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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 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. 102, April, 1866" ***

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THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

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

VOL. XVII.--APRIL, 1866.--NO. CII.


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.



LAST DAYS OF WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.


PART I.

When, in October, 1864, the European steamer brought us the intelligence
of Walter Savage Landor's death, which occurred the month previous at
Florence, newspaper readers asked, "Who is Landor?" The few who remember
him remotely through the medium of Mr. Hillard's selections from his
writings exclaimed, "What! Did he not die long ago?" The half-dozen
Americans really familiar with this author knew that the fire of a
genius unequalled in its way had gone out. Two or three, who were
acquainted with the man even better than with his books, sighed, and
thanked God! They thanked God that the old man's prayer had at last been
answered, and that the curtain had been drawn on a life which in reality
terminated ten years before, when old age became more than ripe. But
Landor's walk into the dark valley was slow and majestic. Death fought
long and desperately before he could claim his victim; and it was not
until the last three years that body and mind grew thoroughly apathetic.
"I have lost my intellect," said Landor, nearly two years ago: "for this
I care not; but alas! I have lost my teeth and cannot eat!" Was it not
time for him to go?

    "Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."

The glory of old age ceases when second childishness and oblivion begin;
therefore we thanked God for His goodness in taking the lonely old man
home.

Long as was Landor's life and literary career, little is known of him
personally. There are glimpses of him in Lady Blessington's Memoirs; and
Emerson, in his "English Traits," describes two interviews with him in
1843 at his Florentine villa. "I found him noble and courteous, living
in a cloud of pictures.... I had inferred from his books, or magnified
from some anecdotes, an impression of Achillean wrath,--an untamable
petulance. I do not know whether the imputation were just or not, but
certainly on this May-day his courtesy veiled that haughty mind, and he
was the most patient and gentle of hosts." According to the world's
opinion, it was not always "May-day" with Landor, for the world neither
preaches nor practices that rarity, human charity. Its instinct is a
species of divining-rod, the virtue of which seems to be limited to a
fatal facility in discovering frailty. Great men and women live in glass
houses, and what passer-by can resist the temptation to throw stones? Is
it generous, or even just, in scoffers who are safely hidden behind
bricks and mortar, to take advantage of the glass? Could they show a
nobler record if subjected to equally close scrutiny? Worshippers, too,
at the shrines of inspiration are prone to look for ideal lives in their
elect, forgetting that the divine afflatus is, after all, a gift,--that
great thoughts are not the daily food of even the finest intellects. It
is a necessity of nature for valleys to lie beneath the lofty mountain
peaks that daringly pierce the sky; and it would seem as though the
artist-temperament, after rising to sublime heights of ecstasy, plunged
into corresponding depths, showing thereby the supremacy of the man over
the god. Then is there much sighing and shaking of heads at the failings
of genius, whereas genius in its depths sinks no lower than the ordinary
level of mankind. It simply proves its title-deeds to mortality.
Humanity at best is weak, and can only be divine by flashes. The Pythia
was a stupid old woman, saving when she sat upon the tripod. Seeing
genius to the best advantage in its work,--not always, but most
frequently,--they are wisest who love the artist without demanding
personal perfection. It is rational to conclude that the loftiest
possible genius should be allied to the most perfect specimen of man,
heart holding equal sway with head. A great man, however, need not be a
great artist,--that is, of course, understood; but time ought to prove
that the highest form of art can only emanate from the noblest type of
humanity. The most glorious inspirations must flow through the purest
channels. But this is the genius of the future, as far removed from what
is best known as order is removed from chaos. The genius most familiar
is not often founded on common sense; the _plus_ of one faculty denotes
the _minus_ of another; and matter-of-fact people, who rule the
world,--as they should,--and who have never dreamed of an inclination
from the perpendicular, bestow little patience and less sympathy on
vagaries, moral and mental, than, partly natural, are aggravated by that
"capacity for joy" which "admits temptation."

Landor's characteristic fault, in fact his vice, was that of a temper so
undisciplined and impulsive as to be somewhat hurricanic in its
consequences, though, not unlike the Australian boomerang, it frequently
returned whence it came, and injured no one but the possessor.
Circumstances aggravated, rather than diminished, this Landorian
idiosyncrasy. Born in prosperity, heir to a large landed estate, and
educated in aristocratic traditions, Walter Savage Landor began life
without a struggle, and throughout a long career remained master of the
situation, independent of the world and its favors. Perhaps too much
freedom is as unfortunate in its results upon character as too much
dependence. A nature to be properly developed should receive as well as
give; otherwise it must be an angelic disposition that does not become
tyrannical. All animated nature is despotic, the strong preying upon the
weak. If men and women do not devour one another, it is merely because
they dare not. The law of self-preservation prevents them from becoming
anthropophagi. A knowledge that the eater may in his turn be eaten, is
not appetizing. Materially and professionally successful, possessed of a
physique that did honor to his ancestors and Nature, no shadows fell on
Landor's path to chasten his spirit. Trials he endured of a private
nature grievous in the extreme, yet calculated to harden rather than
soften the heart,--trials of which others were partially the cause, and
which probably need not have been had his character been understood and
rightly dealt with. There is a soothing system for men as well as
horses,--even for human Cruisers,--and the Rarey who reduces it to a
science will deserve the world's everlasting gratitude. Powerful natures
are likely to be as strong in their weaknesses as in their virtues;
this, however, is a reckoning entirely too rational to be largely
indulged in by the packed jury that holds inquest over the bodies,
rather than the souls, of men. In his old age at least, Landor's
irascibility amounted to temporary madness, for which he was no more
responsible than is the sick man for the feverish ravings of delirium.
That miserable law-suit at Bath, which has done so much to drag the name
of Landor into the mire, would never have been prosecuted had its
instigators had any respect for themselves or any decent appreciation of
their victim.

But Landor in his best moods was chivalry incarnate. His courtly manners
toward ladies were particularly noticeable from the rarity of so much
external polish in the new school of Anglo-Saxon gallantry. It was a
pleasure to receive compliments from him; for they generally lay
imbedded in the _sauce piquante_ of a _bon mot_. Having one day dropped
his spectacles, which were picked up and presented to him by an American
girl, Landor quickly exclaimed, with a grace not to be translated into
words, "Ah, this is not the first time you have caught my eyes!" It was
to the same young lady that he addressed this heretofore unpublished
poem:--

    "TO K. F.

    "Kisses in former times I've seen,
    Which, I confess it, raised my spleen;
    They were contrived by Love to mock
    The battledoor and shuttlecock.
    Given, returned,--how strange a play,
    Where neither loses all the day,
    And both are, even when night sets in,
    Again as ready to begin!
    I am not sure I have not played
    This very game with some fair maid.
    Perhaps it was a dream; but this
    I _know_ was not; I _know_ a kiss
    Was given me in the sight of more
    Than ever saw me kissed before.
    Modest as winged angels are,
    And no less brave and no less fair,
    She came across, nor greatly feared,
    The horrid brake of wintry beard.

    "WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.

    "Sienna, July, 1860."

The following papers, in so far as they relate to Landor personally, are
not reminiscences of him in the zenith of fame. They contain glimpses of
the old man of Florence in the years 1859, 1860, and 1861, just before
the intellectual light began to flicker and go out. Even then Landor was
cleverer, and, provided he was properly approached, more interesting
than many younger men of genius. I shall ever esteem it one of the great
privileges of my life that I was permitted to know him well, and call
him friend. These papers are given to the public with the hope that they
may be of more than ordinary interest to the intelligent reader, and
that they may delineate Landor in more truthful colors than those in
which he has heretofore been painted. In repeating conversations, I have
endeavored to stand in the background, where I very properly belong. For
the inevitable egotism of the personal pronoun, I hope to be pardoned by
all charitable souls. That Landor, the octogenarian, has not been
photographed by a more competent person, is certainly not my fault.
Having had the good fortune to enjoy opportunities beyond my deserts, I
should have shown a great want of appreciation had I not availed myself
of them. If, in referring to Landor, I avoid the prefix "Mr.," it is
because I feel, with Lady Blessington, that "there are some people, and
he is of those, whom one cannot designate as 'Mr.' I should as soon
think of adding the word to his name, as, in talking of some of the
great writers of old, to prefix it to theirs."

It was a modest house in a modest street that Landor inhabited during
the last six years of his life. Tourists can have no recollection of the
_Via Nunziatina_, directly back of the "Carmine" in the old part of
Florence; but there is no loving lounger about those picturesque streets
that does not remember how, strolling up the _Via dei Seragli_, one
encounters the old shrine to the Madonna, which marks the entrance to
that street made historical henceforth for having sheltered a great
English writer. There, half-way down the _via_, in that little two-story
_casa_, No. 2671, dwelt Walter Savage Landor, with his English
housekeeper and _cameriera_. Sitting-room, bed-room, and dining-room
opened into each other; and in the former he was always found, in a
large arm-chair, surrounded by paintings; for he declared he could not
live without them. His snowy hair and beard of patriarchal proportions,
clear, keen, gray eyes, and grand head made the old poet greatly
resemble Michel Angelo's world-renowned masterpiece of "Moses"; nor was
the formation of Landor's forehead unlike that of Shakespeare. "If, as
you declare," said he, jokingly, one day, "I look like that meekest of
men, Moses and Shakespeare, I ought to be exceedingly good and somewhat
clever."

At Landor's feet was always crouched a beautiful Pomeranian dog, the
gift of his kind American friend, William W. Story. The affection
existing between "Gaillo" and his master was really touching. Gaillo's
eyes were always turned towards Landor's; and upon the least
encouragement, the dog would jump into his lap, lay his head most
lovingly upon his master's neck, and generally deport himself in a very
human manner. "Gaillo is such a dear dog!" said Landor, one day, while
patting him. "We are very fond of each other, and always have a game of
play after dinner; sometimes, when he is very good, we have two. I am
sure I could not live, if he died; and I know that, when I am gone, he
will grieve for me." Thereupon Gaillo wagged his tail, and looked
piteously into _padrone's_ face, as much as to say he would be grieved
indeed. Upon being asked if he thought dogs would be admitted into
heaven, Landor answered: "And, pray, why not? They have all of the good
and none of the bad qualities of man." No matter upon what subject
conversation turned, Gaillo's feelings were consulted. He was the only
and chosen companion of Landor in his walks; but few of the Florentines
who stopped to remark the _vecchio con quel bel canino_, knew how great
was the man upon whom they thus commented.

It is seldom that England gives birth to so rampant a republican as
Landor. Born on the 30th of January, two years before our Declaration of
Independence, it is probable that the volcanic action of those troublous
times had no little influence in permeating the mind of the embryo poet
with that enthusiasm for and love of liberty for which he was
distinguished in maturer years. From early youth, Landor was a poor
respecter of royalty and rank _per se_. He often related, with great
good-humor, an incident of his boyhood which brought his democratic
ideas into domestic disgrace. An influential bishop of the Church of
England, happening to dine with young Landor's father one day, assailed
Porson, and, with self-assumed superiority, thinking to annihilate the
old Grecian, exclaimed "_We_ have no opinion of his scholarship." Irate
at this stupid pronunciamento against so renowned a man, young Landor
looked up, and, with a sarcasm the point of which was not in the least
blunted by age, retorted, "_We_, my Lord?" Of course such unheard of
audacity and contempt of my Lord Bishop's capacity for criticism was
severely reprobated by Landor Senior; but no amount of reproof could
force his son into a confession of sorrow.

"At Oxford," said Landor, "I was about the first student who wore his
hair without powder. 'Take care,' said my tutor. 'They will stone you
for a republican.' The Whigs (not the wigs) were then unpopular; but I
stuck to my plain hair and queue tied with black ribbon."

Of Landor's mature opinion of republics in general we glean much from a
passage of the "Pentameron," in which the author adorns Petrarca with
his own fine thoughts.

"When the familiars of absolute princes taunt us, as they are wont to
do, with the only apothegm they ever learnt by heart,--namely, that it
is better to be ruled by one master than by many,--I quite agree with
them; unity of power being the principle of republicanism, while the
principle of despotism is division and delegation. In the one system,
every man conducts his own affairs, either personally or through the
agency of some trustworthy representative, which is essentially the
same: in the other system, no man, in quality of citizen, has any
affairs of his own to conduct; but a tutor has been as much set over him
as over a lunatic, as little with his option or consent, and without any
provision, as there is in the case of the lunatic, for returning reason.
Meanwhile, the spirit of republics is omnipresent in them, as active in
the particles as in the mass, in the circumference as in the centre.
Eternal it must be, as truth and justice are, although not stationary."

Let Europeans who, having predicted dismemberment of our Union,
proclaimed death to democracy, and those thoughtless Americans who
believe that liberty cannot survive the destruction of our Republic,
think well of what great men have written. Though North America were
submerged to-morrow, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans rushing over our
buried hopes to a riotous embrace, republicanism would live as long as
the elements endure,--borne on every wind, inhaled in every breath of
air, abiding its opportunity to become an active principle. Absorbed in
our own peculiar form of egotism, we believe that a Supreme Being has
cast the cause of humanity upon one die, to prosper or perish by the
chances of our game. What belittling of the Almighty! what magnifying of
ourselves!

Though often urged, Landor never became a candidate for Parliamentary
honors. Political wire-pulling was not to the taste of a man who,
notwithstanding large landed interests, could say: "I never was at a
public dinner, at a club or hustings. I never influenced or attempted to
influence a vote, and yet many, and not only my own tenants, have asked
me to whom they should give theirs." Nor was he ever presented at court,
although a presentation would have been at the request of the (at that
time) Regent. Landor would not countenance a system of court-favor that
opens its arms to every noodle wearing an officer's uniform, and almost
universally turns its back upon intellect. He put not his faith in
princes, and of titles says: "Formerly titles were inherited by men who
could not write; they now are conferred on men who will not let others.
Theirs may have been the darker age; ours is the duller. In theirs a
high spirit was provoked; in ours, proscribed. In theirs the bravest
were pre-eminent; in ours, the basest."

Although a democrat, Landor was not indifferent to the good name of his
own ancestors, not because of a long pedigree, but because many of these
ancestors were historical personages and served their country long and
well. That stock must be worthy of honorable mention which, extending
with its ramifications over several centuries, gives to the world its
finest fruit in its latest scion. It is a satisfaction to spring from
hidalgo blood when the advantages of gentle rearing are demonstrated by
being greater than one's fathers. In Lander's most admirable "Citation
and Examination of William Shakespeare," the youngster whom Sir Silas
Gough declares to be as "deep as the big tankard" says, "out of his own
head":--"Hardly any man is ashamed of being inferior to his ancestors,
although it is the very thing at which the great should blush, if,
indeed, the great in general descended from the worthy. I did expect to
see the day, and, although I shall not see it, it must come at last,
when he shall be treated as a madman or an impostor who dares to claim
nobility or precedency, and cannot show his family name in the history
of his country. Even he who can show it, and who cannot write his own
under it in the same or as goodly characters, must submit to the
imputation of degeneracy, from which the lowly and obscure are exempt."
Good old Penn, too, is made a lay figure upon which Landor dressed his
thoughts, when the Quaker tells Lord Peterborough: "Of all pride,
however, and all folly, the grossest is where a man who possesses no
merit in himself shall pretend to an equality with one who does possess
it, and shall found this pretension on no better plea or title than
that, although he hath it not, his grandfather had. I would use no
violence or coercion with any rational creature; but, rather than that
such a bestiality in a human form should run about the streets uncured,
I would shout like a stripling for the farrier at his furnace, and
unthong the drenching horn from my stable-door." Landor could write his
name under that of his family in as goodly characters, therefore he was
not ashamed to relate anecdotes of his forefathers. It was with honest
satisfaction that he perpetuated the memory of two of these worthies in
the "Imaginary Conversations" between King Henry IV. and Sir Arnold
Savage, and Oliver Cromwell and Walter Noble. "Sir Arnold, according to
Elsynge, 'was the first who appears _upon any record_' to have been
appointed to the dignity of Speaker in the House of Commons, as now
constituted. He was elected a second time, four years afterwards, a rare
honor in earlier days; and during this presidency he headed the Commons,
and delivered their resolutions in the plain words recorded by
Hakewell." These "plain words" were, that no subsidy should be granted
to Henry IV. until every cause of public grievance had been removed.
Landor came rightly by his independence of thought. "Walter Noble
represented the city of Lichfield; he lived familiarly with the best
patriots of the age, remonstrated with Cromwell, and retired from public
life on the punishment of Charles."

Landor was very fond of selecting the grand old Roundheads for his
conversations. In their society he was most at home, and with them he
was able to air his pet opinions. Good Andrew Marvell, a man after the
author's own heart, discourses upon this matter of family: "Between the
titled man of ancient and the titled man of recent date, the difference,
if any, is in favor of the last. Suppose them both raised for merit,
(here, indeed, we do come to theory!) the benefits that society has
received from him are nearer us.... Some of us may look back six or
seven centuries, and find a stout ruffian at the beginning." In England,
where the institutions are such that a title of nobility is considered
by the majority to be the highest reward attainable by merit, it is not
surprising that the great god of Rank should be worshipped at the family
altar of Form. In England, too, it must be acknowledged that men of rank
are men of education, frequently of culture, and are useful to the
nation as patrons of art and of science; therefore nobility frequently
means absolute gentility. But in America what good can be said of those
who, living upon the fortunes of fathers or grandfathers, amassed in
honest trade,--residents of a particular street which is thereby
rendered pluperfectly genteel,--with no recommendation but that derived
from fashion and idleness,--draw the lines of social demarcation more
closely than they are drawn in Europe, intellect and accomplishments
being systematically snubbed where the possessors cannot show their
family passes? Is not this attempt to graft the foibles of an older and
more corrupt civilization upon our institutions, a disgrace to
republicanism? Were the truth known, we should be able to report the
existence of many advocates of monarchy, a privileged class, and an
established church, among those into whose ancestry it would be unsafe
to dig deeper than a second generation; by digging deeper we might touch
sugar or tumble into a vat of molasses, and then what blushes for false
pride!

A very different idea of a great man from that of the vulgar do we get
out of Landor's writings. His Diogenes tells us, (and very like the
original seeker after honesty do we take him to be,) that "the great
man is he who hath nothing to fear and nothing to hope from another. It
is he who, while he demonstrates the iniquity of the laws and is able to
correct them, obeys them peaceably. It is he who looks on the ambitious
both as weak and fraudulent. It is he who hath no disposition or
occasion for any kind of conceit, no reason for being or for appearing
different from what he is. It is he who can call together the most
select company when it pleases him." And Petrarca says that "Time the
Sovran is first to discover the truly great." Yet, though we put faith
in the justice of posterity, even Time plays many a one false through
misplaced favoritism. "They, O Timotheus," exclaims the imaginary
Lucian, "who survive the wreck of ages, are by no means, as a body, most
worthy of our admiration. It is in these wrecks as in those at sea,--the
best things are not always saved. Hencoops and empty barrels bob upon
the surface, under a serene and smiling sky, when the graven or depicted
images of the gods are scattered on invisible rocks, and when those who
most resembled them in knowledge and beneficence are devoured by cold
monsters below." We claim, however, that Lucian's theory is good for
this world only, as we believe that soul, though it may be temporarily
wrecked, speeds on to the inevitable justice of eternity. And can we,
now that the fever of military glory is upon us, remember that, great as
may be the man who conquers his country's enemies upon the battle-field,
he is far greater who conquers the prejudices of his age and instils
into groping masses the doctrines of a more glorious civilization?

    "For civilisation perfected
    Is fully developed Christianity."

Every generation has two or three such men; no age has enough moral
courage to give birth to more. They live under protest,--thought alone
is free,--and when these men, fifty years in advance of their times,
proclaim God's truth with the enthusiasm begotten of religion,
grub-worms that rule the great _status quo_ sting the prophets with all
the virus of their nature, and render each step forward as difficult as
was once the passage of the Simplon. There is no stumbling-block like
that of ignorance, and he who would remove it must wear the holy crown
of thorns. We speak of the horrors of the Inquisition as things of the
past. Are we so sure of this? Has not prejudice invented most exquisite
tortures for reformers of all ages? America has her sins to answer for
in this respect.

    "Because ye prosper in God's name,
          With a claim.
    To honor in the old world's sight,
    Yet do the fiend's work perfectly
    In strangling martyrs,--for this lie
    This is the curse."

On the stubbornness of _Status Quo_ none have written better than
Landor. "Unbendingness, in the moral as in the vegetable world, is an
indication as frequently of unsoundness as of strength. Indeed, wise
men, kings as well as others, have been free from it. Stiff necks are
diseased ones."

It was impossible to be in Landor's society a half-hour and not reap
advantage. His great learning, varied information, extensive
acquaintance with the world's celebrities, ready wit, and even readier
repartee, rendered his conversation wonderfully entertaining. He would
narrate anecdote after anecdote with surprising accuracy, being
possessed of a singularly retentive memory, that could refer to a
catalogue of notables far longer than Don Giovanni's picture-gallery of
conquests. Names, it is true, he was frequently unable to recall, and
supplied their place with a "God bless my soul, I forget everything";
but facts were indelibly stamped upon his mind. He referred back to the
year _one_ with as much facility as a person of the rising generation
invokes the shade of some deed dead a few years. I looked with wonder
upon a person who remembered Napoleon Bonaparte as a slender young man,
and listened with delight to a voice from so dim a past. "I was in
Paris," said Landor one day, "at the time that Bonaparte made his
entrance as First Consul. I was standing within a few feet of him when
he passed, and had a capital good look at him. He was exceedingly
handsome then, with a rich olive complexion and oval face, youthful as a
girl's. Near him rode Murat, mounted upon a gold-clad charger,--and very
handsome he was too, but coxcombical."

Like the rest of human kind, Landor had his prejudices,--they were very
many. Foremost among them was an antipathy to the Bonaparte family. It
is not necessary to have known him personally to be aware of his
detestation of the first Napoleon, as in the conversation between
himself, an English and a Florentine visitor, he gives expression to a
generous indignation, which may well be inserted here, as it contains
the pith of what Landor repeated in many a social talk. "This Holy
Alliance will soon appear unholy to every nation in Europe. I despised
Napoleon in the plenitude of his power no less than others despise him
in the solitude of his exile: I thought him no less an impostor when he
took the ermine, than when he took the emetic. I confess I do not love
him the better, as some mercenaries in England and Scotland do, for
having been the enemy of my country; nor should I love him the less for
it, had his enmity been principled and manly. In what manner did this
cruel wretch treat his enthusiastic admirer and humble follower,
Toussaint l'Ouverture? He was thrown into a subterranean call, solitary,
dark, damp, pestiferously unclean, where rheumatism racked his limbs,
and where famine terminated his existence." Again, in his written
opinions of Cæsar, Cromwell, Milton, and Bonaparte, Landor criticises
the career of the latter with no fondness, but with much truth, and
justly says, that "Napoleon, in the last years of his sovereignty,
fought without aim, vanquished without glory, and perished without
defeat."

Great as was Landor's dislike to the uncle, it paled before his
detestation of the reigning Emperor,--a detestation too general to be
designated an idiosyncrasy on the part of the poet. We always knew who
was meant when a sentence was prefaced with "that rascal" or "that
scoundrel,"--such were the epithets substituted for the name of Louis
Napoleon. Believing the third Napoleon to be the worst enemy of his
foster-mother, Italy, as well as of France, Landor bestowed upon him
less love, if possible, than the majority of Englishmen. Having been
personally acquainted with the Emperor when he lived in England as an
exile, Landor, unlike many of Napoleon's enemies, acknowledged the
superiority of his intellect. "I used to see a great deal of the Prince
when he was in London. I met him very frequently of an evening at Lady
Blessington's, and had many conversations with him, as he always sought
me and made himself particularly civil. He was a very clever man, well
informed on most subjects. The fops used to laugh at him, and call him a
bore. A coxcombical young lord came up to me one evening after the
Prince had taken his leave, and said, 'Mr. Landor, how _can_ you talk to
that fool, Prince Napoleon?' To which I replied, 'My Lord, it takes a
fool to find out that he is not a wise man!' His Lordship retired
somewhat discomfited," added Landor with a laugh, "The Prince presented
me with his work on Artillery, and invited me to his house. He had a
very handsome establishment, and was not at all the poor man he is so
often said to have been." Of this book Landor writes in an article to
the "Quarterly Review" (I think): "If it is any honor, it has been
conferred on me to have received from Napoleon's heir the literary work
he composed in prison, well knowing, as he did, and expressing his
regret for, my sentiments on his uncle. The explosion of the first
cannon against Rome threw us apart forever." I shall not soon forget
Landor's lively narration of Napoleon's escape from the prison at Ham,
given in the same language in which it was told to him by the Prince. I
would feign repeat it here, were it not that an account of this
wonderful escape found its way into print some years ago. _Apropos_ of
Napoleon, an old friend of Landor's told me that, while in London, the
Prince was in the habit of calling upon him after dinner. He would sip
_café noir_, smoke a cigar, ply his host with every conceivable
question, but otherwise maintain a dignified reticence. It seems then
that Louis Napoleon is indebted to nature, as well as to art, for his
masterly ability in keeping his own counsel.

Among other persons of note encountered by Landor at Lady Blessington's
was Rachel. It was many years ago, before her star had attained its
zenith. "She took tea with her Ladyship, and was accompanied by a female
attendant, her mother I think. Rachel had very little to say, and left
early, as she had an engagement at the theatre. There was nothing
particularly noticeable in her appearance, but she was very ladylike. I
never met her again."

Landor entertained a genuine affection for the memory of Lady
Blessington. "Ah, there was a woman!" he exclaimed one day with a sigh.
"I never knew so brilliant and witty a person in conversation. She was
most generous too, and kind-hearted. I never heard her make an
ill-natured remark. It was my custom to visit her whenever the laurel
was in bloom; and as the season approached, she would write me a note,
saying, 'Gore House expects you, for the laurel has begun to blossom.' I
never see laurel now, that it does not make me sad, for it recalls her
to me so vividly. During these visits I never saw Lady Blessington until
dinner-time. She always breakfasted in her own room, and wrote during
the morning. She wrote very well, too; her style was pure. In the
evening her drawing-room was thrown open to her friends, except when she
attended the opera. Her opera-box faced the Queen's, and a formidable
rival she was to her Majesty."

"D'Orsay was an Apollo in beauty, very amiable, and had considerable
talent for modelling." Taking me into his little back sitting-room,
Landor brought out a small album, and, passing over the likenesses of
several old friends, among whom were Southey, Porson, Napier, and other
celebrities, he held up an engraving of Lady Blessington. Upon my
remarking its beauty, Landor replied: "That was taken at the age of
fifty, so you can imagine how beautiful she must have been in her youth.
Her voice and laugh were very musical." Then, turning to a young lady
present, Landor made her an exceedingly neat compliment, by saying,
"_Your_ voice reminds me very vividly of Lady Blessington's. Perhaps,"
he continued with a smile, "this is the reason why my old, deaf ears
never lose a word when you are speaking." Driving along the north side
of the Arno, one summer's day, Landor gazed sadly at a terrace
overlooking the water, and said: "Many a delightful evening have I spent
on that terrace with Lord and Lady Blessington. There we used to take
our tea. They once visited Florence for no other purpose than to see me.
Was not that friendly? They are both dead now, and I am doomed to live
on. When Lady Blessington died, I was asked to write a Latin epitaph for
her tomb, which I did; but some officious person thought to improve the
Latin before it was engraved, and ruined it."

This friendship was fully reciprocated by Lady Blessington, who, in her
letters to Landor, refers no less than three times to those "calm nights
on the terrace of the Casa Pelosi." "I send you," she writes, "the
engraving, and have only to wish that it may sometimes remind you of the
original.... Five fleeting years have gone by since our delicious
evenings on the lovely Arno,--evenings never to be forgotten, and the
recollections of which ought to cement the friendships then formed."
Again, in her books of travel,--the "Idler in France" and "Idler in
Italy,"--Lady Blessington pays the very highest tribute to Landor's
heart, as well as intellect, and declares his real conversations to be
quite as delightful as his imaginary ones. She who will live long in
history as the friend of great men now lies "beneath the chestnut shade
of Saint Germain"; and Landor, with the indignation of one who loved
her, has turned to D'Orsay, asking

    "Who was it squandered all her wealth,
    And swept away the bloom of health?"

Although a Latinist, Landor did not approve of making those who have
passed away doubly dead to a majority of the living by Latin eulogy. In
an interesting conversation he gives the following opinion: "Although I
have written at various times a great number of such inscriptions"
(Latin), "as parts of literature, yet I think nothing is so absurd, if
you only inscribe them on a tomb. Why should extremely few persons, the
least capable, perhaps, of sympathy, be invited to sympathize, while
thousands are excluded from it by the iron grate of a dead language?
Those who read a Latin inscription are the most likely to know already
the character of the defunct, and no new feelings are to be excited in
them; but the language of the country tells the ignorant who he was that
lies under the turf before them; and, if he was a stranger, it
naturalizes him among them; it gives him friends and relations; it
brings to him and detains about him some who may imitate, many who will
lament him. We have no right to deprive any one of a tender sentiment,
by talking in an unknown tongue to him, when his heart would listen and
answer to his own; we have no right to turn a chapel into a library,
locking it with a key which the lawful proprietors cannot turn."

I once asked Landor to describe Wordsworth's personal appearance. He
laughed and replied: "The best description I can give you of Wordsworth
is the one that Hazlitt gave _me_. Hazlitt's voice was very deep and
gruff, and he peppered his sentences very bountifully with 'sirs.' In
speaking to me of Wordsworth, he said: 'Well, sir, did you ever see a
horse, sir?' 'Yes.' 'Then, sir, you have seen Wordsworth, sir! He looks
exactly like a horse, sir, and a very long-faced horse at that, sir!'
And he did look like a horse," added Landor.

Those who have seen good likenesses of Wordsworth will readily remark
this resemblance. A greater length of ear would liken the Lake poet to
an animal of less dignity.

Continuing the conversation thus begun, Landor said: "I saw a great deal
of Hazlitt when he was in Florence. He called upon me frequently, and a
funny fellow he was. He used to say to me: 'Mr. Landor, I like you,
sir,--I like you very much, sir,--you're an honest man, sir; but I don't
approve, sir, of a great deal that you have written, sir. You must
reform some of your opinions, sir.'" And again Landor laughed with great
good-will.

"I regret that I saw Charles Lamb but once," replied Landor, in answer
to many questions asked concerning this delightful man and writer. "Lamb
sent word by Southey" (I think it was Southey) "that he would be very
happy to see me, whereupon we made him a visit. He had then retired from
the India House, and lived at Enfield. He was most charming in
conversation, and his smile impressed me as being particularly genial.
His sister also was a very agreeable person. During my visit, Lamb rose,
went to a table in the centre of the room, and took up a book, out of
which he read aloud. Soon shutting it, he turned to me, saying: 'Is not
what I have been reading exceedingly good?' 'Very good,' I replied.
Thereupon Lamb burst out laughing, and exclaimed: 'Did one ever know so
conceited a man as Mr. Landor? He has actually praised his own ideas!'
It was now my turn to laugh, as I had not the slightest remembrance of
having written what Lamb had read."

Are there many to whom the following lines will not be better than new?

    "Once, and only once, have I seen thy face,
    Elia! once only has thy tripping tongue
    Run o'er my breast, yet never has been left
    Impression on it stronger or more sweet.
    Cordial old man! what youth was in thy years,
    What wisdom in thy levity! what truth
    In every utterance of that purest soul!
    Few are the spirits of the glorified
    I'd spring to earlier at the gate of Heaven."

Being asked if he had met Byron, Landor replied: "I never saw Byron but
once, and then accidentally. I went into a perfumery shop in London to
purchase a pot of the ottar of roses, which at that time was very rare
and expensive. As I entered the shop a handsome young man, with a slight
limp in his walk, passed me and went out. The shopkeeper directed my
attention to him, saying: 'Do you know who that is, sir?' 'No,' I
answered. 'That is the young Lord Byron.' He had been purchasing some
fancy soaps, and at that time was the fashion. I never desired to meet
him."

As all the world knows, there was little love lost between these two
great writers; but it was the man, not the poet, that Landor so
cordially disliked.



MY ANNUAL.

FOR THE "BOYS OF '29."


    How long will this harp which you once loved to hear
    Cheat your lips of a smile or your eyes of a tear?
    How long stir the echoes it wakened of old,
    While its strings were unbroken, untarnished its gold?

    Dear friends of my boyhood, my words do you wrong;
    The heart, the heart only, shall throb in my song;
    It reads the kind answer that looks from your eyes,--
    "We will bid our old harper play on till he dies."

    Though Youth, the fair angel that looked o'er the strings,
    Has lost the bright glory that gleamed on his wings,
    Though the freshness of morning has passed from its tone,
    It is still the old harp that was always your own.

    I claim not its music,--each note it affords
    I strike from your heart-strings, that lend me its chords;
    I know you will listen and love to the last,
    For it trembles and thrills with the voice of your past.

    Ah, brothers! dear brothers! the harp that I hold
    No craftsman could string and no artisan mould;
    He shaped it, He strung it, who fashioned the lyres
    That ring with the hymns of the seraphim choirs.

    Not mine are the visions of beauty it brings,
    Not mine the faint fragrance around it that clings;
    Those shapes are the phantoms of years that have fled,
    Those sweets breathe from roses your summers have shed.

    Each hour of the past lends its tribute to this,
    Till it blooms like a bower in the Garden of Bliss;
    The thorn and the thistle may grow as they will,
    Where Friendship unfolds there is Paradise still.

    The bird wanders careless while Summer is green,
    The leaf-hidden cradle that rocked him unseen;
    When Autumn's rude fingers the woods have undressed,
    The boughs may look bare, but they show him his nest.

    Too precious these moments! the lustre they fling
    Is the light of our year, is the gem in its ring,
    So brimming with sunshine, we almost forget
    The rays it has lost, and its border of jet.

    While round us the many-hued halo is shed,
    How dear are the living, how near are the dead!
    One circle, scarce broken, these waiting below,
    Those walking the shores where the asphodels blow!

    Not life shall enlarge it, nor death shall divide,--
    No brother new-born finds his place at my side;
    No titles shall freeze us, no grandeurs infest,--
    His Honor, His Worship, are boys like the rest.

    Some won the world's homage,--their names we hold dear,--
    But Friendship, not Fame, is the countersign here;
    Make room by the conqueror crowned in the strife
    For the comrade that limps from the battle of life!

    What tongue talks of battle? Too long we have heard
    In sorrow, in anguish, that terrible word;
    It reddened the sunshine, it crimsoned the wave,
    It sprinkled our doors with the blood of our brave.

    Peace, Peace, comes at last, with her garland of white;
    Peace broods in all hearts as we gather to-night;
    The blazon of Union spreads full in the sun;
    We echo its words,--We are One! We are One!



WERE THEY CRICKETS?


About seven years ago, (it is possible that some of my readers may
recall it,) the following paragraph appeared in the New York daily
papers;--

     "MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE.--A young man named George Snyder
     left the residence of his parents in Thirty-Third Street, last
     Friday evening without his hat and taking nothing with him but
     the suit which he was wearing (dark doeskin pants, and
     invisible-green coat), and has not yet been heard from. It is
     feared that he has wandered, in some sudden mental derangement,
     off the wharves. Any information which may lead to his
     discovery will be gratefully received by the distressed
     parents."

No information was ever received until the 1st of April last, when the
missing man himself returned to his father's house, as mysteriously as
he went, and was welcomed as one risen from the dead. I am that George
Snyder, and propose to give now a brief account of that strange going
and coming. Since April last I have been engaged, as well as the
excitement of listening to the narrative of the great events which had
taken place in my native land during my absence would allow me, in
preparing for publication a history of my observations, made during the
six years' absence; but of this history I can now give merely an
outline.

On the night of my departure, November 5, 1858, I was sitting in my own
room, studying Gauss's "Theoria Motus"; and, as was often the case with
me, I grew so absorbed in the study as to lose all consciousness of
outward things beyond the limits of the single page before me. I had
forgotten the time of night,--nay, I could not have recalled the time of
my life, whether I was in college or had graduated, whether I had
entered on my profession or was preparing for it. My loss of the sense
of space was as absolute as my loss of the sense of time, and I could
not have said whether I was in my father's house in New York, or in my
room in Wentworth Hall, or in my office in Jersey City. I only knew that
the page, illuminated by a drop gas-light, was before me, and on it the
record of that brilliant triumph of the human intellect, the deduction
of a planet's entire orbit from observations of its position.

As I sat thus absorbed, my attention was partially diverted by a slight
tapping, as if upon the very table upon which my book was resting.
Without raising my eyes from the page, I allowed my thoughts to wander,
as I inquired within myself what could have produced the noise. Could it
be that I was thus suddenly "developed as a medium," and that the spirit
of some departed friend wished to communicate with me? I rejected the
thought instantly, for I was no believer in modern necromancy. But no
sooner had I mentally decided that this was not the true explanation
than I began to feel my right hand tremble in an unnatural manner, and
my fingers close against my will around a pencil which I had been
loosely holding. Then suddenly, upon the paper on which I
had been occasionally filling out the omitted links in Gauss's
mathematical reasoning, my hand, against my will, legibly scrawled,
"_Copernicus_,"--upon which a renewed tapping was heard upon the table.
I sprang out of my chair, as one startled out of sleep, and looked about
the room. My full consciousness of time and place returned, and I saw
nothing unusual about my apartment; there were the books, the chairs,
and even the table, standing in motionless silence as usual. I concluded
that my late hours and excessive concentration on my studies had made me
nervous, or else that I had had a dream. I closed the book and prepared
to go to bed. Like school-boy whistling to keep his courage up, I began
to talk aloud, saying: "I wish Copernicus would really come and carry me
off to explore the solar system; I fancy that I could make a better
report than Andrew Jackson Davis has done."

I tremble even now as I recall the instantaneous effect of those words.
While I was still speaking, all earthly things vanished suddenly from my
sight. There was no floor beneath me, no ceiling above, no walls around.
There was even no earth below me, and no sky above. Look where I would,
nothing was visible but my own body. My clothing shone with a pale blue
light, by which I could peer into the surrounding darkness to the
distance, as I should judge, of about twenty or thirty feet. I was
apparently hanging, like a planet, in mid-ether, resting upon nothing.
Horrible amazement seized me, as the conviction flashed through me like
an electric shock that I must have lost my reason. In a few moments,
however, this terror subsided; I felt certain that my thoughts were
rational, and concluded that it was some affection of the optic nerve.
But in a very few seconds I discovered by internal sensations that I was
in motion, in a rapid, irregular, and accelerating motion. Awful horror
again seized me; I screamed out a despairing cry for help, and fainted.

When I recovered from the swoon, I found myself lying on a grassy bank
near a sea-shore, with strange trees waving over me. The sun was
apparently an hour high. I was dressed as on the preceding evening,
without a hat. The air was deliciously mild, the landscape before me
lovely and grand. I said to myself: "This is a beautiful dream; it must
be a dream." But it was too real, and I said, "Can it be that I am
asleep?" I pinched my arms, I went to the sea and dipped my head in the
waters,--'t was in vain; I could not awake myself, because I was already
awake.

"No!" I replied, "you are not awake." Do you not remember that saying of
Engel, that when men dream of asking whether they are awake, they always
dream that they answer yes? But I said, I will apply two tests of my own
which have often, when I was dreaming, convinced me that I was asleep
and thus enabled me to awake. I gathered some pebbles and began to count
them and lay them in heaps, and count them over again. There were no
discrepancies between my counts; I was awake. Then I took out my pencil
and memorandum-book to see whether I could solve an equation. But my
hand was seized with trembling, and wrote without my assistance or
guidance these words: "I, Copernicus, will comfort your friends. Be
calm, be happy, you shall return and reap a peculiar glory. You, first
of the inhabitants of Earth, have visited another planet while in the
flesh. You are on an island in the tropical regions of Mars. I will take
you home when you desire it,--only not now."

It would be in vain for me to attempt to recall and to describe the
whirling tumult of thoughts and emotions which this message created. I
sat down upon the grass, and for a time was incapable of deliberate
thought or action. At length I arose and paced up and down the turf,
staring around upon the changeless blue of the seaward horizon, the
heaving swell of the ocean, the restless surf fretting against the
shore, and the motionless hills that rose behind each other inland, and
lured the eye to a distant group of mountains. The coloring of sea and
land was wonderfully fine; both seemed formed of similar translucent
purple; and despite the excited state of my feelings and the stupendous
nature of the words which I had just seen written by my own pencil, I
was impressed with a sense of grandeur and of beauty which presently
filled me with faith and hope. I assured myself that the spirit to whom
permission had been given thus to transport me from my home was as kind
as he was powerful. He had set me down in a beautiful country, he had
promised to return me home when I desired it,--"only not now";--by which
I concluded that he wished me to think calmly over the question before
asking to return. And why, I added, should I be in haste? Copernicus, if
it be he, promises to comfort my parents,--the island looks fertile,--if
I find no inhabitants, I can be a new Robinson Crusoe,--and when I have
explored the island thoroughly, I will ask this spirit to carry me back
to New York, where I shall publish my observations, and add a new
chapter to our knowledge of the solar system.

I walked toward the mountains, among strange shrubs, and under strange
trees. Some were in blossom, others laden with fruit, all in luxuriant
foliage. As I walked on, the scenery became more and more charming; but
I saw no signs of man, nor even of birds, nor beasts. Beautiful
butterflies and other insects were abundant; in a little stream I saw
minnows, and a fish elegantly striped with silver and gold; and as I
followed up the brook, occasionally a frog, startled at my approach,
leaped from the bank and dived into the water with a familiar cry. I
wandered on until I judged it to be nearly noon, and, growing hungry,
ventured to taste a fruit which looked more edible than any I had seen.
To my delight I found it as delicious as a paw-paw. I dined on them
heartily, and, sitting under the shade of the low trees from which I had
gathered them, I fell into a reverie which ended in a sound sleep.

When I awoke it was night. I walked out of the little grove in which I
was sheltered, that I might have a clearer view of the stars. I soon
recognized the constellations with which I had been familiar for years,
though in somewhat new positions. Conspicuous near, the horizon was the
"Milk Dipper" of Sagittarius, and I instantly noticed, with a thrill of
intense surprise, that the planet Mars was missing! When I had first
awakened, and stepped out of the grove, I had only a dim remembrance in
my mind of having rambled in the fields and fallen asleep on the grass;
but this planet missing in the constellation Sagittarius recalled to me
at once my miraculous position on the planet Mars. Here was a
confirmation unexpected and irrefragable of the truth of what Copernicus
had written by my hand. The excited whirl of thoughts and emotions thus
revived banished sleep, and I walked back and forward under the grove,
and out on the open turf, gazing again and again at the constellation in
which, only two days before, I had from the Jersey City ferryboat seen
the now missing planet. At length Sagittarius sank behind the mountains,
and the Twins arose out of the sea. With new wonder and admiration I
beheld in Castor's knee the steady lustre of a planet which I had not
known before,--an overwhelming proof of the reality of my asserted
position on the planet Mars. For as this new planet was exactly in the
opposite pole of the point whence Mars was missing, what could it be but
my native Earth seen as a planet from that planet which had now become
my earth? You may imagine that this new vision excited me too much to
allow sleep to overpower me again until nearly daybreak.

When I awoke, the sun was far above the waves. I breakfasted upon my
newly tasted fruit, and resumed my journey toward the mountains in the
west. An hour's walk brought me to the spot where I first saw the
inhabitants of the island. I shall never forget a single feature of that
landscape. The mingled delight at seeing them, and astonishment after
looking a few moments at them, have photographed the whole surrounding
scene to its minutest details indelibly upon my memory. I had ascended a
little eminence in the principal valley of a brook, (which I had been
following nearly from its outlet,) when suddenly the mountains, of which
I had lost sight for a time, rose up before me in sublime strength, no
longer of translucent purple, but revealing, under the direct light,
their rugged solidity. On my right, in the foreground, were lofty black
cliffs, made darker by being seen lying in their own shadow. On my left,
green hills, in varying forms, stretched almost an interminable
distance, varying also in their color and depth of shade. At the foot of
the cliffs, in full sight, but too distant to be distinctly heard, the
brook leaped along its rocky bed in a succession of scrambling
cataracts, until it was in a perfect foam with the exertion. I sat upon
a stone, gazing upon this valley, calmed, soothed, charmed with its
beauty, and was speculating upon the cause of the ruddy purplish hue
which I still noticed in the landscape, as I had the day before, when I
heard a choir of half a dozen voices, apparently on the nearest cliff,
joining in a Haydn-like hymn of praise. I drew nearer to the spot, and
soon satisfied myself that all the sounds proceeded from one man sitting
alone on a projecting rock. I listened to him attentively, vainly
endeavoring to imagine how he produced such a volume of sounds, and
delighted with the beautiful melody and exquisite harmony of his
polyphonous song. When he ceased to sing, I stepped out in front of him
and hailed him with a hearty "Good morning!" What was my astonishment to
see him instantly unfurl a prodigious pair of wings, and fly off the
rock. Hovering over me for a little while, evidently as much astonished
at me as I at him, he flew away, and presently returned with a
companion. They alighted near me, and began, as I thought, to sing, but
in a very fragmentary way. I afterwards found that they were in
conversation. I spoke to them, and, concealing my fears, endeavored by
various signs to intimate my friendly disposition. They were not very
backward in meeting my advances; and yet I soon discovered that,
although they were two to one against me, they were as much alarmed as
I; whereupon I became greatly reassured. It was not long before we had
exchanged presents of wild fruits, and they had begun, by dumb show, and
beckoning, and the utterance of soothing sounds, to invite me to
accompany them. We proceeded slowly, for they could not be satisfied in
their examination of me, nor I in my examination of them; and yet we
rather preferred to keep out of each other's reach. Two points in them
chiefly attracted my attention. One was their prodigious wings, which
they folded into a very small compass when they walked. The other was
their peculiar language, not being any _articulate_ speech, but only the
utterance of vowel-sounds of musical quality, which seemed to come from
several voices at once, and that not from the mouth, but, as I then
thought, from all parts of their bodies.

At length we reached a charming arbor, into which they conducted me.
This arbor was built of some sort of bamboo or cane, woven together into
a coarse lattice-work, the roof being made of the same and covered with
huge leaves, perhaps of some palm. I call it an arbor, because the
latticed sides were covered with flowering vines, of great variety and
beauty. Within were bamboo seats and a table, whose material I afterward
discovered was the dried leaves of a gigantic flag, flattened and made
hard by a peculiar process of drawing them between joints of bamboo,
somewhat as cane is pressed between rollers. Upon the table were
numerous manuscripts, written, as I afterwards learned, on a paper made
of the same flag. These manuscripts were removed, and a repast set on
the table by servants, as I then took them to be, who brought it in from
an adjoining arbor; but I found afterwards that they were members of the
family, and that the relation of servant and master was not known among
the inhabitants of the island. When these new members of the family
first came to the arbor in which I and my two captors, as they
considered themselves, were sitting, they started back, terrified at my
appearance; and it was with great difficulty that my captors prevailed
upon them to enter. This further encouraged me in the faith that they
were a timid and inoffensive people. Their noonday meal, of which they
gave me a part, (although they did not invite me to come to the table
with them,) gave me still greater assurance, since I found it composed
wholly of fruits and cereals. After their dinner, during which it was
evident that they were engaged in a very lively discussion of their
visitor or captive, some of the family flew away, and in the course of
an hour returned, accompanied by half a dozen others, whom I afterwards
found were the most learned naturalists of my captor's acquaintance. I
was invited by pantomime to walk out into the open air, and of course
accepted the invitation. Never was there such a Babel of musical tones
as that which assailed my ears while these six learned--(what shall I
call them? since their own name is not expressible by the letters of any
alphabet)--learned men discussed me from every point of view. The mild
and inoffensive appearance of the people, and the evident kindness
mingled with their curiosity, had entirely disarmed my suspicions, and I
as gladly showed them what I could do as I watched to see their habits.
The whole afternoon was passed in exhibiting to these strange beings all
of the various gaits and modes of motion and gymnastic exercises which I
had ever learned.

After supper my captor led me to a separate arbor, and pointed to a bed
of soft, white straw, upon which I immediately stretched myself, and he
retired. Presently I arose and attempted to go out, but found that he
had fastened the door on the outside. It was not pleasant to find myself
a prisoner; but that subject was instantly driven from my mind as I
looked out through the lattice and saw Sagittarius, with no signs of the
planet Mars. I returned to my straw; and, after the excitement of the
day had subsided, I fell asleep and slept until after sunrise. My captor
soon after appeared, bringing a basket of delicious fruits and bread.
When I had eaten freely, he allowed me to wander at will, setting first
a boy on top of my arbor, apparently to watch that I did not wander out
of sight. I walked about and found that the homestead of my captor
consisted of seven arbors in a grove of fruit-trees, with about a dozen
acres of corn adjoining. This corn is a perennial, like our grass, and a
field once planted yields in good land fifteen or twenty crops with only
the labor of gathering. It then becomes exhausted, and the canes are
burnt at a particular season, which destroys the roots, and prepares the
ground admirably for fruit-trees. There were no stables about the place,
and there are no horses nor cows on the island,--indeed, frogs and toads
are the highest vertebrates known there.

About the middle of the forenoon, my host, or captor, came, guided by
his boy, who, flying from arbor to arbor and from tree to tree, had kept
me in sight during my ramble. He brought with him seven others, bearing
a hammock through the air, four flying on either side, and lowered it
near me in the field. He then made signs to me to lie in the hammock. It
was with some difficulty that I persuaded myself to risk it; but I
thought at last that, after coming safely from the Earth to Mars, I
would not shrink from a little excursion in the atmosphere of that
planet. I laid myself in the hammock, and soon saw that the seven
friends of my host were as much afraid of taking it up as I had been of
getting in it. However, they mustered courage, and, spreading their
wings, raised me up in the air. I was, I suppose, a deal heavier than
they expected; for they set me down upon the top of the first knoll in
their path, and set me down so suddenly that I was aware of their
intention only by being dashed against the ground. I sprang up, and
began to rub the bruised spots, while my winged bearers folded their
wings, and lay panting on the turf. They had not taken me a half-mile.
When they were rested, my host motioned to me to resume my place; and
the eight again bore me, with more deliberate stroke, a full mile before
dropping me again. But they were so much exhausted, and took so long to
rest, that I suggested, by signs and motions, that I should rather walk;
and so for the next mile they carried the empty hammock, flying very
slowly, while I walked rapidly, or ran, after them. When, in my turn, I
became exhausted, they motioned me into the hammock again. In this way,
partly by being carried and partly on my own feet, I at length reached
an immense arbor, in which several hundred of these creatures were
assembled. It was the regular day of meeting for their Society of
Natural History. One of our party first went in, and, I suppose,
announced our arrival, then came out and spoke to my captor, who
beckoned me to follow, and led me in. I was placed on a platform, and he
then made a polyphonous speech, without a consonant sound in it;
describing, as I afterwards learned, the history of my discovery and
capture, and going into some speculations on my nature. Then the
principal men crowded about me and felt me, and led me about the hall,
until, what with the landings of the hammock and the handling of these
sons of Mars, I was sore and wearied beyond expression.

At length I was taken to a small arbor, where I was allowed to rest and
to take food. The Society then, as I have since been told, held a long
discussion, and finally appointed a committee to examine me, observe my
habits, and report at the next regular meeting. There is no moon at
Mars; but the regular meeting was on the twenty-eighth day
following,--the seven notes of music having given them the idea of
weeks.

Extra ropes were then attached to the hammock, (which was built for the
use of the infirm and aged, but the weight of these creatures is scarce
half that of men,) and sixteen of them carried me back to my captor's
homestead. That night I fell asleep before it was dark enough to see the
stars, and assure myself, by a glance at the Milk Dipper, that it was
not all a dream; but I awoke before daylight, and gazed through the
lattice at the Twins, and at the Earth, shining with steady lustre upon
Castor's knee.

I will not weary the reader with details from my journal of each
succeeding day. The committee came day after day and studied me. They
induced me to lay aside part of my clothing that they might examine me
more minutely, especially about the joints of the ankle, the knee,
shoulder, and elbow; and were never weary of examining my neck and
spinal column. I could not talk to them, and they had never seen a
vertebrate higher in organization than their frogs and toads; wherefore,
at the end of four weeks, they reported "that I was a new and wonderful
gigantic Batrachian"; that "they recommended the Society to purchase me,
and, after studying my habits thoroughly, dissect me, and mount my
skeleton." Of which report I was, of course, in blessed ignorance for a
long, long while.

So my captor and his friends took the kindest care of me, and endeavored
to amuse and instruct me, and also to find out what I would do if left
to myself,--taking notes assiduously for the memoirs of their Society. I
can assure the reader that I, on my part, was not idle, but took notes
of them with equal diligence, at which imitation of their actions they
were greatly amused. But I flatter myself that, when my notes, now in
the hands of the Smithsonian Institution, are published, with the
comments of the learned naturalists to whom the Institution has referred
them, they will be found to embody the most valuable contributions to
science. My own view of the inhabitants of Mars is that they are
Rational Articulates. Rational they certainly are, and, although I am no
naturalist, I venture to pronounce them Articulates. I do not mean
anything disrespectful to these learned inhabitants of Mars in saying
that their figure and movements reminded me of crickets: for I never
have watched the black field-crickets in New England, standing on tiptoe
to reach a blade of grass, without a feeling of admiration at their
gentlemanly figure and the gracefulness of their air. But what is more
important, I am told that Articulates breathe through spiracles in the
sides of their bodies; and I know that these planetary men breathe
through six mouths, three on either side of the body, entirely different
in appearance and character from the seventh mouth in their face,
through which they eat.

In the volumes of notes which will be published by the Smithsonian
Institution as soon as the necessary engravings can be finished, will
also appear all that I was able to learn concerning the natural history
of that planet, under the strict limitation, to which I was subjected,
of bringing to Earth nothing but what I could carry about my own
person.[A]

I was, myself, particularly interested in investigating the Martial
language, which differs entirely from our terrestrial tongues in not
being articulate. Each of the six lateral mouths of these curious men is
capable of sounding only one vowel, and of varying its musical pitch
about five or six semitones. Thus, their six mouths give them a range of
two and a half or three octaves. The right-hand lowest mouth is lowest
in pitch, and gives a sound resembling the double _o_ in _moon_; the
next lowest in pitch is the lowest left-hand mouth, and its vowel is
more like _o_ in _note_. Thus they alternate, the highest left-hand
mouth being highest in pitch, and uttering a sound resembling a long
_ee_. The sound of each of the six is so individual, that, before I had
been there six months, I could recognize, even in a stranger, the tones
of each one of the six mouths. But they seldom use one mouth at a time.
Their simplest ideas, such as the names of the most familiar objects,
are expressed by brief melodic phrases, uttered by one mouth alone.
Closely allied ideas are expressed by the same phrase uttered by a
different mouth, and so with a different vowel-sound. But most ideas are
complex; and these are expressed in the Mavortian speech by chords, or
discords, produced by using two or more mouths at once. A few music
types will illustrate this, by examples, better than any verbal
description can do.

[Illustration: {Music} A tree. Fruit. A fruit-tree. Do. in leaf and
blossom. Do. in leaf and fruit. A dead fruit-tree]

The signification of these chords is by no means arbitrary; but, on the
contrary, their application is according to fixed rules and according to
æsthetic principles; so that the highest poetry of these people becomes,
in the very process of utterance, the finest music; while the utterance
of base sentiments, or of fustian, becomes, by the very nature of the
language, discordant, or at best vapid and unmelodious.

It will readily be imagined that I was a very long while in learning to
understand a speech so entirely different in all its principles from our
earthly tongues. And when I began to comprehend it, as spoken by my new
friends, I was unable, having but one mouth, to express anything but the
simplest ideas. However, I had Yankee ingenuity enough to supply in some
measure my want of lateral mouths.

My captor daily allowed me more and more freedom, and at length
permitted me to wander freely over the whole island, simply taking the
precaution to send a boy with me as a companion and guide, in case I
should lose my way. In one of these rambles I discovered a swamp of
bamboos, and by the aid of my pocket-knife cut down several and carried
them home. Then, with great difficulty and interminable labor, I managed
to make a sort of small organ, a very rude affair, with six kinds of
pipes, six of each kind. A bamboo pipe, with a reed tongue of the same
material, or even one with a flute action, was not so sweet in tone as
the voice of my friends; but they saw what I was trying to do, and
could, after growing familiar with the sound of my pipes, decipher my
meaning. The astonishment of my captor and his family at finding that
their monster Batrachian could not only express simple ideas with his
one mouth, but all the most complex notions by pieces of bamboo fastened
together and held on his knees before him, was beyond measure. From this
time my progress in learning their speech was very rapid; and within a
year from the completion of my organ I could converse fluently with
them. Of course, I had not mastered all the intricacies of their tongue,
and even up to the time of my leaving them I felt that I was a mere
learner; nevertheless, I could understand the main drift of all that
they said; and what was equally gratifying to me, I could express to
them almost anything expressible in English, and they understood me.

My life now became a very happy one; I became sincerely attached to my
captor and to his family, and was charmed with their good sense and
their kind feeling. I flatter myself also that they, in their turn, were
not only proud of their Batrachian, but grew fond of him. They showed me
more and more attention, gave me a seat at their table, and furnished me
with clothes of their own fashion. I must confess, however, that the
openings on the sides for their mouths, and on the back for their wings,
were rather troublesome to me, and occasioned me several severe colds,
until I taught them to make my vesture close about my chest.

When visitors came to their house I was always invited to bring out my
organ and converse with them. Strangers found some difficulty in
understanding me; but with the family I conversed with perfect ease, and
they interpreted for me. I found that the universal theory concerning me
was, that I came from beyond a range of mountains on the nearest
continent, beyond which no explorations had ever been made. Concerning
my mode of crossing the steep and lofty barrier on the continent, and
the deep, wide strait which separated the island from the mainland, they
speculated in vain. I humored this theory at first, as far as I could
without positive statements of falsehood, for I knew that, if I told the
truth, it would be absolutely incredible to them; and I did not reveal
to my Martial friends my own terrestrial, to them celestial character,
until just before my departure.

But my psychical character perplexed them much more than my zoölogical.
It seems that these islanders had been accustomed to call themselves, in
their own tongue, "rational animals with sentiments of justice and
piety,"--all which, be it remembered, is expressed in their wonderful
language by a simple harmonic progression of four full chords.[B] But
here was a Batrachian,--one of the lower orders of creation, in their
view,--from whom the Almighty had withheld the gift of a rational soul,
who nevertheless appeared to reason as soundly as they,--to understand
all their ideas,--not only repeating their sentences on his bamboo
pipes, but commenting intelligently on them; and who not only gave these
proofs of an understanding mind, but of a heart and soul, manifesting
almost Mavortian affection for his captor's family, and occasionally
betraying even the existence of some religious sentiments. Was all this
delusive? Did this Batrachian really possess a rational soul, with
sentiments of piety and justice, or only a wonderfully constructive
faculty of imitation?

Reader, in your pride of Caucasian blood, you may think it incredible
that such doubts should have been entertained concerning a man whose
father is from one of the best families in Holland, whose mother is
descended from, good English stock, and who himself exhibits sufficient
intelligence to write this narrative; but nevertheless such doubts were
actually entertained by a large proportion of the inhabitants of the
island. Not only did the members of their Society of Natural History
become warmly interested in the discussion, but finally the whole
population of the island took sides on the question, and debated it with
great warmth. The area of their country is about the same as that of
Great Britain; but as they have no law of primogeniture, nor entailment
of estates, nor hereditary rank, they have no poverty and no
over-population; all of the inhabitants were happy and well-educated,
all had abundant leisure, and all were ready to examine the evidence
concerning the wonderful Batrachian that was said to have come ashore on
the eastern side of their island.

But alas! even in this well-governed and happy community, not every
man's opinion was free from error, nor every man's temper free from
prejudice and passion. Those who insisted that my bamboo music was only
a parrot-like imitation of their speech accused those who held that I
was really rational of the crime of exalting a Batrachian into equality
with "rational animals with sentiments of justice and piety"; and the
accused party, after a little natural shrinking from so bold a position,
finally confessed the crime, by acknowledging that they thought that I
was at least entitled to all the rights of their race. Here was the
beginning of a feud which presently waxed as hot as that between the
Big-Endians and the Little-Endians of Liliput.

I have no doubt in my own mind that the temper displayed in this
controversy sprang partly from causes which had been in operation for
many years before my visit. Somewhere about the middle of the last
century, (I am speaking now of terrestrial dates, translating their long
years and odd numeral scale into ours,) a colony from the mainland had
settled at one end of their island, and were still living among them.
These continental men differed somewhat in figure and stature from the
islanders, and their wings were of a dusky hue, while the islanders'
wings were distinctly purple in their tone. These colonists were looked
upon by most of the islanders as an inferior race, and there had been
very few cases of intermarriage between them. These few cases had,
however, led to some earnest discussions. Some maintained that it was
only a want of good taste in a Purple-wing to be willing to marry a
Dusky-wing, but that it was not a thing forbidden by morality or to be
forbidden by law. Others maintained that such intermarriage was against
nature, against public order and morality, and should be prohibited.
Nay, some went so far as to say that these Dusky-wings were intruders,
who ought to be sent back to their native continent; that the island was
the Purple-wings' country, and that the Purple-wings should have
absolute control over it, and ought not to suffer any other race to
participate in its advantages.

This division of opinion and feeling concerning the Dusky-wings,
although deep and earnest, had not led to much open debate; the people
of the island were very hospitable and polite, and they refrained to a
great extent from showing their prejudices against the colonists. But my
arrival gave them an opportunity of saying with open frankness many
things which, although said concerning me, were meant and understood as
referring to the immigrants from the continent. The Dusky-wings
themselves said but little; they were quiet, inoffensive, affectionate
people, who were somewhat wounded occasionally by the scorn of a
Purple-wing, but simply went on minding their own business, and showing
kindness to all persons alike.

The aborigines of the island, outnumbering the others by twenty to one,
discussed me and my position with eager warmth. On the one hand, it was
argued that I was a Batrachian,--of a high species, it was granted, but
still only an animal; that, if I really had reason and sentiments, they
must be of a low order; that certainly I had no social nor legal rights
which their race were bound to respect; that I was the property of my
captor, by right of discovery, and he had absolute rights over me as a
chattel; that he might sell me or use me as lawfully as he could sell or
use clothing, food, or books; that he might compel me to work for him;
and that he even had a right to poison me (as they poisoned troublesome
insects) whenever he was tired of the burden of my support, or wished to
study my anatomy.

On the other hand, it was maintained that the fact of my being a
Batrachian had no bearing on my moral rights, and ought not to have upon
my social and legal rights. The capacity which I had for understanding
the moral law and for feeling injustice gave me a claim to justice.
Whoever has the moral sense to claim rights is by that very endowment
vested with rights. "The true brotherhood between us rational animals,"
said this party, "is founded in our rationality and in our sentiments of
justice and piety, and not in our animal nature. But this Batrachian,
although belonging to the lower orders of animal nature, partakes with
us of reason and of the sentiments of justice and piety. He is therefore
our brother, and his rights are as sacred as our own. He is the guest,
and not the chattel, of the family who discovered him. To sell him or to
buy him, to force him to labor against his will, to hold his life less
sacred than our own, would be criminal."

Of course I knew nothing of all this until I had been there for several
years, and acquired a tolerable familiarity with their speech. Indeed,
it required a considerable time for the feud to arrive at its highest.
But at length party strife concerning me and concerning the relative
superiority of the two races rose to such a pitch, that I seriously
feared lest I should be the innocent cause of a civil war in this once
happy island. Moreover, I saw that my presence was becoming a source of
serious inconvenience to my host and to his family. They were attached
to me, that I could not doubt; but neither could I doubt that it was
unpleasant to them to have old acquaintances decline any further
intercourse with them because they had allowed a Batrachian to sit at
table with them.

Very reluctantly I decided that I would ask Copernicus to restore me to
my own family on Earth. First I broke the matter cautiously to my host,
and explained to him confidentially my real origin and my intended
return. He was astonished beyond measure at my revelation, and I could
with difficulty persuade him that I was not of celestial nature. We
talked it over daily for several weeks, and then explained it to the
family, and afterwards to a select circle of friends, who were to
publish it after my departure, and give to the whole island their first
notions of _terrestrial_ geography and history. Finally, I decided upon
a night in which I would depart, and at bed-time bade the family good
by. At midnight I filled my pockets and sundry satchels with my
note-books, specimens of dried plants, insects, fragments of minerals,
etc., and, hanging these satchels on my arms, called on Copernicus to
fulfil his promise. Instantly all things disappeared again from my view;
I was floating with my satchels in mid-ether, and fell into a trance.
When I awaked, I was in my father's house in New York. How long the
passage required, I have no means of determining.

The present brief sketch of my life upon the planet Mars is designed
partly to call attention to the volumes which I am preparing, in
conjunction with more learned and more scientific _collaborateurs_, for
immediate publication by the Smithsonian Institution, and partly for the
gratification of readers who may never see those ponderous quartos.

I will only add, that, since my return to Earth, I have never been able
to obtain any information either from Copernicus or from any other of
the illustrious dead, except through the pages of their printed works.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] The strangeness of my adventures will be so apt to breed incredulity
among those unacquainted with my character, that I add some certificates
from the highest names known to science.

     "New York, June 13, 1865.--Three plants, submitted to me by Mr.
     George Snyder for examination, prove to be totally unlike any
     botanical family hitherto known or described in any books to
     which I have access.

     "ROBERT BROWN, _Prof. Bott. Col., Coll. N. Y._"

     "New York, June 15, 1865.--Mr. George Snyder. Dear Sir: Your
     mineral gives, in the spectroscope, three elegant red bands and
     one blue band; and certainly contains a new metal hitherto
     unknown to chemistry.

     "R. BUNSEN, _Prof. Chem., N. Y. Free Acad._"

     "Cambridge, Mass., June, 18, 1863.--Mr. George Snyder has
     placed in my hands three insects, belonging to three new
     families of Orthoptera, differing widely from all previously
     known.

     "KIRBY SPENCE, _Assist. Ent., Mus. Comp. Zöol._"

[B] These chords are those of E, A, B, E, whence the creatures might be
called _Eabes_.



MADAM WALDOBOROUGH'S CARRIAGE.


On a bright particular afternoon, in the month of November, 1855, I met
on the Avenue des Champs Élysées, in Paris, my young friend Herbert
J----.

After many desolate days of wind and rain and falling leaves, the city
had thrown off her wet rags, so to speak, and arrayed herself in the
gorgeous apparel of one of the most golden and perfect Sundays of the
season. "All the world" was out of doors. The Boulevards, the Bois de
Boulogne, the bridges over the Seine, all the public promenades and
gardens, swarmed with joyous multitudes. The Champs Élysées, and the
long avenue leading up to the Barrière de l'Étoile, appeared one mighty
river, an Amazon of many-colored human life. The finest July weather had
not produced such a superb display; for now the people of fashion, who
had passed the summer at their country-seats, or in Switzerland, or
among the Pyrenees, reappeared in their showy equipages. The tide, which
had been flowing to the Bois de Boulogne ever since two o'clock, had
turned, and was pouring back into Paris. For miles, up and down, on
either side of the city-wall, extended the glittering train of vehicles.
The three broad, open gateways of the Barrière proved insufficient
channels; and far as you could see, along the Avenue de l'Impératrice,
stood three seemingly endless rows of carriages, closely crowded, unable
to advance, waiting for the Barrière de l'Étoile to discharge its
surplus living waters. Detachments of the mounted city guard, and long
lines of police, regulated the flow; while at the Barrière an extra
force of customhouse officers fulfilled the necessary formality of
casting an eye of inspection into each vehicle as it passed, to see that
nothing was smuggled.

Just below the Barrière, as I was moving with the stream of pedestrians,
I met Herbert. He turned and took my arm. As he did so, I noticed that
he lifted his bran-new Parisian hat towards heaven, saluting with a
lofty flourish one of the carriages that passed the gate.

It was a dashy barouche, drawn by a glossy-black span, and occupied by
two ladies and a lapdog. A driver on the box, and a footman perched
behind, both in livery,--long coats, white gloves, and gold bands on
their hats,--completed the establishment The ladies sat facing each
other, and their mingled, effervescing skirts and flounces filled the
cup of the vehicle quite to over-foaming, like a Rochelle powder, nearly
drowning the brave spaniel, whose sturdy little nose was elevated, for
air, just above the surge.

Both ladies recognized my friend, and she who sat, or rather reclined,
(for such a luxurious, languishing attitude can hardly be called a
sitting posture.) fairy-like, in the hinder part of the shell, bestowed
upon him a very gracious, condescending smile. She was a most imposing
creature,--in freshness of complexion, in physical development, and,
above all, in amplitude and magnificence of attire, a full-blown rose of
a woman,--aged, I should say, about forty.

"Don't you know that turn-out?" said Herbert, as the shallop with its
lovely freight floated on in the current.

"I am not so fortunate," I replied.

"Good gracious! miserable man! Where do you live? In what obscure
society have you buried yourself? Not to know MADAM WALDOBOROUGH'S
CARRIAGE!"

This was spoken in a tone of humorous extravagance which piqued my
curiosity. Behind the ostentatious deference with which he had raised
his hat to the sky, beneath the respectful awe with which he spoke the
lady's name, I detected irony and a spirit of mischief.

"Who is Madam Waldoborough? and what about her carriage?"

"Who is Madam Waldoborough?" echoed Herbert, with mock astonishment;
"that an American, six months in Paris, should ask that question! An
American woman, and a woman of fortune, sir; and, which is more, of
fashion; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any in
Messina or elsewhere;--one that occupies a position, go to! and receives
on Thursday evenings, go to! and that hath ambassadors at her table, and
everything handsome about her! And as for her carriage," he continued,
coming down from his Dogberrian strain of eloquence, "it is the very
identical carriage which I didn't ride in once!"

"How was that?"

"I'll tell you; for it was a curious adventure, and as it was a very
useful lesson to me, so you may take warning by my experience, and, if
ever she invites you to ride with her, as she did me, beware! beware!
her flashing eyes, her floating hair!--do not accept, or, before
accepting, take Iago's advice, and put money in your purse: PUT MONEY IN
YOUR PURSE! I'll tell you why.

"But, in the first place, I must explain how I came to be without money
in mine, so soon after arriving in Paris, where so much of the article
is necessary. My woes all arise from vanity. That is the rock, that is
the quicksand, that is the maelstrom. I presume you don't know anybody
else who is afflicted with that complaint? If you do, I'll but teach you
how to tell my story, and that will cure him; or, at least, it ought to.

"You see, in crossing over to Liverpool in the steamer, I became
acquainted with a charming young lady, who proved to be a second-cousin
of my father's. She belongs to the aristocratic branch of our family.
Every family tree has an aristocratic branch, or bough, or little twig
at least, I believe. She was a Todworth; and having always heard my
other relations mention with immense pride and respect the
Todworths,--as if it was one of the solid satisfactions of life to be
able to speak of 'my uncle Todworth,' or 'my cousins the Todworths,'--I
was prepared to appreciate my extreme good fortune. She was a bride,
setting out on her wedding tour. She had married a sallow, bilious,
perfumed, very disagreeable fellow,--except that he too was an
aristocrat, and a millionnaire besides, which made him very agreeable;
at least, I thought so. That was before I rode in Madam Waldoborough's
carriage: since which era in my life I have slightly changed my habits
of thinking on these subjects.

"Well, the fair bride was most gratifyingly affable, and cousined me to
my heart's content. Her husband was no less friendly: they not only
petted me, but I think they really liked me; and by the time we reached
London I was on as affectionately familiar terms with them as a younger
brother could have been. If I had been a Todworth, they couldn't have
made more of me. They insisted on my going to the same hotel with them,
and taking a room adjoining their suite. This was a happiness to which I
had but one objection,--my limited pecuniary resources. My family are
neither aristocrats nor millionnaires; and economy required that I
should place myself in humble and inexpensive lodgings for the two or
three weeks I was to spend in London. But vanity! vanity! I was actually
ashamed, sir, to do the honest and true thing,--afraid of disgracing my
branch of the family in the eyes of the Todworth branch, and of losing
the fine friends I had made, by confessing my poverty. The bride, I
confess, was a delightful companion; but I know other ladies just as
interesting, although they do not happen to be Todworths. For her sake,
personally, I should never have thought of committing the folly; and
still less, I assure you, for that piece of perfumed and
yellow-complexioned politeness, her husband. It was pride, sir, pride
that ruined me. They went to Cox's Hotel, in Jermyn Street; and I,
simpleton as I was, went with them,--for that was before I rode in Madam
Waldoborough's carriage.

"Cox's, I fancy, is the crack hotel of London. Lady Byron boarded there;
the author of 'Childe Harold' himself used to stop there; Tom Moore
wrote a few of his last songs and drank a good many of his last bottles
of wine there; my Lords Tom, Dick, and Harry,--the Duke of Dash, Sir
Edward Splash, and Viscount Flash,--these and other notables always
honor Cox's when they go to town. So _we_ honored Cox's. And a very
quiet, orderly, well-kept tavern we found it. I think Mr. Cox must have
a good housekeeper. He has been fortunate in securing a very excellent
cook. I should judge that he had engaged some of the finest gentlemen in
England to act as waiters. Their manners would do credit to any
potentate in Europe: there is that calm self-possession about them, that
serious dignity of deportment, sustained by a secure sense of the mighty
importance of their mission to the world which strikes a beholder with
awe. I was made to feel very inferior in their presence. We dined at a
private table, and these ministers of state waited upon us. They brought
us the morning paper on a silver salver; they presented it as if it had
been a mission from a king to a king. Whenever we went out or came in,
there stood two of those magnates, in white waistcoats and white gloves,
to open the folding-doors for us, with stately mien. You would have said
it was the Lord High Chamberlain and his deputy, and that I was at least
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James. I tried to receive
these overpowering attentions with an air of easy indifference, like one
who had been all his life accustomed to that sort of thing, you know;
but I was oppressed with a terrible sense of being out of my place. I
couldn't help feeling that these serene and lofty highnesses knew
perfectly well that I was a green Yankee boy, with less than fifty
pounds in my pocket; and I fancied that, behind the mask of gravity each
imperturbable countenance wore, there was always lurking a smile of
contempt.

"But this was not the worst of it. I suffered from another cause. If
noblemen were my attendants, I must expect to maintain noblemen. All
that ceremony and deportment must go into the bill. With this view of
the case, I could not look at their white kids without feeling sick at
heart; white waistcoats became a terror; the sight of an august
neckcloth, bowing its solemn attentions to me, depressed my very soul.
The folding-doors, on golden hinges turning,--figuratively, at least, if
not literally, like those of Milton's heaven,--grated as horrible
discords on my secret ear as the gates of Milton's other place. It was
my gold that helped to make those hinges. And this I endured merely for
the sake of enjoying the society, not of my dear newly-found cousins,
but of two phantoms, intangible, unsatisfactory, unreal that hovered
over their heads,--the phantom of wealth and the still more empty
phantom of social position. But all this, understand, was _before_ I
rode in Madam Waldoborough's carriage.

"Well, I saw London in company with my aristocratic relatives, and paid
a good deal more for the show, and really profited less by it, than if I
had gone about the business in my own deliberate and humble way.
Everything was, of course, done in the most lordly and costly manner
known. Instead of walking to this place or that, or taking an omnibus or
a cab, we rolled magnificently in our carriage. I suppose the happy
bridegroom would willingly have defrayed all these expenses, if I had
wished him to do so; but pride prompted me to pay my share. So it
happened that, during nine days in London, I spent as much as would have
lasted me as many weeks, if I had been as wise as I was vain,--that is,
if I had ridden in Madam Waldoborough's carriage _before_ I went to
England.

"When I saw how things were going, bankruptcy staring me in the face,
ruin yawning at my feet, I was suddenly seized with an irresistible
desire to go on to Paris, I had a French fever of the most violent
character. I declared myself sick of the soot and smoke uproar of the
great Babel,--I even spoke slightingly of Cox's Hotel, as if I had been
used to better things,--and I called for my bill. Heavens and earth, how
I trembled! Did ever a condemned wretch feel as faint at the sight of
the priest coming to bid him prepare for the gallows, as I did at the
sight of one of those sublime functionaries bringing me my doom on a
silver salver? Every pore opened; a clammy perspiration broke out all
over me; I reached forth a shaking hand, and thanked his highness with a
ghastly smile.

"A few figures told my fate. The convict who hears his death-sentence
may still hope for a reprieve; but figures are inexorable, figures
cannot lie. My bill at Cox's was in pounds, shillings, and pence,
amounting to just eleven dollars a day. Eleven times nine are
ninety-nine. It was so near a round hundred, it seemed a bitter mockery
not to say a hundred, and have done with it, instead of scrupulously
stopping to consider a single paltry dollar. I was reminded of the boy
whose father bragged of killing nine hundred and ninety-nine pigeons at
one shot. Somebody asked why he didn't say a thousand. 'Thunder!' says
the boy, 'do you suppose my father would lie just for one pigeon?' I
told the story, to show my cousins how coolly I received the bill, and
paid it,--coined my heart and dropped my blood for drachmas, rather than
appear mean in presence of my relatives, although I knew that a portion
of the charge was for the bridal arrangements for which the bridegroom
alone was responsible.

"This drained my purse so nearly dry that I had only just money enough
left to take me to Paris, and pay for a week's lodging or so in advance.
They urged me to remain and go to Scotland with them; but I tore myself
away, and fled to France. I would not permit them to accompany me to the
railroad station, and see me off; for I was unwilling that they should
know I was going to economize my finances by purchasing a second-class
ticket. From the life I had been leading at Cox's to a second-class
passage to Paris was that step from the sublime to the ridiculous which
I did not wish to be seen taking. I think I'd have thrown myself into
the Thames before I would thus have exposed myself; for, as I tell you,
I had not yet been honored with a seat in Madame Waldoborough's
carriage.

"It is certainly a grand thing to keep grand company; but if ever I felt
a sense of relief, it was when I found myself free from my cousins,
emancipated from the fearful bondage of keeping up such expensive
appearances; when I found myself seated on the hard, cushionless bench
of the second-class car, and nibbled my crackers at my leisure,
unoppressed by the awful presence of those grandees in white waistcoats,
and by the more awful presence of a condemning conscience within myself.

"I nibbled my crackers, and they tasted sweeter than Cox's best dinners;
I nibbled, and contemplated my late experiences; nibbled, and was almost
persuaded to be a Christian,--that is, to forswear thenceforth and
forever all company which I could not afford to keep, all appearances
which were not honest, all foolish pride, and silly ambition, and moral
cowardice;--as I did after I had ridden in a certain carriage I have
mentioned, and which I am coming to now as fast as possible.

"I had lost nearly all my money and a good share of my self-respect by
the course I had taken, and I could think of only one substantial
advantage which I had gained. That was a note of introduction from my
lovely cousin to Madame Waldoborough. That would be of inestimable value
to me in Paris. It would give me access to the best society, and secure
to me, a stranger many privileges which could not otherwise be obtained.
'Perhaps, after all,' thought I, as I read over the flattering contents
of the unsealed note,--'perhaps, after all, I shall find this worth
quite as much as it has cost me.' O, had I foreseen that it was actually
destined to procure me an invitation to ride out with Madam
Waldoborough herself, shouldn't I have been elated?

"I reached Paris, took a cheap lodging, and waited for the arrival of my
uncle's goods destined for the Great Exhibition,--for to look after
them, (I could speak French, you know,) and to assist in having them
properly placed, was the main business that had brought me here. I also
waited anxiously for my uncle and a fresh supply of funds. In the mean
time I delivered my letters of introduction, and made a few
acquaintances. Twice I called at Madam Waldoborough's hotel, but did not
see her; she was out. So at least the servants said, but I suspect they
lied; for, the second time I was told so, I noticed, O, the most
splendid turn-out!--the same you just saw pass--waiting in the
carriage-way before her door, with the driver on the box, and the
footman holding open the silver-handled and escutchioned panel that
served as a door to the barouche, as if expecting some grand personage
to get in.

"'Some distinguished visitor, perhaps,' thought I; 'or, it may be, Madam
Waldoborough herself; instead of being out, she is just going out, and
in five minutes the servant's lie will be a truth.' Sure enough, before
I left the street--for I may as well confess that curiosity caused me to
linger a little--my lady herself appeared in all her glory, and bounced
into the barouche with a vigor that made it rock quite unromantically;
for she is not frail, she is not a butterfly, as you perceived. I
recognized her from a description I had received from my cousin the
bride. She was accompanied by that meagre, smart little sprite of a
French girl, whom Madam always takes with her,--to talk French with, and
to be waited upon by her, she says; but rather, I believe, by way of a
contrast to set off her own brilliant complexion and imperial
proportions. It is Juno and Arachne. The divine orbs of the goddess
turned haughtily upon me, but did not see me,--looked through and beyond
me, as if I had been nothing but gossamer, feathers, air; and the little
black, bead-like eyes of the insect pierced me maliciously an instant,
as the barouche dashed past, and disappeared in the Rue de Rivoli. I was
humiliated; I felt that I was recognized,--known as the rash youth who
had just called at the Hôtel de Waldoborough, been told that Madam was
out, and had stopped outside to catch the hotel in a lie. It is very
singular--how do you explain it?--that it should have seemed to me the
circumstance was something, not for Madam, but for me to be ashamed of!
I don't believe that the color of her peachy cheeks was heightened the
shadow of a shade; but as for me, I blushed to the tips of my ears.

"You may believe that I did not go away in such a cheerful frame of mind
as might have encouraged me to repeat my call in a hurry. I just coldly
enclosed to her my cousin's letter of introduction, along with my
address; and said to myself, 'Now, she'll know what a deuse of a fellow
she has slighted: she'll know she has put an affront upon a connection
of the Todworths!' I was very silly, you see, for I had not yet--but I
am coming to that part of my story.

"Well, returning to my lodgings a few days afterwards, I found a note
which had been left for me by a liveried footman,--Madam Waldoborough's
footman, O heaven! I was thrown into great trepidation by the stupendous
event, and eagerly inquired if Madam herself was in her carriage, and
was immensely relieved to learn she was not; for, unspeakably gratifying
as such condescension, such an Olympian compliment, would have been
under other circumstances, I should have felt it more than offset by the
mortification of knowing that she knew, that her own eyes had beheld,
the very humble quarter in which a lack of means had compelled me to
locate myself.

"I turned from that frightful possibility to the note itself. It was
everything I could have asked. It was ambrosia, it was nectar. I had
done a big thing when I fired the Todworth gun: it had brought the enemy
to terms. My cousin was complimented, and I was welcomed to Paris,
and--THE HÔTEL WALDOBOROUGH!

"'Why have you not called to see me?' the note inquired, with charming
innocence. 'I shall be at home to-morrow morning at two o'clock; cannot
you give me the pleasure of greeting so near a relative of my dear,
delightful Louise?'

"Of course, I would afford her that pleasure! 'O, what a thing it is,' I
said to myself, 'to be a third cousin to a Todworth!' But the two
o'clock in the morning,--how should I manage that? I had not supposed
that fashionable people in Paris got up so early, much less received
visitors at that wonderful hour. But, on reflection, I concluded that
two in the morning meant two in the afternoon; for I had heard that the
great folks commenced their day at about that time.

"At two o'clock, accordingly, the next afternoon,--excuse me, O ye
fashionable ones! I mean the next morning,--I sallied forth from my
little barren room in the Rue des Vieux Augustins, and proceeded to
Madam's ancient palace in the Rue St. Martin, dressed in my best, and
palpitating with a sense of the honor I was doing myself. This time the
_concierge_ smiled encouragingly, and ascertained for me that Madam
_was_ at home. I ascended the polished marble staircase to a saloon on
the first floor, where I was requested to have the _obligeance
d'attendre un petit moment_, until Madam should be informed of my
arrival.

"It was a very large, and, I must admit, a very respectable saloon,
although not exactly what I had expected to see at the very summit of
the social Olympus. I dropped into a fauteuil near a centre-table, on
which there was a fantastical silver-wrought card-basket. What struck me
particularly about the basket was a well-known little Todworth envelope,
superscribed in the delicate handwriting of my aristocratic cousin,--my
letter of introduction, in fact,--displayed upon the very top of the
pile of billets and cards. My own card I did not see; but in looking for
it I discovered some curious specimens of foreign orthography,--one
dainty little note to '_Madame Valtobureau_'; another laboriously
addressed to '_M. et Mme. Jean Val-d'eau-Bèrot_'; and still a third, in
which the name was conscientiously and industriously written out,
'_Ouâldôbeurreaux_. This last, as an instance of spelling an English
word _à la Française_, I thought a remarkable success, and very
creditable to people who speak of _Lor Berong_, meaning Lord Byron,
(_Be-wrong_ is good!) and talk glibly about _Frongclang_, and
_Vashangtong_, meaning the great philosopher, and the Father of his
Country.

"I was trying to amuse myself with these orthographical curiosities, yet
waiting anxiously all the while for the appearance of that illustrious
ornament of her sex, to whom they were addressed; and the servant's
'_petit moment_' had become a good _petit quart d'heure_, when the
drawing-room door opened, and in glided, not the Goddess, but the
Spider.

"She had come to beg Monsieur (that was me) to have the bounty to excuse
Madam (that was the Waldoborough), who had caused herself to be waited
for, and who, I was assured, would give herself '_le plaisir de me voir
dans un tout petit moment_.' So saying, with a smile, she seated
herself; and, discovering that I was an American, began to talk bad
English to me. I may say execrable English; for it is a habit your
Frenchwoman often has, to abandon her own facile and fluent vernacular,
which she speaks so charmingly, in order to show off a wretched
smattering she may have acquired of your language,--from politeness,
possibly, but I rather think from vanity. In the mean time Arachne
busied her long agile fingers with some very appropriate embroidery; and
busied her mind, too, I couldn't help thinking, weaving some intricate
web of mischief,--for her eyes sparkled as they looked at me with a
certain gleeful, malicious expression,--seeming to say, 'You have walked
into my parlor, Mr. Fly, and I am sure to entangle you!' which made me
feel uncomfortable.

"The '_tout petit moment_' had become another good quarter of an hour,
when the door again opened, and Madam--Madam herself--the Waldoborough
appeared! Did you ever see flounces? did you ever witness expansion?
have your eyes ever beheld the--so to speak--new-risen sun trailing
clouds of glory over the threshold of the dawn? You should have seen
Madam enter that room; you should have seen the effulgence of the
greeting smile she gave me; then you wouldn't wonder that I was dazzled.

"She filled and overflowed with her magnificence the most royal fauteuil
in the saloon, and talked to me of my Todworth cousin, and of my
Todworth cousin's husband, and of London, and America,--occasionally
turning aside to show off her bad French by speaking to the Spider,
until another quarter of an hour had elapsed. Then Paris was mentioned;
one of us happened to speak of the Gobelins,--I cannot now recall which
it was first uttered that fatal word to me, the direful spring of woes
unnumbered! Had I visited the Gobelins? I had not, but I anticipated
having that pleasure soon.

"'Long as I have lived in Paris, I have never yet been to the Gobelins!'
says Mrs. Waldoborough. '_Mademoiselle_' (that was Arachne) '_m'accuse
toujours d'avoir tort, et me dit que je dois y aller, n'est ce pas,
Mademoiselle?_'

"'_Certainement!_' says Mademoiselle, emphatically; and in return for
Madam's ill-spoken French, she added in English, of even worse quality,
that the Gobelins' manufacture of tapisserie and carpet, was the place
the moz curiouze and interressante which one could go see in Paris.

"'_C'est ce qu'elle dit toujours_,' says the Waldoborough. 'But I make
great allowances for her opinions, since she is an enthusiast with
regard to everything that pertains to weaving.'

"'Very natural that she should be, being a Spider,' I thought, but did
not say so.

"'However,' Madam continued, 'I should like extremely well to go there,
if I could ever get the time. _Quand aurai-je le tems, Mademoiselle?_'

"'I sink zis af'noon is more time zan you have anozer day, Madame,' says
the Spider.

"So the net was completed, and I was caught thus: Mrs. Waldoborough,
with an hospitable glance at me, referred the proposition; and I said,
if she would like to go that day, she must not let me hinder her, and
offered to take my leave; and Arachne said, 'Monsieur perhaps he like go
too?' And as Madam suggested ordering the carriage for the purpose, of
course I jumped at the chance. To ride in that carriage! with the
Waldoborough herself! with the driver before and the footman behind, in
livery! O ye gods!

"I was abandoned to intoxicating dreams of ambition, whilst Madam went
to prepare herself, and Mademoiselle to order the carriage. It was not
long before I heard a vehicle enter the court-yard, turn, and stop in
the carriage-way, I tried to catch a glimpse of it from the window, but
saw it only in imagination,--that barouche of barouches, which is
Waldoborough's! I imagined myself seated luxuriously in that shell, with
Madam by my side, rolling through the streets of Paris in even greater
state than I had rolled through London with my Todworth cousin. I was
impatient to be experiencing the new sensation. The moments dragged:
five, ten, fifteen minutes at least elapsed, and all the while the
carriage and I were waiting. Then appeared--who do you suppose? The
Spider, dressed for an excursion. 'So she is going too!' thought I, not
very well pleased. She had in her arms--what do you suppose? A
confounded little lapdog,--the spaniel you saw just now with his nose
just above the crinoline.

"'Monsieur,' says she, 'I desire make you know the King François.' I
hate lapdogs; but, in order to be civil, I offered to pat his majesty
on the head. That, however, did not seem to be court-etiquette; and I
got snapped at by the little despot. 'Our compagnon of voyage,' says
Mademoiselle, pacifying him with caresses.

"'So, he is going too?' thought I,--so unreasonable as to feel a little
dissatisfied; as if I had a right to say who should or who should not
ride in Madam Waldoborough's carriage.

"Mademoiselle sat with her hat on, and held the pup; and I sat with my
hat in my hand, and held my peace; and she talked bad English to me, and
good French to the dog, for, may be, ten minutes longer, when the
Waldoborough swept in, arrayed for the occasion, and said, '_Maintenant
nous irons_.' That was the signal for descending: as we did so, Madam
casually remarked, that something was the matter with one of the
Waldoborough horses, but that she had not thought it worth the while to
give up our visit to the Gobelins on that account, since a _coupé_ would
answer our purpose;--and the _coupés_ in that quarter were really very
respectable!

"This considerate remark was as a feather-bed to break the frightful
fall before me. You think I tumbled down the Waldoborough stairs? Worse
than that: I dropped headlong, precipitately, from the heights of fairy
dreams to low actuality; all the way down, down, down, from the
Waldoborough barouche to a hired coach, a _voiture de remise_, that
stood in its place at the door!

"'Mademoiselle suggested that it would be quite as well to go in a
_coupé_,' says Mrs. Waldoborough, as she got in.

"'O certainly,' I replied, with preternatural cheerfulness. But I could
have killed the Spider; for I suspected this was a part of the plot she
had been weaving to entangle me.

"It was a vehicle with two horses and seats for four; one driver in a
red face,--the common livery of your Paris hackman; but no footman, no
footman, no footman!" Hubert repeated, with a groan. "Not so much as a
little tiger clinging to the straps behind! I comforted myself, however,
with the reflection that beggars must not be choosers; that, if I rode
with Madam, I must accept her style of turn-out; and that if I was a
good boy, and went in the _coupé_ this time, I might go in the barouche
the next.

"Madam occupied the back seat--the seat of honor in a coach--with whom,
do you suppose? Me? No, sir! With the Spider? Not even with the Spider!
With the lapdog, sir! And I was forced to content myself with a seat by
Arachne's side, facing the royal pair.

"'_Aux Gobelins_,' says Mrs. Waldoborough, to the driver; '_mais allez
par l'Hôtel de Ville, le pont Louis Philippe, el l'église de Nôtre
Dame,--n'est-ce pas?_' referring the question to me.

"I said, 'As you please.' And the red-faced driver said, '_Bien,
Madame!_' as he shut us into the coach. And off we went by the Hôtel de
Ville, the Pont Louis Philippe, and Nôtre Dame, accordingly.

"We stopped a few minutes to look at the Cathedral front; then rattled
on, up the Quai and across the Pont de l'Archevêché, and through the
crooked, countless streets until we reached the Gobelins; and I must
confess I did not yet experience any of the sublime emotions I had
counted upon in riding with the distinguished Madam Waldoborough.

"You have been to the Gobelins? If you haven't, you must go there,--not
with two ladies and a lapdog, as I did, but independently, and you will
find the visit well worth the trouble. The establishment derives its
name from an obscure wool-dyer of the fifteenth century, Jean Gobelin,
whose little workshop has grown to be one of the most extensive and
magnificent carpet and tapestry manufactories in the world.

"We found liveried attendants stationed at every door and turning-point,
to direct the crowds of visitors and to keep out dogs. No dog could be
admitted except in arms. I suggested that King Francis should be left in
the coach; upon which Mrs. Waldoborough asked, reproachfully, 'Could I
be so cruel?' and the Spider looked at me as if I had been an American
savage. To atone for my inhumanity, I offered to carry the cur; he was
put into my arms at once; and so it happened that I walked through that
wonderful series of rooms, hung with tapestries of the richest
description, of the times of Francis I., Louis XIV., and so forth, with
a detested lapdog in my hands. However, I showed my heroism by enduring
my fate without a murmur, and quoting Tennyson for the gratification of
Mrs. Waldoborough, who was reminded of the corridors of 'The Palace of
Art.'

    'Some were hung with arras green and blue,
      Showing a gaudy summer-morn,
    Where with puffed cheek the belted hunter blew
        His wreathéd bugle-horn.'

    'One showed an iron coast, and angry waves.
      You seemed to hear them climb and fall,
    And roar rock-thwarted under bellowing caves,
        Beneath the windy wall.'

    'Or sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasped,
      From off her shoulder backward borne:
    From one hand drooped a crocus: one hand grasped
        The mild bull's golden horn.'

And so forth, and so on. I continued my citations in order to keep
Madam's mouth shut; for she annoyed me exceedingly by telling everybody
she had occasion to speak with who she was.

"'_Je suis Madame Waldoborough; et je désire savoir_' this thing, or
that,--whatever she wished to inquire about; as if all the world knew of
her fame, and she had only to state, 'I am that distinguished
personage,' in order to command the utmost deference and respect.

"From the show-rooms we passed on to the work-rooms, where we found the
patient weavers sitting or standing at the back side of their pieces,
with their baskets of many-colored spools at their sides, and the
paintings they were copying behind them, slowly building up their
imitative fabrics, loop after loop, and stitch after stitch, by hand.
Madam told the workmen who she was, and learned that one had been at
work six months on his picture; it was a female figure kneeling to a
colossal pair of legs, destined to support a warrior, whose upper
proportions waited to be drawn out of the spool-baskets. Another had
been a year at work on a headless Virgin with a babe in her arms,
finished only to the eyes. Sometimes ten, or even twenty years, are
expended by one man upon a single piece of tapestry; but the patience of
the workmen is not more wonderful than the art with which they select
and blend their colors, passing from the softest to the most brilliant
shades, without fault, as the work they are copying requires.

"From the tapestry-weaving we passed on to the carpet-weaving rooms,
where the workmen have the right side of their fabric before them, and
the designs to be copied over their heads. Some of the patterns were of
the most gorgeous description,--vines, scrolls, flowers, birds, lions,
men; and the way they passed from the reflecting brain through the
fingers of the weaver into the woollen texture was marvellous to behold.
I could have spent some hours in the establishment pleasantly enough,
watching the operatives, but for that terrible annoyance, the dog in my
arms. I could not put him down, and I could not ask the ladies to take
him. The Spider was in her element; she forgot everything but the toil
of her fellow-spiders, and it was almost impossible to get her away from
any piece she once became interested in. Madam, busy in telling who she
was and asking questions, gave me little attention; so that I found
myself more in the position of a lackey than a companion. I had
regretted that her footman did not accompany us; but what need was there
of a footman as long as she had me?

"In half and hour I had become weary of the lapdog and the Gobelins, and
wished to get away. But no,--Madam must tell more people who she was,
and make further inquiries; and as for Arachne, I believe she would have
remained there until this time. Another half-hour, and another, and
still the good part of another, exhausted the strength of my arms and
the endurance of my soul, until at last Mrs. Waldoborough said, '_Eh
bien, nous avons tout vu, n'est-ce pas? Allons donc!_' And we
_allonged_.

"We found our _coupé_ waiting for us, and I thrust his majesty King
Francis into it rather unceremoniously. Now you must know that all this
time Mrs. Waldoborough had not the remotest idea but that she was
treating me with all due civility. She is one of your thoroughly
egotistical, self-absorbed women, accustomed to receiving homage, who
appear to consider that to breathe in their presence and attend upon
them is sufficient honor and happiness for anybody.

"'Never mind,' thought I, 'she'll invite me to dinner, and may be I
shall meet an ambassador!'

"Arrived at the Hotel Waldoborough, accordingly, I stepped out of the
_coupé_, and helped out the ladies and the lapdog, and was going in with
them, as a matter of course. But the Spider said, 'Do not give yourself
ze pain, Monsieur!' and relieved me of King Francis. And Madam said,
'Shall I order the driver to be paid? or will you retain the _coupé_?
You will want it to take you home. Well, good day,'--offering me two
fingers to shake. 'I am very happy to have met you; and I hope I shall
see you at my next reception. Thursday evening, remember; I receive
Thursday evenings. _Cocher, vous emporterez ce monsieur chez lui,
comprennez?_'

"'_Bien, Madame!_' says the _cocher_.

"'_Bon jour, Monsieur!_' says Arachne, gayly, tripping up the stairs
with the king in her arms.

"I was stunned. For a minute I did not know very well what I was about;
indeed, I should have done very differently if I had had my wits about
me. I stepped back into the _coupé_,--weary, disheartened, hungry; my
dinner hour was past long ago; it was now approaching Madam's dinner
hour, and I was sent away fasting. What was worse, the _coupé_ left for
me to pay for. It was three hours since it had been ordered; price, two
francs an hour; total, six francs. I had given the driver my address,
and we were clattering away towards the Rue des Vieux Augustins, when I
remembered, with a sinking of the heart I trust you may never
experience, that I had not six francs in the world,--at least in this
part of the world,--thanks to my Todworth cousin; that I had, in fact,
only fifteen paltry sous in my pocket!

"Here was a scrape! I had ridden in Madam Waldoborough's carriage with a
vengeance! Six francs to pay! and how was I ever to pay it? '_Cocher!
cocher!_' I cried out, despairingly, '_attendez!_'

"'_Qu'est-il?_' says the _cocher_, stopping promptly.

"Struck with the appalling thought that every additional rod we
travelled involved an increase of expense, my first impulse was to jump
out and dismiss him. But then came the more frightful nightmare fancy,
that it was not possible to dismiss him unless I could pay him! I must
keep him with me until I could devise some means of raising the six
francs, which an hour later would be eight francs, and an hour later ten
francs, and so forth. Every moment that I delayed payment swelled the
debt; like a ruinous rate of interest, and diminished the possibility of
ever being able to pay him at all. And of course I could not keep him
with me forever,--go about the world henceforth in a hired coach, with a
driver and span of horses impossible to get rid of.

"'_Que veut Monsieur?_' says the driver, looking over at me with his red
face, and waiting for my orders.

"That recalled me from my hideous revery. I knew I might as well be
travelling as standing still, since he was to be paid by the hour; so I
said, 'Drive on, drive faster!'

"I had one hope,--that on reaching my lodgings I might prevail upon the
_concierge_ to pay for the coach. I stepped out with alacrity, said
gayly to my coachman, '_Combien est-ce que je vous dois?_' and put my
hand in among my fifteen sous with an air of confidence.

"The driver looked at his watch, and said, with business-like
exactness, '_Six francs vingt-cinq centimes, Monsieur._' _Vingt-cinq
centimes!_ My debt had increased five cents whilst I had been thinking
about it! '_Avec quelque-chose pour la boisson_,' he added with a
persuasive smile. With a trifle besides for drink-money,--for that every
French driver expects.

"Then I appeared to discover, to my surprise, that I had not the change;
so I cried out to the old woman in the porter's lodge, 'Give this man
five francs for me, will you?' 'Five francs!' echoed the ogress with
astonishment: '_Monsieur, je n'ai pas le sou!_'

"I might have known it; of course she wouldn't have a sou for a poor
devil like me; but the reply fell upon my heart like a death sentence.

"I then proposed to call at the driver's stand and pay him in a day or
two, if he would trust me. He smiled and shook his head.

"'Very well,' said I, stepping back into the coach, 'drive to number
five, Cité Odiot.' I had an acquaintance there, of whom I thought I
might possibly borrow. The coachman drove away cheerfully, seeming to be
perfectly well satisfied with the state of things: he was master of the
situation,--he was having employment, his pay was going on, and he could
hold me in pledge for the money. We reached the Cité Odiot: I ran in at
number five, and up stairs to my friend's room. It was locked; he was
away from home.

"I had but one other acquaintance in Paris on whom I could venture to
call for a loan of a few francs; and he lived far away, across the
Seine, in the Rue Racine. There seemed to be no alternative; so away we
posted, carrying my ever-increasing debt, dragging at each remove a
lengthening chain. We reached the Rue Racine; I found my friend; I wrung
his hand. 'For Heaven's sake,' said I, 'help me to get rid of this Old
Man of the Sea,--this elephant won in a raffle!'

"I explained. He laughed. 'What a funny adventure!' says he. 'And how
curious that at this time, of all others, I haven't ten sous in the
world! But I'll tell you what I can do,' says he.

"'For mercy's sake, what?'

"'I can get you out of the building by a private passage, take you
through into the Rue de la Harpe, and let you escape. Your coachman will
remain waiting for you at the door until you have traversed half Paris.
That will be a capital point to the joke,--a splendid _finale_ for your
little comedy!'

"I confess to you that, perplexed and desperate as I was, I felt for an
instant tempted to accept this infamous suggestion. Not that I would
willingly have wronged the coachman; but since there was no hope of
doing him justice, why not do the best thing for myself? If I could not
save my honor, I might at least save my person. And I own that the
picture of him which presented itself to my mind, waiting at the door so
complacently, so stolidly, intent only on sticking by me at the rate of
two francs an hour until paid off,--without feeling a shadow of sympathy
for my distress, but secretly laughing at it, doubtless,--that provoked
me; and I was pleased to think of him waiting there still, after I
should have escaped, until at last his beaming red face would suddenly
grow purple with wrath, and his placidity change to consternation, on
discovering that he had been outwitted. But I knew too well what he
would do. He would report me to the police! Worse than that, he would
report me to Madam Waldoborough!

"Already I fancied him, with his whip under his arm, smilingly taking
off his hat, and extending his hand to the amazed and indignant lady,
with a polite request that she would pay for that _coupé_! What _coupé_?
And he would tell his story, and the Goddess would be thunderstruck; and
the eyes of the Spider would sparkle wickedly; and I should be damned
forever!

"Then I could see the Parisian detectives--the best in the world--going
to take down from the lady's lips a minute description of the
adventurer, the swindler, who had imposed upon them, and attempted to
cheat a poor hack-driver out of his hard-earned wages! Then would
appear the reports in the newspapers,--how a well-dressed young man, an
American, Monsieur X., (or perhaps my name would be given,) had been the
means of enlivening the fashionable circles of Paris with a choice bit
of scandal, by inviting a very distinguished lady, also an American,
(whose Thursday evening receptions we well know, attended by some of the
most illustrious French and foreign residents in the metropolis,) to
accompany him on a tour of inspection to the Gobelins, and had
afterwards been guilty of the unexampled baseness of leaving the _coupé_
he had employed standing, unpaid, at the door of a certain house in the
Rue Racine, whilst he escaped by a private passage into the Rue de la
Harpe, and so forth, and so forth. I saw it all. I blushed, I shuddered
at the fancied ignominy of the exposure.

"'No,' said I; 't is impossible! If you can't help me to the money, I
must try--but where, how can I hope to raise eight francs, (for it is
four hours by this time, to say nothing of the drink-money!)--how can I
ever hope to raise that sum in Paris?'

"'You can pawn your watch,' says my false friend, rubbing his hands, and
smiling, as if he really enjoyed the comicality of the thing.

"But I had already eaten my watch, as the French say: it had been a week
at the Mont de Piété.

"'Your coat then,' says my counsellor, with good-mannered unconcern.

"'And go in my shirt-sleeves?' for I had placed my trunk and its
contents in the charge of my landlord, as security for the payment of my
board and room-rent.

"'In that case, I don't see what you will do, unless you take my
original advice, and dodge the fellow.'

"I left my fair-weather acquaintance in disgust, and went off, literally
staggering under the load, the ever-increasing load, the Pelion upon
Ossa, of francs, francs, francs,--despair, despair, despair.

"'_Eh bien?_' says the driver, interrogatively, as I went out to him.

"'_Pas de chance!_' And I ordered him to drive back to the Cité Odiot.

"'_Bien!_' says he, polite as ever, cheery as ever; and away we went
again, back across the Seine, up the Champs Élysées, into the Rue de
l'Oratoire, to the Cité,--my stomach faint, my head aching, my thoughts
whirling, and the carriage wheels rattling, clattering, chattering all
the way, 'Two francs an hour and drink-money! Two francs an hour and
drink-money!'

"Once more I tried my luck at number five, and was filled with
exasperation and dismay to find that my friend had been home, and gone
off again in great haste, with a portmanteau in his hand.

"Where had he gone? Nobody knew; but he had given his key to the
house-servant, saying he would be absent several days.

"'_Pensez-vous qu'il est allé à Londres?_' I hurriedly inquired.

"'_Monsieur, je n'en sais rien_,' was the calm, decisive response.

"I knew he often went to London; and now my only hope was to catch him
at one of the railway stations. But by which route would he be like to
go? I thought of only one, that by way of Calais, by which I had come,
and I ordered my coachman to drive with all speed to the Northern
Railway Station. He looked a little glum at this, and his '_Bien!_'
sounded a good deal like the 'bang' of the coach-door, as he shut it
rather sharply in my face.

"Again we were off, my head hotter than ever, my feet like ice, and the
coach-wheels saying vivaciously, as before, 'Two francs an hour, and
drink-money! Two francs an hour, and drink-money!' I was terribly afraid
we should be too late; but on arriving at the station, I found there was
no train at all. One had left in the afternoon, and another would leave
late in the evening. Then I happened to think there were other routes to
London, by the way of Dieppe and Havre. My friend might have gone by one
of those! Yes, there was a train at about that time, my driver somewhat
sullenly informed me,--for he was fast losing his cheerfulness: perhaps
it was his supper-time, or perhaps he was in a hurry for his
drink-money. Did he know where the stations were? Know? of course he
did! There was but one terminus for both routes; that was in the Rue St.
Lazare. Could he reach it before the train started? Possibly; but his
horses were jaded; they needed feeding. And why didn't I tell him before
that I wished to stop there? for we had come through the Rue St. Lazare,
and actually passed the railway station there, on our way from the Cité
Odiot! That was vexing to think of, but there was no help for it; so
back we flew on our course, to catch, if possible the train, and my
friend, who I was certain was going in it.

"We reached the Lazarus Street Station; and I, all in a frenzy of
apprehension, rushed in, to experience one of those fearful trials of
temper to which nervous men--especially nervous Americans in Paris--are
sometimes subject. The train was about starting; but, owing to the
strict regulations which are everywhere enforced on French railways, I
could not even force myself into the passenger-room,--much less get
through the gate, and past the guard, to the platform where the cars
were standing. Nobody could enter there without a ticket. My friend was
going, and I could not rush in and catch him, and borrow my--ten francs,
I suppose, by that time, because I had not a ticket, nor money to buy a
ticket! I laugh now at the image of myself, as I must have appeared
then,--frantically explaining what I could of the circumstances to any
of the officials who would hear me,--pouring forth torrents of broken
and hardly intelligible French, now shrieking to make myself understood,
and now groaning with despair,--questioning, cursing, imploring,--and
receiving the invariable, the inexorable reply, always polite, but
always firm,--

"'ON NE PASSE PAS, MONSIEUR.'

"Absolutely no admittance! And while I was convulsing myself in vain,
the train started! It was off,--my friend was gone, and I was ruined
forever!

"When the worst has happened, and we feel that it is so, and our own
efforts are no longer of any avail, then we become calm: the heart
accepts the fate it knows to be inevitable. The bankrupt, after all his
anxious nights and terrible days of struggle, is almost happy at last,
when all is over. Even the convict sleeps soundly on the night preceding
his execution. Just so I recovered my self-possession and equanimity
after the train had departed.

"I went back to my hackman. His serenity had vanished as mine had
arrived; and the fury that possessed me seemed to pass over and take up
its abode with him.

"'Will you pay me?' he demanded, fiercely.

"'My friend,' said I, 'it is impossible.' And I repeated my proposition
to call and settle with him in a day or two.

"'And you will not pay me now?' he vociferated.

"'My friend, I cannot.'

"'Then I know what I shall do!' turning away with a gesture of rage.

"'I have done what I could, now you shall try what you can,' I answered,
mildly.

"'_Écoutez donc!_' he hissed, turning once more upon me. 'I go to Madam,
I demand my pay of her. What do you say to that?'

"A few minutes before I should have been overwhelmed by the suggestion.
I was not pleased with it now. No man who has enjoyed the society of
ladies, and fancied that he appeared smart in their presence, fancies
the idea of being utterly shamed and humiliated in their eyes. I ought
to have had the courage to say to Mrs. Waldoborough, when she had the
coolness to send me off with the _coupé_, instead of my dinner: 'Excuse
me, Madam, I have not the money to pay this man!'

"It would have been bitter, that confession; but better one pill at the
beginning of a malady than a whole boxful afterwards. Better truth,
anyhow, though it kills you, than a precarious existence on false
appearances. I had, by my own folly, through toadyism in the first place
and moral cowardice afterwards, placed myself in an embarrassing and
ludicrous position; and I must take the consequences.

"'Very well,' said I, 'if you are absolutely bent on having your money
to-night, I suppose that it is the best thing you can do. But say to
Madam that I expect my uncle by the next steamer; that I wished you to
wait till his arrival for your pay; and that you not only refused, but
put me to a great deal of trouble. It is nothing extraordinary,' I
continued, in the hope to soften him, 'for gay young men, Americans, to
be without money for a few days in Paris, expecting remittances from
home; and you fellows ought to be more accommodating.'

"'True! true!' says the driver, turning again to go. 'But I must have my
pay all the same. I shall tell Madam what you say.'

"He was going. And now happened one of those wonderful things which
sometimes occur in real life, but which, in novels, we pronounce
improbable. Whilst we were speaking a train arrived; and I noticed a
little withered old man,--a little smirking mummy of a man,--with a face
all wrinkles and smiles, coming out of the building with his coat on his
arm. I noticed him, because he was so ancient and dried up, and yet so
happy, whilst I was so young and fresh, and yet so miserable. And I was
wondering at his self-satisfaction, when I saw--what think
you?--something fall to the ground from the waist-pocket of the coat he
carried on his arm! It was--will you believe it?--a pocket-book!--a fat
pocket-book, a respectable, well-worn pocket-book!--the pocket-book of a
millionnaire, by Jove! I pounced upon it, like an eagle upon a rabbit.
He was passing on when I ran after him, politely called his attention,
and surprised him with a presentation of what he supposed was all the
time conveyed safely in his coat.

"'Is it possible!' said he, in very poor French, which betrayed him to
be a foreigner like myself. 'You are very kind,--very honest,--very
obliging, very obliging indeed!'

"If thanks and smiles would answer my purpose, I had them in profusion.
He looked to see that the pocket-book had not been opened, and thanked
me again and again. He seemed very anxious to do the polite thing, yet
still more anxious to be passing on. But I would not let him pass on; I
held him with my glittering eye.

"'Ah!' said he, 'perhaps you won't feel yourself injured by the
offer,'--for he saw that I was well dressed, and probably hesitated on
that account to reward me,--'perhaps you will take something for your
honesty, for your trouble.' And putting his hand in his pantaloons
pocket, he took it out again, with the palm covered with glittering gold
pieces.

"'Sir,' said I, 'I am ashamed to accept anything for so trifling a
service; but I owe this man here,--how much is it now?'

"'Ten francs and a half,' says the driver, whom I had stopped just in
time.

"'Ten francs and a half,' I repeated.

"'_Mais n'oubliez pas la boisson_,' he added, his persuasive smile
returning.

"'With something for his dram,' I continued: 'which if you will have the
kindness to pay him, and at the same time give me your address, I will
see that the money is returned to you without fail in a day or two.'

"The smiling little man paid the money on the spot; saying it was of no
consequence, and neglecting to give me his address. And he went his way
well satisfied, and the driver went his, also well satisfied; and I went
mine, infinitely better satisfied, I imagine, than either of them.

"Well, I had got rid of Madam Waldoborough's carriage, and learned a
lesson which, I think, will last me the rest of my life. If ever again
I run after great folks, or place myself in a false position through
folly or cowardice, may the Fates confound me! But I must haste and tell
you the curious _dénouement_ of the affair.

"I was not so anxious to cultivate Madam's acquaintance _after_ riding
in her carriage, you may well believe. For months I did not see her. At
last my Todworth cousin and her yellow-complexioned husband came to
town, and I went with my uncle to call upon them at Meurice's Hotel.
They were delighted to see me, and fondly pressed me to come and take a
room adjoining their suite, as I did at Cox's. A card was brought in. My
cousin smiled, and directed that the visitor should be admitted. There
was a rustle,--a volume of flounces came sweeping in,--a well-remembered
voice cried, 'My dear Louise!'--and my Todworth cousin was clasped in
the buxom embrace of Madam Waldoborough.

"But what did I behold? Following in Madam's wake, like a skiff towed at
the stern of a rushing side-wheel steamer, a dapper little old man, a
withered little old man, a gayly smiling little old man, whose
countenance was somehow strangely familiar to me. I considered him a
moment, and the scene in the Rue St. Lazare, with the _coupé_ driver and
the man with the pocket-book, flashed across my mind. This was the man!
I remembered him well; but he had evidently forgotten me.

"Madam released Louise from her divine large arms, and greeted the
yellow-complexioned one. Then she was introduced to my uncle. Then the
bride said, 'You know my cousin Herbert, I believe?'

"'Ah, yes!' says the Waldoborough, who had glanced at me curiously, but
doubtfully, 'I recognize him now!' giving me a smile and two fingers. 'I
thought I had seen him somewhere. You have been to one or two of my
receptions, haven't you?'

"'I have not yet had that pleasure,' said I.

"'Ah, I remember now! You called one morning, didn't you? And we went
somewhere together,--where did we go?--or was it some other gentleman?'

"I said I thought it must have been some other gentleman; for indeed I
could hardly believe now that I was that fool.

"'Very likely,' said she; 'for I see so many,--my receptions, you know,
Louise, are always so crowded! But, dear me, what am I thinking of?
Where are you, my love?' and the steamer brought the skiff alongside.

"'Louise, and gentlemen,' then said my lady, with a magnificent
courtesy, the very wind of which I feared would blow him away,--but he
advanced triumphantly, bowing and smiling extravagantly,--'allow me the
happiness of presenting to you Mr. John Waldoborough, my husband.'

"How I refrained from shrieking and throwing myself on the floor, I
never well knew; for I declare to you, I was never so caught by surprise
and tickled through and through by any _dénouement_ or situation, in or
off the stage! To think that pigmy, that wart, that little grimacing
monkey of a man, parchment-faced, antique,--a mere moneybag on two
sticks,--should be the husband of the great and glorious Madam
Waldoborough! His wondrous self-satisfaction was accounted for.
Moreover, I saw that Heaven's justice was done: Madam's husband had paid
for Madam's carriage!"

Here Herbert concluded his story. And it was time; for the day had
closed, as we walked up and down, and the sudden November night had come
on. Gas-light had replaced the light of the sun throughout the streets
of the city. The brilliant cressets of the Place de la Concorde flamed
like a constellation; and the Avenue des Champs Élysées, with its rows
of lamps, and the throngs of carriages, each bearing now its lighted
lantern, moving along that far-extending slope, looked like a new Milky
Way, fenced with lustrous stars, and swarming with meteoric fire-flies.



PASSAGES FROM HAWTHORNE'S NOTE-BOOKS.


IV.

_Salem, August 22d, 1837._--A walk yesterday afternoon down to the
Juniper and Winter Island. Singular effect of partial sunshine, the sky
being broadly and heavily clouded, and land and sea, in consequence,
being generally overspread with a sombre gloom. But the sunshine,
somehow or other, found its way between the interstices of the clouds,
and illuminated some of the distant objects very vividly. The white
sails of a ship caught it, and gleamed brilliant as sunny snow, the hull
being scarcely visible, and the sea around dark; other smaller vessels
too, so that they looked like heavenly-winged things just alighting on a
dismal world. Shifting their sails, perhaps, or going on another tack,
they almost disappear at once in the obscure distance. Islands are seen
in summer sunshine and green glory; their rocks also sunny and their
beaches white; while other islands, for no apparent reason, are in deep
shade, and share the gloom of the rest of the world. Sometimes part of
an island is illuminated and part dark. When the sunshine falls on a
very distant island, nearer ones being in shade, it seems greatly to
extend the bounds of visible space, and put the horizon to a farther
distance. The sea roughly rushing against the shore, and dashing against
the rocks, and grating back over the sands. A boat a little way from the
shore, tossing and swinging at anchor. Beach birds flitting from place
to place.

       *       *       *       *       *

The family seat of the Hawthornes is Wigcastle, Wigton, Wiltshire. The
present head of the family, now residing there, is Hugh Hawthorne.
William Hawthorne, who came over in 1635-6, was a younger brother of the
family.

       *       *       *       *       *

A young man and girl meet together, each in search of a person to be
known by some particular sign. They watch and wait a great while for
that person to pass. At last some casual circumstance discloses that
each is the one that the other is waiting for. Moral,--that what we need
for our happiness is often close at hand, if we knew but how to seek for
it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The journal of a human heart for a single day in ordinary circumstances.
The lights and shadows that flit across it; its internal vicissitudes.

       *       *       *       *       *

Distrust to be thus exemplified:--Various good and desirable things to
be presented to a young man, and offered to his acceptance,--as a
friend, a wife, a fortune; but he to refuse them all, suspecting that it
is merely a delusion. Yet all to be real, and he to be told so, when too
late.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man tries to be happy in love; he cannot sincerely give his heart, and
the affair seems all a dream. In domestic life, the same; in politics, a
seeming patriot; but still he is sincere, and all seems like a theatre.

       *       *       *       *       *

An old man, on a summer day, sits on a hill-top, or on the observatory
of his house, and sees the sunshine pass from one object to another
connected with the events of his past life,--as the school-house, the
place where his wife lived in her maidenhood,--its setting beams falling
on the churchyard.

       *       *       *       *       *

An idle man's pleasures and occupations and thoughts during a day spent
by the sea-shore: among them, that of sitting on the top of a cliff, and
throwing stones at his own shadow, far below.

       *       *       *       *       *

A blind man to set forth on a walk through ways unknown to him, and to
trust to the guidance of anybody who will take the trouble; the
different characters who would undertake it: some mischievous, some
well-meaning, but incapable; perhaps one blind man undertakes to lead
another. At last, possibly, he rejects all guidance, and blunders on by
himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the cabinet of the Essex Historical Society, old portraits.--Governor
Leverett; a dark moustachioed face, the figure two-thirds length,
clothed in a sort of frock coat, buttoned, and a broad sword-belt girded
round the waist, and fastened with a large steel buckle; the hilt of the
sword steel,--altogether very striking. Sir William Pepperell in English
regimentals, coat, waistcoat, and breeches, all of red broadcloth,
richly gold-embroidered; he holds a general's truncheon in his right
hand, and extends the left towards the batteries erected against
Louisbourg, in the country near which he is standing. Endicott,
Pyncheon, and others, in scarlet robes, bands, &c. Half a dozen or more
family portraits of the Olivers, some in plain dresses, brown, crimson,
or claret; others with gorgeous gold-embroidered waistcoats, descending
almost to the knees, so as to form the most conspicuous article of
dress. Ladies, with lace ruffles, the painting of which, in one of the
pictures, cost five guineas. Peter Oliver, who was crazy, used to fight
with these family pictures in the old Mansion House; and the face and
breast of one lady bear cuts and stabs inflicted by him. Miniatures in
oil, with the paint peeling off, of stern, old, yellow faces. Oliver
Cromwell, apparently an old picture, half length or one third, in an
oval frame, probably painted for some New England partisan. Some
pictures that had been partly obliterated by scrubbing with sand. The
dresses, embroidery, laces of the Oliver family are generally better
done than the faces. Governor Leverett's gloves,--the glove-part of
coarse leather, but round the wrist a deep three or four inch border of
spangles and silver embroidery. Old drinking-glasses, with tall stalks.
A black glass bottle, stamped with the name of Philip English, with a
broad bottom. The baby-linen, &c. of Governor Bradford of Plymouth
colony. Old manuscript sermons, some written in shorthand, others in a
hand that seems learnt from print.

Nothing gives a stronger idea of old worm-eaten aristocracy--of a family
being crazy with age, and of its being time that it was extinct--than
these black, dusty, faded, antique-dressed portraits, such as those of
the Oliver family; the identical old white wig of an ancient minister
producing somewhat the impression that his very scalp, or some other
portion of his personal self, would do.

       *       *       *       *       *

The excruciating agonies which Nature inflicts on men (who break her
laws) to be represented as the work of human tormentors; as the gout, by
screwing the toes. Thus we might find that worse than the tortures of
the Spanish Inquisition are daily suffered without exciting notice.

       *       *       *       *       *

Suppose a married couple fondly attached to one another, and to think
that they lived solely for one another; then it to be found out that
they were divorced, or that they might separate if they chose. What
would be its effect?


_Monday, August 27th._--Went to Boston last Wednesday. Remarkables:--An
author at the American Stationers' Company, slapping his hand on his
manuscript, and crying, "I'm going to publish."--An excursion aboard a
steamboat to Thompson's Island, to visit the Manual Labor School for
boys. Aboard the steamboat several poets and various other authors; a
Commodore,--Colton, a small, dark brown, sickly man, with a good deal of
roughness in his address; Mr. Waterston, talking poetry and philosophy.
Examination and exhibition of the boys, little tanned agriculturists.
After examination, a stroll round the island, examining the products, as
wheat in sheaves on the stubble-field; oats, somewhat blighted and
spoiled; great pumpkins elsewhere; pastures; mowing ground;--all
cultivated by the boys. Their residence, a great brick building, painted
green, and standing on the summit of a rising ground, exposed to the
winds of the bay. Vessels flitting past; great ships, with intricacy of
rigging and various sails; schooners, sloops, with their one or two
broad sheets of canvas: going on different tacks, so that the spectator
might think that there was a different wind for each vessel, or that
they scudded across the sea spontaneously, whither their own wills led
them. The farm boys remain insulated, looking at the passing show,
within sight of the city, yet having nothing to do with it; beholding
their fellow-creatures skimming by them in winged machines, and
steamboats snorting and puffing through the waves. Methinks an island
would be the most desirable of all landed property, for it seems like a
little world by itself; and the water may answer instead of the
atmosphere that surrounds planets. The boys swinging, two together,
standing up, and almost causing the ropes and their bodies to stretch
out horizontally. On our departure, they ranged themselves on the rails
of the fence, and, being dressed in blue, looked not unlike a flock of
pigeons.

On Friday, a visit to the Navy Yard at Charlestown, in company with the
Naval Officer of Boston, and Cilley. Dined aboard the revenue cutter
Hamilton. A pretty cabin, finished off with bird's-eye maple and
mahogany; two looking-glasses. Two officers in blue frocks, with a
stripe of lace on each shoulder. Dinner, chowder, fried fish, corned
beef,--claret, afterwards champagne. The waiter tells the Captain of the
cutter that Captain Percival (Commander of the Navy Yard) is sitting on
the deck of the anchor hoy, (which lies inside of the cutter,) smoking
his cigar. The Captain sends him a glass of champagne, and inquires of
the waiter what Percival says to it. "He said, sir, 'What does he send
me this damned stuff for?' but drinks, nevertheless." The Captain
characterizes Percival as the roughest old devil that ever was in his
manners, but a kind, good-hearted man at bottom. By and by comes in the
steward. "Captain Percival is coming aboard of you, sir." "Well, ask him
to walk down into the cabin"; and shortly down comes old Captain
Percival, a white-haired, thin-visaged, weather-worn old gentleman, in a
blue Quaker-cut coat, with tarnished lace and brass buttons, a pair of
drab pantaloons, and brown waistcoat. There was an eccentric expression
in his face, which seemed partly wilful, partly natural. He has not
risen to his present rank in the regular line of the profession; but
entered the navy as a sailing-master, and has all the roughness of that
class of officers. Nevertheless, he knows how to behave and to talk like
a gentleman. Sitting down, and taking in hand a glass of champagne, he
began a lecture on economy, and how well it was that Uncle Sam had a
broad back, being compelled to bear so many burdens as were laid on
it,--alluding to the table covered with wine-bottles. Then he spoke of
the fitting up of the cabin with expensive woods,--of the brooch in
Captain Scott's bosom. Then he proceeded to discourse of politics,
taking the opposite side to Cilley, and arguing with much pertinacity.
He seems to have moulded and shaped himself to his own whims, till a
sort of rough affectation has become thoroughly imbued throughout a
kindly nature. He is full of antique prejudices against the modern
fashions of the younger officers, their moustaches and such fripperies,
and prophesies little better than disgrace in case of another war;
owning that the boys would fight for their country, and die for her, but
denying that there are any officers now like Hull and Stuart, whose
exploits, nevertheless, he greatly depreciated, saying that the Boxer
and Enterprise fought the only equal battle which we won during the war;
and that, in that action, an officer had proposed to haul down the stars
and stripes, and a common sailor threatened to cut him to pieces, if he
should do so. He spoke of Bainbridge as a sot and a poltroon, who wanted
to run from the Macedonian, pretending to take her for a line-of-battle
ship; of Commodore Elliot as a liar; but praised Commodore Downes in the
highest terms. Percival seems to be the very pattern of old integrity;
taking as much care of Uncle Sam's interests as if all the money
expended were to come out of his own pocket. This quality was displayed
in his resistance to the demand of a new patent capstan for the
revenue-cutter, which, however, Scott is resolved in such a sailor-like
way to get, that he will probably succeed. Percival spoke to me of how
his business in the yard absorbed him, especially the fitting of the
Columbus seventy-four, of which ship he discoursed with great
enthusiasm. He seems to have no ambition beyond his present duties,
perhaps never had any; at any rate, he now passes his life with a sort
of gruff contentedness, grumbling and growling, yet in good humor
enough. He is conscious of his peculiarities; for when I asked him
whether it would be well to make a naval officer Secretary of the Navy,
he said, "God forbid, for that an old sailor was always full of
prejudices and stubborn whim-whams," instancing himself; whereto I
agreed. We went round the Navy Yard with Percival and Commodore Downes,
the latter a sailor and a gentleman too, with rather more of the ocean
than the drawing-room about him, but courteous, frank, and good-natured.
We looked at rope-walks, rigging-lofts, ships in the stocks; and saw the
sailors of the station laughing and sporting with great mirth and
cheerfulness, which the Commodore said was much increased at sea. We
returned to the wharf at Boston in the cutter's boat. Captain Scott, of
the cutter, told me a singular story of what occurred during the action
between the Constitution and Macedonian,--he being powder-monkey aboard
the former ship. A cannon-shot came through the ship's side, and a man's
head was struck off, probably by a splinter, for it was done without
bruising the head or body, as clean as by a razor. Well, the man was
walking pretty briskly at the time of the accident; and Scott seriously
affirmed that he kept walking onward at the same pace, with two jets of
blood gushing from his headless trunk, till, after going about twenty
feet without a head, he sunk down at once, with his legs under him.

       *       *       *       *       *

[In corroboration of the truth of this, see Lord Bacon, Century IV. of
his Sylva Sylvarum, or Natural History, in Ten Centuries, paragraph
400.]

On Saturday, I called to see E. H----, having previously appointed a
meeting for the purpose of inquiring about our name. He is an old
bachelor, and truly forlorn. The pride of ancestry seems to be his great
hobby. He had a good many papers in his desk at the Custom-House, which
he produced and dissertated upon, and afterwards went with me to his
sister's, and showed me an old book, with a record of the children of
the first emigrant, (who came over two hundred years ago,) in his own
handwriting. E----'s manners are gentlemanly, and he seems to be very
well informed. At a little distance, I think, one would take him to be
not much over thirty; but nearer to hand one finds him to look rather
venerable,--perhaps fifty or more. He is nervous, and his hands shook
while he was looking over the papers, as if he had been startled by my
visit; and when we came to the crossings of streets, he darted across,
cautioning me, as if both were in great danger to be run over.
Nevertheless, being very quick-tempered, he would face the Devil if at
all irritated. He gave a most forlorn description of his life; how, when
he came to Salem, there was nobody except Mr. ---- whom he cared about
seeing; how his position prevented him from accepting of civilities,
because he had no home where he could return them; in short, he seemed
about as miserable a being as is to be found anywhere,--lonely, and with
the sensitiveness to feel his loneliness, and capacities, now withered,
to have enjoyed the sweets of life. I suppose he is comfortable enough
when busied in his duties at the Custom-House; for when I spoke to him
at my entrance, he was too much absorbed to hear me at first. As we
walked, he kept telling stories of the family, which seemed to have
comprised many oddities, eccentric men and women, recluses and other
kinds,--one of old Philip English, (a Jersey man, the name originally
L'Anglais,) who had been persecuted by John Hawthorne, of witch-time
memory, and a violent quarrel ensued. When Philip lay on his death-bed,
he consented to forgive his persecutor; "But if I get well," said he,
"I'll be damned if I forgive him!" This Philip left daughters, one of
whom married, I believe, the son of the persecuting John, and thus all
the legitimate blood of English is in our family. E---- passed from the
matters of birth, pedigree, and ancestral pride to give vent to the most
arrant democracy and locofocoism that I ever happened to hear, saying
that nobody ought to possess wealth longer than his own life, and that
then it should return to the people, &c. He says old S. I---- has a
great fund of traditions about the family, which she learned from her
mother or grandmother, (I forget which,) one of them being a Hawthorne.
The old lady was a very proud woman, and, as E---- says, "proud of being
proud," and so is S. I----.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 7th, 1837._--A walk in Northfields in the afternoon. Bright
sunshine and autumnal warmth, giving a sensation quite unlike the same
degree of warmth in summer. Oaks,--some brown, some reddish, some still
green; walnuts, yellow,--fallen leaves and acorns lying beneath; the
footsteps crumple them in walking. In sunny spots beneath the trees,
where green grass is overstrewn by the dry, fallen foliage, as I passed
I disturbed multitudes of grasshoppers basking in the warm sunshine; and
they began to hop, hop, hop, pattering on the dry leaves like big and
heavy drops of a thunder-shower. They were invisible till they hopped.
Boys gathering walnuts. Passed an orchard, where two men were gathering
the apples. A wagon, with barrels, stood among the trees; the men's
coats flung on the fence; the apples lay in heaps, and each of the men
was up in a separate tree. They conversed together in loud voices, which
the air caused to ring still louder, jeering each other, boasting of
their own feats in shaking down the apples. One got into, the very top
of his tree, and gave a long and mighty shake, and the big apples came
down thump, thump, bushels hitting on the ground at once. "There! did
you ever hear anything like that?" cried he. This sunny scene was
pretty. A horse feeding apart, belonging to the wagon. The
barberry-bushes have some red fruit on them, but they are frost-bitten.
The rose-bushes have their scarlet hips.

Distant clumps of trees, now that the variegated foliage adorns them,
have a phantasmagorian, an apparition-like appearance. They seem to be
of some kindred to the crimson and gold cloud-islands. It would not be
strange to see phantoms peeping forth from their recesses. When the sun
was almost below the horizon, his rays, gilding the upper branches of a
yellow walnut-tree, had an airy and beautiful effect,--the gentle
contrast between the tint of the yellow in the shade, and its ethereal
gold in the fading sunshine. The woods that crown distant uplands were
seen to great advantage in these last rays, for the sunshine perfectly
marked out and distinguished every shade of color, varnishing them as it
were; while, the country round, both hill and plain, being in gloomy
shadow, the woods looked the brighter for it.

The tide, being high, had flowed almost into the Cold Spring, so its
small current hardly issued forth from the basin. As I approached, two
little eels, about as long as my finger, and slender in proportion,
wriggled out of the basin. They had come from the salt water. An
Indian-corn field, as yet unharvested,--huge, golden pumpkins scattered
among the hills of corn,--a noble-looking fruit. After the sun was down,
the sky was deeply dyed with a broad sweep of gold, high towards the
zenith; not flaming brightly, but of a somewhat dusky gold. A piece of
water extending towards the west, between high banks, caught the
reflection, and appeared like a sheet of brighter and more glistening
gold than the sky which made it bright.

Dandelions and blue flowers are still growing in sunny places. Saw in a
barn a prodigious treasure of onions in their silvery coats, exhaling a
penetrating perfume.

       *       *       *       *       *

How exceeding bright looks the sunshine, casually reflected from a
looking-glass into a gloomy region of the chamber, distinctly marking
out the figures and colors of the paper hangings, which are scarcely
seen elsewhere. It is like the light of mind thrown on an obscure
subject.

       *       *       *       *       *

Man's finest workmanship, the closer you observe it, the more
imperfections it shows; as in a piece of polished steel a microscope
will discover a rough surface. Whereas, what may look coarse and rough
in Nature's workmanship will show an infinitely minute perfection, the
closer you look into it. The reason of the minute superiority of
Nature's work over man's is, that the former works from the innermost
germ, while the latter works merely superficially.

       *       *       *       *       *

Standing in the cross-road that leads by the Mineral Spring, and looking
towards an opposite shore of the lake, an ascending bank, with a dense
border of trees, green, yellow, red, russet, all bright colors,
brightened by the mild brilliancy of the descending sun; it was strange
to recognize the sober old friends of spring and summer in this new
dress. By the by, a pretty riddle or fable might be made out of the
changes in apparel of the familiar trees round a house, adapted for
children. But in the lake, beneath the aforesaid border of trees,--the
water being, not rippled, but its glassy surface somewhat moved and
shaken by the remote agitation of a breeze that was breathing on the
outer lake,--this being in a sort of bay,--in the slightly agitated
mirror, the variegated trees were reflected dreamily and indistinctly; a
broad belt of bright and diversified colors shining in the water
beneath. Sometimes the image of a tree might be almost traced; then
nothing but this sweep of broken rainbow. It was like the recollection
of the real scene in an observer's mind,--a confused radiance.

       *       *       *       *       *

A whirlwind, whirling the dried leaves round in a circle, not very
violently.

       *       *       *       *       *

To well consider the characters of a family of persons in a certain
condition,--in poverty, for instance,--and endeavor to judge how an
altered condition would affect the character of each.

       *       *       *       *       *

The aromatic odor of peat smoke in the sunny autumnal air is very
pleasant.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Salem, October 14th, 1837._--A walk through Beverly to Browne's Hill,
and home by the iron factory. A bright, cool afternoon. The trees, in a
large part of the space through which I passed, appeared to be in their
fullest glory, bright red, yellow, some of a tender green, appearing at
a distance as if bedecked with new foliage, though this emerald tint was
likewise the effect of frost. In some places, large tracts of ground
were covered as with a scarlet cloth,--the underbrush being thus
colored. The general character of these autumnal colors is not gaudy,
scarcely gay; there is something too deep and rich in it: it is gorgeous
and magnificent, but with a sobriety diffused. The pastures at the foot
of Browne's Hill were plentifully covered with barberry-bushes, the
leaves of which were reddish, and they were hung with a prodigious
quantity of berries. From the summit of the hill, looking down a tract
of woodland at a considerable distance, so that the interstices between
the trees could not be seen, their tops presented an unbroken level, and
seemed somewhat like a richly variegated carpet. The prospect from the
hill is wide and interesting; but methinks it is pleasanter in the more
immediate vicinity of the hill than miles away. It is agreeable to look
down at the square patches of corn-field, or of potato-ground, or of
cabbages still green, or of beets looking red,--all a man's farm, in
short,--each portion of which he considers separately so important,
while you take in the whole at a glance. Then to cast your eye over so
many different establishments at once, and rapidly compare them,--here a
house of gentility, with shady old yellow-leaved elms hanging around it;
there a new little white dwelling; there an old farm-house; to see the
barns and sheds and all the outhouses clustered together; to comprehend
the oneness and exclusiveness and what constitutes the peculiarity of
each of so many establishments, and to have in your mind a multitude of
them, each of which is the most important part of the world to those who
live in it,--this really enlarges the mind, and you come down the hill
somewhat wiser than you go up. Pleasant to look over an orchard far
below, and see the trees, each casting its own shadow; the white spires
of meeting-houses; a sheet of water, partly seen among swelling lands.
This Browne's Hill is a long ridge, lying in the midst of a large, level
plain; it looks at a distance somewhat like a whale, with its head and
tail under water, but its immense back protruding, with steep sides, and
a gradual curve along its length. When you have climbed it on one side,
and gaze from the summit at the other, you feel as if you had made a
discovery,--the landscape being quite different on the two sides. The
cellar of the house which formerly crowned the hill, and used to be
named Browne's Folly, still remains, two grass-grown and shallow
hollows, on the highest part of the ridge. The house consisted of two
wings, each perhaps sixty feet in length, united by a middle part, in
which was the entrance-hall, and which looked lengthwise along the hill.
The foundation of a spacious porch may be traced on either side of the
central portion; some of the stones still remain; but even where they
are gone, the line of the porch is still traceable by the greener
verdure. In the cellar, or rather in the two cellars, grow one or two
barberry-bushes, with frost-bitten fruit; there is also yarrow with its
white flower, and yellow dandelions. The cellars are still deep enough
to shelter a person, all but his head at least, from the wind on the
summit of the hill; but they are all grass-grown. A line of trees seems
to have been planted along the ridge of the hill. The edifice must have
made quite a magnificent appearance.

Characteristics during the walk:--Apple-trees with only here and there
an apple on the boughs, among the thinned leaves, the relics of a
gathering. In others you observe a rustling, and see the boughs shaking
and hear the apples thumping down, without seeing the person who does
it. Apples scattered by the wayside, some with pieces bitten out, others
entire, which you pick up, and taste, and find them harsh, crabbed
cider-apples though they have a pretty, waxen appearance. In sunny spots
of woodland, boys in search or nuts, looking picturesque among the
scarlet and golden foliage. There is something in this sunny autumnal
atmosphere that gives a peculiar effect to laughter and joyous
voices,--it makes them infinitely more elastic and gladsome than at
other seasons. Heaps of dry leaves, tossed together by the wind, as if
for a couch and lounging-place for the weary traveller, while the sun is
warming it for him. Golden pumpkins and squashes, heaped in the angle of
a house, till they reach the lower windows. Ox-teams, laden with a
rustling load of Indian corn, in the stalk and ear. When an inlet of the
sea runs far up into the country, you stare to see a large schooner
appear amid the rural landscape; she is unloading a cargo of wood, moist
with rain or salt water that has dashed over it. Perhaps you hear the
sound of an axe in the woodland; occasionally, the report of a
fowling-piece. The travellers in the early part of the afternoon look
warm and comfortable, as if taking a summer drive; but as eve draws
nearer, you meet them well wrapped in top-coats or cloaks, or rough,
great surtouts, and red-nosed withal, seeming to take no great comfort,
but pressing homeward. The characteristic conversation among teamsters
and country squires, where the ascent of a hill causes the chaise to go
at the same pace as an ox-team,--perhaps discussing the qualities of a
yoke of oxen. The cold, blue aspects of sheets of water. Some of the
country shops with the doors closed; others still open as in summer. I
meet a wood-sawyer, with his horse and saw on his shoulders, returning
from work. As night draws on, you begin to see the gleaming of fires on
the ceilings in the houses which you pass. The comfortless appearance of
houses at bleak and bare spots,--you wonder how there can be any
enjoyment in them. I meet a girl in a chintz gown, with a small shawl on
her shoulders, white stockings, and summer morocco shoes,--it looks
observable. Turkeys, queer, solemn objects, in black attire, grazing
about, and trying to peck the fallen apples, which slip away from their
bills.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 16th, 1837._--Spent the whole afternoon in a ramble to the
sea-shore, near Phillips's Beach. A beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon,
the very pleasantest day, probably, that there has been in the whole
course of the year. People at work, harvesting, without their coats.
Cocks, with their squad of hens, in the grass-fields, hunting
grasshoppers, chasing them eagerly with outspread wings, appearing to
take much interest in the sport, apart from the profit. Other hens
picking up the ears of Indian corn. Grasshoppers, flies, and flying
insects of all sorts, are more abundant in these warm autumnal days than
I have seen them at any other time. Yellow butterflies flutter about in
the sunshine, singly, by pairs, or more, and are wafted on the gentle
gales. The crickets begin to sing early in the afternoon, and sometimes
a locust may be heard. In some warm spots, a pleasant buzz of many
insects.

Crossed the fields near Brookhouse's villa, and came upon a long
beach,--at least a mile long, I should think,--terminated by craggy
rocks at either end, and backed by a high, broken bank, the grassy
summit of which, year by year, is continually breaking away, and
precipitated to the bottom. At the foot of the bank, in some parts, is a
vast number of pebbles and paving-stones, rolled up thither by the sea
long ago. The beach is of a brown sand, with hardly any pebbles
intermixed upon it. When the tide is part way down, there is a margin of
several yards from the water's edge, along the whole mile length of the
beach, which glistens like a mirror, and reflects objects, and shines
bright in the sunshine, the sand being wet to that distance from the
water. Above this margin the sand is not wet, and grows less and less
damp the farther towards the bank you keep. In some places your footstep
is perfectly implanted, showing the whole shape, and the square toe, and
every nail in the heel of your boot. Elsewhere, the impression is
imperfect, and even when you stamp, you cannot imprint the whole. As you
tread, a dry spot flashes around your step, and grows moist as you lift
your foot again. Pleasant to pass along this extensive walk, watching
the surf-wave;--how sometimes it seems to make a feint of breaking, but
dies away ineffectually, merely kissing the strand; then, after many
such abortive efforts, it gathers itself, and forms a high wall, and
rolls onward, heightening and heightening, without foam at the summit of
the green line, and at last throws itself fiercely on the beach, with a
loud roar, the spray flying above. As you walk along, you are preceded
by a flock of twenty or thirty beach birds, which are seeking, I
suppose, for food on the margin of the surf, yet seem to be merely
sporting, chasing the sea as it retires, and running up before the
impending wave. Sometimes they let it bear them off their feet, and
float lightly on its breaking summit: sometimes they flutter and seem to
rest on the feathery spray. They are little birds with gray backs and
snow-white breasts; their images may be seen in the wet sand almost or
full as distinctly as the reality. Their legs are long. As you draw
near, they take a flight of a score of yards or more, and then
recommence their dalliance with the surf-wave. You may behold their
multitudinous little tracks all along your way. Before you reach the end
of the beach, you become quite attached to these little sea-birds, and
take much interest in their occupations. After passing in one direction,
it is pleasant then to retrace your footsteps. Your tracks being all
traceable, you may recall the whole mood and occupation of your mind
during your first passage. Here you turned somewhat aside to pick up a
shell that you saw nearer the water's edge. Here you examined a long
sea-weed, and trailed its length after you for a considerable distance.
Here the effect of the wide sea struck you suddenly. Here you fronted
the ocean, looking at a sail, distant in the sunny blue. Here you looked
at some plant on the bank. Here some vagary of mind seems to have
bewildered you; for your tracks go round and round, and interchange each
other without visible reason. Here you picked up pebbles and skipped
them upon the water. Here you wrote names and drew faces with a razor
sea-shell in the sand.

After leaving the beach, clambered over crags, all shattered and tossed
about everyhow; in some parts curiously worn and hollowed out, almost
into caverns. The rock, shagged with sea-weed,--in some places, a thick
carpet of sea-weed laid over the pebbles, into which your foot would
sink. Deep tanks among these rocks, which the sea replenishes at high
tide, and then leaves the bottom all covered with various sorts of
sea-plants, as if it were some sea-monster's private garden. I saw a
crab in one of them; five-fingers too. From the edge of the rocks, you
may look off into deep, deep water, even at low tide. Among the rocks, I
found a great bird, whether a wild-goose, a loon, or an albatross, I
scarcely know. It was in such a position that I almost fancied it might
be asleep, and therefore drew near softly, lest it should take flight;
but it was dead, and stirred not when I touched it. Sometimes a dead
fish was cast up. A ledge of rocks, with a beacon upon it, looking like
a monument erected to those who have perished by shipwreck. The smoked,
extempore fireplace where a party cooked their fish. About midway on the
beach, a fresh-water brooklet flows towards the sea. Where it leaves the
land, it is quite a rippling little current; but in flowing across the
sand, it grows shallower and more shallow, and at last is quite lost,
and dies in the effort to carry its little tribute to the main.

       *       *       *       *       *

An article to be made of telling the stories of the tiles of an
old-fashioned chimney-piece to a child.

       *       *       *       *       *

A person conscious that he was soon to die, the humor in which he would
pay his last visit to familiar persons and things.

       *       *       *       *       *

A description of the various classes of hotels and taverns, and the
prominent personages in each. There should be some story connected with
it,--as of a person commencing with boarding at a great hotel, and
gradually, as his means grew less, descending in life, till he got below
ground into a cellar.

       *       *       *       *       *

A person to be in the possession of something as perfect as mortal man
has a right to demand; he tries to make it better, and ruins it
entirely.

       *       *       *       *       *

A person to spend all his life and splendid talents in trying to achieve
something naturally impossible,--as to make a conquest over Nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meditations about the main gas-pipe of a great city,--if the supply were
to be stopped, what would happen? How many different scenes it sheds
light on? It might be made emblematical of something.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 6th, 1837._--A fairy tale about chasing Echo to her
hiding-place. Echo is the voice of a reflection in a mirror.

       *       *       *       *       *

A house to be built over a natural spring of inflammable gas, and to be
constantly illuminated therewith. What moral could be drawn from this?
It is carburetted hydrogen gas, and is cooled from a soft shale or
slate, which is sometimes bituminous, and contains more or less
carbonate of lime. It appears in the vicinity of Lockport and Niagara
Falls, and elsewhere in New York. I believe it indicates coal. At
Fredonia, the whole village is lighted by it. Elsewhere, a farm-house
was lighted by it, and no other fuel used in the coldest weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

Gnomes, or other mischievous little fiends, to be represented as
burrowing in the hollow teeth of some person who has subjected himself
to their power. It should be a child's story. This should be one of many
modes of petty torment. They should be contrasted with beneficent
fairies, who minister to the pleasures of the good.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man will undergo great toil and hardship for ends that must be many
years distant,--as wealth or fame,--but none for an end that may be
close at hand,--as the joys of heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

Insincerity in a man's own heart must make all his enjoyments, all that
concerns him, unreal; so that his whole life must seem like a merely
dramatic representation. And this would be the case, even though he were
surrounded by true-hearted relatives and friends.

       *       *       *       *       *

A company of men, none of whom have anything worth hoping for on earth,
yet who do not look forward to anything beyond earth!

       *       *       *       *       *

Sorrow to be personified, and its effect on a family represented by the
way in which the members of the family regard this dark-clad and
sad-browed inmate.

       *       *       *       *       *

A story to show how we are all wronged and wrongers, and avenge one
another.

       *       *       *       *       *

To personify winds of various characters.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man living a wicked life in one place, and simultaneously a virtuous
and religious one in another.

       *       *       *       *       *

An ornament to be worn about the person of a lady,--as a jewelled heart.
After many years, it happens to be broken or unscrewed, and a poisonous
odor comes out.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lieutenant F. W---- of the navy was an inveterate duellist and an
unerring shot. He had taken offence at Lieutenant F----, and endeavored
to draw him into a duel, following him to the Mediterranean for that
purpose, and harassing him intolerably. At last, both parties being in
Massachusetts, F---- determined to fight, and applied to Lieutenant
A---- to be his second. A---- examined into the merits of the quarrel,
and came to the conclusion that F---- had not given F. W---- justifiable
cause for driving him to a duel, and that he ought not to be shot. He
instructed F---- in the use of the pistol, and, before the meeting,
warned him, by all means, to get the first fire; for that, if F. W----
fired first, he, F----, was infallibly a dead man, as his antagonist
could shoot to a hair's breadth. The parties met; and F----, firing
immediately on the word's being given, shot F. W---- through the heart.
F. W----, with a most savage expression of countenance, fired, after the
bullet had gone through his heart, and when the blood had entirely left
his face, and shot away one of F----'s side-locks. His face probably
looked as if he were already in the infernal regions; but afterwards it
assumed an angelic calmness and repose.

       *       *       *       *       *

A company of persons to drink a certain medicinal preparation, which
would prove a poison, or the contrary, according to their different
characters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many persons, without a consciousness of so doing, to contribute to some
one end; as to a beggar's feast, made up of broken victuals from many
tables; or a patch carpet, woven of shreds from innumerable garments.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some very famous jewel or other thing, much talked of all over the
world. Some person to meet with it, and get possession of it in some
unexpected manner, amid homely circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

To poison a person or a party of persons with the sacramental wine.

       *       *       *       *       *

A cloud in the shape of an old woman kneeling, with arms extended
towards the moon.

       *       *       *       *       *

On being transported to strange scenes, we feel as if all were unreal.
This is but the perception of the true unreality of earthly things, made
evident by the want of congruity between ourselves and them. By and by
we become mutually adapted, and the perception is lost.

       *       *       *       *       *

An old looking-glass. Somebody finds out the secret of making all the
images that have been reflected in it pass back again across its
surface.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Indian races having reared no monuments, like the Greeks, Romans,
and Egyptians, when they have disappeared from the earth, their history
will appear a fable, and they misty phantoms.

       *       *       *       *       *

A woman to sympathize with all emotions, but to have none of her own.

       *       *       *       *       *

A portrait of a person in New England to be recognized as of the same
person represented by a portrait, in Old England. Having distinguished
himself there, he had suddenly vanished, and had never been heard of
till he was thus discovered to be identical with a distinguished man in
New England.



SAINTE-BEUVE.


The lives of French men of letters, at least during the last two
centuries, have never been isolated or obscure. Had Rousseau been born
on the borders of Loch Lomond, he might have proved in his own person,
and without interruption, the superiority of the savage state; and after
his death the information in regard to him would have been fragmentary
and uncertain. But born on the shores of Lake Leman, centralization laid
its grasp upon him, drew him into the vortex of the "great world," and
caused his name to figure in all the questions, the quarrels, and the
scandals of his day.

The truth is, that literature is a far more important element of society
in France than elsewhere. We seldom think of a French author, without
recalling the history and the manners of his time. In reading a French
play, though it be a tragedy of Racine or a comedy of Molière, we are
reminded of the spectators before whom it was brought out. In reading a
French book, though it be Pascal's "Thoughts" or the "Characters" of La
Bruyère, our minds are continually diverted from the matter of the work
to the circumstances under which it was written and the public for whom
it was intended.

Generally, indeed, the author, however full of his subject, has
evidently been thinking of his readers. His tone is that of a speaker
with his audience before him. Madame de Staël actually composed in
conversation, and her works are little more than imperfect records of
her eloquent discourse. Innumerable productions have been read aloud, or
handed round in private coteries, before being revised and published.
The very excellence of the workmanship, if nothing else, shows that the
article is "custom made." Even if the matter be poor, the writing is
almost sure to be good. French literature abounds, beyond every other,
in _readable_ books,--books such as are welcomed by the mass of
cultivated persons. It excels, in short, as a literature of the _salon_,
rather than of the study.

As a natural corollary, criticism occupies a more distinct and prominent
place in the literature of France than in that of any other nation.
Every writer is sure of being heard, sure of being discussed, sure of
being judged. This may not always have been favorable to originality. A
fixed standard,--which is a necessary consequence,--though the guardian
of taste, is a bar to innovation. When, however, the bar has been
actually crossed, when encroachment has once obtained a footing, French
criticism is swift to adjust itself to the new conditions imposed upon
it, to widen its sphere and to institute fresh comparisons.

The present position of French criticism, its connection with the
general course of literature and of society from the fall of the first
Empire to the establishment of the second,--a period of remarkable
effervescence and even fertility,--will be best illustrated by a sketch
of the writings and career of M. Sainte-Beuve. He is, it is true, one of
a group, compromising such critics as Villemain, Cousin, Vinet, Planche,
Taine, and Scherer; but his name is more intimately associated than any
of these with the progress and fluctuations of opinion and of taste. His
notices of his contemporaries have been by far the most copious and
assiduous. His literary life, extending over forty years, embraces the
rise and the decline of what is known as the Romantic School; and during
all this period his course, whether we regard it as that of a leader or
of a follower, has harmonized singularily with the tendencies of the
age.

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve was born at Boulogne--a town not fruitful
in distinguished names--on the 23d of December, 1804. His father, who
had held an employment under the government, died two days before the
birth of the son. His mother was the daughter of an Englishwoman,--a
circumstance which has been thought to account for the appreciation he
has shown of English poetry. The notion would be more plausible if there
were any poetry which he has failed to appreciate. But when it is added
that she was a woman of remarkable intelligence and sensibility, we
recognize a fact of which the influence can neither be doubted nor
defined.

After several years of prepatory instruction at a boarding-school in his
native place, he was sent to Paris, when thirteen years old, and entered
successively in several of the educational establishments which had
succeeded to the ancient University. His studies, everywhere crowned
with honors, were completed by a second course of rhetoric at the
Collége Bourbon, in 1822. He afterwards, however, attended the lectures
of Guizot, Villemain, and other distinguished professors at the
Sorbonne. A hostile critic, though seven years his junior, professes to
retain a distinct recollection of him at this period: "Among the most
assiduous and most attentive auditors was a young man whose face,
irregular in outline but marvellously intelligent, reflected every
thought and image of the speaker, almost as rivers reflect the landscape
that unrolls itself along their banks. When I add that the volatile
waves incessantly efface what they have just before reflected, the
comparison will appear only the more exact." To an impartial inquirer it
might appear singularly inexact; but having picked up the shaft, we
shall not at present stop to examine whether it be poisoned.

On quitting college, M. Sainte-Beuve made choice of medicine as his
profession. He threw himself with enthusiasm into the study of anatomy,
and soon qualified himself for an appointment as _externe_ at the
Hospital of Saint Louis. This ardor, however, far from indicating the
particular bent of his mind, proceeded from that eager curiosity which
is ready to enter every avenue and knock at every door by which the
domain of knowledge can be approached. With the faculties he was endowed
with, and the training he had received, it was impossible that he should
lose in any special pursuit his interest in general literature. His
fellow-townsman and former master in rhetoric, M. Dubois, having become
the principal editor of the newly founded "Globe," invited his
co-operation. Accordingly, in 1824, he began to contribute critical and
historical articles to that journal; and three years later he resigned
his post at the hospital, with the purpose of devoting himself
exclusively to literary pursuits.

The period was in the highest degree favorable to the development and
display of his talent. The literary revolution, which in Germany and
England had already passed through its principal stages, had as yet
scarcely penetrated into France. It had been heralded, indeed, by
Chateaubriand, at the beginning of the century; and Madame de Staël,
some few years later, had come into contact with the reigning chiefs of
German literature, and had made known to her countrymen their character
and activity. But the energies of France were then absorbed in
enterprises of another kind. It was not till peace had been restored,
and a new generation, ardent, susceptible, as eager for novelty as the
veterans were impatient of it, had come upon the stage, that the
requisite impulse was given. Victor Hugo, Lamartine, Mérimée, Alfred de
Vigny, and other young men of genius, were just opening the assault on
the citadel of _classicisme_. Conventional rules were set at defiance;
the authorities that had so long held sway were summoned to abdicate;
nature, truth, above all passion, were invoked as the sources of
inspiration, the law-givers of the imagination, the sole arbiters of
style. As usual, the movement extended beyond its legitimate sphere. Not
only the forms, but the ideas, not only the traditions, but the
novelties, of the eighteenth century were to be discarded. In fact, the
period, though favorable to literary development, was, on the surface at
least, one of political and religious reaction; and reaction often
assumes the aspect of progress, nay, in some cases is identical with
progress. Most of the poets, dramatists, and other writers of the
Romantic School were, either by affinity or predilection, legitimists
and neo-Catholics. Gothic art, mediæval sentiment, the ancient monarchy
and the ancient creed, were blended in their programme with the
abrogation of the "unities," and a greater license of poetical
expression.

Imbued with the precepts of a former age, and fresh from the study of
its masterpieces, M. Sainte-Beuve was at first repelled by the mutinous
attitude of the new aspirants. He made his _début_ in an attack upon the
"Odes and Ballads" of Victor Hugo. But his opposition quickly yielded to
the force of the attraction. Nature had given him a peculiar mobility of
temperament, and a strong instinctive sense of beauty under every
diversity of form. Moreover, resistance would have been useless and
Quixotic. In literature, as in politics, dynasties perish through their
own weakness. The classical school of France had no living
representative around whom its adherents could have rallied. Its only
watchword was "The Past," which is always an omen of defeat.

Properly speaking, therefore, M. Sainte-Beuve began his career, not as
an opponent, but as the champion of the new school. He entered into
personal and intimate relations with its leaders, joined, as a member of
the _Cénacle_, in the discussion of their plans, attended the private
readings of "Cromwell" and other works by which the breach was to be
forced, and took upon himself the task of justifying innovation, and
securing its reception with a hesitating public. Hence his criticism at
this period was, as he himself has styled it, "polemical" and
"aggressive." It was, however, neither violent nor sophistical. On the
contrary, it was distinguished by the candor and the suavity of its
tone. Goethe, who watched from afar a movement which, directly or
indirectly, owed much to German inspiration, was particularly struck
with this trait. "Our scholars," he remarked to Eckermann, "think it
necessary to hate whoever differs from them in opinion; but the writers
in the Globe know how to blame with refinement and courtesy."

At home many, without being converted, were propitiated, and some, while
still hostile or indifferent to the new literature, became warmly
interested in its advocate. At the suggestion of Daunou, one of the most
distinguished among the survivors of the Revolutionary epoch, he
undertook a work on early French literature, with the intention of
competing for a prize offered by the Academy. But his plan soon deviated
from that which had been assigned; and his researches, more limited in
their scope, but far deeper and more minute, than had been demanded,
gave birth to a volume, published in 1828, under the title of _Tableau
historique et critique de la Poésie française et du Théâtre français au
seizième Siécle_. It was received with general favor. Some of the
author's principles were strenuously disputed; but he was admitted to
have made many discoveries in literary history, and to have introduced
an entirely new method of criticism. Perhaps it would be more correct to
say, that he had carried the torch of an enlightened judgment into a
period which the brilliancy of succeeding epochs had thrown into
obscurity.

In 1829 M. Sainte-Beuve published a volume of poetry, _Poésies de Joseph
Delorme_, followed, in 1830, by another, entitled _Consolations_, and
some years later by a third, _Pensées d'Août_. Although different
degrees of merit have been assigned to these productions, their general
character is the same. They exhibit, not the fire and inspiration of the
true poetical temperament, but the experiments of a mind gifted with
delicacy of sentiment and susceptible of varied impressions, in quest of
appropriate forms and a deeper comprehension of the sources from which
language derives its power as a vehicle of art. The influence of
Wordsworth is observable in a studied familiarity of diction, as well as
in the tendency to versify every thought or emotion suggested by daily
observation. These peculiarities, coupled with the frequency of bold
ellipses, provoked discussion, and seemed to promise a fresh expansion
of poetical forms, in a somewhat different direction from that of the
Romanticists. But it was not in this department that M. Sainte-Beuve was
destined to become the founder of a school. His poetical talent, though
unquestionable, had been bestowed, not as a special attribute, but as an
auxiliary of other faculties granted in a larger measure. He has himself
not only recognized its limits, but shown an inclination to underrate
its value. "I have often thought," he remarks in one of his later
papers, "that a critic who would attain to largeness of view would be
better without any artistic faculty of his own. Goethe alone, by the
universality of his poetical genius, was able to apply it in the
estimation of what others had produced; in every species of composition
he was entitled to say, 'Had I chosen, I could have given a perfect
specimen of this.' But one who possesses only a single circumscribed
talent should, in becoming a critic, forget it, bury it, and confess to
himself that Nature is more bountiful and more varied than she showed
herself in creating him. Incomplete artists, let us strive for an
intelligence wider than our own talent,--than the best we are capable of
producing."

To the same period--perhaps to the same spirit of investigation and
experiment--belongs the single prose work of fancy which has proceeded
from his pen. It is a species of romance, bearing the title of
_Volupté_, and designed to exhibit the struggle between the senses and
the soul, or, more strictly speaking, the effect upon the intellectual
nature of an early captivity to the pleasures of sense. The hero,
Amaury, after a youth of indulgence, finds himself in the prime of his
manhood, with his powers of perception and of thought vigorous and
matured, but incapable of acting, of willing, or of loving. He inspires
love, but cannot return it; he feels, he admires, but he shrinks from
any step demanding resolution or self-devotion. Hence, instead of
conferring happiness, he makes victims,--victims not of an active, but
of a merely passive and negative egotism. A conjunction of circumstances
brings him to a sudden and vivid realization of his condition and its
results. Instead of escaping by suicide, as might be expected,--and as
would probably have been the case if Werther had not forestalled
him,--he breaks loose from his thraldom by a supreme effort, and finds
in the faith and sacrifices of a religious life the means of restoration
and of permanent freedom. He enters a seminary, is ordained priest, and
performs the funeral rites of the woman whose affection for him had been
the most ardent and exalted, and whom his purified heart could have best
repaid.

In form, the work is an autobiography. The thoughts with which it teems
are delicate and subtile; the style, somewhat labored and over-refined,
is in contrast with that of the _Poésies_, while it betrays the same
struggle for a greater amplitude and independence. In point of art the
book appears to us a failure. The theme is not objectionable in itself.
It is similar to that of many works which have sprung from certain
phases of individual experience. But if such experience is to be
idealized, its origin should disappear. Shakespeare may have undergone
all the conflicts of doubt and irresolution represented in "Hamlet"; but
in reading "Hamlet" we think, not of Shakespeare's conflicts, but of our
own. _Volupté_ is too palpably a confession. The story is not a
creation; it has been simply evolved by that process of thought which
transports a particular idiosyncrasy into conditions and circumstances
where it becomes a kind of destiny and a subject of speculation. Reality
is wanting, for the very reason that the Imagination, after being called
into play, has proved too feeble for her office. Herein Amaury differs
widely from René. Apart from the difference of power, Chateaubriand had
poured out his entire self; he had transcended the limits of his actual
life, but never those of his mental experience. M. Sainte-Beuve had felt
only a part of what he sought to depict; the rest he had conjectured or
borrowed. The pages which describe the hero's impressions and emotions
in consecrating himself to the service of the Church were written by
Lacordaire. They are a faithful transcript from nature, but from a
nature not at all resembling that to which they have been applied. The
circumstances under which the book was composed will exhibit the
difference. The author was then intimate with Lamennais, whose eloquent
voice, soon afterwards to be raised in support of the opposite cause,
was proclaiming the sternest doctrines of a renovated Catholicism. A
spell which acted so widely and so marvellously could not be altogether
unfelt by a mind whose peculiar property it was to yield itself to every
influence in order to extort its secret and comprehend its power. Beyond
this point the magic failed. "In all my transitions,"--thus he has
written of himself,--"I have never alienated my judgment and my will; I
have never pledged my belief. But I had a power of comprehending persons
and things which gave rise to the strongest hopes on the part of those
who wished to convert me and who thought me entirely their own." Thus
Lamartine, in a rapturous strain, had congratulated himself on having
been the instrument of saving his friend from the abysm of unbelief.
When Lamennais was forming the group of disciples who retired with him
to La Chesnaye, M. Sainte-Beuve was invited to join them. While
declining the proposal, he imagined the position in which he might have
been led to embrace it, and--wrote _Volupté_.

The revolution of 1830, with the events that led to it, marks a
turning-point in literary as well as in political history. The public
mind was in a state of ebullition very unlike that of an ordinary
political contest, in which one party pulls while the other applies the
drag, one seeks to maintain, the other to destroy. All parties were
pulling in different directions; all sought to destroy, in order to
reconstruct; principles, except with the extremists, were simply
expedients, adopted to-day, abandoned on the morrow. Nor is this to be
explained, as English writers generally explain it, by the mere
volatility of the French temperament. In England, an established basis
of political power is slowly but constantly expanding; privilege
crumbles and wears away under the gradual action of democracy;
concession on the one side, moderation on the other, are perfectly
feasible, and obviate the necessity for sudden ruptures and violent
transitions. But in France the question created by past convulsions, and
left unsolved by recent experiments, was this: What _is_ the basis of
power? Privilege had been so shorn that those who desired to make that
the foundation were necessarily not conservatives, but reactionists. On
the other hand, if popular power were to be accepted in its widest
sense, then a thousand questions, a thousand differences of opinion in
regard to the mode, the form, the application, would naturally spring
up. Besides, would it not be safer, wiser, to modify ideas by
experience, to look abroad for patterns, to seek for an equilibrium, a
_juste milieu_? Thus there was a diversity of systems, but all
contemplative of change. No one was in favor of standing still, for
there was nothing to stand upon. In a word, the agitation was not so
much one of measures, of principles, or of prejudices, as of ideas.

Now in an agitation of this kind, literary men--that is to say, the men
whose business is to think--are likely to be active, and in France, at
least, are apt to become prominent and influential. But they, of all
men, by the very fact that they think, are least under the control of
party affinities and fixed doctrines, the most liable to be swayed by
discussion and reflection. Hence the spectacle, so frequent at that time
and since, of men distinguished in the world of letters passing from the
ranks of the legitimists into those of the republicans, from the
advocacy of papal supremacy in temporal affairs to that of popular
supremacy in religious affairs, from the defence of a landed aristocracy
to the demand for a community of property; and afterwards, in many
instances, returning with the backward current, abjuring freedom and
embracing imperialism.

In the case of M. Sainte-Beuve the changes were neither so abrupt nor so
complete as in that of many others. But his course was still more
meandering, skirting the bases of opposite systems, abiding with none.
Never a blind adherent or a vehement opponent, he glided almost
imperceptibly from camp to camp. He consorted, as we have seen, with
legitimists and neo-Catholics, and allowed himself to be reckoned as one
of them. Through the columns of the Globe, which had now become the
organ of the Saint-Simonians, he invited the Romanticists to "step forth
from the circle of pure art, and diffuse the doctrines of a progressive
humanity." On the advent of Louis Philippe, he was inclined to accept
the constitutional _régime_ as the triumph of good sense, as affording a
practical solution and a promise of stability. But he appears soon to
have lost his faith in a government too narrow in policy, too timid in
action, too vulgar in aspect, to satisfy a cultivated Parisian taste.

A similar flexibility will be noticed in his literary judgments. Shall
we then pronounce him a very chameleon in politics and in art? Shall we
say, with the critic already quoted, M. de Pontmartin, that his mental
hues have been simply reflections, effaced as rapidly as they were made?
On the contrary, we believe that he, of all men, has retained the
various impressions he has once received. Unlike so many others, who, in
changing their views, have contradicted all their former utterances,
disowned their former selves, undergone a sort of bisection into two
irreconcilable halves, M. Sainte-Beuve has linked one opinion with
another, modified each by its opposite, and thus preserved his
continuity and cohesion. "Everything has two names," to use his own
expression, and he has never been content with knowing only one of them.
Guided by a sympathetic intelligence, adopting, not symbols, but ideas,
he has, by force of penetration and comprehension, extracted the essence
of each doctrine in turn. His changes therefore indicate, not
superficiality, but depth. He is no more chargeable with volatility than
society itself. Like it he is a seeker, listening to every proposition,
accepting what is vital, rejecting what is merely formal. There is not
one of the systems which have been presented, however contrasted they
may appear, but has left its impress upon society,--not one but has left
its impress on the mind and opinions of M. Sainte-Beuve.

In one particular--the most essential, in reality, of all--his constancy
has been remarkable. He has remained true to his vocation. At the moment
when his literary brethren, availing themselves of the opening we have
noticed, were rushing into public life,--scholars and professors
becoming ambassadors and ministers of state, poets and novelists
mounting the tribune and the hustings, historians descending into the
arena of political journalism,--M. Sainte-Beuve settled himself more
firmly in the chair of criticism, concentrating his powers on the
specialty to which they were so peculiarly adapted. His opportunities
for doing this more effectively were themselves among the results of the
events already mentioned. A greater freedom and activity of discussion
demanded new and ampler organs. Cliques had been broken up; co-workers,
brought together by sympathy, separated by the clash of opinions and
ambitions, had dispersed; both in literature and in politics a wider,
more inquisitive, more sympathetic public was to be addressed. Already
in 1829, Véron, one of those shrewd and speculative--we hardly know
whether to call them men of business or adventurers, who foresee such
occasions, had set up the _Revue de Paris_, on a more extended plan than
that of any previous French journal of the kind. The opening article of
the first number was from the pen of M. Sainte-Beuve. But this
undertaking was subsequently merged in that of the _Revue des Deux
Mondes_, which, after one or two abortive beginnings, was fairly started
in January, 1831, and soon assumed the position it has ever since
retained, at the head of the publications of its class. It enlisted
among its contributors nearly all the leading writers of the day, none
of whom was so regular and permanent, none of whom did so much to build
up its reputation and confer upon it the stamp of authority, as M.
Sainte-Beuve. His connection with it extended over seventeen years, the
period between the last two revolutions. His papers seem to have
averaged five or six a year. They form, with those which had been
previously inserted in the _Revue de Paris_, a series of _Portraits_,
now embraced in seven volumes, and divided, somewhat arbitrarily, into
_Portraits littéraires_, _Portraits contemporains_, and _Portraits de
Femmes_. The names included, which with few exceptions are those of
French writers, belong to different epochs, different schools, and
different departments of literature. Many are famous; some are obscure;
not a few, which had before been overlooked or overshadowed, owe the
recognition they have since received to their admission into a gallery
where the places have been assigned and the lights distributed by no
partial or incompetent umpire.

In the case of any kind of literature, but especially in that of
criticism, it is interesting to have an author's own ideas of his office
and art. The motto of the Edinburgh Review--"_Judex damnatur cum nocens
absolvitur_"--was a very good indication of the spirit of its founders,
whose legal habits and aspirations naturally suggested the spectacle of
a court, in which the critic as judge was to sit upon the bench, and the
author as prisoner was to stand at the bar. Had Jeffries, instead of
Jeffrey, presided over the assizes, they could not have been gayer or
bloodier. It is interesting to remember that among the criminals
sentenced without reprieve were the greatest poet and the most original
thinker of the time. A journal which has earned something of the
prestige that attached to the youthful Edinburgh takes a not very
different view of its own functions. "An author may wince under
criticism," say the writers of the Saturday Review; "but is the master
to leave off flogging because the pupil roars?" Here, too, the notion of
the relative position of author and critic is perfectly natural. Young
gentlemen, with a lively recollection of their own construings and
birchings, are only too happy in the opportunity of sitting with bent
brows and uplifted rod, watching for a false quantity or similar
peccadillo, which may justify a withering rebuke or a vigorous
flagellation. If we add, that these writers exhibit that accuracy of
statement which usually accompanies the assumption of infallibility, and
that their English is of that prim and painful kind, common to
pedagogues, which betrays a constant fear of being caught tripping while
engaged in correcting others, the comparison--to cite once more M. de
Pontmartin--"will appear only the more exact." We forbear to descend to
a far lower class, judges who know nothing of law, masters who have
never been scholars, truly "incomplete artists" who cannot "forget or
bury" their own extremely "circumscribed talent," but who are perfectly
willing to bury, and would fain induce the world to forget, that of
every suspected rival.

Had M. Sainte-Beuve entered upon his task with similar conceptions and
associations, his early anatomical studies would perhaps have suggested
the patient under the scalpel as an appropriate device. But we are in
danger of dishonoring him by the mere supposition. Scattered through his
works--beginning with the earliest and coming down to the latest--we
find such sentences as the following: "The critical spirit is in its
nature facile, insinuating, mobile, and comprehensive; it is a great and
limpid river, which winds and spreads itself around the productions and
the monuments of genius." "The best and surest way to penetrate and to
judge any writer, any man, is to listen to him,--to listen long and
intently: do not press him; let him move and display himself with
freedom, and _of_ himself he will tell you all _about_ himself; he will
imprint himself upon your mind. Be assured that in the long run no man,
no writer, above all no poet, will preserve his secret." "It is by
virtue of an exquisite analogy that the word 'taste' has prevailed over
the word 'judgment.' Judgment! I know minds which possess it in a high
degree, but which are yet wanting in taste; for taste expresses what is
finest and most instinctive in an organ which is at once the most
delicate and the most complex." "To know how to read a book, judging it
as we go along, but never ceasing to _taste_ it,--in this consists
almost the whole art of criticism." "What Bacon says as to the proper
mode of educing the natural meaning from Scripture may be applied to
ancient writings of all kinds, or even to the most modern. The best and
sweetest criticism is that which exudes from a good book, not pressed as
in a wine-press, but squeezed gently in a free reading. I love that
criticism should be an _emanation_ from the book." "Whenever I speak of
a writer, I prefer to exhibit him in the brightest and happiest hour of
his talent, to place him, if possible, directly under the rays." "The
greatest triumph of criticism is when it recognizes the arrival of a
power, the advent of a genius." "I cannot admit that the best mode of
correcting a talent which is in process of development is to begin by
throwing an inkstand at its head." "I am almost frightened at seeing to
what an extent literary criticism becomes difficult, when it refrains
from arrogance and from insult, claiming for itself both an honest
freedom of judgment and the right to participate largely in the
bestowment of deserved praise, as well as to maintain a certain
cordiality even in its reservations." "If Diderot was as far as possible
from being a dramatic poet, if he was destitute of that supreme creative
power which involves the transformation of an author's own personality,
he possessed, on the other hand, in the highest degree, that faculty of
demi-metamorphosis which is the exercise and the triumph of criticism,
and which consists in putting one's self in the the place of the author,
occupying the point of view to the subject under examination, and
reading every writing in the spirit by which it was dictated."

Let us admit that these are not so much absolute principles of criticism
as the features which characterize that of the writer himself and the
method which he has almost involuntarily pursued. Let us admit this, and
in doing so we concede to him all the qualities that are rarest and most
desirable in his art,--impartiality, sincerity, disinterestedness;
freedom from theory, from passion, and from prejudice; insight,
comprehension, sensitiveness to every trait and every kind of beauty and
of power; a patient ardor and pure delight in acquisition, and a
generous desire, in the interest of literature itself, to communicate
the results and inspire similar feelings. Without denying that all good
criticism will partake more or less largely of these qualities, or that
some of them have been more abundantly possessed, more profoundly
applied, by others, we believe that it would be difficult to cite an
instance in which they have been so entirely combined or so continuously
exercised. M. Sainte-Beuve is pre-eminently an _artist_ in criticism. He
has exhibited that self-absorption which it is easy to imagine, easy to
find examples of, in poetry, in painting, and in music, but which in
criticism had hitherto been hardly conceivable. "There is in him," wrote
Gustave Planche in 1834,--and the force of the eulogy is in no degree
impaired by subsequent censures from the same quarter,--"a happy
mingling of enthusiasm and curiosity, renewed in proportion as they are
appeased, and enrolled in the service of all nascent or unrecognized
abilities.... He speaks the truth for the sole pleasure of speaking it,
and asks no gratitude either from the disciples whom he initiates or
from the new deities whom he exalts.... Whenever he finds a poet not
sufficiently listened to, he aims to enlarge the audience, erects a
stage on which to place him, and arranges everything for enabling him to
produce the fullest effect.... Before him French criticism, when it was
not either acrimonious or simply learned, consisted in a mere
commonplace repetition of precepts and formulas of which the sense had
been lost. His perpetual mobility is but a constant good faith; he
believes in the most opposite schools, because believing is with him
only a mode of comprehending."

Let it not be supposed from this description that M. Sainte-Beuve is
wanting in acuteness, that his enthusiasm predominates over his
sagacity. On the contrary, there is no keener eye than his for whatever
is false, pretentious, or unsound. His sure instinct quickly separates
the gold from the alloy. Unlike the critics of the _nil admirari_
school, whose reluctance to trust themselves to their emotions proceeds
in great part from the absence of this instinct, he is proof against the
approaches of the charlatan, and has never debased the word "art" by
applying it to a mere melodramatic mechanism. But he rightly considers
the office of the detector as insignificant in comparison with that of
the discoverer, and his glow of satisfaction is reserved for the nobler
employment. The points on which he insists are the obligation of
honestly desiring to understand an author; the impropriety of fastening
on defects, or of simply balancing between defects and merits; the duty
of approving with heartiness and warmth, in place of that cold-blooded
moderation which he pronounces, with Vauvenargues, "a sure sign of
mediocrity." If, therefore, we say that his is only one species of
criticism, we cannot deny its claim to be entitled the "criticism of
_appreciation_." It is thus the exact reverse of that species to which
we have before alluded, and which deserves to be called the "criticism
of _depreciation_."

We come now to the particular characteristics of the _Portraits_, the
manner in which the author has there applied his principles. "I have
never," he remarks in a recent defence, "vaunted my method as a
discovery, or affected to guard it as a secret." It involves, however,
both the one and the other. The discovery consists in the perception of
the truth that an author is always in his works; that he cannot help
being there; that no reticence, no pretences, no disguises, will avail
to hide him. The secret lies in the skill with which the search is
pursued and the object revealed. We do not, of course, mean to say that
M. Sainte-Beuve is the originator of biographical criticism, which in
England especially, favored by the portly Reviews, has been carried to
an extent undreamt of elsewhere. But in general it may be noticed that
English articles of this kind have been simply biographies accompanied
with criticism; their model is to be found in Johnson's "Lives of the
Poets." The critical articles of Mr. Carlyle are a striking exception.
Of Carlyle it may be said, as it has been said of M. Sainte-Beuve, that
"what chiefly interests him in a book is the author, and in the author
the very mystery of his personality." In other words, each looks upon a
literary work, not as the production of certain impersonal intellectual
faculties, but as a manifestation of the author in the totality of his
nature. But while the point of view is thus identical, there is little
similarity in the treatment. In the one case a powerful imagination
causes the figure to stand out in bold relief, while a luminous humor
plays upon every feature. The method of the _Portraits_--again we cite
the author's own language--is "descriptive, analytical, inquisitive." We
are led along through a series of details, each lightly touched, each
contributing to the elucidation of the enigma, by a train of closely
linked and subtile observation, which penetrates all the obscurities,
unravels all the intricacies, of the subject. And the result is, not
that broad but mingled conception which arises from personal intimacy or
from the art which simulates it, but that idea, that distilled essence,
which is obtained when what is most characteristic, what is purely
mental and individual, has been selected and condensed.

The sympathetic nature of the critic displays itself in his general
treatment of the theme, in the post of observation which he chooses. He
is not an advocate or an apologist. But the opinions in which he does
not coincide, the defects which he has no interest in concealing, he
sets in their natural connection, and regards as portions of a living
organism. Put before him a nature the most opposite to his own,--narrow,
rigorous, systematic. Shall he oppose or condemn it because of this
contrariety? But why, then, has he himself been endowed with suppleness
and insight, why is he a critic, unless that he may enter into other
minds see as they have seen, feel as they have felt? He must get to the
centre before he can trace the limits and imperfections. Once there,
once identified with his object, he can observe its irregularities
without being irritated or perturbed. As for that Rhadamanthine
criticism which sits aloof from its object, and treats every aberration
from a straight line as something abnormal and abominable, he leaves it
to the immaculate. In truth, such criticism, with all its pretences to
authority, is open to this fatal objection,--it tends to destroy our
relish for literature; instead of stimulating the appetite, it creates
disgust.[C] How different is the effect produced by the _Portraits_! Of
all criticism they have the most power to refresh our interest in
familiar topics, and to kindle curiosity in regard to those with which
we are unacquainted. They serve as the best possible introduction to the
study of the works themselves, to which, accordingly, they have in many
cases been prefixed. They put us in the proper disposition for _tasting_
as we read. Often they are guides with which we could hardly dispense.
M. Sainte-Beuve is never more happy than in dealing with complexities or
contradictions, with characters that puzzle the ordinary observer, with
harmonies which are hidden in discords. Of women, it has been well said,
he writes "as if he were one of them." Like Thackeray, like Balzac, he
knows their secret. So, too, the spirit of a particular epoch or a
particular school is seized, its successive phases are distinguished,
with a nicety defying competition. Especially is this applicable to the
developments of the present century. Who, indeed, was so competent to
describe its parties and conflicts, its emotions and languors, as one
who had shared in all its transitions, in all its experiences?

The style of the _Portraits_ might form the subject of a separate study.
Abjuring antithesis and epigram on the one hand, pomp and declamation on
the other, it has yet none of the limpidity, the rapid flow, the
incisive directness, of classical French prose. On the contrary, it is
full of shadings and undulations. It abounds in caressing epithets, and
in figures sometimes elaborated and prolonged to the last degree,
sometimes clustered and contrasted like flowers in a bouquet. After a
continuous reading a sense of luxury steals over us; we seem to be
surrounded by the rich draperies and scented atmosphere of a boudoir.
Yet the term "florid" will not apply to what is everywhere pervaded by
an exquisite harmony and taste. Simplicity of expression, energy of
tone, would be out of place, where the thought is so subtile and
refined, the glow of feeling so soft and restrained, the mind so
absorbed in the effort to catch every echo, every reflection, floating
across the field of its survey. Difficult as it is to convey any
adequate notion of such a style by mere description, it would be at
least as difficult to do justice to its peculiarities in a translation.
Our impressions of it may perhaps be best summed up by saying that it
is the farthest remove from oratory, and the nearest approach to poetry,
of any prose not professedly idyllic or lyric with which we are
acquainted.

It has been stated by the author himself, as one defect in his criticism
at this period, that it was not "conclusive." It was perfectly sincere,
but not equally frank. In fact, it was not full-grown. A mind like that
of M. Sainte-Beuve is slow in arriving at maturity. It is quick to
comprehend; but the very breadth of its comprehension and the variety of
its researches make it tardy in attaining that completeness and
decision, that air of mastery, which less capacious minds assume through
the mere instinct, and as the outward sign, of virility. He has himself
indicated the distinction in his notice of M. Taine, whom he describes
as "entering the arena fully armed and equipped, taking his place with a
precision, a vigor of expression, a concentration and absoluteness of
thought, which he applies in turn to the most opposite subjects, without
ever forgetting his own identity or losing faith in his system." There
were, however, in the case of M. Sainte-Beuve, further impediments to
the assumption of an explicit and confident tone. Among the authors whom
he was called upon to criticise were his acknowledged leaders, those by
whom he had been initiated into the mysteries of modern art. Though he
was fast outgrowing their influence, he was in no haste to proclaim his
independence. An indefatigable student, he was accumulating stores of
material without as yet drawing upon them to any proportionate extent,
or putting forth all the strength with which they supplied him. Besides
the "Portraits," his only other work during this period was his "History
of Port Royal," the five volumes of which were published at long
intervals. Social relations, too, exerted a restraining influence. His
position in the world of letters was generally recognized, and had
brought him the distinctions and rewards which France has it in her
power to bestow. In 1840 he was appointed one of the conservators of the
Mazarine Library. In 1845 he was elected to the French Academy. He lived
on terms of intimacy with men of all parties, and with the highest in
every party. He moved in the _élite_ of Parisian society, accepting
rather than claiming its attentions, but fully sensible of its charms.
All these circumstances combined to prolong, in his case, that season
when, though the fruit has formed, the blossoms have not yet fallen,
when the mind still yields itself to illusions as if loath to be
disenchanted. His sincere admiration for the genius of Chateaubriand did
not blind him to the monstrosities or the littlenesses by which it was
disfigured. But should he rudely break the spell in the presence of the
enchanter? should he disturb the veneration that encircled his decline?
should he steel himself against the gracious pleadings of Madame
Récamier, and throw a bomb-shell into that circle of which no one could
better appreciate the seductive repose? He chose rather to limit the
scope of his judgment, to look at the object solely on its attractive
side, to postpone _reservations_ which would have had the effect of a
revolt.

Yet the extent of his concessions has been much exaggerated. No
extravagant laudations ever fell from his pen. Moreover, his gradual
emancipation, so to speak, is apparent in his writings,--in the last
volumes of his "Port Royal" and in the later "Portraits." It was
facilitated by the waning power displayed in the productions of some
with whom he had been closely associated. It was suddenly completed by
an event of which the momentous and wide-spread consequences are still
felt,--the Revolution of February, 1848.

M. Sainte-Beuve has given a curious account of the immediate effect of
that event upon his own external circumstances and position. Some
lurking irony may be suspected,--a disposition to reduce the apparent
magnitude of a great political convulsion by setting it in juxtaposition
with its more trivial results. But as the narrative is characteristic,
and contains some passages that throw light upon the author's habits and
sentiments, we give it, very slightly abridged, in his own words. It is
prefixed to a course of lectures on Chateaubriand and his literary
friends, delivered at Liége in 1848-49.

"In October, 1847, in my capacity as one of the Conservators of the
Mazarine Library, I occupied rooms at the Institute, where I had a
chimney that smoked. With the view of guarding against this
inconvenience before the winter should have set in, I summoned the
_fumiste_ of the establishment, who, after entering into details and
fixing upon the remedy,--some contrivance on the roof in the nature of a
hooded chimney-pot,--observed that the expense, amounting to a hundred
francs or so, was one of those which are chargeable to the landlord,
that is to say, in this case, the government. Consequently I made a
requisition on the Minister to whose department it belonged; the work
was executed, and I thought no more of it.

"Some months later, the Revolution of the 24th of February broke out. I
perceived from the first day all the importance of that event, but also
its prematureness. Without being one of those who regretted the fall of
a dynasty or of a political system, I grieved for a civilization which
seemed to me for the moment greatly compromised. I did not, however,
indulge in the gloomy anticipations which I saw had taken possession of
many who the day before had professed themselves republicans, but who
were now surprised, and even alarmed, at their own success. I thought we
should get out of this, as we had already got out of so many other
embarrassments. I reflected that History has more than one road by which
to advance; and I awaited the development of facts with the curiosity of
an observer, closely blended, I must confess, with the anxieties of a
citizen.

"About a month later, towards the end of March, I was told by a friend
that M. Jean Reynaud, who then filled an office which, though nominally
in the department of Public Instruction, corresponded in fact with that
of Under-Secretary of State, wished to see me. I had been well
acquainted with M. Reynaud for seventeen or eighteen years, and had
dined with him, in company with M. Charton, on Wednesday, the 25th of
February preceding, while the Revolution was in full blast. Profiting by
a short truce which had suddenly intervened on the afternoon of that
day, I had been able to traverse the Champs-Élysées, at the farther end
of which he lived, and to keep an appointment dating from several days
before. On that Wednesday, at six o'clock in the evening, I did not
expect, and as little did M. Reynaud himself expect, that two days later
he would be holding the post of quasi-minister in the department of
Public Instruction. I heard with pleasure of his appointment, in
conjunction with that of M. Carnot and M. Charton, for I knew their
perfect integrity.

"Summoned then, about a month after these events, by M. Reynaud, and
having entered his office and approached him with my ordinary air, I saw
in his countenance a look of consternation. He informed me that
something very grave had taken place, and that this something concerned
me; that certain lists specifying the sums distributed by the late
government, with the names of the recipients, had been seized at the
Tuileries; that my name had been found in them; that it occurred several
times, with a sum--with sums--of a considerable amount attached to it.
At first I began to laugh; but perceiving that M. Reynaud did not laugh,
and receiving from him repeated appeals to my recollection, I began to
ply him with questions in return. He was unable to enter into any exact
details; but he assured me that the fact was certain,--that he had
verified it with his own eyes; and as his alarm evidently proceeded from
his friendship, I could not doubt the reality of what he had told me.

"I believe that, by my manner of replying on the instant, I convinced
him of the existence of some error or some fraud. But I perceived that
there were others, near him, behind him, who would be less easily
convinced. As soon, therefore, as I had returned home, I addressed to
the _Journal des Débats_ a letter of denial, a defiance to calumny, in
the tone natural to honorable persons and such as feel secure in their
own innocence. This letter furnished M. Reynaud with a weapon against my
accusers behind the scene. As a proof that he accepted both the
sentiment and the terms, he caused it to be inserted in the _Moniteur_.

"However, I was not entirely satisfied; I wished to bring the affair
fully to light. I made attempts to procure the lists in question. I went
to see M. Taschereau, who was publishing them in his _Revue
rétrospective_; I saw M. Landrin, the Attorney-General of the Republic;
I even caused inquiries to be made of the former Ministers, then in
London, with whom I had had the honor of being personally acquainted. No
result; nobody understood to what my questions had reference. Wearied
out at last, I discontinued the pursuit, though without dismissing the
subject from my thoughts.

"I will get to the bottom of this affair. There was in the department of
Public Instruction a man newly elevated to power, who honored me with an
enmity already of long standing. I have never in my life met M. Génin; I
have never once seen his face; but the fact is that he has always
detested me, has often in his writings made me the object of his satire,
and in his critical articles especially has ridiculed me to the extent
of his powers. I did not suit this writer, whom all his friends
pronounced a man of intellect; I appeared to him affected and full of
mannerisms; and to me, on the other hand, he perhaps appeared neither so
subtile, nor so refined, nor so original, as he seemed to others. Now M.
Génin, who had been intrusted, after the 24th of February, 1848, with
the distribution of the papers in the Bureau of Public Instruction, was
undoubtedly the person who had availed himself of the list in which my
name was said to figure, for the purpose of bringing an accusation
against my honor. He was himself a man of probity, but one who, in the
violence of his prejudices and the acerbity of his disposition, could
hardly stop short of actions positively bad.

"If M. Génin had lived in the world, in society, during the fifteen
years previous to 1848 which I had passed in it, he would have
comprehended how a man of letters, without fortune, without ambition, of
retiring manners, and keeping strictly to his own place, may yet--by his
intellect perhaps, by his character, by his tact, and by his general
conduct--obtain an honorable and agreeable position, and live with
persons of every rank, the most distinguished in their several
walks,--persons not precisely of his own class,--on that insensible
footing of equality which is, or which was, the charm and honor of
social life in France. For my own part, during those years,--happy ones
I may call them,--I had endeavored, not without a fair degree of
success, to arrange an existence combining dignity with ease. To write
from time to time things which it might be agreeable to read; to read
what was not only agreeable but instructive; above all, not to write too
much, to cultivate friendships, to keep the mind at liberty for the
intercourse of each day and be able to draw upon it without fear of
exhausting it; giving more to one's intimates than to the public, and
reserving the finest and tenderest thoughts, the flower of one's nature,
for the inner sanctuary;--such was the mode of life I had conceived as
suitable to a literary knight, who should not allow has professional
pursuits and associations to domineer over and repress the essential
elements of his heart and soul. Since then necessity has seized upon me
and constrained me to renounce what I considered the only happiness. It
is gone, it has forever vanished, that better time, adorned with study
and leisure, passed in a chosen circle, where I once received, from a
fair friend whose loss has been irreparable, this charming counsel
insinuated in the form of praise: 'If you think yourself dependent on
the approbation of certain people, believe me, that others are dependent
upon yours. And what better, sweeter bond can there be between persons
who esteem each other, than this mutual dependence on moral approbation,
balancing, so to speak, one's own sentiment of freedom. _To desire to
please and at the same time to remain free_,--this is the rule we ought
to follow.' I accepted the motto; I promised myself to be faithful to it
in all that I might write; my productions at that period will show
perhaps the degree in which I was influenced by it. But I perceive that
I have strayed from my text.

"I had forgotten to mention that, on the same day on which I wrote the
letter inserted first in the _Journal des Débats_, and afterwards in the
_Moniteur_, I forwarded to Messieurs Reynaud and Carnot the resignation
of my place at the Mazarine. I did not wish to expose myself to
interrogatories and explanations where I could be less sure of being
questioned in a friendly spirit and listened to with confidence. From
the moment of taking this step there was no longer much choice for me. I
had to live by my pen; and during the year 1848, literature in my
understanding of that term--and indeed literature of every kind--formed
one of those branches of industry, devoted to the production of
luxuries, which were struck with a sudden interdict, a temporary death.
I was asked in conversation if I knew any man of letters who would
accept a place in Belgium as professor of French literature. Learning
that the vacancy was at the University of Liége, I offered myself. I
went to Brussels to confer on the project with M. Charles Rogier,
Minister of the Interior, whom I had known a long time, and I accepted
with gratitude the propositions that were made to me.

"I left France in October, 1848. The press of Paris noticed my departure
only with raillery. When a man of letters has no party, no followers, at
his back, when he takes his way alone and independently, the least that
can be expected is that the world should give itself the pleasure of
insulting him a little on his passage. In Belgium I met with unexpected
difficulties, thrown in my way by hostile compatriots. Pamphlets
containing incredible calumnies were published against me. I have reason
to speak with praise of the youth of Belgium, who decided to wait, and
to judge me only by my acts and words. In spite of obstacles I
succeeded. The present book, which was entirely composed and was to have
been published before the end of 1849, represents one of the two courses
which I delivered.

"P.S. I had almost forgotten to recur to the famous lists. The one
containing my name appeared at last in the _Revue rétrospective_. 'M.
Sainte-Beuve, 100 francs,'--this was what was to be read there. The
fabulous ciphers had vanished. On seeing this entry a ray of light
dawned upon my memory. I recollected my smoky chimney of 1847, the
repair of which was to have cost about that sum. But for this incident,
I should never have been led to deliver the course now submitted to the
reader, and the one circumstance has occasioned my mention of the
other."

It must be confessed that the chimney that drove M. Sainte-Beuve into
temporary exile, and led to the production of a work in which his views
on many important topics were enunciated with a clearness and force he
had hitherto held in reserve, had smoked to some purpose. We may be
permitted to believe that his integrity had never been seriously
questioned; that the pretext for a brief abandonment of his beloved
Paris while she was in a state of excitement and dishabille had not been
altogether unwelcome. Though no admirer of the government of Louis
Philippe, he had, as he still acknowledges, appreciated "the mildness of
that _régime_, its humanity, and the facilities it afforded for
intellectual culture and the development of pacific interests of every
kind." The sudden overthrow, the turmoil, the vagaries that ensued, were
little to his taste. He was content to stand aside, availing himself of
the general dislocation to look around and choose for himself a new
field, a more independent position.

Here then begins the third, and, as we must suppose, the final stage of
his career. In September, 1849, he returned to Paris, feeling "a great
need of activity," as if his mind had been "refreshed by a year of study
and solitude." What was he to undertake? No sooner did the question
arise, than an answer presented itself in the form of an offer from one
whose coadjutor he had become on a previous and similar occasion. M. le
docteur Véron, now the proprietor of the _Constitutionnel_, and as
sagacious as ever in catering for the public taste, proposed to him to
furnish every Monday an article on some literary topic. The notion of
writing for the masses, of adapting his style to the requirements of a
newspaper, gave him a momentary shock. Hitherto he had addressed only
the most select audiences. But, after all, he was conscious of an almost
boundless versatility, and no plan could better satisfy the desire which
he had long felt of becoming "a critic in the full sense of the word,
with the advantages of ripeness and perhaps of boldness." Such a change
would be suited also to the new aspect of society. In literature it was
no longer the time for training, tending, and watering, but the season
of gathering the fruit, selecting the good and rejecting the unsound.
Romanticism as a school had done its work and was now extinct. Every one
went his separate way. Questions of form were no longer mooted; the
public tolerated everything. Whoever had an idea on any subject wrote
about it, and whoever chose to write was a _littérateur_. "With such a
noise in the streets it was necessary to raise one's voice in order to
be heard. Accordingly," says M. Sainte-Beuve, "I set to work for the
first time on that kind of criticism, frank and outspoken, which belongs
to the open country and the broad day."

With the old manner he laid aside the old title. The term _Portraits_,
which in its literary signification recalled the times of the
Rochefoucaulds and the Sévignés, was exchanged for the more modern one
of Conversations,--_Causeries de Lundis_. Begun in the _Constitutionnel_
on the 1st of October, 1849, they were continued three years later in
the _Moniteur_, and in 1861 again resumed, under the title of _Nouveaux
Lundis_, in the first-named journal, where they are still in progress.
More than once the author has intimated his intention to bring them to a
close. But neither his own powers nor the appetite of his readers having
suffered any abatement, one series has followed upon another, until, in
their reprinted form, they now fill nineteen volumes, while more are
eagerly expected.

The transformation of style which was visible at the very outset is one
of the miracles of literary art. Simplicity, swiftness, precision, all
the qualities which were conspicuously absent, we will not say wanting,
in the _Portraits_,--these are the characteristics, and that in a
surpassing degree, of the _Causeries_. The whole arrangement, too, is
different. There is no preluding, there are no intricate harmonies: the
key-note is struck in the opening chord, and the theme is kept
conspicuously in view throughout all the modulations. The papers at once
acquired a popularity which of course had never attended the earlier
ones. "He has not the time to make them bad," was the praise accorded by
some of their admirers, and smilingly accepted by the author. But is
this indeed the explanation? Had he merely taken to "dashing off" his
thoughts, after the general manner of newspaper writers? Had he deserted
"art," and fallen back upon the crudities misnamed "nature"? If such had
been the case, there would have been no occasion for the present notice.
His fame would long since have been buried under the rubbish he had
himself piled up. The fact is very different. "Natural fluency"--that is
to say, the inborn capacity of the writer--he undoubtedly possessed; but
"acquired difficulty,"--this was the school in which he had practised,
this was the discipline which enabled him, when the need arose, to carry
on a campaign of forced marches, brilliant and incessant skirmishes,
without severing his lines or suffering a mishap. It was in wielding the
lance that he had acquired the vigor and agility to handle the javelin
with consummate address. Contrasted as are his earlier and later styles,
they have some essential qualities in common;--an exquisite fitness of
expression; a total exemption from harshness, vulgarity, and all the
vices that have grown so common; a method, a sequence, which is at once
the closest and the least obtrusive to be found in any prose of the
present day.

We pass from the style to the substance. The criticism, as we have seen,
was to be "frank and outspoken." It became so at a single bound. The
subject of the second number of the _Causeries_ was the _Confidences_ of
M. de Lamartine, and the article opens with these words: "And why, then,
should I not speak of it? I know the difficulty of speaking of it with
propriety; the time of illusions and of complaisances has passed; it is
absolutely necessary to speak truths; and this may seem cruel, so well
chosen is the moment. Yet when such a man as M. de Lamartine has deemed
it becoming not to close the year 1848 without giving to the public the
confessions of his youth and crowning his political career with idyls,
shall criticism hesitate to follow him and to say what it thinks of his
book? shall it exhibit a discretion and a shamefacedness for which no
one, the author least of all, would care?" And what follows? An
outpouring of ridicule, of severity, such as the same book received from
so many quarters? Nothing of the sort; nothing more than a thoroughly
candid and discriminating judgment, never over-stepping the bounds of
courtesy, never exaggerating a defect or concealing a beauty. A talk
might be raised about the inconsistency with a former tone; but if the
fact was made apparent that the later effusions of a tender and
melodious, but shallow Muse, were but dilutions, ever more watery and
insipid, of the first sweet and abundant flow, was the critic or the
poet at fault?

And so it has been in all the subsequent articles of M. Sainte-Beuve. It
matters not who or what is the subject,--let it be a long-established
reputation, like that of M. Guizot; a youthful aspirant, such as M.
Hyppolite Rigault and many others; a brother critic, like M.
Prevost-Paradol; a fanatical controversialist, like M. Veuillot; a
personal friend, like M. Flaubert; or a bitter and unscrupulous
assailant, like M. de Pontmartin,--the treatment is ever the same,
sincere, impartial, unaffected. "To say nothing of writers, even of
those who are the most opposed to us, but what their judicious friends
already think and would be forced to admit,--this is the height of my
ambition." Such was his proclamation, such has been his practice. No one
has ever been bold enough to gainsay it. An equity so great, so
unvarying, has almost staggered his brethren of the craft. "It is grand,
it is royal," says M. Scherer,--who has himself approached near enough
to the same summit to appreciate its height,--"only in him it cannot be
called a virtue: it belongs to the intellect, which in him is blended
with the character."

"But he professes neutrality! He has no doctrines, no belief, no
emotions! He discusses everything, not with any regard to the eternal
considerations of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, but solely in
the view of literature and art!" So cry certain voices, loudest among
them that of M. de Pontmartin. It is certainly somewhat surprising that
a man without opinions, without emotions, should be made the object of
violent attacks, that according to M. de Pontmartin himself, whose
authority, however, upon this point we may take the liberty of
rejecting, there should be "few men more generally hated." Mere jealousy
can have nothing to do with it. "There is not," remarks M. Scherer, "the
trace of a literary rivalry to be found in his whole career." The truth
is, that M. Sainte-Beuve has, on all the subjects he has examined,
convictions which are strong, decided, earnestly and powerfully
maintained. But he differs from the rest of us in this, that he not only
professes, but enforces, a perfect freedom of opinion, a perfect
equality in discussion. In religion he attaches more importance to the
sentiment than to the creed. In morals he sets up a higher standard than
conventionalism. In politics, as we shall presently see, he has even
given in his adhesion to a system; but, treating politics, like
medicine, as an experimental science, he refuses to see in any system an
article of faith to be adopted and proclaimed irrespective of its
results. In questions of literature and art he declines to apply any
test but the principles of art, the literary taste "pure and simple." In
all matters he prefers to look at the practical rather than the dogmatic
side, to study living forces rather than dead forms. Hence the charge of
indifference. He would better please those who differ from him, were he
one-sided, narrow, rancorous. It is because his armor is without a flaw
that they detest him.[D]

We have spoken frequently of M. de Pontmartin. It is time to speak of
him a little more definitely. As M. Sainte-Beuve has remarked, "the
subject is not a difficult one." He belongs to the old aristocracy, and
takes care that his readers shall not forget the fact. In religion and
politics--with him, as with so many others, the two words have much the
same meaning--he adheres consistently and chivalrously to causes once
great and resplendent, now only fit subjects for elegies. As a writer,
he is a master of the _critique spirituelle_,--that species which is so
brilliant in display, so unsubstantial in results. He sparkles and
glows; but his light only directs the brown nightingale where to find
its repast. Armed cap-à-pie, glittering with epigram, rhetoric, and
irony, he entered the lists against M. Sainte-Beuve, ostensibly to
defend the reputation of Chateaubriand, provoked in reality by the
causes already noticed. We have no space for the controversy that
ensued. It is worthy of remark that the assault was directed, not
against the censures which had been passed upon Chateaubriand,--M. de
Pontmartin took good care not to aim at his adversary's shield,--but
against the motives which had led to their suppression while the object
was alive, and to their publication after he was dead. Now there are in
the book on Chateaubriand some disclosures which might better have been
spared. But in determining motives we shall go utterly astray if we
leave character out of sight; and the whole career of M. Sainte-Beuve
rises up against the implication that he was prompted in this instance
by any other impulse than that spirit of investigation, that desire to
penetrate to the heart of his subject, to unveil truth and dissipate
illusions, which has grown stronger and more imperative at every step of
his advance. We pass over his immediate replies. When, in the regular
course of his avocation, he found an opportunity for expressing his
opinion of M. de Pontmartin, he did it in a characteristic manner. There
is not a particle of temper, not the slightest assumption of
superiority, in the article. It is not "scathing" or "crushing,"--as we
have seen it described. It has all the keenness, merely because it has
all the simplicity, of truth. The playful but searching satire which the
author has ever at command just touches the declamation of his opponent,
and it falls like a house of cards. He sums up with a judgment as fair
and as calm as if he had been speaking of a writer of some distant
period. Astonished at the sleight of hand which had disarmed, and at the
generosity which had spared him, M. de Pontmartin, in the first moment
of his defeat,--before he had had time to recover his (bad) temper, to
arm himself for more fiery assaults to be followed by fresh
overthrows,--declared that, in spite of the susceptibility of his
friends, he himself was well satisfied with a criticism which "assigned
to him nearly all the merit to which he could pretend," and in which,
"for the first time in his literary life, he had seen himself discussed,
appreciated, and valued without either the indulgences of friendship or
the violence of hatred."

One point still remains to be touched upon. M. Sainte-Beuve has been
from the first a steady supporter of the present Empire. This of course
accounts for a portion of the enmity with which he has been "honored."
In 1852 he received the appointment of Professor of Latin in the Collége
de France; but his opening lecture was interrupted by the clamors of the
students, and the course was never resumed. From 1857 to 1861 he held a
position in connection with the superintendence of the École Normale. In
April, 1865, he was raised to the dignity of a Senator. No one, so far
as we know, in France,--no one out of France, so far as we know, but a
Saturday Reviewer,[E]--has ever been foolish enough to insinuate that he
had purchased his elevation by a sacrifice of principle. It seems to us
that the grounds on which such a man defends a system still on its
probation before the world are worth examining. He has stated them more
than once with his usual clearness and frankness. We extract some
passages, with only the slight verbal alterations indispensable for
condensation.

"Liberty! the name is so beautiful, so responsive to our noblest
aspirations, that we hesitate to analyze it. But politics are, after
all, not a mere matter of enthusiasm. I ask, therefore, of what liberty
we are disputing? The word conveys many different ideas. Have we to do
with an article of faith, some divine dogma not to be touched without
sacrilege? Modern liberty, which keeps altogether in view the security
of the individual, the free exercise of his faculties, is a very complex
thing. If under a bad government, though it be in form republican, I
cannot walk the streets with safety at night, then my liberty is
curtailed. On the other hand, every advantage, every improvement, which
science, civilization, a good police, or a watchful and philanthropic
government furnishes to the masses and to individuals, is a liberty
acquired, a liberty not the less practical, positive, and fruitful for
being unwritten, unestablished by any charter. These, I shall be told,
are 'little liberties.' I do not call them such. But we have a greater
and more essential one,--the right of the representatives of the nation
to discuss and vote on the budget; and this supposes others,--it brings
with it publicity, and the liberty of touching upon such questions in
the press. Here the difference of opinion is one of degree; some demand
an unqualified freedom of discussion, others stop at a point more or
less advanced.

"In human society, liberty, like everything else, is relative, and
dependent on a multitude of circumstances. A sober, orderly, laborious,
educated people can support a larger dose than one less richly gifted in
these respects. Liberty is, thank God! a progressive conquest; that
portion of it which is denied us to-day we can always hope to acquire
to-morrow. Let us develop, as far as it lies with us, intelligence,
morality, habits of industry, in all the classes of society; that done,
we may die tranquilly; France will be free, not with that absolute
freedom which is not of this world, but with the relative freedom which
corresponds with the imperfect, but perfectible, conditions of our
nature.

"This, however, will not satisfy those who are faithful to the primary
idea of liberty as absolute and indivisible. After every concession,
there must still remain two distinct classes of minds, divided by a
broad line of demarcation.

"One embraces those who hold firmly to that generous inspiration which,
under all diversities of time and circumstances, has had the same moral
source; who contend that such champions of liberty as Brutus, William of
Orange, De Witt, Chatham, however haughty and aristocratic the ideas of
some of them, were yet of the same political faith, filled with ideas of
human nobleness and dignity, conceding much, if not to the masses, at
least to the advanced and enlightened classes which in their eyes
represented humanity. Thinkers of this kind are not far to seek; witness
Scherer, Rémusat, Tocqueville,--the last of whom was so imbued and
penetrated with the idea that all his language vibrated with it; and,
most striking example of all, that great minister too early removed,
Cavour, who, confident in the patriotic sentiment of his countrymen,
adopted it as a principle and a point of honor not to govern or reform
without letting the air of liberty blow and even bluster around him.

"It will not be said that I undervalue this class. I will come boldly to
the other, composed of those who are neither servile not absolutists,--I
repel this name, in my turn, with all the pride to which every sincere
conviction has a right,--but who believe that humanity has in all times
owed much to the mind and character of particular individuals; that
there have always been, and always will be, what were formerly called
heroes, what under one name or another are to be recognized as
directors, guides, superior men,--men who, whether born or raised to
power, cause their countrymen, their contemporaries, to take some of
those decisive steps which would otherwise have been retarded or
indefinitely adjourned. I picture to myself the first progress of
society as having taken place in this way: tribes or collections of men
stop short at a stage of civilization which indolence or ignorance leads
them to be content with; in order that they shall pass beyond it, it is
necessary that a superior and far-seeing mind, the civilizer, should
assist them, should draw them to himself, raise them a degree by sheer
force, as in the 'Deluge' of Poussin, those on the upper terraces
stretch their hands to those below, clutch and lift them up. But
humanity, I shall be told, is at last emancipated; it has no longer any
deluge to fear; it has attained its majority; it finds within itself all
the motives and stimulants to action; light circulates; every one has
the right to speak and to be heard; the sum total of all opinions, the
net result of discussion, may be accepted as the voice of truth itself!
I do not deny that in certain questions of general interest and utility,
on which every one may be tolerably well informed, the voice of all has,
in our mild and instructed ages, its share of reason, and even of
wisdom; ideas ripen by the mere conjunction of forces and the course of
the seasons. And yet has routine altogether ceased? Is prejudice, that
monster with a thousand forms which has the quality of never recognizing
its own visage, as far removed as we flatter ourselves? Is progress,
true progress, as entirely the order of the day as it is believed to be?
How many steps are there still to take,--steps which I am persuaded
never will be taken save by the impulsion and at the signal of a firm
and vigorous head, which shall take the direction upon itself!

"Some years since there was a question about finishing the Louvre. Could
it of could it not be done? A great Assembly, when consulted, declared
it to be impracticable. It was in fact impracticable under the
conditions which then existed. Yet within the short period that has
since elapsed, the Louvre has been finished. This instance is for me
only a symbol. How many moral Louvres remain to be completed!

"There are governments which have for their principle resistance and
obstruction; but there are also governments of initiation. Governments
founded on pure liberty are not necessarily the most active. Free
assemblies are better suited to put the drag upon the wheels, to check
them when they go too fast, than to accelerate them. Like criticism,
which is in fact their province and their strength, they excel in
warning and in hindering rather than in undertaking. The eternal problem
is to reconcile, to balance, authority and liberty, using sometimes the
one, sometimes the other. In this double play theory may be at fault,
but practical ability will always triumph.

"Some nations, it was lately said by a liberal, have tried to dispense
with great men, and have succeeded. There is a perspective to
contemplate! Let us not, however, in France, try too often to dispense
with them. The greatest of our moralists, he who knew us best, has said
of man in general, what is true of the French nature in particular, that
we have more force than will. Let us hope that this latter quality may
not fail us too long or in too many cases; and, that it may be
efficacious, there is nothing like a man, a determined and sovereign
will, at the head of the nation.

"I appreciate human dignity as much as others. Woe to him who would seek
to diminish the force of this moral spring; he would cripple at a blow
all the virtues. I do not, however, place this noblest of sentiments on
the somewhat isolated height where it is put by the exclusive adorers of
liberty. Let us not confound dignity with mere loftiness. Moreover, by
the side of dignity let us never forget that other inspiring sentiment,
which is at least its equal in value, humanity; that is to say, the
remembrance, the care, of that great number who are condemned to a life
of poverty and suffering, and whose precarious condition will not endure
those obstacles, retardments, and delays that belong to every plan of
amelioration founded on agitation and a conflict of systems and ideas. I
am far from imputing to the worshippers of liberty a disregard of this
humane and generous feeling. But with them the means is more sacred than
the end. They would rather take but one step in the path of true
progress, than be projected two by an adverse principle. Their political
religion is stronger than mine. Mine is not proof against experience.

"If a question were put to us in a general way, Which is the better for
a people, self-government, full discussion, decisions in accordance with
good sense, and submitted to by all--or government by one, however
able?--it would be only too easy to decide. But the practical question
is, Given such a nation, with such a character, with such a history, in
such a position,--does it, can it, wish to govern itself by itself?
would not the end be anarchy? We talk of principles; let us not leave
out of sight France, which is for us the first and most sacred of
principles. Some have their idol in Rome and the Vatican; others in
Westminster and the English Parliament; meanwhile, what becomes of poor
France, which is neither Roman nor English, and which does not wish to
be either?

"No, without doubt, all is not perfect. Let us accept it on the
condition of correcting and improving it. Examine the character,
original and altogether modern, of this new Empire, which sincerely has
no desire to repress liberty, which has acquired glory, and in which the
august chain of tradition is already renewed. What a _rôle_ does it
offer to young and intelligent minds, to generous minds, which, putting
apart secondary questions and disengaging themselves from formulas,
should be willing to seize and comprehend their entire epoch, accepting
all that it contains! What a problem in politics, in public economy, in
popular utility, that of seeking and aiding to prepare the way for such
a future as is possible for France, as is now grandly opening before
her, with a chief who has in his hand the power of Louis XIV., and in
his heart the democratic principles of the Revolution,--for he has them,
and his race is bound to have them!"

This, it will be perceived, is an application of the ideas of Mr.
Carlyle, modified by the special views and characteristics of the
writer, and adapted to the circumstances and necessities of the
particular case. It has far less similarity with the doctrines so
pompously announced, so vaguely applied, in the _Vie de Jules César_. It
does not lie open to the criticism which that clumsy and feeble apology
seemed intended to provoke, and which it had received at the competent
hands of M. Scherer. We have here no mysterious revelations of the
designs of Providence, no intimations that the world was created as a
theatre for the exaltation of certain godlike individuals. The question,
as presented by M. Sainte-Beuve, is a practical one, and as such we
accept it. We believe with him in the necessity for great men, in the
guidance of heroes. We believe with M. Scherer in the animating forces
of liberty, in its activity and power as an essential principle of
progress and civilization. That the combination may exist is attested by
such examples as William of Orange, Count Cavour, Abraham Lincoln.

It all comes, therefore, to this single inquiry: Is the present ruler of
France a great man, a hero? Is he the enlightened leader whom a nation
may and confidently follow? Has he the genius and the will to solve the
problem before him, to reconcile liberty with authority? Posterity alone
will be able to pronounce with unanimity. For ourselves, we must answer
in the negative. We do not denounce him, we believe it absurd to
denounce him, as a conspirator or a usurper. If he was a conspirator,
France was his accomplice. There cannot be a doubt that the nation not
only was ready to accept him, but sought him; not indeed for his
personal qualities, not as recognizing its appointed guide, but from the
recollections and the hopes of which his name was the symbol. We
acknowledge, too, his obvious abilities; we acknowledge the material and
economical improvements which his government has inaugurated. But we
fail to see the "moral Louvres" which he has opened; we fail to see in
his character any evidences of the moral power which can alone inspire
such improvements; we fail to see in his reign any principle of
"initiation," save that which the Ruler of the universe has implanted in
every system and in every government. Yet we concede the right of others
to think differently on these points, without being suspected of moral
obtuseness or obliquity. Especially can we comprehend how a patriotic
Frenchman should choose to accept all the conditions of his epoch, and
embrace every opportunity of aiding in the task of correction and
amelioration.

       *       *       *       *       *

We are unwilling to emerge from our subject at its least agreeable
angle. Our strain, however feeble, shall not close with a discord. And
indeed, in looking back, we are pained to perceive how slight is the
justice we have been able to render to the rare combination of powers
exhibited in the works we have enumerated. We have left unnoticed the
wonderful extent and accuracy of the learning, the compass and
profundity of the thought, the inexhaustible spirit, ever preserving the
happy mean between mental languor and nervous excitement. In these
twenty-seven volumes of criticism, scarcely an error has been detected,
scarcely a single repetition is met with; there is scarcely a page which
a reader, unpressed for time, would be inclined to skip. Where you least
agree with the author, there you will perhaps have the most reason to
thank him for his hints and elucidations. Is it not then with reason
that M. Sainte-Beuve has been styled "the prince of contemporaneous
criticism"? His decisions have been accepted by the public, and he has
founded a school which does honor to France.

How is it that our own language offers no such example? How is it that
the English literature of the present century, superior to that of
France in so many departments, richer therefore in the material of
criticism, has nothing to show in this way, we will not say equal,
but--taking quantity as well as quality into the account--in any degree
similar? How is it that nothing has been written on the highest minds
and chief productions of the day--on Tennyson, on Thackeray, on
Carlyle--which is worth preserving or remembering? Is it that criticism
has been almost abandoned to a class of writers who have no sense of
their responsibilities, no enlightened interest in their art, no
liberality of views,--who make their position and the influence attached
to it subservient either to their interests or to their vanity? Descend,
gentlemen reviewers, from the heights on which you have perched
yourselves; lay aside your airs and your tricks, your pretences and
affectations! Have the honesty not to misrepresent your author, the
decency not to abuse him, the patience to read, and if possible to
understand him! Point out his blemishes, correct his blunders, castigate
his faults; it is your duty,--he himself will have reason to thank you.
But do not approach him with arrogance or a supercilious coldness; do
not, if your knowledge be less than his, seek to mask your ignorance
with the deformity of conceit; do not treat him as a criminal or as a
dunce, unless he happens really to be one. Above all, do not, by dint of
_judging_, vitiate your faculty of _tasting_. Recognize the importance,
the inestimable virtues, of that quality which you have piqued
yourselves on despising,--that _sympathy_ which is the sum of
experience, the condition of insight, the root of tolerance, the seal of
culture!

FOOTNOTES:

[C] At the moment when we are sending this sketch to press a specimen of
the sort of criticism to which we have alluded comes to us in the form
of an article in the Quarterly Review for January,--the subject, M.
Sainte-Beuve himself. One wonders how it is that the writer, who, if
really familiar with the productions he criticises, must have been
indebted to them for many hours of enjoyment, much curious information,
and a multitude of suggestions and stimulants to reflection, should have
had no feeling of kindliness or gratitude for the author. But then the
question comes up, Was he in reality familiar with the works? Several of
his statements might provoke a doubt upon this point. We cite a single
example. Speaking of M. Sainte-Beuve's temporary connection with the
Saint-Simonians, he says: "For a brief season he appears to have felt
some of the zeal of a neophyte, _speaking_ the _speech_ and _talking_
the vague nonsense of his new friends. But soon his native good-sense
seems to have perceived that the whole thing was only a fevered dream of
a diseased age." Now the reviewer, if he knows anything of the doctrines
in question, is entitled to express his opinion of them, even if he does
it in tautological and slipshod English. But he has no right to
attribute his own opinions to M. Sainte-Beuve, who is so far from
holding them that, in articles written so lately as in 1861 (_Nouveaux
Lundis_, I.), he has not only traced the _enduring_ influence of
Saint-Simonianism upon some of the ablest minds in France, but has
contended that what were once considered the wildest dreams of that
system have since been substantially realized. Perhaps the reviewer
thinks that, as M. Sainte-Beuve is "a chameleon," with scarcely one
single fixed opinion on any problem, literary, philosophical, political,
or religious, there can be no harm in fathering upon him any notion from
whatever source. But on one point at least--the duty of being accurate
in the statement of other persons' opinions--M. Sainte-Beuve has shown
an unwavering consistency.

[D] Here is, quite _apropos_, a frank admission to that effect from the
Quarterly Reviewer before mentioned: "We confess we should be glad to
meet with some passages in the writings of M. Sainte-Beuve which would
prove him capable of downright scorn or anger." Yes, but if they had
been there, how stern would have been the rebuke!

[E] A Quarterly Reviewer must now be added.



DE SPIRIDIONE EPISCOPO.


    This is the story of Spiridion,
    Bishop of Cyprus by the grace of God,
    Told by Ruffinus in his history.

    A fair and stately lady was Irené,
    Spiridion's daughter, and in all the isle
    Was none so proud; if that indeed be pride,
    The haughty conscience of great truthfulness,
    Which makes the spirit faithful unto death,
    And martyrdom itself a little thing.

    There came a stranger to Spiridion,
    A wealthy merchant from the Syrian land,
    Who, greeting, said: "Good father, I have here
    A golden casket filled with Roman coin
    And Eastern gems of cost uncountable.
    Great are the dangers of the rocky road,
    False as a serpent is the purple sea,
    And he who carries wealth in foreign lands
    Carries his death, too often, near his heart,
    And finds life's poison where he hoped to find
    Against its pains a pleasant antidote.
    I pray you, keep for me these gems in trust,
    And give them to me when I come again."

    Spiridion listened with a friendly smile,
    And answered thus the dark-browed Syrian:
    "Here is a better guardian of gold,--
    My daughter, sir. The people of the coast
    Are wont to say that, if she broke her faith,
    Silver and gold themselves would lose their shine.
    She is our island's trusty treasurer."
    "Then," said the Syrian, "she shall be mine
    As well as theirs,"--and saying this he gave
    The casket with the jewels to her hand.

    Right earnestly the lady answered him,
    As one who slowly turns some curious thought:
    "Sir, you have called this treasure _life and death_,
    Which in your Eastern lore, as I have read,
    Is the symbolic phrase of Deity,
    And the most potent phrase to sway the world.
    With life to death I'll guard the gems for you,
    And dead or living give them back again."

    Now while the merchant went to distant Rome
    The fair Irené died a sudden death,
    And all the land went mourning for the maid,
    And on the roads and in the palaces
    Was one long wail for her by night and day.
    While thus they grieved, the Syrian came again,
    And, after fit delay, in proper time
    Went to the father, to Spiridion,
    Condoling with him on his daughter's death
    In many a sad and gentle Eastern phrase,
    Deep tinctured with a strange philosophy.

    Now when they had awhile consumed their grief
    Outspoke the Bishop: "Syrian, it is well
    If this sad death be not more sad for us,
    And most especially more sad for thee,
    Than thou hast dreamed of." Here he checked his speech,
    And then, as if in utter agony,
    Burst forth with--"She is gone! and all thy store,
    It too is gone: she only upon earth
    Knew where 't was hidden,--and she trusted none.
    O God, be merciful! What shall I do?"

    Then on him gravely looked the Syrian
    With grand, calm mien, as almost pitying,
    And said: "O father, can this be thy _faith_?
    Man of the West, how little didst thou know
    The wondrous nature of that girl now dead.
    Hast thou ne'er heard that they who once become
    Faithful to death are masters over death?
    And here and there on earth a woman lives
    Whose eyes proclaim the mighty victory won.
    Give me thy hand and lead me to the bier:
    Thou know'st it is not all of death to die."

    He took his hand and led him to the bier,
    And they beheld the Beautiful in Death,
    The perfect loveliness of Grecian form
    Inspired by Egypt's solemn mystery.
    A single pause in the eternity,
    The Present, Past, and Future all in one.

    Awhile they stood and gazed upon the Dead,
    And then Spiridion spoke, as one inspired:
    "O God! thou wert our witness,--make it known!"
    He paused in solemn awe, for at the word
    There came an awful sign. The dead white hand
    Was lifted, and Irené's eyes unclosed,
    Beaming with light as only angels' beam,
    And from the cold white lips there came a voice:
    "_The gems lie hidden in the garden wall._
    _God bless thee, father, for thy constant love!_
    _God bless thee, Syrian, for thy faith in me!_"

    This is the story of Spiridion,
    And of his daughter, faithful unto death.



A STRUGGLE FOR SHELTER.


Having, in "A Letter to a Young Housekeeper," held counsel with her
whose home is made by a noble husband, it is no less pleasant to recall
the claims of her whose home is made by herself; who, instead of keeping
house for two, keeps house for but one, and whose stars have not yet led
her on either to matrimony or to Washington Territory.

Mrs. Stowe, in a late number of the Atlantic, has discoursed admirably
on the woman question of how to get occupation; a point to be equally
anxious upon is that of how to get a shelter. It is often easier to get
a husband than either. Perhaps every one knows the exceeding difficulty
with which, in our large cities, the single woman obtains even a room
wherein to lodge; but only the victims can know the real distresses it
involves. In the capital, where noble women are chiefly needed, to begin
homeless is a positive peril; and to stand on the surest integrity is
only to fall at last. If one apply at the boarding-houses it is either
to be instantly rebuffed by learning that no rooms are let to ladies, or
more delicately parried by being told that the terms are forty dollars a
week! If one have attractions and friends, it is equivocal; if one have
them not, it is equally desperate. Should Minerva herself alight there
with a purse that would not compass Willard's, one cannot imagine what
would become of her. She would probably be seen wandering at late night,
with bedimmed stars and bedraggled gauze, until some vigorous officer
should lead her to the station-house for vagrancy. Thus when fascination
and forlornness are at equal discount, when powers and penuries go down
together, and common and uncommon sense fail alike, to what natural
feeling shall one hope to appeal? There is no sound spot of humanity
left to rest upon. It is a dilemma that is nothing but horns.

Possibly it is a trifle better in New England; but here, as elsewhere,
the chief enemy of woman is woman. It is women who keep our houses for
boarding and lodging, and, with a few radiant exceptions, it is they who
never take ladies. If by any chance a foothold be obtained there, the
only safety is in keeping it with stern self-denial of all outside
pleasures or excursions. Surrender for a week, and you return to that
door only to hear that two gentlemen have taken your room, and that they
will pay more. You ask for an attic. Just now there are two gentlemen
there. Will there be a place under the eaves? Possibly, next week. But
before then the two gentlemen are on hand again, have unpacked their
vials of unctuous hair-oil, and are happily snuggled under the eaves.
Indeed, they seem to make long journeys expressly to head one off, and
to be where they should not be. They are on time always, and in at the
winning. Some day one will pathetically die of two gentlemen on the
brain; and the doctor will only call it congestion. O for a new Knight
of a Sorrowful Figure, to demolish all such ubiquitous persons! I have
sometimes had as many as three of my engaged rooms at a time occupied by
these perpetual individuals,--myself waiting a-tremble on the portico.
Then it struck me that, if there were really any more gentlemen in
Washington Territory than here, women had better not go there.

Out of this exigency has arisen a grand vision of mine to build a flat
of five or six rooms; a single landing of dining- and drawing-rooms,
boudoir, bedroom, and kitchen with its apartment for a domestic. And,
either by lounge-bedstead or famous Plympton, there should be the
possibility of sleeping in every apartment but the kitchen. This would
be such sweet revenge for one whom the Fates had driven about for five
years to hunt lodgings. I would gormandize on bedrooms,--like Cromwell
resting in a different one every night,--and the empty ones filling with
forlornest of females, provided one need not do the honors at their
table in the morning and hear how they have slept. There should be
alcoves too, with statues; and unexpected niches of rooms crimson with
drapery, "fit to soothe the imagination with privacy"; and oh! perhaps
somewhere a bit of a conservatory and a fountain,--did not Mrs. Stowe
tell us of these too? Here one could dwell snugly as in the petals of a
rose, or expansively as in a banyan-tree, undisturbed alike from
gentlemen in black or women in white, liable only to the elements and to
mortality.

If only this castle were as attainable as that of Thoreau!--which was to
consist of but one room, with one door to enter it, and where "some
should live in the fireplace, some in the recess of a window, and some
on settles,--some at one end of the hall, some at another, and some
aloft on rafters with the spiders if they chose."

But on the _terra firma_ of realities one's trouble is somewhat
mitigated by the fact that, when all is said and done, the
boarding-houses are usually so poor, that, having entered them, one's
effort to get admitted is rather exceeded by one's desire to depart. The
meats are all cooked together with one universal gravy;--beef is pork,
and lamb is pork, each passing round the swinal sin; the vegetables
often seem to know but one common kettle, for turnip is onion, and
squash is onion; while the corn-cake has soda for sugar, and the bread
is sour and drab-colored, much resembling slices of Kossuth hat.

From these facts grew the experiment of becoming housekeeper
extraordinary to myself,--a strait to which many a one is likely to be
driven, unless we are to have something better than can be offered by
the present system of boarding-houses. For since one's castle was not
yet builded outside of the brain, it only took a little Quixotism of
imagination to consider as castles all these four-story brick houses
with placards affixed of "Rooms to be let," and to secure the most
eligible corner in one of these at moderate rent.

This of course is not so easy to do; but at last a _petite_ room seemed
to be struck out from the white heat of luck,--so _petite_!--six feet by
thirteen feet, two carpet-breadths wide and four masculine strides long;
one flight up, and just large enough to sheathe one's self in;
high-walled and corniced, with on the one hand a charming bay-window
looking three ways, and cheerily catching the sunlight early and late;
on the other, an open grate fire, fit to illuminate the gray Boston
mornings,--though, when the brilliant sun came round full at noon, there
seemed no fire till that was gone. I strove to forget that it might have
been a doctor's consulting office, and three days after there blossomed
out of it seven several apartments; the inevitable curtain across the
corner giving a wardrobe and bath; the short side of the room, with
desk, a library; the long side, with sofa, a bedchamber; the upper end,
with table, a dining-hall; the cupboard and region about the hearth, a
kitchen; while the remainder, with a lively camp-stool chair that
balanced about anywhere and doubled into nothing when desired, was
drawing-room,--that is, it was drawing-room wherever the chair was
drawn. In this apartment everything was handy. One could sit in the
centre thereof, and, by a little dexterous tacking to north or south,
reach every article in it. But when a lad whose occasional infirmity was
fainting was proposed to build the fire, it became necessary to decline,
on the ground that there really was not room enough, unless he were so
kind as to faint up chimney. A genuine bower it was, but not a Boffin's
Bower, where the wedded occupants suited their contrary tastes by having
part sanded-floor for Mr. Boffin, and part high-colored carpet for Mrs.
Boffin,--"comfort on one side and fashion on the other." In this the
walls were hung with pictures, and the windows with lace, while the
corner curtain was a gorgeous piano cover. Mr. Boffin not being here, it
was both comfort and fashion all round.

In this minute way of living, the first visiting messages could only
include the announcement of dainty regards, and of readiness to receive
friends one by one; and dining messages could only entreat "the best one
to come to the _petite_ one on Thursday, for sake of a suggestion of
pigeons' wings." Assuredly none would have voted any exquisite thing out
of place, from a dish of lampreys, that favorite viand of kings, to the
common delicacy of Rome, a stew of nightingales' tongues. And so compact
were all the arrangements, that a brilliant friend was fain to declare
that the hostess should certainly live on condensed milk.

Indeed, it was the grand concentration of having wardrobe and bath
together that caused a very singular mishap. One morning, being in
clumsy-fingered haste to get to a train, I summarily dropped my bonnet
into the wash-bowl. This was not a very dry joke, but having mopped up
the article as well as possible, I put it on and departed with usual
hilarity,--still remembering what it was to have the kindest fortune in
the world, and that one should not expect so rare a life as mine without
an occasional disaster.

But none need undertake a plan of this sort on the theology of Widow
Bedott's hymn, "K. K., Kant Kalkerlate"; for in this song of life on six
feet by thirteen, calculation is the sole rhyme for salvation. We have
heard of dying by inches: this is living by inches. If there be not
floor-room, then perhaps there is wall-room, and every possible article
must be made to hang, from the boot-bag and umbrella behind the curtain
to the pretty market-basket, so toy-like, in the corner. Indeed, it is
the chief charm of a camp-stool chair that this too, when off duty, may
be hung upon the wall, like a hunter's saddle when the chase is ended.
Only see that all the screws are in stoutly, so that in some
entertaining hour various items of your wardrobe or adornments do not
bring their owner to sudden grief.

As might be anticipated, it was rather a struggle to get condensed; and
afterward, too, there were fleeting phases of feeling about it all. For
at times it is not pleasant to connect the day of the week chiefly with
its being the day to clean one's cupboard or lamp-chimney. Often, too,
during a very nice breakfast, one is ready to vow that she will never do
otherwise than board herself; and while despatching the work after,
equally ready to vow that she will take flight from this as soon as
possible. Sometimes, also, one gets a little too much of herself, and an
overdose in this direction is about as bad as most insufferable things.
But then there must be seasons of discouragement in everything. They
inhere to all human enterprises, just as measles and whooping-cough to
childhood. It is well to remember as they pass how rarely it is that
they prove fatal.

And wherefore discouraged, indeed? Is it not the charm of life that
nothing is final,--not even death itself? In this strange existence,
with its great and rapid transitions, happy events are always imminent.
One may be performing her own menialities to-day, and to-morrow, in an
ambassador's carriage, be folded in a fur robe with couchant lions upon
it; to-day be quartered in a single attic, to-morrow be treading the
tapestries of her own drawing-rooms. Thus the golden Fate turns and
keeps turning; it is only when, through frigidness or fear, we refuse to
revolve with it, that there ensues the discord of despair.

But instead of going to a Walden and camping on the shady edges of the
world, to see what could be done without civilization, I preferred to
camp down in the heart of civilization, and see what could be done with
it;--not to fly the world, but to face it, and give it a new emphasis,
if so it should be; to conjure it a little, and strike out new
combinations of good cheer and good fellowship. In fact, it seems to me
ever that the wild heart of romance and adventure abides no more with
rough, uncouth nature than with humanity and art. To sit under the pines
and watch the squirrels run, or down in the bush-tangles of the
Penobscot and see the Indians row, is to me no more than when Gottschalk
wheels his piano out upon the broad, lone piazza of his house on the
crater's edge, and rolls forth music to the mountains and stars. Here
too are mystery, poesy, and a perpetual horizon.

This for romance; but true adventure abides most where most the forces
of humanity are. So I camped down in the heart of things, surely; for in
the next room were a child, kitten, and canary; in the basement was a
sewing-machine; while across the entry were a piano, flute, and
music-box. But Providence, that ever takes care of its own, did ever
prevent all these from performing at once, or the grand seraglio of
Satan would have been nothing to it.

But if in getting a room one is haunted by the two gentlemen, in getting
furniture and provisions one is afterward haunted by the "family"
relation. It is a result of the youthfulness of our civilization, that
as yet it is cumbrous and unwieldy. We do not yet master it, but are
mastered by it; and nowhere in America will one find the charming
arrangements for single living which have filled the Old World with
delightful haunts for the students of every land. As yet we provide for
people, not persons; and the needs of the single woman are no more
considered in business than in boarding. Forever she is reminded of the
Scripture, "He setteth the solitary in families"; and forever it seems
that all must be set there but herself. For nice crockery is sold by the
set, knives and forks by the half-dozen, the best coal by the half-ton;
the tin-pans are immense, and suggest a family Thanksgiving; pokers
gigantic, fit only to be wielded by the father of a family; and at
market the game is found with feet tied together in clever family
bunches, while one is equally troubled to get a chop or a steak, because
it will spoil the family roast,--and as to a bit of venison for
breakfast, it may be had by taking two haunches and a saddle. In
desperation she exclaims with O'Grady of Arrah na Pogue, "O father Adam,
why had you not died with all your ribs left in your body!" For since
there is neither place nor provision for her in the world, why indeed
should she have come?

Having once, on a fruitless tour through Faneuil Hall Market for a
single slice of beef, come to the last stall, and here finding nothing
less than a sirloin of six pounds, which was not to be cut, I could
only answer imploringly, "But pray, what is one person to do with a
sirloin of six pounds?" A relenting smile swept over the stern butcher's
face. "I _will_ cut it!" he said, brandishing the knife at once. "Thank
you," I cried, with a gush of emotion; for he seemed a really religious
man. He comprehended that there was at least one solitary whom the Lord
had not set in a family. I took the number of his stall.

Nor is it yet too late to be grateful to him who proposed breaking a
bundle of cutlery in my behalf. He too realized the situation, and saw
that by no possibility could one person gracefully get on with six
knives and forks at once.

Indeed, since one's single wants are not regularly met by this system of
things, the only way at present to get them answered is by favor. So
that the first item in setting up an establishment is not only to bring
one's resources about one, but to find the people of the trade who will
assist in the gladdest way. One wants the right stripe in the morning
and evening papers, but none the less happy are just the right merchant
and just the right menial. Since all of life may be rounded into rhythm,
shall we not even consult the harmonies in a grocer or an upholsterer?
Personal power can be carried into every department. It is well to find
where one's word has weight, then always say the word there. This is a
part of the quest which makes life a perpetual adventure; and there is
nothing more piquant than to go on an exploring tour for one's
affinities among the trades. It is perhaps rather more of the
sensational than the sentimental, and might be marked in the private
note-book with famous headings, like those of the New York papers on a
balloon marriage, as, The last affinity item! A raid among the
magnetisms! or, Hifalutin among prunes! However, in some subtile way,
one soon divines on entering a store whether she is to be well served
there, and must follow with tact the undercurrent in the shop as well as
in the _salon_. If it be not the right encounter, ask for something
there is not, and pass on to the next. Thus, "my grocer" apologizes for
keeping honey, because I do not eat sweets, and proposes to open the
butter trade because it is so annoying to go about for butter; "my
stoveman" descends from the stilts of the firm, looking after these
chimney affairs himself; "my carpenter" says, "Shure, an' ye don't owe
_me_ onything; I'd work for ye grat-tis if I could"; "my cabinet-dealer"
sends tables and wardrobes at midnight if desired, and takes them back
and sells them over the next day; even the washerwoman is an affinity,
exclaiming, "Shure, an' ye naid n't think I'll be chargin' ye with all
the collars an' ruffles ye put in,--shure, an' I'll not."

Perhaps it sounds a little egotistic to say "my grocer," &c., but is not
this the way that heads of families talk, and am I not head and family
too? At least the solitary may soothe themselves with the family sounds.
Indeed, it soon appears that all these faithful servers are like to
become so radical a part of the my and mine of existence, as to make it
really alarming. When one's comfort is thus bound up in fire-boy and
washerwoman, alas! what will become of the grand philosophy of
Epictetus?

To begin housekeeping proper, one will need at least a bread-knife and
tumbler, a gridiron and individual salt,--cost eighty-four cents. My
list also includes for kitchen and table use:--

    Tin saucepan                          .40
     " baking-pan                         .23
     " oyster pail                        .25
    2 breakfast plates                    .20
    4 tea plates                          .32
    Cup (and cover to mimic sugar-bowl)   .15
    Mixing spoon                          .15
    Pint bowl                             .20
    Butter jar                            .35
    2 knives and forks                    .45
    2 saucers                             .14
    2 minute platters                     .18
    1 " vegetable-dish                    .10
    3 individual butter-plates            .18
                                         ----
                                        $3.30
    The aforementioned gridiron, &c.      .84
                                         ----
             Sum total                  $4.14

To this should be added a small iron frying-pan for gravied meats. The
quart pail usually did duty for vegetables, the saucepan for soup, while
prime chops and steaks appeared from the gridiron. Tea-spoons are not
included, nor any tea things whatever. These excepted, it will be seen
that less than five dollars gives a full housekeeping apparatus, with
pretty white crockery enough to invite a dinner guest.

The provisions for one week were:--

    Bread and rolls                .59
    4 pears and 1/2 lb. grapes     .28
    1 lb. butter                   .55
      " granulated sugar           .22
      " corn starch                .16
      " salt                       .05
    1/4 lb. pepper                 .15
    1/2 lb. halibut                .25
    3/4 lb. steak                  .30
    1 quail                        .40
    1 pint cranberries             .08
    Celery                         .05
    1 peck potatoes and turnips    .40
    Pickles, 1 pint bottle         .37
                                  ----
                                 $3.85

At the end of the week there was stock unused to the amount of $1.00,
making $2.85 for actual board, (I did not dine out once,) and this
included the most expensive meats, which one might not always care to
get; for it is not parsimony that often prefers a sirloin steak at
thirty cents to a tenderloin at forty cents. But this note may be added.
Don't buy quails, they are all gizzard and feathers; and don't buy
halibut, till you have inquired the price. It will also be perceived
that beverages are not mentioned. None of that seven million pounds of
tea shipped from China last September ever came to my shores. If this
article were added, there would come in large complications of furniture
and food, beside the obligation of being on the stairs at early hours in
fearful dishabille, watching for the milkman, as I have seen my
sister-lodgers.

The pecuniary result is, that, for less than three dollars per week and
the work, one may have the best food in the market; for three dollars
and no work, one may have the very worst in the world.

For any ordinary amount of cooking, an open grate is admirable, though
it do not furnish that convenient stove-pipe whereon lady boarders can
smooth out their ribbons, &c.; but it is accessible, and draws the
culinary odors speedily out of the room. At least it is admirable from
fall to the middle of December, when you find that it draws the heat, as
well as the odors, up chimney; then you will get a "Fairy" stove of the
smallest size, with a portable oven, and fairly go into winter quarters.
But by the grate one may boil, broil, and toast, if not roast; for I
used with delight to cook apples on the cool corners, giving them a turn
between sentences as I read or wrote. They seemed to have a higher
flavor, being seasoned with thoughts; but it was not equally sure if the
thoughts were better for being seasoned with apple. However, one must
not count herself so _recherché_ as Schiller, who could only write when
his desk was full of rotten apples.

Still the grate has no oven, and the chief difficulty is in bread. One
starts bravely on the baker's article, but such is the excess of yeast
that the bitterness becomes intolerable. Then one begins to perambulate
the city, and thinks she has a prize in this or that brand,--is enamored
of Brigham's Graham biscuits, hot twice a week, or of Parker's
rolls,--but soon eats through novelty to the core, and that is always
hops. Thus one goes from baker to baker, but it is only a hopping from
hops to hops. I see with malicious joy that the exportation tariff is to
be removed from hops.

As to crackers, they are of course no more available than pine splints,
though the Graham variety is the best. Aerated bread is probably the
most healthful, but this is pitiable to live on; it tastes like salted
flannel.

Finally, let me confess to the use of a friendly oven near by, and from
this came every week the indispensable Graham cakes, which are the
despair of all the cooks. Of course, on this point it is impossible,
without seeing their experiment, to say why it failed; but all the
given conditions being met, if the cakes were tough, there was probably
too much meal; if soggy, too little. Also the latest improvement is not
to cut them in diamonds, but to roll them into various forms. After
scalding, the dough is just too soft to be handled easily; it is then to
be dropped into meal upon the board, separating it in small quantities
with a spoon or knife, and rolling lightly in the meal into small
biscuits, rolls, or any form desired. But do not work in any of the
meal. Possibly some of the failures come from disregard of this; for the
meal which is added after, being unscalded, is not light, and would only
clog the cakes. And, in eating, the biscuits should be broken, never
sliced. They are in their prime when hot, quite as much as Ward
Beecher's famous apple-pie; but, unlike that, may be freshened afterward
by dipping in cold water and heating in a quick oven just before wanted.
In other words, they may be regenerated by immersion.

As to the system of this minute household,--if any should be curious to
know,--it was to have breakfast-dishes despatched, with the dinner
vegetables pared, at half past nine, A. M.; dinner out of hand by two,
P. M.; bread and butter and Cochituate precisely at six, P. M.

In one of Mr. and Mrs. Hall's "Memories of Authors," mention is made of
a little Miss Spence, who, with rather limited arrangements in two
rooms, used to give literary tea-parties, and was shrewdly suspected of
keeping her butter in a wash-bowl. I did not follow any such underhanded
proceeding. I kept my butter on the balcony. All-out-doors was my
refrigerator; and if one will look abroad some cool, glittering night,
he may yet see my oyster-pail hung by a star, or swinging on the horns
of a new moon.

Perhaps it is fair to mention, however, that on one glittering night the
mercury fell below zero, and the windows all froze hard down, and there
was the butter locked on the outer side! And oh! it is such a trying
calamity to be frozen in from one's butter! But after this experience
the housekeeper shrewdly watches for these episodes of weather, and
takes the jar in of a night. So it is that eternal vigilance is the
price even of butter.

Still it seemed that, with careful and economizing mind, on six feet by
thirteen it was not only possible to live, but to take table-boarders.
Certainly nothing could be gayer, unless to ramble delightfully forever
in one of those orange-colored ambrotype-saloons, drawn by milk-white
oxen; or to quarter like Gavroche of _Les Miserables_ among the ribs of
the plaster elephant in the Bastile; or more pensively to abide in the
crannied boat-cabin of the Peggotys, watching the tide sweep out and in.

This must be the weird, barbaric side of the before-named brick and
mortar flat of five rooms.

Pope, the tragedian, said that he knew of but one crime a man could
commit,--peppering a rump steak. It is an argument for boarding one's
self that all these comfortable crimes thus become feasible. One may
even butter her bread on three sides with impunity; or eat tamarinds at
every meal, running the risk of her own grimaces; or take her stewed
cherries with curious, undivided interest as to whether a sweet or sour
one will come next (dried cherries are a great consolation); and, being
allowed to help herself, can the better bring all the edibles to an end
at once upon her plate,--an indication of Providence that the proper
feast is finished. Wonderfully independent all this! Life with the
genuine bachelor flavor. As L. remarked, even the small broom in the
corner had a sturdy little way of standing alone.

Perhaps there is nothing finer than the throng of fancies that comes in
a solitary breakfast. Then one reaches hands of greeting to all the lone
artists taking their morning _acquavite_ in Rome; to the young students
of Germany at their early coffee and eggs; even remembering the lively
_grisette_ of Paris, as, with a parting fillip to her canary, she flits
forth from her upper room; and finally drinks to the memory of our own
Irving at his bachelor breakfast among the fountains and flowers in the
Court of Lions at the Alhambra.

And very sweet, too, it is, in the fall of the day, to sit by the rich,
ruby coals, and think of those who are far, until they come near; and of
that which is hoped for, until it seems that which is; to sit and dream,
till

        "The breath of the great Lord God divine
    Stirs the little red rose of a room."

This it is to keep house with a bread-knife and tumbler, a gridiron and
an individual salt. This it is to vitally understand the _multum in
parvo_ of existence. This it is to have used and mastered civilization.

But the total pecuniary result is, that the rent of the very smallest
room in central location--at the hub of the hub--will not be less than
three dollars per week, without light, heat, or furniture. Fire, and a
boy to make it, will be two dollars per week; light seventy-five cents
if gas, twenty-five cents if kerosene; this, with board at three
dollars, washing at one dollar per dozen, and the constant Tribune,
etc., brings one up to the pretty little sum of ten dollars per week,
without a single item of luxury, unless daily papers can be called
luxurious. Or, should one go out to breakfasts and dinners, nothing
tolerable can be had under five dollars per week; and this gives a total
of twelve dollars. Then, to complete one's life, there must be clothing,
literature, perhaps travel and hospitality, making nearly as much more;
and to crown it, there must be the single woman's favorite lecturer or
_prima donna_; for ah! we too, in some form, must have our cigars and
champagne. A round thousand a year for ever so small a package of
humanity!

And of course, as goods are higher in small quantities, so in living by
this individual way it will be discovered that prices are prodigious,
but that weights and measures are not. After opening the small purse
regularly at half-hour intervals for several weeks, one at length finds
herself opening it when there is nothing to be bought, from mere
muscular habit. Altogether it is easy to spend as much as a second-rate
Congressman, without any of his accommodations. This is wherein one does
not master civilization.

Mr. McCulloch, in his Report on the Treasury, suggested an increase of
salary for certain subordinates in his department, declaring that they
could not support their families in due rank on four, five, or even six
thousand dollars a year. It is easy to believe it. It is easy to believe
anything that may be stated with regard to money, except that one will
ever be able to get enough of it to cover these terrible charges. The
entire fabric of things rests on money; and our prices would drive a
respectable Frenchman into suicide. O poor Robin Ruff! alas for your
grand visions that you sang so glowingly to dear Gaffer Green! In this
age of the world, O what could you do, or where could you go, e'en on a
thousand pounds a year, poor Robin Ruff?

And so long as each must keep her separate establishment, it will not be
found possible to reduce living much below the present figures. But
London has more wisely met the pressure of the times in those
magnificent clubhouses, which have made Pall Mall almost a solid square
of palaces hardly inferior to the homes of the nobility themselves. Each
of these houses has its hundreds of members, who really fare
sumptuously, having all the luxuries of wealth on the prices that one
pays here for poverty. The food is furnished by the best purveyors, and
charged to the consumers at cost; all other expenses of the
establishment being met by the members' initiation fees, ranging from
£32 entrance fee and £11 annual subscription, to £9 and £6 for entrance
and subscription. Being admirably officered and planned throughout,
these gigantic households are systematized to the beautiful smoothness
of small ones; their phrase of "fare-well" is one of epicurean
invitation, not of dismissal; while such are the combined luxuriousness
and economy that, says one authority, "the modern London club is a
realization of a Utopian coenobium,--a sort of lay convent, rivalling
the celebrated Abbey of Thelemé, with the agreeable motto of _Fais ce
que voudras_, instead of monastic discipline."

Of course, New York also has followed suit, and there, too, clubs are
trumps; but, according to "The Nation," with this remarkable exception,
that "at these houses the leading idea seems to be, not to furnish the
members at cost price, but to increase the finances with a view to some
future expenditure." The writer reasonably observes, that "what a man
wants is his breakfast or dinner cheaper than he can get it at the
hotel, and not to pay thirty or sixty dollars annually in order that ten
years hence the club may have a new building farther up town." And
Boston has followed New York, with its trio of well-known clubs,
differing also from those of London in having poorer appointments and
the highest conceivable charges.

But most of these clubs do not include lodgings, and none of them
include ladies. It remains for America to give us the club complete in
both. There is every reason why women should secure elegant and
economical homes in this way. Indeed, in the present state of things,
there seems no other way to secure them. There is no remedy but in a
system of judicious clubbing. Since this phase of the world seems made
up for the family relation, then ladies must make themselves into a sort
of family to face it. Where is the coming man who shall communicate this
art of clubbing, which has not yet even been admitted into the feminine
dialect? Mr. Mercer is doing for the women who wish to go out in the
world that which womanly gratitude can but lightly repay.[F] Where is
the kindly, honest-hearted Mr. Mercer who shall further a like
enterprise here,--a provision of quarters for those who can pay
reasonably and who do not wish to go away? This would be a genuine
Stay-at-home Club, a Can't-get-away Club of the very happiest sort. And
this alone can put life in our noble cities, where active-brained women
love to be, on something like possible terms.

In Miss Howitt's "Art Student at Munich,"--a charming sketch, by the
way, of women living _en bachelier_ abroad,--we find one young
enthusiast idealizing upon this very need of feminine life, which she
christens an Associated Home. In her artistic mind it takes the form of
an outer and inner sisterhood,--the inner devoted to culture, the outer
attending to the useful, ready alike to broil a steak or toe a stocking
for the more ethereal ones of the household. This is all quite amiably
intended, but no queen-bee and common-bee scheme of the sort seems to be
either generous or practicable. It involves at once too much caste and
too much contact. We do not wish to find servants or scrubs in our
sisters, nor do we wish at all times even to see our sisters. There must
be elbow-room for mood and temperament, as well as high walls of
defence. The social element is too shy and elusive, and will not, like a
monkey, perform on demand; therefore our plan abjures all these poetic
organizations, which have a great deal of cant and very little good
companionship; it has no sentimentalism to offer, proposing an
association of purses rather than of persons,--a household on the base
of protection rather than of society,--a mere combining for privileges
and against prices. It is resolved into a simple matter of business; and
the only help women need is that of an organizing brain to put
themselves into this associate form, whereby they can meet the existing
state of things with somewhat of human comfort.

Are we never to obtain even this, until the golden doors of the
Millennium swing open? Ah, then indeed one must melt a little, looking
regretfully back to Brook Farm, undismayed by the fearful Zenobia;
looking leniently toward Wallingford, Lebanon, and Haryard. Anything
for wholesome diet, free life, and a quiet refuge.

But whether to live alone or together, the first want is of
houses,--which is another hitch in the social system. In the city a
building-lot is an incipient fortune; and the large sum paid for it is
the beginning of reasons for the large rent of the building that is put
upon it. But then if ground is costly, air is cheap,--land is high, but
sky is low; and one need have but very little earth to a great deal of
house. A writer, describing the London of thirty years ago, speaks of
the huge, narrow dwellings, full five stories high, and says that the
agility with which the inmates "ran up and down, and perched on the
different stories, gave the idea of a cage with its birds and sticks";
and the like figure seems to have occurred to the queer Mademoiselle
Marchand of "Denise," who, as she toiled to her eyrie on the topmost
landing, exclaimed, "One would think these houses were built by a winged
race, who only used stairs when they were moulting!" But these same
lofty houses are the very thing we must have to-day, all but the running
up and down. Build us houses up, and up, as high as they will stand;
give us plenty of sky-parlors, but also plenty of steam-elevators to go
to and from "my lady's chamber." It is not a wise economy to devote
one's precious power to this enormous amount of stair-work. It is not a
kind of exercise that is sanitive. The Evans House and Hotel Pelham, for
instance, are very pretty Bostonianisms, but all their rooms within
range of ordinary means are beyond the range of ordinary strength. The
achievement of twenty flights a day, back and forth, would leave but
small surplus of vigor. While the steam power is there for heating
purposes, why not use some of it to propel the passengers up and down
that wilderness of rosy boudoirs? Is there any reason why this
labor-saving machine, the steam-elevator, which we now associate with
Fifth Avenue luxury, should not be the common possession of all our
large tenanted buildings? And is there any reason, indeed, in our houses
being no better appointed than the English houses of thirty years ago?
Ruskin has been honorably named for renting a few cottages with an eye
to his tenants as well as himself; but the men who in our crowded cities
shall erect these mammoth rental establishments, with steam access to
every story, will build their own best monuments for posterity. We
commend it to capitalists as a chance to invest in a generous fame.
Until this is done, we shall even disapprove of bestowing any more
mansions upon our beloved General Grant. It is not gallant. Until then,
too, how shall one ever pass that venerable Park Street Church of
Boston, without the irreverent sigh of "What capital lodgings it would
make!" Those three little windows in the curve, looking up and down the
street, and into the ever-fascinating Atlantic establishment; the lucky
tower, into which one might retreat, pen in hand, if not wishing to be
at home to callers nor abroad to himself,--Carlyle-like, making the
library at the top of the house; and all within glance of the dominating
State-House, whither one might steal up for an occasional lunch of
oratory or a digest of laws. We also hear of a new hotel being builded
on Tremont Street, and wonder if there will be any rooms fit for ladies,
and whether one of those in the loft will rent for as much as a charming
villa should command.

But while we ask now for immediate relief by clubs and rental
establishments, the great practical and artistic problem of America
still remains in learning to manage its civilization; in acquiring a
forecaste, a system, that meets individual wants; in adjusting resource
to requirement. Then we shall not be driven into association. It is
jocosely said, that in the West, whose rivers are shallow and uncertain,
the steamers are built to run on a heavy dew. Allowing for the joke,
this is not more nice than wise. To be dexterous, fine-fingered, facile!
How perfect is the response in all the petty personalities of politics!
In this America, where all men aspire, and more men get office than one
would think there were offices to get, what miracles of adroitness! It
is one perpetual, Turn, turn again, Lord Mayor! If but half the genius
were diverted from office-getting to house-building, what towering
results! But since it is the misery of a republic that politics is
supreme, and that a people who govern themselves can have little leisure
for anything else, I have sometimes feared that the only way to get
these woman questions through is by tacking them on to politics. If,
then, any of our masculine friends now go to Congress on an amelioration
of labor, Heaven speed the day when they can only go on an amelioration
of lodgings.

But on this side of the question we as yet hold close to the leeward.
For to make it political, women must have political power, the power of
the ballot; and this claim she chooses to defer to the more oppressed
race,--chooses first to secure justice to all men, before entering the
long campaign of justice to women.

Meanwhile, we young housekeepers, who are neither capitalists to build
what we need, nor politicians to procure it builded, can only live on
these real-unreal lives as we may. But sometimes, when the city lamps
are agleam in the early evening, we go out for a walk of romance upon
the brilliant avenue near by, gazing eagerly into those superb
drawing-rooms where the curtains are kindly lifted a little, and tempted
to ring at the door on a false errand where they are not,--simply to get
a peep at the captivating comfort inside. And thus we too possess houses
and homes; with all these to enjoy and none of them to care for, why may
not one easily remain the wealthiest person in the universe? Ah, no one
knows what riches we have in our thoughts, and how little bliss there is
in the world that we have not!

FOOTNOTES:

[F] Since the above was written, there have been serious charges against
Mr. Mercer, but our praise must remain until the case shall be more
fairly made up.



DOCTOR JOHNS.


LIII.

Reuben, meantime, is leading a dashing life in the city. The Brindlock
family have taken him to their arms again as freely and heartily as if
he had never entered the fold over which the good Doctor exercised
pastoral care, and as if he had never strayed from it again.

"I told you 't would be all right, Mabel," said Mr. Brindlock to his
wife; and neither of them ever rallied him upon his bootless experience
in that direction.

But the kindly aunt had not forborne (how could she?) certain pertinent
inquiries in regard to the pretty Miss Maverick, under which Reuben had
shown considerable disposition to flinch; although he vainly fancied
that he stood the interrogation with a high hand. Mrs. Brindlock drew
her own conclusions, but was not greatly disturbed by them. Why should
she be, indeed? Reuben, with his present most promising establishment in
business, and with a face and air that insured him a cordial welcome in
that circle of wealthy acquaintances which Mrs. Brindlock especially
cultivated, was counted a _bon parti_, independent of his position as
presumptive heir to a large share of the Brindlock estate.

Once or twice since his leave of Ashfield he has astonished the good
people there by a dashing visit. Perhaps he has enjoyed (such things are
sometimes enjoyed) setting forth before the quiet parishioners of his
father his new consequence as a man of the world and of large moneyed
prospects. It is even possible that he may have entertained agreeably
the fancy of dazing the eyes of both Rose and Adèle with the glitter of
his city distinctions. But their admiration, if they felt any, was not
flatteringly expressed. Adèle, indeed, was always graciously kind, and,
seeing his confirmed godlessness, tortured herself secretly with the
thought that, but for her rebuff, he might have made a better fight
against the bedevilments of the world, and lived a truer and purer life.
All that, however, was irrevocably past. As for Rose, if there crept
into her little prayers a touch of sentiment as she pleaded for the
backslidden son of the minister, her prayers were none the worse for it.
Such trace of sentimental color--like the blush upon her fair
cheek--gave a completed beauty to her appeals.

Reuben saw that Phil was terribly in earnest in his love, and he
fancied, with some twinges, that he saw indications on the part of Adèle
of its being not wholly unacceptable. Rose, too, seemed not disinclined
to receive the assiduous attentions of the young minister, who had
become a frequent visitor in the Elderkin household, and who preached
with an unction and an earnestness that touched her heart, and that made
her sigh despondingly over the outcast son of the old pastor. Watching
these things with a look studiedly careless and indifferent, Reuben felt
himself cut off more than ever from such charms or virtues as might
possibly have belonged to continued association with the companions of
his boyhood, and nerved himself for a new and firmer grip upon those
pleasures of the outer world which had not yet proved an illusion. There
were moments--mostly drifting over him in silent night-hours, within his
old chamber at the parsonage--when it seemed to him that he had made a
losing game of it. The sparkling eyes of Adèle, suffused with tears,--as
in that memorable interview of the garden,--beam upon him, promising, as
then, other guidance; they gain new brilliance, and wear stronger
entreaty, as they shine lovingly upon him from the distance--growing
greater and greater--which now lies between them. Her beauty, her grace,
her tenderness, now that they are utterly beyond reach, are tenfold
enticing; and in that other sphere to which, in his night revery, they
seem translated, the joyous face of Rose, like that of an attendant
angel, looks down regretfully, full of a capacity for love to which he
must be a stranger.

He is wakened by the bells next morning,--a Sunday morning, may be.
There they go,--he sees them from the window,--the two comely damsels,
picking their way through the light, fresh-fallen snow of March. Going
possibly to teach the catechism; he sneers at this thought, for he is
awake now. Has the world no richer gift in store for him? That Sophie
Bowrigg is a great fortune, a superb dancer, a gorgeous armful of a
woman. What if they were to join their fortunes and come back some day
to dazzle these quiet townsfolk with the splendor of their life? His
visits in Ashfield grow shorter and more rare. There is nothing
particularly alluring. We shall not meet him there again until we meet
him for the last time.

Mr. Catesby is an "acceptable preacher." He unfolds the orthodox
doctrines with more grace than had belonged to the manner of the Doctor,
and illustrates them from time to time with a certain youthful glow, and
touches of passionate exhortation, which for many years the Ashfield
pulpit had not known. The old ladies befriend him and pet him in their
kindly way; and if at times his speculative humor (which he is not
wholly without) leads him beyond the bounds of the accepted doctrines,
he compounds the matter by strong assertion of those sturdy generalities
which lie at the bottom of the orthodox creed.

But his self-control is not so apparent in his social intercourse; and
before he has been three months in Ashfield, he has given tongue to
gossip, and all the old ladies comment upon his enslavement to the
pretty Rose Elderkin. And they talk by the book; he is desperately
enamored. Young clergymen have this way of falling, at sight, into the
toils, which is vastly refreshing to middle-aged observers. But we have
no occasion to detail his experience. An incident only of his recreative
pursuits in this direction belongs to our narrative.

Upon one of the botanical excursions of later spring which he had
inaugurated, and to which the maidenly modesty of Rose had suggested
that Adèle should make a party, the young Catesby (who was a native of
Eastern Massachusetts) had asked in his _naïve_ manner after her family
connections. An uncle of his had known a Mr. Maverick, who had long been
a resident of Europe.

"It may possibly be some relation of yours, Miss Maverick," said the
young minister.

"Do you recall the first name?" said Rose.

Mr. Catesby hesitated in that interesting way in which lovers are wont
to hesitate. No, he did not remember; but he was a jovial,
generous-hearted man, (he had heard his uncle often describe him,) who
must be now some fifty or sixty years old.--"Frank Maverick, to be sure;
I have the name."

"Why, it is my father," said Adèle with a swift, happy rush of color to
her face.

"O no, Miss Maverick," said the young Catesby with a smile, "that is
quite impossible. The gentleman of whom I speak, and my uncle visited
him only three years ago, is a confirmed bachelor, and he had rallied
him, I remember, upon never having married."

The color left the cheeks of Adèle.

"Frank, did you say?" persisted Rose.

"Frank was the name," said the innocent young clergyman; "and he was a
merchant, if I remember rightly, somewhere upon the Mediterranean."

"It's very strange," said Rose, turning to Adèle.

And Adèle, all her color gone, had the fortitude to pat Rose lovingly
upon the shoulder, and to say, with a forced smile, "Life is very
strange, Rose."

But from this time till they reached home,--fortunately not far
away,--Adèle said nothing more. Rose remarked an unwonted pallor in her
cheeks.

"You are tired, Adèle," said she; "you are so pale!"

"Child," said Adèle, tapping her again, in a womanly way that was
strange to her companion, "you have color for us both."

At this, her reserve of dignity and fortitude being now wellnigh spent,
she rushed away to her chamber. What wonder if she sought the little
crucifix, sole memento of the unknown mother, and glued it to her lips,
as she fell upon her knees by the bedside, and uttered such a prayer for
help and strength as had never uttered before?

"It is true! it is true! I see it now. The child of shame! The child of
shame! O my father, my father! what wrong have you done me!" And again
she prays for help and strength.

There is not a doubt in her mind where the truth lies. In a moment her
thought has flashed over the whole chain of evidence. The father's
studied silence; her alienation from any home of her own; the mysterious
hints of the Doctor; and the strange communication of Reuben,--all come
up in stately array and confound her with the bitter truth. There is a
little miniature of her father which she has kept among her choicest
treasures. She seeks it now. Is it to throw it away in scorn? No, no,
no. Our affections are after all not submissible to strict moral
regimen. It is with set teeth and a hard look in her eye that she
regards it at first; then her eyes suffuse with tears while she looks,
and she kisses it passionately again and again.

"Can there be some horrible mistake in all this?" she asks herself. At
the thought she slips on hat and shawl and glides noiselessly down the
stairs, (not for the world would she have been interrupted!) and walks
swiftly away to her old home at the parsonage.

Dame Tourtelot meets her and says, "Good evening, Miss Adeel."

And Adèle, in a voice so firm that it does not seem her own, says, "Good
evening, Miss Tourtelot." She wonders greatly at her own calmness.


LIV.

The Doctor is alone in his study when Adèle comes in upon him, and she
has reached his chair and dropped upon her knees beside him before he
has time to rise.

"New Papa, you have been so kind to me! I know the truth now,--the
mystery, the shame";--and she dropped her head upon his knees.

"Adaly, Adaly, my dear child!" said the old man with a great tremor in
his voice, "what does this mean?"

She was sobbing, sobbing.

"Adaly, my child, what can I do for you?"

"Pray for me, New Papa!" and she lifted her eyes upon him with a tender,
appealing look.

"Always, always, Adaly!"

"Tell me, New Papa,--tell me honestly,--is it not true that I can call
no one mother,--that I never could?"

The Doctor trembled: he would have given ten years of his life to have
been able to challenge her story, to disabuse her mind of the belief
which he saw was fastened past all recall. "Adaly," said he, "Christ
befriended the Magdalen,--how much more you, then, if so be you are the
unoffending child of----"

"I knew it! I knew it!" and she fell to sobbing again upon the knee of
the old gentleman, in a wild, passionate way.

In such supreme moments the mind reaches its decisions with electrical
rapidity. Even as she leaned there, her thought flashed upon that poor
Madame Arles who had so befriended her,--against whom they had cautioned
her, who had shown such intense emotion at their first meeting, who had
summoned her at the last, and who had died with that wailing cry, "_Ma
fille!_" upon her lip. Yes, yes, her mother indeed, who died in her
arms! (she can never forget that death-clasp.)

She hints as much to the Doctor, who, in view of his recent
communication from Maverick, will not gainsay her.

When she moved away at last, as if for a leave-taking, silent and
humiliated, the old man said to her, "My child, are you not still my
Adaly? God is no respecter of persons; his ministers should be like
him."

Whereupon Adèle came and kissed him with a warmth that reminded him of
days long past.

She rejoiced in not having encountered the gray, keen eyes of the
spinster. She knew they would read unfailingly the whole extent of the
revelation that had dawned upon her. That the spinster herself knew the
truth, and had long known it, she was sure; and she recalled with a
shudder the look of those uncanny eyes upon the evening of their little
frolic at the Elderkins. She dreaded the thought of ever meeting them
again, and still more the thought of listening to the stiff, cold words
of consolation which she knew she would count it her duty to administer.

It was dusk when she left the Doctor's door; he would have attended, but
she begged to be alone. It was an April evening, the chilliness of the
earth just yielding to the coming summer; the frogs clamorous in all the
near pools, and filling the air with the harsh uproar of their voices;
the delicate grass-blades were just thrusting their tips through the
brown web of the old year's growth, and in sunny, close-trodden spots
showing a mat of green, while the fleecy brown blossoms of the elm were
tufting all the spray of the embowering trees. Here and there a village
loiterer greeted her kindly. They all knew Miss Adèle. "They will all
know it to-morrow," she thought, "and then--then--"

With a swift but unsteady step she makes her way to the little
graveyard; she had gone there often, and there were those who said
wantonly that she went to say her prayers before the little cross upon
the tombstone she had placed over the grave of Madame Arles. Now she
threw herself prone upon the little hillock, with a low, sharp cry of
distress, like that of a wounded bird,--"My mother! my mother!"

Every word, every look of tenderness which the dead woman had lavished,
she recalls now with a terrible distinctness. Those loud, vague appeals
of her delirium come to her recollection with a meaning in them that is
only too plain; and then the tight, passionate clasp, when, strained to
her bosom, relief came at last. Adèle lies there unconscious of the
time, until the night dews warn her away; she staggers through the gate.
Where next? She fancies they must know it all at the Elderkins',--that
she has no right there. Is she not an estray upon the world? Shall she
not--as well first as last--wander forth, homeless as she is, into the
night? And true to these despairing thoughts, she hurries away farther
and farther from the town. The frogs croak monotonously in all the
marshes, as if in mockery of her grief. On some near tree an owl is
hooting, with a voice that is strangely and pitifully human. Presently
an outlying farm-house shows its cheery, hospitable light through the
window-panes, and she is tempted to shorten her steps and steal a look
into the room where the family sits grouped around the firelight. No
such sanctuary for her ever was or ever can be. Even the lowing of a cow
in the yard, and the answering bleat of a calf within the barn, seem to
mock the outcast.

On she passes, scarce knowing whither her hurrying steps are bearing
her, until at last she spies a low building in the fields away upon her
right, which she knows. It is the home of that outlawed woman where
Madame Arles had died. Here at least she will be met with sympathy, even
if the truth were wholly known; and yet perhaps last of all places would
she have it known there. She taps at the door; she has wandered out of
her way, and asks for a moment's rest. The little boy of the house, when
he has made out the visitor by a few furtive peeps from behind the
mother's chair, comes to her fawningly and familiarly; and as Adèle
looks into his bright, fearless eyes, a new courage seems to possess
her. God's children, all of us; and He careth even for the sparrows. She
will conquer her despairing weakness; she will accept her cross and bear
it resolutely. By slow degrees she is won over by the frolicsome humor
of the curly-pated boy, who never once quits her side, into cheerful
prattle with him. And when at last, fairly rested, she would set off on
her return, the lone woman says she will see her safely as far as the
village street; the boy, too, insists doggedly upon attending them; and
so, with her hand tightly clasped in the hand of the lad, Adèle makes
her way back into the town. Along the street she passes, even under the
windows of the parsonage, with her hand still locked in that of the
outlawed boy; and she wonders if in broad day the same courage would be
meted to her? They only part when within sight of the broad glow of
light from the Elderkin windows; and here Adèle, taking out her purse,
counts out the half of her money and places it in the hands of the boy.

"We will share and share alike, Willie," said she, "But never tell who
gave you this."

"But, Miss Maverick, it's too much," said the woman.

"No, it's not," said the boy, clutching it eagerly.

With a parting good-night, Adèle darted within the gate, and opened
softly the door, determined to meet courageously whatever rebuffs might
be in store for her.


LV.

Rose has detailed the story of the occurrence, with the innocent
curiosity of girlhood, to the Squire and Mrs. Elderkin (Phil being just
now away). The Squire, as he hears it, has passed a significant look
across to Mrs. Elderkin.

"It's very queer, isn't it?" asked Rose.

"Very," said the Squire, who had for some time cherished suspicions of
certain awkward relations existing between Maverick and the mother of
Adèle, but never so decided as this story would seem to warrant. "And
what said Adèle?" continued he.

"It disturbed her, I think, papa; she didn't seem at all herself."

"Rose, my dear," said the kindly old gentleman, "there is some unlucky
family difference between Mr. and Mrs. Maverick, and I dare say the talk
was unpleasant to Adèle; if I were you, I wouldn't allude to it again;
don't mention it, please, Rose."

If it could be possible, good Mrs. Elderkin greeted Adèle as she came in
more warmly than ever. "You must be careful, my dear, of these first
spring days of ours; you are late to-night."

"Yes," says Adèle, "I was gone longer than I thought. I rambled off to
the churchyard, and I have been at the Doctor's."

Again the old people exchanged glances.

Why does she find herself watching their looks so curiously? Yet there
is nothing but kindness in them. She is glad Phil is not there.

The next morning the Squire stepped over at an early hour to the
parsonage, and by an adroit question or two, which the good Doctor had
neither the art nor the disposition to evade, unriddled the whole truth
with respect to the parentage of Adèle. The Doctor also advised him of
the delusion of the poor girl with respect to Madame Arles, and how he
had considered it unwise to attempt any explanation until he should hear
further from Mr. Maverick, whose recent letter he counted it his duty to
lay before Mr. Elderkin.

"It's a sad business," said he.

And the Doctor, "_The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at
what they stumble._"

The Squire walks home in a brown study. Like all the rest, he has been
charmed with the liveliness and grace of Adèle; over and over he has
said to his boy, "How fares it, Phil? Why, at your age, my boy, I should
have had her in the toils long ago."

Since her domestication under his own roof, the old gentleman's liking
for her had grown tenfold strong; he had familiarized himself with the
idea of counting her one of his own flock. But, the child of a
French----

"Well, well, we will see what the old lady may say," reflected he. And
he took the first private occasion to lay the matter before Mrs.
Elderkin.

"Well, mother, the suspicions of last night are all true,--true as a
book."

"God help the poor child, then!" said Madam, holding up her hands.

"Of course He'll do that, wife. But what say you to Phil's marriage now?
Does it look as tempting as it did?"

The old lady reflected a moment, lifting her hand to smooth the hair
upon her temple, as if in aid of her thought, then said,--"Giles, you
know the world better than I; you know best what may be well for the
boy. I love Adèle very much; I do not believe that I should love her any
less if she were the wife of Phil. But you know best, Giles; you must
decide."

"There's a good woman!" said the Squire; and he stayed his pace up and
down the room to lay his hand approvingly upon the head of the old lady,
touching as tenderly those gray locks as ever he had done in earlier
years the ripples of golden brown.

In a few days Phil returns,--blithe, hopeful, winsome as ever. He is
puzzled, however, by the grave manner of the Squire, when he takes him
aside, after the first hearty greetings, and says, "Phil, my lad, how
fares it with the love matter? Have things come to a crisis, eh?"

"What do you mean, father?" and Phil blushes like a boy of ten.

"I mean to ask, Philip," said the old gentleman, measuredly, "if you
have made any positive declaration to Miss Maverick."

"Not yet," said Phil, with a modest frankness.

"Very good, my son, very good. And now, Phil, I would wait a
little,--take time for reflection; don't do anything rashly. It's an
important step to take."

"But, father," says Phil, puzzled by the old gentleman's manner, "what
does this mean?"

"Philip," said the Squire, with a seriousness that seemed almost comical
by its excess, "would you really marry Adèle?"

"To-morrow, if I could," said Phil.

"Tut, tut, Phil! It's the old hot blood in him!" (He says this, as if to
himself.) "Philip, I wouldn't do so, my boy."

And thereupon he gives him in his way a story of the revelations of the
last few days.

At the first, Phil is disposed to an indignant denial, as if by no
possibility any indignity could attach to the name or associations of
Adèle. But in the whirl of his feeling he remembered that interview with
Reuben, and his boast that Phil could not affront the conventionalities
of the world. It confirmed the truth to him in a moment. Reuben then had
known the whole, and had been disinterestedly generous. Should he be any
less so?

"Well, father," said Phil, after a minute or two of silence, "I don't
think the story changes my mind one whit. I would marry her to-morrow,
if I could," and he looked the Squire fairly and squarely in the face.

"Gad, boy," said the old gentleman, "you must love her as I loved your
mother!"

"I hope I do," said Phil,--"that is if I win her. I don't think she's to
be had for the asking."

"Aha! the pinch lies there, eh?" said the Squire, and he said it in
better humor than he would have said it ten days before. "What's the
trouble, Philip?"

"Well, sir, I think she always had a tenderness for Reuben; I think she
loves him now in her heart."

"So, so! The wind lies there, eh? Well, let it bide, my boy; let it bide
awhile. We shall know something more of the matter soon."

And there the discourse of the Squire ended.

Meantime, however, Rose and Adèle are having a little private interview
above stairs, which in its subject-matter is not wholly unrelated to the
same theme.

"Rose," Adèle had said, as she fondled her in her winning way, "your
brother Phil has been very kind to me."

"He always meant to be," said Rose, with a charming glow upon her face.

"He always _has_ been," said Adèle; "but, dear Rose, I know I can talk
as plainly to you as to another self almost."

"You can,--you can, Ady," said she.

"I have thought," continued Adèle, "though I know it is very unmaidenly
in me to say it, that Phil was disposed sometimes to talk even more
warmly than he has ever talked, and to ask me to be a nearer friend to
him even than you, dear Rose. May be it is only my own vanity that leads
me sometimes to suspect this."

"O, I hope it may be true!" burst forth Rose.

"I hope _not_," said Adèle, with a voice so gravely earnest that Rose
shuddered.

"O Ady, you don't mean it! you who are so good, so kind! Phil's heart
will break."

"I don't think that," said Adèle, with a faint hard smile, in which her
womanly vanity struggled with her resolution. "And whatever might have
been, that which I have hinted at _must_ not be now, dear Rose. You will
know some day why--why it would be ungrateful in me to determine
otherwise. Promise me, darling, that you will discourage any inclination
toward it, wherever you can best do so. Promise me, dear Rose!"

"Do you really, truly mean it?" said the other, with a disappointment
she but poorly concealed.

"With all my heart, I do," said Adèle.

And Rose promised, while she threw herself upon the neck of Adèle and
said, "I am so sorry! It will be such a blow to poor Phil!"

After this, things went on very much in their old way. To the great
relief of Adèle there was no explosive village demonstration of the news
which had come home so cruelly to herself. The Doctor had given an
admonition to the young minister, and the old Squire had told him, in a
pointed and confidential way, that he had heard of his inquiries and
assertions with respect to Mr. Maverick, and begged to hint that the
relations between the father and the mother of Adèle were not of the
happiest, and it was quite possible that Mr. Maverick had assumed
latterly the name of a bachelor; it was not, however, a very profitable
subject of the speculation or of gossip, and if he valued the favor of
the young ladies he would forbear all allusion to it. A suggestion which
Mr. Catesby was not slow to accept religiously, and scrupulously to bear
in mind.

Phil was as hot a lover as ever, though for a time a little more
distant: and the poor fellow remarked a new timidity and reserve about
Adèle, which, so far from abating, only fed the flame; and there is no
knowing to what reach it might have blazed out, if a trifling little
circumstance had not paralyzed his zeal.

From time to time, Phil had been used to bring home a rare flower or two
as a gift for Adèle, which Rose had always lovingly arranged in some
coquettish fashion, either upon the bosom or in the hair of Adèle; but a
new and late gift of this kind--a little tuft of the trailing arbutus
which he has clambered over miles of woodland to secure--is not worn by
Adèle, but by Rose, who glances into the astounded face of Phil with a
pretty, demure look of penitence.

"I say, Rose," says he, seizing his chance for a private word,--"that's
not for you."

"I know it, Phil; Adèle gave it to me."

"And that's her favorite flower."

"Yes, Phil," and there is a shake in her voice now. "I think she's grown
tired of such gifts, Phil";--whereat she glances keenly and pitifully at
him.

"_Truly_, Rose?" says Phil, with the color on a sudden quitting his
cheeks.

"Truly,--truly, Phil,"--and in spite of herself the pretty hazel eyes
are brimming full, and, under pretence of some household duty, she
dashes away. For a moment Phil stands confounded. Then, through his set
teeth, he growls, "I was a fool not to have known it!"

But Phil was not a fool, but a sturdy, brave-hearted fellow, who bore
whatever blows fortune gave him, or seemed to give, with a courage that
had a fine elastic temper in it. He may have made his business
engagements at the river or in the city a little more frequent and
prolonged after this; but always there was the same deferential show of
tender feeling toward his father's guest, whenever he happened in
Ashfield. Indeed, he felt immensely comforted by a little report which
Rose made to him in her most despairing manner. Adèle had told her that
she "would never, never marry."

There are a great many mothers of fine families who have made such a
speech at twenty or thereabout; and Phil knew it.


LVI.

We by no means intend to represent our friend Adèle as altogether a
saint. Such creatures are very rare, and not always the most lovable,
according to our poor human ways of thinking; but she may possibly grow
into saintship, in view of a certain sturdy religious sense of duty that
belongs to her, and a faith that is always glowing. At present she is a
high-spirited, sensitive girl,--not without her pride and her lesser
vanities, not without an immense capacity for loving and being loved,
but just now trembling under that shock to her sensibilities which we
have detailed,--but never fainting, never despairing. Not even
relinquishing her pride, but guarding it with triple defences, by her
reserve in respect to Phil, as well as by a certain new dignity of
manner which has grown out of her conflict with the opprobrium that
seems to threaten, for no fault of her own.

Adèle sees clearly now the full burden of Reuben's proposal to cherish
and guard her against whatever indignities might threaten; she sees more
clearly than ever the rich, impulsive generosity of his nature
reflected, and it disturbs her grievously to think that she had met it
only with reproach. The thought of the mad, wild, godless career upon
which he may have entered, and of which the village gossips are full, is
hardly more afflictive to her than her recollection of that frank,
self-sacrificing generosity, so ignobly requited. She longs in her heart
to clear the debt,--to tell him what grateful sense she has of his
intended kindness. But how? Should she,--being what she is,--even by a
word, seem to invite a return of that devotion which may be was but the
passion of an hour, and which it were fatal to renew? Her pride revolts
at this. And yet--and yet--so brave a generosity shall not be wholly
unacknowledged. She writes:--

"Reuben, I know now the full weight of the favor of what you promised to
bestow upon me when I so blindly reproached you with intrusion upon my
private griefs. Forgive me, Reuben! I thank you now, late as it is, with
my whole heart. It is needless to tell you how I came to know what,
perhaps, I had better never have known, but which must always have
overhung me as a dark cloud charged with a blasting fate. This
knowledge, dear Reuben, which separates us so surely and so widely,
relieves me of the embarrassment which I might otherwise have felt in
telling you of my lasting gratitude, and (if as a sister I may say it)
my love. If your kind heart could so overflow with pity then, you will
surely pity me the more now; yet not _too much_, Reuben, for my pride as
a woman is as strong as ever. The world was made for me, as much as it
was made for others; and if I bear its blight, I will find some flowers
yet to cherish. I do not count it altogether so grim and odious a
world,--even under the broken light which shines upon it for me,--as in
your last visits you seemed disposed to reckon it.

"And this reminds me, Reuben, that I have told you frankly how the cloud
which overhung me has opened with a terrible surety. How is it with the
cloud that lay upon you? Is there any light? Ah, Reuben, when I recall
those days in which long ago your faith in something better beyond this
world than lies in it seemed to be so much stronger and firmer than
mine, and when your trust was so confident as to make mine stronger, it
seems like a strange dream to me,--all the more when now you, who should
reason more justly than I, believe in 'nothing,' (was not that your last
word?)--and yet, dear Reuben, I cling,--I cling. Do you remember the old
hymn I sung in those days:--

    'Ingemisco tanquam reus,
    Culpa rubet vultus meus;
    Supplicanti parce, Deus.'

Even the old Doctor, who was so troubled by the Romish hymns, said it
must have been written by a good man."

Much more she writes in this vein, but returns ever and again to that
noble generosity of his,--her delicacy struggling throughout with her
tender gratitude,--yet she fails not to show a deep, earnest
undercurrent of affection, which surely might develop under sympathy
into a very fever of love. Will it not touch the heart of Reuben? Will
it not divert him from the trail where he wanders blindly? If we have
read his character rightly, surely this letter, in which a delicate
sensibility hardly veils a great passionate wealth of feeling, will stir
him to a new and more hopeful venture.

God send that the letter may reach him safely!

For a long time Adèle has not written to Reuben, and it occurs to her,
as she strolls away toward the village post, that to mail it herself may
possibly provoke new town gossip. In this perplexity she presently
encounters her boy friend, Arthur, who for a handful of pennies, and
under injunction of secrecy, cheerfully undertakes the duty. To the
house of the lad's mother, far away as it was, Adèle had wandered
frequently of late, and had borne away from time to time some trifling
memento of the dead one whose memory so endeared the spot. It happens
that she continues her stroll thither on this occasion; and the poor
woman, toward whom Adèle's charities have flowed with a profusion that
has astounded the Doctor, repays some new gift by placing in her hands a
little embroidered kerchief, "too fine for such as she," which had
belonged to Madame Arles. A flimsy bit of muslin daintily embroidered;
but there is a name stitched upon its corner, for which Adèle treasures
it past all reckoning,--the name of _Julie Chalet_.

It was as if the dead one had suddenly come back and whispered it in her
ear,--Julie Chalet. The spring birds sung the name in chorus as she
walked home; and on the grave-stone, under the cross, she seemed to see
it cut upon the marble,--Julie Chalet.

Adèle has written to her father, of course, in those days when the first
shock of the new revelation had passed. How could she do otherwise? If
she has poured out the bitterness of her grief and of her isolation, she
has mercifully spared him any reproach!

"I think I now understand," she writes, "the reason of your long absence
from me. Whatever other griefs I bear, I will not believe that it has
been from lack of affection for me. I recall that day, dear papa, when,
with my head lying on your bosom, you said to me, 'She is unworthy; I
will love you for both.' You must! But was she, papa, so utterly
unworthy? I think I have known her; nay, I feel almost sure,--sure that
these arms held her in the moment when she breathed adieu to the world.
If ever bad, I am sure that she must have grown into goodness. I cannot,
I will not, think otherwise. I can tell you so many of her kind deeds as
will take away your condemnation. In this hope I live, dear papa.

"I have found her true name too, at last,--Julie Chalet,--is it not so?
I wonder with what feeling you will read it; will it be with a wakened
fondness? will it be with loathing? I tremble while I ask. You shall go
with me (will you not?) _to her grave_; and there a kind Heaven will put
in our hearts what memories are best.

"I know now the secret of your caution in respect to Reuben; you have
been unwilling that _your child_ should bring any possible shame to the
household of a friend! Trust to me,--trust to _me_, papa, your
sensitiveness cannot possibly be keener, if it be more generous, than my
own. Yet I have never told you--what I have since learned--of the
unselfish devotion of Reuben, which declared itself when he knew
all,--all. Would I not be almost tempted to thank him with--myself? Yet,
trust me, if I have written him with an almost unmaidenly warmth, I have
called to his mind the great gulf that _must_ lie between us.

"Is the old godmother, of whom you used to speak, still alive? It seems
that I should love to hang about her neck in memory of days gone; it
seems that I should love the warm sky under which I was born,--I am sure
I should love the olive orchards, and the vines, and the light upon the
sea. I feel as if I were living in chains now. When, when will you come
to break them, and set me free?"

In those days of May, when the leaflets were unfolding, and when the
downy bluebells were lifting their clustered blossoms filled with a
mysterious fragrance, like the breath of young babes, Adèle loved to
linger in the study of the parsonage; more than ever the good Doctor
seemed a "New Papa,"--more than ever his eye dwelt upon her with a
parental smile. It was not that she loved Rose less, that she lingered
here so long; but she could not shake off the conviction that some day
soon Rose might shrink from her. The good Doctor never would. Nor can it
be counted strange if there, in the study so familiar to her childhood,
she should recall the days when she had frolicked down the orchard,
when Reuben had gathered flowers for her, when life seemed enchanting.
Was it enchanting now?

The Doctor was always gravely kind. "Have courage, Adaly, have courage!"
he was wont to say, "God orders all things right."

And somehow, when she hears him say it, she believes it more than ever.

Ten days, a fortnight, and a month pass, and there is no acknowledgment
from Reuben of her grateful letter. He does not count it worth his
while, apparently, to break his long silence; or, possibly, he is too
much engrossed with livelier interests to give a thought to this episode
of his old life in Ashfield. Adèle is disturbed by it; but the very
disturbance gives her new courage to combat faithfully the difficulties
of her position. "One cheering word I would have thought he might have
given me," said she.

The appeal to her father, too, has no answer. Before it reaches its
destination, Maverick has taken ship for America; and, singularly
enough, it is fated that the letter of Adèle should be first opened and
read--by her mother.


LVII.

Some time in mid-May of this year Maverick writes:--

"My dear Johns,--I shall again greet you, God willing, in your own home,
some forty days hence, and I shall come as a repentant Benedick; for I
now wear the dignities of a married man. Your kind letter counted for a
great deal toward my determination; but I will not affect to conceal
from you, that my tender interest in the future of Adèle counted for a
great deal more. As I had supposed, the communication to Julie (which I
effected through her brother) that her child was still living, and
living motherless, woke all the tenderness of her nature. I cannot say
that the sudden change in her inclinations was any way flattering to me;
but knowing her recent religious austerities, I was prepared for this. I
shall not undertake to describe to you our first interview, which I can
never forget. It belongs to those heart-secrets which cannot be spoken
of; but this much I may tell you,--that, if there was no kindling of the
old and wayward love, there grew out of it a respect for her present
severity and elevation of character that I had never anticipated. At our
age, indeed, (though, when I think of it, I must be many years your
junior,) a respect for womanly character most legitimately takes the
place of that disorderly sentiment which twenty years ago blazed out in
passion.

"We have been married according to the rites of the Romish Church. If I
had proposed other ceremony, more agreeable to your views, I am
confident that she would not have listened to me. She is wrapped as
steadfastly in her creed as ever you in yours. To do otherwise in so
sacred a matter--and with her it wore solely that aspect--than as her
Church commands, would have been to do foully and vainly. I had prepared
you, I think, for her perversity in this matter; nor do I think that all
your zeal and powers of persuasion could make her recreant to the faith
for which she has immolated all the womanly vanities which certainly
once belonged to her. Indeed, the only trace of worldliness which I see
in her is her intense yearning toward our dear Adèle, and her passionate
longing to clasp her child once more to her heart. Nor will I conceal
from you that she hopes, with all the fervor of a mother's hope, to wean
her from what she counts the heretical opinions under which she has been
reared, and to bring her into the fold of the faithful.

"You will naturally ask, my dear Johns, why I do not combat this; but I
am too old and too far spent for a fight about creeds. I should have
made a lame fight on that score at any day; but now my main concern, it
would seem, should be to look out personally for the creed which has
most of mercy in it. If I seem to speak triflingly, my dear Johns, I
pray you excuse me; it is only my business way of stating the actual
facts in the case. As for Madame Maverick, I am sure you will find no
trifling in her (if you ever meet her); she is terribly in earnest. I
tell her she would have made a magnificent lady prioress, whereat she
thumbs her beads and whispers a Latin distich, as if she were exorcising
a demon. Yet I should do wrong if I were to represent her as always
severe, even upon such a theme; there certainly belongs to her a tender,
appealing manner (reminding of Adèle in a way that brings tears to my
eyes); but it is always bounded by allegiance to her sworn faith. You
will think it an exaggeration, but she reminds me at times of those
women of the New Testament (which I have not altogether forgotten) who
gave up all for the following of the Master. If I were in your study, my
dear Johns, you might ask me who those women were? And for my soul I
could not tell you. Yet I have a vague recollection that there were
those who showed a beautiful devotion to the Christian faith, that
somehow sublimated their lives and memories. Again, I feel constrained
to put before you another feature in her character, which I am confident
will make you feel kindly toward her; my home near to Marseilles, which
has been but a gypsy home for so many years, she has taken under her
hand, and by its new appointments and order has convicted me of the
losses I have felt so long. True, you might object to the _oratoire_;
but in all else I am confident you would approve, and in all else
felicitate Adèle upon the home which was preparing for her.

"Madame Maverick will not sail with me for America; although the
marriage, under French law, may have admitted Adèle to all rights and
even social immunities, yet I have represented that another law and
custom rules with you. Whatever opprobrium might attach to the mother,
Julie, with her exalted religious sentiment, would not weigh for a
moment; but as regards Adèle, she manifests a strange tenderness. To
spare her any pang, or possible pangs, she is content to wait. I have
feared, too, I must confess, that any undue expression of condemnation
or distrust might work revulsion of her own feeling. But while she
assents,--with some reluctance, I must admit,--to this plan of deferring
her meeting with Adèle, on whom all her affections seem to centre, she
insists, in a way that I find it difficult to combat, upon her child's
speedy return. That her passionate love will insure entire devotion on
the part of Adèle, I cannot doubt. And how the anti-Romish faith which
must have been instilled in the dear girl by your teachings, as well as
by her associations, may withstand the earnest attack of Madame
Maverick, I cannot tell. I have a fear it may lead to some dismal
complications. You know what the earnestness of your own faith is; but I
don't think you yet know the earnestness of an opposing faith, with a
Frenchwoman to back it. Even as I write, she comes to cast a glance at
my work, and says, 'Monsieur Maverick,' (she called me Frank once,)
'what are you saying there to the heretical Doctor?'

"Whereupon I translate for her ear a sentence or two. 'Tell him,' says
she, 'that I thank him for his kindness; tell him besides, that I can in
no way better atone for the guiltiness of the past, than by bringing
back this wandering lamb into the true fold. Only when we kneel before
the same altar, her hand in mine, can I feel that she is truly my
child.'

"I fear greatly this zeal may prove infectious.

"And now, my dear Johns, in regard to the revelation to Adèle of what is
written here,--of the whole truth, in short, for it must come out,--I
haven't the heart or the courage to make it myself. I must throw myself
on your charity. For Heaven's sake, tell the story as kindly as you can.
Don't let her think too harshly of me. See to it, I pray, that my name
don't become a bugbear in the village. I have pretty broad shoulders,
and could bear it, if I only were to be sufferer; but I am sure 't would
react fearfully on the sensibilities of poor Adèle. _That_ sin is past
cure and past preachment; no good can come from trumpeting wrath against
it. Do me this favor, Johns, and you will find me a more willing
listener in what is to come. I can't promise, indeed, to accept all your
dogmas; there is a thick crust of the world on me, and I doubt if you
could force them through it; but, for Adèle's sake, I think I could
become a very orderly and presentable person, even for a New England
meeting-house. I will make a beginning now by turning over the little
property which you hold for Adèle, in trust, for disbursement in your
parish charities. The dear child won't need it, and the parish may."

The Doctor was happy to be relieved of the worst part of the revelation;
but he had yet to communicate the fact that the mother was still alive,
and (what was to him worst of all) that she was imbruted with the
delusions of the Romish Church. He chose his hour, and, meeting her upon
the village street, asked her into his study.

"Adaly, your father is coming. He will be here within a month."

"At last! at last!" said she, with a cry of joy.

"But, Adaly," continued he, with great gravity, "I have perhaps led you
into error. Your mother, Adaly,--your mother is still living."

"Living!" and an expression almost of radiance shot over the fair face.
But in an instant it was gone. Was not the poor lady she had so
religiously mourned over her mother? That death embrace and the tomb
were, then, only solemn mockeries! With a frightful alertness her
thought ran to them,--weighed them. "New Papa," said she, approaching
him with a gravity that matched his own, "is this some new delusion? Is
it true? Has he written me?"

"He has not written you, my child; but I have a letter, informing me of
his marriage, and begging me to make the revelation to you as kindly as
I might."

"Marriage! Marriage to whom?" says Adèle, her eyes flashing fire, and
her lips showing a tempest of scarce controllable feeling.

"Marriage to your mother, Adaly. He would be just at last."

"O my God!" exclaimed Adèle, with a burst of tears. "It's false! I shall
never see my mother again in this world. I know it! I know it!"

"But, Adaly, my child, consider!" said the old gentleman.

Adèle did not heed him. She was lost in her own griefs. She could only
exclaim, "O my father! my father!"

The old Doctor was greatly moved; he laid down his spectacles, and paced
up and down the room. The earnestness of her doubt made him almost
believe that he was himself deceived.

"Can it be? can it be?" he muttered, half under breath, while Adèle sat
drooping in her chair. "May be the instinct of the poor girl is right,
after all," thought he,--"sin is so full of disguises."

At this moment there is a sharp tap at the door, and Miss Eliza steps
in, the bearer of a letter from Reuben.



KILLED AT THE FORD


    He is dead, the beautiful youth,
    The heart of honor, the tongue of truth,--
    He, the life and light of us all,
    Whose voice was blithe as a bugle call,
    Whom all eyes followed with one consent,
    The cheer of whose laugh, and whose pleasant word,
    Hushed all murmurs of discontent.

    Only last night, as we rode along
    Down the dark of the mountain gap,
    To visit the picket-guard at the ford,
    Little dreaming of any mishap,
    He was humming the words of some old song:
    "Two red roses he had on his cap
    And another he bore at the point of his sword."

    Sudden and swift a whistling ball
    Came out of a wood, and the voice was still;
    Something I heard in the darkness fall,
    And for a moment my blood grew chill;
    I spake in a whisper, as he who speaks
    In a room where some one is lying dead;
    But he made no answer to what I said.

    We lifted him up on his saddle again,
    And through the mire and the mist and the rain
    Carried him back to the silent camp,
    And laid him as if asleep on his bed;
    And I saw by the light of the surgeon's lamp
    Two white roses upon his cheeks,
    And one just over his heart blood-red!

    And I saw in a vision how far and fleet
    That fatal bullet went speeding forth,
    Till it reached a town in the distant North,
    Till it reached a house in a sunny street,
    Till it reached a heart that ceased to beat
    Without a murmur, without a cry;
    And a bell was tolled in that far-off town,
    For one who had passed from cross to crown,--
    And the neighbors wondered that she should die.



THE LATE INSURRECTION IN JAMAICA.


If Cuba be the Queen of the Antilles, then fairest of the sisterhood
which adorn her regal state is Jamaica. A land of streams and mountains,
from the one it derives almost inexhaustible fertility of valleys and
plains; from the other, enchanting prospects, which challenge comparison
with the scenery even of Tyrol and Switzerland. Tropical along its
shores, temperate up its steep hills, the sun of Africa on its plains,
the frosts of New England in its mountains, there is scarcely a luxury
of the South or a comfort of the North which may not be cultivated to
advantage somewhere within its borders. Here is the natural home of the
sugar-cane; and it is scarcely a figure of speech to say that the sugar
supply of the world might come from the teeming bosom of this little
island. Here too are slopes of hills, and broad savannas, where "the
grass may almost be _seen_ growing," and where may be bred cattle fit to
compete with the far-famed herds of England. The forests are full of
mahogany and logwood. The surrounding waters swarm with fish of every
variety, and of the finest flavor. Nominally, at least, the people are
free and self-governed; and if, under propitious skies, the burdens
either of the private home or of the state are heavy and crushing, it is
because of mismanagement and not of necessity. To a casual observer,
therefore, it would seem as if nowhere in the same space were gathered
more elements of wealth, prosperity, and happiness than in Jamaica.

       *       *       *       *       *

Yet Jamaica is poor and discontented, and from year to year is growing
more miserable and more full of complaints. While on the little island
of Barbadoes, which is flat and comparatively destitute of natural
beauty, the inhabitant is proud to the verge of the ludicrous of his
home, the Jamaican, dwelling amid scenes of perpetual loveliness,
despises his native soil. And not without reason. For Jamaica presents
that saddest and least flattering sight, a land sinking into hopeless
ruin. Her plantations are left uncultivated. Her cities look time-worn
and crumbling. Her fields, which once blossomed like the rose, are
relapsing into the wilderness. She does not feed her people. She does
not clothe them. She does not furnish them shelter. With three hundred
and fifty thousand negroes she has not sufficient labor. With twenty
thousand whites she has not employers enough who are capable of managing
wisely and paying honestly what labor she has. With a soil which Nature
has made one broad pasture, she does not raise the half of her own beef
and pork. With plains which ought to be waving with luxuriant harvests
of wheat and corn, her children are fed from our overflowing granaries.
With woods filled with trees fit for building, she sends all the way to
the Provinces for shingles, joist, and boards. On her two hundred swift,
sparkling rivers there was not, in 1850, a single saw-mill. In an age of
invention and labor-saving machines, the plough is to her a modern
innovation; and her laborers still scratch the soil which they seek to
till with tools of the Middle Ages. Even the production of sugar, to
which she has sacrificed every other industrial interest, has sunk from
the boasted hundred and fifty thousand hogsheads of the last century, to
a meagre yearly crop of thirty thousand. Nine tenths of her proprietors
are absentees. More than that proportion of her great estates are
ruinously mortgaged. A tourist gives as the final evidence of
exhaustion, that Jamaica has no amusements, no circus, no theatre, no
opera, none of the pleasant trifles which surplus wealth creates.

Nor are the moral aspects any more encouraging. Slavery, dying, cursed
the soil with its fatal bequest, contempt for labor; and the years which
have elapsed since emancipation have done little or nothing to give to
the toiler conscious dignity and worth. The bondsman, scarcely yet freed
from all his chains, naturally enough thinks that, "if Massa will not
work," it is the highest gentility in him not to work either, and sighs
for a few acres whereon he may live in sluggish content. And his quondam
master, left to his own resources, will not any more than before put his
shoulder to the work; and, though sunk himself in sloth, ceases not to
complain of another's indolence. The spirit of caste is still
relentless. The white man despises the black man, and, if he can, cheats
him and tramples upon him. The black man, in return, suspects and fears
his old oppressor, and sometimes, goaded to desperation, turns upon him.
A perpetual discontent has always brooded over Jamaica; and it is
recorded that no less than thirty bloody rebellions have left their
crimson stains on her ignoble annals.

It is in vain to inquire for the causes of this physical and moral
decay. For every class has its special complaint, every traveller his
favorite theory, and every political economist his sufficient
explanation. But let the cause be what it may, the fact stands out black
and repulsive. Jamaica, which came from the hand of the Creator a fair
and well-watered garden, has presented for more than half a century that
melancholy spectacle, too common in Equatorial America, of a land rich
in every natural advantage, and yet through the misfortune or folly of
its people plunged in poverty and misery.

       *       *       *       *       *

The world at large had become tired of the griefs of Jamaica, and
reconciled itself to her wretchedness as a foregone conclusion, when the
events of last October lent a fresh and terrible interest to her
history. An insurrection, including in its purpose the murder of every
white man on the island, has been quenched in the blood of its leaders,
say the Governor of Jamaica and his defenders. An insignificant riot has
been followed by a wholesale and indiscriminate massacre, sparing not
even the women and children, reply their opponents.

Admitting for a moment the whole planter theory of a general
insurrection, the question inevitably arises, What are the causes which
would prompt such a rebellion, and which, while they do not justify
violence, furnish reasons why every humane mind should desire to treat
with leniency the errors, and even the crimes, of an ignorant and
oppressed race? The ordinary burden of the Jamaica negro is far from a
light one. The yearly expense of his government is not less than a
million dollars, or about three dollars for every man, woman, and child
on the island. The executive and judicial departments are on a scale of
expense which would befit a continent. The Governor receives a salary of
forty thousand dollars, the Chief Justice fifteen thousand dollars, the
Associate Justices ten thousand dollars. The ecclesiastical
establishment, which ministers little or nothing to the religious wants
of the colored race, absorbs another huge portion of the public revenue.
And all this magnificence of expenditure in a population of twenty
thousand bankrupt whites and three hundred and fifty thousand half-naked
blacks. If, now, the negro believed that this burden was distributed
evenly, he might bear it with patience. But he does not believe so. He
is sure, on the contrary, that the white man, who controls legislation,
so assesses the revenue that it shall relieve the rich and burden the
poor. He tells you that the luxuries of the planter are admitted at a
nominal duty, while the coarse fabrics with which he must clothe himself
and family pay forty per cent; that while the planter's huge hogshead of
seventeen hundred pounds' weight pays only an excise of three shillings,
the hard-raised barrel of his home produce of two hundred pounds must
pay two shillings; that every miserable mule-cart of the petty
land-owner is subjected to eighteen shillings license, while the great
ox-carts of the thousand-acre plantation go untaxed,--a law under which
the number of little carts in one district sunk from five hundred to
less than two hundred, and with it sunk who shall tell how much growing
enterprise. These complaints may be unjust, but the negro believes in
them, and they chafe and exasperate him.

Another important question is, What is the ability of the negro to bear
these burdens? A defender of the planters gravely asserts "that the
negro demands a price for his labor which would be exorbitant in any
part of the world." What is that exorbitant price? An able-bodied
agricultural laborer in Jamaica receives from eighteen to thirty cents a
day; and, if he is both fortunate and industrious, may net for a year's
work the fabulous sum of from fifty to eighty dollars. And this in a
country which is one of the dearest in the world; where the necessaries
of life are always at war prices; where flour is now twenty dollars a
barrel, and eggs are fifty cents a dozen, and butter is forty cents a
pound, and ham twenty-five, and beef and mutton still higher.

Did the laborer actually receive his pittance, his lot might be more
tolerable. But it is the almost universal complaint, that, either from
inability or disinclination, the planter does not keep his agreements.
Sometimes the overseer, when the work has been done, and well done,
arbitrarily retains a quarter, or even a half, of the stipulated wages.
The negro says he has no chance for redress; that even a written
agreement is worth no more than a blank paper, for the magistrates are
either all planters, or their dependents, and have no ears to hear the
cry of the lowly. Add now to all this the fact, that the last few
seasons have been unfavorable to agriculture; that planters and peasants
alike are even more than usually poor; that in whole districts the
blacks are destitute, their children up to the age of ten or twelve
years from absolute necessity going about stark naked, and their men and
women wearing only rags and streamers, which do not preserve even the
show of decency;--and is there not sufficient reason, not indeed to
justify murder and arson, but why a whole race of suffering and
excitable people should not be stamped as fiends in human shape for the
outrages of a few of their number?

       *       *       *       *       *

Turn now to the actual scene of conflict. In a little triangular tract
of country on the east shore of Jamaica, hemmed in between the sea and
the Blue Mountains, twenty-five miles long and two thirds as wide,
occurred in October last what Governor Eyre has seen fit to dignify with
the name of an insurrection. The first act of violence was committed at
Morant Bay,--a town where it is said that no missionary to the blacks
has been permitted to live for thirty-five years,--in the parish of St.
Thomas in the East,--that very St. Thomas, possibly, whose court-house
was called forty years ago the "hell of Jamaica," and where is preserved
as a pleasant relic of the past a record book wherein the curious
traveller reads the prices paid in the palmy days of slavery for cutting
off the ears and legs, and slitting the noses, of runaway negroes. Had
these negroes of Morant Bay any special causes of exasperation? They
had. Their complaint was threefold. First, that the only magistrate who
protected their interests had been arbitrarily removed. Second, that a
plantation claimed by them to be deserted was as arbitrarily adjudged to
be the rightful property of a white man. Third, that the plucking of
fruit by the wayside, which had been a custom from time immemorial, and
which resembled the plucking of ears of corn under the Jewish law, was
by new regulations made a crime. Thus matters stood on the day of the
outbreak; a general condition of poverty and discontent throughout the
island; a special condition of exasperation in the parish of St. Thomas
in the East, and particularly at Morant Bay.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the 7th of last October, a negro was arrested for picking two
cocoanuts, value threepence. This arrest had every exasperating
condition. The fruit was taken from a plantation whose title was
disputed, and upon which the negroes had squatted. The law which made
the plucking of fruit a crime was itself peculiarly obnoxious. The
magistrate before whom the offence was to be tried, rightly or wrongly,
was accused by the blacks of gross partiality and injustice. The accused
man was followed to the court by a crowd of his friends, armed, it is
said, with clubs, though this latter statement seems to be doubtful.
When a sentence of four shillings' fine, or, in default of payment,
thirty days' imprisonment, was imposed, the award was received in
silence. But when the costs were adjudged to be twelve shillings and
sixpence, there were murmurs. Some tumultuously advised the man not to
pay. Some, believing the case involved the title to the land, told him
to appeal to a higher court. The magistrate ordered the arrest of all
noisy persons. But these fled to the street, and, shielded by the
citizens, escaped. The next day but one, six constables armed with a
warrant proceeded to Stony Gut, the scene of the original arrest, to
take into custody twenty-eight persons accused of riot. But they were
forcibly resisted, handcuffed with their own irons, and forced
ignominiously to take their way back. Some of the arrests, however, were
made quietly a little time after.

On the 11th of October dawned an eventful day. The magistrates were
assembled in the court-house at Morant Bay for the purpose of examining
the prisoners. The court-house was guarded by twenty armed volunteers, a
body apparently of local militia. Some four or five hundred excited
blacks surrounded the court-house, armed with bludgeons, grasping
stones. What led to a collision can never be known. Very probably
missiles were thrown at the guard. At any rate the officer in command
ordered them to fire upon the crowd, and fifteen of the rioters fell
dead or wounded. Then all restraint was at an end. The negroes threw
themselves with incredible fury upon the guard, drove them into the
court-house, summoned them to surrender at discretion, then set fire to
the building, and murdered, with many circumstances of atrocity, the
unhappy inmates, as they sought to flee. Sixteen were killed, and
eighteen wounded, while a few escaped unharmed, by the help of the
negroes themselves. This was the beginning and the end of the famous
armed insurrection, so far as it ever was armed insurrection. The
rioters dispersed. The spirit of insubordination spread to the
plantations. There was general confusion, some destruction of property,
some robbery. The whites were filled with alarm. Many left all and fled.
The most exaggerated reports obtained credence. But if we except a Mr.
Hine, who had rendered himself especially unpopular, and who was
murdered on his plantation, not one white man appears to have been
killed in cold blood, and not one white woman or child suffered from
violence of any sort. Facts to the contrary may yet come to light.
Official reports may reveal some secret chapter of bloodshed. But the
chances of such a revelation are small enough. Three months have elapsed
since the first tidings of the outbreak reached the mother country.
There has been a great excitement; investigation has been demanded;
facts have been called for; the defenders of the planters have been
defied to produce facts. Meanwhile the Governor of Jamaica has written
home repeated despatches; the commander of the military forces which
crushed the rebellion has visited England; the planters' journals have
come laden with vulgar abuse of the negro, and with all sorts of evil
surmises as to his motives and purposes; letters have been received from
Jamaica from persons in every position in life; and still no new
facts,--not so much as one clear accusation of any further fatal
violence. The conclusion is irresistible, that this was a riot, and not
an insurrection; and that it began and ended, so far as armed force was
concerned, at Morant Bay, on that unhappy day, the 11th of last October.

It cannot be denied that the occurrences of that day were marked by
some circumstances of painful ferocity. Men were literally hacked to
pieces, crying for mercy. One man's tongue was cut from his mouth even
while he lived. Another, escaping, was thrown back into the burning
building, and roasted to death. The joints of the hand of the dead chief
magistrate were dissevered by the blacks, who cried out exultingly,
"This hand will write no more lying despatches to the Queen." But the
events of that day were marked also by instances of humanity. The clerk
of the court was rescued by his negro servant, who thrust him beneath
the floor, and, watching his opportunity, conveyed him to the shelter of
the woods next morning. A child, who happened to be with his father in
the court-house, was snatched up by a negro woman, who, at the risk of
her own life, carried him to a place of safety. But admitting the worst
charges, any one who remembers the New York riot of 1863 will be slow to
assert that this black mob exhibited any barbarity which has not been
more than emulated by white mobs. Shocking enough the details are; but
human action always and with every race is ferocious, when once the
restraints of self-control and the law are thrown off.

       *       *       *       *       *

With a people so excitable as the blacks of Jamaica, and among whom
there existed so many causes of disaffection, the greatest promptitude
of action was a virtue. Had Governor Eyre marched with a military force
into the district, had he crushed out every vestige of armed resistance,
had he brought before proper tribunals and punished with severity all
persons who were convicted of any complicity in these outrages, he would
have merited the praise of every good man. What he did was to let loose
upon a little district, unmuzzled, the dogs of war. What he did was to
gather from all quarters an armed force, a motley crew, regulars and
militia, sailors and landsmen, black and white, and permit them to hold
for fourteen long days a saturnalia of blood. What he did was to summon
the savage Maroon tribes to the feast of death, that by their barbaric
warfare they might add yet one more shade of gloom to the picture. The
official accounts are enough to blanch the cheek with horror. In two
days after the riot martial law was declared. In four, the outbreak was
hemmed into narrow quarters. In a week, it ceased to exist in any shape.
Yet the work of death went on. Bands of maddened soldiers pierced the
country in every direction. Men were arrested upon the slightest
suspicion. Every petty officer constituted himself a judge; every
private soldier became an executioner. If the black man fled, he was
shot as a rebel; if he surrendered, he was hung on the same pretext,
after the most summary trial. If the number of prisoners became
inconveniently large, they were shot, or else whipped and let go,
apparently according to the whim of the officer in command. Women were
seized, stripped half naked, and thrown among the vulgar soldiery to be
scourged. The estimate is that five hundred and fifty were hung by order
of drum-head court-martials, five hundred destroyed by the Maroons, two
thousand shot by the soldiery, and that three hundred women were catted,
and how many men nobody presumes even to guess. One asks, At what
expense of life to the victors was all this slaughter accomplished? And
he reads, that not one soldier was killed, that not one soldier was
wounded, that not one soldier received so much as a scratch, unless from
the bushes through which he pursued his human prey. It was not war: it
was a massacre. These poor people fled like panic-struck sheep, and the
soldiery tracked them like wolves. The human heart could wish to take
refuge in incredulity, but alas! the worst testimony of all is found in
the official reports of the actors themselves.

A few terrible anecdotes will give reality to the picture. George
Marshall, a mulatto, was taken up with others as a straggler, and
ordered to receive fifty lashes. With each lash the unfortunate man
gritted his teeth and turned his head, whether from pain or anger is
uncertain. The provost-marshal construed this into a threatening look,
and ordered him to be hung, which was done. There was no proof whatever
that Marshall had any connection with the riot. A company of Maroons
discovered a body of blacks, men, women, and children, who had taken
refuge up in the trees, and stood and deliberately shot them, one by
one, until they had all fallen, and the ground beneath was thickly
strewn with their dead bodies. On a plantation between Morant Bay and
Port Antonio the people were led by evil example into some acts of riot
and pillage. But even in the midst of their license they sent word to
the English gentleman who had charge of the plantation, that, if he and
his family remained quiet, they should be protected. So rapidly did the
spirit of rioting burn itself out, that on the next Sunday, only four
days after the first outbreak at Morant Bay, he rode down to the estate,
conducted a religious service as usual, speaking boldly to the people of
the folly and sin of their course, and counselling them to return
quietly to their work. His words were so well received, that on Monday
morning he started for the plantation, purposing to appoint for the
workmen their tasks, as the best possible way of keeping them out of
mischief. As he drew near, he heard firing, and the first sight which
greeted him was a negro shot down. The village was in possession of a
small company of soldiers, without even a subaltern to control them.
Without pretence of a trial, they were shooting the people one by one,
as they were pointed out to them by a petty constable. On their march,
these very soldiers had been ordered to fire upon every one who ran
away, and they fired at every bush at random, never stopping to count
the slain.

Nothing can exceed the horrible frankness of the reports of the
officers. Here is Lieutenant Aldcock's language: "On returning to Golden
Grove in the evening, sixty-seven prisoners were sent in by the Maroons.
I disposed of as many as possible, but was too tired to continue after
dark. On the morning of the 24th, I started for Morant Bay, having first
flogged four, and hung six rebels." Here is a gem from Captain Ford:
"The black troops are more successful than ours in catching horses;
nearly all of them are mounted. They shot about one hundred and sixty
people in their march from Port Antonio to Manchioneal, hanged seven in
Manchioneal, and shot three on their way here. This is a picture of
martial law. The soldiers enjoy it." Now consider a moment this killing
of one hundred and sixty people on the way from Port Antonio. The
distance traversed in a direct line was about twelve miles. There are no
large towns on the line of march; and if you suppose that the rural
population had here the average density of the island, there could not
have been, in a belt of country one mile wide and the twelve miles long,
over five hundred people; and we are forced to the conclusion, that
these restorers of peace cleaned a strip a mile wide of every man and
every well-grown boy. "And the soldiers enjoy it!" And the officers
glory in it! Nothing was permitted to stop or clog the death mills. At
Morant Bay, "to save time," two court-martials were formed. No time was
lost in proceeding to business. "Each five minutes condemned rebels were
taken down under escort awaiting their doom." Only three brought before
these terrible tribunals escaped death. The court, composed exclusively
of military and naval officers, spared none; every one brought before it
was hanged. How many other such courts were at work does not appear; but
it is evident not less than ten or a dozen. And subalterns, who ought
not to have been intrusted with the charge of a score of men, assumed
the dread power of life and death over poor wretches snatched from their
homes, and given neither time nor opportunity for defence. Yet all this
does not satisfy the remorseless planter. When, in a parish of thirty
thousand people, two or three thousand sleep in bloody graves, and at
least as many more have been pitilessly scourged, he calls "the clemency
of the authorities extraordinary," and says, "that it comes too soon."
No wonder that such a record as this stirred to its depth the popular
heart of England. And it is the only relieving feature, that the
indignation thus aroused has overridden all opposition, silenced all
paltry excuses, and forced the government to appoint a Commission of
Inquiry, and pending that inquiry to suspend Governor Eyre from his
office.

One case, that of the judicial murder of Mr. Gordon, has properly
awakened great attention. Mr. Gordon was the very magistrate whose
removal from office created so much discontent in the whole parish of
St. Thomas in the East. He was a colored man with a very slight infusion
of black blood. His father was an Englishman, and he himself was bred in
England and married an English lady. He was wealthy, and the owner of a
great plantation. A bitter and fearless opponent of what he considered
to be the oppression of the planters, they in turn concentrated upon him
all their anger and malice, while the negroes looked up to him as their
hope and defence. The mere statement of the facts indicates that, if Mr.
Gordon was to be tried at all, the investigation should have been
patient, open, and thorough, granting to the accused every opportunity
of defence. What did take place was this. Mr. Gordon was at Kingston,
forty miles away from the scene of action. As soon as he learned that a
warrant was out for his arrest, he surrendered himself, and was hurried
away from the place where civil law was supreme to the scene of martial
law at Morant Bay. Without a friend to defend him, with no opportunity
to procure rebutting evidence, he was brought before a court of three
subalterns, and, after what was called "a very patient trial" of four or
five hours, sentenced to be hanged. Not one insult was spared. When he
was marched up from the wharf, the sailors were permitted to heap upon
him every opprobrious epithet. Before his execution "his black coat and
vest were taken from him as a prize by one soldier, his spectacles by
another; so," as an officer boasts, "he was treated not differently from
the common herd." The accusation was, that he had plotted a wide-spread
and diabolical rebellion. The only evidence which has been submitted
proves him guilty of intemperate language, and an abounding sympathy for
the poor and oppressed.[G] In his last letter to his wife, written just
before his execution, he uses language which has the stamp of truth upon
it. "I do not deserve my sentence, for I never advised or took part in
the insurrection. All I ever did was to recommend the people who
complained to seek redress in a legitimate way. It is, however, the will
of God that I should thus suffer in obeying his command to relieve the
poor and needy, and so far as I was able to protect the oppressed. And
glory be to His name, and I thank Him that I suffer in such a cause."
But it matters not of what Mr. Gordon was guilty; the method of the
proceedings, the dragging him from civil protection, the deprivation of
all proper opportunity for defence, the putting him to death as it were
in a corner, were all subversive of personal rights and safety. The
highest authority in England has declared the whole trial an illegality.
And the circumstances of the hour, when every vestige, ever pretence, of
armed resistance had been swept away, left no excuse for over-stepping
the bounds of legal authority.

It is proper that full weight should be given to the alleged
justification of these enormities. A diabolical plot existed, whose
meshes included the whole island, and whose purpose was to put to death
every white man and to outrage every white woman. This is what the
Governor asserts. This is what the Assembly reiterates. This is the
charge upon which every appeal of the Jamaican journals turns. The whole
truth we probably never shall know. The men who could best reveal it are
silent in the graves which lawless violence has dug for them, and will
bear no testimony except at the bar or Eternal Justice. The report of
the Committee of Inquiry will no doubt shed some light. Pending that
inquiry there are considerations which strike every one. If for two
years a bloody insurrection had been plotted, and the outbreak at Morant
Bay was the first stroke to toward its accomplishment, is it credible
that these truculent rebels should submit themselves as sheep to the
slaughter,--that not one band should be found to strike a manly blow for
life and liberty? If such an insurrection had its roots in every part of
the island, is it credible, that, while the whole military and naval
force, and no small part of the white inhabitants, were engaged in
putting down the thirty thousand of their brethren in St. Thomas and
Portland parishes, the three hundred thousand blacks all over the island
should remain peaceable and law-abiding? And it is to be noticed that,
since the reign of terror has subsided a little, those who know the
negroes best, the missionaries who labor among them, express the most
hearty contempt for these charges. But suppose that the negro had
plotted insurrection, diabolical, satanic, would that be any excuse for
wholesale slaughter, without forms of law, when all resistance was at an
end? We know that the South plotted and consummated rebellion; that her
people have slain three hundred thousand of our sons on the
battle-field; that more than thirty thousand have wasted and died of
slow torture in her prisons; that whenever the secrets of that
charnel-house, Southern life, are disclosed, they will tell of thousands
of Unionists who were hung, who were shot, who were burned at the stake,
who were hunted by dogs, who were scourged to death with whips, and all
because they were faithful to their country. And knowing all this, is
there a man of the North who, when military resistance has ceased, would
march our armies southward, hang every tenth man, shoot every fourth,
scourge as many more, and suffer a wild soldiery to strip half naked and
score with cruel whips thousands of the women? And does it alter the
moral aspect of the case, that these things are transacted on a little
island of the sea, and not on a continent,--or that the skin of the
sufferer is black instead of white?

       *       *       *       *       *

The use men seek to make of events reveals often the motives which they
carried into the transaction of these events. Never was this more true
of any body of people than of the planters of Jamaica. The Kingston
Journal, an opposition, but not radical paper, boldly asserts, that the
press has been gagged because it urged upon government the necessity of
reform; that it has not dared to comment upon current facts, lest it
should come under grave suspicion; that "now, when the greatest order
prevails, and there is not the remotest probability of another outbreak,
we _dare_ not comment upon events, which, for the good of all classes,
ought to be calmly and fully discussed." A significant commentary upon
these statements is the fact that Mr. Levien, the editor of a Jamaica
paper, was arrested, because in an editorial he boldly condemned the
trial and execution of Mr. Gordon. And it is probable that he escaped
paying dearly for his courage, only because the Chief Justice of Jamaica
declared the whole law under which he was arrested unconstitutional, and
dismissed the case. A still more significant commentary upon these
statements is that other fact, that, in the midst of what they averred
were the throes of a great rebellion, the members of the Assembly
proceeded to destroy the very foundations of civil and religious
liberty and of the freedom of the press. They proposed to give the
Governor almost despotic authority, by surrendering the franchise of the
Assembly, and vesting its power in a council of twenty-four, half of
whom should be appointed by the Governor himself, and half elected by
the people from the list only of those who had estates worth more than
fifteen hundred dollars a year, or a salary of more than twenty-five
hundred dollars. All social worship, all conference and prayer meetings,
and even family prayers, if more than two strangers were present, were
to be interdicted, unless, indeed, they were conducted by a minister of
a favored sect. The denominations who had chiefly ministered to the
blacks were to be placed under such disabilities as should greatly
limit, or else destroy, their usefulness. And to round out and complete
the circle of despotism, this proposition, was introduced,--"that if
anything is contained in any printed paper which may be considered
seditious, or that may be adjudged so by any court which the Governor
may appoint, the writer shall be sentenced to hard labor in the
penitentiary for seven years." It is idle to suppose that these measures
will be sanctioned by the Queen; but they show what feelings burn in the
breasts of the planters, and admonish us to receive with caution any
statements which they may make concerning other classes of the
community.

       *       *       *       *       *

This Jamaica "insurrection," whose origin, growth, and extinguishment in
blood have now been traced, has been the cause of we know not how many
oracular warnings from the lips of those who have not been distinguished
by any hearty attachment to the rights of the black. "See now," they
say, "what is the peril of emancipating these blacks." "Behold what
comes of educating this people up to the capacity of mischief."
"Acknowledge now that not even the gift of universal suffrage will
elevate and soften a race at once fickle and ferocious. There is no
safety but in keeping them under. Stop in your perilous experiments
while you can."

So long as the accounts of this outbreak are at once so conflicting and
so colored by party feeling, it may not be easy to say what are its
positive lessons. But it is easy to tell some things which it does not
teach.

In the _first_ place, it does not teach the danger of conferring the
right to vote upon the negro, for the negro of Jamaica has never
attained to that privilege. His traducers cry out, "What a race! The
best fed, the best clothed, the best sheltered, the least worked
peasantry on the face of the earth! Free! Free to make their own laws,
to choose their own rulers, to govern themselves! And yet they are
discontented!" Turn now and inquire what are the facts about their
governing themselves. True, no law says the negro shall not vote, but
the qualification is made so high that it is impossible that he should
vote. In a country where wages are scarcely a quarter of a dollar a day,
he is required to have an estate worth thirty dollars a year, or an
income of one hundred and forty dollars a year, or to pay taxes of
fifteen dollars a year. Suppose now that in New England a law were
passed that no man should vote who had not an estate worth two hundred
dollars a year, or an income of one thousand dollars, or who did not pay
one hundred dollars yearly tax,--and this, considering the difference of
wages, is scarcely as high a qualification as that of Jamaica,--and how
large a proportion of our people would obtain the privileges of a voter?
In fact, in Jamaica only three thousand vote, or about one twenty-fifth
of the adult males. Is it not just possible that the discontent there
may grow out of aspirations for self-government, and for the dignity and
privileges, as well as the name, of freemen? May not the outbreak teach
the danger of not allowing the negro to vote?

In the _second_ place, this rebellion does not teach the danger of
educating the negro; for the negro of Jamaica never has been educated.
While the government has wrung from his scanty wages a million dollars,
it pays the Governor alone more than three times the sum it appropriates
to education. It doles out for the education of seventy-five thousand
children the pittance of twelve thousand five hundred dollars. Did not
the negro himself eke out this bounty from his own little savings, not
one in a dozen of the children would ever enter a school-room or see a
book. As it is, only one sixth part of the children are, or ever were,
under instruction. And the instruction they receive is too often from
persons themselves illiterate and full of superstition, but who are the
best teachers who can be obtained with limited means. Consider, then,
the real condition of affairs,--three hundred and fifty thousand blacks,
a large share of them children or grandchildren of those who were
brought from Africa, with the wild blood of their fathers scarcely
diluted in their veins, with all the old traditions of Fetichism and Obi
worship fresh in their minds, altogether uneducated, or at best half
educated; consider what virgin soil is here for every vile superstition,
what a field for the demagogue to cultivate, and then decide whether it
might not be safer, after all, to educate the negro in Jamaica.

This insurrection does not teach, in the _third_ place, the danger of
obliterating the lines of caste, for in Jamaica those lines have never
been obliterated, or even made faint. It may be doubted whether there
was ever a moment when the ill-dissembled contempt of the whites, and
the distrust of the blacks, were more profound then now. An intelligent
observer declared, in 1850, that the gap between the blacks and whites
had been steadily increasing ever since emancipation. And ten years
later the Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society records, "that, as
a general statement, there is no generous feeling in the relations
between employer and employed. The negro can expect nothing but barest
justice, and is happy if he gets that." Can there be any safety for the
minority, when the majority, which numbers fifteen to one, has such a
sense of injustice rankling in its breast? One wades through the late
reprints of the Jamaica journals, column after column, page after page,
filled with coarse invective, with bitter denunciation, with injurious
suspicion; sees with what terrible relish the sufferings of these
deluded people are recorded; marks how the heroism which goes to the
scaffold without a tremor, and looks undeserved death in the face
without a fear, is travestied; shudders to hear the planters, after
thousands have been slain, yet cry for more blood; and then he puts the
paper down and says, "Here in this language is material enough out of
which to create a dozen bloody rebellions." How any race with the blood
of the tropics boiling in their veins, with the traditions of old
oppressions burning in their memory, can ever forget or forgive this
language and these unbridled outrages is inconceivable. He is mad who
does not see that the gulf of caste, too wide before, has widened and
deepened almost unfathomably by the influence of the events of the last
few months. He is mad, too, who thinks that Morant Bay, or the parish of
St. Thomas in the East, with their unshrived dead, is a safer place for
a white man to dwell in than it was six months ago.

It is too early to gather up all the lessons of this last of the almost
innumerable outbreaks in Jamaica. They may never be gathered up. But one
lesson stands out prominently, and that is, the safety of justice. We
cannot bring perfect equality upon the earth. It is not desirable
perhaps that we should. To the end of time, probably, there will be rich
and poor, high and low, weak and strong, black and white. But we can be
just. We can recognize every man as a child of God. We can grant to him
all the rights, all the privileges, and all the opportunities which
belong to a man. That is a lesson which Jamaica has never learned, and
therefore she sits under the shadow of her mountains, by the side of the
restless sea, clothed in garments of wretchedness.

FOOTNOTES:

[G] Since the above was written, despatches and explanations have been
received from Governor Eyre, and published; also an unofficial account
of the trial of Mr. Gordon, from the pen of a reporter who was present.
It is to be regretted that these papers do not relieve the authorities
from the charge of atrocious and illegal cruelty in the slightest
degree. Neither does the evidence in any way justify the legal or
illegal murder of Mr. Gordon. While in November there was an evident
desire to boast of the number and severity of the punishments which had
been inflicted upon the unfortunate blacks, there is as evident a desire
in January to show that the number of those who perished has been
greatly exaggerated. But it is difficult to see how the actors propose
to refute statements for which they themselves furnished the materials.
One agreeable fact comes out in these papers, that the British home
authorities never committed themselves to a support of the conduct of
the Jamaican officials. On the contrary, it now appears that Mr.
Cardwell, the British Colonial Secretary, from the beginning intimated
very clearly his doubt on the propriety of the proceedings, especially
in the case of Mr. Gordon.



THE CHIMNEY-CORNER FOR 1866.


IV.

DRESS, OR WHO MAKES THE FASHIONS.

The door of my study being open, I heard in the distant parlor a sort of
flutter of silken wings, and chatter of bird-like voices, which told me
that a covey of Jennie's pretty young street birds had just alighted
there. I could not forbear a peep at the rosy faces that glanced out
under pheasants' tails, doves' wings, and nodding hummingbirds, and made
one or two errands in that direction only that I might gratify my eyes
with a look at them.

Your nice young girl, of good family and good breeding, is always a
pretty object, and, for my part, I regularly lose my heart (in a sort of
figurative way) to every fresh, charming creature that trips across my
path. All their mysterious rattle-traps and whirligigs,--their curls and
networks and crimples and rimples and crisping-pins,--their little
absurdities, if you will,--have to me a sort of charm, like the tricks
and stammerings of a curly-headed child. I should have made a very poor
censor if I had been put in Cato's place: the witches would have thrown
all my wisdom into some private chip-basket of their own, and walked off
with it in triumph. Never a girl bows to me that I do not see in her eye
a twinkle of confidence that she could, if she chose, make an old fool
of me. I surrender at discretion on first sight.

Jennie's friends are nice girls,--the flowers of good, staid, sensible
families,--not heathen blossoms nursed in the hot-bed heat of wild,
high-flying, fashionable society. They have been duly and truly taught
and brought up, by good mothers and painstaking aunties, to understand
in their infancy that handsome is that handsome does; that little girls
must not be vain of their pretty red shoes and nice curls, and must
remember that it is better to be good than to be handsome; with all
other wholesome truisms of the kind. They have been to school, and had
their minds improved in all modern ways,--have calculated eclipses, and
read Virgil, Schiller, and La Fontaine, and understand all about the
geological strata, and the different systems of metaphysics,--so that a
person reading the list of their acquirements might be a little appalled
at the prospect of entering into conversation with them. For all these
reasons I listened quite indulgently to the animated conversation that
was going on about--Well!

What _do_ girls generally talk about, when a knot of them get together?
Not, I believe, about the sources of the Nile, or the precession of the
equinoxes, or the nature of the human understanding, or Dante, or
Shakespeare, or Milton, although they have learned all about them in
school; but upon a theme much nearer and dearer,--the one all-pervading
feminine topic ever since Eve started the first toilet of fig-leaves;
and as I caught now and then a phrase of their chatter, I jotted it down
in pure amusement, giving to each charming speaker the name of the bird
under whose colors she was sailing.

"For my part," said little Humming-Bird, "I'm quite worn out with
sewing; the fashions are all _so_ different from what they were last
year, that everything has to be made over."

"Isn't it dreadful!" said Pheasant. "There's my new mauve silk dress! it
was a very expensive silk, and I haven't worn it more than three or four
times, and it really looks quite dowdy; and I can't get Patterson to do
it over for me for this party. Well, really, I shall have to give up
company because I have nothing to wear."

"Who _does_ set the fashions, I wonder," said Humming-Bird; "they seem
now-a-days to whirl faster and faster, till really they don't leave one
time for anything."

"Yes," said Dove, "I haven't a moment for reading, or drawing, or
keeping up my music. The fact is, now-a-days, to keep one's self
properly dressed is all one can do. If I were _grande dame_ now, and had
only to send an order to my milliner and dressmaker, I might be
beautifully dressed all the time without giving much thought to it
myself; and that is what I should like. But this constant planning about
one's toilet, changing your buttons and your fringes and your
bonnet-trimmings and your hats every other day, and then being
behindhand! It is really too fatiguing.

"Well," said Jennie, "I never pretend to keep up. I never expect to be
in the front rank of fashion, but no girl wants to be behind every one;
nobody wants to have people say, 'Do see what an old-times,
rubbishy-looking creature _that_ is.' And now, with my small means and
conscience, (for I have a conscience in this matter, and don't wish to
spend any more time and money than is needed to keep one's self fresh
and tasteful,) I find my dress quite a fatiguing care."

"Well, now, girls," said Humming-Bird, "do you really know, I have
sometimes thought I should like to be a nun, just to get rid of all this
labor. If I once gave up dress altogether, and knew I was to have
nothing but one plain robe tied round my waist with a cord, it does seem
to me as if it would be a perfect repose,--only one is a Protestant, you
know."

Now, as Humming-Bird was the most notoriously dressy individual in the
little circle, this suggestion was received with quite a laugh. But Dove
took it up.

"Well, really," she said, "when dear Mr. S---- preaches those saintly
sermons to us about our baptismal vows, and the nobleness of an
unworldly life, and calls on us to live for something purer and higher
than we are living for, I confess that sometimes all my life seems to me
a mere sham,--that I am going to church, and saying solemn words, and
being wrought up by solemn music, and uttering most solemn vows and
prayers, all to no purpose; and then I come away and look at my life,
all resolving itself into a fritter about dress, and sewing-silk, cord,
braid, and buttons,--the next fashion of bonnets,--how to make my old
dresses answer instead of new,--how to keep the air of the world, while
in my heart I am cherishing something higher and better. If there's
anything I detest it is hypocrisy; and sometimes the life I lead looks
like it. But how to get out of it? what to do?"

"I'm sure," said Humming-Bird, "that taking care of my clothes and going
into company is, frankly, _all_ I do. If I go to parties, as other girls
do, and make calls, and keep dressed,--you know papa is not rich, and
one must do these things economically,--it really does take all the time
I have. When I was confirmed the Bishop talked to us so sweetly, and I
really meant sincerely to be a good girl,--to be as good as I knew how;
but now, when they talk about fighting the good fight and running the
Christian race, I feel very mean and little, for I am sure this isn't
doing it. But what is,--and who is?"

"Aunt Betsey Titcomb is doing it, I suppose," said Pheasant.

"Aunt Betsey!" said Humming-Bird, "well, she is. She spends _all_ her
money in doing good. She goes around visiting the poor all the time. She
is a perfect saint;--but O girls, how she looks! Well, now, I confess,
when I think I must look like Aunt Betsey, my courage gives out. _Is_ it
necessary to go without hoops, and look like a dipped candle, in order
to be unworldly? Must one wear such a fright of a bonnet?"

"No," said Jennie, "I think not. I think Miss Betsey Titcomb, good as
she is, injures the cause of goodness by making it outwardly repulsive.
I really think, if she would take some pains with her dress, and spend
upon her own wardrobe a little of the money she gives away, that she
might have influence in leading others to higher aims; now all her
influence is against it. Her _outré_ and repulsive exterior arrays our
natural and innocent feelings against goodness; for surely it is natural
and innocent to wish to look well, and I am really afraid a great many
of us are more afraid of being thought ridiculous than of being wicked."

"And after all," said Pheasant, "you know Mr. St. Clair says, 'Dress is
one of the fine arts,' and if it is, why of course we ought to cultivate
it. Certainly, well-dressed men and women are more agreeable objects
than rude and unkempt ones. There must be somebody whose mission it is
to preside over the agreeable arts of life; and I suppose it falls to
'us girls.' That's the way I comfort myself, at all events. Then I must
confess that I do like dress; I'm not cultivated enough to be a painter
or a poet, and I have all my artistic nature, such as it is, in dress. I
love harmonies of color, exact shades and matches; I love to see a
uniform idea carried all through a woman's toilet,--her dress, her
bonnet, her gloves, her shoes, her pocket-handkerchief and cuffs, her
very parasol, all in correspondence."

"But, my dear," said Jennie, "anything of this kind must take a
fortune!"

"And if I had a fortune, I'm pretty sure I should spend a good deal of
it in this way," said Pheasant. "I can imagine such completeness of
toilet as I have never seen. How I would like the means to show what I
could do! My life, now, is perpetual disquiet. I always feel shabby. My
things must all be bought at hap-hazard, as they can be got out of my
poor little allowance,--and things are getting so horridly dear! Only
think of it, girls! gloves at two and a quarter! and boots at seven,
eight, and ten dollars! and then, as you say, the fashions changing so!
Why, I bought a sack last fall and gave forty dollars for it, and this
winter I'm wearing it, to be sure, but it has no style at all,--looks
quite antiquated!"

"Now I say," said Jennie, "that you are really morbid on the subject of
dress; you are fastidious and particular and exacting in your ideas in a
way that really ought to be put down. There is not a girl of our set
that dresses as nicely as you do, except Emma Seyton, and her father,
you know, has no end of income."

"Nonsense, Jennie," said Pheasant. "I think I really look like a beggar;
but then, I bear it as well as I can, because, you see, I know papa does
all for us he can, and I won't be extravagant. But I do think, as
Humming-Bird says, that it would be a great relief to give it up
altogether and retire from the world; or, as Cousin John says, climb a
tree and pull it up after you, and so be in peace."

"Well," said Jennie, "all this seems to have come on since the war. It
seems to me that not only has everything doubled in price, but all the
habits of the world seem to require that you shall have double the
quantity of everything. Two or three years ago a good balmoral skirt was
a fixed fact; it was a convenient thing for sloppy, unpleasant weather.
But now, dear me! there is no end to them. They cost fifteen and twenty
dollars; and girls that I know have one or two every season, besides all
sorts of quilled and embroidered and ruffled and tucked and flounced
ones. Then, in dressing one's hair, what a perfect overflow there is of
all manner of waterfalls, and braids, and rats and mice, and curls, and
combs; when three or four years ago we combed our own hair innocently
behind our ears, and put flowers in it, and thought we looked nicely at
our evening parties! I don't believe we look any better now, when we are
dressed, than we did then,--so what's the use?"

"Well, did you ever see such a tyranny as this of fashion?" said
Humming-Bird. "We know it's silly, but we all bow down before it; we are
afraid of our lives before it; and who makes all this and sets it going?
The Paris milliners, the Empress, or who?"

"The question where fashions come from is like the question where pins
go to," said Pheasant. "Think of the thousands and millions of pins
that are being used every year, and not one of them worn out. Where do
they all go to? One would expect to find a pin mine somewhere."

"Victor Hugo says they go into the sewers in Paris," said Jennie.

"And the fashions come from a source about as pure," said I, from the
next room.

"Bless me, Jennie, do tell us if your father has been listening to us
all this time!" was the next exclamation; and forthwith there was a whir
and rustle of the silken wings, as the whole troop fluttered into my
study.

"Now, Mr. Crowfield, you are too bad!" said Humming-Bird, as she perched
upon a corner of my study-table, and put her little feet upon an old
"Froissart" which filled the arm-chair.

"To be listening to our nonsense!" said Pheasant.

"Lying in wait for us!" said Dove.

"Well, now, you have brought us all down on you," said Humming-Bird,
"and you won't find it so easy to be rid of us. You will have to answer
all our questions."

"My dears, I am at your service, as far as mortal man may be," said I.

"Well, then," said Humming-Bird, "tell us all about everything,--how
things come to be as they are. Who makes the fashions?"

"I believe it is universally admitted that, in the matter of feminine
toilet, France rules the world," said I.

"But who rules France?" said Pheasant. "Who decides what the fashions
shall be there?"

"It is the great misfortune of the civilized world, at the present
hour," said I, "that the state of morals in France is apparently at the
very lowest ebb, and consequently the leadership of fashion is entirely
in the hands of a class of women who could not be admitted into good
society, in any country. Women who can never have the name of wife,--who
know none of the ties of family,--these are the dictators whose dress
and equipage and appointments give the law, first to France, and through
France to the civilized world. Such was the confession of Monsieur
Dupin, made in a late speech before the French Senate, and acknowledged,
with murmurs of assent on all sides, to be the truth. This is the reason
why the fashions have such an utter disregard of all those laws of
prudence and economy which regulate the expenditures of families. They
are made by women whose sole and only hold on life is personal
attractiveness, and with whom to keep this up, at any cost, is a
desperate necessity. No moral quality, no association of purity, truth,
modesty, self-denial, or family love, comes in to hallow the atmosphere
about them, and create a sphere of loveliness which brightens as mere
physical beauty fades. The ravages of time and dissipation must be made
up by an unceasing study of the arts of the toilet. Artists of all
sorts, moving in their train, rack all the stores of ancient and modern
art for the picturesque, the dazzling, the grotesque; and so, lest these
Circes of society should carry all before them, and enchant every
husband, brother, and lover, the staid and lawful Penelopes leave the
hearth and home to follow in their triumphal march and imitate their
arts. Thus it goes in France; and in England, virtuous and domestic
princesses and peeresses must take obediently what has been decreed by
their rulers in the _demi-monde_ of France; and we in America have
leaders of fashion, who make it their pride and glory to turn New York
into Paris, and to keep even step with everything that is going on
there. So the whole world of womankind is marching under the command of
these leaders. The love of dress and glitter and fashion is getting to
be a morbid, unhealthy epidemic, which really eats away the nobleness
and purity of women.

"In France, as Monsieur Dupin, Edmond About, and Michelet tell us, the
extravagant demands of love for dress lead women to contract debts
unknown to their husbands, and sign obligations which are paid by the
sacrifice of honor, and thus the purity of the family is continually
undermined. In England there is a voice of complaint, sounding from the
leading periodicals, that the extravagant demands of female fashion are
bringing distress into families, and making marriages impossible; and
something of the same sort seems to have begun here. We are across the
Atlantic, to be sure; but we feel the swirl and drift of the great
whirlpool; only, fortunately, we are far enough off to be able to see
whither things are tending, and to stop ourselves if we will.

"We have just come through a great struggle, in which our women have
borne an heroic part,--have shown themselves capable of any kind of
endurance and self-sacrifice; and now we are in that reconstructive
state which makes it of the greatest consequence to ourselves and the
world that we understand our own institutions and position, and learn
that, instead of following the corrupt and worn-out ways of the Old
World, we are called on to set the example of a new state of
society,--noble, simple, pure, and religious; and women can do more
towards this even than men, for women are the real architects of
society.

"Viewed in this light, even the small, frittering cares of woman's
life--the attention to buttons, trimmings, thread, and sewing-silk--may
be an expression of their patriotism and their religion. A noble-hearted
woman puts a noble meaning into even the commonplace details of life.
The women of America can, if they choose, hold back their country from
following in the wake of old, corrupt, worn-out, effeminate European
society, and make America the leader of the world in all that is good."

"I'm sure," said Humming-Bird, "we all would like to be noble and
heroic. During the war, I did so long to be a man! I felt so poor and
insignificant because I was nothing but a girl!"

"Ah, well," said Pheasant, "but then one wants to do something worth
doing, if one is going to do anything. One would like to be grand and
heroic, if one could; but if not, why try at all? One wants to be _very_
something, _very_ great, _very_ heroic; or if not that, then at least
very stylish and very fashionable. It is this everlasting mediocrity
that bores me."

"Then, I suppose, you agree with the man we read of, who buried his one
talent in the earth, as hardly worth caring for."

"To say the truth, I always had something of a sympathy for that man,"
said Pheasant. "I can't enjoy goodness and heroism in homoeopathic
doses. I want something appreciable. What I can do, being a woman, is a
very different thing from what I should try to do if I were a man, and
had a man's chances: it is so much less--so poor--that it is scarcely
worth trying for."

"You remember," said I, "the apothegm of one of the old divines, that if
two angels were sent down from heaven, the one to govern a kingdom, and
the other to sweep a street, they would not feel any disposition to
change works."

"Well, that just shows that they are angels, and not mortals," said
Pheasant; "but we poor human beings see things differently."

"Yet, my child, what could Grant or Sherman have done, if it had not
been for the thousands of brave privates who were content to do each
their imperceptible little,--if it had not been for the poor, unnoticed,
faithful, never-failing common soldiers, who did the work and bore the
suffering? No _one_ man saved our country, or could save it; nor could
the men have saved it without the women. Every mother that said to her
son, Go; every wife that strengthened the hands of her husband; every
girl who sent courageous letters to her betrothed; every woman who
worked for a fair; every grandam whose trembling hands knit stockings
and scraped lint; every little maiden who hemmed shirts and made
comfort-bags for soldiers,--each and all have been the joint doers of a
great heroic work, the doing of which has been the regeneration of our
era. A whole generation has learned the luxury of thinking heroic
thoughts and being conversant with heroic deeds, and I have faith to
believe that all this is not to go out in a mere crush of fashionable
luxury and folly and frivolous emptiness,--but that our girls are going
to merit the high praise given us by De Tocqueville, when he placed
first among the causes of our prosperity the _noble character of
American women_. Because foolish female persons in New York are striving
to outdo the _demi-monde_ of Paris in extravagance, it must not follow
that every sensible and patriotic matron, and every nice, modest young
girl, must forthwith, and without inquiry, rush as far after them as
they possibly can. Because Mrs. Shoddy opens a ball in a
two-thousand-dollar lace dress, every girl in the land need not look
with shame on her modest white muslin. Somewhere between the fast women
of Paris and the daughters of Christian American families there should
be established a _cordon sanitaire_, to keep out the contagion of
manners, customs, and habits with which a noble-minded, religious
democratic people ought to have nothing to do."

"Well now, Mr. Crowfield," said the Dove, "since you speak us so fair,
and expect so much of us, we must of course try not to fall below your
compliments; but, after all, tell us what is the right standard about
dress. Now we have daily lectures about this at home. Aunt Maria says
that she never saw such times as these, when mothers and daughters,
church-members and worldly people, all seem to be going one way, and sit
down together and talk, as they will, on dress and fashion,--how to have
this made and that altered. We used to be taught, she said, that
church-members had higher things to think of,--that their thoughts ought
to be fixed on something better, and that they ought to restrain the
vanity and worldliness of children and young people; but now, she says,
even before a girl is born, dress is the one thing needful,--the great
thing to be thought of; and so, in every step of the way upward, her
little shoes, and her little bonnets, and her little dresses, and her
corals and her ribbons, are constantly being discussed in her presence,
as the one all-important object of life. Aunt Maria thinks mamma is
dreadful, because she has maternal yearnings over our toilet successes
and fortunes; and we secretly think she is rather soured by old age, and
has forgotten how a girl feels."

"The fact is," said I, "that the love of dress and outside show has been
always such an exacting and absorbing tendency, that it seems to have
furnished work for religionists and economists, in all ages, to keep it
within bounds. Various religious bodies, at the outset, adopted severe
rules in protest against it The Quakers and the Methodists prescribed
certain fixed modes of costume as a barrier against its frivolities and
follies. In the Romish Church an entrance on any religious order
prescribed entire and total renunciation of all thought and care for the
beautiful in person or apparel, as the first step towards saintship. The
costume of the _religieuse_ seemed to be purposely intended to imitate
the shroudings and swathings of a corpse and the lugubrious color of a
pall, so as forever to remind the wearer that she was dead to the world
of ornament and physical beauty. All great Christian preachers and
reformers have levelled their artillery against the toilet, from the
time of St. Jerome downward; and Tom Moore has put into beautiful and
graceful verse St. Jerome's admonitions to the fair church-goers of his
time.


'WHO IS THE MAID?

'ST. JEROME'S LOVE.

    'Who is the maid my spirit seeks,
      Through cold reproof and slander's blight?
    Has _she_ Love's roses on her cheeks?
      Is _hers_ an eye of this world's light?
    No: wan and sunk with midnight prayer
      Are the pale looks of her I love;
    Or if, at times, a light be there,
      Its beam is kindled from above.

    'I chose not her, my heart's elect,
      From those who seek their Maker's shrine
    In gems and garlands proudly decked,
      As if themselves were things divine.
    No: Heaven but faintly warms the breast
      That beats beneath a broidered veil;
    And she who comes in glittering vest
      To mourn her frailty still is frail.

    'Not so the faded form I prize
      And love, because its bloom is gone;
    The glory in those sainted eyes
      Is all the grace _her_ brow puts on.
    And ne'er was Beauty's dawn so bright,
      So touching, as that form's decay,
    Which, like the altar's trembling light,
      In holy lustre wastes away.'

"But the defect of all these modes of warfare on the elegances and
refinements of the toilet was that they were too indiscriminate. They
were in reality founded on a false principle. They took for granted that
there was something radically corrupt and wicked in the body and in the
physical system. According to this mode of viewing things, the body was
a loathsome and pestilent prison, in which the soul was locked up and
enslaved, and the eyes, the ears, the taste, the smell, were all so many
corrupt traitors in conspiracy to poison her. Physical beauty of every
sort was a snare, a Circean enchantment, to be valiantly contended with
and straitly eschewed. Hence they preached, not moderation, but total
abstinence from all pursuit of physical grace and beauty.

"Now, a resistance founded on an over-statement is constantly tending to
reaction. People always have a tendency to begin thinking for
themselves; and when they so think, they perceive that a good and wise
God would not have framed our bodies with such exquisite care only to
corrupt our souls,--that physical beauty, being created in such profuse
abundance around us, and we being possessed with such a longing for it,
must have its uses, its legitimate sphere of exercise. Even the poor,
shrouded nun, as she walks the convent garden, cannot help asking
herself why, if the crimson velvet of the rose was made by God, all
colors except black and white are sinful for her; and the modest Quaker,
after hanging all her house and dressing all her children in drab,
cannot but marvel at the sudden outstreaking of blue and yellow and
crimson in the tulip-beds under her window, and reflect how very
differently the great All-Father arrays the world's housekeeping. The
consequence of all this has been, that the reforms based upon these
severe and exclusive views have gradually gone backward. The Quaker
dress is imperceptibly and gracefully melting away into a refined
simplicity of modern costume, which in many cases seems to be the
perfection of taste. The obvious reflection, that one color of the
rainbow is quite as much of God as another, has led the children of
gentle dove-colored mothers to appear in shades of rose-color, blue, and
lilac; and wise elders have said, it is not so much the color or the
shape that we object to, as giving too much time and too much money,--if
the heart is right with God and man, the bonnet ribbon may be of any
shade you please."

"But don't you think," said Pheasant, "that a certain fixed dress,
marking the unworldly character of a religious order, is desirable? Now,
I have said before that I am very fond of dress. I have a passion for
beauty and completeness in it; and as long as I am in the world and
obliged to dress as the world does, it constantly haunts me, and tempts
me to give more time, more thought, more money, to these things than I
really think they are worth. But I can conceive of giving up this thing
altogether as being much easier than regulating it to the precise point.
I never read of a nun's taking the veil, without a certain thrill of
sympathy. To cut off one's hair, to take off and cast from her, one by
one, all one's trinkets and jewels, to lie down and have the pall thrown
over one, and feel one's self, once for all, dead to the world,--I
cannot help feeling as if this were real, thorough, noble renunciation,
and as if one might rise up from it with a grand, calm consciousness of
having risen to a higher and purer atmosphere, and got above all the
littlenesses and distractions that beset us here. So I have heard
charming young Quaker girls, who, in more thoughtless days, indulged in
what for them was a slight shading of worldly conformity, say that it
was to them a blessed rest when they put on the strict, plain dress, and
felt that they really had taken up the cross and turned their backs on
the world. I can conceive of doing this, much more easily than I can of
striking the exact line between worldly conformity and noble aspiration,
in the life I live now."

"My dear child," said I, "we all overlook one great leading principle of
our nature, and that is, that we are made to find a higher pleasure in
self-sacrifice than in any form of self-indulgence. There is something
grand and pathetic in the idea of an entire self-surrender, to which
every human soul leaps up, as we do to the sound of martial music.

"How many boys of Boston and New York, who had lived effeminate and idle
lives, felt this new power uprising in them in our war! How they
embraced the dirt and discomfort and fatigue and watchings and toils of
camp-life with an eagerness of zest which they had never felt in the
pursuit of mere pleasure, and wrote home burning letters that they never
were so happy in their lives! It was not that dirt and fatigue and
discomfort and watchings and weariness were in themselves agreeable, but
it was a joy to feel themselves able to bear all and surrender all for
something higher than self. Many a poor Battery bully of New York, many
a street rowdy, felt uplifted by the discovery that he too had hid away
under the dirt and dust of his former life this divine and precious
jewel. He leaped for joy to find that he too could be a hero. Think of
the hundreds of thousands of plain, ordinary workingmen, and of
seemingly ordinary boys, who, but for such a crisis, might have passed
through life never knowing this to be in them, and who courageously
endured hunger and thirst and cold, and separation from dearest friends,
for days and weeks and months, when they might, at any day, have bought
a respite by deserting their country's flag! Starving boys, sick at
heart, dizzy in head, pining for home and mother, still found warmth and
comfort in the one thought that they could suffer, die, for their
country; and the graves at Salisbury and Andersonville show in how many
souls this noble power of self-sacrifice to the higher good was
lodged,--how many there were, even in the humblest walks of life, who
preferred death by torture to life in dishonor.

"It is this heroic element in man and woman that makes self-sacrifice an
ennobling and purifying ordeal in any religious profession. The man
really is taken into a higher region of his own nature, and finds a
pleasure in the exercise of higher faculties which he did not suppose
himself to possess. Whatever sacrifice is supposed to be duty, whether
the supposition be really correct or not, has in it an ennobling and
purifying power; and thus the eras of conversion from one form of the
Christian religion to another are often marked with a real and permanent
exaltation of the whole character. But it does not follow that certain
religious beliefs and ordinances are in themselves just, because they
thus touch the great heroic master-chord of the human soul. To wear
sackcloth and sleep on a plank may have been of use to many souls, as
symbolizing the awakening of this higher nature; but, still, the
religion of the New Testament is plainly one which calls to no such
outward and evident sacrifices.

"It was John the Baptist, and not the Messiah, who dwelt in the
wilderness and wore garments of camel's hair; and Jesus was commented
on, not for his asceticism, but for his cheerful, social acceptance of
the average innocent wants and enjoyments of humanity. 'The Son of man
came eating and drinking.' The great, and never-ceasing, and utter
self-sacrifice of his life was not signified by any peculiarity of
costume, or language, or manner; it showed itself only as it
unconsciously welled up in all his words and actions, in his estimates
of life, in all that marked him out as a being of a higher and holier
sphere."

"Then you do not believe in influencing this subject of dress by
religious persons' adopting any particular laws of costume?" said
Pheasant.

"I do not see it to be possible," said I, "considering how society is
made up. There are such differences of taste and character,--people move
in such different spheres, are influenced by such different
circumstances,--that all we can do is to lay down certain great
principles, and leave it to every one to apply them according to
individual needs."

"But what are these principles? There is the grand inquiry."

"Well," said I, "let us feel our way. In the first place, then, we are
all agreed in one starting-point,--that beauty is not to be considered
as a bad thing,--that the love of ornament in our outward and physical
life is not a sinful or a dangerous feeling, and only leads to evil, as
all other innocent things do, by being used in wrong ways. So far we are
all agreed, are we not?"

"Certainly," said all the voices.

"It is, therefore, neither wicked nor silly nor weak-minded to like
beautiful dress, and all that goes to make it up. Jewelry, diamonds,
pearls, emeralds, rubies, and all sorts of pretty things that are made
of them, are as lawful and innocent objects of admiration and desire, as
flowers or birds or butterflies, or the tints of evening skies. Gems, in
fact, are a species of mineral flower; they are the blossoms of the
dark, hard mine; and what they want in perfume, they make up in
durability. The best Christian in the world may, without the least
inconsistency, admire them, and say, as a charming, benevolent old
Quaker lady once said to me, 'I do so love to look at beautiful
jewelry!' The love of beautiful dress, in itself, therefore, so far from
being in a bad sense worldly, may be the same indication of a refined
and poetical nature that is given by the love of flowers and of natural
objects.

"In the third place, there is nothing in itself wrong, or unworthy a
rational being, in a certain degree of attention to the fashion of
society in our costume. It is not wrong to be annoyed at unnecessary
departures from the commonly received practices of good society in the
matter of the arrangement of our toilet; and it would indicate rather an
unamiable want of sympathy with our fellow-beings, if we were not
willing, for the most part, to follow what they indicate to be agreeable
in the disposition of our outward affairs."

"Well, I must say, Mr. Crowfield, you are allowing us all a very
generous margin," said Humming-Bird.

"But, now," said I, "I am coming to the restrictions. When is love of
dress excessive and wrong? To this I answer by stating my faith in one
of old Plato's ideas, in which he speaks of beauty and its uses. He says
there were two impersonations of beauty worshipped under the name of
Venus in the ancient times,--the one celestial, born of the highest
gods, the other earthly. To the earthly Venus the sacrifices were such
as were more trivial; to the celestial, such as were more holy. 'The
worship of the earthly Venus,' he says, 'sends us oftentimes on unworthy
and trivial errands, but the worship of the celestial to high and
honorable friendships, to noble aspirations and heroic actions.'

"Now it seems to me that, if we bear in mind this truth in regard to
beauty, we shall have a test with which to try ourselves in the matter
of physical adornment. We are always excessive when we sacrifice the
higher beauty to attain the lower one. A woman who will sacrifice
domestic affection, conscience, self-respect, honor, to love of dress,
we all agree, loves dress too much. She loses the true and higher beauty
of womanhood for the lower beauty of gems and flowers and colors. A girl
who sacrifices to dress all her time, all her strength, all her money,
to the neglect of the cultivation of her mind and heart, and to the
neglect of the claims of others on her helpfulness, is sacrificing the
higher to the lower beauty. Her fault is not the love of beauty, but
loving the wrong and inferior kind.

"It is remarkable that the directions of Holy Writ, in regard to the
female dress, should distinctly take note of this difference between the
higher and the lower beauty which we find in the works of Plato. The
Apostle gives no rule, no specific costume, which should mark the
Christian woman from the Pagan; but says, 'whose adorning, let it not be
that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or
of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in
that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.' The gold and gems
and apparel are not forbidden; but we are told not to depend on them for
beauty, to the neglect of those imperishable, immortal graces that
belong to the soul. The makers of fashion among whom Christian women
lived when the Apostle wrote, were the same class of brilliant and
worthless Aspasias who make the fashions of modern Paris; and all
womankind was sunk into slavish adoration of mere physical adornment
when the Gospel sent forth among them this call to the culture of a
higher and immortal beauty.

"In fine, girls," said I, "you may try yourselves by this standard. You
love dress too much when you care more for your outward adornings than
for your inward dispositions,--when it afflicts you more to have torn
your dress than to have lost your temper,--when you are more troubled by
an ill-fitting gown than by a neglected duty,--when you are less
concerned at having made an unjust comment, or spread a scandalous
report, than at having worn a _passée_ bonnet,--when you are less
troubled at the thought of being found at the last great feast without
the wedding garment, than at being found at the party to-night in the
fashion of last year. No Christian woman, as I view it, ought to give
such attention to her dress as to allow it to take up _all_ of three
very important things, viz.:--

    _All_ her time.
    _All_ her strength.
    _All_ her money.

Whoever does this lives not the Christian, but the Pagan life,--worships
not at the Christian's altar of our Lord Jesus, but at the shrine of the
lower Venus of Corinth and Rome."

"O now, Mr. Crowfield, you frighten me," said Humming-Bird. "I'm so
afraid, do you know, that I am doing exactly that."

"And so am I," said Pheasant; "and yet, certainly, it is not what I mean
or intend to do."

"But how to help it," said Dove.

"My dears," said I, "where there is a will, there is a way. Only resolve
that you will put the true beauty first,--that, even if you do have to
seem unfashionable, you will follow the highest beauty of
womanhood,--and the battle is half gained. Only resolve that your time,
your strength, your money, such as you have, shall not all--nor more
than half--be given to mere outward adornment, and you will go right. It
requires only an army of girls animated with this noble purpose to
declare independence in America, and emancipate us from the decrees and
tyrannies of French actresses and ballet-dancers. _En avant_, girls! You
yet can, if you will, save the republic."



THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS.


The President of the United States was not elected to the office he
holds by the voice of the people of the loyal States; in voting for him
as Vice-President nobody dreamed that, by the assassination of Mr.
Lincoln, he would constitutionally succeed to the more important post.
The persons who now form the Congress of the United States _were_
elected by the people or the States for the exact positions they hold.
In any comparison between the two as to the direct derivation of their
power from the people and the States, Congress has everything in its
favor; Mr. Johnson, nothing. The immense power he enjoys, a power not
merely greater than that of Queen Victoria, but greater than that of
Earl Russell, the real British Executive, is the result not of design,
but of accident. That the executive power he holds is legitimate, within
its just constitutional bounds, must not blind us to the fact that it
did not have its origin in the popular vote, especially now when he is
appealing to the people to support him against their direct
representatives.

For the event which the Union party of the country was so anxious to
avert, but which some clearly foresaw as inevitable, has occurred; the
President has come to an open rupture with Congress on the question of
reconstruction. No one who has witnessed during the past eight months
the humiliating expedients to which even statesmen and patriots have
resorted, in order to avoid giving Mr. Johnson offence, without at the
same time sacrificing all decent regard for their own convictions and
the will of the people, can assert that this rupture was provoked by
Congress. The President has, on the whole, been treated with singular
tenderness by the national party whose just expectations he has
disappointed; the opposition to his schemes has, indeed, exhibited, if
anything, too much of the style of "bated breath" to befit the dignity
of independent legislators; and the only result of this timorous dissent
has been to inflame him with the notion that the public men who offered
it were conscious that the people were on his side, and concealed
anxiety for their own popularity under a feigned indisposition to
quarrel with him.

The President seems to belong to that class of men who act not so much
from principles as from moods; as his moods vary, his conduct changes;
but while he is possessed by one of them, his mind is inaccessible to
evidence which does not sustain his dominant feeling, and uninfluenced
by arguments which do not confirm his dominant ideas. Mr. Covode and Mr.
Schurz could get no hearing from him, because they were sent south to
collect evidence while he was in one mood, and had to report the results
of their investigations when he had passed into another. This
peculiarity of his mind makes the idea of a "Johnson party" so difficult
of realization; for a party cannot be founded on a man, unless that
man's intellect and integrity are so manifestly pre-eminent as to dwarf
all comparison with others, or unless his conduct obeys laws, and can
therefore be calculated. Thus the gentlemen who spoke for him in New
York, on the 22d of February, at the time he was speaking for himself in
Washington, found that they were unwittingly his opponents, while
appearing as his mouth-pieces, and had accordingly to send telegrams to
Washington of such fond servility, that the vindication of their
partisanship could only be made at the expense of provoking the hilarity
of the public. But one principle, taken up from personal feeling, at the
time he resented the idea that "Tennessee had ever gone out of the
Union," has had a mischievous influence in directing his policy, though
it has never been consistently carried out; for Mr. Johnson's mode of
dealing with a principle is strikingly individual. He uses it to justify
his doing what he desires, while he does not allow it to restrain him
from doing what he pleases. The principle which he thus adopted was,
that the seceded States had never been out of the Union as _States_. It
would seem to be clear that, constitutionally speaking, a State in the
American Union is a vital part of the government, to which, at the same
time, it owes allegiance. The seceded States solemnly, by conventions of
their people, broke away from this allegiance, and have not, up to the
present moment, formed a part of the government. The condition in which
they were left by their own acts may be variously stated; it may be said
that they were "States out of practical relations to the Union,"--which
is simply to decline venturing farther than one step in the analysis of
their condition,--or "States in rebellion," or "States whose governments
have lapsed," or "Territories"; but certainly, neither in principle nor
in fact, were they States in the Union, according to the constitutional
meaning of that phrase. The one thing certain is, that their criminal
acts did not affect at all the rights of the United States over their
geographical limits and population; for these rights were given by
conventions of the people of all the States, and could not therefore be
abrogated by the will of the particular States that rebelled. Whether or
not the word "Territories" fits their condition, it is plain that they
cannot be brought back to their old "practical relations to the Union"
without a process similar to that by which Territories are organized
into States and brought into the Union. If they were, during the
Rebellion, States in the Union, then the only clause in the Constitution
which covers their case is that in which each house of Congress is
authorized "to compel the attendance of absent members"; but, even
conceding that we have waged war in the character of a colossal
sergeant-at-arms, we should, by another clause of the Constitution, be
bound to compel their attendance as members, only to punish their
absence as traitors.

Still, even if we should admit, against all the facts and logic of the
case, that the Rebel communities have never been out of the Union as
States, it is plain that the conduct of the Executive has not, until
recently, conformed to that theory. He violated it constantly in the
processes of his scheme of reconstruction, only to make it reappear as
mandatory in the results. All the steps he took in creating State
governments were necessarily subversive of universally recognized State
rights. The Secessionists had done their work so completely, as regards
their respective localities, that there was left no possible organic
connection between the old States and any new ones which might be
organized under the lead of the Federal government. The only persons who
could properly call State conventions were disqualified, by treason, for
the office, and might have been hanged as traitors while occupied in
preserving unbroken the unity of their State life. In other words, the
only persons competent to act constitutionally were the persons
constitutionally incompetent to act,--a gigantic practical bull and
absurdity, which met Mr. Johnson as the first logical consequence of his
fundamental maxim. He accordingly was forced to go to work as if no
principle hampered him. He assumed, at the start, the most radical and
important of all State rights; that is, from a mixed _population_ of
black and white freemen he selected a certain number, whose
distinguishing mark was color; and these persons were, after they had
taken an extra-constitutional oath, constituted by him the _people_ of
each of the seceded States. A provisional governor, nominated by
himself, directed this people, constituted such by himself, to elect
delegates to a convention which was to pass ordinances dictated by
himself. In this, he may have simply accepted the condition of things;
he may have done the best with the materials he had to work with; still
he plainly did not deal with South Carolina, Mississippi, and the rest,
as if they were States that "had never been out of the Union," and
entitled to any of the rights enjoyed by Pennsylvania or New York. But
the hybrid States, which are thus purely his own creations, he now
presents, in a veto message, to the Senate of the United States as the
equals of the States it represents; informs that body that he is
constitutionally the President of the States he has made, as well as the
President of the States which have not enjoyed the advantage of his
formative hand; and unmistakably hints that Congress, unless it admits
the representatives of the States he has reconstructed, is not a
complete and competent legislative body for the whole Union,--is, in
plain words, a _Rump_. The President, to be sure, qualifies his
suggestion by asking for the admission only of loyal men, who can take
the oaths. But is it not plain that Congress, if it admits Senators and
Representatives, admits the States from which they come? The
Constitution says that "the Senate of the United States shall be
composed of two Senators from each _State_"; that "the House of
Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by
the people of the several _States_." Now let us suppose that some of the
South Carolina members are admitted on the President's plan, and that
others are rejected. What is the result? Is not South Carolina in the
Union? Can a fraction of the State be in, and another fraction out, by
the terms of the United States Constitution? Are not the "loyal men" in
for their term of office simply, and the State in permanently? The
proposition to let in what are called loyal men, and then afterwards to
debate the terms on which the States which sent them shall be admitted,
might be seriously discussed in a Fenian Congress, but it would prove
too much for the gravity of an American assembly. The President thinks
Congress is bound to admit "loyal men"; but in conceding this claim,
would not the great legislative bodies of the nation practically confess
that they had no right or power to exact guaranties, no business
whatever with "reconstruction"? It is the office of the President, it
seems, to reconstruct States; the duty of Congress is confined to
accepting, placidly, the results of his work. Such is the only logical
inference from Mr. Johnson's last position. And thus a man, who was
intended by the people who voted for him to have no other connection
with reconstruction than what a casting vote in the Senate might
possibly give him, has taken the whole vast subject into his exclusive
control. Was there ever acted on the stage of history such a travesty of
constitutional government?

The loyal States, indeed, come out of the war separated from the
disloyal, not by such thin partitions as the President so cavalierly
breaks through, but by a great sea of blood. It is across that we must
survey their rights and duties; it is with that in view we must settle
the terms of their readmission. It is idle to apply to 1866 the
word-twisting of 1860. The Rebel communities which began the war are not
the same communities which were recognized as States in the Union before
the war occurred. No sophistry that perplexes the brain of the people
can prevent this fact being felt in their hearts. The proposition that
States can plunge into rebellion, and, after waging against the
government a war which is put down only at the expense of enormous
sacrifices of treasure and blood, can, when defeated, return _of right_
to form a part of the government they have labored to subvert, is a
proposition so repugnant to common sense that its acceptance by the
people would send them down a step in the zoölogical scale. Have we been
fighting in order to compel the South to resume its reluctant _rôle_ of
governing us? Are we to be told that the States which have sent mourning
into every loyal family in the land, and which have loaded every loyal
laborer's back with a new and unexampled burden of taxation, have the
same right to seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives which
New York and Illinois can claim? The question is not whether the
victorious party shall exercise magnanimity and mercy, whether it shall
attempt to heal wounds rather than open them afresh, but whether its
legal representatives, constituting, as it was supposed, the legislative
department of the United States government, shall have anything to do
with the matter at all. The President seems to think they have not; and
finding that Congress, by immense majorities, declined to abdicate its
functions, he and his partisans appealed to such legislative assemblies
as could be extemporized for the occasion. Congress did not fairly
represent the people of the whole Union; and Mr. Johnson accordingly
unfolded his measures to a body which, in his opinion, we must suppose
did, namely, a Copperhead mob which gathered under his windows at
Washington. The Secretary of State addressed a meeting in New York,
assembled in a hall which is the very symbol of mutation. Some
collectors and postmasters have, we believe, been kind enough to take
upon themselves the trouble of calling similar legislative assemblies in
their respective cities; and Keokuk, it is well known, has won deserved
celebrity for the rapidity with which its gathering of publicists passed
the President's plan. Still more important, perhaps, is the unanimity
with which the "James Page Library Company," of Philadelphia, fulfilled
its duty of legislating for the whole republic. This mode of taking the
opinion of the people, if considered merely as an innocent amusement of
great officials, may be harmless; but political farces played by actors
who do not seem to take their own jokes sometimes lead to serious
consequences; and the effect upon the South of suggesting that the
Congress of the United States not only misrepresents its constituents,
but excludes "loyal men" who have a right to seats, cannot but give
fierce additional stimulants to Southern disaffection.

We are accordingly, it would seem, in danger of having a President, who
is at variance with nearly two thirds of Congress, using his whole
executive power and influence against the party he was supposed to
represent, and having on his side the Southerners who made the
Rebellion, the Northerners whose sympathies were on the side of the
Rebellion, a small collection of Republican politicians called "the
President's friends," and the undefined political force passing under
the name of "the Blairs." But Congress is stronger than the whole body
of its opponents, and is backed by the great mass of the loyal people,
determined not to surrender all the advantages of the position which has
been gained by the profuse shedding of so much loyal blood.

"Constitutional government is on trial" in this contest; and Mr. Johnson
seems neither to have the constitutional instinct in his blood, nor the
constitutional principle in his brain. The position of the President of
the United States is analogous, not so much to that of a Napoleon or a
Bismark, as to that of an English prime-minister. In the theory and
ordinary working of the government, he is one of a body of statesmen,
agreeing in their general views, and elected by the same party; what are
called his measures are passed by Congress, because the majority of
Congress and he are in general accord on all important questions; and it
is against the whole idea of constitutional government that the
executive _will_ is a fair offset to the legislative _reason_,--that one
man is the equal of the whole body of the people's representatives. The
powers of an executive are of such a character, that, pushed wilfully to
their ultimate expression, they can absorb all the other departments of
the government, as when James the Second practically repealed laws by
pushing to its abstract logical consequences his undoubted power of
pardon; but a constitutional government implies, as a condition of its
existence, that the executive will have that kind of mind and temper
which instinctively recognizes the practical limitations of powers in
themselves vague; for if the executive can defy the legislature, the
legislature can bring the whole government to an end by a simple refusal
to grant supplies. In his Washington speech, the President selected for
special attack the chairman of the House Committee of Ways and Means,
and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; but it
would be difficult to conjecture how he could carry on the government
without the aid of what these men represent, for Mr. Stevens pays him
his salary, and Mr. Sumner gives effect to his treaties. Bismark, in
Prussia, snaps his fingers in the faces of the Prussian Chambers, and
still contrives to get along very comfortably; but an American President
does not enjoy similar advantages. He can follow his own will or caprice
only by the toleration of the legislative body he defames and
disregards. His great power is the veto; but the perverse use of this
could easily be checked by the perverse use of many a legislative power
which a mere majority of Congress can effectively use. The fallacy of
the argument of "the President's friends," in their proposition that
Congress should settle the dispute by the easy method of allowing Mr.
Johnson to have his own way, consists in its entire oversight of the
essential character of constitutional government.

And now what would be the consequences of the yielding of Congress in
this struggle? The first effect would be the concession that, in respect
to the most important matter that will probably ever be brought before
the United States government, the executive branch was everything, and
the legislative nothing. The second effect would be, that the Rebel
Slates would re-enter the Union, not only without giving additional
guaranties for their good behavior, but with the elated feeling that
they had gained a great triumph over the "fanatical" North. The third
effect would be the establishment of the principle, that they had never
been out of the Union as States; that, accordingly, a doubt was over the
legality of the legislation which had been transacted in the absence of
their representatives; and that, Congress having, for the past five
years, represented only a section of the country, that section was alone
bound by its measures. The moment it is admitted that the national
legislature, as now constituted, is an incomplete body, and that it
needs Southern "loyal men" to make its laws operative over the South, a
whole brood of deductive reasoners will spring up in that region, eager
to carry the principle out to its remotest logical consequences. After
two or three of those cotton crops on which some persons rely so much to
make the South contented have given it the requisite leisure to follow
long trains of reasoning, it will by degrees convince itself that the
whole national legislation during the war, including the debt and the
Anti-Slavery Amendment, was unconstitutional, and that, as far as it
concerns the Southern States, it is void, and should be of no effect.
Persons who are accustomed to nickname as "radicals" all those statesmen
who do not consider that the removal of an immediate inconvenience
exhausts the whole science of practical politics, are wont to make merry
over this possibility of Southern repudiation, or to look down upon its
fanatical suggesters with the benevolent pity of serenely superior
intelligence; but nobody who has watched the steps by which Calhoun's
logic was inwrought into the substance of the Southern mind,--nobody who
has noted the process by which the justification of one of the bloodiest
rebellions in the history of the world was deduced from the definition
of an abstraction,--nobody who explores the meaning of the phrase,
common in many mouths, that "the South _thought_ itself in the
right,"--will doubt that the seeming bugbear may turn out a dreadful
reality. It is impossible, in fact, for the most far-sighted mind to
predict all the evils which may flow from the heedless adoption of a
vicious principle; if the war has not taught us this, it has taught us
nothing.

But it is not to be supposed that Congress will yield, for to yield
would be to commit suicide. There is not an interest in the nation which
is not concerned in its adherence to the principle, that in it the whole
legislative power of the United States government is vested, and that it
has the right to exact irreversible guaranties of the Rebel States as
the conditions of the admission of their Senators and Representatives.
They are not _in_ the Union until they are in its government; and
Congress has the same power to keep them out that it has to let them in.
By the very nature of the case, the whole question must be left to its
judgment of what is necessary for the public safety and honor. Its
members may be mistaken, but the only method to correct their mistake is
to elect other persons in their places, when their limited period of
service has expired; and any new Congress will, unless it is
scandalously neglectful of the public interests, admit the Rebel States
to their old places in the Union, not because it _must_, but because it
thinks that a sufficient number of guaranties have been obtained to
render their admission prudent and safe. It is in this form that the
subject is coming before the people in the autumn elections; and this
explains the eager haste of the President's friends to forestall and
mislead the public mind, and sacrifice a great party, founded on
principles, to the will of an individual, veering with his moods.

We think, if the vote were taken now, that Congress would be
overwhelmingly sustained by the people. We think this, in spite of such
expressions of the popular will as found vent in the President's meeting
at Washington and Mr. Seward's meeting in New York,--in spite even of
the resolutions of Keokuk and the address of the "James Page Library
Company" of Philadelphia,--in spite, above all, of the perfect felicity
in which, if we may believe the Secretary of State, the President's
speech left the American people. The loyal men of the loyal States do
not intend that the war they carried on for great ends shall pass into
history as the bloodiest of all purposeless farces, beginning in an
ecstasy of public spirit and ending in an ignominious surrender of the
advantages of hard-won victory. They demand such guaranties, in the
shape of amendments to the Constitution, as shall insure security for
the future from such evils as have scourged them in the past; and these
guaranties they do not think have been yet obtained. They make this
demand in no spirit of rancorous hostility to the South, for they
require nothing which it is not for the permanent welfare of the South
to grant. They feel that, if a settlement is patched up on the
President's plan, it will leave Southern society a prey to most of the
influences which have so long been its curse, which have narrowed its
patriotism, checked its progress, vitiated its character, educated it in
disloyalty, and impelled it into war. They desire that a settlement
shall be effected which shall make the South republican, like the North,
homogeneous with it in institutions, as well as nominally united to it
under one government,--a settlement which shall annihilate the accursed
heresy of Secession by extinguishing the accursed prejudice of caste.

Such a settlement the people have not in the "President's plan." What
confidence, indeed, can they place in the professions of the cunning
Southern politicians who have taken the President captive, and used him
as an instrument while seeming to obey him as agents? There is something
to make us distrust the stability of the firmest and most upright
statesman in the spectacle of that remarkable conquest. Mr. Johnson,
when elected, appeared to represent the most violent radical ideas and
the most vindictive passions engendered by the war. He spoke as if the
blacks were to find in him a Moses, and the Rebels a Nemesis. It seemed
as if there could not be in the whole land a sufficient number of
sour-apple trees to furnish hanging accommodations for the possible
victims of his patriotic wrath. One almost feared that reconciliation
would be indefinitely postponed by the relentless severity with which
he would visit treason with death. But the Southern politicians, finding
that further military resistance was hopeless, resorted at once to their
old game of intrigue and management, and proved that, fresh as they were
from the experience of violent methods, they had not forgotten their old
art of manipulating Presidents. They adapted themselves with marvellous
flexibility to the changed condition of things, in order to become
masters of the situation, and began to declaim in favor of the Union,
even while their curses against it were yet echoing in the air. They
wheedled the President into pardoning, in the place of hanging them;
they made themselves serviceable agents in carrying out his plan of
reconstruction; they gave up what it was impossible for them to retain,
in order to retain what it would destroy their influence to give up;
they got possession of him to the extent of insinuating subtly into his
mind ideas which they made him think he himself originated; and finally
they capped the climax of their skilful audacity, by taking him out of
"practical relations" with the party to which he was indebted for his
elevation, and made him the representative of the small party which
voted against him, and of the defeated Rebel Confederacy, which, of
course, could not do even that. The Southern politicians have succeeded
in many shrewd political contrivances in the course of our history, but
this last is certainly their masterpiece. Its only parallel or precedent
is to be found in Richard's wooing of Anne:--

    "What! I, that killed her husband and his father,
    To take her in her heart's extremest hate;
    With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
    The bleeding witness of my hatred by,
    Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
    And I no friends to back my suit withal,
    But the plain devil, and dissembling looks,
    And yet to win her,--all the world to nothing!"

Now can the people trust these politicians to the extent of placing in
their hands the powers of their State governments, and the
representative power of their States in Congress, without exacting
irreversible guaranties necessary for the public safety? Can the people
uphold, as against Congress, a President whose mind seems to be so much
under the influence of these men that he publicly insults the
legislature of the nation? Is the President to be supported because he
sustains State Rights against Centralization? The only centralization
which is to be feared, in this case, is the centralization of all the
powers of the government in its executive branch. Is the President to be
supported because he represents the principle of "no taxation without
representation"? The object of Congress is to see to it that there shall
not be a "representation" which, in respect to the national debt, shall
endeavor to abolish "taxation" altogether,--which, in respect to the
freedmen, shall tax permanently a population it misrepresents,--which,
in respect to the balance of political power, shall use the black
freemen as a basis of representation, while it excludes them from having
a voice in the selection of the representatives. Is the President to be
supported because he is determined the defeated South shall not be
oppressed? The purpose of Congress is not to commit, but prevent
oppression; not to oppress the Rebel whites, but to guard from
oppression the loyal blacks; not to refuse full political privileges to
the late armed enemies of the nation, but to avoid the intolerable
ignominy of giving those enemies the power to play the robber and tyrant
over its true and tried friends. Is the President to be supported
because he is magnanimous and merciful? Congress doubts the magnanimity
which sacrifices the innocent in order to propitiate the guilty, and the
mercy which abandons the helpless and weak to the covetousness of the
powerful and strong. Is the President to be supported because he aims to
represent the whole people? Congress may well suspect that he represents
the least patriotic portion, especially when he puts a stigma on all
ardent loyalty by denouncing as equally traitorous the "extremists of
both sections," and thus makes no distinction between the "fanaticism"
which perilled everything in fighting _for_ the government, and the
"fanaticism" which perilled everything in fighting _against_ it. And,
finally, is the President to be supported because he is the champion of
conciliation and peace? Congress believes that his conciliation is the
compromise of vital principles; that his peace is the surrender of human
rights; that his plan but postpones the operation of causes of discord
it fails to eradicate; and that, if the war has taught us nothing else,
it has taught us this,--spreading it out indeed before all eyes in
letters of fire and blood,--that no conciliation is possible which
sacrifices the defenceless, and that no peace is permanent which is
unfounded in justice.



GRIFFITH GAUNT; OR, JEALOUSY.


CHAPTER XV.

One day, at dinner, Father Francis let them know that he was ordered to
another part of the county, and should no longer be able to enjoy their
hospitality. "I am sorry for it," said Griffith, heartily; and Mrs.
Gaunt echoed him out of politeness; but, when husband and wife came to
talk it over in private, she let out all of a sudden, and for the first
time, that the spiritual coldness of her governor had been a great
misfortune to her all these years. "His mind," said she, "is set on
earthly things. Instead of helping the angels to raise my thoughts to
heaven and heavenly things, he drags me down to earth. O that man's soul
was born without wings!"

Griffith ventured to suggest that Francis was, nevertheless, an honest
man, and no mischief-maker.

Mrs. Gaunt soon disposed of this, "O, there are plenty of honest men in
the world," said she; "but in one's spiritual director one needs
something more than that, and I have pined for it like a thirsty soul in
the desert all these years. Poor good man, I love him dearly; but, thank
Heaven, he is going."

The next time Francis came, Mrs. Gaunt took an opportunity to inquire,
but in the most delicate way, who was to be his successor.

"Well," said he, "I fear you will have no one for the present: I mean no
one very fit to direct you in practical matters; but in all that tends
directly to the welfare of the soul you will have one young in years but
old in good works, and very much my superior in piety."

"I think you do yourself injustice, Father," said Mrs. Gaunt, sweetly.
She was always polite; and, to be always polite, you must be sometimes
insincere.

"No, my daughter," said Father Francis, quietly, "thank God, I know my
own defects, and they teach me a little humility. I discharge my
religious duties punctually, and find them wholesome and composing; but
I lack that holy unction, that spiritual imagination, by which more
favored Christians have fitted themselves to converse with angels. I
have too much body, I suppose and too little soul. I own to you that I
cannot look forward to the hour of death as a happy release from the
burden of the flesh. Life is pleasant to me; immortality tempts me not;
the pure in heart delight me; but in the sentimental part of religion I
feel myself dry and barren. I fear God, and desire to do his will; but I
cannot love him as the saints have done; my spirit is too dull, too
gross. I have often been unable to keep pace with you in your pious and
lofty aspirations; and this softens my regret at quitting you; for you
will be in better hands, my daughter."

Mrs. Gaunt was touched by her old friend's humility, and gave him both
hands, with the tears in her eyes. But she said nothing; the subject was
delicate; and really she could not honestly contradict him.

A day or two afterwards he brought his successor to the house; a man so
remarkable that Mrs. Gaunt almost started at first sight of him. Born of
an Italian mother, his skin was dark, and his eyes coal-black; yet his
ample but symmetrical forehead was singularly white and delicate. Very
tall and spare, and both face and figure were of that exalted kind which
make ordinary beauty seem dross. In short, he was one of those ethereal
priests the Roman Catholic Church produces every now and then by way of
incredible contrast to the thickset peasants in black that form her
staple. This Brother Leonard looked and moved like a being who had come
down from some higher sphere to pay the world a very little visit, and
be very kind and patient with it all the time.

He was presented to Mrs. Gaunt, and bowed calmly, coldly, and with a
certain mixture of humility and superiority, and gave her but one
tranquil glance, then turned his eyes inward as before.

Mrs. Gaunt, on the contrary, was almost fluttered at being presented so
suddenly to one who seemed to her Religion embodied. She blushed, and
looked timidly at him, and was anxious not to make an unfavorable
impression.

She found it, however, very difficult to make any impression at all.
Leonard had no small talk, and met her advances in that line with
courteous monosyllables; and when she, upon this, turned and chatted
with Father Francis, he did not wait for an opening to strike in, but
sought a shelter from her commonplaces in his own thoughts.

Then Mrs. Gaunt yielded to her genuine impulse, and began to talk about
the prospects of the Church, and what might be done to reconvert the
British Isles to the true faith. Her cheek flushed, and her eye shone
with the theme; and Francis smiled paternally; but the young priest drew
back. Mrs. Gaunt saw in a moment that he disapproved of a woman meddling
with so high a matter uninvited. If he had said so, she had spirit
enough to have resisted; but the cold, lofty look of polite but grave
disapproval dashed her courage and reduced her to silence.

She soon recovered so far as to be piqued. She gave her whole attention
to Francis, and, on parting with her guests, she courtesied coldly to
Leonard, and said to Francis, "Ah, my dear friend, I foresee I shall
miss you terribly."

I am afraid this pretty speech was intended as a side cut at Leonard.

    "But on the impassive ice the lightnings play."

Her new confessor retired, and left her with a sense of inferiority,
which would have been pleasing to her woman's nature if Leonard himself
had appeared less conscious of it, and had shown ever so little approval
of herself; but, impressed upon her too sharply, it piqued and mortified
her.

However, like a gallant champion, she awaited another encounter. She so
rarely failed to please, she could not accept defeat.

Father Francis departed.

Mrs. Gaunt soon found that she really missed him. She had got into a
habit of running to her confessor twice a week, and to her director
nearly every day that he did not come of his own accord to her.

Her good sense showed her at once she must not take up Brother Leonard's
time in this way. She went a long time, for her, without confession; at
last she sent a line to Leonard asking him when it would be convenient
to him to confess her. Leonard wrote back to say that he received
penitents in the chapel for two hours after matins every Monday,
Tuesday, and Saturday.

This implied, first come, first served; and was rather galling to Mrs.
Gaunt.

However, she rode one morning, with her groom behind her, and had to
wait until an old woman in a red cloak and black bonnet was first
disposed of. She confessed a heap. And presently the soft but chill
tones of Brother Leonard broke in with these freezing words: "My
daughter, excuse me; but confession is one thing, gossip about ourselves
is another."

This distinction was fine, but fatal. The next minute the fair penitent
was in her carriage, her eyes filled with tears of mortification.

"The man is a spiritual machine," said she; and her pride was mortified
to the core.

In these happy days she used to open her heart to her husband; and she
went so far as to say some bitter little feminine things of her new
confessor before him.

He took no notice at first; but at last he said one day: "Well, I am of
you mind; he is very poor company compared with that jovial old blade,
Francis. But why so many words, Kate? You don't use to bite twice at a
cherry; if the milk-sop is not to your taste, give him the sack and be
d----d to him." And with this homely advice Squire Gaunt dismissed the
matter and went to the stable to give his mare a ball.

       *       *       *       *       *

So you see Mrs. Gaunt was discontented with Francis for not being an
enthusiast, and nettled with Leonard for being one.

The very next Sunday morning she went and heard Leonard preach. His
first sermon was an era in her life. After twenty years of pulpit
prosers, there suddenly rose before her a sacred orator; an orator born;
blest with that divine and thrilling eloquence that no heart can really
resist. He prepared his great theme with art at first; but, once warm,
it carried him away, and his hearers went with him like so many straws
on the flood, and in the exercise of this great gift the whole man
seemed transfigured; abroad, he was a languid, rather slouching priest,
who crept about, a picture of delicate humility, but with a shade of
meanness; for, religious prejudice apart, it is ignoble to sweep the
wall in passing as he did, and eye the ground: but, once in the pulpit,
his figure rose and swelled majestically, and seemed to fly over them
all like a guardian angel's; his sallow cheek burned, his great Italian
eye shot black lightning at the impenitent, and melted ineffably when he
soothed the sorrowful.

Observe that great, mean, brown bird in the Zoölogical Gardens, which
sits so tame on its perch, and droops and slouches like a drowsy duck!
That is the great and soaring eagle. Who would believe it, to look at
him? Yet all he wants is to be put in his right place instead of his
wrong. He is not himself in man's cages, belonging to God's sky. Even so
Leonard was abroad in the world, but at home in the pulpit; and so he
somewhat crept and slouched about the parish, but soared like an eagle
in his native air.

Mrs. Gaunt sat thrilled, enraptured, melted. She hung upon his words;
and when they ceased, she still sat motionless, spell-bound; loath to
believe that accents so divine could really come to an end.

Even whilst all the rest were dispersing, she sat quite still, and
closed her eyes. For her soul was too high-strung now to endure the
chit-chat she knew would attack her on the road home,--chit-chat that
had been welcome enough coming home from other preachers.

And by this means she came hot and undiluted to her husband; she laid
her white hand on his shoulder, and said, "O Griffith, I have heard the
voice of God."

Griffith looked alarmed, and rather shocked than elated.

Mrs. Gaunt observed that, and tacked on, "Speaking by the lips of his
servant." But she fired again the next moment, and said, "The grave hath
given us back St. Paul in the Church's need; and I have heard him this
day."

"Good heavens! where?"

"At St. Mary's Chapel."

Then Griffith looked very incredulous. Then she gushed out with, "What,
because it is a small chapel, you think a great saint cannot be in it.
Why, our Saviour was born in a stable, if you go to that."

"Well, but my dear, consider," said Griffith; "who ever heard of
comparing a living man to St. Paul, for preaching? Why, he was an
apostle, for one thing; and there are no apostles now-a-days. He made
Felix tremble on his throne, and almost persuaded Whatsename, another
heathen gentleman, to be a Christian."

"That is true," said the lady, thoughtfully; "but he sent one man that
_we_ know of to sleep. Catch Brother Leonard sending any man to sleep!
And then nobody will ever say of _him_ that he was long preaching."

"Why, I do say it," replied Griffith. "By the same token, I have been
waiting dinner for you this half-hour, along of his preaching."

"Ah, that's because you did not hear him," retorted Mrs. Gaunt; "if you
had, it would have seemed too short, and you would have forgotten all
about your dinner for once."

Griffith made no reply. He even looked vexed at her enthusiastic
admiration. She saw, and said no more. But after dinner she retired to
the grove, and thought of the sermon and the preacher: thought of them
all the more that she was discouraged from enlarging on them. And it
would have been kinder, and also wiser, of Griffith, if he had
encouraged her to let out her heart to him on this subject, although it
did not happen to interest him. A husband should not chill an
enthusiastic wife, and, above all, should never separate himself from
her favorite topic, when she loves him well enough to try and share it
with him.

Mrs. Gaunt, however, though her feelings were quick, was not cursed with
a sickly or irritable sensibility; nor, on the other hand, was she one
of those lovely little bores who cannot keep their tongues off their
favorite theme. She quietly let the subject drop for a whole week; but
the next Sunday morning she asked her husband if he would do her a
little favor.

"I'm more likely to say ay than nay," was the cheerful reply.

"It is just to go to chapel with me; and then you can judge for
yourself."

Griffith looked rather sheepish at this proposal; and he said he could
not very well do that.

"Why not, dearest, just for once?"

"Well, you see, parties run so high in this parish; and everything one
does is noted. Why, if I was to go to chapel, they'd say directly, 'Look
at Griffith Gaunt, he is so tied to his wife's apron he is going to give
up the faith of his ancestors.'"

"The faith of your ancestors! That is a good jest. The faith of your
grandfather at the outside: the faith of your ancestors was the faith of
mine and me."

"Well, don't let us differ about a word," said Griffith; "you know what
I mean. Did ever I ask you to go to church with me? and if I were to ask
you, would you go?"

Mrs. Gaunt colored; but would not give in. "That is not the same thing,"
said she. "I do profess religion: you do not. You scarce think of God on
week-days; and, indeed, never mention his name, except in the way of
swearing; and on Sunday you go to church--for what? to doze before
dinner, you know you do. Come now, with you 't is no question of
religion, but just of nap or no nap: for Brother Leonard won't let you
sleep, I warn you fairly."

Griffith shook his head. "You are too hard on me, wife. I know I am not
so good as you are, and never shall be; but that is not the fault of the
Protestant faith, which hath reared so many holy men: and some of 'em
our _ancestors_ burnt alive, and will burn in hell themselves for the
deed. But, look you, sweetheart, if I'm not a saint I'm a gentleman,
and, say I wear my faith loose, I won't drag it in the dirt none the
more for that. So you must excuse me."

Mrs. Gaunt was staggered; and if Griffith had said no more, I think she
would have withdrawn her request, and so the matter ended. But persons
unversed in argument can seldom let well alone; and this simple Squire
must needs go on to say, "Besides, Kate, it would come to the parson's
ears, and he is a friend of mine, you know. Why, I shall be sure to meet
him to-morrow."

"Ay," retorted the lady, "by the cover-side. Well, when you do, tell him
you refused your wife your company for fear of offending the religious
views of a fox-hunting parson."

"Nay, Kate," said Griffith, "this is not to ask thy man to go with thee;
't is to say go he must, willy nilly." With that he rose and rang the
bell. "Order the chariot," said he, "I am to go with our dame."

Mrs. Gaunt's face beamed with gratified pride and affection.

The chariot came round, and Griffith handed his dame in. He then gave an
involuntary sigh, and followed her with a hang-dog look.

She heard the sigh, and saw the look, and laid her hand quickly on his
shoulder, and said, gently but coldly, "Stay you at home, my dear. We
shall meet at dinner."

"As you will," said he, cheerfully: and they went their several ways. He
congratulated himself on her clemency, and his own escape.

She went along, sorrowful at having to drink so great a bliss alone; and
thought it unkind and stupid of Griffith not to yield with a good grace
if he could yield at all: and, indeed, women seem cleverer than men in
this, that, when they resign their wills, they do it graciously and not
by halves. Perhaps they are more accustomed to knock under; and you know
practice makes perfect.

But every smaller feeling was swept away by the preacher, and Mrs. Gaunt
came home full of pious and lofty thoughts.

She found her husband seated at the dinner-table, with one turnip before
him; and even that was not comestible; for it was his grandfather's
watch, with a face about the size of a new-born child's. "Forty-five
minutes past one, Kate," said he, ruefully.

"Well, why not bid them serve the dinner?" said she with an air of
consummate indifference.

"What, dine alone o' Sunday? Why, you know I couldn't eat a morsel
without you, set opposite."

Mrs. Gaunt smiled affectionately. "Well then, my dear, we had better
order dinner an hour later next Sunday."

"But that will upset the servants, and spoil their Sunday."

"And am I to be their slave?" said Mrs. Gaunt, getting a little warm.
"Dinner! dinner! What? shall I starve my soul, by hurrying away from the
oracles of God to a sirloin? O these gross appetites! how they deaden
the immortal half, and wall out Heaven's music! For my part, I wish
there was no such thing as eating and drinking. 'T is like falling from
Heaven down into the mud, to come back from such divine discourse and be
greeted with 'Dinner! dinner! dinner!'"

The next Sunday, after waiting half an hour for her, Griffith began his
dinner without her.

And this time, on her arrival, instead of remonstrating with her, he
excused himself. "Nothing," said he, "upsets a man's temper like waiting
for his dinner."

"Well, but you have not waited."

"Yes, I did, a good half-hour. Till I could wait no longer."

"Well, dear, if I were you I would not have waited at all, or else
waited till your wife came home."

"Ah, dame, that is all very well for you to say. You could live on
hearing of sermons and smelling to rosebuds. You don't know what 't is
to be a hungry man."

The next Sunday he sat sadly down, and finished his dinner without her.
And she came home and sat down to half-empty dishes; and ate much less
than she used when she had him to keep her company in it.

Griffith, looking on disconsolate, told her she was more like a bird
pecking than a Christian eating of a Sunday.

"No matter, child," said she; "so long as my soul is filled with the
bread of Heaven."

Leonard's eloquence suffered no diminution, either in quantity or
quality; and, after a while, Gaunt gave up his rule of never dining
abroad on the Sunday. If his wife was not punctual, his stomach was; and
he had not the same temptation to dine at home he used to have.

And indeed, by degrees, instead of quietly enjoying his wife's company
on that sweet day, he got to see less of her than on the week-days.


CHAPTER XVI.

Your mechanical preacher flings his words out happy-go-lucky; but the
pulpit orator, like every other orator, feels his people's pulse as he
speaks, and vibrates with them, and they with him.

So Leonard soon discovered he had a great listener in Mrs. Gaunt: she
was always there whenever he preached, and her rapt attention never
flagged. Her gray eyes never left his face, and, being upturned, the
full orbs came out in all their grandeur, and seemed an angel's, come
down from heaven to hear him: for, indeed, to a very dark man, as
Leonard was, the gentle radiance of a true Saxon beauty seems always
more or less angelic.

By degrees this face became a help to the orator. In preaching he looked
sometimes to it for sympathy, and lo, it was sure to be melting with
sympathy. Was he led on to higher or deeper thoughts than most of his
congregation could understand, he looked to this face to understand him;
and lo, it had quite understood him, and was beaming with intelligence.

From a help and an encouragement it became a comfort and a delight to
him.

On leaving the pulpit and cooling, he remembered its owner was no angel,
but a woman of the world, and had put him frivolous questions.

The illusion, however, was so beautiful, that Leonard, being an
imaginative man, was unwilling to dispel it by coming into familiar
contact with Mrs. Gaunt. So he used to make his assistant visit her, and
receive her when she came to confess, which was very rarely; for she was
discouraged by her first reception.

Brother Leonard lived in a sort of dwarf monastery, consisting of two
cottages, an oratory, and a sepulchre. The two latter were old, but the
cottages had been built expressly for him and another seminary priest
who had been invited from France. Inside, these cottages were little
more than ceils; only the bigger had a kitchen which was a glorious
place compared with the parlor; for it was illuminated with bright
pewter plates, copper vessels, brass candlesticks, and a nice clean
woman, with a plain gown kilted over a quilted silk petticoat; Betty
Scarf, an old servant of Mrs. Gaunt's, who had married, and was now the
Widow Gough.

She stood at the gate one day, as Mrs. Gaunt drove by; and courtesied,
all beaming.

Mrs. Gaunt stopped the carriage, and made some kind and patronizing
inquiries about her; and it ended in Betty asking her to come in and see
her place. Mrs. Gaunt looked a little shy at that, and did not move.
"Nay, they are both abroad till supper time," said Betty, reading her in
a moment by the light of sex. Then Mrs. Gaunt smiled, and got out of her
carriage. Betty took her in and showed her everything in doors and out.
Mrs. Gaunt looked mighty demure and dignified, but scanned everything
closely, only without seeming too curious.

The cold gloom of the parlor struck her. She shuddered, and said, "This
would give me the vapors. But, doubtless, angels come and brighten it
for _him_."

"Not always," said Betty. "I do see him with his head in his hand by the
hour, and hear him sigh ever so loud as I pass the door. Why, one day
he was fain to have me and my spinning-wheel aside him. Says he, 'Let me
hear thy busy wheel, and see thee ply it.' 'And welcome,' says I. So I
sat in his room, and span, and he sat a gloating of me as if he had
never seen a woman spin hemp afore (he is a very simple man): and
presently says he--but what signifies what _he_ said?"

"Nay, Betty; if you please! I am much interested in him. He preaches so
divinely."

"Ay," said Betty, "that's his gift. But a poor trencher-man; and I
declare I'm ashamed to eat all the vittels that are eaten here, and me
but a woman."

"But what did he say to you that time?" asked Mrs. Gaunt, a little
impatiently.

Betty cudgelled her memory. "Well, says he, 'My daughter,' (the poor
soul always calls me his daughter, and me old enough to be his mother
mostly,) says he, 'how comes it that you are never wearied, nor cast
down, and yet you but serve a sinner like yourself; but I do often droop
in my Master's service, and He is the Lord of heaven and earth?' Says I,
'I'll tell ye, sir: because ye don't eat enough o' vittels.'"

"What an answer!"

"Why, 't is the truth, dame. And says I, 'If I was to be always fasting,
like as you be, d' ye think I should have the heart to work from morn
till night?' Now, wasn't I right?"

"I don't know till I hear what answer he made," said Mrs. Gaunt, with
mean caution.

"O, he shook his head, and said he ate mortal food enow, (poor simple
body!) but drank too little of grace divine. That were his word."

Mrs. Gaunt was a good deal struck and affected by this revelation, and
astonished at the slighting tone Betty took in speaking of so remarkable
a man. The saying that "No man is a hero to his valet" was not yet
current, or perhaps she would have been less surprised at that.

"Alas! poor man," said she, "and is it so? To hear him, I thought his
soul was borne up night and day by angels' pinions--"

The widow interrupted her. "Ay, you hear him preach, and it is like
God's trumpet mostly, and so much I say for him in all companies. But I
see him directly after; he totters in to this very room, and sits him
down pale and panting, and one time like to swoon, and another all for
crying, and then he is ever so dull and sad for the whole afternoon."

"And nobody knows this but you? You have got my old petticoat still, I
see. I must look you up another."

"You are very good, dame, I am sure. 'T will not come amiss; I've only
this for Sundays and all. No, my lady, not a soul but me and you. I'm
not one as tells tales out of doors, but I don't mind you, dame; you are
my old mistress, and a discreet woman. 'T will go no further than your
ear."

Mrs. Gaunt told her she might rely on that. The widow then inquired
after Mrs. Gaunt's little girl, and admired her dress, and described her
own ailments, and poured out a continuous stream of topics bearing no
affinity to each other except that they were all of them not worth
mentioning. And all the while she thus discoursed, Mrs. Gaunt's
thoughtful eyes looked straight over the chatterbox's white cap, and
explored vacancy; and by and by she broke the current of twaddle with
the majestic air of a camelopard marching across a running gutter.

"Betsy Gough," said she, "I am thinking."

Mrs. Gough was struck dumb by an announcement so singular.

"I have heard, and I have read, that great and pious and learned men are
often to seek in little simple things, such as plain bodies have at
their fingers' ends. So, now, if you and I could only teach him
something for all he has taught us! And, to be sure, we ought to be kind
to him if we can; for O Betty, my woman, 't is a poor vanity to go and
despise the great, and the learned, and the sainted, because forsooth
we find them out in some one little weakness,--we that are all made up
of weaknesses and defects. So, now, I sit me down in his very chair, so.
And sit you there. Now let us, you and me, look at his room quietly, all
over, and see what is wanting."

       *       *       *       *       *

"First and foremost methinks this window should be filled with geraniums
and jessamine and so forth. With all his learning perhaps he has to be
taught, the color of flowers and golden green leaves, with the sun
shining through, how it soothes the eye and relieves the spirits; yet
every woman born knows that. Then do but see this bare table! a purple
cloth on that, I say."

"Which he will fling it out of the window, I say."

"Nay, for I'll embroider a cross in the middle with gold braid. Then a
rose-colored blind would not be amiss; and there must be a good mirror
facing the window; but, indeed, if I had my way, I'd paint these horrid
walls the first thing."

"How you run on, dame! Bless your heart, you'd turn his den into a
palace; he won't suffer that. He is all for self-mortification, poor
simple soul."

"O, not all at once, I did not mean," said Mrs. Gaunt; "but by little
and little, you know. We must begin with the flowers: God made them; and
so to be sure he will not spurn _them_."

Betty began to enter into the plot. "Ay, ay," said she: "the flowers
first; and so creep on. But naught will avail to make a man of him so
long as he eats but of eggs and garden-stuff, like the beasts of the
field, 'that to-day are, and to-morrow are cast into the oven.'"

Mrs. Gaunt smiled at this ambitious attempt of the widow to apply
Scripture. Then she said, rather timidly, "Could you make his eggs into
omelets? and so pound in a little meat with your small herbs; I dare say
he would be none the wiser, and he so bent on high and heavenly things."

"You may take your oath of that."

"Well, then. And I shall send you some stock from the castle, and you
can cook his vegetables in good strong gravy, unbeknown."

The Widow Gough chuckled aloud.

"But stay," said Mrs. Gaunt; "for us to play the woman so, and delude a
saint for his mere bodily weal, will it not be a sin, and a sacrilege to
boot?"

"Let that flea stick in the wall," said Betty, contemptuously. "Find you
the meat, and I'll find the deceit: for he is as poor as a rat into the
bargain. Nay, nay, God Almighty will never have the heart to burn us two
for such a trifle. Why 't is no more than cheating a froward child into
taking 's physic."

Mrs. Gaunt got into her carriage and went home, thinking all the way.
What she had heard filled her with feelings strangely but sweetly
composed of veneration and pity. In that Leonard was a great orator and
a high-minded priest, she revered him; in that he was solitary and sad,
she pitied him; in that he wanted common sense, she felt like a mother,
and must take him under her wing. All true women love to protect;
perhaps it is a part of the great maternal element: but to protect a
man, and yet look up to him, this is delicious. It satisfies their
double craving; it takes them by both breasts, as the saying is.

Leonard, in truth, was one of those high-strung men who pay for their
periods of religious rapture by hours of melancholy. This oscillation of
the spirits in extraordinary men appears to be more or less a law of
nature; and this the Widow Gough was not aware of.

The very next Sunday, while he was preaching, she and Mrs. Gaunt's
gardener were filling his bow-window with flower-pots, the flowers in
full bloom and leaf. The said window was large and had a broad sill
outside, and inside, one of the old-fashioned high window-seats that
follow the shape of the window. Mrs. Gaunt, who did nothing by halves,
sent up a cart-load of flower-pots, and Betty and the gardener arranged
at least eighty of them, small and great, inside and outside the window.

When Leonard returned from preaching, Betty was at the door to watch. He
came past the window with his hands on his breast, and his eyes on the
ground, and never saw the flowers in his own window. Betty was
disgusted. However, she followed him stealthily as he went to his room,
and she heard a profound "Ah!" burst from him.

She bustled in and found him standing in a rapture, with the blood
mantling in his pale cheeks, and his dark eyes glowing.

"Now blessed be the heart that hath conceived this thing, and the hand
that hath done it," said he. "My poor room, it is a bower of roses, all
beauty and fragrance."

And he sat down, inhaling them and looking at them; and a dreamy, tender
complacency crept over his heart, and softened his noble features
exquisitely.

Widow Gough, red with gratified pride, stood watching him, and admiring
him; but, indeed, she often admired him, though she had got into a way
of decrying him.

But at last she lost patience at his want of curiosity; that being a
defect she was free from herself.

"Ye don't ask me who sent them," said she, reproachfully.

"Nay, nay," said he; "prithee do not tell me: let me divine."

"Divine, then," said Betty, roughly. "Which I suppose you means
'guess.'"

"Nay, but let me be quiet awhile," said he, imploringly; "let me sit
down and fancy that I am a holy man, and some angel hath turned my cave
into a Paradise."

"No more an angel than I am," said the practical widow. "But, now I
think on 't, y' are not to know who 't was. Them as sent them they bade
me hold my tongue."

This was not true; but Betty, being herself given to unwise revelations
and superfluous secrecy, chose suddenly to assume that this business was
to be clandestine.

The priest turned his eye inwards and meditated.

"I see who it is," said he, with an air of absolute conviction. "It must
be the lady who comes always when I preach, and her face like none
other; it beams with divine intelligence. I will make her all the return
we poor priests can make to our benefactors. I will pray for her soul
here among the flowers God has made, and she has given his servant to
glorify his dwelling. My daughter, you may retire."

This last with surprising, gentle dignity; so Betty went off rather
abashed, and avenged herself by adulterating the holy man's innutritious
food with Mrs. Gaunt's good gravy; while he prayed fervently for her
eternal weal among the flowers she had given him.

Now Mrs. Gaunt, after eight years of married life, was too sensible and
dignified a woman to make a romantic mystery out of nothing. She
concealed the gravy, because there secrecy was necessary; but she never
dreamed of hiding that she had sent her spiritual adviser a load of
flowers. She did not tell her neighbors, for she was not ostentatious;
but she told her husband, who grunted, but did not object.

But Betty's nonsense lent an air of romance and mystery that was well
adapted to captivate the imagination of a young, ardent, and solitary
spirit like Leonard.

He would have called on the lady he suspected, and thanked her for her
kindness. But this, he feared, would be unwelcome, since she chose to be
his unknown benefactress. It would be ill taste in him to tell her he
had found her out: it might offend her sensibility, and then she would
draw in.

He kept his gratitude, therefore, to himself, and did not cool it by
utterance. He often sat among the flowers, in a sweet revery, enjoying
their color and fragrance; and sometimes he would shut his eyes, and
call up the angelical face, with great, celestial, upturned orbs, and
fancy it among her own flowers, and the queen of them all.

These day-dreams did not at that time interfere with his religious
duties. They only took the place of those occasional hours when, partly
by the reaction consequent on great religious fervor, partly by
exhaustion of the body weakened by fasts, partly by the natural delicacy
of his fibre and the tenderness of his disposition, his soul used to be
sad.

By and by these languid hours, sad no longer, became sweet and dear to
him. He had something so interesting to think of, to dream about. He had
a Madonna that cared for him in secret.

She was human; but good, beautiful, and wise. She came to his sermons,
and understood every word.

"And she knows me better than I know myself," said he; "since I had
these flowers from her hand, I am another man."

One day he came into his room and found two watering-pots there. One was
large and had a rose to it, the other small and with a plain spout.

"Ah!" said he; and colored with delight. He called Betty, and asked her
who had brought them.

"How should I know?" said she, roughly. "I dare say they dropped from
heaven. See, there is a cross painted on 'em in gold letters."

"And so there is!" said Leonard, and crossed himself.

"That means nobody is to use them but you, I trow," said Betty, rather
crossly.

The priest's cheek colored high. "I will use them this instant," said
he. "I will revive my drooping children as they have revived me." And he
caught up a watering-pot with ardor.

"What, with the sun hot upon 'em?" screamed Betty. "Well, saving your
presence, you _are_ a simple man."

"Why, good Betty, 't is the sun that makes them faint," objected the
priest, timidly, and with the utmost humility of manner, though Betty's
tone would have irritated a smaller mind.

"Well, well," said she, softening; "but ye see it never rains with a hot
sun, and the flowers they know that; and look to be watered after
Nature, or else they take it amiss. You, and all your sort, sir, you
think to be stronger than Nature; you do fast and pray all day, and
won't look at a woman like other men; and now you wants to water the
very flowers at noon!"

"Betty," said Leonard smiling, "I yield to thy superior wisdom, and I
will water them at morn and eve. In truth we have all much to learn: let
us try and teach one another as kindly as we can."

"I wish you'd teach me to be as humble as you be," blurted out Betty,
with something very like a sob: "and more respectful to my betters,"
added she, angrily.

Watering the flowers she had given him became a solace and a delight to
the solitary priest: he always watered them with his own hands, and felt
quite paternal over them.

One evening Mrs. Gaunt rode by with Griffith, and saw him watering them.
His tall figure, graceful, though inclined to stoop, bent over them with
feminine delicacy; and the simple act, which would have been nothing in
vulgar hands, seemed to Mrs. Gaunt so earnest, tender, and delicate in
him, that her eyes filled, and she murmured, "Poor Brother Leonard!"

"Why, what's wrong with him now?" asked Griffith, a little peevishly.

"That was him watering the flowers."

"O, is that all?" said Griffith, carelessly.

       *       *       *       *       *

Leonard said to himself, "I go too little abroad among my people." He
made a little round, and it ended in Hernshaw Castle.

Mrs. Gaunt was out.

He looked disappointed; so the servant suggested that perhaps she was in
the Dame's haunt: he pointed to the grove.

Leonard followed his direction, and soon found himself, for the first
time, in that sombre, solemn retreat.

It was a hot summer day, and the grove was delicious. It was also a
place well suited to the imaginative and religious mind of the Italian.

He walked slowly to and fro, in religious meditation. Indeed, he had
nearly thought out his next sermon, when his meditative eye happened to
fall on a terrestrial object that startled and thrilled him. Yet it was
only a lady's glove. It lay at the foot of a rude wooden seat beneath a
gigantic pine.

He stooped and picked it up. He opened the little fingers, and called up
in fancy the white and tapering hand that glove could fit. He laid the
glove softly on his own palm, and eyed it with dreamy tenderness. "So
this is the hand that hath solaced my loneliness," said he: "a hand fair
as that angelical face, and sweet as the kind heart that doeth good by
stealth."

Then, forgetting for a moment, as lofty spirits will, the difference
between _meum_ and _tuum_, he put the little glove in his bosom, and
paced thoughtfully home through the woods, that were separated from the
grove only by one meadow: and so he missed the owner of the glove, for
she had returned home while he was meditating in her favorite haunt.

       *       *       *       *       *

Leonard, amongst his other accomplishments, could draw and paint with no
mean skill. In one of those hours that used to be of melancholy, but now
were hours of dreamy complacency, he took out his pencils and endeavored
to sketch the inspired face that he had learned to preach to, and now to
dwell on with gratitude.

Clearly as he saw it before him, he could not reproduce it to his own
satisfaction. After many failures he got very near the mark: yet still
something was wanting.

Then, as a last resource, he actually took his sketch to church with
him, and in preaching made certain pauses, and, with a very few touches,
perfected the likeness; then, on his return home, threw himself on his
knees and prayed forgiveness of God with many sighs and tears, and hid
the sacrilegious drawing out of his own sight.

Two days after, he was at work coloring it; and the hours flew by like
minutes, as he laid the mellow, melting tints on with infinite care and
delicacy. _Labor ipse voluptas._

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Gaunt heard Leonard had called on her in person. She was pleased at
that, and it encouraged her to carry out her whole design.

Accordingly, one afternoon, when she knew Leonard would be at vespers,
she sent on a loaded pony-cart, and followed it on horseback.

Then it was all hurry-skurry with Betty and her, to get their dark deeds
done before their victim's return.

These good creatures set the mirror opposite the flowery window, and so
made the room a very bower. They fixed a magnificent crucifix of ivory
and gold over the mantel-piece, and they took away his hassock of rushes
and substituted a _prie-dieu_ of rich crimson velvet. All that remained
was to put their blue cover, with its golden cross, on the table. To do
this, however, they had to remove the priest's papers and things: they
were covered with a cloth. Mrs. Gaunt felt them under it.

"But perhaps he will be angry if we move his papers," said she.

"Not he," said Betty. "He has no secrets from God or man."

"Well, _I_ won't take it on me," said Mrs. Gaunt, merrily. "I leave that
to you." And she turned her back and settled the mirror, officiously,
leaving all the other responsibilities to Betty.

The sturdy widow laughed at her scruples, and whipped off the cloth
without ceremony. But soon her laugh stopped mighty short, and she
uttered an exclamation.

"What is the matter?" said Mrs. Gaunt, turning her head sharply round.

"A wench's glove, as I'm a living sinner," groaned Betty.

A poor little glove lay on the table; and both women eyed it like
basilisks a moment. Then Betty pounced on it and examined it with the
fierce keenness of her sex in such conjunctures, searching for a name
or a clew.

Owing to this rapidity, Mrs. Gaunt, who stood at some distance, had not
time to observe the button on the glove, or she would have recognized
her own property.

"He have had a hussy with him unbeknown," said Betty, "and she have left
her glove. 'T is easy to get in by the window and out again. Only let me
catch her! I'll tear her eyes out, and give him my mind. I'll have no
young hussies creeping in an' out where I be."

Thus spoke the simple woman, venting her coarse domestic jealousy.

The gentlewoman said nothing, but a strange feeling traversed her heart
for the first time in her life.

It was a little chill, it was a little ache, it was a little sense of
sickness; none of these violent, yet all distinct. And all about what?
After this curious, novel spasm at the heart, she began to be ashamed of
herself for having had such a feeling.

Betty held her out the glove: and she recognized it directly, and turned
as red as fire.

"You know whose 't is?" said Betty, keenly.

Mrs. Gaunt was on her guard in a moment. "Why, Betty," said she, "for
shame! 't is some penitent hath left her glove after confession. Would
you belie a good man for that? O, fie!"

"Humph!" said Betty, doubtfully. "Then why keep it under cover? Now you
can read, dame; let us see if there isn't a letter or so writ by the
hand as owns this very glove."

Mrs. Gaunt declined, with cold dignity, to pry into Brother Leonard's
manuscripts.

Her eye, however, darted sidelong at them, and told another tale; and,
if she had been there alone, perhaps, the daughter of Eve would have
predominated.

Betty, inflamed by the glove, rummaged the papers in search of female
handwriting. She could tell that from a man's, though she could not read
either.

But there is a handwriting that the most ignorant can read at sight; and
so Betty's researches were not in vain: hidden under several sheets of
paper, she found a picture. She gave but one glance at it, and screamed
out: "There, didn't I tell you? Here she is! the brazen,
red-haired--LAWK A DAISY! WHY, 'T IS YOURSELF."


CHAPTER XVII.

"Me!" cried Mrs. Gaunt, in amazement: then she ran to the picture, and
at sight of it every other sentiment gave way for a moment to gratified
vanity. "Nay," said she, beaming and blushing, "I was never half so
beautiful. What heavenly eyes!"

"The fellows to 'em be in your own head, dame, this moment."

"Seeing is believing," said Mrs. Gaunt, gayly, and in a moment she was
at the priest's mirror, and inspected her eyes minutely, cocking her
head this way and that. She ended by shaking it, and saying, "No. He has
flattered them prodigiously."

"Not a jot," said Betty. "If you could see yourself in chapel, you do
turn 'em up just so, and the white shows all round." Then she tapped the
picture with her finger: "O them eyes! they were never made for the good
of his soul,--poor simple man!"

Betty said this with sudden gravity: and now Mrs. Gaunt began to feel
very awkward. "Mr. Gaunt would give fifty pounds for this," said she, to
gain time: and, while she uttered that sentence, she whipped on her
armor.

"I'll tell you what I think," said she, calmly, "he wished to paint a
Madonna; and he must take some woman's face to aid his fancy. All the
painters are driven to that. So he just took the best that came to hand,
and that is not saying much, for this is a rare ill-favored parish: and
he has made an angel of her, a very angel. There, hide Me away again, or
I shall long for Me--to show to my husband. I must be going; I wouldn't
be caught here _now_ for a pension."

"Well, if ye must," said Betty; "but when will ye come again?" (She
hadn't got the petticoat yet.)

"Humph!" said Mrs. Gaunt, "I have done all I can for him; and perhaps
more than I ought. But there's nothing to hinder you from coming to me.
I'll be as good as my word; and I have an old Paduasoy, besides, you can
perhaps do something with it."

"You are very good, dame," said Betty, courtesying.

Mrs. Gaunt then hurried away, and Betty looked after her very
expressively, and shook her head. She had a female instinct that some
mischief or other was brewing.

Mrs. Gaunt went home in a revery.

At the gate she found her husband, and asked him to take a turn in the
garden with her.

He complied; and she intended to tell him a portion, at least, of what
had occurred. She began timidly, after this fashion: "My dear, Brother
Leonard is _so_ grateful for your flowers," and then hesitated.

"I'm sure he is very welcome," said Griffith. "Why doesn't he sup with
us, and be sociable, as Father Francis used? Invite him; let him know he
will be welcome."

Mrs. Gaunt blushed; and objected. "He never calls on us."

"Well, well, every man to his taste," said Griffith, indifferently, and
proceeded to talk to her about his farm, and a sorrel mare with a white
mane and tail that he had seen, and thought it would suit her.

She humored him, and affected a great interest in all this, and had not
the courage to force the other topic on.

Next Sunday morning, after a very silent breakfast, she burst out,
almost violently, "Griffith, I shall go to the parish church with you,
and then we will dine together afterwards."

"You don't mean it, Kate," said he, delighted.

"Ay, but I do. Although you refused to go to chapel with me."

They went to church together, and Mrs. Gaunt's appearance there created
no small sensation. She was conscious of that, but hid it, and conducted
herself admirably. Her mind seemed entirely given to the service, and to
a dull sermon that followed.

But at dinner she broke out, "Well, give me your church for a sleeping
draught. You all slumbered, more or less: those that survived the
drowsy, droning prayers sank under the dry, dull, dreary discourse. You
snored, for one."

"Nay, I hope not, my dear."

"You did then, as loud as your bass fiddle."

"And you sat there and let me!" said Griffith, reproachfully.

"To be sure I did. I was too good a wife, and too good a Christian, to
wake you. Sleep is good for the body, and twaddle is not good for the
soul. I'd have slept too, if I could; but with me going to chapel, I'm
not used to sleep at that time o' day. You can't sleep, and Brother
Leonard speaking."

In the afternoon came Mrs. Gough, all in her best. Mrs. Gaunt had her
into her bedroom, and gave her the promised petticoat, and the old
Paduasoy gown; and then, as ladies will, when their hand is once in,
added first one thing, then another, till there was quite a large
bundle.

"But how is it you are here so soon?" asked Mrs. Gaunt.

"O, we had next to no sermon to-day. He couldn't make no hand of it:
dawdled on a bit; then gave us his blessing, and bundled us out."

"Then I've lost nothing," said Mrs. Gaunt.

"Not you. Well, I don't know. Mayhap if you had been there he'd have
preached his best. But la! we warn't worth it."

At this conjecture Mrs. Gaunt's face burned, but she said nothing: only
she cut the interview short, and dismissed Betty with her bundle.

As Betty crossed the landing, Mrs. Gaunt's new lady's-maid, Caroline
Ryder, stepped accidentally, on purpose, out of an adjoining room, in
which she had been lurking, and lifted her black brows in affected
surprise. "What, are you going to strip the house, my woman?" said she,
quietly.

Betty put down the bundle, and set her arms akimbo. "There is none on 't
stolen, any way," said she.

Caroline's black eyes flashed fire at this, and her cheek lost color;
but she parried the innuendo skilfully. "Taking my perquisites on the
sly,--that is not so very far from stealing."

"O, there's plenty left for you, my fine lady. Besides, you don't want
_her_; you can set your cap at the master, they say. I'm too old for
that, and too honest into the bargain."

"Too ill-favored, you mean, ye old harridan," said Ryder,
contemptuously.

But, for reasons hereafter to be dealt with, Betty's thrust went home:
and the pair were mortal enemies from that hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Gaunt came down from her room discomposed: from that she became
restless and irritable; so much so, indeed, that at last Mr. Gaunt told
her, good-humoredly enough, if going to church made her ill (meaning
peevish), she had better go to chapel. "You are right," said she, "and
so I will."

The next Sunday she was at her post in good time.

The preacher cast an anxious glance around to see if she was there. Her
quick eye saw that glance, and it gave her a demure pleasure.

This day he was more eloquent than ever: and he delivered a beautiful
passage concerning those who do good in secret. In uttering these
eloquent sentences his cheek glowed, and he could not deny himself the
pleasure of looking down at the lovely face that was turned up to him.
Probably his look was more expressive than he intended: the celestial
eyes sank under it, and were abashed, and the fair cheek burned: and
then so did Leonard's at that.

Thus, subtly yet effectually, did these two minds communicate in a crowd
that never noticed nor suspected the delicate interchange of sentiment
that was going on under their very eyes.

In a general way compliments did not seduce Mrs. Gaunt: she was well
used to them, for one thing. But to be praised in that sacred edifice,
and from the pulpit, and by such an orator as Leonard, and to be praised
in words so sacred and beautiful that the ears around her drank them
with delight,--all this made her heart beat, and filled her with soft
and sweet complacency.

And then to be thanked in public, yet, as it were, clandestinely, this
gratified the furtive tendency of woman.

There was no irritability this afternoon; but a gentle radiance that
diffused itself on all around, and made the whole household
happy,--especially Griffith, whose pipe she filled, for once, with her
own white hand, and talked dogs, horses, calves, hinds, cows, politics,
markets, hay, to please him: and seemed interested in them all.

But the next day she changed: ill at ease, and out of spirits, and could
settle to nothing.

It was very hot for one thing: and, altogether, a sort of lassitude and
distaste for everything overpowered her, and she retired into the grove,
and sat languidly on a seat with half-closed eyes.

But her meditations were no longer so calm and speculative as
heretofore. She found her mind constantly recurring to one person, and,
above all, to the discovery she had made of her portrait in his
possession. She had turned it off to Betty Gough; but here, in her calm
solitude and umbrageous twilight, her mind crept out of its cave, like
wild and timid things at dusk, and whispered to her heart that Leonard
perhaps admired her more than was safe or prudent.

Then this alarmed her, yet caused her a secret complacency: and that,
her furtive satisfaction, alarmed her still more.

Now, while she sat thus absorbed, she heard a gentle footstep coming
near. She looked up, and there was Leonard close to her; standing
meekly, with his arms crossed upon his bosom.

His being there so pat upon her thoughts scared her out of her habitual
self-command. She started up, with a faint cry, and stood panting, as if
about to fly, with her beautiful eyes turned large upon him.

He put forth a deprecating hand, and soothed her. "Forgive me, madam,"
said he; "I have unawares intruded on your privacy; I will retire."

"Nay," said she, falteringly, "you are welcome. But no one comes here;
so I was startled." Then, recovering herself, "Excuse my ill-manners. 'T
is so strange that you should come to me here, of all places."

"Nay, my daughter," said the priest, "not so very strange: contemplative
minds love such places. Calling one day to see you, I found this sweet
and solemn grove; the like I never saw in England: and to-day I returned
in hopes to profit by it. Do but look around at these tall columns; how
calm, how reverend! 'T is God's own temple, not built with hands."

"Indeed it is," said Mrs. Gaunt, earnestly. Then, like a woman as she
was, "So you came to see my trees, not me."

Leonard blushed. "I did not design to return without paying my respects
to her who owns this temple, and is worthy of it; nay, I beg you not to
think me ungrateful."

His humility and gentle but earnest voice made Mrs. Gaunt ashamed of her
petulance. She smiled sweetly, and looked pleased. However, erelong, she
attacked him again. "Father Francis used to visit us often," said she.
"He made friends with my husband, too. And I never lacked an adviser
while he was here."

Leonard looked so confused at this second reproach that Mrs. Gaunt's
heart began to yearn. However, he said humbly that Francis was a secular
priest, whereas he was convent-bred. He added, that by his years and
experience Francis was better fitted to advise persons of her age and
sex, in matters secular, than he was. He concluded timidly that he was
ready, nevertheless, to try and advise her; but could not, in such
matters, assume the authority that belongs to age and knowledge of the
world.

"Nay, nay," said she, earnestly, "guide and direct my soul, and I am
content."

He said, yes! that was his duty and his right.

Then, after a certain hesitation, which at once let her know what was
coming, he began to thank her, with infinite grace and sweetness, for
her kindness to him.

She looked him full in the face, and said she was not aware of any
kindness she had shown him worth speaking of.

"That but shows," said he, "how natural it is to you to do acts of
goodness. My poor room is a very bower now, and I am happy in it. I used
to feel very sad there at times; but your hand has cured me."

Mrs. Gaunt colored beautifully. "You make me ashamed," said she. "Things
are come to a pass indeed, if a lady may not send a few flowers and
things to her spiritual father without being thanked for it. And, O,
sir, what are earthly flowers compared with those blossoms of the soul
you have shed so liberally over us? Our immortal parts were all asleep
when you came here and wakened them by the fire of your words.
Eloquence! 't was a thing I had read of, but never heard, nor thought to
hear. Methought the orators and poets of the Church were all in their
graves this thousand years, and she must go all the way to heaven that
would hear the soul's true music. But I know better now."

Leonard colored high with pleasure, "Such praise from you is too sweet,"
he muttered. "I must not court it. The heart is full of vanity." And he
deprecated further eulogy, by a movement of the hand extremely refined,
and, in fact, rather feminine.

Deferring to his wish Mrs. Gaunt glided to other matters, and was
naturally led to speak of the prospects of their Church, and the
possibility of reconverting these islands. This had been the dream of
her young heart; but marriage and maternity, and the universal coldness
with which the subject had been received, had chilled her so, that of
late years she had almost ceased to speak of it. Even Leonard, on a
former occasion, had listened coldly to her; but now his heart was open
to her. He was, in fact, quite as enthusiastic on this point as ever she
had been; and then he had digested his aspirations into clearer forms.
Not only had he resolved that Great Britain must be reconverted, but had
planned the way to do it. His cheek glowed, his eyes gleamed, and he
poured out his hopes and his plans before her with an eloquence that few
mortals could have resisted.

As for this, his hearer, she was quite carried away by it. She joined
herself to his plans on the spot; she begged, with tears in her eyes, to
be permitted to support him in this great cause. She devoted to it her
substance, her influence, and every gift that God had given her: the
hours passed like minutes in this high converse; and when the tinkling
of the little bell at a distance summoned him to vespers, he left her
with a gentle regret he scarcely tried to conceal, and she went slowly
in like one in a dream, and the world seemed dead to her forever.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nevertheless, when Mrs. Ryder, combing out her long hair, gave one
inadvertent tug, the fair enthusiast came back to earth, and asked her,
rather sharply, who her head was running on.

Ryder, a very handsome young woman, with fine black eyes, made no reply,
but only drew her breath audibly hard.

I do not very much wonder at that, nor at my having to answer that
question for Mrs. Ryder. For her head was at that moment running, like
any other woman's, on the man she was in love with.

And the man she was in love with was the husband of the lady whose hair
she was combing, and who put her that curious question--plump.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_The Resources of California, comprising Agriculture, Mining, Geography,
Climate, Commerce, &c., and the Past and Future Development of the
State._ By JOHN S. HITTELL. Second Edition, with an Appendix on Oregon
and Washington Territory. San Francisco: A. Roman & Co. New York: W. J.
Widdleton.

This is a book almost as encyclopedic as its title would indicate; and
is evidently written with a desire to say everything which the theme
permits, and to say it truly. It answers almost every question that an
intelligent person can ask, in respect to California, besides a good
many which few intelligent persons know enough to propound. And it is a
proof of its honesty that it does not, after all, make California
overpoweringly attractive, whether in respect of climate, society, or
business. This is saying a good deal, when we consider that the Preface
sums up the allurements of the Pacific coast in a single sentence
covering two and a half pages.

The philosophy of the author is sometimes rather bewildering, as where
he defines "universal suffrage" to mean that "every sane adult white
male citizen, not a felon, may vote at every election." (p. 349.) His
general statements, too, are apt to be rather sweeping. For instance, he
says, in two different passages, that, "so far as we know, the climate
of San Francisco is the most equable and the mildest in the world." (pp.
29, 431.) Yet he puts the extremes of temperature in this favored
climate at +25° and +97° Fahrenheit; while at Fayal, in the Azores, the
recorded extremes are, if we mistake not, +40° and +85°; and no doubt
there are other temperate climates as uniform.

One might object, too, from the side of severe science, to his devoting
the "Reptile" department of his zoölogical section chiefly to spiders,
with incidental remarks on fleas and mosquitos. Perhaps it is to balance
Captain Stedman in Surinam, who under the head of "Insects" discourses
chiefly of vampyre-bats.

The wonders of the Yo-semite valley he describes as well as most people;
and faithfully contends for their superiority to those of Niagara,
where, as he plaintively observes, "a day or two is enough," while one
could contentedly remain for months among the California wonders. He
shows, however, that his memories of Atlantic civilization are still
painfully vivid, when he counsels the beholder of the Mariposa grove to
lie on his back, and think of Trinity Church steeple. Might not one also
beguile a third day at Niagara by reflections on the Croton Aqueduct?

But these little glimpses of the author's personality make the book only
the more entertaining, and give spice to the really vast mass of
accurate information which it conveys. There are few passages which one
can call actually imaginative, unless one includes under that head the
description (page 40) of that experiment "common in the Eastern cities,"
where a man dressed in woollen, by sliding on a carpet a few steps,
accumulates enough personal electricity to light gas with his fingers.
This familiar process, it appears, is impossible in California, and so
far his descriptions of that climate convey a sense of safety. Yet even
one seasoned to such wonders as these might be startled, for a moment,
before his account of the mountain sheep (_Ovis montana_). This
ponderous animal, weighing three hundred and fifty pounds, has a
sportive habit of leaping headlong from precipices one hundred feet
high, and alighting on its horns, which, being strong and elastic, throw
him ten or fifteen feet into the air, "and the next time he alights on
his feet all right." (p. 124.) "Mountaineers assert" this; and after
this it can be hardly doubted that the products of the human
imagination, in California, are on a scale of Yo-semite magnificence.


_The American Republic: its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny._ By
O. A. BROWNSON, LL. D. New York: P. O'Shea.

Mr. Brownson's influence over the American people, which had dwindled
pretty nearly to zero at the beginning of the war, revived with that
revival of the old Adam which made him a patriot, and thus showed him
rather in the light of a heretic. This book sets him right (or wrong)
again, and his temporary partnership with "humanitarians" may be
regarded as closed by official notification. In a volume which might
well be compressed into one fourth its present size, he covers a great
deal of ground, and has pungent suggestions on both sides of a great
many questions. Even in the Preface he announces his abandonment of the
doctrine of State sovereignty, after holding it for thirty-three years,
and at once proceeds to explain how, in a profounder sense, he holds it
more thoroughly than ever. In the chapter on "Secession," which is the
best in the book, he indorses Charles Sumner's theory of State suicide;
holds that the Southern States are now "under the Union, not of it," and
seems quite inclined to pardon Mr. Lincoln for abolishing slavery by
proclamation. On the other hand, he scouts the theory that the Rebels
committed treason, in any moral sense, and proclaims that we are all
"willing and proud to be their countrymen, fellow-citizens, and
friends." "There need be no fear to trust them now." To hang or exile
them would be worse than "deporting four millions of negroes and colored
men." (pp. 335-338.)

It must, indeed, be owned that our author has apparently reverted to an
amount of colorphobia which must cheer the hearts of the Hibernian
portion of his co-religionists. Ignoring the past in a way which seems
almost wilful, he declares that the freedman has no capacity of
patriotism, no sort of appreciation of the question at stake; and that
he would, if enfranchised, invariably vote with his former master. "In
any contest between North and South, they would take, to a man, the
Southern side." (pp. 346, 376.) Nevertheless, he thinks that the negro
will be ultimately enfranchised, "and the danger is, that it will be
attempted too soon." If, indeed, it be postponed, he seems to think the
negro may, by the blessing of Providence, "melt away." (p. 437.) What a
pity that the obstinate fellow, with all the aid now being contributed
in the way of assassination, so steadfastly refuses to melt!

Against the Abolitionists, also, Mr. Brownson is still ready to break a
lance, with the hearty unreasoning hostility of the good old times.
"Wendell Phillips is as far removed from true Christian civilization as
was John C. Calhoun, and William Lloyd Garrison is as much of a
barbarian and despot in principle and tendency as Jefferson Davis." (p.
355.) This touch of righteous indignation is less crushing, however,
than his covert attacks upon our two great generals. For in one place he
enumerates as typical warriors "McClellan, Grant, and Sherman," and in
another place, "Halleck, Grant, and Sherman." This is indeed the very
refinement of unkindness.

Of a standing army Mr. Brownson thinks well, and wishes it to number a
hundred thousand; but his reason for the faith that is in him is a
little unexpected. He thinks it useful because "it creates honorable
places for gentlemen or the sons of gentlemen without wealth." (p. 386.)
Touching our naturalized foreigners, he admits that they have been
rather a source of embarrassment in recruiting for our armies (p. 381);
but consoles himself by hinting, with his accustomed modesty, that "the
best things written on the controversy have been by Catholics." (p.
378.)

He sees danger in the horizon, and frankly avows it. It is none of the
commonplace perils, however,--national bankruptcy, revival of the slave
power, oppression of Southern loyalists. A wholly new and profounder
terror is that which his penetrating eye evokes from the future. It is,
that, if matters go on as now, foreign observers will never clearly
understand whether it was the "territorial democracy" or the
"humanitarian democracy" which really triumphed in the late contest!
"The danger now is, that the Union victory will, at home and abroad, be
interpreted as a victory won in the interest of social or humanitarian
democracy. It was because they regarded the war waged on the side of the
Union as waged in the interest of this terrible democracy, that our
bishops and clergy sympathized so little with the government in
prosecuting it; not, as some imagined, because they were disloyal.... If
the victory of the Union should turn out to be a victory for the
humanitarian democracy, the civilized world will have no reason to
applaud it." (pp. 365, 366.)

After this passage, it is needless to say that its author is the same
Mr. Brownson whom the American people long since tried and found wanting
as a safe or wise counsellor; the same of whom the Roman Catholic Church
one day assumed the responsibility, and found the task more onerous than
had been expected. He retains his arrogance, his gladiatorial skill, his
habit of sweeping assertion; but perhaps his virulence is softened, save
where some unhappy "humanitarian" is under dissection. Enough remains of
the habit, however, to make his worst pages the raciest, and to render
it a sharp self-satire when he proclaims, at the very outset, that a
constitutional treatise should be written "with temper."


_Across the Continent: a Summer's Journey to the Rocky Mountains, the
Mormons, and the Pacific States, with Speaker Colfax._ By SAMUEL BOWLES,
Editor of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican. Springfield, Mass.: Samuel
Bowles & Co.

Since Mr. Greeley set the example, it has been the manifest destiny of
every enterprising journalist to take an occasional trip across the
continent, and personally inspect his subscribers. The latest overland
Odyssey of this kind--transacted by three silent editors and one very
public Speaker--is recorded in Mr. Bowles's new book; which proceeds, as
one may observe, from his own publishing office and bindery, and may
therefore almost claim, like the quaint little books presented by the
eccentric Quincy Tufts to Harvard College Library, to have been
"written, printed, and bound by the same hand."

Journalism is a good training, in some ways, for a trip like this. It
implies a quick eye for facts, a good memory for figures, a hearty faith
in the national bird, and a boundless appetite for new acquaintances.
Every Eastern editor, moreover, is sure to find old neighbors throughout
the West; and he who escorts a rising politician has all the world for a
friend.

The result is, in this case, a thoroughly American book,--American in
the sense of to-day, if not according to the point of view of the
millennium. It is American in its vast applications of arithmetic; in
the facility with which it brings the breadth of a continent within the
limits of a summer's ride; in the eloquence which rises to sublimity
over mining stock, and dwindles to the verge of commonplace before
unmarketable natural beauties. Of course, it is the best book on the
theme it handles, for it is the latest; it is lively, readable,
instructive; but no descriptions of those changing regions can last
much longer than an almanac, and this will retain its place only until
the coming of the next editorial pilgrim.


_Esperance._ By META LANDER, author of "Light on the Dark River,"
"Marion Graham," &c. New York: Sheldon & Co.

Can it be possible that any literature of the world now yields
sentimental novels so vague and immature as those which America brings
forth? Or is it that their Transatlantic compeers float away and
dissolve by their own feebleness before they reach our shores?

"Cry, Esperance! Percy! and set on." This Shakespearian motto might have
appeared upon the title-page of this volume; but there is nothing so
vivacious upon that page, nor indeed on any other. The name of the book
comes from that of the heroine, who was baptized Hope. But the friend of
her soul was wont to call her Esperance, "in her wooing moods," and from
this simple application of the French dictionary results the title of
the romance. Even this does not close the catalogue of the heroine's pet
names however, for in moments of yet higher ecstasy, when she rides
sublime upon the storm of passion, she is styled, not without scientific
appropriateness, "Espy."

Esperance is a young girl who seeks her destiny. She also has her
"wooing moods," during which, on small provocation, she "hastily pens a
few lines"--of verse such as no young lady's diary should be without.
She has, moreover, her intervals of sternness, when she boxes ears; now
in case of her father, unfilially, and anon in more righteous conflict
with her step-mother's wicked lover. But her demonstrations do not
usually take the brief form of blows, but the more formidable shape of
words. Indeed, it takes a good many words to meet the innumerable crises
of her daily life; and, to do her justice, the more desperate the
emergencies, the better she likes them. Anguish is heaped upon her,
father and mother desert her, several eligible lovers jilt her,--she
would be much obliged to you to point out any specific sorrow of which
at least one good specimen has not occurred within her experience. There
is a distressing casualty to every chapter, and then come in the
poisoned arrows! "Once in the room, I bolted the door and threw
myself--not on the bed--the floor better suited my mood. And there I
lay, with reeling senses, and a brain on fire, while in my trampled and
bruised heart were wildly struggling tenderness and scorn, love and
hate, life and death.... The slow-moving hours tolled a mournful
requiem, as the long procession of stricken hopes and joys were borne
onward to their death and burial. And I, the victim, turned
executioner."

The French dictionary extends onward from the title-page, and haunts
these impassioned pages. Phrases of a recondite and elaborate
description, such as "_Oui, monsieur_," "_Très-bien_," and "_Entrez_,"
adorn the sportive conversation of this cultivated circle. Sometimes,
with higher flight, some one essays to gambol in the Latin tongue: "It
seemed to me that old Tempus must have taken to himself a new pair of
wings to have _fugited_ so rapidly as he did." Yet the French and the
Latin are better than the English; for the main body of the book, while
breaking no important law of morals or of grammar, is scarcely adapted
for any phase of human existence beyond the boarding-school. It seems
rather hard, perhaps, to devote serious censure to a thing so frail; but
without a little homely truth, how are we ever to get beyond this
bread-and-butter epoch of American fiction?


_Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds: with Notices of Some of his
Contemporaries._ Commenced by CHARLES ROBERT LESLIE, R. A. Continued and
concluded by TOM TAYLOR, M. A. London: John Murray. 2 vols. 8vo.

"When, in 1832," writes C. R. Leslie, "Constable exhibited his 'Opening
of Waterloo Bridge,' it was placed in the school of painting,--one of
the small rooms in Somerset House. A sea-piece, by Turner, was next to
it,--a gray picture, beautiful and true, but with no positive color in
any part of it. Constable's 'Waterloo' seemed as if painted with liquid
gold and silver, and Turner came several times into the room while he
was heightening with vermilion and lake the decorations and flags of the
city barges. Turner stood behind him, looking from the 'Waterloo' to his
own picture, and at last brought his palette from the great room where
he was touching another picture, and, putting a round daub of red lead,
somewhat bigger than a shilling, on his gray sea, went away without
saying a word. The intensity of the red lead, made more vivid by the
coolness of his picture, caused even the vermilion and lake of Constable
to look weak. I came into the room just as Turner left it. 'He has been
here,' said Constable, 'and fired a gun.'"

Twenty years ago the erratic life of Haydon the artist was dashed
suddenly and violently out by his own hand. Men brought the cold light
of their judgment then, and overspread his character, forgetful of the
fires of his genius; but Mr. Tom Taylor remembered the burning spirit,
memorable to the soul of art, and he published two volumes containing
Haydon's autobiography and journals, which have set a seal upon his
memory, and lead us to thank the man who has done for Haydon what Turner
did for his own picture,--fired a gun.

Since Haydon's Autobiography was published, Mr. Taylor has not been
idle. Some of the purest and most popular plays now upon the stage we
owe to his hand. The face of the _blasé_ theatre-goer shines when his
play is announced for the evening; and even the long-visaged critic,
fond of talking of the _décadence_ of the modern stage, has been known
to appear punctually in his seat when Tom Taylor's play was to lead off
the performance.

The days of Burton have passed, and the echoes of roof-splitting
laughter he excited have died away; but while the remembrance of "lovely
things" remains with us, those who were fortunate enough to have seen
Mr. Taylor's play of "Helping Hands," as performed at Burton's Theatre
in New York, will be sure never to forget it.

We should be glad, if space permitted, to speak of Mr. Taylor in the
several branches of literature wherein he has become distinguished; but
it is chiefly with him as a biographer, and principally with one
biography, we are concerned here.

Six years ago, Leslie's "Biographical Recollections" were given to the
world by the hand of the same editor. There are few books more
delightful of this kind in our language; and no small share of the
interest results from the conscientious work Mr. Taylor has put into the
study of Mr. Leslie's pictures, and his recognition of him as
distinctively a literary painter, possessing a kindly brotherhood to
Washington Irving in the subtile humor he loved to depict.

We remember having the good fortune once to meet Mr. Taylor, while he
was preparing this book, and being impressed with the idea that he had
committed Mr. Leslie's paintings to memory, as one of the necessary
preliminaries in order to do justice to his subject. He had that day
returned from a pilgrimage to one of the pictures, and was able to
inform the artists who were present with regard to the smallest
accessory. We fancied, had painting, and not penning, been his forte, he
could have reproduced the picture for us on the spot, could we, at the
same time, have transformed the table-cloth into a canvas.

In the Preface to the Recollections of Leslie, we are told that the
reason his autobiography ends abruptly was not because of Mr. Leslie's
failing health, "but because all the time he could spare from painting
was, during the last year of his life, occupied by him in writing the
Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, at which he worked hard even a month before
his death." When the Leslie papers were put into Mr. Taylor's hands,
this Life, then in a fragmentary condition, being hardly more than
memoranda, for the most part, also came into his possession. And it
having been his "lot," as he has elsewhere said, to have the materials
for two artistic biographies already intrusted to his care, he must have
accepted the third, thus silently bestowed, as the especial legacy of
his friend.

Therefore, by education and by accident, (if we may choose to consider
it such,) setting aside Mr. Taylor's natural ability for the labor, he
found himself pre-eminently elected to complete and issue the "Life and
Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds." The request of Mr. Murray, the publisher,
appears, however, to have spurred him to the actual acceptance of the
work. Some idea of these volumes, with their varied interest of life and
art, may be briefly conveyed by quoting from the Preface, where Mr.
Taylor writes:--

"The life of a painter, more than most men, as a rule, derives its
interest from his work and from the people he paints. When his sitters
are the chief men and women of his time, for beauty, genius, rank,
power, wit, goodness, or even fashion and folly, this interest is
heightened. It culminates when the painter is the equal and honored
associate of his sitters. All these conditions concur in the case of
Reynolds. It is impossible to write a Life and Times of the painter
without passing in review--hasty and brief as it must be--the great
facts of politics, literature, and manners during his busy life, which
touched, often very closely, the chief actors in a drama taking in the
most stirring events of the last century, and containing the germs of
many things that have materially operated to shape our arts, manners,
and institutions.

"By the use of these materials, I have attempted to carry out Mr.
Leslie's intention of presenting Sir Joshua in his true character, as
the genial centre of a most various and brilliant society, as well as
the transmitter of its chief figures to our time by his potent art."

It is only by turning over the pages of each chapter, and observing
closely the brackets wherein Mr. Taylor's portion of the work is
enclosed, that we discover how great his labor has been, and how well
fulfilled. His interpolations are flung, like the Fribourg Bridge, fine
and strong, welding together opposing points, and never inserted like a
wedge. A happy instance of this appears in the first volume, where Mr.
Taylor says, speaking of Johnson, after the death of his mother, "The
regard of such men as Reynolds was henceforth the best comfort of that
great, solitary heart; and the painter's purse and house and pen were
alike at his friend's service." "For example," Leslie continues, "in
this year Reynolds wrote three papers for the 'Idler.' 'I have heard Sir
Joshua say,' observes Northcote, 'that Johnson required them from him on
a sudden emergency, and on that account he sat up the whole night to
complete them in time; and by it he was so much disordered, that it
produced a vertigo in his head.'"

The story of Reynolds's youth is a happier one than is often recorded of
young artists. His father was too wise and too kind to cross the natural
proclivities of the boy, although he does appear to have wavered for a
moment when Joshua declared he "had rather be an apothecary than an
_ordinary_ painter." He was, however, early apprenticed to Hudson, the
first portrait-painter of his time in England. But hardly two years had
elapsed before the master saw himself eclipsed, and the two separated
without great waste of love on the part of Hudson. From that moment,
Reynolds's career was decided. He put the mannerism of his former master
away from his pictures when he distanced himself from his studio, and,
going soon after to the Continent, devoted himself to the study of great
works of art. With what vigor and faithfulness this labor was pursued,
the Roman and Venetian note-books testify. "For the studies he made from
Raphael," writes Leslie, "he paid dearly; for he caught so severe a cold
in the chambers of the Vatican as to occasion a deafness which obliged
him to use an ear-trumpet for the remainder of his life."

The fertility and inexhaustibility of power shown by Sir Joshua Reynolds
have seldom, if ever, been surpassed in the history of Art. In the
"Catalogue Raisonnée" of his paintings, soon to be given to the public,
nearly three thousand pictures will be enumerated. Many of these were,
of course, finished by his assistants, according to the fashion of the
time, but the expression of the face remains to attest the master's
hand. (Unless, perchance, the head may have dropped off the canvas
entirely, as happened once, when an unfortunate youth, who had borrowed
one of his fine pictures to copy, was carrying it home under his arm.)

In the record for the year 1758, we are startled by the number of one
hundred and fifty sitters. And although this was probably the busiest
year of his life, our astonishment never wanes while observing the
ceaseless industry of every moment of his career, during the seventh day
as well as the other six; and this, too, in spite of a promise won from
him by Dr. Johnson, when on his death-bed, that he would never use his
pencil on a Sunday. But the habit of a long working life was too strong
upon him, and he soon persuaded himself that it was better to have made
the promise than distress a dying friend, although he did not intend to
observe it strictly.

Sir Joshua possessed the high art of inciting himself to work by
repeatedly soliciting the most beautiful and most interesting persons of
the time to sit to him. The lovely face of Kitty Fisher was painted by
him five times, and no less frequently that of the charming actress,
Mrs. Abington, who was also noted for her _bel esprit_, and was
evidently a favorite with the great painter. There are two or three
pictures of Mrs. Siddons by his hand, and many of the beautiful Maria
Countess Waldegrave, afterwards Duchess of Gloucester, a lock of whose
"delicate golden-brown" hair was found by Mr. Taylor in a side-pocket of
one of Sir Joshua's note-books,--"loveliest of all, whom Reynolds seems
never to have been tired of painting, nor she of sitting to him."

Of his numerous and invaluable pictures of Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith and
Admiral Keppel, it is hardly necessary to speak. Many of them are well
known to us from engravings.

To a painter, this Life is of incalculable interest and value. The
account of his manner of handling "the vehicles" is minute and faithful;
and if, as Northcote complained, who was a pupil of Reynolds, Sir Joshua
could not teach, he could only show you how he worked,--many an artist
can gather from these pages what Northcote gathered by looking from
palette to canvas. The descriptions of some of the paintings are rich in
color, and are worthy of the highest praise.

Sir Joshua Reynolds is one of the few men of genius who have been also
men of society. In his note-books for the year, sometimes the number of
engagements for dinners and visits would preponderate over the number of
his sitters, and sometimes the scale would be about equal. Yet the
amount of the latter was always astonishingly large. Perhaps no man,
through a long series of years, was more esteemed and sought by the most
honorable in society than he; while his diary, with its meagre jottings,
brings before us a motley and phantasmagorical procession of the wisest
and wittiest, the most beautiful and most notorious men and women of
that period, who thronged his studio. We can see the bitterest political
opponents passing each other upon the threshold of his painting-room,
and, what was far more agreeable to Sir Joshua than having to do with
these stormy petrels, we can see the worshipping knight and his lovely
mistress, or the fair-cheeked children of many a lady whom he had
painted, years before, in the first blossoming of her own youth.

The gentleness and natural amiability of his disposition eminently
fitted him for the high social position he attained; but the fervor he
felt for his work made him forget everything foreign to it until the
hour arrived when he must leave his painting-room. He was fond of
receiving company, especially at dinner, and his dinners were always
most agreeable. He often annoyed his sister, Miss Reynolds, who presided
over his household for a time, by inviting any friends who might happen
into his studio in the morning to come to dine with him at night, quite
forgetting that the number of seats he had provided was already filled
by guests previously asked. The result was what might be expected, and
it was often simply bare good fortune if everybody had enough to eat.
But, "though the dinner might be careless and inelegant, and the
servants awkward and too few," the talk was always pleasant, and no
invitations to dine were more eagerly accepted than his.

It was on the principle, perhaps, that "to the feasts of the good the
good come uninvited," that Dr. Johnson made it a point to be present on
these occasions, and was seldom welcomed otherwise than most cordially
by Sir Joshua. On one occasion, however, when another guest was expected
to converse, Sir Joshua was really vexed to find Dr. Johnson in the
drawing-room, and would hardly speak to him. Miss Reynolds, who appears
to have been one of the "unappreciated and misunderstood" women who
thought she was a painter when she was not, and of whose copies Sir
Joshua said, "They make other people laugh, and me cry," became a great
favorite with Dr. Johnson, who probably knew how to sympathize with the
morbid sensitiveness of the poor lady. She seems never to have tired of
pouring tea for him! He, in return, wrote doggerel verses to her over
the tea-tray in this fashion:--

    "I therefore pray thee, Renny dear,
      That thou wilt give to me,
    With cream and sugar softened well,
      Another dish of tea.

    "Nor fear that I, my gentle maid,
      Shall long detain the cup,
    When once unto the bottom I
      Have drunk the liquor up.

    "Yet hear, alas! this mournful truth,
      Nor hear it with a frown:
    Thou canst not make the tea so fast
      As I can gulp it down."





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