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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867.
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867." ***

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_Literature, Science, Art, and Politics._





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by


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


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note: Minor typos have been corrected. Footnotes have been
moved to the end of the article.

       *       *       *       *       *



Artist's Dream, An  _T. W. Higginson_               100

Autobiography of a Quack, The. I., II.              466, 586

Bornoo, A Native of                                 485

Bowery at Night, The  _Charles Dawson Shanly_       602

By-Ways of Europe. From Perpignan to Montserrat.
  _Bayard Taylor_                                   495

    "        "     A Visit to the Balearic Islands. I.
  _Bayard Taylor_                                   680

Busy Brains  _Austin Abbott_                        570

Canadian Woods and Waters  _Charles Dawson Shanly_  311

Cincinnati  _James Parton_                          229

Conspiracy at Washington, The                       633

Cretan Days  _Wm. J. Stillman_                      533

Dinner Speaking  _Edward Everett Hale_              507

Doctor Molke  _Dr. I. I. Hayes_                      43

Edisto, Up the  _T. W. Higginson_                   157

Foster, Stephen C., and Negro Minstrelsy
  _Robert P. Nevin_                                 608

Fugitives from Labor  _F. Sheldon_                  370

Grandmother's Story: The Great Snow                 716

Gray Goth, In the  _Miss E. Stuart Phelps_          559

Great Public Character, A  _James Russell Lowell_   618

Growth, Limitations, and Toleration of Shakespeare's Genius
  _E. P. Whipple_                                   178

Guardian Angel, The. VII., VIII., IX., X., XI., XII.
  _Oliver Wendell Holmes_    1, 129, 257, 385, 513, 641

Hospital Memories. I., II.
  _Miss Eudora Clark_                          144, 324

International Copyright  _James Parton_             430

Jesuits in North America, The  _George E. Ellis_    362

Jonson, Ben  _E. P. Whipple_                        403

Longfellow's Translation of Dante's Divina Commedia 188

Liliput Province, A  _W. Winwood Reade_             247

Literature as an Art  _T. W. Higginson_             745

Little Land of Appenzell, The  _Bayard Taylor_      213

Minor Elizabethan Dramatists  _E. P. Whipple_       692

Minor Italian Travels  _W. D. Howells_              337

Mysterious Personage, A  _John Neal_                658

Opinions of the late Dr. Nott, respecting Books, Studies and Orators
  _E. D. Sanborn_                                   527

Pacific Railroads, Our  _J. K. Medbery_             704

Padua, At  _W. D. Howells_                           25

Passage from Hawthorne's English Note-Books, A       15

Piano in the United States, The  _James Parton_      82

Poor Richard. II., III.  _Henry James, Jr._     32, 166

Prophetic Voices about America. A Monograph
  _Charles Sumner_                                  275

Religious Side of the Italian Question, The
  _Joseph Mazzini_                                  108

Rose Rollins, The. I., II.  _Alice Cary_       420, 545

Sunshine and Petrarch  _T. W. Higginson_            307

Struggle for Life, A  _T. B. Aldrich_                56

"The Lie"  _C. J. Sprague_                          598

Throne of the Golden Foot, The  _J. W. Palmer_      453

T. Adolphus Trollope, Writings of
  _H. T. Tuckerman_                                 476

Tour in the Dark, A                                 670

Uncharitableness                                    415

Visit to Sybaris, My  _Edward Everett Hale_          63

Week's Riding, A                                    200

What we Feel  _C. J. Sprague_                       740

Wife by Wager, A   _E. H. House_                    350

Workers in Silver, Among the  _James Parton_        729

Young Desperado, A  _T. B. Aldrich_                 755


Are the Children at Home?  _Mrs. M. E. M. Sangster_ 557

Autumn Song, An  _Edgar Fawcett_                    679

Blue and the Gray, The  _F. M. Finch_               369

Chanson without Music  _Oliver Wendell Holmes_      543

Dirge for a Sailor  _George H. Boker_               157

Ember-Picture, An  _James Russell Lowell_            99

Feast of Harvest, The  _E. C. Stedman_              616

Flight of the Goddess, The  _T. B. Aldrich_         452

Freedom in Brazil  _John G. Whittier_                62

Lost Genius, The  _J. J. Piatt_                     228

Mona's Mother  _Alice Cary_                          22

Mystery of Nature, The  _Theodore Tilton_           349

Nightingale in the Study, The
  _James Russell Lowell_                            323

Sonnet  _George H. Boker_                           744

Themistocles  _William Everett_                     398

The Old Story  _Alice Cary_                         199

Toujours Amour  _E. C. Stedman_                     728


Browne's Land of Thor                                    256

Charlevoix's History of New France                       125

Codman's Ten Months in Brazil                            383

Cozzens's Sayings of Doctor Bushwhacker
  and other Learned Men                                  512

Critical and Social Essays, from the New York "Nation"   384

Dall's (Mrs.) The College, the Market, and the Court     255

Du Chaillu's Journey to Ashango-Land                     122

Emerson's May-Day and Other Pieces                       376

Half-Tints                                               256

Holland's Kathrina                                       762

Hoppin's Old England                                     127

Hymns by Harriet McEwen Kimball                          128

Jean Ingelow's Story of Doom, and other Poems            383

Lea's Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy
  in the Christian Church                                378

Literary Life of James K. Paulding, The                  124

Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Récamier            127

Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty      120

Morris's Life and Death of Jason                         640

Morse on the Poem "Rock me to Sleep, Mother"             252

Norton's Translation of The New Life of Dante            638

Parsons's Deus Homo                                      512

Parsons's Translation of the Inferno                     759

Paulding's The Bulls and the Jonathans                   639

Purnell's Literature and its Professors                  254

Richmond during the War                                  762

Ritter's Comparative Geography of Palestine              125

Samuels's Ornithology and Oölogy of New England          761

Thackeray's Early and Late Papers                        252

Tomes's Champagne Country                                511

Webb's Liffith Lank, or Lunacy, and St. Twel'mo          123



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

VOL. XX.--JULY, 1867.--NO. CXVII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by TICKNOR AND
FIELDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of




There seems no reasonable doubt that Myrtle Hazard might have made a
safe thing of it with Gifted Hopkins, (if so inclined,) provided that
she had only been secured against interference. But the constant habit
of reading his verses to Susan Posey was not without its risk to so
excitable a nature as that of the young poet. Poets always were capable
of divided affections, and Cowley's "Chronicle" is a confession that
would fit the whole tribe of them. It is true that Gifted had no right
to regard Susan's heart as open to the wiles of any new-comer. He knew
that she considered herself, and was considered by another, as pledged
and plighted. Yet she was such a devoted listener, her sympathies were
so easily roused, her blue eyes glistened so tenderly at the least
poetical hint, such as "Never, O never," "My aching heart," "Go, let me
weep,"--any of those touching phrases out of the long catalogue which
readily suggests itself,--that her influence was getting to be such that
Myrtle (if really anxious to secure him) might look upon it with
apprehension, and the owner of Susan's heart (if of a jealous
disposition) might have thought it worth while to make a visit to Oxbow
Village to see after his property.

It may seem not impossible that some friend had suggested as much as
this to the young lady's lover. The caution would have been unnecessary,
or at least premature. Susan was loyal as ever to her absent friend.
Gifted Hopkins had never yet presumed upon the familiar relations
existing between them to attempt to shake her allegiance. It is quite as
likely, after all, that the young gentleman about to make his appearance
in Oxbow Village visited the place of his own accord, without a hint
from anybody. But the fact concerns us more than the reason of it, just

"Who do you think is coming, Mr. Gridley? Who _do_ you think is coming?"
said Susan Posey, her face covered with a carnation such as the first
season may see in a city belle, but not the second.

"Well, Susan Posey, I suppose I must guess, though I am rather slow at
that business. Perhaps the Governor. No, I don't think it can be the
Governor, for you wouldn't look so happy if it was only his Excellency.
It must be the President, Susan Posey,--President James Buchanan.
Haven't I guessed right, now, tell me, my dear?"

"O Mr. Gridley, you are too bad,--what do I care for governors and
presidents? I know somebody that's worth fifty million thousand
presidents,--and _he_'s coming,--my Clement is coming," said Susan, who
had by this time learned to consider the awful Byles Gridley as her next
friend and faithful counsellor.

Susan could not stay long in the house after she got her note informing
her that her friend was soon to be with her. Everybody told everything
to Olive Eveleth, and Susan must run over to the Parsonage to tell her
that there was a young gentleman coming to Oxbow Village; upon which
Olive asked who it was, exactly as if she did not know; whereupon Susan
dropped her eyes and said, "Clement,--I mean Mr. Lindsay."

That was a fair piece of news now, and Olive had her bonnet on five
minutes after Susan was gone, and was on her way to Bathsheba's,--it was
too bad that the poor girl who lived so out of the world shouldn't know
anything of what was going on in it. Bathsheba had been in all the
morning, and the Doctor had said she must take the air every day; so
Bathsheba had on _her_ bonnet a little after Olive had gone, and walked
straight up to The Poplars to tell Myrtle Hazard that a certain young
gentleman, Clement Lindsay, was coming to Oxbow Village.

It was perhaps fortunate that there was no special significance to
Myrtle in the name of Clement Lindsay. Since the adventure which had
brought these two young persons together, and, after coming so near a
disaster, had ended in a mere humiliation and disappointment, and but
for Master Gridley's discreet kindness might have led to foolish
scandal, Myrtle had never referred to it in any way. Nobody really knew
what her plans had been except Olive and Cyprian, who had observed a
very kind silence about the whole matter. The common version of the
story was harmless, and near enough to the truth,--down the river,--boat
upset,--pulled out,--taken care of by some women in a house farther
down,--sick, brain fever,--pretty near it, anyhow,--old Dr. Hurlbut
called in,--had her hair cut,--hystericky, etc., etc.

Myrtle was contented with this statement, and asked no questions, and it
was a perfectly understood thing that nobody alluded to the subject in
her presence. It followed from all this that the name of Clement Lindsay
had no peculiar meaning for her. Nor was she like to recognize him as
the youth in whose company she had gone through her mortal peril, for
all her recollections were confused and dream-like from the moment when
she awoke and found herself in the foaming rapids just above the fall,
until that when her senses returned, and she saw Master Byles Gridley
standing over her with that look of tenderness in his square features
which had lingered in her recollection, and made her feel towards him as
if she were his daughter.

Now this had its advantage; for as Clement was Susan's young man, and
had been so for two or three years, it would have been a great pity to
have any such curious relations established between him and Myrtle
Hazard as a consciousness on both sides of what had happened would
naturally suggest.

"Who is this Clement Lindsay, Bathsheba?" Myrtle asked.

"Why, Myrtle, don't you remember about Susan Posey's is-to-be,--the
young man that has been--well, I don't know, but I suppose engaged to
her ever since they were children almost?"

"Yes, yes, I remember now. O dear! I have forgotten so many things I
should think I had been dead and was coming back to life again. Do you
know anything about him, Bathsheba? Didn't somebody say he was very
handsome? I wonder if he is really in love with Susan Posey. Such a
simple thing! I want to see him. I have seen so few young men."

As Myrtle said these words, she lifted the sleeve a little on her left
arm, by a half-instinctive and half-voluntary movement. The glimmering
gold of Judith Pride's bracelet flashed out the yellow gleam which has
been the reddening of so many hands and the blackening of so many souls
since that innocent sin-breeder was first picked up in the land of
Havilah. There came a sudden light into her eye, such as Bathsheba had
never seen there before. It looked to her as if Myrtle were saying
unconsciously to herself that she had the power of beauty, and would
like to try its influence on the handsome young man whom she was soon to
meet, even at the risk of unseating poor little Susan in his affections.
This pained the gentle and humble-minded girl, who, without having
tasted the world's pleasures, had meekly consecrated herself to the
lowly duties which lay nearest to her. For Bathsheba's phrasing of life
was in the monosyllables of a rigid faith. Her conceptions of the human
soul were all simplicity and purity, but elementary. She could not
conceive the vast license the creative energy allows itself in mingling
the instincts which, after long conflict, may come into harmonious
adjustment. The flash which Myrtle's eye had caught from the gleam of
the golden bracelet filled Bathsheba with a sudden fear that she was
like to be led away by the vanities of that world lying in wickedness of
which the minister's daughter had heard so much and seen so little.

Not that Bathsheba made any fine moral speeches to herself. She only
felt a slight shock, such as a word or a look from one we love too often
gives us,--such as a child's trivial gesture or movement makes a parent
feel,--that impalpable something which in the slightest possible
inflection of a syllable or gradation of a tone will sometimes leave a
sting behind it, even in a trusting heart. This was all. But it was
true that what she saw meant a great deal. It meant the dawning in
Myrtle Hazard of one of her as yet unlived _secondary lives_.
Bathsheba's virgin perceptions had caught a faint early ray of its
glimmering twilight.

She answered, after a very slight pause, which this explanation has made
seem so long, that she had never seen the young gentleman, and that she
did not know about Susan's sentiments. Only, as they had kept so long to
each other, she supposed there must be love between them.

Myrtle fell into a revery, with certain _tableaux_ glowing along its
perspectives which poor little Susan Posey would have shivered to look
upon, if they could have been transferred from the purple clouds of
Myrtle's imagination to the pale silvery mists of Susan's pretty
fancies. She sat in her day-dream long after Bathsheba had left her, her
eyes fixed, not on the faded portrait of her beautiful ancestress, but
on that other canvas where the dead Beauty seemed to live in all the
splendors of her full-blown womanhood.

       *       *       *       *       *

The young man whose name had set her thoughts roving _was_ handsome, as
the glance at him already given might have foreshadowed. But his
features had a graver impress than his age seemed to account for, and
the sober tone of his letter to Susan implied that something had given
him a maturity beyond his years. The story was not an uncommon one. At
sixteen he had dreamed--and told his dream. At eighteen he had awoke,
and found, as he believed, that a young heart had grown to his so that
its life was dependent on his own. Whether it would have perished if its
filaments had been gently disentangled from the object to which they had
attached themselves, experienced judges of such matters may perhaps
question. To justify Clement in his estimate of the danger of such an
experiment, we must remember that to young people in their teens a first
passion is a portentous and unprecedented phenomenon. The young man may
have been mistaken in thinking that Susan would die if he left her, and
may have done more than his duty in sacrificing himself; but if so, it
was the mistake of a generous youth, who estimated the depth of
another's feelings by his own. He measured the depth of his own rather
by what he felt they might be, than by that of any abysses they had yet

Clement was called a "genius" by those who knew him, and was
consequently in danger of being spoiled early. The risk is great enough
anywhere, but greatest in a new country, where there is an almost
universal want of fixed standards of excellence.

He was by nature an artist; a shaper with the pencil or the chisel, a
planner, a contriver capable of turning his hand to almost any work of
eye and hand. It would not have been strange if he thought he could do
everything, having gifts which were capable of various application,--and
being an American citizen. But though he was a good draughtsman, and had
made some reliefs and modelled some figures, he called himself only an
architect. He had given himself up to his art, not merely from a love of
it and talent for it, but with a kind of heroic devotion, because he
thought his country wanted a race of builders to clothe the new forms of
religious, social, and national life afresh from the forest, the quarry,
and the mine. Some thought he would succeed, others that he would be a
brilliant failure.

"Grand notions,--grand notions," the master with whom he studied said.
"Large ground plan of life,--splendid elevation. A little wild in some
of his fancies, perhaps, but he's only a boy, and he's the kind of boy
that sometimes grows to be a pretty big man. Wait and see,--wait and
see. He works days, and we can let him dream nights. There's a good deal
of him, anyhow." His fellow-students were puzzled. Those who thought of
their calling as a trade, and looked forward to the time when they
should be embodying the ideals of municipal authorities in brick and
stone, or making contracts with wealthy citizens, doubted whether
Clement would have a sharp eye enough for business. "Too many whims, you
know. All sorts of queer ideas in his head,--as if a boy like him was
going to make things all over again!"

No doubt there was something of youthful extravagance in his plans and
expectations. But it was the untamed enthusiasm which is the source of
all great thoughts and deeds,--a beautiful delirium which age commonly
tames down, and for which the cold shower-bath the world furnishes
_gratis_ proves a pretty certain cure.

Creation is always preceded by chaos. The youthful architect's mind was
confused by the multitude of suggestions which were crowding in upon it,
and which he had not yet had time or developed mature strength
sufficient to reduce to order. The young American of any freshness of
intellect is stimulated to dangerous excess by the conditions of life
into which he is born. There is a double proportion of oxygen in the
New-World air. The chemists have not found it out yet, but human brains
and breathing organs have long since made the discovery.

Clement knew that his hasty entanglement had limited his possibilities
of happiness in one direction, and he felt that there was a certain
grandeur in the recompense of working out his defeated instincts through
the ambitious medium of his noble art. Had not Pharaohs chosen it to
proclaim their longings for immortality, Cæsars their passion for pomp
and luxury, and the priesthood to symbolize their conceptions of the
heavenly mansions? His dreams were on a grand scale; such, after all,
are the best possessions of youth. Had he but been free, or mated with a
nature akin to his own, he would have felt himself as truly the heir of
creation as any young man that lived. But his lot was cast, and his
youth had all the serious aspect to himself of thoughtful manhood. In
the region of his art alone he hoped always to find freedom and a
companionship which his home life could never give him.

Clement meant to have visited his beloved before he left Alderbank, but
was called unexpectedly back to the city. Happily Susan was not
exacting; she looked up to him with too great a feeling of distance
between them to dare to question his actions. Perhaps she found a
partial consolation in the company of Mr. Gifted Hopkins, who tried his
new poems on her, which was the next best thing to addressing them to
her. "Would that you were with us at this delightful season," she wrote
in the autumn; "but no, your Susan must not repine. Yet, in the
beautiful words of our native poet,

    'O would, O would that thou wast here,
    For absence makes thee doubly dear;
    Ah! what is life while thou'rt away?
    'Tis night without the orb of day!'"

The poet referred to, it need hardly be said, was our young and
promising friend G. H., as he sometimes modestly signed himself. The
letter, it is unnecessary to state, was voluminous,--for a woman can
tell her love, or other matter of interest, over and over again in as
many forms as another poet, not G. H., found for his grief in ringing
the musical changes of "In Memoriam."

The answers to Susan's letters were kind, but not very long. They
convinced her that it was a simple impossibility that Clement could come
to Oxbow Village, on account of the great pressure of the work he had to
keep him in the city, and the plans he _must_ finish at any rate. But at
last the work was partially got rid of, and Clement was coming; yes, it
was so nice, and, O dear! shouldn't she be real happy to see him?

To Susan he appeared as a kind of divinity,--almost too grand for human
nature's daily food. Yet, if the simple-hearted girl could have told
herself the whole truth in plain words, she would have confessed to
certain doubts which from time to time, and oftener of late, cast a
shadow on her seemingly bright future. With all the pleasure that the
thought of meeting Clement gave her, she felt a little tremor, a
certain degree of awe, in contemplating his visit. If she could have
clothed her self-humiliation in the gold and purple of the "Portuguese
Sonnets," it would have been another matter; but the trouble with the
most common sources of disquiet is that they have no wardrobe of flaming
phraseology to air themselves in; the inward burning goes on without the
relief and gratifying display of the crater.

"A _friend_ of mine is coming to the village," she said to Mr. Gifted
Hopkins. "I want you to see him. He is a genius,--as some other young
men are." (This was obviously personal, and the youthful poet blushed
with ingenuous delight.) "I have known him for ever so many years. He
and I are _very good friends_." The poet knew that this meant an
exclusive relation between them; and though the fact was no surprise to
him, his countenance fell a little. The truth was, that his admiration
was divided between Myrtle, who seemed to him divine and adorable, but
distant, and Susan, who listened to his frequent poems, whom he was in
the habit of seeing in artless domestic costumes, and whose attractions
had been gaining upon him of late in the enforced absence of his

He retired pensive from this interview, and, flinging himself at his
desk, attempted wreaking his thoughts upon expression, to borrow the
language of one of his brother bards, in a passionate lyric which he
began thus:--


    "Another's! O the pang, the smart!
      Fate owes to Love a deathless grudge,--
    The barbéd fang has rent a heart

"judge--judge,--no, not judge. Budge, drudge, fudge--What a disgusting
language English is! Nothing fit to couple with such a word as
grudge! And the gush of an impassioned moment arrested in full
flow, stopped short, corked up, for want of a paltry rhyme!
Judge,--budge,--drudge,--nudge,--oh!--smudge,--misery!--fudge. In
vain,--futile,--no use,--all up for to-night!"

While the poet, headed off in this way by the poverty of his native
tongue, sought inspiration by retiring into the world of dreams,--went
to bed, in short,--his more fortunate rival was just entering the
village, where he was to make his brief residence at the house of Deacon
Rumrill, who, having been a loser by the devouring element, was glad to
receive a stray boarder when any such were looking about for quarters.

For some reason or other he was restless that evening, and took out a
volume he had brought with him to beguile the earlier hours of the
night. It was too late when he arrived to disturb the quiet of Mrs.
Hopkins's household; and whatever may have been Clement's impatience, he
held it in check, and sat tranquilly until midnight over the pages of
the book with which he had prudently provided himself.

"Hope you slept well last night," said the old Deacon, when Mr. Clement
came down to breakfast the next morning.

"Very well, thank you,--that is, after I got to bed. But I sat up pretty
late reading my favorite Scott. I am apt to forget how the hours pass
when I have one of his books in my hand."

The worthy Deacon looked at Mr. Clement with a sudden accession of

"You couldn't find better reading, young man. Scott is _my_ favorite
author. A great man. I have got his likeness in a gilt frame hanging up
in the other room. I have read him all through three times."

The young man's countenance brightened. He had not expected to find so
much taste for elegant literature in an old village deacon.

"What are your favorites among his writings, Deacon? I suppose you have
your particular likings, as the rest of us have."

The Deacon was flattered by the question. "Well," he answered, "I can
hardly tell you. I like pretty much everything Scott ever wrote.
Sometimes I think it is one thing, and sometimes another. Great on
Paul's Epistles,--don't you think so?"

The honest fact was, that Clement remembered very little about "Paul's
Letters to his Kinsfolk,"--a book of Sir Walter's less famous than many
of his others; but he signified his polite assent to the Deacon's
statement, rather wondering at his choice of a favorite, and smiling at
his queer way of talking about the Letters as Epistles.

"I am afraid Scott is not so much read now-a-days as he once was, and as
he ought to be," said Mr. Clement. "Such character, such nature and so
much grace--"

"That's it,--that's it, young man," the Deacon broke in,--"Natur' and
Grace,--Natur' and Grace. Nobody ever knew better what those two words
meant than Scott did, and I'm very glad to see you've chosen such good
wholesome reading. You can't set up too late, young man, to read Scott.
If I had twenty children, they should all begin reading Scott as soon as
they were old enough to spell 'sin,'--and that's the first word my
little ones learned, next to 'pa' and 'ma.' Nothing like beginning the
lessons of life in good season."

"What a grim old satirist!" Clement said to himself. "I wonder if the
old man reads other novelists.--Do tell me, Deacon, if you have read
Thackeray's last story?"

"Thackery's story? Published by the American Tract Society?"

"Not exactly," Clement answered, smiling, and quite delighted to find
such an unexpected vein of grave pleasantry about the demure-looking
church-dignitary; for the Deacon asked his question without moving a
muscle, and took no cognizance whatever of the young man's tone and
smile. First-class humorists are, as is well known, remarkable for the
immovable solemnity of their features. Clement promised himself not a
little amusement from the curiously sedate drollery of the venerable
Deacon, who, it was plain from his conversation, had cultivated a
literary taste which would make him a more agreeable companion than the
common ecclesiastics of his grade in country villages.

After breakfast, Mr. Clement walked forth in the direction of Mrs.
Hopkins's house, thinking as he went of the pleasant surprise his visit
would bring to his longing and doubtless pensive Susan; for though she
knew he was coming, she did not know that he was at that moment in Oxbow

As he drew near the house, the first thing he saw was Susan Posey,
almost running against her just as he turned a corner. She looked
wonderfully lively and rosy, for the weather was getting keen and the
frosts had begun to bite. A young gentleman was walking at her side, and
reading to her from a paper he held in his hand. Both looked deeply
interested,--so much so that Clement felt half ashamed of himself for
intruding upon them so abruptly.

But lovers are lovers, and Clement could not help joining them. The
first thing, of course, was the utterance of two simultaneous
exclamations, "Why, Clement!" "Why, Susan!" What might have come next in
the programme, but for the presence of a third party, is matter of
conjecture; but what did come next was a mighty awkward look on the part
of Susan Posey, and the following short speech:--

"Mr. Lindsay, let me introduce Mr. Hopkins, my friend, the poet I've
written to you about. He was just reading two of his poems to me. Some
other time, Gifted--Mr. Hopkins."

"O no, Mr. Hopkins,--pray go on," said Clement. "I'm very fond of

The poet did not require much urging, and began at once reciting over
again the stanzas which were afterwards so much admired in the "Banner
and Oracle,"--the first verse being, as the readers of that paper will

    "She moves in splendor, like the ray
      That flashes from unclouded skies,
    And all the charms of night and day
      Are mingled in her hair and eyes."

Clement, who must have been in an agony of impatience to be alone with
his beloved, commanded his feelings admirably. He signified his
approbation of the poem by saying that the lines were smooth and the
rhymes absolutely without blemish. The stanzas reminded him forcibly of
one of the greatest poets of the century.

Gifted flushed hot with pleasure. He had tasted the blood of his own
rhymes; and when a poet gets as far as that, it is like wringing the bag
of exhilarating gas from the lips of a fellow sucking at it, to drag his
piece away from him.

"Perhaps you will like these lines still better," he said; "the style is
more modern:--

    'O daughter of the spicéd South,
      Her bubbly grapes have spilled the wine
      That staineth with its hue divine
    The red flower of thy perfect mouth.'"

And so on, through a series of stanzas like these, with the pulp of two
rhymes between the upper and lower crust of two others.

Clement was cornered. It was necessary to say something for the poet's
sake,--perhaps for Susan's; for she was in a certain sense responsible
for the poems of a youth of genius, of whom she had spoken so often and
so enthusiastically.

"Very good, Mr. Hopkins, and a form of verse little used, I should
think, until of late years. You modelled this piece on the style of a
famous living English poet, did you not?"

"Indeed I did not, Mr. Lindsay,--I never imitate. Originality is, if I
may be allowed to say so much for myself, my peculiar _forte_. Why, the
critics allow as much as that. See here, Mr. Lindsay."

Mr. Gifted Hopkins pulled out his pocket-book, and, taking therefrom a
cutting from a newspaper,--which dropped helplessly open of itself, as
if tired of the process, being very tender in the joints or creases, by
reason of having been often folded and unfolded,--read aloud as

     "The bard of Oxbow Village--our valued correspondent who writes
     over the signature of G. H.--is, in our opinion, more
     remarkable for his _originality_ than for any other of his
     numerous gifts."

Clement was apparently silenced by this, and the poet a little elated
with a sense of triumph. Susan could not help sharing his feeling of
satisfaction, and without meaning it in the least, nay, without knowing
it, for she was as simple and pure as new milk, edged a little bit--the
merest infinitesimal atom--nearer to Gifted Hopkins, who was on one side
of her, while Clement walked on the other. Women love the conquering
party,--it is the way of their sex. And poets, as we have seen, are
wellnigh irresistible when they exert their dangerous power of
fascination upon the female heart. But Clement was above jealousy; and,
if he perceived anything of this movement, took no notice of it.

He saw a good deal of his pretty Susan that day. She was tender in her
expressions and manners as usual, but there was a little something in
her looks and language from time to time that Clement did not know
exactly what to make of. She colored once or twice when the young poet's
name was mentioned. She was not so full of her little plans for the
future as she had sometimes been, "everything was so uncertain," she
said. Clement asked himself whether she felt quite as sure that her
attachment would last as she once did. But there were no reproaches, not
even any explanations, which are about as bad between lovers. There was
nothing but an undefined feeling on his side that she did not cling
quite so closely to him, perhaps, as he had once thought, and that, if
he had happened to have been drowned that day when he went down with the
beautiful young woman, it was just conceivable that Susan, who would
have cried dreadfully, no doubt, would in time have listened to
consolation from some other young man,--possibly from the young poet
whose verses he had been admiring. Easy-crying widows take new husbands
soonest; there is nothing like wet weather for transplanting, as Master
Gridley used to say. Susan had a fluent natural gift for tears, as
Clement well knew, after the exercise of which she used to brighten up
like the rose which had been washed, just washed in a shower, mentioned
by Cowper.

As for the poet, he learned more of his own sentiments during this visit
of Clement's than he had ever before known. He wandered about with a
dreadfully disconsolate look upon his countenance. He showed a
falling-off in his appetite at tea-time, which surprised and disturbed
his mother, for she had filled the house with fragrant suggestions of
good things coming, in honor of Mr. Lindsay, who was to be her guest at
tea. And chiefly the genteel form of doughnut called in the native
dialect _cymbal_ (_Qu._ Symbol? B. G.) which graced the board with its
plastic forms, suggestive of the most pleasing objects,--the spiral
ringlets pendent from the brow of beauty,--the magic circlet, which is
the pledge of plighted affection,--the indissoluble knot, which typifies
the union of hearts, which organs were also largely represented; this
exceptional delicacy would at any other time have claimed his special
notice. But his mother remarked that he paid little attention to these,
and his "No, I thank you," when it came to the preserved "damsels" as
some call them, carried a pang with it to the maternal bosom. The most
touching evidence of his unhappiness--whether intentional or the result
of accident was not evident--was a _broken heart_, which he left upon
his plate, the meaning of which was as plain as anything in the language
of flowers. His thoughts were gloomy during that day, running a good
deal on the more picturesque and impressive methods of bidding a
voluntary farewell to a world which had allured him with visions of
beauty only to snatch them from his impassioned gaze. His mother saw
something of this, and got from him a few disjointed words, which led
her to lock up the clothes-line and hide her late husband's razors,--an
affectionate, yet perhaps unnecessary precaution, for self-elimination
contemplated from this point of view by those who have the natural
outlet of verse to relieve them is rarely followed by a casualty. It may
rather be considered as implying a more than average chance for
longevity; as those who meditate an imposing finish naturally save
themselves for it, and are therefore careful of their health until the
time comes, and this is apt to be indefinitely postponed so long as
there is a poem to write or a proof to be corrected.



"Miss Eveleth requests the pleasure of Mr. Lindsay's company to meet a
few friends on the evening of the Feast of St. Ambrose, December 7th,

"THE PARSONAGE, December 6th."

It was the luckiest thing in the world. They always made a little
festival of that evening at the Rev. Ambrose Eveleth's, in honor of his
canonized namesake, and because they liked to have a good time. It came
this year just at the right moment, for here was a distinguished
stranger visiting in the place. Oxbow Village seemed to be running over
with its one extra young man,--as may be seen sometimes in larger
villages, and even in cities of moderate dimensions.

Mr. William Murray Bradshaw had called on Clement the very day of his
arrival. He had already met the Deacon in the street, and asked some
questions about his transient boarder.

A very interesting young man, the Deacon said, much given to the reading
of pious books. Up late at night after he came, reading Scott's
Commentary. Appeared to be as fond of serious works as other young folks
were of their novels and romances and other immoral publications. He,
the Deacon, thought of having a few religious friends to meet the young
gentleman, if he felt so disposed; and should like to have him, Mr.
Bradshaw, come in and take a part in the exercises.--Mr. Bradshaw was
unfortunately engaged. He thought the young gentleman could hardly find
time for such a meeting during his brief visit.

Mr. Bradshaw expected naturally to see a youth of imperfect
constitution, and cachectic or dyspeptic tendencies, who was in training
to furnish one of those biographies beginning with the statement that,
from his infancy, the subject of it showed no inclination for boyish
amusements, and so on, until he dies out, for the simple reason that
there was not enough of him to live. Very interesting, no doubt, Master
Byles Gridley would have said, but had no more to do with good, hearty,
sound life than the history of those very little people to be seen in
museums, preserved in jars of alcohol, like brandy peaches.

When Mr. Clement Lindsay presented himself, Mr. Bradshaw was a good deal
surprised to see a young fellow of such a mould. He pleased himself with
the idea that he knew a man of mark at sight, and he set down Clement in
that category at his first glance. The young man met his penetrating and
questioning look with a frank, ingenuous, open aspect, before which he
felt himself disarmed, as it were, and thrown upon other means of
analysis. He would try him a little in talk.

"I hope you like these people you are with. What sort of a man do you
find my old friend the Deacon?"

Clement laughed. "A very queer old character. Loves his joke as well,
and is as sly in making it, as if he had studied Joe Miller instead of
the Catechism."

Mr. Bradshaw looked at the young man to know what he meant. Mr. Lindsay
talked in a very easy way for a serious young person. He was puzzled. He
did not see to the bottom of this description of the Deacon. With a
lawyer's instinct, he kept his doubts to himself and tried his witness
with a new question.

"Did you talk about books at all with the old man?"

"To be sure I did. Would you believe it, that aged saint is a great
novel-reader. So he tells me. What is more, he brings up his children to
that sort of reading, from the time when they first begin to spell. If
anybody else had told me such a story about an old country deacon, I
wouldn't have believed it; but he said so himself, to me, at breakfast
this morning."

Mr. Bradshaw felt as if either he or Mr. Lindsay must certainly be in
the first stage of mild insanity, and he did not think that he himself
could be out of his wits. He must try one more question. He had become
so mystified that he forgot himself, and began putting his interrogation
in legal form.

"Will you state, if you please--I beg your pardon--may I ask who is your
own favorite author?"

"I think just now I like to read Scott better than almost anybody."

"Do you mean the Rev. Thomas Scott, author of the Commentary?"

Clement stared at Mr. Bradshaw, and wondered whether he was trying to
make a fool of him. The young lawyer hardly looked as if he could be a
fool himself.

"I mean Sir Walter Scott," he said, dryly.

"Oh!" said Mr. Bradshaw. He saw that there had been a slight
misunderstanding between the young man and his worthy host, but it was
none of his business, and there were other subjects of interest to talk

"You know one of our charming young ladies very well, I believe, Mr.
Lindsay. I think you are an old acquaintance of Miss Posey, whom we all
consider so pretty."

Poor Clement! The question pierced to the very marrow of his soul, but
it was put with the utmost suavity and courtesy, and honeyed with a
compliment to the young lady, too, so that there was no avoiding a
direct and pleasant answer to it.

"Yes," he said, "I have known the young lady you speak of for a long
time, and very well,--in fact, as you must have heard, we are something
more than friends. My visit here is principally on her account."

"You must give the rest of us a chance to see something of you during
your visit, Mr. Lindsay. I hope you are invited to Miss Eveleth's this

"Yes, I got a note this morning. Tell me, Mr. Bradshaw, who is there
that I shall meet this evening if I go? I have no doubt there are girls
here I should like to see, and perhaps some young fellows that I should
like to talk with. You know all that's prettiest and pleasantest, of

"O, we're a little place, Mr. Lindsay. A few nice people, the rest
_comme ça_, you know. High-bush blackberries and low-bush
blackberries,--you understand,--just so everywhere,--high-bush here and
there, low-bush plenty. You must see the two parsons' daughters,--Saint
Ambrose's and Saint Joseph's,--and another girl I want particularly to
introduce you to. You shall form your own opinion of her. _I_ call her
handsome and stylish, but you have got spoiled, you know. Our young
poet, too, one we raised in this place, Mr. Lindsay, and a superior
article of poet, as we think,--that is, some of us, for the rest of us
are jealous of him, because the girls are all dying for him and want his
autograph.--And Cyp,--yes, you must talk to Cyp,--he has ideas. But
don't forget to get hold of old Byles--Master Gridley I mean--before you
go. Big head. Brains enough for a cabinet minister, and fit out a
college faculty with what was left over. Be sure you see old Byles. Set
him talking about his book,--'Thoughts on the Universe.' Didn't sell
much, but has got knowing things in it. I'll show you a copy, and then
you can tell him you know it, and he will take to you. Come in and get
your dinner with me to-morrow. We will dine late, as the city folks do,
and after that we will go over to the Rector's. I should like to show
you some of our village people."

Mr. Bradshaw liked the thought of showing the young man to some of his
friends there. As Clement was already "done for," or "bowled out," as
the young lawyer would have expressed the fact of his being pledged in
the matrimonial direction, there was nothing to be apprehended on the
score of rivalry. And although Clement was particularly good-looking,
and would have been called a distinguishable youth anywhere, Mr.
Bradshaw considered himself far more than his match, in all probability,
in social accomplishments. He expected, therefore, a certain amount of
reflex credit for bringing such a fine young fellow in his company, and
a second instalment of reputation from outshining him in conversation.
This was rather nice calculating, but Murray Bradshaw always calculated.
With most men life is like backgammon, half skill and half luck, but
with him it was like chess. He never pushed a pawn without reckoning the
cost, and when his mind was least busy it was sure to be half a dozen
moves ahead of the game as it was standing.

Mr. Bradshaw gave Clement a pretty dinner enough for such a place as
Oxbow Village. He offered him some good wine, and would have made him
talk so as to show his lining, to use one of his own expressions, but
Clement had apparently been through that trifling experience, and could
not be coaxed into saying more than he meant to say. Murray Bradshaw was
very curious to find out how it was that he had become the victim of
such a rudimentary miss as Susan Posey. Could she be an heiress in
disguise? Why no, of course not; had not he made all proper inquiries
about that when Susan came to town? A small inheritance from an aunt or
uncle, or some such relative, enough to make her a desirable party in
the eyes of certain villagers perhaps, but nothing to allure a man like
this, whose face and figure as marketable possessions were worth say a
hundred thousand in the girl's own right, as Mr. Bradshaw put it
roughly, with another hundred thousand if his talent is what some say,
and if his connection is a desirable one, a fancy price,--anything he
would fetch. Of course not. Must have got caught when he was a child.
Why the _diavolo_ didn't he break it off, then?

There was no fault to find with the modest entertainment at the
Parsonage. A splendid banquet in a great house is an admirable thing,
provided always its getting up did not cost the entertainer an inward
conflict, nor its recollection a twinge of economical regret, nor its
bills a cramp of anxiety. A simple evening party in the smallest village
is just as admirable in its degree, when the parlor is cheerfully
lighted, and the board prettily spread, and the guests are made to feel
comfortable without being reminded that anybody is making a painful

We know several of the young people who were there, and need not trouble
ourselves for the others. Myrtle Hazard had promised to come. She had
her own way of late as never before; in fact, the women were afraid of
her. Miss Silence felt that she could not be responsible for her any
longer. She had hopes for a time that Myrtle would go through the
customary spiritual paroxysm under the influence of the Rev. Mr.
Stoker's assiduous exhortations; but since she had broken off with him,
Miss Silence had looked upon her as little better than a backslider. And
now that the girl was beginning to show the tendencies which seemed to
come straight down to her from the belle of the last century, (whose
rich physical developments seemed to the under-vitalized spinster as in
themselves a kind of offence against propriety,) the forlorn woman
folded her thin hands and looked on hopelessly, hardly venturing a
remonstrance for fear of some new explosion. As for Cynthia, she was
comparatively easy since she had, through Mr. Byles Gridley, upset the
minister's questionable apparatus of religious intimacy. She had, in
fact, in a quiet way, given Mr. Bradshaw to understand that he would
probably meet Myrtle at the Parsonage if he dropped in at their small

Clement walked over to Mrs. Hopkins's after his dinner with the young
lawyer, and asked if Susan was ready to go with him. At the sound of his
voice, Gifted Hopkins smote his forehead, and called himself, in subdued
tones, a miserable being. His imagination wavered uncertain for a while
between pictures of various modes of ridding himself of existence, and
fearful deeds involving the life of others. He had no fell purpose of
actually doing either, but there was a gloomy pleasure in contemplating
them as possibilities, and in mentally sketching the "Lines written in
Despair" which would be found in what was but an hour before the pocket
of the youthful bard, G. H., victim of a hopeless passion. All this
emotion was in the nature of a surprise to the young man. He had fully
believed himself desperately in love with Myrtle Hazard; and it was not
until Clement came into the family circle with the right of eminent
domain over the realm of Susan's affections, that this unfortunate
discovered that Susan's pretty ways and morning dress and love of poetry
and liking for his company had been too much for him, and that he was
henceforth to be wretched during the remainder of his natural life,
except so far as he could unburden himself in song.

Mr. William Murray Bradshaw had asked the privilege of waiting upon
Myrtle to the little party at the Eveleths. Myrtle was not insensible to
the attractions of the young lawyer, though she had never thought of
herself except as a child in her relations with any of these older
persons. But she was not the same girl that she had been but a few
months before. She had achieved her independence by her audacious and
most dangerous enterprise. She had gone through strange nervous trials
and spiritual experiences, which had matured her more rapidly than years
of common life would have done. She had got back her health, bringing
with it a riper wealth of womanhood. She had found her destiny in the
consciousness that she inherited the beauty belonging to her blood, and
which, after sleeping for a generation or two as if to rest from the
glare of the pageant that follows beauty through its long career of
triumph, had come to the light again in her life, and was to repeat the
legends of the olden time in her own history.

Myrtle's wardrobe had very little of ornament, such as the _modistes_ of
the town would have thought essential to render a young girl like her
presentable. There were a few heirlooms of old date, however, which she
had kept as curiosities until now, and which she looked over until she
found some lace and other convertible material, with which she enlivened
her costume a little for the evening. As she clasped the antique
bracelet around her wrist, she felt as if it were an amulet that gave
her the power of charming which had been so long obsolete in her
lineage. At the bottom of her heart she cherished a secret longing to
try her fascinations on the young lawyer. Who could blame her? It was
not an inwardly expressed intention,--it was the mere blind instinctive
movement to subjugate the strongest of the other sex who had come in her
way, which, as already said, is as natural to a woman as it is to a man
to be captivated by the loveliest of those to whom he dares to aspire.

Before William Murray Bradshaw and Myrtle Hazard had reached the
Parsonage, the girl's cheeks were flushed and her dark eyes were
flashing with a new excitement. The young man had not made love to her
directly, but he had interested her in herself by a delicate and tender
flattery of manner, and so set her fancies working that she was taken
with him as never before, and wishing that the Parsonage had been a mile
farther from The Poplars. It was impossible for a young girl like Myrtle
to conceal the pleasure she received from listening to her seductive
admirer, who was trying all his trained skill upon his artless
companion. Murray Bradshaw felt sure that the game was in his hands if
he played it with only common prudence. There was no need of hurrying
this child,--it might startle her to make downright love abruptly; and
now that he had an ally in her own household, and was to have access to
her with a freedom he had never before enjoyed, there was a refined
pleasure in playing his fish,--this gamest of golden-scaled
creatures,--which had risen to his fly, and which he wished to hook, but
not to land, until he was sure it would be worth his while.

They entered the little parlor at the Parsonage looking so beaming, that
Olive and Bathsheba exchanged glances which implied so much that it
would take a full page to tell it with all the potentialities involved.

"How magnificent Myrtle is this evening, Bathsheba!" said Cyprian
Eveleth, pensively.

"What a handsome pair they are, Cyprian!" said Bathsheba cheerfully.

Cyprian sighed. "She always fascinates me whenever I look upon her.
Isn't she the very picture of what a poet's love should be,--a poem
herself,--a glorious lyric,--all light and music! See what a smile the
creature has! And her voice! When did you ever hear such tones? And when
was it ever so full of life before?"

Bathsheba sighed. "I do not know any poets but Gifted Hopkins. Does not
Myrtle look more in her place by the side of Murray Bradshaw than she
would with Gifted hitched on her arm?"

Just then the poet made his appearance. He looked depressed, as if it
had cost him an effort to come. He was, however, charged with a message
which he must deliver to the hostess of the evening.

"They're coming presently," he said. "That young man and Susan. Wants
you to introduce him, Mr. Bradshaw."

The bell rang presently, and Murray Bradshaw slipped out into the entry
to meet the two lovers.

"How are you, my fortunate friend?" he said, as he met them at the door.
"Of course you're well and happy as mortal man can be in this vale of
tears. Charming, ravishing, quite delicious, that way of dressing your
hair, Miss Posey! Nice girls here this evening, Mr. Lindsay. Looked
lovely when I came out of the parlor. Can't say how they will show after
this young lady puts in an appearance." In reply to which florid
speeches Susan blushed, not knowing what else to do, and Clement smiled
as naturally as if he had been sitting for his photograph.

He felt, in a vague way, that he and Susan were being patronized, which
is not a pleasant feeling to persons with a certain pride of character.
There was no expression of contempt about Mr. Bradshaw's manner or
language at which he could take offence. Only he had the air of a man
who praises his neighbor without stint, with a calm consciousness that
he himself is out of reach of comparison in the possessions or qualities
which he is admiring in the other. Clement was right in his obscure
perception of Mr. Bradshaw's feeling while he was making his phrases.
That gentleman was, in another moment, to have the tingling delight of
showing the grand creature he had just begun to tame. He was going to
extinguish the pallid light of Susan's prettiness in the brightness of
Myrtle's beauty. He would bring this young man, neutralized and rendered
entirely harmless by his irrevocable pledge to a slight girl, face to
face with a masterpiece of young womanhood, and say to him, not in
words, but as plainly as speech could have told him, "Behold my

It was a proud moment for Murray Bradshaw. He had seen, or thought that
he had seen, the assured evidence of a speedy triumph over all the
obstacles of Myrtle's youth and his own present seeming slight excess of
maturity. Unless he were very greatly mistaken, he could now walk the
course; the plate was his, no matter what might be the entries. And this
youth, this handsome, spirited-looking, noble-aired young fellow, whose
artist-eye could not miss a line of Myrtle's proud and almost defiant
beauty, was to be the witness of his power, and to look in admiration
upon his prize! He introduced him to the others, reserving her for the
last. She was at that moment talking with the worthy Rector, and turned
when Mr. Bradshaw spoke to her.

"Miss Hazard, will you allow me to present to you my friend, Mr. Clement

They looked full upon each other, and spoke the common words of
salutation. It was a strange meeting; but we who profess to tell the
truth must tell strange things, or we shall be liars.

In poor little Susan's letter there was some allusion to a bust of
Innocence which the young artist had begun, but of which he had said
nothing in his answer to her. He had roughed out a block of marble for
that impersonation; sculpture was a delight to him, though secondary to
his main pursuit. After his memorable adventure, the features and the
forms of the girl he had rescued so haunted him that the pale ideal
which was to work itself out in the bust faded away in its perpetual
presence, and--alas, poor Susan!--in obedience to the impulse that he
could not control, he left Innocence sleeping in the marble, and began
modelling a figure of proud and noble and imperious beauty, to which he
gave the name of Liberty.

The original which had inspired his conception was before him. These
were the lips to which his own had clung when he brought her back from
the land of shadows. The hyacinthine curl of her lengthening locks had
added something to her beauty; but it was the same face which had
haunted him. This was the form he had borne seemingly lifeless in his
arms, and the bosom which heaved so visibly before him was that which
his eyes--. They were the calm eyes of a sculptor, but of a sculptor
hardly twenty years old.

Yes,--her bosom was heaving. She had an unexplained feeling of
suffocation, and drew great breaths,--she could not have said why,--but
she could not help it; and presently she became giddy, and had a great
noise in her ears, and rolled her eyes about, and was on the point of
going into an hysteric spasm. They called Dr. Hurlbut, who was making
himself agreeable to Olive just then, to come and see what was the
matter with Myrtle.

"A little nervous turn,--that is all," he said. "Open the window. Loose
the ribbon round her neck. Rub her hands. Sprinkle some water on her
forehead. A few drops of cologne. Room too warm for her,--that's all, I

Myrtle came to herself after a time without anything like a regular
paroxysm. But she was excitable, and whatever the cause of the
disturbance may have been, it seemed prudent that she should go home
early; and the excellent Rector insisted on caring for her, much to the
discontent of Mr. William Murray Bradshaw.

"Demonish odd," said this gentleman, "wasn't it, Mr. Lindsay, that Miss
Hazard should go off in that way? Did you ever see her before?"

"I--I--have seen that young lady before," Clement answered.

"Where did you meet her?" Mr. Bradshaw asked, with eager interest.

"I met her in the Valley of the Shadow of Death," Clement answered, very
solemnly.--"I leave this place to-morrow morning. Have you any commands
for the city?"

("Knows how to shut a fellow up pretty well for a young one, doesn't
he?" Mr. Bradshaw thought to himself.)

"Thank you, no," he answered, recovering himself. "Rather a melancholy
place to make acquaintance in, I should think, that Valley you spoke of.
I should like to know about it."

Mr. Clement had the power of looking steadily into another person's eyes
in a way that was by no means encouraging to curiosity or favorable to
the process of cross-examination. Mr. Bradshaw was not disposed to press
his question in the face of the calm, repressive look the young man gave

"If he wasn't bagged, I shouldn't like the shape of things any too
well," he said to himself.

The conversation between Mr. Clement Lindsay and Miss Susan Posey, as
they walked home together, was not very brilliant. "I am going
to-morrow morning," he said, "and I must bid you good by to-night."
Perhaps it is as well to leave two lovers to themselves, under these

Before he went he spoke to his worthy host, whose moderate demands he
had to satisfy, and with whom he wished to exchange a few words.

"And by the way, Deacon, I have no use for this book, and as it is in a
good type, perhaps you would like it. Your favorite, Scott, and one of
his greatest works. I have another edition of it at home, and don't care
for this volume."

"Thank you, thank you, Mr. Lindsay, much obleeged. I shall read that
copy for your sake,--the best of books next to the Bible itself."

After Mr. Lindsay had gone, the Deacon looked at the back of the book.
"Scott's Works, Vol. IX." He opened it at hazard, and happened to fall
on a well-known page, from which he began reading aloud, slowly,

    "When Izrul, of the Lord beloved,
    Out of the land of bondage came."

The whole hymn pleased the grave Deacon. He had never seen this work of
the author of the Commentary. No matter; anything that such a good man
wrote must be good reading, and he would save it up for Sunday. The
consequence of this was, that, when the Rev. Mr. Stoker stopped in on
his way to meeting on the "Sabbath," he turned white with horror at the
spectacle of the senior Deacon of his church sitting, open-mouthed and
wide-eyed, absorbed in the pages of "Ivanhoe," which he found enormously
interesting; but, so far as he had yet read, not occupied with religious
matters so much as he had expected.

Myrtle had no explanation to give of her nervous attack. Mr. Bradshaw
called the day after the party, but did not see her. He met her walking,
and thought she seemed a little more distant than common. That would
never do. He called again at The Poplars a few days afterwards, and was
met in the entry by Miss Cynthia, with whom he had a long conversation
on matters involving Myrtle's interests and their own.


Our road to Rydal lay through Ambleside, which is certainly a very
pretty town, and looks cheerfully on a sunny day. We saw Miss
Martineau's residence, called the Knoll, standing high up on a hillock,
and having at its foot a Methodist chapel, for which, or whatever place
of Christian worship, this good lady can have no occasion. We stopped a
moment in the street below her house, and deliberated a little whether
to call on her, but concluded otherwise.

After leaving Ambleside, the road winds in and out among the hills, and
soon brings us to a sheet (or napkin, rather, than a sheet) of water,
which the driver tells us is Rydal Lake! We had already heard that it
was but three quarters of a mile long, and one quarter broad; still, it
being an idea of considerable size in our minds, we had inevitably drawn
its ideal physical proportions on a somewhat corresponding scale. It
certainly did look very small; and I said, in my American scorn, that I
could carry it away easily in a porringer; for it is nothing more than a
grassy-bordered pool among the surrounding hills, which ascend directly
from its margin; so that one might fancy it not a permanent body of
water, but a rather extensive accumulation of recent rain. Moreover, it
was rippled with a breeze, and so, as I remember it, though the sun
shone, it looked dull and sulky, like a child out of humor. Now the best
thing these small ponds can do is to keep perfectly calm and smooth, and
not to attempt to show off any airs of their own, but content themselves
with serving as a mirror for whatever of beautiful or picturesque there
may be in the scenery around them. The hills about Rydal water are not
very lofty, but are sufficiently so as objects of every-day
view,--objects to live with,--and they are craggier than those we have
hitherto seen, and bare of wood, which indeed would hardly grow on some
of their precipitous sides.

On the roadside, as we reach the foot of the lake, stands a spruce and
rather large house of modern aspect, but with several gables, and much
overgrown with ivy,--a very pretty and comfortable house, built,
adorned, and cared for with commendable taste. We inquired whose it was,
and the coachman said it was "Mr. Wordsworth's," and that Mrs.
Wordsworth was still residing there. So we were much delighted to have
seen his abode; and as we were to stay the night at Grasmere, about two
miles farther on, we determined to come back and inspect it as
particularly as should be allowable. Accordingly, after taking rooms at
Brown's Hotel, we drove back in our return car, and, reaching the head
of Rydal water, alighted to walk through this familiar scene of so many
years of Wordsworth's life. We ought to have seen De Quincey's former
residence, and Hartley Coleridge's cottage, I believe, on our way, but
were not aware of it at the time. Near the lake there is a stone quarry,
and a cavern of some extent, artificially formed, probably, by taking
out the stone. Above the shore of the lake, not a great way from
Wordsworth's residence, there is a flight of steps hewn in a rock, and
ascending to a seat, where a good view of the lake may be attained; and
as Wordsworth has doubtless sat there hundreds of times, so did we
ascend and sit down and look at the hills and at the flags on the
lake's shore.

Reaching the house that had been pointed out to us as Wordsworth's
residence, we began to peer about at its front and gables, and over the
garden-wall on both sides of the road, quickening our enthusiasm as much
as we could, and meditating to pilfer some flower or ivy-leaf from the
house or its vicinity, to be kept as sacred memorials. At this juncture
a man approached, who announced himself as the gardener of the place,
and said, too, that this was not Wordsworth's house at all, but the
residence of Mr. Ball, a Quaker gentleman; but that his ground adjoined
Wordsworth's, and that he had liberty to take visitors through the
latter. How absurd it would have been if we had carried away ivy-leaves
and tender recollections from this domicile of a respectable Quaker! The
gardener was an intelligent young man, of pleasant, sociable, and
respectful address; and as we went along, he talked about the poet, whom
he had known, and who, he said, was very familiar with the country
people. He led us through Mr. Ball's grounds, up a steep hillside, by
winding, gravelled walks, with summer-houses at points favorable for
them. It was a very shady and pleasant spot, containing about an acre of
ground, and all turned to good account by the manner of laying it out;
so that it seemed more than it really was. In one place, on a small,
smooth slab of slate let into a rock, there is an inscription by
Wordsworth, which I think I have read in his works, claiming kindly
regards from those who visit the spot, after his departure, because many
trees had been spared at his intercession. His own grounds, or rather
his ornamental garden, is separated from Mr. Ball's only by a wire
fence, or some such barrier, and the gates have no fastening, so that
the whole appears like one possession, and doubtless was so as regarded
the poet's walks and enjoyments. We approached by paths so winding, that
I hardly know how the house stands in relation to the road; but, after
much circuity, we really did see Wordsworth's residence,--an old house,
with an uneven ridge-pole, built of stone, no doubt, but plastered over
with some neutral tint,--a house that would not have been remarkably
pretty in itself, but so delightfully situated, so secluded, so hedged
about with shrubbery and adorned with flowers, so ivy-grown on one side,
so beautified with the personal care of him who lived in it and loved
it, that it seemed the very place for a poet's residence; and as if,
while he lived so long in it, his poetry had manifested itself in
flowers, shrubbery, and ivy. I never smelt such a delightful fragrance
of flowers as there was all through the garden. In front of the house,
there is a circular terrace, of two ascents, in raising which Wordsworth
had himself performed much of the labor; and here there are seats, from
which we obtained a fine view down the valley of the Rothay, with
Windermere in the distance,--a view of several miles, and which we did
not suppose could be seen, after winding among the hills so far from the
lake. It is very beautiful and picture-like. While we sat here, mamma
happened to refer to the ballad of little Barbara Lewthwaite, and Julian
began to repeat the poem concerning her; and the gardener said that
little Barbara had died not a great while ago, an elderly woman, leaving
grown-up children behind her. Her marriage-name was Thompson, and the
gardener believed there was nothing remarkable in her character.

There is a summer-house at one extremity of the grounds, in deepest
shadow, but with glimpses of mountain-views through trees which shut it
in, and which have spread intercepting boughs since Wordsworth died. It
is lined with pine-cones, in a pretty way enough, but of doubtful taste.
I rather wonder that people of real taste should help Nature out, and
beautify her, or perhaps rather _prettify_ her so much as they
do,--opening vistas, showing one thing, hiding another, making a scene
picturesque whether or no. I cannot rid myself of the feeling that there
is something false, a kind of humbug, in all this. At any rate, the
traces of it do not contribute to my enjoyment, and, indeed, it ought to
be done so exquisitely as to leave no trace. But I ought not to
criticise in any way a spot which gave me so much pleasure, and where it
is good to think of Wordsworth in quiet, past days, walking in his
home-shadow of trees which he knew, and training flowers, and trimming
shrubs, and chanting in an undertone his own verses, up and down the
winding walks.

The gardener gave Julian a cone from the summer-house, which had fallen
on the seat, and mamma got some mignonette, and leaves of laurel and
ivy, and we wended our way back to the hotel.

Wordsworth was not the owner of this house, it being the property of
Lady Fleming. Mrs. Wordsworth still lives there, and is now at home.

_Five o'clock._--All day it has been cloudy and showery, with thunder
now and then; the mists hang low on the surrounding hills, adown which,
at various points, we can see the snow-white fall of little
streamlets--forces they call them here--swollen by the rain. An overcast
day is not so gloomy in the hill-country as in the lowlands; there are
more breaks, more transfusion of sky-light through the gloom, as has
been the case to-day; and, as I found in Lenox, we get better acquainted
with clouds by seeing at what height they lie on the hillsides, and find
that the difference betwixt a fair day and a cloudy and rainy one is
very superficial, after all. Nevertheless, rain is rain, and wets a man
just as much among the mountains as anywhere else; so we have been kept
within doors all day, till an hour or so ago, when Julian and I went
down to the village in quest of the post-office.

We took a path that leads from the hotel across the fields, and, coming
into a wood, crosses the Rothay by a one-arched bridge, and passes the
village church. The Rothay is very swift and turbulent to-day, and
hurries along with foam-specks on its surface, filling its banks from
brim to brim, a stream perhaps twenty feet wide, perhaps more; for I am
willing that the good little river should have all it can fairly claim.
It is the St. Lawrence of several of these English lakes, through which
it flows, and carries off their superfluous waters. In its haste, and
with its rushing sound, it was pleasant both to see and hear; and it
sweeps by one side of the old churchyard where Wordsworth lies
buried,--the side where his grave is made. The church of Grasmere is a
very plain structure, with a low body, on one side of which is a low
porch with a pointed arch. The tower is square, and looks ancient; but
the whole is overlaid with plaster of a buff or pale-yellow hue. It was
originally built, I suppose, of rough, shingly stones, as many of the
houses hereabouts are now, and the plaster is used to give a finish. We
found the gate of the churchyard wide open; and the grass was lying on
the graves, having probably been mowed yesterday. It is but a small
churchyard, and with few monuments of any pretension in it, most of them
being slate headstones, standing erect. From the gate at which we
entered a distinct foot-track leads to the corner nearest the
river-side, and I turned into it by a sort of instinct, the more readily
as I saw a tourist-looking man approaching from that point, and a woman
looking among the gravestones. Both of these persons had gone by the
time I came up, so that Julian and I were left to find Wordsworth's
grave all by ourselves.

At this corner of the churchyard there is a hawthorn bush or tree, the
extremest branches of which stretch as far as where Wordsworth lies.
This whole corner seems to be devoted to himself and his family and
friends; and they all lie very closely together, side by side, and head
to foot, as room could conveniently be found. Hartley Coleridge lies a
little behind, in the direction of the church, his feet being towards
Wordsworth's head, who lies in the row of those of his own blood. I
found out Hartley Coleridge's grave sooner than Wordsworth's; for it is
of marble, and, though simple enough, has more of sculptured device
about it, having been erected, as I think the inscription states, by his
brother and sister. Wordsworth's has only the very simplest slab of
slate, with "William Wordsworth" and nothing else upon it. As I
recollect it, it is the midmost grave of the row. It is, or has been,
well grass-grown, but the grass is quite worn away from the top, though
sufficiently luxuriant at the sides. It looks as if people had stood
upon it, and so does the grave next to it, which, I believe, is of one
of his children. I plucked some grass and weeds from it; and as he was
buried within so few years, they may fairly be supposed to have drawn
their nutriment from his mortal remains, and I gathered them from just
above his head. There is no fault to be found with his grave,--within
view of the hills, within sound of the river, murmuring near by,--no
fault, except that he is crowded so closely with his kindred; and,
moreover, that, being so old a churchyard, the earth over him must all
have been human once. He might have had fresh earth to himself, but he
chose this grave deliberately. No very stately and broad-based monument
can ever be erected over it, without infringing upon, covering, and
overshadowing the graves, not only of his family, but of individuals who
probably were quite disconnected with him. But it is pleasant to think
and know--were it but on the evidence of this choice of a
resting-place--that he did not care for a stately monument. After
leaving the churchyard, we wandered about in quest of the post-office,
and for a long time without success. This little town of Grasmere seems
to me as pretty a place as ever I met with in my life. It is quite shut
in by hills that rise up immediately around it, like a neighborhood of
kindly giants. These hills descend steeply to the verge of the level on
which the village stands, and there they terminate at once, the whole
site of the little town being as even as a floor. I call it a village;
but it is no village at all, all the dwellings standing apart, each in
its own little domain, and each, I believe, with its own little lane
leading to it, independently of the rest. Most of these are old
cottages, plastered white, with antique porches, and roses and other
vines trained against them, and shrubbery growing about them; and some
are covered with ivy. There are a few edifices of more pretension and of
modern build, but not so strikingly as to put the rest out of
countenance. The post-office, when we found it, proved to be an ivied
cottage, with a good deal of shrubbery round it, having its own pathway,
like the other cottages. The whole looks like a real seclusion, shut out
from the great world by these encircling hills, on the sides of which,
whenever they are not too steep, you see the division-lines of property,
and tokens of cultivation,--taking from them their pretensions to savage
majesty, but bringing them nearer to the heart of man.

Since writing the above, I have been again with S---- to see
Wordsworth's grave, and, finding the door of the church open, we went
in. A woman and little girl were sweeping at the farther end, and the
woman came towards us out of the cloud of dust which she had raised. We
were surprised at the extremely antique appearance of the church. It is
paved with bluish-gray flagstones, over which uncounted generations have
trodden, leaving the floor as well laid as ever. The walls are very
thick, and the arched windows open through them at a considerable
distance above the floor. And down through the centre of the church runs
a row of five arches, very rude and round-headed, all of rough stone,
supported by rough and massive pillars, or rather square stone blocks,
which stand in the pews, and stood in the same places, probably, long
before the wood of those pews began to grow. Above this row of arches is
another row, built upon the same mass of stone, and almost as broad, but
lower; and on this upper row rests the framework, the oaken beams, the
black skeleton of the roof. It is a very clumsy contrivance for
supporting the roof, and if it were modern we certainly should condemn
it as very ugly; but being the relic of a simple age, it comes in well
with the antique simplicity of the whole structure. The roof goes up,
barn-like, into its natural angle, and all the rafters and cross-beams
are visible. There is an old font; and in the chancel is a niche, where,
judging from a similar one in Furness Abbey, the holy water used to be
placed for the priest's use while celebrating mass. Around the inside of
the porch is a stone bench, placed against the wall, narrow and uneasy,
but where a great many people had sat who now have found quieter

The woman was a very intelligent-looking person, not of the usual
English ruddiness, but rather thin and somewhat pale, though bright of
aspect. Her way of talking was very agreeable. She inquired if we wished
to see Wordsworth's monument, and at once showed it to us,--a slab of
white marble fixed against the upper end of the central row of stone
arches, with a pretty long inscription, and a profile bust, in
bas-relief, of his aged countenance. The monument is placed directly
over Wordsworth's pew, and could best be seen and read from the very
corner-seat where he used to sit. The pew is one of those occupying the
centre of the church, and is just across the aisle from the pulpit, and
is the best of all for the purpose of seeing and hearing the clergyman,
and likewise as convenient as any, from its neighborhood to the altar.
On the other side of the aisle, beneath the pulpit, is Lady Fleming's
pew. This and one or two others are curtained; Wordsworth's was not. I
think I can bring up his image in that corner seat of his pew--a
white-headed, tall, spare man, plain in aspect--better than in any other
situation. The woman said that she had known him very well, and that he
had made some verses on a sister of hers. She repeated the first lines,
something about a lamb; but neither S---- nor I remembered them.

On the walls of the chancel there are monuments to the Flemings, and
painted escutcheons of their arms; and along the side walls also, and on
the square pillars of the row of arches, there are other monuments,
generally of white marble, with the letters of the inscription
blackened. On these pillars, likewise, and in many places in the walls,
were hung verses from Scripture, painted on boards. At one of the doors
was a poor-box, an elaborately carved little box of oak, with the date
1648, and the name of the church--St. Oswald's--upon it. The whole
interior of the edifice was plain, simple, almost to grimness,--or would
have been so, only that the foolish church-wardens, or other authority,
have washed it over with the same buff color with which they have
overlaid the exterior. It is a pity; it lightens it up, and desecrates
it horribly, especially as the woman says that there were formerly
paintings on the walls, now obliterated forever. I could have stayed in
the old church much longer, and could write much more about it, but
there must be an end to everything. Pacing it from the farther end to
the elevation before the altar, I found that it was twenty-five paces

On looking again at the Rothay, I find I did it some injustice; for at
the bridge, in its present swollen state, it is nearer twenty yards than
twenty feet across. Its waters are very clear, and it rushes along with
a speed which is delightful to see, after an acquaintance with the muddy
and sluggish Avon and Leam.

Since tea, I have taken a stroll from the hotel in a different direction
from usual, and passed the Swan Inn, where Scott used to go daily to get
a draught of liquor when he was visiting Wordsworth, who had no wine nor
other inspiriting fluid in his house. It stands directly on the wayside,
a small, whitewashed house, with an addition in the rear that seems to
have been built since Scott's time. On the door is the painted sign of
a swan,--and the name "Scott's Swan Hotel." I walked a considerable
distance beyond it; but a shower coming up, I turned back, entered the
inn, and, following the mistress into a snug little room, was served
with a glass of bitter ale. It is a very plain and homely inn, and
certainly could not have satisfied Scott's wants, if he had required
anything very farfetched or delicate in his potations. I found two
Westmoreland peasants in the room with ale before them. One went away
almost immediately; but the other remained, and, entering into
conversation with him, he told me that he was going to New Zealand, and
expected to sail in September. I announced myself as an American, and he
said that a large party had lately gone from hereabouts to America; but
he seemed not to understand that there was any distinction between
Canada and the States. These people had gone to Quebec. He was a very
civil, well-behaved, kindly sort of person, of a simple character, which
I took to belong to the class and locality, rather than to himself
individually. I could not very well understand all that he said, owing
to his provincial dialect; and when he spoke to his own countrymen, or
to the women of the house, I really could but just catch a word here and
there. How long it takes to melt English down into a homogeneous mass!
He told me that there was a public library in Grasmere, to which he has
access in common with the other inhabitants, and a reading-room
connected with it, where he reads the "Times" in the evening. There was
no American smartness in his mind. When I left the house, it was
showering briskly; but the drops quite ceased, and the clouds began to
break away, before I reached my hotel, and I saw the new moon over my
right shoulder.

       *       *       *       *       *

_July 21._--We left Grasmere yesterday, after breakfast, it being a
delightful morning, with some clouds, but the cheerfullest sunshine on
great part of the mountain-sides and on ourselves. We returned, in the
first place, to Ambleside, along the border of Grasmere Lake, which
would be a pretty little piece of water, with its steep and
high-surrounding hills, were it not that a stubborn and straight-lined
stone fence, running along the eastern shore, by the roadside, quite
spoils its appearance. Rydal water, though nothing can make a lake of
it, looked prettier and less diminutive than at the first view; and, in
fact, I find that it is impossible to know accurately how any prospect
or other thing looks until after at least a second view, which always
essentially corrects the first. This, I think, is especially true in
regard to objects which we have heard much about, and exercised our
imagination upon; the first view being a vain attempt to reconcile our
idea with the reality, and at the second we begin to accept the thing
for what it really is. Wordsworth's situation is really a beautiful one;
and Nab Scaur behind his house rises with a grand, protecting air. We
passed Nab's cottage, in which De Quincey formerly lived, and where
Hartley Coleridge lived and died. It is a small, buff-tinted, plastered,
stone cottage, immediately on the roadside, and originally, I should
think, of a very humble class; but it now looks as if persons of taste
might some time or other have sat down in it, and caused flowers to
spring up about it. It is very agreeably situated, under the great,
precipitous hill, and with Rydal water close at hand, on the other side
of the road. An advertisement of lodgings to let was put up on this

I question whether any part of the world looks so beautiful as
England--this part of England, at least--on a fine summer morning. It
makes one think the more cheerfully of human life to see such a bright,
universal verdure; such sweet, rural, peaceful, flower-bordered
cottages,--not cottages of gentility, but dwellings of the laboring
poor; such nice villas along the roadside, so tastefully contrived for
comfort and beauty, and adorned more and more, year after year, with the
care and afterthought of people who mean to live in them a great while,
and feel as if their children might live in them also. And so they plant
trees to overshadow their walks, and train ivy and all beautiful vines
up against their walls,--and thus live for the future in another sense
than we Americans do. And the climate helps them out, and makes
everything moist and green, and full of tender life, instead of dry and
arid, as human life and vegetable life are so apt to be with us.
Certainly, England can present a more attractive face than we can, even
in its humbler modes of life,--to say nothing of the beautiful lives
that might be led, one would think, by the higher classes, whose
gateways, with broad, smooth gravelled drives leading through them, one
sees every mile or two along the road, winding into some proud
seclusion. All this is passing away, and society must assume new
relations; but there is no harm in believing that there has been
something very good in English life,--good for all classes, while the
world was in a state out of which these forms naturally grew.


    In the porch that brier-vines smother,
    At her wheel, sits Mona's mother.
      O, the day is dying bright!
    Roseate shadows, silver dimming,
    Ruby lights through amber swimming,
      Bring the still and starry night.

    Sudden she is 'ware of shadows
    Going out across the meadows
      From the slowly sinking sun,--
    Going through the misty spaces
    That the rippling ruby laces,
    Shadows, like the violets tangled,
    Like the soft light, softly mingled,
      Till the two seem just as one!

    Every tell-tale wind doth waft her
    Little breaths of maiden laughter.
      O, divinely dies the day!
    And the swallow, on the rafter,
      In her nest of sticks and clay,--
    On the rafter, up above her,
    With her patience doth reprove her,
      Twittering soft the time away;
    Never stopping, never stopping,
    With her wings so warmly dropping
      Round her nest of sticks and clay.

    "Take, my bird, O take some other
      Eve than this to twitter gay!"
    Sayeth, prayeth Mona's mother,
    To the slender-throated swallow
      On her nest of sticks and clay;
    For her sad eyes needs must follow
    Down the misty, mint-sweet hollow,
      Where the ruby colors play
      With the gold, and with the gray.
    "Yet, my little Lady-feather,
      You do well to sit and sing,"
    Crieth, sigheth Mona's mother.
    "If you would, you could no other.
      Can the leaf fail with the spring?
    Can the tendril stay from twining
      When the sap begins to run?
    Or the dew-drop keep from shining
      With her body full o' the sun?
    Nor can you, from gladness, either;
      Therefore, you do well to sing.
    Up and o'er the downy lining
      Of your bird-bed I can see
    Two round little heads together,
    Pushed out softly through your wing.
      But alas! my bird, for me!"

    In the porch with roses burning
      All across, she sitteth lonely.
      O, her soul is dark with dread!
    Round and round her slow wheel turning,
    Lady brow down-dropped serenely,
    Lady hand uplifted queenly,
    Pausing in the spinning only
      To rejoin the broken thread,--
    Pausing only for the winding,
    With the carded silken binding
      Of the flax, the distaff-head.

    All along the branches creeping,
    To their leafy beds of sleeping
      Go the blue-birds and the brown;
    Blackbird stoppeth now his clamor,
    And the little yellowhammer
      Droppeth head in winglet down.
    Now the rocks rise bleak and barren
      Through the twilight, gray and still;
    In the marsh-land now the heron
      Clappeth close his horny bill.
    Death-watch now begins his drumming
    And the fire-fly, going, coming,
      Weaveth zigzag lines of light,--
    Lines of zigzag, golden-threaded,
    Up the marshy valley, shaded
      O'er and o'er with vapors white.
    Now the lily, open-hearted,
    Of her dragon-fly deserted,
      Swinging on the wind so low,
    Gives herself, with trust audacious,
    To the wild warm wave that washes
      Through her fingers, soft and slow.

    O the eyes of Mona's mother!
      Dim they grow with tears unshed;
    For no longer may they follow
    Down the misty mint-sweet hollow,
    Down along the yellow mosses
    That the brook with silver crosses.
      Ah! the day is dead, is dead;
    And the cold and curdling shadows,
    Stretching from the long, low meadows,
    Darker, deeper, nearer spread,
    Till she cannot see the twining
    Of the briers, nor see the lining
    Round the porch of roses red,--
    Till she cannot see the hollow,
    Nor the little steel-winged swallow,
      On her clay-built nest o'erhead.

    Mona's mother falleth mourning:
      O, 't is hard, so hard, to see
    Prattling child to woman turning,
      As to grander company!
    Little heart she lulled with hushes
    Beating, burning up with blushes,
    All with meditative dreaming
    On the dear delicious gleaming
    Of the bridal veil and ring;
    Finding in the sweet ovations
    Of its new, untried relations
      Better joys than she can bring.

    In her hand her wheel she keepeth,
    And her heart within her leapeth,
    With a burdened, bashful yearning,
      For the babe's weight on her knee,
      For the loving lisp of glee,
    Sweet as larks' throats in the morning,
      Sweet as hum of honey-bee.

    "O my child!" cries Mona's mother,
    "Will you, can you take another
      Name ere mine upon your lips?
    Can you, only for the asking,
    Give to other hands the clasping
      Of your rosy finger-tips?"

    Fear on fear her sad soul borrows,--
      O the dews are falling fair!
    But no fair thing now can move her;
    Vainly walks the moon above her,
    Turning out her golden furrows
      On the cloudy fields of air.

    Sudden she is 'ware of shadows,
    Coming in across the meadows,
      And of murmurs, low as love,--
    Murmurs mingled like the meeting
    Of the winds, or like the beating
      Of the wings of dove with dove.

    In her hand the slow wheel stoppeth,
    Silken flax from distaff droppeth,
    And a cruel, killing pain
    Striketh up from heart to brain;
    And she knoweth by that token
      That the spinning all is vain,
    That the troth-plight has been spoken,
    And the thread of life thus broken
      Never can be joined again.



Those of my readers who have frequented the garden of Doctor Rappaccini
no doubt recall with perfect distinctness the quaint old city of Padua.
They remember its miles and miles of dim arcade over-roofing the
sidewalks everywhere, affording excellent opportunity for the flirtation
of lovers by day and the vengeance of rivals by night. They have seen
the now vacant streets thronged with maskers, and the Venetian Podestà
going in gorgeous state to and from the vast Palazzo della Ragione. They
have witnessed ringing tournaments in those sad, empty squares, and
races in the Prato della Valle, and many other wonders of different
epochs, and their pleasure makes me half sorry that I should have lived
for several years within an hour by rail from Padua, and should know
little or nothing of these great sights from actual observation. I take
shame to myself for having visited Padua so often and so familiarly as I
used to do,--for having been bored and hungry there,--for having had
toothache there, upon one occasion,--for having rejoiced more in a cup
of coffee at Pedrocchi's than in the whole history of Padua,--for having
slept repeatedly in the bad-bedded hotels of Padua and never once dreamt
of Portia,--for having been more taken by the _salti mortali_[A] of a
waiter who summed up my account at a Paduan restaurant, than by all the
strategies with which the city has been many times captured and
recaptured. Had I viewed Padua only over the wall of Doctor Rappaccini's
garden, how different my impressions of the city would now be! This is
one of the drawbacks of actual knowledge.

"Ah! how can you write about Spain when once you have been there?" asked
Heine of Théophile Gautier setting out on a journey thither.

Nevertheless it seems to me that I remember something about Padua with a
sort of romantic pleasure. There was a certain charm which I can dimly
recall, in sauntering along the top of the old wall of the city, and
looking down upon the plumy crests of the Indian-corn that nourished up
so mightily from the dry bed of the moat. At such times I could not help
figuring to myself the many sieges that the wall had known, with the
fierce assault by day, the secret attack by night, the swarming foe upon
the plains below, the bristling arms of the besieged upon the wall, the
boom of the great mortars made of ropes and leather and throwing mighty
balls of stone, the stormy flight of arrows, the ladders planted against
the defences and staggering headlong into the moat, enriched for future
agriculture not only by its sluggish waters, but by the blood of many
men. I suppose that most of these visions were old stage spectacles
furbished up anew, and that my armies were chiefly equipped with their
obsolete implements of warfare from museums of armor and from cabinets
of antiquities; but they were very vivid, for all that.

I was never able, in passing a certain one of the city gates, to divest
myself of an historic interest in the great loads of hay waiting
admission on the outside. For an instant they masked again the Venetian
troops that, in the war of the League of Cambray, entered the city in
the hay-carts, shot down the landsknechts at the gates, and, uniting
with the citizens, cut the German garrison to pieces. But it was a thing
long past. The German garrison was here again; and the heirs of the
landsknechts went clanking through the gate to the parade-ground, with
that fierce clamor of their kettle-drums which is so much fiercer
because unmingled with the noise of fifes. Once more now the Germans are
gone, and, let us trust, forever; but when I saw them, there seemed
little hope of their going. They had a great Biergarten on the top of
the wall, and they had set up the altars of their heavy Bacchus in many
parts of the city.

I please myself with thinking that, if I walked on such a spring day as
this in the arcaded Paduan streets, I should catch glimpses, through the
gateways of the palaces, of gardens full of vivid bloom, and of
fountains that tinkle there forever. If it were autumn, and I were in
the great market-place before the Palazzo della Ragione, I should hear
the baskets of amber-hued and honeyed grapes humming with the murmur of
multitudinous bees, and making a music as if the wine itself were
already singing in their gentle hearts. It is a great field of succulent
verdure, that wide old market-place; and fancy loves to browse about
among its gay stores of fruits and vegetables, brought thither by the
world-old peasant-women who have been bringing fruits and vegetables to
the Paduan market for so many centuries. They sit upon the ground before
their great panniers, and knit and doze, and wake up with a drowsy
"_Comandala?_" as you linger to look at their grapes. They have each a
pair of scales,--the emblem of Injustice,--and will weigh you out a
scant measure of the fruit, if you like. Their faces are yellow as
parchment, and Time has written them so full of wrinkles that there is
not room for another line. Doubtless these old parchment visages are
palimpsests, and would tell the whole history of Padua if you could get
at each successive inscription. Among their primal records there must be
some account of the Roman city, as each little contadinella, remembered
it on market-days; and one might read of the terror of Attila's sack, a
little later, with the peasant-maid's personal recollections of the bold
Hunnish trooper who ate up the grapes in her basket, and kissed her
hard, round red cheeks,--for in that time she was a blooming girl,--and
paid nothing for either privilege. What wild and confused reminiscences
on the wrinkled visage we should find thereafter of the fierce
republican times, of Ecelino, of the Carraras, of the Venetian rule! And
is it not sad to think of systems and peoples all passing away, and
these ancient women lasting still, and still selling grapes in front of
the Palazzo della Ragione? What a long mortality!

The youngest of their number is a thousand years older than the palace,
which was begun in the twelfth century, and which is much the same now
as it was when first completed. I know that, if I entered it, I should
be sure of finding the great hall of the palace--the vastest hall in the
world--dim and dull and dusty and delightful, with nothing in it except
at one end Donatello's colossal marble-headed wooden horse of Troy,
stared at from the other end by the two dog-faced Egyptian women in
basalt placed there by Belzoni.

Late in the drowsy summer afternoons I should have the Court of the
University all to myself, and might study unmolested the blazons of the
noble youth who have attended the school in different centuries ever
since 1200, and have left their escutcheons on the walls to commemorate
them. At the foot of the stairway ascending to the schools from the
court is the statue of the learned lady who was once a professor in the
University, and who, if her likeness belie not her looks, must have
given a great charm to student life in other times. At present there are
no lady professors at Padua, any more than at Harvard; and during late
years the schools have suffered greatly from the interference of the
Austrian government, which frequently closed them for months, on account
of political demonstrations among the students. But now there is an end
of this and many other stupid oppressions; and the time-honored
University will doubtless regain its ancient importance. Even in 1864 it
had nearly fifteen hundred students, and one met them everywhere under
the arcades, and could not well mistake them, with that blended air of
pirate and dandy which these studious young men loved to assume. They
were to be seen a good deal on the promenades outside the walls, where
the Paduan ladies are driven in their carriages in the afternoon, and
where one sees the blood-horses and fine equipages for which Padua is
famous. There used once to be races in the Prato della Valle, after the
Italian notion of horse-races; but these are now discontinued, and there
is nothing to be found there but the statues of scholars and soldiers
and statesmen, posted in a circle around the old race-course. If you
strolled thither about dusk on such a day as this, you might see the
statues unbend a little from their stony rigidity, and in the failing
light nod to each other very pleasantly through the trees. And if you
stayed in Padua over night, what could be better to-morrow morning than
a stroll through the great Botanical Garden,--the oldest botanical
garden in the world,--the garden which first received in Europe the
strange and splendid growths of our hemisphere,--the garden where Doctor
Rappaccini doubtless found the germ of his mortal plant?

On the whole, I believe I would rather go this moment to Padua than to
Lowell or Lawrence, or even to Worcester; and as to the disadvantage of
having seen Padua, I begin to think the whole place has now assumed so
fantastic a character in my mind that I am almost as well qualified to
write of it as if I had merely dreamed it.

The day that we first visited the city was very rainy, and we spent most
of the time in viewing the churches. These, even after the churches of
Venice, one finds rich in art and historic interest, and they in no
instance fall into the maniacal excesses of the Renaissance to which
some of the temples of the latter city abandon themselves. Their
architecture forms a sort of border-land between the Byzantine of Venice
and the Lombardic of Verona. The superb domes of St. Anthony's emulate
those of St. Mark's, and the porticos of other Paduan churches rest
upon the backs of bird-headed lions and leopards that fascinate with
their mystery and beauty.

It was the wish to see the attributive Giottos in the Chapter which drew
us first to St. Anthony's, and we saw them with the satisfaction
naturally attending the contemplation of frescos discovered only since
1858, after having been hidden under plaster and whitewash for many
centuries; but we could not believe that Giotto's fame was destined to
gain much by their rescue from oblivion. They are in no wise to be
compared with this master's frescos in the Chapel of the
Annunziata,--which, indeed, is in every way a place of wonder and
delight. You reach it by passing through a garden lane bordered with
roses, and a taciturn gardener comes out with clinking keys, and lets
you into the chapel, where there is nobody but Giotto and Dante, nor
seems to have been for ages. Cool it is, and of a pulverous smell, as a
sacred place should be; a blessed benching goes round the wall, and you
sit down and take unlimited comfort in the frescos. The gardener leaves
you alone to the solitude and the silence, in which the talk of the
painter and the exile is plain enough. Their contemporaries and yours
are cordial in their gay companionship; through the half-open door
falls, in a pause of the rain, the same sunshine that they saw lie
there; the deathless birds that they heard sing out in the garden trees;
it is the fresh sweetness of the grass mown six hundred years ago that
breathes through all the lovely garden grounds.

How mistaken was Ponce de Leon, to seek the fountain of youth in the New
World! It is there,--in the Old World,--far back in the past. We are all
old men and decrepit together in the present; the future is full of
death; in the past we are light and glad as boys turned barefoot in the
spring. The work of the heroes is play to us; the pang of the martyr is
a thrill of rapture; the exile's longing is a strain of plaintive music
touching and delighting us. We are not only young again, we are
immortal. It is this divine sense of superiority to fate which is the
supreme good won from travel in historic lands, and from the presence of
memorable things, and which no sublimity of natural aspects can bestow.
It is this which forms the wide difference between Europe and
America,--a gulf that it will take a thousand years to bridge.

It is a shame that the immortals should be limited in their pleasures by
the fact that they have hired their brougham by the hour; yet we early
quit the Chapel of Giotto on this account. We had chosen our driver from
among many other drivers of broughams in the vicinity of Pedrocchi's,
because he had such an honest look, and was not likely, we thought, to
deal unfairly with us.

"But first," said the signor who had selected him, "how much is your
brougham an hour?"

So and so.

"Show me the tariff of fares."

"There is no tariff."

"There is. Show it to me."

"It is lost, signor."

"I think not. It is here in this pocket Get it out."

The tariff appears, and with it the fact that he had demanded just what
the boatman of the ballad received in gift,--thrice his fee.

The driver mounted his seat, and served us so faithfully that day in
Padua that we took him the next day for Arquà. At the end, when he had
received his due, and a handsome _mancia_ besides, he was still
unsatisfied, and referred to the tariff in proof that he had been
under-paid. On that confronted and defeated, he thanked us very
cordially, gave us the number of his brougham, and begged us to ask for
him when we came next to Padua and needed a carriage.

From the Chapel of the Annunziata he drove us to the Church of Santa
Giustina, where is a very famous and noble picture by Romanino. But as
this paper has nothing in the world to do with art, I here dismiss that
subject, and with a gross and idle delight follow the sacristan down
under this church to the prison of Santa Giustina.

Of all the faculties of the mind there is none so little fatiguing to
exercise as mere wonder; and, for my own sake, I try always to wonder at
things without the least critical reservation. I therefore, in the sense
of deglutition, bolted this prison at once, though subsequent
experiences led me to look with grave indigestion upon the whole idea of
prisons, their authenticity, and even their existence.

As far as mere dimensions are concerned, the prison of Santa Giustina
was not a hard one to swallow, being only three feet wide by about ten
feet in length. In this limited space, Santa Giustina passed five years
of the paternal reign of Nero (a virtuous and a long-suffering prince,
whom, singularly enough, no historic artist has yet arisen to
whitewash), and was then brought out into the larger cell adjoining, to
suffer a blessed martyrdom. I am not sure now whether the sacristan said
she was dashed to death on the stones, or cut to pieces with knives; but
whatever the form of martyrdom, an iron ring in the ceiling was employed
in it, as I know from seeing the ring,--a curiously well-preserved piece
of ironmongery. Within the narrow prison of the saint, and just under
the grating, through which the sacristan thrust his candle to illuminate
it, was a mountain of candle-drippings,--a monument to the fact that
faith still largely exists in this doubting world. My own credulity, not
only with regard to this prison, but also touching the coffin of St.
Luke, which I saw in the church, had so wrought upon the esteem of the
sacristan, that he now took me to a well, into which, he said, had been
cast the bones of three thousand Christian martyrs. He lowered a lantern
into the well, and assured me that, if I looked through a certain
screenwork there, I could see the bones. On experiment I could not see
the bones, but this circumstance did not cause me to doubt their
presence, particularly as I did see upon the screen a great number of
coins offered for the repose of the martyrs' souls. I threw down some
_soldi_, and thus enthralled the sacristan.

If the signor cared to see prisons, he said, the driver must take him to
those of Ecelino, at present the property of a private gentleman near
by. As I had just bought a history of Ecelino, at a great bargain, from
a second-hand bookstall, and had a lively interest in all the enormities
of that nobleman, I sped the driver instantly to the villa of the Signor

It depends here altogether upon the freshness or mustiness of the
reader's historical reading whether he cares to be reminded more
particularly who Ecelino was. He flourished balefully in the early half
of the thirteenth century as lord of Vicenza, Verona, Padua, and
Brescia, and was defeated and hurt to death in an attempt to possess
himself of Milan. He was in every respect a remarkable man for that
time,--fearless, abstemious, continent, avaricious, hardy, and
unspeakably ambitious and cruel. He survived and suppressed innumerable
conspiracies, escaping even the thrust of the assassin whom the fame of
his enormous wickedness had caused the Old Man of the Mountain to send
against him. As lord of Padua he was more incredibly severe and bloody
in his rule than as lord of the other cities, for the Paduans had been
latest free, and conspired most frequently against him. He extirpated
whole families on suspicion that a single member had been concerned in a
meditated revolt. Little children and helpless women suffered hideous
mutilation and shame at his hands. Six prisons in Padua were constantly
filled by his arrests. The whole country was traversed by witnesses of
his cruelties,--men and women deprived of an arm or leg, and begging
from door to door. He had long been excommunicated; at last the Church
proclaimed a crusade against him, and his lieutenant and nephew--more
demoniacal, if possible, than himself--was driven out of Padua while he
was operating against Mantua. Ecelino retired to Verona, and maintained
a struggle against the crusade for nearly two years longer, with a
courage which never failed him. Wounded and taken prisoner, the soldiers
of the victorious army gathered about him, and heaped insult and
reproach upon him; and one furious peasant, whose brother's feet had
been cut off by Ecelino's command, dealt the helpless monster four blows
upon the head with a scythe. By some, Ecelino is said to have died of
these wounds alone; but by others it is related that his death was a
kind of suicide, inasmuch as he himself put the case past surgery by
tearing off the bandages from his hurts, and refusing all medicines.


Entering at the enchanted portal of the Villa P----, we found ourselves
in a realm of wonder. It was our misfortune not to see the magician who
compelled all the marvels on which we looked, but for that very reason,
perhaps, we have the clearest sense of his greatness. Everywhere we
beheld the evidences of his ingenious but lugubrious fancy, which
everywhere tended to a monumental and mortuary effect. A sort of
vestibule first received us, and beyond this dripped and glimmered the
garden. The walls of the vestibule were covered with inscriptions
setting forth the sentiments of the philosophy and piety of all ages
concerning life and death; we began with Confucius, and we ended with
Benjamino Franklino. But as if these ideas of mortality were not
sufficiently depressing, the funereal Signor P----had collected into
earthern _amphoræ_ the ashes of the most famous men of ancient and
modern times, and arranged them so that a sense of their number and
variety should at once strike his visitor. Each jar was conspicuously
labelled with the name its illustrious dust had borne in life; and if
one escaped with comparative cheerfulness from the thought that Seneca
had died, there were in the very next pot the cinders of Napoleon to
bully him back to a sense of his mortality.

We were glad to have the gloomy fascination of these objects broken by
the custodian, who approached to ask if we wished to see the prisons of
Ecelino, and we willingly followed him into the rain out of our
sepulchral shelter.

Between the vestibule and the towers of the tyrant lay that garden
already mentioned, and our guide led us through ranks of weeping
statuary, and rainy bowers, and showery lanes of shrubbery, until we
reached the door of his cottage. While he entered to fetch the key to
the prisons, we noted that the towers were freshly painted and in
perfect repair; and indeed the custodian said frankly enough, on
reappearing, that they were merely built over the prisons on the site of
the original towers. The storied stream of the Bacchiglione sweeps
through the grounds, and now, swollen by the rainfall, it roared, a
yellow torrent, under a corner of the prisons. The towers rise from
masses of foliage, and form no unpleasing feature of what must be, in
spite of Signor P----, a delightful Italian garden in sunny weather. The
ground is not so flat as elsewhere in Padua, and this inequality gives
an additional picturesqueness to the place. But as we were come in
search of horrors, we scorned these merely lovely things, and hastened
to immure ourselves in the dungeons below. The custodian, lighting a
candle, (which ought, we felt, to have been a torch,) went before.

We found the cells, though narrow and dark, not uncomfortable, and the
guide conceded that they had undergone some repairs since Ecelino's
time. But all the horrors for which we had come were there in perfect
grisliness, and labelled by the ingenious Signor P---- with Latin

In the first cell was a shrine of the Virgin, set in the wall. Beneath
this, while the wretched prisoner knelt in prayer, a trap-door opened
and precipitated him down upon the points of knives, from which his body
fell into the Bacchiglione below. In the next cell, held by some rusty
iron rings to the wall, was a skeleton, hanging by the wrists.

"This," said the guide, "was another punishment of which Ecelino was
very fond."

A dreadful doubt seized my mind. "Was this skeleton found here?" I

Without faltering an instant, without so much as winking an eye, the
custodian replied, "_Appunto_."

It was a great relief, and restored me to confidence in the
establishment. I am at a loss to explain how my faith should have been
confirmed afterwards by coming upon a guillotine--an awful instrument in
the likeness of a straw-cutter, with a decapitated wooden figure under
its blade--which the custodian confessed to be a modern improvement
placed there by Signor P----. Yet my credulity was so strengthened by
his candor, that I accepted without hesitation the torture of the
water-drop when we came to it. The water-jar was as well preserved as if
placed there but yesterday, and the skeleton beneath it--found as we saw
it--was entire and perfect.

In the adjoining cell sat a skeleton--found as we saw it--with its neck
in the clutch of the garrote, which was one of Ecelino's more merciful
punishments; while in still another cell the ferocity of the tyrant
appeared in the penalty inflicted upon the wretch whose skeleton had
been hanging for ages--as we saw it--head downwards from the ceiling.

Beyond these, in a yet darker and drearier dungeon, stood a heavy oblong
wooden box, with two apertures near the top, peering through which we
found that we were looking into the eyeless sockets of a skull. Within
this box Ecelino had immured the victim we beheld there, and left him to
perish in view of the platters of food and goblets of drink placed just
beyond the reach of his hands. The food we saw was of course not the
original food.

At last we came to the crowning horror of Villa P----, the supreme
excess of Ecelino's cruelty. The guide entered the cell before us, and,
as we gained the threshold, threw the light of his taper vividly upon a
block that stood in the middle of the floor. Fixed to the block by an
immense spike driven through from the back was the little slender hand
of a woman, which lay there just as it had been struck from the living
arm, and which, after the lapse of so many centuries, was still as
perfectly preserved as if it had been embalmed. The sight had a most
cruel fascination; and while one of the horror-seekers stood helplessly
conjuring to his vision that scene of unknown dread,--the shrinking,
shrieking woman dragged to the block, the wild, shrill, horrible screech
following the blow that drove in the spike, the merciful swoon after the
mutilation,--his companion, with a sudden pallor, demanded to be taken
instantly away.

In their swift withdrawal, they only glanced at a few detached
instruments of torture,--all original Ecelinos, but intended for the
infliction of minor and comparatively unimportant torments,--and then
they passed from that place of fear.


In the evening we sat talking at the Caffè Pedrocchi with an abbate, an
acquaintance of ours, who was a Professor in the University of Padua.
Pedrocchi's is the great caffè of Padua, a granite edifice of Egyptian
architecture, which is the mausoleum of the proprietor's fortune. The
pecuniary skeleton at the feast, however, does not much trouble the
guests. They begin early in the evening to gather into the elegant
saloons of the caffè,--somewhat too large for so small a city as
Padua,--and they sit there late in the night over their cheerful cups
and their ices with their newspaper and their talk. Not so many ladies
are to be seen as at the caffè in Venice, for it is only in the greater
cities that they go much to these public places. There are few students
at Pedrocchi's, for they frequent the cheaper caffè; but you may nearly
always find there some Professor of the University, and on the evening
of which I speak, there were two present besides our abbate. Our
friend's great passion was the English language, which he understood too
well to venture to speak a great deal. He had been translating from that
tongue into Italian certain American poems, and our talk was of these at
first. Then we began to talk of distinguished American writers, of whom
intelligent Italians always know at least four, in this
succession,--Cooper, Mrs. Stowe, Longfellow, and Irving. Mrs. Stowe's
_Capanna di Zio Tom_ is, of course, universally read; and my friend had
also read _Il Fiore di Maggio_,--"The Mayflower." Of Longfellow, the
"Evangeline" is familiar to Italians, through a translation of the poem;
but our abbate knew all the poet's works, and one of the other
Professors present that evening had made such faithful study of them as
to have produced some translations rendering the original with
remarkable fidelity and spirit. I have before me here his _brochure_,
printed last year at Padua, and containing versions of "Enceladus,"
"Excelsior," "A Psalm of Life," "The Old Clock on the Stairs," "Sand of
the Desert in an Hour-Glass," "Twilight," "Daybreak," "The Quadroon
Girl," and "Torquemada,"--pieces which give the Italians a fair notion
of our poet's lyrical range, and which bear witness to Professor
Messadaglia's sympathetic and familiar knowledge of his works. A young
and gifted lady of Parma, now unhappily no more, published only a few
months since a translation of "The Golden Legend"; and Professor
Messadaglia, in his Preface, mentions a version of another of our poet's
longer works on which the translator of the "Evangeline" is now engaged.

At last, turning from literature, we spoke with the gentle abbate of
our day's adventures, and eagerly related that of the Ecelino prisons.
To have seen them was the most terrific pleasure of our lives.

"Eh!" said our friend, "I believe you."

"We mean those under the Villa P----."


There was a tone of politely suppressed amusement in the abbate's voice;
and after a moment's pause, in which we felt our awful experience
slipping and sliding away from us, we ventured to say, "You don't mean
that those are _not_ the veritable Ecelino prisons?"

"Certainly they are nothing of the kind. The Ecelino prisons were
destroyed when the Crusaders took Padua, with the exception of the tower
which the Venetian Republic converted into an observatory."

"But at least these prisons are on the site of Ecelino's castle?"

"Nothing of the sort. His castle in that case would have been outside of
the old city walls."

"And those tortures and the prisons are all--"

"Things got up for show. No doubt, Ecelino used such things, and many
worse, of which even the ingenuity of Signor P---- cannot conceive. But
he is an eccentric man, loving the horrors of history, and what he can
do to realize them he has done in his prisons."

"But the custodian, how could he lie so?"

Our friend shrugged his shoulders. "Eh! easily. And perhaps he even
believed what he said."

The world began to assume an aspect of bewildering ungenuineness, and
there seemed to be a treacherous quality of fiction in the ground under
our feet. Even the play at the pretty little Teatro Sociale, where we
went to pass the rest of the evening, appeared hollow and improbable. We
thought the hero something of a bore, with his patience and goodness;
and as for the heroine, pursued by the attentions of the rich
profligate, we doubted if she were any better than she should be.


[Footnote A: _Salti mortali_ are those prodigious efforts of mental
arithmetic by which Italian waiters, in verbally presenting your
account, arrive at six as the product of two and two.]




Richard got through the following week he hardly knew how. He found
occupation, to a much greater extent than he was actually aware of, in a
sordid and yet heroic struggle with himself. For several months now, he
had been leading, under Gertrude's inspiration, a strictly decent and
sober life. So long as he was at comparative peace with Gertrude and
with himself, such a life was more than easy; it was delightful. It
produced a moral buoyancy infinitely more delicate and more constant
than the gross exhilaration of his old habits. There was a kind of
fascination in adding hour to hour, and day to day, in this record of
his new-born austerity. Having abjured excesses, he practised temperance
after the fashion of a novice: he raised it (or reduced it) to
abstinence. He was like an unclean man who, having washed himself clean,
remains in the water for the love of it. He wished to be religiously,
superstitiously pure. This was easy, as we have said, so long as his
goddess smiled, even though it were as a goddess indeed,--as a creature
unattainable. But when she frowned, and the heavens grew dark, Richard's
sole dependence was in his own will,--as flimsy a trust for an upward
scramble, one would have premised, as a tuft of grass on the face of a
perpendicular cliff. Flimsy as it looked, however, it served him. It
started and crumbled, but it held, if only by a single fibre. When
Richard had cantered fifty yards away from Gertrude's gate in a fit of
stupid rage, he suddenly pulled up his horse and gulped down his
passion, and swore an oath, that, suffer what torments of feeling he
might, he would not at least break the continuity of his gross physical
soberness. It was enough to be drunk in mind; he would not be drunk in
body. A singular, almost ridiculous feeling of antagonism to Gertrude
lent force to this resolution. "No, madam," he cried within himself, "I
shall _not_ fall back. Do your best! I shall keep straight." We often
outweather great offences and afflictions through a certain healthy
instinct of egotism. Richard went to bed that night as grim and sober as
a Trappist monk; and his foremost impulse the next day was to plunge
headlong into some physical labor which should not allow him a moment's
interval of idleness. He found no labor to his taste; but he spent the
day so actively, in the mechanical annihilation of the successive hours,
that Gertrude's image found no chance squarely to face him. He was
engaged in the work of self-preservation,--the most serious and
absorbing work possible to man. Compared to the results here at stake,
his passion for Gertrude seemed but a fiction. It is perhaps difficult
to give a more lively impression of the vigor of this passion, of its
maturity and its strength, than by simply stating that it discreetly
held itself in abeyance until Richard had set at rest his doubts of that
which lies nearer than all else to the heart of man,--his doubts of the
strength of his will. He answered these doubts by subjecting his
resolution to a course of such cruel temptations as were likely either
to shiver it to a myriad of pieces, or to season it perfectly to all the
possible requirements of life. He took long rides over the country,
passing within a stone's throw of as many of the scattered wayside
taverns as could be combined in a single circuit. As he drew near them
he sometimes slackened his pace, as if he were about to dismount, pulled
up his horse, gazed a moment, then, thrusting in his spurs, galloped
away again like one pursued. At other times; in the late evening, when
the window-panes were aglow with the ruddy light within, he would walk
slowly by, looking at the stars, and, after maintaining this stoical
pace for a couple of miles, would hurry home to his own lonely and
black-windowed dwelling. Having successfully performed this feat a
certain number of times, he found his love coming back to him, bereft in
the interval of its attendant jealousy. In obedience to it, he one
morning leaped upon his horse and repaired to Gertrude's abode, with no
definite notion of the terms in which he should introduce himself.

He had made himself comparatively sure of his will; but he was yet to
acquire the mastery of his impulses. As he gave up his horse, according
to his wont, to one of the men at the stable, he saw another steed
stalled there which he recognized as Captain Severn's. "Steady, my boy,"
he murmured to himself, as he would have done to a frightened horse. On
his way across the broad court-yard toward the house, he encountered the
Captain, who had just taken his leave. Richard gave him a generous
salute (he could not trust himself to more), and Severn answered with
what was at least a strictly just one. Richard observed, however, that
he was very pale, and that he was pulling a rosebud to pieces as he
walked; whereupon our young man quickened his step. Finding the parlor
empty, he instinctively crossed over to a small room adjoining it, which
Gertrude had converted into a modest conservatory; and as he did so,
hardly knowing it, he lightened his heavy-shod tread. The glass door was
open and Richard looked in. There stood Gertrude with her back to him,
bending apart with her hands a couple of tall flowering plants, and
looking through the glazed partition behind them. Advancing a step, and
glancing over the young girl's shoulder, Richard had just time to see
Severn mounting his horse at the stable door, before Gertrude, startled
by his approach, turned hastily round. Her face was flushed hot, and her
eyes brimming with tears.

"You!" she exclaimed, sharply.

Richard's head swam. That single word was so charged with cordial
impatience that it seemed the death-knell of his hope. He stepped inside
the room and closed the door, keeping his hand on the knob.

"Gertrude," he said, "you love that man!"

"Well, sir?"

"Do you confess it?" cried Richard.

"Confess it? Richard Clare, how dare you use such language? I'm in no
humor for a scene. Let me pass."

Gertrude was angry; but as for Richard, it may almost be said that he
was mad. "One scene a day is enough, I suppose," he cried. "What are
these tears about? Wouldn't he have you? Did he refuse you, as you
refused me? Poor Gertrude!"

Gertrude looked at him a moment with concentrated scorn. "You fool!" she
said, for all answer. She pushed his hand from the latch, flung open the
door, and moved rapidly away.

Left alone, Richard sank down on a sofa and covered his face with his
hands. It burned them, but he sat motionless, repeating to himself,
mechanically, as if to avert thought, "You fool! you fool!" At last he
got up and made his way out.

It seemed to Gertrude, for several hours after this scene, that she had
at this juncture a strong case against Fortune. It is not our purpose to
repeat the words which she had exchanged with Captain Severn. They had
come within a single step of an _éclaircissement_, and when but another
movement would have flooded their souls with light, some malignant
influence had seized them by the throats. Had they too much pride?--too
little imagination? We must content ourselves with this hypothesis.
Severn, then, had walked mechanically across the yard, saying to
himself, "She belongs to another"; and adding, as he saw Richard, "and
such another!" Gertrude had stood at her window, repeating, under her
breath, "He belongs to himself, himself alone." And as if this was not
enough, when misconceived, slighted, wounded, she had faced about to her
old, passionless, dutiful past, there on the path of retreat to this
asylum Richard Clare had arisen to forewarn her that she should find no
peace even at home. There was something in the violent impertinence of
his appearance at this moment which gave her a dreadful feeling that
fate was against her. More than this. There entered into her emotions a
certain minute particle of awe of the man whose passion was so
uncompromising. She felt that it was out of place any longer to pity
him. He was the slave of his passion; but his passion was strong. In her
reaction against the splendid civility of Severn's silence, (the real
antithesis of which would have been simply the perfect courtesy of
explicit devotion,) she found herself touching with pleasure on the fact
of Richard's brutality. He at least had ventured to insult her. He had
loved her enough to forget himself. He had dared to make himself odious
in her eyes, because he had cast away his sanity. What cared he for the
impression he made? He cared only for the impression he received. The
violence of this reaction, however, was the measure of its duration. It
was impossible that she should walk backward so fast without stumbling.
Brought to her senses by this accident, she became aware that her
judgment was missing. She smiled to herself as she reflected that it had
been taking holiday for a whole afternoon. "Richard was right," she said
to herself. "I am no fool. I can't be a fool if I try. I'm too
thoroughly my father's daughter for that. I love that man, but I love
myself better. Of course, then, I don't deserve to have him. If I loved
him in a way to merit his love, I would sit down this moment and write
him a note telling him that if he does not come back to me, I shall die.
But I shall neither write the note nor die. I shall live and grow stout,
and look after my chickens and my flowers and my colts, and thank the
Lord in my old age that I have never done anything unwomanly. Well! I'm
as He made me. Whether I can deceive others, I know not; but I certainly
can't deceive myself. I'm quite as sharp as Gertrude Whittaker; and this
it is that has kept me from making a fool of myself and writing to poor
Richard the note that I wouldn't write to Captain Severn. I needed to
fancy myself wronged. I suffer so little! I needed a sensation! So,
shrewd Yankee that I am, I thought I would get one cheaply by taking up
that unhappy boy! Heaven preserve me from the heroics, especially the
economical heroics! The one heroic course possible, I decline. What,
then, have I to complain of? Must I tear my hair because a man of taste
has resisted my unspeakable charms? To be charming, you must be charmed
yourself, or at least you must be able to be charmed; and that
apparently I'm not. I didn't love him, or he would have known it. Love
gets love, and no-love gets none."

But at this point of her meditations Gertrude almost broke down. She
felt that she was assigning herself but a dreary future. Never to be
loved but by such a one as Richard Clare was a cheerless prospect; for
it was identical with an eternal spinsterhood. "Am I, then," she
exclaimed, quite as passionately as a woman need do,--"am I, then, cut
off from a woman's dearest joys? What blasphemous nonsense! One thing is
plain: I am made to be a mother; the wife may take care of herself. I am
made to be a wife; the mistress may take care of _her_self. I am in the
Lord's hands," added the poor girl, who, whether or no she could forget
herself in an earthly love, had at all events this mark of a spontaneous
nature, that she could forget herself in a heavenly one. But in the
midst of her pious emotion, she was unable to subdue her conscience. It
smote her heavily for her meditated falsity to Richard, for her
miserable readiness to succumb to the strong temptation to seek a
momentary resting-place in his gaping heart. She recoiled from this
thought as from an act cruel and immoral. Was Richard's heart the place
for her now, any more than it had been a month before? Was she to apply
for comfort where she would not apply for counsel? Was she to drown her
decent sorrows and regrets in a base, a dishonest, an extemporized
passion? Having done the young man so bitter a wrong in intention,
nothing would appease her magnanimous remorse (as time went on) but to
repair it in fact. She went so far as keenly to regret the harsh words
she had cast upon him in the conservatory. He had been insolent and
unmannerly; but he had an excuse. Much should be forgiven him, for he
loved much. Even now that Gertrude had imposed upon her feelings a
sterner regimen than ever, she could not defend herself from a sweet and
sentimental thrill--a thrill in which, as we have intimated, there was
something of a tremor--at the recollection of his strident accents and
his angry eyes. It was yet far from her heart to desire a renewal,
however brief, of this exhibition. She wished simply to efface from the
young man's morbid soul the impression of a real contempt; for she
knew--or she thought that she knew--that against such an impression he
was capable of taking the most fatal and inconsiderate comfort.

Before many mornings had passed, accordingly, she had a horse saddled,
and, dispensing with attendance, she rode rapidly over to his farm. The
house door and half the windows stood open; but no answer came to her
repeated summons. She made her way to the rear of the house, to the
barn-yard, thinly tenanted by a few common fowl, and across the yard to
a road which skirted its lower extremity and was accessible by an open
gate. No human figure was in sight; nothing was visible in the hot
stillness but the scattered and ripening crops, over which, in spite of
her nervous solicitude, Miss Whittaker cast the glance of a connoisseur.
A great uneasiness filled her mind as she measured the rich domain
apparently deserted of its young master, and reflected that she perhaps
was the cause of its abandonment. Ah, where was Richard? As she looked
and listened in vain, her heart rose to her throat, and she felt herself
on the point of calling all too wistfully upon his name. But her voice
was stayed by the sound of a heavy rumble, as of cart-wheels, beyond a
turn in the road. She touched up her horse and cantered along until she
reached the turn. A great four-wheeled cart, laden with masses of newly
broken stone, and drawn by four oxen, was slowly advancing towards her.
Beside it, patiently cracking his whip and shouting monotonously, walked
a young man in a slouched hat and a red shirt, with his trousers thrust
into his dusty boots. It was Richard. As he saw Gertrude, he halted a
moment, amazed, and then advanced, flicking the air with his whip.
Gertrude's heart went out towards him in a silent Thank God! Her next
reflection was that he had never looked so well. The truth is, that, in
this rough adjustment, the native barbarian was duly represented. His
face and neck were browned by a week in the fields, his eye was clear,
his step seemed to have learned a certain manly dignity from its
attendance on the heavy bestial tramp. Gertrude, as he reached her side,
pulled up her horse and held out her gloved fingers to his brown dusty
hand. He took them, looked for a moment into her face, and for the
second time raised them to his lips.

"Excuse my glove," she said, with a little smile.

"Excuse mine," he answered, exhibiting his sunburnt, work-stained hand.

"Richard," said Gertrude, "you never had less need of excuse in your
life. You never looked half so well."

He fixed his eyes upon her a moment. "Why, you have forgiven me!" he

"Yes," said Gertrude, "I have forgiven you,--both you and myself. We
both of us behaved very absurdly, but we both of us had reason. I wish
you had come back."

Richard looked about him, apparently at loss for a rejoinder. "I have
been very busy," he said, at last, with a simplicity of tone slightly
studied. An odd sense of dramatic effect prompted him to say neither
more nor less.

An equally delicate instinct forbade Gertrude to express all the joy
which this assurance gave her. Excessive joy would have implied undue
surprise; and it was a part of her plan frankly to expect the best
things of her companion. "If you have been busy," she said, "I
congratulate you. What have you been doing?"

"O, a hundred things. I have been quarrying, and draining, and clearing,
and I don't know what all. I thought the best thing was just to put my
own hands to it. I am going to make a stone fence along the great lot on
the hill there. Wallace is forever grumbling about his boundaries. I'll
fix them once for all. What are you laughing at?"

"I am laughing at certain foolish apprehensions that I have been
indulging for a week past. You're wiser than I, Richard. I have no

"Do you mean that _I_ have? I haven't enough to guess what you _do_

"Why, do you suppose, have I come over this morning?"

"Because you thought I was sulking on account of your having called me a

"Sulking, or worse. What do I deserve for the wrong I have done you?"

"You have done me no wrong. You reasoned fairly enough. You are not
obliged to know me better than I know myself. It's just like you to be
ready to take back that bad word, and try to make yourself believe that
it was unjust. But it was perfectly just, and therefore I have managed
to bear it. I _was_ a fool at that moment,--a stupid, impudent fool. I
don't know whether that man had been making love to you or not. But you
had, I think, been feeling love for him,--you looked it; I should have
been less than a man, I should be unworthy of your--your affection, if I
had failed to see it. I did see it,--I saw it as clearly as I see those
oxen now; and yet I bounced in with my own ill-timed claims. To do so
was to be a fool. To have been other than a fool would have been to have
waited, to have backed out, to have bitten my tongue off before I spoke,
to have done anything but what I did. I have no right to claim you,
Gertrude, until I can woo you better than that. It was the most
fortunate thing in the world that you spoke as you did: it was even
kind. It saved me all the misery of groping about for a starting-point.
Not to have spoken as you did would have been to fail of justice; and
then, probably, I should have sulked, or, as you very considerately say,
done worse. I had made a false move in the game, and the only thing to
do was to repair it. But you were not obliged to know that I would so
readily admit my move to have been false. Whenever I have made a fool of
myself before, I have been for sticking it out, and trying to turn all
mankind--that is, _you_--into a a fool too, so that I shouldn't be an
exception. But this time, I think, I had a kind of inspiration. I felt
that my case was desperate. I felt that if I adopted my folly now I
adopted it forever. The other day I met a man who had just come home
from Europe, and who spent last summer in Switzerland. He was telling me
about the mountain-climbing over there,--how they get over the glaciers,
and all that. He said that you sometimes came upon great slippery,
steep, snow-covered slopes that end short off in a precipice, and that
if you stumble or lose your footing as you cross them horizontally, why
you go shooting down, and you're gone; that is, but for one little
dodge. You have a long walking-pole with a sharp end, you know, and as
you feel yourself sliding,--it's as likely as not to be in a sitting
posture,--you just take this and ram it into the snow before you, and
there you are, stopped. The thing is, of course, to drive it in far
enough, so that it won't yield or break; and in any case it hurts
infernally to come whizzing down upon this upright pole. But the
interruption gives you time to pick yourself up. Well, so it was with me
the other day. I stumbled and fell; I slipped, and was whizzing
downward; but I just drove in my pole and pulled up short. It nearly
tore me in two; but it saved my life." Richard made this speech with one
hand leaning on the neck of Gertrude's horse, and the other on his own
side, and with his head slightly thrown back and his eyes on hers. She
had sat quietly in her saddle, returning his gaze. He had spoken slowly
and deliberately; but without hesitation and without heat. "This is not
romance," thought Gertrude, "it's reality." And this feeling it was that
dictated her reply, divesting it of romance so effectually as almost to
make it sound trivial.

"It was fortunate you had a walking-pole," she said.

"I shall never travel without one again."

"Never, at least," smiled Gertrude, "with a companion who has the bad
habit of pushing you off the path."

"O, you may push all you like," said Richard. "I give you leave. But
isn't this enough about myself?"

"That's as you think."

"Well, it's all I have to say for the present, except that I am
prodigiously glad to see you, and that of course you will stay awhile."

"But you have your work to do."

"Dear me, never you mind my work. I've earned my dinner this morning, if
you have no objection; and I propose to share it with you. So we will
go back to the house." He turned her horse's head about, started up his
oxen with his voice, and walked along beside her on the grassy roadside,
with one hand in the horse's mane, and the other swinging his whip.

Before they reached the yard-gate, Gertrude had revolved his speech.
"Enough about himself," she said, silently echoing his words. "Yes,
Heaven be praised, it _is_ about himself. I am but a means in this
matter,--he himself, his own character, his own happiness, is the end."
Under this conviction it seemed to her that her part was appreciably
simplified. Richard was learning wisdom and self-control, and to
exercise his reason. Such was the suit that he was destined to gain. Her
duty was as far as possible to remain passive, and not to interfere with
the working of the gods who had selected her as the instrument of their
prodigy. As they reached the gate, Richard made a trumpet of his hands,
and sent a ringing summons into the fields; whereupon a farm-boy
approached, and, with an undisguised stare of amazement at Gertrude,
took charge of his master's team. Gertrude rode up to the door-step,
where her host assisted her to dismount, and bade her go in and make
herself at home, while he busied himself with the bestowal of her horse.
She found that, in her absence, the old woman who administered her
friend's household had reappeared, and had laid out the preparations for
his mid-day meal. By the time he returned, with his face and head
shining from a fresh ablution, and his shirt-sleeves decently concealed
by a coat, Gertrude had apparently won the complete confidence of the
good wife.

Gertrude doffed her hat, and tucked up her riding-skirt, and sat down to
a _tête-à-tête_ over Richard's crumpled table-cloth. The young man
played the host very soberly and naturally; and Gertrude hardly knew
whether to augur from his perfect self-possession that her star was
already on the wane, or that it had waxed into a steadfast and eternal
sun. The solution of her doubts was not far to seek; Richard was
absolutely at his ease in her presence. He had told her indeed that she
intoxicated him; and truly, in those moments when she was compelled to
oppose her dewy eloquence to his fervid importunities, her whole
presence seemed to him to exhale a singularly potent sweetness. He had
told her that she was an enchantress, and this assertion, too, had its
measure of truth. But her spell was a steady one; it sprang not from her
beauty, her wit, her figure,--it sprang from her character. When she
found herself aroused to appeal or to resistance, Richard's pulses were
quickened to what he had called intoxication, not by her smiles, her
gestures, her glances, or any accession of that material beauty which
she did not possess, but by a generous sense of her virtues in action.
In other words, Gertrude exercised the magnificent power of making her
lover forget her face. Agreeably to this fact, his habitual feeling in
her presence was one of deep repose,--a sensation not unlike that which
in the early afternoon, as he lounged in his orchard with a pipe, he
derived from the sight of the hot and vaporous hills. He was innocent,
then, of that delicious trouble which Gertrude's thoughts had touched
upon as a not unnatural result of her visit, and which another woman's
fancy would perhaps have dwelt upon as an indispensable proof of its
success. "Porphyro grew faint," the poet assures us, as he stood in
Madeline's chamber on Saint Agnes' eve. But Richard did not in the least
grow faint now that his mistress was actually filling his musty old room
with her voice, her touch, her looks; that she was sitting in his
unfrequented chairs, trailing her skirt over his faded carpet, casting
her perverted image upon his mirror, and breaking his daily bread. He
was not fluttered when he sat at her well-served table, and trod her
muffled floors. Why, then, should he be fluttered now? Gertrude was
herself in all places, and (once granted that she was at peace) to be
at her side was to drink peace as fully in one place as in another.

Richard accordingly ate a great working-day dinner in Gertrude's
despite, and she ate a small one for his sake. She asked questions
moreover, and offered counsel with most sisterly freedom. She deplored
the rents in his table-cloth, and the dismemberments of his furniture;
and although by no means absurdly fastidious in the matter of household
elegance, she could not but think that Richard would be a happier and a
better man if he were a little more comfortable. She forbore, however,
to criticise the poverty of his _entourage_, for she felt that the
obvious answer was, that such a state of things was the penalty of his
living alone; and it was desirable, under the circumstances, that this
idea should remain implied.

When at last Gertrude began to bethink herself of going, Richard broke a
long silence by the following question: "Gertrude, _do_ you love that

"Richard," she answered, "I refused to tell you before, because you
asked the question as a right. Of course you do so no longer. No. I do
not love him. I have been near it,--but I have missed it. And now good

For a week after her visit, Richard worked as bravely and steadily as he
had done before it. But one morning he woke up lifeless, morally
speaking. His strength had suddenly left him. He had been straining his
faith in himself to a prodigious tension, and the chord had suddenly
snapped. In the hope that Gertrude's tender fingers might repair it, he
rode over to her towards evening. On his way through the village, he
found people gathered in knots, reading fresh copies of the Boston
newspapers over each other's shoulders, and learned that tidings had
just come of a great battle in Virginia, which was also a great defeat.
He procured a copy of the paper from a man who had read it out, and made
haste to Gertrude's dwelling.

Gertrude received his story with those passionate imprecations and
regrets which were then in fashion. Before long, Major Luttrel presented
himself, and for half an hour there was no talk but about the battle.
The talk, however, was chiefly between Gertrude and the Major, who found
considerable ground for difference, she being a great radical and he a
decided conservative. Richard sat by, listening apparently, but with the
appearance of one to whom the matter of the discourse was of much less
interest than the manner of those engaged in it. At last, when tea was
announced, Gertrude told her friends, very frankly, that she would not
invite them to remain,--that her heart was too heavy with her country's
woes, and with the thought of so great a butchery, to allow her to play
the hostess,--and that, in short, she was in the humor to be alone. Of
course there was nothing for the gentlemen but to obey; but Richard went
out cursing the law, under which, in the hour of his mistress's sorrow,
his company was a burden and not a relief. He watched in vain, as he
bade her farewell, for some little sign that she would fain have him
stay, but that as she wished to get rid of his companion civility
demanded that she should dismiss them both. No such sign was
forthcoming, for the simple reason that Gertrude was sensible of no
conflict between her desires. The men mounted their horses in silence,
and rode slowly along the lane which led from Miss Whittaker's stables
to the high-road. As they approached the top of the lane, they perceived
in the twilight a mounted figure coming towards them. Richard's heart
began to beat with an angry foreboding, which was confirmed as the rider
drew near and disclosed Captain Severn's features. Major Luttrel and he,
being bound in courtesy to a brief greeting, pulled up their horses; and
as an attempt to pass them in narrow quarters would have been a greater
incivility than even Richard was prepared to commit, he likewise

"This is ugly news, isn't it?" said Severn. "It has determined me to go
back to-morrow."

"Go back where?" asked Richard.

"To my regiment."

"Are you well enough?" asked Major Luttrel. "How is that wound?"

"It's so much better that I believe it can finish getting well down
there as easily as here. Good by, Major. I hope we shall meet again."
And he shook hands with Major Luttrel. "Good by, Mr. Clare." And,
somewhat to Richard's surprise, he stretched over and held out his hand
to him.

Richard felt that it was tremulous, and, looking hard into his face, he
thought it wore a certain unwonted look of excitement. And then his
fancy coursed back to Gertrude, sitting where he had left her, in the
sentimental twilight, alone with her heavy heart. With a word, he
reflected, a single little word, a look, a motion, this happy man whose
hand I hold can heal her sorrows. "Oh!" cried Richard, "that by this
hand I might hold him fast forever!"

It seemed to the Captain that Richard's grasp was needlessly protracted
and severe. "What a grip the poor fellow has!" he thought. "Good by," he
repeated aloud, disengaging himself.

"Good by," said Richard. And then he added, he hardly knew why, "Are you
going to bid good by to Miss Whittaker?"

"Yes. Isn't she at home?"

Whether Richard really paused or not before he answered, he never knew.
There suddenly arose such a tumult in his bosom that it seemed to him
several moments before he became conscious of his reply. But it is
probable that to Severn it came only too soon.

"No," said Richard; "she's not at home. We have just been calling." As
he spoke, he shot a glance at his companion, armed with defiance of his
impending denial. But the Major just met his glance and then dropped his
eyes. This slight motion was a horrible revelation. He had served the
Major too.

"Ah? I'm sorry," said Severn, slacking his rein,--"I'm sorry." And from
his saddle he looked down toward the house more longingly and
regretfully than he knew.

Richard felt himself turning from pale to consuming crimson. There was a
simple sincerity in Severn's words which was almost irresistible. For a
moment he felt like shouting out a loud denial of his falsehood: "She is
there! she's alone and in tears, awaiting you. Go to her--and be
damned!" But before he could gather his words into his throat, they were
arrested by Major Luttrel's cool, clear voice, which in its calmness
seemed to cast scorn upon his weakness.

"Captain," said the Major, "I shall be very happy to take charge of your

"Thank you, Major. Pray do. Say how extremely sorry I was. Good by
again." And Captain Severn hastily turned his horse about, gave him his
spurs, and galloped away, leaving his friends standing alone in the
middle of the road. As the sound of his retreat expired, Richard, in
spite of himself, drew a long breath. He sat motionless in the saddle,
hanging his head.

"Mr. Clare," said the Major, at last, "that was very cleverly done."

Richard looked up. "I never told a lie before," said he.

"Upon my soul, then, you did it uncommonly well. You did it so well I
almost believed you. No wonder that Severn did."

Richard was silent. Then suddenly he broke out, "In God's name, sir, why
don't you call me a blackguard? I've done a beastly act!"

"O, come," said the Major, "you needn't mind that, with me. We'll
consider that said. I feel bound to let you know that I'm very, very
much obliged to you. If you hadn't spoken, how do you know but that I

"If you had, I would have given you the lie, square in your teeth."

"Would you, indeed? It's very fortunate, then, I held my tongue. If you
will have it so, I won't deny that your little improvisation sounded
very ugly. I'm devilish glad I didn't make it, if you come to that."

Richard felt his wit sharpened by a most unholy scorn,--a scorn far
greater for his companion than for himself. "I am glad to hear that it
did sound ugly," he said. "To me, it seemed beautiful, holy, and just.
For the space of a moment, it seemed absolutely right that I should say
what I did. But you saw the lie in its horrid nakedness, and yet you let
it pass. You have no excuse."

"I beg your pardon. You are immensely ingenious, but you are immensely
wrong. Are you going to make out that I am the guilty party? Upon my
word, you're a cool hand. I _have_ an excuse. I have the excuse of being
interested in Miss Whittaker's remaining unengaged."

"So I suppose. But you don't love her. Otherwise--"

Major Luttrel laid his hand on Richard's bridle. "Mr. Clare," said he,
"I have no wish to talk metaphysics over this matter. You had better say
no more. I know that your feelings are not of an enviable kind, and I am
therefore prepared to be good-natured with you. But you must be civil
yourself. You have done a shabby deed; you are ashamed of it, and you
wish to shift the responsibility upon me, which is more shabby still. My
advice is, that you behave like a man of spirit, and swallow your
apprehensions. I trust that you are not going to make a fool of yourself
by any apology or retraction in any quarter. As for its having seemed
holy and just to do what you did, that is mere bosh. A lie is a lie, and
as such is often excusable. As anything else,--as a thing beautiful,
holy, or just,--it's quite inexcusable. Yours was a lie to you, and a
lie to me. It serves me, and I accept it. I suppose you understand me. I
adopt it. You don't suppose it was because I was frightened by those
big black eyes of yours that I held my tongue. As for my loving or not
loving Miss Whittaker, I have no report to make to you about it. I will
simply say that I intend, if possible, to marry her."

"She'll not have you. She'll never marry a cold-blooded rascal."

"I think she'll prefer him to a hot-blooded one. Do you want to pick a
quarrel with me? Do you want to make me lose my temper? I shall refuse
you that satisfaction. You have been a coward, and you want to frighten
some one before you go to bed to make up for it. Strike me, and I'll
strike you in self-defence, but I'm not going to mind your talk. Have
you anything to say? No? Well, then, good evening." And Major Luttrel
started away.

It was with rage that Richard was dumb. Had he been but a cat's-paw
after all? Heaven forbid! He sat irresolute for an instant, and then
turned suddenly and cantered back to Gertrude's gate. Here he stopped
again; but after a short pause he went in over the gravel with a
fast-beating heart. O, if Luttrel were but there to see him! For a
moment he fancied he heard the sound of the Major's returning steps. If
he would only come and find him at confession! It would be so easy to
confess before him! He went along beside the house to the front, and
stopped beneath the open drawing-room window.

"Gertrude!" he cried softly, from his saddle.

Gertrude immediately appeared. "You, Richard!" she exclaimed.

Her voice was neither harsh nor sweet; but her words and her intonation
recalled vividly to Richard's mind the scene in the conservatory. He
fancied them keenly expressive of disappointment. He was invaded by a
mischievous conviction that she had been expecting Captain Severn, or
that at the least she had mistaken his voice for the Captain's. The
truth is that she had half fancied it might be,--Richard's call having
been little more than a loud whisper. The young man sat looking up at
her, silent.

"What do you want?" she asked. "Can I do anything for you?"

Richard was not destined to do his duty that evening. A certain
infinitesimal dryness of tone on Gertrude's part was the inevitable
result of her finding that that whispered summons came only from
Richard. She was preoccupied. Captain Severn had told her a fortnight
before, that, in case of news of a defeat, he should not await the
expiration of his leave of absence to return. Such news had now come,
and her inference was that her friend would immediately take his
departure. She could not but suppose that he would come and bid her
farewell, and what might not be the incidents, the results, of such a
visit? To tell the whole truth, it was under the pressure of these
reflections that, twenty minutes before, Gertrude had dismissed our two
gentlemen. That this long story should be told in the dozen words with
which she greeted Richard, will seem unnatural to the disinterested
reader. But in those words, poor Richard, with a lover's clairvoyance,
read it at a single glance. The same resentful impulse, the same
sickening of the heart, that he had felt in the conservatory, took
possession of him once more. To be witness of Severn's passion for
Gertrude,--that he could endure. To be witness of Gertrude's passion for
Severn,--against that obligation his reason rebelled.

"What is it you wish, Richard?" Gertrude repeated. "Have you forgotten

"Nothing! nothing!" cried the young man. "It's no matter!"

He gave a great pull at his bridle, and almost brought his horse back on
his haunches, and then, wheeling him about on himself, he thrust in his
spurs and galloped out of the gate.

On the highway he came upon Major Luttrel, who stood looking down the

"I'm going to the Devil, sir!" cried Richard. "Give me your hand on it."

Luttrel held out his hand. "My poor young man," said he, "you're out of
your head. I'm sorry for you. You haven't been making a fool of

"Yes, a damnable fool of myself!"

Luttrel breathed freely. "You'd better go home and go to bed," he said.
"You'll make yourself ill by going on at this rate."

"I--I'm afraid to go home," said Richard, in a broken voice. "For God's
sake, come with me!"--and the wretched fellow burst into tears. "I'm too
bad for any company but yours," he cried, in his sobs.

The Major winced, but he took pity. "Come, come," said he, "we'll pull
through. I'll go home with you."

They rode off together. That night Richard went to bed miserably drunk;
although Major Luttrel had left him at ten o'clock, adjuring him to
drink no more. He awoke the next morning in a violent fever; and before
evening the doctor, whom one of his hired men had brought to his
bedside, had come and looked grave and pronounced him very ill.



As my own fancy led me into the Greenland seas, so chance sent me into a
Greenland port. It was a choice little harbor, a good way north of the
Arctic Circle,--fairly within the realm of hyperborean barrenness,--very
near the northernmost border of civilized settlement. But civilization
was exhibited there by unmistakable evidences;--a very dilute
civilization, it is true, yet, such as it was, outwardly recognizable;
for Christian habitations and Christian beings were in sight from the
vessel's deck,--at least some of the human beings who appeared upon the
beach were dressed like Christians, and veritable smoke curled
gracefully upward into the bright air above the roofs of houses from
veritable chimneys.

We had been fighting the Arctic ice and the Arctic storms for so long a
time, that it was truly refreshing to get into this good harbor. The
little craft which had borne us thither seemed positively to enjoy her
repose, as she lay quietly to her anchors on the still waters, in the
calm air and the blazing sunshine of the Arctic noonday. As for myself,
I was simply wondering what I should find ashore. A slender fringe of
European custom bordering native barbarism and dirt was what I
anticipated; for, as I looked upon the naked rocks,--which there, as in
other Greenland ports, afforded room for a few straggling huts of native
fishermen and hunters, with only now and then a more pretentious white
man's lodge,--I could hardly imagine that much would be found seductive
to the fancy or inviting to the eye. A country where there is no soil to
yield any part of man's subsistence seemed to offer such a slender
chance for man in the battle of life, that I could well imagine it to be
repulsive rather than attractive; yet I was eager to see how poor men
might be, and live.

While thus looking forward to a novel experience, I was unconsciously
preparing myself for a great surprise. Whatever there might be of
poverty in the condition of the few dozens of human beings who there
forced a scanty subsistence from the sea, I was to discover one person
in the place who did in no way share it,--who, born as it might seem to
different destinies, yet, voluntarily choosing wild Nature for
companionship, and rising superior to the forbidding climate and the
general desolation, rejoiced here in his own strong manhood, and lived
seemingly contented as well with himself as with the great world of
which he heard from afar but the faint murmurs.

The anchors had been down about an hour, and the bustle and confusion
necessarily attending an entrance into port had subsided. The sails were
stowed, the decks were cleared up, and the ropes were coiled. A port
watch was set. The crew had received their "liberty," and there was much
wondering among them whether Esquimau eyes could speak a tender welcome.
Nor had the Danish flag been forgotten. That swallow-tailed emblem of a
gallant nationality--which, according to song and tradition, has the
enviable distinction of having

    "Come from heaven down, my boys,
    Ay, come from heaven down"--

was fluttering from a white flag-staff at the front of the
government-house, and we had answered its display by running up our own
Danish colors at the fore, and saluting them with our signal-gun in all
due form and courtesy.

Soon after reaching the anchorage I had despatched an officer to look up
the chief ruler of the place, and to assure him of the great pleasure I
should have in calling upon him, if he would name an hour convenient to
himself; and I was awaiting my messenger's return with some impatience,
when suddenly I heard the thump of his heavy sea boots on the deck
above. In a few moments he entered the cabin, and reported that the
governor was absent, but that his office was temporarily filled by a
gentleman who had been good enough to accompany him on board,--the
surgeon of the settlement, Doctor Molke; and then stepping aside, Doctor
Molke passed through the narrow doorway and stood before me, bowing. I
bowed in return, and bade him welcome, saying, I suppose, just what any
other person would have said under like circumstances, (not, however,
supposing for a moment that I was understood,) and then, turning to the
officer, I signified my wish that he should act as interpreter. But that
was needless. My Greenland visitor answered me, in pure, unbroken
English, with as little hesitation as if he had spoken no other language
all his life; and in conclusion he said: "I come to invite you to my
poor house, and to offer you my service. I can give you but a feeble
welcome in this outlandish place, but such as I have is yours; and if
you will accompany me ashore, I shall be much delighted."

The delight was mutual; and it was not many minutes before, seated in
the stern sheets of a whale-boat, we were pulling towards the land.

My new-found friend interested me at once. The surprise at finding
myself addressed in English was increased when I discovered that this
Greenland official bore every mark of refinement, culture, and high
breeding. His manner was wholly free from restraint; and it struck me as
something odd that all the self-possession and ease of a thorough man of
the world should be exhibited in this desert place. He did not seem to
be at all aware that there was anything incongruous in either his dress
or manner and his present situation; yet this man, who sat with me in
the stern sheets of a battered whale-boat, pulling across a Greenland
harbor to a Greenland settlement, might, with the simple addition of a
pair of suitable gloves, have stepped as he was into a ball-room without
giving rise to any other remark than would be excited by his bearing.

His graceful figure was well set off by a neatly fitting and closely
buttoned blue frock-coat, ornamented with gilt buttons, and embroidered
cuffs, and heavily braided shoulder-knots. A decoration on his breast
told that he was a favorite with his king. His finely shaped head was
covered by a blue cloth cap, having a gilt band and the royal emblems.
Over his shoulders was thrown a cloak of mottled seal-skins, lined with
the warm and beautiful fur of the Arctic fox. His cleanly shaven face
was finely formed and full of force, while a soft blue eye spoke of
gentleness and good-nature, and with fair hair completed the evidences
of Scandinavian birth.

My curiosity became much excited. "How," thought I, "in the name of
everything mysterious, has it happened that such a man should have
turned up in such a place?" From curiosity I passed to amazement, as his
mind unfolded itself, and his tastes were manifested. I was prepared to
be received by a fur-clad hunter, a coppery-faced Esquimau, or a meek
and pious missionary, upon whose face privation and penance had set
their seal; but for this high-spirited, high-bred, graceful, and
evidently accomplished gentleman, I was not prepared.

I could not refrain from one leading observation. "I suppose, Doctor
Molke," said I, "that you have not been here long enough to have yet
wholly exhausted the novelty of these noble hills!"

"Eleven years, one would think," replied he, "ought to pretty well
exhaust anything; and yet I cannot say that these hills, upon which my
eyes rest continually, have grown to be wearisome companions, even if
they may appear something forbidding."

Eleven years among these barren hills! Eleven years in Greenland!!
Surely, thought I, this is something "passing strange."

The scene around us as we crossed the bay was indeed imposing, and,
though desolate enough, was certainly not without its bright and
cheerful side. Behind us rose a majestic line of cliffs, climbing up
into the clouds in giant steps, picturesque yet solid,--a great massive
pedestal, as it were, supporting mountain piled on mountain, with caps
of snow whitening their summits, and great glaciers hanging on their
sides. Before us lay the town,--built upon a gnarled spur of primitive
rock, which seemed to have crept from underneath the lofty cliffs, as a
serpent from its hiding-place, and, after wriggling through the sea, to
have stopped at length, when it had almost completely enclosed a
beautiful sheet of water about a mile long by half a mile broad, leaving
but one narrow, winding entrance to it. Through this entrance the swell
of the sea could never come to disturb the silent bay, which lay there,
nestling among the dark rocks beneath the mountain shadows, as calmly as
a Swiss lake in an Alpine valley.

But the rocky spur which supported on its rough back what there was of
the town wore a most woe-begone and distressed aspect. A few little
patches of grass and moss were visible, but generally there was nothing
to be seen but the cold gray-red naked rocks, broken and twisted into
knots and knobs, and cut across with deep and ugly cracks. I could but
wonder that on such a dreary spot man should ever think of seeking a
dwelling-place; and my companion must have interpreted my thoughts, for
he pointed to the shore, and said playfully, "Ah! it is true, you behold
at last the fruits of wisdom and instruction,--a city founded on a
rock." And then, after a moment's pause, he added: "Let me point out to
you the great features of this new wonder. First, to the right there,
underneath that little, low, black, peaked roof, dwells the royal
cook,--a Dane who came out here a long time ago, married a native of
the country, and rejoices in a brood of half-breeds, among whom are four
girls, rather dusky, but not ill-favored. Next in order is the
government-house,--that pitch-coated structure near the flag-staff. This
is the only building, you observe, that can boast of a double tier of
windows. Next, a little higher up, you see, is my own lodge, bedaubed
with pitch, like the other, to protect it against the assaults of the
weather, and to stop the little cracks. Down by the beach, a little
farther on, that largest building of all is the store-house, &c., where
the Governor keeps all sorts of traps for trade with the natives, and
where the shops are in which the cooper fixes up the oil-barrels, and
where other like industrial pursuits are carried on. A little farther on
you observe a low structure where the oil is stored. On the ledge above
the shop you see another pitchy building. This furnishes quarters for
the half-dozen Danish employees,--fellows who, not having married native
wives, hunt and fish for the glory of Denmark. Near the den of these
worthies you observe another,--a duplicate of that in which lives the
cook. There lives the royal cooper; and not far from it are two others,
not quite so pretentious, where dwell the carpenter and blacksmith,--all
of whom have followed the worthy example of the cook, and have dusky
sons and daughters to console their declining years. You may perhaps be
able to distinguish a few moss-covered hovels dotted about here and
there,--perhaps there may be twenty of them in all, though there are but
few of them in sight. These are the huts of native hunters. At present
they are not occupied, for, being without roofs that will turn water,
the people are compelled to abandon them when the snow begins to melt in
the spring, and betake themselves to seal-skin tents, some of which you
observe scattered here and there among the rocks. And now I've shown you
everything,--just in time, too, for here we are at the landing."

We had drawn in close to the end of a narrow pier, run out into the
water on slender piles, and, quickly ascending some steps, the Doctor
led the way up to his house. The whole settlement had turned out to meet
us, men, women, children, and dogs,--which latter, about two hundred in
number, "little dogs and all," set up an ear-splitting cry, wild and
strangely in keeping with every other part of the scene, and like
nothing so much as the dismal evening concert of a pack of wolves. The
children, on the other hand, kept quiet, and clung to their mothers, as
all children do in exciting times; the mothers grinned and laughed and
chattered, "as becomes the gentler sex" in the savage state; while the
men, all smoking short clay pipes, (one of their customs borrowed from
civilization,) looked on with that air of stolid indifference peculiar
to the male barbarian. They were mostly dressed in suits of seal-skins,
but some of them wore greasy Guernsey frocks and other European
clothing. Many of the women carried cunning-looking babies strapped upon
their backs in seal-skin pouches. The heads of men and women alike were
for the most part capless; but every one of the dark, beardless faces
was surmounted by a heavy mass of straight, uncombed, and tangled
jet-black hair. There were some half-breed girls standing in little
groups upon the rocks, who, adding something of taste to the simple need
of an artificial covering for the body, were attired in dresses, which,
although of the Esquimau fashion, were quite neatly ornamented. While
passing through this curious crowd, the eye could not but find pleasure
in the novel scene, the more especially as the delight of these
half-barbarous people was excited to the highest pitch by the strange
being who had come among them.

But if what the eye drank in gave delight, less fortunate the nose; for
from about the store-house and the native huts, and, indeed, from almost
everywhere, welled up that horrid odor of decomposing oil and fish and
flesh peculiar to a fishing-town. On this account, if on no other, I
was not sorry when we reached our destination.

"You like not this Greenland odor?" said my conductor. "Luckily it does
not reach me here, or I should seek a still higher perch to roost
on";--saying which, he opened the door and led the way inside, first
through a little vestibule into a square hall, where we deposited our
fur coats, and then to the right, into a small room furnished with a
table, an old pine bench, a single chair, a case with glass doors
containing white jars and glass bottles having Latin labels, and
smelling dreadfully of doctor's stuffs.

"I always come through here," said my host, "after passing the town. It
gives the olfactories a new sensation. This, you observe, is the place
where I physic the people."

"Have you many patients, Doctor?" I inquired.

"Not very many; but, considering that I go sometimes a hundred miles or
so to see the suffering sinners, I have quite enough to satisfy me. Not
much competition, you know. But come, we have some lunch waiting for us
in the next room, and Sophy will be growing impatient."

A lady, eh?

The room into which the Doctor ushered me was neatly furnished. On the
walls were hung some prints and paintings of fruits and animals and
flowers, and in the centre stood a small round table covered with dishes
carefully placed on a snowy cloth.

All very nice, but who's Sophy?

The Doctor tinkled a little bell, the tones of which told that it was
silver; and then, all radiant with smiles and beaming with good-nature,
Sophy entered. A strange apparition.

"This is my housekeeper," said the Doctor, in explanation; "speak to the
American, Sophy."

And, without embarrassment or pausing for an instant, she advanced and
bade me welcome, addressing me in fair English, and extending at the
same time a delicate little hand, which peeped out from cuffs of
eider-down. "I am glad," said she, "to see the American. I have been
looking through the window at him ever since he left the ship."

"Now, Sophy," said the Doctor, "let us see what you have got us for

"O, I haven't anything at all, Doctor Molke," answered Sophy; "but I
hope the American will excuse me until dinner, when I have some nice
trout and venison."

"'Pot-luck,' as I told you," exclaimed my host. "But never mind, Sophy,
let's have it, be it what it may." And Sophy tripped lightly out of the
room to do her master's bidding.

"A right good girl that," said the Doctor, when the door was closed.
"Takes capital care of me."

Strange Sophy! A pretty face of dusky hue, and a fine figure attired in
native costume, neatly ornamented and arranged with cultivated taste.
Pantaloons of mottled seal-skin, and of silvery lustre, tapered down
into long white boots, which enclosed the neatest of ankles and the
daintiest of feet. A little jacket of Scotch plaid, with a collar and
border of fur, covered the body to the waist, while from beneath the
collar peeped up a pure white cambric handkerchief, covering the throat;
and heavy masses of glossy black hair were intertwined with ribbons of
gay red. Marvellous Sophy! Dusky daughter of a Danish father and a
native mother. From her mother she had her rich brunette complexion and
raven hair; from her father, Saxon features, and light blue Saxon eyes.

If the housekeeper attracted my attention, so did the dishes which she
set before me. Smoked salmon of exquisite delicacy, reindeer sausages,
reindeer tongues nicely dried and thinly sliced, and fine fresh Danish
bread, made up a style of "pot-luck" calculated to cause a hungry man
from the high seas and sailors' "prog" to wish for the same style of
luck for the remainder of his days. But when all this came to be washed
down with the contents of sundry bottles with which Sophy dotted the
clean white cloth, the "luck" was perfect, and there was nothing further
to desire.

"Ah! here we are," said my entertainer. "Sophy wishes to make amends for
the dryness of her fare. This is a choice Margaux, and I can recommend
it. But, Sophy, here, you haven't warmed this quite enough. Ah! my dear
sir, you experience the trouble of a Greenland life. One can never get
his wines properly tempered."

One cannot get his wines properly tempered!--and this is the trouble of
a Greenland life!! "Surely," thought I, "one might find something worse
than this."

"Here," picking up the next bottle, "we have some Johannisberg, very
fine as I can assure you; but I have little fancy even for the best of
these Rhenish wines. Too much like a pretty woman without soul. They
never warm the imagination. There's something better to build upon there
close beside your elbow. Since the claret's forbidden us for the
present, I'll drink you welcome in that rich Madeira. Why, do you know,
sir," rattled on the Doctor, as I passed the bottle, seemingly rejoiced
in his very heart at having some one to talk to,--"do you know, sir,
that I have kept that by me here these ten years past? My good old
father sent it to me as a mark of special favor. Why, sir, it has a
pedigree as long as one of Locksley's cloth-yard shafts. But the
pedigree will keep: let's prove it,"--and he filled up two dainty French
straw-stem glasses, and pledged me in the good old Danish style. Then,
when the claret came back, this time all rightly tempered, the Doctor
filled the glasses, and hoped that, when I "left this place, the girls
would pull lustily on the tow-ropes."

Hunger and thirst were soon appeased. "And now," said the Doctor, when
this was done, "I know you are dying for the want of something fresh and
green. You have probably tasted nothing that grew out of dear old Mother
Earth since leaving home";--and he tinkled his silver bell again, and
Sophy of the silver seal-skin pantaloons and dainty boots tripped softly
through the door.

"Sophy, haven't you a surprise for the American?"

Sophy smiled knowingly, and said, "Yes," as she retreated. In a moment
she came back, carrying a little silver dish, with a little green
pyramid upon it. Out from the green peeped little round red
globes,--_radishes_, as I lived!--round red radishes!--_ten_ round red

"What! radishes in Greenland!" I exclaimed involuntarily.

"Yes, and raised on my own farm, too; you shall see it by and by." The
Doctor was enjoying my surprise, and Sophy looked on with undisguised
satisfaction. Meanwhile I lost no time in tumbling the pyramid to
pieces, and crunching the delicious bulbs. They disappeared in a
twinkling. Their rich and luscious juices seemed to pour at once into
the very blood, and to tingle at the very finger-tips. I never knew
before the full enjoyment of the fresh growth of the soil. After so long
a deprivation it was indeed a strange, as it will remain a lasting
sensation. Never to my dying day shall I forget the ten radishes of

"You see that I was right," exclaimed my host, after the vigorous
assault was ended. "And now," continued he, addressing Sophy, "bring the
other things."

The "other things" proved to be a plate of fine lettuce, a bit of
Stilton cheese, and coffee in transparent little china cups, and sugar
in a silver bowl, and then cigars,--everything of the best and purest;
and as we passed from one thing to another, I became at length persuaded
that the Arctic Circle was a myth, that my cruise among the icebergs was
a dream, and that Greenland was set down wrongly on the maps. Long
before this I had been convinced that Doctor Molke was a most mysterious
character, and wholly unaccountable.

After we had finished this sumptuous lunch and chatted for a while, the
Doctor surprised me again by asking if I would like a game of billiards.
(Billiards in Greenland, as well as radishes!) "But first," said he,
"let us try this sunny Burgundy. Ah! these red wines are the only truly
generous wines. They monopolize all the sensuous glories and
associations of the fruit. With these red wines one drinks in the very
soul and sentiment of the lands which grow the grapes that breed them."

"Even if drank in Greenland?"

"Yes, or at the very Pole. Geographical lines may confine our bodies;
but nature is an untamed wild, where the spirit roams at will. If I am
here hemmed in by barren hills, and live in a desert waste, yet, as one
of your sweetest poets has put it, my

            'Fancy, like the finger of a clock,
    Runs the great circuit and is still at home';

and truly, I believe that I have in this retreat about as much enjoyment
of life as they who taste of it more freely; for while I can here feel
all the world's warm pulsations, I am freed from its annoyances: if the
sweet is less sweet, the bitter is less bitter. But--Well, let's have
the billiards."

My host now led the way into the billiard-room, which was tastefully
ornamented with everything needful to harmonize with a handsome table
standing in its centre, upon which we were soon knocking the balls about
in an ill-matched game, for he beat me sadly. I was much surprised at
the skilfulness of his play, and remarked that I thought it something
singular that he "should there find any one to keep him so well in

"Ah! my dear sir," said he, "you have yet much to learn. This country is
not so bad as you think for. Sophy--native-born Sophy--is my antagonist,
and she beats me three times out of five." Wonderful Sophy!

The game finished, my host next led the way into his study. A charming
retreat as ever human wit and ingenuity devised. It was indeed rather a
parlor than a study. The room was quite large, and was literally filled
with odd bits of furniture, elegant and well kept. Heavy crimson
curtains were draped about the windows, a rich crimson carpet covered
the floor, and there were lounges and chairs of various patterns,
adapted for every temper of mind or mood of body,--all of the same
pleasing color. Odd _étagères_, hanging and standing, and a large solid
walnut case, were all well filled with books, and other books were
carefully arranged on a table in the centre of the room. Among them my
eye quickly detected the works of various English authors, conspicuous
among which were Shakespeare, Byron, Scott, Dickens, Cooper, and
Washington Irving. Sam Slick had a place there, and close beside him was
the renowned Lemuel Gulliver; and in science there were, beside many
others, Brewster, Murchison, and Lyell. The books all showed that they
were well used, and they embraced the principal classical stores of the
French and German tongues, beside the English and his own native Danish.
In short, the collection was precisely such as one would expect to find
in any civilized place, where means were not wanting, the disposition to
read a habit and a pleasure, and the books themselves boon companions.

A charming feature of the room was the air of refreshing _négligé_ with
which sundry robes of bear and fox skins were tossed about upon the
chairs and lounges and floor; while the blank spaces of the walls were
broken by numerous pictures, some of them apparently family relics, and
on little brackets were various souvenirs of art and travel.

"I call this my study," said the Doctor; "but in truth there is the real
shop";--and he led me into a little room adjoining, in which there was
but one window, one table, one chair, no shelves, a great number of
books, lying about in every direction, and great quantities of paper. On
the wall hung about two dozen pipes of various shapes and sizes, and a
fine assortment of guns and rifles and all the paraphernalia of a
practised sportsman. It was easy to see that there was one place where
the native-born Sophy did not come.

The chamber of this singular Greenland recluse was in keeping with his
study. The walls were painted light blue, a blue carpet adorned the
floor, blue curtains softened the light which stole through the windows,
and blue hangings cast a pleasant hue over a snowy pillow. Although
small, there was indeed nothing wanting, not even a well-arranged
bath-room,--nothing that the most fastidious taste could covet or

"And now," said my entertainer, when we had got seated in the study,
"does this present attractions sufficient to tempt you from your narrow
bunk on shipboard? You are most heartily welcome to that blue den which
you admire so much, and which I am heartily sick of, while I can make
for myself a capital 'shake-down' here, or _vice versa_. If neither of
these will suit you, then cast your eyes out of the window, and you will
observe snow enough to build a more truly Arctic lodging."

I stepped to the window, and there, sure enough, piled up beneath it and
against the house, was a great bank of snow, which the summer's sun had
not yet dissolved; and as I saw this, and then looked beyond it over the
wretched little village, and the desolate waste of rocks on which it
stood, and then on up the craggy steeps to the great white-topped
mountains, I could but wonder what strange occurrence had sent this
luxury-loving man, with books only for companions, into such a howling
wilderness. Was it his own fancy? or was it some cruel necessity? In
truth, the surprise was so great that I found myself suddenly turning
from the scene outside to that within, not indeed without an impulse
that the whole thing might have vanished in the interval, as the palace
of Aladdin in the Arabian tale.

My host was watching me attentively, no doubt reading my thoughts, for
as I turned round he asked if I "liked the contrast." To be quite
candid, I was forced to own myself greatly wondering "that a den so well
fitted for the latitude of Paris should be stumbled upon away up here so
near the Pole."

"Hardly in keeping with 'the eternal fitness of things,' eh?"

"Precisely so."

"You think, then, because a fellow chooses to live in barbarous
Greenland, he must needs turn barbarian?"

"Not exactly that, but we are in the habit of associating the
appreciation of comfort and luxury with the desire for social
intercourse,--certainly not with banishment like this."

"Then you would be inclined to think there is something unnatural, in
short, mysterious, in my being here,--tastes, fancies, inclinations, and

"I confess it would so strike me, if I took the liberty to speculate
upon it."

"Very far from the truth, I do assure you. I am not obliged to be here
any more than you are. I came from pure choice, and am at liberty to
return when I please. In truth, I do go home with the ship to
Copenhagen, once in three or four years, and spend a winter there,
living the while in a den much like what you here see; but I am always
glad enough to get back again. The salary which I receive from the
government does not support me as I live, so you see _that_ is not a
motive. But I am perfectly independent, have capital health, lots of
adventure, hardship enough (for you must know that, if I do sleep under
a sky-blue canopy, I am esteemed one of the most hardy men in all
Greenland) to satisfy the most insatiate appetite and perverse

"Sufficient reason, I should say, for a year or so, but hardly one would
think, for a lifetime."

"Why not?"

"Because the novelty of adventure wears off in a little time. Good
health never gives us satisfaction, for we do not give it thought until
we lose it, so that can never be an impelling motive; and as for
independence, what is that, when one can never be freed from himself? In
short, I should say one so circumstanced as you are would die of ennui;
that his mind, constantly thrown back upon itself, must, sooner or
later, result in a weariness even worse than death itself. However, I am
only curious, not critical."

"But you forget these shelves. Those books are my friends; of them I
never grow weary, they never grow weary of me; we understand each other
perfectly,--they talk to me when I would listen, they sing to me when I
would be charmed, they play for me when I would be amused. Ah! my dear
sir, this country is great as all countries are great, each in its way;
and this is a great country to read books in. Upon my word, I wonder
everybody don't fill ships with books and come up here, burn the ships,
as did the great Spaniard, and each spend the remainder of his days in
devouring his ship-load of books."

"A pretty picture of the country, truly; but let me ask how often do
books reach you?"

"Once a year,--when the Danish ship comes out to bring us bread, sugar,
coffee, coal, and such-like things, and to take home the few little
trifles, such as furs, oil, and fish, which the natives have picked up
in the interval."

"Books to the contrary, I should say the ship would not return more than
once without me, were I in your situation."

"So you would think me a sensible fellow, no doubt, if I would pick up
this box and carry it off to Paris, or may be to New York?"

"That's exactly what I was thinking; or rather it would certainly have
appeared to me more reasonable if you had built it there in the first

"Quite the contrary, I do assure you,--quite the contrary. Indeed, I can
prove to your entire satisfaction that I am a very sensible man; but
wait until I have shown you all my possessions. Will you look at my

Farm!--well, this was, after all, exhibiting some claims of the country
to the consideration of a civilized man. A farm in Greenland was
something I was hardly prepared for.

The Doctor now rose and led the way to the rear of the house, into a
yard about eighty feet square, enclosed by a high board fence.

"This is my farm," said the Doctor.


"Here, look. It isn't a large one." And he pointed to a patch of earth
about thirty feet long by four wide, enclosed with boards and covered
over with glass. Under the glass were growing lettuce, radishes, and
pepper-grass, all looking as bright and fresh and green and well
contented as if they, like the man for whose benefit they grew, cared
little where they sprouted, so only they grew. The ten round red
radishes of the recent luncheon were accounted for.

"So you see," exclaimed the Doctor, "something besides a lover of books
can take root in this country. Are you not growing reconciled to it? To
be sure they are fed on pap from home; but so does the farmer who
cultivates them get his books from the same quarter."

"How is that? Do you mean to say you bring the earth they grow in from

"Even so. This is good rich Jutland earth, brought in barrels by ship
from Copenhagen."

An imported farm! One more novelty.

"Now you shall see my barn";--and we passed over to a little tightly
made building in the opposite corner, where the first thing that greeted
my ears was the bleating of goats and the grunting of pigs; and as the
door was opened, I heard the cackling and flutter of chickens. Twenty
chickens, two pigs, and three goats!

"All brought from Copenhagen with the farm";--and the Doctor began to
talk to them in a very familiar manner in the Danish tongue. They all
recognized the kindly voice of their master, and flocked round him to be
fed; and while this was being done I observed that he had provided for
the safety of his brood by securing in the centre of their house a large
stove, which was now cold, but which in the winter must give them
abundant heat. And so the Doctor, besides his round red radishes and his
nice fresh butter, had pork and milk and eggs of native growth.

The next object of interest to attract attention was the Doctor's
"smoke-house," then in full operation. This was simply a large hogshead,
with one head pierced with holes and the other head knocked out. The end
without a head was set upon a circle of stones, which supported it about
a foot above the ground, and inside of this circle a great volume of
smoke was being generated, and which came puffing out through the holes
in the head above. Inside of this simple contrivance were suspended a
number of fine salmon, the delicate flesh of which was being dried by
the heat, and penetrated by the sweet aroma of the smoke, which came
puffing through the holes. The smoke arose from a smouldering fire of
the leaves and branches of the Andromeda (_Andromeda tetrigona_), the
heather of Greenland,--a trailing plant with a pretty purple blossom,
which grows in sheltered places in great abundance. Besides moss, this
is the only vegetable production of North Greenland that will burn, and
it is sometimes used by the natives for fuel, after it is dried by the
sun, for which purpose it is torn up and spread over the rocks. The
perfume of the smoke is truly delicious, which accounts for the
excellent flavor of the salmon which the Doctor had given me for lunch.
Nothing, indeed, could exceed the delicacy of the fish thus prepared.

The inspection of the Doctor's garden, or "farm," as he facetiously
called it, occupied us during the remainder of the afternoon; and so
novel was everything to me, from the Doctor down to his vegetables and
perfumed fish, that the time passed away unnoticed, and I was quite
astonished when Sophy came to announce "dinner."

We were soon seated at the table where we had been before, and Sophy
served the dinner. Her soup was excellent, the trout were of fine
quality and well cooked, the haunch was done to a turn, the wines were
this time rightly tempered, the champagne needed not to be iced, more of
the round red radishes appeared in season, and then followed lettuce and
cheese and coffee, and then we found ourselves at another game of
billiards, and at length were settled for the evening in the Doctor's
study, one on either side of a table, on which stood all the ingredients
for an arrack punch, and a bundle of cigars.

Our conversation naturally enough ran upon the affairs of the big world
on the other side of the Arctic Circle,--upon its politics and
literature and science and art, passing lightly from one to the other,
lingering now and then over some book which we had mutually fancied. I
found my companion perfectly posted up to within a year, and inquired
how he managed so well. "Ah! you must know," answered he, "that is a
clever little illusion of mine. I'm always precisely one year behind the
rest of the world. The Danish ship brings me a file of papers for the
past twelve months, the principal reviews and periodicals, the latest
maps, such books as I have sent for the year previous, and, beside this,
the bookseller and my other home friends make me up an assortment of
what they think will please me. Now, you see, in devouring this, I
pursue an absolute method. The books, of course, I take up as the fancy
pleases me; but the reviews, periodicals, and newspapers I turn over to
Sophy, and the faithful creature places on my breakfast-table every
morning exactly what was published that day one year before. Clever,
isn't it? You see I get every day the news, and go through the drama of
the year with perhaps quite as much satisfaction as they who live the
passing days in the midst of the occurring events. Each day's paper
opens a new act in the play, and what matters it that the 'news' is one
year old? It is none the less news to me; and, besides, are not Gibbon,
Shakespeare, and Mother Goose still more ancient?"

I could but smile at this ingenious device; and the Doctor, seeing
plainly that I was deeply interested in his novel mode of life, loosened
a tongue which, in truth, needed little encouragement, and rattled away
over the rough and smooth of his Greenland experiences, with an
enjoyment on his part perhaps scarcely less than mine; for it was easy
to see that his love of wild adventure kept pace with his love of
comfort, and that he heartily enjoyed the exposures of his career and
the reputation which his hardihood had acquired for him. I perceived,
too, that he possessed a warm and vivid imagination, and that, clothing
everything he saw and everything he did with a fitting sentiment of
strength or beauty, he had blended wild nature and his own strange life
into a romantic scheme which completely filled his fancy,--apparently,
at least, leaving nothing unsupplied,--and this he enjoyed to the very
bottom of his soul.

The hours glided swiftly away as we sat sipping our punch and smoking
our cigars in that quaint study of the Doctor's, chatting of this and of
that; and a novel feature of the evening was, that, as we talked on and
on, the light grew not dim with the passing hours; for when the hand of
a Danish clock which ticked above the mantel told nine, and ten, and
eleven o'clock, it was still broad day; and then in the full blaze of
sunshine the clock rang out the "witching hour" of midnight. The sun,
low down upon the northern horizon, poured his bright rays over the
hills and sea, throwing the dark shadow of the mountains over the town,
but illuminating everything to right and left with that soft and
pleasant light which we so often see at home in the early morning of the

After the clock had struck twelve, we threw our fur cloaks over our
shoulders, and strolled out into this strange midnight. Passing through
the town, I remarked the quiet which everywhere prevailed, and how all
nature seemed to have caught the inspiration of the hour. Not a soul was
stirring abroad; the dogs, crouching in clusters, were all asleep; and
it seemed as if my little vessel lay under the shadows of the cliffs
with a consciousness that midnight is a solemn thing even in sunshine;
and never did the sun shine more brightly, or a more brilliantly
illuminated landscape give stronger evidence of day. But wearied nature
had sought repose, even though no "sable cloud with silver lining"
turned upon the world its darkening shadow,--for the hour of rest was
come. Walking on over the rough rocks, we came at length upon the sea,
and I noticed that the very birds which were wont to paddle about in
great flocks upon the waters, or fly gayly through the air, had crawled
upon the shore, and, tucking their heads beneath their wings, had gone
to sleep. Even the little flowers and blades of grass seemed to droop,
as if wearied with the long hours of the day, and, defying the restless
sun to rob them of their natural repose, had fallen to sleep with the
beasts and birds. The very sea itself seemed to have caught the
infection of the hour, dissolving in its blue depths the golden clouds
of day.

The night was far from cold, and, selecting the most tempting and sunny
spot, we sat down upon a rock close beside the sea, watching the gentle
wavelets playing on the sand, and the changing light as the sun rolled
on, glistening upon the hills and upon the icebergs, which, in countless
numbers, lay upon the watery plain before us, like great monoliths of
Parian marble, waiting but for the sculptor's chisel to stand forth in
fluted pillar and solid architrave,--floating Parthenons and Pantheons
and Temples of the Sun.

The scene was favorable to the conversation which had been broken off
when we left the study, and the Doctor came back to it of his own
accord. I was much absorbed with the grandeur of this midnight scene,
and had remained for some time quiet. My companion, breaking in
abruptly, said: "I think I promised to prove to you that I am the most
sensible fellow alive. Now let me tell you, to begin with, that I would
not exchange this view for any other I have ever seen. It is one of
which I am very fond; for at this hour the repose which you here see is
frequently repeated; and, to compare big things with little, it might be
likened to some huge lion sleeping over his prey, which he is not yet
prepared to eat, quick to catch the first sound of movement. There is
something truly terrible in this untamed nature. Man's struggle here
gives him something to rejoice in; and I would not barter it for the
effeminate life to which I should be destined at home, on any account
whatever. Perhaps, if I should there be compelled absolutely to earn my
daily bread, the case might be different, for enforced occupation is
quite too sober an affair to give time for much reflection; but I should
most likely lead an idle sort of life there, and should simply live
without--so far as I can see--a motive. I should encounter few perils,
have few sorrows, fewer disappointments, and want for nothing,--nothing,
indeed, but temptation to exert myself, or prove my own manhood in its
strength, or enjoy the luxury of risking the precious breath of life,
which is so little worth, and which is so easily knocked away. You have
seen one side of me,--how I live. Well, I enjoy life and make the most
of it, after my own fashion, as everybody should do. If it is a
luxurious fashion, as you are pleased to say, it but gives me a keener
relish for the opposite; and that it does not unfit me for encountering
the hardships of the field is proved by the reputation for endurance
which I have among the natives. If I sleep between well-aired sheets one
night, I can coil myself up among my dogs on the ice-fields the next,
and sleep there as well,--I care not if it's as cold as the frigid
circle of Lucifer. If I have a _penchant_ for Burgundy, and like to
drink it out of French glass, I can drink train-oil out of a tin cup
when I am cold and hungry, and never murmur. I like well-fitting
clothes, but rough furs suit me just as well in season. Why, it would
make you laugh fit to kill yourself to see these Danish workingmen,--the
laborers, you know, with whom I sometimes travel,--fellows that can't
read nor write, poor mechanics, rough sailors, 'hewers of wood and
drawers of water' generally for this poor settlement,--who never tasted
Burgundy in all their lives, and would rather have one keg of corn
brandy than a tun of it, and who never took their frugal fare off
anything more tempting than tin. Do you think that these people can,
under any circumstances, be induced to strengthen their limbs with
eating blubber or drinking train-oil? Not a bit of it. Do you think they
can be induced to sleep outside of their own not overly elegant
lodgings, without groaning, and everlastingly desiring to get back
again? Not they."

I could not help asking the Doctor what impelled him to exposure, of
which he had grown so fond.

"The motives are various. I have done a good deal of exploring, have
reached many of the glaciers, have dabbled in natural history,
meteorology, magnetism, &c., &c., besides making many photographs and
geographical surveys, and have sent home to various societies and
museums many curiosities and much information. My name, as you know,
stands well enough among the dons of science. But apart from this, my
duties require me to travel about at all times and all seasons. You must
know that everybody in this country lives upon the shore, and therefore
the settlements are reached only by the sea. In the winter I travel over
the ice with my dog sledge, and in the summer, when the ice has broken
up, I go from place to place in that little five-ton yacht which you saw
lying in the harbor. Sometimes I go from choice, stopping at the
villages, and exhibiting my professional abilities upon Dane or native,
as the case may be. Often I am sent for. The Greenlanders don't like to
die any better than other people, and they all have an impression that,
if Dr. Molke only looks upon them, they are safe. So if an old woman but
gets the belly-ache, away goes her son or husband for the Doctor.
Perhaps it is in summer, and the distance may be a hundred miles or
more. No matter, he gets into his kayak and paddles through all sorts of
weather, and, at the rate of seven knots an hour, comes for me. Glad of
the excuse for a change, to say nothing (and the less perhaps any of us
say on that score the better) of the claims of humanity, I send Sophy
after Adam (a converted native), and directly along comes Adam with his
son Carl; and my medicine and instrument cases, my gun and rifle, and a
plentiful supply of ammunition, a tent, and some fur bedding, a lamp,
and other camp fixtures, and a little simple food, are put into the
boat, and off we go. Perhaps a gale springs up, and we are forced to
make a harbor in some little island; or perhaps it falls calm, and we
crawl into one, under oars. It is sure to be alive with ducks and geese
and snipe. The shooting is superb. Happen what may, come storm or calm
or fine weather, though often wet and cold, and frequently in danger,
yet I have a grand time of it. I may be back in a day, two days, a week,
or I may be gone a month. Then the winter comes back, and I have again
to answer another summons. The same traps are put on the sledge, to
which are harnessed the twelve finest dogs in the town,--my own
team,--and, at the wildest pace with which this wolfish herd can rush
along, Adam guides me to my destination. Perhaps it may be early in the
winter, and the ice is in places thin. We very likely break through, and
get wet, and are in danger of freezing. Perhaps we reach a crack which
we cannot pass, and have to hold on, possibly in a hut of snow, waiting
for the frost to build a bridge for us to pass. This is the wildest and
most dangerous of my experiences,--this dog-sledging it from place to
place in the early or late winter,--and I have had many wild adventures.
In the middle of the winter, when it is dark pretty much all the time,
and the snow is hard and crisp, and the clear, cold bracing air makes
the blood run freely through the veins, is the best time for travelling;
for then we may start a bear, and be pretty sure of catching him before
he gets on rotten ice or across a crack defying us in the pursuit."

By this time the sun had begun to climb above the hills, and the shadow
of the cliffs had passed over the town, so we stole back again to the
Doctor's house. The Doctor insisted that I should not sleep on board, so
we returned to the study, where I was soon wrapt in a sound sleep on the
Doctor's "shake-down," from which I never once awoke until there came a
loud tapping on the door.

"Who's there?"


"What's Sophy want?"


Breakfast indeed! It was hard to believe that I was to come back to the
experiences of life under such a summons, for I had dreamed that I was
on a visit to the Man in the Moon, and was enjoying a genuine surprise
at finding him happy and well contented, seated in the centre of an
extinct volcano, with all the riches of the great satellite gathered
round him, hanging in tempting clusters on its horns.

But my eyes at length were opened wide enough to see, near by, the very
terrestrial ruins of our evening's pastime; and if these had left any
doubts upon my mind as to the reality of my present situation, those
doubts would certainly have been removed by the cheerful voice of the
Doctor; for a loud "Good morning!" came from out the painted chamber,
and from beneath the sky-blue canopy a graceful query of the night.
"What of the night, sleeper?--what of the night?" Then I was quickly out
upon the floor, and dressed, and in the cosey little room where the
fruits and flowers were hanging on the wall, and where the bright face
of Sophy, and aromatic coffee, and a charming little breakfast, were
awaiting us with a kindly welcome.

Breakfast over, I left the Doctor to expend his skill and knowledge on a
patient who had sent to claim his services, and strolled out over the
rocks behind the town,--wondering all the while at the strangeness of
the human fancy and its power on the will; and I reflected, too, and
remembered that, in the explanation of the satisfying character of the
life which my new-found friend was leading, there had been no clew given
to the first great motive which had destined such a finely organized and
altogether splendid man to such a career. Was he exempt from the lot of
other mortals, or must he too own, like all the rest of us, when we own
the truth, that every firm step we ever made in those days of our early
lives when steps were critical, was made to please a woman, to win her
slightest praise, to heal a wound or drown a sorrow of her making? I
would have given much to have the question answered, for then a thing
now mysterious would have become as plain as day; but there was no one
there to heed the question, or to give the answer, and I could only
wander on over the rough rocks, wondering more and more.


One morning last April, as I was passing through Boston Common, which
lies pleasantly between my residence and my office, I met a gentleman
lounging along The Mall. I am generally preoccupied when walking, and
often thrid my way through crowded streets without distinctly observing
a single soul. But this man's face forced itself upon me, and a very
singular face it was. His eyes were faded, and his hair, which he wore
long, was flecked with gray. His hair and eyes, if I may say so, were
seventy years old, the rest of him not thirty. The youthfulness of his
figure, the elasticity of his gait, and the venerable appearance of his
head, were incongruities that drew more than one pair of curious eyes
towards him. He was evidently an American,--the New England cut of
countenance is unmistakable,--evidently a man who had seen something of
the world; but strangely old and young.

Before reaching the Park Street gate, I had taken up the thread of
thought which he had unconsciously broken; yet throughout the day this
old young man, with his unwrinkled brow and silvered locks, glided in
like a phantom between me and my duties.

The next morning I again encountered him on The Mall. He was resting
lazily on the green rails, watching two little sloops in distress, which
two ragged ship-owners had consigned to the mimic perils of the Pond.
The vessels lay becalmed in the middle of the ocean, displaying a
tantalizing lack of sympathy with the frantic helplessness of the owners
on shore. As the gentleman observed their dilemma, a light came into his
faded eyes, then died out, leaving them drearier than before. I wondered
if he, too, in his time, had sent out ships that drifted and drifted and
never came to port; and if these poor toys were to him types of his own

"I would like to know that man's story," I said, half aloud, halting in
one of those winding paths which branch off from the quietness of the
Pond, and end in the rush and tumult of Tremont Street.

"Would you?" replied a voice at my side. I turned and faced Mr. H----, a
neighbor of mine, who laughed heartily at finding me talking to myself.
"Well," he added, reflectingly, "I can tell you this man's story; and if
you will match the narrative with anything as curious, I shall be glad
to hear it."

"You know him then?"

"Yes and no. I happened to be in Paris when he was buried."


"Well, strictly speaking, not buried; but something quite like it. If
you've a spare half-hour," continued my interlocutor, "we'll sit on this
bench, and I will tell you all I know of an affair that made some noise
in Paris a couple of years ago. The gentleman himself, standing yonder,
will serve as a sort of frontispiece to the romance,--a full-page
illustration, as it were."

The following pages contain the story that Mr. H---- related to me.
While he was telling it, a gentle wind arose; the miniature sloops
drifted feebly about the ocean; the wretched owners flew from point to
point, as the deceptive breeze promised to waft the barks to either
shore; the early robins trilled now and then from the newly fringed
elms; and the old young man leaned on the rail in the sunshine, wearily,
little dreaming that two gossips were discussing his affairs within
twenty yards of him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Three people were sitting in a chamber whose one large window overlooked
the Place Vendôme. M. Dorine, with his back half turned on the other two
occupants of the apartment, was reading the _Moniteur_, pausing from
time to time to wipe his glasses, and taking scrupulous pains not to
glance towards the lounge at his right, on which were seated
Mademoiselle Dorine and a young American gentleman, whose handsome face
rather frankly told his position in the family. There was not a happier
man in Paris that afternoon than Philip Wentworth. Life had become so
delicious to him that he shrunk from looking beyond to-day. What could
the future add to his full heart? what might it not take away? In
certain natures the deepest joy has always something of melancholy in
it, a presentiment, a fleeting sadness, a feeling without a name.
Wentworth was conscious of this subtile shadow, that night, when he rose
from the lounge, and thoughtfully held Julie's hand to his lip for a
moment before parting. A careless observer would not have thought him,
as he was, the happiest man in Paris.

M. Dorine laid down his paper and came forward. "If the house," he said,
"is such as M. Martin describes it, I advise you to close with him at
once. I would accompany you, Philip, but the truth is, I am too sad at
losing this little bird to assist you in selecting a cage for her.
Remember, the last train for town leaves at five. Be sure not to miss
it; for we have seats for M. Sardou's new comedy to-morrow night. By
to-morrow night," he added laughingly, "little Julie here will be an old
lady, ----'t is such an age from now until then."

The next morning the train bore Philip to one of the loveliest spots
within thirty miles of Paris. An hour's walk through green lanes brought
him to M. Martin's estate. In a kind of dream the young man wandered
from room to room, inspected the conservatory, the stables, the lawns,
the strip of woodland through which a merry brook sang to itself
continually; and, after dining with M. Martin, completed the purchase,
and turned his steps towards the station, just in time to catch the
express train.

As Paris stretched out before him, with its million lights twinkling in
the early dusk, and its sharp spires here and there pricking the sky, it
seemed to Philip as if years had elapsed since he left the city. On
reaching Paris he drove to his hotel, where he found several letters
lying on the table. He did not trouble himself even to glance at their
superscriptions as he threw aside his travelling surtout for a more
appropriate dress.

If, in his impatience to see Mademoiselle Dorine, the cars had appeared
to walk, the fiacre which he had secured at the station appeared to
creep. At last it turned into the Place Vendôme, and drew up before M.
Dorine's residence. The door opened as Philip's foot touched the first
step. The servant silently took his cloak and hat, with a special
deference, Philip thought; but was he not now one of the family?

"M. Dorine," said the servant slowly, "is unable to see Monsieur at
present. He wishes Monsieur to be shown up to the _salon_."

"Is Mademoiselle--"

"Yes, Monsieur."


"Alone, Monsieur," repeated the man, looking curiously at Philip, who
could scarcely repress an exclamation of pleasure.

It was the first time that such a privilege had been accorded him. His
interviews with Julie had always taken place in the presence of M.
Dorine, or some member of the household. A well-bred Parisian girl has
but a formal acquaintance with her lover.

Philip did not linger on the staircase; his heart sang in his bosom as
he flew up the steps, two at a time. Ah! this wine of air which one
drinks at twenty, and seldom after! He hastened through the softly
lighted hall, in which he detected the faint scent of her favorite
flowers, and stealthily opened the door of the _salon_.

The room was darkened. Underneath the chandelier stood a slim black
casket on trestles. A lighted candle, a crucifix, and some white flowers
were on a table near by. Julie Dorine was dead.

When M. Dorine heard the indescribable cry that rang through the silent
house, he hurried from the library, and found Philip standing like a
ghost in the middle of the chamber.

It was not until long afterwards that Wentworth learned the details of
the calamity that had befallen him. On the previous night Mademoiselle
Dorine had retired to her room in seemingly perfect health. She
dismissed her maid with a request to be awakened early the next morning.
At the appointed hour the girl entered the chamber. Mademoiselle Dorine
was sitting in an arm-chair, apparently asleep. The candle had burnt
down to the socket; a book lay half open on the carpet at her feet. The
girl started when she saw that the bed had not been occupied, and that
her mistress still wore an evening dress. She rushed to Mademoiselle
Dorine's side. It was not slumber. It was death.

Two messages were at once despatched to Philip, one to the station at
G----, the other to his hotel. The first missed him on the road, the
second he had neglected to open. On his arrival at M. Dorine's house,
the servant, under the supposition that Wentworth had been advised of
Mademoiselle Dorine's death, broke the intelligence with awkward
cruelty, by showing him directly to the _salon_.

Mademoiselle Dorine's wealth, her beauty, the suddenness of her death,
and the romance that had in some way attached itself to her love for the
young American, drew crowds to witness the funeral ceremonies which took
place in the church in the Rue d'Aguesseau. The body was to be laid in
M. Dorine's tomb, in the cemetery of Montmartre.

This tomb requires a few words of description. First there was a grating
of filigraned iron; through this you looked into a small vestibule or
hall, at the end of which was a massive door of oak opening upon a short
flight of stone steps descending into the tomb. The vault was fifteen or
twenty feet square, ingeniously ventilated from the ceiling, but
unlighted. It contained two sarcophagi: the first held the remains of
Madame Dorine, long since dead; the other was new, and bore on one side
the letters J. D., in monogram, interwoven with fleurs-de-lis.

The funeral train stopped at the gate of the small garden that enclosed
the place of burial, only the immediate relatives following the bearers
into the tomb. A slender wax candle, such as is used in Catholic
churches, burnt at the foot of the uncovered sarcophagus, casting a dim
glow over the centre of the apartment, and deepening the shadows which
seemed to huddle together in the corners. By this flickering light the
coffin was placed in its granite shell, the heavy slab laid over it
reverently, and the oaken door revolved on its rusty hinges, shutting
out the uncertain ray of sunshine that had ventured to peep in on the

M. Dorine, muffled in his cloak, threw himself on the back seat of the
carriage, too abstracted in his grief to observe that he was the only
occupant of the vehicle. There was a sound of wheels grating on the
gravelled avenue, and then all was silence again in the cemetery of
Montmartre. At the main entrance the carriages parted company, dashing
off into various streets at a pace that seemed to express a sense of
relief. The band plays a dead march going to the grave, but _Fra
Diavolo_ coming from it.

It is not with the retreating carriages that our interest lies. Nor yet
wholly with the dead in her mysterious dream; but with Philip Wentworth.

The rattle of wheels had died out of the air when Philip opened his
eyes, bewildered, like a man abruptly roused from slumber. He raised
himself on one arm and stared into the surrounding blackness. Where was
he? In a second the truth flashed upon him. He had been left in the
tomb! While kneeling on the farther side of the stone box, perhaps he
had fainted, and in the last solemn rites his absence had been

His first emotion was one of natural terror. But this passed as quickly
as it came. Life had ceased to be so very precious to him; and if it
were his fate to die at Julie's side, was not that the fulfilment of the
desire which he had expressed to himself a hundred times that morning?
What did it matter, a few years sooner or later? He must lay down the
burden at last. Why not then? A pang of self-reproach followed the
thought. Could he so lightly throw aside the love that had bent over his
cradle. The sacred name of mother rose involuntarily to his lips. Was it
not cowardly to yield up without a struggle the life which he should
guard for her sake? Was it not his duty to the living and the dead to
face the difficulties of his position, and overcome them if it were
within human power?

With an organization as delicate as a woman's, he had that spirit which,
however sluggish in repose, can leap with a kind of exultation to
measure its strength with disaster. The vague fear of the supernatural,
that would affect most men in a similar situation, found no room in his
heart. He was simply shut in a chamber from which it was necessary that
he should obtain release within a given period. That this chamber
contained the body of the woman he loved, so far from adding to the
terror of the case, was a circumstance from which he drew consolation.
She was a beautiful white statue now. Her soul was far hence; and if
that pure spirit could return, would it not be to shield him with her
love? It was impossible that the place should not engender some thought
of the kind. He did not put the thought entirely from him as he rose to
his feet and stretched out his hands in the darkness; but his mind was
too healthy and practical to indulge long in such speculations.

Philip chanced to have in his pocket a box of wax-tapers which smokers
use. After several ineffectual attempts, he succeeded in igniting one
against the dank wall, and by its momentary glare perceived that the
candle had been left in the tomb. This would serve him in examining the
fastenings of the vault. If he could force the inner door by any means,
and reach the grating, of which he had an indistinct recollection, he
might hope to make himself heard. But the oaken door was immovable, as
solid as the wall itself, into which it fitted air-tight. Even if he had
had the requisite tools, there were no fastenings to be removed: the
hinges were set on the outside.

Having ascertained this, he replaced the candle on the floor, and leaned
against the wall thoughtfully, watching the blue fan of flame that
wavered to and fro, threatening to detach itself from the wick. "At all
events," he thought, "the place is ventilated." Suddenly Philip sprang
forward and extinguished the light. His existence depended on that

He had read somewhere, in some account of shipwreck, how the survivors
had lived for days upon a few candles which one of the passengers had
insanely thrown into the long-boat. And here he had been burning away
his very life.

By the transient illumination of one of the tapers, he looked at his
watch. It had stopped at eleven,--but at eleven that day, or the
preceding night? The funeral, he knew, had left the church at ten. How
many hours had passed since then? Of what duration had been his swoon?
Alas! it was no longer possible for him to measure those hours which
crawl like snails by the wretched, and fly like swallows over the happy.

He picked up the candle, and seated himself on the stone steps. He was a
sanguine man, this Wentworth, but, as he weighed the chances of escape,
the prospect did not seem encouraging. Of course he would be missed. His
disappearance under the circumstances would surely alarm his friends;
they would instigate a search for him; but who would think of searching
for a live man in the cemetery of Montmartre? The Prefect of Police
would set a hundred intelligences at work to find him; the Seine might
be dragged, _les misérables_ turned over at the dead-house; a minute
description of him would be in every detective's pocket; and he--in M.
Dorine's family tomb!

Yet, on the other hand, it was here he was last seen; from this point a
keen detective would naturally work up the case. Then might not the
undertaker return for the candlestick, probably not left by design? Or,
again, might not M. Dorine send fresh wreaths of flowers, to take the
place of those which now diffused a pungent, aromatic odor throughout
the chamber? Ah! what unlikely chances! But if one of these things did
not happen speedily, it had better never happen. How long could he keep
life in himself?

With unaccelerated pulse, he quietly cut the half-burned candle into
four equal parts. "To-night," he meditated, "I will eat the first of
these pieces; to-morrow, the second; to-morrow evening, the third; the
next day, the fourth; and then--then I'll wait!"

He had taken no breakfast that morning, unless a cup of coffee can be
called a breakfast. He had never been very hungry before. He was
ravenously hungry now. But he postponed the meal as long as practicable.
It must have been near midnight, according to his calculation, when he
determined to try the first of his four singular repasts. The bit of
white-wax was tasteless; but it served its purpose.

His appetite for the time appeased, he found a new discomfort. The
humidity of the walls, and the wind that crept through the unseen
ventilator, chilled him to the bone. To keep walking was his only
resource. A sort of drowsiness, too, occasionally came over him. It took
all his will to fight it off. To sleep, he felt, was to die; and he had
made up his mind to live.

Very strange fancies flitted through his head as he groped up and down
the stone floor of the dungeon, feeling his way along the wall to avoid
the sepulchres. Voices that had long been silent spoke words that had
long been forgotten; faces he had known in childhood grew palpable
against the dark. His whole life in detail was unrolled before him like
a panorama; the changes of a year, with its burden of love and death,
its sweets and its bitternesses, were epitomized in a single second. The
desire to sleep had left him. But the keen hunger came again.

It must be near morning now, he mused; perhaps the sun is just gilding
the pinnacles and domes of the city; or, may be, a dull, drizzling rain
is beating on Paris, sobbing on these mounds above me. Paris! it seems
like a dream. Did I ever walk in its gay streets in the golden air? O
the delight and pain and passion of that sweet human life!

Philip became conscious that the gloom, the silence, and the cold were
gradually conquering him. The feverish activity of his brain brought on
a reaction. He grew lethargic, he sunk down on the steps, and thought of
nothing. His hand fell by chance on one of the pieces of candle; he
grasped it and devoured it mechanically. This revived him. "How
strange," he thought, "that I am not thirsty. Is it possible that the
dampness of the walls, which I must inhale with every breath, has
supplied the need of water? Not a drop has passed my lips for two days,
and still I experience no thirst. That drowsiness, thank Heaven, has
gone. I think I was never wide awake until this hour. It would be an
anodyne like poison that could weigh down my eyelids. No doubt the dread
of sleep has something to do with this."

The minutes were like hours. Now he walked as briskly as he dared up and
down the tomb; now he rested against the door. More than once he was
tempted to throw himself upon the stone coffin that held Julie, and make
no further struggle for his life.

Only one piece of candle remained. He had eaten the third portion, not
to satisfy hunger, but from a precautionary motive. He had taken it as a
man takes some disagreeable drug upon the result of which hangs safety.
The time was rapidly approaching when even this poor substitute for
nourishment would be exhausted. He delayed that moment. He gave himself
a long fast this time. The half-inch of candle which he held in his hand
was a sacred thing to him. It was his last defence against death.

At length, with such a sinking at heart as he had not known before, he
raised it to his lips. Then he paused, then he hurled the fragment
across the tomb, then the oaken door was flung open, and Philip, with
dazzled eyes, saw M. Dorine's form sharply defined against the blue sky.

When they led him out, half blinded, into the broad daylight, M. Dorine
noticed that Philip's hair, which a short time since was as black as a
crow's wing, had actually turned gray in places. The man's eyes, too,
had faded; the darkness had spoiled their lustre.

"And how long was he really confined in the tomb?" I asked, as Mr.
H----concluded the story.

_"Just one hour and twenty minutes!"_ replied Mr. H----, smiling

As he spoke, the little sloops, with their sails all blown out like
white roses, came floating bravely into port, and Philip Wentworth
lounged by us, wearily, in the pleasant April sunshine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. H----'s narrative made a deep impression on me. Here was a man who
had undergone a strange ordeal. Here was a man whose sufferings were
unique. His was no threadbare experience. Eighty minutes had seemed like
two days to him! If he had really been immured two days in the tomb, the
story, from my point of view, would have lost its tragic element.

After this it was but natural I should regard Mr. Wentworth with
deepened interest. As I met him from day to day, passing through the
Common with that same abstracted air, there was something in his
loneliness which touched me. I wondered that I had not before read in
his pale meditative face some such sad history as Mr. H---- had confided
to me. I formed the resolution of speaking to him, though with what
purpose was not very clear to my mind. One May morning we met at the
intersection of two paths. He courteously halted to allow me the

"Mr. Wentworth," I began, "I--"

He interrupted me.

"My name, sir," he said, in an off-hand manner, "is Jones."

"Jo-Jo-Jones!" I gasped.

"Not Jo Jones," he returned coldly, "Frederick."

Mr. Jones, or whatever his name is, will never know, unless he reads
these pages, why a man accosted him one morning as "Mr. Wentworth," and
then abruptly rushed down the nearest path, and disappeared in the

The fact is, I had been duped by Mr. H----. Mr. H---- occasionally
contributes a story to the magazines. He had actually tried the effect
of one of his romances on me!

My hero, as I subsequently learned, is no hero at all, but a commonplace
young man who has some connection with the building of that pretty
granite bridge which will shortly span the crooked little lake in the
Public Garden.

When I think of the cool ingenuity and readiness with which Mr.
H----built up his airy fabric on my credulity, I am half inclined to
laugh; though I feel not slightly irritated at having been the
unresisting victim of his Black Art.


    With clearer light, Cross of the South, shine forth
      In blue Brazilian skies;
    And thou, O river, cleaving half the earth
      From sunset to sunrise,
    From the great mountains to the Atlantic waves
      Thy joy's long anthem pour.
    Yet a few days (God make them less!) and slaves
      Shall shame thy pride no more.
    No fettered feet thy shaded margins press;
      But all men shall walk free
    Where thou, the high-priest of the wilderness,
      Hast wedded sea to sea.

    And thou, great-hearted ruler, through whose mouth
      The word of God is said,
    Once more, "Let there be light!"--Son of the South,
      Lift up thy honored head,
    Wear unashamed a crown by thy desert
      More than by birth thy own,
    Careless of watch and ward; thou art begirt
      By grateful hearts alone.
    The moated wall and battle-ship may fail,
      But safe shall justice prove;
    Stronger than greaves of brass or iron mail
      The panoply of love.

    Crowned doubly by man's blessing and God's grace,
      Thy future is secure;
    Who frees a people makes his statue's place
      In Time's Valhalla sure.
    Lo! from his Neva's banks the Scythian Czar
      Stretches to thee his hand
    Who, with the pencil of the Northern star,
      Wrote freedom on his land.
    And he whose grave is holy by our calm
      And prairied Sangamon,
    From his gaunt hand shall drop the martyr's palm
      To greet thee with "Well done!"

    And thou, O Earth, with smiles thy face make sweet,
      And let thy wail be stilled,
    To hear the Muse of prophecy repeat
      Her promise half fulfilled.
    The Voice that spake at Nazareth speaks still,
      No sound thereof hath died;
    Alike thy hope and Heaven's eternal will
      Shall yet be satisfied.
    The years are slow, the vision tarrieth long,
      And far the end may be;
    But, one by one, the fiends of ancient wrong
      Go out and leave thee free.


It is a great while since I first took an interest in Sybaris. Sybarites
have a bad name. But before I had heard of them anywhere else, I had
painfully looked out the words in the three or four precious anecdotes
about Sybaris in the old Greek Reader; and I had made up my boy's mind
about the Sybarites. When I came to know the name they had got
elsewhere, I could not but say that the world had been very unjust to

O dear! I can see it now,--the old Latin school-room, where we used to
sit, and hammer over that Greek, after the small boys had gone. They
went at eleven; we--because we were twelve years old--stayed till
twelve. From eleven to twelve we sat, with only those small boys who had
been "kept" for their sins, and Mr. Dillaway. The room was long and
narrow; how long and how narrow, you may see, if you will go and examine
M. Duchesne's model of "Boston as it was," and pay twenty-five cents to
the Richmond schools. For all this is of the past; and in the same spot
in space where once a month the Examiner Club now meets at Parker's, and
discusses the difference between religion and superstition, the folly of
copyright, and the origin of things, the boys who did not then belong to
the Examiner Club, say Fox and Clarke and Furness and Waldo Emerson,
thumbed their Greek Readers in "Boston as it was," and learned the truth
about Sybaris! A long, narrow room, I say, whose walls, when I knew them
first, were of that tawny orange wash which is appropriated to kitchens.
But by a master stroke of Mr. Dillaway's these walls were made lilac or
purple one summer vacation. We sat, to recite, on long settees,
pea-green in color, which would teeter slightly on the well-worn floor.
There, for an hour daily, while brighter boys than I recited, I sat an
hour musing, looking at the immense Jacobs's Greek Reader, and waiting
my turn to come. If you did not look off your book much, no harm came to
you. So, in the hour, you got fifty-three minutes and a few odd seconds
of day-dream, for six minutes and two thirds of reciting, unless, which
was unusual, some fellow above you broke down, and a question passed
along of a sudden recalled you to modern life. I have been sitting on
that old green settee, and at the same time riding on horseback in
Virginia, through an open wooded country, with one of Lord Fairfax's
grandsons and two pretty cousins of his, and a fallow deer has just
appeared in the distance, when, by the failure of Hutchinson or Wheeler,
just above me, poor Mr. Dillaway has had to ask me, "Ingham, what verbs
omit the reduplication?" Talk of war! Where is versatility, otherwise
called presence of mind, so needed as in recitation at a public school?

Well, there, I say, I made acquaintance with Sybaris. Nay, strictly
speaking, my first visits to Sybaris were made there and then. What the
Greek Reader tells of Sybaris is in three or four anecdotes, woven into
that strange, incoherent patchwork of "Geography." In that place are
patched together a statement of Strabo and one of Athenæus about two
things in Sybaris which may have belonged some eight hundred years
apart. But what of that to a school-boy! Will your descendants, dear
reader, in the year 3579 A. D., be much troubled, if, in the English
Reader of their day, Queen Victoria shall be made to drink Spartan black
broth with William the Conqueror out of a conch-shell in New Zealand?

With regard to Sybaris, then, the old Jacobs's Greek Reader tells the
following stories: "The Sybarites were distinguished for luxury. They
did not permit the trades which made a loud noise, such as those of
brass-workers, carpenters, and the like, to be carried on in the heart
of the city, so that their sleep might be wholly undisturbed by
noise.... And a Sybarite who had gone to Lacedæmon, and had been invited
to the public meal, after he had sat on their wooden benches and
partaken of their fare, said that he had been astonished at the
fearlessness of the Lacedæmonians when he knew it only by report; but
now that he had seen them, he thought that they did not excel other men,
for he thought that any brave man had much rather die than be obliged to
live such a life as they did." Then there is another story, among the
"miscellaneous anecdotes," of a Sybarite who was asked if he had slept
well. He said, No, that he believed he had a crumpled rose-leaf under
him in the night. And there is yet another, of one of them who said that
it made his back ache to see another man digging.

I have asked Polly, as I write, to look in Mark Lemon's Jest-Book for
these stories. They are not in the index there. But I dare say they are
in Cotton Mather and Jeremy Taylor. Any way, they are bits of very cheap
Greek. Now it is on these stories that the reputation of the Sybarites
in modern times appears to depend.

Now look at them. This Sybarite at Sparta said, that in war death was
often easier than the hardships of life. Well, is not that true? Have
not thousands of brave men said it? When the English and French got
themselves established on the wrong side of Sebastopol, what did that
engineer officer of the French say to somebody who came to inspect his
works? He was talking of St. Arnaud, their first commander. "Cunning
dog," said he, "he went and died." Death was easier than life. But
nobody ever said he was a coward or effeminate because he said this.
Why, if Mr. Fields would permit an excursus in twelve numbers here, on
this theme, we would defer Sybaris to the 1st of April, 1868, while we
illustrated the Sybarite's manly epigram, which these stupid Spartans
could only gape at, but could not understand.

Then take the rose-leaf story. Suppose by good luck you were
breakfasting with General Grant, or Pelissier, or the Duke of
Wellington. Suppose you said, "I hope you slept well," and the great
soldier said, "No, I did not; I think a rose-leaf must have stood up
edgewise under me." Would you go off and say in your book of travels
that the Americans, or the French, or the English are all effeminate
pleasure-seekers, because one of them made this nice little joke? Would
you like to have the name "American" go down to all time, defined as
Webster[B] defines Sybarite?

     A-M[)E]R'I-CAN, _n._ [Fr. _Américain_, Lat. _Americanus_, from
     Lat. _America_, a continent noted for the effeminacy and
     voluptuousness of its inhabitants.] A person devoted to luxury
     and pleasure.

Should you think that was quite fair for your great-grandson's
grandson's descendant in the twenty-seventh remove to read, who is going
to be instructed about Queen Victoria and William the Conqueror?

Worst of all, and most frequently quoted, is the story of the
coppersmiths. The Sybarites, it is said, ordered that the coppersmiths
and brass-founders should all reside in one part of the city, and bang
their respective metals where the neighbors had voluntarily chosen to
listen to banging. What if they did? Does not every manufacturing city
practically do the same thing? What did Nicholas Tillinghast use to say
to the boys and girls at Bridgewater? "The tendency of cities is to
resolve themselves into order."

Is not Wall Street at this hour a street of bankers? Is not the Boston
Pearl Street a street of leather men? Is not the bridge at Florence
given over to jewellers? Was not my valise, there, bought in Rome at the
street of trunk-makers? Do not all booksellers like to huddle together
as long as they can? And when Ticknor and Fields move a few inches from
Washington Street to Tremont Street, do not Russell and Bates, and
Childs and Jenks, and De Vries and Ibarra, follow them as soon as the
shops can be got ready?

"But it is the motive," pipes up the old gray ghost of propriety, who
started this abuse of the Sybarites in some stupid Spartan black-broth
shop (English that for _café_), two thousand two hundred and twenty-two
years ago,--which ghost I am now belaboring,--"it is the motive. The
Sybarites moved the brass-founders, because they wanted to sleep after
the brass-founders got up in the morning." What if they did, you old rat
in the arras? Is there any law, human or divine, which says that at one
and the same hour all men shall rise from bed in this world? My
excellent milkman, Mr. Whit, rises from bed daily at two o'clock. If he
does not, my family, including Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, will
not have their fresh milk at 7.37, at which time we breakfast or pretend
to. But because he rises at two, must we all rise at two, and sit
wretchedly whining on our respective camp-stools, waiting for Mr. Whit
to arrive with the grateful beverage? Many is the time, when I have been
watching with a sick child at five in a summer morning, when the little
fellow had just dropped into a grateful morning doze, that I have
listened and waited, dreading the arrival of the Providence morning
express. Because I knew that, a mile and a half out of Boston, the
engine would begin to blow its shrill whistle, for the purpose, I
believe, of calling the Boston station-men to their duty. Three or four
minutes of that _skre-e-e-e_ must there be, as that train swept by our
end of the town. And hoping and wishing never did any good; the train
would come, and the child would wake. Is not that a magnificent power
for one engine-man to have over the morning rest of thirty thousand
sleeping people, because you, old Spartan croaker, who can't sleep easy
underground it seems, want to have everybody waked up at the same hour
in the morning. When I hear that whistle, and the fifty other whistles
of the factories that have since followed its wayward and unlicensed
example, I have wished more than once that we had in Boston a little
more of the firm government of Sybaris.

For if, as it would appear from these instances, Sybaris were a city
which grew to wealth and strength by the recognition of the personal
rights of each individual in the state,--if Sybaris were a republic,
where the individual was respected, had his rights, and was not left to
the average chances of the majority of men,--then Sybaris had found out
something which no modern city has found out, and which it is a pity we
have all forgotten.

I do not say that I went through all this speculation at the Latin
school. I got no further there than to see that the Sybarites had got a
very bad name, and that the causes did not appear in the Greek Reader. I
supposed there were causes somewhere, which it was not proper to put
into the Greek Reader. Perhaps there were. But if there were, I have
never found them,--not being indeed very well acquainted with the lines
of reading in which those who wanted to find them should look for them.

       *       *       *       *       *

What I did find of Sybaris, when I could read Greek rather more easily,
and could get access to some decent atlases, was briefly this.

Well forward in the hollow of the arched foot of the boot of Italy, two
little rivers run into the Gulf of Tarentum. One was named Crathis, one
was named Sybaris. Here stood the ancient city of Sybaris, founded,
about the time of Romulus or Numa Pompilius, by a colony from Greece.
For two hundred years and more,--almost as long, dear Atlantic, as your
beloved Boston has subsisted,--Sybaris flourished, and was the Rome of
that region, ruling it from sea to sea.

It was the capital of four states,--a sort of New England, if you will
observe,--and could send three hundred thousand armed men into the
field. The walls of the city were six miles in circumference, while the
suburbs covered the banks of the Crathis for a space of seven miles. At
last the neighboring state of Crotona, under the lead of Milon the
Athlete (he of the calf and ox and split log), the Heenan or John
Morrissey of his day, vanquished the more refined Sybarites, turned the
waters of the Crathis upon their prosperous city, and destroyed it. But
the Sybarites had had that thing happen too often to be discouraged.
Five times, say the historians, had Sybaris been destroyed, and five
times they built it up again. This time the Athenians sent ten vessels,
with men to help them, under Lampon and Xenocritus. And they, with those
who stood by the wreck, gave their new city the name of Thurii. Among
the new colonists were Herodotus, and Lysias the orator, who was then a
boy. The spirit that had given Sybaris its comfort and its immense
population appeared in the legislation of the new state. It received its
laws from CHARONDAS, one of the noblest legislators of the world. Study
these laws and you will see that in the young Sybaris the individual had
his rights, which the public preserved for him, though he were wholly in
a minority. There is an evident determination that a man shall live
while he lives, and that, too, in no sensual interpretation of the

Of the laws made by Charondas for the new Sybaris a few are preserved.

1. A calumniator was marched round the city in disgrace, crowned with
tamarisk. "In consequence," says the Scholiast, "they all left the
city." O for such a result, from whatever legislation, in our modern
Pedlingtons, great or little!

2. All persons were forbidden to associate with the bad.

3. "He made another law, better than these, and neglected by the older
legislators. For he enacted that all the sons of the citizens should be
instructed in letters, the city paying the salaries of the teachers. For
he held that the poor, not being able to pay their teachers from their
own property, would be deprived of the most valuable discipline." There
is FREE EDUCATION for you, two thousand and seventy-six years before the
date of your first Massachusetts free school; and the theory of free
education completely stated.

4. Deserters or cowards in battle had to sit in women's dresses in the
Forum three days.

5. With regard to the amendment of laws, any man or woman who moved one
did it with a noose round his neck, and was hanged if the people refused
it. Only three laws were ever amended, therefore, all which are recorded
in the history. Observe that the women might move amendments,--and think
of the simplicity of legislation!

6. The law provided for cash payments, and the government gave no
protection for those who sold on credit.

7. Their communication with other nations was perfectly free.

I might give more instances. I should like to tell some of the curious
stories which illustrate this simple legislation. Poor Charondas himself
fell a victim to it. One of the laws provided that no man should wear a
sword into the public assembly. No Cromwells there! Unfortunately, by
accident, Charondas wore his own there one day. Brave fellow! when the
fault was pointed out, he killed himself with it.

Now do you wonder that a city where there were no calumniators, no long
credit, no bills at the grocers, no fighting at town meetings, no
amendments to the laws, no intentional and open association with
profligates, and where everybody was educated by the state to letters,
proved a comfortable place to live in? It is of the old Sybaris that the
coppersmith and the rose-leaf stories are told; and it was the new
Sybaris that made the laws. But do you not see that there is one spirit
in the whole? Here was a nation which believed that the highest work of
a nation was to train its people. It did not believe in fight, like
Milon or Heenan or the old Spartans; it did not believe in legislation,
like Massachusetts and New York; it did not believe in commerce, like
Carthage and England. It believed in men and women. It respected men and
women. It educated men and women. It gave their rights to men and women.
And so the Spartans called them effeminate. And the Greek Reader made
fun of them. But perhaps the people who lived there were indifferent to
the opinions of the Spartans and of the Greek Reader. Herodotus lived
there till he died; wrote his history there, among other things. Lysias,
the orator, took part in the administration. It is not from them, you
may be sure, that you get the anecdotes which ridicule the old city of

You and I would probably be satisfied with such company as that of
Herodotus and Charondas and Lysias. So we hunt the history down to see
if there may be lodgings to let there this summer, but only to find that
it all pales out in the ignorance of our modern days. The name gets
changed into Lupiæ; but there it turns out that Pausanias made "a
strange mistake," and should have written Copia,--which was perhaps
Cossa, or sometimes Cosa. Pyrrhus appears, and Hadrian rebuilds
something, and the "Oltramontani," whoever they may have been, ravage
it, and finally the Saracens fire and sack it; and so, in the latest
Italian itinerary you can find, there is no post-road goes near it, only
a _strada rotabile_ (wheel-track) upon the hills; and, alas! even the
_rotabile_ gives way at last, and all the map will own to is a _strada
pedonale_, or foot-path. But the map is of the less consequence, when
you find that the man who edited it had no later dates than the
beginning of the last century, when the family of Serra had transferred
the title to Sybaris to a Genoese family without a name, who received
from it forty thousand ducats yearly, and would have received more, if
their agents had been more faithful. There the place fades out of
history, and you find in your Swinburne, "that the locality has _never_
been thoroughly examined"; in your Smith's Dictionary, that "the whole
subject is very obscure, and a careful examination still much needed";
in the Cyclopædia, that the site of Sybaris is lost. Craven saw the
rivers Crathis and Sybaris. He seems not to have seen the wall of
Sybaris, which he supposed to be under water. He does say of Cassano,
the nearest town he came to, that "no other spot can boast of such
advantages." In short, no man living who has written any book about it
dares say that anybody has looked upon the certain site of Sybaris for
more than a hundred years.[C] If a man wanted to write a mythical story,
where could he find a better scene?

Now is not this a very remarkable thing? Here was a city, which, under
its two names of Sybaris or of Thurium, was for centuries the regnant
city of all that part of the world. It could call into the field three
hundred thousand men,--an army enough larger than Athens ever furnished,
or Sparta. It was a far more populous and powerful state than ever
Athens was, or Sparta, or the whole of Hellas. It invented and carried
into effect free popular education,--a gift to the administration of
free government larger than ever Rome rendered. It received and honored
Charondas, the great practical legislator, from whose laws no man shall
say how much has trickled down into the Code Napoleon or the Revised
Statutes of New York, through the humble studies of the Roman jurists.
It maintained in peace, prosperity, happiness, and, as its maligners
say, in comfort, an immense population. If they had not been as
comfortable as they were,--if a tenth part of them had received alms
every year, and a tenth part were flogged in the public schools every
year,--if one in forty had been sent to prison every year, as in the
happy city which publishes the "Atlantic Monthly,"--then Sybaris,
perhaps, would never have got its bad name for luxury. Such a city
lived, flourished, ruled, for hundreds of years. Of such a city all that
you know now with certainty is, that its coin is "the most beautifully
finished in the cabinets of ancient coinage"; and that no traveller even
pretends to be sure that he has been to the site of it for more than a
hundred years. That speaks well for your nineteenth century.

Now the reader who has come thus far will understand that I, having come
thus far, in twenty-odd years since those days of teetering on the
pea-green settee, had always kept Sybaris in the background of my head,
as a problem to be solved, and an inquiry to be followed to its
completion. There could hardly have been a man in the world better
satisfied than I to be the hero of the adventure which I am now about to

       *       *       *       *       *

If the reader remembers anything about Garibaldi's triumphal entry into
Porto Cavallo in Sicily in the spring of 1859, he will remember that,
between the months of March and April in that year, the great chieftain
made, in that wretched little fishing haven, a long pause, which was not
at the time understood by the journals or by their military critics, and
which, indeed, to this hour has never been publicly explained. I suppose
I know as much about it as any man now living. But I am not writing
Garibaldi's memoirs, nor, indeed, my own, excepting so far as they
relate to Sybaris; and it is strictly nobody's business to inquire as to
that detention, unless it interest the ex-king of Naples, who may write
to me, if he chooses, addressing Frederic Ingham, Esq., Waterville, N.
H. Nor is it anybody's business how long I had then been on Garibaldi's
staff. From the number of his staff-officers who have since visited me
in America, very much in want of a pair of pantaloons, or a ticket to
New York, or something with which they might buy a glass of whiskey, I
should think that his staff alone must have made up a much more
considerable army than Naples, or even Sybaris, ever brought into the
field. But where these men were when I was with him, I do not know. I
only know that there was but a handful of us then, hard-worked fellows,
good-natured, and not above our work. Of its military details we knew
wretchedly little. But as we had no artillery, ignorance was less
dangerous in the chief of artillery; as we had no maps to draw, poor
draughtsmanship did not much embarrass the engineer in chief. For me, I
was nothing but an aid, and I was glad to do anything that fell to me as
well as I knew how. And, as usual in human life, I found that a cool
head, a steady resolve, a concentrated purpose, and an unselfish
readiness to obey, carried me a great way. I listened instead of
talking, and thus got a reputation for knowing a great deal. When the
time to act came, I acted without waiting for the wave to recede; and
thus I sprang into many a boat dry-shod, while people who believed in
what is popularly called prudence missed their chance, and either lost
the boat or fell into the water.

This is by the way. It was under these circumstances that I received my
orders, wholly secret and unexpected, to take a boat at once, pass the
straits, and cross the Bay of Tarentum, to communicate at Gallipoli
with--no matter whom. Perhaps I was going to the "Castle of Otranto." A
hundred years hence anybody who chooses will know. Meanwhile, if there
should be a reaction in Otranto, I do not choose to shorten anybody's
neck for him.

Well, it was five in the afternoon,--near sundown at that season. I
went to dear old Frank Chaney,--the jolliest of jolly Englishmen, who
was acting quartermaster-general,--and told him I must have
transportation. I can see him and hear him now,--as he sat on his barrel
head, smoked his vile Tunisian tobacco in his beloved short meerschaum,
which was left to him ever since he was at Bonn, as he pretended, a
student with Prince Albert. He did not swear,--I don't think he ever
did. But he looked perplexed enough to swear. And very droll was the
twinkle of his eye. The truth was, that every sort of a thing that would
sail, and every wretch of a fisherman that could sail her, had been, as
he knew, and as I knew, sent off that very morning to rendezvous at
Carrara, for the contingent which we were hoping had slipped through
Cavour's pretended neutrality. And here was an order for him to furnish
me "transportation" in exactly the opposite direction.

"Do you know of anything, yourself, Fred?" said he.

"Not a coffin," said I.

"Did the chief suggest anything?"

"Not a nutshell," said I.

"Could not you go by telegraph?" said Frank, pointing up to the dumb old
semaphore in whose tower he had established himself. "Or has not the
chief got a wishing carpet? Or can't you ride to Gallipoli? Here are
some excellent white-tailed mules, good enough for Pindar, whom
Colvocoressis has just brought in from the monastery. 'Transportation
for one!' Is there anything to be brought back? Nitre, powder, lead,
junk, hard-tack, mules, horses, pigs, _polenta_, or _olla podrida_, or
other of the stores of war?"

No; there was nothing to bring back except myself. Lucky enough if I
came back to tell my own story. And so we walked up on the tower deck to
take a look.

Blessed St. Lazarus, chief of Naples and of beggars! a little felucca
was just rounding the Horse Head and coming into the bay, wing-wing. The
fishermen in her had no thought that they were ever going to get into
the Atlantic. May be they had never heard of the Ocean or of the
Monthly. Can that be possible? Frank nodded, and I. He filled up with
more Tunisian, beckoned to an orderly, and we walked down to the
landing-jetty to meet them.

_"Viva Italia!"_ shouted Frank, as they drew near enough to hear.

_"Viva Garibaldi!"_ cried the skipper, as he let his sheet fly and
rounded to the well-worn stones. A good voyage had they made of it, he
and his two brown, ragged boys. Large fish and small, pink fish, blue,
yellow, orange, striped fish and mottled, wriggled together, and flapped
their tails in the well of the little boat. There were even too many to
lie there and wriggle. The bottom of the boat was well covered with
them, and, if she had not shipped waves enough to keep them cool, the
boy Battista had bailed a plenty on them. Father and son hurried on
shore, and Battista on board began to fling the scaly fellows out to

A very small craft it was to double all those capes in, run the straits,
and stretch across the bay. If it had been mine "to make reply," I
should undoubtedly have made this, that I would see the quartermaster
hanged, and his superiors, before I risked myself in any such
rattletrap. But as, unfortunately, it was mine to go where I was sent, I
merely set the orderly to throwing out fish with the boys, and began to
talk with the father.

Queer enough, just at that moment, there came over me the feeling that,
as a graduate of the University, it was my duty to put up those red,
white, and blue scaly fellows, who were flopping about there so briskly,
and send them in alcohol to Agassiz. But there are so many duties of
that kind which one neglects in a hard-worked world! As a graduate, it
is my duty to send annually to the College Librarian a list of all the
graduates who have died in the town I live in, with their fathers' and
mothers' names, and the motives that led them to College, with anecdotes
of their career, and the date of their death. There are two thousand
three hundred and forty-five of them I believe, and I have never sent
one half-anecdote about one! Such failure in duty made me grimly smile
as I omitted to stop and put up these fish in alcohol, and as I plied
the unconscious skipper with inquiries about his boat. "Had she ever
been outside?" "O signor, she had been outside this very day. You cannot
catch _tonno_ till you have passed both capes,--least of all such fine
fish as that is,"--and he kicked the poor wretch. Can it be true, as
C---- says, that those dying flaps of theirs, are exquisite luxury to
them, because for the first time they have their fill of oxygen? "Had he
ever been beyond Peloro?" "O yes, signor; my wife, Caterina, was herself
from Messina,"--and on great saints' days they had gone there often.
Poor fellow, his great saint's day sealed his fate. I nodded to
Frank,--Frank nodded to me,--and Frank blandly informed him that, by
order of General Garibaldi, he would take the gentleman at once on
board, pass the strait with him, "and then go where he tells you."

The Southern Italian has the reputation, derived from Tom Moore, of
being a coward. When I used to speak at school,

    "Ay, down to the dust with them,--slaves as they are!"--

stamping my foot at "dust," I certainly thought they were a very mean
crew. But I dare say that Neapolitan school-boys have some similar
school piece about the risings of Tom Moore's countrymen, which
certainly have not been much more successful than the poor little
Neapolitan revolution which he was pleased to satirize. Somehow or
other, Victor Emanuel is, at this hour, king of Naples. Coward or not,
this fine fellow of a fisherman did not flinch. It is my private opinion
that he was not nearly as much afraid of the enterprise as I was. I made
this observation at the moment with some satisfaction, sent Frank's man
up to my lodgings with a note ordering my own traps sent down, and in an
hour we were stretching out, under the twilight, across the little bay.

No! I spare you the voyage. Sybaris is what we are after, all this time,
if we can only get there. Very easy it would be for me to give you cheap
scholarship from the Æneid, about Palinurus and Scylla and Charybdis.
Neither Scylla nor Charybdis bothered me,--as we passed wing-wing
between them before a smart north wind. I had a little Hunter's Virgil
with me, and read the whole voyage,--and confused Battista utterly by
trying to make him remember something about Palinuro, of whom he had
never heard. It was much as I afterwards asked my negro waiter at Fort
Monroe about General Washington at Yorktown. "Never heard of him,
sir,--was he in the Regular army?" So Battista thought Palinuro must
have fished in the Italian fleet, with which the Sicilian boatmen were
not well acquainted. Messina made no objections to us. Perhaps, if the
sloop of war which lay there had known who was lying in the boat under
her guns, I might not be writing these words to-day. Battista went
ashore, got lemons, macaroni, hard bread, polenta, for themselves, the
_Giornale di Messina_ for me, and more Tunisian; and, not to lose that
splendid breeze, we cracked on all day, passed Reggio, hugged the shore
bravely, though it was rough, ran close under those cliffs which are the
very end of the Apennines,--will it shock the modest reader if I say the
very toe-nails of the Italian foot?--hauled more and more eastward, made
Spartivento blue in the distance, made it purple, made it brown, made it
green, still running admirably,--ten knots an hour we must have got
between four and five that afternoon,--and by the time the lighthouse at
Spartivento was well ablaze we were abreast of it, and might begin to
haul more northward, so that, though we had a long course before us, we
should at last be sailing almost directly towards our voyage's end,

At that moment--as in any sea often happens, if you come out from the
more land-locked channel into the larger body of water--the wind
appeared to change. Really, I suppose, we came into the steady southwest
wind which had probably been drawing all day up toward the Adriatic. In
two hours more we made the lighthouse of Stilo, and I was then tired
enough to crawl down into the fearfully smelling little cuddy, and,
wrapping Battista's heavy storm-jacket round my feet, I caught some sort
of sleep.

But not for very long. I struck my watch at three in the morning. And
the air was so unworthy of that name,--it was such a thick paste,
seeming to me more like a mixture of tar and oil and fresh fish and
decayed fish and bilge-water than air itself,--that I voted three
morning, and crawled up into the clear starlight,--how wonderful it was,
and the fresh wet breeze that washed my face so cheerily!--and I bade
Battista take his turn below, while I would lie there and mind the helm.
If--if he had done what I proposed, I suppose I should not be writing
these lines; but his father, good fellow, said: "No, signor, not yet. We
leave the shore now for the broad bay, you see; and if the wind haul
southward, we may need to go on the other tack. We will all stay here,
till we see what the deep-sea wind may be." So we lay there, humming,
singing, and telling stories, still this rampant southwest wind behind,
as if all the powers of the Mediterranean meant to favor my mission to
Gallipoli. The boat was now running straight before it. We stretched out
bravely into the gulf; but, before the wind, it was astonishing how
easily the lugger ran. He said to me at last, however, that on that
course we were running to leeward of our object; but that it was the
best point for his boat, and if the wind held, he would keep on so an
hour longer, and trust to the land breeze in the morning to run down the
opposite shore of the bay.

"If" again. The wind did not keep on. Either the pole-star, and the
dipper, and all the rest of them, had rebelled and were drifting
westward,--and so it seemed; or this steady southwest gale was giving
out; or, as I said before, we had come into the sweep of a current even
stronger, pouring from the Levantine shores of the Mediterranean full up
the Gulf of Tarentum. Not ten minutes after the skipper spoke, it was
clear enough to both of us that the boat must go about, whether we
wanted to or not, and we waked the other boy, to send him forward,
before we accepted the necessity. Half asleep, he got up, courteously
declined my effort to help him by me as he crossed the boat, stepped
round on the gunwale behind me as I sat, and then, either in a lurch or
in some misstep, caught his foot in the tiller as his father held it
firm, and pitched down directly behind Battista himself, and, as I
thought, into the sea. I sprang to leeward to throw something after him,
and found him in the sea indeed, but hanging by both hands to the
gunwale, safe enough, and in a minute, with Battista's help and mine, on
board again. I remember how pleased I was that his father did not swear
at him, but only laughed prettily, and bade him be quick, and step
forward; and then, turning to the helm, which he had left free for the
moment, he did not swear indeed, but he did cry "Santa Madre!" when he
found there was no tiller there. The boy's foot had fairly wrenched it,
not only from his father's hand, but from the rudder-head,--and it was

We held the old fellow firmly by his feet and legs, as he lay over the
stern of the boat, head down, examining the condition of the
rudder-head. The report was not favorable. I renewed the investigation
myself in the same uncomfortable attitude. The phosphorescence of the
sea was but an unsteady light, but light enough there was to reveal what
daylight made hardly more certain,--that the wrench which had been given
to the rotten old fixtures, shaky enough at best, had split the head of
the rudder, so that the pintle hung but loosely in its bed, and that
there was nothing available for us to rig a jury-tiller on. This
discovery, as it became more and more clear to each of us four in
succession, abated successively the volleys of advice which we were
offering, and sent us back to our more quiet "Santa Madres" or to
meditations on "what was next to best."

Meanwhile the boat was flying, under the sail she had before, straight
before the wind, up the Gulf of Tarentum.

If you cannot have what you like, it is best, in a finite world, to like
what you have. And while the old man brought up from the cuddy his
wretched and worthless stock of staves, rope-ends, and bits of iron, and
contemplated them ruefully, as if asking them which would like to assume
the shape of a rudder-head and tiller, if his fairy godmother would
appear on the top of the mast for a moment, I was plying the boys with
questions,--what would happen to us if we held on at this tearing rate,
and rushed up the bay to the head thereof. The boys knew no more than
they knew of Palinuro. Far enough, indeed, were we from their parish.
The old man at last laid down the bit of brass which he had saved from
some old waif, and listened to me as I pointed out to them on my map the
course we were making, and, without answering me a word, fell on his
knees and broke into most voluble prayer,--only interrupted by sobs of
undisguised agony. The boys were almost as much surprised as I was. And
as he prayed and sobbed, the boat rushed on!

Santa Madre, San Giovanni, and Sant' Antonio,--we needed all their help,
if it were only to keep him quiet; and when at last he rose from his
knees, and came to himself enough to tend the sheets a little, I asked,
as modestly as I could, what put this keen edge on his grief or his
devotions. Then came such stories of hobgoblins, witches, devils,
giants, elves, and fairies, at this head of the bay!--no man ever
returned who landed there; his father and his father's father had
charged him, and his brothers and his cousins, never to be lured to
make a voyage there, and never to run for those coves, though schools of
golden fish should lead the way. It was not till this moment, that,
trying to make him look upon the map, I read myself there the words, at
the mouth of the Crathis River, "Sybaris Ruine."

Surely enough, this howling Euroclydon--for Euroclydon it now was--was
bearing me and mine directly to Sybaris!

And here was this devout old fisherman confirming the words of Smith's
Dictionary, when it said that nobody had been there and returned, for
generation upon generation.

At a dozen knots an hour, as things were, I was going to Sybaris! Nor
was I many hours from it. For at that moment we cannot have been more
than five-and-thirty miles from the beach, where, in less than four
hours, Euroclydon flung us on shore.

The memory of the old green settees, and of Hutchinson and Wheeler and
the other Latin-school boys, sustained me beneath the calamity which
impended. Nor do I think at heart the boys felt so bad as their father
about the djins and the devils, the powers of the earth and the powers
of the air. Is there, perhaps, in the youthful mind, rather a passion
for "seeing the folly" of life a little in that direction? None the less
did we join him in rigging out the longest sweep we had aft, lashing it
tight under the little rail which we had been leaning on, and trying
gentle experiments, how far this extemporized rudder might bring the
boat round to the wind. Nonsense the whole. By that time Euroclydon was
on us, so that I would never have tried to put her about if we had had
the best gear I ever handled, and our experiments only succeeded far
enough to show that we were as utterly powerless as men could be.
Meanwhile day was just beginning to break. I soothed the old man with
such devout expressions as heretic might venture. I tried to turn him
from the coming evil to the present necessity. I counselled with him
whether it might not be safer to take in sail and drift along. But from
this he dissented. Time enough to take in sail when we knew what shore
we were coming to. He had no kedge or grapple or cord, indeed, that
would pretend to hold this boat against this gale. We would beach her,
if it pleased the Virgin; and if we could not,--shaking his head,--why,
that would please the Virgin, too.

And so Euroclydon hurried us on to Sybaris.

The sun rose, O how magnificently! Is there anywhere to see sunrise like
the Mediterranean? And if one may not be on the top of Katahdin, is
there any place for sunrise like the very level of the sea? Already the
Calabrian mountains of our western horizon were gray against the sky.
One or another of us was forward all the time, trying to make out by
what slopes the hills descended to the sea. Was it cliff of basalt, or
was it reedy swamp, that was to receive us. I insisted at last on his
reducing sail. For I felt sure that he was driving on under a sort of
fatality which made him dare the worst. I was wholly right, for the boat
now rose easier on the water, and was much more dry.

Perhaps the wind flagged a little as the sun rose. At all events, he
took courage, which I had never lost. I made his boy find us some
oranges. I made them laugh by eating their cold polenta with them. I
even made him confess, when I called him aft and sent Battista forward,
that the shore we were nearing looked low. For we were near enough now
to see stone pines and chestnut-trees. Did anybody see the towers of

Not a tower! But, on the other hand, not a gnome, witch, Norna's Head,
or other intimation of the underworld. The shore looked like many other
Italian shores. It looked not very unlike what we Yankees call
salt-marsh. At all events, we should not break our heads against a wall!
Nor will I draw out the story of our anxieties, varying as the waves
did on which we rose and fell so easily. As she forged on, it was clear
at last that to some wanderers, at least, Sybaris had some hospitality.
A long, low spit made out into the sea, with never a house on it, but
brown with storm-worn shrubs, above the line of which were the
stone-pines and chestnuts which had first given character to the shore.
Hard for us, if we had been flung on the outside of this spit. But we
were not. Else I had not been writing here to-day. We passed it by fifty
fathom clear. Of course under its lee was our harbor. Battista let go
the halyards in a moment, and the wet sails came rattling down. The old
man, the boy, Battista, and I seized the best sweeps he had left. Two of
us at each, working on the same side, we brought her head round as fast
as she would bear it in that fearful sea. Inch by inch we wrought along
to the smoother water, and breathed free at last, as we came under the
partial protection of the friendly shore.

Battista and his brother then hauled up the sail enough to give such
headway to the boat as we thought our sweeps would control. And we crept
along the shore for an hour, seeing nothing but reeds, and now and then
a distant buffalo, when at last a very hard knock on a rock the boy
ahead had not seen under water started the planks so that we knew that
was dangerous play; and, without more solicitation, the old man beached
the boat in a little cove where the reeds gave place for a trickling
stream. I told them they might land or not, as they pleased. I would go
ashore and get assistance or information. The old man clearly thought I
was going to ask my assistance from the father of lies himself. But he
was resigned to my will,--said he would wait for my return. I stripped,
and waded ashore with my clothes upon my head, dressed as quickly as I
could, and pushed up from the beach to the low upland.

Clearly enough I was in a civilized country. Not that there was a
gallows, as the old joke says; but there were tracks in the shingle of
the beach showing where wheels had been, and these led me to a
cart-track between high growths of that Mediterranean reed which grows
all along in those low flats. There is one of the reeds on the hooks
above my gun in the hall as you came in. I followed up the track, but
without seeing barn, house, horse, or man, for a quarter of a mile,
perhaps, when behold,--

Not the footprint of a man! as to Robinson Crusoe;--

Not a gallows and man hanging! as in the sailor story above named;--

But a railroad track! Evidently a horse-railroad.

"A horse-railroad in Italy!" said I, aloud. "A horse-railroad in
Sybaris! It must have changed since the days of the coppersmiths!" And I
flung myself on a heap of reeds which lay there, and waited.

In two minutes I heard the fast step of horses, as I supposed; in a
minute more four mules rounded the corner, and a "horse-car" came
dashing along the road. I stepped forward and waved my hand, but the
driver bowed respectfully, pointed back, and then to a board on top of
his car, and I read, as he dashed by me, the word

[Greek: Plêron],

displayed full above him; as one may read _Complet_ on a Paris omnibus.

Now [Greek: Plêron] is the Greek for full. "In Sybaris they do not let
the horse-railroads grind the faces of the passengers," said I. "Not so
wholly changed since the coppersmiths." And, within the minute, more
quadrupedantal noises, more mules, and another car, which stopped at my
signal. I entered, and found a dozen or more passengers, sitting back to
back on a seat which ran up the middle of the car, as you might ride in
an Irish jaunting-car. In this way it was impossible for the conductor
to smuggle in a standing passenger, impossible for a passenger to catch
cold from a cracked window, and possible for a passenger to see the
scenery from the window. "Can it be possible," said I, "that the
traditions of Sybaris really linger here?"

I sat quite in the front of the car, so that I could see the fate of my
first friend [Greek: Plêron],--the full car. In a very few minutes it
switched off from our track, leaving us still to pick up our complement,
and then I saw that it dropped its mules, and was attached, on a side
track, to an endless chain, which took it along at a much greater
rapidity, so that it was soon out of sight. I addressed my next neighbor
on the subject, in Greek which would have made my fortune in those old
days of the pea-green settees. But he did not seem to make much of that,
but in sufficiently good Italian told me, that, as soon as we were full,
we should be attached in the same way to the chain, which was driven by
stationary engines five or six stadia apart, and so indeed it proved. We
picked up one or two market-women, a young artist or two, and a little
boy. When the child got in, there was a nod and smile on people's faces;
my next neighbor said to me, [Greek: Plêron], as if with an air of
relief; and sure enough, in a minute more, we were flying along at a
2.20 pace, with neither mule nor engine in sight, stopping about once a
mile to drop passengers, if there was need, and evidently approaching

All along now were houses, each with its pretty garden of perhaps an
acre, no fences, because no cattle at large. I wonder if the Vineland
people know they caught that idea from Sybaris! All the houses were of
one story,--stretching out as you remember Pliny's villa did, if Ware
and Van Brunt ever showed you the plans,--or as Erastus Bigelow builds
factories at Clinton. I learned afterwards that stair-builders and
slaveholders are forbidden to live in Sybaris by the same article in the
fundamental law. This accounts, with other things, for the vigorous
health of their women. I supposed that this was a mere suburban habit,
and, though the houses came nearer and nearer, yet, as no two houses
touched in a block, I did not know we had come into the city till all
the passengers left the car, and the conductor courteously told me we
were at our journey's end.

When this happens to you in Boston, and you leave your car, you find
yourself huddled on a steep sloping sidewalk, under the rain or snow,
with a hundred or more other passengers, all eager, all wondering, all
unprovided for. But I found in Sybaris a large glass-roofed station,
from which the other lines of neighborhood cars radiated, in which women
and even little children were passing from route to to route, under the
guidance of civil and intelligent persons, who, strange enough, made it
their business to conduct these people to and fro, and did not consider
it their duty to insult the traveller. For a moment my mind reverted to
the contrast at home; but not long. As I stood admiring and amused at
once, a bright, brisk little fellow stepped up to me, and asked what my
purpose was, and which way I would go. He spoke in Greek first, but,
seeing I did not catch his meaning, relapsed into very passable Italian,
quite as good as mine.

I told him that I was shipwrecked, and had come into town for
assistance. He expressed sympathy, but wasted not a moment, led me to
his chief at an office on one side, who gave me a card with the address
of an officer whose duty it was to see to strangers, and said that he
would in turn introduce me to the chief of the boat-builders; and then
said, as if in apology for his promptness,

    "[Greek: Chrê xeiuon pareonta philein, ethelonta de pempein.]"
    "Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest."

He called to me a conductor of the red line, said [Greek: Xenos], which
we translate guest, but which I found in this case means "dead-head," or
"free," bowed, and I saw him no more.

"Strange country have I come to, indeed," said I, as I thought of the
passports of Civita Vecchia, of the indifference of Scollay's Buildings,
and of the surliness of Springfield. "And this is Sybaris!"

       *       *       *       *       *

We sent down a tug to the cove which I indicated on their topographical
map, and to the terror of the old fisherman and his sons, to whom I had
sent a note, which they could not read, our boat was towed up to the
city quay, and was put under repairs. That last thump on the hidden rock
was her worst injury, and it was a week before I could get away. It was
in this time that I got the information I am now to give, partly from my
own observations, partly from what George the Proxenus or his brother
Philip told me,--more from what I got from a very pleasing person, the
wife of another brother, at whose house I used to visit freely, and
whose boys, fine fellows, were very fond of talking about America with
me. They spoke English very funnily, and like little school-books. The
ship-carpenter, a man named Alexander, was a very intelligent person;
and, indeed, the whole social arrangement of the place was so simple,
that it seemed to me that I got on very fast, and knew a great deal of
them in a very short time.

I told George one day, that I was surprised that he had so much time to
give to me. He laughed, and said he could well believe that, as I had
said that I was brought up in Boston. "When I was there," said he, "I
could see that your people were all hospitable enough, but that the
people who were good for anything were made to do all the work of the
_vauriens_, and really had no time for friendship or hospitality. I
remember an historian of yours, who crossed with me, said that there
should be a motto stretched across Boston Bay, from one fort to another,
with the words, 'No admittance, except on business.'"

I did not more than half like this chaffing of Boston, and asked how
they managed things in Sybaris.

"Why, you see," said he, "we hold pretty stiffly to the old Charondian
laws, of which perhaps you know something; here's a copy of the code, if
you would like to look over it," and he took one out of his pocket. "We
are still very chary about amendments to statutes, so that very little
time is spent in legislation; we have no bills at shops, and but little
debt, and that is all on honor, so that there is not much
account-keeping or litigation; you know what happens to gossips,--gossip
takes a good deal of time elsewhere,--and somehow everybody does his
share of work, so that all of us do have a good deal of what you call
'leisure.' Whether," he added pensively, "in a world God put us into
that we might love each other, and learn to love,--whether the time we
spend in society, or the time we spend caged behind our office desks, is
the time which should be called devoted to the 'business of life,' that
remains to be seen."

"How came you to Boston," said I, "and when?"

"O, we all have to travel," said George, "if we mean to go into the
administration. And I liked administration. I observe that you appoint a
foreign ambassador because he can make a good stump speech in Kentucky.
But since Charondas's time, training has been at the bottom of our
system. And no man could offer himself here to serve on the school
committee, unless he knew how other nations managed their schools."

"Not if he had himself made school-books?" said I.

"No!" laughed George, "for he might introduce them. With us no professor
may teach from a text-book he has made himself, unless the highest
council of education order it; and on the same principle we should never
choose a bookseller on the school committee. And so, to go back," he
said, "when my father found that administration was my passion, he sent
me the grand tour. I learned a great deal in America, and am very fond
of the Americans. But I never saw one here before."

I did not ask what he learned in America, for I was more anxious to
learn myself how they administered government in Sybaris.

       *       *       *       *       *

The inns at Sybaris are not very large, not extending much beyond the
compass of a large private house. Mine was kept by a woman. As we sat
there, smoking on the piazza, the first evening I was there, I asked
George about this horse-railroad management, and the methods they took
to secure such personal comfort.

He said that my question cut pretty low down, for that the answer really
involved the study of their whole system. "I have thought of it a good
deal," said he, "when I have been in St. Petersburg, and in England and
America; and as far as I can find out, our peculiarity in everything is,
that we respect--I have sometimes thought we almost worshipped--the
rights, even the notions or whims, of the individual citizen. With us
the first object of the state, as an organization, is to care for the
individual citizen, be he man, woman, or child. We consider the state to
be made for the better and higher training of men, much as your divines
say that the Church is. Instead of our lumping our citizens, therefore,
and treating Jenny Lind and Tom Heenan to the same dose of public
schooling,--instead of saying that what is sauce for the goose is sauce
for the gander,--we try to see that each individual is protected in the
enjoyment, not of what the majority likes, but of what he chooses, so
long as his choice injures no other man."

I thought, in one whiff, of Stuart Mill, and of the coppersmiths.

"Our horse-railroad system grew out of this theory," continued he. "As
long ago as Herodotus, people lived here in houses one story high, with
these gardens between. But some generations ago, a young fellow named
Apollidorus, who had been to Edinburgh, pulled down his father's house
and built a block of what you call houses on the site of it. They were
five stories high, had basements, and so on, with windows fore and aft,
and, of course, none on the sides. The old fogies looked aghast. But he
found plenty of fools to hire them. But the tenants had not been in a
week, when the Kategoros, district attorney, had him up 'for taking
away from a citizen what he could not restore.' This, you must know, is
one of the severest charges in our criminal code.

"Of course, it was easy enough to show that the tenants went willingly;
he showed dumb-waiters, and I know not what infernal contrivances of
convenience within. But he could not show that the tenants had north
windows and south windows, because they did not. The government, on
their side, showed that men were made to breathe fresh air, and that he
could not ventilate his houses as if they were open on all sides; they
showed that women were not made to climb up and down ladders, and to
live on stages at the tops of them; and he tried in vain to persuade the
jury that this climbing was good for little children. He had lured these
citizens into places dangerous for health, growth, strength, and
comfort. And so he was compelled to erect a statue typical of strength,
and a small hospital for infants, as his penalty. That spirited
Hercules, which stands in front of the market, was a part of his fine.

"Of course, after a decision like this, concentration of inhabitants was
out of the question. Every pulpit in Sybaris blazed with sermons on the
text, 'Every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig-tree.'
Everybody saw that a house without its own garden was an abomination,
and easy communication with the suburbs was a necessity.

"It was, indeed, easy enough to show, as the city engineer did, that the
power wasted in lifting people up, and, for that matter, down stairs, in
a five-story house, in one day, would carry all those people I do not
know how many miles on a level railroad track in less time. What you
call horse-railroads, therefore, became a necessity."

I said they made a great row with us.

"Yes," said he, "I saw they did. With us the government owns and repairs
the track, as you do the track of any common road. We never have any

"You see," he added after a pause, "with us, if a conductor sprains the
ankle of a citizen, it is a matter the state looks after. With you, the
citizen must himself be the prosecutor, and virtually never is. Did you
notice a pretty winged Mercury outside the station-house you came to?"

I had noticed it.

"That was put up, I don't know how long ago, in the infancy of these
things. They took a car off one night, without public notice beforehand.
One old man was coming in on it, to his daughter's wedding. He missed
his connection out at Little Krastis, and lost half an hour. Down came
the Kategoros. The company had taken from a citizen what they could not
restore, namely, half an hour."

George lighted another cigar, and laughed very heartily. "That's a great
case in our reports," he said. "The company ventured to go to trial on
it. They hoped they might overturn the old decisions, which were so old
that nobody knows when they were made,--as old as the dancing horses,"
said he, laughing. "They said _time_ was not a thing,--it was a relation
of ideas; that it did not exist in heaven; that they could not be made
to suffer because they did not deliver back what no man ever saw, or
touched, or tasted. What was half an hour? But the jury was pitiless. A
lot of business men, you know,--they knew the value of time. What did
they care for the metaphysics? And the company was bidden to put up an
appropriate statue worth ten talents in front of their station-house, as
a reminder to all their people that a citizen's time was worth

This was George's first visit to me; and it was the first time,
therefore, that I observed a queer thing. Just at this point he rose
rather suddenly and bade me good evening. I begged him to stay, but had
to repeat my invitation twice. His hand was on the handle of the door
before he turned back. Then he sat down, and we went on talking; but
before long he did the same thing again, and then again.

At last I was provoked, and said: "What is the custom of your country?
Do you have to take a walk every eleven minutes and a quarter?"

George laughed again, and indeed blushed. "Do you know what a bore is?"
said he.

"Alas! I do," said I.

"Well," said he, "the universal custom here is, that an uninvited guest,
who calls on another man on his own business, rises at the end of eleven
minutes, and offers to go. And the courts have ruled, very firmly, that
there must be a _bona fide_ effort. We get into such a habit of it,
that, with you, I really did it unawares. The custom is as old as
Cleisthenes and his wedding. But some of the decisions are not more than
two or three centuries old, and they are very funny.

"On the whole," he added, "I think it works well. Of course, between
friends, it is absurd, but it is a great protection against a class of
people who think their own concerns are the only things of value. You
see you have only to say, when a man comes in, that you thank him for
coming, that you wish he would stay, or to take his hat or his
stick,--you have only to make him an invited guest,--and then the rule
does not hold."

"Ah!" said I; "then I invite you to spend every evening with me while I
am here."

"Take care," said he; "the Government Almanac is printed and distributed
gratuitously from the fines on bores. Their funds are getting very low
up at the department, and they will be very sharp on your friends. So
you need not be profuse in your invitations."

       *       *       *       *       *

This conversation was a clew to a good many things which I saw while I
was in the city. I never was in a place where there were so many
tasteful, pretty little conveniences for everybody. At the quadrants,
where the streets cross, there was always a pretty little sheltered seat
for four or five people,--shaded, stuffed, dry, and always the morning
and evening papers, and an advertisement of the times of boats and
trains, for any one who might be waiting for a car or for a friend.
Sometimes these were votive offerings, where public spirit had spoken in
gratitude. More often they had been ordered at the cost of some one who
had taken from a citizen what he could not repay. The private citizen
might often hesitate about prosecuting a bore, or a nuisance, or a
conceited company officer. But the Kategoroi made no bones about it.
They called the citizen as a witness, and gave the criminal a reminder
which posterity held in awe. Their point, as they always explained it to
me, is, that the citizen's health and strength are essential to the
state. The state cannot afford to have him maimed, any more than it can
afford to have him drunk or ignorant. The individual, of course, cannot
be following up his separate grievances with people who abridge his
rights. But the public accuser can and does.

With us, public servants, who know they are public servants, are always
obliging and civil. I would not ask better treatment in my own home than
I am sure of in Capitol, State-house, or city hall. It is only when you
get to some miserable sub-bureau, where the servant of the servant of a
creature of the state can bully you, that you come to grief. For
instance the State of Massachusetts just now forbids corporations to
work children more than ten hours a day. The _corporations_ obey. But
the overseers in the rooms, whom the corporations employ, work children
eleven hours, or as many as they choose. They would not stand that in

       *       *       *       *       *

I was walking one day with one of the bright boys of whom I spoke, and I
asked him, as I had his father, if I was not keeping him away from his
regular occupation. Ought he not be at school?

"No," said he; "this is my off-term."

"Pray, what is that?"

"Don't you know? We only go to school three months in winter and three
in summer. I thought you did so in America. I know Mr. Webster did. I
read it in his Life."

I was on the point of saying that we knew now how to train more powerful
men than Mr. Webster, but the words stuck in my throat, and the boy
rattled on.

"The teachers have to be there all the time, except when they go in
retreat. They take turns about retreat. But we are in two choroi; I am
choros-boy now, James is anti-choros. Choros have school in January,
February, March, July, August, September. Next year I shall be

"Which do you like best,--off-term or school?" said I.

"O, both is as good as one. When either begins, we like it. We get
rather sick of either before the three months are over."

"What do you do in your off-terms?" said I,--"go fishing?"

"No, of course not," said he, "except Strep, and Hipp, and Chal, and
those boys, because their fathers are fishermen. No, we have to be in
our fathers' offices, we big boys; the little fellows, they let them
stay at home. If I was here without you now, that truant-officer we
passed just now would have had me at home before this time. Well, you
see they think we learn about business, and I guess we do. I know I do,"
said he, "and sometimes I think I should like to be a Proxenus when I am
grown up, but I do not know."

I asked George about this, the same evening. He said the boy was pretty
nearly right about it. They had come round to the determination that the
employment of children, merely because their wages were lower than
men's, was very dangerous economy. The chances were that the children
were over-worked, and that their constitution was fatally impaired. "We
do not want any Manchester-trained children here." Then they had found
that steady brain-work on girls, at the growing age, was pretty nearly
slow murder in the long run. They did not let girls go to school with
any persistency after they were twelve or fourteen. After they were
twenty, they might study what they chose.

"But the main difference between our schools and yours," said he, "is
that your teacher is only expected to hear the lesson recited. Our
teacher is expected to teach it also. You have in America, therefore,
sixty scholars to one teacher. We do not pretend to have more than
twenty to one teacher. We do this the easier because we let no child go
to school more than half the time; nor, even with the strongest, more
than four hours a day.

"Why," said he, "I was at a college in America once, where, with
splendid mathematicians, they had had but one man teach any mathematics
for thirty years. And he was travelling in Europe when I was there. The
others only heard recitations of those who could learn without being

"I was once there," said I.

       *       *       *       *       *

The boat's repairs still lingered, and on Sunday little Phil. came round
with a note from his mother, to ask if I would go to church with them.
If I had rather go to the cathedral or elsewhere, Phil. would show me
the way. I preferred to go with him and her together. It was a pretty
little church,--quite open and airy it would seem to us,--excellent
chance to see dancing vines, or flying birds, or falling rains, or other
"meteors outside," if the preacher proved dull or the hymns undevout.
But I found my attention was well held within. Not that the preaching
was anything to be repeated. The sermon was short, unpretending, but
alive and devout. It was a sonnet, all on one theme; that theme pressed,
and pressed, and pressed again, and, of a sudden, the preacher was done.
"You say you know God loves you," he said. "I hope you do, but I am
going to tell you once more that he loves you, and once more and once
more." What pleased me in it all was a certain unity of service, from
the beginning to the end. The congregation's singing seemed to suggest
the prayer; the prayer seemed to continue in the symphony of the organ;
and, while I was in revery, the organ ceased; but as it was ordered, the
sermon took up the theme of my revery, and so that one theme ran through
the whole. The service was not ten things, like the ten parts of a
concert, it was one act of communion or worship. Part of this was due, I
guess, to this, that we were in a small church, sitting or kneeling near
each other, close enough to get the feeling of communion,--not parted,
indeed, in any way. We had been talking together, as we stood in the
churchyard before the service began, and when we assembled in the church
the sense of sympathy continued. I told Kleone that I liked the home
feeling of the church, and she was pleased. She said she was afraid I
should have preferred the cathedral. There were four large cathedrals,
open, as the churches were, to all the town; and all the clergy, of
whatever order, took turns in conducting the service in them. There were
seven successive services in each of them that Sunday. But each
clergyman had his own special charge beside,--I should think of not more
than a hundred families. And these families, generally neighbors in the
town, indeed, seemed, naturally enough, to grow into very familiar
personal relations with each other.

       *       *       *       *       *

I asked Philip one day how long his brother George would hold his office
of host, or Proxenus. Philip turned a little sharply on me, and asked if
I had any complaints to make, being, in fact, rather a quick-tempered
person. I soothed him by explaining that all that I asked about was the
tenure of office in their system, and he apologized.

"He will be in as long as he chooses, probably. In theory, he remains in
until a majority of the voters, which is to say the adult men and women,
join in a petition for his removal. Then he will be removed at once.
The government will appoint a temporary substitute, and order an
election of his successor."

"Do you mean there is no fixed election-day?"

"None at all," said Philip. "We are always voting. When we stopped just
now I went in to vote for an alderman of our ward, in place of a man who
has resigned. I wish I had taken you in with me, though there was
nothing to see. Only three or four great books, each headed with the
name of a candidate. I wrote my name in Andrew Second's book. He is, on
the whole, the best man. The books will be open three months. No one, of
course, can vote more than once, and at the end of that time there will
be a count, and a proclamation will be made. Then about removal; any one
who is dissatisfied with a public officer puts his name up at the head
of a book in the election office. Of course there are dozens of books
all the time. But unless there is real incapacity, nobody cares.
Sometimes, when one man wants another's place, he gets up a great
breeze, the newspapers get hold of it, and everybody is canvassed who
can be got to the spot. But it is very hard to turn out a competent
officer. If in three months, however, at all the registries, a majority
of the voters express a wish for a man's removal, he has to go out.
Practically, I look in once a week at that office to see what is going
on. It is something as you vote at your clubs."

"Did you say women as well as men?" said I.

"O, yes," said Philip, "unless a woman or a man has formally withdrawn
from the roll. You see, the roll is the list, not only of voters, but of
soldiers. For a man to withdraw, is to say he is a coward and dares not
take his chance in war. Sometimes a woman does not like military
service, and if she takes her name off I do not think the public feeling
about it is quite the same as with a man. She may have things to do at

"But do you mean that most of the women serve in the army?" said I.

"Of course they do," said he. "They wanted to vote, so we put them on
the roll. You do not see them much. Most of the women's regiments are
heavy artillery, in the forts, which can be worked just as well by
persons of less as of more muscle if you have enough of them. Each
regiment in our service is on duty a month, and in reserve six. You know
we have no distant posts."

"We have a great many near-sighted men in America," said I, "who cannot
serve in the army."

"We make our near-sighted men work heavy guns, serve in light artillery,
or, in very bad cases, we detail them to the police work of the camps,"
said he. "The deaf and dumb men we detail to serve the military
telegraphs. They keep secrets well. The blind men serve in the bands.
And the men without legs ride in barouches in state processions.
Everybody serves somewhere."

"That is the reason," said I, with a sigh, "why everybody has so much
time in Sybaris!"

       *       *       *       *       *

But the reader has more than enough of this. Else I would print my
journal of "A Week in Sybaris." By Thursday the boat was mended. I
hunted up the old fisherman and his boys. He was willing to go where my
Excellency bade, but he said his boys wanted to stay. They would like to
live here.

"Among the devils?" said I.

The old man confessed that the place for poor men was the best place he
ever saw; the markets were cheap, the work was light, the inns were
neat, the people were civil, the music was good, the churches were free,
and the priests did not lie. He believed the reason that nobody ever
came back from Sybaris was, that nobody wanted to.

The Proxenus nodded, well pleased.

"So Battista and his brother would like to stay a few months; and he
found he might bring Caterina too, when my Excellency had returned from
Gallipoli; or did my Excellency think that, when Garibaldi had driven
out the Bourbons, all the world would be like Sybaris?"

My Excellency hoped so; but did not dare promise.

       *       *       *       *       *

"You see now," said George, "why you hear so little of Sybaris. Enough
people come to us. But you are the only man I ever saw leave Sybaris who
did not mean to return."

"And I," said I,--"do you think I am never coming here again?"

"You found it a hard harbor to make," said the Proxenus. "We have
published no sailing directions since St. Paul touched here, and those
which he wrote--he sent them to the Corinthians yonder--neither they nor
any one else have seemed to understand."

"Good by."

"God bless you! Good by." And I sailed for Gallipoli.


[Footnote B: I am writing in Westerly's snuggery, and in Providence they
believe in Webster. I dare say it is worse in Worcester. A good many
things are.]

[Footnote C: The reader who cares to follow the detail is referred to
Diodorus Siculus, XII.; Strabo, VI.; Ælian, V. H. 9, c. 24; Athenæus,
XII. 518; Plutarch in Pelopidas; Herodotus, V. and VI. Compare Laurent's
Geographical Notes, and Wheeler and Gaisford; Pliny, III. 15, VII. 22,
XVI. 33, VIII. 64, XXXI. 9; Aristotle, Polit. IV. 12, V. 3; Heyne's
Opuscula, II. 74; Bentley's Phalaris, 367; Solinus, 2, § 10, "luxuries
grossly exaggerated"; Scymnus, 337-360; Aristophanes, Vesp. 1427, 1436;
Lycophron, Alex. 1079; Polybius, Gen. Hist. II. 3, on the confederation
of Sybaris, Krotan, and Kaulonia,--"a perplexing statement," says Grote,
"showing that he must have conceived the history of Sybaris in a very
different form from that in which it is commonly represented"; third
volume of De Non, who disagrees with Magnan as to the site of Sybaris,
and says the sea-shore is uninhabitable! Tuccagni Orlandini, Vol. XI.,
Supplement, p. 294; besides the dictionaries and books of travels,
including Murray. I have availed myself, without other reference, of
most of these authorities.]


Twenty-five thousand pianos were made in the United States last year!

This is the estimate of the persons who know most of this branch of
manufacture, but it is only an approximation to the truth; for, besides
the sixty makers in New York, the thirty in Boston, the twenty in
Philadelphia, the fifteen in Baltimore, the ten in Albany, and the less
number in Cincinnati, Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco,
there are small makers in many country towns, and even in villages, who
buy the parts of a piano in the nearest city, put them together, and
sell the instrument in the neighborhood. The returns of the houses which
supply the ivory keys of the piano to all the makers in the country are
confirmatory of this estimate; which, we may add, is that of Messrs.
Steinway of New York, who have made it a point to collect both the
literature and the statistics of the instrument, of which they are among
the largest manufacturers in the world.

The makers' prices of pianos now range from two hundred and ninety
dollars to one thousand; and the prices to the public, from four hundred
and fifty dollars to fifteen hundred. We may conclude, therefore, that
the people of the United States during the year 1866 expended fifteen
millions of dollars in the purchase of new pianos. It is not true that
we export many pianos to foreign countries, as the public are led to
suppose from the advertisements of imaginative manufacturers. American
citizens--all but the few consummately able kings of business--allow a
free play to their imagination in advertising the products of their
skill. Canada buys a small number of our pianos; Cuba, a few; Mexico, a
few; South America, a few; and now and then one is sent to Europe, or
taken thither by a Thalberg or a Gottschalk; but an inflated currency
and a war tariff make it impossible for Americans to compete with
European makers in anything but excellence. In price, they cannot
compete. Every disinterested and competent judge with whom we have
conversed on this subject gives it as his deliberate opinion that the
best American piano is the best of all pianos, and the one longest
capable of resisting the effects of a trying climate; yet we cannot sell
them, at present, in any considerable numbers, in any market but our
own. Protectionists are requested to note this fact, which is not an
isolated fact. America possesses such an astonishing genius for
inventing and combining labor-saving machinery, that we could now supply
the world with many of its choicest products, in the teeth of native
competition, but for the tariff, the taxes, and the inflation, which
double the cost of producing. The time may come, however, when we shall
sell pianos at Paris, and watches in London, as we already do
sewing-machines everywhere.

Twenty-five thousand pianos a year, at a cost of fifteen millions of
dollars! Presented in this manner, the figures produce an effect upon
the mind, and we wonder that an imperfectly reconstructed country could
absorb in a single year, and that year an unprosperous one, so large a
number of costly musical instruments. But, upon performing a sum in long
division, we discover that these startling figures merely mean, that
every working-day in this country one hundred and twelve persons buy a
new piano. When we consider, that every hotel, steamboat, and public
school above a certain very moderate grade, must have from one to four
pianos, and that young ladies' seminaries jingle with them from basement
to garret, (one school in New York has thirty Chickerings,) and that
almost every couple that sets up housekeeping on a respectable scale
considers a piano only less indispensable than a kitchen range, we are
rather inclined to wonder at the smallness than at the largeness of the

The trade in new pianos, however, is nothing to the countless
transactions in old. Here figures are impossible; but probably ten
second-hand pianos are sold to one new one. The business of letting
pianos is also one of great extent. It is computed by the well-informed,
that the number of these instruments now "out," in the city of New York,
is three thousand. There is one firm in Boston that usually has a
thousand let. As the rent of a piano ranges from six dollars to twelve
dollars a month,--cartage both ways paid by the hirer,--it may be
inferred that this business, when conducted on a large scale, and with
the requisite vigilance, is not unprofitable. In fact, the income of a
piano-letting business has approached eighty thousand dollars per annum,
of which one third was profit. It has, however, its risks and drawbacks.
From June to September, the owner of the instruments must find storage
for the greater part of his stock, and must do without most of his
monthly returns. Many of those who hire pianos, too, are persons
"hanging on the verge" of society, who have little respect for the
property of others, and vanish to parts unknown, leaving a damaged piano
behind them.

England alone surpasses the United States in the number of pianos
annually manufactured. In 1852, the one hundred and eighty English
makers produced twenty-three thousand pianos,--fifteen hundred grands,
fifteen hundred squares, and twenty thousand uprights. As England has
enjoyed fifteen years of prosperity since, it is probable that the
annual number now exceeds that of the United States. The English people,
however, pay much less money for the thirty thousand pianos which they
probably buy every year, than we do for our twenty-five thousand. In
London, the retail price of the best Broadwood grand, in plain mahogany
case, is one hundred and thirty-five guineas; which is a little more
than half the price of the corresponding American instrument. The best
London square piano, in plain case, is sixty guineas,--almost exactly
half the American price. Two thirds of all the pianos made in England
are low-priced uprights,--averaging thirty-five guineas,--which would
not stand in our climate for a year. England, therefore, supplies
herself and the British empire with pianos at an annual expenditure of
about eight millions of our present dollars. American makers, we may
add, have recently taken a hint from their English brethren with regard
to the upright instrument. Space is getting to be the dearest of all
luxuries in our cities, and it has become highly desirable to have
pianos that occupy less of it than the square instrument which we
usually see. Successful attempts have been recently made to apply the
new methods of construction to the upright piano, with a view to make it
as durable as those of the usual forms. Such a brisk demand has sprung
up for the improved uprights, that the leading makers are producing them
in considerable numbers, and the Messrs. Steinway are erecting a new
building for the sole purpose of manufacturing them. The American
uprights, however, cannot be cheap. Such is the nature of the American
climate, that a piano, to be tolerable, must be excellent; and while
parts of the upright cost more than the corresponding parts of the
square, no part of it costs less. Six hundred dollars is the price of
the upright in plain rosewood case,--fifty dollars more than a plain
rosewood square.

Paris pianos are renowned, the world over, and consequently three tenths
of all the pianos made in Paris are exported to foreign countries.
France, too, owing to the cheapness of labor, can make a better cheap
piano than any other country. In 1852, there were ten thousand pianos
made in Paris, at an average cost of one thousand francs each; and, we
are informed, a very good new upright piano can now be bought in France
for one hundred dollars. But in France the average wages of
piano-makers are five francs per day; in London, ten shillings; in New
York, four dollars and thirty-three cents. The cream of the business, in
Paris, is divided among three makers,--Erard, Hertz, and Pleyel,--each
of whom has a concert-hall of his own, to give _éclat_ to his
establishment. We presume Messrs. Steinway added "Steinway Hall" to the
attractions of New York from the example of their Paris friends, and
soon the metropolis will boast a "Chickering Hall" as well. This is an
exceedingly expensive form of advertisement. Steinway Hall cost two
hundred thousand dollars, and has not yet paid the cost of warming,
cleaning, and lighting it. This, however, is partly owing to the
good-nature of the proprietors, who find it hard to exact the rent from
a poor artist after a losing concert, and who have a constitutional
difficulty about saying _No_, when the use of the hall is asked for a
charitable object.

In Germany there are no manufactories of pianos on the scale of England,
France, and the United States. A business of five pianos a week excites
astonishment in a German state, and it is not uncommon there for one man
to construct every part of a piano,--a work of three or four months. Mr.
Steinway the elder has frequently done this in his native place, and
could now do it. A great number of excellent instruments are made in
Germany in the slow, patient, thorough manner of the Germans; but in the
fashionable houses of Berlin and Vienna no German name is so much valued
as those of the celebrated makers of Paris. In the London exhibition of
1851, Russian pianos competed for the medals, some of which attracted
much attention from the excellence of their construction. Messrs.
Chickering assert, that the Russians were the first to employ
successfully the device of "overstringing," as it is called, by which
the bass strings are stretched over the others.

The piano, then, one hundred and fifty-seven years after its invention,
in spite of its great cost, has become the leading musical instrument
of Christendom. England produces thirty thousand every year; the United
States, twenty-five thousand; France, fifteen thousand; Germany, perhaps
ten thousand; and all other countries, ten thousand; making a total of
ninety thousand, or four hundred and twenty-two for every working-day.
It is computed, that an average piano is the result of one hundred and
twenty days' work; and, consequently, there must be at least fifty
thousand men employed in the business. And it is only within a few years
that the making of these noble instruments has been done on anything
like the present scale. Messrs. Broadwood, of London, who have made in
all one hundred and twenty-nine thousand pianos, only begin to count at
the year 1780; and in the United States there were scarcely fifty pianos
a year made fifty years ago.

We need scarcely say that the production of music for the piano has kept
pace with the advance of the instrument. Dr. Burney mentions, in his
History of Music (Vol. IV. p. 664), that when he came to London in 1744,
"Handel's Harpsichord Lessons and Organ Concertos, and the two First
Books of Scarletti's Lessons, were all the good music for keyed
instruments at that time in the nation." We have at this moment before
us the catalogue of music sold by one house in Boston, Oliver Ditson &
Co. It is a closely printed volume of three hundred and sixty pages, and
contains the titles of about thirty-three thousand pieces of music,
designed to be performed, wholly or partly, on the piano. By far the
greater number are piano music pure and simple. It is not a very rare
occurrence for a new piece to have a sale of one hundred thousand copies
in the United States. A composer who can produce the kind of music that
pleases the greatest number, may derive a revenue from his art ten times
greater than Mozart or Beethoven enjoyed in their most prosperous time.
There are trifling waltzes and songs upon the list of Messrs. Ditson,
which have yielded more profit than Mozart received for "Don Giovanni"
and "The Magic Flute" together. We learn from the catalogue just
mentioned, that the composers of music have an advantage over the
authors of books, in being always able to secure a publisher for their
productions. Messrs. Ditson announce that they are ready and willing to
publish any piece of music by any composer on the following easy
conditions: "Three dollars per page for engraving; two dollars and a
half per hundred sheets of paper; and one dollar and a quarter per
hundred pages for printing." At the same time they frankly notify
ambitious teachers, that "not one piece in ten pays the cost of getting
up, and not one in fifty proves a success."

The piano, though its recent development has been so rapid, is the
growth of ages, and we can, for three thousand years or more, dimly and
imperfectly trace its growth. The instrument, indeed, has found an
historian,--Dr. Rimbault of London,--who has gathered the scattered
notices of its progress into a handsome quarto, now accessible in some
of our public libraries. It is far from our desire to make a display of
cheap erudition; yet perhaps ladies who love their piano may care to
spend a minute or two in learning how it came to be the splendid triumph
of human ingenuity, the precious addition to the happiness of existence,
which they now find it to be. "I have had my share of trouble," we heard
a lady say the other day, "but my piano has kept me happy." All ladies
who have had the virtue to subdue this noble instrument to their will,
can say something similar of the solace and joy they daily derive from
it. The Greek legend that the twang of Diana's bow suggested to Apollo
the invention of the lyre, was not a mere fancy; for the first stringed
instrument of which we have any trace in ancient sculpture differed from
an ordinary bow only in having more than one string. A two-stringed bow
was, perhaps, the first step towards the grand piano of to-day.
Additional strings involved the strengthening of the bow that held them;
and, accordingly, we find the Egyptian harps, discovered in the
catacombs by Wilkinson, very thick and massive in the lower part of the
frame, which terminated sometimes in a large and solid female head. From
the two-stringed bow to these huge twelve-stringed Egyptian harps, six
feet high and beautifully finished with veneer, inlaid with ivory and
mother-of-pearl, no one can say how many centuries elapsed. The catgut
strings of the harps of three thousand years ago are still capable of
giving a musical sound. The best workmen of the present time, we are
assured, could not finish a harp more exquisitely than these are
finished; yet they have no mechanism for tightening or loosening the
strings, and no strings except such as were furnished by the harmless,
necessary cat. The Egyptian harp, with all its splendor of decoration,
was a rude and barbaric instrument.

It has not been shown that Greece or Rome added one essential
improvement to the stringed instruments which they derived from older
nations. The Chickerings, Steinways, Erards, and Broadwoods of our day
cannot lay a finger upon any part of a piano, and say that they owe it
to the Greeks or to the Romans.

The Cithara of the Middle Ages was a poor thing enough, in the form of a
large P, with ten strings in the oval part; but it had _movable pegs_,
and could be easily tuned. It was, therefore, a step toward the piano of
the French Exposition of 1867.

But the Psaltery was a great stride forward. This instrument was an
arrangement of _strings on a box_. Here we have the principle of the
sounding-board,--a thing of vital moment to the piano, and one upon
which the utmost care is bestowed by all the great makers. Whoever first
thought of stretching strings on a box may also be said to have half
invented the guitar and the violin. No single subsequent thought has
been so fruitful of consequences as this in the improvement of stringed
instruments. The reader, of course, will not confound the psaltery of
the Middle Ages with the psaltery of the Hebrews, respecting which
nothing is known. The translators of the Old Testament assigned the
names with which they were familiar to the musical instruments of the

About the year 1200 we arrive at the Dulcimer, which was an immense
psaltery, with improvements. Upon a harp-shaped box, eighteen to
thirty-six feet long, fifty strings were stretched, which the player
struck with a stick or a long-handled hammer. This instrument was a
signal advance toward the grand piano. It _was_ a piano, without its

The next thing, obviously, must have been to contrive a method of
striking the strings with certainty and evenness; and, accordingly, we
find indications of a keyed instrument after the year 1300, called the
Clavicytherium, or keyed cithara. The invention of keys permitted the
strings to be covered over, and therefore the strings of the
clavicytherium were enclosed _in_ a box, instead of being stretched _on_
a box. The first keys were merely long levers with a nub at the end of
them, mounted on a pivot, which the player canted up at the strings on
the see-saw principle. It has required four hundred years to bring the
mechanism of the piano key to its present admirable perfection. The
clavicytherium was usually a very small instrument,--an oblong box,
three or four feet in length, that could be lifted by a girl of
fourteen. The clavichord and manichord, which we read of in Mozart's
letters, were only improved and better-made clavicytheria. How affecting
the thought, that the divine Mozart had nothing better on which to try
the ravishing airs of "The Magic Flute" than a wretched box of brass
wires, twanged with pieces of quill! So it is always, and in all
branches of art. Shakespeare's plays, Titian's pictures, the great
cathedrals, Newton's discoveries, Mozart's and Handel's music, were
executed while the implements of art and science were still very rude.

Queen Elizabeth's instrument, the Virginals, was a box of strings, with
improved keys, and mounted on four legs. In other words, it was a small
and very bad piano. The excellent Pepys, in his account of the great
fire of London of 1666, says: "River full of lighters and boats taking
in goods, and good goods swimming in the water; and only I observed that
hardly one lighter or boat in three that had the goods of a house in it,
but there were a pair of virginalls in it." Why "a pair"? For the same
reason that induces many persons to say "a pair of stairs," and "a pair
of compasses," that is, no reason at all.

It is plain that the virginals, or virgin's clavichord, was very far
from holding the rank among musical instruments which the piano now
possesses. If any of our readers should ever come upon a thin folio
entitled "Musick's Monument," (London, 1676,) we advise him to clutch
it, retire from the haunts of men, and abandon himself to the delight of
reading the Izaak Walton of music. It is a most quaint and curious
treatise upon "the Noble Lute, the best of instruments," with a chapter
upon "the generous Viol," by Thomas Mace, "one of the clerks of Trinity
College in the University of Cambridge." Master Mace deigns not to
mention keyed instruments, probably regarding keys as old sailors regard
the lubber's hole,--fit only for greenhorns. The "Noble Lute," of which
Thomas Mace discourses, was a large, heavy, pot-bellied guitar with many
strings. We learn from this enthusiastic author, that the noble lute had
been calumniated by some ignorant persons; and it is in refuting their
calumnious imputations that he pours out a torrent of knowledge upon his
beloved instrument, and upon the state of music in England in 1675. In
reply to the charge, that the noble lute was a very hard instrument to
play upon, he gives posterity a piece of history. That the lute _was_
hard once, he confesses, but asserts that "it is now easie, and very

"The First and Chief Reason that it was Hard in former Times, was,
Because they had to their Lutes but Few Strings; viz. to some 10, some
12, and some 14 Strings, which in the beginning of my Time were almost
altogether in use; (and is this present Year 1675. Fifty four years
since I first began to undertake That Instrument). But soon after, they
began to adde more Strings unto Their Lutes, so that we had Lutes of 16,
18, and 20 Strings; which they finding to be so Great a Convenience,
stayed not long till they added more, to the Number of 24, where we now
rest satisfied; only upon my Theorboes I put 26 Strings, for some Good
Reasons I shall be able to give in due Time and Place."

Another aspersion upon the noble lute was, that it was "a Woman's
Instrument." Master Mace gallantly observes, that if this were true, he
cannot understand why it should suffer any disparagement on that
account, "but rather that it should have the more Reputation and

There are passages in this ancient book which take us back so agreeably
to the concert-rooms and parlors of two hundred years ago, and give us
such an insight into the musical resources of our forefathers, that we
shall venture to copy two or three of them. The following brief
discourse upon Pegs is very amusing:--

"And you must know, that from the Badness of the Pegs, arise several
Inconveniences; The first I have named, viz. the Loss of Labour. The 2d.
is, the Loss of Time; for I have known some so extreme long in Tuning
their Lutes and Viols, by reason only of Bad Pegs, that They have
wearied out their Auditors before they began to Play. A 3d.
Inconvenience is, that oftentimes, if a High-stretch'd small String
happen to slip down, 'tis in great danger to break at the next winding
up, especially in wet moist weather, and that It have been long slack.
The 4th. is, that when a String hath been slipt back, it will not stand
in Tune, under many Amendments; for it is continually in stretching
itself, till it come to Its highest stretch. A 5th. is, that in the
midst of a Consort, All the Company must leave off, because of some
Eminent String slipping. A 6th. is, that sometimes ye shall have such a
Rap upon the Knuckles, by a sharp-edg'd Peg, and a stiff strong String,
that the very Skin will be taken off. And 7thly. It is oftentimes an
occasion of the Thrusting off the Treble-Peg-Nut, and sometime of the
Upper Long Head; And I have seen the Neck of an Old Viol, thrust off
into two pieces, by reason of the Badness of the Pegs, meerly with the
Anger and hasty Choller of Him that has been Tuning. Now I say that
These are very Great Inconveniences, and do adde much to the Trouble and
Hardness of the Instrument. I shall therefore inform you how ye may Help
All These with Ease; viz. Thus. When you perceive any Peg to be troubled
with the slippery Disease, assure your self he will never grow better of
Himself, without some of Your Care; Therefore take Him out, and examine
the Cause."

He gives advice with regard to the preservation of the Lute in the moist
English climate:--

"And that you may know how to shelter your Lute, in the worst of Ill
weathers (which is moist) you shall do well, ever when you Lay it by in
the day-time, to put It into a Bed, that is constantly used, between the
Rug and Blanket; but never between the Sheets, because they may be moist
with Sweat, &c.

"This is the most absolute and best place to keep It in always, by which
doing, you will find many Great Conveniencies, which I shall here set

"Therefore, a Bed will secure from all These Inconveniences, and keep
your Glew so Hard as Glass, and All safe and sure; only to be excepted,
That no Person be so inconsiderate, as to Tumble down upon the Bed,
whilst the Lute is There; For I have known several Good Lutes spoil'd
with such a Trick."

We may infer from Master Mace his work, that the trivial virginals were
gaining in popular estimation upon the nobler instrument which is the
theme of his eulogy. He has no patience with those who object to his
beloved lute that it is out of fashion. He remarks upon this subject in
a truly delicious strain:--

"I cannot understand, how Arts and Sciences should be subject unto any
such Phantastical, Giddy, or Inconsiderate Toyish Conceits, as ever to
be said to be in Fashion, or out of Fashion. I remember there was a
Fashion, not many years since, for Women in their Apparel to be so Pent
up by the Straitness, and Stiffness of their Gown-Shoulder-Sleeves, that
They could not so much as Scratch Their Heads, for the Necessary Remove
of a Biting Louse; nor Elevate their Arms scarcely to feed themselves
Handsomly; nor Carve a Dish of Meat at a Table, but their whole Body
must needs Bend towards the Dish. This must needs be concluded by
Reason, a most Vnreasonable, and Inconvenient Fashion; and They as
Vnreasonably Inconsiderate, who would be so Abus'd, and Bound up. I
Confess It was a very Good Fashion, for some such Viragoes, who were
us'd to Scratch their Husbands Faces or Eyes, and to pull them down by
the Coxcombes. And I am subject to think, It was a meer Rogery in the
Combination, or Club-council of the Taylors, to Abuse the Women in That
Fashion, in Revenge of some of the Curst Dames their Wives."

Some lute-makers, this author informs us, were so famous in Europe, that
he had seen lutes of their making, "pittifull, old, batter'd, crack'd
things," that were valued at a hundred pounds sterling each; and he had
often seen lutes of three or four pounds' value "far more illustrious
and taking to a Common eye." In refuting the "aspersion that one had as
good keep a horse (for cost) as a Lute," he declares, that he never in
his life "took more than five shillings the quarter to maintain a Lute
with strings, only for the first stringing I ever took ten shillings."
He says, however: "I do confess Those who will be Prodigal and
Extraordinary Curious, may spend as much as may maintain two or three
Horses, and Men to ride upon them too, if they please. But 20_s._ per
ann. is an Ordinary Charge; and much more they need not spend, to
practise very hard."

Keyed instruments, despite the remonstrances of the lutists, continued
to advance toward their present supremacy. As often as an important
improvement was introduced, the instrument changed its name, just as in
our day the melodeon was improved into the harmonium, then into the
organ-harmonium, and finally into the cabinet organ. The virginals of
1600 became the spinet of 1700,--so called because the pieces of quill
employed in twanging the strings resembled thorns, and _spina_, in
Latin, means thorn. Any lady who will take the trouble to mount to the
fourth story of the Messrs. Chickering's piano store in the city of New
York, may see such a spinet as Mrs. Washington, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs.
Hamilton played upon when they were little girls. It is a small,
harp-shaped instrument on legs, exceedingly coarse and clumsy in its
construction,--the case rough and unpolished, the legs like those of a
kitchen table, with wooden castors such as were formerly used in the
construction of cheap bedsteads of the "trundle" variety. The keys,
however, are much like those now in use, though they are fewer in
number, and the ivory is yellow with age. If the reader would know the
tone of this ancient instrument, he has but to stretch a brass wire
across a box between two nails, and twang them with a short pointed
piece of quill. And if the reader would know how much better the year
1867 is than the year 1700, he may first hear this spinet played upon in
Messrs. Chickering's dusty garret, and then descend to one of the floors
below, and listen to the round, full, brilliant singing of a Chickering
grand, of the present illustrious year. By as much as that grand piano
is better than that poor little spinet, by so much is the present time
better than the days when Louis XIV. was king. If any intelligent
person doubts it, it is either because he does not know that age, or
because he does not know this age.

The spinet expanded into the harpsichord, the leading instrument from
1700 to 1800. A harpsichord was nothing but a very large and powerful
spinet. Some of them had two strings for each note; some had three; some
had three kinds of strings,--catgut, brass, and steel; and some were
painted and decorated in the most gorgeous style. Frederick the Great
had one made for him in London, with silver hinges, silver pedals,
inlaid case, and tortoise-shell front, at a cost of two hundred guineas.
Every part of the construction of the spinet was improved, and many new
minor devices were added; but the harpsichord, in its best estate, was
nothing but a spinet, because its strings were always twanged by a piece
of quill. How astonished would an audience be to hear a harpsichord of
1750, and to be informed that such an instrument Handel felt himself
fortunate to possess!

Next, the piano,--invented at Florence in 1710, by Bartolommeo

The essential difference between a harpsichord and a piano is described
by the first name given to the piano, which was _hammer-harpsichord_, i.
e. a harpsichord the strings of which were struck by hammers, not
twanged by quills. The next name given to it was _forte-piano_, which
signified soft, with power; and this name became _piano-forte_, which it
still retains. One hundred years were required to prove to the musical
public the value of an invention without which no further development of
stringed instruments had been possible. No improvement in the mere
mechanism of the harpsichord could ever have overcome the trivial effect
of the twanging of the strings by pieces of quill; but the moment the
hammer principle was introduced, nothing was wanting but improved
mechanism to make it universal. It required, however, a century to
produce the improvements sufficient to give the piano equal standing
with the harpsichord. The first pianos gave forth a dull and feeble
sound to ears accustomed to the clear and harp-like notes of the
fashionable instrument.

In that same upper room of the Messrs. Chickering, near the spinet just
mentioned, there is an instrument, made perhaps about the year 1800,
which explains why the piano was so slow in making its way. It resembles
in form and size a grand piano of the present time, though of coarsest
finish and most primitive construction, with thin, square, kitchen-table
legs, and wooden knobs for castors. This interesting instrument has two
rows of keys, and is _both_ a harpsichord and a piano,--one set of keys
twanging the wires, and the other set striking them. The effect of the
piano notes is so faint and dull, that we cannot wonder at the general
preference for the harpsichord for so many years. It appears to have
been a common thing in the last century to combine two or more
instruments in one. Dr. Charles Burney, writing in 1770, mentions "a
very curious keyed instrument" made under the direction of Frederick II.
of Prussia. "It is in shape like a large clavichord, has several changes
of stops, and is occasionally a harp, a harpsichord, a lute, or
piano-forte; but the most curious property of this instrument is, that,
by drawing out the keys, the hammers are transferred to different
strings. By which means a composition may be transposed half a note, a
whole note, or a flat third lower at pleasure, without the embarrassment
of different notes or clefs, real or imaginary."

The same sprightly author tells us of "a fine Rucker harpsichord, which
he has had painted inside and out with as much delicacy as the finest
coach, or even snuff-box, I ever saw at Paris. On the outside is the
birth of Venus; and on the inside of the cover, the story of Rameau's
most famous opera, Castor and Pollux. Earth, Hell, and Elysium are there
represented; in Elysium, sitting on a bank, with a lyre in his hand, is
that celebrated composer himself."

This gay instrument was at Paris. In Italy, the native home of music,
the keyed instruments, in 1770, Dr. Burney says, were exceedingly
inferior to those of the North of Europe. "Throughout Italy, they have
generally little octave spinets to accompany singing in private houses,
sometimes in a triangular form, but more frequently in the shape of an
old virginal; of which the keys are so noisy and the tone is so feeble,
that more wood is heard than wire. I found three English harpsichords in
the three principal cities of Italy, which are regarded by the Italians
as so many phenomena."

To this day Italy depends upon foreign countries for her best musical
instruments. Italy can as little make a grand piano as America can
compose a grand opera.

The history of the piano from 1710 to 1867 is nothing but a history of
the improved mechanism of the instrument. The moment the idea was
conceived of striking the strings with hammers, unlimited improvement
was possible; and though the piano of to-day is covered all over with
ingenious devices, the great, essential improvements are few in number.
The hammer, for example, may contain one hundred ingenuities, but they
are all included in the device of covering the first wooden hammers with
cloth; and the master-thought of making the whole frame of the piano of
iron suggested the line of improvement which secures the supremacy of
the piano over all other stringed instruments forever.

Sebastian Erard, the son of a Strasbourg upholsterer, went to Paris, a
poor orphan of sixteen, in the year 1768, and, finding employment in the
establishment of a harpsichord-maker, rose rapidly to the foremanship of
the shop, and was soon in business for himself as a maker of
harpsichords, harps, and pianos. To him, perhaps, more than to any other
individual, the fine interior mechanism of the piano is indebted; and
the house founded by Sebastian Erard still produces the pianos which
enjoy the most extensive reputation in the Old World. He may be said to
have created the "action" of the piano, though his devices have been
subsequently improved upon by others. He found the piano in 1768 feeble
and unknown; he left it, at his death in 1831, the most powerful,
pleasing, and popular stringed instrument in existence; and, besides
gaining a colossal fortune for himself, he bequeathed to his nephew,
Pierre Erard, the most celebrated manufactory of pianos in the world.
Next to Erard ranks John Broadwood, a Scotchman, who came to London
about the time of Erard's arrival in Paris, and, like him, procured
employment with a harpsichord-maker, the most noted one in England. John
Broadwood was a "good apprentice," married his master's daughter,
inherited his business, and carried it on with such success, that,
to-day, the house of Broadwood and Sons is the first of its line in
England. John Broadwood was chiefly meritorious for a _general_
improvement in the construction of the instrument. If he did not
originate many important devices, he was eager to adopt those of others,
and he made the whole instrument with British thoroughness. The strings,
the action, the case, the pedals, and all the numberless details of
mechanism received his thoughtful attention, and show to the present
time traces of his honest and intelligent mind. It was in this John
Broadwood's factory that a poor German boy named John Jacob Astor earned
the few pounds that paid his passage to America, and bought the seven
flutes which were the foundation of the great Astor estate. For several
years, the sale of the Broadwood pianos in New York was an important
part of Mr. Astor's business. He used to sell his furs in London, and
invest part of the proceeds in pianos, for exportation to New York.

America began early to try her hand at improving the instrument. Mr.
Jefferson, in the year 1800, in one of his letters to his daughter
Martha, speaks of "a very ingenious, modest, and poor young man" in
Philadelphia, who "has invented one of the prettiest improvements in
the forte-piano I have ever seen." Mr. Jefferson, who was himself a
player upon the violin, and had some little skill upon the harpsichord,
adds, "It has tempted me to engage one for Monticello." This instrument
was an upright piano, and we have found no mention of an upright of an
earlier date. "His strings," says Mr. Jefferson, "are perpendicular, and
he contrives within that height" (not given in the published extract)
"to give his strings the same length as in the grand forte-piano, and
fixes his three unisons to the same screw, which screw is in the
direction of the strings, and therefore never yields. It scarcely gets
out of tune at all, and then, for the most part, the three unisons are
tuned at once." This is an interesting passage; for, although the
"forte-pianos" of this modest young man have left no trace upon the
history of the instrument, it shows that America had no sooner cast an
eye upon its mechanism than she set to work improving it. Can it be that
the upright piano was an American invention? It may be. The Messrs.
Broadwood, in the little book which lay upon their pianos in the
Exhibition of 1851, say that the first vertical or cabinet pianos were
constructed by William Southwell, of their house, in 1804, four years
after the date of Mr. Jefferson's letter.

After 1800 there were a few pianos made every year in the United States,
but none that could compare with the best Erards and Broadwoods, until
the Chickering era, which began in 1823.

The two Americans to whom music is most indebted in the United States
are Jonas Chickering, piano-maker, born in New Hampshire in 1798, and
Lowell Mason, singing teacher and composer of church tunes, born in
Massachusetts in 1792. While Lowell Mason was creating the taste for
music, Jonas Chickering was improving the instrument by which musical
taste is chiefly gratified; and both being established in Boston, each
of them was instrumental in advancing the fortunes of the other. Mr.
Mason recommended the Chickering piano to his multitudinous classes and
choirs, and thus powerfully aided to give that extent to Mr.
Chickering's business which is necessary to the production of the best
work. Both of them began their musical career, we may say, in childhood;
for Jonas Chickering was only a cabinet-maker's apprentice when he
astonished his native village by putting in excellent playing order a
battered old piano, long before laid aside; and Lowell Mason, at
sixteen, was already leading a large church choir, and drilling a brass
band. The undertaking of this brass band by a boy was an amusing
instance of Yankee audacity; for when the youth presented himself to the
newly formed band to give them their first lesson, he found so many
instruments in their hands which he had never seen nor heard of, that he
could not proceed. "Gentlemen," said he, "I see that a good many of your
instruments are out of order, and most of them need a little oil, or
something of the kind. Our best plan will be to adjourn for a week.
Leave all your instruments with me, and I will have them in perfect
condition by the time we meet again." Before the band again came
together, the young teacher, by working night and day, had gained a
sufficient insight into the nature of the instruments to instruct those
who knew nothing of them.

Jonas Chickering was essentially a mechanic,--a most skilful, patient,
thoughtful, faithful mechanic,--and it was his excellence as a mechanic
which enabled him to rear an establishment which, beginning with one or
two pianos a month, was producing, at the death of the founder, in 1853,
fifteen hundred pianos a year. It was he who introduced into the piano
the full iron frame. It was he who first made American pianos that were
equal to the best imported ones. He is universally recognized as the
true founder of the manufacture of the piano in the United States. No
man has, perhaps, so nobly illustrated the character of the American
mechanic, or more honored the name of American citizen. He was the soul
of benevolence, truth, and honor. When we have recovered a little more
from the infatuation which invests "public men" with supreme importance,
we shall better know how to value those heroes of the apron, who, by a
life of conscientious toil, place a new source of happiness, or of
force, within the reach of their fellow-citizens.

Henry Steinway, the founder of the great house of Steinway and Sons, has
had a career not unlike that of Mr. Chickering. He also, in his native
Brunswick, amused his boyhood by repairing old instruments of music, and
making new ones. He made a cithara and a guitar for himself with only
such tools as a boy can command. He also was apprenticed to a
cabinet-maker, and was drawn away, by natural bias, from the business he
had learned, to the making of organs and pianos. For many years he was a
German piano-maker, producing, in the slow, German manner, two or three
excellent instruments a month; striving ever after higher excellence,
and growing more and more dissatisfied with the limited sphere in which
the inhabitant of a small German state necessarily works. In 1849, being
then past fifty years of age, and the father of four intelligent and
gifted sons, he looked to America for a wider range and a more promising
home for his boys. With German prudence, he sent one of them to New York
to see what prospect there might be there for another maker of pianos.
Charles Steinway came, saw, approved, returned, reported; and in 1850
all the family reached New York, except the eldest son, Theodore, who
succeeded to his father's business in Brunswick. Henry Steinway again
showed himself wise in not immediately going into business. Depositing
the capital he had brought with him in a safe place, he donned once more
the journeyman's apron, and worked for three years in a New York piano
factory to learn the ways of the trade in America; and his sons obtained
similar employment,--one of them, fortunately, becoming a tuner, which
brought him into relations with many music-teachers. During these three
years, their knowledge and their capital increased every day, for they
lived as wise men in such circumstances do live who mean to control
their destiny. In plain English, they kept their eyes open, and lived on
half their income. In 1853, in a small back shop in Varick Street, with
infinite pains, they made their first piano, and a number of teachers
and amateurs were invited to listen to it. It was warmly approved and
speedily sold. Ten men were employed, who produced for the next two
years one piano a week. In 1855, the Messrs. Steinway, still unknown to
the public, placed one of their best instruments in the New York Crystal
Palace Exhibition. A member of the musical jury has recorded the scene
which occurred when the jury came to this unknown competitor:--

"They were pursuing their rounds, and performing their duties with an
ease and facility that promised a speedy termination to their labors,
when suddenly they came upon an instrument that, from its external
appearance,--solidly rich, yet free from the frippery that was then
rather in fashion,--attracted their attention. One of the company opened
the case, and carelessly struck a few chords. The others were doing the
same with its neighbors, but somehow they ceased to chatter when the
other instrument began to speak. One by one the jurors gathered round
the strange polyphonist, and, without a word being spoken, every one
knew that it was the best piano-forte in the Exhibition. The jurors were
true to their duties. It is possible that some of them had predilections
in favor of other makers; it is certain that one of them had,--the
writer of the present notice. But when the time for the award came,
there was no argument, no discussion, no bare presentment of minor
claims; nothing, in fact, but a hearty indorsement of the singular
merits of the strange instrument."

From that time the Steinways made rapid progress. The tide of
California gold was flowing in, and every day some one was getting rich
enough to treat his family to a new piano. It was the Messrs. Steinway
who chiefly supplied the new demand, without lessening by one instrument
a month the business of older houses. Various improvements in the
framing and mechanism of the piano have been invented and introduced by
them; and, while some members of the family have superintended the
manufacture, others have conducted the not less difficult business of
selling. To this hour, the father of the family, in the dress of a
workman, attends daily at the factory, as vigilant and active as ever,
though now past seventy; and his surviving sons are as laboriously
engaged in assisting him as they were in the infancy of the

Besides the Chickerings and the Steinways, there are twenty
manufacturers in the United States whose production exceeds one hundred
pianos per annum. Messrs. Knabe & Co. of Baltimore, who supply large
portions of the South and West, sold about a thousand pianos in the year
1866; W. P. Emerson of Boston, 935; Messrs. Haines Brothers of New York,
830; Messrs. Hallett and Davis of Boston, 462; Ernest Gabler of New
York, 312; Messrs. E. C. Lighte & Co. of New York, 286; Messrs. Hazelton
and Brothers of New York, 269; Albert Webber of New York, 266; Messrs.
Decker Brothers of New York, 256; Messrs. George Steck and Co. of New
York, 244; W. I. Bradbury of New York, 244; Messrs. Lindeman and Sons of
New York, 223; the New York Piano-forte Company, 139. About one half of
all the pianos made in the United States are made in the city of New

To visit one of our large manufactories of pianos is a lesson in the
noble art of taking pains. Genius itself, says Carlyle, means, first of
all, "a transcendent capacity for taking trouble." Everywhere in these
vast and interesting establishments we find what we may call the
perfection of painstaking.

The construction of an American piano is a continual act of defensive
warfare against the future inroads of our climate,--a climate which is
polar for a few days in January, tropical for a week or two in July,
Nova-Scotian now and then in November, and at all times most trying to
the finer woods, leathers, and fabrics. To make a piano is now not so
difficult; but to make one that will stand in America,--that is very
difficult. In the rear of the Messrs. Steinway's factory there is a yard
for seasoning timber, which usually contains an amount of material equal
to two hundred and fifty thousand ordinary boards, an inch thick and
twelve feet long; and there it remains from four months to five years,
according to its nature and magnitude. Most of the timber used in an
American piano requires two years' seasoning at least. From this yard it
is transferred to the steam-drying house, where it remains subjected to
a high temperature for three months. The wood has then lost nearly all
the warp there ever was in it, and the temperature may change fifty
degrees in twelve hours (as it does sometimes in New York) without
seriously affecting a fibre. Besides this, the timber is sawed in such a
manner as to neutralize, in some degree, its tendency to warp, or,
rather, so as to make it warp the right way. The reader would be
surprised to hear the great makers converse on this subject of the
warping of timber. They have studied the laws which govern warping; they
know why wood warps, how each variety warps, how long a time each kind
continues to warp, and how to fit one warp against another, so as to
neutralize both. If two or more pieces of wood are to be glued together,
it is never done at random; but they are so adjusted that one will tend
to warp one way, and another another. Even the thin veneers upon the
case act as a restraining force upon the baser wood which they cover,
and in some parts of the instrument the veneer is double for the purpose
of keeping both in order. An astonishing amount of thought and
experiment has been expended upon this matter of warping,--so much,
that now not a piece of wood is employed in a piano, the grain of which
does not run in the precise direction which experience has shown to be
the best.

The forests of the whole earth have been searched for woods adapted to
the different parts of the instrument. Dr. Rimbault, in his learned
"History of the Piano-forte," published recently in London, gives a
catalogue of the various woods, metals, skins, and fabrics used in the
construction of a piano, which forcibly illustrates the delicacy of the
modern instrument and the infinite care taken in its manufacture. We
copy the list, though some of the materials differ from those used by
American manufacturers.

MATERIALS.                 WHERE USED.

_Woods._     _From_

Oak         Riga           Framing, various parts.

Deal        Norway         Wood-bracing, &c.

Fir         Switzerland    Sounding-board.

Pine        America        Parts of framing, key-bed
                             or bottom.

Mahogany    Honduras       Solid wood of top, and various
                             parts of the framing
                             and the action.

Beech       England        Wrest-plank, bridge or
                             sound-board, centre of

Beef-wood   Brazils        Tongues in the beam,
                             forming the divisions
                             between the hammers.

Birch       Canada         Belly-rail, a part of the

Cedar       S. America     Round shanks of hammers.

Lime-tree   England        Keys.

Pear-tree   ----           Heads of dampers.

Sycamore    ----           Hoppers or levers, veneers
                             on wrest-plank.

Ebony       Ceylon         Black keys.

Spanish                    \
Mahogany    Cuba            \
Rosewood    Rio Janeiro     |
Satinwood   East Indies     |--   For decoration.
White Holly England         |
Zebra-wood  Brazils         |
Other fancy                 /
woods                      /

_Woollen Fabrics._

Baize; green, blue,
     and brown             Upper surface of key-frame,
                             cushions for hammers to fall
                             on, to damp dead part of
                             strings, &c.

Cloth, various qualities   For various parts of the action
                             and in other places, to prevent
                             jarring; also for dampers.

Felt                       External covering for hammers.


Buffalo              Under-covering of hammers-bass.
Saddle                    "         "      tenor and treble.
Basil           \
Calf            |
Doeskin         |--  Various parts of action.
Seal            |
Sheepskin       |
Morocco         /
Sole                 Rings for pedal wires.


Iron            \    Metallic bracing, and in various small
Steel           |--  screws, springs, centres, pins, &c.,
Brass           |    &c., throughout the instrument.
Gun metal       /
Steel wire           Strings.
Steel spun wire      Lapped strings.
Covered copper wire    "        "   lowest notes.


Ivory                White keys.

Black lead           To smooth the rubbing surfaces of cloth
                       or leather in the action.

Glue (of a particular quality  \
made expressly for             |--  Woodwork throughout.
this trade.                    /

Beeswax, emery paper,          \
glass paper, French polish,    |--  Cleaning and finishing.
oil, putty powder,             |
spirits of wine, &c., &c.      /

Such are the materials used. The processes to which they are subjected
are far more numerous. So numerous are they and so complicated, that the
Steinways, who employ five hundred and twelve men, and labor-saving
machinery which does the work of five hundred men more, aided by three
steam-engines of a hundred and twenty-five, fifty, and twenty-five
horse-power, can only produce from forty-five to fifty-five pianos a
week. The average number is about fifty,--six grand, four upright, and
forty square. The reader has seen, doubtless, a piano with the top taken
off; but perhaps it has never occurred to him what a tremendous _pull_
those fifty to sixty strings are keeping up, day and night, from one
year's end to another. The shortest and thinnest string of all pulls two
hundred and sixty-two pounds,--about as much as we should care to lift;
and the entire pull of the strings of a grand piano is sixty pounds less
than twenty tons,--a load for twenty cart-horses. The fundamental
difficulty in the construction of a piano has always been to support
this continuous strain. When we look into a piano we see the "iron
frame" so much vaunted in the advertisements, and so splendid with
bronze and gilding; but it is not this thin plate of cast-iron that
resists the strain of twenty tons. If the wires were to pull upon the
iron for one second, it would fly into atoms. The iron plate is screwed
to what is called the "bottom" of the piano, which is a mass of timber
four inches thick, composed of three layers of plank glued together, and
so arranged that the pull of the wires shall be in a line with the grain
of the wood. The iron plate itself is subjected to a long course of
treatment. The rough casting is brought from the foundery, placed under
the drilling-machine, which bores many scores of holes of various sizes
with marvellous rapidity. Then it is smoothed and finished with the
file; next, it is japanned; after which it is baked in an oven for
forty-eight hours. It is then ready for the bronzer and gilder, who
covers the greater part of the surface with a light-yellow bronzing, and
brightens it here and there with gilding. All this long process is
necessary in order to make the plate _retain_ its brilliancy of color.

Upon this solid foundation of timber and iron the delicate instrument is
built, and it is enclosed in a case constructed with still greater care.
To make so large a box, and one so thin, as the case of a piano stand
our summer heats and our furnace heats (still more trying), is a work of
extreme difficulty. The seasoned boards are covered with a double
veneer, designed to counteract all the tendencies to warp; and the
surface is most laboriously polished. It takes three months to varnish
and polish the case of a piano. In such a factory as the Steinways' or
the Chickerings', there will be always six or seven hundred cases
undergoing this expensive process. When the surface of the wood has been
made as smooth as sand-paper can make it, the first coat of varnish is
applied, and this requires eight days to harden. Then all the varnish is
scraped off, except that which has sunk into the pores of the wood. The
second coat is then put on; which, after eight days' drying, is also
scraped away, until the surface of the veneer is laid bare again. After
this four or five coats of varnish are added, at intervals of eight
days, and, finally, the last polish is produced by the hand of the
workman. The object of all this is not merely to produce a splendid and
enduring gloss, but to make the case stand for a hundred years in a room
which is heated by a furnace to seventy degrees by day, and in which
water will freeze at night. During the war, when good varnish cost as
much as the best champagne, the varnish bills of the leading makers were
formidable indeed.

The labor, however, is the chief item of expense. The average wages of
the five hundred and twelve men employed by the Messrs. Steinway is
twenty-six dollars a week. This force, aided by one hundred and two
labor-saving machines, driven by steam-power equivalent to two hundred
horses, produces a piano in one hour and fifteen minutes. A man with the
ordinary tools can make a piano in about four months, but it could not
possibly be as good a one as those produced in the large establishments.
Nor, indeed, is such a feat ever attempted in the United States. The
small makers, who manufacture from one to five instruments a week,
generally, as already mentioned, buy the different parts from persons
who make only parts. It is a business to make the hammers of a piano; it
is another business to make the "action"; another, to make the keys;
another, the legs; another, the cases; another, the pedals. The
manufacture of the hardware used in a piano is a very important branch,
and it is a separate business to sell it. The London Directory
enumerates forty-two different trades and businesses related to the
piano, and we presume there are not fewer in New York. Consequently,
any man who knows enough of a piano to put one together, and can command
capital enough to buy the parts of one instrument, may boldly fling his
sign to the breeze, and announce himself to an inattentive public as a
"piano-forte-maker." The only difficulty is to sell the piano when it is
put together. At present it costs rather more money to sell a piano than
it does to make one.

When the case is finished, all except the final hand-polish, it is taken
to the sounding-board room. The sounding-board--a thin, clear sheet of
spruce under the strings--is the piano's soul, wanting which, it were a
dead thing. Almost every resonant substance in nature has been tried for
sounding-boards, but nothing has been found equal to spruce. Countless
experiments have been made with a view to ascertain precisely the best
way of shaping, arranging, and fixing the sounding-board, the best
thickness, the best number and direction of the supporting ribs; and
every great maker is happy in the conviction that he is a little better
in sounding-boards than any of his rivals. Next, the strings are
inserted; next, the action and the keys. Every one will pause to admire
the hammers of the piano, so light, yet so capable of giving a telling
blow, which evoke all the music of the strings, but mingle with that
music no click, nor thud, nor thump, of their own. The felt employed
varies in thickness from one sixteenth of an inch to an inch and an
eighth, and costs $5.75 in gold per pound. Only Paris, it seems, can
make it good enough for the purpose. Many of the keys have a double
felting, compressed from an inch and a half to three quarters of an
inch, and others again have an outer covering of leather to keep the
strings from cutting the felt. Simple as the finished hammer looks,
there are a hundred and fifty years of thought and experiment in it. It
required half a century to exhaust the different kinds of wood, bone,
and cork; and when, about 1760, the idea was conceived of covering the
hammers with something soft, another century was to elapse before all
the leathers and fabrics had been tried, and felt found to be the _ne
plus ultra_. With regard to the action, or the mechanism by which the
hammers are made to strike the strings, we must refer the inquisitive
reader to the piano itself.

When all the parts have been placed in the case, the instrument falls
into the hands of the "regulator," who inspects, rectifies, tunes,
harmonizes, perfects the whole. Nothing then remains but to convey it to
the store, give it its final polish and its last tuning.

The next thing is to sell it. Six hundred and fifty dollars seems a high
price for a square piano, such as we used to buy for three hundred, and
the "natural cost" of which does not much exceed two hundred dollars.
Fifteen hundred dollars for a grand piano is also rather startling. But
how much tax, does the reader suppose, is paid upon a
fifteen-hundred-dollar grand? It is difficult to compute it; but it does
not fall much below two hundred dollars. The five per cent
manufacturer's tax, which is paid upon the price of the finished
instrument, has also to be paid upon various parts, such as the wire;
and upon the imported articles there is a high tariff. It is computed
that the taxes upon very complicated articles, in which a great variety
of materials are employed, such as carriages, pianos, organs, and fine
furniture, amount to about one eighth of the price. The piano, too, is
an expensive creature to keep, in these times of high rents, and its
fare upon a railroad is higher than that of its owner. We saw, however,
a magnificent piano, the other day, at the establishment of Messrs.
Chickering, in Broadway, for which passage had been secured all the way
to Oregon for thirty-five dollars,--only five dollars more than it would
cost to transport it to Chicago. Happily for us, to whom fifteen hundred
dollars--nay, six hundred and fifty dollars--is an enormous sum of
money, a very good second-hand piano is always attainable for less than
half the original price.

For, reader, you must know that the ostentation of the rich is always
putting costly pleasures within the reach of the refined not-rich. A
piano in its time plays many parts, and figures in a variety of scenes.
Like the more delicate and sympathetic kinds of human beings, it is
naught unless it is valued; but, being valued, it is a treasure beyond
price. Cold, glittering, and dumb, it stands among the tasteless
splendors with which the wealthy ignorant cumber their dreary abodes,--a
thing of ostentation merely,--as uninteresting as the women who surround
it, gorgeously apparelled, but without conversation, conscious of
defective parts of speech. "There is much music, excellent voice, in
that little organ," but there is no one there who can "make it speak."
They may "fret" the noble instrument; they "cannot play upon it."

But a fool and his nine-hundred-dollar piano are soon parted. The red
flag of the auctioneer announces its transfer to a drawing-room
frequented by persons capable of enjoying the refined pleasures. Bright
and joyous is the scene, about half past nine in the evening, when, by
turns, the ladies try over their newest pieces, or else listen with
intelligent pleasure to the performance of a master. Pleasant are the
informal family concerts in such a house, when one sister breaks down
under the difficulties of Thalberg, and yields the piano-stool to the
musical genius of the family, who takes up the note, and, dashing gayly
into the midst of "Egitto," forces a path through the wilderness, takes
the Red Sea like a heroine, bursts at length into the triumphal prayer,
and retires from the instrument as calm as a summer morning. On
occasions of ceremony, too, the piano has a part to perform, though a
humble one. Awkward pauses will occur in all but the best-regulated
parties, and people will get together, in the best houses, who quench
and neutralize one another. It is the piano that fills those pauses, and
gives a welcome respite to the toil of forcing conversation. How could
"society" go on without the occasional interposition of the piano? One
hundred and sixty years ago, in those days beloved and vaunted by
Thackeray, when Louis XIV. was king of France, and Anne queen of
England, society danced, tattled, and gambled. Cards have receded as the
piano has advanced in importance.

From such a drawing-room as this, after a stay of some years, the piano
may pass into a boarding-school, and thence into the sitting-room of a
family who have pinched for two years to buy it. "It must have been,"
says Henry Ward Beecher, "about the year 1820, in old Litchfield,
Connecticut, upon waking one fine morning, that we heard music in the
parlor, and, hastening down, beheld an upright piano, the first we ever
saw or heard of! Nothing can describe the amazement of silence that
filled us. It rose almost to superstitious reverence, and all that day
was a dream and marvel." It is such pianos that are appreciated. It is
in such parlors that the instrument best answers the end of its
creation. There is many a piano in the back room of a little store, or
in the uncarpeted sitting-room of a farm-house, that yields a larger
revenue of delight than the splendid grand of a splendid drawing-room.
In these humble abodes of refined intelligence, the piano is a dear and
honored member of the family.

The piano now has a rival in the United States in that fine instrument
before mentioned, which has grown from the melodeon into the cabinet
organ. We do not hesitate to say, that the cabinet organs of Messrs.
Mason and Hamlin only need to be as generally known as the piano in
order to share the favor of the public equally with it. It seems to us
peculiarly the instrument for _men_. We trust the time is at hand when
it will be seen that it is not less desirable for boys to learn to play
upon an instrument than girls; and how much more a little skill in
performing may do for a man than for a woman! A boy can hardly be a
perfect savage, nor a man a money-maker or a pietist, who has acquired
sufficient command of an instrument to play upon it with pleasure. How
often, when we have been listening to the swelling music of the cabinet
organs at the ware-rooms of Messrs. Mason and Hamlin in Broadway, have
we desired to put one of those instruments in every clerk's
boarding-house room, and tell him to take all the ennui, and half the
peril, out of his life by learning to play upon it! No business man who
works as intensely as we do can keep alive the celestial harmonies
within him,--no, nor the early wrinkles from his face,--without some
such pleasant mingling of bodily rest and mental exercise as playing
upon an instrument.

The simplicity of the means by which music is produced from the cabinet
organ is truly remarkable. It is called a "reed" instrument; which leads
many to suppose that the cane-brake is despoiled to procure its
sound-giving apparatus. Not so. The reed employed is nothing but a thin
strip of brass with a tongue slit in it, the vibration of which causes
the musical sound. One of the reeds, though it produces a volume of
sound only surpassed by the pipes of an organ, weighs about an ounce,
and can be carried in a vest-pocket. In fact, a cabinet organ is simply
an accordeon of immense power and improved mechanism. Twenty years ago,
one of our melodeon-makers chanced to observe that the accordeon
produced a better tone when it was drawn out than when it was pushed in;
and this fact suggested the first great improvement in the melodeon.
Before that time, the wind from the bellows, in all melodeons, was
forced through the reeds. Melodeons on the improved principle were
constructed so that the wind was drawn through the reeds. The credit of
introducing this improvement is due to the well-known firm of Carhart,
Needham, & Co., and it was as decided an improvement in the melodeon as
the introduction of the hammer in the harpsichord.

At this point of development, the instrument was taken up by Messrs.
Mason and Hamlin, who have covered it with improvements, and rendered it
one of the most pleasing musical instruments in the possession of
mankind. When we remarked above, that the American piano was the best in
the world, we only expressed the opinion of others; but now that we
assert the superiority of the American cabinet organ over similar
instruments made in London and Paris, we are communicating knowledge of
our own. Indeed, the superiority is so marked that it is apparent to the
merest tyro in music. During the year 1866, the number of these
instruments produced in the United States by the twenty-five
manufacturers was about fifteen thousand, which were sold for one
million six hundred thousand dollars, or a little more than one hundred
dollars each. Messrs. Mason and Hamlin, who manufacture one fourth of
the whole number, produce thirty-five kinds, varying in power, compass,
and decoration, and in price from seventy-five dollars to twelve
hundred. In the new towns of the great West, the cabinet organ is
usually the first instrument of music to arrive, and, of late years, it
takes its place with the piano in the fashionable drawing-rooms of the
Atlantic States.

Few Americans, we presume, expected that the department of the Paris
Exposition in which the United States should most surpass other nations
would be that appropriated to musical instruments. Even our cornets and
bugles are highly commended in Paris. The cabinet organs, according to
several correspondents, are much admired. We can hardly credit the
assertion of an intelligent correspondent of the Tribune, that the
superiority of the American pianos is not "questioned" by Erard, Pleyel,
and Hertz, but we can well believe that it is acknowledged by the great
players congregated at Paris. The aged Rossini is reported to have said,
after listening to an American piano, "It is like a nightingale cooing
in a thunder-storm."


    How strange are the freaks of memory!
      The lessons of life we forget,
    While a trifle, a trick of color,
      In the wonderful web is set,--

    Set by some mordant of fancy,
      And, despite the wear and tear
    Of time or distance or trouble,
      Insists on its right to be there.

    A chance had brought us together;
      Our talk was of matters of course;
    We were nothing, one to the other,
      But a short half-hour's resource.

    We spoke of French acting and actors,
      And their easy, natural way,--
    Of the weather, for it was raining
      As we drove home from the play.

    We debated the social nothings
      Men take such pains to discuss;
    The thunderous rumors of battle
      Were silent the while for us.

    Arrived at her door, we left her
      With a drippingly hurried adieu,
    And our wheels went crunching the gravel
      Of the oak-darkened avenue.

    As we drove away through the shadow,
      The candle she held in the door,
    From rain-varnished tree-trunk to tree-trunk
      Flashed fainter, and flashed no more,--

    Flashed fainter and wholly faded
      Before we had passed the wood;
    But the light of the face behind it
      Went with me and stayed for good.

    The vision of scarce a moment,
      And hardly marked at the time,
    It comes unbidden to haunt me,
      Like a scrap of ballad-rhyme.

    Had she beauty? Well, not what they call so:
      You may find a thousand as fair,
    And yet there's her face in my memory,
      With no special right to be there.

    As I sit sometimes in the twilight,
      And call back to life in the coals
    Old faces and hopes and fancies
      Long buried,--good rest to their souls!--

    Her face shines out of the embers;
      I see her holding the light,
    And hear the crunch of the gravel
      And the sweep of the rain that night.

    'Tis a face that can never grow older,
      That never can part with its gleam;
    'Tis a gracious possession forever,
      For what is it all but a dream?


When I reached Kenmure's house, one August evening, it was rather a
disappointment to find that he and his charming Laura had absented
themselves for twenty-four hours. I had not seen them since their
marriage; my admiration for his varied genius and her unvarying grace
was at its height, and I was really annoyed at the delay. My fair
cousin, with her usual exact housekeeping, had prepared everything for
her guest, and then bequeathed me, as she wrote, to Janet and baby
Marian. It was a pleasant arrangement, for between baby Marian and me
there existed a species of passion, I might almost say of betrothal,
ever since that little three-year-old sunbeam had blessed my mother's
house by lingering awhile in it, six months before. Still I went to bed
disappointed, though the delightful windows of the chamber looked out
upon the glimmering bay, and the swinging lanterns at the yard-arms of
the frigates shone like some softer constellation beneath the brilliant
sky. The house was so close upon the water that the cool waves seemed to
plash deliciously against its very basement; and it was a comfort to
think that, if there were no adequate human greetings that night, there
would be plenty in the morning, since Marian would inevitably be pulling
my eyelids apart before sunrise.

It seemed scarcely dawn when I was roused by a little arm round my neck,
and waked to think I had one of Raphael's cherubs by my side. Fingers of
waxen softness were ruthlessly at work upon my eyes, and the little form
that met my touch felt lithe and elastic, like a kitten's limbs. There
was just light enough to see the child, perched on the edge of the bed,
her soft blue dressing-gown trailing over the white night-dress, while
her black and long-fringed eyes shone through the dimness of morning.
She yielded gladly to my grasp, and I could fondle again the silken
hair, the velvety brunette cheek, the plump, childish shoulders. Yet
sleep still half held me, and when my cherub appeared to hold it a
cherubic practice to begin the day with a demand for lively anecdote, I
was fain drowsily to suggest that she might first tell some stories to
her doll. With the sunny readiness that was a part of her nature, she
straightway turned to that young lady,--plain Susan Halliday, with both
cheeks patched, and eyes of different colors,--and soon discoursed both
her and me into repose.

When I waked again, it was to find the child conversing with the morning
star, which still shone through the window, scarcely so lucent as her
eyes, and bidding it go home to its mother, the sun. Another lapse into
dreams, and then a more vivid awakening, and she had my ear at last, and
won story after story, requiting them with legends of her own youth,
"almost a year ago,"--how she was perilously lost, for instance, in the
small front yard, with a little playmate, early in the afternoon, and
how they came and peeped into the window, and thought all the world had
forgotten them. Then the sweet voice, distinct in its articulation as
Laura's, went straying off into wilder fancies, a chaos of autobiography
and conjecture, like the letters of a war correspondent. You would have
thought her little life had yielded more pangs and fears than might have
sufficed for the discovery of the North Pole; but breakfast-time drew
near at last, and Janet's honest voice was heard outside the door. I
rather envied the good Scotchwoman the pleasant task of polishing the
smooth cheeks, and combing the dishevelled silk; but when, a little
later, the small maiden was riding down stairs in my arms, I envied no

At sight of the bread and milk, my cherub was transformed into a hungry
human child, chiefly anxious to reach the bottom of her porringer. I was
with her a great deal that day. She gave no manner of trouble: it was
like having the charge of a floating butterfly, endowed with warm arms
to clasp, and a silvery voice to prattle. I sent Janet out to sail, with
the other servants, by way of holiday, and Marian's perfect temperament
was shown in the way she watched the departing.

"There they go," she said, as she stood and danced at the window. "Now
they are out of sight."

"What!" I said, "are you pleased to have your friends go?"

"Yes," she answered; "but I shall be pleased--er to see them come
back." Life to her was no alternation of joy and grief, but only of joy
and more joyous.

Twilight brought us to an improvised concert. Climbing the piano-stool,
she went over the notes with her little taper fingers, touching the keys
in a light, knowing way, that proved her a musician's child. Then I must
play for her, and let the dance begin. This was a wondrous performance
on her part, and consisted at first in hopping up and down on one spot,
with no change of motion, but in her hands. She resembled a minute and
irrepressible Shaker, or a live and beautiful _marionnette_. Then she
placed Janet in the middle of the floor, and performed the dance round
her, after the manner of Vivien and Merlin. Then came her supper, which,
like its predecessors, was a solid and absorbing meal; then one more
fairy story, to magnetize her off, and she danced and sang herself up
stairs. And if she first came to me in the morning with a halo round her
head, she seemed still to retain it when I at last watched her kneeling
in the little bed--perfectly motionless, with her hands placed together,
and her long lashes sweeping her cheeks--to repeat two verses of a hymn
which Janet had taught her. My nerves quivered a little when I saw that
Susan Halliday had also been duly prepared for the night, and had been
put in the same attitude, so far as her jointless anatomy permitted.
This being ended, the doll and her mistress reposed together, and only
an occasional toss of the vigorous limbs, or a stifled baby murmur,
would thenceforth prove, through the darkened hours, that the one figure
had in it more of life than the other.

On the next morning Kenmure and Laura came back to us, and I walked down
to receive them at the boat. I had forgotten how striking was their
appearance, as they stood together. His broad, strong, Saxon look, his
noble bearing and clear blue eyes, enhanced the fascination of her
darker beauty.

America is full of the short-lived bloom and freshness of girlhood; but
grace is a rarer gift, and indeed it is only a few times in life that
one sees anywhere a beauty that really controls us with a permanent
charm. One should remember such personal loveliness, as one recalls some
particular moonlight or sunset, with a special and concentrated joy,
which the multiplicity of fainter impressions cannot disturb. When in
those days we used to read, in Petrarch's one hundred and twenty-third
sonnet, that he had once beheld on earth angelic manners and celestial
charms, whose very remembrance was a delight and an affliction, since
all else that he beheld seemed dream and shadow, we could easily fancy
that nature had certain permanent attributes which accompanied the name
of Laura.

Our Laura had that rich brunette beauty before which the mere snow and
roses of the blonde must always seem wan and unimpassioned. In the
superb suffusions of her cheek there seemed to flow a tide of passions
and powers, which might have been tumultuous in a meaner woman, but over
which, in her, the clear and brilliant eyes, and the sweet, proud mouth,
presided in unbroken calm. These superb tints implied resources only,
not a struggle. With this torrent from the tropics in her veins, she was
the most equable person I ever saw; and had a supreme and delicate
good-sense, which, if not supplying the place of genius, at least
comprehended its work. Not intellectually gifted herself, perhaps, she
seemed the cause of gifts in others, and furnished the atmosphere in
which all showed their best. With the steady and thoughtful enthusiasm
of her Puritan ancestors, she combined that grace which is so rare among
their descendants,--a grace which fascinated the humblest, while it
would have been just the same in the society of kings. And her person
had the equipoise and symmetry of her mind. While abounding in separate
points of beauty, each a source of distinct and peculiar pleasure,--as
the outline of her temples, the white line that parted her night-black
hair, the bend of her wrists, the moulding of her finger-tips,--yet
these details were lost in the overwhelming gracefulness of her
presence, and the atmosphere of charm which she diffused over all human

A few days passed rapidly by us. We walked and rode and boated and read.
Little Marian came and went, a living sunbeam, a self-sufficing thing.
It was soon obvious that she was far less demonstrative towards her
parents than towards me; while her mother, gracious to her as to all,
yet rarely caressed her, and Kenmure, though habitually kind, seemed
rather to ignore her existence, and could scarcely tolerate that she
should for one instant preoccupy his wife. For Laura he lived, and she
must live for him. He had a studio, which I rarely entered and Marian
never, while Laura was constantly there; and after the first cordiality
was past, I observed that their daily expeditions were always arranged
for two. The weather was beautiful, and they led the wildest outdoor
life, cruising all day or all night among the islands, regardless of
hours, and, as it sometimes seemed to me, of health. No matter: Kenmure
liked it, and what he liked she loved. When at home, they were chiefly
in the studio, he painting, modelling, poetizing perhaps, and she
inseparably united with him in all. It was very beautiful, this
unworldly and passionate love, and I could have borne to be omitted in
their daily plans, since little Marian was left to me, save that it
seemed so strange to omit her also. Besides, there grew to be something
a little oppressive in this peculiar atmosphere; it was like living in a

Yet they always spoke in the simplest way of this absorbing passion, as
of something about which no reticence was needed; it was too sacred
_not_ to be mentioned; it would be wrong not to utter freely to all the
world what was doubtless the best thing the world possessed. Thus
Kenmure made Laura his model in all his art; not to coin her into wealth
or fame,--he would have scorned it; he would have valued fame and
wealth only as instruments for proclaiming her. Looking simply at these
two lovers, then, it seemed as if no human union could be more noble or
stainless. Yet so far as others were concerned, it sometimes seemed to
me a kind of duplex selfishness, so profound and so undisguised as to
make one shudder. "Is it," I asked myself at such moments, "a great
consecration, or a great crime?" But something must be allowed, perhaps,
for my own private dissatisfactions in Marian's behalf.

I had easily persuaded Janet to let me have a peep every night at my
darling, as she slept; and once I was surprised to find Laura sitting by
the small white bed. Graceful and beautiful as she always was, she never
before had seemed to me so lovely, for she never had seemed quite like a
mother. But I could not demand a sweeter look of tenderness than that
with which she now gazed upon her child.

Little Marian lay with one brown, plump hand visible from its full white
sleeve, while the other nestled half hid beneath the sheet, grasping a
pair of blue morocco shoes, the last acquisition of her favorite doll.
Drooping from beneath the pillow hung a handful of scarlet poppies,
which the child had wished to place under her head, in the very
superfluous project of putting herself to sleep thereby. Her soft brown
hair was scattered on the sheet, her black lashes lay motionless upon
the olive cheeks. Laura wished to move her, that I might see her the

"You will wake her," exclaimed I, in alarm.

"Wake this little dormouse?" Laura lightly answered. "Impossible."

And, twining her arms about her, the young mother lifted the child from
the bed, three or four times, dropping her again heavily each time,
while the healthy little creature remained utterly undisturbed,
breathing the same quiet breath. I watched Laura with amazement; she
seemed transformed.

She gayly returned my eager look, and then, seeming suddenly to
penetrate its meaning, cast down her radiant eyes, while the color
mounted into her cheeks. "You thought," she said, almost sternly, "that
I did not love my child."

"No," I said, half untruthfully.

"I can hardly wonder," she continued, more sadly, "for it is only what I
have said to myself a thousand times. Sometimes I think that I have
lived in a dream, and one that few share with me. I have questioned
others, and never yet found a woman who did not admit that her child was
more to her, in her secret soul, than her husband. What can they mean?
Such a thought is foreign to my nature."

"Why separate the two?" I asked.

"I _must_ separate them," she answered, with the air of one driven to
bay by her own self-reproaching. "I had, like other young girls, my
dream of love and marriage. Unlike all the rest, I believe, my visions
were fulfilled. The reality was more than the imagination; and I thought
it would be so with my love for my child. The first cry of that baby
told the difference to my ear. I knew it all from that moment; the bliss
which had been mine as a wife would never be mine as a mother. If I had
not known what it was to love my husband, I might have been content with
my love for Marian. But look at that exquisite creature as she lies
there asleep, and then think that I, her mother, should desert her if
she were dying, for aught I know, at one word from him!"

"Your feeling is morbid," I said, hardly knowing what to answer.

"What good does it serve to know that?" she said, defiantly. "I say it
to myself every day. Once when she was ill, and was given back to me in
all the precious helplessness of babyhood, there was such a strange
sweetness in it, I thought the charm might remain; but it vanished when
she could run about once more. And she is such a healthy, self-reliant
little thing," added Laura, glancing toward the bed with a momentary
look of motherly pride that seemed strangely out of place amid these

"I wish her to be so," she added. "The best service I can do for her is
to teach her to stand alone. And at some day," continued the beautiful
woman, her whole face lighting up with happiness, "she may love as I
have loved."

"And your husband," I said, after a pause,--"does your feeling represent

"My husband," she said, "lives for his genius, as he should. You that
know him, why do you ask?"

"And his heart?" I said, half frightened at my own temerity.

"Heart?" she answered. "He loves _me_."

Her color mounted higher yet; she had a look of pride, almost of
haughtiness. All else seemed forgotten; she had turned away from the
child's little bed, as if it had no existence. It flashed upon me that
something of the poison of her artificial atmosphere was reaching her

Kenmure's step was heard in the hall, and, with fire in her eyes, she
hastened to meet him. I seemed actually to breathe freer after the
departure of that enchanting woman, in danger of perishing inwardly, I
said to myself, in an air too lavishly perfumed. Bending over Marian, I
wondered if it were indeed possible that a perfectly healthy life had
sprung from that union too intense and too absorbed. Yet I had often
noticed that the child seemed to wear the temperaments of both her
parents as a kind of playful disguise, and to peep at you, now out of
the one, now from the other, showing that she had her own individual
life behind.

As if by some infantine instinct, the darling turned in her sleep, and
came unconsciously nearer me. With a half-feeling of self-reproach, I
drew around my neck, inch by inch, the little arms that tightened with a
delicious thrill; and so I half reclined there till I myself dozed, and
the watchful Janet, looking in, warned me away. Crossing the entry to my
own chamber, I heard Kenmure and Laura down stairs, but I knew that I
should be superfluous, and felt that I was sleepy.

I had now, indeed, become always superfluous when they were together,
though never when they were apart. Even they must be separated
sometimes, and then each sought me, in order to discourse about the
other. Kenmure showed me every sketch he had ever made of Laura. There
she was, in all the wonderful range of her beauty,--in clay, in cameo,
in pencil, in water-color, in oils. He showed me also his poems, and, at
last, a longer one, for which pencil and graver had alike been laid
aside. All these he kept in a great cabinet she had brought with her to
their housekeeping; and it seemed to me that he also treasured every
flower she had dropped, every slender glove she had worn, every ribbon
from her hair. I could not wonder. Who would not thrill at the touch of
some such memorial of Mary of Scotland, or of Heloise? and what was all
the regal beauty of the past to him? Every room always seemed adorned
when she was in it, empty when she had gone,--save that the trace of her
still seemed left on everything, and all appeared but as a garment she
had worn. It seemed that even her great mirror must retain, film over
film, each reflection of her least movement, the turning of her head,
the ungloving of her hand. Strange! that, with all this intoxicating
presence, she yet led a life so free from self, so simple, so absorbed,
that all trace of consciousness was excluded, and she seemed
unsophisticated as her own child.

As we were once thus employed in the studio, I asked Kenmure, abruptly,
if he never shrank from the publicity he was thus giving Laura. "Madame
Récamier was not quite pleased," I said, "that Canova had modelled her
bust, even from imagination. Do you never shrink from permitting
irreverent eyes to look on Laura's beauty? Think of men as you know
them. Would you give each of them her miniature, perhaps to go with them
into scenes of riot and shame?"

"Would to Heaven I could!" said he, passionately. "What else could save
them, if that did not? God lets his sun shine on the evil and on the
good, but the evil need it most."

There was a pause; and then I ventured to ask him a question that had
been many times upon my lips unspoken.

"Does it never occur to you," I said, "that Laura cannot live on earth

"You cannot disturb me about that," he answered, not sadly, but with a
set, stern look, as if fencing for the hundredth time against an
antagonist who was foredoomed to be his master in the end. "Laura will
outlive me; she must outlive me. I am so sure of it, that, every time I
come near her, I pray that I may not be paralyzed, and die outside her
arms. Yet, in any event, what can I do but what I am doing,--devote my
whole soul to the perpetuation of her beauty, through art? It is my only
dream. What else is worth doing? It is for this I have tried, through
sculpture, through painting, through verse, to depict her as she is.
Thus far I have failed. Why have I failed? Is it because I have not
lived a life sufficiently absorbed in her? or is it that there is no
permitted way by which, after God has reclaimed her, the tradition of
her perfect loveliness may be retained on earth?"

The blinds of the piazza doorway opened, the sweet sea-air came in, the
low and level rays of yellow sunset entered as softly as if the breeze
were their chariot; and softer and stiller and sweeter than light or
air, little Marian stood on the threshold. She had been in the fields
with Janet, who had woven for her breeze-blown hair a wreath of the wild
gerardia blossoms, whose purple beauty had reminded the good Scotchwoman
of her own native heather. In her arms the child bore, like a little
gleaner, a great sheaf of graceful golden-rod, as large as her grasp
could bear. In all the artist's visions he had seen nothing so aerial,
so lovely; in all his passionate portraitures of his idol, he had
delineated nothing so like to her. Marian's cheeks mantled with rich and
wine-like tints, her hair took a halo from the sunbeams, her lips
parted over the little milk-white teeth; she looked at us with her
mother's eyes. I turned to Kenmure to see if he could resist the

He scarcely gave her a glance. "Go, Marian," he said,--not impatiently,
for he was too thoroughly courteous ever to be ungracious, even to a
child,--but with a steady indifference that cut me with more pain than
if he had struck her.

The sun dropped behind the horizon, the halo faded from the shining
hair, and every ray of light from the childish face. There came in its
place that deep, wondering sadness which is more pathetic than any
maturer sorrow,--just as a child's illness touches our hearts more than
that of man or woman, it seems so premature and so plaintive. She turned
away; it was the very first time I had ever seen the little face drawn
down, or the tears gathering in the eyes. By some kind providence, the
mother met Marian on the piazza, herself flushed and beautiful with
walking, and caught the little thing in her arms with unwonted
tenderness. It was enough for the elastic child. After one moment of
such bliss she could go to Janet, go anywhere; and when the same
graceful presence came in to us in the studio, we also could ask no

We had music and moonlight, and were happy. The atmosphere seemed more
human, less unreal. Going up stairs at last, I looked in at the nursery,
and found my pet seeming rather flushed, and I fancied that she stirred
uneasily. It passed, whatever it was; for next morning she came in to
wake me, looking, as usual, as if a new heaven and earth had been coined
purposely for her since she went to sleep. We had our usual long and
important discourse,--this time tending to protracted narrative, of the
Mother-Goose description,--until, if it had been possible for any human
being to be late for breakfast in that house, we should have been the
offenders. But she ultimately went down stairs on my shoulder, and, as
Kenmure and Laura were out rowing, the baby put me in her own place,
sat in her mother's chair, and ruled me with a rod of iron. How
wonderful was the instinct by which this little creature, who so seldom
heard one word of parental severity or parental fondness, yet knew so
thoroughly the language of both! Had I been the most depraved of
children, or the most angelic, I could not have been more sternly
excluded from the sugar-bowl, or more overwhelmed with compensating

Later on that day, while little Marian was taking the very profoundest
nap that ever a baby was blessed with, (she had a pretty way of dropping
asleep in unexpected corners of the house, like a kitten,) I somehow
strayed into a confidential talk with Janet about her mistress. I was
rather troubled to find that all her loyalty was for Laura, with nothing
left for Kenmure, whom indeed she seemed to regard as a sort of
objectionable altar, on which her darlings were being sacrificed. When
she came to particulars, certain stray fears of my own were confirmed.
It seemed that Laura's constitution was not fit, Janet averred, to bear
these irregular hours, early and late; and she plaintively dwelt on the
untasted oatmeal in the morning, the insufficient luncheon, the
precarious dinner, the excessive walking, the evening damps. There was
coming to be a look about her such as her mother had, who died at
thirty. As for Marian--but here the complaint suddenly stopped; it would
have required far stronger provocation to extract from the faithful soul
one word that might seem to reflect on Laura.

Another year, and her forebodings had come true. It is needless to dwell
on the interval. Since then I have sometimes felt a regret almost
insatiable, in the thought that I should have been absent while all that
gracious beauty seemed fading and dissolving like a cloud; and yet at
other times it has appeared a relief to think that Laura would ever
remain to me in the fulness of her beauty, not a tint faded, not a
lineament changed. With all my efforts, I arrived only in time to
accompany Kenmure home at night, after the funeral service. We paused at
the door of the empty house,--how empty! I hesitated, but Kenmure
motioned to me to follow him in.

We passed through the hall and went up stairs. Janet met us at the head
of the stairway, and asked me if I would go in to look at little Marian,
who was sleeping. I begged Kenmure to go also, but he refused, almost
savagely, and went on with heavy step into Laura's deserted room.

Almost the moment I entered the child's chamber, she waked up suddenly,
looked at me, and said, "I know you, you are my friend." She never would
call me her cousin, I was always her friend. Then she sat up in bed,
with her eyes wide open, and said, as if stating a problem which had
been put by for my solution, "I should like to see my mother."

How our hearts are rent by the unquestioning faith of children, when
they come to test the love which has so often worked what seemed to them
miracles,--and ask of it miracles indeed! I tried to explain to her the
continued existence of her beautiful mother, and she listened to it as
if her eyes drank in all that I could say, and more. But the apparent
distance between earth and heaven baffled her baby mind, as it so often
and so sadly baffles the thoughts of us elders. I wondered what precise
change seemed to her to have taken place. This all-fascinating Laura,
whom she adored, and who had yet never been to her what other women are
to their darlings,--did heaven seem to put her farther off, or bring her
more near? I could never know. The healthy child had no morbid
questionings; and as she had come into the world to be a sunbeam, she
must not fail of that mission. She was kicking about the bed, by this
time, in her nightgown, and holding her pink little toes in all sorts of
difficult attitudes, when she suddenly said, looking me full in the
face: "If my mother was so high up that she had her feet upon a star,
do you think that I could see her?"

This astronomical apotheosis startled me for a moment, but I said
unhesitatingly, "Yes," feeling sure that the lustrous eyes that looked
in mine could certainly see as far as Dante's, when Beatrice was
transferred from his side to the highest realm of Paradise. I put my
head beside hers upon the pillow, and stayed till I thought she was

I then followed Kenmure into Laura's chamber. It was dusk, but the
after-sunset glow still bathed the room with imperfect light, and he lay
upon the bed, his hands clenched over his eyes.

There was a deep bow-window where Laura used to sit and watch us,
sometimes, when we put off in the boat. Her æolian harp was in the
casement, breaking its heart in music. A delicate handkerchief was
lodged between the cushions of the window-seat,--the very handkerchief
she used to wave, in summer days long gone. The white boats went sailing
beneath the evening light, children shouted and splashed in the water, a
song came from a yacht, a steam-whistle shrilled from the receding
steamer; but she for whom alone those little signs of life had been dear
and precious would henceforth be as invisible to our eyes as if time and
space had never held her; and the young moon and the evening star seemed
but empty things, unless they could pilot us to some world where the
splendor of her loveliness could match their own.

Twilight faded, evening darkened, and still Kenmure lay motionless,
until his strong form grew in my moody fancy to be like some carving of
Michel Angelo, more than like a living man. And when he at last startled
me by speaking, it was with a voice so far off and so strange, it might
almost have come wandering down from the century when Michel Angelo

"You are right," he said. "I have been living in a dream. It has all
vanished. I have kept no memorial of her presence, nothing to
perpetuate the most beautiful of lives."

Before I could answer, the door came softly open, and there stood in the
doorway a small white figure, holding aloft a lighted taper of pure
alabaster. It was Marian in her little night-dress, with the loose, blue
wrapper trailing behind her, let go in the effort to hold carefully the
doll, Susan Halliday, robed also for the night.

"May I come in?" said the child.

Kenmure was motionless at first, then, looking over his shoulder, said
merely, "What?"

"Janet said," continued Marian, in her clear and methodical way, "that
my mother was up in heaven, and would help God hear my prayers at any
rate; but if I pleased, I could come and say them by you."

A shudder passed over Kenmure; then he turned away, and put his hands
over his eyes. She waited for no answer, but, putting down the
candlestick, in her wonted careful manner, upon a chair, she began to
climb upon the bed, lifting laboriously one little rosy foot, then
another, still dragging after her, with great effort, the doll. Nestling
at her father's breast, I saw her kneel.

"Once my mother put her arm round me, when I said my prayers." She made
this remark, under her breath, less as a suggestion, it seemed, than as
the simple statement of a fact.

Instantly I saw Kenmure's arm move, and grasp her with that strong and
gentle touch of his that I had so often noticed in the studio,--a touch
that seemed quiet as the approach of fate, and as resistless. I knew him
well enough to understand that iron adoption.

He drew her toward him, her soft hair was on his breast, she looked
fearlessly in his eyes, and I could hear the little prayer proceeding,
yet in so low a whisper that I could not catch one word. She was
infinitely solemn at such times, the darling; and there was always
something in her low, clear tone, through all her prayings and
philosophizings, which was strangely like her mother's voice. Sometimes
she seemed to stop and ask a question, and at every answer I could see
her father's arm tighten, and the iron girdle grow more close.

The moments passed, the voices grew lower yet, the doll slid to the
ground. Marian had drifted away upon a vaster ocean than that whose
music lulled her from without,--upon that sea whose waves are dreams.
The night was wearing on, the lights gleamed from the anchored vessels,
the bay rippled serenely against the low sea-wall, the breeze blew
gently in. Marian's baby breathing grew deeper and more tranquil; and as
all the sorrows of the weary earth might be imagined to exhale
themselves in spring through the breath of violets, so it seemed as if
it might be with Kenmure's burdened heart. By degrees the strong man's
deeper respirations mingled with those of the child, and their two
separate beings seemed merged and solved into identity, as they
slumbered, breast to breast, beneath the golden and quiet stars. I
passed by without awaking them; I knew that the artist had attained his



I have of late frequently been asked by my English friends why it is
that I decline to return to my country, and to associate my own efforts
for the moral and political advancement of Italy with those of her
governing classes. "The amnesty has opened up a path for the _legal_
dissemination of your ideas," they tell me. "By taking the place already
repeatedly offered you among the representatives of the people, you
would secure to those who hold the helm of the state the support of the
whole Republican party. Do you not, by throwing the weight of your name
and influence on the side of the malcontents, increase the difficulties
of the government, and prolong the fatal want of moral and political
unity, without which the mere material fact of union is barren, and
unproductive of benefit to the people?"

The question is asked by serious men, who wish my country well, and is
therefore deserving of a serious answer.

Before treating the personal matter, however, let me say that, since
1859, the Republican party has done precisely what my English friends
required it to do. The Italian Republicans have actually assisted and
upheld the government with an abnegation worthy of all
praise,--sacrificing even their right of Apostolate to the great idea of
Italian unity. Perceiving that the nation was determined to give
monarchy the benefit of a trial, they have--in that reverence for the
national will which is the first duty of Republicans--patiently awaited
its results, and endured every form of misgovernment rather than afford
a pretext to those in power for the non-fulfilment of their declared
intention of initiating a war to regain our own territory and true
frontier,--a war without which, as they well knew, the permanent
security and dignity of Italy were impossible, and which, had it been
conducted from a truly national point of view, would have wrought the
moral redemption of our people.

The monarchy, however, which, as I pointed out in my article on "The
Republican Alliance," had had five years to prepare, and was in a
position to take the field with thirty-five thousand regular troops,
one hundred thousand mobilized National Guards, thirty thousand
volunteers under Garibaldi, and the whole of Italy ready to act as
reserve, and make any sacrifices in blood or money, abruptly broke off
the war after the unqualifiable disasters of Custozza and Lissa, at a
signal from France,--basely abandoning our true frontier, the heroic
Trentino,--and accepted Venice as an alms scornfully flung to us by the
man of the 2d of December.

I may be told that a people of twenty-four millions who tamely submit to
dishonor deserve it.

I admit it; but it must not be forgotten that our masses are uneducated,
and that it is the natural tendency of the uneducated to accept their
rulers as their guides, and to govern their own conduct by the example
of their _soi-disant_ superiors; and I assert that, if our people have
no consciousness of their great destiny, nor sense of their true power
and mission,--if, while twenty-four millions of Italians are at the
present day grouped around, I will not say the _conception_ of unity,
but the mere unstable _fact_ of union, the great soul of Italy still
lies prostrate in the tomb dug for her three centuries ago by the Papacy
and the Empire,--the cause is to be found in the immorality and
corruption of our rulers.

The true life of a people must be sought in the ruling idea or
conception by which it is governed and directed.

The true idea of a nation implies the consciousness of a common _aim_,
and the fraternal association and concentration of all the vital forces
of the country towards the realization of that aim.

The national aim is indicated by the past tradition, and confirmed by
the present conscience, of the country.

The national aim once ascertained, it becomes the basis of the sovereign
power, and the criterion of judgment with regard to the acts of the

Every act tending to promote the national aim is good; every act tending
to a departure from that aim is evil.

The moral law is supreme. The religion of duty forms the link between
the nation and humanity; the source of its _right_, and the sign of its
place and value in humanity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such are the essential characteristics of what we term a nation at the
present day. Where these are wanting, there exists but an aggregate of
families, temporarily united for the purpose of diminishing the ills of
life, and loosely bound together by past habits or interests, which are
destined, sooner or later, to clash. All intellectual or economic
development among them,--unregulated by a great conception supreme over
every selfish interest,--instead of being equally diffused over the
various members of the national family, leads to the gradual formation
of educated or financial _castes_, but obtains for the nation itself
neither recognized function, position, dignity, nor glory among foreign

These things, which are true of all peoples, are still more markedly so
of a people emerging from a prolonged and deathlike stupor into new
life. Other nations earnestly watch its every step. If its advance is
illumined by the signs of a high mission, and its first manifestations
sanctified by the baptism of a great _principle_, other nations will
surround the new collective being with affection and hope, and be ready
to follow it upon the path assigned to it by God. If they discover in it
no signs of any noble inspiration, ruling moral conception, or potent
future, they will learn to despise it, and to regard its territory as a
new field for a predatory policy, and direct or indirect domination.

Tradition has marked out and defined the characteristics of a high
mission more distinctly in Italy than elsewhere. We alone, among the
nations that have expired in the past, have twice arisen in resurrection
and given new life to Europe. The innate tendency of the Italian mind
always to harmonize _thought_ and _action_ confirms the prophecy of
history, and points out the _rôle_ of Italy in the world to be a work
of moral unification,--the utterance of the synthetic word of

Italy is a religion.

And if we look only to the _immediate_ national aim, and the inevitable
consequences that must follow the complete constitution of Italy as a
nation, we see that to no people in Europe has been assigned a higher
office in the fulfilment of the educational design, to the evolution of
which Providence guides humanity from epoch to epoch. Our unity will be
of itself a potent _initiative_ in the world. The mere fact of our
existence as a nation will carry with it an important modification of
the external and internal life of Europe.

Had we regained Venice through a war directed as justice and the
exigencies of the case required, instead of basely submitting to the
humiliation of receiving it from the hands of a foreign despot, we
should have dissolved two empires, and called into existence a
Slavo-Magyaro-Teutonic federation along the Danube, and a
Slavo-Hellenic-Rouman federation in the east of Europe.

We shall not regain Rome without dissolving the Papacy, and proclaiming,
for the benefit of all humanity, that inviolability of conscience which
Protestantism achieved for a fraction of Europe only, and confined
within Biblical limits.

Great ideas make great peoples, and the sense of the enormous power
which is an inseparable condition of the existence of our Italy as a
nation should have sufficed to make us great. That sense, however,--God
alone knows the grief with which I write it,--that sense with us is

And now a word as to the amnesty.

Were it my nature to allow any personal considerations to interfere
where the welfare of my country is concerned, I might answer that none
who know me would expect me to give the lie to the whole of my past
life, and sully the few years left to me by accepting an offer of
_oblivion_ and _pardon_ for having loved Italy above all earthly things,
and preached and striven for her unity when all others regarded it as a

But my purpose in the present writing is far other than self-defence;
and the sequel will show that, even were the sacrifice of the dignity of
my last years possible, it would be useless.

My past, present, and future labors towards the moral and political
regeneration of my country have been, are, and will be governed by a
religious idea.

The past, present, and future of our rulers have been, are, and will be
led astray by materialism.

Now the religious question sums up and dominates every other. Political
questions are necessarily secondary and derivative.

They who earnestly believe in the supremacy of the moral law as the sole
legitimate source of all authority--in a religion of duty, of which
politics should be the application--_cannot_, through any amount of
personal abnegation, act in concert with a government based upon the
worship of temporary and material interest.

Our rulers have no great ruling conception,--no belief in the supremacy
of the moral law,--no just notion of life, nor of the human unity,--no
belief in a divinely appointed goal which it is the _duty_ of mankind to
reach through labor and sacrifice. They are materialists, and the
logical consequence of their want of all faith in God and his law are
the substitution of the idea of _interest_ for the idea of _duty_,--of a
paltry notion of _tactics_, for the fearless affirmation of the
truth,--of opportunity, for principle.

It is for this that they protest against, without resisting, wrong,--for
this that they have abandoned the straight road to wander in tortuous
by-paths, fascinated by the thought of displaying _state-craft_, and
forgetting that it was through such paths we first descended into
slavery. It is for this that our government has reduced Italy to the
condition of a French prefecture, and that our parliamentary opposition
copies the wretched tactics of the _Left_ in the French Chamber, which
prepared the way, during the Restoration, for the present corruption,
degradation, and enslavement of their country.

These things, I repeat, are _consequences_, not causes. We may change as
we will the individuals at the head of the government; the system itself
being based upon a false _principle_, the fatal idea will govern them.
They _cannot_ righteously direct the new life of the Italian people, and
redeem them from a profound unconscious immorality of ancient date.

The present duty of the democratic party in Italy, then,--since they
cannot serve God and Mammon,--is to educate the people; and, remembering
that the basis of all education is truth, to endeavor to prove to them
that the actual political impotence and corruption of Italy are derived
from two causes which may be summed up in one,--we have no religion, and
we have set up a negation in its place.


On the one side we have--as our only form and semblance of religion--the

I remember to have written, more than thirty years ago, when none other
dared openly to venture on the problem,--when the boldest contented
themselves with whispering of reforms in Church discipline, and those
writers who, like Gioberti, set themselves up as philosophers, thought
proper, as a matter of tactics, to caress the Utopia of an Italian
primacy, intrusted to I know not what impossible revival of
Catholicism,--I remember to have written then that both the Papacy and
Catholicism were things extinct, and that their death was a consequence
of _quite another death_.

I spoke of the dogma which was the foundation of both.

Years have confirmed what I then declared. The Papacy is now a corpse
beyond all power of galvanization. It is the lying mockery of a
religion,--a source of perennial corruption and immorality among the
nations, and most fatally such to our own, upon whose very soul weighs
the incubus and example of that lie. But at the present day we either
know or ought to know the cause of this.

All contact with the Papacy is contact with death, carrying the taint of
its corruption over rising Italy, and educating her masses in
falsehood,--not because cardinals, bishops, and monks traded in
indulgences three centuries ago,--not because this or that Pope
trafficked in cowardly concessions to princes, or in the matrimony of
his own bastards with the bastards of dukes, petty tyrants, or kings, in
order to obtain some patch of territory or temporal dominion,--not
because they have governed and persecuted men according to their
arbitrary will; but because they _cannot_ do other, even if they would.

These evils and these sins are not _causes_, but _consequences_.

Even admitting the impossible hypothesis that the guilty individuals
should be converted;--that the Jansenists, or other Reformers, should
recall the misguided Popes to the charity and humility of their ancient
way of life,--they could only cause the Papacy to die with greater
dignity;--it can never again be what once it was, the ruler and director
of the conscience of the peoples.

The mission of the Papacy--a great and holy mission, whatever the
fanatics of rebellion at the present day, falsifying history and
calumniating the soul and mind of humanity in the past, may say to the
contrary--is fulfilled. It was fulfilled six centuries ago; and no power
of genius, no miracle of will, can avail to revive it. Innocent III. was
the last true Pope. He was the last who endeavored to make the supremacy
of the moral law of the epoch over the brute force of the temporal
governments--of the spirit over matter, of God over Cæsar--an organic
social _fact_.

And such was in truth the mission of the Papacy,--the secret of its
power, and of the willing adherence and submission yielded to it by
humanity for eight hundred years. That mission was incarnated in one of
the greatest of Italians in genius, virtue, and iron strength of
will,--Gregory VII.,--and yet he failed to prolong it. One hundred and
fifty years afterwards, the gigantic attempt had become but the dim
record of a past never to return. With the successors of Innocent III.
began the decline of the Papacy; it ceased to infuse life into humanity.
A hundred years later, and the Church had become scandalously corrupt in
the higher spheres of its hierarchy, persecuting and superstitious in
the lower. A hundred years later it was the ally, and in one hundred
more the servant of Cæsar, and had lost one half of Europe.

From that time forward it has unceasingly declined, until it has sunk to
the thing we now behold it;--disinherited of all power of inspiration
over civilization; the impotent negation of all movement, of all
liberty, of all development of science or life; destitute of all sense
of duty, power of sacrifice, or faith in its own destiny; held up by
foreign bayonets; trembling before the face of the peoples, and forsaken
by humanity, which is seeking the path of progress elsewhere.

The Papacy has lost all moral basis, aim, sanction, and source of action
at the present day. Its source of action in the past was derived from a
conception of heaven since changed,--from a notion of life since proved
imperfect,--from a conception of the moral law inferior to that of the
new epoch in course of initiation,--from a solution of the eternal
problem of the relation between man and God since rejected by the human
heart, intellect, conscience, and tradition.

The dogma itself which the Church once represented is exhausted and
consumed. It no longer inspires faith, no longer has power to unite or
direct the human race.

The time of a new dogma is approaching, which will re-link earth with
heaven in a vaster synthesis, fruitful of new and harmonious life.

It is for this that the Papacy expires. And it is our duty to declare
this, without hypocritical reticence, or formulæ of speech, which,
feigning to attack and venerate at one and the same time, do but parcel
out, not solve the problem; because the future cannot be fully revealed
until the past is entombed, and by weakly prolonging the delay we run
the risk of introducing gangrene into the wound.

The formula of life and of the law of life from which the Papacy derived
its existence and its mission was that of the _fall_ of man and his
redemption. The logical and inevitable consequences of this formula

The doctrine of the necessity of _mediation_ between man and God;

The belief in a _direct_, _immediate_, and _immutable_ revelation, and
hence in a privileged class,--naturally destined to centralize in one
individual,--the office of which was to preserve that revelation

The inefficacy of man's own efforts to achieve his own redemption, and
the consequent substitution of unlimited _faith_ in the _Mediator_, for
works,--hence _grace_ and _predestination_ more or less explicitly
substituted for _free-will_;

The separation of the human race into the _elect_ and the _non-elect_;

The _salvation_ of the one, and the eternal _damnation_ of the other;
and, above all,

The duality between earth and heaven, between the _ideal_ and the
_real_, between the _aim_ set before man and a world condemned to
anathema by the _fall_, and incapable, through the imperfection of its
finite elements, of affording him the means of realizing that aim.

In fact, the religious synthesis which succeeded Polytheism did not
contemplate, nor did the historical succession of the epochs allow it to
contemplate, any conception of life embracing more than the
_individual_; it offered the individual a means of salvation _in despite
of_ the egotism, tyranny, and corruption by which he is surrounded on
earth, and which no individual effort could hope to overcome; it came to
declare to him, _The world is adverse to thee; renounce the world and
put thy faith in Christ; this will lead thee to heaven_.

The new formula of life and its law--unknown at that day, but revealed
to us in our own day by our knowledge of the tradition of humanity,
confirmed by the voice of individual conscience, by the intuition of
genius and the grand results of scientific research--may be summed up in
the single word _Progress_,[D] which we now know to be, by Divine
decree, the inherent tendency of human nature,--whether manifested in
the individual or the collective being,--and destined, more or less
speedily, but inevitably, to be evolved in time and space.

The logical consequences of the new formula are:--

The substitution of the idea of a _law_ for the idea of a
_Mediator_;--the idea of a _continuous_ educational revelation for that
of an _immediate_ arbitrary revelation;

The apostolate of genius and virtue, and of the great collective
intuitions of the peoples, when roused to enthusiastic action in the
service of a truth, substituted for the _privilege_ of a priestly

The sanctity of tradition, as the depository of the progress already
achieved; and the sanctity of individual conscience, alike the pledge
and the means of all future progress;

_Works_, sanctified by faith, substituted for mere faith alone, as the
criterion of merit and means of salvation.

The new formula of life cancels the dogma of _grace_, which is the
negation of that capacity of perfectibility granted to _all_ men; as
well as that of _predestination_, which is the negation of _free-will_,
and that of eternity of punishment, which is the negation of the divine
element existing in every human soul.

The new formula substitutes the conception of the slow, continuous
progress of the human _Ego_ throughout an indefinite series of
existences, for the idea of an impossible perfection to be achieved in
the course of one brief existence; it presents an absolutely, new view
of the mission of man upon earth, and puts an end to the antagonism
between earth and heaven, by teaching us that this world is an abode
given to man _wherein_ he is bound to merit salvation, by his own works,
and hence enforces the necessity of endeavoring, by thought, by action,
and by sacrifice, to transform the world,--the duty of realizing our
ideal here below, as far as in us lies, for the benefit of future
generations, and of reducing to an earthly _fact_ as much as may be of
the _kingdom_--the conception--of God.

The religious synthesis which is slowly but infallibly taking the place
of the synthesis of the past comprehends a new term,--the continuous
_collective_ life of humanity; and this alone is sufficient to change
the _aim_, the _method_, and the moral _law_ of our existence.

All links with heaven broken, and useless to the earth, which is ready
to hail the proclamation of a new dogma, the Papacy has no longer any
_raison d'être_. Once useful and holy, it is now a lie, a source only of
corruption and immorality.

Once useful and holy, I say, because, had it not been for the unity of
moral life in which we were held for more than eight centuries by the
Papacy, we should not now have been prepared to realize the new unity to
come; had it not been for the dogma of human equality in heaven, we
should not now have been prepared to proclaim the dogma of human
equality on earth. And, I declare it a lie and a source of immorality at
the present day, because every great institution becomes such if it
seeks to perpetuate its authority after its mission is fulfilled. The
substitution of the enslavement for the slaughter of the conquered foe
was a step towards progress, as was the substitution of servitude for
slavery. The formation of the _Bourgeoise_ class was a progress from
servitude. But he who at the present day should attempt to recede
towards slavery and servitude, and presumptuously endeavor to perpetuate
the exclusion of the proletarian from the rights and benefits of the
social organization, would prove himself the enemy of all civilization,
past and future, and a teacher of immorality.

It is therefore the duty of all those amongst us who have it at heart to
win _the city of the future_ and the triumph of truth, to make war, not
only upon the temporal power,--who should dare deny that to the admitted
representative of God on earth?--but upon the Papacy itself. It is
therefore our duty to go back to the dogma upon which the institution is
founded, and to show that that dogma has become insufficient and unequal
to the moral wants, aspirations, and dawning faith of humanity.

They who at the present day attack the _Prince_ of Rome, and yet profess
to venerate the _Pope_, and to be sincere Catholics, are either guilty
of flagrant contradiction, or are hypocrites.

They who profess to reduce the problem to the realization of _a free
Church in a free State_ are either influenced by a fatal timidity, or
destitute of every spark of moral conviction.

The separation of Church and State is good as a weapon of defence
against the corruptions of a Church no longer worthy the name. It
is--like all the programmes of mere liberty--an implicit declaration
that the institution against which we are compelled to invoke either our
individual or collective rights is corrupt, and destined to perish.

Individual or collective rights may be justly invoked against the
authority of a religious institution as a remedial measure in a period
of transition; just as it may occasionally be necessary to isolate a
special locality for a given time, in order to protect others from
infection. But the cause must be explicitly declared. By declaring it,
you educate the country to look beyond the temporary measure,--to look
forward to a return to a normal state of things, and to study the
positive organic _principle_ destined to govern that normal state. By
keeping silence, you accustom the mass to disjoin the _moral_ from the
political, theory from practice, the ideal from the real, heaven from

When once all belief in the past synthesis shall be extinct, and faith
in the new synthesis established, the State itself will be elected into
a Church; it will incarnate in itself a religious principle, and become
the representative of the moral law in the various manifestations of

So long as it is separate from the State, the Church will always
conspire to reconquer power over it in the interest of the past dogma.
If separated from all collective and avowed faith by a negative policy,
such as that adopted by the atheistic and indifferent French Parliament,
the State will fall a prey to the anarchical doctrine of the sovereignty
of the individual, and the worship of interest; it will sink into
egotism and the adoration of the _accomplished fact_, and hence,
inevitably, into despotism, as a remedy for the evils of anarchy.

For an example of this among modern nations, we have only to look at


On the other hand, in opposition to the Papacy, but itself a source of
no less corruption, stands _materialism_.

Materialism, the philosophy of all expiring epochs and peoples in decay,
is, historically speaking, an old phenomenon, inseparable from the death
of a religious dogma. It is the reaction of those superficial intellects
which, incapable of taking a comprehensive view of the life of humanity,
and tracing and deducing its essential characteristics from tradition,
deny the religious ideal itself, instead of simply affirming the death
of one of its incarnations.

Luther compared the human mind to a drunken peasant, who, falling from
one side of his horse, and set straight on his seat by one desirous of
helping him, instantly falls again on the other side. The simile--if
limited to periods of transition--is most just. The youth of Italy,
suddenly emancipated from the servile education of more than three
centuries, and intoxicated with their moral liberty, find themselves in
the presence of a Church destitute of all mission, virtue, love for the
people, or adoration of truth or progress,--destitute even of faith in
itself. They see that the existing dogma is in flagrant contradiction of
the ruling idea that governs all the aspirations of the epoch, and that
its conception of divinity is inferior to that revealed by science,
human conscience, philosophy, and the improved conception of life
acquired by the study of the tradition of humanity, unknown to man
previously to the discovery of his Eastern origin. Therefore, in
order--as they believe--to establish their moral freedom radically and
forever, they reject alike all idea of a church, a dogma, and a God.

Philosophically speaking, the unreflecting exaggerations of men who have
just risen up in rebellion do not portend any serious damage to human
progress. These errors are a mere repetition of what has always taken
place at the decay and death of every dogma, and will--as they always
have done--sooner or later wear away. The day will come when our Italian
youth will discover that, just as reasonably as they, not content with
denying the Christian dogma, proceed to deny the existence of a God, and
the religious life of humanity, their ancestors might have proceeded,
from their denial and rejection of the feudal system, to the rejection
of every form of social organization, or have declared art extinct
forever during the transition period when the Greek form of art had
ceased to correspond to those aspirations of the human mind which
prepared the way for the cathedrals of the Middle Ages and the Christian
school of art.

Art, society, religion,--all these are faculties inseparable from human
life itself, progressive as life itself, and eternal as life itself.
Every epoch of humanity has had and will have its own social, artistic,
and religious _expression_. In every epoch man will ask of tradition and
of conscience whence he came, and to what goal he is bound; he will ask
through what paths that goal is to be reached, and seek to solve the
problem suggested by the existence within him of a conception of the
Infinite, and of an ideal impossible of realization in the finite
conditions of his earthly existence. He will, from time to time, adopt a
different solution, in proportion as the horizon of tradition is
progressively enlarged, and the human conscience enlightened; but
assuredly it will never be a mere negation.

Philosophically speaking, materialism is based upon a singular but
constant confusion of two things radically distinct;--life, and its
successive modes of manifestation; the _Ego_, and the organs by which it
is revealed in a visible form to the external world, the non-_Ego_. The
men who, having succeeded in analyzing the _instruments_ by means of
which life is made manifest in a series of successive finite phenomena,
imagine that they have acquired a proof of the _materiality_ of life
itself, resemble the poor fool, who, having chemically analyzed the ink
with which a poem was written, imagines he has penetrated the secret of
the genius that composed it.

Life,--thought,--the initiative power of motion,--the conception of the
Infinite, of the Eternal, of God, which is inborn in the human
mind,--the aspiration towards an ideal impossible of realization in the
brief stage of our earthly existence,--the instinct of free will,--all
that constitutes the mysterious link within us to a world beyond the
visible,--defy all analysis by a philosophy exclusively experimental,
and impotent to overpass the sphere of the secondary laws of being.

If materialists choose to reject the teachings of tradition, the voice
of human conscience and intuition, to limit themselves to the mechanism
of analytical observation, and substitute their narrow, undirected
physiology for biology and psychology,--if then, finding themselves
unable by that imperfect method to comprehend the primary laws and
origin of things, they childishly deny the existence of such laws, and
declare all humanity before their time to have been deluded and
incapable,--so be it. Nor should I, had Italy been a nation for half a
century, have regarded their doctrines as fraught with any real danger.
Humanity will not abandon its appointed path for them; and to hear
them--in an age in which the discoveries of all great thinkers combine
to demonstrate the existence of an intelligent preordained law of unity
and progress--spouting materialism in the name of science, because they
have skimmed a volume of Vogt, or attended a lecture by Moleschott,
might rather move one to amusement than anger.

But Italy is not a nation; she is only in the way to become one. And the
present is therefore a moment of grave importance; for, even as the
first examples set before infancy, so the first lessons taught to a
people emerging from a long past of error and corruption, and hesitating
as to the choice of its future, may be of serious import. The doctrines
of federalism, which, if preached in France at the present day, would be
but an innocent Utopia, threatened the dissolution of the country during
the first years of the Revolution. They laid bare the path for foreign
conquest, and roused the _Mountain_ to bloody and terrible means of

Such for us are the wretched doctrines of which I speak. Fate has set
before us a great and holy mission, which, if we fail to accomplish it
now, may be postponed for half a century. Every delay, every error, may
be fatal. And the people through whom we have to work are uneducated,
liable to accept any error which wears a semblance of war against the
past, and in danger, from their long habit of slavery, of relapsing
into egotism.

Now the tendency of the doctrines of materialism is to lead the mass to
egotism through the path of interest. Therefore it grieves me to hear
them preached by many worthy but inconsiderate young men amongst us; and
I conjure them, by all they hold most sacred, to meditate deeply the
moral consequences of the doctrines they preach, and especially to study
their effect in the case of a neighboring nation, which carried negation
to the extreme during the past century, and which we behold at the
present day utterly corrupted by the worship of temporary and material
interest, disinherited of all noble activity, and sunk in the
degradation and infamy of slavery.

Every error is a crime in those whose duty it is to watch over the
cradle of a nation.

Either we must admit the idea of a God,--of the moral law, which is an
emanation from him,--and the idea of human duty, freely accepted by
mankind, as the practical consequence of that law,--or we must admit the
idea of a ruling force of things, and its practical consequence, the
worship of individual force or success, the omnipotence of _fact_. From
this dilemma there is no escape.

Either we must accept the sovereignty of an _aim_ prescribed by
conscience, in which all the individuals composing a nation are bound to
unite, and the pursuit of which constitutes the _nationality_ of a given
people among the many of which humanity is composed,--an aim recognized
by them all, and superior to them all, and therefore _religious_; or we
must accept the sovereignty of the _right_, arbitrarily defined, of each
nation, and its practical consequences,--the pursuit by each individual
of his own interest and his own _well-being_, the satisfaction of his
own desires,--and the impossibility of any sovereign _duty_, to which
all the citizens, from those who govern down to the humblest of the
governed, owe obedience and sacrifice.

Which of these doctrines will be most potent to lead our nation to high
things? Let us not forget that, although the educated, intellectual, and
virtuous may be willing to admit that the _well-being_ of the individual
should be founded--even at the cost of sacrifice--upon the _well-being_
of the many, the majority will, as they always have done, understand
their _well-being_ to mean their positive satisfaction or enjoyment;
they will reject the notion of sacrifice as painful, and endeavor to
realize their own happiness, even to the injury of others. They will
seek it one day from liberty, the next from the deceitful promises of a
despot; but the practical result of encouraging them to strive for the
realization of their own happiness as a right, will inevitably be to
lead them to the mere gratification of their own individual egotism.

If you reject all Supreme law, all Providential guidance, all aim, all
obligation imposed by the belief in a mission towards humanity, you have
no right to prescribe _your_ conception of _well-being_ to others, as
worthier or better. You have no certain basis, no principle upon which
to found a system of education; you have nothing left but force, if you
are strong enough to impose it. Such was the method adopted by the
French Revolutionists, and they, in their turn, succumbed to the force
of others, without knowing in the name of what to protest. And you would
have to do the same. Without God, you must either accept anarchy as the
normal condition of things,--and this is impossible,--or you must seek
your authority in the _force_ of this or that individual, and thus open
the way to despotism and tyranny.

But what then becomes of the idea of progress?--what of the conception
we have lately gained from historic science of the gradual but
infallible education of humanity,--of the link of _solidary_ ascending
life which unites succeeding generations,--of the duty of sacrificing,
if need be, the present generation to the elevation and morality of the
generations of the future,--of the pre-eminence of the fatherland over
individuals, and the certainty that their devotion and martyrdom will,
in the fulness of time, advance the honor, greatness, or virtue of their

There are _materialists_, illogical and carried away by the impulses of
a heart superior to their doctrines, who do both feel and act upon this
worship of the ideal; but _materialism_ denies it. Materialism, as a
doctrine, only recognizes in the universe a finite and determinate
quantity of matter, gifted with a definite number of properties, and
susceptible of modification, but not of progress; in which certain
productive forces act by the fortuitous agglomeration of circumstances
not to be predicated or foreseen; or through the necessary succession of
causes and effects,--of events inevitable and independent of all human

Materialism admits neither the intervention of any creative
intelligence, Divine initiative, nor human free-will; by denying the
law-giving Intellect, it denies all intelligent Providential law; and
the philosophy of the squirrel in its cage, which men term _Pantheism_
at the present day, by confounding the _subject_ and the _object_ in
one, cancels alike the _Ego_ and non-_Ego_, good and evil, God and man,
and, consequently, all individual mission or free-will. The wretched
doctrine, recognizing no higher historic formula than the necessary
alternation of vicissitudes, condemns humanity to tread eternally the
same circle, being incapable of comprehending the conception of the
spiral path of indefinite progress upon which humanity traces its
gradual ascent towards an ideal beyond.

Strange contradiction! Men whose aim it is to combat the practice of
egotism instilled into the Italian people by tyranny, to inspire them
with a sacred devotion to the fatherland, and make of them a great
nation, the artificer of the progress of humanity, present as the first
intellectual food of this people now awakening to new life, whose whole
strength lies in their good instincts and virginity of intellect, a
theory the ultimate consequences of which are to establish egotism upon
a basis of right!

They call upon their people worthily to carry on the grand traditions of
their past, when all around them--popes, princes, military leaders,
_literati_, and the servile herd--have either insolently trampled
liberty under foot, or deserted its cause in cowardly indifference; and
they preach to them a doctrine which deprives them of every pledge of
future progress, every stimulus to affection, every noble aspiration
towards sacrifice,--they take from them the faith that inspires
confidence in victory, and renders even the defeat of to-day fruitful of
triumph on the morrow. The same men who urge upon them the duty of
shedding their blood for an idea begin by declaring to them: _There is
no hope of any future for you. Faith in immortality--the lesson
transmitted to you by all past humanity--is a falsehood; a breath of
air, or trifling want of equilibrium in the animal functions, destroys
you wholly and forever. There is even no certainty that the results of
your labors will endure; there is no Providential law or design,
consequently no possible theory of the future; you are but building up
to-day what any unforeseen fact, blind force, or fortuitous circumstance
may overthrow to-morrow._

They teach these brothers of theirs, whom they desire to elevate and
ennoble, that they are but dust,--a necessary, unconscious secretion of
I know not what material substance; that the _thought_ of a Kepler or
Dante is _dust_, or rather _phosphorus_; that genius, from Prometheus to
Jesus, brought down no divine spark from heaven; that the _moral law_,
free-will, merit, and the consequent progress of the _Ego_, are
illusions; that events are successively our masters,--inexorable,
irresponsible, and insuperable to human will.

And they see not that they thus confirm that servile submission to the
_accomplished fact_, that doctrine of _opportunity_, that bastard
Machiavellism, that worship of temporary interests, and that
indifference to every great idea, which find expression in our country
at the present day in the betrayal of national duty by our higher
classes, and in the stupid resignation of our masses.


I invoke the rising--and I should die consoled, even in exile, could I
see the first signs of its advent, but this I dare not hope--I invoke
the rising of a truly Italian school;--a school which, comprehending the
causes of the downfall of the Papacy, and the impotence of the merely
negative doctrine which our Italian youth have borrowed from superficial
French materialists and the German copyists, should elevate itself above
both, and come forward to announce the approaching and inevitable
religious transformation which will put an end to the existing divorce
between thought and action, and to the crisis of egotism and immorality
through which Europe is passing.

I invoke the rising of a school destined to prepare the way for the
_initiative_ of Italy;--which shall, on the one side, undertake the
examination of the dogma upon which Catholicism was founded, and prove
it to be worn out, exhausted, and in contradiction to our new conception
of life and its laws; and, on the other hand, the refutation of
materialism under whatsoever form it may present itself, and prove that
it also is in contradiction of that new conception,--that it is a
stupid, fatal negation of all moral law, of human free-will, of our
every sacred hope, and of the calm and constant virtue of sacrifice.

I invoke a school which shall philosophically develop all the
consequences, the germ of which--neglected or ignored by superficial
intellects--is contained in the word Progress considered as a new _term_
in the great historical synthesis, the expression of the ascending
advance of humanity from epoch to epoch, from religion to religion,
towards a vaster conception of its own _aim_ and its own law.

I invoke the rising of a school destined to demonstrate to the youth of
Italy that _rationalism_ is but an _instrument_,--the instrument adopted
in all periods of transition by the human intellect to aid its progress
from a worn-out form of religion to one new and superior,--and science
only an accumulation of materials to be arranged and organized in
fruitful synthesis by a new moral conception;--a school that will recall
philosophy from this puerile confusion of the _means_ with the _aim_, to
bring it back to its sole true basis, the knowledge of life and
comprehension of its law.

I invoke a school which will seek the truth of the epoch, not in mere
analysis,--always barren and certain to mislead, if undirected by a
ruling principle,--but in an earnest study of universal tradition, which
is the manifestation of the collective life of humanity; and of
conscience, which is the manifestation of the life of the individual.

I invoke a school which shall redeem from the neglect cast upon it by
theories deduced from one of our human faculties alone that _intuition_
which is the concentration of all the faculties upon a given subject;--a
school which, even while declaring it exhausted, will respect the
_past_, without which the _future_ would be impossible,--which will
protest against those intellectual barbarians for whom every religion is
falsehood, every form of civilization now extinct a folly, every great
pope, king, or warrior now in the course of things surpassed a criminal
or a hypocrite, and revoke the condemnation, thus uttered by presumption
in the present, of the past labors and intellect of entire humanity;--a
school which may condemn, but will not defame,--will judge, but never,
through frenzy of rebellion, falsify history;--a school which will
declare the death that _is_, without denying the life that _was_,--which
will call upon Italy to emancipate herself for the achievement of new
glories, but strip not a single leaf from her wreath of glories past.

Such a school would regain for Italy her European initiative, her

Italy--as I have said--is a religion.

Some have affirmed this of France. They were mistaken. France--if we
except the single moment when the Revolution and Napoleon summed up the
achievements of the epoch of _individuality_--has never had any external
mission, other than, occasionally, as an arm of the Church, the
_instrument_ of an idea emanating from Papal Rome.

But the mission of Italy in the world was at all times religious, and
the essential character of Italian genius was at all times religious.

The essence of every religion lies in a power, unknown to mere science,
of compelling man to reduce thought to action, and harmonize his
practical life with his moral conception. The genius of our nation,
whenever it has been spontaneously revealed, and exercised independently
of all foreign inspiration, has always evinced the religious character,
the unifying power to which I allude. Every conception of the Italian
mind sought its incarnation in action,--strove to assume a form in the
political sphere. The ideal and the real, elsewhere divided, have always
tended to be united in our land. Sabines and Etruscans alike derived
their civil organization and way of life from their conception of
Heaven. The Pythagoreans founded their philosophy, religious
associations, and political institutions at one and the same time. The
source of the vitality and power of Rome lay in a religious sense of a
collective mission, of an _aim_ to be achieved, in the contemplation of
which the individual was submerged. Our democratic republics were all
religious. Our early philosophical thinkers were all tormented by the
idea of translating their ideal conceptions into practical rules of

And as to our external mission.

We alone have twice given _moral_ unity to Europe, to the known world.
The voice that issued from Rome in the past was addressed to and
reverenced by humanity,--"Urbs Orbi."

Italy is a religion. And when, in my earliest years, I believed that
the _initiative_ of the third life of Europe would spring from the
heart, the action, the enthusiasm and sacrifice of our people, I heard
within me the grand voice of Rome sounding once again, hailed and
accepted with loving reverence by the peoples, and telling of moral
unity and fraternity in a faith common to all humanity. It was not the
unity of the past,--which, though sacred and conducive to civilization
for many centuries, did but emancipate _individual_ man, and reveal to
him an ideal of liberty and equality only to be realized in Heaven: it
was a new unity, emancipating _collective_ humanity, and revealing the
formula of Association, through which liberty and equality are destined
to be realized here on earth; sanctifying the earth and rendering it
what God wills it should be,--a stage upon the path of perfection, a
means given to man wherewith to deserve a higher and nobler existence

And I saw Rome, in the name of God and Republican Italy, substituting a
declaration of PRINCIPLES for the barren declaration of
rights,--principles the logical consequences of the parent idea,
PROGRESS,--and revealing to the nations a common aim, and the basis of a
new religion. And I saw Europe, weary of scepticism, egotism, and moral
anarchy, receive the new faith with acclamations. I saw a new pact
founded upon that faith,--a pact of united action in the work of human
perfectibility, involving none of the evils or dangers of the former
pact, because among the first consequences of a faith founded upon the
dogma of progress would be the justification of _heresy_, as either a
promise or endeavor after progress in the future.

The vision which brightened my first dream of country has vanished, so
far as concerns my own life. Even if that vision be ever fulfilled,--as
I believe it will be,--I shall be in the tomb. May the young, as yet
uncorrupted by scepticism, prepare the way for its realization; and may
they, in the name of our national tradition and the future, unceasingly
protest against all who seek to immobilize human life in the name of a
dogma extinct, or to degrade it by diverting it from the eternal worship
of the Ideal.

The religious question is pre-eminent over every other at the present
day, and the moral question is indissolubly linked with it. We are bound
either to solve these, or renounce all idea of an Italian mission in the

                      JOSEPH MAZZINI.


[Footnote D: This sacred word, which sums up the dogma of the future,
has been uttered by every school, but misunderstood by the majority.
Materialists have usurped the use of it, to express man's
ever-increasing power over the productive forces of the earth; and men
of science, to indicate that accumulation of _facts_ discovered and
submitted to analysis which has led us to a better knowledge of
secondary causes. Few understand it as the expression of a providential
conception or design, inseparable from our human life and foundation of
our moral law.]


_Miss Ravenel's Conversion from Secession to Loyalty._ By J. W. DE
FORREST. New York: Harper and Brothers.

The light, strong way in which our author goes forward in this story
from the first, and does not leave difficulty to his readers, is
pleasing to those accustomed to find an American novel a good deal like
the now extinct American stage-coach whose passengers not only walked
over bad pieces of road, but carried fence-rails on their shoulders to
pry the vehicle out of the sloughs and miry places. It was partly the
fault of the imperfect roads, no doubt, and it may be that our social
ways have only just now settled into such a state as makes smooth going
for the novelist; nevertheless, the old stage-coach was hard to travel
in, and what with drafts upon one's good nature for assistance, it must
be confessed that our novelists have been rather trying to their
readers. It is well enough with us all while the road is good,--a study
of individual character, a bit of landscape, a stretch of well-worn
plot, gentle slopes of incident; but somewhere on the way the passengers
are pretty sure to be asked to step out,--the ladies to walk on ahead,
and the gentlemen to fetch fence-rails.

Our author imagines a Southern loyalist and his daughter sojourning in
New Boston, Barataria, during the first months of the war. Dr. Ravenel
has escaped from New Orleans just before the Rebellion began, and has
brought away with him the most sarcastic and humorous contempt and
abhorrence of his late fellow-citizens, while his daughter, an ardent
and charming little blonde Rebel, remembers Louisiana with longing and
blind admiration. The Doctor, born in South Carolina, and living all his
days among slaveholders and slavery, has not learned to love either; but
Lillie differs from him so widely as to scream with joy when she hears
of Bull Run. Naturally she cannot fall in love with Mr. Colburne, the
young New Boston lawyer, who goes into the war conscientiously for his
country's sake, and resolved for his own to make himself worthy and
lovable in Lillie's blue eyes by destroying and desolating all that she
holds dear. It requires her marriage with Colonel Carter--a Virginia
gentleman, a good-natured drunkard and _roué_ and soldier of fortune on
our side--to make her see Colburne's worth, as it requires some
comparative study of New Orleans and New Boston, on her return to her
own city, to make her love the North. Bereft of her husband by his own
wicked weakness, and then widowed, she can at last wisely love and marry
Colburne; and, cured of Secession by experiencing on her father's
account the treatment received by Unionists in New Orleans, her
conversion to loyalty is a question of time duly settled before the
story ends.

We sketch the plot without compunction, for these people of Mr. De
Forrest's are so unlike characters in novels as to be like people in
life, and none will wish the less to see them because he knows the
outline of their history. Not only is the plot good and very well
managed, but there is scarcely a feebly painted character or scene in
the book. As to the style, it is so praiseworthy that we will not
specifically censure occasional defects,--for the most part, slight
turgidities notable chiefly from their contrast to the prevailing
simplicity of the narrative.

Our war has not only left us the burden of a tremendous national debt,
but has laid upon our literature a charge under which it has hitherto
staggered very lamely. Every author who deals in fiction feels it to be
his duty to contribute towards the payment of the accumulated interest
in the events of the war, by relating his work to them; and the heroes
of young-lady writers in the magazines have been everywhere fighting the
late campaigns over again, as young ladies would have fought them. We do
not say that this is not well, but we suspect that Mr. De Forrest is the
first to treat the war really and artistically. His campaigns do not try
the reader's constitution, his battles are not bores. His soldiers are
the soldiers we actually know,--the green wood of the volunteers, the
warped stuff of men torn from civilization and cast suddenly into the
barbarism of camps, the hard, dry, tough, true fibre of the veterans
that came out of the struggle. There could hardly be a better type of
the conscientious and patriotic soldier than Captain Colburne; and if
Colonel Carter must not stand as type of the officers of the old army,
he mast be acknowledged as true to the semi-civilization of the South.
On the whole he is more entertaining than Colburne, as immoral people
are apt to be to those who suffer nothing from them. "His contrasts of
slanginess and gentility, his mingled audacity and _insouciance_ of
character, and all the picturesque ins and outs of his moral
architecture, so different from the severe plainness of the spiritual
temples common in New Boston," do take the eye of peace-bred
Northerners, though never their sympathy. Throughout, we admire, as the
author intends, Carter's thorough and enthusiastic soldiership, and we
perceive the ruins of a generous nature in his aristocratic Virginian
pride, his Virginian profusion, his imperfect Virginian sense of honor.
When he comes to be shot, fighting bravely at the head of his column,
after having swindled his government, and half unwillingly done his
worst to break his wife's heart, we feel that our side has lost a good
soldier, but that the world is on the whole something better for our
loss. The reader must go to the novel itself for a perfect conception of
this character, and preferably to those dialogues in which Colonel
Carter so freely takes part; for in his development of Carter, at least,
Mr. De Forrest is mainly dramatic. Indeed, all the talk in the book is
free and natural, and, even without the hard swearing which
distinguishes the speech of some, it would be difficult to mistake one
speaker for another, as often happens in novels.

The character of Dr. Ravenel, though so simple, is treated in a manner
invariably delightful and engaging. His native purity, amiability, and
generosity, which a life-long contact with slavery could not taint; his
cordial scorn of Southern ideas; his fine and flawless instinct of
honor; his warm-hearted courtesy and gentleness, and his gayety and wit;
his love of his daughter and of mineralogy; his courage, modesty, and
humanity,--these are the traits which recur in the differing situations
with constant pleasure to the reader.

Miss Lillie Ravenel is as charming as her adored papa, and is never less
nor more than a bright, lovable, good, constant, inconsequent woman. It
is to her that the book owes its few scenes of tenderness and sentiment;
but she is by no means the most prominent character in the novel, as the
infelicitous title would imply, and she serves chiefly to bring into
stronger relief the traits of Colonel Carter and Doctor Ravenel. The
author seems not even to make so much study of her as of Mrs. Larue, a
lady whose peculiar character is skilfully drawn, and who will be quite
probable and explicable to any who have studied the traits of the noble
Latin race, and a little puzzling to those acquainted only with people
of Northern civilization. Yet in Mrs. Larue the author comes near making
his failure. There is a little too much of her,--it is as if the wily
enchantress had cast her glamour upon the author himself,--and there is
too much anxiety that the nature of her intrigue with Carter shall not
be misunderstood. Nevertheless, she bears that stamp of verity which
marks all Mr. De Forrest's creations, and which commends to our
forbearance rather more of the highly colored and strongly-flavored
parlance of the camps than could otherwise have demanded reproduction in
literature. The bold strokes with which such an amusing and heroic
reprobate as Van Zandt and such a pitiful poltroon as Gazaway are
painted, are no less admirable than the nice touches which portray the
Governor of Barataria, and some phases of the aristocratic,
conscientious, truthful, angular, professorial society of New Boston,
with its young college beaux and old college belles, and its life pure,
colorless, and cold to the eye as celery, yet full of rich and wholesome
juices. It is the goodness of New Boston, and of New England, which,
however unbeautiful, has elevated and saved our whole national
character; and in his book there is sufficient evidence of our author's
appreciation of this fact, as well as of sympathy only and always with
what is brave and true in life.

_A Journey to Ashango-Land: and further Penetration into Equatorial
Africa._ By PAUL B. DU CHAILLU. With Maps and Illustrations. New York:
D. Appleton & Co.

Somewhere in the heart of the African continent, Mr. Du Chaillu, laying
his head upon a rock, after a day of uncommon hardship, finds reason to
lament the ungratefulness of the traveller's fate, which brings him,
through perilous adventure and great suffering, to the incredulity and
coldness of a public unable to receive his story with perfect faith. It
is such a meditation as ought to reproach very keenly the sceptics who
doubted Mr. Du Chaillu's first book; it certainly renews in the reader
of the present work the satisfaction felt in the comparative
reasonableness of the things narrated, and his consequent ability to put
an unmurmuring trust in the author. Here, indeed, is very little of the
gorilla whom we formerly knew: his ferocity is greatly abated; he only
once beats his breast and roars; he does not twist gun-barrels; his
domestic habits are much simplified; his appearance here is relatively
as unimportant as Mr. Pendennis's in the "Newcomes"; he is a deposed
hero; and Mr. Du Chaillu pushes on to Ashango-Land without him.
Otherwise, moreover, the narrative is quite credible, and, so far,
unattractive, though there is still enough of incident to hold the idle,
and enough of information in the appendices concerning the
characteristics of the African skulls collected by Du Chaillu, the
geographical and astronomical observations made _en route_, and the
linguistic peculiarities noted, to interest the scientific. The book is
perhaps not a fortunate one for those who occupy a place between these
classes of readers, and who are tempted to ask of Mr. Du Chaillu, Have
you really four hundred and thirty-seven royal octavo pages of news to
tell us of Equatorial Africa?

Our traveller landed in West Africa in the autumn of 1863, and, after a
short excursion in the coast country in search of the gorilla, he
ascended the Fernand Vaz in a steamer seventy miles, to Goumbi, whence
he proceeded by canoe to Obindji. Here, provided with a retinue of one
hundred men of the Commi nation, his overland journey began, and led
him through the hilly country of the Bakalai southeastwardly to the
village of Olenda. From this point, before continuing his route, he
visited the falls of the Samba Nagoshi, some fifty miles to the
northward, and Adingo Village, twenty miles below Olenda. Starting anew
after these excursions, he penetrated the continent, on a line
deflecting a little south of east, as far as Mouaou Kombo, which is
something more than two hundred miles from the sea.

In first landing from his ship, Mr. Du Chaillu lost his astronomical
instruments, and was obliged to wait in the coast country until a new
supply could be obtained from England. Midway on his journey to Mouaou
Kombo, his photographic apparatus was stolen, and the chemicals were, as
he supposes, swallowed by the robbers, to some of whom their dishonest
experiments in photography proved fatal. The traveller's means of
usefulness were limited to observation of the general character of the
country, some investigation of its vegetable and animal life, and study
of the customs of its human inhabitants,--in none of which does he
develop much variety or novelty.

Nearly the whole route lay through hilly or mountainous country, for the
most part thickly wooded and sparsely peopled. There was a very notable
absence of all the larger African animals, and those encountered seemed
to be as peaceful in their characters as their neighbors, the tribes of
wild men. The nations through which Du Chaillu passed after leaving the
Commi were the Ashira, the Ishogo, the Apono, and the Ashango, and none
appears to have differed greatly from the others except in name. In
habits they are all extremely alike, uniting a primitive simplicity of
costume and architecture to highly sophisticated traits of lying and
stealing. They are not warlike, and not very cruel, except in cases of
witchcraft, which are extremely dealt with,--as, indeed, they used to be
in New England. Fetichism is the only religion of these tribes, and they
seem to believe firmly in no superior powers but those of evil. They are
docile, however, and susceptible of control. Du Chaillu had the
misfortune to spread the small-pox among them from some infected members
of his train; and although all their superstitious fears were excited
against him, the people were held in check by their principal men; and
Du Chaillu met with no serious molestation until he reached Mouaou
Kombo. Here he found the inhabitants comparatively hostile and
distrustful, and in firing off a salute,--with the double purpose of
intimidating them and restoring them to confidence,--one of his retinue
accidentally shot two of the villagers. All hopes of friendly
intercourse and of further progress were now at an end, and Du Chaillu
began a rapid retreat, his men casting away in their flight his
photographs, journals, and note-books, and hopelessly impairing the
value of the possible narrative which he might survive to write.

Such narrative as he has actually written, we have briefly sketched. Its
fault is want of condensation and of graphic power, so that, although
you must follow the traveller through his difficulties and dangers, it
is quite as much by effort of sympathy as by reason of interest that you
do so. For the paucity of result from all the labor and hardship
undergone, the author--considering the losses of material he
sustained--cannot be justly criticised; but certainly the bulk of his
volume makes its meagre substance somewhat too apparent.

_Liffith Lank, or Lunacy._ By C. H. WEBB. New York: Carleton.

_St. Twel'mo, or the Cuneiform Cyclopedist of Chattanooga._ By C. H.
WEBB. New York: C. H. Webb.

In the first of these clever and successful burlesques, Mr. Webb has
travestied rather the ideas than the manner of Mr. Reade; and one who
turned to "Liffith Lank" from the wonderful parodies in "Punch's Prize
Novelists," or those exquisitely finished pieces of mimicry, the
"Condensed Novelists" of the Californian Harte, would feel its want of
fidelity to the method and style of the author burlesqued. Yet the
essential absurdities of "Griffith Gaunt" are most amusingly brought out
in "Liffith Lank"; and as the little work makes the reader laugh at the
great one, he has no right, perhaps, to ask more of it, or to complain
that it trusts too much to the facile pun for its effects, which are
oftener broad than poignant.

Nevertheless, in spite of our logical content with "Liffith Lank," we
are very glad to find "St. Twel'mo" much better, and we only doubt
whether the game is worth the candle; but as the candle is Mr. Webb's,
he can burn it, we suppose, upon whatever occasion he likes. He has here
made a closer parody than in his first effort, and has lost nothing of
the peculiar power with which he there satirized ideas. That quality of
the Bronté sisters, of which Miss Evans of Mobile is one of the many
American dilutions,--that quality by which any sort of masculine
wickedness and brutality short of refusing ladies seats in horse-cars is
made lovely and attractive to the well-read and well-bred of the
sex,--is very pleasantly derided, while the tropical luxuriance of
general information characteristic of "St. Elmo" is unsparingly
ridiculed, with the help of frequent extracts from the novel itself.

Mr. Webb appears in "St. Twel'mo" as both publisher and author, and,
with a good feeling significant of very great changes in the literary
world since a poet toasted Napoleon because he hanged a bookseller,
dedicates his little work "To his best friend and nearest relative, the

_The Literary Life of James K. Paulding._ Compiled by his Son, WILLIAM
I. PAULDING. New York: Charles Scribner and Company.

James K. Paulding was born in 1778 at Great-Nine Partners, in Dutchess
County, New York, and nineteen years later came to the city of New York
to fill a clerkship in a public office. His family was related to that
of Washington Irving by marriage; he was himself united to Irving by
literary sympathy and ambition, and the two young men now formed a
friendship which endured through life. They published the Salmagundi
papers together, and they always corresponded; but with Irving
literature became all in all, and with Paulding a favorite relaxation
from political life and a merely collateral pursuit. He wrote partisan
satires and philippics, waxing ever more bitter against the party to
which Irving belonged, and against England, where Irving was tasting the
sweets of appreciation and success. He came to be Navy Agent at New York
in 1823, and in 1838 President Van Buren made him his Secretary of the
Navy. Three years later he retired from public life, and spent his
remaining days in the tranquil and uneventful indulgence of his literary

Dying in 1859, he had survived nearly all his readers, and the present
memoir was required to remind many, and to inform more, of the existence
of such works as "The Backwoodsman," a poem; the Salmagundi papers in a
second series; "Koningsmarke, the Long Finne, a story of the New World,"
in two volumes; "The Merry Tales of the Three Wise Men of Gotham,"
satirizing Owen's theories of society, law, and science; "The New Mirror
for Travellers, and Guide to the Springs," a satire of fashionable life
in the days before ladies with seventy-five trunks were born; "Tales of
the Good Woman," a collection of short stories; "A Life of Washington";
"American Comedies"; "The Old Continental," and "The Puritan and his
Daughter," historical novels; and innumerable political papers of a
serious or a satirical sort. As it has been the purpose of the author of
this memoir to let Paulding's life in great part develop itself from his
letters, so it has also been his plan to spare comment on his father's
literary labors, and to allow their character to be estimated by
extracts from his poems, romances, and satires. From these we gather the
idea of greater quantity than quality; of a poetical taste rather than
poetic faculty; of a whimsical rather than a humorous or witty man.
There is a very marked resemblance to Washington Irving's manner in the
prose, which is inevitably, of course, less polished than that of the
more purely literary man, and which is apt to be insipid and strained in
greater degree in the same direction. It would not be just to say that
Paulding's style was formed upon that of Irving; but both had given
their days and nights to the virtuous poverty of the essayists of the
last century; and while one grew into something fresher and more
original by dint of long and constant literary effort, the other,
writing only occasionally, remained an old-fashioned mannerist to the
last. When he died, he passed out of a world in which Macaulay, Dickens,
Thackeray, and Hawthorne had never lived. The last delicacy of touch is
wanting in all his work, whether verse or prose; yet the reader, though
unsatisfied, does not turn from it without respect. If it is
second-rate, it is not tricksy; its dulness is not antic, but decorous
and quiet; its dignity, while it bores, enforces a sort of reverence
which we do not pay to the ineffectual fire-works of our own more
pyrotechnic literary time.

Of Paulding himself one thinks, after reading the present memoir, with
much regard and some regret. He was a sturdy patriot and cordial
democrat, but he seems not to have thought human slavery so very bad a
thing. He is perceptibly opinionated, and would have carried things with
a high hand, whether as one of the government or one of the governed. He
was not swift to adopt new ideas, but he was thoroughly honest in his
opposition to them. His somewhat exaggerated estimate of his own
importance in the world of letters and of politics was one of those
venial errors which time readily repairs.

_History and General Description of New France._ By the Rev. P. F. X. DE
CHARLEVOIX, S. J. Translated, with Notes, by JOHN GILMARY SHEA. New
York: J. G. Shea. Vol. I.

Charlevoix's "History of New France" is very well known to all who study
American history in its sources. It is a well-written, scholarlike, and
readable book, treating of a subject which the author perfectly
understood, and of which he may be said to have been a part. Tried by
the measure of his times, his research was thorough and tolerably exact.
The work, in short, has always been justly regarded as a "standard," and
very few later writers have thought it necessary to go beyond or behind
it. Appended to it is a journal of the author's travels in America, in
the form of a series of letters to the Duchesse de Lesdiguières, full of
interest, and a storehouse of trustworthy information.

Charlevoix had been largely quoted and extensively read. Not to know
him, indeed, was to be ignorant of some of the most memorable passages
in the history of this continent; but, what is certainly remarkable, he
had never found an English translator. At the time of the Old French
War, when the public curiosity was strongly interested in everything
relating to America, the journal appended to the history was "done into
English" and eagerly read; but the history itself had remained to this
time in the language in which it was originally written. This is not to
be regretted, if it has been the occasion of giving us the truly
admirable work which is the subject of this notice.

The spirit and the manner in which Mr. Shea has entered upon his task
are above all praise. It is with him a "labor of love." In these days of
literary "jobs," when bad translating and careless editing are palmed
off upon the amateurs of choice books in all the finery of broad margins
and faultless typography, it is refreshing to meet with a book of which
the mechanical excellence is fully equalled by the substantial value of
its contents, and by the thorough, conscientious, and scholarlike
character of the literary execution. The labor and the knowledge
bestowed on this translation would have sufficed to produce an original
history of high merit. Charlevoix rarely gives his authorities. Mr. Shea
has more than supplied this deficiency. Not only has he traced out the
sources of his author's statements and exhibited them in notes, but he
has had recourse to sources of which Charlevoix knew nothing. He is thus
enabled to substantiate, correct, or amplify the original narrative. He
translates it, indeed, with literal precision, but, in his copious notes
he sheds such a flood of new light upon it that this translation is of
far more value to the student than the original work. Since Charlevoix's
time, many documents, unknown to him, though bearing on his subject,
have been discovered, and Mr. Shea has diligently availed himself of
them. The tastes and studies of many years have made him familiar with
this field of research, and prepared him to accomplish an undertaking
which would otherwise have been impracticable.

The first volume is illustrated by facsimiles of Charlevoix's maps,
together with his portrait and those of Cartier and Menendez. It forms a
large octavo of about three hundred pages, and as a specimen of the
typographical art is scarcely to be surpassed. We learn that the second
volume is about to appear.

_The Comparative Geography of Palestine, and the Sinaitic Peninsula._ By
CARL RITTER. Translated and adapted to the use of Biblical Students by
WILLIAM L. GAGE. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1866. 4 vols.

American critics have found fault with Mr. Gage, as it seems to us
somewhat too strongly, for certain features of this work. He has been
blamed for adapting it "to the use of Biblical students," as though
thereby he must necessarily tamper with scientific accuracy of
statement,--for too much condensation, and for too little,--for omitting
Ritter's maps,--and for certain incongruities of figures and
measurement. It has also been said, that the book itself, being fifteen
years old, is already antiquated, and that many recent works, not
mentioned by Ritter, or at least not adequately used, have modified our
knowledge of Palestine since his day. But, after all, these critics have
ended by saying that the work is a good and useful one, and by awarding
credit to Mr. Gage for his fidelity, industry, and accuracy in his part
of the work. So that, perhaps, the fault-finding was thrown in only as a
necessary part of the duty of the reviewer; for fault-finding is, _ex
officio_, his expected function. A judge ought always to be seated above
the criminal, and every author before his reviewer is only a culprit.
The author may have given years to the study of the subject to which his
reviewer has only given hours. But what of that? The position of the
reviewer is to look down, and his tone must always be _de haut en bas_.

We do not, ourselves, profess to know as much of the geography of
Palestine as Professor Ritter, probably not as much as Mr. Gage. Were it
not for the sharp-eyed critics, we should have wholly missed the
important verification of the surface-level of Lake Huleh. We have in
past years studied our "Palästina," by Von Raumer, and followed the
careful Dr. Robinson with gratitude through his laborious researches.
But we must confess that we are grateful for these volumes, even though
they have no maps, and cannot but think it honorable in Mr. Gage to
prefer to publish the book with none, rather than with poor ones. We see
no harm in adapting the work to the use of Biblical students, by
abridging of omitting the topics which have no bearing on the Bible
history. No one else is obliged to purchase it, and the warning is given

These four volumes contain a vast amount of interesting and important
matter concerning Sinai and Palestine. The journals of travellers of all
times are laid under contribution, and you are allowed often to form
your own judgments from the primitive narratives. You are like one
sitting in a court and hearing a host of witnesses examined and
cross-examined by able counsel, and then listening to the summing up of
a learned judge. It is easy to see how much more vivid such descriptions
must be than a dry _résumé_ without these accompanying _pièces

The first of the four volumes concerns the peninsula of Mount Sinai. It
gives the history of all the travels in that region, and the chief works
concerning it from the earliest time; the routes to Mount Sinai; the
voyages of Hiram and Solomon through the Red Sea to India; an
interesting discussion of the name Ophir; the different groups of
mountains in this region; the Bedouin tribes of the peninsula, and of
Arabia Petræa; and a full account of Petra, the monolithic city of Edom.

The second volume begins with a comparative view of Syria, and a review
of the authorities on the geography of Palestine. Then follows an
account of the Land of Canaan and its inhabitants before the conquest by
the Israelites, and of the tribes outside of Palestine who remained
hostile to the Israelites. We next have an account of the great
depression of the Jordan Valley, the river and its basin. Chapters on
the sources of the Jordan, the Sea of Galilee, the caravan road to
Damascus, and the river to the Dead Sea, and an account of the
travellers who have surveyed the region, follow,--with an Appendix, in
which is contained a discussion of the site of Capernaum, and Tobler's
full list of works on Palestine.

Vol. III. contains chapters on the Mouth of the Jordan; the Dead Sea;
the Division among the Ten Tribes; an account of Judæa, Samaria, and
Galilee; the routes through the Land; and several scientific essays.

Vol. IV. gives a full account of Jerusalem, ancient, mediæval, and
modern; a discussion of the holy places; an account of the inhabitants;
the region around Jerusalem; the roads to and from the city; Samaria;
and Galilee;--concluding with an index of subjects, and another of

On the whole, we must express our gratitude to Mr. Gage for his labor of
love, in thus giving us the results of the studies of his friend and
master on this important theme. Students of the Bible and of Syrian
geography can nowhere else find the matters treated so fully and
conscientiously and exhaustively discussed as here.

As the principal objection made to the translation of Mr. Gage is that
it omits Ritter's maps, it is proper to state that Professor Kiepert
declared them to be worthless; that the publisher declined an offer to
sell five hundred sets, lying on his hands, to the Clarks of Edinburgh,
because he could not conscientiously recommend them. Inasmuch as good
Bible maps of Palestine are to be had everywhere, and as Robinson's are
sold by themselves in a little volume, the student does not seem to
have much reason to complain.

The past quarter of a century has not added much to our knowledge of
Palestine. Stanley, Bonor, Stewart, Lynch, Tobler, Barclay, De Saulcy,
Sepp, Tristam, Porter, Wetystein, the Duc de Luyner, and others, have
travelled and written, but the mysteries remain mysteries still.

_Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Récamier._ Translated from the
French and edited by ISAPHENE M. LUYSTER. Fourth Edition. Boston:
Roberts Brothers.

In an article contributed a year or two since to these pages, Miss
Luyster sketched the career of the beautiful and good woman whose
history is minutely recounted in the volume before us. It is a
fascinating history, for Madame Récamier was altogether as anomalous as
any creation of French fiction. Her marriage was such only in name; she
lived pure, and with unblemished repute, in the most vicious and
scandalous times; she inspired friendship by coquetry; her heart was
never touched, though full of womanly tenderness; a leader of society
and of fashion, she never ceased to be timid and diffident; she ruled
witty and intellectual circles by the charm of the most unepigrammatic
sweetness, the merest good-heartedness.

The correspondence of Madame Récamier consists almost entirely of
letters written to her; for this adored friend of literary men wrote
seldom herself, and at her death even caused to be destroyed the greater
part of the few notes she had made toward an autobiography. In the
present Memoirs Madame Lenormant chiefly relies upon her own personal
knowledge of Madame Récamier's life, and upon contemporary hearsay. It
is a very interesting book, as we have it, though at times provokingly
unsatisfactory, and at times inflated and silly in style. It is not only
a history of Madame Récamier, but a sketch of French society, politics,
and literature during very long and interesting periods.

Miss Luyster has faithfully performed the ever-thankless task of
translation; and, in preparing Madame Lenormant's work for the American
public, has somewhat restrained the author's tendency to confusion and
diffusion. Here and there, as editor, she has added slight but useful
notes, and has accompanied the Memoirs with a very pleasantly written
introduction, giving a skilful and independent analysis of Madame
Récamier's character.

_Old England: its Scenery, Art, and People._ By JAMES M. HOPPIN,
Professor in Yale College. New York; Hurd and Houghton.

"The 'Pavilion,' with its puerile domes and minarets, recalls the false
and flimsy epoch of that semi-Oriental monarch, George IV. His statue by
Chantrey stands upon a promenade called the 'Old Steine.' The house of
Mrs. Thrale, where Doctor Johnson visited, is still standing. The
atmosphere of Brighton is considered to be favorable for invalids in the
winter-time, as well as the summer."

In this haphazard way many of the various objects of interest in Old
England are introduced to his reader by a New England writer, who
possibly mistakes the disorder of a note-book for literary ease, or who
possibly has little of the method of picturesqueness in him. In either
case his reader returns from Old England with the impression that his
travelling-companion is a sensible, honest observer, who, in forming a
book out of very good material, has often builded, not better, but
worse, than he knew. There is no want of graphic touches; there is
enough of fine and poetic feeling; but there is no perspective, no
atmosphere: much of Old England through this book affects one somewhat
as a faithful Chinese drawing of the moon might.

At other times Mr. Hoppin's treatment of his subject is sufficiently
artistic, and he has seen some places and persons not worn quite
threadbare by travel. He did not pay the national visit to Mr. Tennyson,
although he had a letter of introduction; and of those people whose
hospitality he did enjoy, he writes with great discretion and good
taste. His sketch of the High Church clergyman at Land's End is a case
in point, and it has an interest to Americans for the light it throws
upon the present conflict of religious thought in England.

Mr. Hoppin writes best of the less frequented parts of England,--of
Land's End, and of Cornwall and Penzance; but he writes no more
particularly of them than of the suburbs of London. The chapter on
London art and the London pulpit is a curious _mélange_ of shrewd,
original thoughts about pictures and of acceptations of critical
authority, of sectarian belief and of worldly toleration, together with
a certain immaturity of literary judgment and a characteristic tendency
to incoherence. "Turner," he says, "did a great work, if it were only to
have been the occasion of Ruskin's marvellous eloquence"; and of Dr.
Cumming he writes, as if transcribing literally from his note-book: "His
voice is rich, and mellow without being powerful. He is a tall man, with
high, white forehead and white hair. It was difficult to find a seat,
even upon the pulpit stairs. Dr. Cumming, as a graceful, yet not
effeminate preacher, has good claims to his celebrity."

It remains for us to praise the author's conscientious effort at all
times to convey information, and his success in this effort. He has
doubtless seen everything that is worth seeing in the country he has
passed over; and if we cannot accept the whole of his book as
literature, we have still the impression that we should find it one of
the best and thoroughest of hand-books for travel in Old England.

_Hymns._ By HARRIET MCEWEN KIMBALL, Boston: E. P. Dutton and Company.

Religious emotion has asked very little of literary art; and if we are
to let hymnology witness, it has received as little as it has asked in
times past. To call upon Christ's name, to bless God for goodness and
mercy, suffice it; and no form of words enabling it to do this seems to
be found too feeble, or affected, or grotesque. For anything more, the
inarticulate tones of music are as adequate to devotion as the sublimest
formula that Milton or Dante could have shaped. It is only since
religion has been so much philosophized, and has in so great degree
ceased to be a passion, that we have begun to find the hymns which our
forefathers sang with rapturous unconsciousness rather rubbishy
literature. How blank, and void of all inspiration, they seem for the
most part to be! Good men wrote them, but evidently in seasons of great
mental depression. How commonplace is the language, how strained are the
fancies, how weak the thoughts! Yet through these stops of lead and
wood, the music of charity, love, repentance, aspiration, has poured
from millions of humble hearts in sweetness that blessed and praised.

With no thought probably of affecting the standard hymnnology were the
hymns written in the little book before us. They are characterized by
poetic purity of diction as well as tenderness of sentiment. They
express, without freshness of intuition, the emotions and desires of a
devoutly religious nature; and they commend themselves, like some of the
best and earliest Christian hymns, by their realization of the Divine
essence as something to be directly approached with filial and personal
affection. Here is no burst of fervid devotion, but rather a quiet love,
breathing contrition, faith, and praise in poems of gentle earnestness,
which even the reader not imbued with the element of their inspiration
may find graceful and pleasing.

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