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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865" ***

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_Literature, Art, and Politics._








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of






American Metropolis, The        _Fitz-Hugh Ludlow_                   73
Andersonville, At                                                   285
Anno Domini                     _Gail Hamilton_                     116
Authors, Memories of            _Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall_
                                                      97, 223, 330, 477

Battle-Laureate, Our            _Oliver Wendell Holmes_             589
Birds, With the                 _John Burroughs_                    513

Chimney-Corner, The             _Mrs. H. B. Stowe_
                                           109, 221, 353, 490, 602, 732
Cobden, Richard                 _M. C. Conway_                      724
Cruikshank, George, in Mexico                                        54

Dely's Cow                      _Rose Terry_                        665
Doctor Johns                    _Donald G. Mitchell_
                                                141, 296, 449, 591, 681
Dolliver Romance,
  Another Scene from the        _Nathaniel Hawthorne_                 1

England, A Letter about         _John Weiss_                        641
Europe and Asia, Between        _Bayard Taylor_                       8
Everett, Edward                 _E. E. Hale_                        342

Fair Play the Best Policy       _T. W. Higginson_                   623
Five Sisters Court at Christmas-Tide                                 22
Foreign Enmity to the United States,
  Causes of                     _E. P. Whipple_                     372

Great Lakes, The                _Samuel C. Clarke_                  693
Grit                            _E. P. Whipple_                     407

Hofwyl, My Student-Life at      _Robert Dale Owen_                  550

Ice and Esquimaux               _D. A. Wasson_
                                                      39, 201, 437, 564
"If Massa put Guns into our Han's"
                                _Fitz-Hugh Ludlow_                  504

John Brown's Raid               _John G. Rosengarten_               711

Lecture, The Popular            _J. G. Holland_                     362
Lincoln, Abraham,
  The Place of, in History      _George Bancroft_                   757
Lone Woman, Adventures of a     _Jane G. Austin_                    385

Mining, Ancient,
  on the Shores of Lake Superior _Albert D. Hagar_                  308
Modern Improvements and our National Debt
                                 _E. B. Bigelow_                    729

Needle and Garden                           88, 165, 316, 464, 613, 673

Officer's Journal, Leaves from  _T. W. Higginson_                    65
Out of the Sea                  _Author of "Life in the Iron-Mills"_

  Our First Great, and his Works _Sarah Clarke_                     129
Pettibone Lineage, The                                              419
Pianist, Notes of a             _Louis M. Gottschalk_
                                                          177, 350, 573
Pleiades of Connecticut, The    _F. Sheldon_                        187
Prose Henriade, A               _Gail Hamilton_                     653

Regnard                         _F. Sheldon_                        700
Revolution, Diplomacy of the    _Prof. George W. Greene_            576
Richmond, Late Scenes in        _C. C. Coffin_                      744

St. Mary's, Up the              _T. W. Higginson_                   422
Sanitary, A Fortnight with the  _G. Reynolds_                       233
Schumann's Quintette in E Flat Major
                                _Anne M. Brewster_                  718

Taney, Roger Brooke             _Charles M. Ellis_                  151

Year, The Story of a            _Henry James, Jr._                  257


Autumn Walt, My                 _W. C. Bryant_                       20

Carolina Coronado, To                                               698
Castles                         _T. B. Aldrich_                     622

Down!                           _Henry H. Brownell_                 756

First Citizen, Our              _Oliver Wendell Holmes_             462
Frozen Harbor, The              _J. T. Trowbridge_                  281

Garnaut Hall                    _T. B. Aldrich_                     182
God Save the Flag               _O. W. Holmes_                      115
Going to Sleep                  _Elizabeth A. C. Akers_             680
Gold Egg.--A Dream Fantasy      _James Russell Lowell_              528
Grave by the lake, The          _John G. Whittier_                  561

Harpocrates                     _Bayard Taylor_                     662
Hour of Victory, The                                                371

Jaguar Hunt, The                _J. T. Trowbridge_                  742

Kallundborg Church              _John G. Whittier_                   51

Mantle of St. John de Matha, The
                                _John G. Whittier_                  162
Mr. Hosea Biglow to the Editor of the Atlantic Monthly
                                _James Russell Lowell_              501

Oldest Friend, Our              _O. W. Holmes_                      340
Old House, The                  _Alice Cary_                        213

Poet, To a, on his Birthday,                                        315
Pro Patria                      _Epes Sargent_                      232

Rubin Badfellow                 _T. B. Aldrich_                     437

Seventy-Six, On Board the       _James Russell Lowell_              107
Spaniards' Graves at the Isles of Shoals, The                       406

Wind over the Chimney, The      _Henry W. Longfellow_                 7


Harriet Hosmer's Zenobia        _Fitz-Hugh Ludlow_                  248


Beecher's Autobiography                                             631
Bushnell's Christ and His Salvation                                 377
Chamberlain's Autobiography of a New England Farm-House             255
Child's Looking toward Sunset                                       255
Cobbe's Broken Lights                                               124
De Vries, Collection. German Series                                 379
Dewey's Lowell Lectures                                             286
Frothingham's Philosophy                                            251
Hodde's Cradle of Rebellions                                        380
Hosmer's Morrisons                                                  378
Hunt's Seer                                                         376
Ingelow's Studies for Stories                                       378
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Letters                                     126
Murdoch's Patriotism in Poetry and Prose                            250
Reynard the Fox                                                     380
Russell's Review of Todleben's History                              638
Sabine's Loyalists of the American Revolution                       123
Seaside and Fireside Fairies                                        640
Thackeray's Vanity Fair                                             639
Thoreau's Cape Cod                                                  381
Tuckerman's America and her Commentators                            122

RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS                         128, 382, 640, 764



_A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics._


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


We may now suppose Grandsir Dolliver to have finished his breakfast,
with a better appetite and sharper perception of the qualities of his
food than he has generally felt of late years, whether it were due to
old Martha's cookery or to the cordial of the night before. Little
Pansie had also made an end of her bread and milk with entire
satisfaction, and afterwards nibbled a crust, greatly enjoying its
resistance to her little white teeth.

How this child came by the odd name of Pansie, and whether it was really
her baptismal name, I have not ascertained. More probably it was one of
those pet appellations that grow out of a child's character, or out of
some keen thrill of affection in the parents, an unsought-for and
unconscious felicity, a kind of revelation, teaching them the true name
by which the child's guardian angel would know it,--a name with
playfulness and love in it, that we often observe to supersede, in the
practice of those who love the child best, the name that they carefully
selected, and caused the clergyman to plaster indelibly on the poor
little forehead at the font,--the love-name, whereby, if the child
lives, the parents know it in their hearts, or by which, if it dies, God
seems to have called it away, leaving the sound lingering faintly and
sweetly through the house. In Pansie's case, it may have been a certain
pensiveness which was sometimes seen under her childish frolic, and so
translated itself into French, (_pensée_,) her mother having been of
Acadian kin; or, quite as probably, it alluded merely to the color of
her eyes, which, in some lights, were very like the dark petals of a
tuft of pansies in the Doctor's garden. It might well be, indeed, on
account of the suggested pensiveness; for the child's gayety had example
to sustain it, no sympathy of other children or grown people,--and her
melancholy, had it been so dark a feeling, was but the shadow of the
house and of the old man. If brighter sunshine came, she would brighten
with it. This morning, surely, as the three companions, Pansie, puss,
and Grandsir Dolliver, emerged from the shadow of the house into the
small adjoining enclosure, they seemed all frolicsome alike.

The Doctor, however, was intent over something that had reference to
his life-long business of drugs. This little spot was the place where he
was wont to cultivate a variety of herbs supposed to be endowed with
medicinal virtue. Some of them had been long known in the
pharmacopoeia of the Old World; and others, in the early days of the
country, had been adopted by the first settlers from the Indian
medicine-men, though with fear and even contrition, because these wild
doctors were supposed to draw their pharmaceutic knowledge from no
gracious source, the Black Man himself being the principal professor in
their medical school. From his own experience, however, Dr. Dolliver had
long since doubted, though he was not bold enough quite to come to the
conclusion, that Indian shrubs, and the remedies prepared from them,
were much less perilous than those so freely used in European practice,
and singularly apt to be followed by results quite as propitious. Into
such heterodoxy our friend was the more liable to fall because it had
been taught him early in life by his old master, Dr. Swinnerton, who, at
those not infrequent times when he indulged a certain unhappy
predilection for strong waters, had been accustomed to inveigh in terms
of the most cynical contempt and coarsest ridicule against the practice
by which he lived, and, as he affirmed, inflicted death on his
fellow-men. Our old apothecary, though too loyal to the learned
profession with which he was connected fully to believe this bitter
judgment, even when pronounced by his revered master, was still so far
influenced that his conscience was possibly a little easier when making
a preparation from forest herbs and roots than in the concoction of half
a score of nauseous poisons into a single elaborate drug, as the fashion
of that day was.

But there were shrubs in the garden of which he had never ventured to
make a medical use, nor, indeed, did he know their virtue, although from
year to year he had tended and fertilized, weeded and pruned them, with
something like religious care. They were of the rarest character, and
had been planted by the learned and famous Dr. Swinnerton, who on his
death-bed, when he left his dwelling and all his abstruse manuscripts to
his favorite pupil, had particularly directed his attention to this row
of shrubs. They had been collected by himself from remote countries, and
had the poignancy of torrid climes in them; and he told him, that,
properly used, they would be worth all the rest of the legacy a
hundred-fold. As the apothecary, however, found the manuscripts, in
which he conjectured there was a treatise on the subject of these
shrubs, mostly illegible, and quite beyond his comprehension in such
passages as he succeeded in puzzling out, (partly, perhaps, owing to his
very imperfect knowledge of Latin, in which language they were written,)
he had never derived from them any of the promised benefit. And to say
the truth, remembering that Dr. Swinnerton himself never appeared to
triturate or decoct or do anything else with the mysterious herbs, our
old friend was inclined to imagine the weighty commendation of their
virtues to have been the idly solemn utterance of mental aberration at
the hour of death. So, with the integrity that belonged to his
character, he had nurtured them as tenderly as was possible in the
ungenial climate and soil of New England, putting some of them into pots
for the winter; but they had rather dwindled than flourished, and he had
reaped no harvests from them, nor observed them with any degree of
scientific interest.

His grandson, however, while yet a school-boy, had listened to the old
man's legend of the miraculous virtues of these plants; and it took so
firm a hold of his mind, that the row of outlandish vegetables seemed
rooted in it, and certainly flourished there with richer luxuriance than
in the soil where they actually grew. The story, acting thus early upon
his imagination, may be said to have influenced his brief career in
life, and, perchance, brought about its early close. The young man, in
the opinion of competent judges, was endowed with remarkable abilities,
and according to the rumor of the people had wonderful gifts, which
were proved by the cures he had wrought with remedies of his own
invention. His talents lay in the direction of scientific analysis and
inventive combination of chemical powers. While under the pupilage of
his grandfather, his progress had rapidly gone quite beyond his
instructor's hope,--leaving him even to tremble at the audacity with
which he overturned and invented theories, and to wonder at the depth at
which he wrought beneath the superficialness and mock-mystery of the
medical science of those days, like a miner sinking his shaft and
running a hideous peril of the earth caving in above him. Especially did
he devote himself to these plants; and under his care they had thriven
beyond all former precedent, bursting into luxuriance of bloom, and most
of them bearing beautiful flowers, which, however, in two or three
instances, had the sort of natural repulsiveness that the serpent has in
its beauty, compelled against its will, as it were, to warn the beholder
of an unrevealed danger. The young man had long ago, it must be added,
demanded of his grandfather the documents included in the legacy of
Professor Swinnerton, and had spent days and nights upon them, growing
pale over their mystic lore, which seemed the fruit not merely of the
Professor's own labors, but of those of more ancient sages than he; and
often a whole volume seemed to be compressed within the limits of a few
lines of crabbed manuscript, judging from the time which it cost even
the quick-minded student to decipher them.

Meantime these abstruse investigations had not wrought such disastrous
effects as might have been feared, in causing Edward Dolliver to neglect
the humble trade, the conduct of which his grandfather had now
relinquished almost entirely into his hands. On the contrary, with the
mere side results of his study, or what may be called the chips and
shavings of his real work, he created a prosperity quite beyond anything
that his simple-minded predecessor had ever hoped for, even at the most
sanguine epoch of his life. The young man's adventurous endowments were
miraculously alive, and connecting themselves with his remarkable
ability for solid research, and perhaps his conscience being as yet
imperfectly developed, (as it sometimes lies dormant in the young,) he
spared not to produce compounds which, if the names were anywise to be
trusted, would supersede all other remedies, and speedily render any
medicine a needless thing, making the trade of apothecary an untenable
one, and the title of Doctor obsolete. Whether there was real efficacy
in these nostrums, and whether their author himself had faith in them,
is more than can safely be said; but at all events, the public believed
in them, and thronged to the old and dim sign of the Brazen Serpent,
which, though hitherto familiar to them and their forefathers, now
seemed to shine with auspicious lustre, as if its old Scriptural virtues
were renewed. If any faith was to be put in human testimony, many
marvellous cures were really performed, the fame of which spread far and
wide, and caused demands for these medicines to come in from places far
beyond the precincts of the little town. Our old apothecary, now
degraded by the overshadowing influence of his grandson's character to a
position not much above that of a shop-boy, stood behind the counter
with a face sad and distrustful, and yet with an odd kind of fitful
excitement in it, as if he would have liked to enjoy this new
prosperity, had he dared. Then his venerable figure was to be seen
dispensing these questionable compounds by the single bottle and by the
dozen, wronging his simple conscience as he dealt out what he feared was
trash or worse, shrinking from the reproachful eyes of every ancient
physician who might chance to be passing by, but withal examining
closely the silver or the New England coarsely printed bills which he
took in payment, as if apprehensive that the delusive character of the
commodity which he sold might be balanced by equal counterfeiting in the
money received, or as if his faith in all things were shaken.

Is it not possible that this gifted young man had indeed found out those
remedies which Nature has provided and laid away for the cure of every

The disastrous termination of the most brilliant epoch that ever came to
the Brazen Serpent must be told in a few words. One night, Edward
Dolliver's young wife awoke, and, seeing the gray dawn creeping into the
chamber, while her husband, it should seem, was still engaged in his
laboratory, arose in her night-dress, and went to the door of the room
to put in her gentle remonstrance against such labor. There she found
him dead,--sunk down out of his chair upon the hearth, where were some
ashes, apparently of burnt manuscripts, which appeared to comprise most
of those included in Doctor Swinnerton's legacy, though one or two had
fallen near the heap, and lay merely scorched beside it. It seemed as if
he had thrown them into the fire, under a sudden impulse, in a great
hurry and passion. It may be that he had come to the perception of
something fatally false and deceptive in the successes which he had
appeared to win, and was too proud and too conscientious to survive it.
Doctors were called in, but had no power to revive him. An inquest was
held, at which the jury, under the instruction, perhaps, of those same
revengeful doctors, expressed the opinion that the poor young man, being
given to strange contrivances with poisonous drugs, had died by
incautiously tasting them himself. This verdict, and the terrible event
itself, at once deprived the medicines of all their popularity; and the
poor old apothecary was no longer under any necessity of disturbing his
conscience by selling them. They at once lost their repute, and ceased
to be in any demand. In the few instances in which they were tried the
experiment was followed by no good results; and even those individuals
who had fancied themselves cured, and had been loudest in spreading the
praises of these beneficent compounds, now, as if for the utter
demolition of the poor youth's credit, suffered under a recurrence of
the worst symptoms, and, in more than one case, perished miserably:
insomuch (for the days of witchcraft were still within the memory of
living men and women) it was the general opinion that Satan had been
personally concerned in this affliction, and that the Brazen Serpent, so
long honored among them, was really the type of his subtle malevolence
and perfect iniquity. It was rumored even that all preparations that
came from the shop were harmful,--that teeth decayed that had been made
pearly white by the use of the young chemist's dentifrice,--that cheeks
were freckled that had been changed to damask roses by his
cosmetics,--that hair turned gray or fell off that had become black,
glossy, and luxuriant from the application of his mixtures,--that breath
which his drugs had sweetened had now a sulphurous smell. Moreover, all
the money heretofore amassed by the sale of them had been exhausted by
Edward Dolliver in his lavish expenditure for the processes of his
study; and nothing was left for Pansie, except a few valueless and
unsalable bottles of medicine, and one or two others, perhaps more
recondite than their inventor had seen fit to offer to the public.
Little Pansie's mother lived but a short time after the shock of the
terrible catastrophe; and, as we began our story with saying, she was
left with no better guardianship or support than might be found in the
efforts of a long superannuated man.

Nothing short of the simplicity, integrity, and piety of Grandsir
Dolliver's character, known and acknowledged as far back as the oldest
inhabitants remembered anything, and inevitably discoverable by the
dullest and most prejudiced observers, in all its natural
manifestations, could have protected him in still creeping about the
streets. So far as he was personally concerned, however, all bitterness
and suspicion had speedily passed away; and there remained still the
careless and neglectful good-will, and the prescriptive reverence, not
altogether reverential, which the world heedlessly awards to the
unfortunate individual who outlives his generation.

And now that we have shown the reader sufficiently, or at least to the
best of our knowledge, and perhaps at tedious length, what was the
present position of Grandsir Dolliver, we may let our story pass onward,
though at such a pace as suits the feeble gait of an old man.

The peculiarly brisk sensation of this morning, to which we have more
than once alluded, enabled the Doctor to toil pretty vigorously at his
medicinal herbs,--his catnip, his vervain, and the like; but he did not
turn his attention to the row of mystic plants, with which so much of
trouble and sorrow either was, or appeared to be, connected. In truth,
his old soul was sick of them, and their very fragrance, which the warm
sunshine made strongly perceptible, was odious to his nostrils. But the
spicy, homelike scent of his other herbs, the English simples, was
grateful to him, and so was the earth-smell, as he turned up the soil
about their roots, and eagerly snuffed it in. Little Pansie, on the
other hand, perhaps scandalized at great-grandpapa's neglect of the
prettiest plants in his garden, resolved to do her small utmost towards
balancing his injustice; so, with an old shingle, fallen from the roof,
which she had appropriated as her agricultural tool, she began to dig
about them, pulling up the weeds, as she saw grandpapa doing. The
kitten, too, with a look of elfish sagacity, lent her assistance, plying
her paws with vast haste and efficiency at the roots of one of the
shrubs. This particular one was much smaller than the rest, perhaps
because it was a native of the torrid zone, and required greater care
than the others to make it nourish; so that, shrivelled, cankered, and
scarcely showing a green leaf, both Pansie and the kitten probably
mistook it for a weed. After their joint efforts had made a pretty big
trench about it, the little girl seized the shrub with both hands,
bestriding it with her plump little legs, and giving so vigorous a pull,
that, long accustomed to be transplanted annually, it came up by the
roots, and little Pansie came down in a sitting posture, making a broad
impress on the soft earth. "See, see, Doctor!" cries Pansie, comically
enough giving him his title of courtesy,--"look, grandpapa, the big,
naughty weed!"

Now the Doctor had at once a peculiar dread and a peculiar value for
this identical shrub, both because his grandson's investigations had
been applied more ardently to it than to all the rest, and because it
was associated in his mind with an ancient and sad recollection. For he
had never forgotten that his wife, the early lost, had once taken a
fancy to wear its flowers, day after day, through the whole season of
their bloom, in her bosom, where they glowed like a gem, and deepened
her somewhat pallid beauty with a richness never before seen in it. At
least such was the effect which this tropical flower imparted to the
beloved form in his memory, and thus it somehow both brightened and
wronged her. This had happened not long before her death; and whenever,
in the subsequent years, this plant had brought its annual flower, it
had proved a kind of talisman to bring up the image of Bessie, radiant
with this glow that did not really belong to her naturally passive
beauty, quickly interchanging with another image of her form, with the
snow of death on cheek and forehead. This reminiscence had remained
among the things of which the Doctor was always conscious, but had never
breathed a word, through the whole of his long life,--a sprig of
sensibility that perhaps helped to keep him tenderer and purer than
other men, who entertain no such follies. And the sight of the shrub
often brought back the faint, golden gleam of her hair, as if her spirit
were in the sun-lights of the garden, quivering into view and out of it.
And therefore, when he saw what Pansie had done, he sent forth a
strange, inarticulate, hoarse, tremulous exclamation, a sort of aged and
decrepit cry of mingled emotion. "Naughty Pansie, to pull up grandpapa's
flower!" said he, as soon as he could speak. "Poison, Pansie, poison!
Fling it away, child!"

And dropping his spade, the old gentleman scrambled towards the little
girl as quickly as his rusty joints would let him,--while Pansie, as
apprehensive and quick of motion as a fawn, started up with a shriek of
mirth and fear to escape him. It so happened that the garden-gate was
ajar; and a puff of wind blowing it wide open, she escaped through this
fortuitous avenue, followed by great-grandpapa and the kitten.

"Stop, naughty Pansie, stop!" shouted our old friend. "You will tumble
into the grave!" The kitten, with the singular sensitiveness that seems
to affect it at every kind of excitement, was now on her back.

And, indeed, this portentous warning was better grounded and had a more
literal meaning than might be supposed; for the swinging gate
communicated with the burial-ground, and almost directly in little
Pansie's track there was a newly dug grave, ready to receive its tenant
that afternoon. Pansie, however, fled onward with outstretched arms,
half in fear, half in fun, plying her round little legs with wonderful
promptitude, as if to escape Time or Death, in the person of Grandsir
Dolliver, and happily avoiding the ominous pitfall that lies in every
person's path, till, hearing a groan from her pursuer, she looked over
her shoulder, and saw that poor grandpapa had stumbled over one of the
many hillocks. She then suddenly wrinkled up her little visage, and sent
forth a full-breathed roar of sympathy and alarm.

"Grandpapa has broken his neck now!" cried little Pansie, amid her sobs.

"Kiss grandpapa, and make it well, then," said the old gentleman,
recollecting her remedy, and scrambling up more readily than could be
expected. "Well," he murmured to himself, "a hair's-breadth more, and I
should have been tumbled into yonder grave. Poor little Pansie! what
wouldst thou have done then?"

"Make the grass grow over grandpapa," answered Pansie, laughing up in
his face.

"Poh, poh, child, that is not a pretty thing to say," said grandpapa,
pettishly and disappointed, as people are apt to be when they try to
calculate on the fitful sympathies of childhood. "Come, you must go in
to old Martha now."

The poor old gentleman was in the more haste to leave the spot because
he found himself standing right in front of his own peculiar row of
gravestones, consisting of eight or nine slabs of slate, adorned with
carved borders rather rudely cut, and the earliest one, that of his
Bessie, bending aslant, because the frost of so many winters had slowly
undermined it. Over one grave of the row, that of his gifted grandson,
there was no memorial. He felt a strange repugnance, stronger than he
had ever felt before, to linger by these graves, and had none of the
tender sorrow mingled with high and tender hopes that had sometimes made
it seem good to him to be there. Such moods, perhaps, often come to the
aged, when the hardened earth-crust over their souls shuts them out from
spiritual influences.

Taking the child by the hand,--her little effervescence of infantile fun
having passed into a downcast humor, though not well knowing as yet what
a dusky cloud of disheartening fancies arose from these green
hillocks,--he went heavily toward the garden-gate. Close to its
threshold, so that one who was issuing forth or entering must needs step
upon it or over it, lay a small flat stone, deeply imbedded in the
ground, and partly covered with grass, inscribed with the name of "Dr.
John Swinnerton, Physician."

"Ay," said the old man, as the well-remembered figure of his ancient
instructor seemed to rise before him in his grave-apparel, with beard
and gold-headed cane, black velvet doublet and cloak, "here lies a man
who, as people have thought, had it in his power to avoid the grave! He
had no little grandchild to tease him. He had the choice to die, and
chose it."

So the old gentleman led Pansie over the stone, and carefully closed
the gate; and, as it happened, he forgot the uprooted shrub, which
Pansie, as she ran, had flung away, and which had fallen into the open
grave; and when the funeral came that afternoon, the coffin was let down
upon it, so that its bright, inauspicious flower never bloomed again.


[A] See July number, 1864, of this Magazine, for the first chapter of
the story. The portion now published was not revised by the author, but
is printed from his first draught.


    See, the fire is sinking low,
    Dusky red the embers glow,
      While above them still I cower,--
    While a moment more I linger,
    Though the clock, with lifted finger,
      Points beyond the midnight hour.

    Sings the blackened log a tune
    Learned in some forgotten June
      From a school-boy at his play,
    When they both were young together,
    Heart of youth and summer weather
      Making all their holiday.

    And the night-wind rising, hark!
    How above there in the dark,
      In the midnight and the snow,
    Ever wilder, fiercer, grander,
    Like the trumpets of Iskander,
      All the noisy chimneys blow!

    Every quivering tongue of flame
    Seems to murmur some great name,
      Seems to say to me, "Aspire!"
    But the night-wind answers,--"Hollow
    Are the visions that you follow,
      Into darkness sinks your fire!"

    Then the flicker of the blaze
    Gleams on volumes of old days,
      Written by masters of the art,
    Loud through whose majestic pages
    Rolls the melody of ages,
      Throb the harp-strings of the heart.

    And again the tongues of flame
    Start exulting and exclaim,--
      "These are prophets, bards, and seers;
    In the horoscope of nations,
    Like ascendant constellations,
      They control the coming years."

    But the night-wind cries,--"Despair!
    Those who walk with feet of air
      Leave no long-enduring marks;
    At God's forges incandescent
    Mighty hammers beat incessant,
      These are but the flying sparks.

    "Dust are all the hands that wrought;
    Books are sepulchres of thought;
      The dead laurels of the dead
    Rustle for a moment only,
    Like the withered leaves in lonely
      Church-yards at some passing tread."

    Suddenly the flame sinks down;
    Sink the rumors of renown;
      And alone the night-wind drear
    Clamors louder, wilder, vaguer,--
    "'T is the brand of Meleager
      Dying on the hearth-stone here!"

    And I answer,--"Though it be,
    Why should that discomfort me?
      No endeavor is in vain;
    Its reward is in the doing,
    And the rapture of pursuing
      Is the prize the vanquished gain?"


    "Pushed off from one shore, and not yet landed on the other."
                                         _Russian Proverb._

The railroad from Moscow to Nijni-Novgorod had been opened but a
fortnight before. It was scarcely finished, indeed; for, in order to
facilitate travel during the continuance of the Great Fair at the latter
place, the gaps in the line, left by unbuilt bridges, were filled up
with temporary trestle-work. The one daily express-train was so thronged
that it required much exertion, and the freest use of the envoy's
prestige, to secure a private carriage for our party. The sun was
sinking over the low, hazy ridge of the Sparrow Hills as we left Moscow;
and we enjoyed one more glimpse of the inexhaustible splendor of the
city's thousand golden domes and pinnacles, softened by luminous smoke
and transfigured dust, before the dark woods of fir intervened, and the
twilight sank down on cold and lonely landscapes.

Thence, until darkness, there was nothing more to claim attention.
Whoever has seen one landscape of Central Russia is familiar with three
fourths of the whole region. Nowhere else--not even on the levels of
Illinois--are the same features so constantly reproduced. One long, low
swell of earth succeeds to another; it is rare that any other woods
than birch and fir are seen; the cleared land presents a continuous
succession of pasture, rye, wheat, potatoes, and cabbages; and the
villages are as like as peas, in their huts of unpainted logs,
clustering around a white church with five green domes. It is a monotony
which nothing but the richest culture can prevent from becoming
tiresome. Culture is to Nature what good manners are to man, rendering
poverty of character endurable.

Stationing a servant at the door to prevent intrusion at the
way-stations, we let down the curtains before our windows, and secured a
comfortable privacy for the night, whence we issued only once, during a
halt for supper. I entered the refreshment-room with very slender
expectations, but was immediately served with plump partridges, tender
cutlets, and green peas. The Russians made a rush for the great
_samovar_ (tea-urn) of brass, which shone from one end of the long
table; and presently each had his tumbler of scalding tea, with a slice
of lemon floating on the top. These people drink beverages of a
temperature which would take the skin off Anglo-Saxon mouths. My tongue
was more than once blistered, on beginning to drink after they had
emptied their glasses. There is no station without its steaming samovar;
and some persons, I verily believe, take their thirty-three hot teas
between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

There is not much choice of dishes in the interior of Russia; but what
one does get is sure to be tolerably good. Even on the Beresina and the
Dnieper I have always fared better than at most of the places in our
country where "Ten minutes for refreshments!" is announced day by day
and year by year. Better a single beef-steak, where tenderness is, than
a stalled ox, all gristle and grease. But then our cooking (for the
public at least) is notoriously the worst in the civilized world; and I
can safely pronounce the Russian better, without commending it very

Some time in the night we passed the large town of Vladimir, and with
the rising sun were well on our way to the Volga. I pushed aside the
curtains, and looked out, to see what changes a night's travel had
wrought in the scenery. It was a pleasant surprise. On the right stood a
large, stately residence, embowered in gardens and orchards; while
beyond it, stretching away to the south-east, opened a broad, shallow
valley. The sweeping hills on either side were dotted with shocks of
rye; and their thousands of acres of stubble shone like gold in the
level rays. Herds of cattle were pasturing in the meadows, and the
peasants (serfs no longer) were straggling out of the villages to their
labor in the fields. The crosses and polished domes of churches sparkled
on the horizon. Here the patches of primitive forest were of larger
growth, the trunks cleaner and straighter, than we had yet seen. Nature
was half conquered, in spite of the climate, and, the first time since
leaving St. Petersburg, wore a habitable aspect. I recognized some of
the features of Russian country-life, which Puschkin describes so
charmingly in his poem of "Eugene Onägin."

The agricultural development of Russia has been greatly retarded by the
indifference of the nobility, whose vast estates comprise the best land
of the empire, in those provinces where improvements might be most
easily introduced. Although a large portion of the noble families pass
their summers in the country, they use the season as a period of
physical and pecuniary recuperation from the dissipations of the past,
and preparation for those of the coming winter. Their possessions are so
large (those of Count Scheremetieff, for instance, contain one hundred
and thirty thousand inhabitants) that they push each other too far apart
for social intercourse; and they consequently live _en déshabillé_,
careless of the great national interests in their hands. There is a
class of our Southern planters which seems to have adopted a very
similar mode of life,--families which shabbily starve for ten months, in
order to make a lordly show at "the Springs" for the other two. A most
accomplished Russian lady, the Princess D----, said to me,--"The want of
an active, intelligent country society is our greatest misfortune. Our
estates thus become a sort of exile. The few, here and there, who try to
improve the condition of the people, through the improvement of the
soil, are not supported by their neighbors, and lose heart. The more we
gain in the life of the capital, the more we are oppressed by the
solitude and stagnation of the life of the country."

This open, cheerful region continued through the morning. The railroad
was still a novelty; and the peasants everywhere dropped their scythes
and shovels to see the train pass. Some bowed with the profoundest
gravity. They were a fine, healthy, strapping race of men, only of
medium height, but admirably developed in chest and limbs, and with
shrewd, intelligent faces. Content, not stupidity, is the cause of their
stationary condition. They are not yet a people, but the germ of one,
and, as such, present a grand field for anthropological studies.

Towards noon the road began to descend, by easy grades, from the fair,
rolling uplands into a lower and wilder region. When the train stopped,
women and children whose swarthy skin and black eyes betrayed a mixture
of Tartar blood made their appearance, with wooden bowls of cherries and
huckleberries for sale. These bowls were neatly carved and painted. They
were evidently held in high value; for I had great difficulty in
purchasing one. We moved slowly, on account of the many skeleton
bridges; but presently a long blue ridge, which for an hour past had
followed us in the south-east, began to curve around to our front. I now
knew that it must mark the course of the Oka River, and that we were
approaching Nijni-Novgorod.

We soon saw the river itself; then houses and gardens scattered along
the slope of the hill; then clusters of sparkling domes on the summit;
then a stately, white-walled citadel; and the end of the ridge was
levelled down in an even line to the Volga. We were three hundred miles
from Moscow, on the direct road to Siberia.

The city being on the farther side of the Oka, the railroad terminates
at the Fair, which is a separate city, occupying the triangular level
between the two rivers. Our approach to it was first announced by heaps
of cotton-bales, bound in striped camel's-hair cloth, which had found
their way hither from the distant valleys of Turkestan and the warm
plains of Bukharia. Nearly fifty thousand camels are employed in the
transportation of this staple across the deserts of the Aral to
Orenburg,--a distance of a thousand miles. The increase of price had
doubled the production since the previous year, and the amount which now
reaches the factories of Russia through this channel cannot be less than
seventy-five thousand bales. The advance of modern civilization has so
intertwined the interests of all zones and races, that a civil war in
the United States affects the industry of Central Asia!

Next to these cotton-bales, which, to us, silently proclaimed the
downfall of that arrogant monopoly which has caused all our present woe,
came the representatives of those who produced them. Groups of
picturesque Asians--Bashkirs, Persians, Bukharians, and Uzbeks--appeared
on either side, staring impassively at the wonderful apparition. Though
there was sand under their feet, they seemed out of place in the sharp
north-wind and among the hills of fir and pine.

The train stopped: we had reached the station. As I stepped upon the
platform, I saw, over the level lines of copper roofs, the dragon-like
pinnacles of Chinese buildings, and the white minaret of a mosque. Here
was the certainty of a picturesque interest to balance the uncertainty
of our situation. We had been unable to engage quarters in advance:
there were two hundred thousand strangers before us, in a city the
normal population of which is barely forty thousand; and four of our
party were ladies. The envoy, indeed, might claim the Governor's
hospitality; but our visit was to be so brief that we had no time to
expend on ceremonies, and preferred rambling at will through the teeming
bazaars to being led about under the charge of an official escort.

A friend at Moscow, however, had considerately telegraphed in our behalf
to a French resident of Nijni, and the latter gentleman met us at the
station. He could give but slight hope of quarters for the night, but
generously offered his services. Droshkies were engaged to convey us to
the old city, on the hill beyond the Oka; and, crowded two by two into
the shabby little vehicles, we set forth. The sand was knee-deep, and
the first thing that happened was the stoppage of our procession by the
tumbling down of the several horses. They were righted with the help of
some obliging spectators; and with infinite labor we worked through this
strip of desert into a region of mud, with a hard, stony bottom
somewhere between us and the earth's centre. The street we entered,
though on the outskirts of the Fair, resembled Broadway on a
sensation-day. It was choked with a crowd, composed of the sweepings of
Europe and Asia. Our horses thrust their heads between the shoulders of
Christians, Jews, Moslem, and Pagans, slowly shoving their way towards
the floating bridge, which was a jam of vehicles from end to end. At the
corners of the streets, the wiry Don Cossacks, in their dashing blue
uniforms and caps of black lamb's-wool, regulated, as best they could,
the movements of the multitude. It was curious to notice how they, and
their small, well-knit horses,--the equine counterparts of
themselves,--controlled the fierce, fiery life which flashed from every
limb and feature, and did their duty with wonderful patience and
gentleness. They seemed so many spirits of Disorder tamed to the service
of Order.

It was nearly half an hour before we reached the other end of the
bridge, and struck the superb inclined highway which leads to the top of
the hill. We were unwashed and hungry; and neither the tumult of the
lower town, nor the view of the Volga, crowded with vessels of all
descriptions, had power to detain us. Our brave little horses bent
themselves to the task; for task it really was,--the road rising between
three and four hundred feet in less than half a mile. Advantage has been
taken of a slight natural ravine, formed by a short, curving spur of the
hill, which encloses a _pocket_ of the greenest and richest foliage,--a
bit of unsuspected beauty, quite invisible from the other side of the
river. Then, in order to reach the level of the Kremlin, the road is led
through an artificial gap, a hundred feet in depth, to the open square
in the centre of the city.

Here, all was silent and deserted. There were broad, well-paved streets,
substantial houses, the square towers and crenellated walls of the old
Kremlin, and the glittering cupolas of twenty-six churches before us,
and a lack of population which contrasted amazingly with the whirlpool
of life below. Monsieur D., our new, but most faithful friend, took us
to the hotel, every corner and cranny of which was occupied. There was a
possibility of breakfast only, and water was obtained with great
exertion. While we were lazily enjoying a tolerable meal, Monsieur D.
was bestirring himself in all quarters, and came back to us radiant with
luck. He had found four rooms in a neighboring street; and truly, if one
were to believe De Custine or Dumas, such rooms are impossible in
Russia. Charmingly clean, elegantly furnished, with sofas of green
leather and beds of purest linen, they would hive satisfied the severe
eye of an English housekeeper. We thanked both our good friend and St.
Macarius (who presides over the Fair) for this fortune, took possession,
and then hired fresh droshkies to descend the hill.

On emerging from the ravine, we obtained a bird's-eye view of the whole
scene. The waters of both rivers, near at hand, were scarcely visible
through the shipping which covered them. Vessels from the Neva, the
Caspian, and the rivers of the Ural, were here congregated; and they
alone represented a floating population of between thirty and forty
thousand souls. The Fair, from this point, resembled an immense flat
city,--the streets of booths being of a uniform height,--out of which
rose the great Greek church, the Tartar mosque, and the curious Chinese
roofs. It was a vast, dark, humming plain, vanishing towards the west
and north-west in clouds of sand. By this time there was a lull in the
business, and we made our way to the central bazaar with less trouble
than we had anticipated. It is useless to attempt an enumeration of the
wares exposed for sale: they embraced everything grown, trapped, or
manufactured, between Ireland and Japan. We sought, of course, the
Asiatic elements, which first met us in the shape of melons from
Astrachan, and grapes from the southern slopes of the Caucasus. Then
came wondrous stuffs from the looms of Turkestan and Cashmere,
turquoises from the Upper Oxus, and glittering strings of Siberian topaz
and amethyst, side by side with Nuremberg toys, Lyons silks, and
Sheffield cutlery. About one third of the population of the Fair was of
Asiatic blood, embracing representatives from almost every tribe north
and west of the Himalayas.

This temporary city, which exists during only two months of the year,
contained two hundred thousand inhabitants at the time of our visit.
During the remaining ten months it is utterly depopulated, the bazaars
are closed, and chains are drawn across the streets to prevent the
passage of vehicles. A single statement will give an idea of its extent:
the combined length of the streets is twenty-five miles. The Great
Bazaar is substantially built of stone, after the manner of those in
Constantinople, except that it encloses an open court, where a
Government band performs every afternoon. Here the finer wares are
displayed, and the shadowed air under the vaulted roofs is a very
kaleidoscope for shifting color and sparkle. Tea, cotton, leather, wool,
and the other heavier and coarser commodities, have their separate
streets and quarters. The several nationalities are similarly divided,
to some extent; but the stranger, of course, prefers to see them
jostling together in the streets,--a Babel, not only of tongues, but of
feature, character, and costume.

Our ladies were eager to inspect the stock of jewelry, especially those
heaps of exquisite color with which the Mohammedans very logically load
the trees of Paradise; for they resemble fruit in a glorified state of
existence. One can imagine virtuous grapes promoted to amethysts,
blueberries to turquoises, cherries to rubies, and green-gages to
aqua-marine. These, the secondary jewels, (with the exception of the
ruby,) are brought in great quantities from Siberia, but most of them
are marred by slight flaws or other imperfections, so that their
cheapness is more apparent than real. An amethyst an inch long, throwing
the most delicious purple light from its hundreds of facets, quite takes
you captive, and you put your hand in your pocket for the fifteen
dollars which shall make you its possessor; but a closer inspection is
sure to show you either a broad transverse flaw, or a spot where the
color fades into transparency. The white topaz, known as the "Siberian
diamond," is generally flawless, and the purest specimens are scarcely
to be distinguished from the genuine brilliant. A necklace of these,
varying from a half to a quarter of an inch in diameter, may be had for
about twenty-five dollars. There were also golden and smoky topaz and
beryl, in great profusion.

A princely Bashkir drew us to his booth, first by his beauty and then by
his noble manners. He was the very incarnation of Boker's "Prince Adeb."

    The girls of Damar paused to see me pass,
    I walking in my rags, yet beautiful.
    One maiden said, 'He has a prince's air!'
    I am a prince; the air was all my own.

This Bashkir, however, was not in rags; he was elegantly attired. His
silken vest was bound with a girdle of gold-thread studded with jewels;
and over it he wore a caftan, with wide sleeves, of the finest dark-blue
cloth. The round cap of black lamb's-wool became his handsome head. His
complexion was pale olive, through which the red of his cheeks shone, in
the words of some Oriental poem, "like a rose-leaf through oil"; and his
eyes, in their dark fire, were more lustrous than smoky topaz. His voice
was mellow and musical, and his every movement and gesture a new
revelation of human grace. Among thousands, yea, tens of thousands, of
handsome men, he stood preëminent.

As our acquaintance ripened, he drew a pocket-book from his bosom, and
showed us his choicest treasures: turquoises, bits of wonderful blue
heavenly forget-me-nots; a jacinth, burning like a live coal, in scarlet
light; and lastly, a perfect ruby, which no sum less than twenty-five
hundred dollars could purchase. From him we learned the curious
fluctuations of fashion in regard to jewels. Turquoises were just then
in the ascendant; and one of the proper tint, the size of a
parsnip-seed, could not be had for a hundred dollars, the full value of
a diamond of equal size. Amethysts of a deep plum-color, though less
beautiful than the next paler shade, command very high prices; while
jacinth, beryl, and aqua-marine--stones of exquisite hue and lustre--are
cheap. But then, in this department, as in all others, Fashion and
Beauty are not convertible terms.

In the next booth there were two Persians, who unfolded before our eyes
some of those marvellous shawls, where you forget the barbaric pattern
in the exquisite fineness of the material and the triumphant harmony of
the colors. Scarlet with palm-leaf border,--blue clasped by golden
bronze, picked out with red,--browns, greens, and crimsons struggling
for the mastery in a war of tints,--how should we choose between them?
Alas! we were not able to choose: they were a thousand dollars apiece!
But the Persians still went on unfolding, taking our admiration in pay
for their trouble, and seeming even, by their pleasant smiles, to
consider themselves well paid. When we came to the booths of European
merchants, we were swiftly impressed with the fact that civilization, in
following the sun westward, loses its grace in proportion as it
advances. The gentle dignity, the serene patience, the soft, fraternal,
affectionate demeanor of our Asiatic brethren vanished utterly when we
encountered French and German salesmen; and yet these latter would have
seemed gracious and courteous, had there been a few Yankee dealers
beyond them. The fourth or fifth century, which still exists in Central
Asia, was undoubtedly, in this particular, superior to the nineteenth.
No gentleman, since his time, I suspect, has equalled Adam.

Among these Asiatics Mr. Buckle would have some difficulty in
maintaining his favorite postulate, that tolerance is the result of
progressive intelligence. It is also the result of courtesy, as we may
occasionally see in well-bred persons of limited intellect. Such,
undoubtedly, is the basis of that tolerance which no one who has had
much personal intercourse with the Semitic races can have failed to
experience. The days of the sword and fagot are past; but it was
reserved for Christians to employ them in the name of religion _alone_.
Local or political jealousies are at the bottom of those troubles which
still occur from time to time in Turkey: the traveller hears no
insulting epithet, and the green-turbaned Imam will receive him as
kindly and courteously as the sceptical Bey educated in Paris. I have
never been so aggressively assailed, on religious grounds, as at
home,--never so coarsely and insultingly treated, on account of a
_presumed_ difference of opinion, as by those who claim descent from the
Cavaliers. The bitter fierceness of some of our leading reformers is
overlooked by their followers, because it springs from "earnest
conviction"; but in the Orient intensest faith coexists with the most
gracious and gentle manners.

Be not impatient, beloved reader; for this digression brings me
naturally to the next thing we saw at Novgorod. As we issued from the
bazaar, the sunlit minaret greeted us through whirling dust and rising
vapor, and I fancied I could hear the muezzin's musical cry. It was
about time for the _asser_ prayer. Droshkies were found, and we rode
slowly through the long, low warehouses of "caravan tea" and Mongolian
wool to the mound near the Tartar encampment. The mosque was a plain,
white, octagonal building, conspicuous only through its position. The
turbaned faithful were already gathering; and we entered, and walked up
the steps among them, without encountering an unfriendly glance. At the
door stood two Cossack soldiers, specially placed there to prevent the
worshippers from being insulted by curious Christians. (Those who have
witnessed the wanton profanation of mosques in India by the English
officers will please notice this fact.) If we had not put off our shoes
before entering the hall of worship, the Cossacks would have performed
that operation for us.

I am happy to say that none of our party lacked a proper reverence for
devotion, though it was offered through the channels of an alien creed.
The ladies left their gaiters beside our boots, and we all stood in our
stockings on the matting, a little in the rear of the kneeling crowd.
The priest occupied a low dais in front, but he simply led the prayer,
which was uttered by all. The windows were open, and the sun poured a
golden flood into the room. Yonder gleamed the Kremlin of Novgorod,
yonder rolled the Volga, all around were the dark forests of the
North,--yet their faces were turned, and their thoughts went southward,
to where Mecca sits among the burning hills, in the feathery shade of
her palm-trees. And the tongue of Mecca came from their lips, _"Allah!"
"Allah akhbar!"_ as the knee bent and the forehead touched the floor.

At the second repetition of the prayers we quietly withdrew; and good
Monsieur D., forgetful of nothing, suggested that preparations had been
made for a dinner in the great cosmopolitan restaurant. So we drove back
again through the Chinese street, with its red horned houses, the roofs
terminating in gilded dragons' tails, and, after pressing through a
dense multitude enveloped in tobacco-smoke and the steam of tea-urns,
found ourselves at last in a low room with a shaky floor and muslin
ceiling. It was an exact copy of the dining-room of a California hotel.
If we looked blank a moment, Monsieur D.'s smile reassured us. He had
given all the necessary orders, he said, and would step out and secure a
box in the theatre before the _zakouski_ was served. During his absence,
we looked out of the window on either side upon surging, whirling,
humming pictures of the Great Fair, all vanishing in perspectives of
dust and mist.

In half an hour our friend returned, and with him entered the zakouski.
I cannot remember half the appetizing ingredients of which it was
composed: anchovies, sardines, herrings, capers, cheese, caviare, _paté
de foie_, pickles, cherries, oranges, and olives, were among them.
Instead of being a prelude to dinner, it was almost a dinner in itself.
Then, after a Russian soup, which always contains as much solid
nutriment as meat-biscuit or Arctic pemmican, came the glory of the
repast, a mighty _sterlet_, which was swimming in Volga water when we
took our seats at the table. This fish, the exclusive property of
Russia, is, in times of scarcity, worth its weight in silver. Its
unapproachable flavor is supposed to be as evanescent as the hues of a
dying dolphin. Frequently, at grand dinner-parties, it is carried around
the table in a little tank, and exhibited, _alive_, to the guests, when
their soup is served, that its freshness, ten minutes afterwards, may be
put beyond suspicion. The fish has the appearance of a small, lean
sturgeon; but its flesh resembles the melting pulp of a fruit rather
than the fibre of its watery brethren. It sinks into juice upon the
tongue, like a perfectly ripe peach. In this quality no other fish in
the world can approach it; yet I do not think the flavor quite so fine
as that of a brook-trout. Our sterlet was nearly two feet long, and may
have cost twenty or thirty dollars.

With it appeared an astonishing salad, composed of watermelons,
cantaloupes, pickled cherries, cucumbers, and certain spicy herbs. Its
color and odor were enticing, and we had all applied the test of taste
most satisfactorily before we detected the curious mixture of
ingredients. After the second course,--a ragout of beef, accompanied
with a rich, elaborate sauce,--three heavy tankards of chased silver,
holding two quarts apiece, were placed upon the table. The first of
these contained _kvass_, the second _kislischi_, and the third hydromel.
Each one of these national drinks, when properly brewed, is very
palatable and refreshing. I found the kislischi nearly identical with
the ancient Scandinavian mead: no doubt it dates from the Varangian rule
in Russia. The old custom of passing the tankards around the table, from
mouth to mouth, is still observed, and will not be found objectionable,
even in these days of excessive delicacy, when ladies and gentlemen are
seated alternately at the banquet.

The Russian element of the dinner here terminated. Cutlets and roast
fowls made their appearance, with bottles of Rüdesheimer and Lafitte,
followed by a dessert of superb Persian melons, from the southern shore
of the Caspian Sea.

By this time night had fallen, and Monsieur D. suggested an immediate
adjournment to the theatre. What should be the entertainment? Dances of
_almehs_, songs of gypsies, or Chinese jugglers? One of the Ivans
brought a programme. It was not difficult to decipher the word
"[Russian: MACBETH]," and to recognize, further, in the name of "Ira
Aldridge" a distinguished mulatto tragedian, to whom Maryland has given
birth (if I am rightly informed) and Europe fame. We had often heard of
him, yea, seen his portrait in Germany, decorated with the orders
conferred by half a dozen sovereigns; and his presence here, between
Europe and Asia, was not the least characteristic feature of the Fair. A
mulatto Macbeth, in a Russian theatre, with a Persian and Tartar

On arriving, we were ushered into two whitewashed boxes, which had been
reserved for our party. The manager, having been informed of the envoy's
presence in Nijni-Novgorod, had delayed the performance half an hour,
but the audience bore this infliction patiently. The building was deep
and narrow, with space for about eight hundred persons, and was filled
from top to bottom. The first act was drawing to a close as we entered.
King Duncan, with two or three shabby attendants, stood in the
court-yard of the castle,--the latter represented by a handsome French
door on the left, with a bit of Tartar wall beyond,--and made his
observations on the "pleasant seat" of Macbeth's mansion. He spoke
Russian, of course. Lady Macbeth now appeared, in a silk dress of the
latest fashion, expanded by the amplest of crinolines. She was passably
handsome, and nothing could be gentler than her face and voice. She
received the royal party like a well-bred lady, and they all entered the
French door together.

There was no change of scene. With slow step and folded arms, Ira
Macbeth entered and commenced the soliloquy, "If it were done," etc., to
our astonishment, in English! He was a dark, strongly built mulatto, of
about fifty, in a fancy tunic, and light stockings over Forrestian
calves. His voice was deep and powerful; and it was very evident that
Edmund Kean, once his master, was also the model which he carefully
followed in the part. There were the same deliberate, over-distinct
enunciation, the same prolonged pauses and gradually performed gestures,
as I remember in imitations of Kean's manner. Except that the copy was a
little too apparent, Mr. Aldridge's acting was really very fine. The
Russians were enthusiastic in their applause, though very few of them,
probably, understood the language of the part. The Oriental auditors
were perfectly impassive, and it was impossible to guess how they
regarded the performance.

The second act was in some respects the most amusing thing I ever saw
upon the stage. In the dagger-scene, Ira was, to my mind, quite equal to
Forrest; it was impossible to deny him unusual dramatic talent; but his
complexion, continually suggesting Othello, quite confounded me. The
amiable Russian Lady Macbeth was much better adapted to the part of
Desdemona: all softness and gentleness, she smiled as she lifted her
languishing eyes, and murmured in the tenderest accents, "Infirm of
purpose! give me the dagger!" At least, I took it for granted that these
were her words, for Macbeth had just said, "Look on 't again I dare
not." Afterwards, six Russian soldiers, in tan-colored shirts, loose
trousers, and high boots, filed in, followed by Macduff and Malcolm, in
the costume of Wallenstein's troopers. The dialogue--one voice English,
and all the others Russian--proceeded smoothly enough, but the effect
was like nothing which our stage can produce. Nevertheless, the audience
was delighted, and when the curtain fell there were vociferous cries of
"_Aïra! Aïra! Aldreetch! Aldreetch!_" until the swarthy hero made his
appearance before the foot-lights.

Monsieur D. conducted our friend P. into the green-room, where he was
received by Macbeth in costume. He found the latter to be a dignified,
imposing personage, who carried his tragic chest-tones into ordinary
conversation. On being informed by P. that the American minister was
present, he asked,--

"Of what persuasion?"

P. hastened to set him right, and Ira then remarked, in his gravest
tone,--"I shall have the honor of waiting upon him to-morrow morning";
which, however, he failed to do.

This son of the South, no doubt, came legitimately (or, at least,
naturally) by his dignity. His career, for a man of his blood and
antecedents, has been wonderfully successful, and is justly due, I am
convinced, since I have seen him, to his histrionic talents. Both black
and yellow skins are sufficiently rare in Europe to excite a particular
interest in those who wear them; and I had surmised, up to this time,
that much of his popularity might be owing to his color. But he
certainly deserves an honorable place among tragedians of the second

We left the theatre at the close of the third act, and crossed the river
to our quarters on the hill. A chill mist hung over the Fair, but the
lamps still burned, the streets were thronged, and the Don Cossacks kept
patient guard at every corner. The night went by like one unconscious
minute, in beds unmolested by bug or flea; and when I arose, thoroughly
refreshed, I involuntarily called to mind a frightful chapter in De
Custine's "Russia," describing the prevalence of an insect which he
calls the _persica_, on the banks of the Volga. He was obliged to sleep
on a table, the legs whereof were placed in basins of water, to escape
their attacks. I made many inquiries about these terrible _persicas_,
and finally discovered that they were neither more nor less
than--cockroaches!--called _Prossaki_ (Prussians) by the Russians, as
they are sometimes called _Schwaben_ (Suabians) by the Germans. Possibly
they may be found in the huts of the serfs, but they are rare in decent

We devoted the first sunny hours of the morning to a visit to the
citadel and a walk around the crest of the hill. On the highest point,
just over the junction of the two rivers, there is a commemorative
column to Minim, the patriotic butcher of Novgorod, but for whose
eloquence, in the year 1610, the Russian might possibly now be the
Polish Empire. Vladislas, son of Sigismund of Poland, had been called to
the throne by the boyards, and already reigned in Moscow, when Minim
appealed to the national spirit, persuaded General Pojarski to head an
anti-Polish movement, which was successful, and thus cleared the way for
the election of Michael Romanoff, the first sovereign of the present
dynasty. Minim is therefore one of the historic names of Russia.

When I stood beside his monument, and the finest landscape of European
Russia was suddenly unrolled before my eyes, I could believe the
tradition of his eloquence, for here was its inspiration. Thirty or
forty miles away stretched the rolling swells of forest and grain-land,
fading into dimmest blue to the westward and northward, dotted with
villages and sparkling domes, and divided by shining reaches of the
Volga. It was truly a superb and imposing view, changing with each spur
of the hill as we made the circuit of the citadel. Eastward, the country
rose into dark, wooded hills, between which the river forced its way in
a narrower and swifter channel, until it disappeared behind a purple
headland, hastening southward to find a warmer home in the unfrozen
Caspian. By embarking on the steamers anchored below us, we might have
reached Perm, among the Ural Mountains, or Astrachan, in less than a
week; while a trip of ten days would have taken us past the Caucasus,
even to the base of Ararat or Demavend. Such are the splendid
possibilities of travel in these days.

The envoy, who visited Europe for the first time, declared that this
panorama from the hill of Novgorod was one of the finest things he had
seen. There could, truly, be no better preparation to enjoy it than
fifteen hundred miles of nearly unbroken level, after leaving the
Russian frontier; but I think it would be a "show" landscape anywhere.
Why it is not more widely celebrated I cannot guess. The only person in
Russia whom I heard speak of it with genuine enthusiasm was Alexander

Two hours upon the breezy parapet, beside the old Tartar walls, were all
too little; but the droshkies waited in the river-street a quarter of a
mile below us, our return to Moscow was ordered for the afternoon, there
were amethysts and Persian silks yet to be bought, and so we sighed
farewell to an enjoyment rare in Russia, and descended the steep

P. and I left the rest of the party at the booth of the handsome
Bashkir, and set out upon a special mission to the Tartar camp. I had
ascertained that the national beverage of Central Asia might be found
there,--the genuine _koumiss_, or fermented milk of the mares of the
Uralian steppes. Having drunk palm-wine in India, _sam-shoo_ China,
_saki_ in Japan, _pulque_ in Mexico, _bouza_ in Egypt, mead in
Scandinavia, ale in England, _bock-bier_ in Germany, _mastic_ in Greece,
_calabogus_ in Newfoundland, and--soda-water in the United States, I
desired to complete the bibulous cosmos, in which _koumiss_ was still
lacking. My friend did not share my curiosity, but was ready for an
adventure, which our search for mare's milk seemed to promise.

Beyond the mosques we found the Uzbeks and Kirghiz,--some in tents, some
in rough shanties of boards. But they were without koumiss: they had had
it, and showed us some empty kegs, in evidence of the fact. I fancied a
gleam of diversion stole over their grave, swarthy faces, as they
listened to our eager inquiries in broken Russian. Finally we came into
an extemporized village, where some women, unveiled and ugly, advised us
to apply to the traders in the khan, or caravansera. This was a great
barn-like building, two stories high, with broken staircases and
creaking floors. A corridor ran the whole length of the second floor,
with some twenty or thirty doors opening into it from the separate rooms
of the traders. We accosted the first Tartar whom we met; and he
promised, with great readiness, to procure us what we wanted. He ushered
us into his room, cleared away a pile of bags, saddles, camel-trappings,
and other tokens of a nomadic life, and revealed a low divan covered
with a ragged carpet. On a sack of barley sat his father, a blind
graybeard, nearly eighty years old. On our way through the camp I had
noticed that the Tartars saluted each other with the Arabic, "_Salaam
aleikoom_!" and I therefore greeted the old man with the familiar
words. He lifted his head: his face brightened, and he immediately
answered, "_Aleikoom salaam_, my son!"

"Do you speak Arabic?" I asked.

"A little; I have forgotten it," said he. "But thine is a new voice. Of
what tribe art thou?"

"A tribe far away, beyond Bagdad and Syria," I answered.

"It is the tribe of Damascus. I know it now, my son. I have heard the
voice, many, many years ago."

The withered old face looked so bright, as some pleasant memory shone
through it, that I did not undeceive the man. His son came in with a
glass, pulled a keg from under a pile of coarse caftans, and drew out
the wooden peg. A gray liquid, with an odor at once sour and pungent,
spirted into the glass, which he presently handed to me, filled to the
brim. In such cases no hesitation is permitted. I thought of home and
family, set the glass to my lips, and emptied it before the flavor made
itself clearly manifest to my palate.

"Well, what is it like?" asked my friend, who curiously awaited the
result of the experiment.

"Peculiar," I answered, with preternatural calmness,--"peculiar, but not

The glass was filled a second time; and P., not to be behindhand,
emptied it at a draught. Then he turned to me with tears (not of
delight) in his eyes, swallowed nothing very hard two or three times,
suppressed a convulsive shudder, and finally remarked, with the air of a
martyr, "Very curious, indeed!"

"Will your Excellencies have some more?" said the friendly Tartar.

"Not before breakfast, if you please," I answered; "your koumiss is
excellent, however, and we will take a bottle with us,"--which we did,
in order to satisfy the possible curiosity of the ladies. I may here
declare that the bottle was never emptied.

The taste was that of aged buttermilk mixed with ammonia. We could
detect no flavor of alcohol, yet were conscious of a light exhilaration
from the small quantity we drank. The beverage is said, indeed, to be
very intoxicating. Some German physician has established a
"koumiss-cure" at Piatigorsk, at the northern base of the Caucasus, and
invites invalids of certain kinds to come and be healed by its agency. I
do not expect to be one of the number.

There still remained a peculiar feature of the Fair, which I had not yet
seen. This is the subterranean network of sewerage, which reproduces, in
massive masonry, the streets on the surface. Without it, the annual city
of two months would become uninhabitable. The peninsula between the two
rivers being low and marshy,--frequently overflowed during the spring
freshets,--pestilence would soon be bred from the immense concourse of
people: hence a system of _cloacæ_, almost rivalling those of ancient
Rome. At each street-corner there are wells containing spiral
staircases, by which one can descend to the spacious subterranean
passages, and there walk for miles under arches of hewn stone, lighted
and aired by shafts at regular intervals. In St. Petersburg you are told
that more than half the cost of the city is under the surface of the
earth; at Nijni-Novgorod the statement is certainly true. Peter the
Great at one time designed establishing his capital here. Could he have
foreseen the existence of railroads, he would certainly have done so.
Nijni-Novgorod is now nearer to Berlin than the Russian frontier was
fifty years ago. St. Petersburg is an accidental city; Nature and the
destiny of the empire are both opposed to its existence; and a time will
come when its long lines of palaces shall be deserted for some new
capital, in a locality at once more southern and more central.

Another walk through the streets of the Fair enabled me to analyze the
first confused impression, and separate the motley throng of life into
its several elements. I shall not attempt, however, to catch and paint
its ever-changing, fluctuating character. Our limited visit allowed us
to see only the more central and crowded streets. Outside of these, for
miles, extend suburbs of iron, of furs, wool, and other coarser
products, brought together from the Ural, from the forests towards the
Polar Ocean, and from the vast extent of Siberia. Here, from morning
till night, the beloved _kvass_ flows in rivers, the strong stream of
_shchi_ (cabbage-soup) sends up its perpetual incense, and the samovar
of cheap tea is never empty. Here, although important interests are
represented, the intercourse between buyers and sellers is less grave
and methodical than in the bazaar. There are jokes, laughter, songs, and
a constant play of that repartee in which even the serfs are masters.
Here, too, jugglers and mountebanks of all sorts ply their trade;
gypsies sing, dance, and tell fortunes; and other vocations, less
respectable than these, flourish vigorously. For, whether the visitor be
an Ostiak from the Polar Circle, an Uzbek from the Upper Oxus, a
Crim-Tartar or Nogaï, a Georgian from Tiflis, a Mongolian from the Land
of Grass, a Persian from Ispahan, a Jew from Hamburg, a Frenchman from
Lyons, a Tyrolese, Swiss, Bohemian, or an Anglo-Saxon from either side
of the Atlantic, he meets his fellow-visitors to the Great Fair on the
common ground, not of human brotherhood, but of human appetite; and all
the manifold nationalities succumb to the same allurements. If the
various forms of indulgence could be so used as to propagate ideas, the
world would speedily be regenerated; but as things go, "cakes and ale"
have more force than the loftiest ideas, the noblest theories of
improvement; and the impartial observer will make this discovery as
readily at Nijni-Novgorod as anywhere else.

Before taking leave of the Fair, let me give a word to the important
subject of tea. It is a much-disputed question with the connoisseurs of
that beverage which neither cheers nor inebriates, (though, I confess,
it is more agreeable than koumiss,) whether the Russian "caravan tea" is
really superior to that which is imported by sea. After much patient
observation, combined with serious reflection, I incline to the opinion
that the flavor of tea depends, not upon the method of transportation,
but upon the price paid for the article. I have tasted bad caravan tea
in Russia, and delicious tea in New York. In St. Petersburg you cannot
procure a good article for less than three roubles ($2.25, _gold_) per
pound; while the finer kinds bring twelve and even sixteen roubles.
Whoever is willing to import at that price can no doubt procure tea of
equal excellence. The fact is, that this land-transportation is slow,
laborious, and expensive; hence the finer kinds of tea are always
selected, a pound thereof costing no more for carriage than a pound of
inferior quality; _whence_ the superior flavor of caravan tea. There is,
however, one variety to be obtained in Russia which I have found nowhere
else, not even in the Chinese sea-ports. It is called "imperial tea",
and comes in elegant boxes of yellow silk emblazoned with the dragon of
the Hang dynasty, at the rate of from six to twenty dollars a pound. It
is yellow, and the decoction from it is almost colorless. A small pinch
of it, added to ordinary black tea, gives an indescribably delicious
flavor,--the very aroma of the tea-blossom; but one cup of it, unmixed,
is said to deprive the drinker of sleep for three nights. We brought
some home, and a dose thereof was administered to three unconscious
guests during my absence; but I have not yet ascertained the effects
which followed.

Monsieur D. brought our last delightful stroll through the glittering
streets to an untimely end. The train for Moscow was to leave at three
o'clock; and he had ordered an early dinner at the restaurant. By the
time this was concluded, it was necessary to drive at once to the
station, in order to secure places. We were almost too late; the train,
long as it was, was crammed to overflowing; and although both
station-master and conductor assisted us, the eager passengers
disregarded their authority. With great difficulty, one compartment was
cleared for the ladies; in the adjoining one four merchants, in long
caftans, with sacks of watermelons as provision for the journey, took
their places, and would not be ejected. A scene of confusion ensued, in
which station-master, conductor, Monsieur D., my friend P., and the
Russian merchants were curiously mixed; but when we saw the sacks of
watermelons rolling out of the door, we knew the day was ours. In two
minutes more we were in full possession; the doors were locked, and the
struggling throngs beat against them in vain.

With a grateful farewell to our kind guide, whose rather severe duties
for our sake were now over, we moved away from the station, past heaps
of cotton-bales, past hills of drifting sand, and impassive groups of
Persians, Tartars, and Bukharians, and slowly mounted the long grade to
the level of the upland, leaving the Fair to hum and whirl in the hollow
between the rivers, and the white walls and golden domes of Novgorod to
grow dim on the crest of the receding hill.

The next morning, at sunrise, we were again in Moscow.


    On woodlands ruddy with autumn
      The amber sunshine lies;
    I look on the beauty round me,
      And tears come into my eyes.

    For the wind that sweeps the meadows
      Blows out of the far South-west,
    Where our gallant men are fighting,
      And the gallant dead are at rest.

    The golden-rod is leaning
      And the purple aster waves
    In a breeze from the land of battles,
      A breath from the land of graves.

    Full fast the leaves are dropping
      Before that wandering breath;
    As fast, on the field of battle,
      Our brethren fall in death.

    Beautiful over my pathway
      The forest spoils are shed;
    They are spotting the grassy hillocks
      With purple and gold and red.

    Beautiful is the death-sleep
      Of those who bravely fight
    In their country's holy quarrel,
      And perish for the Right.

    But who shall comfort the living,
      The light of whose homes is gone:
    The bride, that, early widowed,
      Lives broken-hearted on;

    The matron, whose sons are lying
      In graves on a distant shore;
    The maiden, whose promised husband
      Comes back from the war no more?

    I look on the peaceful dwellings
      Whose windows glimmer in sight,
    With croft and garden and orchard
      That bask in the mellow light;

    And I know, that, when our couriers
      With news of victory come,
    They will bring a bitter message
      Of hopeless grief to some.

    Again I turn to the woodlands,
      And shudder as I see
    The mock-grape's[B] blood-red banner
      Hung out on the cedar-tree;

    And I think of days of slaughter,
      And the night-sky red with flames,
    On the Chattahoochee's meadows,
      And the wasted banks of the James.

    Oh, for the fresh spring-season,
      When the groves are in their prime,
    And far away in the future
      Is the frosty autumn-time!

    Oh, for that better season,
      When the pride of the foe shall yield,
    And the hosts of God and freedom
      March back from the well-won field;

    And the matron shall clasp her first-born
      With tears of joy and pride;
    And the scarred and war-worn lover
      Shall claim his promised bride!

    The leaves are swept from the branches;
      But the living buds are there,
    With folded flower and foliage,
      To sprout in a kinder air.

October, 1864.


[B] _Ampelopsis_, mock-grape. I have here literally translated the
botanical name of the Virginia creeper,--an appellation too cumbrous for


For a business street Every Lane certainly is very lazy. It sets out
just to make a short passage between two thoroughfares, but, though
forced first to walk straight by the warehouses that wall in its
entrance, it soon begins to loiter, staring down back alleys, yawning
into courts, plunging into stable-yards, and at length standing
irresolute at three ways of getting to the end of its journey. It passes
by artisans' shops, and keeps two or three masons' cellars and
carpenters' lofts, as if its slovenly buildings needed perpetual
repairs. It has not at all the air of once knowing better days. It began
life hopelessly; and though the mayor and common council and board of
aldermen, with ten righteous men, should daily march through it, the
broom of official and private virtue could not sweep it clean of its
slovenliness. But one of its idle turnings does suddenly end in a
virtuous court: here Every Lane may come, when it indulges in vain
aspirations for a more respectable character, and take refuge in the
quiet demeanor of Every Court. The court is shaped like the letter T
with an L to it. The upright beam connects it with Every Lane, and
maintains a non-committal character, since its sides are blank walls;
upon one side of the cross-beam are four houses, while a fifth occupies
the diminutive L of the court, esconcing itself in a snug corner, as if
ready to rush out at the cry of "All in! all in!" Gardens fill the
unoccupied sides, toy-gardens, but large enough to raise all the flowers
needed for this toy-court. The five houses, built exactly alike, are two
and a half stories high, and have each a dormer-window, curtained with
white dimity, so that they look like five elderly dames in caps; and the
court has gotten the name of Five-Sisters Court, to the despair of Every
Lane, which felt its sole chance for respectability slip away when the
court came to disown its patronymic.

It was at dusk, the afternoon before Christmas, that a young man,
Nicholas Judge by name, walking inquiringly down Every Lane, turned into
Five-Sisters Court, and stood facing the five old ladies, apparently in
some doubt as to which he should accost. There was a number on each
door, but no name; and it was impossible to tell from the outside who or
what sort of people lived in each. If one could only get round to the
rear of the court, one might get some light, for the backs of houses are
generally off their guard, and the Five Sisters who look alike in their
dimity caps might possibly have more distinct characters when not
dressed for company. Perhaps, after the caps are off, and the spectacles
removed--But what outrageous sentiments are we drifting toward!

There was a cause for Nicholas Judge's hesitation. In one of those
houses he had good reason to believe lived an aunt of his, the only
relation left to him in the world, so far as he knew, and by so slender
a thread was he held to her that he knew only her maiden name. Through
the labyrinth of possible widowhoods, one of which at least was actual,
and the changes in condition which many years would effect, he was to
feel his way to the Fair Rosamond by this thread. Nicholas was a wise
young man, as will no doubt appear when we come to know him better, and,
though a fresh country youth, visiting the city for the first time, was
not so indiscreet as to ask bluntly at each door, until he got
satisfaction, "Does my Aunt Eunice live here?" As the doors in the court
were all shut and equally dumb, he resolved to take the houses in order,
and proposing to himself the strategy of asking for a drink of water,
and so opening the way for further parley, he stood before the door of
Number One.

He raised the knocker, (for there was no bell,) and tapped in a
hesitating manner, as if he would take it all back in case of an
egregious mistake. There was a shuffle in the entry; the door opened
slowly, disclosing an old and tidy negro woman, who invited Nicholas in
by a gesture, and saying, "You wish to see master?" led him on through a
dark passage without waiting for an answer. "Certainly," he thought, "I
want to see the master more than I want a drink of water: I will keep
that device for the next house"; and, obeying the lead of the servant,
he went up stairs, and was ushered into a room, where there was just
enough dusky light to disclose tiers of books, a table covered with
papers, and other indications of a student's abode.

Nicholas's eye had hardly become accustomed to the dim light, when there
entered the scholar himself, the master whom he was to see: a small old
man, erect, with white hair and smooth forehead, beneath which projected
two beads of eyes, that seemed, from their advanced position,
endeavoring to take in what lay round the corner of the head as well as
objects directly in front. His long palm-leaved study-gown and tasselled
velvet cap lent him a reverend appearance; and he bore in his hand what
seemed a curiously shaped dipper, as if he were some wise man coming to
slake a disciple's thirst with water from the fountain-head of

"Has he guessed my pretended errand?" wondered Nicholas to himself,
feeling a little ashamed of his innocent ruse, for he was not in the
least thirsty; but the old man began at once to address him, after
motioning him to a seat. He spoke abruptly, and with a restrained
impatience of manner:--

"So you received my letter appointing this hour for an interview. Well,
what do you expect me to do for you? You compliment me, in a loose sort
of way, on my contributions to philological science, and tell me that
you are engaged in the same inquiries with myself"--

"Sir," said Nicholas, in alarm,--"I ought to explain myself,--I"----

But the old gentleman gave no heed to the interruption, and

--"And that you have published an article on the Value of Words. You
sent me the paper, but I didn't find anything in it. I have no great
opinion of the efforts of young men in this direction. It contained
commonplace generalities which I never heard questioned. You can't show
the value of words by wasting them. I told you I should be plain. Now
you want me to give you some hints, you say, as to the best method of
pursuing philological researches. In a hasty moment I said you might
come, though I don't usually allow visitors. You praise me for what I
have accomplished in philology. Young man, that is because I have not
given myself up to idle gadding and gossiping. Do you think, if I had
been making calls, and receiving anybody who chose to force himself upon
me, during the last forty years, that I should have been able to master
the digamma, which you think my worthiest labor?"

"Sir," interrupted Nicholas again, thinking that the question, though it
admitted no answer, might give him a chance to stand on his own legs
once more, "I really must ask your pardon."

"The best method of pursuing philological researches!" continued the old
scholar, deaf to Nicholas's remonstrance. "That is one of your foolish
general questions, that show how little you know what you are about. But
do as I have done. Work by yourself, and dig, dig. Give up your
senseless gabbling in the magazines, get over your astonishment at
finding that _coelum_ and _heaven_ contain the same idea
etymologically, and that there was a large bread-bakery at Skolos,
and make up your mind to believe nothing till you can't help it. You
haven't begun to work yet. Wait till you have lived as I have, forty
years in one house, with your library likely to turn you out of doors,
and only an old black woman to speak to, before you begin to think of
calling yourself a scholar. Eh?"

And at this point the old gentleman adjusted the dipper, which was
merely an ear-trumpet,--though for a moment more mysterious to
Nicholas, in its new capacity, than when he had regarded it as a unique
specimen of a familiar household-implement,--and thrust the bowl toward
the embarrassed youth. In fact, having said all that he intended to say
to his unwelcome supposed disciple, he showed enough churlish grace to
permit him to make such reply or defence as seemed best.

The old gentleman had pulled up so suddenly in his harangue, and called
for an answer so authoritatively, and with such a singular flourish of
his trumpet, that Nicholas, losing command of the studied explanation of
his conduct, which a moment before had been at his tongue's end, caught
at the last sentence spoken, and gained a perilous advantage by

"Have you, indeed, lived in this house forty years, Sir?"

"Eh! what?" said the old gentleman, impatiently, perceiving that he had
spoken. "Here, speak into my trumpet. What is the use of a trumpet, if
you don't speak into it?"

"Oh," thought Nicholas to himself, "I see, he is excessively deaf"; and
bending over the trumpet, where he saw a sieve-like frame, as if all
speech were to be strained as it entered, he collected his force, and
repeated the question, with measured and sonorous utterance, "Sir, have
you lived in this house forty years?"

"I just told you so," said the old man, not unnaturally starting back.
"And if you were going to ask me such an unnecessary question at all,"
he added, testily, "you needn't have roared it out at me. I could have
heard that without my trumpet. Yes, I've lived here forty years, and so
has black Maria, who opened the door for you; and I say again that I
have accomplished what I have by uninterrupted study. I haven't gone
about, bowing to every he, she, and it. I never knew who lived in any of
the other houses in the court till to-day, when a woman came and asked
me to go out for the evening to her house; and just because it was
Christmas-eve, I was foolish enough to be wheedled by her into saying I
would go. Miss ---- Miss ----, I can't remember her name now. I shall
have to ask Maria. There, you haven't got much satisfaction out of me;
but do you mind what I said to you, and it will be worth more than if I
had told you what books to read. Eh?" And he invited Nicholas once more
to drop his words into the trumpet.

"Good afternoon," said Nicholas, hesitatingly,--"thank you,"--at a loss
what pertinent reply to make, and in despair of clearing himself from
the tangle in which he had become involved. It was plain, too, that he
should get no satisfaction here, at least upon the search in which he
was engaged. But the reply seemed quite satisfactory to the old
gentleman, who cheerfully relinquished him to black Maria, who, in turn,
passed him out of the house.

Left to himself, and rid of his personal embarrassment, he began to feel
uncomfortably guilty, as he considered the confusion which he had
entailed upon the real philological disciple, and would fain comfort
himself with the hope that he had acted as a sort of lightning-rod to
conduct the old scholar's bolts, and so had secured some immunity for
the one at whom the bolts were really shot. But his own situation
demanded his attention; and leaving the to-be unhappy young man and the
to-be perplexed old gentleman to settle the difficulty over the
mediating ear-trumpet, he addressed himself again to his task, and
proposed to take another survey of the court, with the vague hope that
his aunt might show herself with such unmistakable signs of relationship
as to bring his researches to an immediate and triumphant close.

Just as he was turning away from the front of Number One, buttoning his
overcoat with an air of self-abstraction, he was suddenly and
unaccountably attacked in the chest with such violence as almost to
throw him off his feet. At the next moment his ears were assailed by a
profusion of apologetic explanations from a young man, who made out to
tell him, that, coming out of his house with the intention of calling
next door, he had leaped over the snow that lay between, and, not seeing
the gentleman, had, most unintentionally, plunged headlong into him. He
hoped he had not hurt him; he begged a thousand pardons; it was very
careless in him; and then, perfect peace having succeeded this violent
attack, the new-comer politely asked,--

"Can you tell me whether Doctor Chocker is at home, and disengaged? I
perceive that you have just left his house."

"Do you mean the deaf old gentleman in Number One?" asked Nicholas.

"I was not aware that he was deaf," said his companion.

"And I did not know that his name was Doctor Chocker," said Nicholas,
smiling. "But may I ask," said he, with a sudden thought, and blushing
so hard that even the wintry red of his cheeks was outshone, "if you
were just going to see him?"

"I had an appointment to see him at this hour; and that is the reason
why I asked you if he was disengaged."

"He--he is not engaged, I believe," said Nicholas, stammering and
blushing harder than ever; "but a word with you, Sir. I must--really--it
was wholly unintentional--but unless I am mistaken, the old gentleman
thought I was you."

"Thought you were I?" said the other, screwing his eyebrows into a
question, and letting his nose stand for an exclamation-point. "But
come, it is cold here,--will you do me the honor to come up to my room?
At any rate, I should like to hear something about the old fellow." And
he turned towards the next house.

"What--!" said Nicholas, "do you live in Number Two?"

"Yes, I have rooms here," said his companion, jumping back over the
snow. "You seem surprised."

"It is extraordinary," muttered Nicholas to himself, as he entered the
house and followed his new acquaintance up stairs.

Their entrance seemed to create some confusion; for there was an
indistinct sound as of a tumultuous retreat in every direction, a
scuttling up and down stairs, and a whisking of dresses round corners,
with still more indistinct and distant sound of suppressed chattering
and a voice berating.

"It is extremely provoking," said the young man, when they had entered
his room and the door was shut; "but the people in this house seem to do
nothing but watch my movements. You heard that banging about? Well, I
seldom come in or go out, especially with a friend, but that just such a
stampede takes place in the passage-ways and staircase. I have no idea
who lives in the house, except a Mrs. Crimp, a very worthy woman, no
doubt, but with too many children, I should guess. I only lodge here;
and as I send my money down every month with the bill which I find on my
table, I never see Mrs. Crimp. Now I don't see why they should be so
curious about me. I'm sure I am very contented in my ignorance of the
whole household. It's a little annoying, though, when I bring any one
into the house. Will you excuse me a moment, while I ring for more

While he disappeared for this purpose, seeming to keep the bell in some
other part of the house, Nicholas took a hasty glance round the room,
and, opening a book on the table, read on the fly-leaf, _Paul Le Clear_,
a name which he tagged for convenience to the occupant of the room until
he should find one more authentic. The room corresponded to that in
which he had met Doctor Chocker, but the cheerful gleam of an open fire
gave a brighter aspect to the interior. Here also were books; but while
at the Doctor's the walls, tables, and even floor seemed bursting with
the crowd that had found lodging there, so that he had made his way to a
chair by a sort of footpath through a field of folios, here there was
the nicest order and an evident attempt at artistic arrangement. Nor
were books alone the possessors of the walls; for a few pictures and
busts had places, and two or three ingenious cupboards excited
curiosity. The room, in short, showed plainly the presence of a
cultivated mind; and Nicholas, who, though unfamiliar with city-life,
had received a capital intellectual training at the hands of a
scholarly, but anchoret father, was delighted at the signs of culture in
his new acquaintance.

Mr. Le Clear reëntered the room, followed presently by the coal-scuttle
in the hands of a small servant, and, remembering the occasion which had
brought them together, invited Nicholas to finish the explanation which
he had begun below. He, set at ease by the agreeable surroundings,
opened his heart wide, and, for the sake of explicitness in his
narration, proposed to begin back at the very beginning.

"By all means begin at the beginning," said Mr. Le Clear, rubbing his
hands in expectant pleasure; "but before you begin, my good Sir, let me
suggest that we take a cup of tea together. I must take mine early
to-night, as I am to spend the evening out, and there's something to
tell you, Sir, when you are through,"--as if meeting his burst of
confidence with a corresponding one,--"though it's a small matter,
probably, compared with yours, but it has amused me. I can't make a
great show on the table," he added, with an elegant humility, when
Nicholas accepted his invitation; "but I like to take my tea in my room,
though I go out for dinner."

So saying, he brought from the cupboard a little table-cloth, and,
bustling about, deposited on a tea-tray, one by one, various members of
a tea-set, which had evidently been plucked from a tea-plant in China,
since the forms and figures were all suggested by the flowery kingdom.
The lids of the vessels were shaped like tea-leaves; and miniature China
men and women picked their way about among the letters of the Chinese
alphabet, as if they were playing at word-puzzles. Nicholas admired the
service to its owner's content, establishing thus a new bond of sympathy
between them; and both were soon seated near the table, sipping the tea
with demure little spoons, that approached the meagreness of Chinese
chop-sticks, and decorating white bread with brown marmalade.

"Now," said the host, "since you share my salt, I ought to be introduced
to you, an office which I will perform without ceremony. My name is Paul
Le Clear," which Nicholas and we had already guessed correctly.

"And mine," said Nicholas, "is Nicholas,--Nicholas Judge."

"Very well, Mr. Judge; now let us have the story," said Paul, extending
himself in an easy attitude; "and begin at the beginning."

"The story begins with my birth," said Nicholas, with a reckless
ingenuousness which was a large part of his host's entertainment.

But it is unnecessary to recount in detail what Paul heard, beginning at
that epoch, twenty-two years back. Enough to say in brief what Nicholas
elaborated: that his mother had died at his birth, in a country home at
the foot of a mountain; that in that home he had lived, with his father
for almost solitary friend and teacher, until, his father dying, he had
come to the city to live; that he had but just reached the place, and
had made it his first object to find his mother's only sister, with
whom, indeed, his father had kept up no acquaintance, and for finding
whom he had but a slight clue, even if she were then living. Nicholas
brought his narrative in regular order down to the point where Paul had
so unexpectedly accosted him, stopping there, since subsequent facts
were fully known to both.

"And now," he concluded, warming with his subject, "I am in search of my
aunt. What sort of woman she will prove to be I cannot tell; but if
there is any virtue in sisterly blood, surely my Aunt Eunice cannot be
without some of that noble nature which belonged to my mother, as I have
heard her described, and as her miniature bids me believe in. How many
times of late, in my solitariness, have I pictured to myself this one
kinswoman receiving me for her sister's sake, and willing to befriend
me for my own! True, I am strong, and able, I think, to make my way in
the world unaided. It is not such help as would ease my necessary
struggle that I ask, but the sympathy which only blood-relationship can
bring. So I build great hopes on my success in the search; and I have
chosen this evening as a fit time for the happy recognition. I cannot
doubt that we shall keep our Christmas together. Do you know of any one,
Mr. Le Clear, living in this court, who might prove to be my aunt?"

"Upon my soul," said that gentleman, who had been sucking the juice of
Nicholas's narrative, and had now reached the skin, "you have come to
the last person likely to be able to tell you. It was only to-day that I
learned by a correspondence with Doctor Chocker, whom all the world
knows, that he was living just next door to me. Who lives on the other
side I can't tell. Mrs. Crimp lives here; but she receipts her bills,
Temperance A. Crimp; so there's no chance for a Eunice there. As for the
other three houses, I know nothing, except just this: and here I come to
my story, which is very short, and nothing like so entertaining as
yours. Yesterday I was called upon by a jiggoty little woman,--I say
jiggoty, because that expresses exactly my meaning,--a jiggoty little
woman, who announced herself as Miss Pix, living in Number Five, and who
brought an invitation in person to me to come to a small party at her
house this Christmas-eve; and as she was jiggoty, I thought I would
amuse myself by going. But she is _Miss_ Pix; and your aunt, according
to your showing, should be _Mrs._"

"That must be where the old gentleman, Doctor Chocker, is going," said
Nicholas, who had forgotten to mention that part of the Doctor's
remarks, and now did so.

"Really, that is entertaining!" cried Paul. "I certainly shall go, if
it's for nothing else than to see Miss Pix and Doctor Chocker together."

"Pardon my ignorance, Mr. Le Clear," said Nicholas, with a smile; "but
what do you mean by jiggoty?"

"I mean," said Paul, "to express a certain effervescence of manner, as
if one were corked against one's will, ending in a sudden pop of the
cork and a general overflowing. I invented the word after seeing Miss
Pix. She is an odd person; but I shouldn't wish to be so concerned about
my neighbors as she appears to be. My philosophy of life," he continued,
standing now before the fire, and receiving its entire radiation upon
the superficies of his back, "is to extract sunshine from cucumbers.
Think of living forty years, like Doctor Chocker, on the husks of the
digamma! I am obliged to him for his advice, but I sha'n't follow it.
Here are my books and prints; out of doors are people and Nature: I
propose to extract sunshine from all these cucumbers. The world was made
for us, and not we for the world. When I go to Miss Pix's this
evening,--and, by the way, it's 'most time to go,--I presume I shall
find one or two ripe cucumbers. Christmas, too, is a capital season for
this chemical experiment. I find people are more off their guard, and
offer special advantages for a curious observer and experimenter. Here
is my room; you see how I live; and when I have no visitor at tea, I
wind up my little musical box. You have no idea what a pretty picture I
make, sitting in my chair, the tea-table by me, the fire in the grate,
and the musical box for a cricket on the hearth"; and Mr. Le Clear
laughed good-humoredly.

Nicholas laughed, too. He had been smiling throughout the young
philosopher's discourse; but he was conscious of a little feeling of
uneasiness, as if he were being subjected to the cucumber-extract
process. He had intended at first to deliver the scheme of life which he
had adopted, but, on the whole, determined to postpone it. He rose to
go, and shook hands with Paul, who wished him all success in finding his
aunt; as for himself, he thought he got along better without aunts. The
two went down stairs to the door, causing very much the same dispersion
of the tribes as before; and Nicholas once more stood in Five-Sisters
Court, while Paul Le Clear returned to his charming bower, to be tickled
with the recollection of the adventure, and to prepare for Miss Pix's

"On the whole, I think I won't disturb Doctor Chocker's mind by clearing
it up," said he to himself. "It might, too, bring on a repetition of the
fulmination against my paper which the young Judge seemed so to enjoy
relating. An innocent youth, certainly! I wonder if he expected me to
give him my autobiography."

Nicholas Judge confessed to himself a slight degree of despondency, as
he looked at the remaining two houses in the court, since Miss Pix's
would have to be counted out, and reflected that his chances of success
were dwindling. His recent conversation had left upon his mind, for some
reason which he hardly stopped now to explain, a disagreeable
impression; and he felt a trifle wearied of this very dubious
enterprise. What likelihood was there, if his aunt had lived here a long
time past, as he assumed in his calculations, that she would have failed
to make herself known in some way to Doctor Chocker? since the vision
which he had of this worthy lady was that of a kind-hearted and most
neighborly soul. But he reflected that city life must differ greatly
from that in the country, even more than he had conceded with all his _a
priori_ reasonings; and he decided to draw no hasty inferences, but to
proceed in the Baconian method by calling at Number Three. He was rather
out of conceit with his strategy of thirst, which had so fallen below
the actual modes of effecting an entrance, and now resolved to march
boldly up with the irresistible engine of straight-forward inquiry,--as
straight-forward, at least, as the circumstances would permit. He
knocked at the door. After a little delay, enlivened for him by the
interchange of voices within the house, apparently at opposite
extremities, a light approached, and the door was opened, disclosing a
large and florid-faced man, in his shirt-sleeves, holding a small and
sleepy lamp in his hand. Nicholas moved at once upon the enemy's works.

"Will you have the goodness to tell me, Sir, if a lady named Miss Eunice
Brown lives here?"--that being his aunt's maiden name, and possibly good
on demand thirty years after date. The reply came, after a moment's
deliberation, as if the man wished to gain time for an excursion into
some unexplored region of the house,--

"Well, Sir, I won't say positively that she doesn't; and yet I can say,
that, in one sense of the word, Miss Eunice Brown does not live here.
Will you walk in, and we will talk further about it."

Nicholas entered, though somewhat wondering how they were to settle Miss
Brown's residence there by the most protracted conversation. The man in
shirt-sleeves showed him into a sitting-room, and setting the lamp upon
the top of a corner what-not, where it twinkled like a distant star, he
gave Nicholas a seat, and took one opposite to him, first shutting the
door behind them.

"Will you give me your name, Sir?" said he.

Nicholas hesitated, not quite liking to part with it to one who might
misuse it.

"I have no objection," said his companion, in a sonorous voice, "to
giving my name to any one that asks it. My name is Soprian Manlius."

"And mine," said Nicholas, not to be outdone in generosity, "is Nicholas

"Very well, Mr. Judge. Now we understand each other, I think. I asked
your name as a guaranty of good faith. Anonymous contributions cannot be
received, et cetera,--as they say at the head of newspapers. And that's
my rule of business, Sir. People come to me to ask the character of a
girl, and I ask their names. If they don't want to give them, I say,
'Very well; I can't intrust the girl's character to people without
name.' And it brings them out, Sir, it brings them out," said Mr.
Manlius, leaning back, and taking a distant view of his masterly

"Do people come to you to inquire after persons' characters?" asked
Nicholas, somewhat surprised at happening upon such an oracle.

"Well, in a general way, no," said Mr. Manlius, smiling; "though I won't
say but that they would succeed as well here as in most places. In a
particular way, yes. I keep an intelligence-office. Here is my card,
Sir,"--pulling one out of his waistcoat-pocket, and presenting it to
Nicholas; "and you will see by the phraseology employed, that I have
unrivalled means for securing the most valuable help from all parts of
the world. Mr. Judge," he whispered, leaning forward, and holding up his
forefinger to enforce strict secrecy, "I keep a paid agent in Nova
Scotia." And once more Mr. Manlius retreated in his chair, to get the
whole effect of the announcement upon his visitor.

The internal economy of an office for obtaining and furnishing
intelligence might have been further revealed to Nicholas; but at this
moment a voice was heard on the outside of the door, calling, "S'prian!
S'prian! we're 'most ready."

"Coming, Caroline," replied Mr. Manlius, and, recalled to the object for
which his visitor was there, he turned to Nicholas, and resumed,--

"Well, Mr. Judge, about Miss Eunice Brown, whether she lives here or
not. Are you personally acquainted with Miss Brown?"

"No, Sir," said Nicholas, frankly. "I will tell you plainly my
predicament. Miss Eunice Brown was my mother's sister; but after my
mother's death, which took place at my birth, there was no intercourse
with her on the part of our family, which consisted of my father and
myself. My father, I ought to say, had no unfriendliness toward her, but
his habits of life were those of a solitary student; and therefore he
took no pains to keep up the acquaintance. He heard of her marriage, and
the subsequent death of her husband; rumor reached him of a second
marriage, but he never heard the name of the man she married in either
case. My father lately died; but before his death he advised me to seek
this aunt, if possible, since she was my only living near relation; and
he told me that he had heard of her living in this court many years ago.
So I have come here with faint hope of tracing her."

Mr. Manlius listened attentively to this explanation; and then
solemnly walking to the door, he called in a deep voice, as if
he would have the summons start from the very bottom of the house for

The call was answered immediately by the appearance of Mrs. Manlius, in
a red dress, that put everything else in the room in the background.

"Caroline," said he, more impressively than would seem necessary, and
pointing to Nicholas, "this is Mr. Nicholas Judge. Mr. Judge, you see my

"But, my dear," said Mrs. Manlius, nervously, as soon as she had bowed,
discovering the feeble lamp, which was saving its light by burning very
dimly, "that lamp will be off the what-not in a moment. How could you
put it right on the edge?" And she took it down from its pinnacle, and
placed it firmly on the middle of a table, at a distance from anything
inflammable. "Mr. Manlius is so absent-minded, Sir," said she, turning
to Nicholas.

"Caroline," said her husband, "this will be a memorable day in the
history of our family. Eunice has found a dear sister's son."

"Where?" she asked, turning for explanation to Nicholas, who at Mr.
Manlius's words felt his heart beat quicker.

Then Mr. Manlius, in as few words as his dignity and the occasion would
deem suitable, stated the case to his wife, who looked admiringly upon
Mr. Manlius's oratory, and interestingly upon Nicholas.

"Shall I call Eunice down, S'prian?" said she, when her husband
concluded, and conveying some mysterious information to him by means of
private signals.

"We have here," said Mr. Manlius, now turning the hose of his eloquence
toward Nicholas, and playing upon him, "we have here a dear friend, who
has abode in our house for many years. She came to us when she was in
trouble, and here has she found a resting-place for the soles of her
feet. Sir," with a darksome glance, "her relations had forgotten her."

"I must say"----interrupted Nicholas; but Mr. Manlius waved him back,
and continued:--

"But she found true kinsfolk in the friends of her early days. We have
cared for her tenderly, and now at last we have our reward in consigning
her to the willing hands of a young scion of her house. She was Eunice
Brown; she had a sister who married a Judge, as I have often heard her
say; and she herself married Mr. Archibald Starkey, who is now no more.
Caroline, I will call Eunice"; and Mr. Manlius went heavily out of the

Nicholas was very much agitated, and Mrs. Manlius very much excited,
over this sudden turn of affairs.

"Eunice has lived with us fifteen years, come February; and she has been
one of the family, coming in and going out like the rest of us. I found
her on the doorstep one night, and wasn't going to bring her in at
first, because, you see, I didn't know what she might be; when, lo and
behold! she looked up, and said I, 'Eunice Brown!' 'Yes,' said she, and
said she was cold and hungry; and I brought her in, and told Mr.
Manlius, and he came and talked with her, and said he, 'Caroline, there
is character in that woman'; for, Mr. Judge, Mr. Manlius can read
character in a person wonderfully; he has a real gift that way; and,
indeed, he needs it in his profession; and, as I tell him, he was born
an intelligence-officer."

Thus, and with more in the same strain, did Mrs. Manlius give vent to
her feelings, though hardly in the ear of Nicholas, who paced the room
in restless expectation of his aunt's approach. He heard enough to give
a turn to his thoughts; and it was with unaffected sorrow that he
reflected how the lonely woman had been dependent upon the charity, as
it seemed, of others. He saw in her now no longer merely the motherly
aunt who was to welcome him, but one whom he should care for, and take
under his protection. He heard steps in the entry, and easily detected
the ponderous tread of Mr. Manlius, who now opened the door, and
reappeared in more careful toilet, since he was furbished and smoothed
by the addition of proper touches, until he had quite the air of a man
of society. He entered the room with great pomp and ceremony all by
himself, and met Nicholas's disappointed look by saying, slowly,--

"Mrs. Starkey, your beloved aunt, will appear presently"; and throwing a
look about the room, as if he would call the attention of all the people
in the dress-circle, boxes, and amphitheatre, he continued--"I have
intimated to your aunt the nature of your relationship, and I need not
say that she is quite agitated at the prospective meeting. She is a

But Mr. Manlius's flow was suddenly turned off by the appearance of Mrs.
Starkey herself. The introduction, too, which, as manager of this little
scene, he had rehearsed to himself, was rendered unnecessary by the
prompt action of Nicholas, who hastened forward, with tumultuous
feelings, to greet his aunt. His honest nature had no sceptical reserve;
and he saluted her affectionately, before the light of the feeble lamp,
which seemed to have husbanded all its strength for this critical
moment, could disclose to him anything of the personal appearance of his
relative. At this moment the twinkling light, like a star at dawn, went
out; and Mrs. Manlius, rushing off, reappeared with an astral, which
turned the somewhat gloomy aspect of affairs into cheerful light.
Perhaps it was symbolic of a sunrise upon the world which enclosed
Nicholas and his aunt. Nicholas looked at Mrs. Starkey, who was indeed
flurried, and saw a pinched and meagre woman, the flower of whose youth
had long ago been pressed in the book of ill-fortune until it was
colorless and scentless. She found words presently, even before Nicholas
did; and sitting down with him in the encouraging presence of the
Manlii, she uttered her thoughts in an incoherent way:--

"Dear, dear! who would have said it? When Miss Pix came to invite us all
to her party, and said, 'Mrs. Starkey, I'm sure I hope you will come,' I
thought it might be too much for such a quiet body as I be. But that was
nothing to this. Why, if here I haven't got a real nephew; and, to be
sure, it's a great while since I saw your mother, but, I declare, you do
look just like her, and a Judge's son you are, too. Did they say you
looked like your father, Nickey? I was asking Caroline if she thought my
bombazine would do, after all; and now I do think I ought to wear my
India silk, and put on my pearl necklace, for I don't want my Nicky to
be ashamed of me. You'll go with us, won't you, nephew, to Miss Pix's? I
expect it's going to be a grand party; and I'll go round and introduce
you to all the great people; and how did you leave your father,

"Why, aunt, did not Mr. Manlius tell you that he was dead?" said
Nicholas. "Her memory's a little short," whispered Mrs. Manlius; but,
hardly interrupted by this little answer and whisper, Mrs. Starkey was
again plunging headlong into a current of words, and struggling among
the eddies of various subjects. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Manlius, having,
as managers, set the little piece on the stage in good condition, were
carrying on a private undertoned conversation, which resulted in Mrs.
Manlius asking, in an engaging manner,--

"Eunice, dear, would you prefer to stay at home this evening with your
nephew? Because we will excuse you to Miss Pix, who would hardly expect

Mrs. Starkey was in the midst of a voluble description of some private
jewelry which she intended to show the astonished Nicholas; but she
caught the last words, and veered round to Mrs. Manlius, saying,--

"Indeed, she expects me; and she expects Nicholas, too. She will be very
much gratified to see him, and I have no doubt she will give another
party for him; and if she does, I mean to invite my friend the alderman
to go. I shouldn't wonder if he was to be there to-night; and now I
think of it, it must be time to be going. Caroline, have you got your
things on?"

Mrs. Starkey spoke with a determination that suffered no opposition, so
that Nicholas and Mr. Manlius were left alone for a moment, while the
two women should wrap themselves up.

"Your aunt is unduly excited, Mr. Judge," said the intelligence-officer;
"and it was for that reason that I advised she should not go. She has
hardly been herself the last day or two. Our neighbor, Miss Pix,--a
woman whose character is somewhat unsettled; no fixed principles. Sir, I
fear," shaking his head regretfully; "too erratic, controlled by
impulse, possessing an inquisitive temperament," telling off upon a
separate finger each count in the charges against Miss Pix's character,
and reserving for the thumb the final overwhelming accusation,--"Sir,
she has not learned the great French economical principle of Lassy
Fair." Miss Pix being thus stricken down, he helped her up again with an
apology. "But her advantages have no doubt been few. She has not studied
political economy; and how can she hope to walk unerringly?"--and Mr.
Manlius gazed at an imaginary Miss Pix wandering without compass or
guide over the desert of life. "She makes a party to-night. And why?
Because it is Christmas-eve. That is a small foundation, Mr. Judge, on
which to erect the structure of social intercourse. Society, Sir, should
be founded on principles, not accidents. Because my house is
accidentally contiguous to two others, shall I consider myself, and
shall Mrs. Manlius consider herself, as necessarily bound by the
ligaments of Nature--by the ligaments of Nature, Mr. Judge,--to the
dwellers in those houses? No, Sir. I don't know who lives in this court
beside Miss Pix. Nature brought your aunt and Mrs. Manlius together, and
Nature brought you and your aunt together. We will go, however, to Miss
Pix's. It will gratify her. But your aunt is excited about the, for her,
unusual occasion. And now she has seen you. I feared this interview
might overcome her. She is frail; but she is fair, Sir, if I may say so.
She has character; very few have as much,--and I have seen many women.
Did you ever happen to see Martha Jewmer, Mr. Judge?"

Nicholas could not remember that he had.

"Well, Sir, that woman has been in my office twelve times. I got a place
for her each time. And why? Because she has character"; and Mr. Manlius
leaned back to get a full view of character. Before he had satisfied
himself enough to continue his reminiscences, his wife and Mrs. Starkey
returned, bundled up as if they were going on a long sleigh-ride.

"We're ready, S'prian," said Mrs. Manlius. "Eunice thinks she will go
still,"--which was evident from the manner in which Mrs. Starkey had
gathered about her a quantity of ill-assorted wrappers, out of the folds
of which she delivered herself to each and all in a rapid and disjointed
manner; and the party proceeded out of the house, Mrs. Manlius first
shutting and opening various doors, according to some intricate system
of ventilation and heating.

Nicholas gave his arm to his aunt, and, though anxious to speak of many
things, could hardly slip a word into the crevices of her conversation;
nor then did his questions or answers bring much satisfactory response.
He was confused with various thoughts, unable to explain the random talk
of his companion, and yet getting such glimpses of the dreary life she
had led as made him resolve to give her a home that should admit more
sunshine into her daily experience.

They were not kept waiting long at Miss Pix's door, for a ruddy German
girl opened it at their summons; and once inside, Miss Pix herself came
forward with beaming face to give them a Christmas-eve greeting. Mr.
Manlius had intended making the official announcement of the arrival of
the new nephew, but was no match for the ready Mrs. Starkey, who at once
seized upon their hostess, and shook her warmly by the hand, pouring out
a confused and not over-accurate account of her good-fortune, mixing in
various details of her personal affairs. Miss Pix, however, made out the
main fact, and turned to Nicholas, welcoming him with both hands, and in
the same breath congratulating Mrs. Starkey, showing such honest,
whole-souled delight that Nicholas for a moment let loose in his mind a
half-wish that Miss Pix had proved to be his aunt, so much more nearly
did she approach his ideal. The whole party stood basking for a moment
in Miss Pix's Christmas greeting, then extricated themselves from their
wrappers with the help of their bustling hostess, and were ushered into
her little parlor, where they proved to be the first arrivals. It was
almost like sitting down in an arbor: for walls and ceilings were quite
put out of sight by the evergreen dressing; the candlesticks and
picture-frames seemed to have budded; and even the poker had laid aside
its constitutional stiffness, and unbent itself in a miraculous spiral
of creeping vine. Mr. Manlius looked about him with the air of a
connoisseur, and complimented Miss Pix.

"A very pretty room, Miss Pix,--a very pretty room! Quite emblematical!"
And he cocked his head at some new point.

"Oh, I can't have my Christmas without greens!" said Miss Pix.
"Christmas and greens, you know, is the best dish in the world. Isn't
it, Mrs. Starkey?"

But Mrs. Starkey had no need of a question; for she had already started
on her career as a member of the party, and was galloping over a
boundless field of observation.

There was just then another ring; and Miss Pix started for the door, in
her eagerness to greet her visitors, but recollected in season the
tribute which she must pay to the by-laws of society, and hovered about
the parlor-door till Gretchen could negotiate between the two parties.
Gretchen's pleased exclamation in her native tongue at once indicated
the nature of the arrival; and Miss Pix, whispering loudly to Mrs.
Manlius, "My musical friends," again rushed forward, and received her
friends almost noisily; for when they went stamping about the entry to
shake off the snow from their feet against the inhospitable world
outside, she also, in the excess of her sympathetic delight, caught
herself stamping her little foot. There was a hurly-burly, and then they
all entered the parlor in a procession, preceded by Miss Pix, who
announced them severally to her guests as Mr. Pfeiffer, Mr. Pfeffendorf,
Mr. Schmauker, and Mr. Windgraff. Everybody bowed at once, and rose to
the surface, hopelessly ignorant of the name and condition of all the
rest, except his or her immediate friends. The four musical gentlemen
especially entirely lost their names in the confusion; and as they
looked very much alike, it was hazardous to address them, except upon
general and public grounds.

Mrs. Starkey was the most bewildered, and also the most bent upon
setting herself right,--a task which promised to occupy the entire
evening. "Which is the fifer?" she asked Nicholas; but he could not tell
her, and she appealed in vain to the others. Perhaps it was as well,
since it served as an unfailing resource with her through the evening.
When nothing else occupied her attention, she would fix her eyes upon
one of the four, and walk round till she found some one disengaged
enough to label him, if possible; and as the gentlemen had much in
common, while Mrs. Starkey's memory was confused, there was always room
for more light.

Miss Pix meanwhile had disentangled Nicholas from Mrs. Starkey, and, as
one newly arrived in the court, was recounting to him the origin of her

"You see, Mr. Judge, I have only lived here a few weeks. I had to leave
my old house; and I took a great liking to this little court, and
especially to this little house in it. 'What a delightful little
snuggery!' thought I. 'Here one can be right by the main streets, and
yet be quiet all day and evening.' And that's what I want; because, you
see, I have scholars to come and take music-lessons of me. 'And then,' I
thought to myself, 'I can have four neighbors right in the same yard,
you may say.' Well, here I came; but--do you believe it?--hardly anybody
even looked out of the window when the furniture-carts came up, and I
couldn't tell who lived in any house. Why, I was here three weeks, and
nobody came to see me. I might have been sick, and nobody would have
known it." Here little Miss Pix shook her head ruefully at the vision of
herself sick and alone. "I've seen what that is," she added, with a
mysterious look. "'Well, now,' I said to myself, 'I can't live like
this. It isn't Christian. I don't believe but the people in the court
could get along with me, if they knew me.' Well, they didn't come, and
they didn't come; so I got tired, and one day I went round and saw them
all,--no, I didn't see the old gentleman in Number One that time. Will
you believe it? not a soul knew anybody else in any house but their own!
I was amazed, and I said to myself, 'Betsey Pix, you've got a mission';
and, Mr. Judge, I went on that mission. I made up my mind to ask all the
people in the court, who could possibly come, to have a Christmas-eve
gathering in my house. I got them all, except the Crimps, in Number Two,
who would not, do what I could. Then I asked four of my friends to come
and bring their instruments; for there's nothing like music to melt
people together. But, oh, Mr. Judge, not one house knows that another
house in the court is to be here; and, oh, Mr. Judge, I've got such a
secret!" And here Miss Pix's cork flew to the ceiling, in the manner
hinted at by Mr. Paul Le Clear; while Nicholas felt himself to have
known Miss Pix from birth, and to be, in a special manner, her
prime-minister on this evening.

It was not long before there was another ring, and Mr. Le Clear
appeared, who received the jiggoty Miss Pix's welcome in a smiling and
well-bred manner, and suffered himself to be introduced to the various
persons present, when all seized the new opportunity to discover the
names of the musical gentlemen, and fasten them to the right owners.
Paul laughed when he saw Nicholas, and spoke to him as an old
acquaintance. Miss Pix was suddenly in great alarm, and, beckoning away
Nicholas, whispered, "Don't for the world tell him where the others
live." Like the prime-minister with a state-secret, Nicholas went back
to Paul, and spent the next few minutes in the trying task of answering
leading questions with misleading answers.

"I see," said the acute Mr. Le Clear to himself; "the aunt is that
marplotty dame who has turned our young Judge into a prisoner at the
bar"; and he entered into conversation with Mrs. Starkey with great
alacrity, finding her a very ripe cucumber. Mr. Manlius, who was
talking, in easy words of two syllables, to the musical gentlemen,
overheard some of Mrs. Starkey's revelations to Mr. Le Clear, and,
watching his opportunity, got Paul into a corner, where he favored him
with some confidences respecting the lady.

"You may have thought, Sir," said he, in a whisper, "that Mrs. Starkey
is--is,"--and he filled out the sentence with an expressive gesture
toward his own well-balanced head.

"Not at all," said Paul, politely.

"She is periodically affected," continued Mr. Manlius, "with what I may
perhaps call excessive and ill-balanced volubility. Mrs. Starkey, Sir,
is a quiet person, rarely speaking; but once in five or six weeks,--the
periods do not return with exact regularity,--she is subject to some
hidden influence, which looses her tongue, as it were. I think she is
under the influence now, and her words are not likely to--to correspond
exactly with existing facts. You will not be surprised, then, at her
words. They are only words, words. At other times she is a woman of
action. She has a wonderful character, Sir."

"Quite a phenomenon, indeed, I should say," said Paul, ready to return
to so interesting a person, but politely suffering Mr. Manlius to flow
on, which he did uninterruptedly.

Doctor Chocker was the last to come. Miss Pix knew his infirmity, and
contented herself with mute, but expressive signs, until the old
gentleman could adjust his trumpet and receive her hearty
congratulations. He jerked out a response, which Miss Pix received with
as much delight as if he had flowed freely, like Mr. Manlius, who was
now playing upon Mr. Le Clear an analysis of Nicholas's character, which
he had read with unerring accuracy, as Mrs. Manlius testified by her
continued, unreserved agreement. Indeed, the finding of his aunt by
Nicholas in so unexpected a manner was the grand topic of the evening;
and the four musical gentlemen, hearing the story in turn from each of
the others, were now engaged in a sort of diatessaron, in which the four
accounts were made to harmonize with considerable difficulty: Mr.
Schmauker insisting upon his view, that Nicholas had arrived wet and
hungry, was found on the doorstep, and dragged in by Mrs. Starkey; while
Mr. Pfeffendorf and Mr. Pfeiffer substituted Mrs. Manlius for Mrs.
Starkey; and Mr. Windgraff proposed an entirely new reading.

Dr. Chocker's entrance created a lull; and the introduction, performed
in a general way by the hostess, brought little information to the rest,
who were hoping to revise their list of names,--and very little to the
Doctor, who looked about inquisitively, as Miss Pix dropped the company
in a heap into his ear-trumpet. His eye lighted on Nicholas, and he went
forward to meet him, to the astonishment of the company, who looked upon
Nicholas as belonging exclusively to them. A new theory was at once
broached by Mr. Windgraff to his companions, that Dr. Chocker had
brought about the recognition; but it lost credit as the Doctor began to
question Nicholas, in an abrupt way, upon his presence there.

"Didn't know I should meet you again, young man," said he. "But you
don't take my advice, eh? or you wouldn't have been here. But I'm
setting you a pretty example! This isn't the way to study the value of
words, eh, Mr.--Mr.--Le Clear?"

The real Mr. Le Clear and his fiction looked at each other, and by a
rapid interchange of glances signified their inability to extricate
themselves from the snarl, except by a dangerous cut, which Nicholas had
not the courage at the moment to give. The rest of the company were
mystified; and Mr. Manlius, pocketing the character which he had just
been giving, free of charge, to his new acquaintance, turned to his
wife, and whispered awfully, "An impostor, Caroline!" Mrs. Manlius
looked anxiously and frightened back to him; but he again whispered,
"Wait for further developments, Caroline!" and she sank into a state of
terrified curiosity. Fortunately, Mrs. Starkey was at the moment
confiding much that was irrelevant to Mr. Le Clear the actual, who did
not call her attention to the words. The four musical gentlemen were
divided upon the accuracy of their hearing.

Miss Pix, who had been bustling about, unconscious of the mystery, now
created a diversion by saying, somewhat flurried by the silence that
followed her first words,--

"Our musical friends have brought a pleasant little surprise for us;
but, Mr. Pfeiffer, won't you explain the Children's Symphony to the

Everybody at once made a note of Mr. Pfeiffer, and put a private mark on
him for future reference; while he good-humoredly, and with embarrassing
English, explained that Miss Pix had proposed that the company should
produce Haydn's Children's Symphony, in which the principal parts were
sustained by four stringed instruments, which he and his friends would
play; while children's toy-instruments, which the other three were now
busily taking out of a box, would be distributed among the rest of the
company; and Miss Pix would act as leader, designating to each his or
her part, and time of playing.

The proposal created considerable confusion in the company, especially
when the penny-trumpet, drum, cuckoo, night-owl, quail, rattle, and
whistle were exhibited, and gleefully tried by the four musical friends.
Mr. Manlius eyed the penny-trumpet which was offered him with a doubtful
air, but concluded to sacrifice his dignity for the good of the company.
Mrs. Manlius received her cuckoo nervously, as if it would break forth
in spite of her, and looked askance at Nicholas to see if he would dare
to take the night-owl into his perjured hands. He did take it with great
good-humor, and, at Miss Pix's request, undertook to persuade Doctor
Chocker to blow the whistle. He had first to give a digest of Mr.
Pfeiffer's speech into the ear-trumpet, and, it is feared, would have
failed to bring the Doctor round without Miss Pix, who came up at the
critical moment, and told him that she knew he must have known how when
he was a boy, accompanied with such persuasive frolicking that the
Doctor at once signified his consent and his proficiency by blowing a
blast into Nicholas's ear, whom he regarded as a special enemy on good
terms with him, to the great merriment of all.

The signal was given, and the company looked at Miss Pix, awaiting their
turn with anxious solicitude. The symphony passed off quite well, though
Mr. Le Clear, who managed the drum, was the only one who kept perfect
time. Mrs. Starkey, who held the rattle aloft, sprung it at the first
sound of the music, and continued to spring it in spite of the
expostulations and laughter of the others. Mrs. Manlius, unable to
follow Miss Pix's excited gestures, turned to her husband, and uttered
the cuckoo's doleful note whenever he blew his trumpet, which he did
deliberately at regular intervals. The effect, however, was admirable;
and as the entire company was in the orchestra, the mutual satisfaction
was perfect, and the piece was encored vociferously, to the delight of
little Miss Pix, who enjoyed without limit the melting of her company,
which was now going on rapidly. It continued even when the music had
stopped, and Gretchen, very red, but intensely interested, brought in
some coffee and cakes, which she distributed under Miss Pix's direction.
Nicholas shared the good lady's pleasure, and addressed himself to his
aunt with increased attention, taking good care to avoid Doctor Chocker,
who submitted more graciously than would be supposed to a steady play
from Mr. Manlius' hose. Mr. Pfeiffer and his three musical friends made
themselves merry with Mrs. Manlius and Miss Pix, while Mr. Le Clear
walked about performing chemical experiments upon the whole company.

And now Miss Pix, who had been all the while glowing more and more with
sunshine in her face, again addressed the company, and said:--

"I think the best thing should be kept till toward the end; and I've got
a scheme that I want you all to help me in. We're all neighbors
here,"--and she looked round upon the company with a smile that grew
broader, while they all looked surprised, and began to smile back in
ignorant sympathy, except Doctor Chocker, who did not hear a word, and
refused to smile till he knew what it was for. "Yes, we are all
neighbors. Doctor Chocker lives in Number Two; Mr. and Mrs. Manlius,
Mrs. Starkey, and Mr. Judge are from Number Three; my musical friends
live within easy call; and I live in Number Five."

Here she looked round again triumphantly, and found them all properly
astonished, and apparently very contented, except Doctor Chocker, who
was immovable. Nicholas expressed the most marked surprise, as became so
hypocritical a prime-minister, causing Mr. Manlius to make a private
note of some unrevealed perjury.

"Now," said Miss Pix, pausing and arresting the profound attention of
all, "now, who lives at Number Four?"

If she expected an answer, it was plainly not locked up in the breast of
any one before her. But she did not expect an answer; she was determined
to give that herself, and she continued:--

"There is a most excellent woman there, Mrs. Blake, whom I should have
liked very much to introduce to you to-night, especially as it is her
birthday. Isn't she fortunate to have been born on Christmas-eve? Well,
I didn't ask her, because she is not able to leave her room. There she
has sat, or lain, for fifteen years! She's a confirmed invalid; but she
can see her friends. And now for my little scheme. I want to give her a
surprise-party from all her neighbors, and I want to give it now. It's
all right. Gretchen has seen her maid, and Mrs. Blake knows just enough
to be willing to have me bring a few friends."

Miss Pix looked about, with a little anxiety peeping out of her
good-souled, eager face. But the company was so melted down that she
could now mould it at pleasure, and no opposition was made. Mr. Manlius
volunteered to enlighten Doctor Chocker; but he made so long a preamble
that the old scholar turned, with considerable impatience, to Miss Pix,
who soon put him in good-humor, and secured his coöperation, though not
without his indulging in some sinful and unneighborly remarks to

It proved unnecessary to go into the court, for these two housed
happened to have a connection, which Miss Pix made use of, the door
having been left open all the evening, that Mrs. Blake might catch some
whiffs of the entertainment. Gretchen appeared in the doorway, bearing
on a salver a great cake, made with her own hands, having Mrs. Blake's
initials, in colored letters, on the frosting, and the whole surrounded
by fifty little wax tapers, indicating her age, which all counted, and
all counted differently, giving opportunity to the four musical friends
to enter upon a fresh and lively discussion. The party was marshalled by
Miss Pix in the order of houses, while she herself squeezed past them
all on the staircase, to usher them into Mrs. Blake's presence.

Mrs. Blake was sitting in her reclining-chair as Miss Pix entered with
her retinue. The room was in perfect order, and had about it such an air
of neatness and purity that one felt one's self in a haven of rest upon
crossing the threshold. The invalid sat quiet and at ease, looking forth
upon the scene before her as if so safely moored that no troubling of
the elements could ever reach her. Here had she lived, year after year,
almost alone with herself, though now the big-souled little
music-teacher was her constant visitor; but the entrance of all her
neighbors seemed in no wise to agitate her placid demeanor. She greeted
Miss Pix with a pleased smile; and all being now in the room, the
bustling little woman, at the very zenith of her sunny course, took her
stand and said,--

"This is my company, dear Mrs. Blake. These are all neighbors of ours,
living in the court, or close by. We have been having a right merry
time, and now we can't break up without bringing you our good
wishes,--our Christmas good wishes, and our birthday good wishes," said
Miss Pix, with a little oratorical flourish, which brought Gretchen to
the front with her illuminated cake, which she positively could not have
held another moment, so heavy had it grown, even for her stout arms.

Mrs. Blake laughed gently, and with a delighted look examined the great
cake, with her initials, and did not need to count the wax tapers. It
was placed on a stand, and she said,--

"Now I should like to entertain my guests, and, if you will let me, I
will give you each a piece of my cake,--for it all belongs to me, after
Miss Pix's graceful presentation; and if Miss Pix will be so good, I
will ask her to make me personally acquainted with each of you."

So a knife was brought, and Mrs. Blake cut a generous piece, when Doctor
Chocker was introduced, with great gesticulation on the part of Miss

"I am glad to see you, Doctor Chocker," said Mrs. Blake, distinctly, but
quietly, into his trumpet. "Do you let your patients eat cake? Try this,
and see if it isn't good for me."

"If I were a doctor of medicine," said he, jerkily, "I should bring my
patients to see you"; at which Miss Pix nodded to him most vehemently,
and the Doctor wagged his ear-trumpet in delight at the retort which he
thought he had made.

Mr. Le Clear was introduced, and took his cake gracefully, saying, "I
hope another year will see you at a Christmas-party of Miss Pix's"; but
Mrs. Blake smiled, and said, "This is my little lot of earth, and I am
sure there is a patch of stars above."

Mr. Manlius and wife came up together, he somewhat lumbering, as if Mrs.
Blake's character were too much for his discernment, and Mrs. Manlius
not quite sure of herself when her husband seemed embarrassed.

"This is really too funny," said Mrs. Blake, merrily; "as if I were a
very benevolent person, doling out my charity of cake on Christmas-eve.
Do, Mr. Manlius, take a large piece; and I am sure your wife will take
some home to the children."

"What wonderful insight!" said Mr. Manlius, turning about to Nicholas,
and drawing in his breath. "We have children,--two. That woman has a
deep character, Mr. Judge."

"Mrs. Starkey, also of Number Three," said the mistress of ceremonies;
"and Mr. Nicholas Judge, arrived only this evening."

"Nicholas Judge!" said Mrs. Blake, losing the color which the excitement
had brought, and dropping the knife.

"My nephew," explained Mrs. Starkey. "Just came this evening, and found
me at home. Never saw him before. Must tell you all about it." And she
was plunging with alacrity into the delightful subject, with all its

Mrs. Blake looked at Nicholas, while the color came and went in her

"Stop!" said she, decisively, to Mrs. Starkey, and half rising, she
leaned forward to Nicholas, and said rapidly, with an energy which
seemed to be summoned from every part of her system,--

"Are you the son of Alice Brown?"

"Yes, yes," said Nicholas, tumultuously; "and you,--you are her sister.
Here, take this miniature"; and he snatched one from his breast. "Is not
this she? It is my mother. You are my Aunt Eunice," he exclaimed, as she
sank back in her chair exhausted, but reaching out her arms to him.

"That young man is a base impostor!" said Mr. Manlius aloud, with his
hand in his waistcoat; while Mrs. Manlius looked on deprecatingly, but
as if too, too aware of the sad fact. "I said so to my wife in
private,--I read it in his face,--and now I declare it publicly. That
man is a base impostor!"

"Dear, dear, I don't understand it at all!" said the unfortunate Mrs.
Starkey. "I thought, to be sure, that Nicholas was my nephew. Never saw
him before, but he said he was; and now, now, I don't know what I shall
do!" and the poor lady, suddenly bereft of her fortune, began to wipe
her moist eyes; "but perhaps," she added, with a bright, though
transient gleam of hope, "we are both aunts to him."

"That cannot be," said Nicholas, kindly, who left his aunt to set the
company right, if possible. "My dear friend," he said, taking Mrs.
Starkey's hand, "it has been a mistake, brought on by my heedlessness. I
knew only that my aunt's name had been Eunice Brown. It chanced that
yours was the same name. I happened to come upon you first in my search,
and did not dream it possible that there could be two in the same court.
Everything seemed to tally; and I was too pleased at finding the only
relation I had in the wide world to ask many questions. But when I saw
that my aunt knew who I was, and I saw my mother's features in hers, I
perceived my mistake at once. We will remain friends, though,--shall we

Mrs. Starkey was too much bewildered to refuse any compromise; but Mr.
Manlius stepped forward, having his claim as a private officer of

"I must still demand an explanation, Sir, how it is that in this mixed
assembly the learned Doctor Chocker addresses you as Mr. Le Clear, and
you do not decline the title"; and Mr. Manlius looked, as if for a
witness, to Doctor Chocker, who was eating his cake with great
solemnity, holding his ear-trumpet in hopes of catching an occasional

"That would require too long an explanation," said Nicholas, smiling;
"but you shall have it some time in private. Mr. Le Clear himself will
no doubt tell you"; which Mr. Le Clear, an amused spectator of the
scene, cheerfully promised to do.

The company had been so stirred up by this revelation, that they came
near retreating at once to Miss Pix's to talk it over, to the dismay of
the four musical gentlemen, who had not yet been presented, and
especially who had not yet got any cake. Miss Pix, though in a transport
of joy, had an eye for everything, and, discovering this, insisted on
presenting them in a body to Mrs. Blake, in consideration of her
fatigue. They bowed simultaneously, and stood before her like bashful
schoolboys; while Nicholas assumed the knife in behalf of his aunt,
distributing with equal liberality, when they retired in high glee over
the new version of his history, which Mr. Windgraff, for the sake of
displaying his acumen, stoutly declared to be spurious. Gretchen also
was served with a monstrous slice; and then the company bade good-bye to
the aunt and nephew, who began anew their glad recognition.

It was a noisy set of people who left Miss Pix's house. That little lady
stood in the doorway, and sent off each with such a merry blessing that
it lasted long after the doors of the other houses were closed. Even the
forlorn Mrs. Starkey seemed to go back almost as happy as when she had
issued forth in the evening with her newly found nephew. The sudden
gleam of hope which his unlooked-for coming had let in upon a toilsome
and thankless life--for we know more about her position in Mr. Manlius's
household than we have been at liberty to disclose--had, indeed, gone
out in darkness; but the Christmas merriment, and the kindness which for
one evening had flowed around her, had so fertilized one little spot in
her life, that, however dreary her pilgrimage, nothing could destroy the
bright oasis. It gave hope of others, too, no less verdant; and with
this hope uppermost in her confused brain the lonely widow entered the
land of Christmas dreams. Let us hope, too, that the pachydermatous Mr.
Manlius felt the puncture of her disappointment, and that Miss Pix's
genial warmth had made him cast off a little the cloak of selfishness in
which he had wrapped himself; for what else could have made him say to
his echoing wife that night, "Caroline, suppose we let Eunice take the
children to the panorama to-morrow. It's a quarter more; but she was
rather disappointed about that young fellow"? The learned Doctor
Chocker, who had, in all his days, never found a place to compare with
his crowded study for satisfaction to his soul, for the first time now,
as he entered it, admitted to himself that Miss Pix's arbor-like parlor
and Mrs. Blake's simple room had something that his lacked; and in the
frozen little bedroom where he nightly shivered, in rigid obedience to
some fancied laws of health, the old man was aware of some kindly
influence thawing away the chill frost-work which he had suffered to
sheathe his heart. Nor did Mr. Le Clear toast his slippered feet before
his cheery fire without an uncomfortable misgiving that his philosophy
hardly compassed the sphere of life.

Christmas-eve in the court was over. Strange things had happened; and,
for one night at least, the Five Sisters had acted as one family. Little
Miss Pix, reviewing the evening, as she dropped off to sleep, could not
help rubbing her hands together, and emitting little chuckles. Such a
delightful evening as she had had! and meaning to surprise others, she
had herself been taken into a better surprise still; and here,
recollecting the happy union of the lone, but not lonely, Mrs. Blake
with a child of her old age, as it were, Miss Pix must laugh aloud just
as the midnight clock was sounding. Bless her neighborly soul, she has
ushered in Christmas-day with her laugh of good-will toward men. The
whole hymn of the angels is in her heart; and with it let her sleep till
the glorious sunshine awakes her.




_June 17._--On this anniversary of the Battle of Bunker's Hill we sailed
from Sleupe Harbor. Little Mecatina, with its blue perspective and
billowy surface, lifted itself up astern under flooding sunshine to tell
us that this relentless coast could have a glory of its own; but we
looked at it with dreamy, forgetful eyes, thinking of the dear land, now
all tossed into wild surge and crimson spray of war, which, how far
soever away, is ever present to the hearts of her true children.

Next day we dropped into the harbor of Caribou Island, a
mission-station, and left again on the 20th, after a quiet
Sunday,--Bradford having gone with others to church, and come back much
moved by the bronze-faced earnestness, and rough-voiced, deep-chested
hymning of the fisherman congregation. Far ahead we saw the strait full
of ice. Not that the ice itself could be seen; but the peculiar,
blue-white, vertical striæ, which stuccoed the sky far along the
horizon, told experienced eyes that ice was there. Away to the right
towered the long heights of Newfoundland, intensely blue, save where,
over large spaces, they shone white with snow. They surprised us by
their great elevation, and by the sharp and straight escarpments with
which they descended. Here and there was a gorge cut through as with a
saw. We then took all this in good faith, on the fair testimony of our
eyes. But experience brought instruction,--as it will in superficial
matters, whether in deeper ones or no. In truth, this appearance was
chiefly a mirage caused by ice.

For, of all solemn prank-players, of all mystifiers and magicians, ice
is the greatest. Coming out of its silent and sovereign dreamland in the
North, it brings its wand, and goes wizard-working down the coast. A
spell is about it; enchantment is upon it like a garment; weirdness and
illusion are the breath of its nostrils. Above it, along the horizon, is
a strange columned wall, an airy Giant's Causeway, pale blue, paling
through ethereal gray into snow. Islands quit the sea, and become
islands in the sky, sky-foam and spray seen along their bases. Hills
shoot out from their summits airy capes and headlands, or assume upon
their crowns a wide, smooth table, as if for the service of genii. Ships
sail, bergs float, in the heavens. Here a vast obelisk of ice shoots
aloft, half mountain high; you gaze at it amazed, ecstatic,--calculating
the time it will take to come up with it,--whistling, if you are still
capable of that levity, for a wind. But now it begins to waver, to dance
slowly, to shoot up minarets and take them back, to put forth arms which
change into wands, wave and disappear; and ere your wonder has found a
voice, it rolls itself together like a scroll, drops nearly to the
ocean-level, and is but a gigantic ice-floe after all!

The day fell calm; a calm evening came; the sea lay in soft, shining
undulation, not urgent enough to exasperate the drooping sails. The ship
rose and declined like a sleeper's pulse. We were all under a spell.
Soon the moon, then at her full, came up, elongating herself laterally
into an oval, whose breadth was not more than three fifths its length;
her shine on the water likewise stretching along the horizon, sweet and
fair like childhood, not a ray touching the shadowed water between.
Presently, as if she discerned and did not disdain us,--wiser than
"positive philosophers" in her estimate of man,--she gathered together
her spreading shine, and threw it down toward us in a glade of scarcely
more than her own breadth, of even width, and sharply defined at the
sides. It was a regular roadway on the water, intensest gold verging
upon orange, edged with an exquisite, delicate tint of scarlet, running
straight and firm as a Roman road all the way from the meeting-place of
sky and sea to the ship. Or rather, not quite to the ship; for, when
near at hand, it broke off into golden globes, which, under the
influence of the light swell, came towards us by softly sudden leaps,
deepening and deepening as they came, till at the last leap they
disappeared, more shining than ever, far down in the liquid, lucent
heart of the sea. It was impossible to feel that these had faded, so
triumphant was their close. Rather, one felt that they had been elected
to a more glorious office,--had gone, perhaps, to light some hall of
Thetis, or some divine, spotless revel of sea-nymphs.

I had gone below, when, at about ten o'clock, there was a hail from the

"Come up and see a crack in the water!"

"A what?"

"A crack in the water!"

"Not joking?"

"No, indeed; come and see."

Up quickly! this is the day of wonders! It was a line of brilliant
phosphorescence, exceedingly brilliant, about two inches wide, perfectly
sharp at the edges, which extended along the side of the ship, and ahead
and astern out of sight. "Crack in the water" is the seaman's name for
it. I have been a full year on the water, but never saw it save this
once, and had never heard of it before.

At half past eleven, the Parson and I went on deck, and read ordinary
print as rapidly as by daylight. It took some ten seconds to get
accustomed to the light, being fresh from the glare of the kerosene
lamp; but afterwards we read aloud to each other with entire ease and

At a quarter past two, Captain Handy, a man made of fine material, with
an eye for the beautiful as well as for right-whales, broke my sleep
with a gentle touch, and whispered, "Come on deck, and see what a
morning it is." What a morning, indeed! Thanks, old comrade! Call me
next time, when there is such to see; and if I am too weak to get out of
my berth, take me up in those strong arms, across that broad,
billow-like chest of yours, and bear me to the deck!

It was dead calm,--no, _live_ calm, rather; for never was calm so vivid.
The swell had fallen; but the sea breathes and lives even in its sleep.
Dawn was already blushing, "celestial rosy red, love's proper hue," in
the--_east_, I was about to say, but _north_ would be truer. The centre
of its roseate arch was not more than a point (by compass) east of
north. The lofty shore rose clear, dark, and sharp against the morning
red; the sea was white,--white as purity, and still as peace; the moon
hung opposite, clothed and half hidden in a glorified mist; a schooner
lay moveless, dark-sailed, transformed into a symbol of solitude and
silence, beneath. I thought of the world's myriad sleepers, and would
fain have played Captain Handy to them all. But Nature is infinitely
rich, and can afford to draw costly curtains about the slumber of her
darling. For, without man, she were a mother ever in anguish of travail,
and ever wanting a child to nurse with entire joy at her breast. Sleep
on, man, while, with shadows and stars, with dying and dawning of day,
not forgetting sombreness of cloud and passion of storm, the eternal
mother dignifies your slumber, and waits till her _two_ suns arise and
shine together!

Morning,--ice, worlds of it, the wide straits all full! A light wind had
been fanning us for the last two or three hours; and now the ice lay
fair in view, just ahead. We had not calculated upon meeting it here. At
Port Mulgrave they told us that the last of it had passed through with a
rush about a week before. Bradford was delighted, and quickly got out
his photographic sickle to reap this unexpected harvest: for the wise
man had brought along with him a fine apparatus and a skilful
photographer. In an hour or two the schooner was up with it, and finding
it tolerably open, while the wind was a zephyr, and the sea smooth as a
pond, we entered into its midst. Water-fowl--puffins, murres, duck, and
the like--hung about it, furnishing preliminary employment to those of
our number who sought sport or specimens. It was a delightsome day, the
whole of it: atmosphere rare, pure, perfect; sun-splendor in deluge;
land, a cloud of blue and snow on one side, and a tossed and lofty
paradise of glowing gray, purple, or brown, on the other. The day would
have been hot but for being tempered by the ice. This seasoned its
shining warmth with a crisp, exhilarating quality, making the sunshine
and summer mildness like iced sherry or Madeira. It is unlike anything
known in more southern climates. There are days in March that would
resemble it, could you take out of them the damp, the laxness of nerve,
and the spring melancholy. There are days in October that come nearer;
but these differ by their delicious half-languors, while, by their
gorgeousness of autumn foliage, and their relation to the oldening year,
they are made quite unlike in spirit. This day warmed like summer and
braced like winter.

Once fairly taken into the bosom of the ice-field, we had eyes for
little else. Its forms were a surprise, so varied and so beautiful. I
had supposed that field-ice was made up of flat cakes,--and _cake_ of
all kinds is among the flattest things I know! But here if was,
simulating all shapes, even those of animated creatures, with the art of
a mocking bird,--and simulating all in a material pure as amber, though
more varied in color. One saw about him cliffs, basaltic columns, frozen
down, arabesques, fretted traceries, sculptured urns, arches supporting
broad tables or sloping roofs, lifted pinnacles, boulders, honey-combs,
slanting strata of rock, gigantic birds, mastodons, maned lions,
couching or rampant,--a fantasy of forms, and, between all, the shining,
shining sea. In sunshine, these shapes were of a glistening white
flecked with stars, where at points the white was lost in the glisten;
in half shadow the color was gray, in full shadow aërial purple; while,
wherever the upper portions projected over the sea, and took its
reflection, they often did, the color was an infinite, emerald intensity
of green; beneath all which, under water, was a base or shore of dead
emerald, a green paled with chalk. Blue was not this day seen, perhaps
because this was shore-ice rather than floe,--made, not like the floes,
of frozen sea, but of compacted and saturated snow.

Just before evening came, when the courteous breeze folded its light
fans fell asleep, we left this field behind, and, seeing all clear
ahead, supposed the whole had been passed. In truth, as had soon to
learn, this twenty-mile strip of shore-ice was but the advance-guard of
an immeasurable field or army of floe. For there came down the northern
coast, in this summer of 1864, more than a thousand miles' length, with
a breadth of about a hundred miles, of floe-ice in a field almost
unbroken! More than a thousand miles, by accurate computation! The
courtesy of the Westerner--who, having told of seeing a flock of pigeons
nine miles long, so dense as to darken the sun at noonday, and meeting
objections from a skeptical Yankee, magnanimously offered, as a personal
favor, to "take out a quarter of a mile from the thinnest part"--cannot
be imitated here. I must still say _more_ than a thousand miles,--and
this, too, the second run of ice!

Captain Linklater, master of the Moravian supply-ship, a man of acute
observation and some science, had, as he afterwards told me at Hopedale,
measured the rate of travel of the ice, and found it to be twenty-seven
miles a day. Our passengers were sure they saw it going at the rate of
three or four miles an hour. Captain Handy, looking with experienced
eye, pronounced this estimate excessive, and said it went from one to
one and a half miles an hour,--twenty-four to thirty-six miles a day.
Captain Linklater, however, had not trusted the question to his
judgment, but established the rate by accurate scientific observation.
Now we were headed off by the ice and driven into as harbor on the 22d
of June; we left Hopedale and began our return on the 4th of August; and
between these two periods the ice never ceased running. The Moravian
ship, which entered the harbor of Hopedale half a mile ahead of us, on
the 31st of July, pushed through it, and found it eighty-five miles
wide. Toward the last it was more scattered, and at times could not be
seen from the coast. But it was there; and on the day before our
departure from Hopedale, August 3, this cheering intelligence
arrived:--"The ice is pressing in upon the islands outside, and an
easterly wind would block us in!"

What becomes of this ice? Had one lain in wait for it two hundred miles
farther south, it is doubtful if he would have seen of it even a
vestige. It cannot melt away so quickly: a day amidst it satisfies any
one of so much. Whither does it go?

Put that question to a sealer or fisherman, and he will answer, "_It

"But," replies that cheerful and confident gentleman, Mr. Current
Impression, "ice doesn't sink; ice floats." Grave Science, too, says the

I believe that Ignorance is right for once. You are becalmed in the
midst of floating ice. The current bears you and it together; but next
morning the ice has vanished! You rub your eyes, but the fact is one not
to be rubbed out; the ice was, and isn't, there! No evidence exists that
it can fly, like riches; therefore I think it sinks. I have seen it,
too, not indeed in the very act of sinking, but so water-logged as
barely to keep its nose out. A block four cubic feet in dimension lay at
a subsequent time beside the ship, and there was not a portion bigger
than a child's fist above water. Watching it, again, when it has been
tolerably well sweltered, you will see air-bubbles incessantly escaping.
Evidently, the air which it contains is giving place to water. Now it is
this air, I judge, which keeps it afloat; and when the process of
displacement has sufficiently gone on, what can it do but drown, as men
do under the circumstances? This reasoning may be wrong; but the fact
remains. The reasoning is chiefly a guess; yet, till otherwise informed,
I shall say, the ice-_lungs_ get full of water, and it goes down.

But we have wandered while the light waned, and now return. It was a
gentle evening. That "day, so cool, so calm, so bright," died sweetly,
as such a day should. The moon rose, not a globe, but a tall cone of
silver,--silver that _blushed_; ice-magic again. But she recovered
herself, and reigned in her true shape, queen of the slumber-courts; and
the world slept, and we with it; and in our cabin the sleep-talk was
quieted to ripples of murmur.

_June 22._--Rush! Rush! The water was racing past the ship's side, close
to my ear, as I awoke early. On deck: the strait ahead was packed from
shore to shore with ice, like a boy's brain with fancies; and before a
jolly gale we were skimming into the harbor of Belles Amours. Five days
here: tedious. The main matters here were a sand-beach, a girl who read
and loved Wordsworth, a wood-thrush, a seal-race, a "killer's" head, and
a cascade.

Item, sand-beach, with green grass, looking like a meadow, beyond. Not
intrinsically much of an affair. The beach, on close inspection, proved
soft and dirty, the grass sedge, the meadow a bog. In the distance,
however, and as a variety in this unswarded cliff-coast, it was sweet, I
laugh now to think how sweet, to the eyes.

Item, girl. There was one house in the harbor; not another within three
miles. Here dwelt a family who spoke English,--not a patois, but
English,--rare in Labrador as politicians in heaven. The French
Canadians found in Southern Labrador speak a kind of skim-milk French,
with a little sour-milk English; the Newfoundland Labradorians say
"Him's good for he," and in general use a very "scaly" lingo, learned
from cod-fish, one would think. Here was a mother, acceptable to Lindley
Murray, who had instructed her children. One of these--S----, our best
social explorer, found her out--owned and read a volume of Plato, and
had sent to L'anse du Loup, twenty-four miles, to borrow a copy of
Wordsworth. This was her delight. She had copied considerable portions
of it with her own hand, and could repeat from memory many and many a

    "Full many a gem of purest ray serene
      The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
      And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

But Heaven has its own economies; and perhaps floral "sweetness" is
quite as little wasted upon the desert as upon Beacon Street or Fifth

Item, a bird. We were seeking trout,--only to obtain a minnow tricked in
trout-marks. The boat crept slowly up a deep, solemn cove, over which,
on either side, hung craggy and precipitous hills; while at its head was
a slope covered with Liliputian forest, through which came down a broad
brook in a series of snowy terraces. It was a superb day, bright and
bracing,--just bracing enough to set the nerves without urging them, and
exalt one to a sense of vigorous repose. The oars lingered, yet not
lazily, on the way; there seemed time enough for anything. At length we
came, calm, wealthy in leisure, silently cheerful, to a bit of pleasant
yellow beach between rocks. And just as our feet were touching the tawny

              "The sweetest throat of Solitude
    Unbarred her silver gates, and slowly hymned
    To the great heart of Silence, till it beat
    Response with all its echoes: for from out
    That far, immortal orient, wherein
    His soul abides 'mid morning skies and dews,
    A wood-thrush, angel of the tree-top heaven,
    Poured clear his pure soprano through the place,
    Deepening the stillness with diviner calm,
    That gave to Silence all her inmost heart
    In melody."

It was a regal welcome. What is like the note of the wood-thrush?--so
full of royalty and psalm and sabbath! Regal in reserve, however, no
less than utterance, the sovereign songster gave a welcome only, and
then was silent; while a fine piping warbler caught up the theme, and
discoursed upon it with liberal eloquence. The place to hear the song of
the wood-thrush is wherever you can attain to that enjoyment by walking
five or ten miles; the place so to hear it that the hearing shall be, by
sober estimation, among the memorable events of your life, is at the
head of a solemn, sunny cove, on three yards of tawny beach, in the
harbor of Belles Amours, Labrador.

Item, seal-race. The male seals fight with fury in the season of their
rude loves. Two of these had had a battle; the vanquished was fleeing,
the victor after him. They were bounding from the water like dolphins.
For some time I thought them such, though I have seen dolphins by
thousands. It was a surprise to see these leisurely and luxurious
animals spattering the water in such an ecstasy of amative rage.

Item, "killer." This is a savage cetacean, probably the same with the
"thrasher," about fifteen feet in length, blunt-nosed, strong of jaw,
with cruel teeth. On its back is a fin beginning about two thirds the
way from tip to tail, running close to the latter, and then sloping away
to a point, like the jib of a ship. In the largest this is some five
feet long on the back, and eight or ten feet in height,--so large, that,
when the creature is swimming on the surface, a strong side-wind will
sometimes blow it over. It is a blue-fish on a big scale, or a Semmes in
the sea, hungry as famine, fierce as plague, dainty as a Roman epicure,
yet omnivorous as time. The seal is its South-Down mutton, the tongue of
the whale its venison; for whenever its numbers are sufficient, it will
attack this huge cetacean, and torture him till he submits and gives a
horrible feast to their greed. Captain Handy had seen thirty or forty of
them at this business. They fly with inconceivable fury at their victim,
aiming chiefly at the lip, tearing great mouthfuls away, which they
instantly reject while darting for another. The bleeding and bellowing
monster goes down like a boulder from a cliff, shoots up like a shell
from a mortar, beats the sea about him all into crimsoned spray with his
tail; but plunge, leap, foam as he may, the finny pirates flesh their
teeth in him still, still are fresh in pursuit, until at length, to end
one torment by submitting to another, the helpless giant opens his
mouth, and permits these sea-devils to devour the quivering morsel they
covet. A big morsel; for the tongue of the full-sized right-whale weighs
a ton and a half, and yields a ton of oil. The killer is sometimes
confounded with the grampus. The latter is considerably larger, has a
longer and slenderer jaw, less round at the muzzle, smaller teeth, and
"isn't so clean a made fish"; for, in nautical parlance, cetaceans are
still fish. Killers frequently try to rob whalers of their prize, and
sometimes actually succeed in carrying it down, despite the lances and
other weapons with which their attack is so strenuously resisted.

Item, cascade. A snowy, broken stripe down a mountain-side; taken to be
snow till the ear better informed the eye. Fine; but you need not go
there to see.

_June 26._--Off to Henley Harbor, sixty-five miles, at the head of the
Strait of Belle Isle. Belle Isle itself--sandstone, rich, the Professor
said, in ancient fossils--lay in view. The anchor went down in deep
water, close beside the notable Castle Island.

There were some considerable floes in the harbor, the largest one
aground in a passage between the two islands by which it is formed. And
now came the blue of pure floe-ice! There is nothing else like it on
this earth, but the sapphire gem in its perfection; and this is removed
from the comparison by its inferiority in magnitude. This incomparable
hue appears wherever deep shadow is interposed between the eye and any
intense, shining white. The floe in question contained two caverns
excavated by the sea, both of which were partially open toward the ship.
And out of these shone, shone on us, the cerulean and sapphire glory!
Beyond this were the deep blue waters of York Bay; farther away, grouped
and pushing down, headland behind headland, into the bay, rose the
purple gneiss hills, broad and rounded, and flecked with party-colored
moss; while nearer glowed this immortal blue eye, like the bliss of
eternity looking into time!

Next day we rowed close to this: I hardly know how we dared! Heavens!
such blue! It grew, as we looked into the ice-cavern, deeper, intenser,
more luminous, more awful in beauty, the farther inward, till in the
depths it became not only a shrine to worship at, but a presence to bow
and be silent before! It is said that angels sing and move in joy before
the Eternal; but there I learned that silence is their only voice, and
stillness their ecstatic motion!

Meanwhile the portals of this sapphire sanctuary were of a warm rose
hue, rich and delicate,--looking like the blush of mortal beauty at its
nearness to the heavenly.

Bradford is all right in painting the intensest blue possible,--due
care, of course, being taken not to extend it uniformly over large
surfaces. If he can secure any suggestion of the subtilty and
luminousness,--if he can! As I come back, and utter a word, he says that
the only way will be to glaze over a white ground. It had already struck
me, that, as this is the method by which Nature obtains such effects, it
must be the method for Art also. He is on the right track. And how the
gentle soul works!

But while outward Nature here assumed aspects of beauty so surpassing,
man, as if to lend her the emphasis of contrast, appeared in the
sorriest shape. I name him here, that I may vindicate his claim to
remembrance, even when he is a blot upon the beauty around him. I will
not forget him, even though I can think of him only with shame. To
remember, however, is here enough. We will go back to Nature,--though
she, too, can suckle "killers."

On the evening before our departure,--for we remained several days, and
had a snow-storm meanwhile,--there was a glorious going down of the sun
over the hills beyond York Bay, with a tender golden mist filling all
the western heavens, and tinting air and water between. So Nature
renewed her charm. And with that sun setting on Henley Harbor, we leave
for the present the miserable, magnificent place.

_June 30._--Iceberg! An iceberg! The real thing at last! We left Henley
at ten A. M., and were soon coming up with a noble berg. Its aspect, on
our near approach, was that of a vast roof rising at one end, beside
which, and about half its height, was the upper third of an enormous
cylinder. Passing to the west, along one side of this roof, we beheld a
vast cavernous depression, making a concave line in its ridge, and then
dipping deep, beyond view, into the berg. The sharp upper rim of this
depression came between us and the sky, with the bright shine of the
forenoon sun beyond, and showed a skirt or fringe of infinitely delicate
luminous green, whose contrast with the rich marble-white of the general
structure was beautiful exceedingly. With the exception of this, and of
a narrow blue seam, looking like lapis-lazuli, which ran diagonally from
summit to base, the broad surface of this side had the look of
snow-white marble lace or fretwork. Passing thence to the north face, we
came apparently upon the part at which the berg separated from its
parent glacier. Here was a new effect, and one of great beauty. In
material it resembled the finest statuary marble,--but rather the
crystalline marbles of Vermont, with their brilliant half-sparkle, than
the dead polish of the Parian; while the form and character of this
façade suggested some fascinating, supernatural consent of chance and
art, of fracture with sculpturesque and architectural design.

    "He works in rings, in magic rings, of chance,"--

the subtlest thing ever said of Turner,--might have been spoken even
more truly of the workman who wrought this. The apparent fineness of
material cannot be overstated, so soft and powerful. "A porcelain
fracture," said Ph----,--well. Yet such porcelain! It were the despair
of China. On the eastern, or cylinder side, there was next the water a
strip of intensely polished surface, surmounted by an elaborate level
cornice, and above this the marble lace again.

The schooner soon tacked, and returned. As again we pass the cathedral
cliff on the north, and join the western side with this in one view, we
are somewhat prepared by familiarity to mingle its majesty and beauty,
and take from them a single impression. The long Cyclopean wall and vast
Gothic roof of the side, including many an arched, rounded, and waving
line, emphasized by straight lines of blue seam, are set off against the
strange shining traceries of the façade; while the union of flower-like
softness and eternal strength, the fretted silver of surface, the
combination of peak and cave, the fringe of blazing emerald on the
ridge, the glancing, flashing lights contrasting with twilight blues and
purples of deep shadow, and over all the stainless azure, and beneath
and around all a sea of beryl strown with sun-dust,--these associate to
engrave on the soul an impression which even death and the tomb, I would
fain believe, will be powerless to efface. And if Art study hard and
labor long and vehemently aspire to publish the truth of this, she does
well. Her task is worthy, but is not easy: I think a greater, of the
kind, has never been attempted. The height of this berg was determined
by instruments--but with a conjecture only of the distance--to be one
hundred and eighteen feet. Captain Brown, however, who went aloft, and
thence formed a judgment, pronounced it not less than one hundred and
fifty feet. One naturally inclines to the more moderate computation.
But, as subsequent experience showed me that judgments of distance in
such cases are almost always below the mark, I am of opinion that here,
as sometimes in politics and religion, seeming moderation may be less
accurate than seeming excess.

And, by the way, Noble's descriptions of icebergs, which, in the absence
of personal observation, might seem excessive, are of real value.
Finding a copy of his book on board, I read it with pleasure, having
first fully made my own notes,--and refer to him any reader who may have
appetite for more after concluding this chapter.

Early this evening we entered between bold cliffs into Square Island
Harbor, latitude about 53°. It is a deep and deeply sheltered dog's
hole,--dogs and dirt could make it such,--but overhung by purple hills,
which proved, on subsequent inspection, to be largely composed of an
impure labradorite. Labradorite, the reader may know, is a crystallized
feldspar, with traces of other minerals. In its pure state it is
opalescent, exhibiting vivid gleams of blue, green, gold, and
copper-color, and, more rarely, of rose,--and is then, and deservedly,
reckoned a precious stone. The general character of the rock here is
sienitic; but, besides this peculiar quality of feldspar, the hornblende
appears as actinolite, (ray-stone,) so called from the form of its
crystallization; while the quartz element is faintly present, or appears
in separate masses. The purple of the hills is due not only to the
labradorite, which has that as a stable color, but also to a purple
lichen, which clothes much of the rock on this coast. I found also fine
masses of mica imbedded in quartz, edge upwards, and so compact that
its lamination was not perceptible. Indeed, I did not, with my novice
eyes, immediately recognize it, for it appeared a handsome
copper-colored rock, projecting slightly from the quartz, as if more

Next day there was trouting, with a little, and but a little, better
than the usual minnow result.

And on the next, the floe-ice poured in and packed the harbor like a box
of sardines. The scene became utterly Arctic,--rock above, and ice
below. Rock, ice, and three imprisoned ships; which last, in their
helpless isolation, gave less the sense of companionship than of a
triple solitude. And when next day, Sunday, the third day of July, I
walked ashore on the ice with a hundred feet of water beneath, summer
seemed a worn-out tradition, and one felt that the frozen North had gone
out over the world as to a lawful inheritance.

But the new Czar reigned in beauty, if also in terror. Yard-wide spaces
of emerald, amethyst, sapphire, yellow-green beryl, and rose-tinted
crystal, grew as familiar to the eye as paving-blocks to the dwellers in
cities. The shadows of the ice were also of a violet purple, so ethereal
that it required a painter's eye at once to see it, though it was
unmistakably there; and to represent it will task the finest painter's
hand. Then the spaces of water between the floes, if not too large,
appeared uniformly in deep wine-color,--an effect for which one must
have more science than I to account. It is attributed to contrast; but
if thus illusive, it is at least an illusion not to be looked out of
countenance. No local color could assert itself more firmly. One
marvellous morning, too, a dense, but translucent, mist hovered closely,
beneath strong sunshine, over the ice, lending to its innumerable
fantastic forms a new, weird, witching, indescribable, real-unreal
strangeness, as if the ice and the ships it inclosed and we ourselves
were all but embodied dreams, half come to consciousness, and rubbing
our surprised moon-eyes to gaze upon each other. The power of this mist
to multiply distance was not the least part of its witchery. A schooner
ten rods off looked as far away as Cadmus and Abraham.

P---- was made happy by finding here a grasshopper, which subsequently
proved, however, a prize indeed,--but not quite so much of a prize as he
hoped, being probably the young of a species previously known as Alpine,
rather than an adult identical with one found on the summit of Mount

During the latter part of our duress here we were driven below by raw,
incessant rain, and the confinement became irksome. At length, during
the day and night of July 14th, the ice finally made off with itself,
and the next morning the schooner followed suit. The ice, however, had
not done with us. It lingered near the land, while farther out it was
seen in solid mass, making witch-work, as usual, on the northern and
eastern sky; and we were soon dodging through the more open portion,
still dense enough, close to the coast. It was dangerous business. A
pretty breeze blew; and with anything of a wind our antelope of a
schooner took to her heels with speed. Lightly built,--not, like vessels
designed for this coast, double-planked and perhaps iron-prowed,--she
would easily have been staved by a shock upon this adamantine ice. The
mate stood at the bow, shouting, "Luff! Bear away! Hard up! Hard down!"
And his voice wanting strength and his articulation distinctness, I was
fain, at the pinch of the game, to come to his aid, and trumpet his
orders after him with my best stentorship. The old pilot had taken the
helm; but his nerves were unequal to his work; and a younger man was
sent to take his place. Once or twice the ship struck smaller masses of
ice, but at so sharp an angle as to push them and herself mutually
aside, and slide past without a crash. But a wind from the land was
steadily urging the floe-field away, and at length the sea before us lay

At ten A. M., we drew up to a majestic berg, and "came to,"--that is,
brought the schooner close by the wind. The berg was one of the noblest.
Picture to yourself two most immense Gothic churches without transepts,
each with a tower in front. Place these side by side, but at a remove
equal to about half their length. Build up now the space between the two
towers, extending this connection back so that it shall embrace the
front third or half of the churches, leaving an open _green_ court in
the rear, and you have a general conception of this piece of Northern
architecture. The rear of each church, however, instead of ascending
vertically, sloped at an angle of about ten degrees, and, instead of
having sharp corners, was exquisitely rounded. Elsewhere also were many
rounded and waving lines, where the image of a church would suggest
straightness. Nevertheless, you are to cling with force to that image in
shaping to your mind's eye a picture of this astonishing cathedral.

Since seeing the former berg, we had heard many tales of the danger of
approaching them. The Newfoundlanders and natives have of them a mortal
terror,--never going, if it can be avoided, nearer than half a mile, and
then always on the leeward side. "They kill the wind," said these
people, so that one in passing to windward is liable to be becalmed, and
to drift down upon them,--to drift upon them, because there is always a
tide setting in toward them. They chill the water, it descends, and
other flows in to assume its place. These fears were not wholly
groundless. Icebergs sometimes burst their hearts suddenly, with an
awful explosion, going into a thousand pieces. After they begin to
disintegrate, moreover, immense masses from time to time crush down from
above or surge up from beneath; and on all such occasions, proximity to
them is obviously not without its perils. "The Colonel," brave, and a
Greenland voyager, was more nervous about them than anybody else. He
declared, apparently on good authority, that the vibration imparted to
the sea by a ship's motion, or even that communicated to the air by the
human voice, would not unfrequently give these irritable monsters the
hint required for a burst of ill-temper,--and averred also that our
schooner, at the distance of three hundred yards, would be rolled over,
like a child's play-boat, by the wave which an exploding or over-setting
iceberg would cause. And it might, indeed, be supposed, that, did one of
those prodigious creations take a notion to disport its billions of tons
in a somersault, it would raise no trivial commotion.

At a distance, these considerations weighed with me. I heard them
respectfully, was convinced, and silently resolved not to urge, indeed,
so far as I properly might, to discourage, nearness of approach. But
here all these convictions vanished away. I knew that some icebergs were
treacherous, but they were others, not this! There it stood in such
majesty and magnificence of marble strength, that all question of its
soundness was shamed out of me,--or rather, would have been shamed, had
it arisen. This was not sentiment,--it was judgment,--_my_
judgment,--perhaps erroneous, yet a judgment formed from the facts as I
saw them. Therefore I determined to launch the light skiff which Ph----
and I had bought at Sleupe Harbor, and row up to the berg, perhaps lay
my hand upon it.

As the skiff went over the gunwale, the Parson cried,--

"Shall I go with you?"

"Yes, indeed, if you wish."

He seated himself in the stern; I assumed the oars, (I row cross-handed,
with long oars, and among amateur oarsmen am a little vain of my skill)
and pulled away. It was a longer pull than I had thought,--suggesting
that our judgment of distances had been insufficient, and that the
previous berg was higher than our measurement had made it.

Our approach was to rear of the berg,--that is, to the court or little
bay before mentioned. The temptation to enter was great, but I dared
not; for the long, deep ocean-swell over which the skiff skimmed like a
duck, not only without danger, but without the smallest perturbation,
broke in and out here with such force that I knew the boat would
instantly be swept out of my possession. The Parson, however, always
reckless of peril in his enthusiasm, and less experienced, cried,--

"In! in! Push the boat in!"

"No, the swell is too heavy; it will not do."

"Fie upon the swell! Never mind what will do! In!"

I sympathized too much with him to answer otherwise than by laying my
weight upon the oars, and pushing silently past. The water in this bit
of bay was some six or eight feet deep, and the ice beneath it--for the
berg was all solid below--showed in perfection that crystalline tawny
green which belongs to it under such circumstances. I pulled around the
curving rear of the eastern church, with its surface of marble lace,
such as we had seen before, gazing upward and upward at the towering
awfulness and magnificence of edifice, myself frozen in admiration. The
Parson, under high excitement, rained his hortative oratory upon me.

"Nearer! Nearer! Let's touch it! Let's lay our hands upon it! Don't be
faint-hearted now. It's now or never!"

I heard him as one under the influence of chloroform hears his
attendants. He exhorted a stone. His words only seemed to beat and
flutter faintly against me, like storm-driven birds against a cliff at
night. My brain was only in my eyeballs; and the arms that worked
mechanically at the oars belonged rather to the boat than to me.

Saturated at last, if not satiated, with seeing, I glanced at the
water-level, and said,--

"But see how the surge is heaving against it!"

But now it was I that spoke to stone, though not to a silent one.

"Hang the surge! I'm here for an iceberg, not to be balked by a bit of
surf! It's not enough to see; I must have my hand on it! I wish to touch
the veritable North Pole!"

It was pleasant to see the ever-genial Parson so peremptory; and I
lingered half wilfully, not unwilling to mingle the relieving flavor of
this pleasure with the more awful delight of other impressions: said,
however, at length,--

"I intend to go up to it, when I have found a suitable place."

"Place! What better place do you desire than this?"

I could but smile and pull on.

Caution was not unnecessary. The sea rose and fell a number of feet
beside the berg, beating heavily against it with boom and hiss; and I
knew well, that, if our boat struck fairly, especially if it struck
sidewise, it would be whirled over and over in two seconds. Besides,
where we then were, there was a cut of a foot or more into the berg at
the water-level,--or rather, it was excavated below, with this
projection above; and had the skiff caught under that, we would drown. I
had come there not to drown, nor to run any risk, but to get some more
intimate acquaintance with an iceberg. Rowing along, therefore, despite
the Parson's moving hortatives, I at length found a spot where this
projection did not appear. Turning now the skiff head on, I drove it
swiftly toward the berg; then, when its headway was sufficient, shipped
the oars quickly, slipped into the bow, and, reaching forth my hand and
striking the berg, sent the boat in the same instant back with all my
force, not suffering it to touch.

"Now me! Now me!" shouted the Parson, brow hot, and eyes blazing.
"You're going to give me a chance, too? I would not miss it for a

"Yes; wait, wait."

I took the oars, got sea-room, then turned its stern, where the Parson
sat, toward the iceberg, and backed gently in.

"Put your hand behind you; reach out as far as you can; sit in the
middle; keep cool, cool; don't turn your body."

"Cool, oh, yes! I'm cool as November," he said, with a face misty as a
hot July morning with evaporating dew. As his hand struck the ice, I
bent the oars, and we shot safely away.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" he shouted, making the little boat rock and
tremble,--"hurrah! This, now, is the 'adventurous travel' we were
promised. Now I am content, if we get no more."

"Cool; you'll have us over."

"Pooh! Who's cooler?"

We went leisurely around this glacial cathedral. The current set with
force about it, running against us on the eastern side. At the front we
found the "cornice" again, about twenty feet up, sloping to the water,
and dipping beneath it on either side; below it, a crystal surface;
above, marble fretwork. This cornice indicates a former sea-level,
showing that the berg has risen or changed position. This must have
taken place, probably, by the detachment of masses; so an occurrence of
this kind was not wholly out of question, after all. There is always,
however,--so I suspect,--some preliminary warning, some audible crack or
visible vibration. I had kept in mind the possibility of such changes,
and at the slightest intimation should have darted away,--a movement
favored by the lightness of the skiff, and the extreme ease with which,
under the advantage of a beautiful model, she was rowed.

A sense of awe, almost of fear, crept over me now that the adventure was
over, and I looked up to the mighty towers of the façade with a somewhat
humbled eye; and so, pulling slowly and respectfully along the western
side, made away, solemn and satisfied, to the ship.

I expected a storm of criticism on our return, but found calm. The boat
was hoisted in silently, and I hurried below, to lie down and enjoy the
very peculiar entertainment which vigorous rowing was sure to afford me.

Released after a half-hour's toasting on the gridiron, I went on deck
and found the Parson surrounded by a cloud of censure. The words "boyish
foolhardiness," catching my ear, flushed me with some anger,--to which
emotion I am not, perhaps, of all men least liable. So I stumped a
little stiffly to the group, and said,--

"I don't feel myself altogether a boy, and foolhardiness is not my

"Well, success is wisdom," said the Colonel, placably. "You have
succeeded, and now have criticism at a disadvantage, I own."

Another, however,--not a braver man on board,--stood to his guns.

"Experienced men say that it is dangerous; I hear to them till I have
experience myself."

"Right, if so it stands in your mind. You judge thus: you follow your
judgment. I judge partly so, and partly otherwise, and I follow my
judgment. Mere experience is but a purblind wisdom, after all. When I do
not at all see my own way, I follow that, still aware of its
imperfections; where eyes are of service, I use them, learning from
experience caution, not submission. The real danger in this case was
that of being dashed against the berg; with coolness and some skill"
(was there a little emphasis on this word _skill_?) "that danger could
be disarmed. For any other danger I was ready, but did not fear it.
'Boyish?' The boyish thing, I take it, is always to be a pendant upon
other people's alarms. I prefer rather to be kite than its tail only."

"Well, each of us _does_ follow his own judgment," replied Candor; "you
act as you think; I think you are wrong. If it were shooting a Polar
bear now,--there's pleasure in that, and it were worth the while to run
some risk."

We had tried for a bear together. I seized my advantage.

"It is a pleasure to you to shoot a bear. So to me also. But I would
rather get into intimacy with an iceberg than freight the ship with

He smiled an end to the colloquy. As I went below, Captain Handy, the
Arctic whaler, met me with,--

"I would as lief as not spend a week on that berg! I have made fast to
such, and lain for days. All depends on the character of the berg. If
it's rotting, look out! If it's sound as that one, you may go to sleep
on it."

I hastened up to proclaim my new ally. "You heed experience; hear
Captain Handy." And I launched his bolt at the head of Censure, and saw
it duck, if no more.

We saw after this, going and returning, many bergs, hundreds in all.
With one of the finest, a little more broken and varied than those
previously described, we came up at a little past noon, and the schooner
stood off and on while Bradford went in the boat to sketch it in
color,--Captain Handy's steady and skilful hand upon the sculling-oar.
Bradford worked at it like a beaver all the afternoon, and then directed
the schooner to lie to through the night, that he might resume his task
in the morning,--coveting especially the effects of early light The
ardent man was off before three o'clock. Nature was kind to him; he
sketched the berg under a dawn of amber and scarlet, followed by floods
on floods of morning gold; and returned to breakfast, after five hours'
work, half in rapture and half in despair. The colors, above all, the
purples, were inconceivable, he said, and there was no use trying to
render them. I reminded him of Ruskin's brave words:--"He that is not
appalled by his tasks will do nothing great." But his was an April
despair, after all, with rifted clouds and spring sunshine pouring

Another memorable one was seen outside while we were in harbor,
storm-bound. A vast arch went through the very heart of it, while each
end rose to a pinnacle,--the arch blue, blue! We were going out to it;
but, during the second night of storm, its strength broke, and beneath
blinding snow there remained only a mad dance of waves over the wreck of
its majesty.

There was another, curiously striped with diagonal dirt-bands, whose
fellowship, however, the greens and purples did not disdain.

Another had the shape of three immense towers, seeming to _stand on the
water_, more than a hundred feet of sea rolling between. The tallest
tower could not be much less than two hundred feet in height; the others
slightly, just perceptibly, lower. This was seen in rain, and the
purples here were more crystalline and shining than any others which I

These towers were seen on our last day among the bergs. In my memory
they are monumental. They stand there, a purple trinity, to commemorate
the terrors and glories that I shall behold no more.


                    "Tie stille, barn min!
                    Imorgen kommer Fin,
                    Fa'er din,
    Og gi'er dig Esbern Snares öine og hjerte at lege med!"

                                     _Zealand Rhyme._

    "Build at Kallundborg by the sea
    A church as stately as church may be,
    And there shalt thou wed my daughter fair,"
    Said the Lord of Nesvek to Esbern Snare.

    And the Baron laughed. But Esbern said,
    "Though I lose my soul, I will Helva wed!"
    And off he strode, in his pride of will,
    To the Troll who dwelt in Ulshoi hill.

    "Build, O Troll, a church for me
    At Kallundborg by the mighty sea;
    Build it stately, and build it fair,
    Build it quickly," said Esbern Snare.

    But the sly Dwarf said, "No work is wrought
    By Trolls of the Hills, O man, for nought.
    What wilt thou give for thy church so fair?"
    "Set thy own price," quoth Esbern Snare.

    "When Kallundborg church is builded well,
    Thou must the name of its builder tell,
    Or thy heart and thy eyes must be my boon."
    "Build," said Esbern, "and build it soon."

    By night and by day the Troll wrought on;
    He hewed the timbers, he piled the stone;
    But day by day, as the walls rose fair,
    Darker and sadder grew Esbern Snare.

    He listened by night, he watched by day,
    He sought and thought, but he dared not pray;
    In vain he called on the Elle-maids shy,
    And the Neck and the Nis gave no reply.

    Of his evil bargain far and wide
    A rumor ran through the country-side;
    And Helva of Nesvek, young and fair,
    Prayed for the soul of Esbern Snare.

    And now the church was wellnigh done;
    One pillar it lacked, and one alone;
    And the grim Troll muttered, "Fool thou art!
    To-morrow gives me thy eyes and heart!"

    By Kallundborg in black despair,
    Through wood and meadow, walked Esbern Snare,
    Till, worn and weary, the strong man sank
    Under the birches on Ulshoi bank.

    At his last day's work he heard the Troll
    Hammer and delve in the quarry's hole;
    Before him the church stood large and fair:
    "I have builded my tomb," said Esbern Snare.

    And he closed his eyes the sight to hide,
    When he heard a light step at his side:
    "O Esbern Snare!" a sweet voice said,
    "Would I might die now in thy stead!"

    With a grasp by love and by fear made strong,
    He held her fast, and he held her long;
    With the beating heart of a bird afeard,
    She hid her face in his flame-red beard.

    "O love!" he cried, "let me look to-day
    In thine eyes ere mine are plucked away;
    Let me hold thee close, let me feel thy heart
    Ere mine by the Troll is torn apart!

    "I sinned, O Helva, for love of thee!
    Pray that the Lord Christ pardon me!"
    But fast as she prayed, and faster still,
    Hammered the Troll in Ulshoi hill.

    He knew, as he wrought, that a loving heart
    Was somehow baffling his evil art;
    For more than spell of Elf or Troll
    Is a maiden's prayer for her lover's soul.

    And Esbern listened, and caught the sound
    Of a Troll-wife singing underground:
    "To-morrow comes Fine, father thine:
    Lie still and hush thee, baby mine!

    "Lie still, my darling! next sunrise
    Thou'lt play with Esbern Snare's heart and eyes!"
    "Ho! ho!" quoth Esbern, "is that your game?
    Thanks to the Troll-wife, I know his name!"

    The Troll he heard him, and hurried on
    To Kallundborg church with the lacking stone.
    "Too late, Gaffer Fine!" cried Esbern Snare;
    And Troll and pillar vanished in air!

    That night the harvesters heard the sound
    Of a woman sobbing underground,
    And the voice of the Hill-Troll loud with blame
    Of the careless singer who told his name.

    Of the Troll of the Church they sing the rune
    By the Northern Sea in the harvest moon;
    And the fishers of Zealand hear him still
    Scolding his wife in Ulshoi hill.

    And seaward over its groves of birch
    Still looks the tower of Kallundborg church,
    Where, first at its altar, a wedded pair,
    Stood Helva of Nesvek and Esbern Snare!


And first, let it be on record that his name is GEORGE CRUIKSHANK, and
not CRUICKSHANK. The good old man is seventy years of age, if not more,
(the earliest drawing I have seen of his bears the date of 1799, and he
could scarcely have begun to limn in his long-clothes,) yet, with a
persistence of perversity wellnigh astonishing,--although his name has
been before the public for considerably more than half a
century,--although he has published nothing anonymously, but has
appended his familiar signature in full to the minutest scratchings of
his etching-needle,--although he has been the conductor of two
magazines, and of late years has been one of the foremost agitators and
platform-orators in the English temperance movement,--the vast majority
of his countrymen have always spelt his surname "Cruickshank," and will
continue so to spell it, I suppose, even should he live as long as
Cornaro. I hope he may, I am sure, with or without the additional _c_
for his age and his country can ill spare him.

But George Cruikshank in Mexico! What on earth can the most stay-at-home
of British artists have to do with that out-of-the-way old
curiosity-shop of the American continent? One might fancy him now--but
that it is growing late--in the United States. He might be invited to
attend a Total Abstinence Convention. He might run Mr. J.B. Gough hard
on his favorite stump. He might be tempted, perchance, to cross the
ocean in the evening of his days, to note down, with his inimitable and
still unfaltering pencil, some of the humors of Yankee-land. I am
certain, that, were George Cruikshank or Dicky Doyle to come this way
and give a pictorial history of a tour through the States, somewhat
after the immortal Brown, Jones, and Robinson pattern, the Americans
would be in a better temper with their brothers in Old England than
after reading some long spun-out book of travels by brainless Cockneys
or cynical dyspeptics. The laugh awakened by a droll picture hurts
nobody. It is that ugly letter-press which smarts and rankles, and
festers at last into a gangrene of hatred. The Patriarch of Uz wished
that his enemy had written a book. He could have added ten thousand fold
to the venom of the aspiration, had he likewise expressed a wish that
the book had been printed.

You will be pleased to understand, then, that the name of the gentleman
who serves as text for this essay is Cruikshank, and not Cruickshank.
There is an old Scottish family, I believe, of that ilk, which spells
its name with a _c_ before the _k_. Perhaps the admirers of our George
wished to give something like an aristocratic smack to his patronymic,
and so interpolated the objectionable consonant. There is no Cruikshank
to be found in the "Court Guide," but Cruickshanks abound. As for our
artist, he is a burgess among burgesses,--a man of the people _par
excellence_, and an Englishman above all. His travels have been of the
most limited nature. Once, in the course of his long life, and with what
intent you shall presently hear, he went to France, as Hogarth did; but
France didn't please him, and he came home again, like Hogarth, with all
convenient speed,--fortunately, without being clapped up in jail for
sketching the gates of Calais. I believe that he has not crossed the
Straits of Dover since George IV. was king. I have heard, on good
authority, that he protested strongly, while in foreign parts, against
the manner in which the French ate new-laid eggs, and against the
custom, then common among the peasantry, of wearing wooden shoes. I am
afraid even, that, were George hard pressed, he would own to a dim
persuasion that _all_ Frenchmen wear wooden shoes; also pigtails;
likewise cocked hats. He does not say so in society; but those who have
his private ear assert that his faith or his delusion goes even farther
than this, and that he believes that all Frenchmen eat frogs,--that nine
tenths of the population earn their living as dancing-masters, and that
the late Napoleon Buonaparte (George Cruikshank always spells the
Corsican Ogre's name with a _u_) was first cousin to Apollyon, and was
not, upon occasion, averse to the consumption of human flesh,---babies
of British extraction preferred. Can you show me an oak that ever took
so strong a root as prejudice?

Not that George Cruikshank belongs in any way to the species known as
"Fossil Tories." He is rather a fossil Liberal. He was a Whig Radical,
and more, when the slightest suspicion of Radicalism exposed an
Englishman to contumely, to obloquy, to poverty, to fines, to stripes,
to gyves, and to the jail. He was quite as advanced a politician as
William Cobbett, and a great deal honester as a man. He was the fast
friend of William Hone, who, for his famous "Political Catechism,"--a
lampoon on the borough-mongers and their bloated king,--was tried three
times on three successive days, before the cruel Ellenborough, but as
many times acquitted. George Cruikshank inveighed ardently, earnestly,
and at last successfully, with pencil and with etching-point, against
the atrocious blood-thirstiness of the penal laws,--the laws that strung
up from six to a dozen unfortunates on a gallows in front of Newgate
every Monday morning, often for no direr offence than passing a
counterfeit one-pound note. When the good old Tories wore top-boots and
buckskins, George Cruikshank was conspicuous for a white hat and
Hessians,--the distinguishing outward signs of ultra-liberalism. He was,
of course, a Parliamentary Reformer in the year '30; and he has been a
social reformer, and a most useful one, ever since. Still is there
something about this brave old English worthy that approaches the fossil
type. His droll dislike to the French--a hearty, good-humored disfavor,
differing widely from the polished malevolence of Mr. John Leech, who
never missed an opportunity to represent the airy Gaul as something
repulsive, degraded, and ungentlemanly--I have already noticed. Then
George Cruikshank has never been able to surmount a vague notion that
steamboats and steam-engines are, generically speaking, a humbug, and
that the old English sailing craft and the old English stage-coach are,
after all, the only modes of conveyance worthy the patronage of Britons.
Against exaggerated hoop-skirts he has all along set his face, and
seldom, if ever, condescends to delineate a lady in crinoline. His
beau-ideal of female beauty is comprised in an hour-glass waist, a skirt
that fits close to the form, a sandalled shoe, and very long ringlets;
whereas tight lacing, narrow skirts, sandalled shoes, and ringlets have
been banished from the English _modes_ any time these fifteen years.
Those among George's critics, too, who are sticklers for exactitude in
the "abstract and brief chronicle of the time" complain that his dandies
always wear straps to their tight pantaloons in lieu of pegtops; that
their vests are too short and their coat-collars too high; that they
wear bell-crowned hats, and carry gold-knobbed canes with long tassels;
and that they are dressed, in short, after the fashion of the year one,
when Brummell or Pea-Green Haynes commanded the _ton_. It is obvious
that the works of an artist who has refused to be indoctrinated with the
perpetual changes of a capricious code of dress would never be very
popular with the readers of "Punch,"--a periodical which, pictorially,
owes its very existence to the readiness and skill displayed by its
draughtsmen in shooting folly as it flies and catching the manners
living as they rise, and pillorying the madness of the moment. Were
George Cruikshank called upon, for instance, to depict a lady fording a
puddle on a rainy day, and were he averse (for he is the modestest of
artists) to displaying too much of her ankle, he would assuredly make
manifest, beneath her upraised skirts, some antediluvian pantalet,
bordered by a pre-Adamite frill. But the keen-eyed Mr. Leech would be
guilty of no such anachronism. He would discover that the mysterious
garments in question were ofttimes encircled by open-worked embroidery.
_He would find out that the ladies sometimes wore Knickerbockers._ And
this is what the ladies like. Exaggerate their follies as much as you
please; but woe be to you, if you wrongfully accuse them! You may sneer
at, you may censure, you may castigate them for what they really do, but
beware of reprehending them for that which they have never done. Even
Sir John Falstaff revolted at the imputation of having kissed the
keeper's daughter. A sermon against crinoline, be it ever so
fulminating, finds ever an attentive and smiling congregation; but
venture to preach against coal-scuttle bonnets--until the ladies have
really taken to wearing them--and your hearers would pull down the
pulpit and hang the preacher.

Thus, although foreigners may express wonder that a designer, who for so
many years has been in the front rank of English humorous artists,
should never have contributed to the pages of our leading humorous
periodical, astonishment may be abated, when the real state of the case,
as I have endeavored to put it, is known. George Cruikshank is at once
too good for, and not quite up to the mark of "Punch." His best works
have always been his etchings on steel and copper; and wonderful
examples of chalcographic brilliance and skill those etchings are,--many
of them surpassing Callot, and not a few of them (notably the
illustrations to Ainsworth's "Tower of London") rivalling Rembrandt.
From the nature of these engravings, it would be impossible to print
them at a machine-press for a weekly issue of fifty or sixty thousand
copies. George has drawn much on wood, and his wondrous
wood-cuts--xylographs, if you wish a more pretentious word--to "Three
Courses and a Dessert," "The Odd Volume," "The Gentleman in Black,"
Grimm's "Fairy Tales," "Philosophy in Sport," and "The Table-Book," will
be long remembered, and are now highly prized by amateurs; but his
minute and delicate pencil-drawings have taxed the energies of the very
best engravers of whom England can boast,--of Vizetelly, of Landells, of
Jackson, of Thompson, and of Thurston. George Cruikshank would never
suffer his drawings on wood to be slashed and chopped about by hasty or
incompetent gravers; and although the ateliers of "Punch" are supplied
with a first-rate staff of wood-cutters, very great haste and very
little care must often be apparent in the weekly pabulum of cuts; nor
should such an appearance excite surprise, when the exigencies of a
weekly publication are remembered. The "Punch" artists, indeed, draw
with a special reference to that which they know their engravers can or
cannot do. Mr. Tenniel's cartoons are put on wood precisely as they are
meant to be cut, in broad, firm, sweeping lines, and the wood-engraver
has only to scoop out the white interstices between the network of
lines; whereas Mr. Leech dashed in a bold pen-and-ink-like sketch and
trusted to the xylographer, who knew his style well and of old, to
produce an engraving, _tant bien que mal_, but as bold and as dashing as
the original. The secession, for reasons theological, from "Punch" of
Mr. Richard Doyle, an event which took place some fifteen years since,
(how quickly time passes, to be sure!) was very bitterly regretted by
his literary and artistic comrades; and the young man who calmly gave up
something like a thousand pounds a year for conscience' sake lost
nothing, but gained rather in the respect and admiration of society. But
the wood-engravers must have held high carousal over the defection of
Mr. Doyle. To cut one of his drawings was a crucial experiment. His hand
was not sure in its touch; he always drew six lines instead of one; and
in the portrait of a lady from his pencil, the agonized engraver had to
hunt through a Cretan labyrinth of faces before he found the particular
countenance which Mr. Doyle wished to be engraved.

I have strayed away, perhaps unpardonably, from George Cruikshank. To
those whose only ludicrous prophet is "Punch" he may be comparatively
little known. But in the great world of pictorial art, both in England
and on the Continent, he worthily holds an illustrious place. His name
is a household word with his countrymen; and whenever a young hopeful
displays ever so crude an aptitude for caricaturing his schoolmaster, or
giving with slate and pencil the facetious side of his grandmother's cap
and spectacles, he is voted by the unanimous suffrage of fireside
critics to be a "regular Cruikshank." In this connection I have heard
him sometimes called "Crookshanks," which is taking, I apprehend, even a
grosser liberty with his name than in the case of the additional
_c_,--"Crookshanks" having seemingly a reference, and not a
complimentary one, to George's legs.

This admirable artist and good man was the son of old Isaac Cruikshank,
in his day a famous engraver of lottery-tickets, securities in which the
British public are now no longer by law permitted to invest, but which,
fifty years since, made as constant a demand on the engraver's art as,
in our time and in America, is made by the thousand and one joint-stock
banks whose pictorial promises-to-pay fill, or should properly fill, our
pocket-books. The abilities of Isaac were not entirely devoted to the
lottery; and I have at home, from his hand, a very rare and curious
etching of the execution of Louis XVI., with an explanatory diagram
beneath of the working of the guillotine. George Cruikshank's earliest
pencil-drawings are dated, as I have remarked, before the present
century drew breath; but he must have begun to gain reputation as a
caricaturist upon copper towards the end of the career of Napoleon
I.,--the "Boney" to whom he has adhered with such constant, albeit
jocular, animosity. He was the natural successor of James Gillray, the
renowned delineator of "Farmer George and Little Nap," and "Pitt and
Boney at Dinner," and hundreds of political cartoons, eagerly bought in
their day, but now to be found only in old print-shops. Gillray was
a man of vast, but misapplied talents. Although he etched
caricatures for a livelihood, his drawing was splendid,--wellnigh
Michel-Angelesque,--but always careless and _outré_. He was continually
betting crown-bowls of punch that he would design, etch, and bite in so
many plates within a given time, and, with the assistance of a private
bowl, he almost always won his bets; but the punch was too much for him
in the long run. He went mad and died miserably. George Cruikshank was
never his pupil; nor did he ever attain the freedom and mastery of
outline which the crazy old reprobate, who made the fortune of Mr.
Humphries, the St. James's Street print-seller, undeniably possessed;
but his handling was grounded upon Gillray's style; and from early and
attentive study of his works he must have acquired that boldness of
treatment, that rotundity of light and shade, and that general
"fatness," or _morbidezza_, of touch, which make the works of Gillray
and Cruikshank stand out from the coarse scrawls of Rowlandson, and the
bald and meagre scratches of Sir Charles Bunbury. Unless I am much
mistaken, one of the first works that brought George into notice was an
etching published in 1815, having reference to the exile of the detested
Corsican to St. Helena. But it was in 1821 that he first made a decided
mark. For William Hone--a man who was in perpetual opposition to the
powers that were--he drew on wood a remarkable series of illustrations
to the scurrilous, but perhaps not undeserved, satires against King
George IV., called, "The Political House that Jack Built," "The Green
Bag," "A Slap at Slop," and the like,--all of them having direct and
most caustic reference to the scandalous prosecution instituted against
a woman of whom it is difficult to say whether she was bad or mad or
both, but who was assuredly most miserable,--the unhappy Caroline of
Brunswick. George Cruikshank's sketch of the outraged husband, the
finest and stoutest gentleman in Europe, being lowered by means of a
crane into a pair of white kid pantaloons suspended between the posts of
his bed, was inimitably droll, and clearly disloyal. But disloyalty was
fashionable in the year '21.

For twenty years afterwards the history of the artist's career is but
the history of his works, of his innumerable illustrations to books, and
the sketchbooks, comic panoramas, and humorous cartoons he published on
his own account. Besides, I am not writing a life of George Cruikshank,
and all this time I have been keeping him on the threshold of the city
of Mexico. Let it suffice to say, briefly, that in 1841 came a
stand-point in his life, through the establishment of a monthly magazine
entitled "George Cruikshank's Omnibus." Of this he was the sole
illustrator. The literary editor was Laman Blanchard; and in the
"Omnibus," William Makepeace Thackeray, then a gaunt young man, not much
over thirty, and quite unknown to fame,--although he had published
"Yellowplush" in "Fraser,"--wrote his quaint and touching ballad of "The
King of Brentford's Testament." The "Omnibus" did not run long, nor was
its running very prosperous. George Cruikshank seemed for a while
wearied with the calling of a caricaturist; and the large etchings on
steel, with which between '40 and '45 he illustrated Ainsworth's gory
romances, indicated a power of grouping, a knowledge of composition, a
familiarity with mediæval costume, and a command over chiaroscuro, which
astonished and delighted those who had been accustomed to regard him
only as a funny fellow,--one of infinite whim, to be sure, but still a
jester of jests, and nothing more. Unfortunately, or fortunately, as the
case might be,--for the rumor ran that George intended to abandon
caricaturing altogether, and to set up in earnest as an historical
painter,--there came from beyond the sea, to assist in illustrating
"Windsor Castle," a Frenchman named Tony Johannot. Who but he, in fact,
was the famous master of the grotesque who illustrated "Don Quixote" and
the "Diable Boiteux" of Le Sage? To his dismay, George Cruikshank found
a competitor as eccentric as himself, as skilful a manipulator _rem
acu_, the etching-point, and who drew incomparably better than he,
George Cruikshank, did. He gave up the mediæval in disgust; but he must
have hugged himself with the thought that he had already illustrated
Charles Dickens's "Oliver Twist," and that the Frenchman, powerful as he
was, could never hope to come near him in that terrific etching of
"Fagin in the Condemned Cell."

Again nearly twenty years have passed, and George Cruikshank still waves
his Ithuriel's spear of well-ground steel, and still dabbles in
aquafortis. An old, old man, he is still strong and hale. If you ask him
a reason for his thus rivalling Fontenelle in his patriarchal greenness,
for his being able at threescore and ten to paint pictures, (witness
that colossal oil-painting of the "Triumph of Bacchus,") to make
speeches, and to march at the head of his company as a captain of
volunteers, he will give you at once the why and because. He is the most
zealous, the most conscientious, and the most invulnerable of total
abstainers. There were days when he took tobacco: witness that portrait
of himself, smoking a very long meerschaum pipe in "Love's Triumph,"
etched about 1845. There were times when he heard the chimes at
midnight, and partook of that "richt gude willie waucht" which tipsy
Scotchmen, when they have formed in a ring, standing upon chairs, each
with one foot on the table, hiccoughingly declare that we are bound to
take for the sake of "auld lang syne." But George Cruikshank has done
with willie wauchts as with bird's-eye and Killikinick. For many years
he has neither drunk nor smoked. He is more than a confessor, he is an
apostle of temperance. His strange, wild, grand performances, "The
Bottle" and "The Drunkard's Children,"--the first quite Hogarthian in
its force and pungency,--fell like thunderbolts among the gin-shops. I
am afraid that George Cruikshank would not be a very welcome guest at
Felix Booth's distillery, or at Barclay and Perkins's brewery. For, it
must be granted, the sage is a little intolerant. "No peace with the
Fiery Moloch!" "_Écrasons l'infâme!_" These are his mottoes. He would
deprive the poor man of the scantiest drop of beer. You begin with a sip
of "the right stuff," he teaches us in "The Bottle," and you end by
swigging a gallon of vitriol, jumping on your wife, and dying in Bedlam
of _delirium tremens_. I have not heard his opinions concerning cider,
or root-beer, or effervescing sarsaparilla, or ginger-pop; but I imagine
that each and every one of those reputed harmless beverages would enter
into his _Index Expurgatorius_. "Water, water, everywhere, and not a
drop [of alcohol] to drink." 'Tis thus he would quote Coleridge. He is
as furious against tobacco as ever was King James in his "Counterblast."
He is of the mind of the old divine, that "he who plays with the Devil's
rattles will soon learn to draw his sword." In his pious rage against
intemperance, and with a view to the instruction of the rising
generation, he has even published teetotal versions of "Cinderella" and
"Jack the Giant-Killer,"--a proceeding which Charles Dickens indignantly
reprobated in an article in "Household Words," called "Frauds upon the
Fairies." Nearly the last time I met George Cruikshank in London was at
a dinner given in honor of Washington's birthday. He had just been
gazetted captain of his rifle company, and was good enough to ask me if
I knew any genteel young men, of strictly temperance principles, who
would like commissions in his corps. I replied, that, so far as
principles were concerned, I could recommend him five hundred
postulants; but that, as regarded practice, most of the young men of my
acquaintance, who had manifested an ambition for a military career,
drank hard.

The which, oddly enough, leads me at last to Mexico.--We had had, on the
whole, rather a hard morning of it. The Don, who was my host in the
_siempre leal y insigne ciudad de Méjico_,--and a most munificent and
hospitable Don he was,--took me out one day in the month of March last
to visit a _hacienda_ or farm which he possessed, called, if I remember
aright, La Escalera. I repeat, we had a hard morning of it. We rose at
six,--and in mountainous Mexico the ground at early morn, even during
summer, is often covered with a frosty rime. I looked out of the window,
and when I saw the leaves of the trees glistening with something which
was _not_ dew, and Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl mantled with eternal
snows in the distance, I shivered. A cup of chocolate, a _tortilla_ or
thin griddle-cake of Indian meal, and a paper cigar, just to break your
fast, and then to horse. To horse! Do you know what it is, being a poor
horseman, to bestride a full-blood, full-bred white Arab, worth ever so
many hundred _pesos de oro_, and, with his flowing mane and tail, and
small, womanly, vixenish head, beautiful to look upon, but which in
temper, like many other beauteous creatures I have known, is an
incarnate fiend? The Arab they gave me had been the property of a French
general. I vehemently suspect that he had been dismissed from the
Imperial army for biting a _chef d'escadron_ through one of his
jackboots, or kicking in three of the ribs of a _maréchal des logis_.
That was hard enough, to begin with. Then the streets of Mexico are
execrably paved, and the roads leading out of the city are full of what
in Ireland are termed "curiosities," to wit, holes; and my Arab had a
habit, whenever he met an equine brother, and especially an equine
sister, on the way, of screaming like a possessed Pythoness, and then of
essaying to stand on his hind legs. However, with a Mexican saddle,--out
of which you can scarcely fall, even though you had a mind to it,--and
Mexican stirrups, and a pair of spurs nearly as big as Catharine-wheels,
the Arab and I managed to reach the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
five miles out, and thence, over tolerably good roads, another five
miles, to the Escalera. I wish they would make Mexican saddles of
something else besides wood very thinly covered with leather. How
devoutly did I long for the well-stuffed pig-skin of Hyde Park! We had
an hour or two more hard work riding about the fields, when we reached
the farm, watching the process of extracting _pulque_ from the _maguey_
or cactus,--and a very nasty process it is,--inspecting the granaries
belonging to the _hacienda_, and dodging between the rows of Indian
corn, which grows here to so prodigious a height as to rival the famous
grain which is said to grow somewhere down South, and to attain such an
altitude that a Comanche perched upon the head of a giraffe is invisible
between the rows. About noon we had breakfast, and that was the hardest
work of all. _Item_, we had mutton-chops, beefsteaks, veal cutlets,
omelets, rice, hominy, fried tomatoes, and an infinity of Mexican hashes
and stews seasoned with _chiles_ or red-pepper pods. _Item_, we had a
huge _pavo_, a turkey,--a wild turkey; and then, for the first time, did
I understand that the bird we Englishmen consume only at Christmas, and
then declare to be tough and flavorless, is to be eaten to perfection
only in the central regions of the American continent. The flesh of this
_pavo_ was like softened ivory, and his fat like unto clotted cream.
There were some pretty little tiny kickshaws in the way of pine-apples,
musk-melons, bananas, papaws, and custard-apples, and many other
tropical fruits whose names I have forgotten. I think, too, that we had
some stewed _iguana_ or lizard; but I remember, that, after inflicting
exemplary punishment on a bowl of sour cream, we wound up by an attack
on an _albacor_, a young kid roasted whole, or rather baked in a lump of
clay with wood-ashes heaped over him, and brought to table on a
tea-tray! Shade of Gargantua, how we ate! I blessed that fiery Arab for
giving me such an appetite. There was a good deal of smoking going on at
odd times during breakfast; but nobody ventured beyond a _cigarro_ of
paper and fine-cut before we attacked the _albacor_. When coffee was
served, each man lighted a _puro_, one of the biggest of Cabaña's
Regalias; and serious and solemn puffing then set in. It was a memorable
breakfast. The _Administrador_, or steward of the estate, had evidently
done his best to entertain his patron the Don with becoming
magnificence, nor were potables as dainty as the edibles wanting to
furnish forth the feast. There was _pulque_ for those who chose to drink
it. I never could stomach that fermented milk of human unkindness, which
combines the odor of a dairy that has been turned into a grogshop with
the flavor of rotten eggs. There was wine of Burgundy and wine of
Bordeaux; there was Champagne: these three from the Don's cellar in
Mexico, and the last cooled, not with vulgar ice, but with snow from the
summit of Popocatepetl,--snow that had been there from the days of
Montezuma and Guatimozin; while as _chasse_ and _pousse_ to the
exquisitely flavored Mexican coffee, grown, ground, and roasted on the
_hacienda_, we had some very ripe old French Cognac, (1804, I think, was
the brand,) and some Peruvian _pisco_, a strong white cordial, somewhat
resembling _kirsch-wasser_, and exceeding toothsome. We talked and
laughed till we grew sleepy, (the edibles and potables had of course
nothing to do with our somnolence,) and then, the farm-house of the
_hacienda_ having seemingly as many rooms as the Vatican, each man hied
him to a cool chamber, where he found a trundle-bed, or a hammock, or a
sofa, and gravely laid himself out for an hour's _siesta_. Then the
Administrador woke us all up, and gleefully presented us with an
enormous bowl of sangaree, made of the remains of the Bordeaux and the
brandy and the pisco, and plenty of ice,--ice this time,--and sugar, and
limes, and slices of pineapple, Madam,--the which he had concocted
during our slumber. We drained this,--one gets so thirsty after
breakfast in Mexico,--and then to horse again for a twelve miles' ride
back to the city. I omitted to mention two or three little circumstances
which gave a zest and piquancy to the entertainment. When we arrived at
the _hacienda_, although servitors were in plenty, each cavalier
unsaddled and fed his own steed; and when we addressed ourselves to our
_siesta_, every one who didn't find a double-barrelled gun at the head
of his bed took care to place a loaded revolver under his pillow. For
accidents will happen in the best-regulated families; and in Mexico you
can never tell at what precise moment Cacus may be upon you.

Riding back to the _siempre leal y insigne ciudad_ at about three
o'clock in the afternoon, when the sun was at its hottest, was no joke.
Baking is not precisely the word, nor boiling, nay, nor frying;
something which is a compound of all these might express the sensation
I, for one, felt. Fortunately, the Don had insisted on my assuming the
orthodox Mexican riding-costume: cool linen drawers, cut Turkish
fashion; over these, and with just sufficient buttons in their
respective holes to swear by, the leathern _chapareros_ or overalls;
morocco slippers, to which were strapped the Catharine-wheel spurs; no
vest; no neckerchief; a round jacket, with quarter doubloons for
buttons; and a low-crowned felt hat, with an enormous brim, a brim which
might have made a Quaker envious, and have stricken mortification to the
soul of a Chinese mandarin. This brim kept the sun out of your eyes; and
then, by way of hatband, there was a narrow, but thick turban or
"pudding," which prevented the rays of Sol from piercing through your
skull, and boiling your brains into batter. The fact of the whole of
this costume, and the accoutrements of your horse to boot, being
embroidered with silver and embellished with golden bosses, thus
affording a thousand tangents for Phoebus to fly off from, rather
detracted from the coolness of your array; but one must not expect
perfection here below. In a stove-pipe hat, a shooting-coat, and
riding-cords, I should have suffered much more from the heat. As it was,
I confess, that, when I reached home, in the Calle San Francisco,
Mexico, I was exceedingly thankful. I am not used to riding twenty-four
miles in one day. I think I had a warm bath in the interval between
doffing the _chapareros_ and donning the pantaloons of every-day life. I
think I went to sleep on a sofa for about an hour, and, waking up,
called for a cocktail as a restorative. Yes, Madam, there are cocktails
in Mexico, and our Don's body-servant made them most scientifically. I
think also that I declined, with thanks, the Don's customary invitation
to a drive before dinner in the Paseo. Nor barouche, nor mail-phaëton,
nay, nor soft-cushioned brougham delighted me. I felt very lazy and
thoroughly knocked up.

The Don, however, went out for his drive, smiling at my woful plight. Is
it only after hard riding that remorse succeeds enjoyment? I was left
alone in his great caravansary of a mansion. I wandered from room to
room, from corridor to corridor,--now glancing through the
window-_jalousies_, and peeping at the _chinas_ in their _ribosos_, and
the shovel-hatted priests in the street below creeping along on the
shady side of the way,--now hanging over the gallery in the inner
court-yard, listening to the horses stamping in their stables or
rattling their tethers against the mangers, listening now to the English
grooms as they whistled the familiar airs of home while they rubbed
their charges down, and now to the sleepy, plaintive drone of the Indian
servants loitering over their work in the kitchens. Then I wandered back
again,--from drawing-room to dining-room, from bedchamber to boudoir.
And at last I found that I had crossed a bridge over another court-yard,
and gotten into another house, abutting on another street. The Don was
still lord here, and I was free to ramble. More drawing-rooms, more
bedchambers, more boudoirs, a chapel, and at last a library. Libraries
are not plentiful in Mexico. Here, on many shelves, was a goodly store
of standard literature in many languages. Here was Prescott's History of
the Conquest, translated into choice Castilian, and Señor Ramirez his
comments thereupon. Here was Don Lucas Alaman his History of Mexico,
and works by Jesuit fathers innumerable. How ever did they get printed?
Who ever bought, who ever read, those cloudy tomes in dog Latin? Here
was Lord Kingsborough's vast work on Mexican Antiquities,--the work his
Lordship is reported to have ruined himself in producing; and Macaulay,
and Dickens, and Washington Irving, and the British Essayists, and the
Waverley Novels, and Shakspeare, and Soyer's Cookery, and one little
book of mine own writing: a very well-chosen library indeed.

What have we here? A fat, comely, gilt-lettered volume, bound in red
morocco, and that might, externally, have passed for my grandmother's
edition of Dr. Doddridge's Sermons. As I live, 't is a work illustrated
by George Cruikshank,--a work hitherto unknown to me, albeit I fancied
myself rich, even to millionnairism, in Cruikshankiana. It is a rare
book, a precious book, a book that is not in the British Museum, a book
for which collectors would gladly give more doubloons than I lost at
_monte_ last night; for here the most moral people play _monte_. It is
_un costumbre del pais_,--a custom of the country; and, woe is me! I
lost a pile 'twixt midnight and cock-crow.

"Life in Paris; or the Rambles, Sprees, and Amours of Dick Wildfire,
Squire Jenkins, and Captain O'Shuffleton, with the Whimsical Adventures
of the Halibut Family, and Other Eccentric Characters in the French
Metropolis. Embellished with Twenty-One Comic Vignettes and Twenty-One
Colored Engravings of Scenes from Real Life, by George Cruikshank.
London: Printed for John Cumberland. 1828." This "Life in Paris" was
known to me by dim literary repute; but I had never seen, the actual
volume before. Its publication was a disastrous failure. Emboldened by
the prodigious success of "Life in London,"--the adventures in the Great
Metropolis of Corinthian Tom and Jerry--Somebody--and Bob Logic,
Esquire, written by Pierce Egan, once a notorious chronicler of the
prize-ring, the compiler of a Slang Dictionary, and whose proficiency in
_argot_ and flash-patter was honored by poetic celebration from Byron,
Moore, and Christopher North, but whom I remember, when I was first
climbing into public life, a decrepit, broken-down old man,--Mr. John
Cumberland, of Ludgate Hill, (the publisher, by the way, of that series
of the "Acting Drama" to which, over the initials of D--G, and the
figure of a hand pointing, some of the most remarkable dramatic
criticisms in the English language are appended,) thought, not
unreasonably, that "Life in Paris" might attain a vogue as extensive as
that achieved by "Life in London." I don't know who wrote the French
"Life." Pierce Egan could scarcely have been the author; for he was then
at the height of a vicious and ephemeral popularity; and any book,
however trashy, with his name to it, would have been sure to sell. This
"Life in Paris" was very probably the work of some obscure hack, who,
when he was describing the "eccentric characters in the French
metropolis," may not impossibly have been vegetating in the Rules of the
King's Bench Prison. But crafty Mr. Cumberland, to insure the success of
his enterprise, secured the services of George Cruikshank as
illustrator. George had a brother Robert, who had caught something of
his touch and manner, but nothing of his humorous genius, and who
assisted him in illustrating "Life in London"; but "Life in Paris" was
to be all his own; and he undertook a journey to France in order to
study Gallic life and make sketches. The results were now before me in
twenty-one small vignettes on wood, (of not much account,) and of as
many large aquatint engravings, (George can aquatint as well as etch,)
crowded with figures, and displaying the unmistakable and inimitable
Cruikshankian _vim_ and point. There is Dick Wildfire being attired,
with the aid of the _friseur_ and the tailor, and under the sneering
inspection of Sam Sharp, his Yorkshire valet, according to the latest
Parisian fashions. Next we have Dick and Captain O'Shuffleton (an Irish
adventurer) "promenading in the Gardens of the Tuileries"; next, "real
life" in the galleries of the Palais Royal; next, Dick, the Captain,
Lady Halibut, and Lydia "enjoying a lounge on the Italian Boulevard." To
these succeed a representation of a dinner at Véry's; Dick and his
companions "smashing the glim on a spree by lamplight"; Dick and the
Captain "paying their respects to the Fair _Limonadière_ at the Café des
Mille Colonnes"; Dick introduced by the Captain to a _Rouge et Noir_
table; the same and his valet "_showing fight in a Caveau_"; "Life
behind the Curtain of the Grand Opera, or Dick and the Squire larking
with the _Figurantes_"; Dick and the Squire "enjoying the sport at the
Combat of Animals, or Duck Lane of Paris"; Dick and Jenkins "in a
Theatrical Pandemonium, or the Café de la Paix in all its glory"; "Life
among the Dead, or the Halibut Family in the Catacombs"; "Life among the
Connoisseurs," or Dick and his friends "in the Grand Gallery of the
Louvre"; "a Frolic in the _Café d'Enfer_, or Infernal Cellar"; "Life on
Tiptoe, or Dick quadrilling it in the Salons de Mars in the Champs
Élysées"; the "_Entrée_ to the Italian Opera"; the "Morning of the Fête
of St. Louis"; the "Evening of the same, with Dick, Jenkins, and the
Halibuts witnessing the _Canaille_ in all their glory"; and, finally,
"Life in a Billiard-Room, or Dick and the Squire _au fait_ to the
Parisian Sharpers."

I have said that these illustrations are full of point and drollery.
They certainly lack that round, full touch so distinctive of George
Cruikshank, and which he learned from Gillray; but such a touch can be
given only when the shadows as well as the outlines of a plate are
etched; and the intent of an aquatint engraving is, as the reader may or
may not know, to produce the effect of a drawing in Indian ink.[C] Still
there is much in these pictures to delight the Cruikshankian
connoisseur,--infinite variety in physiognomy, wonderful minuteness and
accuracy in detail, and here and there sparkles of the true Hogarthian

But a banquet in which the plates only are good is but a Barmecide
feast, after all. The letter-press to this "Life in Paris" is the vilest
rubbish imaginable,--a farrago of St. Giles's slang, Tottenham Court
Road doggerel, ignorance, lewdness, and downright dulness. Mr. John
Cumberland, of Ludgate Hill, took, accordingly, very little by his
motion. The "Life" fell almost stillborn from the press; and George
Cruikshank must have regretted that he ever had anything to do with it.
The major part of the impression must years ago have been used to line
trunks, inwrap pies, and singe geese; but to our generation, and to
those which are to come, this sorry volume will be more than a
curiosity: it will be literarily and artistically an object of great and
constantly increasing value. By the amateur of Cruikshankiana it will be
prized for the reason that the celebrated Latin pamphlet proving that
Edward VI. never had the toothache was prized, although the first and
last leaves were wanting, by Theodore Hook's Tom Hill. It will be
treasured for its scarcity. To the student of social history it will be
of even greater value, as the record of a state of manners, both in
England and France, which has wholly and forever passed away. The
letter-press portraits, drawn by the hack author, of a party of English
tourists are but foul and stupid libels; but their aquatint portraits,
as bitten in by George Cruikshank, are, albeit exaggerated, true in many
respects to Nature. In fact, we _were_ used, when George IV. was king,
to send abroad these overdressed and under-bred clowns and
Mohawks,--whelps of the squirarchy and hobbledehoys of the
universities,--Squire Gawkies and Squire Westerns and Tony Lumpkins,
Mrs. Malaprops and Lydia Languishes, by the hundred and the thousand.
"The Fudge Family in Paris" and the letters of Mrs. Ramsbotham read
nowadays like the most outrageous of caricatures; but they failed not to
hit many a blot in the times which gave them birth. It was really
reckoned fashionable in 1828 to make a visit to Paris the occasion for
the coarsest of "sprees,"--to get tipsy at Véry's,--to "smash the
glims,"--to parade those infamous _Galeries de Bois_ in the Palais Royal
which were the common haunt of abandoned women,--to beat the gendarmes,
and, indeed, the first Frenchman who happened to turn up, merely on the
ground that he _was_ a Frenchman. But France and the French have changed
since then, as well as England and the English. Are these the only
countries in the world whose people and whose manners have turned
_volte-face_ within less than half a century? I declare that I read from
beginning to end, the other day, a work called "Salmagundi," and that I
could not recognize in one single page anything to remind me of the New
York of the present day. Thus in the engravings to "Life in Paris" are
there barely three which any modern Parisian would admit to possess any
direct or truthful reference to Paris life as it is. People certainly
continue to dine at Véry's; but Englishmen no longer get tipsy there, no
longer smash the plates or kick the waiters. In lieu of dusky
billiard-rooms, the resort of duskier sharpers, there are magnificent
saloons, containing five, ten, and sometimes twenty billiard-tables. The
_Galeries de Bois_ have been knocked to pieces these thirty years. The
public gaming-houses have been shut up. There are no longer any brutal
dog-and-bear-baitings at the Barrière du Combat. There is no longer a
_Belle Limonadière_ at the Café des Mille Colonnes. _Belles
Limonadières_ (if I may be permitted to use one of the most inelegant,
but the most expressive, of American colloquialisms) are "played out."
The Catacombs have long since been shut to strangers. The _Caveau_
exists no more. Old reprobates scarcely remember the _Café d'Enfer_. The
_Fête_ of St. Louis is as dead as Louis XVIII., as dead as the _Fêtes_
of July, as the _Fêtes_ of the Republic. There is but one national
festival now,--and that is on the 15th of August, and in honor of St.
Napoleon. There are no more "glims" to smash; the old oil _reverbères_
have been replaced by showy gas-lamps, and the _sergents de ville_ would
make short work of any roisterers who attempted to take liberties with
them. The old Paris of the Restoration and the Monarchy is dead; but the
Thane of Cawdor--I mean George Cruikshank--lives, a prosperous

I brought the book away with me from Mexico, all the way down to Vera
Cruz, and so on to Cuba, and thence to New York; and it is in Boston
with me now. But it is not mine. The Don did not even lend it to me. I
had only his permission to take it from the library to my room, and turn
it over there; but when I was coming away, that same body-servant,
thinking it was my property, carefully packed it among the clothes in my
portmanteau; and I did not discover his mistake and my temporary gain
until I was off. I mention this in all candor; for I am conscious that
there never was a book-collector yet who did not, at some period or
other of his life, at least meditate the commission of a felony. But the
Don is coming to the States this autumn, and I must show him that I have
not been a fraudulent bailee. I shall have taken, at all events, my fill
of pleasure from the book; and I hope that George Cruikshank will live
to read what I have written; and God bless his honest old heart,


[C] Aquatint engraving in England is all but a dead art. It is now
employed only in portraits of race-horses, which are never sold
uncolored, and in plates of the fashions. The present writer had the
honor, twelve years since, of producing the last "great" work (so far as
size was concerned) undertaken in England. It was a monster panorama,
some sixty feet long, representing the funeral procession of the Duke of
Wellington. It was published by the well-known house of Ackermann, in
the Strand; and the writer regrets to say that the house went bankrupt
very shortly afterwards.



              January 3, 1864.

Once, and once only, thus far, the water has frozen in my tent; and the
next morning showed a dense white frost outside. We have still
mocking-birds and crickets and rosebuds and occasional noonday baths in
the river, though the butterflies have vanished, as I remember to have
observed in Fayal, after December. I have been here nearly six weeks
without a rainy day; one or two slight showers there have been, once
interrupting a drill, but never dress parade. For climate, by day, we
might be among the isles of Greece,--though it may be my constant
familiarity with the names of her sages which suggests that impression.
For instance, a voice just now called, near my tent,--"Cato, whar's

The men have somehow got the impression that it is essential to the
validity of a marriage that they should come to me for permission, just
as they used to go to the master; and I rather encourage these little
confidences, because it is so entertaining to hear them. "Now, Cunnel,"
said a faltering swain the other day, "I want for get me one good lady,"
which I approved, especially the limitation as to number. Afterwards I
asked one of the bridegroom's friends whether he thought it a good
match. "Oh, yes, Cunnel," said he, in all the cordiality of friendship,
"John's gwine for marry Venus." I trust the goddess prove herself a
better lady than she appeared during her previous career upon this
planet. But this naturally suggests the isles of Greece again.

_January 7._--On first arriving, I found a good deal of anxiety among
the officers as to the increase of desertions, that being the rock on
which the "Hunter Regiment" split. Now this evil is very nearly stopped,
and we are every day recovering the older absentees. One of the very
best things that have happened to us was a half-accidental shooting of a
man who had escaped from the guard-house, and was wounded by a squad
sent in pursuit. He has since died; and this very evening, another man,
who escaped with him, came and opened the door of my tent, after being
five days in the woods, almost without food. His clothes were in rags,
and he was nearly starved, poor foolish fellow, so that we can almost
dispense with further punishment. Severe penalties would be wasted on
these people, accustomed as they have been to the most violent passions
on the part of white men; but a mild inexorableness tells on them, just
as it does on any other children. It is something utterly new to them,
and it is thus far perfectly efficacious. They have a great deal of
pride as soldiers, and a very little of severity goes a great way, if it
be firm and consistent. This is very encouraging.

The single question which I asked of some of the
plantation-superintendents, on the voyage, was, "Do these people
appreciate _justice_?" If they did, it was evident that all the rest
would be easy. When a race is degraded beyond that point, it must be
very hard to deal with them; they must mistake all kindness for
indulgence, all strictness for cruelty. With these freed slaves there is
no such trouble, not a particle: let an officer be only just and firm,
with a cordial, kindly nature, and he has no sort of difficulty. The
plantation-superintendents and teachers have the same experience, they
say; but we have an immense advantage in the military organization,
which helps in two ways: it increases their self-respect, and it gives
us an admirable machinery for discipline, thus improving both the
fulcrum and the lever.

The wounded man died in the hospital, and the general verdict seemed to
be, "Him brought it on heself." Another soldier died of pneumonia on the
same day, and we had the funerals in the evening. It was very
impressive. A dense mist came up, with a moon behind it, and we had only
the light of pine-splinters, as the procession wound along beneath the
mighty moss-hung branches of the ancient grove. The groups around the
grave, the dark faces, the red garments, the scattered lights, the misty
boughs, were weird and strange. The men sang one of their own wild
chants. Two crickets sang also, one on either side, and did not cease
their little monotone, even when the three volleys were fired above the
graves. Just before the coffins were lowered, an old man whispered to me
that I must have their position altered,--the heads must be towards the
west; so it was done,--though they are in a place so veiled in woods
that either rising or setting sun will find it hard to spy them.

We have now a good regimental hospital, admirably arranged in a deserted
gin-house,--a fine well of our own within the camp-lines,--a
ful-allowance of tents, all floored,--a wooden cook-house to every
company, with sometimes a palmetto mess-house beside,--a substantial
wooden guard-house, with a fireplace five feet "in de clar," where the
men off duty can dry themselves and sleep comfortably in bunks
afterwards. We have also a great circular school-tent, made of condemned
canvas, thirty feet in diameter, and looking like some of the Indian
lodges I saw in Kansas. We now meditate a regimental bakery. Our
aggregate has increased from four hundred and ninety to seven hundred
and forty, besides a hundred recruits now waiting at St. Augustine, and
we have practised through all the main movements in battalion drill.

Affairs being thus prosperous, and yesterday having been six weeks since
my last and only visit to Beaufort, I rode in, glanced at several camps,
and dined with the General. It seemed absolutely like reëntering the
world; and I did not fully estimate my past seclusion till it occurred
to me, as a strange and novel phenomenon, that the soldiers at the other
camps were white.

_January 8._--This morning I went to Beaufort again, on necessary
business, and by good luck happened upon a review and drill of the white
regiments. The thing that struck me most was that same absence of
uniformity, in minor points, that I noticed at first in my own officers.
The best regiments in the Department are represented among my captains
and lieutenants, and very well represented, too; yet it has cost much
labor to bring them to any uniformity in their drill. There is no need
of this, for the prescribed "Tactics" approach perfection: it is never
left discretionary in what place an officer shall stand, or in what
words he shall give his order. All variation would seem to imply
negligence. Yet even West Point occasionally varies from the
"Tactics,"--as, for instance, in requiring the line officers to face
down the line, when each is giving the order to his company. In our
strictest Massachusetts regiments this is not done.

It needs an artist's eye to make a perfect drill-master. Yet the small
points are not merely a matter of punctilio; for, the more perfectly a
battalion is drilled on the parade-ground, the more quietly it can be
handled in action. Moreover, the great need of uniformity is this: that,
in the field, soldiers of different companies, and even of different
regiments, are liable to be intermingled, and a diversity of orders may
throw everything into confusion. Confusion means Bull Run.

I wished my men at the review to-day; for, amidst all the rattling and
noise of artillery and the galloping of cavalry, there was only one
infantry movement that we have not practised, and that was done by only
one regiment, and apparently considered quite a novelty, though it is
easily taught,--forming square by Casey's method: forward on centre.

It is really just as easy to drill a regiment as a company,--perhaps
easier, because one has more time to think; but it is just as essential
to be sharp and decisive, perfectly clear-headed, and to put life into
the men. A regiment seems small when one has learned how to handle it,
a mere handful of men; and I have no doubt that a brigade or a
division would soon appear equally small. But to handle either
_judiciously_,--ah, that is another affair!

So of governing: it is as easy to govern a regiment as a school or a
factory, and needs like qualities,--system, promptness, patience, tact;
moreover, in a regiment one has the aid of the admirable machinery of
the army, so that I see very ordinary men who succeed very tolerably.

Reports of a six months' armistice are rife here, and the thought is
deplored by all. I cannot believe it, yet sometimes one feels very
anxious about the ultimate fate of these poor people. After the
experience of Hungary, one sees that revolutions may go backward; and
the habit of injustice seems so deeply impressed upon the whites, that
it is hard to believe in the possibility of anything better. I dare not
yet hope that the promise of the President's Proclamation will be kept.
For myself I can be indifferent, for the experience here has been its
own daily and hourly reward; and the adaptedness of the freed slaves for
drill and discipline is now thoroughly demonstrated and must soon be
universally acknowledged. But it would be terrible to see this regiment
disbanded or defrauded.

_January 12._--Many things glide by without time to narrate them. On
Saturday we had a mail with the President's Second Message of
Emancipation, and the next day it was read to the men. The words
themselves did not stir them very much, because they have been often
told that they were free, especially on New-Year's Day, and, being
unversed in politics, they do not understand, as well as we do, the
importance of each additional guaranty. But the chaplain spoke to them
afterwards very effectively, as usual; and then I proposed to them to
hold up their hands and pledge themselves to be faithful to those still
in bondage. They entered heartily into this, and the scene was quite
impressive, beneath the great oak-branches. I heard afterwards that only
one man refused to raise his hand, saying bluntly that his wife was out
of slavery with him, and he did not care to fight. The other soldiers of
his company were very indignant, and shoved him about among them while
marching back to their quarters, calling him "Coward." I was glad of
their exhibition of feeling, though it is very possible that the one who
had thus the moral courage to stand alone among his comrades might be
more reliable, on a pinch, than some who yielded a more ready assent.
But the whole response, on their part, was very hearty, and will be a
good thing to which to hold them hereafter, at any time of
discouragement or demoralization,--which was my chief reason for
proposing it. With their simple natures, it is a great thing to tie them
to some definite committal; they never forget a marked occurrence, and
never seem disposed to evade a pledge.

It is this capacity of honor and fidelity which gives me such entire
faith in them as soldiers. Without it, all their religious demonstration
would be mere sentimentality. For instance, every one who visits the
camp is struck with their bearing as sentinels. They exhibit, in this
capacity, not an upstart conceit, but a steady, conscientious devotion
to duty. They would stop their idolized General Saxton, if he attempted
to cross their beat contrary to orders: I have seen them. No feeble or
incompetent race could do this. The officers tell many amusing instances
of this fidelity, but I think mine the best.

It was very dark the other night,--an unusual thing here,--and the rain
fell in torrents; so I put on my India-rubber suit, and went the rounds
of the sentinels, incognito, to test them. I can only say that I shall
never try such an experiment again, and have cautioned my officers
against it. 'T is a wonder I escaped with life and limb,--such a
charging of bayonets and clicking of gun-locks. Sometimes I tempted
them by refusing to give any countersign, but offering them a piece of
tobacco, which they could not accept without allowing me nearer than the
prescribed bayonet's distance. Tobacco is more than gold to them, and it
was touching to watch the struggle in their minds; but they always did
their duty at last, and I never could persuade them. One man, as if
wishing to crush all his inward vacillations at one fell stroke, told me
stoutly that he never used tobacco, though I found next day that he
loved it as much as any one of them. It seemed wrong thus to tamper with
their fidelity; yet it was a vital matter to me to know how far it could
be trusted, out of my sight. It was so intensely dark that not more than
one or two knew me, even after I had talked with the very next sentinel,
especially as they had never seen me in India-rubber clothing, and I can
always disguise my voice. It was easy to distinguish those who did make
the discovery; they were always conscious and simpering when their turn
came; while the others were stout and irreverent till I revealed myself,
and then rather cowed and anxious, fearing to have offended.

It rained harder and harder, and when I had nearly made the rounds, I
had had enough of it, and, simply giving the countersign to the
challenging sentinel, undertook to pass within the lines.

"Halt!" exclaimed this dusky man and brother, bringing down his
bayonet,--"de countersign not correck."

Now the magic word, in this case, was "Vicksburg," in honor of a rumored
victory. But as I knew that these hard names became quite transformed
upon their lips, "Carthage" being familiarized into Cartridge, and
"Concord" into Corn-cob, how could I possibly tell what shade of
pronunciation my friend might prefer for this particular proper name?

"Vicksburg," I repeated, blandly, but authoritatively, endeavoring, as
zealously as one of Christy's Minstrels, to assimilate my speech to any
supposed predilection of the Ethiop vocal organs.

"Halt dar! Countersign not correck," was the only answer.

The bayonet still maintained a position which, in a military point of
view, was impressive.

I tried persuasion, orthography, threats, tobacco, all in vain. I could
not pass in. Of course my pride was up; for was I to defer to an
untutored African on a point of pronunciation? Classic shades of
Harvard, forbid! Affecting scornful indifference, I tried to edge away,
proposing to myself to enter the camp at some other point, where my
elocution would be better appreciated. Not a step could I stir.

"Halt!" shouted my gentleman again, still holding me at his bayonet's
point, and I wincing and halting.

I explained to him the extreme absurdity of this proceeding, called his
attention to the state of the weather, which, indeed, spoke for itself
so loudly that we could hardly hear each other speak, and requested
permission to withdraw. The bayonet, with mute eloquence, refused the

There flashed into my mind, with more enjoyment in the retrospect than I
had experienced at the time, an adventure on a lecturing tour in other
years, when I had spent an hour in trying to scramble into a country
tavern, after bed-time, on the coldest night of winter. On that occasion
I ultimately found myself stuck midway in the window, with my head in a
temperature of 80°, and my heels in a temperature of -10°, with a heavy
window-sash pinioning the small of my back. However, I had got safe out
of that dilemma, and it was time to put an end to this one.

"Call the corporal of the guard," said I, at last, with dignity,
unwilling either to make a night of it or to yield my incognito.

"Corporal ob de guard!" he shouted, lustily,--"Post Number Two!" while I
could hear another sentinel chuckling with laughter. This last was a
special guard, placed over a tent, with a prisoner in charge. Presently
he broke silence.

"Who am dat?" he asked, in a stage whisper. "Am he a buckra [white

"Dunno whether he been a buckra or not," responded, doggedly, my
Cerberus in uniform; "but I's bound to keep him here till de corporal ob
de guard come."

Yet, when that dignitary arrived, and I revealed myself, poor Number Two
appeared utterly transfixed with terror, and seemed to look for nothing
less than immediate execution. Of course I praised his fidelity, and the
next day complimented him before the guard, and mentioned him to his
captain; and the whole affair was very good for them all. Hereafter, if
Satan himself should approach them in darkness and storm, they will take
him for "de Cunnel," and treat him with special severity.

_January 13._--In many ways the childish nature of this people shows
itself. I have just had to make a change of officers in a company which
has constantly complained, and with good reason, of neglect and improper
treatment. Two excellent officers have been assigned to them; and yet
they sent a deputation to me in the evening, in a state of utter
wretchedness. "We's bery grieved dis evening, Cunnel; 'pears like we
couldn't bear it, to lose de Cap'n and de Lieutenant, all two togeder."
Argument was useless; and I could only fall back on the general theory,
that I knew what was best for them, which had much more effect; and I
also could cite the instance of another company, which had been much
improved by a new captain, as they readily admitted. So with the promise
that the new officers should not be "savage to we," which was the one
thing they deprecated, I assuaged their woes. Twenty-four hours have
passed, and I hear them singing most merrily all down that

I often notice how their griefs may be dispelled, like those of
children, merely by permission to utter them: if they can tell their
sorrows, they go away happy, even without asking to have anything done
about them. I observe also a peculiar dislike of all _intermediate_
control: they always wish to pass by the company officer, and deal with
me personally for everything. General Saxton notices the same thing with
the people on the plantations as regards himself. I suppose this
proceeds partly from the old habit of appealing to the master against
the overseer. Kind words would cost the master nothing, and he could
easily put off any non-fulfilment upon the overseer. Moreover, the
negroes have acquired such constitutional distrust of white people, that
it is perhaps as much as they can do to trust more than one person at a
time. Meanwhile this constant personal intercourse is out of the
question in a well-ordered regiment; and the remedy for it is to
introduce by degrees more and more of system, so that their immediate
officers will become all-sufficient for the daily routine.

It is perfectly true (as I find everybody takes for granted) that the
first essential for an officer of colored troops is to gain their
confidence. But it is equally true, though many persons do not
appreciate it, that the admirable methods and proprieties of the regular
army are equally available for all troops, and that the sublimest
philanthropist, if he does not appreciate this, is unfit to command

Another childlike attribute in these men, which is less agreeable, is a
sort of blunt insensibility to giving physical pain. If they are cruel
to animals, for instance, it always reminds me of children pulling off
flies' legs, in a sort of pitiless, untaught, experimental way. Yet I
should not fear any wanton outrage from them. After all their wrongs,
they are not really revengeful; and I would far rather enter a captured
city with them than with white troops, for they would be more
subordinate. But for mere physical suffering they would have no fine
sympathies. The cruel things they have seen and undergone have helped to
blunt them; and if I ordered them to put to death a dozen prisoners, I
think they would do it without remonstrance.

Yet their religious spirit grows more beautiful to me in living longer
with them: it is certainly far more so than at first, when it seemed
rather a matter of phrase and habit. It influences them both on the
negative and the positive side. That is, it cultivates the feminine
virtues first,--makes them patient, meek, resigned. This is very evident
in the hospital; there is nothing of the restless, defiant habit of
white invalids. Perhaps, if they had more of this, they would resist
disease better. Imbued from childhood with the habit of submission,
drinking in through every pore that other-world trust which is the one
spirit of their songs, they can endure everything. This I expected; but
I am relieved to find that their religion strengthens them on the
positive side also,--gives zeal, energy, daring. They could easily be
made fanatics, if I chose; but I do not choose. Their whole mood is
essentially Mohammedan, perhaps, in its strength and its weakness; and I
feel the same degree of sympathy that I should, if I had a Turkish
command,--that is, a sort of sympathetic admiration, not tending towards
agreement, but towards coöperation. Their philosophizing is often the
highest form of mysticism; and our dear surgeon declares that they are
all natural transcendentalists. The white camps seem rough and secular,
after this; and I hear our men talk about "a religious army," "a Gospel
army," in their prayer-meetings. They are certainly evangelizing the
chaplain, who was rather a heretic at the beginning; at least, this is
his own admission. We have recruits on their way from St. Augustine,
where the negroes are chiefly Roman Catholics; and it will be
interesting to see how their type of character combines with that elder

It is time for rest; and I have just looked out into the night, where
the eternal stars shut down, in concave protection, over the yet
glimmering camp, and Orion hangs above my tent-door, giving to me the
sense of strength and assurance which these simple children obtain from
their Moses and the Prophets. Yet external Nature does its share in
their training; witness that most poetic of all their songs, which
always reminds me of the "Lyke-Wake Dirge" in the "Scottish Border

    "I know moon-rise, I know star-rise;
      Lay dis body down.
    I walk in de moonlight, I walk in de starlight,
      To lay dis body down.
    I'll walk in de graveyard, I'll walk through the graveyard,
      To lay dis body down.
    I'll lie in de grave and stretch out my arms;
      Lay dis body down.
    I go to de Judgment in de evening ob de day
      When I lay dis body down;
    And my soul and your soul will meet in de day
      When I lay dis body down."

_January 14._--In speaking of the military qualities of the blacks, I
should add, that the only point where I am disappointed is one I have
never seen raised by the most incredulous newspaper critics,--namely
their physical condition. They often look magnificently to my
gymnasium-trained eye; and I always like to observe them when
bathing,--such splendid muscular development, set off by that smooth
coating of adipose tissue which makes them, like the South-Sea
Islanders, appear even more muscular than they are. Their skins are also
of finer grain than those of whites, the surgeons say, and certainly are
smoother and far more free from hair. Their weakness is pulmonary;
pneumonia and pleurisy are their besetting ailments; they are easily
made ill,--and easily cured, if promptly treated: childish organization
again. Guard-duty injures them more than whites, apparently; and
double-quick movements, in choking dust, set them coughing badly. But
then it is to be remembered that this is their sickly season, from
January to March, and that their healthy season will come in summer,
when the whites break down. Still my conviction of the physical
superiority of more highly civilized races is strengthened on the whole,
not weakened, by observing them. As to availability for military drill
and duty in other respects, the only question I ever hear debated among
the officers is, whether they are equal or superior to whites. I have
never heard it suggested that they were inferior, although I expected
frequently to hear such complaints from hasty or unsuccessful officers.

Of one thing I am sure, that their best qualities will be wasted by
merely keeping them for garrison duty. They seem peculiarly fitted for
offensive operations, and especially for partisan warfare; they have so
much dash and such abundant resources, combined with such an Indian-like
knowledge of the country and its ways. These traits have been often
illustrated in expeditions sent after deserters. For instance, I
despatched one of my best lieutenants and my best sergeant with a squad
of men to search a certain plantation, where there were two separate
negro villages. They went by night, and the force was divided. The
lieutenant took one set of huts, the sergeant the other. Before the
lieutenant had reached his first house, every man in the village was in
the woods, innocent and guilty alike. But the sergeant's mode of
operation was thus described by a corporal from a white regiment who
happened to be in one of the negro houses. He said that not a sound was
heard until suddenly a red leg appeared in the open doorway, and a voice
outside said, "Rally." Going to the door, he observed a similar pair of
red legs before every hut, and not a person was allowed to go out, until
the quarters had been thoroughly searched, and the three deserters
found. This was managed by Sergeant Prince Rivers, our color-sergeant,
who is provost-sergeant also, and has entire charge of the prisoners and
of the daily policing of the camp. He is a man of distinguished
appearance, and in old times was the crack coachman of Beaufort, in
which capacity he once drove Beauregard from this plantation to
Charleston, I believe. They tell me that he was once allowed to present
a petition to the Governor of South Carolina in behalf of slaves, for
the redress of certain grievances; and that a placard, offering two
thousand dollars for his recapture, is still to be seen by the wayside
between here and Charleston. He was a sergeant in the old "Hunter
Regiment," and was taken by General Hunter to New York last spring,
where the _chevrons_ on his arm brought a mob upon him in Broadway, whom
he kept off till the police interfered. There is not a white officer in
this regiment who has more administrative ability, or more absolute
authority over the men; they do not love him, but his mere presence has
controlling power over them. He writes well enough to prepare for me a
daily report of his duties in the camp: if his education reached a
higher point, I see no reason why he should not command the Army of the
Potomac. He is jet-black, or rather, I should say, _wine-black_; his
complexion, like that of others of my darkest men, having a sort of
rich, clear depth, without a trace of sootiness, and to my eye very
handsome. His features are tolerably regular, and full of command, and
his figure superior to that of any of our white officers,--being six
feet high, perfectly proportioned, and of apparently inexhaustible
strength and activity. His gait is like a panther's; I never saw such a
tread. No anti-slavery novel has described a man of such marked ability.
He makes Toussaint perfectly intelligible; and if there should ever be a
black monarchy in South Carolina, he will be its king.

_January 15._--This morning is like May. Yesterday I saw bluebirds and a
butterfly; so this winter of a fortnight is over. I fancy a trifle less
coughing in the camp. We hear of other stations in the Department where
the mortality, chiefly from yellow fever, has been frightful. Dr. ----
is rubbing his hands professionally over the fearful tales of the
surgeon of a New York regiment, just from Key West, who has had two
hundred cases of the fever. "I suppose he is a skilful, highly educated
man," said I; "Yes," he responded with enthusiasm. "Why, he had seventy
deaths!"--as if that proved his superiority past question.

                                   _January 19._

    "And first, sitting proud as a king on his throne,
    At the head of them all rode Sir Richard Tyrone."

But I fancy that Sir Richard felt not much better satisfied with his
following than I to-day. J. R. L. said once that nothing was quite so
good as turtle-soup, except mock-turtle; and I have heard officers
declare that nothing was so stirring as real war, except some exciting
parade. To-day, for the first time, I marched the whole regiment through
Beaufort and back,--the first appearance of such a novelty on any stage.
They did march splendidly: this all admit. M----'s prediction was

"Will not ---- be in bliss? A thousand men, every one black as a coal!"
I confess it. To look back on twenty broad double-ranks of men, (for
they marched by platoons,)--every polished musket having a black face
beside it, and every face set steadily to the front,--a regiment of
freed slaves marching on into the future,--it was something to remember;
and when they returned through the same streets, marching by the flank,
with guns at a "support," and each man covering his file-leader
handsomely, the effect on the eye was almost as fine. The band of the
Eighth Maine joined us at the entrance of the town, and escorted us in.
Sergeant Rivers said ecstatically afterwards, in describing the
affair,--"And when dat band wheel in before us, and march on,--my God! I
quit dis world altogeder." I wonder if he pictured to himself the many
dusky regiments, now unformed, which I seemed to see marching up behind
us, gathering shape out of the dim air.

I had cautioned the men, before leaving camp, not to be staring about
them as they marched, but to look straight to the front, every man; and
they did it with their accustomed fidelity, aided by the sort of
spontaneous eye-for-effect which is in all their melodramatic natures.
One of them was heard to say exultingly afterwards,--"We didn't look to
de right nor to de leff. I didn't see notin' in Beaufort. Eb'ry step was
worth a half-a-dollar." And they all marched as if it were so. They knew
well that they were marching through throngs of officers and soldiers
who had drilled as many months as we had drilled weeks, and whose eyes
would readily spy out every defect. And I must say, that, on the whole,
with a few trivial exceptions, those spectators behaved in a manly and
courteous manner, and I do not care to write down all the handsome
things that were said. Whether said or not, they were deserved; and
there is no danger that our men will not take sufficient satisfaction in
their good appearance. I was especially amused at one of our recruits,
who did not march in the ranks, and who said, after watching the
astonishment of some white soldiers,--"De buckra sojers look like a man
who been-a-steal a sheep,"--that is, I suppose, sheepish.

After passing and repassing through the town, we marched to the
parade-ground and went through an hour's drill, forming squares and
reducing them, and doing other things which look hard on paper and are
perfectly easy in fact; and we were to have been reviewed by General
Saxton, but he had been unexpectedly called to Ladies Island, and did
not see us at all, which was the only thing to mar the men's enjoyment.
Then we marched back to camp, (three miles,) the men singing the "John
Brown Song," and all manner of things,--as happy creatures as one can
well conceive.

It is worth mentioning, before I close, that we have just received an
article about "Negro Troops," from the London "Spectator," which is so
admirably true to our experience that it seems as if written by one of
us. I am confident that there never has been, in any American newspaper,
a treatment of the subject so discriminating and so wise.

_January 21._--To-day brought a visit from Major-General Hunter and his
staff, by General Saxton's invitation,--the former having just arrived
in the Department. I expected them at dress parade, but they came during
battalion drill, rather to my dismay, and we were caught in our old
clothes. It was our first review, and I dare say we did tolerably; but
of course it seemed to me that the men never appeared so ill
before,--just as one always thinks a party at one's own house a failure,
even if the guests seem to enjoy it, because one is so keenly sensitive
to every little thing that goes wrong. After review and drill, General
Hunter made the men a little speech, at my request, and told them that
he wished there were fifty thousand of them. General Saxton spoke to
them afterwards, and said that fifty thousand muskets were on their way
for colored troops. The men cheered both the Generals lustily; and they
were complimentary afterwards, though I knew that the regiment could not
have appeared nearly so well as on its visit to Beaufort. I suppose I
felt like some anxious mamma whose children have accidentally appeared
at dancing-school in their old clothes.

General Hunter promises us all we want,--pay when the funds arrive,
Springfield rifled muskets, and blue trousers. Moreover, he has
graciously consented that we should go on an expedition along the coast,
to pick up cotton, lumber, and, above all, recruits. I declined an offer
like this just after my arrival, because the regiment was not drilled or
disciplined, not even the officers; but it is all we wish for now.

    "What care I how black I be?
    Forty pounds will marry me,"

quoth Mother Goose. Forty _rounds_ will marry us to the American Army,
past divorcing, if we can only use them well. Our success or failure may
make or mar the prospects of colored troops. But it is well to remember
in advance that military success is really less satisfactory than any
other, because it may depend on a moment's turn of events, and that may
be determined by some trivial thing, neither to be anticipated nor
controlled. Napoleon ought to have won at Waterloo by all reasonable
calculations; but who cares? All that one can expect is, to do one's
best, and to take with equanimity the fortune of war.[D]


[D] In coming to the record of more active service, the Journal form
must be abandoned. The next chapter will give some account of an
expedition up the St. Mary's River.


A little more than two centuries ago the site of New York City was
bought by its first white owners for twenty-four dollars. The following
tabular statement exhibits the steps of its progressive settlement since

Year.      Population.       Year.      Population.
1656          1,000          1820         123,706
1673          2,500          1825         166,089
1696          4,302          1830         202,589
1731          8,628          1835         270,068
1756         10,381          1840         312,852
1773         21,876          1845         371,223
1786         23,614          1850         515,394
1790         33,131          1855         629,810
1800         60,489          1860         814,254
1810         96,373          1864       1,000,000+

Taking the first census as a point of departure, the population of New
York doubled itself in about eleven years. During the first century it
increased a little more than tenfold. It was doubled again in less than
twenty years; the next thirty years quadrupled it; and another period of
twenty years doubled it once more. Its next duplication consumed the
shorter term of eighteen years. It more than doubled again during the
fifteen years preceding the last census; and the four years since that
census have witnessed an increase of nearly twenty-three per cent. This
final estimate is of course liable to correction by next year's census,
but its error will be found on the side of under-statement, rather than
of exaggeration.

The property on the north-west corner of Broadway and Chamber Street,
now occupied in part by one of Delmonico's restaurants, was purchased
by a New York citizen, but lately deceased, for the sum of $1,000: its
present value is $125,000. A single Broadway lot, surveyed out of an
estate which cost the late John Jay $500 per acre, was recently sold at
auction for $80,000, and the purchaser has refused a rent of $16,000 per
annum, or twenty per cent on his purchase-money, for the store which he
has erected on the property. In 1826, the estimated total value of real
estate in the city of New York was $64,804,050. In 1863, it had reached
a total of $402,196,652, thus increasing more than sixfold within the
lifetime of an ordinary business-generation. In 1826, the personal
estate of New York City, so far as could be arrived at for official
purposes, amounted to $42,434,981. In 1863, the estimate of this class
of property-values was $192,000,161. It had thus more than quadrupled in
a generation.

But statistics are most eloquent through illustration. Let us look
discursively about the city of New York at various periods of her career
since the opening of the present century. I shall assume that a map of
the city is everywhere attainable, and that the reader has a general
acquaintance with the physical and political geography of the United

Not far from the beginning of the century, Wall Street, as its name
implies, was the northern boundary of the city of New York. The present
north boundary of civilized settlement is almost identical with the
statutory limit of the city, or that of the island itself. There is no
perceptible break, though there are gradations of compactness, in the
settled district between the foot of the island and Central Park. Beyond
the Park, Haarlem Lane, Manhattanville, and Carmansville take up the
thread of civic population, and carry it, among metropolitan houses and
lamp-posts, quite to the butment of High Bridge. It has been seriously
proposed to legislate for the annexation of a portion of Westchester to
the bills of mortality, and this measure cannot fail to be demanded by
the next generation; but for the present we will consider High Bridge as
the north end of the city. Let us compare the boundary remembered by our
veterans with that to which metropolitan settlement has been pushed by
them and their children. In the lifetime of our oldest business-men, the
advance wave of civic refinement, convenience, luxury, and population
has travelled a distance greater than that from the Westminster Palaces
to the hulks at the Isle of Dogs. When we consider that the population
of the American Metropolis lives better, on the average, than that of
any earthly capital, and that ninety-nine hundredths of all our
suffering poor are the overflow of Great Britain's pauperism running
into our grand channels a little faster than we can direct its current
to the best advantage,--under these circumstances the advance made by
New York in less than a century toward the position of the world's
metropolis is a more important one than has been gained by London
between the time of Julius Cæsar and the present century.

I know an excellent business-man who was born in his father's
aristocratic residence in Beaver Street. Holborn is as aristocratic now.
Another friend of mine still living, the freshest of sexagenarians, told
me lately of a walk he took in boyhood which so much fatigued him, that,
when he was a long way out in the fields, he sat down to rest on the
steps of a suburban hospital. I guessed Bellevue; but he replied that it
was the New York Hospital, standing in what we now call the lower part
of Broadway, just opposite North Pearl Street. No part of the Strand or
of the Boulevards is less rural than the vast settled district about the
New York Hospital at this day. It stands at least four times farther
within than it then did beyond the circumference of New York
civilization. I remember another illustration of its relative situation
early in the century,--a story of good old Doctor Stone, who excused
himself from his position of manager by saying, that, as the infirmities
of age grew on him, he found the New York Hospital so far out in the
country that he should be obliged, if he stayed, to keep "a horse and

Many New-Yorkers, recognized among our young and active men, can
recollect when Houston Street was called North Street because it was
practically the northern boundary of the settled district. Middle-aged
men remember the swamp of Lispenard's Meadow, which is now the dryest
part of Canal Street; some recall how they crossed other parts of the
swamp on boards, and how tide-water practically made a separate island
of what is now the northern and much the larger portion of the city.
Young men recollect making Saturday-afternoon appointments with their
schoolfellows (there was no time on any other day) to go "clear out into
the country," bathe in the rural cove at the foot of East Thirteenth
Street, and, refreshed by their baths, proceed to bird's-nesting on the
wilderness of the Stuyvesant Farm, where is now situate Stuyvesant Park,
one of the loveliest and most elegant pleasure-grounds open to the New
York public, surrounded by one of the best-settled portions of the city,
in every sense of the word. Still younger men remember Fourteenth Street
as the utmost northern limit of the wave of civilization; and
comparative boys have seen Franconi's Hippodrome pitched in a vacant lot
of the suburbs, where now the Fifth Avenue Hotel stands, at the entrance
to a double mile of palaces, in the northern, southern, and western

We may safely affirm, that, since the organization of the science of
statistics, no city in the world has ever multiplied its population,
wealth, and internal resources of livelihood with a rapidity approaching
that shown by New York. London has of late years made great progress
quantitively, but her means of accommodating a healthy and happy
population have kept no adequate pace with the increase of numbers.
During the year 1862, 75,000 immigrants landed at the port of New York;
in 1863, 150,000 more; and thus far in 1864 (we write in November)
200,000 have debarked here. Of these 425,000 immigrants, 40 per cent
have stayed in the city. Of the 170,000 thus staying, 90 per cent, or
153,000, are British subjects; and of these, it is not understating to
say that five eighths are dependent for their livelihood on physical
labor of the most elementary kind. By comparing these estimates with the
tax-list, it will appear that we have pushed our own inherent vitality
to an extent of forty millions increase in our taxable property, and
contributed to the support of the most gigantic war in human annals,
during the period that we received into our grand civic digestion a city
of British subjects as large as Bristol, and incorporated them into our
own body politic with more comfort both to mass and particles than
either had enjoyed at home.

There are still some people who regard the settlement of countries and
the selection of great capitals as a matter of pure romantic accident.
Philosophers know, that, if, at the opening of the Adamic period, any
man had existed with a perfect knowledge of the world's physical
geography and the laws of national development, he would have been able
to foretell _a priori_ the situations of all the greatest capitals. It
is a law as fixed as that defining the course of matter in the line of
least resistance, that population flows to the level where the best
livelihood is most easily obtained. The brute motives of food and
raiment must govern in their selection of residence nine tenths of the
human race. A few noble enthusiasts, like those of Plymouth Colony, may
leave immortal footprints on a rugged coast, exchanging old civilization
for a new battle with savagery, and abandoning comfort with conformity
for a good conscience with privation. Still, had there been back of
Plymouth none of the timber, the quarries, the running streams, the
natural avenues of inland communication, and to some extent the
agricultural capabilities which make good subsistence possible, there
would have been no Boston, no Lynn, no Lowell, no New Bedford, no
healthy or wealthy civilization of any kind, until the Pilgrim
civilization had changed its base. It may be generally laid down that
the men who leave home for truth's sake exile themselves as much for the
privilege to mere opportunity of living truly.

New York was not even in the first place settled by enthusiasts. Trade
with the savages, nice little farms at Haarlem, a seat among the
burgomasters, the feast of St. Nicholas, pipes and Schiedam, a vessel
now and then in the year bringing over letters of affection ripened by a
six months' voyage, some little ventures, and two or three new
colonists,--these were the joys which allured the earliest New-Yorkers
to the island now swarming from end to end with almost national
vitalities. Not until 1836, when the Italian Opera was first domiciled
in New York, on the corner of Leonard and Church Streets, could the
second era of metropolitan life be said fully to have set in there,--the
era when people flow toward a city for the culture as well as the
livelihood which it offers them. About the same time American studios
began to be thronged with American picture-buyers; and there is no need
of referring to the rapid advance of American literature, and the wide
popularization of luxuries, dating from that period.

Long prior to that, New York was growing with giant vitality. She
possesses, as every great city must possess preëminent advantages for
the support of a vast population and the employment of immense
industries. If she could not feed a million of men better than Norfolk,
Norfolk would be New York and New York Norfolk. If the products of the
world were not more economically exchanged across her counter than over
that of Baltimore, Baltimore would need to set about building shelter
for half a million more heads than sleep there to-night. Perth Amboy was
at one time a prominent rival of New York in the struggle for the
position of the American Metropolis, and is not New York only because
Nature said No!

Let us invite the map to help us in our investigation of New York's
claim to the metropolitan rank. There are three chief requisites for the
chief city of every nation. It must be the city in easiest communication
with other countries,--on the sea-coast, if there be a good harbor
there, or on some stream debouching into the best harbor that there is.
It must be the city in easiest communication with the interior, either
by navigable streams, or valleys and mountain-passes, and thus the most
convenient rendezvous for the largest number of national interests,--the
place where Capital and Brains, Import and Export, Buyer and Seller,
Doers and Things to be Done, shall most naturally make their
appointments to meet for exchange. Last, (and least, too,--for even
cautious England will people jungles for money's sake,) the metropolis
must enjoy at least a moderate sanitary reputation; otherwise men who
love Fortune well enough to die for her will not be reinforced by
another large class who care to die on no account whatever.

New York answers all these requisites better than any metropolis in the
world. She has a harbor capable of accommodating all the fleets of
Christendom, both commercial and belligerent. That harbor has a western
ramification, extending from the Battery to the mouth of Spuyten Duyvil
Creek,--a distance of fifteen miles; an eastern ramification, reaching
from the Battery to the mouth of Haarlem River,--seven miles; and a main
trunk, interrupted by three small islands, extending from the Battery to
the Narrows,--a distance of about eight miles more. It is rather
under-estimating the capacity of the East River branch to average its
available width as low as eighty rods; a mile and a half will be a
proportionately moderate estimate for the Hudson River branch; the
greatest available width of the Upper Bay is about four miles, in a line
from the Long Island to the Staten Island side. If we add to these
combined areas the closely adjacent waters in hourly communication with
New York by her tugs and lighters, her harbor will further include a
portion of the channel running west of Staten Island, and of the rivers
emptying into Newark Bay, with the whole magnificent and sheltered
roadstead of the Lower Bay, the mouth of Shrewsbury Inlet, and a portion
of Raritan Bay.

As this paper must deal to a sufficient extent with statistics in
matters of practical necessity, we will at this stage leave the reader
to complete for himself the calculation of such a harbor's capacity. In
this respect, in that of shelter, of contour of water-front, of
accessibility from the high seas, New York Harbor has no rival on the
continent. The Bay of San Francisco more nearly equals it than any
other; but that is on the Pacific side, for the present much farther
from the axis of national civilization, and backed by a much narrower
agricultural tract. We will not refer to disadvantages of commercial
exchange, since San Francisco may at any time be relieved of these by a
Pacific Railroad. On our Atlantic side there is certainly no harbor
which will compare for area and convenience with that of New York.

It is not only the best harbor on our coast, but that in easiest
communication with other parts of the country. To the other portions of
the coast it is as nearly central as it could be without losing fatally
in other respects. Delaware and Chesapeake Bays afford fine roadsteads;
but the low sand barrens and wet alluvial flats which form their shores
compelled Philadelphia and Baltimore to retire their population such a
distance up the chief communicating rivers as to deprive them of many
important advantages proper to a seaport. Under the influence of free
ideas may be expected a wonderful development of the advantages of
Chesapeake Bay. Good husbandry and unshackled enterprise throughout
Maryland and Virginia will astonish Baltimore by an increase of her
population and commerce beyond the brightest speculative dreams. The
full resources of Delaware Bay are far from being developed. Yet
Philadelphia and Baltimore are forever precluded from competing with New
York, both by their greater distance from open water and the comparative
inferiority of the interior tracts with which they have ready
communication. Below Chesapeake Bay the coast system of great
river-estuaries gives way to the Sea-Island system, in which the
main-land is flanked by a series of bars or sandbanks, separated from it
by tortuous and difficult lagoons. The rivers which empty into this
network of channels are comparatively difficult of entrance, and but
imperfectly navigable. The isolation of the Sea Islands is enough to
make them still more inconvenient situations than any on the main-land
for the foundation of a metropolis. Before we have gone far down this
system, we have passed the centre where, on mathematical principles, a
metropolis should stand.

Considered with regard to the tributary interior, New York occupies a
position no less central than with respect to the coast. It is
impossible to study a map of our country without momently increasing
surprise at the multiplicity of natural avenues which converge in New
York from the richest producing districts of the world. The entire
result of the country's labor seems to seek New York by inevitable
channels. Products run down to the managing, disbursing, and balancing
hand of New York as naturally as the thoughts of a man run down to the
hand which must embody them. From the north it takes tribute through the
Hudson River. This magnificent water-course, permitting the ascent of
the largest ships for a hundred miles, and of river-craft for fifty
miles farther, has upon its eastern side a country averaging about
thirty miles in width to the Taconic range, consisting chiefly of the
richest grazing, grain, and orchard land in the Atlantic States. Above
the Highlands, the west side of the river becomes a fertile, though
narrower and more broken agricultural tract; and at the head of
navigation, the Hudson opens into another valley of exhaustless
fertility,--that of the Mohawk,--coming eastward from the centre of the

Thus, independent of her system of railroads, New York City possesses
uninterrupted natural connection with the interior of the State, whence
a new system of communications is given off by the Lakes to the extreme
west and north of our whole territory.

To the northeast, New York extends her relations by the sheltered avenue
of Long Island Sound,--alluring through a strait of comparatively smooth
water not only the agricultural products which seek export along a
double water-front of two hundred miles, but the larger results of that
colossal manufacturing system on which is based the prosperity of New
England. To a great part of this class of values Long Island Sound
stands like a weir emptying into the net of New York.

The maritime position of New York makes her as easy an entrepôt for
Southern as for foreign products; and in any case her share in our
Northern national commerce gives her the control of all trade which must
pay the North a balance of exchange.

The Hudson, the Sound, and the line of Southern coasting traffic are the
three main radii of supply which meet in New York. Another important
district paying its chief subsidy to New York is drained by the Delaware
River, and this great avenue is reached with ease from the metropolis by
a direct natural route across the Jersey level. Though unavailable to
New York as a navigable conduit, it still offers a means of penetrating
to the southern counties of the State, and a passage to the Far West, of
which New York capital has been prompt to avail itself by the Erie
Railroad, with its Atlantic and Great Western continuation to St. Louis.
This uniform broad-gauge of twelve hundred miles, which has just been
opened by the energy and talents of Messrs. McHenry and Kennard,
apparently decides the main channel by which the West is to discharge
her riches into New York.--But we are trenching on the subject the
capital's artificial advantages.

Finally, New York has been prevented only by disgraceful civic
mismanagement from becoming long ago the healthiest city in the world.
In spite of jobbed contracts for street-cleaning, and various corrupt
tamperings with the city water-front, by which the currents are
obstructed, and injury is done the sewage as well as the channels of the
harbor, New York is now undoubtedly a healthier city than any other
approaching it in size. Its natural sanitary advantages must be evident.
The crying need of a great city is good drainage. To effect this for New
York, the civil engineer has no struggle with his material. He need only
avail himself dexterously of the original contour of his ground.
Manhattan Island is a low outcrop of gneiss and mica-schist, sloping
from an irregular, but practically continuous crest, to the Hudson and
East Rivers, with a nearly uniform southerly incline from its
precipitous north face on the Haarlem and Spuyten Duyvil to high-water
mark at the foot of Whitehall Street. Its natural system of drainage
might be roughly illustrated by radii drawn to the circumference of a
very eccentric ellipse from its northern focus. Wherever the waste of
the entire island may descend, it is met by a seaward tide twice in the
twenty-four hours. On the East River side the velocity of this tide in
the narrow passages is rather that of a mill-stream than of the entrance
to a sound. Though less apparent, owing to its area, the tide and
current of the Hudson are practically as irresistible. The two branches
of the city-sewage, uniting at the Battery, are deflected a little to
the westward by Governor's Island, and thus thrown out into the middle
of the bay, where they receive the full force of the tidal impulse,
retarded by the Narrows only long enough to disengage and drop their
finer silt on the flats between Robin's Reef and the Jersey shore. The
depurating process of the New World's grandest community lies ready for
use in this natural drainage-system. If there be a standing pool, a
festering ditch, a choked gutter, a malarious sink within the scope of
the city bills of mortality, there is official crime somewhere. Nature
must have been fraudulently obstructed in the benignest arrangements
she ever made for removing the effete material of a vast city's vital
processes. In the matter of climate, New York experiences such
comparative freedom from sudden changes as belongs to her position in
the midst of large masses of water. She enjoys nearly entire immunity
from fogs and damp or chilly winds. Her weather is decided, and her
population are liable to no one local and predominant class of disease.
So far as her hygienic condition depends upon quantity and quality of
food, her communications with the interior give her an exceptional
guaranty. Despite the poverty which her lower classes share in kind,
though to a much less degree, with those of other commercial capitals,
there is no metropolis in the world where the general average of comfort
and luxury stands higher through all the social grades. It is further to
be recollected that health and the chief comforts of life are
correlative,--that the squalid family is the unhealthy family, and that,
as we import our squalor, so also we import the materials and conditions
of our disease. This _a priori_ view is amply sustained by the
statistics of our charitable institutions. Dr. Alanson S. Jones, whose
position as President of the Board of Surgeons attached to the
Metropolitan Police Commission combines with his minute culture in the
sciences ministering to his profession to make him a first-class
authority upon the sanitary statistics of New York, states that the
large majority of deaths, and cases of disease, occur in that city among
the recent foreign immigrants,--and that the same source furnishes the
vast proportion of inmates of our hospitals, almshouses, asylums, and
other institutions of charity; furthermore, that two thirds of all the
deaths in New York City occur among children,--a class to which
metropolitan conditions are decidedly unfavorable; and that, while the
seven hundred thousand inhabitants of Philadelphia are distributed over
an area of one hundred and thirty square miles, the one million
inhabitants of New York are included within the limit of thirty-five
square miles, yet the excess of proportionate mortality in the latter
city by no means corresponds to its density of settlement. It is safe to
affirm, that, taking all the elements into calculation, there is no city
in the civilized world with an equal population and an equal sanitary

Hydrographically speaking, either Liverpool or Bristol surpasses London
in its claims to be the British metropolis. But as England's chief
commerce flows from the eastward, to accommodate it she must select for
her metropolis the shores of the most accessible, capacious, and
sheltered water on that side of the island. The result is London,--a
city backed by an almost imperceptible fraction of the vast interior
which pays tribute to New York,--having a harbor of far less
capacity than New York, and without any of its far-reaching
ramifications,--provided with a totally inadequate drainage-system,
operating by a river which New-Yorkers would shudder to accept for the
purposes of a single ward,--and supporting a population of three million
souls upon her brokerage in managing the world's commerce. New York has
every physical advantage over her in site, together with an agricultural
constituency of which she can never dream, and every opportunity for
eventually surpassing her as a depot of domestic manufactures. London
can never add arable acres to her suite, while only the destruction of
the American people can prevent us from building ten up-country mills to
every one which manufactures for her market. She has merely the start of
us in time; she has advanced rapidly during the last fifty years, but
New York has even more rapidly diminished the gap. No wonder that
British capitalists will sacrifice much to see us perish,--for it is
pleasanter to receive than to pay balance of exchange, even in the
persons of one's prospective great-grandchildren.

Turning to the second great power of the Old World, we may assert that
there is not a harbor on the entire French coast of capacity or
convenience proportionate to the demands of a national emporium. Though
the site of Paris was chosen by a nation in no sense commercial, and the
constitutional prejudices of the people are of that semi-barbarous kind
which affect at the same time pleasure and a contempt of the enterprises
which pay for it, there has been a decided anxiety among the foremost
Frenchmen since the time of Colbert to see France occupying an
influential position among the national fortune-hunters of the world.
Napoleon III. shares this solicitude to an extent which his uncle's
hatred of England would never permit him to confess, though he felt it
deeply. The millions which the present Emperor has spent on Cherbourg
afford a mere titillation to his ambitious spirit. Their result is a
handsome parade-place,--a pretty stone toy,--an unpickable lock to an
inclosure nobody wants to enter,--a navy-yard for the creation of an
armament which has no commerce to protect. No wonder that the
discontented despot seeks to eke out the quality of his ports by their
plenteous quantity,--seizing Algiers,--looking wistfully at the Red
Sea,--overjoyed at any bargain which would get him Nice,--striking madly
out for empire in Cochin China, Siam, and the Pacific islands,--playing
Shylock to Mexico on Jecker's forged bond, that his own inconvenient
vessels might have an American port to trim their yards in. Meanwhile,
to forget the utter unfitness of Paris for the capital of any imaginary
Commercial France, he plays ship with Eugénie on the gentle Seine, or
amuses himself with the marine romance of the Parisian civic escutcheon.

No one will think for an instant of comparing Paris with New York in
respect to natural advantages. The capitals of the other Continental
nations are still less susceptible of being brought into the
competition. The vast cities of China are possible only in the lowest
condition of individual liberty,--class servitude, sumptuary and travel
restrictions, together with all the other complicated enginery of an
artificial barbarism, being the only substitute for natural cohesion in
a community whose immense mass can procure nothing but the rudest
necessaries of life from the area within which it is confined.

_A priori_, therefore, we might expect that the metropolis of America
would arise on New York Island, and in process of time become one of the
greatest capitals of the world.

The natural advantages which allured New York's first population have
been steadily developed and reinforced by artificial ones. For the ships
of the world she has built about her water-front more than three hundred
piers and bulkheads. Allowing berth-room for four ships in each
bulkhead, and for one at the end of each pier, (decidedly an
under-estimate, considering the extent of some of these
structures,)--the island water-front already offers accommodation for
the simultaneous landing of eight hundred first-class foreign cargoes.
The docks of Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Hoboken may accommodate at least
as many more. Something like a quarter of all New York imports go in the
first instance to the bonded warehouse; and this part, not being wanted
for immediate consumption within the metropolis proper, quite as
conveniently occupies the Long Island or Jersey warehouses as those on
the New York shore. The warehouses properly belonging to New York
commerce--containing her property and living on her business--received
during 1861 imports to the value of $41,811,664; during 1862,
$46,939,451; and during 1863, $61,350,432. During the year 1861, the
total imports of New York amounted to $161,684,499,--paying an aggregate
of duties of $21,714,981. During the year 1862, the imports amounted to
$172,486,453, and the duties to $52,254,318. During 1863, the imports
reached a value of $184,016,350, the duties on which amounted to
$58,885,853. For the same years the exports amounted respectively to
$142,903,689, $216,416,070, and $219,256,203,--the rapid increase
between 1861 and 1862 being no doubt partly stimulated by the
disappearance of specie from circulation under the pressure of our
unparalleled war-expenses, and the consequent necessity of substituting
in foreign markets our home products for the ordinary basis of exchange.
In 1861, 965 vessels entered New York from foreign ports, and 966
cleared for foreign ports. In 1862, the former class numbered 5,406, and
the latter 5,014. In 1863, they were respectively 4,983 and 4,466. These
statistics, from which the immense wharfage and warehouse accommodation
of New York may be inferred, are exhibited to better advantage in the
following tabular statement, kindly furnished by Mr. Ogden, First
Auditor of the New York Custom-House.

_Statistics of the Port of New York._

|  |                       |    1861.     |    1862.     |    1863.     |
|  |                       |      $       |      $       |      $       |
|1 |Total value of Exports |142,903,689   |216,416,070   |219,256,203   |
|2 |Total value of Imports |161,684,499   |172,486,453   |184,016,350   |
|3 |Value of Goods         |              |              |              |
|  | warehoused during     |              |              |              |
|  | the entire year       | 41,811,664   | 46,939,451   | 61,350,432   |
|4 |Amount of Drawback     |              |              |              |
|  | allowed during the    |              |              |              |
|  | entire year           |     57,326.55|    275,953.92|    414,041.44|
|5 |Total amount of Duties |              |              |              |
|  | paid during year      | 21,714,981.10| 52,254,317.92| 58,885,853.42|
|6 |No. of Vessels entered |              |              |              |
|  | from Foreign Ports    |              |              |              |
|  | during year           |        965   |      5,406   |      4,983   |
|7 |No. of Vessels cleared |              |              |              |
|  | to foreign Ports      |              |              |              |
|  | during year           |        966   |      5,014   |      4,666   |

Besides the various berths or anchorages and the warehouses of New York,
commerce is still further waited on in our metropolis by one of the most
perfect systems of pilot-boat, steam-tug, and lighter service which have
ever been devised for a harbor. No vessel can bring so poor a foreign
cargo to New York as not to justify the expense of a pilot to keep its
insurance valid, a tug to carry it to its moorings, and a lighter to
discharge it, if the harbor be crowded or time press. Indeed, the first
two items are matters of course; and not one of them costs enough to be
called a luxury.

The American river-steamboat--the palatial American _steamboat_, as
distinguished from the dingy, clumsy English _steamer_--is another of
the means by which Art has supplemented New York's gifts of Nature. This
magnificent triumph of sculpturesque beauty, wedded to the highest grade
of mechanical skill, must be from two hundred and fifty to four hundred
feet long,--must accommodate from five hundred to two thousand
passengers,--must run its mile in three minutes,--must be as _rococo_ in
its upholsterings as a bedchamber of Versailles,--must gratify every
sense, consult every taste, and meet every convenience. Such a boat as
this runs daily to every principal city on the Sound or the Hudson, to
Albany, to Boston, to Philadelphia. A more venturous class of coasting
steamers in peaceful times are constantly leaving for Baltimore,
Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Key West, Mobile, New Orleans, and
Galveston. The immense commerce of the Erie Canal, with all its sources
and tributaries, is practically transacted by New York City. Nearly
everything intended for export, plus New York's purchases for her own
consumption, is forwarded from the Erie Canal terminus in a series of
_tows_, each of these being a rope-bound fleet, averaging perhaps fifty
canal-boats and barges, propelled by a powerful steamer intercalated
near the centre. The traveller new to Hudson River scenery will be
startled, any summer day on which he may choose to take a steamboat trip
to Albany, by the apparition, at distances varying from one to three
miles all the way, of floating islands, settled by a large commercial
population, who like their dinner off the top of a hogshead, and follow
the laundry business to such an extent that they quite effloresce with
wet shirts, and are seen through a lattice of clothes-lines. Let him
know that these floating islands are but little drops of vital blood
from the great heart of the West, coming down the nation's main artery
to nurse some small tissue of the metropolis; that these are "Hudson
River tows"; and that, novel as that phenomenon may appear to him, every
other fresh traveller has been equally startled by it since March, and
will be startled by it till December. Another ministry to New York is
performed by the _night-tows_, consisting of a few cattle, produce, and
passenger barges attached to a steamer, made up semi-weekly or
tri-weekly at every town of any importance on the Hudson and the Sound.
We will not include the large fleet of Sound and River sloops, brigs,
and schooners in the list of New York's artificial advantages.

Turning to New York's land communication with the interior, we find the
following railroads radiating from the metropolitan centre.

1.  A Railroad to Philadelphia.
2.  A Railroad to the Pennsylvania Coal Region.
3.  A Railroad to Piermont on the Hudson.
4.  A Railroad to Bloomfield in New Jersey.
5.  A Railroad to Morristown in New Jersey.
6.  A Railroad to Hackensack in New Jersey.
7.  A Railroad to Buffalo.
8.  A Railroad to Albany, running along the Hudson.
9.  Another Railroad to Albany, by an interior route.
10. A Railroad to New Haven.
11. A Railroad to the chief eastern port of Long Island.
12. The Delaware and Raritan Road to Philadelphia, connecting with New
York by daily transports from pier.
13. The Camden and Amboy Railroad, connecting similarly.
14. The Railroad to Elizabeth, New Jersey.

The chief eastern radius throws out ramifications to the principal
cities of New England, thus affording liberal choice of routes to
Boston, New Bedford, Providence, and Portland, as well as an entrance to
New Hampshire and Vermont. To all of these towns, except the more
southerly, the Hudson River Road leads as well, connecting besides with
railroads in every direction to the northern and western parts of the
State, and with the Far West by a number of routes. The main avenue to
the Far West is, however, the Atlantic and Great Western Road, with its
twelve hundred miles of uniform broad-gauge. Along this line the whole
riches of the interior may reasonably be expected to flow eastward as in
a trough; for its position is axial, and its connection perfect. All the
chief New Jersey railroads open avenues to the richest mineral region of
the Atlantic States,--to the Far South and the Far West of the country.
Two or three may be styled commuters' roads, running chiefly for the
accommodation of city business-men with suburban residences. The Long
Island Road is a road without important branches; but the majority of
all the roads subsidiary to New York are avenues to some broad and
typical tract of the interior.

Let us turn to consider how New York has provided for the people as well
as the goods that enter her precincts by all the ways we have rehearsed.
She draws them up Broadway in twenty thousand horse-vehicles per day, on
an average, and from that magnificent avenue, crowded for nearly five
miles with elegant commercial structures, over two hundred miles more of
paved street, in all directions. She lights them at night with eight
hundred miles of gas-pipe; she washes them and slakes their thirst from
two hundred and ninety-one miles of Croton main; she has constructed for
their drainage one hundred and seventy-six miles of sewer. She
victimizes them with nearly two thousand licensed hackmen; she licenses
twenty-two hundred car- and omnibus-drivers to carry them over
twenty-nine different stage-routes and ten horse-railroads, in six
hundred and seventy-one omnibuses and nearly as many cars, connecting
intimately with every part of the city, and averaging ten up-and-down
trips per day. She connects them with the adjoining cities of the
main-land and with Staten and Long Island by twenty ferries, running, on
the average, one boat each way every ten minutes during the twenty-four
hours. She offers for her guests' luxurious accommodation at least a
score of hotels, where good living is made as much the subject of high
art as in the Hôtel du Louvre, besides minor houses of rest and
entertainment, to the number of more than five thousand. She attends to
their religion in about four hundred places of public worship. She
gives them breathing-room in a dozen civic parks, the largest of which
both Nature and Art destine to be the noblest popular pleasure-ground of
the civilized world, as it is the amplest of all save the Bois de
Boulogne. Central Park covers an area of 843 acres, and, though only in
the fifth year of its existence, already contains twelve miles of
beautifully planned and scientifically constructed carriage-road, seven
miles of similar bridle-path, four sub-ways for the passage of
trade-vehicles across the Park, with an aggregate length of two miles,
and twenty-one miles of walk. As an item of city property, Central Park
is at present valued at six million dollars; but this, of course, is
quite a nominal and unstable valuation. The worth of the Park to New
York property in general is altogether beyond calculation.

New York feeds her people with about two million slaughter-animals per
annum. How these are classified, and what periodical changes their
supply undergoes, may be conveniently seen by the following tabular view
of the New York butchers' receiving-yards during the twelve months of
the year 1863. I am indebted for it to the experience and courtesy of
Mr. Solon Robinson, agricultural editor of the "New York Tribune."

_Receipts of Butchers' Animals in New York during 1863._

|Month. | Beeves. |  Cows.  | Calves. |  Sheep. |  Swine.  |
|Jan.   |  16,349 |     393 |   1,318 |  25,352 |  138,413 |
|Feb.   |  19,930 |     474 |   1,207 |  24,877 |   98,099 |
|March  |  22,187 |     843 |   2,594 |  29,645 |   79,320 |
|April  |  18,921 |     636 |   3,182 |  18,311 |   56,516 |
|May    |  16,739 |     440 |   3,510 |  20,338 |   39,305 |
|June   |  23,785 |     718 |   5,516 |  44,808 |   56,612 |
|July   |  20,224 |     396 |   2,993 |  41,614 |   40,716 |
|August |  20,347 |     496 |   3,040 |  49,900 |   36,725 |
|Sept.  |  30,847 |     524 |   3,654 |  79,078 |   68,646 |
|Oct.   |  24,397 |     475 |   3,283 |  64,144 |  112,265 |
|Nov.   |  23,991 |     557 |   3,378 |  61,082 |  183,359 |
|Dec.   |  26,374 |     518 |   2,034 |  60,167 |  191,641 |
|Total  |         |         |         |         |          |
|of each| 264,091 |   6,470 |  35,709 | 519,316 |1,101,617 |
|kind,  |         |         |         |         |          |
|                                                          |
|Total of all kinds,    1,927,203.                         |

Of the total number of beeves which came into the New York market in
1863, those whose origin could be ascertained were furnished from their
several States in the following proportions:--

    Illinois contributed 118,692
    New York     "        28,985
    Ohio         "        19,369
    Indiana      "        14,232
    Michigan     "         9,074
    Kentucky     "         6,782

Averaging the weight of the cattle which came to New York market in 1863
at the moderate estimate of 700 lbs., the metropolitan supply of beef
for that year amounted to 189,392,700 lbs. This, at the average price of
nine and a quarter cents per pound, was worth $17,518,825.
Proportionably with these estimates, the average weekly expenditure by
butchers at the New York yards during the year 1863 was $328,865.

It is an astonishing, but indubitable fact, that, while the population
of New York has increased sixty-six per cent during the last decade, the
consumption of _beef_ has in the same time increased sixty-five per
cent. This increment might be ascribed to the great advance of late
years in the price of pork,--that traditional main stay of the poor
man's housekeeping,--were it not that the importation of swine has
increased almost as surprisingly. We are therefore obliged to
acknowledge that during a period when the chief growth of our population
was due to emigration from the lowest ranks of foreign nationalities,
during three years of a devastating war, and inclusive of the great
financial crisis of 1857, the increase in consumption of the most costly
and healthful article of animal food lacked but one per cent of the
increase of the population. These statistics bear eloquent witness to
the rapid diffusion of luxury among the New York people.

From the table of classification by States we may draw another
interesting inference. It will be seen that by far the largest
proportion of the bullocks came into the New York market from the most
remote of the Western States contributing. In other words, New York City
has so perfected her connection with all the sources of supply, that
distance has become an unimportant element in her calculations of
expense; and she can make all the best grazing land of the country
tributary to her market, without regard to the question whether it be
one or twelve hundred miles off.

The foregoing butchers' estimates are as exact as our present means of
information can make them. Large numbers of uncounted sheep are consumed
within the city limits, and the unreported calves are many more than
come to light in statistics. Besides these main staples of the market
which have been mentioned, there is consumed in New York an incalculable
quantity of game and poultry, preserved meats and fish, cheese, butter,
and eggs.

Mr. James Boughton, clerk of the New York Produce Exchange, has been
good enough to furnish me with a tabular statement of the city's
receipts of produce for the year ending April 30, 1864. Such portions of
it as may show the amount of staples, exclusive of fresh meat, required
for the regular supply of the New York market, are presented in the
opposite column.

A less important, but still very interesting, class of products entered
New York during the same period, in the following amounts:--

|  COTTON.  |   SEED.   |   ASHES.  | WHISKEY.  | OIL CAKE. |
|  _Bales._ |   _Bush._ |   _Pkgs._ |   _Bbls._ |  _Sacks._ |
|   18,193  |    7,343  |    1,401  |   21,838  |    2,329  |
|   16,299  |    3,196  |    1,657  |   26,925  |   14,040  |
|   13,080  |      901  |    1,175  |   19,627  |   20,120  |
|   11,043  |      892  |    1,551  |   18,083  |   19,583  |
|   12,874  |    2,082  |      884  |   15,781  |    4,810  |
|   19,332  |    1,189  |      790  |   17,656  |   17,500  |
|   26,902  |    2,318  |    1,280  |   20,098  |   10,441  |
|   24,870  |    8,193  |    1,393  |   39,594  |    4,973  |
|   22,010  |    8,441  |    1,163  |   32,346  |    2,676  |
|   28,242  |   24,216  |    1,498  |   34,475  |    2,115  |
|   39,302  |   31,765  |    1,457  |   35,575  |    2,963  |
|   33,538  |    5,686  |    1,044  |   22,873  |    4,536  |
|  265,685  |   96,222  |   15,293  |  304,871  |  106,356  |

New York, during the same period, exported,--

    Of Flour       2,571,744 bbls.
     " Wheat      15,842,836 bushels.
     " Corn        5,576,836   "
     " Cured Beef    113,061 pkgs.
     "   "   Pork    189,757 bbls.
     " Cotton         27,561 bales.

Deducting from the total supply of each of these six staples such
amounts as were exported during the year, we

|     MONTH.       |   FLOUR.  |  CORN   |  CORN   |   WHEAT.   |   CORN.    |
|                  |           |  MEAL.  |  MEAL.  |            |            |
|                  |  _Bbls._  | _Bbls._ | _Bags._ |   _Bush._  |  _Bush._   |
| 1863.--May       |   454,363 |  10,331 |  18,614 |  1,789,952 |  1,914,490 |
|        June      |   636,501 |  19,283 |   7,989 |  2,853,755 |  2,262,825 |
|        July      |   451,004 |   9,995 |  10,480 |  2,409,184 |  3,049,126 |
|        August    |   298,097 |   9,875 |   9,226 |  1,989,839 |  2,343,899 |
|        September |   319,923 |  10,481 |   4,715 |  1,132,588 |  2,196,157 |
|        October   |   451,762 |   8,673 |  13,020 |  3,052,968 |  1,265,793 |
|        November  |   530,096 |   8,883 |  22,835 |  3,164,750 |    295,398 |
|        December  |   429,641 |  16,301 |  45,627 |  1,396,608 |    135,907 |
| 1864.--January   |   266,240 |   7,987 |  43,990 |     10,244 |    145,557 |
|        February  |   233,822 |  12,489 |  47,137 |     45,283 |    108,751 |
|        March     |   190,785 |  14,135 |  40,510 |    108,407 |    259,547 |
|        April     |   218,181 |  10,889 |  27,097 |    166,506 |    120,272 |
|     Total        | 4,480,415 | 145,272 | 291,190 | 18,119,993 | 14,098,262 |

|     MONTHS.      |   OATS.    |  RYE.   |  MALT.  |  BARLEY.  |   BEEF. |
|                  |   _Bush._  | _Bush._ | _Bush._ |   _Bush._ | _Bbls._ |
| 1863.--May       |    808,233 |  28,034 |  24,034 |     4,672 |   9,428 |
|        June      |  1,442,979 |  23,038 |  22,508 |     1,643 |   2,386 |
|        July      |    849,831 |  52,759 |  16,710 |     none. |   1,285 |
|        August    |  1,097,223 |  68,035 |  55,453 |      .... |     892 |
|        September |    307,025 |   9,721 |  47,048 |     7,941 |     718 |
|        October   |  1,319,985 |  41,912 |  13,461 |   753,893 |   7,420 |
|        November  |  2,189,719 |  36,731 |  44,322 |   441,479 |  68,391 |
|        December  |  1,882,344 |  45,727 |  59,494 |   275,568 |  74,031 |
| 1864.--January   |    305,690 |   6,532 |  42,608 |     6,972 |  22,988 |
|        February  |    209,080 |   3,554 |  63,064 |     5,105 |   6,358 |
|        March     |    258,685 |   5,308 |  69,578 |    18,386 |   4,319 |
|        April     |    238,344 |   6,373 |  44,383 |    41,914 |   4,654 |
|     Total        | 10,909,238 | 328,619 | 502,693 | 1,557,573 | 203,270 |

|     MONTHS.      |  PORK.  |  CUT    |  LARD.   | DRESSED |
|                  |         | MEATS.  |          |  HOGS.  |
|                  | _Bbls._ | _Pkgs._ |100 _lbs._|  _No._
| 1863.--May       | 119,302 |  38,587 | 149,966  |    .... |
|        June      | 112,343 |  21,401 |  75,966  |    .... |
|        July      |  10,155 |   6,633 |  15,396  |    .... |
|        August    |   6,879 |   2,870 |   3,784  |    .... |
|        September |   7,115 |   3,967 |   5,233  |    .... |
|        October   |   6,921 |   4,501 |  35,128  |     881 |
|        November  |   6,916 |  11,066 |  35,997  |     755 |
|        December  |  21,864 |  18,843 |  31,775  |  21,208 |
| 1864.--January   |  39,364 |  34,469 |  25,145  |  48,276 |
|        February  |  32,144 |  42,593 |  43,245  |  59,894 |
|        March     |  33,687 |  92,710 |  83,122  |   4,600 |
|        April     |  12,346 |  49,399 |  90,496  |      67 |
|     Total        | 409,036 | 327,129 | 594,853  | 135,481 |

find a remainder, for annual metropolitan consumption, amounting, in the
case of

    Flour      to  1,908,671 bbls.
    Wheat      "   2,276,257 bushels.
    Corn       "   8,540,490   "
    Cured Beef "      89,209 pkgs.
      "   Pork "     209,279 bbls.
    Cotton     "     238,124 bales.

We have no room for the details--which would embarrass us, if we should
attempt a statement--of the cost of clothing the New York people. We
will merely remark, in passing, that one of the largest retail stores in
the New York dry-goods trade sells at its counters ten million dollars'
worth of fabrics per annum, and that another concern in the wholesale
branch of the same trade does a yearly business of between thirty and
forty millions. As for tailors' shops, New York is their
fairy-land,--many eminent examples among them resembling, in cost, size,
and elegance, rather a European palace than a republican place of

The most comprehensive generalization by which we may hope to arrive at
an idea of the business of New York is that which includes in tabular
form the statistics of the chief institutions which employ and insure

On the 24th of September, 1864, sixty-three banks made a quarterly
statement of their condition, under the general banking law of the
State. These banks are at present the only ones in New York whose
condition can be definitely ascertained, and their reported capital
amounts to $69,219,763. The national banks will go far toward increasing
the total metropolitan banking capital to one hundred millions. The
largest of the State banks doing business in the city is the Bank of
Commerce, (about being reorganized on the national plan,) with a capital
of ten millions; and the smallest possess capital to the amount of two
hundred thousand dollars.

Mr. Camp, now at the head of the New York Clearing-House, has been kind
enough to furnish the following interesting statistics in regard to the
total amount of business transactions managed by the New York banks in
connection with the Clearing-House during the two years ending on the
30th of last September. Figures can scarcely be made more eloquent by
illustration than they are of themselves, I therefore leave them without
other comment than the remark that the weekly exchanges at the
Clearing-House during the past year have repeatedly amounted to more
than the entire expenses of the United States Government for the same

_Clearing-House Transactions._

|  1862.   |      EXCHANGES.      |     BALANCES.     ||
|October   |  $ 1,081,243,214.07  |  $ 54,632,410.57  ||
|November  |      874,966,873.15  |    47,047,576.93  ||
|December  |      908,135,090.29  |    44,630,405.43  ||
|          |                      |                   ||
|  1863.   |                      |                   ||
|January   |    1,251,408,362.76  |    58,792,544.70  ||
|February  |    1,199,249,050.07  |    51,583,913.88  ||
|March     |    1,313,908,804.14  |    60,456,505.45  ||
|April     |    1,138,218,267.90  |    53,539,812.46  ||
|May       |    1,535,484,281.78  |    70,328,306.25  ||
|June      |    1,252,116,400.20  |    59,803,975.44  ||
|July      |    1,261,668,342.87  |    62,387,857.44  ||
|August    |    1,466,803,012.90  |    53,120,821.99  ||
|September |    1,584,396,148.47  |    61,302,352.35  ||
|          |  $14,867,597,848.60  |  $677,626,482.61  ||
|                                                     ||
|  306 Business days.                                 ||
|                                                     ||
|    _Average for day_, 1862-3.                       ||
|                                                     ||
|  Exchanges               $48,586,921.07             ||
|  Balances                  2,214,415.63             ||

|  1863.   |      EXCHANGES.      |     BALANCES.     ||
|October   |  $ 1,900,210,522.77  |  $ 74,088,419.08  ||
|November  |    1,778,800,987.95  |    66,895,452.49  ||
|December  |    1,745,436,325.73  |    60,577,884.19  ||
|          |                      |                   ||
|  1864.   |                      |                   ||
|January   |    1,770,312,694.43  |    63,689,950.88  ||
|February  |    2,088,170,989.48  |    65,744,935.13  ||
|March     |    2,753,323,948.53  |    84,938,940.37  ||
|April     |    2,644,732,826.34  |    93,363,526.16  ||
|May       |    1,877,653,131.37  |    76,328,462.88  ||
|June      |    1,902,029,181.42  |    88,187,658.93  ||
|July      |    1,777,753,537.53  |    73,343,903.49  ||
|August    |    1,776,018,141.53  |    69,071,237.16  ||
|September |    2,082,754,368.84  |    69,288,834.17  ||
|          |  $24,097,196,655.92  |  $885,719,204.93  ||
|                                                     ||
|  306 Business days.                                 ||
|                                                     ||
|    _Average for day_, 1863-4.                       ||
|                                                     ||
|  Exchanges               $77,984,455.20             ||
|  Balances                  2,866,405.19             ||

|                                                            |
|Aggregate Exchanges for Eleven Years     $95,540,602,384.53 |
|    "     Balances   "    "      "         4,678,311,016.79 |
|                                        ------------------- |
|    Total Transactions                  $101,218,913,401.32 |
|                                                            |

On the 31st day of December, 1863, there were 101 joint-stock companies
for the underwriting of fire-risks, with an aggregate capital of
$23,632,860; net assets to the amount of $29,269,423; net cash receipts
from premiums amounting to $10,181,031; and an average percentage of
assets to risks in force equalling 2.995. Besides these 101 joint-stock
concerns, there existed at the same date twenty-one mutual
fire-insurance companies, with an aggregate balance in their favor of
$674,042. The rapidity with which mutual companies have yielded to the
compacter and more efficient form of the joint-stock concern will be
comprehended when it is known that just twice the number now in being
have gone out of existence during the last decade. There are twelve
marine insurance companies in the metropolis, with assets amounting to
$24,947,559. The life-insurance companies number thirteen, with an
aggregate capital of $1,885,000. We may safely set down the property
invested in New York insurance companies of all sorts at $51,139,461.
Add this sum to the aggregate banking capital above stated, and we have
a total of $120,359,224. This vast sum merely represents New York's
interest in the management of other people's money. The bank is employed
as an engine for operating debt and credit. Its capital is the necessary
fuel for running the machine; and that fuel ought certainly not to cost
more than a fair interest on the products of the engine. The insurance
companies guard the business-man's fortune from surprise, as the banks
relieve him from drudgery; they put property and livelihood beyond the
reach of accident: in other words, they manage the estates of the
community so as to secure them from deterioration, and charge a
commission for their stewardship.

It is a legitimate assumption in this part of the country that the money
employed in managing property bears to the property itself an average
proportion of about seven per cent. Hence it follows that the
above-stated aggregate banking and insurance capital of $120,359,224
must represent and be backed by values to more than fourteen times that
amount. In other words, and in round numbers, we may assert that the
bank and insurance interests of New York are in relations of commerce
and control with at least $1,685,029,136. This measure of metropolitan
influence, it must be remembered, is based on the statistics attainable
mainly outside of cash sales, and through only two of the metropolitan
agencies of commerce.

I do not know how much I may assist any reader's further comprehension
of the energies of the metropolis by stating that it issues fifteen
daily newspapers, one hundred and thirty-three weekly or semi-weekly
journals, and seventy-four monthly, semi-monthly, or weekly
magazines,--that it has ten good and three admirable public
libraries,--a dozen large hospitals, exclusive of the military,--thirty
benevolent societies, (and we are in that respect far behind London,
where every man below an attorney belongs to some "union" or other, that
he may have his neighbors' guaranty against the ever-impending British
poor-house,)--twenty-one savings-banks,--one theatre where French is
spoken, a German theatre, an Italian opera-house, and eleven theatres
where they speak English. In a general magazine-article, it is
impossible to review the hundreds of studios where our own Art is
painting itself into the century with a vigor which has no rival abroad.
We can treat neither the æsthetic nor the social life of New York with as
delicate a pencil as we would. Our paper has had to deal with broad
facts; and upon these we are willing to rest the cause of New York in
any contest for metropolitan honors. We believe that New York is
destined to be the permanent emporium not only of this country, but of
the entire world,--and likewise the political capital of the nation. Had
the White House (or, pray Heaven! some comelier structure) stood on
Washington Heights, and the Capitol been erected at Fanwood, there would
never have been a Proslavery Rebellion. This is a subject which
business-men are coming to ponder pretty seriously.

After all, New York's essential charm to a New-Yorker cannot express
itself in figures, nor, indeed, in any adequate manner. It is the city
of his soul. He loves it with a passionate dignity which will not let
him swagger like the Cockney or twitter like the Parisian. His love for
New York goes frequently unacknowledged even to himself, until a
necessary absence of unusual length teaches him how hard it would be to
lose the city of his affections forever.

It is a bath of other souls. It will not let a man harden in his own
epidermis. He must affect and be affected by multitudinous varieties of
temperament, race, character. He avoids grooves, because New York will
not tolerate grooviness. He knows that he must be able, on demand, to
bowl anywhere over the field of human tastes and sympathies.
Professionally he may be a specialist, but in New York his specialty
must be only the axis around which are grouped encyclopædic learning,
faultless skill, and catholic intuitions. Nobody will waste a Saturday
afternoon riding on his hobby-horse. He must be a broad-natured person,
or he will be a mere imperceptible line on the general background of
obscure citizens. He feels that he is surrounded by people who will help
him do his best, yes, who will make him do it, or drive him out to
install such as will. If he think of a good thing to do, he knows that
the market for all good things is close around him. Whatever surplus of
himself he has for communication, that he knows to be absolutely sure of
a recipient before the day is done. New York, like Goethe's Olympus,
says to every man with capacity and self-faith,--

    "Here is all fulness, ye brave, to reward you:
        Work, and despair not!"

Moreover, the moral air of New York City is in certain respects the
purest air a man can breathe. This may seem a paradox. New York City is
not often quoted as an example of purity. To the philosopher her
atmosphere is cleaner than that of a country village. As the air of a
contracted space may grow poisonous by respiration, while pure air rests
over the entire surface of the earth in virtue of being the final
solvent to all terrestrial decompositions, so it is possible that a few
good, but narrow people may get alone together in the country, and hatch
a social organism far more morbid than the metropolitan. In the latter
instance, aberrations counterbalance each other, and the body politic,
cursed though it be with bad officials, has more vitality in it than
could be excited by any conclave of excellent men with one idea,
meeting, however, solemnly, to feed it with legislative pap.

While no man can ride into metropolitan success on a hobby-horse,
popular dissent will still take no stronger form than a quiet withdrawal
and the permission to rock by himself. No amount of eccentricity
surprises a New-Yorker, or makes him uncourteous. It is difficult to
attract even a crowd of boys on Broadway by an odd figure, face, manner,
or costume. This has the result of making New York an asylum for all who
love their neighbor as themselves, but would a little rather not have
him looking through the key-hole. In New York I share no dreadful
secrets with the man next door. I am not in his power any more than if I
lived in Philadelphia,--nor so much, for he might get somebody to spy me
there. There is no other place but New York where my next-door neighbor
never feels the slightest hesitation about cutting me dead, because he
knows that on such conditions rests that broad individual liberty which
is the glory of the citizen.

In fine, if we seek the capital of well-paid labor,--the capital of
broad congenialities and infinite resources,--the capital of most widely
diffused comfort, luxury, and taste,--the capital which to the eye of
the plain businessman deserves to be the nation's senate-seat,--the
capital which, as the man of forecast sees, must eventually be the
world's Bourse and market-place,--in any case we turn and find our quest
in the city of New York.

To-day, she might claim Jersey City, Hoboken, Brooklyn, and all the
settled districts facing the island shore, with as good a grace as
London includes her multitudinous districts on both sides of the Thames.
Were all the population who live by her, and legitimately belong to her,
now united with her, as some day they must be by absorption, New York
would now contain more than 1,300,000 people. For this union New York
need make no effort. The higher organization always controls and
incorporates the lower.

The release of New York commerce from the last shackles of the Southern
"long-paper" system, combined with the progressive restoration of its
moral freedom from the dungeon of Southern political despotism, has
left, for the first time since she was born, our metropolitan giantess
unhampered. Let us throw away the poor results of our last decade! New
York thought she was growing then; but the future has a stature for her
which shall lift her up where she can see and summon all the nations.[E]


[E] In addition to the obligations elsewhere recognised, an
acknowledgment is due to the well-known archæologist and statistician of
New York,--Mr. Valentine,--who furnished for the purpose of this article
the latest edition of his Manual, in advance of its general publication,
and to the great convenience of the writer.





I am very sure that nothing was ever farther from my thoughts than the
writing of a book. The pages which follow were never intended for
publication, but were written as an amusement, sometimes in long winter
evenings, when it was pleasanter to be indoors, and sometimes in summer
days, when most of the circumstances mentioned in them occurred. I was a
long time in writing them, as they were done little by little. There was
a point in them at which I stopped entirely. Then I lent the manuscript
to several of my acquaintances to read. Some of these kept it only a few
days, and I feel quite sure soon tired of it, as it afterwards appeared
that they had read very little of it: they must have thought it
extremely dull. But these probably borrowed it only out of compliment,
and so I was neither surprised nor mortified. The only surprise was,
that now and then there was one who did have patience to go over it all,
as it was written in a common copy-book, not in a very nice hand, and
with a great many erasures and alterations. But when one has a favorite,
it is grateful to find even a single admirer for it. So it was with me.
I wrote from love of the subject; and when any one was kind enough to
give his approval, I felt exceedingly pleased, not because I had a high
opinion of the matter myself, but only because I had written it. Then it
must be acknowledged that my small circle of acquaintances comprised
more workers than readers. Those who had a taste for reading found their
time so occupied by the labor necessary to their support that but little
was left to them for indulging in books; and the few who had leisure
were probably such indifferent readers as to make the task of going over
a blotted manuscript too great for their patience, unless it were more
interesting than mine.

At last, after a very long time, and a great many strange experiences,
the manuscript fell into the hands of one who was an entire stranger to
me, but who has since proved himself the dearest friend I ever had. He
read it, and said it must be published. But the thought of publication
so frightened me that it almost deprived me of sleep. Still, after very
long persuasion, I consented, and the whole was written over again, with
a great many things added. When it was all ready, he told me I must
write a preface. So I was persuaded even to this, though that was a new
alarm, and I had scarcely recovered from the first. I have always been
retiring,--indeed, quite out of sight; and nothing has reconciled me to
this publicity but the knowledge that no one will be able to discover
me, unless it be the very few who had patience to read my manuscript.
Even they will find it so altered and enlarged as scarcely to remember

Yet there is another consideration which ought to reconcile me to coming
forward in a way so contrary to what I had ever contemplated. I think
the story of my quiet life may lead others to reflect more seriously on
the griefs, the trials, and the hardships to which so many of my sex are
constantly subjected. It may lead some of the other sex either to think
more of these trials, or to view them in a new and different light from
any in which they have heretofore regarded them. They may even think
that I have suggested a new remedy for an old evil. I know that many
such have labored to remove the wrongs of which poor and friendless
women are the victims. But while they have already done much toward that
humane end, as much remains to do. I make no studied effort to influence
or direct them. The contrast between my first and last experience was so
great, that, in rewriting, I added some facts from the experience of
others to give force to the recital of my own. My hope is, that humane
minds may be gratified by a narrative so uneventful, and that they,
fortified by position and means, will be led to do for others, in a new
direction, as much as I, comparatively unaided, have been able to do for


Having always had a great fondness for reading, I have gone through
every book to which my very limited circle of acquaintance gave me
access. Even this small literary experience was sufficient to impress
upon my mind the superior value of personal memoirs. Of all my reading,
they most interested me; and I have learned from others that such books
have most interested them. Indeed, biography, and personal narrative of
all kinds, seem to command a general popularity. Moreover, we like to
know from the person himself what he does, how he thinks and feels, what
fortunes or vicissitudes he encounters, how he begins his career, and
how it ends. All biography gives us most of these particulars, but they
are never so vividly recited as by the subject of the narrative himself.
Accordingly what was once a kind of diary of the most unimportant events
I have transformed into a personal history. I know the transformation
will not give them any importance they did not originally possess, but
it gives me at least one chance of making my recital interesting.

All who have any knowledge of the city of Philadelphia will remember
that on its southern boundary there is a large district known as the
township of Moyamensing. Much of it is now incorporated with the
recently enlarged city, but the old name still clings to it. There are
many thousand acres in this district, which stretches from the Delaware
to the Schuylkill. The junction of the two rivers at its lower end makes
it a peninsula, which has long been known as "The Neck." When the city
was founded by William Penn, much of this and the adjoining land was in
possession of the Swedes, who came first to Pennsylvania. They had
settled on tracts of different sizes, some very large, and some very
small, according to their ability to purchase. It was then covered by a
dense forest, which required great labor to clear it.

My ancestors were among these early Swedes. They were so poor in this
world's goods as to be able to purchase only forty acres of this
extremely cheap land. Even that was not paid for in money, but in labor.
In time they cleared it up, built a small brick house after the quaint
fashion of those early days, the material for which was furnished from a
superior kind of clay underlying the land all around them, and
thenceforward maintained themselves from the products of the soil, then,
as now, proverbial for its fruitfulness. It descended to their children,
most of whom were equally plodding and unambitious with themselves. All
continued the old occupation of looking to the soil for subsistence; and
so long as the forty acres were kept together, they lived well. But as
descendants multiplied, and one generation succeeded to another, so the
little farm became subdivided among numerous heirs, all of whom sold to
strangers, except my father, who considered himself happy in being able
to secure, as his portion, the quaint old homestead, with its then
well-stocked garden, and a lot large enough to make his whole domain an
acre and a half.

I have many times heard him relate the particulars of this acquisition,
and say how lucky it was for all of us that he secured it. The other
heirs, who had turned their acres into money, went into trade or
speculation and came out poor. With the homestead of the first settler
my father seemed to have inherited all his unambitious and plodding
character. His whole habit was quiet, domestic, and home-loving. He was
content to cultivate his land with the spade, raising many kinds of
fruits and vegetables for the family and for market, and working
likewise in the fields and gardens of his neighbors; while in winter he
employed himself in making nets for the fishermen.

But much of this work for others was done for gentlemen who had fine old
houses, built at least a hundred years ago. The land in Moyamensing is
so beautifully level, and is so very rich by nature, that at an early
day in the settlement of the country a great many remarkably fine
dwellings were built upon it, to which extensive gardens were attached.
Father had been in and all over many of these mansions, and was fond of
describing their wonders to us. They were finished inside with great
expense. Some had curiously carved door-frames and mantels, with parlors
wainscoted clear up to the ceiling, and heavy mouldings wherever they
could be put in. These old-time mansions were scattered thickly over
this beautiful piece of land. Such of them as were built nearest the
city have long since been swept away by the extension of streets and
long rows of new houses; but all through the remoter portion of the
district there are many still left, with their fine gardens filled with
the best fruits that modern horticulture has enabled the wealthy to
gather around them.

I remember many of those that have been torn down. One or two of them
were famous in Revolutionary history. The owners of such as remained in
my father's time were glad to have him take charge of their gardens. He
knew how to bud or graft a tree, to trim grapevines, and to raise the
best and earliest vegetables. In all that was to be done in a
gentleman's garden he was so neat, so successful, so quiet and
industrious, that whatever time he had to spare from his own was always
in demand, and at the highest wages.

When not otherwise occupied, my mother also worked at the art of
net-making. At times she was employed in making up clothing for what
some years ago were popularly called the slop-shops, mostly situated in
the lower section of the city. These were shops which kept supplies of
ready-made clothing for sailors and other transient people who harbored
along the wharves. It was coarse work, and was made up as cheaply as
possible. At that time the shipping of the port was much of it
congregated in the lower part of the city, not far from our house.

When a little girl, I have often gone with my mother when she went on
her errands to these shops, doing what I could to help her in carrying
her heavy bundles to and fro; and more than once I heard her rudely
spoken to by the pert young tailor who received her work, and who
examined it as carefully as if the material had been silk or cambric,
instead of the coarse fabric which constitutes the staple of such
establishments. I thus learned, at a very early age, to know something
of the duties of needle-women, as well as of the mortifications and
impositions to which their vocation frequently subjects them.

My mother was a beautiful sewer, and I am sure she never turned in a
garment that had in any way been slighted. She knew how rude and
exacting this class of employers were, and was nice and careful in
consequence, so as to be sure of giving satisfaction. But all this care
availed nothing, in many cases, to prevent rudeness, and sometimes a
refusal to pay the pitiful price she had been promised. Her disposition
was too gentle and yielding for her to resent these impositions; she was
unable to contend and argue with the rough creatures behind the counter;
she therefore submitted in silence, sometimes even in tears. Twice, I
can distinctly remember, when these heartless men compelled her to leave
her work at less than the low price stipulated, I have seen her tears
fall in big drops as she took up the mite thus grudgingly thrown down to
her, and leave the shop, leading me by the hand. I could feel, young as
I was, the hard nature of this treatment. I heard the rough language,
though unable to know how harshly it must have grated on the soft
feelings of the best mother that child was ever blessed with.

But I comprehended nothing beyond what I saw and heard,--nothing of the
merits of the case,--nothing of the nature and bearings of the
business,--nothing of the severe laws of trade which govern the conduct
of buyer and seller. I did not know that in a large city there are
always hundreds of sewing-women begging from these hard employers the
privilege of toiling all day, and half-way into the night, in an
occupation which never brings even a reasonable compensation, while many
times the severity of their labors, the confinement and privation, break
down the most robust constitutions, and hurry the weaker into a
premature grave.

I was too young to reason on these subjects, though quick enough to feel
for my dear mother. When I saw her full heart overflow in tears, I cried
from sympathy. When we got into the street, and her tears dried up, and
her habitual cheerfulness returned, I also ceased weeping, and soon
forgot the cause. The memory of a child is blissfully fugitive. Indeed,
among the blessings that lie everywhere scattered along our pathway, is
the readiness with which we all forget sorrows that nearly broke down
the spirit when first they fell upon us. For if the griefs of an entire
life were to be remembered, all that we suffer from childhood to mature
age, the accumulation would be greater than we could bear.

On one occasion, when with my mother at the slop-shop, we found a
sewing-woman standing at the counter, awaiting payment for the making of
a dozen summer vests. We came up to the counter and stood beside
her,--for there were no chairs on which a sewing-woman might rest
herself, however fatigued from carrying a heavy bundle for a mile or two
in a hot day. And even had there been such grateful conveniences, we
should not have been invited to sit down; and unless invited, no
sewing-woman would risk a provocation of the wrath of an ill-mannered
shopman by presuming to occupy one. Few employers bestow even a thought
upon the comfort of their sewing-women. They seldom think how tired they
become with overwork at home, before leaving it with a heavy load for
the shop, nor that the bundle grows heavier and heavier with every step
that it is carried, or that the weak and over-strained body of the
exhausted woman needs rest the moment she sets foot within the door.

The woman whom we found at the counter was in the prime of life,
plainly, but neatly dressed,--no doubt in her best attire, as she was to
be seen in public, and she knew that her whole capital lay in her
appearance. I judged her to be an educated lady. Though a stranger to my
mother, yet she accosted her so politely, and in a voice so musical,
that the gracefulness of her manner and the softness of her tones still
linger in my memory. Looking down to me, then less than ten years old,
and addressing my mother, she asked,--

"How many of them have you?"

"Only three, Ma'am," was the reply.

"I have six of them to struggle for," she said,--adding, after a
moment's pause, "and it is hard to be obliged to do it all."

I saw that she was dressed in newly made mourning. I knew what mourning
was,--but not then what it was to be a widow. My mother afterwards told
me she was such, and was therefore in black. Other conversation passed
between the two, during which I looked up into the widow's face with the
unreflecting intensity of childish interest. Her voice was so
remarkable, so kind, so gentle, so full of conciliation, that it won my
heart. There was a sadness in her face which struck me most forcibly and
painfully. There was an expression of care, of overwork, and great
privation. Yet, for all this, the lines of her countenance were
beautiful even in their painfulness.

While I thus stood gazing up into the widow's face, the shopkeeper came
forward from a distant window, by whose light he had been examining the
vests, threw them roughly down upon the counter in front of her, and
exclaimed in a sharp voice,--

"Can't pay for such work as this,--don't want it in the shop,--never had
the like of it,--look at that!"

He tossed a vest toward my mother, who took it up, and examined it. One
end of it hung down low enough for me to catch, and I also undertook the
business of inspection. I scanned it closely, and was a sufficient judge
of sewing to see that it was made up with a stitch as neat and regular
as that of my mother. She must have thought so, too; for, on returning
it to the man, she said to him,--

"The work is equal to anything of _mine_."

Hearing a new voice, he then discovered, that, instead of tossing the
vest to the poor widow, he had inadvertently thrown it to my mother.
Then, addressing the former, he said, in the same sharp tone,--

"Can't pay but half price for this kind of work; don't want any more
like it. There's your money; do you want more work?"

He threw down the silver on the counter. The whole price, or even
double, would have been a mere pittance, the widow's mite indeed; but
here was robbery of even that. What, in such a case, was this poor
creature to do? She had six young and helpless children at home,--no
husband to defend her,--no friend to stand between her and the man who
thus robbed her. A resort to law were futile. What had she wherewith to
pay either lawyer or magistrate? and was not continued employment a
necessity? All these thoughts must have flashed across her mind. But in
the terrible silence which she kept for some minutes, still standing at
the counter, how many others must have succeeded them! What happy images
of former comfort came knocking at her heart! what an agonizing sense of
present destitution! what a contrast between the brightness of the one
and the gloom of the other! and then the cries of hungry children
ringing importunately in her ears! I noticed her all the time, and,
child that I was, did so merely because she stood still and made no
reply,--utterly unconscious that emotions of any kind were racking her
grief-smitten heart. I felt no such emotions myself,--how should I
suppose that they had even an existence?

She made no answer to the man who had thus wantonly outraged her, but,
turning to my mother, looked up into her face as if for pity and advice.
Were they not equally helpless victims on the altar of a like domestic
necessity, and should not common trials knit them together in the bonds
of a common sympathy? A new sadness came over her yet beautiful
countenance; but no tear gushed gratefully to relieve her
swelling heart. She took up the money,--I saw that her hand was
trembling,--placed it in her purse, lifted from the counter a bundle
containing a second dozen of vests, and, bidding my mother a graceful
farewell, left the scene of this cruel imposition on one utterly
powerless either to prevent it or to obtain redress. I have never
forgotten the incident.

These labors of my mother were at no time necessary to the support of
the family; but, though quiet and retiring in her habits, she had
ambitious aspirations for supplying herself with pocket-money by the
work of her own hands. As I said before, she was a beautiful sewer on
the finest kinds of work, such as, if obtained from the families in
which it is worn, would have yielded her remunerative wages. But we
lived away beyond the thickly settled portion of the city, had no
influential acquaintances from whom it could be procured, and hence my
mother, with thousands who were really necessitous, resorted to the
tailors, to the meanest as well as to the honorable. When my father
heard of the indignities they practised on us, and of the shamefully low
prices they paid us, he forbade my mother ever going to them again. He
said their whole business was to grow rich by defrauding of their just
dues the poor women who were thus competing with each other for work,
and that we should do no more for any of them, until we could find an
honest man and a gentleman to deal with.

But my father, always busy in his garden or in that of some wealthy
neighbor, knew nothing even of the little outside world into which we
had penetrated. His generous, unsuspecting nature thus led him to feel
sure that the honest and the gentlemanly were to be found in abundance;
but he overlooked the fact that it was only his quiet wife upon whom was
devolved the task of discovering them, as well as that her explorations
had never yet been rewarded with success.

Notwithstanding these discouragements, my mother was firmly of opinion
that the needle was a woman's only sure dependence against all the
vicissitudes of life. She believed, in a general way, that a good
needlewoman would never come to want. The idea of diversifying
employment for the sex had never crossed her mind; the vocation of woman
was to sew. All must not only do it, but they must depend on it. She
considered it of little use to think of anything beyond the needle. She
could not see, that, if all the women of the country did the same thing,
there must inevitably be more laborers than could find employment,--that
the competition would be so great among them as to depress prices to a
point so low that many women could not live on them,--and that those who
did would drag out only a miserable existence.

Though a woman of excellent sense, with a tolerable education, and fond
of all the reading she could find time to do, still she continued to
plead for this supremacy of the needle, even after her humiliating
experience at the slop-shops. She was the most industrious sewer I have
ever known,--and not only industrious, but neat, conscientious, and
rapid. Machines, with iron frames and wheels, had not then been
invented; but since they have, I have never seen a better one than my
mother. Her frame, if not of iron, seemed quite as indestructible, even
if it did turn out fewer stitches. Times without number has she sat up
till midnight, plying her needle by the dull light of a common candle:
for there was no gas in our suburban district. While we children were
sound asleep, there she sat, not from necessity, but from pure love of
work. Yet she was up early, long before any of the dull sleepers of the
household had stirred, and had more trouble to get us down to breakfast
than to get up the meal itself. I scarcely thought of these things
during the young years of my life, when they were occurring; but as I am
writing this, they all come thronging before my memory with the
freshness of yesterday. They will no doubt seem dull to others; but the
recollection is very precious to me.

With this conviction of its being almost the sole mission of a woman to
sew, she made the needle a vital point in my education, as well as in
that of my sister. There were two girls of us, and a brother. I was the
eldest, and my sister the youngest of the three. Thus, when I was quite
a child, I learned to use the needle; and as I grew older, the utmost
pains were taken to teach me every branch of sewing, from the commonest
to the most difficult. My sister went through the same course of

At a very early age we were able to make and dress our own dolls, hem
our handkerchiefs and aprons, and in due time were promoted to the
darning of father's stockings and the patching of his working-clothes.
We thought the being able to do these things for him a very great
affair, and mother praised us for our work. But when sister Jane once
put a patch over a hole in the knee of father's pantaloons, without
covering all the rent,--she had let the patch slip down a
little,--mother required her to rip it off and put it in the right
place: but there was not a word of scolding for Jane; it was all
softness, all kindness; she knew that Jane was a child. I think father,
however, would never have noticed that the patch was a little out of
place; and, indeed, I think it very likely he didn't care about having a
patch of any kind put on, for his mind was on work, and not on
appearances. But then it was my dear mother's way. We were taught that
the needle was to be the staff of our future lives. Whatever we
undertook must be done right; and then she had a just pride in making
father always look respectable.

Thus in time we came to feel as much pride in being good seamstresses as
did our mother. It was natural we should, for we believed all she taught
us, and there was no one to controvert her positions,--except sometimes,
when father heard her impressing her favorite dogma on our minds, he put
in a word of doubt, saying, that, before the needle could be made so
sure a dependence for poor women, there must be found a better market
for female labor than the slop-shops, and a more honorable race of
employers. To this questioning of her doctrine she made no reply,
knowing that she had us all to herself, and that a doubt from father,
only now and then uttered, would make no impression. But I remember it
all now.

I can remember, too, how proud I felt when mother called me to her, one
day, and gave me a piece of cotton cloth, of which she said I was to
make father a shirt. It was of unbleached stuff, heavy and strong, but
still nice and smooth. Father wore only one kind; and as it was to serve
for best as well as for common wear, I was to make it as nicely as I

That afternoon all of us children were to go on a little
fishing-excursion to the meadows on the Delaware, among the ditches
which run all round the inside of the great embankment that has been
thrown up to keep out the river. There was a vast expanse of beautiful
green meadow inclosed by this embankment, on which great numbers of
cattle were annually fatted. As viewed from the bank, it was luxuriant
in the extreme; in fact, it was a prairie containing hundreds of acres,
trimmed up and cared for with the utmost skill and watchfulness, and
intersected with clean, open ditches, to secure drainage. Into these
ditches the tide flowed through sluices in the bank, and thus they were
always full of fish.

These beautiful meadows were the resort of thousands who resided in the
lower section of the city, for picnics and excursions. The roads through
them were as level as could possibly be, and upon them were continual
trotting-matches. In summer, the wide flats outside the embankment were
over-grown with reeds, among which gunners congregated in numbers
dangerous to themselves, shooting rail and reed-birds. On Sundays and
other holidays, the wide footpath on the high embankment was a moving
procession of people, who came out of the city to enjoy the fresh breeze
from the river. All who lived near resorted to these favorite grounds.

Several other little boys and girls were to come to our house and go
with us. We had long been in the habit of going to the meadows to fish
and play, where we had the merriest and happiest of times. Sometimes,
though the meadows were only half a mile from us, we took a slice or two
of bread-and-butter in a little basket, to serve for dinner, so that we
could stay all day; for the meadows and ditches extended several miles
below the city, and we wandered and played all the way down to the Point
House. On these trips we caught sun-fish, roach, cat-fish, and sometimes
perch, and always brought them home. We generally got prodigiously
hungry from the exercise we took, and sat down on the thick grass under
a tree to eat our scanty dinners. These dinner-times came very early in
the day; and long before it was time to go home in the afternoon, we
became even more hungry than we had been in the morning,--but our
baskets had been emptied.

I think these young days, with these innocent sports and recreations,
were among the happiest of my life. I do not think the fish we caught
were of much account, though father was always glad to see them; and I
remember how he took each one of our baskets, as we came into the
kitchen, looked into it, and turned over and counted the fishes it
contained. My brother Fred generally had the most, and I had the fewest:
but it seems that even for other things than fishes I never had a taking
way about me. Father was very fond of them, for mother had a way of
frying their little thin bodies into a nice brown crisp, which made us
all a good breakfast. So father had made us lines, with corks and hooks,
tied them to nice little poles, and showed us how to use them and keep
them in order, and had a corner in the shed in which he taught us to set
them up out of harm's way. Occasionally he even went with us to the
meadows himself.

But while I am speaking of these dear times, I must say that we always
came home happy, though tired and dirty. Sometimes we got into great
mud-holes along the ditch-bank, so deep as to leave a shoe sticking
fast, compelling us to trudge home with only one. Then, when we found a
place where the fish bit sharply, all of us rushed to the spot, and
pushed into the wild rose-bushes that grew in clumps upon the bank: for
I generally noticed, that, where the bushes overhung the water and made
a little shade, the fish were most abundant. In the scramble to secure a
good foothold, the briers tore our clothes and bonnets, sometimes so as
to make us fairly ragged, besides scratching our hands and faces
terribly. Occasionally one of us slipped into the ditch, and was helped
out dripping wet; but we never mentioned such an incident at home. Then
more than once we were caught in a heavy shower, with nothing but a
rose-bush or a willow-tree for shelter; and there were often so many of
us that it was like a hen with an unreasonably large brood of
chickens,--some must stay out in the wet, and all such surplusage got
soaked to the skin.

But we cared nothing for any of these things. Indeed, I am inclined to
think that we were happy in proportion as we got tired, hungry, wet, and
dirty. Mother never scolded us when we came home in this condition.
Though we smelt terribly of mud and fish, and were often smeared over
with the dried slime of a great slippery eel which had swallowed the
hook, and coiled himself in knots all over our lines, and required three
or four of the boys to cut off his head and get the hook out, yet all
she did was to make us wash ourselves clean, after which she gave us a
supper that tasted better than all the suppers we get now, and then put
us to bed. We were tired enough to go right to sleep; but it was the
fatigue of absolute happiness,--light hearts, light consciences, no
care, nothing but the perfect enjoyment of childhood, such as never
comes to us but once.

This is a long digression, but it could not be avoided. I said, that,
when mother told me I was to make a shirt for father, we were that very
afternoon to go down among these dear old meadows and dirty ditches to
fish and play. Our lines were all in order, and a new hook had been put
on mine, as on the last excursion the old one had caught in what the
boys call a "blind eel," that is, a sunken log,--and there it probably
remains to this day. Fred had dug worms for us, and they had coiled
themselves up into a huge ball in the shell of an old cocoa-nut, ready
to be impaled on our hooks. Everything was prepared for a start, and we
were only waiting for dinner to be over: though I can remember, that,
whenever we had such an afternoon before us, we had very little appetite
to satisfy. The anticipation and glee were such that the pervading
desire was not to eat, but to be off.

But when mother gave me the shirt to make, I felt so proud of the trust,
that all desire to go to the meadows left me. I felt a new sensation, a
new ambition, a new pride. It was very strange that I should thus
suddenly give up the ditches, the fishing, the scratching, and the dirt;
for none of us loved them more dearly than myself. But they were old and
familiar, and father's shirt was a novelty; and novelty is one of the
great attractions for the young. So they went without me, and after
dinner I sat down to make my first shirt.

It was to be made in the plainest way; for father had no pride about his
dress. I cut it out myself, basted it together, then sewed it with my
utmost care. There was to be no nice work about collar or wristband,--no
troublesome plaits or gussets,--no machine-made bosom to set in,--only a
few gathers,--and all plain work throughout. My mother looked at me
occasionally as the shirt progressed, but found no fault. She did not
once stop me to examine it; but I feel sure she must have scrutinized it
carefully after I had gone to bed. I was so particular in this, my first
grand effort to secure the honors of a needlewoman, that quite two days
were occupied in doing it.

When all done, I took it to mother, proud of my achievement, telling
her, that, if she had more cotton, I was ready to begin another. She
looked over it with a slowness that I am sure was intentional, and not
at all necessary. The wristbands were all right, the buttons in the
proper places, the hemming she said was done well. Then, taking it up by
the collar, and holding the garment at full length before her, so that I
could see it all, she asked me if I saw anything wrong. I looked
closely, but could see no mistake. At last she exclaimed,--

"Why, my dear Lizzie, this is only a bag with arms to it! How is your
father to get into it?"

She turned it all round before me, and showed me that I had left no
opening at the bosom and neck,--father could never get it over his head!
I cannot tell how astonished and mortified I felt. I cried as only such
a child could cry. I sobbed and begged her not to show it to father, and
promised to alter it immediately, if she would only tell me how. But,
oh, how kind my dear mother was in soothing my excited feelings! There
was not a word of blame. She made me comparatively calm by immediately
opening the bosom as it should have been done, and showing me how to
finish it. I hurried up to my chamber to be alone and out of sight. They
called me to dinner, but my appetite had gone. Though my little heart
was full, and my hand trembled, yet long before night the work was done.

Oh, how the burden rose from my spirits when my dear mother took me in
her arms, kissed me tenderly, and said that my mistake was nothing but a
trifle that I would be sure to remember, and that the shirt was far
better made than she had expected! When father came in to supper, I took
it to him and told him that _I_ had made it. He looked both surprised
and pleased, kissed me with even more than his usual kindness,--I think
mother must have privately told him of my blunder,--and said that he
would surely remember me at Christmas.

I know that incidents like these can be of little interest to any but
myself. But what more exciting ones are to be expected in such a history
as mine? If they are related here, it is because I am requested to
record them. Still, every poor sewing-girl will consider that the making
of her first shirt is an event in her career, a difficulty to be
surmounted,--and that, even when successfully accomplished, it is in
reality only the beginning of a long career of toil.




More than forty years have passed since I first conversed with the poet
Thomas Moore. Afterwards it was my privilege to know him intimately. He
seldom, of late years, visited London without spending an evening at our
house; and in 1845 we passed a happy week at his cottage, Sloperton, in
the county of Wilts:--

            "In my calendar
    There are no whiter days!"

The poet has himself noted the time in his diary (November, 1845).

It was in the year 1822 I made his acquaintance in Dublin. He was in the
full ripeness of middle age,--then, as ever, "the poet of all circles,
and the idol of his own." As his visits to his native city were few and
far between, the power to see him, and especially to _hear_ him, was a
boon of magnitude. It was, indeed, a treat, when, seated at the piano,
he gave voice to the glorious "Melodies" that are justly regarded as the
most valuable of his legacies to mankind. I can recall that evening as
vividly as if it were not a sennight old: the graceful man, small and
slim in figure, his upturned eyes and eloquent features giving force to
the music that accompanied the songs, or rather to the songs that
accompanied the music.

Dublin was then the home of much of the native talent that afterwards
found its way to England; and there were some, Lady Morgan especially,
whose "evenings" drew together the wit and genius for which that city
has always been famous. To such an evening I make reference. It was at
the house of a Mr. Steele, then High Sheriff of the County of Dublin,
and I was introduced there by the Rev. Charles Maturin. The name is not
widely known, yet Maturin was famous in his day--and for a day--as the
author of two successful tragedies, "Bertram" and "Manuel," (in which
the elder Kean sustained the leading parts,) and of several popular
novels. Moreover, he was an eloquent preacher, although probably he
mistook his calling when he entered the Church. Among his many
eccentricities I remember one: it was his habit to compose while walking
about his large and scantily furnished house; and always on such
occasions he placed a wafer on his forehead,--a sign that none of his
family or servants were to address him then, to endanger the loss of a
thought that might enlighten a world. He was always in "difficulties."
In Lady Morgan's Memoirs it is stated that Sir Charles Morgan raised a
subscription for Maturin, and supplied him with fifty pounds. "The first
use he made of the money was to give a grand party. There was little
furniture in the reception-room, but at one end of it there had been
erected an old theatrical-property throne, and under a canopy of crimson
velvet sat Mr. and Mrs. Maturin!"

Among the guests at Mr. Steele's were the poet's father, mother, and
sister,--the sister to whom he was so fervently attached. The father was
a plain, homely man,--nothing more, and assuming to be nothing more,
than a Dublin tradesman.[F] The mother evidently possessed a far higher
mind. She, too, was retiring and unpretending,--like her son in
features,--with the same gentle, yet sparkling eye, flexible and smiling
mouth, and kindly and conciliating manners. It was to be learned long
afterwards how deep was the affection that existed in the poet's heart
for these humble relatives,--how fervid the love he bore them,--how
earnest the respect with which he invariably treated them,--nay, how
elevated was the pride with which he regarded them from first to last.

The sister, Ellen, was, I believe, slightly deformed; at least, the
memory to me is that of a small, delicate woman, with one shoulder
"out." The expression of her countenance betokened suffering, having
that peculiar "sharpness" which usually accompanies severe and
continuous bodily ailment.[G] I saw more of her some years afterwards,
and knew that her mind and disposition were essentially lovable.

To the mother--Anastasia Moore, _née_ Codd, a humbly descended, homely,
and almost uneducated woman[H]--Moore gave intense respect and devoted
affection, from the time that reason dawned upon him to the hour of her
death. To her he wrote his first letter, (in 1793,) ending with these

    "Your absence all but ill endure,
    And none so ill as--THOMAS MOORE."

And in the zenith of his fame, when society drew largely on his time,
and the highest and best of the land coveted a portion of his leisure,
with her he corresponded so regularly that at her death she possessed
(it has been so told me by Mrs. Moore) four thousand of his letters.
Never, according to the statement of Earl Russell, did he pass a week
without writing to her _twice_, except during his absence in Bermuda,
when franks were not to be obtained, and postages were costly.

When a world had tendered to him its homage, still the homely woman was
his "darling mother," to whom he transmitted a record of his cares and
his triumphs, his anxieties and his hopes, as if he considered--as I
verily believe he did consider--that to give her pleasure was the chief
enjoyment of his life. His sister--"excellent Nell"--occupied only a
second place in his heart; while his father received as much of his
respect as if he had been the hereditary representative of a line of

All his life long, "he continued," according to one of the most valued
of his correspondents, "amidst the pleasures of the world, to preserve
his home fireside affections true and genuine, as they were when a boy."

To his mother he writes of all his facts and fancies; to her he opens
his heart in its natural and innocent fulness; tells her of each thing,
great or small, that, interesting him, must interest her,--from his
introduction to the Prince, and his visit to Niagara, to the acquisition
of a pencil-case, and the purchase of a new pocket-handkerchief. "You,
my sweet mother," he writes, "can see neither frivolity nor egotism in
these details."

In 1806, Moore's father received, through the interest of Lord Moira,
the post of Barrack-Master in Dublin, and thus became independent. In
1815, "Retrenchment" deprived him of this office, and he was placed on
half-pay. The family had to seek aid from the son, who entreated them
not to despond, but rather to thank Providence for having permitted them
to enjoy the fruits of office so long, till he (the son) was "in a
situation to keep them in comfort without it." "Thank Heaven," he writes
afterwards of his father, "I have been able to make his latter days
tranquil and comfortable." When sitting beside his death-bed, (in 1825,)
he was relieved by a burst of tears and prayers, and by "a sort of
confidence that the Great and Pure Spirit above us could not be
otherwise than pleased at what He saw passing in my mind."

When Lord Wellesley, (Lord-Lieutenant,) after the death of the father,
proposed to continue the half-pay to the sister, Moore declined the
offer, although, he adds,--"God knows how useful such aid would be to
me, as God alone knows how I am to support all the burdens now heaped
upon me"; and his wife at home was planning how "they might be able to
do with one servant," in order that they might be the better able to
assist his mother.

The poet was born at the corner of Aungier Street, Dublin, on the 28th
of May, 1779, and died at Sloperton, on the 25th of February,[I] 1852,
at the age of seventy-two. What a full life it was! Industry a
fellow-worker with Genius for nearly sixty years!

He was a sort of "show-child" almost from his birth, and could barely
walk when it was jestingly said of him, he passed all his nights with
fairies on the hills. Almost his earliest memory was having been crowned
king of a castle by some of his playfellows. At his first school he was
the show-boy of the schoolmaster: at thirteen years old he had written
poetry that attracted and justified admiration. In 1797 he was "a man of
mark"; at the University,[J] in 1798, at the age of nineteen, he had
made "considerable progress" in translating the Odes of Anacreon; and in
1800 he was "patronized" and flattered by the Prince of Wales, who was
"happy to know a man of his abilities," and "hoped they might have many
opportunities of enjoying each other's society."

His earliest printed work, "Poems by Thomas Little," has been the
subject of much, and perhaps merited, condemnation. Of Moore's own
feeling in reference to these compositions of his mere, and thoughtless,
boyhood, it may be right to quote two of the dearest of his friends.
Thus writes Lisle Bowles of Thomas Moore, in allusion to these early

    "'----Like Israel's incense laid
    Upon unholy earthly shrines':--

Who, if, in the unthinking gayety of premature genius, he joined the
sirens, has made ample amends by a life of the strictest virtuous
propriety, equally exemplary as the husband, the father, and the
man,--and as far as the muse is concerned, _more_ ample amends, by
melodies as sweet as Scriptural and sacred, and by weaving a tale of the
richest Oriental colors, which faithful affection and pity's tear have
consecrated to all ages." This is the statement of his friend
Rogers:--"So heartily has Moore repented of having published 'Little's
Poems,' that I have seen him shed tears,--tears of deep
contrition,--when we were talking of them."

I allude to his early triumphs only to show, that, while they would have
spoiled nine men out of ten, they failed to taint the character of
Moore. His modest estimate of himself was from first to last a leading
feature in his character. Success never engendered egotism; honors never
seemed to him only the recompense of desert; he largely magnified the
favors he received, and seemed to consider as mere "nothings" the
services he rendered and the benefits he conferred. That was his great
characteristic, all his life. We have ourselves ample evidence to adduce
on this head. I copy the following letter from Mr. Moore. It is dated
"Sloperton, November 29, 1843."

     "MY DEAR MR. HALL,--

     "I am really and truly ashamed of myself for having let so
     many acts of kindness on your part remain unnoticed and
     unacknowledged on mine. But the world seems determined to
     make me a man of letters in more senses than one, and almost
     every day brings me such an influx of epistles from mere
     strangers that friends hardly ever get a line from me. My
     friend Washington Irving used to say, 'It is much easier to
     get a book from Moore than a letter.' But this has not been
     the case, I am sorry to say, of late; for the penny-post has
     become the sole channel of my inspirations. How _am_ I to
     thank you sufficiently for all your and Mrs. Hall's kindness
     to me? She must come down here, when the summer arrives, and
     be thanked _a quattr' occhi_,--far better way of thanking
     than at such a cold distance. Your letter to the mad
     Repealers was far too good and wise and gentle to have much
     effect on such rantipoles."[K]

The house in Aungier Street I visited so recently as 1864. It was then,
and still is, as it was in 1779, the dwelling of a grocer,--altered only
so far as that a bust of the poet is placed over the door, and the fact
that he was born there is recorded at the side. May no modern
"improvement" ever touch it!

      "The great Emathian conqueror bid spare
    The house of Pindarus, when temple and tower
    Went to the ground."

This humble dwelling of the humble tradesman is the house of which the
poet speaks in so many of his early letters and memoranda. Here, when a
child in years, he arranged a debating society, consisting of himself
and his father's two "clerks." Here he picked up a little Italian from a
kindly old priest who had passed some time in Italy, and obtained a
"smattering of French" from an intelligent _émigré_, named La Frosse.
Here his tender mother watched over his boyhood, proud of his opening
promise, and hopeful, yet apprehensive, of his future. Here he and his
sister, "excellent Nell," acquired music, first upon an old harpsichord,
obtained by his father in discharge of a debt, and afterwards on a
piano, to buy which his loving mother had saved up all superfluous
pence. Hence he issued to lake country walks with unhappy Robert Emmet.
Hither he came--not less proudly, yet as fondly as ever--when college
magnates had given him honor, and the King's Viceroy had received him as
a guest.

In 1835 he records "a visit to No. 12, Aungier Street, where I was
born." "Visited every part of the house; the small old yard and its
appurtenances; the small, dark kitchen, where I used to have my bread
and milk; the front and back drawing-rooms; the bedrooms and
garrets,--murmuring, 'Only think, a grocer's still!'" "The many thoughts
that came rushing upon me, while thus visiting the house where the first
nineteen or twenty years of my life were passed, may be more easily
conceived than told." He records, with greater unction than he did his
visit to the Prince, his sitting with the grocer and his wife at their
table, and drinking in a glass of their wine her and her husband's "good
health." Thence he went, with all his "recollections of the old shop
about him," to a grand dinner at the Viceregal Lodge!

I spring with a single line from the year 1822, when I knew him first,
to the year 1845, when circumstances enabled us to enjoy the
long-looked-for happiness of visiting Moore and his beloved wife in
their home at Sloperton.

The poet was then in his sixty-fifth year, and had in a great measure
retired from actual labor; indeed, it soon became evident to us that the
faculty for enduring and continuous toil no longer existed. Happily, it
was not absolutely needed; for, with very limited wants, there was a
sufficiency,--a bare sufficiency, however, for there were no means to
procure either the elegances or the luxuries which so frequently become
the necessities of man, and a longing for which might have been excused
in one who had been the friend of peers and the associate of princes.

The forests and fields that surround Bowood, the mansion of the Marquis
of Lansdowne, neighbor the poet's humble dwelling. The spire of the
village church, beside the portals of which the poet now sleeps, is seen
above adjacent trees. Laborers' cottages are scattered all about. They
are a heavy and unimaginative race, those peasants of Wiltshire; and,
knowing their neighbor had written books, they could by no means get rid
of the idea that he was the writer of _Moore's Almanac_, and
perpetually, greeted him with a salutation, in hopes to receive in
return some prognostic of the weather, which might guide them in
arrangements for seedtime and harvest. Once, when he had lost his
way,--wandering till midnight,--he roused up the inmates of a cottage,
in search of a guide to Sloperton, and, to his astonishment, found he
was close to his own gate. "Ah, Sir," said the peasant, "that comes of
yer skyscraping!"

He was fond of telling of himself such simple anecdotes as this; indeed,
I remember his saying that no applause he ever obtained gave him so much
pleasure as a compliment from a half-wild countryman, who stood right in
his path on a quay in Dublin, and exclaimed, slightly altering the words
of Byron,--"Three cheers for Tommy Moore, the pote of all circles, and
the _darlint_ of his own!"

I recall him at this moment,--his small form and intellectual face, rich
in expression, and that expression the sweetest, the most gentle, and
the kindliest. He had still in age the same bright and clear eye, the
same gracious smile, the same suave and winning manner I had noticed as
the attributes of his comparative youth; a forehead not remarkably broad
or high, but singularly impressive, firm, and full,--with the organ of
gayety large, and those of benevolence and veneration greatly
preponderating. Ternerani, when making his bust, praised the form of his
ears. The nose, as observed in all his portraits, was somewhat upturned.
Standing or sitting, his head was invariably upraised, owing, perhaps,
mainly to his shortness of stature, with so much bodily activity as to
give him the character of restlessness; and no doubt that usual
accompaniment of genius was eminently his. His hair, at the time I speak
of, was thin and very gray; and he wore his hat with the jaunty air that
has been often remarked as a peculiarity of the Irish. In dress,
although far from slovenly, he was by no means particular. Leigh Hunt,
speaking of him in the prime of life, says,--"His forehead is bony and
full of character, with 'bumps' of wit large and radiant enough to
transport a phrenologist. His eyes are as dark and fine as you would
wish to see under a set of vine-leaves; his mouth generous and
good-humored, with dimples." He adds,--"He was lively, polite, bustling,
full of amenities and acquiescences, into which he contrived to throw a
sort of roughening cordiality, like the crust of old Port. It seemed a
happiness to him to say 'Yes.'" Jeffrey, in one of his letters, says of
him,--"He is the sweetest-blooded, warmest-hearted, happiest,
hopefullest creature that ever set Fortune at defiance"; he speaks also
of "the buoyancy of his spirits and the inward light of his mind"; and
adds,--"There is nothing gloomy or bitter in his ordinary talk, but,
rather, a wild, rough, boyish pleasantry, much more like Nature than his

    "The light that surrounds him is all from within."

He had but little voice; yet he sang with a depth of sweetness that
charmed all hearers: it was true melody, and told upon the heart as well
as the ear. No doubt much of this charm was derived from association;
for it was only his own "Melodies" he sang. It would be difficult to
describe the effect of his singing. I remember some one saying to me, it
conveyed an idea of what a mermaid's song might be. Thrice I heard him
sing, "As a beam o'er the face of the waters may glow,"--once in 1822,
once at Lady Blessington's, and once in my own house. Those who can
recall the touching words of that song, and unite them with the deep,
yet tender pathos of the music, will be at no loss to conceive the
intense delight of his auditors.

I occasionally met Moore in public, and once or twice at public dinners.
One of the most agreeable evenings I ever passed was in 1830, at a
dinner given to him by the members of "The Literary Union." This club
was founded in 1829 by the poet Campbell. I shall have to speak of it
when I write a "Memory" of him. Moore was in strong health at that time,
and in the zenith of his fame. There were many men of mark about
him,--leading wits and men of letters of the age. He was full of life,
sparkling and brilliant in all he said, rising every now and then to say
something that gave the hearers delight, and looking as if "dull care"
had been ever powerless to check the overflowing of his soul. But
although no bard of any age knew better how to

    "Wreathe the bowl with flowers of the soul,"

he had acquired the power of self-restraint, and could stop when the
glass was circulating too freely. At the memorable dinner of the
Literary Fund, at which the good Prince Albert presided, (on the 11th of
May, 1842,) the two poets, Campbell and Moore, had to make speeches. The
author of the "Pleasures of Hope," heedless of the duty that devolved
upon him, had "confused his brain." Moore came in the evening of that
day to our house; and I well remember the terms of true sorrow and
bitter reproach in which he spoke of the lamentable impression that one
of the great authors of the age and country must have left on the mind
of the royal chairman, then new among us.

It is gratifying to record, that the temptations to which the great
lyric poet, Thomas Moore, was so often and so peculiarly exposed, were
ever powerless for wrong.

Moore sat for his portrait to Shee, Lawrence, Newton, Maclise, Mulvany,
and Richmond, and to the sculptors Ternerani, Chantrey, Kirk, and Moore.
On one occasion of his sitting, he says,--"Having nothing in my round
potato face but what painters cannot catch,--mobility of character,--the
consequence is, that a portrait of me can be only one or other of two
disagreeable things,--_caput mortuum_, or a caricature." Richmond's
portrait was taken in 1843. Moore says of it,--"The artist has worked
wonders with unmanageable faces such as mine." Of all his portraits,
this is the one that pleases me best, and most forcibly recalls him to
my remembrance.

I soon learned to love the man. It was easy to do so; for Nature had
endowed him with that rare, but happy gift,--to have pleasure in giving
pleasure, and pain in giving pain; while his life was, or at all events
seemed to be, a practical comment on his own lines:--

    "They may rail at this life; from the hour I began it,
    I've found it a life full of kindness and bliss."

I had daily walks with him at Sloperton,--along his
"terrace-walk,"--during our brief visit; I listening, he talking; he now
and then asking questions, but rarely speaking of himself or his books.
Indeed, the only one of his poems to which he made any special reference
was his "Lines on the Death of Sheridan," of which he said,--"That is
one of the few things I have written of which I am really proud." And I
remember startling him one evening by quoting several of his poems in
which he had said "hard things" of women,--then, suddenly changing,
repeating passages of an opposite character, and his saying, "You know
far more of my poems than I do myself."

The anecdotes he told me were all of the class of those I have
related,--simple, unostentatious. He has been frequently charged with
the weakness of undue respect for the aristocracy. I never heard him,
during the whole of our intercourse, speak of great people with whom he
had been intimate, never a word of the honors accorded to him; and,
certainly, he never uttered a sentence of satire or censure or harshness
concerning any one of his contemporaries. I cannot recall any
conversation with him in which he spoke of intimacy with the great, and
certainly no anecdote of his familiarity with men or women of the upper
orders; although he conversed with me often of those who are called the
lower classes. I remember his describing with proud warmth his visit to
his friend Boyse, at Bannow, in the County of Wexford: the delight he
enjoyed at receiving the homage of bands of the peasantry, gathered to
greet him; the arches of green leaves under which he passed; and the
dances with the pretty peasant-girls,--one in particular, with whom he
led off a country-dance.[L] Would that those who fancied him a
tuft-hunter could have heard him! They would have seen how really humble
was his heart. Indeed, a reference to his Journal will show that of all
his contemporaries, whenever he spoke of them, he had ever something
kindly to say. There is no evidence of ill-nature in any case,--not a
shadow of envy or jealousy. The sturdiest Scottish grazier could not
have been better pleased than he was to see the elegant home at
Abbotsford, or have felt prouder to know that a poet had been created a
baronet. When speaking of Wordsworth's absorption of all the talk at a
dinner-table, Moore says,--"But I was well pleased to be a listener."
And he records, that General Peachey, "who is a neighbor of Southey,
mentions some amiable traits of him."

The house at Sloperton is a small, neat, but comparatively poor cottage,
for which Moore paid originally the princely sum of forty pounds a year,
"furnished." Subsequently, however, he became its tenant under a
repairing-lease at eighteen pounds annual rent. He took possession of it
in November, 1817. Bessy was "not only satisfied, but delighted with it,
which shows the humility of her taste," writes Moore to his mother; "for
it is a small thatched cottage, and we get it furnished for forty pounds
a year." "It has a small garden and lawn in front, and a kitchen-garden
behind. Along two of the sides of this kitchen-garden is a raised
bank,"--the poet's "terrace-walk," so he loved to call it. Here a small
deal table stood through all weathers; for it was his custom to compose
as he walked, and at this table to pause and write down his thoughts.
Hence he had always a view of the setting sun; and I believe nothing on
earth gave him more intense pleasure than practically to realize the

    "How glorious the sun looked in sinking!"--

for, as Mrs. Moore has since told us, he very rarely missed this sight.

In 1811, the year of his marriage, he lived at York Terrace, Queen's
Elm, Brompton. Mrs. Moore tells me it was a pretty house: the Terrace
was then isolated, and opposite nursery-gardens. Long afterwards (in
1824) he went to Brompton to "indulge himself with a sight of that
house." In 1812 he was settled at Kegworth; and in 1813, at Mayfield
Cottage, near Ashbourne, in Derbyshire. Of Mayfield, one of his friends,
who twenty years afterwards accompanied him there to see it, remarks on
the small, solitary, and now wretched-looking cottage, where all the
fine "orientalism" and "sentimentalism" had been engendered. Of this
cottage he himself writes,--"It was a poor place, little better than a
barn; but we at once took it and set about making it habitable."

As Burns was made a gauger because he was partial to whiskey, Moore was
made Colonial Secretary at Bermuda, where his principal duty was to
"overhaul the accounts of skippers and their mates." Being called to
England, his affairs were placed in charge of a superintendent, who
betrayed him, and left him answerable for a heavy debt, which rendered
necessary a temporary residence in Paris. That debt, however, was paid,
not by the aid of friends, some of whom would have gladly relieved him
of it, but literally by "the sweat of his brow." Exactly so it was when
the MS. "Life of Byron" was burned: it was by Moore, and not by the
relatives of Byron, (neither was it by aid of friends,) the money he had
received was returned to the publisher who had advanced it. "The
glorious privilege of being independent" was, indeed, essentially
his,--in his boyhood, throughout his manhood, and in advanced

In 1799 he came to London to enter at the Middle Temple. (His first
lodging was at 44, George Street, Portman Square.) Very soon afterwards
we find him declining a loan of money proffered him by Lady Donegal. He
thanked God for the many sweet things of this kind God threw in his way,
yet at that moment he was "terribly puzzled how to pay his tailor." In
1811, his friend Douglas, who had just received a large legacy, handed
him a blank check, that he might fill it up for any sum he needed. "I
did not accept the offer," writes Moore to his mother; "but you may
guess my feelings." Yet just then he had been compelled to draw on his
publisher, Power, for a sum of thirty pounds, "to be repaid partly in
songs," and was sending his mother a second-day paper, which he was
enabled "to purchase at rather a cheap rate." Even in 1842 he was
"haunted worryingly," not knowing how to meet his son Russell's draft
for one hundred pounds; and a year afterwards he utterly drained his
banker to send fifty pounds to his son Tom. Once, being anxious that
Bessy should have some money for the poor at Bromham, he sent a friend
five pounds, requesting him to forward it to Bessy as from himself; and
when urged by some thoughtless person to make a larger allowance to his
son Tom, in order that he might "live like a gentleman," he writes,--"If
_I_ had thought but of living like a gentleman, what would have become
of my dear father and mother, of my sweet sister Nell, of my admirable
Bessy's mother?" He declined to represent Limerick in Parliament, on the
ground that his "circumstances were not such as to justify coming into
Parliament at all, because to the labor of the day I am indebted for my
daily support." His must be a miserable soul who could sneer at the poet
studying how he could manage to recompense the doctor who would "take no
fees," and at his amusement when Bessy was "calculating whether they
could afford the expense of a fly to Devizes."

As with his mother, so with his wife. From the year 1811, the year of
his marriage,[M] to that of his death, in 1852, she received from him
the continual homage of a lover; away from her, no matter what were his
allurements, he was ever longing to be at home. Those who love as he did
wife, children, and friends will appreciate, although the worldling
cannot, such commonplace sentences as these:--"Pulled some heath on
Ronan's Island (Killarney) to send to my dear Bessy"; when in Italy,
"got letters from my sweet Bessy, more precious to me than all the
wonders I can see"; while in Paris, "sending for Bessy and my little
ones; wherever they are will be home, and a happy home to me." When
absent, (which was rarely for more than a week,) no matter where or in
what company, seldom a day passed that he did not write a letter to
Bessy. The home enjoyments, reading to her, making her the depositary of
all his thoughts and hopes,--they were his deep delights, compensations
for time spent amid scenes and with people who had no space in his
heart. Even when in "terrible request," his thoughts and his heart were

    "That dear Home, that saving Ark,
      Where love's true light at last I've found,
    Cheering within, when all grows dark
      And comfortless and stormy round."

This is the tribute of Earl Russell to the wife of the poet Moore:--"The
excellence of his wife's moral character, her energy and courage, her
persevering economy, made her a better and even a richer partner to
Moore than an heiress of ten thousand a year would have been, with less
devotion to her duty, and less steadiness of conduct." Moore speaks of
his wife's "democratic pride." It was the pride that was ever above a
mean action, and which sustained him in the proud independence that
marked his character from birth to death.

In March, 1846, his diary contains this sad passage:--"The last of my
five children is gone, and we are left desolate and alone. Not a single
relation have I in this world." His father had died in 1825; his sweet
mother in 1832; "excellent Nell" in 1846; and his children one after
another, three of them in youth, and two grown up to manhood,--his two
boys, Tom and Russell, the first-named of whom died in Africa in 1846,
an officer in the French service; the other at Sloperton in 1842, soon
after his return from India, having been compelled by ill-health to
resign his commission as a lieutenant in the Twenty-Fifth Regiment.

In 1835 the influence of Lord Lansdowne obtained for Moore a pension of
three hundred pounds a year from Lord Melbourne's government,--"as due
from any government, but much more from one some of the members of which
are proud to think themselves your friends." The "wolf, poverty,"
therefore, in his latter years, did not prowl so continually about his
door. But there was no fund for luxuries, none for the extra comforts
that old age requires. Mrs. Moore now lives on a crown pension of one
hundred pounds a year, and the interest of the sum of three thousand
pounds,--the sum advanced by the ever-liberal friends of the poet, the
Longmans, for the Memoirs and Journal edited by Lord John, now Earl,
Russell,--a lord whom the poet dearly loved.

When his diary was published, as from time to time volumes of it
appeared, slander was busy with the fame of one of the best and most
upright of all the men that God ennobled by the gift of genius.[N] For
my own part, I seek in vain through the eight thick volumes of that
diary for any evidence that can lessen the poet in this high estimate. I
find, perhaps, too many passages fitted only for the eye of love or the
ear of sympathy; but I read _no one_ that shows the poet other than the
devoted and loving husband, the thoughtful and affectionate parent, the
considerate and generous friend.

It was said of him by Leigh Hunt, that Lord Byron summed up his
character in a sentence,--"Tommy loves a lord!" Perhaps he did; but if
he did, only such lords as Lansdowne and Russell were his friends. He
loved also those who are "lords of humankind" in a far other sense; and,
as I have shown, there is nothing in his character that stands out in
higher relief than his entire _freedom from dependence_. To which of the
great did he apply during seasons of difficulty approaching poverty?
Which of them did he use for selfish purposes? Whose patronage among
them all was profitable? To what Baäl did the poet Moore ever bend the

He had a large share of domestic sorrows; one after another, his five
beloved children died; I have quoted his words, "We are left--alone."
His admirable and devoted wife survives him. I visited, a short time
ago, the home that is now desolate. If ever man was adored where
adoration, so far as earth is concerned, is most to be hoped for and
valued, it is in the cottage where the poet's widow lives, and will die.

Let it be inscribed on his tomb, that ever, amid privations and
temptations, the allurements of grandeur and the suggestions of poverty,
he preserved his self-respect; bequeathing no property, but leaving no
debts; having had no "testimonial" of acknowledgment or reward,--seeking
none, nay, avoiding any; making millions his debtors for intense
delight, and acknowledging himself paid by the poet's meed, "the tribute
of a smile"; never truckling to power; laboring ardently and honestly
for his political faith, but never lending to party that which was meant
for mankind; proud, and rightly proud, of his self-obtained position,
but neither scorning nor slighting the humble root from which he sprang.

He was born and bred a Roman Catholic; but his creed was entirely and
purely catholic. Charity was the outpouring of his heart; its pervading
essence was that which he expressed in one of his Melodies,--

    "Shall I ask the brave soldier who fights by my side,
      In the cause of mankind, if our creeds agree?
    Shall I give up the friend I have valued and tried,
      If he kneel not before the same altar with me?"

His children were all baptized and educated members of the Church of
England. He attended the parish church, and according to the ritual of
the Church of England he was buried.

It was not any outward change of religion, but homage to a purer and
holier faith, that induced him to have his children baptized and brought
up as members of the English Church. "For myself," he says, "my having
married a Protestant wife gave me opportunity of choosing a religion, at
least for my children; and if my marriage had no other advantage, I
should think this quite sufficient to be grateful for."

Moore was the eloquent advocate of his country, when it was oppressed,
goaded, and socially enthralled; but when time and enlightened policy
removed all distinctions between the Irishman and the Englishman,
between the Protestant and the Roman Catholic, his muse was silent,
because content; nay, he protested in impressive verse against a
continued agitation that retarded her progress, when her claims were
admitted, her rights acknowledged, and her wrongs redressed.

Reference to the genius of Moore is needless. My object in this "Memory"
is to offer homage to his moral and social worth. The world that obtains
intense delight from his poems, and willingly acknowledges its debt to
the poet, has been less ready to estimate the high and estimable
character, the loving and faithful nature of the man. There are,
however, many--may this humble tribute augment the number!--by whom the
memory of Thomas Moore is cherished in the heart of hearts; to whom the
cottage at Sloperton will be a shrine while they live,--that grave
beside the village church a monument better loved than that of any other
of the men of genius by whom the world is delighted, enlightened, and

"That God is love," writes his friend and biographer, Earl Russell, "was
the summary of his belief; that a man should love his neighbor as
himself seems to have been the rule of his life." The Earl of Carlisle,
inaugurating the statue of the poet,[O] bore testimony to his moral and
social worth "in all the holy relations of life,--as son, as brother, as
husband, as father, as friend"; and on the same occasion, Mr. O'Hagan,
Q.C., thus expressed himself:--"He was faithful to all the sacred
obligations and all the dear charities of domestic life,--he was the
idol of a household."

Perhaps a better, though a far briefer, summary of the character of
Thomas Moore than any of these may be given in the words of Dr. Parr,
who bequeathed to him a ring:--

"To one who stands high in my estimation for original genius, for his
exquisite sensibility, for his independent spirit, and incorruptible


[F] Mrs. Moore--writing to me in May, 1864--tells me I have a wrong
impression as to Moore's father; that he was "handsome, full of fun, and
with good manners." Moore himself calls him "one of Nature's gentlemen."

[G] Mrs. Moore write me, that I am here also wrong in my impression.
"She was only a little grown out in one shoulder, but with good health;
her expression was feeling, not suffering." "Dear Ellen," she adds, "was
the delight of every one that knew her,--sang sweetly,--her voice very
like her brother's. She died suddenly, to the grief of my loving heart."

[H] She was born in Wexford, where her father kept a "general shop."
Moore used to say playfully, that he was called, in order to dignify his
occupation, "a provision merchant." When on his way to Bannow in 1835 to
spend a few days with his friend Thomas Boyse,--a genuine gentleman of
the good old school,--he records his visit to the house of his maternal
grandfather. "Nothing," he says, "could be more humble and mean than the
little low house that remains to tell of his whereabouts."

I visited this house in the summer of 1864. It is still a small "general
shop," situate in the old corn-market of Wexford. The rooms are more
than usually quaint. Here Mrs. Moore lived until within a few weeks of
the birth of her illustrious son. We are gratified to record, that, at
our suggestion, a tablet has been placed over the entrance-door, stating
in few words the fact that there the mother was born and lived, and that
to this house the poet came, on the 26th of August, 1835, when in the
zenith of his fame, to render homage to her memory. He thus writes of
her and her birthplace in his "Notes" of that year:--"One of the
noblest-minded, as well as most warm-hearted, of all God's creatures was
born under that lowly roof."

[I] I find in Earl Russell's memoir the date given as the 26th of
February; but Mrs. Moore altered it in my MSS. to February 25.

[J] Trinity College, Dublin.--Thomas Moore, son of John Moore, merchant,
of Dublin, aged 14, pensioner, entered 2d June, 1794. Tutor, Dr.

[K] Alluding to a pamphlet-letter I had printed, addressed to Repealers,
when the insanity of Repeal (now happily dead) was at fever-heat.

[L] "One of them (my chief muse) was a remarkably pretty girl; when I
turned round to her, as she accompanied my triumphal ear, and said,
'This is a long journey for you,' she answered, with a smile that would
have done your heart good, 'Oh, I only wish, Sir, it was three hundred
miles!' There's for you! What was Petrarch in the Capitol to
that?"--_Journal_, &c.--This "pretty girl's" name is ----, and, strange
to say, she still keeps it.

[M] Moore was married to Miss Elizabeth Dyke, at St. Martin's Church, on
the 25th of March, 1811.

[N] There were two who sought to throw filth upon the poet's grave, and
they were his own countrymen,--Charles Phillips and John Wilson Croker.
The former had written a wretched and unmeaning pamphlet, which he
suppressed when a few copies only were issued; and I am proud to believe
it was in consequence of some remarks upon it written by me, for which
he commenced, but subsequently abandoned, proceedings against me for
libel. The atrocious attack on Moore in the "Quarterly Review" was
written by John Wilson Croker. It was the old illustration of the dead
lion and the living dog. Yet Croker could at that time be scarcely
described as living; it was from his death-bed he shot the poisoned
arrow. And what brought out the venom? Merely a few careless words of
Moore's, in which he described Croker "as a scribbler of all work,"
words that Earl Russell would have erased, if it had occurred to him to
do so. Another countryman, Thomas Crofton Croker, assailed after his
death the man whose shoe-latchets he would have been proud to unloose
during his life. Moreover, his earliest slanderer was also of his own
country,--an author named Quin. Of a truth it has been well said, A
prophet is never without honor save in his own country. The proverb is
especially true as regards Irish prophets. Assuredly, Moore was, and is,
more popular in every part of the world than he was or is in Ireland.
The reason is plain: he was, so to speak, of two parties, yet of
neither: the one could not forgive his early aspirations for liberty,
uttered in imperishable verse; the other could not pardon what they
called his desertion of their cause, when he saw that England was
willing to do, and was doing, justice to Ireland.

[O] A bronze statue of Moore has been erected in College Street, Dublin.
It is a poor affair, the production of his namesake, the sculptor. Bad
as it is, it is made worse by contrast with its neighbor, Goldsmith,--a
work by the great Irish artist, Foley,--a work rarely surpassed by the
art of the sculptor at any period in any country.


[Written for Bryant's Seventieth Birthday.]

    Our ship lay tumbling in an angry sea,
    Her rudder gone, her mainmast o'er the side;
    Her scuppers, from the waves' clutch staggering free,
    Trailed threads of priceless crimson through the tide;
    Sails, shrouds, and spars with pirate cannon torn,
    We lay, awaiting morn.

    Awaiting morn, such morn as mocks despair;
    And she that bore the promise of the world
    Within her sides, now hopeless, helmless, bare,
    At random o'er the wildering waters hurled;
    The reek of battle drifting slow a-lee
    Not sullener than we.

    Morn came at last to peer into our woe,
    When lo, a sail! Now surely help is nigh;
    The red cross flames aloft, Christ's pledge; but no,
    Her black guns grinning hate, she rushes by
    And hails us:--"Gains the leak? Ah, so we thought!
    Sink, then, with curses fraught!"

    I leaned against my gun still angry-hot,
    And my lids tingled with the tears held back;
    This scorn methought was crueller than shot;
    The manly death-grip in the battle-wrack,
    Yard-arm to yard-arm, were more friendly far
    Than such fear-smothered war.

    There our foe wallowed like a wounded brute,
    The fiercer for his hurt. What now were best?
    Once more tug bravely at the peril's root.
    Though death come with it? Or evade the test
    If right or wrong in this God's world of ours
    Be leagued with higher powers?

    Some, faintly loyal, felt their pulses lag
    With the slow beat that doubts and then despairs;
    Some, caitiff, would have struck the starry flag
    That knits us with our past, and makes us heirs
    Of deeds high-hearted as were ever done
    'Neath the all-seeing sun.

    But one there was, the Singer of our crew,
    Upon whose head Age waved his peaceful sign,
    But whose red heart's-blood no surrender knew;
    And couchant under brows of massive line,
    The eyes, like guns beneath a parapet,
    Watched, charged with lightnings yet.

    The voices of the hills did his obey;
    The torrents flashed and tumbled in his song;
    He brought our native fields from far away,
    Or set us 'mid the innumerable throng
    Of dateless woods, or where we heard the calm
    Old homestead's evening psalm.

    But now he sang of faith to things unseen,
    Of freedom's birthright given to us in trust;
    And words of doughty cheer he spoke between,
    That made all earthly fortune seem as dust,
    Matched with that duty, old as time and new,
    Of being brave and true.

    We, listening, learned what makes the might of words,--
    Manhood to back them, constant as a star;
    His voice rammed home our cannon, edged our swords,
    And sent our boarders shouting; shroud and spar
    Heard him and stiffened; the sails heard and wooed
    The winds with loftier mood.

    In our dark hour he manned our guns again;
    Remanned ourselves from his own manhood's store;
    Pride, honor, country throbbed through all his strain;
    And shall we praise? God's praise was his before;
    And on our futile laurels he looks down;
    Himself our bravest crown.



Here comes the First of January, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Five, and we
are all settled comfortably into our winter places, with our winter
surroundings and belongings; all cracks and openings are calked and
listed, the double windows are in, the furnace dragon in the cellar is
ruddy and in good liking, sending up his warming respirations through
every pipe and register in the house; and yet, though an artificial
summer reigns everywhere, like bees, we have our swarming-place,--in my
library. There is my chimney-corner, and my table permanently
established on one side of the hearth; and each of the female genus has,
so to speak, pitched her own winter-tent within sight of the blaze of my
camp-fire. I discerned to-day that Jennie had surreptitiously
appropriated one of the drawers of my study-table to knitting-needles
and worsted; and wicker work-baskets and stands of various heights and
sizes seem to be planted here and there for permanence among the
bookcases. The canary-bird has a sunny window, and the plants spread out
their leaves and unfold their blossoms as if there were no ice and snow
in the street, and Rover makes a hearth-rug of himself in winking
satisfaction in front of my fire, except when Jennie is taken with a fit
of discipline, when he beats a retreat, and secretes himself under my

Peaceable, ah, how peaceable, home and quiet and warmth in winter! And
how, when we hear the wind whistle, we think of you, O our brave
brothers, our saviours and defenders, who for our sake have no home but
the muddy camp, the hard pillow of the barrack, the weary march, the
uncertain fare,--you, the rank and file, the thousand unnoticed ones,
who have left warm fires, dear wives, loving little children, without
even the hope of glory or fame,--without even the hope of doing anything
remarkable or perceptible for the cause you love,--resigned only to fill
the ditch or bridge the chasm over which your country shall walk to
peace and joy! Good men and true, brave unknown hearts, we salute you,
and feel that we, in our soft peace and security, are not worthy of you!
When we think of you, our simple comforts seem luxuries all too good for
us, who give so little when you give all!

But there are others to whom from our bright homes, our cheerful
firesides, we would fain say a word, if we dared.

Think of a mother receiving a letter with such a passage as this in it!
It is extracted from one we have just seen, written by a private in the
army of Sheridan, describing the death of a private. "He fell instantly,
gave a peculiar smile and look, and then closed his eyes. We laid him
down gently at the foot of a large tree. I crossed his hands over his
breast, closed his eyelids down, but the smile was still on his face. I
wrapped him in his tent, spread my pocket-handkerchief over his face,
wrote his name on a piece of paper, and pinned it on his breast, and
there we left him: we could not find pick or shovel to dig a grave."
There it is!--a history that is multiplying itself by hundreds daily,
the substance of what has come to so many homes, and must come to so
many more before the great price of our ransom is paid!

What can we say to you, in those many, many homes where the light has
gone out forever?--you, O fathers, mothers, wives, sisters, haunted by a
name that has ceased to be spoken on earth,--you, for whom there is no
more news from the camp, no more reading of lists, no more tracing of
maps, no more letters, but only a blank, dead silence! The battle-cry
goes on, but for you it is passed by! the victory comes, but, oh, never
more to bring him back to you! your offering to this great cause has
been made, and been taken; you have thrown into it _all_ your living,
even all that you had, and from henceforth your house is left unto you
desolate! O ye watchers of the cross, ye waiters by the sepulchre, what
can be said to you? We could almost extinguish our own home-fires, that
seem too bright when we think of your darkness; the laugh dies on our
lip, the lamp burns dim through our tears, and we seem scarcely worthy
to speak words of comfort, lest we seem as those who mock a grief they
cannot know.

But is there no consolation? Is it nothing to have had such a treasure
to give, and to have given it freely for the noblest cause for which
ever battle was set,--for the salvation of your country, for the freedom
of all mankind? Had he died a fruitless death, in the track of common
life, blasted by fever, smitten or rent by crushing accident, then might
his most precious life seem to be as water spilled upon the ground; but
now it has been given for a cause and a purpose worthy even the anguish
of your loss and sacrifice. He has been counted worthy to be numbered
with those who stood with precious incense between the living and the
dead, that the plague which was consuming us might be stayed. The blood
of these young martyrs shall be the seed of the future church of
liberty, and from every drop shall spring up flowers of healing. O
widow! O mother! blessed among bereaved women! there remains to you a
treasure that belongs not to those who have lost in any other wise,--the
power to say, "He died for his country." In all the good that comes of
this anguish you shall have a right and share by virtue of this
sacrifice. The joy of freedmen bursting from chains, the glory of a
nation new-born, the assurance of a triumphant future for your country
and the world,--all these become yours by the purchase-money of that
precious blood.

Besides this, there are other treasures that come through sorrow, and
sorrow alone. There are celestial plants of root so long and so deep
that the land must be torn and furrowed, ploughed up from the very
foundation, before they can strike and flourish; and when we see how
God's plough is driving backward and forward and across this nation,
rending, tearing up tender shoots, and burying soft wild-flowers, we ask
ourselves, What is He going to plant?

Not the first year, nor the second, after the ground has been broken up,
does the purpose of the husbandman appear. At first we see only what is
uprooted and ploughed in,--the daisy drabbled, and the violet
crushed,--and the first trees planted amid the unsightly furrows stand
dumb and disconsolate, irresolute in leaf, and without flower or fruit.
Their work is under the ground. In darkness and silence they are putting
forth long fibres, searching hither and thither under the black soil for
the strength that years hence shall burst into bloom and bearing.

What is true of nations is true of individuals. It may seem now winter
and desolation with you. Your hearts have been ploughed and harrowed and
are now frozen up. There is not a flower left, not a blade of grass, not
a bird to sing,--and it is hard to believe that any brighter flowers,
any greener herbage, shall spring up, than those which have been torn
away: and yet there will. Nature herself teaches you to-day. Out-doors
nothing but bare branches and shrouding snow; and yet you know that
there is not a tree that is not patiently holding out at the end of its
boughs next year's buds, frozen indeed, but unkilled. The rhododendron
and the lilac have their blossoms all ready, wrapped in cere-cloth,
waiting in patient faith. Under the frozen ground the crocus and the
hyacinth and the tulip hide in their hearts the perfect forms of future
flowers. And it is even so with you: your leaf-buds of the future are
frozen, but not killed; the soil of your heart has many flowers under it
cold and still now, but they will yet come up and bloom.

The dear old book of comfort tells of no present healing for sorrow.
_No_ chastening for the present seemeth joyous, but grievous, but
_afterwards_ it yieldeth peaceable fruits of righteousness. We, as
individuals, as a nation, need to have faith in that AFTERWARDS. It is
sure to come,--sure as spring and summer to follow winter.

There is a certain amount of suffering which must follow the rending of
the great chords of life, suffering which is natural and inevitable; it
cannot be argued down; it cannot be stilled; it can no more be soothed
by any effort of faith and reason than the pain of a fractured limb, or
the agony of fire on the living flesh. All that we can do is to brace
ourselves to bear it, calling on God, as the martyrs did in the fire,
and resigning ourselves to let it burn on. We must be willing to suffer,
since God so wills. There are just so many waves to go over us, just so
many arrows of stinging thought to be shot into our soul, just so many
faintings and sinkings and revivings only to suffer again, belonging to
and inherent in our portion of sorrow; and there is a work of healing
that God has placed in the hands of Time alone.

Time heals all things at last; yet it depends much on us in our
suffering, whether time shall send us forth healed, indeed, but maimed
and crippled and callous, or whether, looking to the great Physician of
sorrows, and coworking with him, we come forth stronger and fairer even
for our wounds.

We call ourselves a Christian people, and the peculiarity of
Christianity is that it is a worship and doctrine of sorrow. The five
wounds of Jesus, the instruments of the passion, the cross, the
sepulchre,--these are its emblems and watchwords. In thousands of
churches, amid gold and gems and altars fragrant with perfume, are seen
the crown of thorns, the nails, the spear, the cup of vinegar mingled
with gall, the sponge that could not slake that burning death-thirst;
and in a voice choked with anguish the Church in many lands and divers
tongues prays from age to age,--"By thine agony and bloody sweat, by thy
cross and passion, by thy precious death and burial!"--mighty words of
comfort, whose meaning reveals itself only to souls fainting in the cold
death-sweat of mortal anguish! They tell all Christians that by
uttermost distress alone was the Captain of their salvation made perfect
as a Saviour.

Sorrow brings us into the true unity of the Church,--that unity which
underlies all external creeds, and unites all hearts that have suffered
deeply enough to know that when sorrow is at its utmost there is but one
kind of sorrow, and but one remedy. What matter, _in extremis_, whether
we be called Romanist, or Protestant, or Greek, or Calvinist?

We suffer, and Christ suffered; we die, and Christ died; he conquered
suffering and death, he rose and lives and reigns,--and we shall
conquer, rise, live, and reign; the hours on the cross were long, the
thirst was bitter, the darkness and horror real,--_but they ended_.
After the wail, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" came the calm, "It
is finished"; pledge to us all that our "It is finished" shall come

Christ arose, fresh, joyous, no more to die; and it is written, that,
when the disciples were gathered together in fear and sorrow, he stood
in the midst of them, and showed unto them his hands and his side; and
then were they glad. Already had the healed wounds of Jesus become
pledges of consolation to innumerable thousands; and those who, like
Christ, have suffered the weary struggles, the dim horrors of the
cross,--who have lain, like him, cold and chilled in the hopeless
sepulchre,--if his spirit wakes them to life, shall come forth with
healing power for others who have suffered and are suffering.

Count the good and beautiful ministrations that have been wrought in
this world of need and labor, and how many of them have been wrought by
hands wounded and scarred, by hearts that had scarcely ceased to bleed!

How many priests of consolation is God now ordaining by the fiery
imposition of sorrow! how many Sisters of the Bleeding Heart, Daughters
of Mercy, Sisters of Charity, are receiving their first vocation in
tears and blood!

The report of every battle strikes into some home; and heads fall low,
and hearts are shattered, and only God sees the joy that is set before
them, and that shall come out of their sorrow. He sees our morning at
the same moment that He sees our night,--sees us comforted, healed,
risen to a higher life, at the same moment that He sees us crushed and
broken in the dust; and so, though tenderer than we, He bears our great
sorrows for the joy that is set before us.

After the Napoleonic wars had desolated Europe, the country was, like
all countries after war, full of shattered households, of widows and
orphans and homeless wanderers. A nobleman of Silesia, the Baron von
Kottwitz, who had lost his wife and all his family in the reverses and
sorrows of the times, found himself alone in the world, which looked
more dreary and miserable through the multiplying lenses of his own
tears. But he was one of those whose heart had been quickened in its
death anguish by the resurrection voice of Christ; and he came forth to
life and comfort. He bravely resolved to do all that one man could to
lessen the great sum of misery. He sold his estates in Silesia, bought
in Berlin a large building that had been used as barracks for the
soldiers, and, fitting it up in plain commodious apartments, formed
there a great family-establishment, into which he received the wrecks
and fragments of families that had been broken up by the war,--orphan
children, widowed and helpless women, decrepit old people, disabled
soldiers. These he mad his family, and constituted himself their father
and chief. He above with them, and cared for them as a parent. He had
schools for the children; the more advanced he put to trades and
employments; he set up a hospital for the sick; and for all he had the
priestly ministrations of his own Christ-like heart. The celebrated
Professor Tholuck, one of the most learned men of modern Germany, was an
early _protégé_ of the old Baron's, who, discerning his talents, put him
in the way of a liberal education. In his earlier years, like many
others of the young who play with life, ignorant of its needs, Tholuck
piqued himself on a lordly skepticism with regard to the commonly
received Christianity, and even wrote an essay to prove the superiority
of the Mohammedan to the Christian religion. In speaking of his
conversion, he says,--"What moved me was no argument, nor any spoken
reproof, but simply that divine image of the old Baron walking before my
soul. That life was an argument always present to me, and which I never
could answer; and so I became a Christian." In the life of this man we
see the victory over sorrow. How many with means like his, when
desolated by like bereavements, have lain coldly and idly gazing on the
miseries of life, and weaving around themselves icy tissues of doubt and
despair,--doubting the being of a God, doubting the reality of a
Providence, doubting the divine love, embittered and rebellious against
the power which they could not resist, yet to which they would not
submit! In such a chill heart-freeze lies the danger of sorrow. And it
is a mortal danger. It is a torpor that must be resisted, as the man in
the whirling snows must bestir himself, or he will perish. The apathy of
melancholy must be broken by an effort of religion and duty. The
stagnant blood must be made to flow by active work, and the cold hand
warmed by clasping the hands outstretched towards it in sympathy or
supplication. One orphan child taken in, to be fed, clothed, and
nurtured, may save a heart from freezing to death: and God knows this
war is making but too many orphans!

It is easy to subscribe to an orphan asylum, and go on in one's despair
and loneliness. Such ministries may do good to the children who are
thereby saved from the street, but they impart little warmth and comfort
to the giver. One destitute child housed, taught, cared for, and tended
personally, will bring more solace to a suffering heart than a dozen
maintained in an asylum. Not that the child will probably prove an
angel, or even an uncommonly interesting mortal. It is a prosaic work,
this bringing-up of children, and there can be little rosewater in it.
The child may not appreciate what is done for him, may not be
particularly grateful, may have disagreeable faults, and continue to
have them after much pains on your part to eradicate them,--and yet it
is a fact, that to redeem one human being from destitution and ruin,
even in some homely every-day course of ministrations, is one of the
best possible tonics and alteratives to a sick and wounded spirit.

But this is not the only avenue to beneficence which the war opens. We
need but name the service of hospitals, the care and education of the
freedmen,--for these are charities that have long been before the eyes
of the community, and have employed thousands of busy hands: thousands
of sick and dying beds to tend, a race to be educated, civilized, and
Christianized, surely were work enough for one age; and yet this is not
all. War shatters everything, and it is hard to say what in society will
not need rebuilding and binding up and strengthening anew. Not the least
of the evils of war are the vices which a great army engenders wherever
it moves,--vices peculiar to military life, as others are peculiar to
peace. The poor soldier perils for us not merely his body, but his soul.
He leads a life of harassing and exhausting toil and privation, of
violent strain on the nervous energies, alternating with sudden
collapse, creating a craving for stimulants, and endangering the
formation of fatal habits. What furies and harpies are those that follow
the army, and that seek out the soldier in his tent, far from home,
mother, wife, and sister, tired, disheartened, and tempt him to forget
his troubles in a momentary exhilaration, that burns only to chill and
to destroy! Evil angels are always active and indefatigable, and there
must be good angels enlisted to face them; and here is employment for
the slack hand of grief. Ah, we have known mothers bereft of sons in
this war, who have seemed at once to open wide their hearts, and to
become mothers to every brave soldier in the field. They have lived only
to work,--and in place of one lost, their sons have been counted by

And not least of all the fields for exertion and Christian charity
opened by this war is that presented by womanhood. The war is
abstracting from the community its protecting and sheltering elements,
and leaving the helpless and dependent in vast disproportion. For years
to come, the average of lone women will be largely increased; and the
demand, always great, for some means by which they may provide for
themselves, in the rude jostle of the world, will become more urgent and

Will any one sit pining away in inert grief, when two streets off are
the midnight dance-houses, where girls of twelve, thirteen, and fourteen
are being lured into the way of swift destruction? How many of these are
daughters of soldiers who have given their hearts' blood for us and our

Two noble women of the Society of Friends have lately been taking the
gauge of suffering and misery in our land, visiting the hospitals at
every accessible point, pausing in our great cities, and going in their
purity to those midnight orgies where mere children are being trained
for a life of vice and infamy. They have talked with these poor
bewildered souls, entangled in toils as terrible and inexorable as those
of the slave-market, and many of whom are frightened and distressed at
the life they are beginning to lead, and earnestly looking for the means
of escape. In the judgment of these holy women, at least one third of
those with whom they have talked are children so recently entrapped, and
so capable of reformation, that there would be the greatest hope in
efforts for their salvation. While such things are to be done in our
land, is there any reason why any one should die of grief? One soul
redeemed will do more to lift the burden of sorrow than all the
blandishments and diversions of art, all the alleviations of luxury, all
the sympathy of friends.

In the Roman Catholic Church there is an order of women called the
Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who have renounced the world to devote
themselves, their talents and property, entirely to the work of seeking
out and saving the fallen of their own sex; and the wonders worked by
their self-denying love on the hearts and lives of even the most
depraved are credible only to those who know that the Good Shepherd
Himself ever lives and works with such spirits engaged in such a work. A
similar order of women exists in New York, under the direction of the
Episcopal Church, in connection with St. Luke's Hospital; and another in
England, who tend the "House of Mercy" of Clewer.

Such benevolent associations offer objects of interest to that class
which most needs something to fill the void made by bereavement. The
wounds of grief are less apt to find a cure in that rank of life where
the sufferer has wealth and leisure. The _poor_ widow, whose husband was
her all, _must_ break the paralysis of grief. The hard necessities of
life are her physicians; they send her out to unwelcome, yet friendly
toil, which, hard as it seems, has yet its healing power. But the
sufferer surrounded by the appliances of wealth and luxury may long
indulge the baleful apathy, and remain in the damp shadows of the valley
of death till strength and health are irrecoverably lost. How
Christ-like is the thought of a woman, graceful, elegant, cultivated,
refined, whose voice has been trained to melody, whose fingers can make
sweet harmony with every touch, whose pencil and whose needle can awake
the beautiful creations of art, devoting all these powers to the work of
charming back to the sheepfold those wandering and bewildered lambs whom
the Good Shepherd still calls his own! Jenny Lind, once, when she sang
at a concert for destitute children, exclaimed in her enthusiasm, "Is it
not beautiful that I can sing so?" And so may not every woman feel, when
her graces and accomplishments draw the wanderer, and charm away evil
demons, and soothe the sore and sickened spirit, and make the Christian
fold more attractive than the dizzy gardens of false pleasure?

In such associations, and others of kindred nature, how many of the
stricken and bereaved women of our country might find at once a home and
an object in life! Motherless hearts might be made glad in a better and
higher motherhood; and the stock of earthly life that seemed cut off at
the root, and dead past recovery, may be grafted upon with a shoot from
the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.

So the beginning of this eventful 1865, which finds us still treading
the wine-press of our great conflict, should bring with it a serene and
solemn hope, a joy such as those had with whom in the midst of the fiery
furnace there walked one like unto the Son of God.

The great affliction that has come upon our country is so evidently the
purifying chastening of a Father, rather than the avenging anger of a
Destroyer, that all hearts may submit themselves in a solemn and holy
calm still to bear the burning that shall make us clean from dross and
bring us forth to a higher national life. Never, in the whole course of
our history, have such teachings of the pure abstract Right been so
commended and forced upon us by Providence. Never have public men been
so constrained to humble themselves before God, and to acknowledge that
there is a Judge that ruleth in the earth. Verily His inquisition for
blood has been strict and awful; and for every stricken household of the
poor and lowly, hundreds of households of the oppressor have been
scattered. The land where the family of the slave was first annihilated,
and the negro, with all the loves and hopes of a man, was proclaimed to
be a beast to be bred and sold in market with the horse and the
swine,--that land, with its fair name, Virginia, has been made a
desolation so signal, so wonderful, that the blindest passer-by cannot
but ask for what sin so awful a doom has been meted out. The prophetic
visions of Nat Turner, who saw the leaves drop blood and the land
darkened, have been fulfilled. The work of justice which he predicted is
being executed to the uttermost.

But when this strange work of judgment and justice is consummated, when
our country, through a thousand battles and ten thousands of precious
deaths, shall have come forth from this long agony, redeemed and
regenerated, then God Himself shall return and dwell with us, and the
Lord God shall wipe away all tears from all faces, and the rebuke of His
people shall He utterly take away.


    Washed in the blood of the brave and the blooming,
      Snatched from the altars of insolent foes,
    Burning with star-fires, but never consuming,
      Flash its broad ribands of lily and rose.

    Vainly the prophets of Baäl would rend it,
      Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall;
    Thousands have died for it, millions defend it,
      Emblem of justice and mercy to all:

    Justice that reddens the sky with her terrors,
      Mercy that comes with her white-handed train,
    Soothing all passions, redeeming all errors,
      Sheathing the sabre and breaking the chain.

    Borne on the deluge of old usurpations,
      Drifted our Ark o'er the desolate seas;
    This was the rainbow of hope to the nations,
      Torn from the storm-cloud and flung to the breeze!

    God bless the Flag and its loyal defenders.
      While its broad folds o'er the battle-field wave,
    Till the dim star-wreath rekindle its splendors,
      Washed from its stains in the blood of the brave!


It is right and fitting that this nation should enter upon the new year
with peculiar gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most High. Through all
its existence it has rejoiced in the sunshine of divine favor; but never
has that favor been so benignly and bountifully bestowed as in these
latter days. For the unexampled material prosperity which has waited
upon our steps,--for blessings in city and field, in basket and store,
in all that we have set our hand unto, it is meet that we should render
thanks to the Good Giver; but for the especial blessings of these last
four years,--for the sudden uprising of manhood,--for the great revival
of justice and truth and love, without which material prosperity is but
a second death,--for the wisdom to do, the courage to dare, the patience
to endure, and the godlike strength to sacrifice all in a righteous
cause, let us give thanks to-day; for in these consists a people's life.

To every nation there comes an hour whereon hang trembling the issues of
its fate. Has it vitality to withstand the shock of conflict and the
turmoil of surprise? Will it slowly gather itself up for victorious
onset? or will it sink unresisting into darkness and the grave?

To this nation, as to all, the question came: Ease or honor, death or
life? Subtle and savage, with a bribe in his hand, and a threat on his
tongue, the tempter stood. Let it be remembered with lasting gratitude
that there was neither pause nor parley when once his purpose was
revealed. The answer came,--the voice of millions like the voice of one.
From city and village, from mountain and prairie, from the granite coast
of the Atlantic to the golden gate of the Pacific, the answer came. It
roared from a thousand cannon, it flashed from a million muskets. The
sudden gleam of uplifted swords revealed it, the quiver of bristling
bayonets wrote it in blood. A knell to the despot, a pæan to the slave,
it thundered round the world.

Then the thing which we had greatly feared came upon us, and that
spectre which we had been afraid of came unto us, and, behold, length of
days was in its right hand, and in its left hand riches and honor. What
the lion-hearted warrior of England was to the children of the Saracens,
that had the gaunt mystery of Secession been to the little ones of this
generation, an evening phantom and a morning fear, at the mere mention
of whose name many had been but too ready to fall at the feet of
opposition and cry imploringly, "Take any form but that!" The phantom
approached, put off its shadowy outlines, assumed a definite purpose,
loomed up in horrid proportions,--to come to perpetual end. In its
actual presence all fear vanished. The contest waxed hot, but it wanes
forever. Shadow and substance drag slowly down their bloody path to
disappear in eternal infamy. The war rolls on to its close; and when it
closes, the foul blot of secession stains our historic page no more.
Another book shall be opened.

Remembering all the way which these battling years have led us, we can
only say, "It is the Lord's, doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
Who dreamed of the grand, stately patience, the heroic strength, that
lay dormant in the hearts of this impulsive, mercurial people? It was
always capable of magnanimity. Who suspected its sublime self-poise?
Rioting in a reckless, childish freedom, who would have dared to
prophesy that calm, clear foresight by which it voluntarily assumed the
yoke, voiced all its strong individual wills in one central controlling
will, and bent with haughty humility to every restraint that looked to
the rescue of its endangered liberty? The cannon that smote the walls of
Sumter did a wild work. Its voice of insult and of sacrilege roused the
fire of a blood too brave to know its courage, too proud to boast its
source. All the heroism inherited from an honored ancestry, all the
inborn wrath of justice against iniquity, all that was true to truth
sprang up instinctively to wrest our Holy Land from the clutch of its
worse than infidels.

But that was not the final test. The final test came afterwards. The
passion of indignation flamed out as passion must. The war that had been
welcomed as a relief bore down upon the land with an ever-increasing
weight, became an ever-darkening shadow. Its romance and poetry did not
fade out, but their colors were lost under the sable hues of reality.
The cloud hung over every hamlet; it darkened every doorway. Even
success must have been accompanied with sharpest sorrow; and we had not
success to soften sorrow. Disaster followed close upon delay, and delay
upon disaster, and still the nation's heart was strong. The cloud became
a pall, but there was no faltering. Men said to one another,
anxiously,--"This cannot last. We must have victory. The people will not
stand these delays. The summer must achieve results, or all is lost."
The summer came and went, results were not achieved, and still the
patient country waited,--waited not supinely, not indifferently, but
with a still determination, with a painful longing, with an eager
endeavor, with a resolute will, less demonstrative, but no less
definite, than that which Sumter roused. Moments of sadness, of gloom,
of bitter disappointment and deep indignation there have been; but never
from the first moment of the Rebellion to this its dying hour has there
been a time when the purpose of the people to crush out treason and save
the nation has for a single instant wavered. And never has their power
lagged behind their purpose. Never have they withheld men or money, but
always they have pressed on, more eager, more generous, more forward to
give than their leaders have been to ask. Truly, it is not in man that
walketh thus to direct his steps!

And side by side, with no unequal step, the great charities have
attended the great conflict. Out of the strong has come forth sweetness.
From the helmeted brow of War has sprung a fairer than Minerva,
panoplied not for battle, but for the tenderest ministrations of Peace.
Wherever the red hand of War has been raised to strike, there the white
hand of Pity has been stretched forth to solace. Wherever else there may
have been division, here there has been no division. Love, the essence
of Christianity, self-sacrifice, the life of God, have forgotten their
names, have left the beaten ways, have embodied themselves in
institutions, and lifted the whole nation to the heights of a divine
beneficence. Old and young, rich and poor, bond and free, have joined in
offering an offering to the Lord in the persons of his wounded brethren.
The woman that was tender and very delicate has brought her finest
handiwork; the slave, whose just unmanacled hands were hardly yet deft
enough to fashion a freedman's device, has proffered his painful hoards;
the criminal in his cell has felt the mysterious brotherhood stirring in
his heart, and has pressed his skill and cunning into the service of his
countrymen. Hands trembling with age have steadied themselves to new
effort; little fingers that had hardly learned their uses have bent with
unwonted patience to the novelty of tasks. The fashion and elegance of
great cities, the thrift and industry of rural villages, have combined
to relieve the suffering and comfort the sorrowful. Science has wrought
her mysteries, art has spread her beauties, and learning and eloquence
and poetry have lavished their free-will offerings. The ancient blood of
Massachusetts and the youthful vigor of California have throbbed high
with one desire to give deserved meed to those heroic men who wear their
badge of honor in scarred brow and maimed limb. The wonders of the Old
World, the treasures of tropical seas, the boundless wealth of our own
fertile inland, all that the present has of marvellous, all that the
past has bequeathed most precious,--all has been poured into the lap of
this sweet charity, and blesseth alike him that gives and him that
takes. It is the old convocation of the Jews, when they brought the
Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation: "And
they came, both men and women, and brought bracelets, and ear-rings, and
rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold; and every man that offered
offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. And every man with whom was
found blue and purple and scarlet and fine linen and goats' hair and red
skins of rams and badgers' skins brought them. And all the women that
were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they
had spun, both of blue and of purple and of scarlet and of fine linen.
And the rulers brought onyx-stones, and stones to be set, and spice, and
oil for the light. The children of Israel brought a willing offering
unto the Lord, every man and woman."

Truly, not the least of the compensations of this war is the new spirit
which it has set astir in human life, this acknowledged brotherhood
which makes all things common, which moves health and wealth and leisure
and learning to brave the dangers of the battle-field and the horrors of
the hospital for the comfort of its needy comrade. And inasmuch as he
who hath done it unto one of the least of these his brethren has done it
unto the Master, is not this, in very deed and truth, Anno Domini, the
Year of our Lord?

And let all devout hearts render praises to God for the hope we are
enabled to cherish that He will speedily save this people from their
national sin. From the days of our fathers, the land groaned under its
weight of woe and crime; but none saw from what quarter deliverance
should come. Apostles and prophets arose in North and South, prophesying
the wrath of God against a nation that dared to hold its great truth of
human brotherhood in unrighteousness, and the smile of God only on him
who should do justly and love mercy and walk humbly before Him; but they
died in faith, not having obtained the promises. That faith in God, and
consequently in the ultimate triumph of right over wrong, never failed;
but few, even of the most sanguine, dared to hope that their eyes should
see the salvation of the Lord. Upright men spent their lives in
unyielding and indignant protest, not so much for any immediate result
as because they could do no otherwise,--because the constant violation
of sacred right, the constant defilement and degradation of country,
wrought so fiercely and painfully in their hearts that they could not
hold their peace. Though they expected no sudden reform, they believed
in the indestructibility of truth, and knew, therefore, that their word
should not return unto them void, but waited for some far future day
when happier harvesters should come bringing their sheaves with them.
How looks the promise now? A beneficent Providence has outstripped our
laggard hopes. The work which we had so summarily given over to the
wiser generations behind us is rapidly approaching completion beneath
the strokes of a few sharp, short years of our own. Slavery, which was
apologized for by the South, tolerated by the North, half recognized as
an evil, half accepted as a compromise, but with every conscientious
concession and every cowardly expedient sinking ever deeper and deeper
into the nation's life, stands forth at last in its real character, and
meets its righteous doom. Public opinion, rapidly sublimed in the white
heat of this fierce war, is everywhere crystallizing. Men are learning
to know precisely what they believe, and, knowing, dare maintain. There
is no more speaking with bated breath, no more counselling of
forbearance and non-intervention. It is no longer a chosen few who dare
openly to denounce the sum of all villainies; but loud and long and deep
goes up the execration of a people,--the tenfold hate and horror of men
who have seen the foul fiend's work, who have felt his fangs fastened in
their own flesh, his poison working in their own hearts' blood.
Hundreds of thousands of thinking men have gone down into his loathsome
prison-house, have looked upon his obscene features, have grappled,
shuddering, with his slimy strength; and thousands of thousands,
watching them from far-off Northern homes, have felt the chill of
disgust that crept through their souls. The inmost abhorrence of slavery
that fills the heart of this people it is impossible for language to
exaggerate. It is so strong, so wide-spread, so uncompromising, so fixed
in its determination to destroy, root and branch, the accursed thing,
that even the forces of evil and self-seeking, awed and overpowered, are
swept into the line of its procession. Good men and bad men, lovers of
country and lovers only of lucre, men who will fight to the death for a
grand idea and men who fight only for some low ambition, worshippers of
God and worshippers of Mammon, are alike putting their hands to the
plough which is to overturn and overturn till the ancient evil is
uprooted. The very father of lies is, perforce, become the servant of
truth. That old enemy which is the Devil, the malignant messenger of all
evil, finds himself,--somewhat amazed and enraged, we must believe, at
his unexpected situation,--with all his executive ability undiminished,
all his spiritual strength unimpaired, finds himself harnessed to the
chariot of human freedom and human progress, and working in his own
despite the beneficent will of God. So He maketh the wrath of men and
devils to praise Him, and the remainder of wrath He will restrain.

Unspeakably cheering, both as a sign of the sincerity of our leaders in
this great day and as a pledge of what the nation means to do when its
hands are free, are the little Christian colonies planted in the rear of
our victorious armies. In the heart of woods are often seen large tracts
of open country gay with a brilliant purple bloom which the people call
"fire-weed," because it springs up on spots that have been stripped by
fire. So, where the old plantations of sloth and servitude have been
consumed by the desolating flames of war, spring up the tender growths
of Christian civilization. The filthy hovel is replaced by the decent
cottage. The squalor of slavery is succeeded by the little adornments of
ownership. The thrift of self-possession supplants the recklessness of
irresponsibility. For the slave-pen we have the school-house. Where the
lash labored to reduce men to the level of brutes, the Bible leads them
up to the heights of angels. We are as yet but in the beginning, but we
have begun right. With his staff the slave passes over the Jordan of his
deliverance; but through the manly nurture and Christian training which
we owe him, and which we shall pay, he shall become two bands. The
people did not set themselves to combat prejudices with words alone,
when the time was ripe for deeds; but while the Government was yet
hesitating whether to put the musket into his hand for war, Christian
men and women hastened to give him the primer for peace. Not waiting for
legislative enactments, they took the freedman as he came all panting
from the house of bondage; they ministered to his wants, strengthened
his heart, and set him rejoicing on his way to manhood. The Proclamation
of Emancipation may or may not be revoked; but whom knowledge has made a
man, and discipline a soldier, no edict can make again a slave.

While the people have been working in their individual capacity to right
the wrongs of generations, our constituted authorities have been moving
on steadfastly to the same end. Military necessity has emancipated
thousands of slaves, and civil power has pressed ever nearer and nearer
to the abolition of slavery. In all the confusion of war, the
trumpet-tones of justice have rung through our national halls with no
uncertain sound. With a pertinacity most exasperating to tyrants and
infidels, but most welcome to the friends of human rights, Northern
Senators and Representatives have presented the claims of the African
race. With many a momentary recession, the tide has swept irresistibly
onward. Hopes have been baffled only to be strengthened. Measures have
been defeated only to be renewed. Defeat has been accepted but as the
stepping-stone to new endeavor. Cautiously, warily, Freedom has lain in
wait to rescue her wronged children. Her watchful eyes have fastened
upon every weakness in her foe: her ready hand has been upraised
wherever there was a chance to strike. Quietly, almost unheard amid the
loud-resounding clash of arms, her decrees have gone forth, instinct
with the enfranchisement of a race. The war began with old customs and
prejudices under full headway, but the new necessities soon met them
with fierce collision. The first shock was felt when the escaping slaves
of Rebel masters were pronounced free, and our soldiers were forbidden
to return them. Then the blows came fast and furious, and the whole
edifice, reared on that crumbling corner-stone of Slavery, reeled
through all its heaven-defying heights. The gates of Liberty opened to
the slave, on golden hinges turning. The voice of promise rang through
Rebel encampments, and penetrated to the very fastnesses of Rebellion.
The ranks of the army called the freedman to the rescue of his race. The
courts of justice received him in witness of his manhood. Before every
foreign court he was acknowledged as a citizen of his country, and as
entitled to her protection. The capital of our nation was purged of the
foul stain that dishonored her in the eyes of the nations, and that gave
the lie direct to our most solemn Declaration. The fugitive-slave
acts that disfigured our statute-book were blotted out, and
fugitive-slave-stealer acts filled their vacant places. The seal of
freedom, unconditional, perpetual, and immediate, was set upon the broad
outlying lands of the republic, and from the present Congress we
confidently await the crowning act which shall make slavery forever
impossible, and liberty the one supreme, universal, unchangeable law in
every part of our domains.

What we have done is an earnest of what we mean to do. After nearly four
years of war, and war on such a scale as the world has never before
seen, the people have once more, and in terms too emphatic to be
misunderstood, proclaimed their undying purpose. With a unanimity rarely
equalled, a people that had fought eight years against a tax of
threepence on the pound, and that was rapidly advancing to the front
rank of nations through the victories of peace,--a people jealous of its
liberties and proud of its prosperity, has reëlected to the chief
magistracy a man under whose administration burdensome taxes have been
levied, immense armies marshalled, imperative drafts ordered, and
fearful sufferings endured. They have done this because, in spite of
possible mistakes and short-comings, they have seen his grasp ever
tightening around the throat of Slavery, his weapons ever seeking the
vital point of the Rebellion. They have beheld him standing always at
his post, calm in the midst of peril, hopeful when all was dark, patient
under every obloquy, courteous to his bitterest foes, conciliatory where
conciliation was possible, inflexible where to yield was dishonor. Never
have the passions of civil war betrayed him into cruelty or hurried him
into revenge; nor has any hope of personal benefit or any fear of
personal detriment stayed him when occasion beckoned. If he has erred,
it has been on the side of leniency. If he has hesitated, it has been to
assure himself of the right. Where there was censure, he claimed it for
himself; where there was praise, he has lavished it on his subordinates.
The strong he has braved, and the weak sheltered. He has rejected the
counsels of his friends when they were inspired by partisanship, and
adopted the suggestions of opponents when they were founded on wisdom.
His ear has always been open to the people's voice, yet he has never
suffered himself to be blindly driven by the storm of popular fury. He
has consulted public opinion, as the public servant should; but he has
not pandered to public prejudice, as only demagogues do. Not weakly
impatient to secure the approval of the country, he has not scorned to
explain his measures to the understanding of the common people. Never
bewildered by the solicitations of party, nor terrified by the menace of
opposition, he has controlled with moderation, and yielded with dignity,
as the exigencies of the time demanded. Entering upon office with his
full share of the common incredulity, perceiving no more than his
fellow-citizens the magnitude of the crisis, he has steadily risen to
the height of the great argument. No suspicion of self-seeking stains
his fair fame; but ever mindful of his solemn oath, he seeks with clean
hands and a pure heart the welfare of the whole country. Future
generations alone can do justice to his ability; his integrity is firmly
established in the convictions of the present age. His reward is with
him, though his work lies still before him.

Only less significant than the fact is the manner of his reflection. All
sections of a continental country, with interests as diverse as latitude
and longitude can make them, came up to secure, not any man's
continuance in power, but the rule of law. The East called with her
thousands, and the West answered with her tens of thousands. Baltimore
that day washed out the blood-stains from her pavement, and free
Maryland girded herself for a new career. Men who had voted for
Washington came forward with the snows of a hundred winters on their
brows, and amid the silence and tears of assembled throngs deposited
their ballot for Abraham Lincoln. Daughters led their infirm fathers to
the polls to be sure that no deception should mock their failing sight.
Armless men dropped their votes from between their teeth. Sick men and
wounded men, wounded on the battle-fields of their country, were borne
on litters to give their dying testimony to the righteous cause.
Dilettanteism, that would not soil its dainty hands with politics, dared
no longer stand aloof, but gave its voice for national honor and
national existence. Old party ties snapped asunder, and local prejudices
shrivelled in the fire of newly kindled patriotism. Turbulence and
violence, awed by the supreme majesty of a resolute nation, slunk away
and hid their shame from the indignant day. Calmly, in the midst of
raging war, in despite of threats and cajolery, with a lofty, unspoken
contempt for those false men who would urge to anarchy and infamy, this
great people went up to the ballot-box, and gave in its adhesion to
human equality, civil liberty, and universal freedom. And as the good
tidings of great joy flashed over the wires from every quarter, men
recognized the finger of God, and, laying aside all lower exultation,
gathered in the public places, and, standing reverently with uncovered
heads, poured forth their rapturous thanksgiving in that sublime
doxology which has voiced for centuries the adoration of the human

    "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
    Praise Him, all creatures here below!
    Praise Him above, ye heavenly host!
    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!"

So America to the world gives greeting. So a free people meets and
masters the obstacles that bar its progress. So this young republic
speaks warning to the old despotisms, and hope to the struggling
peoples. Thus with the sword she seeks peace under liberty. Striking off
the shackles that fettered her own limbs, emerging from the thick of her
deadly conflict, with many a dint on her armor, but with no shame on her
brow, she starts on her victorious career, and bids the suffering
nations take heart. With the old lie torn from her banner, the old life
shall come back to her symbols. Her children shall no longer blush at
the taunts of foreign tyrannies, but shall boldly proclaim her to be
indeed the land of the free, as she has always been the home of the
brave. Men's minds shall no longer be confused by distinctions between
higher and lower law, to the infinite detriment of moral character, but
all her laws shall be emanations from the infinite source of justice.
Marshalling thus all her forces on the Lord's side, she may inscribe,
without mockery, on her silver and gold, "In God we trust." She may hope
for purity in her homes, and honesty in her councils. She may front her
growing grandeur without misgiving, knowing that it comes not by earthly
might or power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of Hosts; and the only
voice of her victory, the song of her thanksgiving, and her watchword to
the nations shall be, "Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace,
good-will toward men."


     _America and her Commentators:_ With a Critical Sketch of
     Travel in the United States. By HENRY T. TUCKERMAN. New
     York: Charles Scribner. 8vo. pp. 460.

If a little late, we are none the less sincere in extending to this
timely and excellent work a hearty welcome. It is full of varied
interest and valuable instruction. It is equally adapted to attract and
edify our own citizens, and to guide and inform those foreigners who
wish to know the history and facts of American society. The object of
the work is to present a general view of the traits and transitions of
our country, as they are reflected in the records made at different
periods by writers of various nationalities, and to discuss, in
connection with this exhibition, the temper and value of the principal
critics of our civilization, emphasizing and indorsing their correct
observations, pointing out and rectifying their erroneous ones. There
are obviously many great advantages in thus reverting to the past and
examining the present of American institutions and life by the help of
the literature of travel in America,--a literature so richly suggestive,
because so constantly modified by the national peculiarities and
personal points of view of the writers. Mr. Tuckerman has improved these
advantages with care and tact. In the preface and introduction,
characterized by an ample command of the resources of the subject, easy
discursiveness and lively criticism, he puts the reader in possession of
such preliminary information as he will like or need to have. The body
of the work begins with a portrayal of America as it appeared to its
earliest discoverers and explorers. The second chapter is devoted to the
Jesuit missionaries, who, reviving the spirit of the Crusades, plunged
into the wilderness to convert the aborigines to Christianity, and,
inspired by the wonders of the virgin solitude, became the pioneer
writers of American travels. Chapters third and fourth deal with the
French travellers who have visited and written on our country, from
Chastellux to Laboulaye. The similar list of British travellers and
writers is presented and discussed in the fifth and sixth chapters.
Chapter seventh is taken up with "English Abuse of America"; and the
subject has rarely been treated so fitly and firmly, with such a
blending of just severity and moderation. "Cockneyism," Mr. Tuckerman
says, "may seem not worthy of analysis, far less of refutation; but, as
Sydney Smith remarked, 'In a country surrounded by dikes, a rat may
inundate a province'; and it is the long-continued gnawing of the tooth
of detraction, that, at a momentous crisis, let in the cold flood at
last upon the nation's heart, and quenched its traditional love." The
eighth chapter depicts the views and characterizes the qualities of the
Northern European authors who have travelled in America and written
concerning us. In the ninth chapter our Italian visitors and critics are
treated in like manner. And in the tenth chapter the same task is
performed for the Americans themselves who have journeyed through and
written on their own country. Then follows the conclusion,
recapitulating and applying the results of the whole survey. And the
work properly closes with an index, furnishing the reader facilities for
immediate reference to any passage, topic, or name he wishes to find.

For the task he has here undertaken Mr. Tuckerman is well qualified by
the varied and comprehensive range of his knowledge and culture, the
devotion of his life to travel, art, and study. His pages not only
illustrate, they also vindicate, the character and claims of American
nationality. He shows that "there never was a populous land about which
the truth has been more generalized and less discriminated." His
descriptions of local scenery and historic incidents recognize all that
is lovely and sublime in our national landscapes, all that is romantic
or distinctive in our national life. His humane and ethical sympathies
are ready, discriminating, and generous; his approbations and rebukes,
vivid and generally rightly applied. These and other associated
qualities lend interest and value to the biographic sketches he presents
of the numerous travellers and authors whose works pass in review. The
pictures of many of these persons--such as Marquette, Volney,
D'Allessandro, Bartram--are psychological studies of much freshness and

     _Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of the American
     Revolution:_ With an Historical Essay. By LORENZO SABINE.
     Two Volumes. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. 8vo. pp. 608, 600.

Mr. Sabine has attempted in these volumes to present in a judicial
spirit a chapter of our Revolutionary history which usually bears the
most of passion in its recital,--believing, as he does, that
impartiality is identical with charity, in dealing with his theme. The
first edition of his work, in a single volume, has been before the
public seventeen years. The zeal and fidelity of his labor have been
well appreciated. So far as his purpose has involved a plea or an
apology for the Loyalists of the American Revolution, his critics who
have at all abated their commendation of him have challenged him on the
side where he might most willingly have been supposed to err, that of an
excess of leniency. As to the class of men with whom he deals generally
in his introductory essay, and individually in the elaborate
biographical sketches which follow, the same difficulty presents itself
which is encountered in all attempts to canvass the faults or the
characteristics of any body of men who bear a common party-name or share
a common opinion, while in the staple of real virtue or vice, of honor
or baseness, of sincerity or hypocrisy, they may represent the poles of
difference. The contemporary estimate of the Tories, and in large part
the treatment of them which was thought to be just, were, in the main,
adjusted with reference to the meanest and most malignant portion. Mr.
Sabine, while by no means espousing the championship even of the best of
them, would have the whole body judged with the candor which comes of
looking at their general fellowship in the light of its natural
prejudices, prepossessions, and embarrassments. It is to be considered
also that the best of the class were a sort of warrant for the worst.

Those who are tolerably well read in the biographies and histories of
our Revolutionary period are aware that Dr. Franklin, who, about most
exciting and passion-stirring subjects, was a man of remarkably moderate
and tolerant spirit, was eminently a hater of the Tories, unrelenting in
his animosity towards them, and sternly set against all the measures
proposed at the Peace for their relief, either by the British Government
to enforce our remuneration of their losses, or by our own General or
State Governments to soften the penalties visited upon them. The origin
and the explanation of this intense feeling of animosity toward the
Loyalists in the breast of that philosopher of moderation are easily
traced to one of the most interesting incidents in his residence near
the British Court as agent for Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. The
incident is connected with the still unexplained mystery of his getting
possession of the famous letters of Hutchinson, Oliver, etc. Franklin
was living and directing all his practical efforts for enlightening and
influencing those whom he supposed to be simply the ignorant plotters of
mischief against the Colonists, under the full and most confident belief
that those plotters were merely the stupid and conceited members of the
British Cabinet. He never had dreamed that he was to look either above
them to the King, or behind them to any unknown instigators of their
mischief. With perfect good faith on his own part, he gave them the
benefit of their own supposed ignorance, wrong-headedness, wilfulness,
and ingenuity, such as it was, in inventing irritating and oppressive
measures which, he warned them, would inevitably alienate the hearts and
the allegiance of the Colonists. He records, that, while he had never
had a thought but such as this imagined state of the facts had favored,
a Liberal member of Parliament, an intimate friend of his, coming to
him for a private interview, had told him that the Ministry were not the
prime movers in this mischief, but were instigated to it by parties whom
Franklin little suspected of such an agency. When the Doctor expressed
his incredulity, the friend promised to give him decisive evidence of
the full truth of his assertion. It came to Franklin in a form which
astounded him, while it opened his eyes and fixed his indignation upon a
class of men who from that moment onward were to him the exponents of
all malignity and baseness. The evidence came in the shape of the
originals, the autographs, of the above-named letters, written by
natives of the American soil, office-holders under the Crown, who, while
pampered and trusted by their constituents on this side of the water,
were actually dictating, advising, and inspiriting the measures of the
British Ministry most hateful to the Colonists. Franklin never overcame
the impression from that shock. When he was negotiating the treaty of
peace, he set his face and heart most resolutely against all the efforts
and propositions made by the representatives of the Crown to secure to
the Tories redress or compensation. He insisted that Britain, in
espousing their alleged wrongs, indicated that she herself ought to
remunerate their losses; that they, in fact, had been her agents and
instruments, as truly as were her Crown officials and troops. Their
malignant hostility toward their fellow-Colonists, and the sufferings
and losses entailed on America by their open assertion of the rights of
the Crown, and by the direct or indirect help which oppressive measures
had received from them, had deprived them of all claim even on the pity
of those who had triumphed in spite of them. At any rate, Franklin
insisted, and it was the utmost to which he would assent,--his irony and
sarcasm in making the offer showing the depth of his bitterness on the
subject,--that a balance should be struck between the losses of the
Loyalists and those of the Colonists in the conflagration of their
sea-ports and the outrages on the property of individual patriots.

The views and feelings of Franklin have been essentially those which
have since prevailed popularly among us regarding the old Tories. Of
course, when hard-pressed, he was willing to recognize a difference in
the motives which prompted individuals and in the degrees of their
turpitude. Mr. Sabine gives us in his introductory essay a most
admirable analysis of the whole subject-matter, with an accurate and
instructive array of all the facts bearing upon it. No man has given
more thorough or patient inquiry to it, or has had better opportunities
for gathering materials of prime authority and perfect authenticity for
the treatment of it. In the biographical sketches which crowd his
volumes will be found matter of varied and profound interest,
alternately engaging the tender sympathy and firing the indignation of
the reader. One can hardly fail of bethinking himself that the moral and
judicial reflections which come from perusing this work will by and by,
under some slight modifications, attach to the review of the characters
and course of some men who are in antagonism to their country's cause in
these days.

     _Broken Lights: An Inquiry into the Present Condition and
     Future Prospects of Religious Faith._ By FRANCES POWER
     COBBE. Boston: J. E. Tilton & Co.

Among the countless errors of faith which have misled mankind, there is
none more dangerous, or more common, than that of confounding the forms
of religion with religion itself. Too often, alike to believer and
unbeliever, this has proved the one fatal mistake. Many an honest and
earnest soul, feeling the deep needs of a spiritual life, but unable to
separate those things which the heart would accept from those against
which the reason revolts, has rejected all together, and turned away
sorrowful, if not scoffing. On the other hand, the state of that man,
who, because his mind has settled down upon certain externals of
religion, deems that he has secured its essentials also, is worse than
that of the skeptic. The freezing traveller, who is driven by the rocks
(of hard doctrine) and the thorns (of doubt) to keep his limbs in
motion, stands a far better chance of finding his way out of the
wilderness than he who lies down on the softest bed of snow, flatters
himself that all is well, and dreams of home, whilst the deadly torpor
creeps over him.

If help and guidance and good cheer for all such be not found in this
little volume, it is certainly no fault of the writer's intention. She
brings to her task the power of profound conviction, inspiring a devout
wish to lead others into the way of truth. Beneath the multiform systems
of theology she finds generally the same firm foundations of
faith,--"faith in the existence of a righteous God, faith in the eternal
Law of Morality, faith in an Immortal Life." None enjoys a monopoly of
truth, although all are based upon it. Each is a lighthouse, more or
less lofty, and more or less illumined by the glory that burns within;
yet their purest rays are only "broken lights." The glory itself is
infinite: it is only through human narrowness and imperfection that it
appears narrow and imperfect. The lighthouse is good in its place: it
beckons home, with its "wheeling arms of dark and bright," many a
benighted voyager; but we must remember that it is a structure made with
hands, and not confound the stone and iron of human contrivance with the
great Source and Fountain of Light.

The writer does not grope with uncertain purpose among these imperfect
rays, and she is never confused by them. To each she freely gives credit
for what it is or has been; but all fade at last before the unspeakable
brightness of the rising sun. She discerns the dawn of that day when all
our little candles may be safely extinguished: for it is not in any
church, nor in any creed, nor yet in any book, that all of God's law is
contained; but the light of His countenance shines primarily on the
souls of men, out of which all religions have proceeded, and into which
we must look for the ever new and ever vital faith, which is to the
unclouded conscience what the sunshine is to sight.

Such is the conclusion the author arrives at through an array of
arguments of which we shall not attempt a summary. It is not necessary
to admit what these are designed to prove, in order to derive
refreshment and benefit from the pure tone of morality, the fervent
piety, and the noble views of practical religion which animate her
pages. It is not a book to be afraid of. No violent hand is here laid
upon the temple; but only the scaffoldings, which, as she perceives,
obscure the beauty of the temple, are taken away. Not only those who
have rejected religion because they could not receive its dogmas, but
all who have struggled with their doubts and mastered them, or thought
they mastered them, nay, any sincere seeker for the truth, will find
Miss Cobbe's unpretending treatise exceedingly valuable and suggestive;
while to any one interested in modern theological discussions we would
recommend it as containing the latest, and perhaps the clearest and most
condensed, statement of the questions at issue which these discussions
have called out.

The spirit of the book is admirable. Both the skeptic who sneers and the
bigot who denounces might learn a beautiful lesson from its calm, yet
earnest pages. It is free from the brilliant shallowness of Renan, and
the bitterness which sometimes marred the teachings of Parker. It is a
generous, tender, noble book,--enjoying, indeed, over most works of its
class a peculiar advantage; for, while its logic has everywhere a
masculine strength and clearness, there glows through all an element too
long wanting to our hard systems of theology,--an element which only
woman's heart can supply.

Yet, notwithstanding the lofty reason, the fine intuition, the
philanthropy and hope, which inspire its pages, we close the book with a
sense of something wanting. The author points out the danger there
always is of a faith which is intellectually demonstrable becoming, with
many, a faith of the intellect merely,--and frankly avows that "there is
a cause why Theism, even in warmer and better natures, too often fails
to draw out that fervent piety" which is characteristic of narrower and
intenser beliefs. This cause she traces to the neglect of prayer, and
the consequent removal afar off, to vague confines of consciousness, of
the Personality and Fatherhood of God. Her observations on this
important subject are worthy of serious consideration, from those
rationalists especially whose cold theories do not admit anything so
"unphilosophical" as prayer. Yet we find in the book itself a want. The
author--like nearly all writers from her point of view--ignores the
power of miracle. Because physical impossibilities, or what seem such,
have been so readily accepted as facts owing their origin to divine
interposition, they fall to the opposite extreme of denying the
occurrence of any events out of the common course of Nature's
operations. Of the positive and powerful ministration of angels in human
affairs they make no account whatever, or accept it as a pleasing dream;
and they forget that what we call a miracle may be as truly an offspring
of immutable law as the dew and the sunshine,--failing to learn of the
loadstone, which attracts to itself splinters of steel contrary to all
the commonly observed laws of gravitation, the simple truth that man
also may become a magnet, and, by the power of the divine currents
passing through him, do many things astonishing to every-day experience.
The feats of a vulgar thaumaturgy, designed to make the ignorant stare,
may well be dispensed with. But the fact that "spiritualism," with all
its crudities of doctrine and errors of practice, has spread over
Christendom with a rapidity to which the history of religious beliefs
affords no parallel, shows that the realization of supernatural
influences is an absolute need of the human heart. The soul of the
earlier forms of worship dies out of them, as this faith dies out, or
becomes merely traditional; and no new system can look to fill their
places without it.

     _Letters of_ FELIX MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY _from 1833 to
     1847._ Two Volumes. Philadelphia: F. Leypoldt.

There are many people who make very little discrimination between one
musician and another,--who discern no great gulf between Mendelssohn and
Meyerbeer, between Rossini and Romberg, between Spohr and Spontini: not
in respect of music, but of character; of character in itself, and not
as it may develop itself in chaste or florid, sentimental, gay,
devotional or dramatic musical forms. And as yet we have very little
help in our efforts to gain insight into the inner nature of our great
musical artists. Of Meyerbeer the world knows that he was vain, proud,
and fond of money,--but whether he had soul or not we do not know; the
profound religiousness of Handel, who spent his best years on
second-rate operas, and devoted his declining energies to oratorio, we
have to guess at rather than reach by direct disclosure; and till Mr.
Thayer shall take away the mantle which yet covers his Beethoven, we
shall know but little of the interior nature of that wonderful man. But
Mendelssohn now stands before us, disclosed by the most searching of all
processes, his own letters to his own friends. And how graceful, how
winning, how true, tender, noble is the man! We have not dared to write
a notice of these two volumes while we were fresh from their perusal,
lest the fascination of that genial, Christian presence should lead us
into the same frame which prompted not only the rhapsodies of "Charles
Auchester," but the same passionate admiration which all England felt,
while Mendelssohn lived, and which Elizabeth Sheppard shared, not led.
We lay down these volumes after the third perusal, blessing God for the
rich gift of such a life,--a life, sweet, gentle, calm, nowise intense
nor passionate, yet swift, stirring, and laborious even to the point of
morbidness. A Christian without cant; a friend, not clinging to a few
and rejecting the many, nor diffusing his love over the many with no
dominating affection for a few near ones, but loving his own with a
tenacity almost unparalleled, yet reaching out a free, generous sympathy
and kindly devotion even to the hundreds who could give him nothing but
their love. It is thought that his grief over his sister Fanny was the
occasion of the rupture of a blood-vessel in his head, and that it was
the proximate cause of his own death; and yet he who loved with this
idolatrous affection gave his hand to many whose names he hardly knew.
The reader will not overlook, in the second series of letters, the plea
in behalf of an old Swiss guide for remembrance in "Murray," nor that
long letter to Mr. Simrock, the music-publisher, enjoining the utmost
secrecy, and then urging the claims of a man whom he was most desirous
to help.

The letters from Italy and Switzerland were written during the two years
with which he prefaced his quarter-century of labor as composer,
director, and virtuoso. They relate much to Italian painting, the music
of Passion Week, Swiss scenery, his stay with Goethe, and his brilliant
reception in England on his return. They disclose a youth of glorious

The second series does not disappoint that promise. The man is the youth
a little less exuberant, a little more mature, but no less buoyant,
tender, and loving. The letters are as varied as the claims of one's
family differ from those of the outside world, but are always
Mendelssohnian,--free, pure, unworldly, yet deep and wise. They continue
down to the very close of his life. They are edited by his brother Paul,
and another near relative. Yet unauthorized publications of other
letters will follow, for Mendelssohn was a prolific letter-writer; and
Lampadius, a warm admirer of the composer, has recently announced such a
volume. The public may rejoice in this; for Mendelssohn was not only
purity, but good sense itself; he needs no critical editing; and if we
may yet have more strictly musical letters from his pen, the influence
of the two volumes now under notice will be largely increased.

It is not enough to say of these volumes that they are bright, piquant,
genial, affectionate; nor is it enough to speak of their artistic
worth, the subtile appreciation of painting in the first series, and of
music in the second; it is not enough to refer to the glimpses which
they give of eminent artists,--Chopin, Rossini, Donizetti, Hiller, and
Moscheles,--nor the side-glances at Thorwaldsen, Bunsen, the late
scholarly and art-loving King of Prussia, Schadow, Overbeck, Cornelius,
and the Düsseldorf painters; nor is it enough to dwell upon that
delightful homage to father and mother, that confiding trust in brother
and sisters, that loyalty to friends. The salient feature of these
charming books is the unswerving devotion to a great purpose; the
careless disregard, nay, the abrupt refusal, of fame, unless it came in
an honest channel; the naïve modesty that made him wonder, even in the
very last years of his life, that _he_ could be the man whose entrance
into the crowded halls of London and Birmingham should be the signal of
ten minutes' protracted cheering; the refusal to set art over against
money; the unwillingness to undertake the mandates of a king, unless
with the cordial acquiescence of his artistic conscience; and the
immaculate purity, not alone of his life, but of his thought. How he
castigates Donizetti's love of money and his sloth! how his whip
scourges the immorality of the French opera, and his whole soul abhors
the sensuality of that stage! how steadfastly he refuses to undertake
the composition of an opera till the faultless libretto for which he
patiently waited year after year could be prepared! We wish our
religious societies would call out a few of the letters of this man and
scatter them broadcast over the land: they would indeed be "leaves for
the healing of the nations."

There is one lesson which may be learned from Mendelssohn's career,
which is exceptionably rare: it is that Providence does _sometimes_
bless a man every way,--giving him all good and no evil. Where shall we
look in actual or historic experience to find a parallel to Mendelssohn
in this? He had beauty: Chorley says he never looked upon a handsomer
face. He had grace and elegance. He spoke four languages with perfect
ease, read Greek and Latin with facility, drew skilfully, was familiar
with the sciences, and never found himself at a loss with professed
naturalists. He was a member of one of the most distinguished families
of Germany: his grandfather being Moses Mendelssohn, the philosopher;
his father, a leading banker; his uncle Bartholdy, a great patron of art
in Rome, while he was Prussian minister there; his brother-in-law
Hensel, Court painter; both his sisters and his brother Paul occupying
leading social positions. He was heir-apparent to a great estate. He was
greeted with the applause of England from the outset of his career;
"awoke famous," after the production of the "Midsummer Overture," while
almost a boy; never had a piece fall short of triumphant success; in
fact, so commanding prestige that he could find not one who would
rationally blame or criticize him,--a "most wearying" thing, he writes,
that every piece he brought out was always "wonderfully fine." He was
loved by all, and envied by none; the pet and joy of Goethe, who lived
to see his expectation of Mendelssohn on the road to ample fulfilment;
blessed entirely in his family, "the course of true love" running
"smooth" from beginning to end; well, agile, strong; and more than all
this, having a childlike religious faith in Christ, and as happy as a
child in his piety. His life was cloudless; those checks and
compensations with which Providence breaks up others' lot were wanting
to his. We never knew any one like him in this, but the childlike, sunny
Carl Ritter.

We still lack a biography of Mendelssohn which shall portray him from
without, as these volumes do from within. We learn that one is in
preparation; and when that is given to the public, one more rich life
will be embalmed in the memories of all good men.

We ought not to overlook the unique elegance of these two volumes. Like
all the publications of Mr. Leypoldt, they are printed in small, round
letter; and the whole appearance is creditable to the publisher's taste.
The American edition entirely eclipses the English in this regard.
Though not advertised profusely, the merit of these Letters has already
given them entrance and welcome into our most cultivated circles: but we
bespeak for them a larger audience still; for they are books which our
young men, our young women, our pastors, our whole thoughtful and
aspiring community, ought to read and circulate.


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