anything of his being on pretty good terms with Margaret.
They were both of a lively turn, and thrown much together. But by
degrees the idea got possession of me that there was a secret
understanding between them about something. They had long talks and
walks together. And, in fact, I observed many little things, trifling in
themselves, but much to me after my thoughts were once turned that way.

Sometimes I think, that, if I had never gone to sea, or had never met
Jamie, or had not brought him home, my life might have been very
different. But then, if we once begin upon the "ifs," we might as well
go back to the beginning, and say, "If we had never been born."

Jealousy. And my proud, flashy temper. That was it.

Jamie was like a brother to me. He was a noble fellow, with a pleasant
word and smile for everybody. Not a family in the place but was glad to
see him enter their doors. It looks strange now that I could have
distrusted him so. Still, I must say, there seemed some cause.

But it's not pleasant dwelling on this. The daily events which stirred
me up so then seem too trifling to mention. I don't like to call up all
those dead feelings, now I'm an old man, and ashamed of them.

Jamie and Margaret became a mystery to me. And I was by no means one to
puzzle it out, as I would a sum in the rule-of-three. 'Twas not all
head-work. However, I said nothing. I was mean enough to watch, and too
proud to question.

At last I began to ask myself what I really knew about Jamie. He was
only a poor sailor-boy, whom I had picked up and befriended. And, once
put upon thought, what did I know of Margaret? What did anybody in the
place? Even Mr. Nathaniel only knew her father. Her simple, childish
ways might be all put on. For she could act. I had seen her, one
evening, for our entertainment, imitate the actresses upon the stage.
First, she was a little girl, in a white frock, with a string of coral
about her neck, and curls hanging over her pretty shoulders. She said a
little hymn, and her voice sounded just like a child's. Afterwards, she
was a proud princess, in laces and jewels, a long train, and a bright
crown. Dressed in this way, with her head thrown back, her bosom
heaving, and reciting something she had heard on the stage, we hardly
knew our Margaret.

It was at our house, one stormy evening. Mother would never allow it
again. She said it was countenancing the theatre. Besides, I thought
she'd rather not have me look at Margaret when under the excitement of
acting, for the next day she cautioned me against earthly idols. But
Margaret was my idol.

It was because she was so bewitching to me that I thought it could not
be but that Jamie must be bewitched as well. And it was because he was
so taking in his manner that I felt certain she must be taken with him.
Thus I puzzled on from day to day, drifting about among my doubts and
fears, like a ship in a fog.

I knew that Margaret thought my conduct strange. Sometimes I seemed
scarcely to live away from her; then I would change about, and not go
near her for days. To Jamie, too, I was often unfriendly, for it
maddened me to think he might be playing a double game. Mary seemed just
as she always did. But then she was simple-minded, and would never
suspect anything or anybody. It was astonishing, the state of excitement
I finally worked myself into. That was my make. Once started upon a
road, I would run its whole length.

       *       *       *       *       *

February and March passed, and still we were not sent for to join our
ship. Jamie was getting uneasy, living, as he said, so long upon
strangers. Besides, I knew my manner troubled him.

One evening, as we were sitting around our kitchen-fire, Margaret with
the rest, Mr. Nathaniel came in, all of a breeze, scolding away about
his fishermen. His schooner was all ready for The Banks, and two of his
men had run off, with all their fitting-out.

"Come, you two lazy chaps," said he, "you will just do to fill their
places."

"Agreed!" said Jamie. "I'll go, if Joseph will."

"I'll go," said I. For I thought in a minute that he would rather not
leave me behind, and I knew he needed the chance.

The women all began to exclaim against it,--all but Margaret. She turned
pale, and kept silence. That was Friday. The vessel would sail Monday.
Mother was greatly troubled, but said, if I would go, she must make me
comfortable; and all night I could hear her opening and shutting the
bureau-drawers. Margaret stopped with Mary: I think they sewed till near
morning.

The next evening the singers met in the vestry, to practise the tunes
for the Sabbath. We all sat in the singing-seats. I played the small
bass-viol. Jamie sang counter, and the girls treble. Margaret had a
sweet voice,--not very powerful. She sat in the seats because the other
girls did.

I went home with her that night. She seemed so sad, so tender in her
manner, that I came near speaking,--came near telling her how much she
was to me, and owning my feeling about Jamie. But I didn't quite.
Something kept me from it. If there is such a thing as fate, 'twas that.

Going home, however, I made a resolution that the next night I would
certainly know, from her own lips, whether it was me she liked, or
Jamie.

I walked slowly home, and directly up-stairs to bed. I lay awake a long
time, heard father and mother go to their chamber, then Mary and Sophy
to theirs. At last I wondered what had become of Jamie.

I pushed aside the window-curtain and looked out. 'Twas bright
moonlight. I saw Jamie coming over the hill from Mr. Nathaniel's. He
came in softly. I pretended sleep. He was still so long that I looked up
to see what he could be doing. He was leaning his elbow on the desk,
looking straight at the floor, thinking.

All that night I lay awake, staring at the moonlight on the curtains. I
was again on the old track, for I could not possibly imagine what he
should have to say to Margaret at that hour.

Towards morning I fell asleep, and never woke till the people were
getting ready for meeting. I hurried, for the instruments met before the
rest to practise.

Nearly all the young folks sat in the seats. Jamie stood at the head of
the back row, on the men's side. His voice was worth all the rest.
Margaret came in late. She looked like a beauty that day. Her place was
at the head of the first row of girls. I, with my bass-viol, was behind
all.

The minister read the hymn beginning with this verse,--

    "We are a garden walled around,
    Chosen and made peculiar ground;
    A little spot inclosed by grace,
    Out of the world's wide wilderness."

While he was reading it, I saw her write a little note, and hand it
across the alley to Jamie. He smiled, and wrote another back. After
meeting, they had a talk. These things sound small enough now. But now I
am neither young, nor in love, nor jealous.

That night was our last at home. After supper, I strolled off towards
the meeting-house. 'Twas about sundown. I walked awhile in the
graveyard, and then followed the path into the wood at the back of it.

I see that I have been telling my story in a way to favor myself,--that
even now I am unwilling wholly to expose my folly. I could not, if I
tried, tell how that night in the wood I was beset at once by jealousy,
pride, love, and anger, and so well-nigh driven mad.

I passed from the wood to the open field, and reached the shore. The
vessel lay at the wharf. I climbed the rigging, and watched the moon
rising over the water. It must have been near midnight when I reached
home.

The vessel sailed early in the morning. I did not see Margaret,--never
bid her good-bye. After we were under way, and were out of the windings
of the channel, Jamie came and leaned with me against the rail. And
there in silence we stood until the homes of those we loved so well had
faded from our sight.

Poor Jamie! I knew afterwards how troubled he was at the way I treated
him that summer. He wanted to be friendly, but I stood off. He wanted to
speak of the folks at home, but I would never join him. At last he left
off trying.

If he had not met with an accident, maybe I should never have spoken
another kind word to him. It happened towards the end of the voyage. The
schooner had wet her salt, and all hands were thinking of home. I was
down in the cabin. I was marking a piece of meat to boil,--for then each
fisherman carried his own provisions. All at once I heard something fall
upon the deck. Then a great trampling. I hurried up, and saw them
lifting up Jamie. He had fallen from the rigging. It was old and rotten.
They carried him down, and laid him in his berth. He wouldn't have
known, if they had dropped him into the sea.

When I saw him stretched out there, every unkind feeling left me. My old
love for him came back. All I could think of was what he said in our
first talk,--"Then I wanted my mother." None of us could say whether he
would live or die. We feared for his head, because he took no notice,
but seemed inclined to sleep. I wanted to do everything for him myself.
I had borne him ill-will, but now my strong feelings all set towards
him.

It was in the middle of the night that he first came to himself. 'Twas a
blowy night, and most of the crew were on deck. A couple of men were
sleeping in their berths.

The cabin of a fishing-schooner is a dark, stifled place, with
everything crowded into it. The berths were like a double row of shelves
along the sides. In one of these, with his face not far from the beams
overhead, was stretched my poor, ill-treated Jamie. I was so afraid he
would die! I had no pride then.

On this night I stood holding by the side of his berth, to steady
myself. I turned away a moment to snuff the candle, and when I stepped
back he looked up in my face and smiled. I couldn't help throwing my
arms around his neck and kissing him. I never kissed a man before,--nor
since.

"Joseph has come back," said he, with a smile.

I thought he was wandering, and made no answer. After that he frequently
roused from his stupor and seemed inclined to talk.

One stormy night, when all hands were upon deck, he seemed like himself,
only very sad, and began of his own accord to talk of what was always in
my mind. He spoke low, being weak.

"Joseph," said he, "there is one question I want to ask you."

"Hush!" said I,--"you mustn't talk, you must be quiet." For I dreaded
his coming to the point.

"I can't be quiet," said he, "and I must talk. You've something against
me. What is it?"

I made no answer.

"But I know," he continued. "I have known all along. You've heard
something about my old life. You think Mary is too good for me. And she
is. But she is willing to take me just as I am. I'm not what I was. She
has changed me. She will keep me from harm."

"Jamie," said I, "I don't know what you mean. I've heard nothing. I'm
willing you should have Mary,--want you to."

He looked perplexed.

"Then what is it?" he asked.

I turned my head away, hardly knowing how to begin. At last I said,--

"I wasn't sure, Jamie, that you wanted Mary. You know there was some one
else you were often with."

He lay for some time without speaking. At last he said, slowly,--"I
see,--I see,--I see,"--three times. Then, turning his eyes away from me,
he kept on,--"What should you think, Joseph, if I were to tell you that
I had seen Margaret before she came to your place?"

"Seen Margaret?" I repeated.

"Yes," he replied; "and I will tell you where. You see, when I found
mother was dead, and nobody cared whether I went up or down in the
world, that I turned downwards. I got with a bad set,--learned to drink
and gamble. One night, in the streets of Boston, I got into a quarrel
with a young man, a stranger. We were both drunk. I don't remember doing
it, but they told me afterwards that I stabbed him. This sobered us
both. He was laid on a bed in an upper room in the Lamb Tavern. I was
awfully frightened, thinking he would die. That was about two months
before I shipped aboard the Eliza Ann.

"After his wound was dressed, he begged me to go for his sister, and
gave me the street and number. His name was Arthur Holden. His sister
was your Margaret. Our acquaintance began at his bedside. We took turns
in the care of him.

"They were a family well off in the world, with nothing to trouble them
but his wickedness. He would not be respectable, would go with bad
company.

"After he was well enough to be taken home, I never saw Margaret until
that morning after the snow-storm. I was very eager to go for her, for I
felt sure, from what Mr. Nathaniel had said during the night, that she
was the same.

"Riding along, she told me all about Arthur's course, and the grief he
had caused them ever since. It had made her mother ill. He was roaming
about the country, always in trouble, and it was on his account that she
stayed behind, when her father and mother went South. She said he must
have some one to befriend him in case of need.

"And here," continued he, "was where I took a wrong step. I begged
Margaret not to speak of our former acquaintance. I could not bear to
have you all know. I was afraid Mary would despise me, she was so pure.

"Margaret was willing to keep silence about it, for she would rather not
have the people know of her brother. He would have been the talk of the
neighborhood. Everybody would have been pitying her. She used to like to
speak of him to me, because I was the only one who knew the
circumstances.

"But don't think," he continued, earnestly, "that I would have married
Mary and never told her. We had a long, beautiful talk the last evening.
I had never before spoken quite freely of my feelings, though she must
have seen what they were. But that night I told everything,--my past
life, and all. And she forgave all, because she loved me.

"I meant to tell you as soon as we were off; but you turned the cold
shoulder,--you would not talk about home."

Here he stopped. I hoped he would say no more, for every word he spoke
made me feel ashamed. But he went on.

"The day before we agreed to go this voyage, Margaret told me that
Arthur was concealed somewhere in the neighborhood. She didn't know what
he had done, but only that he was running away from an officer. I found
him out, and went every night to carry him something to eat."

"Why didn't she tell me?" I exclaimed. "I would have done the same."

"She would, perhaps," said he, "only that for some time you had acted so
strangely. She never said a word, but I knew it troubled her. If I had
only known of your feeling so, I would have told everything. But I
thought you must see how much I cared for Mary. Everybody else was sure
who Margaret loved, if you were not.

"Oh, Joseph," he continued, clasping my hand, "how beautiful it will be,
when we get home, now that everything is cleared up! But I haven't quite
finished. Sunday, if you remember, Margaret came in late to meeting.
While the hymn was being read, she wrote me on a slip of paper that
Arthur was gone. I wrote her back, 'Good news.' Afterwards she told me
that he came in the night to her bedroom-window to bid her
good-bye,--that he had promised her he certainly would do better.
Margaret was in better spirits that day than I had seen her for a long
while. I thought there had been an explanation between you two. Never
fear, Joseph, but that she loves you."

Jamie seemed tired after talking so much, and soon after fell asleep. I
crept into the berth underneath him. I felt like creeping somewhere.
Sleep was long coming, and no sooner was I unconscious of things about
me than I began to dream bad dreams. I thought I was stumbling along in
the dark, 'Twas over graves. I fell over a heap of earth, and heard the
stones drop down into one newly made. As I was trying to walk away,
Margaret came to meet me. "You didn't bid me good-bye," said she,
smiling; "but it's not too late now." Then she held out her hand. I took
it, but the touch waked me. 'Twas just like a dead hand.

I kept sleeping and waking; and every time I slept, the same dream came
to me,--exactly the same. At last I rushed upon deck, sent a man below,
and took his place. He was glad to go, and I was glad to be where the
wind was blowing and everything in commotion.

The next day I told Jamie my dream. He said it was a lucky one, and he
hoped it meant two weddings. So I thought no more of it. I was never
superstitious: my mother had taught me better.

We had just started for home, but this gale blew us off our course. Soon
after, however, the wind shifted to the eastward, and so kept, for the
biggest part of the time, until we sighted Boston Lights. Jamie was
nearly well. Still he could not walk much. He was quite lame. The
skipper thought some of the small bones of the foot were put out. But
Jamie didn't seem to care anything about his feet. He was just as gay as
a lark, singing all day.

As soon as we caught sight of The Mountains, we ran up our flag. It was
about noon, and the skipper calculated on dropping anchor in the channel
by sundown, at the farthest. And so we should, but the wind hauled, and
we couldn't lay our course. Tacking is slow work, especially all in
sight of home. About ten o'clock in the evening we made Wimple's Creek.
Then we had the tide in our favor, and so drifted into the channel. Our
bounty wasn't quite out, or we should have gone straight in to the
wharf, over everything.

When things were made snug, we pulled ashore in the boat. It being in
the night, we went just as we were, in fishermen's rig. 'Twas a wet,
drizzly, chilly night, so dark we could hardly make out the landing. We
coaxed Jamie to stop under a shed while I went for a horse. I was the
only one of the crew who lived beyond the meeting-house. But I had so
much to think of, was so happy, thinking I was home again, and that
everything would be right, that I never minded being alone. Passing by
the graveyard made me remember my dream. "Joseph," said I to myself,
"you don't dare walk through there!" 'Twas only a post-and-rail fence,
and I sprang over, to show myself I dared do it. I felt noways agitated
until I found, that, on account of its being so dark, I was stumbling
just as I had dreamed. I kept on, however; for, by going that way, I
could reach home by a short cut. When I got behind the meeting-house I
nearly fell down over a heap of earth. My fall started a few stones, and
I could hear them drop. Then my courage left me. I shook with fear. I
hardly had strength to reach the road. That was the first time it
occurred to me that I might not find all as I left them.

As I came to dwelling--houses, however, I grew calm again, and even
smiled at my foolishness,--or tried to.

Mr. Nathaniel's house came before ours. I saw there was a light in the
kitchen, and stepped softly through the back-yard, thinking some one
might be sick. The windows were small and high. The curtains were made
of house-paper. One of them was not quite let down. I looked in
underneath it, and saw two old women sitting by the fire. Something to
eat was set out on a table, and the teapot was on the hearth. One stick
had broken in two. The smoking brands stood up in the corners. There was
just a flicker of flame in the candlestick. It went out while I was
looking. I saw that the old women were dozing. I opened the outside-door
softly, and stood in the porch. There was a latch-string to the inner
one. As soon as I pulled it the door opened. In my agitation I forgot
there was a step up, and so stumbled forward into the room. They both
started to their feet, holding on by the pommels of the chairs. They
were frightened.

"What are you here for?" I gasped out.

"Watching with the dead!" whispered one of them.

"Who?"

They looked at each other; they knew me then.

I remember their eyes turning towards the front-room door, of placing my
hand on the latch, of standing by a table between the front-windows, of
a coffin resting on the white cloth, of people crowding about me,--but
nothing more that night. Nothing distinctly for weeks and months. Some
confused idea I have of being led about at a funeral, of being told I
must sit with the mourners, of the bearers taking off their hats, of
being held back from the grave. But a black cloud rests over all. I
cannot pierce it. I have no wish to. I can't even tell whether I really
took her cold hand in mine, and bid her good-bye, or whether that was
one of the terrible dreams which came to me every night. I know that at
last I refused to go to bed, but walked all night in the fields and
woods.

I believe that insane people always know the feelings and the plans of
those about them. I knew they were thinking of taking me to an asylum. I
knew, too, that I was the means of Jamie's being sick, and that they
tried to keep it from me. I read in their faces,--"Jamie got a fever
that wet night at the shore; but don't tell Joseph."

As I look back upon that long gloom, a shadowy remembrance comes to me
of standing in the door-way of a darkened chamber. A minister in white
bands stood at the foot of the bed, performing the marriage-ceremony. I
remember Jamie's paleness, and the heavenly look in Mary's face, as she
stood at the bedside, holding his right hand in hers. Mother passed her
hand over my head, and whispered to me that Mary wanted to take care of
him.

One of my fancies was, that a dark bird, like a vulture, constantly
pursued me. All day I was trying to escape him, and all the while I
slept he was at my pillow.

As I came to myself I found this to be a form given by my excited
imagination to a dark thought which would give me no rest. It was the
idea that my conduct had been the means of Margaret's death. I never
dared question. They said it was fever,--that others died of the same.
If I could but have spoken to her,--could but have seen, once more, the
same old look and smile! This was an ever-present thought.

But I did afterwards. I told her everything. She knows my folly and my
grief.

It was in the night-time. I was walking through the woods, on the road
to Swampsey Village. Margaret walked beside me for a long way. Just
before she left me, she said,--

"Do you hear the surf on the beach?"

I said, "Yes, I hear the surf."

"And what is it saying?"

I listened a moment, then answered,--

"It says, 'Woe! woe! woe!'"

She said, "Listen again."

While I was listening, she disappeared. But a moment afterwards I heard
a voice speaking in the midst of the surfs roaring. It was just as plain
and distinct as the minister's from the pulpit. It said, "Endure!
endure! endure."

I might think that all this, even my seeing Margaret, was only a
creation of my disordered mind, were it not for something happening
afterwards which proved itself.

One evening, about twilight, I walked through the graveyard, and stood
leaning against her tombstone. I soon knew that she was coming, for I
heard the ringing sound in the air which always came before her. A
moment after, she stood beside me. She placed her hand on my heart, and
said, "Joseph, all is right here,"--then upon my forehead, and said,
"But here all is wrong."

Then she told me there was a ship ready to sail from Boston, and that I
must go in her,--said it troubled her that I wasted my life so. She gave
me the name of the ship and of the captain, and told me when to go.

I did exactly as she said. And it all came true. When the captain saw
me, he started back and exclaimed,--"What sent you here?"

I said, "An angel."

"And an angel told me you were coming," he replied.

Active work saved me. For years I never dared rest. I shrank back from a
leisure hour as from a dark chasm.

The greater part of my life has been passed upon the sea. As I
approached middle age, people would joke me upon my single life. They
could never know what a painful chord they struck, and I could never
tell them. Beautiful girls were pointed out to me. I could not see them.
Margaret's face always came between.

This bantering a single man is very common. I often wonder that people
dare do it. How does the world know what early disappointment he may be
mourning over? Is it anything to laugh about, that he has nobody to love
him,--nobody he may call his own,--no home? Seated in your pleasant
family-circle, the bright faces about him fade away, and he sees only a
vision of what might have been. Yet nobody supposes we have feeling. No
mother, dressing up her little boy for a walk, thinks of _our_ noticing
how cunning he looks, with the feather in his hat. No mother, weeping
over the coffin of her child, dreams that _we_ have pity and sorrow in
our hearts for her.

Thus the world shuts us out from all sympathy with its joys or
afflictions. But the world doesn't know everything,--least of all what
is passing in the heart of an old bachelor.

       *       *       *       *       *

Jamie and Mary are old folks now. He never went to sea after his
marriage. Father set him up in a store. I should make it my home with
them, but they live at the old place, and I am always better away from
there.

Mrs. Maylie was right about my noticing children. I like to sit on the
stone wall and talk with them. No face comes between theirs and
mine,--unless it's the little girl's who moved away. Farmer Hill's is a
pleasant family. His grandchildren call me Captain Joseph. I humor them
almost as much as he does. When huckleberries come, they wonder why I
won't let them take that little rough-looking basket that hangs over the
looking-glass. 'Tis the one Margaret made that night in the hut on The
Mountains.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE SNOW-MAN.


    The fields are white with the glittering snow,
    Save down by the brook, where the alders grow,
    And hang their branches, black and bare,
    O'er the stream that wanders darkly there;
    Or where the dry stalks of the summer past
    Stand shivering now in the winter blast;
    Or where the naked woodlands lie,
    Bearded and brown against the sky:
    But over the pasture, and meadow, and hill,
    The snow is lying, all white and still.

    But a loud and merry shout I hear,
    Ringing and joyous, fresh and clear,
    Where a troop of rosy boys at play
    Awaken the echoes far away.
    They have moulded the snow with hand and spade,
    And a strange, misshapen image made:
    A Caliban in fiendish guise,
    With mouth agape and staring eyes,
    And monstrous limbs, that might uphold
    The weight that Atlas bore, of old;
    Like shapes that our troubled dreams distress,
    Ghost-like and grim in their ugliness;
    A huge and hideous human form,
    Born of the howling wind and storm:
    And yet those boyish sculptors glow
    With the pride of a Phidias or Angelo.

    Come hither and listen to me, my son,
    And a lesson of life I'll read thereon.
    You have made a man of the snow-bank there;
    He stands up yet in the frosty air:
    Go out from your home, so bright and warm,
    And throw yourself on his frozen form;
    Wind him around with your soft caress;
    Tenderly up to his bosom press;
    Ask him for sympathy, love, and cheer;
    Plead for yourself with prayer and tear;
    Tell him you hope and dream and grieve;
    Beg him to comfort and relieve:
    The form that you press will be icy cold;
    A frozen heart to your breast you hold,
    That turns into stone the tears you weep;
    And the chill of his touch through your soul will creep.
    So over the field of life are spread
    Men who have hearts as cold and dead,--
    Who nothing of sympathy know, nor love,--
    To whom your prayers would as fruitless prove
    As those that you now might go and say
    To the grim snow-man that you made to-day.

    But soon the soft and gentle spring
    The balmy southern breeze will bring;
    The snow, that shrouds the landscape o'er,
    Will melt away, and be seen no more;
    The gladsome brook shall rippling run,
    'Neath the alders greening in the sun;
    The grass shall spring, and the birds shall come,
    In the verdant woodlands to find a home;
    And the softened heart of your man of snow
    Shall bid the blue violets blossom below.
    Oh, let us hope that time may bring
    To earth some sweet and gentle spring,
    When human hearts shall thaw, and when
    The ice shall melt away from men;
    And where the hearts now frozen stand,
    Love then shall blossom o'er all the land!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE GOLD-FIELDS OF NOVA SCOTIA.


It will probably be thought a startling statement, by the good people of
our staid Northern metropolis,--certainly by those of them whose
attention has not been called to the recent developments on this
subject,--that within thirty-six hours' travel from their own doors, by
conveyance as safe and even luxurious as any in the world, there exist
veins of auriferous quartz, practically inexhaustible in extent, teeming
throughout with virgin gold of a standard of almost absolute purity, and
yielding a return to the labors of the scientific miner, rivalling, if
not fairly surpassing, in their comparative results, the richest
deposits of California, Colorado, and Australia.

But then, if one has a startling fact to tell, why is it not best to
tell it out, all at once, and in a startling manner? If the house-maid
of our modest _menage_ should on a sudden discover that Aladdin's lamp
had come home from the auction-room among some chance purchases of her
mistress, and that the slave or genie thereof was actually standing in
the middle of our own kitchen-floor at the moment, and grumbling audibly
at lack of employment in fetching home diamonds and such like delicacies
by the bale for the whole household, could we reasonably expect the girl
to announce the fact, in the parlor above, in the same tone in which she
ordinarily states that the butcher has called for his orders? Aesop, in
his very first fable, (as arranged by good Archdeacon Croxall,) has
inculcated but a mean opinion of the cock who forbore to crow lustily
when he turned up a jewel of surpassing richness, in the course of his
ordinary scratching, and under his own very beak; why, then, should we
render ourselves liable to the same depreciatory moral? Something, at
least, must be pardoned to the _certaminis gaudia_ of this new-found
contest with the secrets of Nature,--and though the fact we have stated
be a startling one, the statements and authorities which go to support
it will, perhaps, in the end, surprise us still more. We shall give
them, at any rate, in such a form as "to challenge investigation and to
defy scrutiny." How far they will bear out our sensational opening
paragraph, then, the readers of the "Atlantic" cannot choose but judge.

But let us hasten, in the very outset, to warn the individual
gold-hunter that he, at least, will get no crumb of comfort from these
pages. That the precious metal is there,--to use Dr. Johnson's
expression, "the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of
avarice,"--no one, we think, after reading what we have now to offer,
will be inclined to deny. But it is to be sought successfully, as we
shall show, only by the expenditure of capital, and under the direction
of science and the most experienced skill. The solitary adventurer may
tickle the stern ribs of Acadia with his paltry hoe and pick in
vain,--she will laugh for him and such as he with no sign of a golden
harvest. Failure and vexation, disappointment, loss, and ruin, will be
again, as they have already been, his only reward. With this full
disclaimer, therefore, at the commencement of our remarks, we trust that
we shall, at least, have no sin of enticement laid at our door. If any
one chooses to go there and try it on his own individual responsibility,
and in the face of this energetic protest and solemn warning, it must
surely be no further affair of ours.

       *       *       *       *       *

The authorities, official, statistical, and scientific, from which our
knowledge of the Gold-Fields of Nova Scotia is mainly derived, are as
follows:--

1. Report of a Personal Inspection of the Gold-Fields of Nova Scotia, in
the Consecutive Order in which they were visited. Made by Lord Mulgrave
to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, and dated at Government House,
Halifax, N.S., 21st June, 1862.

2. Report of the Chief Gold-Commissioner for the Province of Nova Scotia
for the Year 1862. Made to the Honorable the Provincial Secretary, and
dated at Halifax, January 23, 1863.

3. Report of the Provincial Geologist, Mr. Campbell. Made to the
Honorable Joseph Howe, Provincial Secretary, at Halifax, N.S., 25th
February, 1863. Accompanied by a Section across the Gold-bearing Rocks
of the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia.

4. Report on the Gold-Districts of the Province of Nova Scotia. Made to
the President and Directors of the Oldham Gold-Mining Company, December
28, 1863, by George I. Chace, Professor of Chemistry in Brown
University, Providence, R.I. _Manuscript_.

5. Introductory Remarks on the Gold-Region of Nova Scotia. Prefixed to a
Report made to the President and Directors of the Atlantic Mining
Company, December 31, 1863. By Benjamin Silliman, Jr., Professor of
General and Applied Chemistry in Yale College, New Haven, Ct.
_Manuscript_.

6. Report on the Montague Gold-Field, near Halifax, N.S., by the Same,
and on the Gold-Fields of the Waverley District, by the Same.
_Manuscript_.

7. Quarterly Report of the Chief Gold-Commissioner of the Province of
Nova Scotia. Made to the Provincial Secretary at Halifax, October 1,
1863.

8. The Royal Gazette, issued by the Chief Gold-Commissioner, Halifax,
January 20, 1863. Published by Authority.

       *       *       *       *       *

In confirmation of these documents, we shall only need to add the
"testimony of the rocks" themselves, as shown in more than sixty
specimens of the gold-bearing quartz of these remarkable mines. Some of
these were brought to Boston by Professors Chace and Silliman, on their
return a few weeks since from exploring the rich leads of the
Provinces,--but by far the larger number were forwarded by some of the
resident superintendents of the mines, by the Cunard steamer Africa,
arriving in Boston, Sunday, January 10, 1864, to the care of Captain
Field, then residing at the Tremont House. We may add that the eight
finest of these specimens are now lying on the table before us, their
mottled sides thickly crusted with arsenical pyrites and streaked
through and through with veins and splashes of twenty-two-carat gold.
Incredulity, when raised to its highest pitch, might perhaps discredit
all written testimony, whether official or scientific; but we have as
yet seen no case so confirmed that the sight of these extraordinary
fragments did not _compel_ belief.

In drawing our narrative from the authorities above cited, we shall
prefer to follow as closely as possible the precise statements of the
documents themselves,--interspersed only with such remarks of our own as
may be necessary best to preserve an intelligible connection between the
different portions. The agreement between all the authorities is so
substantial, and in fact entire, that we shall experience none of the
usual difficulties in the reconciling of contradictions or the balancing
of conflicting theories or statements.

       *       *       *       *       *

The gold-fields of Nova Scotia consist of some ten or twelve districts
of quite limited area in themselves, but lying scattered along almost
the whole southeastern coast of the Province. The whole of this coast,
from Cape Sable on the west to Cape Canso on the east, a distance of
about two hundred and fifty miles, is bordered by a fringe of hard,
slaty rocks,--slate and sandstone in irregular alternations,--sometimes
argillaceous, and occasionally granitic. These rocks, originally
deposited on the grandest scale of Nature, are always, when stratified,
found standing at a high angle,--sometimes almost vertical,--and with a
course, in the main, very nearly due east and west. They seldom rise to
any great elevation,--the promontory of Aspatogon, about five hundred
feet high, being the highest land on the Atlantic coast of the Province.
The general aspect of the shore is low, rocky, and desolate, strewn
often with huge boulders of granite or quartzite,--and where not bleak
and rocky, it is covered with thick forests of spruce and white birch.

The picture is not enticing,--but this is, nevertheless, the true _arida
nutrix_ of the splendid masses before us. The zone of metamorphic rocks
which lines this inhospitable coast varies in width from six or eight
miles at its eastern extremity to forty or fifty at its widest
points,--presenting in its northern boundary only a rude parallelism
with its southern margin,--and comprising, over about six thousand
square miles of surface, the general outline of what may, geologically
speaking, be called the Gold-Region of Nova Scotia.

It will be most interesting hereafter to mark the gradual changes
already beginning to take place in this rich, but limited district. It
is destined throughout, we may be sure, to very thorough and systematic
exploration. For, although it is true that gold is not to be found in
all parts of it, still it is not unreasonable to search for the precious
metal throughout this whole region, wherever the occurrence of true
quartz-veins--the almost sole _matrix_ of the gold--is shown by boulders
on the surface. Back from the coast-line, a large part of the district
named is now little better than an unexplored wilderness; and the fact
that the remarkable discoveries which have been made are in a majority
of cases almost on the sea-shore, and where the country is open and the
search easy, by no means diminishes the probabilities that continued
exploration in the less frequented parts of the district will be
rewarded with new discoveries as important as any which have yet been
made.

The earliest discovery of gold in the Province, yet made known to the
public, occurred during the summer of 1860, at a spot about twelve miles
north from the head of Tangier Harbor, on the northeast branch of the
Tangier River,--shown on McKinley's excellent map of Nova Scotia as
about fifty-eight miles east from Halifax. Subsequent discoveries at
Wine Harbor, Sherbrooke, Ovens, Oldham, Waverley, Hammond's Plains, and
at Lake Loon,--a small lake only five miles distant from Halifax,--have
fully determined the auriferous character of particular and defined
localities throughout the district already described, and abundantly
justify the early opinion of Lord Mulgrave, that "there is now little or
no doubt that this Colony will soon rank as one of the gold-producing
countries of the world."

As a specimen of one of the most interesting mineral veins of this
region, it may answer to select the Montague lode at Lake Loon for a
specific description. The course of this vein is E. 10° N., that being
the _strike_ of the rocks by the compass in that particular district. It
has been traced by surface-digging a long distance,--not less, probably,
than half a mile. At one point on this line there is a _shift_ or
_fault_ in the rocks which has heaved the most productive portion of the
vein about thirty-five feet to the north; but for the rest of the
distance, so far as yet open, the whole lead remains true and
undisturbed.

Its dip, with the rocks around it, is almost vertical,--say from 85° to
80° south. The vein is contained between walls of slate on both sides,
and is a double or composite vein, being formed, 1st, of the main
_leader_; 2d, of a smaller vein on the other side, with a thin slate
partition-wall between the two; and, 3d, of a strongly mineralized slate
_foot-wall_, which is in itself really a most valuable portion of the
ore-channel.

The quartz which composes these interposed sheets, thus
separated, yet combined, is crystallized throughout, and highly
mineralized,--belonging, in fact, to the first class of quartz lodes
recognized in all the general descriptions of the veins of this region.
The associated minerals are, here, _cuprite_ or yellow copper, green
_malachite_ or carbonate of copper, _mispickel_ or arsenical pyrites,
_zinc blende, sesquioxyde of iron_, rich in gold, and also frequent
"sights" or visible masses of gold itself. The gold is also often
visible to the naked eye in all the associated minerals, and
particularly in the mispickel and blende.

The main quartz vein of this interesting lead varies from three to ten
inches in thickness at different points on the surface-level, but is
reported as increasing to twenty inches thick at the bottom of the
shaft, already carried down to a depth of forty feet. This very
considerable variation in thickness will be found to be owing to the
folds or plications of the vein, to which we shall hereafter make more
particular allusion.

The minerals associated with the quartz in this vein, especially the
cuprite and mispickel, are found most abundantly upon the foot-wall
side, or underside of the quartz itself. The smaller accompanying vein
before alluded to appears to be but a repetition of the larger one in
all its essential characteristics, and is believed by the scientific
examiners to be fully as well charged with gold. That this is likely to
come up to a very remarkable standard of productiveness, perhaps more so
than any known vein in the world, is to be inferred from the official
statement in the "Royal Gazette" of Wednesday, January 20, 1864,
published by authority, at the Chief Gold-Commissioner's office in
Halifax, in which the average yield of the Montague vein for the month
of October, 1863, is given as 3 oz. 3 dwt. 4 gr., for November as 3 oz.
10 dwt. 13 gr., and for December as 5 oz. 9 dwt. 8 gr., to the ton of
quartz crushed during those months respectively. Nor is the quartz of
this vein the only trustworthy source of yield. The underlying slate is
filled with bunches of mispickel, not distributed in a sheet, or in any
particular order, so far as yet observed, but developed throughout the
slate, and varying in size from that of small nuts to many pounds in
weight, masses of over fifty pounds having been frequently taken out.
This peculiar mineral has always proved highly auriferous in this
locality, and a careful search will rarely fail to detect "sights" of
the precious metal imbedded in its folds, or lying hidden between its
crystalline plates.

Nor is the surrounding mass of slate in which this vein is inclosed
without abundant evidences of a highly auriferous character. Scales of
gold are everywhere to be seen between its laminæ, and, when removed and
subjected to the processes of "dressing," there can be little doubt of
its also yielding a very handsome return. In fact, the entire mass of
material which is known to be auriferous is not less than twelve to
fifteen inches at the surface, and will doubtless be found, as all
experience and analogy in the district have hitherto shown to be the
case, to increase very considerably with the increased depth to which
the shafts will soon be carried. No difficulties whatever are
apprehended here in going to a very considerable depth, as the slate is
not hard, and easily permits the miner in his progress to bear in upon
it without drilling upon the closer and more tenacious quartz.

The open cut, made by the original owners of the Montague property, and
by which the veins have been in some degree exposed, absurd and culpable
as it is as a mode of mining, has yet served a good purpose in showing
in a very distinct manner the structure of these veins,--a structure
which is found to be on the whole very general in the Province. The
quartz is not found, as might naturally be supposed from its position
among sedimentary rocks, lying in anything like a plain, even sheet of
equal thickness. On the contrary, it is seen to be marked by _folds_ or
plications, occurring at tolerably regular intervals, and crossing the
vein at an angle of 40° or 45° to the west. Similar folds may be
produced in a sheet which is hung on a line and then drawn at one of the
lower corners. The cross-section of the vein is thus made to resemble
somewhat the appearance of a chain of long links, the rolls or swells
alternating with plain spaces through its whole extent. Perhaps a better
comparison is that of ripples or gentle waves, as seen following each
other on the ebbtide in a still time, on the beach.

The distribution of the gold in the mass of the quartz appears to be
highly influenced by this peculiar wavy or folded structure. All the
miners are agreed in the statement that the gold abounds most at the
swells, or highest points of the waves of rock, and that the scarcely
less valuable mispickel appears to follow the same law. The spaces
between are not found to be so rich as these points of undulation; and
this structure must explain the signal contrast in thickness and
productiveness which is everywhere seen in sinking a shaft in this
district. As the cutting passes through one of these original swells,
the thickness of the vein at once increases, and again diminishes with
equal certainty as the work proceeds,--below this point destined again
to go through with similar alternations in its mass.

"There can be no fear, however," says Mr. Silliman, (Report, p. 10,)
"that there will be any failure in depth" (_i.e._, at an increased depth
of excavation) "on these veins, either in gold product or in strength.
The formation of the country is on too grand a scale, geologically, to
admit of a doubt on this point, so vital to mining success." Mr.
Campbell, whose masterly survey and analysis of the whole gold-region
forms, with the colored section accompanying it, the basis for a general
and thorough understanding of the whole subject, adds (Report, p. 5)
that "the yield per ton of such quartz when crushed cannot fail to prove
highly satisfactory." And Mr. Chace, in the Preface to his Report on the
Oldham District, (p. 6,) remarks, that, "if, as there are reasons for
believing, the gold-bearing quartz of Nova Scotia is of sedimentary
origin, in that case I see no reason why depth should cause any decline
in the richness of the ore. As yet, none of the shafts have been carried
down sufficiently far to test this question practically,"--he must, we
think, mean to its fullest extent, since he adds immediately after,
that, "as far as they have gone, the ore is very generally believed to
have improved with increase of depth."

Such, then, is a brief and imperfect description of the general
character of one of the representative veins or "leads" of the
gold-fields of Nova Scotia. Of the extent and number of similar deposits
it is scarcely possible at present to give any definite idea. The line
along which Mr. Campbell's section is made out extends from the
sea-shore at the south-east entrance of Halifax Harbor to the Renfrew
Gold-Field, a distance a little over thirty miles to the northeast,
intersecting in that distance no less than six great anticlinal folds.
The points at which the east and west anticlinal lines are intersected
by north and south lines of upheaval form the localities in which the
quartzite group of gold-bearing rocks are brought to the surface, and it
is here that their outcroppings form the surface of the country. The
official "Gazette" for January, 1864, enumerates nine of these districts
as already under a course of active exploration, namely, Stormont, Wine
Harbor, Sherbrooke, Tangier, Montague, Waverley, Oldham, Renfrew, and
Ovens. When we add, in the words of Mr. Silliman's second conclusion to
his Report on the Atlantic Gold-Field at Tangier, "that the gold-bearing
veins already explored on this estate alone are in number not less than
thirty, and that there is every reason to expect more discoveries of
importance, as the results of future explorations, already foreshadowed
by facts which have been stated," enough, we think, will have been
deduced, on the highest kind of scientific testimony, to bear out our
opening statement, that there exist in Nova Scotia veins of auriferous
quartz practically inexhaustible, by any known methods of mining, at
least for the next two hundred years.

One very remarkable characteristic of all the gold hitherto produced in
Nova Scotia is its exceeding purity, it being on the average twenty-two
carats fine, as shown by repeated assay. In this respect it possesses an
advantage of about twenty-five per cent. of superior fineness, and
consequently of value, over most of the yield of California, much of
which latter reaches a standard of only sixteen or seventeen carats'
fineness, and is therefore inferior by five or six carats in twenty-four
to the standard of the gold of Nova Scotia. The gold from all the
districts named is sold commonly in Halifax in bars or ingots, at about
$20 the ounce. Professor Silliman states the value of some of this gold,
assayed under his direction at the Sheffield Laboratory in New Haven,
Connecticut, at $19.97 per ounce, while the standard of another lot,
from the Atlantic Mine in the Tangier District, is fixed by him as high
as $20.25 per ounce. The Official Report of the Provincial
Gold-Commissioner for the year 1862 assumes the sum of $19.50,
Nova-Scotia currency, as the basis upon which his calculations of
gold-value of the yield of all the mines is made up. A quantity of gold
from the "Boston and Nova-Scotia" mines in the Waverley District, just
coined into eagles at the United-States Mint, and the results of which
process are officially returned to the President of that Company,
required a considerable amount of alloy to the ore as received from the
mines, in order to bring it down to the standard fineness of the
United-States gold-currency. All the Nova-Scotia gold is uncommonly
bright and beautiful to the eye, and it has often been remarked by
jewellers and other experts to whom it has been shown, that it more
nearly resembles the appearance of the gold of the old Venetian
ducats--coined mostly, it is supposed, from the sands of Guinea--than
any other bullion for many years brought into the gold-market.

In regard to the most important point of the whole subject, namely, the
average yield per ton of quartz crushed at the various mills, we are
fortunately enabled to give the official returns of the Deputy
Gold-Commissioners for the several districts, as made to the Chief
Commissioner at Halifax. A few words of explanation as to the definite
and statistical character of these returns may be of value here, in
order to prevent or to correct much misconception and want of knowledge
with regard to their absolute reliability.

In the first place, then, every miner, or the agent or chief
superintendent of each mine, is required by law to make a quarterly
return of the amount of days' labor expended at his mine, the number of
tons of quartz raised and crushed, and the quantity of gold obtained
from the whole,--neglecting to do which, he forfeits his entire claim,
and the Gold-Commissioner is then empowered to grant it to another
purchaser.

These returns are therefore made with the utmost regularity and with the
greatest care. But as the royalty of three per cent. to the Government
is exacted on the amount of this return, whatever it may be, it is
obvious that there exists no motive on the part of the miner to
exaggerate the amount in making his statement. We may be as sure that
his exhibit of the gold admitted to have been extracted by him does not,
at any rate, _exceed_ the amount obtained, as that the invoices of
importations entered at the Custom-House in Boston do not overstate the
value of the goods to which they refer. The practice is generally
suspected, at least, to tend in quite the opposite direction.

As the next step for ascertaining the yield of the mines, there comes in
a form of scrutiny which it would be still more difficult to evade. All
owners of quartz-mills are also required to render official returns
under oath, and in a form minutely prescribed by the Provincial law, of
all quartz crushed by them during the month, stating particularly from
what mine it was raised, for whose account it has been crushed, and what
was the exact quantity in ounces, pennyweights, and grains. And this is
designed also as a check on the miner, as the two statements, if
correct, will be found, of course, to balance each other.

The Chief Gold-Commissioner resides in Halifax, and has his deputy in
each gold-district, whose duty it is, as a sworn officer of the
Government, to see that the provisions of the law are carried out; and
the returns, as collected, are duly made by him each month, accompanied
by a general report on the industrial condition of the district
represented. It is from these returns, thus collected, that the
Gold-Commissioner-in-Chief prepares a quarterly exhibit, which he issues
on a broad sheet in a so-called "Royal Gazette." The last of these
documents issued was published by authority at Halifax, Wednesday,
January 20th, 1864, and a copy thereof, ornamented at the head with the
familiar lion and unicorn, is now lying with several of its predecessors
on the table before us. If skeptics desire any better authority than
this for the average yield of these mines, they must seek it elsewhere
for themselves. By the majority of persons capable of judging of the
value and weight of testimony, we presume it will be regarded as amply
sufficient.

After this explanation of the official character of these returns, a
transcript of the figures given in the last exhibit as the average yield
of gold per ton of quartz crushed will be all we think necessary in
answer to the inquiry we have proposed. We give them just as they stand
in the returns for December, 1863, only premising that the relative
yield of the several mines is found to vary very considerably from month
to month, being at one time higher, and at other times again somewhat
lower, and this from natural causes which have already been explained,
while the total amounts, when taken together, exhibit a steady increase
in the general yield of the whole. The figures stand as follows:--

DECEMBER, 1863.

_District._                    _Yield of Gold_
                              _per Ton of Quartz._

Stormont (Isaac's Harbor)      2 oz. 10 dwt. 0 gr.
Wine Harbor                          10 "    6 "
Sherbrooke                     1 "    7 "    0 "
Tangier                              14 "   12 "
Montague                       5 "    9 "    8 "
Waverley                              9 "   11 "
Oldham                               15 "   12 "
Renfrew                        1 "    2 "    0 "
Ovens[P]                             18 "    9 "

The difference in yield between the districts is here very considerable,
as it happens,--yet in the month of October the average yield at Oldham
was 1 oz. 16 dwt, 20 gr., and at Renfrew 2 oz.; while for November it
was at Stormont 3 oz. 2 dwt. 12 gr., at Tangier 1 oz. 10 dwt, at
Waverley I oz. 3 dwt. 12 gr., and at Oldham 1 oz. 8 dwt. The _maximum_
yield per ton was 50 oz. at Wine Harbor, 12 oz. at Sherbrooke, 11 oz. 12
dwt. at Oldham, and 5 oz. 15 dwt. at Stormont, for the same period.

"The average yield," says Professor Chace, "per ton of quartz, of the
gold-fields of Nova Scotia will, it is believed, compare favorably with
that of either Australia or California, while some of the maximum yields
_indicate ores of unsurpassed richness_."

In regard to the best and most effectual methods of dressing and
amalgamating these rich ores, it seems to be conceded that the modes
hitherto in use in Nova Scotia have been very defective. Much larger
returns of gold are to be expected from the introduction of the new
processes, which scientific research is every day bringing to a greater
degree of efficiency in Colorado and California. The promoters of the
Nova-Scotia mining-enterprises, thanks to the skill and pains of their
scientific advisers, are fully awake to the importance of this vital
point. Pyrites--the mineral mixture so universally found with the gold
of this region--is well known to escape, or rather to resist, the
attraction of the mercury used in the amalgamating process, and it has
hitherto been allowed to pass away with the "tailings", or refuse from
the mills. When we state that it has been repeatedly shown to be from
ten to twelve per cent. of the components of the ore, and that by test
of the United-States Assay-Office its average yield is one hundred and
twenty-eight dollars to the ton,--and by the careful experiments of
Professor Silliman, at the Sheffield Laboratory in New Haven, it has
yielded even as high as two hundred and seventy-six dollars and
forty-nine cents to the ton,--the oversight and bad economy of its
waste will be sufficiently apparent. It may safely be estimated,
therefore, that the process of Dr. Keith, or some other equally simple
and efficacious method of extracting this hitherto wasted portion of the
precious metal from the accompanying sulphurets, will produce an amount
quite equal, at least, to the previous minimum yield. The effect of such
an increase in the returns will readily be appreciated by others besides
the merely scientific reader.

In regard to the capacity of the various mines for the regular supply of
quartz to the mills, it may be stated that ten tons daily is the average
amount fixed upon, by the different experts, as a reasonable quantity to
be expected from either of the well-conducted properties. Works of
exploration and of "construction", such as will hereafter be pointed
out, must, it is true, always precede those of extraction; but a very
moderate quartz-mill will easily "dress" ten tons of quartz daily, or
three thousand tons per annum, requiring the constant labor of thirty
men, as shown by the large experience already gained throughout the
Province. And this, says Professor Silliman, "is not a very formidable
force for a profitable mine,"--particularly when we consider that the
price of miners' labor in Nova Scotia rarely rises above the moderate
sum of ninety cents per day.

If the quartz cost, to turn its product into gold bars, as high as
twenty dollars a ton, there would be, says the same eminent authority,
"a deduction of one-fourth [as expense] from the gross gold-product. The
gold is about nine-hundred-and-sixty thousandths fine, and is worth, as
already shown, over twenty dollars per ounce. But the cost of the quartz
cannot be so much by one-half as that named above; and there is the
additional value of gold from the pyrites and mispickel, as well as
probably fifteen per cent, saving on the total amount of gold produced
by improved methods of working."

The reason why so little _alluvial_ gold is to be found throughout this
district may be very simply and concisely stated. It will be observed,
that the length of the gold-field lies mainly from east to west, while
its width from north to south is over a much less distance, and
therefore lies almost at right angles to the scouring and grinding
action of the glacial period. No long Sacramento Valley, stretching away
to the south and west of the quartzite upheavals, has here retained and
preserved the spoils of those long ages of attrition and denudation. The
alluvial gold has mostly been carried, by the action alluded to, into
the sands and beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean; and it is only at
the bottom of the numerous little lakes which dot the surface of the
country, that the precious metal, in this, its most obvious and
attractive form, has ever been found in any remunerative quantity in
Nova Scotia.

This statement brings us naturally to the consideration of another of
our opening positions, namely, that the gold of Nova Scotia is to be
successfully sought only under the application of the most scientific
and systematic methods of deep quartz-mining. That no pains nor expense
has been spared by the present promoters of these important enterprises,
in the very commencement of their mining-works, will perhaps be
sufficiently evident from the fact that no step has been taken without
the full advice and concurrence of the eminent mining authorities
already cited. A summary of the methods now employed for developing the
rich yield of these deposits may not be out of place in this connection.

The ill-considered system of allotting small individual claims, at first
adopted by the Colonial Government, was founded, probably, on a want of
exact knowledge of the peculiar nature of the gold-district, and the
consequent expectation that the experiences of California and Australia,
in panning and washing, were to be repeated here. This totally
inapplicable system in a manner compelled the early single adventurers
to abandon their claims, as soon as the surface-water began to
accumulate in their little open pits or shallow levels, beyond the
control of a single bucket, or other such primitive contrivance for
bailing. Even the more active and industrious digger soon found his own
difficulties to accumulate just in proportion to his own superior
measure of activity; since, as soon as he carried his own excavation a
foot or two deeper than his neighbor's, he found that it only gave him
the privilege of draining for the whole of the less enterprising
diggers, whose pits had not been sunk to the same level as his own. Thus
the adventurers who should ordinarily have been the most successful were
soon drowned out by the accumulated waters from the adjacent, and
sometimes abandoned, claims. Nearly all of these early efforts at
individual mining are now discontinued, and the claims, thus shown to be
worthless in single hands, have been consolidated in the large
companies, who alone possess the means to work them with unity and
success.

The present methods of working the lodes, as now practised in Nova
Scotia, proceed on a very different plan. Shafts are sunk at intervals
of about three hundred feet on the course of the lodes which it is
proposed to work,--as these are distinctly traced on the surface of the
ground. When these shafts have been carried down to the depth of sixty
feet,--or, in miners' language, ten fathoms,--horizontal _drifts_ or
_levels_ are pushed out from them, below the ground, and in either
direction, still keeping on the course of the lode. Whilst these
subterranean levels are being thus extended, the shafts are again to be
continued downwards, until the depth of twenty fathoms, or one hundred
and twenty feet, has been attained. A second and lower set of levels are
then pushed out beneath and parallel to the first named. At the depth of
thirty fathoms, a third and still lower set of levels will extend
beneath and parallel to the second. This work of sinking vertical
shafts, and excavating horizontal levels to connect them, belongs to
what is denominated the "construction of the mine", and it is only after
this has been completed that the work of mining proper can be said to
begin.

The removal of the ore, as conducted from the levels by which access to
it has thus been gained, may be carried on either by "direct" or by
"inverted grades,"--that is, either by breaking it up from underneath,
or down from overhead, in each of the levels which have now been
described,--or, as it is more commonly called in mining language, by
"understoping" or by "overstoping." When the breadth of the lode is
equal to that of the level, it is perhaps not very material which plan
be adopted. But when, as at Oldham, Montague, or Tangier, the lodes are
only of moderate-width, and much barren rock, however soft and yielding,
has, of necessity, to be removed along with the ore, so as to give a
free passage for the miner through the whole extent of the drifts, we
shall easily understand that the working by inverted grades, or
"overstoping," is the only proper or feasible method. In this case, the
blasts being all made from the roof, or "back," as it is called, of the
drift, the barren or "dead" rock containing no gold is left on the floor
of the drift, and there is then only the labor and expense of bringing
the valuable quartz itself, a much less amount in bulk, to the surface
of the ground. The accumulating mass of the dead rock underfoot, will
then be constantly raising the floor of the drift, and as constantly
bringing the miners within convenient working-distance of the receding
roof. In the case of "understoping," however, in which the blasts are
made from the floor of the drift, it will be perceived that all the rock
which is moved, of whatever kind, must equally be brought to the
surface, which entails a much greater labor and expense in the hoisting;
and gravity, moreover, instead of cooperating with, counteracts, it will
easily be understood, the effective force of the powder.

Such is a necessarily brief and condensed account of the novel and
interesting branch of industry which has thus been opened almost at our
very doors. The enterprise is as yet merely in its infancy, and will
doubtless for some time be regarded with incredulity and even distrust.
But if there be any weight to be attached to the clearest, most explicit
scientific and practical testimony, we must henceforth learn to look
upon Nova Scotia with an increased interest, and, perhaps a somewhat
heightened respect. The spies that came out of Canaan were not, at any
rate, more completely unanimous in their reports of the richness of the
land than the eminent persons who have been sent to examine the
auriferous lodes of our Acadian neighbors. If gold does not really exist
there, and in very remunerative quantities, it will be hard for us
henceforth to believe in the calculations of even a spring-tide, a
comet, or an eclipse.

"Up to the present time," (June, 1862,) says Lord Mulgrave, "there has
been no great influx of persons from abroad; and the gradual development
of the richness of the gold-fields is chiefly due to the inhabitants of
the country. Some few have arrived from the United States, and from the
neighboring Provinces; but they are chiefly persons destitute of
capital, and without any practical knowledge of mining-operations. This,
I fear, is likely to produce some discouragement, as many of them will
undoubtedly prove unsuccessful; and, returning to their homes, will
spread unfavorable reports of the gold-fields, while their failure
should more properly be ascribed to their own want of capital and
skill."

In contrast with this sensible prediction, and to show the very
different results of associated capital and labor noticed in the outset
of our remarks, we give the following on the authority of the
"Commercial Bulletin" of February 13, 1864:--

"At a meeting of the Directors of the St. Croix Mining Company, held on
the 14th ult., a dividend of _sixty per cent._, payable in gold, was
declared, and, in addition to this, a sum sufficient to work the claim
during the winter was reserved for that purpose."

The latest information from this highly interesting region is contained
in the Annual Report of the Chief Gold-Commissioner for the year 1863,
issued at Halifax on the 26th of January, 1864. The present incumbent of
this responsible office is Mr. P.S. Hamilton, of Halifax,--the former
Commissioner, Mr. Creelman, having gone out of service in consequence of
the change of Ministry which occurred in the early part of last year.
Mr. Hamilton's Report is singularly clear and concise, and exhibits
throughout a highly flattering prospect in all the Districts now being
worked, except that of Ovens,--the reasons for this exception being,
however, fully explained by the Commissioner. "Taking the average yield
at what it appears by these [official] tables," says Mr. Hamilton,
"_these mines show, a higher average productiveness than those of almost
any other gold-producing country, if, indeed, they are not, in this
respect, the very first now being worked in the world_. I may here
mention one fact affording increased hopes for the future, which
although unquestionably a fact, the exact measure of its importance
cannot well be shown, as yet, by any statistical returns. Excavations
have not yet, it is true, been carried to any great depth. Few
mining-shafts upon any of the gold-fields exceed one hundred feet in
depth; but, as a general rule,--indeed, in nearly every instance,--the
quartz seams actually worked have been found to increase in richness as
they descend." "The yield of gold to each man engaged during the year is
very much higher than has yet been attained in quartz-mining in any
other country."

Wine Harbor, almost at the eastern extremity of the peninsula, has, it
appears from this official statement, "the distinction of having
produced a larger amount of gold during 1863 than any other district in
the Province. During each one of five out of the last six months of the
year, it showed the highest maximum yield of gold per ton of quartz;[Q]
and on the whole year's operations it ranks next to Sherbrooke in the
average amount produced per man engaged in mining." In the table giving
the entire returns of gold for the year, the whole yield of the
Wine-Harbor mines is set down as 3,718 oz. 2 dwt. 19 gr.,--equal, at the
present price of gold in New York and Boston, to about $125,000 for the
twelve months,--certainly a very hopeful return for a first year's
operations. It is evident that the Commissioner regards this district
and the neighboring one of Sherbrooke, as specially entitled to his
consideration, for he continues,--"Here, as at Sherbrooke, gold-mining
has become a settled business; and the prospects of the district are of
a highly satisfactory character." But he adds, (p. 7,)--"From every one
of the gold-districts, without exception, the accounts received from the
most reliable sources represent the mining-prospects to be good, and the
men engaged in mining to be in good spirits,--content with their present
success and future prospects." To those who consider the accounts of
Nova-Scotia gold as mere myths we commend the attentive study of these
Government returns. "Miners' stories" are one thing,--but a certified
royalty from a staff of British officials, in ounces, pennyweights, and
grains, on the first day of each month, is, in our modest opinion, quite
another. They "have a way of putting things," as Sydney Smith expressed
it, which is apt to be rather convincing.

It would not be surprising, if so marked an addition to the resources of
a small, and not an eminently wealthy Province, had been productive, in
some degree, of excitement, idleness, and disorder. But we have reason
to believe that hitherto this has not been found to be the case. Lord
Mulgrave bears willing testimony to "the exemplary conduct of the
miners," and Mr. Creelman, the late Chief-Commissioner, is still more
explicit. "It affords me the highest satisfaction," he concludes, "to be
able to bear testimony to the orderly conduct and good behavior of those
who have hitherto undertaken to develop the resources of our
gold-fields. I have visited every gold-district in the Province twice,
and, with one or two exceptions, oftener, during the past season; I have
seen the miners at work in the shafts and trenches; I have noticed them
in going to and returning from their work, at morning, noon, and night;
I have witnessed their sports after the labors of the day were over; and
I have never heard an uncivil word nor observed an unseemly action
amongst them. And although the 'Act relating to the Gold-Fields'
authorized the appointment of a bailiff in every gold-district, it has
not been deemed necessary to make more than three such appointments,
and, with one single exception, no service from any of these officers
has been required.... It may be said, in general, that the respect for
law and order, the honest condition, and the moral sentiment which
pervade our gold-district, are not surpassed in many of the rural
villages of the country."

       *       *       *       *       *

LIFE ON THE SEA ISLANDS.

    [To THE EDITOR OF THE "ATLANTIC MONTHLY."--The following graceful
    and picturesque description of the new condition of things on the
    Sea Islands of South Carolina, originally written for private
    perusal, seems to me worthy of a place in the "Atlantic." Its
    young author--herself akin to the long-suffering race whose Exodus
    she so pleasantly describes--is still engaged in her labor of love
    on St. Helena Island.--J.G.W.]


PART I.

It was on the afternoon of a warm, murky day late in October that our
steamer, the United States, touched the landing at Hilton Head. A motley
assemblage had collected on the wharf,--officers, soldiers, and
"contrabands" of every size and hue: black was, however, the prevailing
color. The first view of Hilton Head is desolate enough,--a long, low,
sandy point, stretching out into the sea, with no visible dwellings upon
it, except the rows of small white-roofed houses which have lately been
built for the freed people.

After signing a paper wherein we declared ourselves loyal to the
Government, and wherein, also, were set forth fearful penalties, should
we ever be found guilty of treason, we were allowed to land, and
immediately took General Saxton's boat, the Flora, for Beaufort. The
General was on board, and we were presented to him. He is handsome,
courteous, and affable, and looks--as he is--the gentleman and the
soldier.

From Hilton Head to Beaufort the same long, low line of sandy coast,
bordered by trees; formidable gunboats in the distance, and the gray
ruins of an old fort, said to have been built by the Huguenots more than
two hundred years ago. Arrived at Beaufort, we found that we had not yet
reached our journey's end. While waiting for the boat which was to take
us to our island of St. Helena, we had a little time to observe the
ancient town. The houses in the main street, which fronts the "Bay," are
large and handsome, built of wood, in the usual Southern style, with
spacious piazzas, and surrounded by fine trees. We noticed in one yard a
magnolia, as high as some of our largest shade-maples, with rich, dark,
shining foliage. A large building which was once the Public Library is
now a shelter for freed people from Fernandina. Did the Rebels know it,
they would doubtless upturn their aristocratic noses, and exclaim in
disgust, "To what base uses," etc. We confess that it was highly
satisfactory to us to see how the tables are turned, now that "the
whirligig of time has brought about its revenges." We saw the
market-place, in which slaves were sometimes sold; but we were told that
the buying and selling at auction were usually done in Charleston. The
arsenal, a large stone structure, was guarded by cannon and sentinels.
The houses in the smaller streets had, mostly, a dismantled, desolate
look. We saw no one in the streets but soldiers and freed people. There
were indications that already Northern improvements had reached this
Southern town. Among them was a wharf, a convenience that one wonders
how the Southerners could so long have existed without. The more we know
of their mode of life, the more are we inclined to marvel at its utter
shiftlessness.

Little colored children of every hue were playing about the streets,
looking as merry and happy as children ought to look,--now that the evil
shadow of Slavery no longer hangs over them. Some of the officers we met
did not impress us favorably. They talked flippantly, and sneeringly of
the negroes, whom they found we had come down to teach, using an epithet
more offensive than gentlemanly. They assured us that there was great
danger of Rebel attacks, that the yellow fever prevailed to an alarming
extent, and that, indeed, the manufacture of coffins was the only
business that was at all flourishing at present. Although by no means
daunted by these alarming stories, we were glad when the announcement of
our boat relieved us from their edifying conversation.

We rowed across to Ladies Island, which adjoins St. Helena, through the
splendors of a grand Southern sunset. The gorgeous clouds of crimson and
gold were reflected as in a mirror in the smooth, clear waters below. As
we glided along, the rich tones of the negro boatmen broke upon the
evening stillness,--sweet, strange, and solemn:--

    "Jesus make de blind to see,
    Jesus make de cripple walk,
    Jesus make de deaf to hear.
      Walk in, kind Jesus!
        No man can hender me."

It was nearly dark when we reached the island, and then we had a
three-miles' drive through the lonely roads to the house of the
superintendent. We thought how easy it would be for a band of
guerrillas, had they chanced that way, to seize and hang us; but we were
in that excited, jubilant state of mind which makes fear impossible, and
sang "John Brown" with a will, as we drove through the pines and
palmettos. Oh, it was good to sing that song in the very heart of
Rebeldom! Harry, our driver, amused us much. He was surprised to find
that we had not heard of him before. "Why, I thought eberybody at de
Nort had heard o' me!" he said, very innocently. We learned afterward
that Mrs. F., who made the tour of the islands last summer, had publicly
mentioned Harry. Some one had told him of it, and he of course imagined
that he had become quite famous. Notwithstanding this little touch of
vanity, Harry is one of the best and smartest men on the island.

Gates occurred, it seemed to us, at every few yards' distance, made in
the oddest fashion,--opening in the middle, like folding-doors, for the
accommodation of horsemen. The little boy who accompanied us as
gate-opener answered to the name of Cupid. Arrived at the headquarters
of the general superintendent, Mr. S., we were kindly received by him
and the ladies, and shown into a large parlor, where a cheerful
wood-fire glowed in the grate. It had a home-like look; but still there
was a sense of unreality about everything, and I felt that nothing less
than a vigorous "shaking-up," such as Grandfather Smallweed daily
experienced, would arouse me thoroughly to the fact that I was in South
Carolina.

The next morning L. and I were awakened by the cheerful voices of men
and women, children and chickens, in the yard below. We ran to the
window, and looked out. Women in bright-colored handkerchiefs, some
carrying pails on their heads, were crossing the yard, busy with their
morning work; children were playing and tumbling around them. On every
face there was a look of serenity and cheerfulness. My heart gave a
great throb of happiness as I looked at them, and thought, "They are
free! so long down-trodden, so long crushed to the earth, but now in
their old homes, forever free!" And I thanked God that I had lived to
see this day.

After breakfast Miss T. drove us to Oaklands, our future home. The road
leading to the house was nearly choked with weeds. The house itself was
in a dilapidated condition, and the yard and garden had a sadly
neglected look. But there were roses in bloom; we plucked handfuls of
feathery, fragrant acacia-blossoms; ivy crept along the ground and under
the house. The freed people on the place seemed glad to see us. After
talking with them, and giving some directions for cleaning the house, we
drove to the school, in which I was to teach. It is kept in the Baptist
Church,--a brick building, beautifully situated in a grove of live-oaks.
These trees are the first objects that attract one's attention here: not
that they are finer than our Northern oaks, but because of the singular
gray moss with which every branch is heavily draped. This hanging moss
grows on nearly all the trees, but on none so luxuriantly as on the
live-oak. The pendants are often four or five feet long, very graceful
and beautiful, but giving the trees a solemn, almost funereal look. The
school was opened in September. Many of the children had, however,
received instruction during the summer. It was evident that they had
made very rapid improvement, and we noticed with pleasure how bright and
eager to learn many of them seemed. They sang in rich, sweet tones, and
with a peculiar swaying motion of the body, which made their singing the
more effective. They sang "Marching Along," with great spirit, and then
one of their own hymns, the air of which is beautiful and touching:--

    "My sister, you want to git religion,
      Go down in de Lonesome Valley,
    My brudder, you want to git religion,
      Go down in de Lonesome Valley.

    CHORUS.

    "Go down in de Lonesome Valley,
    Go down in de Lonesome Valley, my Lord,
    Go down in de Lonesome Valley,
        To meet my Jesus dere!

    "Oh, feed on milk and honey,
    Oh, feed on milk and honey, my Lord,
    Oh, feed on milk and honey,
        Meet my Jesus dere!
    Oh, John he brought a letter,
    Oh, John he brought a letter, my Lord,
    Oh, Mary and Marta read 'em,
        Meet my Jesus dere!

    CHORUS.

    "Go down in de Lonesome Valley," etc.

They repeat their hymns several times, and while singing keep perfect
time with their hands and feet.

On our way homeward we noticed that a few of the trees were beginning to
turn, but we looked in vain for the glowing autumnal hues of our
Northern forests. Some brilliant scarlet berries--the cassena--were
growing along the roadside, and on every hand we saw the live-oak with
its moss-drapery. The palmettos disappointed me; stiff and ungraceful,
they have a bristling, defiant look, suggestive of Rebels starting up
and defying everybody. The land is low and level,--not the slightest
approach to a hill, not a rock, nor even a stone to be seen. It would
have a desolate look, were it not for the trees, and the hanging moss
and numberless vines which festoon them. These vines overrun the hedges,
form graceful arches between the trees, encircle their trunks, and
sometimes climb to the topmost branches. In February they begin to
bloom, and then throughout the spring and summer we have a succession of
beautiful flowers. First comes the yellow jessamine, with its perfect,
gold-colored, and deliciously fragrant blossoms. It lights up the
hedges, and completely canopies some of the trees. Of all the
wild-flowers this seems to me the most beautiful and fragrant. Then we
have the snow-white, but scentless Cherokee rose, with its lovely,
shining leaves. Later in the season come the brilliant trumpet-flower,
the passion-flower, and innumerable others.

The Sunday after our arrival we attended service at the Baptist Church.
The people came in slowly; for they have no way of knowing the hour,
except by the sun. By eleven they had all assembled, and the church was
well filled. They were neatly dressed in their Sunday-attire, the women,
mostly wearing clean, dark frocks, with white aprons and bright-colored
head-handkerchiefs. Some had attained to the dignity of straw hats with
gay feathers, but these were not nearly as becoming nor as picturesque
as the handkerchiefs. The day was warm, and the windows were thrown open
as if it were summer, although it was the second day of November. It was
very pleasant to listen to the beautiful hymns, and look from the crowd
of dark, earnest faces within, upon the grove of noble oaks without. The
people sang, "Roll, Jordan, roll," the grandest of all their hymns.
There is a great, rolling wave of sound through it all.

    "Mr. Fuller settin' on de Tree ob Life,
    Fur to hear de ven Jordan roll.
    Oh, roll, Jordan! roll, Jordan! roll, Jordan roll!

    CHORUS.

    "Oh, roll, Jordan, roll! oh, roll, Jordan, roll!
    My soul arise in heab'n, Lord,
    Fur to hear de ven Jordan roll!

    "Little chil'en, learn to fear de Lord,
    And let your days be long.
    Oh, roll, Jordan! roll, Jordan! roll, Jordan,
    roll!

    CHORUS.

    "Oh, march, de angel, march! oh, march, de
    angel, march!
    My soul arise in heab'n, Lord,
    Fur to hear de ven Jordan roll!"

The "Mr. Fuller" referred to was their former minister, to whom they
seem to have been much attached. He is a Southerner, but loyal, and is
now, I believe, living in Baltimore. After the sermon the minister
called upon one of the elders, a gray-headed old man, to pray. His
manner was very fervent and impressive, but his language was so broken
that to our unaccustomed ears it was quite unintelligible. After the
services the people gathered in groups outside, talking among
themselves, and exchanging kindly greetings with the superintendents and
teachers. In their bright handkerchiefs and white aprons they made a
striking picture under the gray-mossed trees. We drove afterward a mile
farther, to the Episcopal Church, in which the aristocracy of the island
used to worship. It is a small white building, situated in a fine grove
of live-oaks, at the junction of several roads. On one of the tombstones
in the yard is the touching inscription in memory of two
children,--"Blessed little lambs, and _art thou_ gathered into the fold
of the only true shepherd? Sweet _lillies_ of the valley, and _art thou_
removed to a more congenial soil?" The floor of the church is of stone,
the pews of polished oak. It has an organ, which is not so entirely out
of tune as are the pianos on the island. One of the ladies played, while
the gentlemen sang,--old-fashioned New-England church-music, which it
was pleasant to hear, but it did not thrill us as the singing of the
people had done.

During the week we moved to Oaklands, our future home. The house was of
one story, with a low-roofed piazza running the whole length. The
interior had been thoroughly scrubbed and whitewashed; the exterior was
guiltless of whitewash or paint. There were five rooms, all quite small,
and several dark little entries, in one of which we found shelves lined
with old medicine-bottles. These were a part of the possessions of the
former owner, a Rebel physician, Dr. Sams by name. Some of them were
still filled with his nostrums. Our furniture consisted of a bedstead,
two bureaus, three small pine tables, and two chairs, one of which had a
broken back. These were lent to us by the people. The masters, in their
hasty flight from the islands, left nearly all their furniture; but much
of it was destroyed or taken by the soldiers who came first, and what
they left was removed by the people to their own houses. Certainly, they
have the best right to it. We had made up our minds to dispense with all
luxuries and even many conveniences; but it was rather distressing to
have no fire, and nothing to eat. Mr. H. had already appropriated a room
for the store which he was going to open for the benefit of the freed
people, and was superintending the removal of his goods. So L. and I
were left to our own resources. But Cupid the elder came to the
rescue,--Cupid, who, we were told, was to be our right-hand man, and who
very graciously informed us that he would take care of us; which he at
once proceeded to do by bringing in some wood, and busying himself in
making a fire in the open fireplace. While he is thus engaged, I will
try to describe him. A small, wiry figure, stockingless, shoeless, out
at the knees and elbows, and wearing the remnant of an old straw hat,
which looked as if it might have done good service in scaring the crows
from a cornfield. The face nearly black, very ugly, but with the
shrewdest expression I ever saw, and the brightest, most humorous
twinkle in the eyes. One glance at Cupid's face showed that he was not a
person to be imposed upon, and that he was abundantly able to take care
of himself, as well as of us. The chimney obstinately refused to draw,
in spite of the original and very uncomplimentary epithets which Cupid
heaped upon it,--while we stood by, listening to him in amusement,
although nearly suffocated by the smoke. At last, perseverance
conquered, and the fire began to burn cheerily. Then Amaretta, our
cook,--a neat-looking black woman, adorned with the gayest of
head-handkerchiefs,--made her appearance with some eggs and hominy,
after partaking of which we proceeded to arrange our scanty furniture,
which was soon done. In a few days we began to look civilized, having
made a table-cover of some red and yellow handkerchiefs which we found
among the store-goods,--a carpet of red and black woollen plaid,
originally intended for frocks and shirts,--a cushion, stuffed with
corn-husks and covered with calico, for a lounge, which Ben, the
carpenter, had made for us of pine boards,--and lastly some corn-husk
beds, which were an unspeakable luxury, after having endured agonies for
several nights, sleeping on the slats of a bedstead. It is true, the
said slats were covered with blankets, but these might as well have been
sheets of paper for all the good they did us. What a resting-place it
was! Compared to it, the gridiron of St. Lawrence--fire excepted--was as
a bed of roses.

The first day at school was rather trying. Most of my children were very
small, and consequently restless. Some were too young to learn the
alphabet. These little ones were brought to school because the older
children--in whose care their parents leave them while at work--could
not come without them. We were therefore willing to have them come,
although they seemed to have discovered the secret of perpetual motion,
and tried one's patience sadly. But after some days of positive, though
not severe treatment, order was brought out of chaos, and I found but
little difficulty in managing and quieting the tiniest and most restless
spirits. I never before saw children so eager to learn, although I had
had several years' experience in New-England schools. Coming to school
is a constant delight and recreation to them. They come here as other
children go to play. The older ones, during the summer, work in the
fields from early morning until eleven or twelve o'clock, and then come
into school, after their hard toil in the hot sun, as bright and as
anxious to learn as ever.

Of course there are some stupid ones, but these are the minority. The
majority learn with wonderful rapidity. Many of the grown people are
desirous of learning to read. It is wonderful how a people who have been
so long crushed to the earth, so imbruted as these have been,--and they
are said to be among the most degraded negroes of the South,--can have
so great a desire for knowledge, and such a capability for attaining it.
One cannot believe that the haughty Anglo-Saxon race, after centuries of
such an experience as these people have had, would be very much superior
to them. And one's indignation increases against those who, North as
well as South, taunt the colored race with inferiority while they
themselves use every means in their power to crush and degrade them,
denying them every right and privilege, closing against them every
avenue of elevation and improvement. Were they, under such
circumstances, intellectual and refined, they would certainly be vastly
superior to any other race that ever existed.

After the lessons, we used to talk freely to the children, often giving
them slight sketches of some of the great and good men. Before teaching
them the "John Brown" song, which they learned to sing with great
spirit, Miss T. told them the story of the brave old man who had died
for them. I told them about Toussaint, thinking it well they should know
what one of their own color had done for his race. They listened
attentively, and seemed to understand. We found it rather hard to keep
their attention in school. It is not strange, as they have been so
entirely unused to intellectual concentration. It is necessary to
interest them every moment, in order to keep their thoughts from
wandering. Teaching here is consequently far more fatiguing than at the
North. In the church, we had of course but one room in which to hear all
the children; and to make one's self heard, when there were often as
many as a hundred and forty reciting at once, it was necessary to tax
the lungs very severely.

My walk to school, of about a mile, was part of the way through a road
lined with trees,--on one side stately pines, on the other noble
live-oaks, hung with moss and canopied with vines. The ground was
carpeted with brown, fragrant pine-leaves; and as I passed through in
the morning, the woods were enlivened by the delicious songs of
mocking-birds, which abound here, making one realize the truthful
felicity of the description in "Evangeline,"--

            "The mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
  Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music
  That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen."

The hedges were all aglow with the brilliant scarlet berries of the
cassena, and on some of the oaks we observed the mistletoe, laden with
its pure white, pearl-like berries. Out of the woods the roads are
generally bad, and we found it hard work plodding through the deep sand.

Mr. H.'s store was usually crowded, and Cupid was his most valuable
assistant. Gay handkerchiefs for turbans, pots and kettles, and
molasses, were principally in demand, especially the last. It was
necessary to keep the molasses-barrel in the yard, where Cupid presided
over it, and harangued and scolded the eager, noisy crowd, collected
around, to his heart's content; while up the road leading to the house
came constantly processions of men, women, and children, carrying on
their heads cans, jugs, pitchers, and even bottles,--anything, indeed,
that was capable of containing molasses. It is wonderful with what ease
they carry all sorts of things on their heads,--heavy bundles of wood,
hoes and rakes, everything, heavy or light, that can be carried in the
hands; and I have seen a woman, with a bucketful of water on her head,
stoop down and take up another in her hand, without spilling a drop from
either.

We noticed that the people had much better taste in selecting materials
for dresses than we had supposed. They do not generally like gaudy
colors, but prefer neat, quiet patterns. They are, however, very fond of
all kinds of jewelry. I once asked the children in school what their
ears were for. "To put ring in," promptly replied one of the little
girls.

These people are exceedingly polite in their manner towards each other,
each new arrival bowing, scraping his feet, and shaking hands with the
others, while there are constant greetings, such as, "Huddy? How's yer
lady?" ("How d' ye do? How's your wife?") The hand-shaking is performed
with the greatest possible solemnity. There is never the faintest shadow
of a smile on anybody's face during this performance. The children, too,
are taught to be very polite to their elders, and it is the rarest thing
to hear a disrespectful word from a child to his parent, or to any grown
person. They have really what the New-Englanders call "beautiful
manners."

We made daily visits to the "quarters," which were a few rods from the
house. The negro-houses, on this as on most of the other plantations,
were miserable little huts, with nothing comfortable or home-like about
them, consisting generally of but two very small rooms,--the only way of
lighting them, no matter what the state of the weather, being to leave
the doors and windows open. The windows, of course, have no glass in
them. In such a place, a father and mother with a large family of
children are often obliged to live. It is almost impossible to teach
them habits of neatness and order, when they are so crowded. We look
forward anxiously to the day when better houses shall increase their
comfort and pride of appearance.

Oaklands is a very small plantation. There were not more than eight or
nine families living on it. Some of the people interested us much.
Celia, one of the best, is a cripple. Her master, she told us, was too
mean to give his slaves clothes enough to protect them, and her feet and
legs were so badly frozen that they required amputation. She has a
lovely face,--well-featured and singularly gentle. In every household
where there was illness or trouble, Celia's kind, sympathizing face was
the first to be seen, and her services were always the most acceptable.

Harry, the foreman on the plantation, a man of a good deal of natural
intelligence, was most desirous of learning to read. He came in at night
to be taught, and learned very rapidly. I never saw any one more
determined to learn. "We enjoyed hearing him talk about the
"gun-shoot,"--so the people call the capture of Bay Point and Hilton
Head. They never weary of telling you "how Massa run when he hear de
fust gun."

"Why didn't you go with him, Harry?" I asked.

"Oh, Miss, 't wasn't 'cause Massa didn't try to 'suade me. He tell we
dat de Yankees would shoot we, or would sell we to Cuba, an' do all de
wust tings to we, when dey come. 'Bery well, Sar,' says I. 'If I go wid
you, I be good as dead. If I stay here, I can't be no wust; so if I got
to dead, I might's well dead here as anywhere. So I'll stay here an'
wait for de "dam Yankees."' Lor', Miss, I knowed he wasn't tellin' de
truth all de time."

"But why didn't you believe him, Harry?"

"Dunno, Miss; somehow we hear de Yankees was our friends, an' dat we'd
be free when dey come, an' 'pears like we believe _dat_."

I found this to be true of nearly all the people I talked with, and I
thought it strange they should have had so much faith in the
Northerners. Truly, for years past, they had had but little cause to
think them very friendly. Cupid told us that his master was so daring as
to come back, after he had fled from the island, at the risk of being
taken prisoner by our soldiers; and that he ordered the people to get
all the furniture together and take it to a plantation on the opposite
side of the creek, and to stay on that side themselves. "So," said
Cupid, "dey could jus' sweep us all up in a heap, an' put us in de boat.
An' he telled me to take Patience--dat's my wife--an' de chil'en down to
a certain pint, an' den I could come back, if I choose. Jus' as if I was
gwine to be sich a goat!" added he, with a look and gesture of ineffable
contempt. He and the rest of the people, instead of obeying their
master, left the place and hid themselves in the woods; and when he came
to look for them, not one of all his "faithful servants" was to be
found. A few, principally house-servants, had previously been carried
away.

In the evenings, the children frequently came in to sing and shout for
us. These "shouts" are very strange,--in truth, almost indescribable. It
is necessary to hear and see in order to have any clear idea of them.
The children form a ring, and move around in a kind of shuffling dance,
singing all the time. Four or five stand apart, and sing very
energetically, clapping their hands, stamping their feet, and rocking
their bodies to and fro. These are the musicians, to whose performance
the shouters keep perfect time. The grown people on this plantation did
not shout, but they do on some of the other plantations. It is very
comical to see little children, not more than three or four years old,
entering into the performance with all their might. But the shouting of
the grown people is rather solemn and impressive than otherwise. We
cannot determine whether it has a religious character or not. Some of
the people tell us that it has, others that it has not. But as the
shouts of the grown people are always in connection with their
religious meetings, it is probable that they are the barbarous
expression of religion, handed down to them from their African
ancestors, and destined to pass away under the influence of Christian
teachings. The people on this island have no songs. They sing only
hymns, and most of these are sad. Prince, a large black boy from a
neighboring plantation, was the principal shouter among the children. It
seemed impossible for him to keep still for a moment. His performances
were most amusing specimens of Ethiopian gymnastics. Amaretta the
younger, a cunning, kittenish little creature of only six years old, had
a remarkably sweet voice. Her favorite hymn, which we used to hear her
singing to herself as she walked through the yard, is one of the oddest
we have heard:--

    "What makes old Satan follow me so?
    Satan got nuttin' 't all fur to do wid me.

    CHORUS.

    "Tiddy Rosa, hold your light!
    Brudder Tony, hold your light!
    All de member, hold bright light
    On Canaan's shore!"

This is one of the most spirited shouting-tunes. "Tiddy" is their word
for sister.

A very queer-looking old man came into the store one day. He was dressed
in a complete suit of brilliant Brussels carpeting. Probably it had been
taken from his master's house after the "gun-shoot"; but he looked so
very dignified that we did not like to question him about it. The people
called him Doctor Crofts,--which was, I believe, his master's name, his
own being Scipio. He was very jubilant over the new state of things, and
said to Mr. H.,--"Don't hab me feelins hurt now. Used to hab me feelins
hurt all de time. But don't hab 'em hurt now no more." Poor old soul! We
rejoiced with him that he and his brethren no longer have their
"feelins" hurt, as in the old time.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, General Saxton's noble Proclamation
was read at church. We could not listen to it without emotion. The
people listened with the deepest attention, and seemed to understand and
appreciate it. Whittier has said of it and its writer,--"It is the most
beautiful and touching official document I ever read. God bless him!
'The bravest are the tenderest.'"

General Saxton is truly worthy of the gratitude and admiration with
which the people regard him. His unfailing kindness and consideration
for them--so different from the treatment they have sometimes received
at the hands of other officers--have caused them to have unbounded
confidence in General "_Saxby_," as they call him.

After the service, there were six couples married. Some of the dresses
were unique. One was particularly fine,--doubtless a cast-off dress of
the bride's former mistress. The silk and lace, ribbons, feathers and
flowers, were in a rather faded and decayed condition. But, comical as
the costumes were, we were not disposed to laugh at them. We were too
glad to see the poor creatures trying to lead right and virtuous lives.
The legal ceremony, which was formerly scarcely known among them, is now
everywhere consecrated. The constant and earnest advice of the minister
and teachers has not been given in vain; nearly every Sunday there are
several couples married in church. Some of them are people who have
grown old together.

Thanksgiving-Day was observed as a general holiday. According to General
Saxton's orders, an ox had been killed on each plantation, that the
people might that day have fresh meat, which was a great luxury
to them, and, indeed, to all of us. In the morning, a large
number--superintendents, teachers, and freed people--assembled in the
Baptist Church. It was a sight not soon to be forgotten,--that crowd of
eager, happy black faces, from which the shadow of Slavery had forever
passed. "Forever free! forever free!" those magical words of the
Proclamation were constantly singing themselves in my soul. After an
appropriate prayer and sermon by Mr. P., and singing by the people,
General Saxton made a short, but spirited speech, urging the young men
to enlist in the regiment then forming under Colonel Higginson. Mrs.
Gage told the people how the slaves in Santa Cruz had secured their
liberty. It was something entirely new and strange to them to hear a
woman speak in public; but they listened with great attention, and
seemed much interested. Before dispersing, they sang "Marching Along,"
which is an especial favorite with them. It was a very happy
Thanksgiving-Day for all of us. The weather was delightful; oranges and
figs were hanging on the trees; roses, oleanders, and japonicas were
blooming out-of-doors; the sun was warm and bright; and over all shone
gloriously the blessed light of Freedom,--Freedom forevermore!

One night, L. and I were roused from our slumbers by what seemed to us
loud and most distressing shrieks, proceeding from the direction of the
negro-houses. Having heard of one or two attempts which the Rebels had
recently made to land on the island, our first thought was, naturally,
that they had forced a landing, and were trying to carry off some of the
people. Every moment we expected to hear them at our doors; and knowing
that they had sworn vengeance against all the superintendents and
teachers, we prepared ourselves for the worst. After a little
reflection, we persuaded ourselves that it could not be the Rebels; for
the people had always assured us, that, in case of a Rebel attack, they
would come to us at once,--evidently thinking that we should be able to
protect them. But what could the shrieks mean? They ceased; then, a few
moments afterwards, began again, louder, more fearful than before; then
again they ceased, and all was silent. I am ashamed to confess that we
had not the courage to go out and inquire into the cause of the alarm.
Mr. H.'s room was in another part of the house, too far for him to give
us any aid. We hailed the dawn of day gladly enough, and eagerly sought
Cupid,--who was sure to know everything,--to obtain from him a solution
of the mystery. "Why, you wasn't scared at _dat?_" he exclaimed, in
great amusement; "'twasn't nuttin' but de black sogers dat comed up to
see der folks on t' oder side ob de creek. Dar wasn't no boat fur 'em on
dis side, so dey jus' blowed de whistle dey hab, so de folks might bring
one ober fur 'em. Dat was all 't was." And Cupid laughed so heartily
that we felt not a little ashamed of our fears. Nevertheless, we both
maintained that _we_ had never seen a whistle from which could be
produced sounds so startling, so distressing, so perfectly like the
shrieks of a human being.

Another night, while staying at a house some miles distant from ours, I
was awakened by hearing, as I thought, some one trying to open the door
from without. The door was locked; I lay perfectly still, and listened
intently. A few moments elapsed, and the sound was repeated; whereupon I
rose, and woke Miss W., who slept in the adjoining room. We lighted a
candle, took our revolvers, and seated ourselves on the bed, keeping our
weapons, so formidable in practised male hands, steadily pointed towards
the door, and uttering dire threats against the intruders,--presumed to
be Rebels, of course. Having maintained this tragical position for some
time, and hearing no further noise; we began to grow sleepy, and
extinguished our candle, returned to bed, and slept soundly till
morning. But that mystery remained unexplained. I was sure that the door
had been tried,--there could be no mistaking it. There was not the least
probability that any of the people had entered the house, burglars are
unknown on these islands, and there is nobody to be feared but the
Rebels.

The last and greatest alarm we had was after we had removed from
Oaklands to another plantation. I woke about two o'clock in the morning,
hearing the tramp of many feet in the yard below,--the steady tramp of
soldiers' feet. "The Rebels! they have come at last! all is over with us
now!" I thought at once, with a desperate kind of resignation. And I lay
still, waiting and listening. Soon I heard footsteps on the piazza;
then the hall-door was opened, and steps were heard distinctly in the
hall beneath; finally, I heard some one coming up the stairs. Then I
grasped my revolver, rose, and woke the other ladies.

"There are soldiers in the yard! Somebody has opened the hall-door, and
is coming up-stairs!"

Poor L., but half awakened, stared at me in speechless terror. The same
thought filled our minds. But Mrs. B., after listening for a moment,
exclaimed,--

"Why, that is my husband! I know his footsteps. He is coming up-stairs
to call me."

And so it proved. Her husband, who was a lieutenant in Colonel
Montgomery's regiment, had come up from camp with some of his men to
look after deserters. The door had been unfastened by a servant who on
that night happened to sleep in the house. I shall never forget the
delightful sensation of relief that came over me when the whole matter
was explained. It was almost overpowering; for, although I had made up
my mind to bear the worst, and bear it bravely, the thought of falling
into the hands of the Rebels was horrible in the extreme. A year of
intense mental suffering seemed to have been compressed into those few
moments.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLD HAIR.

A LEGEND OF PORNIC.


    Oh, the beautiful girl, too white,
        Who lived at Pornic, down by the sea,
    Just where the sea and the Loire unite!
        And a boasted name in Brittany
    She bore, which I will not write.

    Too white, for the flower of life is red;
        Her flesh was the soft, seraphic screen
    Of a soul that is meant (her parents said)
        To just see earth, and hardly be seen,
    And blossom in heaven instead.

    Yet earth saw one thing, one how fair!
        One grace that grew to its full on earth:
    Smiles might be sparse on her cheek so spare,
        And her waist want half a girdle's girth,
    But she had her great gold hair:

    Hair, such a wonder of flix and floss,
        Freshness and fragrance,--floods of it, too!
    Gold did I say? Nay, gold's mere dross.
        Here Life smiled, "Think what I meant to do!"
    And Love sighed, "Fancy my loss!"

    So, when she died, it was scarce more strange
        Than that, when some delicate evening dies,
    And you follow its spent sun's pallid range,
        There's a shoot of color startles the skies
    With sudden, violent change,--

    That, while the breath was nearly to seek,
        As they put the little cross to her lips,
    She changed; a spot came out on her cheek,
        A spark from her eye in mid-eclipse,
    And she broke forth, "I must speak!"

    "Not my hair!" made the girl her moan;--
        "All the rest is gone, or to go;
    But the last, last grace, my all, my own,
        Let it stay in the grave, that the ghosts may know!
    Leave my poor gold hair alone!"

    The passion thus vented, dead lay she.
        Her parents sobbed their worst on that;
    All friends joined in, nor observed degree:
        For, indeed, the hair was to wonder at,
    As it spread,--not flowing free,

    But curled around her brow, like a crown,
        And coiled beside her cheeks, like a cap,
    And calmed about her neck,--ay, down
        To her breast, pressed flat, without a gap
    I' the gold, it reached her gown.

    All kissed that face, like a silver wedge
        'Mid the yellow wealth, nor disturbed its hair;
    E'en the priest allowed death's privilege,
        As he planted the crucifix with care
    On her breast, 'twixt edge and edge.

    And thus was she buried, inviolate
        Of body and soul, in the very space
    By the altar,--keeping saintly state
        In Pornic church, for her pride of race,
    Pure life, and piteous fate.

    And in after-time would your fresh tear fall,
        Though your mouth might twitch with a dubious smile,
    As they told you of gold both robe and pall,
        How she prayed them leave it alone awhile,
    So it never was touched at all.

    Years flew; this legend grew at last
        The life of the lady; all she had done,
    All been, in the memories fading fast
        Of lover and friend, was summed in one
    Sentence survivors passed:

    To wit, she was meant for heaven, not earth;
        Had turned an' angel before the time:
    Yet, since she was mortal, in such dearth
        Of frailty, all you could count a crime
    Was--she knew her gold hair's worth.

           *       *       *       *       *

    At little pleasant Pornic church,
        It chanced, the pavement wanted repair,
    Was taken to pieces: left in the lurch,
        A certain sacred space lay bare,
    And the boys began research.

    'T was the space where our sires would lay a saint,
        A benefactor,--a bishop, suppose;
    A baron with armor-adornments quaint;
        A dame with chased ring and jewelled rose,
    Things sanctity saves from taint:

    So we come to find them in after-days,
        When the corpse is presumed to have done with gauds,
    Of use to the living, in many ways;
        For the boys get pelf, and the town applauds,
    And the church deserves the praise.

    They grubbed with a will: and at length--_O cor
        Humanum, pectora coeca_, and the rest!--
    They found--no gauds they were prying for,
        No ring, no rose, but--who would have guessed?--
    A double Louis-d'or!

    Here was a case for the priest: he heard,
        Marked, inwardly digested, laid
    Finger on nose, smiled, "A little bird
        Chirps in my ear!"--then, "Bring a spade,
    Dig deeper!" he gave the word.

    And lo! when they came to the coffin-lid,
        Or the rotten planks which composed it once,
    Why, there lay the girl's skull wedged amid
        A mint of money, it served for the nonce
    To hold in its hair-heaps hid:

    Louis-d'ors, some six times five;
        And duly double, every piece.
    Now do you see? With the priest to shrive,--
        With parents preventing her soul's release
    By kisses that keep alive,--

    With heaven's gold gates about to ope,--
        With friends' praise, gold-like, lingering still,--
    What instinct had bidden the girl's hand grope
        For gold, the true sort?--"Gold in heaven, I hope;
    But I keep earth's, if God will!"

    Enough! The priest took the grave's grim yield;
        The parents, they eyed that price of sin
    As if _thirty pieces_ lay revealed
        On the place _to bury strangers in_,
    The hideous Potter's Field.

    But the priest bethought him: "'Milk that's spilt'
       --You know the adage! Watch and pray!
    Saints tumble to earth with so slight a tilt!
        It would build a new altar; that we may!"
    And the altar therewith was built.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Why I deliver this horrible verse?
        As the text of a sermon, which now I preach:
    Evil or good may be better or worse
        In the human heart, but the mixture of each
    Is a marvel and a curse.

    The candid incline to surmise of late
        That the Christian faith may be false, I find;
    For our Essays-and-Reviews' debate
        Begins to tell on the public mind,
    And Colenso's words have weight:

    I still to suppose it true, for my part,
        See reasons and reasons; this, to begin:
    'T is the faith that launched point-blank her dart
        At the head of a lie,--taught Original Sin,
    The Corruption of Man's Heart.

       *       *       *       *       *

CALIFORNIA AS A VINELAND.


It has been reserved for California, from the plenitude of her
capacities, to give to us a truly great boon in her light and
delicate-wines.

Our Pacific sister, from whose generous hand has flowed an uninterrupted
stream of golden gifts, has announced the fact that henceforth we are to
be a wine-growing people. From the sparkling juices of her luscious
grapes, rich with the breath of an unrivalled climate, is to come in
future the drink of our people. By means of her capacity in this respect
we are to convert the vast tracts of her yet untilled soil into blooming
vineyards, which will give employment to thousands of men and women,--we
are to make wine as common an article of consumption in America as upon
the Rhine, and to break one more of the links which bind us unwilling
slaves to foreign lands.

It is a little singular, that, in a country so particularly adapted to
the culture of the grape, no species is indigenous to the soil. The
earliest record of the grape in California is about 1770, at which time
the Spanish Jesuits brought to Los Angeles what are supposed to have
been cuttings from the Malaga. There is a difference of opinion as to
what stock they originally came from; but one thing is certain,--from
that stock has sprung what is now known all over the State as the
"Mission" or "Los Angeles" grape, and from which is made all the wine at
present in the market. The berry is round, reddish-brown while ripening,
turning nearly black when fully ripe. It is very juicy and sweet, and a
delicious table-grape.

Three prominent reasons maybe given in support of the claims of
California to be considered a wine-producing State. First, her soil
possesses a large amount of magnesia and lime, or chalk. Specimens of
it, taken from various localities, and carried to Europe, when
chemically tested and submitted to the judgment of competent men, have
been pronounced to be admirably adapted to the purposes of wine-culture.
Then, the climate is all that could possibly be desired,--as during the
growth and ripening of the grapes they are never exposed to storms of
rain or hail, which often destroy the entire crop in many parts of
Europe. As an evidence of the great superiority enjoyed by California in
this respect, it may be remarked, that, while the grape-crop here is a
certainty, "the oldest inhabitant" not remembering a year that has
failed of a good yield,--in Europe, on the contrary, in a period of 432
years, from 1420 to 1852, the statistics exhibit only 11 years which can
be pronounced eminently good, and but 28 very good,--192 being simply
what may be called "pretty good" and "middling," and 201, or nearly
one-half, having proved total failures, not paying the expenses. Again,
the enormous productiveness of the soil is an immense advantage. We make
on an average from five hundred and fifty to six hundred and fifty
gallons of wine to the acre. The four most productive of the
wine-growing districts of Europe are--

Italy, giving to the acre   441 1-2 gallons
Austria and her provinces,  265 5-6   "
France,                     176 2-7   "
Nassau,                     237 1-2   "

Of these, it will be perceived, that Italy, the most prolific, falls
fully one hundred and fifty gallons short of the average yield per acre
in California.--In this connection the following account of a grape-vine
in Santa Barbara may be interesting:--

"Four miles south of the town there is a vine which was planted more
than a quarter of a century since, and has a stalk now about ten inches
thick. The branches are supported by a train or arbor, and extend out
about fifty feet on all sides. The annual crop of grapes upon this one
vine is from six to ten thousand pounds, as much as the yield of half
an acre of common vines. It is of the Los Angeles variety. There is a
similar vine, but not so large, in the vineyard of Andres Pico, at San
Fernando."

It is well known that California has within her borders five million
acres of land suitable for vine-culture. Suppose it to average no larger
yield than that of Italy, yet, at 25 cents a gallon, it would give an
income of $551,875,000. That this may not seem an entirely chimerical
estimate, it may be remarked that trustworthy statistics show that in
France five millions of acres are planted in vines, producing seven
hundred and fifty millions of gallons, while Hungary has three millions
of acres, yielding three hundred and sixty millions of gallons. If it is
asked, Supposing California capable of producing the amount claimed for
her, what could be done with this enormous quantity of wine? the answer
may be found in the experience of France, where, notwithstanding the
immense native production, there is a large importation from foreign
countries, besides a very considerable consumption of purely artificial
wines.

Small quantities of wine have been made in California for over half a
century, by the Spanish residents, not, however, as a commercial
commodity, but for home-consumption, and there are wines now in the
cellars of some of the wealthy Spanish families which money could not
purchase. But it remained for American enterprise, aided by European
experience, to develop the wonderful capacity which had so long
slumbered in the bosom of this most favored land.

The following statistics exhibit the total number of vines in 1862, and
the great increase in the last five or six years will show the opinion
entertained as to the success of the business.

"The number of grape-vines set out in vineyards in the State, according
to the Report of the County Assessors, as compiled in the
Surveyor-General's Report for 1862, is 10,592,688, of which number Los
Angeles has 2,570,000, and Sonoma 1,701,661.

"The rate of increase in the number and size of vineyards is large. All
the vines of the State did not number 1,000,000 seven years ago. Los
Angeles, which had three times as many vines surviving from the time of
the Mexican domain as all the other counties together, had 592,000
bearing vines and 134,000 young vines in 1856. The annual increase in
the State has been about 1,500,000 since then; and though less
hereafter, it will still be large.

"The wine made in 1861 is reported, very incorrectly, by the County
Assessors, as amounting to 343,000 gallons. The amount made in 1862 was
about 700,000 gallons. The total amount made in all other States of the
Union in 1859, according to the United States census, was 1,350,000
gallons; and the same authority puts down California's wine-yield for
that year at 494,000 gallons, which is very nearly correct. In Los
Angeles County most of the vineyards have 1,000 vines to the acre. In
Sonoma the number varies from 680 to 1,000. The average number may be
estimated at 900; and the 10,000,000 vines of the State cover about
11,500 acres. An acre of California vineyard in full bearing produces at
least 500 gallons annually, and at that rate the produce of the 11,500
acres would be 5,750,000 gallons. Strike off, however, one-third for
grapes lost, wasted, and gathered for the table, and we have an annual
produce of 3,800,000 gallons. The reason why the present product is so
far below this amount is that most of the vines are still very young,
and will not be in full bearing for several years yet."

The cost of planting a vineyard will of course vary with the situation,
price of labor, quality of soil, etc., but may be estimated at not far
from fifty dollars an acre. This includes everything except the cost of
the land, and brings the vines up to the third year, when they are in
fair bearing condition. There are thousands of acres of land scattered
over the State, admirably adapted to vine-culture, which may be
purchased at from one to two dollars per acre. No enterprise holds out
more encouragement for the investment of labor and capital than this,
and the attention of some of the most intelligent capitalists of the
country is being given to it. In this connection I cannot forbear
referring to the action of the Government in regard to our native wines.
By the National Excise Law of 1862 a tax of five cents a gallon was laid
upon all wine made in the country. No tax has yet been laid upon
agricultural productions generally, and only three per cent, upon
manufactures. Now wine certainly falls properly under the head of
agricultural productions. Upon this ground it might justly claim
exemption from taxation. The wine-growers of California allege that the
tax is oppressive and impolitic: oppressive, because it is equal to
one-fourth of the original value of the wine, and because no other
article of production or manufacture is taxed in anything like this
proportion; impolitic, because the business is now in its infancy,
struggling against enormous difficulties, among which may be mentioned
the high price of labor, rate of interest, and cost of packages, making
it difficult to compete with the wines of Europe, which have already
established themselves in the country, and which are produced where
interest is only three per cent. per annum, and the price of labor
one-quarter of what it is in California. In addition to this there is
the prejudice which exists against American wines, but which, happily,
is passing away. The vintners ask only to be put upon the same footing
as manufacturers, namely, an _ad valorem_ tax of three per cent.; and
they say that the Government will derive a greater revenue from such a
tax than from the one now in force, as they cannot pay the present tax,
and, unless it is abated, they will be obliged to abandon the business.
Efforts are being made to induce Congress to modify it, and it is to be
hoped they will be successful.

In 1861 California sent a commissioner to Europe, to procure the best
varieties of vines cultivated there, and also to report upon the
European culture generally. The gentleman selected for the mission was
Colonel Haraszthy, to whom I am indebted for many of my statistics, and
who has given us a very interesting book on the subject. He brought back
a hundred thousand vines, embracing about fourteen hundred varieties.
These were to have been planted and experimented upon under the auspices
of the State. What the result has been I am unable to say; but we are
informed upon good authority that over two hundred foreign varieties are
now successfully cultivated. Such being the fact, it is a fair
presumption that we are soon to make wines in sufficient variety to suit
all tastes.

Los Angeles is at present the largest wine-growing county in the State,
and Sonoma the second. Many other portions of the State, however, are
fast becoming planted with vineyards, and some of them are already
giving promise of furnishing superb wines. As usual in wine-growing
countries, in the southern part of the State the wines are richer in
saccharine properties, and heavier-bodied, than those of the more
northern sections, but are deficient in flavor and bouquet. We shall get
a lighter and tarter wine from the Sonoma and other northern vineyards,
which will please many tastes better than the southern wines. The two
largest vineyards in the State are owned by Colonel Haraszthy, of
Sonoma, and John Rains, of San Gabriel. The former has two hundred and
ninety thousand vines, and the latter one hundred and sixty-five
thousand. It is probable that from one of these vineyards at least will
come a good Champagne wine.

A large tract of land, to which has been given the name of "Anaheim,"
has been recently purchased by a German company. It is sold to actual
settlers in lots of twenty acres, affording room for twenty thousand
vines. There are now planted nearly three hundred thousand, which are in
a very flourishing condition. The wines from this district will soon be
in the market.

The wines now made in California are known under the following names:
"White" or "Hock" Wine, "Angelica," "Port," "Muscatel," "Sparkling
California," and "Piquet." The character of the first-named wine is much
like that of the Rhine wines of Germany. It is not unlike the _Capri
bianco_ of Naples, or the white wines of the South of France. It is
richer and fuller-bodied than the German wines, without the tartness
which is strongly developed in nearly all the Rhenish varieties. It is a
fine wine, and meets the approval of many of our best connoisseurs.
Specimens of it have been sent to some of the wine-districts of Germany,
and the most flattering expressions in its favor have come from the
Rhine. The "Angelica" and "Muscatel" are both _naturally_ sweet,
intended as dessert-wines, and to suit the taste of those who do not
like a dry wine. They are both of a most excellent quality, and are very
popular. The "Port" is a rich, deep-colored, high-flavored wine, not
unlike the Burgundies of France, yet not so dry. The "Sparkling
California" and "Piquet" are as yet but little known. The latter is made
from the lees of the grape, is a sour, very light wine, and not suitable
for shipment. Messrs. Sainsivain Brothers have up to the present time
been the principal house engaged in the manufacture of Champagne. So
far, they have not been particularly successful. This wine has a certain
bitter taste, which is not agreeable; yet it is a much better wine than
some kinds of the foreign article sold in our markets. The makers are
still experimenting, and will, no doubt, improve. It is probable that
most of the good sparkling wine which we shall get from California will
be made in the northern part of the State; the grapes grown there seem
to be better adapted to the purpose than those raised in Los Angeles.
There is no doubt, too, that the foreign grape will be used for this
branch of the business, rather than the Los Angeles variety. All that is
required to obtain many other varieties of wine, including brands
similar to Sherry and Claret, is time to find a proper grape, and to
select a suitable soil for its culture. Considering the short time which
has elapsed since the business was commenced, wonders have been
accomplished. It has taken Ohio thirty years to furnish us two varieties
of wine, while in less than one-third that time California has produced
six varieties, four of which are of a very superior quality, and have
already taken a prominent position in the estimation of the best tastes
in the country.

In 1854, Messrs. Köhler and Fröhling commenced business in Los Angeles,
and shortly after opened a house in San Francisco. They were assisted by
Charles Stern, who had enjoyed a long and valuable experience in the
wine-business upon the Rhine. The vintage was very small and inferior in
quality, as they had had no experience in making wine from such a grape
as California produced. Numberless difficulties were met with, and it
was only the indomitable energy of the gentlemen engaged in the
enterprise, sustained by a firm faith in its ultimate success, which
brought them triumphantly out of the slough of despond that seemed at
times almost to overwhelm them. They have to-day the satisfaction of
being the pioneers in what is soon to be one of the most important
branches of industry in California. They own one of the finest vineyards
in the State, from which some magnificent wine has been produced. They
have contracts with owners of other vineyards; and after making the wine
in their own, the men and machinery are moved into these, the grapes
pressed, and the juice at once conveyed to their cellars, they paying
the producers of the grapes a stipulated price per ton on the vines. The
vintage commences about the first of October, and generally continues
into November. The labor employed in gathering the grapes and in the
work of the press is mostly performed by Indians. It is a novel and
interesting sight to see them filing up to the press, each one bearing
on his head about fifty pounds of the delicious fruit, which is soon to
be reduced to an unseemly mass, and yield up its purple life-blood for
the benefit of man. Some of the best wine made in the State is from the
"Asuza" and "Sunny Slope" vineyards, both of which lie directly at the
foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. From a small beginning Messrs.
Köhler and Fröhling have steadily progressed, till at this time their
position is a very enviable one. Their cellars, occupying the basement
of Montgomery Block, excite the admiration of all who visit them, and
their wines are more favorably known than those of any other vintners.
Agencies have been established in New York and other cities, under the
supervision of Mr. Stern, and the favor with which they have been
received has settled the fact that the wines of California are a
success. It only remains for the vintners to keep their wines pure, and
always up to the highest standard, and to take such measures as shall
insure their delivery in a like condition to the consumers, to build up
a business which shall eclipse that of any of the great houses of
Europe. Thus will the State and nation be benefited, by keeping at home
the money which we annually pay for wine to foreign countries, and the
people will be led away from the use of strong, fiery drinks, to accept
instead the light wines of their native land.

       *       *       *       *       *

TO A YOUNG GIRL DYING:

WITH A GIFT OF FRESH PALM-LEAVES.


    This is Palm-Sunday: mindful of the day,
    I bring palm-branches, found upon my way:
    But these will wither; thine shall never die,--
    The sacred palms thou bearest to the sky!
    Dear little saint, though but a child in years,
    Older in wisdom than my gray compeers!
    _We_ doubt and tremble,--_we_ with 'bated breath
    Talk of this mystery of life and death:
    Thou, strong in faith, art gifted to conceive
    Beyond thy years, and teach us to believe!

    Then take my palms, triumphal, to thy home,
    Gentle white palmer, never more to roam!
    Only, sweet sister, give me, ere thou go'st,
    Thy benediction,--for my love thou know'st!
    We, too, are pilgrims, travelling towards the shrine:
    Pray that our pilgrimage may end like thine!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RIM.

PART I.


There are women at whom, after the first meeting, you forget to glance a
second time, they seem to be such indifferent creations, such imperfect
sketches of an idea to be fulfilled farther on in a clearer type, but
who, met once more and yet again, suddenly take you captive in bonds.
You find the sallow cheek to be but polished ivory, the heavy eye loaded
with fire, the irregular features chords of a harmony whose whole is
perfect; you find that this is the type itself; while in every gesture,
every word, every look, the soul is shed abroad, and the fascination is
what neither Campaspe, nor Jocasta, nor even Aspasia herself held in
fee. For you, she has blossomed into the one beauty of the world; you
hear her, and the Sirens sing in vain; she touches you, and makes you
the slave beneath her feet.

Such a one was Éloise Changarnier.

There was iron of the old Huguenot blood in her veins; late American
admixture had shot a racy sparkle through it; convent-care from her
tenth to her sixteenth year had softened and toned the whole into a
warm, generous life; and underneath all there slumbered that one atom of
integral individuality that was nothing at all but a spark: as yet, its
fire had never flashed; if it ever should do so, one might be safe in
prophesying a strange wayward blaze.

In one of her earliest summers her widowed mother had died and
bequeathed her sole legacy, a penniless orphan, to the care of the
survivor in an imperishable friendship, Disbrowe Erne. A childless,
thriftless, melancholy man, Mr. Erne had adopted her into his inmost
heart, but out of respect to his friend had suffered her to retain her
father's name, and had thoughtlessly delayed rendering the adoption
legal. One day it was found too late to remedy this delay; for Mr. Erne
died, just a year after Éloise's return from the distant Northern
convent whither at ten years old she had been despatched, when, wild and
witching as a wood-brier, there had been found nothing else to do with
her. There her adopted father had visited her twice a year in all her
exile, as she deemed it, sometimes taking up his residence for several
months in the neighborhood of the nunnery; and a long vacation of many
weeks she had every winter spent at home with him on the rich and
beautiful plantation poetically known as The Rim, because, seen from
several of the adjacent places, it occupied the whole southern horizon.
The last vacation, however, she had passed with her adopted father
travelling in France, whither some affairs called him; but, of all the
splendid monuments and records of civilization that she saw, almost the
only thing that had impressed itself distinctly upon her memory, through
the chicanery of chances, was that once in a cathedral-choir she had
seen the handsome, blonde-hued, Vandyck face of a gentleman with
dreaming eyes looking at her from a gallery-niche with the most singular
earnestness. So at sixteen she found that the nuns had exhausted their
slender lore, and had nothing more to teach her; and after her brief
travels, she returned home for a finality, and there had dallied a
twelvemonth, lapped in the Elysium of freedom and youth. Every want
anticipated, every whim gratified, servants prostrate before her, father
adoring her,--the year sped on wings of silent joy, and left her a shade
more imperious than it met her. Launched into society, wealthy and
winning, Éloise counted, too, her lovers; but she spurned them so gayly
that her hard heart became a proverb through all the region round,
wherever the rejected travelled. It is true that Mr. Erne had often
expressed his film of dissatisfaction with the conventual results, and
had planned an attack on matters of more solid learning; but, tricksy as
a sprite, Éloise had escaped his designs, broken through his
regulations, implored, just out of shackles, a year's gambol in liberty,
and had made herself too charming to be resisted in her plea; and if,
feeling his health fail, he had at first insisted,--in the fear that
there might be left but brief opportunity for him to make her pleasure,
he yielded. Nevertheless, with the best outlay in the world,
plantation-life is not all a gala, and there were, it must be confessed,
certain ennuisome moments in which Éloise made inroads on her father's
library, chiefly in wild out-of-the-way veins, all which, however,
romantic, unsystematic, and undigested, did nothing towards rendering
her one whit more independent of the world in time of future trial.

One afternoon, just reëntering the house from some gay farewell of
friends, she found her father sitting in the hall, and she stood
tiptoing in the door-way while smiling at him, with a fragrant vine half
twisted in her dark drooping hair, the heat making her cheek yet paler,
and the great blue-green eyes shining at him from under the black
straight brows, like aquamarine jewels. Mr. Erne leaned forward in the
chair, with hands clasped upon his knees, and eyes upbent.

"Éloise! Éloise!" he cried in a piercing voice, then grew white, and
fell back in the cushions.

The girl flew to him, took the head upon her shoulder, caressed the
deathly face, warmed the mouth with her own.

"Child!" he murmured, "I thought it was your mother!"

And by midnight, alone, and in the dark, he died, and went to find that
mother.

As for Éloise, she was like some one made dumb by a thunderbolt. Her
garden had become a desert. Ice had fallen in her summer. Death was too
large a fact for her to comprehend. She had seen the Medusa's head in
its terror, but not in its loveliness, and been stricken to stone. At
length in the heart of that stone the inner fountains broke,--broke in
rains of tempestuous tears, such gusts and gushes of grief as threatened
to wash away life itself; and when Éloise issued from this stormy deep,
the warmth and the wealth of being obscured, the effervescence and
bubble of the child destroyed, feeling like a flower sodden with
showers, if she had been capable of finding herself at all, she would
have found herself a woman.

Among Mr. Erne's disorderly papers, full of incipient schemes, sketches,
and schedules of gold-mining, steam-companies, and railways to the
nebulæ in Orion, was discovered after his death a scrap witnessed by two
signatures. The owner of one of these signatures was already dead, and
there were no means to prove its genuineness. The other was that of a
young man who had just enough of that remote taint in his descent which
incapacitates one, in certain regions, from bearing witness. It was
supposed that Mr. Erne had some day hurriedly executed this paper in the
absence of his lawyer, as being, possibly, better than no paper at all,
and he had certainly intended to have the whole matter arranged
legitimately; but these are among the things which, with a superstitious
loitering, some men linger long before doing, lest they prove to be,
themselves, a death-warrant.

By this paper, in so many words, Disbrowe Erne left to Éloise
Changarnier all the property of which he died possessed. An old friend
of her father's in the neighborhood assured her that the only relatives
were both distant, distinguished, and wealthy, unlikely to present any
claims, and that she would be justified in fulfilling her father's
desire. And so, without other forms, Éloise administered the affairs of
The Rim,--waiting until the autumn to consult the usual lawyer, who was
at present in England.

There had reigned over the domestic department of The Rim, for many
years, a person who was the widow of a maternal cousin of Mr. Erne's,
and who, when left destitute by the death of this young cousin, had
found shelter, support, and generous courtesy beneath the roof of her
late husband's kinsman. It was on the accession of this person, who was
not a saint, that Éloise had become so ungovernable as to require the
constraint of a nunnery. Mrs. Arles was a dark and quiet little lady,
with some of the elements of beauty which her name suggested, and with a
perfectly Andalusian foot and ankle. These being her sole wealth, it
was, perhaps, from economy of her charms that she hid the ankle in such
flowing sables, that she bound the black locks straightly under a little
widow's-cap, seldom parted the fine lips above the treasured pearls
beneath, disdained to distort the classic features, and graved no
wrinkles on the smooth, rich skin with any lavish smiling. She went
about the house, a self-contained, silent, unpleasant little vial of
wrath, and there was ever between her and Éloise a tacit feud, waiting,
perhaps, only for occasion to fling down the gage in order to become
open war. Mrs. Arles expected, therefore, that, so soon Éloise should
take the reins in hand herself, she would be lightly, but decisively
shaken off,--for the old friend had mentioned to Mrs. Arles that Mr.
Erne's will left Éloise heir, as she had always supposed it would. She
was, accordingly, silently amazed, when Éloise, softened by suffering,
hoped she would always find it convenient to make a home with herself,
and informed her that a certain section of the farm had been measured
off and allotted to her, with its laborers, as the source of a yearly
income. This delicacy, that endeavored to prevent her feeling the
perpetual recurrence of benefits conferred, touched the speechless Mrs.
Arles almost to the point of positive friendliness.

The plantation was one of those high and healthy spots that are ever
visited by land- and sea-breezes, and there Éloise determined to stay
that spring and summer; for this ground that her father had so often
trod, this air that had given and received his last breath, were dear to
her, and just now parting with them, for ever so short a time, would be
but a renewal of her loss. As she became able to turn her energy to the
business requiring attention, she discovered at last her sad ignorance.
Dancing, drawing, music, and languages were of small avail in managing
the interior concerns and the vexatious finance of a great estate. The
neighbors complained that her spoiled and neglected servants infected
theirs, and that her laxity of discipline was more ruinous in its
effects than the rigor of Blue Bluffs. But she just held out to them her
helpless little hands in so piteous and charming a way that they could
not cherish an instant's enmity. If she tried to remedy the evil
complained of, she fell into some fresh error; take what advice she
would, it invariably twisted itself round and worked the other way. The
plantation, always slackly managed, saw itself now on the high road to
destruction. Let her do the very best in her power, she found it
impossible to plan her season's campaign, to carry it out, to audit her
accounts, to study agricultural directions, to preserve the peace, to
keep her fences in order, to attend to the sick, to rule her household
and her spirit, to dispose of her harvest, and to bring either end of
the thread out of the tangled skein of her affairs.

Perhaps there could have been really no better thing for Éloise than the
diversion from her sorrow which all this perplexity necessarily in some
degree occasioned.

As for Mrs. Arles, so soon as Éloise had begun to move about again, she
had taken herself off on a long-promised visit to the West, and was but
just returning with the October weather.

Éloise, worn and thin, and looking nearly forty, as she had remarked to
herself that morning in the brief moment she could snatch for her
toilet, welcomed the cool and quiet little Mrs. Arles, who might _be_
forty, but looked any age between twenty and thirty, with affectionate
warmth, and made all the world bestir themselves for her comfort. It is
only justice to the owner of the little Andalusian foot to say that in
her specific domain things immediately changed for the better. But that
was merely within-doors, and because she tightened the reins and used
the whip in a manner which Éloise could not have done, if the whole
equipage tumbled to pieces about her ears.

Mrs. Arles had been at home a week or so; the evening was chilly with
rain, and a little fire flickered on the hearth. Mrs. Arles sat on one
side of the hearth, with her tatting in hand; Éloise bent above the
papers scattered over a small table.

"See what it is to go away!" said Éloise, cheerily. "It's like light in
a painting, as the Sisters used to say,--brings out all the shadows."

"Nobody knew how indispensable I was," said the other lady, with the
fragment of expression in the phantom of a smile.

"How pleasant it is to be missed! I _did_ miss you so,--it seemed as if
one of the four sides of the walls were gone. Now we stand--what is that
word of Aristotle's?--four-square again. Now our universe is on wheels.
Just tell me how you tamed Hazel so. She has conducted like a little
wild gorilla all summer,--and here, in the twinkling of an eye, she goes
about soberly, like a baptized Christian. How?"

"By a process of induction."

"You don't mean"--

"Oh, no. Nothing of the kind. I didn't touch her. I sent her into my
room, and told her to take down that little riding-switch hanging over
the mantel"--

"What,--the ebony and gold?"

"Yes. And to whip all the flies out of the air with it. It makes a
monstrous whizzing. There's no such thing as actual experience for these
imps of the vivid nerves. And when she came down I looked at her, and
asked her how she liked the singing. Her conduct now leads me to believe
that she has no desire to hear the tune again."

The hearer winced a trifle before lightly replying,--

"Well, _I_ might have sent her forever, and all the result would have
been the switch singing about my own shoulders, probably."

"That is because she knows you would never use it. As for me,--Hazel has
a good memory."

Éloise gave a half-imperceptible shiver and frown; but, clearing her
brow, said,--

"If Hazel had my accounts here, they would tame her. I will put all my
malcontents through a course of mathematics. You do so well everywhere
else, Mrs. Arles, that I've half the mind to ask you to advise me here.
Little Arlesian, come over into Macedonia!"

"What is the matter?"

"Oh, it's only an inversion of the old problem, If the ton of coal cost
ten dollars, what will the cord of wood come to? Now, if one bale"--

"But coal doesn't cost ten dollars," replied Mrs. Arles, with admirable
simplicity.

"Now, if one bale of Sea-Island"--

"Oh, my dear, I know nothing at all about it. Pray, don't ask me."

"Well," said Éloise, after a moment's wondering pause, in which she had
taken time to reflect that Mrs. Arles's corner of the estate was carried
on faultlessly, "it is too bad to vex you with my matters, when you have
as much as you can do in the house, yourself,"--and relapsed into what
she called her Pythagorean errors.

"Did you know," said Mrs. Arles, after a half-hour's silence, "that
Marlboro' has returned?"

"Marlboro'?" repeated Éloise, hesitatingly.

"Marlboro' of Blue Bluffs."

"Oh, yes. And five's eleven. No," said Éloise, absently and with half a
sigh. "I've never seen him, you know,--he's been in Kamtschatka and the
Moon so long. How did you know?"

"Hazel told me. Hazel wants to marry his Vane."

"His what?"

"Not his weathercock. Vane, his butler."

"That is why she behaved so. Dancing quicksilver. Then, perhaps, he'll
buy her. What a relief it would be!"

"Marlboro' is a master!" said Mrs. Arles, emphatically.

There was a good deal in the ensuing pause. For Éloise, in her single
year, had not half learned the neighborhood's gossip.

"A cruel man. Then it's not to be thought of. We shall have to buy Vane.
Though how it's to be done"--

"I didn't say he was a cruel man. He wouldn't think of interfering with
an ordinance of his overseers. I esteem his thoroughness. He has ideas.
But I might have said that he is a remarkable man."

"There'll be some pulling of caps soon, Hazel said to-day, in her
gibberish. I couldn't think what she meant."

"Blue Bluffs is a place to be mistress of. He's a woman-hater, though,
Mr. Marlboro',--believes in no woman capable of resisting him when he
flings the handkerchief, should he choose, but believes in none worth
choosing."

"We shall have to invite him here, Mrs. Arles," said Éloise,
mischievously, "and show him that there are two of us."

"That would never do!"

"Oh, I didn't mean so. Of course, I didn't mean so. How could I see any
one else sitting in"--And there were tears in her eyes and on her
trembling tones.

"My dear," said Mrs. Arles, "I am afraid, _apropos_ of nothing at all,
that you have isolated yourself from all society for too long a time
already."

Just here Hazel entered and replenished the hearth, stopping half-way,
with her armful of brush, to coquet an instant in the mirror, and adjust
the scarlet love-knot in her curls.

"There's a carriage coming up the avenue, Miss," said she, demurely.
"One of the boys"--

"What one?" asked Mrs. Arles.

"Vane," answered Hazel,--carmine staining her pretty olive cheek. "He
ran before it."

"Who can it be, at this hour?" said Éloise, half rising, with the pen in
her hand, and looking at Mrs. Arles, who did not stir.

As she spoke, there was a bustle in the hall, a slamming door, a voice
of command, the door opened, and a stranger stood among them, surveying
the long antique room with its diamonded windows flickering in every
pane, and the quaint hearth, whose leaping, crackling, fragrant blaze
lighted the sombre little person sitting beside it, and sparkled on the
half-bending form of that strange dark-haired girl, with her aquamarine
eyes bent full on his. He was wrapped, from head to foot, in a great
sweeping brigand's cloak, and a black, wide-brimmed hat, that had for an
instant slouched its shadow down his face, hung now in his gloved hand.
Dropping cloak and hat upon a chair with an invisible motion, he
advanced, an air of surprise lifting the heavy eyebrows so that they
strongly accented the contrast in hue between the lower half of his
face, tanned with wind and sun, and the wide, low brow, smooth as marble
itself, and above which swept one great wave of dark-brown hair.
Altogether, it was an odd, fiery impression that he made,--whether from
that golden-brown tint of skin that always seems full of slumbering
light, or from the teeth that flashed so beneath the _triste_ moustache
whenever the haughty lips parted and unbent their curve, or whether it
were a habit the eyes seemed to have of accompanying all his thoughts
with a play of flame.

"Really," said he,--and it may have been a subtile inner musical trait
of his tone that took everybody's will captive,--"I was not
aware"--making a long step into the room, with a certain lordly bearing,
yet almost at a loss to whom he should address himself. "I am Earl St.
George Erne. May I inquire"--

"My name is Éloise Changarnier," said its owner, drawing herself up, it
being incumbent on her to receive him.

He bowed, and advanced.

"Mrs. Arles, then, I presume,--my cousin Disbrowe Erne's cousin. I
expected to find you here."

Mrs. Arles, after a hurried acknowledgment, slipped over to Éloise.

"I have heard your father speak of him," she murmured. "They had
business-relations. He is Mr. Erne's legal heir, in default of
sufficient testament, I believe. He must have come to claim the
property."

"He!" said Éloise, with sublime scorn. "The property is mine! My father
left such commands!"

"But he can have no other reason for being here. Strange the lawyer
didn't write! He is certainly at home again."

"I have not had time to open the mail to-day; it lies in the hall.
Hazel! the mail-bag."

And directly afterward its contents were before her.

She hurriedly shifted and reshifted the letters of factors and agents,
and broke the seal of one, while Earl St. George Erne deliberately
warmed his long white hands at the blaze, and, supposing Éloise
Changarnier to be a guest of the lonely Mrs. Arles, wondered with some
angry amusement at her singular deportment.

Mrs. Arles was right. The letter in Éloise's hand, which had been
intended to reach her earlier, was from their old lawyer, but lately
returned from England. In it he informed her that the scrap of paper on
the authority of which she had assumed control of the property was
worthless,--and that not only was Earl St. George Erne the heir of his
cousin, but that some three years previously he had lent that cousin a
sum of money sufficient to cover much more than the whole value of The
Rim, taking in payment only promissory notes, whose indorser was since
insolvent. This sum--as Mr. Erne the elder had been already unfortunate
in several rash speculations--had been applied towards lifting a heavy
mortgage, and instituting improvements that would enable the farm soon
to repay the debt in yearly instalments. Added to this was the fact that
Earl St. George Erne, who had passed many years away from home upon
Congressional duties, had lately met with a severe reverse himself, and
had now nothing in the world except this lucky inheritance from his
cousin, and into this he had been inducted by all legal forms. This had
transpired during the lawyer's absence, (that person wrote,) as
otherwise some provision might have been made for Miss Changarnier,--and
not being able to meet with Mr. St. George Erne, he had learned the
facts from others. Meantime she would see, that, even if her father left
to her all he died possessed of, he died possessed of nothing.

The idea that anybody should dare to controvert her father's will flared
for a moment behind Éloise's facial mask, and illumined every feature.
Then her eye fell upon the mass of papers with the inextricable
confusion of their figures. An exquisitely ludicrous sense of
retributive justice seized her, heightened, perhaps, by some surprise
and nervous excitement; she fairly laughed,--a little, low bubble of a
laugh,--swept her letters into her apron, and, with the end of it
hanging over her arm, stepped towards Mr. St. George, and offered him
her hand. He thought she was a crazy girl. But there was the hand; he
took it, and, looking at her a moment, forgot to drop it,--an error
which she rectified.

"It seems, then, that you are the owner of The Rim," said she. "I had
been dreaming myself to be that very unfortunate person,--a nightmare
from which you wake me. The steward will show you over it to-morrow. You
will find your exchequer in the escritoire-drawer in the cabinet across
the hall. You will find the papers and accounts on that table, and I
wish you joy of them!"

So saying, after her succinct statement, she vanished.

Mrs. Arles lingered a moment to wind up her tatting. St. George, who
had at first stood like a golden bronze cast immovably in an irate
surprise, then shook his shoulders, and stepped towards the table and
carelessly parted the papers.

"Remarkable manuscript," said he, as if just then he could find nothing
else to say. "Plainer than type. A purely American hand. Is it that of
the young lady?"

"Miss Changarnier? Yes."

"She was apparent heiress?"

"Yes."

"What does she expect to become of her?"

"How can I tell?"

"You can conjecture."

"She has not yet begun to consider, herself, you see."

"She has other property?"

"None."

"Ah! A fine thing, usurping!"

Mrs. Arles did not reply.

And then, in a half-angry justification, he exclaimed,--

"I didn't know there was such a person in the world! I could not come
immediately on Erne's death. I was ill, and I was busy, and I let things
wait for me. Why did no one write?"

"No one knew there was such a person as _you_. At least, no one supposed
it signified."

"Signified! The Rim was my father's as much as it was Disbrowe Erne's
father's. Disbrowe Erne's father entrapped mine, and got the other half.
It was the old story of Esau's pottage, with thrice the villany. My
father made me promise him on his death-bed, that, come fair means, The
Rim should be mine again. I was twenty, Erne was fifty. Fair means came.
Nevertheless, if I had known how things stood, I might have broken the
promise,--who knows?--if at that moment I had happened to possess
anything else in the world but my wardrobe, and sundry debts, and this!"

He opened, as he spoke, a purse that had seen service, and from his
lordly height and supreme indifference, scattered its contents on the
projecting top of the fireplace. They were two old pieces of ringing
Spanish silver, a tiny golden coin of Hindostan, a dime, and a pine-tree
shilling.

"Marlboro' won my last dollar," said he.

"Marlboro'?" said Mrs. Arles.

"What do you know of Marlboro'?"

"He lives over here at Blue Bluffs."

"The Devil he does!"

Mr. St. George Erne glanced at the dark little woman sitting before him.
No smile softened her face, no ray had lighted it; she only
intelligently observed, and monosyllabically answered him. She was a
study,--might also be convenient; the place would be ennuisome; somebody
must sit at the head of his table. He threw his purse into the fire.

"Mrs. Arles," he said, "it is decidedly necessary, that, to conduct my
house, there should be in it a female relative,--an article I do not
possess. Will you take the part, and remain with me on the same terms as
with my Cousin Erne?"

Mrs. Arles had intended to propose such an arrangement herself, and,
after a brief pause for apparent consideration, replied affirmatively,
not thinking it worth while to tell him that the section of the farm,
with its laborers, set apart for her benefit, was a device of Éloise's,
and not one of anterior date.

"Thank you," said Mr. St. George Erne; "that being settled, will you
have the kindness to order rooms prepared for me and my traps?"

Which Mrs. Arles disappeared to do.

It was early the next morning that Éloise knocked at Mrs. Arles's door.

"Good bye!" said she, looking in. "And good bye to The Rim! I don't
suppose his Arch-Imperial Highness, Mr. Earl St. George Erne, will want
to see my face immediately. I've only taken my clothes, as they'd be of
no use to him, and"--

"Where are you going?" inquired Mrs. Arles from among her pillows, as
quietly as if such an exodus were an every-day affair.

"To the Murrays',--till I can find something to do."

"What can you find to do?"

"I haven't the least idea," said Éloise, coming in and sitting down.
"I've thought all night. I can't do anything. I can't teach; I can't
sew; I can't play. I _can_ starve; can't I, Mrs. Arles?"

"You don't know that!"

"Well, I can be a nursery-governess, or I can sing in a chorus; I should
make a very decent _figurante_, or I could go round with baskets.
Perhaps I can get writing. There's one comfort: I sha'n't have anything
more to do with Arabic numerals till the latest day I live, and needn't
know whether two and two make four or five. I may remember, though, that
two from two leave nothing!"

"Yes,--we are all equal to subtraction."

"So, good bye, Mrs. Arles," said Éloise, rising. "We've had pleasant
times together, first and last. I dare say, I've tried you to death.
You'll forgive me, and only remember the peaceful part. If I succeed,
I'll write you. And if I don't, you needn't bother. I'm well and strong,
and seventeen."

Mrs. Arles elaborated a faint smile, kissed Éloise's cheek, told her she
would help her look about for something, rang for Hazel to close the
door the careless girl left ajar as she went springing down-stairs, and
arranged herself anew in the laced pillows that singularly became with
their setting the creamy hue of her tranquil face.

But Éloise was keeping up her spirits by an artificial process that she
meant should last at least as far as the Murrays'. Passing, on her way,
the door of her father's cozy cabinet, the attraction overcame her, she
turned the handle, only for a moment, and looked in. The place was too
full of memories: yonder he had stood, and she remembered what he said;
there he had sat and stroked her hair; here he had every night kissed
her two eyes for pleasant dreams. The door banged behind her, and she
was sitting on the floor sobbing with all her soul.

When the tornado had passed, Éloise rose, smoothed her dress, opened the
window that the morning air might cool her burning eyes, then at length
went to find a servant who would take her trunk to the Murrays', and
passed down the hall.

As she reached the door of the long, antique room where last night's
scene had passed, it opened, and Mr. St. George Erne came out.

"Good morning, Miss Changarnier," said he. "May I speak with you a
moment?"

"Very briefly," said Éloise, loftily, for she was in an entirely
different mood from that in which she had left him the night before.

The corner of a smile curled Mr. St. George Erne's mouth and the brown
moustache above it. Éloise saw it, and was an inch taller. Then St.
George did not smile again, but was quite as regnantly cool and distant
as the Khan of Tartary could be.

"I glanced at the papers to which you referred me last evening," said
he. "As you intimated, I perceive the snarl is hopeless. Were it for
nothing else," he added, casting down the orbs that had just now too
tremulous a light in them, "I should ask you to remain and assist me in
unravelling affairs, for a few days. I intend, so soon as the way shall
be clear, to set off half of the estate to you"--

"Sir, I do not accept gifts from strangers. I will be under no
obligations. I hope to earn my own livelihood. The estate is yours; I
will not receive a penny of it!"

"Pardon me, if I say that this is a rash and ill-considered statement.
There is no reason why you should be unwilling, in the first place, to
see justice done, and, after that, to respect your Adopted father's
wish."

"My father could have wished nothing dishonest. He is best pleased with
me as I am."

"Will it make any difference, if I assure you that the half of the
estate under my plan of management will yield larger receipts than the
whole of it did under your proprietorship?"

"Not the least," said Éloise, with a scornful and incredulous smile.

"You make me very uncomfortable. Let me beg you to take the matter into
consideration. After a few days of coolness, you will perhaps think
otherwise."

"After a thousand years I should think the same. I do not want your
money, Sir. I thank you. And so, good bye."

"Where are you going?"

"Out into the world."

"What are you going to do?"

"That is certainly no affair of yours."

"How much money have you in that little purse?"

She poured its contents down where he had emptied his own purse on the
previous evening, adding to those still remaining there some four or
five small gold-pieces.

"Of course they are yours, Sir. I have no right to them!"

He brushed them indignantly all down together in a heap upon the hearth.

"You sha'n't have them, then!" said he, and ground them with his heel
into the ashes.

"I can sell my mother's jewels!" said she, defiantly.

"I can confiscate them for the balance of the half-year's income of the
estate!"

Éloise turned pale with pride and anger and fear and mastery.

"We are talking very idly," said St. George, then, softening his
falcon's glance. "Pray excuse such savage jesting. I should like to
share my grandfather's estate with you, the adopted child of his elder
grandson. It looks fairly enough, I think."

"Talking very idly. I have assured you that I never will touch it. And
if you want more, here I _swear_ it!"

"Hush! hush!"

"It's done!" said Éloise, exultantly, and almost restored to good-humor
by the little triumph.

"And you won't reconsider? you won't break it? you will not let me beg
you"--

"Never! If that is all you had to say, I shall bid you good-morning."

Mr. St. George was silent for a moment or two.

"I am greatly grieved," said he then. "I have done an evil thing
unconsciously enough, and one for which there is no remedy, it seems.
Until you mentioned your name last night, I was innocent of your
existence. I had, indeed, originally heard of my cousin's educating some
child, but our intercourse was so fragmentary that it made no impression
upon me. I had entirely forgotten that there was such a person in the
world, ungallant as it sounds. Afterwards,--last night, this morning,--I
was so selfish as to imagine that we could each of us be very happy upon
the half of such a property, until, at least, my affairs should right
themselves. I was wrong. Whatever legal steps have been taken shall be
recalled, and I leave you in full possession to-day and forever. 'The
King sall ha' his ain again.'"

"Folderol!" said Éloise, turning her shoulder.

"I beg your pardon?"

"You may go where you please, and let all The Rim do the same,--go to
dust and ashes, if it will! As for me, my hands are washed of it; if it
isn't mine, I will not have it. Now let the thing rest! Besides, Sir,"
said Éloise, with a more gracious air, and forgetting her wicked temper,
"you don't know the relief I feel! how free I am! no more figures! such
a sad weight off me that I could fly! You would be silly to be such a
Don Quixote as you threaten; it would do nobody any good, and would
prove the ruin of all these poor creatures for whom you are now
responsible. Don't you see?" said Éloise, taking a step nearer, and
positively smiling upon him. "It isn't now just as you like,--you have a
duty in the case. And as for me, good morning!"

And Éloise actually offered him her hand.

"One moment. Let me think."

And after her white flag of truce, there came a short cessation of
hostilities.

"Very well," said Mr. St. George Erne at last, looking up, and shaking
his strong shoulders like a Newfoundland dog coming out of the water.
"Let it be. I have, then, one other idea,--in fact, one other condition.
If I yield one thing, it is only right that you should yield another. It
is this. I am entirely unaccustomed to doing my own writing. My script
is illegible, even to myself. My amanuenses, my copyists, in Washington,
have cost me a mint of money. I find there are none of the servants, of
course, who write their names. I cannot afford, either, at present, to
buy a clerk from Charleston. And on the whole, if it would be agreeable
to you, I should be very glad if you would accept a salary,--such salary
as I find convenient,--and remain as my accountant. You will, perhaps,
receive this proposal with the more ease, as Mrs. Arles agrees to occupy
the same position as formerly in the house."

Those horrible accounts! And a master! Who said Marlboro' was a master?
What thing was Earl St. George Erne?--Yet too untaught to teach, too
finely bred to sew, too delicate to labor, perhaps not good enough to
starve,--

A quarter of an hour elapsed in dead silence.

Éloise threw back her head, and grew just a trifle more queenly, as she
answered,--

"I thank you. I will stay, Mr. Erne."

The last word had tripped on her tongue; it had been almost impossible
for her to give to another person her father's name, which she had never
been allowed to wear herself.

He noticed her hesitation, and said,--

"You can call me St. George. Everybody does,--Mrs. Arles, the servants
will. We have always been the St. Georges and the Disbrowes, for
generations. Besides, if you had really been my cousin's child, you
would naturally have called me so."

"If I had really been your cousin's child, Sir," said Éloise, with a
flash, "I should not have been obliged to call you at all!"

This finished the business. Mr. St. George, who felt, that, in reality,
he had only got his right again, who would gladly have given her back
hers, who had only, in completest innocence and ignorance, made it
impossible for her, in pride and honor, to accept it, who, moreover,
very naturally considered his treatment of this handsome, disagreeable
girl rather generous, and who had sacrificed much of his usually
dictatorial manner in the conversation, felt also now that there was
nothing more to do till she chose her ice should melt; and so he
straightway let a frosty mood build itself up on his part into the very
counterpart of hers. The resolution which he had just made, boyishly to
abstract himself in secret, and leave her to fate and necessity and
duty, faded. She deserved to lose. A haughty, ungovernable hussy! He
would keep it in spite of her! How, under the sun, had his Cousin
Disbrowe got along with her? Nevertheless, the salary which Mr. St.
George had privately allotted to his accountant covered exactly one-half
of his yearly income, whatever that contingent fund might prove to be;
and, meantime, he did not intend to pay her a copper of it until they
should become so much better friends that it would be impossible for
her, with all her waywardness, to refuse it.

A bell sounded. Hazel came, and murmured something to Éloise. And
thereupon, in this sweet and cordial frame of mind, they entered the
breakfast-room, where Mrs. Arles awaited them behind a hissing urn,--and
a cheery meal they had of it!

Mr. St. George passed a week in finding firm footing upon all the
circumference of his property; by that time, clear and far-sighted as an
eagle, he had seized on every speck of error throughout its wide
mismanagement, and had initiated Éloise into a new way of performing old
duties, as coolly as if no indignant word or thought had ever passed
between them. And meanwhile, in place of their ancient warfare, but with
no later friendship, Éloise and Mrs. Arles had tacitly instituted an
offensive and defensive alliance against the common enemy. This the
common enemy soon perceived, laughed at it a little grimly at first,
then accepted it, as a kind of martyrdom expiatory of all previous sins,
that a man must have against his grain two hostile women in the house,
neither of whom had anything but the shadow of a claim upon him. Still,
Earl St. George had his own plans; and by degrees it dimly dawned on his
flattered intelligence that one of these women used her hostility merely
as a feint towards the other.

       *       *       *       *       *

TYPES.


Mr. Samuel Weller, of facetious memory, has told us of the girl who,
having learned the alphabet, concluded that it was not worth going
through so much to get so little. This, to say the least of it, was
disrespectful to Cadmus, and should be condemned accordingly. Authors
have feelings, which even scholastic young maidens cannot be permitted
to lacerate. I therefore warn the reader of this article against any
inclination toward sympathy with the critical mood of that obnoxious
female. My theme is not as lively as "Punch" used to be; but, on the
other hand, it is not as dull as a religious novel. Patient
investigation may find it really agreeable: good-nature will not find it
a bore.

I propose, then, a half-hour's gossip concerning Types, Type-Setting,
and the machinery connected with Printing, at the present time. It
would, perhaps, be interesting to review in detail the printing-devices
of the past; but that would be to extend unwarrantably the limits of
this article. Enough that any sketch of the invention, manufacture, and
use of types would illustrate the triumph of the labor-saving instinct
in man, and thus confirm the scientific lesson of to-day,--that
machinery must entirely supersede the necessarily slow processes of
labor by hand. That it will at no distant day supersede those processes
in the art of printing is, as you will presently see, a fixed fact.

Machinery now does nearly every sort of labor,--economizing health,
strength, time, and money, in all that it does. We tread upon
beautifully figured carpets that are woven by machinery from single
threads. We wear clothes that are made by machinery at the rate of two
thousand stitches a minute. We hear in every direction the whistle of
the locomotive, which saves us almost incalculable time, in the safe and
convenient transportation of our persons and our property. We read in
our newspapers messages that are brought instantaneously, from points
far as well as near, by a simple electric current, governed by
machinery, which prints its thought in plain Roman characters, at a rate
of speed defying the emulation of the most expert penman. These, among
many illustrations of scientific progress, occur in our daily
experience. Manufacture, agriculture, and commerce would yield us others
quite as impressive. In all this we see that man is finding out and
applying the economy of Nature, and thus that the world is advancing, by
well-directed effort, toward a more natural, and therefore a happier
civilization.

The labor-saving processes of mechanism as applied to Printing are in
the highest degree advantageous and admirable. Once types were cast in
moulds, such as boys use for casting bullets. Now they are turned out,
with inconceivable rapidity, from a casting-machine worked by steam.
Ink and paper, too, are made by machinery; and when the types are set,
we invoke the aid of the Steam-Press, and so print off at least fifty
impressions to each one produced under the old process of press-work by
hand. Machinery, moreover, folds the printed sheets,--trims the rough
edges of books,--directs the newspaper,--and does, in short, the bulk of
the drudgery that used to be done by operatives, at great expense of
time and trouble, and with anything but commensurate profit.

These are facts of familiar knowledge. They indicate remarkable
scientific progress. But the great fact--by no means so well
known--remains to be stated. It is only of late that machinery has been
successfully employed in the most laborious and expensive process
connected with the art of printing,--that, namely, of Composition. In
this process, however, iron fingers have proved so much better than
fingers of flesh, that it is perfectly safe to predict the speedy
discontinuance, by all sensible printers, of composition by hand.

Composition--as probably the reader knows--is the method of arranging
types in the proper form for use. This, ever since the invention of
movable types,--made by Laurentius Coster, in 1430,--has been done by
hand. A movement toward economy in this respect was, indeed, made some
sixty years ago, by Charles, the third Earl Stanhope, inventor of the
Stanhope Press, and of the process of stereotyping which is still in
use. His plan was to make the type-shank thicker than usual, and cast
two or more letters upon its face instead of one. This, his Lordship
rightly considered, would save labor, if only available combinations
could be determined; since, using such types, it would frequently happen
that the compositor would need to make but one movement for two or three
or even four letters. The desired economy, however, was not secured.
Subsequent attempts at combinations were made in England, but all proved
abortive. In the office of the London "Times," castings of entire
words--devised, I think, by Sterling--were used, to a limited extent. It
remained, however, for a New-York mechanic to make the idea of
combination-type a practical success. Mr. John H. Tobitt, being a
stenographer as well as a compositor, was enabled to make a systematic
selection of the syllables most frequently occurring in our language;
and thus it happens that his combinations have stood a practical test.
His improved cases, with combination-type, were shown at the London
Exhibition, in 1851, when a medal was awarded to the inventor. These
cases have now been in use upwards of ten years, and have demonstrated a
gain of twenty per cent over the ordinary method of composition. It
should be mentioned that Mr. Tobitt's invention was entirely original
with himself. When he made it, he had never heard of Earl Stanhope, nor
of any previous attempt at this improvement.

It is evident, when we reflect upon the intricate construction of
language, that this method of saving labor, though it may be made still
more useful than at present, must always be restricted within a limited
circle of operations. Nor would any number of combination-letters
obviate the necessity of composition by hand. The printer would still be
obliged to stand at the case, picking up type after type, turning each
one around and over, and so arranging the words in his "stick." Every
one knows this process,--a painfully slow one in view of results,
although individual compositors are sometimes wonderfully expert. But it
is only when a great many men labor actively during more hours than
ought to be spent in toil, that any considerable work is accomplished by
this method. The composing-room of a large daily paper, for instance,
presents, day and night, a spectacle of the almost ceaseless industry of
jaded operatives. The need of relief in this respect was long ago
recognized. The attempt at combination-letters was not less a precursor
of reform than an acknowledgment of its necessity. It remained for
American inventive genius, in this generation, to conceive and perfect
the greatest labor-saving device that has ever been applied to the art
of printing,--the last need of the operative,--the Type-Setting Machine.

It was inevitable that this should come. The only wonder is that it did
not come before. Perhaps, indeed, the idea was often conceived in the
minds of skilful, though dreamy and timorous inventors, but not
developed, for fear of opposition. And opposition enough it has
encountered,--alike from inertia, suspicion, and conservative
hostility,--since first it assumed a practical position among American
ideas, some ten years ago. But I do not care to dwell upon the shadows.
Turn we to the sunshine. There are two strong points in favor of the
invention, which, since they cover the whole ground of argument, deserve
at least to be stated. I assert, then, without the fear of contradiction
before my eyes, that the Type-Setting Machine, besides being a universal
benefactor, is, in a double sense, a blessing to the mechanic. It spares
his physical health, and it stimulates his mental and moral activity.
The first truth appears by sanitary statistics, which prove that the
health of such artisans as the type-founder and such craftsmen as the
printer has been materially improved by the introduction of mechanical
aids to their toil. The second is self-evident,--seeing that there is a
moral instructor ever at work in the mazes of ingenious and
highly-wrought machinery. Those philosophers are not far wrong, if at
all, who assert that the rectitude of the human race has gained
strength, as by a tonic, from the contemplation of the severe, arrowy
railroad,--iron emblem of punctuality, directness, and despatch.

In the interest, therefore, of education no less than health, it becomes
imperative that machinery should be substituted for hand-labor in
composition. At present, our printing-offices are by no means the
sources whence to draw inspirations of order, fitness, and wholesome
toil. On the contrary, they are frequently badly lighted and worse
ventilated rooms, wherein workmen elbow each other at the closely set
cases, and grow dyspeptic under the combined pressure of foul air and
irritating and long-protracted labor. All this should be changed. With
the composing-machine would come an atmosphere of order and cleanliness
and activity, making work rapid and agreeable, and lessening the period
of its duration. I know that working-men are suspicious of scientific
devices. But surely the compositor need not fear that the iron-handed
automaton will snatch the bread out of his mouth. To diminish the cost
of any article produced--which is the almost immediate result of
substituting machinery for hand-labor--is to expand the market for that
article. The Sewing-Machine has not injured the sempstress. The
Power-Press has not injured the pressman. The Type-Setting Machine will
not injure the compositor. Skilled labor, which must always be combined
with the inventor's appliances for aiding it, so far from dreading harm
in such association, may safely anticipate, in the far-reaching economy
of science, ampler reward and better health, an increase of prosperity,
and a longer and happier life in which to enjoy it.

Let me now briefly sketch the history of type-setting machinery. This
must necessarily be done somewhat in the manner of Mr. Gradgrind. I am
sorry thus to tax the reader's patience; but facts, which enjoy quite a
reputation for stubbornness, cannot easily be wrought into fancies.
Color the map as you will, it is but a prosy picture after all.

Charles Babbage, of London, the inventor of the Calculating-Engine,
first essayed the application of machinery to composition. His
calculator was so contrived that it would record in type the results of
its own computations. This was over forty years ago. At about the same
time Professor Treadwell of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was bred a
practical mechanic, turned his attention to this improvement, and
ascertained by experiment the feasibility of the type-setting machine.
But mechanical enterprise was then comparatively inactive in America,
and nothing of immediate practical importance resulted from the
Professor's experiments. Nor did greater success attend the efforts of
Dr. William Church, of Vermont, a contemporary inventor, who constructed
an apparatus for setting types, but failed to provide for their
distribution. Subsequently, for a long time, the idea slumbered.

At length, about the year 1840, Mr. Timothy Alden, a printer, and a
native of Massachusetts, conceived a plan for setting and distributing
type, which has since been put into successful operation. Mr. Alden's
workshop was, I believe, situated at the corner of Canal and Centre
Streets, in New York city. There he labored in privacy, year after year,
encountering all manner of difficulty and discouragement, till his great
work was substantially completed. His invention was patented in 1857,
but the studious and persevering inventor did not live to reap the
fruits of the seed he had sown. Worn out with care and toil and
long-suffering patience, he died in 1859, a martyr to scientific
progress. His patent passed into the hands of his cousin, Mr. Henry W.
Alden, who has since organized a company for the manufacture and sale of
the Alden Machine.

In appearance, this machine resembles a circular table, having in its
centre a wheel, placed horizontally, from the outer edge of which lines
of type radiate, like spokes from an axle, to the distance of about one
foot. Three-quarters of the circle is filled up by these lines. In front
is a key-board, containing one hundred and fifty-four keys, by which the
operator governs the action of the machine. The central wheel controls
some forty "conveyors," half of which compose the types into language,
while the other half distribute them, guided by certain nicks cut upon
their sides, to their proper places, when no longer needed. Both
operations may go on at the same time. The types, as they are composed,
are fed out in a continuous line, at the left of the key-board. The
operator then divides this line into proper lengths, and "justifies" it
by hand. "Justifying," it should be stated, consists in placing spaces
between the words, and making the lines of equal length. This machine is
a very ingenious invention, and marks the first great step towards
successful improvement in the method of Type-Setting.

Another machine, originated by Mr. William H. Mitchell, of Brooklyn, New
York, was patented in 1853. In appearance it suggests a harp placed
horizontally. In front is a key-board, in shape and arrangement not
unlike that of a piano. Each key indicates a certain letter. The types
employed are arranged in columns, nearly perpendicular. The touching of
a key throws out a type upon one of a series of endless belts, graduated
in length, from six inches up to three feet, which move horizontally
towards the farther side of the machine, depositing the types in due
order upon a single belt. This latter carries them, in uninterrupted
succession, to a brass receiver, on which they stand ranged in one long
line. This line is then cut into lengths and justified by hand. Mr.
Mitchell's Distributing-Apparatus--which is entirely distinct from the
Composing-Machine--is, substantially, a circular wheel armed with
feelers, which latter distribute according to the nicks cut in the
types.

These machines require very considerable external aid in the labor they
accomplish, while, like the Alden Machine, they neither justify nor lead
the matter that is set. They have, however, stood a practical
test,--having been in use several years. It may interest the reader to
know that the matter for the "Continental Monthly" is set up and
distributed by them, in the office of Mr. John F. Trow, of New York.
They are also known, and to some extent employed, in printing-houses in
London, and are found to be economical.

But, as remarked by Macbeth, "the greatest is behind." I touch now upon
the most comprehensive and effectual invention for labor-saving in this
respect,--namely, the Felt Machine. This ingenious creation, which is,
in all particulars, original, and quite distinct from those already
mentioned, performs, with accuracy and speed, all the work of composing,
justifying, leading, and distributing types. It was invented by Mr.
Charles W. Felt, of Salem, Massachusetts, a man of superior genius,
whose energy in overcoming obstacles and working out the practical
success of his idea is scarcely less remarkable than the idea itself. I
shall dwell briefly upon his career, since it teaches the old, but never
tiresome lesson of patient perseverance. He began the business of life
in his native town, though not in mechanical pursuits. His mind,
however, tended naturally toward mechanical science, and he improved
every opportunity of increasing his knowledge in that department of
study. The processes of Printing especially attracted his attention, and
the idea of applying machinery to the work of composition haunted him
from an early period of youth. He read, doubtless, of the various
experiments that had been made in this direction, and observed, as far
as possible, the results achieved by contemporary inventors. But it does
not appear, that, in the original conception of his wonderful machine,
he was indebted to any source for even a single suggestion. I have seen
his first wooden model,--made at the age of eighteen,--crude and clumsy
indeed, compared with the machine in its present shape, but containing
the main features and principles. This was the first step. He began with
the earnings of his boyhood. Then a few friends, fired by his spirit and
courage, contributed money, and enabled him to prosecute his enterprise
during several years. In this way it became the one purpose of his life.
In time the number of his liberal patrons increased to nearly one
hundred, and a considerable fund was placed at his disposal. Thus,
genius, energy, and patience, aided by capital, carried the work bravely
forward. It is a pleasure to record that a worthy design was thus
generously nurtured. Mr. Felt's fund was subsequently increased by
additional loans, from several of the same patrons. One of these
gentlemen--Dr. G. Henry Lodge, of Swamscott, Massachusetts--contributed
with such generous liberality that he may justly be said to share with
the inventor the honor of having introduced this noble improvement in
the art of printing. I take off my hat to Mæcenas. Dr. Lodge was led to
appreciate the need of such an improvement by personal experience in
publishing a large work, copies of which were gratuitously distributed
among various libraries in the Republic. Acquainted with the toil of a
printer's life, impelled by earnest love of real progress, and guided by
a sound, practical judgment, he was peculiarly well fitted for the
difficult province of directing the labors of an enthusiastic inventor.
His duty has been well performed. The success of Mr. Felt's undertaking
is due scarcely less to the pecuniary aid of all his patrons than to the
counsel and encouragement of this wise, liberal, and steadfast friend.
Thus aided, he has triumphed over all obstacles. Proceeding in a most
unostentatious manner, he has submitted his device to the inspection of
practical printers, and men of science, in various cities of the United
States and Great Britain, and has everywhere won approval. His first
patent was issued in 1854,--proceedings to obtain it having been
commenced in the preceding year. Meanwhile he has organized a wealthy
and influential company, for the purpose of manufacturing the machines
and bringing them into general use. One of them has been built at
Providence, Rhode Island, but the manufactory will be in Salem,
Massachusetts, where the company has been formed.

The merits of Mr. Felt's machine are manifold. It is comparatively
simple in construction, it is strongly made and durable, it cannot
easily get out of order, and it does its work thoroughly. All that is
required of the operator is to read the copy and touch the keys. The
processes proceed, then, as of their own accord. But the supreme
excellence of the machine is that _it justifies the matter which it
sets_. The possibility of doing this by machinery has always been
doubted, if not entirely disbelieved, from an erroneous idea that the
process must be directed by immediate intelligence. Mr. Felt's invention
demonstrates that this operation is clearly within the scope of
machinery; that there is no need of a machine with brains, for setting
or justifying type; that such a machine need not be able to think, read,
or spell; but that, guided in its processes by an intelligent mind, a
machine can perform operations which, as in this case, are purely
mechanical, much more rapidly and cheaply than they can be performed by
hand.

I cannot pretend to convey a technically accurate idea of this
elaborate, though compact piece of machinery; but such a sketch as I can
give--from memory of a pleasant hour spent in looking at it--shall here
be given as briefly as possible.

The machine stands in a substantial iron framework, five feet by four,
within which the mechanism is nicely disposed, so that there may be
ample room for the four operations of setting, justifying, leading, and
distributing. In front is a key-board of forty keys, which correspond to
two hundred and fifty-six characters, arranged in eight cases. A single
case consists of thirty-two flat brass tubes, standing perpendicularly,
side by side, each one being filled with a certain denomination of type.
Seven of the keys determine from which case the desired letter shall be
taken. Thus, the small letter _a_ is set by touching the _a_ key; the
capital A by touching the "capital key" in connection with the _a_ key;
the capital B by touching the "capital key" in connection with the _b_
key; and so on with every letter. There are also keys called the "small
capital," the "Italic," and the "Italic capital"; so that the machine
contains all the characters known to the compositor. The operation of
these "capital" and "small-capital keys" is similar to that of an
organ-stop in modifying the effect of other keys.

When the machine is in motion,--and I should here mention that it is
worked by steam,--a curious piece of mechanism, called "the
stick,"--which is about as large as a man's hand, and quite as
adroit,--plays to and fro beneath the cases, and acts obediently to the
operator's touch. The spectacle of this little metallic intelligence is
amusing. It is armed with pincers, which it uses much as the elephant
does his trunk, though with infinite celerity. Every time a key is
touched, these pincers seize a type from one of the tubes, turn
downward, and, as it were, put it into the mouth of the stick. And so
voracious is the appetite of this little creature, that in a few seconds
its stomach is full,--in other words, the line is set. A tiny bell gives
warning of this fact, and the operator finishes the word or syllabic. He
then touches the justifying-key, and the spacer seizes the line and
draws it into another part of the machine, to be justified, while the
empty stick resumes its feeding. No time is lost; for, while the stick
is setting a second line; the "spacer" is justifying the first; so that,
in a few moments after starting, the processes are going forward
simultaneously. That of justifying is, perhaps, the most ingenious. It
is accomplished in this wise. The stick never sets a full line, but
leaves room for spaces, and with the last letter of each word inserts a
piece of steel, to separate the words. When the line has been drawn into
the spacer, the pieces of steel, which are furnished with nicked heads
for the purpose, are withdrawn, and ordinary spaces are substituted. All
this requires no attention whatever from the operator. The matter, thus
set and justified, is now leaded by the machine, and deposited upon a
galley ready for the press.

In this machine, distribution is the reverse of composition, and is
effected by simply reversing the motion of the shaft. By duplicating
certain parts of the machine, both operations are performed at the same
time. The process of distributing, and also that of resetting the same
matter, may be made automatic by means of the Register. This device,
although an original invention with Mr. Felt, is an application of the
principle of the Jacquard loom. It consists of a narrow strip of card or
paper, in which holes are punched as the types are taken, forming a
substitute for the troublesome nicking of the type, which has heretofore
been thought indispensable to automatic distribution. By this means the
type can be changed in resetting, if desired, so that different editions
of the same work can be printed in different sizes of type.

The machine is adapted to the use of combination-types as well as single
letters. For this purpose Mr. Felt has developed a new system, based
upon an elaborate analysis of the language. In a number of examples of
printed matter, embracing a wide range of literature, the frequency of
the single and combined letters has been ascertained by careful and
accurate computation, and reduced to a percentage. It may interest the
reader to know that _e_ is the letter of most frequent occurrence,
constituting one-eighth of the language. _The_, as a word or syllable,
is found to be six per cent.; _and_, four per cent.; _in_, three per
cent., etc.

I have not pretended, in this description of Mr. Felt's machine, to
explain every technicality, or to raise and answer possible objections.
The great point is, that the labor of setting, justifying, leading, and
distributing types by machinery is actually done, by means of his
invention. Thus the aspiration of inventive genius, in this department
of art, is nobly fulfilled. Thus the links in the chain of progress are
complete, from Laurentius Coster, walking in the woods of Holland, in
1430, and winning, from an accidental shower-bath, the art of making
movable types, down to the wide-awake Massachusetts Yankee, whose genius
will make printing as cheap as writing, and therefore a thousand times
more available for all purposes of civilization,--besides lightening the
burdens of toil, and blessing the jaded worker with a bright prospect of
health, competence, and ease.

       *       *       *       *       *


HOUSE AND HOME PAPERS.

BY CHRISTOPHER CROWFIELD.


V.

RAKING UP THE FIRE.


We have a custom at our house which we call _raking up the fire_. That
is to say, the last half-hour before bed-time, we draw in, shoulder to
shoulder, around the last brands and embers of our hearth, which we
prick up and brighten, and dispose for a few farewell flickers and
glimmers. This is a grand time for discussion. Then we talk over
parties, if the young people have been out of an evening,--a book, if we
have been reading one; we discuss and analyze characters,--give our
views on all subjects, æsthetic, theological, and scientific, in a way
most wonderful to hear; and, in fact, we sometimes get so engaged in our
discussions that every spark of the fire burns out, and we begin to feel
ourselves shivering around the shoulders, before we can remember that it
is bed-time.

So, after the reading of my last article, we had a "raking-up talk,"--to
wit, Jennie, Marianne, and I, with Bob Stephens;--my wife, still busy
at her work-basket, sat at the table a little behind us. Jennie, of
course, opened the ball in her usual incisive manner.

"But now, papa, after all you say in your piece there, I cannot help
feeling, that, if I had the taste and the money too, it would be better
than the taste alone with no money. I like the nice arrangements and the
books and the drawings; but I think all these would appear better still
with really elegant furniture."

"Who doubts that?" said I. "Give me a large tub of gold coin to dip
into, and the furnishing and beautifying of a house is a simple affair.
The same taste that could make beauty out of cents and dimes could make
it more abundantly out of dollars and eagles. But I have been speaking
for those who have not, and cannot get, riches, and who wish to have
agreeable houses; and I begin in the outset by saying that beauty is a
thing to be respected, reverenced, and devoutly cared for,--and then I
say that BEAUTY IS CHEAP, nay, to put it so that the shrewdest Yankee
will understand it, BEAUTY IS THE CHEAPEST THING YOU CAN HAVE, because
in many ways it is a substitute for expense. A few vases of flowers in a
room, a few blooming, well-kept plants, a few prints framed in fanciful
frames of cheap domestic fabric, a statuette, a bracket, an engraving, a
pencil-sketch, above all, a few choice books,--all these arranged by a
woman who has the gift in her finger-ends often produce such an illusion
on the mind's eye that one goes away without once having noticed that
the cushion of the arm-chair was worn out, and that some veneering had
fallen off the centre-table.

"I have a friend, a school-mistress, who lives in a poor little cottage
enough, which, let alone of the Graces, might seem mean and sordid, but
a few flower-seeds and a little weeding in the spring make it, all
summer, an object which everybody stops to look at. Her æsthetic soul
was at first greatly tried with the water-barrel which stood under the
eaves-spout,--a most necessary evil, since only thus could her scanty
supply of soft water for domestic purposes be secured. One of the
Graces, however, suggested to her a happy thought. She planted a row of
morning-glories round the bottom of her barrel, and drove a row of tacks
around the top, and strung her water-butt with twine, like a great
harpsichord. A few weeks covered the twine with blossoming plants, which
every morning were a mass of many-colored airy blooms, waving in
graceful sprays, and looking at themselves in the water. The
water-barrel, in fact, became a celebrated stroke of ornamental
gardening, which the neighbors came to look at."

"Well, but," said Jennie, "everybody hasn't mamma's faculty with
flowers. Flowers will grow for some people, and for some they won't.
Nobody can see what mamma does so very much, but her plants always look
fresh and thriving and healthy,--her things blossom just when she wants
them, and do anything else she wishes them to; and there are other
people that fume and fuss and try, and their things won't do anything at
all. There's Aunt Easygo has plant after plant brought from the
greenhouse, and hanging-baskets, and all sorts of things; but her plants
grow yellow and drop their leaves, and her hanging-baskets get dusty and
poverty-stricken, while mamma's go on flourishing as heart could
desire."

"I can tell you what your mother puts into her plants," said I,--"just
what she has put into her children, and all her other home-things,--her
_heart_. She _loves_ them; she lives in them; she has in herself a
plant-life and a plant-sympathy. She feels for them as if she herself
were a plant; she anticipates their wants,--always remembers them
without an effort, and so the care flows to them daily and hourly. She
hardly knows when she does the things that make them grow,--but she
gives them a minute a hundred times a day. She moves this nearer the
glass,--draws that back,--detects some thief of a worm on one,--digs at
the root of another, to see why it droops,--washes these leaves, and
sprinkles those,--waters, and refrains from watering, all with the
habitual care of love. Your mother herself doesn't know why her plants
grow; it takes a philosopher and a writer for the 'Atlantic' to tell her
what the cause is."

Here I saw my wife laughing over her work-basket as she answered,--

"Girls, one of these days, _I_ will write an article for the 'Atlantic,'
that your papa need not have _all_ the say to himself: however, I
believe he has hit the nail on the head this time."

"Of course he has," said Marianne. "But, mamma, I am afraid to begin to
depend much on plants for the beauty of my rooms, for fear I should not
have your gift,--and of all forlorn and hopeless things in a room,
ill-kept plants are the most so."

"I would not recommend," said I, "a young housekeeper, just beginning,
to rest much for her home-ornament on plant-keeping, unless she has an
experience of her own love and talent in this line, which makes her sure
of success; for plants will not thrive, if they are forgotten or
overlooked, and only tended in occasional intervals; and, as Marianne
says, neglected plants are the most forlorn of all things."

"But, papa," said Marianne, anxiously, "there, in those patent parlors
of John's that you wrote of, flowers acted a great part."

"The charm of those parlors of John's may be chemically analyzed," I
said. "In the first place, there is sunshine, a thing that always
affects the human nerves of happiness. Why else is it that people are
always so glad to see the sun after a long storm? why are bright days
matters of such congratulation? Sunshine fills a house with a thousand
beautiful and fanciful effects of light and shade,--with soft, luminous,
reflected radiances, that give picturesque effects to the pictures,
books, statuettes of an interior. John, happily, had no money to buy
brocatelle curtains,--and besides this, he loved sunshine too much to
buy them, if he could. He had been enough with artists to know that
heavy damask curtains darken precisely that part of the window where the
light proper for pictures and statuary should come in, namely, the upper
part. The fashionable system of curtains lights only the legs of the
chairs and the carpets, and leaves all the upper portion of the room in
shadow. John's windows have shades which can at pleasure be drawn down
from the top or up from the bottom, so that the best light to be had may
always be arranged for his little interior."

"Well, papa," said Marianne, "in your chemical analysis of John's rooms,
what is the next thing to the sunshine?"

"The next," said I, "is harmony of color. The wall-paper, the furniture,
the carpets, are of tints that harmonize with one another. This is a
grace in rooms always, and one often neglected. The French have an
expressive phrase with reference to articles which are out of
accord,--they say that they swear at each other. I have been in rooms
where I seemed to hear the wall-paper swearing at the carpet, and the
carpet swearing back at the wall-paper, and each article of furniture
swearing at the rest. These appointments may all of them be of the most
expensive kind, but with such disharmony no arrangement can ever produce
anything but a vulgar and disagreeable effect. On the other hand, I have
been in rooms where all the material was cheap, and the furniture poor,
but where, from some instinctive knowledge of the reciprocal effect of
Colors, everything was harmonious, and produced a sense of elegance.

"I recollect once travelling on a Western canal through a long stretch
of wilderness, and stopping to spend the night at an obscure settlement
of a dozen houses. We were directed to lodgings in a common frame-house
at a little distance, where, it seemed, the only hotel was kept. When we
entered the parlor, we were struck with utter amazement at its
prettiness, which affected us before we began to ask ourselves how it
came to be pretty. It was, in fact, only one of the miracles of
harmonious color working with very simple materials. Some woman had been
busy there, who had both eyes and fingers. The sofa, the common wooden
rocking-chairs, and some ottomans, probably made of old soap-boxes, were
all covered with American nankeen of a soft yellowish-brown, with a
bordering of blue print. The window-shades, the table-cover, and the
piano-cloth, all repeated the same colors, in the same cheap material. A
simple straw matting was laid over the floor, and, with a few books, a
vase of flowers, and one or two prints, the room had a home-like, and
even elegant air, that struck us all the more forcibly from its contrast
with the usual tawdry, slovenly style of such parlors.

"The means used for getting up this effect were the most inexpensive
possible,--simply the following-out, in cheap material, a law of
uniformity and harmony, which always will produce beauty. In the same
manner, I have seen a room furnished, whose effect was really gorgeous
in color, where the only materials used were Turkey-red cotton and a
simple ingrain carpet of corresponding color.

"Now, you girls have been busy lately in schemes for buying a velvet
carpet for the new parlor that is to be, and the only points that have
seemed to weigh in the council were that it was velvet, that it was
cheaper than velvets usually are, and that it was a genteel pattern."

"Now, papa," said Jennie, "what ears you have! We thought you were
reading all the time!"

"I see what you are going to say," said Marianne. "You think that we
have not once mentioned the consideration which should determine the
carpet,--whether it will harmonize with our other things. But, you see,
papa, we don't really know what our other things are to be." "Yes," said
Jennie, "and Aunt Easygo said it was an unusually good chance to get a
velvet carpet."

"Yet, good as the chance is, it costs just twice as much as an ingrain."

"Yes, papa, it does."

"And you are not sure that the effect of it, after you get it down, will
be as good as a well-chosen ingrain one."

"That's true," said Marianne, reflectively.

"But, then, papa," said Jennie, "Aunt Easygo said she never heard of
such a bargain; only think, two dollars a yard for a _velvet!_"

"And why is it two dollars a yard? Is the man a personal friend, that he
wishes to make you a present of a dollar on the yard? or is there some
reason why it is undesirable?" said I.

"Well, you know, papa, he said those large patterns were not so
salable."

"To tell the truth," said Marianne, "I never did like the pattern
exactly; as to uniformity of tint, it might match with anything, for
there's every color of the rainbow in it."

"You see, papa, it's a gorgeous flower-pattern," said Jennie.

"Well, Marianne, how many yards of this wonderfully cheap carpet do you
want?"

"We want sixty yards for both rooms," said Jennie, always primed with
statistics.

"That will be a hundred and twenty dollars," I said.

"Yes," said Jennie; "and we went over the figures together, and thought
we could make it out by economizing in other things. Aunt Easygo said
that the carpet was half the battle,--that it gave the air to everything
else."

"Well, Marianne, if you want a man's advice in the case, mine is at your
service."

"That is just what I want, papa."

"Well, then, my dear, choose your wall-papers and borderings, and, when
they are up, choose an ingrain carpet to harmonize with them, and adapt
your furniture to the same idea. The sixty dollars that you save on your
carpet spend on engravings, chromo-lithographs, or photographs of some
really _good_ works of Art, to adorn your walls."

"Papa, I'll do it," said Marianne.

"My little dear," said I, "your papa may seem to be a sleepy old
book-worm, yet he has his eyes open. Do you think I don't know why my
girls have the credit of being the best-dressed girls on the street?"

"Oh, papa!" cried out both girls in a breath.

"Fact, that!" said Bob, with energy, pulling at his moustache.
"Everybody talks about your dress, and wonders how you make it out."

"Well," said I, "I presume you do not go into a shop and buy a yard of
ribbon because it is selling at half-price, and put it on without
considering complexion, eyes, hair, and shade of the dress, do you?"

"Of course we don't!" chimed in the duo, with energy.

"Of course you don't. Haven't I seen you mincing down-stairs, with all
your colors harmonized, even to your gloves and gaiters? Now, a room
must be dressed as carefully as a lady."

"Well, I'm convinced," said Jennie, "that papa knows how to make rooms
prettier than Aunt Easygo; but then she said this was _cheap_, because
it would outlast two common carpets."

"But, as you pay double price," said I, "I don't see that. Besides, I
would rather, in the course of twenty years, have two nice, fresh
ingrain carpets, of just the color and pattern that suited my rooms,
than labor along with one ill-chosen velvet that harmonized with
nothing."

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

"Now, understand me," said I; "I am not traducing velvet or Brussels or
Axminster. I admit that more beautiful effects can be found in those
goods than in the humbler fabrics of the carpet-rooms. Nothing would
delight me more than to put an unlimited credit to Marianne's account,
and let her work out the problems of harmonious color in velvet and
damask. All I have to say is, that certain unities of color, certain
general arrangements, will secure very nearly as good general effects in
either material. A library with a neat, mossy green carpet on the floor,
harmonizing with wall-paper and furniture, looks generally as well,
whether the mossy green is made in Brussels or in ingrain. In the
carpet-stores, these two materials stand side by side in the very same
pattern, and one is often as good for the purpose as the other. A lady
of my acquaintance, some years since, employed an artist to decorate her
parlors. The walls being frescoed and tinted to suit his ideal, he
immediately issued his decree that her splendid velvet carpets must be
sent to auction, and others bought of certain colors, harmonizing with
the walls. Unable to find exactly the color and pattern he wanted, he at
last had the carpets woven in a neighboring factory, where, as yet, they
had only the art of weaving ingrains. Thus was the material sacrificed
at once to the harmony."

I remarked, in passing, that this was before Bigelow's mechanical genius
had unlocked for America the higher secrets of carpet-weaving, and made
it possible to have one's desires accomplished in Brussels or velvet. In
those days, English carpet-weavers did not send to America for their
looms, as they now do.

"But now to return to my analysis of John's rooms.

"Another thing which goes a great way towards giving them their
agreeable air is the books in them. Some people are fond of treating
books as others do children. One room in the house is selected, and
every book driven into it and kept there. Yet nothing makes a room so
home-like, so companionable, and gives it such an air of refinement, as
the presence of books. They change the aspect of a parlor from that of a
mere reception-room, where visitors perch for a transient call, and give
it the air of a room where one feels like taking off one's things to
stay. It gives the appearance of permanence and repose and quiet
fellowship; and next to pictures on the walls, the many-colored bindings
and gildings of books are the most agreeable adornment of a room."

"Then, Marianne," said Bob, "we have something to start with, at all
events. There are my English Classics and English Poets, and my uniform
editions of Scott and Thackeray and Macaulay and Prescott and Irving and
Longfellow and Lowell and Hawthorne and Holmes and a host more. We
really have something pretty there."

"You are a lucky girl," I said, "to have so much secured. A girl brought
up in a house full of books, always able to turn to this or that author
and look for any passage or poem when she thinks of it, doesn't know
what a blank a house without books might be."

"Well," said Marianne, "mamma and I were counting over my treasures the
other day. Do you know, I have one really fine old engraving, that Bob
says is quite a genuine thing; and then there is that pencil-sketch that
poor Schöne made for me the month before he died,--it is truly
artistic."

"And I have a couple of capital things of Landseer's," said Bob.

"There's no danger that your rooms will not be pretty," said I, "now you
are fairly on the right track."

"But, papa," said Marianne, "I am troubled about one thing. My love of
beauty runs into everything. I want pretty things for my table,--and
yet, as you say, servants are so careless, one cannot use such things
freely without great waste."

"For my part," said my wife, "I believe in best china, to be kept
carefully on an upper-shelf, and taken down for high-days and holidays;
it may be a superstition, but I believe in it. It must never be taken
out except when the mistress herself can see that it is safely cared
for. My mother always washed her china herself; and it was a very pretty
social ceremony, after tea was over, while she sat among us washing her
pretty cups, and wiping them on a fine damask towel."

"With all my heart," said I; "have your best china, and venerate it,--it
is one of the loveliest of domestic superstitions; only do not make it a
bar to hospitality, and shrink from having a friend to tea with you,
unless you feel equal to getting up to the high shelf where you keep it,
getting it down, washing, and putting it up again.

"But in serving a table, I say, as I said of a house, beauty is a
necessity, and beauty is cheap. Because you cannot afford beauty in one
form, it does not follow that you cannot have it in another. Because one
cannot afford to keep up a perennial supply of delicate china and
crystal, subject to the accidents of raw, untrained servants, it does
not follow that the every-day table need present a sordid assortment of
articles chosen simply for cheapness, while the whole capacity of the
purse is given to the set forever locked away for state-occasions.

"A table-service, all of simple white, of graceful forms, even though
not of china, if arranged with care, with snowy, well-kept table-linen,
clear glasses, and bright American plate in place of solid silver, may
be made to look inviting; add a glass of flowers every day, and your
table may look pretty;--and it is far more important that it should look
pretty for the family every day than for company once in two weeks."

"I tell my girls," said my wife, "as the result of my experience, you
may have your pretty china and your lovely fanciful articles for the
table only so long as you can take all the care of them yourselves. As
soon as you get tired of doing this, and put them into the hands of the
trustiest servants, some good, well-meaning creature is sure to break
her heart and your own and your very pet, darling china pitcher all in
one and the same minute; and then her frantic despair leaves you not
even the relief of scolding."

"I have become perfectly sure," said I, "that there are spiteful little
brownies, intent on seducing good women to sin, who mount guard over the
special idols of the china-closet. If you hear a crash, and a loud Irish
wail from the inner depths, you never think of its being a yellow
pie-plate, or that dreadful one-handled tureen that you have been
wishing were broken these five years; no, indeed,--it is sure to be the
lovely painted china bowl, wreathed with morning-glories and sweet-peas,
or the engraved glass goblet, with quaint old-English initials. China
sacrificed must be a great means of saintship to women. Pope, I think,
puts it as the crowning grace of his perfect woman, that she is

    'Mistress of herself, though china fall.'"

"I ought to be a saint by this time, then," said mamma; "for in the
course of my days I have lost so many idols by breakage, and peculiar
accidents that seemed by a special fatality to befall my prettiest and
most irreplaceable things, that in fact it has come to be a
superstitious feeling now with which I regard anything particularly
pretty of a breakable nature."

"Well," said Marianne, "unless one has a great deal of money, it seems
to me that the investment in these pretty fragilities is rather a poor
one."

"Yet," said I, "the principle of beauty is never so captivating as when
it presides over the hour of daily meals. I would have the room where
they are served one of the pleasantest and sunniest in the house. I
would have its coloring cheerful, and there should be companionable
pictures and engravings on the walls. Of all things, I dislike a room
that seems to be kept like a restaurant, merely to eat in. I like to see
in a dining-room something that betokens a pleasant sitting-room at
other hours. I like there some books, a comfortable sofa or lounge, and
all that should make it cozy and inviting. The custom in some families,
of adopting for the daily meals one of the two parlors which a
city-house furnishes, has often seemed to me a particularly happy one.
You take your meals, then, in an agreeable place, surrounded by the
little agreeable arrangements of your daily sitting-room; and after the
meal, if the lady of the house does the honors of her own pretty china
herself, the office may be a pleasant and social one.

"But in regard to your table-service I have my advice at hand. Invest in
pretty table-linen, in delicate napkins, have your vase of flowers, and
be guided by the eye of taste in the choice and arrangement of even the
every-day table-articles, and have no ugly things when you can have
pretty ones by taking a little thought. If you are sore tempted with
lovely china and crystal, too fragile to last, too expensive to be
renewed, turn away to a print-shop and comfort yourself by hanging
around the walls of your dining-room beauty that will not break or fade,
that will meet your eye from year to year, though plates, tumblers, and
tea-sets successively vanish. There is my advice for you, Marianne."

At the same time, let me say, in parenthesis, that my wife, whose
weakness is china, informed me that night, when we were by ourselves,
that she was ordering secretly a tea-set as a bridal gift for Marianne,
every cup of which was to be exquisitely painted with the wild-flowers
of America, from designs of her own,--a thing, by-the-by, that can now
be very nicely executed in our country. "It will last her all her life,"
she said, "and always be such a pleasure to look at,--and a pretty
tea-table is such a pretty sight!" So spoke Mrs. Crowfield, "unweaned
from china by a thousand falls." She spoke even with tears in her eyes.
Verily, these women are harps of a thousand strings!

But to return to my subject.

"Finally and lastly," I said, "in my analysis and explication of the
agreeableness of those same parlors, comes the crowning grace,--their
_homeliness_. By homeliness I mean not ugliness, as the word is apt to
be used, but the air that is given to a room by being _really_ at home
in it. Not the most skilful arrangement can impart this charm.

"It is said that a king of France once remarked,--'My son, you must seem
to love your people.'

"'Father, how shall I _seem_ to love them?'

"'My son, you _must_ love them.'

"So to make rooms _seem_ home-like you must be at home in them. Human
light and warmth are so wanting in some rooms, it is so evident that
they are never used, that you can never be at ease there. In vain the
house-maid is taught to wheel the sofa and turn chair towards chair; in
vain it is attempted to imitate a negligent arrangement of the
centre-table.

"Books that have really been read and laid down, chairs that have really
been moved here and there in the animation of social contact, have a
sort of human vitality in them; and a room in which people really live
and enjoy is as different from a shut-up apartment as a live woman from
a wax image.

"Even rooms furnished without taste often become charming from this one
grace, that they seem to let you into the home-life and home-current.
You seem to understand in a moment that you are taken into the family,
and are moving in its inner circles, and not revolving at a distance in
some outer court of the gentiles.

"How many people do we call on from year to year and know no more of
their feelings, habits, tastes, family ideas and ways, than if they
lived in Kamtschatka! And why? Because the room which they call a
front-parlor is made expressly so that you never shall know. They sit in
a back-room,--work, talk, read, perhaps. After the servant has let you
in and opened a crack of the shutters, and while you sit waiting for
them to change their dress and come in, you speculate as to what they
may be doing. From some distant region, the laugh of a child, the song
of a canary-bird, reaches you, and then a door claps hastily to. Do they
love plants? Do they write letters, sew, embroider, crochet? Do they
ever romp and frolic? What books do they read? Do they sketch or paint?
Of all these possibilities the mute and muffled room says nothing. A
sofa and six chairs, two ottomans fresh from the upholsterer's, a
Brussels carpet, a centre-table with four gilt Books of Beauty on it, a
mantel-clock from Paris, and two bronze vases,--all these tell you only
in frigid tones, 'This is the best room,'--only that, and nothing
more,--and soon _she_ trips in in her best clothes, and apologizes for
keeping you waiting, asks how your mother is, and you remark that it is
a pleasant day,--and thus the acquaintance progresses from year to year.
One hour in the little back-room, where the plants and canary-bird and
children are, might have made you fast friends for life; but as it is,
you care no more for them than for the gilt clock on the mantel.

"And now, girls," said I, pulling a paper out of my pocket, "you must
know that your father is getting to be famous by means of these 'House
and Home Papers.' Here is a letter I have just received:--

    "'MOST EXCELLENT MR. CROWFIELD,--Your thoughts have lighted into
    our family-circle, and echoed from our fireside. We all feel the
    force of them, and are delighted with the felicity of your
    treatment of the topic you have chosen. You have taken hold of a
    subject that lies deep in our hearts, in a genial, temperate, and
    convincing spirit. All must acknowledge the power of your
    sentiments upon their imaginations;--if they could only trust to
    them in actual life! There is the rub.

    "'Omitting further upon these points, there is a special feature
    of your articles upon which we wish to address you. You seem as
    yet (we do not know, of course, what you may hereafter do) to
    speak only of homes whose conduct depends upon the help of
    servants. Now your principles apply, as some of us well conceive,
    to nearly all classes of society; yet most people, to take an
    impressive hint, must have their portraits drawn out more exactly.
    We therefore hope that you will give a reasonable share of your
    attention to us who do not employ servants, so that you may ease
    us of some of _our_ burdens, which, in spite of common sense, we
    dare not throw off. For instance, we have company,--a friend from
    afar, (perhaps wealthy,) or a minister, or some other man of note.
    What do we do? Sit down and receive our visitor with all good-will
    and the freedom of a home? No; we (the lady of the house) flutter
    about to clear up things, apologizing about this, that, and the
    other condition of unpreparedness, and, having settled the visitor
    in the parlor, set about marshalling the elements of a grand
    dinner or supper, such as no person but a gourmand wants to sit
    down to, when at home and comfortable; and in getting up this
    meal, clearing away, and washing the dishes, we use up a good half
    of the time which our guest spends with us. We have spread
    ourselves, and shown him what we could do; but what a paltry,
    heart-sickening achievement! Now, good Mr. Crowfield, thou friend
    of the robbed and despairing, wilt thou not descend into our
    purgatorial circle, and tell the world what thou hast seen there
    of doleful remembrance? Tell us how we, who must do and desire to
    do our own work, can show forth in our homes a homely, yet genial
    hospitality, and entertain our guests without making a fuss and
    hurly-burly, and seeming to be anxious for their sake about many
    things, and spending too much time getting meals, as if eating
    were the chief social pleasure. _Won't_ you do this, Mr.
    Crowfield?

    "'Yours beseechingly,

    "'R.H.A.'"

"That's a good letter," said Jennie.

"To be sure it is," said I.

"And shall you answer it, papa?"

"In the very next 'Atlantic,' you may be sure I shall. The class that do
their own work are the strongest, the most numerous, and, taking one
thing with another, quite as well cultivated a class as any other. They
are the anomaly of our country,--the distinctive feature of the new
society that we are building up here; and if we are to accomplish our
national destiny, that class must increase rather than diminish. I shall
certainly do my best to answer the very sensible and pregnant questions
of that letter."

Here Marianne shivered and drew up a shawl, and Jennie gaped; my wife
folded up the garment in which she had set the last stitch, and the
clock struck twelve.

Bob gave a low whistle. "Who knew it was so late?"

"We have talked the fire fairly out," said Jennie.

       *       *       *       *       *

REENLISTED.


  Oh, did you see him in the street, dressed up in army-blue,
  When drums and trumpets into town their storm of music threw,--
  A louder tune than all the winds could muster in the air,
  The Rebel winds, that tried so hard our flag in strips to tear?

  You didn't mind him? Oh, you looked beyond him, then, perhaps,
  To see the mounted officers rigged out with trooper-caps,
  And shiny clothes, and sashes red, and epaulets and all;--
  It wasn't for such things as these he heard his country call.

  She asked for men; and up he spoke, my handsome, hearty Sam,--
  "I'll die for the dear old Union, if she'll take me as I am."
  And if a better man than he there's mother that can show,
  From Maine to Minnesota, then let the nation know.

  You would not pick him from the rest by eagles or by stars,
  By straps upon his coat-sleeve, or gold or silver bars,
  Nor a corporal's strip of worsted, but there's something in his face,
  And something in his even step, a-marching in his place,

  That couldn't be improved by all the badges in the land:
  A patriot, and a good, strong man; are generals much more grand?
  We rest our pride on that big heart wrapped up in army-blue,
  The girl he loves, Mehitabel, and I, who love him too.

  He's never shirked a battle yet, though frightful risks he's run,
  Since treason flooded Baltimore, the spring of 'sixty-one;
  Through blood and storm he's held out firm, nor fretted once, my Sam,
  At swamps of Chickahominy, or fields of Antietam:

  Though many a time, he's told us, when he saw them lying dead,
  The boys that came from Newburyport, and Lynn, and Marblehead,
  Stretched out upon the trampled turf, and wept on by the sky,
  It seemed to him the Commonwealth had drained her life-blood dry.

  "But then," he said, "the more's the need the country has of me:
  To live and fight the war all through, what glory it would be!
  The Rebel balls don't hit me, and, mother, if they should,
  You'll know I've fallen in my place, where I have always stood."

  He's taken out his furlough, and short enough it seemed:
  I often tell Mehitabel he'll think he only dreamed
  Of walking with her nights so bright you couldn't see a star,
  And hearing the swift tide come in across the harbor-bar.

  The stars that shine above the stripes, they light him southward now;
  The tide of war has swept him back; he's made a solemn vow
  To build himself no home-nest till his country's work is done:
  God bless the vow, and speed the work, my patriot, my son!

  And yet it is a pretty place where his new house might be;
  An orchard-road that leads your eye straight out upon the sea:--
  The boy not work his father's farm? it seems almost a shame;
  But any selfish plan for him he'd never let me name.

  He's reënlisted for the war, for victory or for death;
  A soldier's grave, perhaps,--the thought has half-way stopped my breath,
  And driven a cloud across the sun;--my boy, it will not be!
  The war will soon be over; home again you'll come to me!

  He's reënlisted; and I smiled to see him going, too:
  There's nothing that becomes him half so well as army-blue.
  Only a private in the ranks; but sure I am, indeed,
  If all the privates were like him, they 'd scarcely captains need!

  And I and Massachusetts share the honor of his birth,--
  The grand old State! to me the best in all the peopled earth!
  I cannot hold a musket, but I have a son who can;
  And I'm proud for Freedom's sake to be the mother of a man!

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.


For the first time since the American Presidency was created, the
American people have entered upon a Presidential election in time of
great war. Even the election of 1812 forms no exception to this
assertion, as the second contest with England did not begin until the
summer of that year, when the conditions of the political contest were
already understood, and it was known that Mr. Madison would be
reëlected, in spite of the opposition of the Federalists, and
notwithstanding the disaffection of those Democrats who took De Witt
Clinton for their leader. Mr. Madison, indeed, is supposed to have
turned "war man," against his own convictions, in order to conciliate
the "Young Democracy" of 1812, who had resolved upon having a fight with
England,--and in that way to have secured for supporters men who would
have prevented his reëlection, had he defied them. The trouble that we
had with France at the close of the last century undoubtedly had some
effect in deciding the fourth Presidential contest adversely to the
Federalists; but though it was illustrated by some excellent naval
fighting, it can hardly be spoken of as a war: certainly, it was not a
great war. The Mexican War had been brought to a triumphant close before
the election of 1848 was opened. Of the nineteen Presidential elections
which the country has known, sixteen were held in times of profound
peace,--as Indian wars went for nothing; and the other three were not
affected as to their decision by the contests we had had with France or
Mexico, or by that with England, which was in its first stage when Mr.
Madison was reëlected. Every Presidential election, from that of 1788 to
that of 1860, found us a united people, with every State taking some
part in the canvas. Even South Carolina in 1860 was not clearly counted
out of the fight until after Mr. Lincoln's success had been announced,
and rebellion had been resolved upon.

But all is now changed. The twentieth Presidential election finds us not
only at war, but engaged in a civil war of such magnitude that even the
most martial nations of Europe are surprised at the numbers who take
part in it, and at its cost. The election is to be carried, and perhaps
decided, amid the din of arms, with a million of voters in the land and
sea forces of the two parties. This is so new to us, that it would seem
more like a dream than a reality, but that losses of life and high
prices render the matter most painfully real. How to act under such
circumstances might well puzzle us, were it not that the path of duty is
pointed out by the spirit of patriotism. The election will have much
effect on the operations of war, and those operations in their turn will
have no light effect on the election. Our political action should be
such as to strengthen the arm of Government; and the military action of
Government should be such as to strengthen those who shall be engaged in
affording it political support. Failure in the field would not lead to
defeat at the polls, but it might so lessen the loyal majority that the
public sentiment of the country would be but feebly represented by the
country's political action. What happened in 1862 might happen again in
1864, and with much more disastrous effect on the fortunes of the
Republic. In 1862 there was much discontent, because of the belief that
Government had not done all it could have done to bring about the
overthrow of the Rebels. Irritated by the reverses which had befallen
our arms in Virginia, and knowing that nothing had been withheld that
was necessary to the effective waging of the war, thousands of men
refrained from voting, half-inclined as they were to see if the
Democrats could not do that which others had failed to do. We are not
discussing the justice of the opinion which then prevailed, but simply
state a fact; and the consequence of the discontent that existed was
that the Democrats came very near obtaining control of the popular
branch of Congress. They made heavy gains in New York, Pennsylvania,
Ohio, and other States; but that this result was not the effect of
hostility to the national cause was made clearly apparent a year later,
when the supporters of that cause won a series of brilliant political
victories in the very States which had either pronounced for the
Democrats in '62, or had given but small Republican majorities. The
loyal majority in Ohio in 1863 was something that approached to the
fabulous, because then the violent members of the Opposition, encouraged
by what had taken place a year earlier, had the audacity to place Mr.
Vallandigham in nomination for the office of Governor. Had that
individual been elevated to the post for which he was nominated, Ohio
must have been arrayed in open opposition to the Federal Government,
almost as decisively so as South Carolina or Virginia. Had he been
defeated by a small majority, his party would have taken arms against
the State Government, and Ohio, compelled to fight for the maintenance
of social order at home, would have done nothing for the national cause.
But the majority against Mr. Vallandigham was upward of one hundred
thousand; and to attempt resistance to a Government so potently
supported as that of which Mr. Brough was the head was something that
surpassed even the audacity of the men who had had the bad courage to
select Mr. Vallandigham for their leader, in the hope of being able to
make him the head of the State. That which was done in Ohio, not seven
months since, should be done in the nation not seven months hence, if we
would have peace preserved at home, and all our available means directed
to the work of destroying the armies of the Southern Confederacy, and to
the seizure of its ports and principal towns. The national popular
majority should be so great in support of the war as to prevent any
faction from thinking of resistance to the people's will as a
possibility. The moral effect of a mighty political victory in November
would be almost incalculable, both at home and in Europe; and in the
Confederacy it would put an end to all such hopes of ultimate success as
may rest upon the belief that we are a divided people.

The Democratic party should not be restored to power, happen what may in
the course of the present campaign. This we say, not because we believe
the Democratic masses wanting in loyalty or patriotism, but because we
are of opinion that there should be no change either in the position of
parties or in the _personnel_ of the Government. There ought to be no
doubt as to the soundness of the views that are held by most Democrats.
They love their country, and they desire to see the Rebels subdued. They
have the same interest, considered as citizens, in the triumph of the
Federal cause that we all have. They have contributed their share of men
to the fleets and armies of the Republic, and to the rolls on which are
inscribed the names of the gallant dead. Many of our best generals
formerly belonged to the Democratic organization, and they may still
hold Democratic opinions on common politics. Why, then, object to the
Democratic party being replaced in power? Because that would be a
restoration, and it is a truism that a restoration is of all things the
worst thing that can befall a country in times of civil commotion. If it
could be settled beyond controversy that the Democratic party, should it
be restored, would be governed by those of its members who have done
their duty to their country in every way, no objection could be made to
its coming again into possession of the National Government. But we know
that nothing of the kind would take place. The most violent members of
the Democratic party would govern that party, and dictate its policy and
course of action, were it to triumph in the pending political contest.
We wish for no better proof of this than is afforded by the conduct of
Democratic conventions for some time past. The last convention of the
New-Hampshire Democracy gave utterance to sentiments not essentially
differing from those which were proclaimed by the supporters of Mr.
Vallandigham in Ohio. Unwarned by the fate of the Ohio Democrats, the
representatives of the New-Hampshire Democracy assumed a position that
virtually pledged their State to make war on the Federal Government,
should they succeed in electing Mr. Harrington, their candidate for
Governor. The issue was distinctly made, and the people of New
Hampshire, by a much larger majority than has usually marked the result
of their State elections since the Civil War began, reëlected Mr.
Gillmore, who owed his first term of office to the Legislature's action:
so great was the change wrought in one year. This shows that some of the
Democratic voters are not prepared to follow their leaders to
destruction. So was it in Connecticut. The Democratic convention in that
State exhibited a very strong feeling of disloyalty, but the people
rebuked its members by reëlecting Governor Buckingham by a majority
twice as large as that which he received last year. Here we have proofs,
that, while the men who manage the Democratic party are prepared to go
all lengths in opposition to the Federal Government, they cannot carry
all their ordinary followers with them, when they unhesitatingly avow
their principles and purpose. If they are so rabid, when engaged in
action that is simply preliminary to local elections, what might not be
expected from them, should they find themselves intrusted with the
charge of the National Government? They would then behave in the most
intolerant manner, and would introduce into this country a system of
proscription quite as bad as anything of the kind that was known to the
Romans as one of the most frightful consequences of their great civil
contests. This would lead to reaction, and every Presidential election
might be followed by deeds that would make our country a by-word, a
hissing, and a reproach among the nations. There would be an end to all
those fine hopes that are entertained that we shall speedily recover
from the effects of the war, let peace once be restored. Prosperity
would never return to the land, or would return only under the rule of
some military despot, whose ascendency would gladly be seen and
supported by a people weary of uncertainty and danger, and craving order
above all things,--as the French people submitted to the rule of
Napoleon III., because they believed him to be the man best qualified to
protect themselves and their property against the designs of the
Socialists. Our constitutional polity would give way to a cannonarchy,
as every quietly disposed person would prefer the arbitrary government
of one man to the organization of anarchy. If we should escape from both
despotism and anarchy, it would be at the price of national destruction.
Every great State would "set up for itself," while smaller States that
are neighbors would form themselves into confederacies. There would come
to exist a dozen nations where but one now exists,--for we leave the
Southern Confederacy aside in this consideration. That Confederacy,
however, would become the greatest power in North America. Not only
would it hold together, but it would at once acquire the Border States,
where slavery would be more than restored, for there it would be made as
powerful an interest as it was in South Carolina and Mississippi but
four years ago. War has welded the Southern Confederacy together, and in
face of our breaking-up its rulers would have the strongest possible
inducement to keep their Republic united, because they would then hope
to conquer most of the Free States, and to confer upon them the
"blessings" of the servile system of labor.

It is sometimes said, that, if the Democratic party should resume the
rule of this nation, the Confederates, or Rebels, would signify their
readiness to return into the Union, on the simple condition that things
should be allowed to assume the forms they bore prior to Mr. Lincoln's
election. They rebelled against the men who came into power through the
political decision that was made in 1860; and, the American people
having reversed that decision by restoring the Democracy, the cause of
their rebellion having been removed, rebellion itself would cease as of
course. Were this view of the subject indisputably sound, it would ill
become the American to surrender to the men who assume that the decision
of an election, this way or that, affords sufficient reason for a resort
to arms. We should hold our existence as a nation by the basest of
tenures, were we to admit the monstrous doctrine that only one party is
competent to govern the Republic, and that there is an appeal from the
decision of the ballot to that of the bayonet. There never existed a
great people so craven as to make such an admission; and were we to set
the example of making it, we should justify all that has been said
adversely to us by domestic traitors and foreign foes. We should prove
that we were unfit to enjoy that greatest of all public blessings,
constitutional freedom, by surrendering it at the demand of a faction,
merely that we might live in security, and enjoy the property we had
accumulated. Ancient history mentions a people who were so fond of their
ease that they placed all power in the hands of their slaves, on
condition that the latter should not meddle with those pleasures to the
unbroken pursuit of which they purposed devoting all their means and
time. The slaves soon became masters, and the masters slaves. We should
fare as badly as the Volsinians, were we to place all power in the hands
of slaveholders, who then would own some millions of white bondmen, far
inferior in every manly quality to those dark-faced chattels from among
whom the Union has recruited some of its bravest and most unselfish
champions. But there is no ground, none whatever, for believing that the
Rebels would cease to be Rebels, if there should be a Democratic
restoration effected. Not even the election of Mr. Buchanan to a second
Presidential term would lead them to abandon their purpose: and he was
their most useful tool in 1860, and without his assistance they could
not have made one step in the road to rebellion, or ruin. Their purpose
is to found a new nation, as they have never hesitated to avow, with a
frankness that is as commendable as the cause in which it is evinced is
abominable. They would be glad to see a Democrat chosen our next
President, because they would expect from him an acknowledgment of their
"independence"; but they would no more lay down their arms at his
entreaty than they would at the command of a President of Republican
opinions. Their arms can be forced from their hands, but there exists no
man who could, from any position, induce them to surrender, or come back
into the Union on any terms. They mean to abide the wager of battle, and
are more likely to be moved from their purpose by the bold actions of
General Grant than by the blandest words of the smoothest-tongued
Democrat in America. To any mere persuader, no matter what his place or
his opinions, they would turn an ear as deaf as that of the
adder,--refusing to listen to the voice of the charmer, charm he never
so wisely.

As there should be no change made in the political character of the
Government, so there should be none in the men who compose it. To place
power in new hands, at a time like the present, would be as unwise as it
would be to raise a new army for the purpose of fighting the numerous,
well-trained, and zealous force which the Rebels have organized with the
intention of making a desperate effort to reëstablish their affairs.
There is no reason for supposing that a change would give us wiser or
better men, and it is certain that they would be inexperienced men,
should they all be as many Solomons or Solons. As we are situated, it is
men of experience that we require to administer the Government; and out
of the present Administration it is impossible to find men of the kind
of experience that is needed at this crisis of the nation's career. The
errors into which we fell in the early days of the contest were the
effect of want of experience; and it would be but to provide for their
repetition, were we to call a new Administration into existence. The
people understand this, and hence the very general expression of opinion
in favor of the reëlection of President Lincoln, whose training through
four most terrible years--years such as no other President ever
knew--will have qualified him to carry on the Government during a second
term to the satisfaction of all unselfish men. Mr. Lincoln's honesty is
beyond question, and we need an honest man at the head of the nation now
more than ever. That the Rebels object to him is a recommendation in the
eyes of loyal men. The substitution of a new man would not dispose them
to submission, and they would expect to profit from that inevitable
change of policy which would follow from a change of men. As to "the
one-term principle," we never held it in much regard; and we are less
disposed to approve it now than we should have been, had peace been
maintained. Were the President elected for six or eight years, it might
be wise to amend the Constitution so as to prevent the reëlection of any
man; but while the present arrangement shall exist, it would not be wise
to insist upon a complete change of Government every four years. To hold
out the Presidency as a prize to be struggled for by new men at every
national election is to increase the troubles of the country. Among the
causes of the Civil War the ambition to be made President must be
reckoned. Every politician has carried a term at the White House in his
portfolio, as every French conscript carries a marshal's _bâton_ in his
knapsack; and the disappointments of so many aspirants swelled the
number of the disaffected to the proportions of an army, counting all
who expected office as the consequence of this man's or that man's
elevation to the Presidency. Were there no other reason for desiring the
reëlection of President Lincoln, the fact that it would be the first
step toward a return to the rule that obtained during the first
half-century of our national existence under the existing Constitution
should suffice to make us all advocates of his nomination for a second
term. That the Baltimore Convention will meet next month, and that it
will place Mr. Lincoln once more before the American people as a
candidate for their suffrages, are facts now as fully established as
anything well can be that depends upon the future; and that he will be
reëlected admits of no doubt. The popular voice designates him as the
man of the time and the occasion, and the action of the Convention will
be nothing beyond a formal process, that shall give regular expression
to a public sentiment which is too strong to be denied, and which will
be found of irresistible force.

       *       *       *       *       *

REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_Industrial Biography: Iron-Workers and Tool-Makers._ By SAMUEL SMILES,
Author of "Self-Help," "Brief Biographies," and "Life of George
Stephenson." Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

The history of iron is the history of civilization. The rough, shapeless
ore that lies hidden in the earth folds in its unlovely bosom such fate
and fortune as the haughtier sheen of silver, gleam of gold, and sparkle
of diamond may illustrate, but are wholly impotent to create. Rising
from his undisturbed repose of ages, the giant, unwieldy, swart, and
huge of limb, bends slowly his brawny neck to the yoke of man, and at
his bidding becomes a nimble servitor to do his will. Subtile as
thought, rejoicing in power, no touch is too delicate for his
perception, no service too mighty for his strength. Tales of faërie,
feats of magic, pale before the simple story of his every-day labor, or
find in his deeds the facts which they but faintly shadowed forth. And
waiting upon his transformation, a tribe becomes a nation, a race of
savages rises up philosophers, artists, gentlemen.

Commerce, science, warfare have their progress and their vicissitudes;
but underneath them all, unnoted, it may be, or treated to a superficial
and perhaps supercilious glance, yet mainspring and regulator of all,
runs an iron thread, true thread of Fate, coiling around the limbs of
man, and impeding all progress, till he shall have untwisted its Gordian
knot, but bidding him forward from strength to strength with each
successive release. No romance of court or camp surpasses the romance of
the forge. A blacksmith at his anvil seems to us a respectable, but not
an eminently heroic person; yet, walking backward along the past by the
light which he strikes from the glowing metal beneath his hand, we shall
fancy ourselves to be walking in the true heroic age. Kings and warriors
have brandished their swords right royally, and such splendor has
flashed from Excalibur and Morglay that our dazzled eyes have scarcely
discerned the brawny smith who not only stood in the twilight of the
background and fashioned with skilful hand the blade which radiates such
light, but passed through all the land, changing huts into houses,
houses into homes, and transforming into a garden by his skill the
wilderness which had been rescued by the sword. Vigorous brains, clear
eyes, sturdy arms have wrought out, not without blood, victories more
potent, more permanent, more heroic, than those of the battle-field.

Such books as this under consideration give us only materials for the
great epic of iron, but with such materials we can make our own rhythm
and harmony. From the feeble beginning of the savage, rejoicing in the
fortunate possession of two old nails, and deriving a sufficient income
from letting them out to his neighbors for the purpose of boring holes,
down to the true Thor's hammer, so tractable to the master's hand that
it can chip without breaking the end of an egg in a glass on the anvil,
crack a nut without touching the kernel, or strike a blow of ten tons
eighty times in a minute, we have a steady onward movement. Prejudice
builds its solid breakwaters; ignorance, inability, clumsiness, and
awkwardness raise such obstacles as they can; but the delay of a century
is but a moment. Slowly and surely the waters rise till they sweep away
all obstacles, overtop all barriers, and plunge forward again with ever
accelerating force. The record of iron is at once a record of our glory
and of our humiliation,--a record of marvellous, inborn, God-given
genius, reaching forth in manifold directions to compass most beneficent
ends, but baffled, thwarted, fiercely and persistently resisted by
obstinacy, blindness, and stupidity, and gaining its ends, if it gain
them at all, only by address the most sagacious, courage the most
invincible, and perseverance the most untiring. Every great advance in
mechanical skill has been met by the determined hostility of men who
fancied their craft to be in danger. An invention which enabled a hand
of iron to do the work of fifty hands of flesh and blood was considered
guilty of taking the bread from the thrice fifty mouths that depended on
those hands' labor, and was not unfrequently visited with the punishment
due to such guilt. No demonstrated fruitlessness of similar fears in
the past served to allay fears for the future; no inefficiency of brute
force permanently to stay the enterprise of the mind prevented brute
force from making its futile and sometimes fatal attempts. It is no
matter that increased facility of production has been attended by an
increased demand for the product; it is no matter that ingenuity has
never been held permanently back from its carefully conned plans; there
have not been wanting men, numerous, ignorant, and ignoble enough to
collect in mobs, raze workshops, destroy machinery, chase away
inventors, and fancy, that, so employed, they have been engaged in the
work of self-protection.

It is such indirect lessons as may be learned from these and other
statements that give this book its chief value. The interesting
historical and mechanical information contained in its pages makes it
indeed well worthy of perusal; yet for that alone we should not take
especial pains to set it before the people. But its incidental teachings
ought to be taken to heart by every man, and especially every mechanic,
who has any ambition or conscience beyond the exigencies of bread and
butter. Lack of ambition is not an American fault, but it is too often
an ambition that regards irrelevant and factitious honors rather than
those to which it may legitimately and laudably aspire. A mechanic
should find in the excellence of his mechanism a greater reward and
satisfaction than in the wearing of a badge of office which any
fifth-rate lawyer or broken-down man-of-business with influential
"friends" may obtain, and whose petty duties they may discharge quite as
well as the first-rate mechanic. The mechanic who is master of his
calling need yield to none. We would not have him like the ironmongers
denounced by the old religious writer as "heathenish in their manners,
puffed up with pride, and inflated with worldly prosperity"; but we
would have him mindful of his true dignity. In the importance of the
results which he achieves, in the magnitude of the honors he may win, in
the genius he may employ and the skill he may attain, no profession or
occupation presents a more inviting field than his; but it will yield
fruits only to the good husbandman. Science and art give up their
treasures only to him who is capable of enthusiasm and devotion. He
alone who magnifies his office makes it honorable. Whether he work in
marble, canvas, or iron, the man who is content simply to follow his
occupation, and is not possessed by it, may be an artificer, but will
not be an artist, nor ever wear the laurel on his brow. He should be so
enamored of his calling as to court it for its own charms. Invention is
a capricious mistress, and does not always bestow her favors on the most
worthy. Men not a few have died in poverty, and left a golden harvest to
their successors; yet the race is often enough to the swift, and the
battle to the strong, to justify men in striving after strength and
swiftness, as well for the guerdon which they bring as for the jubilant
consciousness which they impart. And this, at least, is sure: though
merit may, by some rare mischance, be overlooked, demerit has no
opportunity whatever to gain distinction. Sleight of hand cannot long
pass muster for skill of hand. Unswerving integrity, unimpeachable
sincerity, is the lesson constantly taught by the lives of these
renowned mechanics. "The great secret," says one, "is to have the
courage to be honest,--a spirit to purchase the best material, and the
means and disposition to do justice to it in the manufacture." Another,
remonstrated with for his high charges, which were declared to be six
times more than the price his employers had before been paying for the
same articles, could safely say, "That may be, but mine are more than
six times better." A master of his profession is master of his
employers. Maudslay's works, we are told, came to be regarded as a
first-class school for mechanical engineers, the Oxford and Cambridge of
mechanics; nor can Oxford and Cambridge men be any prouder of their
connection with their colleges than distinguished engineers of their
connection with this famous school of Maudslay. With such an _esprit de
corps_ what excellence have we not a right to expect?

We cannot forbear pointing out the Aids to Humility collected in this
book from various quarters, and presented to the consideration of the
nineteenth century. Our boasted age of invention turns out, after
all, to have been only gathering up what antiquity has let
fall,--rediscovering and putting to practical account what the past
discovered, but could not, or, with miscalled dignity, would not, turn
to the uses of common life. Steam-carriages, hydraulic engines,
diving-bells, which we have regarded with so much complacency as our
peculiar property, worked their wonders in the teeming brain of an old
monk who lived six hundred years ago. Printing, stereotypes,
lithography, gunpowder, Colt's revolvers and Armstrong guns, Congreve
rockets, coal-gas and chloroform, daguerreotypes, reaping-machines, and
the electric telegraph are nothing new under the sun. Hundreds of years
ago the idea was born, but the world was too young to know its character
or prize its service, and so the poor little bantling was left to shiver
itself to death while the world stumbled on as aforetime. How many eras
of birth there may have been we do not know, but it was reserved for our
later age to receive the young stranger with open arms, and nourish his
infant limbs to manly strength. Richly are we rewarded in the precision
and power with which he performs our tasks, in the comfort with which he
enriches, the beauty with which he adorns, and the knowledge with which
he ennobles our daily life.


_The Life and Times of John Huss; or, The Bohemian Reformation of the
Fifteenth Century_. By E.H. GILLETT. 2 vols. Second Edition. Boston:
Gould & Lincoln.

The style of Mr. Gillett is clear, manly, and discriminating. If, in
respect of show, sparkle, nervous energy, verbal felicity, and
picturesqueness, it is not equal to that of our chief American
historians, yet it is not deficient in ease, grace, or vigor. He is
almost always careful, always unambitious, always in good taste. To
complain that the style is not equal to Mr. Motley's, simply on the
ground that the book is large and the subject historical, is grossly
unfair. Mr. Gillett has not been eager for a place as a writer; his
story has more merit in the thing told than in the telling. Even with
his want of German he has been thorough in the investigation of
authorities; and if he writes without enthusiasm, his judgment carries
the greater weight. As a scholar and an historian, as a man of candor
and resources, his name is an ornament to the Presbyterian ministry, of
which he is a member.

And yet the life of Huss is not adapted to produce popular effect, to
show to striking advantage the charm of elaborate style, or to lift the
hero himself into that upper light where his commonest deeds are
dazzling and fascinating. He had not the acumen, the weight, the
learning, the logical irresistibleness of Calvin; nor had he the great
human sympathies, the touch of earthiness, yet not grossness, which made
Luther so dear to his countrymen, and which have imprinted a cordial
geniality on the whole Lutheran Church. John Huss, though a man of
learning, the Rector of a great and powerful University, though a true
friend, though a man of wide sympathies, though an eloquent preacher,
and a most formidable enemy to the corruptions of the Romish Church, was
yet a colorless character in comparison with some men who have become
the objects of hero-worship. There are few of those grand bursts which
will always justify Luther's reputation, nothing of that rich poetical
vein of Luther's, finding its twofold course in music and in poetry:
Huss was comparatively dry, and unenriched by those overflowings of a
deep inner nature. He is, therefore, rather the exponent of an age than
a brilliant mark,--rather a type than a great, restless, creative power.
His life was almost too saintly to be interesting in the popular sense;
and although he does emerge above his age, yet it is not as the advocate
of an idea, as Luther was, nor of a great system, as Calvin was, nor as
a man fearless of kings and queens, as Knox was; his life, rather, was a
continued protest against sin in the high places of the Church. Though
in him there appear glimpses of a clearer doctrine than that of his age,
yet they do not come to a full expression; it is the pride of pontiffs,
the debaucheries of priests, the grasp after place and power and wealth
by those who claim to follow the meek and holy One, which provoke his
fiercest invective.

Mr. Gillett has, therefore, done a good service in subordinating the
story of John Huss to the history of his age. His work is strictly
entitled, "The Bohemian Reformation of the Fifteenth Century." That
period has heretofore been almost a blank in our ecclesiastical records.
The blank is now filled. It was a period of great beginnings. Germany
was silent then; but Wycliffe in England, and Huss, with his
predecessors, Waldhauser, Milicz, and Peter of Dresden, in Bohemia,
were even then causing the Papal power, rent as it was with its internal
dissensions, to tremble as before approaching death.

The story of that impotent rage which sought to purchase life and safety
for the Romish Church by the murder of Huss and of Jerome of Prague is
instructive, if it is not pleasing. The truth was too true to be spoken.
Never has the Church of Rome, in its inquisitorial madness, been so
blinded with fury and passion as then. Weakened by internal feuds, with
two Popes struggling and hurling anathemas at each other, and with a
priesthood at its lowest point, not of ignorance, but of carnality, it
seemed in peril of utter extinction. Its own boldest and ablest men were
among its most outspoken accusers; and no words stronger or more cutting
were spoken by Huss than by Gerson and Clémangis. But Huss committed the
common mistake of reformers. He put himself outside of the body to be
reformed. He allowed his spirit to fret against the evils of his times
so madly that he would fain have put himself outside of the
circumstances of his age. This wiser men than he, men no loss ardent,
but more calculating, never would do. In the city of Constance itself,
during the sittings of the great Council which condemned Huss to death,
sermons were preached more bitterly reproachful of the pride of the
Pontiffs and the corruption of the Church than the words of any of the
men who put themselves beyond its pale, and addressed it as "your
Church," instead of speaking of it as "ours." And while the dignitaries
of that corrupt body dared not lay a finger upon their more pure,
prophetic, and sharply accusing brethren, they made men like Huss and
Jerome of Prague the doubly burdened and tortured victims of their rage.

Much of the interest of these volumes is owing to the prominence given
to Wycliffe, and his contemporaneous work in England. It is strange,
indeed, that in those early days, before Europe was crossed with its
net-works, not of railways, but of post-roads even, the land which
inclosed the fountains that fed the Elbe, eight hundred miles above
Hamburg, was closely bound to that distant island, four hundred miles
beyond Hamburg, on the western side of the German Ocean. But a royal
marriage in England had united that kingdom to Bohemia, and Wycliffe's
name was a household word in the lecture-rooms of Prague, and Wycliffe's
books were well worn in its libraries. The great work of preparation,
the preliminary stirring-up of men's minds, by both of these great
reformers, is hardly realized by us. But words had been spoken which
could not die in a hundred years, and the public temper had been thrown
into a glow which could not cool in a century. The "Morning Star of the
Reformation" found its twin lighting up the dark ravines of Bohemia, and
when they twain arose the day had begun to break. The Reformation did
not begin with Luther. The elements had been made plastic to his touch;
all was ready for his skilful hand to mould them into the symmetry of
the Great Reformation. The armies of the Lord had enlisted man by man
before he came; it was for his clarion blast to marshal them in
companies and battalions, and lead them to the battle. We must again
thank Mr. Gillett for his timely, serviceable book. It is never
unprofitable to look back and see who have kept the sacred fire of
Christianity burning when it seemed in danger of extinguishment. And in
that fifteenth century its flames certainly burned low. Whenever the
Church is on the side of aristocratic power, whenever it is a
conservative and not a radical and progressive force in an evil age,
when the forces of Satan are in power, the men are truly worthy of
immortality who go out to meet death in behalf of Christ and the
religion of meekness and purity and universal love. Such was John Huss.
He ought never to have suffered himself to be driven from the Church,
and when he did so, he committed the unceasing mistake of reformers,
among whom Wesley and Zinzendorf stand as the two marked exceptions; but
for rectitude, zeal, and a thorough consecration to the great interests
of Christ, he merits an even more sumptuous memorial than this excellent
book.


_Sordello, Strafford, Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day._ By ROBERT BROWNING.
Boston: Ticknor & Fields.

In his dedication to the new edition of "Sordello," Mr. Browning
says,--"I lately gave time and pains to turn my work into what the many
might--instead of what the few must--like; but, after all, I imagined
another thing at first, and therefore leave as I find it."

This, on the whole, he has done; for, though a prose heading runs before
every page, with a knowing wink to the reader, the mystery is not
cleared up. As the view dissolves with every turn of a leaf, the showman
says, confidentially,--"Now you shall see how a poet's soul comes into
play,--how he succeeds a little, but fails more,--tries again, is no
better satisfied,--

    "Because perceptions whole, like that he sought
    To clothe, reject so pure a work of thought
    As language: thought may take perception's place,
    But hardly coexist in any case,
    Being its mere presentment,--of the whole
    By parts, the simultaneous and the sole
    By the successive and the many. Lacks
    The crowd perception?"

We fear so; at any rate, the exhibition fails, because the showman
cannot furnish brains to his commentary. The man who can read "Sordello"
is little helped by these headings, and the man who cannot is soon
distracted by continual disappointment. We think he will end by reading
only the headings. And they doubtless are the best for him. Otherwise,
under the cerebral struggle to perceive how the prose interprets the
poetry, he might become the idiot that Douglas Jerrold exclaimed that
_he_ was at his first trial of "Sordello."

There has been a careful overhauling of the punctuation, with benefit to
the text. Many lines have been altered, sometimes to the comfort of the
reader; and about a hundred fresh lines have been interpolated here and
there, to the weakening, we think, of the dramatic vigor of nearly every
place that is thus handled. Many readers will, however, find this
compensated by an increased clearness of the sense. On page 131 (page
152, first edition) there is an improved manipulation of the simile of
the dwarf palm; and four lines before the last one on page 147 (page
171, first edition) lighten up the thought. So there are eight lines
placed to advantage after "Sordello, wake!" on page 152 (page 176). But,
on the whole, what Mr. Browning first imagined cannot be tampered with,
and he must generously trust the elements of his own fine genius to do
justice to his thought with all people who would not thank him to
furnish an interpreter.

One day we argued earnestly for Browning with a man who said it was
fatal to the poetry that it needed an argument, and that he did not want
to earn the quickening of his imagination by the sweat of his brow,--he
could gather the same thought and beauty in less break-neck places,--all
the profit was expended in mental gymnastics,--in short,

    "The man can't stoop
    To sing us out, quoth he, a mere romance;
    He'd fain do better than the best, enhance
    The subjects' rarity, work problems out
    Therewith: now, you're a bard, a bard past doubt,
    And no philosopher; why introduce
    Crotchets like these? fine, surely, but no use
    In poetry,--which still must be, to strike,
    Eased upon common sense; there's nothing like
    Appealing to our nature!"

Find the rest of Mr. Average's argument on page 67.

These objections to the poetry of Mr. Browning, which the dense,
involved, and metaphysical treatment of "Sordello" first suggested to
the public, are made to apply to all his subsequent writings. We concede
that "Sordello" over-refines, and that, after reading it, "who _would_
has heard Sordello's story told," but who would not and could not has
probably not heard it. The very time of the poem, which is put several
centuries back amid the scenery of the Guelph and Ghibelline feuds, as
if to make the struggle of a humane and poetic soul to grow, to become
recognized, to find a place and purpose, seem still more premature,
puzzles the reader with remote allusions, with names that belong to
obscure Italian narrative, with motives and events that require
historical analysis. The poem is impatient with those very things which
make the environment of the bard Sordello, and treats them in curt
lines. A character is jammed into a sentence, like a witch into a
snuff-box, the didactic parts grow metaphysical, and the life of
Sordello does not fuse the events of the poem into one long rhythm. He
thinks and dreams apart, and Palma's ambition for him is an aside, and
the events swing their arms and strike fiery and cruel blows with
Sordello absent. Considering Mr. Browning's intent, there is a fine
poetic success in this very fault of the poem, but it is not a plain
one, and is an after-thought of the critic. The numerous splendid pages
in "Sordello" do nothing towards making one complete impression which
cannot be evaded. Naddo, the genius-haunter, would complain, that, in
struggling out towards these aisles of beauty, he had seriously
compromised his clothing in the underbrush.

But the faults which characterize "Sordello" are not prevalent in the
subsequent writings which are loosely accused of them. They become
afterwards exceptional, they vein here and there the surface, and Mr.
Average stumbles over them and proceeds no farther. Still, Mr.
Browning's verse is not easy reading. He is economical of words to the
point of harmony; but what a hypocrite he would be, if he used more! He
brings you meaning, if you bring him mind; and there is Tupper outside,
if you don't care to trouble yourself. In saying this we are not
arrogant at all, for there is a large and widening sympathy with Mr.
Browning's thought. Perhaps a whole generation of readers will fretfully
break itself upon his style, and pass away, before the mind hails with
ease his merits. But is Shakspeare's verse easy reading? Not to this
day, in spite of his level of common sense, the artlessness of his
passion, and the broad simplicity of a great imagination, that causeth
its sun to shine on the evil and the good. It was easy reading to Ben
Jonson, to Milton, and to Chapman; it took "Eliza and our James"; it had
more theatrical success than the scholarly plays of Jonson: but two or
three centuries have exhausted neither his commentators nor the subtile
parts that need a comment. A good deal of Shakspeare is read, but the
rest is caviare to the multitude. We need not comfort ourselves on the
facility with which we take his name in vain. We venture to say that the
whole of Shakspeare's thought is inwardly tasted by as many people as
enjoy the subtilty of Robert Browning. Shakspeare has broader places
over which the waters lie, sweet and warm, to tempt disporting crowds,
and places deep as human nature, upon whose brink the pleasure-seekers
peer and shudder. But if Mr. Browning had a theatrical ability equal to
his dramatic, and were content to exhibit a greater number of the
stock-figures of humanity, men would say that here again they had love
that maddened and grief that shattered, murdering ambition, humorous
weakness, and imagination that remarries man and Nature.

Mr. Browning's literary and artistic allusions prevent a ready
appreciation of his genius. "Sordello" needs a key. How many friends,
"elect chiefly for love," have spent time burrowing in encyclopædias,
manuals of history, old biographies, dictionaries of painting, and the
like, for explanations of the remote knowledge which Mr. Browning uses
as if it had been left at the door with the morning paper! On the very
first page, who is "Pentapolin, named o' the Naked Arm"? If a man had
just read Don Quixote, he might single out Pentapolin. Taurello and
Ecelin were not familiar,--nor the politics of Verona, Padua, Ferrara,
six hundred years ago. There was not a lively sympathy with Sordello
himself. Who were the "Pisan pair"? Lanzi's pages were turned up to
discover. And Greek scholars recognized the "Loxian." But any reader
might be pardoned for not at once divining that the double rillet of
minstrelsy, on page 37, was the Troubadour and the Trouvere, nor for
refusing to read pages 155 and 156 without a tolerable outfit of
information upon the historical points and personages there catalogued.

There are not a few pages that appear like a long stretch of prose
suddenly broken up and jammed in the current; some of the ends stick
out, some have gone under, the sense has grown hummocky, and the
reader's whole faculty turns to picking his way. Take, for instance,
page 95, of which we have prepared a translation, but considerately
withhold it.

But turn now to the famous marble font, sculptured afresh in those
perfect lines which begin at the middle of page 16, with the picture of
the Castle Goito and the maple-panelled room. Here the boy Sordello
comes every eve, to visit the marble standing in the midst, to watch the
mute penance of the Caryatides, who flush with the dawn of his
imagination. Read the description of his childhood, from page 25, and
the delights of his opening fancy:--

    "He e'er-festooning every interval,
    As the adventurous spider, making light
    Of distance, shoots her threads from depth to height,
    From barbican to battlement; so flung
    Fantasies forth and in their centre swung
    Our architect,--the breezy morning fresh
    Above, and merry,--all his waving mesh
    Laughing with lucid dew-drops rainbow-edged."

All these pages are filled with poetry; the reflective element does not
dominate severely. Bordello's youthful genius craves sympathy, and he
finds it by investing Nature with fanciful forms and attributes. He is
Apollo,--"that shall be the name." How he ransacks the world for his
youth's outfit, as he climbs the ravine in the June weather, and emerges
into the forest, which tries "old surprises on him," amid which he
lingers, deep in the stratagems of his own fancy, till

    "aloft would hang
    White summer-lightnings; as it sank and sprang
    To measure, that whole palpitating breast
    Of heaven, 't was Apollo, Nature prest
    At eve to worship."

Then comes a portrait of Palma, done with Titian's brush and manner. As
we turn the leaves where favorite passages lie brilliantly athwart the
faded politics of an old story, we are tempted to try spinning its
thread again for the sake of holding up these lines, which are among the
most delicate and sumptuous that Mr. Browning ever wrote. But room is at
present dear as paper. Only turn, for instance, to pages 39-45, 72-74,
the picturesque scenes on pages 84, 85, the opening of Book IV.,
Salinguerra's portrait, like an old picture of Florence, on page 127,
and lines single and by the half-dozen everywhere.

The tragedy of "Strafford" is one of Mr. Browning's earliest
compositions. It was once placed upon the stage by Mr. Macready, but it
is no more of an acting play than all the other pieces of Mr. Browning,
and is too political to be good reading. The characters seem to be
merely reporting the condition of parties under Charles I.; this and the
struggle of the King with the Parliament are told, but are not
represented, the passions of the piece belong too exclusively to the
caucus and the council-chamber, and even the way in which the King
sacrifices Strafford does not dramatically appear. In the last act,
there is much tenderness in the contrast of Stratford's doom with the
unconsciousness of his children, and pathos in his confidence to the
last moment that the King will protect him. The dialogue is generally
too abrupt and exclamatory. Vane speaks well on page 222, and Hampden on
page 231, and there are two good scenes between Charles and Strafford,
where the King's irresolution appears against the Earl's devotedness.
The closing scene of Act IV. has the dramatic form, but it is interfused
with mere civil commotion instead of color, and the motive is a
transient one, important only to the historian. But we need not multiply
words over that one of all his compositions which Mr. Browning probably
now respects the least.

"Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day" is a beautiful poem, filled with thought,
humor, and imagination. The mythical theory of Strauss was never so well
analyzed as in the tilting lines from page 353 to 361. And there is good
theology in this:--

    "Take all in a word: the truth in God's breast
    Lies trace for trace upon ours impressed;
    Though He is so bright and we so dim,
    We are made in His image to witness Him;
    And were no eye in us to tell,
    Instructed by no inner sense,
    The light of heaven from the dark of hell,
    That light would want its evidence," etc.

Naddo will doubtless tell us that this poem is not built broadly on the
human heart; there is too much discussion about the difficulty of
becoming a Christian, and the subtile genius flits so quickly through
the lines that an ordinary butterfly-net does not catch it. That is well
for the genius. But we are of opinion that the human heart will always
find in this great poem the solemn and glorious things that belong to
it, and more and more so as new and clearer thought is born into the
world to read it. It is no more difficult to read than "Paradise Lost,"
while its scenery is less conventional, and the longings of a religious
heart are taken by a bold imagination into serene and starry skies.


_A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe._ By JOHN WILLIAM
DRAPER, M.D., LL.D. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Water and the science of Physiology are both good things. But water is
one thing to drink, and another to be drowned in. In like manner,
though Physiology is a large and noble science and a yet larger symbol,
furnishing analogies to the thinker quite as often as uses to the
medical doctor, nevertheless, Physiology in the form of a deluge,
overflowing, swamping, drowning almost everything else, and leaving only
Body, the sole ark, afloat,--this is a gift which we are able to receive
with a gratitude not by any means unspeakable. And such, very nearly, is
the contribution to modern thought which the author of the above work
endeavors to make. He holds Physiology to be coextensive with Man, and
would prove the fact by including History in its laws.

In truth, however, it is a pretty thin sort of Physiology to which this
extension is to be given,--resembling water in this respect also. Our
physiological philosopher seeks to prove (in 631 octavo pages) that
there are in history five perpetually recurring epochs, answering--the
reader will please consider--to the Infancy, Childhood, Youth, Maturity,
and Old Age of the individual body. So much, therefore, as one would
know concerning Physiology in its application to the individual body, in
virtue of being aware that men pass from infancy to age, thus much does
Dr. Draper propose to teach his readers concerning the said science in
its application to History. Add now that his induction rests almost
wholly on _two_ main instances, of which one is yet incomplete! Should
one, therefore, say that his logic is somewhat precipitate, and his
"science" somewhat lacking in matter, he would appear not to prefer a
wholly groundless charge.

Were Dr. Draper simply giving a History of the Intellectual Development
of Europe, he could, of course, relate only such facts as exist; and
should it appear that this history has but two cycles, one of them
incomplete, he would be under no obligation to make more. But such is
not the case. His "history" is purely a piece of polemic. His aim is to
establish a formula for all history, past, present, and to come; and, in
this view, the paucity of instances on which his induction rests becomes
worthy of comment.

And this disproportion between induction and conclusion becomes still
more glaring, when it is observed that he expects his formula for all
history to carry an inference much larger than itself. Dr. Draper is
devoted to a materialistic philosophy, and his moving purpose is to
propagate this. He holds that Psychology must be an inference from
Physiology,--that the whole science of Man is included in a science of
his body. His two perpetual aims are, first, to absorb all physical
science in theoretical materialism,--second, to absorb all history in
physical science. And beside the ambition of his aims one must say that
his logic has an air of slenderness.

This work, then, may be described as a review of European history,
written in obedience to two primary and two secondary assumptions, as
follows:--

_Primary Assumptions_: First, that man is fully determined by his
"corporeal organization"; second, that all corporeal organizations, with
their whole variety and character, are due solely to "external
situations."

_Secondary Assumptions_: First, that physical science (under submission
to materialistic interpretations) is the only satisfactory intellectual
result in history, being the only pure product of "reason"; second, that
"reason" alone represents the adult stage of the human mind,--"faith"
being simply immature mental action, and "inquiry" belonging to a stage
of intellect still less mature,--in fact, to its mere childishness.

The position thus assigned to _inquiry_ is very significant of the
theoretic precipitancy which is one of Dr. Draper's prominent
characteristics. His mind is afflicted with that disease which
physicians call "premature digestion." Inquiry, which is the perpetual
tap-root of science, he separates wholly from science, stigmatizes it as
the mere token of intellectual childhood; and this not in the haste of
an epithet or heat of a paragraph, but as a fixed part of his scheme of
history and of mind. The reason is found in his own intellectual habits.
And the savage fury with which he plies his critical bludgeon upon Lord
Bacon is due, not so much to that great man's infirmities, nor even to
his possession of intellectual qualities which our author cannot
appreciate and must therefore disparage, as to the profound consecration
of Inquiry, which it was one grand aim of his life to make.

His assumptions made, Dr. Draper proceeds to "break" and train history
into their service, much after the old fashion of "breaking" colts.
First, he mounts the history of Greece. And now what a dust! What are
centaurs to a _savant_ on his hobby? To see him among the mythic
imaginations of the sweet old land! He goes butting and plunging through
them with the headiness of a he-goat, another monster added to those of
which antique fancy had prattled.

He has collected many facts respecting ancient thought, (for his
industry is laudable,) but the evil is that he has no real use for his
facts when obtained. Think of finding in an elaborate "History of the
Intellectual Development of Europe" no use for the "Iliad" and "Odyssey"
but that of bolstering up the proposition that there was in Greece an
age of unreasoning credulity! It is like employing Jove to turn a spit
or to set up tenpins. Everywhere, save in a single direction, and that
of secondary importance with respect to antique thought, he practises
the same enormous waste of material. Socrates is a mere block in his
way, which he treats with nothing finer than a crow-bar. Socrates had
set a higher value on ethical philosophy, derived from the consciousness
of man, than on physical science; consequently, Dr. Draper's choice must
be between treating him weakly and treating him brutally; he chooses the
latter, and plays his _rôle_ with vigor,--talks of his "lecherous
countenance," and calls him "infidel" and "hypocrite." Plato he treats
with more respect, but scarcely with more intelligence. He makes an
inventory of Plato's opinions, as a shopman might of his goods; and does
it with an air which says, "He who buys these gets cheated," while
occasionally be cannot help breaking out into an expression of
impatience. Indeed, not only Plato, but Athens itself, represents to Dr.
Draper's mind the mere raw youth, the mere ambitious immaturity of
Grecian intellect, amusing itself with "faith" because incapable of
"reason." He finds its higher and only rational stage at Alexandria, at
Syracuse, or wherever results in physical science were attained. In
Aristotle, indeed, he is able to have some complacency, since the
Stagirite is in a degree "physiological." But this pleasure is partial,
for Aristotle has the trick of eminent intelligences, and must needs
presently spread his pinions and launch forth into the great skies of
speculation; whereupon, albeit he flies low, almost touching the earth
with the tips of his wings, our physiological philosopher begins to
_pish_ and _pshaw_.

In his treatment of modern or post-Roman history, Dr. Draper goes over
new ground in much the same spirit. He seems, indeed, nearer to his
facts, deals more with actual life, is more lively, graphic, engaging,
and has not that air of an intellectual shopman making an inventory.
Considered as a general review of the history of Europe, written chiefly
in the interest of physical science, but also in marked opposition to
Roman Catholicism, it might pass unchallenged and not without praise.
But considered as a final scientific interpretation of the last fifteen
centuries, its shortcomings are simply immeasurable. The history of
Europe, from the fusion of the Christian Impulse with Roman imperialism
to the time of Columbus, Copernicus, and Luther, is the history of a
grand religious idealism _established over men's heads in the form of an
institution_, because too great to be held in solution by their
thoughts. Of such a matter the writer in question could give no other
than a very inadequate account. Wanting that which is highest in the
reason of man, namely, imaginative intellect, he has no natural fitness
for explaining such a fact; while his unconsciousness of any such
deficiency, his persuasion that an _imagination_ and a _delusion_ are
one and the same, and his extreme dogmatic momentum cause him to handle
it with all the confidence of commanding power.

Considered, again, as a polemic to the point that history revolves
forever through five recurring epochs, and that, as our civilization has
been now four centuries in the "age of reason," it must next (and
probably soon) pass into the fifth stage, that of decrepitude, and
thence into infantile credulity and imbecility once more,--as a
demonstration that history is such a Sisyphus, his induction is weak
even to flimsiness.

But on approaching times yet more modern, the dominating predilection of
the writer no longer misleads him; it guides him, on the contrary, to
the truth. For of the last four centuries the grand _affirmative_ fact
is the rise of physical science. Or rather, perhaps, one should say that
it _was_ the grand fact until some fifty years ago. Science is still
making progress; indeed, leaving out of sight one or two great Newtonian
steps, we may say that it is advancing more rapidly than ever. But now
at length its spiritual correlative begins to emerge, and a new epoch
forms itself, as we fully believe, in the history of humanity.

In celebrating this birth and growth of science, in treating it as the
central and commanding fact of modern times, and in suggesting the vast
modification of beliefs and habits of thought which this must effect,
Dr. Draper has a large theme, and he treats it _con amore_. In this
respect, his book has value, and is worth its cost to himself and his
readers. In some branches of science, moreover, as in Physiology, and in
questions of vital organization generally, he is to be named among the
authorities, and we gladly attend when he raises his voice.

Yet even in respect to this feature, his work cannot be praised without
reserve. Though a man of scientific eminence, yet in the pure and open
spirit of science it is impossible for him to write. He is a dogmatist,
a controversialist, a propagandist. No matter of what science he treats,
his exposition ever has an aim beyond itself. It is always a means to an
end; and that end is always a dogma. For example, he has written a work
on Human Physiology; and in the present volume he avows that his "main
object" therein was to "enforce the doctrine" of the "absolute dominion
of physical agents over organic forms as the fundamental principle in
all the sciences of organization." This "main object" is no less dear to
him in the work immediately under consideration. He still teaches that
the primitive cell, with which, it is supposed, all organisms begin, is
in all the same, but, being placed in different situations, is developed
here into a man, and there into a mushroom. "The offspring," he says,
not without oracular twang, "is like its parent, not because it includes
an immortal typical form, but because it is exposed in development to
the same conditions as was its parent." Behold a cheap explanation of
the mystery of life! If one inquire how the vast variety of parental
conditions was obtained, Dr. Draper is ready with his answer:--"A
suitableness of external situation called them forth," quoth he. An
explanation nebulous enough to be sage!

Behold, therefore, a whole universe of life constructed by "Situations"!
"Situations" are the new _Elohim_. They say to each other, "Let us make
man"; and they do it! But they cannot say, "Let us make man in our own
image"; for they have no image. No matter: they succeed all the same in
giving one to man! Wonderful "Situations"! Who will set up an altar to
almighty "Situations"?

We have ourselves a somewhat Benjamite tongue for pronouncing the
popular shibboleths, but, verily, we would sooner try the crookedest of
them all than endeavor to persuade ourselves that in a universe wherein
no creative idea lives and acts "external situations" can "call forth"
life and all its forms. We can understand that a divine, creative idea
may develop itself under fixed conditions, as the reproductive element
in opposite sexes may, under fixed conditions, prove its resources; but
how, in a universe devoid of any productive thought, "external
situations" can produce definite and animate forms, is, to our feeble
minds, incomprehensible. Verily, therefore, we will have nothing to do
with these new gods. The materialistic _savans_ may cry _Pagani_ at us,
if they will; but we shall surely continue to kneel at the old altars,
unless something other than the said "Situations" can be offered us in
exchange.

We complain of Dr. Draper that he does not write in the spirit of
science, but in the spirit of dogmatism. We complain of him, that, when
he ostensibly attempts a piece of pure scientific exposition, his
thought always has a squint, a boomerang obliquity; it is afflicted with
_strabismus_, and never looks where it seems to look. He approaches
history only to subject it to the service of certain pet opinions
_already formed_ before his inspection of history began. He seeks only
to make it an instrument for the propagation of these. He is a
philosophical historian in the same sense that Bossuet was a
philosophical historian. Each of these seeks to subject history to a
dogma. The dogma of Bossuet is Papal Catholicism; that of Dr. Draper is
the creative supremacy of "Situations" and "the insignificance of man in
the universe."

It is quite proper for Dr. Draper to appear as a polemic in science, if
he will. It is not advocacy _per se_ of which we complain; it is
advocacy with a squint, advocacy round a corner. If he wishes to prove
the creative efficacy of "Situations," let him do so; but let him not in
doing so seem to be offering an impartial exposition of Human
Physiology. If he wishes to prove that physical science is the only
rational thing in the world, he may try; but let him not assume to be
writing a history of intellectual development. If he would convince us
that history has epochs corresponding to those of individual life, we
will listen; but we shall listen with impatience, if it appear after all
that he is merely seeking, under cover of this proposition, to further a
low materialistic dogma, and convince us of "man's insignificance in the
universe."

We are open to all reasonings. Any decent man, who has honorably gone
through with his Pythagorean _lustrum_ of silence and thought, shall, by
our voice, have his turn on the world's tribune; and if he be honest, he
shall lose nothing by it. But we hate indirections. We hate the
pretension implied in assuming to be an authoritative expounder, when
one is only an advocate. And, still further, we shall always resist any
man's attempt to make his facts go for a great deal more than they are
worth. Let him call his ten _ten_, and it shall pass for ten; but if he
insist on calling it a thousand, we shall not acquiesce. The science of
Physiology is just out of its babyhood. Of the nervous system in
particular--of its physiology and pathology alike--our knowledge is
extremely immature. We are just beginning, indeed, to know anything
_scientifically_ on that subject. The attempt in behalf of that little
to banish spiritual philosophy out of the world, and to silence forever
the voice of Human Consciousness, is a piece of pretension on behalf of
which we decline to strain our hospitality.

Our notice of this work would, however, be both incomplete and unjust,
did we forbear to say, that, in its avowed idea, the author has got hold
of a genuine analogy. Not that we approve the details of his scheme; the
details, we verily believe, are as nearly all wrong as an able and
studious man could make them. But the general idea of a correspondence
between individual and social life, of an organic existence in
civilizations and a consequent subjection to the law of organisms, is a
rich mine, and one that will sooner or later be worked to profit. And
the definite, emphatic announcement of it in Dr. Draper's work, however
awkwardly done, suffices to make the work one of grave importance.

Every system of civilization is in some degree special. None is
universal; none represents purely the spirit of humanity; none contains
all the possibilities of society. Not being universal, none can be, in
its form, perpetual. The universal asserts its supremacy; all that is
partial must be temporary. The human spirit takes back, as it were, into
its bosom each sally of civilization before pulsing anew. Thus, even on
their ideal side, civilizations have their law of limitation; and to
know what this law of limitation definitely is constitutes now one of
the great _desiderata_ of the world. We believe, that, _ceteris
paribus_, the duration of a civilization is proportioned to its depth
and breadth,--that is, to the degree in which it represents the total
resource and possibility of the human spirit.

Again, every system of civilization has a body, an institution, an
established and outward interpretation of social relationship. In
respect to this it is mortal. In respect to this it has a law of growth
and decay. In respect to this, moreover, it is subject to what we call
accident, the chances of the world. In fine, the bodies of individuals
and of civilizations, the fixed forms, that is, in which they are
instituted, serve the same uses and obey the same law.

Now a work which should deal in a really great and profound way with
this _corpus_ of civilizations,--not spending itself in a mere tedious,
endless demonstration that such _corpus_ exists, and has therefore its
youth and its age, but really explaining its physiology and
pathology,--such a work would be no less than a benefaction to the human
race. And in such a work one of the easiest and most obvious points
would be this,--that the spirit of civilizations has a certain power of
changing the form of its body by successive partial rejections and
remouldings; and the degree in which they prove capable of this
continuous _palingenesia_ is one important measure of their depth and
determinant of their duration.

For writing such a work we do not think Dr. Draper perfectly qualified.
For this we find in him no tokens of an intelligence sufficiently
subtile, penetrating, and profound. He is, moreover, too heady and too
well cased in his materialistic strait-waistcoat. Nevertheless, his book
carries in it a certain large suggestion; it contains many excellent
observations; its tone is unexceptionable; the style is firm and clear,
though heavy and disfigured by such intolerable barbarisms as "commence
to" walk, talk, or the like,--the use of the infinitive instead of the
participle after _commence_. Dr. Draper is an able man, a scholar in
science, a well-informed, studious gentleman in other provinces; but he
tries to be a legislator in thought, and fails.


_De l'Origine du Langage_. Par ERNEST RENAN, Membre de l'Institut.
Quatrième Èdition, augmentée. Paris.

It seems to be the law of French thought, that it shall never be
exhaustive of any profound matter, and also that (Auguste Comte always
excepted) it shall never be exhausting to the reader. German thought may
be both; French is neither; English thought--but the English do not
think, they dogmatize. Magnificent dogmatism it may be, but dogmatism.
Exceptions of course, but these are equally exceptions to the
characteristic spirit of the nation.

M. Renan is thoroughly French. The power of coming after the great
synthetic products of the human spirit and distributing them by analysis
into special categories, eminent in his country, is pre-eminent in him.
The facility at slipping over hard points, and at coming to unity of
representation, partly by the solving force of an interior principle,
and partly by ingenious accommodations, characteristic of French
thought, characterizes his thinking in particular. That supremacy of the
critical spirit in the man which secures to it the loyalty of all the
faculties is alike peculiar to France among nations, and to this writer
among Frenchmen. In Germany the imagination dominates, or at least
contends with, the critical spirit; the French Ariel not only gives
magic service to the critical Prospero, but seeks no emancipation,
desires nothing better. Hence an admirable clearness and shapeliness in
the criticism of France. Hence, also, in its best criticism a high
degree of imaginative subtilty and penetration, without prejudice either
to the dominion of common sense in the thought or to clearness in the
statement.

M. Renan's essay on "The Origin of Language" is typical of his quality.
Treating of an abstruse, though enticing problem,--_almost_ profound,
and that in comparison with the soundest and sincerest thinking of our
time,--it is yet so clear and broad, its details are so perfectly held
in solution by the thought, the thought itself moves with such ease,
grace, and vigor, and in its style there is such crystal perspicuity and
precision, that one must he proof against good thinking and excellent
writing not to feel its charm.

The main propositions of the work--whose force and significance, of
course, cannot be felt in this dry enumeration--are that language issues
from the spontaneity of the human spirit,--"spontaneity, which is both
divine and human"; that its origin is simultaneous with the opening of
consciousness in the human race; that it preserves a constant parallel
with consciousness, that is, with the developed spirit of man, in its
nature and growth; and that, by consequence, its first form is not one
of analytic simplicity, but of a high synthesis and a rich complexity.
The whole mind, he says, acts from the first, only not with the power of
defining, distinguishing, separating, which characterizes the intellect
of civilized man; his objects are groups; he grasps totalities; sees
objects _and_ their relationships as one fact; tends to connect his
whole consciousness with all he sees, making the stone a man or a god:
and language, in virtue of its perpetual parallelism with consciousness,
must be equally synthetic and complex from the start.

He finds himself opposed, therefore, first, to those, "like M. Bonald,"
who attribute language to a purely extraneous, not an interior,
revelation; secondly, to the philosophers of the eighteenth century, who
made it a product of free and reflective reason; thirdly, to the German
school, who trace it back to a few hundred monosyllabic roots, each
expressing with analytic precision some definite material object, from
which roots the whole subsequent must be derived by etymologic
spinning-out, by agglutination, and by figurative heightening of
meaning.

His work, accordingly, should be read by all sincere students of the
question of Language in connection with the statements of Professor
Müller, as he represents another and a typical aspect of the case. He
denies the existence of a "Turanian" family of tongues, such as Müller
sought to constitute in Bunsen's "Outlines"; pronouncing with great
decision, and on grounds both philosophical and linguistic, against that
notion of monosyllabic origin which assumes the Chinese as truest of all
tongues to the original form and genius of language, he is even more
decided that not the faintest trace can be found of the derivation of
all existing languages from a single primitive tongue. From general
principles, therefore, and equally from inspection of language, he
infers with confidence that each great family of languages has come
forth independently from the genius of man.

His results in Philology correspond, thus, with those of Mr. Agassiz in
Natural History. They suggest multiplicity of human origins. From this
result M. Renan does not recoil, and he takes care to state with great
precision and vigor the entire independence of the spiritual upon the
physical unity of man,--as Mr. Agassiz also did in that jewel which he
set in the head of Nott and Gliddon's toad.

But here he pauses. His results bear him no farther. The philological
and physiological classifications of mankind, he says, do not
correspond; their lines cross; nothing can be concluded from one to the
other. The question of unity or diversity of physical origins he leaves
to the naturalist; upon that he has no right to raise his voice.
Spiritual unity he asserts firmly; linguistic unity he firmly denies; on
the question of physical unity he remains modestly and candidly silent,
not finding in his peculiar studies data for a rational opinion.

M. Renan is not a Newton in his science. He satisfies, and he
disappoints. The Newtonian depth, centrality, and poise,--well, one may
still be a superior scholar and writer without these. And such he is.
His tendency to central principles is decided, but with this there is a
wavering, an unsteadiness, and you get only agility and good writing, it
may be, where you had begun to look for a final word. Sometimes, too, in
his desire of precision, he gives you precision indeed, but of a cheap
kind, which is worse than any _thoughtful_ vagueness. Thus, he opens his
sixth section by naming _l'onomatopée_, the imitation of natural sounds,
as the law of primitive language. He knew better; for he has hardly
named this "law" before he slips away from it; and his whole work was
pitched upon a much profounder key. Why must he seize upon this
ready-made word? Why could he not have taken upon himself to say
deliberately and truly, that the law of primitive language, and in the
measure of its _life_ of all language, is the symbolization of mental
impression by sounds, just as man's spirit is symbolized in his body,
and absolute spirit in the universe? But this is "vague," and M. Renan
writes in Paris.

And in Paris he has written an able and in many respects admirable
treatise,--_almost_ profound, as we have said, and creditable to him and
to France. It must be reckoned, we think, a foundation-stone in the
literature of the problem of Language.

In five or six pages the theological peculiarities of M. Renan appear.
The reader, however, who is most rigidly indisposed to open question on
such matters will find these six pages which do not please him a feeble
counterbalance to the two hundred and fifty which do.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] Published 1770-71.

[B] Johnson enumerates fifteen.

[C] Many of the bibliographers, even, have omitted mention of it.

[D] Of which the first book was published in 1772. This author is to be
distinguished from George Mason, who in 1768 published "An Essay on
Design in Gardening."

[E] Lettre XI Liv. IV. _Nouvelle Héloise._

[F] First published in 1766.

[G] Citing, in confirmation, that passage commencing,--"_Nunc dicam agri
quibus rebus colantur_," etc.

[H] Pp. 177-179, edition of 1802, Edinburgh.

[I] Pp. 166, 167.

[J] See Article of Philip Pussy, M.P., in _Transactions of the Royal
Society_, Vol. XIV.

[K] First published in 1724.

[L] I find him named, in Dodsley's "Annual Register" for 1771, "Keeper
of His Majesty's Private Roads."

[M] Loudon makes an error in giving 1780 as the year of his death.

[N] Presented to William Pitt, 1795.

[O] At that day, horse-hoeing, at regular intervals, was understood to
form part of what was counted drill-culture.

[P] Returns incomplete.

[Q] In the Quarterly Tables of Mr. Hamilton's office, as quoted by
Professor Chace, the maximum yield at Wine Harbor during the month of
September, 1863, reached the almost incredible figure of _sixty-six_
ounces to the ton.





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