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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 101, March, 1866" ***

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THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY

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

VOL. XVII.--MARCH, 1866.--NO. CI.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved
to the end of the article.



PASSAGES FROM HAWTHORNE'S NOTE-BOOKS.


III.

Maine, _Thursday, July 20, 1837._--A drive, yesterday afternoon, to a
pond in the vicinity of Augusta, about nine miles off, to fish for white
perch. Remarkables: the steering of the boat through the crooked,
labyrinthine brook, into the open pond,--the man who acted as
pilot,--his talking with B----about politics, the bank, the iron money
of "a king who came to reign, in Greece, over a city called
Sparta,"--his advice to B---- to come amongst the laborers on the
mill-dam, because it stimulated them "to see a man grinning amongst
them." The man took hearty tugs at a bottle of good Scotch whiskey, and
became pretty merry. The fish caught were the yellow perch, which are
not esteemed for eating; the white perch, a beautiful, silvery,
round-backed fish, which bites eagerly, runs about with the line while
being pulled up, makes good sport for the angler, and an admirable dish;
a great chub; and three horned pouts, which swallow the hook into their
lowest entrails. Several dozen fish were taken in an hour or two, and
then we returned to the shop where we had left our horse and wagon, the
pilot very eccentric behind us. It was a small, dingy shop, dimly
lighted by a single inch of candle, faintly disclosing various boxes,
barrels standing on end, articles hanging from the ceiling; the
proprietor at the counter, whereon appear gin and brandy, respectively
contained in a tin pint-measure and an earthenware jug, with two or
three tumblers beside them, out of which nearly all the party drank;
some coming up to the counter frankly, others lingering in the
background, waiting to be pressed, two paying for their own liquor and
withdrawing. B---- treated them twice round. The pilot, after drinking
his brandy, gave a history of our fishing expedition, and how many and
how large fish we caught. B---- making acquaintances and renewing them,
and gaining great credit for liberality and free-heartedness,--two or
three boys looking on and listening to the talk,--the shopkeeper smiling
behind his counter, with the tarnished tin scales beside him,--the inch
of candle burned down almost to extinction. So we got into our wagon,
with the fish, and drove to Robinson's tavern, almost five miles off,
where we supped and passed the night. In the bar-room was a fat old
countryman on a journey, and a quack doctor of the vicinity, and an
Englishman with a peculiar accent. Seeing B----'s jointed and
brass-mounted fishing-pole, he took it for a theodolite, and supposed
that we had been on a surveying expedition. At supper, which consisted
of bread, butter, cheese, cake, doughnuts, and gooseberry-pie, we were
waited upon by a tall, very tall woman, young and maiden-looking, yet
with a strongly outlined and determined face. Afterwards we found her to
be the wife of mine host. She poured out our tea, came in when we rang
the table-bell to refill our cups, and again retired. While at supper,
the fat old traveller was ushered through the room into a contiguous
bedroom. My own chamber, apparently the best in the house, had its walls
ornamented with a small, gilt-framed, foot-square looking-glass, with a
hair-brush hanging beneath it; a record of the deaths of the family,
written on a black tomb, in an engraving, where a father, mother, and
child were represented in a graveyard, weeping over said tomb; the
mourners dressed in black, country-cut clothes; the engraving executed
in Vermont. There was also a wood engraving of the Declaration of
Independence, with fac-similes of the autographs; a portrait of the
Empress Josephine, and another of Spring. In the two closets of this
chamber were mine hostess's cloak, best bonnet, and go-to-meeting
apparel. There was a good bed, in which I slept tolerably well, and,
rising betimes, ate breakfast, consisting of some of our own fish, and
then started for Augusta. The fat old traveller had gone off with the
harness of our wagon, which the hostler had put on to his horse by
mistake. The tavern-keeper gave us his own harness, and started in
pursuit of the old man, who was probably aware of the exchange, and well
satisfied with it.

Our drive to Augusta, six or seven miles, was very pleasant, a heavy
rain having fallen during the night and laid the oppressive dust of the
day before. The road lay parallel with the Kennebec, of which we
occasionally had near glimpses. The country swells back from the river
in hills and ridges, without any interval of level ground; and there
were frequent woods, filling up the valleys or crowning the summits. The
land is good, the farms looked neat, and the houses comfortable. The
latter are generally but of one story, but with large barns; and it was
a good sign, that, while we saw no houses unfinished nor out of repair,
one man, at least, had found it expedient to make an addition to his
dwelling. At the distance of more than two miles, we had a view of white
Augusta, with its steeples, and the State-House, at the farther end of
the town. Observable matters along the road were the stage,--all the
dust of yesterday brushed off, and no new dust contracted,--full of
passengers, inside and out; among them some gentlemanly people and
pretty girls, all looking fresh and unsullied, rosy, cheerful, and
curious as to the face of the country, the faces of passing travellers,
and the incidents of their journey; not yet damped, in the morning
sunshine, by long miles of jolting over rough and hilly roads,--to
compare this with their appearance at midday, and as they drive into
Bangor at dusk;--two women dashing along in a wagon, and with a child,
rattling pretty speedily down hill;--people looking at us from the open
doors and windows;--the children staring from the wayside;--the mowers
stopping, for a moment, the sway of their scythes;--the matron of a
family, indistinctly seen at some distance within the house, her head
and shoulders appearing through the window, drawing her handkerchief
over her bosom, which had been uncovered to give the baby its
breakfast,--the said baby, or its immediate predecessor, sitting at the
door, turning round to creep away on all fours;--a man building a
flat-bottomed boat by the roadside: he talked with B---- about the
Boundary question, and swore fervently in favor of driving the British
"into hell's kitchen" by main force.

Colonel B----, the engineer of the mill-dam, is now here, after about a
fortnight's absence. He is a plain country squire, with a good figure,
but with rather a ponderous brow; a rough complexion; a gait stiff, and
a general rigidity of manner, something like that of a schoolmaster. He
originated in a country town, and is a self-educated man. As he walked
down the gravel path to-day, after dinner, he took up a scythe, which
one of the mowers had left on the sward, and began to mow, with quite a
scientific swing. On the coming of the mower, he laid it down, perhaps a
little ashamed of his amusement. I was interested in this; to see a man,
after twenty-five years of scientific occupation, thus trying whether
his arms retained their strength and skill for the labors of his
youth,--mindful of the day when he wore striped trousers, and toiled in
his shirt-sleeves,--and now tasting again, for pastime, this drudgery
beneath a fervid sun. He stood awhile, looking at the workmen, and then
went to oversee the laborers at the mill-dam.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, July 24th._--I bathed in the river on Thursday evening, and in
the brook at the old dam on Saturday and Sunday,--the former time at
noon. The aspect of the solitude at noon was peculiarly impressive,
there being a cloudless sunshine, no wind, no rustling of the
forest-leaves, no waving of the boughs, no noise but the brawling and
babbling of the stream, making its way among the stones, and pouring in
a little cataract round one side of the mouldering dam. Looking up the
brook, there was a long vista,--now ripples, now smooth and glassy
spaces, now large rocks, almost blocking up the channel; while the trees
stood upon either side, mostly straight, but here and there a branch
thrusting itself out irregularly, and one tree, a pine, leaning
over,--not bending,--but leaning at an angle over the brook, rough and
ragged; birches, alders; the tallest of all the trees an old, dead,
leafless pine, rising white and lonely, though closely surrounded by
others. Along the brook, now the grass and herbage extended close to the
water; now a small, sandy beach. The wall of rock before described,
looking as if it had been hewn, but with irregular strokes of the
workman, doing his job by rough and ponderous strength,--now chancing to
hew it away smoothly and cleanly, now carelessly smiting, and making
gaps, or piling on the slabs of rock, so as to leave vacant spaces. In
the interstices grow brake and broad-leaved forest grass. The trees that
spring from the top of this wall have their roots pressing close to the
rock, so that there is no soil between; they cling powerfully, and grasp
the crag tightly with their knotty fingers. The trees on both sides are
so thick, that the sight and the thoughts are almost immediately lost
among confused stems, branches, and clustering green leaves,--a narrow
strip of bright blue sky above, the sunshine falling lustrously down,
and making the pathway of the brook luminous below. Entering among the
thickets, I find the soil strewn with old leaves of preceding seasons,
through which may be seen a black or dark mould; the roots of trees
stretch frequently across the path; often a moss-grown brown log lies
athwart, and when you set your foot down, it sinks into the decaying
substance,--into the heart of oak or pine. The leafy boughs and twigs of
the underbrush enlace themselves before you, so that you must stoop your
head to pass under, or thrust yourself through amain, while they sweep
against your face, and perhaps knock off your hat. There are rocks mossy
and slippery; sometimes you stagger, with a great rustling of branches,
against a clump of bushes, and into the midst of it. From end to end of
all this tangled shade goes a pathway scarcely worn, for the leaves are
not trodden through, yet plain enough to the eye, winding gently to
avoid tree-trunks and rocks and little hillocks. In the more open
ground, the aspect of a tall, fire-blackened stump, standing alone, high
up on a swell of land, that rises gradually from one side of the brook,
like a monument. Yesterday, I passed a group of children in this
solitary valley,--two boys, I think, and two girls. One of the little
girls seemed to have suffered some wrong from her companions, for she
was weeping and complaining violently. Another time, I came suddenly on
a small Canadian boy, who was in a hollow place, among the ruined logs
of an old causeway, picking raspberries,--lonely among bushes and
gorges, far up the wild valley,--and the lonelier seemed the little boy
for the bright sunshine, that showed no one else in a wide space of view
except him and me.

Remarkable items: the observation of Mons. S---- when B---- was saying
something against the character of the French people,--"You ought not to
form an unfavorable judgment of a great nation from mean fellows like
me, strolling about in a foreign country." I thought it very noble thus
to protest against anything discreditable in himself personally being
used against the honor of his country. He is a very singular person,
with an originality in all his notions;--not that nobody has ever had
such before, but that he has thought them out for himself. He told me
yesterday that one of his sisters was a waiting-maid in the Rocher de
Caucale. He is about the sincerest man I ever knew, never pretending to
feelings that are not in him,--never flattering. His feelings do not
seem to be warm, though they are kindly. He is so single-minded that he
cannot understand badinage, but takes it all as if meant in earnest,--a
German trait. Revalues himself greatly on being a Frenchman, though all
his most valuable qualities come from Germany. His temperament is cool
and pure, and he is greatly delighted with any attentions from the
ladies. A short time since, a lady gave him a bouquet of roses and
pinks; he capered and danced and sang, put it in water, and carried it
to his own chamber; but he brought it out for us to see and admire two
or three times a day, bestowing on it all the epithets of admiration in
the French language,--"_Superbe! magnifique!_" When some of the flowers
began to fade, he made the rest, with others, into a new nosegay, and
consulted us whether it would be fit to give to another lady. Contrast
this French foppery with his solemn moods, when we sit in the twilight,
or after B---- is abed, talking of Christianity and Deism, of ways of
life, of marriage, of benevolence,--in short, of all deep matters of
this world and the next. An evening or two since, he began singing all
manner of English songs,--such as Mrs. Hemans's "Landing of the
Pilgrims," "Auld Lang Syne," and some of Moore's,--the singing pretty
fair, but in the oddest tone and accent. Occasionally he breaks out with
scraps from French tragedies, which he spouts with corresponding action.
He generally gets close to me in these displays of musical and
histrionic talent Once he offered to magnetize me in the manner of
Monsieur P----.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Wednesday, July 26th._--Dined at Barker's yesterday. Before dinner, sat
with several other persons in the stoop of the tavern. There was B----,
J. A. Chandler, Clerk of the Court, a man of middle age or beyond, two
or three stage people, and, nearby, a negro, whom they call "the
Doctor," a crafty-looking fellow, one of whose occupations is nameless.
In presence of this goodly company, a man of a depressed, neglected air,
a soft, simple-looking fellow, with an anxious expression, in a
laborer's dress, approached and inquired for Mr. Barker. Mine host being
gone to Portland, the stranger was directed to the bar-keeper, who stood
at the door. The man asked where he should find one Mary Ann Russell,--a
question which excited general and hardly-suppressed mirth; for the said
Mary Ann is one of a knot of women who were routed on Sunday evening by
Barker and a constable. The man was told that the black fellow would
give him all the information he wanted. The black fellow asked,--

"Do you want to see her?"

Others of the by-standers or by-sitters put various questions as to the
nature of the man's business with Mary Ann. One asked,--

"Is she your daughter?"

"Why, a little nearer than that, I calkilate," said the poor devil.

Here the mirth was increased, it being evident that the woman was his
wife. The man seemed too simple and obtuse to comprehend the ridicule of
his situation, or to be rendered very miserable by it. Nevertheless, he
made some touching points.

"A man generally places some little dependence on his wife," said he,
"whether she's good or not."

He meant, probably, that he rests some affection on her. He told us that
she had behaved well, till committed to jail for striking a child; and I
believe he was absent from home at the time, and had not seen her since.
And now he was in search of her, intending, doubtless, to do his best to
get her out of her troubles, and then to take her back to his home. Some
advised him not to look after her; others recommended him to pay "the
Doctor" aforesaid for guiding him to her; which finally "the Doctor"
did, in consideration of a treat; and the fellow went off, having heard
little but gibes, and not one word of sympathy! I would like to have
witnessed his meeting with his wife.

There was a moral picturesqueness in the contrasts of the scene,--a man
moved as deeply as his nature would admit, in the midst of hardened,
gibing spectators, heartless towards him. It is worth thinking over and
studying out. He seemed rather hurt and pricked by the jests thrown at
him, yet bore it patiently, and sometimes almost joined in the laugh,
being of an easy, unenergetic temper.

Hints for characters:--Nancy, a pretty, black-eyed, intelligent
servant-girl, living in Captain H----'s family. She comes daily to make
the beds in our part of the house, and exchanges a good-morning with me,
in a pleasant voice, and with a glance and smile,--somewhat shy, because
we are not acquainted, yet capable of being made conversable. She washes
once a week, and may be seen standing over her tub, with her
handkerchief somewhat displaced from her white neck, because it is hot.
Often she stands with her bare arms in the water, talking with Mrs.
H----, or looks through the window, perhaps, at B---- or somebody else
crossing the yard,--rather thoughtfully, but soon smiling or laughing.
Then goeth she for a pail of water. In the afternoon, very probably, she
dresses herself in silks, looking not only pretty, but lady-like, and
strolls round the house, not unconscious that some gentleman may be
staring at her from behind the green blinds. After supper, she walks to
the village. Morning and evening, she goes a-milking. And thus passes
her life, cheerfully, usefully, virtuously, with hopes, doubtless, of a
husband and children.--Mrs. H---- is a particularly plump, soft-fleshed,
fair-complexioned, comely woman enough, with rather a simple
countenance, not nearly so piquant as Nancy's. Her walk has something of
the roll or waddle of a fat woman, though it were too much to call her
fat. She seems to be a sociable body, probably laughter-loving. Captain
H---- himself has commanded a steamboat, and has a certain knowledge of
life.

Query, in relation to the man's missing wife, how much desire and
resolution of doing her duty by her husband can a wife retain, while
injuring him in what is deemed the most essential point?

Observation. The effect of morning sunshine on the wet grass, on sloping
and swelling land, between the spectator and the sun at some distance,
as across a lawn. It diffused a dim brilliancy over the whole surface of
the field. The mists, slow-rising farther off, part resting on the
earth, the remainder of the column already ascending so high that you
doubt whether to call it a fog or a cloud.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Friday, July 28th._--Saw my classmate and formerly intimate friend,
Cilley, for the first time since we graduated. He has met with good
success in life, in spite of circumstance, having struggled upward
against bitter opposition, by the force of his own abilities, to be a
member of Congress, after having been for some time the leader of his
party in the State Legislature. We met like old friends, and conversed
almost as freely as we used to do in college days, twelve years ago and
more. He is a singular man, shrewd, crafty, insinuating, with wonderful
tact, seizing on each man by his manageable point, and using him for his
own purpose, often without the man's suspecting that he is made a tool
of; and yet, artificial as his character would seem to be, his
conversation, at least to myself, was full of natural feeling, the
expression of which can hardly be mistaken, and his revelations with
regard to himself had really a great deal of frankness. He spoke of his
ambition, of the obstacles which he had encountered, of the means by
which he had overcome them, imputing great efficacy to his personal
intercourse with people, and his study of their characters; then of his
course as a member of the Legislature and Speaker, and his style of
speaking and its effects; of the dishonorable things which had been
imputed to him, and in what manner he had repelled the charges. In
short, he would seem to have opened himself very freely as to his public
life. Then, as to his private affairs, he spoke of his marriage, of his
wife, his children, and told me, with tears in his eyes, of the death of
a dear little girl, and how it affected him, and how impossible it had
been for him to believe that she was really to die. A man of the most
open nature might well have been more reserved to a friend, after twelve
years' separation, than Cilley was to me. Nevertheless, he is really a
crafty man, concealing, like a murder-secret, anything that it is not
good for him to have known. He by no means feigns the good-feeling that
he professes, nor is there anything affected in the frankness of his
conversation; and it is this that makes him so very fascinating. There
is such a quantity of truth and kindliness and warm affections, that a
man's heart opens to him, in spite of himself. He deceives by truth. And
not only is he crafty, but, when occasion demands, bold and fierce as a
tiger, determined, and even straightforward and undisguised in his
measures,--a daring fellow as well as a sly one. Yet, notwithstanding
his consummate art, the general estimate of his character seems to be
pretty just. Hardly anybody, probably, thinks him better than he is, and
many think him worse. Nevertheless, if no overwhelming discovery of
rascality be made, he will always possess influence; though I should
hardly think that he would take any prominent part in Congress. As to
any rascality, I rather believe that he has thought out for himself a
much higher system of morality than any natural integrity would have
prompted him to adopt; that he has seen the thorough advantage of
morality and honesty; and the sentiment of these qualities has now got
into his mind and spirit, and pretty well impregnated them. I believe
him to be about as honest as the great run of the world, with something
even approaching to high-mindedness. His person in some degree accords
with his character,--thin and with a thin face, sharp features, sallow,
a projecting brow not very high, deep-set eyes, an insinuating smile and
look, when he meets you, and is about to address you. I should think
that he would do away with this peculiar expression, for it reveals more
of himself than can be detected in any other way, in personal
intercourse with him. Upon the whole, I have quite a good liking for
him, and mean to go to Thomaston to see him.

Observation. A steam-engine across the river, which almost continually
during the day, and sometimes all night, may be heard puffing and
panting, as if it uttered groans for being compelled to labor in the
heat and sunshine, and when the world is asleep also.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, July 31st._--Nothing remarkable to record. A child asleep in a
young lady's arms,--a little baby, two or three months old. Whenever
anything partially disturbed the child, as, for instance, when the young
lady or a by-stander patted its cheek or rubbed its chin, the child
would smile; then all its dreams seemed to be of pleasure and happiness.
At first the smile was so faint, that I doubted whether it were really a
smile or no; but on further efforts, it brightened forth very decidedly.
This, without opening its eyes.--A constable, a homely, good-natured,
business-looking man, with a warrant against an Irishman's wife for
throwing a brickbat at a fellow. He gave good advice to the Irishman
about the best method of coming easiest through the affair. Finally
settled,--the justice agreeing to relinquish his fees, on condition that
the Irishman would pay for the mending of his old boots!

I went with Monsieur S---- yesterday to pick raspberries. He fell
through an old log bridge thrown over a hollow; looking back, only his
head and shoulders appeared through the rotten logs and among the
bushes.--A shower coming on, the rapid running of a little barefooted
boy, coming up unheard, and dashing swiftly past us, and showing the
soles of his naked feet as he ran adown the path before us, and up the
opposite rise.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Tuesday, August 1st._--There having been a heavy rain yesterday, a nest
of chimney-swallows was washed down the chimney into the fireplace of
one of the front-rooms. My attention was drawn to them by a most
obstreperous twittering; and looking behind the fire-board, there were
three young birds, clinging with their feet against one of the jambs,
looking at me, open-mouthed, and all clamoring together, so as quite to
fill the room with the short, eager, frightened sound. The old birds, by
certain signs upon the floor of the room, appeared to have fallen
victims to the appetite of the cat. La belle Nancy provided a basket
filled with cotton-wool, into which the poor little devils were put; and
I tried to feed them with soaked bread, of which, however, they did not
eat with much relish. Tom, the Irish boy, gave it as his opinion that
they were not old enough to be weaned. I hung the basket out of the
window, in the sunshine, and upon looking in, an hour or two after,
found that two of the birds had escaped. The other I tried to feed, and
sometimes, when a morsel of bread was thrust into its open mouth, it
would swallow it. But it appeared to suffer a good deal, vociferating
loudly when disturbed, and panting, in a sluggish agony, with eyes
closed, or half opened, when let alone. It distressed me a good deal;
and I felt relieved, though somewhat shocked, when B---- put an end to
its misery by squeezing its head and throwing it out of the window. They
were of a slate-color, and might, I suppose, have been able to shift for
themselves.--The other day a little yellow bird flew into one of the
empty rooms, of which there are half a dozen on the lower floor, and
could not find his way out again, flying at the glass of the windows,
instead of at the door, thumping his head against the panes or against
the ceiling. I drove him into the entry and chased him from end to end,
endeavoring to make him fly through one of the open doors. He would fly
at the circular light over the door, clinging to the casement, sometimes
alighting on one of the two glass lamps, or on the cords that suspended
them, uttering an affrighted and melancholy cry whenever I came near and
flapped my handkerchief, and appearing quite tired and sinking into
despair. At last he happened to fly low enough to pass through the door,
and immediately vanished into the gladsome sunshine.--Ludicrous
situation of a man, drawing his chaise down a sloping bank, to wash in
the river. The chaise got the better of him, and, rushing downward as if
it were possessed, compelled him to run at full speed, and drove him up
to his chin into the water. A singular instance, that a chaise may run
away with a man without a horse!

       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, August 12th._--Left Augusta a week ago this morning for
Thomaston. Nothing particular in our drive across the country.
Fellow-passenger, a Boston dry-goods dealer, travelling to collect
bills. At many of the country shops he would get out, and show his
unwelcome visage. In the tavern, prints from Scripture, varnished and on
rollers,--such as the Judgment of Christ; also, a droll set of colored
engravings of the story of the Prodigal Son, the figures being clad in
modern costume,--or, at least, that of not more than half a century ago.
The father, a grave, clerical person, with a white wig and black
broadcloth suit; the son, with a cocked hat and laced clothes, drinking
wine out of a glass, and caressing a woman in fashionable dress. At
Thomaston, a nice, comfortable, boarding-house tavern, without a bar or
any sort of wines or spirits. An old lady from Boston, with her three
daughters, one of whom was teaching music, and the other two were
school-mistresses. A frank, free, mirthful daughter of the landlady,
about twenty-four years old, between whom and myself there immediately
sprang up a flirtation, which made us both feel rather melancholy when
we parted on Tuesday morning. Music in the evening, with a song by a
rather pretty, fantastic little mischief of a brunette, about eighteen
years old, who has married within a year, and spent the last summer in a
trip to the Springs and elsewhere. Her manner of walking is by jerks,
with a quiver, as if she were made of calves-feet jelly. I talk with
everybody: to Mrs. Trott, good sense,--to Mary, good sense, with a
mixture of fun,--to Mrs. Gleason, sentiment, romance, and nonsense.

Walked with Cilley to see General Knox's old mansion,--a large,
rusty-looking edifice of wood, with some grandeur in the architecture,
standing on the banks of the river, close by the site of an old
burial-ground, and near where an ancient fort had been erected for
defence against the French and Indians. General Knox once owned a square
of thirty miles in this part of the country; and he wished to settle it
with a tenantry, after the fashion of English gentlemen. He would permit
no edifice to be erected within a certain distance of his mansion. His
patent covered, of course, the whole present town of Thomaston, with
Waldoborough and divers other flourishing commercial and country
villages, and would have been of incalculable value could it have
remained unbroken to the present time. But the General lived in grand
style, and received throngs of visitors from foreign parts, and was
obliged to part with large tracts of his possessions, till now there is
little left but the ruinous mansion and the ground immediately around
it. His tomb stands near the house,--a spacious receptacle, an iron door
at the end of a turf-covered mound, and surmounted by an obelisk of the
Thomaston marble. There are inscriptions to the memory of several of his
family; for he had many children, all of whom are now dead, except one
daughter, a widow of fifty, recently married to Hon. John H----. There
is a stone fence round the monument. On the outside of this are
the gravestones, and large, flat tombstones of the ancient
burial-ground,--the tombstones being of red freestone, with vacant
spaces, formerly inlaid with slate, on which were the inscriptions, and
perhaps coats-of-arms. One of these spaces was in the shape of a heart.
The people of Thomaston were very wrathful that the General should have
laid out his grounds over this old burial-place; and he dared never
throw down the gravestones, though his wife, a haughty English lady,
often teased him to do so. But when the old General was dead, Lady Knox
(as they called her) caused them to be prostrated, as they now lie. She
was a woman of violent passions, and so proud an aristocrat, that, as
long as she lived, she would never enter any house in Thomaston except
her own. When a married daughter was ill, she used to go in her carriage
to the door, and send up to inquire how she did. The General was
personally very popular; but his wife ruled him. The house and its
vicinity, and the whole tract covered by Knox's patent, may be taken as
an illustration of what must be the result of American schemes of
aristocracy. It is not forty years since this house was built, and Knox
was in his glory; but now the house is all in decay, while within a
stone's throw of it there is a street of smart white edifices of one and
two stories, occupied chiefly by thriving mechanics, which has been laid
out where Knox meant to have forests and parks. On the banks of the
river, where he intended to have only one wharf for his own West Indian
vessels and yacht, there are two wharves, with stores and a lime-kiln.
Little appertains to the mansion, except the tomb and the old
burial-ground, and the old fort.

The descendants are all poor, and the inheritance was merely sufficient
to make a dissipated and drunken fellow of the only one of the old
General's sons who survived to middle age. The man's habits were as bad
as possible as long as he had any money; but when quite ruined, he
reformed. The daughter, the only survivor among Knox's children,
(herself childless,) is a mild, amiable woman, therein totally differing
from her mother. Knox, when he first visited his estate, arriving in a
vessel, was waited upon by a deputation of the squatters, who had
resolved to resist him to the death. He received them with genial
courtesy, made them dine with him aboard the vessel, and sent them back
to their constituents in great love and admiration of him. He used to
have a vessel running to Philadelphia, I think, and bringing him all
sorts of delicacies. His way of raising money was to give a mortgage on
his estate of a hundred thousand dollars at a time, and receive that
nominal amount in goods, which he would immediately sell at auction for
perhaps thirty thousand. He died by a chicken-bone. Near the house are
the remains of a covered way, by which the French once attempted to gain
admittance into the fort; but the work caved in and buried a good many
of them, and the rest gave up the siege. There was recently an old
inhabitant living, who remembered when the people used to reside in the
fort.

Owl's Head,--a watering-place, terminating a point of land, six or seven
miles from Thomaston. A long island shuts out the prospect of the sea.
Hither coasters and fishing-smacks run in when a storm is anticipated.
Two fat landlords, both young men, with something of a contrast in their
dispositions;--one of them being a brisk, lively, active, jesting fat
man; the other more heavy and inert, making jests sluggishly, if at all.
Aboard the steamboat, Professor Stuart of Andover, sitting on a sofa in
the saloon, generally in conversation with some person, resolving their
doubts on one point or another, speaking in a very audible voice; and
strangers standing or sitting around to hear him, as if he were an
ancient apostle or philosopher. He is a bulky man, with a large, massive
face, particularly calm in its expression, and mild enough to be
pleasing. When not otherwise occupied, he reads, without much notice of
what is going on around him. He speaks without effort, yet thoughtfully.

We got lost in a fog the morning after leaving Owl's Head. Fired a brass
cannon, rang bell, blew steam like a whale snorting. After one of the
reports of the cannon, we heard a horn blown at no great distance, the
sound coming soon after the report. Doubtful whether it came from the
shore or a vessel. Continued our ringing and snorting; and by and by
something was seen to mingle with the fog that obscured everything
beyond fifty yards from us. At first it seemed only like a denser wreath
of fog; it darkened still more, till it took the aspect of sails; then
the hull of a small schooner came beating down towards us, the wind
laying her over towards us, so that her gunwale was almost in the water,
and we could see the whole of her sloping deck.

"Schooner ahoy!" say we. "Halloo! Have you seen Boston Light this
morning?"

"Yes; it bears north-northwest, two miles distant."

"Very much obliged to you," cries our captain.

So the schooner vanishes into the mist behind. We get up our steam, and
soon enter the harbor, meeting vessels of every rig; and the fog,
clearing away, shows a cloudy sky. Aboard, an old one-eyed sailor, who
had lost one of his feet, and had walked on the stump from Eastport to
Bangor, thereby making a shocking ulcer.

Penobscot Bay is full of islands, close to which the steamboat is
continually passing. Some are large, with portions of forest and
portions of cleared land; some are mere rocks, with a little green or
none, and inhabited by sea-birds, which fly and flap about hoarsely.
Their eggs may be gathered by the bushel, and are good to eat. Other
islands have one house and barn on them, this sole family being lords
and rulers of all the land which the sea girds. The owner of such an
island must have a peculiar sense of property and lordship; he must feel
more like his own master and his own man than other people can. Other
islands, perhaps high, precipitous, black bluffs, are crowned with a
white light-house, whence, as evening comes on, twinkles a star across
the melancholy deep,--seen by vessels coming on the coast, seen from the
mainland, seen from island to island. Darkness descending, and looking
down at the broad wake left by the wheels of the steamboat, we may see
sparkles of sea-fire glittering through the gloom.



AN OLD MAN'S IDYL.


    By the waters of Life we sat together,
      Hand in hand in the golden days
    Of the beautiful early summer weather,
      When skies were purple and breath was praise,
    When the heart kept tune to the carol of birds
      And the birds kept tune to the songs which ran
    Through shimmer of flowers on grassy swards,
      And trees with voices Æolian.

    By the rivers of Life we walked together,
      I and my darling, unafraid;
    And lighter than any linnet's feather
      The burdens of Being on us weighed.
    And Love's sweet miracles o'er us threw
      Mantles of joy outlasting Time,
    And up from the rosy morrows grew
      A sound that seemed like a marriage chime.

    In the gardens of Life we strayed together;
      And the luscious apples were ripe and red,
    And the languid lilac and honeyed heather
      Swooned with the fragrance which they shed.
    And under the trees the angels walked,
      And up in the air a sense of wings
    Awed us tenderly while we talked
      Softly in sacred communings.

    In the meadows of Life we strayed together,
      Watching the waving harvests grow;
    And under the benison of the Father
      Our hearts, like the lambs, skipped to and fro.
    And the cowslips, hearing our low replies,
      Broidered fairer the emerald banks,
    And glad tears shone in the daisies' eyes,
      And the timid violet glistened thanks.

    Who was with us, and what was round us,
      Neither myself nor my darling guessed;
    Only we knew that something crowned us
      Out from the heavens with crowns of rest;
    Only we knew that something bright
      Lingered lovingly where we stood,
    Clothed with the incandescent light
      Of something higher than humanhood.

    O the riches Love doth inherit!
      Ah, the alchemy which doth change
    Dross of body and dregs of spirit
      Into sanctities rare and strange!
    My flesh is feeble and dry and old,
      My darling's beautiful hair is gray;
    But our elixir and precious gold
      Laugh at the footsteps of decay.

    Harms of the world have come unto us,
      Cups of sorrow we yet shall drain;
    But we have a secret which cloth show us
      Wonderful rainbows in the rain.
    And we hear the tread of the years move by,
      And the sun is setting behind the hills;
    But my darling does not fear to die,
      And I am happy in what God wills.

    So we sit by our household fires together,
      Dreaming the dreams of long ago:
    Then it was balmy summer weather,
      And now the valleys are laid in snow.
    Icicles hang from the slippery eaves;
      The wind blows cold,--'tis growing late;
    Well, well! we have garnered all our sheaves,
      I and my darling, and we wait.



A RAMBLE THROUGH THE MARKET.


As a man puts on the stoutness and thicksetness of middle life, he
begins to find himself contemplating well-filled meat and fish stalls,
and piles of lusty garden vegetables, with unfeigned interest and
delight. He walks through Quincy Market, for instance, with far more
pleasure than through the dewy and moonlit groves which were the scenes
of his youthful wooings. Then he was all sentiment and poetry. Now he
finds the gratification of the mouth and stomach a chief source of
mundane delight. It is said that all the ships on the sea are sailing in
the direction of the human mouth. The stomach, with its fierce
assimilative power, is a great stimulator of commercial activity. The
table of the civilized man, loaded with the products of so many climes,
bears witness to this. The demands of the stomach are imperious. Its
ukases and decrees must be obeyed, else the whole corporeal commonwealth
of man, and the spirit which makes the human organism its vehicle in
time and space, are in a state of trouble and insurrection.

A large part of the lower organic world, both animal and vegetable, is
ground between man's molars and incisors, and assimilated through the
stomach with his body. This may be called the final cause of that part
of the lower organic world which is edible. Man is a scientific
eater,--a cooking animal. Laughter and speech are not so distinctive
traits of him as cookery. Improve his food, and he is improved both
physically and mentally. His tissue becomes finer, his skin clearer and
brighter, and his hair more glossy and hyacinthine. Cattle-breeders and
the improvers of horticulture are indirectly improving their own race by
furnishing finer and more healthful materials to be built into man's
body. Marble, cedar, rosewood, gold, and gems make a finer edifice than
thatch and ordinary timber and stones. So South-Down mutton and Devonian
beef fattened on the blue-grass pastures of the West, and the
magnificent prize vegetables and rich appetizing fruits, equal to
anything grown in the famed gardens of Alcinoüs or the Hesperides, which
are displayed at our annual autumnal fairs as evidences of our
scientific horticulture and fructiculture, adorn the frame into which
they are incorporated by mastication and digestion, as rosewood and
marble and cedar and gold adorn a house or temple.

The subject of eating and drinking is a serious one. The stomach is the
great motive power of society. It is the true sharpener of human
ingenuity, _curis acuens mortalia corda_. Cookery is the first of arts.
Chemistry is a mere subordinate science, whose chief value is that it
enables man to impart greater relish and gust to his viands. The
greatest poets, such as Homer, Milton, and Scott, treat the subject of
eating and drinking with much seriousness, minuteness of detail, and
lusciousness of description. Homer's heroes are all good
cooks,--swift-footed Achilles, much-enduring Ulysses, and the rest of
them. Read Milton's appetizing description of the feast which the
Tempter set before the fasting Saviour:--

    "Our Saviour, lifting up his eyes, beheld
    In ample space, under the broadest shade,
    A table richly spread in regal mode,
    With dishes piled, and meats of noblest sort
    And savor: beasts of chase or fowl of game
    In pastry built, or from the spit, or boiled,
    Gris-amber steamed; all fish from sea or shore,
    Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin,
    And exquisitest name, for which was drained
    Pontus and Lucrine bay and Afric coast;
    And at a stately sideboard, by the wine
    That fragrant smell diffused in order stood
    Tall stripling youths, rich clad, of fairer hue
    Than Ganymed or Hylas."

It is evident that the sublime Milton had a keen relish for a good
dinner. Keats's description of that delicious moonlight spread by
Porphyro, in the room of his fair Madeline, asleep, on St. Agnes' eve,
"in lap of legends old," is another delicate morsel of Apician poetry.
"Those lucent syrups tinct with cinnamon and sugared dainties" from
Samarcand to cedared Lebanon, show that Keats had not got over his
boyish taste for sweet things, and reached the maturity and gravity of
appetite which dictated the Miltonian description. He died at
twenty-four years. Had he lived longer, he might have sung of roast and
boiled as sublimely as Milton has done.

Epicurus, in exalting cookery and eating and drinking to a plane of
philosophical importance, was a true friend of his race, and showed
himself the most sensible and wisest of all the Greek philosophers. A
psychometrical critic of the philosopher of the garden says:--

"The first and last necessity is eating. The animated world is
unceasingly eating and digesting itself. None could see this truth
clearly but an enthusiast in diet like Epicurus, who, discovering the
unexceptionableness of the natural law, proceeded to the work of
adaptation. Ocean, lake, streamlet, was separately interrogated, 'How
much delicious food do you contain? What are your preparations? When
should man partake?' In like manner did the enthusiast peregrinate
through Nature's empire, fixing his chemical eye upon plant and shrub
and berry and vine,--asking every creeping thing, and the animal
creation also, 'What can you do for man?' And such truths as the angels
sent! Sea, earth, and air were overflowing and heavily laden with
countless means of happiness. 'The whole was a cupboard of food or
cabinet of pleasure.' Life must not be sacrificed by man, for thereby he
would defeat the end sought. Man's fine love of life must save him from
taking life." (This is not doctrine to promulgate in the latitude of
Quincy Market, O clairvoyant Davis!) "In the world of fruit, berries,
vines, flowers, herbs, grains, grasses, could be found all proper food
for 'bodily ease and mental tranquillity.'

"Behold the enthusiast! classifying man's senses to be gratified at the
table. All dishes must be beautifully prepared and disposed to woo and
win the sense of sight; the assembled articles must give off odors
harmoniously blended to delight and cultivate the sense of smell; and
each substance must balance with every other in point of flavor, to meet
the natural demands of taste; otherwise the entertainment is shorn of
its virtue to bless and tranquillize the soul!...

"But lo, the fanatic in eating appears! Miserably hot with gluttonous
debauchery. He has feasted upon a thousand deaths! Belshazzar's court
fed on fish of every type, birds of every flight, brutes of every clime,
and added thereto each finer luxury known in the catalogue of the
temperate Epicurus....

"Behold the sceptics. A shivering group of acid ghouls at their scanty
board.... Bread, milk, bran, turnips, onions, potatoes, apples, yield so
much starch, so much sugar, so much nitrogen, so much nutriment! Enough!
to live is the _end_ of eating, not to be pleased and made better with
objects, odors, flavors. Therefore welcome a few articles of food in
violation of every fine sensibility. Stuff in and masticate the crudest
forms of eatables,--bad-cooking, bad-looking, bad-smelling, bad-tasting,
and worse-feeling,--down with them hastily,--and then, between your
headaches and gastric spasms, pride yourself upon virtues and temperance
not possessed by any student in the gastronomic school of Epicurus! Let
it be perpetually remembered to the credit of this apostle of
alimentation and vitativeness with temperance, that, in his religious
system, eating was a 'sacramental' process, and not a physical
indulgence merely, as the ignorant allege."

Bravo for the seer of Poughkeepsie! In the above extracts, quoted from
his "Thinker," he has vindicated the much maligned Epicurus better than
his disciples Lucretius and Gassendi have done, and by some mysterious
process (he calls it psychometry) he seems to know more of the old
Athenian, and to have a more intimate knowledge of his doctrines, than
can be found in Brucker or Ritter.

When it is considered how our mental states may be modified by what we
eat and drink, the importance of good _ingesta_, both fluid and solid,
becomes apparent. Among the good things which attached Charles Lamb to
this present life was his love of the delicious juices of meats and
fishes.

But these things are preliminary, although not impertinent to the main
subject, which is Quincy Market. After having perambulated the principal
markets of the other leading American cities, I must pronounce it
_facile princeps_ among New-World markets. A walk through it is equal to
a dose of dandelion syrup in the way of exciting an appetite for one's
dinner. Such a walk is tonic and medicinal, and should be prescribed to
dyspeptic patients. To the hungry, penniless man such a walk is like the
torture administered to the old Phrygian who blabbed to mortals the
secrets of the celestial banquets. Autumn is the season in which to
indulge in a promenade through Quincy Market, after the leaf has been
nipped by the frost and crimson-tinted, when the morning air is cool and
bracing. Then the stalls and precincts of the chief Boston market are a
goodly spectacle. Athenæus himself, the classic historian of classic
gluttons and classic bills of fare, could not but feel a glow at the
sight of the good things here displayed, if he were alive. Quincy Market
culminates at Thanksgiving time. It then attains to the zenith of good
fare.

Cleanliness and spruceness are the rule among the Quincy Market men and
stall-keepers. The matutinal display outside of apples, pears, onions,
turnips, beets, carrots, egg-plants, cranberries, squashes, etc., is
magnificent in the variety and richness of its hues. What a multitude of
orchards, meadows, gardens, and fields have been laid under contribution
to furnish this vegetable abundance! And here are their choicest
products. The foodful Earth and the arch-chemic Sun, the great
agriculturist and life-fountain, have done their best in concocting
these Quincy Market culinary vegetables. They wear a healthful,
resplendent look. Inside, what a goodly vista stretches away of fish,
flesh, and fowl! From these white stalls the Tempter could have
furnished forth the banquet the Miltonic description of which has been
quoted.

Here is a stall of ripe, juicy mutton, perhaps from the county of St.
Lawrence, in Northeastern New York. This is the most healthful and
easily digested of all meats. Its juiciness and nutritiousness are
visible in the trumpeter-like cheeks of the well-fed John Bull. The
domestic Anglo-Saxon is a mutton-eater. Let his offshoots here and
elsewhere follow suit. There is no such timber to repair the waste of
the human frame. It is a fuel easily combustible in the visceral grate
of the stomach. The mutton-eater is eupeptic. His dreams are airy and
lightsome. Somnus descends smiling to his nocturnal pillow, and not clad
in the portentous panoply of indigestion, which rivals a guilty
conscience in its night visions. The mutton department of Quincy Market
is all that it should be.

Next we come upon "fowl of game," wild ducks, pigeons, etc.--What has
become of those shoals of pigeons, those herrings of the air, which used
in the gloom and glory of a breezy autumnal day to darken the sun in
their flight, like the discharge of the Xerxean arrows at Thermopylæ?
The eye sweeps the autumnal sky in vain now for any such winged
phenomenon, at least here in New England. The days of the bough-house
and pigeon-stand strewn with barley seem to have gone by. Swift of
flight and shapely in body is the North American wild pigeon, running
upon the air fleeter than Anacreon's dove. He can lay any latitude under
contribution in a few hours, flying incredible distances during the
process of digestion. He is an ornament to the air, and the pot
also.--Here might be a descendant of Bryant's waterfowl; but its
journeyings along the pathless coast of the upper atmosphere are at an
end.

"All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men,
another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." The
matter composing the vegetables and the lower animals is promoted, as
it were, by being eaten by man and incorporated into his body, which is
a breathing house not made with hands built over the boundary-line of
two worlds, the sensible and noumenal. "The human body is the highest
chemical laboratory which matter can reach. In that body the highest
qualities and richest emoluments are imparted to it, and it is indorsed
with a divine superscription." It there becomes part and parcel of the
eye, the organ of light and the throne of expression,--of the blood,
which is so eloquent in cheek and brow,--of the nerves, the
telegraph-wires of the soul,--of the persuasive tongue,--of the
tear-drop, the dew of emotion, which only the human eye can shed,--of
the glossy tresses of beauty, the nets of love.

The provision markets of a community are a good index of the grade of
its civilization. Tell me what a nation eats, what is its diet, and I
will tell you what is its literature, its religious belief, and so
forth. Solid, practical John Bull is a mutton, beef, and pudding eater.
He drinks strong ale or beer, and thinks beer. He drives fat oxen, and
is himself fat. He is no idealist in philosophy. He hates generalization
and abstract thought. He is for the real and concrete. Plain, unadorned
Protestantism is most to the taste of the middle classes of Great
Britain. Music, sculpture, and painting add not their charms to the
Englishman's dull and respectable devotions. Cross the Channel and
behold his whilom hereditary foeman, but now firm ally, the Frenchman!
He is a dainty feeder and the most accomplished of cooks. He
etherealizes ordinary fish, flesh, and fowl by his exquisite cuisine. He
educates the palate to a daintiness whereof the gross-feeding John Bull
never dreamed. He extracts the finest flavors and quintessential
principles from flesh and vegetables. He drinks light and sparkling
wines, the vintage of Champagne and Burgundy. Accordingly the Frenchman
is lightsome and buoyant. He is a great theorist and classifier. He
adheres to the ornate worship of the Mother Church when religiously
disposed. His literature is perspicuous and clear. He is an admirable
doctrinaire and generalizer,--witness Guizot and Montesquieu. He puts
philosophy and science into a readable, comprehensible shape. The
Teutonic diet of sauer-kraut, sausages, cheese, ham, etc., is
indigestible, giving rise to a vaporous, cloudy cerebral state. German
philosophy and mysticism are its natural outcome.

Baked beans, pumpkin pie, apple-sauce, onions, codfish, and Medford
rum,--these were the staple items of the primitive New England larder;
and they were an appropriate diet whereon to nourish the caucus-loving,
inventive, acute, methodically fanatical Yankee. The bean, the most
venerable and nutritious of lentils, was anciently used as a ballot or
vote. Hence it symbolized in the old Greek democracies politics and a
public career. Hence Pythagoras and his disciples, though they were
vegetable-eaters, eschewed the bean as an article of diet, from its
association with politics, demagogism, and ochlocracy. They preferred
the life contemplative and the _fallentis semita vitæ_. Hence their
utter detestation of beans, the symbols of noisy gatherings, of
demagogues and party strife and every species of political trickery. The
primitive Yankee, in view of his destiny as the founder of this
caucus-loving nation and American democracy, seems to have been
providentially guided in selecting beans for his most characteristic
article of diet.

But to move on through the market. The butter and cheese stalls have
their special attractions. The butyraceous gold in tubs and huge lumps
displayed in these stalls looks as though it was precipitated from milk
squeezed from Channel Island cows, those fawn-colored, fairest of dairy
animals. In its present shape it is the herbage of a thousand
clover-blooming meads and dewy hill-pastures in old Berkshire, in
Vermont and Northern New York, transformed by the housewife's churn into
edible gold. Not only butter and cheese are grass or of gramineous
origin, but all flesh is grass,--a physiological fact enunciated by
Holy Writ and strictly true.

Porcine flesh is too abundant here. How the New-Englander, whose Puritan
forefathers were almost Jews, and hardly got beyond the Old Testament in
their Scriptural studies, has come to make pork so capital an article in
his diet, is a mystery. Small-boned swine of the Chinese breed, which
are kept in the temple sties of the Josses, and which are capable of an
obeseness in which all form and feature are swallowed up and lost in
fat, seem to be plenty in Quincy Market. They are hooked upright upon
their haunches, in a sitting posture, against the posts of the stall.
How many pots of Sabbath morning beans one of these porkers will
lubricate!

Beef tongues are abundant here, and eloquent of good living. The mighty
hind and fore quarters and ribs of the ox,

    "With their red and yellow,
    Lean and tallow,"

appeal to the good-liver on all sides. They seem to be the staple flesh
of the stalls.

But let us move on to the stalls frequented by the ichthyophagi. Homer
calls the sea the barren, the harvestless! Our Cape Ann fishermen do not
find it so.

    "The sounds and seas, with all their finny droves,
    That to the Moon in wavering morrice move,"

are as foodful as the most fertile parts of _terra firma_. Here lie the
blue, delicate mackerel in heaps, and piles of white perch from the
South Shore, cod, haddock, eels, lobsters, huge segments of swordfish,
and the flesh of various other voiceless tenants of the deep, both
finned and shell-clad. The codfish, the symbol of Puritan aristocracy,
as the grasshopper was of the ancient Athenians, seems to predominate.
Our _frutti di mare_, in the shape of oysters, clams, and other
mollusks, are the delight of all true gastronomers. What vegetable, or
land animal, is so nutritious? Here are some silvery shad from the
Penobscot, or Kennebec, or Merrimac, or Connecticut. The dams of our
great manufacturing corporations are sadly interfering with the annual
movements of these luscious and beautiful fish. Lake Winnipiseogee no
longer receives these ocean visitors into its clear, mountain-mirroring
waters. The greedy pike is also here, from inland pond and lake, and the
beautiful trout from the quick mountain brook, "with his waved coat
dropped with gold." Who eats the trout partakes of pure diet. He loves
the silver-sanded stream, and silent pools, and eddies of limpid water.
In fact, all fish, from sea or shore, freshet or purling brook, of shell
or fin, are here, on clean marble slabs, fresh and hard. Ours is the
latitude of the fish-eater. The British marine provinces, north of us,
and Norway in the Old World, are his paradise.

Man is a universal eater.

    "He cannot spare water or wine,
    Tobacco-leaf, or poppy, or rose,
    From the earth-poles to the line,
    All between that works and grows.

    * * * * * *

    Give him agates for his meat;
    Give him cantharids to eat;
    From air and ocean bring him foods,
    From all zones and altitudes;--
    From all natures sharp and slimy,
    Salt and basalt, wild and tame;
    Tree and lichen, ape, sea-lion,
    Bird and reptile, be his game."

Quincy Market sticks to the cloven hoof, I am happy to say,
notwithstanding the favorable verdict of the French _savans_ on the
flavor and nutritious properties of horse-flesh. The femurs and tibias
of frogs are not visible here. At this point I will quote _in extenso_
from Wilkinson's chapter on Assimilation and its Organs.

"In this late age, the human home has one universal season and one
universal climate. The produce of every zone and month is for the board
where toil is compensated and industry refreshed. For man alone, the
universal animal, can wield the powers of fire, the universal element,
whereby seasons, latitudes, and altitudes are levelled into one genial
temperature. Man alone, that is to say, the social man alone, can want
and duly conceive and invent that which is digestion going forth into
nature as a creative art, namely, cookery, which by recondite processes
of division and combination,--by cunning varieties of shape,--by the
insinuation of subtle flavors,--by tincturings with precious spice, as
with vegetable flames,--by fluids extracted, and added again, absorbed,
dissolving, and surrounding,--by the discovery and cementing of new
amities between different substances, provinces, and kingdoms of
nature,--by the old truth of wine and the reasonable order of
service,--in short, by the superior unity which it produces in the
eatable world,--also by a new birth of feelings, properly termed
_convivial_, which run between food and friendship, and make eating
festive,--all through the conjunction of our Promethean with our
culinary fire raises up new powers and species of food to the human
frame, and indeed performs by machinery a part of the work of
assimilation, enriching the sense of taste with a world of profound
objects, and making it the refined participator, percipient, and
stimulus of the most exquisite operations of digestion. Man, then, as
the universal eater, enters from his own faculties into the natural
viands, and gives them a social form, and thereby a thousand new aromas,
answering to as many possible tastes in his wonderful constitution, and
therefore his food is as different from that of animals in quality as it
is plainly different in quantity and resource. How wise should not
reason become, in order to our making a wise use of so vast an apparatus
of nutrition!...

"There is nothing more general in life than the digestive apparatus,
because matter is the largest, if not the greatest, fact in the material
universe. Every creature which is here must be made of something, and be
maintained by something, or must be landlord of itself.... The planetary
dinner-table has its various latitudes and longitudes, and plant and
animal and mineral and wine are grown around it, and set upon it,
according to the map of taste in the spherical appetite of our race....
Hunger is the child of cold and night, and comes upwards from the
all-swallowing ground; but thirst descends from above, and is born of
the solar rays.... Hunger and thirst are strong terms, and the things
themselves are too feverish provocations for civilized man. They are
incompatible with the sense of taste in its epicureanism, and their
gratification is of a very bodily order. The savage man, like a
boa-constrictor, would swallow his animals whole, if his gullet would
let him. This is to cheat the taste with unmanageable objects, as though
we should give an estate to a child. On the other hand, civilization,
house-building, warm apartments and kitchen fires, well-stored larders,
and especially exemption from rude toil, abolish these extreme
caricatures; and keeping appetite down to a middling level by the rote
of meals, and thus taking away the incentives to ravenous haste, they
allow the mind to tutor and variegate the tongue, and to substitute the
harmonies and melodies of deliberate gustation for such unseemly
bolting. Under this direction, hunger becomes polite; a long-drawn,
many-colored taste; the tongue, like a skilful instrument, holds its
notes; and thirst, redeemed from drowning, rises from the throat to the
tongue and lips, and, full of discrimination, becomes the gladdening
love of all delicious flavors.... In the stomach, judging by what there
is done, what a scene we are about to enter! What a palatial kitchen and
more than monasterial refectory! The sipping of aromatic nectar, the
brief and elegant repast of that Apicius, the tongue, are supplanted at
this lower board by eating and drinking in downright earnest. What a
variety of solvents, sauces, and condiments, both springing up at call
from the blood, and raining down from the mouth into the natural patines
of the meats! What a quenching of desires, what an end and goal of the
world is here! No wonder; for the stomach sits for four or five
assiduous hours at the same meal that the dainty tongue will despatch in
a twentieth portion of the time. For the stomach is bound to supply the
extended body, while the tongue wafts only fairy gifts to the close and
spiritual brain."

So far Wilkinson, the Milton of physiologists.

But lest these lucubrations should seem to be those of a mere glutton
and gastrolater,--of one like the gourmand of old time, who longed for
the neck of an ostrich or crane that the pleasure of swallowing dainty
morsels might be as protracted as possible,--let me assume a vegetable,
Pythagorean standpoint, and thence survey this accumulation of creature
comforts, that is, that portion of them which consists of dead flesh.
The vegetables and the fruits, the blazonry of autumn, are of course
ignored from this point of view. Thus beheld, Quincy Market presents a
spectacle that excites disgust and loathing, and exemplifies the fallen,
depraved, and sophisticated state of human nature and human society. In
those juicy quarters and surloins of beef and those fat porcine
carcasses the vegetable-eater, Grahamite or Brahmin, sees nothing but
the cause of beastly appetites, scrofula, apoplexy, corpulence, cheeks
flushed with ungovernable propensities, tendencies downward toward the
plane of the lower animals, bloodshot eyes, swollen veins, impure blood,
violent passions, fetid breath, stertorous respiration, sudden
death,--in fact, disease and brutishness of all sorts. A Brahmin
traversing this goodly market would regard it as a vast charnel, a
loathsome receptacle of dead flesh on its way to putrescence. His gorge
would rise in rebellion at the sight. To the Brahmin, the lower animal
kingdom is a vast masquerade of transmigratory souls. If he should
devour a goose or turkey or hen, or a part of a bullock or sheep or
goat, he might, according to his creed, be eating the temporary organism
of his grandmother. The poet Pope wrote in the true Brahminical spirit,
when he said,--"Nothing can be more shocking and horrid than one of our
kitchens sprinkled with blood, and abounding with cries of creatures
expiring, or with the limbs of dead animals scattered or hung up there.
It gives one an image of a giant's den in romance, bestrewed with the
scattered heads and mangled limbs of those who were slain by his
cruelty." Think of the porcine shambles of Cincinnati, with their
swift-handed swine-slayers!

    "What loud lament and dismal miserere,"

ear-deafening and horrible, must issue from them. How can a Jew reside
in that porkopolitan municipality? The brutishness of the Bowery
butchers is proverbial. A late number of Leslie's Pictorial represents a
Bowery butcher's wagon crowded with sheep and calves so densely that
their heads are protruded against the wheels, which revolve with the
utmost speed, the brutal driver urging his horse furiously.

The first advocate of a purely vegetable diet was Pythagoras, the Samian
philosopher. His discourse delivered at Crotona, a city of Magna Græcia,
is ably reported for posterity by the poet Ovid. From what materials he
made up his report, it is impossible now to say. Pythagoras says that
flesh-eaters make their stomachs the sepulchres of the lower animals,
the cemeteries of beasts. About thirty years ago there was a vegetable
diet movement hereabouts, which created some excitement at the time. Its
adherents were variously denominated as Grahamites, and, from the fact
of their using bread made of unbolted wheat-meal, bran-eaters. There was
little of muscular Christianity in them. They were a pale, harmless set
of valetudinarians, who were, like all weakly persons, morbidly alive to
their own bodily states, and principally employed in experimenting on
the effects of various insipid articles of diet. Tea and coffee were
tabooed by these people. Ale and wine were abominations in their Index
Expurgatorius of forbidden _ingesta_. The presence of a boiled egg on
their breakfast-tables would cause some of the more sensitive of these
New England Brahmins to betake themselves to their beds for the rest of
the day. They kept themselves in a semi-famished state on principle. One
of the most liberal and latitudinarian of the sect wrote, in 1835,--"For
two years past I have abstained from the use of all the diffusible
stimulants, using no animal food, either flesh, fish, or fowl, nor any
alcoholic or vinous spirits, no form of ale, beer, or porter, no cider,
tea, or coffee; but using milk and water as my only liquid aliment, and
feeding sparingly, or rather moderately, upon farinaceous food,
vegetables, and fruit, seasoned with unmelted butter, slightly boiled
eggs, and sugar and molasses, with no condiment but common salt."

These ultra-temperance dietetical philosophers never flourished greatly.
They were too languid and too little enthusiastic to propagate their
rules of living and make converts. In a country where meat is within
reach of all, a vegetable dietary is not popular. Doubtless a less
frequent use of fleshly food would be greatly to our advantage as a
people. But utter abstinence is out of the question. A vegetable diet,
however, has great authorities in its favor, both ancient and modern.
Plautus, Plutarch, Porphyry of Tyre, Lord Bacon, Sir William Temple,
Cicero, Cyrus the Great, Pope, Newton, and Shelley have all left their
testimony in favor of it and of simplicity of living. Poor Shelley, who
in his abstract moods forgot even to take vegetable sustenance for days
together, makes a furious onslaught upon flesh-eating in his Notes to
"Queen Mab." The notes, as well as the poem, are crude productions, the
outgivings of a boy; but that boy was Shelley. It was said that he was
traceable, in his lonely wanderings in secluded places in Italy, by the
crumbs of bread which he let fall. Speculative thinkers have generally
been light feeders, eschewing stimulants, both solid and liquid, and
preferring mild food and water for drink. Those who lead an interior
life sedentary and contemplative need not gross pabulum, but would find
their inward joy at the contemplation and discovery of truth seriously
qualified and deadened by it. Spare fast is the companion of the
ecstatic moods of a high truth-seeker such as Newton, Malebranche, etc.
Immanuel Kant was almost the only profound speculative thinker who was
decidedly convivial, and given to gulosity, at least at his dinner.
Asceticism ordinarily reigns in the cloister and student's bower. The
Oxford scholar long ago, as described by Chaucer, was adust and thin.

    "As lene was his hors as is a rake,
    And he was not right fat, I undertake."

The ancient anchorets of the East, the children of St. Anthony, were a
long-lived sect, rivalling the many-wintered crow in longevity. Yet
their lives were vapid monotonies, only long in months and years. They
were devoid of vivid sensations, and vegetated merely. Milk-eaters were,
in the days of Homer, the longest-lived of men.

Without the ministry of culinary fire, man could not gratify his
carnivorous propensities. He would be obliged to content himself with a
vegetable diet; for, according to the comparative anatomists, man is not
structurally a flesh-eater. At any rate he is not fanged or clawed. His
teeth and nails are not like the natural cutlery found in the mouths and
paws of beasts of prey. He cannot eat raw flesh. Digger Indians are left
to do that when the meat is putrescent. Prometheus was the inventor of
roast and boiled beef, and of cookery generally, and therefore the
destroyer of the original simplicity of living which characterized
primitive man, when milk and fruits cooked by the sun, and acorns, were
the standing repasts of unsophisticated humanity. _Per contra_, Horace
makes man, in his mast-eating days, a poor creature.

    "Forth from the earth when human kind
    First crept, a dull and brutish herd, with nails
    And fists they fought for dens wherein to couch, and _acorns_."

Don Quixote, however, in his eloquent harangue to the shepherds in the
Sierra Morena, took a different view of man during the acorn period. He
saw in it the golden age.

There are vast rice-eating populations in China and India, who are a low
grade of men, morally and physically. Exceptional cases of longevity,
like those of old Parr, Jenkins, Francisco, Pratt, and Farnham, are
often-times adduced as the results of abstemiousness and frugality of
living. These exceptional cases prove nothing whatever. These
individuals happened to reach an almost antediluvian longevity, thanks
to their inherited vitality and their listless, uneventful, monotonous
lives. Their hearts beat a dull funeral march through four or five
generations, and finally stopped. But the longevity of such mighty
thinkers and superb men as Humboldt and Goethe is glorious to
contemplate. They were never old, but were vernal in spirit to the last,
and, for aught that appears to the contrary, generous livers, not "acid
ghouls" or bran-eating valetudinarians. Shakespeare died at fifty-one,
but great thinkers and poets have generally been long-lived. "Better
fifty years of Europe" or America "than a cycle of" rice-eating
"Cathay."

The value of the animals slaughtered in this country in 1860 was, in
round numbers, $212,000,000, a sum to make the vegetable feeder stare
and gasp. How many thousands and tens of thousands of acres of herbage,
which could not be directly available for human consumption as food, had
these slaughtered animals incorporated into their frames, and rendered
edible for man! "The most fertile districts of the habitable globe,"
says Shelley, "are now actually cultivated by men for animals, at a
delay and waste of aliment absolutely incalculable." On the contrary,
the close-feeding sheep and the cow and ox utilize for man millions of
acres of vegetation which would otherwise be useless. The domestic
animals which everywhere accompany civilized man were a part of them
intended as machines to convert herbage into milk and flesh for man's
sustenance. The tame villatic fowl scratches and picks with might and
main, converting a thousand refuse things into dainty human food. A
vegetable diet is out of the question for the blubber-eating Esquimaux
and Greenlander, even if it would keep the flame of life burning in
their Polar latitudes.

The better and more nutritious the diet, the better the health. It is to
the improved garden vegetables and domestic animals that man will
hereafter owe the superior health and personal comeliness which he will
undoubtedly enjoy as our planet becomes more and more humanized, and man
asserts his proper lordship over Nature. This matter of vegetable and
animal food is dictated by climate. In the temperate zone they go well
mixed. In the tropics man is naturally a Pythagorean, but he is not so
strong, or so healthy, or moral, or intellectual, as the flesh-eating
nations of northern latitudes.



THE FREEDMAN'S STORY.

IN TWO PARTS.


PART II.

As the Freedman relates only events which came under his own
observation, it is necessary to preface the remaining portion of his
narrative with a brief account of the Christiana riot. This I extract
mainly from a statement made at the time by a member of the Philadelphia
bar, making only a few alterations to give the account greater clearness
and brevity.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 9th of September, 1851, Mr. Edward Gorsuch, a citizen of
Maryland, residing near Baltimore, appeared before Edward D. Ingraham,
Esquire, United States Commissioner at Philadelphia, and asked for
warrants under the act of Congress of September 18, 1850, for the arrest
of four of his slaves, whom he had heard were secreted somewhere in
Lancaster County. Warrants were issued forthwith, directed to H. H.
Kline, a deputy United States Marshal, authorizing him to arrest George
Hammond, Joshua Hammond, Nelson Ford, and Noah Buley, persons held to
service or labor in the State of Maryland, and to bring them before the
said Commissioner.

Mr. Gorsuch then made arrangements with John Agin and Thompson Tully,
residents of Philadelphia, and police officers, to assist Kline in
making the arrests. They were to meet Mr. Gorsuch and some companions at
Penningtonville, a small place on the State Railroad, about fifty miles
from Philadelphia. Kline, with the warrants, left Philadelphia on the
same day, about 2 P.M., for West Chester. There he hired a conveyance
and rode to Gallagherville, where he hired another conveyance to take
him to Penningtonville. Before he had driven very far, the carriage
breaking down, he returned to Gallagherville, procured another, and
started again. Owing to this detention, he was prevented from meeting
Mr. Gorsuch and his friends at the appointed time, and when he reached
Penningtonville, about 2 A.M. on the 10th of September, they had gone.

On entering the tavern, the place of rendezvous, he saw a colored man
whom he recognized as Samuel Williams, a resident of Philadelphia. To
put Williams off his guard, Kline asked the landlord some questions
about horse thieves. Williams remarked that he had seen the "horse
thieves," and told Kline he had come too late.

Kline then drove on to a place called the Gap. Seeing a person he
believed to be Williams following him, he stopped at several taverns
along the road and made inquiries about horse thieves. He reached the
Gap about 3 A.M., put up his horses, and went to bed. At half past four
he rose, ate breakfast, and rode to Parkesburg, about forty-five miles
from Philadelphia, and on the same railroad. Here he found Agin and
Tully asleep in the bar-room. He awoke Agin, called him aside, and
inquired for Mr. Gorsuch and his party. He was told they had gone to
Sadsbury, a small place on the turnpike, four or five miles from
Parkesburg.

On going there, he found them, about 9 A.M. on the 10th of September.
Kline told them he had seen Agin and Tully, who had determined to return
to Philadelphia, and proposed that the whole party should return to
Gallagherville. Mr. Gorsuch, however, determined to go to Parkesburg
instead, to see Agin and Tully, and attempt to persuade them not to
return. The rest of the party were to go to Gallagherville, while Kline
returned to Downingtown, to see Agin and Tully, should Mr. Gorsuch fail
to meet them at Parkesburg. He left Gallagherville about 11 A.M., and
met Agin and Tully at Downingtown. Agin said he had seen Mr. Gorsuch,
but refused to go back. He promised, however, to return from
Philadelphia in the evening cars. Kline returned to Downingtown, and
then met all the party except Mr. Edward Gorsuch, who had remained
behind to make the necessary arrangements for procuring a guide to the
houses where he had been informed his negroes were to be found.

About 3 P.M., Mr. Edward Gorsuch joined them at Gallagherville, and at
11 P.M. on the night of the 10th of September they all went in the cars
to Downingtown, where they waited for the evening train from
Philadelphia.

When it arrived, neither Agin nor Tully was to be seen. The rest of the
party went on to the Gap, which they reached about half past one on the
morning of the 11th of September. They then continued their journey on
foot towards Christiana, where Parker was residing, and where the slaves
of Mr. Gorsuch were supposed to be living. The party then consisted of
Kline, Edward Gorsuch, Dickinson Gorsuch, his son, Joshua M. Gorsuch,
his nephew, Dr. Thomas Pierce, Nicholas T. Hutchings, and Nathan
Nelson.

After they had proceeded about a mile they met a man who was represented
to be a guide. He is said to have been disguised in such a way that none
of the party could recognize him, and his name is not mentioned in any
proceedings. It is probable that he was employed by Mr. Edward Gorsuch,
and one condition of his services may have been that he should be
allowed to use every possible means of concealing his face and name from
the rest of the party. Under his conduct, the party went on, and soon
reached a house in which they were told one of the slaves was to be
found. Mr. Gorsuch wished to send part of the company after him, but
Kline was unwilling to divide their strength, and they walked on,
intending to return that way after making the other arrests.

The guide led them by a circuitous route, until they reached the Valley
Road, near the house of William Parker, the writer of the annexed
narrative, which was their point of destination. They halted in a lane
near by, ate some crackers and cheese, examined the condition of their
fire-arms, and consulted upon the plan of attack. A short walk brought
them to the orchard in front of Parker's house, which the guide pointed
out and left them. He had no desire to remain and witness the result of
his false information. His disguise and desertion of his employer are
strong circumstances in proof of the fact that he knew he was misleading
the party. On the trial of Hanway, it was proved by the defence that
Nelson Ford, one of the fugitives, was not on the ground until after the
sun was up. Joshua Hammond had lived in the vicinity up to the time that
a man by the name of Williams had been kidnapped, when he and several
others departed, and had not since been heard from. Of the other two,
one at least, if the evidence for the prosecution is to be relied upon,
was in the house at which the party first halted, so that there could
not have been more than one of Mr. Gorsuch's slaves in Parker's house,
and of this there is no positive testimony.

It was not yet daybreak when the party approached the house. They made
demand for the slaves, and threatened to burn the house and shoot the
occupants, if they would not surrender. At this time, the number of
besiegers seems to have been increased, and as many as fifteen are said
to have been near the house. About daybreak, when they were advancing a
second or third time, they saw a negro coming out, whom Mr. Gorsuch
thought he recognized as one of his slaves. Kline pursued him with a
revolver in his hand, and stumbled over the bars near the house. Some of
the company came up before Kline, and found the door open. They entered,
and Kline, following, called for the owner, ordered all to come down,
and said he had two warrants for the arrest of Nelson Ford and Joshua
Hammond. He was answered that there were no such men in the house.
Kline, followed by Mr. Gorsuch, attempted to go up stairs. They were
prevented from ascending by what appears to have been an ordinary _fish
gig_. Some of the witnesses described it as "like a pitchfork with blunt
prongs," and others were at a loss what to call this, the first weapon
used in the contest. An axe was next thrown down, but hit no one.

Mr. Gorsuch and others then went outside to talk with the negroes at the
window. Just at this time Kline fired his pistol up stairs. The warrants
were then read outside the house, and demand made upon the landlord. No
answer was heard. After a short interview, Kline proposed to withdraw
his men, but Mr. Gorsuch refused, and said he would not leave the ground
until he made the arrests. Kline then in a loud voice ordered some one
to go to the sheriff and bring a hundred men, thinking, as he afterwards
said, this would intimidate them. The threat appears to have had some
effect, for the negroes asked time to consider. The party outside agreed
to give fifteen minutes.

While these scenes were passing at the house, occurrences transpired
elsewhere that are worthy of attention, but which cannot be understood
without a short statement of previous events.

In the month of September, 1850, a colored man, known in the
neighborhood around Christiana to be free, was seized and carried away
by men known to be professional kidnappers, and had not been seen by his
family since. In March, 1851, in the same neighborhood, under the roof
of his employer, during the night, another colored man was tied, gagged,
and carried away, marking the road along which he was dragged with his
blood. No authority for this outrage was ever shown, and the man was
never heard from. These and many other acts of a similar kind had so
alarmed the neighborhood, that the very name of kidnapper was sufficient
to create a panic. The blacks feared for their own safety; and the
whites, knowing their feelings, were apprehensive that any attempt to
repeat these outrages would be the cause of bloodshed. Many good
citizens were determined to do all in their power to prevent these
lawless depredations, though they were ready to submit to any measures
sanctioned by legal process. They regretted the existence among them of
a body of people liable to such violence; but without combination had,
each for himself, resolved that they would do everything dictated by
humanity to resist barbarous oppression.

On the morning in question, a colored man living in the neighborhood,
who was passing Parker's house at an early hour, saw the yard full of
men. He halted, and was met by a man who presented a pistol at him, and
ordered him to leave the place. He went away and hastened to a store
kept by Elijah Lewis, which, like all places of that kind, was probably
the head-quarters of news in the neighborhood. Mr. Lewis was in the act
of opening his store when this man told him that "Parker's house was
surrounded by _kidnappers_, who had broken into the house, and _were
trying to get him away_." Lewis, not questioning the truth of the
statement, repaired immediately to the place. On the way he passed the
house of Castner Hanway, and, telling him what he had heard, asked him
to go over to Parker's. Hanway was in feeble health and unable to
undergo the fatigue of walking that distance; but he saddled his horse,
and reached Parker's during the armistice.

Having no reason to believe he was acting under legal authority, when
Kline approached and demanded assistance in making the arrests, Hanway
made no answer. Kline then handed him the warrants, which Hanway
examined, saw they appeared genuine, and returned.

At this time, several colored men, who no doubt had heard the report
that kidnappers were about, came up, armed with such weapons as they
could suddenly lay hands upon. How many were on the ground during the
affray it is _now_ impossible to determine. The witnesses on both sides
vary materially in their estimate. Some said they saw a dozen or
fifteen; some, thirty or forty; and others maintained, as many as two or
three hundred. It is known there were not two hundred colored men within
eight miles of Parker's house, nor half that number within four miles;
and it would have been almost impossible to get together even thirty at
an hour's notice. It is probable there were about twenty-five, all told,
at or near the house from the beginning of the affray until all was
quiet again. These the fears of those who afterwards testified to larger
numbers might easily have magnified to fifty or a hundred.

While Kline and Hanway were in conversation, Elijah Lewis came up.
Hanway said to him, "Here is the Marshal." Lewis asked to see his
authority, and Kline handed him one of the warrants. When he saw the
signature of the United States Commissioner, "he took it for granted
that Kline had authority." Kline then ordered Hanway and Lewis to assist
in arresting the alleged fugitives. Hanway refused to have anything to
do with it. The negroes around these three men seeming disposed to make
an attack, Hanway "motioned to them and urged them back." He then
"advised Kline that it would be dangerous to attempt making arrests, and
that they had better leave." Kline, after saying he would hold them
accountable for the fugitives, promised to leave, and beckoned two or
three times to his men to retire.

The negroes then rushed up, some armed with guns, some with
corn-cutters, staves, or clubs, others with stones or whatever weapon
chance offered. Hanway and Lewis in vain endeavored to restrain them.

Kline leaped the fence, passed through the standing grain in the field,
and for a few moments was out of sight. Mr. Gorsuch refused to leave the
spot, saying his "property was there, and he would have it or perish in
the attempt." The rest of his party endeavored to retreat when they
heard the Marshal calling to them, but they were too late; the negroes
rushed up, and the firing began. How many times each party fired, it is
impossible to tell. For a few moments everything was confusion, and each
attempted to save himself. Nathan Nelson went down the short land,
thence into the woods and towards Penningtonville. Nicholas Hutchings,
by direction of Kline, followed Lewis to see where he went. Thomas
Pierce and Joshua Gorsuch went down the long lane, pursued by some of
the negroes, caught up with Hanway, and, shielding themselves behind his
horse, followed him to a stream of water near by. Dickinson Gorsuch was
with his father near the house. They were both wounded; the father
mortally. Dickinson escaped down the lane, where he was met by Kline,
who had returned from the woods at the end of the field. Kline rendered
him assistance, and went towards Penningtonville for a physician. On his
way he met Joshua M. Gorsuch, who was also wounded and delirious. Kline
led him over to Penningtonville and placed him on the upward train from
Philadelphia. Before this time several persons living in the
neighborhood had arrived at Parker's house. Lewis Cooper found Dickinson
Gorsuch in the place where Kline had left him, attended by Joseph
Scarlett. He placed him in his dearborn, and carried him to the house of
Levi Pownall, where he remained till he had sufficiently recovered to
return home. Mr. Cooper then returned to Parker's, placed the body of
Mr. Edward Gorsuch in the same dearborn, and carried it to Christiana.
Neither Nelson nor Hutchings rejoined their party, but during the day
went by the railroad to Lancaster.

Thus ended an occurrence which was the theme of conversation throughout
the land. Not more than two hours elapsed from the time demand was first
made at Parker's house until the dead body of Edward Gorsuch was carried
to Christiana. In that brief time the blood of strangers had been
spilled in a sudden affray, an unfortunate man had been killed, and two
others badly wounded.

When rumor spread abroad the result of the affray, the neighborhood was
appalled. The inhabitants of the farm-houses and the villages around,
unused to such scenes, could not at first believe that it had occurred
in their midst. Before midday, exaggerated accounts had reached
Philadelphia, and were transmitted by telegraph throughout the country.

Many persons were arrested for participation in the riot; and, after a
long imprisonment, were arraigned for trial, on the charge of treason,
before Judges Grier and Kane, of the United States Court, sitting at
Philadelphia.

Every one knows the result. The prisoners were all acquitted; and the
country was aroused to the danger of a law which allowed bad men to
incarcerate peaceful citizens for months in prison, and put them in
peril of their lives, for refusing to aid in entrapping, and sending
back to hopeless slavery, men struggling for the very same freedom we
value as the best part of our birthright.

The Freedman's narrative is now resumed.

A short time after the events narrated in the preceding number, it was
whispered about that the slaveholders intended to make an attack on my
house; but, as I had often been threatened, I gave the report little
attention. About the same time, however, two letters were found thrown
carelessly about, as if to attract notice. These letters stated that
kidnappers would be at my house on a certain night, and warned me to be
on my guard. Still I did not let the matter trouble me. But it was no
idle rumor. The bloodhounds were upon my track.

I was not at this time aware that in the city of Philadelphia there was
a band of devoted, determined men,--few in number, but strong in
purpose,--who were fully resolved to leave no means untried to thwart
the barbarous and inhuman monsters who crawled in the gloom of midnight,
like the ferocious tiger, and, stealthily springing on their
unsuspecting victims, seized, bound, and hurled them into the ever open
jaws of Slavery. Under the pretext of enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law,
the slaveholders did not hesitate to violate all other laws made for the
good government and protection of society, and converted the old State
of Pennsylvania, so long the hope of the fleeing bondman, wearied and
heartbroken, into a common hunting-ground for their human prey. But this
little band of true patriots in Philadelphia united for the purpose of
standing between the pursuer and the pursued, the kidnapper and his
victim, and, regardless of all personal considerations, were ever on the
alert, ready to sound the alarm to save their fellows from a fate far
more to be dreaded than death. In this they had frequently succeeded,
and many times had turned the hunter home bootless of his prey. They
began their operations at the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, and had
thoroughly examined all matters connected with it, and were perfectly
cognizant of the plans adopted to carry out its provisions in
Pennsylvania, and, through a correspondence with reliable persons in
various sections of the South, were enabled to know these hunters of
men, their agents, spies, tools, and betrayers. They knew who performed
this work in Richmond, Alexandria, Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington,
Philadelphia, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, those principal depots of
villany, where organized bands prowled about at all times, ready to
entrap the unwary fugitive.

They also discovered that this nefarious business was conducted mainly
through one channel; for, spite of man's inclination to vice and crime,
there are but few men, thank God, so low in the scale of humanity as to
be willing to degrade themselves by doing the dirty work of four-legged
bloodhounds. Yet such men, actuated by the love of gold and their own
base and brutal natures, were found ready for the work. These fellows
consorted with constables, police-officers, aldermen, and even with
learned members of the legal profession, who disgraced their respectable
calling by low, contemptible arts, and were willing to clasp hands with
the lowest ruffian in order to pocket the reward that was the price of
blood. Every facility was offered these bad men; and whether it was
night or day, it was only necessary to whisper in a certain circle that
a negro was to be caught, and horses and wagons, men and officers, spies
and betrayers, were ready, at the shortest notice, armed and equipped,
and eager for the chase.

Thus matters stood in Philadelphia on the 9th of September, 1851, when
Mr. Gorsuch and his gang of Maryland kidnappers arrived there. Their
presence was soon known to the little band of true men who were called
"The Special Secret Committee." They had agents faithful and true as
steel; and through these agents the whereabouts and business of Gorsuch
and his minions were soon discovered. They were noticed in close
converse with a certain member of the Philadelphia bar, who had lost the
little reputation he ever had by continual dabbling in negro-catching,
as well as by association with and support of the notorious Henry H.
Kline, a professional kidnapper of the basest stamp. Having determined
as to the character and object of these Marylanders, there remained to
ascertain the spot selected for their deadly spring; and this required
no small degree of shrewdness, resolution, and tact.

Some one's liberty was imperilled; the hunters were abroad; the time was
short, and the risk imminent. The little band bent themselves to the
task they were pledged to perform with zeal and devotion; and success
attended their efforts. They knew that one false step would jeopardize
their own liberty, and very likely their lives, and utterly destroy
every prospect of carrying out their objects. They knew, too, that they
were matched against the most desperate, daring, and brutal men in the
kidnappers' ranks,--men who, to obtain the proffered reward, would rush
willingly into any enterprise, regardless alike of its character or its
consequences. That this was the deepest, the most thoroughly organized
and best-planned project for man-catching that had been concocted since
the infamous Fugitive Slave Law had gone into operation, they also knew;
and consequently this nest of hornets was approached with great care.
But by walking directly into their camp, watching their plans as they
were developed, and secretly testing every inch of ground on which they
trod, they discovered enough to counterplot these plotters, and to
spring upon them a mine which shook the whole country, and put an end to
man-stealing in Pennsylvania forever.

The trusty agent of this Special Committee, Mr. Samuel Williams, of
Philadelphia,--a man true and faithful to his race, and courageous in
the highest degree,--came to Christiana, travelling most of the way in
company with the very men whom Gorsuch had employed to drag into slavery
four as good men as ever trod the earth. These Philadelphia roughs, with
their Maryland associates, little dreamed that the man who sat by their
side carried with him their inglorious defeat, and the death-warrant of
at least one of their party. Williams listened to their conversation,
and marked well their faces, and, being fully satisfied by their awkward
movements that they were heavily armed, managed to slip out of the cars
at the village of Downington unobserved, and proceeded to
Penningtonville, where he encountered Kline, who had started several
hours in advance of the others. Kline was terribly frightened, as he
knew Williams, and felt that his presence was an omen of ill to his base
designs. He spoke of horse thieves; but Williams replied,--"I know the
kind of horse thieves you are after. They are all gone; and you had
better not go after them."

Kline immediately jumped into his wagon, and rode away, whilst Williams
crossed the country, and arrived at Christiana in advance of him.

The manner in which information of Gorsuch's designs was obtained will
probably ever remain a secret; and I doubt if any one outside of the
little band who so masterly managed the affair knows anything of it.
This was wise; and I would to God other friends had acted thus. Mr.
Williams's trip to Christiana, and the many incidents connected
therewith, will be found in the account of his trial; for he was
subsequently arrested and thrown into the cold cells of a loathsome jail
for this good act of simple Christian duty; but, resolute to the last,
he publicly stated that he had been to Christiana, and, to use his own
words, "I done it, and will do it again." Brave man, receive my thanks!

Of the Special Committee I can only say that they proved themselves men;
and through the darkest hours of the trials that followed, they were
found faithful to their trust, never for one moment deserting those who
were compelled to suffer. Many, many innocent men residing in the
vicinity of Christiana, the ground where the first battle was fought for
liberty in Pennsylvania, were seized, torn from their families, and,
like Williams, thrown into prison for long, weary months, to be tried
for their lives. By them this Committee stood, giving them every
consolation and comfort, furnishing them with clothes, and attending to
their wants, giving money to themselves and families, and procuring for
them the best legal counsel. This I know, and much more of which it is
not wise, even now, to speak: 't is enough to say they were friends when
and where it cost something to be friends, and true brothers where
brothers were needed.

After this lengthy digression, I will return, and speak of the riot and
the events immediately preceding it.

The information brought by Mr. Williams spread through the vicinity like
a fire in the prairies; and when I went home from my work in the
evening, I found Pinckney (whom I should have said before was my
brother-in-law), Abraham Johnson, Samuel Thompson, and Joshua Kite at my
house, all of them excited about the rumor. I laughed at them, and said
it was all talk. This was the 10th of September, 1851. They stopped for
the night with us, and we went to bed as usual. Before daylight, Joshua
Kite rose, and started for his home. Directly, he ran back to the house,
burst open the door, crying, "O William! kidnappers! kidnappers!"

He said that, when he was just beyond the yard, two men crossed before
him, as if to stop him, and others came up on either side. As he said
this, they had reached the door. Joshua ran up stairs, (we slept up
stairs,) and they followed him; but I met them at the landing, and
asked, "Who are you?"

The leader, Kline, replied, "I am the United States Marshal."

I then told him to take another step, and I would break his neck.

He again said, "I am the United States Marshal."

I told him I did not care for him nor the United States. At that he
turned and went down stairs.

Pinckney said, as he turned to go down,--"Where is the use in fighting?
They will take us."

Kline heard him, and said, "Yes, give up, for we can and will take you
anyhow."

I told them all not to be afraid, nor to give up to any slaveholder, but
to fight until death.

"Yes," said Kline, "I have heard many a negro talk as big as you, and
then have taken him; and I'll take you."

"You have not taken me yet," I replied; "and if you undertake it you
will have your name recorded in history for this day's work."

Mr. Gorsuch then spoke, and said,--"Come, Mr. Kline, let's go up stairs
and take them. We _can_ take them. Come, follow me. I'll go up and get
my property. What's in the way? The law is in my favor, and the people
are in my favor."

At that he began to ascend the stair; but I said to him,--"See here, old
man, you can come up, but you can't go down again. Once up here, you are
mine."

Kline then said,--"Stop, Mr. Gorsuch. I will read the warrant, and then,
I think, they will give up."

He then read the warrant, and said,--"Now, you see, we are commanded to
take you, dead or alive; so you may as well give up at once."

"Go up, Mr. Kline," then said Gorsuch, "you are the Marshal."

Kline started, and when a little way up said, "I am coming."

I said, "Well, come on."

But he was too cowardly to show his face. He went down again and
said,--"You had better give up without any more fuss, for we are bound
to take you anyhow. I told you before that I was the United States
Marshal, yet you will not give up. I'll not trouble the slaves. I will
take you and make you pay for all."

"Well," I answered, "take me and make me pay for all. I'll pay for all."

Mr. Gorsuch then said, "You have my property."

To which I replied,--"Go in the room down there, and see if there is
anything there belonging to you. There are beds and a bureau, chairs,
and other things. Then go out to the barn; there you will find a cow and
some hogs. See if any of them are yours."

He said,--"They are not mine; I want my men. They are here, and I am
bound to have them."

Thus we parleyed for a time, all because of the pusillanimity of the
Marshal, when he, at last, said,--"I am tired waiting on you; I see you
are not going to give up. Go to the barn and fetch some straw," said he
to one of his men, "I will set the house on fire, and burn them up."

"Burn us up and welcome," said I. "None but a coward would say the like.
You can burn us, but you can't take us; before I give up, you will see
my ashes scattered on the earth."

By this time day had begun to dawn; and then my wife came to me and
asked if she should blow the horn, to bring friends to our assistance. I
assented, and she went to the garret for the purpose. When the horn
sounded from the garret window, one of the ruffians asked the others
what it meant; and Kline said to me, "What do you mean by blowing that
horn?"

I did not answer. It was a custom with us, when a horn was blown at an
unusual hour, to proceed to the spot promptly to see what was the
matter. Kline ordered his men to shoot any one they saw blowing the
horn. There was a peach-tree at that end of the house. Up it two of the
men climbed; and when my wife went a second time to the window, they
fired as soon as they heard the blast, but missed their aim. My wife
then went down on her knees, and, drawing her head and body below the
range of the window, the horn resting on the sill, blew blast after
blast, while the shots poured thick and fast around her. They must have
fired ten or twelve times. The house was of stone, and the windows were
deep, which alone preserved her life.

They were evidently disconcerted by the blowing of the horn. Gorsuch
said again, "I want my property, and I will have it."

"Old man," said I, "you look as if you belonged to some persuasion."

"Never mind," he answered, "what persuasion I belong to; I want my
property."

While I was leaning out of the window, Kline fired a pistol at me, but
the shot went too high; the ball broke the glass just above my head. I
was talking to Gorsuch at the time. I seized a gun and aimed it at
Gorsuch's breast, for he evidently had instigated Kline to fire; but
Pinckney caught my arm and said, "Don't shoot." The gun went off, just
grazing Gorsuch's shoulder. Another conversation then ensued between
Gorsuch, Kline, and myself, when another one of the party fired at me,
but missed. Dickinson Gorsuch, I then saw, was preparing to shoot; and I
told him if he missed, I would show him where shooting first came from.

I asked them to consider what they would have done, had they been in our
position. "I know you want to kill us," I said, "for you have shot at us
time and again. We have only fired twice, although we have guns and
ammunition, and could kill you all if we would, but we do not want to
shed blood."

"If you do not shoot any more," then said Kline, "I will stop my men
from firing."

They then ceased for a time. This was about sunrise.

Mr. Gorsuch now said,--"Give up, and let me have my property. Hear what
the Marshal says; the Marshal is your friend. He advises you to give up
without more fuss, for my property I will have."

I denied that I had his property, when he replied, "You have my men."

"Am I your man?" I asked.

"No."

I then called Pinckney forward.

"Is that your man?"

"No."

Abraham Johnson I called next, but Gorsuch said he was not his man.

The only plan left was to call both Pinckney and Johnson again; for had
I called the others, he would have recognized them, for they were his
slaves.

Abraham Johnson said, "Does such a shrivelled up old slaveholder as you
own such a nice, genteel young man as I am?"

At this Gorsuch took offence, and charged me with dictating his
language. I then told him there were but five of us, which he denied,
and still insisted that I had his property. One of the party then
attacked the Abolitionists, affirming that, although they declared there
could not be property in man, the Bible was conclusive authority in
favor of property in human flesh.

"Yes," said Gorsuch, "does not the Bible say, 'Servants, obey your
masters'?"

I said that it did, but the same Bible said, "Give unto your servants
that which is just and equal."

At this stage of the proceedings, we went into a mutual Scripture
inquiry, and bandied views in the manner of garrulous old wives.

When I spoke of duty to servants, Gorsuch said, "Do you know that?"

"Where," I asked, "do you see it in Scripture, that a man should traffic
in his brother's blood?"

"Do you call a nigger my brother?" said Gorsuch.

"Yes," said I.

"William," said Samuel Thompson, "he has been a class-leader."

When Gorsuch heard that, he hung his head, but said nothing. We then all
joined in singing,--

    "Leader, what do you say
    About the judgment day?
      I will die on the field of battle,
        Die on the field of battle,
      With glory in my soul."

Then we all began to shout, singing meantime, and shouted for a long
while. Gorsuch, who was standing head bowed, said, "What are you doing
now?"

Samuel Thompson replied, "Preaching a sinner's funeral sermon."

"You had better give up, and come down."

I then said to Gorsuch,--"'If a brother see a sword coming, and he warn
not his brother, then the brother's blood is required at his hands; but
if the brother see the sword coming, and warn his brother, and his
brother flee not, then his brother's blood is required at his own hand.'
I see the sword coming, and, old man, I warn you to flee; if you flee
not, your blood be upon your own hand."

It was now about seven o'clock.

"You had better give up," said old Mr. Gorsuch, after another while,
"and come down, for I have come a long way this morning, and want my
breakfast; for my property I will have, or I'll breakfast in hell. I
will go up and get it."

He then started up stairs, and came far enough to see us all plainly. We
were just about to fire upon him, when Dickinson Gorsuch, who was
standing on the old oven, before the door, and could see into the
up-stairs room through the window, jumped down and caught his father,
saying,--"O father, do come down! do come down! They have guns, swords,
and all kinds of weapons! They'll kill you! Do come down!"

The old man turned and left. When down with him, young Gorsuch could
scarce draw breath, and the father looked more like a dead than a living
man, so frightened were they at their supposed danger. The old man stood
some time without saying anything; at last he said, as if soliloquizing,
"I want my property, and I will have it."

Kline broke forth, "If you don't give up by fair means, you will have to
by foul."

I told him we would not surrender on any conditions.

Young Gorsuch then said,--"Don't ask them to give up,--_make_ them do
it. We have money, and can call men to take them. What is it that money
won't buy?"

Then said Kline,--"I am getting tired waiting on you; I see you are not
going to give up."

He then wrote a note and handed it to Joshua Gorsuch, saying at the same
time,--"Take it, and bring a hundred men from Lancaster."

As he started, I said,--"See here! When you go to Lancaster, don't bring
a hundred men,--bring five hundred. It will take all the men in
Lancaster to change our purpose or take us alive."

He stopped to confer with Kline, when Pinckney said, "We had better give
up."

"You are getting afraid," said I.

"Yes," said Kline, "give up like men. The rest would give up if it were
not for you."

"I am not afraid," said Pinckney; "but where is the sense in fighting
against so many men, and only five of us?"

The whites, at this time, were coming from all quarters, and Kline was
enrolling them as fast as they came. Their numbers alarmed Pinckney, and
I told him to go and sit down; but he said, "No, I will go down stairs."

I told him, if he attempted it, I should be compelled to blow out his
brains. "Don't believe that any living man can take you," I said. "Don't
give up to any slaveholder."

To Abraham Johnson, who was near me, I then turned. He declared he was
not afraid. "I will fight till I die," he said.

At this time, Hannah, Pinckney's wife, had become impatient of our
persistent course; and my wife, who brought me her message urging us to
surrender, seized a corn-cutter, and declared she would cut off the head
of the first one who should attempt to give up.

Another one of Gorsuch's slaves was coming along the highroad at this
time, and I beckoned to him to go around. Pinckney saw him, and soon
became more inspirited. Elijah Lewis, a Quaker, also came along about
this time; I beckoned to him, likewise; but he came straight on, and was
met by Kline, who ordered him to assist him. Lewis asked for his
authority, and Kline handed him the warrant. While Lewis was reading,
Castner Hanway came up, and Lewis handed the warrant to him. Lewis asked
Kline what Parker said.

Kline replied, "He won't give up."

Then Lewis and Hanway both said to the Marshal,--"If Parker says they
will not give up, you had better let them alone, for he will kill some
of you. We are not going to risk our lives";--and they turned to go
away.

While they were talking, I came down and stood in the doorway, my men
following behind.

Old Mr. Gorsuch said, when I appeared, "They'll come out, and get away!"
and he came back to the gate.

I then said to him,--"You said you could and would take us. Now you have
the chance."

They were a cowardly-looking set of men.

Mr. Gorsuch said, "You can't come out here."

"Why?" said I. "This is my place, I pay rent for it. I'll let you see if
I can't come out."

"I don't care if you do pay rent for it," said he. "If you come out, I
will give you the contents of these";--presenting, at the same time, two
revolvers, one in each hand.

I said, "Old man, if you don't go away, I will break your neck."

I then walked up to where he stood, his arms resting on the gate,
trembling as if afflicted with palsy, and laid my hand on his shoulder,
saying, "I have seen pistols before to-day."

Kline now came running up, and entreated Gorsuch to come away.

"No," said the latter, "I will have my property, or go to hell."

"What do you intend to do?" said Kline to me.

"I intend to fight," said I. "I intend to try your strength."

"If you will withdraw your men," he replied, "I will withdraw mine."

I told him it was too late. "You would not withdraw when you had the
chance,--you shall not now."

Kline then went back to Hanway and Lewis. Gorsuch made a signal to his
men, and they all fell into line. I followed his example as well as I
could; but as we were not more than ten paces apart, it was difficult to
do so. At this time we numbered but ten, while there were between thirty
and forty of the white men.

While I was talking to Gorsuch, his son said, "Father, will you take all
this from a nigger?"

I answered him by saying that I respected old age; but that, if he
would repeat that, I should knock his teeth down his throat. At this he
fired upon me, and I ran up to him and knocked the pistol out of his
hand, when he let the other one fall and ran in the field.

My brother-in-law, who was standing near, then said, "I can stop
him";--and with his double-barrel gun he fired.

Young Gorsuch fell, but rose and ran on again. Pinckney fired a second
time, and again Gorsuch fell, but was soon up again, and, running into
the cornfield, lay down in the fence corner.

I returned to my men, and found Samuel Thompson talking to old Mr.
Gorsuch, his master. They were both angry.

"Old man, you had better go home to Maryland," said Samuel.

"You had better give up, and come home with me," said the old man.

Thompson took Pinckney's gun from him, struck Gorsuch, and brought him
to his knees. Gorsuch rose and signalled to his men. Thompson then
knocked him down again, and he again rose. At this time all the white
men opened fire, and we rushed upon them; when they turned, threw down
their guns, and ran away. We, being closely engaged, clubbed our rifles.
We were too closely pressed to fire, but we found a good deal could be
done with empty guns.

Old Mr. Gorsuch was the bravest of his party; he held on to his pistols
until the last, while all the others threw away their weapons. I saw as
many as three at a time fighting with him. Sometimes he was on his
knees, then on his back, and again his feet would be where his head
should be. He was a fine soldier and a brave man. Whenever he saw the
least opportunity, he would take aim. While in close quarters with the
whites, we could load and fire but two or three times. Our guns got bent
and out of order. So damaged did they become, that we could shoot with
but two or three of them. Samuel Thompson bent his gun on old Mr.
Gorsuch so badly, that it was of no use to us.

When the white men ran, they scattered. I ran after Nathan Nelson, but
could not catch him. I never saw a man run faster. Returning, I saw
Joshua Gorsuch coming, and Pinckney behind him. I reminded him that he
would like "to take hold of a nigger," told him that now was his
"chance," and struck him a blow on the side of the head, which stopped
him. Pinckney came up behind, and gave him a blow which brought him to
the ground; as the others passed, they gave him a kick or jumped upon
him, until the blood oozed out at his ears.

Nicholas Hutchings, and Nathan Nelson of Baltimore County, Maryland,
could outrun any men I ever saw. They and Kline were not brave, like the
Gorsuches. Could our men have got them, they would have been satisfied.

One of our men ran after Dr. Pierce, as he richly deserved attention;
but Pierce caught up with Castner Hanway, who rode between the fugitive
and the Doctor, to shield him and some others. Hanway was told to get
out of the way, or he would forfeit his life; he went aside quickly, and
the man fired at the Marylander, but missed him,--he was too far off. I
do not know whether he was wounded or not; but I do know, that, if it
had not been for Hanway, he would have been killed.

Having driven the slavocrats off in every direction, our party now
turned towards their several homes. Some of us, however, went back to my
house, where we found several of the neighbors.

The scene at the house beggars description. Old Mr. Gorsuch was lying in
the yard in a pool of blood, and confusion reigned both inside and
outside of the house.

Levi Pownell said to me, "The weather is so hot and the flies are so
bad, will you give me a sheet to put over the corpse?"

In reply, I gave him permission to get anything he needed from the
house.

"Dickinson Gorsuch is lying in the fence-corner, and I believe he is
dying. Give me something for him to drink," said Pownell, who seemed to
be acting the part of the Good Samaritan.

When he returned from ministering to Dickinson, he told me he could not
live.

The riot, so called, was now entirely ended. The elder Gorsuch was dead;
his son and nephew were both wounded, and I have reason to believe
others were,--how many, it would be difficult to say. Of our party, only
two were wounded. One received a ball in his hand, near the wrist; but
it only entered the skin, and he pushed it out with his thumb. Another
received a ball in the fleshy part of his thigh, which had to be
extracted; but neither of them were sick or crippled by the wounds. When
young Gorsuch fired at me in the early part of the battle, both balls
passed through my hat, cutting off my hair close to the skin, but they
drew no blood. The marks were not more than an inch apart.

A story was afterwards circulated that Mr. Gorsuch shot his own slave,
and in retaliation his slave shot him; but it was without foundation.
His slave struck him the first and second blows; then three or four
sprang upon him, and, when he became helpless, left him to pursue
others. _The women put an end to him._ His slaves, so far from meeting
death at his hands, are all still living.

After the fight, my wife was obliged to secrete herself, leaving the
children in care of her mother, and to the charities of our neighbors. I
was questioned by my friends as to what I should do, as they were
looking for officers to arrest me. I determined not to be taken alive,
and told them so; but, thinking advice as to our future course
necessary, went to see some old friends and consult about it. Their
advice was to leave, as, were we captured and imprisoned, they could not
foresee the result. Acting upon this hint, we set out for home, when we
met some female friends, who told us that forty or fifty armed men were
at my house, looking for me, and that we had better stay away from the
place, if we did not want to be taken. Abraham Johnson and Pinckney
hereupon halted, to agree upon the best course, while I turned around
and went another way.

Before setting out on my long journey northward, I determined to have an
interview with my family, if possible, and to that end changed my
course. As we went along the road to where I found them, we met men in
companies of three and four, who had been drawn together by the
excitement. On one occasion, we met ten or twelve together. They all
left the road, and climbed over the fences into fields to let us pass;
and then, after we had passed, turned, and looked after us as far as
they could see. Had we been carrying destruction to all human kind, they
could not have acted more absurdly. We went to a friend's house and
stayed for the rest of the day, and until nine o'clock that night, when
we set out for Canada.

The great trial now was to leave my wife and family. Uncertain as to the
result of the journey, I felt I would rather die than be separated from
them. It had to be done, however; and we went forth with heavy hearts,
outcasts for the sake of liberty. When we had walked as far as
Christiana, we saw a large crowd, late as it was, to some of whom, at
least, I must have been known, as we heard distinctly, "A'n't that
Parker?"

"Yes," was answered, "that's Parker."

Kline was called for, and he, with some nine or ten more, followed
after. We stopped, and then they stopped. One said to his comrades, "Go
on,--that's him." And another replied, "You go." So they contended for a
time who should come to us. At last they went back. I was sorry to see
them go back, for I wanted to meet Kline and end the day's transactions.

We went on unmolested to Penningtonville; and, in consequence of the
excitement, thought best to continue on to Parkersburg. Nothing worth
mention occurred for a time. We proceeded to Downingtown, and thence six
miles beyond, to the house of a friend. We stopped with him on Saturday
night, and on the evening of the 14th went fifteen miles farther. Here I
learned from a preacher, directly from the city, that the excitement in
Philadelphia was too great for us to risk our safety by going there.
Another man present advised us to go to Norristown.

At Norristown we rested a day. The friends gave us ten dollars, and sent
us in a vehicle to Quakertown. Our driver, being partly intoxicated, set
us down at the wrong place, which obliged us to stay out all night. At
eleven o'clock the next day we got to Quakertown. We had gone about six
miles out of the way, and had to go directly across the country. We
rested the 16th, and set out in the evening for Friendsville.

A friend piloted us some distance, and we travelled until we became very
tired, when we went to bed under a haystack. On the 17th, we took
breakfast at an inn. We passed a small village, and asked a man whom we
met with a dearborn, what would be his charge to Windgap. "One dollar
and fifty cents," was the ready answer. So in we got, and rode to that
place.

As we wanted to make some inquiries when we struck the north and south
road, I went into the post-office, and asked for a letter for John
Thomas, which of course I did not get. The postmaster scrutinized us
closely,--more so, indeed, than any one had done on the Blue
Mountains,--but informed us that Friendsville was between forty and
fifty miles away. After going about nine miles, we stopped in the
evening of the 18th at an inn, got supper, were politely served, and had
an excellent night's rest. On the next day we set out for Tannersville,
hiring a conveyance for twenty-two miles of the way. We had no further
difficulty on the entire road to Rochester,--more than five hundred
miles by the route we travelled.

Some amusing incidents occurred, however, which it may be well to relate
in this connection. The next morning, after stopping at the tavern, we
took the cars and rode to Homerville, where, after waiting an hour, as
our landlord of the night previous had directed us, we took stage. Being
the first applicants for tickets, we secured inside seats, and, from the
number of us, we took up all of the places inside; but, another
traveller coming, I tendered him mine, and rode with the driver. The
passenger thanked me; but the driver, a churl, and the most prejudiced
person I ever came in contact with, would never wait after a stop until
I could get on, but would drive away, and leave me to swing, climb, or
cling on to the stage as best I could. Our traveller, at last noticing
his behavior, told him promptly not to be so fast, but let all
passengers get on, which had the effect to restrain him a little.

At Big Eddy we took the cars. Directly opposite me sat a gentleman, who,
on learning that I was for Rochester, said he was going there too, and
afterwards proved an agreeable travelling-companion.

A newsboy came in with papers, some of which the passengers bought. Upon
opening them, they read of the fight at Christiana.

"O, see here!" said my neighbor; "great excitement at Christiana; a--a
statesman killed, and his son and nephew badly wounded."

After reading, the passengers began to exchange opinions on the case.
Some said they would like to catch Parker, and get the thousand dollars
reward offered by the State; but the man opposite to me said, "Parker
must be a powerful man."

I thought to myself, "If you could tell what I can, you could judge
about that."

Pinckney and Johnson became alarmed, and wanted to leave the cars at the
next stopping-place; but I told them there was no danger. I then asked
particularly about Christiana, where it was, on what railroad, and other
questions, to all of which I received correct replies. One of the men
became so much attached to me, that, when we would go to an
eating-saloon, he would pay for both. At Jefferson we thought of
leaving the cars, and taking the boat; but they told us to keep on the
cars, and we would get to Rochester by nine o'clock the next night.

We left Jefferson about four o'clock in the morning, and arrived at
Rochester at nine the same morning. Just before reaching Rochester, when
in conversation with my travelling friend, I ventured to ask what would
be done with Parker, should he be taken.

"I do not know," he replied; "but the laws of Pennsylvania would not
hang him,--they might imprison him. But it would be different, very
different, should they get him into Maryland. The people in all the
Slave States are so prejudiced against colored people, that they never
give them justice. But I don't believe they will get Parker. I think he
is in Canada by this time; at least, I hope so,--for I believe he did
right, and, had I been in his place, I would have done as he did. Any
good citizen will say the same. I believe Parker to be a brave man; and
all you colored people should look at it as we white people look at our
brave men, and do as we do. You see Parker was not fighting for a
country, nor for praise. He was fighting for freedom: he only wanted
liberty, as other men do. You colored people should protect him, and
remember him as long as you live. We are coming near our parting-place,
and I do not know if we shall ever meet again. I shall be in Rochester
some two or three days before I return home; and I would like to have
your company back."

I told him it would be some time before we returned.

The cars then stopped, when he bade me good by. As strange as it may
appear, he did not ask me my name; and I was afraid to inquire his, from
fear he would.

On leaving the cars, after walking two or three squares, we overtook a
colored man, who conducted us to the house of--a friend of mine. He
welcomed me at once, as we were acquainted before, took me up stairs to
wash and comb, and prepare, as he said, for company.

As I was combing, a lady came up and said, "Which of you is Mr. Parker?"

"I am," said I,--"what there is left of me."

She gave me her hand, and said, "And this is William Parker!"

She appeared to be so excited that she could not say what she wished to.
We were told we would not get much rest, and we did not; for visitors
were constantly coming. One gentleman was surprised that we got away
from the cars, as spies were all about, and there were two thousand
dollars reward for the party.

We left at eight o'clock that evening, in a carriage, for the boat,
bound for Kingston in Canada. As we went on board, the bell was ringing.
After walking about a little, a friend pointed out to me the officers on
the "hunt" for us; and just as the boat pushed off from the wharf, some
of our friends on shore called me by name. Our pursuers looked very much
like fools, as they were. I told one of the gentlemen on shore to write
to Kline that I was in Canada. Ten dollars were generously contributed
by the Rochester friends for our expenses; and altogether their kindness
was heartfelt, and was most gratefully appreciated by us.

Once on the boat, and fairly out at sea towards the land of liberty, my
mind became calm, and my spirits very much depressed at thought of my
wife and children. Before, I had little time to think much about them,
my mind being on my journey. Now I became silent and abstracted.
Although fond of company, no one was company for me now.

We landed at Kingston on the 21st of September, at six o'clock in the
morning, and walked around for a long time, without meeting any one we
had ever known. At last, however, I saw a colored man I knew in
Maryland. He at first pretended to have no knowledge of me, but finally
recognized me. I made known our distressed condition, when he said he
was not going home then, but, if we would have breakfast, he would pay
for it. How different the treatment received from this man--himself an
exile for the sake of liberty, and in its full enjoyment on free
soil--and the self-sacrificing spirit of our Rochester colored brother,
who made haste to welcome us to his ample home,--the well-earned reward
of his faithful labors!

On Monday evening, the 23d, we started for Toronto, where we arrived
safely the next day. Directly after landing, we heard that Governor
Johnston, of Pennsylvania, had made a demand on the Governor of Canada
for me, under the Extradition Treaty. Pinckney and Johnson advised me to
go to the country, and remain where I should not be known; but I
refused. I intended to see what they would do with me. Going at once to
the Government House, I entered the first office I came to. The official
requested me to be seated. The following is the substance of the
conversation between us, as near as I can remember. I told him I had
heard that Governor Johnston, of Pennsylvania, had requested his
government to send me back. At this he came forward, held forth his
hand, and said, "Is this William Parker?"

I took his hand, and assured him I was the man. When he started to come,
I thought he was intending to seize me, and I prepared myself to knock
him down. His genial, sympathetic manner it was that convinced me he
meant well.

He made me sit down, and said,--"Yes, they want you back again. Will you
go?"

"I will not be taken back alive," said I. "I ran away from my master to
be free,--I have run from the United States to be free. I am now going
to stop running."

"Are you a fugitive from labor?" he asked.

I told him I was.

"Why," he answered, "they say you are a fugitive from justice." He then
asked me where my master lived.

I told him, "In Anne Arundel County, Maryland."

"Is there such a county in Maryland?" he asked.

"There is," I answered.

He took down a map, examined it, and said, "You are right."

I then told him the name of the farm, and my master's name. Further
questions bearing upon the country towns near, the nearest river, etc.,
followed, all of which I answered to his satisfaction.

"How does it happen," he then asked, "that you lived in Pennsylvania so
long, and no person knew you were a fugitive from labor?"

"I do not get other people to keep my secrets, sir," I replied. "My
brother and family only knew that I had been a slave."

He then assured me that I would not, in his opinion, have to go back.
Many coming in at this time on business, I was told to call again at
three o'clock, which I did. The person in the office, a clerk, told me
to take no further trouble about it, until that day four weeks. "But you
are as free a man as I am," said he. When I told the news to Pinckney
and Johnson, they were greatly relieved in mind.

I ate breakfast with the greatest relish, got a letter written to a
friend in Chester County for my wife, and set about arrangements to
settle at or near Toronto.

We tried hard to get work, but the task was difficult. I think three
weeks elapsed before we got work that could be called work. Sometimes we
would secure a small job, worth two or three shillings, and sometimes a
smaller one, worth not more than one shilling; and these not oftener
than once or twice in a week. We became greatly discouraged; and, to add
to my misery, I was constantly hearing some alarming report about my
wife and children. Sometimes they had carried her back into
slavery,--sometimes the children, and sometimes the entire party. Then
there would come a contradiction. I was soon so completely worn down by
my fears for them, that I thought my heart would break. To add to my
disquietude, no answer came to my letters, although I went to the office
regularly every day. At last I got a letter with the glad news that my
wife and children were safe, and would be sent to Canada. I told the
person reading for me to stop, and tell them to send her "right now,"--I
could not wait to hear the rest of the letter.

Two months from the day I landed in Toronto, my wife arrived, but
without the children. She had had a very bad time. Twice they had her in
custody; and, a third time, her young master came after her, which
obliged her to flee before day, so that the children had to remain
behind for the time. I was so glad to see her that I forgot about the
children.

The day my wife came, I had nothing but the clothes on my back, and was
in debt for my board, without any work to depend upon. My situation was
truly distressing. I took the resolution, and went to a store where I
made known my circumstances to the proprietor, offering to work for him
to pay for some necessaries. He readily consented, and I supplied myself
with bedding, meal, and flour. As I had selected a place before, we went
that evening about two miles into the country, and settled ourselves for
the winter.

When in Kingston, I had heard of the Buxton settlement, and of the
Revds. Dr. Willis and Mr. King, the agents. My informant, after stating
all the particulars, induced me to think it was a desirable place; and
having quite a little sum of money due to me in the States, I wrote for
it, and waited until May. It not being sent, I called upon Dr. Willis,
who treated me kindly. I proposed to settle in Elgin, if he would loan
means for the first instalment. He said he would see about it, and I
should call again. On my second visit, he agreed to assist me, and
proposed that I should get another man to go on a lot with me.

Abraham Johnson and I arranged to settle together, and, with Dr.
Willis's letter to Mr. King on our behalf, I embarked with my family on
a schooner for the West. After five days' sailing, we reached Windsor.
Not having the means to take us to Chatham, I called upon Henry Bibb,
and laid my case before him. He took us in, treated us with great
politeness, and afterwards, took me with him to Detroit, where, after an
introduction to some friends, a purse of five dollars was made up. I
divided the money among my companions, and started them for Chatham, but
was obliged to stay at Windsor and Detroit two days longer.

While stopping at Windsor, I went again to Detroit, with two or three
friends, when, at one of the steamboats just landed, some officers
arrested three fugitives, on the pretence of being horse thieves. I was
satisfied they were slaves, and said so, when Henry Bibb went to the
telegraph office and learned through a message that they were. In the
crowd and excitement, the sheriff threatened to imprison me for my
interference. I felt indignant, and told him to do so, whereupon he
opened the door. About this time there was more excitement, and then a
man slipped into the jail, unseen by the officers, opened the gate, and
the three prisoners went out, and made their escape to Windsor. I
stopped through that night in Detroit, and started the next day for
Chatham, where I found my family snugly provided for at a boarding-house
kept by Mr. Younge.

Chatham was a thriving town at that time, and the genuine liberty
enjoyed by its numerous colored residents pleased me greatly; but our
destination was Buxton, and thither we went on the following day. We
arrived there in the evening, and I called immediately upon Mr. King,
and presented Dr. Willis's letter. He received me very politely, and
said that, after I should feel rested, I could go out and select a lot.
He also kindly offered to give me meal and pork for my family, until I
could get work.

In due time, Johnson and I each chose a fifty-acre lot; for although
when in Toronto we agreed with Dr. Willis to take one lot between us,
when we saw the land we thought we could pay for two lots. I got the
money in a little time, and paid the Doctor back. I built a house, and
we moved into it that same fall, and in it I live yet.

When I first settled in Buxton, the white settlers in the vicinity were
much opposed to colored people. Their prejudices were very strong; but
the spread of intelligence and religion in the community has wrought a
great change in them. Prejudice is fast being uprooted; indeed, they do
not appear like the same people that they were. In a short time I hope
the foul spirit will depart entirely.

I have now to bring my narrative to a close; and in so doing I would
return thanks to Almighty God for the many mercies and favors he has
bestowed upon me, and especially for delivering me out of the hands of
slaveholders, and placing me in a land of liberty, where I can worship
God under my own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest or make me
afraid. I am also particularly thankful to my old friends and neighbors
in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,--to the friends in Norristown,
Quakertown, Rochester, and Detroit, and to Dr. Willis of Toronto, for
their disinterested benevolence and kindness to me and my family. When
hunted, they sheltered me; when hungry and naked, they clothed and fed
me; and when a stranger in a strange land, they aided and encouraged me.
May the Lord in his great mercy remember and bless them, as they
remembered and blessed me.

       *       *       *       *       *

The events following the riot at Christiana and my escape have become
matters of history, and can only be spoken of as such. The failure of
Gorsuch in his attempt; his death, and the terrible wounds of his son;
the discomfiture and final rout of his crestfallen associates in crime;
and their subsequent attempt at revenge by a merciless raid through
Lancaster County, arresting every one unfortunate enough to have a dark
skin,--is all to be found in the printed account of the trial of Castner
Hanway and others for treason. It is true that some of the things which
did occur are spoken of but slightly, there being good and valid reasons
why they were passed over thus at that time in these cases, many of
which might be interesting to place here, and which I certainly should
do, did not the same reasons still exist in full force for keeping
silent. I shall be compelled to let them pass just as they are recorded.

But one event, in which there seems no reason to observe silence, I will
introduce in this place. I allude to the escape of George Williams, one
of our men, and the very one who had the letters brought up from
Philadelphia by Mr. Samuel Williams. George lay in prison with the
others who had been arrested by Kline, but was rendered more uneasy by
the number of rascals who daily visited that place for the purpose of
identifying, if possible, some of its many inmates as slaves. One day
the lawyer previously alluded to, whose chief business seemed to be
negro-catching, came with another man, who had employed him for that
purpose, and, stopping in front of the cell wherein George and old
Ezekiel Thompson were confined, cried out, "_That's_ him!" At which the
man exclaimed, "_It is, by God! that is him!_"

These ejaculations, as a matter of course, brought George and Ezekiel,
who were lying down, to their feet,--the first frightened and uneasy,
the latter stern and resolute. Some mysterious conversation then took
place between the two, which resulted in George lying down and covering
himself with Ezekiel's blanket. In the mean time off sped the man and
lawyer to obtain the key, open the cell, and institute a more complete
inspection. They returned in high glee, but to their surprise saw only
the old man standing at the door, his grim visage anything but inviting.
They inserted the key, click went the lock, back shot the bolt, open
flew the door, but old Ezekiel stood there firm, his eyes flashing fire,
his brawny hands flourishing a stout oak stool furnished him to rest on
by friends of whom I have so often spoken, and crying out in the most
unmistakable manner, every word leaving a deep impression on his
visitors, "The first man that puts his head inside of this cell I will
split to pieces."

The men leaped back, but soon recovered their self-possession; and the
lawyer said,--"Do you know who I am? I am the lawyer who has charge of
this whole matter, you impudent nigger, I will come in whenever I
choose."

The old man, if possible looking more stern and savage than before,
replied,--"I don't care who you are; but if you or any other
nigger-catcher steps inside of my cell-door I will beat out his brains."

It is needless to say more. The old man's fixed look, clenched teeth,
and bony frame had their effect. The man and the lawyer left, growling
as they went, that, if there was rope to be had, that old Indian nigger
should certainly hang.

This was but the beginning of poor George's troubles. His friends were
at work; but all went wrong, and his fate seemed sealed. He stood
charged with treason, murder, and riot, and there appeared no way to
relieve him. When discharged by the United States Court for the first
crime, he was taken to Lancaster to meet the second and third. There,
too, the man and the lawyer followed, taking with them that infamous
wretch, Kline. The Devil seemed to favor all they undertook; and when
Ezekiel was at last discharged, with some thirty more, from all that had
been so unjustly brought against him, and for which he had lain in the
damp prison for more than three months, these rascals lodged a warrant
in the Lancaster jail, and at midnight Kline and the man who claimed to
be George's owner arrested him as a fugitive from labor, whilst the
lawyer returned to Philadelphia to prepare the case for trial, and to
await the arrival of his shameless partners in guilt. This seemed the
climax of George's misfortunes. He was hurried into a wagon, ready at
the door, and, fearing a rescue, was driven at a killing pace to the
town of Parkesburg, where they were compelled to stop for the night,
their horses being completely used up. This was in the month of January,
and the coldest night that had been known for many years. On their
route, these wretches, who had George handcuffed and tied in the wagon,
indulged deeply in bad whiskey, with which they were plentifully
supplied, and by the time they reached the public-house their fury was
at its height. 'T is said there is honor among thieves, but villains of
the sort I am now speaking of seem to possess none. Each fears the
other. When in the bar-room, Kline said to the other,--"Sir, you can go
to sleep. I will watch this nigger."

"No," replied the other, "I will do that business myself. You don't fool
me, sir."

To which Kline replied, "Take something, sir?"--and down went more
whiskey.

Things went on in this way awhile, until Kline drew a chair to the
stove, and, overcome by the heat and liquor, was soon sleeping soundly,
and, I suppose, dreaming of the profits which were sure to arise from
the job. The other walked about till the barkeeper went to bed, leaving
the hostler to attend in his place, and he also, somehow or other, soon
fell asleep. Then he walked up to George, who was lying on the bench,
apparently as soundly asleep as any of them, and, saying to himself,
"The damn nigger is asleep,--I'll just take a little rest myself,"--he
suited the action to the word. Spreading himself out on two chairs, in a
few moments he was snoring at a fearful rate. Rum, the devil, and
fatigue, combined, had completely prostrated George's foes. It was now
his time for action; and, true to the hope of being free, the last to
leave the poor, hunted, toil-worn bondman's heart, he opened first one
eye, then the other, and carefully examined things around. Then he rose
slowly, and keeping step to the deep-drawn snores of the miserable,
debased wretch who claimed him, he stealthily crawled towards the door,
when, to his consternation, he found the eye of the hostler on him. He
paused, knowing his fate hung by a single hair. It was only necessary
for the man to speak, and he would be shot instantly dead; for both
Kline and his brother ruffian slept pistol in hand. As I said, George
stopped, and, in the softest manner in which it was possible for him to
speak, whispered, "A drink of water, if you please, sir." The man
replied not, but, pointing his finger to the door again, closed his
eyes, and was apparently lost in slumber.

I have already said it was cold; and, in addition, snow and ice covered
the ground. There could not possibly be a worse night. George shivered
as he stepped forth into the keen night air. He took one look at the
clouds above, and then at the ice-clad ground below. He trembled; but
freedom beckoned, and on he sped. He knew where he was,--the place was
familiar. On, on, he pressed, nor paused till fifteen miles lay between
him and his drunken claimant; then he stopped at the house of a tried
friend to have his handcuffs removed; but, with their united efforts,
one side only could be got off, and the poor fellow, not daring to rest,
continued his journey, forty odd miles, to Philadelphia, with the other
on. Frozen, stiff, and sore, he arrived there on the following day, and
every care was extended to him by his old friends. He was nursed and
attended by the late Dr. James, Joshua Gould Bias, one of the faithful
few, whose labors for the oppressed will never be forgotten, and whose
heart, purse, and hand were always open to the poor, flying slave. God
has blessed him, and his reward is obtained.

I shall here take leave of George, only saying, that he recovered and
went to the land of freedom, to be safe under the protection of British
law. Of the wretches he left in the _tavern_, much might be said; but it
is enough to know that they awoke to find him gone, and to pour their
curses and blasphemy on each other. They swore most frightfully; and the
disappointed Southerner threatened to blow out the brains of Kline, who
turned his wrath on the hostler, declaring he should be taken and held
responsible for the loss. This so raised the ire of that worthy, that,
seizing an iron bar that was used to fasten the door, he drove the whole
party from the house, swearing they were damned kidnappers, and ought to
be all sent after old Gorsuch, and that he would raise the whole
township on them if they said one word more. This had the desired
effect. They left, not to pursue poor George, but to avoid pursuit; for
these worthless man-stealers knew the released men brought up from
Philadelphia and discharged at Lancaster were all in the neighborhood,
and that nothing would please these brave fellows--who had patiently and
heroically suffered for long and weary months in a felon's cell for the
cause of human freedom--more, than to get a sight at them; and Kline, he
knew this well,--particularly old Ezekiel Thompson, who had sworn by his
heart's blood, that, if he could only get hold of that Marshal Kline, he
should kill him and go to the gallows in peace. In fact, he said the
only thing he had to feel sorry about was, that he did not do it when he
threatened to, whilst the scoundrel stood talking to Hanway; and but for
Castner Hanway he would have done it, anyhow. Much more I could say; but
short stories are read, while long ones are like the sermons we go to
sleep under.



NANTUCKET.


Thompson and I had a fortnight's holiday, and the question arose how
could we pass it best, and for the least money.

We are both clerks, that is to say, shopmen, in a large jobbing house;
but although, like most Americans, we spend our lives in the din and
bustle of a colossal shop, where selling and packing are the only
pastime, and daybooks and ledgers the only literature, we wish it to be
understood that we have souls capable of speculating upon some other
matters that have no cash value, yet which mankind cannot neglect
without becoming something little better than magnified busy bees, or
gigantic ants, or overgrown social caterpillars. And although I say it
myself, I have quite a reputation among our fellows, that I have earned
by the confident way in which I lay down a great principle of science,
æsthetics, or morals. I confess that I am perhaps a little given to
generalize from a single fact; but my manner is imposing to the weaker
brethren, and my credit for great wisdom is well established in our
street.

Under these circumstances it became a matter of some importance to
decide the question, Where can we go to the best advantage, pecuniary
and æsthetical?

We had both of us, in the pursuit of our calling,--that is to say, in
hunting after bad debts and drumming up new business,--travelled over
most of this country on those long lines of rails that always remind me
of the parallels of latitude on globes and maps; and we wondered why
people who had once gratified a natural curiosity to see this land
should ever travel over it again, unless with the hope of making money
by their labor. Health, certainly, no one can expect to get from the
tough upper-leathers and sodden soles of the pies offered at the
ten-minutes-for-refreshment stations, nor from their saturated
spongecakes. As to pleasure, I said to Thompson,--"the pleasure of
travelling consists in the new agreeable sensations it affords. Above
all, they must be new. You wish to move out of your set of thoughts and
feelings, or else why move at all? But all the civilized world over,
locomotives, like huge flat-irons, are smoothing customs, costumes,
thoughts, and feelings into one plane, homogeneous surface. And in this
country not only does Nature appear to do everything by wholesale, but
there is as little variety in human beings. We have discovered the
political alkahest or universal solvent of the alchemists, and with it
we reduce at once the national characteristics of foreigners into our
well-known American compound. Hence, on all the great lines of travel,
Monotony has marked us for her own. Coming from the West, you are
whirled through twelve hundred miles of towns, so alike in their outward
features that they seem to have been started in New England nurseries
and sent to be planted wherever they might be wanted;--square brick
buildings, covered with signs, and a stoutish sentry-box on each flat
roof; telegraph offices; express companies; a crowd of people dressed
alike, 'earnest,' and bustling as ants, with seemingly but one idea,--to
furnish materials for the statistical tables of the next census. Then,
beyond, you catch glimpses of many smaller and neater buildings, with
grass and trees and white fences about them. Some are Gothic, some
Italian, some native American. But the glory of one Gothic is like the
glory of another Gothic, the Italian are all built upon the same
pattern, and the native American differ only in size. There are three
marked currents of architectural taste, but no individual character in
particular buildings. Everywhere you see comfort and abundance; your
mind is easy on the great subject of imports, exports, products of the
soil, and manufactures;--a pleasant and strengthening prospect for a
political economist, or for shareholders in railways or owners of lands
in the vicinity. This 'unparalleled prosperity' must be exciting to a
foreigner who sees it for the first time; but we Yankees are to the
manner born and bred up. We take it all as a matter of course, as the
young Plutuses do their father's fine house and horses and servants.
Kingsley says there is a great, unspoken poetry in sanitary reform. It
may be so; but as yet the words only suggest sewers, ventilation, and
chloride of lime. The poetry has not yet become vocal; and I think the
same may be said of our 'material progress.' It seems thus far very
prosaic. 'Only a great poet sees the poetry of his own age,' we are
told. We every-day people are unfortunately blind to it."

Here I was silent. I had dived into the deepest recesses of my soul.
Thompson waited patiently until I should rise to the surface and blow
again. It was thus:--

"Have you not noticed that the people we sit beside in railway cars are
becoming as much alike as their brown linen 'dusters,' and unsuggestive
except on that point of statistics? They are intelligent, but they carry
their shops on their backs, as snails do their houses. Their thoughts
are fixed upon the one great subject. On all others, politics included,
they talk from hand to mouth, offering you a cold hash of their favorite
morning paper. Even those praiseworthy persons who devote their time to
temperance, missions, tract-societies, seem more like men of business
than apostles. They lay their charities before you much as they would
display their goods, and urge their excellence and comparative cheapness
to induce you to lay out your money.

"The fact is, that the traveller is daily losing his human character,
and becoming more and more a package, to be handled, stowed, and
'forwarded' as may best suit the convenience and profit of the
enterprising parties engaged in the business. If at night he stops at a
hotel, he rises to the dignity of an animal, is marked by a number, and
driven to his food and litter by the herdsmen employed by the master of
the establishment. To a thinking man, it is a sad indication for the
future to see what slaves this hotel-railroad-steamboat system has made
of the brave and the free when they travel. How they toady captains and
conductors, and without murmuring put up with any imposition they please
to practise upon them, even unto taking away their lives! As we all pay
the same price at hotels, each one hopes by smirks and servility to
induce the head-clerk to treat him a little better than his neighbors.
There is no despotism more absolute than that of these servants of the
public. As Cobbett said, 'In America, public servant means master.' None
of us can sing, 'Yankees never will be slaves,' unless we stay at home.
We have liberated the blacks, but I see little chance of emancipation
for ourselves. The only liberty that is vigorously vindicated here is
the liberty of doing wrong."

Here I stopped short. It was evident that my wind was gone, and any
further exertion of eloquence out of the question for some time. I was
as exhausted as a _Gymnotus_ that has parted with all its electricity.
Thompson took advantage of my helpless condition, and carried me off
unresisting to a place which railways can never reach, and where there
is nothing to attract fashionable travellers. The surly Atlantic keeps
watch over it and growls off the pestilent crowd of excursionists who
bring uncleanness and greediness in their train, and are pursued by the
land-sharks who prey upon such frivolous flying-fish. A little town,
whose life stands still, or rather goes backward, whose ships have
sailed away to other ports, whose inhabitants have followed the ships,
and whose houses seem to be going after the inhabitants; but a town in
its decline, not in its decay. Everything is clean and in good repair;
everybody well dressed, healthy, and cheerful. Paupers there are none;
and the new school-house would be an ornament to any town in
Massachusetts. That there is no lack of spirit and vigor may be known
from the fact that the island furnished five hundred men for the late
war.

When we caught sight of Nantucket, the sun was shining his best, and the
sea too smooth to raise a qualm in the bosom of the most delicately
organized female. The island first makes its appearance, as a long, thin
strip of yellow underlying a long, thinner strip of green. In the middle
of this double line the horizon is broken by two square towers. As you
approach, the towers resolve themselves into meeting-houses, and a large
white town lies before you.

At the wharf there were no baggage smashers. Our trunks were

    "Taken up tenderly,
    Lifted with care,"

and carried to the hotel for twenty-five cents in paper. I immediately
established the fact, that there are no fellow-citizens in Nantucket of
foreign descent. "For," said I, "if you offered that obsolete fraction
of a dollar to the turbulent hackmen of our cities, you would meet with
offensive demonstrations of contempt." I seized the opportunity to add,
_apropos_ of the ways of that class of persons: "Theoretically, I am a
thorough democrat; but when democracy drives a hack, smells of bad
whiskey and cheap tobacco, ruins my portmanteau, robs me of my money,
and damns my eyes when it does not blacken them, if I dare protest,--I
hate it."

The streets are paved and clean. There are few horses on the island, and
these are harnessed single to box-wagons, painted green, the sides of
which are high enough to hold safely a child, four or five years of age,
standing. We often inquired the reasons for this peculiar build; but the
replies were so unsatisfactory, that we put the green box down as one of
the mysteries of the spot.

It seemed to us a healthy symptom, that we saw in our inn none of those
alarming notices that the keepers of hotels on the mainland paste up so
conspicuously, no doubt from the very natural dislike to competition,
"Beware of pickpockets," "Bolt your doors before retiring," "Deposit
your valuables in the safe, or the proprietors will not be responsible."
There are no thieves in Nantucket; if for no other reason, because they
cannot get away with the spoils. And we were credibly informed, that the
one criminal in the town jail had given notice to the authorities that
he would not remain there any longer, unless they repaired the door, as
he was afraid of catching cold from the damp night air.

In the afternoons, good-looking young women swarm in the streets,

                "Airy creatures,
    Alike in voice, though not in features,"

I could wish their voices were as sweet as their faces; but the American
climate, or perhaps the pertness of democracy, has an unfavorable effect
on the organs of speech. Governor Andrew must have visited Nantucket
before he wrote his eloquent lamentation over the excess of women in
Massachusetts. I am fond of ladies' society, and do not sympathize with
the Governor. But if that day should ever come, which is prophesied by
Isaiah, when seven women shall lay hold of one man, saying, "We will eat
our own bread and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy
name," I think Nantucket will be the scene of the fulfilment, the women
are so numerous and apparently so well off. I confess that I envy the
good fortune of the young gentlemen who may be living there at that
time. We saw a foreshadowing of this delightful future in the water. The
bathing "facilities" consist of many miles of beach, and one
bathing-house, in which ladies exchange their shore finery for their
sea-weeds. Two brisk young fellows, Messrs. Whitey and Pypey, had come
over in the same boat with us. We had fallen into a traveller's
acquaintance with them, and listened to the story of the pleasant life
they had led on the island during previous visits. We lost sight of them
on the wharf. We found them again near the bath-house, in the hour of
their glory. There they were, disporting themselves in the clear water,
swimming, diving, floating, while around them laughed and splashed
fourteen bright-eyed water-nymphs, half a dozen of them as bewitching as
any Nixes that ever spread their nets for soft-hearted young _Ritters_
in the old German romance waters. Neptune in a triumphal progress, with
his Naiads tumbling about him, was no better off than Whitey and Pypey.
They had, to be sure, no car, nor conch shells, nor dolphins; but, as
Thompson remarked, these were unimportant accessories, that added but
little to Neptune's comfort. The nymphs were the essential. The
spectacle was a saddening one for us, I confess; the more so, because
our forlorn condition evidently gave a new zest to the enjoyment of our
friends, and stimulated them to increased vigor in their aquatic
flirtations. Alone, unintroduced, melancholy, and a little sheepish, we
hired towels at two cents each from the ladylike and obliging colored
person who superintended the bath-house, and, withdrawing to the
friendly shelter of distance, dropped our clothes upon the sand, and hid
our envy and insignificance in the bosom of the deep.

And the town was brilliant from the absence of the unclean
advertisements of quack-medicine men. That irrepressible species have
not, as yet, committed their nuisance in its streets, and disfigured the
walls and fences with their portentous placards. It is the only clean
place I know of. The nostrum-makers have labelled all the features of
Nature on the mainland, as if our country were a vast apothecary's shop.
The Romans had a gloomy fashion of lining their great roads with tombs
and mortuary inscriptions. The modern practice is quite as dreary. The
long lines of railway that lead to our cities are decorated with
cure-alls for the sick, the _ante-mortem_ epitaphs of the fools who buy
them and try them.

    "No place is sacred to the meddling crew
    Whose trade is----"

posting what we all should take. The walls of our domestic castles are
outraged with _graffiti_ of this class; highways and byways display
them; and if the good Duke with the melancholy Jaques were to wander in
some forest of New Arden, in the United States, they would be sure to

    "Find _elixirs_ on trees, _bitters_ in the running brooks,
    _Syrups_ on stones, and _lies_ in everything."

Last year, weary of shop, and feeling the necessity of restoring tone to
the mind by a course of the sublime, Thompson and I paid many dollars,
travelled many miles, ran many risks, and suffered much from
impertinence and from dust, in order that we might see the wonders of
the Lord, his mountains and his waterfalls. We stood at the foot of the
mountain, and, gazing upward at a precipice, the sublime we were in
search of began to swell within our hearts, when our eyes were struck by
huge Roman letters painted on the face of the rock, and held fast, as if
by a spell, until we had read them all. They asked the question, "Are
you troubled with worms?"

It is hardly necessary to say that the sublime within us was instantly
killed. It would be fortunate, indeed, for the afflicted, if the
specific of this charlatan St. George were half as destructive to the
intestinal dragons he promises to destroy. Then we turned away to the
glen down which the torrent plunged. And there, at the foot of the fall,
in the midst of the boiling water, the foam, and spray, rose a tall crag
crowned with silver birch, and hung with moss and creeping vines,
bearing on its gray, weather-beaten face: "Rotterdam Schnapps." Bah! it
made us sick. The caldron looked like a punch-bowl, and the breath of
the zephyrs smelt of gin and water.

Thousands of us see this dirty desecration of the shrines to which we
make our summer pilgrimage, and bear with the sacrilege meekly, perhaps
laugh at the wicked generation of pill-venders, that seeks for places to
put up its sign. But does not this tolerance indicate the note of
vulgarity in us, as Father Newman might say? Is it not a blot on the
people as well as on the rocks? Let them fill the columns of newspapers
with their ill-smelling advertisements, and sham testimonials from the
Reverend Smith, Brown, and Jones; but let us prevent them from setting
their traps for our infirmities in the spots God has chosen for his
noblest works. What a triple brass must such men have about their
consciences to dare to flaunt their falsehoods in such places! It is a
blasphemy against Nature. We might use Peter's words to them,--"Thou
hast not lied unto men, but unto God." Ananias and Sapphira were slain
for less. But they think, I suppose, that the age of miracles has
passed, or survives only in their miraculous cures, and so coolly defy
the lightnings of Heaven. I was so much excited on this subject that
Thompson suggested to me to give up my situation, turn Peter the Hermit,
and carry a fiery scrubbing-brush through the country, preaching to all
lovers of Nature to join in a crusade to wash the Holy Places clean of
these unbelieving quacks.

It is pleasant to see that the Nantucket people are all healthy, or, if
ailing, have no idea of being treated as they treat bluefish,--offered a
red rag or a white bone, some taking sham to bite upon, and so be hauled
in and die. As regards the salubrity of the climate, I think there can
be no doubt. The faces of the inhabitants speak for themselves on that
point. I heard an old lady, not very well preserved, who had been a
fortnight on the island, say to a sympathizing friend, into whose ear
she was pouring her complaints, "I sleeps better, and my stomach is
sweeter." She might have expressed herself more elegantly, but she had
touched the two grand secrets of life,--sound sleep and good digestion.

Another comfort on this island is, that there are few shops, no
temptation to part with one's pelf, and no beggars, barelegged or
barefaced, to ask for it. I do not believe that there are any cases of
the _cacoethes subscribendi_. The natives have got out of the habit of
making money, and appear to want nothing in particular, except to go
a-fishing.

They have plenty of time to answer questions good-humoredly and
_gratis_, and do not look upon a stranger as they do upon a stranded
blackfish,--to be stripped of his oil and bone for their benefit. "I
feel like a man among Christians," I declaimed,--"not, as I have often
felt in my wanderings on shore, like Mungo Park or Burton, a traveller
among savages, who are watching for an opportunity to rob me. I catch a
glimpse again of the golden age when money was money. The blessed old
prices of my youth, which have long since been driven from the continent
by

            'paper credit, last and best supply,
    That lends corruption lighter wings to fly,'

have taken refuge here before leaving this wicked world forever. The
_cordon sanitaire_ of the Atlantic has kept off the pestilence of
inflation."

One bright afternoon we took horse and "shay" for Siasconset, on the
south side of the island. A drive of seven miles over a country as flat
and as naked of trees as a Western prairie, the sandy soil covered with
a low, thick growth of bayberry, whortleberry, a false cranberry called
the meal-plum, and other plants bearing a strong family likeness, with
here and there a bit of greensward,--a legacy, probably, of the flocks
of sheep the natives foolishly turned off the island,--brought us to the
spot. We passed occasional water-holes, that reminded us also of the
West, and a few cattle. Two or three lonely farm-houses loomed up in the
distance, like ships at sea. We halted our rattle-trap on a bluff
covered with thick green turf. On the edge of this bluff, forty feet
above the beach, is Siasconset, looking southward over the ocean,--no
land between it and Porto Rico. It is only a fishing village; but if
there were many like it, the conventional shepherd, with his ribbons,
his crooks, and his pipes, would have to give way to the fisherman.
Seventy-five cosey, one-story cottages, so small and snug that a
well-grown man might touch the gables without rising on tip-toe, are
drawn up in three rows parallel to the sea, with narrow lanes of turf
between them,--all of a weather-beaten gray tinged with purple, with
pale-blue blinds, vines over the porch, flowers in the windows, and
about each one a little green yard enclosed by white palings. Inside are
odd little rooms, fitted with lockers, like the cabin of a vessel.
Cottages, yards, palings, lanes, all are in proportion and harmony.
Nothing common or unclean was visible,--no heaps of fish-heads, served
up on clam-shells, and garnished with bean-pods, potato-skins, and
corn-husks; no pigs in sight, nor in the air,--not even a cow to imperil
the neatness of the place. There was the brisk, vigorous smell of the
sea-shore, flavored, perhaps, with a suspicion of oil, that seemed to be
in keeping with the locality.

We sat for a long time gazing with silent astonishment upon this
delightful little toy village, that looked almost as if it had been made
at Nuremberg, and could be picked up and put away when not wanted to
play with. It was a bright, still afternoon. The purple light of sunset
gave an additional charm of color to the scene. Suddenly the _lumen
juventæ purpureum_, the purple light of youth, broke upon it. Handsome,
well-dressed girls, with a few polygynic young men in the usual island
proportion of the sexes, came out of the cottages, and stood in the
lanes talking and laughing, or walked to the edge of the bluff to see
the sun go down. We rubbed our eyes. Was this real, or were we looking
into some showman's box? It seemed like the Petit Trianon adapted to an
island in the Atlantic, with Louis XV. and his marquises playing at
fishing instead of farming.

A venerable codfisher had been standing off and on our vehicle for some
time, with the signal for speaking set in his inquisitive countenance. I
hailed him as Mr. Coffin; for Cooper has made Long Tom the legitimate
father of all Nantucketers. He hove to, and gave us information about
his home. There was a picnic, or some sort of summer festival, going on;
and the gay lady-birds we saw were either from Nantucket, or relatives
from the main. There had once been another row of cottages outside of
those now standing; but the Atlantic came ashore one day in a storm, and
swallowed them up. Nevertheless, real property had risen of late. "Why,"
said he, "do you see that little gray cottage yonder? It rents this
summer for ten dollars a month; and there are some young men here from
the mainland who pay one dollar a week for their rooms without board."

Thompson said his sensations were similar to those of Captain Cook or
Herman Melville when they first landed to skim the cream of the fairy
islands of the Pacific.

I was deeply moved, and gave tongue at once. "It is sad to think that
these unsophisticated, uninflated people must undergo the change
civilization brings with it. The time will come when the evil spirit
that presides over watering-places will descend upon this dear little
village, and say to the inhabitants that henceforth they must catch men.
Neatness, cheapness, good-feeling, will vanish; a five-story hotel will
be put up,--the process cannot be called building; and the sharks that
infest the coast will come ashore in shabby coats and trousers, to prey
upon summer pleasure-seekers."

"In the mean time," said Thompson, "why should not we come here to live?
We can wear old clothes, and smoke cigars of the _Hippalektryon_ brand.
Dr. Johnson must have had a poetic prevision of Nantucket when he wrote
his _impecunious_ lines:

    'Has Heaven reserved, in pity for the poor,
    No pathless waste or undiscovered shore,
    No secret island in the boundless main?'

This is the island. What an opening for young men of immoderately small
means! The climate healthy and cool; no mosquitoes; a choice among seven
beauties, perhaps the reversion of the remaining six, if Isaiah can be
relied upon. In our regions, a thing of beauty is an expense for life;
but with a house for three hundred dollars, and bluefish at a cent and a
half a pound, there is no need any more to think of high prices and the
expense of bringing up a family. If the origin of evil was, that
Providence did not create money enough, here it is in some sort
Paradise."

"That's Heine," said I; "but Heine forgot to add, that one of the
Devil's most dangerous tricks is to pretend to supply this sinful want
by his cunning device of inconvertible paper money, which lures men to
destruction and something worse."

Our holiday was nearly over. We packed up our new sensations, and
steamed away to piles of goods and columns of figures. Town and steeples
vanished in the haze, like the domes and minarets of the enchanted isle
of Borondon. Was not this as near to an enchanted island as one could
hope to find within twenty-five miles of New England? Nantucket is the
gem of the ocean without the Irish, which I think is an improvement.



THE SNOW-WALKERS.


He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal
cause for wonder and admiration in winter. It is true the pomp and the
pageantry are swept away, but the essential elements remain,--the day
and the night, the mountain and the valley, the elemental play and
succession and the perpetual presence of the infinite sky. In winter the
stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller
triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.
Summer is more wooing and seductive, more versatile and human, appeals
to the affections and the sentiments, and fosters inquiry and the art
impulse. Winter is of a more heroic cast, and addresses the intellect.
The severe studies and disciplines come easier in winter. One imposes
larger tasks upon himself, and is less tolerant of his own weaknesses.

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in
winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone
and sinew to Literature, summer the tissues and blood.

The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after
such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and
austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the
philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water
and a crust of bread.

And then this beautiful masquerade of the elements,--the novel disguises
our nearest friends put on! Here is another rain and another dew, water
that will not flow, nor spill, nor receive the taint of an unclean
vessel. And if we see truly, the same old beneficence and willingness to
serve lurk beneath all.

Look up at the miracle of the falling snow,--the air a dizzy maze of
whirling, eddying flakes, noiselessly transforming the world, the
exquisite crystals dropping in ditch and gutter, and disguising in the
same suit of spotless livery all objects upon which they fall. How novel
and fine the first drifts! The old, dilapidated fence is suddenly set
off with the most fantastic ruffles, scalloped and fluted after an
unheard-of fashion! Looking down a long line of decrepit stone-wall, in
the trimming of which the wind had fairly run riot, I saw, as for the
first time, what a severe yet master artist old Winter is. Ah, a severe
artist! How stern the woods look, dark and cold and as rigid against the
horizon as iron!

All life and action upon the snow have an added emphasis and
significance. Every expression is underscored. Summer has few finer
pictures than this winter one of the farmer foddering his cattle from a
stack upon the clean snow,--the movement, the sharply-defined figures,
the great green flakes of hay, the long file of patient cows,--the
advance just arriving and pressing eagerly for the choicest
morsels,--and the bounty and providence it suggests. Or the chopper in
the woods,--the prostrate tree, the white new chips scattered about, his
easy triumph over the cold, coat hanging to a limb, and the clear, sharp
ring of his axe. The woods are rigid and tense, keyed up by the frost,
and resound like a stringed instrument. Or the road-breakers, sallying
forth with oxen and sleds in the still, white world, the day after the
storm, to restore the lost track and demolish the beleaguering drifts.

All sounds are sharper in winter; the air transmits better. At night I
hear more distinctly the steady roar of the North Mountain. In summer it
is a sort of complacent pur, as the breezes stroke down its sides; but
in winter always the same low, sullen growl.

A severe artist! No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble
and the chisel. When the nights are calm and the moon full, I go out to
gaze upon the wonderful purity of the moonlight and the snow. The air is
full of latent fire, and the cold warms me--after a different fashion
from that of the kitchen-stove. The world lies about me in a "trance of
snow." The clouds are pearly and iridescent, and seem the farthest
possible remove from the condition of a storm,--the ghosts of clouds,
the indwelling beauty freed from all dross. I see the hills, bulging
with great drifts, lift themselves up cold and white against the sky,
the black lines of fences here and there obliterated by the depth of the
snow. Presently a fox barks away up next the mountain, and I imagine I
can almost see him sitting there, in his furs, upon the illuminated
surface, and looking down in my direction. As I listen, one answers him
from behind the woods in the valley. What a wild winter sound,--wild and
weird, up among the ghostly hills. Since the wolf has ceased to howl
upon these mountains, and the panther to scream, there is nothing to be
compared with it. So wild! I get up in the middle of the night to hear
it. It is refreshing to the ear, and one delights to know that such wild
creatures are still among us. At this season Nature makes the most of
every throb of life that can withstand her severity. How heartily she
indorses this fox! In what bold relief stand out the lives of all
walkers of the snow! The snow is a great telltale, and blabs as
effectually as it obliterates. I go into the woods, and know all that
has happened. I cross the fields, and if only a mouse has visited his
neighbor, the fact is chronicled.

The Red Fox is the only species that abounds in my locality; the little
Gray Fox seems to prefer a more rocky and precipitous country, and a
less vigorous climate; the Cross Fox is occasionally seen, and there are
traditions of the Silver Gray among the oldest hunters. But the Red Fox
is the sportsman's prize, and the only fur-bearer worthy of note in
these mountains.[A] I go out in the morning, after a fresh fall of snow,
and see at all points where he has crossed the road. Here he has
leisurely passed within rifle-range of the house, evidently
reconnoitring the premises, with an eye to the hen-coop. That sharp,
clear, nervous track,--there is no mistaking it for the clumsy
foot-print of a little dog. All his wildness and agility are
photographed in that track. Here he has taken fright, or suddenly
recollected an engagement, and, in long, graceful leaps, barely touching
the fence, has gone careering up the hill as fleet as the wind.

The wild, buoyant creature, how beautiful he is! I had often seen his
dead carcase, and, at a distance, had witnessed the hounds drive him
across the upper fields; but the thrill and excitement of meeting him in
his wild freedom in the woods were unknown to me, till, one cold winter
day, drawn thither by the baying of a hound, I stood far up toward the
mountain's brow, waiting a renewal of the sound, that I might determine
the course of the dog and choose my position,--stimulated by the
ambition of all young Nimrods, to bag some notable game. Long I waited,
and patiently, till, chilled and benumbed, I was about to turn back,
when, hearing a slight noise, I looked up and beheld a most superb fox,
loping along with inimitable grace and ease, evidently disturbed, but
not pursued by the hound, and so absorbed in his private meditations
that he failed to see me, though I stood transfixed with amazement and
admiration not ten yards distant. I took his measure at a glance,--a
large male, with dark legs, and massive tail tipped with white,--a most
magnificent creature; but so astonished and fascinated was I by his
sudden appearance and matchless beauty, that not till I had caught the
last glimpse of him, as he disappeared over a knoll, did I awake to my
position as a sportsman, and realize what an opportunity to distinguish
myself I had unconsciously let slip. I clutched my gun, half angrily, as
if it was to blame, and went home out of humor with myself and all
fox-kind. But I have since thought better of the experience, and
concluded that I bagged the game after all, the best part of it, and
fleeced Reynard of something more valuable than his fur without his
knowledge.

This is thoroughly a winter sound,--this voice of the hound upon the
mountain,--and one that is music to many ears. The long, trumpet-like
bay, heard for a mile or more,--now faintly back in the deep recesses of
the mountain,--now distinct, but still faint, as the hound comes over
some prominent point, and the wind favors,--anon entirely lost in the
gully,--then breaking out again much nearer, and growing more and more
pronounced as the dog approaches, till, when he comes around the brow of
the mountain, directly above you, the barking is loud and sharp. On he
goes along the northern spur, his voice rising and sinking, as the wind
and lay of the ground modify it, till lost to hearing.

The fox usually keeps half a mile ahead, regulating his speed by that of
the hound, occasionally pausing a moment to divert himself with a mouse,
or to contemplate the landscape, or to listen for his pursuer. If the
hound press him too closely, he leads off from mountain to mountain, and
so generally escapes the hunter; but if the pursuit be slow, he plays
about some ridge or peak, and falls a prey, though not an easy one, to
the experienced sportsman.

A most spirited and exciting chase occurs when the farm-dog gets close
upon one in the open field, as sometimes happens in the early morning.
The fox relies so confidently upon his superior speed, that I imagine he
half tempts the dog to the race. But if the dog be a smart one, and
their course lies down hill, over smooth ground, Reynard must put his
best foot forward; and then, sometimes, suffer the ignominy of being run
over by his pursuer, who, however, is quite unable to pick him up, owing
to the speed. But when they mount the hill, or enter the woods, the
superior nimbleness and agility of the fox tell at once, and he easily
leaves the dog far in his rear. For a cur less than his own size he
manifests little fear, especially if the two meet alone, remote from the
house. In such cases, I have seen first one turn tail, then the other.

A novel spectacle often occurs in summer, when the female has young. You
are rambling on the mountain, accompanied by your dog, when you are
startled by that wild, half-threatening squall, and in a moment perceive
your dog, with inverted tail and shame and confusion in his looks,
sneaking toward you, the old fox but a few rods in his rear. You speak
to him sharply, when he bristles up, turns about, and, barking, starts
off vigorously, as if to wipe out the dishonor; but in a moment comes
sneaking back more abashed than ever, and owns himself unworthy to be
called a dog. The fox fairly shames him out of the woods. The secret of
the matter is her sex, though her conduct, for the honor of the fox be
it said, seems to be prompted only by solicitude for the safety of her
young.

One of the most notable features of the fox is his large and massive
tail. Seen running on the snow, at a distance, his tail is quite as
conspicuous as his body; and, so far from appearing a burden, seems to
contribute to his lightness and buoyancy. It softens the outline of his
movements, and repeats or continues to the eye the ease and poise of his
carriage. But, pursued by the hound on a wet, thawy day, it often
becomes so heavy and bedraggled as to prove a serious inconvenience, and
compels him to take refuge in his den. He is very loath to do this; both
his pride and the traditions of his race stimulate him to run it out,
and win by fair superiority of wind and speed; and only a wound or a
heavy and mopish tail will drive him to avoid the issue in this manner.

To learn his surpassing shrewdness and cunning, attempt to take him with
a trap. Rogue that he is, he always suspects some trick, and one must be
more of a fox than he is himself to overreach him. At first sight it
would appear easy enough. With apparent indifference he crosses your
path, or walks in your footsteps in the field, or travels along the
beaten highway, or lingers in the vicinity of stacks and remote barns.
Carry the carcass of a pig, or a fowl, or a dog, to a distant field in
midwinter, and in a few nights his tracks cover the snow about it.

The inexperienced country youth, misled by this seeming carelessness of
Reynard, suddenly conceives a project to enrich himself with fur, and
wonders that the idea has not occurred to him before, and to others. I
knew a youthful yeoman of this kind, who imagined he had found a mine of
wealth on discovering on a remote side-hill, between two woods, a dead
porker, upon which it appeared all the foxes of the neighborhood had
nightly banqueted. The clouds were burdened with snow; and as the first
flakes commenced to eddy down, he set out, trap and broom in hand,
already counting over in imagination the silver quarters he would
receive for his first fox-skin. With the utmost care, and with a
palpitating heart, he removed enough of the trodden snow to allow the
trap to sink below the surface. Then, carefully sifting the light
element over it and sweeping his tracks full, he quickly withdrew,
laughing exultingly over the little surprise he had prepared for the
cunning rogue. The elements conspired to aid him, and the falling snow
rapidly obliterated all vestiges of his work. The next morning at dawn,
he was on his way to bring in his fur. The snow had done its work
effectually, and, he believed, had kept his secret well. Arrived in
sight of the locality, he strained his vision to make out his prize
lodged against the fence at the foot of the hill. Approaching nearer,
the surface was unbroken, and doubt usurped the place of certainty in
his mind. A slight mound marked the site of the porker, but there was no
foot-print near it. Looking up the hill, he saw where Reynard had walked
leisurely down toward his wonted bacon, till within a few yards of it,
when he had wheeled, and with prodigious strides disappeared in the
woods. The young trapper saw at a glance what a comment this was upon
his skill in the art, and, indignantly exhuming the iron, he walked home
with it, the stream of silver quarters suddenly setting in another
direction.

The successful trapper commences in the fall, or before the first deep
snow. In a field not too remote, with an old axe, he cuts a small place,
say ten inches by fourteen, in the frozen ground, and removes the earth
to the depth of three or four inches, then fills the cavity with dry
ashes, in which are placed bits of roasted cheese. Reynard is very
suspicious at first, and gives the place a wide berth. It looks like
design, and he will see how the thing behaves before he approaches too
near. But the cheese is savory and the cold severe. He ventures a little
closer every night, until he can reach and pick a piece from the
surface. Emboldened by success, like other foxes, he presently digs
freely among the ashes, and, finding a fresh supply of the delectable
morsels every night, is soon thrown off his guard, and his suspicions
are quite lulled. After a week of baiting in this manner, and on the eve
of a light fall of snow, the trapper carefully conceals his trap in the
bed, first smoking it thoroughly with hemlock boughs to kill or
neutralize all smell of the iron. If the weather favors and the proper
precautions have been taken, he may succeed, though the chances are
still greatly against him.

Reynard is usually caught very lightly, seldom more than the ends of his
toes being between the jaws. He sometimes works so cautiously as to
spring the trap without injury even to his toes; or may remove the
cheese night after night without even springing it. I knew an old
trapper who, on finding himself outwitted in this manner, tied a bit of
cheese to the pan, and next morning had poor Reynard by the jaw. The
trap is not fastened, but only encumbered with a clog, and is all the
more sure in its hold by yielding to every effort of the animal to
extricate himself.

When Reynard sees his captor approaching, he would fain drop into a
mouse-hole to render himself invisible. He crouches to the ground and
remains perfectly motionless until he perceives himself discovered, when
he makes one desperate and final effort to escape, but ceases all
struggling as you come up, and behaves in a manner that stamps him a
very timid warrior,--cowering to the earth with a mingled look of shame,
guilt, and abject fear. A young farmer told me of tracing one with his
trap to the border of a wood, where he discovered the cunning rogue
trying to hide by embracing a small tree. Most animals, when taken in a
trap, show fight; but Reynard has more faith in the nimbleness of his
feet than in the terror of his teeth.

Entering the woods, the number and variety of the tracks contrast
strongly with the rigid, frozen aspect of things. Warm jets of life
still shoot and play amid this snowy desolation. Fox-tracks are far less
numerous than in the fields; but those of hares, skunks, partridges,
squirrels, and mice abound. The mice-tracks are very pretty, and look
like a sort of fantastic stitching on the coverlid of the snow. One is
curious to know what brings these tiny creatures from their retreats;
they do not seem to be in quest of food, but rather to be travelling
about for pleasure or sociability, though always going post-haste, and
linking stump with stump and tree with tree by fine, hurried strides.
That is when they travel openly; but they have hidden passages and
winding galleries under the snow, which undoubtedly are their main
avenues of communication. Here and there these passages rise so near the
surface as to be covered by only a frail arch of snow, and a slight
ridge betrays their course to the eye. I know him well. He is known to
the farmer as the deer-mouse, to the naturalist as the _Hesperomys
leucopus_,--a very beautiful creature, nocturnal in his habits, with
large ears, and large, fine eyes, full of a wild, harmless look. He
leaps like a rabbit, and is daintily marked, with white feet and a white
belly.

It is he who, far up in the hollow trunk of some tree, lays by a store
of beech-nuts for winter use. Every nut is carefully shelled, and the
cavity that serves as storehouse lined with grass and leaves. The
wood-chopper frequently squanders this precious store. I have seen half
a peck taken from one tree, as clean and white as if put up by the most
delicate hands,--as they were. How long it must have taken the little
creature to collect this quantity, to hull them one by one, and convey
them up to his fifth-story chamber! He is not confined to the woods, but
is quite as common in the fields, particularly in the fall, amid the
corn and potatoes. When routed by the plough, I have seen the old one
take flight with half a dozen young hanging to her teats, and with such
reckless speed, that some of the young would lose their hold, and fly
off amid the weeds. Taking refuge in a stump with the rest of her
family, the anxious mother would presently come back and hunt up the
missing ones.

The snow-walkers are mostly night-walkers also, and the record they
leave upon the snow is the main clew one has to their life and doings.
The hare is nocturnal in his habits, and though a very lively creature
at night, with regular courses and run-ways through the wood, is
entirely quiet by day. Timid as he is, he makes little effort to conceal
himself, usually squatting beside a log, stump, or tree, and seeming to
avoid rocks and ledges where he might be partially housed from the cold
and the snow, but where also--and this consideration undoubtedly
determines his choice--he would be more apt to fall a prey to his
enemies. In this as well as in many other respects he differs from the
rabbit proper (_Lepus sylvaticus_); he never burrows in the ground, or
takes refuge in a den or hole, when pursued. If caught in the open
fields, he is much confused and easily overtaken by the dog; but in the
woods, he leaves him at a bound. In summer, when first disturbed, he
beats the ground violently with his feet, by which means he would
express to you his surprise or displeasure; it is a dumb way he has of
scolding. After leaping a few yards, he pauses an instant, as if to
determine the degree of danger, and then hurries away with a much
lighter tread.

His feet are like great pads, and his track has little of the sharp,
articulated expression of Reynard's, or of animals that climb or dig.
Yet it is very pretty, like all the rest, and tells its own tale. There
is nothing bold or vicious or vulpine in it, and his timid, harmless
character is published at every leap. He abounds in dense woods,
preferring localities filled with a small undergrowth of beech and
birch, upon the bark of which he feeds. Nature is rather partial to him
and matches his extreme local habits and character with a suit that
corresponds with his surroundings,--reddish-gray in summer and white in
winter.

The sharp-rayed track of the partridge adds another figure to this
fantastic embroidery upon the winter snow. Her course is a clear, strong
line, sometimes quite wayward, but generally very direct, steering for
the densest, most impenetrable places,--leading you over logs and
through brush, alert and expectant, till, suddenly, she bursts up a few
yards from you, and goes humming through the trees,--the complete
triumph of endurance and vigor. Hardy native bird, may your tracks never
be fewer, or your visits to the birch-tree less frequent!

The squirrel-tracks--sharp, nervous, and wiry--have their histories
also. But who ever saw squirrels in winter? The naturalist says they are
mostly torpid; yet evidently that little pocket-faced depredator, the
chipmunk, was not carrying buckwheat for so many days to his hole for
nothing;--was he anticipating a state of torpidity, or the demands of a
very active appetite? Red and gray squirrels are more or less active all
winter, though very shy, and, I am inclined to think, partially
nocturnal in their habits. Here a gray one has just passed,--came down
that tree and went up this; there he dug for a beech-nut, and left the
bur on the snow. How did he know where to dig? During an unusually
severe winter I have known him to make long journeys to a barn, in a
remote field, where wheat was stored. How did he know there was wheat
there? In attempting to return, the adventurous creature was frequently
run down and caught in the deep snow.

His home is in the trunk of some old birch or maple, with an entrance
far up amid the branches. In the spring he builds himself a summer-house
of small leafy twigs in the top of a neighboring beech, where the young
are reared and much of the time passed. But the safer retreat in the
maple is not abandoned, and both old and young resort thither in the
fall, or when danger threatens. Whether this temporary residence amid
the branches is for elegance or pleasure, or for sanitary reasons or
domestic convenience, the naturalist has forgotten to mention.

The elegant creature, so cleanly in its habits, so graceful in its
carriage, so nimble and daring in its movements, excites feelings of
admiration akin to those awakened by the birds and the fairer forms of
nature. His passage through the trees is almost a flight. Indeed, the
flying-squirrel has little or no advantage over him, and in speed and
nimbleness cannot compare with him at all. If he miss his footing and
fall, he is sure to catch on the next branch; if the connection be
broken, he leaps recklessly for the nearest spray or limb, and secures
his hold, even if it be by the aid of his teeth.

His career of frolic and festivity begins in the fall, after the birds
have left us and the holiday spirit of nature has commenced to subside.
How absorbing the pastime of the sportsman, who goes to the woods in the
still October morning in quest of him! You step lightly across the
threshold of the forest, and sit down upon the first log or rock to
await the signals. It is so still that the ear suddenly seems to have
acquired new powers, and there is no movement to confuse the eye.
Presently you hear the rustling of a branch, and see it sway or spring
as the squirrel leaps from or to it; or else you hear a disturbance in
the dry leaves, and mark one running upon the ground. He has probably
seen the intruder, and, not liking his stealthy movements, desires to
avoid a nearer acquaintance. Now he mounts a stump to see if the way is
clear, then pauses a moment at the foot of a tree to take his bearings,
his tail, as he skims along, undulating behind him, and adding to the
easy grace and dignity of his movements. Or else you are first advised
of his proximity by the dropping of a false nut, or the fragments of the
shucks rattling upon the leaves. Or, again, after contemplating you
awhile unobserved, and making up his mind that you are not dangerous, he
strikes an attitude on a branch, and commences to quack and bark, with
an accompanying movement of his tail. Late in the afternoon, when the
same stillness reigns, the same scenes are repeated. There is a black
variety, quite rare, but mating freely with the gray, from which he
seems to be distinguished only in color.

The track of the red squirrel may be known by its smaller size. He is
more common and less dignified than the gray, and oftener guilty of
petty larceny about the barns and grain-fields. He is most abundant in
old bark-peelings, and low, dilapidated hemlocks, from which he makes
excursions to the fields and orchards, spinning along the tops of the
fences, which afford, not only convenient lines of communication, but a
safe retreat if danger threatens. He loves to linger about the orchard;
and, sitting upright on the topmost stone in the wall, or on the tallest
stake in the fence, chipping up an apple for the seeds, his tail
conforming to the curve of his back, his paws shifting and turning the
apple, he is a pretty sight, and his bright, pert appearance atones for
all the mischief he does. At home, in the woods, he is the most
frolicsome and loquacious. The appearance of anything unusual, if, after
contemplating it a moment, he concludes it not dangerous, excites his
unbounded mirth and ridicule, and he snickers and chatters, hardly able
to contain himself; now darting up the trunk of a tree and squealing in
derision, then hopping into position on a limb and dancing to the music
of his own cackle, and all for your special benefit.

There is something very human in this apparent mirth and mockery of the
squirrels. It seems to be a sort of ironical laughter, and implies
self-conscious pride and exultation in the laugher, "What a ridiculous
thing you are, to be sure!" he seems to say; "how clumsy and awkward,
and what a poor show for a tail! Look at me, look at me!"--and he capers
about in his best style. Again, he would seem to tease you and to
provoke your attention; then suddenly assumes a tone of good-natured,
childlike defiance and derision; that pretty little imp, the chipmunk,
will sit on the stone above his den, and defy you, as plainly as if he
said so, to catch him before he can get into his hole if you can. You
hurl a stone at him, and "No you didn't" comes up from the depth of his
retreat.

In February another track appears upon the snow, slender and delicate,
about a third larger than that of the gray squirrel, indicating no haste
or speed, but, on the contrary, denoting the most imperturbable ease and
leisure, the footprints so close together that the trail appears like a
chain of curiously carved links. Sir _Mephitis chinga_, or, in plain
English, the skunk, has woke up from his six-weeks nap, and come out
into society again. He is a nocturnal traveller, very bold and impudent,
coming quite up to the barn and outbuildings, and sometimes taking up
his quarters for the season under the hay-mow. There is no such word as
hurry in his dictionary, as you may see by his path upon the snow. He
has a very sneaking, insinuating way, and goes creeping about the fields
and woods, never once in a perceptible degree altering his gait, and, if
a fence crosses his course, steers for a break or opening to avoid
climbing. He is too indolent even to dig his own hole, but appropriates
that of a woodchuck, or hunts out a crevice in the rocks, from which he
extends his rambling in all directions, preferring damp, thawy weather.
He has very little discretion or cunning, and holds a trap in utter
contempt, stepping into it as soon as beside it, relying implicitly for
defence against all forms of danger upon the unsavory punishment he is
capable of inflicting. He is quite indifferent to both man and beast,
and will not hurry himself to get out of the way of either. Walking
through the summer fields at twilight, I have come near stepping upon
him, and was much the more disturbed of the two. When attacked in the
open fields he confounds the plans of his enemies by the unheard-of
tactics of exposing his rear rather than his front. "Come if you dare,"
he says, and his attitude makes even the farm-dog pause. After a few
encounters of this kind, and if you entertain the usual hostility
towards him, your mode of attack will speedily resolve itself into
moving about him in a circle, the radius of which will be the exact
distance at which you can hurl a stone with accuracy and effect.

He has a secret to keep, and knows it, and is careful not to betray
himself until he can do so with the most telling effect. I have known
him to preserve his serenity even when caught in a steel trap, and look
the very picture of injured innocence, manoeuvring carefully and
deliberately to extricate his foot from the grasp of the naughty jaws.
Do not by any means take pity on him, and lend a helping hand.

How pretty his face and head! How fine and delicate his teeth, like a
weasel's or cat's! When about a third grown, he looks so well that one
covets him for a pet. He is quite precocious however, and capable, even
at this tender age, of making a very strong appeal to your sense of
smell.

No animal is more cleanly in its habits than he. He is not an awkward
boy, who cuts his own face with his whip; and neither his flesh nor his
fur hints the weapon with which he is armed. The most silent creature
known to me, he makes no sound, so far as I have observed, save a
diffuse, impatient noise, like that produced by beating your hand with a
whisk-broom, when the farm-dog has discovered his retreat in the stone
fence. He renders himself obnoxious to the farmer by his partiality for
hens' eggs and young poultry. He is a confirmed epicure, and at
plundering hen-roosts an expert. Not the full-grown fowls are his
victims, but the youngest and most tender. At night Mother Hen receives
under her maternal wings a dozen newly hatched chickens, and with much
pride and satisfaction feels them all safely tucked away in her
feathers. In the morning she is walking about disconsolately, attended
by only two or three of all that pretty brood. What has happened? Where
are they gone? That pickpocket, Sir Mephitis, could solve the mystery.
Quietly has he approached, under cover of darkness, and, one by one,
relieved her of her precious charge. Look closely, and you will see
their little yellow legs and beaks, or part of a mangled form, lying
about on the ground. Or, before the hen has hatched, he may find her
out, and, by the same sleight of hand, remove every egg, leaving only
the empty blood-stained shells to witness against him. The birds,
especially the ground-builders, suffer in like manner from his
plundering propensities.

The secretion upon which he relies for defence, and which is the chief
source of his unpopularity, while it affords good reasons against
cultivating him as a pet, and mars his attractiveness as game, is by no
means the greatest indignity that can be offered to a nose. It is a
rank, living smell, and has none of the sickening qualities of disease
or putrefaction. Indeed, I think a good smeller will enjoy its most
refined intensity. It approaches the sublime, and makes the nose tingle.
It is tonic and bracing, and, I can readily believe, has rare medicinal
qualities. I do not recommend its use as eye-water, though an old farmer
assures me it has undoubted virtues when thus applied. Hearing, one
night, a disturbance among his hens, he rushed suddenly out to catch the
thief, when Sir Mephitis, taken by surprise, and, no doubt, much annoyed
at being interrupted, discharged the vials of his wrath full in the
farmer's face, and with such admirable effect, that, for a few moments,
he was completely blinded, and powerless to revenge himself upon the
rogue; but he declared that afterwards his eyes felt as if purged by
fire, and his sight was much clearer.

In March, that brief summary of a bear, the raccoon, comes out of his
den in the ledges, and leaves his sharp digitigrade track upon the
snow,--travelling not unfrequently in pairs,--a lean, hungry couple,
bent on pillage and plunder. They have an unenviable time of
it,--feasting in the summer and fall, hibernating in winter, and
starving in spring. In April, I have found the young of the previous
year creeping about the fields, so reduced by starvation as to be quite
helpless, and offering no resistance to my taking them up by the tail,
and carrying them home.

But with March our interest in these phases of animal life, which winter
has so emphasized and brought out, begins to decline. Vague rumors are
afloat in the air of a great and coming change. We are eager for Winter
to be gone, since he too is fugitive, and cannot keep his place.
Invisible hands deface his icy statuary; his chisel has lost its
cunning. The drifts, so pure and exquisite, are now earth-stained and
weather-worn,--the flutes and scallops, and fine, firm lines, all gone;
and what was a grace and an ornament to the hills is now a
disfiguration. Like worn and unwashed linen appear the remains of that
spotless robe with which he clothed the world as his bride.

But he will not abdicate without a struggle. Day after day he rallies
his scattered forces, and night after night pitches his white tents on
the hills, and forges his spears at the eaves and by the dripping rocks;
but the young Prince in every encounter prevails. Slowly and reluctantly
the gray old hero retreats up the mountain, till finally the south rain
comes in earnest, and in a night he is dead.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] A spur of the Catskills.



TO HERSA.


    Maiden, there is something more
    Than raiment to adore;
    Thou must have more than a dress,
    More than any mode or mould,
    More than mortal loveliness,
    To captivate the cold.

    Bow the knightly when they bow,
    To a star behind the brow,--
    Not to marble, not to dust,
      But to that which warms them;
    Not to contour nor to bust,
      But to that which forms them,--
    Not to languid lid nor lash,
    Satin fold nor purple sash,
    But unto the living flash
    So mysteriously hid
    Under lash and under lid.

    But, vanity of vanities,--
    If the red-rose in a young cheek lies,
        Fatal disguise!
    For the most terrible lances
    Of the true, true knight
    Are his bold eyebeams;
    And every time that he opens his eyes,
    The falsehood that he looks on dies.

    If the heavenly light be latent,
    It can need no earthly patent.
        Unbeholden unto art--
        Fashion or lore,
        Scrip or store,
        Earth or ore--
        Be thy heart,
    Which was music from the start,
    Music, music to the core!

    Music, which, though voiceless,
    Can create
    Both form and fate,
    As Petrarch could a sonnet
    That, taking flesh upon it,
    Spirit-noiseless,
    Doth the same inform and fill
    With a music sweeter still!
    Lives and breathes and palpitates,
    Moves and moulds and animates,
    And sleeps not from its duty
    Till the maid in whom 'tis pent--
    From a mortal rudiment,
    From the earth-cell
      And the love-cell,
    By the birth-spell
      And the love-spell--
    Come to beauty.

    Beauty, that, (Celestial Child,
      From above,
    Born of Wisdom and of Love,)
      Can never die!
    That ever, as she passeth by,
    But casteth down the mild
      Effulgence of her eye,
    And, lo! the broken heart is healed,
    The maimed, perverted soul
    Ariseth and is whole!
    That ever doing the fair deed,
    And therein taking joy,
    (A pure and priceless meed
    That of this earth hath least alloy,)
        It comes at last,
    All mischance forever past,--
    Every beautiful procedure
    Manifest in form and feature,--
        To be revealed:
    There walks the earth an heavenly creature!

    Beauty is music mute,--
    Music's flower and fruit,
    Music's creature--
    Form and feature--
    Music's lute.
    Music's lute be thou,
    Maiden of the starry brow!
    (Keep thy _heart_ true to know how!)
    A Lute which he alone,
    As all in good time shall be shown,
    Shall prove, and thereby make his own,
    Who is god enough to play upon it.

    Happy, happy maid is she
    Who is wedded unto Truth:
    Thou shalt know him when he comes,
        (Welcome youth!)
    Not by any din of drums,
    Nor the vantage of his airs;
    Neither by his crown,
    Nor his gown,
    Nor by anything he wears.
    He shall only well known be
    By the holy harmony
    That his coming makes in thee!



AN AMAZONIAN PICNIC.


It was about half past six o'clock on the morning of the 27th of
October, 1865, that we left Manaos, (or as the maps usually call it,
Barra do Rio Negro,) on an excursion to the Lake of Hyanuary, on the
western side of the Rio Negro. The morning was unusually fresh for these
latitudes, and a strong wind was blowing up so heavy a sea in the river,
that, if it did not actually make one sea-sick, it certainly called up
very vivid and painful associations. We were in a large eight-oared
custom-house barge, our company consisting of his Excellency, Dr.
Epaminondas, President of the Province,[B] his secretary, Senhor
Codicera, Senhor Tavares Bastos, the distinguished young deputy from the
Province of Alagoas, Major Coutinho, of the Brazilian Engineer Service,
Mr. Agassiz and myself, Mr. Bourkhardt, his artist, and two of our
volunteer assistants. We were preceded by a smaller boat, an Indian
montaria, in which was our friend and kind host, Senhor Honorio, who had
undertaken to provide for our creature comforts, and had the care of a
boatful of provisions. After an hour's row we left the rough waters of
the Rio Negro, and rounding a wooded point, turned into one of those
narrow, winding igarapés (literally, "boat-paths"), with green forest
walls, which make the charm of canoe excursions in this country. A
ragged drapery of long, faded grass hung from the lower branches of the
trees, marking the height of the last rise of the river,--some eighteen
or twenty feet above its present level. Here and there a white heron
stood on the shore, his snowy plumage glittering in the sunlight;
numbers of ciganas (the pheasants of the Amazons) clustered in the
bushes; once a pair of king vultures rested for a moment within gunshot,
but flew out of sight as our canoe approached; and now and then an
alligator showed his head above water. As we floated along through this
picturesque channel, so characteristic of the wonderful region to which
we were all more or less strangers,--for even Dr. Epaminondas and Senhor
Tavares Bastos were here for the first time,--the conversation turned
naturally enough upon the nature of this Amazonian Valley, its physical
conformation, its origin and resources, its history past and to come,
both alike and obscure, both the subject of wonder and speculation.
Senhor Tavares Bastos, although not yet thirty, is already distinguished
in the politics of his country; and from the moment he entered upon
public life to the present time, the legislation in regard to the
Amazons, its relation to the future progress and development of the
Brazilian empire, has been the object of his deepening interest. He is a
leader in that class of men who advocate the most liberal policy in this
matter, and has already urged upon his countrymen the importance, even
from selfish motives, of sharing their great treasure with the world. He
was little more than twenty years of age when he published his papers on
the opening of the Amazons, which have done more, perhaps, than anything
else of late years to attract attention to the subject.

There are points where the researches of the statesman and the
investigator meet, and natural science is not without its influence,
even on the practical bearings of this question. Shall this region be
legislated for as sea or land? Shall the interests of agriculture or
navigation prevail in its councils? Is it essentially aquatic or
terrestrial? Such were some of the inquiries which came up in the course
of the discussion. A region of country which stretches across a whole
continent, and is flooded for half the year, where there can never be
railroads, or highways, or even pedestrian travelling, to any great
extent, can hardly be considered as dry land. It is true that, in this
oceanic river system, the tidal action has an annual, instead of a
daily, ebb and flow; that its rise and fall obey a larger light, and are
regulated by the sun, and not the moon; but it is nevertheless subject
to all the conditions of a submerged district, and must be treated as
such. Indeed, these semiannual changes of level are far more powerful in
their influence on the life of the inhabitants than any marine tides.
People sail half the year over districts where, for the other half, they
walk, though hardly dry-shod, over the soaked ground; their occupations,
their dress, their habits, are modified in accordance with the dry and
wet seasons. And not only the ways of life, but the whole aspect of the
country, the character of the landscape, are changed. At this moment
there are two most picturesque falls in the neighborhood of Manaos,--the
Great and Little Cascades, as they are called,--favorite resorts for
bathing, picnics, etc., which, in a few months, when the river shall
have risen above their highest level, will have completely disappeared.
Their bold rocks and shady nooks will have become river-bottom. All that
one hears or reads of the extent of the Amazons and its tributaries does
not give one an idea of its immensity as a whole. One must float for
months upon its surface, in order to understand how fully water has the
mastery over land along its borders. Its watery labyrinth is not so much
a network of rivers, as an ocean of fresh water cut up and divided by
land, the land being often nothing more than an archipelago of islands
in its midst. The valley of the Amazons is indeed an aquatic, not a
terrestrial, basin; and it is not strange, when looked upon from this
point of view, that its forests should be less full of life,
comparatively, than its rivers.

But while we were discussing these points, talking of the time when the
banks of the Amazons will teem with a population more active and
vigorous than any it has yet seen,--when all civilized nations shall
share in its wealth,--when the twin continents will shake hands, and
Americans of the North come to help Americans of the South in developing
its resources,--when it will be navigated from north to south, as well
as from east to west, and small steamers will run up to the head-waters
of all its tributaries,--while we were speculating on these things, we
were approaching the end of our journey; and, as we neared the lake,
there issued from its entrance a small, two-masted canoe, evidently
bound on some official mission, for it carried the Brazilian flag, and
was adorned with many brightly colored streamers. As it drew near we
heard music; and a salvo of rockets, the favorite Brazilian artillery on
all festive occasions, whether by day or night, shot up into the air.
Our arrival had been announced by Dr. Carnavaro of Manaos, who had come
out the day before to make some preparations for our reception, and this
was a welcome to the President on his first visit to the Indian village.
When they came within speaking distance, a succession of hearty cheers
went up for the President; for Tavares Bastos, whose character as the
political advocate of the Amazons makes him especially welcome here; for
Major Coutinho, already well known from his former explorations in this
region; and for the strangers within their gates,--for the Professor and
his party. When the reception was over, they fell into line behind our
boat, and so we came into the little port with something of state and
ceremony.

This pretty Indian village is hardly recognized as a village at once,
for it consists of a number of _sitios_ (palm-thatched houses),
scattered through the forest; and though the inhabitants look on each
other as friends and neighbors, yet from our landing-place only one
_sitio_ was to be seen,--that at which we were to stay. It stood on a
hill which sloped gently up from the lake shore, and consisted of a mud
house,--the rough frame being filled in and plastered with
mud,--containing two rooms, beside several large palm-thatched sheds
outside. The word _shed_, which we connect with a low, narrow out-house,
gives no correct idea, however, of this kind of structure, universal
throughout the Indian settlements, and common also among the whites. The
space enclosed is generally large, the sloping roof of palm-thatch is
lifted very high on poles made of the trunks of trees, thus allowing a
free circulation of air, and there are usually no walls at all. They are
great open porches, or verandas, rather than sheds. One of these rooms
was used for the various processes by which the mandioca root is
transformed into farinha, tapioca, and tucupi, a kind of intoxicating
liquor. It was furnished with the large clay ovens, covered with immense
shallow copper pans, for drying the farinha, with the troughs for
kneading the mandioca, the long straw tubes for expressing the juice,
and the sieves for straining the tapioca. The mandioca room is an
important part of every Indian _sitio_; for the natives not only depend,
in a great degree, upon the different articles manufactured from this
root for their own food, but it makes an essential part of the commerce
of the Amazons. Another of these open rooms was a kitchen; while a
third, which served as our dining-room, is used on festa days and
occasional Sundays as a chapel. It differed from the rest in having the
upper end closed in with a neat thatched wall, against which, in time of
need, the altar-table may stand, with candles and rough prints or
figures of the Virgin and Saints. A little removed from this more
central part of the establishment was another smaller mud house, where
most of the party arranged their hammocks; Mr. Agassiz and myself being
accommodated in the other one, where we were very hospitably received by
the senhora of the _sitio_, an old Indian woman, whose gold ornaments,
necklace, and ear-rings were rather out of keeping with her calico skirt
and cotton waist. This is, however, by no means an unusual combination
here. Beside the old lady, the family consisted, at this moment, of her
_afilhada_ (god-daughter), with her little boy, and several other women
employed about the place; but it is difficult to judge of the population
of the _sitios_ now, because a great number of the men have been taken
as recruits for the war with Paraguay, and others are hiding in the
forest for fear of being pressed into the same service.

The breakfast-table, covered with dishes of fish fresh from the lake,
and dressed in a variety of ways, with stewed chicken, rice, etc., was
by no means an unwelcome sight, as it was already eleven o'clock, and we
had had nothing since rising, at half past five in the morning, except a
hot cup of coffee; nor was the meal the less appetizing that it was
spread under the palm-thatched roof of our open, airy dining-room,
surrounded by the forest, and commanding a view of the lake and wooded
hillside opposite, the little landing below, where were moored our barge
with its white awning, the gay canoe, and two or three Indian montarias,
making the foreground of the picture. After breakfast our party
dispersed, some to rest in their hammocks, others to hunt or fish, while
Mr. Agassiz was fully engaged in examining a large basket of
fish,--Tucunarés, Acaras, Curimatas, Surubims, etc.,--just brought in
from the lake for his inspection, and showing again what every
investigation demonstrates afresh, namely, the distinct localization of
species in every different water-basin, be it river, lake, igarapé, or
forest pool. Though the scientific results of the expedition have no
place in this little sketch of a single excursion, let me make a general
statement as to Mr. Agassiz's collections, to give you some idea of his
success. Since arriving in Pará, although his exploration of the
Amazonian waters is but half completed, he has collected more species
than were known to exist in the whole world fifty years ago. Up to this
time, something more than a hundred species of fish were known to
science from the Amazons;[C] Mr. Agassiz has already more than eight
hundred on hand, and every day adds new treasures. He is himself
astonished at this result, revealing a richness and variety in the
distribution of life throughout these waters of which he had formed no
conception. As his own attention has been especially directed to their
localization and development, his collection of fishes is larger than
any other; still, with the help of his companions, volunteers as well as
regular assistants, he has a good assortment of specimens from all the
other classes of the animal kingdom likewise.

One does not see much of the world between one o'clock and four in this
climate. These are the hottest hours of the day, and there are few who
can resist the temptation of the cool swinging hammock, slung in some
shady spot within doors or without. I found a quiet retreat by the lake
shore, where, though I had a book in my hand, the wind in the trees
overhead, and the water rippling softly around the montarias moored at
my side, lulled me into that mood of mind when one may be lazy without
remorse or ennui, and one's highest duty seems to be to do nothing. The
monotonous notes of a _violon_, a kind of lute or guitar, came to me
from a group of trees at a little distance, where our boatmen were
resting in the shade, the red fringes of their hammocks giving to the
landscape just the bit of color which it needed. Occasionally a rustling
flight of paroquets or ciganas overhead startled me for a moment, or a
large pirarucu plashed out of the water; but except for these sounds,
Nature was silent, and animals as well as men seemed to pause in the
heat and seek shelter.

Dinner brought us all together again at the close of the afternoon in
our airy banqueting-hall. As we were with the President, our picnic was
of a much more magnificent character than are our purely scientific
excursions, of which we have had many. On such occasions, we are forced
to adapt our wants to our means; and the make-shifts to which we are
obliged to resort, if they are sometimes inconvenient, are often very
amusing. But now, instead of teacups doing duty as tumblers, empty
barrels serving as chairs, and the like incongruities, we had a silver
soup tureen and a cook and a waiter, and knives and forks enough to go
round, and many other luxuries which such wayfarers as ourselves learn
to do without. While we were dining, the Indians began to come in from
the surrounding forest to pay their respects to the President; for his
visit was the cause of great rejoicing, and there was to be a ball in
his honor in the evening. They brought an enormous cluster of game as an
offering. What a mass of color it was, looking more like an immense
bouquet of flowers than like a bunch of birds! It was composed entirely
of toucans with their red and yellow beaks, blue eyes, and soft white
breasts bordered with crimson, and of parrots, or papagaios, as they
call them here, with their gorgeous plumage of green, blue, purple, and
red.

When we had dined we took coffee outside, while our places around the
table were filled by the Indian guests, who were to have a dinner-party
in their turn. It was pleasant to see with how much courtesy several of
the Brazilian gentlemen of our party waited upon these Indian senhoras,
passing them a variety of dishes, helping them to wine, and treating
them with as much attention as if they had been the highest ladies of
the land. They seemed, however, rather shy and embarrassed, scarcely
touching the nice things placed before them, till one of the gentlemen
who has lived a good deal among the Indians, and knows their habits
perfectly, took the knife and fork from one of them, exclaiming,--"Make
no ceremony, and don't be ashamed; eat with your fingers, all of you, as
you're accustomed to do, and then you'll find your appetites and enjoy
your dinner." His advice was followed; and I must say they seemed much
more comfortable in consequence, and did better justice to the good
fare. Although the Indians who live in the neighborhood of the towns
have seen too much of the conventionalities of civilization not to
understand the use of a knife and fork, no Indian will eat with one if
he can help it; and, strange to say, there are many of the whites in the
upper Amazonian settlements who have adopted the same habits. I have
dined with Brazilian senhoras of good class and condition, belonging to
the gentry of the land, who, although they provided a very nice service
for their guests, used themselves only the implements with which Nature
had provided them.

When the dinner was over, the room was cleared of the tables, and swept;
the music, consisting of a guitar, flute, and violin, called in; and the
ball was opened. At first the forest belles were rather shy in the
presence of strangers; but they soon warmed up, and began to dance with
more animation. They were all dressed in calico or muslin skirts, with
loose white cotton waists, finished around the neck with a kind of lace
they make themselves by drawing out the threads from cotton or cambric
so as to form an open pattern, sewing those which remain over and over
to secure them. Much of this lace is quite elaborate, and very fine.
Many of them had their hair dressed either with white jessamine or with
roses stuck into their round combs, and several wore gold beads and
ear-rings. Some of the Indian dances are very pretty; but one thing is
noticeable, at least in all that I have seen. The man makes all the
advances, while the woman is coy and retiring, her movements being very
languid. Her partner throws himself at her feet, but does not elicit a
smile or a gesture; he stoops, and pretends to be fishing, making
motions as if he were drawing her in with a line; he dances around her,
snapping his fingers as though playing on the castanets, and half
encircling her with his arms; but she remains reserved and cold. Now and
then they join together in something like a waltz; but this is only
occasionally, and for a moment. How different from the negro dances, of
which we saw many in the neighborhood of Rio! In those the advances come
chiefly from the women, and are not always of a very modest character.

The moon was shining brightly over lake and forest, and the ball was
gayer than ever, at ten o'clock, when I went to my room, or rather to
the room where my hammock was slung, and which I shared with Indian
women and children, with a cat and her family of kittens, who slept on
the edge of my mosquito-net, and made frequent inroads upon the inside,
with hens and chickens and sundry dogs, who went in and out at will. The
music and dancing, the laughter and talking outside, continued till the
small hours. Every now and then an Indian girl would come in to rest for
a while, take a nap in a hammock, and then return to the dance. When we
first arrived in South America, we could hardly have slept soundly under
such circumstances; but one soon becomes accustomed, on the Amazons, to
sleeping in rooms with mud floors and mud walls, or with no walls at
all, where rats and birds and bats rustle about in the thatch over one's
head, and all sorts of unwonted noises in the night remind you that you
are by no means the sole occupant of your apartment. This remark does
not apply to the towns, where the houses are comfortable enough; but if
you attempt to go off the beaten track, to make canoe excursions, and
see something of the forest population, you must submit to these
inconveniences. There is one thing, however, which makes it far
pleasanter to lodge in the Indian houses here than in the houses of our
poorer class at home. One is quite independent in the matter of bedding;
no one travels without his own hammock and the net which in many places
is a necessity on account of the mosquitoes. Beds and bedding are almost
unknown here; and there are none so poor as not to possess two or three
of the strong and neat twine hammocks made by the Indians themselves
from the fibres of the palm. Then the open character of their houses, as
well as the personal cleanliness of the Indians, makes the atmosphere
fresher and purer there than in the houses of our poor. However untidy
they may be in other respects, they always bathe once or twice a day, if
not oftener, and wash their clothes frequently. We have never yet
entered an Indian house where there was any disagreeable odor, unless it
might be the peculiar smell from the preparation of the mandioca in the
working-room outside, which has, at a certain stage in the process, a
slightly sour smell. We certainly could not say as much for many houses
where we have lodged when travelling in the West, or even "Down East,"
where the suspicious look of the bedding and the close air of the room
often make one doubtful about the night's rest.

We were up at five o'clock; for the morning hours are very precious in
this climate, and the Brazilian day begins with the dawn. At six o'clock
we had had coffee, and were ready for the various projects suggested for
our amusement. Our sportsmen were already in the forest; others had gone
off on a fishing excursion in a montaria; and I joined a party on a
visit to a _sitio_ higher up the lake. Mr. Agassiz, as has been
constantly the case throughout our journey, was obliged to deny himself
all these parties of pleasure; for the novelty and variety of the
species of fish brought in kept him and his artist constantly at work.
In this climate the process of decomposition goes on so rapidly, that,
unless the specimens are attended to at once, they are lost; and the
paintings must be made while they are quite fresh, in order to give any
idea of their vividness of tint. We therefore left Mr. Agassiz busy with
the preparation of his collections, and Mr. Bourkhardt painting, while
we went up the lake through a strange, half-aquatic, half-terrestrial
region, where the land seemed hardly redeemed from the water. Groups of
trees rose directly from the lake, their roots hidden below its surface,
while numerous blackened and decayed trunks stood up from the water in
all sorts of picturesque and fantastic forms. Sometimes the trees had
thrown down from their branches those singular aerial roots so common
here, and seemed standing on stilts. Here and there, when we coasted
along by the bank, we had a glimpse into the deeper forest, with its
drapery of lianas and various creeping vines, and its parasitic sipos
twining close around the trunks, or swinging themselves from branch to
branch like loose cordage. But usually the margin of the lake was a
gently sloping bank, covered with a green so vivid and yet so soft that
it seemed as if the earth had been born afresh in its six months'
baptism, and had come out like a new creation. Here and there a palm
lifted its head above the line of the forest, especially the light,
graceful Assai palm, with its tall, slender, smooth stem and crown of
feathery leaves vibrating with every breeze.

Half an hour's row brought us to the landing of the _sitio_ for which we
were bound. Usually the _sitios_ stand on the bank of the lake or river,
a stone's throw from the shore, for convenience of fishing, bathing,
etc. But this one was at some distance, with a very nicely-kept winding
path leading through the forest; and as it was far the neatest and
prettiest _sitio_ I have seen here, I may describe it more at length. It
stood on the brow of a hill which dipped down on the other side into a
wide and deep ravine. Through this ravine ran an igarapé, beyond which
the land rose again in an undulating line of hilly ground, most
refreshing to the eye after the flat character of the upper Amazonian
scenery. The fact that this _sitio_, standing now on a hill overlooking
the valley and the little stream at its bottom, will have the water
nearly flush with the ground around it when the igarapé is swollen by
the rise of the river, gives an idea of the change of aspect between the
dry and wet seasons. The establishment consisted of a number of
buildings, the most conspicuous of which was a large and lofty open
room, which the Indian senhora told me was their reception-room, and was
often used, she said, by the _brancos_ (whites) from Manaos and the
neighborhood for an evening dance, when they came out in a large
company, and passed the night. A low wall, some three or four feet in
height, ran along the sides of this room, wooden benches being placed
against them for their whole length. The two ends were closed from top
to bottom by very neat thatched walls; the palm-thatch here, when it is
made with care, being exceedingly pretty, fine, and smooth, and of a
soft straw color. At the upper end stood an immense embroidery-frame,
looking as if it might have served for Penelope's web, but in which was
stretched an unfinished hammock of palm-thread, the senhora's work. She
sat down on the low stool before it, and worked a little for my benefit,
showing me how the two layers of transverse threads were kept apart by a
thick, polished piece of wood, something like a long, broad ruler.
Through the opening thus made the shuttle is passed with the
cross-thread, which is then pushed down and straightened in its place by
means of the same piece of wood.

When we arrived, with the exception of the benches I have mentioned and
a few of the low wooden stools roughly cut out of a single piece of wood
and common in every _sitio_, this room was empty; but immediately a
number of hammocks, of various color and texture, were brought and slung
across the room from side to side, between the poles supporting the
roof, and we were invited to rest. This is the first act of hospitality
on arriving at a country-house here; and the guests are soon stretched
in every attitude of luxurious ease. After we had rested, the gentlemen
went down to the igarapé to bathe, while the senhora and her daughter, a
very pretty Indian woman, showed me over the rest of the establishment.
She had the direction of everything now; for the master of the house was
absent, having a captain's commission in the army; and I heard here the
same complaints which meet you everywhere in the forest settlements, of
the deficiency of men on account of the recruiting. The room I have
described stood on one side of a cleared and neatly swept ground, around
which, at various distances, stood a number of little thatched
houses,--_casinhas_, as they call them,--consisting mostly only of one
room. But beside these there was one larger house, with mud walls and
floor, containing two or three rooms, and having a wooden veranda in
front. This was the senhora's private establishment. At a little
distance farther down on the hill was the mandioca kitchen, with several
large ovens, troughs, etc. Nothing could be neater than the whole area
of this _sitio_; and while we were there, two or three black girls were
sent out to sweep it afresh with their stiff twig brooms. Around was the
plantation of mandioca and cacao, with here and there a few
coffee-shrubs. It is difficult to judge of the extent of these _sitio_
plantations, because they are so irregular, and comprise such a variety
of trees,--mandioca, coffee, cacao, and often cotton, being planted
pellmell together. But every _sitio_ has its plantation, large or small,
of one or other or all of these productions.

On the return of the gentlemen from the igarapé, we took leave, though
very kindly pressed to stay and breakfast. At parting, the senhora
presented me with a wicker-basket of fresh eggs, and some _abacatys_, or
alligator pears, as we call them. We reached the house just in time for
a ten-o'clock breakfast, which assembled all the different parties once
more from their various occupations, whether of work or play. The
sportsmen returned from the forest, bringing a goodly supply of toucans,
papagaios, and paroquets, with a variety of other birds; and the
fishermen brought in treasures again for Mr. Agassiz.

After breakfast I retired to the room where we had passed the night,
hoping to find a quiet time for writing up letters and journal. But it
was already occupied by the old senhora and her guests, lounging about
in the hammocks or squatting on the floor and smoking their pipes. The
house was, indeed, full to overflowing, as the whole party assembled for
the ball were to stay during the President's visit. In this way of
living it is an easy matter to accommodate any number of people; for if
they cannot all be received under the roof, they are quite as well
satisfied to put up their hammocks under the trees outside. As I went to
my room the evening before, I stopped to look at quite a pretty picture
of an Indian mother with her two little children asleep on either arm,
all in one hammock, in the open air.

My Indian friends were too much interested in my occupations to allow of
my continuing them uninterruptedly. They were delighted with my books,
(I happened to have Bates's "Naturalist on the Amazons" with me, in
which I showed them some pictures of Amazonian scenery and insects,) and
asked me many questions about my country, my voyage, and my travels
here. In return, they gave me much information about their own way of
life. They said the present gathering of neighbors and friends was no
unusual occurrence; for they have a great many festas which, though
partly religious in character, are also occasions of great festivity.
These festas are celebrated at different _sitios_ in turn, the saint of
the day being carried, with all his ornaments, candles, bouquets, etc.,
to the house where the ceremony is to take place, and where all the
people of the the village congregate. Sometimes they last for several
days, and are accompanied by processions, music, and dances in the
evening. But the women said the forest was very sad now, because their
men had all been taken as recruits, or were seeking safety in the woods.
The old senhora told me a sad story of the brutality exercised in
recruiting the Indians. She assured me that they were taken wherever
they were caught, without reference to age or circumstances, often
having women and children dependent upon them; and, if they made
resistance, were carried off by force, frequently handcuffed, or with
heavy weights attached to their feet. Such proceedings are entirely
illegal; but these forest villages are so remote, that the men employed
to recruit may practise any cruelty without being called to account for
it. If they bring in their recruits in good condition, no questions are
asked. These women assured me that all the work of the _sitios_--the
making of farinha, the fishing, the turtle-hunting--was stopped for want
of hands. The appearance of things certainly confirms this, for one sees
scarcely any men about in the villages, and the canoes one meets are
mostly rowed by women.

I must say that the life of the Indian woman, so far as we have seen it,
and this is by no means the only time that we have been indebted to
Indians for hospitality, seems to me enviable in comparison with that of
the Brazilian lady in the Amazonian towns. The former has a healthful
out-of-door life; she has her canoe on the lake or river, and her paths
through the forest, with perfect liberty to come and go; she has her
appointed daily occupations, being busy not only with the care of her
house and children, but in making farinha or tapioca, or in drying and
rolling tobacco, while the men are fishing and turtle-hunting; and she
has her frequent festa days to enliven her working life. It is, on the
contrary, impossible to imagine anything more dreary and monotonous than
the life of the Brazilian senhora in any of the smaller towns. In the
northern provinces, especially, old Portuguese notions about shutting
women up and making their home-life as colorless as that of a cloistered
nun, without even the element of religious enthusiasm to give it zest,
still prevail. Many a Brazilian lady passes day after day without
stirring beyond her four walls, scarcely even showing herself at the
door or window; for she is always in a careless dishabille, unless she
expects company. It is sad to see these stifled existences; without any
contact with the world outside, without any charm of domestic life,
without books or culture of any kind, the Brazilian senhora in this part
of the country either sinks contentedly into a vapid, empty, aimless
life, or frets against her chains, and is as discontented as she is
useless.

On the day of our arrival the dinner had been interrupted by the
entrance of the Indians with their greetings and presents of game to the
President; but on the second day it was enlivened by quite a number of
appropriate toasts and speeches. I thought, as we sat around the
dinner-table, there had probably never before been gathered under the
palm-roof of an Indian house on the Amazons a party combining so many
different elements and objects. There was the President, whose interest
is, of course, in administering the affairs of the province, in which
the Indians come in for a large share of his attention;--there was the
young statesman, whose whole heart is in the great national question of
peopling the Amazonian region and opening it to the world, and in the
effect this movement is to have upon his country;--there was the able
engineer, whose scientific life has been passed in surveying the great
river and its tributaries with a view to their future navigation;--and
there was the man of pure science, come to study the distribution of
animal life in their waters, with no view to practical questions. The
speeches touched upon all these interests, and were received with
enthusiasm, each one closing with a toast and music, for our little band
of the night before had been brought in to enliven the scene. The
Brazilians are very happy in their after-dinner speeches, and have great
facility in them, whether from a natural gift or from much practice. The
habit of drinking healths and giving toasts is very general throughout
the country; and the most informal dinner among intimate friends does
not conclude without some mutual greetings of this kind.

As we were sitting under the trees afterwards, having yielded our places
in the primitive dining-room to the Indian guests, the President
suggested a sunset row on the lake. The hour and the light were most
tempting; and we were soon off in the canoe, taking no boatmen, the
gentlemen preferring to row themselves. We went through the same lovely
region, half water, half land, over which we had passed in the morning,
floating between patches of greenest grass, and large forest-trees, and
blackened trunks standing out of the lake like ruins. We did not go very
fast nor very far, for our amateur boatmen found the evening warm, and
their rowing was rather play than work; they stopped, too, every now and
then, to get a shot at a white heron or into a flock of paroquets or
ciganas, whereby they wasted a good deal of powder to no effect. As we
turned to come back, we were met by one of the prettiest sights I have
ever seen. The Indian women, having finished their dinner, had taken the
little two-masted canoe, dressed with flags, which had been prepared for
the President's reception, and had come out to meet us. They had the
music on board, and there were two or three men in the boat; but the
women were some twelve or fifteen in number, and seemed, like genuine
Amazons, to have taken things into their own hands. They were rowing
with a will; and as the canoe drew near, with music playing and flags
flying, the purple lake, dyed in the sunset and smooth as a mirror, gave
back the picture. Every tawny figure at the oars, every flutter of the
crimson and blue streamers, every fold of the green and yellow national
flag at the prow, was as distinct below the surface as above it. The
fairy boat, for so it looked floating between glowing sky and water, and
seeming to borrow color from both, came on apace, and as it approached
our friends greeted us with many a _Viva!_ to which we responded as
heartily. Then the two canoes joined company, and we went on together,
taking the guitar sometimes into one and sometimes into the other, while
Brazilian and Indian songs followed each other. Anything more national,
more completely imbued with tropical coloring and character, than this
evening scene on the lake, can hardly be conceived. When we reached the
landing, the gold and rose-colored clouds were fading into soft masses
of white and ashen gray, and moonlight was taking the place of sunset.
As we went up the green slope to the _sitio_, a dance on the grass was
proposed, and the Indian girls formed a quadrille; for thus much of
outside civilization has crept into their native manners, though they
throw into it so much of their own characteristic movements that it
loses something of its conventional aspect. Then we returned to the
house, where while here and there groups sat about on the ground
laughing and talking, and the women smoking with as much enjoyment as
the men. Smoking is almost universal among the common women here, nor is
it confined to the lower classes. Many a senhora, at least in this part
of Brazil, (for one must distinguish between the civilization upon the
banks of the Amazons and in the interior, and that in the cities along
the coast,) enjoys her pipe while she lounges in her hammock through the
heat of the day.

The following day the party broke up. The Indian women came to bid us
good by after breakfast, and dispersed in various directions, through
the forest paths, to their several homes, going off in little groups,
with their babies, of whom there were a goodly number, astride on their
hips, and the older children following. Mr. Agassiz passed the morning
in packing and arranging his fishes, having collected in these two days
more than seventy new species: such is the wealth of life everywhere in
these waters. His studies had been the subject of great curiosity to the
people about the _sitio_; one or two were always hovering around to look
at his work, and to watch Mr. Bourkhardt's drawing. They seemed to think
it extraordinary that any one should care to take the portrait of a
fish. The familiarity of these children of the forest with the natural
objects about them--plants, birds, insects, fishes--is remarkable. They
frequently ask to see the drawings, and, in turning over a pile
containing several hundred colored drawings of fish, they will scarcely
make a mistake; even the children giving the name instantly, and often
adding, "_He filho d'elle_,"--"It is the child of such a one,"--thus
distinguishing the young from the adult, and pointing out their
relation. The scientific work excites great wonder among the Indians,
wherever we go; and when Mr. Agassiz succeeds in making them understand
the value he attaches to his collections, he often finds them efficient
assistants.

We dined rather earlier than usual,--our chief dish being a stew of
parrots and toucans,--and left the _sitio_ at about five o'clock, in
three canoes, the music accompanying us in the smaller boat. Our Indian
friends stood on the shore as we left, giving us a farewell greeting
with cheers and waving hats and hands. The row through the lake and
igarapé was delicious; and we saw many alligators lying lazily about in
the quiet water, who seemed to enjoy it, after their fashion, as much as
we did. The sun had long set as we issued from the little river, and the
Rio Negro, where it opens broadly out into the Amazons, was a sea of
silver. The boat with the music presently joined our canoe; and we had a
number of the Brazilian _modinhas_, as they call them,--songs which seem
especially adapted for the guitar and moonlight. These _modinhas_ have
quite a peculiar character. They are little, graceful, lyrical snatches
of song, with a rather melancholy cadence; even those of which the words
are gay not being quite free from this undertone of sadness. One hears
them constantly sung to the guitar, a favorite instrument with the
Brazilians as well as the Indians. This put us all into a somewhat
dreamy mood, and we approached the end of our journey rather silently.
But as we came toward the landing, we heard the sound of a band of brass
instruments, effectually drowning our feeble efforts, and saw a crowded
canoe coming towards us. They were the boys from an Indian school in the
neighborhood of Manaos, where a certain number of boys of Indian
parentage, though not all of pure descent, receive an education at the
expense of the province, and are taught a number of trades. Among other
things, they are trained to play on a variety of instruments, and are
said to show a remarkable facility for music. The boat, which, from its
size, was a barge rather than a canoe, looked very pretty as it came
towards us in the moonlight; it seemed full to overflowing, the children
all standing up, dressed in white uniforms. This little band comes
always on Sunday evenings and festa days to play before the President's
house. They were just returning, it being nearly ten o'clock; but the
President called to them to turn back, and they accompanied us to the
beach, playing all the while. Thus our pleasant three-days picnic ended
with music and moonlight.

FOOTNOTES:

[B] Without entering here upon the generosity shown not only by the
Brazilian government, but by individuals also, to this expedition,--a
debt which it will be my pleasant duty to acknowledge fully hereafter in
a more extended report of our journey,--I cannot omit this opportunity
of thanking Dr. Epaminondas, the enlightened President of the Province
of the Amazonas, for the facilities accorded to me during my whole stay
in the region now under his administration.--_Louis Agassiz._

[C] Mr. Wallace speaks of having collected over two hundred species in
the Rio Negro; but as these were unfortunately lost, and never
described, they cannot be counted as belonging among the possessions of
the scientific world.



DOCTOR JOHNS.


XLIX.

At about the date of this interview which we have described as having
taken place beyond the seas,--upon one of those warm days of early
winter, which, even in New England, sometimes cheat one into a feeling
of spring,--Adèle came strolling up the little path that led from the
parsonage gate to the door, twirling her muff upon her hand, and
thinking--thinking--But who shall undertake to translate the thought of
a girl of nineteen in such moment of revery? With the most matter of
fact of lives it would be difficult. But in view of the experience of
Adèle, and of that fateful mystery overhanging her,--well, think for
yourself,--you who touch upon a score of years, with their hopes,--you
who have a passionate, clinging nature, and only some austere, prim
matron to whom you may whisper your confidences,--what would you have
thought, as you twirled your muff, and sauntered up the path to a home
that was yours only by sufferance, and yet, thus far, your only home?

The chance villagers, seeing her lithe figure, her well-fitting pelisse,
her jaunty hat, her blooming cheeks, may have said, "There goes a
fortunate one!" But if the thought of poor Adèle took one shape more
than another, as she returned that day from a visit to her sweet friend
Rose, it was this: "How drearily unfortunate I am!" And here a little
burst of childish laughter breaks on her ear. Adèle, turning to the
sound, sees that poor outcast woman who had been the last and most
constant attendant upon Madame Arles coming down the street, with her
little boy frolicking beside her. Obeying an impulse she was in no mood
to resist, she turns back to the gate to greet them; she caresses the
boy; she has kindly words for the mother, who could have worshipped her
for the caress she has given to her outcast child.

"I likes you," says the sturdy urchin, sidling closer to the parsonage
gate, over which Adèle leans. "You's like the French ooman."

Whereupon Adèle, in the exuberance of her kindly feelings, can only lean
over and kiss the child again.

Miss Johns, looking from her chamber, is horrified. Had it been summer,
she would have lifted her window and summoned Adèle. But she never
forgot--that exemplary woman--the proprieties of the seasons, any more
than other proprieties; she tapped upon the glass with her thimble, and
beckoned the innocent offender into the parsonage.

"I am astonished, Adèle!"--these were her first words; and she went on
to belabor the poor girl in fearful ways,--all the more fearful because
she spoke in the calmest possible tones. She never used others, indeed;
and it is not to be doubted that she reckoned this forbearance among her
virtues.

Adèle made no reply,--too wise now for that; but she winced, and bit her
lip severely, as the irate spinster "gave Miss Maverick to understand
that an intercourse which might possibly be agreeable to her French
associations could never be tolerated at the home of Dr. Johns. For
herself, she had a reputation for propriety to sustain; and while Miss
Maverick made a portion of her household, she must comply with the rules
of decorum; and if Miss Maverick were ignorant of those rules, she had
better inform herself."

No reply, as we have said,--unless it may have been by an impatient
stamp of her little foot, which the spinster could not perceive.

But it is the signal, in her quick, fiery nature, of a determination to
leave the parsonage, if the thing be possible. From her chamber, where
she goes only to arrange her hair and to wipe off an angry tear or two,
she walks straight into the study of the parson.

"Doctor," (the "New Papa" is reserved for her tenderer or playful
moments now,) "are you quite sure that papa will come for me in the
spring?"

"He writes me so, Adaly. Why?"

Adèle seeks to control herself, but she cannot wholly. "It's not
pleasant for me any longer here, New Papa,--indeed it is not";--and her
voice breaks utterly.

"But, Adaly!--child!" says the Doctor, closing his book.

"It's wholly different from what it once was; it's irksome to Miss
Eliza,--I know it is; it's irksome to me. I want to leave. Why doesn't
papa come for me at once? Why shouldn't he? What is this mystery, New
Papa? Will you not tell me?"--and she comes toward him, and lays her
hand upon his shoulder in her old winning, fond way. "Why may I not
know? Do you think I am not brave to bear whatever must some day be
known? What if my poor mother be unworthy? I can love her! I can love
her!"

"Ah, Adaly," said the parson, "whatever may have been her unworthiness,
it can never afflict you more; I believe that she is in her grave,
Adaly."

Adèle sunk upon her knees, with her hands clasped as if in prayer. Was
it strange that the child should pray for the mother she had never seen?

From the day when Maverick had declared her unworthiness, Adèle had
cherished secretly the hope of some day meeting her, of winning her by
her love, of clasping her arms about her neck and whispering in her ear,
"God is good, and we are all God's children!" But in her grave! Well, at
least justice will be done her then; and, calmed by this thought, Adèle
is herself once more,--earnest as ever to break away from the scathing
looks of the spinster.

The Doctor has not spoken without authority, since Maverick, in his
reply to the parson's suggestions respecting marriage, has urged that
the party was totally unfit, to a degree of which the parson himself was
a witness, and by further hints had served fully to identify, in the
mind of the old gentleman, poor Madame Arles with the mother of Adèle. A
knowledge of this fact had grievously wounded the Doctor; he could not
cease to recall the austerity with which he had debarred the poor woman
all intercourse with Adèle upon her sick-bed. And it seemed to him a
grave thing, wherever sin might lie, thus to alienate the mother and
daughter. His unwitting agency in the matter had made him of late
specially mindful of all the wishes and even caprices of Adèle,--much to
the annoyance of Miss Eliza.

"Adaly, my child, you are very dear to me," said he; and she stood by
him now, toying with those gray locks of his, in a caressing manner
which he could never know from a child of his own,--never. "If it be
your wish to change your home for the little time that remains, it shall
be. I have your father's authority to do so."

"Indeed I do wish it, New Papa";--and she dropped a kiss upon his
forehead,--upon the forehead where so few tender tokens of love had ever
fallen, or ever would fall. Yet it was very grateful to the old
gentleman, though it made him think with a sigh of the lost ones.

The Doctor talked over the affair with Miss Eliza, who avowed herself as
eager as Adèle for a change in her home, and suggested that Benjamin
should take counsel with his old friend, Mr. Elderkin; and it is quite
possible that she shrewdly anticipated the result of such a
consultation.

Certain it is that the old Squire caught at the suggestion in a moment.

"The very thing, Doctor! I see how it is. Miss Eliza is getting on in
years; a little irritable, possibly,--though a most excellent person,
Doctor,--most excellent! and there being no young people in the house,
it's a little dull for Miss Adèle, eh, Doctor? Grace, you know, is not
with us this winter; so your lodger shall come straight to my house, and
she shall take the room of Grace, and Rose will be delighted, and Mrs.
Elderkin will be delighted; and as for Phil, when he happens with
us,--as he does only off and on now,--he'll be falling in love with her,
I haven't a doubt; or, if he doesn't, I shall be tempted to myself.
She's a fine girl, eh, Doctor?"

"She's a good Christian, I believe," said the Doctor gravely.

"I haven't a doubt of it," said the Squire; "and I hope that a bit of a
dance about Christmas time, if we should fall into that wickedness,
wouldn't harm her on that score,--eh, Doctor?"

"I should wish, Mr. Elderkin, that she maintain her usual propriety of
conduct, until she is again in her father's charge."

"Well, well, Doctor, you shall talk with Mrs. Elderkin of that matter."

So, it is all arranged. Miss Johns expresses a quiet gratification at
the result, and--it is specially agreeable to her to feel that the
responsibility of giving shelter and countenance to Miss Maverick is now
shared by so influential a family as that of the Elderkins. Rose is
overjoyed, and can hardly do enough to make the new home agreeable to
Adèle; while the mistress of the house--mild, and cheerful, and sunny,
diffusing content every evening over the little circle around her
hearth--wins Adèle to a new cheer. Yet it is a cheer that is tempered by
many sad thoughts of her own loneliness, and of her alienation from any
motherly smiles and greetings that are truly hers.

Phil is away at her coming; but a week after he bursts into the house on
a snowy December night, and there is a great stamping in the hall, and a
little grandchild of the house pipes from the half-opened door, "It's
Uncle Phil!" and there is a loud smack upon the cheek of Rose, who runs
to give him welcome, and a hearty, honest grapple with the hand of the
old Squire, and then another kiss upon the cheek of the old mother, who
meets him before he is fairly in the room,--a kiss upon her cheek, and
another, and another, Phil loves the old lady with an honest warmth that
kindles the admiration of poor Adèle, who, amid all this demonstration
of family affection, feels herself more cruelly than ever a stranger in
the household,--a stranger, indeed, to the interior and private joys of
any household.

Yet such enthusiasm is, somehow, contagious; and when Phil meets Adèle
with a shake of the hand and a hearty greeting, she returns it with an
outspoken, homely warmth, at thought of which she finds herself blushing
a moment after. To tell truth, Phil is rather a fine-looking fellow at
this time,--strong, manly, with a comfortable assurance of manner,--a
face beaming with _bonhomie_, cheeks glowing with that sharp December
drive, and a wild, glad sparkle in his eye, as Rose whispers him that
Adèle has become one of the household. It is no wonder, perhaps, that
the latter finds the bit of embroidery she is upon somewhat perplexing,
so that she has to consult Rose pretty often in regard to the different
shades, and twirl the worsteds over and over, until confusion about the
colors shall restore her own equanimity. Phil, meantime, dashes on, in
his own open, frank way, about his drive, and the state of the ice in
the river, and some shipments he had made from New York to Porto
Rico,--on capital terms, too.

"And did you see much of Reuben?" asks Mrs. Elderkin.

"Not much," and Phil (glancing that way) sees that Adèle is studying her
crimsons; "but he tells me he is doing splendidly in some business
venture to the Mediterranean with Brindlock; he could hardly talk of
anything else. It's odd to find him so wrapped up in money-making."

"I hope he'll not be wrapped up in anything worse," said Mrs. Elderkin,
with a sigh.

"Nonsense, mother!" burst in the old Squire; "Reuben'll come out all
right yet."

"He says he means to know all sides of the world, now," says Phil, with
a little laugh.

"He's not so bad as he pretends to be, Phil," answered the Squire. "I
knew the Major's hot ways; so did you, Grace (turning to the wife). It's
a boy's talk. There's good blood in him."

And the two girls,--yonder, the other side of the hearth,--Adèle and
Rose, have given over their little earnest comparison of views about the
colors, and sit stitching, and stitching, and thinking--and thinking--


L.

Phil had at no time given over his thought of Adèle, and of the
possibility of some day winning her for himself, though he had been
somewhat staggered by the interview already described with Reuben. It is
doubtful, even, if the quiet _permission_ which this latter had granted
(or, with an affectation of arrogance, had seemed to grant) had not
itself made him pause. There are some things which a man never wants any
permission to do; and one of those is--to love a woman. All the
permissions--whether of competent authority or of incompetent--only
retard him. It is an affair in which he must find his own permit, by his
own power; and without it there can be no joy in conquest.

So when Phil recalled Reuben's expression on that memorable afternoon in
his chamber,--"You _may_ marry her, Phil,"--it operated powerfully to
dispossess him of all intention and all earnestness of pursuit. The
little doubt and mystery which Reuben had thrown, in the same interview,
upon the family relations of Adèle, did not weigh a straw in the
comparison. But for months that "may" had angered him and made him
distant. He had plunged into his business pursuits with a new zeal, and
easily put away all present thought of matrimony, by virtue of that
simple "may" of Reuben's.

But now when, on coming back, he found her in his own home,--so tenderly
cared for by mother and by sister,--so coy and reticent in his presence,
the old fever burned again. It was not now a simple watching of her
figure upon the street that told upon him; but her constant
presence;--the rustle of her dress up and down the stairs; her fresh,
fair face every day at table; the tapping of her light feet along the
hall; the little musical bursts of laughter (not Rose's,--oh, no!) that
came from time to time floating through the open door of his chamber.
All this Rose saw and watched with the highest glee,--finding her own
little, quiet means of promoting such accidents,--and rejoicing (as
sisters will, where the enslaver is a friend) in the captivity of poor
Phil. For an honest lover, propinquity is always dangerous,--most of
all, the propinquity in one's own home. The sister's caresses of the
charmer, the mother's kind looks, the father's playful banter, and the
whisk of a silken dress (with a new music in it) along the balusters you
have passed night and morning for years, have a terrible executive
power.

In short, Adèle had not been a month with the Elderkins before Phil was
tied there by bonds he had never known the force of before.

And how was it with Adèle?

That strong, religious element in her,--abating no jot in its
fervor,--which had found a shock in the case of Reuben, met none with
Philip. He had slipped into the mother's belief and reverence, not by
any spell of suffering or harrowing convictions, but by a kind of
insensible growth toward them, and an easy, deliberate, moderate living
by them, which more active and incisive minds cannot comprehend. He had
no great wastes of doubt to perplex him, like Reuben, simply because his
intelligence was of a more submissive order, and never tested its faiths
or beliefs by that delicately sensitive mental apparel with which Reuben
was clothed all over, and which suggested a doubt or a hindrance where
Phil would have recognized none;--the best stuff in him, after all, of
which a hale, hearty, contented man can be made,--the stuff that takes
on age with dignity, that wastes no power, that conserves every element
of manliness to fourscore. Too great keenness does not know the name of
content; its only experience of joy is by spasms, when Idealism puts its
prism to the eye and shows all things in those gorgeous hues, which
to-morrow fade. Such mind and temper shock the _physique_, shake it
down, strain the nervous organization; and the body, writhing under
fierce cerebral thrusts, goes tottering to the grave. Is it strange if
doubts belong to those writhings? Are there no such creatures as
constitutional doubters, or, possibly, constitutional believers?

It would have been strange if the calm, mature repose of Phil's
manner,--never disturbed except when Adèle broke upon him suddenly and
put him to a momentary confusion, of which the pleasant fluttering of
her own heart gave account,--strange, if this had not won upon her
regard,--strange, if it had not given hint of that cool, masculine
superiority in him, with which even the most ethereal of women like to
be impressed. There was about him also a quiet, business-like
concentration of mind which the imaginative girl might have overlooked
or undervalued, but which the budding, thoughtful woman must needs
recognize and respect. Nor will it seem strange, if, by contrast, it
made the excitable Reuben seem more dismally afloat and vagrant. Yet how
could she forget the passionate pressure of his hand, the appealing
depth of that gray eye of the parson's son, and the burning words of his
that stuck in her memory like thorns?

Phil, indeed, might have spoken in a way that would have driven the
blood back upon her heart; for there was a world of passionate
capability under his calm exterior. She dreaded lest he might. She
shunned all provoking occasion, as a bird shuns the grasp of even the
most tender hand, under whose clasp the pinions will flutter vainly.

When Rose said now, as she was wont to say, after some generous deed of
his, "Phil is a good, kind, noble fellow!" Adèle affected not to hear,
and asked Rose, with a bustling air, if she was "quite sure that she had
the right shade of brown" in the worsted work they were upon.

So the Christmas season came and went. The Squire cherished a
traditional regard for its old festivities, not only by reason of a
general festive inclination that was very strong in him, but from a
desire to protest in a quiet way against what he called the pestilent
religious severities of a great many of the parish, who ignored the day
because it was a high holiday in the Popish Church, and in that other,
which, under the wing of Episcopacy, was following, in their view, fast
after the Babylonish traditions. There was Deacon Tourtelot, for
instance, who never failed on a Christmas morning--if weather and
sledding were good--to get up his long team (the restive two-year-olds
upon the neap) and drive through the main street, with a great clamor of
"Haw, Diamond!" and "Gee, Buck and Bright!"--as if to insist upon the
secular character of the day. Indeed, with the old-fashioned New-England
religious faith, an exuberant, demonstrative joyousness could not
gracefully or easily be welded. The hopes that reposed even upon
Christ's coming, with its tidings of great joy, must be solemn. And the
anniversary of a glorious birth, which, by traditionary impulse, made
half the world glad, was to such believers like any other day in the
calendar. Even the good Doctor pointed his Christmas prayer with no
special unction. What, indeed, were anniversaries, or a yearly
proclamation of peace and good-will to men, with those who, on every
Sabbath morning, saw the heavens open above the sacred desk, and heard
the golden promises expounded, and the thunders of coming retribution
echo under the ceiling of the Tabernacle?

The Christmas came and went with a great lighting-up of the Elderkin
house; and there were green garlands which Rose and Adèle have plaited
over the mantel, and over the stiff family portraits; and good Phil--in
the character of Santa Claus--has stuffed the stockings of all the
grandchildren, and--in the character of the bashful lover--has played
like a moth about the blazing eyes of Adèle.

Yet the current of the village gossip has it, that they are to marry.
Miss Eliza, indeed, shakes her head wisely, and keeps her own counsel.
But Dame Tourtelot reports to old Mistress Tew,--"Phil Elderkin is goin'
to marry the French girl."

"Haöw?" says Mrs. Tew, adjusting her tin trumpet.

"Philip Elderkin--is--a-goin' to marry the French girl," screams the
Dame.

"Du tell! Goin' to settle in Ashfield?"

"I don't know."

"No! Where, then?" says Mistress Tew.

I don't KNOW," shrieks the Dame.

"Oh!" chimes Mrs. Tew; and after reflecting awhile and smoothing out her
cap-strings, she says,--"I've heerd the French gurl keeps a cross in her
chamber."

"_She_ DOOZ," explodes the Dame.

"I want to know! I wonder the Squire don't put a stop to 't."

"Doan't believe _he would if he_ COULD," says the Dame, snappishly.

"Waal, waal! it's a wicked world we're a-livin' in, Miss Tourtelot." And
she elevates her trumpet, as if she were eager to get a confirmation of
that fact.


LI.

In those days to which our narrative has now reached, the Doctor was far
more feeble than when we first met him. His pace has slackened, and
there is an occasional totter in his step. There are those among his
parishioners who say that his memory is failing. On one or two Sabbaths
of the winter he has preached sermons scarce two years old. There are
acute listeners who are sure of it. And the spinster has been horrified
on learning that, once or twice, the old gentleman--escaping her
eye--has taken his walk to the post-office, unwittingly wearing his best
cloak wrong-side out; as if--for so good a man--the green baize were not
as proper a covering as the brown camlet!

The parson is himself conscious of these short-comings, and speaks with
resignation of the growing infirmities which, as he modestly hints, will
compel him shortly to give place to some younger and more zealous
expounder of the faith. His parochial visits grow more and more rare.
All other failings could be more easily pardoned than this; but in a
country parish like Ashfield, it was quite imperative that the old
chaise should keep up its familiar rounds, and the occasional tea-fights
in the out-lying houses be honored by the gray head of the Doctor or by
his evening benediction. Two hour-long sermons a week and a Wednesday
evening discourse were very well in their way, but by no means met all
the requirements of those steadfast old ladies whose socialities were
both exhaustive and exacting. Indeed, it is doubtful if there do not
exist even now, in most country parishes of New England, a few most
excellent and notable women, who delight in an overworked parson, for
the pleasure they take in recommending their teas, and plasters, and
nostrums. The more frail and attenuated the teacher, the more he takes
hold upon their pity; and in losing the vigor of the flesh, he seems to
their compassionate eyes to grow into the spiritualities they pine for.
But he must not give over his visitings; _that_ hair-cloth shirt of
penance he must wear to the end, if he would achieve saintship.

Now, just at this crisis, it happens that there is a tall, thin, pale
young man--Rev. Theophilus Catesby by name, and nephew of the late
Deacon Simmons (now unhappily deceased)--who has preached in Ashfield on
several occasions to the "great acceptance" of the people. Talk is
imminent of naming him colleague to Dr. Johns. The matter is discussed,
at first, (agreeably to custom,) in the sewing-circle of the town. After
this, it comes informally before the church brethren. The duty to the
Doctor and to the parish is plain enough. The practical question is, how
cheaply can the matter be accomplished?

The salary of the good Doctor has grown, by progressive increase, to be
at this date some seven hundred dollars a year,--a very considerable
stipend for a country parish in that day. It was understood that the
proposed colleague would expect six hundred. The two joined made a
somewhat appalling sum for the people of Ashfield. They tried to combat
it in a variety of ways,--over tea-tables and barn-yard gates, as well
as in their formal conclaves; earnest for a good thing in the way of
preaching, but earnest for a good bargain, too.

"I say, Huldy," said the Deacon, in discussion of the affair over his
wife's fireside, "I wouldn't wonder if the Doctor 'ad put up somethin'
handsome between the French girl's boardin', and odds and ends."

"What if he ha'n't, Tourtelot? Miss Johns's got property, and what's
_she_ goin' to do with it, I want to know?"

On this hint the Deacon spoke, in his next encounter with the Squire
upon the street, with more boldness.

"It's my opinion, Squire, the Doctor's folks are pooty well off, now;
and if we make a trade with the new minister, so's he'll take the
biggest half o' the hard work of the parish, I think the old Doctor 'ud
worry along tol'able well on three or four hundred a year; heh, Squire?"

"Well, Deacon, I don't know about that;--don't know. Butcher's meat is
always butcher's meat, Deacon."

"So it is, Squire; and not so dreadful high, nuther. I've got a likely
two-year-old in the yard, that'll dress abaout a hundred to a quarter,
and I don't pretend to ask but twenty-five dollars; know anybody that
wants such a critter, Squire?"

With very much of the same relevancy of observation the affair is
bandied about for a week or more in the discussions at the
society-meetings, with danger of never coming to any practical issue,
when a wiry little man--in a black Sunday coat, whose tall collar chafes
the back of his head near to the middle--rises from a corner where he
has grown vexed with the delay, and bursts upon the solemn conclave in
this style:--

"Brethren, I ha'n't been home to chore-time in the last three days, and
my wife is gittin' worked up abaout it. Here we've bin a-settin' and
a-talkin' night arter night, and arternoon arter arternoon for more 'n a
week, and 'pears to me it 's abaout time as tho' somethin' o' ruther
ought to be done. There's nobody got nothin' agin the Doctor that I've
_heerd_ of. He's a smart old gentleman, and he's a clever old gentleman,
and he preaches what I call good, stiff doctrine; but we don't feel much
like payin' for light work same as what we paid when the work was
heavy,--'specially if we git a new minister on our hands. But then,
brethren, I don't for one feel like turnin' an old hoss that's done good
sarvice, when he gits stiff in the j'ints, into slim pastur', and I
don't feel like stuffin' on 'em with bog hay in the winter. There's
folks that dooz; but _I_ don't. Now, brethren, I motion that we
continner to give as much as five hundred dollars to the old Doctor, and
make the best dicker we can with the new minister; and I'll clap ten
dollars on to my pew-rent; and the Deacon there, if he's anything of a
man, 'll do as much agin. I know he's able to."

Let no one smile. The halting prudence, the inevitable calculating
process through which the small country New-Englander arrives at his
charities, is but the growth of his associations. He gets hardly; and
what he gets hardly he must bestow with self-questionings. If he lives
"in the small," he cannot give "in the large." His pennies, by the
necessities of his toil, are each as big as pounds; yet his charities,
in nine cases out of ten, bear as large a proportion to his revenue as
the charities of those who count gains by tens of thousands. Liberality
is, after all, comparative, and is exceptionally great only when its
sources are exceptionally small. That "_widow's mite_"--the only charity
ever specially commended by the great Master of charities--will tinkle
pleasantly on the ear of humanity ages hence, when the clinking millions
of cities are forgotten.

The new arrangement all comes to the ear of Reuben, who writes back in a
very brusque way to the Doctor: "Why on earth, father, don't you cut all
connection with the parish? You've surely done your part in that
service. Don't let the 'minister's pay' be any hindrance to you, for I
am getting on swimmingly in my business ventures,--thanks to Mr.
Brindlock. I enclose a check for two hundred dollars, and can send you
one of equal amount every quarter, without feeling it. Why shouldn't a
man of your years have rest?"

And the Doctor, in his reply, says: "My rest, Reuben, is God's work. I
am deeply grateful to you, and only wish that your generosity were
hallowed by a deeper trust in His providence and mercy. O Reuben!
Reuben! a night cometh, when no man can work! You seem to imagine, my
son, that some slight has been put upon me by recent arrangements in the
parish. It is not so; and I am sure that none has been intended. A
servant of Christ can receive no reproach at the hands of his people,
save this,--that he has failed to warn them of the judgment to come, and
to point out to them, the ark of safety."

Correspondence between the father and son is not infrequent in these
days; for, since Reuben has slipped away from home control
utterly,--being now well past one and twenty,--the Doctor has forborne
that magisterial tone which, in his old-fashioned way, it was his wont
to employ, while yet the son was subject to his legal authority. Under
these conditions, Reuben is won into more communicativeness,--even upon
those religious topics which are always prominent in the Doctor's
letters; indeed, it would seem that the son rather enjoyed a little
logical fence with the old gentleman, and a passing lunge, now and then,
at his severities; still weltering in his unbelief, but wearing it more
lightly (as the father saw with pain) by reason of the great crowd of
sympathizers at his back.

"It is so rare," he writes, "to fall in with one who earnestly and
heartily seems to believe what he says he believes. And if you meet him
in a preacher at a street-corner, declaiming with a mad fervor, people
cry out, 'A fanatic!' Why shouldn't he be? I can't, for my life, see.
Why shouldn't every fervent believer of the truths he teaches rush
through the streets to divert the great crowd, with voice and hand, from
the inevitable doom? I see the honesty of your faith, father, though
there seems a strained harshness in it when I think of the complacency
with which you must needs contemplate the irremediable perdition of such
hosts of outcasts. In Adèle, too, there seems a beautiful singleness of
trust; but I suppose God made the birds to live in the sky.

"You need not fear my falling into what you call the Pantheism of the
moralists; it is every way too cold for my hot blood. It seems to me
that the moral icicles with which their doctrine is fringed (and the
fringe is the beauty of it) must needs melt under any passionate human
clasp,--such clasp as I should want to give (if I gave any) to a great
hope for the future. I should feel more like groping my way into such
hope by the light of the golden candlesticks of Rome even. But do not be
disturbed, father; I fear I should make, just now, no better Papist than
Presbyterian."

The Doctor reads such letters in a maze. Can it indeed be a son of his
own loins who thus bandies language about the solemn truths of
Christianity?

"How shall I give thee up, Ephraim! How shall I set thee as Zeboim!"


LII.

In the early spring of 1842,--we are not quite sure of the date, but it
was at any rate shortly after the establishment of the Reverend
Theophilus Catesby at Ashfield,--the Doctor was in the receipt of a new
letter from his friend Maverick, which set all his old calculations
adrift. It was not Madame Arles, after all, who was the mother of Adèle;
and the poor gentleman found that he had wasted a great deal of needless
sympathy in that direction. But we shall give the details of the news
more succinctly and straightforwardly by laying before our readers some
portions of Maverick's letter.

"I find, my dear Johns," he writes, "that my suspicions in regard to a
matter of which I wrote you very fully in my last were wholly untrue.
How I could have been so deceived, I cannot even now fairly explain; but
nothing is more certain, than that the person calling herself Madame
Arles (since dead, as I learn from Adèle) was not the mother of my
child. My mistake in this will the more surprise you, when I state that
I had a glimpse of this personage (unknown to you) upon my visit to
America; and though it was but a passing glimpse, it seemed to
me--though many years had gone by since my last sight of her--that I
could have sworn to her identity. And coupling this resemblance, as I
very naturally did, with her devotion to my poor Adèle, I could form but
one conclusion.

"The mother of my child, however, still lives. I have seen her. You will
commiserate me in advance with the thought that I have found her among
the vile ones of what you count this vile land. But you are wrong, my
dear Johns. So far as appearance and present conduct go, no more
reputable lady ever crossed your own threshold. The meeting was
accidental, but the recognition on both sides absolute, and, on the part
of the lady, so emotional as to draw the attention of the _habitués_ of
the café where I chanced to be dining. Her manner and bearing, indeed,
were such as to provoke me to a renewal of our old acquaintance, with
honorable intentions,--even independent of those suggestions of duty to
herself and to Adèle which you have urged.

"But I have to give you, my dear Johns, a new surprise. All overtures of
my own toward a renewal of acquaintance have been decisively repulsed. I
learn that she has been living for the past fifteen years or more with
her brother, now a wealthy merchant of Smyrna, and that she has a
reputation there as a _dévote_, and is widely known for the charities
which her brother's means place within her reach. It would thus seem
that even this French woman, contrary to your old theory, is atoning for
an early sin by a life of penance.

"And now, my dear Johns, I have to confess to you another deceit of
mine. This woman--Julie Chalet when I knew her of old, and still wearing
the name--has no knowledge that she has a child now living. To divert
all inquiry, and to insure entire alienation of my little girl from all
French ties, I caused a false mention of the death of Adèle to be
inserted in the Gazette of Marseilles. I know you will be very much
shocked at this, my dear Johns, and perhaps count it as large a sin as
the grosser one; that I committed it for the child's sake will be no
excuse in your eye, I know. You may count me as bad as you
choose,--only give me credit for the fatherly affection which would
still make the path as easy and as thornless as I can for my poor
daughter.

"If Julie, the mother of Adèle, knew to-day of her existence,--if I
should carry that information to her,--I am sure that all her rigidities
would be consumed like flax in a flame. That method, at least, is left
for winning her to any action upon which I may determine. Shall I use
it? I ask you as one who, I am sure, has learned to love Adèle, and who,
I hope, has not wholly given over a friendly feeling toward me. Consider
well, however, that the mother is now one of the most rigid of
Catholics; I learn that she is even thinking of conventual life. I know
her spirit and temper well enough to be sure that, if she were to meet
the child again which she believes lost, it would be with an impetuosity
of feeling and a devotion that would absorb every aim of her life. This
disclosure is the only one by which I could hope to win her to any
consideration of marriage; and with a mother's rights and a mother's
love, would she not sweep away all that Protestant faith which you, for
so many years, have been laboring to build up in the mind of my child?
Whatever you may think, I do not conceive this to be impossible; and if
possible, is it to be avoided at all hazards? Whatever I might have owed
to the mother I feel in a measure absolved from by her rejection of all
present advances. And inasmuch as I am making you my father confessor, I
may as well tell you, my dear Johns, that no particular self-denial
would be involved in a marriage with Mademoiselle Chalet. For myself, I
am past the age of sentiment; my fortune is now established; neither
myself nor my child can want for any luxury. The mother, by her present
associations and by the propriety of her life, is above all suspicion;
and her air and bearing are such as would be a passport to friendly
association with refined people here or elsewhere. You may count this a
failure of Providence to fix its punishment upon transgressors: I count
it only one of those accidents of life which are all the while
surprising us.

"There was a time when I would have had ambition to do otherwise; but
now, with my love for Adèle established by my intercourse with her and
by her letters, I have no other aim, if I know my own heart, than her
welfare. It should be kept in mind, I think, that the marriage spoken
of, if it ever take place, will probably involve, sooner or later, a
full exposure to Adèle of all the circumstances of her birth and
history. I say this will be involved, because I am sure that the warm
affections of Mademoiselle Chalet will never allow of the concealment of
her maternal relations, and that her present religious perversity (if
you will excuse the word) will not admit of further deceits. I tremble
to think of the possible consequences to Adèle, and query very much in
my own mind, if her present blissful ignorance be not better than
reunion with a mother through whom she must learn of the ignominy of her
birth. Of Adèle's fortitude to bear such a shock, and to maintain any
elasticity of spirits under it, you can judge better than I.

"I propose to delay action, my dear Johns, and of course my sailing for
America, until I shall hear from you."

Our readers can surely anticipate the tone of the Doctor's reply. He
writes:--

"Duty, Maverick, is always duty. The issues we must leave in the hands
of Providence. One sin makes a crowd of entanglements; it is never weary
of disguises and deceits. We must come out from them all, if we would
aim at purity. From my heart's core I shall feel whatever shock may come
to poor, innocent Adèle by reason of the light that may be thrown upon
her history; but if it be a light that flows from the performance of
Christian duty, I shall never fear its revelations. If we had been
always true, such dark corners would never have existed to fright us
with their goblins of terror. It is never too late, Maverick, to begin
to be true.

"I find a strange comfort, too, in what you tell me of that religious
perversity of Mademoiselle Chalet which so chafes you. I have never
ceased to believe that most of the Romish traditions are of the Devil;
but with waning years I have learned that the Divine mysteries are
beyond our comprehension, and that we cannot map out His purposes by any
human chart. The pure faith of your child, joined to her buoyant
elasticity,--I freely confess it,--has smoothed away the harshness of
many opinions I once held.

"Maverick, do your duty. Leave the rest to Heaven."



COMMUNICATION WITH THE PACIFIC.


It is remarkable that, while we have been fighting for national
existence, there has been a constant growth of the Republic. This is not
wholly due to the power of democratic ideas, but owing in part to the
native wealth of the country,--its virgin soil, its mineral riches. So
rapid has been the development that the maps of 1864 are obsolete in
1866. Civilization at a stride has moved a thousand miles, and taken
possession of the home of the buffalo. Miners with pick and spade are
tramping over the Rocky Mountains, exploring every ravine, digging
canals, building mills, and rearing their log cabins. The merchant, the
farmer, and the mechanic follow them. The long solitude of the centuries
is broken by mill-wheels, the buzzing of saws, the stroke of the axe,
the blow of the hammer and trowel. The stageman cracks his whip in the
passes of the mountains. The click of the telegraph and the rumbling of
the printing-press are heard at the head-waters of the Missouri, and
borne on the breezes there is the laughter of children and the sweet
music of Sabbath hymns, sung by the pioneers of civilization.

Communities do not grow by chance, but by the operation of physical
laws. Position, climate, latitude, mountains, lakes, rivers, coal, iron,
silver, and gold are forces which decree occupation, character, and the
measure of power and influence which a people shall have among the
nations. Rivers are natural highways of trade, while mountains are the
natural barriers. The Atlantic coast is open everywhere to commerce; but
on the Pacific shore, from British Columbia to Central America, the
rugged wall of the coast mountains, cloud-capped and white with snow,
rises sharp and precipitous from the sea, with but one river flowing
outward from the heart of the continent. The statesman and the political
economist who would truly cast the horoscope of our future must take
into consideration the Columbia River, its latitude, its connection with
the Missouri, the Mississippi, the Lakes, and the St. Lawrence.

How wonderful the development of the Pacific and Rocky Mountain sections
of the public domain! In 1860 the population of California, Oregon, and
the territories lying west of Kansas, was six hundred and twenty-three
thousand; while the present population is estimated at one million,
wanting only facility of communication with the States to increase in a
far greater ratio.

In 1853 a series of surveys were made by government to ascertain the
practicability of a railroad to the Pacific. The country, however, at
that time, was not prepared to engage in such an enterprise; but now the
people are calling for greater facility of communication with a section
of the country abounding in mineral wealth.

Of the several routes surveyed, we shall have space in this article to
notice only the line running from Lake Superior to the head-waters of
the Missouri, the Columbia, and Puget Sound, known as the Northern
Pacific Railroad.

The public domain north of latitude 42°, through which it lies,
comprises about seven hundred thousand square miles,--a territory larger
than England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium,
Holland, all the German States, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden.

The route surveyed by Governor Stevens runs north of the Missouri River,
and crosses the mountains through Clark's Pass. Governor Stevens
intended to survey another line up the valley of the Yellow Stone; and
Lieutenant Mullan commenced a reconnoissance of the route when orders
were received from Jeff Davis, then Secretary of War, to disband the
engineering force.


THE ROUTE.

Recent explorations indicate that the best route to the Pacific will be
found up the valley of this magnificent river. The distances are as
follows:--From the Mississippi above St. Paul to the western boundary of
Minnesota, thence to Missouri River, two hundred and eighty miles, over
the table-land known as the Plateau du Coteau du Missouri, where a road
may be constructed with as much facility and as little expense as in the
State of Illinois. Crossing the Missouri, the line strikes directly west
to the Little Missouri,--the Wah-Pa-Chan-Shoka,--the _heavy-timbered_
river of the Indians, one hundred and thirty miles. This river runs
north, and enters the Missouri near its northern bend. Seventy miles
farther carries us to the Yellow Stone. Following now the valley of this
stream two hundred and eighty miles, the town of Gallatin is reached, at
the junction of the Missouri Forks and at the head of navigation on that
stream. The valley of the Yellow Stone is very fertile, abounding in
pine, cedar, cotton-wood, and elm. The river has a deeper channel than
the Missouri, and is navigable through the summer months. At the
junction of the Big Horn, its largest tributary, two hundred and twenty
miles from the mouth of the Yellow Stone, in midsummer there are ten
feet of water. The Big Horn is reported navigable for one hundred and
fifty miles. From Gallatin, following up the Jefferson Fork and Wisdom
River, one hundred and forty miles, we reach the Big Hole Pass of the
Rocky Mountains, where the line enters the valley of the St. Mary's, or
Bitter Root Fork, which flows into the Columbia. The distance from Big
Hole Pass to Puget Sound will be about five hundred and twenty miles,
making the entire distance from St. Paul to Puget Sound about sixteen
hundred miles, or one hundred and forty-three miles shorter than that
surveyed by Governor Stevens. The distance from the navigable waters of
the Missouri to the navigable waters of the Columbia is less than three
hundred miles.


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LINE.

"Rivers are the natural highways of nations," says Humboldt. This route,
then, is one of Nature's highways. The line is very direct. The country
is mostly a rolling prairie, where a road may be constructed as easily
as through the State of Iowa. It may be built with great rapidity.
Parties working west from St. Paul and east from the Missouri would meet
on the plains of Dacotah. Other parties working west from the Missouri
and east from the Yellow Stone would meet on the "heavy-timbered river."
Iron, locomotives, material of all kinds, provisions for laborers, can
be delivered at any point along the Yellow Stone to within a hundred
miles of the town of Gallatin, and they can be taken up the Missouri to
that point by portage around the Great Falls. Thus the entire line east
of the Rocky Mountains may be under construction at once, with iron and
locomotives delivered by water transportation, with timber near at hand.

The character of the country is sufficient to maintain a dense
population. It has always been the home of the buffalo, the favorite
hunting-ground of the Indians. The grasses of the Yellow Stone Valley
are tender and succulent. The climate is milder than that of Illinois.
Warm springs gush up on the head-waters of the Yellow Stone. Lewis and
Clark, on their return from the Columbia, boiled their meat in water
heated by subterraneous fires. There are numerous beds of coal, and also
petroleum springs.

"Large quantities of coal seen in the cliffs to-day,"[D] is a note in
the diary of Captain Clark, as he sailed down the Yellow Stone, who also
has this note regarding the country: "High waving plains, rich, fertile
land, bordered by stony hills, partially supplied by pine."[E]

Of the country of the Big Horn he says: "It is a rich, open country,
supplied with a great quantity of timber."

Coal abounds on the Missouri, where the proposed line crosses that
stream.[F]

The gold mines of Montana, on the head-waters of the Missouri, are
hardly surpassed for richness by any in the world. They were discovered
in 1862. The product for the year 1865 is estimated at $16,000,000. The
Salmon River Mines, west of the mountains, in Idaho, do not yield so
fine a quality of gold, but are exceedingly rich.

Many towns have sprung into existence on both sides of the mountains. In
Eastern Montana we have Gallatin, Beaver Head, Virginia, Nevada,
Centreville, Bannock, Silver City, Montana, Jefferson, and other mining
centres. In Western Montana, Labarge, Deer Lodge City, Owen, Higginson,
Jordan, Frenchtown, Harrytown, and Hot Spring. Idaho has Boisee, Bannock
City, Centreville, Warren, Richmond, Washington, Placerville, Lemhi,
Millersburg, Florence, Lewiston, Craigs, Clearwater, Elk City, Pierce,
and Lake City,--all mining towns.

A gentleman who has resided in the territory gives us the following
information:--

"The southern portion of Montana Territory is mild; and from the
testimony of explorers and settlers, as well as from my own experience
and observation, the extreme northern portion is favored by a climate
healthful to a high degree, and quite as mild as that of many of the
Northern and Western States. This is particularly the case west of the
mountains, in accordance with the well-known fact, that the isothermal
line, or the line of heat, is farther north as you go westward from the
Eastern States toward the Pacific.

"At Fort Benton [one hundred and thirty miles directly north from
Gallatin], in about 48° of north latitude, a trading post of the
American Fur Company, their horses and cattle, of which they have large
numbers, are never housed or fed in winter, but get their own living
without difficulty....

"Northeastern Montana is traversed by the Yellow Stone, whose source is
high up in the mountains, from thence winding its way eastward across
the Territory and flowing into the Missouri at Fort Union; thus crossing
seven degrees of longitude, with many tributaries flowing into it from
the south, in whose valleys, in connection with that of the Yellow
Stone, there are hundreds of thousands of acres of tillable land, to say
nothing of the tributaries of the Missouri, among which are the
Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin forks, along which settlements are
springing up, and agriculture is becoming a lucrative business. These
valleys are inviting to the settler. They are surrounded with hills and
mountains, clad with pine, while a growth of cotton-wood skirts the
meandering streams that everywhere flow through them, affording
abundance of water-power.

"The first attempt at farming was made in the summer of 1863, which was
a success, and indicates the productiveness of these valleys. Messrs.
Wilson and Company broke thirty acres last spring, planting twelve acres
of potatoes,--also corn, turnips, and a variety of garden sauce, all of
which did well. The potatoes, they informed me, yielded two hundred
bushels per acre, and sold in Virginia City, fifty miles distant, at
twenty-five cents per pound, turnips at twenty cents, onions at forty
cents, cabbage at sixty cents, peas and beans at fifty cents per pound
in the pod, and corn at two dollars a dozen ears. Vines of all kinds
seem to flourish; and we see no reason why fruit may not be grown here,
as the climate is much more mild than in many of the States where it is
a staple.

"The valley at the Three Forks, as also the valley along the streams, as
they recede from the junction, are spacious, and yield a spontaneous
growth of herbage, upon which cattle fatten during the winter....

"The Yellow Stone is navigable for several hundred miles from its mouth,
penetrating the heart of the agricultural and mineral regions of Eastern
Montana.... The section is undulating, with ranges of mountains, clad
with evergreens, between which are beautiful valleys and winding
streams, where towns and cities will spring up to adorn these mountain
retreats, and give room for expanding civilization....

"On the east side of the mountains the mines are rich beyond
calculation, the yield thus far having equalled the most productive
locality of California of equal extent. The Bannock or Grasshopper mines
were discovered in July, 1862, and are situated on Grasshopper Creek,
which is a tributary of the Jefferson fork of the Missouri. The mining
district here extends five miles down the creek, from Bannock City,
which is situated at the head of the gulch, while upon either side of
the creek the mountains are intersected with gold-bearing quartz lodes,
many of which have been found to be very rich....

"While gold has been found in paying quantities all along the Rocky
chain, its deposits are not confined to this locality, but sweep across
the country eastward some hundreds of miles, to the Big Horn Mountains.
The gold discoveries there cover a large area of country."[G]

Governor Stevens says: "Voyagers travel all winter from Lake Superior to
the Missouri, with horses and sleds, having to make their own roads, and
are not deterred by snows."

Alexander Culbertson, the great voyager and trader of the Upper
Missouri, who, for the last twenty years, has made frequent trips from
St. Louis to Fort Benton, has never found the snow drifted enough to
interfere with travelling. The average depth is twelve inches, and
frequently it does not exceed six.[H]

Through such a country, east of the mountains, lies the shortest line of
railway between the Atlantic and Pacific,--a country rich in mineral
wealth, of fertile soil, mild climate, verdant valleys, timbered hills,
arable lands yielding grains and grass, with mountain streams for the
turning of mill-wheels, rich coal beds, and springs of petroleum!


THE MOUNTAINS.

There are several passes at the head-waters of the Missouri which may be
used;--the Hell-Gate Pass; the Deer Lodge; and the Wisdom River, or Big
Hole, as it is sometimes called, which leads into the valley of the
Bitter Root, or St. Mary's. The Big Hole is thus described by Lieutenant
Mullan:--

"The descent towards the Missouri side is very gradual; so much so,
that, were it not for the direction taken by the waters, it might be
considered an almost level prairie country."[I]

Governor Stevens thus speaks of the valley of the Bitter Root:--

"The faint attempts made by the Indians at cultivating the soil have
been attended with good success; and fair returns might be expected of
all such crops as are adapted to the Northern States of our country. The
pasturage grounds are unsurpassed. The extensive bands of horses, owned
by the Flathead Indians occupying St. Mary's village, on the Bitter Root
River, thrive well winter and summer. One hundred horses, belonging to
the exploration, are wintered in the valley; and up to the 9th of March
the grass was fair, but little snow had fallen, and the weather was
mild. The oxen and cows, owned here by the half-breeds and Indians,
obtain good feed, and are in good condition."[J]

This village of St Mary's is sixty miles down the valley from the Big
Hole Pass; yet, though so near, snow seldom falls, and the grass is so
verdant that horses and cattle subsist the year round on the natural
pasturage.

Lieutenant Mullan says of it: "The fact of the exceedingly mild winters
in this valley has been noticed and remarked by all who have ever been
in it during the winter season. It is the home of the Flathead Indians,
who, through the instrumentality and exertions of the Jesuit priests,
have built up a village,--not of logs, but of houses,--where they repair
every winter, and, with this valley covered with an abundance of rich
and nutritious grass, they live as comfortably as any tribe west of the
Rocky Mountains....

"The numerous mountain rivulets, tributary to the Bitter Root River,
that run through the valley, afford excellent and abundant mill-seats;
and the land bordering these is fertile and productive, and has been
found, beyond cavil or doubt, to be well suited to every branch of
agriculture. I have seen oats, grown by Mr. John Owen, that are as heavy
and as excellent as any I have ever seen in the States; and the same
gentleman informs me that he has grown excellent wheat, and that, from
his experience while in the mountains, he hesitated not in saying that
agriculture might be carried on here in all its numerous branches, and
to the exceeding great interest and gain of those engaged in it. The
valley and mountain slopes are well timbered with an excellent growth of
pine, which is equal, in every respect, to the well-known pine of
Oregon. The valley is not only capable of grazing immense bands of stock
of every kind, but is also capable of supporting a dense population.

"The provisions of Nature here, therefore, are on no small scale, and of
no small importance; and let those who have imagined--as some have been
bold to say it--that there exists only one immense bed of mountains at
the head-waters of the Missouri to the Cascade Range, turn their
attention to this section, and let them contemplate its advantages and
resources, and ask themselves, since these things exist, can it be long
before public attention shall be attracted and fastened upon this
heretofore unknown region?"[K]


CLIMATE OF THE MOUNTAINS.

We have been accustomed to think of the Rocky Mountains as an impassable
barrier, as a wild, dreary solitude, where the storms of winter piled
the mountain passes with snow. How different the fact! In 1852-53, from
the 28th of November to the 10th of January, there were but twelve
inches of snow in the pass. The recorded observations during the winter
of 1861-62 give the following measurements in the Big Hole Pass:
December 4, eighteen inches; January 10, fourteen; January 14, ten;
February 16, six; March 21, none.

We have been told that there could be no winter travel across the
mountains,--that the snow would lie in drifts fifteen or twenty feet
deep; but instead, there is daily communication by teams through the Big
Hole Pass every day in the year! The belt of snow is narrow, existing
only in the Pass.

Says Lieutenant Mullan, in his late Report on the wagon road: "The snow
will offer no great obstacle to travel, with horses or locomotives, from
the Missouri to the Columbia."

This able and efficient government officer, in the same Report, says of
this section of the country:--

"The trade and travel along the Upper Columbia, where several steamers
now ply between busy marts, of themselves attest what magical effects
the years have wrought. Besides gold, lead for miles is found along the
Kootenay. Red hermatite, iron ore, traces of copper, and plumbago are
found along the main Bitter Root. Cinnabar is said to exist along the
Hell Gate. Coal is found along the Upper Missouri, and a deposit of
cannel coal near the Three Butts, northwest of Fort Benton, is also said
to exist. Iron ore has been found on Thompson's farms on the Clark's
Fork. Sulphur is found on the Loo Loo Fork, and on the tributaries of
the Yellow Stone, and coal oil is said to exist on the Big Horn....
These great mineral deposits must have an ultimate bearing upon the
location of the Pacific Railroad, adding, as they will, trade, travel,
and wealth to its every mile when built....

"The great depots for building material exist principally in the
mountain sections, but the plains on either side are not destitute in
that particular. All through the Bitter Root and Rocky Mountains, the
finest white and red cedar, white pine, and red fir that I ever have
seen are found."[L]


GEOLOGICAL FEATURES.

The geological formation of the heart of the continent promises to open
a rich field for scientific exploration and investigation. The Wind
River Mountain, which divides the Yellow Stone from the Great Basin, is
a marked and distinct geological boundary. From the northern slope flow
the tributaries of the Yellow Stone, fed by springs of boiling water,
which perceptibly affect the temperature of the region, clothing the
valleys with verdure, and making them the winter home of the
buffalo,--the favorite hunting-grounds of the Indians,--while the
streams which flow from the southern slope of the mountains are
alkaline, and, instead of luxuriant vegetation, there are vast regions
covered with wild sage and cactus. They run into the Great Salt Lake,
and have no outlet to the ocean. A late writer, describing the
geological features of that section, says:--

"Upon the great interior desert streams and fuel are almost unknown.
Wells must be very deep, and no simple and cheap machinery adequate to
drawing up the water is yet invented. Cultivation, to a great extent,
must be carried on by irrigation."[M]

Such are the slopes of the mountains which form the rim of the Great
Basin, while the valley of the Yellow Stone is literally the land which
buds and blossoms like the rose. The Rosebud River is so named because
the valley through which it meanders is a garden of roses.

And here, along the head-waters of the Yellow Stone and its tributaries,
at the northern deflection of the Wind River chain of mountains, flows a
_river of hot wind_, which is not only one of the most remarkable
features of the climatology of the continent, but which is destined to
have a great bearing upon the civilization of this portion of the
continent. St. Joseph in Missouri, in latitude 40°, has the same mean
temperature as that at the base of the Rocky Mountains in latitude 47°!
The high temperature of the hot boiling springs warms the air which
flows northwest along the base of the mountains, sweeping through the
Big Hole Pass, the Deer Lodge, Little Blackfoot, and Mullan Pass, giving
a delightful winter climate to the valley of the St. Mary's, or Bitter
Root. It flows like the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic. Says Captain
Mullan: "On its either side, north and south, are walls of cold air, and
which are so clearly perceptible that you always detect the river when
you are on its shores."[N]

This great river of heat always flowing is sufficient to account for the
slight depth of snow in the passes at the head-waters of the Missouri,
which have an altitude of six thousand feet. The South Pass has an
altitude of seven thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine feet. The
passes of the Wasatch Range, on the route to California, are higher by
three thousand feet than those at the head-waters of the Missouri, and,
not being swept by a stream of hot air, are filled with snows during the
winter months. The passes at the head-waters of the Saskatchawan, in the
British possessions, though a few hundred feet lower than those at the
head-waters of the Missouri, are not reached by the heated Wind River,
and are impassable in winter. Even Cadotte's Pass, through which
Governor Stevens located the line of the proposed road, is outside of
the heat stream, so sharp and perpendicular are its walls.

Captain Mullan says: "From whatsoever cause it arises, it exists as a
fact that must for all time enter as an element worthy of every
attention in lines of travel and communication from the Eastern plains
to the North Pacific."[O]


DISTANCES.

That this line is the natural highway of the continent is evident from
other considerations. The distances between the centres of trade and San
Francisco, and with Puget Sound, will appear from the following tabular
statement:--

                         APPROXIMATE DISTANCES.

           | to San Francisco | to Puget Sound | Difference
           |------------------|----------------|-----------
Chicago    |   2,448 miles[P] |   1,906 miles  |  542 miles
St. Louis  |   2,345   "      |   1,981   "    |  364   "
Cincinnati |   2,685   "      |   2,200   "    |  486   "
New York   |   3,417   "      |   2,892   "    |  525   "
Boston     |   3,484   "      |   2,942   "    |  542   "

The line to Puget Sound will require no tunnel in the pass of the Rocky
Mountains. The approaches of the Big Hole and Deer Lodge in both
directions are eminently feasible, requiring little rock excavation, and
with no grades exceeding eighty feet per mile.

All of the places east of the latitude of Chicago, and north of the Ohio
River, are from three hundred to five hundred and fifty miles nearer the
Pacific at Puget Sound than at San Francisco,--due to greater directness
of the route and the shortening of longitude. These on both lines are
the approximate distances. The distance from Puget Sound to St. Louis is
estimated--via Desmoines--on the supposition that the time will come
when that line of railway will extend north far enough to intersect with
the North Pacific.


COST OF CONSTRUCTION.

The census of 1860 gives thirty thousand miles of railroad in operation,
which cost, including land damages, equipment, and all charges of
construction, $37,120 per mile. The average cost of fifteen New England
roads, including the Boston and Lowell, Boston and Maine, Vermont
Central, Western, Eastern, and Boston and Providence, was $36,305 per
mile. In the construction of this line, there will be no charge for land
damages, and nothing for timber, which exists along nearly the entire
line. But as iron and labor command a higher price than when those roads
were constructed, there should be a liberal estimate. Lieutenant Mullan,
in his late Report upon the Construction of the Wagon Road, discusses
the probability of a railroad at length, and with much ability. His
highest estimate for any portion of the line is sixty thousand dollars
per mile,--an estimate given before civilization made an opening in the
wilderness. There is no reason to believe that this line will be any
more costly than the average of roads in the United States.

In 1850 there were 7,355 miles of road in operation; in 1860, 30,793;
showing that 2,343 miles per annum were constructed by the people of the
United States. The following table shows the number of miles built in
each year from 1853 to 1856, together with the cost of the same.

Year.             Miles.               Cost.

1852              2,541             $ 94,000,000
1853              2,748              101,576,000
1854              3,549              125,313,000
1855              2,736              101,232,000
1856              3,578              132,386,000
                                     -----------
Total expenditure for five years,   $554,507,000

This exhibit is sufficient to indicate that there need be no question of
our financial ability to construct the road.

In 1856, the country had expended $776,000,000 in the construction of
railroads, incurring a debt of about $300,000,000. The entire amount of
stock and bonds held abroad at that time was estimated at only
$81,000,000.[Q]


AID FROM GOVERNMENT.

The desire of the people for the speedy opening of this great national
highway is manifested by the action of the government, which, by act of
Congress, July 2, 1864, granted the alternate sections of land for
twenty miles on each side of the road in aid of the enterprise. The land
thus appropriated amounts to forty-seven million acres,--more than is
comprised in the States of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and
New York! If all of these lands were sold at the price fixed by
government,--$2.50 per acre,--they would yield $118,000,000,--a sum
sufficient to build and equip the road. But years must elapse before
these lands can be put upon the market, and the government, undoubtedly,
will give the same aid to this road which has already been given to the
Central Pacific Road, guaranteeing the bonds or stock of the company,
and taking a lien on the road for security. Such bonds would at once
command the necessary capital for building the road.


THE WESTERN TERMINUS.

Puget Sound, with its numerous inlets, is a deep indentation of the
Pacific coast, one hundred miles north of the Columbia. It has spacious
harbors, securely land-locked, with a surrounding country abounding in
timber, with exhaustless beds of coal, rich in agricultural resources,
and with numerous mill-streams. Nature has stamped it with her seal, and
set it apart to be the New England of the Pacific coast.

That portion of the country is to be peopled by farmers, mechanics, and
artisans. California is rich in mineral wealth. Her valleys and
mountain-slopes yield abundant harvests; but she has few mill-streams,
and is dependent upon Oregon and Washington for her coal and lumber. An
inferior quality of coal is mined at Mount Diablo in California; but
most of the coal consumed in that State is brought from Puget Sound.
Hence Nature has fixed the locality of the future manufacturing industry
of the Pacific. Puget Sound is nearer than San Francisco, by several
hundred miles, to Japan, China, and Australia. It is therefore the
natural port of entry and departure for our Pacific trade. It has
advantages over San Francisco, not only in being nearer to those
countries, but in having coal near at hand, which settles the question
of the future steam marine of the Pacific.

Passengers, goods of high cost, and bills of exchange, move on the
shortest and quickest lines of travel. No business man takes the
way-train in preference to the express. Sailing vessels make the voyage
from Puget Sound to Shanghai in from thirty to forty days. Steamers will
make it in twenty.


TRADE WITH ASIA.

Far-seeing men in England are looking forward to the time when the trade
between that country and the Pacific will be carried on across this
continent. Colonel Synge, of the Queen's Royal Engineers, says:--

"America is geographically a connecting link between the continents of
Europe and Asia, and not a monstrous barrier between them. It lies in
the track of their nearest and best connection; and this fact needs only
to be fully recognized to render it in practice what it unquestionably
is in the essential points of distance and direction."[R]

Another English writer says:--

"It is believed that the amount of direct traffic which would be created
between Australia, China, and Japan, and England, by a railway from
Halifax to the Gulf of Georgia, would soon more than cover the interest
upon the capital expended.... If the intended railway were connected
with a line of steamers plying between Victoria (Puget Sound), Sydney,
or New Zealand, mails, quick freight, passengers to and from our
colonies in the southern hemisphere, would, for the most part, be
secured for this route.

"Vancouver's Island is nearer to Sydney than Panama by nine hundred
miles; and, with the exception of the proposed route by a Trans-American
railway, the latter is the most expeditious that has been found.

"By this interoceanic communication, the time to New Zealand would be
reduced to forty-two, and to Sydney to forty-seven days, being at least
ten less than by steam from England via Panama."[S]

Lord Bury says:--

"Our trade [English] in the Pacific Ocean with China and with India must
ultimately be carried through our North American possessions. At any
rate, our political and commercial supremacy will have utterly departed
from us, if we neglect that great and important consideration, and if we
fail to carry out to its fullest extent the physical advantages which
the country offers to us, and which we have only to stretch out our
hands to take advantage of."[T]

Shanghai is rapidly becoming the great commercial emporium of China. It
is situated at the mouth of the Yangtse-Kiang, the largest river of
Asia, navigable for fifteen hundred miles. Hong-Kong, which has been the
English centre in China, is nine hundred and sixty miles farther south.

With a line of railway across this continent, the position of England
would be as follows:--

To Shanghai via Suez,              60 days.
"     "    "    Puget Sound,       33   "

Mr. Maciff divides the time as follows by the Puget Sound route:--

Southampton to Halifax,       9 days.
Halifax to Puget Sound,       6    "
Puget Sound to Hong-Kong,    21    "
                             --
                             36

The voyage by Suez is made in the Peninsular and Oriental line of
steamers. The passage is proverbially comfortless,--through the Red Sea
and Persian Gulf, across the Bay of Bengal, through the Straits of
Malacca, and up the Chinese coast, under a tropical sun. Bayard Taylor
thus describes the trip down the Red Sea:--

"We had a violent head-wind, or rather gale. Yet, in spite of this
current of air, the thermometer stood at 85° on deck, and 90° in the
cabin. For two or three days we had a temperature of 90° to 95°. This
part of the Red Sea is considered to be the hottest portion of the
earth's surface. In the summer the air is like that of a furnace, and
the bare red mountains glow like heaps of live coals. The steamers at
that time almost invariably lose some of their firemen and stewards.
Cooking is quite given up."[U]

Bankok, Singapore, and Java can be reached more quickly from England by
Puget Sound than by Suez.

Notwithstanding the discomforts of the passage down the Red Sea, the
steamers are always overcrowded with passengers, and loaded to their
utmost capacity with freight. The French line, the Messageries Imperials
de France, has been established, and is fully employed. Both lines pay
large dividends.

The growth of the English trade with China during the last sixteen years
has been very rapid. Tea has increased 1300 per cent, and silk 950.[V]

The trade between the single port of Shanghai and England and America in
the two great staples of export is seen from the following statement of
the export of tea and silk from that port from July 1, 1859, to July 1,
1860:--

                      Tea, lbs.       Silk, bales.
Great Britain,       31,621,000         19,084
United States,       18,299,000          1,554
Canada,               1,172,000
France,                                 47,000

The total value of exports from England to China in 1860 was
$26,590,000. Says Colonel Sykes:--

"Our trade with China resolves itself into our taking almost exclusively
from them teas and raw silk, and their taking from us cotton, cotton
yarns, and woollens."[W]

The exports of the United States to the Pacific in 1861 were as
follows:--

To China,               $5,809,724
Australia,               3,410,000
Islands of the Pacific     484,000
                        ----------
       Total,           $9,703,724

By the late treaty between the United States and China, that empire is
thrown open to trade; and already a large fleet of American-built
steamers is afloat on the gleaming waters of the Yang-tse. Mr.
Burlingame, our present Minister, is soon to take his departure for that
empire, with instructions to use his utmost endeavor to promote friendly
relations between the two countries. That this country is to have an
immense trade with China is evident from the fact that no other country
can compete with us in the manufacture of coarse cotton goods, which,
with cotton at its normal price, will be greatly sought after by the
majority of the people of that country, who of necessity are compelled
to wear the cheapest clothing.

Shanghai is the silk emporium of the empire. A ton of silk goods is
worth from ten to fifteen thousand dollars. Nearly all of the silk is
now shipped by the Peninsular and Oriental line, at a charge of $125 to
$150 per ton; and notwithstanding these exorbitant rates, Shanghai
merchants are compelled to make written application weeks in advance,
and accept proportional allotments for shipping. In May, 1863, the
screw-steamer Bahama made the trip from Foochow to London in eighty days
with a cargo of tea, and obtained sixty dollars per ton, while freights
by sailing vessels were but twenty dollars; the shippers being willing
to pay forty dollars per ton for forty days' quicker delivery. With the
Northern Pacific line constructed, the British importer could receive
his Shanghai goods across this continent in fifty days, and at a rate
lower than by the Peninsular line.

The route by the Peninsular line runs within eighty miles of the
Equator; and the entire voyage is through a tropical climate, which
injures the flavor of the tea. Hence the high price of the celebrated
"brick tea," brought across the steppes of Russia. The route by Puget
Sound is wholly through temperate latitudes, across a smooth and
peaceful sea, seldom vexed by storms, and where currents, like the Gulf
Stream of Mexico, and favoring trade-winds, may be taken advantage of by
vessels plying between that port and the Asiatic coast.

Japan is only four thousand miles distant from Puget Sound. The teas and
silks of that country are rapidly coming into market. Coal is found
there, and on the island of Formosa, and up the Yang-tse.


CLIMATE

The climate of Puget Sound is thus set forth by an English writer, who
has passed several months at Victoria:--

"From October to March we are liable to frequent rains; but this period
of damp is ever and anon relieved by prolonged intervals of bright dry
weather. In March, winter gives signs of taking its departure, and the
warm breath of spring begins to cover the trees with tinted buds and the
fields with verdure.... The sensations produced by the aspects of nature
in May are indescribably delightful. The freshness of the air, the
warbling of birds, the clearness of the sky, the profusion and fragrance
of wild roses, the widespread, variegated hues of buttercups and
daisies, the islets and violets, together with the distant snow-peaks
bursting upon the view, combine in that month to fill the mind with
enchantment unequalled out of Paradise. I know gentlemen who have lived
in China, Italy, Canada, and England; but, after a residence of some
years in Vancouver Island, they entertained a preference for the climate
of the colony which approached affectionate enthusiasm."[X]

The climate of the whole section through which the line passes is
milder than that of the Grand Trunk line. The lowest degree of
temperature in 1853--54 at Quebec was 29 below zero; Montreal, 34; St.
Paul, 36; Bitter Root Valley, forty miles from Big Hole Pass, 20.

In 1858 a party of Royal Engineers, under Captain Pallissir, surveyed
the country of the Saskatchawan for a line to Puget Sound which should
lie wholly within the British possessions. They found a level and
fertile country, receding to the very base of the mountains, and a
practicable pass, of less altitude than those at the head-waters of the
Missouri; but in winter the snow is deep and the climate severe. That
section of Canada north of Superior is an unbroken, uninhabitable
wilderness. The character of the region is thus set forth by Agassiz. He
says:--

"Unless the mines should attract and support a population, one sees not
how this region should ever be inhabited. Its stern and northern
character is shown in nothing more clearly than in the scarcity of
animals. The woods are silent, and as if deserted. One may walk for
hours without hearing an animal sound; and when he does, it is of a wild
and lonely character.... It is like being transported to the early ages
of the earth, when mosses and pines had just begun to cover the primeval
rock, and the animals as yet ventured timidly forth into the new
world."[Y]


THE FUTURE.

The census returns of the United States indicate that, thirty-four years
hence, in the year 1900, the population of this country will exceed one
hundred millions. What an outlook! The country a teeming hive of
industry; innumerable sails whitening the Western Ocean; unnumbered
steamers ploughing its peaceful waters; great cities in the unexplored
solitudes of to-day; America the highway of the nations; and New York
the banking-house of the world!

This is the age of the people. They are the sovereigns of the future. It
is the age of ideas. The people of America stand on the threshold of a
new era. We are to come in contact with a people numbering nearly half
the population of the globe, claiming a nationality dating back to the
time of Moses. A hundred thousand Chinese are in California and Oregon,
and every ship sailing into the harbor of San Francisco brings its load
of emigrants from Asia. What is to be the effect of this contact with
the Orient upon our civilization? What the result of this pouring in of
emigrants from every country of the world,--of all languages, manners,
customs, nationalities, and religions? Can they be assimilated into a
homogeneous mass? These are grave questions, demanding the earnest and
careful consideration of every Christian, philanthropist, and patriot.
We have fought for existence, and have a name among the nations. But we
have still the nation to save. Railroads, telegraphs, steamships,
printing-presses, schools, platforms, and pulpits are the agents of
modern civilization. Through them we are to secure unity, strength, and
national life. Securing these, Asia may send over her millions of
idol-worshippers without detriment to ourselves. With these, America is
to give life to the long-slumbering Orient.

So ever toward the setting sun the course of empire takes its way,--not
the empire of despotism, but of life, liberty,--of civilization and the
Christian religion.

FOOTNOTES:

[D] Lewis and Clark's Expedition to the Columbia, Vol. II. p. 392.

[E] Ibid., p. 397.

[F] See Pacific Railroad Report, Vol. I. p. 239.

[G] Idaho: Six Months among the New Gold Diggings, by J. L. Campbell,
pp. 15-28.

[H] Pacific Railroad Report, Vol. I. p. 130.

[I] Ibid., Vol. XII. p. 169.

[J] Governor Stevens's Report of the Pacific Railroad Survey.

[K] Pacific Railroad Survey. Lieutenant Mullan's Report.

[L] Lieutenant Mullan's Report on the Construction of Wagon Road from
Fort Benton to Walla-Walla, p. 45.

[M] New York Tribune, December 2, 1865, correspondence of "A. D. R."

[N] Report of Captain Mullan, p. 54.

[O] Report of Captain Mullan, p. 54.

[P] Hall's Guide,--via Omaha, Denver, and Salt Lake.

[Q] Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1857.

[R] Paper read before the British North American Association, July 21,
1864.

[S] Vancouver's Island and British Columbia, Maciff, p. 343.

[T] Speech by Lord Bury, quoted by Maciff.

[U] India, China, and Japan, p. 23.

[V] Statistical Journal, 1862.

[W] Statistical Journal, 1862, p. 15.

[X] Vancouver and British Columbia, Maciff, p. 179.

[Y] Agassiz, Lake Superior, p. 124.



IN THE SEA.


    The salt wind blows upon my cheek
      As it blew a year ago,
    When twenty boats were crushed among
      The rocks of Norman's Woe.
    'Twas dark then; 't is light now,
      And the sails are leaning low.

    In dreams, I pull the sea-weed o'er,
      And find a face not his,
    And hope another tide will be
      More pitying than this:
    The wind turns, the tide turns,--
      They take what hope there is.

    My life goes on as thine would go,
      With all its sweetness spilled:
    My God, why should one heart of two
      Beat on, when one is stilled?
    Through heart-wreck, or home-wreck,
      Thy happy sparrows build.

    Though boats go down, men build anew,
      Whatever winds may blow;
    If blight be in the wheat one year,
      We trust again and sow,
    Though grief comes, and changes
      The sunshine into snow.

    Some have their dead, where, sweet and soon,
      The summers bloom and go:
    The sea withholds my dead,--I walk
      The bar when tides are low,
    And wonder the grave-grass
      Can have the heart to grow!

    Flow on, O unconsenting sea,
      And keep my dead below;
    Though night--O utter night!--my soul,
      Delude thee long, I know,
    Or Life comes or Death comes,
      God leads the eternal flow.



THE CHIMNEY-CORNER FOR 1866.


III.

IS WOMAN A WORKER?

"Papa, do you see what the Evening Post says of your New-Year's article
on Reconstruction?" said Jennie, as we were all sitting in the library
after tea.

"I have not seen it."

"Well, then, the charming writer, whoever he is, takes up for us girls
and women, and maintains that no work of any sort ought to be expected
of us; that our only mission in life is to be beautiful, and to refresh
and elevate the spirits of men by being so. If I get a husband, my
mission is to be always becomingly dressed, to display most captivating
toilettes, and to be always in good spirits,--as, under the
circumstances, I always should be,--and thus 'renew his spirits' when he
comes in weary with the toils of life. Household cares are to be far
from me: they destroy my cheerfulness and injure my beauty.

"He says that the New England standard of excellence as applied to woman
has been a mistaken one; and, in consequence, though the girls are
beautiful, the matrons are faded, overworked, and uninteresting; and
that such a state of society tends to immorality, because, when wives
are no longer charming, men are open to the temptation to desert their
firesides, and get into mischief generally. He seems particularly to
complain of your calling ladies who do nothing the 'fascinating
_lazzaroni_ of the parlor and boudoir.'"

"There was too much truth back of that arrow not to wound," said
Theophilus Thoro, who was ensconced, as usual, in his dark corner,
whence he supervises our discussions.

"Come, Mr. Thoro, we won't have any of your bitter moralities," said
Jennie; "they are only to be taken as the invariable bay-leaf which
Professor Blot introduces into all his recipes for soups and stews,--a
little elegant bitterness, to be kept tastefully in the background. You
see now, papa, I should like the vocation of being beautiful. It would
just suit me to wear point-lace and jewelry, and to have life revolve
round me, as some beautiful star, and feel that I had nothing to do but
shine and refresh the spirits of all gazers, and that in this way I was
truly useful, and fulfilling the great end of my being; but alas for
this doctrine! all women have not beauty. The most of us can only hope
not to be called ill-looking, and, when we get ourselves up with care,
to look fresh and trim and agreeable; which fact interferes with the
theory."

"Well, for my part," said young Rudolph, "I go for the theory of the
beautiful. If ever I marry, it is to find an asylum for ideality. I
don't want to make a culinary marriage or a business partnership. I want
a being whom I can keep in a sphere of poetry and beauty, out of the
dust and grime of every-day life."

"Then," said Mr. Theophilus, "you must either be a rich man in your own
right, or your fair ideal must have a handsome fortune of her own."

"I never will marry a rich wife," quoth Rudolph. "My wife must be
supported by me, not I by her."

Rudolph is another of the _habitués_ of our chimney-corner, representing
the order of young knighthood in America, and his dreams and fancies, if
impracticable, are always of a kind to make every one think him a good
fellow. He who has no romantic dreams at twenty-one will be a horribly
dry peascod at fifty; therefore it is that I gaze reverently at all
Rudolph's chateaus in Spain, which want nothing to complete them except
solid earth to stand on.

"And pray," said Theophilus, "how long will it take a young lawyer or
physician, starting with no heritage but his own brain, to create a
sphere of poetry and beauty in which to keep his goddess? How much a
year will be necessary, as the English say, to _do_ this garden of Eden,
whereinto shall enter only the poetry of life?"

"I don't know. I haven't seen it near enough to consider. It is because
I know the difficulty of its attainment that I have no present thoughts
of marriage. Marriage is to me in the bluest of all blue distances,--far
off, mysterious, and dreamy as the Mountains of the Moon or sources of
the Nile. It shall come only when I have secured a fortune that shall
place my wife above all necessity of work or care."

"I desire to hear from you," said Theophilus, "when you have found the
sum that will keep a woman from care. I know of women now inhabiting
palaces, waited on at every turn by servants, with carriages, horses,
jewels, laces, cashmeres, enough for princesses, who are eaten up by
care. One lies awake all night on account of a wrinkle in the waist of
her dress; another is dying because no silk of a certain inexpressible
shade is to be found in New York; a third has had a dress sent home,
which has proved such a failure that life seems no longer worth having.
If it were not for the consolations of religion, one doesn't know what
would become of her. The fact is, that care and labor are as much
correlated to human existence as shadow is to light; there is no such
thing as excluding them from any mortal lot. You may make a canary-bird
or a gold-fish live in absolute contentment without a care or labor, but
a human being you cannot. Human beings are restless and active in their
very nature, and will do something, and that something will prove a
care, a labor, and a fatigue, arrange it how you will. As long as there
is anything to be desired and not yet attained, so long its attainment
will be attempted; so long as that attainment is doubtful or difficult,
so long will there be care and anxiety. When boundless wealth releases
woman from every family care, she immediately makes herself a new set of
cares in another direction, and has just as many anxieties as the most
toilful housekeeper, only they are of a different kind. Talk of labor,
and look at the upper classes in London or in New York in the
fashionable season. Do any women work harder? To rush from crowd to
crowd all night, night after night, seeing what they are tired of,
making the agreeable over an abyss of inward yawning, crowded, jostled,
breathing hot air, and crushed in halls and stairways, without a moment
of leisure for months and months, till brain and nerve and sense reel,
and the country is longed for as a period of resuscitation and relief!
Such is the release from labor and fatigue brought by wealth. The only
thing that makes all this labor at all endurable is, that it is utterly
and entirely useless, and does not good to any one in creation; this
alone makes it genteel, and distinguishes it from the vulgar toils of a
housekeeper. These delicate creatures, who can go to three or four
parties a night for three months, would be utterly desolate if they had
to watch one night in a sick-room; and though they can exhibit any
amount of physical endurance and vigor in crowding into assembly rooms,
and breathe tainted air in an opera-house with the most martyr-like
constancy, they could not sit one half-hour in the close room where the
sister of charity spends hours in consoling the sick or aged poor."

"Mr. Theophilus is quite at home now," said Jennie; "only start him on
the track of fashionable life, and he takes the course like a hound. But
hear, now, our champion of the Evening Post:--

"'The instinct of women to seek a life of repose, their eagerness to
attain the life of elegance, does not mean contempt for labor, but it is
the confession of unfitness for labor. Women were not intended to
work,--not because work is ignoble, but because it is as disastrous to
the beauty of a woman as is friction to the bloom and softness of a
flower. Woman is to be kept in the garden of life; she is to rest, to
receive, to praise; she is to be kept from the workshop world, where
innocence is snatched with rude hands, and softness is blistered into
unsightliness or hardened into adamant. No social truth is more in need
of exposition and illustration than this one; and, above all, the people
of New England need to know it, and, better, they need to believe it.

"'It is therefore with regret that we discover Christopher Crowfield
applying so harshly, and, as we think, so indiscriminatingly, the theory
of work to women, and teaching a society made up of women sacrificed in
the workshops of the state, or to the dust-pans and kitchens of the
house, that women must work, ought to work, and are dishonored if they
do not work; and that a woman committed to the drudgery of a household
is more creditably employed than when she is charming, fascinating,
irresistible, in the parlor or boudoir. The consequence of this fatal
mistake is manifest throughout New England,--in New England, where the
girls are all beautiful and the wives and mothers faded, disfigured, and
without charm or attractiveness. The moment a girl marries in New
England she is apt to become a drudge, or a lay figure on which to
exhibit the latest fashions. She never has beautiful hands, and she
would not have a beautiful face if a utilitarian society could "apply"
her face to anything but the pleasure of the eye. Her hands lose their
shape and softness after childhood, and domestic drudgery destroys her
beauty of form and softness and bloom of complexion after marriage. To
correct, or rather to break up, this despotism of household cares, or of
work, over woman, American society must be taught that women will
inevitably fade and deteriorate, unless it insures repose and comfort to
them. It must be taught that reverence for beauty is the normal
condition, while the theory of work, applied to women, is disastrous
alike to beauty and morals. Work, when it is destructive to men or
women, is forced and unjust.

"'All the great masculine or creative epochs have been distinguished by
spontaneous work on the part of men, and universal reverence and care
for beauty. The praise of work, and sacrifice of women to this great
heartless devil of work, belong only to, and are the social doctrine of,
a mechanical age and a utilitarian epoch. And if the New England idea of
social life continues to bear so cruelly on woman, we shall have a
reaction somewhat unexpected and shocking.'"

"Well now, say what you will," said Rudolph, "you have expressed my idea
of the conditions of the sex. Woman was not made to work; she was made
to be taken care of by man. All that is severe and trying, whether in
study or in practical life, is and ought to be in its very nature
essentially the work of the male sex. The value of woman is precisely
the value of those priceless works of art for which we build
museums,--which we shelter and guard as the world's choicest heritage;
and a lovely, cultivated, refined woman, thus sheltered, and guarded,
and developed, has a worth that cannot be estimated by any gross,
material standard. So I subscribe to the sentiments of Miss Jennie's
friend without scruple."

"The great trouble in settling all these society questions," said I,
"lies in the gold-washing,--the cradling I think the miners call it. If
all the quartz were in one stratum and all the gold in another, it would
save us a vast deal of trouble. In the ideas of Jennie's friend of the
Evening Post there is a line of truth and a line of falsehood so
interwoven and threaded together that it is impossible wholly to assent
or dissent. So with your ideas, Rudolph, there is a degree of truth in
them, but there is also a fallacy.

"It is a truth, that woman as a sex ought not to do the hard work of the
world, either social, intellectual, or moral. There are evidences in her
physiology that this was not intended for her, and our friend of the
Evening Post is right in saying that any country will advance more
rapidly in civilization and refinement where woman is thus sheltered and
protected. And I think, furthermore, that there is no country in the
world where women _are_ so much considered and cared for and sheltered,
in every walk of life, as in America. In England and France,--all over
the continent of Europe, in fact,--the other sex are deferential to
women only from some presumption of their social standing, or from the
fact of acquaintanceship; but among strangers, and under circumstances
where no particular rank or position can be inferred, a woman travelling
in England or France is jostled and pushed to the wall, and left to take
her own chance, precisely as if she were not a woman. Deference to
delicacy and weakness, the instinct of protection, does not appear to
characterize the masculine population of any other quarter of the world
so much as that of America. In France, _les Messieurs_ will form a
circle round the fire in the receiving-room of a railroad station, and
sit, tranquilly smoking their cigars, while ladies who do not happen to
be of their acquaintance are standing shivering at the other side of the
room. In England, if a lady is incautiously booked for an outside place
on a coach, in hope of seeing the scenery, and the day turns out
hopelessly rainy, no gentleman in the coach below ever thinks of
offering to change seats with her, though it pour torrents. In America,
the roughest backwoods steamboat or canal-boat captain always, as a
matter of course, considers himself charged with the protection of the
ladies. '_Place aux dames_' is written in the heart of many a shaggy
fellow who could not utter a French word any more than could a buffalo.
It is just as I have before said,--women are the recognized aristocracy,
the _only_ aristocracy, of America; and, so far from regarding this fact
as objectionable, it is an unceasing source of pride in my country.

"That kind of knightly feeling towards woman which reverences her
delicacy, her frailty, which protects and cares for her, is, I think,
the crown of manhood; and without it a man is only a rough animal. But
our fair aristocrats and their knightly defenders need to be cautioned
lest they lose their position, as many privileged orders have before
done, by an arrogant and selfish use of power.

"I have said that the vices of aristocracy are more developed among
women in America than among men, and that, while there are no men in the
Northern States who are not ashamed of living a merely idle life of
pleasure, there are many women who make a boast of helplessness and
ignorance in woman's family duties which any man would be ashamed to
make with regard to man's duties, as if such helplessness and ignorance
were a grace and a charm.

"There are women who contentedly live on, year after year, a life of
idleness, while the husband and father is straining every nerve, growing
prematurely old and gray, abridged of almost every form of recreation or
pleasure,--all that he may keep them in a state of careless ease and
festivity. It may be very fine, very generous, very knightly, in the man
who thus toils at the oar that his princesses may enjoy their painted
voyages; but what is it for the women?

"A woman is a moral being,--an immortal soul,--before she is a woman;
and as such she is charged by her Maker with some share of the great
burden of _work_ which lies on the world.

"Self-denial, the bearing of the cross, are stated by Christ as
indispensable conditions to the entrance into his kingdom, and no
exception is made for man or woman. Some task, some burden, some cross,
each one must carry; and there must be something done in every true and
worthy life, not as amusement, but as duty,--not as play, but as earnest
_work_,--and no human being can attain to the Christian standard without
this.

"When Jesus Christ took a towel and girded himself, poured water into a
basin, and washed his disciples' feet, he performed a significant and
sacramental act, which no man or woman should ever forget. If wealth and
rank and power absolve from the services of life, then certainly were
Jesus Christ absolved, as he says,--'Ye call me Master, and Lord. If I,
then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash
one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do
as I have done to you.'

"Let a man who seeks to make a terrestrial paradise for the woman of his
heart,--to absolve her from all care, from all labor,--to teach her to
accept and to receive the labor of others without any attempt to offer
labor in return,--consider whether he is not thus going directly against
the fundamental idea of Christianity,--taking the direct way to make his
idol selfish and exacting, to rob her of the highest and noblest beauty
of womanhood.

"In that chapter of the Bible where the relation between man and woman
is stated, it is thus said, with quaint simplicity:--'It is not good
that the man should be alone; I will make him an _help meet_ for him.'
Woman the _helper_ of man, not his toy,--not a picture, not a statue,
not a work of art, but a HELPER, a doer,--such is the view of the Bible
and the Christian religion.

"It is not necessary that women should work physically or morally to an
extent which impairs beauty. In France, where woman is harnessed with an
ass to the plough which her husband drives,--where she digs, and wields
the pick-axe,--she becomes prematurely hideous; but in America, where
woman reigns as queen in every household, she may surely be a good and
thoughtful housekeeper, she may have physical strength exercised in
lighter domestic toils, not only without injuring her beauty, but with
manifest advantage to it. Almost every growing young girl would be the
better in health, and therefore handsomer, for two hours of active
housework daily; and the habit of usefulness thereby gained would be an
equal advantage to her moral development. The labors of modern,
well-arranged houses are not in any sense severe; they are as gentle as
any kind of exercise that can be devised, and they bring into play
muscles that ought to be exercised to be healthily developed.

"The great danger to the beauty of American women does not lie, as the
writer of the Post contends, in an overworking of the physical system
which shall stunt and deform; on the contrary, American women of the
comfortable classes are in danger of a loss of physical beauty from the
entire deterioration of the muscular system for want of exercise. Take
the life of any American girl in one of our large towns, and see what it
is. We have an educational system of public schools which for
intellectual culture is a just matter of pride to any country. From the
time that the girl is seven years old, her first thought, when she rises
in the morning, is to eat her breakfast and be off to her school. There
really is no more time than enough to allow her to make that complete
toilet which every well-bred female ought to make, and to take her
morning meal before her school begins. She returns at noon with just
time to eat her dinner, and the afternoon session begins. She comes home
at night with books, slate, and lessons enough to occupy her evening.
What time is there for teaching her any household work, for teaching her
to cut or fit or sew, or to inspire her with any taste for domestic
duties? Her arms have no exercise; her chest and lungs, and all the
complex system of muscles which are to be perfected by quick and active
movement, are compressed while she bends over book and slate and
drawing-board; while the ever-active brain is kept all the while going
at the top of its speed. She grows up spare, thin, and delicate; and
while the Irish girl, who sweeps the parlors, rubs the silver, and irons
the muslins, is developing a finely rounded arm and bust, the American
girl has a pair of bones at her sides, and a bust composed of cotton
padding, the work of a skilful dressmaker. Nature, who is no respecter
of persons, gives to Colleen Bawn, who uses her arms and chest, a beauty
which perishes in the gentle, languid Edith, who does nothing but study
and read."

"But is it not a fact," said Rudolph, "as stated by our friend of the
Post, that American matrons are perishing, and their beauty and grace
all withered, from overwork?"

"It is," said my wife; "but why? It is because they are brought up
without vigor or muscular strength, without the least practical
experience of household labor, or those means of saving it which come by
daily practice; and then, after marriage, when physically weakened by
maternity, embarrassed by the care of young children, they are often
suddenly deserted by every efficient servant, and the whole machinery of
a complicated household left in their weak, inexperienced hands. In the
country, you see a household perhaps made void some fine morning by
Biddy's sudden departure, and nobody to make the bread, or cook the
steak, or sweep the parlors, or do one of the complicated offices of a
family, and no bakery, cookshop, or laundry to turn to for alleviation.
A lovely, refined home becomes in a few hours a howling desolation; and
then ensues a long season of breakage, waste, distraction, as one wild
Irish immigrant after another introduces the style of Irish cottage life
into an elegant dwelling.

"Now suppose I grant to the Evening Post that woman ought to rest, to be
kept in the garden of life, and all that, how is this to be done in a
country where a state of things like this is the commonest of
occurrences? And is it any kindness or reverence to woman, to educate
her for such an inevitable destiny by a life of complete physical
delicacy and incapacity? Many a woman who has been brought into these
cruel circumstances would willingly exchange all her knowledge of German
and Italian, and all her graceful accomplishments, for a good physical
development, and some respectable _savoir faire_ in ordinary life.

"Moreover, American matrons are overworked because some unaccountable
glamour leads them to continue to bring up their girls in the same
inefficient physical habits which resulted in so much misery to
themselves. Housework as they are obliged to do it, untrained, untaught,
exhausted, and in company with rude, dirty, unkempt foreigners, seems to
them a degradation which they will spare to their daughters. The
daughter goes on with her schools and accomplishments, and leads in the
family the life of an elegant little visitor during all those years when
a young girl might be gradually developing and strengthening her muscles
in healthy household work. It never occurs to her that she can or ought
to fill any of these domestic gaps into which her mother always steps;
and she comforts herself with the thought, 'I don't know how; I can't; I
haven't the strength. I _cant'_ sweep; it blisters my hands. If I should
stand at the ironing-table an hour, I should be ill for a week. As to
cooking, I don't know anything about it.' And so, when the cook, or the
chambermaid, or nurse, or all together, vacate the premises, it is the
mamma who is successively cook, and chambermaid, and nurse; and this is
the reason why matrons fade and are overworked.

"Now, Mr. Rudolph, do you think a woman any less beautiful or
interesting because she is a fully developed physical being,--because
her muscles have been rounded and matured into strength, so that she can
meet the inevitable emergencies of life without feeling them to be
distressing hardships? If there be a competent, well-trained servant to
sweep and dust the parlor, and keep all the machinery of the house in
motion, she may very properly select her work out of the family, in some
form of benevolent helpfulness; but when the inevitable evil hour comes,
which is likely to come first or last in every American household, is a
woman any less an elegant woman because her love of neatness, order, and
beauty leads her to make vigorous personal exertions to keep her own
home undefiled? For my part, I think a disorderly, ill-kept home, a
sordid, uninviting table, has driven more husbands from domestic life
than the unattractiveness of any overworked woman. So long as a woman
makes her home harmonious and orderly, so long as the hour of assembling
around the family table is something to be looked forward to as a
comfort and a refreshment, a man cannot see that the good house fairy,
who by some magic keeps everything so delightfully, has either a wrinkle
or a gray hair.

"Besides," said I, "I must tell you, Rudolph, what you fellows of
twenty-one are slow to believe; and that is, that the kind of ideal
paradise you propose in marriage is, in the very nature of things, an
impossibility,--that the familiarities of every-day life between two
people who keep house together must and will destroy it. Suppose you are
married to Cytherea herself, and the next week attacked with a rheumatic
fever. If the tie between you is that of true and honest love, Cytherea
will put on a gingham wrapper, and with her own sculptured hands wring
out the flannels which shall relieve your pains; and she will be no true
woman if she do not prefer to do this to employing any nurse that could
be hired. True love ennobles and dignifies the material labors of life;
and homely services rendered for love's sake have in them a poetry that
is immortal.

"No true-hearted woman can find herself, in real, actual life, unskilled
and unfit to minister to the wants and sorrows of those dearest to her,
without a secret sense of degradation. The feeling of uselessness is an
extremely unpleasant one. Tom Hood, in a very humorous paper, describes
a most accomplished schoolmistress, a teacher of all the arts and crafts
which are supposed to make up fine gentlewomen, who is stranded in a
rude German inn, with her father writhing in the anguish of a severe
attack of gastric inflammation. The helpless lady gazes on her suffering
parent, longing to help him, and thinking over all her various little
store of accomplishments, not one of which bear the remotest relation to
the case. She could knit him a bead-purse, or make him a guard-chain, or
work him a footstool, or festoon him with cut tissue-paper, or sketch
his likeness, or crust him over with alum crystals, or stick him over
with little rosettes of red and white wafers; but none of these being
applicable to his present case, she sits gazing in resigned imbecility,
till finally she desperately resolves to improvise him some gruel, and,
after a laborious turn in the kitchen,--after burning her dress and
blacking her fingers,--succeeds only in bringing him a bowl of _paste_!

"Not unlike this might be the feeling of many and elegant and
accomplished woman, whose education has taught and practised her in
everything that woman ought to know, except those identical ones which
fit her for the care of a home, for the comfort of a sick-room; and so I
say again, that, whatever a woman may be in the way of beauty and
elegance, she must have the strength and skill of a _practical worker_,
or she is nothing. She is not simply to _be_ the beautiful,--she is to
_make_ the beautiful, and preserve it; and she who makes and she who
keeps the beautiful must be able _to work_, and to know how to work.
Whatever offices of life are performed by women of culture and
refinement are thenceforth elevated; they cease to be mere servile
toils, and become expressions of the ideas of superior beings. If a true
lady makes even a plate of toast, in arranging a _petit souper_ for her
invalid friend, she does it as a lady should. She does not cut
blundering and uneven slices; she does not burn the edges; she does not
deluge it with bad butter, and serve it cold; but she arranges and
serves all with an artistic care, with a nicety and delicacy, which make
it worth one's while to have a lady friend in sickness.

"And I am glad to hear that Monsieur Blot is teaching classes of New
York ladies that cooking is not a vulgar kitchen toil, to be left to
blundering servants, but an elegant feminine accomplishment, better
worth a woman's learning than crochet or embroidery; and that a
well-kept culinary apartment may be so inviting and orderly that no lady
need feel her ladyhood compromised by participating in its pleasant
toils. I am glad to know that his cooking academy is thronged with more
scholars than he can accommodate, and from ladies in the best classes of
society.

"Moreover, I am glad to see that in New Bedford, recently, a public
course of instruction in the art of bread-making has been commenced by a
lady, and that classes of the most respectable young and married ladies
in the place are attending them.

"These are steps in the right direction, and show that our fair
country-women, with the grand good sense which is their leading
characteristic, are resolved to supply whatever in our national life is
wanting.

"I do not fear that women of such sense and energy will listen to the
sophistries which would persuade them that elegant imbecility and
inefficiency are charms of cultivated womanhood or ingredients in the
poetry of life. She alone can keep the poetry and beauty of married life
who has this poetry in her soul; who with energy and discretion can
throw back and out of sight the sordid and disagreeable details which
beset all human living, and can keep in the foreground that which is
agreeable; who has enough knowledge of practical household matters to
make unskilled and rude hands minister to her cultivated and refined
tastes, and constitute her skilled brain the guide of unskilled hands.
From such a home, with such a mistress, no sirens will seduce a man,
even though the hair grow gray, and the merely physical charms of early
days gradually pass away. The enchantment that was about her person
alone in the days of courtship seems in the course of years to have
interfused and penetrated the _home_ which she has created, and which in
every detail is only an expression of her personality. Her thoughts, her
plans, her provident care, are everywhere; and the _home_ attracts and
holds by a thousand ties the heart which before marriage was held by the
woman alone."



POOR CHLOE.

A TRUE STORY OF MASSACHUSETTS IN THE OLDEN TIME.

    "Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
      Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
    Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
      The short and simple annals of the poor."

    GRAY'S _Elegy_.


It was a long, long time ago, before the flame of gas was seen in the
streets, or the sounds of the railroad were heard in the land; so long
before, that, had any prophet then living foretold such magical doings,
he would have been deemed a fit inhabitant of Bedlam. In those primitive
times, the Widow Lawton was considered a rich woman, though her income
would not go far toward clothing a city-fashionable in these days. She
owned a convenient house on the sea-shore, some twelve or fifteen miles
from Cape Ann; she cultivated ten acres of sandy soil, and had a
well-tended fish-flake a quarter of a mile long. To own an extensive
fish-flake was, in that neighborhood, a sure sign of being well to do in
the world. The process of transmuting it into money was slow and
circuitous; but those were not fast days. The fish were to be caught,
and cleaned, and salted, and spread on the flake, and turned day after
day till thoroughly dry. Then they were packed, and sent in vessels to
Maryland or Virginia, to be exchanged for flour or tobacco; then the
flour and tobacco were sold in foreign ports, and silks, muslins, and
other articles of luxury procured with the money.

The Widow Lawton was a notable, stirring woman, and it was generally
agreed that no one in that region kept a sharper look-out for the main
chance. Nobody sent better fish to market; nobody had such good luck in
hiving bees; nobody could spin more knots of yarn in a day, or weave
such handsome table-cloths. Great was her store of goodies for the
winter. The smoke-house was filled with hams, and the ceiling of the
kitchen was festooned with dried apples and pumpkins. In summer, there
was a fly-cage suspended from the centre. It was made of bristles, in a
sort of basket-work, in which were arranged bits of red, yellow, and
green woollen cloth tipped with honey. Flies, deceived by the fair
appearance, sipped the honey, and remained glued to the woollen; their
black bodies serving to set off the bright colors to advantage. In those
days, such a cage was considered a very genteel ornament for a New
England kitchen. Rich men sometimes have their coats of arms sketched on
the floor in colored crayons, to be effaced in one night by the feet of
dancers. The Widow Lawton ornamented her kitchen floor in a manner as
ephemeral, though less expensive. Every afternoon it was strewn with
white sand from the beach, and marked all over with the broom in a
herring-bone pattern; a very suitable coat of arms for the owner of a
fish-flake. In the parlor was an ingrained carpet, the admiration and
envy of the neighborhood. A large glass was surmounted by a gilded eagle
upholding a chain,--prophetic of the principal employment of the bird of
freedom for three quarters of a century thereafter. In the Franklin
fireplace, tall brass andirons, brightly burnished, gleamed through a
feathery forest of asparagus, interspersed with scarlet berries. The
high, mahogany case of drawers, grown black with time, and lustrous with
much waxing, had innumerable great drawers and little drawers, all
resplendent with brass ornaments, kept as bright as new gold.

The Widow was accustomed to say, "It takes a good deal of elbow-grease
to keep everything trig and shiny"; and though she was by no means
sparing of her own, the neat and thriving condition of the household and
the premises was largely owing to the black Chloe, her slave and
servant-of-all-work. When Chloe was a babe strapped on her mother's
shoulders, they were stolen from Africa and packed in a ship. What
became of her mother she knew not. How the Widow Lawton obtained the
right to make her work from morning till night, without wages, she never
inquired. It had always been so, ever since she could remember, and she
had heard the minister say, again and again, that it was an ordination
of Providence. She did not know what ordination was, or who Providence
was; but she had a vague idea that both were up in the sky, and that she
had nothing to do but submit to them. So year after year she patiently
cooked meals, and weeded the garden, and cut and dried the apples, and
scoured the brasses, and sanded the floor in herring-bone pattern, and
tended the fish-flake till the profitable crop of the sea was ready for
market. There was a melancholy expression in the eyes of poor, ignorant
Chloe, which seemed to indicate that there might be in her soul a
fountain that was deep, though it was sealed by the heavy stone of
slavery. Carlyle said of a dog that howled at the moon, "He would have
been a poet, if he could have found a publisher." And Chloe, though she
never thought about the Infinite, was sometimes impressed with a feeling
of its mysterious presence, as she walked back and forth tending the
fish-flake; with the sad song of the sea forever resounding in her ears,
and a glittering orb of light sailing through the great blue arch over
her head, and at evening sinking into the waves amid a gorgeous drapery
of clouds. When the moon looked on the sea, the sealed fountain within
her soul was strangely stirred. The shadow of rocks on the beach, the
white sails of fishing-boats glimmering in the distance, the everlasting
sighing of the sea, made her think of ghosts; though the oppressive
feeling never shaped itself into words, except in the statement, "I'se
sort o' feared o' moonlight." So poor Chloe paced her small round upon
the earth, as unconscious as the ant in her molehill that she was
whirling round among the stars. The extent of her moral development was,
that it was her duty to obey her mistress and believe all the minister
said. She had often been told that was sufficient for her salvation, and
she supposed it was so.

But the dream that takes possession of young hearts came to Chloe also;
though in her case it proved merely the shadow of a dream, or a dream of
a shadow. On board of one of the sloops that carried fish to Baltimore
was a free colored man, named Jim Saunders. The first time she saw him,
she thought his large brown eyes were marvellously handsome, and that he
had a very pleasant way of speaking to her. She always watched for the
ship in which he came, and was very particular to have on a clean apron
when she was likely to meet him. She looked at her own eyes in a bit of
broken looking-glass, and wondered whether they seemed as handsome to
him as his eyes did to her. In her own opinion she had rather pretty
eyes, and she was not mistaken; for the Scriptural description, "black,
but comely," was applicable to her. Jim never told her so, but she had
somehow received an impression that perhaps he thought so. Sometimes he
helped her turn the fish on the Flake, and afterward walked with her
along the beach, as she wended her way homeward. On such occasions there
was a happy sound in the song of the sea, and her heart seemed to dance
up in sparkles, like the waves kissed by the sunshine. It was the first
free, strong emotion she had ever experienced, and it sent a glow
through the cold dulness of her lonely life.

Jim went away on a long voyage. He said perhaps he should be gone two
years. The evening before he sailed, he walked with Chloe on the beach;
and when he bade her good by, he gave her a pretty little pink shell,
with a look that she never forgot. She gazed long after him, and felt
flustered when he turned and saw her watching him. As he passed round a
rock that would conceal him from her sight, he waved his cap toward her,
and she turned homeward, murmuring to herself, "He didn't say nothin';
but he looked just as ef he _wanted_ to say suthin'." On that look the
poor hungry heart fed itself. It was the one thing in the world that was
her own, that nobody could take from her,--the memory of a look.

Time passed on, and Chloe went her rounds, from house-service to the
field, and from field-service to the fish-flake. The Widow Lawton had
strongly impressed upon her mind that the Scripture said, "Six days
shalt thou work." On the Sabbath no out-door work was carried on, for
the Widow was a careful observer of established forms; but there were so
many chores to be done inside the house, that Chloe was on her feet most
of the day, except when she was dozing in a dark corner of the
meeting-house gallery, while the Reverend Mr. Gordonmammon explained the
difference between justification and sanctification. Chloe didn't
understand it, any more than she did the moaning of the sea; and the
continuous sound without significance had the same tendency to lull her
to sleep. But she regarded the minister with great awe. It never entered
her mind that he belonged to the same species as herself. She supposed
God had sent him into the world with special instructions to warn
sinners; and that sinners were sent into the world to listen to him and
obey him. Her visage lengthened visibly whenever she saw him approaching
with his cocked hat and ivory-headed cane. He was something far-off and
mysterious to her imagination, like the man in the moon; and it never
occurred to her that he might enter as a disturbing element into the
narrow sphere of her humble affairs. But so it was destined to be.

The minister was one of the nearest neighbors, and not unfrequently had
occasion to negotiate with the Widow Lawton concerning the curing of
hams in her smoke-house, or the exchange of pumpkins for dried fish.
When their business was transacted, the Widow usually asked him to "stop
and take a dish o' tea"; and he was inclined to accept the invitation,
for he particularly liked the flavor of her doughnuts and pies. On one
of these occasions, he said: "I have another matter of business to speak
with you about, Mrs. Lawton,--a matter nearly connected with my temporal
interest and convenience. My Tom has taken it into his head that he
wants a wife, and he is getting more and more uneasy about it. Last
night he strayed off three miles to see Black Dinah. Now if he gets set
in that direction, it will make it very inconvenient for me; for it will
take him a good deal of time to go back and forth, and I may happen to
want him when he is out of the way. But if you would consent to have him
marry your Chloe, I could easily summon him if I stood in need of him."

"I can't say it would be altogether convenient," replied Mrs. Lawton.
"He'd be coming here often, bringing mud or dust into the house, and
he'd be very likely to take Chloe's mind off from her work."

"There need be no trouble on that score," said Mr. Gordonmammon. "I
should tell Tom he must never come here except on Saturday evenings, and
that he must return early on Sunday morning. My good woman has taught
him to be so careful about his feet, that he will bring no mud or dust
into your house. His board will cost you nothing for he will come after
supper and leave before breakfast; and perhaps you may now and then find
it handy for him to do a chore for you."

Notwithstanding these arguments, the Widow still seemed rather
disinclined to the arrangement. She feared that some moments of Chloe's
time might thereby be lost to her.

The minister rose, and said, with much gravity: "When a pastor devotes
his life to the spiritual welfare of his flock, it would seem reasonable
that his parishioners should feel some desire to serve his temporal
interests in return. But since you are unwilling to accommodate me in
this small matter, I will bid you good evening, Mrs. Lawton."

The solemnity of his manner intimidated the Widow, and she hastened to
say: "Of course I am always happy to oblige you, Mr. Gordonmammon; and
since you have set your mind on Tom's having Chloe, I have no objection
to your speaking to her about it."

The minister at once proceeded to the kitchen. Chloe, who was carefully
instructed to use up every scrap of time for the benefit of her
mistress, had seated herself to braid rags for a carpet, as soon as the
tea things were disposed of. The entrance of the minister into her
apartment surprised her, for it was very unusual. She rose, made a
profound courtesy, and remained standing.

"Sit down, Chloe! sit down!" said he, with a condescending wave of his
hand. "I have come to speak to you about an important matter. You have
heard me read from the Scriptures that marriage is honorable. You are
old enough to be married, Chloe, and it is right and proper you should
be married. My Tom wants a wife, and there is nobody I should like so
well for him as you. I will go home and send Tom to talk with you about
it."

Chloe looked very much frightened, and exclaimed: "Please don't, Massa
Gordonmammon, I don't want to be married."

"But it's right and proper you should be married," rejoined the
minister; "and Tom wants a wife. It's your duty, Chloe, to do whatever
your minister and your mistress tell you to do."

That look from Jim came up as a bright vision before poor Chloe, and she
burst into tears.

"I will come again when your mind is in a state more suited to your
condition," said the minister. "At present your disposition seems to be
rebellious. I will leave you to think of what I have said."

But thinking made Chloe feel still more rebellious. Tom was fat and
stupid, with thick lips, and small, dull-looking eyes. He compared very
unfavorably with her bright and handsome Jim. She swayed back and forth,
and groaned. She thought over all the particulars of that last walk on
the beach, and murmured to herself, "He looked jest as ef he _wanted_ to
say suthin'."

She thought of Tom and groaned again; and underlying all her confusion
of thoughts there was a miserable feeling that, if the minister and her
mistress both said she must marry Tom, there was no help for it.

The next day, she slashed and slammed round in an extraordinary manner.
She broke a mug and a bowl, and sanded the floor with a general
conglomeration of scratches, instead of the neat herring-bone on which
she usually prided herself. It was the only way she had to exercise her
free-will in its desperate struggle with necessity.

Mrs. Lawton, who never thought of her in any other light than as a
machine, did not know what to make of these singular proceedings. "What
upon airth ails you?" exclaimed she. "I do believe the gal's gone
crazy."

Chloe paused in her harum-scarum sweeping, and said, with a look and
tone almost defiant, "I don't _want_ to marry Tom."

"But the minister wants you to marry him," replied Mrs. Lawton, "and you
ought to mind the minister."

Chloe did not dare to dispute that assertion, but she dashed her broom
round in the sand, in a very rebellious manner.

"Mind what you're about, gal!" exclaimed Mrs. Lawton. "I am not going to
put up with such tantrums."

Chloe was acquainted with the weight of her mistress's hand, and she
moved the broom round in more systematic fashion; but there was a
tempest raging in her soul.

In the course of a few days the minister visited the kitchen again, and
found Chloe still averse to his proposition. If his spiritual ear had
been delicate, he would have noticed anguish in her pleading tone, when
she said: "Please, Massa Gordonmammon, don't say nothin' more 'bout it.
I don't _want_ to be married." But his spiritual ear was _not_ delicate;
and her voice sounded to him merely as that of a refractory wench, who
was behaving in a manner very unseemly and ungrateful in a bondwoman who
had been taken from the heathen round about, and brought under the
guidance of Christians. He therefore assumed his sternest look when he
said: "I supposed you knew it was your duty to obey whatever your
minister and your mistress tell you. The Bible says, 'He is the minister
of God unto you.' It also says, 'Servants, obey your masters in all
things'; and your mistress stands to you in the place of your deceased
master. How are you going to account to God for your disobedience to his
commands?"

Chloe, half frightened and half rebellious, replied, "I don't think
Missis would like it, if you made Missy Katy marry somebody when she
said she didn't want to be married."

"Chloe, it is very presumptuous in _you_ to talk in that way," rejoined
the minister. "There is no similarity between _your_ condition and that
of your young mistress. You are descended from Ham, Chloe; and Ham was
accursed of God on account of his sin, and his posterity were ordained
to be servants; and the Bible says, 'Servants, obey your masters in all
things'; and it says that the minister is a 'minister of God unto you.'
You were born among heathen and brought to a land of Gospel privileges;
and you ought to be grateful that you have protectors capable of
teaching you what to do. Now your mistress wants you to marry Tom, and I
want you to marry him; and we expect that you will do as we bid you,
without any more words. I will come again, Chloe; though you ought to
feel ashamed of yourself for giving your minister so much trouble about
such a trifling matter."

Receiving no answer, he returned to the sitting-room to talk with Mrs.
Lawton.

Chloe, like most people who are alone much of their time, had a
confirmed habit of talking to herself; and her soliloquies were apt to
be rather promiscuous and disjointed.

"Trifling matter!" said she. "S'pose it's trifling matter to _you_,
Massa Minister. Ugh! S'pose they'll _make_ me. Don't know nothin' 'bout
Ham. Never hearn tell o' Ham afore, only ham in the smoke-house. If
ham's cussed in the Bible, what fur do folks eat it? Hearn Missis read
in the Bible that the Divil went into the swine. Don't see what fur I
must marry Tom 'cause Ham was cussed for his sin." She was silent for a
while, and, being unable to bring any order out of the chaos of her
thoughts, she turned them toward a more pleasant subject. "He didn't say
nothin'," murmured she; "but he looked jest as ef he _wanted_ to say
suthin'." The tender expression of those great brown eyes came before
her again, and she laid her head down on the table and sobbed.

Her protectors, as they styled themselves, never dreamed that she had a
heart. In their thoughts she was merely a bondwoman taken from the
heathen, and consigned to their keeping for their uses.

Tom made another visit to Dinah, and was out of the way when his master
wanted him. This caused the minister to hasten in making his third visit
to Chloe. She met him with the same frightened look; and when he asked
if she had made up her mind to obey her mistress, she timidly and sadly
repeated, "Massa Minister, I don't _want_ to be married."

"You don't want to do your duty; that's what it is, you disobedient
wench," said the minister sternly. "I will wrestle with the Lord in
prayer for you, that your rebellious heart may be taken away, and a
submissive temper given you, more befitting your servile condition."

He spread forth his hands, covered with very long-fingered, dangling
black-silk gloves, and lifted his voice in the following petition to the
Throne of Grace: "O Lord, we pray thee that this rebellious descendant
of Ham, whom thou hast been pleased to place under our protection, may
learn that it is her duty to obey thy Holy Word; wherein it is written
that I am unto her a minister of God, and that she is to obey her
mistress in all things. May she be brought to a proper sense of her
duty; and, by submission to her superiors, gain a humble place in thy
heavenly kingdom, where the curse inherited from her sinful progenitor
may be removed. This we ask in the name of thy Son, our Saviour Jesus
Christ, who died that sinners might be redeemed by believing on his
name; even sinners who, like this disobedient handmaid, were born in a
land of heathens."

He paused and looked at Chloe, who could do nothing but weep. There were
many words in the prayer which conveyed to her no meaning; and why she
was accursed on account of the sin of Ham remained a perplexing puzzle
to her mind. But she felt as if she must, somehow or other, be doing
something wicked, or the minister would not come and pray for her in
such a solemn manner.

Mr. Gordonmammon, having reiterated his rebukes and expostulations
without receiving any answer but tears, called Mrs. Lawton to his
assistance. "I have preached to Chloe, and prayed for her," said he;
"but she remains stubborn."

"I am surprised at you, Chloe!" exclaimed the Widow. "You have been told
a great many times that it is your duty to obey the minister and to obey
me; yet you have put him to the trouble of coming three times to talk
with you. I sha'n't put up with any more such doings. You must make up
your mind once for all to marry Tom. What have you to say about it, you
silly wench?"

With a great break-down of sobs, poor Chloe blubbered out, "S'pose I
_must_."

They left her alone; and O how dreadfully alone she felt, with the
memory of that treasured look, and the thought that, whatever it was Jim
wanted to say, he could never say it now!

The next day, soon after dinner, Mrs. Lawton entered the kitchen, and
said: "Chloe, the minister has brought Tom. Make haste, and do up your
dishes, and put on a clean apron, and come in to be married."

Chloe's first impulse was to run away; but she had nowhere to run. She
was recognized as the property of her mistress, and wherever she went
she would be sure to be sent back. She washed the dishes so slowly that
Mrs. Lawton came again to say the minister was waiting. Chloe merely
replied, "Yes, missis." But when the door closed after her, she muttered
to herself: "_Let_ him wait. I didn't ax him to come here plaguing me
about the cuss o' Ham. Don't know nothin' 'bout Ham. Never hearn tell
'bout him afore."

Again her mistress came to summon her, and this time in a somewhat angry
mood. "Have you got lead tied to your heels, you lazy wench?" said she.
"How many times must I tell you the minister's waiting?" And she
emphasized the question with a smart box on the ear.

Like a cowardly soldier driven up to the cannon's mouth by bayonets,
Chloe put on a clean apron, and went to the sitting-room. When the
minister told Tom to stand up, she did not even look at him; and he, on
his part, seemed very much frightened. After a brief form of words had
been repeated, they were told that they were husband and wife. Then the
bridegroom was ordered to go to ploughing, and the bride was sent to the
fish-flake.

Two witnesses were present at this dismal wedding beside Mrs. Lawton.
One was the Widow's daughter, a girl of seventeen, whom Chloe called
"Missy Katy." The other was Sukey Larkin, who lived twenty miles off,
but occasionally came to visit an aunt in the neighborhood. Both the
young girls were dressed in their best; for they were going to a
quilting-party, where they expected to meet many beaux. But Catherine
Lawton's best was very superior to Sukey Larkin's. Her gown was of a
more wonderful pattern than had been seen in that region. It had been
brought from London, in exchange for tobacco. Sukey had heard of it, and
had stopped at the Widow Lawton's to make sure of seeing it, in case
Catharine did not wear it to the quilting-party. Though she had heard
much talk about it, it surpassed her expectations, and made her very
discontented with her own gown of India-cotton, dotted all over with red
spots, like barley-corns. The fabric of Catharine's dress was fine,
thick linen, covered with pictures, like a fancifully illustrated volume
of Natural History. Butterflies of all sizes and colors were fluttering
over great baskets of flowers, birds were swinging on blossoming vines,
bees were hovering round their hives, and doves were billing and cooing
on the roof of their cots. One of the beaux in the neighborhood
expressed his admiration of it by saying "It beats all natur'." It was
made in bodice-fashion, with a frill of fine linen nicely crimped; and
the short, tight sleeves were edged just above the elbow with a similar
frill.

Sukey had before envied Catharine the possession of a gold necklace; but
that grew dim before the glory of this London gown. She repeated several
times that it was the handsomest thing she ever saw, and that it was
remarkably becoming. But at the quilting-party the bitterness of her
spirit betrayed itself in such remarks as these: "Folks wonder where the
Widow Lawton gets money to set herself up so much above other folks. But
she knows how to drive a bargain. She can skin a flint, and tan the
hide. She makes a fool of Catharine, dressing her up like a London
doll. I wonder who she expects is going to marry her, if she brings her
up with such extravagant notions."

"Mr. Gordonmammon thinks a deal of the Widow Lawton," said the hostess
of the quilting-party.

"Yes, I know he does," replied Sukey. "If he was a widower, I guess
they'd be the town's talk. Some folks think he goes there full often
enough. He brought his Tom there to-day to marry Chloe. I wonder the
Widow could spare her time to be married,--though, to be sure, it didn't
take long, for the minister made a mighty short prayer."

Poor Chloe! Thus they dismissed a subject which gave her a life-long
heart-ache. There was no honey in her bridal moon. She told Tom several
times she wished he would stay at home; but he was so perseveringly
good-natured, there was no possibility of quarrelling with him. By
degrees, she began to find his visits on Saturday evening rather more
entertaining than talking to herself.

"I wouldn't mind bein' so druv wi' work," said Tom, "ef I could live
like white folks do when _they_ gits married. I duz more work than them
as has a cabin o' their own, an' keeps a cow and a pig. But black folks
don't seem to git no good o' their work."

"Massa Minister says it's 'cause God cussed Ham," replied Chloe. "I
thought 'twas wicked to cuss, but Massa Minister says Ham was cussed in
the Bible. Ef I could have some o' the fish I clean and dry, I could
sen' to Lunnun for a gownd; but Missy Katy she gits all the gownds,
'cause Ham was cussed in the Bible. I don't know nothin' 'bout it; seems
drefful queer."

"Massa tole me I mus' work for nothin', 'cause Ham was cussed," rejoined
Tom. "But it seems like Ham cussed some black folks _worse_ nor others.
There's Jim Saunders, he's a nigger, too; but he gits his feed and six
dollars a month."

The words were like a stab to Chloe. She dropped half a needleful of
stitches in her knitting, and told Tom she wished he'd hold his tongue,
for he kept up such a jabbering that he made all her stitches run down.
Tom, thus silenced, soon fell asleep. She glanced at him as he sat
snoring by her side, and contrasted him with the genteel figure and
handsome features that had been so indelibly photographed on her memory
by the sunbeams of love. Tears dropped fast on her knitting-work; but
when Tom woke up, she spoke kindly, and tried to atone for her
ill-temper. Time, which gradually reconciles us to all things, produced
the same effect on her as on others. When the minister asked her, six
months afterward, how she and Tom were getting along, she replied, "I's
got used to him."

Yet life seemed more dreary to her than it did before she had that brief
experience of a free feeling. She never thought of that look without
longing to know what it was Jim wanted to say. But, as months passed on,
the tantalizing vision came less frequently, and at the end of a year
Chloe experienced the second happy emotion of her life. When she looked
upon her babe, a great fountain of love leaped up in her heart. She was
never too tired to wait upon little Tommy; and if his cries disturbed
her deep sleep, she folded the helpless little creature to her bosom,
with the feeling that he was better than rest. She was accustomed to
carry him to the fish-flake in a big basket, and lay him on a bed of dry
leaves, with her apron for an awning. As she paced backwards and
forwards at her daily toil, it was a perpetual entertainment to see him
lying there sucking his thumbs. But that was nothing compared with the
joy of nursing him. When his hunger was partially satisfied, he would
stop to smile in his mother's face; and Chloe had never seen anything so
beautiful as that baby smile. As he lay on her lap, laughing and cooing,
there was something in the expression of his eyes that reminded her of
the look she could never forget. He had taken the picture from her soul,
and brought it with him to the outer world; but as he lay there, playing
with his toes, he knew no more about his mother's heart than did the
Rev. Mr. Gordonmammon.

One balmy day in June, she was sitting on a rock by the sea-shore,
nursing her babe, pinching his little plump cheeks, and chirruping to
make him smile, when she heard the sound of footsteps. She looked up,
and saw Jim approaching. Her heart jumped into her throat. She felt very
hot, and then very cold. When Jim came near enough to look upon the
babe, he stopped an instant, said, in a constrained way, "How d' ye,
Chloe," then turned and walked quickly away. She gazed after him so
wistfully that for a few moments the cooing of her babe was disregarded.
"'Pears like he was affronted," she murmured, at last; and the big tears
dropped slowly. Little Tommy had a fit that night; for, by the strange
interfusion of spirit into all forms of matter, the quick revulsion of
the blood in his mother's heart passed into his nourishment, and
convulsed his body, as her soul had been convulsed.

But the disturbance passed away, and Chloe's life rolled on in its
accustomed grooves. Tommy grew strong enough to run by her side when she
went to the beach. Hour after hour he busied himself with pebbles and
shells, every now and then bringing her his treasures, and calling out,
"Pooty!" When he held out a shell, and looked at her with his great
brown eyes, it stirred up memories; but the pain was gone from them. Her
heart was no longer famished; it was filled with little Tommy.

This engrossing love was not agreeable to the Widow Lawton. If less was
accomplished in a day than usual, she would often exclaim, "That brat
takes up too much of your time." And not unfrequently Chloe was
compelled to go to the beach and leave Tommy fastened up in the kitchen;
though this was never done without some outcries on his part, and some
suppressed mutterings on hers.

On one of these occasions, Sukey Larkin came to make a call. When Mrs.
Lawton saw her at the gate, she said to her daughter, "How long do you
suppose she'll be in the house before she asks to see your silk gown?"

Catharine smiled and kept on spinning flax till her visitor entered.

"Good morning, Sukey," said Mrs. Lawton. "I didn't know you was about in
these parts."

"I come yesterday to do some business for mother," replied Sukey, "and
I'm going back in an hour. But I thought I would just run in to see you,
Catharine. Aunt says you're going to Jane Horton's wedding. Are you
going to wear your new silk?"

"So you've heard about the new silk?" said Mrs. Lawton.

"To be sure I have," rejoined Sukey. "Everybody's talking about it. Do
show it to me, Catharine; that's a dear."

The dress was brought forth from its envelope of white linen. It was a
very lustrous silk, changeable between rose-color and apple-green, and
the delicate hues glanced beautifully in the sunlight.

Sukey was in raptures, and exclaimed, "I don't wonder Mr. Gordonmammon
said Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like Catharine, when she
went to the great party at Cape Ann. I do declare, you've got lace at
the elbows and round the neck!" She heaved a deep sigh when the dress
was refolded; and after a moment's silence said, "I wish mother had a
fish-flake, and knew how to manage as well as you do, Mrs. Lawton; then
she could trade round with the sloops and get me a silk gown."

"O, I dare say you will have one some time or other," rejoined
Catharine.

"No, I shall never have one, if I live to be a hundred years old,"
replied Sukey. "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, like some
folks."

"I wonder what Tommy's doing in the kitchen," said Mrs. Lawton. "He's
generally about some mischief when he's so still. I declare I'd as lief
have a colt in the house as that little nigger." She looked into the
kitchen and added, "He's sound asleep on the floor."

"If he's so much trouble to you," said Sukey, "I wish you'd give him to
me. I always thought I should like to have a nigger."

"You may have him if you want him," replied Mrs. Lawton. "He's nothing
but a pester, and he takes up a quarter part of Chloe's time. But you'd
better take him before she gets home, for she'll make a fuss; and if he
wakes up he'll cry."

Sukey had a plan in her mind, suggested by the sight of the silk gown,
and she was eager to get possession of little Tommy. She said her horse
was tackled to the wagon, all ready to start for home, and there was
some straw in the bottom of it. The vehicle was soon at the widow's
door, and by careful management the child was placed on the straw
without waking; though Catharine said she heard him cry before the wagon
was out of sight.

Chloe hurried through her work on the beach, and came home at a quick
pace; for she was longing to see her darling, and she had some
misgivings as to how he was treated in her absence. She opened the
kitchen-door with the expectation that Tommy would spring toward her, as
usual, exclaiming, "Mammy! mammy!" The disappointment gave her a chill,
and she ran out to call him. When no little voice responded to the call,
she went to the sitting-room and said, "Missis, have you seen Tommy?"

"He a'n't been here," replied Mrs. Lawton, evasively. "Can't you find
him?"

The Widow was a regular communicant of the Reverend Mr. Gordonmammon's
church; but she was so blinded by slavery that it never occurred to her
there was any sin in thus trifling with a mother's feelings. When Chloe
had hurried out of the room, she said to her daughter, in a tone of
indifference, "One good thing will come of giving Tommy to Sukey
Larkin,--she won't come spying about here for one spell; she'll be
afraid to face Chloe."

In fact, she herself soon found it rather unpleasant to face Chloe; for
the bereaved mother grew so wild with anxiety, that the hardest heart
could not remain untouched. "O missis! why didn't you let me take Tommy
with me" exclaimed she. "He played with hisself, and wasn't no care to
me. I s'pose he was lonesome, and runned down to the beach to look for
mammy; an' he's got drownded." With that thought she rushed to the door
to go and hunt for him on the sea-shore.

Her mistress held her back with a strong arm, and, finding it impossible
to pacify her, she at last said, "Sukey Larkin wanted Tommy, and I told
her she might have him; she'll take good care of him."

The unhappy bondwoman gazed at her with an expression of intense misery,
which she was never afterward able to forget. "O missis! how _could_ you
do it?" she exclaimed; and, sinking upon a chair, she covered her face
with her apron.

"Sukey will be good to him," said Mrs. Lawton, in tones more gentle than
usual.

"He'll cry for his mammy," sobbed Chloe. "O missis! 't was cruel to take
away my little Tommy."

The Widow crept noiselessly out of the room, and left her to wrestle
with her grief as she could. She found the minister in the sitting-room,
and told him she had given away little Tommy, but that she wouldn't have
done it if she had thought Chloe would be so wild about it; for she
doubted whether she should get any work out of her for a week to come.

"She'll get over it soon," said the minister. "My cow lowed dismally,
and wouldn't eat, when I sold her calf; but she soon got used to doing
without it."

It did not occur to him as included within his pastoral duties to pray
with the stricken slave; and poor Chloe, oppressed with an unutterable
sense of loneliness, retired to her straw pallet, and late in the night
sobbed herself to sleep. She woke with a weight on her heart, as if
there was somebody dead in the house; and quickly there rushed upon her
the remembrance that her darling was gone. A ragged gown of his was
hanging on a nail. How she kissed it, and cried over it! Then she took
Jim's pink shell from her box, folded them carefully together, and laid
them away. No mortal but herself knew what memories were wrapped up with
them. She went through the usual routine of housework like a laborer who
drags after him a ball and chain. At the appointed time, she wandered
forth to the beach with no little voice to chirp music to her as she
went. When she saw prints of Tommy's little feet in the sand, she sat
down on a stone, and covered her face with her apron. For a long time
her sobs and groans mingled with the moan of the sea. She raised her
head, and looked inland, in the direction where she supposed Sukey
Larkin lived. She revolved in her mind the possibility of going there.
But stages were almost unknown in those days; and no wagoner would take
her, without consent of her mistress, if she pleaded ever so hard. She
thought of running away at midnight; but Mrs. Lawton would be sure to
overtake her, and bring her back. Thoughts of what her mistress might do
in such a case reminded her that she was neglecting the fish. Like a
machine wound up, she began to go her customary rounds; but she had lost
so much time that it was late before her task was completed. Then she
wandered away to a little heap of moss and pebbles, that Tommy had built
the last time they were together on the beach. On a wet rock near by she
sat down and cried. Black clouds gathered over her head, a cold
northeast wind blew upon her, and the spray sprinkled her naked feet.
Still she sat there and cried. Louder and louder whistled the wind;
wilder and wilder grew the moan of the sea. She heard the uproar without
caring for it. She wished the big waves would come and wash her away.

Meanwhile Mrs. Lawton noticed the gathering darkness, and looked out
anxiously for the return of her servant. "What upon airth can have
become of her?" said she. "She oughter been home an hour ago."

"I shouldn't wonder if she had set out to go to Sukey Larkin's," replied
Catharine.

The Widow had thought of that; she had also thought of the sea; for she
had an uneasy remembrance of that look of utter misery when Chloe said,
"How _could_ you do it?"

It was Saturday evening; and, according to custom, Tom came to see his
wife, all unconscious of the affliction that had befallen them. Mrs.
Lawton went out to meet him, and said: "Tom, I wish you would go right
down to the beach, and see what has become of Chloe. She a'n't come home
yet, and I'm afraid something has happened." She returned to the house,
thinking to herself, "If the wench is drowned, where shall I get such
another?"

Tom found Chloe still sitting on the wet stone. When he spoke to her,
she started, as if from sleep; and her first exclamation was, "O Tom!
missis has guv away little Tommy."

It was some time before he could understand what had happened; but when
he realized that his child was gone, his strong frame shook with sobs.
Little Tommy was the only creature on earth that loved him,--his only
treasure, his only plaything. "It's cruel hard," said he.

"O, how little Tommy is crying for mammy!" sobbed Chloe; "and I can't
git to him nohow. Oh! oh!"

Tom tried to comfort her, as well as he knew how. Among other things, he
suggested running away.

"I've been thinking 'bout that," rejoined Chloe; "but there a'n't
nowhere to run to. The white folks has got all the money, and all the
hosses, and all the law."

"O, what a cuss that Ham was!" groaned Tom.

"Don't know nothin' 'bout that ole cuss," replied Chloe. "Missis was
cruel. What makes God let white folks cruellize black folks so?"

The question was altogether too large for Tom, or anybody else, to
answer. After a moment's silence, he said, "P'r'aps Sukey Larkin will
come sometimes, and bring little Tommy to see us."

"She shouldn't have him ag'in!" exclaimed Chloe. "I'd scratch her eyes
out, if she tried to carry him off ag'in."

The sudden anger roused her from her lethargy; and she rose immediately
when Tom reminded her that it was late, and they ought to be going home.
Home! how the word seemed to mock her desolation!

Mrs. Lawton was so glad to see her faithful servant alive, and was so
averse to receiving another accusing look from those sad eyes, that she
forbore to reprimand her for her unwonted tardiness. Chloe spoke no word
of explanation, but, after arranging a few things, retired silently to
her pallet. She had been accustomed to exercise out of doors in all
weathers, but was unused to sitting still in the wet and cold. She was
seized with strong shiverings in the night, and continued feverish for
some days. Her mistress nursed her, as she would a valuable horse or
cow.

In a short time she resumed her customary tasks, but coughed incessantly
and moved about slowly and listlessly. Her mistress, annoyed not to have
the work going on faster, said to her reproachfully one day, "You got
this cold by staying out so late that night."

"Yes, missis," replied Chloe, very sadly. "I shouldn't have stayed out
ef little Tommy had been with me."

"What a fuss you make about that little nigger!" exclaimed Mrs. Lawton.
"Tommy was my property, and I'd a right to give him away."

"'Twas cruel of you, missis," rejoined Chloe. "Tommy was all the comfort
I had; an' I's worked hard for you, missis, many a year."

Mrs. Lawton, unaccustomed to any remonstrance from her bondwoman, seized
a switch and shook it threateningly.

But Catherine said, in a low tone: "Don't, mother! She feels bad about
little Tommy."

Chloe overheard the words of pity; and the first time she was alone with
her young mistress, she said, "Please, Missy Katy, write to Sukey Larkin
and ask her to bring little Tommy."

Catharine promised she would; but her mother objected to it, as making
unnecessary trouble, and the promise was not fulfilled.

Week after week Chloe looked out upon the road, in hopes of seeing Sukey
Larkin's wagon. But Sukey had no thoughts of coming to encounter her
entreaties. She was feeding and fatting Tommy, with a view to selling
him and buying a silk gown with the money. The little boy cried and
moped for some days; but, after the manner of children, he soon became
reconciled to his new situation. He ran about in the fields, and
gradually forgot the sea, the moss, the pebbles, and mammy's lullaby.

One day Mrs. Lawton said to her daughter, "How that dreadful cough hangs
on! I begin to be afraid Chloe's going into a consumption. I hope not;
for I don't know where I shall find such another wench to work."

She mentioned her fears to the minister, and he said, "When she gets
over worrying about Tommy, she'll pick up her crumbs."

But the only change that came over Chloe was increasing listlessness of
mind and fatigue of body. At last, she was unable to rise from her
pallet. She lay there looking at her thin hands, and talking to herself,
according to her old habit. The words Mrs. Lawton most frequently heard
were, "It was cruel of missis to take away little Tommy."
Notwithstanding all the clerical arguments she had heard to prove the
righteousness of slavery, the moan of the dying mother made her feel
uncomfortable. Sometimes the mind of the invalid wandered, and she would
hug Tommy's little gown, pat it lovingly, and sing to it the lullaby her
baby loved. Sometimes she murmured, "He looked jest as ef he _wanted_ to
say suthin'"; and sometimes a smiled lighted up her face, as if she saw
some pleasant vision.

The minister came to pray with her, and to talk what he called religion.
But it sounded to poor Chloe more than ever like the murmuring of the
sea. She turned her face away from him and said nothing. With what
little mental strength she had, she rejected the idea that the curse of
Ham, whoever he might be, justified the treatment she had received. She
had no idea what a heathen was, but she concluded it meant something
bad; and she had often told Tom she didn't like to have the minister
talk that way, for it sounded like calling her names.

At last the weary one passed away from a world where the doings had all
been dark and incomprehensible to her. But her soul was like that of a
little child; and Jesus has said, "Of such are the kingdom of heaven."
They found under her pillow little Tommy's ragged gown, and a pink
shell. Why the shell was there no one could conjecture. The pine box
containing her remains was placed across the foot of Mr. Lawton's grave,
at whose side his widow would repose when her hour should come. It was
the custom to place slaves thus at the feet of their masters, even in
the graveyard.

The Reverend Mr. Gordonmammon concluded to buy a young black woman, that
Tom might not be again induced to stray off after Dinah; and Tom
passively yielded to the second arrangement, as he had to the first.

In two years after Sukey Larkin took possession of little Tommy, she
sent him to Virginia to be exchanged for tobacco; with the proceeds of
which she bought a gold necklace, and a flashy silk dress, changeable
between grass-green and orange; and great was her satisfaction to
astonish Catharine Lawton with her splendor the next time they met at a
party.

I never heard that poor Chloe's ghost haunted either them or the Widow
Lawton. Wherever slavery exerts its baneful influence, it produces the
same results,--searing the conscience and blinding the understanding to
the most obvious distinctions between right and wrong.

There is no record of little Tommy's fate. He disappeared among "the
dark, sad millions," who knew not father or mother, and had no portion
in wife or child.



SNOW.


    The Summer comes, and the Summer goes.
      Wild-flowers are fringing the dusty lanes,
      The sparrows go darting through fragrant rains,
    And, all of a sudden,--it snows!

    Dear Heart! our lives so happily flow,
      So lightly we heed the flying hours,
      We only know Winter is gone--by the flowers,
    We only know Winter is come--by the Snow!



GRIFFITH GAUNT; OR, JEALOUSY.


CHAPTER IX.

Griffith, with an effort he had not the skill to hide, stammered out,
"Mistress Kate, I do wish you joy." Then, with sudden and touching
earnestness, "Never did good fortune light on one so worthy of it."

"Thank you, Griffith," replied Kate, softly. (She had called him "Mr.
Gaunt" in public till now.) "But money and lands do not always bring
content. I think I was happier a minute ago than I feel now," said she,
quietly.

The blood rushed into Griffith's face at this; for a minute ago might
mean when he and she were talking almost like lovers about to wed. He
was so overcome by this, he turned on his heel, and retreated hastily to
hide his emotion, and regain, if possible, composure to play his part of
host in the house that was his no longer.

Kate herself soon after retired, nominally to make her toilet before
dinner; but really to escape the public and think it all over.

The news of her advancement had spread like wildfire; she was waylaid at
the very door by the housekeeper, who insisted on showing her her house.

"Nay, never mind the house," said Kate; "just show me one room where I
can wash my face and do my hair."

Mrs. Hill conducted her to the best bedroom; it was lined with tapestry,
and all the colors flown; the curtains were a deadish yellow.

"Lud! here's a colored room to show _me_ into," said the blonde Kate;
"and a black grate, too. Why not take me out o' doors and bid me wash in
the snow?"

"Alack, mistress," said the woman, feeling very uneasy, "we had no
orders from Mr. Gaunt to light fires _up_ stairs."

"O, if you wait for gentlemen's orders to make your house fit to live
in! You knew there were a dozen ladies coming, yet you were not woman
enough to light them fires. Come, take me to your own bedroom."

The woman turned red. "Mine is but a small room, my lady," she
stammered.

"But there's a fire in it," said Kate, spitefully. "You servants don't
wait for gentlemen's orders, to take care of yourselves."

Mrs. Hill said to herself, "I'm to leave; that's flat." However, she led
the way down a passage, and opened the door of a pleasant little room in
a square turret; a large bay window occupied one whole side of the room,
and made it inexpressibly bright and cheerful, though rather hot and
stuffy; a clear coal fire burned in the grate.

"Ah!" said Kate, "how nice! Please open those little windows, every one.
I suppose you have sworn never to let wholesome air into a room. Thank
you: now go and forget every cross word I have said to you,--I am out of
sorts, and nervous, and irritable. There, run away, my good soul, and
light fires in every room; and don't you let a creature come near me, or
you and I shall quarrel downright."

Mrs. Hill beat a hasty retreat. Kate locked the door and threw herself
backwards on the bed, with such a weary recklessness and _abandon_ as if
she was throwing herself into the sea, to end all her trouble,--and
burst out crying.

It was one thing to refuse to marry her old sweetheart; it was another
to take his property and reduce him to poverty. But here was she doing
both, and going to be persuaded to marry Neville, and swell his wealth
with the very possessions she had taken from Griffith; and him wounded
into the bargain for love of her. It was really too cruel. It was an
accumulation of different cruelties. Her bosom revolted; she was
agitated, perplexed, irritated, unhappy, and all in a tumult; and
although she had but one fit of crying,--to the naked eye,--yet a
person of her own sex would have seen that at one moment she was crying
from agitated nerves, at another from worry, and at the next from pity,
and then from grief.

In short, she had a good long, hearty, multiform cry; and it relieved
her swelling heart, so far that she felt able to go down now, and hide
her feelings, one and all, from friend and foe; to do which was
unfortunately a part of her nature.

She rose and plunged her face into cold water, and then smoothed her
hair.

Now, as she stood at the glass, two familiar voices came in through the
open window, and arrested her attention directly. It was her father
conversing with Griffith Gaunt. Kate pricked up her quick ears and
listened, with her back hair in her hand. She caught the substance of
their talk, only now and then she missed a word or two.

Mr. Peyton was speaking rather kindly to Griffith, and telling him he
was as sorry for his disappointment as any father could be whose
daughter had just come into a fortune. But then he went on and rather
spoiled this by asking Griffith bluntly what on earth had ever made him
think Mr. Charlton intended to leave him Bolton and Hernshaw.

Griffith replied, with manifest agitation, that Mr. Charlton had
repeatedly told him he was to be his heir. "Not," said Griffith, "that
he meant to wrong Mistress Kate, neither: poor old man, he always
thought she and I should be one."

"Ah! well," said Squire Peyton, coolly, "there is an end of all that
now."

At this observation Kate glided to the window, and laid her cheek on the
sill to listen more closely.

But Griffith made no reply.

Mr. Peyton seemed dissatisfied at his silence, and being a person who,
notwithstanding a certain superficial good-nature, saw his own side of a
question very big, and his neighbor's very little, he was harder than
perhaps he intended to be.

"Why, Master Gaunt," said he, "surely you would not follow my daughter
now,--to feed upon a woman's bread. Come, be a man; and, if you are the
girl's friend, don't stand in her light. You know she can wed your
betters, and clap Bolton Hall on to Neville's Court. No doubt it is a
disappointment to _you_: but what can't be cured must be endured; pluck
up a bit of courage, and turn your heart another way; and then I shall
always be a good friend to you, and my doors open to you come when you
will."

Griffith made no reply. Kate strained her ears, but could not hear a
syllable, A tremor ran through her. She was in distance farther from
Griffith than her father was; but superior intelligence provided her
with a bridge from her window to her old servant's mind. And now she
felt that this great silence was the silence of despair.

But the Squire pressed him for a definite answer, and finally insisted
on one. "Come, don't be so sulky," said he; "I'm her father: give me an
answer, ay or no."

Then Kate heard a violent sigh, and out rushed a torrent of words that
each seemed tinged with blood from the unfortunate speaker's heart. "Old
man," he almost shrieked, "what did I ever do to you, that you torment
me so? Sure you were born without bowels. Beggared but an hour agone,
and now you must come and tell me I have lost _her_ by losing house and
lands! D'ye think I need to be _told_ it? She was too far above me
before, and now she is gone quite out of my reach. But why come and
fling it in my face? Can't you give a poor, undone man one hour to draw
his breath in trouble? And when you know I have got to play the host
this bitter day, and smile, and smirk, and make you all merry, with my
heart breaking! O Christ, look down and pity me, for men are made of
stone! Well, then, no; I will not, I cannot say the word to give her up.
_She_ will discharge _me_, and then I'll fly the country and never
trouble you more. And to think that one little hour ago she was so kind,
and I was so happy! Ah, sir, if you were born of a woman, have a little
pity, and don't speak to me of her at all, one way or other. What are
you afraid of? I am a gentleman and a man, though sore my trouble: I
shall not run after the lady of Bolton Hall. Why, sir, I have ordered
the servants to set her chair in the middle of the table, where I shall
not be able to speak to her, or even see her. Indeed I dare not look at
her: for I must be merry. Merry! My arm it worries me, my head it aches,
my heart is sick to death. Man! man! show me some little grace, and do
not torture me more than flesh and blood can bear."

"You are mad, young sir," said the Squire, sternly, "and want locking up
on bread and water for a month."

"I _am_ almost mad," said Griffith, humbly. "But if you would only let
me alone, and not tear my heart out of my body, I can hide my agony from
the whole pack of ye, and go through my part like a man. I wish I was
lying where I laid my only friend this afternoon."

"O, I don't want to speak to you," said Peyton, angrily; "and, by the
same token, don't you speak to my daughter no more."

"Well, sir, if she speaks to me, I shall be sure to speak to her,
without asking your leave or any man's. But I will not force myself upon
the lady of Bolton Hall; don't you think it. Only for God's sake let me
alone. I want to be by myself." And with this he hurried away, unable to
bear it any more.

Peyton gave a hostile and contemptuous snort, and also turned on his
heel, and went off in the opposite direction.

The effect of this dialogue on the listener was not to melt, but
exasperate her. Perhaps she had just cried away her stock of tenderness.
At any rate, she rose from her ambush a very basilisk; her eyes, usually
so languid, flashed fire, and her forehead was red with indignation. She
bit her lip, and clenched her hands, and her little foot beat the ground
swiftly.

She was still in this state, when a timid tap came to the door, and Mrs.
Hill asked her pardon, but dinner was ready, and the ladies and
gentlemen all a waiting for her to sit down.

This reminded Kate she was the mistress of the house. She answered
civilly she would be down immediately. She then took a last look in the
glass; and her own face startled her.

"No," she thought, "they shall none of them know nor guess what I feel."
And she stood before the glass and deliberately extracted all emotion
from her countenance, and by way of preparation screwed on a spiteful
smile.

When she had got her face to her mind, she went down stairs.

The gentlemen awaited her with impatience, the ladies with curiosity, to
see how she would comport herself in her new situation. She entered,
made a formal courtesy, and was conducted to her seat by Mr. Gaunt. He
placed her in the middle of the table. "I play the host for this one
day," said he, with some dignity; and took the bottom of the table
himself.

Mr. Hammersley was to have sat on Kate's left, but the sly Neville
persuaded him to change, and so got next to his inamorata; opposite to
her sat her father, Major Rickards, and others unknown to fame.

Neville was in high spirits. He had the good taste to try and hide his
satisfaction at the fatal blow his rival had received, and he entirely
avoided the topic; but Kate saw at once, by his demure complacency, he
was delighted at the turn things had taken, and he gained nothing by it:
he found her a changed girl. Cold monosyllables were all he could
extract from her. He returned to the charge a hundred times, with
indomitable gallantry, but it was no use. Cold, haughty, sullen!

Her other neighbor fared little better; and in short the lady of the
house made a vile impression. She was an iceberg,--a beautiful
kill-joy,--a wet blanket of charming texture.

And presently Nature began to co-operate with her: long before sunset it
grew prodigiously dark; and the cause was soon revealed by a fall of
snow in flakes as large as a biscuit. A shiver ran through the people;
and old Peyton blurted out, "I shall not go home to-night." Then he
bawled across the table to his daughter: "_You_ are at home. We will
stay and take possession."

"O papa!" said Kate, reddening with disgust.

But if dulness reigned around the lady of the house, it was not so
everywhere. Loud bursts of merriment were heard at the bottom of the
table. Kate glanced that way in some surprise, and found it was Griffith
making the company merry,--Griffith of all people.

The laughter broke out at short intervals, and by and by became
uproarious and constant. At last she looked at Neville inquiringly.

"Our worthy host is setting us an example of conviviality," said he. "He
is getting drunk."

"O, I hope not," said Kate. "Has he no friend to tell him not to make a
fool of himself?"

"You take a great interest in him," said Neville, bitterly.

"Of course I do. Pray, do you desert your friends when ill luck falls on
them?"

"Nay, Mistress Kate, I hope not."

"You only triumph over the misfortunes of your enemies, eh?" said the
stinging beauty.

"Not even that. And as for Mr. Gaunt, I am not his enemy."

"O no, of course not. You are his best friend. Witness his arm at this
moment."

"I am his rival, but not his enemy. I'll give you a proof." Then he
lowered his voice, and said in her ear: "You are grieved at his losing
Bolton; and, as you are very generous and noble-minded, you are all the
more grieved because his loss is your gain." (Kate blushed at this
shrewd hit.) Neville went on: "You don't like him well enough to marry
him; and since you cannot make him happy, it hurts your good heart to
make him poor."

"It is you for reading a lady's heart," said Kate, ironically.

George proceeded steadily. "I'll show you an easy way out of this
dilemma."

"Thank you," said Kate, rather insolently.

"Give Mr. Gaunt Bolton and Hernshaw, and give me--your hand."

Kate turned and looked at him with surprise; she saw by his eye it was
no jest. For all that, she affected to take it as one. "That would be
long and short division," said she; but her voice faltered in saying it.

"So it would," replied George, coolly; "for Bolton and Hernshaw both are
not worth one finger of that hand I ask of you. But the value of things
lies in the mind that weighs 'em. Mr. Gaunt, you see, values Bolton and
Hernshaw very highly; why, he is in despair at losing them. Look at him;
he is getting rid of his reason before your very eyes, to drown his
disappointment."

"Ah! oh! that is it, is it?" And, strange to say, she looked rather
relieved.

"That is it, believe me: it is a way we men have. But, as I was saying,
_I_ don't care one straw for Bolton and Hernshaw. It is _you_ I
love,--not your land nor your house, but your sweet self; so give me
that, and let the lawyers make over this famous house and lands to Mr.
Gaunt. His antagonist I have been in the field, and his rival I am and
must be, but not his enemy, you see, and not his ill-wisher."

Kate was softened a little. "This is all mighty romantic," said she,
"and very like a _preux chevalier_, as you are; but you know very well
he would fling land and house in your face, if you offered them him on
these terms."

"Ay, in my face, if I offered them; but not in yours, if you."

"I am sure he would, all the same."

"Try him."

"What is the use?"

"Try him."

Kate showed symptoms of uneasiness. "Well, I will," said she, stoutly.
"No, that I will not. You begin by bribing me; and then you would set me
to bribe him."

"It is the only way to make two honest men happy."

"If I thought that--"

"You know it. Try him."

"And suppose he says nay?"

"Then we shall be no worse than we are."

"And suppose he says ay?"

"Then he will wed Bolton Hall and Hernshaw, and the pearl of England
will wed me."

"I have a great mind to take you at your word," said Kate; "but no; it
is really too indelicate."

George Neville fixed his eyes on her. "Are you not deceiving yourself?"
said he. "Do you not like Mr. Gaunt better than you think? I begin to
fear you dare not put him to this test: you fear his love would not
stand it?"

Kate colored high, and tossed her head proudly. "How shrewd you
gentlemen are!" she said. "Much you know of a lady's heart. Now the
truth is, I don't know what might not happen were I to do what you bid
me. Nay, I'm wiser than you would have me; and I'll pity Mr. Gaunt at a
safe distance, if you please, sir."

Neville bowed gravely. He felt sure this was a plausible evasion, and
that she really was afraid to apply his test to his rival's love.

So now, for the first time, he became silent and reserved by her side.
The change was noticed by Father Francis, and he fixed a grave,
remonstrating glance on Kate. She received it, understood it, affected
not to notice it, and acted upon it.

Drive a donkey too hard, it kicks.

Drive a man too hard, it hits.

Drive a woman too hard, it cajoles.

Now amongst them they had driven Kate Peyton too hard; so she secretly
formed a bold resolution; and, this done, her whole manner changed for
the better. She turned to Neville, and flattered and fascinated him. The
most feline of her sex could scarcely equal her _calinerie_ on this
occasion. But she did not confine her fascination to him. She broke out,
_pro bono publico_, like the sun in April, with quips and cranks and
dimpled smiles, and made everybody near her quite forget her late
hauteur and coldness, and bask in this sunny, sweet hostess. When the
charm was at its height, the siren cast a seeming merry glance at
Griffith, and said to a lady opposite, "Methinks some of the gentlemen
will be glad to be rid of us," and so carried the ladies off to the
drawing-room.

There her first act was to dismiss her smiles without ceremony; and her
second was to sit down and write four lines to the gentleman at the head
of the dining-table.

And he was as drunk as a fiddler.


CHAPTER X.

Griffith's friends laughed heartily with him while he was getting drunk;
and when he had got drunk, they laughed still louder, only at him.

They "knocked him down" for a song; and he sang a rather Anacreontic one
very melodiously, and so loud that certain of the servants, listening
outside, derived great delectation from it; and Neville applauded
ironically.

Soon after, they "knocked him down" for a story; and as it requires more
brains to tell a story than to sing a song, the poor butt made an ass of
himself. He maundered and wandered, and stopped, and went on, and lost
one thread and took up another, and got into a perfect maze. And while
he was thus entangled, a servant came in and brought him a note, and put
it in his hand. The unhappy narrator received it with a sapient nod, but
was too polite, or else too stupid, to open it, so closed his fingers on
it, and went maundering on till his story trickled into the sand of the
desert, and somehow ceased; for it could not be said to end, being a
thing without head or tail.

He sat down amidst derisive cheers. About five minutes afterwards, in
some intermittent flash of reason, he found he had got hold of
something. He opened his hand, and lo, a note! On this he chuckled
unreasonably, and distributed sage, cunning winks around, as if he, by
special ingenuity, had caught a nightingale, or the like; then, with
sudden hauteur and gravity, proceeded to examine his prize.

But he knew the handwriting at once; and it gave him a galvanic shock
that half sobered him for the moment.

He opened the note, and spelled it with great difficulty. It was
beautifully written, in long, clear letters; but then those letters kept
dancing so!

     "I much desire to speak to you before 'tis too late, but can
     think of no way save one. I lie in the turreted room: come
     under my window at nine of the clock; and prithee come sober,
     if you respect yourself, or

     "KATE."

Griffith put the note in his pocket, and tried to think; but he could
not think to much purpose. Then this made him suspect he was drunk. Then
he tried to be sober; but he found he could not. He sat in a sort of
stupid agony, with Love and Drink battling for his brain. It was piteous
to see the poor fool's struggles to regain the reason he had so madly
parted with. He could not do it; and when he found that, he took up a
finger-glass, and gravely poured the contents upon his head.

At this there was a burst of laughter.

This irritated Mr. Gaunt; and, with that rapid change of sentiments
which marks the sober savage and the drunken European, he offered to
fight a gentleman he had been hitherto holding up to the company as his
best friend. But his best friend (a very distant acquaintance) was by
this time as tipsy as himself, and offered a piteous disclaimer, mingled
with tears; and these maudlin drops so affected Griffith that he flung
his one available arm round his best friend's head, and wept in turn;
and down went both their lachrymose, empty noddles on the table.
Griffith's remained there; but his best friend extricated himself, and,
shaking his skull, said, dolefully, "He is very drunk." This notable
discovery, coming from such a quarter, caused considerable merriment.

"Let him alone," said an old toper; and Griffith remained a good hour
with his head on the table. Meantime the other gentlemen soon put it out
of their power to ridicule him on the score of intoxication.

Griffith, keeping quiet, got a little better, and suddenly started up
with a notion he was to go to Kate this very moment. He muttered an
excuse, and staggered to a glass door that led to the lawn. He opened
this door, and rushed out into the open air. He thought it would set him
all right; but, instead of that, it made him so much worse that
presently his legs came to a misunderstanding, and he measured his
length on the ground, and could not get up again, but kept slipping
down.

Upon this he groaned and lay quiet.

Now there was a foot of snow on the ground; and it melted about
Griffith's hot temples and flushed face, and mightily refreshed and
revived him.

He sat up and kissed Kate's letter, and Love began to get the upper hand
of Liquor a little.

Finally he got up and half strutted, half staggered, to the turret, and
stood under Kate's window.

The turret was covered with luxuriant ivy, and that ivy with snow. So
the glass of the window was set in a massive frame of winter; but a
bright fire burned inside the room, and this set the panes all aflame.
It was cheery and glorious to see the window glow like a sheet of
transparent fire in its deep frame of snow; but Griffith could not
appreciate all that. He stood there a sorrowful man. The wine he had
taken to drown his despair had lost its stimulating effect, and had
given him a heavy head, but left him his sick heart.

He stood and puzzled his drowsy faculties why Kate had sent for him.
Was it to bid him good by forever, or to lessen his misery by telling
him she would not marry another? He soon gave up cudgelling his
enfeebled brains. Kate was a superior being to him, and often said
things, and did things, that surprised him. She had sent for him, and
that was enough. He should see her and speak to her once more, at all
events. He stood, alternately nodding and looking up at her glowing
room, and longing for its owner to appear. But as Bacchus had inspired
him to mistake eight o'clock for nine, and as she was not a votary of
Bacchus, she did not appear; and he stood there till he began to shiver.

The shadow of a female passed along the wall; and Griffith gave a great
start. Then he heard the fire poked. Soon after he saw the shadow again;
but it had a large servant's cap on: so his heart had beaten high for
Mary or Susan. He hung his head disappointed; and, holding on by the
ivy, fell a nodding again.

By and by one of the little casements was opened softly. He looked up,
and there was the right face peering out.

O, what a picture she was in the moonlight and the firelight! They both
fought for that fair head, and each got a share of it: the full moon's
silvery beams shone on her rose-like cheeks and lilified them a shade,
and lit her great gray eyes and made them gleam astoundingly; but the
ruby firelight rushed at her from behind, and flowed over her golden
hair, and reddened and glorified it till it seemed more than mortal. And
all this in a very picture-frame of snow.

Imagine, then, how sweet and glorious she glowed on him who loved her,
and who looked at her perhaps for the last time.

The sight did wonders to clear his head; he stood open-mouthed, with his
heart beating. She looked him all over a moment. "Ah!" said she. Then,
quietly, "I am so glad you are come." Then, kindly and regretfully, "How
pale you look! you are unhappy."

This greeting, so gentle and kind, overpowered Griffith. His heart was
too full to speak.

Kate waited a moment; and then, as he did not reply to her, she began to
plead to him. "I hope you are not angry with _me_," she said. "_I_ did
not want him to leave me your estates. I would not rob you of them for
the world, if I had my way."

"Angry with you!" said Griffith. "I'm not such a villain. Mr. Charlton
did the right thing, and--" He could say no more.

"I do not think so," said Kate. "But don't you fret: all shall be
settled to your satisfaction. I cannot quite love you, but I have a
sincere affection for you; and so I ought. Cheer up, dear Griffith;
don't you be down-hearted about what has happened to-day."

Griffith smiled. "I don't feel unhappy," he said; "I did feel as if my
heart was broken. But then you seemed parted from me. Now we are
together, I feel as happy as ever. Mistress, don't you ever shut that
window and leave me in the dark again. Let me stand and look at your
sweet face all night, and I shall be the happiest man in Cumberland."

"Ay," said Kate, blushing at his ardor; "happy for a single night; but
when I go away you will be in the dumps again, and perhaps get tipsy; as
if that could mend matters! Nay, I must set your happiness on stronger
legs than that. Do you know I have got permission to undo this cruel
will, and let you have Bolton Hall and Hernshaw again?"

Griffith looked pleased, but rather puzzled.

Kate went on, but not so glibly now. "However," said she, a little
nervously, "there is one condition to it that will cost us both some
pain. If you consent to accept these two estates from me, who don't
value them one straw, why then--"

"Well, what?" he gasped.

"Why, then, my poor Griffith, we shall be bound in honor--you and I--not
to meet for some months, perhaps for a whole year: in one word,--do not
hate me,--not till you can bear to see me--another--man's--wife."

The murder being out, she hid her face in her hands directly, and in
that attitude awaited his reply.

Griffith stood petrified a moment; and I don't think his intellects were
even yet quite clear enough to take it all in at once. But at last he
did comprehend it, and when he did, he just uttered a loud cry of agony,
and then turned his back on her without a word.

       *       *       *       *       *

Man does not speak by words alone. A mute glance of reproach has ere now
pierced the heart a tirade would have left untouched; and even an
inarticulate cry may utter volumes.

Such an eloquent cry was that with which Griffith Gaunt turned his back
upon the angelical face he adored, and the soft, persuasive tongue.
There was agony, there was shame, there was wrath, all in that one
ejaculation.

It frightened Kate. She called him back. "Don't leave me so," she said.
"I know I have affronted you; but I meant all for the best. Do not let
us part in anger."

At this Griffith returned in violent agitation. "It is your fault for
making me speak," he cried. "I was going away without a word, as a man
should, that is insulted by a woman. You heartless girl! What! you bid
me sell you to that man for two dirty farms! O, well you know Bolton and
Hernshaw were but the steps by which I hoped to climb to you: and now
you tell me to part with you, and take those miserable acres instead of
my darling. Ah, mistress, you have never loved, or you would hate
yourself and despise yourself for what you have done. Love! if you had
known what that word means, you couldn't look in my face and stab me to
the heart like this. God forgive you! And sure I hope he will; for,
after all, it is not _your_ fault that you were born without a heart.
WHY, KATE, YOU ARE CRYING."


CHAPTER XI.

"Crying!" said Kate. "I could cry my eyes out to think what I have done;
but it is not my fault: they egged me on. I knew you would fling those
two miserable things in my face if I did, and I said so; but they would
be wiser than me, and insist on my putting you to the proof."

"They? Who is they?"

"No matter. Whoever it was, they will gain nothing by it, and you will
lose nothing. Ah, Griffith, I am so ashamed of myself,--and so proud of
you."

"They?" repeated Griffith, suspiciously. "Who is this they?"

"What does that matter, so long as it was not Me? Are you going to be
jealous again? Let us talk of you and me, and never mind who _them_ is.
You have rejected my proposal with just scorn: so now let me hear yours;
for we must agree on something this very night. Tell me, now, what can I
say or do to make you happy?"

Griffith was sore puzzled. "Alas! sweet Kate," said he, "I don't know
what you can do for me now, except stay single for my sake."

"I should like nothing better," replied Kate warmly; "but unfortunately
they won't let me do that. Father Francis will be at me to-morrow, and
insist on my marrying Mr. Neville."

"But you will refuse."

"I would, if I could but find a good excuse."

"Excuse? why, say you don't love him."

"O, they won't allow that for a reason."

"Then I am undone," sighed Griffith.

"No, no, you are not; if I could be brought to pretend I love somebody
else. And really, if I don't quite love you, I like you too well to let
you be unhappy. Besides, I cannot bear to rob you of these unlucky
farms: I think there is nothing I would not do rather than that. I
think--I would rather--do--something very silly indeed. But I suppose
you don't want me to do that now? Why don't you answer me? Why don't you
say something? Are you drunk, sir, as they pretend? or are you asleep?
O, I can't speak any plainer: this is intolerable. Mr. Gaunt, I'm going
to shut the window."

Griffith got alarmed, and it sharpened his wits. "Kate, Kate!" he cried,
"what do you mean? am I in a dream? would you marry poor me after all?"

"How on earth can I tell, till I am asked?" inquired Kate, with an air
of childlike innocence, and inspecting the stars attentively.

"Kate, will you marry me?" said Griffith, all in a flutter.

"Of course I will--if you will let me," replied Kate, coolly, but rather
tenderly, too.

Griffith burst into raptures. Kate listened to them with a complacent
smile, then delivered herself after this fashion: "You have very little
to thank me for, dear Griffith. I don't exactly downright love you, but
I could not rob you of those unlucky farms, and you refuse to take them
back any way but this; so what can I do? And then, for all I don't love
you, I find I am always unhappy if you are unhappy, and happy when you
are happy; so it comes pretty much to the same thing. I declare I am
sick of giving you pain, and a little sick of crying in consequence.
There, I have cried more in the last fortnight than in all my life
before, and you know nothing spoils one's beauty like crying. And then
you are so good, and kind, and true, and brave; and everybody is so
unjust and so unkind to you, papa and all. You were quite in the right
about the duel, dear. He _is_ an impudent puppy; and I threw dust in
your eyes, and made you own you were in the wrong, and it was a great
shame of me, but it was because I liked you best. I could take liberties
with _you_, dear. And you are wounded for me, and now I have
disinherited you. O, I can't bear it, and I won't. My heart yearns for
you,--bleeds for you. I would rather die than you should be unhappy; I
would rather follow you in rags round the world than marry a prince and
make you wretched. Yes, dear, I am yours. Make me your wife; and then
some day I dare say I shall love you as I ought."

She had never showed her heart to him like this before; and now it
overpowered him. So, being also a little under vinous influence, he
stammered out something, and then fairly blubbered for joy. Then what
does Kate do, but cry for company?

Presently, to her surprise, he was half-way up the turret, coming to
her.

"O, take care! take care!" she cried. "You'll break your neck."

"Nay," cried he; "I must come at you, if I die for it."

The turret was ornamented from top to bottom with short ledges
consisting of half-bricks. This ledge, shallow as it was, gave a slight
foothold, insufficient in itself; but he grasped the strong branches of
the ivy with a powerful hand, and so between the two contrived to get up
and hang himself out close to her.

"Sweet mistress," said he, "put out your hand to me; for I can't take it
against your will this time. I have got but one arm."

But this she declined. "No, no," said she; "you do nothing but torment
and terrify me,--there." And so gave it him; and he mumbled it.

This last feat won her quite. She thought no other man could have got to
her there with two arms; and Griffith had done it with one. She said to
herself, "How he loves me!--more than his own neck." And then she
thought, "I shall be wife to a strong man; that is one comfort."

In this softened mood she asked him demurely, would he take a friend's
advice.

"If that friend is you, ay."

"Then," said she, "I'll do a downright brazen thing, now my hand is in.
I declare I'll tell you how to secure me. You make me plight my troth
with you this minute, and exchange rings with you, _whether I like or
not_; engage my honor in this foolish business, and if you do that, I
really do think you will have me in spite of them all. But
there,--la!--am I worth all this trouble?"

Griffith did not share this chilling doubt. He poured forth his
gratitude, and then told her he had got his mother's ring in his pocket;
"I meant to ask you to wear it," said he.

"And why didn't you?"

"Because you became an heiress all of a sudden."

"Well, what signifies which of us has the dross, so that there is enough
for both?"

"That is true," said Griffith, approving his own sentiment, but not
recognizing his own words. "Here's my mother's ring, on my little
finger, sweet mistress. But I must ask you to draw it off, for I have
but one hand."

Kate made a wry face, "Well, that is my fault," said she, "or I would
not take it from you so."

She drew off his ring, and put it on her finger. Then she gave him her
largest ring, and had to put it on his little finger for him.

"You are making a very forward girl of me," said she, pouting
exquisitely.

He kissed her hand while she was doing it.

"Don't you be so silly," said she; "and, you horrid creature, how you
smell of wine! The bullet, please."

"The bullet!" exclaimed Griffith. "What bullet?"

"_The_ bullet. The one you were wounded with for my sake. I am told you
put it in your pocket; and I see something bulge in your waistcoat. That
bullet belongs to me now."

"I think you are a witch," said he. "I do carry it about next my heart.
Take it out of my waistcoat, if you will be so good."

She blushed and declined, and, with the refusal on her very lips, fished
it out with her taper fingers. She eyed it with a sort of tender horror.
The sight of it made her feel faint a moment. She told him so, and that
she would keep it to her dying day. Presently her delicate finger found
something was written on it. She did not ask him what it was, but
withdrew, and examined it by her candle. Griffith had engraved it with
these words:--

    "I LOVE KATE."

He looked through the window, and saw her examine it by the candle. As
she read the inscription, her face, glorified by the light, assumed a
celestial tenderness he had never seen it wear before.

She came back and leaned eloquently out as if she would fly to him. "O
Griffith, Griffith!" she murmured, and somehow or other their lips met,
in spite of all the difficulties, and grew together in a long and tender
embrace.

It was the first time she had ever given him more than her hand to kiss,
and the rapture repaid him for all.

But as soon as she had made this great advance, virginal instinct
suggested a proportionate retreat.

"You must go to bed," she said, austerely; "you will catch your death of
cold out here."

He remonstrated: she insisted. He held out: she smiled sweetly in his
face, and shut the window in it pretty sharply, and disappeared. He went
disconsolately down his ivy ladder. As soon as he was at the bottom, she
opened the window again, and asked him, demurely, if he would do
something to oblige her.

He replied like a lover; he was ready to be cut in pieces, drawn asunder
with wild horses, and so on.

"O, I know you would do anything stupid for me," said she; "but will you
do something clever for a poor girl that is in a fright at what she is
going to do for you?"

"Give your orders, mistress," said Griffith, "and don't talk of me
obliging you. I feel quite ashamed to hear you talk so,--to-night
especially."

"Well, then," said Kate, "first and foremost, I want you to throw
yourself on Father Francis's neck."

"I'll throw myself on Father Francis's neck," said Griffith, stoutly.
"Is that all?"

"No, nor half. Once upon his neck you must say something. Then I had
better settle the very words, or perhaps you will make a mess of it. Say
after me now: O Father Francis, 'tis to you I owe her."

"O Father Francis, 'tis to you I owe her."

"You and I are friends for life."

"You and I are friends for life."

"And, mind, there is always a bed in our home for you, and a plate at
our table, and a right welcome, come when you will."

Griffith repeated this line correctly, but, when requested to say the
whole, broke down. Kate had to repeat the oration a dozen times; and he
said it after her, like a Sunday-school scholar, till he had it pat.

The task achieved, he inquired of her what Father Francis was to say in
reply.

At this simple question Kate showed considerable alarm. "Gracious
heavens!" she cried, "you must not stop talking to him; he will turn you
inside out, and I shall be undone. Nay, you must gabble these words out,
and then run away as hard as you can gallop."

"But is it true?" asked Griffith. "Is he so much my friend?"

"Hum!" said Kate, "it is quite true, and he is not at all your friend.
There, don't you puzzle yourself, and pester me; but do as you are bid,
or we are both undone."

Quelled by a menace so mysterious, Griffith promised blind obedience;
and Kate thanked him, and bade him good night, and ordered him
peremptorily to bed.

He went.

She beckoned him back.

He came.

She leaned out, and inquired, in a soft, delicious whisper, as follows:
"Are you happy, dearest?"

"Ay, Kate, the happiest of the happy."

"Then so am I," she murmured.

And now she slowly closed the window, and gradually retired from the
eyes of her enraptured lover.


CHAPTER XII.

But while Griffith was thus sweetly employed, his neglected guests were
dispersing, not without satirical comments on their truant host. Two or
three, however, remained, and slept in the house, upon special
invitation. And that invitation came from Squire Peyton. He chose to
conclude that Griffith, disappointed by the will, had vacated the
premises in disgust, and left him in charge of them; accordingly he
assumed the master with alacrity, and ordered beds for Neville, and
Father Francis, and Major Rickards, and another. The weather was
inclement, and the roads heavy; so the gentlemen thus distinguished
accepted Mr. Peyton's offer cordially.

There were a great many things sung and said at the festive board in the
course of the evening, but very few of them would amuse or interest the
reader as they did the hearers. One thing, however, must not be passed
by, as it had its consequences. Major Rickards drank bumpers apiece to
the King, the Prince, Church and State, the Army, the Navy, and Kate
Peyton. By the time he got to her, two thirds of his discretion had
oozed away in loyalty, _esprit du corps_, and port wine; so he sang the
young lady's praises in vinous terms, and of course immortalized the
very exploit she most desired to consign to oblivion: _Arma viraginemque
canebat_. He sang the duel, and in a style which I could not,
consistently with the interests of literature, reproduce on a large
scale. Hasten we to the concluding versicles of his song.

"So then, sir, we placed our men for the third time, and, you may take
my word for it, one or both of these heroes would have bit the dust at
that discharge. But, by Jove, sir, just as they were going to pull
trigger, in galloped your adorable daughter, and swooned off her foaming
horse in the middle of us,--disarmed us, sir, in a moment, melted our
valor, bewitched our senses, and the great god of war had to retreat
before little Cupid and the charms of beauty in distress."

"Little idiot!" observed the tender parent; and was much distempered.

He said no more about it to Major Rickards; but when they all retired
for the night, he undertook to show Father Francis his room, and sat in
it with him a good half-hour talking about Kate.

"Here's a pretty scandal," said he. "I must marry the silly girl out of
hand before this gets wind, and you must help me."

In a word, the result of the conference was that Kate should be publicly
engaged to Neville to-morrow, and married to him as soon as her month's
mourning should be over.

The conduct of the affair was confided to Father Francis, as having
unbounded influence with her.


CHAPTER XIII.

Next morning Mr. Peyton was up betimes in his character of host, and
ordered the servants about, and was in high spirits; only they gave
place to amazement when Griffith Gaunt came down, and played the host,
and was in high spirits.

Neville too watched his rival, and was puzzled at his radiancy.

So breakfast passed in general mystification. Kate, who could have
thrown a light, did not come down to breakfast. She was on her defence.

She made her first appearance out of doors.

Very early in the morning, Mr. Peyton, in his quality of master, had
ordered the gardener to cut and sweep the snow off the gravel walk that
went round the lawn. And on this path Miss Peyton was seen walking
briskly to and fro in the frosty, but sunny air.

Griffith saw her first, and ran out to bid her good morning.

Her reception of him was a farce. She made him a stately courtesy for
the benefit of the three faces glued against the panes, but her words
were incongruous. "You wretch," said she, "don't come here. Hide about,
dearest, till you see me with Father Francis. I'll raise my hand _so_
when you are to cuddle him, and fib. There, make me a low bow, and
retire."

He obeyed, and the whole thing looked mighty formal and ceremonious from
the breakfast-room.

"With your good leave, gentlemen," said Father Francis, dryly, "I will
be the next to pay my respects to her." With this he opened the window
and stepped out.

Kate saw him, and felt very nervous. She met him with apparent delight.

He bestowed his morning benediction on her, and then they walked
silently side by side on the gravel; and from the dining-room window it
looked like anything but what it was,--a fencing match.

Father Francis was the first to break silence. He congratulated her on
her good fortune, and on the advantage it might prove to the true
Church.

Kate waited quietly till he had quite done, and then said, "What, I may
go into a convent _now_ that I can bribe the door open?"

The scratch was feline, feminine, sudden, and sharp. But, alas! Father
Francis only smiled at it. Though not what we call spiritually-minded,
he was a man of a Christian temper. "Not with my good-will, my
daughter," said he; "I am of the same mind still, and more than ever.
You must marry forthwith, and rear children in the true faith."

"What a hurry you are in."

"Your own conduct has made it necessary."

"Why, what have I done now?"

"No harm. It was a good and humane action to prevent bloodshed, but the
world is not always worthy of good actions. People are beginning to make
free with your name for your interfering in the duel."

Kate fired up. "Why can't people mind their own business?"

"I do not exactly know," said the priest, coolly, "nor is it worth
inquiring. We must take human nature as it is, and do for the best. You
must marry him, and stop their tongues."

Kate pretended to reflect. "I believe you are right," said she, at last;
"and indeed I must do as you would have me; for, to tell the truth, in
an unguarded moment, I pitied him so that I half promised I _would_."

"Indeed!" said Father Francis. "This is the first I have heard of it."

Kate replied that was no wonder, for it was only last night she had so
committed herself.

"Last night!" said Father Francis; "how can that be? He was never out of
my sight till we went to bed."

"O, there I beg to differ," said the lady. "While you were all tippling
in the dining-room, he was better employed,--making love by moonlight.
And O what a terrible thing opportunity is, and the moon another! There!
what with the moonlight, and my pitying him so, and all he has suffered
for me, and my being rich now, and having something to give him, we two
are engaged. See else: this was his mother's ring, and he has mine."

"Mr. Neville?"

"Mr. Neville? No. My old servant, to be sure. What, do you think I would
go and marry for wealth, when I have enough and to spare of my own? O,
what an opinion you must have of me!"

Father Francis was staggered by this adroit thrust. However, after a
considerable silence he recovered himself, and inquired gravely why she
had given him no hint of all this the other night, when he had diverted
her from a convent, and advised her to marry Neville.

"That you never did, I'll be sworn," said Kate.

Father Francis reflected.

"Not in so many words, perhaps; but I said enough to show you."

"O!" said Kate, "such a matter was too serious for hints and innuendoes;
if you wanted me to jilt my old servant and wed an acquaintance of
yesterday, why not say so plainly? I dare say I should have obeyed you,
and been unhappy for life; but now my honor is solemnly engaged; my
faith is plighted; and were even you to urge me to break faith, and
behave dishonorably, I should resist. I would liever take poison, and
die."

Father Francis looked at her steadily, and she colored to the brow.

"You are a very apt young lady," said he; "you have outwitted your
director. That may be my fault as much as yours; so I advise you to
provide yourself with another director, whom you will be unable, or
unwilling, to outwit."

Kate's high spirit fell before this: she turned her eyes, full of tears,
on him. "O, do not desert me, now that I shall need you more than ever,
to guide me in my new duties. Forgive me; I did not know my own
heart--quite. I'll go into a convent now, if I must; but I can't marry
any man but poor Griffith. Ah, father, he is more generous than any of
us! Would you believe it? when he thought Bolton and Hernshaw were
coming to him, he said if I married him I should have the money to build
a convent with. He knows how fond I am of a convent."

"He was jesting; his religion would not allow it."

"His religion!" cried Kate. Then, lifting her eyes to Heaven, and
looking just like an angel, "Love is _his_ religion!" said she, warmly.

"Then his religion is Heathenism," said the priest, grimly.

"Nay, there is too much charity in it for that," retorted Kate, keenly.

Then she looked down, like a cunning, guilty thing, and murmured: "One
of the things I esteem him for is he always speaks well of _you_. To be
sure, just now the poor soul thinks you are his best friend with me. But
that is my fault; I as good as told him so: and it is true, after a
fashion; for you kept me out of the convent that was his only real
rival. Why, here he comes. O father, now don't you go and tell him you
side with Mr. Neville."

At this crisis Griffith, who, to tell the truth, had received a signal
from Kate, rushed at Father Francis and fell upon his neck, and said
with great rapidity: "O Father Francis, 'tis to you I owe her,--you and
I are friends for life. So long as we have a house there is a bed in it
for you, and whilst we have a table to sit down to there's a plate at it
for you, and a welcome, come when you will."

Having gabbled these words he winked at Kate, and fled swiftly.

Father Francis was taken aback a little by this sudden burst of
affection. First he stared,--then he knitted his brows,--then he
pondered.

Kate stole a look at him, and her eyes sought the ground.

"That is the gentleman you arranged matters with last night?" said he,
drily.

"Yes," replied Kate, faintly.

"Was this scene part of the business?"

"O father!"

"Why I ask, he did it so unnatural. Mr. Gaunt is a worthy, hospitable
gentleman; he and I are very good friends; and really I never doubted
that I should be welcome in his house----until this moment."

"And can you doubt it now?"

"Almost: his manner just now was so hollow, so forced; not a word of all
that came from his heart, you know."

"Then his heart is changed very lately."

The priest shook his head. "Anything more like a puppet, and a parrot to
boot, I never saw. 'Twas done so timely, too. He ran in upon our
discourse. Let me see your hand, mistress. Why, where is the string with
which you pulled yonder machine in so pat upon the word?"

"Spare me!" muttered Kate, faintly.

"Then do you drop deceit and the silly cunning of your sex, and speak to
me from your heart, or not at all." (Diapason.)

At this Kate began to whimper.

"Father," she said, "show me some mercy." Then, suddenly clasping her
hands: "HAVE PITY ON HIM, AND ON ME."

This time Nature herself seemed to speak, and the eloquent cry went
clean through the priest's heart.

"Ah!" said he; and his own voice trembled a little: "now you are as
strong as your cunning was weak. Come, I see how it is with you; and I
am human, and have been young, and a lover into the bargain, before I
was a priest. There, dry thy eyes, child, and go to thy room; he thou
couldst not trust shall bear the brunt for thee this once."

Then Kate bowed her fair head and kissed the horrid paw of him that had
administered so severe but salutary a pat. She hurried away up stairs,
right joyful at the unexpected turn things had taken.

Father Francis, thus converted to her side, lost no time; he walked into
the dining-room and told Neville he had bad news for him.

"Summon all your courage, my young friend," said he, with feeling, "and
remember that this world is full of disappointments."

Neville said nothing, but rose and stood rather pale, waiting like a man
for the blow. Its nature he more than half guessed: he had been at the
window.

       *       *       *       *       *

It fell.

"She is engaged to Gaunt, since last night; and she loves him."

"The double-faced jade!" cried Peyton, with an oath.

"The heartless coquette!" groaned Neville.

Father Francis made excuses for her: "Nay, nay, she is not the first of
her sex that did not know her own mind all at once. Besides, we men are
blind in matters of love; perhaps a woman would have read her from the
first. After all, she was not bound to give us the eyes to read a female
heart."

He next reminded Neville that Gaunt had been her servant for years.
"You knew that," said he, "yet you came between them----at your peril.
Put yourself in his place: say you had succeeded: would not his wrong be
greater than yours is now? Come, be brave; be generous; he is wounded,
he is disinherited; only his love is left him: 'tis the poor man's lamb;
and would you take it?"

"O, I have not a word to say against the _man_," said George, with a
mighty effort.

"And what use is your quarrelling with the woman?" suggested the
practical priest.

"None whatever," said George, sullenly. After a moment's silence he rang
the bell feverishly. "Order my horse round directly," said he. Then he
sat down, and buried his face in his hands, and did not, and could not,
listen to the voice of consolation.

Now the house was full of spies in petticoats, amateur spies, that ran
and told the mistress everything of their own accord, to curry favor.

And this no doubt was the cause that, just as the groom walked the
piebald out of the stable towards the hall door, a maid came to Father
Francis with a little note: he opened it, and found these words written
faintly, in a fine Italian hand:--

     "I scarce knew my own heart till I saw him wounded and poor,
     and myself rich at his expense. Entreat Mr. Neville to forgive
     me."

He handed the note to Neville without a word.

Neville read it, and his lip trembled; but he said nothing, and
presently went out into the hall, and put on his hat, for he saw his nag
at the door.

Father Francis followed him, and said, sorrowfully, "What, not one word
in reply to so humble a request?"

"Well, here's my reply," said George, grinding his teeth. "She knows
French, though she pretends not.

    'Le bruit est pour le fat, la plainte est pour le sot,
    L'honnête homme trompé s'eloigne et ne dit mot.'"

And with this he galloped furiously away.

He buried himself at Neville's Cross for several days, and would neither
see nor speak to a soul. His heart was sick, his pride lacerated. He
even shed some scalding tears in secret; though, to look at him, that
seemed impossible.

       *       *       *       *       *

So passed a bitter week: and in the course of it he bethought him of the
tears he had made a true Italian lady shed, and never pitied her a grain
till now.

He was going abroad: on his desk lay a little crumpled paper. It was
Kate's entreaty for forgiveness. He had ground it in his hand, and
ridden away with it.

Now he was going away, he resolved to answer her.

He wrote a letter full of bitter reproaches; read it over; and tore it
up.

He wrote a satirical and cutting letter; read it; and tore it up.

He wrote her a mawkish letter; read it; and tore it up.

The priest's words, scorned at first, had sunk into him a little.

He walked about the room, and tried to see it all like a by-stander.

He examined her writing closely: the pen had scarcely marked the paper.
They were the timidest strokes. The writer seemed to kneel to him. He
summoned all his manhood, his fortitude, his generosity, and, above all,
his high-breeding; and produced the following letter; and this one he
sent:--

     "MISTRESS KATE,--I leave England to-day for your sake; and
     shall never return unless the day shall come when I can look on
     you but as a friend. The love that ends in hate, that is too
     sorry a thing to come betwixt you and me.

     "If you have used me ill, your punishment is this; you have
     given me the right to say to you----I forgive you.

     "GEORGE NEVILLE."

And he went straight to Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Kate laid his note upon her knee, and sighed deeply; and said, "Poor
fellow! How noble of him! What _can_ such men as this see in any woman
to go and fall in love with her?"

Griffith found her with a tear in her eye. He took her out walking, and
laid all his radiant plans of wedded life before her. She came back
flushed, and beaming with complacency and beauty.

Old Peyton was brought to consent to the marriage. Only he attached one
condition, that Bolton and Hernshaw should be settled on Kate for her
separate use.

To this Griffith assented readily; but Kate refused plump. "What, give
him _myself_, and then grudge him my _estates_!" said she, with a look
of lofty and beautiful scorn at her male advisers.

But Father Francis, having regard to the temporal interests of his
Church, exerted his strength and pertinacity, and tired her out; so
those estates were put into trustees' hands, and tied up tight as wax.

This done, Griffith Gaunt and Kate Peyton were married, and made the
finest pair that wedded in the county that year.

As the bells burst into a merry peal, and they walked out of church man
and wife, their path across the churchyard was strewed thick with
flowers, emblematic, no doubt, of the path of life that lay before so
handsome a couple.

They spent the honeymoon in London, and tasted earthly felicity.

Yet did not quarrel after it; but subsided into the quiet complacency of
wedded life.


CHAPTER XIV.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaunt lived happily together--as times went.

A fine girl and boy were born to them; and need I say how their hearts
expanded and exulted, and seemed to grow twice as large.

The little boy was taken from them at three years old; and how can I
convey to any but a parent the anguish of that first bereavement?

Well, they suffered it together, and that poignant grief was one tie
more between them.

For many years they did not furnish any exciting or even interesting
matter to this narrator. And all the better for them: without these
happy periods of dulness our lives would be hell, and our hearts
eternally bubbling and boiling in a huge pot made hot with thorns.

In the absence of striking incidents, it may be well to notice the
progress of character, and note the tiny seeds of events to come.

Neither the intellectual nor the moral character of any person stands
stock-still: a man improves, or he declines. Mrs. Gaunt had a great
taste for reading; Mr. Gaunt had not: what was the consequence? At the
end of seven years the lady's understanding had made great strides; the
gentleman's had apparently retrograded.

Now we all need a little excitement, and we all seek it, and get it by
hook or by crook. The girl who satisfies that natural craving with what
the canting dunces of the day call a "sensational" novel, and the girl
who does it by waltzing till daybreak, are sisters; only one obtains the
result intellectually, and the other obtains it like a young animal, and
a pain in her empty head next day.

Mrs. Gaunt could enjoy company, but was never dull with a good book. Mr.
Gaunt was a pleasant companion, but dull out of company. So, rather than
not have it, he would go to the parlor of the "Red Lion," and chat and
sing with the yeomen and rollicking young squires that resorted thither:
and this was matter of grief and astonishment to Mrs. Gaunt.

It was balanced by good qualities she knew how to appreciate. Morals
were much looser then than now; and more than one wife of her
acquaintance had a rival in the village, or even among her own
domestics; but Griffith had no loose inclinations of that kind, and
never gave her a moment's uneasiness. He was constancy and fidelity in
person.

Sobriety had not yet been invented. But Griffith was not so intemperate
as most squires; he could always mount the stairs to tea, and generally
without staggering.

He was uxorious, and it used to come out after his wine. This Mrs. Gaunt
permitted at first, but by and by says she, expanding her delicate
nostrils: "You may be as affectionate as you please, dear, and you may
smell of wine, if you will; but please not to smell of wine and be
affectionate at the same moment. I value your affection too highly to
let you disgust me with it."

And the model husband yielded to this severe restriction; and, as it
never occurred to him to give up his wine, he forbore to be affectionate
in his cups.

One great fear Mrs. Gaunt had entertained before marriage ceased to
haunt her. Now and then her quick eye saw Griffith writhe at the great
influence her director had with her; but he never spoke out to offend
her, and she, like a good wife, saw, smiled, and adroitly, tenderly
soothed: and this was nothing compared to what she had feared.

Griffith saw his wife admired by other men, yet never chid nor chafed.
The merit of this belonged in a high degree to herself. The fact is,
that Kate Peyton, even before marriage, was not a coquette at heart,
though her conduct might easily bear that construction; and she was now
an experienced matron, and knew how to be as charming as ever, yet check
or parry all approaches to gallantry on the part of her admirers. Then
Griffith observed how delicate and prudent his lovely wife was, without
ostentatious prudery; and his heart was at peace.

He was the happier of the two, for he looked up to his wife, as well as
loved her; whereas she was troubled at times with a sense of superiority
to her husband. She was amiable enough, and wise enough, to try and shut
her eyes to it; and often succeeded, but not always.

Upon the whole, they were a contented couple; though the lady's dreamy
eyes seemed still to be exploring earth and sky in search of something
they had not yet found, even in wedded life.

They lived at Hernshaw. A letter had been found among Mr. Charlton's
papers explaining his will. He counted on their marrying, and begged
them to live at the castle. He had left it on his wife's death; it
reminded him too keenly of happier days; but, as he drew near his end,
and must leave all earthly things, he remembered the old house with
tenderness, and put out his dying hand to save it from falling into
decay.

Unfortunately, considerable repairs were needed; and, as Kate's property
was tied up so tight, Griffith's two thousand pounds went in repairing
the house, lawn, park palings, and walled gardens; went, every penny,
and left the bridge over the lake still in a battered, rotten, and, in a
word, picturesque condition.

This lake was by the older inhabitants sometimes called the "mere," and
sometimes "the fish-pools"; it resembled an hour-glass in shape, only
curved like a crescent.

In mediæval times it had no doubt been a main defence of the place. It
was very deep in parts, especially at the waist or narrow that was
spanned by the decayed bridge. There were hundreds of carp and tench in
it older than any He in Cumberland, and also enormous pike and eels; and
fish from one to five pounds' weight by the million. The water literally
teemed from end to end; and this was a great comfort to so good a
Catholic as Mrs. Gaunt. When she was seized with a desire to fast, and
that was pretty often, the gardener just went down to the lake and flung
a casting-net in some favorite hole, and drew out half a bushel the
first cast; or planted a flue-net round a patch of weeds, then belabored
the weeds with a long pole, and a score of fine fish were sure to run
out into the meshes.

The "mere" was clear as plate glass, and came to the edge of the shaven
lawn, and reflected flowers, turf, and overhanging shrubs deliciously.

Yet an ill name brooded over its seductive waters; for two persons had
been drowned in it during the last hundred years: and the last one was
the parson of the parish, returning from the squire's dinner in the
normal condition of a guest, A.D. 1740-50. But what most affected the
popular mind was, not the jovial soul hurried into eternity, but the
material circumstance that the greedy pike had cleared the flesh off his
bones in a single night, so that little more than a skeleton, with here
and there a black rag hanging to it, had been recovered next morning.

This ghastly detail being stoutly maintained and constantly repeated by
two ancient eye-witnesses, whose one melodramatic incident and treasure
it was, the rustic mind saw no beauty whatever in those pellucid and
delicious waters, where flowers did glass themselves.

As for the women of the village, they looked on this sheet of water as a
trap for their poor bodies and those of their children, and spoke of it
as a singular hardship in their lot, that Hernshaw Mere had not been
filled up threescore years agone.

The castle itself was no castle, nor had it been for centuries. It was
just a house with battlements; but attached to the stable was an old
square tower, that really had formed part of the mediæval castle.

However, that unsubstantial shadow, a name, is often more durable than
the thing, especially in rural parts; but, indeed, what is there in a
name for Time's teeth to catch hold of?

Though no castle, it was a delightful abode. The drawing-room and
dining-room had both spacious bay-windows, opening on to the lawn that
sloped very gradually down to the pellucid lake, and there was mirrored.
On this sweet lawn the inmates and guests walked for sun and mellow air,
and often played bowls at eventide.

On the other side was the drive up to the house-door, and a sweep, or
small oval plot, of turf, surrounded by gravel; and a gate at the corner
of this sweep opened into a grove of the grandest old spruce-firs in the
island.

This grove, dismal in winter and awful at night, was deliciously cool
and sombre in the dog-days. The trees were spires; and their great stems
stood serried like infantry in column, and flung a grand canopy of
sombre plumes overhead. A strange, antique, and classic grove,--_nulli
penetrabilis astro_.

This retreat was enclosed on three sides by a wall, and on the east side
came nearly to the house. A few laurel-bushes separated the two. At
night it was shunned religiously, on account of the ghosts. Even by
daylight it was little frequented, except by one person,--and she took
to it amazingly. That person was Mrs. Gaunt. There seems to be, even in
educated women, a singular, instinctive love of twilight; and here was
twilight at high noon. The place, too, suited her dreamy, meditative
nature. Hither, then, she often retired for peace and religious
contemplation, and moved slowly in and out among the tall stems, or sat
still, with her thoughtful brow leaned on her white hand,--till the
cool, umbrageous retreat got to be called, among the servants, "The
Dame's Haunt."

This, I think, is all needs be told about the mere place, where the
Gaunts lived comfortably many years, and little dreamed of the strange
events in store for them; little knew the passions that slumbered in
their own bosoms, and, like other volcanoes, bided their time.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_Snow-Bound: a Winter Idyl._ By JOHN G. WHITTIER. Boston: Ticknor and
Fields.

What Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" has long been to Old England,
Whittier's "Snow-Bound" will always be to New England. Both poems have
the flavor of native soil in them. Neither of them is a reminder of
anything else, but each is individual and special in those qualities
which interest and charm the reader. If "The Deserted Village" had never
been written, Whittier would have composed his "Snow-Bound," no doubt;
and the latter only recalls the former on account of that genuine
home-atmosphere which surrounds both these exquisite productions. After
a perusal of this new American idyl, no competent critic will contend
that we lack proper themes for poetry in our own land. The "Snow-Bound"
will be a sufficient reminder to all cavillers, at home or abroad, that
the American Muse need not travel far away for poetic situations.

Whittier has been most fortunate in the subject-matter of this new poem.
Every page has beauties on it so easy to discern, that the common as
well as the cultured mind will at once feel them without an effort. We
have only space for a few passages from the earlier portion of the idyl.

    "The sun that brief December day
    Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
    And, darkly circled, gave at noon
    A sadder light than waning moon.
    Slow tracing down the thickening sky
    Its mute and ominous prophecy,
    A portent seeming less than threat,
    It sank from sight before it set.
    A chill no coat, however stout,
    Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
    A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
      That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
      Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
    The coming of the snow-storm told.
    The wind blew east: we heard the roar
    Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
    And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
    Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

    "Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,--
    Brought in the wood from out of doors,
    Littered the stalls, and from the mows
    Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows;
    Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
    And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
    Impatient down the stanchion rows
    The cattle shake their walnut bows;
    While, peering from his early perch
    Upon the scaffold's pole of birch,
    The cock his crested helmet bent
    And down his querulous challenge sent.

    "Unwarmed by any sunset light
    The gray day darkened into night,
    A night made hoary with the swarm
    And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
    As zigzag wavering to and fro
    Crossed and recrossed the wingéd snow:
    And ere the early bed-time came
    The white drift piled the window-frame,
    And through the glass the clothes-line posts
    Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

    "So all night long the storm roared on:
    The morning broke without the sun;
    In tiny spherule traced with lines
    Of Nature's geometric signs,
    In starry flake, and pellicle,
    All day the hoary meteor fell;
    And, when the second morning shone,
    We looked upon a world unknown,
    On nothing we could call our own.
    Around the glistening wonder bent
    The blue walls of the firmament,
    No cloud above, no earth below,--
    A universe of sky and snow!
    The old familiar sights of ours
    Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
    Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
    Or garden wall, or belt of wood;
    A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
    A fenceless drift what once was road;
    The bridle-post an old man sat
    With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
    The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
    And even the long sweep, high aloof,
    In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
    Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

    "A prompt, decisive man, no breath
    Our father wasted: 'Boys, a path!'
    Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
    Count such a summons less than joy?)
    Our buskins on our feet we drew;
      With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
      To guard our necks and ears from snow,
    We cut the solid whiteness through.
    And, where the drift was deepest, made
    A tunnel walled and overlaid
    With dazzling crystal: we had read
    Of rare Aladdin's wondrous cave,
    And to our own his name we gave,
    With many a wish the luck were ours
    To test his lamp's supernal powers.

    "We reached the barn with merry din,
    And roused the prisoned brutes within.
    The old horse thrust his long head out,
    And grave with wonder gazed about;
    The cock his lusty greeting said,
    And forth his speckled harem led;
    The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
    And mild reproach of hunger looked;
    The hornéd patriarch of the sheep,
    Like Egypt's Amun roused from sleep,
    Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
    And emphasized with stamp of foot."


_Lives of Boulton and Watt._ Principally from the original Soho MSS.
Comprising also a History of the Invention and Introduction of the
Steam-Engine. By SAMUEL SMILES. London: John Murray.

The author of this book is an enthusiast in biography. He has given the
best years of his life to the task of recording the struggles and
successes of men who have labored for the good of their kind; and his
own name will always be honorably mentioned in connection with
Stephenson, Watt, Flaxman, and others, of whom he has written so well.
Of all his published books, next to "Self-Help," this volume, lately
issued, is his most interesting one. James Watt, with his nervous
sensibility, his headaches, his pecuniary embarrassments, and his gloomy
temperament, has never till now been revealed precisely as he lived and
struggled. The extensive collection of Soho documents to which Mr.
Smiles had access has enabled him to add so much that is new and
valuable to the story of his hero's career, that hereafter this
biography must take the first place as a record of the great inventor.

As a tribute to Boulton, so many years the friend, partner, and consoler
of Watt, the book is deeply interesting. Fighting many a hard battle for
his timid, shrinking associate, Boulton stands forth a noble
representative of strength, courage, and perseverance. Never was
partnership more admirably conducted; never was success more richly
earned. Mr. Smiles is neither a Macaulay nor a Motley, but he is so
honest and earnest in every work he undertakes, he rarely fails to make
a book deeply instructive and entertaining.


_Winifred Bertram and the World she lived in._ By the Author of the
Schönberg-Cotta Family. New York: M. W. Dodd.

The previous works of this prolific author have proved by their
popularity that they meet a genuine demand. Such a fact can no more be
reached by literary criticism, than can the popularity of Tupper's
poetry. It is no reproach to a book which actually finds readers to say
that it is not high art. Winifred Bertram has this advantage over her
predecessors, that she takes part in no theological controversies except
those of the present day, and therefore seems more real and truthful
than the others. In regard to present issues, however, the book deals in
the usual proportion of rather one-sided dialogues, and of arguments
studiously debilitated in order to be knocked down by other arguments.
Yet there is much that is lovely and touching in the characters
delineated; there is a good deal of practical sense and sweet human
charity; and the different heroes and heroines show some human variety
in their action, although in conversation they all preach very much
alike. Indeed, the book is overhung with rather an oppressive weight of
clergyman; and when the loveliest of the saints is at last wedded to the
youngest of the divines, she throws an awful shade over clerical
connubiality by invariably addressing him as "Mr. Bertram." In this
respect, at least, the fashionable novels hold out brighter hopes to the
heart of woman.





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