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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 97, November, 1865" ***

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_A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics._


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved
to the end of the article. Headings in large tables converted to letters
with a legend.


There is a test of truth in popular creeds and in human opinions
generally which is prominently put forward by Herbert Spencer, and has
been more or less distinctly stated by other writers, long before our
time,--a very searching and trustworthy test.

It is, in substance, this:--Whatever doctrine or opinion has received,
throughout a long succession of centuries, the common assent of mankind,
may be properly set down as being, if not absolutely true in its usually
received form, yet founded on truth, and having, at least, a great,
undeniable verity that underlies it.

If, however, there be conflicting details as to any doctrine, varying in
form according to the sect or the nation that entertains it, then the
test is to be received as affirming the grand underlying truth, but not
as proving any of the conflicting varieties of investment in which
particular sects or nations may have chosen to clothe it.

Thus of the world's belief in the reality of another life, and in the
doctrine of future reward and punishment.

In some form or other, such a faith has existed in every age and among
almost every people. Charon and his boat might be the means of
conveyance. Or the believer, dying in battle for the creed of the
Faithful, might expect to wake up in a celestial harem peopled with
Houris. Or the belief might embody the matchless horrors painted by
Dante; his dolorous city with the terrible inscription over its
entrance-gate: "_Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate_."

Again, the conception might be of a long unconscious interval after
death, succeeded at last by a resuscitation; or it might be of another
world, the supplement and immediate continuation of this, into which
Death, herald, not destroyer, ushers us even while human friends are yet
closing our eyes and composing our limbs. It might be of the Paradise in
which, on the very day of the crucifixion, the penitent thief was to
meet the Saviour of mankind; or it might be of that Heaven, yet increate
or unpeopled, seen by some in long, distant perspective, shadowed forth
in such lines as these:--

    "That man, when laid in lonesome grave,
      Shall sleep in Death's dark gloom,
    Until the eternal morning wake
      The slumbers of the tomb."

Yet again, the idea may be of a Future of which the denizens shall be,
on some Great Day, tried as before an earthly court, doomed as by an
earthly tribunal, and sentence pronounced against them by a presiding
God, who, of his own omnipotent will, decides to inflict upon sinners
condign punishment, in measure far beyond all earthly severity,--torment
in quenchless flames, with no drop of water to cool the parched tongue,
for ever and ever.

In other words, we may conceive, as to human destiny in another world,
either of punishments optional and arbitrary, growing out of the
indignation of an offended Judge who hates and requites sin, or of
punishments natural and inherent, growing out of the very nature of sin
itself, as _delirium tremens_ requites a long career of intemperance. We
may conceive of punishments which are the awards of judicial vengeance;
or we may believe in those only which are the inevitable results of
eternal and immutable law, a necessary sequence in the next life to the
bad passions and evil deeds of this.

Those who incline to this latter aspect of the Great Future, as the
scene of reward or punishment supervening in the natural order of
things, may chance to find interest, beyond mere curiosity, in the
following strange narrative.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is not, perhaps, a country more rife in legends of haunted houses
than Germany. No province but has its store of them. Many, drawn by
tradition from the obscurity of the past, have lost, if they ever
possessed, any claim to be regarded except as apocryphal. But others, of
a recent date and better attested, cannot be disposed of in so summary a

In furnishing a specimen of this latter class, I depart from a rule
which I think it well to observe in regard to original narratives of
character so marvellous: to record such, namely, only when they can be
procured direct from the lips of the witnesses themselves. This comes to
me at second hand. I had no opportunity of cross-questioning the actors
in the scenes narrated. Yet I had the story from a gentleman of high
respectability: the principal Secretary of the ---- Legation at Naples:
and his sources of information were direct and authentic.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the southeastern portion of Pomerania, at no great distance from the
frontier of the province of West Prussia, and in the vicinity of the
small town of Bütow, there stood, not many years since, an ancient
château. It was the ancestral residence of an old Pomeranian family of
baronial rank; and the narrative of its destruction, with the causes
which led thereto, is curious and remarkable.

Its former owner, the Baron von Putkammer, after leading a wild and
dissolute life, had expired within its walls. For years previously, many
a mysterious story, fraught with dark hints of seduction and
infanticide, had been whispered over the surrounding country; and when
at last death arrested the Baron's profligate career, some reported that
he had been strangled in requital of outrage committed,--others, that
the Devil had taken home his own, as they had long expected.

His estate went to a relative of the same name, who granted the
enjoyment of it to his eldest son, heir to the title. This young man,
after a time, arrived to take possession. He found in the château the
administrator of the deceased Baron's estate.

It was late, the first night, before he went to bed. Yet he was scarcely
undressed, when he heard, through the stillness of the night, the
approach of a carriage, at first rolling over the sharp gravel of the
avenue, then entering the paved court-yard. This was succeeded by the
noise of the front door opening, and the distinct sound of steps on the
principal staircase.

Young Putkammer, surprised at this unseasonable visit, yet supposing it
some friend who had been benighted, hastily donned his dressing-gown,
and, with light in hand, stepped to the landing. Nothing to be seen
there! But he heard behind him the opening of a door leading into the
principal gallery of the château,--a long hall which for some time had
been out of use. It had been employed by the former owner of the castle
as a banqueting-room, was hung with old family portraits, and, as the
young man had noticed during the day, was so completely incumbered with
furniture, which had been temporarily stored there, that no one could
pass through it.

He returned in great surprise, which was much increased when he found
the door of the gallery in question closed and locked. He listened, and
heard quite distinctly, within the room, the noise of plates and dishes
and the clatter of knives and forks. To this, after a time, succeeded
the sound of shuffling cards and the rattle of money, as if thrown on
the table in the course of the game.

More and more astonished, he awoke his servant, and bade him listen at
the door and tell him what he heard. The terrified valet reported the
same sounds that had reached his master's ears, Thereupon the latter
told him to arouse the administrator and request his presence.

When this gentleman appeared, the young nobleman eagerly asked if he
could furnish any explanation of this strange disturbance.

"I was unwilling," said he, in reply, "to anticipate what you now
witness, lest you might imagine I had some interested motive to prevent
your coming hither. We are all familiar with these sounds. They occur
every night at about the same hour. And we have sought in vain any
natural explanation of their constant recurrence."

"Have you the key of the gallery?"

"Here it is."

The door was unlocked and thrown open. Silence and darkness! And when
the lights were introduced, not an object to be seen through the gloom,
but the old furniture confusedly piled up over the floor.

They closed and locked the door. Again the same sounds commenced: the
clatter of dishes, the noise of revelling, the clink of the gamblers'
gold. A second time they opened the door, this time quickly and
suddenly; and a second time the sounds instantly ceased, and the hall,
untenanted except by the silent portraits on its walls, appeared before
them, the same still and gloomy lumber-room as before.

Baffled for the time, young Putkammer dismissed his attendants and
retired to his chamber. Erelong he heard the door of the gallery open,
the heavy footsteps sound on the stairway, the front door creak on its
hinges,--and then the roll of the carriage, first over the stone
pavement, then along the gravelled avenue, till the sounds gradually
died away in the distance.

The next night he was ready dressed and prepared with lights. When,
about the same hour, the noise of the approaching carriage was heard, he
had the lights immediately carried to the top of the stairway, and he
himself half descended the stairs. Up the stairs and past his very side
came the footsteps; but neither living being nor spectral form could his
eyes perceive.

The same noises in the old banqueting-hall. The same fruitless attempts
to witness the revel, or to get at the secret, if any, of the

The young man was brave and devoid of superstition. Yet, in spite of
himself, these mysterious sounds, renewed night after night, irritated
his nerves, and preyed upon his quiet. He thought to break through the
spell by inviting a party of living guests. They came, to the number of
thirty or forty; but not for their presence did the invisible revellers
intermit their nocturnal visit. All heard the approach of the carriage,
the steps ascending the staircase, the sounds of revelry in the hall.
And all, when the opened door disclosed, as wont, but darkness and
silence, turned away with a shudder,--and to the subsequent invitation
of their host to favor him again with their company replied by some
shallow apology, which he perfectly understood.

Thus deserted by his friends, and subjected, night after night, to the
same ghastly annoyance, the young man found his health beginning to
suffer, and decided to endure it no longer.

Returning to his father, he informed him that he would receive with
gratitude the rents of the property, but only on condition that he was
not required to reside in its haunted château.

The father, ridiculing what he termed his son's superstitious weakness,
declared that he would himself take up his residence there for a time,
assured that he could not fail to discover the true cause of the sounds
that had driven off its former occupants.

But the result belied his expectations. Like his son, he never could
_see_ anything. But the selfsame sounds nightly assailed his ears. He
caused the hall to be cleared out and occupied daily. So long as it was
lighted, and there was any one within it, no sounds were heard; and by
thus occupying it all night, the disturbance could be averted. But as
often as it was closed or left in darkness, the invisible revel
recommenced at the wonted hour, preceded by the same preliminaries,
terminating in the same manner.

Nothing was left untried to penetrate the mystery, and to detect the
trick, if to trickery the disturbances were due. But every effort to
obtain an explanation of the phenomena utterly failed. And the father,
like the son, after a few weeks' struggle against the nightly annoyance,
found his nervous system unable to cope with this constant strain upon
it, and left the château, determined never again to enter its walls.

The next expedient was to rent it to those whom the fame of its ghostly
reputation had not reached. But this was unavailing, except for a brief
season. No tenant would remain beyond a week or ten days. This plan,
therefore, was abandoned in despair; the principal rooms were closed;
and the building remained for years untenanted, except by one or two
unwilling dependants.

Finally the proprietor, deeming all change hopeless, and finding that
the keeping up of the château was a mere useless expense, resolved to
destroy it. The dead had fairly driven out the living. He had it pulled
down; and a few low, ruined walls alone remained to mark the place where
it stood.

Still, even within these deserted ruins, the same sounds of nightly
revelry were declared to have been heard by those who were bold enough
to approach them at the midnight hour. When this was reported to the
proprietor, he determined, if possible, to outroot this last remnant of
disturbance. Accordingly, he caused to be erected, out of the remaining
materials of the château and on the spot where it had stood, a small
chapel, now to be found there, a mute witness of the story I have here

The chapel was completed and consecrated in the year 1844. Even while
the rites attending its consecration were in progress, strange and
unwonted noises disturbed the congregation; but from that time on they
ceased; and the chapel has since been entirely free from any such.

A relative of the proprietor, a young officer in the Prussian army, was
present at the consecration, himself witnessed the noises in question,
and had previously heard, from the parties themselves, all the former
occurrences. He it was who related the circumstances to my informant,
the Baron von P----, a gentleman of a grave and earnest character, whose
manner, in repeating them to me, evinced sincerity and conviction. But
it is not merely upon his authority that the details of the narrative
rest. They are, it would seem, of public notoriety in Pomerania; and
hundreds of persons in the neighborhood, as my informant declared, can
yet be found to testify, from personal observation, to the general
accuracy of the above narration.[A]

The most salient point in this story is the practical and business part
of it,--the actual pulling down of the château, as a last resort, to get
rid of the disturbance. Mere fancy is not wont to lead to such a result
as that. The owner of a piece of valuable property is not likely to
destroy it for imaginary cause. Interest is a marvellous quickener of
the wits, and may be supposed to have left no stone unturned, before
assenting to such a sacrifice.

I inquired of the gentleman to whom I am indebted for the above
narrative if there were no skeptical surmises in regard to the origin of
the disturbance. He replied, that he had heard but one,--namely, that
the administrator of the deceased Baron's estate might, from motives of
interest and to have the field to himself, have resorted to a trick to
scare the owners from the premises.

It is beyond a doubt that such devices have been successfully employed
ere now for similar purpose. An example may be found in the story of the
monks of St. Bruno, and the shrewd device they employed to obtain from
King Louis the Saint the grant of one of his ancestral palaces. It was
in this wise.

Having heard his confessor speak in high terms of the goodness and
learning of the monks of St. Bruno, the King expressed a desire to found
a community of them near Paris. Bernard de la Tour, the superior, sent
six of the brethren; and Louis assigned to them, as residence, a
handsome dwelling in the village of Chantilly. It so happened, that from
their windows they had a fine view of the old palace of Vauvert,
originally erected for a royal residence by King Robert, but which had
been deserted for years. The worthy monks, oblivious of the Tenth
Commandment, may have thought the place would suit them; but ashamed,
probably, to make a formal demand of it from the King, they seem to have
set their wits to work to procure it by stratagem.

At all events, the palace of Vauvert, which had never labored under any
imputation against its character until they became its neighbors, began
almost immediately afterwards to acquire a bad name. Frightful shrieks
were heard to proceed thence at night. Blue, red, and green lights were
seen to glimmer from its casements, and then suddenly disappear. The
clanking of chains succeeded, together with the howlings of persons as
in great pain. Then a ghastly spectre, in pea-green, with long, white
beard and serpent's tail, appeared at the principal windows, shaking his
fist at the passers-by. This went on for months.

The King, to whom all these wonders were duly reported, deplored the
scandal, and sent commissioners to look into the affair. To these the
six monks of Chantilly, indignant that the Devil should play such pranks
before their very faces, suggested, that, if they could but have the
palace as a residence, they would undertake speedily to cure it of all
ghostly intrusion. A deed, with the royal sign-manual, conveyed Vauvert
to the monks of St Bruno. It bears the date of 1259. From that time all
disturbances ceased,--the green ghost, according to the creed of the
pious, being laid to rest forever under the waters of the Red Sea.[B]

Some will surmise that the story of the castle of Putkammer is but a
modified version of that of the palace of Vauvert. It may be so. One who
was not on the spot, to witness the phenomena and personally to verify
all the details, cannot rationally deny the possibility of such an
hypothesis. Yet I find little parallel between the cases, and
difficulties, apparently insuperable, in the way of accepting such a
solution of the mystery.

The French palace was deserted, and nothing was easier than to play off
there, unchallenged, such commonplace tricks as the showing of colored
lights, the clanking of chains, shrieks, groans, and a howling spectre
with beard and tail,--all in accordance with the prejudices of that
age; nor do we read that any one was bold enough to penetrate, during
the night, into the scene of the disturbance; nor had the King's
commissioners any personal motive to urge a thorough research; nor had a
pious sovereign, the owner of a dozen palaces, any strong inducement to
refuse the cession of one of these, already untenanted and useless, to
certain holy men, the objects of his veneration.

Very different, in every respect, is the affair of the Pomeranian
castle. It is a narrative of the skeptical nineteenth century, that sets
down all ghost-stories as nursery-tales. The owner, and his son, the
future possessor, each at separate times and for weeks, reside in the
castle, and occupy themselves in repeated attempts to discover whether
they have been imposed on. The selfsame trick, if trick it was, is
repeated night after night, without variation. The roll of the
approaching carriage-wheels, first along the gravelled avenue, then over
the paved court-yard, while no carriage was visible,--how were such
sounds to be imitated? The fall of footsteps, unaccompanied by aught in
bodily form, up the lighted stairway, and past the very side of the bold
youth who stepped down to meet them,--what human device could
successfully simulate these? The sound of the opening gallery-door and
the noises of the midnight orgies, with full opportunity to examine
every nook and corner of the scene whence, to every ear, the same
identical indications came,--how, in producing and reproducing these,
could trickery, time after time, escape detection? Both father and son,
it is evident, had their suspicions aroused; and both, as evidently,
were men of courage, not to be blinded by superstitious panic. Is it a
probable thing that they would destroy an old and valued family mansion,
without having exhausted every conceivable expedient to detect

Nor was this imposture, if as such we are to regard it, conducted in
approved form, after the orthodox fashion. It assumed a shape contrary
to all usually received ideas. No spectre clanking its chains; no lights
burning blue; no groans of the tormented; no ordinary getting-up of a
ghostly disturbance. But a mere succession of sounds, indicating, if we
are to receive and interpret them literally, the periodical return from
the world of spirits of some of its tenants, restless and unblest. Was
this the machinery a mystifier was likely to select?

Such are the difficulties which attend the hypothesis of a concerted
plan of deception. They will be overlooked by those who have made up
their minds that communications between this world and the next are
impossible, and who will content themselves with pronouncing, that,
though they cannot detect the mode of the imposture, yet imposture of
some kind or other it plainly must have been.

And such skeptics will very properly remind us of other difficulties in
the way of accepting as a reality the alleged phenomena. What have the
spirits of the departed to do with conveyances resembling those of
earthly structure? Are there incorporeal carriages and horses? Can grave
men admit such fancies as these?[C] Or is all this, even if genuine,
only symbolical,--sounds without objective counterpart? Then what
becomes of the positive character of this narrative, as a lesson, as a
warning to us? The whole degenerates into an acted parable. It fades
into the idle pageantry of a dream. Thus we lose ourselves in shadowy

But, none the less, the facts, if facts they be, remain to be dealt
with. And if at last we concede the ultramundane origin of these
manifestations, whether as objective reality or only as truth-teaching
allegory, what a field is opened to our speculations regarding the
realms of spirit and the possible punishments there in store for those
who, by degrading their natures in this world, may have rendered
themselves unfit for happiness in the next,--and who, perhaps, still
attracted to earth by the debasing excesses they once mistook for
pleasure, may be doomed, in the phantom repetition of their sins, to
detect their naked reality, to have stamped on their consciousness the
vileness of these without the brutal gratifications that veiled it, the
essence of vice shorn of its sensual halo, the grossness without the
glitter: if so, a terrible expiation!

I beg it may not be imagined, that, because I see grave difficulties in
the way of regarding this case as one of imposture, I therefore set it
up as proof of a novel theory regarding future punishments. A structure
so great cannot be erected on foundation so slender. I but furnish it as
a chance contribution towards the probabilities of ultramundane
intercourse,--as material for thought,--as one of those hints which
future facts may render valueless, but which, on the other hand, other
observed phenomena may possibly serve to work out and corroborate and


[A] I find in my journal the following:--"_August 17, 1857._ Read over
to the Baron von P---- the Putkammer narrative; and he assented to its
accuracy in every particular."

[B] This story is given in Garinet's _Histoire de la Magie en France_,
p. 75.

[C] Yet in a recent case, occurring in England, and authenticated in the
strongest manner, the "sound of carriages driving in the park when none
were there" is one of the incidents given on the authority of the lady
who had witnessed the disturbances, and who furnishes a detailed account
of them. See "Facts and Fantasies," a sequel to "Lights and Sounds, the
Mystery of the Day," by Henry Spicer, London, 1853, pp. 76-101.



    None who saw it can forget
    How they went into the fight,
    Four abreast,--
    Thereby was the foe perplexed,--
    With the Essex on the right,
    That is nearest to the Fort,
    And the Cincinnati next,
    The St. Louis on her left,
    All so gallant and so deft,
    And the brave Carondelet.

    Boom, boom, from every bow!
    (They'll have to answer that!)
    From the Rebel bastions, now,
    There's a flash.
    Cool, keep cool, boys, don't be rash!
    Mind your eyes, as the old Boss said;
    Keep together and go ahead,--
    Not too high and not too low,
    Fire slow!

    Now we have it from the Fort,
    And the Rebels all a-crowing;
    While the devils'-echoes laugh,
    With a loonish thunder-lowing,
    After every gun's report:
    'Tisn't bird-shot they are throwing,--
        'Tisn't chaff!
        Ping! Ping!
    If you've ever seen the thing
    That can fly without a wing
    Swifter than the Thunder's bird,
    Lightning-clenching, lightning-spurred,--
    If you've ever heard it sing,
    You will understand the word,
    And look out;
    For, beyond a mortal doubt,
        It can sting!

    'D y' ever hear anything like it?
    Sounded very much like a ten-strike,--it
    Appears they're after a spare!
    Bet it made the old Boss jump,
    Or at any rate awfully screw up his brows,--
    Hit the pilot-house,
    And he's up there,--
    Must 'a' been a hundred-pounder,--
    Had the twang of a conical ball,--
    Would 'a' gone plumb through a ten-foot wall.
        Isn't the old _Cinc._ a trump?

    They meant that for a damper!
    Square it off with an eighty shell
    And a fifteen-second fuse,
    (With all the latest news!)--
    Pretty well done, boys, pretty well!
    Guess that'll be apt to tell
    'Em all about where it came from,
    And where it's a-going to,
    What it took its name from,
    And all it's a-knowing to!
        See 'em scamper!

    The Conestoga, the Tyler,
    And the Lexington, you know,
    Are in line a half a mile, or
    A little less, below,--
    Just this side of the Panther
    (Little woody island),
    They've their orders----Oh,
    But, after all, how _can_ their
    Wooden-heads keep silent?
    Wonder 'f it don't make 'em feel bad,
    Even if they ain't all _steel_-clad,
    At being slighted so!

    'Tisn't so bad a day,
    Although it's a little cloudy,--
    Or rather, as one might say,
        _Smoky_, perhaps,--
    A little hazy, a little dubious,
    A little too sulphury to be salubrious.
    D' ye mind those thunder-claps?
    Do you feel now and then the least little bit
    Of an incipient earthquake fit,
    Accompanied with awful raps?
    But give 'em gowdy, give 'em gowdy,
    And it'll soon clear away!

    Old Boss ain't to be balked.--
    All this, you know,
    Was only the way (or nearly so)
    The boys talked,
    And felt and thought,
    (And acted, too,)
    The harder they fought
    And the hotter it grew.--

    But there was a Hand at the reel
        That nobody saw,--
    Old Hickory there at every keel,
    In every timber, from stem to stern,--
    A _something_ in every crank and wheel,
    That made 'em answer their turn;
    And everywhere,
    On earth and water, in fire and air,
    As it were to see it all well done,
    The Wraith of the murdered Law,--
    Old John Brown at every gun!

    But the Fort was all in a roar:
    No use to talk, they had the range,--
    Which wasn't strange,
    Guess they'd tried it before,--
    And the pounding was not soft,
    But might well appall
    The boldest heart.
    Cool and calm,
    Trumpet in hand,
    Up in the cock-loft,
    Where 't was the hottest of all,
    Our brave old Commodore
    Took his stand,
    And played his part,
    Humming over some old psalm!

    Tut! did ye hear the hiss and scream
    Of that hot steam?
    It's the Essex that's struck,--
    She never had any luck:
    Ah, 'twas a wicked shot,
    And, whether they know it or not,
    It doesn't give us joy!

    Thorough an open port it flew,
    As with some special permit to destroy;
    And first, for sport,
    Struck the soul from that beautiful boy;
    Then through the bulkhead lunged,
    And into the boiler plunged,
    Scalding the whole crew!

    We know that the brave must fall,--
    But that was a sight to see:
    All in an instant scalded and scathed,
    All at once in the white shroud swathed!
    A low moan came from the deck
    Of the drifting wreck,--
        And that was all.

    How the traitors'll boast,
    As soon as they come to see her
    All adrift and aghast!--
    Hark! d' ye hear? d' ye hear?
    D' ye hear 'em shout?
    They see it already, no doubt.
    We shall have to count her out,--
    That white breath was her last,--
    She has given up the ghost!

    What does the old Boss think?
        Will he shrink?
    Will he waver or falter now?--
    A little shadow flits over his brow,
    For the sharp pang in his heart,--
    Flits over--and is gone,--
    And a light looms up in his old gray eye,
    Whether you see it or not,
    That is like a sudden dawn
        In a stormy sky!

    What does he _think_?
    What will he _do_?--
    Well! he don't say!
    But I'll tell you what,
    You can bet your life,
    As you would your knife,
    And your wife, too,
        He'll do
    (And put 'em up at once!)--
    He'll run these boats right up to their guns,
    And take that Fort, or sink!

    But, oh--oh, it was hot!
    So thick and fast the solid shot
    Upon our iron armor played,
    It kept, like thunder, a kind of time--
    Devil's tattoo or gallopade--
    That, like an awful, awful rhyme,
        Rang in the ear;
    And they sent us cheer after cheer.

    But the boys had been to _school_,
    And _their_ guns were not cool;
    For they knew what Cause they served,
    And not a man of 'em swerved!
    But on, right on, they swept,
    And from every grim bow-port
    Their nutmegs and shell-barks leaped
    Into the jaws of the Fort!
    And (to give her, perhaps, a chance to breathe)
    Knocked out some of her big, black teeth!
    And (to raise a better crop, no doubt,
    Than was ever raised there before)
    Ploughed her up into awful creases,
        Inside and out!--
    For now they were up and doing the chore
    At only four hundred yards,
    And the death-dealing shreds and shards
    Of our shell were tearing 'em all to pieces!

    Hurrah for the brave old Flag!
    To triumph see her ride!--
    Ha, ha! they dodge and duck,--
    The Snake's expiring!
    Their gunners run and hide,--
    By heaven, they've struck!
    Down comes the rattlesnake rag
    By the run,--
    Stop the firing!
    The work is done!--

    Anyhow, she'll do for batter!--
    You see now, Butternuts, you were plucky;
    But that ain't "what's the matter,"--
    Not by a long shot!
    No, no,--no! I'll tell you what--
    And you mustn't take it at all amiss--
    I'll tell you what the _matter_ is:
    'Tain't because you were born unlucky,
    (Bear in mind,)
    Nor that you've good eyes and we are blind,--
    Nothing of the kind,--
    But it's something else, if it isn't more:
    The reason--pardon!--you had to cotton
    Was simply this: Your _Cause_ was rotten,--
    Rotten to the very core:
    That's what's the matter!

    But you ought to 'a' heard our water-dogs yelp!--
    Just an hour and fifteen minutes!--
    (Twitter away, you English linnets!)
    Horizontal and perpendicular,
    Fair and square, without any help,--
    That is, any in particular,--
    The old ferry wash-tubs of the West,
    With some new-fashioned _hoops_, for a little test,
    And a few old _pounders_ from--Kingdom Come,
    And nothing for suds but the "Nawth'n scum,"
    Made these "gen'l'men" turn as white
    As a head o' hair in a single night!
    Cleaned their army completely out,
    (We're going to give _that_ another wipe!)
    On the double-quick, by the shortest route,--
    Wrung their stronghold from their gripe,--
    Brought their garrison right to taw,
    And made 'em get down to the "higher law"!

    So that when Grant and his boys came up,
    (There's places enough for a man to die!)
    Swearing that we had "spoiled" their "sport,"
    With a quiet twinkle in his eye,
    Old Boss asked 'em to come in and sup,
    And set 'em to _house-keeping_ in the Fort!--
    But all the old fellow could say or do,
    They'd still keep a-going it: "Bully for _you_!"

    "Bully" for Grant and for Foote!--
    E'en if the voice must tremble,--
    And "bully" for all who helped 'em to do 't!
    Bully for Porter and Stemble!
    For Paulding and for Walke,--
    For Phelps, for Gwin, and for Shirk!--
    But what's the use to talk?
    They were all of 'em up to the work!
    Bully for each brave tub
    That bore the Union Blue!
    And for every mother's son
    Of every gallant crew,
    Whatever his color or name,
    Who, when it came to the rub,
    Shall be found to have been _game_!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Such was the Rhyme of the Master's Mate,
    Just as they found it in the locker,
    With this at the foot:--
        "It's getting late,
    And I hear a pretty loud Knock at the knocker!
    Captain, if I should chance to fall,
    Try to send me home. Good bye!" That's all,--
    Excepting the date, the name, and rank:--
      "Feb. 12th, '62, ---- ----,
        Master's Mate."

    All next day a great black Cloud
    Hung over the land from coast to coast;
    And the next, the Knocking was "pretty loud,"--
    With a sudden Eclipse, as it were, of the sun,--
    And the earth, all day, quaked--"Donelson!"
    But the next was the deadliest day of all,
    And the Master's Mate was not at Call!
    Yet nobody seemed to wonder why,--
    There was something, perhaps, the Master knew
    Far better than we, for his Mate to do,--
    And the Day went down with a bloody sky!

    But when the long, long Night was past,
    And our Eagle, sweeping the traitor's crag,
    Circled to victory up the dome,
    The great Reveille was heard at last!--
    They wrapped the Mate in his country's flag,
    And sent him in glory home!


A visible library is a goodly sight. We do not underrate the external
value of books, when we say it is the invisible which forms their chief
charm. Sometimes rather too much is said about "tall copies," and
"large-paper copies," and "first editions," the binding, paper, type,
and all the rest of the outside attraction, or the fancy price, which go
to make up the collector's trade. The books themselves feel a little
degraded, when this sort of conversation is carried on in their
presence: some of them know well enough that occasionally they fall into
hands which think more "of the coat than of the man who is under it." We
must, however, be honest enough to confess that we are ourself a
bibliomaniac, and few possessions are more valued than an old
manuscript, written on vellum some five hundred years ago, of which we
cannot read one word. Nor do we prize less the modern extreme of
external attraction,--volumes exquisitely printed and adorned, bound by
Rivière, in full tree-marbled calf, with delicate tooling on the back,
which looks as if the frost-work from the window-pane on a cold January
morning had been transmuted into gold, and laid on the leather. Ah,
these are sights fit for the gods!

Nevertheless, we come back to our starting-point, that what is unseen
forms the real value of the library. The type, the paper, the binding,
the age, are all visible; but the soul that conceived it, the mind that
arranged it, the hand that wrote it, the associations which cling to it,
are the invisible links in a long chain of thought, effort, and history,
which make the book what it is.

In wandering through the great libraries of Europe, how often has this
truth been impressed upon the mind!--such a library as that in the old
city of Nuremberg, housed in what was once a monastery, and looking so
ancient, quaint, and black-lettered, visibly and invisibly, that, if the
old monk in the legend who slipped over a thousand years while the
little bird sang to him in the wood, and was thereby taught, what he
could not understand in the written Word, that a thousand years in
God's sight are but as a day,--if that old monk had walked out of the
Nuremberg monastery and now walked back again, he might almost take up
the selfsame manuscript he had laid down a thousand years ago.

What invisible heads have ached, and hands become weary, over those
vellum volumes, with their bright initial letters! What hearts have
throbbed over the early printed book! How triumphantly was the first
copy, now worm-eaten and forgotten, contemplated by the author! How was
that invisible world which surrounded him to be stirred by that new

We remember looking into one of the cell-like alcoves arranged for
students in a college library at Oxford, and watching a fellow of the
college (a type of scholars, grown old among books, rarely found in our
busy land) crooning over a strange black-letter folio, and laughing to
himself with a sort of invisible chuckle. The unseen in that volume was
revealed to us through that laugh of the old bookworm, and quite unseen
we partook of his amusement. Another alcove was vacant; a crabbed
manuscript, just laid down by the writer, was on the desk. He was
invisible; but the watchful guardian at the head of the room saw us
peering in, and warned us with a loud voice not to enter. Safely might
we have been permitted to do so, for we could hardly have deciphered at
a glance all the wisdom that lurked in the open page; yet that hidden
meaning, invisible to us, was of real value to the unseen writer.

There are many incidents connected with the visible and invisible of
libraries existing in the great houses of England, which could point a
moral in sketches of this subject. One, concerning a pamphlet found at
Woburn Abbey, has a peculiar interest.

Lord William Russell, eldest son of Francis, fourth Earl of Bedford,
after completing his education at Oxford, and travelling abroad for two
years, returned home in the winter of 1634. Young, handsome,
accomplished, and the eldest son of the House of Russell, the
fashionable world of London marked him as a prize in the matrimonial
speculations of the times, and was quite in a flutter to know which of
the reigning beauties, would captivate the young Lord Russell. Lady
Elizabeth Cecil, Lady Dorothy Sidney, Lady Anne Carr were the rival
belles upon whom the eyes of the world were fixed. It was with no small
consternation that the Earl of Bedford soon found that the affections of
his son had been attracted by Lady Anne Carr, the daughter of the Earl
and Countess of Somerset, more widely known as Robert Carr and Lady
Essex. The Earl of Bedford had taken a prominent part in the Countess's
trial, and participated in the general abhorrence of her character. In
vain his son pleaded the innocence of the daughter, who, early separated
from her parents, knew nothing of their history or their crimes. The
Earl of Bedford shrunk with a feeling of all but insurmountable aversion
to such an alliance; and not until the king interceded for the youthful
lovers, did the father yield a reluctant consent, and their marriage was
celebrated. The undisturbed happiness and harmony in which the parties
lived reconciled the Earl to the connection; he became much attached to
his beautiful daughter-in-law; and in the sweetness and domestic purity
of her character he could sometimes forget her parents. Lady Anne's life
passed quietly in the discharge of the duties of a wife and mother, and
of those which devolved upon her when her husband became fifth Earl of
Bedford in 1641. In 1683, their eldest son, Lord William Russell, died
on the scaffold.

"There is a life in the principles of freedom," says the historian of
the House of Russell, "which the axe of the executioner does not, for it
cannot, touch." This great thought must have strengthened the souls of
the parents under so terrible a trial. The mother's health, however,
sunk under the blow, which, in the sympathy of her celebrated
daughter-in-law, the heroic Lady Rachel Russell, she endeavored to
sustain. One day, seeking, perhaps, some book to cheer her thoughts,
Lady Bedford entered the library, and in an anteroom seldom visited
chanced to take a pamphlet from the shelves. She opened its pages, and
read there, for the first time, the record of her mother's guilt. The
visible in that page rent aside the invisible veil which those who loved
Lady Bedford had silently woven over her whole life, as a shield from a
terrible truth. She was found by her attendants senseless, with the
fatal book open in her hand. The revelations of the past, the sorrows of
the present, were too much for her to bear, and she died. Lady Rachel
Russell, writing from Woburn Abbey at the time, states her conviction
that Lady Bedford's reason would not have sustained the shock received
from the contents of the pamphlet, even had her physical powers rallied.

Turning aside one moment from our subject, we stand in awe before the
striking contrast presented by the characters of two women, each so
closely linked with Lady Bedford's life,--the one who heard her first
breath, and the other who received her last sigh. If Lady Somerset
causes us to shrink with horror from the depth of depravity of which
woman's nature is capable, let us thank God that in Lady Rachel Russell
we have a witness of the purity, self-sacrifice, and holiness a true
woman's soul can attain.

In the library at Wilton House, the seat of the Sidneys, we were shown a
lock of Queen Elizabeth's hair, hidden for more than a hundred years in
one of the books. A day came when some member of the family took down an
old volume to see what treasures of wisdom lurked therein. "She builded
better than she knew," for between the leaves lay folded a paper which
contained a faded lock of the once proud Queen Bess. How it came there,
and by whose hand it was placed in the book, is one of the invisible
things of the library, but the writing within the paper authenticated
the relic beyond doubt; and it is now shown as one of the visible
treasures of the library of Wilton House.

Magdalen College, Cambridge, contains the Pepysian Library,--placed
there by the will of Pepys, under stringent conditions, in default of
whose fulfilment the bequest falls to Trinity. One of the fellows of
Magdalen is always obliged to mount guard over visitors to the library.
Such an escort being provided, we ascended the stairs, and found
ourselves in the presence of the bookcases which once adorned Pepys's
house in London, containing the "three thousand bookes" of which he was
so proud. The bookcases are handsome, with small mirrors let into them,
in which, doubtless, Mrs. Pepys often surveyed the effect of those
"newegownes" which pleased her husband's vanity so well, although he
rather reluctantly paid the cost. There, too, is the original manuscript
of that entertaining Diary, wherein Pepys daguerrotyped the age in which
he lived, and himself with all his sense and nonsense. That Diary would
have remained one of the invisible treasures of libraries, for it was
written in a cipher of his own invention, but, by a very curious chance,
the key to that cipher was unintentionally betrayed through comparison
with another paper, and the journal was brought to light, and many
things made visible which the writer dreamed not of confiding to future
ages. Pepys was an indefatigable, and, we cannot but half suspect, an
unscrupulous collector. Volumes of autographs, great scrap-books filled
with prints, tickets, invitations, ballads, let us into the visible and
invisible of the reign of Charles II. A manuscript music-book, elegantly
bound, and labelled, "Songs altered to suit my Voice," carried us back
to the days when, after going to the play in the afternoon, Pepys and
some of his companions "came back to my house and had musique."

Pepys certainly never meant to be one of the invisible things in his own
library, for every book contains an engraving from his own portrait.
Should he ever come back to look after the possessions he so much
valued, he can surely be at no loss to find the likeness of the form he
once wore. If a spirit can retain any human vanity and self-importance,
his must certainly be unpleasantly surprised that the great collection
looks small in these days, and attracts but little attention. To
antiquaries and lovers of the odd and curious it must ever be valuable;
but the obligation of having a fellow of Magdalen at one's elbow much
interferes with that quiet, cozy "mousing" so dear to the soul of a
bibliomaniac. We heartily wished that we could have made an appointment
with the shade of old Pepys, and, returning to the library in the
stillness of midnight, have found him ready to show off his collections.
That would have been, indeed, the visible and the invisible of the
Pepysian Library. The Cambridge men of to-day are too busy about their
own affairs to look much into Pepys's collections, which remain quietly
ensconced under the guardianship of Old Magdalen, one of the visible
links between the seen and unseen in libraries.

Nestled quietly in an old Elizabethan house, among the great trees at
Wotton, is the library of John Evelyn. Belonging to the same age as that
of Pepys, but collected by a man of widely different tastes and
character, there is much outwardly to charm as well as to elevate the
mind in the influences shed around it. Here are tall copies and folios
of grave works, classic and historical, the solid literary food of a man
who kept his soul pure amid a corrupt age, books as harmonious with the
reflective mind of Evelyn as were the grand old woods of Wotton with the
refined tastes of the author of "Sylva." Here is preserved the original
manuscript of Evelyn's Journal, the paper yellow with the mellow tints
of two hundred autumns, yet the thought as fresh as if written
yesterday. Near the manuscript is seen the prayer-book which Charles I.
held in his hand when he mounted the scaffold at Whitehall. There is
much of the visible and invisible in that quaint old library at Wotton.

The internal treasures of Christian faith opened a wide field for the
outward decoration of religious books. "The Hours" (meaning devotional
hours) of kings and queens are magnificent specimens of chirography,
showing also the skill of artists in the earliest centuries. The art of
preparing these volumes was divided into two branches: that of the
_Miniatori_, or illuminators, who furnished the paintings, the borders,
and arabesques, and also laid on the gold; and that of the _Miniatori
calligrafi_, who wrote the whole of the book, and drew the initial
letters of blue and red with their fanciful ornaments. Many of the great
libraries of Europe contain these splendid manuscripts, and although but
one page is open to the passing visitor, which he sees "through a glass
darkly," yet that page is written over and illuminated with associations
and memories. Could a glance reveal thoughts which have looked out of
eyes bending over these pages, when they were held in the hand of their
first owner, what messages from the invisible would be received! Some of
these rare and regal possessions have gone a little astray, and wandered
about in the wilderness of the world, as is confirmed by an anecdote we
recently received from good authority. A magnificent volume, illustrated
by views of French châteaux of the Middle Ages, presented to a princess
of the House of Bourbon, was known to have existed. This manuscript had
disappeared, and for more than a hundred years it could not be traced.
The Duc d'Aumale, son of Louis Philippe, while in Genoa, was informed
(by a person who called upon him for that purpose) that there was for
sale in that city a valuable illuminated manuscript, and, as the Duke
was known to be a collector of rare books, it would be shown to him. He
accordingly followed his informant to an obscure part of the city, and
into an old house, where the manuscript was produced. What was his
astonishment, when he beheld before him the lost Bourbon manuscript, so
long sought for in vain! He immediately became its purchaser; and
whatever secret history belongs to the volume, connected with the time
when it was invisible, it is now one of the most treasured realities in
the magnificent library at Orleans House.

In the illuminated pages of many of these old manuscripts there lurks
much more, doubtless, than meets the eye. Thus, that famous poem of the
Middle Ages, the "Romance of the Rose," has passed for a mere fanciful
allegory, or love-story. Splendidly illuminated copies of this Romance
are well known. The British Museum possesses one, which Dibdin calls
"the cream of the Harleian Collection": it is in folio, and replete with
embellishments. He also mentions another copy, at that time belonging to
Mr. North, the frontispiece of which represents Francis I. surrounded by
his courtiers, receiving a copy from the author. Only the visible of the
illuminated volume was probably opened to the eyes of Francis, or even
of Dibdin. A later student pronounces the Romance to be a complete
specimen of Hermetic Philosophy, concealing great truths under its
allegory,--the Rose being the symbol of philosophic gold.

Such is the view taken of this Romance by our distinguished
fellow-countryman, Major-General Hitchcock, who found time, in the
interval between two wars, to collect and study three hundred volumes of
Hermetic Philosophy, coming forth therefrom as a champion in defence of
a much misunderstood class. This ingenious work, entitled "Alchemy and
the Alchemists," published in 1857, was written to prove that the
alchemists were not foolish seekers for sordid gold, nor vain believers
in the elixir of life, but philosophers of deep thought and high aims,
who, in days when a man dared not say his soul was his own, veiled in
mystic language, perfectly understood by each other, theological and
philosophical truths, theories, and discoveries, which would have
brought them to the stake or the rack, had they been produced openly.
"Man was the subject of alchemy, and the object of the art was the
perfection, or at least the improvement, of man." These were the _real_
Hermetic Philosophers. After them came men who, not knowing the meaning
of the symbolic language which concealed the spiritual truths, took the
written word in a literal sense, and went to work with crucibles and
retorts, seeking the philosopher's stone and the elixir of life, not
knowing, indeed, the Scripture, that "the letter killeth, but the spirit
maketh alive."

Such a theory as that advanced in "Alchemy and the Alchemists" opens a
new chapter in the visible and invisible of a library of Hermetic

The most ancient specimens of calligraphy extant are probably the
Terence of the fourth century and the Virgil of the fifth century, in
the Vatican Library. Alas for those who have no open sesame to that
collection! We shall never forget our disappointment upon entering the
Vatican. We could not gaze even on the mouldy vellum or faded leather of
old bindings, and saw nothing but stupid modern painted cases, bodies
quite unworthy of the souls they hid. Gladly would we have laid aside
our theory concerning unseen treasures, and looked that great collection
face to face.

"The taste for the external decoration of manuscripts," says Labarte,
(whose interesting "Hand-Book on the Arts of the Middle Ages" has been
admirably translated by Mrs. Palliser,) "already existed among the
ancients. Marcus Varro called forth the praises of Cicero for having
traced in his book the portraits of more than seven hundred celebrated
persons; Seneca, in his treatise 'De Tranquillitate Animi,' speaks of
books ornamented with figures; and Martial addresses his thanks to
Stertinius, who had placed his portrait in his library."

These ancient works of Art have vanished, none have survived the stormy
passage of ages, yet this casual mention of them carries us into the
otherwise invisible past. We see the seven hundred portraits in Marcus
Varro's book, and walk into the library of Stertinius to give our
opinion of the portrait of Martial.

"The miniatures of manuscripts were long considered," says Labarte,
"only as ornaments. Montfaucon was the first to recognize their
usefulness as historical documents. To possess manuscripts of the Middle
Ages with miniatures is in fact to possess a gallery of contemporaneous

The most beautiful specimen of ancient illuminated manuscript we have
seen in this country belongs to the Honorable Charles Sumner. It is a
missal of the fifteenth century, of finest quality. Several of the
miniatures might well be claimed as the work of Van Eyck. The
frontispiece consists of the portrait of the lady for whose devotions
the book was prepared. She kneels before the Madonna, while her patron
saint stands beside her. Beneath this celestial vision is the heraldic
shield of the lady's family, thus throwing in a glimpse of visible
worldly grandeur. The borders and arabesques of this manuscript are
equal in execution to the miniatures, and the missal is one of rare

Can we forbear alluding to that other treasure of Senator Sumner's
collection,--the Album which belonged to Camillus Cordoyn, who, more
than two centuries ago, entertained guests at his house as they
journeyed into Italy? One of these, Thomas Wentworth, afterwards Lord
Strafford, then a young man gayly travelling about the world, wrote his
name in the volume, little thinking of the block and the axe which were
to illustrate the closing chapter of his book of life. The immortal
Milton, on his return from Italy, was the guest of the same nobleman.
What would we not give for a look into that house at Geneva, and see
this little volume laid before the visitor! The glorious eyes of John
Milton looked over its pages, and perhaps he listened to the story of
some of the distinguished personages, now all forgotten, whose names and
heraldic shields are there. Then he turned to a blank leaf, and wrote
two lines from his own "Comus,"--

            "If Virtue feeble were,
    Heaven itself would stoop to her."

He signed his name on that 20th of June, 1639, and the host took back
the book. And now, more than two hundred years after, that page is held
as priceless in this great republic beyond the sea.

We should speak gratefully of the externals of books, because for two
long years our oculist did not allow us to open them. We dared not go
farther than their titles, yet even these were talismans which revealed
wide regions, and carried us from Indus to the Pole. We went with Arthur
Penrhyn Stanley to the Holy Land, discovered Nineveh with Layard,
explored Art treasures with Mrs. Jameson, plunged among icebergs with
Parry. A volume of Belzoni bore us not only to pyramids and mummies in
Egypt, but away to a strange old hall "in Padua, beyond the sea."
Cabalistic paintings cover the walls, misty with age; lurking in one
corner of the vast apartment is a gigantic wooden horse, that figured at
some public festival four hundred years ago, and now pauses, ready to
prance out of the mouldy past into the affrighted present; opposite
stand two Egyptian statues, cat-headed human figures, resting their
hands on their stone knees. These were gifts from Belzoni to his native
city of Padua; and his handsome head in the Eastern turban, turned into
white marble, stands above the entrance-door.

Coming back from the Paduan hall, so weird and ghostly, we glance along
the shelves at a long row of volumes which bear De Quincey's name, and
we need not open a page to feel the mysterious spell of the opium-eater.
Like one of those strange dreams of his seems a remembrance which comes
back to us with his name. A quaint, tall house in the old part of
Edinburgh has admitted us into a quiet apartment, where, as the twilight
is creeping in through the windows, a small gray man receives us, with
graceful and tender courtesy. He converses with a felicity of language
like that of his printed pages, but in a voice so sweet, so low, so
exquisitely modulated, that the magical tone vibrates on the ear like
music. It was De Quincey, who held us entranced until darkness gathered
around us, then bade us farewell, his kind words lingering on the air,
as, with a flickering candle in his hand, he flitted up the winding
stair, and vanished away.

Another volume bears the name of William Wordsworth, and beneath his
autograph he writes that it was purchased at Bath from a
circulating-library. It is that strange journal of the Margravine of
Bareith, sister of Frederic the Great, a sad story of those who dwell in
kings' houses; but we think only of Wordsworth, and of the viewless
history of the book carried by the poet from circulating in Bath to
quiet rural Rydal Mount, and now having wandered over to New England.

A dainty volume near by bears the autograph of Rogers, and though the
association is not so purely imaginative, perhaps, as a poet should call
up, yet it always brings to our mind the breakfasts at his house, of
which many of our friends have partaken, and related divers stories
concerning those morning refections. They are invisible feasts to us,
for we never even picked up the crumbs from them, except at second hand;
yet this elegant little book knew all about them, and heard what was
said before, and also behind--the table-cloth.

Singular experiences connected with books are sometimes known to their
owners, quite invisible to others. In yonder corner are two volumes.
Book-collectors know that they are rare, and the uninitiated think they
contain queer old wood-cuts. To us that corner is haunted; an invisible
lady hovers about those volumes. Once upon a time an order was given for
those books, but the answer came back from over the sea, that they were
not to be had, or to be had only at rare intervals on the breaking up of
a library. To our no small surprise, very soon after this quietus had
been given to bibliomaniacal hopes, the books in question appeared
before us in excellent condition. We could hardly suppose that any one
had been benevolent enough to break up a library on purpose to oblige
us, and we waited to hear a very odd story.

Soon after the letter had been sent, announcing the ill success of our
commission, the writer of it was in a bookshop in London, when a lady
entered and desired an interview with the master. After some private
conversation, the lady returned to her carriage and drove away. The
bookseller remarked to his friend, that the lady had brought with her
some books, which she desired to part with. Our informant asked to see
them, and, lo! the very volumes for which in our behalf he had searched
in vain: he immediately secured the prize, which was forwarded by the
next steamer.

Can any one ask why the figure of the lady who brought those books to us
three thousand miles over the sea "haunts us like a shadow"? We see her
ascend her invisible carriage, we go with her to her invisible home, we
meet her viewless husband;--here we shudder, but we recover ourselves;
we are convinced that he could not have been a book-collector, or she
had not dared such a deed. Then we puzzle ourselves about her unseen
motives for selling the books. Had she gambled? Had she bet on the
losing horse at the Derby? Had she bought an expensive bonnet? Or was it
the impulse of some strong benevolent purpose? Why _did_ she sell those
books? Since she did thus part with them, we thank her, and are content
that by very strange combinations of circumstances, blending the visible
and invisible together, those books, viewless in her library, are now
apparent in our own.

Here is another volume which has also something mystical about it in its
visible and invisible effect. It is a copy of Dibdin's "Bibliomania,"
which belonged to Dawson Turner. A note in his handwriting states that
the tools required for the binding were used exclusively for Lord
Spencer, and that a view of Strawberry Hill will be found on its edges.
Gilt edges, however, are all that meet the eye; but turned by a skilful
hand to the right light, the gilding vanishes, and a picture of
Strawberry Hill appears, painted with velvety softness. Such a nice
bibliomaniacal fancy must have delighted Dibdin; and as he was at one
time librarian at Althorpe, he doubtless was the medium of bestowing
this charm upon the binding of his own work for his friend.

The invisible in libraries has ever seemed to us linked with those who
have written or read the books. If souls are allowed to return to their
earthly haunts, a library would surely be the place to meet them. For
this reason we have cherished a firm belief in the apparition which the
distinguished librarian of the Astor Library beheld, and never desire to
hear any commonplace explanations concerning it; and on visiting the
Astor collection, we were more desirous to see the spot where the
reading phantom appeared than all the rest of the building. Who shall
say that authors and students do not come back to the books which
contain their invisible souls, or spirits like themselves? Without
venturing to invoke the sceptred sovereigns of literature, or to call up
the shades of the prophets and sibyls of elder time, yet at midnight
what a circle might come forth and visit the library! Scott and Burns
and Byron, Burke and Fox and Sheridan, all in one evening; clever,
pretty Mrs. Thrale comes bringing Fanny Burney to meet Jane Austen and
Maria Edgeworth; Horace Walpole, patronizing Gray, Rogers, Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Keats, and Charles Lamb,--what a social club that would be!
Ah, the librarian of the Astor is more fortunate than we; these spirits
are all invisible, and we catch not even at midnight the rustle of the
leaf they turn or the passing murmur of their voices. Yet within the
library, ever ready to meet us, their souls still linger; and when we
open the visible book which enshrines it, we find the hidden spirit.

A number of gentlemen once went together to a friend's house. While they
awaited his entrance, one of the party, being a lover of books,
naturally turned to the shelves of the library. Without any particular
attraction to the title, he chanced to take down one of the volumes. As
he opened it, a sealed letter fell from between the leaves on the floor.
He took it up, and, to his no small astonishment, perceived that it was
addressed to himself.

He called the attention of his companions to this strange circumstance.
As it could be no breach of decorum to break the seal of a letter
addressed to one's self, he did so. The surprise was increased by
finding a bank-note within. The letter came from a well-known gentleman,
and bore the date of a year past. When the owner of the house entered,
he found his guests in quite a tumult of surprise and puzzle. At first
he was quite as much at a loss as themselves to account for this
discovery. It was, however, remembered by the gentleman to whom the
letter was addressed, that about a year before he had applied to the
writer for aid in some charity, but, having many demands of the same
kind to supply, he declined. Afterwards, as it appeared, he regretted
having done so, and had accordingly inclosed the money. Probably, soon
after, he met the gentleman in whose book it was found, (with whom he
was on intimate terms,) and asked him to give the letter as addressed.
The receiver brought it home, laid it on his table, and forgot it. The
book lying open, it may be that the letter slipped between the leaves
and the volume was returned to the shelf. And there it had waited for
more than a year, holding the invisible letter quite safe, until the
person to whom it was addressed took down, for the first time in his
life, a volume from those shelves, and received into his own hand the
communication intended for him. No one can wonder that the invisible in
libraries has a strong hold on the faith of our friend.

Although few may be so fortunate as to find bank-notes in letters
addressed to themselves between the leaves of books in libraries, yet
we all have felt the sensation of discoverers of hidden treasures. After
carelessly looking at a volume which has stood on the shelves for years,
we open it and find within thoughts which appeal to our deepest
experiences, high incentives to our nobler energies, deep sympathy in
our sorrows, sustaining words to help us on with our life-work. How
differently do we ever after regard the visible of that book! The
invisible has been revealed to us, and we almost wonder whether, if we
had looked into it two or three years before, we should have found there
what now we prize so much. Perhaps not; for after different experiences
in life come different revelations from books. The pages which a few
years ago we might have glanced over with indifference now speak to us
as if uttering the emotions of our own souls.

Sometimes it is a work of fiction which, we open for the first time, the
title of which has been familiar to our eyes. Out of it invisible
spirits walk. We are introduced to charming people who never existed,
and yet who become our daily companions. We go with them through many
trials, we rejoice with them, we know all their secrets, and share with
them many of our own. Is it possible, that, shut up between those
covers, long unknown, all these existed which have since made life
brighter and better to us?

In Sterling's "Onyx Ring," Walsingham, the poet, takes down a volume
from Sir Charles Harcourt's library, and reads a charming romance,
apparently from its pages. A lady of the company afterwards turned to
the same book, which proved to be a work of Jeremy Bentham's, and
searched in vain for the graceful narrative. Walsingham smiled at her
perplexity, and said, "Those only find who know where to look."

The invisible world of thought, and the invisible representation of it
in books, have known many changes since Cicero looked at the volume
which Marcus Varro had illustrated; and from an earlier civilization
than Cicero's comes the exclamation of the soul-wearied Job, "Oh that
mine adversary had written a book!" Solomon also exclaims, "Of making
many books there is no end." He dreamed not of the extent to which the
manufacture would be carried in these days. On the other hand, how
little we know of the literary world existing in the days of Job or
Solomon! and may we not be led by these exclamations to suspect not only
a large supply of books, but even the existence of an Arabian Review or
a Dead-Sea Magazine?

The increase of wealth, and the restless activity of intellect in the
new world which surrounds us, lead naturally to the accumulation of
libraries, both public and private. In our daily walks we often pass
dwellings which we know hold literary treasures. Sometimes the beauties
of Nature can be combined with those of Art, even in a city, around the
library. We recall one from the windows of which we look forth, not on
crowded streets, but on the wide river as it bends to the sea. Behind
the distant hills the heavens are resplendent with the autumnal hues of
sunset, the water is aglow with reflected glories, while swooping and
sailing over the waves come the white sea-gulls. It is a leaf from the
illuminated prayer-missal for all eyes and hearts. The literary
treasures of that friend's library have been elsewhere described, some
of them gifts from wise men, earnest women, world-worshipped poets,
bearing on their leaves the signatures of their authors' friendship.
Other treasures are there, visible and invisible, among which we would
fain linger, but we must pass on. We enter another library, once filled
with rare and costly works, which taught of the wonderful structure of
plants, from the hyssop on the wall to the cedar of Lebanon. Gone now
are these volumes, and vanished, too, is their collector, whose wide and
generous culture was veiled by the curtain of modesty and quietness. His
collections he bestowed upon a public institution, where the wonders of
God's universe will be a subject of study for all coming time. These he
gave, and then went peacefully away from our sight to learn yet wider
and grander lessons at the feet of that Teacher who, when he was on
earth, bade his followers "consider the lilies of the field." Is not
that library as real to us as when the books filled its shelves, and we
were welcomed by the gentle voice of its master?

The crowds which form the living stream that surges through Washington
Street and eddies around the Old South Church seldom, perhaps, pause to
think of that edifice as one of the links uniting the memorable past of
our country's history with the momentous present. Still less do they who
raise their eyes to the tower to learn the hour of the day imagine that
there is an invisible library connected with the familiar form of the
belfry. Yet a romance of literary and historic interest encircles it. At
the time of the Revolution, Dr. Prince was pastor of the Old South
Church, and in the tower he kept his historical treasures along with the
New England Library. Among these volumes were Governor Bradford's
letter-book and the manuscript of his "History of the Plantation of
Plymouth." During the siege of Boston, the British turned the Old South
into a riding-school, and the troopers had free scope to do what
mischief they pleased. After the evacuation of the town the library was
found in a disordered condition, and the valued manuscripts of Bradford
were missing. Some time after, a person observed that the article he had
bought from a grocer in Halifax was wrapped in paper written over in a
peculiar hand. He deciphered enough to make him earnest to obtain what
remained of the manuscript in the grocer's possession. It proved to be
fragments of the missing letter-book of Governor Bradford. Years passed
on until 1856, when the attention of an historical writer was attracted
by a quotation, in a note to an English work, from "a manuscript history
of the Plantation of Plymouth, in the Fulham Library." As the extract
contained passages not found in any part of that history known in
America, it immediately occurred to those interested that this might be
the missing volume from the Prince Library. A correspondence was
thereupon opened with the Bishop of London. The handwriting of Bradford
being authenticated, as well as that of Dr. Prince, which was found in a
memorandum, dated "June 28th, showing how he obtained it from Major John
Bradford," there could no longer remain a doubt that this was indeed the
lost historical treasure. Part of the manuscripts of Bradford had been
carried by the British soldiers to Halifax, and sold at last as
waste-paper to a grocer; and the rest, after some history unknown,
reached England and found protection under the care of the Bishop of
London. A copy of this manuscript is now in the possession of the Boston
Historical Society.

In the rooms of that society is preserved the Dowse Library. A rare
collection of books, formed by a man daily engaged in the mechanic craft
of a leather-dresser, is a singular illustration of the visible and
invisible of libraries. We recall past days in Cambridge, when, beneath
the sign of a white wooden sheep, we entered the unpretending house
which contained not only the leather-dresser's shop, but a small gallery
of pictures and this valuable library. We remember, also, with grateful
interest, the modest, but manly, welcome of the master of both the
mechanic craft and the treasures of art and literature, and how quietly
he would give us a few words about his books. The Dowse Library we visit
is always _there_, and although much is visible in the beautiful room
where the bequest of the owner has been fittingly enshrined, yet its
distinctive charm is invisible.

The City Library of Boston has one feature entirely new in the visible
of a great public collection. A large portion of the books, under
certain regulations, are circulated among the inhabitants of the city,
and thousands avail themselves of this privilege. Here, then, is opened
a great fountain of knowledge in the midst of a wide population: all may
come, without money and without price. The visible pages of learning,
wisdom, science, truth, imagination, ingenious theory, or deep
conviction lie open not only to the eyes, but to the hearts and homes of
a great people. It is like the overflowing Nile, carrying sweet waters
to irrigate many waste places, and clothing the dry dust of common life
with the flowers, the fruit, and the sustaining grain, springing from
invisible seeds cast by unseen hands into the wide field of the world.

"If," says Lord Bacon, "the invention of ships was thought so noble,
which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, how much more
are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through the vast seas
of time, and make ages so distant to participate of the wisdom,
illuminations, and inventions, the one of the other!"

     NOTE.--Since these pages were written, one who knew how to
     prize the visible and invisible of books has passed away. The
     silent library of George Livermore speaks eloquently of him.
     That collection, gathered with a love which increased as years
     advanced, includes ancient copies of the Bible of rarest
     values. His life was a book, written over with good deeds and
     pure thoughts, illuminated by holy aspirations. That volume is
     closed, but the spirit which rendered it precious is not
     withdrawn; living in many hearts, it will continue to be a
     cherished presence in the world, the home, and the library.


You know, dear M., it is said that in times of bankruptcy men go home to
get acquainted with their wives; perhaps it should be added that wives
then go to get introduced to their kitchens. But your sensible letter is
an omen, little friend, that to you and H. this does not apply. You will
not wait for poverty to teach you economy, but will learn economy to
ward off poverty. So herewith I send a few of the culinary notes of the
last two years; but neither of us is to be taken for a bankrupt's wife,
for all that. It is simply recognizing that you are alone in new duties,
and that cookery is an art which may not be gained even from that
fountain of knowledge, named by the Apostle Paul as one's husband. The
successes of the art no one knows better than he; but of the processes
he will be found sublimely ignorant. There are but two points in which
you can defer to him,--punch and lobster-salad. These, like swearing and
smoking, are strictly masculine accomplishments.

If you had the thrifty maiden aunt kept in reserve by most families for
an emergency, you would kindly offer her a home at your house for a
while. But since you have not, I will be as disagreeable to you as she.
So turn your glowing Spanish eyes toward me, instead of looking demurely
about, as people do when they are having old letters read to them.

Byron said he hated to see a woman eat; and there is a class of
housekeepers who certainly return the compliment upon men. These
ethereal beings are forever sighing for life with appetite left out.
Like Lord Dundreary's lady-love, they are "_so_ delicate," unless caught
in the pantry hastily devouring onions and beefsteak. To be hungry is so
vulgar! One should live by nothing grosser than inhalation, and should
never have an appetite greater than that of a healthy bumble-bee. But,
thanks to the robust, latter-day theory, that the best saints have the
best bodies, this puerile class is diminishing. For who can doubt that
the senses are entitled to their full blossom? Gustation was meant to be
delightful; and cooking is certainly half as good as tasting. At times
one may have longed for the old Roman custom of two meals a day, and
going to bed at chicken-time, bringing the hour of roast near the hour
of roost; but this was probably in families where there were three
repasts, with lunch all the way between, and an incessant buying of
cookies from the baker, lest the children should go hungry. After this
surfeit one pardons a recoil. Or, in an enervating day of July, one may
have longed to dine upon humming-bird, with rose-leaves for dessert. But
these are exceptional times; the abiding hope is, that we shall continue
to eat, drink, and be merry. For the practical is in the imperative. It
is cumulative, and reinforces itself,--a real John Brown power that is
always marching on, and we must march beside it with patient, cheery
hearts. Is it strange that even the moss-covered Carlisle town, of which
the Last Minstrel sang, and where the Scottish Mary tarried in her
flight from the cousin queen, is now chiefly remarkable for its
cotton-factory and biscuit-bakery?

Indeed, the enthusiasm over biscuits has its place, as well as that over
books; and it is not always that there is as much genuine joy in a novel
as one may get out of bread-making. This is quite too scientific and
interesting to be left to a domestic. It is really among the most
exciting experiments. Try it every week for two years, and it seems just
as new an enterprise as at the beginning,--but a thousand times more
successful, we observe. Working up the light drifts of flour, leaving
them at night a heavy pat and nothing more,--waking to find a dish
flowing-full of snowy foam. The first thing on rising one's self is, to
see if the dough be risen, too; and that is always sure to be early, for
every batch of bread sets an alarm in one's brain. After breakfast one
will be as expectant as if going to a ball in lieu of a baking. Then to
see the difference a little more or less flour will make, and out of
what quantity comes perfection! To feminine vision, more precious than
"apples of gold in pictures of silver" are loaves of bread in dishes of
tin. If one were ever penurious, might it not be of these handsome
loaves of hers? The little housewife will be very gentle to the
persecuted man of Scripture who was so reluctant to get up at midnight
and give away his bread. She will even be charitable to the stingy
merchant scorned by Saadi, of whom it was written, that, "if, instead of
his loaf of bread, the orb of the sun had been in his wallet, nobody had
seen daylight in the world till the Day of Judgment."

Dr. Kane says, he knows how bread can be raised in three hours without
salt, saleratus, or shortening,--knows, but sha'n't tell. This must be
another mystery of the Arctic regions. Certainly that bread could not
have been raised in the sun. But how one quantity was managed the Doctor
is free to say. He kneaded a whole barrel of flour in a pickled-cabbage
cask, and baked it at once by firing several volumes of the "Penny
Cyclopædia of Useful Knowledge."

After compliments, however, to come in with the cash down of the
practical, here is a veritable bread-making recipe, well-tested and
voted superior. Take a quart of milk; heat one third and scald with it a
half-pint of flour; if skimmed milk, use a small piece of butter. When
the batter is cool, add the remainder of the milk, a teacup of
hop-yeast, a half-tablespoon of salt, with flour to make it quite stiff.
Knead it on the board till it is very fine and smooth; raise over night.
It will make two small loaves and a half-dozen biscuits.

This recipe ought to give good bread week in and week out, so saving you
from the frequent calamity of soda-biscuits. These may be used for
dumplings, or as a sudden extempore, but do not let them be habitual.
True, you will occasionally meet people who say that they can eat these,
when raised ones are fatal. But some persons find cheese good for
dyspepsia, many advocate ice-cream, others can eat only beans, while
some are cured by popped corn. Yet these articles are not likely to
become staples of diet. They would hardly answer a normal appetite; and
any stomach that can steadily withstand the searchingness of soda and
tartaric acid seems ready to go out to pasture and eat the fences.
Chemists will say, if bread must be improvised, use soda and muriatic
acid. These combined in precise proportions are supposed to evaporate in
the baking, and leave common salt. But this acid is such furious stuff!
It will come to you from the druggists in a bottle marked "Poison," and
it is not pleasant to put into one's mouth a substance that will burn a
hole in her apron. It is too much of the Roland for an Oliver,--You eat
me and I will eat you. For it is quite difficult to perfectly combine
the acid and alkali, and then the bread is streaked with muriatic fire;
then one might easily take into the system a thousand streaks a year,
and then one would become a fire-eater.

But probably the greatest of all bread wonders are the unleavened Graham
cakes. These are worth a special mail and large postage to tell of. I
was about to beg that you surprise H. with them at your next breakfast.
But no, he won't like them; besides, according to the theory of "Woman
and her Era," they're a deal too good for men, they are fit only for
women and angels. So just salt and scald some Graham meal into a dough
as soft as can be and be handled. Roll it an inch thick, cutting in
diamonds, which place on a tin sheet and thrust into the hottest of
ovens. (Note this last direction, or the diamonds will be flat leather.)
Strange to say, they will rise, and keep rising, till in ten minutes you
take them out quite puffed. One would never guess them innocent of
yeast. An inch thick is the rule; but there is nothing like an
adventurous courage. It is at once suggested, if they are so good at an
inch, will they not be twice as good at two inches. And certainly they
are. The meal will not be outwitted. It is the liveliest and most
buoyant material. Its lightness keeps up with the utmost experiment.
Finally, it may be turned into a massive loaf, and with a brisk heat it
will refuse to be depressed.

The morning when were produced these charming little miracles remains a
red-letter day in our household. Who ever tasted anything, save a nut,
half so sweet, or who ever anything so pure? We ate, lingered, and
revelled in them, thus becoming epicures at once. It seemed as if all
our lives we had been seeking something really _recherché_, and had just
found it. They were as great a revelation to the palate as Bettine or
Thoreau might be to the mind. Now all was _couleur de rose_. Here was
found, if not the philosopher's stone, the philosopher's bread, that
should turn everything into health. Henceforth the strong heroes
celebrated by Emerson, who "at rich men's tables eat but bread and
pulse," might sit at ours, arising refreshed and glorified. And was not
this also coming very near Nature? but two removes from the field, wheat
cracked, then ground. (I have since come a degree nearer on cracked
wheat at a water-cure!) It sounded altogether wholesome and primitive. I
hastened with a sample to my best friend. She, too, tasted, exulted, and
passed on the tidings to others. Now, indeed, was the golden age in
dawn. Already we saw a community purified and rejuvenated. Before our
philosopher-cakes sin and bad blood would disappear, and already the
crowns of grateful generations were pressing on our brows. But something
went wrong with all the cooks. Either they didn't scald the meal or they
didn't heat the oven,--what in one hand was light beaten gold in another
became lead. For a while it seemed that I could not go to my friend's
without meeting some one who cast scorn on our reformation cakes. All
tried them and failed; so sin remains in the world.

But now hope plumes itself anew. You at least will attempt the little
wheatens. You have a deft hand, and will succeed. The buoyancy of the
meal revives in my blood. Now the world rights itself again, and once
more we are all bounding sunward.

But to be honest. For a few weeks I and the radical cakes were as
satisfied as young lovers, but soon came temptations to progress from
the primitive,--first to add a little sugar. But I vetoed as resolutely
as Andrew Jackson himself, thus putting up the bars between the
wheat-field and cane-field, or probably by this time I should have been
pouring in spice, eggs, and milk, and at last should have committed the
crime of doing just as other people do.

If you would confess it, you have probably found in your new
captain-general a susceptibility not only to your charms, but to those
of good cooking. Always count these among the young wife's fascinations.
Remember how Miss Bremer's Fannie, of "The Neighbors," in a matrimonial
quarrel with her Bear, conquered him with fresh-baked patties aimed at
his mouth. But be not too conciliatory,--especially towards coffee. If
you could be hard-hearted enough to win H. from this bilious beverage,
would it not be worth the perils? Entertain him for a few mornings so
brilliantly that he won't know what he is drinking, then----But I'll
tell you how we will cheat him admirably; and it isn't very cruel
either, for merely to gratify the taste make-believes are as good as
realities. First, every one knows Taraxacum or dandelion; invalids know
crust-coffee, and many with indignation know burnt peas. Also Miss
Beecher, whose estimable cook-book you certainly must get, mentions that
ochra seeds or gumbo cannot be told from Java; an army correspondent has
since reported coffee made at the South from oker seeds, doubtless the
same; another found in use the sweet potato, roasted, and flavored with
coffee; while a friend has just described the most enticing beverage
made from chickory,--the root being stripped and dried under the stove.
This is said to be so rich that sometimes it has to be diluted with a
trifle of coffee. And still further, there is simple rye, which is
cheaper found than either. Jeff. Davis drank it for four years and wrote
all _her_ grand proclamations out of it. But probably the wholesomer
article is wheat coffee. I have lately prepared some by boiling a cup of
well-scorched wheat-bran in a pint of water; and although I don't quite
know how good coffee tastes, no doubt this was very like the true Java.
It poured clear and rich as wine. Now try this in full strength with
your spouse, being very witty when he drinks. And as the mornings pass,
oh, weaken it more and more. That is, cheat him pleasantly at first,
then worse and worse, till he is glad to take milk or pure water with
you. Conspiracies are usually contemptible; but this is one of the very
"best water," you see.

Perhaps we who never drink coffee can hardly understand the affection
its votaries have for it. To their minds, water seems to be given only
for steeping that delicious mud. Said one extravagant Madame Follet,
"When I see a coffee-pot, 'tis exactly the same as if I saw an angel
from heaven." And the Biloxi people, whom General Butler surprised of a
morning, were found to be in a very tragic state. One boy exclaimed,
"Oh, give me just a handful of coffee, master, an' I'll give you
'lasses, sugar, anything!" while a strong man ejaculated, "My God, we're
short of everything! I haven't tasted tea or coffee for four
months!"--as grievous as if he hadn't seen a human face for a year.
According to the "Herald" correspondent, the chief reason that the South
rejoices in peace is that "Now we'll be able to get some real
coffee!"--perhaps, he adds, in the next breath inquiring, "What are you
going to do with our niggers?"

No, we could not, with Ward Beecher, "bless the man who discovered the
immortal berry." Nor could we, with De Quincey, apostrophize to a
certain other excitant, "O just, subtle, and mighty opium! thou boldest
the keys of Paradise!" Yet one must concede the possible uses of a
stimulant. Coffee has been priceless to our army, on its cold, wet
marches; and benedictions should be ordered in the churches, if need be,
to the man who made it into that wondrous pemmican, so that the coffee
of a regiment may be carried in a few tin cans. Then, too, it seems good
for men who go driving up and down the world on stage-coaches and
locomotives; but for stay-at-home, counting-house mortals, is it not a
mere delicious superfluity? Quite as much of one as a cigar, I think.

But henceforth, when Rio is high, drink rye. If one must have either,
better the simulant than the stimulant.

Among other things, you have doubtless discovered that one admirable
breakfast dish is eggs. If you serve them in the shell, it is quite
worth while to follow the English way, keeping them close covered for
ten minutes in very hot water without boiling. The yolks are thus left
running, and the whites are beautifully jellied. These are convenient to
get when relations arrive at night, and there is no meat in the house.
Relations always expect meat for breakfast.

In fact, it is just at this point that one's genius is to come in,--when
a nice meal must be gotten at short notice, and the larder is empty.
None but the woman of resources can do it; and she knows her realm is as
full of strategies as was ever the Department of the Potomac. Under her
hand, when there was supposed to be nothing for breakfast, I have seen
bits of meat snatched from cold soup, and wrought up into the most
savory morsels,--one would never guess that the goodness was all boiled
out of them; while a cup of yesterday's griddle-cake batter went
suddenly into the oven, and came out a breakfast-cake finer than

One who had the knack of the heroine Fleda, in "Queechy," would be
friendly to omelets, and tell of them too. But you must be self-reliant,
and put them on the list of experiments. It will probably be some time
before you come to that refinement of egg-eating which Mrs. Stowe found
at the mansion of the Duke of Sutherland, where she was honored with
lunch. Her sylvan spirit was somewhat startled, when a servant brought
five little speckled plover eggs, all lying in the nest just as taken
from the tree. How they were cooked is unknown; but one would certainly
need a recipe to eat them by.

But an American woman can outdo the Duchess of Sutherland. She will find
an egg daintier than the plover's, and not stir from her own door; for
awhile since, some one, fumbling among the secrets of Nature,
discovered, not that stones were sermons, but that snow was eggs, and
straight made a cook-book to tell it, as we will do on discovering that
rain is milk. Of course all things have their limitations; and these new
eggs are not just the article for custards, will not do to poach for
breakfast, or would hardly keep in brine; but they may be used in any
compound that requires lightness without richness. Even our grandmothers
made snow pancakes; but, in the present age, to be distinguished is to
be venturesome, and in this experiment one need not stop short of
veritable loaf-cake. The volatile element in snow makes two table-spoons
of it equal to one egg; therefore to a small loaf I should allow ten
table-spoons. Cooks always put in as many eggs as they can afford, you

Thus, when snow falls every day for four months, as it does in New
England, eggs get exceedingly cheap in the prudent household. Then one
can smile to think how she circumvents the grocer, and pray the clouds
to lay a good nestful every week.

A friend the other day improvised a list of edibles headed, "Poisonous
_P_s,"--pastry, pickles, pork, and preserves. She was pleased to leave
out puddings, and hereto we shall say, Amen. Not that one is to indorse
such odiously rich ones as cocoa-nut, suet, and English plum; but,
bating these, there are enough both nice and wholesome to change the
dessert every day for a fortnight, at least. At another time I may give
you some recipes, with various items by this writing omitted.

Pastry the physiologists have been shaking their heads about for some
time,--especially as many persons use soda with the lard, not being
aware that they are making soft soap. This sort of paste one often sees
in the country. But it is easy to omit the soap. On the next
bread-making day, simply reserve a piece of the well-raised dough, and
roll in butter. This gives a palatable and harmless crust. I have also
experimented with a shortening of hot, fine-mashed potato and milk,
which, if it may not be recommended to an epicure, is really better than
it sounds, And does it not sound better than Dr. Trall's proposal of
sweet oil? Will not some of these ways satisfy our ardent reformers and
physiologists? But about chicken-pie, remember the tradition, that,
unless the top crust is punctured, it will make one very ill. (Who knows
but this was the secret of the National Hotel sickness?) At least, it is
truer than some other traditions, such as that eating burnt crusts will
make the cheeks red, or that fried turnip will make the hair curl.

Pickles do not seem so good that they must be eaten, nor so bad that
they must not be. But with them comes evermore the vision that Trollope
has prepared of all our smart little five-year-old men and women perched
at hotel-tables, pale-faced and sedate, with waiters behind their
chairs, and ordering chowders and chops with an inevitable "Please don't
forget the pickles."

Preserves, aside from the recent luxury of canned fruit, have the
happiest substitutes, if we will take what the seasons bring to our
hands. Not a month in the year is left wholly barren of these relishes
for the tea-table. There are berries all the summer, apples and
cranberries in the winter, when, just as the last russet disappears, and
with it every one's appetite, up springs the pungent and luxuriant
rhubarb. Somewhat curious is it concerning this last article. Forty
years ago it was such a pure experiment in England, that a Mr. Myatt,
who took seven bundles of it to London, succeeded in selling but three.
Still he persisted in keeping it before the people, although he seemed
only to lose rhubarb and to gain ridicule, being designated as the man
who sold "physic pies."

And besides our own zone, with its fruits fresh or dried, there are the
abounding tropics always at the door: Pine-apples, which, if
unwholesome, are yet charmingly convenient to help a luckless
housekeeper, and which, by the way, made a better _entrée_ in London
than pie-plant, being so popular that their salesmen floated flags from
the top of their stalls; bananas, those foreign muskmelons of spring;
oranges, gilding every street-corner; dates, which do not go meanly with
bread and butter, though one is a little fearful of finding a whole
straw bed therein; and prunes, which, if soaked several hours and stewed
slowly, are luscious enough for a prince.

But pork it appears to be the common impression that man cannot do
without. Certainly he must have partaken somewhat of its nature to make
him so greedy; and there would seem to be animals enough on land and
sea, without devouring the swine. If pork be important anywhere, it is
so in the old Puritan dish of baked beans; yet those who have tasted
baked beans prepared with fine rich beef instead have voted them quite
sumptuous, and possibly rich enough for people who live at restaurants.
But so long as fish, bird, and fowl remain, and men even eat turtles and
frogs,--so long as sheep do not die of wolves, nor cattle of the county
commissioners,--may not the pig be left to his wallowing in the mire?

Thus much for the poisonous _p_s. We do not place among them that
popular plant, the potato, though it has the blood of the nightshade in
its veins. But these may be made moderately poisonous by putting them
into soup. Once taste clear potato-water, and you will not aspire to
drink a strong broth from it. And even potatoes one may eat at a dozen
tables, and not find nicely served at any. With domestics generally they
figure as the article that in cooking takes care of itself,--the
convenient vegetable, that may be thrown into the kettle, and taken up
when nothing else needs to be. In the end they are either half done and
hard, or when done, being left soaking, are watery and soggy; whereas
they should be pared, kept boiling in salted water till they break, then
drained and shaken over the coals till powdery dry. They need tossing
up with as light a hand as an omelet, you see. If they are not of the
nicest variety, they should be mashed with milk, butter, and salt, and
placed in the oven to brown. This is a kind of medication which usually
makes the poorest article quite palatable, and is resorted to in the
early summer, when potatoes are become decidedly an "aged _p_." I was
once amused to hear a man complaining of a certain potato, because it
was "too dry." It is doubtful what he would do in Maine, the land of the
famous Jackson whites, which boil to a creamy powder. One must be
grateful that our Massachusetts Dovers cannot be dampened by this
original potato-taster. He probably would like juicy potatoes and mealy

But of course none can have studied diet and its varied effects on
various persons, without seeing it to be impossible to make up two lists
of dishes, one of which shall be voted hurtful and the other harmless.
Nor does the healthfulness of food seem to consist wholly in its
simplicity, according to old Grahamite theories. There is probably some
truth in the saying of Hippocrates, "Whatever pleases the palate
nourishes"; but one cannot fail to recognize the wisdom of M. Soyer,
that prince of the _cuisine_, who maintains that the digestibility of
food depends, not on the number of articles used in its manufacture, but
in their proper combination. Says M. Soyer, "I would wager that I could
give a first-class indigestion to the greatest _gourmet_, even while
using the most _recherché_ provisions, without his being able to detect
any fault in the preparation of the dishes of which he had
partaken,--and this simply by improperly classifying the condiments used
in the preparation." This gives a hint of the nicety of the culinary
art, the genius required to practise it, and the fine physical effects
that hinge upon it. It is no wonder that Vatel committed suicide before
the great banquet which he had prepared for his master, the Prince of
Condé, because he feared it was to fail. It is certainly enough to alarm
ordinary amateurs,--and such are the most of us; for, while Americans
place all due stress upon the table, they neglect to emphasize the
_cuisine_. Instead of this _nonchalance_, we have yet to discover that
cookery belongs to the fine arts; that it is exhaustive alike of
chemistry and physiology, and touches upon laws as sure as those which
mingle the atmospheric elements, hourly adjusting them to man's nicest
needs. And we should count it among the best of the progressive plans of
our country, if to the new Industrial College under subscription at
Worcester were to be added an elaborate culinary department, with the
most accomplished professor that could be obtained. Perhaps, as M. Soyer
was philanthropic enough to go to the Crimea, and teach the English to
make hospital soup, he would even come here and give our nation a
glimpse of those marvellous morsels that have made Paris the envy of
epicures the world over.

And if there is a proper harmony to be attained in the combining of
various ingredients, making every perfect dish a poem, there is no less
harmony in combining the various dishes for a repast, making a poem in
every perfect meal. For every leading dish has its kindred and
antagonistic ones: as, at dinner, one would not serve cauliflower with
fricasseed chicken, nor turnips with boiled salmon, nor, at tea,
currants with cream-toast, nor currants with custard. But this is
something that cannot be fully taught or learned. It is almost wholly at
the mercy of one's instinct, and may be ruled by a tact as delicate as
that which conducts a drawing-room.

But we are quite curious to learn, M., if your excellent companion has
yet been away from home so long that you have had to go to market. And
can you wisely discern roasts, steaks, and fowl? Says one, "The way to
select fowl is first to select your butcher"; and away he swings out of
intelligence and responsibility with a magnificent air. A lady friend
has this charming fashion of frankness: "Now, Mr. ----, I don't know one
piece of meat from another, and shall expect you to give me the best";
thus throwing herself directly on her faith and fascinations. But these
might grow jejune, nor is it safe to trust the tender mercies of a
butcher. Better know what you want, and know if you get it. Therefore
you will study the anatomy of animals, as laid down in all modern
cook-books. But really it is a little perplexing. I confess I am near
concluding that every beef creature is a special creation; for one never
finds the same joint twice, and apparently the only things common to all
are tongue and liver.

Not long since, having a discussion at the market with an elderly
gentleman, he said something pleasant which must be written for the
husband of a young housekeeper. We agreed that a rump steak was of more
uniform richness than a sirloin, the best of the latter being only that
luscious strip underlying the bone. "But," added the kindly man, "I
always buy the sirloin, because I give that juicy scrap to my wife." It
is worth while, M., to be wedded to the thoughtful heart, who, after
forty years, yet wills to give one the single choice bit from the table.

Aside from the ordinary beef-routine, there is another dish which is
usually popular. Select a cheap, lean piece of beef, weighing two or
three pounds, put it on the stove in cold water soon after breakfast,
boiling gently. Half an hour before dinner add a small onion, a sliced
parsnip and carrot, a few bits of turnip, and a half-dozen dumplings.
When these are done, remove them; season and thicken, serving a dumpling
with meat and vegetables to each plate of stew. This may be rather
plebeian, but is certainly palatable,--unless there be choice company to
dine. We might call it Rainy-Day Stew.

But the toothsome time for beef-eaters was undoubtedly in the days of
pleuro-pneumonia. Then the frightened public fled from beef as from the
plague, and all the best cuts were left for the bold. One was tempted to
pray that such pleuro might last for the season, save that the
Commissioners were so costly, and the dear cattle were having an
unusually sanguinary Bull Run. I know what our vegetarian friend, Mr.
Alcott, will say; but he must indulge me in a very small mania, even if
it seem to him a kind of cannibalism; therefore, whatever rhapsodies are
left from bread and potato, let them all be given to good beef. While
the quarrel of round, rump, and sirloin goes on, this let us buy and eat
and reinforce ourselves. In it are poems, powers, and possessions
ineffable. Twenty-five cents a pound, and the strength of the gods in
one's veins! Broil it carefully and rare, then go and toss quoits with
Hercules. In this, ye disconsolate, behold lands, lovers, and virtues in
plenty. It fills and steadies the pulse, and plants the planet plump
under one's feet. "My friend, is he who makes me do what I can," says
the sage. Only beefsteak can come to the rescue. If one were going to a
martyr's fire, of this should he eat, lest he die, not sublimely, with a
fainting body. He would try this steak, and then that stake.

But there is one event that comes alike to all, and that is a holiday
dinner. Even the poor have their plum-pudding days, and all seem to
think that on a Christmas or Thanksgiving Nature suspends her laws and
lets one eat as much as he can. It is quite in the spirit of the
Scottish Lord Cockburn, who, ending a long walk, used to say, "We will
eat a profligate supper,--a supper without regard to discretion or
digestion." Or after the theory of one who ate whatever he pleased,
whenever he pleased, and as much as he pleased, saying, "Oh, if it makes
me sick, I can take medicine. What are the doctors for, if 'tisn't to
cure people?" He did not know how small hope can be gotten from the
doctors, and how those who know best get more and more courage to travel
into places where they are not. There must have been a poor chance for
the Egyptians, who, Herodotus says, had a physician for each part of the
body; so that the human frame would seem to have been a sort of
university, and each of the organs a vacant professorship. In case of
malady, every officer worked away on his own member without regard to
what his medical neighbors were doing. Michelet mentions a fish that has
the power of multiplying stomachs to the number of one hundred and
twenty. Fortunately that power is not man's. Think of dyspepsia with a
hundred and twenty stomachs, and a different doctor for each!

Do not imagine this a plea for the transcendental diet that drove Sydney
Smith to that pathetic sigh, "Ah, I wish they would allow me even the
wing of a roasted butterfly!" But perhaps it would not be amiss to
conjure up a terror-demon from these bodies of ours, so that we should
fear to violate laws with such merciless penalties,--should have none
but well-cooked food, at sensible and systematic hours. Is it strange
that little Miss Bremer, who thought herself of soundest digestion,
after three months of American night-dinners with oysters and preserve,
is at last seen to grasp Dr. Osgood with both hands, exclaiming, in
tears, "Oh, help me!" I want to save you from resembling the great
people of the world after the manner of Dr. Beattie, whose title to
genius was, "Have I not headaches like Pope, vertigo like Swift, gray
hairs like Homer? Do I not wear large shoes for fear of corns like
Virgil, and sometimes complain of sore eyes like Horace?"

Therefore I hope that your H. will make the counting-room conform to
regular mid-day dinner and early tea-time. And let us trust that it will
not have the same fatal result as with King Louis XII., who is said to
have died earlier from changing his dinner-hour in compliment to his
foreign bride.

One can hardly think of late suppers without turning quite away to those
ideal tea-takings of the Wordsworths at Grasmere. "Plain living and high
thinking," was the motto of the philosopher-poet, and that table was
never crowded with viands. One can well believe, that, as De Quincey
said, in the quiet walks after tea the face of the poet "grew solemn and
spiritual as any saint's." But he probably was thinking very high when
he drew a knife from the buttered toast and cut the leaves of a new book
just lent to him!

Quite sombre are the memories of Rydal Mount; but since we are really
alive, let us be lively. Behold me, then, dear M., well turbaned and
aproned, and know that this is our churning-day. You give one of your
gleeful little shrieks, perhaps; but yes, it is true; we live in the
city, take a pint of milk per day, and make butter.

And where is the churn? you suggest. Oh, I extemporize that. It is out
of the question to buy every convenient thing, or purse will run dry and
house overflow. Dr. Kane hints how few dishes it is possible to use; and
the plan is admirable; so one need not buy a churn, but make one out of
a bowl and spoon. Into the bowl goes the cream, into the cream the
spoon, and then I beat, beat, beat, not as one who beateth the air. This
often lasts for two hours or more; it might be said that the cream
remains in chrysalis, and refuses to butterfly! Indeed, there is no
reason why a small bowl of cream shouldn't be as refractory as a wooden
churnful. But when it "won't come," my distress is not at all
proportioned to the size of the bowl.

Still I beat, beat, beat, perspiringly, but resolutely, while it whisks
about, spattering over face, bib, and turban. At length there appear
within it greasy-looking flecks. These increase till the mass thickens,
beats solidly, separates from the milk, and declares itself butter. A
limited quantity, certainly, but I will none the less press it dry,
salt, and make it into cakes as large as a full-blown tea-rose. Each of
these I will stamp, lay on a dapper glass cup-plate, and at tea-time
several dear ones in various households will find these astonishing
little pats beside them. Think you not they are genuine love-pats?

This would be a pretty way to serve butter always, did it not remind one
of cheap hotels kept on the European plan, where those small, slushy,
yellow cakes come in with the rolls. A choicer way is to form it into
acorns or strawberries,--though I don't in the least know how it is
done,--placing them all together on a plate and serving one to each at
the table. This dainty way, however, would hardly make a bad article
good, and no one would crave a berry of ancient firkin butter. For, as
trivial a matter as it seems, this single condiment of food, one has
only to encounter it in a strong, cheesy state to feel it among the most
important things in the _cuisine_. Then one suddenly discovers that
butter is in everything. Eating becomes intolerable, living dwindles
into dyspepsia, and finally one is tempted to exclaim with a certain
epicure, "I wish I were under the sod! There's no lump butter in the

It is related of Apicius, who lived at Rome, that he ate very large
shrimps; but hearing that those of Greece were larger, he straightway
sailed for that coast without losing a day. He met a great storm and
much danger; but on arriving, the fishermen brought him of their best.
Apicius shook his head.

"Have you never any larger shrimps?"

"No, Seignior, never!"

At which, rubbing his hands with delight, he ordered the captain to sail
back at once, saying,--

"I have left some at home larger than these, and they will be spoiled,
if the wind is not in our favor."

We will not carry our dilletantism so far as this, nor let it carry us
so far; still we are glad not to be driven to the expedient of the
Syrians, whose only butter is the fat procured from the tails of their
sheep,--which is literally being reduced to extremities.

By the way, something quite remarkable occurred in my first churning. I
began with one cup of cream and ended with a cup of butter and a full
cup of buttermilk! This law of expansion is paralleled only by that of
contraction, as shown to the farmer who took a brimming pail of dinner
to the sty; and after the little pig had eaten it all, the farmer put
him into the pail, and had room for another half of a pig beside.

       *       *       *       *       *

But, dear M., it is hardly two moons since the bridal trunks were taken
from our hall, and you went away with the friend. You have scarcely been
domesticated long enough to see that bright tins bake badly, and that
one must crucify her pride by allowing them to blacken; yet so soon do I
overwhelm you with culinary suggestions. I am distressed to remember
them. But you must forgive and smile me into peacefulness again. And be
not discouraged, little housewife! It may take years of attention to
excel in bread-making, some skill even for boiling potatoes, and
common-sense for everything; but stand steadily beside your servants,
and watch their processes patiently. Take notes, experiment, amend, and
if there be failure, discover the reason; then it need not happen again.

And despite the difficulties of the practical, you and H. will not
slight the ideal. Love the work you are doing and must do; but when it
is done, oh, train the rose-vines over your door!


    Thank God for rest, where none molest,
      And none can make afraid,--
    For Peace that sits as Plenty's guest,
      Beneath the homestead shade!

    Bring pike and gun, the sword's red scourge,
      The negro's broken chains,
    And beat them at the blacksmith's forge
      To ploughshares for our plains.

    Alike henceforth our hills of snow,
      And vales where cotton flowers;
    All streams that flow, all winds that blow,
      Are Freedom's motive-powers.

    Henceforth to Labor's chivalry
      Be knightly honors paid;
    For nobler than the sword's shall be
      The sickle's accolade.

    Build up an altar to the Lord,
      O grateful hearts of ours!
    And shape it of the greenest sward
      That ever drank the showers.

    Lay all the bloom of gardens there,
      And there the orchard fruits;
    Bring golden grain from sun and air,
      From earth her goodly roots.

    There let our banners droop and flow,
      The stars uprise and fall;
    Our roll of martyrs, sad and slow,
      Let sighing breezes call.

    Their names let hands of horn and tan
      And rough-shod feet applaud,
    Who died to make the slave a man,
      And link with toil reward.

    There let the common heart keep time
      To such an anthem sung,
    As never swelled on poet's rhyme,
      Or thrilled on singer's tongue.

    Song of our burden and relief
      Of peace and long annoy;
    The passion of our mighty grief
      And our exceeding joy!

        A song of praise to Him who filled
          The harvests sown in tears,
        And gave each field a double yield
          To feed our battle-years!

        A song of faith that trusts the end
          To match the good begun,
        Nor doubts the power of Love to blend
          The hearts of men as one!



Meantime Reuben was gaining, month by month, in a knowledge of the
world,--at least of such portion of it as came within the range of his
vision in New York. He imagined it, indeed, a very large portion, and
took airs upon himself in consequence. He thought with due commiseration
of the humble people of Ashfield. He wonders how he could have tolerated
so long their simple ways. The Eagle Tavern, with its creaking
sign-board, does not loom so largely as it once did upon the horizon of
his thought. That he should ever have trembled as a lad at walking up to
the little corner bar, in company with Phil! And as for Nat Boody, whose
stories he once listened to admiringly, what a scrubby personage he has
become in his eye! Fighting-dogs, indeed! "Scamp" would be nothing to
what he has seen a score of times in the city!

He has put Phil through some of the "sights": for that great lout of a
country lad (as Reuben could not help counting him, though he liked his
big, honest heart for all that) had found him out, when he came to New
York to take ship for the West Indies.

"I say, Phil," Reuben had said, as he marched his old schoolmate up
Broadway, "it's rather a touch beyond Ashfield, this, isn't it? How do
you think Old Boody's tavern and sign-board would look along here?"

And Phil laughed, quietly.

"I should like to see old Deacon Tourtelot," continued Reuben, "with
Huldy on his arm, sloping down Broadway. Wouldn't the old people stare?"

"I guess they would," Phil said, demurely.

"I wonder if they'd knock off at sundown Saturday night," continued
Reuben, mockingly.

And his tone somehow hurt Phil, who had the memories of the old home--a
very dear one to him--fresh upon him.

"And I suppose Miss Almiry keeps at her singing?"

"Yes," said Phil, straining a point in favor of his townswoman; "and I
think she sings pretty well."

"Pretty well! By Jove, Phil, you should have been at the Old Park night
before last; you would have heard what _I_ call singing. It would have
stirred up the old folks of Ashfield."

And Phil met it all very seriously. It seemed to him, in his honesty,
that Reuben was wantonly cutting asunder all the ties that once bound
him to the old home. It pained him, moreover, to think--as he did, with
a good deal of restiveness--that his blessed mother, and Rose perhaps,
and the old Squire, his father, were among the Ashfield people at whom
Reuben sneered so glibly. And when he parted with him upon the
dock,--for Reuben had gone down to see him off,--it was with a secret
conviction that their old friendship had come to an end, and that
thenceforth they two could have no sympathies in common.

But in this Phil was by no means wholly right. The talk of Reuben was,
after all, but the ebullition of a city conceit,--a conceit which is apt
to belong to all young men at some period of their novitiate in city
life. He was mainly anxious to impress upon Phil the great gain which he
had made in knowledge of the world in the last few years, and to astound
him with the great difference between his present standpoint and the old
one, when they were boys together on the benches of the Ashfield
meeting-house. We never make such gains, or apparent gains, at any
period of life, it is to be feared, without wishing to demonstrate their
magnitude to the slow coaches we have left behind.

And on the very night after Reuben had parted from Phil, when he came
late to his chamber, dazed with some new scene at the theatre, and his
brain flighty with a cup too much, it may well have happened, that, in
his fevered restlessness, as the clock near by chimed midnight, his
thoughts ran back to that other chamber where once sweet sleep always
greeted him,--to the overhanging boughs that rustled in the evening air
at the window,--to the shaded street that stretched away between the
silent houses,--to the song of the katydids, chattering their noisy
chorus,--to the golden noons when light feet tripped along the village
walks,--to the sunny smiles of Rose,--to the kindly entreaty of good
Mrs. Elderkin,--and more faintly, yet more tenderly, than elsewhere, to
a figure and face far remote, and so glorified by distance that they
seem almost divine, a figure and a face that are somehow associated with
the utterance of his first prayer,--and with the tender vision before
him, he mumbles the same prayer and falls asleep with it upon his lip.

Only on his lip, however,--and the next day, when he steals a half-hour
for a stroll upon Broadway with that dashing girl, Miss Sophie Bowrigg,
(she is really a stylish creature,) he has very little thought of the
dreamy sentiments of the night before, which seemed for the time to keep
his wilder vagaries in subjection, and to kindle aspirations toward a
better life. It is doubtful, even, if he did not indulge in an artful
compliment or two to the dashing Miss Sophie, the point of which lay in
a cleverly covered contrast of herself with the humdrum manners of the
fair ones of Ashfield. Yet, to tell truth, he is not wholly untouched by
certain little rallying, coquettish speeches of Miss Sophie in respect
to Adèle, who, in her open, girl-like way, has very likely told the full
story of Reuben's city attentions.

Reuben had, indeed, been piqued by the French girl's reception of his
patronage, and he had been fairly carried off his feet in view of her
easy adaptation to the ways of the city, and of her graceful carriage
under all the toilet equipments which had been lavished upon her, under
the advice of Mrs. Brindlock. A raw boy comes only by long aptitude into
the freedom of a worldly manner; but a girl--most of all a French girl,
in whom the instincts of her race are strong--leaps to such conquest in
a day. Of course he had intimated to Adèle no wonder at the change; but
he had thrust a stray glove of hers into his pocket, counting it only a
gallant theft; and there had been days when he had drawn out that little
relic of her visit from its hidden receptacle, and smoothed it upon his
table, and pressed it, very likely, to his lips, in the same way in
which youth of nineteen or twenty are used to treat such feminine tokens
of grace.

It was a dainty glove, to be sure. It conjured up her presence in its
most alluring aspect. The rustle of her silk, the glow of her cheek, the
coyness of her touch, whenever she had dropped that delicate hand on
his, came with the sight of it. He ventures, in a moment of gallant
exuberance, to purchase a half-dozen of the same number, of very
charming tints, (to his eye,) and sends them as a gift to Adèle,

"I found your stray glove we had a search for in the carriage, but did
not tell of it. I hope these will fit."

"They fit nicely," said Adèle, writing back to him,--"so nicely, I may
be tempted to throw another old glove of mine some time in your way."

Miss Eliza Johns was of course delighted with this attention of
Reuben's, and made it the occasion of writing him a long letter, (and
her letters were very rare, by reason of the elaboration she counted
necessary,) in which she set forth the excellence of Adèle's character,
her "propriety of speech," her "lady-like deportment," her "cheerful
observance of duty," and her "eminent moral worth," in such terms as
stripped all romance from Reuben's recollection of her, and made him
more than half regret his gallant generosity.

The Doctor writes to him regularly once a fortnight; of which missives
Reuben reads as regularly the last third, containing, as it does
usually, a little home news or casual mention of Miss Rose Elderkin or
of the family circle. The other two thirds, mainly expostulatory, he
skips, only allowing his eye to glance over them, and catch such
scattered admonitions as these:--"Be steadfast in the truth.... Let your
light shine before men.... Be not tempted of the Devil; for if you
resist him, he will flee from you.... The wisdom of this world is
foolishness.... Trust not, my son, in any arm of flesh."

Ah, how much of such good advice had been twisted into tapers for the
lighting of Reuben's cigars! Not because it was absolutely scorned; not
because it was held in contempt, or its giver held in contempt; but
because there was so much of it. If the old gentleman had been in any
imminent bodily peril, it is certain that Reuben would have rushed far
and wide to aid him. It is certain that he loved him; it is certain that
he venerated him; and yet, and yet, (he said to himself,) "I do wish he
would keep this solemn stuff for his sermons. Who cares to read it? Who
cares to hear it, except on Sundays?"

Our good reader will exclaim,--A bad young man! And yet we think our
good readers--nay, our best of readers--have shirked godly counsel over
and over, with very much the same promptitude. We all grow so weary with
the iteration of even the best of truths! we all love youth so much! we
all love the world so much! we all trust to an arm of flesh so much!

Not for a moment did the Doctor believe that his recreant son pondered
wisely and deeply these successive epistles of his. He knew him too well
for that. But for him duty was always duty. "Here a little, and there a
little." It would have pained the old gentleman grievously to know the
full extent of the wickedness of his boy,--to have looked for a moment
into the haunts to which he was beguiled by his companions of the
city,--to have seen his flushed and swollen face after some of those
revels to which Reuben was a party. But the good Doctor was too ignorant
of the world to conceive, even, of larger latitude than an occasional
cigar or a stolen sight at the orgies of the theatre. And when Mr.
Brindlock wrote, as he took occasion to do about this period, regretting
the extravagance of Reuben and the bad associations into which he had
fallen, and urging the Doctor to impress upon him the advantages of
regularity and of promptitude, and to warn him that a very advantageous
business career which was opening upon him would be blighted by his
present habits, the poor gentleman was fairly taken aback.

That even this worldly gentleman, Mr. Brindlock, should take exception
to the courses of his son was a most startling fact. What admonition
could the Doctor add to those which he had addressed to his poor son
fortnightly for years past? Had he not warned him over and over that he
was standing upon slippery places? Had he not unfolded the terrors of
God's wrath upon sinners? Had he not set before him in "line upon line"
the awful truth that his immortal career was at stake? And should he
descend from this ground to plead with him upon the score of his
short-lived worldly career? What were all business prospects, however
they might wane, compared with that dreadful prospect which lies before
him who refuseth godly counsel and hardeneth his heart? Was it not a
fearful confirmation of Satan's reign upon earth, that peril to a
temporal career should serve for warning against criminal excesses, when
the soul's everlasting peril was urged vainly? The Doctor wrote to
Reuben with even more than his usual unction. But he could not bring
himself to warn his boy of the mere blight to his worldly career,--that
was so small a matter! Yet he laid before him in graver terms than he
had ever done before the weight of the judgment of an offended God, and
the fearful retribution that would certainly overtake the ungodly.
Reuben lighted his cigar with the letter, not unfeelingly, but
indifferently, and ventured even upon a blasphemous joke with his

"It ought to burn," he says, "There's plenty of brimstone in it!"

It would have crazed the minister of Ashfield to have heard the speech.
In his agony of mind he went to consult Squire Elderkin, and laid before
him the dire accounts he had heard.

"Ah, young men will be young men, Doctor. There's time for him to come
out right yet. It's the blood of the old Major; it must have vent."

As the Doctor recalled what he counted his father's godless death, he
shuddered. Presently he talked of summoning his boy home immediately.

"Well, Doctor," said the Squire, meditatively, "there are two sides to
that matter. There are great temptations in the city, to be sure; but if
God puts a man in the way of great temptations, I suppose He gives him
strength to resist them. Isn't that good theology?"

The parson nodded assent.

"We can always resist, if we will, Squire," said he.

"Very good, Doctor. Suppose, now, you bring your boy home; he'll fret
desperately under your long lectures, and with Miss Eliza, and perhaps
run off into deviltries that will make him worse than those of the city.
You must humor him a little, Doctor; touch his pride; there's a fine,
frank spirit at the bottom; give him a good word now and then."

"I know no word so good as prayer," said the Doctor, gravely.

"That's very well, Doctor, very well. Mrs. Elderkin gives him help that
way; and between you and me, Doctor, if any woman's prayers can call
down blessings, I think that little woman's can,"--and the Squire's eyes
fairly flashed with the dew that came into them.

"An estimable lady,--most estimable!" said the Doctor.

"Pray, if you will, Doctor; it's all right; and for my part, I'll drop
him a line, telling him the town feels an ownership in him, and hopes
he'll do us all credit. I think we can bring him out all right."

"Thank you,--thank you, Squire," said the Doctor, with an unusual

And he wrought fervently in prayer that night; may-be, too, the hearty
invocation of that good woman, Mrs. Elderkin, joined with his in the
Celestial Presence; and if the kindly letter of the Squire did not rank
with the prayers, we may believe, without hardihood, that the recording
angel took note of it, and gave credit on the account current of human


Mr. Brindlock had, may-be, exaggerated somewhat the story of Reuben's
extravagances, but he was anxious that a word of caution should be
dropped in his ear from some other lips than his own. The allowance from
the Doctor, notwithstanding all the economies of Miss Eliza's frugal
administration, would have been, indeed, somewhat narrow, and could by
no means have kept Reuben upon his feet in the ambitious city-career
upon which he had entered. But Mr. Brindlock had taken a great fancy to
the lad, and, besides the stipend granted for his duties about the
counting-room, had given him certain shares in a few private ventures
which had resulted very prosperously,--so prosperously, indeed, that the
prudent merchant had determined to hold the full knowledge of the
success in reserve. The prospects of Reuben, however, he being the
favorite nephew of a well-established merchant, were regarded by the
most indifferent observers as extremely flattering; and Mr. Bowrigg was
not disposed to look unfavorably upon the young man's occasional
attentions to the dashing Sophie.

But the Brindlocks, though winking at a great deal which the Doctor
would have counted grievous sin, still were uneasy at the lad's growing
dissoluteness of habit. Would the prayers of the good people of Ashfield
help him?

It was some time in the month of September, of the same autumn in which
poor Adèle lay sick at the parsonage, that Reuben came in one night, at
twelve or thereabout, to his home at the Brindlocks', (living at this
time in the neighborhood of Washington Square,) with his head cruelly
battered, and altogether in a very piteous plight. Mrs. Brindlock,
terribly frightened,--in her woman's way,--was for summoning the Doctor
at once; but Reuben pleaded against it; he had been in a row, that was
all, and had caught a big knock or two. The truth was, he had been upon
one of his frolics with his old boon companions; and it so happened that
one had spoken sneeringly of the parson's son, in a way which to the
fiery young fellow seemed to cast ridicule upon the old gentleman. And
thereupon Reuben, though somewhat maudlin with wine, yet with the
generous spirit not wholly quenched in him, had entered upon a glowing
little speech in praise of the old gentleman and of his profession,--a
speech which, if it were garnished with here and there an objectionable
expletive, was very earnest and did him credit.

"Good for Reuben!" the party had cried out. "Get him a pulpit!"

"Hang me, if he wouldn't preach better now than the old man!" said one.

"And a deused sight livelier," said another.

"Hold your tongue, you blackguard!" burst out Reuben.

And from this the matter came very shortly to blows, in the course of
which poor Reuben was severely punished, though he must have hit some
hard blows, for he was wondrously active, and not a few boxing-lessons
had gone to make up the tale of his city accomplishments.

Howbeit, he was housed now, in view of his black eye, for many days, and
had ample time for reflection. In aid of this came a full sheet of
serious expostulations from the Doctor, and that letter of advice which
Squire Elderkin had promised, with a little warm-hearted postscript from
good Mrs. Elderkin,--so unlike to the carefully modulated letters of
Aunt Eliza! The Doctor's missive, very likely, did not impress him more
than the scores that had gone before it; but there was a practical tact,
and good-natured, common-sense homeliness, in the urgence of the Squire,
which engaged all Reuben's attention; and the words of the good woman,
his wife, were worth more than a sermon to him. "We all want," she
writes, "to think well of you, Reuben; we _do_ think well of you. Don't
disappoint us. I can't think of the cheery, bright face, that for so
many an evening shone amid our household, as anything but bright and
cheery now. We all pray for your well-being and happiness, Reuben; and I
_do_ hope you have not forgotten to pray for it yourself."

And with the memory of the kindly woman which this letter called up came
a pleasant vision of the winsome face of Rose, as she used to sit, with
downcast eyes, beside her mother in the old house of Ashfield,--of Rose,
as she used to lower upon him in their frolic, with those great hazel
eyes sparkling with indignation. And if the vision did not quicken any
lingering sentiment, it at the least gave a mellow tint to his
thought,--a mellowness which even the hardness of Aunt Eliza could not
wholly do away.

"I feel it my duty to write you, Reuben," she says, "and to inform you
how very much we have all been shocked and astonished by the accounts
which reach us of your continued indifference to religious duties, and
your reckless extravagance. Let me implore you to be frugal and
virtuous. If you learn to save now, the habit will be of very great
service when you come to take your stand on the arena of life. I am
aware that the temptations of a great city are almost innumerable; but I
need hardly inform you that you will greatly consult your own interests
and mitigate our harassment of feeling by practising a strict economy
with your funds, and by attending regularly at church. You will excuse
all errors in my writing, since I indite this by the sick-bed of Adèle."

Adèle, then, is sick; and upon that point alone in the Aunt's letter the
thought of Reuben fastens. Adèle is sick! He knows where she must be
lying,--in that little room at the parsonage looking out upon the
orchard; there are white hangings to the bed; careful steps go up and
down the stairway. There had never been much illness in the parson's
home, indeed, but certain early awful days Reuben just remembers; there
were white bed-curtains, (he recalls those,) and a face as white lying
beneath; the nurse, too, lifting a warning finger at him with a low
"hist!" the knocker tied over thickly with a great muffler of cloth,
lest the sound might come into the chamber; and then, awful stillness.
On a morning later, all the windows are suddenly thrown open, and
strange men bring a red coffin into the house, which, after a day or
two, goes out borne by different people, who tread uneasily and
awkwardly under the weight, but very softly; and after this a weary,
weary loneliness. All which drifting over the mind of Reuben, and
stirring his sensibilities with a quick rush of vague, boyish griefs,
induces a train of melancholy religious musings, which, if they do no
good, can hardly, it would seem, work harm. Under their influence,
indeed, (which lasted for several days,) he astonished his Aunt Mabel,
on the next Sunday, by declaring his intention to attend church.

It is not the ponderous Dr. Mowry, fortunately or unfortunately, that he
is called upon to listen to; but a younger man, of ripe age, indeed, but
full of fervor and earnestness, and with a piercing magnetic quality of
voice that electrifies from the beginning. And Reuben listens to his
reading of the hymn,

    "Return, O wanderer! now return!"

with parted lips, and with an exaltation of feeling that is wholly
strange to him. With the prayer it seems to him that all the religious
influences to which he has ever been subject are slowly and surely
converging their forces upon his mind; and, rapt as he is in the
preacher's utterance, there come to him shadowy recollections of some
tender admonition addressed to him by dear womanly lips in boyhood,
which now, on a sudden, flames into the semblance of a Divine summons.
Then comes the sermon, from the text, "My son, give me thine heart."
There is no repulsive formality, no array of logical presentment to
arouse antagonism of thought, but only inglowing enthusiasm, that
transfuses the Scriptural appeal, and illuminates it with winning
illustration. Reuben sees that the evangelist feels in his inmost soul
what he utters; the thrill of his voice and the touching earnestness of
his manner declare it. It is as if our eager listener were, by every
successive appeal, placed in full _rapport_ with a great battery of
religious emotions, and at every touch were growing into fuller and
fuller entertainment of the truths which so fired and sublimed the
speaker's utterance.

Do we use too gross a figure to represent what many people would call
the influences of the Spirit? Heaven forgive us, if we do; but nothing
can more definitely describe the seemingly electrical influences which
were working upon the mind of Reuben, as he caught, ever and again,
breaking through the torrent of the speaker's language, the tender,
appealing refrain, _"My son, give me thine heart!"_

All thought of God the Avenger and of God the Judge, which had been so
linked with most of his boyish instructions, seemed now to melt away in
an aureole of golden light, through which he saw only God the Father!
And the first prayer he ever learned comes to his mind with a grace and
a meaning and a power that he never felt before.

"Whether we obey Him," (it is the preacher we quote,) "or distrust Him,
or revile Him, or forget Him, or struggle to ignore Him, always, always
He is our Father. And whatever we may do, however we may sin, however
recreant we may be to early faith or early teaching, however unmoved by
the voice of conscience,--which is smiting on your hearts, as it is on
mine to-day,--whatever we are, or whatever we may be, yet, ever while
life is in us, that great, serene voice of the All-Merciful is sounding
in our ears, 'My son, give me thine heart!' Ay, the flowers repeat it in
their bloom, the birds in their summer carol, the rejoicing brooks, and
the seasons in their courses, all, all repeat it, 'My son, give me thine

"Oh, my hearers, this is real, this is true! It is our Father who says
it; and we, unworthy ministers of His word and messengers to declare His
beneficence, repeat it for Him, 'My son, give me thine heart!' Not to
crush, not to spurn, not for a toy. The great God asks your hearts
because He wishes your gratitude and your love. Do you believe He asks
it? Yes, you do. Do you believe He asks it idly? No, you do not. What,
then, does this appeal mean? It means, that God is love,--that you are
His children,--straying, outcast, wretched, may-be, but still His
children,--and by the abounding love which is in Him, He asks your love
in return. Will you give it?"

And Reuben says to himself, yet almost audibly, "I will."

The sermon was altogether such a one as to act with prodigious force
upon so emotional a nature as that of Reuben. Yet we dare say there were
gray-haired men in the church, and sallow-faced young men, who nodded
their heads wisely and coolly, as they went out, and said, "An eloquent
sermon, quite; but not much argument in it." As if all men were to plod
to heaven on the vertebræ of an inexorable logic, and not--God
willing--to be rapt away thitherward by the clinging force of a glowing
and confiding heart! Alas, how the intellect droops in its attempt to
measure or comprehend the infinite! How the heart leaps and grows large
in its reach toward the altitude of Boundless Love, if only it be buoyed
with faith!

"Is this religion?" Reuben asked himself, as he went out of the church,
with his pride all subdued. And the very atmosphere seemed to wear a new
glory, and a new lien of brotherhood to tie him to every creature he met
upon the thronged streets. All the time, too, was sounding in his ears
(as if he had yielded full assent) the mellow and grateful cadence of
the hymn,

    "Return, O wanderer! now return!"


Reuben wrote to the Doctor, under the influence of this new glow of
feeling, in a way that at once amazed and delighted the good old
gentleman. And yet there were ill-defined, but very decided, terrors and
doubts in his delight Dr. Johns, by nature as well as by education, was
disposed to look distrustfully upon any sudden conviction of duty which
had its spring in any extraordinary exaltation of feeling, rather than
in that full intellectual seizure of the Divine Word, which it seemed to
him could come only after a determined wrestling with those dogmas that
to his mind were the aptest and compactest expression of the truth
toward which we must agonize. The day of Pentecost showed a great
miracle, indeed; but was not the day of miracles past?

The Doctor, however, did not allow his entertainment of a secret fear to
color in any way his letters of earnest gratulation to his son. If God
has miraculously snatched him from the ways that lead to destruction,
(such was his thought,) let us rejoice.

"Be steadfast, my dear Reuben," he writes. "You have now a cross to
bear. Do not dishonor its holy character; do not faint upon the way. Our
beloved Adèle, as you have been told, is trembling upon the verge of the
grave. May God in His mercy spare her, until, at least, she gain some
more fitting sense of the great mission of His Son, and of the divine
scheme of atonement! I fear greatly that she has but loose ideas upon
these all-important subjects. It pains me beyond belief to find her
indifferent to the godly counsels of your pious aunt, which she does not
fail to urge upon her, 'in season and out of season'; and she has shown
a tenacity in guarding that wretched relic of her early life, the rosary
and crucifix, which, I fear, augurs the worst. Pray for her, my son;
pray that all the vanities and idolatries of this world may be swept
from her thoughts."

And Reuben, still living in that roseate atmosphere of religious
meditation, is shocked by this story of the danger of Adèle. Is he not
himself in some measure accountable? In those days when they raced
through the Catechism together, did he never provoke her mocking smiles
by his sneers at the ponderous language? Did he not tempt her to some
mischievous sally of mirth, on many a day when they were kneeling in
couple about the family altar?

And in the flush of his exalted feeling he writes her how bitterly he
deplores all this, and, borrowing his language from the sermons he now
listens to with greed, he urges Adèle "to plant her feet upon the Rock
of Ages, to eschew all vanities, and to trust to those blessed promises
which were given from the foundation of the world."

Indeed, there is a fervor in his feeling which pushes him into such
extravagances of expression as the Doctor would have found it necessary
to qualify, if Adèle, poor child, had not been by far too weak for their

The Brindlocks were, of course, utterly amazed at this new aspect in the
character of their pet young nephew from the country. Mr. Brindlock
said, consolingly, to his wife, when the truth became only too apparent,
"My dear, it's atmospheric, I think. It's a 'revival' season; there was
such a one, I remember, in my young days."

(Mrs. Brindlock laughed at this quite merrily.)

"To be sure there was, my dear, and I was really quite deeply affected.
Reuben will come out all right; we shall see him settling down soon to
good merchant habits again."

But the _animus_ of the new tendency was far stronger than Brindlock had
supposed; and within a month Reuben had come to a quiet rupture with his
city patron. The smack of worldliness was too strong for him. He felt
that he must go back to his old home, and place himself again under the
instructions of the father whose counsels he had once so spurned.

"You don't say you mean to become a parson?" said Mr. Brindlock, more
than ever astounded.

"It is very likely," said Reuben; "or possibly a missionary."

"Well, Reuben, if you must, you must. But I don't see things in that
light. However, my boy, we'll keep our little private ventures astir;
you may need them some day."

And so they parted; and Reuben went home to Ashfield, taking an
affectionate leave of his Aunt Mabel, who had been over-kind to him, and
praying in his heart that that good, but exceedingly worldly woman,
might some day look on serious things as he looked on them.

He had thought in his wild days, that, when he should go back to
Ashfield for any lengthened stay, (for thus far his visits had been few
and flying ones,) he should considerably astonish the old people there
by his air and city cultivation. It is quite possible that he had laid
by certain flaming cravats which he thought would have a killing effect
in the country church, and anticipated a very handsome triumph by the
easy swagger with which he would greet old Deacon Tourtelot and ask
after the health of Miss Almira. But the hope of all such triumphs was
now dropped utterly. Such things clearly belonged to the lusts of the
eye and the pride of life. He even left behind him some of the most
flashy articles of his attire, with the request to Aunt Mabel that she
would bestow them upon some needy person, or, in default of this, make
them over to the Missionary Society for distribution among the
heathen,--a purpose for which some of them, by reason of their brilliant
colors, were certainly most admirably adapted. Under his changed view of
life, it appeared to Reuben that every unnecessary indulgence, whether
of dress or food, was a sin. With the glowing enthusiasm of youth, he
put such beautiful construction upon the rules of Christian faith as
would hardly survive the rough every-day wear of the world. Even the
stiff dignity of Dr. Mowry he was inclined to count only an accidental
incrustation of manner, beneath which the heart of the parson was all
aglow with the tenderest benevolence. We hope he may have been right in
this; it is certain, that, if he could carry forward the same loving
charity to the end of his days, he would have won the best third of the
elements of a Christian career, without respect to dogmas.

So Reuben goes back to Ashfield with a very modest and quiet bearing. He
is to look with other eyes now upon the life there, and to judge how far
it will sustain his new-found religious sympathies. All meet him kindly.
Old Squire Elderkin, who chances to be the first to greet him as he
alights from the coach, shakes him warmly by the hand, and taps him
patronizingly upon the shoulder.

"Welcome home again, Reuben! Well, well, they thought you were given
over to bad courses; but it's all right now, I hear; quite upon the
other tack, eh, Reuben? That's well, my good fellow, that's well."

And Reuben thanked him, thinking perhaps how odd it was that this
worldly old gentleman, of whom he had thought, since his late revulsion
of feeling, with a good deal of quiet pity, should commend what was so
foreign to his own habit. There were, then, some streaks of good-natured
worldliness which tallied with Christian duty. The serene, kindly look
of Mrs. Elderkin was in itself the tenderest welcome; and it was an
ennobling thought to Reuben, that he had at last placed himself (or
fancied he had) upon the same moral plane with that good woman. As for
Rose, the joyous, frolicsome, charming Rose, whom he had thought at one
time to electrify by his elegant city accomplishments,--was not even the
graceful Rose a veteran in the Christian army in which he had but now
enlisted? Why, then, should she show timidity and shyness at this
meeting with him? Yet her little fingers had a quick tremor in them as
she took his hand, and a swift change of color (he knew it of old) ran
over her face like a rosy cloud.

"It is delightful to think that Reuben is safe at last," said Mrs.
Elderkin, after he had gone.

"Yes, mamma," said Rose.

"It must be a great delight to them all at the parsonage."

"I suppose so, mamma. I wish Phil were here," said Rose again, in a
plaintive little tone.

"I wish he were, my child; it might have a good influence upon him: and
poor Adèle, too; she must surely listen to Reuben, he is so earnest and
impassioned. Don't you think so, Rose?"

Rose is working with nervous rapidity.

"But, my child," says the mother; "are you not sewing that breadth upon
the wrong side?"

True enough, upon the wrong side,--so many weary stitches to undo!

Miss Eliza had shown a well-considered approval of Reuben's change of
opinions; but this had not forbidden a certain reserve of worldly regret
that he should give up so promising a business career. She had half
hinted as much to the Doctor.

"I do not see, brother," she had said, "that his piety will involve the
abandonment of mercantile life."

"His piety," said the Doctor, "if it be of the right stamp, will involve
an obedience to conscience."

And there the discussion had rested. The spinster received Reuben with
much warmth, in which her stately proprieties of manner, however, were
never for one moment forgotten.

Adèle, who was now fortunately in a fair way of recovery, but who was
still very weak, and who looked charmingly in her white chamber-dress
with its simple black belt, received him with a tender-heartedness of
manner which he had never met in her before. The letter of Reuben had
been given her, and, with all its rawness of appeal, had somehow touched
her religious sentiment in a way it had never been touched before. He
had put so much of his youthful enthusiasm into his language, it showed
such an elasticity of hope and joy, as impressed her very strangely. It
made the formal homilies of Miss Eliza seem more harsh than ever. She
had listened, in those fatiguing and terrible days of illness, to psalms
long drawn out, and wearily; but here was some wild bird that chanted a
glorious carol in her ear,--a carol that seemed touched with Heaven's
own joy. And under its influence--exaggerated as it was by extreme
youthful emotion--she seemed to see the celestial gates of jasper and
pearl swing open before her, and the beckonings of the great crowd of
celestial inhabitants to enter and enjoy.

For a long time she had been hovering (how nearly she did not know) upon
the confines of the other world; but with a vague sense that its
mysteries might open upon her in any hour, she had, in her sane
intervals, ranked together the promises and penalties that had been set
before her by the good Doctor: now worrying her spirit, as it confronted
some awful catechismal dogma, that it sought vainly to solve; and then,
from sheer weakness and disappointment, seizing upon the symbol of the
cross, (of which the effigy was always near at hand,) and by a kiss and
a tear seeking to ally her fainting heart with the mystic company of the
elect who would find admission to the joys of paradise. But the dogmas
were vain, because she could not grapple them to her heart; the cross
was vain, because it was an empty symbol; the kisses and the tears left
her groping blindly for the key that would surely unlock for her the
wealth of the celestial kingdom. In this attitude of mind, wearied by
struggle and by fantasies, came to her the letter of Reuben,--the joyous
outburst of a pioneer who had found the way. She never once doubted that
the good Doctor had found it, too,--but so long ago, and by so hard a
road, that she despaired of following in his steps. But Reuben had
leaped to the conquest, and carried a blithe heart with him. Surely,
then, there must be a joy in believing.

"I thank you very much for your letter, Reuben," said Adèle, and she
looked eagerly into his face for traces of that triumph which so
glittered throughout his letter.

And she did not look in vain; for, whether it were from the warm,
electric touch of those white, thin fingers of hers, or the eager
welcome in her eyes, or from more sacred cause, a great joy shone in his
face,--a joy that from thenceforward they began to share in common. At
last--at last, a bright illumination was spread over the dreary
teachings of these last years. Not a doubt, not a penalty, not a mystic,
blind utterance of the Catechism, but the glowing enthusiasm of Reuben
invested it with cheery promise, or covered it with the wonderful
glamour of his hope. Between these two young hearts--the one, till then,
all doubt and weariness, and the other, just now, all impassioned
exuberance--there came a grafting, by virtue of which the religious
sentiment, in Adèle shot away from all the severities around her into an
atmosphere of peace and joy.

The Doctor saw it, and wondered at the abounding mercies of God. The
spinster saw it, and rejoiced at the welding of this new link in the
chain of her purposes. The village people all saw it, and said among
themselves, "If he has won her from the iniquities of the world, he can
win her for a wife, if he will."

And the echoes of such speeches come, as they needs must, to the ear of
Rose, without surprising her, so much do they seem the echo of her own
thought; and if her heart may droop a little under it, she conceals it
bravely, and abates no jot in her abounding love for Adèle.

"I wish Phil were here," she says in the privacy of her home.

"So do I, darling," says the mother, and looks at her with a tender
inquisitiveness that makes the sweet girl flinch, and affect for a
moment a noisy gayety, which is not in her heart.

Rose! Rose! are you not taking wrong stitches again?



In 1842 there appeared in New York a little _brochure_ with scarcely any
letter-press, which contained many pages of the most humorous and
spirited sketches. Its title told the whole story, namely:--

_"The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck: wherein are duly set forth the
Crosses, Chagrins, Calamities, Checks, Chills, Changes, and
Circumgyrations by which his Courtship was attended. Showing also the
Issue of his Suit, and his Espousal to his Ladye-Love."_

Thousands laughed themselves to tears, when looking at these grotesque,
yet lifelike pictures; but scarcely one knew the name of their author,
M. Rodolphe Töpffer, of Geneva, Switzerland.

Long before Mr. Oldbuck made his appearance in America, he had been the
means of uniting in fast friendship the great poetic giant of Germany,
Goethe, and the modest Genevese caricaturist. The least of M. Töpffer's
merit, however, was his ability to handle the pencil. As a humoristic,
satiric, pathetic, and æsthetic writer, he is unique in the French
language. His wonderful genius was so pliable, that, while he excelled
in the power of catching the warmest glow of Nature in those exquisite
descriptions with which his writings are filled, and while, with
picture-words, he could reproduce all the tender beauty of a sunset in
the Alps, or the soft, singing gurgle of the mountain-brook, no one
better than he could also portray every subtile shade and feature of the
human mind. He excelled in analyzing character. His mental perception
was sympathetic and ready. His mind-eye was so keen and so piercing,
that nothing could escape its searching glance. The most insignificant
attitude of the heart was not only seen, but at once noted down and
studied by him; and in its delicately skilful dissection, Töpffer
comprehended the whole of the individual. Hence his universality. In
manner of thought, and in style, his writings have traits which remind
one of Sterne, Addison, Charles Lamb, Montaigne, Xavier de Maistre, (the
author of the famous "Voyage autour de ma Chambre,") and our own

It is just twenty-three years ago, that Xavier de Maistre, being
besieged by publishers for another of his charming stories, answered,
"Before all, take Töpffer, not me." Previously to this, a Swiss
gentleman, while visiting Weimar, introduced to Goethe the comic series
already referred to, which Töpffer had merely thrown off in his hours of
leisure. Goethe at once sent over the Alps for "Mr. Jabot," "Mr.
Pencil," "Mr. Crépin," and "Dr. Festus"; and, in the "Kunst und
Alterthum," the great poet expressed to his admiring circle of friends
his full appreciation, of the unequalled ability and charming humor of
Töpffer. He went still farther; for, in his favorite literary journal,
he drew the attention of all Germany to the merit of the Genevese

In 1839, M. de Sainte-Beuve introduced, with the highest eulogium, M.
Töpffer to the wide and fastidious world of French letters. Thus did the
greatest genius of Germany, the most celebrated modern romancer of
Northern Italy, and one of the first writers of France stand godfathers
to M. Töpffer. Their judgment did not misguide them; for, though Töpffer
was not a _littérateur_ by profession, his few volumes stand out in
French literature like those gigantic Alpine summits whose snow-white
purity is never dimmed by cloud-shadows.

But I anticipate. Personal recollections become more interesting in
proportion to the distance of time which intervenes between us and the
death of the loved and admired. Violets are not gathered on a fresh-made
grave; and the soil of Memory must have been moistened with tears,
before we can expect it to yield its most cherished flowers.

As some of our author's works, "Les Nouvelles Génevoises," and "Les
Voyages en Zig-Zag," have attracted considerable attention in the United
States, a sketch of his life and a mention of his various writings will
be acceptable to American readers.

I was but a child when the name of Töpffer already had for me a
significance and a meaning which no other possessed. I had a feeling of
deepest regard and veneration for him, as I would meet him in the narrow
streets of Geneva, or in some of the shaded walks, which clasp, like
loving arms of Beauty, that bright little city of Central Europe. His
tall, commanding figure gave him an air of dignity and patrician
distinction; which latter was his by right. When he looked at you from
under the shadow of his broad-brimmed hat, you felt in that gaze there
was power,--a something which dropped from his eye into your very heart,
and made its home there.

But allow me to make a _détour_, and call attention to that city where
Töpffer was born, and where society had such an influence upon his
creative mind.

No spot in all Europe has more intrinsic importance than Switzerland.
Perched, as it is, amid inaccessible summits of intellectual and of
geographical elevation, it remains the magnetic centre, towards which,
from every part of the world, the sympathies of people most naturally
converge. And Geneva--the proud, miniature Republic--is to-day what she
has been for three long centuries, the Mecca of Switzerland, a luminous
altar of freedom of thought and of intellectual independence, from which
bold opinions have sprung and radiated, and around which every son of
Liberty has rallied. The Republic of Geneva stands alone in her
celebrity. So small a country that one morning's drive embraces the
whole of its territory, it can yet boast of a nationality so deeply
rooted, and of an individuality so strongly marked, that no foreign
invasion and no foreign contact have ever been able to impair them.

It is impossible, even for the most superficial reader of history, to
overlook that great array of names which made the last years of the
eighteenth century so illustrious in Europe. Among them it is equally
impossible not to recognize those which Geneva so proudly furnished.
Theology, Natural Science, Philology, Morals, Intellectual Philosophy,
and Belles-Lettres,--all these branches are admirably represented, and
bend down with their luxuriant weight of fruit. The native land of such
men as Bonnet, De Saussure, De Candolle, Calandrini, Hubert, Rousseau,
Sismondi, Necker, has nothing to covet from other countries. Still
Geneva became the foster-mother of many great men. Calvin she took from
his own Picardy. Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné, the grandfather of Madame
de Maintenon, and ancestor of Merle d'Aubigné, the truest friend of
Henry IV., Geneva honored as if her own son. Voltaire so loved Geneva
that there he had a residence as well as at Ferney, and sang with
enthusiasm of blue Lake Leman, "Mon lac est le premier." Madame de Staël
was born of Swiss parents in Paris, but her childhood and many of her
mature years were spent in charming Coppet, where the waters of the lake
lave the shores within the boundary of the Canton of Geneva. Sismondi
was a native of Geneva, and under the influence of Madame de Staël, and
inspired by his visits to Italy, resolved to devote himself to the past
glories of the land of his ancestors. It was in the city of Geneva that
he first delivered those lectures on "The Literature of Southern
Europe," which, in book-form, are so well known to every civilized
nation. Benjamin Constant, another Genevese, was a kindred spirit, who
shared with Madame de Staël a delightful and profitable intimacy.
Dumont; (so highly eulogized by Lord Macaulay,) the friend of Mirabeau
and of Jeremy Bentham, was also of Geneva. De Candolle and his son gave
to science their arduous labors. De la Rive in Chemistry, Pictet in
Electrology, and Merle d'Aubigné in History, Gaussen and Malan in
Theology, and many others, not unknown to fame, might be mentioned as
continuing the list of distinguished names that testify to the
intellectual supremacy of Geneva.

Here, in our own day, what sons of Fame have gone to linger near a
society so congenial! Byron tells us that his life was purer at Geneva
than that which he led elsewhere. Here, amidst the scenes consecrated by
Milton nearly two centuries before, Shelley delighted to dream away his
summer hours. He loved to go forth on the pellucid surface of "clear,
placid Leman," there to drink in the soft beauties of the shores, or to
gaze upon the distant sublimities of Mont Blanc. Here Sir Humphry Davy
came, after his Southern tour, and "laid him down to die." Wordsworth
found here the graces of his Westmoreland home wedded to a grandeur
which realized the loftiest conception of his mind. At Geneva, to-day,
is found that noble son of France and devoted friend of America, the
Count Agénor de Gasparin.

Here, too, have members of the royal and noble houses of Europe come to
be wooed by those waters whose "crystal face" Byron calls

    "The mirror where the stars and mountains view
    The stillness of their aspect."

The late Charles Albert, the hero King of Sardinia, was educated at
Geneva. More than once did the future benefactor and monarch of Northern
Italy stray along the road to Lausanne, or float in his little shallop
on the side of Bellevue, whence he could look upon that prettiest of
summer residences, Pregny, and at night could listen to the trills of
the nightingales, which sing with a tenderness peculiar to the Valley of
Geneva. At Pregny lived Josephine, whose Imperial spouse had driven away
from Sardinia the members of the House of Savoy. But Time is a wonderful
magician, and to-day near beautiful Pregny the nephew of Europe's great
conqueror and conquered and the grand-daughter of Charles Albert have
their own villa. The favorite residence of the late Grand Duchess
Constantine of Russia was La Boissière, in the Canton of Geneva, and on
the road to Chamouny, not far from the house of Sismondi. The late
Duchess de Broglie, the daughter of Madame de Staël, lived during the
winter in the street St. Antoine; near where M. Töpffer had his house,
and in the summer at Coppet. Not far from her, at Genthod, resided that
gentle daughter of America, the Baroness Rumpf, still remembered in New
York as the daughter of John Jacob Astor. The Duchess de Broglie and the
Baroness Rumpf are rare instances of the truest Christian womanhood in
exalted stations.--But a whole magazine article would not suffice to
give a list of the great, the noble, and the gifted who have sojourned
for a time in the city of Geneva.

Yet, if Geneva has borrowed some of the great of other countries, she
has amply repaid the debt. She sent her Casaubon to the court of James
I. of England, to be the defender of the faith. Later, she lent to
England her De Lolme, who added to his distinguished political acumen
such affluent philological knowledge, that he wrote one of the best
works ever written on the British Constitution in the English and the
French languages. She lent to Russia Le Fort, the famous general and
admiral, the counsellor of Peter the Great, the originator of the
Russian navy, and the founder of that army out of which grew the forces
that defeated Charles XII. at Pultowa. During the tempestuous days which
signalized the downfall of a monarchy, and while France was rent asunder
by the mad upheavings of an infuriated populace, Necker was called to
the head of the finances. After five years of indefatigable probity, and
when his services had enlisted the profound gratitude of the doomed
king, he was compelled to quit Paris. Recalled again, and again
dismissed, his final departure was the signal for a general outbreak,
which resulted in the taking of the Bastille and the overthrow of the
House of Capet. Albert Gallatin she gave to the United States. How
curious it is to trace the life of this son of Geneva! Graduating with
honors at his native university, he came to America in 1780, was
commander of a small fort at Machias while Maine was still
Massachusetts, was teacher in Harvard University, filled high places
under the government of Pennsylvania; elected Senator to Congress from
that State, (but vacating his seat because his residence had not been
sufficiently long to qualify him,) Secretary of the Treasury under
Jefferson, Envoy Extraordinary to sign the Treaty of Ghent, and for
seven years Minister Plenipotentiary to France. He was offered the
Secretaryship of State by Madison, a place in the Cabinet by Monroe, and
was selected by the dominant party as a candidate for the second office
in the gift of the American people. All of these last three proffered
honors he refused, and passed the remainder of his long life in the
genial pursuits of literature.

If Geneva has been the fireside of learning and of belles-lettres, it
has not been less the home of the fine arts. Petitot, the celebrated
painter on enamel, has handsomely paid his share to the
_chefs-d'oeuvres_ of the seventeenth century. While enjoying the
capricious favors of Charles I. at Whitehall, where he had his lodgings,
he worked on some of those perfect portraits which to-day have their
place in the Louvre, and which for ages must remain the triumphs of
minutely finished, expressive Art. Nor is the little Republic poor in
contemporaneous artistic talent. Pradier was born and grew up in
presence of Mont Blanc, whose sublime grandeur may well inspire the
dreams of the sculptor and ennoble him. Calame, Diday, and Hubert in
landscape painting, and Hornung in historical painting, (widely known by
his "Death of John Calvin,") are all sons of Geneva. Thalberg, the
musician, is a native of Geneva.

The habitual companionship of master minds must necessarily exert an
immediate and irresistible influence upon the rapid growth of thoughts
and ideas in the young. And it is not to be wondered at that those who
from their earliest infancy have had the readiest access to such a
companionship, and who have most fully imbibed that influence, retain
through the after-years of life a strength and a boldness of originality
essentially opposed to the hesitating timidity of less favored
individuals. In a society like that of Geneva, where family traditions
are jealously cherished as a part of the national history, and where
every family has its importance and its well-defined place, the memory
of distinguished men cannot perish, but is handed down from father to
son, as a portion of the state patrimony. Every little boy, as he plays
in the street, feels that he has reason to be proud that he is a
Genevese. It was with such sentiments and under such auspices that
Töpffer glided through the years of childhood. He drank deep at the
fountain of inspiration unawares, and manhood found him ready to follow
those who beckoned to him from the pages of history.

Rodolphe Töpffer was born at Geneva on the seventeenth day of February,
1799. As his name indicates, he was of German descent; but his family
had resided so many years in French Switzerland that he could no longer
be claimed by the land of Schiller and Goethe, though it was said that
one of his most distinctive literary characteristics was like that of
Mozart in music,--that he blended the deep, warm feeling of Germany with
the light and elegant graces of Southern Europe.

Americans who have visited the public Gallery of Art, known in Geneva as
the Musée Rath, will perhaps recall a small, but very spirited,
winter-scene, painted in oil, and which bears the name of Töpffer. This
picture is by the father of Rodolphe. M. Töpffer _le père_ was the first
of that long list of Swiss painters who became devoted students of
Nature. The names of Calame, Diday, (Calame's master,) and Hubert are
now known throughout the world; and that of Calame stands among the
first in the rank of eminent living landscape painters. They are worthy
successors of the father of Rodolphe Töpffer, who was peculiarly happy
in rendering the mountain-scenes of Savoy, and in portraying those
picturesque and attractive episodes of peasant-life entitled "The
Village Wedding," "The Fair in Winter," etc., etc.

There are but few incidents to record of Töpffer _fils_. It is in his
writings mostly that he is to be found. Elsewhere he is only passing by;
but _there_ he dwells and shines in full radiance. His life was so
quietly modest, so tranquil and far removed from the tumultuous
preoccupations which belong to a fashionable society, it was so simple
and pure, that the biographer is at a loss to find any striking event
that may give it an outward coloring. When only a child, as he so
charmingly tells us in his inimitable pages of the "Presbytère," he
devoured books, all sorts of books,--indeed, all the books he could get
hold of in his uncle's well-stocked library. And many an hour of his
sunny boyhood did he pass at the window in the house where he was born,
gazing dreamily at the mullions, arches, and fretted work of the old
Cathedral, or at the distant flight of the swallows, while in his mind
he dwelt upon some brilliant _saillie_ of Montaigne or Rabelais. His
marked fondness for sketching showed itself in numerous and picturesque
outlines, all of which bore the unmistakable stamp of talent, and
foretold in the exuberance of the boy-fancy what the man would be.
Happily for him, happily for us who are allowed to gather up the crumbs
of art and authorship which fell from his ample store, Töpffer enjoyed
the very best and most propitious advantages which in any country can
bless childhood. He was born in the lap of a society daintily
intellectual and fastidiously cultivated. His very first impressions
were those of refinement. His very first steps were directed towards
culture. There was no arid waste around him, and he had not to cut his
way through the newly broken furrows of a young civilization. He was
taken by the hand of Genius at the very outset of his career, and was
never allowed to falter; for in the successive creations of his pencil
and of his pen there is the same fulness of imagination, the same
delicacy of observation, the same exquisite perfection of analysis. He
seems to have understood so well the power of his mind, that he never
ventured beyond his depth, but sustained himself through all his years
of authorship with the same grace and elegance.

And nowhere could he have better artistic encouragement and emulation
than in his native city. We do not remember who said that "in Geneva
every child is born an artist," but the statement would bear
investigation. Talent as well as taste for drawing and painting is
almost universal, and belongs as well to the poor as to the rich. It
may not be well known that De Candolle, the celebrated and untiring
Genevese botanist, made use, in a course of lectures, of a valuable
collection of tropical American plants, intrusted to his care by a
Spanish botanist. Unfortunately, the herbarium was needed by its owner
sooner than expected, and Professor De Candolle was requested to send it
back. This he stated to his audience, with many a regret for so
irreparable a loss. But some of the ladies present at once offered to
copy the whole collection in one week, This was done. The drawings,
"filling thirteen folio volumes, and amounting in number to eight
hundred and sixty, were accurately executed by one hundred and fourteen
women-artists in the time specified." In most cases the principal parts
of the plants alone were colored; the rest was only pencilled with great
accuracy. Where is the other city of the same size in which such a
number of amateur lady-artists could be found? One of these very
drawings, having been accidentally dropped in the street, was picked up
by a little girl ten years old, and was returned to De Candolle, copied
by the child; and it is no blemish to the collection.

The son of an artist, Töpffer found his own career ready made, and
stepped into it with all the instincts of his Art-loving nature. His few
early paintings are full of promise. But the young artist was not
destined to distinguish himself in his chosen career. A disease of the
eyes compelled him to give up his favorite pursuit. His brush, still
warm from the passionate ardor with which it had been grasped, was
broken and thrown away. Töpffer lamented all his life long the privation
that was thus forced upon him. Art, as a profession, was closed against
his eager ambition; yet he loved Art, and lived for it. Happily for him,
he was still in the complete possession of all his hopes and illusions.
Happily for him, he was young; and, without being discouraged by his
great disappointment, he turned the bent of his mind study-ward. Töpffer
became a close student of human nature. He took to analyzing it
instinctively, as the bird takes to the air. He was more than a dreamer,
though the charming dreams which we have from him make us half regret,
perhaps, that he did something else besides dreaming. He says, in his
story, "La Bibliothèque de mon Oncle,"--"The man who does not enjoy
dreaming his time away is but an automaton, who travels from life to
death like a locomotive rushing from Manchester to Liverpool. A whole
summer spent in this listless manner does not seem _de trop_ in a
refined education. It is even probable that one such summer would not
prove enough to produce a great man. Socrates dreamed his time away for
years. Rousseau did the same till he was forty years old; La
Fontaine--his whole life. And what a charming mode of working is that
science of losing time!"

But, either dreaming or working, Töpffer knew well what he was capable
of; and without impatience, without restlessness, he awaited the future,
consoling himself with the sentiment he expresses so well in the
following sentence:--"What can be said of those beardless poets who dare
to sing at that age, when, if they were true poets, they would not have
too much in their whole being with which to _feel_, and to inhale
silently, those perfumes which later only they may know how to diffuse
in their verse? There are precocious mathematicians; but precocious

Töpffer was right. Life is the true poet. Its teachings drop in tears,
and the heart receives them kneeling, and is in no hurry to babble to
the world all their silent beauty.

If Töpffer studied, it was not alone. He had devoted himself to the
serious task of education. His pupils, mostly the sons of wealthy
Englishmen and Russians, together with a few lads from France, Italy,
and America, served only to widen his family circle. His relation to
them was charming. As an authority, he used the most winning persuasion.
He respected the mental individuality even of a child, and would use
his admirable tact in kindly encouraging every indication of talent,
which, from want of a sufficient self-reliance or of a timely care, was
hiding itself. Year after year, in vacation-time, Töpffer left the
city with his thirty or forty young companions, and with them he
travelled on foot through the mountains and around the lakes of
Switzerland,--sometimes pushing in the track of Agassiz over glacier
billows, sometimes wandering far down upon the fertile plains of
Lombardy and Venetia. These were always most delightful excursions, when
the ordinary halt became a common enjoyment, not only from the
fun-loving spirit of the master, but also for the promise of future
illustrations. After the return home, during the long winter evenings,
Töpffer took either his pen or his pencil, and, with his pupils,
re-gathered from their memoranda and drawings their summer impressions
and adventures. Then he made his paper laugh with the spirited and
piquant sketches which all know who have peeped into the "Voyages en
Zig-Zag." Thus his fireside amusements have become those of the world.
The "Voyages en Zig-Zag," before his death, were already classic in
France. The richest luxury of type, paper, and illustration has not been
spared, and edition after edition is scattered in Europe from the Neva
to the Tagus. In the "Voyages" we find the most correct delineation, in
words and sketches, of the peculiarities and glories of Alp-land. The
exquisite French of this work has never yet found a translator.

His early style had something so fresh and so quaint that it can be
accounted for only by going to the books which Töpffer studied. His _dii
majores_ were Montaigne and Amyot, and Paul Louis Courier, a learned
Hellenistic scholar, as well as vivacious writer of the French
Revolution and of the first Empire. For Montaigne Töpffer cherished the
highest admiration. In his "Reflections and Short Disquisitions upon
Art," (_Réflexions et Menus Propos_,) he thus tersely sums up the
excellency of the French philosopher:--"Thinker full of probity and
grace; philosopher so much the greater by that which he said he did not
know than by that which he thought he knew." In our own language,
Shakspeare was his favorite author. M. de Sainte-Beuve says, "Töpffer
was sworn to Shakspeare," and adds that the works of Hogarth first
taught the Genevese writer to appreciate Shakspeare, Richardson, and

Besides possessing the ability to convey instruction to others, Töpffer
was a fine classical scholar. With two other literary gentlemen, he
published some excellent editions of the Greek classics, which he
enriched with notes. All these qualifications marked him as the man for
a still higher position. Accordingly, in 1832, when only thirty-three,
he was appointed Professor of Belles-Lettres in the College of Geneva.
At the same time, while discharging faithfully his duties in the
College, he conducted, aided by tutors, his little _pension_, now so
well known by the "Voyages en Zig-Zag."

It was in the midst of these various occupations that Töpffer took his
recreation in contributing to the literary periodicals of Geneva
superior essays on Art, and many of those charming stories which to-day
delight us in the collection entitled "Les Nouvelles Génevoises." He
also wrote for political journals. But what made him first known outside
those communities where the French tongue is spoken were his humoristic
sketches. They were not thrown off from his fertile and genial hand for
gain or for renown. From childhood, under the influence of artistic
example at home, and of his admiration of Hogarth, he had acquired a
remarkable skill in graphically delineating whatever his close
observation of men prompted. Like Hogarth, his artist-wit, his fun, and
his moral teachings took the shape of series. These were handed around
the circle of his intimate friends; yet he had thoughts only of his own
amusement and of that of his companions, and did not contemplate
offering them to the public. It was at the urgency of Goethe that he
gave them to the world.

In 1842, as we stated before, "M. Vieux Bois" (Mr. Oldbuck) appeared in
the United States; and the following year, 1843, "M. Cryptogame," under
the name of "Bachelor Butterfly," (by no means so amusing or so full of
hits for America as some other sketches,) delighted the Transatlantic

Visitors to Geneva had their attention drawn to the "Voyages en Zig-Zag"
as soon as it was published; and in 1841 "Les Nouvelles Génevoises" took
the literary and artistic world of Paris by surprise. These simple
graphic stories gained the hearts of thousands. French tourists and
French artists sought the basin of Lake Leman, the wild passes of the
Vallée de Trient, the Lac de Gers, the Col d'Anterne, and the Deux
Scheidegg, wooed thither by the picturesque pages of Töpffer. The
"Presbytère," a fresh story in the epistolary form, not long after
crossed the Jura, and amidst the artificial, heated literature of Paris,
appeared as reviving as a bracing morning in the Alps.

In this modest way M. Töpffer was unconsciously building up his European
reputation. The warp of his talent is the richest of humor blended with
woman-like sensibility and tenderness. Fanciful, but never exaggerated,
he stands before us an amiable philosopher, whose heart is large enough
to comprehend and to pity the frailties of human nature, yet whose
spotless purity serves as a beacon--light on the wreck-strewn shore of
human passions. He has not the exaltation nor the ardent vehemence of
Rousseau, neither has he the sentimental morbidity of Xavier de Maistre.
On the contrary, he is always true and always simple, and he remains
within the bounds of emotion which the family circle allows. This must
be accounted for by the peaceful life which he led, (a life so different
from that of his French literary brothers,) as well as by the beneficial
influence of the society in which he resided. That society, though
cultivated and liberal, has, in contrast with that of France, remained
pure. It retains as its birthright a certain nameless innocence, unknown
in the polished French circles a few leagues beyond. M. de Sainte-Beuve
wonders at this, and asks,--"Is it that man is kept pure and good by the
magnificent beauties in which Nature rocks him there from his babyhood?
Is it that the heart becomes awed in presence of that sublime calm of
Nature, and, before he is aware of it, the passions have transformed
themselves into a religious adoration?"

But the true source of the Genevese author's purity was apart from,
though deeply influenced by Nature. He was a man of principle and of
religious faith. Töpffer had but to gaze into his own heart to find all
the sweet, the graceful, and the fresh poetry of his country. His
untiring and patient observation of Nature is the secret of his power as
a writer. He disdained nothing, for nothing seemed too small for him.
Nature, in none of its phases, could appear insignificant to his fertile
and mellow soul. When he could not soar in the high regions of
contemplative philosophy, he stooped as low as the little child whose
rosy cheek he patted, and who then became to him a teacher and a study.
An insect crawling on a leaf,--a bit of grass bringing the joy of its
short life around the stones of the pavement,--a cloud floating over the
meadows,--a murmur of voices in the air,--the wings of a butterfly, or
the thundering of the storm above the lake,--all and everything was the
domain where his genial disposition reaped so plentiful a harvest of
rare graces and smiles.

When Töpffer abandoned his brushes for his pen, it seems that the vision
of his mind became intensified, and he began to study man as minutely as
he had studied Nature. He became a moral portrait-painter, in the same
way as his illustrious townsmen, Calame and Diday, were landscape
painters. To analyze and to describe became the occupation he most
delighted in; and the more minute the analysis and the more subtile the
description, the more also was he pleased with it.

Töpffer's writings are eminently moral. There are few works in French
literature in which the moral aspiration is so alive and the worship of
duty so eloquently advocated. In reading them one feels that the writer
did not step beyond his own sentiments, that he did not borrow
convictions, that he did not affect the austerity of a stolen creed. He
writes as he feels, and he feels rightly,--never forgetting to remain
indulgent, even when he appears most unbendingly severe. Then to it all
he adds an inexhaustible cheerfulness. His mind wears no dark-colored
glasses; it is strong and healthy enough to bear the dazzling effulgence
of the sun. Töpffer was a joyous man. If he so rapidly seized the
ridiculous, it was through his love of fun; but while he laughed at
others, so kind and genial was he ever that he made others join and
laugh with him also.

We said that his genius was universal. He is eminently so in his
artistic creations. Take, for instance, his unique comic sketches and
compare them with those of other leading caricaturists. Our impression
must be that none are like his. Leech, Doyle, and Gavarni have attained
a reputation which the world acknowledged long ago, and which no one
would dare dispute; yet they differ entirely from the Genevese
caricaturist. "Oldbuck" (_M. Vieux Bois_) is as universal as music or
Shakspeare, and belongs to no one country in particular. All of Leech's
pretty women, his "Mr. Briggs" and his "Frederick Augustus," with his
"_Haw_" and other swell words and airs, are all unmistakably English.
They could have been born on no other soil than England. It requires an
Englishman, or an American familiar with English fashions and foibles,
to appreciate them. The German, the Frenchman, the Spaniard, the
Italian, or the Russian, could no more understand them without a
previous initiation, or study and experience of English manners, than
they could speak English without long application and practice. The same
may be said of Richard Doyle's famous "Foreign Tour of Messrs. Brown,
Jones, and Robinson." Here we have an irresistible series of sketches,
depicting what the famous trio saw, what they said, and what they did,
in Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy. The interest of that work lies in an
intense expression of English nationality, carried everywhere by the
three Englishmen. Their mishaps and adventures are exactly such as every
American has witnessed a thousand times, when some of his cousins from
the fast-anchored isle have visited him. Gavarni, though freer with his
pencil than either Doyle or Leech, is still as much of a Parisian as
Albert Smith was a Londoner. Every one of his spirited sketches is
intensely French, and, above all, Parisian. To a person who knew nothing
of Paris, who had never been in Paris, and who was not somewhat _au
fait_ with the gay and triste, the splendid and squalid, the brilliant
and unequal society there, these sketches would be meaningless. Again,
Gavarni's pictures are not series. He does not develop his heroes and
heroines. He does not make us feel for them in their mishaps. We do not
laugh _with_ them, as we would with friends or acquaintances, but we
laugh _at_ them. We do not once recognize _ourselves_ in them. His
portraits stand before us, but we gaze at them as we would at some
half-civilized creatures, with curiosity more than with mirth; and while
we admire and acknowledge the truthfulness of the sketch, we do not
desire to have any familiarity or contact with the individuals
represented. Furthermore, Gavarni is more limited than Doyle, by making
the "Sweep," the "Rag-Picker," the "Grisette," tell his or her own
story; and what each one says is necessary to the comprehension of the
person before you. But very different is Töpffer. He possesses, with the
funny conception of Leech and Doyle, a freer pictorial conception than
either, and holds a pencil that is more at command than Gavarni's. In
his single outlines, often of the rudest kind, there is the very
rollicking of freedom, the exact hitting of traits and character. He
dashes down his creation with the quickness of thought, and with as
much confidence that Messrs. Oldbuck, Crépin, and Jabot will leap into
the very existence he wishes them to assume, as Giotto had, when, with a
single sweep of his arm, he drew his magic circle. It may be objected,
that the comparison between the two Englishmen and the two Continentals
is hardly equal. Doyle and Leech lost, doubtless, much of their freedom
by drawing with hard pencils upon box for the wood-engraver. Töpffer and
Gavarni swept the soft, yielding crayon over the lithographer's stone,
and hence we have the very conception of the artists in their sketches.

The whole Continent roared over "M. Vieux Bois," then England began to
laugh, and finally America. Yet "M. Vieux Bois" was only the portrait of
a foolish old bachelor in love. Though born in Geneva, he was neither
Swiss nor French, neither English nor American; he was simply human. He
exemplifies Töpffer's universality.

I have already mentioned the "Nouvelles Génevoises," the "Voyages en
Zig-Zag," and the "Presbytère." But it is not possible to quote from
them. Before pages so lively and so picturesquely effective, one feels
embarrassed in selecting any particular portion, lest another should be
left unnoticed,--like the child, who, being told that he may help
himself to choice flowers, feels afraid that he will not take those he
most wants, and, in his hesitation, dares not so much as untie the
bouquet. The reader must choose for himself. He can accompany the
amiable philosopher in his summer excursions, take the Alpine-stock, and
with him visit the mountain solitudes, or linger around the blue
lakes--those air-hung forget-me-nots--which gem the highest valleys of

His remaining works, published in book-form, are "Rosa et Gertrude," and
the "Réflexions et Menus Propos d'un Peintre Génevois, ou Essai sur le
Beau dans les Arts."

"Rosa et Gertrude," given to the public a short time before his death,
is considered by some as holding the first place in Töpffer's works of
imagination. It is a touching story of two orphan girls, deeply attached
to each other, one of whom, deceived and maltreated by the world,
receives that kind and Christian charity "which thinketh no evil" from
M. Bernier, the good old clergyman, who is the guardian of Rosa and
Gertrude, as well as the narrator of their simple history. In this book
Töpffer has abandoned the humoristic, his ordinary vein in his short
stones, and in taking up the more serious mode of treating his
characters has succeeded so well that Albert Aubert of Paris, in his
criticism, says, "In 'Rosa and Gertrude' M. Töpffer has surpassed
himself"; and yet it is not so characteristic as his other writings.

However, that one of M. Töpffer's works which, it seems to me, is
destined to live longest in the future, is his "Réflexions et Menus
Propos," etc.,--"Reflections and Short Disquisitions on Art." Here are
the results of twelve years' meditations on Art, by one who _felt_ Art
in his inmost soul, and who understood its practice as well as its
theory. In this work we find a Ruskin without dogmatism, uncertainty, or
man-worship. If Töpffer had written several volumes on his favorite
subject, we should not find him, in each succeeding tome, taking back
what he had said in the first. He studied, reflected, rewrote, and then
waited patiently for years before he committed his mature judgment to
the perpetuity of print. Long before Ruskin's first volume appeared,
Töpffer's "Réflexions et Menus Propos" had commanded the admiration of
the best writers and artists of the Continent. As an æsthetic and
philosophic work, it is of the highest value. Pearls of thought and
beauty are dropped on every side. It is relieved by fanciful episodes;
and yet the whole book starts from and plays around a stick of India
ink! It is not merely a volume in which the professional artist can gain
great advantage, but one by which the general reader is fascinated as
well as instructed. The former may discern its scope and its importance
in the felicity with which Töpffer illustrates the true aim of Art, as
being the expression, the idealization, and not the rigid copy of
Nature. He maintains that Nature should be the only teacher, and that we
are to be wedded to no man's mannerism.

It is to be hoped that some day the "Réflexions et Menus Propos" may be
rendered into English by one fully acquainted, not only with French, but
with the philosophic and the æsthetic writings of France. If the late
Bayle St. John (whose knowledge of the French language and manner of
thought was so thorough) had possessed the finished style of the author
of "Six Months in Italy," he would have been the very man to have
introduced M. Töpffer's works to English readers.

Whoever reads the works which I have thus briefly mentioned will regret
that so genial and gifted a man as M. Töpffer should have been so soon
snatched away from earth. It is rare to find in any author's or artist's
life such calm happiness as that which smiled over his existence. Fame
did not spoil him; and if he lived long enough to win it, he died too
soon to enjoy it.

The last two years of M. Töpffer's life were years of continual
suffering, through which his amiable cheerfulness never faltered. When
he was told by his physicians that he could not recover, as if he
thought only of alleviating the sorrow of those who loved him, he did
not give way for one hour to impressions of sadness, and his private
journal alone received the confidence of the keen regret he felt in
taking farewell of his young wife and his lovely children. To the very
last day of his life his friends found him in the evening surrounded by
his family, and even then handling the pencil for their amusement and
his own.

On Sundays, Calame dined with him; and we may imagine what a brilliant
coloring of thought must have characterized the conversation of these
two sympathetic men.

In 1844, when M. Töpffer had just concluded his romance of "Rosa et
Gertrude," his disease took an alarming turn, and he became aware that
he was fast drawing to the close of his earthly voyage. After two
repeated visits to the French watering-place of Vichy, he returned to
Geneva. Towards the end of the following winter he was obliged to
abandon those duties which hitherto had been to him so pure an
enjoyment. Unable now to write, he tried painting, which, it will be
remembered, he had given up in early manhood. Leaning heavily forward in
his chair, his easel before him, he painted with an enthusiasm which was
the last of his life. But that diversion could not be kept up long, and
he was soon compelled to sit motionless, awaiting his release.

On the morning of the 8th of June, 1846, consoled by the hopes of the
Christian, he expired. On the 14th he was followed to his final
resting-place by the whole city, among whom were those who in him had
lost their friend, their colleague, and their master. His remains sleep
in the cemetery of Plain-palais, which he has so graphically described
in "La Peur"; but his memory and his works still live in the minds of
his countrymen, and his fame is daily widening, wherever the good, the
true, and the beautiful are appreciated.




"Well, what will you do with her?" said I to my wife.

My wife had just come down from an interview with a pale, faded-looking
young woman in rusty black attire, who had called upon me on the very
common supposition that I was an editor of the "Atlantic Monthly."

By the bye, this is a mistake that brings me, Christopher Crowfield,
many letters that do not belong to me, and which might with equal
pertinency be addressed, "To the Man in the Moon." Yet these letters
often make my heart ache,--they speak so of people who strive and sorrow
and want help; and it is hard to be called on in plaintive tones for
help which you know it is perfectly impossible for you to give.

For instance, you get a letter in a delicate hand, setting forth the old
distress,--She is poor, and she has looking to her for support those
that are poorer and more helpless than herself: she has tried sewing,
but can make little at it; tried teaching, but cannot now get a
school,--all places being filled, and more than filled; at last has
tried literature, and written some little things, of which she sends you
a modest specimen, and wants your opinion whether she can gain her
living by writing. You run over the articles, and perceive at a glance
that there is no kind of hope or use in her trying to do anything at
literature; and then you ask yourself, mentally, "What is to be done
with her? What can she do?"

Such was the application that had come to me this morning,--only,
instead of by note, it came, as I have said, in the person of the
applicant, a thin, delicate, consumptive-looking being, wearing that
rusty mourning which speaks sadly at once of heart-bereavement and
material poverty.

My usual course is to turn such cases over to Mrs. Crowfield; and it is
to be confessed that this worthy woman spends a large portion of her
time and wears out an extraordinary amount of shoe-leather in performing
the duties of a self-constituted intelligence-office.

Talk of giving money to the poor!--what is that, compared to giving
sympathy, thought, time, taking their burdens upon you, sharing their
perplexities? They who are able to buy off every application at the door
of their heart with a five or ten dollar bill are those who free
themselves at least expense.

My wife had communicated to our friend, in the gentlest tones and in the
blandest manner, that her poor little pieces, however interesting to her
own household circle, had nothing in them wherewith to enable her to
make her way in the thronged and crowded thoroughfare of letters,--that
they had no more strength or adaptation to win bread for her than a
broken-winged butterfly to draw a plough; and it took some resolution in
the background of her tenderness to make the poor applicant entirely
certain of this. In cases like this, absolute certainty is the very
greatest, the only true kindness.

It was grievous, my wife said, to see the discouraged shade which passed
over her thin, tremulous features, when this certainty forced itself
upon her. It is hard, when sinking in the waves, to see the frail bush
at which the hand clutches uprooted; hard, when alone in the crowded
thoroughfare of travel, to have one's last bank-note declared a
counterfeit. I knew I should not be able to see her face, under the
shade of this disappointment; and so, coward that I was, I turned this
trouble, where I have turned so many others, upon my wife.

"Well, what shall we do with her?" said I.

"I really don't know," said my wife, musingly.

"Do you think we could get that school in Taunton for her?"

"Impossible; Mr. Herbert told me he had already twelve applicants for

"Couldn't you get her plain sewing? Is she handy with her needle?"

"She has tried that, but it brings on a pain in her side, and cough; and
the Doctor has told her it will not do for her to confine herself."

"How is her handwriting? Does she write a good hand?"

"Only passable."

"Because," said I, "I was thinking if I could get Steele and Simpson to
give her law-papers to copy."

"They have more copyists than they need now; and, in fact, this woman
does not write the sort of hand at all that would enable her to get on
as a copyist."

"Well," said I, turning uneasily in my chair, and at last hitting on a
bright masculine expedient, "I'll tell you what must be done. She must
get married."

"My dear," said my wife, "marrying for a living is the very hardest way
a woman can take to get it. Even marrying for love often turns out badly
enough. Witness poor Jane."

Jane was one of the large number of people whom it seemed my wife's
fortune to carry through life on her back. She was a pretty, smiling,
pleasing daughter of Erin, who had been in our family originally as
nursery-maid. I had been greatly pleased in watching a little idyllic
affair growing up between her and a joyous, good-natured young Irishman,
to whom at last we married her. Mike soon after, however, took to
drinking and unsteady courses, and the result has been to Jane only a
yearly baby, with poor health, and no money.

"In fact," said my wife, "if Jane had only kept single, she could have
made her own way well enough, and might have now been in good health and
had a pretty sum in the savings bank. As it is, I must carry not only
her, but her three children, on my back."

"You ought to drop her, my dear. You really ought not to burden yourself
with other people's affairs as you do," said I, inconsistently.

"How _can_ I drop her? Can I help knowing that she is poor and
suffering? And if I drop her, who will take her up?"

Now there is a way of getting rid of cases of this kind, spoken of in a
quaint old book, which occurred strongly to me at this moment:--

"If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one
of you say unto them, 'Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled,'
notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the
body, what doth it profit?"

I must confess, notwithstanding the strong point of the closing
question, I looked with an evil eye of longing on this very easy way of
disposing of such cases: a few sympathizing words, a few expressions of
hope that I did not feel, a line written to turn the case into somebody
else's hands,--any expedient, in fact, to hide the longing eyes and
imploring hands from my sight was what my carnal nature at this moment
greatly craved.

"Besides," said my wife, resuming the thread of her thoughts in regard
to the subject just now before us,--"as to marriage, it's out of the
question at present for this poor child; for the man she loved and would
have married lies low in one of the graves before Richmond. It's a sad
story;--one of a thousand like it. She brightened for a few moments, and
looked almost handsome, when she spoke of his bravery and goodness. Her
father and lover have both died in this war. Her only brother has
returned from it a broken-down cripple, and she has him and her poor old
mother to care for, and so she seeks work. I told her to come again
to-morrow, and I would look about for her a little to-day."

"Let me see, how many are now down on your list to be looked about for,
Mrs. Crowfield?--some twelve or thirteen, are there not? You've got
Tom's sister disposed of finally, I hope,--that's a comfort!"

"Well, I'm sorry to say she came back on my hands yesterday," said my
wife, patiently. "She is a foolish young thing, and said she didn't like
living out in the country. I'm sorry, because the Morrises are an
excellent family, and she might have had a life-home there, if she had
only been steady and chosen to behave herself properly. But yesterday I
found her back on her mother's hands again; and the poor woman told me
that the dear child never could bear to be separated from her, and that
she hadn't the heart to send her back."

"And, in short," said I, "she gave you notice that you must provide for
Miss O'Connor in some more agreeable way. Cross that name off your list,
at any rate. That woman and girl need a few hard raps in the school of
experience before you can do anything for them."

"I think I shall," said my long-suffering wife; "but it's a pity to see
a young thing put in the direct road to ruin."

"It is one of the inevitables," said I, "and we must save our strength
for those that are willing to help themselves."

"What's all this talk about?" said Bob, coming in upon us rather

"Oh, as usual, the old question," said I,--"'What's to be done with

"Well," said Bob, "it's exactly what I've come to talk with mother
about. Since she keeps a distressed-women's agency-office, I've come to
consult her about Marianne. That woman will die before six months are
out, a victim to high civilization and the Paddies. There we are, twelve
miles out from Boston, in a country villa so convenient that every part
of it might almost do its own work,--everything arranged in the most
convenient, contiguous, self-adjusting, self-acting, patent-right,
perfective manner,--and yet, I tell you, Marianne will die of that
house. It will yet be recorded on her tombstone, 'Died of conveniences.'
For myself, what I languish for is a log cabin, with a bed in one
corner, a trundle-bed underneath for the children, a fire-place only six
feet off, a table, four chairs, one kettle, a coffee-pot, and a tin
baker,--that's all. I lived deliciously in an establishment of this kind
last summer, when I was up at Lake Superior; and I am convinced, if I
could move Marianne into it at once, that she would become a healthy and
a happy woman. Her life is smothered out of her with comforts: we have
too many rooms, too many carpets, too many vases and knickknacks, too
much china and silver; she has too many laces and dresses and bonnets;
the children all have too many clothes;--in fact, to put it
Scripturally, our riches are corrupted, our garments are moth-eaten, our
gold and our silver is cankered,--and, in short, Marianne is sick in
bed, and I have come to the agency-office for-distressed-women to take
you out to attend to her.

"The fact is," continued Bob, "that, since our cook married and Alice
went to California, there seems to be no possibility of putting our
domestic cabinet upon any permanent basis. The number of female persons
that have been through our house, and the ravages they have wrought on
it for the last six months, pass belief. I had yesterday a bill of sixty
dollars' plumbing to pay for damages of various kinds which had had to
be repaired in our very convenient water-works; and the blame of each
particular one had been bandied like a shuttlecock among our three
household divinities. Biddy privately assured my wife that Kate was in
the habit of emptying dust-pans of rubbish into the main drain from the
chambers, and washing any little extra bits down through the bowls; and,
in fact, when one of the bathing-room bowls had overflowed so as to
damage the frescoes below, my wife, with great delicacy and precaution,
interrogated Kate as to whether she had followed her instructions in the
care of the water-pipes. Of course she protested the most immaculate
care and circumspection. 'Sure, and she knew how careful one ought to
be, and wasn't of the likes of thim as wouldn't mind what throuble they
made,--like Biddy, who would throw trash and hair in the pipes, and
niver listen to her tellin'; sure, and hadn't she broken the pipes in
the kitchen, and lost the stoppers, as it was a shame to see in a
Christian house?' Ann, the third girl, being privately questioned,
blamed Biddy on Monday and Kate on Tuesday; on Wednesday, however, she
exonerated both; but on Thursday, being in a high quarrel with both, she
departed, accusing them severally not only of all the evil practices
aforesaid, but of lying, and stealing, and all other miscellaneous
wickednesses that came to hand. Whereat the two thus accused rushed in,
bewailing themselves and cursing Ann in alternate strophes, averring
that she had given the baby laudanum, and, taking it out riding, had
stopped for hours with it in a filthy lane, where the scarlet fever was
said to be rife,--in short, made so fearful a picture, that Marianne
gave up the child's life at once, and has taken to her bed. I have
endeavored all I could to quiet her, by telling her that the
scarlet-fever story was probably an extemporaneous work of fiction, got
up to gratify the Hibernian anger at Ann, and that it wasn't in the
least worth while to believe one thing more than another from the fact
that any of the tribe said it. But she refuses to be comforted, and is
so Utopian as to lie there, crying,--'Oh, if I only could get one that I
could trust,--one that really would speak the truth to me,--one that I
might know really went where she said she went, and really did as she
said she did!' To have to live so, she says, and bring up little
children with those she can't trust out of her sight, whose word is good
for nothing,--to feel that her beautiful house and her lovely things are
all going to rack and ruin, and she can't take care of them, and can't
see where or when or how the mischief is done,----in short, the poor
child talks as women do who are violently attacked with housekeeping
fever tending to congestion of the brain. She actually yesterday told me
that she wished, on the whole, she never had got married, which I take
to be the most positive indication of mental alienation."

"Here," said I, "we behold at this moment two women dying for the want
of what they can mutually give one another,--each having a supply of
what the other needs, but held back by certain invisible cobwebs,
slight, but strong, from coming to each other's assistance. Marianne has
money enough, but she wants a helper in her family, such as all her
money has been hitherto unable to buy; and here close at hand is a woman
who wants home-shelter, healthy, varied, active, cheerful labor, with
nourishing food, kind care, and good wages. What hinders these women
from rushing to the help of one another, just as two drops of water on a
leaf rush together and make one? Nothing but a miserable prejudice,--but
a prejudice so strong that women will starve in any other mode of life,
rather than accept competency and comfort in this."

"You don't mean," said my wife, "to propose that our _protégée_ should
go to Marianne as a servant?"

"I do say it would be the best thing for her to do, the only opening
that I see,--and a very good one, too, it is. Just look at it. Her bare
living at this moment cannot cost her less than five or six dollars a
week,--everything at the present time is so very dear in the city. Now
by what possible calling open to her capacity can she pay her board and
washing, fuel and lights, and clear a hundred and some odd dollars a
year? She could not do it as a district school-teacher; she certainly
cannot, with her feeble health, do it by plain sewing; she could not do
it as a copyist. A robust woman might go into a factory and earn more;
but factory-work is unintermitted, twelve hours daily, week in and out,
in the same movement, in close air, amid the clatter of machinery; and a
person delicately organized soon sinks under it. It takes a stolid,
enduring temperament to bear factory-labor. Now look at Marianne's house
and family, and see what is insured to your _protégée_ there.

"In the first place, a home,--a neat, quiet chamber, quite as good as
she has probably been accustomed to,--the very best of food, served in a
pleasant, light, airy kitchen, which is one of the most agreeable rooms
in the house, and the table and table-service quite equal to those of
most farmers and mechanics. Then her daily tasks would be light and
varied,--some sweeping, some dusting, the washing and dressing of
children, the care of their rooms and the nursery,--all of it the most
healthful, the most natural work of a woman,--work alternating with
rest, and diverting thought from painful subjects by its variety,--and
what is more, a kind of work in which a good Christian woman might have
satisfaction, as feeling herself useful in the highest and best way: for
the child's nurse, if she be a pious, well-educated woman, may make the
whole course of nursery-life an education in goodness. Then, what is far
different from many other modes of gaining a livelihood, a woman in this
capacity can make and feel herself really and truly beloved. The hearts
of little children are easily gained, and their love is real and warm,
and no true woman can become the object of it without feeling her own
life made brighter. Again, she would have in Marianne a sincere,
warm-hearted friend, who would care for her tenderly, respect her
sorrows, shelter her feelings, be considerate of her wants, and in every
way aid her in the cause she has most at heart, the succor of her
family. There are many ways besides her wages in which she would
infallibly be assisted by Marianne, so that the probability would be
that she could send her little salary almost untouched to those for
whose support she was toiling,--all this on her part."

"But," added my wife, "on the other hand, she would be obliged to
associate and be ranked with common Irish servants."

"Well," I answered, "is there any occupation, by which any of us gain
our living, which has not its disagreeable side? Does not the lawyer
spend all his days either in a dusty office or in the foul air of a
court-room? Is he not brought into much disagreeable contact with the
lowest class of society? Are not his labors dry and hard and exhausting?
Does not the blacksmith spend half his life in soot and grime, that he
may gain a competence for the other half? If this woman were to work in
a factory, would she not often be brought into associations distasteful
to her? Might it not be the same in any of the arts and trades in which
a living is to be got? There must be unpleasant circumstances about
earning a living in any way; only I maintain that those which a woman
would be likely to meet with as a servant in a refined, well-bred,
Christian family would be less than in almost any other calling. Are
there no trials to a woman, I beg to know, in teaching a district
school, where all the boys, big and little, of a neighborhood
congregate? For my part, were it my daughter or sister who was in
necessitous circumstances, I would choose for her a position such as I
name, in a kind, intelligent, Christian family, before many of those to
which women do devote themselves."

"Well," said Bob, "all this has a good sound enough, but it's quite
impossible. It's true, I verily believe, that such a kind of servant in
our family would really prolong Marianne's life years,--that it would
improve her health, and be an unspeakable blessing to her, to me, and
the children,--and I would almost go down on my knees to a really
well-educated, good, American woman who would come into our family, and
take that place; but I know it's perfectly vain and useless to expect
it. You know we have tried the experiment two or three times of having a
person in our family who should be on the footing of a friend, yet do
the duties of a servant, and that we _never_ could make it work well.
These half-and-half people are so sensitive, so exacting in their
demands, so hard to please, that we have come to the firm determination
that we will have no sliding-scale in our family, and that whoever we
are to depend on must come with _bona-fide_ willingness to take the
position of a servant, such as that position is in our house; and
_that_, I suppose, your _protégée_ would never do, even if she could
thereby live easier, have less hard work, better health, and quite as
much money as she could earn in any other way."

"She would consider it a personal degradation, I suppose," said my wife.

"And yet, if she only knew it," said Bob, "I should respect her far more
profoundly for her willingness to take that position, when adverse
fortune has shut other doors."

"Well, now," said I, "this woman is, as I understand, the daughter of a
respectable stone-mason; and the domestic habits of her early life have
probably been economical and simple. Like most of our mechanics'
daughters, she has received in one of our high schools an education
which has cultivated and developed her mind far beyond those of her
parents and the associates of her childhood. This is a common fact in
our American life. By our high schools the daughters of plain workingmen
are raised to a state of intellectual culture which seems to make the
disposition of them in any kind of industrial calling a difficult one.
They all want to teach school,--and school-teaching, consequently, is an
overcrowded profession,--and, failing that, there is only millinery and
dress-making. Of late, it is true; efforts have been made in various
directions to widen their sphere. Type-setting and book-keeping are in
some instances beginning to be open to them.

"All this time there is lying, neglected and despised, a calling to
which womanly talents and instincts are peculiarly fitted,--a calling
full of opportunities of the most lasting usefulness,--a calling which
insures a settled home, respectable protection, healthful exercise, good
air, good food, and good wages,--a calling in which a woman may make
real friends, and secure to herself warm affection: and yet this calling
is the one always refused, shunned, contemned, left to the alien and the
stranger, and that simply and solely because it bears the name of
_servant_. A Christian woman, who holds the name of Christ in her heart
in true devotion, would think it the greatest possible misfortune and
degradation to become like him in taking upon her 'the form of a
servant.' The founder of Christianity says, 'Whether is greater, he that
sitteth at meat or he that serveth? But _I_ am among you as he that
serveth.' But notwithstanding these so plain declarations of Jesus, we
find that scarce any one in a Christian land will accept real advantages
of position and employment that come with that name and condition."

"I suppose," said my wife, "I could prevail upon this woman to do all
the duties of the situation, if she could be, as they phrase it,
'treated as one of the family.'"

"That is to say," said Bob, "if she could sit with us at the same table,
be introduced to our friends, and be in all respects as one of us. Now
as to this, I am free to say that I have no false aristocratic scruples.
I consider every well-educated woman as fully my equal, not to say my
superior; but it does not follow from this that she would be one whom I
should wish to make a third party with me and my wife at mealtimes. Our
meals are often our seasons of privacy,--the times when we wish in
perfect unreserve to speak of matters that concern ourselves and our
family alone. Even invited guests and family friends would not be always
welcome, however agreeable at times. Now a woman may be perfectly worthy
of respect, and we may be perfectly respectful to her, whom nevertheless
we do not wish to take into the circle of intimate friendship. I regard
the position of a woman who comes to perform domestic service as I do
any other business relation. We have a very respectable young lady in
our employ who does legal copying for us, and all is perfectly pleasant
and agreeable in our mutual relations; but the case would be far
otherwise, were she to take it into her head that we treated her with
contempt, because my wife did not call on her, and because she was not
occasionally invited to tea. Besides, I apprehend that a woman of quick
sensibilities, employed in domestic service, and who was so far treated
as a member of the family as to share our table, would find her position
even more painful and embarrassing than if she took once for all the
position of a servant. We could not control the feelings of our friends;
we could not always insure that they would be free from aristocratic
prejudice, even were we so ourselves. We could not force her upon their
acquaintance, and she might feel far more slighted than she would in a
position where no attentions of any kind were to be expected. Besides
which, I have always noticed that persons standing in this uncertain
position are objects of peculiar antipathy to the servants in full; that
they are the cause of constant and secret cabals and discontents; and
that a family where the two orders exist has always raked up in it the
smouldering embers of a quarrel ready at any time to burst out into open

"Well," said I, "here lies the problem of American life. Half our women,
like Marianne, are being faded and made old before their time by
exhausting endeavors to lead a life of high civilization and refinement
with only such untrained help as is washed up on our shores by the tide
of emigration. Our houses are built upon a plan that precludes the
necessity of much hard labor, but requires rather careful and nice
handling. A well-trained, intelligent woman, who had vitalized her
finger-ends by means of a well-developed brain, could do all the work of
such a house with comparatively little physical fatigue. So stands the
case as regards our houses. Now over against the women that are
perishing in them from too much care, there is another class of American
women that are wandering up and down, perishing for lack of some
remunerative employment. That class of women, whose developed brains and
less developed muscles mark them as peculiarly fitted for the
performance of the labors of a high civilization, stand utterly aloof
from paid domestic service. Sooner beg, sooner starve, sooner marry for
money, sooner hang on as dependents in families where they know they are
not wanted, than accept of a quiet home, easy, healthful work, and
certain wages, in these refined and pleasant modern dwellings of ours."

"What is the reason of this?" said Bob.

"The reason is, that we have not yet come to the full development of
Christian democracy. The taint of old aristocracies is yet pervading all
parts of our society. We have not yet realized fully the true dignity of
labor, and the surpassing dignity of domestic labor. And I must say that
the valuable and courageous women who have agitated the doctrines of
Woman's Rights among us have not in all things seen their way clear in
this matter."

"Don't talk to me of those creatures," said Bob, "those men-women, those
anomalies, neither flesh nor fish, with their conventions, and their
cracked woman-voices strained in what they call public speaking, but
which I call public squeaking! No man reverences true women more than I
do. I hold a real, true, thoroughly good _woman_, whether in my parlor
or my kitchen, as my superior. She can always teach me something that I
need to know. She has always in her somewhat of the divine gift of
prophecy; but in order to keep it, she must remain a woman. When she
crops her hair, puts on pantaloons, and strides about in conventions,
she is an abortion, and not a woman."

"Come! come!" said I, "after all, speak with deference. We that choose
to wear soft clothing and dwell in kings' houses must respect the
Baptists, who wear leathern girdles and eat locusts and wild honey. They
are the voices crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for a coming
good. They go down on their knees in the mire of life to lift up and
brighten and restore a neglected truth; and we that have not the energy
to share their struggle should at least refrain from criticizing their
soiled garments and ungraceful action. There have been excrescences,
eccentricities, peculiarities about the camp of these reformers; but the
body of them have been true and noble women, and worthy of all the
reverence due to such. They have already in many of our States reformed
the laws relating to woman's position, and placed her on a more just and
Christian basis. It is through their movements that in many of our
States a woman can hold the fruits of her own earnings, if it be her ill
luck to have a worthless, drunken spendthrift for a husband. It is owing
to their exertions that new trades and professions are opening to woman;
and all that I have to say of them is, that in the suddenness of their
zeal for opening new paths for her feet, they have not sufficiently
considered the propriety of straightening, widening, and mending the one
broad, good old path of domestic labor, established by God Himself. It
does appear to me, that, if at least a portion of their zeal could be
spent in removing the stones out of this highway of domestic life, and
making it pleasant and honorable, they would effect even more. I would
not have them leave undone what they are doing; but I would, were I
worthy to be considered, humbly suggest to their prophetic wisdom and
enthusiasm, whether, in this new future of woman which they wish to
introduce, woman's natural, God-given employment of _domestic service_
is not to receive a new character and rise in a new form.

"'To love and serve' is a motto worn with pride on some aristocratic
family shields in England. It ought to be graven on the Christian
shield. _Servant_ is the name which Christ gives to the _Christian_; and
in speaking of his kingdom as distinguished from earthly kingdoms, he
distinctly said, that rank there should be conditioned, not upon desire
to command, but on willingness to serve.

"'Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,
and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not
be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your
minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your

"Why is it, that this name of servant, which Christ says is the highest
in the kingdom of heaven, is so dishonored among us professing
Christians, that good women will beg or starve, will suffer almost any
extreme of poverty and privation, rather than accept home, competence,
security, with this honored name?"

"The fault with many of our friends of the Woman's Rights order," said
my wife, "is the depreciatory tone in which they have spoken of the
domestic labors of a family as being altogether below the scope of the
faculties of woman. '_Domestic drudgery_' they call it: an expression
that has done more harm than any two words that ever were put together.

"Think of a woman's calling clear-starching and ironing domestic
drudgery, and to better the matter turning to type-setting in a grimy
printing-office! Call the care of china and silver, the sweeping of
carpets, the arrangement of parlors and sitting rooms, drudgery; and go
into a factory and spend the day amid the whir and clatter and thunder
of machinery, inhaling an atmosphere loaded with wool and
machine-grease, and keeping on the feet for twelve hours, nearly
continuously! Think of its being called drudgery to take care of a
clean, light, airy nursery, to wash and dress and care for two or three
children, to mend their clothes, tell them stories, make them
playthings, take them out walking or driving; and rather than this, to
wear out the whole livelong day, extending often deep into the night, in
endless sewing, in a close room of a dressmaking establishment! Is it
any less drudgery to stand all day behind a counter, serving customers,
than to tend a door-bell and wait on a table? For my part," said my
wife, "I have often thought the matter over, and concluded, that, if I
were left in straitened circumstances, as many are in a great city, I
would seek a position as a servant in one of our good families."

"I envy the family that you even think of in that connection," said I.
"I fancy the amazement which would take possession of them as you began
to develop among them."

"I have always held," said my wife, "that family work, in many of its
branches, can be better performed by an educated woman than an
uneducated one. Just as an army where even the bayonets think is
superior to one of mere brute force and mechanical training, so, I have
heard it said, some of our distinguished modern female reformers show an
equal superiority in the domestic sphere,--and I do not doubt it. Family
work was never meant to be the special province of untaught brains, I
have sometimes thought I should like to show what I could do as a

"Well," said Bob, "to return from all this to the question, What's to be
done with her? Are you going to _my_ distressed woman? If you are,
suppose you take _your_ distressed woman along, and ask her to try it. I
can promise her a pleasant house, a quiet room by herself, healthful and
not too hard work, a kind friend, and some leisure for reading, writing,
or whatever other pursuit of her own she may choose for her recreation.
We are always quite willing to lend books to any who appreciate them.
Our house is surrounded by pleasant grounds, which are open to our
servants as to ourselves. So, let her come and try us. I am quite sure
that country air, quiet security, and moderate exercise in a good home
will bring up her health; and if she is willing to take the one or two
disagreeables which may come with all this, let her try us."

"Well," said I, "so be it; and would that all the women seeking homes
and employment could thus fall in with women who have homes and are
perishing in them for want of educated helpers!"

On this question of woman's work I have yet more to say, but must defer
it to another month.


When I first knew this great and good man, he was in his seventy-ninth
year, and quite as remarkable for strength of constitution, (though he
had been always ailing up to the age of threescore,) and for
cheerfulness of temper, as for the oddities which made him a
laughing-stock for Professor Wilson and the reprobates of "Blackwood," a
prodigious myth for the "Edinburgh" and "Quarterly," and a sort of
Cocklane ghost for Sydney Smith, Hazlitt, Captain Parry, Tom Moore, and
Lord Byron.

His "Benthamee" was believed to be a language he had invented for
himself, and quite incapable of being understood, or even deciphered, by
any but a thorough-going disciple, such as Dr., now Sir John, Bowring,
James Mill, the author of "British India," John Stuart Mill, the two
Austins, or George Grote, the banker and historian of Greece.

"Ah," said Mrs. Wheeler, a strong-minded, clever woman, the Mary
Wollstonecraft of her day, on hearing that I had been asked to the
"Hermitage" of Queen-Square Place by Mr. Bentham,--"Ah, you have no idea
of what is before you! I wonder you are not afraid."

"Afraid, my dear Madam! Of what should I be afraid?"

"Afraid of being left alone with him after dinner. He cannot bear
contradiction. The queerest old man alive. One of his most intimate
friends told me that he was undoubtedly deranged, mad as a March hare
upon some subjects, and a monomaniac upon others. Do you know that he
keeps a relay of young men, thoroughly trained for the work, to follow
him round all day and pick up his droppings,--or what his followers call
'sibylline leaves,'--bits of paper, that is, written all over with
cabalistic signs, which no mortal could ever hope to decipher without a
long apprenticeship? These 'leaves' he scatters round him right and
left, while on the trot through his large, beautiful garden, or, if in
the house, while taking his 'post-prandial' vibration,--the after-dinner
walk through a narrow passageway running between a raised platform in
what he calls his 'workshop,' and the outer partition. Here he labors
day after day, and year after year, at codification, without stopping to
draw a long breath, or even to look up, so afraid is he of what may
happen to the world, if he should be taken away before it is all
finished. And here, on this platform, the table for one guest, two
secretaries, and himself is always set, and he never has more than one
guest at a time."

Extravagant and laughable as all this appeared to me at the time, I
found truth enough at the bottom, before six months were over, to
justify many of the drollest caricatures.

That Mr. Bentham's minutes were drops of gold about this time, and his
half-hours ingots, in the estimation of others, I had reason to
know,--of others, too, among the foremost celebrities of the age. Hence,
though he gave capital dinners, it was one of the rarest things in the
world for a stranger to be seen at his table. The curious and the
inquisitive stood no chance; and men of the highest rank were constantly
refused the introductions they sought.

"Anne, if the Duke of Sussex calls, I am not at home," said he one day
to his housekeeper: nobody ever knew why.

And there were hundreds of distinguished men, otherwise well-informed,
who believed in Jeremy Bentham, afar off, somewhat as others do in the
heroes of Ossian, or in their great Scandinavian prototypes, Woden and
Thor. If to be met with at all, it was only along the tops of mountains,
where "mist and moonlight mingle fitfully."

For myself, I can truly say, that, of those I met with, who talked most
freely about him, and who wrote as if well acquainted, not only with his
works, but with the man himself, there was not one in fifty who had ever
set eyes on him or knew where to look for the "Hermitage," while the
fiftieth could not tell me whether he was an Englishman or Frenchman by
birth, (most of his writings on jurisprudence being written by him in
French,) nor whether he was living or dead.

Nevertheless, they were full of anecdotes. They went with the scoffers,
and quoted Sydney Smith and "Blackwood," while "the world's dread laugh"
made them shy of committing themselves to any decided opinion. But if
Bentham was a myth, surely Dumont was not, and the shadow might well be
allowed to prove the substance; and yet they persisted in believing the
most extravagant inventions, and the drollest, without investigation or

And even I,--I, myself,--though familiar with his works, both in French
and English, was so much influenced by the mystery about him, and by the
stories I heard of him, and by the flings I saw in the leading journals,
that I was betrayed into writing as follows in "Blackwood," about a year
before I first met Mr. Bentham, notwithstanding my profound convictions
of his worth and greatness, and my fixed belief that he was cruelly
misunderstood and shamefully misrepresented, and that his "Morals and
Legislation" and his "Theory of Rewards and Punishments" would change
the jurisprudence of the world, as they certainly have done:--

"Setting aside John Locke's Constitution for North Carolina, and Jeremy
Bentham's conundrums on Legislation, to speak reverently of what we
cannot speak irreverently of, _a truly great and incomprehensible mind,
whose thoughts are problems, and whose words--when they are
English--miracles_," etc.

This paragraph occurs _incidentally_. I durst not go farther at the
time; for Bentham had never been mentioned but with a sneer in that
journal. I was writing a review of another "British Traveller in
America," whose blundering misrepresentations had greatly disturbed me.
The book was entitled, "A Summary View of America ... By an Englishman."
My review was the longest paper, I believe, that ever appeared in
"Blackwood." It was the leader for December, 1824; and on the back of
the title-page is a note by Christopher North himself, (Professor
Wilson,) from which I extract the following rather significant passages.

"Our readers will perceive that this number opens with an article much
longer than any that ever appeared in our journal before. As a general
rule, we hate and detest articles of anything like this length; but we
found, on perusing this, (and so will our readers, when they follow our
example,) that in reality every paragraph of it is an article by itself;
in fact, that the paper is not an article, but a collection of many
articles upon subjects, all full of interest, and most of them not less
important than interesting."

"In short, this _review_ of a single book on America contains more new
facts, more new reasonings, more new speculations of and concerning the
United States of America, than have as yet appeared in any ten books (by
themselves, books) upon that subject. This is enough for us, and this
will be enough for our readers.

"We do not know personally the author of this article; nor do we pledge
ourselves for the justice of many of his views. From internal evidence
we believe that he says nothing but what he believes to be true."

On the whole, perhaps, I had better add another paragraph from
Christopher North's note. It may serve to disabuse not a few of my
countrymen who have hitherto misunderstood the purpose of my "mission"
abroad, and especially the nature of my connection with the "Blackwood"

"It is certain that he does know America well," continues the Professor;
"and it is equally certain that we fully participate in his feelings, as
to the folly or knavery of every writer, English or American, who libels
either of these countries for the amusement of the other; and we have
not the smallest doubt that the appearance of such a writer as we have
had the good fortune to introduce will henceforth operate as a salutary
check both on the chatterers of the 'Westminster Review' and the
growlers of the 'Quarterly.'"

Entertaining the opinions I have stated with regard to Mr. Bentham and
his labors, and being well aware that his early writings in English (the
"Fragment on Government," for example, wherein, at the age of
twenty-eight, he enters the lists with Blackstone so successfully, and
the "Defence of Usury," an argument not only unanswered, but
unanswerable, to this day) were such models of clearness, strength, and
precision, and so remarkable for a transparent beauty of style, that the
first was attributed to Lord Mansfield, and the last to others of like
reputation; while some of his earlier pamphlets (like that which is
entitled "Emancipate your Colonies," being an address to the National
Assembly of France, whose predecessors had made him a French citizen, or
the "Draught of a Code for the Organization of the Judicial
Establishment of France," written at the age of two-and-forty) were
quite as remarkable for genius, warmth, manly strength, and a lofty
eloquence, as the earlier writings mentioned were for clearness and
logical precision,--how could I be guilty of such irreverence, not to
say impertinence?

My answer is, that the believers in "Blackwood," having been pampered so
long on highly seasoned, fiery pap, to which the lines of M. G. Lewis
might often be applied,--

      "And this juice of hell,
      Wherever it fell,
    To a cinder burned the floor,"--

were not ready for the whole truth, for the strong meat, much less for
the lion's meat I should have been delighted to serve them with; and
so, as in the case of Leigh Hunt and some others eminently obnoxious to
that journal, I slipped in the few words I have quoted _incidentally_,
as a sort of entering wedge: and the result in both cases, I must
acknowledge, fully justified my expectations; for neither Mr. Bentham
nor Leigh Hunt was ever unhandsomely treated or in any way disparaged by
that journal from that time forward, so far as I know.

Let me add, that I did this for the same reason that I began writing
about our country, and about the institutions, the people, the
literature, and the fine arts of America, as if I were an
Englishman,--for otherwise what hope had I of being admitted into the
"Field of the Cloth of Gold," or of being allowed to break a lance in
the tournament which was always open there?--and that I continued
writing as an Englishman long after it was known by Blackwood himself,
and by Wilson, that I was not only an American, but a Yankee, and a
Yankee to the backbone, and that the signature I had adopted--"Carter
Holmes"--was not so much a _nom de plume_ as a _nom de guerre_, till I
had got possession of the enemy's battery, and turned the guns upon his

In personal appearance, in features, and in the habitual expression of
countenance, Mr. Bentham bore an astonishing resemblance to our Dr.
Franklin. He was, to be sure, of a somewhat heavier build, though
shorter by two or three inches, I should say, judging by the bronze
full-length you have in Boston. The prevailing expression was much alike
in both; but there was not so much of constitutional benignity in the
looks of Bentham, nor was he ever so grave and thoughtful as Franklin is
generally represented in his portraitures; but he was fuller of
shrewdness and playfulness,--of downright drollery, indeed,--of boyish
fun,--and, above all, of a warm-hearted, unquestioning sympathy for
everything alive, man or beast, that he called "virtuous," like the
"virtuous deer" and the "affectionate swan": and all this you could see
plainly in the man's countenance, whether at play or in repose.

So great, indeed, was the outward resemblance between these two
extraordinary men,--so much alike in appearance were they, though so
utterly unlike in reality,--that, after Mr. Bentham had passed the age
of threescore-and-five, a bust of Dr. Franklin, by a celebrated French
artist, was bought by Ricardo, at the suggestion of La Fayette, I
believe, and sent to Mr. James Mill for a likeness of Bentham.

"Do you know," said the philosopher to me one day, while talking upon
this very subject, "that Ricardo was my grand-disciple?"

"Your grand-disciple? How so?"

"Why, you see, Mill was my disciple, and Ricardo was his; _ergo_,
Ricardo was my grand-disciple: hey?"

But perhaps you would like to see for yourself the "white-haired Sage of
Queen-Square Place," as Dr. Bowring, now Sir John Bowring, used to call
him,--the "Philosopher,"--the "Hermit,"--the "High Priest of Reform," as
others, like Mr. Canning, the Premier, Sir Samuel Romilly, Sir Francis
Burdett, the two Mills, father and son, Dr. Southwood Smith, the
Austins, and Frank Place, the great radical tailor, used to call him.

If so, have the goodness to follow me step by step for a few minutes,
forgetting all the long years that have interposed, and you shall see
him, with your eyes shut, as I saw him first, and as I continued to see
him almost every day for eighteen months or so, face to face.

Picture to yourself a man "fourscore and upwards," like Lear, and like
Lear, too, "mightily abused," about five feet seven, a little stooping,
but still vigorous and alert; with a pleasant, fresh countenance, and
the complexion of a middle-aged, plump, healthy woman, such as Rubens or
Gilbert Stuart would gloat over in portraiture, and love to paint for a
wager; with a low, cheerful, trembling voice in conversation, though
loud and ringing in the open air; large, clear, bluish-gray eyes,--I
think I cannot be mistaken about the color, though Hazlitt, who was a
tenant of Bentham's at one time, and got snubbed for some little
impertinence, which of course he never forgave, calls them "lack-lustre
eyes"; very soft, plentiful white hair, slightly tinged with gold, like
flossed silk in the sunshine,--pushed back from a broad, but rather low
forehead, and flowing down to the shoulders. This white hair, when the
wind blows it about his face in the open air, or he is talking earnestly
at his own table,--and he never goes to any other,--he has a strange
habit of throwing off with a sudden crook and spring of the left elbow,
and a sort of impatient jerk of the left forefinger, which has come to
be so characteristic of the man himself, that, if Mathews (Charles
Mathews) were to do that, and that only, before you, after you had been
with Bentham for five minutes, you would have, not, perhaps, a
photograph or a portrait, but a "charcoal sketch" of the philosopher,
which you would instantly acknowledge. And, by the way, this reminds me
that I wanted to call these "Charcoal Sketches,"--that title being mine
long before the late Joseph C. Neal borrowed it of me without leave, and
used it for his "Loafer" and a variety of capital sketches, which have
been attributed to me, and still are, notwithstanding my denials. I
wrote one number only,--the first. It was a Yankee sketch; while his
were street sketches, and among the best in our language.

But let us return to the living Bentham. The stoop, you see, is not so
much on account of his great age as from a long habit of bending over
his abominable manuscript,--the worst you ever saw, perhaps, not
excepting Rufus Choate's or Napoleon Bonaparte's,--day after day, and
year after year, while adding his marginal annotations in "Benthamee" to
what has been corrected over and over again, and rewritten more than
once by the secretary.

He wears a plain, single-breasted coat, of the Quaker type, with a
narrow, straight collar, and a waistcoat of thin, striped calico, all
open to the weather, and trousers,--not small-clothes, nor breeches,
never being able to look at himself in breeches without laughing, he
says; thick woollen stockings rolled up over his knees, and shoes with
ties instead of buckles,--in short, the every-day costume of our
Revolutionary fathers, barring the breeches, the shoe-buckles, and the
ruffles, which he never could endure.

In the warmest weather he wears thick leather gloves, and in the coldest
a straw hat, bound and edged with the brightest green ribbon, and
carries a stout stick of buckthorn, which he has named Dapple, after the
ass of Sancho Panza, for whom he professes the greatest admiration.

While thus equipped, and while you are in conversation with him perhaps,
or answering one of his hurried questions, he starts off ahead in a slow
trot, up one alley and down another, or to and fro in the large garden
of Queen-Square Place,--the largest but one of all that open into the
Green Park; and this trot he will continue for a whole hour
sometimes, without losing his breath or evincing any signs of
weariness,--occasionally shouting at the top of his lungs, to show that
his wind is untouched, till the whole neighborhood rings with the echo,
and the blank walls of the Knightsbridge Barracks "answer from their
misty shroud."

On the whole, therefore, that extravagant story told by Captain Parry
has a pretty good foundation, though he never saw with his own eyes what
he describes with so much drollery, but took the whole upon trust; for
Mr. Bentham was in the habit of going after his annuity every year,
trotting all the way down and back through Fleet Street, with his white
hair flying loose, and followed by one or both of his two secretaries.
He was the last survivor--the very last--of the beneficiaries, and
seemed to take a pleasure in astonishing the managers once a year with
his "wind and bottom." Parry represents him as being taken for a
lunatic running away from his keepers.

Having now the man himself before you, let me give you some idea of his
habits and characteristics, his temper,--and I never saw him out of
temper in my life, though he had enough to try him almost every day in
his household arrangements,--his kindness of heart, his drollery, and
his wonderful powers of endurance, while working out the great problem
of his life.

At the time I knew him, he used to sleep in a bag, and sometimes with
most of his clothes on. This he did for economy. "It took less of
sheeting," he said. Then, too, there was not so much likelihood of his
getting the clothes off, should he get restless or fidgety. He was read
to sleep every night by one of his secretaries, who told me that he
often amused himself with reading the same paragraph or the same page
over and over again, without turning a leaf, the philosopher declaring
that he had never lost a word of the whole, and that he not only
understood, but remembered, the drift of the author. In this way my
"Brother Jonathan," then just published by Blackwood in three large
volumes, was read to him every night for weeks, and greatly to his
satisfaction, as I then understood; though it seems by what Dr.
Bowring--I beg his pardon, Sir John Bowring--says on the subject, that
the "white-haired sage" was wide enough awake, on the whole, to form a
pretty fair estimate of its unnaturalness and extravagance: being
himself a great admirer of Richardson's ten-volume stories, like
"Pamela" and "Clarissa Harlowe," and always looking upon them as the
standard for novel-writers.

Mr. Bentham was very "regular" in his habits, _very_,--and timed most of
his doings, whether asleep or awake, by a watch lying on the table. But
then he _always_ breakfasted between twelve and three, or a little later
on special occasions, and always dined at half past six, or thereabouts,
taking two cups of strong coffee in bed every morning, though he never
allowed himself but one, and died in the belief that he had never broken
the pledge.

And yet, notwithstanding all this, he maintained that there is no
getting along in this world--or the other--without "regularity," or what
he called "system." And that "system" he carried into all the business
of life, as well as into legislation and government; going back, after
years of uninterrupted labor and the severest analysis, to invent a
panopticon, a self-sustaining penitentiary, or rather to apply that
invention of his brother, General Sir Samuel Bentham, to the bettering
of our prison-houses and to the restoration of the lost,--or perhaps a
ballot-box, that nothing might be wanted, when that "system" he valued
himself so much upon should be adopted throughout the world, as the
outlines already are.

Scores of anecdotes are crowding upon my recollection, as I call to mind
his affectionate manner, his habitual good temper, and his amiable,
almost childish, kindness of heart. While yet a boy, for example,--and
this he told me himself, with a singular mixture of self-complacency and
self-depreciation, as if more than half ashamed of his weakness,--while
yet a boy, he was on a visit, where two different persons undertook to
help him to the goodies, among which was a magnificent gooseberry-pie,
one of his favorite dishes to the last. He ate until he could eat no
more. A third person offered him another piece; but, notwithstanding his
capacity, being "full up to here," he was obliged to refuse. He couldn't
swallow another mouthful, and the idea of _ingratitude_ was so strong
with him that he fell a-crying. I have no doubt of his entire
truthfulness; but I could not help thinking of the poor boy at his
grandfather's table on Christmas-day, who began at last to take things
rather seriously. "What's the matter, Georgie? what are you crying for?"
said the grandfather. "I can't eat another mouthful, grandpa," said
Georgie, still blubbering. "Never mind, my boy, never mind, fill your
pockets." "They're all full now, grandpa."

One of the cleverest women I ever knew, Mrs. Sarah Austin, the
magnificent mother of Lady Duff Gordon, and the author of a capital and
safe book on Germany, which seems to be little known here, though
greatly esteemed there, once wrote me as follows. She was a great
favorite of Mr. Bentham, a pet indeed; and her husband, the elder
Austin, John, was a disciple of the philosopher, a briefless barrister,
though one of the clearest reasoners and profoundest thinkers of the
age, as a paper on Jurisprudence, in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," will
show. He wrote very little, but his pages were worth volumes; and he
gave Benthamism unadulterated and undiluted, though made intelligible to
the "meanest capacity," in or out of the "Edinburgh" and the
"Quarterly,"--grasping every subject he handled with fingers of steel.

"God bless you," she says, after we had been talking about the
philosopher and his vagaries and whimsicalities,--"God bless you for
exalting me in my beloved grandpa's good graces. You can't think how
dearly I do love him, legislation and _all that_ apart; and yet, if
there ever was a woman peculiarly prone to love and admire a man for his
public affections and public usefulness, I do say I am that she, and
that I could not love a paragon of beauty, wit, and private kindness, if
he looked on the good or ill being of mankind with indifference or
scorn, or with anti-social feelings. Think of the divine old man growing
a sort of vetch in his garden to cram his pockets with for the deer in
Kensington Garden. I remember his pointing it out to me, and telling me
the '_virtuous deer_' were fond of it, and ate it out of his hand. I
could have kissed his feet; it was the feeling of a kind,
tender-hearted, loving child."

He had another pet, almost a rival on some special occasions for Mrs.
Austin. It was a large sleepy-looking tomcat, very black, and of a most
uncommon seriousness of deportment. The philosopher treated him with
great consideration, I might almost say reverence, and called him
Doctor,--but whether an LL. D., a D. D., or only an M. D., I never
clearly understood, though I have a faint recollection, that, on the
happening of some event in which Tom bore a part, he accounted for the
deference he showed, by calling him the Reverend Doctor somebody. Like
Byron, too, he once had a pet bear; but he was in Russia at the time,
and the wolves got into the poor creature's box, on a terrible winter's
night, and carried off a part of his face, a depredation which the
philosopher never forgot nor forgave to his dying day. He always kept a
supply of stale bread in the drawer of his dining-table for the

When he introduced me to Mr. Joseph Hume, the great penny-wise and
pound-foolish reformer, he begged me to bear in mind that he was _only_
a Scotchman, or "no better than a Scotchman"; and he once gave me an
open letter to the celebrated philanthropist, Dr. Southwood Smith, which
he asked me to read before it was delivered. I did so, and found that he
wished the Doctor to know that I had been at Queen-Square Place a long
while, and that, so far as he knew I had neither told lies nor stolen
spoons. Of course I delivered the letter, leaving Dr. Smith to take the
consequences, if any silver should be missed after I left him.

And, by the way, this reminds me that this very Dr. Smith was the
individual to whom he bequeathed his body, with certain directions,
which appear to have been carried out to the very letter, according to
Miss Margaret Fuller, who describes what she herself saw with her own
eyes not long after Mr. Bentham's death.

"I became acquainted with Dr. Southwood Smith," she says. "On visiting
him, we saw an object which I have often heard celebrated, and had
thought would be revolting, but found, on the contrary, an agreeable
sight; this is the skeleton of Jeremy Bentham. It was at Bentham's
request, that the skeleton, dressed in the same dress he habitually
wore, stuffed out to an exact resemblance of life, and with a
portrait-mask in wax,--the best I ever saw,--sits there as assistant to
Dr. Smith in the entertainment of his guests, and companion of his
studies. The figure leans a little forward, resting the hands on a stout
stick which Bentham always carried, and had named 'Dapple'; the attitude
is quite easy, the expression on the whole mild, winning, yet highly
individual."--In Westminster Abbey there was at this time, and probably
is now, a wax figure of Lord Nelson in the very dress he wore at
Trafalgar. It is set up in a show-case, just as Barnum would do it.

One other incident, showing his imperturbable good temper, and I have
done. A Frenchman had somehow got access to him,--through Dr. Bowring, I
believe. No sooner was he seated than he pulled out Mr. Bentham's
pamphlet, already mentioned, and entitled, "Emancipate your Colonies,"
which opens in this way:--

"You have made me a Frenchman. Hear me speak like one."

This the poor Frenchman read, in an ecstasy of admiration, as if
written, "You have make me a Frainchman. Hear me speak like _own_." Yet
Mr. Bentham kept his countenance, gave the poor fellow a good dinner,
and gossiped with him till the time had run out.

But Mr. Bentham could be "terribly in earnest," when the proper occasion
arose. Aaron Burr had been a guest of his for a long while, after being
driven abroad by the outburst of indignation here,--and, while with him,
made such revelations of character, that Mr. Bentham, who acknowledged
his talents, actually shuddered when he mentioned his name. Burr
declared, in so many words, that he meant to kill Hamilton, because he
had threatened to do so long before. He told Mr. Bentham, while boasting
of his great success with our finest women, that Mrs. Madison herself
was his mistress before marriage; and seriously proposed--in accordance
with what may be found in his Life by Matthew L. Davis, about educating
daughters and sons alike, and exposing them in the same way--that he
would send for his daughter Theodosia, and Mr. Bentham should take her
for his mistress; and in a marginal note, now before me, by the Reverend
John Pierpont, I find abundant confirmation of what Mr. Bentham told me,
though Mr. Davis undertook to say that the stories of Aaron Burr's
_bonnes fortunes_ were true, and that he had a trunkful of letters from
the leading women of his day to prove it, and that Mr. Bentham was
_untrustworthy_. Upon this point I challenged him to the proof; but he
shrunk from the issue.

"This reminds me," says Mr. Pierpont, in the note referred to, "that
Colonel William Alston, the father of Joseph, who married Miss Burr,
once told me, at his own table, that, soon after the marriage of his son
to Miss Burr, her father, Colonel Burr, had told him, (Colonel Alston,)
that, rather than have had his daughter marry otherwise than to his
mind, he would have made her the mistress of some gentleman of rank or
fortune, who would have placed her in the station in society for which
he had educated her.

"I believe, however," he adds, in a postscript, "that not even parental
authority or influence could ever have brought the beautiful and
accomplished Miss Theodosia Burr thus to prostitute herself to her
father's ambitious purposes."

In speaking of Burr, one day, and of his wonderful strength of character
and keenness of observation, he broke away suddenly, called him an
"atrocious scoundrel," and then asked me about his life and history.
Then it was that the kind-hearted, benevolent old man underwent a sudden
transfiguration. He trembled all over; his clear eyes lighted up; his
white hair was like a glory about his face; and he seemed like one of
the Hebrew Prophets, in his terrible denunciations of the heartless
manslayer, and the shameless, boastful profligate.

Our very pleasant, and, to me, most profitable intercourse for a year
and a half was brought to an end by the happening of two or three
incidents. His fat housekeeper, who ruled him with a rod of iron, and
insulted Mrs. Austin and others, undertook to manage me in the same way,
and got packed off in consequence, though I did all I could to keep the
secret, and prevent the catastrophe; but he insisted on knowing why I
left him, and he applied to the secretaries, who were witnesses of the
whole transaction. The philosopher was indignant, and insisted on her
making me a suitable apology. I said I wanted no apology, having made up
my mind to go on my journey. She refused, and he cut her adrift, after
having been so dependent upon her, I know not how many years, that he
would allow her to say, "The pan is put away," when he asked for more of
a favorite dish,--fried parsley,--which he had prepared for Dr.
Macculloch, the geologist, who at one time could eat nothing else. She
was reinstated, however, within two or three years after I left him.

The other incident was this. Mr. Bentham had urged me to write a paper
for the "Westminster Review," of which Dr. Bowring and Mr. Henry
Southern were the editors. I did so, and took for my text four or five
orations by Webster, Everett, and Sprague, and then launched out upon
the subject of Jurisprudence, of the Militia System, as it prevailed
here at the time,--a monstrous folly, and a monstrous outrage upon the
rights of man,--and of Slavery. The proof came without a word of
alteration or amendment. Of course I had nothing to do but correct any
verbal errors. But, lo! when the article appeared, not only had changes
been made, passages struck out, and various emendations worked in, but I
was made to say the very reverse of what I did say, and to utter
opinions which I never entertained, and for which I have had to suffer
from that day to this among my countrymen.

For example. The editor, who had never seen the pamphlets, as he proves
by calling them "books," interpolates the following, which, as I have
said before, I have had to answer for:--

"Violent exaggeration is the character of American literature at the
present day, and, compared with the chaster and more rational style of
_our_ best writers, the style of the North American authors _is usually
the rant and unmeaning vehemence of a strolling Thespian_, when placed
beside the _calm, appropriate, and expressive delivery of an
accomplished actor_." Bear in mind that the samples I gave were from
Webster, and Everett, and Sprague!--three of our coldest and clearest
crystals, and among the least impassioned, and certainly the least
extravagant, of our orators. "Sometimes," the editor adds, with a show
of relenting at last, "sometimes the reader will find these remarkable
parts the worst, and sometimes the best of the paragraph, and often
composed in a spirit worthy of a less vitiated expression."[D]

This was a little too much; but, owing to the expostulations of Mr.
Bentham, who had wasted about twenty or twenty-five thousand dollars on
the "Westminster Review," without a hope of getting a sixpence in
return, I consented to overlook the outrage. But my confidence in the
amiable Dr. Bowring was ended forever. We had a short interview, but no
intimacy after this, and I had begun to think of Northern Europe more
seriously than ever, when at last the tiff with the housekeeper settled
the question,--the Doctor declaring, though he knew from Mr. Bentham's
own lips how much he desired me to stay, and how unwilling he was to
part with me, that he, Mr. Bentham, said that he would as lief have a
rattlesnake under his roof!


[D] See "Westminster Review" for January, 1826.


    How the mountains talked together,
    Looking down upon the weather,
    When they heard our friend had planned his
    Little trip among the Andes!
    How they'll bare their snowy scalps
    To the climber of the Alps,
    When the cry goes through their passes,
    "Here comes the great Agassiz!"
    "Yes, I'm tall," says Chimborazo,
    "But I wait for him to say so,--
    That's the only thing that lacks,--he
    Must see me, Cotopaxi!"
    "Ay! ay!" the fire-peak thunders,
    "And he must view my wonders!
    I'm but a lonely crater,
    Till I have him for spectator!"
    The mountain hearts are yearning,
    The lava-torches burning,
    The rivers bend to meet him,
    The forests bow to greet him,
    It thrills the spinal column
    Of fossil fishes solemn,
    And glaciers crawl the faster
    To the feet of their old master!

    Heaven keep him well and hearty,
    Both him and all his party!
    From the sun that broils and smites,
    From the centipede that bites,
    From the hail-storm and the thunder,
    From the vampire and the condor,
    From the gust upon the river,
    From the sudden earthquake shiver,
    From the trip of mule or donkey,
    From the midnight howling monkey,
    From the stroke of knife or dagger,
    From the puma and the jaguar,
    From the horrid boa-constrictor
    That has scared us in the pictur',
    From the Indians of the Pampas,
    Who would dine upon their grampas,
    From every beast and vermin
    That to think of sets us squirming,
    From every snake that tries on
    The traveller his p'ison,
    From every pest of Natur',
    Likewise the alligator,
    And from two things left behind him,
    (Be sure they'll try to find him,)--
    The tax-bill and assessor,--
    Heaven keep the great Professor!

    May he find, with his apostles,
    That the land is full of fossils,
    That the waters swarm with fishes
    Shaped according to his wishes,
    That every pool is fertile
    In fancy kinds of turtle,
    New birds around him singing,
    New insects, never stinging,
    With a million novel data
    About the articulata,
    And facts that strip off all husks
    From the history of mollusks.

    And when, with loud Te Deum,
    He returns to his Museum,
    May he find the monstrous reptile
    That so long the land has kept ill
    By Grant and Sherman throttled,
    And by Father Abraham bottled,
    (All specked and streaked and mottled
    With the scars of murderous battles,
    Where he clashed the iron rattles
    That gods and men he shook at,)
    For all the world to look at!

    God bless the great Professor!
    And Madam too, God bless her!
    Bless him and all his band,
    On the sea and on the land,
    As they sail, ride, walk, and stand,--
    Bless them head and heart and hand,
    Till their glorious raid is o'er,
    And they touch our ransomed shore!
    Then the welcome of a nation,
    With its shout of exultation,
    Shall awake the dumb creation,
    And the shapes of buried æons
    Join the living creatures' pæans,
    While the mighty megalosaurus
    Leads the palæozoic chorus,--
    God bless the great Professor,
    And the land his proud possessor,--
    Bless them now and evermore!



"One more horse to shoe, Sandy. The man's late, but he's come a matter
of ten mile, perhaps, over the cross road by Derby, yonder. Lead the
critter up, boy, and give a look at the furnace."

I stooped to replenish the glowing fire, then turned toward the door,
made broad and high for entrance of man and beast, and giving a coarse
frame to the winter landscape without. The trees fluttered their
snow-plumed wings in the chill wind; on the opposite hill a red light
glared a response to our glowing smithy. It was the eye of elegant
luxury confronting the eye of toil; for it shone from the windows of the
only really fine mansion for miles around. I had always felt grateful to
those stone walls for standing there, surrounded by old trees on lawn
and woodland, an embodiment to my imagination of all I had heard or read
of stately homes, and a style of life remote from my own, and
fascinating from its very mystery.

But I anticipate. My glance travelled over the intervening stretch of
level country, wrapped in its winding-sheet of snow, and stopped at a
tall figure confronting me, leading by the bridle the finest horse I had
ever seen.

"Well, young man, shall you or I lead in the horse?" he asked,
haughtily; "that light on the hill must be reached before an hour goes
by, if I would keep an engagement"; and tossing me the bridle, as he
spoke, he drew carelessly toward the forge.

The few villagers whose day's work was ended, or whose business called
them to the smithy, suddenly remembered waiting wives and children at
home, the bit of supper spread for their return, or the evening gossip
at the tavern; and thinking the matter they came for could wait the
morning, since the smith was busy, gave way, and left only the stranger,
my master, myself, and the noble horse grouped around the forge.

"Look alive, Sandy! you'd better keep at it steady, if you want to git
to your schoolin' to-night," growled the blacksmith, in an undertone;
for he, too, had a memory for the smoking dish at home, and would gladly
stop work to eat of it.

So I busied myself at once collecting the needed materials, while the
smith proceeded to lift the horse's leg and examine the foot. The animal
resisted the attempt, however, by plunging in the most violent manner.

"Confound the beast!" muttered the blacksmith, as he dodged to escape a

"I thought as much," said the stranger, quietly. "The horse is very
particular as to who handles him. I shall have to hold his foot, I
suppose"; and with rather a scornful smile, as if the dislike of his
horse to my master confirmed his own, he stepped up and held out a
slender brown hand.

The horse lifted his foot, and gently dropped it on the outstretched
palm. No bird ever settled more trustfully on its nest.

My master swore an oath or two by way of astonishment, and then, seizing
his shoe, approached again. But the scene was repeated with even more
violence on the part of the horse: he pranced, reared, shook his head,
and snorted at the smith, who again drew off.

"I sha'n't get off to-night," murmured the stranger, impatiently.

"Let me try," I said. "Horses have their fancies, as well as people.
He'll like me, may-be."

"May-be he will," laughed my master, hoarsely; "but you're not a boss at
puttin' a shoe on. A dumb critter might take a shine to you, who's one
of their kind." And again he laughed at his own wit.

"Step up and try," exclaimed the stranger, impatiently.

I grasped the leg firmly in my hand; the horse made no resistance, and I
began my work.

"Well, seein' as you've made friends with the critter, I'll be the
gainer and take a bit of supper," said my master, after a dogged stare.
"Be sure you put it on strong, Sandy. I don't say as I'll charge any
more, though I'd make a man pay for showin' he'd a spite agin me, let
alone a dumb critter." And taking his hat from a peg, he walked off,
leaving me, with the sparks flying from the forge, busy at the shoe, and
the stranger, with one arm across the neck of the horse, watching me.

Ten minutes of silent work, and, as I loosened my grasp on the leg for a
moment, I met the eye of the gentleman, who, I was conscious, had been
watching me narrowly.

"The horse likes you," he said, pleasantly, here again as though he
shared the feeling.

"Yes," I replied. "Is he in the habit of doing as he did to-night with

"He is fastidious, if you know what that means,--as fond of gentlemen as
his master," he returned, so pleasantly, that, when I looked up,
reddening at the cool assumption of the speech, blacksmith's apprentice
though I was, my eye fell beneath the amused glance of his.

"I'm not a gentleman," I said, after a pause,--a little resentfully, I
fear; "but I'm not a clown, like my master."

"No, that one can see at a glance," he replied. "You may be a gentleman
for aught I see to the contrary; but it requires a great deal to make
one.--What school was that the blacksmith spoke of?"

"It is a village class kept by a young lady who rides over from the
hillside twice a week to teach us poor fellows something. I'm learning
to draw," I added,--the frankness coaxed out of me by a sympathy implied
rather than expressed.

"And you are sorry enough to lose any of this lesson," he said, kindly,
as I put the horse's foot, firmly shod, upon the ground. "There is the
regular pay which goes to the smith, I suppose; and here is a ten-dollar
bill for you, if you have the sense to take it. I don't know what kind
of a youth you may be; but you have a good head and face, and evidently
are superior to the people about you. You don't feel obliged to use
their language or lead their life because you are thrown with them, I
suppose; but neither are you obliged to leave this work because you are
better than the man who calls himself your master. Learn all you can and
get a smithy of your own. A good blacksmith is as respectable as a good
artist," he said, looking at me keenly, as he mounted his horse, and
then rode rapidly through the village street.


I was no proud-spirited hero to work my way independently in the world,
but a poor blacksmith's apprentice, glad of every penny honestly earned
or kindly given; so I handled my bill over and over again with real
pleasure. Amos Bray, my master, was about as well to do as any man in
the village, its doctor excepted; but I doubted if Amos ever had a
ten-dollar bill over and above the quarter's expenses to spend as he

The smithy often glowed with the double fire of its forge and my fancy.
I walked about with a picture-gallery in my brain, and was usually led
into its rather meagre display whenever the past was recalled or the
future portrayed. The smithy hung there, in warmth and brightness, a
genuine Rembrandt of light and shadow, filled with many an odd,
picturesque group on winter evenings, or just at twilight, when the fire
had died away to its embers. My master had gone home, and work was over;
the village children in gay woollen garments and with ruddy faces
crowded round the door, fringing brightly the canopy of darkness within.

Again, when, after days of monotonous work, I felt a benumbing sense of
being but a part of the world's giant machinery, chosen because the
mobility and suppleness of human material worked by the steam-power of
the brain were more than a match even for the durability and unwearied
stroke of steel or iron, the warm blood rushed back, life throbbed again
with its endless ebbs and flows of desire and disappointment, as my
master's daughter, with her golden hair and innocent eyes, summoned us
to dinner, breaking like blue sky and sunshine through the cloud-rifts
of our toil.

But now the smithy was not merely idealized, it was transformed. The
stranger, whose haughty bearing and address had changed to kindly and
appreciative words, had filled it with a new presence and excited new

Pleased as I was with the unexpected gift of money, the stranger's hint
of my superiority to those around me was a more generous bounty still. I
had been jeered at for years by the village boys, because I never
followed my master to the tavern in the evenings to listen to the gossip
there and learn to drink my mug of beer, and because I rarely talked
with any one except a few of the village children more modest than the

The alphabet of my mind, like that of the race, was first found in the
hieroglyphics of the pencil; and by its aid I communicated with my
little friends more frequently than by word, drawing pictures for them
with chalk on the rude walls of the smithy, and carving images of the
various devices my experience or imagination suggested out of wood with
my master's jack-knife.

From this group of children had arisen a constant companion and
sympathizer in my master's daughter. In leisure hours we explored the
woods together, or she sat beside me while I pored over the few old
books which were my father's sole legacy to me.

During the last winter and this, however, my evenings had been almost
constantly occupied in study and sketching at the class to which I have
alluded. What an endless store of drawing-materials now loomed before
me! And what a swelling of heart I experienced at the thought that the
aims for which I had been taunted by the villagers were acknowledged by
my new friend as a ground of superiority!

I was startled from these pleasing dreams by my master's voice.

"Hullo there, Sandy! where's the money for that job? He's a mean one, if
he a'n't made it double."

Instinctively I thrust my ten-dollar bill into one pocket, as I drew the
pay for the horseshoeing from the other. He swore a little as I handed
it to him, but he knew me well enough never to doubt my honesty; and, as
I was leaving, he called, with a gruff kindness,--the only approach to
courtesy of which he was capable,--

"Hurry up, Sandy; Miss Bray can't git Sary Ann to bed till she sees you,
and you're late for your schoolin' besides."

So I ground my way quickly through the snow, choosing the middle of the
street, because it was less worn, and helped me better to work off my
unusual excitement.

My master's cottage stood on the same street with his smithy. In fact,
this Main Street was, as its name indicated, the principal thoroughfare
of Warren; the real village life all centred here; and it contained,
besides the stores and the church, the dwellings of the more prosperous
inhabitants. The smithy being at one end, on the outskirts, as it were,
of the social and gay life, Mr. Bray had been able to rent it for a low
sum, although more pleasantly situated than any other building on the
street. Here the land made a slight ascent, giving a more extended view
of the valley and distant hills than at any other point. The business
character of this street mingled oddly in summer with the rural life
around it. At several right-angles, green and mossy lanes, arched by
venerable elms, seemed to be offering their crooked elbows to lead it
back to the simple pastoral life from which it sprang.

Bordering these sequestered paths, which were dignified by the title of
streets, were cottages surrounded by small inclosures, whose proprietors
cultivated vegetables, hens, pigs, and cows,--these last being, quite
unconsciously, the true surveyors of Warren; for, in direct obedience to
pathways they had worn when traversing the fields to and from their
homes, chewing the quiet cud of meditation, had the buildings been
erected. Outside these lanes, again, were the larger land-owners, whose
farms formed the outer circle of our life.

Annie Bray was fond of penetrating beyond these various circles of
social existence, and wandering far off to the woods and hills, whose
ring of emerald, studded now and then with the turquoise of some
forest-lake, inclosed us as in a basin.

As I entered the kitchen of the cottage, Mrs. Bray, a stout woman of
forty, the oracle of her sex in the village as to matters of domestic
economy and dress,--which last was of a more costly and varied material
than the others could afford, abounding in many-colored prints, and a
stuff gown for Sunday wear,--made her appearance, her apron covered with
flour, an incrustation of dough on each particular finger, which it
always destroyed my appetite to see.

"Well, Sandy, I'm glad you've come. You've jest sp'iled Sary Ann. There
she sets a-nid-nid-noddin' on that stool, and won't stir to bed till she
sees Sandy."

There, by the stove, sat the blacksmith's blue-eyed daughter, a proof
that God sometimes interferes with hereditary botch-work, and makes a
child fresh and fair, letting her, like a delicate flower in noisome
marsh or stagnant water, draw pure, nourishing juices out of elements
poisonous to anything less impregnated with Himself.

To be sure, through ignorance of the nature of the child intrusted to
them, the blacksmith and his wife blundered with her tender soul and
beautiful body. One of their most heinous crimes against her, in my
estimation, had been in the bestowal of the name of Sary Ann,--a filial
compliment paid by Mrs. Bray to the mother who bore her. Then they
dressed her in the brightest of red or orange, so that Nature, which had
tinted her complexion brightly, though delicately, seemed forever to be
put to shame by the brazen garments which infolded her. They called her
'sp'iled,' when her innocent eyes filled with tears at her father's
oaths or her mother's coarse scolding; and though her tender beauty
touched the rough smith with a kind of awe, he often said, "Such pootty
gals a'n't of much use. I mistrust if Sary Ann will ever 'arn her

Anxious as I was to get to my class this evening, I could not neglect my
little friend; so, going hurriedly to her, I said, as I bent over the
head which at every breath of sleep waved like a pale golden flower on
its stalk,--

"Good night, Annie. To-morrow evening I'll be home earlier, and then we
can have our lesson together."

And she, quite satisfied, held up her face for a kiss, and rose to leave
the room.

"Your supper is a-warmin' in the stove, Sandy," said Mrs. Bray; but I
did not wait either to eat it or to chat with her about the stranger
whose horse I had shod, and who interested her because she thought he
might have given "Amos" extra pay. Reminding her of my lesson, I pushed
up the rickety stairs to my attic, and began as quickly as possible to
make those preparations for meeting the teacher which the young men of
the class, impelled by a rude kind of gallantry, never failed to
observe, and which they described by the expressive term of "smartenin'


The class met in the village school-house; and when I entered, Miss
Darry, our teacher, was seated at her desk, talking to about a dozen
rough country youths, of ages ranging from fourteen to twenty-five, and
of occupations as diverse as the trades of the village afforded.

She was of medium height, rather full than slim, with clear,
intelligent, dark eyes, a broad, open forehead, a nose somewhat
delicately cut, a wide mouth, with thin lips, and teeth of dazzling
whiteness. Her whole aspect was that of physical and mental health,--not
only removed from morbid sensitiveness, but as far from sentiment even
as a breezy spring wind, and yet as prompt to fathom it in others as the
wind to search out violets.

One would think that even an ordinary nature might have so revealed
itself through such a face as to give an impression of unusual beauty;
yet such was not the case,--and this, it seemed to me, because she had
no feminine consciousness of personal beauty or attractiveness. I know
that unconsciousness is regarded as the first element of fascination;
and it may be, when it pervades the entire character: but Miss Darry
_was_ conscious of mental power, of the ability to wrest from the world
many of its choicest gifts, to taste the delights of scholarship, of
self-supporting independence and charity to range freely over the whole
domain where man is usually sole victor; and thus one felt the shock of
a vigorous nature before recognizing the fact that it was clad in the
butterfly robes of a woman's loveliness.

Her evening teaching of us was purely a labor of love. Fortunately, she
was not of that shrinking nature which dreads contact with persons less
refined than itself. There was a world of sympathy in her frank,
good-natured smile, which placed her at once more in harmony with her
scholars than I, who had passed my life among them. There was, too, a
dash and spirit about this young woman, in which I, as a man, was
entirely lacking; and it was this element which held her rough pupils in

I was the only one of them who had not been communicative with her. My
lessons were always better prepared and understood than those of the
others, yet I talked less with her about them; and in the half-hour
after recitation, which she devoted to my drawing, I rarely uttered a
word not called forth by my occupation at the moment.

To-night, however, I must have betrayed my new mood to the first glance
of her keen eye; for, after the other scholars had stumbled noisily out
of the room, she turned to me, saying,--

"Well, Sandy, often as you have been here, I have never seen your visor
of reserve or diffidence lifted until to-night. Do you mean to let me
share your happiness? Bob Tims has been telling me that the rosy-faced
girl up by Fresh Pond has smiled upon him; and Tracy Waters says he's
'going to hoe his own row next year, and not spend his strength for Dad
any longer': they are both happy in their way, but, mind, I don't expect
such confidences from you, Sandy."

Miss Darry spoke without satire. She sympathized with these rough
natures far more than with many of the more polished whom she met in
society, and I could not withhold my confidence from the cordial smile
and ready ear which waited to receive it.

So I related the incident of the afternoon, revealing unconsciously, I
suppose, many a budding hope, which waited only the warm sun of
opportunity and encouragement to burst into blossom.

"I am very glad for you, Sandy," she said, giving me her hand, as I
concluded. "Your village friends would probably advise you to hoard the
money as so much towards a forge; while others, less judicious than your
new friend, would say, 'Give up your trade, and support yourself by your
brain'; but I say, support yourself by your forge, and let what surplus
power you have be expended on your mind."

And here let me hold the thread of my story a moment, to express my
sense of the wisdom of Miss Darry's advice. It would be well, perhaps,
if more men, when striving to elevate their condition, should still rely
upon the occupation to which they have been trained, as a stepping-stone
to something better. Now and then comes an exceptional character, a
David Grey, who must follow the bent of his genius, and listen so
intently to the melody to which his soul is set that the coarser sounds
of daily toil are dumb for him; but usually the Elihu Burritt who
strikes hard blows with hands and brain alike is the man to achieve

"Your friend may be worth far more to you than his money," continued
Miss Darry, thoughtfully. "He can do much more for you than I, if he
only will."

"Do you know him?" I exclaimed. "Tell me who he is."

"A tall, dark-eyed gentleman, on a magnificent horse," she replied,
playfully. "I shall know him, Sandy, from your description, if I meet

And she placed my crayon-study before me, changing so entirely from
confidential friend to teacher, that I had no resource but to relapse
into my customary shyness.

After the lesson, we consulted as to the purchases to which my money had
best be applied. She offered to buy the books I needed in the city, to
which she was going soon for a visit, but she insisted on supplying me
with drawing-materials as before. Our good-bye was said more cordially
than usual, and I drew on my overcoat and closed the door with the
comfortable feeling that my welfare was becoming a matter of interest to
others besides myself.


The man who drove over from the hillside with Miss Darry was always
waiting in the sleigh when I went out from my lesson. To-night, however,
he was not to be seen. Supposing he had merely stopped for one more
glass than usual at the tavern, I walked down the street, but, finding
that he did not appear, and disliking to leave Miss Darry alone in the
school-house, so late in the evening, I resolved, as I approached the
turn which led into Main Street, to go back and investigate the matter.
The tavern was beyond the school-house, at a little distance from the
village,--as, indeed, it should have been, to insure sleep to its
quiet-loving inhabitants. As I approached the school-house again, I saw
Miss Darry, warmly muffled for the drive home, walking also in the
direction of the tavern. "She surely cannot know what rough men go
there," I thought, and, conquering my awkwardness, I ran after her.

"Miss Darry!" I cried, when within a few steps of her. She turned, and I
strode to her side. "I am going to the tavern to look after your driver;
it will never do for you to go there alone. Hadn't you better go back to
the school-house and wait for me?" I said.

"You must have a great deal of native gallantry, Sandy. One would
imagine, from your lot in life, you had not been used to seeing women
shielded from disagreeable duties. I will go on with you, and wait
outside," she answered, smiling. So we walked on together.

The sleigh stood before the tavern-door. A warm buffalo was thrown over
the horse, who was, nevertheless, pawing impatiently in the snow, as if
aware that it was time to go home. Asking Miss Darry to get into the
sleigh, for I would not have taken the liberty of assisting her for the
world, I hastened up the low wooden steps, and, pushing open the door,
stood inside the bar-room. I had heard snatches of song, as we drew
near, and, afraid lest they should reach Miss Darry's ear also, I closed
it after me. A few of the village loafers were there, with the addition
of one or two less harmless characters, who, strolling through the
country, had tarried here for refreshment and a frolic: among the latter
was the man for whom Miss Darry was waiting, stretched in a state of
intoxication on the floor. I made my exit as soon as by a glance I
comprehended matters, yet not soon enough to escape the recognition of
the villagers, who cried out, "Come on, Sandy Allen!--don't slink off
that way!--let's have a drink!"

As I stood by the sleigh, explaining to Miss Darry the condition of her
driver, a crowd of the half-drunken fellows came out of the tavern, and
staggered down the path toward us. I had not the courage to offer to
drive her home, but she did not wait for me to grow bolder.

"Jump in, Sandy,--no, not on the front seat,--here by me. I am afraid of
those men. Besides, I want to talk with you."

So I seated myself next her, drew the warm robe over us both, and just
as one of the men attempted to seize the reins, declaring he had himself
promised to carry the lady home, I caught them from him, and we drove
rapidly up the street.

Somehow Miss Darry's confession of a little feminine timidity put me
more at ease with her than I had ever been before. I was a strong,
muscular fellow of nineteen, perfectly able to defend myself in
circumstances of ordinary danger, and proud that a woman so superior to
me should trust in my readiness to protect her. Life and vigor tingled
in every nerve of my body; the clear, stinging winter air, exhilarating
to healthy, as wine is to enfeebled bodies, thrilled me with enjoyment;
and I was seated beside the most intelligent and appreciative companion
I had ever known.

How much of my life, with its restless desires and unsatisfied tastes,
must have revealed itself in that ride, which seemed only too short, as
she asked me to drive up the avenue leading to the stone house, whose
beacon I had looked at that same evening from the forge!

"Do you live here?" I asked, in surprise, as we drove swiftly along.

"Yes, I teach Miss Merton's little sisters."

We had no time for further words. The horse stopped before the house,
whose great hall-door swung open, letting a flood of light stream over
the stone steps. A young girl, wrapped in an ermine cape, ran down to
us, followed by the stranger whose appearance in the forge that
afternoon had created such a tumult in my mind.

The scene was a beautiful one. Every shrub and tree on the lawn was
enveloped in a garment of more dazzling purity than the ermine before
me. The moonlight was radiant, the stars sparkled lustrously in the
steel cold sky, the earth was carpeted and canopied with a beauty more
resplendent than the graceful luxuriance of summer. Miss Darry probably
ascribed my immovable position to artistic enjoyment of the landscape,
for I remained perfectly quiet while she explained the cause of her
detention to Miss Merton.

"We have been quite anxious about you," said the gentleman, as she
concluded; and turning to me, "Why, we are indebted for your safe return
to the young man by whom my horse was shod this evening!"

And before I could stammer a reply, Miss Darry exclaimed,--

"Jump out, if you please, Sandy. I should like to do the same."

I did so, mechanically, and was about to stand aside for the gentleman
to offer his hand, but she extended hers to me, and sprang lightly
beside me.

"You will surely take cold, Alice," said the gentleman, drawing Miss
Merton's hand within his arm, and turning to ascend the steps. Then,
first, I awoke from mingled surprise and admiration sufficiently to say

"I must go home. Good evening."

"Not at all," exclaimed the gentleman, turning round; "it is nearly
twelve o'clock, and I verily believe you think of walking back to Warren
to-night. You must take the horse and sleigh, if you go. Shall he not,

Miss Merton, thus appealed to, replied by saying to me,--

"Come in with us, Mr. Allen, and get warmed at least. I have heard Miss
Darry speak of you as the one of her class in whom she is especially
interested; so you see we are not strangers, after all."

There was no condescension in the gentle voice and smile for even my
sensitiveness to detect. I had never been addressed as Mr. Allen before;
and this of itself would have confused me sometimes, but now I forgot
myself in admiration of her.

That face was of perfect contour. Small and delicately fair, soft bands
of light-brown hair shaded the low, smooth brow and large gray eyes,
and the full red lips were tremulous with varying expression. Her hands
and figure were of the same delicate outline as her face. And as her
cape blew aside, I noticed the violet silk she wore, of that blended
blue and purple so becoming to blondes.

It were surely a narrow view, to ascribe this grace of expression and
manner, so peculiarly womanly, this evident desire to please even,
betrayed in careful attention to the artistic finish and details of
dress, to vanity or coquetry merely,--it is so often the outgrowth of a
beauty-loving nature, to be found in some of the most sensitive and
refined of the other sex.

Looking at Miss Merton, therefore, I seemed to have a vision of what
Annie Bray might become, if she were developed from within and
surrounded from without by that halo of refinement which crowned the
lady before me. Already I was developing an Epicurean taste for that
spirit of beauty which flooded Annie Bray's humble life as well as her

Miss Darry spoke to me, as we went up the steps; but to what I assented
I do not know. I listened to the low tones in front of me. I have always
possessed a preternaturally quick ear; but I confess I might have used
it to better purpose on that occasion.

"Now, Hamilton, of course he must stay all night," she whispered, as she
leaned on the gentleman's arm; "and I want you to make him feel
perfectly comfortable in doing so."

"Certainly, if he will; but pray don't spoil him, Alice, darling.
Because he is a youth of some scholarship, a good deal of refinement,
and develops a talent for drawing, it is no reason he should be made to
forget he's a blacksmith."

"It is too late for theories to-night, Hamilton," she replied,
playfully. "I have none, you know, like you and Frank Darry. I only wish
to treat him considerately. _We_ can afford to forget distinctions which
undoubtedly seem a great barrier to him. If he stays, he shares our
hospitality like any other guest."

The answer I did not catch. I had heard enough, however, to feel both
grateful and irritated.

I went in and warmed myself by the coal-fire in the library. I looked
covertly at books and Miss Merton while toasting my hands, and answered
intelligently, I believe, Mr. Hamilton Lang's questions as to the
village and my pursuits there. I did not neglect to speak a few cordial,
yet respectful, words to Miss Darry, at parting; but all I clearly
recall is the fact that I insisted upon going home that night, and that
Miss Merton, kindly offering to lend me any books I could find time to
read, laid her little hand in my rough palm at parting.


There was a variety-store on Main Street, with "JANE DINSMORE" painted
in letters of mingled blue and orange on the sign above its door. Miss
Dinsmore boarded in one of those green lanes whose inhabitants formed
the second circle of Warren society. To this fact it may have been
partly due that she was less appealed to than Mrs. Bray on all questions
of social etiquette; but undoubtedly a more sufficient reason was to be
found in Miss Dinsmore herself, who, though more beloved than any other
woman in the village, had a suppressed, quiet manner, not at all adapted
for leadership. Her reputation was that of having been a pretty, giddy
young girl, a farmer's daughter; but some great crisis had swept over
her life, muffling all the tinkling melodies, the ringing laugh, the
merry coquettings of the village belle. It was rumored that the old
story of disappointed love had changed the current of her life. Jenny
Dinsmore, though humbly born and bred, had been fastidious; the uncouth
advances of her rustic admirers were not agreeable to her; and so the
romance of the fresh young heart was expended on a college youth, who
found his way to Warren from classic halls for the renovation of
physical and moral health, and who, attracted by her pretty face and
figure, made his rustication less burdensome by devotion to her.

Jenny had not one of those weak natures whose influence dies away in
absence. She had inherited some of the old farmer's sturdy traits of
character, and her affections had a clinging tenacity of hold which
would not suffer the young scholar to throw her off so easily. When he
returned to college, he walked the grounds more than once, summoning
through the avenues of embowering elms the slender figure, the smiling
face, with the glow of the setting sun upon it, which had so often
awaited his coming at the stile of the old orchard.

However, parental authority, and the prospect of an ample fortune on
good behavior, soon convinced the young man of his folly. Let us be
thankful, who note this brief sketch of their mingled fortunes, that he
had a tender care for Jenny's trusting nature, and removed the sting
from the sorrow he inflicted by making her believe it inevitable. Thus
this little wellspring of romance forever watered and kept fresh her
otherwise withered life; if subdued, she was not bitter; and no one can
tell how the thin, wan face renewed its youth, and the wrinkled cheeks
their pinkish bloom, caught in that far-off spring-time in her father's
orchards, as, sitting in her solitary room, she remembered the man, now
occupying a prominent position in life, who said, as he bade her
tenderly good-bye, that he would never forget her, no matter what woman
reigned by his fireside, or what children played on his hearth. Perhaps,
in his stately library, no book was so welcome on a winter's evening as
an idyl of rural life, no picture so pleasing as that of some Maud
Muller raking hay or receiving the dumb caresses of the cows she milked.

What would the elegant woman, with her costly jewels, India shawls, and
splendid equipage, have thought of this whilom rival, who issued every
summer morning from the lane, in her hand a bunch of those simple
flowers, occupying, as she did, the border-ground between the wild
hemlock and honeysuckle of the wilderness and the exotic of the
parterre, the bachelor's-button, mulberry-pink, southernwood, and
bee-larkspur, destined to fill a tumbler on an end of the counter where
she displayed her most attractive goods?

She prided herself upon the tastefulness and variety of her selections:
ribbons and gowns, pins, needles, soap, and matches for all; jars of
striped candy for well, and hoarhound for sick children; and a little
fragrant Old Hyson and San Domingo for venerable customers. She walked
about gently; was never betrayed into any bustle by the excitement of
traffic; liked all sweet, shy, woodland natures, from Annie Bray to
squirrels; and contracted an affection for me because of my diffidence
and devotion to the former.

Whenever she came to the cottage, she poured oil upon the turbulent
waters of its domestic life; coaxed up Amos as daintily and charily as a
child would proffer crumbs to a bear in a menagerie; pleased Mrs. Bray
by accounts of her city shopping; and petted Annie, giving her
occasionally, in a shy way, some bow or bit of silk, of an especially
brilliant hue, which had caught her eye in town. She was a very useful
member of the Methodist Society, for she had always innumerable odds and
ends for pin-cushions and needle-books; and although her religious
experiences did not seek those stormy channels which the Reverend Mr.
Purdo believed to have been elected for the saints, yet her sympathies
were so ready, her heart so kind, that, when he saw her after a day of
activity collect her bunch of flowers again in her hand, and start, as
she often did, for one of the lanes or outlying farms, to watch through
the night with some sick woman or child, he was fain to remember that
"faith without works is dead."

Miss Dinsmore's store was exceedingly attractive to the young people of
the village. She lent a cordial ear to every matrimonial scheme; was
quite willing that all preliminaries for such arrangements should be
settled within her precincts; and many a tender word and glance,
doubtless, received its inspiration from a conspicuous stand for
bonnets, whose four pegs were kept supplied with those of Miss
Dinsmore's own manufacture, originally white, but so seldom demanded for
village wear that the honey-moon in Warren shed its pale yellow beams on
this crowning article of bridal attire long before it was donned by the
happy wearer. These bonnets were severally labelled on modest slips of
paper, after city nomenclature, "Bridal Hat"; and Miss Dinsmore would on
no account have parted with them for any less occasion, however festive;
so that one consulting her stand had as accurate a knowledge of
impending marriages as could have been obtained from the
"publishing-list" of the "meeting-house."

Moreover, Miss Dinsmore herself was laboring under that hallucination,
not infrequent with maiden ladies rather advanced, that her own
spring-time was perennial; and though by no means disposed to displace
the hero of her youth from his supremacy in her heart, she yet accepted,
with the ordinary feminine serenity, gallant attentions from youths over
whose infant slumbers she had, in times of domestic disturbance, often
presided. Hence it happened that the "Variety Store" often afforded the
first introduction to Warren society; indeed, so sharp was the rivalry
between it, as a lounging-place, and the tavern, that, when a youth was
won over from the bar-room to its counter fascinations, his work of
regeneration was regarded by Mr. Purdo as begun; and the walk round the
corner to the parsonage (which Miss Dinsmore's hats suggested) made his
calling and election sure.

Entering the store, therefore, on one of my leisure evenings, I was not
surprised to find there a number of Miss Darry's class, and the Reverend
Mr. Purdo himself, who had evidently walked in to discover what young
men had sowed their wild oats and were seeking the "strait and narrer
path" between Miss Dinsmore's counter and the wall. Mr. Purdo was of
middle height, and portly; and there was such a sombre hue about the
entire man,--black suit of clothes, jet-black hair, eyebrows, and
eyes,--that it was a relief to find that Nature had relented in her
mourning over making him, and bestowed a sallow complexion, which strove
to enliven his aspect by an infusion of orange. He greeted me with a
mild and forgiving manner, which at once reminded me of the quiet
strolls I occasionally preferred, on a pleasant Sunday, to a prolonged
sitting and homily in the church; but I was glad of his presence, since
it would be likely to restrain the boisterous mirth of the young men,
when I should make known my errand.

Since seeing Miss Merton, my imagination had been so filled with the
idea of how complete a transformation Annie Bray would undergo, if only
the ugly garments she wore could be pulled away like weeds from her
sweet, flower-like beauty, that I resolved to expend a part of my money
in buying her a dress. With diffidence, therefore, I made known my wish
to Miss Dinsmore, who responded at once with a ready comprehension of
the whole matter.

"I know jest what'll suit you, Sandy. Nothin' like vi'let for blue eyes
and yeller hair; my own was like June butter once, but of course it's
been darker since I've grown up" (Miss Dinsmore's gold was fast becoming
silver); "Sary Ann's is changin', too, I see. Miss Bray says she isn't
over-fond of stirrin' round; and I shouldn't wonder if 't was so. Sary
Ann don't look no more like workin' than a buttercup; but then, as I
tell Miss Bray, corn is made for usin' and flowers for starin' at, and I
don't know as any special sign is set on either of 'em to show which is
the best. Don't mind them youngsters, Sandy; they're always pretty
chipper of an evenin'. You see, I've measured off this piece of
calico,--nine yard and a finger; if you like it, seein' it's for you and
Annie, and a remnant, I'd want it to go cheap."

It was as near the shade of Miss Merton's dress as the coarser material
could copy it; and with all the embarrassment of a novice in such
matters, I signified my wish to take it, when the door swung open to
admit Annie Bray herself, who had come to make some trifling purchase
for her mother.

"All right, Sandy; we'll settle some other time," whispered Miss
Dinsmore, quite aware that I should scarcely like to make so public a
presentation of my gift, and quietly concealing it in a sheet of
wrapping-paper, while Annie, surprised and pleased at seeing me,
approached the counter.

"Bless your sweet face, it isn't often I see it of an evenin'," was Miss
Dinsmore's welcome to her favorite.

"Beauty's but a witherin' flower," said Mr. Purdo, by way of
professional improvement of the occasion, and pointing the remark by a
glance at Miss Dinsmore, whose early bloom he undoubtedly remembered.
"Still it's cause for great gratitude, Sary, that your cheeks are so
rosy,"--here a general laugh warned him of the dangerous admission, and
he added,--"it shows you're healthy, and that's a most aboundin'

"That's so!" exclaimed Tracy Waters. "You're mighty pretty now, Sary
Ann; and it a'n't no use to look ahead to the time when you won't be, is

Annie's cheeks glowed more deeply still now. She was accomplishing her
errand as quickly as possible; and while Miss Dinsmore tied up her
parcel, Tracy Waters bent over her, whispering. It may have been only
that "innate gallantry" alluded to by Miss Darry that made me reprove
his evidently unwelcome admiration.

"Annie is a shy little thing. Don't you see, Tracy, that she doesn't
like flattery?" I exclaimed, angrily approaching them.

"I see pretty plain that you don't want her to have it from any other
fellow than yourself," he answered, roughly. "Miss Annie," he added, in
imitation of my manner, "supposin' I see you home?"

But I pushed past him and went out of the store with her.

"He says I am to be his little wife by-and-by," said Annie, a most
unusual expression of disgust and alarm ruffling the quiet serenity of
her face; "but that can never be, unless I wish it, can it, Sandy?"

"I should think not, indeed," I answered, smiling at her earnestness.
"When he speaks of it again, tell him I want you myself."

"That would be a good way to stop him," she replied, accepting
graciously this solution of her present difficulty.


Miss Darry, knowing I could borrow books at Hillside, and that those
which I already possessed were the old English classics, bought for me
in the city only a Greek Grammar, through whose intricacies she proposed
to be my guide, and a box of water-colors, and brought to me some lives
of the old painters from Miss Merton's library.

She bewildered my mind by telling me of all there was in store for it in
the way of work and study. Her interest in my progress seemed to have
received a new impetus from her visit in town. She described the rooms
where were casts of legs and arms, heads and groups of figures, to which
I might one day have access, with the privilege of copying; and in
return I showed her two crayon sketches I had made in her absence.
Michel Angelo might have relished the knotty, muscular development of
the arm I showed her first. If there is beauty and satisfaction in
coarse brute strength, this member of my master's body was worthy of all
praise. On another sheet I had drawn, by way of contrast, Annie's
delicately small and fair, but round, arm and hand, which might have
served in her infancy as models for those of one of Raphael's cherubs.
She liked them both, and said that I should do as well, perhaps, in the
school of Nature as anywhere, for the present.

She desired me to become a sculptor, for form appealed more strongly to
her nature than color; and it seemed to be tacitly decided between us
that Art was to be my vocation. She thought that my strong hands,
accustomed to labor, could hew my own idea out of the marble for the
present, and save the expense of workmen. And then she described to me
the beautiful marbles she had seen abroad, where the artist's
inspiration was so chastely uttered by the purity of his material,
declaring that a subject which coloring would debase might be worthily
treated by the chisel. And when I exclaimed, that Autumn, with her
glowing palette, was as pure an artist as the old sculptor Winter,
chiselling in unvaried white, she reminded me that Nature was infinite,
handling all themes with equal power and purity; but that man, in
copying, became, as she thought some of the Preraphaelites had done, a
caricaturist, in attempting to follow her too closely. I was unconvinced
by her arguments, but held my newly bought color-box as a means of
proving to her the wisdom of my choice.

When I was about to leave, she said,--

"Sandy, pray don't make an enemy of Tracy Waters on account of any words
you had the other evening about the blacksmith's little girl. He's a
rough, but kind fellow, and your superiority and desire to rise in life
will stir up envy enough of themselves. Why not let him show his
admiration of the child, if he wanted to?"

"Oh, have they been telling you about that, Miss Darry?" I answered,
awkwardly. "If you knew Annie Bray, you would not ask me why I didn't
let him bend his great rough face over hers. She's only a child in
years, to be sure; but she has a woman's modesty."

"Oh, well, if she shrank from it, of course, as a gentleman, you were
bound to take her part; but don't spoil your chances in life, Sandy, I
beg, by any entanglement with these villagers of which you may repent. A
pretty country lassie to smile when you look at her would doubtless be a
comforting companion in your struggles. But once attain what you long
for in other ways, and you will crave an intelligent friend, whose
gaucheries shall not forever put you to the blush."

Miss Darry, in her appreciation of my abilities, sometimes forgot my
lack of attainment. I was not always familiar with her quotations, but
now I was more disturbed by her regarding so seriously my brotherly
devotion to Annie Bray, and by the depreciating estimate which she held
of her.

"I did not know you looked down so entirely upon our villagers. The only
way in which I could expect to differ from them is through my talent for
painting, if I prove to have any. My mother was a good woman, gentle and
quiet in her ways, but only a farmer's daughter; and though my father
was the village doctor, he studied his profession without any regular
training, and I suppose knew less of chemistry and anatomy than you,
Miss Darry. Annie Bray is as much a lady, in her childish way, as Miss
Merton; only she is the stone in its native soil, and Miss Merton has
been set by the jeweller."

I was irritated and had spoken warmly, but the bright smile did not
leave Miss Darry's face, as she answered,--

"Sandy, you have unmistakably the poetic temperament; but use your brush
on the canvas, and don't color every human being you see. I never could
comprehend why the practical affairs of life should not be ruled by
judgment and reason,--why the mental mansion should not have every
needful arrangement for comfort, though a hundred illusions may fresco
its ceilings. Every child is charming because it is a child, as every
bud is charming because it is a bud, though it may open a poppy or a
rose. I haven't a doubt but this little friend of yours will develop
some qualities of her ignorant ancestors to remove her in a few years
far from your ideal of womanhood. The rare gift of genius is as often
bestowed on the child of common parentage as on any other; but the
refinement which makes a woman a congenial companion is a mingling of
birth, education, and associations, in my opinion. It seems from your
own account, that poverty, not choice, apprenticed you to Amos Bray."

Her good-nature shamed me, and her unselfish labor for my improvement
touched me more deeply. So, though we did not agree about my profession
or friendship, I said no more.


As I have said, Miss Darry and I differed about Annie Bray. Yet her
words, having the weight of her greater knowledge of the world, and
really strong, though prejudiced mind, made their impression upon me.
Instead of regarding Annie with the old brotherly interest, I looked
critically now to see if any sign of rude origin betrayed itself in look
or speech. I found only the wayside bloom and sweetness quite peculiar
to herself, and many a quaint, rare fancy born of lonely rambles in
field and wood; but at fourteen, with no outward stimulus to act upon
her life, she was an undeveloped being, a child to be loved and petted,
but no friend for my growing and restless manhood.

In the evenings I worked hard, endeavoring both to improve myself
intellectually and to progress in my art. I was supplied with constant
reading from the Hillside library; but I had never been there since the
evening when I had driven Miss Darry home. The impression made upon me
at that time by Mr. Lang had not been wholly pleasant. Notwithstanding
his words at the forge, I felt as though he had in some way contended
for making me feel the drawbacks of my position.

One mild day in April, the Spring sun lay warm upon the earth, and the
wind brought from the woods the delicious scent of early flowers. I had
worked very steadily for several days in sole charge of the smithy; for
Mr. Bray had been away to visit a sister who lived some thirty miles
off. I had handed him quite large profits that morning; so I ventured to
ask for a half-holiday. It was granted, and after dinner I went up to my
room to prepare for it. I had practised in water-colors for the last few
weeks, and intended to surprise Miss Darry with a picture from Nature as
the result of the afternoon's work. So I thrust my paint-box into the
pocket of my portfolio, took a tin cup for water, and ran down stairs.

Annie was sitting on the door-step studying Gray's Botany, which at odd
moments in the winter I had attended to with her. My heart smote me for
that egotistic contemplation of myself and my prospects which had led me
to neglect her.

"Come, Annie," I said, "bring your Botany into the woods. We will find
plenty of wild-flowers there, and you shall help me, besides, to paint
my first picture."

The little face which had looked so dull a moment before brightened at
once. She gained her mother's permission, and was soon walking by my

On the slope of the hill which led to the stone house where so many of
my dreams centred, we found innumerable bloodroot and anemone blossoms,
with a few buds of trailing arbutus just blushing at their edges.

Annie had a wonderful fellowship with Nature, liking even its wildest,
most uncouth forms. The snakes, with shining skin and sinuous movement,
glistening like streams of water, or lying coiled like stagnant pools
amid the rank luxuriance of grass and flowers, were as eagerly watched
by her as the most brilliant butterfly that ever fanned a blossom. She
had a faculty for tracing resemblances in the material creation, akin to
that, perhaps, which causes many to see points of likeness in faces, so
that they, as it were, carry their home about with them, and see their
friends in the new costume of every land.

Childhood and genius alike look through and over the lattice-work which
separates the regions of the natural and the supernatural. She had firm
faith in midnight revels in the woods, held by those elves, fairies, and
satyrs who come down to us from the dim and shaded life of earlier
ages, and whose existence she had eagerly accepted when I hinted its
possibility. Her theory of the mutability of species exceeded Darwin's;
for she fancied that the vegetable world was occasionally endowed with
animal life, and that the luxuriant and often poisonous vines, which
choked by their rude embrace so many tenderer forms of life, waked up,
under some unknown influence, into the snakes, of which she felt as
little fear.

As for me, I encouraged this tangle of woodland dreams across her brain,
and liked to think she dwelt apart, blind and deaf to all contamination
through its simple power.

Annie was to-day, therefore, most happy that Spring was reorganizing her
dreamland again; and while I seated myself on a stone to arrange my
materials, she ran to fill the tin cup with water from the brook below.
Then she helped me with my paints, and watched curiously all my
preparations. When these were completed, I said,--

"Now, Annie, prepare a little scene for me, and I will paint it."

At first she was reluctant to make the attempt; but I insisted, and she
did so.

The tiny thread which fed the stream below trickled over a stone beside
us, making rich with its silver beads of moisture a cushion of moss
beneath. On this Annie heaped bloodroots and anemones, a few early
violets, and one or two arbutus-sprays, and then looked up to see if I
was satisfied.

"Yes," I said, "if you will sit on that tree-stump, and leave your hand

She laughed merrily, pleased to be in my first painting. I drew out my
paper, and rapidly sketched the outlines. Then I took my brush; the pale
spring beauties grew beneath its touch, and lay with careless grace on
the soft, damp moss.

Annie had resumed her Botany as the afternoon wore on, reaching forward
occasionally to note my progress; and her hand lay relaxed, the fingers
loosely clasping the last violets laid down.

I was giving most affectionate pats of my camel's-hair to the last
little pink nail, feeling more elated at this first attempt than at many
a better picture since, when I heard the tramp of horses' feet in the
road to the left of the meadow where we sat. I was too intent upon my
work to raise my eyes, and Annie sat with her face turned toward the
woods, so that I thought nothing more of it until we were startled by a
voice at a little distance.

"Well, my young friend, I suppose this studio is open to visitors?"

I looked up, and saw Miss Merton and Mr. Lang.

"We were riding, and called at the forge," said Miss Merton, with a
wondering glance at Annie, whose astonishment had not admitted of a
change of position; "and as Mr. Lang heard there you were off on an
excursion, we have been expecting to see you, and caught our first
glimpse as the horses walked up the hill. Won't you introduce us to your
young friend, Mr. Allen?"

"This is Annie Bray, my master's daughter," I stammered, with a keen and
very unpleasant remembrance of Miss Darry's remarks.

Annie rose, and returned with natural ease Miss Merton's smile and
kindly greeting, while Mr. Lang bent over to look at my painting.

"Alice, look here. This is as pretty a bit of water-color as I've ever
seen. A young girl's hand is a gratifying possession, but I am not sure
that I should have stopped with it in the present instance." And he
looked admiringly at Annie's modest beauty.

Miss Merton walked round the stump, and stood behind me.

"It is indeed pretty. Miss Annie's hand suggests the idea that these
blossoms at least were not 'born to blush unseen.' It reminds me of our
object in seeking you, Mr. Allen. A friend," she added, with an arch
look at Mr. Lang, "has been audacious enough to give me a costly
picture. I am to have a few friends to admire it to-morrow evening. I
know you will enjoy it; so I want you to come, too."

"You are very kind, but"----I hesitated.

"But what?" inquired Mr. Lang. "Speak out boldly, Sandy."

"I should not think you would care to have a poor blacksmith with your
friends. Let me come another evening."

"I am sorry, that, judging by your own feelings, you have arrived at
this conclusion," answered Mr. Lang, dryly. "I might have thought, under
similar circumstances, you would have treated us in the same way. Do as
you choose, of course; but remember, blacksmith or artist, no one will
respect you, unless you so thoroughly respect yourself as to hold your
manhood above your profession, and accept every courtesy in the spirit
in which it is offered."

I began to understand that he would guard me from the vanity and
over-sensitiveness which were the natural outgrowth of my position; yet
I reddened at the implied weakness.

"Pray don't mind Mr. Lang's criticisms," said Miss Merton, noticing my
confusion. "You certainly do not doubt the sincerity of our invitation?"

"Not at all," I exclaimed, warmly.

"Then will you not come to-morrow evening?"

Yielding to the fascinating persuasiveness of her manner, I now
consented so readily, that Mr. Lang, laughing, asked, in the old
friendly tone,--

"Did you paint this picture, Sandy, for any special purpose?"

"Only that I might show it to Miss Darry."

"Ah, well, let us take it to her. I have another use for it besides. Are
there any further touches to be given it?"

I looked; it might have been improved by more work, but I had not the
courage to undertake it before them. So I said I thought it would do.

He lingered a moment, while Miss Merton spoke a few words to Annie, who
only waited until they reached the stile to express warmly her
admiration of the lovely lady, who had invited her also to come some day
to Hillside, to see the air-plants in her conservatory.


When I descended from my room to the kitchen, the next evening, arrayed
for my visit, with all the elegance of which my simple wardrobe
admitted, Mrs. Bray exclaimed,--

"Well, Sandy, I protest, you do look smart! But don't be set up, 'cause
you keep high company. I s'pose, knowin Amos was a family man, and
couldn't go visitin' round, they took a notion to you."

Annie followed me to the door, saying,--

"You must remember to tell me about the picture, Sandy, and what they
say of yours; and do look at the plants Miss Merton promised to show me,
and see just how she looks herself."

"And anything more?" I asked, laughing.

"Yes,--what they say to you. You look as handsome to-night, Sandy, as
the tall gentleman with Miss Merton,--only such a very different

"Then you admired his appearance?" I asked, lingering. "I fancied you
were too busy looking at Miss Merton to think of him."

But Annie continued to unfold her opinion without noticing my remark.

"I should be afraid he wouldn't care for me, if I didn't look and act
just as he wanted me to. I don't like his way of being handsome, Sandy,
so well as yours."

Unconsciously, Annie was making her first experiment in analysis; and as
I did not quite relish the basis upon which my beauty rested, I bade her
good-night, and hurried away.

I knew I was not handsome, yet Annie's naïve admiration undoubtedly
braced me to face the evening. In my gray eye there was nothing of the
soft, dreamy expression usually supposed to accompany the æsthetic
temperament. On the contrary, it had the earnest, scrutinizing glance
peculiar to a more restless intellect than mine. The intent gaze of some
ancestor, perhaps, looked out from these "windows of my soul." If so,
and his spirit was occasionally permitted to view the world through me,
the "fancy gardening" in which I so extensively indulged could scarcely
have been congenial to his tastes. The eye was the salient point,
however, of a countenance not otherwise noticeable, except from a
girlish habit I had of coloring whenever I was suddenly addressed.

When I reached Hillside, I rang the bell with some trepidation, which
was increased by the announcement of the servant that the ladies were at
the tea-table. This trifling annoyance of presenting myself at the
tea-hour, when expected to pass the evening, was sufficiently serious to
my awkwardness to threaten my enjoyment of the visit; but I had scarcely
seated myself in the library when Miss Darry appeared.

"I hoped you would be in doubt as to the hour of coming, Sandy, and get
here early," she said, smiling brightly. "You must let me thank you for
painting that picture for me to look at; I even admired the little white
hand of your plebeian friend, it was so charmingly done."

I could not be annoyed at this mingling of praise and badinage,
especially when she relieved me from all sense of intrusion. Moreover,
she looked so brilliant, so sparkling and happy, that I watched her,
amazed at the metamorphosis from her ordinarily calm, intellectual
conversation and plain appearance.

"I thought perhaps you would keep the picture to please me, Miss Darry,"
I faltered, feeling that I was presenting it to an entirely new

She accepted it, however, most graciously, and led me into the
conservatory, that I might assist her in arranging some baskets of
flowers for the parlor-tables.

"I never did believe in conservatories," she exclaimed, as I expressed
my admiration of the many rare plants. "It is as unnatural a life for
flowers to be crowded together, each in its little pot of earth, as for
human beings in their separate beds in a hospital. The idea of shutting
up plants and pictures in a room by themselves, to be visited on state
occasions, or when some member of the family in a vagrant mood chances
unexpectedly among them, seems to me preposterous."

Meanwhile she ran in and out among the flower-stands, breaking off
branches of flame-colored azalea, creamy, voluptuous-looking callas, and
a variety of drooping blossoms and sprays of green, with a reckless
handling of their proud beauty, which I involuntarily contrasted with
Annie Bray's timid, half-caressing touch of the wild-flowers.

The umber-colored silk she wore toned down what I, who fancied the
delicate sea-shell hue of blondes, should have termed her rather strong
colors; and now, bent on my enjoyment rather than improvement, she
looked much younger, and certainly far handsomer, than I had supposed
she could. Her entire self-possession, the familiarity with which she
approached human beings, Nature, and Art, were to me so many indications
of her power, and because of my own awe in the presence of any
revelation of beauty or intellect, seemed the more wonderful. In
admiration of her ease, I became at ease myself, and was thoroughly
enjoying her gay mood, which puzzled while it charmed me, when the glass
door opening into the drawing-room was pushed aside, and Mr. Lang

"Good evening, Sandy. Alice and Mr. Leopold have been inquiring for you,
Miss Darry; but don't run away with those baskets so quickly. I want a
few blossoms for Alice's hair. Yours is gorgeous, tropical. Sandy's here
has as much of a wild-wood appearance as exotics will admit of. One
would think Nature was in league with Darley in making these ferns; they
are outlines merely; but this rich red japonica in the centre, on its
cushion of white flowers, shows you a genuine colorist, Sandy."

Miss Darry, making some gay reply, gave me a basket, which, designedly
or not, made me less awkwardly conscious of my hands, and we entered the
drawing-room. Unaccustomed to gayeties of any kind, I was quite dazzled
by the sudden and brilliant blaze of light, the few guests already
assembled, and by Miss Merton's beauty enveloped in soft floating folds
of gossamer, looking as though the mist itself had woven her a garment.
No time, however, was given in which I could relapse into
self-consciousness. Miss Darry occupied me with various statuettes and
engravings, until Mr. Lang rejoined us, accompanied by a gentleman whom
he introduced to me as Mr. Leopold, the painter of the picture which I
was to see in the course of the evening. Although my reading had
necessarily been limited, Miss Darry's persistent training, and my own
voracious appetite for information in everything relating to the arts,
had given me a somewhat superficial knowledge of the pictures, style,
and personal appearance of the best old and modern painters. In spite of
some obstinate facts tending to a different conclusion, I had imbibed
the conventional idea of a genius, that he must dwell in an etherealized
body,--and Mr. Leopold's stalwart frame, full, florid face, and
well-rounded features were a surprise and disappointment. I expected the
Raphaelesque,--tender grace and melancholy; but about these frank blue
eyes and full red lips lurked the good-nature of a healthy school-boy,
the quaint, unchecked humor of a man upon whose life had fallen the
sunshine of prosperity.

"So, you are the young man, Mr. Allen, who painted the Spring Flowers
and the Maiden's Hand," he said, in a full, rich voice, and with a
genial smile. "It is evident, you, too, are in your spring-time, while
I, near my autumn, can afford to refer to the peculiarities of that
period. I cannot regret that you have a life of struggle before you; for
it is not merely the pleasing fancy which paints fine pictures. You
would have let a sunbeam play over that little hand, had you possessed
the technical knowledge to manage it: now, wouldn't you?"

I crimsoned, assenting as though to a crime.

"Effects of sunlight on bright colors are sometimes very striking," he
continued. "A crimson flower wet with dew and nodding in sunshine is a
kind of tremulous rainbow, which a man might well like to copy. We must
make a compact to help each other, Mr. Allen, I want to study human
nature, and would like an introduction to all the oddities of the

I promised to make him acquainted with them, wondering meanwhile that he
craved for his culture what I regarded as the chief obstacle to mine.

"You shall meet Sandy at the forge some day, when work is over, and
visit the villagers," said Mr. Lang. "Miss Darry, shall you or I take
Mr. Allen to see the picture? He may like a longer inspection of it than
some of us."

I looked imploringly at Miss Darry, who, slipping her hand within my
arm, led me into a room corresponding to the conservatory in size and
position. The walls were mostly covered with cabinet-pictures, and among
several larger ones was the recent addition by Mr. Leopold. At my first
glance, I was conscious of that sense of disappointment which comes to
us when our imagination devises an ideal beauty, which human hands rob
of delicacy by the very act of embodiment: moreover, how could I, in my
dreamy, undeveloped boy-life, with a fancy just awakened, and revelling
in its own tropical creations, appreciate the simple strength, the grand
repose of the picture before me? What appeared barren to me in the man
and his works was born of the very depth of a nature which, in copying
the Infinite, had learned not only the tender beauty of flowers, the
consolations of the clouds, the grandeur of mountains, seas, and rocks,
but the beauty of common scenes, the grass and herbage of daily
intercourse and use. Touching the world at all points, he had something
to give and receive from nearly every one he met; and, as Sydney Smith
has said Dr. Chalmers was a thousand men in one, I can say that he had
the versatility and power of ten ordinary artists. At the time, however,
nothing of all this was in my mind; only a certain sense of satisfaction
took the place of disappointment, as I looked at the picture. He had
given clearly the impression of magnitude in the gigantic mass of gray
limestone which juts out of the deep blue Spanish sea. Misty flakes of
dispersing cloud above suggested the recent rain which had clothed its
frequently barren sides with a mantle of verdure. A few bell-shaped
blossoms hung over crevices of rock, fearless in the frail foothold of
their thread-like stems, as innocent child-faces above a precipice. It
was in this simple way, and by the isthmus of sand connecting it to the
continent, long and level, like the dash Nature made after so grand a
work, before descending to the commonplaces of ordinary creation, that
he had toned down the grandeur of stern old Gibraltar.

Miss Darry Indulged me long in my desire to look at the first fine
picture I had ever seen; but when other guests entered, we withdrew to
the farther side of the room, where I was not left in undisturbed
possession of her society, though conscious that she never, for a
moment, lost sight of me or my manner of acquitting myself. Miss Merton,
Miss Darry, Mr. Lang, Mr. Leopold, and a few others, formed the group of
talkers; and I stood within the circle, a listener, until Miss Darry and
Mr. Leopold obliged me to participate. They had an admirable power of
drawing each other out, and he seemed greatly attracted by her brilliant
criticisms of life and Art. Had I known of the theory which, robbed of
its metaphysical subtilties, is advanced in some of our fashionable
romances, I should have been convinced that evening that Miss Darry was,
intellectually at least, my counterpart. If I faltered in my vocabulary,
when expressing an opinion or replying to a question, she supplied the
missing word, or by glance and approving smile reassured me to recall
it; if my thought lacked shape and completeness, she gave it a few sharp
cuts with the chisel of her keen wit and clear intellect, handing it
back for me to color as I chose. Miss Merton, lovely as she was, shone
with a lesser light that evening in Miss Darry's presence; yet Mr. Lang,
tempted away for a moment, always rejoined her with an admiring smile,
well pleased at fascinations less indiscriminately exercised.

A little later, as I again approached Mr. Leopold's picture, not
venturing to return to the parlors, now that Miss Darry was engrossed by
other gentlemen, I became an unwilling listener to a few words of
conversation between Miss Merton and Mr. Lang, who stood just outside
the door.

"What a girl Frank Darry is for accomplishing everything she
undertakes!" said Miss Merton, admiringly; "how she has improved her
_protégé_! he can talk on subjects where I have to be silent, though I
have had what dear mamma used to call a 'finished education.'"

"Yes, darling. She has made his mental growth very rapid; but, in the
process of cultivation, he is gaining a little false pride, which I hope
is not of her planting. He blushes, whenever his trade is alluded to:
foolish fellow! not to see that the very fact of being a blacksmith is
his claim to superiority. A thoroughly trained youth might have done far
more than he without any special ability."

"But, Hamilton, you may misconstrue blushes which are so frequent; he is
in a new world, too; do give him a chance to make himself at home,
before you criticize him. You must admit I was right about his not
annoying one by any decided awkwardness of behavior."

"Oh, yes, dear. A certain sense of fitness goes with the artistic
temperament. I suppose old Dr. Johnson, devouring his food and drinking
innumerable cups of tea, might be a far more shocking social companion
than this blacksmith's apprentice. You are always drawing out the
lovable traits of people, dear Alice," he added, in a lower tone; "and
that is a thousand times better than Frank Darry's intellectual

They turned away then; and I, angry at being forced to listen at all to
what was not meant for my ear, and the more so that Mr. Lang had spoken
of me so depreciatingly, stood burning with shame and indignation. Annie
Bray's undoubting faith and love would have comforted me without a word
of spoken confidence; but she was not here to give it; and, longing for
the reassurance of Miss Darry's presence, I entered the
drawing-room,--but would gladly have withdrawn again, for Mr. Lang came
quickly toward me.

"Sandy," he said, "this may not be exactly the time to discuss business
matters with you; but your friends seem to feel that you deserve a
better chance in the world. Mr. Bray, to whom I spoke yesterday, says
you were not bound to serve him after your eighteenth birthday, but that
you have never expressed a wish to leave. Don't you see what a foolish
fellow you are to work for him, when you might be earning for yourself?"

"But I have had no money to start with. I have had time for study, too,"
I stammered.

"Two reasons sufficient for an abstracted youth like you, but utterly
unpractical. I want you to hire a forge this side of Warren. I will
insure you custom enough to warrant the step."

He looked at me keenly as he spoke, while I colored with the pride and
indignation which, since his words to Miss Merton a few moments before,
I had been trying to control. Was this to be the end of all my hopes,
the object of Miss Darry's instructions, her flattering encouragements
and exaggerated estimate of my "genius," as she had termed it, that I
might have a forge of my own, to which I should be compelled to give
undivided attention, and shoe Mr. Lang's horses, and possibly some
others belonging to Miss Merton's visitors? Yet, remembering how much
had been already, if unwisely, done for me, I held down these thoughts,
and, after a momentary pause, professed my willingness to think the
matter over, if I could reserve time for other pursuits. His face
lighted up, then, with the smile which had charmed me at the forge.

"You are not spoiled yet, Sandy, I see. If you will only keep to your
trade, I will keep you to your art. You must have a boy at the forge,
and in the afternoons you can come here and paint under Mr. Leopold's
direction: he makes his home here during the summer, and he says you
have a talent worth cultivation."

The revulsion of feeling was as complete as he could have desired; and I
had not fully expressed my gratitude when Miss Darry appeared. I went
with her to bid Miss Merton good-evening, and she stood in the moonlight
beside me on the step, as Annie Bray had done a few hours before; but
now I also was a changed character.

"I am proud of my pupil, Sandy," she said, with more of her ordinary
manner than I had observed during the evening. "If I can place you in
better hands than mine, I shall be willing to give you up."

"Give me up? never!" I cried, "Why, Miss Darry, this evening has proved
to me that I could not sustain myself in any untried position without
some help from you."

She smiled, saying I was ridiculously unconscious of my own ability, and
yet looking gratified, I fancied, at the confession.

(_To be continued._)


In the spring of 1860 an article was published in this magazine with the
above title, giving an account of the extension of the telegraph up to
that time. Its progress since has been very great in every quarter of
the globe. Upon this continent the electric wire extends from the Gulf
of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the
Pacific Ocean, connecting upwards of six thousand cities and villages;
while upon the Eastern Continent unbroken telegraphic communication
exists from London to all parts of Europe,--to Tripoli and Algiers, in
Africa,--Cairo, in Egypt,--Teheran, in Persia,--Jerusalem, in
Syria,--Bagdad and Nineveh, in Asiatic Turkey,--Bombay, Calcutta, and
other important cities, in India,--Irkoutsk, the capital of Eastern
Siberia,--and to Kiakhta, on the borders of China.

But however rapid the extension of the telegraph has been in the past,
it is destined to show still greater advancement in the future. Neither
the American nor the European system has yet attained to its ultimate
development. Transient wars now delay the establishment of lines in San
Juan, Panama, Quito, Lima, Valparaiso, Buenos Ayres, Montevideo, Rio
Janeiro, Surinam, Caraccas, and Mexico, and the incorporating of them,
with all their local ramifications, into one American telegraph system.
The Atlantic cable, although its recent attempted submergence has proved
a failure, will yet be successfully laid; while the equally important
enterprise of establishing overland telegraphic communication with
Europe _viâ_ the Pacific coast and the Amoor River is now being
vigorously pushed forward towards its successful completion.

The latter project, which is being carried out by the Western Union
Extension Telegraph Company, with a capital of ten million dollars,
embraces the construction of a line of telegraph from New Westminster,
British Columbia, the northern terminus of the California State
Telegraph Company, through British Columbia and Russian America to Cape
Prince of Wales, and thence across Behring's Strait to East Cape; or, if
found more practicable, from Cape Romanzoff to St. Lawrence Island,
thence to Cape Tchuktchi, and thence by an inland route around the Sea
of Okhotsk to the mouth of the Amoor River. At this point it is to be
joined by the line now being constructed by the Russian Government to
connect with Irkoutsk, where a line of telegraph begins, which stretches
through Tomsk and Omsk, in Western Siberia, Katharinburg, on the
Asiatic-European frontier, Perm, Kasan, Nijni-Novogorod, and Moscow, to
St. Petersburg.

This line, which was projected by Perry McDonough Collins, Esq., United
States Commercial Agent for the Amoor River, with its extension by the
Russian Government to Irkoutsk, is the link now wanted to supply direct
and unbroken telegraphic communication from Cape Race, in Newfoundland,
on the eastern coast of America, across the Western Continent, the
Pacific Ocean, and the Eastern Continent, to Cape Clear, in Ireland, the
westernmost projection of Europe; and when a submarine cable shall be
successfully laid between Cape Clear and Cape Race, will complete a
telegraphic circuit around the earth between the parallels of forty-two
and sixty-five degrees of north latitude.

The chief difficulties to be anticipated in Mr. Collins's enterprise are
the extent of the territory to be traversed, its wild and rugged surface
formation, and the uncivilized character of its inhabitants.

The distance to be traversed through British America is six hundred
miles; through Russian America, nineteen hundred miles; the length of
the submarine cable across Behring's Strait, four hundred miles; and the
distance from East Cape, by an inland passage around the Sea of
Okhotsk, and through the settlements of Okhotsk, Ayan, and Shanter's
Bay, which are well-known stations of the whale-fishery, to the mouth of
the Amoor River, is about twenty-five hundred miles. The entire length
of the line would thus be about five thousand four hundred miles.

That portion of the route which lies through British Columbia is chiefly
mountainous, but divided into three ranges, whose courses are from north
to south, while intervening valleys invite the introduction of
telegraphs and roads. The Pacific coast of Russian America is mainly
level. The portion of Siberia which lies between East Cape and the head
of the Sea of Okhotsk is, for a large extent, a steppe or plain, with
gentle elevations occasionally rising into mountainous ridges. At the
head of the Sea of Okhotsk a range of mountains must be crossed; and the
region lying between that range and the mouth of the Amoor River is of
the same character as that before mentioned, which extends from the same
range northward to East Cape. The electric telegraph has already been
carried over steppes, in both continents, similar to those above
described; and the Pacific telegraph line, in crossing the Sierra
Nevada, rises to an elevation greater than that which is to be
surmounted on this line.

Suitable timber for setting up the line can be found on those portions
of the route lying within British Columbia and the Russian dominions on
each continent, with the exception of an unwooded steppe five hundred
miles wide on each side of Behring's Strait. Here the needful timber can
be brought near to the line, either by sea or from the forest-covered
shores of navigable rivers.

The temperature of the region through which the northern part of the
line would pass is very low; but the winter is less severe than between
the same parallels of latitude on the Atlantic coast. The telegraphic
line which connects St. Petersburg with Archangel, on the White Sea, and
that also which passes around the Gulf of Bothnia and connects St.
Petersburg with Tornea, are maintained in operation without difficulty,
although they cross as high parallels of latitude as those which lie in
the way of this overland line to Europe. The waters of Behring's Strait
are about one hundred and eighty feet deep, and they are frozen through
one half of the year; but the congealed mass, when broken, generally
takes the form of anchor ice, and not that of iceberg. Thus climate
seems to offer no serious obstacle to the enterprise; while it is worthy
of consideration that in high latitudes timber is far less perishable
than in low, and less insulating material is required in cold regions
than in more genial climates.

Indian tribes are found along the American part of the route, but they
have been so well subjected to the influences of society and government,
through the operations of the fur-trade, that no serious resistance from
them is apprehended. The inhabitants of Asiatic Russia, who dwell
inland, are nomadic Tartars, affecting much independence, but they are,
nevertheless, not savages, like the American natives. After centuries of
internal war, they have now settled into a state of semi-civilization,
in which they are accustomed to barter with whalers, with exploring
parties, and with the Government agents of Russia, and they are
hospitably inclined by that intercourse. Thus it is seen that there are
no insuperable obstacles, either physical or social, in the way of this
projected line of intercontinental telegraph.

From New Westminster, the capital of British Columbia, situated on
Frazer River, about fifteen miles from its mouth, and the terminus of
the California State Telegraph, the line of the Collins Overland
Telegraph has already been commenced. A letter from Mr. F. L. Pope,
Assistant-Engineer of the Overland Company, dated June 13th, 1865,
states that the work on this portion of the line is proceeding with
great energy. Scarcely two months had elapsed since active operations
were commenced; and yet during that time nearly three hundred miles of
poles had been cut and prepared for use, a large number had been set,
and the remainder had been already distributed along the line. The poles
are nearly all of cedar, and of good size, and will form one of the most
durable lines on the American continent. When the extremely mountainous
and difficult nature of the country along the Frazer River is taken into
consideration, the rapidity with which this large amount of work has
been done is extraordinary. It seems quite probable that the line will
be finished the present season from New Westminster to Quesnell River,
the terminus of the wagon-road to the mines.

The Colonial Government are now engaged in cutting a road from New
Westminster to Yale, a distance of about ninety miles, along which the
wire will be carried. There has heretofore been no communication between
these points except by water. The river is bordered on both sides by
high mountains and dense forests of heavy timber, with an almost
impenetrable undergrowth. Notwithstanding these difficulties, Mr.
Conway, one of the telegraph engineers, made an exploration of the
entire route, during the latter part of last winter, on snow-shoes,
being at one time three days in the woods without food or blankets.

From Yale to the Quesnell River, a distance of some three hundred miles,
the line will follow the wagon-road, which has been built at an enormous
expense by the Colonial Government, as a means of communication with the
gold-mining regions of Carriboo. It will be a matter of considerable
difficulty to set up a line of telegraph over that portion of this road
which passes through the great canon, as in many places the road has a
perpendicular wall of rock upon one side and a perpendicular precipice
on the other, and in one place is carried around the face of a cliff in
this manner, at an elevation of some two thousand feet, directly over
the river, being in some places blasted out of the solid rock, and in
others supported by a sort of staging.

Two exploring parties have been dispatched from San Francisco: one to
examine the route through Eastern Siberia, between Behring's Strait and
the Amoor; and the other to follow the proposed route up the Frazer
River in British Columbia, and thence along the valley supposed to exist
between the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Range, to the head-waters of
Pelly River, following down the valley of this river and the Yerkin,
into which it empties, to a point near the mouth of the latter, or in
the neighborhood of Behring's Strait.

The Pacific Telegraph Line, which will form an important link in the
overland line to Europe, was projected in 1859, when the measure was
first brought to the attention of Congress. A bill in aid of the project
was passed after some opposition, and proposals for the construction of
the line were invited by Secretary Cobb. Mr. Hiram Sibley, President of
the Western Union Telegraph Company, who was really the originator of
the whole enterprise, submitted to the directors of the Company the
question of authorizing him to send in proposals; but so formidable did
the undertaking appear, that the proposition was carried only by a
single vote.

After long and tedious delays on the part of Secretary Cobb, the
contract for building the line was awarded, on the 20th of September,
1860, to Mr. Sibley, on behalf of the Western Union Telegraph Company.
The Company at once assumed the contract, and furnished all the money
required for the line east of Salt Lake.

Mr. J. H. Wade, of Cleveland, one of the officers of the Company, now
visited California to confer with parties familiar with the various
routes, to determine where and how to build the line, and to arrange
with the telegraph companies in the Pacific States to extend their lines
eastward and form a business connection. The California Company agreed
to assume the construction of the line to Salt Lake City, and, if
possible, to have it completed to that point as soon as the line from
the eastward reached there. The route selected was _viâ_ Forts Kearney,
Laramie, and Bridger, crossing the Rocky Mountains at the South Pass,
and thence to Salt Lake City; and from this point, _viâ_ Forts
Crittenden and Churchill, across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to
Placerville and San Francisco. Mr. Edward Creighton, who had already
surveyed the proposed route, and was convinced of the feasibility of
maintaining a line over it, was appointed superintendent of

The Company was organized April 17th, 1862, after which time nearly all
the wire, insulators, and other material had to be manufactured before
the construction of the line could be proceeded with. The reader can
judge of the extent of the preparations required for setting up two
thousand miles of telegraph through a wilderness inhabited only by
Indians and wild beasts, and a part of which was a desert. The materials
and tools were taken to Omaha, Kansas, at which point everything
necessary for the enterprise was gathered in readiness to start

Of the force employed on the Pacific side we have no knowledge; but for
the line from Omaha to Salt Lake City, Mr. Creighton had four hundred
men, fitted out for a hard campaign, with a rifle and navy-revolver for
each man, and with the necessary provisions, including one hundred head
of cattle for beef, to be driven with the train and killed as needed.
For the transportation of the material and the supplies for this army of
workmen, five hundred oxen and mules and over one hundred wagons were
purchased by the Company; and these not proving sufficient, other
transportation was hired, making the total number of beasts of burden
seven hundred oxen and one hundred pair of mules.

The first pole was set up on the 4th of July, 1862, and the line was
completed to Salt Lake on the 18th of October following,--the California
party reaching the same point six days later. The work proceeded at the
rate of about ten miles per day.

The whole line is upon poles,--it being thought best to cross the rivers
in this manner rather than by means of submarine cables. The country is
for the most part bare of wood; the longest distance, however, that
timber had to be drawn in one stretch was two hundred and forty miles.
The poles are of large size, and stand eighty to the mile, more than
half of red cedar, the remainder mostly pine. On the highest mountains,
where the snow accumulates to a great depth during the winter, they are
of extra size, and sufficiently tall to keep the wires above the deepest
snow; they are also placed close enough together to prevent the wire
being broken by an accumulation of snow and sleet.

The wire used in this line is No. 9 iron, zinc-coated, weighing three
hundred and fifty pounds to the mile, and the total weight used between
Omaha and San Francisco amounts to seven hundred thousand pounds. The
insulators are of glass, protected by a wooden shield, of the pattern
known as the Wade insulator.

The line is worked by Morse instruments, usually direct from Chicago to
Salt Lake, Hicks's self-acting repeaters being kept in the circuit at
Omaha and Fort Laramie. At Salt Lake the messages are rewritten, and
thence sent direct to San Francisco. The stations average about one for
each fifty miles, and the whole length of the line is inspected twice a
week by persons employed for the purpose. The cost of construction was
about two hundred and fifty dollars per mile.

No trouble was experienced from Indian depredations until the last
winter. Up to that time the line had worked almost uninterruptedly. Even
during the Indian difficulties of the previous summer and autumn, which
compelled the suspension of the overland mail, the telegraph was not in
any manner molested by the savages. This was supposed to be owing in a
great measure to the influence of superstitious fear among them in
regard to the wire, which they supposed to be under the especial care of
the Great Spirit; but it was probably largely due also to the many kind
offices done them by the telegraph-operators, who frequently ascertained
where the buffalo were in force, and informed their red-skinned
neighbors, who were thus enabled to find their favorite game. The charm
is now, however, unfortunately, dispelled; and the savages take every
opportunity to break and carry off the wire and destroy the poles.
Government is dispatching a large force of cavalry to punish the
marauders and protect the line, which it is to be hoped may prove

       *       *       *       *       *

It has already been mentioned that the Russian Government has undertaken
to extend the main eastern and western line from Irkoutsk to the mouth
of the Amoor River. This extension is now rapidly progressing. But this
is only a single and not very prominent part of the work which the
Emperor of Russia has begun. His design embraces nothing less than the
following stupendous works, namely:--

A line, with the necessary submarine cables, from the mouth of the Amoor
River, across the Straits of Tartary, over the island of Sakhalien,
across the Straits of La Pérouse, over the Island of Jesso, through
Hakodadi, and across the Straits of Sangar, to Jeddo, the capital of

A line from the confluence of the Usuri with the Amoor, seven hundred
miles above the mouth of the latter, thence southward, on the bank of
the Usuri, to Lake Kingka, and thence to the port of Vladi Vastok, on
the coast of Tartary, opposite the port of Hakodadi, on the eastern
coast of the Japanese Sea. Vladi Vastok is selected by the Emperor for
his naval station on the Pacific coast.

A line from Irkoutsk, the capital of Eastern Siberia, through Kiakhta,
now the entrepôt of European and Chinese overland commerce, through the
vast territory of the Mongols, to the gate in the Chinese wall at Yahol,
and thence to Pekin, the capital of the Chinese Empire.[E]

A line from a station on the main continental line at Omsk, near the
southern boundary of Asiatic Russia, passing through Mongolia, and
entering China at Hirck, sometimes called Illy, thence crossing
Turkistan, Bokhara, and Balk, to Cabool, in Afghanistan, thence to
capital places in the Punjaub, where it will meet the telegraphic system
of India, and thus become a medium of communication between London and
the colonial dependencies of Great Britain, Holland, Spain, and
Portugal, on the shores and islands of the great Indian Ocean.

A line from Kasan, on the main central Russian line, through Georgia and
Circassia, along the western shore of the Caspian Sea, to Teheran, the
capital of Persia, thence to the Tigris, at Bagdad, thence descending
along the banks of that river to the head of the Persian Gulf, there to
be connected with the Oriental telegraph system of India.

The line from Irkoutsk to Pekin American citizens residing in China are
now soliciting, with good prospect of success, permission from the
Chinese Government to extend through the Empire, with the needful
branches, connecting the principal ports along the Pacific coast,
opposite California. A company to carry out this project has been
organized under the laws of the State of New York. The wires of this
company are first to be put up from Canton to Macao and Hong Kong, a
distance of 140 miles,--Canton having a population of 1,000,000,
Hong-Kong of 40,000, and the trade of both cities world-famous. Lying
245 miles north is Amoy, with 250,000 inhabitants; and 120 miles farther
in the same direction is Foochow, a city with a population of 600,000,
and within 70 miles of the black-tea districts, with large commerce, and
with numerous manufactures of great value. Beyond it 250 miles is
Ningpo, with 300,000 inhabitants, and thriving manufactures of silks.
Eighty miles north is Shanghai, a city of not less than 200,000
inhabitants, and possessing a larger inland or native trade than any
other in China. Yet between these great marts there is no telegraphic
communication whatever,--nor, indeed, is there a line in any part of the
whole Chinese Empire. The company proposes, therefore, to connect these
great commercial cities, and, having done that, to carry on its line to
Nankin, with its 400,000 inhabitants, and thence to Pekin, which has a
population of 2,000,000, and is the capital of an empire spread over an
area of 5,000,000 square miles, and containing more than 420,000,000
souls, who pay to the Government an annual revenue of $120,000,000. It
may well be understood, that, for Government purposes alone, a line of
telegraph thus extending between the chief cities of China will prove of
incalculable value, alike in its use, and in its profits to those who
erect it and receive its income. The enterprise is a great one, but its
reward will be great. Its successful accomplishment seems to be well
assured; and New York may expect presently to claim the honor of first
giving to the oldest of existing empires the beneficent invention which
the newest of nations created, and at the same time of taking the final
step for the completion of the one great line which is to put all the
countries of the earth in instant communication.

A line from Calcutta to Canton is already undertaken by an English
company, with due authority from the British Government.

In Australia there are now in operation twelve thousand miles of
telegraph-wire. This Australian system, which is at present so purely
local and isolated, is nevertheless expected to be brought into
combination, by alternating submarine and island wires, with the Chinese
and Russian line above described.

The statistics of the telegraph-lines in Great Britain show not only an
increase in the number of lines, but a great augmentation in the amount
of business transacted. In 1861 there were 11,528 miles of line open for
public use; in 1862, 12,711 miles; and in 1863, 13,892 miles, comprising
65,012 miles of wire. Last year, the number of stations was augmented in
like proportion; and facilities were offered for the transmission of
telegraphic dispatches at no fewer than 1,755 stations, containing 6,196
instruments, through which about 3,400,000 telegrams were sent. In
addition to the lines on British soil, the Submarine Telegraph Company
has cables stretching to Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe, Jersey, Ostend,
Hanover, and Denmark, with which the other lines are more or less in
connection, covering 887 miles with 2,683 miles of wire. This company
has upwards of 3,000 stations on the Continent. The messages sent by it
to and from foreign countries were, in 1861, 230,000; in 1862, 310,595;
and in 1863, 345,784.

France possesses a system comprising 71,034 miles of wire and 1,301
stations, which transmit about 1,500,000 private dispatches annually,
and nearly 175,000 official ones. Russia has 36,663 miles of wire;
Austria, 22,230; Italy, 20,120; Prussia, 24,149; Spain, 17,743; Belgium,
3,773; Switzerland, 3,720; Turkey, 6,571; Persia, 2,500; Greece, 3,000;
India, 10,994, and 136 stations; Australia, 12,000; South Australia,
2,000; the United States, 120,000; the British Provinces in America,
20,000;--making a total of upwards of 440,000 miles of aërial wire in
operation in all parts of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following tables give the details of the principal cables hitherto
laid by all makers. They are divided into three heads: 1st, Those which
have been wholly successful, and are now working (September, 1865); 2d,
Those which were partially successful, having worked for a time; 3d,
Those which wholly failed, or never worked after their submergence.


_Submarine Telegraph Cables which are now in Successful Working Order._

Column A: No.
Column B: Date when laid.
Column C: From
Column D: To
Column E: Number of conducting wires.
Column F: Length of cable in statute miles.
Column G: Length of insulated wire in statute miles.
Column H: Maximum depth of water in fathoms.
Column I: Weight in tons per statute mile.
Column J: Length of time the cables have worked. Years.

A     B    C               D                E    F      G      H     I   J

1   1851 Dover           Calais             4    27    108     30  6.00  14
2   1852 Keyhaven        Hurst Castle       4     3     12     ..   ..   13
3   1853 Denmark         Across the Belt    3    18     54     15  4.00  12
4   1853 Dover           Ostend             6  80-1/2  483     30  5.75  12
5   1853 Firth of Forth  ...                4     5     20     ..  7.00  12
6   1853 England         Holland            1   120    120     30  1.75  12
7   1853 Portpatrick     Donaghadee         6    25    150    160  6.00  12
8   1854 Portpatrick     Whitehead          6    27    162    150  6.00  11
9   1854 Sweden          Denmark            3    12     36     14  6.00  11
10  1854 Italy           Corsica            6   120    660    325  8.00  11
11  1854 Corsica         Sardinia           6    10     60     20  8.00  11
12  1855 Egypt           ...                4    10     40     ..  6.00  10
13  1855 Italy           Sicily             1     5      5     27  6.00  10
14  1856 Prince Edward   Cape Breton        1    12     12     14  2.50   9
15  1857 Norway across   ...                1    49     49    300  2.75   8
16  1857 Across mouth of ...                1     3      3     ..  1.75   8
17  1857 Ceylon          India              1    60     60     45  2.75   8
18  1858 Italy           Sicily             1     8      8     60  5.25   7
19  1858 England         Holland            4   140    560     30  9.75   7
20  1858 England         Hanover            2   280    560     30  3.00   7
21  1858 Norway across   ...                1    16     16    300  2.75   7
22  1858 Dardanelles     Scio               1   115    115    200  1.00   7
23  1858 Scio            Syra               1    85     85    200  1.00   7
24  1859 Alexandria      ...                4     2      8     ..  5.25   6
25  1859 England         Denmark            3   360  1,104     30  4.00   6
26  1859 Scio            Smyrna             1    40     40     40  1.00   6
27  1859 Syra            Athens             1   105    105    150  1.00   6
28  1859 Sweden          Gottland           1    64     64     80  2.50   6
29  1859 Folkestone      Boulogne           6    24    144     32  9.50   6
30  1859 Across rivers   ...                1    10     10     ..  4.50   6
         in India
31  1859 Otranto         Avlona             1    50     50    400  1.00   6
32  1859 Malta           Sicily             1    60     60     79  3.25   6
33  1859 Jersey          Pirou in France    1    21     21     15  3.75   6
34  1859 South Australia Tasmania           1   140    140     60  2.00   6
35  1860 France          Algiers            1   520    520  1,585  1.14   5
36  1860 Denmark         (Great Belt)       6    14     84     18  8.00   5
37  1860 Denmark         (Great Belt)       3    14     42     18  6.00   5
38  1860 In Arracan      ...                1   116    116     50  1.00   5
39  1860 Barcelona       Port Mahon         1   198    198  1,400  1.25   5
40  1860 Minorca         Majorca            2    35     70    250  2.00   5
41  1860 Iviza           Majorca            2    74    148    500  2.00   5
42  1860 San Antonio     Iviza              2    76    152    450  2.00   5
43  1861 Corfu           Otranto            1    90     90  1,000  2.75   4
44  1861 Norway across   ...                1    16     16    300  2.75   4
45  1861 Toulon          Corsica            1   195    195  1,550  1.14   4
46  1861 Malta           Alexandria         1 1,535  1,535    420  1.85   4
47  1861 Beachy Head     Dieppe             6    80    320     30  8.00   4
48  1862 Abermawr        Grenore            4    63    252     58  5.25   3
49  1862 England         Holland            4   130    520     30  9.00   3
50  1862 Across rivers   ...                1     2      2     ..   ..    3
           in Ireland
51  1862 Firth of Forth  ...                4     6     24      7   ..    3
52  1862 Fortress Monroe Cherrystone        1    23     23     ..   ..    3
53  1862 Fortress Monroe Newport News       1     3      3     ..   ..    3
54  1863 Sardinia        Sicily             1   243    243  1,200   ..    2
55  1864 Gwadur          Fao                1 1,450  1,450     ..   ..    1
         (Persian Gulf)
                                              _____ ______
                                              6,979 11,127

In addition to the above, there have been laid across American rivers,
since 1854, 95 lines, in lengths of from 120 feet to two miles, and
comprising from 120 feet to 6 miles of insulated wire each,--making an
aggregate of 250 miles of subaqueous wire in operation on this
continent, and a total of 6,979 miles of cable, and 11,127 miles of
submarine wire in operation in all parts of the world.


_Submarine Telegraph Cables which have been successful for some Time,
but are not now working._

Column A: No.
Column B: Date when laid.
Column C: From
Column D: To
Column E: Number of conducting wires.
Column F: Length of cable in statute miles.
Column G: Length insulated wire in statute miles.
Column H: Maximum depth of water in fathoms.
Column I: Weight in tons per statute mile.
Column J: Length of time the cables have worked.

 A   B       C                D            E     F      G     H    I    J

 1 1850 Dover             Calais           1     25     25    30   ..  1 day.
 2 1853 England           Holland          1    360    360    30 2.00  5 yrs.
        (Three Cables)
 3 1854 Holyhead          Howth            1     75     75    70 2.00  5  "
 4 1854 Nantucket         Cape Cod         1     25     25    16   ..  ....
 5 1855 Varna             Balaklava        1    355    355   300 0.10  9 mos.
 6 1855 Balaklava         Eupatoria        1      1      1    ..   ..  9  "
 7 1856 Martha's Vineyard Cape Cod         1      5      5    15   ..  2 wks.
 8 1856 Newfoundland      Cape Breton      1     85     85   360 2.50  9 yrs.
 9 1857 Sardinia          Bona             4    150    600 1,500   ..  3  "
10 1857 Varna             Constantinople   1    170    170    .. 0.75  5  "
11 1857 Cape Cod          Naushon          1      1     ..    ..   ..  2  "
12 1857 Martha's Vineyard Nantucket        1     30     30    16   ..  4  "
13 1857 Sardinia          Corfu            1    700    700 1,000 0.90  1  "
14 1858 England           Channel Islands  1    102    102    60 2.50  3  "
15 1858 Ireland(Atlantic) Newfoundland     1  2,500  2,500 2,400 1.00 23 ds.
16 1859 Singapore         Batavia          1    630    630    20 0.04  2 yrs.
17 1859 Suez              Kurrachee        1  3,500  3,500 1,910 0.94  6 mos.
        (Red Sea & India)
18 1859 Spain             Africa (Centa)   1     25     25    .. 1.00  1 yr.
19 1859 England           Isle of Man      1     36     36    30 2.50  3 yrs.
20 1859 South Australia   Tasmania         1    100    100    60 2.00  1 yr.
21 1859 Liverpool         Holyhead         2     25     50    14 3.10  1  "
22 1859 Syra              Candia           1    150    150    .. 0.89  3 yrs.
23 1860 Across the Mersey   ..             1      3      3    ..   ..  1 yr.
                                              _____  _____
                                              9,053  9,527


_Submarine Telegraph Cables Which Are Total Failures._

Column A: No.
Column B: Date when laid.
Column C: From
Column D: To
Column E: Number of conducting wires.
Column F: Length of cable in statute miles.
Column G: Length of insulated wire in statute miles.
Column H: Maximum depth of water in fathoms.
Column I: Weight in tons per statute mile.

 A   B        C             D              E     F      G     H    I

 1 1852 Holyhead          Howth            1     75     75    70 0.45
 2 1852 Portpatrick       Donaghadee       2     17     34   160  ..
 3 1852 Portpatrick       Donaghadee       5     15     75   160 4.80
 4 1854 Holyhead          Howth            1     65     65    70 2.00
 5 1855 Sardinia          Africa           6     50    300   800 8.00
 6 1855 Cape Ray          Cape North       3     30     90   360  ..
 7 1855 Sardinia          Africa           3    160    480 1,500 3.70
 8 1857 Ireland           Newfoundland     1    300    300 2,400  ..
        (Lost in laying)
 9 1859 Candia            Alexandria       1    150    150 1,600 0.89
10 1865 Ireland           Newfoundland     1  1,300  1,300 2,400 1.75

It will be seen from the above list of failures, that the great
extension and success of submarine cables has been attained through many
great failure,--among the most prominent being the old and new Atlantic,
the Red Sea and India, (which was laid in five sections, that worked
from six to nine months each, but was never in working order from end to
end,) the Singapore and Batavia, and Sardinia and Corfu. None of these
cable, with the exception of the new Atlantic, were tested under water
after manufacture, and every one of them was covered with a sheathing of
light iron wire, weighing in the aggregate only about fifteen hundred
pounds per mile.

These two peculiarities are sufficient to account for every failure
which has occurred, with the exception of the new Atlantic. No
electrical test will show the presence of flaws in the insulating cover
of a wire, unless water, or some other conductor, enters the flaws and
establishes an electrical connection between the outside and inside of
the cable. All cables now manufactured are tested under water before
being laid.

       *       *       *       *       *

Communication between the Ottoman capital and Western Europe passes
through Vienna. From this city to Constantinople there are two distinct
lines,--one passing by Semlin and Belgrade to Adrianople, the other by
Toultcha, Kustendji, and Varna. There is a third line to Adrianople by
Bucharest; and by the opening of the submarine line between Avlona and
Otranto, in Italy, the Turkish telegraph service will be in direct
communication with the West, without going through Servia or the
Moldo-Wallachian Principalities.

Communication between Constantinople and India is maintained over the
following route:--To Ismid, 55 miles; thence to Mudurli, 104 miles;
thence to Angora, 111 miles; thence to Guzgat, 113 miles; thence to
Sivas, 140 miles; Kharpoot, 178 miles; Diarbekir, 77 miles; Mardeen, 61
miles; Djezireh, 104 miles; Mosul, (Nineveh,) 91 miles; Kerkook, 114
miles; Bagdad, 189 miles. From Bagdad to Fao, at the mouth of the
Shat-el-Arab, on the Persian Gulf, is 400 miles. From Fao to Kurrachee
the submarine cable stretches along the bottom of the Persian Gulf for
1,450 miles; and thence are 500 miles of aërial line across a portion of
British India to Bombay.

The accounts of the successful opening of this line tell of the
astonishment of the savage Beloochees and Arabs along the Mekran coast
at the marvel of a blue spark flashing for the Sahib to the Indus and
back again in less time than it takes to smoke a hookah. At Gwadur, no
sooner was the cable landed than the people of the surrounding country
flocked down to hear and talk of the Feringhee witchcraft. Chiefs of the
Beloochees, Muscatees, and Heratees, with their retainers, trod upon
each other's toes in their eagerness to see it work. Gwadur has given up
the idea that Mahomet taught everything that could be known, and now
sits upon the carpet of astonishment and chews the betel-nut of

The establishment of the electric telegraph in India presented some
curious as well as difficult problems. In the first place, it was
discovered that the air of India is in a state of constant electrical
perturbation of the strongest kind, so that the instruments there
mounted went into a high fever and refused to work. Along the north and
south lines a current of electricity was constantly passing, which threw
the needles out of gear and baffled the signallers. Moreover, the
tremendous thunder-storms ran up and down the wires and melted the
conductors; the monsoon winds tore the teak-posts out of the sodden
ground; the elephants and buffaloes trampled the fallen lines into kinks
and tangles; the Delta aborigines carried off the timber supports for
fuel, and the wires or iron rods upon them to make bracelets and to
supply the Hindoo smitheries; the cotton- and rice-boats, kedging up and
down the river, dragged the subaqueous wires to the surface. In addition
to these graver difficulties were many of an amusing character. Wild
pigs and tigers scratched their skins against the posts in the jungle,
and porcupines and bandicoots burrowed them out of the ground. Kites,
fishing-eagles, and hooded-crows came in hundreds and perched upon the
line to see what on earth it could mean, and sometimes after a
thunder-storm, when the wires were wet, were found dead by dozens, the
victims of their curiosity, Monkeys climbed the posts and ran along the
lines, chattering, and dropping an interfering tail from one wire to
another, which tended to confound the conversations of Calcutta.
Parrots, with the same contempt for electrical insulation, fastened upon
one string by the beak and another by the leg; and in one village, the
complacent natives hung their fishing-lines to dry upon them.

In 1856 there were four thousand miles of telegraph-wire stretched over
India: some upon bamboo posts, which bent to the storms and thus defied
them; some, as in the Madras Presidency, upon monoliths of
granite,--these, during the Mutiny, proving worth ten times their cost.

       *       *       *       *       *

Whilst the telegraph has been thus rapidly encircling the globe with its
iron threads, great improvement has been made in the apparatus for
transmitting the electrical signals over them. Instruments called
translators, or repeaters, have been devised, by which aërial lines may
be operated, without repetition, over distances of many thousands of
miles. Through the use of this valuable invention upon the California
line, operators in New York and San Francisco are able to converse as
readily and rapidly as those situated at the extremities of a line only
a hundred miles in length.

The enormous increase in the amount of matter to be transmitted over the
wires has stimulated the inventive genius of our own country and Europe
to produce an apparatus by which the capacity of a wire may be greatly
increased. Mr. M. G. Farmer of Boston, Mr. J. G. Smith of Portland,
Maine, Dr. Gintl of Germany, and one or two other persons, have solved
the problem of the simultaneous transmission of messages over a single
wire in opposite directions. But while their apparatus, with the proper
arrangement of batteries, will unquestionably permit the accomplishment
of this apparent paradox, the natural disturbances upon a wire of any
considerable length, together with the inequalities of the current
caused by escape in wet weather, have precluded its practical use.

In this country, General Lefferts of New York, and in Europe, Professor
Bonelli, have devoted much time and expense to the perfection of
apparatus for securing greater rapidity of transmission over the aërial

General Lefferts owns several patents covering inventions of great
ingenuity and value, which are now being perfected and will shortly be
brought into operation. The apparatus consists of an instrument,
operated by keys similar to those of a piano-forte, for punching
characters, composed of dots and lines, upon a narrow strip of paper.
The paper, when thus prepared, is passed rapidly through an instrument
attached to a telegraph-wire, at the other end of which is a similar
instrument which runs in unison. The first instrument is provided with a
flexible metallic comb, which presses through the perforations in the
paper and thus closes the circuit at each dot and line, while the second
instrument is provided with a metallic stylus, or pointer, which rests
upon a fillet of paper prepared with chemicals, and produces, whenever
the circuit is closed, dots and lines of a dark blue color upon the
prepared paper. When the paper is prepared by the perforating apparatus,
it can be run through the instrument at any rate of speed that is
desirable, and it is estimated that with this apparatus one wire may
easily perform as much work in a day as ten can under the ordinary

In Professor Bonelli's system the dispatch is set up in printing-type,
and placed on a little carriage, which is made to pass beneath a comb
with five teeth, which are in communication with five aërial wires of
the line, at the extremity of which these same wires are joined to the
five teeth of a second comb, under which passes a chemically prepared
paper, carried along on a little carriage similar to the one at the
other end on which the printing-type is placed. If under this
arrangement the electric circuit of a battery composed of a sufficient
number of elements, and distributed in a certain order, be completed,
then, at the same time that the first comb is passing over the
printing-type at the one end, the second comb at the other end will
trace the dispatch on the prepared paper in beautiful Roman letters, and
with so great a rapidity that it may be expected that five hundred
messages of twenty words each will be transmitted hourly.

On Wednesday, April 19th, the day of Mr. Lincoln's funeral, eighty-five
thousand words of reports were transmitted between Washington and New
York, between the hours of 7, P. M., and 1, A. M., being at the rate of
over fourteen thousand words per hour. Nine wires were employed for the
purpose. Thirteen thousand six hundred words were transmitted by the
House printing instruments on a single wire after half past seven

A telegraphic message was recently received in London from India in
eight hours and a half. This message was forwarded by the Indo-European
Telegraph Company, _viâ_ Kurrachee and the Persian Gulf, crossing one
half of Asia and the whole of Europe.

During the late Rebellion in this country the telegraph was extensively
employed both by the Government and the Insurgents. In the course of the
past year, there have been in the service of the Government thirty
field-trains, distributed as follows:--In the Army of the Potomac, five;
in the Department of the Cumberland, five; in the Department of the
Gulf, three; in the Department of North Carolina and Virginia, three; in
the Department of the South, two; in the Department of the Tennessee,
six; in the Department of the Ohio, two; at the Signal Camp of
Instruction, Georgetown, D. C., three; at the United States Military
Academy, West Point, New York, one. Of these trains, some were equipped
with five, and others with ten miles of insulated wire. There were
carried in the trains lances for setting up the wire, when
necessary,--reels, portable by hand, carrying wire made purposely
flexible for this particular use,--and various minor appliances, which
experience has proved useful. A military organization was directed for
each train.

In duty of this kind, the construction of the trains, the equipment to
be carried by them, and the military organization to be provided for
their use, to enable them to be most rapidly and anywhere brought into
action, are the subjects for study: the particular instrument to be
equipped is a secondary consideration. The soldiers drilled to the duty
of construction acquire in a short time a remarkable skill in the rapid
extension of these lines. As was anticipated, they have proved valuable
auxiliaries to the services of the corps, and have sometimes rendered
them available when they would have been otherwise useless. The greatest
distance at which the instruments are reported to have worked is twenty
miles. The average distances at which they are used are from five to
eight miles. The average speed of the most rapid construction is
reported to be at the rate of a slow walk.

At the first Battle of Fredericksburg field-trains were for the first
time in the history of the war used on the battle-field, under the fire
of the enemy's batteries. The movements to be made on the day of that
battle were of the first magnitude. The movements of the retreat were
perilous to the whole army. The trains in use contributed something to
the success of those movements.

Many incidents are recorded of operators accompanying raiding parties
into the enemy's territory and tapping the telegraph-lines, sometimes
obtaining valuable information. One is related by the "Selma Rebel." The
operator at that place was called to his instrument by some one up the
Tennessee and Alabama Road, who desired information as to the number of
the forces and supplies at Coosa Bridge. After getting all the
information he could, regarding the location and strength of the Rebel
forces, he informed the Selma operator that he was attached to the
expedition under General Wilson, and that, at that particular time, he
was stationed with his instruments up a tree near Monticello, in the
hardest rain he ever saw! Permission being given, he sent a dispatch to
a young lady in Mobile, and another to a telegraph-operator in the Rebel
lines, telling him he loved him as much as before the war. After some
other conversation, the Yankee operator clambered down from the tree,
mounted his horse, and rode away.


[E] The Chinese Government has been informed by the Russian Ambassador
that the Russian portion of this line to Pekin will be completed by the
first of January, 1868.


In the month of August, 1865, I set out to visit some of the scenes of
the great conflict through which the country has lately passed.

On the twelfth, I reached Harrisburg,--a plain, prosaic town of brick
and wood, with nothing especially attractive about it, except its
broad-sheeted, shining river, flowing down from the Blue Ridge, around
wooded islands, and between pleasant shores.

It is in this region that the traveller from the North first meets with
indications of recent actual war. The Susquehanna, on the eastern shore
of which the city stands, forms the northern limit of Rebel military
operations. The "highwater mark of the Rebellion" is here: along these
banks its uttermost ripples died. The bluffs opposite the town are still
crested with the hastily constructed breastworks, on which the citizens
worked night and day in the pleasant month of June, 1863, throwing up,
as it were, a dike against the tide of invasion. These defences were of
no practical value. They were unfinished when the Rebels appeared in
force in the vicinity. Harrisburg might easily have been taken, and a
way opened into the heart of the North. But a Power greater than man's
ruled the event. The Power that lifted these azure hills, and spread out
the green valleys, and hollowed a passage for the stream, appointed to
treason also a limit and a term. "Thus far, and no farther."

The surrounding country is full of lively reminiscences of those
terrible times. Panic-stricken populations flying at the approach of the
enemy; whole families fugitive from homes none thought of defending;
flocks and herds, horses, wagon-loads of promiscuously heaped household
stuffs and farm produce; men, women, children, riding, walking, running,
driving or leading their bewildered four-footed chattels,--all rushing
forward with clamor and alarm under clouds of dust, crowding every road
to the river, and thundering across the long bridges regardless of the
"five-dollars-fine" notice (though it is to be hoped that the
toll-takers did their duty):--such were the scenes which occurred to
render the Rebel invasion memorable. The thrifty German farmers of the
lower counties did not gain much credit either for courage or patriotism
at that time. It was a panic, however, to which almost any community
would have been liable. Stuart's famous raid of the previous year was
well remembered. If a small cavalry force had swept from their track
through a circuit of about sixty miles over two thousand horses, what
was to be expected from Lee's whole army? Resistance to the formidable
advance of one hundred thousand disciplined troops was of course out of
the question. The slowness, however, with which the people responded to
the State's almost frantic calls for volunteers was in singular contrast
with the alacrity each man showed to run off his horses and get his
goods out of Rebel reach.

From Harrisburg, I went, by the way of York and Hanover, to Gettysburg.
Having hastily secured a room at a hotel in the Square, (the citizens
call it the "Di'mond,") I inquired the way to the battle-ground.

"You are on it now," said the landlord, with proud satisfaction,--for
it is not every man that lives, much less keeps a tavern, on the field
of a world-famous fight. "I tell you the truth," said he; and, in proof
of his words, (as if the fact were too wonderful to be believed without
proof,) he showed me a Rebel shell imbedded in the brick wall of a house
close by. (N. B. The battle-field was put into the bill.)

Gettysburg is the capital of Adams County: a town of about three
thousand souls,--or fifteen hundred, according to John Burns, who
assured me that half the population were Copperheads, and that they had
no souls. It is pleasantly situated on the swells of a fine undulating
country, drained by the headwaters of the Monocacy. It has no special
natural advantages,--owing its existence, probably, to the mere fact
that several important roads found it convenient to meet at this point,
to which accident also is due its historical renown. The circumstance
which made it a burg made it likewise a battle-field.

About the town itself there is nothing very interesting. It consists
chiefly of two-story houses of wood and brick, in dull rows, with
thresholds but little elevated above the street. Rarely a front yard or
blooming garden-plot relieves the dreary monotony. Occasionally there is
a three-story house, comfortable, no doubt and sufficiently expensive,
about which the one thing remarkable is the total absence of taste in
its construction. In this respect Gettysburg is but a fair sample of a
large class of American towns, the builders of which seem never once to
have been conscious that there exists such a thing as beauty.

John Burns, known as "the hero of Gettysburg," was almost the first
person whose acquaintance I made. He was sitting under the thick shade
of an English elm in front of the tavern. The landlord introduced him as
"the old man who took his gun and went into the first day's fight." He
rose to his feet and received me with sturdy politeness,--his evident
delight in the celebrity he enjoys twinkling through the veil of a
naturally modest demeanor.

"John will go with you and show you the different parts of the
battle-ground," said the landlord. "Will you, John?"

"Oh, yes, I'll go," said John, quite readily; and we set out at once.

A mile south of the town is Cemetery Hill, the head and front of an
important ridge, running two miles farther south to Round Top,--the
ridge held by General Meade's army during the great battles. The Rebels
attacked on three sides,--on the west, on the north, and on the east;
breaking their forces in vain upon this tremendous wedge, of which
Cemetery Hill may be considered the point. A portion of Ewell's Corps
had passed through the town several days before, and neglected to secure
that very commanding position. Was it mere accident, or something more,
which thus gave the key to the country into our hands, and led the
invaders, alarmed by Meade's vigorous pursuit, to fall back and fight
the decisive battle here?

With the old "hero" at my side pointing out the various points of
interest, I ascended Cemetery Hill. The view from the top is beautiful
and striking. On the north and east is spread a finely variegated farm
country; on the west, with woods and valleys and sunny slopes between,
rise the summits of the Blue Ridge.

It was a soft and peaceful summer day. There was scarce a sound to break
the stillness, save the shrill note of the locust, and the perpetual
click-click of the stone-cutters, at work upon the granite headstones of
the soldiers' cemetery. There was nothing to indicate to a stranger that
so tranquil a spot had ever been a scene of strife. We were walking in
the time-hallowed place of the dead, by whose side the martyr-soldiers,
who fought so bravely and so well on those terrible first days of July,
slept as sweetly and securely as they.

"It don't look here as it did after the battle," said John Burns. "Sad
work was made with the tombstones. The ground was all covered with dead
horses, and broken wagons, and pieces of shells, and battered muskets,
and everything of that kind, not to speak of the heaps of dead." But
now the tombstones have been replaced, the neat iron fences have been
mostly repaired, and scarcely a vestige of the fight remains. Only the
burial-places of the slain are there. _Thirty-five hundred and sixty
slaughtered Union soldiers lie on the field of Gettysburg._ This number
does not include those whose bodies have been claimed by friends and

The new cemetery, devoted to the patriot slain, and dedicated with
fitting ceremonies on the 19th of November, 1863, adjoins the old one.
In the centre is the spot reserved for the monument, the corner-stone of
which was laid on the 4th of July, 1865. The cemetery is semicircular,
in the form of an amphitheatre, except that the slope is reversed, the
monument occupying the highest place. The granite headstones resemble
rows of semicircular seats. Side by side, with two feet of ground
allotted to each, and with their heads towards the monument, rest the
three thousand five hundred and sixty. The name of each, when it could
be ascertained, together with the number of the company and regiment in
which he served, is lettered on the granite at his head. But the
barbarous practice of stripping such of our dead as fell into their
hands, in which the Rebels indulged here as elsewhere, rendered it
impossible to identify large numbers. The headstones of these are
lettered, "Unknown." At the time when I visited the cemetery, the
sections containing most of the unknown had not yet received their
headstones, and their resting-places were indicated by a forest of
stakes. I have seen few sadder sights.

The spectacle of so large a field crowded with the graves of the slain
brings home to the heart an overpowering sense of the horror and
wickedness of war. Yet, as I have said, not all our dead are here. None
of the Rebel dead are here. Not one of those who fell on other fields,
or died in hospitals and prisons in those States where the war was
chiefly waged,--not one out of those innumerable martyred hosts lies on
this pleasant hill. The bodies of once living and brave men, slowly
mouldering to dust in this sanctified soil, form but a small, a single
sheaf from that great recent harvest reaped by Death with the sickle of

Once living and brave! How full of life, how full of unflinching courage
and fiery zeal, they marched up hither to fight the great fight, and to
give their lives! And each man had his history; each soldier resting
here had his interests, his loves, his darling hopes, the same as you or
I. All were laid down with his life. It was no trifle to him, it was as
great a thing to him as it would be to you, thus to be cut off from all
things dear in this world, and to drop at once into a vague eternity.
Grown accustomed to the waste of life through years of war, we learn to
think too lightly of such sacrifices. "So many killed,"--with that brief
sentence we glide over the unimaginably fearful fact, and pass on to
other details. We indulge in pious commonplaces,--"They have gone to a
better world, they have their reward," and the like. No doubt this is
true; if not, then life is a mockery, and hope a lie. But the future,
with all our faith, is vague and uncertain. It lies before us like one
of those unidentified heroes, hidden from sight, deep-buried,
mysterious, its headstone lettered "Unknown." Will it ever rise? Through
trouble, toils, and privations,--not insensible to danger, but braving
it,--these men--and not these only, but the uncounted thousands
represented by these--confronted, for their country's sake, that awful
uncertainty. Did they believe in your better world? Whether they did or
not, this world was a reality, and dear to them.

I looked into one of the trenches in which workmen were laying
foundations for the headstones, and saw the ends of the coffins
protruding. It was silent and dark down there. Side by side the soldiers
slept, as side by side they fought. I chose out one coffin from among
the rest, and thought of him whose dust it contained,--your brother and
mine, although we never knew him. I thought of him as a child, tenderly
reared--for this. I thought of his home, his heart-life:--

    "Had he a father?
      Had he a mother?
    Had he a sister?
      Had he a brother?
    Or was there a nearer one
    Still, and a dearer one
      Yet, than all other?"

I could not know: in this world, none will ever know. He sleeps with the
undistinguishable multitude, and his headstone is lettered, "Unknown."

Eighteen loyal States are represented by the tenants of these graves.
New York has the greatest number,--upwards of eight hundred;
Pennsylvania comes next in order, having upwards of five hundred. Tall
men from Maine, young braves from Wisconsin, heroes from every state
between, met here to defend their country and their homes. Sons of
Massachusetts fought for Massachusetts on Pennsylvania soil. If they had
not fought, or if our armies had been annihilated there, the whole North
would have been at the mercy of Lee's victorious legions. As Cemetery
Hill was the pivot on which turned the fortunes of the battle, so
Gettysburg itself was the pivot on which turned the destiny of the
nation. Here the power of aggressive treason culminated; and from that
memorable Fourth of July when the Rebel invaders, beaten in the three
days' previous fight, stole away down the valleys and behind the
mountains on their ignominious retreat,--from that day, signalized also
by the fall of Vicksburg in the West, it waned and waned, until it was
swept from the earth.

Cemetery Hill should be the first visited by the tourist of the
battle-ground. Here a view of the entire field, and a clear
understanding of the military operations of the three days, are best
obtained. Looking north, away on your left lies Seminary Ridge, the
scene of the first day's fight, in which the gallant Reynolds fell, and
from which our troops were driven back in confusion through the town by
overwhelming numbers, in the afternoon. Farther south spread the
beautiful woods and vales that swarmed with Rebels on the second and
third day, and from which they made such desperate charges upon our
lines. On the right as you stand is Culp's Hill, the scene of Ewell's
furious, but futile, attempts to flank us there. You are in the focus of
a half-circle, from all points of which was poured in upon this now
silent hill such an artillery fire as has seldom been concentrated upon
one point of an open field in any of the great battles upon this planet.
From this spot extend your observations as you please.

Guided by the sturdy old man, I proceeded first to Culp's Hill,
following a line of breastworks into the woods. Here are seen some of
the soldiers' devices hastily adopted for defence. A rude embankment of
stakes and logs and stones, covered with earth, forms the principal
work; aside from which you meet with little private breastworks, as it
were, consisting of rocks heaped up by the trunk of a tree, or beside a
larger rock, or across a cleft in the rocks, where some sharpshooter
stood and exercised his skill at his ease.

The woods are of oak chiefly, but with a liberal sprinkling of chestnut,
black-walnut, hickory, and other common forest-trees. Very beautiful
they were that day, with their great, silent trunks, all so friendly,
their clear vistas and sun-spotted spaces. Beneath reposed huge, sleepy
ledges and boulders, their broad backs covered with lichens and old
moss. A more fitting spot for a picnic, one would say, than for a

Yet here remain more astonishing evidences of fierce fighting than
anywhere else about Gettysburg. The trees in certain localities are all
seamed, disfigured, and literally dying or dead from their wounds. The
marks of balls in some of the trunks are countless. Here are limbs, and
yonder are whole tree-tops, cut off by shells. Many of these trees have
been hacked for lead, and chips containing bullets have been carried
away for relics.

Past the foot of the hill runs Rock Creek, a muddy, sluggish stream,
"great for eels," said John Burns. Big boulders and blocks of stone lie
scattered along its bed. Its low shores are covered with thin grass,
shaded by the forest-trees. Plenty of Rebel knapsacks and haversacks lie
rotting upon the ground; and there are Rebel graves in the woods near
by. By these I was inclined to pause longer than John Burns thought it
worth the while. I felt a pity for these unhappy men which he could not
understand. To him they were dead Rebels, and nothing more; and he spoke
with great disgust of an effort which had been made by certain
"Copperheads" of the town to have all the buried Rebels, now scattered
about in the woods and fields, gathered together in a cemetery near that
dedicated to our own dead.

"Yet consider, my friend," I said, "though they were altogether in the
wrong, and their cause was infernal, these, too, were brave men; and
under different circumstances, with no better hearts than they had, they
might have been lying in honored graves up yonder, instead of being
buried in heaps, like dead cattle, down here."

Is there not a better future for these men also? The time will come when
we shall at least cease to hate them.

The cicada was singing, insects were humming in the air, crows were
cawing in the tree-tops, the sunshine slept on the boughs or nestled in
the beds of brown leaves on the ground,--all so pleasant and so pensive,
I could have passed the day there. But John reminded me that night was
approaching, and we returned to Gettysburg.

That evening I walked alone to Cemetery Hill to see the sun set behind
the Blue Ridge. A quiet prevailed there still more profound than during
the day. The stonecutters had finished their day's work and gone home.
The katydids were singing, and the shrill, sad chirp of the crickets
welcomed the cool shades. The sun went down, and the stars came out and
shone upon the graves,--the same stars which were no doubt shining even
then upon many a vacant home and mourning heart left lonely by the
husbands, the fathers, the dear brothers and sons, who fell at

The next morning, according to agreement, I went to call on the old
hero. I found him living in the upper part of a little whitewashed
two-story house, on the corner of two streets, west of the town. A
flight of wooden steps outside took me to his door. He was there to
welcome me. John Burns is a stoutish, slightly bent, hale old man, with
a light blue eye, a long, aggressive nose, a firm-set mouth, expressive
of determination of character, and a choleric temperament. His hair,
originally dark brown, is considerably bleached with age; and his beard,
once sandy, covers his face (shaved once or twice a week) with a fine
crop of silver stubble. A short, massy kind of man; about five feet four
or five inches in height, I should judge. He was never measured but once
in his life. That was when he enlisted in the War of 1812. He was then
nineteen years old, and stood five feet in his shoes. "But I've growed a
heap since," said the old hero.

He introduced me to his wife, a slow, somewhat melancholy old lady, in
ill health. "She has been poorly now for a good many years." They have
no children.

At my request he told me his story. He is of Scotch parentage; and who
knows but he may be akin to the ploughman-poet whose "arrowy songs still
sing in our morning air"? He was born and bred in Burlington, New
Jersey. A shoemaker by trade, he became a soldier by choice, and fought
the British in what used to be the "last war." I am afraid he contracted
bad habits in the army. For some years after the war he led a wandering
and dissipated life. Forty years ago he chanced to find himself in
Gettysburg, where he married and settled down. But his unfortunate
habits still adhered to him, and he was long looked upon as a man of
little worth. At last, however, when there seemed to be no hope of his
ever being anything but a despised old man, he took a sudden resolution
to reform. The fact that he kept that resolution, and still keeps it so
strictly that it is impossible to prevail upon him to taste a drop of
intoxicating liquor, attests a truly heroic will. He was afterwards a
constable in Gettysburg, in which capacity he served some six years.

On the morning of the first day's fight he sent his wife away, telling
her that he would take care of the house. The firing was near by, over
Seminary Ridge. Soon a wounded soldier came into the town and stopped at
an old house on the opposite corner. Burns saw the poor fellow lay down
his musket, and the inspiration to go into the battle seems then first
to have seized him. He went over and demanded the gun.

"What are you going to do with it?" asked the soldier.

"I'm going to shoot some of the damned Rebels!" replied John.

He is not a swearing man, and the strong adjective is to be taken in a
strictly literal, not a profane, sense.

Having obtained the gun, he pushed out on the Chambersburg Pike, and was
soon in the thick of the skirmish.

"I wore a high-crowned hat, and a long-tailed blue; and I was seventy
years old."

The sight of so old a man, in such costume, rushing fearlessly forward
to get a shot in the very front of the battle, of course attracted
attention. He fought with the Seventh Wisconsin Regiment, the Colonel of
which ordered him back, and questioned him, and finally, seeing the old
man's patriotic determination, gave him a good rifle in place of the
musket he had brought with him.

"Are you a good shot?"

"Tolerable good," said John, who is an old fox-hunter.

"Do you see that Rebel riding yonder?"

"I do."

"Can you fetch him?"

"I can try."

The old man took deliberate aim and fired. He does not say he killed the
Rebel, but simply that his shot was cheered by the Wisconsin boys, and
that afterwards the horse the Rebel rode was seen galloping with an
empty saddle. "That's all I know about it."

He fought until our forces were driven back in the afternoon. He had
already received two slight wounds, and a third one through the arm, to
which he paid little attention: "only the blood running down my hand
bothered me a heap." Then, as he was slowly falling back with the rest,
he received a final shot through the leg. "Down I went, and the whole
Rebel army ran over me." Helpless, nearly bleeding to death from his
wounds, he lay upon the field all night. "About sun-up, next morning, I
crawled to a neighbor's house, and found it full of wounded Rebels." The
neighbor afterwards took him to his own house, which had also been
turned into a Rebel hospital. A Rebel surgeon dressed his wounds; and he
says he received decent treatment at the hands of the enemy, until a
Copperhead woman living opposite "told on him."

"That's the old man who said he was going out to shoot some of the
damned Rebels!"

Some officers came and questioned him, endeavoring to convict him of
"bushwhacking"; but the old man gave them little satisfaction. This was
on Friday, the third day of the battle; and he was alone with his wife
in the upper part of the house. The Rebels left, and soon after two
shots were fired. One bullet entered the window, passed over Burns's
head, and struck the wall behind the lounge on which he was lying. The
other shot fell lower, passing through a door. Burns is certain that the
design was to assassinate him. That the shots were fired by the Rebels
there can be no doubt; and as they were fired from their own side,
towards the town, of which they held possession at the time, John's
theory was plainly the true one. The hole in the window, and the
bullet-marks in the door and wall remain.

Burns went with me over the ground where the first day's fight took
place. He showed me the scene of his hot day's work,--pointed out two
trees, behind which he and one of the Wisconsin boys stood and "picked
off every Rebel that showed his head," and the spot where he fell and
lay all night under the stars and dew.

This act of daring on the part of so aged a citizen, and his subsequent
sufferings from wounds, naturally called out a great deal of sympathy,
and caused him to be looked upon as a hero. But a hero, like a prophet,
has not all honor in his own country. There's a wide-spread, violent
prejudice against Burns among that class of the townspeople termed
"Copperheads." The young men, especially, who did _not_ take their guns
and go into the fight as this old man did, but who ran, when running was
possible, in the opposite direction, dislike Burns. Some aver that he
did not have a gun in his hand that day, and that he was wounded by
accident, happening to get between the two lines. Others admit the fact
of his carrying a gun into the fight, but tell you, with a sardonic
smile, that his "motives were questionable." Some, who are eager enough
to make money on his picture, sold against his will, and without profit
to him, will tell you in confidence, after you have purchased it, that
"Burns is a perfect humbug."

After studying the old man's character, conversing both with his friends
and enemies, and sifting evidence, during four days spent in Gettysburg,
I formed my conclusions. Of his going into the fight, and _fighting_,
there is no doubt whatever. Of his bravery, amounting even to rashness,
there can be no reasonable question. He is a patriot of the most zealous
sort; a hot, impulsive man, who meant what he said, when he started with
the gun to go and shoot some of the Rebels qualified with the strong
adjective. A thoroughly honest man, too, I think; although some of his
remarks are to be taken with considerable allowance. His temper causes
him to form immoderate opinions and to make strong statements. "_He
always goes beyant_," said my landlord, a firm friend of his, speaking
of this tendency to overstep the bounds of calm judgment.

Burns is a sagacious observer of men and things, and makes occasionally
such shrewd remarks as this:--

"Whenever you see the marks of shells and bullets on a house all covered
up, and painted and plastered over, that's the house of a Rebel
sympathizer; but when you see them all preserved and kept in sight, as
something to be proud of, that's the house of a true Union man."

Well, whatever is said or thought of the old hero, he is _what he is_,
and has satisfaction in that, and not in other people's opinions; for so
it must finally be with all. _Character_ is the one thing valuable.
_Reputation_, which is a mere shadow of the man, what his character is
_reputed_ to be, is, in the long run, of infinitely less importance.

I am happy to add that the old man has been awarded a pension.

The next day I mounted a hard-trotting horse and rode to Round Top. On
the way I stopped at the historical peach-orchard, known as Sherfy's,
where Sickles's Corps was repulsed, after a terrific conflict, on
Thursday, the second day of the battle. The peaches were green on the
trees then; but they were ripe now, and the trees were breaking down
with them. One of Mr. Sherfy's girls--the youngest, she told me--was in
the orchard. She had in her basket rareripes to sell. They were large
and juicy and sweet,--all the redder, no doubt, for the blood of the
brave that had drenched the sod. So calm and impassive is Nature,
silently turning all things to use! The carcass of a mule, or the
godlike shape of a warrior cut down in the hour of glory,--she knows no
difference between them, but straightway proceeds to convert both alike
into new forms of life and beauty.

Between fields made memorable by hard fighting I rode eastward, and,
entering a pleasant wood, ascended Little Round Top. The eastern slope
of this rugged knob is covered with timber. The western side is steep,
and wild with rocks and bushes. Near by is the Devil's Den, a dark
cavity in the rocks, interesting henceforth on account of the fight that
took place here for the possession of these heights. A photographic
view, taken the Sunday morning after the battle, shows eight dead Rebels
tumbled headlong, with their guns, among the rocks below the Den.

A little farther on is Round Top itself, a craggy tusk of the rock-jawed
earth pushed up there towards the azure. It is covered all over with
broken ledges, boulders, and fields of stones. Among these the
forest-trees have taken root,--thrifty Nature making the most of things
even here. The serene leafy tops of ancient oaks tower aloft in the
bluish-golden air. It is a natural fortress, which our boys strengthened
still further by throwing up the loose stones into handy breastworks.

Returning, I rode the whole length of the ridge held by our troops,
realizing more and more the importance of that extraordinary position.
It is like a shoe, of which Round Top represents the heel, and Cemetery
Hill the toe. Here all our forces were concentrated on Thursday and
Friday, within a space of three miles. Movements from one part to
another of this compact field could be made with celerity. Lee's forces,
on the other hand, extended over a circle of seven miles or more around,
in a country where all their movements could be watched by us and

At a point well forward on the foot of this shoe, Meade had his
head-quarters. I tied my horse at the gate, and entered the little
square box of a house which enjoys that historical celebrity. It is
scarcely more than a hut, having but two little rooms on the
ground-floor, and I know not what narrow, low-roofed chambers above. Two
small girls, with brown, German faces, were paring wormy apples under
the porch; and a round-shouldered, bareheaded, and barefooted woman,
also with a German face and a strong German accent, was drawing water at
the well. I asked her for a drink, which she kindly gave me, and invited
me into the house.

The little box was whitewashed outside and in, except the floor and
ceilings and inside doors, which were neatly scoured. The woman sat down
to some mending, and entered freely into conversation. She was a widow,
and the mother of six children. The two girls cutting wormy apples at
the door were the youngest, and the only ones that were left to her. A
son in the army was expected home in a few days. She did not know how
old her children were,--she did not know how old she herself was, "she
was so forgetful."

She ran away at the time of the fight, but was sorry afterwards she did
not stay at home. "She lost a heap." The house was robbed of almost
everything; "coverlids and sheets and some of our own clo'es, all
carried away. They got about two ton of hay from me. I owed a little on
my land yit, and thought I'd put in two lots of wheat that year, and it
was all trampled down, and I didn't get nothing from it. I had seven
pieces of meat yit, and them was all took. All I had when I got back was
jest a little bit of flour yit. The fences was all tore down, so that
there wa'n't one standing, and the rails was burnt up. One shell come
into the house and knocked a bedstead all to pieces for me. One come in
under the roof and knocked out a rafter for me. The porch was all
knocked down. There was seventeen dead horses on my land. They burnt
five of 'em around my best peach-tree, and killed it; so I ha'n't no
peaches this year. They broke down all my young apple-trees for me. The
dead horses sp'iled my spring, so I had to have my well dug."

I inquired if she had ever got anything for the damage.

"Not much. I jest sold the bones of the dead horses. I couldn't do it
till this year, for the meat hadn't rotted off yit. I got fifty cents a
hundred. There was seven hundred and fifty pounds. You can reckon up
what they come to. That's all I got."

Not much, indeed!

This poor woman's entire interest in the great battle was, I found,
centred in her own losses. That the country lost or gained she did not
know nor care, never having once thought of that side of the question.

The town is full of similar reminiscences; and it is a subject which
everybody except the "Copperheads" likes to talk with you about. There
were heroic women here, too. On the evening of Wednesday, as our forces
were retreating, an exhausted Union soldier came to Mr. Culp's house,
near Culp's Hill, and said, as he sank down,--

"If I can't have a drink of water, I must die."

Mrs. Culp, who had taken refuge in the cellar,--for the house was now
between the two fires,--said,--

"I will go to the spring and get you some water."

It was then nearly dark. As she was returning with the water, a bullet
whizzed past her. It was fired by a sharpshooter on our own side, who
had mistaken her for one of the advancing Rebels. Greatly frightened,
she hurried home, bringing the water safely. One poor soldier was made
eternally grateful by this courageous womanly deed. A few days later the
sharpshooter came to the house and learned that it was a ministering
angel in the guise of a woman he had shot at. Great, also, must have
been his gratitude for the veil of darkness which caused him to miss his

Shortly after the battle, sad tales were told of the cruel inhospitality
shown to the wounded Union troops by the people of Gettysburg. Many of
these stories were doubtless true; but they were true only of the more
brutal of the Rebel sympathizers. The Union men threw open their hearts
and their houses to the wounded.

One day I met a soldier on Cemetery Hill, who was in the battle, and
who, being at Harrisburg for a few days, had taken advantage of an
excursion-train to come over and revisit the scene of that terrible
experience. Getting into conversation, we walked down the hill together.
As we were approaching a double house with high wooden steps, he pointed
out the farther one, and said,--

"Saturday morning, after the fight, I got a piece of bread at that
house. A man stood on the steps and gave each of our fellows a piece. We
were hungry as bears, and it was a godsend. I should like to see that
man and thank him."

Just then the man himself appeared at the door. We went over, and I
introduced the soldier, who, with tears in his eyes, expressed his
gratitude for that act of Christian charity.

"Yes," said the man, when reminded of the circumstance, "we did what we
could. We baked bread here night and day to give to every hungry soldier
who wanted it. We sent away our own children, to make room for the
wounded soldiers, and for days our house was a hospital."

Instances of this kind are not few. Let them be remembered to the honor
of Gettysburg.

Of the magnitude of a battle fought so desperately during three days by
armies numbering not far from two hundred thousand men no adequate
conception can be formed. One or two facts may help to give a faint idea
of it. Mr. Culp's meadow, below Cemetery Hill,--a lot of near twenty
acres,--was so thickly strown with Rebel dead, that Mr. Culp declared he
"could have walked across it without putting foot upon the ground."
Upwards of three hundred Confederates were buried in that fair field in
one hole. On Mr. Gwynn's farm, below Round Top, near five hundred sons
of the South lie promiscuously heaped in one huge sepulchre. Of the
quantities of iron, of the wagon-loads of arms, knapsacks, haversacks,
and clothing, which strewed the country, no estimate can be made.
Government set a guard over these, and for weeks officials were busy in
gathering together all the more valuable spoils. The harvest of bullets
was left for the citizens to glean. Many of the poorer people did a
thriving business, picking up these missiles of death, and selling them
to dealers; two of whom alone sent to Baltimore fifty tons of lead
collected in this way from this battle-field.


The greatest name in American history is that of ALEXANDER HAMILTON, if
we consider the versatility of the man who bore it, the early age at
which he began a great public career, the success which attended all his
labors, the impression which he made on his country and its government,
and the rare foresight by which he was enabled to understand that our
political system would encounter that very danger through which it has
just passed,--and passed not without receiving severe wounds, which have
left it scarcely recognizable even by its warmest admirers. Talleyrand,
who had a just appreciation of Hamilton's talents and character, said
that he had divined Europe. An American need not be possessed of high
powers or position to venture the assertion that Hamilton divined
American history, and foresaw all that we have suffered because our
predecessors would build the national edifice on sand, so that it could
not stand against the political storm which it was in the breath of
selfish partisans to send against it, but has, as it were, to be
buttressed by mighty fleets and armies. A system, which, had it been
rightly formed in the first place, would have been self-sustaining, was
saved from destruction solely by the uprising of the people, who had to
operate with bullets and bayonets, when it had been fondly hoped that
the ballot would ever be a sufficiently formidable weapon in the hand of
the American citizen, and that he never would have to become the
citizen-soldier in a civil contest. Had Hamilton been allowed to shape
our national polity, it would have worked as successfully for ages as
that financial system which he formed has ever worked, and which has
never been departed from without the result being most injurious to the
country. At this day, when events have so signally justified the views
of Alexander Hamilton, and are daily justifying them,[F] it may not be
unprofitable to glance over the career of one whose virtues, services,
and genius are constantly rising in the estimation of his countrymen and
of the world, "the dead growing visible from the shades of time."

To be born at all is to be well born is the general belief in this very
liberal-minded age: but even the most determined of democrats is not
averse to a good descent; and Hamilton, who was a democrat in no sense,
had one of the noblest ancestries in Europe, though himself of American
birth. His family was of Scotland, a country which, the smallness of its
population considered, has produced more able and useful men than any
other. The Hamiltons of Scotland, and we may add of France, were one of
the noblest of patrician houses, and they had a great part in the stormy
history of their country. Walter de Hamilton, of Cambuskeith, in the
County of Ayr,--Burns's county,--second son of Sir David de Hamilton,
Dominus de Cadyow, was the founder of that branch of the Hamilton family
to which the American statesman belonged. He flourished _temp._ Robert
III., second of the Stuart kings, almost five hundred years ago. Many
noble Scotch names are very common, because it was the custom of the
families to which they belonged to extend them to all their retainers;
but Alexander Hamilton obtained his name in no such way as that. His
descent from the Lord of Cadyow is made up with the nicest precision.
The family became of Grange in the sixteenth century. The names of the
ladies married by the heads of the Hamiltons of Cambuskeith and Grange
all belong to those of the ingenuous classes. The same Christian names
are continued in the line, that of Alexander appearing as early as the
latter part of the fifteenth century, and reappearing frequently for
three hundred years. Alexander Hamilton of Grange, fourteenth in descent
from Sir David de Hamilton, had three sons, the third bearing his
father's name; and that son's fifth child was James Hamilton, who
emigrated to the West Indies, settling in the Island of Nevis. Mr. James
Hamilton married a French lady, whose maiden name was Faucette, and
whose father was one of many persons of worth who were forced to leave
France because of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, through the
bigotry of that little man who is commonly called the Grand Monarch, and
whose bigotry was made active by the promptings of Madame de Maintenon,
who was descended from a fierce Huguenot, as was the monarch himself.

Alexander Hamilton was born on the 11th of January, 1757. His mother
died in his early childhood, a more than usually severe loss, for she
was a superior woman. He was the only one of her children who survived
her. His father soon became poor, and the child was dependent upon the
relatives of his mother for support and education. They resided at Santa
Cruz, where he was brought up. Just before completing his thirteenth
year he entered the counting-house of Mr. Cruger, a merchant of Santa
Cruz. Young as he was, his employer left him in charge of his business
while he made a visit to New York, and had every reason to be satisfied
with the arrangement. He read all the books he could obtain, and read
them understandingly. Even at that early age he was remarkable for the
manliness of his mind. He wrote, too; and an account of the hurricane of
1772, which he contributed to a public journal, attracted so much
attention that he was sought out, and it was determined to send him to
New York to be regularly educated. He left Santa Cruz, and sailed for
Boston, which port he reached in October, 1772. Proceeding to New York,
he was sent to school at Elizabethtown, New Jersey; and in 1773 entered
King's College, in the city of New York, where he pursued his studies
with signal success. But events were happening that were to place him in
a very different school from that in which he was preparing to become a
physician. He was to be the physician of the State, and to that end he
was thrown among men, and appointed to do the work of men of the highest
intellect, at an age when most persons have not half completed the
ordinary training which is to fit them to begin the common routine of
common life.

Hamilton's connection with the history of his country, as one of those
who were making material for it, began at the age of seventeen. The
American Revolution was moving steadily onward when he arrived at New
York, and by the summer of 1774 it had assumed large proportions. He
first spoke at "the Great Meeting in the Fields," July 6th, and
astonished those who heard him by the fervor of his eloquence and the
closeness of his logic. His fame dates from that day. He sided with the
people of his new home from the time that he came among them, and never
had any doubt or hesitation as to the course which duty required him to
adopt and pursue. As a writer he was even more successful than as a
speaker. A pamphlet which he wrote in December, 1774, vindicating the
Continental Congress, attracted much attention, and that and another
from his pen were attributed to veteran Whigs, particularly to John Jay;
but the evidence of Hamilton's authorship is perfect, or we might well
agree with the Tories, and believe that works so able could not have
been written by a youth of eighteen. Other writings of his subsequently
appeared, and were most serviceable to the patriots. Young as he was, he
was already regarded by the country as one of its foremost champions
with the pen. The time was fast coming when it was to be made known that
the holder of the pen could also hold the sword, and hold it to
effective purpose.

He had joined a volunteer corps while in college, and was forward in all
its doings. The first time he was under fire was when this corps was
engaged in removing guns from the Battery. The fire of a man-of-war was
opened on it, doing some injury. This was the first act of war in New
York, and it is interesting to know that Hamilton had part in it. In the
commotion that followed, he was zealous in his efforts to prevent the
triumph of a mob, and not more zealous than successful. From the very
beginning of his career, he never thought of liberty, save as the
closest associate of law. Diligently devoting himself to the study of
the military art, and particularly to gunnery, he asked for the command
of an artillery company, and obtained it after a thorough examination,
being made captain on the 14th of March, 1776, when but two months
beyond his nineteenth year. He completed his company, and expended the
very last money he received from his relatives in making it fit for the
field. Even at that time he advocated promotion from the ranks, and
succeeded in having his first sergeant made a commissioned officer: a
fact worthy of mention, when it is recollected that his enemies have
always represented him as an aristocrat, there being nothing less
aristocratical than the placing of the sword of command in the hands of
men who have carried the musket. While pursuing his military duties, he
did not neglect the study of politics; and his notes show that before
the Declaration of Independence he had thought out a plan of government
for the nation that was so soon to come into existence. Among them is
this inquiry: "_Quære_, would it not be advisable to let all taxes, even
those imposed by the States, be collected by persons of Congressional
appointment? and would it not be advisable to pay the collectors so much
per cent on the sums collected?" This, as his son says, "is the
intuitive idea of a general government, truly such, which he first
proposed to Congress, and earnestly advocated." He was in his twentieth
year when he showed himself capable of understanding the nature of the
situation, and the wants of the country. Probably no other person had
got so far at that time, and it required years for the people to reach
the point at which Hamilton had arrived intuitively. With them it was a
conclusion reached through bitter experience. The lesson has not been
perfectly acquired even at this time.

Hamilton's company belonged to that army which Washington commanded, in
1776, in New England and New Jersey; and it was while the army was on
the heights of Haerlem, in the autumn of 1776, that he attracted the
notice of Washington. The General inspected an earthwork which the
Captain was constructing, conversed with him, and invited him to his
tent. This was the beginning of an acquaintance that was destined to
have memorable consequences and lasting effects on the American nation.
On the 1st of March, 1777, Hamilton was appointed to a place on
Washington's staff, becoming one of his aides, with the rank of
lieutenant-colonel,--his "principal and most confidential aide," to use
Washington's language. It was not without much hesitation that Hamilton
accepted this post. He had already made a name, and his promotion in the
line of the army was secured; and had he remained to take that
promotion, he would have won the highest distinction, supposing him to
have escaped the casualties of war. His military genius was
unquestioned; and what Washington required of him was service that would
not secure promotion or opportunity to show that he deserved it. He
required the mind and the pen of Hamilton. These he obtained; and the
amount of labor performed by the youthful aide-de-camp with his pen was
enormous. He was something more than an aide and a private secretary. He
was the commander's trusted friend, and he proved that he deserved the
trust reposed in him, not less by his high-minded conduct than by the
talent which he brought to the discharge of the duties of a most
difficult post,--duties which were of an arduous and highly responsible
character. The limits of a sketch like the present do not admit of more
than the general mention of his great services. Those who would know
them in full should consult the work in which Mr. John C. Hamilton has
done justice to the part which his father had, first in the
Revolutionary contest, and then in the creation of the American
Republic, and the settlement of its policy.[G] There was no event with
which Washington was concerned for more than four years with which
Hamilton was not also concerned. The range of his business and his
labors was equal to his talents, and it is not possible to say more of
them. He was but twenty years old when Washington thus really placed him
next to himself in the work of conducting the American cause. In what
estimation his services were held by the commander-in-chief may be
inferred from the fact that he was selected by him, in 1780, being then
in his twenty-fourth year, as a special minister to France, to induce
the French Government to grant more aid to this country. Hamilton did
not take the office, because it was desired by his friend, Colonel
Laurens, whose father was then a prisoner in England.

Colonel Hamilton was married on the 14th of December, 1780, to Miss
Elizabeth Schuyler, second daughter of General Philip Schuyler, one of
the most distinguished soldiers of the Revolution, to whom was due the
defeat of General Burgoyne, and head of one of those old families of
which New York possessed so many. This lady was destined to survive her
husband half a century, and to be associated with two ages of the
country,--her death occurring in 1854, in her ninety-eighth year. She
was a woman of exalted character, and worthy to be the wife of Alexander

The relations between Washington and Hamilton were briefly interrupted
early in 1781, and Hamilton left the commander's military family. He had
a command in that allied army which Washington and Rochambeau led to
Yorktown, the success of which put an end to the "great war" of the
Revolution on this continent. When the British redoubts were stormed,
Hamilton commanded the American column, and carried the redoubt he
assailed before the French had taken that which it fell to their lot to
attack. Shortly afterward he retired from the service, and, taking up
his residence in Albany, devoted himself to the study of the law. In
1782 he was elected a member of the Continental Congress by the
Legislature of New York, and took his seat on the 25th of November. He
proved an energetic member, his attention being largely directed to the
financial state of the country, than which nothing could be more dreary.
At an early day he had been convinced that something sound must be
attempted in relation to our finances; and in 1780 he had addressed a
letter on the subject to Robert Morris, which showed that his ideas
regarding money and credit were those of a great statesman. But the time
had not come in which he was to mould the country to his will, and make
it rich in spite of itself, and against its own exertions. More
suffering was necessary before the people could be made to listen to the
words of truth, though uttered by genius. Military matters also
commanded the attention of the young member, as was natural, he having
been so distinguished as a soldier, and retaining that interest in the
army which he had acquired from six years' connection with it. His
Congressional career was brilliant, and added much to his reputation. It
seemed that he was destined to succeed in everything he attempted. Yet
at that time he thought of retiring altogether from public life, and of
devoting himself entirely to his profession, in which he had already
become eminent. In November, 1783, he removed to the city of New York,
which then had entered on that astonishing growth which has since been
so steadily maintained.

The first of the law labors of this great man were in support of those
_national_ principles which are more closely identified with his name
than with that of any other individual. In advocating the cause of his
client, he had to argue that the terms of the treaty of peace with
England and the law of nations were of more force than a statute passed
by the Legislature of the State of New York. He carried the court as
decidedly with him as public opinion was against him; and he had to
defend himself in several pamphlets, which he did with his usual
success. As time went on, it became every day more apparent that the
country's great need was a strong central government, and that, until
such a government should be adopted, prosperity could not be looked for,
nor order, nor anything like national life; and had not something been
done, North America would doubtless have presented very much the same
spectacle that has long been afforded by South America, and from which
that rich land is but now slowly recovering. Of those who most earnestly
and effectively advocated the action necessary to save the country from
anarchy, Hamilton was among the foremost. As we have seen, he had
thought soundly on this subject as early as 1776, and years and events
had confirmed and strengthened the impression formed before independence
had been resolved upon.

Appointed a delegate from New York to the commercial convention held at
Annapolis in 1786, Colonel Hamilton wrote the address put forth by that
body to the States, out of which grew the Convention of 1787, which made
the Federal Constitution. To that Convention he was sent by the New York
Legislature, and his part in the work done was of the first order,
though the Constitution formed was far from commanding his entire
approbation. Like a wise statesman, who does not insist that means of
action shall be perfect, but makes the best use he can of those that are
available, Hamilton accepted the Constitution, and became the strongest
advocate for its adoption, and its firmest supporter after its adoption.
This part of his life--a part as honorable to him as it was useful to
his country--has been systematically misrepresented, so that many
Americans have been taught to believe that he was an enemy of freedom,
and would have established an arbitrary government. He was accused of
being opposed to any republican polity, and of seeking the annihilation
of the State Governments. He was called a monarchist and a
consolidationist. These misrepresentations of his opinions and acts were
forever dispelled, according to the views of honest and unprejudiced
men, by the publication of a letter which he wrote to Timothy Pickering,
in 1803. In that letter he said,--"The highest-toned propositions which
I made to the Convention were for a President, Senate, and Judges,
during good behavior, and a House of Representatives for three years.
Though I would have enlarged the legislative power of the General
Government, yet I never contemplated the abolition of the State
Governments; but, on the contrary, they were, in some particulars,
constituent parts of my plan. This plan was, in my conception,
conformable with the strict theory of a government purely republican;
the essential criteria of which are, that the principal organs of the
executive and legislative departments be elected by the people, and hold
the office by a responsible and temporary or defeasible nature.... I may
truly, then, say that I never proposed either a President or Senate for
life, and that I neither recommended nor meditated the annihilation of
State Governments.... It is a fact that my final opinion was against an
executive during good behavior, on account of the increased danger to
the public tranquillity incident to the election of a magistrate of his
degree of permanency. In the plan of a constitution which I drew up
while the Convention was sitting, and which I communicated to Mr.
Madison about the close of it, perhaps a day or two after, the office of
President has no longer duration than for three years. This plan was
predicated upon these bases: 1. That the political principles of the
people of this country would endure nothing but a republican government;
2. That, in the actual situation of the country, it was itself right and
proper that the republican theory should have a full and fair trial; 3.
That to such a trial it was essential that the government should be so
constructed as to give it all the energy and the stability reconcilable
with the principles of that theory. These were the genuine sentiments of
my heart; and upon them I then acted. I sincerely hope that it may not
hereafter be discovered, that, through want of sufficient attention to
the last idea, the experiment of republican government, even in this
country, has not been as complete, as satisfactory, and as decisive as
could be wished."

Such were the views of Hamilton in 1787, and which had undergone no
change in the sixteen years that elapsed between that time and the date
of his letter to Colonel Pickering. Yet this man, so true a republican
that his only desire was to have the republican polity that he knew must
here exist so framed and constituted as to become permanent, has been
drawn as a bigoted monarchist and as the enemy of freedom! In the eyes
of good democrats he was the Evil Principle incarnate; and even to this
day, in the more retired portions of the country, they believe, that, if
he had lived a few years longer, he would have made himself king, and
married one of the daughters of George III. They had, and some of them
yet have, about as clear conceptions of Hamilton's career and conduct as
Squire Western and his class had of the intentions of the English Whigs
of George II.'s time, whom they suspected of the intention of seizing
and selling their estates, with the purpose of sending the proceeds to
Hanover, to be invested in the funds.

The leaders of the great party which triumphed in 1801, and who had
libelled Hamilton while they were in opposition, found it for their
interest to continue their misrepresentations long after the fall of the
Federalists, and when the ablest of all the Federalists had been for
years in his grave. Many of them could overlook Burr's party treachery,
as well as his supposed treason, because he had been the rival of
Hamilton; though probably it would be unjust to them to suppose that
they approved of his conduct in murdering the man whose talents and
influence caused them so much alarm. So far was Hamilton from pursuing a
course in the Convention of 1787 that would have embarrassed that body,
because it did not adopt all his plans, that Dr. W. S. Johnson, one of
Connecticut's delegates, said, that, if "the Constitution did not
succeed on trial, Mr. Hamilton was less responsible for that result than
any other member, for he fully and frankly pointed out to the Convention
what he apprehended were the infirmities to which it was liable,--and
that, if it answered the fond expectations of the public, the community
would be more indebted to Mr. Hamilton than to any other member, for,
after its essential outlines were agreed to, he labored most
indefatigably to heal those infirmities, and to guard against the evils
to which they might expose it." M. Guizot, who understands our
politics, who knows our history, and whose practical statesmanship and
lofty talents render his opinion most valuable, when he declared that
"there is not in the Constitution of the United States an element of
order, of force, of duration, which Hamilton has not powerfully
contributed to introduce into it and to give it a predominance," stated
but the simplest truth. Equally correct is his remark, that "Hamilton
must be classed among the men who have best known the vital principles
and fundamental conditions of a government." Alone of all the New York
delegates Hamilton subscribed the Constitution.

In the discussions that followed the labors of the Convention, Hamilton
had the principal part in urging the adoption of the Constitution. "The
Federalist," that first of all American political works, and the
excellence of which was quickly recognized by foreign statesmen, was his
production. Not only did he write most of it, but the least of what he
wrote for it excels the best that was contributed to it by men so able
as Jay and Madison. Every attempt that has been made to take from him
any portion of the honor of this masterly work has failed, and it is now
admitted that it can fairly be associated only with his name. "The total
number of these essays," says Mr. John C. Hamilton, "by Hamilton's
enumeration, approved by Madison, is seen to be eighty-five. Of this
enumeration, an abbreviated copy by Hamilton from his original minute,
both in Hamilton's autograph, ascribes to himself the sole authorship of
sixty-three numbers, and the joint authorship with Madison of three
numbers, leaving to the latter the sole authorship of fourteen numbers,
and to Jay of five numbers."[H] "The Federalist" had a powerful
influence on the public mind, and contributed vastly to the success of
the Constitutionalists; and other writings of Hamilton had scarcely less
effect. Had he not been a friend of the Constitution, and had he sought
only the creation of a powerful central government, he never would have
labored for the success of the Constitutional party; for the surest road
to despotism would have been through that anarchy which must have
followed a refusal by the people to ratify the action of the Convention
of 1787. As a member of the Convention of the State of New York,
Hamilton most ably supported the ratification of the Constitution made
at Philadelphia.

The Constitution was adopted, and the new government was organized on
the 30th of April, 1789, on which day General Washington became
President of the United States. It was not until the 2d of September
that the Treasury Department was created; and on the 11th Alexander
Hamilton was made Secretary of the Treasury. Writing to Robert Morris,
Washington had asked, "What are we to do with this heavy debt?" To which
Morris answered, "There is but one man in the United States who can tell
you: that is Alexander Hamilton. I am glad you have given me this
opportunity to declare to you the extent of the obligations I am under
to him." Hamilton had thought of the station for himself, but his
warmest personal friends objected to his taking it Robert Troup
says,--"I remonstrated with him: he admitted that his acceptance of it
would be likely to injure his family, but said there was a strong
impression on his mind that in the financial department he would
essentially promote the welfare of the country; and this impression,
united with Washington's request, forbade his refusal of the
appointment." Having said, in conversing with Gouverneur Morris, that he
was confident he could restore public credit, "Morris remonstrated with
him for thinking of so perilous a position, on which calumny and
persecution were the inevitable attendants. 'Of that,' Hamilton
answered, 'I am aware; but I am convinced it is the situation in which I
can do most good.'" He had the same just self-confidence that Cromwell
felt, when he said to John Hampden that he would effect something for
the Parliamentary cause, and that William Pitt felt in 1757, when he
said to the Duke of Devonshire, "My Lord, I am sure that I can save this
country, and that nobody else can." As with Cromwell and with Pitt,
Hamilton's self-confidence was to be conclusively justified by the

Hamilton's career as the first finance minister of the United States is
the greatest evidence of statesmanship in American history; nor is it
likely ever to be surpassed, so complete is the change in the country's
condition,--a change due in great measure to his policy and conduct. The
world's annals show no more striking example of the right man in the
right place than is afforded by Hamilton's Secretaryship of the
Treasury. "The discerning eye of Washington," said Mr. Webster in 1831,
"immediately called him to that post which was far the most important in
the administration of the new system. He was made Secretary of the
Treasury; and how he fulfilled the duties of such a place, at such a
time, the whole country perceived with delight, and the whole world saw
with admiration. He smote the rock of the National Resources, and
abundant streams of revenue gushed forth. He touched the dead corpse of
the Public Credit, and it sprung upon its feet. The fabled birth of
Minerva, from the brain of Jove, was hardly more sudden or more perfect
than the financial system of the United States, as it burst forth from
the conceptions of Alexander Hamilton." Lofty as this praise is, it is
literally true. American Public Credit was a dead corpse in 1789; and in
1790 it was living and erect, as it has ever since remained, in spite of
the utmost exertions of all political parties to reduce it to the state
in which Hamilton found it, in the hope of injuring their rivals. All
that has been good in our financial history for three quarters of a
century is due to Alexander Hamilton; and all that has been evil in it
can be traced directly to violation of his principles or disregard of
his modes of action. That we were enabled to preserve the Union against
the attacks of the Secessionists must be attributed to Hamilton's genius
and exertions. He is one of those "dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who
still rule our spirits from their urns."

Ten days after his appointment to office, Secretary Hamilton was
required by Congress to report a plan for the support of the public
credit. His report is admitted, even by those who do not agree with its
views, to be an able state paper. Besides upholding the payment of the
foreign debt, on which all parties were of one mind, he recommended that
the domestic debt should be treated in the same spirit. As the revival
and maintenance of the public credit was the object which the Secretary
had in view, he advocated the fulfilment of original contracts, no
matter by whom claims might be held. His recommendations were adopted;
and the famous "funding system" dates from that time, and with it the
prosperity of the United States. He had recommended the assumption of
the State debts; but in this he was only partially successful. The
measures suggested for the carrying out of his system were adopted.
Among these was the creation of a national bank, at the beginning of
1791. Other measures concerned the raising of revenue, and were
extraordinarily successful. And yet others for the advancement of trade,
both foreign and domestic, were not less successful: there being no
subject that came properly within his department to which he did not
give his entire attention; and as he was laboring for a new nation, it
necessarily happened that all the machinery had to be improvised, To the
demands made on his intellect, his time, and his industry, the Secretary
was found to be more than equal. His triumphs astonished and gratified
the friends of good government throughout the world, and carried his
name to all nations. In only eighteen months, a change had been effected
such as it well might have taken as many years to accomplish, and which
thoroughly justified the new polity, and the measures which had been
adopted under it. Foreign commerce flourished, and also the domestic
trade. The agricultural interest prospered, and manufactures steadily
increased. "The waste lands in the interior were being rapidly settled;
towns were springing up in every direction; the seaports were increasing
in wealth and population; and that great career of internal improvement,
by numerous highways, with which the United States have amazed the
world, was begun." Fisher Ames wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury
that the national bank and the Federal Government possessed more
popularity than any institution or government could long maintain. "The
success of the government, and especially of the measures proceeding
from your department," he said, "has astonished the multitude; and while
it has shut the mouths, it has stung the envious hearts, of the State
leaders." American credit was raised so high in Europe, that, at the
opening of 1791, a great loan was taken in Holland in two hours, on
better terms than any European government but one could have obtained.
The subscriptions to the national bank were filled in a day, and could
easily have been doubled. Such another instance of successful
statesmanship it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find.

It is sometimes said that the success of the Hamiltonian system was due
to European events,--that the great wars which grew out of the French
Revolution created so extensive demands for our productions that we must
have prospered, no matter what should have been the course of American
political life. What might have been, had the Constitution failed of
adoption, it is not necessary to discuss; but this we know, that the
success of Secretary Hamilton's plans was pronounced and complete before
the European wars alluded to began. That success was seen in the early
days of 1791, and war did not commence until 1792; and then it was not
waged on that grand scale to which it subsequently reached. The war
between France and England, which affected this country most, broke out
in 1793, two years after Ames had written so encouragingly to Hamilton,
and yet warning him to prepare for the inevitable Nemesis, that "envy of
the gods," which, according to the Hellenic superstition, but fairly
justifiable by innumerable historical facts, waits on all prosperity and
rebukes human wisdom. To us it seems that the most that can be said of
the effect of the wide-spread and long-continued European quarrel on our
business was this,--that it gave to it much of its peculiar character,
but did not create it, and was not necessary to its creation or its
continuance. What Hamilton did was to remove depressing influences from
American life and the American mind,--to substitute order for disorder,
hope for fear, and confidence and security for dread and distrust. This
was what was done by Hamilton and his associates; and this done, the
native energies of the people did all the rest. It is all but certain
that the extraordinary career of material prosperity that began
immediately after it was seen what was to be our policy under the new
polity, would have been essentially the same, as to the general result,
had Europe remained quiet for twenty years longer, and had there been no
downfall of the old French monarchy. The details of American business
life would have been different, but the result would have been pretty
much the same as what we have seen.

Events soon justified the apprehensions of the sensitive, but sagacious
Ames. Hamilton's prosperity bred its natural consequences, and he became
the target at which many aspiring men directed their attacks,--Thomas
Jefferson standing at their head. The cause of this, which has been
sought in the French Revolution, in opposition to the supposed
centralizing tendencies of the Hamiltonian policy, and so forth, really
lies on the surface. It grew out of men's ambition, and their desire for
power. It was plain to Southern men, that, if Hamilton were permitted to
accomplish his purpose entire, he must become the man of men, and that
his influence would become equal to that of Washington, whose influence
they bowed to most unwillingly. Not less plain was it that power would
be with the North. Hence their determination to "break him down," which
they would have pursued with all their might, had the French Revolution
been postponed, though its occurrence furnished them with means of
attack,--the larger part of the American people sympathizing with the
French, while Hamilton shared with Edmund Burke opinions which time has
done much to show were sound; and he was a strenuous supporter of that
policy of neutrality which Washington wisely adopted. The Secretary of
the Treasury was assailed by those who envied and hated him, in various
ways. His official integrity was called in question, but the
investigations which he courted led to the confounding of his enemies,
while his personal character stood brighter than ever. So bitter became
the opposition that some of their number wished for the success of the
Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania, as Mr. Jefferson's correspondence
shows; and the part which Hamilton had in suppressing that outbreak did
not increase their regard for him. The presence of two such men in
Washington's Cabinet as Hamilton and Jefferson made it the scene of
dissension until Jefferson retired.

Hamilton remained in office some time longer; and when he left it, he
did so only for personal reasons. He was poor. He had expended, not only
his salary, but almost all the property he possessed when he took
office. The man who had made his country rich had made himself poor by
his devotion to her interests, and had received nothing but vindictive
abuse in requital of his unrivalled labors. He resolved to return to the
practice of his profession, which he never would have left, had he
consulted merely his individual interests and those of his family. Some
weeks before he retired, he addressed a letter to the Speaker of the
House of Representatives, announcing his purpose, in order that inquiry
might be made into the state of his department, should Congress see fit
to make it; but his foes had been so humiliated by the results of the
two inquiries undertaken at their instance, that they would not venture
upon a third. In January, 1795, he sent a letter to Congress on the
subject of the public credit, which is one of his ablest productions,
full of sound financial doctrine, and showing that he was in advance of
most men on those economical questions the proper settlement of which so
closely concerns the welfare of nations. This letter affords a complete
view of the financial history of the government, and may be considered
as Secretary Hamilton's statement of his case to the world. The debt
exceeded $76,000,000, a sum that bore as great a proportion to the
revenues of the country seventy years since as the debt of to-day bears
to our present resources. As Hamilton was no believer in the absurd
doctrine that "a national debt is a national blessing," we need say no
more than that he dwelt with emphasis on the necessity of providing for
the debt's payment. It is important to mention that he declared
government could not rightfully tax its promises to pay.

Though Hamilton, as Madison wrote to Jefferson, went to New York "with
the word Poverty as his label," his great reputation rapidly secured for
him abundant professional employment. But he was too important a
personage to be able to refrain altogether from political pursuits, and
was forced to defend some of the measures of government, though no
longer responsible for them. He advocated Jay's Treaty, one of the most
unpopular measures that ever were carried through by an honest
government in face of the most vehement opposition. Had the treaty been
rejected, war with England would probably have followed, which would
have been a profound calamity. While living in retirement, Hamilton was
assailed by his Southern enemies, who were supported by their Northern
allies, their object being to show that he had acted corruptly while at
the head of the Treasury. His reply was as complete a refutation as
their earlier calumnies had encountered. He wrote the celebrated
Farewell Address of President Washington. On all occasions he was ready
with pen and tongue to defend and uphold those political principles in
the triumph of which he had that interest which a statesman must ever
have in the advancement of truth.

When it was supposed that the French might attempt the invasion of this
country, in 1798, preparations were made to meet them. Washington was
made Commander-in-Chief, with the rank of Lieutenant-General; but he
stipulated that he should not be required to take the field save for
active service, and that Hamilton should have the post next to his own,
which made the latter actually commander of the army. He was
indefatigable in discharging the duties of this station; but,
fortunately, hostilities with France were confined to the ocean, and the
seizure of power in that country by Bonaparte led to a settlement of the
points in dispute. Hamilton again returned to private life. He could
not, however, altogether give up politics, but was forced to take some
part in the exciting political contests of those days. When the
Presidential election of 1801 devolved upon the House of
Representatives, he exerted his influence against Burr, whom the
Federalists were inclined to support, preferring him to Jefferson. In
1804 he again labored to defeat Burr's political aspirations, and
prevented his being chosen Governor of New York. Burr was then on the
verge of ruin, and he resolved upon being revenged, and on the
destruction of so powerful a political foe. He required from Hamilton
the disavowal of language which there was no evidence that he
ever had used, and so managed the dispute that a duel became
inevitable,--reference being had to the state of public sentiment then
prevalent on the subject of honor, and to the circumstance that duelling
was almost as common in New York at that time as it was in any Southern
State just before the Secession War.

The death of Alexander Hamilton was as much the work of assassination as
was that of Abraham Lincoln, in all save the forms that were observed on
the occasion. Aaron Burr, of whose actions he had sometimes spoken with
severity,--but not with more severity than is common in all high party
times,[I]--was determined that so bold and able an enemy should be
removed from his political path; and to that end he fastened a duel upon
him, and in the meeting that ensued deliberately shot him. It has been
said, that Burr, who was "a good shot" from his youth, and whose nerves
were as brazen as his brow, practised with the pistol for some days
before the fatal encounter took place; and the story is perfectly in
character, and helps sustain the position that Hamilton was
assassinated. That Hamilton should have consented to meet such a man,
knowing as he did what was his purpose, and that he was capable of any
crime, has often been remarked upon; and probably his decision will
serve to point many a moral for ages, and all the more emphatically when
the force of that opinion in regard to duelling which once was so strong
shall not only have utterly passed away, but have been forgotten, and
have become quite incomprehensible to men who shall live in the light of
sounder opinion than prevailed at the beginning of this century. A
soldier, it was reasonable that Hamilton should feel very differently on
the point of honor from a mere civilian, and that he should not have
felt himself at liberty to decline Burr's challenge. He believed that
his ability to be useful thereafter in public life would be greatly
lessened, should he not fight. In the paper he drew up, giving his
reasons for the course he pursued, he says,--"The ability to be in
future useful, whether in resisting mischief or in effecting good, in
those crises of our public affairs which seem likely to happen, would
probably be inseparable from a conformity with public prejudice in this
particular." He was particularly thinking of his power to contend
against a scheme for a dissolution of the Union which had been formed in
the North, the existence of which he knew, and also that it was known to
Burr, who, had he not committed suicide by the same act which made him a
murderer, would soon have been seen at the head of a rebellion. The
result of the duel was to deprive Burr of all power and influence. He
killed Hamilton, but he fell himself by the same shot that carried death
to his opponent; and so complete was his fall that he never could rise
again, though he continued to cumber the earth for more than thirty-two
years. Hamilton's quarrel with Burr, as his son and biographer truly
observes, "was the quarrel of his country. It was the last act in the
great drama of his life. It was the deliberate sacrifice of that life
for his country's welfare,--a sacrifice which, by overwhelming his
antagonist with the execrations of the American people, prevented a
civil war, and saved from 'dismemberment' this great republic."

What strikes us most forcibly, in considering Hamilton's career, is the
remarkably, early development of his powers. At thirteen, he was found
competent to take charge of a mercantile establishment. At fifteen, his
writings win for him public applause and the aid of friends. At
seventeen, he addresses with success a great public meeting. At
eighteen, his anonymous productions are attributed to some of the
leading men of America. At nineteen, he has thought out that principle
of government which is indelibly associated with his name. At twenty, he
has not only approved himself a skilful and courageous soldier, but he
has won the esteem of the grave and reserved Washington, and is placed
by that great man in a post of the closest confidence, and which really
makes him the second man in the American service. At twenty-three, he
has shown that he is master of the intricate subject of finance. At
twenty-five, after an active military life that had allowed no time for
study, he is known as a lawyer of the first order. At twenty-six, he is
distinguished as a member of Congress. At thirty, he takes a leading
part in framing the Constitution of the United States. And in his
thirty-third year, he becomes the most extraordinary finance minister
the world has ever seen. He was statesman, soldier, writer, and orator,
and first in each department; and he was as ready for all the parts
which he filled as if he had been long and studiously trained for each
of them by the best of instructors. When Mr. Webster so happily compared
the instantaneousness and perfection of his financial system to "the
fabled birth of Minerva," he did but allude to what is to be remarked of
all Hamilton's works. All that he did was perfect, and no one seems to
have been aware of his power until he had established the fact of its
existence. Such a combination of precocity and versatility stands quite
unparalleled. Octavius, William the Third, Henry St. John, Charles James
Fox, and William Pitt the younger, all showed various powers at early
periods of their lives; but not one of them was the equal of Hamilton in
respect to early maturity of intellect, or in ability to command success
in every department to which he turned his attention. The historical
character of whom he most reminds us is the elder Africanus. In the
early development of his faculties, in his self-reliant spirit, in his
patriotism, in his kingliness of mind, in his personal purity, in his
generosity of thought and of action, and in the fear and envy that he
excited in inferior minds, he was a repetition of the most majestic of
all the Romans. But, unlike the Roman soldier-statesman, he did not
desert the land he had saved, but which had proved ungrateful; and the
grave only was to be his Liternum. He died at not far from the same age
as that to which Africanus reached. In comparing him with certain other
men who achieved fame early, it should be remembered that they all were
regularly prepared for public life, and were born to it as to an
inheritance; whereas he, though of patrician blood, was possessed of no
advantages of fortune, and had to fight the battle of life while
fighting the battles of the nation.


[F] Mr. Riethmüller, in his volume on "Hamilton and his Contemporaries,"
coolly assumes that Hamilton would have opposed the late war for the
maintenance of the Union, had he been living! Anything more absurd than
such a view of Hamilton's probable course, under circumstances like
those which occurred in 1861, it would be impossible to imagine.
Hamilton would have been the firmest supporter of the war, had he lived
to see it, or had such a war broken out in his time. His principles
would have led him to be for extreme measures. It is easy to see why Mr.
Riethmüller thus misrepresents Hamilton's opinions. Living in London,
where it is thought that every foreign nation should submit to
destruction, if that be desirable to England, he wrote under the
influence of the place. The English do not take the same view of
Secession, when it comes home to them. They think as unfavorably of that
repeal of the Union which the Irish demand as we thought of that
dissolution of our Union which South Carolinians demanded; and they
moved against the Fenians much earlier than we moved against the
Carolinians. Mr. Riethmüller's assumption is pointedly disclaimed by
General Hamilton's representatives, who declare that it is a palpable
misrepresentation of their father's views: and no one who is familiar
with Hamilton's writings and history can honestly say that they are
wrong. To say that Andrew Jackson, who crushed Nullification, would have
been a Secessionist, had he been living in 1861, would be a moderate
assertion, compared to that which places Alexander Hamilton in the list
of possible Secessionists, had he survived to Secession times.

[G] _History of the Republic of the United States of America, as traced
in the Writings of Alexander Hamilton and his Contemporaries._ By John
C. Hamilton. Seven Volumes. 8vo. New York: D. Appleton & Co. A work in
every respect deserving of the closest and most attentive study, replete
as it is with valuable and well-arranged matter and able writing.

[H] _The Federalist: a Commentary on the Constitution of the United
States._ A Collection of Essays, by Alexander Hamilton, Jay, and
Madison. Also, _The Continentalist_ and other Papers, by Hamilton.
Edited by John C. Hamilton, Author of "The Republic of the United
States." 1 vol. 8vo. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co.--This is by
far the best edition of "The Federalist" that has appeared, and should
alone be consulted and read by Hamilton's admirers. The Historical
Notice with which Mr. Hamilton has prefaced it is a noble production,
and worthy of the subject and of his name.

[I] Burr, in his correspondence with Hamilton just before the challenge
that led to the duel, said,--"Political opposition can never absolve
gentlemen from the necessity of a rigid adherence to the laws of honor
and the rules of decorum. I neither claim such privilege, nor indulge it
in others." This has been called affectation; but we have no doubt that
Burr uttered the truth in the sentences quoted. He was exactly the man
to observe the rules of decorum, and those of honor, as he understood
them, in political warfare. The strong language that is so common in
political disputes is proof as much of the abundance of men's sincerity
as it is of their want of good breeding. They are honestly moved by the
evil words or deeds, or both, or what they consider such, of their
opponents, and speak of them coarsely. The man who is indifferent to all
opinions, principles, and actions, but who is nevertheless ambitious, is
never tempted to the utterance of disparaging language concerning his
political foes. He may laugh at their zeal, but he cannot be offended by
it. Burr was utterly indifferent to all political principle. He never
really belonged to any party, and was as ready to act with Federalists
as with Democrats; and it was only through the force of circumstances
that he did act generally with the latter. A party man never would have
done as Burr saw fit to do when the Presidential election of 1801
devolved on the House of Representatives. The party to which he
professed to belong intended, as everybody knew, that Jefferson should
be President; and yet Burr allowed himself to be used against Jefferson.
That "all is fair in politics" was his creed. He may have been "a man of
honor," but what Lord Macaulay says of Avaux is strictly applicable to
him, namely,--"that of the difference between right and wrong he had no
more notion than a brute."


_Memoirs of the Life of William Shakespeare, with an Essay toward the
Expression of his Genius, and an Account of the Rise and Progress of the
English Drama to the Time of Shakespeare._ By RICHARD GRANT WHITE.
Boston: Little, Brown, & Co.

Mr. White's closing-up of his Shakespeare labors has been long in
coming, but comes good and acceptable at last. The volume now in hand,
however, does not form a part of his edition of the poet; it stands by
itself; though a portion of its contents is repeated in the first volume
(the last published) of this edition. It is rich in matter, and the
workmanship, for the most part, capital. All Shakespearians are bound to
relish it; and if any general reader does not find it delectable, he may
well suspect some fault in himself.

The contents of the volume are, first, "Memoirs of the Life of William
Shakespeare"; second, "An Essay toward the Expression of Shakespeare's
Genius"; third, "An Account of the Rise and Progress of the English
Drama to the Time of Shakespeare."

In his "Memoirs," the author of course adds nothing to what was already
known of the poet's life. But his presentation of the matter is
eminently readable, and, in parts, decidedly interesting; which is as
much as can fairly be looked for in any writing on that subject. Some
readers may think, we _do_ think, that the author is a little at fault
on one or two points. For instance, he overworks certain questions
touching the poet's wife, worrying up the matter against her to the
utmost, and, in fact, tormenting the poor woman's memory in such a way
as to indicate something very like spite. Now this is not fair; and Mr.
White's general fairness on other subjects makes his proceeding the less
excusable in this case.

Of course everybody knows that Mrs. Anne Shakespeare was some eight
years older than her husband; that the circumstances of the marriage
were not altogether what they should have been; and that the oldest
daughter was born a little too soon for the credit of either parent.
This is all, all, there is known about the matter. And if conjecture or
inference must be at work on these facts, surely it had better run in
the direction of charity, especially of charity towards the weaker
vessel. We say weaker vessel, because in this case the man must, in all
fairness, be supposed to have had the advantage, at least as much in
strength of natural understanding as the woman had in years. And as
Shakespeare was, by all accounts, a very attractive person, it does not
well appear but that the woman had as good a right to lose her heart in
his company as he had to lose his head in hers. Yet our author
insinuates, perhaps we should say more than insinuates, that the lady
immodestly angled for and seduced the youthful lover, and entangled his
honor in an obligation of marriage; and he seems quite positive that the
poet afterwards hated her, and took refuge in London partly to escape
from her society. Moreover, he presumes her to have been a coarse, low,
vulgar creature, such as, the fascination of the honeymoon once worn
off, the poet could not choose but loathe and detest. Now all this is
sheer conjecture; it has no basis of fact or of fair likelihood to stand
upon; there is not so much as a particle even of tradition to support
it. Rowe hints nothing of the sort; and surely his candor would not have
spared the parties, if he had found anything: it was the very point of
all others on which scandal would have been most apt to fasten and feed;
and yet even Aubrey, arrant old gossip as he was, supplies nothing to
justify it.

In default of other grounds, resort has been had to certain passages in
the poet's dramas. And Mr. White, though knowing, none better, the
poet's wonderful self-aloofness from his representations, thinks it
worth the while to make an exception in this particular case. Presuming
such and such things to be true in his own experience, the poet, our
author observes, must have thought of them while writing certain
passages. Our answer is, To be sure, he must have thought of them, and
he must have known that others would think of them too; and a reasonable
delicacy on his part would have counselled the withholding of anything
that he was conscious might be applied to his own domestic affairs. Does
not Mr. White see that his inferences in this are just the reverse of
what they should be? Sensible men do not write in their public pages
such things as would be almost sure to breed or to foster scandal about
their own names or their own homes. The man that has a secret cancer on
his person will be the last to speak of cancers in reference to others;
and if the truth of his own case be suspected at all, it will rather be
from his silence than from his speech. We can hardly think Shakespeare
was so wanting in a sense of propriety as to have written the passages
in question, but that he knew no man could say he was exposing the
foulness of his own nest.

But we are dwelling too long on this point; and we confess something of
impatience at Mr. White's treatment of it. His _animus_ in the thing is
shown, perhaps, in one slight mistake he has made. Speaking of the
lady's haste to "provide herself with a husband," he says, "In less than
five months after she obtained one she was delivered of a daughter." The
bishop's license for the marriage was dated November 28th, 1582, and
Susannah Shakespeare was baptized May 26th, 1583; thus leaving an
interval of but two days short of _six_ months between the marriage and
the birth. As Sir Hugh observes, "I like not when a 'oman has a great

We are moved to add one more item of dissent.--Mr. White thinks, and it
appears that the German critic, Gervinus, coincides with him, that
Shakespeare must have acquired all his best ideas of womanhood after he
went to London, and conversed with the ladies of the city. And in
support of this notion he cites the fact--for such it is--that the women
of the poet's later plays are much superior to those of his earlier
ones. But are not the _men_ of his later plays quite as much superior to
the men of his first? Unquestionably they are. Are not his later plays
as much better _every way_, as in respect of the female characters? Mr.
White is too wise and too ripe in the theme to question it. The truth
seems to be, that Shakespeare saw more of great and good in both man and
woman as he became older and knew them better; for he was full of
intellectual righteousness in this as in other things. But if there must
be any conjecturing about it, we prefer to conjecture that the poet
caught his ideas of womanhood, or at least the rudiments of them, from
his mother, and other specimens of the sex in his native town. For in
this matter it may with something of special fitness be said that a man
finds what he brings with him the faculty of finding; and he who does
not learn respect for woman in the nursery and at the fireside will
hardly learn it at all. The poet's mind did not stay on the surface of
things. He had the head to know, and the heart to feel, the claims of
humble, modest worth; for, as he was the wisest, so was he also the most
human-hearted of men. And to his keen, yet kindly eye, the
plain-thoughted women of Stratford may well have been as pure, as sweet,
as lovely, as rich in all the inward graces which he delighted to unfold
in his female characters, as anything he afterwards found among the
fine ladies of the metropolis: though far be it from us to disrepute
these latter; for he was, by the best of all rights, a thorough
gentleman; and the ladies who pleased him in London had womanhood
enough, no doubt, to recognize him as such, without the flourishes of
rank. At all events, it is reasonable to infer that the foundations of
his mind were laid before he left Stratford, and that the gatherings of
the boy's eye and heart were the germs of the man's thoughts. And,
indeed, if his great social heart had found all the best delights of
society in London, how should he have been so desirous, as Mr. White
allows he was, to escape from the city, and set up his rest in his
Stratford home?

Mr. White's history of the Drama, though far from copious, supplies
enough, perhaps, to put the reader right as regards Shakespeare's
historical relations to that great branch of English literature. From
what is there given, any one can, with reasonable attention, learn that
the English drama, as we have it in Shakespeare, was the well-ripened
fruit of centuries of preparation: the form, structure, and order of the
thing being settled long before his time. The attentive reader will also
see, though this point is not emphasized so much as it might be, that
the national mind and taste were ready and eager to welcome the right
man as soon as the right man came; so that, in catering wisely for the
public taste, the poet could hardly fail of the supremacy due to his
transcendent genius; which infers, of course, that the public taste had
nearly as much to do in forming him as he had in forming it. On one or
two points, as, for instance, in the matter of Shakespeare's senior
contemporaries, we should have preferred a somewhat larger outlay of the
author's learned and well-practised strength; while, again, in reference
to the old plays of "Jeronimo" and "The Spanish Tragedy," he might well
have used more economy of strength, as the matter is neither interesting
in itself nor helpful to his purpose. Here is a specimen of his
felicity, referring to the plays of old John Lily, the euphuist.

"They are in all respects opposed to the genius of the English drama.
They do not even pretend to be representations of human life and human
character, but are pure fantasy pieces, in which the personages are a
heterogeneous medley of Grecian gods and goddesses, and impassible,
colorless creatures, with sublunary names, all thinking with one brain,
and speaking with one tongue,--the conceitful, crotchety brain, and the
dainty, well-trained tongue of clever, witty John Lily."

This is, indeed, the exact truth of the matter, and it could hardly be
better said. On divers points, however, the little that he gives us just
sets the reader on fire for more: that is, he does not satisfy the
desire quite enough in proportion as he stimulates it. But he probably
goes on the safe principle, that in such cases an intelligent reader is
apt to crave more than he will justify a writer in giving; or, in other
words, that he does not seem to have enough, until he has too much.

But the "Essay" is most decidedly the jewel of the volume: not, however,
to disparage the other parts; for it is worthy to be the jewel of
anybody's volume. A single reading of the "Essay," as it ought to be
read, will suffice to make any one glad to own the book, and will almost
certainly induce him to mark it down for a second reading, as the second
also will for a third. The work, indeed, is a positive, and we think it
will prove a permanent addition to our already opulent inheritance of
Shakespearian criticism. It is weighty throughout with fresh, yet sober
and well-considered thought, expressed in tight and sinewy
English,--every part being highly elaborate, but nothing over-labored.
The author discusses a large number of topics, all in "a manly style,
fitted to manly ears," but is particularly full and instructive in
regard to the poet's language and style: a rich field, indeed, which has
not been proportionably cultivated by the poet's later critics, who have
put their force mainly on what may be called his dramatic architecture,
and on his development of character, where there is more room to be
philosophical, but less chance of determinate results. Over this field
Mr. White walks with the firm, yet graceful step of a master: his
current of thought running deep, strong, and clear, and carrying us
through page after page full of nice and subtile discrimination, without
over-refinement, and of illustrations apt and luminous, yet without a
touch of false brilliancy or mere smartness; which is saying a good
deal, in these days of high-pressure rhetoric.

We commend the "Essay" to all lovers of solid and well-proportioned
critical discourse.


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