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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 110, December, 1866 - A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 110, December, 1866 - A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics" ***

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


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

[Transcriber's note: Minor typos corrected and footnotes moved to end of

       *       *       *       *       *


Most men of "fourscore and upwards," like Lear, and who, like Lear, have
been "mightily abused" in their day, are found, upon diligent inquiry,
to have long outlived themselves, like the Archbishop of Granada; but
here is a man, or was but the other day, in his eighty-second year, with
the temper and edge and "bright blue rippling glitter" of a Damascus
blade up to the very last; or rather, considering how he was last
employed, with the temper of that strange tool, found among the ruins of
Thebes, with which they used to smooth and polish their huge monoliths
of granite, until they murmured a song of joy, whenever the morning
sunshine fell upon them.

This remarkable man--remarkable under many aspects--died at Medford,
Massachusetts, on Monday morning, August 27th; and it is now said of
heart-disease,--that other name for a mysterious and sudden death,
happen how it may, and when it may. He had been perfectly well the day
before, attended church, and called on some of his neighbors; he retired
to rest as usual, and nothing more was heard of him till Monday morning,
when he was found asleep in Jesus, prepared, as we humbly trust, to hear
the greeting of "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!" Says a
friend, in a letter now lying before me, of August 27th: "On Saturday
afternoon, day before yesterday, your friend and my friend, Rev. John
Pierpont, called upon me, and we had a very interesting interview of
about an hour. I never saw him look better or appear happier. Although
eighty-one years of age the 6th of last April, he seemed to have the
elasticity of youth, and he was perfectly erect. I gave him what he
wanted very much,--a copy of his trial before an ecclesiastical council
in this city, several years ago. He gave me his photograph, and, taking
his gold pen, wrote underneath, in a beautiful hand, 'John Pierpont,
aged 81.' He said he was doing some work at Washington, which he hoped
to live long enough to complete.... When I published my last book, I
sent him a copy. He acknowledged the receipt of it in a letter of eight
or ten pages, which is now a treasure to me. His name on the photograph
was probably the last time he ever wrote it,"--another treasure, which
my friend would not now be likely to part with for any consideration.

My acquaintance with Mr. Pierpont began in the fall or winter of 1814,
just when the war had assumed such proportions, that men's hearts were
failing them for fear, and prodigies and portents were of daily
occurrence. New England too--finding herself defenceless and left to the
mercy of our foe--began to think, not of setting up for herself, not of
withdrawing from the copartnership, without the consent of the whole
sisterhood, but of coming together for conference and proposing to the
general government, not to become neutral after the fashion of Kentucky,
in our late misunderstanding, not of playing the part of umpire between
the belligerents, like that heroic embodiment of Southern chivalry, nor
of holding the balance of power, but, on being allowed her just
proportion of the public revenues, to undertake for herself, and agree
to give a good account of the enemy, if he should throw himself upon her
bulwarks, whether along the seaboard, or upon her great northern

He had just escaped from Newburyport, after writing the "Portrait," a
severe and truthful picture of the times, which went far to give him a
national reputation--for the day; and opened a law office at 103 Court
Street, Boston, where he found nothing to do, and spent much of his time
in cutting his name on little ivory seals, and engraving
ciphers--"J.P."--so beautiful in their character, and so graceful, that
one I have now before me, an impression taken by him in wax, with a
vermilion bed,--for in all such matters he was very particular,--were
enough to establish any man's reputation as a seal engraver. It bears
about the same relationship to what are _called_ ciphers, that Benvenuto
Cellini's flower-cups bore to the clumsy goblets of his day.

He was never a great reader, not being able to read more than fifty
pages of law and miscellany in a day, though he managed, for once, while
a tutor in Colonel Alston's family at Charleston, South Carolina,
beginning by daylight and continuing as long as he could see, in
midsummer, to get through with one hundred pages of Blackstone; but the
"grind" was too much for him,--he never tried it again. He read Gibbon,
and Chateaubriand's "Genius of Christianity," and St. Pierre, and Jeremy
Bentham's "Theory of Rewards and Punishments," but never to my knowledge
a novel, a romance, or a magazine article, except an occasional review;
but Joanna Baillie,--that female Shakespeare of a later age,--and
Beattie, and Campbell, and the British poets, and dramatic writers, were
always at hand, when he had nothing better to do, with no seals to cut,
no ciphers, no razor-strops, no stoves, and no clients. Over that field
of enchantment and illusion he wandered with lifted wings, month after
month, and year after year.

At this time he was in his thirtieth year, and I in my twenty-second. No
two persons were ever more unlike; and yet we grew to be intimate
friends after a while; and at the time of his death our friendship had
lasted more than fifty years, with a single interruption of a
twelvemonth or so while I was abroad, which was put an end to by our
letters of reconciliation crossing each other almost on the same day.

With a young family on his hands, precarious health and a feeble
constitution, as we then believed, which drove him to Saratoga every two
or three years, and no property, what had he to look forward to, unless
he could manage to go through a course of starvation at half-price, or
diet with the chameleons?--though great things were expected of him by
those who knew him best, and the late Mr. Justice Story could not bear
to think of his abandoning the profession, so long as there was a decent
chance of living through such a course of preparation.

After all that he has done as a poet, as a preacher, as a reformer, and
as a lecturer, I must say that I think he was made for a lawyer.
Vigorous and acute, clear-sighted, self-possessed, and logical to a
fault, if he had not married so early, or if a respectable inheritance
had fallen to him, after he had learned to do without help or patronage,
as Dr. Samuel Johnson did, while undergoing Lord Chesterfield, he might
have been at the head of the Massachusetts bar,--a proud position, to be
sure, at any time within the last fifty years,--or, at any rate, in the
foremost rank, long before his death.

He had, withal, a great fondness for mechanics, and one at least of his
inventions, the "Pierpont or Doric Stove," was a bit of concrete
philosophy,--a miniature temple glowing with perpetual fire,--a
cast-iron syllogism of itself, so classically just in its proportions,
and so eminently characteristic, as to be a type of the author. He had
been led through a long course of experiment in the structure of grates
and stoves, and in the consumption of fuel, with the hope of superseding
Saratoga, for himself at least, by making our terrible winters and our
east winds a little more endurable. No man ever suffered more from what
people sometimes call, without meaning to be naughty, _damp cold

In addition to the "Portrait," he had written a New-Year's Address or
two, and a fine lyric, which was said or sung--I forget which--at the
celebration of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow; so that after he went off
to Baltimore, and the "Airs of Palestine" appeared in 1816, those who
knew him best, instead of being astonished like the rest of the world,
regarded it as nothing more than the fulfilment of a promise, and went
about saying, or looking as if they wanted to say, "Didn't we tell you

And yet, with the exception of two or three outbreaks and flashes, there
was really nothing in his earlier manifestations to prefigure the
"unrolling glory" of the "Airs," or to justify the extravagant
expectations people had entertained from the first, if you would believe

Robert Treat Paine having disappeared from the stage, there was nobody
left but Lucius Manlius Sargent and John Pierpont for celebrations and
sudden emergencies. But Sargent never tried the heroic, and was
generally satisfied with imitations of Walter Scott, and others, who
were given to oddities and quaintness. For example, "I thought," says
he, in the longest poem he ever wrote, which appeared in quarto,--

    "I thought, than as a feather fair
    More light is filmy gossamer,
    So woman's heart is lighter far
    Than lightest breath of summer air,
    Which is so light it scarce can bear
    The filmiest thread of gossamer," etc., etc., etc.

While Mr. Pierpont flung himself abroad--like Handel, over the great
organ-keys at Haarlem--as if he never knew before what legs and arms
were good for, after the following fashion:--

    "The misty hall of Odin
      With mirth and music swells,
    Rings with the harps and songs of bards,
      And echoes to their shells.

    "See how amid the cloud-wrapped ghosts
      Great Peter's awful form
        Seems to smile,
        As the while,
      Amid the howling storm,
    He hears his children shout, Hurrah!
      Amid the howling storm," etc., etc.

Few men ever elaborated as he did,--not even Rousseau, when he wrote
over whole pages and chapters of his "Confessions," I forget how many
times. Fine thoughts were never spontaneous with him, never unexpected,
never unwaited for,--never, certainly till long after he had got his
growth. In fact, some of the happiest passages we have seem to be
engraved, letter by letter, instead of being written at once, or
launched away into the stillness, like a red-hot thunderbolt. Well do I
remember a little incident which occurred in Baltimore, soon after the
failure of Pierpont and Lord--and Neal, when we were all dying of sheer
inaction, and almost ready to hang ourselves--in a metaphorical
sense--as the shortest way of scoring off with the world.

We were at breakfast,--it was rather late.

"Where on earth is your good husband?" said I to Mrs. Pierpont.

"In bed, making poetry," said she.


"Yes, flat on his back, with his eyes rolled up in his head."

Soon after, the gentleman himself appeared, looking somewhat the worse
for the labor he had gone through with, and all the happier, that the
throes were over, and the offspring ready for exhibition. "Here," said
he, "tell me what you think of these two lines,"--handing me a paper on
which was written, with the clearness and beauty of copperplate,

    "Their reverend beards that sweep their bosoms wet
    With the chill dews of shady Olivet."

"Charming," said I. "And what then? What are you driving at?"

"Well, I was thinking of Olivet, and then I wanted a rhyme for Olivet;
and rhymes are the rudders, you know, according to Hudibras; and then
uprose the picture of the Apostles before me,--their reverend beards all
dripping with the dews of night."

How little did he or I then foresee what soon followed,--soon, that is,
in comparison with all he had ever done before! The "Airs of Palestine,"
like the night-blooming cereus,--the century-plant,--flowering at last,
and all at once and most unexpectedly too, after generations have waited
for it, as for the penumbra of something foretold, until both their
patience and their faith have almost failed. But, from the very first,
there were signs of growth not to be mistaken,--of inward growth,
too,--and oftentimes an appearance of slowly gathered strength, as if it
had been long husbanded, and for a great purpose. For example,--

    "There the gaunt wolf sits on his rock and howls,
    And there, in painted pomp, the savage Indian prowls."

What a picture of brooding desolation! How concentrated and how
unpretending, in its simplicity and strength!

And again, having had visions, and having begun to breathe a new
atmosphere, with Sinai in view, he says,

    "There blasts of unseen trumpets, long and loud,
    Swelled by the breath of whirlwinds, rent the cloud,"--

two of the grandest lines to be found anywhere, out of the Hebrew.

But grandeur and strength were never his characteristics; the natural
tendency of the man was toward the harmonious, the loving, and the
beautiful, as in the following lines from the title-page of his poem,
"By J. Pierpont, _Esquire_":--

    "I love to breathe where Gilead sheds her balm;
    I love to walk on Jordan's banks of palm;
    I love to wet my foot in Hermon's dews;
    I love the promptings of Isaiah's muse;
    In Carmel's paly grots I'll court repose,
    And deck my mossy couch with Sharon's deathless rose."

About this time it was, just before he went off to Baltimore, that we
began to have occasional glimpses of that inward fire shut up in his
bones, that subterranean sunshine, that golden ore, which, smelted as
the constellations were, makes what men have agreed to call
poetry,--which, after all, is but another name for inspiration; although
the very first outbreak I remember happened at the celebration already
referred to, where men saw

    "The Desolator desolate, the Victor overthrown,
    The Arbiter of others' fate a suppliant for his own,"

and began to breathe freely once more; and the shout of "Glory, glory!
Alleluiah!" went up like the roar of many waters from all the cities of
our land, as if they themselves had been delivered from the new
Sennacherib; yet, after a short season of rest, like one of our Western
prairies after having been over-swept with fire, he began to flower
anew, and from his innermost nature, like some great aboriginal plant of
our Northern wilderness suddenly transferred to a tropical region, roots
and all, by some convulsion of nature,--by hurricane, or drift, or
shipwreck. And always thereafter, with a very few brief exceptions,
instead of echoing and re-echoing the musical thunders of a buried
past,--instead of imitating, oftentimes unconsciously (the worst kind of
imitation, by the way, for what can be hoped of a man whose
individuality has been tampered with, and whose own perceptions mislead
him?)--instead of counterfeiting the mighty minstrels he had most
reverenced, and oftentimes ignorantly worshipped, as among the unknown
gods, in his unquestioning, breathless homage, he began to look upward
to the Source of all inspiration, while

    "Princely visions rare
    Went stepping through the air,"

and to walk abroad with all his "singing robes about him," as he had
never done before. Hitherto it had been otherwise. Campbell had opened
the "Pleasures of Hope" with

    "Why to yon mountains turns the musing eye,
    Whose sunbright summits mingle with the sky?"

and _therefore_ Pierpont began his "Portrait" with

    "Why does the eye with greater pleasure rest
    On the proud oak with vernal honors drest?"

But now, instead of diluting Beattie, with all his "pomp of groves and
long resounding shore," and recasting portions of Akenside or Pope, and
rehashing "Ye Mariners of England," for public celebrations, or
converting Moore himself into "Your glass may be purple and mine may be
blue," while urging the claims of what is called Liberal Christianity in
a hymn written for the new Unitarian church of Baltimore, he
would break forth now and then with something which really seemed
unpremeditated,--something he had been surprised into saying in spite of
himself, as where he finishes a picture of Moses on Mount Nebo, after a
fashion both startling and effective in its abruptness, and yet
altogether his own:--

    "His sunny mantle and his hoary locks
    Shone like the robe of Winter on the rocks.
    Where is that mantle? Melted into air.
    Where is the Prophet? God can tell thee where."

And yet in the day of his strength he was sometimes capable of strange
self-forgetfulness, and once wrote, in his reverence for the classic,
what, if it were not blasphemy, would be meaningless:--

    "O thou dread Spirit! being's End and Source!
    O check thy chariot in its fervid course;
    _Bend from thy throne of darkness and of fire_,
    _And with one smile immortalize oar lyre!_"

Think of a Christian poet apostrophizing the Ancient of Days--Jehovah
himself--in the language of idolatrous and pagan Rome!

At another time,--but these are among the last of his transgressions,
and they happened nearly fifty years before his death,--having in view
that epitaph on an infant where a father says of his child,

              "Like a dewdrop on the early morn
    She sparkled, was exhaled, and went to heaven,"

Mr. Pierpont says of the frozen heart, when religion's "mild and genial
ray" falls upon it, with music,

    "The fire is kindled and the flame is bright;
    And that cold mass, with either power assailed,
    _Is warmed, made liquid, and to heaven exhaled_."

And this by a man who talks about "the glow-worm burning _greenly_ on
the wall," and the "_unrolling glory_" of the empyrean, as if he
understood what both meant.

Nevertheless, and notwithstanding these aberrations, my friend--the
truest friend I ever had in my life, on some accounts, for he was not
afraid to tell me of my faults when he saw them, and the man after all,
to whom I am under greater obligations than to any other, living or
dead, for bringing me acquainted with myself--held on his upward course
for the last thirty years of his life without faltering, and without any
visible perturbation, like the planets, if not like the stars, along
their appointed path, never so as to astonish perhaps, but almost always
so as to convince, whatever might be the manner of his approach, and
whether in prose or poetry.

But we are anticipating. At the time of our first acquaintance, he
certainly entertained very different views upon the subjects which have
made him so conspicuous within the last twenty-five years.

Instead of being an Abolitionist, or a Garrisonian, and insisting upon
immediate, universal, and unconditional emancipation, he was a
colonizationist, rather tolerant of the evil, as it existed in the
South, and very patient under the wrongs of our black brethren; and so
was I.

Instead of being a teetotaler, he was hardly what the temperance men of
our day would call a temperance man; for he had wine upon his table when
he gave dinners, and never shrank from the interchange of courtesies,
nor refused a pledge,--though I did, even then. Yet more, as brandy had
been prescribed for Mrs. Pierpont by the family physician, Dr. Randall,
her husband used to take his brandy and water with her sometimes, just
before dinner, by way of a "whet."

Again: he had been brought up, like St. Paul, at the very feet of
Gamaliel. He was born Orthodox,--he lived Orthodox,--he sat for years
under the preaching of Dr. Lyman Beecher, whom he looked upon as a
"giant among pygmies,"--and well he might, as a metaphysician and as a
controversialist, if not as a theologian,--and was, I have lately been
told, a member of Dr. Spring's Orthodox church at Newburyport, before
his removal to Boston. But once there, in that overcharged atmosphere,
he took a pew in the Brattle Street Unitarian church,--without being
then a Unitarian, or dreaming of the great change that was to follow
within two or three years,--and was a regular attendant under the
preaching of Mr. Everett up to the last. On his removal to Baltimore, he
swung round again toward Orthodoxy,--that Orthodoxy which has been so
wittily defined as _my_ doxy, while heterodoxy is _your_ doxy,--and sat
for three years under the preaching of Dr. Ingals, the highly gifted
gentleman to whom he dedicated his poem--_in blank_--when it first
appeared, being perhaps a little afraid of committing himself in
advance; and then, at the very first gathering of the Baltimore
Unitarians in a large auction-room, which led to the organization of a
church within a few months, the erection of a beautiful building, and to
the settlement of our friend, the late Dr. Jared Sparks, he came out
fair and square upon the great question, and led, or helped lead, the
exercises. The result of which was, that in due time, after his failure
in business, he became a student of theology at Cambridge, and within a
year was called to the ministry of reconciliation over Hollis Street
Church, as a successor to Mr. Holly, at that time a most captivating
preacher, with a congregation and church eminently fastidious and
exacting, and not easily satisfied; yet Mr. Pierpont labored with them
and for them over twenty-five years, with an earnestness, a
comprehensiveness, and a faithfulness, for which some of them have not
forgiven him to this day. He entered upon the ministry there in April,
1819, and resigned in 1845; when he became the first pastor of a
Unitarian church in Troy, remained there four years, and then took
charge of a church in Medford; where he was living when the Rebellion
broke out, and he entered the army as chaplain, under an express
stipulation that the regiment was _not to go round Baltimore_.

But I am fully justified in saying that, when I first knew him in
Boston, he did not know himself. He had entirely mistaken his vocation,
and was about the last man in the world to enter into trade, though
pre-eminently fitted for business, if he had been properly
encouraged,--the business of law certainly, and the business of
statesmanship. He saw nothing of what was before him,--nothing of the
field he was to occupy till the Master came,--nothing of the influence,
nothing of the authority, he was to exercise over the minds and hearts
of men,--and nothing of that huge oriflamme which was coming up slowly,
to be sure, but certainly, over the distant verge of an ever-widening
horizon. He was utterly discouraged as a lawyer; he knew nothing of
business; he had no capital; and what on earth was he good for? Whither
should he go? What undertake?

And yet he bore up manfully through all this discouragement, and no word
of complaint or murmuring ever escaped his lips. On the whole, he was
one of the most truly conscientious men I ever knew,--and why not one
of the most truly religious, notwithstanding his obnoxious faith?--so
even-tempered that I never saw him disturbed more than once or twice in
all my life, and so patient under wrong that one could hardly believe in
his withering sarcasm, and scorching indignation when he took the field
as a reformer, "in golden panoply complete."

Let me now describe his personal appearance, for the help of those who
have only heard of the man. He was tall, straight, and spare,--six feet,
I should say, and rather ungraceful in fact, though called by the women
of his parish, not only the most graceful, but the most finished of
gentlemen. That he was dignified, courteous, and prepossessing, very
pleasant in conversation, a capital story-teller, and a tolerable--no,
intolerable--punster, exceedingly impressive both in the pulpit and
elsewhere, when much in earnest, and in after life a great lecturer and
platform speaker, I am ready to acknowledge; but he wanted ease of
manner--the readiness and quiet self-possession of a high-bred man, who
cannot be taken by surprise, and is neither afraid of being
misunderstood nor afraid of letting himself down--till after he had
passed the age of threescore.

The first impression he made on me was that of a country schoolmaster,
or of a professor, on his good behavior, who had got his notions of the
polite world from Chesterfield; though, when I knew him better, and
learned that he had been a tutor in the Alston family of South Carolina,
I detected the original type of his perpendicularity, serious composure,
and stateliness,--the archetype. I was constantly reminded of John C.
Calhoun, a fellow-student with him at Yale, and a man he always
mentioned, with a strange mixture of admiration and awe, as if he
thought him an offshoot from the Archfiend himself, "skilled to make the
worse appear the better reason." His tall figure, his erect, positive
bearing, and somewhat uncompromising, severe expression of countenance,
when much in earnest, with black, heavy eyebrows, clear blue eyes which
passed for black, and stiff black hair, were all of that Huguenot
Southern type, which, like the signs of the Scotch Covenanter or of the
old English Puritan, are as unlikely to die out as the Canada thistle,
where they who sow the wind are content to reap the whirlwind. In their
steadfast pertinacity, whether right or wrong, in their adamantine
logic, as unyielding as death, and calm, serious energy of action, and
in a part of their transcendental theories, they were alike; and alike,
too, in their tried honesty. The great Nullifier and the great Reformer
were both Titanic, in the vastness and comprehensiveness of their views,
in their unrelenting self-assertion, in their metaphysics, and in their
theories of government. If the dark Southron made open war upon his
country till it grew to be unsafe, the dark Northerner would tear the
Constitution of that country to tatters, and trample it under foot, as
he did upon one occasion, without remorse or compunction, because it was
held by others to give property in man, though for himself he denied
that it did so, or that it sanctioned slavery in any shape,--as he did,
I say, though I was not an eyewitness of the outrage, and have only the
report from others who were. If it was only a flourish, like that of
Edmund Burke, when he suddenly lugged out the dagger before the upturned
smiling eyes of his patient compeers, and Sheridan--or was it
Fox?--begged the gentleman to tell him where the _fork_ was to be had
which belonged to the knife, why, even that were not only unworthy of
the man, but so utterly unlike him, for he never indulged in rhetoric or
rhodomontade or claptrap, that one would be inclined to think he was
beside himself, or had been dining out, like Daniel Webster when he
proposed, in the Senate Chamber, to plant our starry banner on the
outermost verge, the Ultima Thule, of our disputed territory, heedless
of consequences. Both Pierpont and Calhoun certainly forgot the
injunction to be "temperate in all things"; and allow me to add, that,
in my judgment, it mattered little who was with, or who against them,
after they had once set the lance in rest, with a windmill in
view,--they only spurred the harder for opposition, and lashed out all
the more vehemently for being cheered, even by the lowliest.
Encouragement and opposition were alike to both, after the rowels were
set, and their beavers closed.

At the time I speak of, Mr. Pierpont and his brother-in-law, Mr. Joseph
L. Lord, kept house together on a street running down hill back of the
State-House,--Hancock Street, if I do not mistake. They had always two
or three boarders, and sometimes more, and among them Erastus A. Lord, a
brother of Joseph, and myself. With these, and with the neighbors,--the
whole neighborhood, I might say, and with all their visiting-list,--our
friend Pierpont was an oracle from the first, and in the church and
parish, after he had been set up in the pulpit, an idol. It was thought
presumptuous for anybody to differ with him upon any subject. Whatever
he said, or thought, or did, was never to be questioned,--never! His
opinions were maxims, his utterances apothegms, his lightest word
authority. And the worst of it all, and the hardest thing for me to
stomach, was, that in all our controversies, for a long time, if he was
not always right, and I always wrong, I was quite sure to come out
second best, in the judgment of his friends and worshippers, who had no
sympathy for anybody who ventured to tilt with their champion.
Nevertheless I persisted, and, not standing much in awe of the pedant
and the pedagogue, however much I admired the logician and the poet or
the lawyer, I lost no opportunity of asserting my independence, and
took, I am afraid, a sort of malicious pleasure in showing that I had
views and opinions of my own, and was determined to do my own thinking,
come what might. For a while this operated against me,--if not always
with Mr. Pierpont, certainly with all his immediate personal friends and
family; but in time, I believe, he began to like me the better for my
presumption, or foolhardiness, in battling the watch with him, whenever
he laid down a proposition, with a calm, dictatorial air, which did not
strike me at first either as clearly self-evident, or, after a thorough
investigation, as indisputably true, so that I do on my conscience
believe that I was fast growing, not only unmanageable, but unbearable.

Mr. Pierpont was no judge of painting, though he relished a good
picture, and had no taste for drawing, or rather no talent for drawing,
though he saw readily enough certain errors of exaggeration that
abounded in the engravings of the day; and I well remember his calling
my attention to the preposterously small feet of the female figures for
which Messrs. Draper and Company, the bank-note engravers of that day,
were so famous; and yet his handwriting was very beautiful, and the
ciphers I have mentioned were neither more nor less than exquisite
drawings. Nor had he any ear for music, to borrow the language we hear
at every turn,--as if all persons who are not deaf by nature had not
ears for music, so far as they can hear at all,--or as if he who can
distinguish voices, or learn a language, so far as to be understood when
he talks it, had not necessarily an ear for music, in other words, an
ear for sounds and for the rhythm of speech; but he was deficient in the
organ of tune, phrenologically speaking, though I have heard him
warble a Scotch air on the flute with uncommon sweetness--and
feebleness--without _tonguing_, and play two or three other tunes, which
had been adapted in the choir of his church, upon glass goblets, partly
filled with water and set upon a table before him, as if he enjoyed
every touch and thrill,--his long, thin fingers travelling over the damp
edges of the glass, and bringing forth "Bonnie Doon," or "There's
nothing true but Heaven,"--with his cuffs rolled up as if he were
driving a lathe, and turning off some of the little thin boxes and other
exquisite toys, in wood or ivory, which he was addicted to, about
fifteen years ago, in what he called his workshop. Like Johnson,
however, and Alexander Pope, who, according to Leigh Hunt,

                "Spoiled the ears of the town
    With his cuckoo-song verses, two up and two down,"

he must have had "time" large; for the music of his rhythm was
absolutely faultless,--cloying indeed, so that he introduced the double
rhymes to roughen it, just as he indulged in alliteration, where the
"lordly lion leaves his lonely lair," that he might not be supposed
incapable of running off upon another track, or into another channel.

But I never heard him sing or try to sing, though he had a deep, manly
voice, read as very few are able to read, and his modulation was rich
and varied, and very agreeable, both to the understanding and the ear.

His pronunciation was a marvel for correctness. In all our intercourse I
never knew him to give a word otherwise than "according to Walker," so
long as Walker was the standard with him,--or never but once, when he
said cli-mac'ter-ic, instead of cli-mac-ter'ic; and when I remonstrated
with him, he lugged out Webster, whom he adhered to forever after. So
exceedingly fastidious and sensitive was he, about the time he left
Baltimore for Cambridge, that in his desire to give the pure sound of
_e_, as in _met_, instead of the sound of _u_, which is so common as to
be almost universal where _e_ is followed by _r_ and another consonant,
so that _person_ is pronounced _purson_, he gave a sound which most
people misunderstood for _pairson_, and went away and laughed at, for
pedantry and affectation.

So, too, when I first knew him, and for a long time after, he was
incapable of making a speech. Even a few sentences were too much for
him; and though he argued at least one case to the court, while in
business at Newburyport, I am persuaded, from what I afterward knew of
him, that he must have done what he did by jerks, or have committed the
whole to memory. And this, strange as it may now appear to those who
knew him only as a lecturer and platform-speaker, continued long after
he had entered upon the ministry; but of this more hereafter. Even his
prayers were written out, and learned by heart, years after he took
charge of the Hollis Street Church, though I dare say it was not known
by his people. Perhaps, too, I may as well say here, lest I may forget
to say it hereafter, that, at the time I speak of, he was neither a
phrenologist, nor a spiritualist, nor a conscientious believer in
witchcraft, or rather in the phenomena that used to be called
witchcraft, in the days of Cotton Mather.

Soon after the beginning of our acquaintance, Mr. Joseph L. Lord, the
brother of his first wife,--and he too has just passed away,--seeing
what the prospect was for the brother-in-law he was so proud of,
persuaded him to abandon the law at once, and forever, and go into the
jobbing and retail dry-goods business with him, on the corner of Court
and Marlborough, now Washington Street. He had no capital, to be sure,
but then he wrote a beautiful hand, was very methodical, and had made
himself acquainted with bookkeeping, after the Italian method, from
Rees's Cyclopædia. I took the chamber which Mr. Pierpont left, and went
into the jobbing business also, with a capital of between two and three
hundred--dollars, and a credit amounting to perhaps five hundred more,
which enterprise terminated after a few months, not in my failure, but
in my taking a trip to New York with a large quantity of smuggled goods,
belonging to Messrs. Pierpont and Lord, where I disposed of them to such
advantage, that, on my return, I was persuaded to go into the retail
haberdashery line, at 103 Court Street, next door to Pierpont and Lord,
and just underneath the chamber, not chambers, which I had occupied at
first with my wholesale establishment. I had for a partner, at first,
Erastus, a brother of "Joe's," whom I had known as a bookbinder in
Portland two or three years before. He was now manufacturing
pocket-books, and appeared to be doing, not only a large and profitable,
but safe business,--selling for cash, running a horse and gig, and
paying the bills of all the "dear five hundred friends" who rode with

Our copartnership did not last long. His brother "Joe," being a shrewd
man of business, of uncommon foresight and comprehensiveness, though
rather adventurous, gave me a hint, and soon provided me with another
partner, a graduate of Cambridge, named Fisher, with whom I was
associated a few months longer. Then came the peace of 1815, which threw
the whole country into a paroxysm of joy, unsettling business
everywhere, at home and abroad, and setting people together by the ears
upon all the great questions of the day.

And here began the new and very brief career of Mr. Pierpont as a man of
business. Wholly unfitted as he was for even the regular course of
trade, he was the last man in the world for the great emergencies of the
hour. The whole business of the country was little better than gambling.
Our largest importing houses were lotteries or faro-banks; and we had no
manufactures worth mentioning. We made no woollen goods, and our few
cottons, if sold at all, were sold for British, and stood no chance with
the trash that came from beyond the Cape of Good Hope, "warped with
hoop-poles, and filled with oven-wood." Our foreign merchandise came
tumbling down so fast, that no prospective calculations could be made
upon their value. Not having manufactured ourselves, we knew nothing
about the cost of production, and had no idea how much our friends over
sea could afford to fall, even from the lowest prices ever heard of.
British calicoes, or prints, for example, which I sold by the case for
eighty-five cents cash, at auction, were in every way inferior to our
own, which were retailed before the Rebellion broke out for ten cents a
yard. In fact, if we had known the real cost of production, it would
have made but little difference; for long after all our foreign
merchandise had fallen from thirty-three and a third to fifty per cent,
some of our shrewdest calculators were utterly ruined by purchasing at
much lower prices, on what they believed to be a rising market.

Under such circumstances, what was a poet, a scholar, and a lawyer,
without any knowledge of business, to do? Pierpont and Lord were large
dealers, and had a heavy stock on hand, not paid for. Their notes were
maturing with frightful rapidity, and Mr. Lord wanted all his available
funds for "transactions" in gold, and other perilous "operations" along
the Canada frontier. Specie was twenty-five per cent above par, or
rather banknotes, everywhere but in a part of New England, where they
continued to pay specie to the last, were at twenty-five per cent
discount; and "Boston money," upon the average, about one per cent above
gold and silver, so as to cover the cost and risk of transportation.

But something had to be done. A consultation was held between the
members of "our house," and it was finally arranged that Mr. Pierpont,
as the man we could best spare from the salesroom and the shop, and the
partner who would best represent what was called, with singular
propriety, "our concern," should go to Baltimore with the best of
letters, and open a way for me in that city, which I had visited once,
and once only, for the purpose of buying exchange on England,--though
for a time it was thought I had run away with all the funds intrusted to
me. I had taken a prodigious liking to Baltimore from the first, though
I had no idea of going there to live, and was not easily persuaded to
give up my little establishment in Boston. I was doing very well, and
did not care to do better, till business got settled; but we were three,
and I was always in the minority,--Mr. Lord being a shrewd "operator,"
and Mr. Pierpont, of course, deferring to him. They were _my_ partners,
to be sure; but I never had anything to do with their business, apart
from my own.

Nevertheless, when Mr. Pierpont returned, and gave an account of his
doings there, and of the opening there was for just such a man as I had
proved myself to be, I consented to pull up stakes, and transplant
myself to that beautiful city.

I went with no large expectations, intending to open a retail shop, such
as I had left; but within a week, finding that I could sell even my cut
goods for prices much beyond what I had been retailing them for over and
above the exchange, I went into the wholesale business, and with one
clerk, Mr. Jenkins Howland, greatly distinguished in after life as a man
of enterprise at Charleston, S.C., sold more goods, and for cash too,
than perhaps any three or four of what were called the large dealers
about me, with two or three clerks apiece, and at prices which fairly
took away my breath at first;--Irish linens, for example, by the case at
two dollars and fifty cents all round, worth not over eighty cents
before the war; and assorted broadcloths by the bale at fourteen dollars
a yard all round, which, within a twelvemonth, would have hung fire at
three dollars and fifty cents. And this, it will be remembered, was
after goods had been falling--falling--falling--for six months.

No wonder people's heads were turned--those of Pierpont and Lord among
the rest. We, who had large stocks on hand, were growing rich too fast.
I remember selling fourteen thousand dollars' worth of goods one day for
a clear profit of more than forty per cent, and this while my poor
friends at Boston were gasping for breath in that exhausted receiver;
but they were kept alive by the remittances I made from Baltimore, which
not only furnished them with funds for immediate use, but gave them for
a few months almost unbounded credit.

This was in the fall and winter of 1815, only a few months after the
Bramble arrived with the news from Ghent that our last negotiations had
been successful, and that the war was over most gloriously for _us_, the
United States. We were almost ready, in our thankfulness and joy, to
canonize the ship and crew, and cut her up into snuffboxes and

And now--what next? "as the tadpole said, when he his tail dropped off."
Weary of the growing distrust they saw, after my remittances began to
fall off, and heartily sick of the Gerrymandering about them, of the
usurers and money-changers and Shylocks, who were bleeding them to
death, by lending them money upon pledges of merchandise, the two elder
partners, Pierpont and Lord, lost no time in following their junior. He
had opened on South Calvert Street; they took the whole of a large
building opposite, opened below their wholesale business, and after a
few months went to housekeeping overhead, both families living together.
Then, to get rid of our stock, Mr. Pierpont went off to Charleston,
S.C., where he had served his time as a tutor, and there set up a retail
establishment, under the charge of a former clerk in their service, and
of another man, a heartless vagabond, whom they had happened to get
acquainted with at a boarding-house on their first arrival, and took a
fancy to, nobody ever knew why. He was an Englishman, had probably been
upon the stage, and lived from hand to mouth, nobody knew how, until we
took him _up_, and he took us _in_ most pitiably.

After a brief struggle, and the establishment of another retail store in
Calvert Street, which I took charge of, with what there was left of the
Charleston adventure, we failed outright, and all this within six or
eight months after we had called our creditors together and obtained an
extension of twelve months and testimonials in our favor of the most
gratifying character, and within little more than a year after leaving

And then, for want of anything better to do, I began writing for the
papers, for the "Portico," and at last for the public, as an editor and
as an author, mainly at the instigation of Mr. Pierpont, for whom I
wrote both "Niagara"[1] and "Guldau," and a part of "Allen's" American
Revolution, studying law, and languages by the half-dozen at the same
time, and laboring upon the average about sixteen hours a day, while Mr.
Pierpont struck out boldly for a far-off perilous and rocky shore, with
a lighthouse, in the shape of a pulpit, before him, and achieved the
"Airs of Palestine" while undergoing the process of regeneration, and
starving by inches upon what there were left of his wife's teaspoons,
which were sold one by one to pay the rent of a cheap room in Howard
Street. So poor indeed were we at one time, that we could hardly muster
enough between us to pay our bootblack.

I have already said that Mr. Pierpont had no aptitude for extemporaneous
speaking; and what was even worse, he had no hope of being able to
overcome the difficulty. Once, and once only, did I ever hear him try
his hand in that way, until many years after he had entered upon the
ministry. A club had been organized among us for literary purposes. We
were both members, and he the Vice-President. We called ourselves the
Delphians, and passed among our contemporaries for the _male_ Muses, our
number being limited to nine,--not seven, as I see it stated in the
Boston Advertiser, on the authority of our friend Paul Allen. The rest
of the story is near enough to the truth, although the verses therein
mentioned were written by Mr. Pierpont as a volunteer offering, after
the Della-Cruscan school, or manner of "Laura Matilda," and not upon the
spur of the occasion, as there related, nor as a trial of wit; and the
last line should be, "Pulls where'er the zephyr _roves_"--not, as given
there, "Pulls where'er the zephyr moves."

It was in this club that Mr. Pierpont first tried himself--and the
brethren--with extemporaneous speaking. It was a pitiable failure, worse
if possible than my own, and I never made another attempt. Even General
Winder, who was a fine advocate, and a capital speaker before a jury,
boggled wretchedly before the club, and our President, Watkins, who was
said to be exceedingly eloquent before the great Masonic lodges, where
he occupied the highest position, could not be persuaded to open his
mouth, and all the rest of the brethren were mutes. True, it was like
apostrophizing your own grandmother, in the hope of raising a laugh or
of bringing tears into her eyes, to make speeches at one another across
the table, whatever Molière might be able to do, when alone with his
aged servant. Nor did it much help the matter, when, with a view to the
treasury, which began to threaten a collapse, we made a law, like that
of the Medes and Persians which altereth not, whereby it was provided,
among other things, that no member should ever talk over five minutes,
nor stop short of three, under any circumstances,--the President being
timekeeper, and the sufferer not being allowed to look at a watch. Fines
of course were inevitable, and we were once more able to luxuriate on
bread and cheese, with an occasional pot of beer,--nothing better or
stronger being tolerated among us under any pretence, except on our
anniversaries, when the President, or sometimes a member, stood treat,
and gave us a comfortable, though not often a costly or showy supper.

Among that strange, whimsical brotherhood--consisting of Dr. Tobias
Watkins, editor of the "Portico"; General Winder (William H.), who had
been "captivated" by the British, along with General Chandler, at the
first invasion of Canada; William Gwin, editor of the "Federal Gazette";
Paul Allen, editor of the "Federal Republican," and of Lewis and
Clarke's "Tour," and author of "Noah"; Dr. Readel, "a fellow of infinite
jest"; Brackenridge, author of "Views in Louisiana," and "History of the
War"; Dennison, an Englishman, who wrote clever doggerel; and, at
different times, two or three more, not worth mentioning, even if I
remembered their names--we passed every Saturday evening, after the club
was established, until it was broken up by President Watkins's going to
Washington, Vice-President Pierpont to the Divinity School at Cambridge,
and Jehu O'Cataract abroad. All the members bore "clubicular" names, by
which they were always to be addressed or spoken to, under another
penalty; and most of them held "clubicular" offices and
professorships,--Dr. Readel being Professor of Crambography, and
somebody else--Gwin perhaps--Professor of Impromptology. The name given
to Mr. Pierpont was Hiero Heptaglott, under an idea that he was a
prodigious linguist,--another Sir William Jones, at least, if not
another Learned Blacksmith; and the President himself went so far as to
say so in the "Portico," where he pretended to give an account of the
Delphians. Nothing could well be further from the truth, however; for,
instead of being a great Hebrew scholar, and learned in the Chaldee,
Coptic, and other Eastern languages, he knew very little of Hebrew, and
absolutely nothing of the rest. With "a little Latin and less Greek," he
was a pretty fair Latin and Greek scholar in the judgment of those who
are satisfied with what we are doing in our colleges; and he was
sufficiently acquainted with French to enjoy Chateaubriand, St. Pierre,
Rousseau, and Lamartine, and to write the language with correctness,
though not idiomatically; but he was never able to make himself
understood in conversation, beyond a few phrases, uttered with a
deplorable accent,--not being able to carry the flavor in his
mouth,--and, though free and sprightly enough in talking English, having
no idea of what passes for freedom and sprightliness with the French. He
knew nothing of Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, or Dutch, nor
indeed of any other modern language.

And now let me say how he came to be an extemporaneous speaker, and
sometimes not only logical and convincing, but truly eloquent. On my
return from abroad, in 1826, I passed through Boston, on my way to
Portland, for a visit to my family, and was taken possession of by him,
and went to Hollis Street Church, where I heard my friend, for the
second time, in the pulpit. He was exceedingly impressive, and the
sermon itself was one of the best I ever heard,--calm, serious, and
satisfying; not encumbered with illustration, but full of significance.
Although the discourse was carefully written out, word for word, and
almost committed to memory, yet he ventured to introduce a
paragraph--one paragraph only--which had not been prepared beforehand.
My eyes were upon him, and he told me at dinner that he saw by my look
how well I understood his departure, and how soon I detected it. "And
now," said he, "I hope you are satisfied. You see now that I shall never
be able to extemporize. I put that paragraph into my sermon this morning
to see how you would take it, after having urged me, year after year, to
extemporize at least occasionally. No, no, John; though writing two
sermons a week is no trifling labor, I must continue writing to the end;
for, if I cannot extemporize a single paragraph, how can I hope to
extemporize a whole sermon?"

"Suffer me to say that I think you misunderstand the whole question,"
said I. "The difficulty is in beginning. After you are well under way,
if you can talk sitting, you may talk standing. Better take with you
into the pulpit the merest outline of the discourse, and then trust to
the inspiration of the subject, or to the feeling of the hour, when you
have the audience before you, and can look into their eyes, than to have
a discourse partly written, with blanks to be filled up as you go along;
for then you are always beginning afresh, and by the time you have got
easy in your spontaneous effort, you are obliged to go back to what you
have written, and of course can never get warmed up with your subject,
nor try any new adaptations, whatever may be the character of your

He shook his head. "No, no," said he, "you will never be able to
persuade me that it is easier to say over the whole alphabet than to say
only a part."

I persisted, urging the great advantage of spontaneous adaptation to the
people. He agreed with me altogether, provided it were _possible_ for
him to do it, which he denied, though he promised to take the subject
into serious consideration once more, to oblige me.

From Boston I went to Portland, where I had a similar talk with that
most amiable and excellent man, the late Dr. Nichols, who labored under
a similar disqualification, owing to a similar misapprehension of what
was required for extemporaneous speaking, either on the platform or in
the pulpit. I told him the story, and urged the same considerations; but
he, like Mr. Pierpont, only smiled,--compassionately, as I thought, and
rather as if he pitied the delusion I was laboring under. Yet within two
years both of these remarkable men became free and natural spontaneous
speakers, and both acknowledged to me that they had always misunderstood
the difficulty. Dr. Nichols began afar off, as I suggested, in the
Sabbath school; and Mr. Pierpont, after making two or three attempts in
a small way, which were anything but satisfactory to himself,--as I told
him they would be for a while, if he had the true stuff in him,--was at
last surprised into doing what he believed to be impossible, by the
merest accident in the world; after which he had no further trouble. It
seems that he had engaged to supply a neighboring pulpit,--perhaps that
of his son John, who was newly settled at Lynn. He thought he had his
sermon in his pocket; but, on entering the pulpit, found that he had
either left it at home or lost it on the way. What was to be done?
Luckily, he had just read it over the night before, and was full of the
subject therein treated. Remembering what I said, as he told me himself,
he determined to go to work, hit or miss, and either make a spoon or
spoil a horn.

The result was, that, after a little hesitation and floundering, he got
fairly in earnest, and threw off a discourse which so delighted those
who were best acquainted with him, that they stopped round the door to
shake hands and congratulate him. He had never preached so well in all
his life, they said. This settled the question forever; and from that
day forward he began to believe that anybody who can talk in his chair
can talk standing up, after he has got over his first impressions, and
all the better for having a large auditory, with upturned faces, before
him; so that he became at last, and within a few years, one of the
finest pulpit orators of the day, and one of the best platform speakers,
though not, perhaps, what the multitude consider eloquent; for, at the
best, he was only argumentative and earnest and clear and convincing, in
his highest manifestations.

Of his career after this, I cannot say anything as I wish, without the
risk of saying too much. He had one of the wealthiest and most liberal
congregations of New England. He was their idol. He was in every way
most agreeably situated, with a large family flowering into usefulness
about him, and hosts of friends, enthusiastic and devoted.
Nevertheless, believing that, as a servant of God, he had no right to
preach smooth things where rough things were needed, and that
acknowledging other people's transgressions would not satisfy the law,
he came out boldly, with helm and spear, against two of the worst forms
of human slavery,--the slavery of the body and the slavery of the soul,
the slavery of the wine-cup, and the slavery of bondage to a master.
Whether his beloved people would hear or whether they would forbear,
being all the more beloved because of their danger, he must preach what
he believed to be the truth, and the whole truth. It was like a fire
shut up in his bones. He persisted, and they remonstrated, or rather a
part of them did so; and the result was a speedy and hopeless
alienation, followed by years of strife and bitter controversy at law,
and a final separation; though by far the larger part of the church and
congregation, if I do not mistake, upheld him to the last, and adhered
to him through good report and through evil report,--Deacon Samuel May,
a host in himself, being of their number.

During this protracted and sorrowful controversy, he became a
phrenologist,--a believer in phrenology,--at any rate, following the
lead of Spurzheim; and after many years, a Spiritualist,--in which faith
he died,--one of his last, if not the very last, of his appearances
before the public being as President of a convention held by the leading
Spiritualists of the land at Philadelphia.

He could not be a materialist; and having faith in the evidence of his
own senses, and being as truly conscientious a man as ever breathed, and
accustomed to the closest reasoning, what was he to do? There were the
_facts_. They were not to be controverted; they could not be explained;
they could not be reconciled to any hypothesis in physics. If he was
given over to delusion, to be buffeted by Satan, whose fault was it?
That he was by nature somewhat credulous, and, though patient enough in
his investigations, rather too fond of the marvellous, may be
acknowledged; but what then? His conclusions might be wrong, his
inferences faulty, though honest; but how were they to be counteracted?
That he sometimes took too much for granted, I believe, nay, more, _I
know_; because I myself have seen him grossly imposed on by a woman he
took me to see, whose impersonations were thought most wonderful. But
then he was a devout man, a close observer, an admirable logician,
accustomed to the "competition of opposite analogies" and to weighing
evidence; and if he misunderstood the _facts_, or misinterpreted them,
or inferred the supernatural from false premises, why then let us grieve
for his delusion, and wait patiently for the phenomena which led him
astray to be explained.

He went abroad for a time, while pastor of the Hollis Street Church, and
visited the Holy Land, in devout pilgrimage; and though he lost his
first wife, the mother of all his children, and a most worthy
gentlewoman, but the other day, and married another superior woman after
a brief widowhood, his last days have been, I should say, most
emphatically his best days; for he has lectured through the length and
breadth of the land on Temperance, and, after enduring all sorts of
persecution as one of the anti-slavery leaders, he lived to see the
whole system against which they had been warring so long, and with so
little apparent effect, utterly overthrown throughout the land, and the
great God of heaven and earth acknowledged as the God of the black man.
Thousands and thousands of miles he travelled, not only after having
passed the meridian of his life, but after he had reached the allotted
term, when life begins to be a heaviness for most, as a laborer in the
cause of truth,--often of unacknowledged truth; and if mistaken, as a
theologian, or as a Spiritualist, or as a man,--being what he was,--let
us remember that he was never false to his convictions, never a
hypocrite nor a deceiver, and that he died with his harness on, having
been occupied for the last five years of his life in digesting the
treasury decisions, often contradictory, and always inaccessible, for
there was no index, until he took them in hand, going back thirty years,
I believe, and reducing the whole to a system which need be no longer
unintelligible to the Department.

One word more. Among the scores of letters I had from him in the day of
his bitterest trials and sorest temptations, there was one which he sent
off in the midst of his first great triumph,--with no date now, although
I find a mark upon it which leads me to suppose it was written November
16, 1818, and from which I must venture to take a single paragraph.

"My God!" he says,--"my God! I do most devoutly thank Thee. My prayer
has reached Thee, and been accepted. My dear friend, join with me in
thanking Him in whom I put my trust,--to whom alone I look, or to whom I
_have_ looked, for a smile. He has blessed me. I have been heard by man,
and have not been forsaken by God. Though I have not done _perfectly_, I
have done as well as I could rationally wish, and better than my most
sanguine hopes. At Brattle Square _this_ morning, and at the New South
(late Mr. Thacher's) _this_ afternoon. Lord! now let thy servant depart
in peace; for thou hast lifted the cloud under which he has so long
moved, and he may now die in thy light."

Can such a temper as this be misunderstood? Was he not a man fearing God
in 1818,--forty-eight years ago?--or, rather, loving God with that
perfect love which casteth out all fear?

But we need not stop here. After he had become a Spiritualist, that is,
on the 5th of April, 1862, the evening before his seventy-seventh
birthday, he wrote a poem of one hundred and sixty lines, entitled
"Meditations of a Birthday Eve," a copy of which he sent me on the 10th
of November following, upon the express condition that nobody but myself
was to see it, until it should be all over with him. It must have been
written without labor, as one would breathe a prayer upon a death-bed.
The following extracts--I wish we had room for more--will show what were
his feelings and what his aspirations at this time.

    "Spirit, my spirit, hath each stage
       That brought thee up from youth
     To thy now venerable age
       Seen thee in search of Truth?

    "Hast thou in search of Truth been true,--
       True to thyself and her,--
     And been with many or with few
       Her _honest_ worshipper?

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Spirit, thy race is nearly run;
       Say, hast thou run it well?
     Thy work on earth is almost done;
       _How_ done, no _man_ can tell.

    "Spirit, toil on! thy house, that stands
       Seventy years old and seven,
     Will fall; but one 'not made with hands'
       Awaiteth thee in heaven.

    "WASHINGTON, D.C., 5 April, 1862."

With the foregoing came another poem, "In Commemoration of a Silver
Wedding," October 2, 1863, full of tenderness and pleasantry,--the
wedding of Mr. and Mrs. J. Pierpont Lord.

And on his eighty-first birthday, called by a strange mistake his
eightieth, there was another celebration, yet more solemn and affecting,
where the greetings and congratulations of his brother-poets, all over
the land, were sent to him and published in the newspapers of the day.

Among his later poems, the "E Pluribus Unum" appears to me most worthy
of his reputation, and least like the doings of his early manhood.

And now, though we had little reason to look for the prolongation of
such a life;--a continued miracle from the age of thirty or thirty-five,
after which he built himself up anew, by living as well in cold water as
in hot, and luxuriating in cold baths, and working hard,--harder,
perhaps, on the whole, at downright drudgery, than any other man of his
age, like Rousseau in copying music, as a relief from writing
poetry,--yet when death happens we are all taken by surprise, just as if
we thought God had overlooked his aged servant, or made him an exception
to the great, inflexible law of our being; or as if a whisper had
reached us, saying, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that
to thee?"

But enough; a volume of such memoranda would be far short of what such a
man deserves when he is finally translated. Faithful among the
faithless, may we not hope that his grandeur and strength of purpose,
and downright, fearless honesty, will have their appropriate reward,
both here and hereafter?


[1] And here I may as well mention a curious incident. When I wrote my
poem, I had never seen Niagara; but we agreed to go together on a
pilgrimage at our earliest convenience. One thing and another happened,
until I had been abroad and returned, without our seeing it together. At
last, being about to go to the South of Europe, I made a new arrangement
with him; but just as we--my wife and I--were ready to go, he was called
away to consecrate some church in the West, and we started on a journey
of two thousand miles through portions of our country I had never seen,
and was ashamed to go abroad again without seeing. On my way back we
stopped in Buffalo, and as I stood in the piazza I saw a little card on
one of the pillars saying that the Rev. Mr. Pierpont would preach in the
evening somewhere. I found him, and we went _together_ at last, and saw
Niagara together, as we had agreed to do forty years before. And that
night the heavens rained fire upon us, and the great November
star-shooting occurred, and our landlord, being no poet, was unwilling
to disturb us, so that we missed the show altogether.

       *       *       *       *       *


    If I could put my woods in song,
    And tell what's there enjoyed,
    All men would to my gardens throng,
    And leave the cities void.

    In my plot no tulips blow,
    Snow-loving pines and oaks instead,
    And rank the savage maples grow
    From spring's faint flush to autumn red.

    My garden is a forest-ledge,
    Which older forests bound;
    The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
    Then plunge in depths profound.

    Here once the Deluge ploughed,
    Laid the terraces, one by one;
    Ebbing later whence it flowed,
    They bleach and dry in the sun.

    The sowers made haste to depart,
    The wind and the birds which sowed it;
    Not for fame, nor by rules of art,
    Planted these and tempests flowed it.

    Waters that wash my garden-side
    Play not in Nature's lawful web,
    They heed not moon or solar tide,--
    Five years elapse from flood to ebb.

    Hither hasted, in old time, Jove,
    And every god,--none did refuse;
    And be sure at last came Love,
    And after Love, the Muse.

    Keen ears can catch a syllable,
    As if one spake to another
    In the hemlocks tall, untamable,
    And what the whispering grasses smother.

    Æolian harps in the pine
    Ring with the song of the Fates;
    Infant Bacchus in the vine,--
    Far distant yet his chorus waits.

    Canst thou copy in verse one chime
    Of the wood-bell's peal and cry?
    Write in a book the morning's prime,
    Or match with words that tender sky?

    Wonderful verse of the gods,
    Of one import, of varied tone;
    They chant the bliss of their abodes
    To man imprisoned in his own.

    Ever the words of the gods resound,
    But the porches of man's ear
    Seldom in this low life's round
    Are unsealed that he may hear.

    Wandering voices in the air,
    And murmurs in the wold,
    Speak what I cannot declare,
    Yet cannot all withhold.

    When the shadow fell on the lake,
    The whirlwind in ripples wrote
    Air-bells of fortune that shine and break,
    And omens above thought.

    But the meanings cleave to the lake,
    Cannot be carried in book or urn;
    Go thy ways now, come later back,
    On waves and hedges still they burn.

    These the fates of men forecast,
    Of better men than live to-day;
    If who can read them comes at last,
    He will spell in the sculpture, "Stay."

       *       *       *       *       *


Off the southeastern extremity of Asia, and separated from it by the
Chinese Sea, lies a cluster of great islands, comprising that portion of
Oceanica commonly called Malaysia. Of these islands Borneo is the most
extensive, and, if you call Australia a continent, it is by far the
largest island in the world. Situated on the equator, stretching from 7°
of north to 4° of south latitude, and from 108° to 119° of east
longitude, its extreme length is 800 miles, its breadth 700, and it
contains 320,000 square miles,--an area seven times as great as that of
the populous State of New York.

But though its size and importance are so great, though it was
discovered by the Portuguese as early as 1518, though several European
nations have at various times had settlements on its coasts, though it
is rich in all the products of a tropical clime, and in base and
precious metals, diamonds and stones, and though its climate, contrary
to what might have been expected, is in many localities salubrious even
to an American or European constitution, yet until recently almost
nothing was known by the world of its surface, its products, or its

The causes of this ignorance are obvious. The very shape of Borneo is
unfavorable to discovery. A lumpish mass, like Africa and Australia, the
ocean has nowhere pierced it with those deep bays and gulfs in which
commerce delights to find a shelter and a home. And though it has
navigable rivers, their course is through the almost impenetrable
verdure of the tropics, and they reach the sea amid unwholesome jungles.
The coast, moreover, is in most places marshy and unhealthy, for the
distance of twenty or thirty miles inland; while the interior is filled
with vast forests and great mountain ranges, almost trackless to any but
native feet. Besides, the absence of all just and stable government has
reduced society to a state of chaos. And to all this must be added
piracy, from time immemorial sweeping the sea and ravaging the land.
Under such circumstances, if there were little opportunity for commerce,
there was none for scientific investigations; and only by the
enterprises of commerce or the researches of science do we know of new
and distant countries.

Many races inhabit Borneo; but the Malays and Sea and Land Dyaks greatly
preponderate. The Malays, who came from continental Asia, are the
conquering and governing race. In their native condition they are
indolent, treacherous, and given to piracy. The very name Malay has come
to stand for cruelty and revenge. But well governed, they prove to be
much like other people, susceptible to kindness, capable of affection,
amiable, fond to excess of their children, and courteous to strangers.
The Sea Dyaks are piratical tribes, dwelling on the coasts or borders of
rivers, and subsisting by rapine and violence. The Land Dyaks are the
descendants of the primitive inhabitants. They are a mild, industrious
race, and remarkably honest. One hideous custom, that of preserving the
heads of their fallen enemies as ghastly tokens of victory, has invested
the name of Dyak with a reputation of cruelty which is not deserved.
This singular practice, originating, it is said, in a superstitious
desire to propitiate the Evil Spirit by bloody offerings, has in process
of time become connected with all their ideas of manly prowess. The
young girl receives with proud satisfaction from her lover the gift of a
gory head, as the noblest proof both of his affection and his heroism.
This custom is woven, too, into the early traditions of the race. The
Sakarrans tell us that their first mother, who dwells now in heaven
near the evening star, asked of her wooer a worthy gift; and that when
he presented her a deer she rejected it with contempt; when he offered
her a mias, the great orang-outang of Borneo, she turned her back upon
it; but when in desperation he went out and slew a man, brought back his
head, and threw it at her feet, she smiled upon him, and said that was
indeed a gift worthy of her. This legend shows, at any rate, how fixed
is this habit, not alone in the passions of the people, but also in
their traditional regard. Yet, strange as it may seem, they are an
attractive race. A missionary's wife who has known them well declares
that they are gentle and kindly, simple as children, disposed to love
and reverence all who are wiser and more civilized than themselves. Ida
Pfeiffer concludes that the Dyaks pleased her best, not only among the
races of Borneo, but among all the races of the earth with which she has
come in contact. And a cultivated Englishman, with wealth and social
position at command, has been so attracted to them, that he has lavished
both his fortune and his best years in the work of their elevation. The
social condition of the Dyaks has been sufficiently wretched. Subjected
to the Malays, they have been forced to work in the mines without pay,
while they were liable at any moment to be robbed of their homes, and
even of their wives and children. "We do not live like men," said one of
them, with great pathos. "We are like monkeys, hunted from place to
place. We have no houses, and we dare not light a fire lest the smoke
draw our enemies upon us."

Running along the whole northern coast of Borneo, eight hundred miles,
and inland perhaps two hundred, is found Borneo Proper, one of the three
great Mohammedan kingdoms into which the island was divided as early as
the sixteenth century. This state is governed, or rather misgoverned, by
a sultan, and, under him, by rajahs and pangerans,--officials who give
to the commands of their nominal superior but a scanty obedience. For
two centuries Borneo Proper has been steadily settling into anarchy and
barbarism. With a government both feeble and despotic, it was torn by
intestine wars, crushed within by oppression and ravaged without by
piracy, until commerce and agriculture, the twin pillars of the state,
were equally threatened, and not one element of ruin seemed to be
wanting. What evidence of decay could be more striking than the simple
fact that Bruni, its capital, which in the sixteenth century was crowded
with a population of more than two hundred thousand souls, had in 1840
scarcely fourteen thousand inhabitants?

       *       *       *       *       *

To one corner of this wasting empire came, twenty-five years ago, a
young Englishman. Simply a gentleman, he had no governmental alliances
to help him, and no advantages of any sort for founding empire, except
such as sprang from the possession of a sagacious mind, an undaunted
temper, and a heart thoroughly in sympathy with the oppressed. Alone he
has built up a flourishing state, introducing commercial activity and
the habits of civilized life where only oppression and misery were, and
has achieved an enterprise which seems to belong rather to the days of
chivalry than to a plodding, utilitarian age,--an enterprise which, in
romance and success, but not in carnage, calls to mind the deeds of the
great Spanish captains in the New World.

James Brooke, the second and only surviving son of Thomas Brooke, a
gentleman who had acquired a fortune in the service of the East India
Company, was born in India, April 29, 1803. At an early age he entered
the employ of the same company to whose interests his father had given
his best days. In 1826, as a cadet, he accompanied the British army to
the Burmese war, was dangerously wounded, received a furlough, and came
to England. To restore his health and gratify his curiosity he spent the
year 1827 in travelling on the Continent. His furlough having nearly
expired, he embarked for India, but was wrecked on the voyage, and could
not report for duty in proper season. This was one of those apparently
fortuitous circumstances which so often change the whole aspect of a
man's life. At any rate, it was the turning-point in Mr. Brooke's
career. Finding that his misfortune had cost him his position, and that
he could not recover it without tedious formalities, he left the
service. Uncontrolled master of himself, and endowed with sagacity and
courage of no ordinary stamp, he was ready for any undertaking which his
adventurous spirit or his love of research might dictate. In fact, it
was during this interval of leisure that he embarked for China, and on
his passage saw for the first time the Eastern Archipelago. He was
painfully interested in the condition of Borneo and Celebes, those great
islands, sinking apparently into hopeless decay. His sympathies were
awakened by the sufferings of the helpless natives, and his indignation
was aroused by the outrages of an unbridled piracy. His feelings can be
best gathered from his own language. "These unhappy countries afford a
striking proof how the fairest and richest lands under the sun may
become degraded by a continuous course of oppression and misrule. Whilst
extravagant dreams of the progressive advancement of the human race are
entertained, a large tract of the globe has been gradually relapsing
into barbarism. Whilst the folly of fashion requires an acquaintance
with the deserts of Africa, and a most ardent thirst for a knowledge of
the customs of Timbuctoo,--whilst the trumpet tongue of many an orator
excites thousands to the rational and charitable object of converting
the Jews or of reclaiming the Gypsies,--not a single prospectus is
spread abroad, not a single voice is raised in Exeter Hall, to relieve
the darkness of this paganism and the horrors of this slave-trade. Under
these circumstances I have considered that individual exertions may be
usefully applied to rouse the zeal of slumbering philanthropy."

The feelings thus awakened were not of a transient character. His dreams
henceforth were to visit these islands, see them for himself, study
their natural history, understand their social condition, and ascertain
what avenues could be opened for trade, and what steps taken to redeem
the oppressed native races.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1835 the death of his father, leaving him master of an independent
fortune, enabled him to realize his dreams. He was a member of the Royal
Yacht Club, as well as owner and commander of a yacht,--a position which
admitted him in foreign ports to all the privileges of an English naval
officer. In this little vessel he resolved to undertake an adventurous
voyage of discovery. He approached his enterprise with a wary
forethought. "I was convinced," he says, "that it was necessary to form
men to my purpose, and by a line of steady and kind conduct to raise up
a personal regard for myself and an attachment to the vessel." He
cruised three years in the Mediterranean, carefully selecting and
training his crew. He studied thoroughly the whole subject of the
Eastern Archipelago, and acquainted himself as perfectly as possible
with the minutiæ of seamanship and with every useful art. And when his
preparations were all complete, on the 16th of December, 1838, he set
sail for Singapore, in the yacht Royalist, a vessel of one hundred and
forty-two tons, manned by twenty men and officers, with an armament of
six six-pounders and a full supply of small arms of all sorts. Such were
the mighty resources wherewith he began an enterprise which has ended in
raising him to the government of a petty kingdom, and to almost
sovereign influence over the whole empire of Borneo Proper.

The reader has already had glimpses of the feelings which prompted this
expedition. In a communication to the "Geographical Register" he more
fully unfolds his views; and from this and from his familiar letters it
is not difficult to gain a clear idea of the character and motives of
the man. That his ardent mind had been fired by a study of the career of
his great predecessor, Stamford Raffles, is evident. That he was himself
one of those energetic, restless natures, to which idleness or mere
routine-work is the severest of penalties, is equally evident. He had,
moreover, a large share of that kind of enthusiasm which the cool,
sagacious men of this world call romance, and which delights to fasten
on objects seemingly impossible. He was like the old knights, rejoicing
most when the field of their devoir was distant and dangerous. Yet not
altogether like them. He was rather a man of the twelfth century,
disciplined and invigorated by the hard common-sense and sharp
utilitarianism of the nineteenth century. And we must not forget that he
honestly wished to benefit the native races. Every page, nay, almost
every line, in his journals and letters, bears witness to his profound
compassion for the despised and downtrodden Dyaks. Aside from this, when
we remember that he was a genuine Englishman, proud of his native land
and thoughtful always of her aggrandizement, we need be at no loss to
understand his motives. He went forth to gratify a love of adventure,
"to see something of the world and come back again," to extend a little
the realms of scientific knowledge, to suggest, perhaps, some plans for
the improvement of native character, and last, but not least, to learn
whether there might not be opened new avenues for the extension of
British trade and British power.

That the methods by which these objects were to be attained were not
very well defined even to his own mind is clear. He himself said, "I
cast myself upon the waters, like Southey's little book; but whether the
world will know me after many days, is a question I cannot answer." And
some years after, alluding to a charge of inconsistency, he said, "I did
not embrace my position _at once_; and indeed the position itself
altered very rapidly; and I am free to confess before the world that my
views of duty and responsibility were not so high at first as they have
since been." Without doubt his direct and primary purpose was
investigation. He took with him men of some scientific knowledge,
himself being no mean observer; and he proposed to prosecute, wherever
opportunity occurred, researches into the geography, natural history,
and commercial resources of these islands. If he had ulterior ends, as
yet they existed in his mind as fascinating dreams, rather than
well-defined plans.

       *       *       *       *       *

After a tedious voyage of nearly six months, the Royalist reached
Singapore, June 1, 1839. While Mr. Brooke was engaged in refitting his
yacht, and anxiously revolving in his mind how he should obtain
permission to penetrate into the neighboring kingdom of Borneo, he
learned that Muda Hassim, uncle of the Sultan, and Rajah of Sarawak, the
northwestern province of Borneo, had displayed great humanity towards a
crew of shipwrecked Englishmen. On receiving this information he started
at once for Sarawak, hoping to get some hold upon the Rajah, and by such
help to pursue his researches. But the time of his visit was most
unfortunate. The whole province was in a state of open rebellion; so
that, while he was received courteously, and permitted to make some
local surveys, nothing of importance could be accomplished. Baffled and
wearied by delay, he sailed back to Singapore, and from thence to
Celebes, where he remained several months, engaged in extensive
explorations, and in collecting specimens to illustrate the natural
history of that island.

Mr. Brooke returned from Celebes worn out and sick, and was obliged to
remain at Singapore several months to recruit his strength. In August,
1840, he made a second visit to Sarawak, intending to tarry there a few
days, and then proceed homeward by the way of Manilla and China. "I
have done fully as much as I promised the public," he writes. He found
things in much the same state as when he left. No progress had been made
in the suppression of the rebellion. Few lives indeed had been lost, but
the most bloody war could hardly have produced worse results. The
country was filled with combatants. Every straggler was cut off.
Violence and rapine were the law. Trade and agriculture languished. A
rich province was fast relapsing into a wilderness; and all its people
were beginning to suffer alike for shelter and sustenance. As our hero
was about to set sail, the Rajah opened his whole heart to him. His
prospects were anything but flattering. He found himself unequal to the
reduction of the rebels. He was surrounded by traitors. At the court of
the Sultan, a hostile cabal, taking advantage of his ill-fortune,
threatened his power and his life. In this strait, he besought his
visitor to remain and give him aid, promising in event of success to
confer upon him the government of the province. After a few days'
reflection, Mr. Brooke, believing, as he declares, that the cause of the
Sultan was just, believing also that what the whole people needed most
was peace, and that peace would place him in a position to render them
the greatest service, acceded to this request, without, however, be it
observed, binding Muda Hassim to any precise stipulations concerning the

Many pages of his journal are devoted to an account of this war; and a
most curious story it is of cowardice, bravado, and inefficiency. It was
advance and retreat, boastful challenge and as boastful reply, marching
and countermarching, day after day, and month after month. "Like the
heroes of old, the adverse parties spoke to each other: 'We are coming,
we are coming; lay aside your muskets and fight us with your swords';
and so the heroes ceased not to talk, but always forgot to fight";--the
sum of all their achievements being to lay waste the country, to
interrupt honest industry, and to put in peril the lives of the
unoffending. Mr. Brooke soon tired of this farce. Gathering a motley
force, consisting of Malays, Dyaks, Chinese, and his own crew, he
prepared for an assault. Then, planting his cannon where they commanded
the stronghold of the enemy, with a few well-directed volleys he brought
its walls tumbling about their ears. The insurgents, driven to the open
country, and altogether amazed by this specimen of Saxon energy,
surrendered at discretion. At one blow a desolating war was ended.

       *       *       *       *       *

Peace being restored, Mr. Brooke did not insist on the literal
fulfilment of the terms which Muda Hassim had in his extremity been so
ready to proffer. He chose to occupy a position of influence, rather
than one of outward authority. A contract was entered into by which he
became Resident of Sarawak. The conditions of the agreement were, that
the Rajah on his part should repress piracy, protect legitimate
commerce, and as far as possible remove from the Dyaks unjust burdens;
while his ally, in return for these concessions, should open trade,
sending a vessel to and fro between Singapore and Sarawak, exchanging
foreign luxuries for native products, and more especially for antimony,
of which article the Rajah had the monopoly. In fulfilment of his part
of the treaty, Mr. Brooke proceeded to Singapore, purchased a schooner,
loaded her with an assorted cargo, returned to Sarawak, and at the
earnest request of Muda Hassim landed and distributed his goods.

But auspicious as was the commencement of this alliance, soon grave
causes of complaint arose. On every point the deceitful Malay came short
of his agreement. Having obtained valuable property, he showed no
alacrity in paying for it; weeks and months passed without bringing him
apparently any nearer to a pecuniary settlement. So far from repressing
piracy, he encouraged it; and a fleet of one hundred and twenty prahus,
with his tacit consent, actually put to sea. When a crew of English
seamen were enslaved and carried to Bruni, under the most frivolous
pretexts he refused to intercede with the Sultan for these unfortunate
men. And so this strange friendship cooled. It was no slight proof
either of his courage or his humanity to despatch at this very time, as
Mr. Brooke did, his yacht to Bruni, to attempt something in behalf of
his enslaved countrymen, and to remain himself with only three men at
Sarawak. The yacht came back, however, having effected nothing.

By this time the patience of the creditor was exhausted. Despoiled of
his goods, finding that, despite his remonstrances, the Dyaks were
cruelly oppressed, and that piracy was encouraged, he resolved to try
the effect of threats. He repaired on board his yacht, loaded her guns
with grape and canister, and brought her broadside to bear upon the
Rajah's palace. Then taking a small, but well-armed guard, he sought an
interview with Muda Hassim. The terror of that functionary was extreme.
The native tribes openly sided with their English friend. The Chinese
residents remained obstinately neutral. The Malays, between cowardice
and treachery, afforded him no efficient support. To crown all, his
resolute and incensed ally had only to wave his hand to bring down upon
him swift destruction. "After this demonstration, things went cheerily
to a conclusion." Muda Hassim, finding that his creditor was inflexible,
and being unable or unwilling to pay for the goods which he had
fraudulently obtained, offered in payment of all debts to surrender the
government. The offer was accepted, the agreement drawn up, signed,
sealed, guns fired and flags waved, and on September 24, 1841, Mr.
Brooke became Rajah of Sarawak. In August of the following year the
Sultan solemnly confirmed the agreement.

The territory thus strangely passing into the hands of a private English
gentleman was a tract of country bordering upon the sea sixty miles, and
extending inland from seventy to eighty miles. Situated at the
northeastern extremity of Borneo, pierced by two small, but navigable
rivers, its position is most favorable for commerce. Its soil is deep
and rich, yielding under any proper culture large crops of all tropical
products. Its forests are filled with trees fit for shipbuilding, and
abound in that variety from which is obtained the gutta percha of
commerce. The hills are rich in iron and tin of the best quality. The
mountain streams wash down gold. In the beds of smaller rivers are found
diamonds, in such profusion that most of the Malays wear them set in
rings and other ornaments. From this single province comes nearly the
whole supply of antimony in the world. "I do not believe," says a
resident, "that in the same given space there can be found so great
mineral and vegetable wealth in any land in the whole world."

       *       *       *       *       *

With what sentiments the new Rajah entered upon his duties can be best
understood by a perusal of his familiar letters. He writes to his
mother: "Do not start when I say that I am going to settle in Borneo,
that I am about to endeavor to plant there a mixed colony amid a wild
but not unvirtuous race, and to become the pioneer of European knowledge
and improvement. The diffusion of civilization, commerce, and religion
through so vast an island as Borneo, I call a grand object,--so grand
that self is quite lost when I consider it; and even failure would be
much better than the non-attempt." "A few days ago I was up a high
mountain and looked over the country. It is a prospect which I have
rarely seen equalled; and sitting there, lazily smoking a cigar, I
called into existence the coffee plantations, the sugar plantations, the
nutmeg plantations, and pretty white villages and tiny steeples, and
dreamed that I heard the buzz of life and the clang of industry amid the
jungles, and that the China Colins whistled as they went, for want of
thought, as they homeward bent."

The first duty which claimed attention was the relief of the native
Dyaks. A shrewd Dyak once defined the Malay government as "a plantain in
the mouth and a thorn in the back." A plantain giving to their poor
subjects a little to keep life in them; a thorn stripping them to the
skin and piercing them to the bone. The description is pithy, and it is
true. The exactions of the Malay chiefs were almost beyond belief.
Seizing and monopolizing some article of prime necessity,--salt
perhaps,--they would force the natives to buy at the rate of fifty
dollars' worth of rice for a teacup of salt; until the wretched
cultivator, who had raised a plentiful crop, was brought to the verge of
starvation. They reserved to themselves the right of purchasing the
articles which the Dyaks had to sell, and then affixed to those articles
an arbitrary price, perhaps less than a five-hundredth of their real
value. They would send a bar of iron two or three feet long, and having
an intrinsic worth of a few cents, to the head mart of a tribe,
demanding that his village should give for it a sum equal to five, ten,
or twenty dollars. Another was sent in the same way, and another, and
another, until the rapacity of the chiefs was satisfied, or the wretched
natives had no more to give. Often, when the latter had been robbed of
everything, the Malays would seize and sell their wives and children. It
is recorded of one tribe, that there was not so much as one woman or
child to be found in it. All had been swept off by these remorseless
slave-hunters. Nor did their wrongs end here. If a Dyak killed a Malay
"under any circumstances of aggression," he was put to death, often with
every possible addition of torture. If he accidentally injured one of
the ruling caste, he was fortunate to escape with the loss of half or
two thirds of his little savings. On the other hand, a Malay might kill
as many Dyaks as he pleased, and if perchance justice were a little
sterner than usual, he might be fined a few cents or a few dollars.
Volumes are contained in this one statement, that in the ten years from
1830 to 1840, the Dyaks in the province of Sarawak dwindled from 14,000
to 6,000 souls.

A blow was immediately struck at the root of this black oppression. As
soon as the new government was fairly established, a few simple
enactments were published. They declared that every man, Dyak as well as
Malay, should enjoy unmolested all the gains of his toil; that all
exactions of every name and nature should cease, and that only a small
tax, evenly distributed, should be levied for the support of government;
that all roads and rivers should be free to all; that all molestation of
the Dyaks should be punished with severity. The proclamation which
contains these laws concludes with exhorting all persons who are
disposed to disturb the public peace to take flight speedily to some
other country, where they can break with impunity the laws of God and
man. These enactments were firmly executed, without fear and without
partiality. Wonderful were the results! Internal violence ceased. The
confidence of the natives was awakened. Industry and enterprise sprang
up on every hand as by magic. Sarawak became a city of refuge. Sometimes
as many as fifty fled thither in a day. In 1844, in the short space of
two months, five hundred families took shelter in the province. In 1850,
three thousand Chinese fled from Sambas to Sarawak. The Dyaks returned
the good-will of their Rajah with love and reverence. During one of his
tours in the interior, delegations from tribes numbering six thousand
souls came to seek his protection. "We have heard," said they, in simple
but touching language, "that a son of Europe has arrived, who is a
friend of the Dyaks." When he visited the native hamlets, the women
would throw themselves on the ground and clasp his feet, and the whole
tribe would spend the night in joyful feasting and merriment. It is
soberly affirmed by a credible witness, that on one occasion messengers
came fifteen days' journey from a distant province to see if there were
such a phenomenon as Dyaks living in comfort.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Brooke soon found that all his efforts for internal reform must be
in a comparative sense futile so long as piracy, that curse of Borneo,
was permitted to ravage unchecked. "It is in a Malay's nature," says the
Dutch proverb, "to rove on the seas in his prahu, as it is in that of
the Arab to wander with his steed on the sands of the desert." No person
who has not investigated the subject can appreciate how wide-spread and
deep-seated this plague of piracy is. The mere statistics are appalling.
It was estimated, in 1840, that one hundred thousand men made
freebooting their trade. One single chief had under control seven
hundred prahus. Whole tribes, whole groups of islands, almost whole
races, despising even the semblance of honest industry, depended upon
rapine for a livelihood. "It is difficult to catch fish, but it is easy
to catch Borneans," said the Soloo pirates scornfully; and, acting upon
that principle, they fitted out their fleets and planned their voyages
with all the method of honest tradesmen.

This piracy was divided into two branches,--coastwise piracy and piracy
on the broad seas. The Sea Dyaks built boats called bangkongs, sixty to
a hundred feet long, narrow and sharp, propelled by thirty to fifty
oars, and so swift that nothing but a steamer could overtake them. These
freebooters were the terror of all honest laborers and tradesmen.
Skulking along the coast, pushing up rivers and creeks, landing anywhere
and every where without warning, they mercilessly destroyed the native
villages and swept the inhabitants into captivity. Or else, impelling
with the force of fifty men their snaky craft, which were swift as
race-boats and noiseless as beasts of prey, they would surprise at dead
of night some defenceless merchantman, overwhelm their victims with
showers of spears, and with morning light a plundered boat, a few dead
bodies, were the silent witnesses of their ferocity. On the other hand,
the Illanum and Balanini tribes, infesting the islands to the northeast
of Borneo, undertook far grander enterprises. Putting to sea, prepared
for a long voyage, in fleets of two or three hundred prahus, propelled
by wind and oars, armed with brass cannon, and manned by ten thousand
bold buccaneers, they swept through the whole length of the Chinese Sea,
and, turning the southernmost point of Borneo, penetrated the straits
and sounds between Java and Celebes, never stopping in their ruthless
course until they came face to face with the sturdy pirates of New
Guinea, and returned, after a voyage of ten thousand miles and an
absence of two years, laden with spoils and captives. How hapless was
the fate of the poor Dyak! If he stayed at home, cultivating his fields,
his Malay lord fleeced him to the skin. If, thinking to engage in
gainful traffic, he hugged the shore with his little bark, the
river-pirate snatched him up. If he stood out upon the broad waters, he
could scarcely hope to escape the Northern hordes who swarmed in every

Mr. Brooke's most terrible assailants were the Sakarran and Sarebus
pirates, two tribes of freebooters whose seats of power were on the
Sarebus and Batang Lupar rivers, two streams fifty or sixty miles east
of Sarawak. These tribes were encouraged and secretly helped by his own
Malay chiefs, and insolently defied his power, continuing their
depredations, capturing every vessel which ventured out, and ravaging
all the adjacent coasts. The strength of these confederacies was so
great, that it was no unusual thing for them to muster a hundred
war-boats; and they had built, on the banks of the rivers which they
infested, strong forts at every point which commanded the channel. That
the new Rajah was not able with his slender resources to curb these
sea-robbers is not surprising. The only wonder is, that he was able to
protect his own capital from the assaults which they often threatened
but never dared to attempt.

But efficient aid was at hand. In the summer of 1843 the British ship
Dido anchored off the entrance of Sarawak River. She was commissioned to
suppress piracy in and about the Chinese Sea. Her commander readily
entered into the views of the English Rajah. A boat expedition against
the strongholds of the Sarebus pirates was projected. Mr. Brooke
assisted with seven hundred Dyaks. A curious incident occurred, showing
how clearly the natives appreciated their dependence on their English
friend. When he asked their chiefs if they would aid him, they besought
him not to risk his life in so desperate an enterprise. But when he
assured them that his purpose was fixed, that he should go, alone if
necessary, they replied: "What is the use of our remaining behind? You
die, we die; you live, we live. We will go too." The expedition was
perfectly successful. Three fortified villages were stormed, many guns
spiked, many boats destroyed, and their defenders driven to the jungles.
This chastisement not sufficing, in the following year another
expedition from the same vessel attacked the Sakarran pirates and
inflicted upon them a punishment even more severe than that which had
fallen to the lot of their Sarebus brethren. Six forts, one mounting
fifty-six guns, scores of war-boats, and more than a thousand huts, were
burned. These lessons, though sharp, did not permanently subdue.

The blow which broke the power of these confederacies was inflicted in
1849. News came to Sarawak that the pirates had put to sea, marking
their course by fearful atrocities. At once Mr. Brooke applied to the
English Admiral for assistance, and the steamer Nemesis was despatched
to the scene of action. The Rajah joined her with eighteen war-boats, to
which were afterwards added eleven hundred Dyaks, in their bangkongs. On
the 31st of July, at night, they encountered the great war-fleet of the
Sarebus and Sakarran pirates, numbering one hundred and fifty bangkongs,
returning home laden with plunder. The pirates found the entrances of
the river occupied by their enemies,--the English, Malay, and Dyak
forces being placed in three detachments, while the Nemesis was fully
prepared to assist whenever the attack should begin. "Then there was a
dead silence, broken only by three strokes of a gong, which called the
pirates to a council of war. A few minutes afterwards a fearful yell
gave notice of their advance, and the fleet approached in two divisions.
In the dead of the night there ensued a terrible scene. The pirates
fought bravely, but they could not withstand the superior forces of
their enemy. Their boats were upset by the paddles of the steamer. They
were hemmed in on every side, and five hundred men were killed sword in
hand, while twenty-five hundred escaped to the jungles, many of them to
perish. The morning light showed a sad spectacle of ruin and defeat.
Upwards of eighty prahus and bangkongs were captured, and many more
destroyed." The English officers would have gladly saved life; but the
pirates would take no quarter, and the prisoners were few. It was a
striking fact, that one of the war-boats under Mr. Brooke was manned by
some thirty Malays, every one of whom had lost during the year a near
relative, killed by these same pirates. The confederacy has never risen
from this defeat, and for years the tribes composing it have returned to
the labors of peaceful life. Writing twelve months afterwards to a
friend, Rajah Brooke says: "Pray keep the 31st of July apart for a
special bumper, for during the last year not a single innocent life has
been taken by these pirates, nor a single prahu fallen into their
hands." Many a victory, famous in story, has accomplished less.

The next year a fleet of sixty-four prahus, manned by northern pirates,
and carrying 1224 guns, was destroyed by British gunboats in the Gulf of
Tonquin. This was followed by an attack of the Spaniards upon the haunts
of the Soloo pirates. A lull ensued. For three or four years almost
nothing was heard of freebooting; but it was a deceitful calm, not a
final cessation of the storm. The freebooting spirit was not taken out
of the blood of the Malay. Now piracy is said to be on the increase
again. Only three years since six Balanini pirates had the audacity to
sail into Sarawak Bay and commence depredations along its coasts. But
not one returned to tell the tale. The whole six were captured or
destroyed, and their crews killed or taken prisoners. The only permanent
remedy for the evil is just, settled, and efficient government, such as
has been established at Sarawak, destroying not simply the fleets, but
breaking up the piratical haunts, and with firm hand forcing their
people back into the habits and pursuits of civilized life.

       *       *       *       *       *

Being delivered for a time at least from these perils, the new Rajah was
at liberty to devote himself to the welfare of his subjects. It is not
possible, in a brief notice, even to hint at all the events and efforts
of the next fifteen years of his government,--to say how he repressed
the cupidity and lawlessness of the Malay chiefs; how he encouraged and
protected the poor Dyaks; how he opened new channels for trade; how,
from year to year, he resisted the fierce pirates, who, coming from the
neighboring islands with strong fleets, sought to sweep the adjacent
seas. Of course the prime need was to restore confidence, and to assure
to all honest workers, of every race, the gains of their industry. The
first question, indeed, of the Chinese emigrant was, "Will you protect
us, or will our plantations, so soon as they are worth anything, be
stripped by your chiefs?" It has been beautiful to behold order coming
out of chaos, peace out of violence, whole districts redeemed from
anarchy, simply by giving efficient support to the orderly part of the
population. Another object of not less importance was to create in this
people something of the feeling of nationality, and to make them
comprehend that they were citizens, with the duties of citizens. It
certainly was no easy task to awaken much of the sentiment of lofty
patriotism in the minds of those whose only common memories were of
lawless misrule and oppression. Every possible effort has been made in
this direction. The struggle has been, not to plant an English colony,
but to create a Bornean state. The laws are not English, nor built upon
English precedents. They are simply the old Bornean statutes, made
conformable to the principles of equity, and administered with just
regard to the customs and traditions of the people. The offices of
government are filled to the least possible degree with foreigners;
while native chiefs and even reclaimed pirates are associated with them,
and thus habituated to all the forms of a civilized state. Mr. Brooke,
with a rare courage and wisdom, has always trusted for his safety to the
good-will of his native subjects. He has never been sustained by
mercenary bands. At a time when piratical violence was most threatening,
when disorders were yet rife in his own state, and when his subjects but
poorly appreciated his benevolent purposes towards them, his whole
English force was twenty-four men. It is pleasant to add, that this
confidence was not misplaced. A younger generation is now springing up,
with larger views of life, and with a better appreciation of the
workings and value of equitable government. To sum up all in a brief
sentence, it may be said with truth that the administration has been
marked by rare sagacity, firmness, and comprehensiveness of view, and
that it has been crowned with success.

In 1845, Mr. Brooke came for the first time into official relations
with the British government, by accepting the office of confidential
agent in Borneo. We have already alluded to his warm love of his native
country. As early as 1841, he had expressed a willingness to sacrifice
his large outlays, and to relinquish all his rights and interests to the
crown, if a guaranty could be given that piracy would be checked and the
native races protected in all their proper rights and privileges. He
accepted gladly, therefore, a post which promised to increase his power
to benefit his people, and entered upon its duties with vigor.
Immediately upon his appointment, he was requested to make
investigations as to the existence of a harbor fit for the shelter and
victualling of ships bound from Hong-Kong to Singapore. He reported that
Labuan, a small island north of Borneo, was in every way suitable; that
it was about equidistant from the two parts; that it had a fine harbor,
or rather roadstead; that it was healthy; that it abounded in coal of
the best quality; that, finally, the Sultan stood pledged to convey it
upon reasonable terms.

But before legal papers could be drawn, the whole policy of the court of
Bruni had changed. The Sultan was a monarch with "the head of an idiot
and the heart of a pirate." All his sympathies were with violence and
robbery. Under the influence of others, he had agreed to use his power
against piracy, and had even been brought to say, in fawning phrase,
that "he wanted the English near to him." But he suddenly repented of
his good purposes. In a fit of Oriental fickleness he caused Muda Hassim
and all who favored the English alliance to be put to death, despatched
a messenger secretly to administer poison to Mr. Brooke, and entered
into even closer friendship than before with the piratical tribes. A
confidential servant of Pangeran Budrudeen, the brother of Muda Hassim,
with difficulty escaped, and fled to Sarawak. He related that his master
had bravely resisted, but, overpowered by numbers and desperately
wounded, had committed to his charge a ring, bidding him deliver it to
Rajah Brooke as a dying memento, and to tell him that he died faithful
to his pledges to the Queen; then, setting fire to a keg of powder, he
blew himself with his family into the air.

These tidings filled Mr. Brooke with grief and indignation. Every
passion of his fiery and energetic nature was aroused. He repaired on
board the British fleet, which, upon receipt of this news, had put into
Sarawak. Without delay the fleet sailed for Bruni. An immediate
explanation was demanded of the Sultan. The reply was a volley from the
forts which commanded the river. Without ceremony the ships returned the
fire. In a brief time these strongholds were stormed, and Bruni itself
was at the mercy of the enemy. The Sultan fled to the swamps. Sailing
out of Borneo River, the fleet swept along the whole northern coast,
taking in rapid succession the forts of the Illanum pirates who had
instigated the murders at Bruni, and inflicting upon them a signal

By this time the Sultan wearied of jungles and sighed for his palace. He
wrote a cringing letter, promising amendment, agreeing to ratify all his
former engagements, and as a sign of his true penitence was ready even
to pay royal honors to the memory of the men whom he had slain. There
was no further difficulty in respect to the cession of Labuan, and it
was taken possession of December 24, 1846,--Mr. Brooke being appointed
governor. It is said that the possession of this island goes far to make
England mistress of the Chinese Sea,--a statement easily to be credited
by any one conversant with English policy. At any rate, he who observes
how, at apparently insignificant stations,--on little islands, on a
marshy peninsula,--mere dots on the map,--England has established her
commercial depots,--at Hong-Kong in the north, at Labuan in the centre,
and at Singapore in the south,--will gain new respect for the sagacity
which in the councils of the mother country always lurks behind the
red-tapism of which we hear so much.

       *       *       *       *       *

After an absence of nine years, Rajah Brooke revisited England in the
year 1847. He was the hero of the hour. Every honor was showered upon
him. He was invited to visit Windsor Castle, received the freedom of
London, and then or soon after was knighted. Owing to his
representations of the readiness of the Dyaks to receive instruction, a
meeting was held in London, at which funds were obtained to build a
church and school-houses. Two missionaries and their families were sent
to Sarawak. The buildings were erected long since, and these Christian
means are in full activity. Brooke's language upon the proper
qualifications of a missionary exhibits in a striking light his
straightforward resolution and enlarged liberality. "Above all things, I
beg of you to save us from such a one as some of the committee desire to
see at Sarawak. Zealots, and intolerants, and enthusiasts, who begin the
task of tuition by a torrent of abuse against all that their pupils hold
sacred, shall not come to Sarawak. Whilst our endeavors to convert the
natives are conducted with charity, I am a warm friend of the mission.
But whenever there is a departure from the only visible means God has
placed at our disposal,--time, reason, patience,--and the Christian
faith is to be heralded in its introduction by disturbances and
heart-burnings and bloodshed, I want it not; and you are quite at
liberty to say, that I would rather that the mission were withdrawn."

       *       *       *       *       *

About the year 1850, Mr. Brooke became the object of a virulent attack,
continued several years, both in the public prints and in Parliament.
Prompted originally by the petty malice of those whose tool for the
advancement of their personal schemes he had refused to become, this
attack was taken up by a few persons of influence, who seem to have
misunderstood utterly both his character and work. He has been termed a
mere adventurer. He has been accused of avarice, of wringing from the
natives great sums, and receiving from England large salaries as Consul
at Borneo and as Governor of Labuan. It has been asserted that he has
been guilty of wholesale slaughter of the innocent, interfering with
tribal wars under the pretence of extirpating piracy. None of these
charges have been sustained. On the contrary, it has been conclusively
shown that he has sunk more than £20,000 of his private fortune in this
enterprise. The piracy, so mildly called intertribal war, is undoubtedly
robbery, both on the sea and on the land, and conducted with all fitting
accompaniments of cruelty and bloodshed. This persecution has not been
borne by its object with much patience, and, indeed, like Rob Roy's
Highlander, "he does not seem to be famous for that gude gift." "I am no
tame lion to be cowed by a pack of hounds. These intertribal wars are
such as the wolf wages against the lamb. I should like to ask the most
peaceable man in England what he would do if a horde of bandits
frequently burst forth from Brest and Cherbourg, ravaging the shores of
the Channel, and carrying women and children into captivity, with the
heads of their decapitated husbands and fathers? Would he preach? Would
he preach when he saw his daughter dishonored and his son murdered? And
then would he proclaim his shame and cowardice among men? What do some
gentlemen expect? They particularly desire to suppress piracy. Do they
really imagine that piracy is to be suppressed by argument and

Mr. Brooke's enemies have three times pressed their accusations before
the House of Commons, and three times have been defeated by overwhelming
majorities,--the last vote being 230 to 19. Finally, to end the
controversy, a royal commission was appointed to visit the scene of
these transactions, and upon the spot to decide their merits. The report
of this commission has not reached us, if indeed it has ever been made
public; but the practical results of it are certain. Mr. Brooke has
severed his official connection with the British government by a
resignation of the offices which he held under it; while he retains his
sovereignty at Sarawak, with the undiminished love of his subjects and
an unimpaired influence over the native tribes. There seems to be no
doubt that the intelligent public opinion of England fully sustains him.
And it is safe to predict that with that opinion the final verdict of
history will coincide. That, placed in circumstances of great
difficulty, he may have taken steps not to be squared with the nicest
morality, is possible; for that is what must be said of every man who
has borne the burden of great public responsibility. Neither is it
surprising that a man of such boldness of speech and such almost
Cromwellian vigor in action should have enemies; that is a necessity.
But that he has been a true and sagacious friend of the natives, and
that his career has been for the increase of human happiness, are facts
as certain as any can be.

His best defence is his works. In 1842, when he took the government of
Sarawak, it was a feeble province, torn by dissension, crushed by
slavery, and ravaged by lawless violence. Now it is a peaceful,
prosperous commonwealth. In 1842, its capital, Kuching, was a wretched
village, whose houses were miserable mud huts or tents of leaves, and
containing but fifteen hundred inhabitants. Now it numbers fifteen
thousand,--an increase almost rivalling that of our Western cities. In
1842, no boat put to sea without terror. As a result, the amount of
trade was contemptible. Now Sarawak has enterprising native merchants,
owning vessels of two hundred tons, having regular transactions with
Singapore and all the neighboring ports. This trade, as early as 1853,
employed twenty-five thousand tons of shipping, and the exports for the
year were valued at more than a million of dollars. In 1842, deaths by
violence were of almost daily occurrence. Twelve years later, a resident
could boast that for three years only one person had lost his life by
other than natural causes. How would American cities appear in
comparison with this poor Dyak and heathen metropolis? Well does Rajah
Brooke proudly ask, "Could such success spring from a narrow and sordid
policy?" Mrs. McDougall, the missionary's wife, says: "We have now a
beautiful church at Sarawak, and the bell calls us there to worship
every morning at six, and at five every evening. Neither is there
anything in this quiet, happy place to prevent our thus living in God's

Mrs. McDougall adds a story which shows the estimation in which the
natives hold their Rajah. "Pa Jenna paid me a visit at Sarawak. The
Rajah was then in England. But Pa Jenna, coming into my sitting-room,
immediately espied his picture hanging against the wall. I was much
struck with the expression of respect which both the face and attitude
of this untutored savage assumed as he stood before the picture. He
raised his handkerchief from his head, and, saluting the picture with a
bow, such as a Roman Catholic would make to his patron saint's altar,
whispered to himself, 'Our great Rajah.'" And this man was a reclaimed

This reverential love of the natives is the one thing which does not
admit of a doubt. The proofs are constant and irresistible. Some years
since a lady with a few attendants was pushing her boat up a Bornean
river, many leagues away from Sarawak, when she encountered a wild Dyak
tribe on a warlike expedition. The sight of more than a hundred
half-naked savages, crowning a little knoll which jutted into the river
a half-dozen rods in advance of her boat, dancing frantically like
maniacs, brandishing their long knives, and yelling all the while like
demons, was not cheering. Yet at the sight of the Sarawak flag raised at
the bow of the boat, every demonstration of hostility ceased. She was
overpowered by their noisy welcome, and received from them the kindest
attention. A dozen years ago, at the very time that the accusations of
cruelty and wholesale slaughter of innocent people were most recklessly
made, a party of Englishmen, and among them the adopted son of the
Rajah, went on an exploring expedition to the extreme northeast corner
of Borneo, more than six hundred miles from Sarawak. While they were
seated one evening around their fire, the whole air resounded with the
cries, "Tuan Brooke! Tuan Brooke!" and presently the natives drew near
and expressed their joy at seeing a son of the great Rajah, and
wondering that he who had so blessed the southern Dyaks did not extend
his protection to their northern brethren. One anecdote more. During the
Chinese insurrection, of which we shall soon speak, a Malay chief,
fighting desperately against the insurgents, was mortally wounded, only
lingering long enough to be assured of the Rajah's victory, and to
exclaim with his dying breath, "I would rather be in hell with the
English, than in heaven with my own countrymen."

       *       *       *       *       *

The loyalty of the native population was thoroughly tested in the year
1857. It was the time of the second British war against China. Now the
Chinese are in one sense the most cosmopolitan of races. Wherever bread
is to be won, or gold amassed, there they go, thus becoming scattered
all through Southeastern Asia and the adjoining islands. In one aspect
they are a great blessing. They are a most laborious and thrifty race,
of almost incalculable benefit in the development of the material
resources of a country. But in some respects they are also an element of
danger. They never identify themselves with the country in which they
dwell. They simply come to get a living out of it. They band themselves
in secret societies or other exclusive organizations, and seem to get no
real love for the land which gives them bread, or the people among whom
they live. Under a peaceful rule, this race had greatly multiplied at
Sarawak. Some branches of industry had indeed almost fallen into their
hands. Especially in all mining operations was their help a positive
necessity. For the Dyak, though industrious enough on his little
plantation, will not work, except on compulsion, in the mines. These
places are bitter to him with the memory of forced labor and unrequited
misery. Besides, he believes that the bowels of the earth are filled
with demons, and no amount of pay gives him courage to face these. As a
result, the conduct of the mines was left to the Chinese, and they were
unwisely permitted to work them in large companies of several hundred,
under their own overseers. This gave them the advantages of a compact
organization: to a dangerous degree they became a state within the

When the war in China broke out, the Chinese residents at Sarawak,
sympathizing with their countrymen, were naturally greatly excited; and
when tidings came that the English fleet had been repulsed from before
the Canton forts, they were emboldened to take the desperate step of
attempting to put to death or to drive out of the country Rajah Brooke
and the rest of the English people, that they themselves might take
possession of it. About dusk on a February night, six hundred of them
gathered under their chiefs, armed themselves, went on board
cargo-boats, and began to float down the river towards the capital. At
midnight they attacked the Rajah's house. Its inmates were forced to
flee to the jungles. The Rajah rose from a sick-bed, ran to the banks of
the stream, dove under one of the Chinese boats, swam the river, and
took refuge with the Malays. Several of his countrymen were murdered.
His own house, filled with the priceless collections of a lifetime,
together with a costly library, was burned.

It was a gloomy morning which succeeded the night of this catastrophe.
Though he did not doubt for a moment the ultimate suppression of the
rebellion, what ruin might not be wrought in the few days or weeks which
should elapse before that event! And where, now that he had been driven
from his capital, he should find a base of operations to which he might
gather the scattered native forces, was the perplexing question of the
hour,--when, joyful sight, he beheld a merchant steamer sailing up the
river! He hailed her, went on board, and with a sufficient force steamed
up to Sarawak. With his appearance the last vestige of hope for the
insurrection disappeared.

Meanwhile stirring events had taken place. At first the natives were
stunned. They were roused at dead of night, to find the Chinese in
possession of the town, their Rajah's house in flames, the Rajah
missing, while the rumor was that he had been killed. For a time they
wandered about listlessly, vacantly staring each other in the face, and
it seemed as though they were about to submit without a struggle. In the
midst of this gloom and uncertainty, up spoke a Malay trader, whose
veins, despite his peaceful occupation, were full of the old pirate
blood: "Are we going to submit to be governed by these Chinese, or are
we going to be faithful to our Rajah? I am no talker, but I will never
be governed by any but him, and to-night I commence war to the knife
with his enemies." This broke the spell. Both Malays and Dyaks, in city
and country alike, rose _en masse_, and after a severe fight, prolonged
till the reappearance of Mr. Brooke, drove the Chinese to the forests,
and pursued them with unrelenting fury. Many of the insurgents perished
by the sword. Many more wandered about till they died of starvation.
Some threw themselves down in their tracks, expiring from fatigue and
utter wretchedness. Some hung themselves to escape their misery. In
despair and exasperation, they even turned their arms against each
other. Of the six hundred who made the original attack, sixty escaped.
Of the four thousand who composed the Chinese population, a forlorn and
wearied remnant of two thousand took refuge in the Dutch part of the
island. This lamentable destruction was the result neither of the order
nor the permission of the Rajah. It was accomplished by the unreasoning
fury of an outraged people. In a few days the formidable insurrection
was ended. The places of the insurgents were filled as rapidly as they
had been vacated. Scarcely a trace was left of the ravages of the
rebellion; and it accomplished nothing, save to convince all doubters
that the government of the province rested, as all stable government
must rest, on the good-will of the subject.

At the height of the insurrection a striking incident occurred. While
their brethren were being hurled in utter confusion across the Dutch
borders, several hundred Chinese fled from those very Dutch territories
and sought refuge in Sarawak. Though harassed by care, the Rajah did not
neglect their appeal, but sent trustworthy men, who piloted them safely
through the incensed Dyaks, who on their part by no means appreciated
the virtue of such a step, but thought rather that every man "who wore a
tail" ought to be put to death, though they bowed to the better judgment
of their chief.

       *       *       *       *       *

The latest accounts represent the province as continuing in a state of
unabated prosperity. Its bounds, by more recent cessions, have been so
largely increased, that its shore line is now three hundred miles long,
and the whole population of the state two hundred and fifty thousand.
The haunts of the Sarebus and Sakarran pirates are included in the new
limits; and these once-dreaded freebooters have learned the habits of
honest industry. Indeed, during the days of the insurrection the state
found no more faithful or courageous defenders than they, although their
old corsair blood was visible in the relentless tenacity with which they
tracked the flying foe. Sir James Brooke, with increasing years, has
retired somewhat from the active care of the government, leaving the
conduct of affairs very much to his nephew, Captain Brooke, whom he has
designated as his heir and successor, and who is represented as being
also heir in a large degree to his uncle's principles, courage, and

Rajah Brooke sought persistently for many years to give perpetuity to
his life's work by placing Sarawak under British protection. He made
repeated offers to surrender to the Queen all right and title which he
had acquired, on any terms which would secure the welfare of the
natives. But these offers have been definitely rejected; the seeming
protection which Sarawak enjoyed through the position of its ruler as
Governor of Labuan has been withdrawn, and the little state left to work
out unaided its destiny. What shall be the final fate of this
interesting experiment, whether there shall arise successors to the
founder wise enough to maintain the government so bravely established,
or whether the infant state shall perish with the man who called it into
existence, and become only a memory, it is impossible to foretell; but,
living or dead, its annals will always be a noble monument to him whose
force of character and undaunted persistency created it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The earlier portraits we have of Rajah Brooke depict him as a man of a
peculiarly frank, open, and pleasing exterior, yet with a countenance
marked by intelligence, thought, and energy; but underneath all a
certain dreaminess of expression, found often in the faces of those born
for adventure and to seek for the enterprise of their age fresh fields,
new El Dorados hidden in strange lands and unfamiliar seas.

The later portraits give us a face, plain, sagacious, yet full of an
expression of kindly benevolence. The exigencies of a busy life have
transformed romance into reality and common-sense; the adventurer and
knight-errant has but obeyed the law of his age, and become a noble
example of the power of the Anglo-Saxon mind to organize in the face of
adverse circumstances a state, and to construct out of most unpromising
elements the good fabric of orderly social life.

       *       *       *       *       *



_March_, 1845.--Nature sometimes displays a little tenderness for our
vanity, but is never careful for our pride. She is willing that we
should look foolish in the eyes of others, but keeps our little
nonsensicalnesses from ourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps there are higher intelligences that look upon all the
manifestations of the human mind--metaphysics, ethics, histories,
politics, poems, stories, etc., etc.--with the same interest that we
look upon flowers, or any other humble production of nature,--finding a
beauty and fitness even in the poorest of them, which we cannot see in
the best.

       *       *       *       *       *

A child or a young girl so sweet and beautiful, that God made new
flowers on purpose for her.

_May 4._--On the river-side, by the Promontory of Columbines. The river
here makes a bend, nearly at a right angle. On the opposite side, a high
bank descends precipitately to the water; a few apple-trees are
scattered along the declivity. A small cottage, with a barn, peeps over
the top of the bank; and at its foot, with their roots in the water, is
a picturesque clump of several maple-trees, their trunks all in a
cluster, and their tops forming a united mass of new fast-budding
foliage. At the foot of this clump of trees lies a boat, half in the
water, half drawn up on the bank. A tract of flags and water-weeds
extends along the base of the bank, outside of which, at a late period,
will grow the flat, broad leaves of the yellow water-lily, and the
pond-lily. A southwestern breeze is ruffling the river, and drives the
little wavelets in the same direction as the current. Most of the course
of the river in this vicinity is through marshy and meadowy ground, as
yet scarcely redeemed from the spring-time overflow, and which at all
seasons is plashy and unfit for walking. At my feet the water overbrims
the shore, and kisses the new green grass, which sprouts even beneath

The Promontory of Columbines rises rugged and rocky from amidst
surrounding lowlands, (in a field next to that where the monument is
erected, near the Old Manse,) and it forms the forth-putting angle at
the bend of the river. In earlier spring the river embraces it all
round, and converts it into an island. Rocks, with flakes of dry moss
covering them, peep out everywhere; and abundant columbines grow in the
interstices of these rocks, and wherever else the soil is scanty and
difficult enough to suit their fancy,--avoiding the smoother and better
sites, which they might just as well have chosen, close at hand. They
are earlier on this spot than anywhere else, and are therefore doubly
valuable, though not nearly so large, nor of so rich a scarlet and gold,
as some that we shall gather from the eastern slope of a hill, two or
three weeks hence. The promontory is exposed to all winds, and there
seems no reason why it should produce the earliest flowers, unless that
this is a peculiar race of columbines, which has the precious gift of
earlier birth assigned to them in lieu of rich beauty. This is the first
day of the present spring that I have found any quite blown; but last
year, I believe, they came considerably earlier. Here and there appeared
a blue violet, nestling close to the ground, pretty, but inconvenient to
gather and carry home, on account of its short stalk. Houstonias are
scattered about by handfuls. Anemones have been in bloom for several
days on the edge of the woods, but none ever grow on the Promontory of

The grass is a glad green in spots; but this verdure is very partial,
and over the general extent the old, withered stalks of last year's
grass are found to predominate. The verdure appears rich, between the
beholder and the sun; in the opposite direction, it is much less so. Old
mullein-stalks rise tall and desolate, and cling tenaciously to the soil
when we try to uproot them. The promontory is broken into two or three
heads. Its only shadow is from a moderately-sized elm, which, from year
to year, has flung down its dead branches, all within its circumference,
where they lie in various stages of decay. There are likewise rotten and
charred stumps of several other trees.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fence of our avenue is covered with moss on the side fronting
towards the north, while the opposite side is quite free from it,--the
reason being, that there is never any sunshine on the north side to dry
the moisture caused by rains from the northeast. The moss is very
luxuriant, sprouting from the half-decayed wood, and clinging to it as
if partially incorporated therewith.

       *       *       *       *       *

Towards the dimness of evening a half-length figure appearing at a
window,--the blackness of the background, and the light upon the face,
cause it to appear like a Rembrandt picture.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the top of Wachusett, butterflies, large and splendid; also bees in
considerable numbers, sucking honey from the alpine flowers. There is a
certain flower, a species of Potentilla, I think, which is found on
mountains at a certain elevation, and inhabits a belt, being found
neither above nor below it. On the highest top of Wachusett there is a
circular foundation, built evidently with great labor, of large, rough
stones, and rising perhaps fifteen feet. On this basis formerly rose a
wooden tower, the fragments of which, a few of the timbers, now lie
scattered about. The immediate summit of the mountain is nearly bare and
rocky, although interspersed with bushes; but at a very short distance
below there are trees, though slender, forming a tangled confusion, and
among them grows the wild honeysuckle pretty abundantly, which was in
bloom when we were there (Sunday, June 17th). A flight of rude stone
steps ascends the circular stone foundation of the round tower. By the
by, it cannot be more than ten feet high, at the utmost, instead of

The prospect from the top of Wachusett is the finest that I have
seen,--the elevation being not so great as to snatch the beholder from
all sympathy with earth. The roads that wind along at the foot of the
mountain are discernible; and the villages, lying separate and
unconscious of one another, each with their little knot of peculiar
interests, but all gathered into one category by the observer above
them. White spires, and the white glimmer of hamlets, perhaps a dozen
miles off. The gleam of lakes afar, giving life to the whole landscape.
Much wood, shagging hills and plains. On the west, a hill-country,
swelling like waves, with these villages sometimes discovered among
them. On the east it looks dim and blue, and affects the beholder like
the sea, as the eye stretches far away. On the north (?) appears
Monadnock, in his whole person, discernible from the feet upwards,
rising boldly and tangibly to the sense, so that you have the figure
wholly before you, fair and blue, but not dim and cloudlike.

On the road from Princeton to Fitchburg we passed fields which were
entirely covered with the mountain-laurel in full bloom,--as splendid a
spectacle, in its way, as could be imagined. Princeton is a little town,
lying on a high ridge, exposed to all the stirrings of the upper air,
and with a prospect of a score of miles round about. The great family of
this place is that of the Boylstons, who own Wachusett, and have a
mansion, with good pretensions to architecture, in Princeton.

Notables: Old Gregory, the dweller of the mountain-side; his
high-spirited wife; the son, speaking gruffly from behind the scenes, in
answer to his father's inquiries as to the expediency of lodging us. The
brisk little landlord at Princeton, recently married, intelligent,
honest, lively, agreeable; his wife, with her young-ladyish manners
still about her; the second class of annuals, and other popular
literature, in the parlors of the house; colored engraving of the
explosion of the Princeton's gun, with the principal characters in that
scene, designated by name; also Death of Napoleon, &c. A young Mr.
Boylston boarding at the inn, and driving out in a beautiful, city-built
phaeton, of exquisite lightness. We met him and a lady in the phaeton,
and two other ladies on horseback, in a narrow path, densely wooded, on
the ascent of a hill. It was quite romantic. Likewise old Mr. Boylston,
frequenting the tavern, coming in after church, and smoking a cigar,...
entering into conversation with strangers about the ascent of the
mountain. The tailor of the place, with his queer advertisement pasted
on the wall of the barroom, comprising certificates from tailors in New
York City, and various recommendations, from clergymen and others, of
his moral and religious character. Two Shakers in the cars,--both, if I
mistake not, with thread gloves on. The foundation of the old
meeting-house of Princeton, standing on a height above the village, as
bleak and windy as the top of Mount Ararat; also the old deserted
town-house. The edifices were probably thus located in order to be more
exactly in the centre of the township.

       *       *       *       *       *

From July 25 to August 9, 1845, at Portsmouth Navy Yard. Remarkables:
the free and social mode of life among the officers and their families,
meeting at evening on the door-steps or in front of their houses, or
stepping in familiarly; the rough-hewn first lieutenant, with no ideas
beyond the service; the doctor, priding himself on his cultivation and
refinement, pretending to elegance, sensitive, touchy; the
sailing-master, an old salt, of the somewhat modernized Tom Bowline
pattern, tossed about by fifty years of stormy surges, and at last swept
into this quiet nook, where he tells yarns of his cruises and duels,
repeats his own epitaph, drinks a reasonable quantity of grog, and
complains of dyspepsia; the old fat major of marines, with a brown wig
not pretending to imitate natural hair, but only to cover his baldness
and grayness with something that he imagines will be less unsightly: he
has a potent odor of snuff, but has left off wine and strong drink for
the last twenty-seven years. A Southerner, all astray among our New
England manners, but reconciling himself to them, like a long practised
man of the world, only somewhat tremulous at the idea of a New England
winter. The lieutenant of marines, a tall, red-haired man, between
thirty and forty, stiff in his motions from the effect of a palsy
contracted in Florida,--a man of thought, both as to his profession and
other matters, particularly matters spiritual,--a convert, within a few
years, to Papistry,--a seer of ghosts,--a dry joker, yet sad and earnest
in his nature,--a scientific soldier, criticising Jackson's military
talent,--fond of discussion, with much more intellect than he finds
employment for,--withal, somewhat simple. Then the commandant of the
yard, Captain S----, a man without brilliancy, of plain aspect and
simple manners, but just, upright, kindly, with an excellent practical
intellect; his next in rank, Commander P----, an officer-like,
middle-aged man, with such cultivation as a sensible man picks up about
the world; and with what little tincture he imbibes from a bluish wife.
In the vicinity of the Navy Yard, an engineer-officer, stationed for a
year or two past on a secluded point of the coast, making a map,
minutely finished, on a very extensive scale, of country and coast near
Portsmouth; he is red-nosed, and has the aspect of a free liver; his
companion, a civil engineer, with much more appearance of intellectual
activity. Their map is spread out in a room that looks forth upon the
sea and islands, and has all the advantages of sea-air,--very desirable
for summer, but gloomy as a winter residence.

At Fort Constitution are many officers,--a major and two lieutenants,
the former living in a house within the walls of the fort, the latter
occupying small residences outside. They are coarse men, apparently of
few ideas, and not what one can call gentlemen. They are likewise less
frank and hospitable than the navy officers. Their quarters have not the
aspect of homes, although they continue for a term of years, five or
more, on one station, whereas the navy officers are limited to two or
three. But then the former migrate with their families to new stations,
whereas the wives of the naval officers, though ejected from the
navy-yard houses, yet, not accompanying their husbands on service,
remain to form a nucleus of home.

Two or three miles from the Navy Yard, on Kittery Point, stands the
former residence of Sir William Pepperell. It is a gambrel-roofed house,
very long and spacious, and looks venerable and imposing from its
dimensions. A decent, respectable, intelligent woman admitted us, and
showed us from bottom to top of her part of the house; she being a
tenant of one half. The rooms were not remarkable for size, but were
panelled on every side. The staircase is the best feature, ascending
gradually, broad and square, and with an elaborate balustrade; and over
the front door there is a wide window and a spacious breadth, where the
old baronet and his guests, after dinner, might sit and look out upon
the water and his ships at anchor. The garret is one apartment,
extending over the whole house. The kitchen is very small,--much too
small for the credit of the house, were it not redeemed by the size of
the fireplace, which originally could not have been less than fourteen
feet, though now abridged by an oven, which has been built within it.
The hearth extends half-way across the floor of the kitchen. On one
side, the road passes close by the house; on the other, it stands within
fifty yards of the shore. I recollect no outhouses. At a short distance,
across the road, is a marble tomb, on the level slab of which is the
Pepperell coat of arms, and an inscription in memory of Sir William's
father, to whom the son seems to have erected it,--although it is the
family tomb. We saw no other trace of Sir William or his family.
Precisely a hundred years since he was in his glory. None of the name
now exist here,--or elsewhere, as far as I know. A descendant of the
Sparhawks, one of whom married Pepperell's daughter, is now keeper of a
fort in the vicinity,--a poor man. Lieutenant Baker tells me that he has
recently discovered a barrel full of the old family papers.

The house in Portsmouth now owned and occupied by the Rev. Mr. Burroughs
was formerly the mansion of Governor Langdon. It contains noble and
spacious rooms. The Doctor's library is a fine apartment, extending, I
think, the whole breadth of the house, forty or fifty feet, with
elaborate cornices, a carved fireplace, and other antiquated
magnificences. It was, I suppose, the reception-room, and occasionally
the dining-hall. The opposite parlor is likewise large, and finished in
excellent style, the mantelpiece being really a fine architectural
specimen.... Doctor Burroughs is a scholar, rejoicing in the possession
of an old, illuminated missal, which he showed us, adorned with
brilliant miniatures and other pictures by some monkish hand. It was
given him by a commodore in the navy, who picked it up in Italy, without
knowing what it was, nor could the learned professors of at least one
college inform him, until he finally offered it to Dr. Burroughs, on
condition that he should tell him what it was. We likewise saw a copy of
the famous "Breeches Bible," and other knicknacks and curiosities which
people have taken pleasure in giving to one who appreciated such things,
and whose kindly disposition makes it a happiness to oblige him. His
house has entertained famous guests in the time of the old
Governor,--among them Louis Philippe, Talleyrand, Lafayette, and
Washington, all of whom occupied successively the same chamber; besides,
no doubt, a host of less world-wide distinguished persons.

       *       *       *       *       *

A battery of thirty-two pound periods.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the eyes of a young child or other innocent person, the image of a
cherub or an angel to be seen peeping out,--in those of a vicious
person, a devil.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 11._ In Boston, a man passing along Colonnade Row, grinding a
barrel-organ, and attended by a monkey, dressed in frock and pantaloons,
and with a tremendously thick tail appearing behind. While his master
played on the organ, the monkey kept pulling off his hat, bowing and
scraping to the spectators, round about,--sometimes, too, making a
direct application to an individual,--by all this dumb show, beseeching
them to remunerate the organ-player. Whenever a coin was thrown on the
ground, the monkey picked it up, clambered on his master's shoulder, and
gave it into his keeping, then descended, and repeated his pantomimic
entreaties for more. His little, old, ugly, wrinkled face had an
earnestness that looked just as if it came from the love of money deep
within his soul. He peered round, searching for filthy lucre on all
sides. With his tail and all, he might be taken for the Mammon of
copper coin,--a symbol of covetousness of small gains,--the lowest form
of the love of money.

Baby was with us, holding by my forefinger, and walking decorously along
the pavement. She stopped to contemplate the monkey, and after a while,
shocked by his horrible ugliness, began to cry.

       *       *       *       *       *

A disquisition or a discussion between two or more persons, on the
manner in which the Wandering Jew has spent his life. One period,
perhaps, trying over and over again to grasp domestic happiness; then a
soldier, then a statesman, &c., at last realizing some truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

The most graceful way in which a man can signify that he feels that he
is growing old, and acquiesces in it, is by adhering to the fashion of
dress which chances to be in vogue when the conviction comes upon him.
Thus, in a few years, he will find himself quietly apart from the crowd
of young men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our most intimate friend is not he to whom we show the worst, but the
best of our nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nothing comes amiss to Nature,--all is fish that comes to her net. If
there be a living form of perfect beauty, instinct with soul,--why, it
is all very well, and suits Nature well enough. But she would just as
lief have that beautiful, soul-illumined body for worms' meat and
earth's manure!

       *       *       *       *       *

Instances of two ladies, who vowed never again to see the light of the
sun, on account of disappointments in love. Each of them kept her vow,
living thenceforth, and dying after many years, in apartments closely
shut up, and lighted by candles. One appears to have lived in total

       *       *       *       *       *

The infirmities that come with old age may be the interest on the debt
of nature, which should have been more seasonably paid. Often the
interest will be a heavier payment than the principal.

       *       *       *       *       *

By a Lord of the Admiralty, (in a speech in Parliament during our
Revolution,) the number of American sailors employed in the British navy
previous to the Revolution was estimated at eighteen thousand.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some men have no right to perform great deeds, or think high thoughts;
and when they do so, it is a kind of humbug. They had better keep within
their own propriety.

       *       *       *       *       *

In England, in 1761, a man and his wife, formerly in good circumstances,
died very poor, and were buried at the expense of the parish. This
coming to the ears of the friends of their better days, they had the
corpses taken out of the ground and buried in a more genteel manner!

       *       *       *       *       *

In the "Annual Register," Vol. IV., for 1761, there is a letter from
Cromwell to Fleetwood, dated August 22, 1653, which Carlyle appears not
to have given. Also one, without date, to the Speaker of the House of
Commons, narrating the taking of Basing House.

       *       *       *       *       *

Recently, in an old house which has been taken down at the corner of
Bulfinch Street and Bowdoin Square, a perfect and full-grown skeleton
was discovered, concealed between the ceiling and the floor of a room in
the upper story. Another skeleton was not long since found in similar

       *       *       *       *       *

In a garden, a pool of perfectly transparent water, the bed of which
should be paved with marble, or perhaps with mosaic work in images and
various figures, which through the clear water would look wondrously

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 20, 1847._--A walk in a warm and pleasant afternoon to Browne's
Hill, not uncommonly called Browne's Folly, from the mansion which one
of that family, before the Revolution, erected on its summit. (On
October 14, 1837, I recorded a walk thither.) In a line with the length
of the ridge, the ascent is gradual and easy, but straight up the sides
it is steep. There is a large and well-kept orchard at the foot, through
which I passed, gradually ascending; then, surmounting a stone wall,
beneath chestnut-trees which had thrown their dry leaves down, I climbed
the remainder of the hill. There were still the frequent
barberry-bushes; and the wood-wax has begun to tuft itself over the
sides and summit, which seem to be devoted to pasture. On the very
highest part are still the traces of the foundation of the old mansion.
The hall had a gallery running round it beneath the ceiling, and was a
famous place for dancing. The house stood, I believe, till some years
subsequent to the Revolution, and was then removed in three portions,
each of which became a house somewhere on the plain, and perhaps they
are standing now. The proprietor, being a royalist, became an exile when
the Revolution broke out, and I suppose died abroad. I know not whether
the house was intended as a permanent family-residence or merely as a
pleasure-place for the summer; but from its extent I should conceive the
former to have been its purpose. Be that as it may, it has perpetuated
an imputation of folly upon the poor man who erected it, which still
keeps his memory disagreeably alive after a hundred years. The house
must have made a splendid appearance for many miles around; and the
glare of the old-fashioned festivities would be visible, doubtless, in
the streets of Salem, when he illuminated his windows to celebrate a
king's birthday, or some other loyal occasion. The barberry-bushes,
clustering within the cellars, offer the harsh acidity of their fruit
to-day, instead of the ripe wines which used to be stored there.

Descending the hill, I entered a green, seldom-trodden lane, which runs
along at a hundred yards or two from its base, and parallel with its
ridge. It was overshadowed by chestnut-trees, and bordered with the
prevalent barberry-bush, and between ran the track,--the beaten path of
the horses' feet, and the even way of either wheel, with green strips
between. It was a very lonely lane, and very pleasant in the warm,
declining sun; and, following it a third of a mile, I came to a place
that was familiar to me when I was a child, as the residence of a
country cousin whom I used to be brought to see. There was his old house
still standing, but deserted, with all the windows boarded up, and the
door likewise, and the chimneys removed,--a most desolate-looking place.
A young dog came barking towards me as I approached,--barking, but
frisking, between play and watchfulness. Within fifty yards of the old
house, farther back from the road, stands a stone house, of some dozen
or twenty years' endurance,--an ugly affair, so plain is it,--which was
built by the old man in his latter days. The well of the old house, out
of which I have often drunk, and over the curb of which I have peeped to
see my own boy-visage closing the far vista below, seems to be still in
use for the new edifice. Passing on a little farther, I came to a brook,
which, I remember, the old man's son and I dammed up, so that it almost
overflowed the road. The stream has strangely shrunken now; it is a mere
ditch, indeed, and almost a dry one. Going a little farther, I came to a
graveyard by the roadside,--not apparently a public graveyard, but the
resting-place of a family or two, with half a dozen gravestones. On two
marble stones, standing side by side, I read the names of Benjamin
Foster and Anstiss Foster, the people whom I used to be brought to
visit. He had died in 1824, aged seventy-five; she in 1837, aged

       *       *       *       *       *

A young woman in England, poisoned by an East Indian barbed dart, which
her brother had brought home as a curiosity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The old house on Browne's Hill was removed from the summit to the plain,
at a short distance from the foot of the hill. Colonel Putnam, of the
Custom-House, recollects it there, standing unoccupied, but with the
furniture still in it. It seems to have been accessible to all who
wished to enter. It was at that time under the care of Richard Derby, an
ancestor of the present Derbys, who had a claim to the property through
his wife, who was a Browne. The owner of the house had fled during the
Revolution, and Richard Derby seems to have held the estate as it was
when the refugee left it, in expectation of his eventual return. There
was one closet in the house which everybody was afraid to open, it being
supposed that the Devil was in it. One day, above fifty years ago, or
threescore it may have been, Putnam and other boys were playing in the
house, and took it into their heads to peep into this closet. It was
locked, but Putnam pried open the door, with great difficulty and much
tremor. At last it flew open, and out fell a great pile of family
portraits, faces of gentlemen in wigs, and ladies in quaint
head-dresses, displaying themselves on the floor, startling the urchins
out of their wits. They all fled, but returned after a while, piled up
the pictures again, and nailed up the door of the closet.

The house, according to the same authority, was not tenanted after the
earthquake of 1775; at least, it was removed from the summit of the hill
on that occasion, it having been greatly shaken by the earthquake.

The house formerly inhabited by Rev. Mr. Paris, and in which the
witchcraft business of 1692 had its origin, is still standing in the
north parish of Danvers. It has been long since removed from its
original site. The workmen at first found great difficulty in removing
it; and an old man assured them that the house was still under the
influence of the Devil, and would remain so unless they took off the
roof. Finally they did take off the roof, and then succeeded in moving
the house. Putnam was personally cognizant of this fact.

       *       *       *       *       *

_November 17_.--A story of the effects of revenge in diabolizing him who
indulges in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Committee of Vigilance, instituted to promote the discovery of old
Mr. White's murderers,--good as the machinery of a sketch or story.

       *       *       *       *       *

A story of the life, domestic and external, of a family of birds in a
marten-house, for children.

       *       *       *       *       *

The people believed that John Hancock's uncle had bought an immense
diamond at a low price, and sold it for its value,--he having grown rich
with a rapidity inexplicable to them. The fact was, however, according
to Hutchinson, that he made his fortune by smuggling tea in molasses
hogsheads from St. Eustatia.

       *       *       *       *       *

An old French Governor of Acadie, the predecessor of D'Aulnay, paid for
some merchandise, which he bought of the captain of an English vessel,
with six or seven hundred buttons of massive gold, taken from one of his
suits. (Mass. Hist. Coll.)

       *       *       *       *       *

An apparition haunts the front yard. I have often, while sitting in the
parlor, in the daytime, had a perception that somebody was passing the
windows; but, looking towards them, nobody is there. The appearance is
never observable when looking directly towards the window, but only by
such a sidelong or indirect glance as one gets while reading, or when
intent on something else. But I know not how many times I have raised my
head or turned with the certainty that somebody were passing. The other
day I found that my wife was equally aware of the spectacle, and that,
as likewise agrees with my own observation, it always appears to be
entering the yard from the street, never going out.

       *       *       *       *       *

The immortal flowers,--a child's story.

       *       *       *       *       *

"He looked as if he had been standing up thirty years against a
northeast storm." Description of an old mate of a vessel, by Pike.

       *       *       *       *       *

Death possesses a good deal of real estate, namely, the graveyards in
every town. Of late years, too, he has pleasure-grounds, as at Mount
Auburn and elsewhere.

       *       *       *       *       *

Corwin is going to Lynn; Oliver proposes to walk thither with him. "No,"
says Corwin, "I don't want you. You take great, long steps; or, if you
take short ones, 'tis all hypocrisy. And, besides, you keep humming all
the time."

       *       *       *       *       *

_May 18, 1848._--Decay of the year has already commenced. I saw a
dandelion gone to seed, this afternoon, in the Great Pasture.

       *       *       *       *       *

Words, so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a
dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become, in the hands of
one who knows how to combine them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Captain B---- tells a story of an immense turtle which he saw at sea, on
a voyage to Batavia,--so long, that the look-out at the mast-head
mistook it for a rock. The ship passed close to it, and it was
apparently longer than the long-boat, "with a head bigger than any dog's
head you ever see," and great prickles on his back a foot long. Arriving
at Batavia, he told the story, and an old pilot exclaimed, "What! have
you seen Bellysore Tom?" It seems that the pilots had been acquainted
with this turtle as many as twelve years, and always found him in the
same latitude. They never did him any injury, but were accustomed to
throw him pieces of meat, which he received in good part, so that there
was a mutual friendship between him and the pilots. Old Mr. L----, in
confirmation of the story, asserted that he had often heard other
shipmasters speak of the same, monster; but he being a notorious liar,
and Captain B---- an unconscionable spinner of long yarns and
travellers' tales, the evidence is by no means perfect. The pilots
estimated his length at not less than twenty feet.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Grey Property Case. Mrs. Grey and her child three years old were
carried off by the Indians in 1756 from the Tuscarora valley in
Pennsylvania. The father, going on a campaign in search of them, was
exhausted by fatigue, and came home only to die, bequeathing half his
property to his child, if living. The mother, his wife, being redeemed,
and there being several children who had been captive to the Indians to
be seen at Philadelphia, went thither to see and recognize her little
three years' old daughter, from whom, in her captivity, she had been
separated. Her child proved not to be among the little captives; but, in
order to get possession of her husband's property, she claimed another
child, of about the same age. This child grew up gross, ugly, awkward, a
"big, black, uncomely Dutch lump, not to be compared to the beautiful
Fanny Grey," and moreover turned out morally bad. The real daughter was
said to have been married, and settled in New York, "a fine woman, with
a fair house and fair children." At all events, she was never recovered
by her relatives, and her existence seems to have been doubtful. In
1789, the heirs of John Grey, the father, became aware that the claimed
and recovered child was not the child that had been lost. They commenced
a lawsuit for the recovery of John Grey's property, consisting of a farm
of three or four hundred acres. This lawsuit lasted till 1834, when it
was decided against the identity of the recovered child. (Sherman Day's
Hist. Coll. of Penn.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Bethuel Vincent, carried by the Indians to Canada, being then recently
married. A few years after, a rough-looking man fell in with a
sleighing party at a tavern, and inquired if they knew anything of Mrs.
Vincent. She was pointed out to him. He gave her news of her husband,
and, joining the sleighing party, began to grow familiar with Mrs.
Vincent, and wished to take her upon his lap. She resisted,--but behold!
the rough-looking stranger was her long-lost husband. There are good
points in this story. (Ibid.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the survivors of a wreck are two bitter enemies. The parties,
having remained many days without food, cast lots to see who shall be
killed as food for the rest. The lot falls on one of the enemies. The
other may literally eat his heart!

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 13._--During this moon, I have two or three evenings sat for
some time in our dining-room without light except from the coal fire and
the moon. Moonlight produces a very beautiful effect in the room,
falling so white upon the carpet, and showing its figures so distinctly,
and making all the room so visible, and yet so different from a morning
or noontide visibility. There are all the familiar things, every chair,
the tables, the couch, the bookcase, all that we are accustomed to see
in the daytime; but now it seems as if we were remembering them through
a lapse of years, rather than seeing them with the immediate eye. A
child's shoe, the doll, sitting in her little wicker-carriage, all
objects that have been used or played with during the day, though still
as familiar as ever, are invested with something like strangeness and
remoteness. I cannot in any measure express it. Then the somewhat dim
coal fire throws its unobtrusive tinge through the room,--a faint
ruddiness upon the wall,--which has a not unpleasant effect in taking
from the colder spirituality of the moonbeams. Between both these lights
such a medium is created that the room seems just fit for the ghosts of
persons very dear, who have lived in the room with us, to glide
noiselessly in and sit quietly down, without affrighting us. It would be
like a matter of course to look round and find some familiar form in one
of the chairs. If one of the white curtains happen to be drawn before
the windows, the moonlight makes a delicate tracery with the branches of
the trees, the leaves somewhat thinned by the progress of autumn, but
still pretty abundant. It is strange how utterly I have failed to give
anything of the effect of moonlight in a room.

The firelight diffuses a mild, heart-warm influence through the parlor,
but is scarcely visible, unless you particularly look for it; and then
you become conscious of a faint tinge upon the ceiling, of a reflected
gleam from the mahogany furniture, and, if your eyes happen to fall on
the looking-glass, deep within it you perceive the glow of the burning
anthracite. I hate to leave such a scene; and when retiring to bed,
after closing the door, I reopen it again and again, to peep back at the
warm, cheerful, solemn repose, the white light, the faint ruddiness, the
dimness,--all like a vision, and which makes me feel as if I were in a
conscious dream.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first manufacture of the kind of candy called Gibraltar rock, for a
child's story; to be told in a romantic, mystic, marvellous style.

       *       *       *       *       *

An angel comes from heaven, commissioned to gather up, put into a
basket, and carry away everything good that is not improved by mankind,
for whose benefit it was intended. The angel distributes these good
things where they will be appreciated.

       *       *       *       *       *

Annals of a kitchen.

       *       *       *       *       *

A benevolent person going about the world and endeavoring to do good to
everybody; in pursuance of which object, for instance, he gives, a pair
of spectacles to a blind man, and does all such ill-suited things.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beautiful positions of statues to one intellectually blind.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man, arriving at the extreme point of old age, grows young again at
the same pace at which he has grown old; returning upon his path,
throughout the whole of life, and thus taking the reverse view of
matters. Methinks it would give rise to some odd concatenations.

       *       *       *       *       *

Little gnomes, dwelling in hollow teeth. They find a tooth that has been
plugged with gold, and it serves them as a gold mine.

       *       *       *       *       *

The wizard, Michael Scott, used to give a feast to his friends, the
dishes of which were brought from the kitchens of various princes in
Europe, by devils at his command. "Now we will try a dish from the King
of France's kitchen," etc. A modern sketch might take a hint from this,
and the dishes be brought from various restaurants.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Pixilated,"--a Marblehead word, meaning bewildered, wild about any
matter. Probably derived from Pixy, a fairy.

       *       *       *       *       *

For a child's story,--imagine all sorts of wonderful playthings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Thomas More, Algernon Sidney, or some other
great man, on the eve of execution, to make reflections on his own
head,--considering and addressing it in a looking-glass.

       *       *       *       *       *

_March 16, 1849._--J---- ... speaking of little B. P----: "I will hug
him, so that not any storm can come to him."

       *       *       *       *       *

A story, the principal personage of which shall seem always on the point
of entering upon the scene, but never shall appear.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the "New Statistical Account of Scotland," (Vol. I.,) it is stated
that a person had observed, in his own dairy, that the milk of several
cows, when mixed together and churned, produced much less butter
proportionably than the milk of a single cow; and that the greater the
number of cows which contributed their milk, the smaller was the
comparative product. Hence, this person was accustomed to have the milk
of each cow churned separately.

       *       *       *       *       *

A modern magician to make the semblance of a human being, with two laths
for legs, a pumpkin for a head, etc., of the rudest and most meagre
materials. Then a tailor helps him to finish his work, and transforms
this scarecrow into quite a fashionable figure. At the end of the story,
after deceiving the world for a long time, the spell should be broken,
and the gray dandy be discovered to be nothing but a suit of clothes,
with a few sticks inside of them. All through his seeming existence as a
human being there shall be some characteristics, some tokens, that to
the man of close observation and insight betray him to be a thing of
mere talk and clothes, without heart, soul, or intellect. And so this
wretched old creature shall become the symbol of a large class.

       *       *       *       *       *

The golden sands that may sometimes be gathered (always, perhaps, if we
know how to seek for them) along the dry bed of a torrent adown which
passion and feeling have foamed, and passed away. It is good, therefore,
in mature life, to trace back such torrents to their source.

       *       *       *       *       *

The same children who make the little snow image shall plant dry sticks,
etc., and they shall take root and grow in mortal flowers, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Monday, September 17._--Set out on a journey to Temple, N.H., with E.F.
M----, to visit his father. Started by way of Boston, in the half past
ten train, and took the Lowell and Nashua Railroad at twelve, as far as
Danforth's Corner, about fifty miles, and thence in stage-coach to
Milford, four miles farther, and in a light wagon to Temple, perhaps
twelve miles farther. During the latter drive, the road gradually
ascended, with tracts of forest land alongside, and latterly a brook,
which we followed for several miles, and finally found it flowing
through General M----'s farm. The house is an old country dwelling, in
good condition, standing beside the road, in a valley surrounded by a
wide amphitheatre of high hills. There is a good deal of copse and
forest on the estate, high hills of pasture land, old, cultivated
fields, and all such pleasant matters. The General sat in an easy-chair
in the common room of the family, looking better than when in Salem,
with an air of quiet, vegetative enjoyment about him, scarcely alive to
outward objects. He did his best to express a hospitable pleasure at
seeing me; but did not succeed, so that I could distinguish his words.
He loves to sit amidst the bustle of his family, and is dimly amused by
what is going forward; is pleased, also, to look out of the open window
and see the poultry--a guinea-hen, turkeys, a peacock, a tame deer,
etc.--which feed there. His mind sometimes wanders, and he hardly knows
where he is; will not be convinced that he is anywhere but at Salem,
until they drag his chair to a window from which he can see a great
elm-tree of which he is very fond, standing in front of the house. Then
he acknowledges that he must be at the farm, because, he says, they
never could have transplanted that tree. He is pleased with flowers,
which they bring him,--a kind-hearted old man. The other day a live
partridge was sent him, and he ordered it to be let go, because he would
not suffer a life to be taken to supply him with a single meal. This
tenderness has always been characteristic of the old soldier. His
birthplace was within a few miles of this spot,--the son and descendant
of husbandmen,--and character and fortune together have made him a man
of history.

This is a most hospitable family, and they live in a style of plain
abundance, rural, but with traits of more refined modes. Many domestics,
both for farm and household work. Two unmarried daughters; an old maiden
aunt; an elderly lady, Mrs. C. of Newburyport, visiting; a young girl of
fifteen, a connection of the family, also visiting, and now confined to
her chamber by illness. Ney, a spaniel of easy and affable address, is a
prominent personage, and generally lies in the parlor or sits beside the
General's chair; always ready, too, to walk out with anybody so
inclined. Flora, a little black pony, is another four-footed favorite.
In the warm weather, the family dine in a large room on one side of the
house, rough and rustic looking, with rude beams overhead. There were
evergreens hanging on the walls, and the figures 1776, also in
evergreen, and a national flag suspended in one corner,--the blue being
made out of old homespun garments, the red stripes out of some of the
General's flannel wrappings, and the eagle copied from the figure on a
half-dollar,--all being the handiwork of the ladies, on occasion of the
last Fourth of July. It is quite a pleasant dining-hall; and while we
were eating fruit, the deer, which is of a small and peculiar breed from
the South, came and thrust its head into the open window, looking at us
with beautiful and intelligent eyes. It had smelt the fruit, and wished
to put in its claim for a share.

Tuesday morning, before breakfast, E---- and I drove three or four
miles, to the summit of an intervening ridge, from which we had a wide
prospect of hill and dale, with Monadnock in the midst. It was a good
sight, although the atmosphere did not give the hills that aspect of
bulk and boldness which it sometimes does. This part of the country is
but thinly inhabited, and the dwellings are generally small. It is said
that, in the town of Temple, there are more old cellars, where dwellings
have formerly stood, than there are houses now inhabited. The town is
not far from a hundred years old, but contains now only five or six
hundred inhabitants. The enterprising young men emigrate elsewhere,
leaving only the least energetic portions to carry on business at home.
There appear to be but few improvements, the cultivated fields being of
old date, smooth with long cultivation. Here and there, however, a tract
newly burned over, or a few acres with the stumps still extant. The
farm-houses all looked very lonesome and deserted to-day, the
inhabitants having gone to the regimental muster at New Ipswich.

As we drove home, E---- told a story of a child who was lost, seventy or
eighty years ago, among the woods and hills. He was about five years
old, and had gone with some work-people to a clearing in the forest,
where there was a rye-field, at a considerable distance from the
farm-house. Getting tired, he started for home alone, but did not
arrive. They made what search for him they could that night, and the
next day the whole town turned out, but without success. The day
following, many people from the neighboring towns took up the search,
and on this day, I believe, they found the child's shoes and stockings,
but nothing else. After a while, they gave up the search in despair; but
for a long time, a fortnight or three weeks or more, his mother fancied
that she heard the boy's voice in the night, crying, "Father! father!"
One of his little sisters also heard this voice; but people supposed
that the sounds must be those of some wild animal. No more search was
made, and the boy never was found.

But it is not known whether it was the next autumn, or a year or two
after, some hunters came upon traces of the child's wanderings among the
hills, in a different direction from the previous search, and farther
than it was supposed he could have gone. They found some little houses,
such as children build of twigs and sticks of wood, and these the little
fellow had probably built for amusement in his lonesome hours. Nothing,
it seems to me, was ever more strangely touching than this
incident,--his finding time for childish play, while wandering to his
death in these desolate woods,--and then pursuing his way again, till at
last he lay down to die on the dark mountain-side. Finally, on a hill
which E---- pointed out to me, they found a portion of the child's hair
adhering to the overthrown trunk of a tree; and this is all that was
ever found of him. But it was supposed that the child had subsisted,
perhaps for weeks, on the berries and other sustenance such as a
forest-child knew how to find in the woods. I forgot to say, above, that
a piece of birch or other bark was found, which he appeared to have
gnawed. It was thought that the cry of "Father! father!" which the
mother and little sister heard in the night-time, was really the little
fellow's voice, then within hearing of his home; but he wandered away
again, and at last sank down, and Death found him and carried him up to
God. His bones were never found; and it was thought that the foxes or
other wild animals had taken his little corpse, and scattered the bones,
and that, dragging the body along, one lock of his flaxen hair had
adhered to a tree.

I asked a physician whether it were possible that a child could live so
long in the woods; and he thought it was, and said that children often
show themselves more tenacious of life than grown people, and live
longer in a famine. This is to me a very affecting story; and it seems
to be felt as such by the people of the country. The little boy's
parents, and his brothers and sisters, who probably lived to maturity or
old age, are all forgotten; but he lives in tradition, and still causes
wet eyes to strangers, as he did to me.

To account for the singularity of his not having been found by such
numbers as took up the search, it is suggested that he was perhaps
frightened, and perhaps concealed himself when he heard the noise of
people making their way through the forest, people being apt to do so,
when they get mazed with wandering in the woods. But it is strange that
old hunters, with dogs, should have failed to find him. However, there
is the fact.

After breakfast (a broiled chicken and excellent coffee) I walked out by
myself. The brook would be a beautiful plaything for my children, and I
wish I had such a one for them. As I looked down into it from the
bridge, I saw little fish, minnows, small chubs, and perch sporting
about and rising eagerly to anything that was thrown in. Returning
towards the house, I encountered an ass, who seemed glad to see me, in
its donkeyish way. Afterwards, E---- and I took a ramble among some of
his old haunts, which took up pretty much all the remainder of the
forenoon. After dinner we drove to New Ipswich, expecting to see the
closing scenes of the muster, but found the regiment dismissed, and the
spectators taking their departure. We visited a cousin of E----, and
took tea; borrowed two great-coats (it having grown from summer to
autumn very rapidly since nightfall), and drove home, six miles or
thereabouts. A new moon and the long twilight gleamed over the first
portion of our drive, and then the northern lights kindled up and shot
flashes towards the zenith as we drove along, up hill and down dale, and
most of the way through dense woods.

The next morning, after breakfast, we got into our wagon and returned to
Milford, thence by stage to Danforth's Corner, thence to Boston by rail.
Nothing noteworthy occurred, except that we called on Mr. Atherton and
lady at Nashua. We reached Boston at three o'clock. I visited the Town
and Country Club, and read the papers and journals, took the three
quarters past five train and reached home at half past six.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the new statistical account of Scotland, in the volume about the
Hebrides, it is stated that a child was born, and lived to the age of, I
think, two years, with an eye in the back of its head, in addition to
the usual complement in front. It could evidently see with this eye; for
when its cap was drawn down over it, it would thrust it upward.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 27._--Mrs.---- gave a black woman six dollars for a dress of
pine-apple cloth, sixteen yards, perhaps worth ten times as much,--the
owner being ignorant of the value.

       *       *       *       *       *

To inherit a great fortune.--To inherit a great misfortune.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reflections in a mud-puddle;--they might be pictures of life in a mean
street of a city.

       *       *       *       *       *

_February 16, 1850._--The sunbeam that comes through a round hole in the
shutter of a darkened room, where a dead man sits in solitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

The hoary periwig of a dandelion gone to seed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Lenox, July 14, 1850._--Language,--human language,--after all, is but
little better than the croak and cackle of fowls, and other utterances
of brute nature, sometimes not so adequate.

       *       *       *       *       *

The queer gestures and sounds of a hen looking about for a place to
deposit her egg, her self-important gait, the sideway turn of her head
and cock of her eye, as she pries into one and another nook, croaking
all the while, evidently with the idea that the egg in question is the
most important thing that has been brought to pass since the world
began. A speckled black and white and tufted hen of ours does it to most
ludicrous perfection.

       *       *       *       *       *

_July 25._--As I sit in my study, with the windows open, the occasional
incident of the visit of some winged creature,--wasp, hornet, or
bee,--entering out of the warm, sunny atmosphere, soaring round the room
with large sweeps, then buzzing against the glass, as not satisfied with
the place, and desirous of getting out. Finally, the joyous uprising
curve with which, coming to the open part of the window, it emerges into
the cheerful glow outside.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 4._--Dined at hotel with J.T. Fields. Afternoon drove with him
to Pittsfield, and called on Dr. Holmes.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 5._--Drove with Fields to Stockbridge, being thereto invited by
Mr. Field of Stockbridge, in order to ascend Monument Mountain. Found at
Mr. Field's, Dr. Holmes, Mr. Duyckink of New York; also Mr. Cornelius
Matthews and Herman Melville. Ascended the mountain,--that is to say,
Mrs. Fields and Miss Jenny Field, Mr. Field and Mr. J.T. Fields, Dr.
Holmes, Mr. Duyckink, Matthews, Melville, Mr. Harry Sedgwick, and
I,--and were caught in a shower. Dined at Mr. Field's. Afternoon, under
guidance of J.F. Headley, the party scrambled through the Ice Glen. Left
Stockbridge and arrived at home about eight P.M.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 7._--Messrs. Duyckink, Matthews, and Melville called in the
forenoon. Gave them a couple of bottles of Mr. Mansfield's champagne,
and walked down to the lake with them. At twilight Mr. Edwin P. Whipple
and wife called from Lenox.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 19._--Monument Mountain, in the early sunshine; its base
enveloped in mist, parts of which are floating in the sky; so that the
great hill looks really as if it were founded on a cloud. Just emerging
from the mist is seen a yellow field of rye, and above that, forest.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 24._--In the afternoons, this valley in which I dwell seems like
a vast basin filled with golden sunshine, as with wine.

       *       *       *       *       *

_August 31._--J.R. Lowell called in the evening. September 1st, he
called with Mrs. Lowell in the forenoon, on their way to Stockbridge or
Lebanon, to meet Miss Bremer.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 2_.--"When I grow up," quoth J----, in illustration of the
might to which he means to attain,--"when I grow up, I shall be _two_

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 3._--Foliage of maples begins to change.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a wood, a heap or pile of logs and sticks that had been cut for
firewood, and piled up square, in order to be carted away to the house
when convenience served, or rather to be sledded in sleighing-time. But
the moss had accumulated on them, and, leaves falling over them from
year to year, and decaying, a kind of soil had quite covered them,
although the softened outline of the woodpile was perceptible in the
green mound. It was perhaps fifty years, perhaps more, since the woodman
had cut and piled these logs and sticks, intending them for his winter
fire. But he probably needs no fire now. There was something strangely
interesting in this simple circumstance. Imagine the long-dead woodman,
and his long-dead wife and family, and one old man who was a little
child when the wood was cut, coming back from their graves, and trying
to make a fire with this mossy fuel.

       *       *       *       *       *

_September 19._--Lying by the lake yesterday afternoon, with my eyes
shut, while the breeze and sunshine were playing together on the water,
the quick glimmer of the wavelets was perceptible through my closed

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 13._--A cool day,--the wind northwest, with a general
prevalence of dull gray clouds over the sky, but with brief, sudden
glimpses of sunshine. The foliage having its autumn hues, Monument
Mountain looks like a headless Sphinx, wrapt in a rich Persian shawl.
Yesterday, through a diffused mist, with the sun shining on it, it had
the aspect of burnished copper. The sun-gleams on the hills are
peculiarly magnificent, just in these days.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 13._--One of the children, drawing a cow on the blackboard,
says, "I'll kick this leg out a little more,"--a very happy energy of
expression, completely identifying herself with the cow; or, perhaps, as
the cow's creator, conscious of full power over its movements.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 14._--The brilliancy of the foliage has past its acme; and,
indeed, it has not been so magnificent this season as usual, owing to
the gradual approaches of cool weather, and there having been slight
frosts instead of severe ones. There is still a shaggy richness on the

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 16._--A morning mist, filling up the whole length and breadth
of the valley, between the house and Monument Mountain, the summit of
the mountain emerging. The mist reaches to perhaps a hundred yards of
me, so dense as to conceal everything, except that near its hither
boundary a few ruddy or yellow tree-tops rise up, glorified by the early
sunshine, as is likewise the whole mist-cloud. There is a glen between
our house and the lake, through which winds a little brook, with pools
and tiny waterfalls, over the great roots of trees. The glen is deep and
narrow, and filled with trees; so that, in the summer, it is all in dark
shadow. Now, the foliage of the trees being almost entirely of a golden
yellow, instead of being obscure, the glen is absolutely full of
sunshine, and its depths are more brilliant than the open plain or the
mountain-tops. The trees are sunshine, and, many of the golden leaves
having freshly fallen, the glen is strewn with light, amid which winds
and gurgles the bright, dark little brook.

       *       *       *       *       *

_October 28._--On a walk yesterday forenoon, my wife and children
gathered Houstonias. Before night there was snow, mingled with rain. The
trees are now generally bare.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 1._--I saw a dandelion in bloom near the lake, in a pasture by
the brookside. At night, dreamed of seeing Pike.

       *       *       *       *       *

_December 19._--If the world were crumbled to the finest dust, and
scattered through the universe, there would not be an atom of the dust
for each star.

       *       *       *       *       *




Soon after Fanny's funeral, Miss Mehitable told me she had found out who
the lady was that wished for my painting at the fair. Her niece had
pointed her out as she drove by in a barouche; and it was Miss Dudley.

My second copy was begun in the last fortnight of Fanny's life, as she
slept and I sat beside her. I had not then had time, nor since had
heart, to go on with it. But now, seeing an opportunity to do something
more to fulfil her wishes and to "do anything for Miss Dudley," I took
up my task again, and quickly finished it. Then, still unsatisfied, I
roamed through the woods, and along the shore, to gather specimens of
the native plants, insects, and shells that seemed to me most like the
foreign ones that I had copied, and grouped and painted and framed them
like the first. The Doctor left both for me at Miss Dudley's gate, with
this inscription on the envelope: "A little offering of great gratitude,
from a sister of Fanny Morne." I suppose, by the way, this is one source
of the satisfaction that some real mourners find in wearing mourning, as
they say, "_for_ the dead,"--a vague longing, like mine, after they have
passed beyond human care, to do or sacrifice still something more for

After that, there seemed to be nothing more that I could do for Fanny,
nor anything that, for myself, I cared to do. From habit only, I
employed myself. Julia, as she begged that I would call her, had a large
basket of baby-clothes cut out. At that I seated myself after breakfast;
and at that I often worked till bedtime, like a machine,--startled
sometimes from my revery, indeed, by seeing how much was done, but
saying nothing, hearing little, and shedding not a tear.

Julia would have remonstrated; but the Doctor said to her: "Let her
alone for the present, my dear; she has had a great shock. Trust to
nature. This cannot last long with a girl like Katy. It is half of it
over-fatigue, carried on from her school-keeping to add to the present
account." To me he said: "Katy, you may sew, if you like, but not
in-doors, I will carry your basket out for you into the arbor; and in
the afternoon I am going to take you to ride in the woods."

Our past selves are often a riddle that our present selves cannot read;
but I suspect the real state of the case was, partly that, as the Doctor
believed, I was for the time being exhausted in body and stunned in
mind, and partly that, in those young, impetuous days, grief was such an
all-convulsing passion with me, when I yielded to it, that to the utmost
of my strength I resisted it at the outset, and seldom dared suffer
myself to suffer at all. But, as he also believed, "this could not last
long"; and it did not.

One afternoon, as I sewed in the arbor, a sweet little girl, who had
been in Fanny's class in her Sunday school, stole into the garden and up
to me, looked wistfully into my face as if seeking some likeness there,
kissed my cheek timidly, laid a large nosegay of delicate flowers upon
my knee, and crept away as gently as she came. The flowers were all
white; and I saw at once that they were meant for Fanny's grave. I might
go there for the first time now, as well as at any other time. The
Doctor and his wife were out together, and no one was at home to
question me.

Fanny had been laid, I need scarcely say, just where she wished. My
guardian had driven me there early one morning to point out the place;
and we found the withered clovers in the grass. It had rained often
since. The swollen turf was nearly healed. I untied the flowers, and
slowly, and with minute precision, arranged them in a cross above her
breast. At last, when there was no blossom more to add or alter, I sat
down again in my solitude where I sat with her so lately, with the same
leaves fluttering on the same trees, the same grass waving on the same
graves, and her beneath instead of upon it.

At first I could not think,--I could only cry. For now at length I had
to cry; and cry I did, in a tornado and deluge of grief that by degrees
swept and washed away the accumulated vapors from my mind, and brought
it to a clearer, healthier calm. I believe God in His mercy has
appointed that those who are capable of the strongest, shall not in
general be capable of the _longest_ anguish. At least, I am sure that it
is so, not only with myself, but with one better and dearer than myself;
so that the experience of life has taught me to see in the sharpest of
pangs the happiest augury of their brevity.

Thus it could not have been very long before I was able to raise my
head, and wipe my eyes, and look once more upon my two dear graves. The
setting sun glowed over them. They looked soft and bright. From one of
them the echo of an angel's voice seemed still to say, "Here, by mamma,
is where I _like_ to lie"; from both in unison I heard, "It is good and
brave to look things in the face and on all sides; but then among the
sides, never forget the bright side, little Katy."

Could I refuse? I looked for the bright side. It was not far to seek. In
the first place, the worst was over. Never again could I lose what I had
lost, nor--so at least I thought then--could I feel what I had felt.
Secondly, my sorrow was only mine, and no one's else. Those whom I loved
were happy, every one of them;--mamma and Fanny,--I could not doubt
it,--happier far than I ever could have made them, even if I had always
tried as hard as I did after they began to leave me,--safer than they
could ever have been in this world, and safe forever; and Jim,--I would
not begin now to think about him again, but just so much I must,--he was
happy with Emma. Even thus much brought a fresh gush of tears, though
not for him,--I could still truly say that I had never shed one for him,
and that was some comfort to my pride at least;--but for Fanny; because
I had sometimes thought that, when she was well and I had time to think
of anything besides her, if I ever _did_ tell anybody of the mistake and
trouble I had fallen into, I would tell her,--and now, however much I
might need advice and assistance, _that_ could never be. My guardian and
his wife were happy in each other, and would be happier still after I
roused myself, as I must and ought, and ceased to sadden their home. The
world in which I still must live was, whatever people might say of it,
not all sin, sickness, or sorrow. Even where I sat, in one of those
spots which most persons accounted the dreariest in it, I could hear the
laughter of light-hearted children at their play, the soft lowing of
cattle grazing in the pleasant fields, and shouts of strong men at their
wholesome, useful work. I knew there must be sickness, sin, and sorrow
in it; but could not I do some little to help them, with my free hands
and the health and strength which were almost always mine? Very good I
was not myself, but I had been watchfully brought up in an innocent
home; there was no crime upon my conscience, and, even as I cast a
rueful glance upon its blemishes, I heard a well-remembered voice say
from a grave once more: "Have patience with my little daughter. Some of
the richest fruits and souls are not the first to ripen. The chief thing
that she wants is time to mellow."

And one of the brightest points in all the bright side was, that, in
living so constantly through her illness with Fanny, who lived with God,
I had been perforce brought nearer to Him, and therefore naturally
learned to dread Him less and love Him more than I had done; so that I
hoped, as I know my mother did, that the sunshine of His grace would
help to mellow me.

Another bright point was, that I need not go back to Greenville. The
present mistress was glad to keep the school, and the committee willing
to keep her.

My desultory thoughts still growing calmer, I began to form plans for my
way of living, as I used to do aloud, when I could talk them over with
my mother and Fanny. I did not plan anything great, however, because I
was conscious of no great powers.--I already, I think, began to divine
the truth of what a wise woman afterwards said to me, "Your own nature
must settle your work," or rather of what she implied, though she did
not say it: In laying out your work, you should do your best to take the
diagonal between your nature and your circumstances.--But I resolved,
such as I was, to try to make the most of myself in every way, for
myself, my neighbors, and my God.

I was to stay at my guardian's for the present. He forbade my trying to
teach again, for some months at least. It was my duty, as well as my
pleasure, to obey him. In the mean time, I could prepare myself to teach
better when I began again. I would draw and paint at odd times. Two
hours a day I would try to divide between history and the English
classic poets, of both of which I knew sadly little. Julia often drove
out with her husband; and then I could study by myself. When she was at
home, if I could not always chat with her as formerly, I could read to
her in French, which she liked to hear; and that would be much more
sociable and cheerful for her than my sitting mute. I would now exert
myself to walk out every day for exercise, so that there would be no
reason for her giving up her place in the Doctor's chaise to me. I
blushed to think how often I had suffered myself to be foisted into it
by her already. By my walks, I would earn leave to sit with her
in-doors; and then I could save her many steps and little household
cares. Then what should I do for her husband? Sing to him in the
evening, and begin, if he liked it, to-night. It might be a little hard
the first time; but if so, there was all the more reason for having the
first time over. There was no need of my choosing sad songs, or any that
Fanny was fond of.

But it was growing late. They would be anxious. I must get up and go
home. Go _home_!--without my home-mates?--leave them here?--with no
kiss,--no good-night? I stood up, and sat down again. The blinding,
choking passion, that had seemed over, swelled up into my eyes and
throat once more. O that lonely, empty life! Must I go back to it? How
long would it last? This was my only real home. When might I come here
to sleep?

In an instant it would have been all over again with my hardly-won calm;
but in that instant a white and gray fluttering between the green graves
caught my tear-blurred sight. I thought it that of a living dove, but,
going nearer, found only a piece of torn newspaper, which had been
wrapped around the stems of the flowers, playing in the wind; and on it
my attention was caught by these quaint and pithy lines, printed in one
corner in double columns:--


    "Sad soul, long harboring fears and woes
      Within a haunted breast.
    Haste but to meet your lowly Lord,
      And he shall give you rest.

    "Into his commonwealth alike
      Are ills and blessings thrown.
    Bear you your neighbors' loads; and

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Yield only up His price, your heart,
      Into God's loving hold,--
    He turns with heavenly alchemy
      Your lead of life to gold.

    "Some needful pangs endure in peace,
      Nor yet for freedom pant,--
    He cuts the bane you cleave to off,
      Then ..."

The rest was torn away. "'And,'" repeated I, impatiently,--"'Then'!
'_And_--_then_'--what?" There was no answer, or at least I heard none;
but the verses, so far as they went, struck my excited fancy as a kind
of preternatural confirmation of the faint outline of life and duty
which I had been sketching. I marked the date of the day upon the white
margin with my pencil, and took the paper with me as a memento of the
time and place, trimmed its torn edges carefully, and laid it in Fanny's
little Bible.


The next morning, at breakfast, Dr. Physick said: "You did me a good
office, Katy, by singing me to sleepiness last night. I was as tired as
a dog,--no, as a whole pack of Esquimaux dogs,--and, instead of lying
awake and saying to myself, every time I turned over, 'What in this wide
world am I ever going to do with that poor little Nelly Fader?' I only
repeated, whenever I came to myself a little, 'Nelly Bligh shuts her eye
when she goes to sleep'; and then I followed her example."

"I only wish," said I, "that there was any good office beside that I
could do you."

"Well, now I think of it, there is one that I should be very much
obliged to you to do, to me and Nelly Fader besides. I've got to hurry
off in the direction opposite to her Uncle Wardour's; and you talked of
walking. Take this paper. Empty it into a wine-bottle. Fill it up with
spring-water. Cork it. Gum these directions on it. Take them to Nelly.
Read them to her, and make her understand them if you can, and follow
them, which I can't. I happen to have a better sample of the drug than
is often in the market; and she may as well have the benefit of it. Her
aunt's a goose, and she's a baby. But, as she's likely to be a suffering
baby for some time to come, we must try to have patience, and take extra
pains with her."

"Is she going to die?" asked I, anxiously.

"No, no! I've no idea she is. No such good luck, poor little victim!
'_Only_ nervous,' as people say. I can't find out that there's much else
the matter. I utterly hate these cases. She ought to be under the care
of a sensible woman; and if there only was such a one in the profession,
I'd guarantee her her hands full of patients out of my practice alone."

"A female physician!" cried I, in horror.

"O Phil! what will you say next?" exclaimed his wife, laughing.

"Well, only wait till you're a male physician, then, and see," returned
he, jumping into his chaise, and relieving his own nerves with a crack
of the whip, which put new vivacity into those of De Quincey.

I made ready at once, for the day was sulky. It had been weeping, and
had not yet begun to smile.

Nelly lived with her uncle, the apothecary, Mr. Wardour, and his widowed
sister, Mrs. Cumberland. As I neared the door, I heard her voice, which
was not dulcet, from the parlor-kitchen: "What's this here winder open

"It felt so close in here," was the plaintive little answer; "and the
Doctor said I ought to have the air."

"Does he think we can afford wood enough to warm all out-doors with?"

I knocked; but Mrs. Cumberland was deaf, and went on: "My sakes alive,
child! what's all this?"

"The stewed damsons."

"'Stewed damsons,' indeed!--Stewed stalks and stewed leaves and stewed
creaturs! Didn't you have faculty of yourself enough to know that they'd
got to be picked over before they went into the pot? There, there,
child! don't you go to cryin', whatever you do."

I knocked louder.

"There's somebody to the door; mebbe it's the Doctor. You go and see
what's wanted, an' don't take no more concern about these. I'll see to

After a little delay, occasioned perhaps by the need of rubbing the
eyelids, which were red, a little pallid lass, apparently about sixteen
years old, shyly opened the door, and looked relieved, I thought, to
find only me at it. She had a small and pretty nose and mouth, large,
heavy blue eyes, flaxen hair drawn neatly, but unbecomingly, away from
her face, looked modest and refined, but sadly moped, and was dressed in
dark green, which set her off much as spinach does a _dropped_ egg.

"Miss Nelly?" said I.

"Yes, Miss Morne," said she.

I had never seen her before; but it afterwards came out that she had
peeped at me through the blinds of her chamber.

"I have brought you a little treat from Dr. Physick."

"O," said she, looking rather pleased; "then isn't he coming to-day?"

"No; he sent me instead."

"I am glad to see you," said she, timidly, but beginning to look really
pretty, as her countenance went on brightening. "Won't you walk in?"

I did so, sat down opposite to her in the cold, shaded "best parlor,"
and went over the directions to her aloud. She kept her face civilly
turned towards me; but it grew utterly blank again, and I saw she was
not paying the least attention. So I played her a genuine teacher's
trick, which I had learned in my school-room. "Now," continued I, "will
you be so good as to repeat to me what I have been saying, so that I may
be able to tell Dr. Physick that I explained it to you perfectly? He was
rather _particular_ about it."

Of course she could not; but this obliged her, in common courtesy, to
listen the second time, which was all I wanted. Then I rose.

She went with me to the door, saying, "I am sorry to give so much
trouble. You are very kind to take so much for me."

"It will be a 'joyful trouble,' if it does you good."

"You are very kind to me. Do you like roses?"

"Indeed I do. Do not you?"

"I don't know. I used to."

There were three blossoms and one bud on a monthly rose-bush, which
stood in an earthen pot by the front door. In an instant she had
gathered them all, in spite of my protestations. She added two or three
from a heliotrope, and the freshest sprigs from a diosma, a myrtle, and
a geranium, all somewhat languishing, and tied them together for me with
a long blade of grass.

"It is plain," said I, as I thanked her, "that you still care enough
about flowers to arrange them most sweetly. These look as if they were
sitting for their picture. I should like to paint them just as they

"Can you paint?"

"A little. Cannot you?"

"No; I can't do anything."

"Shall we make a bargain, then?" I ventured to say, as she looked and
seemed so much like the poor baby the Doctor had called her. "We will
each of us try to do something for the other. If I succeed in painting
your flowers, and you succeed in following your directions, you shall
have the picture."

She blushed deeply, looked half ashamed and half gratified, but
altogether more alive than she had done till now, and finally managed to
stammer out: "It's too good an offer--too kind--to refuse; but it's more
than I deserve, a great deal. So I'll try to mind Dr. Physick, to please
you; and then--if you _liked_ to give me the picture, I should prize it
very much."

I nodded, laughed, went home, put the flowers in water on Julia's
work-table, read to her, and went into the heart of the town to do some
shopping for her. After our early dinner, I said I was a little tired;
and she drove with her husband. I took out my paper, brushes, and
palette, set Nelly's nosegay in a becoming light, and began to rub my
paints; when wheels and hoofs came near and stopped, and presently the
door-bell rang.

"Are the ladies at home?" asked a smooth, silvery, feminine voice, with
a peculiarly neat, but unaffected enunciation.

"No'm, he ain't," returned the portress, mechanically; "an' he's druv
Missis out, too. Here's the slate; or Miss Kitty could take a message, I
s'pose, without she's went out lately ago."

"Take this card," resumed the first voice, "if you please, to Miss
Morne, and say that, if she is not engaged, I should be glad to see

I rose in some confusion, pushed my little table into the darkest corner
of the room, received the white card from Rosanna's pink paw, in which
it lay like cream amidst five half-ripe Hovey's seedlings, read "Miss
Dudley" upon it, told Rosanna to ask her to please to walk in, and took
up my position just within the door, in a state of some palpitation.

In another minute a gray-haired, rather tall and slight, and very
well-made lady, with delicate, regular, spirited features, was before
me, telling me with a peculiar kind of earnest cordiality, and a
sympathy that expressed itself fully in tones, though not in words, that
she could not content herself with writing her acknowledgments to me;
she must come and see me herself, to tell me how pleased and gratified
and touched she was by the offering that I had sent her.

I felt myself too much moved by the associations connected with it, and
called up by her, to answer readily; and she, as if conjecturing this,
led the conversation gently off, at first to painting in general, and
afterwards, as I grew more at my ease with her, back again, with an
appearance of genuine interest, to mine.

"There was one little shell," said she, "in your native group, which was
quite new to me, and--which is more remarkable--to my brother."

"Was it like this?" asked I, taking a specimen from my paint-box.

"Precisely. We felt sure the portrait must be true to life, because all
its companions were such faithful likenesses; and then it had itself
such an honest, genuine, individual look. But is it to be found on this

"Yes. If Mr. Dudley has not met with it, it must no doubt be very rare;
but, near the same spot always, just beyond Cedar Point, under the rocks
in the little cove that lies farthest to the south, I have found it more
than once."

"You must be quite an enthusiast in natural history. Have you studied it

"No, ma'am, never. I mean," continued I, answering her look of surprise,
"never from books. I believe I should enjoy it more than any other
study; but I know so little yet of other things, and there are so many
other things that one needs more to know." I felt my cheeks burn; for no
sooner was I helplessly launched into this speech, than I perceived what
an awkward one it was to make to the sister of an eminent naturalist.
Notwithstanding, as I thought it was true, I could not take it back.

"I agree with you entirely," said she with a reassuring smile. "Such
studies are fitted much more for the coping-stones than the
foundation-stones of a good education. But then, if you will not think
me too inquisitive, pray let me ask you one thing more; and that is,
where and how you came by all the information that that group showed."

"Only by playing on the beaches and in the woods when I was a child. My
mother did not like to keep me in, because she thought that that had
impaired my sister"--here my voice _would_ break, but I _would_ go
on,--Fanny's dear name should not die out of memory while I lived--"my
sister Fanny's health; but they were afraid to let me run quite wild,
and so she--my sister--led me out often wherever I wished to go, and
helped me fill a little pasteboard museum which she made for me."

Miss Dudley's large, soft, trusty brown eyes met mine tenderly, as she
said: "These things must indeed possess a more than common interest for
you then. Have you that museum now?"

"No, ma'am; I sometimes wish I had. I gave it away when I went to
Greenville _to keep school_," I added; not that I supposed it would
matter anything to her, but that I thought it just as well to make sure
of her understanding my position in life.

"That is so natural to us all,--to part with these little relics when we
are still very young, and then to wish them back again before we are
much older! You would smile to see a little museum that I keep for my
brother,--not his scientific collection, which I hope some day to have
the pleasure of showing you,--but 'an _olla podrida_ in an ancestral
wardrobe,' as my little Paul calls it, of his and my two little nieces'
first baby-shoes, rattles, corals, and bells, wooden horses, primers,
picture-books, and so forth, down to the cups and balls, and copy-books,
which they have cast off within a month or two, each labelled with the
owner's name, and the date of deposit. No year goes by without leaving
behind some memento of each of them, or even without my laying aside
there some trifling articles of dress that they have worn. It is a fancy
of my brother's. He says that others may claim their after-years, but
their childhood is his own,--all of it that is not mine,--and he must
keep it for himself, and for them when they come back to visit him in
his old age. It is a birthday treat to them already to take the key from
my split-ring, and look together over the half-forgotten things. But
there is one thing there--a manuscript on the topmost shelf--which they
do not know about, but which we take out and laugh over sometimes when
they are all in bed,--a record that I have kept of all the most
diverting things which we have heard them say, ever since they began to
learn to talk." She checked herself,--I fancied because she remembered
that, in her enthusiasm about the children, she had forgotten to what a
new acquaintance she was speaking. She rose to take leave, and resumed,
shaking hands with me cordially,--she had, I observed, a remarkably
cordial and pleasant, earnest way of shaking hands,--"But upon the
subject of my museum, Miss Morne, I need hardly beg you to be more
discreet than I, and not to mention a domestic trifle of so little
general interest."

I could only bow, but longed, as I attended her to the door, to assure
her of the particular interest which I had already begun to feel in
every trifle which belonged to her.

Her little barouche, and long-tailed, dark-gray ponies, vanished with
her down the road; and I was left walking up and down the room. The
"kind o' poor-lookin', pale-lookin', queer-lookin' lady," that Miss
Mehitable had described,--was this she? How are we ever to know people
by descriptions, when the same person produces one impression on one
mind and quite another on another,--nay, may have one set of inherent
qualities brought out by contact with one character, and quite another
set by contact with another character? Have _I_ described Miss Dudley?
No,--and I cannot. She was both _unique_ and indescribable.

Most people impress us more, perhaps, by their outward and physical,
than by their inward and psychical life. On a first interview with them,
especially, we receive an impression of clothes, good or otherwise, of
beauty or plainness or ugliness of feature, and of correctness or
uncouthness of manner. These are the common people, whether ladies and
gentlemen, or simple men and women. There are, however, others, in all
ranks and conditions, so instinct and replete with spirit, that we
chiefly feel, when they have come in our way, that a spirit has passed
by,--that a new life has been brought in contact with our own life.

Of these was Miss Dudley. But because, ever since the day I write of, I
have loved to think of her, and because I know that, when I rejoin her,
I shall leave some behind me who will still love, and have a right to
hear of her, I will indulge myself in saying something more. That
something shall be what I said to myself then, as I promenaded to and
fro,--that bodily exercise was one of my safety-valves in those
times,--in the endeavor to work off so much of my superfluous animation
as to be in a state to sit down and paint again; and thus I spake: "I
must have had before me an uncommonly fine specimen of a class whose
existence I have conjectured before, but by no means including all the
wealthy, who wear their purple and fine linen both gracefully and
graciously, fare not more sumptuously than temperately every day, and do
a great deal, not only directly by their ready beneficence, but
indirectly by their sunny benignity, to light up the gloomy world of
Lazarus." And though I was but a budding theorist in human nature, and
often made mistakes before and afterwards, I never found myself mistaken

When Julia came in an hour after, she said to me, as I looked up from my
roses and my rose-colored revery, "Katy, you look like an inspired
sibyl! What has come over you?"

"Miss Dudley," said I.

"What! has she really--been here? How I wish I had seen her! What did
she wear?"

"I'm afraid I can't tell you. Wait, I will try. O yes! it comes back to
me;--a silver-gray _shot_ poplin, or silk, made full, but, I think,
quite plain; a large red Cashmere shawl, rather more crimson and less
scarlet than they usually are,--it glowed gloriously out from the
gray;--then some kind of a thin, gray bonnet, with large gray and
crimson crape and velvet flowers in it,--hibiscus or passion-flowers, or
really I don't know what,--that seemed just to marry the dress to the

"Pretty well for you, Katy! Rather heavy for the season; but I suppose
she was afraid of this east wind. You liked her, then?"

"Very much."

"So does the Doctor, always. Some people call her proud; but he says,
that is only their way of expressing their view of the fact that she has
a good deal to make her so, and more than enough to make them so, if
they had it instead of her."

"I dare say. I should not think she was a person to take liberties with;
but she was very sweet and kind to me."

"You are not a person to take liberties with anybody, nor to have any
taken with you; and so _I_ dare say she recognized a kindred spirit."

"Now, Julia, by your paying me such a compliment as that, I am certain
you must want to have your bonnet taken up stairs for you; and so you

"Ah! now I shall always know what string to pull when I wish to put a
skilful attendant in motion. Phil would take my bonnet up stairs for me
in a moment, if I bade him; but when I went up myself after it, it would
be sure to stare me in the face, topsy-turvy, _dumped_ bolt upright on
the feather."


In another fortnight we had another Physick in the family. His papa
called him "a little dose," and his mamma a "pill," in contradistinction
to her previous "Phil." Proving peaceful and reflective, he also soon
earned for himself the title of "the infant _Phil_osopher."

Mrs. Physick did not like the society of Mrs. Rocket, the nurse, whom
the Doctor had chosen "on account of the _absence_ of her conversational
powers." Mrs. Physick was accordingly always trying to get me into her
chamber to sit with her. Mrs. Rocket accordingly did not like me, and
was always trying to get me out. Between these two contending powers
above, and the butcher, the baker, and candlestick-maker below, I was
neither solitary nor idle.

There was much to do, moreover, in answering the kind inquiries, and
receiving and disposing of the whips, jellies, _blanc-mangers_, and
other indigestible delicacies, sent in by anxious friends. These the
grateful Doctor pronounced, in the privacy of domestic life, "poison for
the patient, but not quite so bad for the attendants." Accordingly, we
ate them together sociably, at almost every meal; after which we went up
stairs and told "the patient" how good they were, while I presented her
gruel, and he would ask her, with an earnest air of judicial and
dispassionate investigation, whether that was not "nice." This conduct
she declared most unfeeling and ungrateful in us both, and bound herself
by many a vow to make us pay for it as soon as she had the ordering of
our dinners again. So we all made merry together over the little cradle
that was called "the pill-box." Its small tenant was from the first, as
I have hinted, a virtuous child, cried little, slept much, and when
awake rewarded our attentions by making such preposterous faces as
rendered it a most grateful task to watch him. I soon, therefore, became
much attached to him; and I enjoyed one at least of the chief elements
of the happiness of the individual,--the happiness of those among whom
the individual lives.

In the mean time my guardian sometimes discussed with me some other
things besides the jellies. For instance, "Katy," said he at one of our
_tête-à-tête_ dinners, "you walk out every day, I suppose; or, at least,
you ought. I wish you would call now and then, and take Nelly Fader with
you. She can hardly be a very entertaining companion to you, I own, but
it would be a charity; and, for your mother's daughter, that's enough."

"Certainly I will. By the way, speaking of her, what _did_ you mean by
what you said that day about female physicians?"

"I meant what I said," returned he, bluntly. "I meant just what I said.
We need them, and we shall have them. It is an experiment that has got
to be tried, and will be probably, within your lifetime, if not in mine.
I don't want you to be one of them, though. You ought to be as much
cleverer than yourself as you are now than Nelly Fader, in order to
carry it through; and even then it might be the carrying of a cross
through life,--a grievous, in the view of most men perhaps an
ignominious cross, to the pioneers. Especially it will be so, if other
good but uninformed and thoughtless women are going to cry out upon it,
as you and Julia did the other day. Whether the experiment is to succeed
or not depends, under Providence, very much on you and such as you. But
if that sort of outcry is to be raised, it will probably have the effect
of keeping out of the profession such women as, from their integrity,
ability, culture, and breeding, could be ornaments to it, and leave us
shallow and low-minded smatterers, that I wouldn't trust with the life
of a canary-bird,--who will ask which is likely to be the most lucrative
calling, medicine or millinery, and take their choice accordingly,--and,
for want of better, poor dupes will employ them. If you can't bear
female practitioners, you'll have to bear female _quack_titioners." He
paused and looked at me.

I knew how jealous he always was for the honor of his craft. He did not
often come so near giving me a scolding; and I began to be afraid I
might deserve one, though I could not see how. "I am sorry," said I; "I
did not mean--I did not think--I did not know--"

"Precisely, kitten on the hearth," returned he, good-humoredly; "and as
you _are_ sorry, and as you are besides usually rather less unmeaning
and unthinking and unknowing than most other chits of your age, I
forgive you. Learn to think and know before you hiss or purr, and you
will be wiser than most chits of any age or sex. But now, consider: you,
such as you are, yourself little more than a child, have, in two or
three short visits, roused, interested, and done that other poor child
more good, and, I strongly suspect, inspired her with more confidence,
than I--I trust as upright a person and as sincere a well-wisher--have
been able to do in a score. And this you have been able to do, in great
part, simply by virtue of your womanhood. It _comes more natural_ to
her, no doubt, to talk with you. Nelly's is a case in point, though by
no manner of means so strong a case as others that I have in my mind.
Now imagine another woman with your good-will and natural tact,
vivacity, and sympathy; multiply these by double your age and intellect,
and again by triple your experience and information; calculate from
these data _her_ powers of doing good in such cases, and then see
whether, in helping to brand her and fetter her in the exercise of such
powers, you may not 'haply be found to fight against God.'"

"I will not speak so again,--at least before I think and know. You have
forgiven me. Now appoint me my penance."

"Do what more you can for Nelly, then. I can do little or nothing. In
fact, my visits seem to embarrass and agitate her so much, that I am
sometimes afraid they hurt her more than they help her. She suffers more
in mind than body, I suspect. How, she will not tell me, and perhaps she
cannot. It may be that she is sick from sorrow; or, on the other hand,
her sorrow may be only an illusion of her sickness. It is all, from
first to last, a mere miserable groping and working in the dark. In the
mean time her constitution and character are forming for life. It is
enough to make one's heart ache to look at the poor baby, and think what
an unsatisfactory, profitless, miserable life that may be. I need not
remind _you_, Katy, that all this is a little piece of Freemasonry
between ourselves. You are one of the exceptional and abnormal human
people before whom one can safely think aloud."

I went to Nelly that very afternoon, with some curiosity and with no
unwillingness. I had already begun to like her better than the Doctor
did, as I began to know her better. At first I had been somewhat at a
loss as to her real disposition, between the constant civility of her
manners, and the occasional sullenness of her _manner_. I was fast
making up my mind that the civility was genuine; the sullenness,
apparent only, the result of extreme shyness, despondency, and languor.
As fast as she became more and more at her ease with me, just so fast
did she become more and more engaging. She was chaotic enough, and like
a different creature on different days; but I found her, though
sometimes very childish, often sweet and never sour, unvaryingly patient
towards her very trying aunt, and only too subservient to her.

On this particular afternoon, I spied her through the best-parlor
window, sobbing dismally. When she heard and saw me, she tried to
compose herself in vain; but the only account she had to give of her
grief was, that "the mocking-bird sang so dreadfully, and the Doctor
told Aunt Cumberland she [Nelly] was not going to die. There," added
she, under her breath, "I didn't mean to say that!"

We had no chance to say more; for Mrs. Cumberland came in from her
shopping, and inquired for some cap-ruffles, which she had given Nelly
to make up for her. "She said she didn't feel well enough to go down
town with me," said Mrs. Cumberland; "an' so I left her them to hem,
'cause the Doctor says she needs cheerful occupation; an' them are just
the pootiest kind o' work for young ladies, an' ruther tryin' to old

This was unanswerable; and as I was obliged myself to go to some shops,
and Nelly could not, with her swollen lids, I bade Mrs. Cumberland good
by; but told her niece that I meant to call for her soon again, for the
Doctor thought it would do both of us good to take a walk every day. She
looked somewhat encouraged by this; and I hoped that the plan would have
the twofold effect of making her think it would be ungracious to refuse
to accompany me a second time, and of keeping her from crying lest she
should again be caught at it.

When I reached home, I found it a home of strife. The _pill_ was soon to
be labelled. Dr. Physick wished to call it Julius; but nothing would do
for his tyrannical wife but to have it bear his name.

"Thank you," said the Doctor, as I entered. "Aren't the sufferings of
one generation under that dispensation enough for you? Do as you would
be done by, Julia. How would you like yourself to be called Philemon?"

"I can't help that," persisted Mrs. Julia. "The name of Phil is a
philter to me. Unless he bears it, I shall hate him."

"A likely story! What should you have done if he had been a girl?"

"Called him Phillis," answered the ready Julia, sturdily.

"Then what should you say to Philip, now?" interposed I in behalf of the
helpless innocent,--(an interposition in return for which, ever after we
have finished his medical education with a year in Paris, he ought in
common gratitude to prescribe for me _gratis_, if I live to be as old
and ill as Joyce Heth;--for Philip he was and is, and will be, I trust,
for many a fine day,--the fine, honest, clever, useful fellow!)

"Here's your fee, Katy, for restoring my domestic supremacy--ahem! I
hope Mrs. Physick did not hear," said the Doctor;--"domestic balance of
power shall I say, my love,--or system of compromises?"

What "my love" desired him to say I cannot say, for I was deep in the
note which he had disgorged for me from his not only omnivorous, but,
alas! too often oblivious pocket. It was written on small-sized French
paper, in a beautiful English hand, bore date, to my consternation, some
days back, and ran as follows:--

                    "BARBERRY BEACH, Monday, Sept.--th, 18--.


"I have been wishing to see you again, all through this month, but
scarcely expecting it till now; because I knew how full your heart and
hands must be at home. Now, however, since I have had the pleasure of
hearing from the Doctor that Mrs. Physick is nearly well, perhaps it
will not be too much to hope that you will find an hour to spare for me
some day this week. I have no engagements made; and if you can appoint a
time to come to me, I shall be here and deny myself to other visitors. I
should send my barouche for you; but one of the ponies has hurt its
hoof, and the Doctor says that you confine yourself too closely to your
household cares, and that you would be all the better for a walk.

"Another indulgence which I have been promising myself,--that of
painting some illustrations for my brother's next work,--I find I must
not only put off, but forego. It would be some consolation to me to be
able to make it over to you, and believe that you found half as much
enjoyment in it as I have, on former occasions. The usual terms, when he
has paid for such work, have been ... [here she named a liberal sum];
but of course, if you like to undertake it, you will feel at liberty to
name your own; and I shall be, as I am,

                                "Very gratefully yours,

                                    "ELIZABETH DUDLEY.


Between surprise, pleasure, and dismay at my apparent neglect, I
exclaimed simply, "What shall I do!"

"In all dilemmas, consult your guardian," answered he; and I handed him
the note by way of a Nemesis.

He read it aloud very honestly, date and all; and I had the satisfaction
to hear his wife, who was fast getting him well in hand again, rebuke

"Whew!" whistled he with most appropriate contrition; "'Monday'! and
it's Thursday now, and too late for to-day! I wish I mayn't have lost
you the job, Katy. While the heart holds out, however, never give up the
case! Put on your best bib and tucker when you get up to-morrow morning;
and, as soon as you have got through ordering me an apple-dumpling, I
will take you over there, and tell Miss Dudley who was to blame, and
promise her, if she will forgive us, never to give her any


I could scarcely sleep that night for eagerness and anticipation. Ever
since the afternoon when the vision of Miss Dudley appeared, to startle
me from my painting, in the little south parlor, she had been the
foremost figure in my brightest day-dreams, as often as, with little
Philip warm and slumberous on my knees, I could find time for
day-dreams. Accordingly, I had been more than wishing--longing--to see
her again; though I put off returning her visit, partly from real want
of time, partly from uncertainty about what was the proper etiquette for
me, and partly from the dread of dispelling some pleasant illusions, and
finding that the Miss Dudley of my reveries belonged to the realm of my
imagination rather than to that of my memory. I dreamed of her all that
night, when I was not lying awake to think of her; and when, in the
morning, I arose early to brush and brighten my somewhat faded black,
the keen autumn air, instead of chilling me, seemed but to whet and
sharpen my zest for my expedition.

Julia's toilet was not made when I heard the clatter of the recalcitrant
De Quincey backing the chaise out of his beloved, but little _be-lived_
in, stable. She sat up in bed, however, when I went in to kiss her, in
spite of Mrs. Rocket, turned me round to the window to see whether I
was looking my best, or, as she equivocally phrased it, "the best of
which I was capable," told me, that I had got a little _rouge_ the last
time I was out, and must ask Miss Dudley whether it was not becoming,
and hooked her forefingers into my naturally _gekräuseltes_ hair, to
pull it into what she always maintained to be the proper _pose_ above my

Then down I ran, and off I went, through the town and along the road,
between rocks and evergreens with here and there a gate among them that
marked the entrance to the earthly paradise of some lucky gentleman.

"Sha'n't we be too early?" asked I, fidgeting, for my prosperity
appeared to me, just now, too perfect to be permanent.

"No," said the Doctor. "They are early people at Barberry Beach,--not
Sybarites in anything, so far as I can judge. It is near nine. Miss
Dudley tells me I shall almost always find her visible by that time. If,
not hearing from you, she has made other engagements, you know she is
more likely to be at leisure now than later."

"She does not look well yet. What was the matter with her?"

"_Angina pectoris_. That is Greek to you, Katy. Pain in the heart,

"What made her have it?"

"That is a deep question in the most interesting of sciences,--that of
the metamorphoses of diseases. Many men would answer it according to
their many minds. To the best of my belief, the cause of Miss Dudley's
having a pain in her heart lay in her great-grandfather's toe."

"O Doctor! what _do_ you mean?"

"The gout."

"Well, that sounds very aristocratic and imposing; but, notwithstanding,
I know you are laughing at me."

"No, I am not. It is no laughing matter."

"Why, is it dangerous?"

"Dangerous!" said he. "It is deadly. Why, Katy, I never shall dare to
tell you anything again, if you are going to look so frightened! _She_
did not when I told her."

"Does she know?"

"Yes, and makes no secret of it, and is not unlikely to mention it
before you; so that you must accustom yourself to the idea, and be
prepared to face it as she does."

"How came she to know?"

"She asked me. I gave up very early in my practice, for several reasons,
the habit of lying to my patients. If they are cowards, or if, for any
reason, I think the truth and the whole truth would shorten their days,
I often tell them little or nothing; but I tell them nothing but the
truth. She is not a person to be put off from knowing what she has a
right to know."

"How did she take it?"

"Nobly and simply, without any affectation of indifference. As she put
the question, I laid my hand on her pulse; and, as it went on pretty
firmly, I went on too. When I had said all there was to say, she thanked
me earnestly, and said, as sweetly as anything could possibly be said,
that the information would add double weight to the cautions and other
counsels I had given her, and told me that, if I ever came to be in a
situation like hers, she trusted that I should find the comfort of being
dealt with with candor and kindness like mine. After all, Katy, she may
live yet many years, and die at last of something else; and that is
about the best that can be prognosticated of you and me, my dear."

"'Tis true the young _may_ die, but the old must," thought I. I was half
comforted, and only half. Yet the pensive shadow of coming doom--or
shall I not rather say the solemn dawn of approaching eternity?--seemed
to lend a new and more unearthly charm to the lovely spiritual vision I
cherished in my mind.

Presently, instead of passing a gate, the Doctor turned in at it, and
drove smoothly up the gentle slope of a hard-rolled winding avenue lined
with hemlocks. "Pretty, isn't it?" cried he. "O for the time when I
shall retire upon my fortune, and leave my office to Phil the second!
There, Katy! What do you think of that?"

What did I think? O, too much to be told, either then or now! From the
dark trees one forward step of each of De Quincey's forefeet brought us
out into a high amphitheatre, at the instant flooded with sunshine. A
higher hill, wooded with evergreens and bossed with boulders, made a
background behind it, on the right, for a large, low cottage of clear
gray granite, with broad piazzas curtained with Virginia creepers and
monthly honeysuckles, and cloistered on the south. In front of the
cottage was a shaven lawn, rimmed with a hedge of graceful barberries,
and lighted up by small circular spots of brown earth, teeming with
salvia and other splendid autumn flowers. Beyond and on the left ran a
long reach of rocky headlands, burning with golden-rod and wild-rose
berries mingled with purple asters and white spiræa, and all along from
below, but very near, spread out far and wide the inexpressible ocean.
It was a rough, ridgy, sage-greenish, gray ocean, I remember, that
morning, full of tumble and toss and long scalloped lines of spent foam,
covered over with a dim, low half-dome of sky,--with seagulls
flickering, and here and there a small, wild, ragged gypsy of a cloud,
of a little darker gray, scudding lawlessly under,--and threw out in the
strongest contrast the brilliant hues and sharp, clear outlines of the

The Doctor sprang from the chaise, left me in it, and threw me the
reins. I always wished he wouldn't, but he always would. The most I had
to gain by pulling them, if De Quincey grew restless, was to make him
_back_; and this was precisely what I least desired. My reasonable
expostulations, however, could never obtain any more grace from him who
should have been my guardian than a promise, if I would "make no fuss,
and broken bones" came of it, that he would "mend me softly." Therefore
I thought it most prudent not to expostulate; but my penance was this
time a brief one. He had hardly entered the door when the tall, striking
figure I recollected so well came dimly in view in one of the nearest
bay-windows, tapped on the glass with one slender white-frilled hand,
and nodded with a bright, glad smile; and back came the Doctor to help
me out.

"It is all right, Katy. Miss Dudley wants you, and does not want me. If
it rains, you can stay till I call for you. Otherwise, come back when
you like. The first door to your left in the hall."

Miss Dudley met me in the parlor-door, laughing. "I should have come out
to make prize of you," said she, "but they say it is rather bleak this
morning, and I am still under orders. I had almost given you up for this
week; but the Doctor assures me that he has already been suitably dealt
with and brought to repentance, and so there is no more to be said on
that point, especially as you have happened to hit on the very time when
I am most alone, and when, as I have been accustomed to be the busiest,
I feel my present idleness the most. You drove here, after all. You are
not tired? What should you say, first, to a walk with me?"

A staid-looking, exquisitely neat, elderly woman brought her bonnet,
umbrella, gloves, and a large Scotch plaid shawl, in which she wrapped
Miss Dudley, with much solicitude, and was so prettily thanked for her
pains that I longed to have the wrapping up to do myself.

"I really do not think I needed to be muffled up quite so closely
to-day," said my hostess, as she stepped lightly from the piazza to the
sunlit gravel-walk; "but Bonner is ten years older than I, and feels the
cold a good deal herself, and I do not like to make her anxious about
me. She had a great fright, poor thing! when I was ill. Where shall we
go, Miss Morne?--to the garden or the shore? I am not certain that those
clouds mean to give us time for both."

Not knowing which she would prefer, I answered that I could hardly
choose, unless she would be so kind as to tell me which was the most
beautiful. To my joy, she said the shore. The path ran close to the
edge of the cliffs; and below our very feet were the beach and the
breakers. We both forgot ourselves at first, I think, in the sight and

At length she turned, with a sudden movement, and looked me in the face.
"I do believe, Miss Morne," said she, "that you are one of the fortunate
people who have the power to enjoy this to the full. I trust that we may
often still enjoy it here together."

"Shall I tell you how I enjoy it, ma'am?" I exclaimed, carried out of
myself at sight of the enthusiasm that was tinging her delicate cheek
and lighting up her eyes. "As we enjoy those things that it never comes
into our heads to ask ourselves whether we like or not. Some things we
_have_ to ask ourselves, whether we like or not, before we know, and
even after we are scarcely sure; and some things, such as the poor
little 'Marchioness's' orange-peel and water, we have to 'make believe
very hard' in order to like at all. But home when we have been away, and
friends when we have been lonely, and water when we are thirsty, and the
sea always!--we never ask ourselves if those are good,--we know." Then
my face burnt. How it would burn in those girlish days!

And how foolish I felt, or had begun to feel, when Miss Dudley slowly
answered, looking mercifully away from me and at the waves: "Very true,
Miss Morne! You speak from your heart, and to mine."

The clouds were forbearing, and allowed us time afterwards for a visit
to the gorgeous garden. We walked to the summer-house at the very end,
from which a winding path began to climb the hill. There Miss Dudley
paused. "My chamois days are over, for the present, at least," said she.
"We must wait for my little nieces or nephew to escort you up there.
Shall we go in?"

When we did so, I thought that the interior of the cottage was not much
less grand, scarcely less beautiful, than what we had seen without. At
that period most housekeepers held the hardly yet exploded heresy, not
only that fresh air was a dangerous and unwholesome luxury, to be
denied, as far as might be, to any but the strongest constitutions,[2]
but that even sunshine within the doors was an inadmissible intrusion,
alike untidy and superfluous. On these points this house set public
opinion at defiance. It was set, of set purpose, at _wrong_ angles to
the points of the compass. Every wind of heaven could sweep it, at the
pleasure of the inmates, through and through, and the piazzas were so
arranged that there was not a single apartment in it into which the sun
could not look, through one window or another, once at least in the
twenty-four hours. The floors were tiled, ingrained, oiled,
matted,--everything but carpeted, except that of the state drawing-room;
and there the Wilton had a covering over it, removed, as I afterwards
found, only on occasions of state. The whole atmosphere seemed full of
health, purity, cheerfulness, warmth, and brightness. Brilliant flowers
peeped in at the windows, and were set on the tables in vases, or hung
in them from the walls. And there were pictures, and there were statues,
but there too was Miss Dudley, paring a peach for me, for sociability's
sake,--for she could not eat one herself, so soon after her breakfast;
and, as I knew the time must be running away very fast,--hard that it
will always run fastest when we are the happiest!--I seized my first
opportunity to say that few things would give me greater pleasure than
to furnish the illustrations she had mentioned, if I could but succeed
in executing them as I ought.

"As to that, I will be your sponsor," returned she, gayly, "if you would
like to begin them here. Your touch is very firm and true; and I will
show you all our tricks of color. Here is my paint-box. Have you time

I had time, and no excuse; though, in falling so suddenly into the
midst of painting-lessons from Miss Dudley, I really felt as if I was
having greatness thrust upon me in a manner to take my breath away. If I
had only had a little more time to think about it, my touch might have
been truer for the nonce. Her paint-box was so handsomely furnished,
too, and so daintily ordered, that I scarcely dared touch it. She gave
me a little respite, however, by rubbing the colors for me,--colors,
some of them, that, for their costliness, I could not allow myself at
all at home,--and selected for me two such exquisite brushes from her
store! Then she lay down beside me on a "couch of Ind," smiled as I laid
her plaid over her feet, and watched me at the work. How that brought my
poor Fanny back to me! But my new mistress went on unwearyingly,
teaching and encouraging me, and, if I was more than satisfied with her,
did not on her part show that she was less than satisfied with me. The
clock struck twelve before I dreamed of its taking upon itself to offer
such an untimely interruption.

"Now I am nicely rested," said she, soon after; "and I am afraid you
must begin to be nicely tired. Do you not?"

"No, indeed; I seldom do till nine o'clock at night."

"Then we will indulge ourselves here still a little longer. But hark!
Are not there my little people back from school?"

The expression common to those who love children stole into her face.
Young voices were drawing nearer.

"Come to my arms, O lovely cherub!" said one that had a boyish sound in
it, paternally.

"Look out and see them," whispered Miss Dudley to me.

I peeped through the blinds. A handsome and very graceful olive-hued
boy, apparently about fourteen years old, with a form like that of the
Mercury upborne by a zephyr, eyes like stars, lashes like star-beams,
and an expression that would have made him a good study for a picture of
Puck, half leaning, half sitting, on the stone balustrade, was tenderly
dandling in his arms a huge, vulgar-looking, gray, striped stable-cat,
that rolled and writhed therein in transports of comfort and affection.

"But, indeed, Paul," remonstrated another voice, _tout comme un serin_,
"Pet ought to be whipped instead of hugged! Lily says so."

"Tiger Lily? What a cruel girl! O, my Pettitoes! how can she say so?"

"Why," answered another girlish voice, a little firmer, but hardly less
sweet, than the first, "only think! While we were all in school, he
watched his opportunity and killed the robin that lives in the
crab-apple-tree. The gardener says he heard it cry, and ran with his
hoe; and there was this wicked, horrid, grim, great Pet galloping as
fast as he could gallop to the stable, with its poor little beak
sticking out at one side of his grinning mouth, and its tail at the

"Why, Pettitoes! how very inconsiderate! You won't serve it so another
time, _will_ you? Though how a robin can have the face to squeak when he
catches it himself at noon, after cramming himself with worms the whole
morning, is more than I can see!"

"O no, Paul! He was singing most sweetly! I heard him; and so did Rose."

"And so did I. He was singing through his nose as bad as Deacon Piper,
because he had a worm in his mouth. He couldn't leave off gobbling one
single minute,--not even to practise his music."

"Let us go out," said Miss Dudley.

We did so. Paul's retreating back was all that was to be seen of the
boy, with Pet's peaceful chin pillowed upon his shoulder, as, borne off
in triumph, he looked calmly back at Lily, who stood shaking her small,
chiselled ivory finger at him. Rose was still beside her, with her arm
around her waist, as if in propitiation.

Two twelve-year-old twins, in twin blue gingham frocks,--they were much
addicted to blue and pink ginghams,--they had that indefinable look of
_blood_ which belonged to their kin, which is sometimes, to be sure, to
be found in families that have no great-grandfathers, after they have
been well-fed, well-read, and well-bred for a generation or two, but to
which they had an uncommonly good right, as their pedigree--so I
afterwards found--ran straight back to the Norman Conquest, without a
single "probably" in it. They were, for their age, tall and slender,
with yet more springy buoyancy than their aunt in _pose_ and movement.
Strangers were always mistaking them for each other. That day I could
scarcely tell them apart, though afterwards I wondered at it. Rose was
the very prettiest child I ever saw, and Lily pretty nearly the most
beautiful person.

Lily was already the tallest. Her thick and wavy hair was _blonde
cendrée_, and all her features were perfectly Grecian. Her eyes were of
a very dark blue, that turned into nothing but clear radiance when she
was opposed or in any way excited. Her complexion was healthful, but
would be described as soft and warm, rather than brilliant. Her whole
fair little face was about as firm and spirited as a fair girlish face
could be.

Rose's larger eyes were of a pure, deep hazel. Her hair, as thick and
curly as Lily's, was far more glossy and flossy, and of the yellowest,
brightest gold-color. Her nose--a most perfect little nose--was more
aquiline than her sister's. Her skin was of the tints of the finest
rare-ripe peaches,--pure white and deepening pink; and all around her
mouth were dimples lying in wait for her to laugh.

As they met Miss Dudley, with the many-colored Virginia creepers behind
them and the flowers behind her, a better _tableau vivant_ of "first
youth" and _first age_ could scarcely have been put together than they
made. It made me wish that I had been more than a painter of
_specimens_. The elder lady presented me to the younger ones; and they
greeted me with that pretty courtesy that always charms us twofold when
we meet with it in children, because we scarcely expect it of them.
Rose's radiant little countenance, especially, seemed to say, "I have
heard of you before, and wished to know you"; and that is one of the
most winning expressions that a new countenance can wear. Then they put
their arms round "dear Aunt Lizzy," coaxed her for peaches, and obtained
the remainder of our basketful without much difficulty; and then I had
to depart, but not quite without solace, for Rose ran after me to say,
"Aunt Lizzy hopes, if you are not otherwise engaged, to see you again
Monday morning at nine; and she sends you this book that she forgot to
give you. It made her think of you, she says, when she was reading it."

It was Greenwood's "Sermons of Consolation"; and, written in her hand on
the fly-leaf, I found my name.


[2] The old philosophy held, that "Nature abhors a vacuum"; but modern
observation shows that the natural Yankee abhors the air.

       *       *       *       *       *


    With the steadfast stars above us,
      And the molten stars below,
    We sailed through the Southern midnight,
      By the coast of Mexico.

    Alone, on the desolate, dark-ringed,
      Rolling and flashing sea,
    A grim old Venezuelan
      Kept the deck with me,
    And talked to me of his country,
      And the long Spanish war,
    And told how a young Republic
      Forged the sword of Bolivar.

    Of no base mundane metal
      Was the wondrous weapon made,
    And in no earth-born fire
      Was fashioned the sacred blade.

    But that it might shine the symbol
      Of law and light in the land,
    Dropped down as a star from heaven,
      To flame in a hero's hand.

    And be to the world a portent
      Of eternal might and right,
    They chose for the steel a splinter
      From a fallen aerolite.

    Then a virgin forge they builded
      By the city, and kindled it
    With flame from a shattered palm-tree,
      Which the lightning's torch had lit,--

    That no fire of earthly passion
      Might taint the holy sword,
    And no ancient error tarnish
      The falchion of the Lord.

    For Quito and New Granada
      And Venezuela they pour
    From three crucibles the dazzling
      White meteoric ore.

    In three ingots it is moulded,
      And welded into one,
    For an emblem of Colombia,
      Bright daughter of the sun!

    It is drawn on a virgin anvil,
      It is heated and hammered and rolled,
    It is shaped and tempered and burnished,
      And set in a hilt of gold;

    For thus by the fire and the hammer
      Of war a nation is built,
    And ever the sword of its power
      Is swayed by a golden hilt.

    Then with pomp and oratory
      The mustachioed señores brought
    To the house of the Liberator
      The weapon they had wrought;
    And they said, in their stately phrases,
      "O mighty in peace and war!
    No mortal blade we bring you,
      But a flaming meteor.

    "The sword of the Spaniard is broken,
      And to you in its stead is given,
    To lead and redeem a nation,
      This ray of light from heaven."

    The gaunt-faced Liberator
      From their hands the symbol took,
    And waved it aloft in the sunlight,
      With a high, heroic look;

    And he called the saints to witness:
      "May these lips turn into dust,
    And this right hand fail, if ever
      It prove recreant to its trust!

    "Never the sigh of a bondman
      Shall cloud this gleaming steel,
    But only the foe and the traitor
      Its vengeful edge shall feel.

    "Never a tear of my country
      Its purity shall stain,
    Till into your hands, who gave it,
      I render it again."

    Now if ever a chief was chosen
      To cover a cause with shame,
    And if ever there breathed a caitiff,
      Bolivar was his name.

    From his place among the people
      To the highest seat he went,
    By the winding paths of party
      And the stair of accident.

    A restless, weak usurper,
      Striving to rear a throne,
    Filling his fame with counsels
      And conquests not his own;--

    Now seeming to put from him
      The sceptre of command,
    Only that he might grasp it
      With yet a firmer hand;--

    His country's trusted leader,
      In league with his country's foes,
    Stabbing the cause that nursed him,
      And openly serving those;--

    The chief of a great republic
      Plotting rebellion still,--
    An apostate faithful only
      To his own ambitious will.

    Drunk with a vain ambition,
      In his feeble, reckless hand,
    The sword of Eternal Justice
      Became but a brawler's brand.

    And Colombia was dissevered,
      Rent by factions, till at last
    Her name among the nations
      Is a memory of the past.

    Here the grim old Venezuelan
      Puffed fiercely his red cigar
    A brief moment, then in the ocean
      It vanished like a star;

    And he slumbered in his hammock;
      And only the ceaseless rush
    Of the reeling and sparkling waters
      Filled the solemn midnight hush,

    As I leaned by the swinging gunwale
      Of the good ship, sailing slow,
    With the steadfast heavens above her,
      And the molten heavens below.

    Then I thought with sorrow and yearning
      Of my own distracted land,
    And the sword let down from heaven
      To flame in her ruler's hand,--

    The sword of Freedom, resplendent
      As a beam of the morning star,
    Received, reviled, and dishonored
      By another than Bolivar!

    And my prayers flew home to my country:
      O ye tried and fearless crew!
    O ye pilots of the nation!
      Now her safety is with you.

    Beware the traitorous captain,
      And the wreckers on the shore;
    Guard well the noble vessel;
      And steadily evermore,

    As ye steer through the perilous midnight,
      Let your faithful glances go
    To the steadfast stars above her,
      From their fickle gleams below.

       *       *       *       *       *


The incessant demolition of which Broadway is the scene denotes to the
most careless eye that devotion to the immediate which De Tocqueville
maintains to be a democratic characteristic. The huge piles of old
bricks which block the way--with their array of placards heralding every
grade of popular amusement, from a tragedy of Shakespeare to a negro
melody, and from a menagerie to a clairvoyant exhibition, and vaunting
every kind of experimental charlatanism, from quack medicine to flash
literature--are mounds of less mystery, but more human meaning, than
those which puzzle archæologists on the Mississippi and the Ohio; for
they are the _débris_ of mansions only half a century ago the
aristocratic homes of families whose descendants are long since
scattered, and whose social prominence and local identity are forgotten,
while trade has obliterated every vestige of their roof-tree and
association of their hearth-stone. Such is the constant process. As
private residences give way to stores and offices, the upper portion of
the island is crowded with their enlarged dimensions and elaborate
luxury; churches are in the same manner sacrificed, until St. Paul's and
Trinity alone remain of the old sacred landmarks; and the suburban
feature--those "fields" where burgomasters foregathered, the militia
drilled, and Hamilton's youthful eloquence roused the people to arms--is
transferred to the other and distant end of Manhattan, and expanded into
a vast, variegated, and beautiful rural domain,--that "the Park" may
coincide in extent and attraction with the increase of the population
and growth of the city's area. Thus a perpetual tide of emigration, and
the pressure of the business on the resident section,--involving change
of domicile, substitution of uses, the alternate destruction and
erection of buildings, each being larger and more costly in material
than its predecessor,--make the metropolis of the New World appear, to
the visitor from the Old, a shifting bivouac rather than a stable city,
where hereditary homes are impossible, and nomadic instincts prevalent,
and where local associations, such as endear or identify the streets
abroad, seem as incongruous as in the Eastern desert or Western woods,
whose dwellers "fold their tents like the Arabs, and as silently steal
away." The absence of the law of primogeniture necessitates the breaking
up of estates, and thus facilitates the methods whereby the elegant
homestead becomes, in the second or third generation, a dry-goods store,
a boarding or club house, a milliner's show-room or a dentist's office.
Here and there some venerable gossip will rehearse the triumphs of
refined hospitality, or describe the success of a belle or the
brilliancy of a genial leader in politics or social pastime, which,
years ago, consecrated a mansion or endeared a neighborhood,--whereof
not a visible relic is now discoverable, save in a portrait or
reminiscent paper conserved in the archives of the Historical Society.
And in this speedy oblivion of domestic and social landmarks, how easily
we find a reason for the national irreverence, and the exclusive
interest in the future, which make the life of America, like the streets
of her cities, a scene of transition unhallowed by memorials.

Yet, despite its dead horses and vehicular entanglements, its vile
concert saloons, the alternate meanness and magnificence of its
architecture, the fragile character of its theatrical structures, and
their limited and hazardous means of exit,--despite falling walls and
the necessity of police guardianship at the crossings, the reckless
driving of butcher-boys and the dexterity of pickpockets,--despite the
slippery pavement, and the chronic cry for "relief,"--Broadway is a
spectacle and an experience worth patient study, and wonderfully
prolific of life-pictures. With a fountain at one end, like a French
town, and a chime of bells at the other, like a German city, the
intermediate space is as representative a rendezvous as can be found in
the world.

The first thing that strikes an experienced eye in New York's great
thoroughfare is the paucity of loiterers: he sees, at a glance, that the
_flâneur_ is an exotic here. There is that in the gait and look of every
one that shows a settled and an eager purpose,--a goal sought under
pressure. A counting-room, office, court, mart, or mansion is to be
reached punctually, and therefore the eye and step are straightforward,
intent, preoccupied. But this peculiarity is chiefly obvious early and
late in the day, when business and professional men are on their way to
and from the place of their daily vocations. Later, and especially about
two hours after noon, it is the dress and number of the other sex that
win attention; and to one fresh from London, the street attire of
_ladies_--or those who aspire, with more or less justice, to that
title--is a startling incongruity; for the showy colors and fine
textures reserved across the sea for the opera, the _salon_, and the
fashionable drive, are here displayed on shopping expeditions, for which
an English lady dresses in neutral tints and substantial
fabrics,--avoiding rather than courting observation. The vulgar
impression derived in Broadway from an opposite habit is vastly
increased by modern fashions; for the apology for a bonnet that leaves
brow, cheek, and head fully exposed,--the rustle and dimensions of
crinoline,--the heavy masses of unctuous false hair attached to the back
of the head, deforming its shape and often giving a coarse monstrosity
to its naturally graceful poise and proportions,--the inappropriate
display of jewelry and the long silk trains of the expensive robes
trailing on the dirty walk, and continually caught beneath the feet of
careless pedestrians,--all unite to render the exhibition repulsive to
taste, good sense, and that chivalric sympathy inspired by the sight of
female beauty and grace, so often co-existent with these anomalies.
Broadway has often been compared to a kaleidoscope,--an appellation
suggested by the variety of shifting tints, from those of female dress
to those of innumerable commodities, from dazzling effects of sunshine
to the radiance of equipage, vivid paint, gilded signs, and dazzling
wares. And blent with this pervading language of colors are the local
associations which the articles of merchandise hint. Consider how
extensive is their scope,--Persian carpets, Lyons silks, Genoa velvets,
ribbons from Coventry and laces from Brussels, the furs of the
Northwest, glass of Bohemia, ware of China, nuts from Brazil, silver of
Nevada mines, Sicily lemons, Turkey figs, metallic coffins and fresh
violets, Arabian dates, French chocolate, pine-apples from the West
Indies, venison from the Adirondacs, brilliant chemicals, gilded frames,
Manchester cloth, Sheffield cutlery, Irish linens, ruddy fruit, salmon
from the Thousand Isles, sables from Russia, watches from Geneva,
carvings from Switzerland, caricatures and India-rubber garments,
saccharine temples, books in tinted covers, toys, wines, perfumes,
drugs, dainties, art, luxury, science, all lavishing their products to
allure the throng,--phenomena common, indeed, to all streets devoted to
trade, but here uniquely combined with a fashionable promenade, and
affording the still-life of a variegated moving panorama. It is
characteristic, also, that the only palatial buildings along the crowded
avenue are stores and hotels. Architecture thus glorifies the gregarious
extravagance of the people. The effect of the whole is indefinitely
prolonged, to an imaginative mind, by the vistas at the lower extremity,
which reveal the river, and, at sunset, the dark tracery of the shipping
against the far and flushed horizon; while, if one lifts his eye to the
telegraph wire, or lowers it to some excavation which betrays the
Croton pipes, a sublime consciousness is awakened of the relation of
this swift and populous eddy of life's great ocean to its distant rural
streams, and the ebb and flow of humanity's eternal tide. Consider, too,
the representative economics and delectations around, available to
taste, necessity, and cash,--how wonderful their contrast! Not long
since, an Egyptian museum, with relics dating from the Pharaohs, was
accessible to the Broadway philosopher, and a Turkish khan to the
sybarite; one has but to mount a staircase, and find himself in the
presence of authentic effigies of all the prominent men of the nation,
sun-painted for the million. This pharmacist will exorcise his
pain-demon; that electrician place him _en rapport_ with kindred
hundreds of miles away, or fortify his jaded nerves. Down this street he
may enjoy a Russian or Turkish bath; down that, a water-cure. Here, with
skill undreamed of by civilized antiquity, fine gold can be made to
replace the decayed segment of a tooth; there, he has but to stretch out
his foot, and a chiropodist removes the throbbing bunion, or a boy
kneels to polish his boots. A hackman is at hand to drive him to the
Park, a telescope to show him the stars; he has but to pause at a corner
and buy a journal which will place him _au courant_ with the events of
the world, or listen to an organ-grinder, and think himself at the
opera. This temple is free for him to enter and "muse till the fire
burns"; on yonder bookseller's counter is an epitome of the wisdom of
ages; there he may buy a nosegay to propitiate his lady-love, or a
sewing-machine to beguile his womankind, and here a crimson balloon or
spring rocking-horse, to delight his little boy, and rare gems or a
silver service for a bridal gift. This English tailor will provide him
with a "capital fit," that German tobacconist with a creamy meerschaum.
At the artificial Spa he may recuperate with Vichy or Kissingen, and at
the phrenologist's have his mental and moral aptitudes defined; now a
"medium" invites him to a spiritual _séance_, and now an antiquarian to
a "curiosity shop." In one saloon is _lager_ such as he drank in
Bavaria, and in another, the best bivalves in the world. Here is a fine
billiard-table, there a gymnasium;--food for mind and body,
gratification to taste;--all the external resources of civilization are
at hand,--not always with the substantial superiority of those of London
or the elegant variety of Paris, but with enough of both to make them
available to the eclectic cosmopolite.

The historical epochs of New York are adequately traceable by the
successive pictures of her main thoroughfare,--beginning with the Indian
village and the primeval forest which Henry Hudson found on the island
of Manhattan in 1609, and advancing to the stockade fort of New
Amsterdam, built where the Battery now is, by Wouter Van Twiller, the
second Dutch governor, and thence to the era when the fur trade,
tobacco-growing, and slavery were enriching the India Company, when the
Wall was built on the site of the so-called financial rendezvous, to
protect the settlement from savage invasion, and a deep valley marked
the present junction of Canal Street and Broadway. The advent of a new
class of artisans signalizes the arrival of Huguenot emigrants; the
rebellion of Leisler marks the encroachment of new political agencies,
and the substitution of Pitt's statue for that of George III. on the
Bowling Green in 1770, the dawn of Independence, so sturdily ushered in
and cherished by the Liberty Boys, and culminating in the evacuation of
the British in 1783, the entrance of Washington with the American army,
and, two years after, in the meeting of the first Congress. These
vicissitudes left their impress on the street. Every church but the
Episcopal was turned by the English into a riding-school, prison, or
stable; each successive charter was more liberal in its municipal
privileges. The Boston stage long went from the Fort to the Park, and so
on by the old post-road, and was fourteen days _en route_; pestilence,
imported from the West India islands, depopulated the adjacent houses;
water was sold from carts; and dimly lighted was the pedestrian on his
midnight way, while old-fashioned watchmen cried the hour; and when, in
1807, Robert Fulton initiated steam navigation, the vast system of
ferriage was established which inundated the main avenue of the city
with a perpetual tributary stream of floating population from all the
outlying shores of the Hudson and East Rivers, Staten and Long Islands,
and the villages above Manhattan. A lady who lived in New York forty
years ago, and returned this season, expressed her surprise that the
matutinal procession of rustics she used to watch from the window of her
fashionable domicile in the lower part of Broadway had ceased, so
completely had suburban citizens usurped the farmers' old homes. The
beautiful pigeons that used to coo and cluster on the cobble stones had
no resting-place for their coral feet on the Russ pavement, so thickly
moved the drays, and so unremitted was the rush of man and beast. In
fact, the one conservative feature eloquent of the past is the
churchyard,--the old, moss-grown, sloping gravestones,--landmarks of
finished life-journeys, mutely invoking the hurrying crowd through the
tall iron railings of Trinity and St. Paul's. It is a striking evidence
of a "new country," that a youth from the Far West, on arriving in New
York by sea, was so attracted by these ancient cemeteries that he
lingered amid them all day,--saying it was the first time he had ever
seen a human memorial more than twenty years old, except a tree! And
memorable was the ceremony whereby, a few years since, the Historical
Society celebrated the bicentennial birthday of Bradford, the old
colonial printer, by renewing his headstone. At noonday, when the
life-tide was at flood, in lovely May weather, a barrier was stretched
across Broadway; and there, at the head of eager gold-worshipping Wall
Street, in the heart of the bustling, trafficking crowd, a vacant place
was secured in front of the grand and holy temple of Trinity. The
pensive chant arose; a white band of choristers and priests came forth;
and eminent citizens gathered around to reconsecrate the tablet over the
dust of one who, two hundred years ago, had practised a civilizing art
in this fresh land, and disseminated messages of religion and wisdom. It
was a singular picture, beautiful to the eye, solemn to the feelings,
and a rare tribute to the past, where the present sways with such
absolute rule. Few Broadway tableaux are so worthy of artistic
preservation. Before, the vista of a money-changers' mart; above and
below, a long, crowded avenue of metropolitan life; behind, the lofty
spire, gothic windows, and archways of the church, and the central group
as picturesquely and piously suggestive as a mediæval rite.

Vainly would the most self-possessed reminiscent breast the living tide
of the surging thoroughfare, on a weekday, to realize in his mind's eye
its ancient aspect; but if it chance to him to land at the Battery on a
clear and still Sabbath morning, and before the bells summon forth the
worshippers, and to walk thence to Union Square in company with an
octogenarian Knickerbocker of good memory, local pride, and fluent
speech, he will obtain a mental photograph of the past that transmutes
the familiar scene by a quaint and vivid aerial perspective. Then the
"Middle Road" of the beginning of this century will reappear,--the
traces of a wheat-field on the site of St. Paul's, still a fresh
tradition; Oswego Market, opposite Liberty Street, is alive with early
customers; the reminiscent beholds the apparition of Rutgers's orchard,
whose remaining noble elms yet shade the green vista of the City
Hospital, and which was a place for rifling bird's-nests in the boyhood
of his pensive companion, whose father played at skittles on the Bowling
Green, hard by the Governor's house, while the Dutch householders sat
smoking long pipes in their broad porticos, cosily discussing the last
news from Antwerp or Delft, their stout rosy daughters meanwhile taking
a twilight ramble, with their stalwart beaux, to the utmost suburban
limit of Manhattan, where Canal Street now intersects Broadway,--then an
unpaved lane with scattered domiciles, only grouped into civic
contiguity around the Battery, and with many gardens enhancing its rural
aspect. Somewhat later, and Munn's Land Office, at the corner of what is
now Grand Street, was suggestive of a growing settlement and the era of
speculation; an isolated coach-factory marked the site of the St.
Nicholas Hotel; people flocked along, in domestic instalments, to
Vauxhall, where now stands the Astor Library, to drink mead and see the
Flying Horses; and capitalists invested in "lots" on Bayard's Farm,
where Niblo's and the Metropolitan now flourish; the one-story building
at the present angle of Prince Street was occupied by Grant Thorburn's
father; beyond lay the old road leading to Governor Stuyvesant's
Bowerie, with Sandy Hill at the upper end. In 1664, Heere Stras was
changed to Broadway. At the King's Arms and Burr's Coffee-House, near
the Battery, the traitor Arnold was wont to lounge, and in the
neighborhood dwelt the Earl of Stirling's mother. At the corner of
Rector Street was the old Lutheran church frequented by the Palatine
refugees. Beyond or within the Park stood the old Brewery, Pottery,
Bridewell, and Poor-house; relics of an Indian village were often found;
the Drover's Inn, cattle-walk, and pastures marked the straggling
precincts of the town; and on the commons oxen were roasted whole on
holidays, and obnoxious officials hung in effigy. Anon rose the brick
mansions of the Rapelyes, Rhinelanders, Kingslands, Cuttings, Jays,
Bogarts, Depeysters, Duers, Livingstons, Verplancks, Van Rensselaers, De
Lanceys, Van Cortlands, etc.; at first along the "Middle Road," and then
in bystreets from the main thoroughfare down to the rivers; and so,
gradually, the trees and shrubs that made a _rus in urbe_ of the embryo
city, and the gables and tiles, porches and pipes, that marked the
dynasty chronicled by old Diedrich, gave way to palatial warehouses,
magnificent taverns, and brown stone fronts.

The notes of old travellers best revive the scene ere it was lost in
modern improvements. Mrs. Knight, who visited New York in 1704, having
performed the journey from Boston all the way on horseback, enjoyed the
"vendues" at Manhattan, where "they gave drinks"; was surprised to see
"fireplaces that had no jambs" and "bricks of divers colors and laid in
checkers, being glazed and looking very agreeable." The diversion in
vogue was "riding in sleighs about four miles out of town, where they
have a house of entertainment at a place called the Bowery." In 1769 Dr.
Burnaby recognized but two churches, Trinity and St. George, and "went
in an Italian chaise to a turtle feast on the East River." In 1788,
Brissot found that the session of Congress there gave great _éclat_ to
New York, but, with republican indignation, he laments the ravages of
luxury and the English fashions visible in Broadway,--"silks, gauzes,
hats, and borrowed hair;... equipages rare, but elegant." "The men," he
adds, "have more simplicity of dress; they disdain gewgaws; but they
take their revenge in the luxury of the table";--"and luxury," he
observes, "forms a class dangerous to society,--I mean bachelors,--the
expense of women causing matrimony to be dreaded by men." It is curious
to find the French radical of eighty years ago drawing from the life of
Broadway inferences similar to those of the even more emphatic
economical moralist of to-day. In 1794, Wansey, a commercial traveller,
found the "Tontine near the Battery" the most eligible hotel, and met
there Dr. Priestley, breakfasted with Gates, and had a call from
Livingston; saw "some good paintings by Trumbull, at the Federal Hall,"
and Hodgkinson, at the theatre, in "A Bold Stroke for a Husband"; dined
with Comfort Sands; and Mr. Jay, "brother to the Ambassador," took him
to tea at the "Indian Queen";--items of information that mark the social
and political transition since the days of Dutch rule, though the
Battery still remained the court end and nucleus of Manhattan.

But it is not local memory alone that the solitude of Broadway awakens
in our aged guide; the vacant walk is peopled, to his fancy, with
the celebrities of the past whom he has there gazed at or
greeted,--Franklin, Jay, Tom Paine, Schuyler, Cobbett, Freneau, and
Colonel Trumbull, with their Revolutionary prestige; Volney and Genet,
with the memory of French radicalism; Da Ponte and the old Italian
opera; Colles and Clinton and the Erie Canal days; Red Jacket and the
aborigines; Dunlap and Dennie, the literary pioneers; Cooke, Kemble,
Kean, Matthews, and Macready, followed so eagerly by urchin eyes,--the
immortal heroes of the stage; Hamilton, Clinton, Morris, Burr, Gallatin,
and a score of political and civic luminaries whose names have passed
into history; Decatur, Hull, Perry, and the brilliant throng of
victorious naval officers grouped near the old City Hotel; Moreau, Louis
Philippe, Talleyrand, Louis Napoleon, Maroncelli, Foresti, Kossuth,
Garibaldi, and many other illustrious European exiles; Jeffrey, Moore,
Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, and the long line of literary lions, from
Basil Hall to Tupper; Chancellor Kent, Audubon, Fulton, Lafayette,
Randolph, the Prince of Wales, and the Queen of the Sandwich Islands,
Turkish admirals, Japanese officials, artists, statesmen, actors,
soldiers, authors, foreign _savans_, and domestic eccentricities, who
have perambulated this central avenue of a cosmopolitan American city.
Could they have all been photographed, what a reflex of modern society
would such a picture-gallery afford!

The old Dutch traders, with the instinct of their Holland habitudes,
clung to the water-side, and therefore their domiciles long extended at
angles with what subsequently became the principal avenue of the
settlement; and until 1642 Pearl Street was the fashionable quarter.
Meantime, where now thousands of emigrants daily disembark, and the
offices of ocean steamships indicate the facility and frequency of
Transatlantic travel, the Indian chiefs smoked the pipe of peace with
the victorious colonists under the shadow of Fort Amsterdam, and the
latter held fairs there, or gathered, for defence and pastime, round the
little oasis of the metropolitan desert where carmen now read "The Sun."
No. 1 was the Kennedy House, subsequently the tavern of Mrs.
Koch,--whose Dutch husband was an officer in the Indian wars,--and was
successively the head-quarters of Clinton, Cornwallis, and Washington,
and at last the Prime Mansion; and farther up was Mrs. Ryckman's
boarding-house,--genial sojourn of Irving, and the scene of his early
pen-craft and youthful companionships, when "New York was more handy,
and everybody knew everybody, and there was more good-fellowship and
ease of manners." Those were the days of ropewalks and "selectmen," of
stage-coaches and oil-lamps. The Yankee invasion had scarcely superseded
the Knickerbocker element. The Free Academy was undreamed of; and the
City Hotel assemblies were the embryo Fifth Avenue balls. An old
Directory or a volume of Valentine's Manual, compared with the latest
Metropolitan Guide-Book and Trow's last issue, will best illustrate the
difference between Broadway then and now.

But it is not so much the more substantial memorials as the "dissolving
views" that give its peculiar character to the street. Entered at the
lower extremity by the newly-arrived European, on a rainy morning, the
first impression is the reverse of grand or winsome. The squalor of the
docks and the want of altitude in the buildings, combined with the
bustle and hubbub, strike the eye as repulsive; but as the scene grows
familiar and is watched under the various aspects produced by different
seasons, weather, and hours of the day, it becomes more and more
significant and attractive. Indeed, there is probably no street in the
world subject to such violent contrasts. It is one thing on a brilliant
and cool October day and another in July. White cravats and black coats
mark "Anniversary week"; broad brims and drab, the "Yearly Meeting" of
the Friends; the "moving day" of the householders, the "opening day" of
the milliners, Christmas and New Year's, sleighing-time and spring,
early morning and midnight, the Sabbath and week-days, a cold spell and
the "heated term,"--every hour, season, holiday, panic, pastime, and
parade brings into view new figures and phases,--diverse phenomena of
crowd and character,--like the shifting segments of a panorama. The news
of victories during the war for the Union could be read there in
people's eyes and heard in their greetings. Sorrowful tidings seemed to
magnetize with sadness the long procession. Something in the air
foretold the stranger how beat the public pulse. The undercurrent of the
prevalent emotion seems to vibrate, with electric sympathy, along the
human tide.

A walk in Broadway is a most available remedy for "domestic" vexation
and provincial egotism. "Every individual spirit," says Schiller, "waxes
in the great stream of multitudes." Stand awhile calmly by the rushing
stream, and note its representative significance, or stroll slowly
along, with observant eye, to mark the commodities and nationalities by
the way. The scene is an epitome of the world. Here crouches a Chinese
mendicant, there glides an Italian image-vender; a Swedish sailor is
hard pressed by a smoking Cuban, and a Hungarian officer is flanked by a
French loiterer; here leers a wanton, there moans a waif; now passes an
Irish funeral procession, and again long files of Teutonic "Turners";
the wistful eyes of a beggar stare at the piles of gold in the
money-changer's show-window; a sister of charity walks beside a Jewish
Rabbi; then comes a brawny negro, then a bare-legged Highlander; figures
such as are met in the Levant; school-boys with their books and
lunch-boxes, Cockneys fresh from Piccadilly, a student who reminds us of
Berlin, an American Indian, in pantaloons; a gaunt Western, a keen
Yankee, and a broad Dutch physiognomy alternate; flower-venders,
dog-pedlers, diplomates, soldiers, dandies, and vagabonds, pass and
disappear; a firemen's procession, fallen horse, dead-lock of vehicles,
military halt, or menagerie caravan, checks momently the advancing
throng; and some beautiful face or elegant costume looms out of the
confused picture like an exquisite vision; great cubes of lake crystal
glisten in the ice-carts hard by blocks of ebon coal from the forests of
the primeval world; there a letter-carrier threads his way, and here a
newsboy shouts his extra; a milk-cart rattles by, and a walking
advertisement stalks on; here is a fashionable doctor's gig, there a
mammoth express-wagon; a sullen Southerner contrasts with a grinning
Gaul, a darkly-vested bishop with a gayly-attired child, a
daintily-gloved belle with a mud-soiled drunkard; a little shoe-black
and a blind fiddler ply their trades in the shadow of Emmet's obelisk,
and a toy-merchant has Montgomery's mural tablet for a background; on
the fence is a string of favorite ballads and popular songs; a mock
auctioneer shouts from one door, and a silent wax effigy gazes from
another. Pisani, who accompanied Prince Napoleon in his yacht-voyage to
America, calls Broadway a bazaar made up of savagery and civilization, a
mile and a half long; and M. Fisch, a French _pasteur_, was surprised at
the sight of palaces six or seven stories high devoted to commerce and
_les figures fines et gracieuses, la démarche légère et libre des
femmes, les allures vives de toute la population_. The shopkeepers are
urbanely courteous, says one traveller. "Horses and harness are fine,
but equipages inferior," observes another; while a third remarks, after
witnessing the escapade of vehicles in Broadway: "American coachmen are
the most adroit in the world."

It has been said that a Paris _gamin_ would laugh at our _fêtes_; and
yet, if such a loyal custodian as one of the old sacristans we meet
abroad, who has kept a life-vigil in a famous cathedral, or such a
vigilant chronicler as was Dr. Gemmelaro, who for years noted in a diary
the visitors to Ætna, and all the phenomena of the volcano,--_if_ such a
fond sentinel were to have watched, even for less than a century, and
recorded the civic, military, and industrial processions of Broadway,
what a panoramic view we should have of the fortunes, development, and
transitions of New York! The last of the cocked-hats would appear with
the final relics of Dutch and Quaker costume; the celebration of the
opening of the Erie Canal would seem consummated by the festivals that
signalized the introduction of Croton, and the success of the Atlantic
Telegraph; the funeral _cortége_ of Washington would precede that of
scores of patriots and heroes, from Hamilton and Lawrence to John Quincy
Adams and General Wadsworth; Scott would reappear victorious from
Mexico, Kossuth's plumed hat wave again to the crowd, grim Jackson's
white head loom once more to the eager multitude, and Lafayette's
courteous greetings win their cheers; St. Patrick's interminable line of
followers would contrast with the robes and tails of the Japanese,--the
lanterns of a political battalion, with the badges of a masonic
fraternity,--the obsolete uniform of the "Old Continentals," with the
red shirts of the firemen and the miniature banners of a Sunday-school
phalanx,--the gay citizen soldiers who turned out to honor Independence
or Evacuation Day, with the bronzed and maimed veterans bringing home
their bullet-torn flags from the bloody field of a triumphant patriotic
war,--the first negro regiment raised therefor cheerily escorted by the
Union League Club, with the sublime funeral train of the martyred
President. Including party demonstrations, popular ovations, memorable
receptions and obsequies,--Broadway processions, historically speaking,
uniquely illustrate the civic growth, the political freedom, the
cosmopolitan sympathies, and the social prosperity of New York.

The mutations and ameliorations of Broadway are singularly rapid. It is
but a few years since the eye of the passenger therein often caught
sight of pleasant domestic nooks,--bulbs in bloom, a canary, gold-fish,
or a graceful head bent over a book or crochet-work, at the cheerful
window,--where now iron fronts and plate-glass of enormous size proclaim
the prosperous warehouse. One of those sudden and sweeping
conflagrations, which so frequently make a breach in the long line of
edifices, destroyed within a few months the tall white walls of the
American Museum, with its flaring effigies of giants, dwarfs, and
monsters, and its band of musicians in the balcony, so alluring to the
rustic visitor. The picturesque church of St. Thomas and the heavy
granite façade of the Stuyvesant Institute, the "Tabernacle," the
Art-Academy, and the Society Library buildings have given way to palaces
of trade, and been transferred to the indefinitely extensive region of
"up town." Stewart's lofty marble stores redeemed the character of the
east side, long neglected in favor of the more crowded and showy
opposite walk; and his example has been followed by so many other
enterprising capitalists, that the original difference, both of aspect
and prestige, has all but vanished.

Among the most noticeable of the later features are the prevalence of
flower-venders, and the increase of beggars; as well as the luxurious
attractiveness of the leading confectioners' establishments, which, in
true American eclectic style, combine the Parisian café with the London
pastry-cooks and the Continental restaurant,--delectable rendezvous of
women who lunch extravagantly. Another and more refined feature is the
increase of elegant Art stores, where Gerome's latest miracle of
Oriental delineation, a fresh landscape of Auchenbach, or a naive gem by
Frere, is freely exposed to the public eye, beside new and elaborate
engravings, and graphic war-groups of Rogers, or the latest crayon of
Darley, sunset of Church, or rock-study by Haseltine. These free
glimpses of modern Art are indicative of the growing taste for and
interest therein among us. Pictures were never such profitable and
precious merchandise here, and the fortunes of artists are different
from what they were in the days when Cole used to bring his new
landscape to town, deposit it in the house of a friend, and personally
call the attention thereto of the few who cared for such things, and
when the fashionable portrait-painter was the exclusive representative
of the guild in Gotham.

The Astor House was the first of the large hotels on Broadway; and its
erection marks a new era in that favorite kind of enterprise and
entertainment of which Bunker's Mansion House was so long the
comfortable, respectable, and home-like ideal. Yet it is noteworthy that
inns rarely have or keep a representative character with us, but blend
popularity with fashion, as nowhere else. One may be associated with
Rebeldom, another with trade; this be frequented by Eastern, and that by
Western travellers; and nationalities may be identified with certain
resorts. But the tendency is towards the eclectic and homogeneous;
individuality not less than domesticity is trenched upon and fused in
these extravagant caravanseries; and there is no fact more
characteristic of the material luxury and gregarious standard of New
York life, than that the only temple erected to her patron saint is a
marble tavern!

Broadway has always had its eccentric or notable _habitués_. The Muse of
Halleck, in her palmy days, immortalized not a few; and many persons
still recall the "crazy poet Clarke," the "Lime-Kiln man," the courteous
and venerable Toussaint,--New York's best "image of God carved in
ebony,"--tall "gentleman George" Barrett, and a host of "familiar faces"
associated with local fame or social traits. The representative clergy,
physicians, lawyers, merchants, editors, politicians, bards, and
beauties, "men about town," and actors, were there identified, saluted,
and observed; and of all these, few seemed so appropriately there as the
last; for often there was and is a melodramatic aspect and association
in the scene, and Burton, Placide, or the elder Wallack walked there
with a kind of professional self-complacency. Thackeray, who had a quick
and trained eye for the characteristic in cities, delighted in Broadway,
for its cheerful variety, its perpetual "comedy of life"; the
significance whereof is only more apparent to the sympathetic observer,
because now and then through the eager throng glides the funeral car to
the sound of muffled drums, the "Black Maria" with its convict load, or
the curtained hospital litter with its dumb and maimed burden. And then,
to the practised frequenter, how, one by one, endeared figures and faces
disappear from that diurnal stage! It seems but yesterday since we met
there Dr. Francis's cheering salutation, or listened to Dr. Bethune's
and Fenno Hoffman's genial and John Stephens's truthful talk,--watched
General Scott's stalwart form, Dr. Kane's lithe frame, Cooper's
self-reliant step, Peter Parley's juvenile cheerfulness,--and grasped
Henry Inman's cordial hand, or listened to Irving's humorous
reminiscence, and met the benign smile of dear old Clement Moore. As to
fairer faces and more delicate shapes,--to encounter which was the
crowning joy of our promenade,--and "cheeks grown holy with the lapse of
years," memory holds them too sacred for comment. "Passing away" is the
perpetual refrain in the chorus of humanity in this bustling
thoroughfare, to the sober eye of maturity. The never-ending procession,
to the sensitive and the observant, has also infinite degrees of
language. Some faces seem to welcome, others to defy, some to lower, and
some to brighten, many to ignore, a few to challenge or charm,--as we
pass. And what lessons of fortune and of character are written
thereon,--the blush of innocence and the hardihood of recklessness, the
candid grace of honor and the mean deprecatory glance of knavery,
intelligence and stupidity, soulfulness and vanity, the glad smile of
friendship, the shrinking eye of fallen fortune, the dubious recognition
of disgrace, the effrontery of the adventurer, and the calm, pleasant
bearing of rectitude,--all that is beautiful and base in humanity,
gleams, glances, and disappears as the crowd pass on.

Richard Cobden, when in New York, was caught and long detained in a mesh
of drays and carriages in Broadway, and he remarked that the absence of
passionate profanity among the carmen and drivers, and the good-natured
patience they manifested, were in striking contrast with the blasphemous
violence exhibited in London under like circumstances; and he attributed
it to the greater self-respect bred in this class of men here by the
prospect and purpose of a higher vocation. It is curious to observe how
professional are the impressions and observations of Broadway
pedestrians. Walk there with a portrait-painter, and he will infer
character or discover subjects of art in every salient physiognomy. The
disparities of fortune and the signs of depravity will impress the
moralist. The pictorial effects, the adventurous possibilities, the
enterprise, care, or pastime of the scene, elicit comments in accordance
with the idiosyncrasies or aptitudes of the observer. What gradations of
greeting, from the curt recognition to the hilarious salute! What
variety of attraction and repulsion, according as your acquaintance is a
bore or a beauty, a benefactor or a bankrupt! The natural language of
"affairs," however, is the predominant expression. From the days of Rip
Van Dam to those of John Pintard, it is as a commercial city that New
York has drawn both her rural and foreign population. And her chief
thoroughfare retains the distinctive aspect thereof, as the extension of
the city has eliminated therefrom all other social elements,--fashion
being transferred to the Fifth Avenue, indigence to the Five Points, and
equipages to the Central Park. Police reports abound with the ruses and
roughnesses of metropolitan life, as developed in the most frequented
streets, where rogues seek safety in crowds. A rheumatic friend of ours
dropped a guinea in the Strand, and, being unable to stoop, placed his
foot upon the coin, and waited and watched for the right man to ask to
pick it up for him. He was astonished at the difficulty of the choice.
One passer was too elegant, another too abstracted, one looked
dishonest, and another haughty. At last he saw approaching a serious,
kindly-looking, middle-aged loiterer, with a rusty black suit and white
cravat,--apparently a poor curate taking his "constitutional." Our
friend explained his dilemma, and was assured, in the most courteous
terms, that the stranger would accommodate him with pleasure. Very
deliberately the latter picked up the guinea, wiped it carefully on his
coat-sleeve, and transferred it to his vest-pocket,--walking off with a
cheerful nod. Indignant at the trick, the invalid called out "Stop,
thief!" The rascal was chased and caught, and, when taken to the police
office, proved to be Bristol Bill,--one of the most notorious and
evasive burglars in London. Many like instances of false pretences are
traditional in Broadway,--where there are sometimes visible scenic
personages, like a quack doctor whose costume and bearing were borrowed
from Don Pasquale, and Dr. Knickerbocker in the elegant and obselete
breeches, buckles, and cocked hat of the olden time.

A peculiar hardihood and local wit are claimed for what are called the
B'hoys. A cockney, in pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, was
walking up Broadway with the hospitable citizen to whose guidance he
had been specially commended by a London correspondent.

"I want," said the stranger, "to see a b'hoy,--a real b'hoy."

"There's one," replied his companion, pointing to a strapping fellow, in
a red shirt and crush hat, waiting for a job at the corner.

"Ah, how curious!" replied John Bull, examining this new species with
his double eye-glass,--"very curious; I never saw a real b'hoy before. I
should like to hear him speak."

"Then, why don't you talk to him?"

"I don't know what to say."

"Ask him the way to Laight Street."

The inquisitive traveller crossed the street, and, deferentially
approaching the new genus, lisped, "Ha--ah--how d' do, ha? I want to go
to Laight Street."

"Then why in hell don't you go?" loudly and gruffly asks the b'hoy.

Cockney nervously rejoined his friend, saying,--"Very curious, the
Broadway b'hoys!"

To realize the extent and character of the Celtic element in our
population, walk down this thronged avenue on a holiday, when the Irish
crowd the sidewalks, waiting for a pageant; and all you have ever read
or dreamed of savagery will gleam, with latent fire, from those myriads
of sullen or daredevil eyes, and lurk in the wild tones of those
unchastened voices, as the untidy or gaudily dressed and interminable
line of expectants, flushed with alcohol, yield surlily to the backward
wave of the policeman's baton. The materials of riot in the heart of the
vast and populous city then strike one with terror. We see the worst
elements of European life cast upon our shore, and impending, as it
were, like a huge wave, over the peacefulness and prosperity of the
nation. The corruptions of New York local government are explained at a
glance. The reason why even patriotic citizens shrink from the primary
meetings whence spring the practical issues of municipal rule is easily
understood; and the absolute necessity of a reform in the legislative
machinery, whereby property and character may find adequate
representation, is brought home to the most careless observer of
Broadway phenomena. But it is when threading the normal procession
therein that distrust wanes, in view of so much that is hopeful in
enterprise and education, and auspicious in social intelligence and
sympathy. It may be that on one of our bright and balmy days of early
spring, or on a cool and radiant autumnal afternoon, you behold, in your
walk from Union Square to the Battery, an eminent representative of each
function and phase of high civilization;--wealth vested in real estate
in the person of an Astor, peerless nautical architecture in a Webb; the
alert step and venerable head of the poet of nature, as Bryant glides
by, and the still bright eye of the poet of patriotism and wit, as
Halleck greets you with the zest of a rural visitor refreshed by the
sight of "old, familiar faces"; anon comes Bancroft, a chronicler of
America's past, yet moving sympathetically through living history the
while; Verplanck, the Knickerbocker Nestor, and the gentlemen of the old
school represented by Irving's old friend, the companionable and
courteous Governor Kemble; pensive, olive-cheeked, sad-eyed Hamlet, in
the person of Edwin Booth, our native histrionic genius; Vandyke-looking
Charles Elliot, the portrait-painter; Paez, the exiled South American
general; Farragut, the naval hero; Hancock, Hooker, Barlow, or some
other gallant army officer,--volunteer heroes, maimed veterans of the
Union war; merchants, whose names are synonymous with beneficence and
integrity; artists, whose landscapes have revealed the loveliness of
this hemisphere to the Old World; women who lend grace to society and
feed the poor; men of science, who alleviate, and of literature, who
console, the sorrows of humanity; the stanch in friendship, the loyal in
national sentiment, the indomitable in duty, the exemplary in Christian
faith, the tender and true in domestic life,--the redeeming and
recuperative elements of civic society.

       *       *       *       *       *


Kicking my "Dutch wife,"[3] that comfortable Batavian device, to the
foot of the bed, and turning over with a delicious stretch just as day
began to dawn, I opened my eyes with a drowsy sense of refreshing
favor,--a half-dream, mixed of burning and breeze,--and discovered old
Karlee, my pearl of bhearers,[4] waiting in still patience on the
outside of the tent-like mosquito curtain, punka in hand, and tenderly
waving a balmy blessing across the sirocco-plagued sand of my slumber.

"Good morning, Karlee."

"_Salaam, Sahib-bhote-bhote salaam!_[5] Master catch plenty good isleep
this night, Karlee hope."

"So, so,--so, so. But you look happy this morning; your eyes are bright,
and your kummerbund[6] jaunty, and you sport a new turban. What's the
good news, old man?"

"Yes, Sahib. Large joy Karlee have got,--happy _kismut_,[7]--too much
jolly good luck, master, please."

"Aha! I'm glad of it. None too jolly for my patient Karlee, I'll
engage,--not a whit too happy and proud for my faithful, grateful,
humble old man. And what is it?"

"By master's favor, one man-child have got; one fine son he come this
night, please master's graciousness."

"A son--your wife!--what, you, Karlee, _you_?"

"Please master's pardon, no,--Karlee wife, no; Karlee daughter, Karlee
ison-in-law, one man-child have catch this night, by Sahib's merciful

"So! your daughter and her husband, the young kitmudgar,[8] they that
were married last year. Good! let us exalt our horn, let us glorify
ourselves; for is it not written, 'By a son a man shall obtain victory
over all people; by a son's son he shall enjoy immortality; and by a
son's son's son he shall reach the solar abodes'? Verily it is pleasant
to have a boy-butcha in the house,--the heir and lord. So we will even
make merry to-day; to-day we will take holiday. Let the buttons wait,
and the beard go awry; send the barber away, and tell the tailor to come
to-morrow; for one day Sahib, the master of earth, abdicates in favor of
_Puttro_, the 'Deliverer from Hell,' the true king for every pious
Hindoo. And here are some rupees to buy him a happy horoscope with, and
to pay the _gooroo_[9] for a good strong charm, warranted to avert the
Evil Eye."

"Ah! Master's bountiful favor too much compassion have,--too much
pitiful munif--"

"That's all right, old man. Salaam now; and good luck to the baby."

Now here, thought I, is a chance to observe my pagan at home, under the
most favorable circumstances. Karlee will devote the occasion to the
domestic felicities; he will spread holiday fare, and there will be
neighborly congratulations, and a hospitable relaxation in the family of
the orthodox heathen rigor. I will make a "surprise party" of myself,
and on the recommendation of a string of corals for the new butcha I'll
catch him in the very dishabille of his Hindooism. And I did.

       *       *       *       *       *

I had often heard that Karlee lived well, and that his household enjoyed
substantial comfort in a degree notably superior to the general
circumstances of his class. With eminent intelligence and devotion he
had served for more than forty years various American gentlemen residing
in Calcutta, by whom, in his neat-handedness, he was esteemed a sort of
he-Phillis; and for his housewifely dusting of books and furniture, his
orderly keeping of drawers and trunks, his sharp eye to punkas and
mosquito-nets, and his exacting discipline of sweepers and messengers,
barbers, tailors, and washermen, he had been rewarded with generous
buksheesh over and above his stipulated, wages, which were liberal; so
that among bhearers he was distinguished for respectability, by income
as well as influence, and represented the best society. Between his own
savings and those of his wife,--who, as an _ayah_, or nurse, in an
English family high in the Civil Service, was extravagantly prized for
her fidelity, skill, and patience,--Karlee had laid up a little fortune
of ten thousand rupees; but that was partly by dint of a clever
speculation now and then in curiosities and choice presents, which he
disposed of among those of his American or English patrons who happened
to be homeward bound. As it is not permitted to a bhearer to engage
directly in trade, these neat little transactions were in all cases
shrewdly managed by a friend of Karlee's, a smart _sircar_,[10] in the
employ of a _banyan_,[11] the bhearer resting strictly in the
background, a silent partner, and limiting his co-operation to the
prompt furnishing of capital, which consisted not of rupees merely, but
of many a cunning hint as well, as to the tastes, ways, and weaknesses
of his customers. It was a mutual understanding: we knew of Karlee's
interest in these sentimental "operations," and we openly patronized
him; he knew which of us had wives, and which sweethearts, across the
black water, and he mysteriously patronized us. On that subject my
heathen was always at home; and so it happened, by a happy dispensation
of cause and effect, that at home he lived like a gentleman.

Through narrow, dingy miles of scrambling bazaar, redolent of all the
unfragrances of that dusty, sweaty, greasy, jabbering quarter, I rolled
in my light buggy, behind a nimble Arab mare, to a suburban retreat on
the eastern skirt of the Black Town, where, just beyond a cluster of
mean huts of the _sooa-logue_, the low laboring rabble, I found Karlee's
genteel abode, and was refreshed by the contrast it presented to the
hovel of his next neighbor, whose single windowless apartment, and walls
of alternate rows of straw and reeds, plastered with mud, proclaimed
most unpicturesquely the hard fate of him who springs from the soles of
Brahma's feet. Karlee's walls were of solid clay of substantial
thickness. His floor was raised a foot or two above the ground, and
there was a neatly thatched roof over all, swelling out in an elongated
dome, and oddly resembling an inverted boat. As in the rural districts,
Karlee had fenced in his privacy with a thick hedge of clipped bamboo
surmounting a quadrangular embankment. Before the grateful porch two
beautiful tamarind-trees and a palm bestowed their kindly shade, and in
the hedge the bamboos, with their golden stems and bright green leaves,
rustled cheerfully.

On the other side of the road, and shyly retired from it in a close
bamboo covert, dwelt Karlee's partner in the curiosity and general fancy
line, the sharp sircar, with whom (both being _soodras_,[12] and of the
same sect) his social relations were intimate and free. The sircar,
having thriven under the patronage of more than one rich and liberal
_baboo_,[13] to whose favor he had recommended himself by his business
alertness and his ever-politic compliance, had attained unto the honor
of a brick house of two stories, plastered and whitewashed without and
within, with a flat roof, having a low parapet, and laid with a
rain-proof composition of clay and lime. Though his stairs are narrow,
his veranda is commodious; and when he shall have made his fortune in
the curiosity and general fancy line, he will have wings, with a
central area open to the sky, and a double veranda with a lattice. Then,
his accommodations being sufficiently enlarged, the proudest wish of his
heart shall be gratified in the reunion of his entire family--children
and grandchildren, even uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces--under the
same roof.

As I drove up to Karlee's hedge, and, tossing the reins to my
_syce_,[14] passed under the tamarind-trees to the little porch, the old
man came out to meet me with unwonted precipitation; and, although he
maintained with admirable presence of mind that imperturbable gravity,
that tranquil, expectant self-possession, which is the study of a
Hindoo's life, and to which he gives all his mind from the time when he
first begins to have any, ever solicitous to be master of himself though
China fall, it was not difficult on this occasion to detect in the
fluttering lights and shades of his countenance an expression mixed of
astonishment, gratification, and confusion, very natural to a poor
bhearer who had never before been taken by a Sahib in the very bosom of
his family. There was something at once pitiful and comical in the
subdued "fidget" with which, applying his joined palms to his forehead,
and lowly louting, he made his most obsequious salaam again and again.

"Master have command for Karlee? Any wrong thing happen, master?
_Dhobee_[15] come? _Mehtur_[16] not sweep room? _Punka-wallah_[17] run
away? Sahibs make visit? _Kitmudgar_ not--"

"No, no; everything all right and proper. I have come to bring good
wishes and a lucky eye to all this house, and a small _salaamee_, a
pretty gift, for the new _Suntoshum_,--the jewel that hangs on its
mother's bosom."

"Ah! master make slave too much happy honor. Master's pitiful
graciousness all same _Barra Lard Sahib_" (the Governor-General). "Poor,
foolish bhearer kiss master's feet."

"Well, another time for that. Lead the way now, and let me make my
salaam to your coolest mat and your largest punka, for I am hot and

"S'pose Sahib like, _Belatta pawnee_ have got?"

"_Acha; Belatta pawnee lou_."[18]

Here, indeed, was a wide stride in the direction of refinement and
Evangelism! Soda-water in a bhearer's house! Karlee had not served the
Sahibs, and observed "Young Bengal" baboos, in vain. From _Belatta
pawnee_ to Isherryshrob and Simpkin (sherry and champagne) is not far,
and well does Young Bengal know the way.

A quick glance, as I passed in, informed me that Karlee's house
consisted of four rooms; probably two sleeping apartments, one for the
men and another for the women, a kitchen, and a common room for meals,
family chats, and visitors. Like all true Hindoo houses, uncorrupted by
the European innovations which snobbish baboos affect, it contained but
few articles of furniture, and those of the simplest and most
indispensable description,--nothing for luxury, nothing for show. To the
outfit of the poorest laborer's domicile he added little more than a
white cloth spread over checkered Chinese matting, to stand for chair,
table, and bed; a cushion or two to recline upon; a few earthen vessels
of the better quality, to hold rice or water; a brass lamp for cocoa-nut
oil; several more primitive lamps rudely made of the shell of the
cocoa-nut; an iron mortar and pestle--foreign, of course--for pounding
curry; a couple of _charpoys_, or wooden cots; a few brass _lotahs_, or
drinking-cups; and two or three hubble-bubbles. But the crowning glories
were a Chinese extension chair, of bamboo and wicker, and quite a pretty
hookah,--both evidently dedicated to company occasions. These were all
that I could see in the two rooms to which I was admitted, and these
were no doubt the very splendors of Karlee's establishment. If he had
been a rich Anglicized baboo, he would have had a profusion of hot,
tawdry chairs, and a vulgar-gorgeous cramming of gilt-edged tables,
sweaty red sofas, coarse pictures in overdone frames, Bowery mirrors,
and Brummagem chandeliers.

Comfortably installed in the Chinese chair, and refreshed with the
Belatta pawnee, I proceeded to take notes. Karlee had discarded his
working dress for festal attire,--the difference being one of quality
merely. Round his waist he wore a _dhotee_ of coarse muslin, tight
above, so as to form the _kummerbund_, or waistband, but thence falling
in loose and not ungraceful folds down the legs to the ankles. Over his
body another ample mantle, in no respect differing from the _dhotee_ as
to texture or color, was wrapped like a broad scarf, and carelessly
flung over the shoulder in the fashion of a Highland plaid. In the
"cold" season he would draw this over his head for a hood. These sheets
of cloth are worn just as they come from the loom; needle or pin has
never touched them, and they are held in place by tucking the ends under
the folds.

Being a Hindoo gentleman of the old school, Karlee repudiated the
headdress at home; for the _puggree_, at least in its present form, was
adopted from the Mohammedan conquerors, and is, historically, a badge of
subjugation. So when he met me at the door his head was uncovered; but I
had no sooner crossed the threshold than he made haste to don his flat
turban,--reflecting, perhaps, that I had never seen him without it, and
might resent his bare head as an indignity. Of course his feet were
unshod. To have worn his sandals in my presence would have been a
flagrant insult; but on the porch I espied those two queer clogs of
wood, shaped to the sole of the foot, and having no other fastening than
an impracticable-looking knob, to be held between the toes.

This is the orthodox Hindoo dress; but the costume for public occasions
of many Hindoos of rank has been for a quarter of a century in a state
of transition from Mohammedan to British. By way of turbans, loose
trousers, Cashmere shawls, and embroidered slippers, they are marching
on toward pantaloons, waistcoats, shoes and stockings, stove-pipe hats,
and tail-coats. A baboo of superlative fashion, according to the code of
Young Bengal, paid me a visit one day in a state of confirmed "pants"
and "Congress gaiters"; and, on seating himself, he took off his turban
and held it on his knee. I need hardly say that he was a fool and an
infidel. And I have seen an intrepid buffoon of this class in an English
shirt, which he wore over his pantaloons, and hanging down to his knees.
But, after all, these clumsy desecrations are confined to a small
minority of the population, if not strictly to that "set" which is
brought most closely in contact with Europeans; such as a few native
gentlemen in the Presidency capitals, some of the pleaders and principal
_employés_ of the higher courts, not a few of the teachers and pupils in
the Anglo-Indian schools, and many of the native Christians.

Karlee's politeness, superior to that of the more servile bhearers, was
a fair type of the pure Hindoo manners of that well-bred middle class
which clings with orthodox conservatism to its dear traditions, and
spurns as unconstitutional all upstart and dandy amendments of the old
social and religious law. He had invariably one salutation for an
equal,--the right hand gently raised, and the head as gently inclined to
meet it; another, for what I may term a familiar superior (such as
myself),--the hands joined palm to palm, and so applied twice or thrice
to the forehead; and still other, and more and more reverential,
ceremonials for _gooroos_, Brahmins, holy sages, and princes,--the brow
touching the ground, or the whole body prostrated.

If it was an indispensable requirement of respect that he should leave
his slippers at the door on entering any house, it was no less important
that he should resume them on taking his leave. To have appeared in
public with uncovered feet would have been a gross breach of propriety.
Fine old Hindoo gentlemen, all of the olden time, find it difficult to
express their mingled contempt, indignation, and regret for the
innovation which substitutes the Cheapside shoe for the ceremonial
slipper, or permits the wearing of the latter in a Sahib's office or
drawing-room. It shows, they say, that the natives are losing their
respect for the Sahibs. And yet the British authorities stupidly
sanction it, even set the seal of fashion upon it, by allowing natives
of rank, who visit Government House, to appear in the presence of the
Governor-General, and the _élite_ of the European society, in their
slippers. The fact is, these impious disturbings of the established
order of things are most shocking to the well-regulated heathen mind, to
which no spectacle can be more monstrous than that of a Hindoo of good
caste and old family performing with some arf-and-arf Cockney visitor a
duet on the pump-handle, and directly afterward wreathing his apoplectic
neck with flowers, and sprinkling his asthmatic waistcoat with
rose-water. You see they both back "Young Bengal" in the Barrackpore

When Karlee visits his friend the sircar, he is scrupulous not to make
his parting salaam until his host has given the customary signal. He
waits to be dismissed, or rather to receive permission to withdraw. The
etiquette supposes that his inclination is to prolong the enjoyment he
derives from the society of so agreeable a gentleman; it is, therefore,
not until rose-water has been presented to him, or betel-leaf, or
sweetmeats, that he will venture to take his sandals and his leave.

The style of Hindoo politeness is format and imperturbably grave,
utterly devoid of heartiness or impulsiveness; and the cordiality which
distinguishes the intercourse of American friends appears to the native
gentleman boisterous and vulgar. I never saw Karlee laugh; and if I had
happened to snatch him from sudden death by fire or water, I think he
would have acknowledged the obligation with precisely the same
mathematical salaam, or at most the same sententious obsequiousness,
with which he accepted a buksheesh of a half-rupee; and yet in both
good-humor and gratitude he was as cheerful and as worthy as the most
giddy and gushing of damsels. But I must acknowledge there was something
truly corpsy in the solemnity with which he would "lay out" a clean
shirt. Even so, in the midst of all the jolly uproar of a mess dinner,
our Kitmudgars would stand in grim deadliness at our backs, like so many
executioners, only waiting for a sign from the ruthless Kousomar, who
was just then horribly popping the champagne corks, to behead us,--each
his own doomed Sahib.

No wonder Karlee was a gentleman; for the Vishnu Pooran was his
Chesterfield, and he had its precepts by heart. "A wise man," he would
say to the pert young Kitmudgars, as they bragged and wrangled, between
their hubble-bubbles, on the back stairs,--"a wise man will never
address another with the least unkindness; but will always speak gently,
and with truth, and never make public another's faults. He will never
engage in a dispute with either his superiors or his inferiors:
controversy and marriage are permitted only between equals. Nor will he
ever associate with wicked persons: half an instant is the utmost time
he should allow himself to remain in their company. A wise man, when
sitting, will not put one foot over the other, nor stretch forth his
foot in the presence of a superior; but he will sit with modesty, in the
posture styled _virasama_. Above all, he will not expectorate at the
time of eating, offering oblations, or repeating prayers, or in the
presence of any respectable person; nor will he ever cross the shadow of
a venerable man or of an idol."

For those who imagine that polygamy is a popular institution in
Hindostan, the answer of a Hill-man to a Mofussil magistrate should
suffice. "Do you keep more than one wife?" "We can hardly feed one; why
should we keep more?" In fact, the privilege of maintaining a plurality
of wives is restricted to a very few,--those only of the largest means
and smallest scruples,--except in the case of _Kooleen_ Brahmins, that
superlative aristocracy of caste which is supposed to be descended from
certain illustrious families who settled in Bengal several centuries
ago. Wealthy Hindoos of low degree eagerly aspire to the honor of mixing
their puddle blood with the quintessentially clarified fluid that
glorifies the circulatory systems of these demigods, and the result is a
very pretty and profitable branch of the Brahmin business,--_Kooleen_
marrying sometimes as many as fifty of such nut-brown maids of baser
birth, in consideration of a substantial dowry attached to each bride,
and a solemn obligation, accepted and signed by the paternal Puddle,
forever to feed at home her and her improved progeny. So the fifty
continue to roost in the old paternal coops, while Kooleen, like a
pampered Brahmapootra, struts, in pompous patronage, from one to the
other, his sense of duty satisfied when he has left a crow and a cackle
behind him. It is said that many fine fowls of the Brahmin breed, who do
not happen to be Kooleens, complain of the monopoly.

So Karlee had but one wife,--the handy, thrifty ayah already mentioned.
She was nine and he twelve years old when they were betrothed, and they
never saw each other until they were married. A professional
match-maker, or go-between,--female, of course,--was employed by the
parents to negotiate terms and arrange the preliminaries; and when
horoscopes had been compared and the stars found all right, with a
little consequential chaffering, the hymeneal instruments were
"executed." There was no trouble on the score of caste, both families
being soodra; otherwise, the sensitive social balance would have had to
be adjusted by the payment of a sum of money. When the skirts of the
bride and bridegroom had been fastened together with blades of the
sweet-scented cusa grass,--when he had said, "May that heart which is
thine become my heart, and this heart which is mine become thy
heart,"--when, hand in hand, they had stept into the seventh of the
mystic circles,--Mr. and Mrs. Karlee were an accomplished Hindoo fact.

To the parents on both sides, the wedding was a costly performance.
There were the irrepressible and voracious Brahmins to propitiate, the
hungry friends of both families to feast for three days, the musicians
and the nautch-girls and the _tamasha-wallahs_[19] to be bountifully
buksheeshed; and when the bridal palanquin was borne homeward, it was a
high-priced indispensability that the procession should satisfy the best
soodra society,--

    "With the yellow torches gleaming,
    And the scarlet mantles streaming,
    And the canopy above
    Swaying as they slowly move."

Karlee has assured me that neither his father nor his father-in-law,
although both were soodras of fair credit and condition, ever quite
recovered from the financial shock of that "awspidges okashn."

A Hindoo very rarely pronounces the name of his wife, even to his most
intimate friends,--to strangers, and especially foreigners, never; on
the part of a native visitor it is the etiquette to ignore her
altogether, and for the husband to allude to her familiarly is an
unpardonable breach of decorum. When, therefore, Karlee, to gratify my
friendly curiosity, led in the happy grandmother, I felt that I was the
recipient of an extraordinary mark of respect and confidence, involving
a generous sacrifice of prejudice. As she made her modest salaam, and,
in the manner of a shy child, sank to the floor in the habitual posture
of an ayah, I had before me the well-preserved remains of a Hindoo
beauty, according to the standard of the Shasters,--a placid, reposeful
woman, almost fat, with rather delicate features of Rajpoot fairness,
the complexion of high caste, wealth, and ease, such as her
less-favored sisters vainly strive to imitate with a sort of saffron
_rouge_. Her expression was chaste and gentle, her voice dulcet; and to
the practice of carrying light burdens on her head she was indebted for
a carriage erect and graceful. On Broadway or Tremont Street, Mrs.
Karlee would have passed for a very comely colored woman. If she was not
like Rama, fair as the jasmine, or the moon, or the fibres of the lotos,
neither had she, like Krishna, the complexion of a cloud. If she was not
so delicate as that dainty beauty who bewitched the hard heart of
Surajah Dowlah, and weighed but sixty-four pounds, neither did she
reproduce the unwieldy charms of that Venus of one of the Shasters
"whose gait was the gait of a drunken elephant or a goose." A prudent
man, says the Vishnoo Pooran, will not marry a woman who has a beard, or
one who has thick ankles, or one who speaks with a shrill voice, or one
who croaks like a raven, or one whose eyebrows meet, or one whose teeth
resemble tusks. And Karlee was a prudent man.

From the extravagant and clumsy complications, the stupid caprices and
discords, and studious indecencies of our women's fashions, to the
prudent simplicity, the unconscious poetry and picturesqueness and
musically blended modesty and freedom of the good ayah's unchangeable
attire, my thought reverts with a mingled sense of refreshment and
regret. A single web of cloth, eight or nine yards long, having a narrow
blue border, was drawn in self-forming folds around her shoulders and
bosom, and hung down to her feet,--the material muslin, the texture
somewhat coarse, the color white. No dressmaker had ever played
fantastic tricks with it: it was pure and simple in its entireness as it
came from the loom.

Other women, of the laboring class, and very poor, passed to and fro on
the street, half naked, their legs and shoulders bare, and with only a
piece of dirty cloth--blue, red, or yellow--around the loins and hips;
while here and there some superfine baboo's wife floated past in her
close palanquin, or sat with her children on the flat roof of her house,
or peeped through her narrow windows into the street, arrayed in fancy
bodice and petticoat,--Mohammedan fashion.

But the simplicity of Mrs. Karlee's attire began and ended with her
drapery. Her ornaments were cumbersome, clumsy, and grotesque. On her
arms and ankles were many fetter-like bands of silver and copper; rude
rings of gold and silver adorned her fingers and great toes; small
silver coins were twisted in her hair; and the naturally delicate
outline of her lips was deformed by a broad gold ring, which she wore,
like a fractious ox, in her nose. This latter vanity is as precious as
it is ugly; in some of the minor castes its absence is regarded as a
badge of widowhood; and for no inducement would the pious ayah have
removed it from its place, even for an instant. Had it fallen, by any
dreadful chance, the house would have been filled with horror and
lamentation. The half-naked wife of my syce rejoices in a nose-ring of
brass or pewter, and her wrists and ankles are gay with hoops of painted
shell-lac; and even she stains her eyelids with lampblack, and tinges
her nails with henna. Much lovelier was our pretty ayah in her
maidenhood, when her dainty bosom was decked with shells and
sweet-scented flowers, and her raven hair lighted up with sprays of the
Indian jasmine, which first she had offered to Seeta.

But that reminds me that, when I approached her, and presented the
string of corals, my small _salaamee_, and bade Karlee tell her that it
was for the baby,--for she understood not a word of English,--and that I
wished him happy stars and a good name, riches and honors, and a
houseful of sons,--she uttered not a word; but with eyes brimming with
gratitude, flattered to tears, by a sudden graceful movement she touched
my foot with her hand and immediately laid it on her head,--and then,
with many shy and mute, but eloquent salaams, retired. It is difficult
to imagine such a woman scolding and slang-whanging as low Hindoo women
do, accompanying with passionate attitudes and gestures a reckless
torrent of words, and fitting the foulest action to the most scandalous

The wives of the native servants are generally industrious. This one,
Karlee boasted, was a notable housewife. Before she went out to service
as an ayah she had cleaned the rice, pounded the curry, cooked all the
meals, brought water from the tank in earthen jars on her head, swept
and scrubbed the floor, cultivated a small kitchen garden, "shopped" at
the bazaar, spun endless supplies of cotton thread on a very primitive
reel, consisting of a piece of wire with a ball of clay at the end of
it, which she twirled with one hand while she fed it with the other; and
every morning she bathed in the Hooghly, and returned home before
daybreak. Sewing and knitting were unknown arts to her,--she had no use
for either; and her washing and ironing were done by a hired dhobee.

True, it was not permitted to her to eat with her husband; when Karlee
dined she sat at the respectful orthodox distance, and waited; and if at
any time they walked out together, ayah must keep her legal place in the
rear. Saith the Shaster, "Is it not the practice of women of immaculate
chastity to eat after their lords have eaten, to sleep only after they
have slept, and to rise from sleep before them?" And again, "Let a wife
who wishes to perform sacred ablution wash the feet of her lord, and
drink the water." Nevertheless, ayah exercised an influence over her
husband as decided as it was wholesome; she did not hesitate to rebuke
him when occasion required; and in all that related to the moral
government of her children she was free to dispute his authority, and
try parental conclusions with him,--kindly but firmly. As for "the
tyrannical immuring of the Oriental female," the cruel caging of the
pretty birds who are supposed to be forever longing and pining for the
gossip of the _ghaut_ and the bustle of the bazaar, the only fault she
had to find with it was that she did not get enough of it. The
well-trained Hindoo woman has been taught to regard such seclusion as
her most charming compliment, and a precious proof of her husband's
affection; to be kept jealously veiled from the staring world, is
associated in her mind with ideas of wealth and rank,--it is the very
aristocracy of fashion.

According to the Code of Menyu, "a believer in Scripture may receive
pure knowledge even from a soodra, a lesson of the highest virtue even
from a chandala, and a woman bright as a gem even from the lowest
family." So if Karlee's wife, instead of being of the same social rank
as himself, had come of basest caste, she would still have been a
treasure. Soon after she had retired, she gently pushed into the room,
to pay his respects to the Sahib, a shy little boy of five years, whom
Karlee presented to me as the child of his only son, a bhearer in the
service of an English officer stationed at Fort William. The mother had
died in blessing her husband with this bright little puttro. In costume
he was the exact miniature of his grandfather, except that he wore no
puggree, and his hair was cut short round the forehead in a quaint
frill, like the small boys one sees running about the streets in Orissa.
His ankles, too, were loaded with massive silver rings, which noticeably
impeded the childish freedom of his steps. When he has begun to
understand what the word "wife" means, these must be laid aside. In his
manners, likewise, little Karlee was the very tautology of his namesake
with the gray moustache,--the same wary self-possession, the same
immovable gravity and nice decorum. Like a little courtier, he made his
small salaam, and through his grandfather replied to some playful
questions I addressed to him, with good emphasis and discretion, without
either awkwardness or boldness, and especially without a smile. When I
gave him a rupee, he construed it as the customary signal, and with
another small salaam immediately dismissed himself.

Little Karlee must have taken lessons in deportment with his primal pap;
and in India all good little boys, who hope to go to heaven when they
die, keep their noses clean, and never romp or whistle. As to girls it
matters less; the midwife gets only half price for consummating that
sort of blunder; for when you are dead only a son can carry you out and
bury you _dacent_,--no daughter, though she pray with the power and
perseverance of the Seven Penitents, can procure you a respectable

So far little Karlee had been lucky. This house, where he was born, was
lucky,--no one had ever died in it. When his dear mother could not spin
any more, they carried her to the Hooghly on a charpoy, and she had
breathed her last on the banks of the sacred river. Besides, his
grandfather had immediately stuck up a cooking-pot, striped with
perpendicular white lines, on a pole at the side of the house; so _he_
had never been in any danger from malicious incantations and the Evil
Eye. His education had been begun on a propitious day, else he might
have died or turned out a dunce. The very day he was born, a Brahmin--O
_so_ pious!--had hung a charm round his neck, and only charged grandpa
fifty rupees for it; when he went to the bazaar with his grandmother he
was always dressed in rags, to avert envy, and no one out of the family
knew his real name except his gooroo; all the other boys, and the
neighbors, called him Teencowry (three cowries[20]),--such a nice mean
name against spells and cross-eyed people! Once a strange Melican Sahib
had said, "Hello, Buster!" to him; but he wasn't at all frightened, for
his gooroo had taught him how to say a holy _mautra_[21] backwards; and
when the Melican Sahib passed on, he spat on his shadow and said it.
Last week a lizard dropped on his foot, and yesterday he saw a cow on
his right hand three times,--he had always been so lucky!

Now, time, place, and mood being favorable, I called for the company
hookah, and, extending the long Chinese chair, smoked myself to sleep
under the punka. My nap was a long one, and when I awoke there watched
and waited Karlee, tenderly patient, with the fly-flapper.

In the hospitalities thus far so handsomely extended to me, the reader
will recognize and appreciate an extraordinary display of liberal ideas,
for which, however, considering the sound common sense of my
affectionate old bhearer, I was not altogether unprepared; but when, his
little grandson being gone, he conducted me into another room, to
partake of what he humbly styled a _chota khana_, a trifle of luncheon,
my astonishment exceeded my gratification. I doubt if such a thing had
ever before happened in the life of a bhearer.

On the floor a broad sheet, of spotless whiteness, was spread, and
beside it a narrow mattress of striped seersucker, very clean and cool,
and with a double cushion at the head to support the elbow; on this my
host invited me to recline. Here then were table and chair, but as yet
the board was bare. Presently little Karlee reappeared, bringing a great
round hand-punka, formed of a single huge palm-leaf, and, standing
behind my shoulder, began to fan me solemnly. Immediately there was a
subdued and mysterious clapping of hands, and the old man, going to the
door, received, from behind the red curtain which hung across it, a bowl
of coarse unglazed earthenware, but smoking and savory, which he set
before me, together with a smaller bowl of the same material, empty; and
to my lively surprise these were followed by English bunns and pickles,
a jar of chutney, a bottle of Allsop's ale, my own silver beer-mug,
knives and forks, table and dessert spoons, fruit-knife, and
napkin,--all from our quarters in Cossitollah, two miles away. By what
conjuration and mighty magic Karlee had procured these from my kitmudgar
without a _chittee_, or order, I have not yet discovered.

The tureen contained delicious Mulligatawney soup, of which, as Karlee
well knew, I was inordinately fond; and as he opened the ale he modestly
congratulated himself on my vigorous enjoyment of it.

After the soup came curried prawns, a very piquant dish, in eminent
repute among the Sahibs, and a famous appetizer. Tonic, hot, and pungent
as it is, with spices, betel, and chillies, it is hard to imagine what
the torpid livers of the Civil Service would do without their rousing

The curry was followed by a tender _bouilli_ of kid, sauced with a
delicate sort of onions stewed in ghee (boiled butter), and flanked with
boiled rice, sweet pumpkin, and fried bananas, all served on green
leaves. Next came pine-apple, covered with sherry-wine and sugar, in
company with English walnuts and cheese; and, last of all, sweetmeats
and coffee,--the former a not unpleasant compound of ground rice and
sugar with curds and the crushed kernel of the cocoa-nut; the coffee was
served in a diminutive gourd, and was not sweetened. Last of the last,
the hookah.

And all these wonders had been wrought since the grateful ayah retired
with the corals! But then the bazaar was close at hand, and in the
sircar's house help was handy.

Whilst I kanahed[22] and smoked, Karlee, humbly "squatting" at my back,
allowed me to draw from him all that I have here related of his house
and family, and much more that I have not space to relate. Of course, he
could not have shared the repast with me,--all the holy water of Ganges
could never have washed out so deep a defilement,--but he accompanied my
hookah with his hubble-bubble. The reader has observed that, although
the viands were choice enough, they were laid on the cheapest pottery,
and even on leaves, that the plate from which I ate was of unglazed
earthenware, and that the coffee was served in a gourd. This was in
order that they might be at once destroyed. By no special dispensation
could those vessels ever again be purified for the use of a respectable
Hindoo; even a pariah would have felt insulted if he had been asked to
eat from them; and if the knives and forks and spoons had not been my
own, they must have shared the fate of the platters. But this prejudice
must be taken in a Pickwickian sense,--it covered no objection simply
personal to the Sahib. In some castes it is forbidden to eat from any
plate twice, even in the strictest privacy of the family; and many
natives, however wealthy, scrupulously insist upon leaves. All
respectable Hindoos lift their food with their fingers, using neither
knife, fork, nor spoon; and for this purpose they employ the right hand
only, the left being reserved for baser purposes. In drinking water,
many of them will not allow the _lotah_ to touch the lips; but, throwing
the head back, and holding the vessel at arm's length on high, with an
odd expertness they let the water run into their mouths. The sect of
Ramanujas obstinately refuse to sit down to a meal while any one is
standing by or looking on; nor will they chew betel in company with a
man of low caste. Ward has written, "If a European of the highest rank
touch the food of a Hindoo of the lowest caste, the latter will
instantly throw it away, although he may not have another morsel to
allay the pangs of hunger";--but this is true only of certain very
strait sects. There are numerous sects that admit proselytes from every
caste; but at the same time they will not partake of food, except with
those of their own religious party. "Here," says Kerr, "the spirit of
sect has supplanted even the spirit of caste,"--as at the temple of
Juggernath in Orissa, where the pilgrims of all castes take their
_khana_ in common.

At our quarters in Cossitollah even this progressive Karlee will not
taste of the food which has been served at our mess-table, though it be
returned to the kitchen untouched. But at least he is consistent; for
neither will he take medicine from the hand of a Sahib, however ill he
may be; nor have I ever known him to decline or postpone the performance
of this or that duty because it was Sunday,--as many knavish bhearers do
when they have set their hearts on a cock-fight. To compound for sins
one is inclined to, by damning those one has no mind to, it is not
indispensable that one should be a Christian.

The amiable Mr. James Kerr, of the Hindoo College of Calcutta, has
contrived an ingenious and plausible apology for the constitutional (or
geographical) laziness of Bengalese servants. He says: "A love of repose
may be considered one of the most striking features in the character of
the people of India. The Hindoos may be said to have deified this state.
Their favorite notion of a Supreme Being is that of one who reposes in
himself, in a dream of absolute quiescence. This idea is, doubtless, in
the first instance, a reflection of their own character; but, in
whatever way it originated, it tends to sanctify in their eyes a state
of repose. When removed from this world of care, their highest hope is
to become a part of the great Quiescent. It will naturally appear to
them the best preparation for the repose of a future life to cultivate
repose in this." Therefore, if your kitmudgar, nodding behind your
chair, permits his astonished fly-flapper to become a part of the great
Quiescent, or if your punka-wallah, having subsided into a comatose
beatitude, suddenly invites his compliant machine to repose in himself,
in a dream of absolute stagnation, with the thermometer at 120° outside
the refrigerator, you must not say, "Damn that boy,--he's asleep
again!"--but patiently survey and intelligently admire the spiritual
processes by which an exalted sentient force prepares itself for the
repose of a future life. But our reckless Karlee took no thought for the
everlasting rest into which his soul should enter "when removed from
this world of care," according to the ingenious psychological system of
the amiable Kerr Sahib; for when he had anything to do, he kept on doing
it until it was done, and when he caught the punka-wallah reposing in a
dream of absolute quiescence, he bumped his head against the wall, and
called him a _sooa_, and a _banchut_, and a _junglee-wallah_.[23]

Though possessed of a lively imagination and all his race's sympathy
with what is vast, though he saw nothing extravagant in the Hindoo
chronology, nor aught that was monstrous in Hindoo mythology, Karlee yet
served to illustrate the arguments of those who contend that Hindoos
need not necessarily be all boasters, servile liars, and flatterers. He
was not forever saying, "Master very wise man; master all time do good;
master all time ispeak right." He never told me that my words were
pearls and diamonds that I dropped munificently from my mouth. He never
called me "your highness," or said I was his father and mother, and the
lord of the world; and if I said at noonday, "It is night," he did not
exclaim, "Behold the moon and stars!" He never tried to prove to me that
the earth revolved on its axis once in twenty-four hours by my favor.
"What! dost thou think him a Christian that he would go about to deceive
thee?" No, he was as proudly truthful as a Rajpoot, as frank and manly
as a Goorkah, and as honest as an up-country Durwan.

Good by, my best of bhearers. To the new baby a good name, and to the
faithful ayah enviable enlargement of liver! _Khodá rukho ki beebi-ka
kulle-jee bhee itui burri hoga!_[24]--I owe thee for a day of hospitable
edifications; and when thou comest to my country, thou shalt find _thy_
Heathen at Home.


[3] A long, round, narrow bolster, stuffed with very light materials
(often with paper), and not for the head, but embraced in the arms, so
as to help the sleeper to a cool and comfortable posture.

[4] Body-servants.

[5] A salutation of particular respect and well-wishing.

[6] Waistband.

[7] Destiny, fortune.

[8] A table-servant.

[9] A spiritual teacher.

[10] Writer, clerk.

[11] Banker, merchant in foreign trade.

[12] The fourth caste--originally laborers.

[13] A native gentleman, of wealth, education, and influence.

[14] Hostler and footman.

[15] Washerman.

[16] Sweeper.

[17] _Lit._ Fan-fellow.

[18] "Good! Bring the Europe-water,"--Bengali for soda-water.

[19] Showmen and puppet-dancers.

[20] Little shells, used as coins by the poorest people to make the
smallest change.

[21] Text.

[22] Dined.

[23] Pig, sot, and jungle-animal.

[24] "God grant the lady a substantial liver!"--"the happiness and
honors which should follow upon the birth of a male child being
figuratively comprehended in that liberality of the liver whence comes
the good digestion for which alone life is worth the
living."--_Child-Life by the Ganges_.

       *       *       *       *       *


    A friend!--It seems a simple boon to crave,--
          An easy thing to have.
    Yet our world differs somewhat from the days
          Of the romancer's lays.
    A friend? Why, _all_ are friends in Christian lands.
          We smile and clasp the hands
    With merry fellows o'er cigars and wine.
          We breakfast, walk, and dine
    With social men and women. Yes, we are friends;--
          And there the music ends!
    No close heart-heats,--a cool sweet ice-cream feast,--
          Mild thaws, to say the least;--
    The faint, slant smile of winter afternoons;--
          The inconstant moods of moons,
    Sometimes too late, sometimes too early rising,--
          But for a night sufficing,
    Showing a half-face, clouded, shy, and null,--
          Once in a month at full,--
    Lending to-night what from the sun they borrow,
          Quenched in his light to-morrow.
    If thou'rt my friend, show me the life that sleeps
          Down in thy spirit's deeps.
    Give all thy heart, the thought within thy thought.
          Nay, I've already caught
    Its meaning in thine eyes, thy tones. What need
          Of words? Flowers keep their seed.
    I love thee ere thou tellest me "I love."
          We both are raised above
    The ball-room puppets with their varnished faces,
          Whispering dead commonplaces,
    Doing their best to dress their lifeless thought
          In tinselled phrase worth naught;
    Or at the best, throwing a passing spark
          Like fire-flies in the dark;--
    Not the continuous lamp-light of the soul,
          Which, though the seasons roll
    Without on tides of ever-varying winds,
          The watcher never finds
    Flickering in draughts, or dim for lack of oil.
          There is a clime, a soil,
    Where loves spring up twin-stemmed from mere chance seed
          Dropped by a word, a deed.
    As travellers toiling through the Alpine snow
          See Italy below;--
    Down glacier slopes and craggy cliffs and pines
          Descend upon the vines,
    And meet the welcoming South who half-way up
          Lifts her o'erbrimming cup,--

    So, blest is he, from peaks of human ice
          Lit on this Paradise;--
    Who 'mid the jar of tongues hears music sweet;--
          Who in some foreign street
    Thronged with cold eyes catches a hand, a glance,
          That deifies his chance,
    That turns the dreary city to a home,
          The blank hotel to a dome
    Of splendor, while the unsympathizing crowd
          Seems with his light endowed.
    Many there be who call themselves our friends.
          But ah! if Heaven sends
    One, only one, the fellow to our soul,
          To make our half a whole,
    Rich beyond price are we. The millionnaire
          Without such boon is bare,
    Bare to the skin,--a gilded tavern-sign
          Creaking with fitful whine
    Beneath chill winds, with none to look at him
          Save as a label grim
    To the good cheer and company within
          His comfortable inn.

       *       *       *       *       *


Father sits at the head of our pew. In old Indian times they say that
the male head of the family always took that place, on account of the
possible _whoops_ of the savages, who sometimes came down on a
congregation like wolves on the fold. It was necessary that the men
should be ready to rise at once to defend their families. Whatever the
old reason was, the new is sufficient. Men must sit near the pew doors
now on account of the _hoops_ of the ladies. The cause is different, the
effect is the same.

Father, then, sits at the head of the pew; mother next; Aunt Clara next;
next I, and then Jerusha. That has been the arrangement ever since I can
remember. Any change in our places would be as fatal to our devotions as
the dislodgment of Baron Rothschild from his particular pillar was once
to the business of the London Stock Exchange. He could not negotiate if
not at his post. We could not worship if not in our precise places. I
think, by the fussing and fidgeting which taking seats in the church
always causes, that everybody has the same feeling.

It was Sunday afternoon. The good minister, Parson Oliver, had finished
his sermon. The text was--well, I can't pretend to remember. Aunt
Clara's behavior in meeting, and what she said to us that afternoon,
have put the text, sermon, and all out of my head forever. That is no
matter; or rather, it is all the better; for when the same sermon comes
again, in its triennial round, I shall not recognize an old

The sermon finished, we took up our hymn-books, of course. But the
minister gave out no hymn. He sat down with a patient look at the choir,
as much as to say, "Now, do your worst!" Then we understood that we
were to be treated to an extra performance, not in our books. There had
been a renewal of interest in the choir, and there was a new
singing-master. We were to have the results of the late practisings and
the first fruits of the new school. The piece they sung was that in
which occur the lines,--

    "I'd soar and touch the heavenly strings,
    And vie with Gabriel, while he sings,
      In notes almost divine!"

We always, when we rise during the singing, face round to the choir. I
don't know why. Perhaps it is to complete our view of the congregation,
since during the rest of the time we look the other way, and, unless we
faced about, should see only half. I like to peep at father, to discover
whether he appreciates the performance. To-day he just turned his head
away. Mother sat down. Aunt Clara looked straight ahead, and her
old-fashioned bonnet hid her face; but I could discover that something
more than usual was working under her cap. I looked at every one of the
singers, and then at the players, from the big bass-viol down to the
tenor, and not a bit of reason could I perceive for the twitter the
heads of our pew had certainly got themselves into. There's a pattern
old lady, Prudence Clark, presidentess of the Dorcas Society,--a
spinster, just Aunt Clara's age,--a woman who knows everything, and more
too. She sits in the pew before us. She turned her head and gave a sly
peep at Aunt Clara. They both laughed in meeting. I know they did, and
they can't deny it. I peeped round at the minister, and, if he did not
laugh too, his face was scarlet, and he was taken with a wonderful fit
of coughing. Such strange proceedings in meeting I never had seen. The
minister, the deacon (father is a deacon), and the oldest members were
setting us young folks a very bad example. But we tolerate anything in
our good old parson. He was a youth when our old folks were young, and
as to us young folks, he remembers us longer than we do ourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

We were all home, and tea was over,--the early tea with substantials, as
is the custom in the primitive districts of New England on Sunday
afternoon. The double accumulation of dishes was disposed of; for at
noon we take a cold collation, doughnuts and cheese, and bread and
butter, and we never descend to servile employments till after tea. Then
many hands make light work. I suppose light work does not break the
Sabbath, especially as it is done in our Sunday best, with sleeves
tucked up, and an extra apron.

The laughing in church was the point upon which, as yet, we had obtained
no satisfaction. Jerusha and I, in an uncertain hope that we should find
out something in due time, were discussing the music. The particular
point in debate was, why village choirs _will_ astonish the people with
pieces of music in which nobody can join them. We did not settle it, nor
has anybody ever solved the riddle that I know of. We don't even know
whether it comes under the ontological or psychological departments.
(There, now! Haven't I brought in the famous words that our new
schoolmaster astonished us with at the teachers' meeting? He need not
think that Webster Unabridged is his particular field, in which nobody
else may hunt.)

We were, as I said, discussing the music. Mother was flitting round,
giving the final dust-off and brush-about after our early tea. Aunt
Clara was sitting quietly at the window, pretending to read Baxter's
"Saint's Rest." Jerusha and I tried to imitate the tune, and we did it,
as well as we could, and I am sure we are not bad singers. Mother
slipped out of the room just as we came to

    "And vie with Gabriel, while he sings."

She ran as if something had stung her, and she was making for the
hartshorn or some fresh brook-mud. Aunt Clara's face laughed all over,
and I said:

"Come, now, Aunt Clara, you are really irreverent. You began laughing in
meeting, and you are keeping it up over that good book."

"Downright wicked," said Jerusha.

Now I am a Normal graduate, and Jerusha is not yet "finished." That will
account for the greater elegance of my expressions. Aunt Clara paid no
heed to either of us, but laughed on. The most provoking thing in the
world is a laugh that you don't understand. Here was the whole Dorcas
Society laughing through its presidentess, and Aunt Clara joining in the
laugh in meeting, and aggravating the offence by stereotyping the smirk
in her face. In came mother again, evidently afraid to stay out, and not
liking for some reason to stay in. Again we tried the tune, and had just
got to

    "And vie with Gabriel, while he sings."

Up jumped mother again, stopping in the door, and holding up a warning
finger to Aunt Clara. That gesture spurred my curiosity to the utmost
point. As to my beloved parent's running in and out, _that_ I should not
have heeded. She is like Martha, careful of many things. She is unlike
Martha, for she wants no assistance; but when the rest of us are
disposed to be quiet, she _will_ keep flitting here and there, and is
vexed if we follow. If father is talking, and has just reached the point
of his story, off she goes, as if the common topic were nothing to her.
Father says she is a perturbed spirit. But then he is always saying
queer things, which poor mother cannot understand. Aunt Clara seems to
know him a great deal better. I wonder he had not taken to wife a woman
like Aunt Clara. He would have taken _her_, I suppose, if she were not
his own sister.

I besought mother, as she fled, to tell me what ailed aunty. "Don't ask
_me_," she answered. "The dear only knows. As for me, I have given up
thinking, let alone asking, what either your aunt or your father would
be at." And away she went, perturbed-spirit fashion, and Aunt Clara
laughed louder than ever. Indeed, before she had only chuckled and
silently shaken her sides; now she broke out into a scream.

"Well, I never!" she said. "That flounce of your mother's out of the
room was certainly as much like old times as if the thing had happened

"What had happened yesterday?" asked Jerusha and I, both in a breath.

"O, I _shall_ die of laughing," said Aunt Clara.

"We shall die of impatience," said I, "if you don't tell us what you

"No you won't. Nobody, especially no woman, ever yet died of unsatisfied
curiosity. It rather keeps folks alive."

We very well knew that nothing would be made of Aunt Clara by teasing
her. So Jerusha turned over the great family Bible, her custom always of
a Sunday afternoon. Over her shoulder I happened to see that the good
book was open at the first chapter of I Chronicles, "Adam,
Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jared." Though her lips moved
diligently, I am afraid she did not make much of it. As for me, I turned
to the window, and studied the landscape. Father, his custom of a Sunday
afternoon, walked down into the meadow, and the cattle came
affectionately up to him. It was the salt in his broad pocket that they
were after. "I might salt them of a Monday," he says, "but they kind of
look for it, and it isn't kind to disappoint the creetur's on a
Sabba'-day. And the merciful man is merciful to his beasts."

The flies droned and buzzed that summer afternoon. Jerusha nodded over
the big Bible. Aunt Clara tried to look serious over the book she held.
But the latent laugh was coursing among the dimples in her face, like a
spark among tinder. I stole up behind, and, leaning over her shoulder,
kissed her.

"O, yes," said aunty. "Fine words butter no parsnips, and fine kisses
are no better."

Jerusha's head made an awful plunge, then a reactionary lift back, and
then she opened her eyes and her mouth with such a yawn!

"Why, what a mouth!" I cried. "Master Minim would rejoice if you would
thus open out in singing-school,

    'And vie with Gabriel, while he sings.'"

Off went Aunt Clara in the laugh again, and this time till the tears
came. We saw now that there was something in that line which provoked
her mirth; but what Gabriel could have to do with her strange behavior
we could not imagine, and were wisely silent.

"Girls," she said, as soon as she could speak for laughing, "I _will_
tell you."

We knew she would, provided we were not too anxious to hear. So Jerusha
turned over her leaf to the second chapter of I Chronicles,
"Reuben, Simeon, Levi." I pretended to be more than ever interested out
of doors. Aunt Clara took off her specs, closed her book, smoothed her
apron, and began:--

"When I was a girl--"

Now that we knew the story was coming, we pretended to no more
indifference. Once get aunty started, and, like a horse balky at the
jump, she was good for the journey. So Jerusha shut the Bible, and we
both sat down at her feet.

"Not too close, girls. It's dreadful warm."

Her face worked and her sides heaved with her provoking laugh, and we
were half afraid of a disappointment. But there was no danger. She was
by this time quite as ready to tell as we to hear.

"When I was a girl I went to singing-school. Dear me! how many of the
scholars are dead and gone! There was my brother William, poor fellow!
he died away off in Calcutty. And Sarah Morgan, she never would own to
it that she liked him. But actions speak plainer than words. She never
held up her head after. And she's dead now, too."

Aunt Clara's face--she _is_ a dear old aunty--had now lost every trace
of mirth. The golden sunset touched her fine head, and made her look so
sweetly beautiful that I wondered why no man had had the good taste,
long ago, to relieve her of her maiden name. Perhaps she will tell us
some day, and if she does, perhaps we will tell you. She sat two or
three minutes, thinking and looking, as if she waited to see the loved
and lost. There was a rustle, and she started from her revery. It was
only mother, flitting into the room with one of her uneasy glances. But
we were all so still and serious and Sabbath-like, that a look of relief
came over her countenance. She vanished again, and through the window I
saw her join her husband in the meadow.

"There, now, before they come in," said Aunt Clara. "When I was a girl,
I went to singing-school. Dear me! But we will not think of the dead any
more. There was one of the girls,--she thought she had a very good
voice. But she never sings now."

"Why?" asked Jerusha.

"The dear knows. I suppose because she is married. Married people never
sing, I believe. So, girls, if you would keep your voices, you must stay
single. Well, there was one of the boys, he thought _he_ had a good
voice. And he never sings now either."

"Why?" said I.

"O, he's married too. So don't you get cheated into thinking you have
mated a robin. He will turn out a crow, like as any way. I suppose they
both did have good voices, and, for all that I know, they have still.
They were the singing-master's especial wonders and his pattern pieces.
He never was tired of praising them up to the skies, to mortify the rest
of us into good behavior. She was the wonder for the girls' side and he
for the boys',--two copies that we were to sing up to. I think they were
a little proud of the distinction. They were kind of brought together by
it, so that they did not see any harm at all in singing out of the same

"I suppose not," said Jerusha.

"Well, there was one girl in the school,--I dare say she _was_ a
giggling, mischief-making thing, for everybody said so--"

"Is she living now?" I asked.

"Yes, indeed."

"Does _she_ sing now?" asked Jerusha.

"Well,--not much."

"Then," said I, "she must be married, too."

"No, she is not," said Aunt Clara, with a plaintive and very positive
emphasis on the negative particle,--"no, she is not."

"Then why does she not sing?" I asked.

"Nobody will look over the same note-book with her," said Jerusha.

"O, you girls may have your own fun now," said Aunt Clara. "You will see
the world with a sadder face by and by."

"Not if we look at it through your spectacles, aunty," I answered.

"Dear me; well, the Lord _has_ been kind, to me," said Aunt Clara, "if I
am a spinster still. But we must make haste. The old folks are coming

"Old folks!" I thought, and Aunt Clara is older than either of them.
Father stopped and gave an ugly weed a whack with his cane. Then he
stooped and rooted it up, Sabbath-day though it was. I presume he
considered it an ox in a pit, for the moment.

Aunt Clara continued:--"The same tune you were at this afternoon used to
be a great favorite in our school. It's as old as the hills. I wonder if
Israel did not let out his voice in it! And Sally, she wouldn't be
behind _him_, I warrant you."

Jerusha and I exchanged glances.

"It happened, one evening,--and that's what I was laughing at this
afternoon. You see, the singing-master, if the music was not going to
suit him, would pull the class straight up in the middle of it, and make
them begin again. The giggling girl that I was speaking of, she was
always fuller of her own nonsense than of learning. This particular
evening she was tempted of the Evil One to alter the words to her own
purposes, just for the confusion of those close to her; and a dreadful
mess she would get them into. It was wrong, very wrong indeed," Aunt
Clara added, with a face that was meant to be serious, while her voice
laughed, in spite of her.

"On this evening, they were singing the very tune, as I told you.
Something went wrong. The singing-master stopped his viol, and called
out to the class to stop singing. But the heedless girl had got into
mischief, and could not stop with the rest, or she did not hear, or she
did not wish to. So on she went, all alone, right out, at the top of her

    'And vie with _Israel_, while he sings,
      In notes almost divine!'

"And there she broke down, and sat down, and, graceless hussy as she
was, laughed as if she was mad. The truth was, that 'vying with Israel'
was a byword with us. We were always teasing Sally about her vying with
Israel, as she certainly did, while they sung out of the same book, and
thought a deal more of each other than they did of the music. Everybody
took the joke, and such a time as there was! Prudence Clark, who turned
round and looked at me in meeting to-day, she laughed the most
spitefully of anybody, for she had a great notion of your fath--I mean
of Israel. As to Israel and Sarah, if ever you did see two persons who
did not know whether to stand still or to run, to cry or to laugh, they
were the couple. The master, he tried to read us a solemn lecture; but
he was so full of suppressed fun that he hugged his viol under his arm
till one of the strings snapped. That gave the pitch, and we had a
laughing chorus. All joined in, except Israel and Sarah. She pouted, and
I do believe he grit his teeth." Here Aunt Clara gave herself up to the
comic reminiscence, till her eyes filled again.

"Well, and what came of it all?" asked Jerusha.

"Why, it broke up the school for that season, and made town-talk for
nine days. Parson Oliver,--he was a young man then,--he went for to give
the mischievous girl a good talking to. He needn't have tried that; for
he was too young to scold a young girl, full of mischief, and, though I
say it that shouldn't say it, rather pretty."

"Why shouldn't _you_ say she was pretty?" asked Jerusha.

"O, you hush! Well, the girl bent her head down, and a few stray tears
came, for it _was_ wicked, and she knew it. But before the water got
head enough to fall from her eyes, she kind of thought that the young
minister's voice was getting shaky, either with mirth or with sadness.
To find out which, she slyly looked up, and both she and the minister
laughed long and loud. So there was an end of the jobation that he meant
to give her."

"How did you know all this?" said Jerusha. "Were you there?"

"I certainly was not far off."

"But Israel and Sarah," said I, now seeing through the whole affair, and
understanding perfectly why father looked aside, and mother sat down,
and Aunt Clara and Prudence Clark of the Dorcas Society exchanged
glances, and the minister himself would have laughed in the pulpit, if
he had not turned it off with a cough,--"but Israel and Sarah, how did
they fare?"

"Why, Israel, he said that Sarah was just a pretty nobody, and Prudence
Clark was a great deal more sensible,--for his part he never cared
anything about Sarah. And Sarah, she declared that Israel was a hawbuck
of a fellow, that no girl would think of when he was out of sight."

"It was too bad!" said Jerusha.

"_Too_ bad!" I echoed.

"_Dreadful suz_!" said aunty, mocking our tone. "Never you fear, if two
young simpletons are once caught, that a joke is going to separate them!
And whenever you hear two people pretending to hate one another, you may
get your wedding present ready for them. The folks did tease them
though, too bad, and so they had it, back and forth. Stories never lose
anything by carrying, especially the compliments between two quarrelling
lovers. So it went on for about a month, when Israel, on his way to see
Prudence Clark, who was sitting in her best, waiting for him, stopped to
tell Sarah that he _never_ said so and so. And Sarah said, _she_ never
said so and so. And they went into the house to finish their talk, and
Prudence Clark was left lamenting. _I_ know Israel came home very late
that night."

"_You_ know?" said Jerusha.

"And father's name is Israel," said I.

"And mother's name is Sarah," said my sister.

"Hush, hush; here they come," said Aunt Clara. "But I don't believe they
would ever have found out their own minds if it had not been for me."

"And you were the giggling girl," said I.

"She's no better now," said my mother, as she entered the room, and
readily guessed what we had been hearing from aunty. Father walked up to
Aunt Clara, and pinched her ears for her. What more he might have done I
don't know, if Parson Oliver had not dropped in. We made quite a
pleasant evening of it, and the old folks discussed the reminiscence in
all its bearings. I like to hear old people talk. They come straight to
the pith of a subject, especially if it is love and matrimony. And the
more I hear them, the better I can realize the truth of the Old Virginia

    "Ole folks, ole folks, you better go to bed,
    You only put the mischief in the young folks' head."

       *       *       *       *       *


    In Spring the Poet is glad,
      And in Summer the Poet is gay;
    But in Autumn the Poet is sad,
      And has something sad to say:

    For the wind moans in the wood,
      And the leaf drops from the tree;
    And the cold rain falls on the graves of the good,
      And the cold mist comes up from the sea:

    And the Autumn songs of the Poet's soul
      Are set to the passionate grief
    Of winds that sough and bells that toll
      The dirge of the falling leaf.

       *       *       *       *       *


The great characteristic of aristocracies, according to their admirers,
is prudence; and even democrats do not deny the soundness of the claim
thus put forward in their behalf. They are cautious, and if they seldom
accomplish anything brilliant, neither do they put everything to hazard.
If they gain slowly, they keep long what they have. Did not Venice
endure so long that, when she perished as a nation, within living
memory, she was the oldest of great communities? And was she not the
most perfect of all aristocratically governed nations? Was she not the
admiration of those English republicans of the seventeenth century whose
names are held in the highest honor wherever freedom is worshipped?
Aristocracies have their faults, but they outlast every other kind of
government, and therefore are objects of reverence to all who love
order. The Roman Republic was aristocratical in its polity, and all that
is great in Roman history is due to the ascendency of the Senate in the
government; and when the Forum populace began to show its power, the
decay of the commonwealth commenced, and did not cease till despotism
was established,--the natural effect of the resistance of the many to
the government of the few being the formation of the government of one.
England's polity is, and for ages has been, aristocratical. Not even the
passage of the Reform Bill materially lessened the power of the
aristocracy; and the declaration of Earl Grey, the father of the
measure, that it would be found the most aristocratical of measures,--as
he was one of the most aristocratical of men,--does not seem so absurd
now as it appeared four-and-thirty years since, when we note how
difficult it now is to lower the franchise in Britain. The firmest
government in Europe is that of England, in which property has greater
influence than in that of any other nation. The conclusion drawn by
aristocrats and their admirers is, that aristocracies are the most
enduring of all the polities known to men, and that they are so because
aristocrats are the most prudent and cautious of men. The governments
they form and control wash and wear well, and bid defiance to what Bacon
calls "the waves and weathers of time."

There is some truth in this. Aristocracies _are_ cautious and prudent,
and indisposed to risk present advantage in the hope of future gain.
Therefore aristocratical polities often attain to great age, and the
nations that know them attain slowly to great and firmly-placed power.
Rome and Venice and England are striking examples of these truths. Yet
it is not the less true that aristocracies sometimes do behave with a
rashness that cannot be paralleled from the histories of democracies and
despotisms. It has been the fortune of this age to see two examples of
this rashness, such as no other age ever witnessed or ever could have
witnessed. The first of these was presented in the action, in 1860-61,
of the American aristocracy. The second was that of the Austrian
aristocracy, in 1866. The American aristocracy--the late slavocracy--was
the most powerful body in the world; so powerful, that it was safe
against everything but itself. It had been gradually built up, until it
was as towering as its foundations were deep and broad. Not only was it
unassailed, but there was no disposition in any influential quarter to
assail it. The few persons who did attack it, from a distance, produced
scarcely more effect adverse to its ascendency, than was produced by the
labors of the first Christians against the Capitoline Jupiter in the
days of the Julian Cæsars. Abolitionists were annoyed and insulted even
in the course of that political campaign which ended in the election of
Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency; and not a few of the victors in that
campaign were forward to declare, that between their party and the
"friends of the slave" there was neither friendship nor sympathy. One of
the most eminent of the Republicans of Massachusetts declared that he
felt hurt at the thought that his party could be suspected of approving
the conduct of Captain John Brown at Harper's Ferry. Down to the
spring-time of 1860, it required, on the part of the American
slaveholding interest, only a moderate display of that prudence which is
said to be the chief virtue of an aristocracy, to secure all they
possessed,--which was all the country had to give,--and to prepare the
way for such gains as it might be found necessary to make, as the
American nation should increase in strength. But this prudence the
slaveholders would not display. They annoyed and insulted the people of
the Free States. They broke up the Democratic party, which was well
disposed to do their work. They pursued such a course as compelled the
great majority of the American people to take up arms against them, and
to abolish slavery by an act of war. The effect was the fall of a body
of men who certainly were very powerful, and who were believed to be
very wise in their generation. It was impossible to attack them as long
as they were true to their own interests, and they could fall only
through being attacked. They made war on the nation, and the nation was
forced to defend herself, and destroyed them. It is the most wonderful
case of suicide known to mankind.

The Austrian aristocracy behaved almost as unwisely as the American
aristocracy. As the Republic of the United States is a union of States,
which in reality was governed by the slaveholders down to 1861, so is
the Austrian Empire a collection of countries, governed by a few great
families, at the head of which stand the imperial family,--the House of
Austria, or, as it is now generally called, the House of
Hapsburg-Lorraine. That aristocracy might have prevented the occurrence
of war last summer, by ceding Venetia to Italy; and that it did not make
such cession early in June, when we know it was ready to make it early
in July, but plunged into a contest which, according to the apologists
for its terrible defeat, it was wholly unprepared to wage, speaks but
poorly for its prudence, though that is claimed to be _the_ virtue of
aristocracies. The Austrian aristocrats behaved as senselessly in 1866
as the Prussian aristocrats in 1806, but with less excuse than the
latter had. By their action they caused their country's degradation.
From the rank of a first-rate power that country has been compelled to
descend, not so much through loss of territory and population as through
loss of position. For centuries the house of Austria has been very
powerful in Europe, though the Austrian empire can count but sixty
years. Rudolph of Hapsburg, the first member of his line who rose to
great eminence, in the latter part of the thirteenth century, founded
the house of Austria. While holding the imperial throne, he obtained for
his own family Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola; but it was not
till several generations after his death, and in the fifteenth century,
that the imperial dignity became virtually, though not in terms,
hereditary in the Hapsburg line. For several centuries, down to the
extinction of the office, there was no Emperor of Germany who was not of
that family. Every effort to divert the office from that house ended in
failure. The consequence was, that the house of Austria became the first
of reigning families; and at one time it seemed about to grasp the
sceptre of the world. When the Empire ceased to exist, the Austrian
empire, though of later creation than the French empire of Napoleon I.,
had that appearance of antique grandeur which has so great an effect on
men's minds. It was looked upon as ancient because the imperial family
really was ancient, and could trace itself back through almost twelve
hundred years, to the sixth century, though in places the tracing was of
the most shadowy character. It profited from the greatness of the
Hapsburgs in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries,--a
greatness which is among the most extraordinary things recorded in

Should the history of royal marriages ever be written in a manner
proportioned to its importance, a large part of the work would have to
be given to the marriages made by various princes of the house of
Austria; for those marriages had prodigious effect on the condition of
the best portions of the human race, and in the sixteenth century it
seemed that they were about to bring, not only most of Europe, but
nearly all America, a large part of Asia, and not a little of Africa
under the rule of one family, and that family by no means superior to
that of Valois or the Plantagenets. The extraordinary luck of the house
of Austria in turning marriage into a source of profit was early
remarked; and in the latter part of the fifteenth century, long before
the best of the Austrian matrimonial alliances were made, Matthias
Corvinus, the greatest of Hungarian kings, wrote a Latin epigram on the
subject, which was even more remarkable as a prediction than as a
statement of fact; for it was as applicable to the marriage of Napoleon
I. and Maria Louisa, and to that of Philip the Fair and Juana the
Foolish, as it was to that of Maximilian and Mary.[25] It is from the
Styrian line of the Austrian house that all princes of that house who
have reigned for four centuries and upward are descended. Ernest, third
son of that Leopold who was defeated and slain at the battle of Sempach
by the Swiss, became master of the duchies of Styria, Carniola, and
Carinthia. He was a pious prince, and made a pilgrimage to Palestine,
after the superstitious fashion of his time. He was a quarrelsome
prince, and kept himself in a state of perpetual hot water with his
brother. He was an amorous and a chivalrous prince, and, having lost his
first wife, he got him a second after a knightly fashion. Having heard
much of the material and mental charms of the Princess Cymburga, a
Polish lady who had the blood of the Yagellons in her veins, he went to
Cracow in disguise, found that report had not exaggerated her merits,
and, prudently making himself known, proposed for her hand, and got it.
But Cymburga was not only very clever and very beautiful: she was a
muscular Christian in crinoline,--for hoops were known in those days
among the Poles, or might have been known to them,--and if they were, no
doubt Cymburga, like American ladies of to-day, had the sense and taste
to use them. She had such strength of fist that, when she had occasion
to drive a nail into anything, she dispensed with a hammer; and she
economized in nut-crackers, as some independent people do in the item of
pocket-handkerchiefs, by using her fingers. One would think that Ernest
would have hesitated to woo and wed a lady who was so capable of
carrying matters with a high hand; but then he was a very strong man,
and was surnamed "The Iron," so that he could venture where no other man
would have thought of going. This strong-handed as well as strong-minded
couple, who were both paired and matched, must be taken as the real
founders of that house of Austria which has been so conspicuous in the
history of Christendom for almost four centuries, though they and their
descendants built on the broad and solid foundations established by
Rudolph of Hapsburg and his earlier descendants. Some authorities say
that Cymburga brought into the Hapsburg family that thick lip--"the
Austrian lip"--so often mentioned in history; but others call it the
Burgundian lip, though the marriage between Maximilian (Cymburga's
grandson) and Mary of Burgundy (Charles the Bold's daughter) did not
take place till 1477; and the ducal Burgundian family was only a branch
of the French royal line of Valois. It was no addition to the beauty of
the imperial family, no matter to whom that family was indebted for it.
It is certain that it appeared in the Emperor Frederick III., son of
Ernest and Cymburga, and father of that Emperor who, when an archduke,
married the Burgundian duchess, if such Mary can be called; for Menzel,
who must have seen portraits of him, and who knew his history well,
speaks of him as "a slow, grave man, with a large, protruding

This Frederick was a singular character. He had the longest
reign--fifty-three years--of all the German Emperors, and it may be said
that he founded the house of Hapsburg, considering it as an imperial
line. Yet he is almost invariably spoken of contemptuously. Menzel says
that no Emperor had reigned so long and done so little. Mr. Bryce
declares that under him the Empire sank to its lowest point. Even
Archdeacon Coxe, who held his memory in respect, and did his best to
make out a good character for him, has to admit "that he was a prince of
a languid and inactive character," and to make other damaging admissions
that detract from the excellence of the elaborate portrait he has drawn
of him. There was something fantastical in his favorite
pursuits,--astrology, alchemy, antiquities, alphabet-making, and the
like,--which the men of an iron age viewed with a contempt that probably
had much to do with giving him that character which he has in history,
contemporary opinion of a ruler generally being accepted, and enduring.
"A species of anagram," says the English historian of his family,
"consisting of the five vowels, he adopted as indicative of the future
greatness of the house of Austria, imprinted it on all his books, carved
it on all his buildings, and engraved it on all his plate. This riddle
occupied the grave heads of his learned contemporaries, and gave rise to
many ridiculous conjectures, till the _important_ secret was disclosed
after his death by an interpretation written in his own hand, in which
the vowels form the initials of a sentence in Latin and German,
signifying, 'The house of Austria is to govern the whole world.'"[26]
Notwithstanding the archidiaconal sneer, Frederick III.'s anagram came
quite as near the truth as any uninspired prophecy that can be
mentioned. In little more than sixty years after the Emperor's death,
the house of Austria ruled over Germany, the Netherlands, Naples,
Sicily, the Milanese, Hungary, Bohemia, the Spains, England and Ireland
(in virtue of Philip II.'s marriage with Mary I., queen-regnant of
England), the greater part of America, from the extreme north to the
extreme south, portions of Northern Africa, the Philippines, and some
minor possessions; and it really ruled, though indirectly, most of that
part of Italy, outside of the territory of Venice, that had nominally an
independent existence. Before Holland's independence was fully
established, but after the connection with England had ceased, Portugal
passed under the dominion of the Spanish branch of the house of Austria,
with all her immense American, African, and Asiatic colonial
possessions. For years, Philip II. was more powerful in France than any
one of her sovereigns could pretend to be. Frederick's prediction,
therefore, came to pass almost literally, and was less an exaggeration
than St. Luke's assertion that a decree went forth from Cæsar Augustus
that all the world should be taxed. As Augustus was lord of nearly all
the world that a man like St. Luke could consider civilized and worth
governing, so might an Austrian writer of the sixteenth century declare
that the Hapsburgs ruled over wellnigh all the world that could be
looked upon as belonging to the Christian commonwealth, including not a
little that had been stolen from the heathen by Christians.

It was by marriage that the Hapsburgs became so great in so short a
time. Frederick III. married Eleanor, a Portuguese princess, whose
mother was of the royal house of Castille. Portugal is not even of
second rank now, and the Braganças are not in the first rank of royal
families. But in the fifteenth century Portugal stood relatively and
positively very high, and the house of Avis was above the house of
Austria, though a king of Portugal was necessarily inferior to the head
of the Holy Roman Empire. This marriage did not advance the fortunes of
the Austrian family, though it connected them with three other great
families,--the reigning houses of Portugal, Castille, and England, the
Princess Eleanor having Plantagenet blood. But the son of Frederick and
Eleanor, afterward the Emperor Maximilian I.,[27] married Mary of
Burgundy in 1477, which "gave a lift" to his race that enabled it to
increase in importance at a very rapid rate. Mary was in possession of
most of the immense dominions of her father, which he had intended to
convert into a kingdom, had he lived to complete his purpose. His
success would have had great effect on the after history of Europe, for
he would have reigned over the finest of countries, and his dominions
would have extended from the North Sea to Provence,--and over Provence
so powerful a sovereign would have had no difficulty in extending his
power,--which done, his dominions would have been touched by the
Mediterranean. Louis XI. of France got hold of some of Mary's
inheritance; but the greater part thereof she conveyed to Maximilian.
She died young, leaving a son and a daughter. The son was Philip the
Fair, who in 1496 married Juana, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella,
king of Aragon, and queen of Castille, and heiress of the Spanish
monarchy, which had come to great glory through the conquest of Granada,
and to wonderful influence through the discovery of the New
World,--events that took place in the same year, and but a short time
before the marriage of the Austrian archduke and the Peninsular
princess. This marriage, useful and brilliant as it was to the house of
Austria, turned out bitterly bad to the parties to it,--and it is not an
isolated case in that respect. Philip the Fair was a very handsome
fellow, as became his designation, or rather whence his designation
came; but on the principle that "handsome is that handsome does," he was
one of the ugliest of men. He was guilty of gallantry, the weakness of
kings, and of many of the sovereign people too. When living in Spain he
had many amorous adventures; and his wife, who had brought him so great
a fortune that she thought she had an especial claim on his fidelity,
became exceedingly jealous, and, being a _dague en jarretière_ lady, as
became one who was born to reign over Andaluçia, killed her faithless
husband,--not by stabbing him, but by giving him poison. This was in
1506, when husband and wife were but twenty-eight and twenty-four years
old, and had been but ten years married. There were two sons and four
daughters born of this marriage, all of whom made important marriages.
The eldest son was the man whom Mr. Stirling calls "the greatest monarch
of the memorable sixteenth century,"--Charles V., Emperor of Germany,
and the Spanish Charles I. He founded the Spanish branch of the house of
Austria, the elder branch.[28] He married Isabella of Portugal, and
their son was Philip II., who added Portugal to the possessions of the
Austrian family, and one of whose wives was Mary Tudor, queen of
England, the Bloody Mary of fire-and-fagot memory; and Philip gladly
would have placed Mary's sister Elizabeth in his half-vacant bed. The
marriage of Philip and Mary was barren, and poor Mary's belief that a
"blessed baby" was coming has been matter for laughter for more than
three hundred years. Had her agonizing prayers for offspring been heard,
what a change would have been wrought in human destinies, even had the
child lived to be no older than Edward VI.! The second son of Philip the
Fair and Juana was Ferdinand, named from his maternal grandfather,
Ferdinand the Catholic, king of Argon. He was the founder of the German
branch of the house of Austria, the younger branch, which has long
survived the elder branch, though now it exists only in the female line,
and really is the house of Lorraine. Ferdinand became Ferdinand I.,
Emperor of Germany, and he did far more than was done by his elder
brother to keep up the character of his family for making much through
marriage. In 1522, when but nineteen, he married Anne Yagellon, princess
of Hungary and Bohemia,--a marriage that might not have proved very
important, but that death came in and made it so, and also the births
that came from it, as will presently appear. Charles and Ferdinand had
four sisters, and they all four made great marriages, three of which
were very useful to the Austrian house. The eldest of these ladies,
Eleanora, was married to Emanuel, king of Portugal,--a man old enough to
be her father, with some years to spare,--being sacrificed to the
ambition of her brother Charles, for she was attached to the Count
Palatine. Becoming a widow, she was compelled to give her hand to that
popular rascal, Francis I. of France, when her brother wished to
strengthen the treaty he made with his "good brother" at Madrid, and
which the Frenchman had arranged to disregard even before he signed it.
The second sister, Isabella, married Christian II., king of Denmark,
when she was but fourteen, and died at twenty-four. Mary, the third
sister, became the wife of Louis II., king of Hungary and Bohemia, and
last of the Yagellons. The fourth sister, Catherine, married John III.,
king of Portugal. It was the marriage of the third sister, Mary, that,
in connection with his own marriage, had the greatest effect on the
fortunes of her brother Ferdinand, as his wife was the sister of Louis
II., Mary's husband. Louis was defeated by the Turks at the battle of
Mohacz, in 1526, and lost his life while flying from the field.
Ferdinand claimed the crowns of Bohemia and Hungary, as Louis left no
children, and he was chosen king in both countries; and though he
disowned all other rights to the Bohemian throne than that of the
election, it is certain he never would have been elected by either
nation had he not married the sister of Louis, and had not Louis married
his sister. All these marriages, and other events that carried the power
of the house of Austria to the greatest height, took place only
thirty-three years after the death of Frederick III., and some of his
contemporaries may have lived to witness them all.

The marriages of the house of Austria since the sixteenth century have
not been so important as they were in that century, but they have not
been without influence on events, in exceptional cases. The marriage of
Marie Antoinette and the French prince who became Louis XVI. was
fruitful of results; and the marriage of Napoleon I. and Marie Louise,
by causing the French emperor to rely on Austrian aid in 1813, had
memorable consequences. Louis XIII. and Louis XIV. married Austrian
princesses of the Spanish branch; and the marriage of Louis XIV. and
Maria Theresa led to the founding of that Bourbon line which reigns over
Spain, though the main line has ceased to reign in France. The greatness
of the house of Austria in the seventeenth century is visible only in
Germany, after the death of Philip IV. of Spain. The German Hapsburgs
had a powerful influence in the seventeenth century, playing then great
parts, but often finding themselves in danger of extinction before their
Spanish cousins had run out.[29] They were the rivals of the French
kings of that century, and Louis XIV. was talked of as a candidate for
the imperial throne. The course of English politics had a very favorable
effect on the fortunes of the Hapsburgs, the same conduct that gave
supremacy to Protestantism and constitutionalism in Great Britain
working most favorably in behalf of that family which, for ten
generations, has been identified with everything that is bigoted and
intolerant in religion and politics. James II., after his fall, implored
assistance from the Emperor of Germany, Leopold I.; and, considering
that both were intensely Catholic, his application ought to have been
favorably received; but the reigning Emperor had little difficulty in
showing that it was not in his power, as assuredly it was not for his
interest, to help the exiled king,--who was an exile only because of his
attachment to that ancient Church through which alone, as Leopold
believed, salvation could be secured. He went with the heretical William
III. England, indeed, has been the bulwark of the German Hapsburgs on
many occasions, and has saved them on more than one occasion from
overthrow; and she did her best to aid even the Spanish branch in its
last years, and then exerted herself to secure that branch's possessions
for its relations at Vienna. It was English military genius that saved
the Emperor Leopold I. from destruction.[30] When most of Continental
Europe showed itself hostile to the Austrian house after the death of
Charles VI., England was the fast friend of Maria Theresa, his daughter,
and aided her to get over difficulties that seemed about to overwhelm
her; and it was the fault rather of Austria than of England that the two
countries did not act together in the Seven Years' War, when England
was, as it were, forced into the Prussian alliance, and helped Frederick
win his astonishing victories. Austria came out of that memorable
contest without having accomplished the purpose for which she entered
it; but she had displayed great power during its course, and in the last
half of the reign of the empress-queen, her reputation stood very high.
Joseph II., though he declared that he had failed in everything,
impressed himself very powerfully on the European mind, and was counted
a great sovereign. No common man could have entertained the projects
that crowded his teeming mind, and which came to little in most
instances because they were in advance of the time.

During the tremendous struggle that proceeded from the French
Revolution, Austria was almost always in the foreground, and next to
England showed greatest powers of endurance in combating the new order
of things. Six times she made war on France, and though in four of these
wars she was beaten, she had the fortune to decide the event of the
fifth,--that of 1814-15; and in 1815 she was as active against Napoleon
as circumstances permitted any of the Allies to be, except England and
Prussia. The effect of this pertinacity, and of her decisive part in
1813, was to secure for her a degree of consideration altogether
disproportioned to her real power. Men took her for what she appeared to
be, not as she was. In truth, very little was known of her condition,
and the few who were aware of her weakness were interested in keeping
their knowledge to themselves. The grand effort which she made in 1809,
single-handed almost, to break the power of Napoleon, was everywhere
looked upon as something alike herculean and heroical, and as such it is
spoken of in all those historical works from which most readers obtain
knowledge of the early years of this century; but now we know from other
sources, and particularly from the Diary of Gentz, that she never was in
a worse state than she knew in the days of Eckmühl, Essling, and Wagram.
Reading what Gentz wrote in the ten weeks that followed Wagram, we feel
as if we were reading of the twenty days that followed Sadowa. But of
this nobody outside of the empire seems to have known or suspected
anything; and the number of persons in the empire who knew it, or
suspected it, was not large. Even Napoleon, who was on the ground, and
who had the country more at his control than it was at that of Francis
II., seems to have been entirely ignorant of the true state of affairs.
He could have "crumpled up" Austria with ease, and have made half a
dozen kingdoms or grand duchies of the spoils he had seized,--and yet he
talked to General Bubna, and to others of the Austrian negotiators, as
if he considered Austria the greatest nation in Europe, and sure swiftly
to recover from the consequences of the blows he had dealt her. He
actually spoke of the ability she would secure to decide the future fate
of Europe, and therein was a prophet of his own ruin. It is possible
that there may have been some affectation in what he said, but there was
as much sincerity, for there is a great deal in the history of his
career that shows he had a high opinion of Austrian power. When Europe
was settled, after his fall, Austria acquired the right to stand between
England and Russia, as their equal; and down to 1848 she was the
superior of both France and Prussia. The events of 1848-49 did not
essentially lessen her prestige, and she had a commanding place during
the Russian war. Even her defeats in the Italian war did not lead to any
serious loss of consideration, and against them was set the striking
fact that the victorious French had halted before the Quadrilateral, and
actually had begged for peace from the vanquished.

We know how deceptive were all appearances in regard to Austrian
strength; but it was in the power of Austrian statesmen to convert what
was simply apparent into a solid reality. Had they been wise men, they
would, during the long peace that followed 1815, have made of Austria a
state as powerful in fact as the world believed her to be. Nothing could
have been easier, as her undeveloped resources ever have been vast; but
they did nothing of the kind, their sole aim being to get over the
present, without any regard for the future. Hermayr says of Thugut, who
was chief Austrian minister in the closing years of the last century,
that "his policy knew neither virtue nor vice, only expedients"; and
these words describe the policy of Metternich completely, and, with
perhaps a little modification, they describe that of all his successors.
So that when the Prussian war came, Austria was in the same state that
she was in 1809,--seemingly very strong, actually very weak; and she
fell in a month, with a great ruin, much to the astonishment of almost
all men. But the difference between 1809 and 1866 is this,--that the
light let into Austria through chinks made by the Prussian bayonet will
prevent the game of deception from being renewed.

It is assumed by most persons, that the house of Austria has at last
reached the turn of its fortunes, and that, having been beaten down by
Prussia, it never will be able to rise again. This is the reaction
against the sentiment that prevailed so generally at the beginning of
last summer, just before the first blood was drawn in that war which
proved so disastrous to Austria. In America, as in England, not only was
it assumed that the Austrians had the better cause, but that the better
chances of success were clearly with them. Black and yellow would
distance black and white, and the two-headed eagle would tear and rend
the single-headed eagle, thus affording another proof that two heads are
better than one. Now, all is changed. In England, opinion is setting
almost as strongly Prussiaward as it did in 1815, though the Prussians
and the Prussian government have made no apologies for those ungracious
acts against Englishmen which it was the fashion to cite as evidence of
the dislike borne to the islanders by the countrymen of Bismarck.
Captain Heehaw, of the Coldstreams, who thought--really, 'pon
honor--that the Prussians would not be able to look half their number of
Austrians in the face, has wheeled about, converted by the fast flashes
of the needle-gun; and the gallant Captain, who would fight like an
Achilles should opportunity offer, is a fair type of his fellows. There
is a complete change of front. The English are countermarching, and will
take up their former ground,--if they have not already taken it,--that
on which they stood when their Parliament thanked Blücher and his
Prussians for helping Wellington and his Britons strike down Napoleon
and the French. Prussia now means a united Germany, to be ruled by the
house of Hohenzollern, whose head is an old king of threescore and ten
years, and who must, in the regular course of things, soon be displaced
by a bold young prince, whose brows are thickly covered with laurels
gathered on the field of Sadowa, and whose wife is the eldest child of
Queen Victoria. Why should not Protestant England rejoice with
Protestant Prussia, and see her successes with gladness? Sure enough;
and English joy over the prodigious Prussian triumph of last summer
ought to be the most natural thing in the world. But we cannot forget
what was the color of English opinion down to the time when it was
demonstrated by the logic of cannon that the Prussian cause was
perfectly pure, and that it was to fly in the face of Providence to
question its excellence. If ever a man was hated in England, Count
Bismarck had the honor of being thus hated. And it was an honor; for
next to the love of a great people, their hatred is the best evidence of
a man's greatness. Napoleon in 1807 was not more detested by Englishmen
than Bismarck in 1866. The obnoxious Prussian statesman was not even
respected, for he had done nothing to command the respect of enemies.
From the tone in which he was talked of, it was plain that the English
considered him to be a mischievous, malicious, elfish sort of creature,
who could not do anything that would deserve to be considered great, but
who did his utmost to make himself and his country the nuisances of
Europe. Books have been made from English journals to show how
extraordinarily they berated this country during the Secession war,
because Americans were so brutally perverse and so selfishly silly as
not to submit their country's throat to the Southern sabre for the
benefit of Britain, which condescends to think that our national
existence is something not altogether compatible with her safety. But a
collection made from the same journals of articles assailing Prussia in
general, and Count Bismarck in particular, would be even richer than
anything that has been collected to show English sympathy with gentlemen
who were fighting valiantly to establish that "better kind of
civilization" which is based on slavery. All is now changed toward
Prussia, as most has been changed toward us for twenty months, ever
since the fall of Richmond. If Prussia should not soon establish a
"cordial understanding" with England, _vice_ France discarded, it will
be because she is not disposed to an English alliance, or because her
fortunes shall have undergone a change, and rendered her unworthy of
being courted. That ancient connection of England and Austria, dating
from the time that the Bourbons became dangerous to Europe, and which
was so often alluded to in the time of the Italian war, and in the days
that immediately preceded the German conflict, is thought little of by
Englishmen, who prefer to think of Pitt's connection with Frederick when
the latter was threatened with annihilation by Austria. Prussia has not
only beaten the Austrian armies; she has conquered English
prejudices,--much the more difficult task of the two.

The Austrians must be amused by the change that has come over the
English mind; but with their sense of the satire which that change may
be said to embody, there is possibly mingled the reflection that their
case, bad as it is, is not so bad as to deprive them of hope. Looking
back over the history of the house of Austria, there is much in it to
allow the belief that possibly it may again rise to the highest place in
Europe. That house has often fallen quite as low as we have seen it
fall, and yet it has not passed away, but has renewed its life and
strength, and has taken high part in effecting the punishment, and even
the destruction, of those who might have destroyed it. When Matthias
Corvinus held Vienna,--when that city was besieged by the great Solyman,
whose troops marched as far to the west as Ratisbon,--when Charles V.
fled before Maurice of Saxony, "lest he might one fine morning be seized
in his bed,"--when Andrew Thonradtel took Ferdinand II. by the buttons
of his doublet, and said, "Nandel, give in, thou must sign" (a paper
containing the articles of the union of the Austrian Estates with the
Bohemians, which Ferdinand refused to sign, and never signed),--when
Gustavus Adolphus was beating or baffling all the Imperial
generals,--when Wallenstein was directing his army of _condottieri_,
with which he had saved the Austrian house, against that house,--when
Kara Mustapha, at the head of two hundred thousand Turks, aided by the
Hungarians, and encouraged by the French, laid siege to Vienna, and sent
his light cavalry to the banks of the Inn, and came wellnigh succeeding
in his undertaking, and would have done so but for the coming in of John
Sobieski and his Poles,--when the French and Bavarians, in 1704, had
brought the Empire to the brink of destruction, so that it could be
saved only through the combined exertions of such men as Eugène and
Marlborough,--when almost all Continental Europe that was possessed of
power directed that power against the Imperial house immediately after
the death of Charles VI., last male member of the line of
Hapsburg,--when Napoleon I. destroyed an Austrian army at Ulm, and took
Vienna, and beat to pieces the Austro-Russian army at Austerlitz,--when
the same Emperor took Vienna the second time, in 1809, after a series of
brilliant victories, wonderful even in his most wonderful history, and
won the victory of Wagram, and allowed the Austrian monarchy to exist
only because he thought of marrying a daughter of its head,--when
Hungarians, Italians, Germans, and others of its subjects were in arms
against it, in 1848-49,--when Montebello and Palestro were followed by
Magenta and Solferino,--the condition of the house of Austria was nearly
as low as it is to-day, and on some of these occasions probably it was
even more reduced than it is at present. Men were ready in 1529, in
1552, in 1619, in 1632, in 1683, in 1704, in 1741, in 1805, in 1809, in
1849, and in 1859 to say, as now they say, that the last hour of the
fortunate dynasty was about to strike on the clock of Time, forgetting
all its earlier escapes from the last consequences of defeat,
recollection of which would have enabled them to form better judgments.
On a dozen occasions Austria has risen superior to the effects of the
direst misfortunes, and she may do so again. And her triumphs,
proceeding out of failures, have not been won over common men or in
ordinary contests. She has rarely had to deal with mean antagonists, and
her singular victories have been enhanced in value by the high grade of
her enemies. Francis I., Sultan Solyman, Gustavus Adolphus, Wallenstein,
Richelieu, Louis XIV., Napoleon I., and Kossuth are conspicuous in the
list of her enemies. They were all great men,--deriving greatness some
of them from their intellectual powers, others from their positions as
sovereigns, and yet others from both their positions and their powers of
mind. Yet she got the better of them all,[31] and some of them fell
miserably because of her enmity to them,--as Wallenstein and Napoleon.
Frederick the Great was in some sense an exception, as he accomplished
most of his purposes at her expense; and yet it cannot with propriety be
said that he conquered her, or that, at the utmost, he was ever more
than the equal of Maria Theresa or Joseph II., with all his undoubted
intellectual superiority. When we compare the Austria of 1813 with the
Austria of 1809, and see how wonderfully fortune had worked in her favor
under circumstances far from promising anything for her benefit, we are
not surprised that Austrians should still be full of confidence, or that
a few other men should share what seems to be in them a well-founded
hope. A belief in good luck sometimes helps men to the enjoyment of good
luck,--and if men, why not nations?

Yet against this reliance on her luck by Austria must be placed the
wonderful changes that have come over the world since those times when
it was in the power of a government like the Austrian to exert a great
influence on the course of events. Down to the time of the French
Revolution, Austrian contests were carried on against nations,
governments, and dynasties, and not against peoples. Even the wars that
grew out of the Reformation were in no strict sense of a popular
character, but were waged by the great of the earth, who found their
account in being champions of progressive ideas,--the liberalism of
those days. Almost all the renowned anti-Austrian leaders of the Thirty
Years' War were kings, nobles, aristocrats of every grade, most of whom,
we may suppose, cared as little for political freedom as the Hapsburgs
cared for it. Gustavus Adolphus could be as arbitrary as Ferdinand II.,
and some of his most ardent admirers are of opinion that he fell none
too soon for his own reputation, though much too soon for the good of
Europe, when he was slain on the glorious field of Lützen. The most
remarkable of all the wars waged by the Austrian house against human
rights was that which Philip II. and his successor directed against the
Dutch: the latter were the champions of liberty; but the opponents of
the Spanish Hapsburgs even in that war can hardly be called the people.
They were--at least the animating and inspiriting portion of them--the
old Dutch municipal aristocracy, who on most occasions were well
supported by the people. Down to a time within living memory, the German
Hapsburgs contended only against their equals in blood and birth, if not
always in power. In 1792 a new age began. The armies of Revolutionary
France were even more democratic than our own in the Secession war, and
not even Napoleon's imperializing and demoralizing course could entirely
change their character. Democracy and aristocracy, each all armed, were
fairly pitted against each other, in that long list of actions which
began at Jemappes and terminated at Solferino. The Austrian army, like
the Austrian government, is the most aristocratic institution of the
kind in the world, and as such it was well ranged against the French
army, the only great armed democratic force Europe had ever seen till
the present year. Democracy had the better in most of the engagements
that took place, though it had ever to fight hard for it, the Austrians
rarely behaving otherwise than well in war. The Prussian army that did
such great things last summer was conscribed from the people to an
extent that has no parallel since the French Republic formed its armies;
and it broke down the aristocratical force of Austria as effectively as
Cromwell's Ironsides,--who were enlisted and disciplined yeomen,--broke
through, cut down, and rode over the high-born Cavaliers of England. Now
what Austria's army encountered when it met the French and Prussian
armies, the Austrian government has to encounter in the management of
affairs. In the old diplomatic school, Austria could hold her own with
any foe, or friend either,--the latter the more difficult matter of the
two. There seldom have been abler men in their way than Kaunitz and
Metternich, but they would be utterly useless were they to come back and
take charge of Austrian diplomacy, so changed is the world's state. And
their successors are of their school, with abilities far inferior to
theirs. The people have now to be consulted, even when treaties are
arranged and political combinations made. Such a parcelling out of
countries as was so easily effected at Vienna in 1815 would no more be
possible now, than it would be to get up a crusade, or to revive the
traffic in slaves. The ground which the people have gained in fifty
years' course they have no intention of giving up, rather meaning to
strengthen it and to extend it.

This is the reason why Austria cannot very hopefully look for a revival
of her power, as it so often revived after defeat in old days, and under
an entirely different state of things from that which now exists. A
power has come into existence such as she has never been accustomed to
deal with, and of which her statesmen have no knowledge. An Austrian
statesman is scarcely more advanced than a Frenchman of the time of
Louis Quatorze; and we verily believe that Louvois or Torcy would be
quite as much at home in European politics at this moment as Mensdorff
or Belcredi. Had they been well informed as to the condition of the
times, they never would have so acted as to bring about the late war. It
was their reliance on the ability of mere governments to settle every
question in dispute, that caused them to plunge into a conflict with
Prussia and Italy, when their master's empire was bankrupt, and when
more or less of discontent existed in almost every part of that empire.
Statesmen who knew the age, and who were aware of the change that has
come over Europe in half a century, would have told the Emperor that to
rely on "something turning up," after the ancient Austrian custom, would
not answer in 1866, and that peoples as well as princes had much to do
with the ordering of every nation's policy; and with every people
Austria is unpopular. It is not difficult now to understand that Francis
Joseph had a profound reliance on Napoleon III., that he believed the
Frenchman would prevent his being driven to the wall, and that Prussia
would be the greatest sufferer by the war, as she would be forced to
part with the Rhine provinces. His mistake with respect to France was
not a great one, as the French saw the triumph of Prussia with much
bitterness of feeling, and gladly would have joined the Austrians; but
the mistake he made in regard to Germany was very great, and shows that
he and his advisers knew nothing of Germanic feeling. If they could thus
err on a point that was plain to every intelligent foreigner, how can we
expect them to exhibit more intelligence and more sense with respect to
the new state of things proceeding from the event of the war? If they
could not comprehend matters of fact at the beginning of last June, why
should we conclude that they will be Solomons hereafter? Brought face to
face with a new state of things, they so proceeded as to convince all
impartial observers that they were wellnigh as ignorant of what had been
going on among men, as the Seven Sleepers were when roused from their
long slumber. But for this, unless we assume that they were fools, not
only would they not have admitted war to be possible, but they never
would have allowed the coming about of such a state of things as led to
the dispute with Prussia. The entire action of the Austrian government
with reference to the affairs of Germany, for several years, was
admirably calculated to lead to what has taken place this year. That
government, had it been wise, never would have acted with Prussia in the
matter of the Danish duchies. It would have insisted on the fulfilment
of the arrangement that was made years before, in which case it would
have been supported by the whole power of France and England, and not
improbably by that of Russia; and against so great an array of force,
Prussia, even if backed by the opinion of Germany, never would have
thought of contending,--and some of the German governments would have
sided with the allies, and would have behaved much more efficiently than
they did in the late war. Prussia would have been isolated, as France
was in 1840; and that party which was opposed to Bismarck's policy would
have obtained control of her councils, the effect of which would have
been to preserve peace, the very thing that was most necessary to
Austria's welfare. Instead of opposing Prussia, Austria joined her, and
insisted on having a part in the very business that offended the Germans
as much as it disgusted foreigners. Thus a state of things was brought
about which made a German war inevitable, while Austria was deprived of
all aid from abroad. England's sympathies were with Austria, as against
Prussia; and yet England had been shabbily treated by Austria in respect
to the duchies, and it was impossible for her either to forget or
forgive such treatment. France had less cause to be offended; but
Napoleon III. could not have approved of action which seemed to be taken
in disregard of his high position in Europe, and was calculated to
advance the ends of Prussia,--the power least respected by the
French,--and which finally made of that power the destroyer of the
settlement of 1815,[32] a part the Emperor had intended for himself.
Having acted thus unwisely, and having no support from Russia, Austria
should have avoided war in 1866, at any cost; and it was in her power to
avoid it down to the time that she made the German Diet so proceed as to
furnish Prussia with an excellent reason for setting her well-prepared
armies in motion against the ill-prepared forces of her foe. Noting the
folly of Austria, and observing that the French government, if M. de
Lavalette's circular can be depended upon as an expression of its
sentiments, is all for peace, we can see no opening for that renewal of
warfare in Europe which the defeated party is said to desire, as an ally
of France, in the expectation that she might recover the place she so
lately lost. The reopening of the Eastern Question, of which much is
said, might afford some hope to Austria, but not to the extent that is
supposed; for she is not strong enough at this time to be a powerful
ally of Russia as against Turkey, or of England in support of Turkey.
She has parted with her old importance; for there is no further hiding
from the world that her system is vicious, and that nothing could be
gained from an alliance with her, while any country with which she
should be associated would have to extend to her much support. She may
rise again, but how, or in what manner, it is not in any man's power to


[25] The following is the epigram of Matthias Corvinus:--

    "Bella gerant alii; tu felix nube!
    Nam quæ Mars aliis dat tibi regna Venus."

Which Mr. Sterling thus renders:--

    "Fight those who will; let well-starred Austria wed,
    And conquer kingdoms in the marriage-bed."

Some other hand has given the following translation, or rather
amplification, of the epigram:--

    "Glad Austria wins by Hymen's silken chain
    What other states in doubtful battles gain,
    And while fierce Mars enriches meaner lands,
    Receives possessions from fair Venus' hands."

There would seem to be an end of these fortunate marriages, no member of
the Austrian imperial family being now in condition to wed to much
profit. The Emperor Francis Joseph, who is yet a young man, took to wife
a Bavarian lady, said to be of extraordinary beauty, in 1854; and he has
a daughter, who was born in 1856, the same year with the French Prince
Imperial, whom she might marry, but that the two are children. Besides,
marriages between French princes and Austrian princesses have turned out
so badly on two memorable occasions, within less than a century, that
even the statesmen of Vienna and Paris might well be excused if they
were to think a third alliance quite impossible. The heir apparent to
the Austrian throne is but eight years old. The Emperor's next brother,
Ferdinand Maximilian,--well known in this country as Emperor of the
Mexicans,--made a good marriage, his wife being a daughter of the late
Leopold I., King of the Belgians. She has labored with zeal to found an
imperial dynasty in Mexico, but the task is beyond human strength. The
imperial system fell in Mexico on the same day that Richmond fell into
the hands of General Grant. The fortunes of the Austrian prince and
those of Mr. Davis were bound up together, and together they fell.

[26] We give the imperial anagram:--

    A: Austria Alles
    E: Est Erdreich
    I: Imperare Ist
    O: Orbi Oesterreich
    U: Universo Unterthan.

[27] Mr. Bryce credits Maximilian I. with the founding of the Austrian
monarchy. "Of that monarchy," he observes, "and of the power of the
house of Hapsburg, Maximilian was, even more than Rudolph his ancestor,
the founder. Uniting in his person those wide domains through Germany
which, had been dispersed among the collateral branches of his house,
and claiming by his marriage with Mary of Burgundy most of the
territories of Charles the Bold, he was a prince greater than any who
had sat on the Teutonic throne since the death of Frederick II. But it
was as Archduke of Austria, Count of Tyrol, Duke of Styria and
Carinthia, feudal superior of lands in Swabia, Alsace, and Switzerland,
that he was great, not as Roman Emperor. For just as from him the
Austrian monarchy begins, so with him the Holy Empire in its old meaning
ends." (The Holy Roman Empire, pp. 343, 344.) Mr. Bryce's work is one of
the most valuable contributions to historical literature that have
appeared in this century, and great expectations are entertained from
the future labors of one so liberally endowed with the historic faculty.

[28] The division of the house of Austria into two branches, which alone
prevented it from becoming supreme in Europe, and over much of the rest
of the world, took place in 1521. After the death of their grandfather,
Charles and Ferdinand possessed the Austrian territories in common, but
in 1521 they made a division thereof. Ferdinand obtained Austria,
Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria, and, in 1522, the Tyrol, and other
provinces. In 1531 he was chosen King of the Romans, which made him the
successor of Charles as Emperor. How Charles came, not merely to consent
to his election, but to urge it, and to effect it in spite of
opposition, when he had a son in his fourth year, is very strange. The
reasons commonly given for his course are by no means sufficient to
account or it. Many years later he tried to undo his work, in order to
obtain the imperial dignity for his son; but Ferdinand held on to what
he possessed, with true Austrian tenacity. Had Charles kept the imperial
crown for his son, as he might have done, Philip's imperial position
must have sufficed to give him control of the civilized world. He would
have made himself master of both France and England, and must have
rendered the Reaction completely triumphant over the Reformation.
Fortunately, he failed to become Emperor, and during a portion of his
time the imperial throne was occupied by the best of all the Hapsburg
sovereigns,--the wise, the tolerant, the humane, and the upright
Maximillian II., who was the last man in Europe likely to give him any
aid in the prosecution of his vast tyrannical schemes. Besides, there
was a sort of coolness between the two branches of the great family,
that was not without its effect on the world's politics. Seldom has it
happened that a more important event has occurred than the election of
Ferdinand as King of the Romans. We are not to measure what might have
been done by Philip II. as Emperor, by what was done by Charles V.; for
Charles was a statesman, a politician, and, down to his latter years,
when his health was utterly gone, he was no fanatic; but Phillip was a
fanatic only, and a fierce one too, with a power of concentration such
as his father never possessed. Then the contest between the Catholics
and the Protestants was a far more serious one in Philip's time than it
had been in that of Charles, which alone would have sufficed to make his
occupation of the imperial throne, had he occupied it, a matter of the
last importance.

[29] The main line of the German Hapsburgs ended in 1619, with the death
of the Emperor Matthias. He was succeeded by Ferdinand II., grandson of
Ferdinand I., and son of that Archduke Charles who was sometimes spoken
of in connection with the possible marriage of Elizabeth of England. Out
of Ferdinand II.'s elevation grew a new union of the entire family of
Hapsburg. During the long ascendency of the Cardinal-Duke of Lerma in
the Spanish councils, _temp_. Philip III., the breach between the two
branches, which had been more apparent than real, and yet not
unimportant, was made complete by the minister's action, the policy he
pursued being such as was highly displeasing to the German Hapsburgs,
who had relapsed into bigotry. Philip III. set up pretensions to Hungary
and Bohemia, as grandson of Maximilian II. Ferdinand, who was not yet
either emperor or king, got rid of Philip's pretensions by promising to
resign to him the Austrian possessions in Swabia. This led to the fall
of Lerma, and to the reunion of the two branches of the Austrian house,
but for which it is probable Ferdinand II. might have been beaten in the
early days of the Thirty Years' War. It was to Spanish aid that
Ferdinand owed his early triumphs in that contest; and many years later,
in 1634, the great victory of Nordlingen was gained for the Imperialists
by the presence of ten thousand Spanish infantry in their army,--that
infantry which was still the first military body in Europe, not then
having met with the disaster of Rocroy, which, however, was near at
hand. This was a kind of Indian-summer revival of Spanish power, and at
the beginning of the new alliance between Madrid and Vienna, "there
appeared," says Rankè, "a prospect of founding a compact Spanish
hereditary dominion, which should directly link together Milan with the
Netherlands, and so give the Spanish policy a necessary preponderance in
the affairs of Europe." Richelieu spoilt this fine prospect just as it
seemed about to become a reality, and the Spanish Hapsburgs gradually
sank into insignificance, and their line disappeared in 1700, on the
death of Charles II., the most contemptible creature that ever wore a
crown, and scarcely man enough to be a respectable idiot. Such was the
termination of the great Austro-Burgundian dynasty that was founded by
Charles V.,--at one time as majestic as "the broad and winding Rhine,"
but again, like the Rhine, running fast to insignificance.

[30] If the house of Austria was not in the greatest danger it ever
experienced in 1704, its members and officers could affect to feel all
but absolutely desperate. The following letter, written in queer
German-French, by the Imperial Minister near the English court, Count
John Wenceslaus Wratislaw, to Queen Anne, conveys an almost ludicrous
idea of the fright under which the Austrian chiefs suffered:--"Madame,
Le soussigné envoyé extraordinaire de sa Majesté Impériale ayant
représenté de vive voix en diverses occasions aux ministres de votre
Majesté la dure extremité dans laquelle se trouve l'Empire, par
l'introduction d'une armée nombreuse de François dans la Bavière,
laquelle jointe à la revolte de la Hongrie met les païs héréditaires de
sa Majesté Impériale dans une confusion incroyable, de sorte que si l'on
n'apporte pas un remède prompt et proportionné au danger présent, dont
on est menacé on a à craindre une revolution entière, et une destruction
totale de l'Allemagne." Luckily for Austria, Marlborough was a man of as
much moral as physical courage, and he took the responsibility of
leading his army into Germany,--a decision that, perhaps, no other
commander of that time would have been equal to,--and by the junction of
his forces with those of Eugène was enabled to fight and win the battle
of Blenheim (Blindheim), which put an end to the ascendency of France.
Emperor Leopold was positively grateful for the services Marlborough
rendered him, and treated him differently from the manner in which he
had treated Sobieski for doing him quite as great a favor. He wrote him
a letter in his own hand, gave him a lordship in fee, and made him, by
the title of Mindelheim, a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.

[31] As it is generally assumed that Richelieu got the better of the
Empire in that contest which he waged with it, perhaps some readers may
think we have gone too far in saying he was one of those antagonists of
whom the Austrian family got the better; but all depends upon the point
of view. Richelieu died when the war was at its height, and did not live
to see the success of his immediate policy; but what he did was only an
incident in a long contest. The old rivalry of the house of Valois and
the house of Austria was continued after the former was succeeded by the
house of Bourbon. Richelieu did but carry out the policy on which Henry
IV. had determined: and when the two branches of the Austrian family had
united their powers, and it seemed that the effect of their reunion
would be to place Europe at their command, the great Cardinal-Duke had
no choice but to follow the ancient course of France. But the contest on
which he entered, though in one sense fatal to his enemy, was not
decided in his time, nor till he had been in his grave more than sixty
years. He died just before the beginning of the reign of Louis XIV., and
that monarch took up and continued the contest which Richelieu may be
said to have renewed. For an unusually long period the Bourbons were
successful, though without fully accomplishing their purpose. From the
battle of Rocroy, in 1643, to the battle of Blenheim, in 1704, France
was the first nation of Europe, and the Bourbons could boost of having
humiliated the Hapsburgs. They obtained the crowns of Spain and the
Indies; and the Spanish crowns are yet worn by a descendant of Louis le
Grand, while another family reigns in France. But Spain and her
dependencies apart, all was changed by the result at Blenheim. The
Austrian house was there saved, and re-established; and it was there
that the policy of Richelieu had its final decision. The France of the
old monarchy never recovered from the disasters its armies met with in
the War of the Spanish Succession; and when Louis XV. consented to the
marriage of his grandson to an Austrian princess, he virtually admitted
that the old rival of his family had triumphed in the long strife. The
quarrel was again renewed in the days of the Republic, maintained under
the first French Empire, and had its last trial of arms under the second
Empire, in 1859; but the old French monarchy gave up the contest more
than a century ago. Besides, we are to distinguish between the German
Empire and the house of Hapsburg that ruled from Vienna. The Peace of
Westphalia (1648) left the Germanic Emperors in a contemptible state,
but the effect of it was highly favorable to these Emperors considered
as chiefs of the Hapsburg family. "Placed on the eastern verge of
Germany," says Mr. Bryce, "the Hapsburgs had added to their ancient
lands in Austria proper and the Tyrol new German territories far more
extensive, and had thus become the chiefs of a separate and independent
state. They endeavored to reconcile its interests and those of the
Empire, so long as it seemed possible to recover part of the old
imperial prerogative. But when such hopes were dashed by the defeats of
the Thirty Years' War, they hesitated no longer between an elective
crown and the rule of their hereditary states, and comforted themselves
thenceforth in European politics, not as the representatives of Germany,
but as heads of the great Austrian monarchy." (The Holy Roman Empire,
new edition, p. 355.) Thus, by diverting the Hapsburgs from their
impracticable schemes, and throwing them upon their hereditary
possessions, Richelieu really helped them; and in so far his policy was
a failure, as he sought to lessen the power of the house of Austria,
which in his time ruled over Spain, as well as in Germany, Bohemia,
Hungary, and other countries. It is intimated by some European writers,
that the Austrian family will once more turn its attention to the East,
and, giving up all thought of regaining its place in Germany, seek
compensation where it was found in the seventeenth century, after the
Peace of Westphalia. But what was possible two hundred years ago might
be found impossible to-day. Russia had no existence as a European power
in those days, whereas now she has one of the highest places in Europe,
and a very peculiar interest in not allowing Austria, or any other
nation, to obtain possession of countries like the Roumanian
Principalities, the addition of which to his empire might afford
compensation to Francis Joseph for all he has lost in the south and the
west. It is one of the infelicities of Austria's position that she
cannot make a movement in any direction without treading on the toes of
some giant, or on those of a dwarf protected by some giant who who
intends himself ultimately to devour him.

[32] Prussia, the most thoroughly anti-Gallican of all the parties to
the Treaty of Vienna, completed the work of overthrowing the "detested"
arrangements made by the framers of that treaty. The federal act
creating the Germanic Confederation was incorporated in the work of the
Congress of Vienna, and was guaranteed by eight European
powers,--France, England, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, Spain, and
Portugal. Prussia destroyed the Confederation without troubling herself
about the wishes and opinions of the other seven parties to the
arrangement of 1815. That all those parties to that arrangement were not
always indifferent to their guaranty appears from the opposition made by
Russia, France, and England to Prince Schwarzenburg's proposition, that
Austria should be allowed to introduce all her non-Germanic territories
into the Confederation, that is to say, that the _Austrian Empire_,
which then included the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, should become a part
of Germany, which it would soon have ruled, as well as overruled, while
it would have extended its dominion over Italy. Had Schwarzenburg's
project succeeded, the course of European events during the last sixteen
years must have been entirely changed, or Austria would have been made
too strong to be harmed by the French in Italy, or by the Prussians in
Germany and Bohemia. Russia was specially adverse to that project; and
the Treaty of Vienna was forcibly appealed to by her government in
opposing it. The time had not then come for making waste-paper of the
arrangements of 1815.

       *       *       *       *       *


The assembling of the Second Session of the Thirty-ninth Congress may
very properly be made the occasion of a few earnest words on the already
much-worn topic of reconstruction.

Seldom has any legislative body been the subject of a solicitude more
intense, or of aspirations more sincere and ardent. There are the best
of reasons for this profound interest. Questions of vast moment, left
undecided by the last session of Congress, must be manfully grappled
with by this. No political skirmishing will avail. The occasion demands

Whether the tremendous war so heroically fought and so victoriously
ended shall pass into history a miserable failure, barren of permanent
results,--a scandalous and shocking waste of blood and treasure,--a
strife for empire, as Earl Russell characterized it, of no value to
liberty or civilization,--an attempt to re-establish a Union by force,
which must be the merest mockery of a Union,--an effort to bring under
Federal authority States into which no loyal man from the North may
safely enter, and to bring men into the national councils who deliberate
with daggers and vote with revolvers, and who do not even conceal their
deadly hate of the country that conquered them; or whether, on the other
hand, we shall, as the rightful reward of victory over treason, have a
solid nation, entirely delivered from all contradictions and social
antagonisms, based upon loyalty, liberty, and equality, must be
determined one way or the other by the present session of Congress. The
last session really did nothing which can be considered final as to
these questions. The Civil Rights Bill and the Freedmen's Bureau Bill
and the proposed constitutional amendments, with the amendment already
adopted and recognized as the law of the land, do not reach the
difficulty, and cannot, unless the whole structure of the government is
changed from a government by States to something like a despotic central
government, with power to control even the municipal regulations of
States, and to make them conform to its own despotic will. While there
remains such an idea as the right of each State to control its own local
affairs,--an idea, by the way, more deeply rooted in the minds of men
of all sections of the country than perhaps any one other political
idea,--no general assertion of human rights can be of any practical
value. To change the character of the government at this point is
neither possible nor desirable. All that is necessary to be done is to
make the government consistent with itself, and render the rights of the
States compatible with the sacred rights of human nature.

The arm of the Federal government is long, but it is far too short to
protect the rights of individuals in the interior of distant States.
They must have the power to protect themselves, or they will go
unprotected, spite of all the laws the Federal government can put upon
the national statute-book.

Slavery, like all other great systems of wrong, founded in the depths of
human selfishness, and existing for ages, has not neglected its own
conservation. It has steadily exerted an influence upon all around it
favorable to its own continuance. And to-day it is so strong that it
could exist, not only without law, but even against law. Custom,
manners, morals, religion, are all on its side everywhere in the South;
and when you add the ignorance and servility of the ex-slave to the
intelligence and accustomed authority of the master, you have the
conditions, not out of which slavery will again grow, but under which it
is impossible for the Federal government to wholly destroy it, unless
the Federal government be armed with despotic power, to blot out State
authority, and to station a Federal officer at every cross-road. This,
of course, cannot be done, and ought not even if it could. The true way
and the easiest way is to make our government entirely consistent with
itself, and give to every loyal citizen the elective franchise,--a right
and power which will be ever present, and will form a wall of fire for
his protection.

One of the invaluable compensations of the late Rebellion is the highly
instructive disclosure it made of the true source of danger to
republican government. Whatever may be tolerated in monarchical and
despotic governments, no republic is safe that tolerates a privileged
class, or denies to any of its citizens equal rights and equal means to
maintain them. What was theory before the war has been made fact by the

There is cause to be thankful even for rebellion. It is an impressive
teacher, though a stern and terrible one. In both characters it has come
to us, and it was perhaps needed in both. It is an instructor never a
day before its time, for it comes only when all other means of progress
and enlightenment have failed. Whether the oppressed and despairing
bondman, no longer able to repress his deep yearnings for manhood, or
the tyrant, in his pride and impatience, takes the initiative, and
strikes the blow for a firmer hold and a longer lease of oppression, the
result is the same,--society is instructed, or may be.

Such are the limitations of the common mind, and so thoroughly
engrossing are the cares of common life, that only the few among men can
discern through the glitter and dazzle of present prosperity the dark
outlines of approaching disasters, even though they may have come up to
our very gates, and are already within striking distance. The yawning
seam and corroded bolt conceal their defects from the mariner until the
storm calls all hands to the pumps. Prophets, indeed, were abundant
before the war; but who cares for prophets while their predictions
remain unfulfilled, and the calamities of which they tell are masked
behind a blinding blaze of national prosperity?

It is asked, said Henry Clay, on a memorable occasion, Will slavery
never come to an end? That question, said he, was asked fifty years ago,
and it has been answered by fifty years of unprecedented prosperity.
Spite of the eloquence of the earnest Abolitionists,--poured out against
slavery during thirty years,--even they must confess, that, in all the
probabilities of the case, that system of barbarism would have
continued its horrors far beyond the limits of the nineteenth century
but for the Rebellion, and perhaps only have disappeared at last in a
fiery conflict, even more fierce and bloody than that which has now been

It is no disparagement to truth, that it can only prevail where reason
prevails. War begins where reason ends. The thing worse than rebellion
is the thing that causes rebellion. What that thing is, we have been
taught to our cost. It remains now to be seen whether we have the needed
courage to have that cause entirely removed from the Republic. At any
rate, to this grand work of national regeneration and entire
purification Congress must now address itself, with full purpose that
the work shall this time be thoroughly done. The deadly upas, root and
branch, leaf and fibre, body and sap, must be utterly destroyed. The
country is evidently not in a condition to listen patiently to pleas for
postponement, however plausible, nor will it permit the responsibility
to be shifted to other shoulders. Authority and power are here
commensurate with the duty imposed. There are no cloud-flung shadows to
obscure the way. Truth shines with brighter light and intenser heat at
every moment, and a country torn and rent and bleeding implores relief
from its distress and agony.

If time was at first needed, Congress has now had time. All the
requisite materials from which to form an intelligent judgment are now
before it. Whether its members look at the origin, the progress, the
termination of the war, or at the mockery of a peace now existing, they
will find only one unbroken chain of argument in favor of a radical
policy of reconstruction. For the omissions of the last session, some
excuses may be allowed. A treacherous President stood in the way; and it
can be easily seen how reluctant good men might be to admit an apostasy
which involved so much of baseness and ingratitude. It was natural that
they should seek to save him by bending to him even when he leaned to
the side of error. But all is changed now. Congress knows now that it
must go on without his aid, and even against his machinations. The
advantage of the present session over the last is immense. Where that
investigated, this has the facts. Where that walked by faith, this may
walk by sight. Where that halted, this must go forward, and where that
failed, this must succeed, giving the country whole measures where that
gave us half-measures, merely as a means of saving the elections in a
few doubtful districts. That Congress saw what was right, but distrusted
the enlightenment of the loyal masses; but what was forborne in distrust
of the people must now be done with a full knowledge that the people
expect and require it. The members go to Washington fresh from the
inspiring presence of the people. In every considerable public meeting,
and in almost every conceivable way, whether at court-house,
school-house, or cross-roads, in doors and out, the subject has been
discussed, and the people have emphatically pronounced in favor of a
radical policy. Listening to the doctrines of expediency and compromise
with pity, impatience, and disgust, they have everywhere broken into
demonstrations of the wildest enthusiasm when a brave word has been
spoken in favor of equal rights and impartial suffrage. Radicalism, so
far from being odious, is now the popular passport to power. The men
most bitterly charged with it go to Congress with the largest
majorities, while the timid and doubtful are sent by lean majorities, or
else left at home. The strange controversy between the President and
Congress, at one time so threatening, is disposed of by the people. The
high reconstructive powers which he so confidently, ostentatiously, and
haughtily claimed, have been disallowed, denounced, and utterly
repudiated; while those claimed by Congress have been confirmed.

Of the spirit and magnitude of the canvass nothing need be said. The
appeal was to the people, and the verdict was worthy of the tribunal.
Upon an occasion of his own selection, with the advice and approval of
his astute Secretary, soon after the members of Congress had returned to
their constituents, the President quitted the executive mansion,
sandwiched himself between two recognized heroes,--men whom the whole
country delighted to honor,--and, with all the advantage which such
company could give him, stumped the country from the Atlantic to the
Mississippi, advocating everywhere his policy as against that of
Congress. It was a strange sight, and perhaps the most disgraceful
exhibition ever made by any President; but, as no evil is entirely
unmixed, good has come of this, as from many others. Ambitious,
unscrupulous, energetic, indefatigable, voluble, and plausible,--a
political gladiator, ready for a "set-to" in any crowd,--he is beaten in
his own chosen field, and stands to-day before the country as a
convicted usurper, a political criminal, guilty of a bold and persistent
attempt to possess himself of the legislative powers solemnly secured to
Congress by the Constitution. No vindication could be more complete, no
condemnation could be more absolute and humiliating. Unless reopened by
the sword, as recklessly threatened in some circles, this question is
now closed for all time.

Without attempting to settle here the metaphysical and somewhat
theological question (about which so much has already been said and
written), whether once in the Union means always in the
Union,--agreeably to the formula, Once in grace always in grace,--it is
obvious to common sense that the rebellious States stand to-day, in
point of law, precisely where they stood when, exhausted, beaten,
conquered, they fell powerless at the feet of Federal authority. Their
State governments were overthrown, and the lives and property of the
leaders of the Rebellion were forfeited. In reconstructing the
institutions of these shattered and overthrown States, Congress should
begin with a clean slate, and make clean work of it. Let there be no
hesitation. It would be a cowardly deference to a defeated and
treacherous President, if any account were made of the illegitimate,
one-sided, sham governments hurried into existence for a malign purpose
in the absence of Congress. These pretended governments, which were
never submitted to the people, and from participation in which four
millions of the loyal people were excluded by Presidential order, should
now be treated according to their true character, as shams and
impositions, and supplanted by true and legitimate governments, in the
formation of which loyal men, black and white, shall participate.

It is not, however, within the scope of this paper to point out the
precise steps to be taken, and the means to be employed. The people are
less concerned about these than the grand end to be attained. They
demand such a reconstruction as shall put an end to the present
anarchical state of things in the late rebellious States,--where
frightful murders and wholesale massacres are perpetrated in the very
presence of Federal soldiers. This horrible business they require shall
cease. They want a reconstruction such as will protect loyal men, black
and white, in their persons and property; such a one as will cause
Northern industry, Northern capital, and Northern civilization to flow
into the South, and make a man from New England as much at home in
Carolina as elsewhere in the Republic. No Chinese wall can now be
tolerated. The South must be opened to the light of law and liberty, and
this session of Congress is relied upon to accomplish this important

The plain, common-sense way of doing this work, as intimated at the
beginning, is simply to establish in the South one law, one government,
one administration of justice, one condition to the exercise of the
elective franchise, for men of all races and colors alike. This great
measure is sought as earnestly by loyal white men as by loyal blacks,
and is needed alike by both. Let sound political prescience but take the
place of an unreasoning prejudice, and this will be done.

Men denounce the negro for his prominence in this discussion; but it is
no fault of his that in peace as in war, that in conquering Rebel armies
as in reconstructing the rebellious States, the right of the negro is
the true solution of our national troubles. The stern logic of events,
which goes directly to the point, disdaining all concern for the color
or features of men, has determined the interests of the country as
identical with and inseparable from those of the negro.

The policy that emancipated and armed the negro--now seen to have been
wise and proper by the dullest--was not certainly more sternly demanded
than is now the policy of enfranchisement. If with the negro was success
in war, and without him failure, so in peace it will be found that the
nation must fall or flourish with the negro.

Fortunately, the Constitution of the United States knows no distinction
between citizens on account of color. Neither does it know any
difference between a citizen of a State and a citizen of the United
States. Citizenship evidently includes all the rights of citizens,
whether State or national. If the Constitution knows none, it is clearly
no part of the duty of a Republican Congress now to institute one. The
mistake of the last session was the attempt to do this very thing, by a
renunciation of its power to secure political rights to any class of
citizens, with the obvious purpose to allow the rebellious States to
disfranchise, if they should see fit, their colored citizens. This
unfortunate blunder must now be retrieved, and the emasculated
citizenship given to the negro supplanted by that contemplated in the
Constitution of the United States, which declares that the citizens of
each State shall enjoy all the rights and immunities of citizens of the
several States,--so that a legal voter in any State shall be a legal
voter in all the States.

       *       *       *       *       *


_History of the United States, from the Discovery of the American
Continent._ By GEORGE BANCROFT. Vol. IX. Boston: Little, Brown,
& Co.

This volume of Mr. Bancroft's History, the ninth of the entire work and
the third of the narrative of the American Revolution, comprises the
period between July, 1776, and April, 1778, including the battles of
Long Island and White Plains, the surrender of Fort Washington, the
retreat of Washington through the Jerseys, the brilliant military
successes of Trenton and Princeton, the capture of Philadelphia by Sir
William Howe, and the memorable event which insured the success of the
Revolution,--the surrender of Burgoyne. This enumeration is enough to
show that, in the ground he has traversed, Mr. Bancroft has found ample
scope for the display of those peculiar literary characteristics with
which the readers of his former volumes are so familiar,--his rapid and
condensed narration, his sweeping and sometimes rather vague
generalizations, his brilliant pictures, his pointed reflections, and
the sharp, cutting strokes with which he carves rather than paints
characters. His usual diligence in the search of materials has not
deserted him here; and he has been even more than usually successful in
the amount and character of what he has found. In addition to very full
collections relating to the war from the archives of England and France,
he has obtained large masses of papers from Germany, among which last
are many of great importance, especially for the study of military
operations in 1777. Very valuable documents from the Spanish have been
secured, through the courtesy of the Spanish government and the kind
offices of that distinguished scholar and most amiable man, Don Pascual
de Gayangos.

Investigators of the past are naturally inclined to overestimate the
value of any new sources of information opened by their own diligence or
sagacity of research, and a little of this feeling is perceptible in Mr.
Bancroft's Preface; but, after all, we apprehend that the new evidence
he has so diligently collected will not shake the deliberate verdict
already passed alike upon men and events. Here and there a gleam is
thrown upon some single incident, or the motives and conduct of a
particular actor; but the general lights and shadows of the historical
landscape remain undisturbed. The statements and the views of Marshall
and Sparks are substantially sustained. The patriotic American will not
regret to see that Mr. Bancroft's investigations and conclusions lead
him to exalt Washington in comparison with the soldiers and civilians
who stood around him; and the reader of his pages will have fresh cause
to admire, not merely the firmness and self-command of that illustrious
man, but his abilities as a commander and a statesman. We have
especially to thank Mr. Bancroft for the distinctness with which he
shows how much the success of the Northern army was due to Washington's
disinterested advice. His high praise of the commander-in-chief
sometimes glances aslope, and lights in the form of censure of some of
his subordinate officers; and we should not be surprised if some of his
strictures provoked replies and led to controversies. Some of those whom
he criticises have left descendants, and those who have left no
descendants have partisans who are jealous of the fame of their
favorites, and will not lightly allow a leaf of their laurels to be

During the period embraced by this volume the constitutions of several
of the States were formed, and the Articles of Confederation were
adopted which gave to the several States a semblance of unity, and
smoothed the path to the more perfect union which was established ten
years later. These events present themes peculiarly congenial to Mr.
Bancroft's powers of brilliant generalization and rapid condensation,
and tempt him into that field of discursive reflection where he is fond
of lingering, and where we follow him always with interest, and
generally with assent. We quote with peculiar pleasure the following
observations from the fifteenth chapter, on the constitutions of the
several States of America, as being sound in substance and happy in

"The spirit of the age moved the young, nation to own justice as
antecedent and superior to the state, and to found the rights of the
citizen on the rights of man. And yet, in regenerating its institutions,
it was not guided by any speculative theory or laborious application of
metaphysical distinctions. Its form of government grew naturally out of
its traditions, by the simple rejection of all personal hereditary
authority, which in America had never had much more than a
representative existence. Its people were industrious and frugal.
Accustomed to the cry of liberty and property, they harbored no dream of
a community of goods; and their love of equality never degenerated into
envy of the rich. No successors of the fifth-monarchy men proposed to
substitute an unwritten higher law, interpreted by individual
conscience, for the law of the land and the decrees of human tribunals.
The people proceeded with self-possession and moderation, after the
manner of their ancestors. Their large inheritance of English liberties
saved them from the necessity and from the wish to uproot their old
political institutions; and as happily the scaffold was not wet with the
blood of their statesmen, there was no root of a desperate hatred of
England, such as the Netherlands kept up for centuries against Spain.
The wrongs inflicted or attempted by the British king were felt to have
been avenged by independence. Respect and affection remained behind for
the parent land, from which the United States had derived trial by jury,
the writ for personal liberty, the practice of representative
government, and the separation of the three great co-ordinate powers in
the state. From an essentially aristocratic model, America took just
what suited her condition, and rejected the rest. Thus the transition of
the Colonies into self-existent commonwealths was free from vindictive
bitterness, and attended by no violent or wide departure from the past."

A considerable portion of this volume is occupied by a consideration of
the relations between Europe and America. Advancing years do not seem to
chill Mr. Bancroft's faith in progress, his confidence in democracy, his
love of popular institutions, or to check his tendency to throw his
speculations into an aphoristic form, and to present his conclusions
positively, and with less of qualification and limitation than men of a
more cautious temperament would do. So far as literary merit is
concerned, the European chapters will be found the most attractive in
the volume. They are sparkling, rapid, condensed, and pointed; they
gratify our national pride; their animated and picturesque style never
suffers the attention to flag for a moment;--and yet it is in these very
chapters that judicial criticism will find the most frequent occasion to
pause and doubt, whether we consider the direction in which the stream
of thought flows, or their merely rhetorical features. Mr. Bancroft's
glittering generalizations do not always seem to us to wear the sober
livery of truth. For instance, on page 500 we read: "The most stupendous
thought that ever was conceived by man, such as never had been dared by
Socrates or the Academy, by Aristotle or the Stoics, took possession of
Descartes on a November night in his meditations on the banks of the
Danube." It may be coldness of temperament, it may be the chilling
influence of advancing years, but we cannot admire statements like
these, and we are constrained to think them exaggerated and extravagant.

And on the next page Mr. Bancroft says: "Edwards, Reid, Kant, and
Rousseau were all imbued with religiosity, and all except the last, who
spoiled his doctrine by dreamy indolence, were expositors of the active
powers of man." It is certainly an ingenious mind that finds a
resemblance between Edwards and Rousseau. What exactly is the meaning of
"religiosity," we cannot say; but if it be used as a synonyme of
religion, we demur to the assertion that Rousseau was imbued with
religion,--Rousseau, who in his youth allowed an innocent girl to be
ruined by accusing her of a theft which he himself had committed, and in
his ripened manhood sent to a foundling hospital the children he had had
by his mistress,--whose life was despicable and whose moral creed seemed
to be summed up in the doctrine that every natural impulse is to be
indulged. Rousseau was an enthusiast and a sentimentalist; he was a man
of the exquisite organization of genius, and there are many passages in
his writings which are colored with a half-voluptuous, half-devotional
glow; but it seems to us a plain confusion of very obvious moral
distinctions to represent such a man as imbued with the spirit of

One of the most animated of Mr. Bancroft's chapters is the eighth, on
the course of opinion in England, in which we have glimpses of Wilkes,
of Barre, of Wedderburn, of Lord North, of Burke, and an elaborate
character of Fox. This last is a happy specimen of Mr. Bancroft's
peculiar style of portrait-drawing. The merits and defects of the
subject are presented in a series of pointed and aphoristic sentences;
and the likeness is gained, as in a portrait of Rembrandt, by the
powerful contrast and proximity of lights and shadows. Virtues and vices
stand side by side, like the black and white squares of a chess-board.
Brilliant as the execution is, the man Charles James Fox seems to us
reproduced with more distinctness and individuality in the easier,
simpler, more flowing sentences of Lord Brougham. Mr. Bancroft's sketch
has something of the coldness as well as the sharp outline of
bas-relief. And strange to say, considering Fox's love of liberty, his
love of America, and his hatred of slavery, the historian of liberty and
democracy seems hardly to have done him justice. In the summary of the
contents of the chapters prefixed to the volume, he unreservedly writes
down "Fox not a great man," and such is the impression which the text
leaves on the mind; but if Fox was not a great man, to whom in the
sphere of government and politics can that praise be accorded?

In his Preface to this volume, Mr. Bancroft informs us that one more
volume will complete the American Revolution, including the negotiations
for peace in 1782; and that for this the materials are collected and
arranged, and that it will be completed and published without any
unnecessary delay. This volume will bring into the field Spain, France,
and Great Britain, as well as the United States, and, from the nature of
the subject it presents, will undoubtedly be so treated by Mr. Bancroft
as to be not inferior in interest or value to any of its predecessors.

_Griffith Gaunt; or Jealousy_. By CHARLES READE. With
Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

In discussing the qualities of this remarkable novel before the readers
of "The Atlantic Monthly," we shall have an advantage not always enjoyed
by criticism; for we shall speak to an audience perfectly familiar with
every detail of the story, and shall not be troubled to _résumer_ its
events and characters. There has been much doubt among many worthy
people concerning Mr. Reade's management of the moralities and the
proprieties, but no question at all, we think, as to the wonderful power
he has shown, and the interest he has awakened. Even those who have
blamed him have followed him eagerly,--without doubt to see what
crowning insult he would put upon decency, and to be confirmed in their
virtuous abhorrence of his work. It is to be hoped that these have been
disappointed, for it must be confessed that, in the _dénouement_ of the
novel, others who totally differed from them in purpose and opinion have
been brought to some confusion.

It is not as a moralist that we have primarily to find fault with Mr.
Reade, but as an artist, for his moral would have been good if his art
had been true. The work, up to the conclusion of Catharine Gaunt's
trial, is in all respects too fine and high to provoke any reproach from
us; after that, we can only admire it as a piece of literary gallantry
and desperate resolution. "C'est magnifique; mais ce n'est pas la
guerre." It is courageous, but it is not art. It is because of the
splendid _elan_ in all Mr. Reade writes, that in his failure he does not
fall flat upon the compassion of his reader, as Mr. Dickens does with
his "Golden Dustman." But it is a failure, nevertheless; and it must
become a serious question in æsthetics how far the spellbound reader may
be tortured with an interest which the power awakening it is not
adequate to gratify. Is it generous, is it just in a novelist, to lift
us up to a pitch of tragic frenzy, and then drop us down into the last
scene of a comic opera? We refuse to be comforted by the fact that the
novelist does not, perhaps, consciously mock our expectation.

Let us take the moral of "Griffith Gaunt,"--so poignant and effective
for the most part,--and see how lamentably it suffers from the defective
art of the _dénouement_. In brief: up to the end of Mrs. Gaunt's trial
we are presented with a terrible image of the evils that jealousy,
anger, and lies bring upon their guilty and innocent victims. Griffith
Gaunt is made to suffer--as men in life suffer--a dreadful remorse and
anguish for the crimes he has committed and the falsehoods to which they
have committed him. A man with a heart at first tender and true becomes
a son of perdition, utterly incapable of tenderness and
truth,--consciously held away from them by ever-cumulative force. The
spectacle is not new,--it is old as sin itself; but it is here revealed
with the freshest and most authentic power, and with a repelling
efficacy which we have seldom seen equalled in literature. Mrs. Gaunt
justly endures the trouble brought upon her by pride and unbridled bad
temper, and unavoidably endures the consequences of another's wrong.
Mercy Vint is a guiltless and lovely sacrifice to both almost equally.

What is the end? Mercy Vint is given in marriage to the honestest and
faithfulest gentleman in the book, whose heroism we admire without
envying. But in any case so good a woman would have achieved peace for
herself, and it is at some cost to our regard for her entirety that we
consent to see her rewarded by being made a nobleman's wife and the
mother of nine children. In this character she lives a life less perfect
and consequent than she might have led in a station less exalted, but
distant from the circles in which she could not appear at the same time
with the man who had infamously wronged her without exciting whispers
painful to herself and embarrassing to her husband. Indeed, there seems
to be rather more of vicarious expiation in her fate than the interests
of population and of "young women who have been betrayed" have any right
to demand.

Mrs. Gaunt fully expiates her error before her trial ends. But how of
her husband? Mr. Reade seems to like his Griffith Gaunt, who is not to
our mind, and who is never less worthy of happiness than at the moment
when his wife forgives him. It is not that he is a bigamist and betrayer
of innocence that his redemption seems impossible through the means
employed; but how can Catharine Gaunt love a coward and sneak, even in
the wisdom which a court of justice has taught her? This furious and
stupid traitor is afraid to appear and save his wife lest he be branded
in the hand; and we are to pardon him because, at no risk to himself, he
gives the worthless blood of his veins to rescue her from death. If the
fable teaches anything in Griffith Gaunt's case, it is this: Betray two
noble women, and after some difficulty you shall get rid of one, be
forgiven by the other, come into a handsome property, and have a large
and interesting family. If the reader will take the fate of Griffith
Gaunt and contrast it with that of Tito Melema, in "Romola," he shall
see all the difference that passes between an artificial and an artistic
solution of a moral problem.

Defective art is noticeable in the minor as well as the principal
features of the _dénouement_ of Griffith Gaunt. There is the case of the
unhappy little baby of Mercy. It is plain that the infant is a
stumbling-block in its mother's path to Neville Cross; but we have
scarcely begun to lament its presence, when it is swiftly put to death
by a special despatch from the obliging destiny of the _dénouement_. The
event is a coincidence, to say the least, and is scarcely less an
operation than the transfusion of blood by which Griffith Gaunt and his
wife are preserved to a long life of happiness. But this part of the
work is full of wonders. The cruel enchantments are all dissolved by
more potent preternatural agencies, and a superhuman prosperity dwells
alike with the just and the unjust,--Mrs. Ryder excepted, who will
probably go to the Devil as some slight compensation for the loss of
Griffith Gaunt.

But if the conclusion of the fiction is weak, how great it is in every
other part! The management of the plot was so masterly, that the story
proceeded without a pause or an improbability until the long fast of a
month falling between the feasts of its publication became almost
insupportable. It was a plot that grew naturally out of the characters,
for humanity is prolific of events, and these characters are all human
beings. They are not in the least anachronistic. They act and speak a
great deal in the coarse fashion of the good old times. Griffith Gaunt
is half tipsy when Kate plights her troth to him; and he is drunk upon
an occasion not less solemn and interesting. They are of an age that was
very gallant and brutal, that wore gold-lace upon its coat, and ever so
much profanity upon its speech; and Mr. Reade has treated them with
undeniable frankness and sincerity. Mercy Vint alone seems to belong to
a better time; but then goodness and purity are the contemporaries of
every generation, and, besides, Mercy Vint's puritan character is an
exceptional phase of the life of the time. It is admirable to see in
this fiction, as we often see in the world, how wise and refined
religion makes an ignorant and lowly-bred person. As a retrospective
study, Griffith Gaunt cannot be placed below Henry Esmond. As a study of
passions and principles that do not change with civilizations, it is
even more excellent. Griffith Gaunt himself is the most perfect figure
in the book, because the plot does not at any period interfere with his
growth. We start with a knowledge of the frankness and generosity native
to a somewhat coarse texture of mind, and we readily perceive why a
nature so prone to love and wrath should fall a helpless prey to
jealousy, which is a thing altogether different from the suspicion of
ungenerous spirits. It is jealousy which drives Griffith to deceive
Mercy Vint, for even his desolation and his need of her consoling care
cannot bring him to it, and it is only when his triumphing rival appears
that this frank and kindly soul consents to enact a cruel lie. The crime
committed, there is no longer virtue or courage in the man, and we see
without surprise his cowardly reluctance to do the one brave and noble
thing possible to him, lest he be arrested for bigamy. The letter, so
weak and so boisterous, which he gives Mercy Vint to prove him alive
before the court, is in keeping with the development of his character;
and it is not unnatural that he should think the literal gift of his
blood to his wife a sort of compensation and penance for his sins
against her. The wonder is that the author should fall into the same
error, as he seems to do.

The character of Kate Gaunt is treated in the _dénouement_ with a
violence which almost destroys its identity, but throughout the whole
previous progress of the story it is a most artistic and consistent
creation. From the beautiful girl, so virginal and dreamy and insecure
of her destiny in the world, with her high aspirations and her high
temper, there is a certain lapse to the handsome matron united with a
man beneath her in mind and spirit, and assured of the commonplace fact
that in her love and duty to him is her happiness; but as Love must
often mate men and women unequally, it is perfectly natural that Love in
her case should strive to keep his eyes shut when no longer blind. Great
exigencies afterwards develop her character, and it gains in dignity and
beauty from her misfortunes, and we do not again think compassionately
of her till she is reunited with Griffith. In spite of all her faults,
she is wonderfully charming. The reader himself falls in love with her,
and perhaps a subtile sense of jealousy and personal loss mingles with
his dissatisfaction in seeing her given up again to her unworthy
husband. She should have been left a lovely and stately widow, to whom
we could all have paid our court, without suffering too poignantly when
Sir George Neville finally won her.

_Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie._ By HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. With
Illustrations by F.O.C. Darley. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

_Maud Muller._ By JOHN G. WHITTIER. With Illustrations by W.J.
Hennessy. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

_The Vision of Sir Launfal._ By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. With
Illustrations by S. Eytinge, Jr. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

Of these volumes three have long since taken their place in the letters
of America, and in the hearts of all who know and love the purest, the
truest, and the best that poesy can offer. To them in their secure
position will now be added "Flower-de-Luce,"--Mr. Longfellow's latest
volume,--which, containing indeed for the most part only such lyrics as
he has already contributed for desultory publication, is yet rich with
the fruit of the deep insight, wise thought, earnest feeling, and ripe
scholarship of his full maturity.

But it is not our purpose to pause in criticism over works that may
fairly be said to have passed beyond the province of contemporary
criticism. Rather is it our desire to welcome them as they are tendered
to us in a new form, and to commend the artistic character of their
presentation. For these books indicate that out of the many attempts
which have been made in this country--some of them most creditable, too,
and nearly approaching thorough excellence--to produce illustrative and
mechanical effects equal to those of England and continental Europe,
there has at last come an absolute accomplishment, from which we hope
and are ready to believe there will be no recession.

One book of great beauty would hardly raise our faith so far. It might
be the result of a fortunate combination of propitious circumstances, an
accident of which the best intent in the world could not cause a
deliberate repetition,--for chance can work well as easily as ill, may
make a plan as simply as mar it, and none need be told how often the
best-devised schemes "gang a-gley" by reason of some fortuity for which
no allowance had been made.

But when from the same press there emanate in a single season several
books, prepared at different times by different hands, although, of
course, under the same general direction and supervision, the natural
inference is, that something positive has been attained, either in the
principle of manufacture, or in a better understanding of the elements
which must enter into the composition of a really elegant book, and a
juster estimate of the manner in which these elements are to be

In the four books under consideration, all the necessary conditions
appear to have been recognized and fulfilled. It is, of course, too much
to say that they are perfect, and many who are versed in the particulars
of lineal art will perhaps find things which they might wish otherwise.
But with all such qualification, these volumes show indisputably that in
the matter of illustration and typography the New World is now quite the
equal of the Old.

The artists engaged--to whose names, as mentioned above, should be added
those of H. Fenn, G. Perkins, S. Colman, Jr., and W. Waud, as
illustrators of "Flower-de-Luce"--are all men well known, and most of
them are eminent in their profession. Each has had a subject which
suited closely his capacity and taste, together, evidently, with the
liberty of treating his theme according to his own discretion, and as
amply as he pleased,--the brief poem, "Maud Muller," for instance,
having been supplied by Mr. Hennessy with thirteen illustrations, while
in the other volumes equal liberality is manifest.

We have not the space to make, as we should like to do, an exact
analysis of these volumes, comparing each artist's series of drawings,
one by one, with his chosen passages of the text; but a careful
examination convinces us that as a whole these designs are remarkably
appreciative and apt. Every person will not expect his own ideal
Evangeline or Sir Launfal to appear before him on the page, but every
reflective mind will find, we think, such a parallelism between poetry
and picture as is not only consistent with exactness, but will further
serve to illuminate and beautify the text.

Intelligent or even inspired drawing is vain, if to it be not added
faithfulness and fervor on the part of those whose handiwork follows
that of the draughtsman, and upon whom his fate and fame greatly
depend,--the engraver and the printer. Heretofore it has seemed almost
impossible for American representatives of these three arts to work
together for good. The drawing might be faultless as it lay intact upon
the wood, but the graver in a heedless hand or the manipulation of an
injudicious pressman left little except the broad, indestructible
characteristics in the impression which was eventually made public.

At last, let us be thankful, a new era has dawned, and we have here
woodcuts which may confidently invite comparison with any as examples of
the highest excellence which has yet been reached in this department.
The thorough and intelligent workmanship of the University Press has
preserved to us every line and shade which was intrusted to its care,
and the prints are free alike from _fade_ indistinctness and from
ruinous weight of color. The engraving which is so admirably represented
is thoroughly good, and, to our thinking, it is of a better school than
that which largely obtains in England at this time, and the degeneracy
and slovenliness of which have been of late so much criticised and
deplored by the best judges. The most of the designs have been engraved
by Mr. A.V.S. Anthony, who ranks probably at the head of American
engravers, and whose delicacy of feeling and touch, beautifully
exemplified in the eighth and twelfth pictures of "Maud Muller," entitle
much of his work to an estimation not far below that accorded to Linton
or Thompson. The few remaining blocks were cut by Mr. J.P. Davis and Mr.
Henry Marsh, who emulate most praiseworthily the excellence, skill, and
fidelity of Mr. Anthony.

_An American Family in Germany._ By J. ROSS BROWNE. New York:
Harper & Brothers.

If the author of this amusing book had been less devoted to his purpose
of making fun, we think he could have made us a picture of German life
which we should have been very glad to have in the absence of much
honest information on the subject and the presence of a great deal of
flimsy idealizing. As it is, we fear that his work, for the most part a
truthful portraiture, will present itself only as a caricature to those
unacquainted with the original, and that, for all Mr. Browne says to the
contrary, many worthy people must go on thinking German life a romantic,
Christmas-tree affair, full of pretty amenity, and tender ballads, and
bon-bons. But some day, the truth will avenge itself, and without the
least air of burlesque show us that often narrow and sordid existence,
abounding in sensual appetites, coarse or childish pleasures, and paltry
aims, and varnished with a weak and extravagant sentimentality,--that
social order still so feudally aristocratic and feudally plebeian, in
which the poor are little better than vassals, and their women toil in
the fields like beasts of burden, and the women of all classes are
treated with rude and clumsy disesteem.

Mr. Browne's book is devotedly funny, as we hinted, but, in spite of
this, is really very amusing. A Californian, rich from the _subiti
guadagni_ of his shares in the Washoe mines, is carried to Frankfort by
his enthusiastic wife, who is persuaded that Germany is the proper place
to bring up American children. They live there in the German
fashion,--Mrs. Butterfield charmed and emulous of German civilization,
Mr. Butterfield willing, but incorrigibly Californian to the last, and
retaining throughout that amazing local pride in the institutions,
productions, and scenery of his adopted State which Americans so swiftly
acquire in drifting from one section of the Union to another. The
invention of this family is not the least truthful thing in the book,
which in many respects is full of droll good-sense and good humor.

_Charles Lamb. A Memoir._ By BARRY CORNWALL. Boston: Roberts

It is not to any very definable cause that this charming book owes the
interest with which it holds the reader throughout. It can scarcely be
said to present the life or character of Lamb in a novel aspect, and
even the anecdotic material in which it abounds does not appear
altogether fresh. The very manner in which the subject is treated is
that to which we are accustomed: for who has ever been able to write of
Charles Lamb but in a tone of tender and compassionate admiration?

Something, however, better than novelty of matter or method appears in
this Memoir, and makes it the best ever written concerning the fine
poet, exquisite humorist, and noble man, who it brings nearer than ever
to our hearts. Much was to be expected of Mr. Proctor in such a work,
though much would have been forgiven him if he had indulged himself far
more than he has done in an old man's privilege to be garrulous upon old
times and old friends, and had confined himself less strictly to the
life and character illustrative of Lamb's. As it is, there is nothing
concerning any of Lamb's contemporaries that we would willingly lose
from this book. In these sketches of the humorist's friends the subtile
and delightful touches bring out his own nature more clearly, and he
appears in the people who surrounded him hardly less than in his essays
or the events of his career; while Mr. Proctor's long acquaintance with
Lamb becomes the setting to a more careful picture than we have yet had
of his singularly great and unselfish life; and we behold, not a study
of the man in this or that mood only, but a portrait in which his whole
character is seen. The sweetest and gentlest of hosts, moving among his
guests and charming all hearers with his stammered, inimitable
pleasantry; the clerk at his desk at the India House, and finally
released from it into a life of illimitable leisure; the quaint little
scholar of Christ's Hospital; the quaint old humorist taking his long
walks about his beloved London; the author, known and endeared by his
books; the careworn and devoted man, hurrying through the streets with
his maniac sister on his arm, to place her in the shelter of a
mad-house,--it is not some one of these alone, but all of these
together, that we remember, after the perusal of this Memoir, so
graceful in manner, so simple in style, and so thoroughly beautiful and
unaffected in spirit. There is no story from which the reader can turn
with a higher sense of another's greatness and goodness, or an humbler
sense of his own.

_Character and Characteristic Men._ By EDWIN P. WHIFFLE.
Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

If we should say this is a book that brings its author under its title,
and that he is in every page of it to the unconscious subject of his own
pen, we might sufficiently express our sense of its reality and vital
strength. But no self-introduction could be more modest or undesigned.
We know of no volume in which vigor walks with less attendance of
vanity, or less motion of covert egotism in the stalwart stride; yet the
_style_, which proverbially is the _man_, does not lack decisive stamp,
but is too peculiar to be confounded with any other. It is not flaming,
or flowing, or architectural. It is not built, but wrought, with blows
of the hammer. We should emphasize the writer's historic taste, but that
his learning is so at the service of his philosophy that it never
burdens, but only arms. There is a tough welding of principle with fact,
and fetching of opposite poles together in the constant circulation
betwixt ideas and events. Sometimes an excess of antithesis shows a
little too much the wrinkled brow of thought, striving to put more into
a sentence than it will fairly carry, and corrugating the elsewhere
smoother lines,--as in a hilly country there was said to be too much
soil to be evenly disposed of, and so part of it had to be pushed up
into the sky. But this roughness is better than thinness; and in Mr.
Whipple's book there are passages of swift, grand eloquence, and of
intense peace and depth. Wit and humor, native to our author, with no
malignity or pride for an ally, combine with sentiment and reflection,
and his talent is never wrapped up in a merely elegant phrase, but in
plain and homely words is the delivery of his sense. We would cite, in
proof of the justness of our criticism, such essays as those on
"Character," "Intellectual Character," and "Washington and the
Principles of the Revolution." Those on Thackeray and Nathaniel
Hawthorne show, with appreciative praise, the literary doctor's fatal
feeling of the patient's pulse. The courtesy of Everett is gracefully
owned; and there is a fine glimpse of that face of Thomas Starr King,
which did not seem so much to mirror the sun as to make the sunbeam a
shadow of itself; while a just tribute is paid to the original and
courageous genius and research of our great enthusiast and naturalist,
Agassiz. But this is a book to be mastered only by a thorough perusal,
and no hasty diagonal glance along the leaves can render justice to it.
While deserving attention for its general merits of intelligence,
morality, humanity, and a spiritual faith, which no eye of friendship is
needed to discern, in the judiciary department of letters it has an
unrivalled claim. For faculty of pure criticism we know not Mr.
Whipple's equal. The judgment-seat shines in his eye. We seem to be
hearing all the time the kindly sentence of an infallible sight. We
should be afraid of the decree which such knowledge, intuition,
imagination, and logic combine to pronounce, but that no grudge
provokes, or bribe can ever bias the court; and, while its just
conscience cannot acquit hollow pretensions, over its own decisions
preside an absolute purity and the loftiest ideal of human life.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 110, December, 1866 - A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics" ***

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