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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866" ***

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(This file was produced from images generously made
available by Cornell University Digital Collections).




_Literature, Science, Art, and Politics._







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by


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



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



Aunt Judy                           _J. W. Palmer_                       76

Borneo and Rajah Brooke             _G. Reynolds_                       667
Bundle of Bones, A                  _Charles J. Sprague_                 60

Case of George Dedlow, The                                                1
Childhood; a Study                  _F. B. Perkins_                     385
Chimney Corner for 1866, The, VII., VIII., IX.
                                    _Mrs. H. B. Stowe_         85, 197, 338

Darwinian Theory, The               _Charles J. Sprague_                415
Distinguished Character, A                                              315

Englishman in Normandy, An          _Goldwin Smith_                      64

Fall of Austria, The                _C. C. Hazewell_                    746
Farmer Hill's Diary                 _Mrs. A. M. Diaz_                   397
Five Hundred Years Ago              _J. H. A. Bone_                     545
Friedrich Rückert                   _Bayard Taylor_                      33

Great Doctor, The, I., II.          _Alice Cary_                    12, 174
Griffith Gaunt; or, Jealousy. VIII., IX., X., XI., XII.
                                    _Charles Reade_  94, 204, 323, 492, 606
Gurowski                            _Robert Carter_                     625

How my New Acquaintances Spin       _Dr. B. G. Wilder_                  129

Incidents of the Portland Fire                                          356
Indian Medicine                     _John Mason Browne_                 113
Invalidism                          _Miss C. P. Hawes_                  599
Italian Rain-Storm, An              _Mary Cowden Clarke_                356

Johnson Party, The                  _E. P. Whipple_                     374

Katharine Morne. I., II.            _Author of "Herman"_           559, 697

Life Assurance                                                          308
London Forty Years Ago              _John Neal_                         224

Maniac's Confession, A                                                  170
My Heathen at Home                  _J. W. Palmer_                      728
My Little Boy                       _Mrs. M. L. Moody_                  361

Norman Conquest, The                _C. C. Hazewell_                    461
Novels of George Eliot, The         _Henry James, Jr._                  479

Passages from Hawthorne's Note-Books. VII., VIII., IX., X.,
  XI, XII.                                      40, 189, 288, 450, 536, 682
Physical History of the Valley of the Amazons. I., II.
                                    _Louis Agassiz_                 49, 159
Pierpont, John                      _John Neal_                         650
President and his Accomplices, The  _E. P. Whipple_                     634
Progress of Prussia, The            _C. C. Hazewell_                    578

Reconstruction                      _Frederick Douglass_                761
Retreat from Lenoir's, and the Siege of Knoxville.
                                    _H. S. Burrage_                      21
Rhoda                               _Ruth Harper_                       521

Scarabæi ed Altri                   _W. J. Stillman_                    435
Singing-School Romance, The         _H. H. Weld_                        740
Surgeon's Assistant, The            _Caroline Chesebro_                 257

Through Broadway                    _H. T. Tuckerman_                   717

University Reform                   _F. H. Hedge_                       296
Usurpation, The                     _George S. Boutwell_                506

Various Aspects of the Woman Question _F. Sheldon_                      425

What did she see with?                _Miss E. Stuart Phelps_           146
Woman's Work in the Middle Ages       _Mrs. R. C. Waterston_            274

Year in Montana, A                    _Edward B. Nealley_               236
Yesterday                             _Mrs. H. Prescott Spofford_       367


Autumn Song                      _Forceythe Willson_         746

Bobolinks, The                   _C. P. Cranch_              321

Death of Slavery, The            _W. C. Bryant_              120

Friend, A                        _C. P. Cranch_              739

Her Pilgrimage                   _H. B. Sargent_             396

Late Champlain                   _H. T. Tuckerman_           365

Miantowona                       _T. B. Aldrich_             446
Miner, The                       _James Russell Lowell_      158
My Farm: a Fable                 _Bayard Taylor_             187
My Garden                        _R. W. Emerson_             665

On Translating the Divina Commedia
                                 _H. W. Longfellow_ 11, 273, 544

Protoneiron                      _H. B. Sargent_             576

Released                         _Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney_      32

Song Sparrow, The                _A. West_                   599
Sword of Bolivar, The            _J. T. Trowbridge_          713

To J. B.                         _J. R. Lowell_               47

Voice, The                       _Forceythe Willson_         307


Marshall's Portrait of Abraham Lincoln                       643


Aldrich's Poems                                                   250
American Annual Cyclopædia, The                                   646

Bancroft's History of the United States                           765
Barry Cornwall's Memoir of Charles Lamb                           771
Beecher's Royal Truths                                            645
Browne's American Family in Germany                               771

Carpenter's Six Months at the White House                         644

Ecce Homo                                                         122
Eichendorff's Memoirs of a Good-for-Nothing                       256
Eros, etc.                                                        255
Evangeline, Maud Muller, Vision of Sir Launfal, and
  Flower-de-Luce, Illustrated                                     770

Field's History of the Atlantic Telegraph                         647
Fifteen Days                                                      128
Fisher's Life of Benjamin Silliman                                126

Gilmore's Four Years in the Saddle                                382

Harrington's Inside: a Chronicle of Secession                     645

Laugel's United States during the War, and Goldwin Smith's
  Address on the Civil War in America                             252

Marcy's Thirty Years of Army Life on the Border                   255
Miss Ildrewe's Language of Flowers                                646
Moens's English Travellers and Italian Brigands, and
  Abbott's Prison Life in the South                               518

Porter's Giant Cities of Bashan, and Syria's Holy Places          125

Reade's Griffith Gaunt                                            767
Reed's Hospital Life in the Army of the Potomac                   253

Saxe's Masquerade and other Poems                                 123
Simpson's History of the Gypsies                                  254

Wheaton's Elements of International Law                           513
Whipple's Character and Characteristic Men                        772
Wilkie Collins's Armadale                                         381

RECENT AMERICAN PUBLICATIONS                                 383, 648



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

VOL. XVIII--JULY, 1866.--NO. CV.

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


The following notes of my own case have been declined on various
pretexts by every medical journal to which I have offered them. There
was, perhaps, some reason in this, because many of the medical facts
which they record are not altogether new, and because the psychical
deductions to which they have led me are not in themselves of medical
interest. I ought to add, that a good deal of what is here related is
not of any scientific value whatsoever; but as one or two people on
whose judgment I rely have advised me to print my narrative with all the
personal details, rather than in the dry shape in which, as a
psychological statement, I shall publish it elsewhere, I have yielded to
their views. I suspect, however, that the very character of my record
will, in the eyes of some of my readers, tend to lessen the value of the
metaphysical discoveries which it sets forth.

       *       *       *       *       *

I am the son of a physician, still in large practice, in the village of
Abington, Scofield County, Indiana. Expecting to act as his future
partner, I studied medicine in his office, and in 1859 and 1860 attended
lectures at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. My second
course should have been in the following year, but the outbreak of the
Rebellion so crippled my father's means that I was forced to abandon my
intention. The demand for army surgeons at this time became very great;
and although not a graduate, I found no difficulty in getting the place
of Assistant-Surgeon to the Tenth Indiana Volunteers. In the subsequent
Western campaigns this organization suffered so severely, that, before
the term of its service was over, it was merged in the Twenty-First
Indiana Volunteers; and I, as an extra surgeon, ranked by the medical
officers of the latter regiment, was transferred to the Fifteenth
Indiana Cavalry. Like many physicians, I had contracted a strong taste
for army life, and, disliking cavalry service, sought and obtained the
position of First-Lieutenant in the Seventy-Ninth Indiana
Volunteers,--an infantry regiment of excellent character.

On the day after I assumed command of my company, which had no captain,
we were sent to garrison a part of a line of block-houses stretching
along the Cumberland River below Nashville, then occupied by a portion
of the command of General Rosecrans.

The life we led while on this duty was tedious, and at the same time
dangerous in the extreme. Food was scarce and bad, the water horrible,
and we had no cavalry to forage for us. If, as infantry, we attempted to
levy supplies upon the scattered farms around us, the population seemed
suddenly to double, and in the shape of guerillas "potted" us
industriously from behind distant trees, rocks, or hasty earthworks.
Under these various and unpleasant influences, combined with a fair
infusion of malaria, our men rapidly lost health and spirits.
Unfortunately, no proper medical supplies had been forwarded with our
small force (two companies), and, as the fall advanced, the want of
quinine and stimulants became a serious annoyance. Moreover, our rations
were running low; we had been three weeks without a new supply; and our
commanding officer, Major Terrill, began to be uneasy as to the safety
of his men. About this time it was supposed that a train with rations
would be due from the post twenty miles to the north of us; yet it was
quite possible that it would bring us food, but no medicines, which were
what we most needed. The command was too small to detach any part of it,
and the Major therefore resolved to send an officer alone to the post
above us, where the rest of the Seventy-Ninth lay, and whence they could
easily forward quinine and stimulants by the train, if it had not left,
or, if it had, by a small cavalry escort.

It so happened, to my cost, as it turned out, that I was the only
officer fit to make the journey, and I was accordingly ordered to
proceed to Block House No. 3, and make the required arrangements. I
started alone just after dusk the next night, and during the darkness
succeeded in getting within three miles of my destination. At this time
I found that I had lost my way, and, although aware of the danger of my
act, was forced to turn aside and ask at a log-cabin for directions. The
house contained a dried-up old woman, and four white-headed, half-naked
children. The woman was either stone-deaf, or pretended to be so; but at
all events she gave me no satisfaction, and I remounted and rode away.
On coming to the end of a lane, into which I had turned to seek the
cabin, I found to my surprise that the bars had been put up during my
brief parley. They were too high to leap, and I therefore dismounted to
pull them down. As I touched the top rail, I heard a rifle, and at the
same instant felt a blow on both arms, which fell helpless. I staggered
to my horse and tried to mount; but, as I could use neither arm, the
effort was vain, and I therefore stood still, awaiting my fate. I am
only conscious that I saw about me several Graybacks, for I must have
fallen fainting almost immediately.

When I awoke, I was lying in the cabin near by, upon a pile of rubbish.
Ten or twelve guerillas were gathered about the fire, apparently drawing
lots for my watch, boots, hat, etc. I now made an effort to find out how
far I was hurt. I discovered that I could use the left forearm and hand
pretty well, and with this hand I felt the right limb all over until I
touched the wound. The ball had passed from left to right through the
left biceps, and directly through the right arm just below the shoulder,
emerging behind. The right hand and forearm were cold and perfectly
insensible. I pinched them as well as I could, to test the amount of
sensation remaining; but the hand might as well have been that of a dead
man. I began to understand that the nerves had been wounded, and that
the part was utterly powerless. By this time my friends had pretty well
divided the spoils, and, rising together, went out. The old woman then
came to me and said, "Reckon you'd best git up. Theyuns is agoin' to
take you away." To this I only answered, "Water, water." I had a grim
sense of amusement on finding that the old woman was not deaf, for she
went out, and presently came back with a gourdful, which I eagerly
drank. An hour later the Graybacks returned, and, finding that I was too
weak to walk, carried me out, and laid me on the bottom of a common
cart, with which they set off on a trot. The jolting was horrible, but
within an hour I began to have in my dead right hand a strange burning,
which was rather a relief to me. It increased as the sun rose and the
day grew warm, until I felt as if the hand was caught and pinched in a
red-hot vice. Then in my agony I begged my guard for water to wet it
with, but for some reason they desired silence, and at every noise
threatened me with a revolver. At length the pain became absolutely
unendurable, and I grew what it is the fashion to call demoralized. I
screamed, cried, and yelled in my torture, until, as I suppose, my
captors became alarmed, and, stopping, gave me a handkerchief,--my own,
I fancy,--and a canteen of water, with which I wetted the hand, to my
unspeakable relief.

It is unnecessary to detail the events by which, finally, I found myself
in one of the Rebel hospitals near Atlanta. Here, for the first time, my
wounds were properly cleansed and dressed by a Dr. Oliver Wilson, who
treated me throughout with great kindness. I told him I had been a
doctor; which, perhaps, may have been in part the cause of the unusual
tenderness with which I was managed. The left arm was now quite easy;
although, as will be seen, it never entirely healed. The right arm was
worse than ever,--the humerus broken, the nerves wounded, and the hand
only alive to pain. I use this phrase because it is connected in my mind
with a visit from a local visitor,--I am not sure he was a
preacher,--who used to go daily through the wards, and talk to us, or
write our letters. One morning he stopped at my bed, when this little
talk occurred.

"How are you, Lieutenant?"

"O," said I, "as usual. All right, but this hand, which is dead except
to pain."

"Ah," said he, "such and thus will the wicked be,--such will you be if
you die in your sins: you will go where only pain can be felt. For all
eternity, all of you will be as that hand,--knowing pain only."

I suppose I was very weak, but somehow I felt a sudden and chilling
horror of possible universal pain, and suddenly fainted. When I awoke,
the hand was worse, if that could be. It was red, shining, aching,
burning, and, as it seemed to me, perpetually rasped with hot files.
When the doctor came, I begged for morphia. He said gravely: "We have
none. You know you don't allow it to pass the lines."

I turned to the wall, and wetted the hand again, my sole relief. In
about an hour, Dr. Wilson came back with two aids, and explained to me
that the bone was so broken as to make it hopeless to save it, and that,
besides, amputation offered some chance of arresting the pain. I had
thought of this before, but the anguish I felt--I cannot say
endured--was so awful, that I made no more of losing the limb than of
parting with a tooth on account of toothache. Accordingly, brief
preparations were made, which I watched with a sort of eagerness such as
must forever be inexplicable to any one who has not passed six weeks of
torture like that which I had suffered.

I had but one pang before the operation. As I arranged myself on the
left side, so as to make it convenient for the operator to use the
knife, I asked: "Who is to give me the ether?" "We have none," said the
person questioned. I set my teeth, and said no more.

I need not describe the operation. The pain felt was severe; but it was
insignificant as compared to that of any other minute of the past six
weeks. The limb was removed very near to the shoulder-joint. As the
second incision was made, I felt a strange lightning of pain play
through the limb, defining every minutest fibril of nerve. This was
followed by instant, unspeakable relief, and before the flaps were
brought together I was sound asleep. I have only a recollection that I
said, pointing to the arm which lay on the floor: "There is the pain,
and here am I. How queer!" Then I slept,--slept the sleep of the just,
or, better, of the painless. From this time forward, I was free from
neuralgia; but at a subsequent period I saw a number of cases similar to
mine in a hospital in Philadelphia.

It is no part of my plan to detail my weary months of monotonous prison
life in the South. In the early part of August, 1863, I was exchanged,
and, after the usual thirty days' furlough, returned to my regiment a

On the 19th of September, 1863, occurred the battle of Chickamauga, in
which my regiment took a conspicuous part. The close of our own share in
this contest is, as it were, burnt into my memory with every least
detail. It was about six P. M., when we found ourselves in line, under
cover of a long, thin row of scrubby trees, beyond which lay a gentle
slope, from which, again, rose a hill rather more abrupt, and crowned
with an earthwork. We received orders to cross this space, and take the
fort in front, while a brigade on our right was to make a like movement
on its flank.

Just before we emerged into the open ground, we noticed what, I think,
was common in many fights,--that the enemy had begun to bowl round-shot
at us, probably from failure of shell. We passed across the valley in
good order, although the men fell rapidly all along the line. As we
climbed the hill, our pace slackened, and the fire grew heavier. At this
moment a battery opened on our left,--the shots crossing our heads
obliquely. It is this moment which is so printed on my recollection. I
can see now, as if through a window, the gray smoke, lit with red
flashes,--the long, wavering line,--the sky blue above,--the trodden
furrows, blotted with blue blouses. Then it was as if the window closed,
and I knew and saw no more. No other scene in my life is thus scarred,
if I may say so, into my memory. I have a fancy that the horrible shock
which suddenly fell upon me must have had something to do with thus
intensifying the momentary image then before my eyes.

When I awakened, I was lying under a tree somewhere at the rear. The
ground was covered with wounded, and the doctors were busy at an
operating-table, improvised from two barrels and a plank. At length two
of them who were examining the wounded about me came up to where I lay.
A hospital steward raised my head, and poured down some brandy and
water, while another cut loose my pantaloons. The doctors exchanged
looks, and walked away. I asked the steward where I was hit.

"Both thighs," said he; "the Doc's won't do nothing."

"No use?" said I.

"Not much," said he.

"Not much means none at all," I answered.

When he had gone, I set myself to thinking about a good many things
which I had better have thought of before, but which in no way concern
the history of my case. A half-hour went by. I had no pain, and did not
get weaker. At last, I cannot explain why, I began to look about me. At
first, things appeared a little hazy; but I remember one which thrilled
me a little, even then.

A tall, blond-bearded major walked up to a doctor near me, saying, "When
you've a little leisure, just take a look at my side."

"Do it now," said the doctor.

The officer exposed his left hip. "Ball went in here, and out here."

The Doctor looked up at him with a curious air,--half pity, half
amazement. "If you've got any message, you'd best send it by me."

"Why, you don't say its serious?" was the reply.

"Serious! Why, you're shot through the stomach. You won't live over the

Then the man did what struck me as a very odd thing. "Anybody got a
pipe?" Some one gave him a pipe. He filled it deliberately, struck a
light with a flint, and sat down against a tree near to me. Presently
the doctor came over to him, and asked what he could do for him.

"Send me a drink of Bourbon."

"Anything else?"


As the doctor left him, he called him back. "It's a little rough, Doc,
isn't it?"

No more passed, and I saw this man no longer, for another set of doctors
were handling my legs, for the first time causing pain. A moment after,
a steward put a towel over my mouth, and I smelt the familiar odor of
chloroform, which I was glad enough to breathe. In a moment the trees
began to move around from left to right,--then faster and faster; then a
universal grayness came before me, and I recall nothing further until I
awoke to consciousness in a hospital-tent. I got hold of my own identity
in a moment or two, and was suddenly aware of a sharp cramp in my left
leg. I tried to get at it to rub it with my single arm, but, finding
myself too weak, hailed an attendant. "Just rub my left calf," said I,
"if you please."

"Calf?" said he, "you ain't none, pardner. It's took off."

"I know better," said I. "I have pain in both legs."

"Wall, I never!" said he. "You ain't got nary leg."

As I did not believe him, he threw off the covers, and, to my horror,
showed me that I had suffered amputation of both thighs, very high up.

"That will do," said I, faintly.

A month later, to the amazement of every one, I was so well as to be
moved from the crowded hospital at Chattanooga to Nashville, where I
filled one of the ten thousand beds of that vast metropolis of
hospitals. Of the sufferings which then began I shall presently speak.
It will be best just now to detail the final misfortune which here fell
upon me. Hospital No. 2, in which I lay, was inconveniently crowded with
severely wounded officers. After my third week, an epidemic of hospital
gangrene broke out in my ward. In three days it attacked twenty persons.
Then an inspector came out, and we were transferred at once to the open
air, and placed in tents. Strangely enough, the wound in my remaining
arm, which still suppurated, was seized with gangrene. The usual remedy,
bromine, was used locally, but the main artery opened, was tied, bled
again and again, and at last, as a final resort, the remaining arm was
amputated at the shoulder-joint. Against all chances I recovered, to
find myself a useless torso, more like some strange larval creature than
anything of human shape. Of my anguish and horror of myself I dare not
speak. I have dictated these pages, not to shock my readers, but to
possess them with facts in regard to the relation of the mind to the
body; and I hasten, therefore, to such portions of my case as best
illustrate these views.

In January, 1864, I was forwarded to Philadelphia, in order to enter
what was then known as the Stump Hospital, South Street. This favor was
obtained through the influence of my father's friend, the late Governor
Anderson, who has always manifested an interest in my case, for which I
am deeply grateful. It was thought, at the time, that Mr. Palmer, the
leg-maker, might be able to adapt some form of arm to my left shoulder,
as on that side there remained five inches of the arm bone, which I
could move to a moderate extent. The hope proved illusory, as the stump
was always too tender to bear any pressure. The hospital referred to was
in charge of several surgeons while I was an inmate, and was at all
times a clean and pleasant home. It was filled with men who had lost one
arm or leg, or one of each, as happened now and then. I saw one man who
had lost both legs, and one who had parted with both arms; but none,
like myself, stripped of every limb. There were collected in this place
hundreds of these cases, which gave to it, with reason enough, the not
very pleasing title of Stump-Hospital.

I spent here three and a half months, before my transfer to the United
States Army Hospital for nervous diseases. Every morning I was carried
out in an arm-chair, and placed in the library, where some one was
always ready to write or read for me, or to fill my pipe. The doctors
lent me medical books; the ladies brought me luxuries, and fed me; and,
save that I was helpless to a degree which was humiliating, I was as
comfortable as kindness could make me.

I amused myself, at this time, by noting in my mind all that I could
learn from other limbless folk, and from myself, as to the peculiar
feelings which were noticed in regard to lost members. I found that the
great mass of men who had undergone amputations, for many months felt
the usual consciousness that they still had the lost limb. It itched or
pained, or was cramped, but never felt hot or cold. If they had painful
sensations referred to it, the conviction of its existence continued
unaltered for long periods; but where no pain was felt in it, then, by
degrees, the sense of having that limb faded away entirely. I think we
may to some extent explain this. The knowledge we possess of any part is
made up of the numberless impressions from without which affect its
sensitive surfaces, and which are transmitted through its nerves to the
spinal nerve-cells, and through them, again, to the brain. We are thus
kept endlessly informed as to the existence of parts, because the
impressions which reach the brain are, by a law of our being, referred
by us to the part from which they came. Now, when the part is cut off,
the nerve-trunks which led to it and from it, remaining capable of being
impressed by irritations, are made to convey to the brain from the stump
impressions which are as usual referred by the brain to the lost parts,
to which these nerve-threads belonged. In other words, the nerve is like
a bell-wire. You may pull it at any part of its course, and thus ring
the bell as well as if you pulled at the end of the wire; but, in any
case, the intelligent servant will refer the pull to the front door, and
obey it accordingly. The impressions made on the cut ends of the nerve,
or on its sides, are due often to the changes in the stump during
healing, and consequently cease as it heals, so that finally, in a very
healthy stump, no such impressions arise; the brain ceases to correspond
with the lost leg, and, as _les absents ont toujours tort_, it is no
longer remembered or recognized. But in some cases, such as mine proved
at last to my sorrow, the ends of the nerves undergo a curious
alteration, and get to be enlarged and altered. This change, as I have
seen in my practice of medicine, passes up the nerves towards the
centres, and occasions a more or less constant irritation of the
nerve-fibres, producing neuralgia, which is usually referred to that
part of the lost limb to which the affected nerve belongs. This pain
keeps the brain ever mindful of the missing part, and, imperfectly at
least, preserves to the man a consciousness of possessing that which he
has not.

Where the pains come and go, as they do in certain cases, the subjective
sensations thus occasioned are very curious, since in such cases the man
loses and gains, and loses and regains, the consciousness of the
presence of lost parts, so that he will tell you, "Now I feel my
thumb,--now I feel my little finger." I should also add, that nearly
every person who has lost an arm above the elbow feels as though the
lost member were bent at the elbow, and at times is vividly impressed
with the notion that his fingers are strongly flexed.

Another set of cases present a peculiarity which I am at a loss to
account for. Where the leg, for instance, has been lost, they feel as if
the foot was present, but as though the leg were shortened. If the thigh
has been taken off, there seems to them to be a foot at the knee; if the
arm, a hand seems to be at the elbow, or attached to the stump itself.

As I have said, I was next sent to the United States Army Hospital for
Injuries and Diseases of the Nervous System. Before leaving Nashville, I
had begun to suffer the most acute pain in my left hand, especially the
little finger; and so perfect was the idea which was thus kept up of the
real presence of these missing parts, that I found it hard at times to
believe them absent. Often, at night, I would try with one lost hand to
grope for the other. As, however, I had no pain in the right arm, the
sense of the existence of that limb gradually disappeared, as did that
of my legs also.

Everything was done for my neuralgia which the doctors could think of;
and at length, at my suggestion, I was removed to the above-named
hospital. It was a pleasant, suburban, old-fashioned country-seat, its
gardens surrounded by a circle of wooden, one-story wards, shaded by
fine trees. There were some three hundred cases of epilepsy, paralysis,
St. Vitus's dance, and wounds of nerves. On one side of me lay a poor
fellow, a Dane, who had the same burning neuralgia with which I once
suffered, and which I now learned was only too common. This man had
become hysterical from pain. He carried a sponge in his pocket, and a
bottle of water in one hand, with which he constantly wetted the burning
hand. Every sound increased his torture, and he even poured water into
his boots to keep himself from feeling too sensibly the rough friction
of his soles when walking. Like him, I was greatly eased by having small
doses of morphia injected under the skin of my shoulder, with a hollow
needle, fitted to a syringe.

As I improved under the morphia treatment, I began to be disturbed by
the horrible variety of suffering about me. One man walked sideways;
there was one who could not smell; another was dumb from an explosion.
In fact, every one had his own grotesquely painful peculiarity. Near me
was a strange case of palsy of the muscles called rhomboids, whose
office it is to hold down the shoulder-blades flat on the back during
the motions of the arms, which, in themselves, were strong enough. When,
however, he lifted these members, the shoulder-blades stood out from the
back like wings, and got him the soubriquet of the Angel. In my ward
were also the cases of fits, which very much annoyed me, as upon any
great change in the weather it was common to have a dozen convulsions in
view at once. Dr. Neek, one of our physicians, told me that on one
occasion a hundred and fifty fits took place within thirty-six hours. On
my complaining of these sights, whence I alone could not fly, I was
placed in the paralytic and wound ward, which I found much more

A month of skilful treatment eased me entirely of my aches, and I then
began to experience certain curious feelings, upon which, having nothing
to do and nothing to do anything with, I reflected a good deal. It was a
good while before I could correctly explain to my own satisfaction the
phenomena which at this time I was called upon to observe. By the
various operations already described, I had lost about four fifths of my
weight. As a consequence of this, I ate much less than usual, and could
scarcely have consumed the ration of a soldier. I slept also but little;
for, as sleep is the repose of the brain, made necessary by the waste of
its tissues during thought and voluntary movement, and as this latter
did not exist in my case, I needed only that rest which was necessary to
repair such exhaustion of the nerve-centres as was induced by thinking
and the automatic movements of the viscera.

I observed at this time also, that my heart, in place of beating as it
once did seventy-eight in the minute, pulsated only forty-five times in
this interval,--a fact to be easily explained by the perfect quiescence
to which I was reduced, and the consequent absence of that healthy and
constant stimulus to the muscles of the heart which exercise occasions.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, my physical health was good, which I
confess surprised me, for this among other reasons. It is said that a
burn of two thirds of the surface destroys life, because then all the
excretory matters which this portion of the glands of the skin evolved
are thrown upon the blood, and poison the man, just as happens in an
animal whose skin the physiologist has varnished, so as in this way to
destroy its function. Yet here was I, having lost at least a third of my
skin, and apparently none the worse for it.

Still more remarkable, however, were the physical changes which I now
began to perceive. I found to my horror that at times I was less
conscious of myself, of my own existence, than used to be the case. This
sensation was so novel, that at first it quite bewildered me. I felt
like asking some one constantly if I were really George Dedlow or not;
but, well aware how absurd I should seem after such a question, I
refrained from speaking of my case, and strove more keenly to analyze my
feelings. At times the conviction of my want of being myself was
overwhelming, and most painful. It was, as well as I can describe it, a
deficiency in the egoistic sentiment of individuality. About one half of
the sensitive surface of my skin was gone, and thus much of relation to
the outer world destroyed. As a consequence, a large part of the
receptive central organs must be out of employ, and, like other idle
things, degenerating rapidly. Moreover, all the great central ganglia,
which give rise to movements in the limbs, were also eternally at rest.
Thus one half of me was absent or functionally dead. This set me to
thinking how much a man might lose and yet live. If I were unhappy
enough to survive, I might part with my spleen at least, as many a dog
has done, and grown fat afterwards. The other organs, with which we
breathe and circulate the blood, would be essential; so also would the
liver; but at least half of the intestines might be dispensed with, and
of course all of the limbs. And as to the nervous system, the only parts
really necessary to life are a few small ganglia. Were the rest absent
or inactive, we should have a man reduced, as it were, to the lowest
terms, and leading an almost vegetative existence. Would such a being, I
asked myself, possess the sense of individuality in its usual
completeness,--even if his organs of sensation remained, and he were
capable of consciousness? Of course, without them, he could not have it
any more than a dahlia, or a tulip. But with it--how then? I concluded
that it would be at a minimum, and that, if utter loss of relation to
the outer world were capable of destroying a man's consciousness of
himself, the destruction of half of his sensitive surfaces might well
occasion, in a less degree, a like result, and so diminish his sense of
individual existence.

I thus reached the conclusion that a man is not his brain, or any one
part of it, but all of his economy, and that to lose any part must
lessen this sense of his own existence. I found but one person who
properly appreciated this great truth. She was a New England lady, from
Hartford,--an agent, I think, for some commission, perhaps the Sanitary.
After I had told her my views and feelings, she said: "Yes, I
comprehend. The fractional entities of vitality are embraced in the
oneness of the unitary Ego. Life," she added, "is the garnered
condensation of objective impressions; and, as the objective is the
remote father of the subjective, so must individuality, which is but
focused subjectivity, suffer and fade when the sensation lenses, by
which the rays of impression are condensed, become destroyed." I am not
quite clear that I fully understood her, but I think she appreciated my
ideas, and I felt grateful for her kindly interest.

The strange want I have spoken of now haunted and perplexed me so
constantly, that I became moody and wretched. While in this state, a man
from a neighboring ward fell one morning into conversation with the
chaplain, within earshot of my chair. Some of their words arrested my
attention, and I turned my head to see and listen. The speaker, who
wore a sergeant's chevron and carried one arm in a sling, was a tall,
loosely made person, with a pale face, light eyes of a washed-out blue
tint, and very sparse yellow whiskers. His mouth was weak, both lips
being almost alike, so that the organ might have been turned upside down
without affecting its expression. His forehead, however, was high and
thinly covered with sandy hair. I should have said, as a phrenologist,
Will feeble,--emotional, but not passionate,--likely to be enthusiast,
or weakly bigot.

I caught enough of what passed to make me call to the sergeant when the
chaplain left him.

"Good morning," said he. "How do you get on?"

"Not at all," I replied. "Where were you hit?"

"O, at Chancellorsville. I was shot in the shoulder. I have what the
doctors call paralysis of the median nerve, but I guess Dr. Neek and the
lightnin' battery will fix it in time. When my time's out I'll go back
to Kearsage and try on the school-teaching again. I was a fool to leave

"Well," said I, "you're better off than I."

"Yes," he answered, "in more ways than one. I belong to the New Church.
It's a great comfort for a plain man like me, when he's weary and sick,
to be able to turn away from earthly things, and hold converse daily
with the great and good who have left the world. We have a circle in
Coates Street. If it wa'n't for the comfort I get there, I should have
wished myself dead many a time. I ain't got kith or kin on earth; but
this matters little, when one can talk to them daily, and know that they
are in the spheres above us."

"It must be a great comfort," I replied, "if only one could believe it."

"Believe!" he repeated, "how can you help it? Do you suppose anything

"No," I said. "The soul does not, I am sure; and as to matter, it merely
changes form."

"But why then," said he, "should not the dead soul talk to the living.
In space, no doubt, exist all forms of matter, merely in finer, more
ethereal being. You can't suppose a naked soul moving about without a
bodily garment. No creed teaches that, and if its new clothing be of
like substance to ours, only of ethereal fineness,--a more delicate
recrystallization about the eternal spiritual nucleus,--must not it then
possess powers as much more delicate and refined as is the new material
in which it is reclad?"

"Not very clear," I answered; "but after all, the thing should be
susceptible of some form of proof to our present senses."

"And so it is," said he. "Come to-morrow with me, and you shall see and
hear for yourself."

"I will," said I, "if the doctor will lend me the ambulance."

It was so arranged, as the surgeon in charge was kind enough, as usual,
to oblige me with the loan of his wagon, and two orderlies to lift my
useless trunk.

On the day following, I found myself, with my new comrade, in a house in
Coates Street, where a "circle" was in the daily habit of meeting. So
soon as I had been comfortably deposited in an arm-chair, beside a large
pine-table, the rest of those assembled seated themselves, and for some
time preserved an unbroken silence. During this pause I scrutinized the
persons present. Next to me, on my right, sat a flabby man, with
ill-marked, baggy features, and injected eyes. He was, as I learned
afterwards, an eclectic doctor, who had tried his hand at medicine and
several of its quackish variations, finally settling down on
eclecticism, which I believe professes to be to scientific medicine what
vegetarianism is to common sense, every-day dietetics. Next to him sat a
female,--authoress, I think, of two somewhat feeble novels, and much
pleasanter to look at than her books. She was, I thought, a good deal
excited at the prospect of spiritual revelations. Her neighbor was a
pallid, care-worn girl, with very red lips, and large brown eyes of
great beauty. She was, as I learned afterwards, a magnetic patient of
the doctor, and had deserted her husband, a master mechanic, to follow
this new light. The others were, like myself, strangers brought hither
by mere curiosity. One of them was a lady in deep black, closely veiled.
Beyond her, and opposite to me, sat the sergeant, and next to him, the
medium, a man named Blake. He was well dressed, and wore a good deal of
jewelry, and had large, black side-whiskers,--a shrewd-visaged,
large-nosed, full-lipped man, formed by nature to appreciate the
pleasant things of sensual existence.

Before I had ended my survey, he turned to the lady in black, and asked
if she wished to see any one in the spirit-world.

She said, "Yes," rather feebly.

"Is the spirit present?" he asked. Upon which two knocks were heard in

"Ah!" said the medium, "the name is--it is the name of a child. It is a
male child. It is Albert,--no, Alfred!"

"Great Heaven!" said the lady. "My child! my boy!"

On this the medium arose, and became strangely convulsed. "I see," he
said, "I see--a fair-haired boy. I see blue eyes,--I see above you,
beyond you--" at the same time pointing fixedly over her head.

She turned with a wild start "Where,--whereabouts?"

"A blue-eyed boy," he continued, "over your head. He cries,--he says,
Mamma, mamma!"

The effect of this on the woman was unpleasant. She stared about her for
a moment, and, exclaiming, "I come,--I am coming, Alfy!" fell in
hysterics on the floor.

Two or three persons raised her, and aided her into an adjoining room;
but the rest remained at the table, as though well accustomed to like

After this, several of the strangers were called upon to write the names
of the dead with whom they wished to communicate. The names were spelled
out by the agency of affirmative knocks when the correct letters were
touched by the applicant, who was furnished with an alphabet card upon
which he tapped the letters in turn, the medium, meanwhile, scanning his
face very keenly. With some, the names were readily made out. With one,
a stolid personage of disbelieving type, every attempt failed, until at
last the spirits signified by knocks that he was a disturbing agency,
and that while he remained all our efforts would fail. Upon this some of
the company proposed that he should leave, of which invitation he took
advantage with a sceptical sneer at the whole performance.

As he left us, the sergeant leaned over and whispered to the medium, who
next addressed himself to me, "Sister Euphemia," he said, indicating the
lady with large eyes, "will act as your medium. I am unable to do more.
These things exhaust my nervous system."

"Sister Euphemia," said the doctor, "will aid us. Think, if you please,
sir, of a spirit, and she will endeavor to summon it to our circle."

Upon this, a wild idea came into my head. I answered, "I am thinking as
you directed me to do."

The medium sat with her arms folded, looking steadily at the centre of
the table. For a few moments there was silence. Then a series of
irregular knocks began. "Are you present?" said the medium.

The affirmative raps were twice given.

"I should think," said the doctor, "that there were two spirits

His words sent a thrill through my heart.

"Are there two?" he questioned.

A double rap.

"Yes, two," said the medium. "Will it please the spirits to make us
conscious of their names in this world?"

A single knock. "No."

"Will it please them to say how they are called in the world of

Again came the irregular raps,--3, 4, 8, 6; then a pause, and 3, 4, 8,

"I think," said the authoress, "they must be numbers. Will the spirits,"
she said, "be good enough to aid us? Shall we use the alphabet?"

"Yes," was rapped very quickly.

"Are these numbers?"

"Yes," again.

"I will write them," she added, and, doing so, took up the card and
tapped the letters. The spelling was pretty rapid, and ran thus as she
tapped in turn, first the letters, and last the numbers she had already
set down:--


The medium looked up with a puzzled expression.

"Good gracious!" said I, "they are _my legs! my legs!_"

What followed, I ask no one to believe except those who, like myself,
have communed with the beings of another sphere. Suddenly I felt a
strange return of my self-consciousness. I was re-individualized, so to
speak. A strange wonder filled me, and, to the amazement of every one, I
arose, and, staggering a little, walked across the room on limbs
invisible to them or me. It was no wonder I staggered, for, as I briefly
reflected, my legs had been nine months in the strongest alcohol. At
this instant all my new friends crowded around me in astonishment.
Presently, however, I felt myself sinking slowly. My legs were going,
and in a moment I was resting feebly on my two stumps upon the floor. It
was too much. All that was left of me fainted and rolled over senseless.

I have little to add. I am now at home in the West, surrounded by every
form of kindness, and every possible comfort; but, alas! I have so
little surety of being myself, that I doubt my own honesty in drawing my
pension, and feel absolved from gratitude to those who are kind to a
being who is uncertain of being enough himself to be conscientiously
responsible. It is needless to add, that I am not a happy fraction of a
man; and that I am eager for the day when I shall rejoin the lost
members of my corporeal family in another and a happier world.



    I enter, and see thee in the gloom
      Of the long aisles, O poet saturnine!
      And strive to make my steps keep pace with thine.
      The air is filled with some unknown perfume;
    The congregation of the dead make room
      For thee to pass; the votive tapers shine;
      Like rooks that haunt Ravenna's groves of pine
      The hovering echoes fly from tomb to tomb.
    From the confessionals I hear arise
      Rehearsals of forgotten tragedies,
      And lamentations from the crypts below;
    And then a voice celestial that begins
      With the pathetic words, "Although your sins
      As scarlet be," and ends with "as the snow."




"Hello! hello! which way now, Mrs. Walker? It'll rain afore you git
there, if you've got fur to go. Hadn't you better stop an' come in till
this thunder-shower passes over?"

"Well, no, I reckon not, Mr. Bowen. I'm in a good deal of a hurry. I've
been sent for over to John's." And rubbing one finger up and down the
horn of her saddle, for she was on horseback, Mrs. Walker added,
"Johnny's sick, Mr. Bowen, an' purty bad, I'm afeard." Then she tucked
up her skirts, and, gathering up the rein, that had dropped on the neck
of her horse, she inquired in a more cheerful tone, "How's all the
folks,--Miss Bowen, an' Jinney, an' all?"

By this time the thunder began to growl, and the wind to whirl clouds of
dust along the road.

"You'd better hitch your critter under the wood-shed, an' come in a bit.
My woman'll be glad to see you, an' Jinney too,--there she is now, at
the winder. I'll warrant nobody goes along the big road without her
seein' 'em." Mr. Bowen had left the broad kitchen-porch from which he
had hallooed to the old woman, and was now walking down the gravelled
path, that, between its borders of four-o'clocks and other common
flowers, led from the front door to the front gate. "We're all purty
well, I'm obleeged to you," he said, as, reaching the gate, he leaned
over it, and turned his cold gray eyes upon the neat legs of the horse,
rather than the anxious face of the rider.

"I'm glad to hear you're well," Mrs. Walker said; "it a'most seems to me
that, if I had Johnny the way he was last week, I wouldn't complain
about anything. We think too much of our little hardships, Mr. Bowen,--a
good deal too much!" And Mrs. Walker looked at the clouds, perhaps in
the hope that their blackness would frighten the tears away from her
eyes. John was her own boy,--forty years old, to be sure, but still a
boy to her,--and he was very sick.

"Well, I don't know," Mr. Bowen said, opening the mouth of the horse and
looking in it; "we all have our troubles, an' if it ain't one thing it's
another. Now if John wasn't sick, I s'pose you'd be frettin' about
somethin' else; you mustn't think you're particularly sot apart in your
afflictions, any how. This rain that's getherin' is goin' to spile a
couple of acres of grass for me, don't you see?"

Mrs. Walker was hurt. Her neighbor had not given her the sympathy she
expected; he had not said anything about John one way nor another; had
not inquired whether there was anything he could do, nor what the doctor
said, nor asked any of those questions that express a kindly solicitude.

"I am sorry about your hay," she answered, "but I must be going."

"Don't want to hurry you; but if you will go, the sooner the better.
That thunder-cloud is certain to bust in a few minutes." And Mr. Bowen
turned toward the house.

"Wait a minute, Mrs. Walker," called a young voice, full of kindness;
"here's my umberell. It'll save your bonnet, any how; and it's a real
purty one. But didn't I hear you say somebody was sick over to your
son's house?"

"Yes, darlin'," answered the old woman as she took the umbrella; "it's
Johnny himself; he's right bad, they say. I just got word about an hour
ago, and left everything, and started off. They think he's got the

Jenny Bowen, the young girl who had brought the umbrella, looked
terribly frightened. "_They_ won't let me go over, you know," she said,
nodding her head toward the house, "not if it's really small-pox!" And
then, with the hope at which the young are so quick to catch, she added,
"May be it isn't small-pox. I haven't heard of a case anywhere about. I
don't believe it is." And then she told Mrs. Walker not to fret about
home. "I will go," she said, "and milk the cow, and look after things.
Don't think one thought about it." And then she asked if the rest of
them at John Walker's were well.

"If it's Hobert you want to know about," the grandmother said, smiling
faintly, "he's well; but, darlin', you'd better not think about him:
they'll be ag'in it, in there!" and she nodded toward the house as Jenny
had done before her.

The face of the young girl flushed,--not with confusion, but with
self-asserting and defiant brightness that seemed to say, "Let them do
their worst." The thunder rattled sharper and nearer, bursting right
upon the flash of the lightning, and then came the rain. But it proved
not one of those bright, brief dashes that leave the world sparkling,
but settled toward sunset into a slow, dull drizzle.

Jenny had her milking, and all the other evening chores, done betimes,
and with an alertness and cheerfulness in excess of her usual manner,
that might have indicated an unusual favor to be asked. She had made her
evening toilet; that is, she had combed her hair, tied on a pair of
calf-skin shoes, and a blue checked apron, newly washed and ironed; when
she said, looking toward a faint light in the west, and as though the
thought had just occurred to her, "It's going to break away, I see.
Don't you think, mother, I had better just run over to Mrs. Walker's,
and milk her cow for her?"

"Go to Miss Walker's!" repeated the mother, as though she were as much
outraged as astonished. She was seated in the door, patching, by the
waning light, an old pair of mud-spattered trousers, her own dress being
very old-fashioned, coarse, and scanty,--so scant, in fact, as to reveal
the angles of her form with ungraceful definiteness, especially the
knees, that were almost suggestive of a skeleton, and now, as she put
herself in position, as it were, stood up with inordinate prominence.
Her hands were big in the joints, ragged in the nails, and marred all
over with the cuts, burns, and scratches of indiscriminate and incessant
toil. But her face was, perhaps, the most sadly divested of all womanly
charm. It had, in the first place, the deep yellow, lifeless appearance
of an old bruise, and was expressive of pain, irritation, and fanatical

"Go to Miss Walker's!" she said again, seeing that Jenny was taking down
from its peg in the kitchen-wall a woollen cloak that had been hers
since she was a little girl, and her mother's before her.

"Yes, mother. You know John Walker is very sick, and Mrs. Walker has
been sent for over there. She's very down-hearted about him. He's
dangerous, they think; and I thought may be I'd come round that way as I
come home, and ask how he was. Don't you think I'd better?"

"I think you had better stay at home and tend to your own business.
You'll spile your clothes, and do no good that I can see by traipsin'
out in such a storm."

"Why, you would think it was bad for one of our cows to go without
milking," Jenny said, "and I suppose Mrs. Walker's cow is a good deal
like ours, and she is giving a pailful of milk now."

"How do you know so much about Miss Walker's cow? If you paid more
attention to things at home, and less to other folks, you'd be more

"That's true, mother, but would I be any better?"

"Not in your own eyes, child; but you're so much wiser than your father
and me, that words are throwed away on you."

"I promised Mrs. Walker that I would milk for her to-night," Jenny
said, hesitating, and dropping her eyes.

"O yes, you've always got some excuse! What did you make a promise for,
that you knowed your father wouldn't approve of? Take your things right
off now, and peel the potaters, and sift the meal for mush in the
morning; an' if Miss Walker's cow must be milked, what's to hender that
Hobe, the great lazy strapper, shouldn't go and milk her?"

"You forget how much he has to do at home now; and one pair of hands
can't do everything, even if they are Hobert Walker's!"

Jenny had spoken with much spirit and some bitterness; and the bright
defiant flush, before noticed, came into her face, as she untied the
cloak and proceeded to sift the meal and peel the potatoes for
breakfast. She did her work quietly, but with a determination in every
movement that indicated a will not easily overruled.

It was nearly dark, and the rain still persistently falling, when she
turned the potato-peelings into the pig-trough that stood only a few
yards from the door, and, returning, put the cloak about her shoulders,
tied it deliberately, turned the hood over her head, and, without
another word, walked straight out into the rain.

"Well, I must say! Well, I _must_ say!" cried the mother, in exasperated
astonishment. "What on airth is that girl a-comin' to?" And, resting her
elbows on her knees, she leaned her yellow face in her hands, and
gathered out of her hard, embittered heart such consolation as she

Jenny, meantime, tucked up her petticoats, and, having left a field or
two between her and the homestead, tripped lightly along, debating with
herself whether or not she should carry out her will to the full, and
return by the way of Mr. John Walker's,--a question she need hardly have
raised, if unexpected events had not interfered with her
predeterminations. At Mrs. Walker's gate she stopped and pulled half a
dozen roses from the bush that was almost lying on the ground with its
burden,--they seemed, somehow, brighter than the roses at home,--and,
with them swinging in her hand, had wellnigh gained the door, before she
perceived that it was standing open. She hesitated an instant,--perhaps
some crazy wanderer or drunken person might have entered the
house,--when brisk steps, coming up the path that led from the
milking-yard, arrested her attention, and, looking that way, she
recognized through the darkness young Hobert Walker, with the full pail
in his hand.

"O Jenny," he said, setting down the pail, "we are in such trouble at
home! The doctor says father is better, but I don't think so, and I
ain't satisfied with what is being done for him. Besides, I had such a
strange dream,--I thought I met you, Jenny, alone, in the night, and you
had six red roses in your hand,--let me see how many have you." He had
come close to her, and he now took the roses and counted them. There
were six, sure enough. "Humph!" he said, and went on. "Six red roses, I
thought; and while I looked at them they turned white as snow; and then
it seemed to me it was a shroud you had in your hand, and not roses at
all; and you, seeing how I was frightened, said to me, 'What if it
should turn out to be my wedding-dress?' And while we talked, your
father came between us, and led you away by a great chain that he put
round your neck. But you think all this foolish, I see." And, as if he
feared the apprehension he had confessed involved some surrender of
manhood, he cast down his eyes, and awaited her reply in confusion. She
had too much tact to have noticed this at any time; but in view of the
serious circumstances in which he then stood, she could not for the life
of her have turned any feeling of his into a jest, however unwarranted
she might have felt it to be.

"My grandmother was a great believer in dreams," she said,
sympathetically; "but she always thought they went by contraries; and,
if she was right, why, yours bodes ever so much good. But come, Hobert,
let us go into the house: it's raining harder."

"How stupid of me, Jenny, not to remember that you were being drowned,
almost! You must try to excuse me: I am really hardly myself to-night."

"Excuse you, Hobert! As if you could ever do anything I should not think
was just right!" And she laughed the little musical laugh that had been
ringing in his ears so long, and skipped before him into the house.

He followed her with better heart; and, as she strained and put away the
milk, and swept the hearth, and set the house in order, he pleased
himself with fancies of a home of which she would be always the charming

And who, that saw the sweet domestic cheer she diffused through the
house with her harmless little gossip about this and that, and the
artfully artless kindnesses to him she mingled with all, could have
blamed him? He was given to melancholy and to musing; his cheek was
sometimes pale, and his step languid; and he saw, all too often,
troublesome phantoms coming to meet him. This disposition in another
would have incited the keenest ridicule in the mind of Jenny Bowen, but
in Hobert it was well enough; nay, more, it was actually fascinating,
and she would not have had him otherwise. These characteristics--for her
sake we will not say weaknesses--constantly suggested to her how much
she could be to him,--she who was so strong in all ways,--in health, in
hope, and in enthusiasm. And for him it was joy enough to look upon her
full bright cheek, to see her compact little figure before him; but to
touch her dimpled shoulder, to feel one tress of her hair against his
face, was ecstasy; and her voice,--the tenderest trill of the wood-dove
was not half so delicious! But who shall define the mystery of love?
They were lovers; and when we have said that, is there anything more to
be said? Their love had not, however, up to the time of which we write,
found utterance in words. Hobert was the son of a poor man, and Jenny
was prospectively rich, and the faces of her parents were set as flints
against the poor young man. But Jenny had said in her heart more than
once that she would marry him; and if the old folks had known this, they
might as well have held their peace. Hobert did not dream that she had
talked thus to her heart, and, with his constitutional timidity, he
feared she would never say anything of the kind. Then, too, his
conscientiousness stood in his way. Should he presume to take her to his
poor house, even if she would come? No, no, he must not think of it; he
must work and wait, and defer hope. This hour so opportune was also most
inopportune,--such sorrow at home! He would not speak to-night,--O no,
not to-night! And yet he could bear up against everything else, if she
only cared for him! Such were his resolves, as she passed to and fro
before him, trifling away the time with pretence of adjusting this thing
and that; but at last expedients failed, and reaching for her cloak,
which hung almost above him as he sat against the wall, she said it was
time to go. As frostwork disappears in the sunshine, so his brave
resolutions vanished when her arm reached across his shoulder, and the
ribbon that tied her beads fluttered against his cheek. With a motion
quite involuntary, he snatched her hand. "No, Jenny, not yet,--not quite
yet!" he said.

"And why not?" demanded Jenny; for could any woman, however innocent, or
rustic, be without her little coquetries? And she added, in a tone that
contradicted her words, "I am sure I should not have come if I had known
you were coming!"

"I dare say not," replied Hobert, in a voice so sad and so tender
withal, as to set the roses Jenny wore in her bosom trembling. "I dare
say not, indeed. I would not presume to hope you would go a step out of
your way to give me pleasure; only I was feeling so lonesome to-night, I
thought may be--no, I didn't think anything; I certainly didn't hope
anything. Well, no matter, I am ready to go." And he let go the hand he
had been holding, and stood up.

It was Jenny's privilege to pout a little now, and to walk sullenly and
silently home,--so torturing herself and her honest-hearted lover; but
she was much too generous, much too noble, to do this. She would not for
the world have grieved poor Hobert,--not then,--not when his heart was
so sick and so weighed down with shadows; and she told him this with a
simple earnestness that admitted of no doubt, concluding with, "I only
wish, Hobert, I could say or do something to comfort you."

"Then you will stay? Just a moment, Jenny!" And the hand was in his

"Dear Jenny,--dear, dear Jenny!" She was sitting on his knee now; and
the rain, with its pattering against the window, drowned their
heart-beats; and the summer darkness threw over them its sacred veil.

"Shall I tell you, darling, of another dream I have had to-night--since
I have been sitting here?" The fair cheek bent itself close to his to
listen, and he went on. "I have been dreaming, Jenny, a very sweet
dream; and this is what it was. You and I were living here, in this
house, with grandmother; and she was your grandmother as well as mine;
and I was farmer of the land, and you were mistress of the dairy; and
the little room with windows toward the sunrise, and the pretty bureau,
and bed with snow-white coverlet and pillows of down,--that
was"--perhaps he meant to say "_ours_," but his courage failed him, and,
with a charming awkwardness, he said, "yours, Jenny," and hurried on to
speak of the door-yard flowers, and the garden with its beds of thyme
and mint, its berry-bushes and hop-vines and bee-hives,--all of which
were brighter and sweeter than were ever hives and bushes in any other
garden; and when he had run through the catalogue of rustic delights, he
said: "And now, Jenny, I want you to tell me the meaning of my dream;
and yet I am afraid you will interpret it as your grandmother used to

Jenny laughed gayly. "That is just what I will do, dear Hobert," she
said; "for she used to say that only bad dreams went by contraries, and
yours was the prettiest dream I ever heard."

The reply to this sweet interpretation was after the manner of all
lovers since the world began. And so, forgetting the stern old folks at
home,--forgetting everything but each other,--they sat for an hour at
the very gate of heaven. How often Hobert called her his sweetheart, and
his rosebud, and other fond names, we need not stop to enumerate: how
often he said that for her sake he could brave the winter storm and the
summer heat, that she should never know rough work nor sad days, but
that she should be as tenderly protected, as daintily cared for, as any
lady of them all,--how often he said all these things, we need not
enumerate; nor need we say with what unquestioning trust, and deafness
to all the suggestions of probability, Jenny believed. Does not love, in
fact, always believe what it hopes? Who would do away with the blessed
insanity that clothes the marriage day with such enchantment? Who would
dare to do it?

No royal mantle could have been adjusted with tenderer and more reverent
solicitude than was that night the coarse cloak about the shoulders of
Jenny. The walk homeward was all too short; and whether the rain fell,
or whether the moon were at her best, perhaps neither of them could have
told until they were come within earshot of the Bowen homestead; then
both suddenly stood still. Was it the arm of Jenny that trembled so? No,
no! we must own the truth,--it was the arm through which hers was drawn.
At her chamber window, peering out curiously and anxiously, was the
yellow-white face of Mrs. Bowen; and, leaning over the gate, gazing up
and down the road, the rain falling on his bent shoulders and gray
head, was the father of Jenny,--angry and impatient, past doubt.

"Don't stand looking any longer, for mercy's sake!" called the querulous
voice from the house. "You'll get your death of cold, and then what'll
become of us all? Saddle your horse this minute, and ride over to John
Walker's,--for there's where you'll find Jinny, the gad-about,--and
bring her home at the tail of your critter. I'll see who is going to be
mistress here!"

"She's had her own head too long a'ready, I'm afeard," replied the old
man, turning from the gate, with intent, probably, to execute his wife's

Seeing this, and hearing this, Hobert, as we said, stood still and
trembled, and could only ask, by a little pressure of the hand he held,
what was to be said or done.

Jenny did not hesitate a moment. "I expected this or something worse,"
she said. "Don't mind, Hobert; so they don't see you, I don't care for
the rest. You must not go one step farther: the lightning will betray
us, you see. I will say I waited for the rain to slack, and the two
storms will clear off about the same time, I dare say. There, good
night!"--and she turned her cheek to him; for she was not one of those
impossible maidens we read of in books, who don't know they are in love,
until after the consent of parents is obtained, and blush themselves to
ashes at the thought of a kiss. To love Hobert was to her the most
natural and proper thing in the world, and she did not dream there was
anything to blush for. It is probable, too, that his constitutional
bashfulness and distrust of himself brought out her greater confidence
and buoyancy.

"And how and where am I ever to see you again?" he asked, as he detained
her, against her better judgment, if not against her will.

"Trust that to me,"--and she hurried away in time to meet and prevent
her father from riding forth in search of her.

Of course there were fault-finding and quarrelling, accusations and
protestations, hard demands and sullen pouting,--so that the home, at no
time so attractive as we like to imagine the home of a young girl who
has father and mother to provide for her and protect her, became to her
like a prison-house. At the close of the first and second days after her
meeting with Hobert, when the work was all faithfully done, she ventured
to ask leave to go over to John Walker's and inquire how the sick man
was; but so cold a refusal met her, that, on the evening of the third
day, she sat down on the porch-side to while away the hour between
working and sleeping, without having renewed her request.

The sun was down, and the first star began to show faintly above a strip
of gray cloud in the west, when a voice, low and tender, called to her,
"Come here, my child!" and looking up she saw Grandmother Walker sitting
on her horse at the gate. She had in the saddle before her her youngest
granddaughter, and on the bare back of the horse, behind her, a little
grandson, both their young faces expressive of the sorrow at home. Jenny
arose on the instant, betraying in every motion the interest and
sympathy she felt, and was just stepping lightly from the porch to the
ground, when a strong hand grasped her shoulder and turned her back. It
was her father who had overtaken her. "Go into the house!" he said. "If
the old woman has got any arrant at all, it's likely it's to your mother
and me."

Nor was his heart melted in the least when he learned that his friend
and neighbor was no more. He evinced surprise, and made some blunt and
coarse inquiries, but that was the amount. "The widder is left purty
destitute, I reckon," he said; and then he added, the Lord helped them
that helped themselves, and we mustn't fly in the face of Providence.
She had her son, strong and able-bodied; and of course he had no
thoughts of encumbering himself with a family of his own,--young and
poverty-struck as he was.

Mrs. Walker understood the insinuation; but her heart could not hold
resentment just then. She must relieve her burdened soul by talking of
"poor Johnny," even though it were to deaf ears. She must tell what a
good boy he had been,--how kind to her and considerate of her, how
manly, how generous, how self-forgetful. And then she must tell how hard
he had worked, and how saving he had been in order to give his children
a better chance in the world than he had had; and how, if he had lived
another year, he would have paid off the mortgage, and been able to hold
up his head amongst men.

After all the ploughing and sowing,--after all the preparation for the
gathering in of the harvest,--it seemed very hard, she said, that Johnny
must be called away, just as the shining ears began to appear. The
circumstances of his death, too, seemed to her peculiarly afflictive.
"We had all the doctors in the neighborhood," she said, "but none of
them understood his case. At first they thought he had small-pox, and
doctored him for that; and then they thought it was liver-complaint, and
doctored him for that; and then it was bilious fever, and then it was
typhus fever; and so it went on, and I really can't believe any of them
understood anything about it. Their way seemed to be to do just what he
didn't want done. In the first place, he was bled; and then he was
blistered; and then he was bled again and blistered again, the fever all
the time getting higher and higher; and when he wanted water, they said
it would kill him, and gave him hot drinks till it seemed to me they
would drive him mad; and sure enough, they did! The last word he ever
said, to know what he was saying, was to ask me for a cup of cold water.
I only wish I had given it to him; all the doctors in the world wouldn't
prevent me now, if I only had him back. The fever seemed to be just
devouring him: his tongue was as dry as sand, and his head as hot as
fire. 'O mother!' says he, and there was such a look of beseeching in
his eyes as I can never forget, 'may be I shall never want you to do
anything more for me. Cold water! give me some cold water! If I don't
have it, my senses will surely fly out of my head!' 'Yes, Johnny,' says
I,--and I went and brought a tin bucketful, right out of the well, and
set it on the table in his sight; for I thought it would do him good to
see even more than he could drink; and then I brought a cup and dipped
it up full. It was all dripping over, and he had raised himself on one
elbow, and was leaning toward me, when the young doctor came in, and,
stepping between us, took the cup out of my hand. All his strength
seemed to go from poor Johnny at that, and he fell back on his pillow
and never lifted his head any more. Still he kept begging in a feeble
voice for the water. 'Just two or three drops,--just one drop!' he said.
I couldn't bear it, and the doctor said I had better go out of the room,
and so I did,--and the good Lord forgive me; for when I went back, after
half an hour, he was clean crazy. He didn't know me, and he never knowed
me any more."

"It's purty hard, Miss Walker," answered Mr. Bowen, "to accuse the
doctors with the murder of your son. A purty hard charge, that, I call
it! So John's dead! Well, I hope he is better off. Where are you goin'
to bury him?"

And then Mrs. Walker said she didn't charge anybody with the murder of
poor Johnny,--nobody meant to do him any harm, she knew that; but, after
all, she wished she could only have had her own way with him from the
first. And so she rode away,--her little bare-legged grandson, behind
her, aggravating her distress by telling her that, when he got to be a
man, he meant to do nothing all the days of his life but dig wells, and
give water to whoever wanted it.

It is not worth while to dwell at length on the humiliations and
privations to which Jenny was subjected,--the mention of one or two will
indicate the nature of all. In the first place, the white heifer she had
always called hers was sold, and the money tied up in a tow bag. Jenny
would not want a cow for years to come. The piece of land that had
always been known as "Jenny's Corner" was not thus denominated any more,
and she was given to understand that it was only to be hers
_conditionally_. There were obstacles put in the way of her going to
meeting of a Sunday,--first one thing, then another; and, finally, the
bureau was locked, and the best dress and brightest ribbon inside the
drawers. The new side-saddle she had been promised was refused to her,
unless she in turn would make a promise; and the long day's work was
made to drag on into the night, lest she might find time to visit some
neighbor, and lest that neighbor might be the Widow Walker. But what
device of the enemy ever proved successful when matched against the
simple sincerity of true love? It came about, in spite of all restraint
and prohibition, that Jenny and Hobert met in their own times and ways;
and so a year went by.

One night, late in the summer, when the katydids began to sing, Jenny
waited longer than usual under the vine-covered beech that drooped its
boughs low to the ground all round her,--now listening for the expected
footstep, and now singing, very low, some little song to her heart, such
as many a loving and trusting maiden had sung before her. What could
keep Hobert? She knew it was not his will that kept him; and though her
heart began to be heavy, she harbored therein no thought of reproach. By
the movement of the shadow on the grass, she guessed that an hour beyond
the one of appointment must have passed, when the far-away footfall set
her so lately hushed pulses fluttering with delight. He was coming,--he
was coming! And, no matter what had been wrong, all would be right now.
She was holding wide the curtaining boughs long before he came near; and
when they dropped, and her arms closed, it is not improbable that he was
within them. It was the delight of meeting her that kept him still so
long, Jenny thought; and she prattled lightly and gayly of this and of
that, and, seeing that she won no answer, fell to tenderer tones, and
imparted the little vexing secrets of her daily life, and the sweet
hopes of her nightly dreams.

They were seated on a grassy knoll, the moonlight creeping tenderly
about their feet, and the leaves of the drooping vines touching their
heads like hands of pity, or of blessing. The water running over the
pebbly bottom of the brook just made the silence sweet, and the evening
dews shining on the red globes of the clover made the darkness lovely;
but with all these enchantments of sight and sound about him,--nay,
more, with the hand of Jenny, his own true-love, Jenny, folded in
his,--Hobert was not happy.

"And so you think you love me!" he said at last, speaking so sadly, and
clasping the hand he held with so faint a pressure, that Jenny would
have been offended if she had not been the dear, trustful little
creature she was.

There was, indeed, a slight reproach in her accent as she answered,
"_Think_ I love you, Hobert? No, I don't think anything about it,--I

"And I know I love you, Jenny," he replied. "I love you so well that I
am going to leave you without asking you to marry me!"

For one moment Jenny was silent,--for one moment the world seemed
unsteady beneath her,--then she stood up, and, taking the hand of her
lover between her palms, gazed into his face with one long, earnest,
steadfast gaze. "You have asked me already, Hobert," she said, "a
thousand times, and I have consented as often. You may go away, but you
will not leave me; for 'Whither thou goest I will go, where thou diest
will I die, and there will I be buried.'"

He drew her close to his bosom now, and kissed her with most passionate,
but still saddest tenderness. "You know not, my darling," he said, "what
you would sacrifice." Then he laid before her all her present
advantages, all her bright prospects for the future,--her high chamber
with its broad eastern windows, to be given up for the low dingy walls
of a settler's cabin, her free girlhood for the hard struggles of a
settler's wife! Sickness, perhaps,--certainly the lonesome nights and
days of a home remote from neighbors, and the dreariness and hardship
inseparable from the working out of better fortunes. But all these
things, even though they should all come, were light in comparison with
losing him!

Perhaps Hobert had desired and expected to hear her say this. At any
rate, he did not insist on a reversal of her decision, as, with his arms
about her, he proceeded to explain why he had come to her that night
with so heavy a heart. The substance of all he related may be
recapitulated in a few words. The land could not be paid for, and the
homestead must be sold. He would not be selfish and forsake his mother,
and his young brothers and sisters in their time of need. By careful
management of the little that could be saved, he might buy in the West a
better farm than that which was now to be given up; and there to build a
cabin and plant a garden would be easy,--O, so easy!--with the smile of
Jenny to light him home when the day's work was done.

In fact, the prospective hardships vanished away at the thought of her
for his little housekeeper. It was such easy work for fancy to convert
the work-days into holidays, and the thick wilderness into the shining
village, where the schoolhouse stood open all the week, and the sweet
bells called them to church of a Sunday; easy work for that deceitful
elf to make the chimney-corner snug and warm, and to embellish it with
his mother in her easy-chair. When they parted that night, each young
heart was trembling with the sweetest secret it had ever held; and it
was perhaps a fortnight thereafter that the same secret took wing, and
flew wildly over the neighborhood.

John Walker's little farm was gone for good and all. The few sheep, and
the cows, and the pig, and the fowls, together with the greater part of
the household furniture, were scattered over the neighborhood; the smoke
was gone from the chimney, and the windows were curtainless; and the
grave of John, with a modest but decent headstone, and a rose-bush newly
planted beside it, was left to the care of strangers. The last visits
had been paid, and the last good-byes and good wishes exchanged; and the
widow and her younger children were far on their journey,--Hobert
remaining for a day or two to dispose of his smart young horse, as it
was understood, and then follow on.

At this juncture, Mr. Bowen one morning opened the stair-door, as was
his custom, soon after daybreak, and called harshly out, "Jinny! Jinny!
its high time you was up!"

Five minutes having elapsed, and the young girl not having yet appeared,
the call was repeated more harshly than before. "Come, Jinny, come! or
I'll know what's the reason!"

She did not come; and five minutes more having passed, he mounted the
stairs with a quick, resolute step, to know what was the reason. He came
down faster, if possible, than he went up. "Mother, mother!" he cried,
rushing toward Mrs. Bowen, who stood at the table sifting meal, his gray
hair streaming wildly back, and his cheek blanched with amazement,
"Jinny's run away!--run away, as sure as you're a livin' woman. Her
piller hasn't been touched last night, and her chamber's desarted!"

And this was the secret that took wing and flew over the neighborhood.


Late in October, 1863, the Ninth Army Corps went into camp at Lenoir's
Station, twenty-five miles southwest of Knoxville, East Tennessee. Since
April, the corps had campaigned in Kentucky, had participated in the
siege of Vicksburg, had accompanied Sherman into the interior of
Mississippi in his pursuit of Johnston, had returned to Kentucky, and
then, in conjunction with the Twenty-third Army Corps, marching over the
mountains into East Tennessee, in a brief but brilliant campaign under
its old leader and favorite, Burnside, had delivered the loyal people of
that region from the miseries of Rebel rule, and had placed them once
more under the protection of the old flag. But all this had not been
done without loss. Many of our brave comrades, who, through a storm of
leaden hail, had crossed the bridge at Antietam, and had faced death in
a hundred forms on the heights of Fredericksburg, had fallen on these
widely separated battle-fields in the valley of the Mississippi. Many,
overborne by fatigue and exposure, had laid down their wasted bodies by
the roadside and in hospitals, and had gently breathed their young lives
away. Many more, from time to time, had been rendered unfit for active
service; and the corps, now a mere skeleton, numbered less than three
thousand men present for duty. Never did men need rest more than they;
and never was an order more welcome than that which now declared the
campaign ended, and authorized the construction of winter quarters.

The Thirty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers--then in the First Brigade,
First Division, Ninth Corps--was under the command of Major
Draper,--Lieutenant-Colonel Goodell having been severely wounded at the
battle of Blue Springs, October 10. The place selected for the winter
quarters of the regiment was a young oak grove, nearly a quarter of a
mile east of the village. The camp was laid out with unusual care. In
order to secure uniformity throughout the regiment, the size of the
log-houses--they were to be ten feet by six--was announced in orders
from regimental head-quarters. The work of construction was at once
commenced. Unfortunately, we were so far from our base of supplies--Camp
Nelson, Kentucky--that nearly all our transportation was required by the
Commissary Department for the conveyance of its stores. Consequently,
the Quartermaster's Department was poorly supplied; and the only axes
which could be obtained were those which our pioneers and company cooks
had brought with them for their own use. These, however, were pressed
into the service; and their merry ringing, as the men cheerfully engaged
in the work, could be heard from early morning till evening. Small oaks,
four and five inches in diameter, were chiefly used in building these
houses. The logs were laid one above another, to the height of four
feet, intersecting at the corners of the houses like the rails of a
Virginia fence. The interstices were filled with mud. Shelter-tents,
buttoned together to the size required, formed the roof, and afforded
ample protection from the weather, except in very heavy rains. Each
house had its fireplace, table, and bunk. On the 13th of November the
houses were nearly completed; and as we sat by our cheerful fires that
evening, and looked forward to the leisure and quiet of the winter
before us, we thought ourselves the happiest of soldiers. Writing home
at that time, I said that, unless something unforeseen should happen, we
expected to remain at Lenoir's during the winter.

That something unforeseen was at hand; and our pleasant dreams were
destined to fade away like an unsubstantial pageant, leaving not a rack
behind. At four o'clock on the morning of the 14th I was roused from
sleep by loud knocks on the new-made door. In the order which followed,
"Be ready to march at daybreak," I recognized the familiar, but
unwelcome voice of the Sergeant-Major. Throwing aside my blankets, and
leaving the Captain dreamily wondering what could be the occasion of so
unexpected an order, I hurried to the quarters of the men of Company D,
and repeated to the Orderly Sergeant the instructions just received. The
camp was soon astir. Lights flashed here and there through the trees.
"Pack up! pack up!" passed from lip to lip. "Shall we take everything?"
Yes, everything. The shelter-tents were stripped from the houses,
knapsacks and trunks were packed. The wagon for the officers' baggage
came, was hurriedly loaded, and driven away. A hasty breakfast followed.
Then, forming our line, we stacked arms, and awaited further orders.

The mystery was soon solved. Longstreet, having cut loose from Bragg's
army, which still remained in the vicinity of Chattanooga, had, by a
forced march, struck the Tennessee River at Hough's Ferry, a few miles
below Loudon. Already he had thrown a pontoon across the river, and was
crossing with his entire command, except the cavalry under Wheeler,
which he had sent by way of Marysville, with orders to seize the heights
on the south bank of the Holston, opposite Knoxville. The whole movement
was the commencement of a series of blunders on the part of the Rebel
commanders in this department, which resulted at length in the utter
overthrow of the Rebel army of the Tennessee. General Grant saw at once
the mistake which the enemy had made, and ordered General Burnside to
fall back to Knoxville and intrench, promising reinforcements speedily.
Knoxville was Longstreet's objective. It was the key of East Tennessee.
Should it again fall into the enemy's hands, we would be obliged to
retire to Cumberland Gap. Lenoir's did not lie in Longstreet's path. If
we remained there, he would push his columns past our right, and get
between us and Knoxville. It was evident that the place must be
abandoned; and there was need of haste. The mills and factories in the
village were accordingly destroyed, and the wagon-train started north.

The morning had opened heavily with clouds, and, as the day advanced,
the rain came down in torrents. A little before noon, our division, then
under the command of General Ferrero, moved out of the woods; but,
instead of taking the road to Knoxville, as we had anticipated, the
column marched down the Loudon road. We were to watch the enemy, and, by
holding him in check, secure the safety of our trains and material, then
on the way to Knoxville.

A few miles from Lenoir's, while we were halting for rest, General
Burnside passed us on his way to the front. Under his slouched hat there
was a sterner face than there was wont to be. There is trouble ahead,
said the men; but the cheers which rose from regiment after regiment, as
with his staff and battle-flag he swept past us, told the confidence
which all felt in "Old Burnie."

Chapin's brigade of White's command (Twenty-third Army Corps) was in the
advance; and about four o'clock his skirmishers met those of the enemy,
and drove them back a mile and a half. We followed through mud and rain.
The country became hilly as we advanced, and our artillery was moved
with difficulty. At dark we were in front of the enemy's position,
having marched nearly fourteen miles. The rain had now ceased. Halting,
we formed our lines in thick woods, and stacked our arms,--weary and
wet, and not in the happiest of moods.

During the evening a circular was received, notifying us of an intended
attack on the enemy's lines at nine o'clock, P. M., by the troops of
White's command; but, with the exception of an occasional shot, the
night was a quiet one.

The next morning, the usual reveille was omitted; and, at daybreak,
noiselessly our lines were formed, and we marched out of the woods into
the road. But it was not an advance. During the night General Ferrero
had received orders to fall back to Lenoir's. Such, however, was the
state of the roads, that it was almost impossible to move our artillery.
At one time our whole regiment was detailed to assist Roemer's battery.
Near Loudon we passed the Second Division of our corps, which during the
night had moved down from Lenoir's, in order to be within supporting
distance. But the enemy did not seem disposed to press us. We reached
Lenoir's about noon. Sigfried, with the Second Division, followed later
in the day. Our brigade (Morrison's) was now drawn up in line of battle
on the Kingston road, as it was thought that the enemy, by not pressing
our rear, intended a movement from that direction. And such was the
fact. The enemy advanced against our position on this road, about four
o'clock, and drove in our pickets. The Eighth Michigan was at once
deployed as skirmishers. The Thirty-sixth Massachusetts and Forty-fifth
Pennsylvania at the same time moved forward to support the skirmishers,
and formed their line of battle in the woods, on the left of the road.
Just at dusk, the enemy made a dash, and pressed our skirmishers back
nearly to our line, but did not seem inclined to advance any further.

A portion of the Ninth Corps, under Colonel Hartranft, and a body of
mounted infantry, were now sent towards Knoxville, with orders to seize
and hold the junction of the road from Lenoir's with the Knoxville and
Kingston road, near the village of Campbell's Station. The distance was
only eight miles, but the progress of the column was much retarded. Such
was still the condition of the roads that the artillery could be moved
only with the greatest difficulty. Colonel Biddle dismounted some of his
men, and hitched their horses to the guns. In order to lighten the
caissons, some of the ammunition was removed from the boxes and
destroyed; but as little as possible, for who could say it would not be
needed on the morrow? Throughout the long night, officers and men
faltered not in their efforts to help forward the batteries. In the
light of subsequent events, it will be seen that they could not have
performed any more important service. Colonel Hartranft that night
displayed the same spirit and energy which he infused into his gallant
Pennsylvanians at Fort Steadman, in the last agonies of the Rebellion,
when, rolling back the fiercest assaults of the enemy, he gained the
first real success in the trenches at Petersburg, and won for himself
the double star of a Major-General.

Meanwhile, Morrison's brigade remained on the Kingston road in front of
Lenoir's. The enemy, anticipating an evacuation of the place, made an
attack on our lines about ten o'clock, P. M.; but a few shots on our
part were sufficient to satisfy him that we still held the ground.
Additional pickets, however, were sent out to extend the line held by
the Eighth Michigan. The Thirty-sixth Massachusetts and Forty-fifth
Pennsylvania still remained in line of battle in the woods. Neither
officers nor men slept that night. It was bitter cold, and the usual
fires were denied us, lest they should betray our weakness to the enemy.
The men were ordered to put their canteens and tin cups in their
haversacks, and remain quietly in their places, ready for any movement
at a moment's notice. It was a long, tedious, fearful night; what would
the morrow bring? It was Sunday night. The day had brought us no
rest,--only weariness and anxiety. No one could speak to his fellow; and
in the thick darkness, through the long, long night, we lay on our arms,
waiting for the morning. Ah, how many hearts there were among us, which,
overleaping the boundaries of States, found their way to Pennsylvanian
and New England homes,--how many, which, on the morrow, among the hills
of East Tennessee, were to pour out their young blood even unto death!

At length the morning came. It was cloudy as the day before. White's
division of the Twenty-third Corps was now on the road to Knoxville;
and, besides our own brigade, only Humphrey's brigade of our division
remained at Lenoir's. About daybreak, as silently as possible, we
withdrew from our position on the Kingston road, and, falling back
through the village of Lenoir's, moved towards Knoxville, Humphrey's
brigade covering the retreat. Everything which we could not take with us
was destroyed. Even our baggage and books, which, for the want of
transportation, had not been removed, were committed to the flames. The
enemy at once discovered our retreat, but did not press us till within a
mile or two of the village of Campbell's Station. Humphrey, however,
held him in check, and we moved on to the point where the road from
Lenoir's unites with the road from Kingston to Knoxville. It was
evidently Longstreet's intention to cut off our retreat at this place.
For this reason he had not pressed us at Lenoir's, the afternoon
previous, but had moved the main body of his army to our right. But the
mounted infantry, which had been sent to this point during the night,
were able to hold him in check, on the Kingston road, till Hartranft
came up.

On reaching the junction of the roads, we advanced into an open field on
our left, and at once formed our line of battle in rear of a rail fence,
our right resting near the Kingston road. The Eighth Michigan was on our
left. The Forty-fifth Pennsylvania was deployed as skirmishers. The rest
of our troops were now withdrawing to a new position back of the village
of Campbell's Station; and we were left to cover the movement. Unfurling
our colors, we awaited the advance of the enemy. There was an occasional
shot fired in our front, and to our right; but it was soon evident that
the Rebels were moving to our left, in order to gain the cover of the
woods. Moving off by the left flank, therefore, we took a second
position in an adjoining field. Finding now the enemy moving rapidly
through the woods, and threatening our rear, we executed a left
half-wheel; and, advancing on the double-quick to the rail fence which
ran along the edge of the woods, we opened a heavy fire. From this
position the enemy endeavored to force us. His fire was well directed,
but the fence afforded us a slight protection. Lieutenant Fairbank and a
few of the men were here wounded. For a while, we held the enemy in
check, but at length the skirmishers of the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania,
who were watching our right, discovered a body of Rebel infantry pushing
towards our rear from the Kingston road. Colonel Morrison, our brigade
commander, at once ordered the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts and Eighth
Michigan to face about, and establish a new line, in rear of the rail
fence on the opposite side of the field. We advanced on the
double-quick; and, reaching the fence, our men with a shout poured a
volley into the Rebel line of battle, which not only checked its
advance, but drove it back in confusion. Meanwhile, the enemy in our
rear moved up to the edge of the woods, which we had just left, and now
opened a brisk fire. We at once crossed the fence in order to place it
between us and his fire, and were about to devote our attention again to
him, when orders came for us to withdraw,--it being no longer necessary
to hold the junction of the roads, for all our troops and wagons had now
passed. The enemy, too, was closing in upon us, and his fire was the
hottest. We moved off in good order; but our loss in killed and wounded
was quite heavy, considering the length of time we were under fire.

Among the killed was Lieutenant P. Marion Holmes of Charlestown, Mass.,
of whom it might well be said,

    "He died as fathers wish their sons to die."

Lieutenant Holmes had been wounded at the battle of Blue Springs a
little more than a month before, and had made the march from Lenoir's
that morning with great difficulty. But he would not leave his men. On
his breast he wore the badge of the Bunker Hill Club, on which was
engraved the familiar line from Horace, which Warren quoted just before
the battle of Bunker Hill,--"Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori." In
the death of Lieutenant Holmes, the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts offered
its costliest sacrifice. Frank, courteous, manly, brave, he had won all
hearts, and his sudden removal from our companionship at that moment
will ever remind us of the great price with which that morning's success
was bought.

The enemy now manoeuvred to cut us off from the road, and pressed us
so hard that we were obliged to oblique to the left. Moving on the
double-quick, receiving an occasional volley, and barely escaping
capture, we at length emerged from the woods on the outskirts of the
little village of Campbell's Station. We were soon under cover of our
artillery, which General Potter, under the direction of General
Burnside, had placed in position on high ground just beyond the village.
This village is situated between two low ranges of hills, which are
nearly a mile apart. Across the intervening space, our infantry was
drawn up in a single line of battle, Ferrero's division of the Ninth
Corps held the right, White's division of the Twenty-third Corps held
the centre, and Hartranft's division of the Ninth Corps held the left.
Benjamin's, Buckley's, Getting's, and Van Schlein's batteries were on
the right of the road. Roemer's battery was on the left. The
Thirty-sixth Massachusetts supported Roemer.

The enemy, meanwhile, had disposed his forces for an attack on our
position. At noon he came out of the woods, just beyond the village, in
two lines of battle, with a line of skirmishers in front. The whole
field was open to our view. Benjamin and Roemer opened fire at once; and
so accurate was their range, that the Rebel lines were immediately
broken, and they fell back into the woods in confusion. The enemy, under
cover of the woods on the slope of the ridge, now advanced against our
right. Christ's brigade, of our division, at once changed front. Buckley
executed the same movement with his battery, and, by a well-directed
fire, checked the enemy's progress in that direction. The enemy next
manoeuvred to turn our left. Falling back, however, to a stronger
position in our rear, we established a new line about four o'clock in
the afternoon. This was done under a heavy fire from the enemy's
batteries. Ferrero was now on the right of the road. Morrison's brigade
was placed in rear of a rail fence, at the foot of the ridge on which
Benjamin's battery had been planted. The enemy did not seem inclined to
attack us in front, but pushed along the ridge, on our left, aiming to
strike Hartranft in flank and rear. He was discovered in this attempt;
and, just as he was moving over ground recently cleared, Roemer,
changing front at the same time with Hartranft, opened his three-inch
guns on the Rebel line, and drove it back in disorder, followed by the
skirmishers. Longstreet, foiled in all these attempts to force us from
our position, now withdrew beyond the range of our guns, and made no
further demonstrations that day. Our troops were justly proud of their
success; for, with a force not exceeding five thousand men, they had
held in check, for an entire day, three times their own number,--the
flower of Lee's army. Our loss in the Ninth Corps was twenty-six killed,
one hundred and sixty-six wounded, and fifty-seven missing. Of these,
the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts lost one officer and three enlisted men
killed, three officers and fourteen enlisted men wounded, and three
enlisted men missing.

At six o'clock, P. M., Ferrero's division, followed by Hartranft's,
moved to the rear, taking the road to Knoxville. White's division of the
Twenty-third Corps covered the retreat. Campbell's Station is a little
more than sixteen miles from Knoxville; but the night was so dark, and
the road so muddy, that our progress was much retarded, and we did not
reach Knoxville till about four o'clock the next morning. We had now
been without sleep forty-eight hours. Moreover, since the previous
morning we had marched twenty-four miles and fought a battle. Halting
just outside of the town, weary and worn, we threw ourselves on the
ground, and snatched a couple of hours of sleep. Early in the day--it
was the 17th of November--General Burnside assigned the batteries and
regiments of his command to the positions they were to occupy in the
defence of the place. Knoxville is situated on the northern bank of the
Holston River. For the most part, the town is built on a table-land,
which is nearly a mile square, and about one hundred and fifty feet
above the river. On the northeast, the town is bounded by a small creek.
Beyond this creek is an elevation known as Temperance Hill. Still
farther to the east is Mayberry's Hill. On the northwest, this
table-land descends to a broad valley; on the southwest, the town is
bounded by a second creek. Beyond this is College Hill; and still
farther to the southwest is a high ridge, running nearly parallel with
the road which enters Knoxville at this point. Benjamin's and Buckley's
batteries occupied the unfinished bastion-work on the ridge just
mentioned. This work was afterwards known as Fort Sanders. Roemer's
battery was placed in position on College Hill. These batteries were
supported by Ferrero's division of the Ninth Corps, his line extending
from the Holston River on the left to the point where the East Tennessee
and Georgia Railroad crosses the creek mentioned above as Second Creek.
Hartranft connected with Ferrero's right, supporting Getting's and the
Fifteenth Indiana Batteries. His lines extended as far as First Creek.
The divisions of White and Hascall, of the Twenty-third Corps, occupied
the ground between this point and the Holston River, on the northeast
side of the town, with their artillery in position on Temperance and
Mayberry's Hills.

Knoxville at this time was by no means in a defensible condition. The
bastion-work, occupied by Benjamin's and Buckley's batteries, was not
only not finished, but was little more than begun. It required two
hundred negroes four hours to clear places for the guns. There was also
a fort in process of construction on Temperance Hill. Nothing more had
been done. But the work was now carried forward in earnest. As fast as
the troops were placed in position, they commenced the construction of
rifle-pits. Though wearied by three days of constant marching and
fighting, they gave themselves to the work with all the energy of fresh
men. Citizens and contrabands also were pressed into the service. Many
of the former were loyal men, and devoted themselves to their tasks with
a zeal which evinced the interest they felt in making good the defence
of the town; but some of them were bitter Rebels, and, as Captain Poe,
Chief-Engineer of the Army of the Ohio, well remarked, "worked with a
very poor grace, which blistered hands did not tend to improve." The
contrabands engaged in the work with that heartiness which, during the
war, characterized their labors in our service.

At noon, the enemy's advance was only a mile or two distant; and four
companies of the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts--A, B, D, G--were thrown out
as skirmishers,--the line extending from the Holston River to the
Kingston road. But the enemy was held in check at some little distance
from the town by Sanders's division of cavalry. The hours thus gained
for our work in the trenches were precious hours, indeed. There was a
lack of intrenching tools, and much remained to be done; but all day and
all night the men continued their labors undisturbed; and, on the
morning of the 18th, our line of works around the town presented a
formidable appearance.

Throughout the forenoon of that day there was heavy skirmishing on the
Kingston road; but our men--dismounted cavalry--still maintained their
position. Later in the day, however, the enemy brought up a battery,
which, opening a heavy fire, soon compelled our men to fall back. The
Rebels, now pressing forward, gained the ridge for which they had been
contending, and established their lines within rifle range of our works.

It was while endeavoring to check this advance that General Sanders was
mortally wounded. He was at once borne from the field, and carried into
Knoxville. While a surgeon was examining the wound, he asked, "Tell me,
Doctor, is my wound mortal?"

Tenderly the surgeon replied, "Sanders, it is a fearful wound, and
mortal. I am sorry to say it, my dear fellow, but the odds are against

Calmly the General continued, "Well, I am not afraid to die. I have made
up my mind upon that subject. I have done my duty, and have served my
country as well as I could."

The next day he called the attention of the surgeon to certain symptoms
which he had observed, and asked him what they meant.

The surgeon replied, "General, you are dying."

"If that be so," he said, "I would like to see a clergyman."

Rev. Mr. Hayden, chaplain of the post, was summoned. On his arrival, the
dying soldier expressed a desire that the ordinance of baptism should be
administered. This was done, and then the minister in prayer commended
the believing soul to God,--General Burnside and his staff, who were
present, kneeling around the bed. When the prayer was ended, General
Sanders took General Burnside by the hand. Tears--the language of that
heartfelt sympathy and tender love belonging to all noble souls--dropped
down the bronzed cheeks of the chief as he listened to the last words
which followed. The sacrament was now about to be administered, but
suddenly the strength of the dying soldier failed, and like a child he
gently fell asleep. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friends."

The enemy did not seem inclined to attack our position at once, but
proceeded to invest the town on the north bank of the Holston. He then
commenced the construction of a line of works. The four companies of the
Thirty-sixth Massachusetts which had been detailed for picket duty on
the morning of the 17th, remained on post till the morning of the 19th.
Thenceforward, throughout the siege, both officers and men were on
picket duty every third day. During this twenty-four hours of duty no
one slept. The rest of the time we were on duty in the trenches, where,
during the siege, one third, and sometimes one fourth, of the men were
kept awake. The utmost vigilance was enjoined upon all.

Meanwhile, day by day, and night by night, with unflagging zeal, the
troops gave themselves to the labor of strengthening the works.
Immediately in front of the rifle-pits, a _chevaux-de-frise_ was
constructed. This was formed of pointed stakes, thickly and firmly set
in the ground, and inclining outwards at an angle of forty-five degrees.
The stakes were bound together with wire, so that they could not easily
be torn apart by an assaulting party. They were nearly five feet in
height. In front of Colonel Haskins's position, on the north side of the
town, the _chevaux-de-frise_ was constructed with the two thousand pikes
which were captured at Cumberland Gap early in the fall. A few rods in
front of the _chevaux-de-frise_ was the abatis, formed of thick branches
of trees, which likewise were firmly set in the ground. Still farther to
the front, were wire entanglements stretched a few inches above the
ground, and fastened here and there to stakes and stumps. In front of a
portion of our lines another obstacle was formed by constructing dams
across First and Second Creeks, so called, and throwing back the water.
The whole constituted a series of obstacles which could not be passed,
in face of a heavy fire, without great difficulty and fearful loss.

Just in rear of the rifle-pits occupied by the Thirty-sixth
Massachusetts was an elegant brick mansion, of recent construction,
known as the Powell House. When the siege commenced, fresco-painters
were at work ornamenting its parlors and halls. Throwing open its doors,
Mr. Powell, a true Union man, invited Colonel Morrison and Major Draper
to make it their head-quarters. He also designated a chamber for the
sick of our regiment. Early during the siege, the southwestern and
northwestern fronts were loopholed by order of General Burnside, and
instructions were given to post in the house, in case of an attack, two
companies of the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts. When the order was
announced to Mr. Powell, he nobly said, "Lay this house level with the
ground, if it is necessary." A few feet from the southwestern front of
the house, a small earthwork was thrown up by our men, in which was
placed a section of Buckley's battery. This work was afterwards known as
Battery Noble.

Morrison's brigade now held the line of defences from the Holston
River--the extreme left of our line--to Fort Sanders. The following was
the position of the several regiments of the brigade. The Forty-fifth
Pennsylvania was on the left, its left on the river. On its right lay
the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts. Then came the Eighth Michigan. The
Seventy-ninth New York (Highlanders) formed the garrison of Fort
Sanders. Between the Eighth Michigan and Fort Sanders was the One
Hundredth Pennsylvania (Roundheads).

On the evening of the 20th, the Seventeenth Michigan made a sortie, and
drove the Rebels from the Armstrong House. This stood on the Kingston
road, and only a short distance from Fort Sanders. It was a brick house,
and afforded a near and safe position for the enemy's sharpshooters,
which of late had become somewhat annoying to the working parties at the
fort. Our men destroyed the house, and then withdrew. The loss on our
part was slight.

For a few days during the siege, four companies of the Thirty-sixth
Massachusetts were detached to support Roemer's battery on College Hill.
While on this duty the officers and men were quartered in the buildings
of East Tennessee College. Prior to our occupation of East Tennessee,
these buildings had been used by the Rebels as a hospital; but, after a
vigorous use of the ordinary means of purification, they afforded us
pleasant and comfortable quarters.

The siege had now continued several days. The Rebels had constructed
works offensive and defensive in our front; but the greater part of
their force seemed to have moved to the right. On the 22d of November,
however, they returned, not having found evidently the weak place in our
lines which they had sought. It was now thought they might attack our
front that night; and orders were given to the men on duty in the outer
works to exercise the utmost vigilance. But the night passed quietly.

With each day our confidence in the strength of our position increased;
and we soon felt able to repel an assault from any quarter. But the
question of supplies was a serious one. When the siege commenced, there
was in the Commissary Department at Knoxville little more than a day's
ration for the whole army. Should the enemy gain possession of the south
bank of the Holston, our only means of subsistence would be cut off.
Thus far his attempts in this direction had failed; and the whole
country, from the French Broad to the Holston, was open to our foraging
parties. In this way a considerable quantity of corn and wheat was soon
collected in Knoxville. Bread, made from a mixture of meal and flour,
was issued to the men, but only in half and quarter rations.
Occasionally a small quantity of fresh pork was also issued. Neither
sugar nor coffee was issued after the first days of the siege.

The enemy, foiled in his attempts to seize the south bank of the
Holston, now commenced the construction of a raft at Boyd's Ferry.
Floating this down the swift current of the stream, he hoped to carry
away our pontoon, and thus cut off our communication with the country
beyond. To thwart this plan, an iron cable, one thousand feet in length,
was stretched across the river above the bridge. This was done under the
direction of Captain Poe. Afterwards, a boom of logs, fastened end to
end by chains, was constructed still farther up the river. The boom was
fifteen hundred feet in length.

On the evening of the 23d the Rebels made an attack on our pickets in
front of the left of the Second Division, Ninth Corps. In falling back,
our men fired the buildings on the ground abandoned, lest they should
become a shelter for the enemy's sharpshooters. Among the buildings thus
destroyed were the arsenal and machine-shops near the depot. The light
of the blazing buildings illuminated the whole town. The next day the
Twenty-first Massachusetts and another picked regiment, the whole under
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hawkes of the Twenty-first, drove back
the Rebels at this point, and reoccupied our old position.

The same day an attack was made by the Second Michigan on the advanced
parallel, which the enemy had so constructed as to envelop the northwest
bastion of Fort Sanders. The works were gallantly carried; but before
the supporting columns could come up, our men were repulsed by fresh
troops which the enemy had at hand.

On the 25th of November the enemy, having on the day previous crossed
the Holston at a point below us, made another unsuccessful attempt to
occupy the heights opposite Knoxville. He succeeded, however, in
planting a battery on a knob about one hundred and fifty feet above the
river, and twenty-five hundred yards south of Fort Sanders. This
position commanded Fort Sanders, so that it now became necessary to
defilade the fort.

November 26th was our national Thanksgiving day, and General Burnside
issued an order, in which he expressed the hope that the day would be
observed by all, as far as military operations would allow. He knew the
rations were short, and that the day would be unlike the joyous festival
we were wont to celebrate in our distant homes; and so he reminded us of
the circumstances of trial under which our fathers first observed the
day. He also reminded us of the debt of gratitude which we owed to Him
who during the year had not only prospered our arms, but had kindly
preserved our lives. Accordingly, we ate our corn bread with
thanksgiving; and, forgetting our own privations, thought only of the
loved ones at home, who, uncertain of our fate, would that day find
little cheer at the table and by the fireside.

Allusion has already been made to the bastion-work known as Fort
Sanders. A more particular description is now needed. The main line,
held by our troops, made almost a right angle at the fort, the northwest
bastion being the salient of the angle. The ground in front of the fort,
from which the wood had been cleared, sloped gradually for a distance of
eighty yards, and then abruptly descended to a wide ravine. Under the
direction of Lieutenant Benjamin, Second United States Artillery, and
Chief of Artillery of the Army of the Ohio, the fort had now been made
as strong as the means at his disposal and the rules of military art
admitted. Eighty and thirty yards in front of the fort, rifle-pits were
constructed. These were to be used in case our men were driven in from
the outer line. Between these pits and the Fort were wire entanglements,
running from stump to stump, and also an abatis. Sand-bags and barrels
were arranged so as to cover the embrasures. Traverses, also, were built
for the protection of the men at the guns, and in passing from one
position to another. In the fort were four twenty-pounder Parrotts
(Benjamin's battery), four light twelve-pounders (of Buckley's battery),
and two three-inch guns.

Early in the evening of the 27th there was much cheering along the Rebel
lines. Their bands, too, were unusually lavish of the Rebel airs they
were wont occasionally to waft across the debatable ground which
separated our lines. Had the enemy received reinforcements, or had Grant
met with a reverse? While on picket that night, in making my rounds, I
could distinctly hear the Rebels chopping on the knob which they had so
recently occupied on the opposite bank of the river. They were clearing
away the trees in front of the earthwork which they had constructed the
day before. Would they attack at daybreak? So we thought, connecting
this fact with the cheers and music of the earlier part of the night;
but the morning opened as quietly as its predecessors. Late in the
afternoon the enemy seemed to be placing his troops in position in our
front, and our men stood in the trenches, awaiting an attack; yet the
day wore away without further demonstrations.

A little after eleven o'clock, P. M., November 28th, I was aroused by
heavy musketry. I hurried to the trenches. It was a cloudy, dark night,
and at a distance of only a few feet it was impossible to distinguish
any object. The men were already at their posts. With the exception of
an occasional shot on the picket-line, the firing soon ceased. An attack
had evidently been made on our pickets; but at what point, or with what
success, was as yet unknown. Reports soon came in. The enemy had first
driven in the pickets in front of Fort Sanders, and had then attacked
_our_ line which was also obliged to fall back. The Rebels in our front,
however, did not advance beyond the pits which our men had just vacated,
and a new line was at once established by Captain Buffum, our brigade
officer of the day.

It was now evident that the enemy intended an attack. But where would it
be made? All that long, cold night--our men were without overcoats--we
stood in the trenches pondering that question. Might not this
demonstration in our front be only a feint to draw our attention from
other parts of the line, where the chief blow was to be struck? So some
thought. Gradually the night wore away.

A little after six o'clock the next morning, the enemy suddenly opened a
furious cannonade. This was mostly directed against Fort Sanders; but
several shots struck the Powell House, in rear of Battery Noble. Roemer
immediately responded from College Hill. In about twenty minutes the
enemy's fire slackened, and in its stead rose the well-known Rebel yell,
in the direction of the fort. Then followed the rattle of musketry, the
roar of cannon, and the bursting of shells. The yells died away, and
then rose again. Now the roar of musketry and artillery was redoubled.
It was a moment of the deepest anxiety. Our straining eyes were fixed on
the fort. The Rebels had reached the ditch and were now endeavoring to
scale the parapet. Whose will be the victory,--O, whose? The yells again
died away, and then followed three loud Union cheers,--"Hurrah, hurrah,
hurrah!" How those cheers thrilled our hearts, as we stood almost
breathless at our posts in the trenches! They told us that the enemy had
been repulsed, and that the victory was ours. Peering through the rising
fog towards the fort, not a hundred yards away,--O glorious sight!--we
dimly saw that our flag was still there.

Let us now go back a little. Under cover of the ridge on which Fort
Sanders was built, Longstreet had formed his columns for the assault.
The men were picked men,--the flower of his army. One brigade was to
make the assault, two brigades were to support it,[A] and two other
brigades were to watch our lines and keep up a constant fire. Five
regiments formed the brigade selected for the assaulting column. These
were placed in position not more than eighty yards from the fort. They
were "in column by division, closed in mass." When the fire of their
artillery slackened, the order for the charge was given. The salient of
the northwest bastion was the point of attack. The Rebel lines were much
broken in passing the abatis. But the wire entanglements proved a
greater obstacle. Whole companies were prostrated. Benjamin now opened
his triple-shotted guns. Nevertheless, the weight of their column
carried the Rebels forward, and in two minutes from the time the charge
was commenced they had filled the ditch around the fort, and were
endeavoring to scale the parapet. The guns, which had been trained to
sweep the ditch, now opened a most destructive fire. Lieutenant Benjamin
also took shells in his hand, and, lighting the fuse, tossed them over
the parapet into the crowded ditch. One of the Rebel brigades in reserve
now came up in support, and planted several of its flags on the parapet
of the fort. Those, however, who endeavored to scale the parapet were
swept away by the fire of our musketry. The men in the ditch, satisfied
of the hopelessness of the task they had undertaken, now surrendered.
They represented eleven regiments. The prisoners numbered nearly three
hundred. Among them were seventeen commissioned officers. Over two
hundred dead and wounded, including three colonels, lay in the ditch
alone. The ground in front of the fort was also strewn with the bodies
of the dead and wounded. Over one thousand stands of arms fell into our
hands, and the battle-flags of the Thirteenth and Seventeenth
Mississippi and Sixteenth Georgia. Our loss was eight men killed and
five wounded. Never was a victory more complete; and never were brighter
laurels worn than were that morning laid on the brow of the hero of Fort
Sanders,--Lieutenant Benjamin, Second United States Artillery.

Longstreet had promised his men that they should dine that day in
Knoxville. But, in order that he might bury his dead, General Burnside
now tendered him an armistice till five o'clock, P. M. It was accepted
by the Rebel general; and our ambulances were furnished him to assist in
removing the bodies to his lines. At five o'clock, two additional hours
were asked, as the work was not yet completed. At seven o'clock, a gun
was fired from Fort Sanders, the Rebels responded from an earthwork
opposite, and the truce was at an end.

The next day, through a courier who had succeeded in reaching our lines,
General Burnside received official notice of the defeat of Bragg. At
noon, a single gun--we were short of ammunition--was fired from Battery
Noble in our rear, and the men of the brigade, standing in the trenches,
gave three cheers for Grant's victory at Chattanooga. We now looked for
reinforcements daily, for Sherman was already on the road. The enemy
knew this as well as we, and, during the night of the 4th of December,
withdrew his forces, and started north. The retreat was discovered by
the pickets of the Thirty-sixth Massachusetts, under Captain Ames, who
had the honor of first declaring the siege of Knoxville raised.

It would be interesting to recount the facts connected with the retreat
of the Rebel army, and then to follow our men to their winter quarters,
among the mountains of East Tennessee, where, throughout the icy season,
they remained, without shoes, without overcoats, without new clothing of
any description, living on quarter rations of corn meal, with
occasionally a handful of flour, and never grumbling; and where, at the
expiration of their three years of service, standing forth under the
open skies, amid all these discomforts, and raising loyal hands towards
heaven, they swore to serve their country yet three years longer. But I
must pause. I have already illustrated their fortitude and heroic

The noble bearing of General Burnside throughout the siege won the
admiration of all. In a speech at Cincinnati, a few days after the siege
was raised, with that modesty which characterizes the true soldier, he
said that the honors bestowed on him belonged to his under officers and
the men in the ranks. These kindly words his officers and men will ever
cherish; and in all their added years, as they recall the widely
separated battle-fields, made forever sacred by the blood of their
fallen comrades, and forever glorious by the victories there won, it
will be their pride to say, "We fought with Burnside at Campbell's
Station and in the trenches at Knoxville."


[A] This statement is confirmed by the following extract from Pollard's
(Rebel) "Third Year of the War." Speaking of his charge on Fort Sanders,
he says: "The force which was to attempt an enterprise which ranks with
the most famous charges in military history should be mentioned in
detail. It consisted of three brigades of McLaw's division;--that of
General Wolford, the Sixteenth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-fourth Georgia
Regiments, and Cobb's and Phillip's Georgia Legions; that of General
Humphrey, the Thirteenth, Seventeenth, Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and
Twenty-third Mississippi Regiments; and a brigade composed of General
Anderson's and Bryant's brigades, embracing, among others, the Palmetto
State Guard, the Fifteenth South Carolina Regiment, and the Fifty-first,
Fifty-third, and Fifty-ninth Georgia Regiments."--pp. 161, 162.


    A little low-ceiled room. Four walls
      Whose blank shut out all else of life,
    And crowded close within their bound
      A world of pain, and toil, and strife.

    Her world. Scarce furthermore she knew
      Of God's great globe, that wondrously
    Outrolls a glory of green earth,
      And frames it with the restless sea.

    Four closer walls of common pine:
      And therein lieth, cold and still,
    The weary flesh that long hath borne
      Its patient mystery of ill.

    Regardless now of work to do;
      No queen more careless in her state;
    Hands crossed in their unbroken calm;
      For other hands the work may wait.

    Put by her implements of toil;
      Put by each coarse, intrusive sign;
    She made a Sabbath when she died,
      And round her breathes a Rest Divine.

    Put by, at last, beneath the lid,
      The exempted hands, the tranquil face;
    Uplift her in her dreamless sleep,
      And bear her gently from the place.

    Oft she hath gazed, with wistful eyes,
      Out from that threshold on the night;
    The narrow bourn she crosseth now;
      She standeth in the Eternal Light.

    Oft she hath pressed, with aching feet,
      Those broken steps that reach the door;
    Henceforth with angels she shall tread
      Heaven's golden stair forevermore!


The last of the grand old generation of German poets is dead. Within ten
years Eichendorff, Heine, Uhland, have passed away; and now the death of
Friedrich Rückert, the sole survivor of the minor gods who inhabited the
higher slopes of the Weimar Olympus, closes the list of their names.
Yet, although with these poets in time, Rückert was not of them in the
structure of his mind or the character of his poetical development. No
author ever stood so lonely among his contemporaries. Looking over the
long catalogue, not only of German, but of European poets, we find no
one with whom he can be compared. His birthplace is supposed to be
Schweinfurt, but it is to be sought, in reality, somewhere on the banks
of the Euphrates. His true contemporaries were Saadi and Hariri of

Rückert's biography may be given in a few words, his life having been
singularly devoid of incident. He seems even to have been spared the
usual alternations of fortune in a material, as well as a literary
sense. With the exception of a somewhat acridly hostile criticism, which
the _Jahrbücher_ of Halle dealt out to him for several years in
succession, his reputation has enjoyed a gradual and steady growth since
his first appearance as a poet. His place is now so well defined that
death--which sometimes changes, while it fixes, the impression an author
makes upon his generation--cannot seriously elevate or depress it. In
life he stood so far aloof from the fashions of the day, that all his
successes were permanent achievements.

He was born on the 16th of May, 1788, in Schweinfurt, a pleasant old
town in Bavaria, near the baths of Kissingen. As a student he visited
Jena, where he distinguished himself by his devotion to philological and
literary studies. For some years a private tutor, in 1815 he became
connected with the _Morgenblatt_, published by Cotta, in Stuttgart. The
year 1818 he spent in Italy. Soon after his return, he married, and
established himself in Coburg, of which place, I believe, his wife was a
native. Here he occupied himself ostensibly as a teacher, but in reality
with an enthusiastic and untiring study of the Oriental languages and
literature. Twice he was called away by appointments which were the
result of his growing fame as poet and scholar,--the first time in 1826,
when he was made Professor of the Oriental Languages at the University
of Erlangen; and again in 1840, when he was appointed to a similar place
in the University of Berlin, with the title of Privy Councillor. Both
these posts were uncongenial to his nature. Though so competent to fill
them, he discharged his duties reluctantly and with a certain
impatience; and probably there were few more joyous moments of his life
than when, in 1849, he was allowed to retire permanently to the pastoral
seclusion of his little property at Neuses, a suburb of Coburg.

One of his German critics remarks that the poem in which he celebrates
his release embodies a nearer approach to passion than all his Oriental
songs of love, sorrow, or wine. It is a joyous dithyrambic, which,
despite its artful and semi-impossible metre, must have been the
swiftly-worded expression of a genuine feeling. Let me attempt to
translate the first stanza:--

    "Out of the dust of the
    Town o' the king,
    Into the lust of the
    Green of spring,--
    Forth from the noises of
    Streets and walls,
    Unto the voices of
    He who presently
    Flies is blest:
    Fate thus pleasantly
    Makes my nest!"[B]

The quaint old residence at Neuses thus early became, and for nearly
half a century continued to be, the poet's home. No desire to visit the
Orient--the native land of his brain--seems to have disturbed him.
Possibly the Italian journey was in some respects disenchanting. The few
poems which date from it are picturesque and descriptive, but do not
indicate that his imagination was warmed by what he saw. He was never so
happy as when alone with his books and manuscripts, studying or writing,
according to the dominant mood. This secluded habit engendered a shyness
of manner, which frequently repelled the strangers who came to see
him,--especially those who failed to detect the simple, tender, genial
nature of the man, under his wonderful load of learning. But there was
nothing morbid or misanthropical in his composition; his shyness was
rather the result of an intense devotion to his studies. These gradually
became a necessity of his daily life; his health, his mental peace,
depended upon them; and whatever disturbed their regular recurrence took
from him more than the mere time lost.

When I first visited Coburg, in October, 1852, I was very anxious to
make Rückert's acquaintance. My interest in Oriental literature had been
refreshed, at that time, by nearly ten months of travel in Eastern
lands, and some knowledge of modern colloquial Arabic. I had read his
wonderful translation of the _Makamât_ of Hariri, and felt sure that he
would share in my enthusiasm for the people to whose treasures of song
he had given so many years of his life. I found, however, that very few
families in the town were familiarly acquainted with the poet,--that
many persons, even, who had been residents of the place for years, had
never seen him. He was presumed to be inaccessible to strangers.

It fortunately happened that one of my friends knew a student of the
Oriental languages, then residing in Coburg. The latter, who was in the
habit of consulting Rückert in regard to his Sanskrit studies, offered
at once to conduct me to Neuses. A walk of twenty minutes across the
meadows of the Itz, along the base of the wooded hills which terminate,
just beyond, in the castled Kallenberg (the summer residence of Duke
Ernest II.), brought us to the little village, which lies so snugly
hidden in its own orchards that one might almost pass without
discovering it. The afternoon was warm and sunny, and a hazy, idyllic
atmosphere veiled and threw into remoteness the bolder features of the
landscape. Near at hand, a few quaint old tile-roofed houses rose above
the trees.

My guide left the highway, crossed a clear little brook on the left, and
entered the bottom of a garden behind the largest of these houses. As we
were making our way between the plum-trees and gooseberry-bushes, I
perceived a tall figure standing in the midst of a great bed of
late-blossoming roses, over which he was bending as if to inhale their
fragrance. The sound of our steps startled him; and as he straightened
himself and faced us, I saw that it could be none other than Rückert. I
believe his first impulse was to fly; but we were already so near that
his moment of indecision settled the matter. The student presented me to
him as an American traveller, whereat I thought he seemed to experience
a little relief. Nevertheless, he looked uneasily at his coat,--a sort
of loose, commodious blouse,--at his hands, full of seeds, and muttered
some incoherent words about flowers. Suddenly, lifting his head and
looking steadily at us, he said, "Come into the house!"

The student, who was familiar with his habits, led me to a pleasant room
on the second floor. The windows looked towards the sun, and were filled
with hot-house plants. We were scarcely seated before Rückert made his
appearance, having laid aside his blouse, and put on a coat. After a
moment of hesitation, he asked me, "Where have you been travelling?" "I
come from the Orient," I answered. He looked up with a keen light in his
eyes. "From the Orient!" he exclaimed, "Where? let me know where you
have been, and what you have seen!" From that moment he was
self-possessed, full of life, enthusiasm, fancy, and humor.

He was then in his sixty-fifth year, but still enjoyed the ripe maturity
of his powers. A man of more striking personal appearance I have seldom
seen. Over six feet in height, and somewhat gaunt of body, the first
impression of an absence of physical grace vanished as soon as one
looked upon his countenance. His face was long, and every feature
strongly marked,--the brow high and massive, the nose strong and
slightly aquiline, the mouth wide and firm, and the jaw broad, square,
and projecting. His thick silver hair, parted in the middle of his
forehead, fell in wavy masses upon his shoulders. His eyes were
deep-set, bluish-gray, and burned with a deep, lustrous fire as he
became animated in conversation. At times they had a mystic, rapt
expression, as if the far East, of which he spoke, were actually visible
to his brain. I thought of an Arab sheikh, looking towards Mecca, at the
hour of prayer.

I regret that I made no notes of the conversation, in which, as may be
guessed, I took but little part. It was rather a monologue on the
subject of Arabic poetry, full of the clearest and richest knowledge,
and sparkling with those evanescent felicities of diction which can so
rarely be recalled. I was charmed out of all sense of time, and was
astonished to find, when tea appeared, that more than two hours had
elapsed. The student had magnanimously left me to the poet, devoting
himself to the good Frau Rückert, the "Luise" of her husband's
_Liebesfrühling_ (Spring-time of Love). She still, although now a
grandmother, retained some traces of the fresh, rosy beauty of her
younger days; and it was pleasant to see the watchful, tender interest
upon her face, whenever she turned towards the poet. Before I left, she
whispered to me, "I am always very glad when my husband has an
opportunity to talk about the Orient: nothing refreshes him so much."

But we must not lose sight of Rückert's poetical biography. His first
volume, entitled "German Poems, by Freimund Raimar," was published at
Heidelberg in the year 1814. It contained, among other things, his
famous _Geharnischte Sonette_ (Sonnets in Armor), which are still read
and admired as masterpieces of that form of verse. Preserving the
Petrarchan model, even to the feminine rhymes of the Italian tongue, he
has nevertheless succeeded in concealing the extraordinary art by which
the difficult task was accomplished. Thus early the German language
acquired its unsuspected power of flexibility in his hands. It is very
evident to me that his peculiar characteristics as a poet sprang not so
much from his Oriental studies as from a rare native faculty of mind.

These "Sonnets in Armor," although they may sound but gravely beside the
Tyrtæan strains of Arndt and Körner, are nevertheless full of stately
and inspiring music. They remind one of Wordsworth's phrase,--

              "In Milton's hand,
    The thing became a trumpet,"--

and must have had their share in stimulating that national sentiment
which overturned the Napoleonic rule, and for three or four years
flourished so greenly upon its ruins.

Shortly afterwards, Rückert published "Napoleon, a Political Comedy,"
which did not increase his fame. His next important contribution to
general literature was the "Oriental Roses," which appeared in 1822.
Three years before, Goethe had published his _Westöstlicher Divan_, and
the younger poet dedicated his first venture in the same field to his
venerable predecessor, in stanzas which express the most delicate, and
at the same time the most generous homage. I scarcely know where to
look for a more graceful dedication in verse. It is said that Goethe
never acknowledged the compliment,--an omission which some German
authors attribute to the latter's distaste at being surpassed on his
latest and (at that time) favorite field. No one familiar with Goethe's
life and works will accept this conjecture.

It is quite impossible to translate this poem literally, in the original
metre: the rhymes are exclusively feminine. I am aware that I shall
shock ears familiar with the original by substituting masculine rhymes
in the two stanzas which I present; but there is really no alternative.

    "Would you taste
    Purest East,
    Hence depart, and seek the selfsame man
    Who our West
    Gave the best
    Wine that ever flowed from Poet's can:
    When the Western flavors ended,
    He the Orient's vintage spended,--
    Yonder dreams he on his own divan!

    Goethe led
    Star to be of all the sunset-land:
    Now the higher
    Makes him lord of all the morning-land!
    Where the two, together turning,
    Meet, the rounded heaven is burning
    Rosy-bright in one celestial brand!"

I have not the original edition of the "Oriental Roses," but I believe
the volume contained the greater portion of Rückert's marvellous
"Ghazels." Count Platen, it is true, had preceded him by one year, but
his adaptation of the Persian metre to German poetry--light and graceful
and melodious as he succeeded in making it--falls far short of Rückert's
infinite richness and skill. One of the latter's "Ghazels" contains
twenty-six variations of the same rhyme, yet so subtly managed, so
colored with the finest reflected tints of Eastern rhetoric and fancy,
that the immense art implied in its construction is nowhere unpleasantly
apparent. In fact, one dare not say that these poems are _all_ art. In
the Oriental measures the poet found the garment which best fitted his
own mind. We are not to infer that he did not move joyously, and, after
a time, easily, within the limitations which, to most authors, would
have been intolerable fetters.

In 1826 appeared his translation of the _Makamât_ of Hariri. The old
silk-merchant of Bosrah never could have anticipated such an
immortality. The word _Makamât_ means "sessions," (probably the Italian
_conversazione_ best translates it,) but is applied to a series of short
narratives, or rather anecdotes, told alternately in verse and rhymed
prose, with all the brilliance of rhetoric, the richness of
alliteration, antithesis, and imitative sound, and the endless
grammatical subtilties of which the Arabic language is capable. The work
of Hariri is considered the unapproachable model of this style of
narrative throughout all the East. Rückert called his translation "The
Metamorphoses of Abou-Seyd of Serudj,"--the name of the hero of the
story. In this work he has shown the capacity of one language to
reproduce the very spirit of another with which it has the least
affinity. Like the original, the translation can never be surpassed: it
is unique in literature.

As the acrobat who has mastered every branch of his art, from the
spidery contortions of the India-rubber man to the double somersault and
the flying trapeze, is to the well-developed individual of ordinary
muscular habits, so is the language of Rückert in this work to the
language of all other German authors. It is one perpetual gymnastic show
of grammar, rhythm, and fancy. Moods, tenses, antecedents, appositions,
whirl and flash around you, to the sound of some strange, barbaric
music. Closer and more rapidly they link, chassez, and "cross hands,"
until, when you anticipate a hopeless tangle, some bold, bright word
leaps unexpectedly into the throng, and resolves it to instant harmony.
One's breath is taken away, and his brain made dizzy, by any half-dozen
of the "Metamorphoses." In this respect the translation has become a
representative work. The Arabic title, misunderstood, has given birth
to a German word. Daring and difficult rhymes are now frequently termed
_Makamen_ in German literary society.

Rückert's studies were not confined to the Arabic and Persian languages;
he also devoted many years to the Sanskrit. In 1828 appeared his
translation of "Nal and Damayanti," and some years later, "Hamasa, or
the oldest Arabian Poetry," and "Amrilkaïs, Poet and King." In addition
to these translations, he published, between the years 1835 and 1840,
the following original poems, or collections of poems, on Oriental
themes,--"Legends of the Morning-Land" (2 vols.), "Rustem and Sohrab,"
and "Brahminical Stories." These poems are so bathed in the atmosphere
of his studies, that it is very difficult to say which are his own
independent conceptions, and which the suggestions of Eastern poets.
Where he has borrowed images or phrases, (as sometimes from the Koran,)
they are woven, without any discernible seam, into the texture of his
own brain.

Some of Rückert's critics have asserted that his extraordinary mastery
of all the resources of language operated to the detriment of his
poetical faculty,--that the feeling to be expressed became subordinate
to the skill displayed by expressing it in an unusual form. They claim,
moreover, that he produced a mass of sparkling fragments, rather than
any single great work. I am convinced, however, that the first charge is
unfounded, basing my opinion upon my knowledge of the poet's simple,
true, tender nature, which I learned to appreciate during my later
visits to his home. After the death of his wife, the daughter who
thereafter assumed her mother's place in the household wrote me frequent
accounts of her father's grief and loneliness, enclosing manuscript
copies of the poems in which he expressed his sorrow. These poems are
exceedingly sweet and touching; yet they are all marked by the same
flexile use of difficult rhythms and unprecedented rhymes. They have
never yet been published, and I am therefore withheld from translating
any one of them, in illustration.

Few of Goethe's minor songs are more beautiful than his serenade, _O
gib' vom weichen Pfühle_, where the interlinked repetitions are a
perpetual surprise and charm; yet Rückert has written a score of more
artfully constructed and equally melodious songs. His collection of
amatory poems entitled _Liebesfrühling_ contains some of the sunniest
idyls in any language. That his genius was lyrical and not epic, was not
a fault; that it delighted in varied and unusual metres, was an
exceptional--perhaps in his case a phenomenal--form of development; but
I do not think it was any the less instinctively natural. One of his
quatrains runs:--

    "Much I make as make the others;
      Better much another man
    Makes than I; but much, moreover,
      Make I which no other can."

His poetical comment on the translation of Hariri is given in
prose:--"He who, like myself, unfortunate man! is philologist and poet
in the same person, cannot do better than to translate as I do. My
Hariri has illustrated how philology and poetry are competent to
stimulate and to complete each other. If thou, reader, wilt look upon
this hybrid production neither too philologically nor over-poetically,
it may delight and instruct thee. That which is false in philology thou
wilt attribute to poetic license, and where the poetry is deficient,
thou wilt give the blame to philology."

The critics who charge Rückert with never having produced "a whole,"
have certainly forgotten one of his works,--"The Wisdom of the Brahmin,
a Didactic Poem, in Fragments." The title somewhat describes its
character. The "fragments" are couplets, in iambic hexameter, each one
generally complete in itself, yet grouped in sections by some connecting
thought, after the manner of the stanzas of Tennyson's "In Memoriam."
There are more than _six thousand_ couplets, in all, divided into
twenty books,--the whole forming a mass of poetic wisdom, coupled with
such amazing wealth of illustration, that this one volume, if
sufficiently diluted, would make several thousand "Proverbial
Philosophies." It is not a book to read continuously, but one which, I
should imagine, no educated German could live without possessing. I
never open its pages without the certainty of refreshment. Its tone is
quietistic, as might readily be conjectured, but it is the calm of
serene reflection, not of indifference. No work which Rückert ever wrote
so strongly illustrates the incessant activity of his mind. Half of
these six thousand couplets are terse and pithy enough for proverbs, and
their construction would have sufficed for the lifetime of many poets.

With the exception of "Kaiser Barbarossa," and two or three other
ballads, the amatory poems of Rückert have attained the widest
popularity among his countrymen. Many of the love-songs have been set to
music by Mendelssohn and other composers. Their melody is of that
subtile, delicate quality which excites a musician's fancy, suggesting
the tones to which the words should be wedded. Precisely for this reason
they are most difficult to translate. The first stanza may, in most
cases, be tolerably reproduced; but as it usually contains a refrain,
which is repeated to a constantly varied rhyme, throughout the whole
song or poem, the labor at first becomes desperate, and then impossible.
An example (the original of which I possess, in the author's manuscript)
will best illustrate this particular difficulty. Here the metre and the
order of rhyme have been strictly preserved, except in the first and
third lines.

    "He came to meet me
    In rain and thunder;
    My heart 'gan beating
    In timid wonder:
    Could I guess whether
    Thenceforth together
    Our paths should run, so long asunder?

    "He came to meet me
    In rain and thunder,
    With guile to cheat me,--
    My heart to plunder.
    Was't mine he captured?
    Or his I raptured?
    Half-way both met, in bliss and wonder!

    "He came to meet me
    In rain and thunder:
    Spring-blessings greet me
    Spring-blossoms under.
    What though he leave me?
    No partings grieve me,--
    No path can lead our hearts asunder!"

The Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan, (whose translations from the
German comprise both the best and the worst specimens I have yet found,)
has been successful in rendering one of Rückert's ghazels. I am
specially tempted to quote it, on account of the curious general
resemblance (accidental, no doubt) which Poe's "Lenore" bears to it.

    "I saw her once, a little while, and then no more:
    'T was Eden's light on earth awhile, and then no more.
    Amid the throng she passed along the meadow-floor;
    Spring seemed to smile on earth awhile, and then no more,
    But whence she came, which way she went, what garb she wore,
    I noted not; I gazed awhile, and then no more.

    "I saw her once, a little while, and then no more:
    'T was Paradise on earth awhile, and then no more.
    Ah! what avail my vigils pale, my magic lore?
    She shone before mine eyes awhile, and then no more.
    The shallop of my peace is wrecked on Beauty's shore;
    Near Hope's fair isle it rode awhile, and then no more.

    "I saw her once, a little while, and then no more:
    Earth looked like Heaven a little while, and then no more.
    Her presence thrilled and lighted to its inmost core
    My desert breast a little while, and then no more.
    So may, perchance, a meteor glance at midnight o'er
    Some ruined pile a little while, and then no more.

    "I saw her once, a little while and then no more:
    The earth was Eden-land awhile, and then no more.
    O, might I see but once again, as once before,
    Through chance or wile, that shape awhile, and then no more!
    Death soon would heal my grief: this heart, now sad and sore,
    Would beat anew, a little while, and then no more!"

Here, nevertheless, something is sacrificed. The translation is by no
means literal, and lacks the crispness and freshness of Oriental
antithesis. Rückert, I fear, will never be as fortunate as Hariri of

When, in 1856, I again visited Germany, I received a friendly message
from the old poet, with a kind invitation to visit him. Late in November
I found him, apparently unchanged in body and spirit,--simple,
enthusiastic, and, in spite of his seclusion, awake to all the movements
of the world. One of his married sons was then visiting him, so that the
household was larger and livelier than usual; but, as he sat, during the
evening, in his favorite arm-chair, with pipe and beer, he fell into the
same brilliant, wise strain of talk, undisturbed by all the cheerful
young voices around him.

The conversation gradually wandered away from the Orient to the modern
languages of Europe. I remarked the special capacity of the German for
descriptions of forest scenery,--of the feeling and sentiment of deep,
dark woods, and woodland solitudes.

"May not that be," said he, "because the race lived for centuries in
forests? A language is always richest in its epithets for those things
with which the people who speak it are most familiar. Look at the many
terms for 'horse' and 'sword' in Arabic."

"But the old Britons lived also in forests," I suggested.

"I suspect," he answered, "while the English language was taking shape,
the people knew quite as much of the sea as of the woods. You ought,
therefore, to surpass us in describing coast and sea-scenery, winds and
storms, and the motion of waves."

The idea had not occurred to me before, but I found it to be correct.

Though not speaking English, Rückert had a thorough critical knowledge
of the language, and a great admiration of its qualities. He admitted
that its chances for becoming the dominant tongue of the world were
greater than those of any other. Much that he said upon this subject
interested me greatly at the time, but the substance of it has escaped

When I left, that evening, I looked upon his cheerful, faithful wife for
the last time. Five years elapsed before I visited Coburg again, and she
died in the interval. In the summer of 1861 I had an hour's conversation
with him, chiefly on American affairs, in which he expressed the keenest
interest. He had read much, and had a very correct understanding of the
nature of the struggle. He was buried in his studies, in a small house
outside of the village, where he spent half of every day alone, and
inaccessible to every one; but his youngest daughter ventured to summon
him away from his books.

Two years later (in June, 1863) I paid my last visit to Neuses. He had
then passed his seventy-fifth birthday; his frame was still unbent, but
the waves of gray hair on his shoulders were thinner, and his step
showed the increasing feebleness of age. The fire of his eye was
softened, not dimmed, and the long and happy life that lay behind him
had given his face a peaceful, serene expression, prophetic of a gentle
translation into the other life that was drawing near. So I shall always
remember him,--scholar and poet, strong with the best strength of a man,
yet trustful and accessible to joy as a child.

Notwithstanding the great amount of Rückert's contributions to
literature during his life, he has left behind him a mass of poems and
philological papers (the latter said to be of great interest and value)
which his accomplished son, Professor Rückert of the University of
Breslau, is now preparing for publication.


[B] The reader may be curious to see how smoothly and naturally these
dactyls (so forced in the translation) flow in the original:--

    "Aus der staubigen
    In den laubigen
    Frischen Lenz--
    Aus dem tosenden
    Zu dem kosenden
    Wer sich rettete,
    Dank's dem Glück,
    Wie mich bettete
    Mein Geschick!"



Concord, _August 5, 1842._--A rainy day,--a rainy day. I am commanded to
take pen in hand, and I am therefore banished to the little
ten-foot-square apartment misnamed my study; but perhaps the dismalness
of the day and the dulness of my solitude will be the prominent
characteristics of what I write. And what is there to write about?
Happiness has no succession of events, because it is a part of eternity;
and we have been living in eternity ever since we came to this old
manse. Like Enoch, we seem to have been translated to the other state of
being, without having passed through death. Our spirits must have
flitted away unconsciously, and we can only perceive that we have cast
off our mortal part by the more real and earnest life of our souls.
Externally, our Paradise has very much the aspect of a pleasant old
domicile on earth. This antique house--for it looks antique, though it
was created by Providence expressly for our use, and at the precise time
when we wanted it--stands behind a noble avenue of balm-of-Gilead trees;
and when we chance to observe a passing traveller through the sunshine
and the shadow of this long avenue, his figure appears too dim and
remote to disturb the sense of blissful seclusion. Few, indeed, are the
mortals who venture within our sacred precincts. George Prescott, who
has not yet grown earthly enough, I suppose, to be debarred from
occasional visits to Paradise, comes daily to bring three pints of milk
from some ambrosial cow; occasionally, also, he makes an offering of
mortal flowers. Mr. Emerson comes sometimes, and has been feasted on our
nectar and ambrosia. Mr. Thoreau has twice listened to the music of the
spheres, which, for our private convenience, we have packed into a
musical box. E---- H----, who is much more at home among spirits than
among fleshly bodies, came hither a few times, merely to welcome us to
the ethereal world; but latterly she has vanished into some other region
of infinite space. One rash mortal, on the second Sunday after our
arrival, obtruded himself upon us in a gig. There have since been three
or four callers, who preposterously think that the courtesies of the
lower world are to be responded to by people whose home is in Paradise.
I must not forget to mention that the butcher comes twice or thrice a
week; and we have so far improved upon the custom of Adam and Eve, that
we generally furnish forth our feasts with portions of some delicate
calf or lamb, whose unspotted innocence entitles them to the happiness
of becoming our sustenance. Would that I were permitted to record the
celestial dainties that kind Heaven provided for us on the first day of
our arrival! Never, surely, was such food heard of on earth,--at least,
not by me. Well, the above-mentioned persons are nearly all that have
entered into the hallowed shade of our avenue; except, indeed, a certain
sinner who came to bargain for the grass in our orchard, and another who
came with a new cistern. For it is one of the drawbacks upon our Eden
that it contains no water fit either to drink or to bathe in; so that
the showers have become, in good truth, a godsend. I wonder why
Providence does not cause a clear, cold fountain to bubble up at our
doorstep; methinks it would not be unreasonable to pray for such a
favor. At present we are under the ridiculous necessity of sending to
the outer world for water. Only imagine Adam trudging out of Paradise
with a bucket in each hand, to get water to drink, or for Eve to bathe
in! Intolerable! (though our stout handmaiden really fetches our water).
In other respects Providence has treated us pretty tolerably well; but
here I shall expect something further to be done. Also, in the way of
future favors, a kitten would be very acceptable. Animals (except,
perhaps, a pig) seem never out of place, even in the most paradisiacal
spheres. And, by the way, a young colt comes up our avenue, now and
then, to crop the seldom-trodden herbage; and so does a company of cows,
whose sweet breath well repays us for the food which they obtain. There
are likewise a few hens, whose quiet cluck is heard pleasantly about the
house. A black dog sometimes stands at the farther extremity of the
avenue, and looks wistfully hitherward; but when I whistle to him, he
puts his tail between his legs, and trots away. Foolish dog! if he had
more faith, he should have bones enough.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Saturday, August 6._--Still a dull day, threatening rain, yet without
energy of character enough to rain outright. However, yesterday there
were showers enough to supply us well with their beneficent outpouring.
As to the new cistern, it seems to be bewitched; for, while the spout
pours into it like a cataract, it still remains almost empty. I wonder
where Mr. Hosmer got it; perhaps from Tantalus, under the eaves of whose
palace it must formerly have stood; for, like his drinking-cup in Hades,
it has the property of filling itself forever, and never being full.

After breakfast, I took my fishing-rod, and went down through our
orchard to the river-side; but as three or four boys were already in
possession of the best spots along the shore, I did not fish. This river
of ours is the most sluggish stream that I ever was acquainted with. I
had spent three weeks by its side, and swam across it every day, before
I could determine which way its current ran; and then I was compelled to
decide the question by the testimony of others, and not by my own
observation. Owing to this torpor of the stream, it has nowhere a
bright, pebbly shore, nor is there so much as a narrow strip of
glistening sand in any part of its course; but it slumbers along between
broad meadows, or kisses the tangled grass of mowing-fields and
pastures, or bathes the overhanging boughs of elder-bushes and other
water-loving plants. Flags and rushes grow along its shallow margin. The
yellow water-lily spreads its broad, flat leaves upon its surface; and
the fragrant white pond-lily occurs in many favored spots,--generally
selecting a situation just so far from the river's brink, that it cannot
be grasped except at the hazard of plunging in. But thanks be to the
beautiful flower for growing at any rate. It is a marvel whence it
derives its loveliness and perfume, sprouting as it does from the black
mud over which the river sleeps, and from which the yellow lily likewise
draws its unclean life and noisome odor. So it is with many people in
this world: the same soil and circumstances may produce the good and
beautiful, and the wicked and ugly. Some have the faculty of
assimilating to themselves only what is evil, and so they become as
noisome as the yellow water-lily. Some assimilate none but good
influences, and their emblem is the fragrant and spotless pond-lily,
whose very breath is a blessing to all the region round about.... Among
the productions of the river's margin, I must not forget the
pickerel-weed, which grows just on the edge of the water, and shoots up
a long stalk crowned with a blue spire, from among large green leaves.
Both the flower and the leaves look well in a vase with pond-lilies, and
relieve the unvaried whiteness of the latter; and, being all alike
children of the waters, they are perfectly in keeping with one

I bathe once, and often twice, a day in our river; but one dip into the
salt sea would be worth more than a whole week's soaking in such a
lifeless tide. I have read of a river somewhere (whether it be in
classic regions or among our Western Indians I know not) which seemed to
dissolve and steal away the vigor of those who bathed in it. Perhaps
our stream will be found to have this property. Its water, however, is
pleasant in its immediate effect, being as soft as milk, and always
warmer than the air. Its hue has a slight tinge of gold, and my limbs,
when I behold them through its medium, look tawny. I am not aware that
the inhabitants of Concord resemble their native river in any of their
moral characteristics. Their forefathers, certainly, seem to have had
the energy and impetus of a mountain torrent, rather than the torpor of
this listless stream,--as it was proved by the blood with which they
stained their river of Peace. It is said there are plenty of fish in it;
but my most important captures hitherto have been a mud-turtle and an
enormous eel. The former made his escape to his native element,--the
latter we ate; and truly he had the taste of the whole river in his
flesh, with a very prominent flavor of mud. On the whole, Concord River
is no great favorite of mine; but I am glad to have any river at all so
near at hand, it being just at the bottom of our orchard. Neither is it
without a degree and kind of picturesqueness, both in its nearness and
in the distance, when a blue gleam from its surface, among the green
meadows and woods, seems like an open eye in Earth's countenance.
Pleasant it is, too, to behold a little flat-bottomed skiff gliding over
its bosom, which yields lazily to the stroke of the paddle, and allows
the boat to go against its current almost as freely as with it.
Pleasant, too, to watch an angler, as he strays along the brink,
sometimes sheltering himself behind a tuft of bushes, and trailing his
line along the water, in hopes to catch a pickerel. But, taking the
river for all in all, I can find nothing more fit to compare it with,
than one of the half-torpid earth-worms which I dig up for bait. The
worm is sluggish, and so is the river,--the river is muddy, and so is
the worm. You hardly know whether either of them be alive or dead; but
still, in the course of time, they both manage to creep away. The best
aspect of the Concord is when there is a northwestern breeze curling its
surface, in a bright, sunshiny day. It then assumes a vivacity not its
own. Moonlight, also, gives it beauty, as it does to all scenery of
earth or water.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Sunday, August 7._--At sunset, last evening, I ascended the hill-top
opposite our house; and, looking downward at the long extent of the
river, it struck me that I had done it some injustice in my remarks.
Perhaps, like other gentle and quiet characters, it will be better
appreciated the longer I am acquainted with it. Certainly, as I beheld
it then, it was one of the loveliest features in a scene of great rural
beauty. It was visible through a course of two or three miles, sweeping
in a semicircle round the hill on which I stood, and being the central
line of a broad vale on either side. At a distance, it looked like a
strip of sky set into the earth, which it so etherealized and idealized
that it seemed akin to the upper regions. Nearer the base of the hill, I
could discern the shadows of every tree and rock, imaged with a
distinctness that made them even more charming than the reality;
because, knowing them to be unsubstantial, they assumed the ideality
which the soul always craves in the contemplation of earthly beauty. All
the sky, too, and the rich clouds of sunset, were reflected in the
peaceful bosom of the river; and surely, if its bosom can give back such
an adequate reflection of heaven, it cannot be so gross and impure as I
described it yesterday. Or if so, it shall be a symbol to me that even a
human breast, which may appear least spiritual in some aspects, may
still have the capability of reflecting an infinite heaven in its
depths, and therefore of enjoying it. It is a comfortable thought, that
the smallest and most turbid mud-puddle can contain its own picture of
heaven. Let us remember this, when we feel inclined to deny all
spiritual life to some people, in whom, nevertheless, our Father may
perhaps see the image of his face. This dull river has a deep religion
of its own: so, let us trust, has the dullest human soul, though,
perhaps, unconsciously.

The scenery of Concord, as I beheld it from the summit of the hill, has
no very marked characteristics, but has a great deal of quiet beauty, in
keeping with the river. There are broad and peaceful meadows, which, I
think, are among the most satisfying objects in natural scenery. The
heart reposes on them with a feeling that few things else can give,
because almost all other objects are abrupt and clearly defined; but a
meadow stretches out like a small infinity, yet with a secure homeliness
which we do not find either in an expanse of water or of air. The hills
which border these meadows are wide swells of land, or long and gradual
ridges, some of them densely covered with wood. The white village, at a
distance on the left, appears to be embosomed among wooded hills. The
verdure of the country is much more perfect than is usual at this season
of the year, when the autumnal hue has generally made considerable
progress over trees and grass. Last evening, after the copious showers
of the preceding two days, it was worthy of early June, or, indeed, of a
world just created. Had I not then been alone, I should have had a far
deeper sense of beauty, for I should have looked through the medium of
another spirit. Along the horizon there were masses of those deep clouds
in which the fancy may see images of all things that ever existed or
were dreamed of. Over our old manse, of which I could catch but a
glimpse among its embowering trees, appeared the immensely gigantic
figure of a hound, crouching down, with head erect, as if keeping
watchful guard while the master of the mansion was away.... How sweet it
was to draw near my own home, after having lived homeless in the world
so long!... With thoughts like these, I descended the hill, and
clambered over the stone wall, and crossed the road, and passed up our
avenue, while the quaint old house put on an aspect of welcome.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, August 8._--I wish I could give a description of our house, for
it really has a character of its own, which is more than can be said of
most edifices in these days. It is two stories high, with a third story
of attic chambers in the gable roof. When I first visited it, early in
June, it looked pretty much as it did during the old clergyman's
lifetime, showing all the dust and disarray that might be supposed to
have gathered about him in the course of sixty years of occupancy. The
rooms seemed never to have been painted; at all events, the walls and
panels, as well as the huge crossbeams, had a venerable and most dismal
tinge of brown. The furniture consisted of high-backed, short-legged,
rheumatic chairs, small, old tables, bedsteads with lofty posts, stately
chests of drawers, looking-glasses in antique black frames, all of which
were probably fashionable in the days of Dr. Ripley's predecessor. It
required some energy of imagination to conceive the idea of transforming
this ancient edifice into a comfortable modern residence. However, it
has been successfully accomplished. The old Doctor's sleeping apartment,
which was the front room on the ground floor, we have converted into a
parlor; and, by the aid of cheerful paint and paper, a gladsome carpet,
pictures and engravings, new furniture, _bijouterie_, and a daily supply
of flowers, it has become one of the prettiest and pleasantest rooms in
the whole world. The shade of our departed host will never haunt it; for
its aspect has been changed as completely as the scenery of a theatre.
Probably the ghost gave one peep into it, uttered a groan, and vanished
forever. The opposite room has been metamorphosed into a store-room.
Through the house, both in the first and second story, runs a spacious
hall or entry, occupying more space than is usually devoted to such a
purpose in modern times. This feature contributes to give the whole
house an airy, roomy, and convenient appearance; we can breathe the
freer by the aid of the broad passage-way. The front door of the hall
looks up the stately avenue, which I have already mentioned; and the
opposite door opens into the orchard, through which a path descends to
the river. In the second story we have at present fitted up three rooms,
one being our own chamber, and the opposite one a guest-chamber, which
contains the most presentable of the old Doctor's ante-Revolutionary
furniture. After all, the moderns have invented nothing better, as
chamber furniture, than these chests of drawers, which stand on four
slender legs, and rear an absolute tower of mahogany to the ceiling, the
whole terminating in a fantastically carved summit. Such a venerable
structure adorns our guest-chamber. In the rear of the house is the
little room which I call my study, and which, in its day, has witnessed
the intellectual labors of better students than myself. It contains,
with some additions and alterations, the furniture of my bachelor-room
in Boston; but there is a happier disposal of things now. There is a
little vase of flowers on one of the book-cases, and a larger bronze
vase of graceful ferns that surmounts the bureau. In size the room is
just what it ought to be; for I never could compress my thoughts
sufficiently to write in a very spacious room. It has three windows, two
of which are shaded by a large and beautiful willow-tree, which sweeps
against the overhanging eaves. On this side we have a view into the
orchard, and beyond, a glimpse of the river. The other window is the one
from which Mr. Emerson, the predecessor of Dr. Ripley, beheld the first
fight of the Revolution,--which he might well do, as the British troops
were drawn up within a hundred yards of the house; and on looking forth,
just now, I could still perceive the western abutments of the old
bridge, the passage of which was contested. The new monument is visible
from base to summit.

Notwithstanding all we have done to modernize the old place, we seem
scarcely to have disturbed its air of antiquity. It is evident that
other wedded pairs have spent their honeymoons here, that children have
been born here, and people have grown old and died in these rooms,
although for our behoof the same apartments have consented to look
cheerful once again. Then there are dark closets, and strange nooks and
corners, where the ghosts of former occupants might hide themselves in
the daytime, and stalk forth when night conceals all our sacrilegious
improvements. We have seen no apparitions as yet; but we hear strange
noises, especially in the kitchen, and last night, while sitting in the
parlor, we heard a thumping and pounding as of somebody at work in my
study. Nay, if I mistake not, (for I was half asleep,) there was a sound
as of some person crumpling paper in his hand in our very bedchamber.
This must have been old Dr. Ripley with one of his sermons. There is a
whole chest of them in the garret; but he need have no apprehensions of
our disturbing them. I never saw the old patriarch myself, which I
regret, as I should have been glad to associate his venerable figure at
ninety years of age with the house in which he dwelt.

Externally the house presents the same appearance as in the Doctor's
day. It had once a coat of white paint; but the storms and sunshine of
many years have almost obliterated it, and produced a sober, grayish
hue, which entirely suits the antique form of the structure. To repaint
its reverend face would be a real sacrilege. It would look like old Dr.
Ripley in a brown wig. I hardly know why it is that our cheerful and
lightsome repairs and improvements in the interior of the house seem to
be in perfectly good taste, though the heavy old beams and high
wainscoting of the walls speak of ages gone by. But so it is. The
cheerful paper-hangings have the air of belonging to the old walls; and
such modernisms as astral lamps, card-tables, gilded Cologne-bottles,
silver taper-stands, and bronze and alabaster flower-vases, do not seem
at all impertinent. It is thus that an aged man may keep his heart warm
for new things and new friends, and often furnish himself anew with
ideas; though it would not be graceful for him to attempt to suit his
exterior to the passing fashions of the day.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 9._--Our orchard in its day has been a very productive and
profitable one; and we were told, that in one year it returned Dr.
Ripley a hundred dollars, besides defraying the expense of repairing the
house. It is now long past its prime: many of the trees are moss-grown,
and have dead and rotten branches intermixed among the green and
fruitful ones. And it may well be so; for I suppose some of the trees
may have been set out by Mr. Emerson, who died in the first year of the
Revolutionary war. Neither will the fruit, probably, bear comparison
with the delicate productions of modern pomology. Most of the trees seem
to have abundant burdens upon them; but they are homely russet apples,
fit only for baking and cooking. (But we have yet to have practical
experience of our fruit.) Justice Shallow's orchard, with its choice
pippins and leather-coats, was doubtless much superior. Nevertheless, it
pleases me to think of the good minister, walking in the shadows of
these old, fantastically-shaped apple-trees, here plucking some of the
fruit to taste, there pruning away a too luxuriant branch, and all the
while computing how many barrels may be filled, and how large a sum will
be added to his stipend by their sale. And the same trees offer their
fruit to me as freely as they did to him,--their old branches, like
withered hands and arms, holding out apples of the same flavor as they
held out to Dr. Ripley in his lifetime. Thus the trees, as living
existences, form a peculiar link between the dead and us. My fancy has
always found something very interesting in an orchard. Apple-trees, and
all fruit-trees, have a domestic character which brings them into
relationship with man. They have lost, in a great measure, the wild
nature of the forest-tree, and have grown humanized by receiving the
care of man, and by contributing to his wants. They have become a part
of the family; and their individual characters are as well understood
and appreciated as those of the human members. One tree is harsh and
crabbed, another mild; one is churlish and illiberal, another exhausts
itself with its free-hearted bounties. Even the shapes of apple-trees
have great individuality, into such strange postures do they put
themselves, and thrust their contorted branches so grotesquely in all
directions. And when they have stood around a house for many years, and
held converse with successive dynasties of occupants, and gladdened
their hearts so often in the fruitful autumn, then it would seem almost
sacrilege to cut them down.

Besides the apple-trees, there are various other kinds of fruit in close
vicinity to the house. When we first arrived, there were several trees
of ripe cherries, but so sour that we allowed them to wither upon the
branches. Two long rows of currant-bushes supplied us abundantly for
nearly four weeks. There are a good many peach-trees, but all of an old
date,--their branches rotten, gummy, and mossy,--and their fruit, I
fear, will be of very inferior quality. They produce most abundantly,
however,--the peaches being almost as numerous as the leaves; and even
the sprouts and suckers from the roots of the old trees have fruit upon
them. Then there are pear-trees of various kinds, and one or two
quince-trees. On the whole, these fruit-trees, and the other items and
adjuncts of the place, convey a very agreeable idea of the outward
comfort in which the good old Doctor must have spent his life.
Everything seems to have fallen to his lot that could possibly be
supposed to render the life of a country clergyman easy and prosperous.
There is a barn, which probably used to be filled, annually, with his
hay and other agricultural products. There are sheds, and a hen-house,
and a pigeon-house, and an old stone pig-sty, the open portion of which
is overgrown with tall weeds, indicating that no grunter has recently
occupied it.... I have serious thoughts of inducting a new incumbent in
this part of the parsonage. It is our duty to support a pig, even if we
have no design of feasting upon him; and, for my own part, I have a
great sympathy and interest for the whole race of porkers, and should
have much amusement in studying the character of a pig. Perhaps I might
try to bring out his moral and intellectual nature, and cultivate his
affections. A cat, too, and perhaps a dog, would be desirable additions
to our household.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 10._--The natural taste of man for the original Adam's
occupation is fast developing itself in me. I find that I am a good deal
interested in our garden, although, as it was planted before we came
here, I do not feel the same affection for the plants that I should if
the seed had been sown by my own hands. It is something like nursing and
educating another person's children. Still, it was a very pleasant
moment when I gathered the first string-beans, which were the earliest
esculent that the garden contributed to our table. And I love to watch
the successive development of each new vegetable, and mark its daily
growth, which always affects me with surprise. It is as if something
were being created under my own inspection, and partly by my own aid.
One day, perchance, I look at my bean-vines, and see only the green
leaves clambering up the poles; again, to-morrow, I give a second
glance, and there are the delicate blossoms; and a third day, on a
somewhat closer observation, I discover the tender young beans, hiding
among the foliage. Then, each morning, I watch the swelling of the pods,
and calculate how soon they will be ready to yield their treasures. All
this gives a pleasure and an ideality, hitherto unthought of, to the
business of providing sustenance for my family. I suppose Adam felt it
in Paradise; and, of merely and exclusively earthly enjoyments, there
are few purer and more harmless to be experienced. Speaking of beans, by
the way, they are a classical food, and their culture must have been the
occupation of many ancient sages and heroes. Summer-squashes are a very
pleasant vegetable to be acquainted with. They grow in the forms of urns
and vases,--some shallow, others deeper, and all with a beautifully
scalloped edge. Almost any squash in our garden might be copied by a
sculptor, and would look lovely in marble, or in china; and, if I could
afford it, I would have exact imitations of the real vegetable as
portions of my dining-service. They would be very appropriate dishes for
holding garden-vegetables. Besides the summer-squashes, we have the
crook-necked winter-squash, which I always delight to look at, when it
turns up its big rotundity to ripen in the autumn sun. Except a pumpkin,
there is no vegetable production that imparts such an idea of warmth and
comfort to the beholder. Our own crop, however, does not promise to be
very abundant; for the leaves formed such a superfluous shade over the
young blossoms, that most of them dropped off without producing the germ
of fruit. Yesterday and to-day I have cut off an immense number of
leaves, and have thus given the remaining blossoms a chance to profit by
the air and sunshine; but the season is too far advanced, I am afraid,
for the squashes to attain any great bulk, and grow yellow in the sun.
We have muskmelons and watermelons, which promise to supply us with as
many as we can eat. After all, the greatest interest of these vegetables
does not seem to consist in their being articles of food. It is rather
that we love to see something born into the world; and when a great
squash or melon is produced, it is a large and tangible existence, which
the imagination can seize hold of and rejoice in. I love, also, to see
my own works contributing to the life and well-being of animate nature.
It is pleasant to have the bees come and suck honey out of my
squash-blossoms, though, when they have laden themselves, they fly away
to some unknown hive, which will give me back nothing in return for what
my garden has given them. But there is much more honey in the world, and
so I am content. Indian corn, in the prime and glory of its verdure, is
a very beautiful vegetable, both considered in the separate plant, and
in a mass in a broad field, rustling, and waving, and surging up and
down in the breeze and sunshine of a summer afternoon. We have as many
as fifty hills, I should think, which will give us an abundant supply.
Pray Heaven that we may be able to eat it all! for it is not pleasant to
think that anything which Nature has been at the pains to produce should
be thrown away. But the hens will be glad of our superfluity, and so
will the pigs, though we have neither hens nor pigs of our own. But hens
we must certainly keep. There is something very sociable, and quiet, and
soothing, too, in their soliloquies and converse among themselves; and,
in an idle and half-meditative mood, it is very pleasant to watch a
party of hens picking up their daily subsistence, with a gallant
chanticleer in the midst of them. Milton had evidently contemplated such
a picture with delight.

I find that I have not given a very complete idea of our garden,
although it certainly deserves an ample record in this chronicle, since
my labors in it are the only present labors of my life. Besides what I
have mentioned, we have cucumber-vines, which to-day yielded us the
first cucumber of the season, a bed of beets, and another of carrots,
and another of parsnips and turnips, none of which promise us a very
abundant harvest. In truth, the soil is worn out, and, moreover,
received very little manure this season. Also, we have cabbages in
superfluous abundance, inasmuch as we neither of us have the least
affection for them; and it would be unreasonable to expect Sarah, the
cook, to eat fifty head of cabbages. Tomatoes, too, we shall have by and
by. At our first arrival, we found green peas ready for gathering, and
these, instead of the string-beans, were the first offering of the
garden to our board.

TO J. B.



    Fit for an Abbot of Theleme,
    For the whole Cardinals' College, or
    The Pope himself to see in dream
    Before his lenten vision gleam,
    He lies there,--the sogdologer!


    His precious flanks with stars besprent,
    Worthy to swim in Castaly!
    The friend by whom such gifts are sent,--
    For him shall bumpers full be spent,--
    His health! be Luck his fast ally!


    I see him trace the wayward brook
    Amid the forest mysteries,
    Where at themselves shy aspens look,
    Or where, with many a gurgling crook,
    It croons its woodland histories.


    I see leaf-shade and sun-fleck lend
    Their tremulous, sweet vicissitude
    To smooth, dark pool, to crinkling bend,--
    (O, stew him, Ann, as 't were your friend,
    With amorous solicitude!)


    I see him step with caution due,
    Soft as if shod with moccasins,
    Grave as in church,--and who plies you,
    Sweet craft, is safe as in a pew
    From all our common stock o' sins.


    The unerring fly I see him cast,
    That as a rose-leaf falls as soft,--
    A flash! a whirl! he has him fast!
    We tyros,--how that struggle last
    Confuses and appalls us oft!


    Unfluttered he; calm as the sky
    Looks on our tragicomedies,
    This way and that he lets him fly,
    A sunbeam-shuttle, then to die
    Lands him with cool _aplomb_, at ease.


    The friend who gave our board such gust,--
    Life's care, may he o'erstep it half,
    And when Death hooks him, as he must,
    He'll do it featly, as I trust,
    And J. H. write his epitaph!


    O, born beneath the Fishes' sign,
    Of constellations happiest,
    May he somewhere with Walton dine,
    May Horace send him Massic wine,
    And Burns Scotch drink,--the nappiest!


    And when they come his deeds to weigh,
    And how he used the talents his,
    One trout-scale in the scales he'll lay,
    (If trout had scales,) and 't will outsway
    The wrong side of the balances.



A year or two ago I published in the Atlantic Monthly, as part of a
series of geological sketches, a number of articles on the glacial
phenomena of the Northern hemisphere. To-day I am led to add a new
chapter to that strange history, taken from the Southern hemisphere, and
even from the tropics themselves.

I am prepared to find that the statement of this new phase of the
glacial period will awaken among my scientific colleagues an opposition
even more violent than that by which the first announcement of my views
on this subject was met. I am, however, willing to bide my time; feeling
sure that, as the theory of the ancient extension of glaciers in Europe
has gradually come to be accepted by geologists, so will the existence
of like phenomena, both in North and South America, during the same
epoch, be recognized sooner or later as part of a great series of
physical events extending over the whole globe. Indeed, when the ice
period is fully understood, it will be seen that the absurdity lies in
supposing that climatic conditions so intense could be limited to a
small portion of the world's surface. If the geological winter existed
at all, it must have been cosmic; and it is quite as rational to look
for its traces in the Western as in the Eastern hemisphere, to the south
of the equator as to the north of it. Impressed by this wider view of
the subject, confirmed by a number of unpublished investigations which I
have made during the last three or four years in the United States, I
came to South America, expecting to find in the tropical regions new
evidences of a by-gone glacial period, though, of course, under
different aspects. Such a result seemed to me the logical sequence of
what I had already observed in Europe and in North America.

On my arrival in Rio de Janeiro,--the port at which I first landed in
Brazil,--my attention was immediately attracted by a very peculiar
formation, consisting of an ochraceous, highly ferruginous sandy clay.
During a stay of three months in Rio, whence I made many excursions into
the neighboring country, I had opportunities of studying this deposit,
both in the province of Rio de Janeiro and in the adjoining province of
Minas Geraes. I found that it rested everywhere upon the undulating
surfaces of the solid rocks in place, was almost entirely destitute of
stratification, and contained a variety of pebbles and boulders. The
pebbles were chiefly quartz, sometimes scattered indiscriminately
throughout the deposit, sometimes lying in a seam between it and the
rock below; while the boulders were either sunk in its mass or resting
loose on the surface. At Tijuca, a few miles out of the city of Rio,
among the picturesque hills lying to the southwest of it, these
phenomena may be seen in great perfection. Near Bennett's Hotel--a
favorite resort, not only with the citizens of Rio, but with all
sojourners there who care to leave the town occasionally for its
beautiful environs--may be seen a great number of erratic boulders,
having no connection whatever with the rock in place, and also a bluff
of this superficial deposit studded with boulders, resting above the
partially stratified metamorphic rock. Other excellent opportunities for
observing this formation, also within easy reach from the city, are
afforded along the whole line of the Railroad of Dom Pedro Segundo,
where the cuts expose admirable sections, showing the red, unstratified,
homogeneous mass of sandy clay resting above the solid rock, and often
divided from it by a thin bed of pebbles. There can be no doubt, in the
mind of any one familiar with similar facts observed in other parts of
the world, that this is one of the many forms of drift connected with
glacial action. I was, however, far from anticipating, when I first met
it in the neighborhood of Rio, that I should afterwards find it
spreading over the surface of the country, from north to south and from
east to west, with a continuity which gives legible connection to the
whole geological history of the continent.

It is true that the extensive decomposition of the underlying rock,
penetrating sometimes to a considerable depth, makes it often difficult
to distinguish between it and the drift; and the problem is made still
more puzzling by the fact that the surface of the drift, when baked by
exposure to the hot sun, often assumes the appearance of decomposed
rock, so that great care is required for a correct interpretation of the
facts. A little practice, however, trains the eye to read these
appearances aright, and I may say that I have learned to recognize
everywhere the limit between the two formations. There is indeed one
safe guide, namely, the undulating line, reminding one of _roches
moutonnées_,[C] and marking the irregular surface of the rock on which
the drift was accumulated; whatever modifications the one or the other
may have undergone, this line seems never to disappear. Another
deceptive feature, arising from the frequent disintegration of the rocks
and from the brittle character of some of them, is the presence of loose
fragments, which simulate erratic boulders, but are in fact only
detached masses of the rock in place. A careful examination of their
structure, however, will at once show the geologist whether they belong
where they are found, or have been brought from a distance to their
present resting-place.

But while the features to which I have alluded are unquestionably drift
phenomena, they present in their wider extension, and especially in the
northern part of Brazil, as will hereafter be seen, some phases of
glacial action hitherto unobserved. Just as the investigation of the ice
period in the United States has shown us that ice-fields may move over
open level plains, as well as along the slopes of mountain valleys, so
does a study of the same class of facts in South America reveal new and
unlooked-for features in the history of the ice period. Some will say,
that the fact of the advance of ice-fields over an open country is by no
means established, inasmuch as many geologists believe all the so-called
glacial traces, viz. striæ, furrows, polish, etc., found in the United
States, to have been made by floating icebergs at a time when the
continent was submerged. To this I can only answer, that in the State of
Maine I have followed, compass in hand, the same set of furrows, running
from north to south in one unvarying line, over a surface of one hundred
and thirty miles from the Katahdin Iron Range to the sea-shore. These
furrows follow all the inequalities of the country, ascending ranges of
hills varying from twelve to fifteen hundred feet in height, and
descending into the intervening valleys only two or three hundred feet
above the sea, or sometimes even on a level with it. I take it to be
impossible that a floating mass of ice should travel onward in one
rectilinear direction, turning neither to the right nor to the left, for
such a distance. Equally impossible would it be for a detached mass of
ice, swimming on the surface of the water, or even with its base sunk
considerably below it, to furrow in a straight line the summits and
sides of the hills, and the beds of the valleys. It would be carried
over the depressions without touching bottom. Instead of ascending the
mountains, it would remain stranded against any elevation which rose
greatly above its own basis, and, if caught between two parallel ridges,
would float up and down between them. Moreover, the action of solid,
unbroken ice, moving over the ground in immediate contact with it, is so
different from that of floating ice-rafts or icebergs, that, though the
latter have unquestionably dropped erratic boulders, and made furrows
and striæ on the surface where they happened to be grounded, these
phenomena will easily be distinguished from the more connected traces of
glaciers, or extensive sheets of ice, resting directly upon the face of
the country and advancing over it.

There seems thus far to be an inextricable confusion, in the ideas of
many geologists, as to the respective action of currents, icebergs, and
glaciers. It is time they should learn to distinguish between classes of
facts so different from each other, and so easily recognized after the
discrimination has once been made. As to the southward movement of an
immense field of ice, extending over the whole north, it seems
inevitable, the moment we admit that snow may accumulate around the pole
in such quantities as to initiate a pressure radiating in every
direction. Snow, alternately thawing and freezing, must, like water,
find its level at last. A sheet of snow ten or fifteen thousand feet in
thickness, extending all over the northern and southern portions of the
globe, must necessarily lead, in the end, to the formation of a northern
and southern cap of ice, moving toward the equator.

I have spoken of Tijuca and the Dom Pedro Railroad as favorable
localities for studying the peculiar southern drift; but one meets it in
every direction. A sheet of drift, consisting of the same homogeneous,
unstratified paste, and containing loose materials of all sorts and
sizes, covers the country. It is of very uneven thickness,--sometimes
thrown into relief, as it were, by the surrounding denudations, and
rising into hills,--sometimes reduced to a thin layer,--sometimes, as,
for instance, on steep slopes, washed entirely away, leaving the bare
face of the rock exposed. It has, however, remained comparatively
undisturbed on some very abrupt ascents; as, for instance, on the
Corcovado, along the path leading up the mountain, are some very fine
banks of drift,--the more striking from the contrast of their deep red
color with the surrounding vegetation. I have myself followed this sheet
of drift from Rio de Janeiro to the top of the Serra do Mar, where, just
outside the pretty town of Petropolis, the river Piabanha may be seen
flowing between banks of drift, in which it has excavated its bed;
thence I have traced it along the beautiful macadamized road leading to
Juiz de Fora in the province of Minas Geraes, and beyond this to the
farther side of the Serra da Babylonia. Throughout this whole tract of
country, in the greater part of which travelling is easy and
delightful,--an admirable line of diligences, over one of the finest
roads in the world, being established as far as Juiz de Fora,--the drift
may be seen along the roadside, in immediate contact with the native
crystalline rock. The fertility of the land, also, is a guide to the
presence of drift. Wherever it lies thickest over the surface, there are
the most flourishing coffee-plantations; and I believe that a more
systematic regard to this fact would have a most beneficial influence
upon the agricultural interests of the country. No doubt the fertility
arises from the great variety of chemical elements contained in the
drift, and the kneading process it has undergone beneath the gigantic
ice-plough,--a process which makes glacial drift everywhere the most
fertile soil. Since my return from the Amazons, my impression as to the
general distribution of these phenomena has been confirmed by the
reports of some of my assistants, who have been travelling in other
parts of the country. Mr. Frederick C. Hartt, accompanied by Mr.
Copeland, one of the volunteer aids of the expedition, has been making
collections and geological observations in the province of Spiritu
Santo, in the valley of the Rio Doce, and afterwards in the valley of
the Mucury. He informs me that he has found everywhere the same sheet
of red, unstratified clay, with pebbles and occasional boulders,
overlying the rock in place. Mr. Orestes St. John, who, taking the road
through the interior, has visited, with the same objects in view, the
valleys of the Rio San Francisco and the Rio das Velhas, and also the
valley of Piauhy, gives the same account, with the exception that he
found no erratic boulders in these more northern regions. The rarity of
erratic boulders, not only in the deposits of the Amazons proper, but in
those of the whole region which may be considered as the Amazonian
basin, is accounted for, as we shall see hereafter, by the mode of their
formation. The observations of Mr. Hartt and Mr. St. John are the more
valuable, because I had employed them both, on our first arrival in Rio,
in making geological surveys of different sections on the Dom Pedro
Railroad, so that they had a great familiarity with those formations
before starting on their separate journeys. Recently, Mr. St. John and
myself having met at Pará on returning from our respective journeys, I
have had an opportunity of comparing on the spot his geological sections
from the valley of the Piauhy with the Amazonian deposits. There can be
no doubt of the absolute identity of the formations in these valleys.

Having arranged the work of my assistants, and sent several of them to
collect and make geological examinations in other directions, I myself,
with the rest of my companions, proceeded up the coast to Pará. I was
surprised to find at every step of my progress the same geological
phenomena which had met me at Rio. As the steamer stops for a number of
hours, or sometimes for a day or two, at Bahia, Maceio, Pernambuco,
Parahiba, Natal, Ceara, and Maranham, I had many opportunities for
observation. It was my friend Major Coutinho, already an experienced
Amazonian traveller, who first told me that this formation continued
through the whole valley of the Amazons, and was also to be found on all
of its affluents which he had visited, although he had never thought of
referring it to so recent a period. And here let me interrupt the course
of my remarks to say, that the facts recorded in this article are by no
means exclusively the result of my own investigations. They are in great
part due to this able and intelligent young Brazilian, a member of the
government corps of engineers, who, by the kindness of the Emperor, was
associated with me in my Amazonian expedition. I can truly say that he
has been my good genius throughout the whole journey, saving me, by his
previous knowledge of the ground, from the futile and misdirected
expenditure of means and time often inevitable in a new country, where
one is imperfectly acquainted both with the people and their language.
We have worked together in this investigation; my only advantage over
him being my greater familiarity with like phenomena in Europe and North
America, and consequent readiness in the practical handling of the
facts, and in perceiving their connection. Major Coutinho's assertion,
that on the banks of the Amazons I should find the same red,
unstratified clay as in Rio and along the southern coast, seemed to me
at first almost incredible, impressed as I was with the generally
received notions as to the ancient character of the Amazonian deposits,
referred by Humboldt to the Devonian, and by Martins to the Triassic
period, and considered by all travellers to be at least as old as the
Tertiaries. The result, however, confirmed his report, at least so far
as the component materials of the formation are concerned; but, as will
be seen hereafter, the mode of their deposition, and the time at which
it took place, have not been the same at the north and south; and this
difference of circumstances has modified the aspect of a formation
essentially the same throughout. At first sight, it would indeed appear
that this formation, as it exists in the valley of the Amazons, is
identical with that of Rio; but it differs from it in the rarity of its
boulders, and in showing occasional signs of stratification. It is also
everywhere underlaid by coarse, well-stratified deposits, resembling
somewhat the recife of Bahia and Pernambuco; whereas the unstratified
drift of the south rests immediately upon the undulating surface of
whatever rock happens to make the foundation of the country, whether
stratified or crystalline. The peculiar sandstone on which the Amazonian
clay rests exists nowhere else. Before proceeding, however, to describe
the Amazonian deposits in detail, I ought to say something of the nature
and origin of the valley itself.

The Valley of the Amazons was first sketched out by the elevation of two
tracts of land; namely, the plateau of Guiana on the north, and the
central plateau of Brazil on the south. It is probable that, at the time
these two table-lands were lifted above the sea-level, the Andes did not
exist, and the ocean flowed between them through an open strait. It
would seem (and this is a curious result of modern geological
investigations) that the portions of the earth's surface earliest raised
above the ocean have trended from east to west. The first tract of land
lifted above the waters in North America was also a long continental
island, running from Newfoundland almost to the present base of the
Rocky Mountains. This tendency may be attributed to various causes,--to
the rotation of the earth, the consequent depression of its poles, and
the breaking of its crust along the lines of greatest tension thus
produced. At a later period, the upheaval of the Andes took place,
closing the western side of this strait, and thus transforming it into a
gulf, open only toward the east. Little or nothing is known of the
earlier stratified deposits resting against the crystalline masses first
uplifted in the Amazonian Valley. There is here no sequence, as in North
America, of Azoic, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous formations,
shored up against each other by the gradual upheaval of the continent,
although unquestionably older palæozoic and secondary beds underlie,
here and there, the later formations. Indeed, Major Coutinho has found
palæozoic deposits, with characteristic shells, in the valley of the Rio
Tapajos, at the first cascade, and carboniferous deposits have been
noticed along the Rio Guapore and the Rio Marnore. But the first chapter
in the valley's geological history about which we have connected and
trustworthy data is that of the cretaceous period. It seems certain,
that, at the close of the secondary age, the whole Amazonian basin
became lined with a cretaceous deposit, the margins of which crop out at
various localities on its borders. They have been observed along its
southern limits, on its western outskirts along the Andes, in Venezuela
along the shore-line of mountains, and also in certain localities near
its eastern edge. I well remember that one of the first things which
awakened my interest in the geology of the Amazonian Valley was the
sight of some cretaceous fossil fishes from the province of Ceara. These
fossil fishes were collected by Mr. George Gardner, to whom science is
indebted for the most extensive information yet obtained respecting the
geology of that part of Brazil. In this connection, let me say that here
and elsewhere I shall speak of the provinces of Ceara, Piauhy, and
Maranham as belonging geologically to the Valley of the Amazons, though
their shore is bathed by the ocean, and their rivers empty directly into
the Atlantic. But I entertain no doubt, and I hope I may hereafter be
able to show, that, at an earlier period, the northeastern coast of
Brazil stretched much farther seaward than in our day; so far, indeed,
that in those times the rivers of all these provinces must have been
tributaries of the Amazon in its eastward course. The evidence for this
conclusion is substantially derived from the identity of the deposits in
the valleys belonging to these provinces with those of the valleys
through which the actual tributaries of the Amazons flow; as, for
instance, the Tocantins, the Xingu, the Tapajos, the Madura, etc.
Besides the fossils above alluded to from the eastern borders of this
ancient basin, I have had recently another evidence of its cretaceous
character from its southern region. Mr. William Chandless, on his return
from a late journey on the Rio Purus, presented me with a series of
fossil remains of the highest interest, and undoubtedly belonging to the
cretaceous period. They were collected by himself on the Rio Aquiry, an
affluent of the Rio Purus. Most of them were found in place between the
tenth and eleventh degrees of south latitude, and the sixty-seventh and
sixty-ninth degrees of west longitude from Greenwich, in localities
varying from 430 to 650 feet above the sea-level. There are among them
remains of Mososaurus, and of fishes closely allied to those already
represented by Faujas in his description of Maestricht, and
characteristic, as is well known to geological students, of the most
recent cretaceous period.

Thus in its main features the Valley of the Amazons, like that of the
Mississippi, is a cretaceous basin. This resemblance suggests a further
comparison between the twin continents of North and South America. Not
only is their general form the same, but their framework as we may call
it, that is, the lay of their great mountain-chains and of their
table-lands, with the extensive intervening depressions, presents a
striking similarity. Indeed, a zoölogist, accustomed to trace a like
structure under variously modified animal forms, cannot but have his
homological studies recalled to his mind by the coincidence between
certain physical features in the northern and southern parts of the
Western hemisphere. And yet here, as throughout all nature, these
correspondences are combined with a distinctness of individualization,
which leaves its respective character not only to each continent as a
whole, but also to the different regions circumscribed within its
borders. In both, however, the highest mountain-chains, the Rocky
Mountains and Coast Range with their wide intervening table-land in
North America, and the chain of the Andes with its lesser plateaus in
South America, run along the western coast; both have a great eastern
promontory,--Newfoundland in the northern continent, and Cape St. Roque
in the southern;--and though the resemblance between the inland
elevations is perhaps less striking, yet the Canadian range, the White
Mountains, and the Alleghanies may very fairly be compared to the
table-lands of Guiana and Brazil, and the Serra do Mar. Similar
correspondences may be traced among the river systems. The Amazons and
the St. Lawrence, though so different in dimensions, remind us of each
other by their trend and geographical position; and while the one is fed
by the largest river system in the world, the other drains the most
extensive lake surfaces known to exist in immediate contiguity. The
Orinoco, with its bay, recalls Hudson's Bay and its many tributaries,
and the Rio Magdalena may be said to be the South American Mackenzie;
while the Rio de la Plata represents geographically our Mississippi, and
the Paraguay recalls the Missouri. The Parana may be compared to the
Ohio; the Pilcomayo, Vermejo, and Salado rivers, to the River Platte,
the Arkansas, and the Red River in the United States; while the rivers
farther south, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico, represent the rivers of
Patagonia and the southern parts of the Argentine Republic. Not only is
there this general correspondence between the mountain elevations and
the river systems, but as the larger river basins of North
America--those of the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, and the
Mackenzie--meet in the low tracts extending along the foot of the Rocky
Mountains, so do the basins of the Amazons, the Rio de la Plata, and the
Orinoco join each other along the eastern slope of the Andes.

But while in geographical homology the Amazons compare with the St.
Lawrence, and the Mississippi with the Rio de la Plata, the Mississippi
and the Amazons, as has been said, resemble each other in their local
geological character. They have both received a substratum of cretaceous
beds, above which are accumulated their more recent deposits, so that,
in their most prominent geological features, both may be considered as
cretaceous basins, containing extensive deposits of a very recent age.
Of the history of the Amazonian Valley during the periods immediately
following the Cretaceous, we know little or nothing. Whether the
Tertiary deposits are hidden under the more modern ones, or whether they
are wholly wanting, the basin having, perhaps, been raised above the
sea-level before that time, or whether they have been swept away by the
tremendous inundations in the valley, which have certainly destroyed a
great part of the cretaceous deposit, they have never been observed in
any part of the Amazonian basin. Whatever tertiary deposits are
represented in geological maps of this region are so marked in
consequence of an incorrect identification of strata belonging, in fact,
to a much more recent period.

A minute and extensive survey of the Valley of the Amazons is by no
means an easy task, and its difficulty is greatly increased by the fact
that the lower formations are only accessible on the river margins
during the _vasante_, as it is called, or dry season, when the waters
shrink in their beds, leaving a great part of their banks exposed. It
happened that the first three or four months of my journey, August,
September, October, and November, were those when the waters are
lowest,--reaching their minimum in September and October, and beginning
to rise again in November,--so that I had an excellent opportunity in
ascending the river to observe its geological structure. Throughout its
whole length, three distinct geological formations may be traced, the
two lower of which have followed in immediate succession, and are
conformable with one another, while the third rests unconformably upon
them, following all the inequalities of the greatly denudated surface
presented by the second formation. Notwithstanding this seeming
interruption in the sequence of these deposits, the third, as we shall
presently see, belongs to the same series, and was accumulated in the
same basin. The lowest set of beds of the whole series is rarely
visible, but it seems everywhere to consist of sandstone, or even of
loose sands well stratified, the coarser materials lying invariably
below, and the finer above. Upon this lower set of beds rests everywhere
an extensive deposit of fine laminated clays, varying in thickness, but
frequently dividing into layers as thin as a sheet of paper. In some
localities they exhibit in patches an extraordinary variety of beautiful
colors,--pink, orange, crimson, yellow, gray, blue, and also black and
white. The Indians are very skilful in preparing paints from these
colored clays, with which they ornament their pottery, and the bowls of
various shapes and sizes made from the fruit of the Cuieira-tree. These
clay deposits assume occasionally a peculiar appearance, and one which
might mislead the observer as to their true nature. When their surface
has been long exposed to the action of the atmosphere and to the heat of
the burning sun, they look so much like clay slates of the oldest
geological epochs, that, at first sight, I took them for primary slates,
my attention being attracted to them by a regular cleavage as distinct
as that of the most ancient clay slates. And yet at Tonantins, on the
banks of the Solimoens, in a locality where their exposed surfaces had
this primordial appearance, I found in these very beds a considerable
amount of well-preserved leaves, the character of which proves their
recent origin. These leaves do not even indicate as ancient a period as
the Tertiaries, but resemble so closely the vegetation of to-day, that I
have no doubt, when examined by competent authority, they will be
identified with living plants. The presence of such an extensive clay
formation, stretching over a surface of more than three thousand miles
in length and about seven hundred in breadth, is not easily explained
under any ordinary circumstances. The fact that it is so thoroughly
laminated shows that, in the basin in which it was formed, the waters
must have been unusually quiet, containing identical materials
throughout, and that these materials must have been deposited over the
whole bottom in the same way. It is usually separated from the
superincumbent beds by a glazed crust of hard, compact sandstone, almost
resembling a ferruginous quartzite.

Upon this follow beds of sand and sandstone, varying in the regularity
of their strata, reddish in color, often highly ferruginous, and more or
less nodulous or porous. They present frequent traces of
cross-stratification, alternating with regularly stratified horizontal
beds, with here and there an intervening layer of clay. It would seem as
if the character of the water basin had now changed, and as if the
waters under which this second formation was deposited had vibrated
between storm and calm,--had sometimes flowed more gently, and again had
been tossed to and fro,--giving to some of the beds the aspect of true
torrential deposits. Indeed, these sandstone formations present a great
variety of aspects. Sometimes they are very regularly laminated, or
assume even the appearance of the hardest quartzite. This is usually the
case with the uppermost beds. In other localities, and more especially
in the lowermost beds, the whole mass is honeycombed, as if drilled by
worms or boring shells, the hard parts enclosing softer sands or clays.
Occasionally the ferruginous materials prevail to such an extent, that
some of these beds might be mistaken for bog ore, while others contain a
large amount of clay, more regularly stratified, and alternating with
strata of sandstone, thus recalling the most characteristic forms of the
Old Red or Triassic formations. This resemblance has, no doubt, led to
the identification of the Amazonian deposits with the more ancient
formations of Europe. At Monte Alegre, of which I shall presently speak
more in detail, such a clay bed divides the lower from the upper
sandstone. The thickness of these sandstones is extremely variable. In
the basin of the Amazons proper, they hardly rise anywhere above the
level of high water during the rainy season, while at low water, in the
summer months, they maybe seen everywhere along the river-banks. It will
be seen, however, that the limit between high and low water gives no
true measure of the original thickness of the whole series.

In the neighborhood of Almeirim, at a short distance from the northern
bank of the river, and nearly parallel with its course, there rises a
line of low hills, interrupted here and there, but extending in evident
connection from Almeirim through the region of Monte Alegre to the
heights of Obidos. These hills have attracted the attention of
travellers, not only from their height, which appears greater than it
is, because they rise abruptly from an extensive plain, but also on
account of their curious form, many of them being perfectly level on
top, like smooth tables, and very abruptly divided from each other by
low, intervening spaces.[D] Nothing has hitherto been known of the
geological structure of these hills, but they have been usually
represented as the southernmost spurs of the table-land of Guiana. On
ascending the river, I felt the greatest curiosity to examine them; but
at the time I was deeply engrossed in studying the distribution of
fishes in the Amazonian waters, and in making large ichthyological
collections, for which it was very important not to miss the season of
low water, when the fishes are most easily obtained. I was, therefore,
obliged to leave this most interesting geological problem, and content
myself with examining the structure of the valley so far as it could be
seen on the river-banks and in the neighborhood of my different
collecting stations. On my return, however, when my collections were
completed, I was free to pursue this investigation, in which Major
Coutinho was as much interested as myself. We determined to select Monte
Alegre as the centre of our exploration, the serra in that region being
higher than elsewhere. As I was detained by indisposition at Manaos, for
some days, at the time we had appointed for the excursion, Major
Coutinho preceded me, and had already made one trip to the serra, with
some very interesting results, when I joined him, and we made a second
journey together.

Monte Alegre lies on a side arm of the Amazons, a little off from its
main course. This side arm, called the Rio Gurupatuba, is simply a
channel running parallel with the Amazons, and cutting through from a
higher to a lower point. Its dimensions are, however, greatly
exaggerated in all the maps thus far published, where it is usually made
to appear as a considerable northern tributary of the Amazons. The town
stands on an elevated terrace, separated from the main stream by the Rio
Gurupatuba, and by an extensive flat, consisting of numerous lakes
divided from each other by low alluvial land, and mostly connected by
narrow channels. To the west of the town, this terrace sinks abruptly to
a wide sandy plain called the Campos, covered with a low forest growth,
and bordered on its farther limit by the picturesque serra of Erreré.
The form of this mountain is so abrupt, its rise from the plain so bold
and sudden, that it seems more than twice its real height. Judging by
the eye, and comparing it with the mountains I had last seen,--the
Corcovado, the Gavia and Tijuca range in the neighborhood of Rio,--I had
supposed it to be three or four thousand feet high, and was greatly
astonished when our barometric observations showed it to be somewhat
less than nine hundred feet in its most elevated point. This, however,
agrees with Martins's measurement of the Almeirim hills, which he says
are eight hundred feet in height.

Major Coutinho and I reached the serra by different roads; he crossing
the Campos on horseback with Captain Faria, the commander of our
steamer, and one or two other friends from Monte Alegre, who joined our
party, while I went by canoe. The canoe journey is somewhat longer. A
two hours' ride across the Campos brings you to the foot of the
mountain, whereas the trip by boat takes more than twice that time. But
I preferred going by water, as it gave me an opportunity of seeing the
vast variety of animals haunting the river-banks and lakes. As this was
almost the only occasion in all my journey when I passed a day in the
pure enjoyment of nature, without the labor of collecting,--which in
this hot climate, where specimens require such immediate and constant
attention, is very great,--I am tempted to interrupt our geology for a
moment, to give an account of it. I learned how rich a single day may be
in this wonderful tropical world, if one's eyes are only open to the
wealth of animal and vegetable life. Indeed, a few hours so spent in the
field, in simply watching animals and plants, teaches more of the
distribution of life than a month of closet study; for under such
circumstances all things are seen in their true relations. Unhappily, it
is not easy to present the picture as a whole, for all our written
descriptions are more or less dependent on nomenclature, and the local
names are hardly known out of the districts where they belong, while
systematic names are familiar to few.

I started before daylight; but, as the dawn began to redden the sky,
large flocks of ducks, and of the small Amazonian geese, might be seen
flying towards the lakes. Here and there a cormorant sat alone on the
branch of a dead tree, or a kingfisher poised himself over the water,
watching for his prey. Numerous gulls were gathered in large companies
on the trees along the river-shore; alligators lay on its surface,
diving with a sudden plash at the approach of our canoe; and
occasionally a porpoise emerged from the water, showing himself for a
moment and then disappearing again. Sometimes we startled a herd of
capivara, resting on the water's edge; and once we saw a sloth, sitting
upon the branch of an Imbauba (Cecropia) tree, rolled up in its peculiar
attitude, the very picture of indolence, with its head sunk between its
arms. Much of the river-shore consisted of low alluvial land, and was
covered with that peculiar and beautiful grass known as Capim; this
grass makes an excellent pasturage for cattle, and the abundance of it
in this region renders the district of Monte Alegre very favorable for
agricultural purposes. Here and there, where the red clay soil rose
above the level of the water, a palm-thatched cabin stood on the low
bluff, with a few trees about it. Such a house was usually the centre of
a cattle farm, and large herds might be seen grazing in the adjoining
fields. Along the river-banks, where the country is chiefly open, with
extensive low marshy grounds, the only palm to be seen is the Maraja.
After keeping along the Rio Gurupatuba for some distance, we turned to
the right into a narrow stream, which has the character of an Igarapé in
its lower course, though higher up it drains the country between the
serra of Erreré and that of Tajury, and assumes the appearance of a
small river. It is named after the serra, and is known as the Rio
Erreré. This stream, narrow and picturesque, and often so overgrown with
capim that the canoe pursued its course with difficulty, passed through
a magnificent forest of the beautiful fan-palm, called here the Miriti
(_Mauritia flexuosa_). This forest stretched for miles, overshadowing,
as a kind of underbrush, many smaller trees and innumerable shrubs, some
of which bore bright, conspicuous flowers. It seemed to me a strange
spectacle,--a forest of monocotyledonous trees with a dicotyledonous
undergrowth; the inferior plants thus towering above and sheltering the
superior ones. Among the lower trees were many Leguminosæ,--one of the
most striking, called Fava, having a colossal pod. The whole mass of
vegetation was woven together by innumerable lianas and creeping vines,
in the midst of which the flowers of the Bignonia, with its open,
trumpet-shaped corolla, were conspicuous. The capim was bright with the
blossoms of the mallow growing in its midst, and was often edged with
the broad-leaved Aninga, a large aquatic Arum.

Through such a forest, where the animal life was no less rich and varied
than the vegetation, our boat glided slowly for hours. The number and
variety of birds struck me with astonishment. The coarse sedgy grasses
on either side were full of water birds, one of the most common of which
was a small chestnut-brown wading bird, the Jaçana (Parra), whose toes
are immensely long in proportion to its size, enabling it to run upon
the surface of the aquatic vegetation, as if it were solid ground. It
was in the month of January, their breeding season, and at every turn of
the boat we started them up in pairs. Their flat, open nests generally
contained five flesh-colored eggs, streaked in zigzag with dark brown
lines. The other waders were a snow-white heron, another ash-colored,
smaller species, and a large white stork. The ash-colored herons were
always in pairs, the white one always single, standing quiet and alone
on the edge of the water, or half hidden in the green capim. The trees
and bushes were full of small warbler-like birds, which it would be
difficult to characterize separately. To the ordinary observer they
might seem like the small birds of our woods; but there was one species
among them which attracted my attention by its numbers, and also because
it builds the most extraordinary nest, considering the size of the bird
itself, that I have ever seen. It is known among the country people by
two names, as the Pedreiro or the Forneiro, both names referring, as
will be seen, to the nature of its habitation. This singular nest is
built of clay, and is as hard as stone (_pedra_), while it has the form
of the round mandioca oven (_forno_) in which the country people prepare
their farinha, or flour, made from the mandioca root. It is about a
foot in diameter, and stands edgewise upon a branch, or in the crotch of
a tree. Among the smaller birds, I noticed bright Tanagers, and also a
species resembling the Canary. Besides these, there were the wagtails,
the black and white widow finches, the hang-nests, or Japé, as they are
called here, with their pendent bag-like dwellings, and the familiar
"Bem ti vi." Humming-birds, which we are always apt to associate with
tropical vegetation, were very scarce. I saw but a few specimens.
Thrushes and doves were more frequent, and I noticed also three or four
kinds of woodpeckers. Of these latter there were countless numbers along
our canoe path, flying overhead in dense crowds, and, at times, drowning
every other sound in their high, noisy chatter.

These made a deep impression upon me. Indeed, in all regions, however
far away from his own home, in the midst of a fauna and flora entirely
new to him, the traveller is startled occasionally by the song of a bird
or the sight of a flower so familiar that it transports him at once to
woods where every tree is like a friend to him. It seems as if something
akin to what in our own mental experience we call reminiscence or
association existed in the workings of nature; for though the organic
combinations are so distinct in different climates and countries, they
never wholly exclude each other. Every zoölogical and botanical province
retains some link which binds it to all the rest, and makes it part of
the general harmony. The Arctic lichen is found growing under the shadow
of the palm on the rocks of the tropical serra, and the song of the
thrush and the tap of the woodpecker mingle with the sharp discordant
cries of the parrot and paroquet.

Birds of prey, also, were not wanting. Among them was one about the size
of our kite, and called the Red Hawk, which was so tame that, even when
our canoe passed immediately under the low branch on which he was
sitting, he did not fly away. But of all the groups of birds, the most
striking as compared with corresponding groups in the temperate zone,
and the one which reminded me the most directly of the fact that every
region has its peculiar animal world, was that of the gallinaceous
birds. The most frequent is the Cigana, to be seen in groups of fifteen
or twenty, perched upon trees overhanging the water, and feeding upon
berries. At night they roost in pairs, but in the daytime are always in
larger companies. In their appearance they have something of the
character of both the pheasant and peacock, and yet do not closely
resemble either. It is a curious fact, that, with the exception of some
small partridge-like gallinaceous birds, all the representatives of this
family in Brazil, and especially in the Valley of the Amazons, belong to
types which do not exist in other parts of the world. Here we find
neither pheasants, nor cocks of the woods, nor grouse; but in their
place abound the Mutun, the Jaçu, the Jacami, and the Unicorn (Crax,
Penelope, Psophia, and Palamedea), all of which are so remote from the
gallinaceous types found farther north, that they remind one quite as
much of the bustard, and other ostrich-like birds, as of the hen and
pheasant. They differ also from Northern gallinaceous birds in the
greater uniformity of the sexes, none of them exhibiting those striking
differences between the males and females which we see in the pheasants,
the cocks of the woods, and in our barn-yard fowls. While birds abounded
in such numbers, insects were rather scarce. I saw but few and small
butterflies, and beetles were still more rare. The most numerous insects
were the dragon-flies,--some with crimson bodies, black heads, and
burnished wings,--others with large green bodies, crossed by blue bands.
Of land shells I saw but one creeping along the reeds; and of water
shells I gathered only a few small Ampullariæ.

Having ascended the river to a point nearly on a line with the serra, I
landed, and struck across the Campos on foot. Here I entered upon an
entirely different region,--a dry, open plain, with scanty vegetation.
The most prominent plants were clusters of cactus and curua palms, a
kind of stemless, low palm, with broad, elegant leaves springing
vase-like from the ground. In these dry, sandy fields, rising gradually
toward the serra, I observed in the deeper gullies formed by the heavy
rains the laminated clays which are everywhere the foundation of the
Amazonian strata. They here presented again so much the character of
ordinary clay slates, that I thought I had at last come upon some old
geological formation. Instead of this I only obtained fresh evidence
that, by baking them, the burning sun of the tropics may produce upon
laminated clays of recent origin the same effect as plutonic agents have
produced upon the ancient clays, that is, it may change them into
metamorphic slates. As I approached the serra, I was again reminded how,
under the most dissimilar circumstances, similar features recur
everywhere in nature. I came suddenly upon a little creek, bordered with
the usual vegetation of such shallow water-courses, and on its brink
stood a sand-piper, which flew away at my approach, uttering its
peculiar cry, so like what one hears at home that, had I not seen him, I
should have recognized him by his voice.

After an hour's walk under the scorching sun, I was glad to find myself
at the hamlet of Erreré, near the foot of the serra, where I rejoined my
companions. It was already noon, and they had arrived some time before.
They had, however, waited breakfast for me, to which we all brought a
good appetite. Breakfast over, we slung our hammocks under the trees,
and during the heat of the day enjoyed the rest which we had so richly


[C] The name consecrated by De Saussure to designate certain rocks in
Switzerland, which have had their surfaces rounded under the action of
the glaciers. Their gently swelling outlines are thought to resemble
sheep resting on the ground, and for this reason the people in the Alps
call them _roches moutonnées_.

[D] The atlas in Martins's "Journey to Brazil," or the sketch
accompanying Bates's description of these hills in his "Naturalist on
the Amazons," will give an idea of their aspect.


And a very large bundle it was, as it lay, in _disjecta membra_, before
the astonished eyes of the first learned palæontologist who gazed, in
wondering delight, on its strange proportions. As it rears its ungainly
form some eighteen feet above us, Madam, you may gather some idea of
what it was in its native forests, I don't know how many hundreds of
thousands of years ago. You need not snuggle up to me so, Tommy. The
creature is not alive, unless it is enjoying Sydney Smith's idea of
comfort, and, having taken off its flesh, is airing itself in its bones.
Megatherium was a very proper name for it, if not a very common one; for
_large animal_ it was, beyond any dispute, and could scarcely have been
much of a pet with the human beings of old, unless "there were giants in
those days," and enormous ones at that. How Owen must have gloated over
that treasure-trove! Captain Kyd's buried booty would have been worse
trash to him than Iago's stolen purse, beside this unearthed deposit of
an antediluvian age. Its missing caudal vertebræ would outweigh now, in
his anatomical scales, all the hidden gains of the whole race of
pirates, past, present, and to come. Think of those bones with all the
original muscle upon them! Why, they would outweigh all the worthy
members of the Boston Society of Natural History together, unless they
are uncommonly obese. Where could Noah have stowed a pair of such
enormous beasts, supposing that they existed as late as when the ark was
launched? Sloth, indeed! I am inclined to think the five or six tons of
flesh these bones must have carried round might reasonably permit the
bearer to rank, on _a priori_ reasons, among the most confirmed of
sluggards, even if Owen and Agassiz and Wyman had not so decided on
strictly scientific, anatomical grounds.

My dear Madam, does it ever occur to you, when you wonderingly gaze on
the strange relics around this hall,--these stony skeletons, these
silent remnants of extinct races, that you are face to face with
rock-buried creatures, who lived and sported and mated, who basked in
the sunlight and breathed in the air of this world, hundreds of
thousands of years before you were thought of? who rested in the shade
of the trees which made the coal that warms you to-day? who trod the
soft mud which now builds in solid strength the dwellings which shelter
you? who darted through the deep waters that foamed over a bed now
raised into snow-capped mountains? who frolicked on a shore now piled
with miles of massive rock? whose bones were petrifactions untold ages
before the race was born which built the Pyramids? Do you really
understand how far back into antiquity these grim fossils bear you? Can
you really conceive of Nature, our dear, kind, gentle mother, in those
early throes of her maternity which brought forth Megatheria and
Ichthyosauri,--when the "firm and rock-built earth" was tilted into
mountain ranges, wrinkled by earthquakes, and ploughed by mighty hills
of moving ice? And yet in those distant days, which have left their
ripple-marks and rain-drops in the weighty stone, there was life, warm,
breathing, sentient life, which, dying, traced its own epitaph on its
massive tomb. Shakespeare, Cæsar, Brahma, Noah, Adam, lived but
yesterday compared with these creatures, whose stone-bound bones were
buried in the sands that drifted on the shores of this world centuries
before the first man drew into his nostrils the breath of life. Does the
thought ever occur to you, that, ages hence, some enthusiastic student
of nature may puzzle his brains over the bones of some such humble
individuals as you and I, and wonder to what manner of creature they
belonged? Or that, perched upon the shelves of some museum in the year
500000, they may be treasures of an unknown past to the Owens and Wymans
of that day?

You wish I would not talk so?--Well, Madam, let us leave this mausoleum
of the past, and come forth into the life of 1866; and let us see
whether all the _disjecta membra_ of extinct being are ranged around the
walls of this classic hall, or whether we may not find something akin
near our own snug and comfortable homes. I think I know some hardened
hearts which have ossified around the soft emotions which in earlier
years played therein. And, bless you, Madam, I meet every day, in my
down-town walks, some strange animated fossils, more repellent than any
I ever beheld in the Natural History cabinet. These bear the unfamiliar
look which belongs to a fabulous age, and rest, silent and unobtrusive,
in their half-opened cerements. The others wear a very familiar form,
which belongs to our day, yet they are the exponents of a dead life
which animated the buried bones of barbarism. The innocent Megatheria
and Ichthyosauri crawled and paddled and died in their day; but these
living fossils have the vital forms of the life above ground, while they
bear within the psychical peculiarities of extinct beings. They creep
about on the shores of time with the outward shapes of their fellows,
and, when buried in its rising waves, will leave undistinguishable
remains in their common tomb; and future explorers will never trace
therein the evanescent peculiarities in which the two were so unlike.

Bones! Why, the whole earth is a big bundle of them. They are not only
in graveyards, where "mossy marbles rest"; they are strewn, "unknelled,
uncoffined, and unknown," over the whole surface of the globe, and lie
embosomed in the gulfs of the great, restless ocean. Who knows what
untamed savage rests beneath us here? Don't start, my dear Madam. I have
no doubt that, when Tommy plays bo-peep round the big tree on the
Common, he is tripping over the crania of some Indian sachems.
Goldsmith's seat, "for whispering lovers made," very likely rested on
some venerable, departed Roman; and many a Maypole has gone plump
through the thorax of some defunct Gaul. If the old story be true, that,
when we shudder, somebody is walking over our grave, what a shaking race
of beings our remote ancestors must have been!

My dear Madam, down in the green fields, the flowery meadows, the deep
woods, the damp swamps of the balmy South, are there not spread, to-day,
in grievous numbers, the bones of the noble, true-hearted heroes who
went forth in their strength and manhood to meet a patriot's fate? Will
not the future tread of those they ransomed be light and buoyant in the
long days of freedom yet to come? What will they know of the hallowed
remains over which they bound with glowing, happy hearts? Some little
Peterkin may find a bleached remnant of their heroism, and the Caspar of
that day will surely say, "It was a famous victory." Madam, you and I
would be content to have the children of the future gambol above us, if
we could know their blithesome hearts were emancipated from thraldom by
such deposit of our poor bones under the verdant sod. The stateliest
mausoleum of crowned kings, the Pyramids that mark the resting-place of
Egypt's ancient rulers, are not so proud a monument as the rich, green
herbage that springs from the remains of a fallen hero, and hides the
little feet that trip over him, freed by his fall. Let us rejoice, then,
Madam, that we belong to that nobler race, which no curious explorer of
the far future will rank with Megatheria and Ichthyosauri, or any of the
soulless creatures of past geologic ages.

Backbone is a most important article, Tommy. Professor Wyman will tell
you that backbone is the distinctive characteristic of the highest order
of animals on this earth. When your father used to pry into all sorts of
books, years ago, he found out that he belonged to the Vertebrata,
which, Anglicized, meant backboned creatures. And yet do you know that
there are crowds of men and women whose framework would puzzle the good
Professor, with all his learning,--people who are utterly destitute of
that same essential article? Carry him the first old bone you may find,
and, I warrant you, he will tell, in a jiffy, to what manner of creature
it belonged. But wouldn't he look bewildered upon a cranium and a pelvis
which perambulated the earth without any osseous connection? Backbone is
the grand fulcrum on which human life moves its inertia. But wouldn't
Professor Rogers, _facile princeps_ in physics, rub his nose, and look
in wonder, to see peripatetic motion induced without a sign of a fulcrum
for the lever of life to rest upon? And yet these anomalies are
plentiful. They are everywhere,--in houses, in churches, in stores, in
town, in country, on land, at sea, in public, in private,--extensive
sub-orders of mammalian Invertebrata. They crouch and crawl through the
world with pliant length. They wriggle through the knot-holes of fear
and policy, when their stouter-boned brethren oppose them. They creep
into corners and cracks when the giant, Progress, strides before them,
and quake at the thunder of his tread. They cling, trembling, to the old
mouldering scaffolding of the past, and look bewildered on the broad,
rising arches of the new temple of thought. They stand quivering in the
blast of opinion. And when Mrs. Grundy passes by, they back, like
hermit-crabs, into the first time-worn old shell of precedent they can
find, and hide there, shaking with dread.

My boy, strengthen well your backbone, that it may bear you upright and
onward in your career. Walk erect in this world with the stature and
aspect of a man. Tread forth alone with fearlessness and conscious
power. Bear up your God-given intelligence with unbending pride, that it
may look afar over the broad expanse of nature, and gaze with even eye
upon the mountain-heights of eternal truth. I am using words too big
for you? Well, one of these days you will understand them all, when your
little backbone has gathered more lime.

Bone has done some remarkable things in this world. There was that
little feat of Samson, in which he flourished the grinding apparatus of
a defunct donkey. It has always seemed to me, Madam, that that same
jaw-bone must have been either prodigiously strong and tough, or else
the Philistine crania must have been of very chartaceous texture. There
are the bones of the eleven thousand virgins,--the remains of ancient
virtue, and loveliness, and faith. Though, if all the stories of
travelled anatomists be true, there must have been some virgin heifers
among them; for many of them are certainly of bovine, and not human,

And then, Madam, do not the poor bones which have been strewn, for ages,
over the rolling earth, play sometimes a nobler part in their decay than
in their prime? The incrusted fragments, carefully treasured up in halls
of science, reveal to the broadening intelligence of man the story of
earth in its young days of mighty struggle, and tell of the sandy
shores, the rolling waters, the waving woods of a primeval time. Turning
back the stony tablets time has firmly bound, he views upon their
wrinkled sides its nature-printed figures,--relics that have there
remained, locked in the rocky sepulchre, built of crumbling mountains,
washed and worn by tides that ebbed and flowed a million years ago. Now,
opened to the eye of human thought, their crumbling forms bring tidings
of a distant, wondrous past, when they were all in all of sentient life
on earth. The thought they could not know, their dead remains have
wakened in the minds of a far nobler race, which was not born when they
lay down and died.

When travellers over far-reaching deserts are lost in the great waste
that shows no friendly, guiding sign, they sometimes find, half buried
in the shifting sands, the bleaching bones of some poor creature which
has fainted and fallen, left to its fate by the companions of its
journey. Then, taking heart, they cheerier move along, secure in the
forgotten path these silent relics show. Thus over life's drear desert
do we move, seeking the path that leads us on direct, and often guided
in our wandering way by the chance sight of lost and fallen ones, whose
sad remains our errant footsteps cross. Not always clad in soft, warm,
beating life do our bones perform their noblest purpose. Beauty may lure
to ruin, but, the witching charm removed, decay may waken sober thought
and high resolve. Poor Yorick might have set King Hamlet's table in a
roar and been forgot, if, from his unknown grave, the sexton had not
brought him forth, to teach an unborn age philosophy.

My dear Madam, I am really getting too serious, philosophic, and
melancholic. I had no idea, when I asked you down to the Natural History
Society rooms to see the great Megatherium, that I was either to bury or
resuscitate you in imagination. But I must have my moral, if I draw it
from such a lean text as crumbling bones. Let us hope that what we leave
behind us, when our journey over the drear expanse of mortal life shall
cease, may serve to guide some future wanderer in the devious way, and
lead him to the bright oasis of eternal life and rest.


A tour in Normandy is a very commonplace thing; and mine was not even a
tour in Normandy. In the six weeks which I spent there, I did not see as
many sights as an ordinary English tourist sees in ten days, or an
American, perhaps, in five. Going abroad in need of rest, I rambled
slowly about, sojourning at each place as long as I found it agreeable,
then moving on to another, avoiding the railroads, the tyranny of the
timetable, the flurry of packing up every morning. My time was divided
between some seven or eight places; and I stayed longest where there was
least, according to the guide-books, to be seen.

Travelling in this way, you at all events see something of the people;
that is, if you will live among them and fall in with their ways.

Normandy--at least the sequestered part of it in which most of my time
was passed--is a good country for a traveller minded as I was. The
scenery is not grand. It does not exact the highest admiration; but it
is, perhaps, not on that account the less suitable for the purpose of
those who seek repose. The country is very like the most rich and
beautiful parts of England. Its lanes and hedge-rows are indeed so
thoroughly English, as to suggest that it was laid out under influences
similar to those which determined the aspect of the country in England,
and unlike those which determined it in other parts of France. It is
well wooded; and as the trees stand not in masses, but in lines along
the hedge-rows, you see distinctly the form of each tree. This is one of
its characteristic features. The number of poplars interspersed with the
trees of rounder outline is another, and very grateful to the eye. The
general greenness rivals that of England. The valleys are wide, and the
views from the hill-tops very extensive. I am speaking chiefly of the
western part of Normandy: the parts about Caen approach more nearly to
the flatness, monotony, and dreary treelessness of ordinary French and
German scenery. The air is pure and bracing,--especially in the little
towns built on old castled heights. Why do we not always build our
towns, when we can, on heights, in what Shakespeare calls nimble and
sweet air?

The Norman towns are full of grand old churches, old castles, historic
memories, shadows of the past. In these, where I spent most of my
holiday, there are no garrisons, no Zouaves, no _fanfares_, no signs of
the presence of the empire, except occasionally the abode of a
_sous-préfet_. The province retains a good deal of its old character. In
the great towns, such as Rouen and Caen, the people are French; but in
the country they are Normans still. The French are sensible of the
difference, and do the Normans the honor (as, if I were a Norman, I
should think it) of acknowledging it by habitual flouts and sneers at
the "heavy" race who inhabit "the land of cider."

If you do not mind outward appearances,--if you have the resolution to
penetrate beyond a very dirty entrance, perhaps through the kitchen,
into the rooms within,--you may make yourself extremely comfortable in a
little Norman inn. You have only to behave to your landlord and landlady
as a guest, not as a customer, and you will find yourself treated with
the utmost civility and kindness. You will get a large, airy room, not
so tidy as an English room, but with a better bed, and excellent fare,
beginning with a delicious cup of _café au lait_ in the early
morning,--that is, if you choose to breakfast and dine at the _table
d'hôte_; for, if, like many English travellers, you insist on living in
English privacy, and taking your meals at English hours, all the
resources of the little establishment being expended on the public
meals, you will probably pay the penalty of your patriotic and stoical
adherence to the customs of your country.

In my passage from Weymouth to Normandy, I landed at Jersey. The little,
secluded bays of that island are the most perfect poetry of the sea.
They are types of the spot in which Horace, in his poetic mood of
imaginary misanthropy, wished to end his days.

    "Oblitusque meorum obliviscendus et illis
    Neptunum procul e terra spectare furentem."

I was told that the scenery of Guernsey was even more beautiful; but the
rough passage between the two islands is rather a heavy price to pay for
the enjoyment. The islands are curious from their old Norman character,
laws, and customs; their Norman _patois_; their system of small
proprietors, whose little holdings, divided from each other by high
hedges, cut the island into a multitude of paddocks; and the miniature
republicanism and universal suffrage which the inhabitants enjoy, though
under the paternal eye of an English governor, who, if the insects grew
too angry, would no doubt sprinkle a little dust. But all that is native
and original is fast being overlaid by the influx of English
residents,--unhappy victims of genteel pauperism flying from the heavy
taxes of England, which the Channel Islands escape; or, in not a few
cases, persons whose reputation has suffered some damage in their own
country. There are also a few exiles of a more honorable kind,--French
liberals, who have taken refuge from imperial tyranny under the shield
of English law,--the most illustrious of whom is Victor Hugo. The
Emperor would fain get hold of these men, and he is now trying to force
upon us a modification of the extradition treaty for that purpose. But
the sanctity of our asylum is a tradition dear to the English people,
and one which they will not be induced to betray. An attempt to change
the English law for the purposes of the French police was fatal to
Palmerston, at the height of his popularity and power.

The French government employs agents to decoy the refugees into
conspiracies, in order that it may obtain a pretext for criminal
proceedings against them. The fact has fallen under my personal
observation. To estimate the character of these practices, and of the
present attempt to tamper with the extradition treaty, we must remember
that Louis Napoleon himself long enjoyed, as a political refugee, the
shelter of the asylum which he is now endeavoring to subvert.

Jersey is studded with fortifications. England and France frown at each
other in arms from the neighboring coasts. I thought of poor Cobden, and
of the day when his policy shall finally prevail, as it begins to
prevail already, over these national divisions and jealousies; and when
there shall be at once a better and a cheaper security for the peace of
nations than fortresses bristling with the instruments of mutual
destruction. The Norman islands are of no use to England, while they
involve us in a large military expenditure. In a maritime war, we should
find it very difficult to defend dependencies so far from our coast and
so close to that of the enemy. But the people are loyal to England, and
very unwilling to be annexed to France.

Granville, where I landed in Normandy, is a hideous seaport; but its
hideousness was almost turned to beauty, on that golden afternoon, by
the bright French atmosphere, which can do for bad scenery what French
cookery does for bad meat. The royal and imperial roads of France are as
despotically straight as those of the Roman Empire. But it was a
pleasant evening drive to Avranches, through the rich champaign,--the
active little Norman horses trotting the sixteen miles merrily to the
jingling of their bells. The figure of the _gendarme_, in his cocked hat
and imposing uniform, setting out upon his rounds, tells me that I am in

Avranches stands on the steep and towering extremity of a line of hills,
commanding a most magnificent and varied view of land and sea, with
Mont St. Michel in the distance. Its cathedral must have occupied a
site as striking as the temple of Poseidon, on the headland of Sunium.
But of that cathedral nothing is now left but a heap of fragments, and a
stone, on which, fabling tradition says, Henry II. was reconciled to the
Church after the murder of Becket. It was pulled down in consequence of
the injuries it received at the time of the Revolution; and the bare
area where it stood is typical of that devastating tornado which swept
feudal and Catholic France out of existence. Where once the learned
Huetius lived and wrote, the house of the _sous-préfet_ now stands. The
building of churches, however, is going on actively in Avranches, and
attests the reviving influence of the priests. And one should be glad to
see the revival of any form of religion, however different from one's
own, in France, if it were not that this Church is so intensely
political, and that it presents Christianity as the ally of atheist and
sensualist despotism, and the enemy of morality, liberty, justice, and
the hopes of man. The French Cæsars, Napoleon I. and Napoleon III.,
though themselves absolutely devoid of any faith but the self-idolatry
which they call faith in their "star," find it politic, like the Roman
Cæsars, to have their official creed and their augurs.

I went to the distribution of prizes at the school of the Christian
Brothers. I had greatly admired the schools of the brotherhood in
Ireland, and felt an interest in their system, notwithstanding their
main object, like that of the famous Jesuit teachers of the sixteenth
century, was rather to proselytize than to educate. The ceremony was
thoroughly French, each boy being crowned with a tinsel wreath, and
kissed by one of the company when he was presented with his prize.
Everything, however, was arranged with the greatest taste and skill; and
the recitations and dialogues, by which the endless distribution of
prizes was relieved, were very cleverly and gracefully performed. Some
of them were comic. The one which made us laugh most was a dialogue
between a barber and a young gentleman who had come into his shop to be
shaved. The barber pausing with the razor in his hand, the young
gentleman asked him, angrily, why he did not begin. "I am waiting,"
replied the barber, "for your beard to grow." Specimens of writing were
handed round, which were good; drawings, which, strange to say, were
detestable. I praised the recitations and dialogues to the gentleman who
sat next me. "Ah! oui," was his reply, "tout cela vient de Paris." So
complete is the centralization of French intellect, even in such little
matters as these! While I was in France, some leading politicians were
attempting to set on foot a movement in favor of political
decentralization. They must begin deeper, if they would hope to succeed.

In Ireland, the Christian Brothers maintain the most purely spiritual
character, and the most complete independence of the state. But here,
alas! a different tendency peeped out. The alliance of a Jesuit Church
with the Empire, and the subserviency of education to their common
objects, were typified by the presence of the _sous-préfet_ and the
_maire_ in their gold-laced coats of office, who arrived escorted by a
guard of soldiers with fixed bayonets. The harangue of the reverend head
of the establishment was highly political, and amply merited by its
recommendations of the duty of obedience to authority the eulogy of the
_sous-préfet_ on "the good direction" which the brotherhood were giving
to the studies of youth. There is no garrison at Avranches. But all the
soldiers in the place seemed to have been collected to give a military
character to the scene. Other incentives of military aspiration were not
wanting; and the boy who delivered the allocution told us, amidst loud
applause, that he and his companions were being brought up to be, "not
only good Christians, but, in case of need, good soldiers."

In France under the Empire a military character is studiously given to
every act of public, and almost of social life. There you see
everywhere the pomp of war in the midst of peace, as in America you saw
everywhere peace in the midst of civil war. The images of war and
conquest are constantly kept before the eyes of a people naturally full
of military vanity, and now, by the decay alike of religious and
political faith, almost entirely bereft of all other aspirations. There
is at the same time a vast standing army, which is not occupied, as the
army of the Roman Empire was, in defending the frontiers, nor, as the
Austrian army is, in holding down disaffected provinces, and which is
full of the memory of the Napoleonic conquests, and longs again to
overrun and pillage Europe in the name of "glory." There is no
restraining influence either of morality or of religion to keep the war
spirit in check. The French priesthood are as ready as any priests of
Jupiter or Baal to bless national aggression, if by so doing they can
gain political power. In what can all this end? In what but a European
war? The children in the schools of the Christian Brothers are no doubt
faithfully taught the precepts of a religion of peace; but there is a
teaching of a different kind before their eyes, which, it is to be
feared, they more easily imbibe and less easily forget.

It was amusing, on this and other occasions, to see the state which
surrounds the subordinate officials of the Empire. I had found the head
of the American Republic and all its armaments without any insignia of
dignity, without a guard or attendants, in a common office room. And
here was a _sous-préfet_ parading the streets in solemn state, in a
gilded coat, and with a line of bayonets glittering on either hand.

From Avranches it is a pleasant walk (by the country road) to the
village of Ducie, where there is good fishing, a nice little village
inn, and a deserted chateau in the Louis Quatorze style, and of
sumptuous dimensions, which, if it was ever completely finished, is now
in a state of great dilapidation. No doubt it shared the fate of its
fellows, when the Revolution proclaimed "peace to the cottage, war to
the castle." The peasantry almost everywhere rose, like galley-slaves
whose chains had been suddenly struck off, and gutted the chateaux, the
strongholds of feudal extortion and injustice. How violent and sweeping
have been the revolutions of this people compared with those of the
stronger and more self-controlled race! In England, the Tudor mansions,
and not unfrequently even the feudal castles, are still tenanted by the
heirs, or by those who have peacefully purchased from the heirs, of
their ancient lords; and the insensible gradations by which the feudal
guard-room has softened down into the modern drawing-room, and the
feudal moat into the flower-garden, are emblematic of the continuous and
comparatively tranquil progress of English history. In France, how
different! Scarcely eighty years have passed since the Chateau de
Montgomeri was proud and gay; since the village idlers gathered here to
see its lord, and his little provincial court, assemble along those
mouldering balustrades, and ride through the now deserted gates. But to
the grandchildren of those villagers the chateau is a strange,
mysterious relic of the times before the flood. A group of peasants
tried in vain, when I asked them, to recollect the name of its former
proprietors. One of them said that it had been inhabited by a great
lord, who shod his horses with shoes of gold,--much the sort of tale
that an Irish peasant tells you about the primeval monuments of his
country. The mansions of France before the Revolution belong as
completely to the past as the tombs of the Pharaohs. The old aristocracy
and the old dynasty are no longer hated or regretted. Their names excite
no emotion whatever in the French peasant's heart. They are wiped out of
the memory of the nation, and their place knows them no more. In the
midst of their shows and their pleasures and their shallow philosophies,
they could not read the handwriting on the wall, and therefore they are
blotted out of existence. They went on marrying and giving in marriage;
this chateau, perhaps, was still being enlarged and embellished, when
the flood came upon them and destroyed them all. The science of politics
is the science of regulating progress and avoiding revolutions.

The hostess of the Lion d'Or is about to transfer her establishment to
an inn of greater pretensions, to which, aware that the old chateau is
an object of interest to visitors, she means to give the name of the
Hotel de Montgomeri. On the wall of her _café_ is a coarse medallion
bust taken from a room in the chateau. She did not know whom it
represented; and I dare say it was only my fancy that made me think I
recognized a rude effigy of the once adored features of Marie

The plates at the Lion d'Or were adorned with humorous devices. On one
was a satire on the hypocritical rapacity of perfidious Albion. Two
English soldiers were standing with their swords hidden behind their
backs, and trying to coax back to them some Indians who were running
away in the distance. "Come to us, dear little Indians; you know we are
your best friends!" Suppose "Arabs" or "Mexicans" had been substituted
for "Indians." To a Frenchman, our conquests in India are rapine; his
own conquests in Algeria or Mexico are the extension of civilization by
the "holy bayonets" (I forget whether the phrase is Michelet's or
Quinet's) of the chosen people. Justice gives the same name (no matter
which) to both.

At Ducie a handsome new church had just been built,--mainly, I was told,
by the munificence of two maiden ladies. The congregation at vespers was
large and apparently devout; and here the number of the men was in fair
proportion to that of the women. In the churches of the cities, though
the power of the clergy has everywhere increased of late, you see
scarcely one man to a hundred women.

On the road, a shower drove me for refuge into the house of a peasant,
who received me with the usual kindliness of the French peasantry, and,
when the shower was over, walked two or three miles with me on my way.
The condition of these present proprietors is a subject of great
interest to English economists, especially as we are evidently on the
eve of a great controversy--perhaps a great struggle--respecting the law
of succession to landed property in our own country. Not that any
English economist would go so far as to advocate the French system of
compulsory subdivision, which owes its existence in great measure to the
policy of the first Napoleon,--who took care, with the instinct of a
true despot, to secure the solitary power of the throne against the
growth of an independent class of wealthy proprietors. All that English
economists contemplate is the abolition of primogeniture and entail. I
must not found any conclusion on observations so partial and cursory as
those which I was able to make; but I suspect that the French peasant is
better off than the English laborer. He is not better housed, clothed,
or fed; perhaps not so well housed, clothed, or fed. He eats black
bread, which the English peasant would reject, and clumps about in
wooden shoes, which the English laborer would regard with horror; but
this, according to statements which I have heard, and am inclined to
trust, arises, generally speaking, not so much from indigence as from
self-denying frugality, pushed to an extreme. The French peasant is the
possessor of property, and has a passion, almost a mania, for
acquisition. He saves money and subscribes to government loans, which
are judiciously brought out in very small shares, so as to draw forth
his little hoard, and thus bind him as a creditor to the interest of the
Empire. The cottage of the peasant which I entered on my way to Ducie
was very mean and comfortless, and the food which his hospitality
offered me was of the coarsest kind. But he had a valuable mare and
foal; his yard was full of poultry; and his orchard showed, for a bad
season, a fair crop of apples. There are some large estates, the result
frequently of great fortunes made in trade. Not far from the place
where the high-born lords of the Chateau de Montgomeri once reigned, a
chocolate-merchant had bought broad lands, and built himself a princely
mansion. I should have thought that the great proprietors would have
crushed the small; but I was assured that the two systems went on very
well side by side. But this is a matter for exact inquiry, not for
casual remark. The population in France is stationary, or nearly so,
while that of England increases rapidly; and this is an important
element in the question, and itself raises questions of a difficult,
perhaps of a disagreeable kind.

The cares of proprietorship must necessarily interfere with the
lightness of heart once proverbially characteristic of the French
peasant. Still, he appears to a stranger cheerful, ready to chat, and at
least as inquisitive as to the stranger's history and objects as
Americans are commonly believed to be. It would be a happy thing if the
Irish peasant's lightness of heart, pleasant as it often is, could be
interfered with in the same way. There is a certain gayety which springs
from mere recklessness, and is sister to despair.

They are hard economical problems that we have to solve in this Old
World, and terribly complicated by social and political entanglements;
and there is no boundless West, with bread for all who want it, to
assist us in the solution.

From Avranches you visit Mont St. Michel,--not without difficulty, for
you have to drive along over sands which are never dry, and over which
the tide--its advance can be seen even from the distant height of
Avranches--rushes in with the speed of a race-horse. But you are well
repaid. Mont St. Michel is one of the most astonishing and beautiful
monuments of the Catholic and feudal age. Its fortifications, and the
halls, church, and cloisters of the chivalrous and monastic fraternities
of which it was the seat, rise like an efflorescence from the solitary
cone of granite, surrounded at low tide by the vast flat of sand, at
high tide by the sea. Gothic architecture, to which we are apt to attach
the notion of a sort of infantine unconsciousness, here seems
consciously to revel and disport itself in its power, and to exult in
investing the sea-girt rock with the playful elegance of a Cellini vase.
It is a real _jeu d'esprit_ of mediæval art. The cloisters are a model
of airy grace, enhanced by contrast with the massiveness of the fortress
and the wildness of the scene. A strange life the monks must have led in
their narrow boundaries. But they had the visits of the knights to
relieve their dulness; and probably they were rude natures, not liable
to the unhappiness which such seclusion would produce in men of
cultivated sensibilities and active minds. Both monks and knights are
gone long ago. But there are still six priests on the rock. I asked what
they did. "Ils prient le bon Dieu."

In feudal times this sea-girt fortress was almost impregnable. Two
ancient cannon lying at its gate show that the conqueror of Agincourt
thundered against it in vain. Its weak point was want of water: it had
none but the rain-water collected in a great cistern. In these days it
could not hold out an hour against a single gun-boat.

It is a pleasant drive from Avranches to Vire; and Vire itself is a
pleasant place,--a quiet little town, placed high, in bracing air, and
with beautiful walks round it. The comfortable, though unpretending,
little Hôtel de St. Pierre stands outside the town, and commands a fine
view. While I was at Vire, the _fête_ day of the Emperor was
celebrated--with profound apathy. Not a dozen houses responded to the
_préfet's_ invitation to illuminate. There being no troops in the town,
and a military show being indispensable, there was a review of the
firemen in military uniforms; a single brass cannon pestered us with its
noise all the morning; the "veterans" of the Napoleonic army (every
surviving drummer-boy of the army of 1815 goes by that name) were
dismally paraded about, and the firemen practised with their muskets,
very awkwardly, at a mark which was so placed among the trees that they
could hardly see it.

Why has not the government the sense to let these people alone? After
all their revolutions and convulsions, they have sunk into perfect
political indifference, and literally care not a straw whether they are
governed by Napoleon, Nero, or Nebuchadnezzar. To be always appealing to
them with Bonapartist demonstrations and manifestoes, is to awaken
political sentiments, in them, and so to create a danger which does not

If Louis Napoleon is in any peril, it is not from the republican or
constitutional party, but from his own lavish expenditure, which begins
to irritate the people. They are careless of their rights as freemen,
but they are fond, and growing daily fonder, of money; and they do not
like to be heavily taxed, and to hear at the same time that the Emperor
is wasting on his personal expenses and those of his relatives and
courtiers some six millions of dollars a year. Regard for economy is the
only profession which distinguishes the addresses of the so-called
opposition candidates from those of their competitors. I asked a good
many people what they thought of the Mexican expedition. Not one of them
objected to its injustice, but they all objected to its cost, "Cela
mangera beaucoup d'argent," was the invariable reply. And in this point
of view the government has committed what it would think much worse than
any crime,--a very damaging blunder.

It does not appear that the Orleans family have any hold on the mind of
the French people. When I mentioned their name, it seemed to produce no
emotion, one way or the other. But if the marshals and grandees, who
have hold of the wires of administration at the point where they are
centralized, chose to make Napoleon III abdicate, (as they made Napoleon
I. abdicate at Fontainebleau,) and to set up a king of the House of
Orleans in his place, they could probably do it; and they might choose
to do it, if, by such blunders as the Mexican expedition, he seemed to
be placing their personal interests in jeopardy.

Stopping to breakfast at Condé, on the way from Vire to Falaise, I fell
in with the only Frenchman, with a single exception, who showed any
interest in the affairs of America. Generally speaking, I was told, and
found by experience, that profound apathy prevailed upon the subject.
This gentleman, on learning that I had recently been in America, entered
eagerly into conversation on the subject. But his inquiries were only
about the prospects of cotton; and all I could tell him on that point
was, that, if the growth of cotton was profitable, the Yankee would
certainly make it grow.

The castle of Falaise is the reputed birthplace of the Conqueror. They
even pretend to show you the room in which he was born. The existing
castle, however, is of considerably later date. It is even doubtful,
according to the best antiquaries, whether there were any stone castles
at the date of his birth, or only earthworks with palisades. There is,
however, one genuine monument of that time. You look down from the
castle on the tanneries in the glen below, and see the women washing
their clothes in the stream, as in the days when Robert the Devil wooed
the tanner's daughter. Robert, however, must have had diabolically good
eyes to choose a mistress at such a distance.

Annexed to the castle is Talbot's Tower,--a beautiful piece of feudal
architecture, and a monument of a later episode in that long train of
miserable wars between England and France, of which the Conqueror's
cruel rapacity may be regarded as the spring; for the English conquests
were an inverted copy and counterpart of his. But the Conqueror's
crimes, like those of Napoleon I., were on the grandiose scale, and
therefore they impose, like those of Napoleon, on the slavishness of
mankind; while the petty bandit, though endowed perhaps with the same
powers of destruction and only lacking the ampler sphere, is buried
under the gallows. The equestrian statue of William in the public place
at Falaise prances, it has been remarked, close to the spot where rest
the ashes of Walter and Biona, Count and Countess of Pontoise, poisoned,
if contemporary accounts are true, by the same ambition which launched
havoc and misery on a whole nation. They and the Conqueror were rival
claimants to the sovereignty of Maine. They supped with the Conqueror
one evening at Falaise, and next morning William was the sole claimant.
The Norman, like the Corsican, was an assassin as well as a conqueror.

I must leave it to architects to describe the architectural glories of
Caen. But I had no idea that the Norman style, in England grand only
from its massiveness, could soar to such a height of beauty as it has
attained in the Church of St. Stephen and the Abbaye aux Dames. I
afterwards did homage again to its powers when standing before the
august ruin of Jumièges. There is something peculiarly delightful in the
freshness of early art, whether Greek or mediæval, and whether in
architecture or in poetry,--when you see the mind first beginning to
feel its power over the material, and to make it the vehicle of thought.
There is something, too, in all human works, which makes the early hope
more charming than the fulfilment.

St. Stephen is the church of the Conqueror, as the Abbaye aux Dames is
that of his Queen. There he lies buried. Every one knows the story of
Ascelin demanding the price of the ground in which William was going to
be buried, and which the tyrant had taken from him by force; and how, at
last, the corpse of the Conqueror was thrust, amidst a scene of horror
and loathing, into its grave. But _Rex Invictissimus_ is the inscription
on his tomb.

The spire of St. Pierre is very graceful; the body of the church, in the
latest and most debased style of Gothic architecture, stands signally
contrasted with St. Stephen,--St. Stephen the simple vigor of the prime,
St. Pierre the florid weakness of the decay.

Caen is a large city, and, of course, full of soldiers, who are as
completely the dominant caste in France now, as the old _noblesse_ were
before the Revolution. To this the French have come after their long
train of sanguinary revolutions,--after all their visions of a perfect
social state,--after all their promises of a new era of happiness to
mankind. "A light and cruel people," Coleridge calls them. And how
lightly they turned from regenerating to pillaging and oppressing the
world! They have great intellectual gifts, and still greater social
graces; but, in the political sphere, they have no real regard for
freedom, and will gladly lay their liberties at the feet of any master
who will enable them to domineer over other nations. Napoleon I. is more
than their hero: he is their God. Many of them, the soldiery especially,
have no other object of worship. I saw in a shop-window a print of
Napoleon I., Napoleon II., and the Prince Imperial, all in military
uniform and surrounded by the emblems of war. It was entitled, "The
Past, the Present, and the Future of France." Military ambition has been
the Past of France, is her Present, and seems too likely to be her
Future. In some directions, she has promoted civilization; but,
politically speaking, she has done, and probably will long continue to
do, more harm than good to mankind.

I may say with truth, that, having seen America, and brought away an
assured faith in human liberty and progress, I looked with far more
serenity than I should otherwise have done on the Zouaves, swaggering,
in the insolence of triumphant force, over the neglected ashes of Turgot
and Mirabeau. I felt as though, strong as the yoke of these janizaries
and their master looked, I had the death-warrant of imperialism in my
pocket. There is a Power which made the world for other ends than these,
and which will not suffer its ends to give way even to those of the
Bonapartes. But to all appearances there will be a terrible struggle in
Europe,--a struggle to which the old "wars of the mercenaries" were a
trifling affair,--before the nations can be redeemed from subjection to
these armed hordes and the masters whom they obey.

From Caen I visited Bayeux,--a sleepy, ecclesiastical town with a
glorious cathedral, which, however, shows by a huge crack in the tower
that even such edifices know decay. Gems of the Norman style are
scattered all round Caen and Bayeux; and one of the finest is the little
church of St. Loup, in the environs of Bayeux.

I found that the old French office-book had been completely banished
from the French churches by the Jesuit and Ultramontane party, and the
Roman (though much inferior, Roman Catholics tell me, as a composition)
everywhere thrust into its place. The people in some places
recalcitrated violently; but the Jesuits and Ultramontanes triumphed.
The old Gallican spirit of independence is extinct in the French Church,
and its extinction is not greatly to be deplored; for it tended not to a
real independence, but to the substitution of a royal for an
ecclesiastical Pope. Louis XIV. was quite as great a spiritual tyrant as
any Hildebrand or Innocent, and his tyranny was, if anything, more
degrading to the soul. In fact, the Ultramontane French Church, resting
for support on Rome, may be regarded by the friends of liberty, with a
qualified complacency, as a check, though a miserable one, on the
absolute dominion of physical force embodied in the Emperor.

The Bayeux tapestry, representing the expedition of William the
Conqueror, is curious and valuable as an historical monument, though it
cannot be proved to be contemporary. As a work of art it is singularly
spiritless, and devoid of merit of any kind. One of the fancy figures on
the border reveals the indelicacy of the ladies (a queen, perhaps, and
her handmaidens) who wrought it in a way which would be startling to any
one who had taken the manners and morals of the age of chivalry on

The heat drove me from Caen before I had "done" all the antiquities and
curiosities prescribed by the guidebook. Migrating to Lisieux, I found
myself in such pleasant quarters that I was tempted to settle there for
some days. The town is almost an unbroken assemblage of the quaintest
and most picturesque old houses. There are whole streets without any
taint of modern architecture to disturb the perfect image of the past.
Two magnificent churches, one of them formerly a cathedral, rise over
the whole; and there is a very pretty public garden, with its terraces,
pastures, and green alleys. A public garden is the invariable appendage
of a city in France, as it ought to be everywhere. We do not do half
enough in England for the innocent amusement of the people.

At Lisieux we had a public _fête_. It is evidently a part of the
business of the _sous-préfets_ to get up these things as antidotes to
political aspiration. _Panem et circenses_ is the policy of the French,
as it was of the Roman Cæsars. For two or three days beforehand, the
people were engaged in planting little fir-trees in the street before
their doors, and decorating them and the houses, with little tricolor
flags. Larger flags (of which this little quiet town produced a truly
formidable number) were hung out from all the houses. As the weather was
very dry, the population was at work keeping the fir-trees alive with
squirts. The _fête_ consisted of a horse and cattle show, in which the
Norman horses made a very good display; the inevitable military review,
which, Lisieux being as happily free from soldiery as Vire, was here,
too, performed by the firemen; the band of a regiment of the line, which
had been announced as a magnificent addition to the festivities, by a
special proclamation of the _sous-préfet_; balloons not of the common
shape, but in the shape of dogs, pigs, and grotesque human figures, a
gentleman and lady waltzing, etc., which must have rather puzzled any
scientific observer whose telescope was at that moment directed to the
sky; and, to crown all, fireworks (the noise of which, a French
gentleman remarked to me, the people loved, as reminding them of
musketry) and an illumination. The illumination--all the little trees
before the houses, as well as the houses themselves and the green arches
thrown across the streets, being covered with lamps--was an extremely
pretty sight. The outline of the old houses, and the windings and
declivities of the old streets, wonderfully favored the effect. But the
French are peerless in these things. The childish delight of the people
was pleasant to see. Why cannot they be satisfied with their _fêtes_,
and with the undisputed empire of cookery and dress, instead of making
themselves a scourge to the world, and keeping all Europe in disquietude
and under arms?

The Emperor is trying to inoculate his subjects with a taste for English
sports, but with rather doubtful success. He tries to make them play at
cricket, but they do not much like the swift bowling. There was a
caricature in the Charivari of a Frenchman standing up to his wicket
with an implement which the artist intended for a bat, but which was
more like a pavior's rammer, in his hand. A friend was asking him
whether he had a wife, children, any tie to life. "None." "Then you may
begin." In a window at Lisieux there was a print of a fox-hunt, with the
master of the hounds dismounting to despatch the fox with a gun! At Vire
there was a print of a horse-race, with the horses in a cantering
attitude, and a large dog running and barking by their side. I have seen
something equally funny of the same kind in America, but I need not say
what or where. I never witnessed a French horse-race, but I am told that
they enjoy it _moult tristement_, as they say we English enjoy all our

Close to Lisieux is the fashionable watering-place of Trouville, a place
without any charms that I could see, puffed into celebrity by Alexander
Dumas. The Duke de Morny invested in building there a good deal of the
money which he made by the _coup d'état_. Life at a French
watering-place seems to be as close an imitation of life at Paris as
French ingenuity can produce under the adverse circumstances of the
case. Nothing but the religion of fashion can compel these people
periodically to leave the capital for the sea. The mode of bathing is
rather singular. I found that the Americans did not, as is commonly
believed in England, put trousers on the legs of their pianos, but I
believe you are more particular than we are; and therefore, perhaps, you
would be still more surprised than we are at seeing a gentleman wrapped
in a sheet stalk before the eyes of all the promenaders over the sands
to the sea, and there throw off the sheet, and at his leisure get into
the water. At the risk of exposing my English prudishness, I ventured to
remark to a French acquaintance that the fashion was _un peu libre_. I
found, rather to my astonishment, that he thought so too.

At Val Richer, near Lisieux, is the pleasant country-house of M. Guizot.
There, surrounded by his children and his grandchildren, a pretty
patriarchal picture, the veteran statesman and historian reposes after
the prodigious labors and tragic vicissitudes of his life. I say he
reposes; but his pen is as active as ever, only that he has turned from
politics and history to the more enduring and consoling topic of
religion. He has just given us a volume on Christianity; he is about to
give us one on the state of religion in France. It will be deeply
interesting. In the revival of religion lies the only hope of
regeneration for the French nation. And whence is that revival to come?
From the official priesthood, and the jesuitical influences depicted in
_Le Maudit_? Or from the Protestant Church of France, itself full of
dissensions and turmoils, in which M. Guizot himself has been recently
involved? Or from the school of Natural Theologians represented by
Jules Simon? We shall see, when M. Guizot's work appears. It is from his
religious character as well as from his attachment to constitutional
liberty, I imagine, that M. Guizot has, unlike the mass of his
countrymen, watched the American struggle with ardent interest, and
cordially rejoiced in the triumph of the Union and of freedom.

There are of course very different opinions as to this eminent man's
career; and there are parts of his conduct of which no Liberal can
approve. But I have always thought that a tranquil and happy old age is
a proof, as well as a reward, of a good life; and if this be the case,
M. Guizot's life, though not free from faults, must on the whole have
been good.

His resistance to reform is commonly regarded as having led to the fall
of the constitutional monarchy. I should attribute that catastrophe much
more to the prevalence of the military spirit, which the peaceful policy
of Louis Philippe disappointed, and to which even the conquest of
Algeria failed (as its authors deserved) to give a sufficient vent. The
reign of Louis Philippe was essentially an attempt to found a civil in
place of a military government in France, which was foiled by the
passions excited by the presence of a large standing army and the recent
memory of the Napoleonic wars. The translation of the body of Napoleon
from St. Helena to Paris was the greatest mistake committed by the king
and his advisers. It was the self-humiliation of the government of peace
before the Genius of War.

At Lisieux, as at Caen, and afterwards at Rouen, I saw on the Sunday a
great church full of women, with scarcely a score of men. And what
wonder? Close to where I sat was the altar of Our Lady of La Salette,
offering to the adoration of the people the most coarse and revolting of
impostures. And in the course of the service, an image of the Virgin,
from which the taste of a Greek Pagan would have recoiled, was borne
round the aisles in procession, manifestly the favorite object of
worship in a church nominally devoted to the worship of God. An educated
man in France, even one of the best character and naturally religious,
would almost as soon think of entering a temple of Jupiter as a church.
Religion in Roman Catholic countries being thus left, so far as the
educated classes are concerned, to the priests and women, its recent
developments have been inspired exclusively by priestly ambition and
female imagination. The infallibility of the Pope and the worship of the
Virgin have made, and are still making, tremendous strides. The
Romanizing party in the Episcopal Church of England are left panting
behind, in their vain efforts to keep up with the superstitions of Rome.

From Lisieux my road lay by Pont-Audemer in its beautiful valley to
Caudebec on the Seine; then along the Seine,--here most pleasant,--by
the towers of Jumièges, the masterpiece, even in its ruins, of the grand
Norman style, and the great Norman Church of St. George de Boscherville,
to Rouen.

Everybody knows Rouen and its sights,--the Cathedral, the Church of St.
Ouen, the magnificent view of the city from St. Catherine's
Hill,--magnificent still, though much marred by the tall chimneys and
their smoke. St. Ouen is undoubtedly the perfection of Gothic art.
Unlike most of the cathedrals, it is built all in the same style and on
one plan, complete in every part, admirable in all its proportions, and
faultless in its details. But there is something disappointing in
perfection. The less perfect cathedrals suggest more to the imagination
than is realized in St. Ouen.

In the Museum is a portion of the heart of Richard Coeur-de-Lion. The
Crusader king loved the Normans, and bequeathed his heart to them. He
did not bequeath it to Imperial France. With all his faults, he was an
illustrious soldier of Christendom; and he deserves to rest, not within
the pale of this sensualist and atheist Empire, but in some land where
the spirit of religious enterprise is not yet dead.

In the outskirts is St. Gervais, the church of the monastery to which
William the Conqueror was carried, out of the noise and the feverish air
of the great city, to die, and which witnessed the strange struggle, in
his last moments, between his rapacious passions and his late-awakened
remorse. So insecure was the state of society, that, when he whose iron
hand had preserved order among his feudal nobles had expired, those
about him fled to their strongholds in expectation of a general anarchy.
Government was still only personal: law had not yet been enthroned in
the minds of men. Even the personal attendants of the Conqueror
abandoned his corpse,--a singular illustration of the theory, cherished
by lovers of the past, that the relations of master and servant were
more affectionate, and of a higher kind, in the days of chivalry than
they are in ours.

Among the workingmen of Rouen, there probably lurks a good deal of
republicanism, akin to that which exists among the workingmen of Paris.
Unfortunately it is of a kind which, though capable of spasmodic
attempts to revolutionize society by force, is little capable of
sustained constitutional effect, and which alarms and arrays against it,
not only despots, but moderate friends of liberty and progress. The
outward appearances, however, at Rouen are all in favor of the Zouave
and the Priest; and of the dominion of these two powers in France, if
they can abstain from quarrelling with each other, it is difficult to
foresee the end.

I have spoken bitterly of the French Empire. It has not only crushed the
liberties of France, but it is the keystone and the focus of the system
of military despotism in Europe. Bismarck, O'Donnell, and all the rest
who rule by sabre-sway, are its pupils. It is intensely
propagandist,--feeling, like slavery, that it cannot endure the
contagious neighborhood of freedom. It has to a terrible extent
corrupted even English politics, and inspired our oligarchical party
with ideas of violence quite foreign to the temper of English Tories in
former days. It is killing not only all moral aspirations, but almost
all moral culture in France, and leaving nothing but the passion for
military glory, the thirst of money, and the love of pleasure. It is
reducing all education to a centralized machine, the wires of which are
moved by a bureau at Paris; and we shall see the effects of this on
French intellect in the next generation, "Ils ont tué la jeunesse," were
the bitter words of an eminent and chivalrous Frenchman to the author of
this article. Commerce is no doubt flourishing, and money is being made
by the commercial classes, at present, under the Empire; but the highest
industry is intimately connected with the moral and intellectual
energies of a nation; and if these perish, it will in time perish too.

I have no means of knowing whether the morality of the court and the
upper classes at Paris is what it is commonly reported to be; though,
assuredly, if the performances of Thérèse are truly described to us,
strange things must go on in the highest circles. Historical experience
would be at fault, if a military despotism, with a political religion,
did not produce moral effects in Paris somewhat analogous to those which
it produced in Rome. The fashionable literature of the Empire, which can
scarcely fail to reflect pretty accurately the moral state of the
fashionable world, is not merely loose in principle, (as literature
might possibly be in a period of transition between a narrower and an
ampler moral code,) but utterly vile and loathsome; it seeks the
materials of sensation novels from the charnel-house as well as from the

At Dieppe, my last point, I visited that very picturesque as well as
memorable ruin, the Chateau d'Arques. It is a monument of the great
victory gained near it by the Huguenots under Henri IV. over the League.
This and the other Huguenot victories, alas! proved bootless; and it is
melancholy to visit the fields where they were won. By a series of
calamities, the party was in the end erased from history; and scarcely a
trace of its existence remains in the religious or political condition
of Roman Catholic and Imperial France. It has left some noble names, and
the memory of some noble deeds, which no doubt work upon national
character to a certain extent; but this is all.

There was nothing in the fashionable watering-place of Dieppe to tempt
my stay; and I turned from the Chateau d'Arques to embark for the land
where, in spite of our political reaction and the efforts of the
priest-party in our Church, the principles for which the field of Arques
was fought and won have still a home.


A soft white bosom, kissed by lips and fondled by fingers pure as

Back through the tender twilight of my one dim dream of a sinless
childhood I catch that accusing glimpse of my mother--and myself. And as
I stand here on this shapeless cairn of remorses, which, after forty
years, I have piled upon my butchered and buried promise, that child
turns from "the cup of his life and couch of his rest," to look upon me
wondering, pitying.

My mother died when I was scarce five years old; and save the blurred
beauty of that reproachful phantom,--caught and lost, caught and lost,
by the unfaithful eyes of a graceless spirit,--she is as though she
never had been. But in her place she left me a vicarious mother,--old,
foolish, doting, black,--the youngest, loveliest, wisest, fairest lady I
have ever known,--young with the youth of the immortal heart, lovely
with the loveliness of the gleaning Ruth, wise with the wisdom of the
most blessed among mothers when she "pondered all those things in her
heart," and fair with the fairness of her who goeth her way forth by the
footsteps of the flock, and feedeth her kids beside the shepherds'
tents,--black, but comely.

"Aunt Judy,"--Judith was her company name,--as the oldest of my uncles
and aunts, and other boys' grandfathers and grandmothers, and all the
rest of us children, delighted to call her,--was pure negro; not
grafted, scandalous mulatto, nor muddled, niggerish "gingerbread," but
downright, unmixed, old-fashioned blackamoor. Her father and mother were
genuine importations from the coast of Africa, snatched from some
cannibal's calaboose,--where else they might have been butchered to make
a Dahomeyan holiday,--and set up in a country gentleman's kitchen in
Maryland, where they and their Christian progeny helped to make many a
happy Christmas.

Of this antique Ethiopian couple I remember nothing,--they died long
before I was born,--nor have I gathered any notable _ana_ concerning
them. Only of the father, I learned from my darling old nurse that he
was one hundred and four years old when the Almighty Emancipator set him
free; and from my father, and the brothers and sisters of my mother,
that he possessed in a remarkable degree those simple, childlike
virtues, characteristic of the original domesticated African, which his
daughters Judith and Rachel so richly inherited.

Aunt Judy was one of many slaves set free by my grandfather's will,
partly in reward of faithful service, partly from an impulse of
conscientiousness; for our fine old Maryland gentleman was that social
and political phenomenon, a slaveholder with a practical scruple. Not
that he doubted the moral wholesomeness of the "institution," which, in
his theory, was patriarchal and protective, and in his practice
eminently beneficent;--if he were living this day, I doubt not he would
be found among its most earnest and confident champions;--but he did not
believe in holding human beings in bondage "on principle," as it were,
and for the mere sake of bondage. The patriarchal element was, he
thought, an essential in the moral right of the system, and _that_ no
longer necessary, the system became wrong. Therefore, so soon as it
became clear to him that he (so peculiarly had God blessed him) could
protect, advise, relieve his servants as effectually, they being free,
as if their persons and their poor little goods, their labor and almost
their lives, were at his disposal, he set them at liberty without asking
the advice, or caring for the opinion, of any man; and by the same
instrument which gave them the right to work, think, live, and die for
themselves, he imposed upon his children a solemn responsibility for
their well-being, in the future as in the past,--the honorable care of
seeing to it that their wants were judiciously provided for, their
training virtuous, their instruction useful, their employers just, their
families united, and their homes happy. Those who were already of age
went forth free at once; the minors received their "papers" on their
twenty-first birthday. And thus it was that, when I was born, Aunt Judy
was as much freer than her "boy" is now, as simple, natural wants are
freer than impatient, artificial appetites.

But that was the beginning and the end of Aunt Judy's freedom. For all
the change it wrought in her feelings and her ways toward us, or in ours
toward her, she might as well have remained the slave and the baby she
was born; the old relations, so natural and gentle, of affection and
faithful service on her side, of affection and grateful care on ours, no
mere legal forms could alter: no papers could disturb their
peacefulness, no privileges impair their confidence. Indeed, that same
freedom--or at least her personal interest in it--was matter of
magnificent contempt to both nurse and child; she understood it too well
to pet it, I understood it too little to be jealous of it. It was only
by asking her that you could discover that Aunt Judy was free; it was
only by being asked that she could recollect it. For her, freedom meant
the right to "go where she pleased"; but her love knew no _where_ but my
father's roof and her darling's crib, nor anything so wrong as that
right. For us, her freedom meant our freedom, the right to send her away
when we chose; but our love knew no such _when_ in all the shameful
possibilities of time, nor anything in all the cruel conspiracies of
ingratitude so wrong as that right. Could we entreat her to leave us, or
to return from following after us, when each of our hearts had spoken
and said, "The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part
thee and me"? So she and I have gone on together ever since, and shall
go on, until we come to the Bethlehem of love at rest. What though she
had been there before we started, and were there now? To the saints and
their eternal spaceless spirits there are nor days, nor miles, nor
starting-points, nor resting-places, nor journey's ends.

From my earliest remembered observation, when I first began to "take
notice," as nurses say of vague babies, with pinafore comparison and
judgment, Aunt Judy was an old woman; I knew that, because she had
explained to me why I had not wrinkles like hers, and why she could not
read her precious Bible without spectacles, as I could, and why my back
was not bent too, and how if I lived I would grow so. From such
instructions I derived a blurred, bewildering notion that from me to
her, suffering an Aunt-Judy change, was a long, slow, wearisome process
of puckering and dimming and stiffening. But when she told me how she
had carried my mother in her arms, as she had carried me, and had made
the proud discovery of her first tooth, as, piously exploring among my
tender gums with her little finger, she had found mine, I stared at the
Pacific of her possible nursings, in a wild surmise, silent upon a peak
of wonder. "Well, then, Auntie," I asked, "do you think you're much more
than a thousand?"

She was not noticeably little as a woman, but wonderfully little as a
bundle, to contain so many great virtues,--rather below the medium
stature, slender, and bent with age, rather than with burdens; for she
had had no heartless master to lay heavy packs upon her. Her face, far
from unpleasing in its lines, was lovely in its blended expression of
intelligence, modesty, the sweetest guilelessness, an almost heroic
truthfulness, devoted fidelity, a dove-like tranquillity of mind, and
that abiding, reposeful trust in God which is equal to all trials, and
can never be taken by surprise. Her voice was soft and soothing, her
motions singularly free from clumsiness or fretfulness, her manners so
beautifully blended of unaffected humility, patience, and self-respect
as to command, in cheerful reciprocity, the deference they tendered; in
which respect she was a severe ordeal to the sham gentlemen and ladies
who had the honor to be presented to her,--the slightest trace of
snobbery betraying itself at once to the sensitive test-paper of Aunt
Judy's true politeness. Her ways were ways of pleasantness, and all her
paths were peace. Faith, hope, and charity were met in her dusky,
shrunken bosom,--more at home there, perhaps, than in a finer dwelling.

A sneering philosophy was never yet challenged to contemplate a piety
more complete than that which made this venerable "nigger" a lady on
earth, and a saint in heaven; but on her knees she found it, and on her
knees she held it fast,--watching, praying, trembling.

    "When she sat, her head was, prayer-like, bending;
      When she rose, it rose not any more.
    Faster seemed her true heart grave-ward tending
      Than her tired feet, weak and travel-sore."

She was, indeed, a living prayer, a lying-down and rising-up, a
going-out and coming-in prayer,--a loving, longing, working, waiting
prayer,--a black and wrinkled, bent and tottering incense and
aspiration. With her to labor was literally to worship; she washed
dishes with confession, ironed shirts with supplication, and dusted
furniture with thanksgiving,--morning, evening, noon, and night,
praising God. From resting-place to resting-place, over tedious
stretches of task, she prayed her way,

    "And ever, at each period,
    She stopped and sang, 'Praise God!'"

like Browning's Theocrite. And, as if answering Blaise, the listening
monk, when he said,

                           "Well done!
    I doubt not thou art heard, my son:
    As well as if thy voice to-day
    Were praising God the Pope's great way,"

her longing was,

                       "Would God that I
    Might praise him _some_ great way and die."

Many a time have I, bursting boisterously into my little bedroom in
quest of top or ball, checked myself, with a feeling more akin to
superstition than to reverence, on finding Aunt Judy on her knees beside
the pretty cot she had just made up so snugly and tenderly for me,
pouring her ever-brimming heart out in clear, refreshing springs of
prayer. Led by these still waters, she rested there from the heat and
burden of life, as the camel by wells in the desert. On such occasions I
always knew that my dear old nurse had just finished making a bed or
sweeping a room, and had sunk down to rest in a prayer, as a fagged
drudge on a stool. If you ever gloried--and what gentleman has not?--in
Gregg's brave old hymn, beginning

    "Jesus, and shall it ever be,
    A mortal man ashamed of thee?"

you would ask for no more intrepid illustration of its loyal spirit than
the figure of Aunt Judy on her knees at the foot of my father's bed,
where he often found her in the act,--turning her face for an instant,
but without offering to rise, from her Divine Master to the mild
fellow-servant in whom she affectionately recognized an earthly master,
and asking, with a manner far less embarrassed than his own, "Was you
lookin' for your gloves, sir? They's on de bureau,--and your umbrell's
behind de door";--and then placidly turning back again to that Master
whom most of us white slaves of the Devil think we have honored enough
when we have printed His title with a capital M.

    "My Master, shall I speak? O that to Thee
      My Servant were a little so
        As flesh may be!
      That these two words might creep and grow
    To some degree of spiciness to Thee!"

But the hour of my Aunt-Judyness most sacred and inspiring to me,
weirdly filling my imagination with solemn reaches beyond my childish
ken, was at the close of the day, when--I having been undressed, with
many a cradle lecture and many a blessing, many an admonition and
endearment, line upon line and precept upon precept, here a text and
there a pious rhyme, between the buttons and the strings, and having
said my awful "Now I lay me," lest "I should die before I wake," and
been tucked in with careful fondling fingers, the party of the first
part honorably contracting to "shut his eyes and go straight to sleep,"
provided the party of the second part would remain at the bedside till
the last heavy-lingering wink was winked,--that image of her Maker
carved in ebony took up her part in creation's pausing chorus, and
poured her little human praise into the echoing ear of God in such a
burst of triumphant humility, of exulting hope and trust, and
all-embracing charity and love,--wherein master and mistress and
fellow-servant, friend and stranger, the kind and the cruel, the just
and the unjust, the believer and the scoffer, had each his welcome place
and was called by his name,--as only Ruth could have said or Isaiah
sung. As for me, I only lay there with closed eyes, very still, lest I
should offend the angels, for I knew the room was full of them,--as for
me, I only write here with a faltering heart, lest I should offend those
prayers, for I know heaven is full of them, and I know that for every
time my name arose to the throne of God on that beatified handmaid's
hopes and cries, I have been forgiven seventy times seven.

And so Aunt Judy prayed and praised, sitting upon the landing to rest
herself, as she descended from the garret side-wise, the same foot
always advanced, as is the way of weak old folks in coming down stairs;
and so she prayed and praised between the splitting spells of her forty
years' asthmatic cough, rocking backward and forward, with her hands
upon her knees. And sometimes she preached to me, the ironing-table
being her pulpit; for oh! she was an excellent divine, that had the
Bible at her fingers' ends, and many a moving sermon did she deliver,
"how God doth make his enemies his friends." And sometimes she baptized
me, the bath-tub being her Jordan, in the name of duty, love, and
patience. In truth, Aunt Judy took as much prophylactic pains with my
soul as if it had been tainted with a congenital sulphuric diathesis;
and if I had sunk under a complication of profane disorders, no
postmortem statement of my spiritual pathology would have been complete
and exact which failed to take note of her stringent preventive

Now be it known, that Aunt Judy's piety was in no respect of the
niggerish kind; when I say "colored," I mean one thing, respectfully;
and when I say "niggerish," I mean another, disgustedly. I am not
responsible for the distinction: it is a true "cullud" nomenclature, and
very significant; our fellow-citizens of African descent themselves
employ it, nicely and wisely; and when they call each other "nigger" the
familiar term of opprobrium is applied with all the malice of a sting,
and resented with all the sensitiveness of a raw. So when I say that my
Auntie's piety was not of the niggerish kind, even Zoe, "The Octoroon,"
or any other woman or man in whose veins courses the blood of Ham four
times diluted, knows that I mean it was not that glory-hallelujah
variety of cunning or delusion, compounded of laziness and catalepsy,
which is popular among the shouting, shirt-tearing sects of plantation
darkies, who "git relijin" and fits twelve times a year. To all such
she used to say, "'T ain't de real grace, honey,--'t ain't de sure
glory,--you hollers too loud. When you gits de Dove in your heart, and
de Lamb on your bosom, you'll feel as ef you was in dat stable at
Bethlehem and de Blessed Virgin had lent you de sleepin' Baby to hold."
She would not have shrunk from lifting up her voice and crying aloud in
the market-place, if thereby she might turn one smart butcher from the
error of his _weighs_; but for steady talking to the Lord, she preferred
my bedside or the back-stairs.

But in those days the kitchen was my paradise, by her transmuted. As a
child, and not less now than then, I had a consuming longing for
snuggery; my one fair, clear idea of the consummate golden fruit of the
spirit's sweet content was a cosey place to get away to. In my longing I
purred with the cat rolled up in her furry ball on the rug by the fire,
making a high-post bedstead of a chair; in my longing I stole with
furtive rats to their mysterious cave-nests in the wall. So do I
now,--the more for that I lost, so long ago, my dear kitchen, my
Aunt-Judyness,--my home.

    "I behold it everywhere,
    On the earth, and in the air,
    But it never comes again."

At this moment I feel the dresser in the corner, gleaming with the
cook's refulgent pride of polished tins; I am sensible of that pulpit
ironing-table--alas! the flat-iron on its ring is as cold as the hand
that erst so deftly guided it. I bask before the old-fashioned
hospitable fireplace, capacious and embracing, and jolly with its
old-fashioned hickory blaze, and the fat old-fashioned kettle hung upon
the old-fashioned crane, swinging and singing of old-fashioned abundance
and good cheer. I behold the Madras turban, the white neckerchief
crossed over the bosom, the clumsy steel-bowed spectacles, the check
apron, and the old-fashioned love that is forever new. But they never
come again.

That kitchen was my hospital and my school,--as much better than the
whole round of select academies and classical institutes that my father
tried, and that tried me, as check aprons and love are more inculcating
than canes and quarterly bills; and however it may be with my head, my
heart never has forgotten the lessons I learned there. Thither, on the
nipping nights of winter, brought I my small fingers and toes, numbed
and aching with snow-balling and skating, to be tenderly rubbed before
the fire, or fondly folded in the motherly apron. Thither brought I an
extensive and various assortment of splinters and fresh cuts; thither my
impervious nose, to be lubricated with goose-grease, or my swollen angry
tonsils ("waxen kernels," Aunt Judy called them), to be mollified with
volatile liniment.

It was here that my own free mind, uncompelled by pedagogues and
unallured by prizes, first achieved a whole chapter in the Bible. Cook
and laundress and chambermaid were out for the evening; the table had
been cleared and covered with the fresh white cloth; and I, perched on
Aunt Judy's lap at the end next the fireplace, glided featly over the
short words, plunged pluckily through the long, (braced, as it were,
against the superior education and the spectacles behind me,) of the
first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, from the Word that
was in the beginning, to the Hereafter of the glorified Son of man.
After which so large performance for so small a boy, we re-refreshed
ourselves with that cheerful hymn, in which Dr. Watts lyrically disposes
of the questions,

      "And must this body die,
      This mortal frame decay?
    And must these active limbs of mine
      Lie mouldering in the clay?"

For so infantile a heart, my darling old mammy had a wonderful lack of
active imagination, even in her religion; for there all was real and
actual to her. Her pleasures of memory and her pleasures of hope were
alike founded upon fact. Christ was as personal to her as her own
rheumatic frame, and heaven as positive as her kitchen. "Blessed are
they that have not seen, and yet have believed";--but for her, to
believe and to see were one. So whatever imagination she may by nature
have possessed seemed to have dwindled for lack of exercise: it was long
since she had had any use for it. She had no folk-lore, no faculty of
story-telling,--only a veracious legend or two of our family, which she
invariably related with an affidavit-like scrupulousness of
circumstance. I cannot recollect that she ever once beguiled me with a
mere nurse's tale. So when at that kitchen-table we read "The Pilgrim's
Progress" together, we presented a curious entertainment for the student
of intellectual processes,--nurse and child arriving by diverse
arguments of imagination at the same result of reality;--she knowing
that Sin was a burden, because she had borne it; I, because I had seen
it in the picture strapped to Christian's back;--she, that Despair was a
giant, because he had often appalled her soul within her; I, because in
a dream he had made me scream last night;--she, that Death was a river,
because so many of her dear ones had gone over, and because on her clear
days she could see the other shore; I, because, as I lay with my young
cheek against her old heart, I could hear the beating of its waves.

Blessed indeed is the mother who is admitted to the sanctuary of her
darling's secrets with the freedom with which Aunt Judy penetrated (was
invited rather, with parted lips and sparkling eyes) to mine,--into
whose sympathetic ear are poured, in all the dream-borne melody of the
first songs of the heart, in all "the tender thought, the speechless
pain" of its first violets, his earliest confessions, aspirations,
loves, wrongs, troubles, triumphs. Well do I remember that day when,
trembling, ghastly, faint, I fell in tears upon her neck, and poured
into her bosom and basin the spasmodic story of My First Cigar! Well do
I remember that night, when, bursting from the evening party in the
parlor, and the thick red married lady in the thin blue tarletan, and
all my raptures and my anguish, I flung myself into Aunt Judy's arms and
acknowledged the soft corn of My First Love, raving at the fatal
sandy-whiskered gulf that yawned between me and Mine thick blue Own One
in the thin red tarletan!

Well do I remember--though I was only seven times one--the panting
exultation with which I flung into her lap the cheap colored print of
the Tower of Babel (showing the hurly-burly of French bricklayers and
Irish hod-carriers, and the grand row generally) that I had just won at
school by correctly committing to memory, and publicly reciting, the
whole of

    "Almighty God, thy piercing eye
    Strikes through the shades of night," etc.

My first prize! The Tower of Babel fell untimely into the wash-tub, but
she dried it on her warm bosom; and I have never forgotten that All our
secret actions lie All open to His sight; though I have never seen the
verses (they were in Comly's Spelling-Book) from that day to this.

In those days we had a youth of talent in the family,--a sort of
sophomorical boil, that the soap and sugar of indiscriminate adulation
had drawn to a head of conceit. This youth bestowed a great deal of
attention on a certain young woman of a classical turn of mind, who once
had a longing to attend a fancy-ball as a sibyl. About the same time
Sophomore missed the first volume of his Potter's "Antiquities of
Greece"; and, having searched for it in vain, made up his mind that I
had presented it as a keepsake, together with a lock of my hair and a
cent's worth of pea-nut taffy, to the head girl of the infant class at
my Sunday school. So Sophomore, being in morals a pedant and in
intellect a bully, accused me of appropriating the book, and offered me
a dollar if I would restore it to him. With swelling heart and quivering
lip I carried the wanton insult--my first great wrong--straight to Aunt
Judy, who, in her mild way, resented it as a personal outrage to her own
feelings, and tried to soothe and console me by assuring me that "it
would all rub out when it got dry." Three years later, as I was passing
the sibyl's house one morning, her mother met me at the door and handed
me an odd volume of Potter's "Antiquities of Greece," which she had just
discovered in some out-of-the-way corner, where it had been mislaid, and
which she desired me to hand to Sophomore with the sibyl's compliments,
thanks, regrets, and several other delicacies of the season. But I
handed it first to Aunt Judy, who gloried boisterously in my first
triumph. Sophomore patronized me magnificently with apologies; but if
the wrong never gets any drier than Aunt Judy's joyful eyes were then,
it never will rub out.

So heartily disgusted was I with this classical episode that I conceived
the original and desperate project of running away and going to sea. At
that time I enjoyed the proud privilege of a personal acquaintance with
the Siamese Twins, and was the envied holder of a season ticket to the
Museum, where they exhibited their attractive duplicity. It was an
essential part of my preparations to procure from the amiable Chang-Eng
a letter of introduction to their ingenious mother, who, I was told, was
in the duck-fishing line at Bangkok. Of course, I confided my plan to
Aunt Judy; and, although she opposed it with extra prayers of peculiar
length and strength, and finally succeeded in dissuading me from it, I
am by no means certain that she would not have connived at my flight,
rather than betray my confidence or consent to my punishment.

Those were the days of the _Morus multicaulis_ mania, and I embarked
with spirit in the silk-worm business. The original capital upon which I
erected the enterprise was furnished from the surplus of Aunt Judy's
wages. It was in the first silk dress that should come of all those
moths and eggs and wriggling spinners and cocoons that she invested with
such sanguine cheerfulness; and although she never got her money back in
that form,--owing to the unfortunate exhaustion of my mulberry-leaves
and the refusal of my worms to spin silk from tea, which, they being of
pure Chinese stock, I thought very unreasonable,--she conceived that she
reaped abundant returns in her share of my happy enthusiasm, while it
lasted; and when I wept over the famine-stricken forms of my operatives,
she said, "Never mind, honey; dey was an awful litter anyhow, and I
spec' dey was only de or'nary caterpillar poor trash, after all, else
dey 'd a-kep' goin' on dat tea; fur 't was de rale high-price Chany
kind, sure 's ye 'r born."

It was a striking oddness in the dear old soul, that, whilst in her
hours of familiar ease she indulged in the homely lingo of her tribe, in
her "company talk" she displayed a graver propriety of language, and in
her prayers was always fluent, forcible, and correct.

The watchful tenderness with which I loved my gentle, childlike father
was the most interesting of the many secrets that my heart shared only
with Aunt Judy's. When I was twelve years old, he fell into a touching
despondency, caused by certain reverses in his business and the
unremitting anxieties consequent upon them. So intense and sensitive was
my magnetic sympathy with him, that I contracted the same sadness, in a
form so aggravated and morbid that the despondency, in me, became
despair, and the anxiety horror. The cruel fancy took possession of my
mind, installed there by my treacherously imaginative temperament, that
some awful calamity was about to befall my dear father; that he,
patient, submissive Christian that he was, even meditated suicide; and
that shape of fear so shook my soul with terror in the daytime, so
filled my dreams with horror in the night, that, as if it were not
myself, I turn back to pity the poor child now, and wonder that he did
not go mad.

Does he know the truth now up in Heaven, the beloved old man? Surely;
for the beloved old woman, who alone knew it on earth, is she not there?
He knows now how his selfish, wilful, school-hating scamp, of whom only
he and Aunt Judy ever boded any good, stole away from his playmates and
his games, every afternoon when school was dismissed, and with that
baleful phantom before him, and that doleful cry in his ears, flew
through the bustle and clatter of the wharves to where his father's
warehouse was, two miles away; and, dodging like a thief among crates
and boxes, bales and casks, and choking down the appeal of his lonely,
shame-faced terror, watched that door with all the eager, tenacious,
panting fidelity of a dog, until the merchant came forth on his way
homeward for the night. And how the scamp followed, dodging, watching,
trembling, unconsciously moaning, unconsciously sobbing, seeing no form
but his, hearing no sound but his footfall, keeping cunningly between
that form and the dock, lest it should suddenly dart, through the drays
and the moored vessels and plunge into the river, as the scamp had seen
it do in his dreams. And how, at the end of that walk through the Valley
of the Shadow of Death, when we reached our own door, and the
simple-hearted, good old man passed in, as ignorant of my following as
he was innocent of the monstrous purpose I imputed to him, I lingered
some minutes at the gate to ease with a sluice of tears my pent-up fears
and pains; and then burst into the yard, whistling, whooping, prancing,
swinging my satchel, without feeling or manners,--a shameless, heartless
brat and nuisance. And how, when the day, with all its secret sighs and
sobs, was over, and he and I retired to the same bed, I prayed to our
Father in heaven (muffling my very thoughts in the bed-clothes lest he
should hear them) to keep my earthly father safe for me from all the
formless dangers of the darkness; and how, when at the first gray streak
of dawn the spectre shook me, and I awoke, I held my heart and my
breathing still, to listen for his breathing, and thanked God when he
groaned in his sleep; and how, when his shaving-water was brought and he
stood before the glass, baring his throat, I crept close behind him,
still watching, gasping,--now pretending to hum a tune, now pressing my
hand upon my mouth lest I should shriek in my helpless suspense; and
how, when he drew the razor from its sheath--Well! I am forty years old
now, and I have been pursued since then by so many and such torturing
shapes of desperation and dismay as should refresh the heart of my
stupidest enemy with an emotion of relenting; but I would consent to
weep, groan, rave them all over again, beginning where that haunted
child left off, rather than begin where he began, though my spectres
should forever vanish with his.

Aunt Judy trembled and watched with me, and, accepting my phantom as if
it were a reasonable fear, hid away her share of the sacred secret in
her heart, and helped me to cover up mine with a disguise of
carelessness, lest any foolish or brutal mockery should find it out.

My darling had but few superstitions: her spiritually informed
intelligence rose superior to vulgar signs and dreams, and saw through
the little warnings and wonders of darker and less pure minds with a
science of its own, which she called Gospel light. Still, there was here
a sign and there a legend that she clung to for old acquaintance' sake,
rather than by reason of any credulity in her strong enough to take the
place of faith. But these constituted the peculiar poetry of her
personality, the fireside balladry and folk-lore of her Aunt-Judyness;
and I could no more mock them than I could mock the good fairy in her,
that changed all my floggings to feathers,--no sooner tear away their
comfortable homeliness to jeer at their honored absurdity, than I could
snatch off her dear familiar turban to mock the silver reverence of her
"wool." Ah! I wish you could have heard her tell me that I must pass
through fourteen years of trouble,--seven on account of the big old
mirror in the parlor that I, lying on the sofa beneath it, kicked clear
off its hook and into the middle of the floor,--and seven for that very
looking-glass which my father used to shave by, and which I, sparring
at my image in it, to amuse my little brother, knocked into smithareens
with my fractious fist. Why, man, it was not only awful, it all came

Aunt Judy, like most of those antiques, the old-fashioned house-servants
of the South,--coachmen and waiters, nurses and lady's maids,--was a
towering aristocrat: she believed in blood, and was a connoisseur in
pedigrees. Her family pride was lofty, vast, and imposing, and embraced
in the scope of its sympathy whoever could boast of a family Bible
containing a well-filled record of births, marriages, and deaths,--a
dear dead-and-gone inheritance of family portraits, lace, trinkets, and
silver spoons,--a family vault in an Orthodox burial-ground,--and above
all, one or two venerable family servants, just to show "dese mushroom
folks, wid der high-minded notions, how diff'ent things was in ole
missus's time!" Measured by this standard, if you had the misfortune to
be a nobody, Aunt Judy, as a lady, might patronize you, as a Christian,
would cheerfully advise and assist you; but to the exclusive privilege
of what she superbly styled family-arities, you must in vain aspire.
_Our_ family, in the broadest sense of that word, was a large one,--by
blood and marriage a numerous connection; and when Aunt Judy said,
"So-and-so b'longs to our family," she included every man, woman, and
child who could produce the genuine patent of our nobility, and
especially all who had ever worn our livery, from my great-grandfather's
tremendous coachman to the slipshod young gal that "nussed" our last new
cousin's last new baby. Sometimes one of these cousins--quite
telescopic, so distant was the relationship--would come to dine with us.
Then Aunt Judy, in gorgeous turban, immaculate neckerchief, and lively
satisfaction, would be served up in state, our _pièce de résistance_.
The guest would compliment her with sympathetic inquiries about the
state of her health, which was always "only tol'able," or "ra-a-ther
poorly," or it "did 'pear as ef she could shuffle round a leetle yit,
praise de Master! But she was a-gettin' older and shacklier every day;
her cough was awful tryin' sometimes, and it 'peared as ef she warn't of
much account, nohow. But de Lord's will be done; when He wanted her, she
reckined He'd call. And how does you find yourself, Miss? And how does
your ma git along wid de servants now? You know she always was a great
hand to be pertickler, Miss; we hadn't sich another young lady in our
family, to be pertickler, as your ma, Miss,--'specially 'bout de
pleetin' and clare-starchin'."

I have to accuse myself of habitually shocking her aristocratic
sensibilities by profanely ignoring, in favor of the society of dirty
little plebeians, the relations to whom the sacred charm of a common
ancestry should have drawn me. "Make haste, honey," she used to say;
"wash yer face and hands, and pull up yer stockin's, and tie yer shoes,
and bresh de sand out of yer hair, and blow yer nose, and go into de
parlor, and shake hands wid yer Cousin Jorjana." But I would not. "O
bother, Auntie! who's my Cousin Georgiana?" "Why, honey, don't you know?
Miss Arabella Jane--dat's your dear dead-an'-gone grandma's second
cousin--had seven childern by her first husband,--he was a
Patterson,--and nine by her second,--_he_ was a McKim,--and five--but
'tain't no use, honey; you don't 'pear to take no int'res' in yer own
kith and kin, no more dan or'nary white trash. I 'spec' you don't know
de diff'ence, dis minnit, 'twixt yer poor old Aunt Judy and any
no-account poor-house nigger." And so my Cousin Georgiana, of whom I had
never heard before, remains a myth to me, one of Aunt Judy's Mrs.
Harrises, to this day. It was wonderful what an exact descriptive list
of them she could call at a moment's notice; and for keeping the run of
their names and numbers, she was as good as an enrolling officer or a
directory man. "Our family" could boast of many Pharisees, as well as
blush for many prodigals; but her sympathies were wholly with the
latter; and for these she was eternally killing fatted calves, in
spite of angry elder brothers and the whole sect of whited
sepulchres, who forgive exactly four hundred and ninety times by the
multiplication-table, and compass sea and land to make one hypocrite. If
she had had a fold of her own, all her sheep would have been black.

One day in January, 1849, I called to see Aunt Judy for the last time.
Superannuated, and rapidly failing, she had been installed by my father
in a comfortable room in the house of a sort of cousin of hers, a worthy
and "well-to-do" woman of color, where she might be cheered by the
visits of the more respectable people of her own class,--darkies of
substantial character and of the first families, among whom she was
esteemed as a mother in Israel. Thither either my father or one or two
of his children came every day, to watch her declining health, to
administer to her comfort, and to wait upon her with those offices of
respect to which she had earned her right by three quarters of a century
of humble, patient love and faithful service. My chest was packed, and
on the morrow I must sail for the ends of the earth; but she knew
nothing of that. All that afternoon we talked together as we had never
talked before; and many an injury that my indignant tears had kept fresh
and sticky was "dried" in the warmth of her earnest, anxious
peace-making, and "rubbed out" then and there. No page of my inditing
could be pure enough to record it all; but is it not written in the Book
of Life, among the regrets and the forgivenesses, the confessions and
the consolations and the hopes?

The last word I ever uttered to Aunt Judy was a careful, loving, pious
lie. She said, "Won't you come ag'in to-morrow, son, and see de poor ole
woman?" And I replied, "O yes, Auntie!"--though I well knew that, even
as I spoke, I was looking into the wise truth of those patient, tender
eyes for the last time in this world. The sun was going down as we
parted,--that sun has never risen again for me.

In June, 1850, on board a steamboat in the Sacramento River, I received
the very Bible I had first learned to read in, sitting on her lap by the
kitchen fire,--in the beginning was the Word. She was dead; and, dying,
she had sent it me, with her blessing,--at the end was the Word.

In August, 1852, that Bible was tossed ashore from a wreck in an Indian
river, and by angels delivered at a mission school in the jungle, where
other heathens beside myself have doubtless learned from it the Word
that was, and is, and ever shall be. On the inside of the cover, sitting
on her lap by the kitchen fire, I had written, with appropriate
"pot-hooks and hangers," AUNT JUDY.

Such her quiet consummation and renown!




One of our recent writers has said, that "good health is physical
religion"; and it is a saying worthy to be printed in golden letters.
But good health being physical religion, it fully shares that
indifference with which the human race regards things confessedly the
most important. The neglect of the soul is the trite theme of all
religious teachers; and, next to their souls, there is nothing that
people neglect so much as their bodies. Every person ought to be
perfectly healthy, just as everybody ought to be perfectly religious;
but, in point of fact, the greater part of mankind are so far from
perfect moral or physical religion that they cannot even form a
conception of the blessing beyond them.

The mass of good, well-meaning Christians are not yet advanced enough to
guess at the change which a perfect fidelity to Christ's spirit and
precepts would produce in them. And the majority of people who call
themselves well, because they are not, at present, upon any particular
doctor's list, are not within sight of what perfect health would be.
That fulness of life, that vigorous tone, and that elastic cheerfulness,
which make the mere fact of existence a luxury, that suppleness which
carries one like a well-built boat over every wave of unfavorable
chance,--these are attributes of the perfect health seldom enjoyed. We
see them in young children, in animals, and now and then, but rarely, in
some adult human being, who has preserved intact the religion of the
body through all opposing influences. Perfect health supposes not a
state of mere quiescence, but of positive enjoyment in living. See that
little fellow, as his nurse turns him out in the morning, fresh from his
bath, his hair newly curled, and his cheeks polished like apples. Every
step is a spring or a dance; he runs, he laughs, he shouts, his face
breaks into a thousand dimpling smiles at a word. His breakfast of plain
bread and milk is swallowed with an eager and incredible delight,--it is
_so good_, that he stops to laugh or thump the table now and then in
expression of his ecstasy. All day long he runs and frisks and plays;
and when at night the little head seeks the pillow, down go the
eye-curtains, and sleep comes without a dream. In the morning his first
note is a laugh and a crow, as he sits up in his crib and tries to pull
papa's eyes open with his fat fingers. He is an embodied joy,--he is
sunshine and music and laughter for all the house. With what a
magnificent generosity does the Author of life endow a little mortal
pilgrim in giving him at the outset of his career such a body as this!
How miserable it is to look forward twenty years, when the same child,
now grown a man, wakes in the morning with a dull, heavy head, the
consequence of smoking and studying till twelve or one the night before;
when he rises languidly to a late breakfast, and turns from this, and
tries that,--wants a devilled bone, or a cutlet with Worcestershire
sauce, to make eating possible; and then, with slow and plodding step,
finds his way to his office and his books. Verily the shades of the
prison-house gather round the growing boy; for, surely, no one will deny
that life often begins with health little less perfect than that of the

But the man who habitually wakes sodden, headachy, and a little stupid,
and who needs a cup of strong coffee and various stimulating condiments
to coax his bodily system into something like fair working order, does
not suppose he is out of health. He says, "Very well, I thank you," to
your inquiries,--merely because he has entirely forgotten what good
health is. He is well, not because of any particular pleasure in
physical existence, but well simply because he is not a subject for
prescriptions. Yet there is no store of vitality, no buoyancy, no
superabundant vigor, to resist the strain and pressure to which life
puts him. A checked perspiration, a draught of air ill-timed, a crisis
of perplexing business or care, and he is down with a bilious attack, or
an influenza, and subject to doctors' orders for an indefinite period.
And if the case be so with men, how is it with women? How many women
have at maturity the keen appetite, the joyous love of life and motion,
the elasticity and sense of physical delight in existence, that little
children have? How many have any superabundance of vitality with which
to meet the wear and strain of life? And yet they call themselves well.

But is it possible, in maturity, to have the joyful fulness of the life
of childhood? Experience has shown that the delicious freshness of this
dawning hour may be preserved even to mid-day, and may be brought back
and restored after it has been for years a stranger. Nature, though a
severe disciplinarian, is still, in many respects, most patient and easy
to be entreated, and meets any repentant movement of her prodigal
children with wonderful condescension. Take Bulwer's account of the
first few weeks of his sojourn at Malvern, and you will read, in very
elegant English, the story of an experience of pleasure which has
surprised and delighted many a patient at a water-cure. The return to
the great primitive elements of health--water, air, and simple food,
with a regular system of exercise--has brought to many a jaded, weary,
worn-down human being the elastic spirits, the simple, eager appetite,
the sound sleep, of a little child. Hence, the rude huts and châlets of
the peasant Priessnitz were crowded with battered dukes and princesses,
and notables of every degree, who came from the hot, enervating luxury
which had drained them of existence to find a keener pleasure in
peasants' bread under peasants' roofs than in soft raiment and palaces.
No arts of French cookery can possibly make anything taste so well to a
feeble and palled appetite as plain brown bread and milk taste to a
hungry water-cure patient, fresh from bath and exercise.

If the water-cure had done nothing more than establish the fact that the
glow and joyousness of early life are things which maybe restored after
having been once wasted, it would have done a good work. For if Nature
is so forgiving to those who have once lost or have squandered her
treasures, what may not be hoped for us if we can learn the art of never
losing the first health of childhood? And though with us, who have
passed to maturity, it may be too late for the blessing, cannot
something be done for the children who are yet to come after us?

Why is the first health of childhood lost? Is it not the answer, that
childhood is the only period of life in which bodily health is made a
prominent object? Take our pretty boy, with cheeks like apples, who
started in life with a hop, skip, and dance,--to whom laughter was like
breathing, and who was enraptured with plain bread and milk,--how did he
grow into the man who wakes so languid and dull, who wants strong coffee
and Worcestershire sauce to make his breakfast go down? When and where
did he drop the invaluable talisman that once made everything look
brighter and taste better to him, however rude and simple, than now do
the most elaborate combinations? What is the boy's history? Why, for the
first seven years of his life his body is made of some account. It is
watched, cared for, dieted, disciplined, fed with fresh air, and left to
grow and develop like a thrifty plant. But from the time school
education begins, the body is steadily ignored, and left to take care of

The boy is made to sit six hours a day in a close, hot room, breathing
impure air, putting the brain and the nervous system upon a constant
strain, while the muscular system is repressed to an unnatural quiet.
During the six hours, perhaps twenty minutes are allowed for all that
play of the muscles which, up to this time, has been the constant habit
of his life. After this he is sent home with books, slate, and lessons
to occupy an hour or two more in preparing for the next day. In the
whole of this time there is no kind of effort to train the physical
system by appropriate exercise. Something of the sort was attempted
years ago in the infant schools, but soon given up; and now, from the
time study first begins, the muscles are ignored in all primary schools.
One of the first results is the loss of that animal vigor which formerly
made the boy love motion for its own sake. Even in his leisure hours he
no longer leaps and runs as he used to; he learns to sit still, and by
and by sitting and lounging come to be the habit, and vigorous motion
the exception, for most of the hours of the day. The education thus
begun goes on from primary to high school, from high school to college,
from college through professional studies of law, medicine, or theology,
with this steady contempt for the body, with no provision for its
culture, training, or development, but rather a direct and evident
provision for its deterioration and decay.

The want of suitable ventilation in school-rooms, recitation-rooms,
lecture-rooms, offices, court-rooms, conference-rooms, and vestries,
where young students of law, medicine, and theology acquire their
earlier practice, is something simply appalling. Of itself it would
answer for men the question, why so many thousand glad, active children
come to a middle life without joy,--a life whose best estate is a sort
of slow, plodding endurance. The despite and hatred which most men seem
to feel for God's gift of fresh air, and their resolution to breathe as
little of it as possible, could only come from a long course of
education, in which they have been accustomed to live without it. Let
any one notice the conduct of our American people travelling in railroad
cars. We will suppose that about half of them are what might be called
well-educated people, who have learned in books, or otherwise, that the
air breathed from the lungs is laden with impurities,--that it is
noxious and poisonous; and yet, travel with these people half a day, and
you would suppose from their actions that they considered the external
air as a poison created expressly to injure them, and that the only
course of safety lay in keeping the cars hermetically sealed, and
breathing over and over the vapor from each others' lungs. If a person
in despair at the intolerable foulness raises a window, what frowns from
all the neighboring seats, especially from great rough-coated men, who
always seem the first to be apprehensive! The request to "put down that
window" is almost sure to follow a moment or two of fresh air. In vain
have rows of ventilators been put in the tops of some of the cars, for
conductors and passengers are both of one mind, that these ventilators
are inlets of danger, and must be kept carefully closed.

Railroad travelling in America is systematically, and one would think
carefully, arranged so as to violate every possible law of health. The
old rule to keep the head cool and the feet warm is precisely reversed.
A red-hot stove heats the upper stratum of air to oppression, while a
stream of cold air is constantly circulating about the lower
extremities. The most indigestible and unhealthy substances conceivable
are generally sold in the cars or at way-stations for the confusion and
distress of the stomach. Rarely can a traveller obtain so innocent a
thing as a plain good sandwich of bread and meat, while pie, cake,
doughnuts, and all other culinary atrocities, are almost forced upon him
at every stopping-place. In France, England, and Germany the railroad
cars are perfectly ventilated; the feet are kept warm by flat cases
filled with hot water and covered with carpet, and answering the double
purpose of warming the feet and diffusing an agreeable temperature
through the car, without burning away the vitality of the air; while the
arrangements at the refreshment-rooms provide for the passenger as
wholesome and well-served a meal of healthy, nutritious food as could be
obtained in any home circle.

What are we to infer concerning the home habits of a nation of men who
so resignedly allow their bodies to be poisoned and maltreated in
travelling over such an extent of territory as is covered by our
railroad lines? Does it not show that foul air and improper food are too
much matters of course to excite attention? As a writer in "The Nation"
has lately remarked, it is simply and only because the American nation
like to have unventilated cars, and to be fed on pie and coffee at
stopping-places, that nothing better is known to our travellers; if
there were, any marked dislike of such a state of things on the part of
the people, it would not exist. We have wealth enough, and enterprise
enough, and ingenuity enough, in our American nation, to compass with
wonderful rapidity any end that really seems to us desirable. An army
was improvised when an army was wanted,--and an army more perfectly
equipped, more bountifully fed, than so great a body of men ever was
before. Hospitals, Sanitary Commissions, and Christian Commissions all
arose out of the simple conviction of the American people that they must
arise. If the American people were equally convinced that foul air was a
poison,--that to have cold feet and hot heads was to invite an attack of
illness,--that maple-sugar, pop-corn, peppermint candy, pie, doughnuts,
and peanuts are not diet for reasonable beings,--they would have
railroad accommodations very different from those now in existence.

We have spoken of the foul air of court-rooms. What better illustration
could be given of the utter contempt with which the laws of bodily
health are treated, than the condition of these places? Our lawyers are
our highly educated men. They have been through high-school and college
training, they have learned the properties of oxygen, nitrogen, and
carbonic-acid gas, and have seen a mouse die under an exhausted
receiver, and of course they know that foul, unventilated rooms are bad
for the health; and yet generation after generation of men so taught and
trained will spend the greater part of their lives in rooms notorious
for their close and impure air, without so much as an attempt to remedy
the evil. A well-ventilated court-room is a four-leaved clover among
court-rooms. Young men are constantly losing their health at the bar:
lung diseases, dyspepsia, follow them up, gradually sapping their
vitality. Some of the brightest ornaments of the profession have
actually fallen dead as they stood pleading,--victims of the fearful
pressure of poisonous and heated air upon the excited brain. The deaths
of Salmon P. Chase of Portland, uncle of our present Chief Justice, and
of Ezekiel Webster, the brother of our great statesman, are memorable
examples of the calamitous effects of the errors dwelt upon; and yet,
strange to say, nothing efficient is done to mend these errors, and give
the body an equal chance with the mind in the pressure of the world's

But churches, lecture-rooms, and vestries, and all buildings devoted
especially to the good of the soul, are equally witness of the mind's
disdain of the body's needs, and the body's consequent revenge upon the
soul. In how many of these places has the question of a thorough
provision of fresh air been even considered? People would never think of
bringing a thousand persons into a desert place, and keeping them there,
without making preparations to feed them. Bread and butter, potatoes and
meat, must plainly be found for them; but a thousand human beings are
put into a building to remain a given number of hours, and no one asks
the question whether means exist for giving each one the quantum of
fresh air needed for his circulation, and these thousand victims will
consent to be slowly poisoned, gasping, sweating, getting red in the
face, with confused and sleepy brains, while a minister with a yet
redder face and a more oppressed brain struggles and wrestles, through
the hot, seething vapors, to make clear to them the mysteries of faith.
How many churches are there that for six or eight months in the year are
never ventilated at all, except by the accidental opening of doors? The
foul air generated by one congregation is locked up by the sexton for
the use of the next assembly; and so gathers and gathers from week to
week, and month to month, while devout persons upbraid themselves, and
are ready to tear their hair, because they always feel stupid and sleepy
in church. The proper ventilation of their churches and vestries would
remove that spiritual deadness of which their prayers and hymns
complain. A man hoeing his corn out on a breezy hillside is bright and
alert, his mind works clearly, and he feels interested in religion, and
thinks of many a thing that might be said at the prayer-meeting at
night. But at night, when he sits down in a little room where the air
reeks with the vapor of his neighbor's breath and the smoke of kerosene
lamps, he finds himself suddenly dull and drowsy,--without emotion,
without thought, without feeling,--and he rises and reproaches himself
for this state of things. He calls upon his soul and all that is within
him to bless the Lord; but the indignant body, abused, insulted,
ignored, takes the soul by the throat, and says, "If you won't let _me_
have a good time, neither shall you." Revivals of religion, with
ministers and with those people whose moral organization leads them to
take most interest in them, often end in periods of bodily ill-health
and depression. But is there any need of this? Suppose that a revival of
religion required, as a formula, that all the members of a given
congregation should daily take a minute dose of arsenic in concert,--we
should not be surprised after a while to hear of various ill effects
therefrom; and, as vestries and lecture-rooms are now arranged, a daily
prayer-meeting is often nothing more nor less than a number of persons
spending half an hour a day breathing poison from each other's lungs.
There is not only no need of this, but, on the contrary, a good supply
of pure air would make the daily prayer-meeting far more enjoyable. The
body, if allowed the slightest degree of fair play, so far from being a
contumacious infidel and opposer, becomes a very fair Christian helper,
and, instead of throttling the soul, gives it wings to rise to celestial

This branch of our subject we will quit with one significant anecdote. A
certain rural church was somewhat famous for its picturesque Gothic
architecture, and equally famous for its sleepy atmosphere, the rules of
Gothic symmetry requiring very small windows, which could be only
partially opened. Everybody was affected alike in this church: minister
and people complained that it was like the enchanted ground in the
Pilgrim's Progress. Do what they would, sleep was ever at their elbows;
the blue, red, and green of the painted windows melted into a rainbow
dimness of hazy confusion; and ere they were aware, they were off on a
cloud to the land of dreams.

An energetic sister in the church suggested the inquiry, whether it was
ever ventilated, and discovered that it was regularly locked up at the
close of service, and remained so till opened for the next week. She
suggested the inquiry, whether giving the church a thorough airing on
Saturday would not improve the Sunday services; but nobody acted on her
suggestion. Finally, she borrowed the sexton's key one Saturday night,
and went into the church and opened all the windows herself, and let
them remain so for the night. The next day everybody remarked the
improved comfort of the church, and wondered what had produced the
change. Nevertheless, when it was discovered, it was not deemed a matter
of enough importance to call for an order on the sexton to perpetuate
the improvement.

The ventilation of private dwellings in this country is such as might be
expected from that entire indifference to the laws of health manifested
in public establishments. Let a person travel in private conveyance up
through the valley of the Connecticut, and stop for a night at the
taverns which he will usually find at the end of each day's stage. The
bed-chamber into which he will be ushered will be the concentration of
all forms of bad air. The house is redolent of the vegetables in the
cellar,--cabbages, turnips, and potatoes; and this fragrance is confined
and retained by the custom of closing the window-blinds and dropping the
inside curtains, so that neither air nor sunshine enters in to purify.
Add to this the strong odor of a new feather-bed and pillows, and you
have a combination of perfumes most appalling to a delicate sense. Yet
travellers take possession of these rooms, sleep in them all night
without raising the window or opening the blinds, and leave them to be
shut up for other travellers.

The spare chamber of many dwellings seems to be an hermetically closed
box, opened only twice a year, for spring and fall cleaning; but for the
rest of the time closed to the sun and the air of heaven. Thrifty
country housekeepers often adopt the custom of making their beds on the
instant after they are left, without airing the sheets and mattresses;
and a bed so made gradually becomes permeated with the insensible
emanations of the human body, so as to be a steady corrupter of the

In the winter, the windows are calked and listed, the throat of the
chimney built up with a tight brick wall, and a close stove is
introduced to help burn out the vitality of the air. In a sitting-room
like this, from five to ten persons will spend about eight months of the
year, with no other ventilation than that gained by the casual opening
and shutting of doors. Is it any wonder that consumption every year
sweeps away its thousands?--that people are suffering constant chronic
ailments,--neuralgia, nervous dyspepsia, and all the host of indefinite
bad feelings that rob life of sweetness and flower and bloom?

A recent writer raises the inquiry, whether the community would not gain
in health by the demolition of all dwelling-houses. That is, he suggests
the question, whether the evils from foul air are not so great and so
constant, that they countervail the advantages of shelter. Consumptive
patients far gone have been known to be cured by long journeys, which
have required them to be day and night in the open air. Sleep under the
open heaven, even though the person be exposed to the various accidents
of weather, has often proved a miraculous restorer after everything else
had failed. But surely, if simple fresh air is so healing and preserving
a thing, some means might be found to keep the air in a house just as
pure and vigorous as it is outside.

An article in the May number of "Harpers' Magazine" presents drawings of
a very simple arrangement by which any house can be made thoroughly
self-ventilating. Ventilation, as this article shows, consists in two
things,--a perfect and certain expulsion from the dwelling of all foul
air breathed from the lungs or arising from any other cause, and the
constant supply of pure air.

One source of foul air cannot be too much guarded against,--we mean
imperfect gas-pipes. A want of thoroughness in execution is the sin of
our American artisans, and very few gas-fixtures are so thoroughly made
that more or less gas does not escape and mingle with the air of the
dwelling. There are parlors where plants cannot be made to live, because
the gas kills them; and yet their occupants do not seem to reflect that
an air in which a plant cannot live must be dangerous for a human being.
The very clemency and long-suffering of Nature to those who persistently
violate her laws is one great cause why men are, physically speaking,
such sinners as they are. If foul air poisoned at once and completely,
we should have well-ventilated houses, whatever else we failed to have.
But because people can go on for weeks, months, and years, breathing
poisons, and slowly and imperceptibly lowering the tone of their vital
powers, and yet be what they call "pretty well, I thank you," sermons on
ventilation and fresh air go by them as an idle song. "I don't see but
we are well enough, and we never took much pains about these things.
There's air enough gets into houses, of course. What with doors opening
and windows occasionally lifted, the air of houses is generally good
enough";--and so the matter is dismissed.

One of Heaven's great hygienic teachers is now abroad in the world,
giving lessons on health to the children of men. The cholera is like the
angel whom God threatened to send as leader to the rebellious
Israelites. "Beware of him, obey his voice, and provoke him not; for he
will not pardon your transgressions." The advent of this fearful
messenger seems really to be made necessary by the contempt with which
men treat the physical laws of their being. What else could have
purified the dark places of New York? What a wiping-up and reforming and
cleansing is going before him through the country! At last we find that
Nature is in earnest, and that her laws cannot be always ignored with
impunity. Poisoned air is recognized at last as an evil,--even although
the poison cannot be weighed, measured, or tasted; and if all the
precautions that men are now willing to take could be made perpetual,
the alarm would be a blessing to the world.

Like the principles of spiritual religion, the principles of physical
religion are few and easy to be understood. An old medical apothegm
personifies the hygienic forces as the Doctors Air, Diet, Exercise, and
Quiet; and these four will be found, on reflection, to cover the whole
ground of what is required to preserve human health. A human being whose
lungs have always been nourished by pure air, whose stomach has been fed
only by appropriate food, whose muscles have been systematically trained
by appropriate exercises, and whose mind is kept tranquil by faith in
God and a good conscience, has _perfect physical religion_. There is a
line where physical religion must necessarily overlap spiritual religion
and rest upon it. No human being can be assured of perfect health,
through all the strain and wear and tear of such cares and such
perplexities as life brings, without the rest of _faith in God_. An
unsubmissive, unconfiding, unresigned soul will make vain the best
hygienic treatment; and, on the contrary, the most saintly religious
resolution and purpose maybe defeated and vitiated by an habitual
ignorance and disregard of the laws of the physical system.

_Perfect_ spiritual religion cannot exist without perfect physical
religion. Every flaw and defect in the bodily system is just so much
taken from the spiritual vitality: we are commanded to glorify God, not
simply in our spirits, but in our _bodies_ and spirits. The only example
of perfect manhood the world ever saw impresses us more than anything
else by an atmosphere of perfect healthiness. There is a calmness, a
steadiness, in the character of Jesus, a naturalness in his evolution of
the sublimest truths under the strain of the most absorbing and intense
excitement, that could commonly from the _one_ perfectly trained and
developed body, bearing as a pure and sacred shrine the One Perfect
Spirit. Jesus of Nazareth, journeying on foot from city to city, always
calm yet always fervent, always steady yet glowing with a white heat of
sacred enthusiasm, able to walk and teach all day and afterwards to
continue in prayer all night, with unshaken nerves, sedately patient,
serenely reticent, perfectly self-controlled, walked the earth, the only
man that perfectly glorified God in his body no less than in his spirit.
It is worthy of remark, that in choosing his disciples he chose plain
men from the laboring classes, who had lived the most obediently to the
simple, unperverted laws of nature. He chose men of good and pure
bodies,--simple, natural, childlike, healthy men,--and baptized their
souls with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

The hygienic bearings of the New Testament have never been sufficiently
understood. The basis of them lies in the solemn declaration, that our
bodies are to be temples of the Holy Spirit, and that all abuse of them
is of the nature of sacrilege. Reverence for the physical system, as the
outward shrine and temple of the spiritual, is the peculiarity of the
Christian religion. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body, and
its physical immortality, sets the last crown of honor upon it. That
bodily system which God declared worthy to be gathered back from the
dust of the grave, and re-created, as the soul's immortal companion,
must necessarily be dear and precious in the eyes of its Creator. The
one passage in the New Testament in which it is spoken of disparagingly
is where Paul contrasts it with the brighter glory of what is to
come,--"He shall change our _vile_ bodies, that they may be fashioned
like his glorious body." From this passage has come abundance of
reviling of the physical system. Memoirs of good men are full of abuse
of it, as the clog, the load, the burden, the chain. It is spoken of as
pollution, as corruption,--in short, one would think that the Creator
had imitated the cruelty of some Oriental despots who have been known to
chain a festering corpse to a living body. Accordingly, the memoirs of
these pious men are also mournful records of slow suicide, wrought by
the persistent neglect of the most necessary and important laws of the
bodily system; and the body, outraged and down-trodden, has turned
traitor to the soul, and played the adversary with fearful power. Who
can tell the countless temptations to evil which flow in from a
neglected, disordered, deranged nervous system,--temptations to anger,
to irritability, to selfishness, to every kind of sin of appetite and
passion? No wonder that the poor soul longs for the hour of release from
such a companion.

But that human body which God declares expressly was made to be the
temple of the Holy Spirit, which he considers worthy to be perpetuated
by a resurrection and an immortal existence, cannot be intended to be a
clog and a hindrance to spiritual advancement. A perfect body, working
in perfect tune and time, would open glimpses of happiness to the soul
approaching the joys we hope for in heaven. It is only through the
images of things which our _bodily_ senses have taught us, that we can
form any conception of that future bliss; and the more perfect these
senses, the more perfect our conceptions must be.

The conclusion of the whole matter, and the practical application of
this sermon, is:--First, that all men set themselves to form the idea of
what perfect health is, and resolve to realize it for themselves and
their children. Second, that with a view to this they study the religion
of the body, in such simple and popular treatises as those of George
Combe, Dr. Dio Lewis, and others, and with simple and honest hearts
practise what they there learn. Third, that the training of the bodily
system should form a regular part of our common-school education,--every
common school being provided with a well-instructed teacher of
gymnastics; and the growth and development of each pupil's body being as
much noticed and marked as is now the growth of his mind. The same
course should be continued and enlarged in colleges and female
seminaries, which should have professors of hygiene appointed to give
thorough instruction concerning the laws of health.

And when this is all done, we may hope that crooked spines, pimpled
faces, sallow complexions, stooping shoulders, and all other signs
indicating an undeveloped physical vitality, will, in the course of a
few generations, disappear from the earth, and men will have bodies
which will glorify God, their great Architect.

The soul of man has got as far as it can without the body. Religion
herself stops and looks back, waiting for the body to overtake her. The
soul's great enemy and hindrance can be made her best friend and most
powerful help; and it is high time that this era were begun. We old
sinners, who have lived carelessly, and almost spent our day of grace,
may not gain much of its good; but the children,--shall there not be a
more perfect day for them? Shall there not come a day when the little
child, whom Christ set forth to his disciples as the type of the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven, shall be the type no less of our
physical than our spiritual advancement,--when men and women shall
arise, keeping through long and happy lives the simple, unperverted
appetites, the joyous freshness of spirit, the keen delight in mere
existence, the dreamless sleep and happy waking of early childhood?



The bill was paid; the black horse saddled and brought round to the
door. Mr. and Mrs. Vint stood bare-headed to honor the parting guest;
and the latter offered him the stirrup-cup.

Griffith looked round for Mercy. She was nowhere to be seen.

Then he said, piteously, to Mrs. Vint, "What, not even bid me good by?"

Mrs. Vint replied, in a very low voice, that there was no disrespect
intended. "The truth is, sir, she could not trust herself to see you go;
but she bade me give you a message. Says she, 'Mother, tell him I pray
God to bless him, go where he will.'"

Something rose in Griffith's throat "O Dame!" said he, "if she only knew
the truth, she would think better of me than she does. God bless her!"

And he rode sorrowfully away, alone in the world once more.

At the first turn in the road, he wheeled his horse, and took a last
lingering look.

There was nothing vulgar, nor inn-like, in the "Packhorse." It stood
fifty yards from the road, on a little rural green, and was picturesque
itself. The front was entirely clad with large-leaved ivy. Shutters
there were none: the windows, with their diamond panes, were lustrous
squares, set like great eyes in the green ivy. It looked a pretty,
peaceful retreat, and in it Griffith had found peace and a dove-like

He sighed, and rode away from the sight; not raging and convulsed, as
when he rode from Hernshaw Castle, but somewhat sick at heart, and very

He paced so slowly that it took him a quarter of an hour to reach the
"Woodman,"--a wayside inn, not two miles distant. As he went by, a
farmer hailed him from the porch, and insisted on drinking with him; for
he was very popular in the neighborhood. Whilst they were thus employed,
who should come out but Paul Carrick, booted and spurred, and flushed in
the face, and rather the worse for liquor imbibed on the spot.

"So you are going, are ye?" said he. "A good job, too." Then, turning to
the other, "Master Gutteridge, never you save a man's life, if you can
anyways help it. I saved this one's; and what does he do but turn round
and poison my sweetheart against me?"

"How can you say so?" remonstrated Griffith. "I never belied you. Your
name scarce ever passed my lips."

"Don't tell me," said Carrick. "However, she has come to her senses, and
given your worship the sack. Ride you into Cumberland, and I to the
'Packhorse,' and take my own again."

With this, he unhooked his nag from the wall, and clattered off to the

Griffith sat a moment stupefied, and then his face was convulsed by his
ruling passion. He wheeled his horse, gave him the spur, and galloped
after Carrick.

He soon came up with him, and yelled in his ear, "I'll teach you to spit
your wormwood in my cup of sorrow."

Carrick shook his fist defiantly, and spurred his horse in turn.

It was an exciting race, and a novel one, but soon decided. The great
black hunter went ahead, and still improved his advantage. Carrick,
purple with rage, was full a quarter of a mile behind, when Griffith
dashed furiously into the stable of the "Packhorse," and, leaving Black
Dick panting and covered with foam, ran in search of Mercy.

The girl told him she was in the dairy. He looked in at the window, and
there she was with her mother. With instinctive sense and fortitude she
had fled to work. She was trying to churn; but it would not do: she had
laid her shapely arm on the churn, and her head on it, and was crying.

Mrs. Vint was praising Carrick, and offering homely consolation.

"Ah, mother," sighed Mercy, "I could have made him happy. He does not
know that; and he has turned his back on content. What will become of

Griffith heard no more. He went round to the front door, and rushed in.

"Take your own way, Dame," said he, in great agitation. "Put up the
banns when you like. Sweetheart, wilt wed with me? I'll make thee the
best husband I can."

Mercy screamed faintly, and lifted up her hands; then she blushed and
trembled to her very finger ends; but it ended in smiles of joy and her
brow upon his shoulder.

In which attitude, with Mrs. Vint patting him approvingly on the back,
they were surprised by Paul Carrick. He came to the door, and there
stood aghast.

The young man stared ruefully at the picture, and then said, very dryly,
"I'm too late, methinks."

"That you be, Paul," said Mrs. Vint, cheerfully. "She is meat for your

"Don't--you--never--come to me--to save your life--no more," blubbered
Paul, breaking down all of a sudden.

He then retired, little heeded, and came no more to the "Packhorse" for
several days.


It is desirable that improper marriages should never be solemnized; and
the Christian Church saw this, many hundred years ago, and ordained
that, before a marriage, the banns should be cried in a church three
Sundays, and any person there present might forbid the union of the
parties, and allege the just impediment.

This precaution was feeble, but not wholly inadequate--in the Middle
Ages; for we know by good evidence that the priest was often interrupted
and the banns forbidden.

But in modern days the banns are never forbidden; in other words, the
precautionary measure that has come down to us from the thirteenth
century is out of date and useless. It rests, indeed, on an estimate of
publicity that has become childish, and almost asinine. If persons about
to marry were compelled to inscribe their names and descriptions in a
Matrimonial Weekly Gazette, and a copy of this were placed on a desk in
ten thousand churches, perhaps we might stop one lady per annum from
marrying her husband's brother, and one gentleman from wedding his
neighbor's wife. But the crying of banns in a single parish church is a
waste of the people's time and the parson's breath.

And so it proved in Griffith Gaunt's case. The Rev. William Wentworth
published, in the usual recitative, the banns of marriage between Thomas
Leicester, of the parish of Marylebone in London, and Mercy Vint,
spinster, of _this_ parish; and creation, present _ex hypothesi
mediævale_, but absent in fact, assented, by silence, to the union.

So Thomas Leicester wedded Mercy Vint, and took her home to the

       *       *       *       *       *

It would be well if those who stifle their consciences, and commit
crimes, would set up a sort of medico-moral diary, and record their
symptoms minutely day by day. Such records might help to clear away some
vague conventional notions.

To tell the truth, our hero, and now malefactor, (the combination is of
high antiquity,) enjoyed, for several months, the peace of mind that
belongs of right to innocence; and his days passed in a state of smooth
complacency. Mercy was a good, wise, and tender wife; she naturally
looked up to him after marriage more than she did before; she studied
his happiness, as she had never studied her own; she mastered his
character, admired his good qualities, discerned his weaknesses, but did
not view them as defects; only as little traits to be watched, lest she
should give pain to "her master," as she called him.

Affection, in her, took a more obsequious form than it could ever assume
in Kate Peyton. And yet she had great influence, and softly governed
"her master" for his good. She would come into the room and take away
the bottle, if he was committing excess; but she had a way of doing it,
so like a good, but resolute mother, and so unlike a termagant, that he
never resisted. Upon the whole, she nursed his mind, as in earlier days
she had nursed his body.

And then she made him so comfortable: she observed him minutely to that
end. As is the eye of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so Mercy
Leicester's dove-like eye was ever watching "her master's" face, to
learn the minutest features of his mind.

One evening he came in tired, and there was a black fire in the parlor.
His countenance fell the sixteenth of an inch. You and I, sir, should
never have noticed it. But Mercy did, and, ever after, there was a clear
fire when he came in.

She noted, too, that he loved to play the _viol da gambo_, but disliked
the trouble of tuning it. So then she tuned it for him.

When he came home at night, early or late, he was sure to find a dry
pair of shoes on the rug, his six-stringed viol tuned to a hair, a
bright fire, and a brighter wife, smiling and radiant at his coming, and
always neat; for, said she, "Shall I don my bravery for strangers, and
not for my Thomas, that is the best of company?"

They used to go to church, and come back together, hand in hand like
lovers; for the arm was rarely given in those days. And Griffith said to
himself every Sunday, "What a comfort to have a Protestant wife!"

But one day he was off his guard, and called her "Kate, my dear."

"Who is Kate?" said she softly, but with a degree of trouble and
intelligence that made him tremble.

"No matter," said he, all in a flutter. Then, solemnly, "Whoever she
was, she is dead,--dead."

"Ah!" said Mercy, very tenderly and solemnly, and under her breath. "You
loved her; yet she must die." She paused; then, in a tone so exquisite I
can only call it an angel's whisper, "Poor Kate!"

Griffith groaned aloud. "For God's sake, never mention that name to me
again. Let me forget she ever lived. She was not the true friend to me
that you have been."

Mercy replied, softly, "Say not so, Thomas. You loved her well. Her
death had all but cost me thine. Ah, well! we cannot all be the first. I
am not very jealous, for my part; and I thank God for 't. Thou art a
dear good husband to me, and that is enow."

       *       *       *       *       *

Paul Carrick, unable to break off his habits, came to the "Packhorse"
now and then; but Mercy protected her husband's heart from pain. She was
kind, and even pitiful; but so discreet and resolute, and contrived to
draw the line so clearly between her husband and her old sweetheart,
that Griffith's foible could not burn him, for want of fuel.

And so passed several months, and the man's heart was at peace. He could
not love Mercy passionately as he had loved Kate; but he was full of
real regard and esteem for her. It was one of those gentle, clinging
attachments that outlast grand passions, and survive till death; a
tender, pure affection, though built upon a crime.

       *       *       *       *       *

They had been married, and lived in sweet content, about three quarters
of a year--when trouble came; but in a vulgar form. A murrain carried
off several of Harry Vint's cattle; and it then came out that he had
purchased six of them on credit, and had been induced to set his hand
to bills of exchange for them. His rent was also behind, and, in fact,
his affairs were in a desperate condition.

He hid it as long as he could from them all; but at last, being served
with a process for debt, and threatened with a distress and an
execution, he called a family council and exposed the real state of

Mrs. Vint rated him soundly for keeping all this secret so long.

He whom they called Thomas Leicester remonstrated with him. "Had you
told me in time," said he, "I had not paid forfeit for 'The Vine,' but
settled there, and given you a home."

Mercy said never a word but "Poor father!"

As the peril drew nearer, the conversations became more animated and
agitated, and soon the old people took to complaining of Thomas
Leicester to his wife.

"Thou hast married a gentleman; and he hath not the heart to lift a hand
to save thy folk from ruin."

"Say not so," pleaded Mercy: "to be sure he hath the heart, but not the
means. 'T was but yestreen he bade me sell his jewels for you. But,
mother, I think they belonged to some one he loved,--and she died. So,
poor thing, how could I? Then, if you love me, blame me, and not him."

"Jewels, quotha! will they stop such a gap as ours?" was the
contemptuous reply.

From complaining of him behind his back, the old people soon came to
launching innuendoes obliquely at him. Here is one specimen out of a

"Wife, if our Mercy had wedded one of her own sort, mayhap he'd have
helped us a bit."

"Ay, poor soul; and she so near her time: if the bailiffs come down on
us next month, 'tis my belief we shall lose her, as well as house and

The false Thomas Leicester let them run on, in dogged silence; but every
word was a stab.

And one day, when he had been baited sore with hints, he turned round on
them fiercely, and said: "Did I get you into this mess? It's all your
own doing. Learn to see your own faults, and not be so hard on one that
has been the best servant you ever had, gentleman or not."

Men can resist the remonstrances that wound them, and so irritate them,
better than they can those gentle appeals that rouse no anger, but
soften the whole heart. The old people stung him; but Mercy, without
design, took a surer way. She never said a word; but sometimes, when the
discussions were at their height, she turned her dove-like eyes on him,
with a look so loving, so humbly inquiring, so timidly imploring, that
his heart melted within him.

Ah, that is a true touch of nature and genuine observation of the sexes,
in the old song,--

    "My feyther urged me sair;
      My mither didna speak;
    But she looked me in the face,
      Till my hairt was like to break."

These silent, womanly, imploring looks of patient Mercy were mightier
than argument or invective.

The man knew all along where to get money, and how to get it. He had
only to go to Hernshaw Castle. But his very soul shuddered at the idea.
However, for Mercy's sake, he took the first step; he compelled himself
to look the thing in the face, and discuss it with himself. A few months
ago he could not have done even this,--he loved his lawful wife too
much; hated her too much. But now, Mercy and Time had blunted both those
passions; and he could ask himself whether he could not encounter Kate
and her priest without any very violent emotion.

When they first set up house together, he had spent his whole fortune, a
sum of two thousand pounds, on repairing and embellishing Hernshaw
Castle and grounds. Since she had driven him out of the house, he had a
clear right to have back the money; and he now resolved he would have
it; but what he wanted was to get it without going to the place in

And now Mercy's figure, as well as her imploring looks, moved him
greatly. She was in that condition which appeals to a man's humanity and
masculine pity, as well as to his affection. To use the homely words of
Scripture, she was great with child, and in that condition moved slowly
about him, filling his pipe, and laying his slippers, and ministering to
all his little comforts; she would make no difference: and when he saw
the poor dove move about him so heavily, and rather languidly, yet so
zealously and tenderly, the man's very bowels yearned over her, and he
felt as if he could die to do her a service.

So, one day, when she was standing by him, bending over his little round
table, and filling his pipe with her neat hand, he took her by the other
hand and drew her gently on his knee, her burden and all. "Child!" said
he, "do not thou fret. I know how to get money; and I'll do 't, for thy

"I know that," said she, softly; "can I not read thy face by this time?"
and so laid her cheek to his. "But, Thomas, for my sake, get it
honestly,--or not at all," said she, still filling his pipe, with her
cheek to his.

"I'll but take back my own," said he; "fear naught."

But, after thus positively pledging himself to Mercy, he became
thoughtful and rather fretful; for he was still most averse to go to
Hernshaw, and yet could hit upon no other way; since to employ an agent
would be to let out that he had committed bigamy, and so risk his own
neck, and break Mercy's heart.

After all his scale was turned by his foible.

Mrs. Vint had been weak enough to confide her trouble to a friend: it
was all over the parish in three days.

Well, one day, in the kitchen of the Inn, Paul Carrick, having drunk two
pints of good ale, said to Vint, "Landlord, you ought to have married
her to me, I've got two hundred pounds laid by. I'd have pulled you out
of the mire, and welcome."

"Would you, though, Paul?" said Harry Vint; "then, by G--, I wish I

Now Carrick bawled that out, and Griffith, who was at the door, heard

He walked into the kitchen, ghastly pale, and spoke to Harry Vint first.

"I take your inn, your farm, and your debts on me," said he; "not one
without t' other."

"Spoke like a man!" cried the landlord, joyfully; "and so be it--before
these witnesses."

Griffith turned on Carrick: "This house is mine. Get out on 't, ye
_jealous_, mischief-making cur." And he took him by the collar and
dragged him furiously out of the place, and sent him whirling into the
middle of the road; then ran back for his hat and flung it out after

This done, he sat down boiling, and his eyes roved fiercely round the
room in search of some other antagonist. But his strength was so great,
and his face so altered with this sudden spasm of reviving jealousy,
that nobody cared to provoke him further.

After a while, however, Harry Vint muttered dryly, "There goes one good

Griffith took him up sternly: "If your debts are to be mine, your trade
shall be mine too, that you had not the head to conduct."

"So be it, son-in-law," said the old man; "only you go so fast: you do
take possession afore you pays the fee."

Griffith winced. "That shall be the last of your taunts, old man." He
turned to the ostler: "Bill, give Black Dick his oats at sunrise; and in
ten days at furthest I'll pay every shilling this house and farm do owe.
Now, Master White, you'll put in hand a new sign-board for this inn; a
fresh 'Packhorse,' and paint him jet black, with one white hoof (instead
of chocolate), in honor of my nag Dick; and in place of Harry Vint
you'll put in Thomas Leicester. See that is done against I come back,
or come _you_ here no more."

Soon after this scene he retired to tell Mercy; and, on his departure,
the suppressed tongues went like mill-clacks.

Dick came round saddled at peep of day; but Mercy had been up more than
an hour, and prepared her man's breakfast. She clung to him at parting,
and cried a little; and whispered something in his ear, for nobody else
to hear: it was an entreaty that he would not be long gone, lest he
should be far from her in the hour of her peril.

Thereupon he promised her, and kissed her tenderly, and bade her be of
good heart; and so rode away northwards with dogged resolution.

As soon as he was gone, Mercy's tears flowed without restraint.

Her father set himself to console her. "Thy good man," he said, "is but
gone back to the high road for a night or two, to follow his trade of
'stand and deliver.' Fear naught, child; his pistols are well primed: I
saw to that myself; and his horse is the fleetest in the county. You'll
have him back in three days, and money in both pockets. I warrant you
his is a better trade than mine; and he is a fool to change it."

       *       *       *       *       *

Griffith was two days upon the road, and all that time he was turning
over and discussing in his mind how he should conduct the disagreeable
but necessary business he had undertaken.

He determined, at last, to make the visit one of business only: no heat,
no reproaches. That lovely, hateful woman might continue to dishonor his
name, for he had himself abandoned it. He would not deign to receive any
money that was hers; but his own two thousand pounds he would have; and
two or three hundred on the spot by way of instalment. And, with these
hard views, he drew near to Hernshaw; but the nearer he got, the slower
he went; for what at a distance had seemed tolerably easy began to get
more and more difficult and repulsive. Moreover, his heart, which he
thought he had steeled, began now to flutter a little, and somehow to
shudder at the approaching interview.


Caroline Ryder went to the gate of the Grove, and stayed there two
hours; but, of course, no Griffith came.

She returned the next night, and the next; and then she gave it up, and
awaited an explanation. None came, and she was bitterly disappointed,
and indignant.

She began to hate Griffith, and to conceive a certain respect, and even
a tepid friendship, for the other woman he had insulted.

Another clew to this change of feeling is to be found in a word she let
drop in talking to another servant. "My mistress," said she, "bears it
_like a man_."

In fact, Mrs. Gaunt's conduct at this period was truly noble.

She suffered months of torture, months of grief; but the high-spirited
creature hid it from the world, and maintained a sad but high composure.

She wore her black, for she said, "How do I know he is alive?" She
retrenched her establishment, reduced her expenses two thirds, and
busied herself in works of charity and religion.

Her desolate condition attracted a gentleman who had once loved her, and
now esteemed and pitied her profoundly,--Sir George Neville.

He was still unmarried, and she was the cause; so far at least as this:
she had put him out of conceit with the other ladies at that period when
he had serious thoughts of marriage: and the inclination to marry at all
had not since returned.

If the Gaunts had settled at Boulton, Sir George would have been their
near neighbor; but Neville's Court was nine miles from Hernshaw Castle:
and when they met, which was not very often, Mrs. Gaunt was on her guard
to give Griffith no shadow of uneasiness. She was therefore rather more
dignified and distant with Sir George than her own inclination and his
merits would have prompted; for he was a superior and very agreeable

When it became quite certain that her husband had left her, Sir George
rode up to Hernshaw Castle, and called upon her.

She begged to be excused from seeing him.

Now Sir George was universally courted, and this rather nettled him;
however, he soon learned that she received nobody except a few religious
friends of her own sex.

Sir George then wrote her a letter that did him credit: it was full of
worthy sentiment and good sense. For instance, he said he desired to
intrude his friendly offices and his sympathy upon her, but nothing
more. Time had cured him of those warmer feelings which had once ruffled
his peace; but Time could not efface his tender esteem for the lady he
had loved in his youth, nor his profound respect for her character.

Mrs. Gaunt wept over his gentle letter, and was on the verge of asking
herself why she had chosen Griffith instead of this chevalier. She sent
him a sweet, yet prudent reply; she did not encourage him to visit her;
but said, that, if ever she should bring herself to receive visits from
the gentlemen of the county during her husband's absence, he should be
the first to know it. She signed herself his unhappy, but deeply
grateful, servant and friend.

One day, as she came out of a poor woman's cottage, with a little basket
on her arm, which she had emptied in the cottage, she met Sir George
Neville full.

He took his hat off, and made her a profound bow. He was then about to
ride on, but altered his mind, and, dismounted to speak to her.

The interview was constrained at first; but erelong he ventured to tell
her she really ought to consult with some old friend and practical man
like himself. He would undertake to scour the country, and find her
husband, if he was above ground.

"Me go a-hunting the man," cried she, turning red; "not if he was my
king as well as my husband. He knows where to find _me_; and that is

"Well, but madam, would you not like to learn where he is, and what he
is doing?"

"Why, yes, my good, kind friend, I _should_ like to know that." And,
having pronounced these words with apparent calmness, she burst out
crying, and almost ran away from him.

Sir George looked sadly after her, and formed a worthy resolution. He
saw there was but one road to her regard. He resolved to hunt her
husband for her, without intruding on her, or giving her a voice in the
matter. Sir George was a magistrate, and accustomed to organize
inquiries; spite of the length of time that had elapsed, he traced
Griffith for a considerable distance. Pending further inquiries, he sent
Mrs. Gaunt word that the truant had not made for the sea, but had gone
due south.

Mrs. Gaunt returned him her warm thanks for this scrap of information.
So long as Griffith remained in the island there was always a hope he
might return to her. The money he had taken would soon be exhausted; and
poverty might drive him to her; and she was so far humbled by grief,
that she could welcome him even on those terms.

Affliction tempers the proud. Mrs. Gaunt was deeply injured as well as
insulted; but, for all that, in her many days and weeks of solitude and
sorrow, she took herself to task, and saw her fault. She became more
gentle, more considerate of her servants' feelings, more womanly.

For many months she could not enter "the Grove." The spirited woman's
very flesh revolted at the sight of the place where she had been
insulted and abandoned. But, as she went deeper in religion, she forced
herself to go to the gate and look in, and say out loud, "I gave the
first offence," and then she would go in-doors again, quivering with
the internal conflict.

Finally, being a Catholic, and therefore attaching more value to
self-torture than we do, the poor soul made this very grove her place of
penance. Once a week she had the fortitude to drag herself to the very
spot where Griffith had denounced her; and there she would kneel and
pray for him and for herself. And certainly, if humility and
self-abasement were qualities of the body, here was to be seen their
picture; for her way was to set her crucifix up at the foot of a tree;
then to bow herself all down, between kneeling and lying, and put her
lips meekly to the foot of the crucifix, and so pray long and earnestly.

Now, one day, while she was thus crouching in prayer, a gentleman,
booted and spurred and splashed, drew near, with hesitating steps. She
was so absorbed, she did not hear those steps at all till they were very
near; but then she trembled all over; for her delicate ear recognized a
manly tread she had not heard for many a day. She dared not move nor
look, for she thought it was a mere sound, sent to her by Heaven to
comfort her.

But the next moment a well-known mellow voice came like a thunder-clap,
it shook her so.

"Forgive me, my good dame, but I desire to know--"

The question went no further, for Kate Gaunt sprang to her feet, with a
loud scream, and stood glaring at Griffith Gaunt, and he at her.

And thus husband and wife met again,--met, by some strange caprice of
Destiny, on the very spot where they had parted so horribly.


The gaze these two persons bent on one another may be half imagined: it
can never be described.

Griffith spoke first. "In black!" said he, in a whisper.

His voice was low; his face, though pale and grim, had not the terrible
aspect he wore at parting.

So she thought he had come back in an amicable spirit; and she flew to
him, with a cry of love, and threw her arm round his neck, and panted on
his shoulder.

At this reception, and the tremulous contact of one he had loved so
dearly, a strange shudder ran through his frame,--a shudder that marked
his present repugnance, yet indicated her latent power.

He himself felt he had betrayed some weakness; and it was all the worse
for her. He caught her wrist and put her from him, not roughly, but with
a look of horror. "The day is gone by for that, madam," he gasped. Then,
sternly: "Think you I came here to play the credulous husband?"

Mrs. Gaunt drew back in her turn, and faltered out, "What! come back
here, and not sorry for what you have done? not the least sorry? O my
heart! you have almost broken it."

"Prithee, no more of this," said Griffith, sternly. "You and I are
naught to one another now, and forever. But there, you are but a woman,
and I did not come to quarrel with you." And he fixed his eyes on the

"Thank God for that," faltered Mrs. Gaunt. "O sir, the sight of you--the
thought of what you were to me once--till jealousy blinded you. Lend me
your arm, if you are a man; my limbs do fail me."

The shock had been too much; a pallor overspread her lovely features,
her knees knocked together, and she was tottering like some tender tree
cut down, when Griffith, who, with all his faults, was a man, put out
his strong arm, and she clung to it, quivering all over, and weeping

That little hand, with its little feminine clutch, trembling on his arm,
raised a certain male compassion for her piteous condition; and he
bestowed a few cold, sad words of encouragement on her. "Come, come,"
said he, gently; "I shall not trouble you long. I'm cured of my
jealousy. 'T is gone, along with my love. You and your saintly sinner
are safe from me. I am come hither for my own, my two thousand pounds,
and for nothing more."

"Ah! you are come back for money, not for me?" she murmured, with forced

"For money, and not for you, of course," said he, coldly.

The words were hardly out of his mouth, when the proud lady flung his
arm from her. "Then money shall you have, and not me; nor aught of me
but my contempt."

But she could not carry it off as heretofore. She turned her back
haughtily on him; but, at the first step, she burst out crying, "Come,
and I'll give you what you are come for," she sobbed. "Ungrateful!
heartless! O, how little I knew this man!"

She crept away before him, drooping her head, and crying bitterly; and
he followed her, hanging his head, and ill at ease; for there was such
true passion in her voice, her streaming eyes, and indeed in her whole
body, that he was moved, and the part he was playing revolted him. He
felt confused and troubled, and asked himself how on earth it was that
she, the guilty one, contrived to appear the injured one, and made him,
the wronged one, feel almost remorseful.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Gaunt took no more notice of him now than if he had been a dog
following at her heels. She went into the drawing-room, and sank
helplessly on the nearest couch, threw her head wearily back, and shut
her eyes. Yet the tears trickled through the closed lids.

Griffith caught up a hand-bell, and rang it vigorously.

Quick, light steps were soon heard pattering; and in darted Caroline
Ryder, with an anxious face; for of late she had conceived a certain
sober regard for her mistress, who had ceased to be her successful
rival, and who bore her grief _like a man_.

At sight of Griffith, Ryder screamed aloud, and stood panting.

Mrs. Gaunt opened her eyes. "Ay, child, he has come home," said she,
bitterly; "his body, but not his heart."

She stretched her hand out feebly, and pointed to a bottle of salts that
stood on the table. Ryder ran and put them to her nostrils. Mrs. Gaunt
whispered in her ear, "Send a swift horse for Father Francis; tell him
life or death!"

Ryder gave her a very intelligent look, and presently slipped out, and
ran into the stable-yard.

At the gate she caught sight of Griffith's horse. What does this
quick-witted creature do but send the groom off on that horse, and not
on Mrs. Gaunt's.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Now, Dame," said Griffith, doggedly, "are you better?"

"Ay, I thank you."

"Then listen to me. When you and I set up house together, I had two
thousand pounds. I spent it on this house. The house is yours. You told
me so, one day, you know."

"Ah, you can remember my faults."

"I remember all, Kate."

"Thank you, at least, for calling me Kate. Well, Griffith, since you
abandoned us, I thought, and thought, and thought, of all that might
befall you; and I said, 'What will he do for money?' My jewels, that you
did me the honor to take, would not last you long, I feared. So I
reduced my expenses three fourths at least, and I put by some money for
your need."

Griffith looked amazed. "For my need?" said he.

"For whose else? I'll send for it, and place it in your

"To-morrow? Why not to-day?"

"I have a favor to ask of you first."

"What is that?"

"Justice. If you are fond of money, I too have something I prize: my
honor. You have belied and insulted me, sir; but I know you were under a
delusion. I mean to remove that delusion, and make you see how little I
am to blame; for, alas! I own I was imprudent. But, O Griffith, as I
hope to be saved, it was the imprudence of innocence and

"Mistress," said Griffith, in a stern, yet agitated voice, "be advised,
and leave all this: rouse not a man's sleeping wrath. Let bygones be

Mrs. Gaunt rose, and said, faintly, "So be it. I must go, sir, and give
some orders for your entertainment."

"O, don't put yourself about for me," said Griffith: "I am not the
master of this house."

Mrs. Gaunt's lip trembled, but she was a match for him. "Then are you my
guest," said she; "and my credit is concerned in your comfort."

She made him a courtesy, as if he were a stranger, and marched to the
door, concealing, with great pride and art, a certain trembling of her

At the door she found Ryder, and bade her follow, much to that lady's
disappointment; for she desired a _tête-à-tête_ with Griffith, and an

As soon as the two women were out of Griffith's hearing, the mistress
laid her hand on the servant's arm, and, giving way to her feelings,
said, all in a flutter: "Child, if I have been a good mistress to thee,
show it now. Help me keep him in the house till Father Francis comes."

"I undertake to do so much," said Ryder, firmly. "Leave it to me,

Mrs. Gaunt threw her arms round Ryder's neck and kissed her.

It was done so ardently, and by a woman hitherto so dignified and proud,
that Ryder was taken by surprise, and almost affected.

As for the service Mrs. Gaunt had asked of her, it suited her own

"Mistress," said she, "be ruled by me; keep out of his way a bit, while
I get Miss Rose ready. You understand."

"Ah! I have one true friend in the house," said poor Mrs. Gaunt. She
then confided in Ryder, and went away to give her own orders for
Griffith's reception.

Ryder found little Rose, dressed her to perfection, and told her her
dear papa was come home. She then worked upon the child's mind in that
subtle way known to women, so that Rose went down stairs loaded and
primed, though no distinct instructions had been given her.

As for Griffith, he walked up and down, uneasy; and wished he had stayed
at the "Packhorse." He had not bargained for all these emotions; the
peace of mind he had enjoyed for some months seemed trickling away.

"Mercy, my dear," said he to himself, "'t will be a dear penny to me, I

Then he went to the window, and looked at the lawn, and sighed. Then he
sat down, and thought of the past.

Whilst he sat thus moody, the door opened very softly, and a little
cherubic face, with blue eyes and golden hair, peeped in. Griffith
started. "Ah!" cried Rose, with a joyful scream; and out flew her little
arms, and away she came, half running, half dancing, and was on his knee
in a moment, with her arms round his neck.

"Papa! papa!" she cried. "O my dear, dear, dear, darling papa!" And she
kissed and patted his cheek again and again.

Her innocent endearments moved him to tears. "My pretty angel!" he
sighed: "my lamb!"

"How your heart beats! Don't cry, dear papa. Nobody is dead: only we
thought you were. I'm so glad you are come home alive. Now we can take
off this nasty black: I hate it."

"What, 't is for me you wear it, pretty one?"

"Ay. Mamma made us. Poor mamma has been so unhappy. And that reminds me:
you are a wicked man, papa. But I love you all one for that. It _tis_ so
dull when everybody is good like mamma; and she makes me dreadfully good
too; but now you are come back, there will be a little, little
wickedness again, it is to be hoped. Aren't you glad you are not dead,
and are come home instead? I am."

"I am glad I have seen thee. Come, take my hand, and let us go look at
the old place."

"Ay. But you must wait till I get on my new hat and feather."

"Nay, nay; art pretty enough bare-headed."

"O papa! but I must, for decency. You are company now; you know."

"Dull company, sweetheart, thou 'lt find me."

"I don't mean that: I mean, when you were here always, you were only
papa; but now you come once in an age, you're COMPANY. I won't budge
without 'em; so there, now."

"Well, little one, I do submit to thy hat and feather; only be quick, or
I shall go forth without thee."

"If you dare," said Rose impetuously; "for I won't be half a moment."

She ran and extorted from Ryder the new hat and feather, which by rights
she was not to have worn until next month.

Griffith and his little girl went all over the well-known premises, he
sad and moody, she excited and chattering, and nodding her head down,
and cocking her eye up every now and then, to get a glimpse of her

"And don't you go away again, dear papa. It _tis_ so dull without you.
Nobody comes here. Mamma won't let 'em."

"Nobody except Father Leonard," said Griffith, bitterly.

"Father Leonard? Why, he never comes here. Leonard! That is the
beautiful priest that used to pat me on the head, and bid me love and
honor my parents. And so I do. Only mamma is always crying, and you keep
away; so how can I love and honor you, when I never see you, and they
keep telling me you are good for nothing, and dead."

"My young mistress, when did you see Father Leonard last?" said
Griffith, gnawing his lip.

"How can I tell? Why, it was miles ago; when I was a mere girl. You know
he went away before you did."

"I know nothing of the kind. Tell me the truth now. He has visited here
since I went away."

"Nay, papa."

"That is strange. She visits him, then?"

"What, mamma? She seldom stirs out; and never beyond the village. We
keep no carriage now. Mamma is turned such a miser. She is afraid you
will be poor; so she puts it all by for you. But now you are come, we
shall have carriages and things again. O, by the by, Father Leonard! I
heard them say he had left England, so I did."

"When was that?"

"Well, I think that was a little bit after you went away."

"That is strange," said Griffith, thoughtfully.

He led his little girl by the hand, but scarcely listened to her
prattle; he was so surprised and puzzled by the information he had
elicited from her.

Upon the whole, however, he concluded that his wife and the priest had
perhaps been smitten with remorse, and had parted--when it was too late.

This, and the peace of mind he had found elsewhere, somewhat softened
his feelings towards them. "So," thought he, "they were not hardened
creatures after all. Poor Kate!"

As these milder feelings gained on him, Rose suddenly uttered a joyful
cry; and, looking up, he saw Mrs. Gaunt coming towards him, and Ryder
behind her. Both were in gay colors, which, in fact, was what had so
delighted Rose.

They came up, and Mrs. Gaunt seemed a changed woman. She looked young
and beautiful, and bent a look of angelic affection on her daughter; and
said to Griffith, "Is she not grown? Is she not lovely? Sure you will
never desert her again."

"'T was not her I deserted, but her mother; and she had played me false
with her d----d priest," was Griffith's reply.

Mrs. Gaunt drew back with horror. "This, before my girl?" she cried.

And this time it was the woman who menaced the man. She rose to six
feet high, and advanced on him with her great gray eyes flashing flames
at him. "O that I were a man!" she cried: "this insult should be the
last. I'd lay you dead at her feet and mine."

Griffith actually drew back a step; for the wrath of such a woman was
terrible,--more terrible perhaps to a brave man than to a coward.

Then he put his hands in his pockets with a dogged air, and said,
grinding his teeth, "But--as you are not a man, and I'm not a woman, we
can't settle it that way. So I give you the last word, and good day. I'm
sore in want of money; but I find I can't pay the price it is like to
cost me. Farewell."

"Begone!" said Mrs. Gaunt: "and, this time, forever. Ruffian, and fool,
I loathe the sight of you."

Rose ran weeping to her. "O mamma, don't quarrel with papa": then back
to Griffith, "O papa, don't quarrel with mamma,--for my sake."

Griffith hung his head, and said, in a broken voice: "No, my lamb, we
twain must not quarrel before thee. We will part in silence, as becomes
those that once were dear, and have thee to show for 't. Madam, I wish
you all health and happiness. Adieu."

He turned on his heel; and Mrs. Gaunt took Rose to her knees, and bent
and wept over her. Niobe over her last was not more graceful, nor more

As for Ryder, she stole quietly after her retiring master. She found him
peering about, and asked him demurely what he was looking for.

"My good black horse, girl, to take me from this cursed place. Did I not
tie him to yon gate?"

"The black horse? Why I sent him for Father Francis. Nay, listen to me,
master; you know I was always your friend, and hard upon _her_. Well,
since you went, things have come to pass that make me doubt. I do begin
to fear you were too hasty."

"Do you tell me this now, woman?" cried Griffith, furiously.

"How could I tell you before? Why did you break your tryst with me? If
you had come according to your letter, I'd have told you months ago what
I tell you now; but, as I was saying, the priest never came near her
after you left; and she never stirred abroad to meet him. More than
that, he has left England."

"Remorse! Too late."

"Perhaps it may, sir. I couldn't say; but there is one coming that knows
the very truth."

"Who is that?"

"Father Francis. The moment you came, sir, I took it on me to send for
him. You know the man: he won't tell a lie to please our dame. And he
knows all; for Leonard has confessed to him. I listened, and heard him
say as much. Then, master, be advised, and get the truth from Father

Griffith trembled. "Francis is an honest man," said he; "I'll wait till
he comes. But O, my lass, I find money may be bought too dear."

"Your chamber is ready, sir, and your clothes put out. Supper is
ordered. Let me show you your room. We are all so happy now."

"Well," said he, listlessly, "since my horse is gone, and Francis
coming, and I'm wearied and sick of the world, do what you will with me
for this one day."

He followed her mechanically to a bedroom, where was a bright fire, and
a fine shirt, and his silver-laced suit of clothes airing.

A sense of luxurious comfort struck him at the sight.

"Ay," said he, "I'll dress, and so to supper; I'm main hungry. It seems
a man must eat, let his heart be ever so sore."

Before she left him, Ryder asked him coldly why he had broken his
appointment with her.

"That is too long a story to tell you now," said he, coolly.

"Another time then," said she; and went out smiling, but bitter at

Griffith had a good wash, and enjoyed certain little conveniences which
he had not at the "Packhorse." He doffed his riding suit, and donned the
magnificent dress Ryder had selected for him; and with his fine clothes
he somehow put on more ceremonious manners.

He came down to the dining-room. To his surprise he found it illuminated
with wax candles, and the table and sideboard gorgeous with plate.

Supper soon smoked upon the board; but, though it was set for three,
nobody else appeared.

Griffith inquired of Ryder whether he was to sup alone.

She replied: "My mistress desires you not to wait for her. She has no

"Well, then, I have," said Griffith, and fell to with a will.

Ryder, who waited on this occasion, stood and eyed him with curiosity:
his conduct was so unlike a woman's.

Just as he concluded, the door opened, and a burly form entered.
Griffith rose, and embraced him with his arms and lips, after the
fashion of the day. "Welcome, thou one honest priest!" said he.

"Welcome, thrice welcome, my long lost son!" said the cordial Francis.

"Sit down, man, and eat with me. I'll begin again, for you."

"Presently, Squire; I've work to do first. Go thou and bid thy mistress
come hither to me."

Ryder, to whom this was addressed, went out, and left the gentlemen

Father Francis drew out of his pocket two packets, carefully tied and
sealed. He took a knife from the table and cut the strings, and broke
the seals. Griffith eyed him with curiosity.

Father Francis looked at him. "These," said he, very gravely, "are the
letters that Brother Leonard hath written, at sundry times, to Catharine
Gaunt, and these are the letters Catharine Gaunt hath written to Brother

Griffith trembled, and his face was convulsed.

"Let me read them at once," said he: and stretched out his hand, with
eyes like a dog's in the dark.

Francis withdrew them, quietly. "Not till she is also present," said he.

At that Griffith's good-nature, multiplied by a good supper, took the
alarm. "Come, come, sir," said he, "have a little mercy. I know you are
a just man, and, though a boon companion, most severe in all matters of
morality. But, I tell you plainly, if you are going to drag this poor
woman in the dirt, I shall go out of the room. What is the use
tormenting her? I've told her my mind before her own child: and now I
wish I had not. When I caught them in the grove I lifted my hand to
strike her, and she never winced; I had better have left that alone too,
methinks. D--n the women: you are always in the wrong if you treat 'em
like men. They are not wicked: they are weak. And this one hath lain in
my bosom, and borne me two children, and one he lieth in the churchyard,
and t' other hath her hair and my very eyes: and the truth is, I can't
bear any man on earth to miscall her, but myself. God help me; I doubt I
love her still too well to sit by and see her tortured. She was all in
black for her fault, poor penitent wretch. Give me the letters; but let
her be."

Francis was moved by this appeal, but shook his head solemnly; and, ere
Griffith could renew his argument, the door was flung open by Ryder, and
a stately figure sailed in, that took both the gentlemen by surprise.

It was Mrs. Gaunt, in full dress. Rich brocade that swept the ground;
magnificent bust, like Parian marble varnished; and on her brow a diadem
of emeralds and diamonds that gave her beauty an imperial stamp.

She swept into the room as only fine women can sweep, made Griffith a
haughty courtesy, and suddenly lowered her head, and received Father
Francis's blessing: then seated herself, and quietly awaited events.

"The brazen jade!" thought Griffith. "But how divinely beautiful!" And
he became as agitated as she was calm--in appearance. For need I say her
calmness was put on? Defensive armor made for her by her pride and her

The voice of Father Francis now rose, solid, grave, and too impressive
to be interrupted.

"My daughter, and you who are her husband and my friend, I am here to do
justice between you both, with God's help; and to show you both your
faults. Catharine Gaunt, you began the mischief, by encouraging another
man to interfere between you and your husband in things secular."

"But, father, he was my director, my priest."

"My daughter, do you believe, with the Protestants, that marriage is a
mere civil contract; or do you hold, with us, that it is one of the holy

"Can you ask me?" murmured Kate, reproachfully.

"Well, then, those whom God and the whole Church have in holy sacrament
united, what right hath a single priest to disunite in heart, and make
the wife false to any part whatever of that most holy vow? I hear, and
not from you, that Leonard did set you against your husband's friends,
withdrew you from society, and sent him abroad alone. In one word, he
robbed your husband of his companion and his friend. The sin was
Leonard's; but the fault was yours. You were five years older than
Leonard, and a woman of sense and experience; he but a boy by
comparison. What right had you to surrender your understanding, in a
matter of this kind, to a poor silly priest, fresh from his seminary,
and as manifestly without a grain of common sense as he was full of

This remonstrance produced rather a striking effect on both those who
heard it. Mrs. Gaunt seemed much struck with it. She leaned back in her
chair, and put her hand to her brow with a sort of despairing gesture
that Griffith could not very well understand, it seemed to him so

It softened him, however, and he faltered out, "Ay, father, that is how
it all began. Would to heaven it had stopped there."

Francis resumed. "This false step led to consequences you never dreamed
of; for one of your romantic notions is, that a priest is an angel. I
have known you, in former times, try to take me for an angel: then would
I throw cold water on your folly by calling lustily for chines of beef
and mugs of ale. But I suppose Leonard thought himself an angel too; and
the upshot was, he fell in love with his neighbor's wife."

"And she with him," groaned Griffith.

"Not so," said Francis; "but perhaps she was nearer it than she thinks."

"Prove that," said Mrs. Gaunt, "and I'll fall on my knees to him before

Francis smiled, and proceeded. "To be sure, from the moment you
discovered Leonard was in love with you, you drew back, and conducted
yourself with prudence and propriety. Read these letters, sir, and tell
me what you think of them."

He handed them to Griffith. Griffith's hand trembled visibly as he took

"Stay," said Father Francis; "your better way will be to read the whole
correspondence according to the dates. Begin with this of Mrs. Gaunt's."

Griffith read the letter in an audible whisper.

Mrs. Gaunt listened with all her ears.

     "DEAR FATHER AND FRIEND,--The words you spoke to me to-day
     admit but one meaning; you are jealous of my husband.

     "Then you must be--how can I write it?--almost in love with me.

     "So then my poor husband was wiser than I. He saw a rival in
     you: and he has one.

     "I am deeply, deeply shocked. I ought to be very angry too;
     but, thinking of your solitary condition, and all the good you
     have done to my soul, my heart has no place for aught but pity.
     Only, as I am in my senses, and you are not, you must now obey
     me, as heretofore I have obeyed you. You must seek another
     sphere of duty, without delay.

     "These seem harsh words from me to you. You will live to see
     they are kind ones.

     "Write me one line, and no more, to say you will be ruled by me
     in this.

     "God and the saints have you in their holy keeping. So prays
     your affectionate and

     "Sorrowful daughter and true friend,

                  "CATHARINE GAUNT."

"Poor soul!" said Griffith. "Said I not that women are not wicked, but
weak? Who would think that after this he could get the better of her
good resolves,--the villain!"

"Now read his reply," said Father Francis.

"Ay," said Griffith. "So this is his one word of reply, is it? three
pages closely writ,--the villain, O the villain!"

"Read the villain's letter," said Francis, calmly.

The letter was very humble and pathetic,--the reply of a good, though
erring man, who owned that in a moment of weakness he had been betrayed
into a feeling inconsistent with his holy profession. He begged his
correspondent, however, not to judge him quite so hardly. He reminded
her of his solitary life, his natural melancholy, and assured her that
all men in his condition had moments when they envied those whose bosoms
had partners. "Such a cry of anguish," said he, "was once wrung from a
maiden queen, maugre all her pride. The Queen of Scots hath a son; and I
am but a barren stock." He went on to say that prayer and vigilance
united do much. "Do not despair so soon of me. Flight is not cure: let
me rather stay, and, with God's help and the saints', overcome this
unhappy weakness. If I fail, it will indeed be time for me to go, and
never again see the angelic face of my daughter and my benefactress."

Griffith laid down the letter. He was somewhat softened by it, and said,
gently, "I cannot understand it. This is not the letter of a thorough
bad man neither."

"No," said Father Francis, coldly, "'t is the letter of a self-deceiver;
and there is no more dangerous man to himself and others than your
self-deceiver. But now let us see whether he can throw dust in her eyes,
as well as his own." And he handed him Kate's reply.

The first word of it was, "You deceive yourself." The writer then
insisted, quietly, that he owed it to himself, to her, and to her
husband, whose happiness he was destroying, to leave the place at her

"Either you must go, or I," said she: "and pray let it be you. Also,
this place is unworthy of your high gifts: and I love you, in my way,
the way I mean to love you when we meet again--in heaven; and I labor
your advancement to a sphere more worthy of you."

       *       *       *       *       *

I wish space permitted me to lay the whole correspondence before the
reader; but I must confine myself to its general purport.

It proceeded in this way: the priest, humble, eloquent, pathetic; but
gently, yet pertinaciously, clinging to the place: the lady, gentle,
wise, and firm, detaching with her soft fingers, first one hand, then
another, of the poor priest's, till at last he was driven to the sorry
excuse that he had no money to travel with, nor place to go to.

"I can't understand it," said Griffith. "Are these letters all forged,
or are there two Kate Gaunts? the one that wrote these prudent letters,
and the one I caught upon this very priest's arm. Perdition!"

Mrs. Gaunt started to her feet. "Methinks 'tis time for me to leave the
room," said she, scarlet.

"Gently, my good friends; one thing at a time," said Francis. "Sit thou
down, impetuous. The letters, sir,--what think you of them?"

"I see no harm in them," said Griffith.

"No harm! Is that all? But I say these are very remarkable letters, sir:
and they show us that a woman may be innocent and unsuspicious, and so
seem foolish, yet may be wise for all that. In her early communication
with Leonard,

        'At Wisdom's gate Suspicion slept;
    And thought no ill where no ill seemed.'

But, you see, suspicion being once aroused, wisdom was not to be lulled
nor blinded. But that is not all: these letters breathe a spirit of
Christian charity; of true, and rare, and exalted piety. Tender are
they, without passion; wise, yet not cold; full of conjugal love, and of
filial pity for an erring father, whom she leads, for his good, with
firm yet dutiful hand. Trust to my great experience: doubt the chastity
of snow rather than hers who could write these pure and exquisite lines.
My good friend, you heard me rebuke and sneer at this poor lady for
being too innocent and unsuspicious of man's frailty: now hear me own to
you that I could no more have written these angelic letters than a
barn-door fowl could soar to the mansions of the saints in heaven."

This unexpected tribute took Mrs. Gaunt's heart by storm; she threw her
arms round Father Francis's neck, and wept upon his shoulder.

"Ah!" she sobbed, "you are the only one left that loves me."

She could not understand justice praising her: it must be love.

"Ay," said Griffith, in a broken voice, "she writes like an angel: she
speaks like an angel: she looks like an angel. My heart says she is an
angel. But my eyes have shown me she is naught. I left her, unable to
walk, by her way of it; I came back and found her on that priest's arm,
springing along like a greyhound." He buried his head in his hands, and
groaned aloud.

Francis turned to Mrs. Gaunt, and said, a little severely, "How do you
account for that?"

"I'll tell _you_, Father," said Kate, "because you love me. I do not
speak to _you_, sir: for you never loved me."

"I could give thee the lie," said Griffith, in a trembling voice; "but
'tis not worth while. Know, sir, that within twenty-four hours after I
caught her with that villain, I lay a-dying for her sake; and lost my
wits; and, when I came to, they were a-making my shroud in the very room
where I lay. No matter; no matter; I never loved her."

"Alas! poor soul!" sighed Kate. "Would I had died ere I brought thee to
that!" And, with this, they both began to cry at the same moment.

"Ay, poor fools," said Father Francis, softly; "neither of ye loved t'
other; that is plain. So now sit you there, and let us have your
explanation; for you must own appearances are strong against you."

Mrs. Gaunt drew her stool to Francis's knee; and addressing herself to
him alone, explained as follows:--

"I saw Father Leonard was giving way, and only wanted one good push,
after a manner. Well, you know I had got him, by my friends, a good
place in Ireland: and I had money by me for his journey; so, when my
husband talked of going to the fair, I thought, 'O, if I could but get
this settled to his mind before he comes back!' So I wrote a line to
Leonard. You can read it if you like. 'T is dated the 30th of September,
I suppose."

"I will," said Francis, and read this out:--

     "DEAR FATHER AND FRIEND,--You have fought the good fight, and
     conquered. Now, therefore, I _will_see you once more, and thank
     you for my husband (he is so unhappy), and put the money for
     your journey into your hand myself,--your journey to Ireland.
     You are the Duke of Leinster's chaplain; for I have accepted
     that place for you. Let me see you to-morrow in the Grove, for
     a few minutes, at high noon. God bless you.

                  "CATHARINE GAUNT."

"Well, father," said Mrs. Gaunt, "'t is true that I could only walk two
or three times across the room. But, alack, you know what women are:
excitement gives us strength. With thinking that our unhappiness was at
an end,--that, when he should come back from the fair, I should fling my
arm round his neck, and tell him I had removed the cause of his misery,
and so of mine,--I seemed to have wings; and I did walk with Leonard,
and talked with rapture of the good he was to do in Ireland, and how he
was to be a mitred abbot one day (for he is a great man), and poor
little me be proud of him; and how we were all to be happy together in
heaven, where is no marrying nor giving in marriage. This was our
discourse; and I was just putting the purse into his hands, and bidding
him God-speed, when he--for whom I fought against my woman's nature, and
took this trying task upon me--broke in upon us, with the face of a
fiend; trampled on the poor, good priest, that deserved veneration and
consolation from him, of all men; and raised his hand to me; and was not
man enough to kill me after all; but called me--ask him what he called
me--see if he dares to say it again before you; and then ran away,
like a coward as he is, from the lady he had defiled with his rude
tongue, and the heart he had broken. Forgive him? that I never

"Who asked you to forgive him?" said the shrewd priest. "Your own heart.
Come, look at him."

"Not I," said she, irresolutely. Then, still more feebly: "He is naught
to me." And so stole a look at him.

Griffith, pale as ashes, had his hand on his brow, and his eyes were
fixed with horror and remorse.

"Something tells me she has spoken the truth," he said, in a quavering
voice. Then, with concentrated horror, "But if so--O God, what have I
done?--What shall I do?"

Mrs. Gaunt extended her arms towards him across the priest.

"Why, fall at thy wife's knees and ask her to forgive thee."

Griffith obeyed: he fell on his knees, and Mrs. Gaunt leaned her head on
Francis's shoulder, and gave her hand across him to her remorse-stricken

Neither spoke, nor desired to speak; and even Father Francis sat silent,
and enjoyed that sweet glow which sometimes blesses the peacemaker, even
in this world of wrangles and jars.

But the good soul had ridden hard, and the neglected meats emitted
savory odors; and by and by he said dryly, "I wonder whether that fat
pullet tastes as well as it smells: can you tell me, Squire?"

"O, inhospitable wretch that I am!" said Mrs. Gaunt: "I thought but of
my own heart."

"And forgot the stomach of your unspiritual father. But, my dear, you
are pale, you tremble."

"'T is nothing, sir: I shall soon be better. Sit you down and sup: I
will return anon."

She retired, not to make a fuss; but her heart palpitated violently, and
she had to sit down on the stairs.

Ryder, who was prowling about, found her there, and fetched her

Mrs. Gaunt got better; but felt so languid, and also hysterical, that
she retired to her own room for the night, attended by the faithful
Ryder, to whom she confided that a reconciliation had taken place, and,
to celebrate it, gave her a dress she had only worn a year. This does
not sound queenly to you ladies; but know that a week's wear tells far
more on the flimsy trash you wear now-a-days, than a year did on the
glorious silks of Lyons Mrs. Gaunt put on; thick as broadcloth, and
embroidered so cunningly by the loom, that it would pass for rarest
needle-work. Besides, in those days, silk was silk.

As Ryder left her, she asked, "Where is master to lie to-night?"

Mrs. Gaunt was not pleased at this question being put to her. She would
have preferred to leave that to Griffith. And, as she was a singular
mixture of frankness and finesse, I believe she had retired to her own
room partly to test Griffith's heart. If he was as sincere as she was,
he would not be content with a public reconciliation.

But the question being put to her plump, and by one of her own sex, she
colored faintly, and said, "Why, is there not a bed in his room?"

"O yes, madam."

"Then see it be well aired. Put down all the things before the fire; and
then tell me: I'll come and see. The feather-bed, mind, as well as the
sheets and blankets."

Ryder executed all this with zeal. She did more; though Griffith and
Francis sat up very late, she sat up too; and, on the gentlemen leaving
the supper-room, she met them both, with bed-candles, in a delightful
cap, and undertook, with cordial smiles, to show them both their

"Tread softly on the landing, an if it please you, gentlemen. My
mistress hath been unwell; but she is in a fine sleep now, by the
blessing, and I would not have her disturbed."

Good, faithful, single-hearted Ryder!

Father Francis went to bed thoughtful. There was something about
Griffith he did not like: the man every now and then broke out into
boisterous raptures, and presently relapsed into moody thoughtfulness.
Francis almost feared that his cure was only temporary.

In the morning, before he left, he drew Mrs. Gaunt aside, and told her
his misgivings. She replied that she thought she knew what was amiss,
and would soon set that right.

Griffith tossed and turned in his bed, and spent a stormy night. His
mind was in a confused whirl, and his heart distracted. The wife he had
loved so tenderly proved to be the very reverse of all he had lately
thought her! She was pure as snow, and had always loved him; loved him
now, and only wanted a good excuse to take him to her arms again. But
Mercy Vint!--his wife, his benefactress! a woman as chaste as Kate, as
strict in life and morals,--what was to become of her? How could he tell
her she was not his wife? how reveal to her her own calamity, and his
treason? And, on the other hand, desert her without a word! and leave
her hoping, fearing, pining, all her life! Affection, humanity,
gratitude, alike forbade it.

He came down in the morning, pale for him, and worn with the inward

Naturally there was a restraint between him and Mrs. Gaunt; and only
short sentences passed between them.

He saw the peacemaker off, and then wandered all over the premises, and
the past came nearer, and the present seemed to retire into the

He wandered about like one in a dream; and was so self-absorbed, that he
did not see Mrs. Gaunt coming towards him, with observant eyes.

She met him full; he started like a guilty thing.

"Are you afraid of me?" said she, sweetly.

"No, my dear, not exactly; and yet I am: afraid, or ashamed, or both."

"You need not. I said I forgive you; and you know I am not one that does
things by halves."

"You are an angel!" said he, warmly; "but" (suddenly relapsing into
despondency) "we shall never be happy together again."

She sighed. "Say not so. Time and sweet recollections may heal even this
wound by degrees."

"God grant it," said he, despairingly.

"And, though we can't be lovers again all at once, we may be friends.
To begin, tell me, what have you on your mind? Come, make a friend of

He looked at her in alarm.

She smiled. "Shall I guess?" said she.

"You will never guess," said he; "and I shall never have the heart to
tell you."

"Let me try. Well, I think you have run in debt, and are afraid to ask
me for the money."

Griffith was greatly relieved by this conjecture; he drew a long breath;
and, after a pause, said cunningly, "What made you think that?"

"Because you came here for money, and not for happiness. You told me so
in the Grove."

"That is true. What a sordid wretch you must think me!"

"No, because you were under a delusion. But I do believe you are just
the man to turn reckless, when you thought me false, and go drinking and
dicing." She added eagerly, "I do not suspect you of anything worse."

He assured her that was not the way of it.

"Then tell me the way of it. You must not think, because I pester you
not with questions, I have no curiosity. O, how often I have longed to
be a bird, and watch you day and night unseen! How would you have liked
that? I wish you had been one, to watch me. Ah, you don't answer. Could
you have borne so close an inspection, sir?"

Griffith shuddered at the idea; and his eyes fell before the full gray
orbs of his wife.

"Well, never mind," said she. "Tell me your story."

"Well, then, when I left you, I was raving mad."

"That is true, I'll be sworn."

"I let my horse go; and he took me near a hundred miles from here, and
stopped at--at--a farm-house. The good people took me in."

"God bless them for it. I'll ride and thank them."

"Nay, nay; 't is too far. There I fell sick of a fever, a brain-fever:
the doctor blooded me."

"Alas! would he had taken mine instead."

"And I lost my wits for several days; and when I came back, I was weak
as water, and given up by the doctor; and the first thing I saw was an
old hag set a-making of my shroud."

Here the narrative was interrupted a moment by Mrs. Gaunt seizing him
convulsively; and then holding him tenderly, as if he was even now about
to be taken from her.

"The good people nursed me, and so did their daughter, and I came back
from the grave. I took an inn; but I gave up that, and had to pay
forfeit; and so my money all went; but they kept me on. To be sure I
helped on the farm: they kept a hostelry as well. By and by came that
murrain among the cattle. Did you have it in these parts, too?"

"I know not; nor care. Prithee, leave cattle, and talk of thyself."

"Well, in a word, they were ruined, and going to be sold up. I could not
bear that: I became bondsman for the old man. It was the least I could
do. Kate, they had saved thy husband's life."

"Not a word more, Griffith. How much stand you pledged for?"

"A large sum."

"Would five hundred pounds be of any avail?"

"Five hundred pounds! Ay, that it would, and to spare; but where can I
get so much money? And the time so short."

"Give me thy hand, and come with me," said Mrs. Gaunt, ardently.

She took his hand, and made a swift rush across the lawn. It was not
exactly running, nor walking, but some grand motion she had when
excited. She put him to his stride to keep up with her at all; and in
two minutes she had him into her boudoir. She unlocked a bureau, all in
a hurry, and took out a bag of gold. "There!" she cried, thrusting it
into his hand, and blooming all over with joy and eagerness: "I thought
you would want money; so I saved it up. You shall not be in debt a day
longer. Now mount thy horse, and carry it to those good souls; only, for
my sake, take the gardener with thee,--I have no groom now but he,--and
both well armed."

"What! go this very day?"

"Ay, this very hour. I can bear thy absence for a day or two more,--I
have borne it so long; but I cannot bear thy plighted word to stand in
doubt a day, no, not an hour. I am your wife, sir, your true and loving
wife: your honor is mine, and is as dear to me now as it was when you
saw me with Father Leonard in the Grove, and read me all awry. Don't
wait a moment. Begone at once."

"Nay, nay, if I go to-morrow, I shall be in time."

"Ay, but," said Mrs. Gaunt, very softly, "I am afraid if I keep you
another hour I shall not have the heart to let you go at all; and the
sooner gone, the sooner back for good, please God. There, give me one
kiss, to live on, and begone this instant."

He covered her hands with kisses and tears. "I'm not worthy to kiss any
higher than thy hand," he said, and so ran sobbing from her.

He went straight to the stable, and saddled Black Dick.


Every one who has fed his boyish fancy with the stories of pioneers and
hunters has heard of the character known among Indians as the
"medicine-man." But it may very likely be the case that few of those
familiar with the term really know the import of the word. A somewhat
protracted residence among the Blackfoot tribe of Indians, and an
extensive observation of men and manners as they appear in the wilder
parts of the Rocky Mountains and British America, have enabled the
writer to give some facts which may not prove wholly uninteresting.

By the term "medicine" much more is implied than mere curative drugs, or
a system of curative practice. Among all the tribes of American Indians,
the word is used with a double signification,--a literal and narrow
meaning, and a general and rather undefined application. It signifies
not only physical remedies and the art of using them, but second-sight,
prophecy, and preternatural power. As an adjective, it embraces the idea
of supernatural as well as remedial.

As an example of the use of the word in its mystic signification, the
following may be given. The _horse_, as is well known, was to the
Indian, on its first importation, a strange and terrible beast. Having
no native word by which to designate this hitherto unknown creature, the
Indians contrived a name by combining the name of some familiar animal,
most nearly resembling the horse, with the "medicine" term denoting
astonishment or awe. Consequently the Blackfeet, adding to the word
"Elk" (_Pounika_) the adjective "medicine" (_tos_) called the horse
_Pou-nika-ma-ta_, i. e. Medicine Elk. This word is still their
designation for a horse.

With this idea of medicine, and recollecting that the word is used to
express two classes of thoughts very different, and separated by
civilization, though confounded by the savage, it will not surprise one
to find that the medicine-men are conjurers as well as doctors, and that
their conjurations partake as much of medical quackery as does their
medical practice of affected incantation. As physicians, the
medicine-men are below contempt, and, but for the savage cruelty of
their ignorance, undeserving of notice. The writer has known a man to
have his uvula and palate torn out by a medicine-man. In that case the
disease was a hacking cough caused by an elongation of the uvula; and
the remedy adopted (after preparatory singing, dancing, burning buffalo
hair, and other conjurations) was to seize the uvula with a pair of
bullet-moulds, and tear from the poor wretch every tissue that would
give way. Death of course ensued in a short time. The unfortunate man
had, however, died in "able hands," and according to the "highest
principles of [Indian] medical art."

Were I to tell how barbarously I have seen men mutilated, simply to
extract an arrow-head from a wound, the story would scarce be credited.
Common sense has no place in the system of Indian medicine-men, nor do
they appear to have gained an idea, beyond the rudest, from experience.

In their quality of seers, however, they are more important, and
frequently more successful persons, attaining, of course, various
degrees of proficiency and reputation. An accomplished dreamer has a
sure competency in that gift. He is reverently consulted, handsomely
paid, and, in general, strictly obeyed. His influence, when once
established, is more potent even than that of a war chief. The dignity
and profit of the position are baits sufficient to command the attention
and ambition of the ablest men; yet it is not unfrequently the case that
persons otherwise undistinguished are noted for clear and strong powers
of "medicine."

Of the three most distinguished medicine-men known to the writer, but
one was a man of powerful intellect. Even this person preferred a
somewhat sedentary, and what might be called a strictly professional
life, to the usual active habits of the hunting and warring tribes. He
dwelt almost alone on a far northern branch of the Saskatchewan River,
revered for his gifts, feared for his power, and always approached with
something of reluctance by the Indians, who firmly believed the spirit
of the gods to dwell within him. He was an austere and taciturn man,
difficult of access, and as vain and ambitious as he was haughty and
contemptuous. Those who professed to have witnessed the scene told of a
trial of power between this man--the Black Snake, as he was called--and
a renowned medicine-man of a neighboring tribe. The contest, from what
the Indians said, must have occurred about 1855.

The rival medicine-men, each furnished with his medicine-bag, his
amulets, and other professional paraphernalia, arrayed in full dress,
and covered with war-paint, met in the presence of a great concourse.
Both had prepared for the encounter by long fasting and conjurations.
After the pipe, which precedes all important councils, the medicine-men
sat down opposite to each other, a few feet apart. The trial of power
seems to have been conducted on principles of animal magnetism, and
lasted a long while without decided advantage on either side; until the
Black Snake, concentrating all his power, or "gathering his medicine,"
in a loud voice commanded his opponent to die. The unfortunate conjurer
succumbed, and in a few minutes "his spirit," as my informant said,
"went beyond the Sand Buttes." The only charm or amulet ever used by the
Black Snake is said to have been a small bean-shaped pebble suspended
round his neck by a cord of moose sinew. He had his books, it is true,
but they were rarely exhibited.[E]

The death of his rival, by means so purely non-mechanical or physical,
gave the Black Snake a pre-eminence in "medicine" which he has ever
since maintained. It was useless to suggest poison, deception, or
collusion, to explain the occurrence. The firm belief was that the
spiritual power of the Black Snake had alone secured his triumph.

I mentioned this story to a highly educated and deeply religious man of
my acquaintance. He was a priest of the Jesuit order, a European by
birth, formerly a professor in a Continental university of high repute,
and beyond doubt a guileless and pious man. His acquaintance with Indian
life extended over more than twenty years of missionary labor in the
wildest parts of the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. To my surprise,
(for I was then a novice in the country,) I found him neither
astonished, nor shocked, nor amused, by what seemed to me so gross a

"I have seen," said he, "many exhibitions of power which my philosophy
cannot explain. I have known predictions of events far in the future to
be literally fulfilled, and have seen medicine tested in the most
conclusive ways. I once saw a Kootenai Indian (known generally as
Skookum-tamahe-rewos, from his extraordinary power) command a mountain
sheep to fall dead, and the animal, then leaping among the rocks of the
mountain-side, fell instantly lifeless. This I saw with my own eyes, and
I ate of the animal afterwards. It was unwounded, healthy, and perfectly
wild. Ah!" continued he, crossing himself and looking upwards, "Mary
protect us! the medicine-men have power from Sathanas."[F]

This statement, made by so responsible a person, attracted my attention
to what before seemed but a clumsy species of juggling. During many
months of intimate knowledge of Indian life,--as an adopted member of a
tribe, as a resident in their camps, and their companion on hunts and
war-parties,--I lost no opportunity of gathering information concerning
their religious belief and traditions, and the system of _medicine_, as
it prevails in its purity. It would be foreign to the design of this
desultory paper to enter at large upon the history of creation as
preserved by the Indians in their traditions, the conflicts of the
Beneficent Spirit with the Adversary, and the Indian idea of a future
state. With all these, the present sketch has no further concern than a
mere statement that "medicine" is based upon the idea of an overruling
and all-powerful Providence, who acts at His good pleasure, through
human instruments. Those among Christians who entertain the doctrine of
Special Providences may find in the untutored Indian a faith as firm as
theirs,--not sharply defined, or understood by the Indian himself, but
inborn and ineradicable.

The Indian, being thoroughly ignorant of all things not connected with
war or the chase, is necessarily superstitious. His imagination is
active,--generally more so than are his reasoning powers,--and fits him
for a ready belief in the powers of any able mediciner. On one occasion,
Meldram, a white man in the employ of the American Fur Company, found
himself suddenly elevated to high rank as a seer by a foolish or
petulant remark. He was engaged in making a rude press for baling furs,
and had got a heavy lever in position. A large party of Crow Indians who
were near at hand, considering his press a marvel of mechanical
ingenuity, were very inquisitive as to its uses. Meldram, with an
assumption of severity, told them the machine was "snow medicine," and
that it would make snow to fall until it reached the end of a cord that
dangled from the lever and reached within a yard of the ground. The fame
of so potent a medicine spread rapidly through the Crow nation. The
machine was visited by hundreds, and the fall of snow anxiously looked
for by the entire tribe. To the awe of every Indian, and the
astonishment of the few trappers then at the mouth of the Yellowstone,
the snow actually reached the end of the rope, and did not during the
winter attain any greater depth. Meldram found greatness thrust upon
him. He has lived for more than forty years among the Crows, and when I
knew him was much consulted as a medicine-man. His chief charms, or
amulets, were a large bull's-eye silver watch, and a copy of "Ayer's
Family Almanac," in which was displayed the human body encircled by the
signs of the zodiac.

The position and ease attendant upon a reputation for medicine power
cause many unsuccessful pretenders to embrace the profession; and it
would seem strange that their failures should not have brought medicine
into disrepute. In looking closely into this, a well-marked distinction
will always be found between _medicine_ and the _medicine-man_,--quite
as broad as is made with us between religion and the preacher. I have
seen would-be medicine-men laughed at through the camp,--men of
reputation as warriors, and respected in council, but whose _forte_ was
not the reading of dreams or the prediction of events. On the other
hand, I have seen persons of inferior intellect, without courage on the
war-path or wisdom in the council, revered as the channels through
which, in some unexplained manner, the Great Spirit warned or advised
his creatures.

Of course it is no purpose of this paper to uphold or attack these
peculiar ideas. A meagre presentation of a few facts not generally known
is all that is aimed at. Whether the system of Indian medicine be a
variety of Mesmerism, Magnetism, Spiritualism, or what not, others may
inquire and determine. One bred a Calvinist, as was the writer, may be
supposed to have viewed with suspicion the exhibitions of medicine power
that almost daily presented themselves. And while, in very numerous
instances, they proved to be but the impudent pretensions of charlatans,
it must be conceded, if credible witnesses are to be believed, that
sometimes there is a power of second-sight, or something of a kindred
nature, which defies investigation. Instances of this kind are of
frequent occurrence, and easily recalled, I venture to say, by every one
familiar with the Indian in his native state. The higher powers claimed
for medicine are, in general, doubtfully spoken of by the Indians. Not
that they deny the possibility of the power, but they question the
probability of so signal a mark of favor being bestowed on a mere
mortal. Powers and medicine privileges of a lower degree are more
readily acknowledged. An aged Indian of the Assinaboin tribe is very
generally admitted, by his own and neighboring tribes, to have been
shown the happy hunting-grounds, and conducted through them and returned
safely to the camp of his tribe, by special favor of the Great Spirit.
He once drew a map of the Indian paradise for me, and described its
pleasant prairies and crystal rivers, its countless herds of fat buffalo
and horses, its perennial and luxuriant grass, and other charms dear to
an Indian's heart, in a rhapsody that was almost poetry. Another, an
obscure man of the Cathead Sioux, is believed to have seen the hole
through which issue the herds of buffalo which the Great Spirit calls
forth from the centre of the earth to feed his children.

Medicine of this degree is not unfavorably regarded by the masses; but
instances of the highest grades are extremely rare, and the claimants of
such powers few in number. The Black Snake and the Kootenai, before
referred to, are, if still alive, the only instances with which I am
acquainted of admitted and well-authenticated powers so great and
incredible. The common use of medicine is in affairs of war and the
chase. Here the medicine-man will be found, in many cases, to exhibit a
prescience truly astounding. Without attempting a theory to account for
this, a suggestion may be ventured. The Indian passes a life that knows
no repose. His vigilance is ever on the alert. No hour of day or night
is to him an hour of assured safety. In the course of years, his
perceptions and apprehensions become so acute, in the presence of
constant danger, as to render him keenly and delicately sensitive to
impressions that a civilized man could scarce recognize. The Indian, in
other words, has a development almost like the instinct of the fox or
beaver. Upon this delicate barometer, whose basis is physical fear,
impressions (moral or physical, who shall say?) act with surprising
power. How this occurs, no Indian will attempt to explain. Certain
conjurations will, they maintain, aid the medicine-man to receive
impressions; but how or wherefore, no one pretends to know. This view of
_minor medicine_ is the one which will account for many of its
manifestations. Whether sound or defective, we will not contend.

The medicine-man whom I knew best was Ma-què-a-pos (the Wolf's Word), an
ignorant and unintellectual person. I knew him perfectly well. His
nature was simple, innocent, and harmless, devoid of cunning, and
wanting in those fierce traits that make up the Indian character. His
predictions were sometimes absolutely astounding. He has, beyond
question, accurately described the persons, horses, arms, and
destination of a party three hundred miles distant, not one of whom he
had ever seen, and of whose very existence neither he, nor any one in
his camp, was before apprised.

On one occasion, a party of ten voyageurs set out from Fort Benton, the
remotest post of the American Fur Company, for the purpose of finding
the Kaimè, or Blood Band of the Northern Blackfeet. Their route lay
almost due north, crossing the British line near the Chief Mountain
(Nee-na-stà-ko) and the great Lake O-màx-een (two of the grandest
features of Rocky Mountain scenery, but scarce ever seen by whites), and
extending indefinitely beyond the Saskatchewan and towards the
tributaries of the Coppermine and Mackenzie Rivers. The expedition was
perilous from its commencement, and the danger increased with each day's
journey. The war-paths, war-party fires, and similar indications of the
vicinity of hostile bands, were each day found in greater abundance.

It should be borne in mind that an experienced trapper can, at a glance,
pronounce what tribe made a war-trail or a camp-fire. Indications which
would convey no meaning to the inexperienced are conclusive proofs to
the keen-eyed mountaineer. The track of a foot, by a greater or less
turning out of the toes, demonstrates from which side of the mountains a
party has come. The print of a moccasin in soft earth indicates the
tribe of the wearer. An arrow-head or a feather from a war-bonnet, a
scrap of dressed deer-skin, or even a chance fragment of jerked
buffalo-meat, furnishes data from which unerring conclusions are deduced
with marvellous facility.

The party of adventurers soon found that they were in the thickest of
the Cree war-party operations, and so full of danger was every day's
travel that a council was called, and seven of the ten turned back. The
remaining three, more through foolhardiness than for any good reason,
continued their journey, until their resolution failed them, and they
too determined that, after another day's travel northward, they would
hasten back to their comrades.

On the afternoon of the last day, four young Indians were seen, who,
after a cautious approach, made the sign of peace, laid down their arms,
and came forward, announcing themselves to be Blackfeet of the Blood
Band. They were sent out, they said, by Ma-què-a-pos, to find three
whites mounted on horses of a peculiar color, dressed in garments
accurately described to them, and armed with weapons which they, without
seeing them, minutely described. The whole history of the expedition had
been detailed to them by Ma-què-a-pos. The purpose of the journey, the
_personnel_ of the party, the exact locality at which to find the three
who persevered, had been detailed by him with as much fidelity as could
have been done by one of the whites themselves. And so convinced were
the Indians of the truth of the old man's medicine, that the four young
men were sent to appoint a rendezvous, for four days later, at a spot a
hundred miles distant. On arriving there, accompanied by the young
Indians, the whites found the entire camp of "Rising Head," a noted
war-chief, awaiting them. The objects of the expedition were speedily
accomplished; and the whites, after a few days' rest, returned to safer
haunts. The writer of this paper was at the head of the party of whites,
and himself met the Indian messengers.

Upon questioning the chief men of the Indian camp, many of whom
afterwards became my warm personal friends, and one of them my adopted
brother, no suspicion of the facts, as narrated, could be sustained.
Ma-què-a-pos could give no explanation beyond the general one,--that he
"saw us coming, and heard us talk on our journey." He had not, during
that time, been absent from the Indian camp.

A subsequent intimate acquaintance with Ma-què-a-pos disclosed a
remarkable medicine faculty as accurate as it was inexplicable. He was
tested in every way, and almost always stood the ordeal successfully.
Yet he never claimed that the gift entitled him to any peculiar regard,
except as the instrument of a power whose operations he did not pretend
to understand. He had an imperfect knowledge of the Catholic worship,
distorted and intermixed with the wild theogony of the red man. He would
talk with passionate devotion of the Mother of God, and in the same
breath tell how the Great Spirit restrains the Rain Spirits from
drowning the world, by tying them with the rainbow. I have often seen
him make the sign of the cross, while he recounted, in all the soberness
of implicit belief, how the Old Man (the God of the Blackfeet) formed
the human race from the mud of the Missouri,--how he experimented before
he adopted the human frame, as we now have it,--how he placed his
creatures in an isolated park far to the north, and there taught them
the rude arts of Indian life,--how he staked the Indians on a desperate
game of chance with the Spirit of Evil,--and how the whites are now his
peculiar care. Ma-què-a-pos's faith could hardly stand the test of any
religious creed. Yet it must be said for him, that his simplicity and
innocence of life might be a model for many, better instructed than he.

The wilder tribes are accustomed to certain observances which are
generally termed the tribe-medicine. Their leading men inculcate them
with great care,--perhaps to perpetuate unity of tradition and purpose.
In the arrangement of tribe-medicine, trivial observances are frequently
intermixed with very serious doctrines. Thus, the grand war-council of
the Dakotah confederacy, comprising thirteen tribes of Sioux, and more
than seventeen thousand warriors, many years since promulgated a
national medicine, prescribing a red stone pipe with an ashen stem for
all council purposes, and (herein was the true point) an eternal
hostility to the whites. The prediction may be safely ventured, that
every Sioux will preserve this medicine until the nation shall cease to
exist. To it may be traced the recent Indian war that devastated
Minnesota; and there cannot, in the nature of things, and of the
American Indian especially, be a peace kept in good faith until the
confederacy of the Dakotah is in effect destroyed.

The Crows, or Upsàraukas, will not smoke in council, unless the pipe is
lighted with a coal of buffalo chip, and the bowl rested on a fragment
of the same substance. Their chief men have for a great while endeavored
to engraft teetotalism upon their national medicine, and have succeeded
better than the Indian character would have seemed to promise.

Among the Flat-Heads female chastity is a national medicine. With the
Mandans, friendship for the whites is supposed to be the source of
national and individual advantage.

Besides the varieties of medicine already alluded to, there are in use
charms of almost every kind. When game is scarce, medicine is made to
call back the buffalo. The Man in the Sun is invoked for fair weather,
for success in war or chase, and for a cure of wounds. The spirits of
the dead are appeased by medicine songs and offerings. The curiosity of
some may be attracted by the following rude and literal translation of
the song of a Blackfoot woman to the spirit of her son, who was killed
on his first war-party. The words were written down at the time, and are
not in any respect changed or smoothed.

    "O my son, farewell!
    You have gone beyond the great river,
    Your spirit is on the other side of the Sand Buttes;
    I will not see you for a hundred winters;
    You will scalp the enemy in the green prairie,
    Beyond the great river.
    When the warriors of the Blackfeet meet,
    When they smoke the medicine-pipe and dance the war-dance,
    They will ask, 'Where is Isthumaka?--
    Where is the bravest of the Mannikappi?'
    He fell on the war-path.
                  Mai-ram-bo, mai-ram-bo.

    "Many scalps will be taken for your death;
    The Crows will lose many horses;
    Their women will weep for their braves,
    They will curse the spirit of Isthumaka.
    O my son! I will come to you
    And make moccasins for the war-path,
    As I did when you struck the lodge
    Of the 'Horse-Guard' with the tomahawk.
    Farewell, my son! I will see you
    Beyond the broad river.
                  Mai-ram-bo, mai-ram-bo," etc., etc.

Sung in a plaintive minor key, and in a wild, irregular rhythm, the
dirge was far more impressive than the words would indicate.

It cannot be denied that the whites, who consort much with the ruder
tribes of Indians imbibe, to a considerable degree, their veneration for
medicine. The old trappers and voyageurs are, almost without exception,
observers of omens and dreamers of dreams. They claim that medicine is a
faculty which can in some degree be cultivated, and aspire to its
possession as eagerly as does the Indian. Sometimes they acquire a
reputation that is in many ways beneficial to them.

As before said, it is no object of this paper to defend or combat the
Indian notion of medicine. Such a system exists as a fact; and whoever
writes upon American Demonology will find many fruitful topics of
investigation in the daily life of the uncontaminated Indian. There may
be nothing of truth in the supposed prediction by Tecumseh, that
Tuckabatchee would be destroyed by an earthquake on a day which he
named; the gifts of the "Prophet" may be overstated in the traditions
that yet linger in Kentucky and Indiana; the descent of the Mandans from
Prince Madoc and his adventurous Welchmen, and the consideration
accorded them on that account, may very possibly be altogether fanciful;
but whoever will take the trouble to investigate will find in the _real_
Indian a faith, and occasionally a power, that quite equal the faculties
claimed by our civilized clairvoyants, and will approach an untrodden
path of curious, if not altogether useful research.


[E] The Mountain Assinaboins, of which tribe the Black Snake is (if
living) a distinguished ornament, were visited more than a hundred years
since by an English clergyman named Wolsey, who devised an alphabet for
their use. The alphabet is still used by them, and they keep their
memoranda on dressed skins. With the exception of the Cherokees, they
are, perhaps, the only tribe possessing a written language. They have no
other civilization.

[F] I do not feel at liberty to give the name of this excellent man, now
perhaps no more. In 1861, he lived and labored, with a gentleness and
zeal worthy of the cause he heralded, as a missionary among the
Kalispelm Indians, on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains. Such
devotion to missionary labor as was his may well challenge admiration
even from those who think him in fatal error. His memory will long be
cherished by those who knew the purity of his character, his generous
catholicity of spirit, and the native and acquired graces of mind which
made him a companion at once charming and instructive.


    O thou great Wrong, that, through the slow-paced years,
      Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield
      The scourge that drove the laborer to the field,
    And look with stony eye on human tears,
          Thy cruel reign is o'er;
          Thy bondmen crouch no more
    In terror at the menace of thine eye;
      For He who marks the bounds of guilty power,
    Long-suffering, hath heard the captive's cry,
      And touched his shackles at the appointed hour,
    And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled
    Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled.

    A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;
      Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymn of thanks;
      Our rivers roll exulting, and their banks
    Send up hosannas to the firmament.
          Fields, where the bondman's toil
          No more shall trench the soil,
    Seem now to bask in a serener day;
      The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the airs
    Of heaven with more caressing softness play,
      Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
    A glory clothes the land from sea to sea,
    For the great land and all its coasts are free.

    Within that land wert thou enthroned of late,
      And they by whom the nation's laws were made,
      And they who filled its judgment-seats, obeyed
    Thy mandate, rigid as the will of fate.
          Fierce men at thy right hand,
          With gesture of command,
    Gave forth the word that none might dare gainsay;
      And grave and reverend ones, who loved thee not,
    Shrank from thy presence, and, in blank dismay,
      Choked down, unuttered, the rebellious thought;
    While meaner cowards, mingling with thy train,
    Proved, from the book of God, thy right to reign.

    Great as thou wert, and feared from shore to shore,
        The wrath of God o'ertook thee in thy pride;
        Thou sitt'st a ghastly shadow; by thy side
    Thy once strong arms hang nerveless evermore.
            And they who quailed but now
            Before thy lowering brow
    Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,
      And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art.
    And they who ruled in thine imperial name,
      Subdued, and standing sullenly apart,
    Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign,
    And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain.

    Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not spare
      Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst part
      Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart
    Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer;
          Thy inner lair became
          The haunt of guilty shame;
    Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at thy side,
      Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengeance due.
    Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and wide,
      A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
    Until the measure of thy sins at last
    Was full, and then the avenging bolt was cast.

    Go then, accursed of God, and take thy place
      With baleful memories of the elder time,
      With many a wasting pest, and nameless crime,
    And bloody war that thinned the human race;
          With the Black Death, whose way
          Through wailing cities lay,
    Worship of Moloch, tyrannies that built
      The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
    To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt,--
      Death at the stake to those that held them not.
    Lo, the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
    Of the flown ages, part to yield thee room.

    I see the better years that hasten by
      Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
      Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
    The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.
          The slave-pen, through whose door
          Thy victims pass no more,
    Is there, and there shall the grim block remain
      At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet
    Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
      Moulder and rust by thine eternal seat.
    There, 'mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes,
    Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.


_Ecce Homo: a Survey of the Life and Work of Jesus Christ._ Boston:
Roberts Brothers.

The merits of this book are popular and obvious, consisting in a strain
of liberal, enlightened sentiment, an ingenious and original cast of
thought, and a painstaking lucidity of style which leaves the writer's
meaning even prosaically plain. There is a good deal of absurd and even
puerile exegesis in its pages, which makes you wonder how so much
sentimentality can co-exist with so much ability; but the book is
vitiated for all purposes beyond mere literary entertainment by one
grand defect, which is the guarded theologic obscurity the writer keeps
up, or the attempt he makes to estimate Christianity apart from all
question of the truth or falsity of Christ's personal pretensions
towards God. The author may have reached in his own mind the most
definite theologic convictions, but he sedulously withholds them from
his reader; and the consequence is, that the book awakens and satisfies
no intellectual interest in the latter, but remains at best a curious
literary speculation. For what men have always been moved by in
Christianity is not so much the superiority of its moral inculcations to
those of other faiths, as its uncompromising pretension to be a final or
absolute religion. If Christ be only the eminently good and wise and
philanthropic man the author describes him to be, deliberating,
legislating, for the improvement of man's morals, he may be very
admirable, but nothing can be inferred from that circumstance to the
deeper inquiry. If he claim no essentially different significance to our
regard, on God's part, than that claimed by Zoroaster, Confucius,
Mahomet, Hildebrand, Luther, Wesley, he is to be sure still entitled to
all the respect inherent in such an office; but then there is no _a
priori_ reason why his teaching and influence should not be superseded
in process of time by that of any at present unmentionable Anne Lee,
Joanna Southcote, or Joe Smith. And what the human mind craves, above
all things else, is repose towards God,--is not to remain a helpless
sport to every fanatic sot that comes up from the abyss of human vanity,
and claims to hold it captive by the assumption of a new Divine mission.

The objection to the _mythic_ view of Christ's significance, which is
that maintained by Strauss, is, that it violates men's faith in the
integrity of history as a veracious outcome of the providential love and
wisdom which are extant and operative in human affairs. And the
objection to what has been called the _Troubadour_ view of the same
subject, which is that represented by M. Renan, is, that it outrages
men's faith in human character, regarded, if not as habitually, still as
occasionally capable of heroic or consistent veracity. We may safely
argue, then, that neither Strauss nor Renan will possess any long
vitality to human thought. They are both fascinating reading;--the one
for his profound sincerity, or his conviction of a worth in Christianity
so broadly human and impersonal as to exempt it from the obligations of
a literal historic doctrine; the other for his profound insincerity, so
to speak, or an egotism so subtile, so capacious and frank, as permits
him to take up the grandest character in history into the hollow of his
hand, and turn him about there for critical inspection and definite
adjustment to the race, with absolutely no more reverence nor reticence
than a buyer of grain shows to a handful of wheat, as he pours it
dexterously from hand to hand, and blows the chaff in the seller's
face.[G] But both writers alike are left behind us in the library, and
are not subsequently brought to mind by anything we encounter in the
fields or the streets.

The author of _Ecce Homo_ does no dishonor to the Christian history as
history, however foolishly he expatiates at times upon its incidents and
implications; much less to the simple and perfect integrity of Christ as
a man, but no more than Strauss or Renan does he meet the supreme want
of the popular understanding, which is to know wherein Christianity has
the right it claims to be regarded as a final or complete revelation of
the Divine name upon the earth. We think, moreover, that the reason of
the omission is the same in every case, being the sheer and contented
indifference which each of the writers feels to the question of a
revelation in the abstract or general, regarded as a _sine qua non_ of
any sympathetic or rational intercourse which may be considered as
possible between God and man. We should not be so presumptuous as to
invite our readers' attention to the discussion of so grave a
philosophic topic as the one here referred to, in the limited space at
our command; but surely it may be said, without any danger of
misunderstanding from the most cursory reader, that if creation were the
absolute or unconditioned verity which thoughtless people deem it, there
could be no _ratio_ between Creator and creature, hence no intercourse
or intimacy, inasmuch as the one is being itself, and the other does not
even exist or _seem_ to be but by him. In order that creation should be
a rational product of Divine power, in order that the creature should be
a being of reason, endowed with the responsibility of his own actions,
it is imperative that the Creator disown his essential infinitude and
diminish himself to the creature's dimensions; that he hide or obscure
his own perfection in the creature's imperfection, to the extent even of
rendering it fairly problematic whether or not an infinite being really
exist, so putting man, as it were, upon the spontaneous search and
demand for such a being, and in that measure developing his rational
possibilities. And if this be so,--if creation philosophically involve a
descending movement on the Creator's part proportionate to the ascending
one contemplated on the creature's part,--then it follows that creation
is not a simple, but a complex process, involving equally a Divine
action and a human reaction, or the due adjustment of means and ends;
and that no writer, consequently, can long satisfy the intellect in the
sphere of religious thought, who either jauntily or ignorantly overlooks
this philosophic necessity. This, however, is what Messrs. Strauss and
Renan and the author of _Ecce Homo_ agree to do; and this is what makes
their several books, whatever subjective differences characterize them
to a literary regard, alike objectively unprofitable as instruments of
intellectual progress.

_The Masquerade and Other Poems._ By JOHN GODFREY SAXE. Boston: Ticknor
and Fields.

It was remarked lately by an ingenious writer, that "it never seems to
occur to some people, who deliver upon the books they read very
unhesitating judgments, that they may be wanting, either by congenital
defect, or defect of experience, or defect of reproductive memory, in
the qualifications which are necessary for judging fairly of any
particular book." To poetry this remark applies with especial force.

By poetry we do not understand mere verse, but any form of literary
composition which reproduces in the mind certain emotions which, in the
absence of an epithet less vague, we shall call _poetical_. These
emotions may be a compound of the sensuous and the purely intellectual,
or they may partake much more of the one than of the other. (The
rigorous metaphysician will please not begin to carp at our definition.)
These emotions may be excited by an odor, the state of the atmosphere, a
strain of music, a form of words, or by a single word; and, as they
result largely from association, it is obvious that what may be poetry
to some minds may not be poetry to others,--may not be poetry to the
same mind at different periods of life or in different moods. The most
sympathetic, most catholic, most receptive mind will always be the best
qualified to detect and appreciate poetry under all its various forms,
and would as soon think of denying the devotional faculty to a man of
differing creed, as of denying the poetical to one whose theory or habit
of expression may chance to differ from its own. Goethe was so apt to
discover something good in poems which others dismissed as wholly
worthless, that it was said of him, "his commendation is a brevet of
mediocrity." Perhaps it was his "many-sidedness" that made him so
accurate a "detective" in criticism.

According to Wordsworth, "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful
feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity."
A good definition so far as it goes. But Wordsworth could see only one
side of the shield. He was notoriously so deficient in the faculty of
humor, that even Sydney Smith was unintelligible to him. Few specimens
of what can be called wit can be found in his writings. He could not see
that there is a poetry of wit as well as of sentiment,--of the intellect
as well as of the emotions. No wonder he could not enjoy Pope, and had
little relish for Horace. And yet how grand is Wordsworth in his own
peculiar sphere!

Those narrow views of the province of poetry, which roused the
indignation of Byron, and which would exclude such writers as
Goldsmith, Pope, Campbell, Scott, Praed, Moore, and Saxe from the rank
of poets, are not unfrequently reproduced in our own day. We do not
perceive that they spring from a liberal or philosophical consideration
of the subject. Poetry, [Greek: poiêsis], or "making," creation, or
re-creation, does not address itself to any single group of those
faculties of our complex nature, the gratification of which brings a
sense of the agreeable, the exhilarating, or the elevating. As well
might we deny to didactic verse the name of poetry, as to those _vers de
société_ in which a profound truth may be found in a comic mask, or the
foibles which scolding could not reach may be reflected in the mirror
held up in gayety of heart. As well might we deny that a waltz is music,
and claim the name of music only for a funeral march or a nocturne, as
deny that Shakespeare's description of Queen Mab is as much poetry as
the stately words in which Prospero compares the vanishing of his
insubstantial pageant to that of

    "The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself."

The new volume of poems by Mr. Saxe is, in many respects, an improvement
on all that he has given us hitherto. There is more versatility in the
style, a freer and firmer touch in the handling. Like our best
humorists, he shows that the founts of tears and of laughter lie close
together; for his power of pathos is almost as marked as that of fun. As
good specimens of what he has accomplished in the minor key, we may
instance "The Expected Ship," "The Story of Life," and "Pan Immortal."
But it is in his faculty of turning upon us the whimsical and humorous
side of a fact or a character that Saxe especially excels. The lines
entitled "The Superfluous Man" are an illustration of what we mean. In
some learned treatise the author stumbles on the following somewhat
startling reflection: "It is ascertained by inspection of the registers
of many countries, that the uniform proportion of male to female births
is as 21 to 20: accordingly, in respect to marriage, every 21st man is
naturally superfluous." Here is hint enough to set Saxe's bright vein of
humor flowing. The Superfluous Man becomes a concrete embodiment, and
sings his discovery of the cause of his forlorn single lot and his
hopeless predicament. It flashes upon him that he is that 21st man
alluded to by the profound statistician. He is under a natural ban,--for
he's a superfluous man. There's no use fighting 'gainst nature's
inflexible plan. There's never a woman for him,--for he's a superfluous
man. The whole conception and execution of the poem afford a fine
example of the manner in which a genuine artist may inform a subtile and
an extravagant whim with life, humor, and consistency.

"The Mourner a la Mode" contains some good instances of the neatness and
felicity with which the author floods a whole stanza with humor by a
single epithet.

    "What tears of _vicarious_ woe.
      That else might have sullied her face,
    Were kindly permitted to flow
      In ripples of ebony lace
    While even her fan, in its play,
      Had quite a lugubrious scope,
    And seemed to be waving away
      The ghost of the angel of Hope!"

The sentiments of a young lover on finding that the object of his
adoration had an excellent appetite, and was always punctual at lunch
and dinner, are expressed with a Sheridan-like sparkle in the concluding
stanza of "The Beauty of Ballston."

    "Ah me! of so much loveliness
      It had been sweet to be the winner;
    I know she loved me only less--
      The merest fraction--than her dinner;
    'T was hard to lose so fair a prize,
      But then (I thought) 't were vastly harder
    To have before my jealous eyes
      _A constant rival in my larder!_"

There is one practical consideration in regard to the poetry of Saxe,
which may excite the distrust of those critics who, with Horace, hate
the profane multitude. Fortunately or unfortunately for his reputation,
Saxe's poems are _popular_, and--not to put too fine a point of
it--_sell_. His books have a regular market value, and this value
increases rather than diminishes with years. This is, we confess, rather
a suspicious circumstance. Did Milton sell? Did Wordsworth sell? Must
not the fame that is instantaneous prove hollow and ephemeral? Are we
not acquainted with a certain volume of poems that shall be nameless,
the whole edition of which lies untouched and unclaimed on the
publisher's shelves? And are we not perfectly well aware that those
poems--well, we can wait. If Mr. Saxe would only put forth a volume that
should prove, in a mercantile sense, a failure, we think he would be
surprised to find how happily he would hit certain critics who can now
see little in his writings to justify their success. Let him once join
the fraternity of unappreciated geniuses, and he will find
compensation,--though not, perhaps, in the form of what some vulgar
fellow has called "solid pudding."

_The Giant Cities of Bashan; and Syria's Holy Places._ By the Rev. J. L.
PORTER, A. M., Author of "Murray's Hand-Book for Syria and Palestine,"
etc., etc. New York: T. Nelson and Sons.

Travellers who have merely visited the classic scenes of Greece and
Italy, or at the best have "browsed about" the ruinous sites of Tyre and
Carthage, must have a mortifying sense of the newness of such recent
settlements, in reading of Mr. Porter's journey through Bashan, and
sojourn in Bozrah, Salcah, Edrei, and the other cities of the Rephaim.
As Chicago is to Athens, so is Athens to these mighty and wonderful
cities of doom and eld, which are marvellous, not alone for their
antiquity, (so remote that one looks into it dizzily and doubtfully, as
a depth into which it is not wholly safe to peer,) but also for the
perfection in which they stand and have stood amid the desolation of
unnumbered ages. A Cockney clergyman travelling through Eastern Syria,
with his Ezekiel in his hand, arrives at nightfall before the gates of a
town which was a flourishing metropolis in the days of Moses, and takes
up his lodging in a house built by some newly-married giant, say five or
six thousand years ago. It is in perfect repair, "the walls are sound,
the roofs unbroken, the doors and even window-shutters"--being of solid
basalt monoliths, incapable of decay or destruction--"are in their
places." In the town whose dumb streets no foot but the Bedouin's has
trodden for centuries and centuries, there are hundreds of such houses
as this; and in a province not larger than Rhode Island there are a
hundred such towns. According to Mr. Porter, the language of Scripture,
which the strongest powers of deglutition have sometimes rejected as
that of Eastern hyperbole, is literally verified at every step in the
land of Bashan. The facts, he says, would not stand the arithmetic of
Bishop Colenso for an instant; yet from the summit of the castle of
Salcah (capital of his late gigantic Majesty, King Og) he counted thirty
utterly deserted and perfectly habitable towns; so that he finds no
difficulty in believing the bulletin of Jair in which the Israelite
general declares he took in the province of Argob sixty great cities
"fenced with high walls, gates, and bars, besides unwalled towns a great
many." Nor is the fulfilment of prophecy in regard to this kingdom,
populous and prosperous beyond any other known to history, less literal
or less startling.

"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: They shall eat their bread with
carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may
be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all
that dwell therein. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid
waste, and the land shall be desolate."

Everywhere Mr. Porter witnessed the end predicted by Ezekiel: a nation
might dwell in these enchanted cities, but they are all empty and silent
as the desert. Their architecture, however, is eloquent in witness of
the successive changes through which they have passed in reaching the
state of final desolation foretold of the prophet. The dwellings, so
ponderous and so simple, are the work of the original Rephaim, or
giants, from whom the Israelites conquered the land, and the masonry is
of these first conquerors. The Greeks have left the proof of their
presence in the temples and inscriptions, and the Romans in the
structure of the roads; while the Saracens have added mosques, and the
Turks solitude and danger,--for the whole land is infested with robbers.
But while Jewish masonry has crumbled to dust, while Roman roads are
weed-grown, and the temples of the gods and the mosques of Mahomet
mingle their ruins, the dwellings of the Rephaim stand intact and
everlasting, as if the earth had loved her mighty first-born too well to
suffer the memory of their greatness to perish from her face.

It must be acknowledged that Mr. Porter has not done the best that could
be done for the country through which he travels. With a style extremely
graphic at times, he seems wanting in those arts of composition by which
he could convey to his readers an impression of things at once vivid and
comprehensive. He visits the cities of Bashan, one after another, and
tells us repeatedly that they are desolate, and in perfect repair, and
quotes the proper text of Scripture in which their desolation is
foretold, and their number and strength not exaggerated. Yet he fails,
with all this, to describe any one place completely, and is of opinion
that he should weary his reader in recounting, at Bozrah, for example,
"the wonders of art and architecture, and the curiosities of votive
tablet, and dedicatory inscription on altar, tomb, church, and temple";
whereas we must confess that nothing would have pleased us better than
to hear about all these things, with ever so much minuteness, and that
we should have been willing to take two passages of prophecy instead of
twenty, if we might have had the omitted description in the place of
them. But Mr. Porter being made as he is, we are glad to get out of him
what we can, and have to thank him for a full account of at least one of
the houses of the Rephaim, in which he passed a night.

"The walls were perfect, nearly five feet thick, built of large blocks
of hewn stones, without lime or cement of any kind. The roof was formed
of large slabs of the same black basalt, lying as regularly, and jointed
as closely as if the workmen had only just completed them. They measured
twelve feet in length, eighteen inches in breadth, and six inches in
thickness. The ends rested on a plain stone cornice, projecting about a
foot from each side wall. The chamber was twenty feet long, twelve wide,
and ten high. The outer door was a slab of stone, four and a half feet
high, four wide, and eight inches thick. It hung upon pivots formed of
projecting parts of the slab, working in sockets in the lintel and
threshold; and though so massive, I was able to open and shut it with
ease. At one end of the room was a small window with a stone shutter. An
inner door, also of stone, but of finer workmanship, and not quite so
heavy as the other, admitted to a chamber of the same size and
appearance. From it a much larger door communicated with a third
chamber, to which there was a descent by a flight of stone steps. This
was a spacious hall, equal in width to the two rooms, and about
twenty-five feet long by twenty high. A semicircular arch was thrown
across it, supporting the stone roof; and a gate, so large that camels
could pass in and out, opened on the street. The gate was of stone, and
in its place; but some rubbish had accumulated on the threshold, and it
appeared to have been open for ages. Here our horses were comfortably
installed. Such were the internal arrangements of this strange old
mansion. It had only one story; and its simple, massive style of
architecture gave evidence of a very remote antiquity."

Mr. Porter does not tell us whether all the dwellings of the Rephaim are
constructed after one plan, as, for instance, the houses of Pompeii
were, or whether there was variety in the architecture, and on many
other points of inquiry he is equally unsatisfactory. His strength is in
his one great fact,--that these cities are older than any known to
profane history, and that they yet exist undecayed and undecaying. The
charm of such a fact is so great, that we recur again and again to his
pages, with a forever unappeased famine for more knowledge, which we
hope some garrulous and gossipful traveller will soon arise to satisfy.

Of him--the beneficent future tourist--we shall willingly accept any
number of fables, if only he will add something more filling than Mr.
Porter has given us. It is true that this tourist will not have a mere
pleasure excursion, but will undergo much to merit the gratitude of his
readers. The land of Bashan is nomadically inhabited by a race of men
much fiercer than its ancient bulls; and Bedouins beset the movements of
the traveller, to pillage and slay wherever they are strong enough to
overcome his escort of Druses. Mr. Porter tells much of the perils he
incurred, and even of actual attacks made upon him by fanatical
Mussulmans while he sketched the wonders of the world's youth among
which they dwelt. For the present his book has a value unique and very
great: the scenes through which he passes have been heretofore unvisited
by travel, and the interest attaching to them is intense and universal.
The literal verification of many passages of Scripture supposed more or
less allegorical, must have its weight with all liberal thinkers; and,
as a contribution to the means of religious inquiry, this work will be
earnestly received.

_Life of Benjamin Silliman, M. D., LL. D., late Professor of Chemistry,
Mineralogy, and Geology in Yale College._ Chiefly from his Manuscript
Reminiscences, Diaries, and Correspondence. By GEORGE P. FISHER,
Professor in Yale College. In Two Volumes. New York: Charles Scribner &

Professor Fisher, in allowing the subject of this biography to tell the
story of his life, restricts himself very self-denyingly to here and
there a line of introduction or comment. We have ample passages from
Professor Silliman's journal, and from an autobiographical memoir
written during his last years, as well as extracts from his letters and
the letters addressed to him. It is an easy and pleasant way of writing
personal history, and it would be an easy and pleasant way of reading
it, if life were as long as art. But we fear that the popular usefulness
of this work--and the biography of the eminent man who did so much to
popularize science should be in the hands of all--must be impaired by
its magnitude; and we are disposed to regret that Professor Fisher did
not think fit to reject that part of the correspondence which
contributes nothing to the movement of the narrative or the development
of character, and condense much of that material which has only a value
reflected from the interest already felt in Professor Silliman. These
are faults in a work from which we have risen with a clear sense of the
beauty and goodness, as well as the greatness, of the eminent scientist.
It is admirable to see how his career, begun in another century and
another phase of civilization, ended in what was best and most
enlightened and liberal in our own time. A man could hardly have started
from better things, or been subject at important points of his progress
to better influences. Benjamin Silliman was of Revolutionary stock,
which had its roots in the soil of the Reformation. The Connecticut
Puritan came of Tuscan Puritans, who fled their city of Lucca, and
finally passed from Switzerland through Holland to our shores. Brain and
heart in him were thus imbued with an unfaltering love of freedom,
chastised by religious fervor; and when he became a man, he married with
a race of kindred origin in faith, sentiment, and principles. He
advanced with his times in a patriotic devotion to democracy and
equality, but he seems to have always kept, together with great
simplicity of character, the impression of early teaching and
associations, and something of old-time stateliness and formality. His
youth, like his age, was very sober, modest, and discreet. The ties
which united him to his family were strong; and he loved his mother, who
long survived his father, with the reverent affection of the past
generation. He inherited certain theological principles from his
parents, and never swerved from them for a moment. Some friendships came
down to him from his father which he always honored; and the institution
of learning with which he maintained a life-long connection was in his
early days the object of a regard mixed with awe, and always of pride
and devotion. He used to think President Styles the greatest of human
beings; and one reads with a kind of dismay, that he was once fined
sixpence for kicking a football into the President's door-yard.

There was in this grave youth the making of many kinds of greatness. He
who became so eminent in science could have been a great jurist, for he
had the tranquillity and perseverance necessary to legal success; he
could have been a great statesman, for his political views were clear
and just and far-reaching; he wrote some of the most popular books of
travels in his day, and he could have shone in literature; while he
appears to have been conscious of the direction in which a sole weakness
lay, and with early wisdom forsook the muse of poetry. He tells us that
it was no instinctive preference which led him to the study and pursuit
of the natural sciences, but the persuasion of Dr. Dwight, who was
President of Yale in Silliman's twenty-third year, and who opened this
career to him by offering him the Professorship of Chemistry, then about
to be established. At that time Silliman was studying law; but, once
convinced that he can be of greater use to himself and others in the way
proposed, he enters it and never looks back; goes to Philadelphia to
hear the learnedest professors of that day; goes to Europe for the
culture unattainable in this country; overcomes poverty in himself and
in Yale; will not be tempted from New Haven by the offer of the
Presidency of the University of South Carolina, but devotes himself to a
generous study of science, to the diffusion of scientific knowledge, and
the promotion of the greatness of the institution to which he belongs.
His devotion is not blind, however: he finds time to write attractive
accounts of his voyages to Europe, to concern himself in religious
affairs, to sympathize and cooperate with whatever is noble and good in
political movements. He lives long enough to enjoy his fame, to see Yale
prosperous and great, and his country about to triumph forever over the
evil of slavery, which he had hated and combated. It was a noble
life,--simple, pure, and illustrious,--and its history is full of
instruction and encouragement.

_Fifteen Days._ An Extract from EDWARD COLVIL'S Journal. Boston: Ticknor
and Fields.

This is a work of fiction, in which the passion of love, so far from
being the prime motive, as in other fictions, does not enter at all. The
author seeks to reach, without other incident, one tragic event, and
endeavors to make up for a want of adventure by the subtile analysis of
character and the study of a civil problem. The novelty and courage of
the attempt will attract the thoughtful reader, and will probably tempt
him so far into the pages of the book, that he will find himself too
deeply interested in its persons to part from them voluntarily. The
national sin with which the author so pitilessly deals has been expiated
by the whole nation, and is now no more; but its effects upon the guilty
and guiltless victims, here alike so leniently treated, remain, and the
question of slavery must always command attention till the question of
reconstruction is settled.

In "Fifteen Days" the political influences of slavery are only very
remotely considered, while the personal and social results of the system
are examined with incisive acuteness united to a warmth of feeling which
at last breaks forth into pathetic lament. Is not the tragedy, of which
we discern the proportions only in looking back, indeed a fateful one? A
young New-Englander, rich, handsome, generous, and thoroughly taught by
books and by ample experience of the Old World and the New to honor men
and freedom, passes a few days in a Slave State, in the midst of that
cruel system which could progress only from bad to worse; to which
reform was death, and which with the instinct of self-preservation
punished all open attempts to ameliorate the relations of oppressor and
oppressed, and permitted no kindness to exist but in the guise of
severity or the tenderness of a good man for his beast; which boasted
itself an aristocracy, and was an oligarchy of plebeian ignorance and
meanness; which either dulled men's brains or chilled their hearts. In
the presence of this system, Harry Dudley lingers long enough to rescue
a slave and to die by the furious hand of the master,--a man in whose
soul the best impulse was the love he bore his victim, and in whom the
evil destiny of the drama triumphs.

From the conversation of Harry and the botanist, his friend, the author
retrospectively develops in its full beauty a character illustrated in
only one phase by the episode which the passages from Edward Colvil's
journal cover, while she sketches with other touches, slight, but
skilful, the people of a whole neighborhood, and the events of years.
Doctor Borrow, the botanist, is made to pass, by insensible changes,
from a learned indifference concerning slavery to eloquent and ardent
argument against it, and thus to present the history of the process by
which even science, the coldest element of our civilization, found
itself at last unconsciously arrayed against a system long abhorrent to
feeling. In the Doctor's talk with Westlake, we have a close and clear
comparison of the origin and result of the civilizations of New England
and the South, the high equality of the North and the mean aristocracy
of the Slave States, and the Doctor's first perfect consciousness of
loving the one and hating the other. The supposititious Mandingo's
observations of the state of Europe at the time of opening the African
slave-trade form a humorous protest against judgment of Africa by
travellers' stories, and suggest more than a doubt whether the first
men-stealers were better than their victims, and whether they conferred
the boon of a higher civilization upon negroes by enslaving them. But
the humor of the book, like its learning, is subordinated to the story,
which is imbued with a sentiment not wanting in warmth because so noble
and lofty. The friendship of Colvil and Dudley is less like the
friendship between two men, than the affectionate tenderness of two
women for each other; and the character of Dudley in its purity and
elevation is sometimes elusive. The personality of Colvil is also rather
shadowy; but the Doctor is human and tangible, and the other persons,
however slightly indicated, are all real, and bear palpable witness, in
their lives, to the influences of that system which, though cruel to the
oppressed, wrought a ruin yet more terrible in the oppressor.


[G] Of course we have no disposition to deny M. Renan's right to reduce
Christ and every other historic figure to the standard of the most
modern critical art. We merely mean to say that this is all M. Renan
does, and that the all is not much.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866" ***

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can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.