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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

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





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

       *       *       *       *       *


Some one lately took occasion, in passing, to class Charles Reade with
the clever writers of the day, sandwiching him between Anthony Trollope
and Wilkie Collins,--for no other reason, apparently, than that he
never, with Chinese accuracy, gives us gossiping drivel that reduces
life to the dregs of the commonplace, or snarls us in any inextricable
tangle of plots.

Charles Reade is not a clever writer merely, but a great one,--how
great, only a careful _résumé_ of his productions can tell us. We know
too well that no one can take the place of him who has just left us, and
who touched so truly the chords of every passion; but out of the ranks
some one must step now to the leadership so deserted,--for Dickens
reigns in another region,--and whether or not it shall be Charles Reade
depends solely upon his own election: no one else is so competent, and
nothing but wilfulness or vanity need prevent him,--the wilfulness of
persisting in certain errors, or the vanity of assuming that he has no
farther to go. He needs to learn the calmness of a less variable
temperature and a truer equilibrium, less positive sharpness and more
philosophy; he will be a thorough master, when the subject glows in his
forge and he himself remains unheated.

He is about the only writer we have who gives us anything of himself.
Quite unconsciously, every sentence he writes is saturated with his own
identity; he is, then, a man of courage, and--the postulate assumed that
we are not speaking of fools--courage in such case springs only from two
sources, carelessness of opinion and possession of power. Now no one, of
course, can be entirely indifferent to the audience he strives to
please; and it would seem, then, that that daring which is the first
element of success arises here from innate capacity. Unconsciously, as
we have said, is it that our author is self-betrayed, for he is by
nature so peculiarly a _raconteur_ that he forgets himself entirely in
seizing the prominent points of his story; and it is to this that his
chief fault is attributable,--the want of elaboration,--a fault,
however, which he has greatly overcome in his later books, where,
leaving sketchy outlines, he has given us one or two complete and
perfect pictures. His style, too, owes some slight debt to this fact;
it has been saved thereby from offensive mannerism, and yet given traits
of its own insusceptible of imitation,--for by mannerism we mean
affectations of language, not absurdities of type.

There is a racy _verve_ and vigor in Charles Reade's style, which, after
the current inanities, is as inspiriting as a fine breeze on the upland;
it tingles with vitality; he seems to bring to his work a superb
physical strength, which he employs impartially in the statement of a
trifle or the storming of a city; and if on this page he handles a ship
in a sea-fight with the skill and force of a Viking, on the other he
picks up a pin cleaner of the adjacent dust than weaker fingers would do
it. There is no trace of the stale, flat, and unprofitable here; the
books are fairly alive, and that gesture tells their author best with
which a great actress once portrayed to us the poet Browning, rolling
her hands rapidly over one another, while she threw them up in the air,
as if she would describe a bubbling, boiling fountain.

Charles Reade is the prose for Browning. The temperament of the two in
their works is almost identical, having first allowed for the delicate
femineity proper to every poet; and the richness that Browning lavishes
till it strikes the world no more than the lavish gold of the sun, the
lavish blue of the sky, Reade, taking warning, hoards, and lets out only
by glimpses. Yet such glimpses! for beauty and brilliancy and strength,
when they do occur, unrivalled. Yet never does he desert his narrative
for them one moment; on the contrary, we might complain that he almost
ignores the effect of Nature on various moods and minds: in a volume of
six hundred pages, the sole bit of so-called fine writing is the
following, justified by the prominence of its subject in the incidents,
and showing in spite of itself a certain masculine contempt for the
finicalities of language:--

"The leaves were many shades deeper and richer than any other tree could
show for a hundred miles round,--a deep green, fiery, yet soft; and then
their multitude,--the staircases of foliage, as you looked up the tree,
and could scarce catch a glimpse of the sky,--an inverted abyss of
color, a mound, a dome, of flake-emeralds that quivered in the golden

"And now the sun sets,--the green leaves are black,--the moon
rises,--her cold light shoots across one-half that giant stem.

"How solemn and calm stands the great round tower of living wood, half
ebony, half silver, with its mighty cloud above of flake-jet leaves
tinged with frosty fire at one edge!"

This oak was in Brittany,--the very one, perhaps, before which,

              "So hollow, huge, and old,
  It looked a tower of ruined mason-work,
  At Merlin's feet the wileful Vivien lay."

Indeed, Brittany seems a kind of fairy-land to many writers. Tennyson,
Spenser, Matthew Arnold, Reade, all locate some one of their choicest
scenes there. The reason is not, perhaps, very remote. We prate about
the Anglo-Saxon blood; yet, in reality, there is very little of it to
prate about, especially in the educated classes. When the British were
driven from their island, they took refuge in Wales and Brittany. When
William the Norman conquered that island again, his force was chiefly
composed of the descendants of those very Britons; for so feeble was the
genuine Norse element that it had been long since absorbed, and in the
language of the Norman--used until a late day upon certain records in
England--there is not one single word of Scandinavian origin. Thus it
was neither French nor Norman nor Scandinavian invading the white
cliffs, but the exiled Briton reconquering his native land; and, to make
the fact still stronger, the army of Richmond, Henry VII., was entirely
recruited in Brittany. Perhaps, then, the reason that Brittany is to
many a region of romance and delight is a feeling akin to the pleasure
we take in visiting some ancestral domain from whose soil our fathers
once drew their being.

The Breton novel of Mr. Reade, "White Lies," although somewhat crude,
otherwise ranks with his best. The action is uninterrupted and swift,
the characters sharply defined, if legendary, the dialogue always
sparkling, the plot cleanly executed, the whole full of humor and
seasoned with wit. So well has it caught the spirit of the scene that it
reads like a translation, and, lest we should mistake the _locale_,
everybody in the book lies abominably from beginning to end.

    "'A lie is a lump of sin and a piece of folly,' cries Jacintha.

    "Edouard notes it down, and then says, in allusion to a previous
    remark of hers,--

    "'I did not think you were five-and-twenty, though.'

    "'I am, then,--don't you believe me?'

    "'Why not? Indeed, how could I disbelieve you after your lecture?'

    "'It is well,' said Jacintha, with dignity.

    "She was twenty-seven by the parish-books."

There is a good deal of picturesque beauty in this volume, and at the
opening of its affairs there occurs a paragraph which we appropriate,
not merely for its merit, nor because it is the only "interior" that we
can recall in all his novels, but because also it contains a
characteristically fearless measuring of swords with a great champion:--

    "A spacious saloon panelled: dead, but snowy white picked out
    sparingly with gold. Festoons of fruit and flowers finely carved
    in wood on some of the panels. These also not smothered with
    gilding, but as it were gold speckled here and there like tongues
    of flame winding among insoluble snows.... Midway from the candle
    to the distant door its twilight deepened, and all became
    shapeless and sombre. The prospect ended half-way, sharp and
    black, as in those out-o'-door closets imagined and painted by Mr.
    Turner, whose Nature (Mr. Turner's) comes to a full stop as soon
    as Mr. Turner sees no further occasion for her, instead of melting
    by fine expanse and exquisite gradation into genuine distance, as
    Nature does in Claude and in Nature. To reverse the picture:
    standing at the door, you looked across forty feet of black, and
    the little corner seemed on fire, and the fair heads about the
    candle shone like the heads of St. Cecilias and Madonnas in an
    antique stained-glass window. At last Laure [Laure Aglaë Rose de
    Beaurepaire,--would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?]
    observed the door open, and another candle glowed upon Jacintha's
    comely peasant-face in the doorway; she dived into the shadow, and
    emerged into light again close to the table, with napkins on her

The book abounds, as indeed all its companions do, in quaint passages,
comical turns of a word, shrewd sayings,--of which a handful:--

    '"Now you know,' said Dard, 'if I am to do this little job to-day,
    I must start.'

    "'Who keeps you?' was the reply.

    "Thus these two loved."

Dard, by the way, being an entirely new addition to the novelists'
_corps dramatique_, and almost a Shakspearian character.

    "It was her feelings, her confidence, the little love wanted,--not
    her secret: that lay bare already to the shrewd young minx,--I beg
    her pardon,--lynx."

Another involves a curious philosophy, summed up in the following

    "She does not love him quite enough.

    "He loves her a little too much. Cure,--marriage."

But there are one or two scenes in this tale of "White Lies" perfectly
matchless for fire and spirit; and to support the assertion, the reader
must allow a citation. And he will pardon the first for the sake of the
others, since Josephine is the betrothed of Camille Dujardin.

    "When he uttered these terrible words, each of which was a blow
    with a bludgeon to the Baroness, the old lady, whose courage was
    not equal to her spirit, shrank over the side of her arm-chair,
    and cried piteously,--'He threatens me! he threatens me! I am
    frightened!'--and put up her trembling hands, so suggestive was
    the notary's eloquence of physical violence. Then his brutality
    received an unexpected check. Imagine that a sparrow-hawk had
    seized a trembling pigeon, and that a royal falcon swooped, and
    with one lightning-like stroke of body and wing buffeted him away,
    and there he was on his back, gaping and glaring and grasping at
    nothing with his claws. So swift and irresistible, but far more
    terrible and majestic, Josephine de Beaurepaire came from her
    chair with one gesture of her body between her mother and the
    notary, who was advancing on her with arms folded in a brutal
    menacing way,--not the Josephine we have seen her, the calm,
    languid beauty, but the Demoiselle de Beaurepaire,--her great
    heart on fire, her blood up,--not her own only, but all the blood
    of all the De Beaurepaires,--pale as ashes with wrath, her purple
    eyes flaring, and her whole panther-like body ready either to
    spring or strike.

    "'Slave! you dare to insult her, and before me! _Arrière,
    misérable!_ or I soil my hand with your face!'

    "And her hand was up with the word, up, up,--higher it seemed than
    ever a hand was lifted before. And if he had hesitated one moment,
    I believe it would have come down; and if it had, he would have
    gone to her feet before it: not under its weight,--the lightning
    is not heavy,--but under the soul that would have struck with it.
    But there was no need: the towering threat and the flaming eye and
    the swift rush buffeted the caitiff away: he recoiled three steps,
    and nearly fell down. She followed him as he went, strong in that
    moment as Hercules, beautiful and terrible as Michael driving
    Satan. He dared not, or rather he could not, stand before her: he
    writhed and cowered and recoiled down the room while she marched
    upon him. Then the driven serpent hissed as it wriggled away.

    "'For all this, she too shall be turned out of Beaurepaire,--not
    like me, but forever! I swear it, _parolé de Perrin!_'

    "'She shall never be turned out! I swear it, _foi de De

    "'You, too, daughter of Sa--'

    "'_Tais toi, et sors à l'instant même! Lâche!_'

    "The old lady moaning and trembling and all but fainting in her
    chair; the young noble like destroying angel, hand in air, and
    great eye scorching and withering; and the caitiff wriggling out
    at the door, wincing with body and head, his knees knocking, his
    heart panting, yet raging, his teeth gnashing, his cheek livid,
    his eye gleaming with the fire of hell."

Too much of this sort of thing becomes meretricious; a man is never the
master of his subject, when he suffers himself to be carried away by it.
And though a fault of haste is pardonable, when lost in fine execution,
we must acknowledge that there is certainly something very "Frenchy" in
this scene,--a remark, though, which can hardly be considered as
derogatory, when we remember that altogether the most readable fiction
of the day is French itself. Our author is evidently a great admirer of
Victor Hugo, though he is no such careful artist in language: he seldom
closes with such tremendous subjects as that adventurous writer
attempts; but he has all the sharp antithesis, the pungent epigram of
the other, and in his freest flight, though he peppers us as prodigally
with colons, he never becomes absurd, which the other is constantly on
the edge of being.

The next scene which we adduce is that where the battered figure of a
pale, grisly man walks into the garrison-town of Bayonne, after a
three-years' absence, explained only to his disgrace, mutely overcomes
the guard, and rings the bell of the Governor's house.

    "The servant left him in the hall, and went up-stairs to tell his
    master. At the name, the Governor reflected, then frowned, then
    bade his servant reach him down a certain book. He inspected it.

    "'I thought so: any one with him?'

    "'No, Monsieur the Governor.'

    "'Load my pistols: put them on the table: put that book back: show
    him in: and then order a guard to the door.'

    "The Governor was a stern veteran, with a powerful brow, a shaggy
    eyebrow, and a piercing eye. He never rose, but leaned his chin on
    his hand, and his elbow on a table that stood between them, and
    eyed the new-comer very fixedly and strangely.

    "'We did not expect to see you on this side of the Pyrenees.'

    "'Nor I myself, Governor.'

    "'What do you come to me for?'

    "'A welcome, a suit of regimentals, and money to take me to

    "'And suppose, instead of that, I turn out a corporal's guard, and
    bid them shoot you in the court-yard?'

    "'It would be the drollest thing you ever did, all things
    considered,' said the other, coolly; but he looked a little

    "The Governor went for the book he had lately consulted, found the
    page, handed it to the rusty officer, and watched him keenly: the
    blood rushed all over his face, and his lip trembled; but his eye
    dwelt stern, yet sorrowful, on the Governor.

    "'I have read your book: now read mine.'

    "He drew off his coat, and showed his wrists and arms, blue and

    "'Can you read that, Monsieur?'


    "'All the better for you! Spanish fetters, General.'

    "He showed a white scar on his shoulder.

    "'Can you read that, Sir?'


    "'This is what I cut out of it,'--and he handed the Governor a
    little round stone, as big and almost as regular as a musket-ball.

    "'Humph! that could hardly have been fired from a French musket.'

    "'Can you read this?'--and he showed him a long cicatrix on his
    other arm.

    "'Knife, I think?' said the Governor.

    "'You are right, Monsieur: Spanish knife!--Can you read
    this?'--and opening his bosom, he showed a raw and bloody wound on
    his breast.

    "'Oh, the Devil!' cried the General.

    "The wounded man put his coat on again, and stood erect and
    haughty and silent.

    "The General eyed him, and saw his great spirit shining through
    this man. The more he looked, the less could the scarecrow veil
    the hero from his practised eye.

    "'There has been some mistake, or else I dote--and can't tell a
    soldier from a'--

    "'Don't say the word, old man, or your heart will bleed!'

    "'Humph! I must go into this matter at once. Be seated, Captain,
    if you please, and tell me what have you been doing all these


    "'What, all the time?'

    "'Without intermission.'

    "'But what? suffering what?'

    "'Cold, hunger, darkness, wounds, solitude, sickness, despair,
    prison,--all that man can suffer.'

    "'Impossible! a man would be dead at that rate before this.'

    "'I should have died a dozen times, but for one thing.'

    "'Ay! what was that?'

    "'I had promised to live.'

    "There was a pause. Then the old man said, calmly,--

    "'To the facts, young man: I listen.'"

    And high time, be it said; since it begins to read very much like
    one of Artemas Ward's burlesques. The upshot of which listening
    was, that the man left for Paris directly in the demanded
    regimentals, and wrapt about with the Governor's furred cloak to
    boot; that he would not delay in the metropolis one moment, even
    to put on the epaulets they gave him, but saved them for his
    sweetheart to make him a colonel with, and, though weary and torn
    with pain, galloped away to the Chateau de Beaurepaire, to find
    that sweetheart another man's wife.

    "He turned his back quickly on her. 'To the army!' he cried,
    hoarsely. He drew himself haughtily up in marching-attitude. He
    took three strides, erect and fiery and bold. At the fourth the
    great heart snapped, and the worn body it had held up so long
    rolled like a dead log upon the ground, with a tremendous fall."

Which scene must be followed by its pendant, taking place during the
siege of a Prussian town, when, from the enemy's bastion, Long Tom, out
of range of Dujardin's battery, was throwing red-hot shot, sending half
a hundred-weight of iron up into the clouds, and plunging it down into
the French lines a mile off.

    "'Volunteers to go out of the trenches!' cried Sergeant La Croix,
    in a stentorian voice, standing erect as a poker, and swelling
    with importance.

    "There were fifty offers in less than as many seconds.

    "'Only twelve allowed to go,' said the Sergeant; 'and I am one,'
    added he, adroitly inserting himself.

    "A gun was taken down, placed on a carriage, and posted near
    Death's Alley, but out of the line of fire.

    "The Colonel himself superintended the loading of this gun; and to
    the surprise of his men had the shot weighed first, and then
    weighed out the powder himself.

    "He then waited quietly a long time, till the bastion pitched one
    of its periodical shots into Death's Alley; but no sooner had the
    shot struck, and sent the sand flying past the two lanes of
    curious noses, than Colonel Dujardin jumped upon the gun and waved
    his cocked hat. At this preconcerted signal, his battery opened
    fire on the bastion, and the battery to his right hand opened on
    the wall that fronted them; and the Colonel gave the word to run
    the gun out of the trenches. They ran it out into the cloud of
    smoke their own guns were belching forth, unseen by the enemy; but
    they had no sooner twisted it into the line of Long Tom than the
    smoke was gone, and there they were, a fair mark.

    "'Back into the trenches, all but one!' roared Dujardin.

    "And in they ran like rabbits.

    "'Quick! the elevation.'

    "Colonel Dujardin and La Croix raised the muzzle to the
    mark,--hoo! hoo! hoo! ping! ping! ping' came the bullets about
    their ears.

    "'Away with you!' cried the Colonel, taking the linstock from him.

    "Then Colonel Dujardin, fifteen yards from the trenches, in full
    blazing uniform, showed two armies what one intrepid soldier can
    do. He kneeled down and adjusted his gun, just as he would have
    done in a practising-ground. He had a pot-shot to take, and a
    pot-shot he would take. He ignored three hundred muskets that were
    levelled at him. He looked along his gun, adjusted it and
    readjusted to a hair's-breadth. The enemy's bullets pattered over
    it; still he adjusted and readjusted. His men were groaning and
    tearing their hair inside at his danger.

    "At last it was levelled to his mind, and then his movements were
    as quick as they had hitherto been slow. In a moment he stood
    erect in the half-fencing attitude of a gunner, and his linstock
    at the touch-hole: a huge tongue of flame, a volume of smoke, a
    roar, and the iron thunderbolt was on its way, and the Colonel
    walked haughtily, but rapidly, back to the trenches: for in all
    this no bravado. He was there to make a shot,--not to throw a
    chance of life away, watching the effect.

    "Ten thousand eyes did that for him.

    "Both French and Prussians risked their own lives, craning out to
    see what a colonel in full uniform was doing under fire from a
    whole line of forts, and what would be his fate: but when he fired
    the gun, their curiosity left the man and followed the iron

    "For two seconds all was uncertain: the ball was travelling.

    "Tom gave a rear like a wild horse, his protruding muzzle went up
    sky-high, then was seen no more, and a ring of old iron and a
    clatter of fragments were heard on the top of the bastion. Long
    Tom was dismounted. Oh, the roar of laughter and triumph from one
    end to another of the trenches, and the clapping of forty thousand
    hands, that went on for full five minutes! then the Prussians,
    either through a burst of generous praise for an act so chivalrous
    and so brilliant, or because they would not be crowed over,
    clapped their ten thousand hands as loudly, and thundering
    heart-thrilling salvo of applause answered salvo on both sides
    that terrible arena."

If all this was melodramatic, it should be remembered that the time was
melodramatic itself; it is, however, saved from such accusation by the
truthfulness of the handling; and the homeliness of a portion of it
recalls the ballad of "Up at the villa, down in the city," with its
speeches of drum and fife. Nevertheless, here are combined the true
elements of modern sensational writing: there are the broad canvas, the
vivid colors, the abrupt contrast, all the dramatic and startling
effects that weekly fiction affords, the supernatural heroine, the more
than mortal hero. What, then, rescues it? It would be hard to reply.
Perhaps the reckless, rollicking wit: we cannot censure one who makes us
laugh with him. Perhaps nothing but the writer's exuberant and
superabundant vitality, which through such warp shoots a golden woof
till it is filled and interwoven with the true glance and gleam of
genius. The difference between these pages and that of the previously
mentioned style is the same as exists between any coarse scene-curtain
and some glorious painting, be it Church, with his tropical lushness, or
Gifford, with his shaking, shining mists,--

  Like a vaporous amethyst,
  Or an air-dissolved star
  Mingling light and fragrance far
  As the curved horizon's bound,"--

some canvas that seems to palpitate and live and tremble with the
breathing being confided to it by the painter. Indeed, Charles Reade has
a great deal of this pictorial power. A single sentence will sometimes
give not only the sketch, but all its tints. Take, for instance, the
paragraph in which, speaking of the Newhaven fish-wives, he says, "It is
a race of women that the Northern sun peachifies instead of
rosewoodizing"; and it is as good as that picture of the "Two
Grandmothers," where the rosy woman with her rosy troop is confronted by
the tawny sunburnt gypsy and her swarthy group of dancing-girl and

When "Peg Woffington" first fell upon us, a dozen years ago or so,
Humdrum opened his eyes: it was like setting one's teeth in a juicy pear
fresh from the warm sunshine. Then came "Christie Johnstone," a perfect
pearl of its kind, in which we recognize an important contribution to
one class of romance. If ever the literature of the fishing-coast shall
be compiled, it will be found to be scanty, but superlative; let us
suggest that it shall open with Lucy Larcom's "Poor Lone Hannah," the
most touching and tearful of the songs of New-England life,--followed by
Christie Johnstone's night at sea among the blue-lights and the nets
with their silver and lightning mixed, where the fishers struggle with
that immense sheet varnished in red-hot silver,--and at the end let not
the "Pilot's Pretty Daughter" of William Allingham's be forgotten:--

  "Were it my lot--there peeped a wish--
    To hand a pilot's oar and sail,
  Or haul the dripping moonlit mesh
    Spangled with herring-scale:
  By dying stars how sweet 'twould be,
  And dawn-blow freshening the sea,
  With weary, cheery pull to shore
  To gain my cottage-home once more,
  And meet, before I reached the door,
      My pretty pilot's daughter!"

But it is a fine fashion of this noble world never to acknowledge itself
too well pleased. Men are ashamed of satisfaction. So soon as they have
exhausted the honey, they condemn the comb; it will do to wax an old
wife's thread;--they forget that the cells whose sides break the usual
uniformity contain the royal embryos. Humdrum read these little novels
through and through, laughed and cried over them in secret, then pulled
a long face, stepped forth and denounced--the typography. Now we admit
that the page presents a fairer appearance with single punctuations,
unblurred by Italics, and its smooth surface unbroken by strings of
capitals;--but let us ask these criticasters for what purpose types were
cast at all. To assist the author in the expression of his ideas, and to
elucidate subtile shades of meaning? or to prove his let and hindrance,
and to wrap his expression in mystery? Whether or no, it is patent that
Charles Reade makes an exclamation--and an interrogation-point together
say as much as many novelists can dibble over a whole page.
Nevertheless, in his latest work these eccentricities are greatly
modified; yet who would forego in the sea-fight that almost inaudible,
breathless whisper of "Our ammunition is nearly done"? or again the
moment when Skinner pokes Mr. Hardie lightly in the side and says,
"But--I've--got--THE RECEIPT"? And could anything express the state of
young Reginald's mind so ineffably as the primer type of his letter to

A much less venial fault than any typographical trifle is a tendency
belonging to this author to repeat both incident and colloquy. This of
course is merely the result of negligence,--and negligence no one likes
to forgive; only Shakspeare can afford to be careless of his fame, and
the rags that his commentators make of him are a warning to all pettier
people. We have seen the manuscript of a man already immortal, so
interlined, erased, and corrected as to be undecipherable by any but
himself and the printer who has been for twenty years condemned to such
hard labor; surely others can condescend to the same pains;--yet we
doubt if Mr. Reade so much as looks his over a second time.

Many persons have a trick of writing their names, not on the fly-leaf of
the books they possess, but on the hundredth or the fiftieth page.
Perhaps it is according to some such brand of the warehouse that we find
in "Very Hard Cash," or in "White Lies," indifferently, such brief
dialogues as this:--


    "'Are you sure?'


Then, Reade's characters are perpetually doing the same thing. Josephine
and Margaret both seize their throats not to cry out; Josephine and
Margaret both kiss their babies alike,--a very pretty description of the
act, though:--

    "The young mother sprang silently upon her child,--you would have
    thought she was going to kill it,--her head reared itself again
    and again, like a crested snake's, and again and again, and again
    and again plunged down upon the child, and she kissed his little
    body from head to foot with soft violence, and murmured through
    her starting tears."

But not content with that, Margaret must reënact it. Then Gerard and
Alfred, returning from long absences, both find their only sister dead;
and the plot of three of the novels turns on the fact of long and
inexplicable absences on the part of the heroes. The Baroness de
Beaurepaire, who is flavored with what her maker calls the "congealed
essence of grandmamma," shares her horror of the jargon-vocabulary
equally with Mrs. Dodd, (the captain's wife, who "reared her children in
a suburban villa with the manners which adorn a palace,--when they
happen to be there"). There is a singular habit in the several works of
putting up marble inscriptions for folks before actual demise requires
it,--Hardie showing Lucy Fountain hers, Camille erecting one to Raynal.
All his heroines, as soon as they are crossed in love, invariably lose
their tempers, and invariably by the same process; all, without
exception, have violet eyes and velvet lips, (and sometimes the heroes
also have the latter!) and all of them should wear key-holes at their
ear-rings. Indeed, here is our quarrel with Mr. Reade. The conception of
an artless woman is impossible with him. Plenty of beautiful ideals he
creates, but with the actual woman he is almost unacquainted: Lucy
Fountain, of all his feminine characters, is the only one whose
counterpart we have ever met; Julia, the most perfect type of his fancy,
impetuous, sparkling, and sweet, has this to say for herself, on
occasion of a boat-race:--"'We have won at last,' cried Julia, all on
fire, '_and fairly; only think of that_!'" Through every sentence that
he jots down runs a vein of gentle satire on the sex. Every specimen
that he has drawn from it possesses feline characteristics: if provoked,
they scratch; if happy, they purr; when they move, it is with the bodies
of panthers; when they caress their children, it is like snakes; and in
every single one of his books the women listen, behind the door, behind
the hedge, behind the boat.

    "'He would make an intolerable woman,' says the Baroness. 'A fine
    life, if one had a parcel of women about one, blurting out their
    real minds every moment, and never smoothing matters!'

    "'Mamma, what a horrid picture!' cries Laure."

When upon this subject our author leaves innuendo, and fairly shows his
colors, he writes in this wise:--

    "For nothing is so hard to her sex as a long, steady struggle. In
    matters physical, this is the thing the muscles of the fair cannot
    stand. In matters intellectual and moral, the long strain it is
    that beats them dead. Do not look for a Bacona, a Newtona, a
    Handella, a Victoria Huga. Some American ladies tell us education
    has stopped the growth of these. No, Mesdames! These are not in
    Nature. They can bubble letters in ten minutes that you could no
    more deliver to order in ten days than a river can play like a
    fountain. They can sparkle gems of stories; they can flash little
    diamonds of poems. The entire sex has never produced one opera,
    nor one epic that mankind could tolerate a minute: and why?--these
    come by long, high-strung labor. But, weak as they are in the long
    run of everything but the affections, (and there giants,) they are
    all overpowering while the gallop lasts. Fragilla shall dance any
    two of you flat on the floor before four o'clock, and then dance
    on till peep of day. You trundle off to your business as usual,
    and could dance again the next night, and so on through countless
    ages. She who danced you into nothing is in bed, a human jelly
    crowned with headache."

Certainly, the concluding sentence shows that the writer is unacquainted
with the Fifth-Avenue Fragilla. And, moreover, we were unaware that she
had ever entered herself as competitor with Dr. Windship in the lifting
of three-thousand-pound weights. But this is poor stuff for a man of
talent to busy himself with,--as if the Creator intended rivalry between
beings complementary to each other, and of too diverse physical
organization to allow the idea. Yet a fair friend of ours would meet him
on his own ungallant ground. If Mr. Reade will trouble himself, says Una
and the Lion, to turn over a work of Frances Power Cobbe's on Intuitive
Morals, he will see that the first two impossibilities in his catalogue
are lessened so far as to allow hope; as for Handella, there is reason
to believe in her advent,--many women have written faultless tunes,--all
that is wanted is mathematical harmony,--and Mary Somerville, Maria
Mitchell, and the sister of the Herschels forbid despair on that point;
and God forbid the Victoria Huga! the male of the species is more than
enough. We must look upon any wide departure from the prevailing pattern
either as a monstrosity or as a development of the great plan;
therefore, if one of these women is a monstrosity, Laplace and Aristotle
are to be considered equally so. And then, also, Mr. Reade, masculine as
he is, finds eclipse in the shade of either Mrs. Lewes, (Marion Evans,)
or Charlotte Brontè, or Madame Dudevant. As for men, they are themselves
just emerging from barbarism; a race rises only with its women, as all
history shows. The whole sex has produced no operas? they are modern
things; when men have advanced a little, when our audience is ready, we
shall write operas. Epics? how many has the entire opposite sex
produced? well, four: terrible disparity, when we count by billions!
These are not in Nature? Whose assertion for that? till he can prove it,
the word of "some American ladies" is as good as the word of Mr. Charles
Reade. For myself, continued the outraged Una, I know a beautiful woman
who left lovers, society, pleasures,--absorbed in her moulding and
modelling, day by day and year by year, with no positive result except
in her own convictions and consciousness,--who spent the long summer
hours alone in the little building with her white ideas, and who, winter
night after night, rose to cross street and garden and snowy fields to
tend the fire and wet the clay, and who, on more than one morning
finding the weary labor of months wasted where the frozen substance had
peeled from the framework and lay in fragments on the floor, without a
murmur began the patient work again. That was during the trial;
afterwards attainment. Was there no long strain and steady struggle

Una's enthusiasm infects us; and very _apropos_ to all this do we hear
Mr. Reade's Jacintha remark,--

    "We are good creatures, but we don't trouble our heads with
    justice; it is a word you shall never hear a woman use, unless she
    happens to be doing some monstrous injustice at the very moment."

And with the best-natured contempt in the world, Dr. Sampson exclaims,--

    "What! go t' a wumman for the truth, when I can go t' infallible

Even Lucy Fountain saw many young ladies healed of many young
enthusiasms by a wedding-ring,--but a wittier woman has said it better,
Una declares, in asserting that a married woman's name is her epitaph.
If, however, Mr. Reade's opinion of womankind is at any time
justifiable, we must bring Una to witness that it is so in the following

    "Realize the situation, and the strange incongruity between the
    senses and the mind in these poor fellows! The day had ripened its
    beauty; beneath a purple heaven shone, sparkled, and laughed a
    blue sea, in whose waves the tropical sun seemed to have fused his
    beams; and beneath that fair, sinless, peaceful sky, wafted by a
    balmy breeze over those smiling, transparent, golden waves, a
    bloodthirsty pirate bore down on them with a crew of human tigers;
    and a lady babble babble babble babble babble babbled in their
    quivering ears!"

We have heard numberless inquiries as to Mr. Reade's private life, with
which, whether they have the right or not, the public will concern
itself. So at home is he on every subject that each appears to be his
specialty. One asserts that he follows Galen: witness his mania on
medicine. Certainly not, another replies; are not his principles
erroneous, and second-hand at that? Does he not dredge the science with
ridicule? No practitioner would gravely assert the feasibility of
transfusion, an operation never yet performed with success, since the
red globules of his own blood seem to be as proper to each individual as
his identity, and allow no admixture from alien veins; in surgery he has
but one foe,--phlebotomy; in pharmacy, but one friend,--chloroform; he
asserts of Dr. Sampson, (Dr. Dickson, the writer of "Fallacies of the
Faculty"?) that "he was strong, but not strong enough to make the
populace suspend an opinion; yet it might be done: by chloroforming
them." (Which leads one parenthetically to remark that it is great pity,
then, that, in the prevalent headlong precipitancy of public judgment,
anæsthetics have not been more generally employed on this side of the
water of late.) Certainly he is no physician, they say. But, on the
other hand, a conjecture that he has been before the mast is as
plausible a one as that ever Herman Melville was; there is the true
sailor's-roll about him; nobody less skilful than the captain of a
three-decker could have run the Agra through such a gantlet of
broadsides and hurricanes; the manoeuvring of the ship, when her
master puts her before the wind that he may rake one schooner's deck and
hurl the majestic monster bodily upon the other, is unequalled by
anything in nautical literature, and approached by nothing in verity,
except it may be Admiral Dupont's waltz of fire around the two forts of
Hilton Head. Another, who laughs at both of these amateur statements,
has a Grub-Street one; but, except to a favored few, to everybody in
this country he is only an impersonal existence. In this general dearth
of useful information, there are, however, one or two biographical
sketches afloat,--possibly hints of those waiting their chance in the
pigeon-holes of the Thunderer,--of which we are tempted to give the
reader a sample, brought to us by Una in substantiation of her

The subject of the present notice was picked up at sea, a child, and,
under the provisions of maritime law concerning flotsam, jetsam, and
lagan, was appropriated by the crew. He then followed their fortunes
for several years, with various adventures, among which is the one
wherein he is said to have accompanied Arthur Gordon Pym (disguised in
the published account of that voyage under the name and appearance of
one Peters) upon his fearful South-Sea sail towards that vapory cataract
at the world's end which was seen "rolling silently into the sea from
some immense and far-distant rampart of the heaven," from the horrors of
which he escaped in the same miraculous manner that Mr. Pym did. He must
still have been young at the time, as this occurred in 1838. Unable to
find any credence to these extraordinary statements upon his return, he
found an asylum from the unbelieving world, where, in order not to
become a permanent resident, and being capable of impartial judgment
thereon, he employed himself in a profound study of finance. Emerging
from this seclusion, lest he should defraud his natural element
entirely, he plunged into the hot water of the revolutions then ravaging
Europe. Receiving wounds, he was laid up in hospital; and being of an
active turn of mind and debarred from other pursuits, he fell (like Dr.
Marie Zakrzewski) to studying the cards renewed every day above the
patients' beds with the disease written thereon, its symptoms, and its
treatment; in this manner he acquired quite a knowledge of medicine. He
was, however, mercifully prevented from practising by the fact, that,
upon repeating his story to an acquaintance, he met, as before, with
such total disbelief, that, most fortunately for many readers, he
determined at once to devote the remainder of his days to fiction.

How much faith such a narrative deserves we leave others to decide. It,
however, has the virtue, as Una declares again, of plausibly explaining
Mr. Reade's entire misapprehension of the feminine portion of
humanity,--since, during the whole course of such a career, it would
have been impossible that he should have made intimate acquaintance with
a single specimen of the sex. It is true that in "Christie Johnstone" he
speaks of the musical performances of certain female relatives of his
own; but of course that is to be taken only as a part of the fiction.
One thing, however, is evident,--that, if this sketch is not true, the
converse of it must be, and where the reader has paid his money he may
take his choice.

Mr. Reade's latest novel, "Very Hard Cash," is a continuation of a
previous one, "Love me Little, Love me Long." A great charm of
Thackeray's books was, that in every fresh one we heard a little news of
the dear old friends of former ones; and "Very Hard Cash" has all the
advantage of prepossession in its favor. Its forerunner was a startling
thing to the circulating-library, for the hero was an entirely new
character, dashing among the elegancies of the habitual hero like a
shaggy dog in a drawing-room; and though the author admires him to the
core of his heart, he never once hesitates to put him in ridiculous
plight, and sets at last this diamond-in-the-rough in his purest and
most polished gold. It is a delightful book, with one scene in it, the
memorable night at sea, worth scores of customary novels, and, apart
from the noble and beautiful delineation of David Dodd, would be
invaluable for nothing else but its faultless portraiture of that
millinery devotee, Mrs. Bazalgette.

From two such natures as David and his wife nothing less noble should
spring; and therefore, through necessity, their daughter Julia, the
heroine of "Very Hard Cash," is that ideal of vehemence and sweetness
which we find her, not by any choice or fancy of the writer, but on
account of fate, natural deduction, and _a priori_ logic. She is,
however, for all that, to some extent a creation; one may imagine her,
long for her, look for her,--one will not immediately find her. Youth
never was painted so well as here; both Julia and Alfred are aureoled in
its beauty; they are not reasonable mortals with the accumulated
perfections of three-score and ten, but young creatures just brimmed, as
young creatures are, with the blissfulness of being. Nobody ever
appreciated youth as this writer does, nobody has so entered into it;
he never fails, to be sure, to make you laugh at it a little, but all
the time he confesses a kind of loving worship of that buoyant time when
the effervescence of the animal spirits fills the brain with its happy
fumes, of that fearless, confident period that

  "Is not, like Atlas, curled
  Stooping 'neath the gray old world,
  But which takes it, lithe and bland,
  Easily in its small hand."

We have often wondered that no one ever before grappled with the
material of this last volume. The easy ability of one person to
incarcerate another in a mad-house is as often abused in America as in
England, and circumstances in this drama which might strike a casual
reader as preposterous we can match with kindred and more hopeless cases
within our own knowledge. Perhaps one of the ablest portions of the
treatment which this book affords the theme is in the singular
collocation of characters,--the hero being wrongfully imprisoned as
insane, the heroine's father really made so by medical malpractice, the
hero's sister dying of injuries received from another maniac, his uncle
being imbecile, and his father and one of his physicians becoming
monomaniac. Nicer shades than these allow could not be drawn, and the
subject stands in bold relief as a monument of dauntless courage and

No one can hesitate to declare this novel, as it is the latest, to be
also the finest of all that Charles Reade has given us. In saying this
we do not forget the "Cloister and Hearth," which, however tender and
touching and true to its century, is rather a rambling narrative than an
elucidated plot. "Very Hard Cash" is wrought out with the finest finish,
yet nowhere overdone; it so abounds in scenes of dramatic climax that we
fancy the stage has lost immensely by the romance-reader's gain; yet
there is never a single situation thrown away, every word tends in the
main direction, and after that the prolific mind of the writer overflows
in _marginalia_. There are one or two striking improbabilities, which
Mr. Reade himself excuses by asserting that the commonplace is neither
dramatic nor evangelical,--and therefore we confess, that, so long as
Reginald Bazalgette had a ship, Captain Dodd was as likely to turn up on
that as on any other, the purser as likely to make his communication at
that moment as later, and the fly as likely to resuscitate the patient
as the surgeon. But the characterization in this book is wonderful;
every name becomes an acquaintance, from Mrs. Beresford, dividing Ajax's
emotion and declining to be drowned in the dark, with her servant
Ramgolam and his matchless Orientalisms, up to the loftier models, one
of whom he endows with this exquisite bit of description:--

    "A head overflowed by ripples of dark-brown hair sat with heroic
    grace upon his solid white throat, like some glossy falcon
    new-lighted on a Parian column."

We must, however, object to Fullalove, who is quite unworthy of the
author, though perhaps complacently regarded by him as a success, being
merely the traditional Yankee compound of patents and conjectures, a
little smarter than usual, as of course a passage through Mr. Reade's
pen must make him;--he never touched his brain. Vespasian, also, is not
so good as he might be, although one enjoys his contempt for the
pirate's crew of Papuans, Sooloos, and Portuguese, as a "mixellaneous
bilin' of darkies," and finds something inimitable in his injured
dignity over the anomalous _sobriquet_ afforded him, whose changes he
rings through analogy and anatomy till he declares himself to be only a
"darned anemone." The real charm of the book, however, lies in the
beautiful relation which it pictures between mother and children, and in
the nature of the daughter herself, so exuberant, so dancing, yet the
foam subsiding into such a luminous body of clearness, which so lights
up the page with its loveliness, that, seeing how an artless woman is
foreign to Mr. Reade's ideas, we are forced to believe that Nature was
too strong for him and he wrote against the grain. Nevertheless, there
is enough of his own prejudice retained for piquancy,--and since the
poor things must be insignificantly wicked, see how charming they can
be! There are many scenes between these covers that would well bear
repetition, were they not too fresh in the reader's mind to require it;
we will content ourselves with a single one, which contains the only
pretentious writing of the whole novel, done at a touch, with a light,
loose pen, but showing beyond compare the soul of the poet through the
flesh of the novelist.

    "At six twenty-five, the grand orb set calm and red, and the sea
    was gorgeous with miles and miles of great ruby dimples: it was
    the first glowing smile of southern latitude. The night stole on
    so soft, so clear, so balmy, all were loath to close their eyes on
    it; the passengers lingered long on deck, watching the Great Bear
    dip, and the Southern Cross rise, and overhead a whole heaven of
    glorious stars most of us have never seen and never shall see in
    this world. No belching smoke obscured, no plunging paddles
    deepened; all was musical; the soft air sighing among the sails;
    the phosphorescent water bubbling from the ship's bows; the
    murmurs from little knots of men on deck subdued by the great
    calm: home seemed near, all danger far; Peace ruled the sea, the
    sky, the heart: the ship, making a track of white fire on the
    deep, glided gently, yet swiftly, homeward, urged by snowy sails
    piled up like alabaster towers against a violet sky, out of which
    looked a thousand eyes of holy, tranquil fire. So melted the sweet
    night away.

    "Now carmine streaks tinged the eastern sky at the water's edge,
    and that water blushed; now the streaks turned orange, and the
    waves below them sparkled. Thence splashes of living gold flew and
    settled on the ship's white sails, the deck, and the faces; and,
    with no more prologue, being so near the line, up came
    majestically a huge, fiery, golden sun, and set the sea flaming
    liquid topaz.

    "Instant the lookout at the foretop-gallant-mast-head hailed the
    deck below.

    "'Strange sail! Right ahead!'

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Ah! the stranger's deck swarms black with men!

    "His sham ports fell as if by magic, his guns grinned through the
    gaps like black teeth; his huge foresail rose and filled, and out
    he came in chase.

    "The breeze was a kiss from Heaven, the sky a vaulted sapphire,
    the sea a million dimples of liquid, lucid gold."

In conclusion, we must pronounce Mr. Reade's merit, in our judgment, to
belong not so much to what he has already done as to what, if life be
allowed him, he is yet to do. All his previous works read like
'studies,' in the light of his last. For "Very Hard Cash" is the
beginning of a new era; it shows the careful hand of the artist doing
justice to the conceptions of genius, in the prime of his vigor, with
all his powers well in hand. The forms of literature change with the
necessities of the age,--to some future generation what illustration the
dramatists were to the Elizabethan day the knot of superior novelists
will be to this, and among them all Charles Reade is destined to no
subordinate rank.

       *       *       *       *       *


There are a thousand descriptions of Rome, its antiquities, galleries,
ceremonies, and manners, but hardly any, that I remember, of the
organization of the Papal Government,--that wonderful power which long
played the chief part in the social and political revolutions of Europe,
which, even in its decay, preserves so much of its original grandeur,
and still clings to its traditions with a tenacity of conviction that
commands our respect, although the remembrance of the evil that it has
done compels us, as men and as Christians, to rejoice at the prospect of
its fall.

This omission on the part of so many thoughtful travellers is by no
means an unnatural one. We go to Rome in order to see and to feel,
rather than to study and to think. The past crowds upon us overladen
with history and poetry; and the present is so full of new forms of life
that it is only when we come to sit down at a distance and gather up our
recollections that we ask ourselves how all the instruments of that
gorgeous pageantry are put together and moved. The Pope has palaces and
villas. The cardinals live in splendid apartments, and ride in massive
coaches of purple and gilt, drawn by horses richly caparisoned, and
attended by servants in livery. Bishops and prelates and monks and
priests and friars fill long processions on public occasions, and move
about in their daily life with the air and bearing of men who belong to
a sphere that common men have no concern in.

There is a church or a chapel for every day in the year, and some emblem
of external recognition for every saint in the calendar. There are
lenten days, when the rich eat fresh tunny from the Adriatic or eels
from Comacchio, and the poor whatever they can get; and holidays, when
the shops are shut and the churches and theatres open, and everybody
amuses himself as well as his tastes and his means allow. Nowhere are
processions so splendid, festivals so magnificent, the whole body of the
population accustomed, either as actors or as spectators, to such daily
displays of opulence and grandeur.

How is all this done? How do all these men live? What do they do for
themselves and for one another? What is the object of this
multiplication of insignia and titles? What is the meaning of the red
stockings and the purple stockings, and the red and the purple hat-band,
and the various decorations of the horses, and the infinite varieties of
cut and color and device in dress and equipage, which you begin to
distinguish only when you become accustomed to objects so unlike
anything you have ever seen before? For every one of them has a meaning,
and tells the instructed eye the hopes and aspirations and half the
history of the bearer as plainly as a tablet or an inscription.

Without attempting, on the present occasion, to answer all of these
questions in detail, I shall endeavor to give such an outline of the
organization of the Roman Government as shall cover the most important
of them.

The head of this vast body, the Pope, is better known than any of the
inferior members; for, as spiritual head of the Church and absolute
sovereign of her temporal dominions, his peculiar position has always
made him the object of peculiar attention. Officially, he was for
centuries the acknowledged chief of Christendom, jealous of his
prerogatives, bold in his assumptions, often feared where he was not
reverenced, and often courted and flattered where he inspired neither
reverence nor fear. Individually, his education and habits, the books he
reads and the company he keeps, have seldom led him to study the causes
of national prosperity, and still more seldom taught him to sympathize
with the feelings or respect the rights of mankind.

From his childhood, the purest source of sympathies and affections is
closed for him rigorously and hopelessly. He grows up as a stranger at
the family-hearth; for, as he sits there, he is taught that he can never
have a family-hearth of his own. He begins life by renouncing its
dearest privileges, and training all his faculties for a relentless war
upon himself,--for repressing natural impulses, not guiding them,
extirpating his passions, not subduing them, and aiming at an
insensibility that can be attained only by the sacrifice of every human
instinct, rather than that serene tranquillity of spirit in which every
passion is recognized as a power for good as well as for evil, and all
are subjected alike to the guidance of a discriminating and
conscientious self-control.

He is in a false position from his first step in life, and strays
farther and farther from the true course to the very end of it. His
hopes and aspirations are all directed to one object, trained to flow in
a dark and narrow channel, on which the sunbeams never play, and which
the pure breath of Nature never visits. His brothers and sisters have a
thousand things to talk about and think about which he has no part in.
If he joins in their games, it is still as the _abbatino_: the formal
small-clothes and narrow neckband and three-cornered hat that contrast
so strongly with their gay dresses are ever present to remind him and
them that they have different paths to travel, and have already entered
upon them. It is a dreary process that education of his, and one that
makes your heart ache to look upon. A rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed boy,
with boyish blood in his veins, running through them quick and warm, and
every now and then making them tingle with some boyish longing that will
out, although he is a priest in miniature and a Pope in prospective. I
never could look at it without thinking of the gardener, in the fulness
of his topiary pride, cutting trees and shrubs into towers and walls,
and every shape but that which Nature designed them for. Clip, clip, go
the long, scythe-like shears, and with every clip down comes a branch
with its thousand songs unsung, or a shoot with its half-blown promise
of spring. Cut away earnestly, patiently. You have your faith to help
you; and though your eyes are of the strongest and keenest, you have
never been taught to use them. Cut away till your arms ache and your
head swims with the strain of measuring angles and inches and pyramids
and obelisks; Nature is working at the root while you are warring on the
branches. True, the birds will not build where your shears have passed;
and the winds will wail where they would have piped it merrily, if the
young boughs had been there to dance to their breathings. But the roots
are tough and the trunks are strong, and the sap wells surely up from
those mysterious sources where, in darkness and silence, Nature works
her wondrous transformations,--proving, through each waxing and waning
year, by bud and leaf and branch, that, thwart and mutilate and deny her
as you may, she is the same kind mother still.

As life advances, the dividing lines grow sharper and more defined. He
has got his Latin, and, in getting it, read Virgil and Horace and
Cicero, as his brothers did. But henceforth St. Augustine becomes his
Cicero; and he already begins to suspect that the best service his Homer
and Thucydides and Demosthenes have rendered him has been by enabling
him to understand St. Chrysostom. What is Herodotus to the Lives of the
Saints, or Livy to Baronius? Why should he waste his time on human
nature in Tacitus, or follow, with Guicciardini, the tortuous paths of
princes, when he can find lessons more to his taste, and wisdom more to
his purpose, in Mabillon and Pallavicini? His daily conversation is
about the interests and concerns of his order, and, as he enters upon
its duties, about the questions which those duties raise, and the
rewards which their fulfilment promises or brings. It was a great day
for him and for his friends, when he first ascended the altar in cope
and stole; but mass soon becomes a daily exercise, and, like all things
done daily, sinks into routine. A still more anxious day was it, when he
first took his seat in the confessional to absolve and to condemn, to
interpret and to enjoin, to listen to secrets which are like the lifting
of the veil from one of the darkest mysteries of life, and feel the
breath that bore them through the punctures of the thin partition fall
on his cheek with a warmth that made his veins glow and his own breath
come fast and thick.

I once heard a confession of murder from the murderer's lips, as we sat
alone, side by side, on the same sofa. It was of a Sunday morning,
bright, beautiful, and still, one of those days in which earth looks so
pure and lovely that you can hardly believe sin could ever have found a
home thereon. He was a Sicilian, a gentleman by birth and fortune; and
when he first came into the room, apologizing for the intrusion, and
regretting that he was taking up my time with the business of a
stranger, I thought that I had never seen a more intelligent face or
felt more immediately at home with an utter stranger. He began his story
in a low, musical voice,--Italian loses none of its softness in the
mouth of a Sicilian,--and I had followed him through a midnight ride
over a wild and solitary road before I began to suspect how it was to
end. Then came the details: a sudden meeting,--angry words, heating to
madness blood already too hot,--a shot,--a body writhing on the ground
in its own blood. His voice hardly changed, though the tones, perhaps,
were somewhat deeper; but his cheek flushed and his eye kindled, and I
felt such a sickening shudder come over me as I had never felt before.
He was dressed in white, too,--spotless white, as it seemed to me, when
he first came into the room; I had even admired the neatness of his
trousers and waistcoat: but as I looked and listened, big drops of blood
seemed to come out upon them,--a drop for every word, slowly exuding
from some mysterious source, till he was bathed all over in it from head
to foot. A day or two afterwards, I met him upon the Pincian, in the
midst of walkers and riders and all the gay throng of a crowded
promenade at its most crowded hour. But the blood was on him still, and,
under the locks that clustered darkly over his forehead, the
ineffaceable mark of Cain.

But even the story of murder may become familiar. Human nature at the
confessional is the dark side of human nature, and it is as hard for the
moral eye to preserve a healthy tone in the midst of this moral darkness
as for the physical eye to preserve its clearness and strength in the
constant presence of physical darkness. Curious questions come up there,
undoubtedly, of a deep, strange interest, and often, too, of a deep and
strange fascination. But it is not Nature's generous impulses, its
tender yearnings, its noble aspirations, that the stricken conscience
pours into the confessor's ear. The strugglings and writhings of the
soul, the convulsive efforts to cast off an insupportable burden, to
escape from an insufferable anguish, to find rest for itself in its
weariness, peace for its warring passions, an answer and a solution to
its doubts,--these are the events of the confessional. And its fruits
are the folios of Molina and Vasquez and Filutius and Lessius and
Escobar, wherein sin and temptation are weighed in scales so delicate
that the tenderest conscience can hardly hesitate to indulge itself now
and then in the flowery little by-paths that run so pleasantly close to
the straight and narrow way. It was not in the confessional that
Filangieri and Gioja and Romagnosi studied, that Adam Smith sought the
secret of national prosperity, or that Sismondi found that perennial
fountain of generous sympathies, which, through his fifty years of
incessant labor, welled up with such a quickening and invigorating
vitality from the profound investigations of the historian and the
patient statistics of the economist.

Not all, however, who wear the priest's dress are confessors and
priests. There is a body of reserves always in waiting upon the vast
army of regular ecclesiastics: men ready to push forward into the
ranks, but who stop short at the _prima tonsura_ till they have
ascertained how much their chances will be bettered by taking the final
and irrevocable step. Yet, although they now and then bring somewhat
more of worldly leaven into their intellectual and moral training, they
well know that there is but one road to the red hat and the tiara, and
that they who give themselves up to this ambition must give themselves
up to it with undivided hearts. Thus the models which they set before
themselves, the ideals after which they strive, are all taken from
successful aspirants to the honors of the Church. And the interests of
that great body, as a body independent of laymen, and which can preserve
its immunities only by preserving its independence, and its independence
only by a rigid exclusion of foreign elements,[A] become as dear to them
as if they already enjoyed all its privileges and had assumed all its

If any one wishes to know what sort of statesmen such an education
makes, let him go thoughtfully over the twenty legations, prolegations,
delegations, and governments into which the twelve thousand nine hundred
and twenty square miles of the Pontifical States were still divided only
four years ago, and see how the two million nine hundred and eighty
thousand subjects of the Pope lived and throve under the care of
cardinals and prelates. Subtle negotiators, skilled in the crooks and
tangles of a wily and selfish policy, they have always been,--for they
have studied well the selfish elements of the human heart; patient, too,
and persevering and keen-eyed, as they must needs be who walk in
tortuous ways,--but cold, contracted, and arrogant, mistaking artifice
for statesmanship, unwilling to learn from the lessons of the past, and
unable to comprehend the changes that are going on around them, or to
see that every forward step of the human race is the result of causes
which man has sometimes been permitted to modify, but which he can never
hope to control.

It is from men thus educated that the Pope and his counsellors are

As far as theoretical origin goes, the Pope is the most democratic of
sovereigns; for there is nothing to prevent his being taken from any
rank or order of the faithful. The sons of peasants and mechanics have
sat upon the Papal throne, and the thunderbolts of the Vatican have been
launched by hands familiar with the pruning-knife and the plough. But in
practice these bounds were effectually narrowed, when the college of
cardinals tacitly restricted the choice to the members of their own
body,--and still more effectually, when, by the same silent usurpation,
they resolved that Adrian of Utrecht should be the last of foreign
pontiffs. For three hundred and forty years none but Italians have been
called to the chair of St. Peter's, thus, by an inevitable result of the
unnatural alliance of temporal with spiritual sovereignty, confining the
birthright of Christendom to the nation which all Christendom delighted
to humiliate and oppress.

Theoretically, also, the election of the Pope is made by the special
intervention of the Holy Ghost, although the doings of most conclaves
fill many pages of very unholy history. Intrigues begin the moment the
Pope's health is known to be failing, and grow thicker and more
intricate with each unfavorable bulletin. There are few among the
cardinals who do not feel that they have at least a chance of election;
and not one, perhaps, but enters the conclave prepared to make the most
of his individual pretensions. Some even, like Consalvi at the conclave
of Leo XII., set their hearts so strongly upon it that they have been
supposed to have died of the disappointment. Great services are not
always the best recommendation; for it is difficult to serve the public
well without making some private enemies. Little griefs, long forgotten
by the offender, but carefully treasured up in the more tenacious memory
of the offended, have more than once proved insurmountable obstacles in
the path to the throne. Each, too, of the great Catholic powers has a
right to exclude one among the candidates, if the exclusion be announced
before the votes are all given in: a privilege which, as it narrows the
circle of the eligible and increases individual chances, seldom fails to
be faithfully exercised. Indeed, up to the last moment, no one can tell
who may and who may not be chosen. The most prominent candidates are
often the first to be set aside; and the election, like all elections,
from that of a President of the United States to that of a
village-constable, is oftener decided by a combination of personal
ambitions and interests than by those pure and elevated motives which
look so attractive in the programme.

The death of the Pope is announced by the tolling of the great bell of
the Capitol, and with all convenient haste the nine days' funeral
begins. Everybody that has been at Rome will remember the beautiful
little chapel on the right hand as you enter St. Peter's; for in the
niche above the altar is the group of the Virgin with the dead Christ on
her knees, one of the few works which the volcanic genius of Michel
Angelo could bring itself to finish in marble. In this chapel, directly
in front of this marvellous group, the body of the dead Pope, embalmed
and clad in Pontifical robes, is laid on a sumptuous bier, amid a blaze
of tapers, with sentinels from the Swiss guard at his feet, leaning on
their long halberds, and officers of the household in official costume,
and all that imposing mixture of sacred and profane which Rome knows so
well how to use upon all great occasions. And here, day after day, the
faithful still crowd to take the last look of their "Holy Father," and
kiss the cross on his slipper, and repeat a prayer for his soul. And
hundreds among them, especially the very young and the very old, go a
few yards farther on to the bronze statue of St. Peter, once the bronze
statue of Jupiter, and with equal faith imprint a fervent kiss on the
well-worn toe, and repeat a prayer for themselves.

On the opposite side, over the doorway that leads to the dome, is a
large sarcophagus of white marble, looking down, if marble can be
supposed to look, upon the monument of the last of the Stuarts: dead
Pope and dead King almost face to face; crown and tiara mouldering
within a few paces of each other; for in that sarcophagus Pope after
Pope has silently taken his place, till summoned by the death of his
successor to go down to the darker slumbers of the vaults below. And at
the close of the ninth day of the funeral, when the crowd is gone, and
the doors are closed, and the evening shadows begin to fall upon chapel
and altar, and the votive tapers twinkle like dim stars through the
gathering gloom, the sarcophagus is opened, the coffin taken out and
examined and then carried down to the vault, the newly dead is raised to
his temporary resting-place, and amid a silence seldom broken by
lamentation the apostolic notary writes by flickering torchlight that
once more the successor of the throne has become the successor of the

Then begins the conclave. Each cardinal comes in state with his two
_conclavistas_, or conclave-companions, usually prelates, and always
chosen with a view to the services they may be able to render in the
approaching struggle; the mass of the Holy Spirit is solemnly said, if
not always devoutly listened to; the ambassadors of the Catholic powers
utter their official exhortations to harmony and a single eye to the
good of the Church; and when they withdraw, the mason of the conclave
steps gravely forth, trowel in hand, to build up a solid wall of brick
and mortar betwixt the electors and that world which still looks forward
with curious interest, although with diminished faith, to the result of
the election.

The conclave, as the name indicates, is a room, and when the
constitution of the customary circular letters announcing his election,
the new Pope, John XXI., better known, if known at all, by his
"Thesaurus Pauperum" than by his administration of the Holy See, issued
a Bull confirming the suspension of the obnoxious constitution, as
containing things "obscure, impracticable, and opposed to the
acceleration of the election." The next conclave lasted six months and
eight days.

Still the conclave is a kind of imprisonment, which nothing but that
love of power which reconciles man to so many things he hates, and those
hopes that never die in hearts that have once cherished them, could
induce seventy men accustomed to lives of luxury and indulgence to
submit to. The usual place of holding it is the Quirinal, a cooler and
healthier palace than the Vatican; and, in a spirit very different from
that of the Gregorian constitution, everything is done to make it as
comfortable as is consistent with narrow space and walled-up doors. Each
cardinal has four small rooms for himself and his two companions, and
the number and quality of the dishes at his dinner and supper depend
upon his own habits and the skill of his cook. The approaches are
guarded by the senators and _conservatori_, patriarchs and bishops, and
at meal-times, a judge of the _Rota_ is stationed at the dumb-waiter to
examine the dishes as they are brought up, and make sure that the
intrigues within get no help from the intrigues without. Daily mass
forms, of course, a part of the daily routine, and is followed by the
morning vote.

The voting usually begins with the _scrutinio_, or, as we should term
it, the ballot. Each cardinal writes his own name and that of his
candidate on a ticket. Then, with many ceremonies and genuflections, not
very edifying to profane eyes, if profane eyes were permitted to see
them, but each of which has its mystical interpretation, he ascends to
the altar and lays his ticket on the communion-plate, whence it is
transferred to the chalice,--communion-plate and communion-cup playing a
part in the ceremony which has made more than one good Catholic groan
deeply in spirit. The votes are then counted, care being taken that they
correspond in number to the number of cardinals present, and if any
candidate is found to have two-thirds of the votes cast, the election is
complete. If, however, the legal two-thirds are not reached, any voter
may change his vote by saying that he accedes to the votes thrown in
favor of any other candidate. This mode of election is called
_accession_, and has often been found successful where the prominence of
any candidate was sufficient to make it evident that two or three votes
would secure a choice.

_Inspiration_ is another mode of election, not so common as the ballot,
but which, whenever any candidate has succeeded in forming a strong
party, is not without its advantages. Several cardinals call out
together the name of their candidate, and if many of them agree in
calling the same name, the rest are seldom willing to hold out in open
opposition to a choice which after all may be made without them: the
successful candidate always being expected to remember those who
favored, and seldom known to forget those who opposed his election.

A fourth and last mode, never resorted to except in desperate straits,
and when the contest seems interminable, is by _delegation_: the power
of choice being delegated by the cardinals to one or more of their
number, and all solemnly pledging themselves to abide by the decision.
It was thus that Gregory X. was chosen by a delegation of six,--and that
John XXII. became Pope after two years of regular voting had failed to
procure a successor to the Prince of the Apostles. It has been said,
however, that John, who, partly by his talents and partly by fraud, had
raised himself from the lowest walks of life, had no sooner secured a
pledge of concurrence than he announced his own name as that of the
candidate of his choice. Surprised, but not edified, the cardinals made
no opposition to his elevation, for Christendom and folio crammed with
projects and reports: bishops and missionaries transport him in a moment
from England to China, from Egypt to Peru. If you could look into those
piles of papers which are awaiting his signature, you would find
petitions and remonstrances, death-warrants and pardons, political
processes and criminal processes, schemes for a new bishopric or a new
canonization, plans for a cathedral in New York or a convent in Syria,
for a new prison in the Patrimony or a new tax in the Marches,
architecture and law, finance and theology, sacred and profane all
jumbled together: and what wonder they should keep jumbled, from the
beginning to the end, from his coronation to his funeral, leaving him,
even with the best intentions and the most untiring industry, a helpless
prey to intrigues and cabals and all the artifices and deceptions which
beset a throne? Gioja and Romagnosi are under the ban, and he has no
wish to ask them for the clue to the labyrinth he is wandering in, even
if he had the time. He has no time to read the newspapers. His knowledge
of them is derived from abstracts prepared for him by a clerk in the
Governor's office,--containing, therefore, what the minister allows to
be put there, and nothing more; while their living pictures, those
columns of advertisements which bring before you day by day the wants
and hopes and pursuits of so many of your fellow-creatures, carrying
you, as it were, into hundreds of families, and laying open to your
scrutiny hundreds of human hearts, the different lights in which men and
things appear to the organs of different parties, and the proof which,
in the midst of their contradictions, they all concur in giving that
there is a spirit abroad which cannot be lulled to sleep, are lessons
all lost for him, and which, perhaps, would be equally lost, even if he
had the leisure and the knowledge to study them.

He dines alone,--for in the city, in the dearth of publicans and
sinners, no one can sit at table with the Vicar of Christ; and thus
dinner-hour, the open-hearted hour, puts him almost more absolutely in
the hands of his immediate attendants than any hour of the twenty-four.
If he walks, it is in the garden or library; if he rides, it is
surrounded by guards and followed by his household train. He took his
last walk in the streets when he was a prelate, and thenceforth knows no
more of the city than he can see through his carriage-windows; and now
even that imperfect view is more than half cut off by the officers of
the guard, who ride their great black horses close to the carriage-door.

But enough of the Pope, and much more than I had intended when I first
took up my pen. That, even when he has studied them most, the temporal
interests of his people must suffer in his hands, has been proved by the
sufferings of millions through centuries of oppression and misrule. And
must it not always be so, when the interests of husbands and fathers are
intrusted to men cut off by education and profession from the domestic
sympathies wherein these interests have birth, and that domestic hearth
which is at once the source and the emblem and the purifier of the

The electors and advisers of the Pope form the College of Cardinals,
seventy in number, when full: six bishops, fifty priests, and fourteen
deacons; once merely the parish priests of Rome, then princes of the
Church and electors of its visible head. In this body, formerly so
important and on which so much still depends, all Catholic Europe has
its representatives, although it is mainly composed of native Italians.
Many of them are men of exemplary piety, many of them eminent for talent
and learning, but some, too, mere worldlings, raised by intrigue or
favor or the necessities of birth to a position too exalted for weak
heads, and too much beset with temptation for corrupt hearts.

The path that leads to the sacred college is neither a straight nor a
narrow one. There are no prescribed qualifications of age or of rank.
Leo X. was cardinal at thirteen; and although no such premature
appointment to the gravest duties has been made since, or will ever,
probably, be made again, yet there is always a salutary sprinkling of
youth in this eminent body, if priests and prelates can ever be said to
be truly young. And although families of a certain rank are sure of the
speedy promotion of any child whom they may see fit to dedicate to the
Church, yet the representative of untainted blood has often found
himself side by side with the son of a peasant or of an artisan. The
cardinal is not necessarily even a priest. Adrian V. died without
ordination; and Leo X. held the keys of St. Peter four days with
unconsecrated hands. He may even have been married, but must be single
again when he puts on the red hat.

The appointment is made by the Pope, and, although announced to the
whole body assembled in consistory, requires no confirmation to make it
valid. Certain offices lead to it, and are known as cardinalate offices.
Every prelate looks forward to it with hope, and every priest with
longing; and besides the priests and prelates, the regular orders also,
the monks and friars, claim a representation in the college. But
whatever the pretensions or expectations of individuals may be, the
decision rests with the Pope, whose good-will, adroitly managed, has
often let fall the coveted honor upon men who had little else to
recommend them. It was certainly honorable to this reverend body in our
own day that they numbered Mai and Mezzofante among their brethren; but
in Rome the story ran that neither the palimpsestic labors of the one
nor the fifty languages of the other would have won him the well-earned
promotion, if the Pope's favorite servant had not set his heart upon
making his children's tutor assistant-librarian of the Vatican.

Although nominally the council of the Pope, the consistory or official
assembly of the cardinals has few of the characteristics of a
deliberative body. The Pope addresses them from his throne; but the
substance of his address is already known to most of them beforehand,
and his opinion upon the subject, as well as theirs, made up before they
come together. They have no constituents to enlighten, nothing to hope
and nothing to fear from public opinion. They are all so near the
topmost round that each of them is justified in feeling as if he already
had his hand upon it; but to whichever of them that envied preëminence
may be destined, it is neither the favor nor the gratitude of the people
that can raise him to it. What they already hold they are sure of; and
it is only to the good-will of their colleagues that they are to look
for more.

But it is in those public meetings that the Roman court puts on all its
splendor. The very hall has a grave and imposing air about it that
inspires serious thoughts in serious minds, and checks, for a moment,
the frivolous vivacity of lighter ones. You cannot look at the walls
without feeling a solemn sadness steal over you, as you think of the
thousands of your fellow-creatures who have gazed on them with the same
freshness and fulness of life with which you now gaze on them, since
Raphael and Michel Angelo first clothed them with their own immortal
conceptions, three hundred years ago. It was in an assembly like this,
and perhaps in this very room, that the condemnation of Luther was
pronounced, that Henry was proclaimed "Defender of the Faith," and that
Cardinal Pole rejoiced with his brethren of the purple over the
approaching return of England to the bosom of the Church. And as you are
musing on these things, and centuries seem to pass before you like the
figures of a dream, the room gradually fills, the cardinals come in and
take their places, each clad in the simple majesty of the purple, and
last of all comes the Pope himself, the steel sabres of his guard
ringing on the marble floor with a clang that breaks the harmonious
silence most discordantly. Then in a moment all is hushed again. The
cardinals go one by one to pay their homage to their spiritual father,
kneeling and kissing the cross on his mantle, he blessing them all, as
duteous children, in return. If you are an American and a Catholic, you
look on devoutly, feeling, perhaps, at moments, although you take good
care not to say so, that, although highly edifying, it is a little dull;
if an American and a Protestant, you think of the morning prayer in
Congress, and members with newspapers or half-read letters in their
hands, a very busy one now and then forgetting that he is standing with
his hat on, and all of them in a hurry to have it over and enter upon
the business of the day,--or of a reception-night, perhaps, at the White
House, with the President shaking hands as fast as they can be held out,
and trying hard to smile each new-comer into the belief that the
"present incumbent" is the very best man he can vote for at the next

But hush! the Pope is speaking,--not always as orators speak, it is
true, but gravely, at least, and with that indefinable air of dignity
which the habit of command seldom fails to impart. The language is
sonorous, and if you have had the good sense to unlearn your barbarous
application of English sounds--cunningly devised by Nature herself to
keep damp fogs and cold winds out of the mouth--to Italian vowels, which
the same judicious mother framed with equal cunning to let soft and
odoriferous airs into it, you will probably understand what he says, for
his speech is generally in Latin, and very good Latin too.[B]

But still you grow tired, and, like the actors in the splendid pageant,
are heartily glad when it is all over,--well pleased to have seen it,
but, unless a sight-seer by nature, equally pleased to feel that you
will never be compelled by your duty to your guide-book and _cicerone_
to see it again.

There are three kinds of consistory,--the private, the public, and the
semi-public. The most interesting are those in which ambassadors are
received, for the ambassador's speech gives some variety to the routine.
But in substance they are all equally splendid, equally formal, and--now
that the world no longer looks to the Vatican for its creeds--all
equally insignificant and dull.

Thus it is not as a deliberative body that the cardinals take part in
the government. Their collective functions are for the most part purely
formal, and the great wheel turns steadily on its axle without any
direct help from them. But as sole electors of the sovereign, whom they
are not only to choose, but to choose from among themselves, and as the
body from which the highest functionaries of the State are drawn, their
individual influence is always very considerable, often whatever they
have the tact and skill to make it.

Another body which shares with the "Sacred College" the privilege of
furnishing the instruments of government is the Prelacy,--a term which
must be taken in its restricted sense, of men, whether laymen or
ecclesiastics, destined by profession to various offices of dignity and
trust in the civil and ecclesiastical administration, some of which lead
directly to the cardinalate, and all of them to personal privileges and
a competent income. Their education is often less exclusive than that of
the priests, for many of them have belonged to the world before they
gave themselves up to the Church, and profane studies have employed some
of the time which might otherwise have been devoted to Bellarmino and
his brethren. In dress they are distinguished by the color of their
stockings and hat-band. When they walk out, a liveried servant follows
them a few paces in the rear; and while the cardinals, from
"Illustrious" have become "Eminent," these aspirants to the purple are
always addressed as "Monsignore," or "My Lord."

The first set of wheels in this complicated machine is composed of the
twenty-three Congregations, a kind of executive and deliberative
committees, consisting of cardinals and prelates, and first used by
Sixtus V., as a speedier and more effective method of eliciting the
opinions of his counsellors and bringing their administrative talents
into play than the deliberations in full consistory which had obtained
till his time. Sixteen of them are ecclesiastical, the remaining seven
civil, although the number may at any time be restricted or enlarged
according to the wants and the views of the reigning Pontiff. They have
their stated meetings, their regular offices and officers; and while
theoretically under the immediate direction of the sovereign, they
actually relieve him from many of the details and not a few of the
direct responsibilities of sovereignty.

The first of these Congregations bears a name which sounds harshly in
Protestant ears, although but a shadow of that fearful power which once
carried terror to every fireside, and made even princes tremble and turn
pale on their thrones. The Holy Office still retains the form and
authority conferred upon it by Paul III., if not the spirit breathed
into it by the grasping Innocent and fiery Dominic. Its dark walls,
which so long shrouded darkest deeds, stand close to St. Peter's, under
the very eye of the Pope, as he looks from his bedroom-window,--within
ear-shot of the thousands whom curiosity or devotion brings yearly to
the church or to the palace, little heeding, as they gaze on the dome of
Michel Angelo or climb the stairway of Bernini, that almost beneath the
pavement they tread on are dungeons and chains and victims.

But the Inquisition, you say, is no longer the Inquisition of three
hundred years ago. Bunyan tells us that Christian, on his pilgrimage to
the Celestial City, saw, among other memorable sights, a cave hard by
the way-side, wherein sat an old man, grinning at pilgrims as they
passed by, and biting his nails because he could not get at them. And
now let me tell you a story of the Inquisition which I know to be true.

Some twenty-five years ago there lived in Rome a physician well known
for his professional skill, and still better for his good companionship
and ready wit. He was, in fact, a pleasant companion, fond of a good
story, fonder still of his dog and gun, fondest of all of talking about
poetry and reciting verses, which he could do by the hour,--sometimes
repeating whole pages from Dante or Petrarch or Tasso or his favorite of
all, Alfieri,--and sometimes extemporizing sonnets, or _terzine_, or
odes, with that wonderful facility which Nature has given to the Italian
_improvvisatore_ and denied to the rest of mankind. It has often been
remarked that the study of medicine goes hand in hand with a certain
boldness of speculation not altogether in harmony with the lessons of
the priest. No one who has lived in Italy long enough to get at the true
character of the people can have failed to observe this in Italian
physicians; and our doctor, like many of his brethren, was suspected of
carrying his speculations into forbidden fields. Still, his practice was
large, and went on increasing. Laymen, if they must needs be sick, were
glad to have him at their bedsides; and there were even men with purple
on their shoulders who had strong faith in his skill, if they had strong
doubts of his orthodoxy. Externally he conformed to the requirements of
the Church: heard mass of Sundays, and went once a year to the
confessional; for this much is a police regulation, a tax upon
conscience which every Roman is bound to pay. But he was too much behind
the scenes to do it with a good will, and saw professionally too much of
the daily life of the clergy, looked too freely and too closely at some
of their "pleasant vices," to feel much reverence either for them or for
their teachings.

Suddenly his chair, for he was professor in the medical college, was
taken from him: a warning, thought his friends, that unfriendly eyes
were upon him; and so, also, thought some of his patients, and called in
a new physician. Still his general practice continued large; and
although he found a little more time for his wife,--for a father to sit
in, in darkness and silence, and recall the sunny faces and sweet
prattle of his children. But he felt that unseen eyes might be watching
him even there, and that a sigh, though breathed never so softly, might
reach the ears of some who would rejoice in it and come all the more
confidently to the work they had resolved to do upon him. So, setting
down his lamp, he made two or three turns across the room, and then,
drawing out his watch, as if to assure himself that it was bedtime,
deliberately undressed and went to bed.

And to sleep?

You will not call him coward, if with closed eyes he lay wakeful upon
his pillow, thinking over the last hour with a heart that beat quick,
though it faltered not, listening vainly for some sound to break the
unearthly silence, and longing for daylight, if, indeed, the light of
day was permitted to visit that lonely cell. It came at last, the
daylight,--though not as it was wont to come to him in his own dear
home, with a fresh morning breath and a fresher song of birds, waking
familiar voices and greeted with endearing accents. How would it be in
that home this morning? How had it been there through the slow hours of
that feverish night? How was it to be thenceforth with those precious
ones, and with him too, whom they all looked to for guidance and

He got up and dressed himself a little more carefully than usual,
resolved that there should be no outside telltales of the thoughts that
were struggling within. He had hardly finished dressing when the door
opened. Neither footsteps in the corridor nor the turning of the key had
he heard, but there stood a familiar of the Inquisition, friar in dress,
and with the stony face of a man accustomed to live by lamp-light and
talk in whispers. He brought the prisoner's breakfast,--coffee and
bread. "You have been listening," thought M----; "but I will be even
with you." And to make a fair start, he refused to touch either the
bread or the coffee until the familiar had tasted both.

The morning passed slowly, though he helped it along as well as he could
by repeating verses and writing a sonnet on the wall with his pencil.
Dinner came: a good meal, more substantial than dungeon-air could give
an appetite for; but he ate it. Supper followed,--brought by the same
silent familiar who had served breakfast and dinner, and who still came
with the same noiseless step, set the dishes upon the table, tasted the
food as the Doctor bade him, and then went silently away.

Five days passed, slowly, monotonously, wearily. Five nights of
unwelcome dreams and sleep that brought no rest. The close air and
narrow bounds began to tell upon his appetite and strength. He had soon
gone over his poets. Fortunately, they were well chosen and would bear
repeating. The fountain in his own mind, too, was still full, and he
found great relief in declaiming extempore verses in a loud voice, and
writing out those that pleased him best. But could he hold out? for it
was evidently intended to wear him down by anxiety and solitude, and
when they had broken his spirits bring him to an examination.

At last a new face appeared: not cold like that of the familiar, nor
wreathed in smiles like that of a successful enemy, but wearing a decent
expression of gravity tempered by compassion. And "How do you do,
Doctor?" asked the visitor in a soothing voice, trained like his face to
tell lies at his bidding.

"Well, Father, perfectly well."

"I am very glad to hear it. I was afraid your appetite might have
suffered from the sudden change in your mode of life."

"Not in the least. I have a sound stomach, and can digest anything you
send me."

"And how do you contrive to pass your time? For so active a man, the
change is very great."

"Oh, that is easy enough. I am very fond of poetry, and have such a good
memory that I know volumes of it by heart. There is nothing pleasanter
than repeating verses that you like,--except, perhaps, making verses

"Do you ever compose?"

"I? It has always been my favorite pastime. Would you like to hear some
of my verses?"

The sympathizing father was, of course, too happy; and M---- recited, in
his most effective manner, a sonnet, not very complimentary to
eavesdroppers and spies. A shadow passed over the monk's face; but he
was too well trained to let out his feelings prematurely; and resuming
the conversation as if nothing had occurred to disturb his equanimity,
he told M---- in his softest tone that he hoped there had been nothing
in his treatment to complain of. M---- sprang to his feet.

"Oh, this, by Heaven, is too much, even from you! Nothing to complain
of! To tear the father of a family from the arms of his wife and
children, a physician from patients who are looking to him for life and
health,--and nothing to complain of!"

It was just the question he wanted; and partly from design, and partly
from irrepressible indignation, he poured out a torrent of invective and
reproach which soon sent his visitor away, perfectly convinced that the
spirit they had undertaken to break had not yet begun to bend.

Five more weary days, and then began the examination,--cautious, minute,
perplexing: questions framed to entangle; charges advanced, not for
discussion, but for conviction; a review of the whole course and tenor
of his past life; his stories and verses; his jests among friends;
sayings that he had forgotten; things that he had done years before,
mixed up with things that he had never done; all adroitly commingled,
and so skilfully arranged, that, while each seemed comparatively
unimportant in itself, each had its place prepared for it with malignant
craft and wondrous subtlety; and all taken together forming a network of
harmonious evidence from which there seemed no possibility of escape.
Familiar as he was with the history of the Holy Office, and aware as he
had always been that his steps, like those of every man upon whom
suspicion had ever fallen, were dogged by spies, he had never supposed
that his daily life had been tracked with such persistence, and so
carefully treasured up against him.

He saw his danger, and saw, too, that the course he had resolved upon in
the first hour of his arrest was the only course that could save him.
Denial would be useless. They expected it and were well prepared for it.
But it remained to be seen whether they were equally well prepared for
frank confession and adroit interpretation. To every question with
regard to acts or words he answered, "Yes, I did so,--I said
so,--but"--and then, by putting an unexpected interpretation upon it, he
either stripped it of its offensive bearing, or reduced it to an idle
jest of which nothing worse could be said than that it was indiscreet.

The fathers were puzzled. For denial they had proofs. Prevarication they
were familiar with, and never so happy as when they saw a poor,
perplexed, bewildered victim vainly struggling in the toils, driven
triumphantly from subterfuge to subterfuge, and at last, with nerveless
arms and faltering tongue, dropping hopeless upon his chair, as the
conviction forced itself upon him that he was there, not for trial, but
for condemnation.

But a bold, self-possessed, self-reliant man, looking them in the face
with an eye as keen and scrutinizing as their own, answering every
question promptly in a firm voice, and, just as the blow seemed ready to
fall, parrying it by a movement so skilful as to compel his adversary to
change his ground and gird himself up for a new attack,--this was
something which, with all their experience, they had not counted upon,
and knew not how to meet. Day after day he was brought to the bar. Hour
after hour they laboriously plied question upon question. On their side
was the written record,--nothing omitted, nothing forgotten; the words
of yesterday close by the words of ten years ago; each accusation
propping the others; and every explanation and answer written minutely
down, to be brought out unexpectedly, and compared with each new one as
it came. On his, a ready wit, perfect self-control, a thorough knowledge
of the character of those whom he was dealing with, a remarkable command
of language, and a courage that nothing could shake.

It was an exhausting process, and the Inquisitors, like the royal patron
of their institution, well knew that time was a powerful ally. Still
they resolved to call in a new one to their aid. M---- was known to be
very fond of his family; and long experience had taught the reverend
fathers that even the manliest heart may be shaken by a sudden awakening
of tender emotions. The examinations were discontinued. For three days
M---- was left to the solitude of his cell,--a solitude deeper and more
unnerving from contrast with the mental tension of the last fortnight.
Then, at the usual hour of examination, the door opened. The usual
attendants were in waiting. "Now for a new trial of wits," thought he,
as he rose to follow them. Then it occurred to him that it might be for
sentence that he was summoned; and while he was weighing the
probabilities, and calling up his strength for the occasion, he reached
the door, the attendants threw it open, and he found himself in the
presence, not of his judges, but of his wife and children. Pale,
bewildered, looking timidly towards him, through eyes dim with tears,
there they stood, utterly at a loss what to say or what to do.

He felt his heart bound. But he saw the snare, and, repressing his
emotions by a powerful effort, held out his hand instead of opening his
arms, and bidding them, cheer up and give themselves no uneasiness about
him, and above all not to let their enemies fancy that either he or they
would be cast down by anything that they could do, he calmly turned to
the guards, and told them, that, if that stale trick was all they had
brought him there for, they had better take him back to his cell.

Meanwhile his friends were not idle: and he had friends, as I have
already hinted, even in the sacred college. With a cardinal on your
side, you may do many things in Rome which it would hardly answer to
venture upon without him; for who can tell but that that Cardinal may
one day be Pope? The precise nature of the accusation lodged against him
M---- never knew; but he had gathered enough from the interrogatories to
feel that he had got lightly off, when he found himself condemned to say
his prayers and read books of devotion three months in a convent, with
the privilege of walking in the garden and talking theology with the
elder brethren.

And thus the old man whom Bunyan's English Pilgrim saw in the cave by
the way-side two hundred years ago still sits there, biting his nails
and grinning, not altogether impotently, at Roman Pilgrims, to this very

The Congregation of the Holy Office is composed of thirteen cardinals,
one of whom is secretary, and an assessor, a commissary, counsellors,
and several officers taken from the prelates and regular orders. The
Pope himself is Prefect. The counsellors meet on Mondays in the Palace
of the Inquisition; the whole body on Wednesdays in the Convent of the
Minerva,--where St. Dominic still smiles upon his faithful
followers,--and Thursdays before the Pope. The examination of their
records and the opening of their prisons, during the brief existence of
the "Roman Republic" of 1849, showed that these meetings were not always
mere matters of form.

The Congregation of the Index was founded by Pius V., in order to
relieve the Holy Office of that part of its duties which relates to
written and printed thought: censorship of the press would be the proper
term, if censorship, even in its most rigid form, did not fall short of
the attributes and functions of this odious tribunal. It is composed of
cardinals and ecclesiastics, many of them distinguished by their
learning, some, doubtless, by their piety,--but all leagued together,
and solemnly pledged to sleepless warfare against every form of
intellectual freedom. Without their approbation no manuscript can be
seat to the press, no new editions issued, no thought promulgated. Even
the stone-carver is not permitted to use his chisel until they have
decided how far love or pride may go in commemoration of the dead. They
mutilate, with equal sovereignty of will, the printed pages of a classic
and the manuscript of an unknown scribbler,--sit in judgment upon Botta
and Laplace, as their predecessors sat in judgment upon Guicciardini and
Galileo,--and, in the fervor of their undiscriminating zeal, condemn
Robertson and Gibbon, Reid and Hume, the skeptic Bolingbroke and the
pious Addison, to the same fiery purgation. That Italian literature was
not crushed by them long ago is, perhaps, the strongest proof of the
irrepressible vigor and marvellous vitality of the Italian mind. Not to
be on the "Index" would call a blush to the cheek of the most
unambitious of authors,--would carry a presumption of worthlessness with
it from which even the penny-a-liner would shrink with dismay,--and to
the poet and historian would sound like a sentence of perpetual
exclusion from all those cherished hopes which irradiate with heavenly
light the steep and thorny paths of intellectual renown.

Next to these in importance is the Congregation of the "Propaganda," or
of that celebrated institution for the propagation of the Roman Catholic
religion which, since the reign of Gregory XV., has governed, as from a
common centre, the immense network of missions that Christian Rome has
spread over the lands she hopes to conquer, as Pagan Rome spread her
network of military roads over the lands which she had already reduced
to subjection. Cardinals, with a cardinal for prefect and a prelate for
secretary, compose this congregation, which holds regular meetings twice
a month, and, not unfrequently, extraordinary meetings in the presence
of the Pope. In these the important questions of the missionary world
are discussed, reports examined, new missions proposed, new missionaries
appointed, new bishoprics founded "among the heathen," and all these
complicated interests taken into impartial consideration.

For here, at least, there is little room for heart-burnings and
jealousies. It is of equal importance to all that the conquests of the
Church should be extended to the utmost limits of the earth, the heathen
converted, and heretics won back to the fold. While John Eliot was
translating the Bible into a language which no one has been left to
read, and his Puritan brethren were hanging and shooting the Indians
whom they had neither the patience to win by their teaching nor the
charity to enlighten by their example, Indians from the true Indies were
preparing themselves in the halls of the Propaganda to carry the healing
promises of the gospel to the fathers and mothers who had watched over
their heathen infancy. In the record of the great things that Rome has
done, there is nothing greater than the foundation of the
Propaganda,--no conception so worthy of a steadfast faith, or more in
harmony with the spirit of the Saviour of mankind. To borrow the
helpless child, and restore him a helpful man,--to enlist the sympathies
of birth, and secure for themselves the eloquence of natural
affection,--to overleap the barriers of race and elude the sensitiveness
of national pride by putting the doctrines they sought to diffuse into
mouths which, untainted by repulsive accents, could enforce new truths
by well-known images and familiar illustrations,--was like laying anew
the foundations of the Capitol, and consecrating that spirit of worldly
wisdom wherein ancient Rome was never found wanting by that spirit of
Christian philanthropy which modern Rome has always claimed as her
peculiar distinction.

But alas that a twenty-minutes' walk should take us from the Piazza di
Spagna to the Via di Sant' Uffizio!

The other ecclesiastical functions of government are performed in a
similar way: one congregation superintending the churches of Rome and
its district, under the title of _Visita Apostolica_; one, the
ceremonies of the Church; one, ecclesiastical immunities; one, sacred
rites; one, indulgences and relies. Questions relative to bishops,
bishoprics, and the regular orders are intrusted to four congregations,
under different and appropriate names. St. Peter's has a special
congregation for itself, and not the least dignified and important of
them; for, besides eight cardinals and four prelates, it commands the
official services of the Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber, the
Treasurer, a judge of the _Rota_, a comptroller, an attorney-general, a
secretary, and several counsellors-at-law. Not St. Peter's only, but all
the churches of Rome, come in for a share of their attention; and what
is more important, they form a court of probate, with exclusive
jurisdiction over all wills containing charitable bequests, or bequests
to heretics and strangers, fugitives, exiles, or the dead. Even a doubt
as to the probability of being able to execute the bequest according to
the wishes of the testator, or an apparent contradiction in the devises
themselves, brings the will within the jurisdiction of this tribunal;
and should the legatee, after full experience of the law's delay,
succeed in obtaining a favorable decree, the income of his legacy, from
the death of the testator to the publication of the decision, is
sequestrated to the treasury of the church of St. Peter's. Few
congregations are more assiduous in the performance of their duties.

A criminal court of appeals, with the appellation of _Sacra
Consulta_,--how this _sacred_ meets you at every turn!--a council called
_Buon Governo_, for the superintendence of municipal
administration,--one for roads, fountains, and water-courses, called the
General Prefecture of Waters and Roads,--a Council of "Economy," a
Council of Studies, a Council for the Examination of Accounts, in which
four laymen sit side by side with four prelates, under the presidency of
a cardinal, and the Congregation of the Census for the apportionment of
taxes on real estate in the country, form the seven civil congregations
by which the Pope is assisted in his labors, and the cardinals and
prelates brought in to a share of the administration. Add to these
sixteen tribunals, or courts, civil and ecclesiastical, two Secretaries
of State, a Secretary of Briefs and one of Memorials, a _Camerlengo_, a
Treasurer, and a Governor of Rome, and you have an outline of the Roman
Government under Gregory XVI.

The Secretaries of State are always cardinals; the _Camerlengo_, who is
the official head of government during the vacancies of the Holy See, a
cardinal; the Treasurer and Governor of Rome, prelates, who, on leaving
office, become cardinals by right. The only part of this complex
machinery which was intrusted to laymen was the Tribunal of the Capitol
and the Tribunal of Commerce: the latter an institution of Pius VII.,
and directly connected with the Chamber of Commerce, from whose fifteen
members two of its three judges are chosen, while the third is furnished
by the bar; the former, the feeble representative of all that is left of
the municipal government of Rome.

Rome has sixty noble families who enjoy the title of Conscript. From
these are chosen, every three months, three _Conservatori_ and a Prior
of the Wards, who form a committee for the superintendence of the walls
and public monuments, and for the administration of the income of the
Capitoline Chamber. If we look at them in connection with the ancient
government of Rome, we shall find them employed in functions not unlike
those of the _Ædiles_. From the same point of view, the Senator may be
said to resemble the City Prefect; although, when you see him on public
days, standing like a statue on the steps of the Pontifical throne,
above the prelates, but a little lower than the cardinals, you can think
neither of prefect nor of senate, nor of anything that recalls the days
when Romans acknowledged no superior but the fellow-citizens whom they
themselves had chosen as representatives of their sovereign will.

It requires no very profound examination of this system to see that it
is purely and rigidly ecclesiastical. The ecclesiastical leaven
penetrates it in every part. Wherever you go, either for business or for
amusement, you find some representative of the Church. Whichever way you
turn, you see keen eyes peering upon you from under a three-cornered hat
or a cowl. And even when the path seems for a while to be leading you
back to the world, through rows of shops, under the windows of bankers,
within sight of sails and steam, or within sound of humming wheels,
there are still shrines and oratories numberless by the way, and a
church or a convent at the end.

Elective sovereign by origin, the moment the Pope ascends the throne, he
becomes absolute. Authority and honors proceed from him as from their
legitimate source. Money bears his image and superscription. Monuments
are inscribed with his name. Laws and decrees are promulgated as
voluntary emanations of his sovereign will. As head of the Church, all
spiritual interests are under his protection. As chief of the State, all
temporal interests are subject to his control. He reigns, not merely
like other sovereigns, by the "grace of God," but by a peculiar
privilege and inherent right, as Vicar of Christ. Resistance to his will
is not simply rebellion, but the deeper and deadlier sin of sacrilege.
His interpretation relieves the mind from the agony of doubt; his
blessing frees the conscience from the burden of sin. And how, if
earnest-minded and sincere, can he fail to look upon the interests of
the State as subordinate to the interests of the Church, and interpret
his duties and obligations as the legatee of Constantine by his feelings
and convictions as the successor of St. Peter?

In the practical exercise of this authority be feels the want of other
eyes to help him see and other hands to help him do. He cannot read all
that is to be read, or write all that is to be written, or even hear and
say all that is to be heard and said. However great his love of detail,
there are details which he cannot reach. However comprehensive his
glance, or unwearied his industry, there are objects that lie beyond the
compass of his vision, and labor to be performed which no industry can
bring within the human allotment of twenty-four hours.

Therefore, reserving to himself the final decision, he distributes the
various functions of government among his official counsellors and those
from whom new counsellors are to be chosen. He spreads an elaborate
network over all the interests and functions of the State, holding the
line in his own hand, and drawing or relaxing it at his own pleasure. He
is still the lawgiver and the judge, dictating according to his own
judgment, and deciding according to his own conviction. Of his laws
there is no revision; from his sentence there is no appeal. The duties
of the subject are defined by the rights of the sovereign; and of those
rights he is the sole and absolute judge.

Hence a consciousness of power ever present and supreme, extending to
all that has been left him of the common relations of life,--to the hour
of business and the hour of repose, to the hall of audience and the
garden-walk, and giving equally its deceptive coloring to the thoughts
that stir him when borne on the shoulders of men through a prostrate
crowd, and those that flit dimly through his brain as he lays a weary
head upon a solitary pillow. And hence, too, he becomes for himself, as
well as for others, an object of constant contemplation,--valuing things
as they contribute to his pleasure, and men as they subject themselves
to his will,--not always cruel in heart, even when his acts are cruel,
nor unfeeling when he inflicts unmerited suffering and needless pain,
but seeming both cruel and unfeeling, because education and habit have
dried up within him that fount of human sympathies which Nature has set
in the heart of man at his birth, that he might ever bear something
about him to remind him of a mother's tenderness and a father's pride.

If that be the best government wherein all the moral and intellectual
faculties of the governed receive their fullest development, and the
responsibility of the sovereign is made so immediate that he can neither
lose sight of it nor escape from its obligations, that surely must be
the worst in which one man thinks and judges for all, and, by an
unnatural union of spiritual and temporal attributes, is raised above
all human responsibility,--a theocracy, with man to interpret the will
of God, and to enforce his own interpretations.

       *       *       *       *       *


MAY 23, 1864.

  How beautiful it was, that one bright day
    In the long week of rain!
  Though all its splendor could not chase away
    The omnipresent pain.

  The lovely town was white with apple-blooms,
    And the great elms o'erhead
  Dark shadows wove on their aërial looms,
    Shot through with golden thread.

  Across the meadows, by the gray old manse,
    The historic river flowed:--
  I was as one who wanders in a trance,
    Unconscious of his road.

  The faces of familiar friends seemed strange;
    Their voices I could hear,
  And yet the words they uttered seemed to change
    Their meaning to the ear.

  For the one face I looked for was not there,
    The one low voice was mute;
  Only an unseen presence filled the air,
    And baffled my pursuit.

  Now I look back, and meadow, manse, and stream
    Dimly my thought defines;
  I only see--a dream within a dream--
    The hill-top hearsed with pines.

  I only hear above his place of rest
    Their tender undertone,
  The infinite longings of a troubled breast,
    The voice so like his own.

  There in seclusion and remote from men
    The wizard hand lies cold,
  Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,
    And left the tale half told.

  Ah, who shall lift that wand of magic power,
    And the lost clue regain?
  The unfinished window in Aladdin's tower
    Unfinished must remain!

       *       *       *       *       *




"Please, Ma'am, I want to come in out of the rain," said the dripping
figure at the door.

"And who are you, Sir?" demanded the lady, astonished; for the bell had
been rung familiarly, and, thinking her son had come home, she had
hastened to let him in, but had met instead (at the front-door of her
fine house!) this wretch.

"I'm Fessenden's fool, please, Ma'am," replied the son--not of this
happy mother, thank Heaven! not of this proud, elegant lady, oh,
no!--but of some no less human-hearted mother, I suppose, who had
likewise loved her boy, perhaps all the more fondly for his
infirmity,--who had hugged him to her bosom so many, many times, with
wild and sorrowful love,--and who, be sure, would not have kept him
standing there, ragged and shivering, in the rain.

"Fessenden's fool!" cries the lady. "What's your name?"

"Please, Ma'am, that's my name." Meekly spoken, with an earnest, staring
face. "Do you want me?"

"No; we don't want a boy with such a name as that!"

And the lady scowls, and shakes her head, and half closes the forbidding
door,--not thinking of that other mother's heart,--never dreaming that
such a gaunt and pallid wight ever had a mother at all. For the idea
that those long, lean hands, reaching far out of the short and split
coat-sleeves, had been a baby's pure, soft hands once, and had pressed
the white maternal breasts, and had played with the kisses of the fond
maternal lips,--it was scarcely conceivable; and a delicate-minded
matron, like Mrs. Gingerford, may well be excused for not entertaining
any such distressing fancy.

"Wal! I'll go!" And the youth turned away.

She could not shut the door. There was something in the unresentful, sad
face, pale cheeks, and large eyes, that fascinated her; something about
the tattered clothes, thin, wet locks of flaxen hair, and ravelled straw
hat-brim, fantastic and pitiful. And as he walked wearily away, and she
saw the night closing in black and dark, and felt the cold dash of the
rain blown against her own cheek, she concluded to take pity on him. For
she was by no means a hard-hearted woman; and though her house was
altogether too good for poor folks, and she really didn't know what she
should do with him, it seemed too bad to send him away shelterless, that
stormy November night. Besides, her husband was a rising
politician,--the public-spirited Judge Gingerford, you know,--the
eloquent philanthropist and reformer;--and to have it said that his door
had been shut against a perishing stranger might hurt him. So, as I
remarked, she concluded to take pity on the boy, and, after duly
weighing the matter, to call him back. And she called,--though, as I
suspect, not very loud. Moreover, the wind was whistling through the
leafless shrubbery, and his rags were fluttering, and his hat was
flapping about his ears, and the rain was pelting him; and just then the
Judge's respectable dog put his head out of the warm, dry kennel, and
barked; so that he did not hear,--the lady believed.

He had heard very well, nevertheless. Why didn't he go back, then?
Maybe, because he was a fool. More likely, because he was, after all,
human. Within that husk of rags, under all that dull incumbrance of
imperfect physical organs that cramped and stifled it, there dwelt a
soul; and the soul of man knows its own worth, and is proud. The
coarsest, most degraded drudge still harbors in his wretched house of
clay a divine guest. There is that in the convict and slave which stirs
yet at an insult. And even in this lank, half-witted lad, the despised
and outcast of years, there abode a sense of inalienable dignity,--an
immanent instinct that he, too, was a creature of God, and worthy
therefore to be treated with a certain tenderness and respect, and not
to be roughly repulsed. This was as strong in him as in you. His wisdom
was little, but his will was firm. And though the house was cheerful and
large, and had room and comforts enough and to spare, rather than enter
it, after he had been flatly told he was not wanted, he would lie down
in the cold, wet fields and die.

"Certainly, he will find shelter somewhere," thought the Judge's lady,
discharging her conscience of the responsibility. "But I am sorry he
didn't hear."

Was she very sorry?

She went back into her cozy, fire-lighted sewing-room, and thought no
more of the beggar-boy. And the watchdog, having barked his well-bred,
formal bark, without undue heat,--like a dog that knew the world, and
had acquired the tone of society,--stood a minute, important,
contemplating the drizzle from the door of his kennel, out of which he
had not deigned to step, then stretched himself once more on his straw,
gave a sigh of repose, and curled himself up, with his nose to the air,
in an attitude of canine enjoyment, in which it was to be hoped no
inconsiderate vagabond would again disturb him.

As for Fessenden's--How shall we name him? Somehow, it goes against the
grain to call any person a fool. Though we may forget the Scriptural
warning, still charity remembers that he is our brother. Suppose,
therefore, we stop at the possessive case, and call him simply

As for Fessenden's, then, he was less fortunate than the Judge's
mastiff. He had no dry straw, not even a kennel to crouch in. And the
fields were uninviting; and to die was not so pleasant. The veriest
wretch alive feels a yearning for life, and few are so foolish as not to
prefer a dry skin to a wet one. Even Fessenden's knew enough to go in
when it rained,--if he only could. So, with the dismallest prospect
before him, he kept on, in the wind and rain of that bitter November

And now the wind was rising to a tempest; and the rain was turning to
sleet; and November was fast becoming December. For this was the last
day of the month,--the close of the last day of autumn, as we divide the
seasons: autumn was flying in battle before the fierce onset of winter.
It was the close of the week also, being Saturday.

Saturday night! what a sentiment of thankfulness and repose is in the
word! Comfort is in it; and peace exhales from it like an aroma. Your
work is ended; it is the hour of rest; the sense of duty done sweetens
reflection, and weariness subsides into soothing content. Once more the
heart grows tenderly appreciative of the commonest blessings. That you
have a roof to shelter you, and a pillow for your head, and love and
light and supper, and something in store for Sunday,--that the raving
rain is excluded, and the wolfish wind howls in vain,--that those
dearest to you are gathered about your hearth, and all is well,--it is
enough; the full soul asks no wore.

But this particular Saturday evening brought no such suffusion of bliss
to Fessenden's,--if, indeed, any ever did. He saw, through the
streaming, misty air, the happy homes in the village lighted up one by
one as it grew dark. He had glimpses, through warm windows, of white
supper-tables. The storm made sufficient seclusion; there was no need to
draw the curtains. Servants were bringing in the tea-things. Children
were playing about the floors,--laughing, beautiful children. Behold
them, shivering beggar-boy! Lean by the iron rail, wait patiently in the
rain, and look in upon them; it is worth your while. How frolicsome and
light-hearted they seem! They are never cold, and seldom very hungry,
and the world is dry to them, and comfortable. And they all have
beds,--delicious beds. Mothers' hands tuck them in; mothers' lips teach
them to say their little prayers, and kiss them good-night. Foolish
fellow! why didn't you be one of those fortunate children, well fed,
rosy, and bright, instead of a starved and stupid tatterdemalion? A
question which shapes itself vaguely in his dull, aching soul, as he
stands trembling in the sleet, with only a few transparent squares of
glass dividing him and his misery from them and their joy.

Mighty question! it is vast and dark as the night to him. He cannot
answer it; can you?

Vast and dark and pitiless is the night. But the morning will surely
come; and after all the wrongs and tumults of life will rise the dawn of
the Day of God. And then every question of fate, though it fill the
universe for you now, shall dissolve in the brightness like a vapor, and
vanish like a little cloud.

Meanwhile a servant comes out and drives Fessenden's away from the
fence. He recommenced his wanderings,--up one street and down another,
in search of a place to lay his head. The inferior dwellings he passed
by. But when he arrived at a particularly fine one, there he rang. Was
it not natural for him to infer that the largest houses had amplest
accommodations, and that the rich could best afford to be bounteous? If
in all these spacious mansions there was no little nook for him, if out
of their luxuries not a blanket or crust could be spared, what could he
hope from the poor? You see, he was not altogether witless, if he was
a--Fessenden's. Another proof: At whatever house he applied, he never
committed the vulgarity of a _détour_ to the back-entrance, but advanced
straight, with bold and confident port, to the front-door. The reason of
which was equally simple and clear: Front-doors were the most convenient
and inviting; and what were they made for, if not to go in at?

But he grew weary of ringing and of being repulsed. It was dismal
standing still, however, and quite as comfortless sitting down. He was
so cold! So, to keep his blood in motion, he keeps his limbs in
motion,--till, lo! here he is again at the house where the happy
children were! They have ceased their play. Two young girls are at the
window, gazing out into the darkness, as if expecting some one. Not you,
miserable! You needn't stop and make signs for them to admit you. There!
don't you see you have frightened them? You are not a fitting spectacle
for such sweet-eyed darlings. They do well to drop the shade, to shut
out the darkness, and the dim, gesticulating phantom. Flit on! 'Tis
their father they are looking for, coming home to them with gifts from
the city.

But he does not flit. When, presently, they lift a corner of the shade
to peep out, they see him still standing there, spectral in the gloom.
He is waiting for them to open the door! He thinks they have quitted the
window for that purpose! Ah! here comes the father, and they are glad.

He comes hurrying from the cars under his umbrella, which is braced
against the gale and shuts out from his eyes the sight of the
unsheltered wretch. And he is hastily entering his door, which is opened
to him by the eager children, when they scream alarm; and looking over
his shoulder, he perceives, following at his heels, the fright. He is
one of your full-blooded, solid men; but he is startled.

"What do you want?" he cries, and lifts the threatening umbrella.

"I'm hungry," says the intruder, with a ghastly glare, still advancing.

He stands taller in his tattered shoes than the solid gentleman in his
boots; and those long, lean, claw-like hands act as if anxious to clutch
something. Papa thinks it is his throat.

"By heavens! and do you mean to"--And he prepares to charge umbrella.

"You may!" answers the wretch, with perfect sincerity, presenting his
ragged bosom to the blow.

The lord of the castle lowers his weapon. The children huddle behind
him, hushing their screams.

"Go in, Minnie! In, all of you! Tell Stephen to come here,--quick!"

The children scamper. And the florid, prosperous parent and the gaunt
and famishing pauper are alone, confronting each other by the light of
the shining hall-lamp.

"I'm cold," says the latter,--"and wet," with an aguish shiver.

"I should think so!" cries the gentleman, recovering from his alarm, and
getting his breath again, as he hears Stephen's step behind him. "Stand
back, can't you?" (indignantly). "Don't you see you are dripping on the

"I'm so tired!"

"Well! you needn't rub yourself against the door, if you are! Don't you
see you are smearing it? What are you roaming about in this way for,
intruding into people's houses?"

"Please, Sir, I don't know," is the soft, sad answer; and Fessenden's is
meekly taking himself away.

"It's too bad, though!" says the man, relenting. "What can we do with
this fellow, Stephen?"

"Send him around to Judge Gingerford's,--I should say that's about the
best thing to do with him," says the witty Stephen.

The man knew well what would please. His master's face lighted up. He
rubbed his hands, and regarded the vagabond with a humorous twinkle,
with malice in it.

"Would you, Stephen? By George, I've a good notion to! Take the
umbrella, and go and show him the way."

Stephen did not like that.

"I was only joking, Sir," he said.

"A good joke, too! Here, you fellow! go with my man. He'll take you to a
house where you'll find friends. Excellent folks! damned
philanthropical! red-hot abolitionists! If you only had nigger-blood,
now, they'd treat you like a prince. I don't know but I'd advise you to
tell 'em you're about a quarter nigger,--they'll think ten times as much
of you!"

It was sufficiently evident that the gentleman did not love his neighbor
the Judge. There was in his tone bitter personal and political hatred.
With his own hands he spread again the soaked umbrella, and, giving it
to the reluctant Stephen, turned him away with the vagabond. Then he
shut the door, and went in. By the fire he pulled off his wet boots, and
put on the warm slippers, which the children brought him with innocent
strife to see which should be foremost. And he gave to each kisses and
toys; for he was a kind father. And sitting down to supper, with their
beaming faces around him, he thought of the beggar-boy only in
connection with the jocular spite he had indulged against his neighbor.

Meanwhile the disgusted Stephen, walking alone under the umbrella,
drove Fessenden's before him through the storm. They turned a corner.
Stephen stopped.

"There, that's the house, where the lights are. Good bye! Luck to you!"
And Stephen and umbrella disappeared in the darkness.

Fessenden's kept on, wearily, wearily! He reached the house. And lo! it
was the same, at the door of which the lady had told him that he, with
his name, was not wanted. Tiger slept in his kennel, and dreamed of
barking at beggars. The Judge, snugly ensconced in his study, listened
to the report of his speech before the Timberville Benevolent
Association. His son read it aloud, in the columns of the "Timberville
Gazette." Gingerford smiled and nodded; for he thought it sounded well.
And Mrs. Gingerford was pleased and proud. And the heart of Gingerford
Junior swelled with the fervor of the eloquence, and with exultation in
his father's talents and distinction, as he read. The sleet rattled a
pleasant accompaniment against the window-shutters; and the organ-pipes
of the wind sounded a solemn symphony. This last night of November was
genial and bright to those worthy people, in their little family-circle.
And the future was full of promise. And the rhetoric of the orator
settled the duty of man to man so satisfactorily, and painted the
pleasures of benevolence in such colors, that all their bosoms glowed.

"It is gratifying to think," said Mrs. Gingerford, wiping her eyes at
the pathetic close, "how much good the printing of that address in the
'Gazette' must accomplish. It will reach many so who hadn't the
good-fortune to hear it at the rooms."

Certainly, Madam. The "Gazette" is taken, and perhaps read this very
evening, in every one of the houses at which the pauper has applied in
vain for shelter, since you frowned him from your door. Those exalted
sentiments, breathed in musical periods, are no doubt a rich legacy to
the society of Timberville, and to the world. It was wise to print them;
they will "reach many so." But will they reach this outcast beggar-boy,
and benefit him? Alas, it is fast growing too late for that!

Utter fatigue and discouragement have overtaken him. The former notion
of dying in the fields recurs to him now; and wretched indeed must he
be, since even that desperate thought has a sort of comfort in it. But
he is too weary to seek out some suitably retired spot to take cold
leave of life in. On every side is darkness; on every side, wild storm.
Why endeavor to drag farther his benumbed limbs? As well stretch himself
here, upon this wet wintry sod, as anywhere. He has the presumption to
do it,--never considering how deeply he may injure a fine gentleman's
feelings by dying at his door.

Tiger does not bark him away, but only dreams of barking, in his cozy
kennel. Close by are the windows of the mansion, glowing with light.
There beat the philanthropic hearts; there smiles the pale, pensive
lady; there beams the aspiring face of her son; and there sits the
Judge, with his feet on the rug, pleasantly contemplating the good his
speech will do, and thinking quite as much, perhaps, of the fame it will
bring him,--happily unconscious alike of his neighbor's malicious jest,
and of the real victim of that jest, lying out there in the tempest and
freezing rain.

So November goes out; and winter, boisterous and triumphant, comes in.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sunday morning: cold and clear. The December sun shines upon the glassy
turf, and upon trees all clad in armor of glittering ice. And the trees
creak and rattle in the north wind; and the icy splinters fall tinkling
to the ground.

The splendor of the morning gilds the Judge's estate. Everything about
the mansion smiles and sparkles. Were last night's horrors a dream?

There was danger, we remember, that the foolish youth might do a very
inconsiderate and shocking thing, and perhaps ruin the Judge. What if he
had really deposited his mortal remains at the gate of that worthy
man,--to be found there, ghastly and stiff, a revolting spectacle, this
bright morning? What a commentary on Gingerford philanthropy! For of
course some one would at once have stepped forward to testify to having
seen him driven from the door, which he came back to lay his bones near.
And Stephen would have been on hand to remember directing such a person,
inquiring his way a second time to the Judge's house. And here he is
dead,--to the secret delight of the Judge's enemies, and to the
indignation of all Timberville. At anybody else's door it wouldn't have
seemed so bad. But at Gingerford's! a philanthropist by profession!
author of that beautiful speech you cried over! You will never forgive
him those tears. The greatest crime a man can be guilty of in the eyes
of his constituents is to have been over-praised by them. Woe to him,
when they find out their error! and woe now to the Judge! The fact that
a dozen other influential citizens had also refused shelter to the
vagabond will not help the matter. Those very men will probably be the
first to cry, "Hypocrite! inhuman! a judgment upon him!"--for it is
always the person of doubtful virtue who is most eager to assume the
appearance of severe integrity; and we often flatter ourselves that our
private faults are atoned for, when we have loudly denounced them in

Fortunately, the flower of the Judge's reputation is saved from so
terrible a blight. There is no corpse at his gate; and our speculations
are idle.

This is what had occurred. Not long after the lad had lain down, a
dream-like spell came over him. His pain was gone. He forgot that he was
cold. He was not hungry any more. A sweet sense of rest was diffused
through his tired limbs. And smiling and soothed he lay, while the storm
beat upon him. Was this death? For we know that in this merciful shape
death sometimes comes to the sufferer.

Fessenden's afterwards said that he had "one of his fits." He was
subject to such. When men reviled and denied him, then came the
angels,--or he imagined they came. They walked by his side, and talked
with him; and often, all a summer's afternoon, he could be heard
conversing in the fields, as with familiar friends, when only himself
was visible, and his voice alone was heard in the silence. This was, in
fact, one of those idiosyncrasies which had earned him his shameful

In the trance of that night, lying cold upon the ground, he beheld his
ghostly visitors. They came and stood around him, a shining company, and
looked upon him with countenances of fair women and good men. Their
apparel was not unlike that of mortals. And he heard them questioning
among themselves how they should help him. And one of them, as it
seemed, brought human assistance; though the boy, who could see plenty
of ghosts, could not, for some reason, see the only actually visible and
substantial person then on the spot besides himself. He felt, however,
sensibly enough, the concussion of a stout pair of mortal legs that
presently went stumbling over him in the dark. The shock roused him. The
whole shadowy company vanished instantly; and in their place he saw, by
the glimmer from the Judge's windows, a dark sprawling figure getting up
out of the mud and water.

"Don't be scared, it's me," said Fessenden's; for he guessed the fellow
was frightened.

"Excuse me, Sir! I really didn't know it was you, Sir!" said the man,
with agitated politeness. "And who might you be, Sir? if I may be so
bold as to inquire." And regaining his balance, his umbrella, and his
self-possession, he drew near, and squatted cautiously before the
prostrate beggar, who, had his eyesight been half as keen for the living
as it was for the dead, would have discovered that the face bending over
him was black.

"Never mind me," said Fessenden's. "Did it hurt ye?"

"Well, Sir,--no, Sir,--only my knee went pretty seriously into something
wet. And I believe I've turned my umbrella wrong side out. I say, Sir,
what was you doing, lying here, Sir? You don't think of remaining here
all night, I trust, Sir?"

"I've nowhere else to go," said the boy, trying to rise.

The black man helped him up.

"But this never'll do, you know! such an inclement night as this
is!--you'd die before morning, sure! Just wait till I can get my
umbrella into shape,--my gracious! how the wind pulls it! Now, then,
suppose you come along with me."

"Please, Sir, I can't walk"; for the lad's limbs had stiffened, in spite
of his angels.

"Is that so, Sir? Let me see; about how much do you weigh, Sir? Not much
above a hundred, do you? It isn't impossible but I may take you on my
back. Suppose you try it."

"Oh, I can't!" groaned the boy.

"Excuse me for contradicting you, but I think you can, Sir. I shouldn't
like to do it myself, in the daytime; but in the night so, who cares?
Nobody'll laugh at us, even if we don't succeed. Really, I wish you
wasn't quite so wet, Sir; for these here is my Sunday clothes. But never
mind a little water; we'll find a fire to get dry again. There you are,
my friend! A little higher. Put your hands over across my breast.
Couldn't manage to hold, the umbrella over us, could you? So fashion.
Now steady, while I rise with you."

And the stalwart young negro, hooking his arms well under the legs of
his rider, got up stoopingly, gave a toss and a jolt to get him into the
right position, and walked off with him. Away they go, tramp, tramp, in
the storm and darkness. Thank Heaven, the Judge's fame is safe! If the
pauper dies, it will not be at his door. Little he knows, there in his
elegant study, what an inestimable service this black Samaritan is
rendering him. And it was just; for, after all the Judge had done for
the negro, (who, I suppose, was equally unconscious of any substantial
benefit received,) it was time that the negro should do something for
him in return.

Tramp! tramp! a famous beggar's ride! It was a picturesque scene, with
food for laughter and tears in it, had we only been there with a
lantern. Fessenden's, fantastic, astride of the African, staring forward
into the darkness from under his ragged hat-brim, endeavoring to hold
the wreck of an umbrella over them,--the wind flapping and whirling it.
Tramp! tramp! past all those noble mansions, to the negro-hut beyond the
village. And, oh, to think of it! the rich citizens, the enlightened and
white-skinned Levites, having left him out, one of their own race, to
perish in the storm, this despised black man is found, alone of all the
world, to show mercy unto him!

"How do you get on, Sir?" says the stout young Ethiop. "Would you ride
easier, if I should trot? or would you prefer a canter? Tell 'em to
bring on their two-forty nags now, if they want a race."

Talking in this strain, to keep up his rider's spirits, he brought him,
not without sweat and toil, to the hut. A kick on the door with the
beggar's foot, which he used for the purpose, caused it to be opened by
a woolly-headed urchin; and in he staggered.

Little woolly-head clapped his hands and screamed.

"Oh, crackie, pappy! here comes Bill with the Devil on his back!"

Sensation in the hut. There was an old negro woman in the corner, on one
side of the stove, knitting; and a very old negro man in the opposite
corner, napping; and a middle-aged man, with spectacles on his ebony
nose, reading slowly aloud from an ancient grease-covered book opened
before him on the old pine table; and a middle-aged woman patching a
jacket; and a girl washing dishes, which another girl was wiping:
representatives of four generations: and they all quitted their
occupations at once, to see what sort of a devil Bill had brought home.

"Why, William! who have you got there, William?" said he of the
spectacles, with mild wonder,--removing those clerkly aids of vision,
and laying them across the book.

"A chair!" panted Bill. "Now ease him down, if you
please,--careful,--and I'll--recite the circumstances,"--puffing, but
polite to the last.

Helpless and gasping, Fessenden's was unfastened, and slipped down the
African's back upon a seat placed to receive him. He still clung to the
umbrella, which he endeavored to keep spread over him, while he stared
around with stupid amazement at the dim room and the array of black

And now the excited urchin began to caper and sing:--

  "'Went down to river, couldn't get across;
  Jumped upon a nigger's back, thought it was a hoss!'

"Oh, crackie, Bill!"

"Father," said William, with wounded dignity,--for he was something of a
gentleman in his way,--"I wish you'd discipline that child, or else give
me permission to chuck him."

"Joseph!" said the father, with a stern shake of his big black head at
the boy, "here's a stranger in the house! Walk straight, Joseph!"

Which solemn injunction Joseph obeyed in a highly offensive manner, by
strutting off in imitation of William's dandified air.

By this time the aged negro in the corner had become fully roused to the
consciousness of a guest in the house. He came forward with slow,
shuffling step. He was almost blind. He was exceedingly deaf. He was
withered and wrinkled in the last degree. His countenance was of the
color of rust-eaten bronze. He was more than a hundred years old,--the
father of the old woman, the grandfather of the middle-aged man, and the
great-grandfather of William, Joseph, and the girls. He was muffled in
rags, and wore a little cap on his head. This he removed with his left
hand, exposing a little battered tea-kettle of a bald pate, as with
smiling politeness he reached out the other trembling hand to shake that
of the stranger.

"Welcome, Sah! Sarvant, Sah!"

He bowed and smiled again, and the hospitable duty was performed; after
which he put on his cap and shuffled back into his corner, greatly
marvelled at by the gazing beggar-boy.

The girls and their mother now bestirred themselves to get their guest
something to eat. The tin tea-pot was set on the stove, and hash was
warmed up in the spider. In the mean time William somewhat ruefully took
off his wet Sunday coat, and hung it to dry by the stove, interpolating
affectionate regrets for the soiled garment with the narration of his

"It was the merest chance my coming that way," he explained; "for I had
got started up the other street, when something says to me, 'Go by
Gingerford's! go by Judge Gingerford's!' so I altered my course, and the
result was, just as I got against the Judge's gate I was precipitated
over this here person."

"I know what made ye!" spoke up the boy, with an earnest stare.

"What, Sir,--if you please?"

"The angels!"

"The--the what, Sir?"

"The angels! I seen 'em!" says Fessenden's.

This astounding announcement was followed by a strange hush. Bill forgot
to smooth out the creases of his coat, and looked suspiciously at the
youth whom it had served as a saddle. He wondered if he had really been
ridden by the Devil.

The old woman now interfered. She was at least seventy years of age. The
hair of her head was like mixed carded wool. Her coarse, cleanly gown
was composed of many-colored, curious patches. The atmosphere of
thorough grandmotherly goodness surrounded her. In the twilight sky of
her dusky face twinkled shrewdness and good-humor; and her voice was
full of authority and kindness.

"Stan' back here now, you troubles!" pushing the children aside.
"Didn't none on ye never see nobody afore? This 'ere chile has got to be
took keer on, and that mighty soon! Gi' me the comf'table off'm the bed,

"Mammy" was the mother of the children. The "comf'table" was brought,
and she and her husband helped the old negress wrap Fessenden's up in
it, from head to foot, wet clothes and all.

"Now your big warm gret-cut, pappy!"

"Pappy" was her own son; and the "gret-cut" was his old, gray, patched
and double-patched surtout, which now came down from its peg, and spread
its broad flaps, like brooding wings, over the half-drowned human

"Now put in the wood, boys! Pour some of that 'ere hot tea down his
throat. Bless him, we'll sweat the cold out of him! we'll give him a

She held with her own hand the cracked tea-cup to the lad's lips, and
made him drink. Then she pulled up the comforter about his face, till
nothing of him was visible but his nose and a curl or two of saturated
tow. Then she had him moved up close to the glowing stove, like a huge
chrysalis to be hatched by the heat.

The dozing centenarian now roused again, and, perceiving the little nose
in the big bundle on the other side of the chimney, was once more
reminded of the sacred duties of hospitality. So he got upon his
trembling old legs again, pulled off his cap, and bowed and smiled as
before, with exquisite politeness, across the stove. "Sarvant, Sah!
Welcome, Sah!". And he sat down, and dozed again.

Fessenden's was not in a position to return the courteous salute. The
old woman had by this time got his feet packed into the stove-oven, and
he was beginning to smoke.

"Oh, Bill! just look a' Joe!" cried one of the girls.

Bill left smoothing his broadcloth, and, turning up the whites of his
eyes, uttered a despairing groan. "Oh, that child! that child! that
child!"--his voice running up into a wild falsetto howl.

The child thus passionately alluded to had possessed himself of Bill's
genteel silk hat, which had been tenderly put away to dry. It had been
sadly soaked by the rain, and bruised by the flopping umbrella which
Fessenden's had unhappily attempted to hold over it. And now Joe had
knocked in the crown, whilst geting it down from its peg with the broom.
He had thought to improve its appearance by stroking the nap the wrong
way with his sleeve. Lastly, putting it on his head, he had crushed the
sides together, to prevent its coming quite down over his eyes and ears
and resting on his shoulders. And there he was, with the broken umbrella
spread, hitting the top of the hat with it at every step, as he strutted
around the room in emulation of his brother's elegant style.

"My name's Mr. Bill Williams, Asquare!" simpered the little satirist.
"Some folks call me Gentleman Bill, 'cause I'm so smart and
good-looking, Sar!"

Gentleman Bill picked up the jack with which he had pulled off his wet
boots, and waited for a good chance to launch it at Joe's head. But Joe
kept behind his grandmother, and proceeded with his mimicry.

"Nobody knows I'm smart and good-looking 'cept me, and that's the why I
tell on't Sar; that's the reason I excite the stircumsances, Sar!"--He
remembered Bill's saying he would "recite the circumstances," and this
was as near as he could come to the precise words.--"I'm a gentleman
tailor; that's my perfession, Sar. Work over to the North Village, Sar.
Come home Sat'day nights to stop over Sunday with the folks, and show my
good clo'es. How d' 'e do, Sar? Perty well, thank ye, Sar." And Joe,
putting down the umbrella, in order to lift the ingulfing hat from his
little round, black, curly head with both hands, made a most extravagant
bow to the chrysalis.

"Old granny!" hoarsely whispered Bill, "you just stand out of the way
once, while I propel this boot-jack!"

"Old granny don't stan' out o' the way oncet, for you to frow no
boot-jack in this house! S'pose I want to see that chile's head stove
in? Which is mos' consequence, I'd like to know, your hat, or his head?
Hats enough in the world. But that 'ere head is an oncommon head, and,
bless the boy, if he should lose that, I do'no' where he'd git another
like it! Come, no more fuss now! I got to make some gruel for this 'ere
poor, wet, starvin' critter. That hash a'n't the thing for him,
mammy,--you'd ought to know! He wants somefin' light and comfortin',
that'll warm his in'ards, and make him sweat, bless him!--Joey! Joey!
give up that 'ere hat now!"

"Take it, then! Mean old thing,--I don't want it!"

Joe extended it on the point of the umbrella; but just as Bill was
reaching to receive it, he gave it a little toss, which sent it into the

"Might know I'd had on your hat!" and the little rogue scratched his
head furiously.

"I shall certainly massacre that child some fine morning!" muttered
Bill, ruefully extricating the insulted article from the basket. "Oh, my
gracious! only look at that, now, Creshy!" to his sister. "That's an
interesting object--isn't it?--for a gentleman to think of putting on to
his head Sunday morning!"

"Oh, Bill!" cried Creshy, "jest look a' Joe agin!"

Whilst he was sorrowfully restoring his hat to its pristine shape, he
had been robbed of his coat. The thief had run with it behind the bed,
where he had succeeded in getting into it. The collar enveloped his
ears. The skirts dragged upon the floor. He had buttoned it, to make it
fit better, but there was still room in it for two or three boys. He had
got on his father's spectacles and Fessenden's straw hat. He looked like
a frightful little old misshapen dwarf. And now, rolling up the sleeves
to find his hands, and wrinkling the coat outrageously at every
movement, he advanced from his retreat, and began to dance a
pigeon-wing, amid the convulsive laughter of the girls.

"Oh, my soul! my soul!" cried Bill, his voice inclining again to the
falsetto. "Was there ever such an imp of Satan! Was there ever"--

Here he made a lunge at the offender. Joe attempted to escape, but,
getting his feet entangled in the superabundant coat-skirts, fell,
screaming as if he were about to be killed.

"Good enough for you!" said his mother. "I wish you would get hurt!"

"What you wish that for?" cried the old grandmother, rushing to the
rescue, brandishing a long iron spoon with which she had been stirring
the gruel. "Can't nobody never have no fun in this house? Bless us! what
'ud we do, if 't wa'n't for Joey, to make us laugh and keep our sperits
up? Jest you stan' back now, Bill!--'d ruther you'd strike me 'n see ye
hit that 'ere boy oncet!"

"He must let my things be, then," said Bill, who couldn't see much sport
in the disrespectful use made of his wearing apparel.--"Here, you!
surrender my property!"

"Laws! you be quiet! You'll git yer cut agin. Only jest look at him now,
he's so blessed cunning!"

For Joe, reassured by his grandmother, had stopped screaming, and gone
to tailoring. He sat cross-legged on one of the unlucky coat-skirts, and
pulled the other up on his lap, for his work. Then he got an imaginary
thread, and, putting his fingers together, screwed up his mouth, and
looked over the spectacles, sharpening his sight,--

  "Like an old tailor to his needle's eye."

Then he began to stitch, to the infinite disgust of Bill, who was
sensitive touching his vocation.

"I do declare, father! how you can smile, seeing that child carrying on
in this shape, is beyond my comprehension!"

"Joseph!" said Mr. Williams, good-naturedly, "I guess that'll do for
to-night. Come, I want my spectacles."

He had sat down to his book again. He was a slow, thoughtful, easy,
cheerful man, whom suffering and much humiliation had rendered very
mild and patient, if not quite broken-spirited. His voice was indulgent
and gentle, with that mellow richness of tone peculiar to the negro.
After he had spoken, the laughter subsided; and Joe, impressed by the
quiet paternal authority, quickly devised means to obey without
appearing to do so. For it is not so much obedience, as the
manifestation of obedience, that is repugnant to human nature,--not in
children only, but in grown folks as well.

Joe disguised his compliance in this way. He got up, took off the
beggar's hat, put the spectacles into it, holding his hand on a rip in
the crown to keep them from falling through, and passed it around,
walking solemnly in his brother's abused coat.

"I'm Deacon Todd," said he, "taking up a collection to buy Gentleman
Bill a new cut: gunter make a missionary of him!"

He passed the hat to the women and the girls, all of whom pretended to
put in something.

"I ha'n't got nothin'!" said Fessenden's, when it came to him; "I'm real
sorry I but I'll give my hat!"--earnest as could be.

When the hat came to Mr. Williams, he quietly put in his hand and took
out his glasses.

"Here, I've got something for you; I desire to contribute," said
Gentleman Bill.

But Joe was shy of his brother.

"Oh, we don't let the missionary give anything!" he said. "Here's the
hat what you're gunter wear;--give it to him, Cresh!"

Bill disdained the beggar's, contribution; but, in his anxiety to seize
Joe, he suffered his sister to slip up behind him and clap the wet,
ragged straw wreck on his head.

"Oh, Bill! Oh, Bill!" screamed the girls with merriment, in which mother
and grandmother joined, while even their father indulged in a silent,
inward laugh.

"Good!" said Fessenden's; "he may have it!"

Bill, watching his opportunity, made a dash at the pretending Deacon
Todd. That nimble and quick-witted dwarf escaped as fast as his awkward
attire would permit. The bed seemed to be the only place of refuge, and
he dodged under it.

"Come out!" shouted Bill, furious.

"Come in and git me!" screamed Joe, defiant.

Bill, if not too large, was far too dignified for such an enterprise. So
he got the broom, and began to stir Joe with the handle,--not observing,
in his wrath, that, the more he worried Joe, the more he was damaging
his own precious broadcloth.

"I'm the lion to the show!" cried Joe, rolling and tumbling under the
bed to avoid the broom. "The keeper's a punchin' on me, to make me

And the lion roared.

"He's a gunter come into the cage by-'m-by, and put his head into my
mouth. Then I'm a gunter swaller him! Ki! hoo! hoo! oo!"

He roared in earnest this time. Bill, grown desperate, had knocked his
shins. As long as he hit him only on the head, the king of beasts didn't
care; but he couldn't stand an attack on the more sensitive part.

"Jest look here, now!" exclaimed the old negress, with unusual spirit;
"gi' me that broom!"

She wrenched it from Bill's hand.

"Perty notion, you can't come home a minute without pesterin' that boy's
life out of him!"

You see, color makes no difference with grandmothers. Black or white,
they are universally unjust, when they come to decide the quarrels of
their favorites.

"Great lubberly fellow like you, 'busin' that poor babby all the time!
Come, Joey! come to granny, poor chile!"

It was a sorry-looking lion that issued whimpering from the cage,
limping, and rubbing his eyes. His borrowed hide--namely, Bill's
coat--had been twisted into marvellous shapes in the scuffle; and,
being wet, it was almost white with the dust and lint that adhered to
it. Bill threw up his arms in despair; while Joe threw his, great
sleeves and all, around granny's neck, and found comfort on her
sympathizing bosom.

"Silence, now," said Mr. Williams, "so's we can go on with the reading."

Order was restored. Bill hung up his coat, and sat down. Joe nestled in
the old woman's lap. And now the storm was heard beating against the

"Say!" spoke up Fessenden's, "can I stop here over night?"

"You don't suppose," said Mr. Williams, "we'd turn you out in such
weather as this, do you?"

"Wal!" said Fessenden's, "nobody else would keep me."

"Don't you be troubled! While we 've a ruf over our heads, no stranger
don't git turned away from it that wants shelter, and will put up with
our 'commodations. We can keep you to-night, and probably to-morrow
night, if you like to stay; but after that I can't promise. Mebby we
sha'n't have a ruf for our own heads then. But we'll trust the Lord,"
said Mr. Williams, with a deep, serious smile,--while Mrs. Williams

"How is it about that matter?" Gentleman Bill inquired.

"The house is to be tore down Monday, I suppose," replied his father,

"My gracious!" exclaimed Bill; "Mr. Frisbie a'n't really going to carry
that threat into execution?"

"That's what he says, William. He has got a prejudice ag'inst color, you
know. Since he lost the election, through the opposition of the
abolitionists, as he thinks, he's been very much excited on the
subject," added Mr. Williams, in his subdued way.

"Excited!" echoed his wife, bitterly.

She was a much-suffering woman, inclined to melancholy; but there was a
latent fire in her when she seemed most despondent, and she roused up
now and spoke with passionate, flashing eyes:--

"Sence he got beat, town-meetin' day, he don't 'pear to take no comfort,
'thout 't is hatin' Judge Gingerford and spitin' niggers, as he calls
us. He sent his hired man over agin this mornin', to say, if we wa'n't
out of the house by Monday, 't would be pulled down on to our heads.
Call that Christian, when he knows we can't git another house, there 's
sich a s'picion agin people o' color?"

"'T wa'n't alluz so; 't wa'n't so in my day," said the old woman,
pausing, as she was administering the gruel to Fessenden's with a spoon.
"Here's gran'pa, he was a slave, and I was born a slave, in this here
very State, as long ago as when they used to have slaves here, as I've
told ye time and agin; though I don't clearly remember it, for I scacely
ever knowed what bondage was, bless the Lord! But we allus foun'
somebody to be kind to us, and got along,--for it did seem as though God
kind o' looked arter us, and took keer on us, same as He did o' white
folks. We've been carried through, somehow or 'nother; and I can't help
thinkin' as how we shall be yit, spite o' Mr. Frisbie. S'pose God'll
forgit us 'cause His grand church-folks do? S'pose all they can say'll
pedijice Him?"

Having advanced this unanswerable question, she turned once more to her
patient, who put up his head, and opened his mouth wide, to receive the
great spoon.

"Lucky for them that can trust the Lord!" said Mrs. Williams, over her
patching. "But if I was a man, I'm 'fraid I should put my trust in a
good knife, and stan' by the ol' house when they come to pull it down!
The fust man laid hands on 't 'ud git hurt, I'm dreffle 'fraid! Prayin'
won't save it, you see!"

"Mr. Frisbie owns the house," observed Gentleman Bill, "and I wouldn't
resort to violent measures to prevent him; though 't isn't possible for
me to believe he'll be so unhuman as to demolish it before you find

"I'm inclined to think he will," answered Mr. Williams, calmly. "He's a
rather determined man, William. But God won't quite forget us, I'm
sartin sure. And we won't worry about the house till the time comes,
anyhow. Le' 's see what the Good Book says to comfort us," he added,
with a hopeful smile.

Unfortunately, the "Timberville Gazette" had not reached this benighted
family; and not having the Judge's Address to read, Mr. Williams read
the Sermon on the Mount.

Fessenden's listened with the rest. And alight, not of the
understanding, but of the spirit, shone upon him. His intellect was too
feeble, I think, to draw any very keen comparison between those houses
where the "Timberville Gazette" was taken and read that evening and this
lowly abode,--between the rich there, who had shut their proud,
prosperous doors against him, and these poor servants of the Lord, who
had taken him in and comforted him, though the hour was nigh when they,
too, were to be driven forth shelterless in the wintry storms. The deep
and affecting suggestiveness of that wide contrast his mind was, no
doubt, too weak thoroughly to appreciate. Yet something his heart felt,
and something his soul perceived; his pale and vacant face was
illumined; and at the close of the reading he rose up. The coarse
wrappings of his body fell away; and the muffling ignorance, the
swaddling dulness, wherein that divine infant, the bright immortal
spirit, was confined, seemed also to fall off. He lifted up his hands,
spreading them as if dispensing blessings; and his countenance had a
vague, smiling wonder in it, almost beautiful, and his voice, when he
spoke, thrilled the ear.

"Praise the Lord! praise the Lord! for He will provide!

"Be comforted! for ye are the children of the Lord!

"Be glad! be glad! for the Angel of the Lord is here!

"Don't you see him? don't you see him? There! there!" he cried,
pointing, with an earnestness and radiance of look which filled all who
saw him with astonishment. They turned to gaze, as if really expecting
to behold the vision; then fixed their eyes again on the stranger.

"You'll be taken care of, the Angel says. Even they that hate you shall
do you good. The mercy you have shown, Christ will show to you."

Having uttered these sentences at intervals, in a loud voice, the
speaker gave a start, turned as if bewildered, and sat down again.

Not a word was spoken. A hush of awe suspended the breath of the
listeners. Then a smile of fervent emotion lighted up like daybreak the
negro's dark visage, and his joy broke forth in song. The others joined
him, filling the house with the jubilee of their wild and mellow voices.

  "A poor wayfaring man of grief
    Hath often crossed me on my way,
  And sued so humbly for relief
    That I could never answer nay."

And so the fair fame of Gingerford, as we said before, was saved from
blight. The beggar-boy awakes this Sunday morning, not in the blaze of
Eternity, but in that dim nook of the domain of Time, Nigger Williams's
hut. He made his couch, not on the freezing ground, but in a bunk of the
low-roofed garret. His steaming clothes had been taken off, a dry shirt
had been given him, and he had Joe for a bedfellow.

"Hug him tight, Joey dear!" said the old woman, as she carried away the
candle. "Snug up close, and keep him warm!"

"I will!" cried Joe, as affectionate as he was roguish; and Fessenden's
never slept better than he did that night, with the tempest singing his
lullaby, and the arms of the loving negro boy about him.

In the morning he found his clothes ready to put on. They had been
carefully dried; and the old woman had got up early and taken a few
needful stitches in them.

"It's Sunday, granny," Creshy reminded her, to see what she would say.

"A'n't no use lett'n' sich holes as these 'ere go, if 't is Sunday!"
replied the old woman. "Hope I never sh'll ketch you a doin' nuffin'
wus! A'n't we told to help our neighbor's sheep out o' the ditch on the
Lord's day? An' which is mos' consequence, I'd like to know, the
neighbor's sheep, or the neighbor hisself?"

"But his clothes a'n't him," said Creshy.

"S'pose I do'no' that? But what's a sheep for, if 't a'n't for its wool
to make the clo'es? Then, to look arter the sheep that makes the clo'es,
and not look arter the clo'es arter they're made, that's a mis'ble

"But you can mend the clothes any day."

"Could I mend 'em yis'day, when I didn't have 'em to mend? or las'
night, when they was wringin' wet? Le' me alone, now, with your

"But you can mend them to-morrow," said the mischievous girl, delighted
to puzzle her grandmother.

"And let that poor lorn chile go in rags over Sunday, freezin' cold
weather like this? Guess I a'n't so onfeelin,'--an' you a'n't nuther,
for all you like to tease your ole granny so! Bless the chile, seems to
me he's jest gwine to bring us good luck. I feel as though the Angel of
the Lord did ra'ly come into the house with him las' night! Wish I had
somefin' ra'l good for him for his breakfas' now! He'll be dreffle
hungry, that's sartin. Make a rousin' good big Johnny-cake, mammy; and,
Creshy, you stop botherin', and slice up them 'ere taters for fryin'."

Soon the odor of the cooking stole up into the garret. Fessenden's
snuffed it with delighted senses. The feeling of his garments dry and
whole pleased him mightily. He heard the call to breakfast; and laughing
and rubbing his eyes, he followed Joe down the dark, uncertain footing
of the stairs.

The family was already huddled about the table. But room was reserved
for their guest, and at his appearance the old patriarch rose smilingly
from his seat, pulled off his cap, which it seemed he always wore, and
shook hands with him, with the usual hospitable greeting.

"Sarvant, Sah! Welcome, Sah!"

Fessenden's was given a seat by his side. And the old woman piled his
plate with good things. And he ate, and was filled. For he was by no
means dainty, and had not, simple soul! the least prejudice against

And he was happy. The friendly black faces around him,--the cheerful,
sympathetic, rich-toned voices,--the motherly kindness of the old
woman,--the exquisite smiling politeness of the old man, who got up and
shook hands with him, on an average, every half-hour,--the
Bible-reading,--the singing,--the praying,--the elegance and
condescension of Gentleman Bill,--the pleasant looks and words of the
laughing-eyed girls,--and the irrepressible merriment of Joe, made that
a golden Sabbath in the lad's life.

Alas that it should come to this! Associate with black folks! how
shocking! What if he was a--Fessenden's? wasn't he white? Where were
those finer tastes and instincts which make you and me shrink from
persons of color? Pity they had not been properly developed in him! Pity
he should stoop so low as to eat and sleep with niggers, and feel
grateful! He rolls and tumbles in mad frolic with Joe on the
garret-floor, and plays horse with him. He suffers his hair to be combed
by the girls, and actually experiences pleasure at the touch of their
gentle hands, and feels a vague wondering joy when they praise his
smooth flaxen locks. In a word, he is so weak as to wish that good Mr.
Williams was his father, and this delightful hut his home!

And so he spends his Sunday. The family does not attend public worship.
They used to, when the old meeting-house was standing, and the old
minister was alive. But they do not feel at ease in the new edifice, and
the smart young preacher is too smart for them altogether. His rhetoric
is like the cold carving and frescos,--very fine, very admirable, no
doubt; but it has no warmth in it for them; it is foreign to their
common daily lives; it comes not near the hopes and fears and sufferings
of their humble hearts. Here religion, which too long suffered
abasement, is exalted. It is highly respectable. It shows culture; it
has the tone of society. It is worth while coming hither of a Sunday
morning, if only to hear the organ and see the fashions. Yet it can
hardly be expected that such creatures as the Williamses should
appreciate the privilege of hearing and beholding from the inclosure
which has been properly set off for their class,--the colored people's

But Fessendon's might have done better, one would say, than to stay at
home with them. Why didn't he go to church, and be somebody? _He_ would
not have been put into the niggers' pew. As for his clothes, which might
have been objected to by worldly people, who would have thought of them,
or of anything else but his immortal soul, in the house of God? Of
course, there were no respecters of persons there,--none to say to a
rich Frisbie, or an eloquent Gingerford, "Sit thou, here, in a good
place," and to a ragged Fessenden's, "Stand thou there."

But perhaps the less said on the subject the better. Pass over that
golden Sunday in the lad's life. Alas, when will he ever have such
another? For here it is Monday morning, and the house is to be torn

There seems to be no mistake about it. Mr. Frisbie has come over early,
driven in his light open carriage by his man Stephen, to see that the
niggers are out. And yonder come the workmen, to commence the work of

But the niggers are not out; not an article of furniture has been

"You see, Sir,"--Mr. Williams calmly represents the case to his
landlord, as he sits in his carriage,--"it has been impossible. We shall
certainly go, just as soon as we can get another house anywhere in

"I don't want you to get another house in town," interrupts the
full-blooded, red-faced Frisbie. "We have had enough of you. You have
had fair warning. Now out with your traps, and off with you!"

"I trust, at least, Sir, you will give us another week"--

"Not an hour!"

"One day," remonstrates the mild negro; "I don't think you will refuse
us that."

"Not a minute!" exclaims the firm Frisbie. "I've borne with you long
enough. Fact is, we have got tired of niggers in this town. I bought the
house with you in it, or you never would have got in. Now it is coming
down. Call out your folks, and save your stuff, if you're going
to.--Good morning, Adsly," to the master carpenter. "Go to work with
your fellows. Guess they'll be glad to get out by the time you've ripped
the roof off."

Mr. Williams retires, disheartened, his visage surcharged with trouble.
For this wretched dwelling was his home, and dear to him. It was the
centre of his world. Around it all the humble hopes and pleasures of the
man had clustered for years. When weary with the long day's heavy toil,
here he had found rest. To this spot his spirit, sorrow-laden, had ever
turned with gratitude and yearning. And here he had found shelter, here
he had found love and comfort, the lonely, despised man. Even care and
grief had contributed to strengthen the hold of his heart upon this
soil. Here had died the only child he had ever lost; and in the old
burying-ground, over the hill yonder, it was buried. Under this mean
roof he had laid his sorrows before the Lord, he had wrestled with the
Lord in prayer, and his burdens had been taken from him, and light and
gladness had been poured upon his soul. Oh, ye proud! do you think that
happiness dwells only in high places, or that these lowly homes are not
dear to the poor?

But now this sole haven of the negro and his family was to be destroyed.
Cruel cold blew the December wind, that wintry morning. And the gusts of
the landlord's temper were equally pitiless.

       *       *       *       *       *


Besides the four elements known to us as such, namely, air, fire, earth,
and water, there is a liquid substance not entirely unknown in our
country, which, in the kingdom of Bavaria, is sometimes called the fifth
element, under the specific name of beer. It is true, that, where this
extra element is in such repute, some of the others suffer depreciation,
and especially is this true of water, though this latter is still
occasionally used both as a beverage and in purifying processes; and
there is, too, a tradition, which these inland people have little
opportunity of verifying, that it has sometimes been exclusively used
for purposes of navigation, and they are aware, that, if at any time
they should decide to emigrate to America, they might have occasion to
test on a large scale both its utility and its perils for this purpose.
The centre of gravity of this fifth element seems to be in the city of
Munich, the capital of the kingdom. People in this country who have
heard much of lager-beer, and seen a little of its use as introduced
into our land from Germany, may, perhaps, suppose that it is equally
distributed over all that extensive region known by this name. This is,
however, an error. Just as our atmosphere becomes ever less dense
according to its distance from the earth's centre of gravity, so this
fifth element, as one retires farther from the city of Munich.

It would be an interesting inquiry for the medical man, who seeks to
enlarge his knowledge of the _vis medicatrix Naturæ_, for the
philanthropist, who would stimulate or increase the means of human
happiness, and remove or diminish those of human misery, and even for
the statistician, alike indifferent to both: _Why do particular articles
of diet and beverage concentrate their use so much in particular
climates, lands, and localities?_ Within certain limits the question is
easy. The inhabitant of the tropics lives on the bread-fruit, the
plantain, the orange, the fig, and the date. They grow around him, drop
as it were into his mouth, and are just what he needs to allay his
hunger and support his nature. The Greenlanders and the Esquimaux of
Labrador eat the flesh of bears, reindeer, and seals, and even drink
their fat by the quart. Fruits, if they were to be had, would not meet
their wants, and Providence has ordered accordingly. He of the tropics,
in addition to the external heat, needs but the mild and gentle fire
generated by the combustion of his native fruits, to keep his life-fluid
in action; while he of the frigid zones must be kept in life and motion
by rousing fires of seal's fat. Temperate latitudes produce most fruits,
and all the cereals and animals used for food; but Nature nowhere gives
us these in the shape of plum-puddings and pastries, or of beer and
alcoholic drinks. The combinations and commutations must be
manufactured. But does an impulse in man, like the instinct of the bee,
lead him to make just what he needs in his particular climate? Does the
Bavarian take to beer as the bee to honey? Does instinct or appetite in
general shape itself to climate and other outward circumstances? This is
but partly true. As Nature has distributed noxious vegetable and animal
substances through land and sea, which must be avoided, so man may not
pitch or pour indiscriminately into his stomach whatever substance may
be cooked or liquid distilled and offered to him, and we are thrown back
upon the direct test of their innocent or noxious properties, with full
responsibility of action; but still I have a profound conviction that
all such general production of the chief articles of food and drink has
its origin in some deeply felt necessity of human nature in their
particular localities;--the people may be on the wrong track in their
attempts to provide for such necessities, but that these are felt and
are the stimulus to the production is beyond doubt.

Allowing for the changes wrought by time and cultivation, we can still
perceive the truth of what Tacitus wrote of Germany almost two thousand
years ago:--"The land, though somewhat varied in aspect, is in the main
deformed with dismal forests and foul marshes. The part next to Gaul is
wetter, and that next to Pannonia and Noricum higher and more windy. It
is sufficiently productive, but not adapted to fruit-trees." The whole
country lies in a high latitude,--Munich, though in the southern part,
being forty-eight degrees North. No large city on the continent lies at
such an elevation,--about eighteen hundred feet above the level of the
Adriatic. In the midst of a vast plain, it is exposed to all winds. Its
site and the surrounding country are a great gravel-bed, hundreds of
feet thick, a deposit from the Alps, spurs of which are within thirty
miles on the south, subjecting the whole region to sudden changes of
weather ranging in a few hours through many degrees of Fahrenheit. The
air is raw and chilly, and although many parts of Germany have since the
days of Tacitus developed an adaptation to the vine and other fruits,
none flourish in the neighborhood of Munich. The whole country suffers
from deficiency of nourishing and stimulating food. They may not
themselves know it, but this is true of the peasants who are best to do
in the world. Of the peasantry of Upper Bavaria, some have meat five
times in the year, on their chief holidays,--namely, Shrove Tuesday,
Easter, Whitsuntide, Church-Consecration, and Christmas; some have it on
but two of these days, and some only at Christmas. The exceptions may be
many, and the large cities are quite exceptional, but the change is of
late introduction. When people must labor upon such a diet, they feel
the lack of something; but the Bavarians have been too long in this case
to think of crying, like Israel of old in the wilderness, after having
left the abundance of Egypt, "Who shall give us flesh to eat?"--they
attempt rather to allay the gnawings at their stomachs by potations of
beer, and the appetite grows by what it feeds on.

It is plausibly maintained that the climate of this particular locality
creates an actual necessity for the use of this beverage. Often, during
the earlier part of my residence there, I was besought by friends, with
manifestation of deepest concern, to use beer instead of water, with the
remark that the climate made this a necessary measure of security
against the prevalent typhus and typhoid fevers: a conviction which
seems to be deeply seated in the minds of the people.

Aside from all this, there is an almost total want of the pleasant
beverages used in our families. Tea is as good as unknown in Old
Bavaria, its use being confined to those who have been in England, or
have learned it of the English, and not one woman in twenty thousand can
prepare it. Let the word _tea_ be erased from our vocabulary, and from
our minds all the cheerful associations which it awakens, and there
passes from our hearts none can tell how much of that which we most
fondly cherish there,--the family of both sexes, and occasionally some
neighbors and friends, seated around the table,--the gently stimulating
narcotic diffusing a charm over the whole social being, and
communicating itself to the vocal machinery. Fanatical reformers have
proclaimed its injurious effects; and it may have such; but they are a
thousand times compensated by its value as a bond of union to the
elements of the domestic circle. The tea-table has been the butt of many
a jest and sarcasm, as a fountain of gossip and slander. This may be
true; but the security it furnishes against the dissipation of the
elements of the social circle outweighs thousands of such trifles, and
we half suspect that this objection was originated, and is mischievously
propagated, by those who are already developing a love for other
beverages. If Cowper, with the "sofa" assigned as his subject, could
sing so beautifully of all things social and domestic, what might he
not have done with the tea-table--the rallying-point of social life to
so many who never had a sofa--for his theme?

From the general use of coffee in the cities and large towns of Germany,
we have inferred its general use by the peasantry; but even this is
quite limited, in Upper Bavaria at least; it is found only where the
influence of city-life has penetrated. Sometimes a peasant woman has a
little hid in her chest, from which she stealthily prepares and drinks a
cup when her husband is away; but it is little used. This article was
brought into Western Europe in the seventeenth century, and found beer
in possession of Germany. The monks are said to have preached against
the use of coffee, as anticipating, by the dense black smoke which arose
from burning it, the "fumes of hell." It came from Turkey, and at that
day the Turk was still the hereditary dread of all the peoples on the
middle and upper Danube. He was next thing to the Devil; and what came
direct from the former could be but recent from the latter.

Their beloved beer could not be traced so directly to an origin in the
nether world. The German tribes, as far back as history or tradition
reports them, seem to have loved this quieting beverage. Traces of their
coming together as now for banqueting purposes, under the shade of
Germany's primeval forests, are still found in history and historical
traditions. There is one fact which Americans, so accustomed to rapid
transformations of society by migration, immigration, and intermixture
of races, can scarcely comprehend, even when they know it as a fact: it
is the persistency with which national traits adhere to a people in an
old country, through generations and decades of generations and of
centuries, withstanding the shock of revolution both in government and
religion. Tacitus says of these people:--"At meals, they sit every man
upon a seat by himself and at a separate table. Arising, they proceed
armed to their business; and they go armed also to their banquets. _It
is no reproach to them to continue day and night drinking. Their drink
is fermented from barley or wheat into a certain resemblance of wine_.
Their food is simple,--wild fruits, fresh game, or coagulated milk. They
satisfy hunger without formality and without delicacies. _In regard to
thirst they do not exercise this moderation_. Indulge their appetites by
giving them all they desire, and you may conquer them by their vices not
less easily than by arms."

Viewing, then, these people of Upper Bavaria, and of Munich in
particular, in their cold, raw air,--in their supposed exposure to
typhus and typhoid fevers,--deficiency of good food,--the want of the
domestic circle as cemented in our country over other beverages,--the
national abstemiousness in regard to food, and the addictedness to beer
for thousands of years past,--and we have a somewhat rational
explanation of the springing-up and development into such monstrous
proportions of the manufacture and consumption of this article. Of the
many it may be said,--

  "They drink their simple beverage with a gust,
  And feast upon an onion and a crust."

Bavaria, not including the Rhenish Palatinate, uses over six million
bushels of barley, and upwards of seven million pounds of hops,
annually, in its breweries, making over eight million eimers, that is,
about five million barrels of beer. But nearly half the kingdom is
wine-growing, and uses comparatively little beer; so that this is mainly
consumed in the other half, that is, by about three millions of people.
At an average price of three and a half cents per quart, there is
consumed in the kingdom fifty million florins, or over twenty million
dollars, annually, in this beverage. Both manufacture and consumption
have their head-quarters in Munich. The quantity manufactured in this
city alone in 1856-7 was nine hundred and fifty thousand eimers, or
about five hundred and seventy thousand barrels, being nearly five
barrels a head for the whole population, men, women, and children.
Allowing for the amount exported, or sent out of the city, there remains
something like four barrels to each person. This is one quart, or four
of our common table-glasses, per day. But some drink none, others
little; a man is scarcely reckoned with real beer-drinkers until he
drinks six masses,--twenty-four of our common tumblers; ten masses are
not uncommon; twenty to thirty masses--eighty to one hundred and twenty
of our dinner-glasses--are drunk by some, and on a wager even much more.
The sick man whose physician prescribed for him a quart of herb-tea as
the only thing that would save him, and who replied that he was gone,
then, for he held but a _pint_, was no Bavarian; for the most modest
Bavarian girl would not feel alarmed in regard to her capacity, if
ordered to drink a gallon,--certainly not, if the liquid were beer.

The aggregate labor performed in this branch of popular industry is thus
seen at a glance. But how is this done, and by whom? What is the noise
or noiselessness with which such torrents of this foaming liquid rush
daily through the channels of human bodies made originally too small to
admit half the quantity? What are the final results upon body, mind, and
heart of the present and future of the race? Does government encourage,
stimulate, control, and turn to account this national appetite? These
questions invite, and will well repay, a few moments' attention.

I once heard a college student announce as the text of his oration
Lindley Murray's well-known definition of the verb,--a word which
signifies "to be, to do, or to suffer"; and he followed up his
announcement by a most beautiful and conclusive argument to show that
this definition describes with equal accuracy three classes of men into
which the whole world may be divided: a class who have no purpose in
life but simply "to be"; an active class, whose mission is "to do," to
which they bend all their energies; and a passive class, who merely
"suffer" themselves to be employed as the tools of the men of action.
Whether he would have modified his statement, had he known something of
Bavarian beer-drinkers, I do not know; for, although these belong,
doubtless, in general, to the class of men which he designated as having
no purpose but simply "to be," yet they certainly have a decided
preference as to the means of their being, which must be beer; they have
activity enough to get where this can be obtained, and to handle the
needed quantity; and the man who holds and bears about fifteen or twenty
quarts a day must have no small share of the grace of passive endurance.

There is a class of the nobility too poor to treat themselves with the
diversions of court-life, and with notions of noble birth which forbid
them to engage in business, especially as they would thereby forfeit
their rank. They fund their small means, so as to yield them a stated
income; and in spending this and their time, they fall into a round
which brings them three or four times a day to some place where beer is
to be found, and with it a billiard-table and a reading-room. This class
does not, perhaps, embrace a very large number of the nobility, but it
is largely reinforced from others, whose small means are similarly
invested, and whose whole time is on their hands for disposal. The class
of men engaged in business, and pursuing it somewhat actively, give less
attention to beer during the day. They take a couple of glasses--four of
our common tumblers--at dinner, and perhaps send out a servant
occasionally during the day to replenish a pitcher for the
counter,--not, however, to treat customers, as used to be done in our
country; but as beer had been all day secondary to business, the latter
is dropped for the evening, and the undivided attention bestowed upon
the national beverage. A large portion of the poor, and many who cannot
be called poor, have not the means for this indulgence; and yet men and
women are seldom seen at their work without a mug of beer standing near
them. Ladies have the same provision in their families, as also
students, and all who occupy rented rooms in connection with the
families of the city; from ten to one o'clock servant-girls, with
pitchers in their hands and immense bunches of keys hanging to their
apron-strings, are seen running to and from the neighboring beer-houses
thick as butterflies floating in a summer sun, and seem far more as if
on business requiring haste. No room is sought for renting without an
inquiry as to the quality of the beer of the neighborhood; and the
landlady feels that her chances for a tenant are exceedingly slim, if
she cannot furnish a satisfactory recommendation in this respect.
Scarcely a house in the city is thirty steps from where the article can
be had. The places fitted up with seats and tables for drinking
accommodate from twenty to five hundred persons, and even one thousand
or more in summer, when a garden is generally prepared with seats for
the purpose. At these larger places, music is often provided, and ladies
are frequently found lending the charm and solace of their presence, and
sometimes a good deal more, to the other sex, in this self-denying work,
in which the men have generally been the great burden-bearers. But the
greatest crowds of real beer-drinkers go to another class of
houses,--that is, the breweries themselves, where rooms are always
fitted up for drinking. Of these the Court Brewery is perhaps in highest
repute, and is at least a great curiosity. I visited it three or four
times during a six years' residence in the city, and always in company
with others who wished to see the lions of the place, and for the same
reason that would have taken us to see a menagerie. Why did the monks
never think of applying to such places the figure by which they
protested against the introduction of coffee, "the fumes of hell"? The
smoke of five hundred cigars or pipes rising to a ceiling which had been
thus smoked for centuries,--the hoarse hum of five hundred voices
uttering the German gutturals from tongues thickened by the use of beer,
and floating heavily through an atmosphere of densest smoke, dimming the
lights and turning all into an indefinite and uniform brown color,--this
may indeed be a picture of Elysium to some minds, but to ours it is not.
I never found a vacant seat there, nor felt a desire to occupy one, had
there been such. Stone mugs of double the size of the common glasses are
used, perhaps to save servants' labor in drawing, which is no small
matter, as a barrel of beer lasts not more than ten minutes at the
height of the drinking-time of the evening.

None of the drinking-places in the city are filled until evening. In the
afternoon many take their walks into the suburbs, and turn aside where a
glass may be had. On all holidays the whole city is adrift, much of it
in the surrounding country, and most of this drift lodges against the
suburban beer-houses. In summer evenings there are frequent
entertainments, some provided by the government,--as one every Saturday
evening from six to seven o'clock, from May to November, a mile from the
city, in the English Garden, where sometimes two thousand persons may be
in attendance, to hear the royal bands play. It is presumed that there
will always be a considerable number among these who will not be able to
stand it an hour without beer, and a beneficent provision is made for
such,--seats and tables for at least five hundred persons being there
provided, and often filled, so that some must drink standing.

The regularity with which the men of Munich bring themselves around to
the same place at about the same time of day, especially if that place
is a beer-house, is remarkable,--indeed, amusing. A gentleman residing
in Berlin, where this everlasting beer-drinking does not prevail,
mentioned to me, as one of the most ludicrous occurrences of his life,
an invitation which he once received to visit a Munich professor whose
acquaintance he had made in Berlin. The professor told him, that, in
case he should arrive in Munich after a certain hour of the day, he must
go directly to the Court Brewery, and would find him there. We do
indeed regard this as the consummation of the ridiculous; but to this
bachelor professor it was the most natural thing in the world. He might
change his lodgings half a dozen times in a year, and so might not be
readily found; but the Court Brewery would remain from generation to
generation, and while he lived he expected regularly to appear there,
and there, of course, was the only place where he could make
appointments for years to come.

This incident will intimate what an external view of this dark brown
mass of humanity would never have hinted,--that it contains men of
learning and parts. Could one go round and listen to each party by
itself, instead of hearing the low rumble which falls upon the ears of
the general observer, the profoundest problems of philosophy,
statesmanship, philology, geography, ethnography, and history would be
found undergoing the most searching examination. Fame says of _our_
politicians who rise to positions which ought to be occupied only by
statesmen, that they frequent low places and mingle with the boisterous
crowd. This is probably not a slander. But these men frequent such
places only for a purpose. Their tastes do not lead them thither. They
go no oftener than serves their purpose. Not so with the learned German
beer-drinker. He is in his own proper society. Chinese or Sanscrit,
Arabic or Coptic, the last discoveries in the interior of Africa or
about the North Pole, or the more recondite regions of chemistry or
mineralogy, may be the theme of a familiar discourse, which each of the
party may fully appreciate.

To these places, of course, only the men resort. Indeed, in this part of
Germany there is little of family-life. The members of the family take
their coffee separately, as each rises and is ready. The men quite
generally dine and sup away from home, and that, too, when their
business and their residence are in the same house, and the hotel or
eating-house is at a distance. An English gentleman told me of a German
friend of his who appeared in his seat in the beer-house on the evening
of his wedding-day; and to the suggestion that this was not quite right
to the newly married wife, he replied that it did indeed seem so, but he
thought it better not to encourage hopes destined to disappointment.
This may, too, have been one of those numerous instances in which the
parties had already spent many evenings together in such a way as to
have diminished the interest of both in each other's society on the
first evening of married life. A genuine Munich man would never be
embarrassed like the Parisian, of whom the well-known story is told,
that, having been accustomed to spend all his evenings in the
drawing-room of a certain lady, he was advised, on the death of her
husband, to marry her, and promptly replied with the question, "_Where,
then, should I spend my evenings?_" A true South-Bavarian's plan of
spending his evenings is not affected by the trifling event of his

Indeed, there is an aspect of this virtual dissolution of family-life
which has great interest as connected with German erudition. The English
or American scholar, whose social hours are mainly spent with his
family, or in the mixed society of the sexes, would never think of
introducing the subjects of his study into such circles, and hence is
without the best means of familiarizing his mind with the very topics to
which all his hours of close application are devoted; for no subject is
fully understood and reduced to material for ready use until it has been
in some form the theme of frequent familiar discourse. It is thus turned
over,--looked at on every side,--the views of men of different tastes,
studies, and orders of mind, who have not disqualified themselves for
this by being curled into the same nutshell, are called forth,--and the
sparks thus elicited catch on other tinder, which had not been touched
by those struck out in solitary study. It is thus that the thoughts of
the learned are familiarized, and their area extended. It is thus that
subjects which sit upon us as holiday-clothes are, in a society of
German _literati_, who are together every day at dinner, or over their
coffee after dinner, and every evening over their beer, become to them
as their every-day clothing. I am not of those who deem this result well
purchased at the price of the refining influence of the other sex, and
the virtual breaking-up of family-life; but if some middle way could be
hit upon to secure the two advantages at once, both science and society
would be great gainers.

The government has regulated the manufacture of beer, and collected an
income-tax upon it, for centuries past; and this is even now one of its
most puzzling problems. It determines the price, both wholesale and
retail, at which the beer may be sold. The calculations are based upon
an estimate of the medium amount of fixed capital necessary for the
manufacture, then the labor, then the average price of barley and hops
at the October and November markets of each year; every item which
enters into the manufacture, including interest at five per cent on
capital, enters also into the government's calculation by which it
determines its tax and the price of beer. The price is never increased
or diminished by less than half a kreutzer, or two pfennigs, that is,
one-third of a cent, per mass. The fractional parts of this
half-kreutzer which may appear in the calculation are divided by a fixed
rule between the public and the brewer: that is, when the fraction is
one-fourth of a kreutzer, or less, the brewer must drop it for the
public benefit; when more, he may call it a half for his own benefit.
The government tax is nearly one kreutzer per mass, making about six
millions of florins. There is also in several places an additional local
beer-tax, amounting to nearly two million florins more. The population
of the kingdom is about five millions. A considerable portion of this
population are wine-growing, and manufacture and drink but little beer.
Ledlmayr, the largest brewer in Munich, made in the year 1856--the
latest statistics published--one hundred and twenty-nine thousand
eimers. Allowing three hundred working-days to the year, this would be
four hundred and thirty eimers, or twenty-seven thousand five hundred
and twenty masses, per day, and would pay to the government, at one
kreutzer per mass, one hundred and eighty dollars of our money for each
of these working-days, or fifty-four thousand dollars yearly. In a time
of popular sensitiveness, there is nothing which the government could do
that would be so likely to be followed by a revolutionary outbreak as to
add a kreutzer to the price of the mass or quart of beer. This article
is ranked in all police-regulations among the necessaries of life. The
bakeries and beer-houses must remain open at those holiday-hours when
all other shopkeepers, except the apothecaries, must close their shops.

The statistics already given have reference to the common beer; but,
besides this, the brewers have permission to brew for certain short
periods what are called the double beers, without paying a tax upon
them. My statistics of the beer-drinking will, therefore, fall short of
the truth, at least by this uncertain quantity. During the brief periods
of the sale of the double beers, there is a great rush for them,
relieving somewhat the monotony of the ordinary routine. The two
principal kinds of double beer are the Bock-beer and the Salvator-beer.
The latter creates quite a furor. Many, led by curiosity to the
head-quarters of its sale, find their amusement there in testing the
capacity of some great beer-drinker,--and such are always on hand
waiting the chance,--by paying for all he will drink. These curious
visitors seldom return without a similar test of their own capacities;
and as the article has double the alcohol of the common beer, many a one
staggers a little on his homeward way who had never felt such effect
from the common form of the beverage.

There is also no small amount of wine drunk in Munich. I have not the
statistics, but the number of large houses with the sign,
"Weinhandlung," and of the smaller ones with the sign, "Weinschenck,"
and then the fact that at all the large hotels wine is mainly drunk at
dinner, furnish my data for this conclusion. In the wine-growing
districts of Bavaria beer-drinking is reduced to about one-fourth of the
Munich standard, and so we may suppose that the removal of all wine from
the capital might add one-fourth to the beer-drinking as given
above,--at least, it takes the place of one-fourth of that which would
be the aggregate of the beer-drinking.

The government has a commission for the examination of the quality of
the beer; and, indeed, aside from this, the popular taste is not a bad
test in this respect. There is an error in the lines of Prior,--

  "When you with High-Dutch Herren dine,
  Expect false Latin and stummed wine:
  They never taste who always drink;
  They always talk who never think."[C]

The most common manifestation of Bavarian beer-drinking is a perpetual
tasting, and not a pouring-down of the liquid a glass at a time. These
people seem to have the art of doing this thing so gradually and quietly
that the soothing liquor passes gently into the circulation, and
produces an effect very different from that which would result from
swallowing it a glass at a draught, enabling them to drink without
visible effect a much larger quantity in the aggregate. They practise
upon the proverb, "The still sow drinks the swill,"--a proverb which
would serve admirably the purpose of those who desire to join in the
general sarcasm expended upon Bavarian beer-drinking, since almost every
word in it seems to express so exactly some characteristic which North
Germans and others are disposed to attribute to Bavarians.

Reference was made above to the government's regulating the price of
beer. The margin allowed between the wholesale and retail price is half
a kreutzer on the mass,--that is, one-fourth of a kreutzer or one-sixth
of a cent on the glass. What a blessing, if the retail liquor-trade in
our country were reduced to such a scale of profit! This would bring
less than two dollars on one thousand glasses. The work would have to be
turned over to benevolence for its prosecution, and would doubtless be
done much more to the advantage of the community. The profit, however,
on this trade in Bavaria is somewhat increased by the manner in which
servants are paid. Especially if good-looking girls are employed, the
employer may pay them nothing, but leave them to get their pay from the
customer. They bring him his change in kreutzers and fractions of a
kreutzer, and he shoves back to them often these fractional parts; and
if no such are there, a truly liberal soul may give the girl a whole
kreutzer, and then in return he will receive an expression of thanks
somewhat stronger than our lordly porters would allow themselves to make
for half a dollar on which they had no claim. Small as this profit is,
it brings to the retailers of Munich about five hundred thousand
florins, somewhat more than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in
gold per annum. Then, if the servants receive from the customers
gratuities of half that amount, that is, an average of one-twelfth of a
cent on the glass, this amounts to two hundred and fifty thousand
florins per annum. In view of all these facts, it can be conceived that
nothing would be so certain to be followed by a revolutionary outbreak
as the addition of a kreutzer to the price of a mass of beer.

The wit which sparkles and flashes in a Bavarian beer-house may be as
much less boisterous, or rather as much more quiet, than that which
explodes over the distilled spirits of our bar-rooms, as the stimulant
itself is less exciting, but is for this very reason the more genuine.
Like the myriads of fire-flies on a warm summer evening amid the rising
fog of a marshy ground, so gleams this wit in its smoky atmosphere;
still it is there, notwithstanding the popular notion of Bavarian
stupidity. The North German, and even English and American satirists of
these people, fare generally much as did Ulysses's men on drinking of
Circe's magic cup; and once turned into swine, they are seldom turned
back again, at least until they leave the charmed spot. When once drawn
into the vortex of students' convivial gatherings, they feel that there
is no escape without flying from the place.

A drinking frolic, involving Americans, once called in my aid to settle
a great international difficulty--that is, one about as threatening as
most of those diplomatic cases flaunted so often in our
newspapers--between the United States and Bavarian governments. Two
American art-students had taken a room at Nymphenburg, a little village
in the vicinity of Munich, the site of a royal _château_, which in
summer is always occupied by a royal prince. There the great Napoleon
lodged, when he visited the Bavarian capital. There the present king was
born. There, at the time to which I refer, the king's youngest brother,
Adalbert,--who would have succeeded Otho on the throne of Greece, if the
Greeks had not otherwise determined,--was residing in the palace, and a
company of cuirassiers was stationed in the town. The two students were
visited on a Sunday evening by three or four more Americans, and one
English and two Bavarian friends. The usual beer-guzzling prevailed;
some exciting topic was up, and each must have his glass empty when the
time for refilling was announced. One of the Americans felt his capacity
not quite equal to the demands made upon it. The shift often resorted to
in such a trying situation is quietly to empty the glass under the table
or out of a window, if this can be done without observation,--and most
young men are not very observing at such times. Under the window,
outside, sat a party of the cuirassiers drinking, about a dozen of whom
made a sudden irruption into that bacchanal chamber, and, with little
explanation, proceeded to clear it of its tenants and guests, knocking
down, beating, and pitching them headlong down-stairs, until the work
was done. There were sundry flesh-bruises inflicted, some small
blood-vessels lying near the surface tapped, one collar-bone fractured,
a wrist sprained, garments torn off or left hanging in shreds; and
rarely has the darkness of a summer evening concealed a more ludicrous
spectacle than that of these dispersed beer-bacchanalians, each running
on his own account, hatless or coatless, as he happened to have been
left by some stout cuirassier into whose hands he had fallen. The next
day, a deputation of the injured company and their friends came to me,
desiring that redress might be demanded of the Bavarian government. They
stated their case both verbally and in writing. They were conscious of
no offence. If the assailants gave any reason for their assault, it was
not understood. Most of the young men knew but little German, and
perhaps just then less than usual of that or any other language. The
supposition was, that the rough treatment grew out of the cuirassiers'
jealousy that they were not so well served by the waiting-maids as the
American company and their guests. One, however, stated the unimportant
incident, that the coat of the man who handled him so carelessly seemed
to be very wet. One of the Americans who had been present on this
occasion did not present himself until sent for several days afterwards.
He had observed an incident seen by no other,--one of which the
performer, himself as honest a young man as ever lived, was utterly
unconscious,--_the pouring of a glass of beer from the window_. The beer
did as little harm on the cuirassiers' coats as it would have done in
the American's stomach, and was at least the incidental means of
bringing the whole scene to an abrupt end. The government was inclined
to do us justice, but very naturally thought that the drenching of its
cuirassiers might be pleaded in abatement of the insult to our national
dignity; and so a nominal punishment of the offenders finally settled
the question.

If asked whether inebriation and its accompaniments are as marked under
the reign of beer as under that of the more fiery fluids used among us,
I should feel bound to reply negatively. The common Bavarian beer has
but about half the strength of the average malt liquors of our country,
and seldom produces real intoxication except upon novices. It may
stupefy, though this is by no means observable in the mental action of
learned Bavarians. The charge of dulness, so sarcastically made against
them, could be retorted with about as much show of reason against
Prussians, Hanoverians, Saxons, or, indeed, any other people. The
students, after their _Kneips_, have what they call
_Katzenjammer_,--cat-sickness,--the effect of debauch, loss of rest, and
general irregularities; and those who do most of the beer-drinking do
least of the studying. I should, indeed, fear fatal effects from
drinking half the quantity of water which some of them take of beer. The
drunkenness produced by beer is at least a very different thing from
that produced by distilled spirits. The one may be a stupor, the other
is a brief and sudden insanity. Beer holds no one captive by such spell
as that which seizes some natures on the first taste of ardent spirits,
throwing them beyond their own control until their week's frolic is
ended. The cases are rare, if they ever occur, in which the beer-drinker
is enticed from the prosecution of his business, if he has one,--and
beer furnishes the main substitute for business to those who have no
other employment. If it causes men to pursue their avocations lazily or
stupidly, it does not cause the irregularities and neglects of American
inebriation. Cases of pawning clothes and impoverishing families from
the appetite for beer may occur, just as from laziness, but not as from
the bewitching appetite for ardent spirits.

The practice of Americans in Bavaria, even of those who never drink a
drop of beer at home, is, so far as I know, to drink a little while in
the country, acting from a supposed necessity in that climate, or
impelled by the want of other beverages. Physicians advise it, and I
suppose that American physicians would do the same in the case of their
countrymen temporarily residing there. In my own family, it was taken
every day at dinner as a kind of prescription, and the children were
disciplined to drink their little glass daily with rather less urging
than would have been necessary, had the dose been castor-oil; and they
always felt that they deserved an expression of approbation as being
"good children," if they drank their entire portion. Our taste for beer
never increased, but rather the contrary; and should I again reside in
that country, notwithstanding the general impression that its use is a
kind of necessity, as a security against the fevers incident to the
climate, I should feel just as secure without a drop. My little boy,
born in Bavaria, and but four years old when we left the kingdom, liked
the beer better than the other children, and so gave some support to the
theory that the Bavarians take to beer by instinct. He shared, too, in
the patriotic doubt of the people as to the possibility of successfully
imitating the article in other countries. When, on our journey homeward,
the train brought us into the little city of Koethen, we found evidence
of one of those attempts so unsuccessfully made everywhere in North
Germany to imitate the Bavarian beer. A man passed along by the train,
crying at the top of his voice, "_Baierisches bier!_" upon which the
little fellow, in the height of his indignation, cried out,
"_Baierisches Bier nicht!_"--("Not Bavarian beer!")--and so the cry and
response continued until the parties were out of each other's hearing,
and all the passengers in the train had their attention called, and
their main amusement furnished, by this childish outburst of patriotic
indignation. At this point, my life, observation, and adventures in
connection with Bavarian beer ceased, and almost the last echo of its
magic name in the original tongue died on my ears. That the results may
not be lost and forgotten, I now commit them to paper and to the

       *       *       *       *       *


    The Friar Jerome, for some slight sin,
  Done in his youth, was struck with woe.
  "When I am dead," quoth Friar Jerome,
  "Surely, I think my soul will go
  Shuddering through the darkened spheres,
  Down to eternal fires below!
  I shall not dare from that dread place
  To lift mine eyes to Jesus' face,
  Nor Mary's, as she sits adored
  At the feet of Christ the Lord.
  Alas! December's all too brief
  For me to hope to wipe away
  The memory of my sinful May!"
  And Friar Jerome was full of grief,
  That April evening, as he lay
  On the straw pallet in his cell.
  He scarcely heard the curfew-bell
  Calling the brotherhood to prayer;
  But he arose, for't was his care
  Nightly to feed the hungry poor
  That crowded to the Convent-door.

    His choicest duty it had been:
  But this one night it weighed him down.
  "What work for an immortal soul,
  To feed and clothe some lazy clown!
  Is there no action worth my mood,
  No deed of daring, high and pure,
  That shall, when I am dead, endure,
  A well-spring of perpetual good?"

    And straight he thought of those great tomes
  With clamps of gold,--the Convent's boast,--
  How they endured, while kings and realms
  Passed into darkness and were lost;
  How they had stood from age to age,
  Clad in their yellow vellum-mail,
  'Gainst which the Paynim's godless rage,
  The Vandal's fire could nought avail:
  Though heathen sword-blows fell like hail,
  Though cities ran with Christian blood,
  Imperishable they had stood!
  They did not seem like books to him,
  But Heroes, Martyrs, Saints,--themselves
  The things they told of, not mere books
  Ranged grimly on the oaken shelves.

    To those dim alcoves, far withdrawn,
  He turned with measured steps and slow,
  Trimming his lantern as he went;
  And there, among the shadows, bent
  Above one ponderous folio,
  With whose miraculous text were blent
  Seraphic faces: Angels, crowned
  With rings of melting amethyst;
  Mute, patient Martyrs, cruelly bound
  To blazing fagots; here and there,
  Some bold, serene Evangelist,
  Or Mary in her sunny hair:
  And here and there from out the words
  A brilliant tropic bird took flight;
  And through the margins many a vine
  Went wandering--roses, red and white,
  Tulip, wind-flower, and columbine
  Blossomed. To his believing mind
  These things were real, and the soft wind,
  Blown through the mullioned window, took
  Scent from the lilies in the book.

    "Santa Maria!" cried Friar Jerome,
  "Whatever man illumined this,
  Though he were steeped heart-deep in sin,
  Was worthy of unending bliss,
  And no doubt hath it! Ah! dear Lord,
  Might I so beautify Thy Word!
  What sacristan, the convents through,
  Transcribes with such precision? who
  Does such initials as I do?
  Lo! I will gird me to this work,
  And save me, ere the one chance slips.
  On smooth, clean parchment I'll engross
  The Prophet's fell Apocalypse;
  And as I write from day to day,
  Perchance my sins will pass away."

    So Friar Jerome began his Book.
  From break of dawn till curfew-chime
  He bent above the lengthening page,
  Like some rapt poet o'er his rhyme.
  He scarcely paused to tell his beads,
  Except at night; and then he lay
  And tossed, unrestful, on the straw,
  Impatient for the coming day,--
  Working like one who feels, perchance,
  That, ere the longed-for goal be won,
  Ere Beauty bare her perfect breast,
  Black Death may pluck him from the sun.
  At intervals the busy brook,
  Turning the mill-wheel, caught his ear;
  And through the grating of the cell
  He saw the honeysuckles peer;
  And knew't was summer, that the sheep
  In golden pastures lay asleep;
  And felt, that, somehow, God was near.
  In his green pulpit on the elm,
  The robin, abbot of that wood,
  Held forth by times; and Friar Jerome
  Listened, and smiled, and understood.

    While summer wrapped the blissful land,
  What joy it was to labor so,
  To see the long-tressed Angels grow
  Beneath the cunning of his hand,
  Vignette and tail-piece deftly wrought!
  And little recked he of the poor
  That missed him at the Convent-door;
  Or, thinking of them, put the thought
  Aside. "I feed the souls of men
  Henceforth, and not their bodies!"--yet
  Their sharp, pinched features, now and then,
  Stole in between him and his Book,
  And filled him with a vague regret.

    Now on that region fell a blight:
  The corn grew cankered in its sheath;
  And from the verdurous uplands rolled
  A sultry vapor fraught with death,--
  A poisonous mist, that, like a pall,
  Hung black and stagnant over all.
  Then came the sickness,--the malign
  Green-spotted terror, called the Pest,
  That took the light from loving eyes,
  And made the young bride's gentle breast
  A fatal pillow. Ah! the woe,
  The crime, the madness that befell!
  In one short night that vale became
  More foul than Dante's inmost hell.
  Men cursed their wives; and mothers left
  Their nursing babes alone to die,
  And wantoned, singing, through the streets,
  With shameless brow and frenzied eye;
  And senseless clowns, not fearing God,--
  Such power the spotted fever had,--
  Razed Cragwood Castle on the hill,
  Pillaged the wine-bins, and went mad.
  And evermore that dreadful pall
  Of mist hung stagnant over all:
  By day, a sickly light broke through
  The heated fog, on town and field;
  By night the moon, in anger, turned
  Against the earth its mottled shield.

    Then from the Convent, two and two,
  The Prior chanting at their head,
  The monks went forth to shrive the sick,
  And give the hungry grave its dead,--
  Only Jerome, he went not forth,
  But hiding in his dusty nook,
  "Let come what will, I must illume
  The last ten pages of my Book!"
  He drew his stool before the desk,
  And sat him down, distraught and wan,
  To paint his darling masterpiece,
  The stately figure of Saint John.
  He sketched the head with pious care,
  Laid in the tint, when, powers of Grace!
  He found a grinning Death's-head there,
  And not the grand Apostle's face!

    Then up he rose with one long cry:
  "'Tis Satan's self does this," cried he,
  "Because I shut and barred my heart
  When Thou didst loudest call to me!
  O Lord, Thou know'st the thoughts of men,
  Thou know'st that I did yearn to make
  Thy Word more lovely to the eyes
  Of sinful souls, for Christ his sake!
  Nathless, I leave the task undone:
  I give up all to follow Thee,--
  Even like him who gave his nets
  To winds and waves by Galilee!"

    Which said, he closed the precious Book
  In silence with a reverent hand;
  And, drawing his cowl about his face,
  Went forth into the Stricken Land.
  And there was joy in heaven that day,--
  More joy o'er that forlorn old friar
  Than over fifty sinless men
  Who never struggled with desire!

    What deeds he did in that dark town,
  What hearts he soothed with anguish torn,
  What weary ways of woe he trod,
  Are written in the Book of God,
  And shall be read at Judgment-Morn.
  The weeks crept on, when, one still day,
  God's awful presence filled the sky,
  And that black vapor floated by,
  And, lo! the sickness passed away.
  With silvery clang, by thorp and town,
  The bells made merry in their spires,
  Men kissed each other on the street,
  And music piped to dancing feet
  The livelong night, by roaring fires!

    Then Friar Jerome, a wasted shape,--.
  For he had taken the Plague at last,--
  Rose up, and through the happy town,
  And through the wintry woodlands passed
  Into the Convent. What a gloom
  Sat brooding in each desolate room!
  What silence in the corridor!
  For of that long, innumerous train
  Which issued forth a month before,
  Scarce twenty had come back again!

    Counting his rosary step by step,
  With a forlorn and vacant air,
  Like some unshriven church-yard thing,
  The Friar crawled up the mouldy stair
  To his damp cell, that he might look
  Once more on his beloved Book.

    And there it lay upon the stand,
  Open!--he had not left it so.
  He grasped it, with a cry; for, lo!
  He saw that some angelic hand,
  While he was gone, had finished it!
  There't was complete, as he had planned!
  There, at the end, stood _finis_, writ
  And gilded as no man could do,--
  Not even that pious anchoret,
  Bilfrid, the wonderful,--nor yet
  The miniatore Ethelwold,--
  Nor Durham's Bishop, who of old
  (England still hoards the priceless leaves)
  Did the Four Gospels all in gold.
  And Friar Jerome nor spoke nor stirred,
  But, with his eyes fixed on that word,
  He passed from sin and want and scorn;
  And suddenly the chapel-bells
  Rang in the holy Christmas-Morn!

    In those wild wars which racked the land,
  Since then, and kingdoms rent in twain.
  The Friar's Beautiful Book was lost,--
  That miracle of hand and brain:
  Yet, though its leaves were torn and tossed,
  The volume was not writ in vain!

       *       *       *       *       *




We are no "lion-hunters." When we wish to learn something of eminent
authors, we hasten to the nearest book-shop and buy their works. They
put the best of themselves in their books. The old saw tells us how
completely all great men give the best part of themselves to the public,
while the _valet-de-chambre_ picks up little else than food for
contempt. Nevertheless, we are as inquisitive about everything that
concerns eminent people as anybody can be. We would not blot a single
line from Boswell. We protest against a word being effaced from the
garrulous pages of Lady Blessington and Leigh Hunt. We "hang" the stars
with which Earl Russell has _milky-wayed_ Moore's Diary. But we are no
"lion-hunters," (the name should be "lion-harriers,") simply because
this chase is not the best way to take the game we desire. What does the
lion-hunter secure? A commonplace observation upon the weather, an
adroit or awkward parry of flattery, and some superficial compliment
upon one's native place or present residence; for a great man at bay is
nothing more nor less than a casual acquaintance extremely on his guard,
and, commonly, extremely fatigued by admirers. True, one obtains an
acquaintance with the great man's voice, and the hearth where he lives,
and the right to boast with truth, "I have seen him." _Voilà tout!_ Now
this is not what we want. We desire some good, clear, faithful account
of these people, as they are, when they talk freely and easily to their
contemporaries, to their peers. Boswell's picture of the Literary Club
is invaluable, although, with the insatiable curiosity of the nineteenth
century, we regret that the prince of reporters failed to sketch the
persons and peculiarities of the _dramatis personæ_ whose conversations
he has so faithfully recorded.

We wish to go behind the scenes, and to hear the conversation engaged in
in the green-room. We expect to see some dirt, some grease-pots, stained
ropes, and unpainted pulleys,--and, to tell the truth, we want to see
these blemishes. They are encouraging. They lessen the distance between
us and it by teaching us that even fairy-land knows no exemption from
those imperfections which blur our purest natures.

A work has lately appeared in Europe which in some measure gratifies
this desire. It exhibits in full light a good many scenes of literary
life in Paris. They may be and probably are exaggerated, but
exaggerations do not mar truth; if they did, we should be obliged to
throw away the microscope, with nativities and divining-rods. We are
tempted to give our readers a share of the pleasure we have found in
perusing this picture of Paris life. We forewarn them that we have taken
liberties innumerable with the book. We have compressed into these few
leaves a volume of several hundred pages. We have discarded all the
machinery of the author, and introduced him personally to the reader in
the character of an autobiographer. We have not scrupled to make
explanations and additions wherever we thought them necessary, without
resorting to the artifice of notes or of quotation-marks. We repeat,
that we have taken a great many liberties with the author; but we have
made no statement, advanced no fact, indulged no reflection, which is
not to be found in the work referred to, or in some trustworthy
authority. And now we leave him the door without another observation.

I am Count Armand de Pontmartin. I was born of noble parents at Aix, in
Provence, in 1820. I was educated at Paris, but the first twelve years
after I left college were passed on my estate in the enjoyment of an
income of three thousand dollars a year. Belonging to a Legitimist
family, my principles forbade my serving the Orléans dynasty, and I
should scarcely have known how to satisfy that thirst for activity which
fevers youth, had I not for years burned with the ambition to acquire
literary fame. Circumstances conspired to thwart these literary schemes,
and it was not until I had reached my thirtieth year that I came to
Paris with a heart full of emotion and hope, a trunk full of
manuscripts, and some friends' addresses on my memorandum-book. Before I
had been a week in town they had introduced me to three or four editors
of newspapers or reviews, and to several publishers and theatrical
managers. In less than a fortnight I breakfasted alone at Café Bignon
with one of my favorite authors, the celebrated novelist, Monsieur Jules
Sandeau.[D] I was confounded with astonishment and gratitude that he
should allow me to sit at the same table and eat with him. I felt
embarrassed to know where to find viands meet to offer him, and
beverages not unworthy to pass his lips. There were in his works so many
souls exiled from heaven, so many tearful smiles, so many melancholy
glances constantly turned towards the infinite horizon, that it seemed
to me something like sacrilege to offer to the creator of this noble and
charming world a dish of _rosbif aux pommes_ and a _turbot à la
Hollandaise_ and a claret wine. I could have invented for him some of
those Oriental delicacies made by sultans during harem's heavy hours;
rose-leaves kneaded with snow-water, dreams or perfumes disguised as
sweetmeats, or citron and myrtle-flowers dew-diamonded in golden
beakers. Of a truth, the personal appearance of my poetical guest did
give something of a shock to the ideal I had formed. Many and many a
time I had pictured him to myself tall and thin and pale, with large
black eyes raised heavenwards, and hair curling naturally on a forehead
shadowed by melancholy! In reality, Monsieur Jules Sandeau is a good
stout fellow, with broad, stalwart shoulders, a tendency to premature
obesity, small, bright, gentle, acute eyes, a head as bald as my knee,
rather thick lips, and a rubicund complexion; he has an air of
good-nature and simplicity which excludes everything like sentimental
exaggeration; he wears a black cravat tied negligently around a muscular
neck; in fine, he looks like a sub-lieutenant dressed in
citizen's-clothes. I got over this shock, and hunted all through the
bill of fare, (which, as you know, forms in Paris a duodecimo volume of
a good many pages,) trying my best to discover some romantic dish and
some supernal _liqueur_, until he cut short my chase by suggesting a
dinner of the most vulgar solidity; and when I tried to retrieve this
commonplace dinner by ordering for dessert some vapory _liqueurs_, such
as uncomprehended women sip, he proposed a glass of brandy. This was my
first literary deception.

A theatrical newspaper was lying on the table. It contained an account
of a piece played the evening before. The writer spoke of the play as a
masterpiece, and of the performance as being one of those triumphs which
form an epoch in the history of dramatic art. I read this panegyric with
avidity, and exclaimed,--

"Oh, what a glorious thing success is! How happy that author must be!"

"He!" replied Monsieur Sandeau, smiling; "he is mortified to death; his
play is execrable, and it fell flat."

"You must be mistaken!"

"I was present at the performance; and I have no reason to be pleased at
the miscarriage of the piece, for I am neither an enemy nor an intimate
friend of the author."

Monsieur Jules Sandeau then went on to explain to me how the theatrical
newspapers, which contain the lists of performers and of pieces in all
the theatres of Paris, (play-bills being unknown,) enter into a
contract, which is the condition precedent of their sale in the
theatres, stipulating that they will never speak otherwise than in
praise of the pieces brought out. The report of the new piece is often
written and set up before the performance takes place.

I blushed and said,--

"That is deplorable! But, thank Heaven! these are only the Grub-Street
writers, the mere penny-a-liners; the influential reporters of the great
morning papers, fortunately, are animated by a love of truth and

Monsieur Sandeau looked at me, and smiled as be remarked,--

"Oh! as for them, they don't care a whit for piece or author or public.
They think of nothing but showing off themselves. Monsieur Théophile
Gautier has no care except to display the wealth of a palette which
mistook its vocation when it sought to obtain from pen, ink, and paper
those colors which pencil and canvas alone can give. He discards
sentiments, ideas, characters, dialogue, probability, intellectual
delicacy, everything which raises man above wood or stone. He would be
the very first writer of the age, if the world would agree to suppress
everything like heart and soul. He is never more at ease than when he
has to report a piece whose literary beauties are its splendid scenery
and costumes. He will dismiss the subject, the plot, the characters, and
the details in five lines; while fifteen columns will not suffice for
all the wonders of the decorations. If you ask him to send you to some
person most familiar with contemporary dramatic art, instead of sending
you to Alexandre Dumas, the elder or the younger, to Ponsard, or to
Augier, he will send you to the celebrated scene-painters, to Cicéri or
Séchan or Cambon. As for Monsieur Jules Janin, of whom I am very fond,
he is--You have sometimes been to concerts where virtuosos play
variations on the sextuor of "Lucie," or the trio of "William Tell," or
the duet of "Les Huguenots"? You listen attentively, and do at first
detect a phrase here and a phrase there which vaguely recall the work of
Donizetti, or of Rossini, or of Meyerbeer; but in an instant the
virtuoso himself forgets all about them. You have nothing but volley
after volley of notes, a musical storm, tempest, avalanche; the
primitive idea is fathoms deep under water, and when it is caught again
it is drowned. Now Monsieur Jules Janin has had for the last
five-and-twenty years the business of executing brilliant variations
upon the piano of dramatic criticism. He acts like the virtuosos you
hear at concerts. He writes, for conscience' sake, the name of the
author and the title of the play at the head of his dramatic report, and
then off he goes, heels over head, with variation and variation, and
variation and variation again, in French and in Latin, until at last no
human being can tell what he is after, where he is going, what he is
talking about, or what he means to say. He will tell you the whole story
of the Second Punic War, speaking of a sentimental comedy played at the
Gymnase Theatre, and a low farce of the Palais Royal Theatre will
furnish him the pretext to quote ten lines of Xenophon in the original
Greek. Monsieur Jules Janin is, notwithstanding all this, an excellent
fellow, and a man of great talents; but you must not ask him to work
miracles; in other words, you must not ask him to express briefly and
clearly what he thinks of the play he criticizes, nor to remember to-day
the opinion he entertained yesterday. These are miracles he cannot work.
He hears a piece; he is delighted with it; he says to the author, 'Your
piece is charming. You will be gratified by my criticism upon it.' He
comes home; he sits at his desk. What happens? Why, the wind which blew
from the north blows from the south; the soap-bubble rose on the left,
it floats away towards the right. His pen runs away with him; praise is
thrown out by the first hole in the road; epigram jumps in; and at last
the poor dramatic author, who was lauded to the skies yesterday,
complimented this morning, finds himself cut to pieces and dragged at
horses' tails in to-morrow's paper. Don't blame Monsieur Jules Janin for
it. 'Tis not his fault. The fault lies with his inkhorn; the fault lies
with his pen, which mistook the mustard-pot for the honey-jar; 'twill be
more careful next time. 'Tis the fault of the hand-organ which would
grind away while he was writing; 'tis the fault of the fly which would
keep buzzing about the room and bumping against the panes of glass; 'tis
the fault of the idea which took wings and flew away. The poor dramatic
author is mortified to death; but, Lord bless your soul! Monsieur Jules
Janin is not guilty."

"What do you think of Monsieur Sainte-Beuve? Is he as unfaithful a
critic as Monsieur Théophile Gautier and Monsieur Jules Janin?" I asked,
rather timidly.

"Monsieur Sainte-Beuve has received from Heaven (which he has ceased to
believe in) an exquisite taste, an extraordinary delicacy of tact,
admirable talents of criticism, relieved, and, as it were, fertilized,
by rare poetical faculties. He possesses and exercises in the most
masterly manner the art of shading, of hints, of hesitations, of
insinuations, of infiltrations, of evolutions, of circumlocutions, of
precautions, of ambuscades, of feline gambols, of ground and lofty
tumbling, of strategy, and of literary diplomacy. He excels in the art
of distilling a drop of poison in a phial of perfume so as to render the
poison delicious and the perfume venomous. His prose is as attractive
and magnetizing as a woman slightly compromised in public opinion, and
who does not tell all her secrets, but increases her attractions both by
what she shows and by what she conceals. Monsieur Sainte-Beuve has had
no desire but to be a pilgrim of ideas, lacking the first requisite in a
pilgrim, which is faith. He has circumnavigated, merely in the character
of amateur, every doctrine of the century; but though he has never
adopted one of them for his creed, when he abandoned them he seemed to
have betrayed them. Accused unjustly of treachery and apostasy, he has
done his best to confirm his reputation, and has ended by becoming the
enemy of those from whom at first he had only deserted. His error has
been in adulterating that which he might have put, with singular grace,
talents, and natural superiority, pure into currency,--in acting as if
literature were a war of treachery, where one was constantly obliged to
keep a sword in the hand and a poniard in the pocket. They say he is at
great pains to provide himself with an immense arsenal of defensive and
offensive weapons, that he may be able to crush those he loves to-day
and may detest to-morrow, and those he hates to-day and wishes to wreak
vengeance on hereafter. Monsieur Sainte-Beuve might have been the most
indisputable of authorities: he is only the most delightful of literary

Such was the language of Monsieur Jules Sandeau. He spoke in the same
strain of many another eminent literary man. Around these illustrious
planets gravitated satellites. When new pieces were brought out, he told
me one could see between the acts the lieutenants go up to the
captain-critics and receive instructions from them; the consequence was,
the theatrical criticisms were either collective apotheoses or
collective executions. One day it was Mademoiselle Rachel they put on
the black list for three months, and they raised up against her Madame
Ristori, declaring that she was as superior to Rachel as Alfieri was to
Racine. Then 'twas the Gymnase Theatre they put in Coventry, for having
spoken disrespectfully of newspaper-writers. Another day Monsieur Scribe
was their victim, to punish him for fatiguing with his dramatic
longevity the young men, the new-comers, who are neither young men, nor
new men, nor men of talents. Monsieur Jules Sandeau had passed through
the thorny paths, the steppes, and the waste frontiers of literary life
in Paris, without losing his honor, but without retaining a particle of
illusion. He told me of his days of harsh and pernicious poverty, the
abyss of debt, the constable at the door, the agony of hunting after
dollar by dollar, "copy" hastily written to meet urgent wants, and the
sweet toil of literary exertion changed into torture. I questioned him
about Madame George Sand. What child of twenty has not been fired by
that free, proud poetry which refused to accept the cold chains of
commonplace life and justified the paradoxes of revolt by the eloquence
of the pleading and the beauty of the dream? I soon discovered that the
ideal and the real are two hostile brothers. De Balzac's works had
kindled sincere enthusiasm in my breast. Monsieur Jules Sandeau showed
me the dash of madness and of ingenuous depravity mixed with
incontestable genius in that powerful mind. He told me of De Balzac's
insane vanity, of his furious passion for wealth and luxury, of his
readiness to plunge and to drag others after him into the most hazardous
adventures, and of his insensibility to commercial honor.

After parting from Monsieur Jules Sandeau, I strolled towards a
circulating-library. I was asking the mistress of the establishment some
questions about the latest publications, when all of a sudden the glass
door opened in the most violent manner, and who should come in but
Monsieur Philoxène Boyer, rushing forward like a whirlwind, a last lock
of hair dancing on top of a bald pate, a livid complexion, a feverish
eye, a sack-overcoat friable as tinder, a hat reddened by the rain,
trousers falling in lint upon boots run down at the heel: such was the
appearance presented by Monsieur Philoxène Boyer, our old classmate at
college, and now a critic, a romantic, an uncomprehended man of genius,
and a literary man. I had already seen at the Exchange the martyrs of
money; I now saw a martyr of letters. Monsieur Philoxène Boyer is
neither a fool nor a foundling; he was educated with care; he belongs to
an excellent family of Normandy; he might have been at this very hour an
excellent gentleman-farmer, honored by his neighbors, and leading a
quiet, useful life, while cultivating his paternal acres, and making a
respectable woman happy. But when he graduated at the Law School, the
demon of literature seized and refused to release him. His patrimonial
estate was worth thirty thousand dollars; ignorant of business, he sold
it below its true value, and, instead of placing the capital out at
interest, he put it in his pocket and dissipated it in those taxes, as
varied as old feudal burdens, which the poor, uncomprehended men of
genius levy on their wealthy brethren. One day it went in dinners given
to brethren who deliver diplomas of genius; another day it went in money
lent to Grub-Street penny-a-liners who were starving; again it went to
found petty newspapers established to demolish old reputations and raise
new ones, and to die of inanition at their fifth number for want of a
sixth subscriber. In fine, before three years had passed away, not a
cent was left of Monsieur Philoxène Boyer's estate, and in return he had
acquired neither talents nor fame. He is scarcely thirty years old: he
looks like a man of sixty. I know no man in the world who, for the hope
of half a million of dollars and a place in the French Academy, would
consent to bear the burden of tortures, privations, and humiliations
which make up Monsieur Philoxène Boyer's existence. He undergoes the
torments of the damned; he fasts; he flounders in all the sewers of
Paris. But he is riveted to this horrible existence as the galley-slave
to his chain; he can breathe no other air than this mephitic atmosphere;
he can lead no other life. When I saw him on the threshold of that
sombre and humid reading-room, muddied, wet, pale, thin, almost in rags,
I could not help thinking of this wretched galley-slave of literary
ambition as he might have been at home in his old Norman mansion, cozily
stretched before a blazing fire, with a cellar full of cider and a
larder groaning beneath the fat of that favored land, smiling at a young
wife on whose lap merry children were gambolling. He was in the vein of
bitter frankness. He had not dined the preceding day. He seized me by
the arm, and, dragging me out of the circulating-library, said to me, in
a voice as abrupt as a feverish pulsation,--

"Don't listen to that old hag! All the books she offers you are
miserable stuff, fit at best for the pastry-cooks. Oh! you don't know
how success is won nowadays. I'll tell you. There is an assurance
society between the book, the piece, and the judge. Praise me, and I'll
praise you. If you will praise us, we will praise you. The public buys."

Then he went on with his bitter voice to utter a furious philippic
against our celebrated literary men. He attacked them all, with scarcely
an exception. This one sold his pen to the highest bidder; that one
levied contributions of all sorts on the vanity of authors and artists;
another was a mere actor; a fourth was nothing but a mountebank; a fifth
was a mere babbler; and so on he went through the whole catalogue of
authors. The illustrious literary democrats were Liberals and Spartans
only for the public eye. They cared as much about liberty as about old
moons: this one speculated on a title; that one on a vice; a third, to
possess a carriage and dine at Vefour's, had become the thrall of a
wealthy stockjobber who paid his virtues by the month and his opinions
by the line. He spoke in this way for an hour, bitter, excessive,
nervous, extravagant, and sometimes eloquent. All at once he
stopped,--and pressing my hand with a mixture of bitterness and
cynicism, he said,--"Old boy, I have now given you a dollar's worth of
literature; lend me ten dimes." I hastily drew from my pocket three or
four gold coins, and, blushing, slipped them into his hand; it trembled
a little; he thanked me with a glance, and, muttering something like
"Good bye," disappeared around the next corner.

The next time I met Monsieur Jules Sandeau he said to me,--"I want you
to go with me to Madame Émile de Girardin's to-morrow evening. She is to
read a tragedy she has written in five acts and in verse. You will meet
a good many of our celebrated literary men there. You must remember that
the watchword at that house is, Admiration, more admiration, still more
admiration. You must excite enthusiasm to ecstasy, compliments to
lyrical poetry, and carry flattery to apotheosis. But before we go there
I beg you to allow me to return your aristocratic breakfast by a poor
literary man's dinner, which we will eat, not in Bignon's sumptuous
private room, but outside the walls of Paris, at 'Uncle' Moulinon's,
which is the rendezvous of the supernumeraries of art and literature.
The wine, roast, and salad are cheaper than you find them on the
Boulevard des Italiens, and it is advisable that a fervent neophyte like
you should take all the degrees in our freemasonry as soon as possible.
'Uncle' Moulinon's dining-saloon is to Madame Émile de Girardin's
drawing-room what a conscripts' barrack is to the official mansion of a
French marshal."

I gratefully accepted the invitation, and at the appointed time I joined
Monsieur Jules Sandeau. We left Paris by the Barrière des Martyrs,
climbed Montmartre hill, and entered "Uncle" Moulinon's dining-saloon
when it was full of its usual frequenters. I had never seen such a sight
before. Imagine a gourmand obliged to witness with gaping mouth all,
even the most _prosaic_ details of the culinary preparations for a grand
dinner. The dining-saloon was a long, narrow room, low-pitched and
sombre; it was filled with small tables, where in unequal groups were
seated young men between eighteen and fifty-five, anticipating glory by
tobacco-smoke. Here were beardless chins accompanied by long locks;
there were bushy beards which covered three-quarters of the owners'
cadaverous, wasted faces; yonder were premature bald heads, leaden eyes,
feverish glances: look where you would, you saw everywhere that uneasy,
startled air which bore witness to a disordered life. To the sharp aroma
of tobacco were joined the stale and rancid odors peculiar to
fifth-rate eating-houses. I sought in vain upon all those faces youth's
gentle and poetical gayety, the exuberance of gifted natures, the
amiable cordiality of travelling-companions pressing on together in
different paths. The most salient characteristics of this bizarre
assembly were sickly smiles, an incredible mixture of triviality and
affectation, motions of wild beasts trying their teeth and claws,
starving attitudes, words tortured to make them look like ideas, a
brutal familiarity, and the evident desire to devour all their superiors
that they might next crush all their equals. I was glad when dinner was
over, for I felt ill at ease,--the sight before me differed so much from
that I had dreamed.

Monsieur Jules Sandeau gave me his arm, and we walked towards the Avenue
des Champs Elysées. It was nine o'clock when we reached the Rue de
Chaillot, where Madame Émile de Girardin resided. She lived in a sort of
Greek temple, built about thirty feet below the level of the street, and
down to which we had to go as if we were entering a cellar. The house
was full of columns, statues, flowers, paintings, candelabra, and
servants in black dress-coats and short breeches; but everything about
the place looked so accidental and ephemeral that the Comte de
Saint-Brice, a very witty frequenter of the house, used to
say,--"Whenever I visit the place, I am always afraid of finding the
horses sold, the servants dismissed, the husband run away, the
drawing-room closed, and the house razed." The Comte de Saint-Brice's
fears must have been allayed on this evening. Everything was in its
place,--horses, servants, husband, drawing-room, house. Madame Émile de
Girardin was in full dress; the manuscript tragedy was in her lap. I
found in the drawing-room Monsieur Victor Hugo, Monsieur de Lamartine,
Monsieur Alfred de Musset, the three stars of our poetical heavens;
Monsieur Théophile Gautier, Monsieur Méry, Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, the
secondary planets; Madame George Sand, the great Amazon novelist; some
doctors, some artists, two or three actors from the French Comedy, and
some other gentlemen. At this period of time Madame Émile de Girardin
was forty-five years old. Her flatterers still spoke of her beauty. Her
conversation was dazzling, but it lacked charm: her talents forced
themselves upon one; her _bons mots_ took you by storm. Strength had
overcome everything like grace, and two hours' conversation with Madame
Émile de Girardin left one with a sick-headache or exhausted by fatigue.
Nevertheless, one of her most fervent admirers has uttered this singular
paradox about her: "She would be the first woman of the age, if she had
always talked and never written a line."

Her husband, Monsieur Émile de Girardin, was present, with his pale
face, lymphatic complexion, glassy eye, and forehead checkered with a
Napoleon-like lock. He was then, and has remained ever since, the most
exact personification of a pasteboard man of genius lighted by
histrionic foot-lights. He was a compound of the dandy, the sophist, and
the agitator. His talents lay in making people believe him in possession
of ideas, when he had none,--just as speculators disseminate the
illusion of their capital, when in reality they are worse than bankrupt.
He began what others have since completed,--that is, he made trade and
advertisements the sovereign masters of literature and newspapers.
Abetted by the spirit of the age, he introduced into the intellectual
world the risks and unexpected hazards of stock-jobbing circles. He made
a great deal of money in this trade, and, besides, it gave him the
pleasure of making a great deal of noise in the world, of overturning
governments, of dreaming of being minister, nay, prime-minister, when
the day may come in which good, sense is to be challenged and France
made bankrupt. Everybody around him, even his wife, seemed to accept his
superiority for something unquestionable. Their union was not one of
those affectionate, faithful, and tender marriages, such as commonplace
folk hope to enjoy, but it was a copartnership of two smart people,
aided by two bunches of quills. Each pretended to admire the other with
an extravagance of show which made it hard for the bystander to repress
doubts and smiles.

Monsieur Jules Sandeau had informed Madame Émile de Girardin that he
intended to bring me with him. I do not know how she found out that I
had, in the very heart of the Faubourg Saint Germain, an old aunt, a
_real_ duchess, who was recognized as an authority whose _dicta_ could
not be disputed by any noble family to be found from the Quai Voltaire
to the Rue de Babylone, which, as all the world knows, are the frontiers
of that, the most aristocratic quarter of Paris. Madame de Girardin knew
that my aunt was in a position to open to vanity the portals of some
noble houses which talents and fame alone could not open. Now Madame
Émile de Girardin's monomania was to be received in the noble
_faubourg_,--to live there perfectly at home, as if it were her native
sphere,--to be able to say, "My friend, the little Marchioness," or, "I
have just come from our dear Jeanne's house, my charming Countess, you
know: she is suffering dreadfully from her neuralgia." She reckoned a
triumph of this sort a thousand times preferable to the applause of her
readers and her friends. All the dull pleasantries with which she
adorned her over-praised "Letters" owed their origin solely to the
unequivocal veto placed by two or three courageous noble ladies on the
attempts made by Madame Émile de Girardin to force her entrance _vi et
armis_ into their mansions. For my aunt's sake, she received me with
especial courtesy, which I was ingenuous enough to attribute to my own
personal merit. However, I had not time to indulge in analysis: she was
about to begin to read her tragedy.

The tragedy was that "Cléopâtre" in which Mademoiselle Rachel appeared,
after wrangling for some time with the authoress to induce the latter to
give Antony some other name, vowing that _Antoine_ was entirely too
vulgar to be uttered on the stage. The great tragic actress had never
heard of the illustrious Roman, and knew no other Antony but the
_Antoine_ who scrubbed her floors and brought her water. It was a
woman's tragedy, but written by a woman in man's attire, determined to
write a very masculine, vigorous work, but succeeding in producing only
a _plated_ piece, in which everything was puerile, artificial, and
conventional, from the first word to the last line. It was an _olla
podrida_, in which Shakspeare hobnobbed with Campistron, Théophile
Gautier locked arms with Dorat, Plutarch was dovetailed with the
Mantua-Makers' Journal of Fashions. Cleopatra spouted long speeches upon
archæology, hieroglyphics, the sun, climate, and virtue; Antony was
guilty of _concetti_ in the style of Seneca; Octavia prattled like a
respectable Parisian lady, who takes care of her children when they have
the measles, and hides from them their father's bad habits. It was
neither antique nor Roman, nor classic nor romantic, nor good nor bad
nor indifferent; it was a tragical wager won by a smart woman at the
expense of her audience. The latter, nevertheless, bravely did their
duty. Neither "Le Cid," nor "Polyeucte," nor "Andromaque," nor
"Athalie"--Corneille and Racine's masterpieces--ever produced such
rapturous enthusiasm. Monsieur Méry dashed off extemporaneously, in
Marseillais accent, admiring paradoxes which lacked nothing but splendid
rhyme. Monsieur Théophile Gautier, who looked like an obese Turk habited
in European clothes, laid aside his Moslem placidity to cry that the
tragedy was marvellous. Monsieur Alfred de Musset, lolling in his
arm-chair in an attitude which seemed a compromise between sleep and
_Kief_, smiled beatifically. Monsieur Victor Hugo vowed that nothing
half so fine had ever before been written in any age or in any country
or in any language--except (_aside_) "my own 'Burgraves'"! Monsieur de
Lamartine, like a god descended upon earth and astounded to find himself
at home, let fall from his divine lips compliments perfumed with
ambrosia, sparkling with poetry, and glittering with indifference.
Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, that little bit of a fellow, the fly of the
political and literary coach, went first to one and then to another, his
eye-glass incrusted in his eyebrow, stiffening his wee form as long as
he could make it, rattling his high-heeled boots as loudly as he could
contrive, stretching out his round, dogmatic face, puffing and blowing
to give himself importance, dying to be the Coryphæus of the company,
and mortified to see himself reduced to sing his enthusiasm in the
chorus; he frisked about the room, and seemed to be handing around his
rapture on a waiter, as domestics hand around cake and ices at parties.

The tragedy fatigued me. This comedy of adulation disgusted me. My very
humble and obscure position in the midst of all these illustrious
shareholders of the Mutual-Admiration Society, organized by the vanity
of all to the profit of the vanity of each, kindled in me a desire to
show myself frank and independent. I murmured, loud enough to be heard
by all my neighbors,--"Of a truth, the Country's Muse is not Melpomene!"
Madame Émile de Girardin, when Mademoiselle Delphine Gay and in the most
brilliant period of her poetical youth, had styled herself "the
Country's Muse"; her admirers had adopted the title, and it had remained
her poetical _alias_. The exclamation was, therefore, if not very
brilliant, at least very plain and quite just. It soon went around the
room as rapidly as every ill-natured phrase will go; for everybody is
glad to borrow such remarks from his neighbor without paying the price
of them himself. I soon saw one of Madame Émile de Girardin's intimate
friends whisper something into her ear. She blushed. Her thin lips
became thinner. Her nose and her chin, which always seemed as if about
to wage war on each other, became more menacing than ever; her bright,
clear eyes turned from her friend and gave me a glance ten times more
tragic than the five acts of her tragedy. I saw that my exclamation had
been repeated to her, and that a universal anathema was thundered at the
rustic boor, at the barbarian impudent enough to dare to be witty by
Monsieur Méry's side, and to affect to be insensible to the sublime
beauties of "Cléopâtre." However, all was not yet lost; I had
unconsciously another way of conquering Madame de Girardin's favor. Her
countenance became wreathed in smiles, she advanced towards me, and
said, in a honeyed tone,--"Well, Count, give me some tidings of our
excellent Duchess de ----, your aunt, I believe?"

In the mood of mind I was then in, nothing could have been more
disagreeable to me than this way of recalling my aristocratic titles at
the very moment when I sought to be nothing but a literary man. I
replied with a careless, indifferent, plebeian air, as if noble titles
were nothing in my opinion,--"The Duchess de ----! Gracious me! I never
see her, and I could not tell you for the life of me whether she is my
aunt or my cousin. Her drawing-room is the stupidest place on earth.
They played whist there at two cents a point. Every door was wadded to
keep draughts and ideas out. I long ago ceased to go there, and now I
would not dare show my face again."

"Admirable! The Provinces are not devoid of sprightliness!" dryly
replied Madame Émile de Girardin.

That was enough. I was weighed in the balance and found sadly wanting by
an ill-natured remark _plus_ and a duchess _minus_. Fifteen minutes
afterwards we took leave of Madame de Girardin. She gave Monsieur Jules
Sandeau a fraternal and virile shake of the hand in the English style; I
received only a very cold and very dry nod, which was as much as to
say,--"You are an ill-bred fellow and a fool; I have no fancy for you;
return here as rarely as possible."

Soon after this memorable evening, Monsieur Jules Sandeau's friendly
offices acquainted literary circles that a young man of the best
society, devoted to literature, the author of some remarkable sketches
in the newspapers and reviews, was about to appear as the literary
critic of "L'Assemblée Nationale," the well-known dally newspaper, which
has been since suppressed by the government. A month afterwards my
signature might have been read at the foot of a _feuilleton_ of fifteen
columns. About the same period of time a fashionable publisher brought
out a volume of tales by me. This was my literary honey-moon. I was
astonished at the number of friends and admirers that rose on every side
of me. I could scarcely restrain myself from parodying Alceste's
phrase,--"Really, Gentlemen, I did not think myself the fellow of
talents I find I am!" But, of all surprises, the human heart finds this
the easiest to grow accustomed to. I soon found it perfectly natural
that people should look upon me as a genius, and I ingenuously
reproached myself for not having sooner made the discovery. Everybody
praised my little book as if it were a masterpiece. I might have made a
volume with the packets of praises sent to me; but I must add, for
truth's sake, that most of my panegyrists took care to slip under the
envelope which covered their letter of praise a volume of their works. I
have kept several of these letters. Here are copies of three of them.

    "Sir,--Your appearance among us is an honor in which every
    literary man feels he has a share. You will regenerate criticism,
    as you have purified novel-writing. One becomes better as he reads
    your works, and feels an irresistible desire to do better that he
    may be more worthy of your esteem. The days your criticisms appear
    are our red-letter days, and every line you give our poor little
    books is worth to them the sale of a hundred copies. I take the
    liberty to send you herewith a humble volume. You may, perhaps,
    find in it some over-crude tones, some raw shades; but do not
    forbear to exercise your critical perspicuity. I submit myself in
    advance to your reproaches and to your reservations; to be
    censured by you is even a piece of good fortune, as your
    reprimands themselves are adorned with courtesy and grace."

    "Sir,--I admire you the more because our opinions are not the
    same; they may be said to be contrary; but extremes meet, and we
    join hands on a great many points: are we not both of us
    vanquished? Châteaubriand sympathized, nay, more, fraternized,
    with Armand Carrel. I am not Carrel, but you may be Châteaubriand
    before a very long while. I would beg to lay before you the book
    which goes with this note; some passages of it may, perhaps, wound
    your honorable regrets, your chivalrous respects, but they are
    sincere; and this sincerity I have never better understood and
    practised than when I assure you that I am your most assiduous
    reader and most fervent admirer."

    "Sir,--Do not judge me, I pray you, from the newspapers in which,
    to my great regret, I write: imperious circumstances, old
    acquaintance, and--why shall I not confess it?--the necessities of
    Parisian life, have driven me to appear to have enlisted on the
    side of the most numerous battalions. But I have in the Provinces
    a good old mother who reads no newspaper but yours; one of my
    uncles is a Chevalier de Saint Louis; another served in Condé's
    army; my Aunt Veronica is a pious woman, who would forever look
    kindly upon me, if she should ever perceive through her spectacles
    her nephew's name followed by praise from your pen. For I need not
    say that you are her favorite author, as, of a truth, you are of
    everybody; for who can remain insensible to those treasures of....
    [Here my modesty refuses to copy the text before me]. There is but
    one opinion upon this subject. Royalists and democrats, disciples
    of tradition or fanatics of fancy, _voltigeurs_ of the old
    monarchy or reformers of the future, are all unanimous in
    saluting, as a rising glory of our literature, the pure and noble
    talent which.... [Here my modesty again refuses to copy the text
    before me].

    "P.S. I send you herewith two copies of my works, which I submit
    to your able and kind criticism."

Nor were appeals like these the only sort of seduction to which I was
exposed when I became the literary critic of "L'Assemblée Nationale."
The eminent men, sublime philosophers like Monsieur Victor Cousin and
Monsieur de Rémusat, incomparable historians like Monsieur Guizot,
Monsieur Thiers, Monsieur de Barante, admirable literary men like
Monsieur Villemain and Monsieur de Salvandy, (all of whom had spent
their lives in laying down political maxims, and in expressing their
astonishment that French heads were too hard or French nature too fickle
to conform French life to the profound maxims which they, the former,
had weighed and meditated in the silence of their study,) who had for
eighteen years ruled France, found themselves, one February morning in
1848, stripped of power and of place. They returned to their favorite
studies, and produced new works, to the delight of lettered men
everywhere. But, as the human heart, even in the beat of men, has its
weaknesses, these eminent men, who could not for a single instant doubt
either their talents or their success or the universal admiration in
which they were held, were a little too fond of hearing these agreeable
truths told them in articles devoted especially to their works. Now to
heighten the zeal of the authors of these articles, the eminent retired
statesmen held in their hands an infallible method: They would take
these trumpeters of fame aside, and, without contracting any positive
engagement, would distinctly hint to these critics, (a word to the wise
is sufficient!) that, after a few years of these excellent and useful
services in the daily press or in the periodicals, they, the former,
would elect the latter members of the French Academy. A seat in the
French Academy was the object of the most ardent ambition. No sooner was
the breath out of the body of one of the forty members of the French
Academy than twenty candidates entered the lists, and canvassed,
canvassed, canvassed the nine-and-thirty living Academicians, without
losing a minute in eating, drinking, or sleeping, until the election
took place.

You may now see the various sorts of seductions which assailed me during
this short and brilliant period of my literary life. The world lay
smiling before me, and I felt quite happy,--when I met Monsieur Louis
Veuillot, the eminent editor of "L'Univers," which the government has
since suppressed.

We had exchanged visiting-cards several times, and a few letters, but I
did not as yet know him. I was attracted to him by the very contrasts
which existed between us. My elegant and delicate nature (as the
newspapers then styled it: they _now_ call it my weak and morbid nature)
seemed in absolute contradiction to that robust frame, that oaken
solidity, which revealed beneath its rugged bark its virile juices. His
masculine and potent ugliness reminded me of Mirabeau, of a plebeian
Mirabeau with straight black hair, of a Mirabeau who had found at the
foot of the altar calmness for his tempest-tossed soul. His conversation
delighted and fascinated me. One felt (despite some coarseness in minor
details, and which almost seemed to be assumed) that there glowed within
him the energetic convictions of an honest man and a Christian, who had
at command the most stinging language that ever wrung the withers of
Voltaire's pale successors. No man among our contemporaries has been
more hated than Monsieur Louis Veuillot. He has flagellated, kicked,
cuffed, jeered, mocked, humiliated, exasperated, better than anybody
else, the writers I most detest. He has given them wounds which will
forever rankle. He has indelibly branded these miserable actors who play
upon the theatre of their vices the comedy of their vanity. We together
examined the pages where I had expressed my opinion upon contemporary

"Are these," said Monsieur Louis Veuillot, speaking severely to me,
"are these all your sacrifices to the truth? Praises to that one,
flattery to this one, soft words to him, compliments to another? You
blame them just enough to incite people to buy their books. Is that what
you call serving our noble and austere cause? Oh, Sir! Sir!" ...

He lectured me long and well. He spoke with the edification of a sermon
and the brilliancy of a satire. At last, ashamed of my weakness,
electrified by his language, burning to repair lost time, I said to him,
pressing his hands in mine,--

"I am dwelling amid the luxuries of Capua; when next you hear from me, I
shall be in the midst of the field of battle."

I at once began my campaign. I made war upon Voltaire, Béranger, Eugene
Sue, De Balzac, George Sand, Victor Hugo, Michelet, Quinet; and as for
the small fry of literature, I showed them no mercy. War was soon
declared on _me_,--war without quarter.

My first adversary was little Monsieur Paulin Limayrac. He has become
the most accomplished specimen of the job-editor. As firmly convinced of
the supremacy of the Articles of War as the best disciplined private
soldier who ever showed how perfect an automaton man may become by
thorough discipline, his political opinions are something more than a
creed: they are a watchword which be observes with a most supple
obstinacy. The cabinet-minister he calls master is a corporal who has
the right to think for him; and were the corporal to contradict himself
ten times in the course of a single day, imperturbable little Paulin
Limayrac would demonstrate to him that he was ten times in the right.
But then (that is, in 1855) Monsieur Paulin Limayrac was a Republican, a
Socialist; and his weakness lay in imagining not only that people read
his articles in "La Presse," but that they remembered them for a whole
sennight after reading them. When you met him, he always commenced

"Ah, ha! what did I tell you? Am I not an excellent prophet? You
remember the prophecy I made the other day? It has come to pass just as
I predicted it!"

Poor Paulin Limayrac really thought himself a prophet, when in good
truth he was not even a conjurer. Stiffening himself up on his stumpy
legs, he stared as hard as he could through his eye-glass, and from his
giant's height of four feet ten, at everybody who pretended to believe
there was a God in heaven. His occupation just at that time was to toss
the incense-burning censer in honor of Madame, Émile de Girardin under
her aquiline nose. He had become the page, the groom, the dwarf of this
celebrated woman, who had, alas! only a few months more to live. He
opened the fire against me. To gratify Madame Émile de Girardin, he one
day wrote on the corner of her table twenty harsh lines against me, (he
took good care not to sign them,) in which he said of me exactly the
contrary of what he had written to me. As these lines were anonymous, I
did not care to pretend to recognize the author; besides, can you feel
anger towards such a whipper-snapper? I met him a short time afterwards,
and he gave me a more cordial shake-hands than ever. Now comes the cream
of the fellow's conduct: for all this that I have mentioned is as
nothing, so common of occurrence is it in Paris. Note that Madame Émile
de Girardin was dying: I was ignorant of it, but Monsieur Paulin
Limayrac knew it well. Note further, that for weeks before this he had
celebrated in the tenderest sentimental strains the loving friendship
which existed between Madame George Sand and Madame Émile de Girardin.
Note lastly, that Monsieur Paulin Limayrac had good reason to think that
I knew perfectly well who was really the author of the malicious attack
on me in "La Presse," which was his paper. Remember all this while I
repeat to you the dialogue which took place between us under an arcade
of the Rue Castiglione. I said to him,--

"Ah! my dear Sir, Madame George Sand must be gratified this time! Your
article this morning upon her autobiography really did hit the
bull's-eye, plumb! What fire! what enthusiasm! what lyric strains!"

"I could not help myself," replied he. "It is one of the fatigues of my
place, I was obliged to write it."

"Well, between you and me, the truth is that your admiration is a little
exaggerated. The work is less dull since Madame George Sand has reached
the really interesting periods of her life; but how fatiguing the first
part of it was! What stuff she thrust into it! What particulars relating
to her family and her mother, which were, to say the least of it,

"Why, my dear fellow," replied Monsieur Paulin Limayrac, with a knowing
look, "don't you know the secret?"

"What secret?"

"Ah! you have not yet shaken off provincial dust! Madame George Sand,
with that carelessness one almost always finds in great artists, sent to
Monsieur Émile de Girardin that enormous packet of four-and-twenty
volumes, at the same time authorizing him to retrench at least one-third
of the manuscript, if he thought fit. But Madame de Girardin (who is
extremely astute) thought, that, if the work were published without the
numerous dull chapters of the first part, it would command too brilliant
a success; and Her Most Gracious Majesty determined that the whole
four-and-twenty volumes should appear without the omission of a single
line,--which is all the more noble, grand, and generous, as we pay a
high price for the 'copy,' and it has curtailed our subscription-list a
good deal."

"I thought Madame George Sand and Madame Émile de Girardin were upon the
footing of a most affectionate friendship."

"'Tis a woman's friendship. 'Tis a poet's love for a poet. Each adores
the other; but then what is more vulgar than to love one's friends when
they are successful? Every hind can do that; while none but delicate and
sensitive souls can shed torrents of tears over a friend's reverses."

A fortnight after this conversation took place, Madame Émile de Girardin
died. There was a flood of panegyrics and of tears. Monsieur Paulin
Limayrac was chief pall-bearer, and demonstrated in the columns of "La
Presse" that Madame Émile de Girardin had herself alone more genius than
Sappho, Corinne, Madame de Sévigné, Madame de Staël, and Madame George
Sand, all put together.

       *       *       *       *       *



My father's old friend, Captain Joseph, came down by the morning train,
to inquire concerning a will placed in my keeping by Farmer Hill, lately

This is his first visit since our marriage.

He declares himself perfectly satisfied with--a certain person, and
insists on my revealing the reason, or reasons, of her choosing--a
certain person, when she might, no doubt, have done better.

And he is equally charmed with our locality,--is glad to find such a

I like Captain Joseph. He doesn't croak. Some old men would look dismal,
and say, perhaps,--"Happiness is not for earth," or, "In prosperity
prepare for adversity." As if anybody could!

"A beautiful spot," says Captain Joseph. And truly it is a pleasant
place here, close by the sea,--a place made on purpose to live in. It is
a sort of valley, shut in on the east and on the west by high wooded
hills, which stretch far out into the sea, and so make for us a charming
little bay. There are only a few houses here: the town proper, where I
have my law-office, is a mile off.

I found this nook quite accidentally, while sketching the islands off in
the harbor, and the water, and the deep shading on the woods beyond. The
people here took me to board. That was ten years ago.

Then the family was large. There was old Mr. Lane, his wife, their five
grown-up boys, Emily, the sick one, and Miss Joey. The eldest son went
out to China, and there died. The next three, at different times,
started for California. Two died of the fever, and the third was
supposed to have been murdered in crossing the Plains.

David remained. He was a tall, well-made youth, with plenty of health
and good looks, willing to work on the farm, but devoted mainly to his
little sloop-boat. People called him odd. He was both odd and even. He
was odd in being somewhat different in his habits from other young men;
but then he had an even way of his own, which he kept. With him, the sea
and his little sloop-boat and the daily paper supplied the place of
balls, concerts, parties, and young women.

"Why don't you dress up, and go gallivantin' about 'mong the gals?" his
old mother used to say. But he would only laugh, and pshaw, and walk off
to the shore. And I, watching his erect gait and firm tread, would
wonder how it was that one good-looking young man should be so different
from all other good-looking young men. Still, there was a sort of
sheepishness about the eyes, and that was probably why he never turned
them, when meeting the girls, but strode along, looking straight ahead,
as if they had been so many fence-posts.

Fanny J---- once laid a wager with me that she would make him bow. She
contrived a plan to meet him as he returned from the Square. I hid
behind the stone wall, and peeped through the chinks. Just as they met,
she almost let the wind blow her bonnet off, hoping to catch his eye.
But he looked so straight forward into the distance that I was alarmed,
thinking there might be a loose horse coming, or a house afire. That was
in the first of my staying there. We were afterwards great friends. He
liked me, because I was good to the old folks, and to Emily,--and had a
sort of respect for me, because I was the oldest, and because I could
talk, and because of the great thick books in my room. I respected him,
because I had seen the world and its shams, and knew him to be good all
the way through, and because he couldn't talk, and also, perhaps,
because he was so much bigger and handsomer than I. In fact, I should
have felt quite downhearted about my own looks, if I hadn't learned from
books--not the thick ones--that sallow-looking men, with dark eyes, are

David's mother approved of steady habits, but for all that she would
rather have had him waste some of his time, and be like the rest of his

"Poor David!" she would say, sometimes, "if anybody could only make him
think he _was_ somebody, he'd _be_ somebody. But he 'a'n't got no

"Mother," I would answer, "don't worry about David. He's good, and
goodness is as good as anything."

She liked to have me call her mother. I had been there so long that I
almost filled the place of one of her lost ones. Besides, I had no
mother of my own, and no real home.

Miss Joey, not being past thirty, had a plan in her head. Her head was
small,--so was she,--but the plan was large enough and good enough.

This plan, however, was upset, and by her own means, even before the
prospect of its being carried out was even probable. It was Miss Joey's
own notion that one half the house should be let.

"We are so dwindled down," she said. "A small, quiet family would bring
in a little something, and be company." This was at the close of a long
and rather lonely winter.

So, one day, Mr. Lane came home, and said he had let the other half to a
family from up-country,--man and wife and little girl.

"The very thing!" said Miss Joey.

Alas for human foresight!

The next day, at sundown, a loaded wagon drove up; then a carryall, from
which stepped an elderly couple and a sweet pretty girl.

"What angel is that, alighting upon earth?" I exclaimed, looking over
Miss Joey's head.

"Thought she was goin' to be a little girl," said she.

"Wal," replied Mr. Lane, "that's what he called her: suppose she seems
little to him. But so much the better. The bigger she is, the more
company she'll be."

Miss Joey went in to receive them, and I retired to my chamber. From the
window I observed that the pretty girl was very handy about helping, and
heard her mother call her Mary Ellen.

The next morning, just as I was leaving for the office, I heard a quick
step across the entry. The door opened, and "the little girl," Mary
Ellen, came in. Her hair was pushed straight behind her ears, and her
sleeves were rolled up to the elbows.

"I came in," said she, rather bashfully, "to ask if Mr. Lane would help
us set up a bedstead; father had to go, and mother's feeble."

"Mr. Lane's gone to get his horse shod," said Miss Joey.

Mary Ellen stood still, doubting whether to speak, but looking rather
puzzled; for David was in plain sight, fixing his pickerel-traps in the

"Miss Joey," said I, smiling, and looking towards him, "there are two
Mr. Lanes, you know."

"Oh, David,--yes,--David. Wal, so David could."

And so David did. I bit my lip, and went out.

In turning the corner of the house, I passed the open window, and
glanced in, as was natural. 'Twas an old-fashioned bedstead, and there
was David, red as a rose, screwing up the cord, while Mary Ellen, fair
as a lily, was hammering away at the wooden peg, while the old lady
stood by, giving directions.

It struck me so queerly that I laughed and talked to myself all the way
to the office.

"Poor David!" I muttered, "how could he steady his hands, with such a
pair of white arms near them? Good! good!" And then I would ha! ha! and
strike my stick against the stones. "Turner," said I, addressing myself,
"she's what you may call a sweet pretty girl."

I addressed the same remark to Miss Joey that night at tea.

"The girl," said she, "is an innocent little country-girl. She's got a
good skin and a handsome set of teeth. But there's no need of her
findin' out her good looks, unless you men-folks put her up to 't."

This I of course took to myself, David being out of the question.

An innocent little country-girl! And so she was. She brought to mind
damask roses, and apple-blossoms, and red rosebuds, and modest violets,
and stars and sunbeams, and all the freshness and sweetness of early
morning in the country. A delicious little innocent country-girl! Poor
David! who could have guessed that you were to be the means of letting
in upon her benighted mind the secret of her own beauty?

Anybody who has travelled in the country has noticed two kinds of
country-girls. The first are green-looking and brazen-faced, staring at
you like great yellow buttercups, and are always ready to tell all they
know. The others are shy. They look up at you modestly, with their blue
or their brown eyes, and answer your questions in few words. Of this
last kind was Mary Ellen. She looked up with brown eyes,--not dark
brown, but light,--hazel, perhaps.

And those brown, or hazel, or grayish eyes looked up to some
purpose,--as David, if he had had the gift of speech, might have
testified. But a man may tell a good deal and never use his tongue at
all. The eyes, for instance, or even the cheeks, can talk, and are full
as likely not to tell lies.

It might have been two months, perhaps, after the other half was let,
that I heard Mrs. Lane say one day,--

"Joey, there's an alteration in David."

"For better or wuss?" calmly inquired that maiden.

I did not hear the reply, but I had seen the alteration. In fact, I had
noticed it from the beginning, and had come to the conclusion that the
mischief was done the first day,--that his heart somehow got a twist in
the screwing-up of the bed-cord,--that it received every one of the
blows which those white arms were aiming at the insensible wood.

It was a case which had vastly interested me. I mean that it was quite
in my line, detecting a man's secret in his countenance. I was glad of
the practice.

Mary Ellen knew, too; and yet she had received no help from the
profession. Only an innocent little country-girl! 'Twas her natural
penetration. What a pity women can't be lawyers, they have so much to
start with!

Poor David! He wasn't sensible of what had befallen him. How should he
be? He didn't know why he smarted up his dress, why Bay-fishing wasn't
profitable, or why working on the land agreed with him best. He hadn't
even found out, as late as June, why he liked to have her bring out the
luncheon-basket to the mowers. But before the autumn he had discovered
his own secret. He knew very well, then, why he thought it a good plan
for Mary Ellen to come in and pare apples with Miss Joey at the halves.

I could have wished him a pleasanter way, though, of finding out his

There was another that saw the alteration, and that was Emily, the sick
one,--the care and the blessing of the household. For twelve summers her
foot had never pressed the greensward. They told me that once she was a
gay, frolicsome girl. 'Twas hard to believe, so tranquil, so spiritual,
so heavenly was the expression which long suffering had brought to her
face. That face, apart from this wonderful expression, was beautiful to
look upon. It seemed as if sickness itself was loath to meddle with
aught so lovely. So, while her body slowly wasted from the ravages of
disease, her countenance remained fair and youthful.

She often had days of freedom from suffering,--days when, as she
expressed it, her Father called away His unwelcome messengers. At these
times she would sit in her stuffed chair, or lie on the sofa, and the
family went in and out as they chose. Everybody liked to stay in Emily's
room. Its very atmosphere was elevating.

Then there were collected so many beautiful things,--for these she
craved. "I need them, mother," she would say,--"my soul has need of
them. If there are no flowers, get green leaves, or a picture of Christ,
or of some saint, or little child." And sometimes I would dream, for a
moment, that even I, with all my obtuseness, my earthiness, could have
some faint perception of the way in which, in the midst of suffering,
any form of beauty was a strength and a consolation.

And singularly enough for a sick girl, she liked gold ornaments and
jewels. People used to lend her their chains and bracelets. "I know it
is strange, mother," she said, one day, while holding in her hand a ruby
bracelet,--"strange that I care for them; but they look so strong, so
enduring, so full of life: hang them across the white vase, please; I
love to see them there."

It was good for her when Mary Ellen came, vigorous, fresh, beautiful,
like the early morning. She liked to have her in the room, to watch her
face, to braid her long brown hair, and dress it with flowers, or
pearls, or strings of beads,--to clasp her hands about the pretty white
throat, as if she were only a pigeon, or a little lamb, brought in for
her to play with.

She was pleased, too, about David. "He is so good," she said to me one
day. "I always knew he had love and gentleness in his heart, and now an
angel has come to roll away the stone."

I thought a great deal of my privilege of going into her room, the same
as the rest. After the perplexing, and often low, grovelling duties of
my profession, it was like sitting at the gate of heaven.

I used to love to come home, at the close of a long summer's day, and
find the family assembled there. I felt the _rest_ of the hour so much
more, sitting among people who had been hard at work all day.

The windows would be set wide open, that not a breath of out-door air
might he lost. And with the air would seem to come in the deep peace,
the solemn Hush of a country-twilight. It pervaded the room; and even my
cold, worldly nature would be touched.

In these dim, shadowy hours, when Nature seemed to stand still,
breathless, waiting for the coming darkness, if I longed for anything,
it was for a voice to sing. Speech seemed harsh. Yet we often repeated
hymns and ballads. Emily knew a great many, and, after saying them over,
would dwell upon them, drawing the most beautiful meanings from passages
which to me had seemed obscure, and sometimes talked like one inspired.

I felt that these seasons were my salvation,--were saving me from my
worldliness. Still, I sometimes had a guilty feeling, as if I were
drawing from Emily her beautiful life,--as if I were getting something
to which I had no right, something too good for me,--as if she might
exclaim, at any moment, "Virtue is gone out from me!"

But Mary Ellen could sing. That was good. She knew hymns by dozens, and
tunes to them all, both old and new. Besides these, she could sing
love-songs and quaint old ballads, that nobody ever heard before.

After she came, we had music to our twilights.

David, of course, was a listener. He said he was always fond of music. I
used sometimes to wonder if the pretty singer of love-songs had any
special designs upon him. For I had been curiously watching this
innocent little country-girl.

In talking with a friend of mine, he had laid it down as a law of
Nature, that all women, wild or cultivated, delight to worry and torment
all men; that they play with and prey upon their hearts; and that this
is done instinctively, as a cat worries a mouse.

"A ministering angel thou," quoted I, rather abstractedly, as if
comparing views.

"Angels? Yes,--and so they are," he answered, rather smartly. "And every
man's heart is a pool, into which they must descend and trouble the

I knew my friend had reason for his bitterness. Still, I resolved to
watch Mary Ellen.

David's bashful attentions were by no means displeasing to her: that I
saw. She had not been accustomed to your glib, off-handed, smartly
dressed youths. Here was a good-looking young man, of blameless life,
who helped her draw up the bucket, took her to sail, taught her to row,
brought her home bushes of huckleberries and branches of swamp-pinks
from the pasture, and shells from the beach.

That few words accompanied his offerings was matter of little moment,
since what he would have said was easily enough read in his face. It was
sufficient that his eyes spoke, that they followed her motions, that he
seemed never ready to go so long as she remained, that when she went he
could not long stay behind.

Poor David! It wasn't his fault. He didn't mean to. Everybody knew 't
wasn't a bit like him. He was charmed. And that reminds me of what Miss
Joey said to Mr. Lane, the old man.

It was just about sundown, and they two were sitting in the front-room,
looking out of the windows. It had been a sultry day. I was trying to
keep comfortable, and had found a nice little seat just outside the
door, underneath the lilacs.

Mary Ellen and David came slowly walking past. They didn't seem to be
saying much. She had come out bareheaded, just for a little fresh air
and a stroll round the house. How cool she looked, in her light blue
gown, and her white apron, that tied behind with white bows and strings,
or streams! A May-bee buzzed about their ears, and lighted on her
shoulder. Poor David! He brushed it off before he thought. How
frightened he looked! how confused! But then just think of all the other
may-bes he had in his head, confusing him, buzzing to him all manner of
beautiful things!

They stopped under the early-ripe tree. Mary Ellen pointed upwards,
laughing. He sprang up and snatched off the apple. Then she pointed
higher, and still higher, until at last he climbed the tree, and dropped
the apples down into her apron.

"Mr. Lane," said Miss Joey, in an impressive undertone, "did you ever
hear of anybody's bewitchin' anybody?"

"In books, Joey," he answered.

"Wal," said she, in a low, but decided voice, "I'll tell you what I
think, and what's ben my mind from the beginnin' on't. That gal's
bewitched David. Don't you remember," she continued, "that the fust week
they come David had a bad cold?"

"Wal, like enough he did," drawled the old man. "David was always
subject to a bad cold."

"He did," replied Miss Joey. "I've got the whole on't in my mind now.
And mebby you've noticed that these folks are great for gatherin' in
herbs, and lobely, and bottlin' up hot-crop?"

"Pepper-tea's a suvverin' remedy for a cold," put in the old man.

"But now," Miss Joey proceeded, sinking her voice almost to a whisper,
"I want to fix your thoughts on somethin' dark-colored, in a vial, that
she fetched across the entry for him to take."

"Help him any?"

"Can't say it did, and can't say it didn't. But ever sence that, David's
ben a different man. He's follered that gal about as if there'd ben a
chain a-drawin' him,--as if she'd flung a lassoo round his neck, and was
pullin' him along. See him, and you see her. If she wants huckleberries,
she has huckleberries. If she wants violets, she has violets. See him
now, lookin' down at her through the branches. And see her, turnin' her
face up towards him. He's nigh upon addled. Shouldn't wonder this
minute, if he didn't know enough to keep his hold o' the branch. Does
that seem like our David, Mr. Lane, a bashful young feller like him?"

"Bashful or bold makes no difference," replied the old man. "Love'll go
where't is sent,--likely to hit one as t' other. And when they're hit,
you can't tell 'em apart.--Why, Joey," he continued, suddenly quickening
his tone, "there's the Doctor's boy, as I'm alive!"

Dr. Luce lived the other side of "the Crick." The young man coming along
the road was his son, just arrived home.

As he came nearer, I took notice of his dress. I usually did, when
people came from the city. He wore a black bombazine coat, white
trousers, white waistcoat, blue necktie, and a Panama hat. His
complexion was fair, with plenty of light hair waving about his temples.
He stepped briskly along, with shoulders set back, twirling his glove.

I knew Warren Luce well enough. I could tell just how it would strike
him, seeing David up in a tree, flinging down apples to a girl. I could
very well judge, too, how he would encounter the fair apparition

But how would he strike Mary Ellen,--this polished, smooth-tongued,
handsomely dressed youth? I had forebodings. I seemed to divine the
future. I fidgeted upon my seat, and straightened myself up, rather
pleased that my studies were getting complicated,--that I should have a
chance of searching out the natural heart of woman, when under the most
trying circumstances.

But just as I was making ready to commence upon my new chapter, Mrs.
Lane called me to come and help move Emily. I very often lifted her from
the chair to the sofa. It could hardly be called lifting. 'Twas like
taking a little bird out of its nest and placing it in another. "The
Doctor's boy has come," said I, very quietly, when I had wheeled the
sofa so that she might feel the air from the window.

She made no answer then; but a little after, when her mother stepped out
a minute, she said, just as quietly,--

"How will it be?"

"How do you think?" I said.

"I wish," she replied, "that he hadn't come. David is a dear brother. I

When Emily said "I fear," there was no need to ask what. She feared the
effect upon Warren Luce of Mary Ellen's fresh and simple beauty. She
feared the effect upon her of his city-manners and fluent speech. She
feared for David an abiding sorrow. Warren Luce had travelled, had been
in society, and had been educated. I knew him well for a selfish,
heartless fellow, whose very soul had been drowned in worldly pleasures.
Just from the midst of artificial life, how charming must appear to him
our sweet wild-rose, our singing-bird, our fresh, untutored, innocent
little country-girl!

"But why borrow trouble?" I said to myself. "It will come soon enough.
If not in this way, then in some other. Trouble stays not long away."


"The Crick" wasn't half a mile across. The Doctor's house was in plain
sight from our windows. 'Twas just a pleasant walk round there, and we
called them neighbors. The two young men had always been on the very
best of terms. Warren liked David because he knew how good he was, and
David liked Warren because he didn't know how bad he was. The chief bond
between them was the boat. Our stylish young gentleman, when he came
down to Nature, wanted to get as near her as he could,--not, perhaps,
that he loved her, but he liked a change. Nothing suited him better than
"camping out," or starting off before light a-fishing with David.

I was not at all surprised, therefore, that he should appear bright and
early the next morning, to make some arrangement for the day.

I saw him coming, from my window, and was pleased that I had lingered at
home rather beyond office-hours,--for Mary Ellen was shelling peas in
the back-doorway beneath, and I should have an opportunity of advancing
somewhat in my new chapter. It was a nice shady place. The door-steps
and the ground about them were still damp from the dew.

He came trippingly along, inquiring for David. Mary Ellen blushed some.
I saw that their acquaintance had commenced the night before. He chatted
a little with the old folks, but directed most of his talk to Mary
Ellen, that he might have an excuse for looking her full in the face,
and drinking in her beauty. I saw him seat himself on the flat stone. I
saw him glance admiringly at the pretty white hands, handling so
daintily the green pods. I saw him show her how to make a boat of one,
putting in sticks for the thwarts. And finally, I saw David come round
the house and stop short.

Warren sprang up.

"Waiting for you, David," said he. "Tide coming, stiff breeze. We can be
on Jake's Ledge in a twinkling."

And passing over a high hill, on my way to the Square, I saw the
sloop-boat, with flag flying, putting off towards Jake's Ledge.

For the next two months the Doctor's boy walked straight in the path
which my prophetic vision had marked out for him. Morning, noon, and
evening brought him paddling across "the Crick," or footing it round by
the shore-way.

Emily and I were troubled. We had once feared that our good brother and
friend would pass through life as a blind man wanders through a
flower-garden, lost to its chief beauty and sweetness. But his eyes had
been opened. And now was his life-path to lead him into a thorny
wilderness? was a worse darkness to settle down upon him?

I fancied there was a hopeless look in his face,--that he shrank into
himself more than ever. The Doctor's boy had fairer gifts than he to
offer, and no lack of well-chosen words. It was with the utmost
uneasiness that I caught, occasionally, some of these telling phrases. I
liked not his air of devotedness, his eye constantly following Mary
Ellen's movements. I liked not the flower-gatherings, the rambles among
the rocks, the rowing by moonlight. Emily's short sentence came often to
mind, "I fear."

For I felt almost sure that Warren Luce was in earnest,--that he was
deeply and truly in love with Mary Ellen. Not that he intended this at
first, but that her beauty conquered him. Most likely this was the first
of his knowing he had a heart, 'twas so small. Still, 'twas the best
thing he had, and appeared to hold considerable love for one of its

And how was it with Mary Ellen? Ah, she was enough to puzzle a justice!
I was not long, though, in perceiving that this unenlightened maiden
felt instinctively that her personal appearance should be attended to a
little more carefully than when only David was to admire. Her hair was
always in nice order, and I observed that even in the morning she would
have some bit of muslin or lace-work peeping from beneath her short
sleeve. I hope there is no harm in saying that I had, even before this,
noticed the shapeliness of her arm. I think I was struck with it the
first morning, when she came across the entry.

And was she really a coquette, carrying herself steadily along between
two lovers, that she smiled just as pleasantly on David, giving him
never a cold word, even while the blushes kindled by the soft speeches
of Warren Luce still burned upon her cheeks?

I found myself getting confused. My new studies were very absorbing in
their nature, and extremely intricate. Three books to translate, and
never a dictionary!

After patient investigation, I settled down upon the conviction that
there was in the heart of our little country-girl one corner of which
David's constant goodness, and earnest, though unspoken love, had given
him the entire possession.

I thought thus, because I saw that in her own nature were truth and
goodness. And she was quick of perception. I was often struck by the
shrewdness of her remarks. I thought the more favorably of her, too,
that she was fond of pictures. Before they came to live in the other
part, she had taken a dozen lessons of an itinerant drawing-master. I
had often encountered her in my walks, trying to make a sketch of a tree
or a house. She always tucked it behind her, though, or into her pocket,
the minute I came in sight.

It was certainly true that she had not yielded to the fascinations of
the Doctor's boy so readily and so entirely as I had feared. "The girl
has some common sense," I thought, "some stability,--and likewise some
ideas of the eternal fitness of things." For I noticed, with pleasure,
one night in Emily's room, when somebody said, "There comes the Doctor's
boy," that she got up and closed the door.

She had been singing the old-fashioned hymn commencing,--

  "On the fair Heavenly Hills."

The last line,

  "And all the air is Love,"

was repeated. The music was peculiar,--the notes rising and falling and
rolling over each other like waves.

She had just stopped. Nobody moved. The silence was broken only by the
rustling of the lilac-bushes, as the night-wind swept over them.

"The whispering of angels!" said Emily, softly.

I was pleased that she closed the door. It showed that she felt his
unfitness to enter our little paradise. I took heart for David. And yet
it was only the next day that came the crowning with hop-blossoms.

I had returned home early, and was in my own room, waiting for tea.
Casting my eyes towards the garden, I saw Mary Ellen sitting beneath a
tree, leaning against the trunk. Near by was a hop-pole, laden with its
green. And near by, also, stood Warren Luce, holding in his hand a thin,
square book. He had gathered a quantity of the beautiful hop-blossoms
and tendrils, and was directing her how to arrange them about her head.
It appeared to be his object to make her look like a picture in his
book. "A little more to the right. A few leaves about the ear," I heard
him say; and then, "They must drop a little lower on the other side. In
the picture, the tendrils touch the left shoulder. Now hold the basket
full of them, in this way. The blossoms must be trailing over it, and
your right hand upon the handle. Not so. Let me show"--And as he touched
her hand to place it in the right position, I almost sprang from my
seat, I was so indignant for David.

I might have saved myself the trouble, though, for the next moment David
himself appeared, walking slowly home from the Square, with something in
a basket he was bringing for Emily. David was a good brother.

"Perfect!" exclaimed Warren, as he completed his _tableau_. "Just like
the picture, only"--And here he dropped his voice.

"David, come here," he called out, "and see which picture is the

Poor David! I saw that it was all he could do, to walk straight past
without speaking.

"Take them off," said Mary Ellen. "They are heavy."

And she pulled the wreath from her head.

That evening, coming home late, I saw a bright light in her room, and
glanced up, as I came near. She stood at the looking-glass between the
windows, holding a light in her hand. Upon her head, trailing down upon
her left shoulder, was a wreath of hop-blossoms. She wanted to know how
she looked in them. At least, this was my interpretation of the vision.
And while she held the light, first in one hand, then in the other,
turning this way and that, I stood debating whether there was any harm
in a girl's knowing she was pretty, or in her wishing to inform herself
whether any adornments rather out of the common course--hop-blossoms,
for instance--were becoming. That question, and the other, about all
women being coquettes, remain in my mind undecided to this day.

Emily must have noticed something peculiar in David's manner, when he
brought her the basket. For it was the next day, I think, that she said
to me, in her quiet way,--

"Mr. Turner, a new feeling is taking hold of me. I'm afraid I--_hate_!"

She made this announcement in her usual calm voice, as if she had been
speaking of some new manifestation of her disease. Then she told what
she had been observing in David's manner, and in Mary Ellen's. Said

"The girl has no heart. She trifles with David, and he is so wretched.
Better the stone had never been rolled away than his love be so thrown
back upon him. I pity him so much, and can do nothing."

I hardly knew what to say in reply, for I was just as troubled as she
about David. He wandered off by himself, in the chill autumn evenings,
returned late, and stole off to his bed in silence. Stories of suicides
came to me. A man who never spoke might do anything. And this, I
thought, was the point. If I could only make him speak!

He had always been more open with me than anybody,--had expressed
himself freely about the homestead, and his plans for redeeming it, and
about his anxiety for Emily. I could certainly, I thought, bring him to
speak of his trouble, if I only had for him a sure word of
encouragement. But this I had not, because Mary Ellen was such a puzzle.
Her openness served better for hiding the truth than did David's
reserve. At the bottom of my heart, though, was full faith in her love
for him. I paid her the compliment of believing she was too good to care
seriously for such a man as Warren Luce. But, then, I couldn't give my
faith to David.

How would it do to make a bold move,--to speak to her? Might I not show
her how much was at stake, and in some way have my faith confirmed?
Would, or wouldn't it answer for me to do this? Should, or shouldn't I
make bungling work of it? I turned the matter over in my mind, to assure
myself of my right to intermeddle.

We, too, had a sort of friendship, and I conceived that she very much
respected my opinion. In some ways, I had been of service to her. The
old man, her father, had been involved in legal troubles. She was
anxious to understand all about it. So I talked law to her, read law to
her, and marked law for her in my big books, besides giving advice
gratis. She had also taken other books from my library, whenever she
chose. I had lent her pictures to copy, and had shown her the way to
various points, in the country round about, whence a simple view might
easily be taken. Moreover, I was all the same as one of the family, and
felt a brother's interest in David. And, lastly, I was eight or ten
years older than she.

'Twas certainly my right to speak. I could well see, however, that it
was a matter of some delicacy. My superior age and wisdom might shed a
halo around me; still, I was nothing more nor less than a young man, for
all that.

It was one pleasant afternoon in the latter part of September, that,
engaged in these perplexing meditations, I strolled down towards the
shore. Mary Ellen hadn't been in to tea, her mother said, and I was
wondering what had become of her.

One solitary buttonwood stood close to the edge of the bank,--so close
that at high tide its brandies hung over the water. I climbed up into a
reserved seat which was always kept for me there, a comfortable little
crotch among the boughs. Upon extraordinary occasions,--a splendid
sunset, or a rain, coming over the water, or an uncommonly fine moon, or
a furious storm,--I used to mount to this seat for a good view.

On this particular afternoon the tide was unusually high,--in some
places, up to the top-rail of the meadow-fence. Our "Crick" was quite a
little bay.

A skiff came paddling along-shore. As it drew near, I saw that it
contained two people,--the Doctor's boy and Mary Ellen. He was singing,
but I was unable to distinguish the words. Then there was some laughing.
After that, she began singing to him, and I made out both words and
tune, for then the boat was quite near. It was an old-fashioned ballad,
which I once heard her sing to Emily. It began thus:--

  "As I was walking by the river-side,
  Where little streams do gently glide,
  I heard a fair maiden making her moan,--
  'Oh, where is my sweet William gone?
  Go, build me up a little boat,
  All on the ocean I will float,
  Hailing all ships as they pass by,
  Inquiring for my sweet sailor-boy.'"

I liked the music, it was so plaintive, so different from the common
well-bred songs.

Not a breath of air was stirring. Her voice rang out upon the stillness,
clear and shrill as a wild bird's. It was such a voice as you frequently
meet with among country-girls, entirely uncultivated, but of great
power, and, on some notes, of wonderful sweetness. Her admiring
listener rested upon his oars, letting his skiff drift along upon the
tide. It floated underneath the tree, and up into "the Crick." As it
passed, I saw, in the bottom of the boat, a little basket of wild

While watching their progress, I heard a rustling among some
alder-bushes that grew about a fence, and, upon looking that way, saw
David. He, too, was watching the play, though he had not, like me, the
benefit of a seat in the gallery.

The expression on his countenance was something like what I had seen on
the faces of people at the theatre: a sort of fixed, immovable look, as
if its wearer were determined on being sensation-proof.

I glanced at the skiff. The Doctor's boy was throwing cherries at Mary
Ellen, and she was catching them in her mouth. She was in a great
frolic, laughing, showing her pretty teeth, and so earnest that one
might suppose life had no other object than catching wild cherries.

Just then I perceived, a little to the right of me, the head and
shoulders of a woman rising slowly above the bank, and recognized at
once the small features and peculiarly small gray eyes of Miss Joey. She
had been gathering marsh-rosemary along-shore.

She, too, was a spectator of the play,--was, in part, an actor in it;
for, while David's eyes were fixed upon the boat, hers were fixed upon
him, and with the same despairing expression.

"Poor Miss Joey!" I said mentally, "doomed to see your beautiful plan
fail and come to nought! You and he suffer the same suffering, but it
can be no bond between you."

She turned, and slowly descended the bank, and I watched her small
figure as it picked its way among the rocks, and finally disappeared
around a point.

Meanwhile the voyagers had landed, and were making their way to the
house. I could see them until they reached the garden-gate, could see
Mary Ellen swinging her sun-bonnet by its string, and hear her laughing,
as she tried to mock the katydids.

Then I looked for David. The feeling came over me that I was in some
magnificent theatre, where I was like a king, having a play acted for me
alone. David was lying upon the ground, with his face buried in the damp

No matter how much we may read of the effects of great sorrow or great
happiness, they will always, in real life, come to us as something we
never heard of. I involuntarily turned my head aside, feeling that I was
where I had no right to be, that I had intruded my profane presence into
the innermost sanctuary of a human heart.

While I was debating whether to remain concealed, or to go to him, throw
my arms around him, and say some word of comfort, he arose and walked
slowly towards the house. And I noticed that he went by exactly the same
route which the two had taken before him,--which brought to mind Miss
Joey's expression, "as if there'd ben a chain a-drawin' him."

That very evening, as I was sitting at my window, watching the moon rise
over the water, I saw Mary Ellen pass along the road, and sit down upon
a little wooden step which was attached to a fence for convenience in
getting over. She was watching the moon rise, too.

The scene I had so recently witnessed from the buttonwood-tree had made
me desperate. I felt that now, if ever, I must speak. Seizing my hat, I
walked rapidly to the spot, hoping it would be given me in that hour
what to say.

After we had talked awhile about the moon, how it looked, rising over
the waters, as we saw it, and rising over the mountains, as she had seen
it, I turned my face rather aside, and said, quite suddenly,--

"Mary Ellen, I want to speak to you about something important. I hope
you will take it kindly."

She made no answer; seemed startled. I hardly know how I stumbled along,
but I finally found myself speaking of my friendship for David, and of
my aversion to Warren Luce. She appeared not at all displeased, but said
very little. This was not as I expected. I thought she might answer

There came a pause. I couldn't seem to get on. She safe with averted
face, her arm on the fence, her head in her hand. In the strong light of
the moon, every feature was revealed. How beautiful she was in the
moonlight! But what was her face saying? A good deal, certainly; but

I stood leaning against the fence.

"Mary Ellen," said I, with a sudden jerk, as it were, "it can't be that
Warren Luce--that he is the one whom--that--that you"--And here I

"I think Warren Luce has great power over me," said she, calmly, as if
coolly scanning her own feelings; "but you said right. He is not the one

And here she smiled, as if at the thought of my broken-off sentences,
but without looking up.

"My dear girl," said I, earnestly, and taking a forward step,--"forgive
me, but--I think--I hope--you love David,--don't you?"

'Twas a bold question, and I knew it; but I was thinking how pleasant
'twould be to carry good tidings to my friend.

"I love his goodness," said she, just as calmly as before. "And I love
him for loving me. I wish he was happy. I hope no harm will come to him.
I would do everything for him,--but"--and here her voice fell--"_I don't
love him as Jane loved_."

"_Jane who_?" I asked, in surprise.

"Jane Eyre."

Here was a dilemma for me. What should I say next? What business had I,
meddling with a young girl's heart? I had been almost sure of finding
soundings, yet here I was in deep water! And, with all my pains, what
had I accomplished?

She arose, and moved towards the house. I walked along by her side,
without speaking.

"I'm going away to-morrow," said she, as we reached the gate, "to make a
visit at the old place; then everybody will be happier."

It was my turn then to be silent,--for I was trying to take in the idea
that there was to be no Mary Ellen in the house. She had occupied our
thoughts so long, had been so prominent an actor in our daily life,--how
we should miss her!

"Oh, no," I said, calmly,--for I had thought away all my surprise,--"we
shall all miss you very much."

And there we parted.

She left us the next morning, for a visit to her old home.

The latter part of the day I went into Emily's room. She had been
growing worse for some time, and had been removed to the westerly room
to be rid of the bleak winds. David was sitting on a low stool by her
bedside, his head resting upon the bed, looking up in her face. She
smiled as I entered.

"David is so tall," said she, "that I can't see his face away up there,
and so he brings it down for me to look at."

She held in her hand the ruby bracelet.

"David says," she continued, "that he is going to the gold-country, to
get money to pay off the mortgages,--and that, when he begins to get
gold, he shall get a heap, and will bring me home a whole necklace of
rubies, and make a beautiful home for me: _when_ he goes," she repeated,
with an unbelieving smile.

I smiled, too, and passed on, feeling that I had already intruded too
much upon the privacy of hearts, and would leave the brother and sister
in peace.

A few nights after this, I came home late from the Square, and found the
household in great commotion. David went out fishing, long before
daybreak, and had not yet returned. Other boats had come in, but nothing
had they seen of him, either on the Ledge or off in the Bay. This was
the more mysterious, as the weather had been unusually mild, with but
little wind.

After talking over the matter with them, I suggested that he might have
gone farther than usual, and, on account of the light winds, had not
been able to get back. The night was calm, with plenty of moonlight.
There could be no possible danger to one so accustomed to the water as

This appeared very reasonable; and, at a late hour, all retired to bed.

The next morning I looked from my window at daybreak. Miss Joey was
standing on the hill, gazing off upon the water. In a few minutes the
old folks came out. They crept up the hill, and stood looking off with
Miss Joey. I joined them. There was a fine strong breeze, and fair for
boats bound in. Not one, however, was in sight. Away off in the Bay was
a homeward-bound schooner, with colors flying. A fisherman, probably,
returning from the Banks. The morning air was chilly. We silently
descended the hill.

During the day we heard that a vessel from Boston had spoken, half-way
on her passage, a small sloop-boat, with one man in it. Boston was sixty
miles distant, and it was something very unusual for a small boat to
make the passage. Friends in the city were written to, but no
information was obtained, and day after day passed without relieving our

But this was at last ended by a letter from David himself. It was
written to me. He had sold his boat in Boston, and had gone to New York,
where his letter was dated. He was going to sail for California the next

"I have long been meaning to go," he wrote, "but never thought of
leaving in this way, until I reached the fishing-ground, last Wednesday
morning. It came into my mind all at once, and I kept straight along. If
I'd gone back, the old folks, maybe, wouldn't have let me come, because,
you know, I'm the last. Besides, I thought I could go easier while--But
you know all about it, Turner. I saw that you knew. It has been very
hard. Somehow, trouble don't slip off of me easy. Taking everything as
it was, I couldn't stay by any longer. Otherwise, I don't know as I
could have left the old folks and Emily. I can't ask you to stay, unless
it's convenient; but while you do, I hope you'll have a care over all
I've left behind. You can cheer up Emily better than anybody."

"The strength and the beauty of the house are gone!" remarked Emily to
me, as I sat down one afternoon by her window.

Poor girl! It was but seldom she was able to speak at all. David's
sudden departure, and the anxiety attending it, had been too much for
her. Besides, she missed Mary Ellen. That little country-girl had,
besides her innocence and her good looks, a vein of drollery, which made
her a very entertaining companion. And then, being so quick-witted, and
so kind-hearted, she thought of various little things to do for Emily's
comfort, which never would have occurred to her mother or Miss Joey.
Emily wanted her back again. She had got over that feeling of hatred of
which she once accused herself.

"It wasn't her fault," said she, one day, quite suddenly.

"What?" I asked.

"That she didn't love David in the way he loved her. I don't think she
deceived him. He never said anything, you know; so, of course, she had
no reason for being any other than kind to him. I believe she felt badly
about it, herself. I've seen her, when she thought I was asleep, lean
her head upon her hand, and sit so for a great while. Maybe, though,
it's because I want so much to love her that I make excuses for her. I
wish she'd come,--it's so lonely."

And it was lonely. It was like remaining in the theatre after the play
is over and the actors retired. For Warren Luce, too, was gone. His
visit was only for the summer, and he had returned to his clerkship.

"How would it have been, if he hadn't come?" I asked myself. "Might
David have been happy? Might she have loved him as 'Jane' loved? And how
much of her heart had the Doctor's boy carried away? Perhaps his power
over her was greater than she would own,--greater than she knew herself.
Perhaps he was even then corresponding with her. He might even be with
her among the mountains."

Thus I debated, thus I questioned.


Mary Ellen was gone six weeks. We were all glad when she came back, the
house had seemed so like a tomb. I'm not sure about Miss Joey. No doubt
she looked upon her with an evil eye, as being the upsetter of all her
plans. But then there was nothing Miss Joey dreaded more than a lonely
house. She wanted company.

And what better company, pray, can there be than a fair young face? Who
would ask for better entertainment than to watch the lighting-up of
bright eyes, and the parting of rosy lips, or the thousand other
bewitchments of youth and beauty?

And she looked more beautiful than ever,--I suppose, because she came in
a dull time: just as flowers seem lovelier and more precious in the
winter. I fancied she was very sad, very thoughtful. Perhaps 'twas
David's going away that caused this. Perhaps she was sorry she had cast
from her such a precious thing as love.

When Emily became much worse, which was shortly after her return, she
installed herself as chief nurse, sitting for hours in the darkened
room, amusing her with children's songs and stories,--for the sick girl,
in her weakest state, craved childish things.

That was a quiet, a truly pleasant winter. After getting letters from
David, telling of his safe arrival out, everybody became more cheerful.

But in the spring, as warm weather came on, Emily grew every day weaker.
The apple-blossoms came and went unheeded.

One morning she awoke, unusually free from pain, and said to Mary

"I saw David last night. He said to me, 'I shall come sooner than I
expected. But, before I come, I shall send the ruby necklace.'" Then she
described the miner's hut in which she had seen him.

This was in the first part of June.

On the day after the fourth of July we got news of his death. He had
been lost overboard, in a storm, between San Francisco and the Sandwich

It is very sad to recall that time of deep affliction. He was the last
of five sons, all of whom had left home in full health and strength,
none of whom returned.

"Five as likely young men," said poor Miss Joey, "as ever grew up
beneath one roof."

"All five gone!" groaned the old man, as he leaned his face against the

"Five brothers waiting for me," whispered Emily, as Mary Ellen bent over
her, weeping.

"Five boys," moaned the poor broken-hearted mother,--"nobody to take
care of them, nobody to do for them, no comforts, no mother, and now no

'Twas touching to see her husband trying to console her. Her favorite
seat was in one corner of the hard, old-fashioned settee. There she
would sit, swaying herself to and fro, whispering sometimes to herself,
"Deep waters! deep waters!"

The old man would sit close up to her, and say, softly,--

"Now, mother, don't! I wouldn't take on. You know he isn't there. Look
up. Don't forget God!"

Poor old man! 'Twas hard for him to look up, with so much to draw him
down. But I don't think he ever forgot God.

A little before sunset, one afternoon, a few weeks after the sad news of
David's death had reached us, Mary Ellen came out to where I was sitting
under the lilacs, and asked if I couldn't move Emily into her own room
for a little while.

"Is she able?" I asked.

"I don't know what has come over her," she replied, "she seems so
strong. For a long time I thought her asleep, but all at once she spoke
out clear and loud, and said, 'I want to see his grave. If anybody could
take me to my own room, I could see his grave.' She keeps repeating it,
and she means the sea."

'Twas not much to take her across the entry. Mary Ellen arranged
everything, and we placed her on a sofa by the window.

"Oh," she exclaimed, "how I have longed for this! I have hungered and
thirsted for a good look at the sea."

Her cheeks were pale, her eyes large and bright.

She looked so ethereal, so unearthly, and lay so long motionless, with
her eyes fixed upon the water, that I half feared she would at that
moment pass away from us,--that she might, in some beautiful form, a
dove, or a bright angel, soar upward through the open window, and be
lost to our sight among the golden-edged clouds above.

But she was thinking of David's grave. And a beautiful grave it seemed,
from that window. The water was still, as smooth as glass. I had never
noticed upon it so uncommon a tinge. 'Twas mostly of a pale green, very
pale; but portions of it were of a deep lilac. Farther off it was
purple, and very far off a dim, shadowy gray. I was glad it had on that
particular night such a peaceful, placid look.

"Oh, what a beautiful grave!" said Emily. Then her eyes wandered to
different points of the landscape, dwelling for a long time on each.

"I suppose you think," said she, at last, in a low, sweet voice, "that
it is easy for a sick girl to go. But I love everything I've been
looking at. It may be more beautiful there, but it will not be the same.
I shall want to see exactly this stretch of water, and the islands
beyond, and the shadows on those woods away off in the distance, and the
field where father has mowed the grass for so many years. Every summer,
as soon as June came in, I've listened, early in the morning, before
noise began, to hear the whetting of the scythe, and then waited for the
smell of the hay to come in at the windows.

"Those maples, on the knoll, are my dear friends. I've been glad with
them in the spring, and sorry with them in the fall, through all these
years. The birds and the dandelions and the violets are all my friends.
I've waited for them every year, and it seemed as if the same ones came
back. You well people can't understand it. They are near to me. I enter
into the life of each one of them, just as you do into the lives of your
human friends. Spirits go everywhere, see everything. That will be too
much. I'm attached to just this spot of earth. And then I'm attached to
myself. I can't realize that I shall be the same, and I don't want to
give myself up, poor miserable creature as I am."

Mary Ellen and I could only look at each other in astonishment. Her
voice, her seeming strength, and, more than all, her conversation,
amazed us. She had always been so trusting, so full of faith in her
Heavenly Father.

The next morning, when Mary Ellen went to her bedside, she found her
lying awake, with her thin, white fingers clasped about her throat. She
looked up with a strange smile, and said,--

"My ruby necklace has come, and next, you know, will be the beautiful
home. It is almost ready, David said. But he brought the necklace, and
clasped it about my throat. It choked me, and I groaned a little. David
went then, and I've been waiting ever since for you to come."

It was noontime when Mary Ellen told me this. I observed that she
trembled. "My dear girl," said I, "what makes you tremble so?"

"Why," said she, in a whisper, "there is truly a red circle about her
throat. I saw it. 'Tis a warning. She's going to die."

"Maybe," I said, "she is going soon to her beautiful home. But we know
no harm can come to our dear sister, she is so good, and so pure." Then,
taking her by the hand, I led her along to Emily's room.

Her mother and Miss Joey stood near, weeping. The old man, with the
Bible upon his knees, sat at the foot of the bed. He had been reading
and praying.

She looked up with a smile, as I entered with Mary Ellen.

"I know," said she, in a perfectly distinct, but low voice, as we drew
near the bedside,--"I know what made me talk so yesterday.".

She paused then, and afterwards spoke with difficulty. We all stood
breathless, bending eagerly forward, that not a word might be lost.

"I know," she repeated, "what it was. 'Twas the earthy principle in
me--which revived--for a moment--at the last--and then put forth all its
strength. Since I have seen David--it seems pleasant--to go. I can't
tell,--you wouldn't understand,--I couldn't, if the separation--hadn't
begun. I'm not wholly here now." And the fixed, strange look in her face
confirmed the words as they fell from her lips.

She lay for some time very still, breathing every moment fainter and
fainter, but seemingly in no distress.

Suddenly she started. Her face grew radiant. Her gaze seemed fixed on
some point, thousands and thousands of miles away. Clasping her hands
together, she cried out, joyfully,--

"Oh, the beautiful home! the beautiful home!"

'Twas over in an instant. She closed her eyes, turned her head a little
on the pillow, and breathed her life away as softly and peacefully as a
poor tired child sinks away to sleep.

"And I saw the angels of God ascending and descending," I said,
earnestly. For I felt that one whose spiritual eyes were opened might
certainly do so.

Late in the afternoon, when the heat of the day was past, I walked out
to the clump of maples on the knoll. Mary Ellen was already there.

"Yes," said I, sitting down by her side, upon the grass, "we will lay
her here among her friends. And we will place here a white marble

"I wish," said Mary Ellen, looking timidly up in my face, "that it could
be in memory of David, too." She said this with tears in her eyes, and
an unsteady voice.

As I sit writing, I can see from my window the simple white monument,
which Mary Ellen and I planned together. The grass and field-flowers are
growing all about it, and the birds, Emily's birds, are singing in the
branches above. It has only this inscription,--

"_In memory of David and Emily_."

"Six children,--and only one grave to show for all of them!" groaned the
poor old mother, when we first led her out to show her the stone.

But there was shortly another grave beneath the maples; for the worn-out
old woman soon sank after Emily's death, and with her last breath begged
to be laid by her side.

Only the old man and Miss Joey left. Still I could not go away. No other
place seemed like home. And besides, I had found out, long ago, my own
secret. It had been revealed to me, day by day, as I watched Mary Ellen
in the sick-room of Emily,--as I observed her patience, her sweetness,
her tenderness!

And my secret came upon me with an overwhelming power. But I mastered
it. I kept it to myself. That is, as far as words were concerned. For
the expression of his face, for involuntary glances, no man can be held

I kept it to myself,--or tried to do so; for I wasn't sure--of anything.
Emily's words, "I fear," came to me with deep meaning. For, if the
goodness of David, if the fascinations of Warren Luce had effected
nothing, what could I hope?

And was I sure about this last, about Warren? He was in the place.
Emily's sickness only had kept him away. I reviewed myself to myself,
overhauled whatever virtues or failings I knew of as belonging to me.

Nothing very satisfactory resulted. But I remembered what the old man
said to Miss Joey, "Love'll go where 'tis sent," and took courage. Eight
or ten years older. I wonder if she would mind that?

Day after day passed, and my secret still burned within me. It must
shine out of my eyes, I thought. But then, since Emily's death, I had
seen Mary Ellen much less frequently. She kept mostly with her mother,
on their own side of the house.

But the time that was foreordained from the beginning of the world for
the bursting-forth of my secret came at last.

It was a month after Emily's death. I happened to come home in the
evening unusually early. 'Twas exactly such a night as the one on which
I tried to sound the depths of a young girl's heart, and failed. If she
would only come out in the moonlight again, and let me try once more!

As I passed the orchard, my heart gave a great leap, for she was
there,--she and Miss Joey, carrying in a great basket of apples. I
seized her side of the basket with one hand, and with the other grasped
hers so earnestly that she fairly started: I was so glad to see her!

I led her along to the house, and then led her back, until we came to
the same little step on the fence,--with full faith, now, that it would
be given me in this hour what to say.

I seated her exactly as she was before, with the moon shining full in
her face. Then I took my stand, leaning against the fence, just the
same. How beautiful she was in the moonlight!

"And is there anybody," said I, as if continuing the conversation, "that
you do love as Jane did?"

My voice, though, was far less steady than at the other time.

"Mr. Turner," she exclaimed, starting up, with flashing eyes and glowing
cheeks, "you've no right to ask me such a question!"

That blushing by moonlight! It was too much to be endured with calmness.
I felt myself giving way before it.

But I sha'n't tell any more. It's no sign, because a man opens his
heart, that he should let everything drop out of it.

If those interested know, that, at my earnest request, she gave me the
right to ask not only that question, but others which would naturally
follow, they know enough.

I would willingly tell them, though, if our English language had a few
thousand words added to it, how delightful it was to know that this
sweet wild-rose had been blossoming for me, that our singing-bird had
been singing for me! I am willing to tell, too, how foolish I felt, when
the deceitfulness of the human heart, of my own human heart, became
apparent; when I found that I had been loving for myself, while I
thought I was loving for David,--that I had been jealous for myself, and
not for him; when I found that I had been studying my chapter, without
regarding the notes underneath.

And being at last put upon the right track, I found it taking me a long
way backwards. It took me away to the beginning, when Mary Ellen first
came across the entry, and showed me that then and there the arrow was
sped, and love went where it was sent. I had misgivings, even, of having
taken a portion of the dark liquid in the little bottle. I could
perceive the drawing of the "chain," and almost feel the "lassoo" about
my neck.

"Lawyer, indeed! And wonderfully sharp at cross-questioning, when you
couldn't draw a secret from a woman! Lawyer, indeed! Of great
penetration, that couldn't read a young girl's heart, when it lay open
before you,--that couldn't read your own! You'd better give up the
profession, and go to painting. That suits you better. Beauty is your
chief delight, after all. Not only beauty of face, but beauty of
everything under the sun. Go sit in your crotch among the green boughs
and paint landscapes!"

It was full four years ago that I thus inveighed against myself, and
just about a year from the time when I took up the moonlight talk where
it had been left off, and finished it so charmingly. We two were taking
a long stroll together, and had been making our mutual confessions,--our
man-and-wife confessions.

My innocent little country-girl turned her sweet face up to mine with a
doubtful expression, a comically wise look, and said, a little

"Do you think it will pay?"

Oh, she's a capital wife! She has beauty and sweetness and exquisite
taste and simplicity and loving-kindness, with just enough worldliness
to take all these charming qualities safely along through life.

Hear how wisely she discusses the "coquette" question.

Says she,--"I think it's natural for all women to want to please all
men. I believe that the very best and wisest woman in the world is
affected by flattery from a handsome man who knows how to flatter. Very
likely this might be put the other way about, but then in books that
side is usually left out. But what you, Mr. Landscape-painter, would
like to know is, whether I coquetted with the Doctor's boy. And I will
own that I tried to please him. I liked to have him think I was pretty.
I can't think what it was about him that had such power over me. I
tremble now to think what might have been, if--And just think what a
whole life would be with such a person! I don't believe, though, any
girl could have withstood him, unless her heart--I believe I should
certainly have loved him, if"--

"If what, and unless what?" I asked, drawing her close up to me, as if
that dangerous youth had still power to take her from me.

She looked up so roguishly,--

"You ought to know; you took the chapter to study."

Oh, my innocent little country-girl! If I were a poet, I'd write a song
in your praise; and if I were a musician, I'd set it to music. But the
poetry is in my heart; and 'tis set to music there.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Tender of words should singer be,
  Sweet-Brier, who would tell of thee;
  One who has drunk with eager lip
  And treasured thy companionship;

  One who has sought thee far and wide,
  In early dew, with morning pride;
  To whom thou art no new-made friend,
  Whose memories on thy breath attend.

  For such thou art a lemon-grove,
  Where wandering orient odors rove,--
  Yet loyal ever to thy home,
  The valley where the north winds roam.

  Sometimes I would call thee mine;
  But sweeter far than _mine_ or _thine_
  To listen unto Nature's song,
  Saying, To lovers all belong.

  I love thee for my greenest days
  Rescued from Time at thy sweet gaze,
  For pictures brilliant as the Spring
  Brought back upon thy breathing wing.

  I love thee for thy influence,
  Heart-honey, without impotence;
  He who would reach thy virgin blush,
  Like warrior bold, must dangers crush.

  Chiefly I love thee for thyself,
  Wealth-giver, ignorant of pelf;
  Fain would I learn thy upright ways
  And heart thus redolent of praise.

       *       *       *       *       *





"The fact is," said Jennie, as she twirled a little hat on her hand,
which she had been making over, with, nobody knows what of bows and
pompons, and other matters for which the women have curious names,--"the
fact is, American women and girls must learn to economize; it isn't
merely restricting one's self to American goods, it is general economy,
that is required. Now here's this hat,--costs me only three dollars, all
told; and Sophie Page bought an English one this morning at Madame
Meyer's for which she gave fifteen. And I really don't think hers has
more of an air than mine. I made this over, you see, with things I had
in the house, bought nothing but the ribbon, and paid for altering and
pressing, and there you see what a stylish hat I have!"

"Lovely! admirable!" said Miss Featherstone. "Upon my word, Jennie, you
ought to marry a poor parson; you would be quite thrown away upon a rich

"Let me see," said I. "I want to admire intelligently. That isn't the
hat you were wearing yesterday?"

"Oh, no, papa! This is just done. The one I wore yesterday was my
waterfall-hat, with the green feather; this, you see, is an oriole."

"A what?"

"An oriole. Papa, how can you expect to learn about these things?"

"And that plain little black one, with the stiff crop of scarlet
feathers sticking straight up?"

"That's my jockey, papa, with a plume _en militaire_."

"And did the waterfall and the jockey cost anything?"

"They were very, very cheap, papa, considering. Miss Featherstone will
remember that the waterfall was a great bargain, and I had the feather
from last year; and as to the jockey, that was made out of my last
year's white one, dyed over. You know, papa, I always take care of my
things, and they last from year to year."

"I do assure you, Mr. Crowfield," said Miss Featherstone, "I never saw
such little economists as your daughters; it is perfectly wonderful what
they contrive to dress on. How they manage to do it I'm sure I can't
see. I never could, I'm convinced."

"Yes," said Jennie, "I've bought but just one new hat. I only wish you
could sit in church where we do, and see those Miss Fielders. Marianne
and I have counted six new hats apiece of those girls',--_new_, you
know, just out of the milliner's shop; and last Sunday they came out in
such lovely puffed tulle bonnets! Weren't they lovely, Marianne? And
next Sunday, I don't doubt, there'll be something else."

"Yes," said Miss Featherstone,--"their father, they say, has made a
million dollars lately on Government contracts."

"For my part," said Jennie, "I think such extravagance, at such a time
as this, is shameful."

"Do you know," said I, "that I'm quite sure the Misses Fielder think
they are practising rigorous economy?"

"Papa! Now there you are with your paradoxes! How can you say so?"

"I shouldn't be afraid to bet a pair of gloves, now," said I, "that Miss
Fielder thinks herself half ready for translation, because she has
bought only six new hats and a tulle bonnet so far in the season. If it
were not for her dear bleeding country, she would have had thirty-six,
like the Misses Sibthorpe. If we were admitted to the secret councils of
the Fielders, doubtless we should perceive what temptations they daily
resist; how perfectly rubbishy and dreadful they suffer themselves to
be, because they feel it important now, in this crisis, to practise
economy; how they abuse the Sibthorpes, who have a new hat every time
they drive out, and never think of wearing one more than two or three
times; how virtuous and self-denying they feel, when they think of the
puffed tulle, for which they only gave eighteen dollars, when Madame
Caradori showed them those lovely ones, like the Misses Sibthorpe's, for
forty-five; and how they go home descanting on virgin simplicity, and
resolving that they will not allow themselves to be swept into the
vortex of extravagance, whatever other people may do."

"Do you know," said Miss Featherstone, "I believe your papa is right? I
was calling on the oldest Miss Fielder the other day, and she told me
that she positively felt ashamed to go looking as she did, but that she
really did feel the necessity of economy. 'Perhaps we might afford to
spend more than some others,' she said; 'but it's so much better to give
the money to the Sanitary Commission!'"

"Furthermore," said I, "I am going to put forth another paradox, and say
that very likely there are some people looking on my girls, and
commenting on them for extravagance in having three hats, even though
made over, and contrived from last year's stock."

"They can't know anything about it, then," said Jennie, decisively;
"for, certainly, nobody can be decent, and invest less in millinery than
Marianne and I do."

"When I was a young lady," said my wife, "a well-dressed girl got her a
new bonnet in the spring, and another in the fall;--that was the extent
of her purchases in this line. A second-best bonnet, left of last year,
did duty to relieve and preserve the best one. My father was accounted
well-to-do, but I had no more, and wanted no more. I also, bought
myself, every spring, two pair of gloves, a dark and a light pair, and
wore them through the summer, and another two through the winter; one or
two pair of white kids, carefully cleaned, carried me through all my
parties. Hats had not been heard of, and the great necessity which
requires two or three new ones every spring and fall had not arisen.
Yet I was reckoned a well-appearing girl, who dressed liberally. Now, a
young lady who has a waterfall-hat, an oriole-hat, and a jockey, must
still be troubled with anxious cares for her spring and fall and summer
and winter bonnets,--all the variety will not take the place of them.
Gloves are bought by the dozen; and as to dresses, there seems to be no
limit to the quantity of material and trimming that may be expended upon
them. When I was a young lady, seventy-five dollars a year was
considered by careful parents a liberal allowance for a daughter's
wardrobe. I had a hundred, and was reckoned rich; and I sometimes used a
part to make up the deficiencies in the allowance of Sarah Evans, my
particular friend, whose father gave her only fifty. We all thought that
a very scant pattern; yet she generally made a very pretty and genteel
appearance, with the help of occasional presents from friends."

"How could a girl dress for fifty dollars?" said Marianne.

"She could get a white muslin and a white cambric, which, with different
sortings of ribbons, served her for all dress-occasions. A silk, in
those days, took only ten yards in the making, and one dark silk was
considered a reasonable allowance to a lady's wardrobe. Once made, it
stood for something,--always worn carefully, it lasted for years. One or
two calico morning-dresses, and a merino for winter wear, completed the
list. Then, as to collars, capes, cuffs, etc., we all did our own
embroidering, and very pretty things we wore, too. Girls looked as
pretty then as they do now, when four or five hundred dollars a year is
insufficient to clothe them."

"But, mamma, you know our allowance isn't anything like that,--it is
quite a slender one, though not so small as yours was," said Marianne.
"Don't you think the customs of society make a difference? Do you think,
as things are, we could go back and dress for the sum you did?"

"You cannot," said my wife, "without a greater sacrifice of feeling than
I wish to impose on you. Still, though I don't see how to help it, I
cannot but think that the requirements of fashion are becoming
needlessly extravagant, particularly in regard to the dress of women. It
seems to me, it is making the support of families so burdensome that
young men are discouraged from marriage. A young man, in a moderately
good business, might cheerfully undertake the world with a wife who
could make herself pretty and attractive for seventy-five dollars a
year, when he might sigh in vain for one who positively could not get
through, and be decent, on four hundred. Women, too, are getting to be
so attached to the trappings and accessories of life, that they cannot
think of marriage without an amount of fortune which few young men

"You are talking in very low numbers about the dress of women," said
Miss Featherstone. "I do assure you that it is the easiest thing in the
world for a girl to make away with a thousand dollars a year, and not
have so much to show for it either as Marianne and Jennie."

"To be sure," said I. "Only establish certain formulas of expectation,
and it is the easiest thing in the world. For instance, in your mother's
day girls talked of a pair of gloves,--now they talk of a pack; then it
was a bonnet summer and winter,--now it is a bonnet spring, summer,
autumn, and winter, and hats like monthly roses,--a new blossom every
few weeks."

"And then," said my wife, "every device of the toilet is immediately
taken up and varied and improved on, so as to impose an almost monthly
necessity for novelty. The jackets of May are outshone by the jackets of
June; the buttons of June are antiquated in July; the trimmings of July
are _passées_ by September; side-combs, back-combs, puffs, rats, and all
sorts of such matters, are in a distracted race of improvement; every
article of feminine toilet is on the move towards perfection. It seems
to me that an infinity of money must be spent in these trifles, by
those who make the least pretension to keep in the fashion."

"Well, papa," said Jennie, "after all, it's just the way things always
have been since the world began. You know the Bible says, 'Can a maid
forget her ornaments?' It's clear she can't. You see, it's a law of
Nature; and you remember all that long chapter in the Bible that we had
read in church last Sunday, about the curls and veils and tinkling
ornaments and crimping-pins, and all that. Women always have been too
much given to dress, and they always will be."

"The thing is," said Marianne, "how can any woman, I, for example, know
what is too much or too little? In mamma's day, it seems, a girl could
keep her place in society, by hard economy, and spend only fifty dollars
a year on her dress. Mamma found a hundred dollars ample. I have more
than that, and find myself quite straitened to keep myself looking well.
I don't want to live for dress, to give all my time and thoughts to it;
I don't wish to be extravagant; and yet I wish to be lady-like; it
annoys and makes me unhappy not to be fresh and neat and nice;
shabbiness and seediness are my aversion. I don't see where the fault
is. Can one individual resist the whole current of society? It certainly
is not strictly necessary for us girls to have half the things we do. We
might, I suppose, live without many of them, and, as mamma says, look
just as well, because girls did before these things were invented. Now,
I confess, I flatter myself, generally, that I am a pattern of good
management and economy, because I get so much less than other girls I go
with. I wish you could see Miss Thorne's fall dresses that she showed me
last year when she was visiting here. She had six gowns, and no one of
them could have cost less than seventy or eighty dollars, and some of
them must have been even more expensive; and yet I don't doubt that this
fall she will feel that she must have just as many more. She runs
through and wears out these expensive things, with all their velvet and
thread lace, just as I wear my commonest ones; and at the end of the
season they are really gone,--spotted, stained, frayed, the lace all
pulled to pieces,--nothing left to save or make over. I feel as if
Jennie and I were patterns of economy, when I see such things. I really
don't know what economy is. What is it?"

"There is the same difficulty in my housekeeping," said my wife. "I
think I am an economist. I mean to be one. All our expenses are on a
modest scale, and yet I can see much that really is not strictly
necessary; but if I compare myself with some of my neighbors, I feel as
if I were hardly respectable. There is no subject on which all the world
are censuring one another so much as this. Hardly any one but thinks her
neighbors extravagant in some one or more particulars, and takes for
granted that she herself is an economist."

"I'll venture to say," said I, "that there isn't a woman of my
acquaintance that does not think she is an economist."

"Papa is turned against us women, like all the rest of them," said
Jennie. "I wonder if it isn't just so with the men?"

"Yes," said Marianne, "it's the fashion to talk as if all the
extravagance of the country was perpetrated by women. For my part, I
think young men are just as extravagant. Look at the sums they spend for
cigars and pipes,--an expense which hasn't even the pretence of
usefulness in any way; it's a purely selfish, nonsensical indulgence.
When a girl spends money in making herself look pretty, she contributes
something to the agreeableness of society; but a man's cigars and pipes
are neither ornamental nor useful."

"Then look at their dress," said Jennie; "they are to the full as fussy
and particular about it as girls; they have as many fine, invisible
points of fashion, and their fashions change quite as often; and they
have just as many knick-knacks, with their studs and their
sleeve-buttons and waistcoat-buttons, their scarfs and scarf-pins, their
watch-chains and seals and seal-rings, and nobody knows what. Then they
often waste and throw away more than women, because they are not good
judges of material, nor saving in what they buy, and have no knowledge
of how things should be cared for, altered, or mended. If their cap is a
little too tight, they cut the lining with a penknife, or slit holes in
a new shirt-collar, because it does not exactly fit to their mind. For
my part, I think men are naturally twice as wasteful as women. A pretty
thing, to be sure, to have all the waste of the country laid to us!"

"You are right, child," said I; "women are by nature, as compared with
men, the care-taking and saving part of creation,--the authors and
conservators of economy. As a general rule, man earns and woman saves
and applies. The wastefulness of woman is commonly the fault of man."

"I don't see into that," said Bob Stephens.

"In this way. Economy is the science of proportion. Whether a particular
purchase is extravagant depends mainly on the income it is taken from.
Suppose a woman has a hundred and fifty a year for her dress, and gives
fifty dollars for a bonnet; she gives a third of her income;--it is a
horrible extravagance, while for the woman whose income is ten thousand
it may be no extravagance at all. The poor clergyman's wife, when she
gives five dollars for a bonnet, may be giving as much, in proportion to
her income, as the woman who gives fifty. Now the difficulty with the
greater part of women is, that the men who make the money and hold it
give them no kind of standard by which to measure their expenses. Most
women and girls are in this matter entirely at sea, without chart or
compass. They don't know in the least what they have to spend. Husbands
and fathers often pride themselves about not saying a word on
business-matters to their wives and daughters. They don't wish them to
understand them, or to inquire into them, or to make remarks or
suggestions concerning them. 'I want you to have everything that is
suitable and proper,' says Jones to his wife, 'but don't be

"'But, my dear,' says Mrs. Jones, 'what is suitable and proper depends
very much on our means; if you could allow me any specific sum for dress
and housekeeping, I could tell better.'

"'Nonsense, Susan! I can't do that,--it's too much trouble. Get what you
need, and avoid foolish extravagances; that's all I ask.'

"By-and-by Mrs. Jones's bills are sent in, in an evil hour, when Jones
has heavy notes to meet, and then comes a domestic storm.

"'I shall just be ruined, Madam, if that's the way you are going on. I
can't afford to dress you and the girls in the style you have set
up;--look at this milliner's bill!'

"'I assure you,' says Mrs. Jones, 'we haven't got any more than the
Stebbinses,--nor so much.'

"'Don't you know that the Stebbinses are worth five times as much as
ever I was?'

"No, Mrs. Jones did not know it;--how should she, when her husband makes
it a rule never to speak of his business to her, and she has not the
remotest idea of his income?

"Thus multitudes of good conscientious women and girls are extravagant
from pure ignorance. The male provider allows bills to be run up in his
name, and they have no earthly means of judging whether they are
spending too much or too little, except the semi-annual hurricane which
attends the coming in of these bills.

"The first essential in the practice of economy is a knowledge of one's
income, and the man who refuses to accord to his wife and children this
information has never any right to accuse them of extravagance, because
he himself deprives them of that standard of comparison which is an
indispensable requisite in economy. As early as possible in the
education of children they should pass from that state of irresponsible
waiting to be provided for by parents, and be trusted with the spending
of some fixed allowance, that they may learn prices and values, and have
some notion of what money is actually worth and what it will bring. The
simple fact of the possession of a fixed and definite income often
suddenly transforms a giddy, extravagant girl into a care-taking,
prudent little woman. Her allowance is her own; she begins to plan upon
it,--to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and do numberless sums in her
little head. She no longer buys everything she fancies; she deliberates,
weighs, compares. And now there is room for self-denial and generosity
to come in. She can do without this article; she can furbish up some
older possession to do duty a little longer, and give this money to some
friend poorer than she; and ten to one the girl whose bills last year
were four or five hundred finds herself bringing through this year
creditably on a hundred and fifty. To be sure, she goes without numerous
things which she used to have. From the stand-point of a fixed income
she sees that these are impossible, and no more wants them than the
green cheese of the moon. She learns to make her own taste and skill
take the place of expensive purchases. She refits her hats and bonnets,
retrims her dresses, and in a thousand busy, earnest, happy little ways,
sets herself to make the most of her small income.

"So the woman who has her definite allowance for housekeeping finds at
once a hundred questions set at rest. Before, it was not clear to her
why she should not 'go and do likewise' in relation to every purchase
made by her next neighbor. Now, there is a clear logic of proportion.
Certain things are evidently not to be thought of, though next neighbors
do have them; and we must resign ourselves to find some other way of

"My dear," said my wife, "I think there is a peculiar temptation in a
life organized as ours is in America. There are here no settled classes,
with similar ratios of income. Mixed together in the same society, going
to the same parties, and blended in daily neighborly intercourse, are
families of the most opposite extremes in point of fortune. In England
there is a very well understood expression, that people should not dress
or live above their station; in America none will admit that they have
any particular station, or that they can live above it. The principle of
democratic equality unites in society people of the most diverse
positions and means.

"Here, for instance, is a family like Dr. Selden's, an old and highly
respected one, with an income of only two or three thousand,--yet they
are people universally sought for in society, and mingle in all the
intercourse of life with merchant-millionnaires whose incomes are from
ten to thirty thousand. Their sons and daughters go to the same schools,
the same parties, and are thus constantly meeting upon terms of social

"Now it seems to me that our danger does not lie in the great and
evident expenses of our richer friends. We do not expect to have
pineries, graperies, equipages, horses, diamonds,--we say openly and of
course that we do not. Still, our expenses are constantly increased by
the proximity of these things, unless we understand ourselves better
than most people do. We don't, of course, expect to get a
fifteen-hundred-dollar Cashmere, like Mrs. So-and-so, but we begin to
look at hundred-dollar shawls and nibble about the hook. We don't expect
sets of diamonds, but a diamond ring, a pair of solitaire diamond
ear-rings, begins to be speculated about among the young people as among
possibilities. We don't expect to carpet our house with Axminster and
hang our windows with damask, but at least we must have Brussels and
brocatelle,--it _would not do_ not to. And so we go on getting hundreds
of things that we don't need, that have no real value except that they
soothe our self-love,--and for these inferior articles we pay a higher
proportion of our income than our rich neighbor does for his better
ones. Nothing is uglier than low-priced Cashmere shawls; and yet a young
man just entering business will spend an eighth of a year's income to
put one on his wife, and when he has put it there it only serves as a
constant source of disquiet,--for now that the door is opened, and
Cashmere shawls are possible, she is consumed with envy at the superior
ones constantly sported around her. So also with point-lace, velvet
dresses, and hundreds of things of that sort, which belong to a certain
rate of income, and are absurd below it."

"And yet, mamma, I heard Aunt Easygo say that velvet, point-lace, and
Cashmere were the cheapest finery that could be bought, because they
lasted a lifetime."

"Aunt Easygo speaks from an income of ten thousand a year; they may be
cheap for her rate of living,--but for us, for example, by no magic of
numbers can it be made to appear that it is cheaper to have the greatest
bargain in the world in Cashmere, lace, and diamonds, than not to have
them at all. I never had a diamond, never wore a piece of point-lace,
never had a velvet dress, and have been perfectly happy, and just as
much respected as if I had. Who ever thought of objecting to me for not
having them? Nobody, as I ever heard."

"Certainly not, mamma," said Marianne.

"The thing I have always said to you girls is, that you were not to
expect to live like richer people, not to begin to try, not to think or
inquire about certain rates of expenditure, or take the first step in
certain directions. We have moved on all our life after a very
antiquated and old-fashioned mode. We have had our little old-fashioned
house, our little old-fashioned ways."

"Except the parlor-carpet, and what came of it, my dear," said I,

"Yes, except the parlor-carpet," said my wife, with a conscious twinkle,
"and the things that came of it; there was a concession there, but one
can't be wise always."

"_We_ talked mamma into that," said Jennie.

"But one thing is certain," said my wife,--"that, though I have had an
antiquated, plain house, and plain furniture, and plain dress, and not
the beginning of a thing such as many of my neighbors have possessed, I
have spent more money than many of them for real comforts. While I had
young children, I kept more and better servants than many women who wore
Cashmeres and diamonds. I thought it better to pay extra wages to a
really good, trusty woman who lived with me from year to year, and
relieved me of some of my heaviest family-cares, than to have ever so
much lace locked away in my drawers. We always were able to go into the
country to spend our summers, and to keep a good family-horse and
carriage for daily driving,--by which means we afforded, as a family,
very poor patronage to the medical profession. Then we built our house,
and while we left out a great many expensive commonplaces that other
people think they must have, we put in a profusion of
bathing-accommodations such as very few people think of having. There
never was a time when we did not feel able to afford to do what was
necessary to preserve or to restore health; and for this I always drew
on the surplus fund laid up by my very unfashionable housekeeping and

"Your mother has had," said I, "what is the great want in America,
perfect independence of mind to go her own way without regard to the way
others go. I think there is, for some reason, more false shame among
Americans about economy than among Europeans. 'I cannot afford it' is
more seldom heard among us. A young man beginning life, whose income may
be from five to eight hundred a year, thinks it elegant and gallant to
affect a careless air about money, especially among ladies,--to hand it
out freely, and put back his change without counting it,--to wear a
watch-chain and studs and shirt-fronts like those of some young
millionnaire. None but the most expensive tailors, shoemakers, and
hatters will do for him; and then he grumbles at the dearness of living,
and declares that he cannot get along on his salary. The same is true of
young girls, and of married men and women too,--the whole of them are
ashamed of economy. The cares that wear out life and health in many
households are of a nature that cannot be cast on God, or met by any
promise from the Bible,--it is not care for 'food convenient,' or for
comfortable raiment, but care to keep up false appearances, and to
stretch a narrow income over the space that can be covered only by a
wider one.

"The poor widow in her narrow lodgings, with her monthly rent staring
her hourly in the face, and her bread and meat and candles and meal all
to be paid for on delivery or not obtained at all, may find comfort in
the good old Book, reading of that other widow whose wasting measure of
oil and last failing handful of meal were of such account before her
Father in heaven that a prophet was sent to recruit them; and when
customers do not pay, or wages are cut down, she can enter into her
chamber, and when she hath shut her door, present to her Father in
heaven His sure promise that with the fowls of the air she shall be fed
and with the lilies of the field she shall be clothed: but what promises
are there for her who is racking her brains on the ways and means to
provide as sumptuous an entertainment of oysters and Champagne at her
next party as her richer neighbor, or to compass that great bargain
which shall give her a point-lace set almost as handsome as that of Mrs.
Croesus, who has ten times her income?"

"But, papa," said Marianne, with a twinge of that exacting sensitiveness
by which the child is characterized, "I think I am an economist, thanks
to you and mamma, so far as knowing just what my income is, and keeping
within it; but that does not satisfy me, and it seems that isn't all of
economy;--the question that haunts me is, Might I not make my little all
do more and better than I do?"

"There," said I, "you have hit the broader and deeper signification of
economy, which is, in fact, the science of _comparative values._ In its
highest sense, economy is a just judgment of the comparative value of
things,--money only the means of enabling one to express that value.
This is the reason why the whole matter is so full of difficulty,--why
every one criticizes his neighbor in this regard. Human beings are so
various, the necessities of each are so different, they are made
comfortable or uncomfortable by such opposite means, that the spending
of other people's incomes must of necessity often look unwise from our
stand-point. For this reason multitudes of people who cannot be accused
of exceeding their incomes often seem to others to be spending them
foolishly and extravagantly."

"But is there no standard of value?" said Marianne.

"There are certain things upon which there is a pretty general
agreement, verbally at least, among mankind. For instance, it is
generally agreed that _health_ is an indispensable good,--that money is
well spent that secures it, and worse than ill spent that ruins it.

"With this standard in mind, how much money is wasted even by people who
do not exceed their income! Here a man builds a house, and pays, in the
first place, ten thousand more than he need, for a location in a
fashionable part of the city, though the air will be closer and the
chances of health less; he spends three or four thousand more on a stone
front, on marble mantels imported from Italy, on plate-glass windows,
plated hinges, and a thousand nice points of finish, and has perhaps but
one bathroom for a whole household, and that so connected with his own
apartment that nobody but himself and his wife can use it.

"Another man buys a lot in an open, airy situation, which fashion has
not made expensive, and builds without a stone front, marble mantels,
or plate-glass windows, but has a perfect system of ventilation through
his house, and bathing-rooms in every story, so that the children and
guests may all, without inconvenience, enjoy the luxury of abundant

"The first spends for fashion and show, the second for health and

"Here is a man that will buy his wife a diamond bracelet and a lace
shawl, and take her yearly to Washington to show off her beauty in
ball-dresses, who yet will not let her pay wages which will command any
but the poorest and most inefficient domestic service. The woman is worn
out, her life made a desert by exhaustion consequent on a futile attempt
to keep up a showy establishment with only half the hands needed for the
purpose. Another family will give brilliant parties, have a gay season
every year at the first hotels at Newport, and not be able to afford the
wife a fire in her chamber in midwinter, or the servants enough food to
keep them from constantly deserting. The damp, mouldy, dingy
cellar-kitchen, the cold, windy, desolate attic, devoid of any comfort,
where the domestics are doomed to pass their whole time, are witnesses
to what such families consider economy. Economy in the view of some is
undisguised slipshod slovenliness in the home-circle for the sake of
fine clothes to be shown abroad; it is undisguised hard selfishness to
servants and dependents, counting their every approach to comfort a
needless waste,--grudging the Roman-Catholic cook her cup of tea at
dinner on Friday, when she must not eat meat,--and murmuring that a
cracked, second-hand looking-glass must be got for the servants' room:
what business have they to want to know how they look?

"Some families will employ the cheapest physician, without regard to his
ability to kill or cure; some will treat diseases in their incipiency
with quack medicines, bought cheap, hoping thereby to fend off the
doctor's bill. Some women seem to be pursued by an evil demon of
economy, which, like an _ignis fatuus_ in a bog, delights constantly to
tumble them over into the mire of expense. They are dismayed at the
quantity of sugar in the recipe for preserves, leave out a quarter, and
the whole ferments and is spoiled. They cannot by any means be induced
at any one time to buy enough silk to make a dress, and the dress
finally, after many convulsions and alterations, must be thrown by
altogether, as too scanty. They get poor needles, poor thread, poor
sugar, poor raisins, poor tea, poor coal. One wonders, in looking at
their blackened, smouldering grates, in a freezing day, what the fire is
there at all for,--it certainly warms nobody. The only thing they seem
likely to be lavish in is funeral expenses, which come in the wake of
leaky shoes and imperfect clothing. These funeral expenses at last
swallow all, since nobody can dispute an undertaker's bill. One pities
these joyless beings. Economy, instead of a rational act of the
judgment, is a morbid monomania, eating the pleasure out of life, and
haunting them to the grave.

"Some people, again, think that nothing is economical but good eating.
Their flour is of an extra brand, their meat the first cut; the
delicacies of every season, in their dearest stages, come home to their
table with an apologetic smile,--'It was scandalously dear, my love, but
I thought we must just treat ourselves.' And yet these people cannot
afford to buy books, and pictures they regard as an unthought-of
extravagance. Trudging home with fifty dollars' worth of delicacies on
his arm, Smith meets Jones, who is exulting with a bag of crackers under
one arm and a choice little bit of an oil painting under the other,
which he thinks a bargain at fifty dollars. '_I_ can't afford to buy
pictures,' Smith says to his spouse, 'and I don't know bow Jones and his
wife manage.' Jones and his wife will live on bread and milk for a
month, and she will turn her best gown the third time, but they will
have their picture, and they are happy, Jones's picture remains, and
Smith's fifty dollars' worth of oysters and canned fruit to-morrow will
be gone forever. Of all modes of spending money, the swallowing of
expensive dainties brings the least return. There is one step lower than
this,--the consuming of luxuries that are injurious to the health. If
all the money spent on tobacco and liquors could be spent in books and
pictures, I predict that nobody's health would be a whit less sound, and
houses would be vastly more attractive. There is enough money spent in
smoking, drinking, and over-eating to give every family in the community
a good library, to hang everybody's parlor-walls with lovely pictures,
to set up in every house a conservatory which should bloom all winter
with choice flowers, to furnish every dwelling with ample bathing and
warming accommodations, even down to the dwellings of the poor; and in
the Millennium I believe this is the way things are to be.

"In these times of peril and suffering, if the inquiry arises, How shall
there be retrenchment? I answer, First and foremost retrench things
needless, doubtful, and positively hurtful, as rum, tobacco, and all the
meerschaums of divers colors that do accompany the same. Second,
retrench all eating not necessary to health and comfort. A French family
would live in luxury on the leavings that are constantly coming from the
tables of those who call themselves in middling circumstances. There are
superstitions of the table that ought to be broken through. Why must you
always have cake in your closet? why need you feel undone to entertain a
guest with no cake on your tea-table? Do without it a year, and ask
yourselves if you or your children, or any one else, have suffered
materially in consequence.

"Why is it imperative that you should have two or three courses at every
meal? Try the experiment of having but one, and that a very good one,
and see if any great amount of suffering ensues. Why must social
intercourse so largely consist in eating? In Paris there is a very
pretty custom. Each family has one evening in the week when it stays at
home and receives friends. Tea, with a little bread and butter and cake,
served in the most informal way, is the only refreshment. The rooms are
full, busy, bright,--everything as easy and joyous as if a monstrous
supper, with piles of jelly and mountains of cake, were waiting to give
the company a nightmare at the close.

"Said a lady, pointing to a gentleman and his wife in a social circle of
this kind, 'I ought to know them well,--I have seen, them every week for
twenty years.' It is certainly pleasant and confirmative of social
enjoyment for friends to eat together; but a little enjoyed in this way
answers the purpose as well as a great deal, and better too."

"Well, papa," said Marianne, "in the matter of dress now,--how much
ought one to spend just to look as others do?"

"I will tell you what I saw the other night, girls, in the parlor of one
of our hotels. Two middle-aged Quaker ladies came gliding in, with calm,
cheerful faces, and lustrous dove-colored silks. By their conversation I
found that they belonged to that class of women among the Friends who
devote themselves to travelling on missions of benevolence. They had
just completed a tour of all the hospitals for wounded soldiers in the
country, where they had been carrying comforts, arranging, advising, and
soothing by their cheerful, gentle presence. They were now engaged on
another mission, to the lost and erring of their own sex; night after
night, guarded by a policeman, they had ventured after midnight into the
dance-houses where girls are being led to ruin, and with gentle words of
tender, motherly counsel sought to win them from their fatal
ways,--telling them where they might go the next day to find friends who
would open to them an asylum and aid them to seek a better life.

"As I looked upon these women, dressed with such modest purity, I began
secretly to think that the Apostle was not wrong, when he spoke of women
adorning themselves with the _ornament_ of a meek and quiet spirit; for
the habitual gentleness of their expression, the calmness and purity of
the lines in their faces, the delicacy and simplicity of their apparel,
seemed of themselves a rare and peculiar beauty. I could not help
thinking that fashionable bonnets, flowing lace sleeves, and dresses
elaborately trimmed could not have improved even their outward
appearance. Doubtless, their simple wardrobe needed but a small trunk in
travelling from place to place, and hindered but little their prayers
and ministrations.

"Now, it is true, all women are not called to such a life as this; but
might not all women take a leaf at least from their book? I submit the
inquiry humbly. It seems to me that there are many who go monthly to the
sacrament, and receive it with sincere devotion, and who give thanks
each time sincerely that they are thus made 'members incorporate in the
mystical body of Christ,' who have never thought of this membership as
meaning that they should share Christ's sacrifices for lost souls, or
abridge themselves of one ornament or encounter one inconvenience for
the sake of those wandering sheep for whom he died. Certainly there is a
higher economy which we need to learn,--that which makes all things
subservient to the spiritual and immortal, and that not merely to the
good of our own souls and those of our family, but of all who are knit
with us in the great bonds of human brotherhood.

"The Sisters of Charity and the Friends, each with their different
costume of plainness and self-denial, and other noble-hearted women of
no particular outward order, but kindred in spirit, have shown to
womanhood, on the battle-field and in the hospital, a more excellent
way,--a beauty and nobility before which all the common graces and
ornaments of the sex fade, appear like dim candles by the pure, eternal

       *       *       *       *       *


  Peace in the clover-scented air,
    And stars within the dome;
  And underneath, in dim repose,
    A plain, New-England home.
  Within, a murmur of low tones
    And sighs from hearts oppressed,
  Merging in prayer, at last, that brings
    The balm of silent rest.

         *       *       *       *       *

  I've closed a hard day's work, Marty,--
    The evening chores are done;
  And you are weary with the house,
    And with the little one.
  But he is sleeping sweetly now,
    With all our pretty brood;
  So come and sit upon my knee,
    And it will do me good.

  Oh, Marty! I must tell you all
    The trouble in my heart,
  And you mast do the best you can
    To take and bear your part.
  You've seen the shadow on my face,
    You've felt it day and night;
  For it has filled our little home,
    And banished all its light.

  I did not mean it should be so,
    And yet I might have known
  That hearts that live as close as ours
    Can never keep their own.
  But we are fallen on evil times,
    And, do whate'er I may,
  My heart grows sad about the war,
    And sadder every day.

  I think about it when I work,
    And when I try to rest,
  And never more than when your head
    Is pillowed on my breast;
  For then I see the camp-fires blaze,
    And sleeping men around,
  Who turn their faces toward their homes,
    And dream upon the ground.

  I think about the dear, brave boys,
    My mates in other years,
  Who pine for home and those they love,
    Till I am choked with tears.
  With shouts and cheers they marched away
    On glory's shining track,
  But, ah! how long, how long they stay!
    How few of them come back!

  One sleeps beside the Tennessee,
    And one beside the James,
  And one fought on a gallant ship
    And perished in its flames.
  And some, struck down by fell disease,
    Are breathing out their life;
  And others, maimed by cruel wounds,
    Have left the deadly strife.

  Ah, Marty! Marty! only think
    Of all the boys have done
  And suffered in this weary war!
    Brave heroes, every one!
  Oh! often, often in the night,
    I hear their voices call:
  "_Come on and help us! Is it right_
    _That we should bear it all_?"

  And when I kneel and try to pray,
    My thoughts are never free,
  But cling to those who toil and fight
    And die for you and me.
  And when I pray for victory,
    It seems almost a sin
  To fold my hands and ask for what
    I will not help to win.

  Oh! do not cling to me and cry,
    For it will break my heart;
  I'm sure you'd rather have me die
    Than not to bear my part.
  You think that some should stay at home
    To care for those away;
  But still I'm helpless to decide
    If I should go or stay.

  For, Marty, all the soldiers love,
    And all are loved again;
  And I am loved, and love, perhaps,
    No more than other men.
  I cannot tell--I do not know--
    Which way my duty lies,
  Or where the Lord would have me build
    My fire of sacrifice.

  I feel--I know--I am not mean;
    And though I seem to boast,
  I'm sure that I would give my life
    To those who need it most
  Perhaps the Spirit will reveal
    That which is fair and right;
  So, Marty, let us humbly kneel
    And pray to Heaven for light.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Peace in the clover-scented air,
    And stars within the dome;
  And underneath, in dim repose,
    A plain, New-England home.
  Within, a widow in her weeds,
    From whom all joy is flown,
  Who kneels among her sleeping babes,
    And weeps and prays alone!

       *       *       *       *       *


The founders of the American Republic were wise alike in their grasp of
temporary difficulties and in the forethought they bestowed upon the
period of construction which was to come. Before a government was
formed, its necessary elements had attained something of order, much of
efficacy. In the very inception of revolution, the beginning was made of
that elaborate diplomatic system which became the medium by which we
have asserted rights, elicited respect, and received amenities from the
great powers of the earth.

In the early days of our Revolution, the conduct of the foreign
correspondence was intrusted to the care of a Committee, composed of men
of established reputation for capacity and patriotism. Through their
labors, not only did we receive substantial sympathy from those
unselfish men in the mother-country who discountenanced the hateful
oppression of the crown: France, guided by the generous Vergennes, was
also attracted to our active defence; the independent spirit of the Low
Countries cheered and helped us; Tuscany, inheriting the sentiment of
liberty from Dante and Macchiavelli, extended loans with a liberal hand;
Spain and Portugal rose superior to their traditional bigotry, and sent
us money, ships, and stores. So efficient was our infant system of
diplomacy, that, long before the war had ended, England stood absolutely
without the countenance of a single Continental power, and confronted
boldly by her most ancient and most dreaded enemy. Proudly as she
entered into the conflict with her colonies, she became humbled as well
by the skill with which they attracted monarchies and empires to their
aid as by the valor with which they met her armies. It is hardly to be
doubted that our final success is to be in a great degree attributed to
the excellent diplomacy of Franklin, Lee, and Izard. Certain it is that
their labors vastly accelerated that success. How gigantic those labors
must have been, to bring the representatives and supporters of mediæval
systems of state-craft to countenance not only rebellion, but the
sentiment of republican liberty which rebellion matured, and which
successful revolution was to lay at the foundation of a new government!

The Confederation, established for the more easy transition to a
permanent system, included almost as its corner-stone a Department of
Foreign Affairs. The duties of the Secretary were confined to the
performance of the specific acts authorized by Congress, at that time at
once the executive and the legislative power,--and consisted chiefly in
the preservation of the papers and records of the office, and conducting
the correspondence with ministers and agents abroad; he had likewise a
seat, but without a vote, in Congress, to give information and answer
inquiries. He was powerless to perform any executive act; he could not
negotiate a treaty; he could not give positive instructions to
ministers; and he was removable at the pleasure of Congress. Under the
Constitution, the duties of the Secretary of State became more
responsible; and the office was recognized as the highest in dignity,
next to the Executive.

We may attribute our present rank among nations in no little degree to
the conspicuous fitness of our envoys at foreign courts for the peculiar
mission which it was their duty to fulfil, in the first quarter of a
century of our national existence. As soon as the British ministry
recognized the nationality of the United States, it was clear, that, on
the new footing, our relations with the mother-country must of necessity
be more intimate than those with any other nation. To pave the way for
the establishment of such an intercourse, no man could have been more
aptly chosen than John Adams. While his high-toned manners opened the
way to favor, his nervous logic followed up the advantage so gracefully
won, and drove home his purpose to its end. Franklin was equally
felicitous in attaching to himself the good-will of the court of
Versailles. Their successors well sustained the respect which they had
inspired; and it was a matter of surprise among the best educated
Europeans that such cultivated and capable men should proceed from a
country which they had thought to be a wilderness, and from a people of
whom they expected only the most flagrant barbarisms.

That the elevated standard thus set up by our early diplomacy has been
preserved with but little exception is a simple matter of history. We
have been almost uniformly fortunate in the choice of our ministers
abroad, especially those to Great Britain. It is rightly regarded as a
distinction hardly inferior to any in the State, to occupy the post of
Plenipotentiary to St. James's or Versailles,--and this no less because
the incumbent has generally been one of our most honored statesmen than
because of the essential dignity and importance of the office.

If we consider, in connection with this fact, the persistency with which
the Government has asserted the rights of an equal power, the promptness
with which it has resented every indignity offered to our flag, and the
vigor with which it has enforced in our favor the principles of
international law, it can be no matter of surprise that we should stand,
as we assuredly have stood, second to none in the estimate of our
physical and moral power.

Starting on a totally new system,--a system which, if successful, would
disprove the universally received dogmas of the political philosophers
of Europe,--running counter to every prejudice and every conclusion of
the Old-World statesmen,--the United States had to work their way
through difficulties innumerable to their present rank, and were forced
to prove their institutions by experience, before they could assume the
dignity of a first-class power.

When the present Rebellion arose, America had thus far proved the
success of democratic institutions. In military and naval power, in
education, in the administration of justice, in commercial thrift, in
mechanical and agricultural enterprise, in the development of the
national resources, the progress had been steady and rapid. The
politicians of Europe had been amazed to find that their unanimous
prediction of the frailty of our political system had totally failed.
The idea of a political centre combined with separate State
organizations was as firmly fixed as ever. The General Government
wielded an undiminished power in aid of the general good; the local
Legislatures controlled, within the original limits, local interests.
The people had suffered no curtailment of their liberties from the
delegation of political power; the executive had not been weakened
either by the accession of new States or the disaffection of old ones.
The most philosophic of the English statesmen had predicted again and
again that one of these alternatives must occur,--but they had begun to
doubt their own theories, and wellnigh confessed that our institutions
were a success. It was difficult for them to conceive that an entirely
novel frame of government, deriving its genius from an idea, and
regardless of precedent, could live to shame a system which had received
the sanction of centuries of success, which was seemingly Providential
in its stability, which had everywhere superseded every other form,
which had absorbed into itself the elements of all other systems. Our
Government was an anomaly; as such, there were ten chances to one
against it. And now, the Englishman who, above all others, is, on both
sides of the Atlantic, regarded as the ablest of modern political
theorists, has in a series of papers triumphantly vindicated the wisdom
of the founders of this Republic, and placed in the clearest logical
sequence the origin and tendency of our institutions. Every American
feels gratitude and reverence toward John Stuart Mill, who, in the
disinterestedness and courage of a great mind, has led the honest
opinion of England to appreciate at its value the system in which our
reason and our feelings are alike bound up.

The confident belief, that an unusual strain on the supposed weak points
of the Federal Constitution would involve it in the fate of the Cromwell
dynasty and the French Revolution had begun to sleep, at the time of the
Secession movement, and but one ray of hope yet remained to the enemies
of republican government. They watched Slavery with an anxious eye.
There was their only chance. In that they saw the apple of discord which
might destroy our Union. They observed with exultation the increasing
influence of those who warred upon slavery in the North, and the
increasing insolence of those who would nationalize it in the South. On
this ground State and Federal authority must, they thought, come in
conflict. And as far as foresight could avail them, they had some reason
to be encouraged. That question has always been, without doubt, our
greatest, almost our only danger.

There is reason to believe, then, that, when the Rebellion broke out,
the theorists of Europe deemed the test to have come, and that the final
success or failure of the Federal Constitution was staked on the result.
The people of the United States have been willing to accept that issue.
We have been ready to test the doctrines of Democracy by the
practicability of maintaining the Union, and to demonstrate, that, if
need be, the General Government may receive at the hands of the people
greater strength without endangering either their liberties or the order
of law.

The diplomatic correspondence between the State Department and our
ministers to foreign powers during the present contest is contained in
two large volumes, published by the Government, which are full of
valuable matter. In the limited space permitted us, but little more than
a general survey of this correspondence can be attempted; and as our
relations with England far exceed all others in closeness and
interest,--a striking proof of which is found in the fact that the room
occupied in these volumes by communications with that country is greater
than that given to all the world besides,--we mainly confine ourselves
to the portion which regards her.

England stands in the somewhat anomalous attitude of being to us the
champion of the old monarchical principle, and to Europe the champion of
Anglo-Saxon progress; so that the _dicta_ of her thinkers (those who
have opposed our Republic) may be regarded as the best thought of the
most enlightened monarchists in the world. As the ministry are obliged,
however unwillingly, to represent as well the popular as the
aristocratic ideas, through them there comes to us a pretty correct
exposition of the different opinions entertained by all classes. We may
regard two facts as well established, one leading out of the
other,--that England has ever been, and is, the most selfish of
nationalities, and that she does not desire the prosperity of any power
which may become a rival. With her politicians and her philosophers,
Tory and Whig, Churchmen and Dissenters, the ascendancy of Great Britain
has lain at the bottom of every policy, and has been the postulate of
every theory. Her history is that of a nationality eager to attain the
distinction of the first of powers. This fact, and this alone, can
reconcile the apparent inconsistencies of her record. At one time the
bold accuser of Despotism, she has with marvellous celerity turned to
the inthralment of oppressed races. Maxim has superseded maxim, until
her code of international law is a bewildering complication of anomaly
and contradiction. To humble her rivals by every means, and to encourage
the efforts of a people striving for freedom only when decided advantage
would accrue to herself, has been her constant policy. This is true of
the general tone of her successive cabinets, of the press, and of those
politicians who have by comfortable doctrines most successfully gained
the public ear.

The classes who look at questions of policy with an eye to expediency
are, the leading statesmen of both parties, who regard as the proper end
of their labors the interests of Great Britain, and the
business-community, who judge of every political event by the manner in
which it affects their pockets. There are two other classes, who take a
higher view,--those who are conservative and fearful of innovation, and
those who believe in the progressive tendency of the Anglo-Saxon. Within
the last quarter of a century, the public opinion of England has been
undergoing a great change, especially that part of it which is
influenced by the lower-middle class. The people have been growing up to
the adoption of liberal principles of government. The Reform Bill of
1832 was a great stride in that direction; and the measures which have
followed upon it have widened the observation of the masses, made the
sense of political wrong quicker, and the appreciation of a free system
much more vivid. As a natural result, the attention of this class has
been drawn toward America, as the exponent of a government before which
all men are equal,--and so it is, that, as the Rebellion goes on, we
receive weekly evidence that the sober, honest thought of English
opinion is with us of the North. The class to which we refer, if it is
not now, will very shortly be, the governing element. The tendency is
irresistibly that way; the signs of its growing power are daily more and
more manifest. That it should be deeply interested in the perpetuity of
American institutions, as affecting its own position, is natural. In the
failure of man's self-governing capacity here, where every circumstance
has been favorable to its exercise, the rising spirit of a broader
liberty in England must foresee the death-blow to its own hopes. Our
failure will not be fatal to us alone; it will involve the fate of the
millions who are now seeking to plant themselves against the tremendous
force of kingly and patrician prestige. They have hitherto derived from
our example all the inspiration with which they have struggled upward.
They have been able to accomplish, step by step, important alterations
in the unwritten constitution, by the apt comparisons their leaders have
been able to make between American and British civilization. So that, in
considering the forces at work to influence those at the head of
affairs, it is necessary to consider that force which is imperceptibly,
but subtly, brought to bear upon them by the working-class. Mr. Beecher,
and other eminent Americans who have lately visited England, tell us
that this class are almost to a man sympathizers with us; and that this
sympathy has in many cases worked favorably to us cannot be doubted.
Even the operatives and manufacturers of Manchester and Leeds, at first,
a little morose because of the effect of the war on their industry, seem
to have come to a better second-thought, and are now outspoken for the

The different elements of English feeling toward us may be, we think,
stated thus. The aristocracy would view with complacency the disruption
of the Union, because we are a rival power, and they are thoroughly
pledged to British aggrandizement; because the success of the Union
would belie the principle whence they derive their prerogative, and
encourage the opposing element of popular rights to greater exertions
for ascendancy; because hatred of democracy is a sentiment inherited, as
well as a principle of self-preservation; and because they have not
forgotten the former dependence of America on England. The ministry feel
toward us as the servants of a jealous power would naturally feel toward
a rival. The theorists are eager for events to crown them with the
flattery of verified prediction. The commercial classes are ill pleased
that their thrift should be curtailed; the manufacturers grumble about
the scarcity of cotton. The timid minds of some honest thinkers did not
see the real issue, until the regular developments of the war satisfied
them; the lower orders had to be told before they could comprehend that
in our destiny they must read the counterpart of their own. Those
pretentious philanthropists who have assumed to direct the anti-slavery
party in England have mostly espoused the Southern side of the quarrel;
thus demonstrating that their moral scruples have no higher source than
their own political advantage, and no more lofty end than to divide and
distract a sister-nation. Of these we may instance the most conspicuous
of all, Lord Brougham,--who, after having for half a century derived all
the benefit he could from the striking and pathetic points in slavery to
vivify his eloquence, turns the bitter vial of his dotage against those
who stake everything upon its extinction. But everybody knows that Lord
Brougham is a type of those statesmen who stand by the people in the
Commons and grind the people in the Lords; who, after crying down public
wrongs, upon finding the responsibility of a coronet on their shoulders,
suddenly become arrant sticklers for hereditary rights. We are amused to
notice, among those peers who have risen above the selfishness by which
they are surrounded, and have given us a well-timed sympathy, but few
who are of new creations: for the Duke of Argyle and the Earls of
Carlisle and Clarendon are descendants of the oldest and proudest houses
in the realm.

It is gratifying to observe that those forces which are operating
against us are those which are rapidly losing that control in public
affairs which belonged to past phases of society; while those forces
which are proper to the present, and are inevitably to assume the
preponderance in the future, appear as they develop to be more and more
sympathetic with the cause of our national integrity. Aristocratic
prestige is shrinking back before an advancing enlightenment which
elevates all to equal dignity.

The present ministry is a fair type of the selfishness of British
statesmanship. The antecedents of its principal members are those of
timeserving politicians. Lord Palmerston, starting on his career as a
Tory of the Wellington stamp, has veered round as the tide has turned
against his former associates, and is the still distrusted
representative of the Liberal party. Lord Russell, in the youth of his
public service a Radical reformer, and the eager disciple of Sir Francis
Burdett when Sir Francis Burdett could not lead a corporal's guard, once
the prop and hope of those who sought a wider suffrage, has again and
again eaten his own words, and the history of his political life is a
ludicrous illustration of the perplexities of politicians. His
invariable course as a diplomatist has been to leave the way open to
prevarication, to keep his opinions in a cloud, and to confound sense
with ambiguity. It would be pure credulity to place much confidence in
the expressions of a statesman who within two months boldly censured and
then as boldly favored the designs of Victor Emmanuel on Venice,
officially and unblushingly before all Europe. Both these noble lords,
however, are fortunate in a keen appreciation of the national
prejudices, and know how to make use of the existing tone of public
feeling. A long vicissitude of successes and failures has taught both a
lesson which is every day a practical benefit; and after finding that
they were powerless when mutually opposed, they have succeeded in
swallowing the hatred of half a century, that they may join and divide
the power. The fact that there has been for some time a Tory majority in
the House of Commons shows the cunning with which Palmerston
manoeuvres his machinery. If we could conclude at all from his acts
what his sentiments are toward America, there is little love wasted on
us from that quarter; and Lord Russell, even while addressing the House
of Lords in terms favorable to us, never lets the occasion pass without
slipping in a sneer between his praises.

Selfishness, national or individual, is ever cautious and ever
suspicious. It seldom rashly grasps the thing coveted: it oftener lets
the apt occasion pass without improvement. The diplomatic intercourse
between Lord Palmerston's government and our own for the last year or
two amply illustrates this. He had in the first place no prepossession
in favor of the United States. We believe that he was not at all
unwilling to see the Union dissolved. It was natural for a statesman
hardened by fifty years of intrigue and devotion to politics to look
with absolute gratification upon what seemed the dissolution of a great,
and, because a near, a hated rival. We do not think it too much to
assume, that, as far as Palmerston's personal feelings were concerned,
he was ready for the chance of Southern recognition at the outset. In
such a sentiment, he had the sympathy of the aristocracy, and of all
others who take the low standard of self-aggrandizement in determining
opinions. Two circumstances, however, were a restraint upon him, and
appealed with controlling force to his caution. He was not only an
aristocrat and a hater of republics, he was also the Prime-Minister of
_all_ England. He was absolutely dependent to a great degree upon the
lower orders for the permanence of his present dignity. Was it wise in
him to disregard the sentiments of those who were advancing to the
predominance, and resort for support to those whose power was rapidly
waning, whose opinions were yielding to the newer intelligence? Would it
not be fatally inconsistent in a Liberal statesman to override every
Liberal maxim and belie every Liberal profession? Was not the popular
current too strong to be safely defied? There were Liberal statesmen
enough of conspicuous merit to take his place at the helm, should he
make the misstep: Gladstone, Gibson, Herbert, Granville, would fully
answer the popular demand: his downfall, if it came, would doubtless be
final. His private feelings, therefore, even his political wishes, must
yield to policy. His love of place is too strong to succumb either to
personal prejudice or national jealousy; and the long habit has made the
self-denial more easy.

The other reason why Lord Palmerston has withheld open comfort from the
Rebels is doubtless to be found in the steady adherence of our
Government to the position which it assumed at the beginning,--in the
promptness with which we have insisted upon our rights throughout the
world,--the grace with which we have disavowed the evident errors of
public servants,--the steadiness of our military progress,--the ease
with which we have borne the strain upon our resources in respect both
of men and money,--the possible, if not probable, success of the
war,--the certainty that that success would strengthen our system, and
render us capable of resenting foreign insult. For while Lord Palmerston
and Lord Russell are very apt to stalk about and threaten and talk very
loudly at nations whose weakness causes them not to be feared, and by
bullying whom some power or money may slide into British hands, they are
slow to provoke nations whose resentment either is or may become
formidable to British weal. The British lion roars over the impotence of
Brazil: he lies still and watches before the might of Napoleon. In the
one case he stands forth the lordly king of beasts; in the other he
seems metamorphosed into the fox. The hope that America would descend
incontinently to the rank of an inferior power was quickly dispelled; so
the lion crouched and the foxy head appeared. The everlasting caution
came in and said,--"Wait your chance; a hasty judgment is always a poor
judgment; let events take their course, and if occasion offers, strike
the right blow at the right time; but do not decree away the stability
of the Union either by the illusion of hope or by an expectation as yet
ill-founded." It was the wisdom of the serpent, eager, and conquering

Under the cloak of a pretended neutrality, the ministry have had
opportunity to watch the course of events, to connive at aid to the
Rebellion, and to leave themselves unembarrassed when the success of
one side or the other should make it expedient to declare in its favor.
It has been with the greatest difficulty that Mr. Adams has been able to
bring the Foreign Office to exert its authority against violations of
that neutrality. Vessels, known well enough to be in the service of the
Confederates, or intended for their use, have been allowed to escape
from the Clyde, and to put into British ports to refit. Frequent
conflicts on questions of international law have arisen, in which our
Government has invariably insisted upon the known precedents set by
Great Britain, and which that power has generally deemed it prudent to
follow. In the case of the Trent, if we lost the possession of two
valuable prisoners of war, we at all events, by promptly disavowing the
act of Commodore Wilkes, set England an example of fairness which she
has been loath to follow, but which it would have been folly totally to
disregard. Yet it has been apparent that the British ministers have
borne us no good-will. Whatever justice has been done us has been done
grudgingly,--with the moroseness of an enemy who is compelled to yield.
While Lord Russell has been cautious how he offended our Government in
acts, his repeated sneers in Parliament, at dinners, and on the hustings
have exhibited the rancor of a jealous mind. There has been no hearty
will to do justice, no word other than of discouragement. Even the
amicable assurances which customarily pass between the statesmen of two
nations seem to have been dropped. We believe that any American would
rather bear the manly and outspoken denunciations of the Earl of Derby,
consistent and honest in his hostility, than the sly, covert
insinuations to which the Foreign Secretary gives utterance, at the very
time he is advocating a favorable course toward us.

The ministry have constantly been met with the fact that our Government
has assumed throughout that the Union was to be preserved, and both the
act and the possibility of secession forever crushed. They cannot have
failed to observe, that, while the inevitable fortune of war has at
times brought momentary depression to our arms, the field of the
Rebellion has steadily contracted,--that those great conflicts which
have seemed drawn games have contributed in every instance to the
general end,--that repulse has been invariably followed by overbalancing
success. They must have been aware that the contrast between the feeling
of the North and that of the South has tended to foreshadow the issue.
Upon grounds of political economy, a life-long study to them, they must
have viewed with vast suspicion the ability of a people to attain
independence, who are trammelled by a blockade which they are themselves
fain to acknowledge effectual, prevented from the usual methods of
subsistence by inferiority of population, and under dreadful
apprehensions from the existence in their midst of millions of
malcontent slaves. They have not needed a subtle knowledge of political
philosophy to teach them that during the progress of the war the Federal
idea has received new strength, which its success will make permanent,
and which only total failure can diminish. Their favorite doctrine, that
governments within a government cannot exist, and that our Constitution
is weakened by the accession of every new State and the rise of every
new disagreement, is meeting its refutation every day. A concentration
of extraordinary power at the centre does not seem to shatter every bond
of union, as they have predicted,--and the States hold together and work
together with amazing zeal for so feeble a tie as that they have
represented. In their intercourse with our Government, they have
illustrated the effect which events have had on their policy.

The course pursued by our Government seems to us to present a favorable
contrast to that pursued by Great Britain. The United States has always
manifested an anxiety to preserve amity. But the effort to preserve
amity has been dignified. We have claimed to be treated as a friendly
sovereign State. We have urged that the war should be regarded by
foreign powers as the rightful exercise of a complete nationality to
suppress insurrection. That the insurgents should be put upon a par with
the Government, that they should enjoy the benefits of an established
system, that they should have every right and every immunity as if the
quarrel were between equal powers, has seemed to us a fallacy tinctured
with deep prejudice. That feeling has been courteously, but firmly
represented by our ministers. Since it pleased the European courts to
proclaim their neutrality, we have borne the injustice temperately, and
have confined our demands to our rights under that _status_. When the
conduct of Great Britain has been of so irritating a nature as to
produce universal indignation throughout the community, our statesmen
have moderated the popular anger, and have remonstrated patiently as
well as firmly. They have discerned more accurately than the multitude
could do the evils of a twofold war, and yet have not avoided the
danger, when to avoid it would have been disgraceful. Whatever may be
the opinion of any as to Mr. Seward's political career, it is generally
admitted that as Secretary of State he has accomplished the better
thought of the nation. In his hands our foreign relations have been
administered with prudence, with minute attention, and with great
dignity. He has constantly maintained the idea of our national
integrity, the full expectation of our final success, the continued
efficacy of the Federal system, and our right to be considered none the
less a compact nationality because the insurrection has taken the form
of State secession. Our diplomatic intercourse has been confined to
strictly diplomatic etiquette. No attempt has been made to justify, for
the satisfaction of foreign courts, either the origin of the war, or the
modes which have been adopted in its prosecution. It has not been deemed
necessary to retaliate upon the Confederate agents who fill Europe with
their tale of woe, by retorting upon them a reference to the unchristian
practices of their soldiery. There has been no appeal to the moral
sympathies of the Old World, by harping upon the enormities of slavery,
and by announcing a crusade against it. Foreign communities have been
left to the ordinary modes of information, to the press and the accounts
of American and European orators, for the events which have been
passing. It has contented us to let the record speak for itself, to
attach infamy where it is due, to extort praise where praise is merited.
We have not shown an ungenerous exultation at the embroilments of
European politics, as diverting the hostile attention of enemies from
our own affairs. "We are content," says Mr. Seward, in a despatch to Mr.
Adams, "to rely upon the justice of our cause, and our own resources and
ability to maintain it." We have not sought the aid of any power; we
have only desired to sustain out admitted rights, and to be free from
external interference.

It is surprising that Earl Russell should intimate his dissatisfaction
that we have been less quick to offence from France than from England.
The reason why we should not, in his opinion, feel so is the very reason
why we should. He thinks, because our relations have been more intimate
with England, because we speak the same language and inherit the same
Anglo-Saxon genius, that therefore we should be more patient with her.
But these circumstances seem to us to aggravate the treatment we have
received at her hands. It has appeared to us unnatural that a nation so
identified with us should mistrust us, and embrace every occasion to
slight us where they could safely do so. The closer the tie, the deeper
the wound. Besides, despite the common ground upon which England and
America have stood, the past bequeaths us little grudge against France,
much against England. France was the patron, England the bitter enemy,
of our national infancy. Our arms have never closed with those of
France; we have fought England twice, and virulently. Our diplomatic
intercourse with England has been a series of misunderstandings; that
with France has been, in general, harmonious. In later times, French
essayists and journalists have been tolerant of our faults, and eloquent
over our virtues; and not a little good feeling has been produced among
our educated classes by the fairness and acuteness with which one of the
greatest of modern Frenchmen, De Tocqueville, has considered our
institutions. On the other hand, the English press and the English
Parliament have been outspoken in their contempt of America; and the
offence has been enhanced by the peculiarly insulting terms in which the
feeling has been expressed. Such facts cannot but intensify our chagrin
at finding that power which we had always regarded as our companion in
the march of modern progress ill-disposed to sympathy now in the time of
our trouble.

Mr. Seward has well expressed our attitude towards England in a few
words:--"The whole case may be summed up in this. The United States
claim, and they must continually claim, that in this war they are a
whole sovereign nation, and entitled to the same respect, as such, that
they accord to Great Britain. Great Britain does not treat them as such
a sovereign, and hence all the evils that disturb their intercourse and
endanger their friendship. Great Britain justifies her course, and
perseveres. The United States do not admit the justification, and so
they are obliged to complain and stand upon their guard. Those in either
country who desire to see the two nations remain in this relation are
not well-advised friends of either of them."

Our relations with France during the war have not been dissimilar to
those with England, but have been less grating and more courteous. The
same difficulties in regard to neutral rights have arisen; and the
Imperial cabinet have seemed throughout favorable to the South. But the
popular feeling, as far as it is patent, is decidedly more favorable to
us than that of England; whatever has been said against us has been said
considerately and temperately; and there has been at no period any
imminent danger of war. The design of Napoleon to mediate was
interpreted by the community as hostile and aggressive in its object.
The President, we think justly, took what appears a more simple
view,--that the Emperor miscalculated the actual condition of the
country, and a mistaken desire to advise induced him to take the course
he did. But those who know France best tell us that the Imperial opinion
is far from being the index of the popular opinion, on any subject; and
every evidence induces the conclusion that there is a strong
undercurrent of sympathy for America throughout France.

Of all the foreign powers, Russia has been the only one which has given
us cordial, unstinted encouragement. The sovereign, the most liberal and
enlightened Czar who ever ascended the Muscovite throne, has expressed
himself again and again the constant friend of the Union. It is
agreeable to reflect that that vast empire, now far on its way to a
liberal constitution, and hastened, instead of retarded by its august
head, should lend the moral force of its unqualified good-will to the
cause of American liberty. The noble words of Prince Gortschakoff to our
envoy will be grateful to every loyal American heart:--"We desire above
all things the maintenance of the American Union, as one indivisible
nation. Russia has declared her position, and will maintain it. There
will be proposals for intervention. Russia will refuse any invitation of
the kind. She will occupy the same ground as at the beginning of the
struggle. You may rely upon it, she will not change."

Our relations with other nations have not been important, and are quite
similar to those with England and France. But, generally, the belief and
hope in the final success of the Union have been steadily strengthening
throughout Europe. The idea of our centralization has become more vivid;
and far juster estimates of our character and institutions have been
formed. When the war shall have been brought to a successful issue, we
shall have afforded a noble proof of the full efficiency of a republican
system over an intelligent people. Our own sinews will be compact, and
our spirit will be infused into the aspirations of distant peoples. It
may not be presumptuous to feel that our efforts are not for ourselves
alone, but that they tell upon the fate of the earnest and hopeful
millions who are striving for disenthralment in the Old World. Let us,
then, expand our just ambition beyond the object of our national
integrity; let us embrace within our own hopes the dawning fortunes of a
free Italy and a free Hungary, of Poland liberated, of Greece
regenerated. While nerving ourselves for the final struggle, let the
sublime thought that our success will reach in its vast results the
limits of the Christian world bring us redoubled strength. For if we
should fall, the thrones of despots are fixed for centuries; if we
triumph, in due time they will vanish and crumble to the dust. Those
sovereigns who are wise will appear in the van, leading their people to
the blessings of the liberty they have so long yearned for; those who
throw themselves in the way will be overwhelmed by the resistless tide.
To such an end we fight, and suffer, and wait; the greater the stake,
the more fearful the ordeal; but Providence smiles upon those whose aim
is freedom, and through danger guides to consummation.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Roman and the Teuton_: A Series of Lectures delivered before the
University of Cambridge. By CHARLES KINGSLEY, M.A., Professor of Modern
History. Cambridge and London: Macmillan & Co.

Mr. Kingsley is a vivid and entertaining mediator between Carlyle and
commonplace. In his younger days and writings he mediated between his
master and commonplace radicalism,--representing the great Scot's
antagonism to existing institutions, his sympathy with man as man, and
his hope of a more human society, but representing it with sufficient
admixture of vague fancy, Chartist catchword, weak passionateness, and
spasmodic audacity, based, as such ever is, on moral cowardice. Of late
he has gone to the other side of his master, and now mediates between
him and the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Hanover family,--representing
Carlyle's passionate craving for supereminent persons, his passionate
abhorrence of democracy, his admiration of strong character, his
disposition to work from historical bases rather than from absolute
principles, but representing them at once with a prudence of common
sense and a prudence of self-seeking and timidity which are alike
foreign to his master's spirit.

We prefer the second phase of the man. It belongs more properly to him.
He is ambitious; and the _rôle_ which he first assumed is one which
ambition can only spoil. He has but a weak faith in principles, and
flinches and flies off to "Prester John," or somewhere into the clouds,
when at last principle and sentiment must either fly off or fairly take
the stubborn British _taurus_ by the horns. And in truth, his early
creed was in part merely passionate and foolish, and with courage and
disinterestedness to do more he would have professed less. His present
position is better,--that is, sounder and sincerer. Better for _him_,
because more limited and British, leaving him room still to toil at good
work, and not calling upon him to break with Church and State, which he
really has not the heart to do. As head of the hierarchy of beadles, he
is an effective and even admirable man, pious, zealous, and reformatory;
but institutions are more necessary to him than principles, and any
attempt to plant himself purely on the latter places him in a false

Mr. Kingsley has fine gifts and good purposes. He has a rare power of
realizing scenes and characters,--a power equally rare of presenting
them in vivid, pictorial delineation. He must be a very engaging
lecturer, imparting to his official labor an interest which does not
always belong to labors of like kind.

For discoursing upon history he has important qualifications, which it
would be uncandid not to acknowledge. Of these it is the first that he
clings manfully, despite the tendencies of our time, to the human,
rather than the extra-human stand-point. He respects personality; he
treats of men, not of puppets; he is old-fashioned enough to believe
that men may be moved from within no less than from without, and does
not attempt, as Quinet has it, to abolish human history and add a
chapter to natural history instead. Here, too, he follows Carlyle, but
in a way which is highly to his credit. The enthusiasm for science which
marks these later centuries breeds in many minds a powerful desire to
establish "laws" for the history of man,--that is, to establish for
man's history an invariable programme. To this end an effort is made to
render all results in history dependent on a few simple and tangible
conditions. The intrepid prosaic logic of Spencer, the discursive
boldness of Buckle, the rigid dogmatism of Draper are all engaged in
this endeavor. But, while eager to make history simple and orderly, they
forget to make it human. There is an order and progress, perhaps, but an
order and progress of what? Of _men_? Of human souls, self-moved? No, of
sticks floating on a current, of straws blown by the wind! Men,
according to this theory, are but ninepins in an alley which Nature sets
up only to bowl them down again; and what avails it, if Nature makes
improvement and learns to set them up better and better? The triumphs
are hers, not theirs. They are but ninepins, after all. Progress? Yes,
indeed; but _wooden_ progress, observe.

Mr. Kingsley recognizes human beings, and recognizes them
heartily,--loves, hates, admires, despises; in fine, he deals with
history not merely as a scientist or theorist, but first of all as a
man. There are those who will think this weak. They are superior to this
partiality of man for himself, they! They would be ashamed not to sink
the man in the _savant_. But Mr. Kingsley refuses to dehumanize himself
in order to become historian and philosopher. He does well.

Again, it is partly Mr. Kingsley's merit, and partly it expresses his
limitation, that he is treating history more distinctively as a
moralizer than any other noted writer of the time. He assumes in this
respect the Hebraistic point of view, and looks out from it with an
undoubting heartiness which in these days is really refreshing. He
believes in the Old Testament, and doubts not that riches and honors are
the rewards of right-doing. And in this, too, there is a vast deal of
truth; and it is truly delightful to find one who affirms it, not with
perfunctory drawl, but with hearty human zest, a little red in the face.

It adds to the color of Mr. Kingsley's pages, while detracting from his
authority, that he is always and inevitably a _partisan_. He must have
somebody to cry up and somebody to cry down. In "Sir Amyas Leigh," his
hatred of the Spanish and admiration of the English were like those of a
man who had suffered intolerable wrongs from the one and received
invaluable rescue from the other. The same element appears powerfully in
the volume above named. The Teuton stands for all that is best, and the
Roman for all that is worst in humanity. He makes no secret, indeed, of
his deliberate belief that the whole future of the human race depends
upon the Teutonic family. Deliberate, we say; but in truth Mr. Kingsley
is little capable of believing anything deliberately. He is always
precipitate. His opinions have the force which can be given them by warm
espousal, vivid expression, a certain desire to be fair, and a constant
appeal to the moral nature of man; but the impression of hasty and
heated partisanship goes with them always, and two words from a broad
and balanced judgment might overturn many a chapter of this red-hot

The present volume derives an interest for Americans from its relation
to our great contest. Mr. Kingsley has been represented as intensely
hostile to the North, and as using all his endeavor to infect his
pupils with his opinions. These lectures, however, hardly sustain such
representations. He is, indeed, anti-democratic in a high degree. He is
so as a disciple of Carlyle, as a prosperous Englishman, not destitute
of flunkyism, and also as a man whose very best power is that of
passionately admiring individual greatness. He is a believer in natural
aristocracy, in the British nobility, and in Carlyle; and democracy
could, of course, find small place in his creed. Hence he has a
sentimental sympathy with the South, and once in a foot-note speaks of
"the Southern gentleman" in a maudlin way. There is also another passage
in which he makes the South stand for the Teuton, whom he worships, and
the North for the Roman, whom he abhors. Yet this very passage occurs in
connection with a denunciation of deserved doom upon the Southern
Confederacy. He had been describing the last great battle of the Eastern
Goths, after which they literally disappeared from history. And the
reason of their defeat and destruction, he avers, was simply this, that
they were a slaveholding aristocracy. As such they _must_ perish; the
earth, he declares, will not and cannot afford them a dwelling-place.
Indeed, he repeatedly lays it down as a law of history that slaveholding
aristocracies must go down before the progress of the world, and must go
down in blood.

_The Small House at Allington_. By ANTHONY TROLLOPE. New York: Harper &

This is probably the best of Mr. Trollope's numerous works. It is by no
means different in kind from its predecessors; for it stands in the path
struck out by "The Warden" ten years ago. But it is better, inasmuch as
it is later; that is, it is by ten years better than "The Warden," and
by four years better than "Framley Parsonage." Mr. Trollope's course has
been very even,--too even, almost, to be called brilliant; for success
has become almost monotonous with him. His first novel was a triumph,
after its kind; and a list of his subsequent works would be but a record
of repeated triumphs. He has closely adhered to the method which he
found so serviceable at first; and although it is not for the general
critic to say whether he has felt temptations to turn aside, we may be
sure, in view of his unbroken popularity, that he has either been very
happy or very wise. His works, as they stand, are probably the exact
measure of his strength.

We do not mean that he has exhausted his strength. It seems to be the
prime quality of such a genius as Mr. Trollope's that it is exempt from
accident,--that it accumulates, rather than loses force with age. Mr.
Trollope's work is simple observation. He is secure, therefore, as long
as he retains this faculty. And his observation is the more efficient
that it is hampered by no concomitant purpose, rooted to no underlying
beliefs or desires. It is firmly anchored, but above-ground. We have
often heard Mr. Trollope compared with Thackeray,--but never without
resenting the comparison. In no point are they more dissimilar than in
the above. Thackeray is a moralist, a satirist; he tells his story for
its lesson: whereas Mr. Trollope tells his story wholly for its own
sake. Thackeray is almost as much a preacher as he is a novelist; while
Mr. Trollope is the latter simply. Both writers are humorists, which
seems to be the inevitable mood of all shrewd observers; and both
incline to what is called quiet humor. But we know that there are many
kinds of laughter. Think of the different kinds of humorists we find in
Shakspeare's comedies. Mr. Trollope's merriment is evoked wholly by the
actual presence of an oddity; and Thackeray's, although it be, by the
way, abundantly sympathetic with superficial comedy, by its _existence_,
by its history, by some shadow it casts. Of course all humorists have an
immense common fund. When Cradell, in the present tale, talks about Mrs.
Lupex's fine _torso_, we are reminded both of Thackeray and Dickens. But
when the Squire, coming down to the Small House to discuss his niece's
marriage, just avoids a quarrel with his sister about the propriety of
early fires, we acknowledge, that, as it stands, the trait belongs to
Trollope alone. Dickens would have eschewed it, and Thackeray would have
expanded it. The same remark applies to their pathos. With Trollope we
weep, if it so happen we can, for a given shame or wrong. Our sympathy
in the work before us is for the jilted Lily Dale, our indignation for
her false lover. But our compassion for Amelia Osborne and Colonel
Newcome goes to the whole race of the oppressed.

Mr. Trollope's greatest value we take to be that he is so purely a
novelist. The chief requisite for writing a novel in the present age
seems to be that the writer should be everything else. It implies that
the story-telling gift is very well in its way, but that the inner
substance of a tale must repose on some direct professional experience.
This fashion is of very recent date. Formerly the novelist had no
personality; he was a simple chronicler; his accidental stand-point was
as impertinent as the painter's attitude before his canvas. But now the
main question lies in the pose, not of the model, but of the artist. It
will fare ill with the second-rate writer of fiction, unless he can give
conclusive proof that he is well qualified in certain practical
functions. And the public is very vigilant on this point. It has become
wonderfully acute in discriminating true and false lore. The critic's
office is gradually reduced to a search for inaccuracies. We do not stop
to weigh these truths; we merely indicate them. But we confess, that, if
Mr. Trollope is somewhat dear to us, it is because they are not true of
him. The central purpose of a work of fiction is assuredly the portrayal
of human passions. To this principle Mr. Trollope steadfastly
adheres,--how consciously, how wilfully, we know not,--but with a
constancy which is almost a proof of conviction, and a degree of success
which lends great force to his example. The interest of the work before
us is emphatically a _moral_ interest: it is a story of feeling, the
narrative of certain feelings.

Mr. Troliope's tales give us a very sound sense of their reality. It may
seem paradoxical to attribute this to the narrowness of the author's
imagination; but we cannot help doing so. On reflection, we shall see
that it is not so much persons as events that Mr. Trollope aims at
depicting, not so much characters as scenes. His pictures are real, _on
the whole_. Their reality, we take it, is owing to the happy balance of
the writer's judgment and his invention. Had his invention been a little
more tinged with fancy, it is probable that he would have known certain
temptations of which he appears to be ignorant. Even should he have
successfully resisted them, the struggle, the contest, the necessity of
choice would have robbed his manner of that easy self-sufficiency which
is one of its greatest charms. Had he succumbed, he would often have
fallen away from sober fidelity to Nature. As the matter stands, his
great felicity is that he never goes beyond his depth,--and this, not so
much from fear, as from ignorance. His insight is anything but profound.
He has no suspicion of deeper waters. Through the whole course of the
present story, he never attempts to fathom Crosbie's feelings, to
retrace his motives, to refine upon his character. Mr. Trollope has
learned much in what is called the realist school; but he has not taken
lessons in psychology. Even while looking into Crosbie's heart, we never
lose sight of Courcy Castle, of his Club, of his London life; we cross
the threshold of his inner being, we knock at the door of his soul, but
we remain within call of Lily Dale and the Lady Alexandrina. We never
see Crosbie the man, but always Crosbie the gentleman, the Government
clerk. We feel at times as if we had a right to know him better,--to
know him at least as well as he knew himself. It is significant of Mr.
Trollope's temperament--a temperament, as it seems to us, eminently
English--that he can have told such a story with so little preoccupation
with certain spiritual questions. It is evident that this spiritual
reticence, if we may so term it, is not a _parti pris_; for no fixed
principle, save perhaps the one hinted at above, is apparent in the
book. It belongs to a species of single-sightedness, by which Mr.
Trollope, in common with his countrymen, is largely characterized,--an
indifference to secondary considerations, an abstinence from sidelong
glances. It is akin to an intense literalness of perception, of which we
might find an example on every page Mr. Trollope has written. He is
conscious of seeing the surface of things so clearly, perhaps, that he
deems himself exempt from all profounder obligations. To describe
accurately what he sees is a point of conscience with him. In these
matters an omission is almost a crime. We remember an instance somewhat
to the purpose. After describing Mrs. Dale's tea-party at length, in the
beginning of the book, he wanders off with Crosbie and his sweetheart
on a moonlight-stroll, and so interests us in the feelings of the young
couple, and in Crosbie's plans and promises for the future, (which we
begin faintly to foresee,) that we have forgotten all about the party.
And, indeed, how could the story of the party end better than by gently
passing out of the reader's mind, superseded by a stronger interest, to
which it is merely accessory? But such is not the author's view of the
case. Dropping Crosbie, Lilian, and the more serious objects of our
recent concern, he begins a new line and ends his chapter thus:--"After
that they all went to bed." It recalls the manner of "Harry and Lucy,"
friends of our childhood.

But to return to our starting-point,--in "The Small House at Allington"
Mr. Trollope has outdone his previous efforts. He has used his best
gifts in unwonted fulness. Never before has he described young ladies
and the loves of young ladies in so charming and so natural a fashion.
Never before has he reproduced so faithfully--to say no more--certain
phases of the life and conversation of the youth of the other sex. Never
before has he caught so accurately the speech of our daily feelings,
plots, and passions. He has a habit of writing which is almost a style;
its principal charm is a certain tendency to quaintness; its principal
defect is an excess of words. But we suspect this manner makes easy
writing; in Mr. Trollope's books it certainly makes very easy reading.

_A Class-Book of Chemistry_; in which the Latest Facts and Principles of
the Science are explained and applied to the Arts of Life and the
Phenomena of Nature. A New Edition, entirely rewritten. By EDWARD L.
YOUMANS, M.D. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

Though Science has been often vaguely supposed to be something generally
distinct from ordinary knowledge, yet the slightest consideration will
suffice to show us that this is not the case. Scientific knowledge is
only a highly developed form of the common information of ordinary
minds. The specific attribute by which it is distinguished from the
latter is quantitative prevision. Mere prevision is not peculiar to
science. When the school-boy throws a stone into the air, he can predict
its fall as certainly as the astronomer can predict the recurrence of an
eclipse; but his prevision, though certain, is rude and indefinite:
though he can foretell the kind of effect which will follow the given
mechanical impulse, yet the quantity of effect--the height to which the
stone will ascend, and the rapidity with which it will fall--is
something utterly beyond his ken. The servant-girl has no need of
chemistry to teach her, that, when the match is applied, the fire will
burn and smoke ascend the chimney; but she is far from being able to
predict the proportional weights of oxygen and carbon which will unite,
the volume of the gases which are to be given off, or the intensity of
the radiation which is to warm the room: her prevision is qualitative,
not quantitative, in its character. But when Galileo discovers the
increment of the velocity of falling bodies, and when Dalton and De
Morveau discover the exact proportions in which chemical union takes
place, it is evident that knowledge has advanced from a rudely
qualitative to an accurately quantitative stage; and it does not admit
of dispute that the progress of science is thus a progress from the
indefinite to the definite.

From the point of view here taken it would appear that during the
present century no science has made such rapid and unprecedented strides
as Chemistry; and its progress becomes all the more striking, when we
consider the state of the science previous to the French Revolution. For
centuries nothing had been done in it whatever. Besides the commonest
previsions of every-day life, the ancients knew scarcely anything either
of chemistry or physics, except that amber possessed attractive
properties. The discovery of the strong acids by the Arabs Giafar and
Rhazes, and of phosphorus by Bechil, are almost the only landmarks in
the history of the science, until the discovery of oxygen and the
destruction of the phlogistic theory by Priestley and Lavoisier,
together with the introduction of the balance and the thermometer into
the laboratory, rendered quantitative experiments possible. Since then
its progress has been unexampled. The law of definite proportions, not
long since disputed or unwillingly accepted, has been proved to hold
even among organic compounds. A nomenclature has been invented and
perfected, such as no other science can boast of, whether we consider
the extent to which it facilitates practical operations, or its logical
value as a means of mental discipline. Chemistry has also interacted
with the different branches of physics, giving us the voltaic battery,
the telegraph, and the wonderful results of spectrum-analysis. On the
other hand, it has analyzed the proximate constituents of animal and
vegetal structures, and has even gone far toward determining some of the
conditions of organic existence; while every one of the arts, whether
æsthetic, therapeutic, or industrial, has received from it many and
important suggestions.

In a science which advances so rapidly there is great need of popular
books which shall clearly and succinctly present the very latest results
of investigation, without burdening the reader with technical details.
For some time there has been no such work in this country. To ascertain
the newest discoveries, it has been necessary to consult the journals
and memoirs of learned societies, the excellent works of Professor
Miller being too cumbrous to be of much service either to the
unscientific reader or to the general scholar. On the other hand, the
text-books in common use have been positively detestable. The
information furnished by many of them is worse than ignorance. We are
tired of works on chemical physics which discourse of "calorie" and "the
electric fluid,"--of works on organic chemistry which ascribe the
phenomena of life to "a vital principle which overrides chemical laws."
A book at once clear, concise, and modern has long been the great

This need is most amply supplied by the recent work of Dr. Youmans.
Laying no claim to the character of an exposition of original
discoveries, and thus keeping aloof from involved discussion, it is at
the same time so lucid in its statements, so pertinent in its
illustrations, and so philosophic in its reflections, as to invest with
a new charm every subject of which it treats. The author deserves high
praise for taking into account the circumstance that the reading public
is not entirely composed of physicists and chemists. It has been too
much the fashion for writers on scientific subjects to give definitions
which can be rendered intelligible only by an intimate acquaintance with
the very matters defined. It would be tedious to enumerate the countless
absurd explanations given in elementary text-books of the phenomena of
interference, polarization, and double refraction,--explanations as
enigmatical as the inscriptions at Memphis and Karnak,--explanations
useless to the optician because needless, and to the student because
obscure. It would seem that subjects so simple and beautiful as these
could not be rendered difficult of comprehension, except by the most
awkward treatment; and yet we know of no work previous to that of Dr.
Youmans which does not utterly fail to give the general scientific
reader any idea whatever of their nature and theory. Here, however, they
are explained with clearness and elegance, and their bearing on the
undulatory theory of light is distinctly shown. As other instances of
most admirable exposition, we may call attention to the paragraphs on
crystallization, on the atomic theory, on isomerism and allotropism, on
diamagnetism, magnetic induction, and electric "currents," on the
sources of heat, on the chemical and thermal spectra, on the correlation
and equivalence of the forces, on the theory of ozone, on the
exceptional expansion of water and the supposed complexity of its atom,
on the structure of flame, on the constitution of salts, on the colloid
condition of matter, on types and compound radicles, on the dynamics of
vegetable growth and the production of animal power, and, above all, to
the passage which describes the phenomena of latent heat. Throughout, in
treating of these subjects, the author's felicity of exposition never
fails him. The most difficult phenomena are rendered perfectly easy of
comprehension, and their mutual relations are not left out of account.
Each set of facts is treated, not as forming an isolated body of truth,
but as an integral portion of the complex and logically indivisible
universe. In this respect Dr. Youmans's work is far superior to the
recent production of Dr. Hooker, in which, for example, the mere
existence of such a doctrine as that of the correlation of forces is
grudgingly noticed, and its ultimate significance entirely overlooked.

Far different is Dr. Youmans's treatment of the same doctrine. Indeed,
we think that the chapters on chemical physics form the most
interesting portion of his work, and their value consists chiefly in the
constant reference to the modern ideas of force which pervades them. In
a work intended for the education of youth, such a feature cannot be too
highly praised. It is time that the old material superstitions about
force were eradicated from men's minds, and as far as possible from
their language. It is already more than half a century since Count
Rumford demonstrated the immaterial nature of heat, and Young
established the undulatory theory of light,--ideas which had germinated
two hundred years ago in the lofty minds of Huygens and Hooke. Since
then have been discovered the polarization and interference of heat, the
triple constitution of the solar ray, the identity of magnetism and
electricity, the polar nature of chemical affinity, the optical
polarities of crystals, and the interaction of magnetism and light.
Since then the once meagre and fragmentary science of physics has become
one of the grandest and richest departments of human thought; and the
illustrious names of Helmholtz, Joule, and Mayer, of Grove, Faraday, and
Tyndall, may be fitly named beside those of the leading thinkers of past
ages. The physical forces are no longer to be looked upon as inscrutable
material entities,--forms of matter imponderable, and therefore
inconceivable; but they have been shown to be diverse, but
interchangeable modes of molecular motion, omnipresent, ceaselessly
active. The wondrous phenomena of light, heat, and electricity are seen
to be due to the rhythmical vibration of atoms. There is thus no such
thing as rest: from the planet to the ultimate particle, all things are
endlessly moving: and the mystic song of the Earth-Spirit in "Faust" is
recognized as the expression of the sublimest truth of science:--

    "In Lebensfluthen, im Thatensturm,
  Wall' ich auf und ab, webe hin und her,
      Geburt und Grab,
      Ein ewiges Meer,
      Ein wechselnd Weben,
      Ein glühend Leben,
  So schaff' ich am sausenden Webstuhl der Zeit,
  Und wirke der Gottheit lebendiges Kleid."

In a discussion containing so much that is noble, however, we are sorry
to observe that Dr. Youmans is betrayed into using the current
expressions concerning an "ether" which is supposed to be the universal
vehicle for the transmission of molecular vibrations. We are told, that,
while "the vibrations of a sonorous body produce undulations in the
air," on the other hand, "the vibrations of atoms in a flame produce
undulations in the ether." We would by no means charge Dr. Youmans with
all the consequences naturally deducible from such a statement. We
believe that he uses the term "ether" simply to render himself more
intelligible to those who have been wont to make use of it to facilitate
their thinking. Such an object is highly praiseworthy, and is too often
left out of sight by those who write elementary works. But the good
service thus rendered is far more than counterbalanced by the host of
erroneous conceptions which at once arise at the introduction of this
luckless term. This notion of an "imaginary ether" should be at once and
forever discarded by every writer on physics. The very word should be
remorselessly expunged from every discussion of the subject. It is one
of the most baneful words in the whole dictionary of scientific
terminology. It stands for a fiction as useless as it is without
foundation. It is useless because superfluous, and not needed in order
to account for the phenomena. An ether is no more necessary in the case
of light than it is in the case of sound. Thermal vibrations are the
oscillations of atoms, not the undulations of an ether. If it be urged
that rays of light and heat will traverse a vacuum, we reply, that the
much-derided aphorism, "Nature abhors a vacuum," is as true at this day
as it was before Torricelli's experiment. A perfect vacuum has never
been produced; and if it were to be produced, the ether must be
excluded, else it would be no vacuum, after all. For, if there were such
a thing as an ether, it must of course be some form of matter; nobody
ever claimed for it the character of motion or force. If it be
considered as matter, then, we are confronted with new difficulties; for
all matter must exert gravitation. Weight is our sole test of the very
existence of matter; it is the balance which has proved that nothing
ever disappears. Imponderable matter is no more possible than a
triangular ellipse. Away, then, with such a mischief-breeding
conception! Let this last-surviving fetich be ousted from the fair
temple of inorganic science. Undulations have been measured and counted;
quantitative relations, like those expressed in Joule's law, have been
established between them; but an "ether" has never yet been the object
of human ken.

We have expressed ourselves thus emphatically upon this all-important
point, in order to warn the reader of Dr. Youmans's book against drawing
conclusions which the author himself evidently does not mean to convey.
No clear ideas can ever be entertained in physics until this anomalous
"ether" is excommunicated; and therefore we wish it had been banished
from this excellent treatise. We differ also very widely from the
author's views of animal heat, but have not space to enter upon the
discussion. With these exceptions we know of nothing in the work that
could be improved. It is an honor to American science, and fully merits
a more exhaustive examination than we have here been enabled to bestow
upon it.

_Strategy and Tactics_. By General G.H. DUFOUR, lately an Officer of the
French Engineer Corps, Graduate of the Polytechnic School, and Commander
of the Legion of Honor; Chief of Staff of the Swiss Army. Translated
from the latest French Edition, by WILLIAM R. CRAIGHILL, Captain U.S.
Engineers, lately Assistant Professor of Civil and Military Engineering
and Science of War at the U.S. Military Academy. New York: D. Van

The author of this work is a distinguished civil and military engineer
and practical soldier, who, in all military matters, is recognized as
one of the first authorities in Europe. His history is especially
interesting to Americans, since not many years ago he played a prominent
part in the suppression of a rebellion which, in many features,
exhibited a remarkable similarity to the one with which our own
Government is contending. We refer to the secession of the seven Swiss
cantons forming the Sonderbund, which, like the insurrection of the
Southern States, was a revolt of reactionary against liberal principles
of government; it was likewise the fruit of a well-organized and
long-matured conspiracy, which only delayed an open outbreak until all
its preparations were adequately perfected for a formidable resistance.
The issue of the contest was what we may hope will be that of our
own,--the triumph of free principles, and the complete reëstablishment
of the authority of the legitimate Government on a firmer basis than it
had before occupied.

General Dufour was born at Constance, of a family of Genevese origin.
Having acquired his early education at Geneva, where he devoted his
attention chiefly to mathematics, he entered the Polytechnic School at
Paris, was commissioned two years afterwards in the corps of Engineers,
and served in the later campaigns of Napoleon, where he rose to the rank
of captain. He afterwards entered the Swiss Federal service, in which he
became colonel, chief of the general staff, and quartermaster-general.
At later periods he has held the less active, but equally responsible
and honorable positions of superintendent of the triangulation of
Switzerland on which the topographical map of the country is based, and
chief instructor of engineering in the principal military school of the
Republic, at Thun.

When, in 1847, the Swiss Diet determined to dissolve the Sonderbund,
which had at length committed the overt act of treason, General Dufour
was appointed commander-in-chief of the Federal army. A few days after
the call for troops was issued, he found himself at the head of an army
of one hundred thousand men, and immediately entered actively upon the
work before him. His dispositions were skilful and his movements rapid.
He adopted with success the "anaconda" system of strategy, and hemmed in
the insurgents at every point, closing in the mountain-passes, and
completely isolating them. After six days of active campaigning the
Canton of Freyburg was subdued; nine days afterwards Luzerne submitted;
the other rebellious cantons were quick to yield; and in eighteen days
from the commencement of active operations, and twenty-three days from
the issue by the Federal Diet of the decree of coercion, the rebellion
was extinguished so completely that no murmur of treason has since been
heard in the Republic. So rapidly was the whole accomplished, that
foreign powers had not time to intervene; and it is said, that, when the
French messenger went to seek the insurgents with his proposals, they
were already fugitives. In honor of his services in this contest, the
Federal Diet voted General Dufour a sabre of honor and a donative of
forty thousand francs.

General Dufour's "Strategy and Tactics" is evidently the fruit of an
attentive study of the best examples and authorities of all ages. He has
avoided mere theories and fine writing, and has aimed to present a work
practical in its treatment and application. The lessons of history have
been his guide; his precepts are fortified by pertinent examples from
the campaigns of the best generals, and we may study them with
confidence that when put to the actual test they will not fail.

The distinction between strategy and tactics, not always clearly
understood, is in substance drawn thus by General Dufour. Strategy
involves general movements and the general arrangement of campaigns,
depending chiefly upon the topographical features of the country which
is the scene of operations,--while tactics relate to the minor details
of campaigns, as the disposition for marches and battles, the
arrangement of camps, etc. Strategy depends upon circumstances fixed in
their nature, and is the same always and everywhere; but tactics must be
modified to suit degree of skill, arms, and manner of fighting of the
combatants. Hence, "much instruction in strategy may be derived from the
study of history; but very grave errors will result, if we attempt to
apply in the armies of the present day the tactics of the ancients. This
fault has been committed by more than one man of merit, for want of
reflection upon the great difference between our missile weapons and
those of the ancients, and upon the resulting differences in the
arrangement of troops for combat." Our own military leaders have not
entirely avoided mistakes of this kind in the conduct of the present

The treatise before us elucidates the general principles of strategy and
tactics, and applies them to the different classes of field--operations,
without entering into details, or describing the minor manoeuvres,
which belong more appropriately to another class of works.

The first chapter treats of bases and lines of operations, strategic
points, plans of offensive and defensive campaigns, and strategical
operations. Under the last head are embraced forward movements and
retreats, diversions, (combined movements and detachments,) the pursuit
of a defeated enemy, and the holding of a conquered country. The great
lesson of the chapter, prominent in almost every paragraph, is the
necessity of _concentration_. Divergent marches, scattering of forces,
unless ample facilities are secured for a speedy rally, when necessary,
to a common point, are among the most fruitful sources of disaster.

The organization of armies next receives attention. The explanation of
the composition of the army, its divisions and subdivisions, and the
adjustment of the relative proportions of the different classes of
troops, is brief and lucid. In the article on the formation of troops
the relative merits of formation in two ranks or three are discussed at

Under the head of marches and manoeuvres are considered the rules by
which these movements should be conducted. These apply to the adjustment
of the columns, and the division, when necessary, of the forces upon
different roads in order to facilitate progress and make subsistence
more easy, the detailing of scouts and advance and rear guards, etc. The
adaptation of these rules to forward movements and battles leads to a
description of the order of march of the division, the precautions to be
observed in the passage of defiles, bridges, woods, and rivers, and when
the column has arrived in the presence of the enemy, and the conduct of
flank marches, marches in retreat, and the simultaneous movement of
several columns. The importance of precautions against surprise, of
preserving the mobility of the columns, and of providing for
concentration on short notice whenever it may be necessary, is not lost
sight of, but is dwelt upon with great frequency. But military rules are
not more inflexible than other human rules. Though they are based upon
fixed principles, cases may, and do, arise when they cannot be strictly
adhered to,--sometimes when they ought not to be. When should they be
strictly observed? When and how far is it prudent to depart from them?
"These questions," says General Dufour, "admit of no answers.
Circumstances, which are always different, must decide in each
particular case that arises. Here is the place for a general to show his
ability. The military art would not be so difficult in practice, and
those who have become so distinguished in it would not have acquired
their renown, had it been a thing of invariable rules. To be really a
great general, a man must have great tact and discernment in order to
adopt the best plan in each case as it presents itself; he must have a
ready _coup d'oeil_, so as to do the right thing at the right time and
place; for what is excellent one day may be very injurious the next. The
plans of a great captain seem like inspirations, so rapid are the
operations of the mind from which they proceed: notwithstanding this,
everything is taken into account and weighed; each circumstance is
appreciated and properly estimated; objects which escape entirely the
observation of ordinary minds may to him seem so important as to become
the principal means of inducing him to pursue a particular course. As a
necessary consequence, a deliberative council is a poor director of the
operations of a campaign. As another consequence, no mere theorizer can
be a great general."

Battles, on which the fortune of the campaign must turn at last, receive
a large share of attention. The decision of the question as to when they
shall be fought, though sometimes admitting of no choice, is more often,
with a skilful general, a matter of pure calculation, depending upon
fixed principles, which General Dufour recites in a few brief, but
suggestive sentences. His directions for the disposition and manoeuvres
of the forces in both offensive and defensive battles are quite
complete, though the thousand varying circumstances by which these may
be modified, and which render it impossible for one battle to be a copy
of another, can only be hinted at. Among the elements of a battle here
considered are the disposition of the forces, the manner of bringing on
and conducting the engagement, the manoeuvres to change position on
the field, bringing on reinforcements, seizing all advantages that may
offer, and the manner of conducting pursuit or retreat. The attack and
defence of mountains and rivers, of redoubts, houses, and villages,
covering a siege, infantry, cavalry, and artillery combats and
reconnoissances, each involve special principles, and are treated
separately. In the course of the article on battles, some general
observations are introduced on conducting manoeuvres so as to insure
promptness, security, and precision. The conduct of topographical
reconnoissances is well explained by means of a map of a supposed
district of country, with marked features, which is to be examined. On
this the course of the reconnoitring party, as it goes over the whole,
is traced step by step, and fully explained in the letter-press. In the
concluding chapter the author treats of convoys, ambuscades, advance
posts, the laying-out of camps, and giving rest to troops.

Such are the outlines of a subject which General Dufour has handled in a
masterly manner. His maxims are practical in their bearing, they commend
themselves to our common sense as sound in principle, and are such as
have received the indorsement of the best authorities. His style is
clear and comprehensive; nothing superfluous is inserted, nothing need
be added to make the subject more clear. The illustrations, which are
given wherever they are needed, are simple and clear; the explanations
are sufficient. This work will be a valuable manual to soldiers, and
students will find it an excellent text-book. We hail it as an important
addition to our growing military literature.

_Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as modified by Human Action_. By
GEORGE P. MARSH. New York: Charles Scribner. 8vo. pp. 560.

The student of Physical Geography must not expect to find in this
massive book a systematic exposition of the science in the manner of
Guyot and the French and German geographers; nor must he expect to see
worked out on its pages the elaborate application of Geography to
History, such as one day will be done, and such as was attempted, though
with results of varied value and certainty, by the eloquent and
plausible Buckle; but he will find an unexpected development of man's
dominion over the world he inhabits. Mr. Marsh takes his readers very
much by surprise; for few are aware, we apprehend, that in the course of
his wandering life, and while prosecuting his eminent philological
studies, he has made leisure enough to survey the natural sciences with
critical exactness, pursue an extended course of inquiry into physical
phenomena, note and digest the results of Italian, Spanish, English,
French, German, Dutch, and American naturalists, ply every guide and
ploughman, every driver and forester, every fisherman and miner, every
lumberman and carpenter, for the results which men attain by observing
within the narrow circle of their occupation,--and weave all into a
copious work which subordinates all results to a grand psychological
law, the mastery of man's mind over the world it calls its home.

The work which we are noticing aspires to and rightly claims a foremost
place among the literary productions of America, despite a certain
homely flavor and a certain unpretending way which its author has of
saying things which are really great and fine. The main thought
illustrated is not new, but it is brought out so forcibly, and
illustrated by such encyclopedic learning, that it has the power of
novelty. Mr. Marsh shows, as many before him have done, that man is now
using the organic and inorganic forms of the earth in a manner so
subsidiary to the might of his intellect and his will, that such
obstacles as mountains and seas, which used to impede him hopelessly,
now are his auxiliaries; but he does more than this: he demonstrates the
destructive and annihilating sway of man over the world in the past and
in the present; and, proceeding from the historic fact that the
countries which in the palmy days of the Roman Empire were the granary
and the wine-cellar of the world have been given over by the improvident
destructiveness of man to desolation and desert, he enters into a
thorough study of the fact, that, no sooner does man recede from the
barbaric state than he commences a career of destructiveness, cutting
off, in a manner reckless and criminally wasteful, forests, the lives of
quadrupeds, birds, insects, and in short every living thing excepting
the few domestic animals which follow him and serve him for
companionship or for food. Mr. Marsh shows, with more than prophetic
insight, with the mathematical logic of facts, that, unless
compensations far more general and adequate than have yet been devised
are provided, the destructive propensities of civilized man will convert
the world into a waste. Some of our readers have paused thoughtfully
over that chapter in "Les Misérables" which deals so grimly with the
sewerage of cities, and details with the faithfulness of an historian
the exhausting demands of those conduits which carry untold millions to
the sea, and waste that aliment of impoverished soils which not all the
science of the age has found it possible to restore; but Mr. Marsh, not
drawing single pictures with so strong lines, spreads a broader canvas,
and compels his reader to equal thoughtfulness. To quote but one
instance is enough. We have in America thus far escaped, and as
singularly as fortunately, the importation of the wheat-midge which has
been the scourge of the grain-fields of Europe: it will, doubtless, some
time be a passenger on our Atlantic ships or steamers; it will commence
its work; and then man has the task of importing its natural
antagonists, of promoting their spread, and so of compensating the evil.
The work which we are noticing abundantly shows, that, if man were not
in the world, the natural compensations which the Divine Being has
introduced would produce perfect harmony in all things; that man, from
his first stroke at a tree, his first slaying of a beast or bird,
introduces an element of disorder which he can compensate only after
civilization has reached a height of which we yet know nothing, and of
which our present civilization gives us but the suggestion.

To those who may not care to master the philosophy of "Man and Nature,"
the book presents great attractions in the fund of new and entertaining
knowledge given in the text, and yet more largely in the foot-notes.
Many have waded through Mr. Buckle's two volumes a second time for the
purpose of gleaning his facts and gathering up in the easiest way the
latest word in science and literature. Mr. Marsh spreads a homelier
table, but one just as varied and hearty. Never in the course of our
miscellaneous reading have we met an equal store of fresh facts. As
hinted above, they are gathered from every source: the experience of the
maple-sugar maker in Vermont is quoted side by side with the testimony
of the European scholar. The reader will be amazed that there are so
many common things in the world of which he has never heard, and that
they have so large and fruitful an influence over the world's progress.

If there are striking faults in Mr. Marsh's work, they seem to be these:
want of continuity in treatment, and disproportionate development of
some subjects in contrast with others. The book is, in fact, too large
for a popular treatise, and not large enough for a scientific exposition
of all it essays to discuss. It claims to be a popular work; but the
elaborate discussion of Forests is far beyond the wishes or needs of any
but a scientific reader. The broken, jagged, paragraph style is a
drawback to the pleasure of perusing it: the notion seems to impress the
author that people will not read anything elaborate, unless it be broken
up into labelled paragraphs. It is true of the newspaper: it is not true
of the octavo, to which they sit down expecting a different mode of
treatment, a broad, discursive style, flowing, redundant, and even
eloquent. Yet Mr. Marsh has in some instances transgressed, we think,
even in fulness: the great prominence given, for example, to the
drainage of Holland is untrue to the general tenor of the book and to
the prospective future of the world. It was a great historic deed, when
the relations of man to Nature were quite other than what they are
to-day; but now that man is master of the sea, regulates the price of
bread in London by the price of corn in Illinois, and of broadcloth in
Paris by the cost of wool in Australia, the recovery of a few hundred
thousand acres from the bottom of the North Sea is a great thing for
Holland, but a small thing for the world.

Yet we accept this book with grateful thanks to the accomplished author.
In the present transition-stage from metaphysical to physical studies,
it will be eagerly accepted, as showing, not openly nor yet covertly,
yet suggestively, the true connection of both. Few books give in quiet,
modest fashion so much theology as this, and yet few claim to give so
little. Few bear more strongly on the mooted points of Anthropology; few
strike so strong a blow at that Development-theory which makes man
merely king of the beasts, and superior to the ape and the gorilla only
in degree; and yet few proceed in such high argument with less
ostentation. This book leaves one great want unfulfilled: to take up the
mantle of Ritter and proceed carefully to the study of French, German,
Russian, English, Spanish, and Italian history, and indeed all great
nations' history, by the light of geography. The problem is stated; it
has now only to be wrought out. Perhaps Mr. Marsh, whose acquisitions
seem to be boundless, and whose powers unlimited, may live to win fresh
laurels on this field.

       *       *       *       *       *



Woodburn. A Novel. By Rosa Vertner Jeffrey, Author of "Poems by Rosa."
New York. Sheldon & Co. 12mo. pp. 356. $1.50.

The First Three Books of Xenophon's Anabasis; with Explanatory Notes,
and References to Hadley's and Kühner's Greek Grammars, and to Goodwin's
Greek Moods and Tenses; a copious Greek-English Vocabulary; and
Kiepert's Map of the Route of the Ten Thousand. By James R. Boise,
Professor in the University of Michigan. New York. D. Appleton & Co.
16mo. pp. vi., 268. $1.00.

Dreams within Dreams: A Plagiarism of the Seventeenth Century: being,
like most Visions of the Night, a Medley of Old Things and New. By Ulric
De Lazie, Gentleman. New York. P. O'Shea. 12mo. pp. xviii., 534. $1.75.

Patriotism, and other Papers. By Thomas Starr King. With a Biographical
Sketch, by Hon. Richard Frothingham. Boston. Tompkins & Co. 12mo. pp.
359. $1.50.

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[A] I was once trying to convince an eminent prelate--one of the most
learned and liberal of his order, and even then close to the red hat--of
the importance of admitting laymen to certain State functions. "All
right," said he, "from your point of view; but still I shall oppose it
always, tooth and nail; for, if they come in, we must go out."

[B] Dr. Lieber, in his "Reminiscences of Niebuhr,"--a delightful book of
a delightful class,--records the great historian's testimony in favor of
Italian Latin.

[C] This is a metrical version of the following passage of the
"Scaligeriana":--"Les Allemans ne se soucient pas quel vin ils boivent
pourvu que ce soit vin, ni quel Latin ils parlent pourvu que ce soit

[D] Need we say that this gentleman is a member of the French Academy, a
librarian of the Mazarin Library, and the well-known author of
"Mademoiselle de la Seiglière," "La Maison de Penarvan," "Sacs et
Parchemins," etc.?

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 82, August, 1864" ***

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