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Title: The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 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. 118, August, 1867" ***

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THE

ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

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

VOL. XX.--AUGUST, 1867.--NO. CXVIII.


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
Massachusetts.



Transcriber's note: Minor typos have been corrected.



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.


CHAPTER XXI.

MADNESS?

Mr. Clement Lindsay returned to the city and his usual labors in a state
of strange mental agitation. He had received an impression for which he
was unprepared. He had seen for the second time a young girl whom, for
the peace of his own mind, and for the happiness of others, he should
never again have looked upon until Time had taught their young hearts
the lesson which all hearts must learn, sooner or later.

What shall the unfortunate person do who has met with one of those
disappointments, or been betrayed into one of those positions, which do
violence to all the tenderest feelings, blighting the happiness of
youth, and the prospects of after years?

If the person is a young man, he has various resources. He can take to
the philosophic meerschaum, and nicotize himself at brief intervals into
a kind of buzzing and blurry insensibility, until he begins to "color"
at last like the bowl of his own pipe, and even his mind gets the
tobacco flavor. Or he can have recourse to the more suggestive
stimulants, which will dress his future up for him in shining
possibilities that glitter like Masonic regalia, until the morning light
and the waking headache reveal his illusion. Some kind of spiritual
anæsthetic he must have, if he holds his grief fast tied to his
heart-strings. But as grief must be fed with thought, or starve to
death, it is the best plan to keep the mind so busy in other ways that
it has no time to attend to the wants of that ravening passion. To sit
down and passively endure it, is apt to end in putting all the mental
machinery into disorder.

Clement Lindsay had thought that his battle of life was already fought,
and that he had conquered. He believed that he had subdued himself
completely, and that he was ready, without betraying a shadow of
disappointment, to take the insufficient nature which destiny had
assigned him in his companion, and share with it all of his own larger
being it was capable, not of comprehending, but of apprehending.

He had deceived himself. The battle was not fought and won. There had
been a struggle, and what seemed to be a victory, but the
enemy--intrenched in the very citadel of life--had rallied, and would
make another desperate attempt to retrieve his defeat.

The haste with which the young man had quitted the village was only a
proof that he felt his danger. He believed that, if he came into the
presence of Myrtle Hazard for the third time, he should be no longer
master of his feelings. Some explanation must take place between them,
and how was it possible that it should be without emotion? and in what
do all emotions shared by a young man with such a young girl as this
tend to find their last expression?

Clement determined to stun his sensibilities by work. He would give
himself no leisure to indulge in idle dreams of what might have been.
His plans were never so carefully finished, and his studies were never
so continuous as now. But the passion still wrought within him, and, if
he drove it from his waking thoughts, haunted his sleep until he could
endure it no longer, and must give it some manifestation. He had covered
up the bust of Liberty so closely, that not an outline betrayed itself
through the heavy folds of drapery in which it was wrapped. His thoughts
recurred to his unfinished marble, as offering the one mode in which he
could find a silent outlet to the feelings and thoughts which it was
torture to keep imprisoned in his soul. The cold stone would tell them,
but without passion; and having got the image which possessed him out of
himself into a lifeless form, it seemed as if he might be delivered from
a presence which, lovely as it was, stood between him and all that made
him seem honorable and worthy to himself.

He uncovered the bust which he had but half shaped, and struck the first
flake from the glittering marble. The toil, once begun, fascinated him
strangely, and after the day's work was done, and at every interval he
could snatch from his duties, he wrought at his secret task.

"Clement is graver than ever," the young men said at the office. "What's
the matter, do you suppose? Turned off by the girl they say he means to
marry by and by? How pale he looks too! Must have something worrying
him: he used to look as fresh as a clove pink."

The master with whom he studied saw that he was losing color, and
looking very much worn, and determined to find out, if he could, whether
he was not overworking himself. He soon discovered that his light was
seen burning late into the night, that he was neglecting his natural
rest, and always busy with some unknown task, not called for in his
routine of duty or legitimate study.

"Something is wearing on you, Clement," he said. "You are killing
yourself with undertaking too much. Will you let me know what keeps you
so busy when you ought to be asleep, or taking your ease and comfort in
some way or other?"

Nobody but himself had ever seen his marble or its model. He had now
almost finished it, laboring at it with such sleepless devotion, and he
was willing to let his master have a sight of his first effort of the
kind,--for he was not a sculptor, it must be remembered, though he had
modelled in clay, not without some success, from time to time.

"Come with me," he said.

The master climbed the stairs with him up to his modest chamber. A
closely shrouded bust stood on its pedestal in the light of the solitary
window.

"That is my ideal personage," Clement said. "Wait one moment, and you
shall see how far I have caught the character of our uncrowned queen."

The master expected, very naturally, to see the conventional young woman
with classical wreath or feather head-dress, whom we have placed upon
our smallest coin, so that our children may all grow up loving Liberty.

As Clement withdrew the drapery that covered his work, the master
stared at it in amazement. He looked at it long and earnestly, and at
length turned his eyes, a little moistened by some feeling which thus
betrayed itself, upon his pupil.

"This is no ideal, Clement. It is the portrait of a very young but very
beautiful woman. No common feeling could have guided your hand in
shaping such a portrait from memory. This must be that friend of yours
of whom I have often heard as an amiable young person. Pardon me, for
you know that nobody cares more for you than I do,--I hope that you are
happy in all your relations with this young friend of yours. How could
one be otherwise?"

It was hard to bear, very hard. He forced a smile. "You are partly
right," he said. "There is a resemblance, I trust, to a living person,
for I had one in my mind."

"Didn't you tell me once, Clement, that you were attempting a bust of
Innocence? I do not see any block in your room but this. Is that done?"

"Done _with_!" Clement answered; and as he said it, the thought stung
through him that this was the very stone which was to have worn the
pleasant blandness of pretty Susan's guileless countenance. How the new
features had effaced the recollection of the others!

In a few days more Clement had finished his bust. His hours were again
vacant to his thick-coming fancies. While he had been busy with his
marble, his hands had required his attention, and he must think closely
of every detail upon which he was at work. But at length his task was
done, and he could contemplate what he had made of it. It was a triumph
for one so little exercised in sculpture. The master had told him so,
and his own eye could not deceive him. He might never succeed in any
repetition of his effort, but this once he most certainly had succeeded.
He could not disguise from himself the source of this extraordinary good
fortune in so doubtful and difficult an attempt. Nor could he resist the
desire of contemplating the portrait bust, which--it was foolish to
talk about ideals--was not Liberty, but Myrtle Hazard.

It was too nearly like the story of the ancient sculptor: his own work
was an over-match for its artist. Clement had made a mistake in
supposing that by giving his dream a material form he should drive it
from the possession of his mind. The image in which he had fixed his
recollection of its original served only to keep her living presence
before him. He thought of her as she clasped her arms around him, and
they were swallowed up in the rushing waters, coming so near to passing
into the unknown world together. He thought of her as he stretched her
lifeless form upon the bank, and looked for one brief moment on her
unsunned loveliness,--"a sight to dream of, not to tell." He thought of
her as his last fleeting glimpse had shown her, beautiful, not with the
blossomy prettiness that passes away with the spring sunshine, but with
a rich vitality of which noble outlines and winning expression were only
the natural accidents. And that singular impression which the sight of
him had produced upon her,--how strange! How could she but have listened
to him,--to him, who was, as it were, a second creator to her, for he
had brought her back from the gates of the unseen realm,--if he had
recalled to her the dread moments they had passed in each other's arms,
with death, not love, in all their thoughts. And if then he had told her
how her image had remained with him, how it had colored all his visions,
and mingled with all his conceptions, would not those dark eyes have
melted as they were turned upon him? Nay, how could he keep the thought
away, that she would not have been insensible to his passion, if he
could have suffered its flame to kindle in his heart? Did it not seem as
if Death had spared them for Love, and that Love should lead them
together through life's long journey to the gates of Death?

Never! never! never! Their fates were fixed. For him, poor insect as he
was, a solitary flight by day, and a return at evening to his wingless
mate! For her--he thought he saw her doom.

Could he give her up to the cold embraces of that passionless egotist,
who, as he perceived plainly enough, was casting his shining net all
around her? Clement read Murray Bradshaw correctly. He could not perhaps
have spread his character out in set words, as we must do for him, for
it takes a long apprenticeship to learn to describe analytically what we
know as soon as we see it; but he felt in his inner consciousness all
that we must tell for him. Fascinating, agreeable, artful, knowing,
capable of winning a woman infinitely above himself, incapable of
understanding her,--O, if he could but touch him with the angel's spear,
and bid him take his true shape before her whom he was gradually
enveloping in the silken meshes of his subtle web! He would make a place
for her in the world,--O yes, doubtless. He would be proud of her in
company, would dress her handsomely, and show her off in the best
lights. But from the very hour that he felt his power over her firmly
established, he would begin to remodel her after his own worldly
pattern. He would dismantle her of her womanly ideals, and give her in
their place his table of market-values. He would teach her to submit her
sensibilities to her selfish interest, and her tastes to the fashion of
the moment, no matter which world or half-world it came from. "As the
husband is, the wife is,"--he would subdue her to what he worked in.

All this Clement saw, as in apocalyptic vision, stored up for the wife
of Murray Bradshaw, if he read him rightly, as he felt sure he did, from
the few times he had seen him. He would be rich by and by, very
probably. He looked like one of those young men who are sharp and hard
enough to come to fortune. Then she would have to take her place in the
great social exhibition where the gilded cages are daily opened that the
animals may be seen, feeding on the sight of stereotyped toilets and
the sound of impoverished tattle. O misery of semi-provincial
fashionable life, where wealth is at its wit's end to avoid being tired
of an existence which has all the labor of keeping up appearances,
without the piquant profligacy which saves it at least from being
utterly vapid! How many fashionable women at the end of a long season
would be ready to welcome heaven itself as a relief from the desperate
monotony of dressing, dawdling, and driving!

       *       *       *       *       *

This could not go on so forever. Clement had placed a red curtain so as
to throw a rose-bloom on his marble, and give it an aspect which his
fancy turned to the semblance of life. He would sit and look at the
features his own hand had so faithfully wrought, until it seemed as if
the lips moved, sometimes as if they were smiling, sometimes as if they
were ready to speak to him. His companions began to whisper strange
things of him in the studio,--that his eye was getting an unnatural
light,--that he talked as if to imaginary listeners,--in short, that
there was a look as if something were going wrong with his brain, which
it might be feared would spoil his fine intelligence. It was the
undecided battle, and the enemy, as in his noblest moments he had
considered the growing passion, was getting the better of him.

He was sitting one afternoon before the fatal bust which had smiled and
whispered away his peace, when the postman brought him a letter. It was
from the simple girl to whom he had given his promise. We know how she
used to prattle in her harmless way about her innocent feelings, and the
trifling matters that were going on in her little village world. But now
she wrote in sadness. Something, she did not too clearly explain what,
had grieved her, and she gave free expression to her feelings. "I have
no one that loves me but you," she said; "and if you leave me I must
droop and die. Are you true to me, dearest Clement,--true as when we
promised each other that we would love while life lasted? Or have you
forgotten one who will never cease to remember that she was once your
own Susan?"

Clement dropped the letter from his hand, and sat a long hour looking at
the exquisitely wrought features of her who had come between him and
honor and his plighted word.

At length he arose, and, lifting the bust tenderly from its pedestal,
laid it upon the cloth with which it had been covered. He wrapped it
closely, fold upon fold, as the mother whom man condemns and God pities
wraps the child she loves before she lifts her hand against its life.
Then he took a heavy hammer and shattered his lovely idol into shapeless
fragments. The strife was over.


CHAPTER XXII.

A CHANGE OF PROGRAMME.

Mr. William Murray Bradshaw was in pretty intimate relations with Miss
Cynthia Badlam. It was well understood between them that it might be of
very great advantage to both of them if he should in due time become the
accepted lover of Myrtle Hazard. So long as he could be reasonably
secure against interference, he did not wish to hurry her in making her
decision. Two things he did wish to be sure of, if possible, before
asking her the great question;--first, that she would answer it in the
affirmative; and secondly, that certain contingencies, the turning of
which was not as yet absolutely capable of being predicted, should
happen as he expected. Cynthia had the power of furthering his wishes in
many direct and indirect ways, and he felt sure of her co-operation. She
had some reason to fear his enmity if she displeased him, and he had
taken good care to make her understand that her interests would be
greatly promoted by the success of the plan which he had formed, and
which was confided to her alone.

He kept the most careful eye on every possible source of disturbance to
this quietly maturing plan. He had no objection to have Gifted Hopkins
about Myrtle as much as she would endure to have him. The youthful bard
entertained her very innocently with his bursts of poetry, but she was
in no danger from a young person so intimately associated with the
yard-stick, the blunt scissors, and the brown-paper parcel. There was
Cyprian too, about whom he did not feel any very particular solicitude.
Myrtle had evidently found out that she was handsome and stylish and all
that, and it was not very likely she would take up with such a bashful,
humble, country youth as this. He could expect nothing beyond a possible
rectorate in the remote distance, with one of those little shingle
chapels to preach in, which, if it were set up on a stout pole, would
pass for a good-sized martin-house. Cyprian might do to practise on, but
there was no danger of her looking at him in a serious way. As for that
youth, Clement Lindsay, if he had not taken himself off as he did,
Murray Bradshaw confessed to himself that he should have felt uneasy. He
was too good-looking, and too clever a young fellow to have knocking
about among fragile susceptibilities. But on reflection he saw there
could be no danger.

"All up with him,--poor diavolo! Can't understand it--such a little
sixpenny miss--pretty enough boiled parsnip blonde, if one likes that
sort of thing--pleases some of the old boys, apparently. Look out, Mr.
L.--remember Susanna and the Elders. Good!

"Safe enough if something new doesn't turn up. Youngish. Sixteen's a
little early. Seventeen will do. Marry a girl while she's in the
gristle, and you can shape her bones for her. Splendid creature--without
her trimmings. Wants training. Must learn to dance, and sing something
besides psalm-tunes."

Mr. Bradshaw began humming the hymn, "When I can read my title clear,"
adding some variations of his own. "That's the solo for my _prima
donna_!"

In the mean time Myrtle seemed to be showing some new developments. One
would have said that the instincts of the coquette, or at least of the
city belle, were coming uppermost in her nature. Her little nervous
attack passed away, and she gained strength and beauty every day. She
was becoming conscious of her gifts of fascination, and seemed to please
herself with the homage of her rustic admirers. Why was it that no one
of them had the look and bearing of that young man she had seen but a
moment the other evening? To think that he should have taken up with
such a weakling as Susan Posey! She sighed, and not so much thought as
felt how kind it would have been in Heaven to have made her such a man.
But the image of the delicate blonde stood between her and all serious
thought of Clement Lindsay. She saw the wedding in the distance, and
very foolishly thought to herself that she could not and would not go to
it.

But Clement Lindsay was gone, and she must content herself with such
worshippers as the village afforded. Murray Bradshaw was surprised and
confounded at the easy way in which she received his compliments, and
played with his advances, after the fashion of the trained ball-room
belles, who know how to be almost caressing in manner, and yet are
really as far off from the deluded victim of their suavities as the
topmost statue of the Milan cathedral from the peasant that kneels on
its floor. He admired her all the more for this, and yet he saw that she
would be a harder prize to win than he had once thought. If he made up
his mind that he would have her, he must go armed with all implements,
from the red hackle to the harpoon.

The change which surprised Murray Bradshaw could not fail to be noticed
by all those about her. Miss Silence had long ago come to
pantomime,--rolling up of eyes, clasping of hands, making of sad
mouths, and the rest,--but left her to her own way, as already the
property of that great firm of World & Co. which drives such sharp
bargains for young souls with the better angels. Cynthia studied her for
her own purposes, but had never gained her confidence. The Irish servant
saw that some change had come over her, and thought of the great ladies
she had sometimes looked upon in the old country. They all had a kind of
superstitious feeling about Myrtle's bracelet, of which she had told
them the story, but which Kitty half believed was put in the drawer by
the fairies, who brought her ribbons and partridge-feathers, and other
simple adornments with which she contrived to set off her simple
costume, so as to produce those effects which an eye for color and
cunning fingers can bring out of almost nothing.

Gifted Hopkins was now in a sad, vacillating condition, between the two
great attractions to which he was exposed. Myrtle looked so immensely
handsome one Sunday when he saw her going to church,--not to meeting,
for she would not go, except when she knew Father Pemberton was going to
be the preacher,--that the young poet was on the point of going down on
his knees to her, and telling her that his heart was hers and hers
alone. But he suddenly remembered that he had on his best pantaloons;
and the idea of carrying the marks of his devotion in the shape of two
dusty impressions on his most valued article of apparel turned the scale
against the demonstration. It happened the next morning, that Susan
Posey wore the most becoming ribbon she had displayed for a long time,
and Gifted was so taken with her pretty looks that he might very
probably have made the same speech to her that he had been on the point
of making to Myrtle the day before, but that he remembered her plighted
affections, and thought what he should have to say for himself when
Clement Lindsay, in a frenzy of rage and jealousy, stood before him,
probably armed with as many deadly instruments as a lawyer mentions by
name in an indictment for murder.

Cyprian Eveleth looked very differently on the new manifestations Myrtle
was making of her tastes and inclinations. He had always felt dazzled,
as well as attracted, by her; but now there was something in her
expression and manner which made him feel still more strongly that they
were intended for different spheres of life. He could not but own that
she was born for a brilliant destiny,--that no ball-room would throw a
light from its chandeliers too strong for her,--that no circle would be
too brilliant for her to illuminate by her presence. Love does not
thrive without hope, and Cyprian was beginning to see that it was idle
in him to think of folding these wide wings of Myrtle's so that they
would be shut up in any cage he could ever offer her. He began to doubt
whether, after all, he might not find a meeker and humbler nature better
adapted to his own. And so it happened that one evening after the three
girls, Olive, Myrtle, and Bathsheba, had been together at the Parsonage,
and Cyprian, availing himself of a brother's privilege, had joined them,
he found he had been talking most of the evening with the gentle girl
whose voice had grown so soft and sweet, during her long ministry in the
sick-chamber, that it seemed to him more like music than speech. It
would not be fair to say that Myrtle was piqued to see that Cyprian was
devoting himself to Bathsheba. Her ambition was already reaching beyond
her little village circle, and she had an inward sense that Cyprian
found a form of sympathy in the minister's simple-minded daughter which
he could not ask from a young woman of her own aspirations.

Such was the state of affairs when Master Byles Gridley was one morning
surprised by an early call from Myrtle. He had a volume of Walton's
Polyglot open before him, and was reading Job in the original, when she
entered.

"Why, bless me, is that my young friend Miss Myrtle Hazard?" he
exclaimed. "I might call you _Keren-Happuch_, which is Hebrew for Child
of Beauty, and not be very far out of the way,--Job's youngest daughter,
my dear. And what brings my young friend out in such good season this
morning? Nothing going wrong up at our ancient mansion, The Poplars, I
trust?"

"I want to talk with you, dear Master Gridley," she answered. She looked
as if she did not know just how to begin.

"Anything that interests you, Myrtle, interests me. I think you have
some project in that young head of yours, my child. Let us have it, in
all its dimensions, length, breadth, and thickness. I think I can guess,
Myrtle, that we have a little plan of some kind or other. We don't visit
Papa Job quite so early as this without some special cause,--do we, Miss
Keren-Happuch?"

"I want to go to the city--to school," Myrtle said, with the directness
which belonged to her nature.

"That is precisely what I want you to do myself, Miss Myrtle Hazard. I
don't like to lose you from the village, but I think we must spare you
for a while."

"You're the best and dearest man that ever lived. What could have made
you think of such a thing for me, Mr. Gridley?"

"Because you are ignorant, my child,--partly. I want to see you fitted
to take a look at the world without feeling like a little country miss.
Has your Aunt Silence promised to bear your expenses while you are in
the city? It will cost a good deal of money."

"I have not said a word to her about it, I am sure I don't know what she
would say. But I have some money, Mr. Gridley."

She showed him a purse with gold, telling him how she came by it. "There
is some silver besides. Will it be enough?"

"No, no, my child, we must not meddle with that. Your aunt will let me
put it in the bank for you, I think, where it will be safe. But that
shall not make any difference. I have got a little money lying idle,
which you may just as well have the use of as not. You can pay it back
perhaps some time or other; if you did not, it would not make much
difference. I am pretty much alone in the world, and except a book now
and then--_Aut liberos aut libros_, as our valiant heretic has it,--you
ought to know a little Latin, Myrtle, but never mind--I have not much
occasion for money. You shall go to the best school that any of our
cities can offer, Myrtle, and you shall stay there until we agree that
you are fitted to come back to us an ornament to Oxbow Village, and to
larger places than this if you are called there. We have had some talk
about it, your Aunt Silence and I, and it is all settled. Your aunt does
not feel very rich just now, or perhaps she would do more for you. She
has many pious and poor friends, and it keeps her funds low. Never mind,
my child, we will have it all arranged for you, and you shall begin the
year 1860 in Madam Delacoste's institution for young ladies. Too many
rich girls and fashionable ones there, I fear, but you must see some of
all kinds, and there are very good instructors in the school,--I know
one,--he was a college boy with me,--and you will find pleasant and good
companions there, so he tells me; only don't be in a hurry to choose
your friends, for the least desirable young persons are very apt to
cluster about a new-comer."

Myrtle was bewildered with the suddenness of the prospect thus held out
to her. It is a wonder that she did not bestow an embrace upon the
worthy old master. Perhaps she had too much tact. It is a pretty way
enough of telling one that he belongs to a past generation, but it does
tell him that not over-pleasing fact. Like the title of Emeritus
Professor, it is a tribute to be accepted, hardly to be longed for.

When the curtain rises again, it will show Miss Hazard in a new
character, and surrounded by a new world.


CHAPTER XXIII.

MYRTLE HAZARD AT THE CITY SCHOOL.

Mr. Bradshaw was obliged to leave town for a week or two on business
connected with the great land-claim. On his return, feeling in pretty
good spirits, as the prospects looked favorable, he went to make a call
at The Poplars. He asked first for Miss Hazard.

"Bliss your soul, Mr. Bridshaw," answered Mistress Kitty Fagan, "she's
been gahn nigh a wake. It's to the city, to the big school, they've sint
her."

This announcement seemed to make a deep impression on Murray Bradshaw,
for his feelings found utterance in one of the most energetic forms of
language to which ears polite or impolite are accustomed. He next asked
for Miss Silence, who soon presented herself. Mr. Bradshaw asked, in a
rather excited way, "Is it possible, Miss Withers, that your niece has
quitted you to go to a city school?"

Miss Silence answered, with her chief-mourner expression, and her
death-chamber tone: "Yes, she has left us for a season. I trust it may
not be her destruction. I had hoped in former years that she would
become a missionary, but I have given up all expectation of that now.
Two whole years, from the age of four to that of six, I had prevailed
upon her to give up sugar,--the money so saved to go to a graduate of
our institution--who was afterwards----he labored among the
cannibal-islanders. I thought she seemed to take pleasure in this small
act of self-denial, but I have since suspected that Kitty gave her
secret lumps. It was by Mr. Gridley's advice that she went, and by his
pecuniary assistance. What could I do? She was bent on going, and I was
afraid she would have fits, or do something dreadful, if I did not let
her have her way. I am afraid she will come back to us spoiled. She has
seemed so fond of dress lately, and once she spoke of learning--yes,
Mr. Bradshaw, of learning to--dance! I wept when I heard of it. Yes, I
wept."

That was such a tremendous thing to think of, and especially to speak of
in Mr. Bradshaw's presence,--for the most pathetic image in the world to
many women is that of themselves in tears,--that it brought a return of
the same overflow, which served as a substitute for conversation until
Miss Badlam entered the apartment.

Miss Cynthia followed the same general course of remark. They could not
help Myrtle's going if they tried. She had always maintained that, if
they had only once broke her will when she was little, they would have
kept the upper hand of her; but her will never _was_ broke. They came
pretty near it once, but the child wouldn't give in.

Miss Cynthia went to the door with Mr. Bradshaw, and the conversation
immediately became short and informal.

"Demonish pretty business! All up for a year or more,--hey?"

"Don't blame me,--I couldn't stop her."

"Give me her address,--I'll write to her. Any young men teach in the
school?"

"Can't tell you. She'll write to Olive and Bathsheba, and I'll find out
all about it."

Murray Bradshaw went home and wrote a long letter to Mrs. Clymer
Ketchum, of 24 Carat Place, containing many interesting remarks and
inquiries, some of the latter relating to Madam Delacoste's institution
for the education of young ladies.

       *       *       *       *       *

While this was going on at Oxbow Village, Myrtle was establishing
herself at the rather fashionable school to which Mr. Gridley had
recommended her. Mrs. or Madam Delacoste's boarding-school had a name
which on the whole it deserved pretty well. She had some very good
instructors for girls who wished to get up useful knowledge in case they
might marry professors or ministers. They had a chance to learn music,
dancing, drawing, and the way of behaving in company. There was a
chance, too, to pick up available acquaintances, for many rich people
sent their daughters to the school, and it was something to have been
bred in their company.

There was the usual division of the scholars into a first and second
set, according to the social position, mainly depending upon the
fortune, of the families to which they belonged. The wholesale dealer's
daughter very naturally considered herself as belonging to a different
order from the retail dealer's daughter. The keeper of a great hotel and
the editor of a widely circulated newspaper were considered as ranking
with the wholesale dealers, and their daughters belonged also to the
untitled nobility which has the dollar for its armorial bearing. The
second set had most of the good scholars, and some of the prettiest
girls; but nobody knew anything about their families, who lived off the
great streets and avenues, or vegetated in country towns.

Myrtle Hazard's advent made something like a sensation. They did not
know exactly what to make of her. Hazard? Hazard? No great firm of that
name. No leading hotel kept by any Hazard, was there? No newspaper of
note edited by anybody called Hazard, was there? Came from where? Oxbow
Village. O, rural district. Yes.--Still they could not help owning that
she was handsome,--a concession which of course had to be made with
reservations.

"Don't you think she's vurry good-lookin'?" said a Boston girl to a New
York girl. "I think she's real pooty."

"I dew, indeed. I didn't think she was haäf so handsome the feeest
time I saw her," answered the New York girl.

"What a pity she hadn't been bawn in Bawston!"

"Yes, and moved very young to Ne Yock!"

"And married a sarsaparilla man, and lived in Fiff Avenoo, and moved in
the fust society."

"Better dew that than be strong-mainded, and dew your own cook'n, and
live in your own kitch'n."

"Don't forgit to send your card when you are Mrs. Old Dr. Jacob!"

"Indeed I shaän't. What's the name of the alley, and which bell?" The
New York girl took out a memorandum-book as if to put it down.

"Hadn't you better let me write it for you, dear?" said the Boston girl.
"It is as well to have it legible, you know."

"Take it," said the New York girl. "There's tew York shill'ns in it when
I hand it to you."

"Your whole quarter's allowance, I bullieve,--ain't it?" said the
Boston girl.

"Elegant manners, correct deportment, and propriety of language will be
strictly attended to in this institution. The most correct standards of
pronunciation will be inculcated by precept and example. It will be the
special aim of the teachers to educate their pupils out of all
provincialisms, so that they may be recognized as well-bred English
scholars wherever the language is spoken in its purity."--_Extract from
the Prospectus of Madam Delacoste's Boarding-School._

Myrtle Hazard was a puzzle to all the girls. Striking, they all agreed,
but then the criticisms began. Many of the girls chattered a little
broken French, and one of them, Miss Euphrosyne De Lacy, had been half
educated in Paris, so that she had all the phrases which are to social
operators what his cutting instruments are to the surgeon. Her face she
allowed was handsome; but her style, according to this oracle, was a
little _bourgeoise_, and her air not exactly _comme il faut_. More
specifically, she was guilty of _contours fortement prononcés,--corsage
de paysanne,--quelque chose de sauvage_, etc., etc. This girl prided
herself on her figure.

Miss Bella Pool, (_La Belle Poule_ as the demi-Parisian girl had
christened her,) the beauty of the school, did not think so much of
Myrtle's face, but considered her figure as better than the De Lacy
girl's.

The two sets, first and second, fought over her as the Greeks and
Trojans over a dead hero, or the Yale College societies over a live
freshman. She was nobody by her connections, it is true, so far as they
could find out, but then, on the other hand, she had the walk of a
queen, and she looked as if a few stylish dresses and a season or two
would make her a belle of the first water. She had that air of
indifference to their little looks and whispered comments which is
surest to disarm all the critics of a small tattling community. On the
other hand, she came to this school to learn, and not to play; and the
modest and more plainly dressed girls, whose fathers did not sell by the
cargo, or keep victualling establishments for some hundreds of people,
considered her as rather in sympathy with them than with the daughters
of the rough-and-tumble millionnaires who were grappling and rolling
over each other in the golden dust of the great city markets.

She did not mean to belong exclusively to either of their sets. She came
with that sense of manifold deficiencies, and eager ambition to supply
them, which carries any learner upward, as if on wings, over the heads
of the mechanical plodders and the indifferent routinists. She learned,
therefore, in a way to surprise the experienced instructors. Her
somewhat rude sketching soon began to show something of the artist's
touch. Her voice, which had only been taught to warble the simplest
melodies, after a little training began to show its force and sweetness
and flexibility in the airs that enchant drawing-room audiences. She
caught with great readiness the manner of the easiest girls,
unconsciously, for she inherited old social instincts which became
nature with the briefest exercise. Not much license of dress was allowed
in the educational establishment of Madam Delacoste, but every girl had
an opportunity to show her taste within the conventional limits
prescribed. And Myrtle soon began to challenge remark by a certain air
she contrived to give her dresses, and the skill with which she blended
their colors.

"Tell you what, girls," said Miss Berengaria Topping, female
representative of the great dynasty that ruled over the world-famous
Planet Hotel, "she's got style, lots of it. I call her perfectly
splendid, when she's got up in her swell clothes. That oriole's wing she
wears in her bonnet makes her look gorgeous,--she'll be a stunning
Pocahontas for the next _tableau_."

Miss Rose Bugbee, whose family opulence grew out of the only
merchantable article a Hebrew is never known to seek profit from,
thought she could be made presentable in the first circles if taken in
hand in good season. So it came about that, before many weeks had passed
over her as a scholar in the great educational establishment, she might
be considered as on the whole the most popular girl in the whole bevy of
them. The studious ones admired her for her facility of learning, and
her extraordinary appetite for every form of instruction, and the showy
girls, who were only enduring school as the purgatory that opened into
the celestial world of society, recognized in her a very handsome young
person, who would be like to make a sensation sooner or later.

There were, however, it must be confessed, a few who considered
themselves the thickest of the cream of the school-girls, who submitted
her to a more trying ordeal than any she had yet passed.

"How many horses does your papa keep?" asked Miss Florence Smythe. "We
keep nine and a pony for Edgar."

Myrtle had to explain that she had no papa, and that they did not keep
any horses. Thereupon Miss Florence Smythe lost her desire to form an
acquaintance, and wrote home to her mother (who was an ex-bonnet-maker)
that the school was getting common, she was afraid,--they were letting
in persons one knew nothing about.

Miss Clara Browne had a similar curiosity about the amount of plate used
in the household from which Myrtle came. _Her_ father had just bought a
complete silver service. Myrtle had to own that they used a good deal of
china at her own home,--old china, which had been a hundred years in the
family, some of it.

"A hundred years old!" exclaimed Miss Clara Browne. "What queer-looking
stuff it must be! Why, everything in our house is just as new and
bright! Papaä had all our pictures painted on purpose for us. Have you
got any handsome pictures in your house?"

"We have a good many portraits of members of the family," she said,
"some of them older than the china."

"How very very odd! What do the dear old things look like?"

"One was a great beauty in her time."

"How jolly!"

"Another was a young woman who was put to death for her
religion,--burned to ashes at the stake in Queen Mary's time."

"How very very wicked! It wasn't nice a bit, was it? Ain't you telling
me stories? Was that a hundred years ago?--But you've got some new
pictures and things, haven't you? Who furnished your parlors?"

"My great-grandfather, or his father, I believe."

"Stuff and nonsense. I don't believe it. What color are your
carriage-horses?"

"Our woman, Kitty Fagan, told somebody once we didn't keep any horse but
a cow."

"Not keep any horses! Do for pity's sake let me look at your feet."

Myrtle put out as neat a little foot as a shoemaker ever fitted with a
pair of number two. What she would have been tempted to do with it, if
she had been a boy, we will not stop to guess. After all, the questions
amused her quite as much as the answers instructed Miss Clara Browne.
Of that young lady's ancestral claims to distinction there is no need of
discoursing. Her "papaä" commonly said _sir_ in talking with a
gentleman, and her "mammaä" would once in a while forget, and go down
the area steps instead of entering at the proper door; but they lived in
a brown-stone front, which veneers everybody's antecedents with a facing
of respectability.

Miss Clara Browne wrote home to _her_ mother in the same terms as Miss
Florence Smythe,--that the school was getting dreadful common, and they
were letting in very queer folks.

Still another trial awaited Myrtle, and one which not one girl in a
thousand would have been so unprepared to meet. She knew absolutely
nothing of certain things with which the vast majority of young persons
were quite familiar.

There were literary young ladies, who had read everything of Dickens and
Thackeray, and something at least of Sir Walter, and occasionally,
perhaps, a French novel, which they had better have left alone. One of
the talking young ladies of this set began upon Myrtle one day.

"O, isn't Pickwick nice?" she asked.

"I don't know," Myrtle replied; "I never tasted any."

The girl stared at her as if she were a crazy creature. "Tasted any!
Why, I mean the Pickwick Papers, Dickens's story. Don't you think
they're nice?"

Poor Myrtle had to confess that she had never read them, and didn't know
anything about them.

"What! did you never read any novels?" said the young lady.

"O, to be sure I have," said Myrtle, blushing as she thought of the
great trunk and its contents. "I have read Caleb Williams, and Evelina,
and Tristram Shandy" (naughty girl!), "and the Castle of Otranto, and
the Mysteries of Udolpho, and the Vicar of Wakefield, and Don
Quixote--"

The young lady burst out laughing. "Stop! stop! for mercy's sake," she
cried. "You must be somebody that's been dead and buried and come back
to life again. Why you're Rip Van Winkle in a petticoat! You ought to
powder your hair and wear patches."

"We've got the oddest girl here," this young lady wrote home. "She
hasn't read any book that isn't a thousand years old. One of the girls
says she wears a trilobite for a breastpin; some horrid old stone, I
believe that is, that was a bug ever so long ago. Her name, she says, is
Myrtle Hazard, but I call her Rip Van Myrtle."

Notwithstanding the quiet life which these young girls were compelled to
lead, they did once in a while have their gatherings, at which a few
young gentlemen were admitted. One of these took place about a month
after Myrtle had joined the school. The girls were all in their best,
and by and by they were to have a _tableau_. Myrtle came out in all her
force. She dressed herself as nearly as she dared like the handsome
woman of the past generation whom she resembled. The very spirit of the
dead beauty seemed to animate every feature and every movement of the
young girl, whose position in the school was assured from that moment.
She had a good solid foundation to build upon in the jealousy of two or
three of the leading girls of the style of pretensions illustrated by
some of their talk which has been given. There is no possible success
without some opposition as a fulcrum: force is always aggressive, and
crowds something or other, if it does not hit or trample on it.

The cruelest cut of all was the remark attributed to Mr. Livingston
Jenkins, who was what the opposition girls just referred to called the
great "swell" among the privileged young gentlemen who were present at
the gathering.

"Rip Van Myrtle, you call that handsome girl, do you, Miss Clara? By
Jove, she's the stylishest of the whole lot, to say nothing of being a
first-class beauty. Of course you know I except one, Miss Clara. If a
girl can go to sleep and wake up after twenty years looking like that, I
know a good many who had better begin their nap without waiting. If I
were Florence Smythe, I'd try it, and begin now,--eh, Clara?"

Miss Browne felt the praise of Myrtle to be slightly alleviated by the
depreciation of Miss Smythe, who had long been a rival of her own. A
little later in the evening Miss Smythe enjoyed almost precisely the
same sensation, produced in a very economical way by Mr. Livingston
Jenkins's repeating pretty nearly the same sentiments to her, only with
a change in two of the proper names. The two young ladies were left
feeling comparatively comfortable with regard to each other, each
intending to repeat Mr. Livingston Jenkins's remark about her friend to
such of her other friends as enjoyed clever sayings, but not at all
comfortable with reference to Myrtle Hazard, who was evidently
considered by the leading "swell" of their circle as the most noticeable
personage of the assembly. The individual exception in each case did
very well as a matter of politeness, but they knew well enough what he
meant.

It seemed to Myrtle Hazard, that evening, that she felt the bracelet on
her wrist glow with a strange, unaccustomed warmth. It was as if it had
just been unclasped from the arm of a young woman full of red blood and
tingling all over with swift nerve-currents. Life had never looked to
her as it did that evening. It was the swan's first breasting the
water,--bred on the desert sand, with vague dreams of lake and river,
and strange longings as the mirage came and dissolved, and at length
afloat upon the sparkling wave. She felt as if she had for the first
time found her destiny. It was to please, and so to command,--to rule
with gentle sway in virtue of the royal gift of beauty,--to enchant with
the commonest exercise of speech, through the rare quality of a voice
which could not help being always gracious and winning, of a manner
which came to her as an inheritance of which she had just found the
title. She read in the eyes of all that she was more than any other the
centre of admiration. Blame her who may, the world was a very splendid
vision as it opened before her eyes in its long vista of pleasures and
of triumphs. How different the light of these bright saloons from the
glimmer of the dim chamber at The Poplars! Silence Withers was at that
very moment looking at the portraits of Anne Holyoake and of Judith
Pride. "The old picture seems to me to be fading faster than ever," she
was thinking. But when she held her lamp before the other, it seemed to
her that the picture never was so fresh before, and that the proud smile
upon its lips was more full of conscious triumph than she remembered it.
A reflex, doubtless, of her own thoughts, for she believed that the
martyr was weeping even in heaven over her lost descendant, and that the
beauty, changed to the nature of the malignant spiritual company with
which she had long consorted in the under-world, was pleasing herself
with the thought that Myrtle was in due time to bring her news from the
Satanic province overhead, where she herself had so long indulged in the
profligacy of _embonpoint_ and loveliness.

The evening at the school-party was to terminate with some _tableaux_.
The girl who had suggested that Myrtle would look "stunning" or
"gorgeous" or "jolly," or whatever the expression was, as Pocahontas,
was not far out of the way, and it was so evident to the managing heads
that she would make a fine appearance in that character, that the
"Rescue of Captain John Smith" was specially got up to show her off.

Myrtle had sufficient reason to believe that there was a hint of Indian
blood in her veins. It was one of those family legends which some of the
members are a little proud of, and others are willing to leave
uninvestigated. But with Myrtle it was a fixed belief that she felt
perfectly distinct currents of her ancestral blood at intervals, and she
had sometimes thought there were instincts and vague recollections
which must have come from the old warriors and hunters and their dusky
brides. The Indians who visited the neighborhood recognized something of
their own race in her dark eyes, as the reader may remember they told
the persons who were searching after her. It had almost frightened her
sometimes to find how like a wild creature she felt when alone in the
woods. Her senses had much of that delicacy for which the red people are
noted, and she often thought she could follow the trail of an enemy, if
she wished to track one through the forest, as unerringly as if she were
a Pequot or a Mohegan.

It was a strange feeling that came over Myrtle, as they dressed her for
the part she was to take. Had she never worn that painted robe before?
Was it the first time that these strings of wampum had ever rattled upon
her neck and arms? And could it be that the plume of eagle's feathers
with which they crowned her dark, fast-lengthening locks had never
shadowed her forehead until now? She felt herself carried back into the
dim ages when the wilderness was yet untrodden save by the feet of its
native lords. Think of her wild fancy as we may, she felt as if that
dusky woman of her midnight vision on the river were breathing for one
hour through her lips. If this belief had lasted, it is plain enough
where it would have carried her. But it came into her imagination and
vivifying consciousness with the putting on of her unwonted costume, and
might well leave her when she put it off. It is not for us, who tell
only what happened, to solve these mysteries of the seeming admission of
unhoused souls into the fleshly tenements belonging to air-breathing
personalities. A very little more, and from that evening forward the
question would have been treated in full in all the works on medical
jurisprudence published throughout the limits of Christendom. The story
must be told, or we should not be honest with the reader.

TABLEAU 1. Captain John Smith (Miss Euphrosyne de Lacy) was to be
represented prostrate and bound, ready for execution; Powhatan (Miss
Florence Smythe) sitting upon a log; savages with clubs (Misses Clara
Browne, A. Van Boodle, E. Van Boodle, Heister, Booster, etc., etc.)
standing around; Pocahontas holding the knife in her hand, ready to cut
the cords with which Captain John Smith is bound.--Curtain.

TABLEAU 2. Captain John Smith released and kneeling before Pocahontas,
whose hand is extended in the act of raising him and presenting him to
her father. Savages in various attitudes of surprise. Clubs fallen from
their hands. Strontian flame to be kindled.--Curtain.

This was a portion of the programme for the evening, as arranged behind
the scenes. The first part went off with wonderful _éclat_, and at its
close there were loud cries for Pocahontas. She appeared for a moment.
Bouquets were flung to her; and a wreath, which one of the young ladies
had expected for herself in another part, was tossed upon the stage, and
laid at her feet. The curtain fell.

"Put the wreath on her for the next _tableau_," some of them whispered,
just as the curtain was going to rise, and one of the girls hastened to
place it upon her head.

The disappointed young lady could not endure it, and, in a spasm of
jealous passion, sprang at Myrtle, snatched it from her head, and
trampled it under her feet at the very instant the curtain was rising.
With a cry which some said had the blood-chilling tone of an Indian's
battle-shriek, Myrtle caught the knife up, and raised her arm against
the girl who had thus rudely assailed her. The girl sank to the ground,
covering her eyes in her terror. Myrtle, with her arm still lifted, and
the blade glistening in her hand, stood over her, rigid as if she had
been suddenly changed to stone. Many of those looking on thought all
this was a part of the show, and were thrilled with the wonderful
acting. Before those immediately around her had had time to recover
from the palsy of their fright, Myrtle had flung the knife away from
her, and was kneeling, her head bowed and her hands crossed upon her
breast. The audience went into a rapture of applause as the curtain came
suddenly down; but Myrtle had forgotten all but the dread peril she had
just passed, and was thanking God that his angel--her own protecting
spirit, as it seemed to her--had stayed the arm which a passion such as
her nature had never known, such as she believed was alien to her truest
self, had lifted with deadliest purpose. She alone knew how extreme the
danger had been. "She meant to scare her,--that's all," they said. But
Myrtle tore the eagle's feathers from her hair, and stripped off her
colored beads, and threw off her painted robe. The metempsychosis was
far too real for her to let her wear the semblance of the savage from
whom, as she believed, had come the lawless impulse at the thought of
which her soul recoiled in horror.

"Pocahontas has got a horrid headache," the managing young ladies gave
it out, "and can't come to time for the last _tableau_." So this all
passed over, not only without loss of credit to Myrtle, but with no
small addition to her local fame,--for it must have been acting; and
"wasn't it stunning to see her with that knife, looking as if she was
going to stab Bella, or to scalp her, or something?"

As Master Gridley had predicted, and as is the case commonly with
new-comers at colleges and schools, Myrtle came first in contact with
those who were least agreeable to meet. The low-bred youth who amuse
themselves with scurvy tricks on freshmen, and the vulgar girls who try
to show off their gentility to those whom they think less important than
themselves, are exceptions in every institution; but they make
themselves odiously prominent before the quiet and modest young people
have had time to gain the new scholar's confidence. Myrtle found
friends in due time, some of them daughters of rich people, some poor
girls, who came with the same sincerity of purpose as herself. But not
one was her match in the facility of acquiring knowledge. Not one
promised to make such a mark in society, if she found an opening into
its loftier circles. She was by no means ignorant of her natural gifts,
and she cultivated them with the ambition which would not let her rest.

During the year she spent in the great school, she made but one visit to
Oxbow Village. She did not try to startle the good people with her
accomplishments, but they were surprised at the change which had taken
place in her. Her dress was hardly more showy, for she was but a
school-girl, but it fitted her more gracefully. She had gained a
softness of expression, and an ease in conversation, which produced
their effect on all with whom she came in contact. Her aunt's voice lost
something of its plaintiveness in talking with her. Miss Cynthia
listened with involuntary interest to her stories of school and
schoolmates. Master Byles Gridley accepted her as the great success of
his life, and determined to make her his sole heiress, if there was any
occasion for so doing. Cyprian told Bathsheba that Myrtle must come to
be a great lady. Gifted Hopkins confessed to Susan Posey that he was
afraid of her, since she had been to the great city school. She knew too
much, and looked too much like a queen, for a village boy to talk with.

Mr. William Murray Bradshaw tried all his fascinations upon her, but she
parried compliments so well, and put off all his nearer advances so
dexterously, that he could not advance beyond the region of florid
courtesy, and never got a chance, if so disposed, to risk a question
which he would not ask rashly, believing that, if Myrtle once said _No_,
there would be little chance of her ever saying _Yes_.



HOSPITAL MEMORIES


I.

When the first wave of patriotism rolled over the land at the outbreak
of the late Rebellion, fathers and mothers were proudly willing to send
forth sons and daughters to take their part in the struggle. The young
men were speedily marshalled and marched to the scene of action; but the
young women were not so fortunate in getting off to places in the
hospitals before the first ardor of excitement had cooled. Indeed, all
hospital organization was in such an imperfect state that no definite
plan could be made for ladies desiring to enter upon the good work.

Then came grave doubts from sage heads as to the propriety and
expediency of young women's going at all. One said that they would
always be standing in the way of the doctors; another, that they would
run at the first glimpse of a wounded man, or certainly faint at sight
of a surgical instrument; others still, that no woman's strength could
endure for a week the demands of hospital life. In fact, it was looked
upon as the most fanatical folly, and suggestions were made that at
least a slight experiment of hospital horrors ought to be made before
starting on such a mad career. Accordingly, in Boston, a few who
cherished the project most earnestly began a series of daily visits to
the Massachusetts General Hospital. To the courtesy and kindness of Dr.
B. S. Shaw and the attending surgeons,--especially Dr. J. Mason
Warren,--these novices were indebted for the privilege of witnessing
operations and being taught the art of dressing wounds. The omission of
fainting on the part of the new pupils rather disappointed general
expectation; and though the knowledge gained in a few weeks was
superficial, yet for practical purposes the nurses were not deemed
totally incompetent.

After receiving a certificate of fitness for the work from medical
authority, it was discouraging at last to be denied the consent of
parents. However, some favored ones went forth, and, returning home in a
few months, brought back such accounts of satisfaction in finding
themselves of use, and of their enjoyment in ministering to our
suffering soldiers, that at length the prejudices which withheld consent
were overcome, and one of the last of those who went was allowed to take
part in the most interesting duties to which the war called women.

I have often thought that one day of hospital employment, with its
constant work and opportunities, was worth a year of ordinary life at
home, and I remember with thankfulness how many times I was permitted to
take the place of absent mothers and sisters in caring for their sons
and brothers. It seemed to me that we women in the hospitals received
our reward a hundred-fold in daily sights of patient heroism, and
expressions of warm gratitude, and that we did not deserve mention or
remembrance in comparison with the thousands at home whose zeal never
wearied in labors indirect and unexciting, until the day of victory
ended their work.

No place in the country could have been better adapted to the uses of a
hospital than the grounds and buildings belonging to the Naval Academy
at Annapolis, enclosed on two sides, as they are, by an arm of the
Chesapeake Bay and the river Severn, and blessed with a varied view, and
fresh, invigorating breezes. At the opening of the war General Butler
landed troops at this point, thus communicating with Washington without
passing through Baltimore. The Naval School was immediately removed to
Newport, where it remained until after the close of our national
troubles. The places of the young students preparing for the naval
service were soon filled by the sick and wounded of the volunteer
armies.

The city of Annapolis is old and quaint. Unlike most of our American
capitals, it gives a stranger the impression of having been finished for
centuries, and one would imagine that the inhabitants are quite too
contented to have any idea of progress or improvement. The Episcopal
church, destroyed by fire a few years since, has been rebuilt; but even
that is crowned with the ancient wooden tower rescued from the flames,
and preserved in grateful memory of Queen Anne, who bestowed valuable
gifts on this church of her namesake city.

Within easy access of all the conveniences of a city, and with excellent
railroad facilities, the hospital grounds were perfectly secluded by
surrounding walls. As one entered through the high gates, an
indescribable repose was felt, enhanced by the charm with which Nature
has endowed the spot, in the abundant shade, evergreen, and fruit trees,
and rose-bushes, holly, and other shrubbery. The classical naval
monument, formerly at the Capitol in Washington, has within a few years
been removed, and with two others--one of which perpetuates the memory
of the adventurous Herndon--stands here. The wharf built for the
embarkation of the Burnside Expedition in 1861 is also here. About sixty
brick buildings, comprising the chapel, post-office, dispensary, and
laundry, with long rows of tents stretched across the grassy spaces,
afforded accommodation for patients varying from five hundred to
twenty-two hundred in number.

In the summer of 1863, Dr. B. A. Vanderkeift was appointed surgeon in
charge of the U.S. General Hospital, Division I., at Annapolis, more
frequently called the Naval School Hospital. Dr. Vanderkeift, from his
uncommon energy of character, his large experience, and rare executive
ability, was admirably fitted for his position. By day and night he
never spared himself in the most watchful superintendence of all
departments of the hospital; no details were too minute for his care, no
plan too generous which could tend to the comfort of the suffering.
Absolute system and punctuality were expected to be observed by all who
came under his military rule. The reveille bugle broke the silence of
early dawn. Its clear notes, repeated at intervals during the day,
announced to the surgeons the time for visits and reports, and to the
men on duty--such as the guards, police, nurses, and cooks--the time for
their meals. One of the most original of the Doctor's plans was the
establishment of a stretcher corps. At one time there was daily to be
seen upon the green in front of head-quarters a company of men,
ward-masters, nurses, and cooks, performing the most surprising
evolutions, playing alternately the parts of patients and nurses,
studying by experiment, under the eye and direction of skilful surgeons,
the most comfortable method of conveying the helpless. In this way the
stretcher corps acquired an amount of skill and tenderness which was
brought into good use when the long roll on the drum summoned them to
meet an approaching transport, bringing either the wounded from the last
battle-field, or the emaciated victims who had been held as prisoners of
war at the South.

Shortly after Dr. Vanderkeift came to the hospital, he invited "Sister
Tyler" to take the head of the ladies' department. She will always be
remembered as identified with the war from the very beginning. She was
the only woman in Baltimore who came forward on the 19th of April, 1861,
when the men of our Massachusetts Sixth were massacred in passing
through that city. She insisted upon being permitted to see the wounded,
and with dauntless devotion, in the face of peril, had some of them
removed to her own home, where she gave them the most faithful care for
many weeks. These men were but the first few of thousands who can never
forget the kindness received from her hands, the words of cheer which
came from her lips. Until within ten months of the closing events of the
war, she was constantly engaged in hospital service, and then only left
for Europe because too much exhausted to continue longer in the work.
"Sister Tyler" had supervision of the hospital, and of the fourteen
ladies who had a subdivision of responsibility resting upon each of
them. Their duties consisted in the special care of the wards assigned
them, and particular attention to the diet and stimulants; they supplied
the thousand nameless little wants which occurred every day, furnished
books and amusements, wrote for and read to the men,--did everything, in
fact, which a thoughtful tact could suggest without interfering with
surgeons or stewards.

Dr. Vanderkeift wisely considered nourishing diet of more importance
than medicine. There were three departments for the preparation of low
and special diet, over each of which a lady presided. The cooks and
nurses, throughout the hospital, were furnished from the number of
convalescent patients not fit to go to the front. They made excellent
workers in these positions, learning with a ready intelligence their new
duties, and performing them with cheerful compliance; but they often
regained their strength too rapidly, and the whole order and convenience
of kitchens and wards would be thrown into wild confusion by a stern
mandate from Washington, that every able-bodied man was to go to his
regiment. No matter what the exigency of the case might be, these men
were despatched in haste. Then came a new training of men, some on
crutches, some with one hand, and all far from strong. When the ladies
remonstrated at having such men put on duty, they were told that
feebleness must be made good by numbers, and it was no uncommon thing
for four or five crippled men to be employed in the work of one strong
one. These changes made wild confusion for a few days, but gradually we
began to consider them a part of the fortunes of war, and to find that a
stoical tranquillity was the best way in which to meet them. Though
exceedingly inconvenient, there was rarely any serious result attending
them. Occasionally a lady would be fortunate enough to evade the loss of
a valuable man by sending him into the city on an errand, or by keeping
him out of sight while an inspection was going on. In this way my chief
of staff, as I used to call a certain German youth, was kept a year in
the hospital. His efficiency and constant interest in the patients made
him a valuable auxiliary in my little department; and I know that his
services were appreciated by others than myself, for one of the chief
surgeons advised me to keep him by all means, even if hiding him in the
ice-chest were necessary.

The regular supplies from the commissary were comparatively plentiful,
but fell short of the demand, both as to quantity and variety. The
Christian and Sanitary Commissions met this want in great measure,
providing good stimulants, dried fruits, butter, and various other
luxuries. But with the utmost delight were received boxes packed by
generous hands at home. I shall ever feel indebted to many Boston
friends for their laborious care and munificent contributions. One of
them, Mrs. James Reed, has now entered upon the full reward of a life
rich in noble impulses and kindly deeds. Her cordial sympathy for those
languishing in distant hospital wards was manifested in sending gifts of
the choicest and most expensive home luxuries.

A gentleman well known in England, as well as our own country, for his
friendly patronage of art, was never forgetful of our warriors in their
dreary days of suffering. Many a cheery message did he send in letters,
and never without liberal "contents." His name was gratefully associated
by the men with bountiful draughts of punch and milk, fruits, ice-cream,
and many other satisfying good things. His request was never to allow a
man to want for anything that money could buy; and though "peanuts and
oranges"--of which he desired the men should have plenty--were not
always the most judicious articles of diet, the spirit of his command
was strictly obeyed.

Mrs. Alexander Randall, who lived near the hospital at Annapolis, was
exceedingly kind in sending in timely delicacies for the men. Fruits and
flowers from her own garden in lavish profusion were the constant
expressions of her thoughtful interest. I remember especially one
morning when a poor boy who was very low could not be persuaded to take
any food; many tempting things had been suggested, but with feeble voice
he said that some grapes were all that he cared for. It was early in the
season, and they could not be bought. But just at this moment Mrs.
Randall opportunely sent in some beautiful clusters. The countenance of
the dying boy brightened with delight as he saw them. They made his last
moments happy, for within half an hour he turned his head on the pillow,
and with one short sigh was gone.

The large basketfuls of rosy apples from this lady were hailed with the
utmost delight by those allowed to eat them. "I have wanted an apple
more than anything," was often the eager reply, as they were offered to
those who had recently come from a long captivity; and as they were
distributed through the wards, not the least gratifying circumstance was
the invariable refusal of the ward-masters and nurses to take any. Their
diet was not sumptuous, and apples were a great luxury to all; but they
would say, "No, thank you, let the men who have just come have them
all."

On the 17th of November, 1863, the steamer New York came in, bringing
one hundred and eighty men from Libby Prison and Belle Isle. Most of
these were the soldiers who had fought at Gettysburg. Never was there an
army in the world whose health and strength were better looked after
than our own; the weak and sick were always sent to the general
hospitals; and the idea that our men were ever in other than the most
sound and robust condition at the time of their becoming prisoners has
no foundation. Language fails to describe them on their return from the
most cruel of captivities. Ignominious insults, bitter and galling
threats, exposure to scorching heat by day and to frosty cold at night,
torturing pangs of hunger,--these were the methods by which stalwart men
had been transformed into ghastly beings with sunken eyes and sepulchral
voices. They were clothed in uncleanly rags, many without caps, and most
without shoes. Their hair and beards were overgrown and matted. The
condition of their teeth was the only appearance of neatness about them:
and these were as white as ivory, from eating bread made of corn and
cobs ground up together. A piece of such bread four inches square daily,
with a morsel of meat once a week and a spoonful of beans three times a
week, had been their food for several months. Some were too far gone to
bear the strain of removal from the steamer; nine died on the day of
arrival, and one third of the whole number soon followed them. Roses,
which had lingered through the mellow autumn, were wreathed with laurel
and laid upon their coffins as they were carried into the beautiful
little chapel for the funeral services, before they were laid in the
government cemetery, about a mile from the hospital. It is a lovely
place, with many trees surrounding its gentle slopes; and here thousands
sleep, with their name, rank, company, and regiment inscribed upon
wooden slabs. But "Unknown" is the only sad record on many a headboard.
These were men who died either on transports, or who when brought to us
were too much impaired in mind to remember anything,--for the loss or
derangement of mental faculties was no uncommon occurrence. When the
first cases of starvation were brought under treatment, the doctors
prescribed the lightest diet, mostly rice, soup, and tea. By experiment
it was proved that just as many died in proportion under this care as
when an intense desire for any particular article of food was allowed in
a measure to be satisfied. Almost every man on his arrival would have
his mind concentrated on some one thing: with many, pickles were the
coveted luxury; with others, milk. Often, as I passed through the wards,
one or another would call out, "Lady, do you think there is such a thing
as a piece of Bologna sausage here?" or, "Lady, is there a lemon in this
place? I have been longing for one for months." The first thing that one
man asked for was a cigar. He was very low, but said, "I would like one
sweet smoke before I die." He finished his cigar only a few moments
before he breathed his last.

The gratification of an insane craving for food cost many a poor fellow
his life. One morning a man who had just come received some money from a
friendly comrade; going in to the sutler's, he bought a quart of dried
apples. After eating them he became quite thirsty, and drank an alarming
quantity of cold water. It is needless to say that he died the next day.
At another time a boy received a box from home; his fond mother, with
more kindness than good judgment, sent, with other things, a mince-pie,
which delighted him, and he was greatly disappointed in not being
allowed to taste it. Though warned of the danger, when the nurse left
him for a few moments to bring him some beef-tea, he got at the pie, ate
half of it, and when the nurse returned was lying dead. Perhaps his
death was not caused, but only hastened, by this. It was impossible
always to guard against such imprudences.

One of the most interesting of the patients, who lived a few weeks after
coming, was Hiram Campbell, of the Hundred and Forty-fifth Pennsylvania
Regiment. An imprisonment of one hundred and thirty-eight days had
reduced him to a point beyond recovery. Day by day he grew weaker, yet
clung to life for the sake of going home to see his friends once more. A
few weeks before, Dr. Vanderkeift had allowed a man in similar
condition to start for home, and he had died on the way; so that the
Doctor had made a rule that no man should leave the hospital unless able
to walk to head-quarters to ask for his own papers. An exception to this
rule could not be granted, and the only chance was to try to build up
Campbell's little remaining strength for the journey, to relieve his
sufferings by comforts, and to keep hope alive in his mind by
interesting him in stories and books. He was delighted to have
"Evangeline" read to him, and the faint smile which passed over his
haggard features as he listened told of a romance in his own life,
begun, but destined too soon to be broken off by death. When too low to
write, as a lady was answering a letter from his sister for him, he
asked to have it read over to him. In her letter the sister had
requested him to name her infant daughter. When the lady came to this
request, he stopped her by asking what she thought a pretty name. Edith
was suggested, but he did not seem satisfied with that; at last he said
shyly, "How do you spell your name? I think I would like to have her
named for you." The lady felt rather embarrassed in writing this, and
persuaded him to let her mention several names, so that at least the
sister might have a choice. This was only a few days before his death.
His father was sent for, because it was evident that there could no
longer be any hope of returning strength for him. The poor old man was
heart-broken when he saw his son in such an emaciated condition. They
had heard at home of his severe sufferings, but said he, "How could I
ever expect to see him the like of this?" With patient resignation to
God's will, the sufferer waited, and his life ebbed slowly away.

The sorrow-stricken father took to his home in the interior of
Pennsylvania the body of his son, that he might rest in the village
graveyard by the side of his mother. By his grassy grave a little child
often hears from her mother's lips how her uncle fought and died for
the country, and with questioning wonder asks, "And am I named for the
lady who was kind to Uncle Hiram?" Such are the strange links in life.

At this time there was in the wards an elderly man, who for months had
been vainly trying to recruit his strength. He had not been a prisoner,
but had been sent to the rear on account of feebleness. Now John Bump
thought it a great waste of time to be staying here in the hospital,
where he was doing no good to the nation, while, if he were at home, he
might be acquiring quite a fortune from his "profession," for he was a
chair-maker. His descriptive list not having been sent from the
regiment, he could draw no pay. One day he received the following
important queries from his anxious wife, who with eight small children
at home did seem to be in a precarious condition: "The man who owns the
house says I must move out if I cannot pay the rent: what shall I do? I
have nothing for the children to eat: what shall I do? There is nothing
to feed the hens with: what shall I do? The pigs are starving: what
shall I do?" An application was made, which resulted in John Bump's
being sent to his regiment, from which he no doubt soon received his
discharge papers.

Around the post-office at noon might always be seen an eager group
awaiting the distribution of the mail. A letter from friends was the
most cheering hope of the day, often proving more effectual than
anything else toward the restoration of health, by bringing vividly to
minds languid with disease all the little interests and charms of home.

Gathered about the fire on a wintry day, the men would recount the
experiences of their captivity, from the moment when they first found
themselves with dismay in the power of the enemy, and, relieved of
muskets, were marched without food to Richmond. There whatever they
chanced to have of money or of value was taken into the care of a Rebel
officer, with the assurance that it would be returned on their release.
The promise was never fulfilled, and the men were hurried off to the
sandy plains of Belle Isle. The death of companions was the principal
change in their dreary, monotonous life, varied also by the addition
from time to time of others doomed to share their fate. Efforts to
escape were not always unsuccessful. At one time eight men burned spots
on their faces and hands with hot wire, and then sprinkled the spots
with black pepper. When the doctor came round, they feigned illness, and
he ordered these cases of small-pox to be taken to the pestilence-house
beyond the guards. In the night the men started for their homes in the
West, and were not caught.

Tracy Rogers, with his bright, sunny face, and sweet voice, whose merry
music resounded through the wards, was one of the first to regain
strength and spirits. His patriotic zeal had only been reanimated by his
sufferings, and he was in haste to be in his place at the front again. A
brother had been killed in the same battle in which he was taken
prisoner, and another had died in a Philadelphia hospital. He was sure
that he should yet die for his country, and talked of death as soon to
come to him. With earnest thoughtfulness, he recalled the teachings of a
Christian mother in his far-off Connecticut home. As the tears filled
his manly blue eyes one day, he asked if the hymn,

    "On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
    And cast a wishful eye,"

could be found in the hospital. He said that it had been sung at his
mother's funeral, on his fourteenth birthday; that he had never seen it
since, but that lately he had thought much about it. The hymn was
brought, and he committed it to memory. We were sorry to part with him,
when, after serving as ward-master, he was strong enough to go to his
regiment. Not long after he left, a letter came, saying that he had been
badly wounded, and wished himself back among his Annapolis friends once
more. We never heard of him again, and fear that his wounds must have
proved fatal.

Those were quiet, solemn hours passed in the hospital in the intervals
between past and coming dangers. At the close of the day, the men would
gather into one ward for prayers. Many a stern voice was uplifted that
never prayed before. After petitions for pardon and guidance had arisen
to the Giver of all good things, the men would sit and sing, for hours
sometimes, each one wishing for his favorite hymn to be sung, and saying
that this time was more homelike than any other of the day.

The inspection on Sunday forenoon made it the busiest morning of the
week. In the chapel at two o'clock, and again at seven, short services
were held, conducted either by the chaplain, or by the Rev. Mr. Sloan,
the devoted agent of the Christian Commission at this post. After a
while the second service was changed into a Sunday school, very
interesting to our grown-up scholars. The ladies found themselves fully
occupied as teachers in answering the various difficult questions
crowded into a short space of time. Sometimes the officers who were
patients would take classes too, which was far less embarrassing than
having them ask permission to take the part of scholars, as they
sometimes did. Before we had Sunday school, the men in my own wards
would ask to have psalms and passages selected for them to learn on
Sundays. On Monday mornings each one would have his little book ready to
recite his lesson.

For a week before Christmas, active preparations were made for its
celebration. The men were allowed to go into the woods across the river,
and bring boughs of hemlock, pine, and laurel, and of holly laden with
bright berries. Every evening was occupied in twisting and tying
evergreen in the chapel. Many a reminiscence of home was told, as we sat
in clusters, wreathing garlands of rejoicing so strangely contrasting
with the sights and sounds of life and death around us. Late on
Christmas eve, some of the men from Section V., a tent department, came
to ask as a great favor that I would assist them in decorating the tent
of Miss H----. They said that she had been "fixing up" the wards all
day, and they wanted to have her own tent adorned as a surprise when she
came down in the morning.

On going over to the tent, I found that they had already cut out of red
and blue flannel the letters for "A Merry Christmas to Miss H----."
These were soon sewed upon white cotton, which, being surrounded with
evergreen, was hung in the most conspicuous place. Then there were
crosses, stars, and various other designs to go up, among them a Goddess
of Liberty of remarkable proportions, considered the masterpiece of the
whole. There were only a few men present, not more than a dozen; each
had been seriously wounded, and nearly every one had lost either a leg
or an arm. It was a weird sight as they eagerly worked, by the light of
dimly burning candles, on this cold, full-mooned midnight, cheerfully
telling where they were a year ago, lying in rifle-pits or on picket
duty, and wishing themselves only able to be there again.

Christmas morning came at last. As the sun shone brightly on the frosty
windows, each one showed its wreath, and the wards were gayly festooned.
In some of the larger ones there were appropriate mottoes made of
evergreen letters; as, "Welcome home,"--"He bringeth the prisoners out
of captivity." Friends in Philadelphia had requested to provide the
dinner, which was most lavish and luxurious. The tables were loaded with
turkeys, pies of various kinds, fruits, and candies. This was a feast
indeed to the thousand heroes gathered around the board, and to those
too ill to leave the wards a portion of all was taken, that at least
they might see the good things which the others were enjoying. The
thoughts of many of the sick had centred on this Christmas dinner, and
they had named the favorite morsels that they wished for.

An Episcopal service was held in the chapel in the evening, by the Rev.
Mr. Davenport of Annapolis. A crowded congregation gathered within the
walls, which were hung with scrolls bearing the names of our
battle-fields, and richly adorned with evergreen, while the national
flag gracefully draped the large window. Carols were merrily sung, and
the shattered, scarred, and emaciated soldiers in the most righteous
cause that ever brought warfare to a nation joined in heralding the
advent of the Prince of Peace.

The Christmas had been rendered still happier by the reception of a
telegram, that another exchange of paroled prisoners had been made, and
we were hourly expecting their arrival. In the cold, gray dawn of the
29th of December, the shrill whistle of the "New York" coming up the bay
was heard. Every one was soon astir in preparation for a warm welcome.
Large quantities of coffee, chocolate, and gruels were to be made,
clothes were to be in readiness, and the stretcher corps to be mustered.

As the sun arose, a great crowd assembled, and when the New York neared
the wharf, shouts and cheers greeted her. The decks were covered with
men, whose skeleton forms and vacant countenances told of starvation,
the languid glimmer that at moments overspread their faces feebly
betokening the gratitude in their hearts at their escape from "Dixie."

This time the Rebel authorities had allowed only "well men," as they
called them, to come, because so much had been said at the North about
"the last lot," who came in November. Those able to walk were landed
first, the barefooted receiving shoes. Many were able to crawl as far as
Parole Camp, a little beyond the city. The more feeble were received
into the hospital, where hot baths awaited them; and when they had been
passed under scissors and razor, and were laid in comfortable
beds,--only too soft after the hard ground they had lain on for months,
with as much earth as they could scrape together for a pillow,--they
expressed the change in their whole condition as like coming from the
lower regions of misery into heaven itself.

Handkerchiefs and combs, writing-materials and stamps, were among the
first requisites of the new-comers. A few were able to write; and for
the others, the ladies were but too happy to apprise the friends at home
of their arrival, even if recovery were doubtful. In taking the names of
the men, I came to a white-headed patriarch, and expressed surprise at
finding him in the army. His name was R. B. Darling; and as I wrote it
down, he said: "You might as well put 'Reverend' before it, for I am a
Methodist minister. I lived in Greenville, Green County, Tennessee, and
when this Rebellion came on, I preached and preached, until it did not
seem to do any good; so I took up the musket to try what fighting would
do." He had left a wife and six children at home, from whom he had heard
only once, and then through a friend taken prisoner six months after
himself. He had been down with "those fiends," as he called them,
twenty-one months, and had been in nine different prisons. He had worked
for the Rebels--only at the point of the bayonet--while his strength
lasted, in digging wells. He had passed three months in the iron cage at
Atlanta, and three months in Castle Thunder under threat of being tried
for his life for some disrespectful speech about Rebeldom; finally,
after all the perils of Libby Prison and Belle Isle, he was free once
more. "These are tears of gratitude," he said, in answer to the welcome
given him, as they rolled down his furrowed cheeks; "it is the first
word of kindness that I have heard for so long." On soiled scraps of
paper he had the names of many of his fellow-prisoners. He had promised,
should he ever escape, to let their friends at home know when and where
they had died. Letters were at once written, carrying the painful
certainty of loss to anxious hearts. To his own family it was useless to
write, for the Rebels surrounded his home, cutting off postal
communication. He brought with him six little copies of the Gospels, one
for each child at home; they had been given to him at the South, having
been sent over by the British and Foreign Bible Society for
distribution. Surely no men ever more needed the promises of divine
consolation than the captives whom these volumes reached.

It was difficult to restrict the diet of this old hero. After eating an
enormous meal of soup, meat, vegetables, pudding, and bread, his
appetite would not be in the least satisfied; he would very coolly
remark that he had had a very nice dinner; there was only one trouble
about it, there was not enough. On being told that we would gladly give
him more, were it considered safe, he would persist in saying that he
felt "right peart," and begged me to remember that it was twenty-one
months since he had had any dinners. As he gained strength enough to
walk about, he became acquainted with the system of the hospital and
made a discovery one day; namely, that he was on low diet, and that
there was such a thing as full diet for the well men. "If my present
fare is low, what may not the full be?" he reasoned, as visions of
illimitable bounty floated through his insatiable mind. So he asked the
doctor one morning to transfer his name to the full-diet list; and when
the bugle sounded, he joined the procession as it moved to the
dining-hall. Salt-fish, bread, and molasses chanced to be all that
presented themselves to the famished, disappointed old man; his
countenance was forlorn indeed, as he came to the window of the low-diet
serving-room to ask for something to eat. "I shall get the doctor to put
my name back on to this list, for I like this cook-shop the best, if it
_is_ called low diet."

Father Darling, as he used to be called, soon became a favorite all over
the hospital. He delighted to perform any act of kindness for his
fellow-sufferers. On Sunday mornings he might be seen wandering through
the grounds, carrying books and newspapers into the wards, with a
bright smile and cheery word for each man. His eloquence reached its
highest pitch, when, talking of the Southern Confederacy, he declared
that he did not believe in showing mercy to traitors, but that God
intended them to be "clean exterminated" from the face of the earth,
like the heathen nations the Israelites were commanded to destroy ages
ago. He had but too good reason for wishing justice to be done. After he
returned to his home in Tennessee, he wrote: "There is but one tale in
the whole country: every comfort of life is purloined, clothes all in
rags, a great many men and boys murdered, and, worst of all,
Christianity seems to have gone up from the earth, and plunder and
rapine to have filled its place. Surely war was instituted by Beelzebub.
The guerillas are yet prowling about, seeking what they may devour. In
these troublous times, all who can lift a hoe or cut a weed are trying
to make support, but unless we get help from the North many must suffer
extremely. The Rebs have not left my family anything. They went so far
as to smash up the furniture, take my horse, all my cattle, and carry
off and destroy my library. They smashed up the clock and cut up the
bedsteads; and, in fact, ruin stares us in the face, and doleful
complaint stuns the ear. Even sick ladies have been dragged out of bed
by the hair of the head, so that the fiends of Davis could search for
hid treasure. All who have labored for the government are destitute.
Since the winter broke, I have been fighting the thieving, murdering
Rebels, and now their number is diminished from two hundred to nine, and
I can ride boldly forth where for the last three years it would have
been certain death. O, how are the mighty fallen!"

On New Year's evening the ladies held a reception. Huge logs burned
brightly in the large old-fashioned fireplace of their dining-room, and
a "Happy New Year to all," in evergreen letters, stood out from the
whitewashed wall. Surgeons and stewards, officers, extra-duty men, and
patients, mingled in groups to exchange friendly good-wishes.
Conversation and singing, with a simple repast of apples, cake, and
lemonade, proved allurements to a long stay. Those who had gained
admission were reluctant to depart to make room for the hundreds
awaiting entrance outside. For days afterwards this evening was talked
over with delight by the men: it was the only party they had attended
since the war began, and it formed the greatest gayety of hospital
experience.

Some of the vessels of the Russian fleet, then cruising in our waters,
wintered at Annapolis. A severe sickness breaking out among the sailors,
their accommodations on shipboard were not found adequate, and, by
invitation of our government, they were received into the hospital.
Their inability to speak one word of English made their sojourn rather a
melancholy affair. Their symptoms were often more successfully guessed
from signs and gestures, than from their attempts to express some
particular wish in words. They all returned to their floating homes in a
little while quite recovered, except one, who met with an accidental
death, and was buried from our chapel with the full ceremonies of the
Greek Church. With his face uncovered, he was carried by his comrades to
the cemetery, and laid by the side of our soldiers. A Greek cross of
black iron, among the white slabs, designates this stranger's grave.

The Vanderkeift Literary Association held a meeting every Tuesday
evening in the chapel, which was always crowded. Some of the citizens of
Annapolis, with their families, did not disdain a constant attendance.
An animated discussion of some popular topic was held by the debating
club; and the intelligence often shown did credit to the attainments of
the men who filled the ranks of our army. Ballads were sung by the
Kelsey Minstrels,--so named from their leader, a clerk at head-quarters.
"The Knapsack," a paper edited by the ladies, was read. Into it was
gathered whatever of local interest or amusement there was going on at
the time. Contributions in prose or verse, stories, and conundrums
filled the little sheet.

The short Southern winter wore quickly away, with little of unusual
excitement in the constantly changing scenes of war. Our prisoners pined
in dreary captivity, and the clash of arms was stilled for a season.

So many strange ideas are entertained about a woman's life in hospital
service that I am tempted to transcribe a page from my own experience,
in order that a glimpse may be had of its reality. Imagine me, then, in
a small attic room, carpeted with a government blanket, and furnished
with bed, bureau, table, two chairs, and, best of all, a little stove,
for the morning is cold, and the lustrous stars still keep their quiet
watch in the blue heavens. A glow of warmth and comfort spreads from
gas-light and fire,--an encouraging roar in the chimney having crowned
with success the third attempt at putting paper, wood, and coal together
in exact proportions. After all, the difficulty has been chiefly in the
want of a sufficient amount of air, for there could be no draught
through the dead embers, and these could be disturbed only noiselessly,
for the lady in the next room has the small-pox, and it will not do to
awake her from her morning slumbers.

A glance at the wonderful beauty in which day is breaking is sufficient
compensation for such early rising, as with hurried step I go to the
wards, about seven rods off. The kind-hearted steward stands at the
door: "Talbot died at two o'clock; he was just the same till the last."
I am not surprised, for when I left him I knew that his feeble frame
could not much longer endure the violence of delirium. He was by no
means among the most hopeless of the last prisoners who came, but an
unaccountable change had passed suddenly over him within the last few
days. And now tidings of his death must carry a sad revulsion to hearts
at home, made happy, but a short time since, by news of his safety.

The patients rouse themselves from the drowsiness of a sleepless night,
expecting a morning greeting as I pass through the wards, giving to each
his early stimulant of whiskey or cherry-brandy. The men in the ward
where poor Talbot died seem in especial need of it; for, as they glance
at the vacant corner, they say, "He screamed so badly, we didn't get
much sleep."

At the call of the bugle a general stampede takes place for breakfast,
and I must repair to the serving-room to oversee the last preparations
for low and special diet; for on his return each of the male nurses will
appear at the window with a large tray to be filled for his hungry men.
Beef essence, jellies, and puddings for the day's requirement claim a
little personal attention. Such things are not always left to servants
at home; and how could our "boys in blue" be expected to handle the
spoon with the same dexterity as the musket? They are not, however,
deficient in culinary skill, as the savory hash, well-turned beefsteaks,
nicely dropped eggs, and good coffee will testify.

After the procession of heavily laden breakfast-bearers has moved off,
supplies from the commissary need a little arranging; and one must plan
how they may be made the most of, and what additions for the next three
meals are to be furnished from private resources. The result of which
consideration is usually the despatch of Henry, the chief cook, into the
city to purchase chickens, oysters, and milk in as great quantity as can
be bought.

At eight o'clock the ladies meet for their morning meal. Good cold
water, bread and molasses, with the occasional luxury of a salt-fish
cake, suffice to keep soul and body together. The coffee is said to be
good by those in the habit of taking it, and some, too, enjoy the
butter.

The preparation of lemonade in large quantities, and drinks of various
degrees of sweetness and acidity, is next to be superintended. As
rapidly as possible the little pitchers are filled, and I follow them to
the wards.

Wondering what can be the matter, and cooling his parched lips and
bathing his burning brow, I stand over Allen as the doctor enters. Doubt
is soon dispelled, for he pronounces it a violent case of small-pox. It
is becoming very prevalent, but this is my first introduction to it. The
doctor orders the immediate removal of the patient to Horn Point, the
small-pox quarters, about two miles across the bay. It is too bleak for
the open-boat conveyance, and so he must be jolted six miles round in an
ambulance. On his bed, buried in blankets and stupefied with fever, he
starts for his new abode, not without a plentiful supply of oranges,
lemons, and bay-water.

The plaintive, whining tones of William Cutlep, a boy of sixteen, who is
a picture of utter woe, with mind enough only left to know that he is in
"awful pain," detain me too long; and when I must leave him, it is with
the promise of coming up soon again, for he says he always did like to
see "women folks around." His home is in Southern Virginia, whence he
escaped to join the Union army; and he will never hear from his home
again, for thirty-six ounces of brandy daily will not keep him alive
much longer. He has already taken a ring from his finger, to be sent
home with a dying message after the war is over.

The lower ward is not reached too soon, for the manly, gentle Mason is
near his end. He faintly presses my hand, begging me not to leave him
again, for it will soon be all over. An attack of pneumonia has proved
too much for his reduced system to resist, and, meekly submitting to its
ravages, he lies at last upon his death-bed. A saintly fortitude
sustains him, as in broken accents these sentences come from his lips:
"It is a country worth dying for." "Others will enjoy in coming years
what I have fought for." "I can trust my Saviour. He is lighting me
through the valley of death." "All is well." Low words of prayer commend
the departing soul to the God who made it, and the sweet hymn,

    "O sing to me of heaven,
    When I am called to die,"

breaks the stillness of the ward.

"It is growing dark,--I can't see you any more,"--he whispers; and then,
as the bugle notes strike his ear, "Before that sound is heard again, I
shall be far away." His heavy breathing grows thicker and shorter, until
that radiance which comes but once to any mortal face, streaming through
the open portal of eternity, tells of the glory upon which his soul is
entering, as his eyelids are quietly closed on earth. The men in the
beds around mutely gaze upon him, wishing that they may die like him
when their last summons comes. The tender-hearted McNally, the faithful
nurse, tearfully laments the loss of the first patient who has died
since he took charge of the ward, and is sure that he could not have
done more for him had he been his own brother. Nor could he.

I go back to the upper wards. Little Cutlep moans deeply in restless
sleep. But there are others to be cheered, and many a promise to be
fulfilled from the heterogeneous contents of a small basket, a constant
and most valuable companion. Comfort-bags, braces, knives, come forth at
requirement. Books, too, are always in demand. After they have been
read, they are sent to many a distant fireside by mail; some of the boys
have several treasured up to take with them when they go home, for such
books are rare where they live, and their little brothers and sisters
will greatly prize them. One boy still keeps under his pillow, clinging
to it until the last, the little book, "Come to Jesus," which he
requests shall be sent to his mother after his death, with the message
that it has been the saving of his soul.

New wants arise to be remembered, and special desires for additions to
the next meal are expressed. On the whole, the men seem comfortable and
happy to-day, as they rest on their elbows partly sitting up in bed,
playing backgammon, or scanning the last pictorial newspaper, or working
over puzzles, for which last they are indebted to Rev. Mr. Ware, who
made a visit to our hospital a few weeks since, and on his return sent
from Boston a goodly assortment of amusements.

By this time the stimulants are to be given out again, and preparations
made for dinner. For it will hardly be welcome, unless the promised mug
of milk or ale, fried onions or sour-krout, fruit or jelly, shall come
with it. Each tray receives its burden of hearty nourishment, and by one
o'clock the ladies may be seen returning to their quarters for rations
of beef and bread. It is well that we are blessed with elastic spirits,
for "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine." All sadness for the dead
must be concealed for the sake of the living. As we cheerfully meet at
dinner-time, an occasional letter in the following strain is not without
a salutary and amusing effect:--

     "DEAR MISS T----:--I set down to tell you that I've arrove hum,
     an wish I was sum whar else. I've got 3 Bully boys an they are
     helpin me about gettin the garden sass into the groun; but they
     haint got no mother, an ive got a hous and a kow an I thort
     youd be kinder handy to take care of um, if youd stoop so much.
     I've thort of you ever sense I com from the hospittle, and how
     kinder jimmy you used to walk up and doun them wards. You had
     the best gate I ever see, an my 1st wife stepped of jis so, an
     she pade her way I tell you. I like to work, and the boys likes
     to work, an I kno you do, so ide like to jine if youv no
     objecshuns; an now ive maid so bold to rite sich, but I was
     kinder pussed on by my feelins an so I hope youl excuse it and
     rite soon. I shant be mad if you say no, but its no hurt to ask
     an the boys names are Zebalon, Shadrac and peter, they want to
     see you as does your respectful frend wich oes his present
     helth to you

     "I---- G----."

A few letters for the men are to be written for the afternoon mail.
Twining a wreath of immortelles and laurel, is the last that can be
done for brave Tenny, who died yesterday, and will be buried with
military honors to-day. The little procession, with reversed arms, winds
slowly through the grounds, and at the sound of the bugle four patriots,
each wrapped in the flag he has died for, are borne into the chapel.
Inspired passages are read, "There is rest for the weary" is sung by the
ladies, and prayers are offered for bereaved relatives at a distance.
The chaplain precedes the short train to the cemetery, where the final
portion of the church burial-service is said, and over the newly made
graves resound three sharp volleys of musketry.

There is not much time to-day to read to the group around the fire, but
with evident pride and pleasure they listen to "The Blue Coat of the
Soldier," and "The Empty Sleeve," a touching poem, inscribed to the
noble General Howard. I would gladly tarry longer at the request of the
little audience, but the other wards must be looked after. An awkward
man stands in the first one I enter, and begins a protest against being
put on duty. He says he "'listed to fight," and knows nothing about
"nussing." He hands over the materials for a mustard plaster, as he
professes profound ignorance on the subject, saying that he fears the
men left to his charge will not get very good care. This is the only
instance I remember of a man who did not cheerfully try to do his best
for his sick comrades. Fortunately, he was soon sent to his regiment.

Preparation of stimulants and supper keep me busily occupied until, in
the shadowy twilight, the men from the fifteen wards gather into one,
where the patients are not too ill to listen to a few texts from the
Holy Book, which come with a diviner meaning of consolation than ever
before, in the hush of closing day, with death so familiar a thought to
each. Sergeant Murphy leads in prayer with true Methodist fervor, and
the hymn,

    "Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
    That calls me from a world of care,"

concludes the short service.

After their tea, the ladies meet in the chapel, to teach in the evening
school held for an hour four times a week. It serves to interest the men
in useful study. A large library in one corner of the chapel furnishes,
too, stores of knowledge and amusement in works of history, travel, and
fiction.

On going back again to the wards, I am glad to find that Carney's wife
has come in the evening train. She was startled by the last news from
him. It is well that she is here: if anything can save his life, it will
be her presence. The poor woman is worn out by anxiety and a two days'
journey. The chaplain must be found to write a permit for her entrance
into the "Home" provided by the Sanitary Commission for the
accommodation of those coming to see their friends in the hospital. The
good-natured orderly, Frank Hall, conducts her out to the comfortable
house.

The lurid gas flickers in the chilly breeze, for never are the windows
allowed to be closed by day or night, in sunshine or storm. It does
sometimes seem as if a circulation of air a little less like a hurricane
from an iceberg might conduce more to the health and comfort of the
inmates; but then this is one of Dr. Vanderkeift's pet points of
practice, and woe betide any one who dares to shut out a breath of the
exhilarating element. Most of the men are stilled in merciful slumbers,
more or less peaceful or unquiet. One shout from a sleeper of "We'll
whip them yet, boys!" tells that Colby is fighting over in a dream his
last battle, while from others come groans only audible in hours of
unconsciousness. In wakeful uneasiness, others sigh for sleep, and are
at length lulled to rest by soothing words or rhymes, not unfrequently
by the childish melodies of Mother Goose. And so the day's privilege of
duty ends with gratitude, and a healthful weariness that vanishes before
the next morning.



DIRGE FOR A SAILOR.


        Slow, slow! toll it low,
      As the sea-waves break and flow;
    With the same dull, slumberous motion
    As his ancient mother, Ocean,
      Rocked him on, through storm and calm,
      From the iceberg to the palm:
      So his drowsy ears may deem
      That the sound which breaks his dream
      Is the ever-moaning tide
      Washing on his vessel's side.

        Slow, slow! as we go,
      Swing his coffin to and fro;
    As of old the lusty billow
    Swayed him on his heaving pillow:
      So that he may fancy still,
      Climbing up the watery hill,
      Plunging in the watery vale,
      With her wide-distended sail,
      His good ship securely stands
      Onward to the golden lands.

        Slow, slow!--heave-a-ho!--
      Lower him to the mould below;
    With the well-known sailor ballad,
    Lest he grow more cold and pallid
      At the thought that Ocean's child,
      From his mother's arms beguiled,
      Must repose for countless years,
      Reft of all her briny tears,
      All the rights he owned by birth,
      In the dusty lap of earth.



UP THE EDISTO.


In reading military history, one finds the main interest to lie,
undoubtedly, in the great campaigns, where a man, a regiment, a brigade,
is but a pawn in the game. But there is a charm also in the more free
and adventurous life of partisan warfare, where, if the total sphere be
humbler, yet the individual has more relative importance, and the sense
of action is more personal and keen. This is the reason given by the
eccentric Revolutionary biographer, Weems, for writing the Life of
Washington first, and then that of Marion. And there were, certainly, in
the early adventures of the colored troops in the Department of the
South, some of the same elements of picturesqueness that belonged to
Marion's band, with the added feature that the blacks were fighting for
their personal liberties, of which Marion had helped to deprive them.

It is stated by Major-General Gillmore, in his "Siege of Charleston," as
one of the three points in his preliminary strategy, that an expedition
was sent up the Edisto River to destroy a bridge on the Charleston and
Savannah Railway. As one of the early raids of the colored troops, this
expedition may deserve narration, though it was, in a strategic point of
view, a disappointment. It has already been told, briefly and on the
whole with truth, by Greeley and others, but I will venture on a more
complete account.

The project dated back earlier than General Gillmore's siege, and had
originally no connection with that movement. It had been formed by
Captain Trowbridge and myself in camp, and was based on facts learned
from the men. General Saxton and Colonel W. W. H. Davis, the successive
post-commanders, had both favored it. It had been also approved by
General Hunter, before his sudden removal, though he regarded the bridge
as a secondary affair, because there was another railway communication
between the two cities. But as my main object was to obtain permission
to go, I tried to make the most of all results which might follow, while
it was very clear that the raid would harass and confuse the enemy, and
be the means of bringing away many of the slaves. General Hunter had,
therefore, accepted the project mainly as a stroke for freedom and black
recruits; and General Gillmore, because anything that looked toward
action found favor in his eyes, and because it would be convenient to
him at that time to effect a diversion, if nothing more.

It must be remembered, that, after the first capture of Port Royal, the
outlying plantations along the whole Southern coast were abandoned, and
the slaves withdrawn into the interior. It was necessary to ascend some
river for thirty miles in order to reach the black population at all.
This ascent could only be made by night, as it was a slow process, and
the smoke of a steamboat could be seen for a great distance. The streams
were usually shallow, winding, and muddy, and the difficulties of
navigation were such as to require a full moon and a flood tide. It was
really no easy matter to bring everything to bear; especially as every
projected raid must be kept a secret so far as possible. However, we
were now somewhat familiar with such undertakings, half military, half
naval, and the thing to be done on the Edisto was precisely what we had
proved to be practicable on the St. Mary's and the St. John's,--to drop
anchor before the enemy's door some morning at daybreak, without his
having dreamed of our approach.

Since a raid made by Colonel Montgomery up the Combahee, two months
before, the vigilance of the Rebels had increased. But we had
information that upon the South Edisto or Pon-Pon River the rice
plantations were still being actively worked by a large number of
negroes, in reliance on obstructions placed at the mouth of that narrow
stream, where it joins the main river, some twenty miles from the coast.
This point was known to be further protected by a battery of unknown
strength, at Wiltown Bluff, a commanding and defensible situation. The
obstructions consisted of a row of strong wooden piles across the river;
but we convinced ourselves that these must now be much decayed, and that
Captain Trowbridge, an excellent engineer officer, could remove them by
the proper apparatus. Our proposition was to man the "John Adams," an
armed ferry-boat, which had before done us much service,--and which has
now reverted to the pursuits of peace, it is said, on the East Boston
line,--to ascend in this to Wiltown Bluff, silence the battery, and
clear a passage through the obstructions. Leaving the "John Adams" to
protect this point, we could then ascend the smaller stream with two
light-draft boats, and perhaps burn the bridge, which was ten miles
higher, before the enemy could bring sufficient force to make our
position at Wiltown Bluff untenable.

The expedition was organized essentially upon this plan. The smaller
boats were the "Enoch Dean,"--a river steamboat, which carried a
ten-pound Parrott gun, and a small howitzer,--and a little mosquito of a
tug, the "Governor Milton," upon which, with the greatest difficulty, we
found room for two twelve-pound Armstrong guns, with their gunners,
forming a section of the First Connecticut Battery, under Lieutenant
Clinton, aided by a squad from my own regiment, under Captain James. The
"John Adams" carried, if I remember rightly, two Parrott guns (of twenty
and ten pounds caliber) and a howitzer or two. The whole force of men
did not exceed two hundred and fifty.

We left Beaufort, S. C., on the afternoon of July 9th, 1863. In former
narrations I have sufficiently described the charm of a moonlight ascent
into a hostile country, upon an unknown stream, the dark and silent
banks, the rippling water, the wail of the reed-birds, the anxious
watch, the breathless listening, the veiled lights, the whispered
orders. To this was now to be added the vexation of an insufficient
pilotage, for our negro guide knew only the upper river, and, as it
finally proved, not even that, while, to take us over the bar which
obstructed the main stream, we must borrow a pilot from Captain Dutch,
whose gunboat blockaded that point. This active naval officer, however,
whose boat expeditions had penetrated all the lower branches of those
rivers, could supply our want, and we borrowed from him not only a
pilot, but a surgeon, to replace our own, who had been prevented by an
accident from coming with us. Thus accompanied, we steamed over the bar
in safety, had a peaceful ascent, passed the island of Jehossee,--the
fine estate of Governor Aiken, then left undisturbed by both sides,--and
fired our first shell into the camp at Wiltown Bluff at four o'clock in
the morning.

The battery--whether fixed or movable we knew not--met us with a
promptness that proved very short-lived. After three shots it was
silent, but we could not tell why. The bluff was wooded and we could see
but little. The only course was to land, under cover of the guns. As the
firing ceased and the smoke cleared away, I looked across the
rice-fields which lay beneath the bluff. The first sunbeams glowed upon
their emerald levels, and on the blossoming hedges along the rectangular
dikes. What were those black dots which everywhere appeared? Those moist
meadows had become alive with human heads, and along each narrow path
came a straggling file of men and women, all on a run for the
river-side. I went ashore with a boat-load of troops at once. The
landing was difficult and marshy. The astonished negroes tugged us up
the bank, and gazed on us as if we had been Cortez and Columbus. They
kept arriving by land much faster than we could come by water; every
moment increased the crowd, the jostling, the mutual clinging, on that
miry foothold. What a scene it was! With the wild faces, eager figures,
strange garments, it seemed, as one of the poor things reverently
suggested, "like notin' but de judgment day." Presently they began to
come from the houses also, with their little bundles on their heads;
then with larger bundles. Old women, trotting on the narrow paths, would
kneel to pray a little prayer, still balancing the bundle; and then
would suddenly spring up, urged by the accumulating procession behind,
and would move on till irresistibly compelled by thankfulness to dip
down for another invocation. Reaching us, every human being must grasp
our hands, amid exclamations of "Bress you, mas'r," and "Bress de Lord,"
at the rate of four of the latter ascriptions to one of the former.
Women brought children on their shoulders; small black boys carried on
their backs little brothers equally inky, and, gravely depositing them,
shook hands. Never had I seen human beings so clad, or rather so unclad,
in such amazing squalidness and destitution of garments. I recall one
small urchin without a rag of clothing save the basque waist of a lady's
dress, bristling with whalebones, and worn wrong side before, beneath
which his smooth ebony legs emerged like those of an ostrich from its
plumage. How weak is imagination, how cold is memory, that I ever cease,
for a day of my life, to see before me the picture of that astounding
scene!

Yet at the time we were perforce a little impatient of all this piety,
protestation, and hand-pressing; for the vital thing was to ascertain
what force had been stationed at the bluff, and whether it was yet
withdrawn. The slaves, on the other hand, were too much absorbed in
their prospective freedom to aid us in taking any further steps to
secure it. Captain Trowbridge, who had by this time landed at a
different point, got quite into despair over the seeming deafness of the
people to all questions. "How many soldiers are there on the bluff?" he
asked of the first-comer.

"Mas'r," said the man, stuttering terribly, "I c-c-c--"

"Tell me how many soldiers there are!" roared Trowbridge, in his mighty
voice, and all but shaking the poor old thing, in his thirst for
information.

"O mas'r," recommenced in terror the incapacitated witness, "I
c-c-car-penter!" holding up eagerly a little stump of a hatchet, his
sole treasure, as if his profession ought to excuse him from all
military opinions.

I wish that it were possible to present all this scene from the point of
view of the slaves themselves. It can be most nearly done, perhaps, by
quoting the description given of a similar scene on the Combahee River,
by a very aged man, who had been brought down on the previous raid,
already mentioned. I wrote it down in my tent, long after, while the old
man recited the tale, with much gesticulation, at the door; and it is
by far the best glimpse I have ever had, through a negro's eyes, at
these wonderful birthdays of freedom.

"De people was all a hoein', mas'r," said the old man. "Dey was a hoein'
in de rice-field, when de gunboats come. Den ebry man drap dem hoe, and
leff de rice. De mas'r he stand and call, 'Run to de wood for hide!
Yankee come, sell you to Cuba! run for hide!' Ebry man he run, and, my
God! run all toder way!

"Mas'r stand in de wood, peep, peep, faid for truss [afraid to trust].
He say, 'Run to de wood!' and ebry man run by him, straight to de boat.

"De brack sojer so presumptious, dey come right ashore, hold up dere
head, Fus' ting I know, dere was a barn, ten tousand bushel rough rice,
all in a blaze, den mas'r's great house, all cracklin' up de roof.
Didn't I keer for see 'em blaze? Lor, mas'r, didn't care notin' at all,
_I was gwine to de boat_."

Doré's Don Quixote could not surpass the sublime absorption in which the
gaunt old man, with arm uplifted, described this stage of affairs, till
he ended in a shrewd chuckle, worthy of Sancho Panza. Then he resumed.

"De brack sojers so presumptious!" This he repeated three times, slowly
shaking his head in an ecstasy of admiration. It flashed upon me that
the apparition of a black soldier must amaze those still in bondage,
much as a butterfly just from the chrysalis might astound his
fellow-grubs. I inwardly vowed that my soldiers, at least, should be as
"presumptious" as I could make them. Then he went on.

"Ole woman and I go down to de boat; den dey say behind us, 'Rebels
comin'! Rebels comin'!' Ole woman say, 'Come ahead, come plenty ahead!'
I hab notin' on but my shirt and pantaloon; ole woman one single frock
he hab on, and one handkerchief on he head; I leff all-two my blanket
and run, for de Rebel come, and den dey didn't come, didn't truss for
come.

"Ise eighty-eight year old, mas'r. My ole Mas'r Lowndes keep all de ages
in a big book, and when we come to age ob sense we mark em down ebry
year, so I know. Too ole for come? Mas'r joking. Neber too ole for leave
de land o' bondage. I old, but great good for chil'en, gib tousand tank
ebry day. Young people can go through, _force_ [forcibly], mas'r, but de
ole folk mus' go slow."

Such emotions as these, no doubt, were inspired by our arrival, but we
could only hear their hasty utterance in passing; our duty being, with
the small force already landed, to take possession of the bluff.
Ascending, with proper precautions, the wooded hill, we soon found
ourselves in the deserted camp of a light battery, amid scattered
equipments and suggestions of a very unattractive breakfast. As soon as
possible, skirmishers were thrown out through the woods to the farther
edge of the bluff, while a party searched the houses, finding the usual
large supply of furniture and pictures,--brought up for safety from
below,--but no soldiers. Captain Trowbridge then got the "John Adams"
beside the row of piles, and went to work for their removal.

Again I had the exciting sensation of being within the hostile
lines,--the eager explorations, the doubts, the watchfulness, the
listening for every sound of coming hoofs. Presently a horse's tread was
heard in earnest, but it was a squad of our own men bringing in two
captured cavalry soldiers. One of these, a sturdy fellow, submitted
quietly to his lot, only begging that, whenever we should evacuate the
bluff, a note should be left behind, stating that he was a prisoner. The
other, a very young man, and a member of the "Rebel Troop," a sort of
Cadet corps among the Charleston youths, came to me in great wrath,
complaining that the corporal of our squad had kicked him after he had
surrendered. His air of offended pride was very rueful, and it did
indeed seem a pathetic reversal of fortunes for the two races. To be
sure, the youth was a scion of one of the foremost families of South
Carolina, and when I considered the wrongs which the black race had
encountered from those of his blood, first and last, it seemed as if
the most scrupulous Recording Angel might tolerate one final kick, to
square the account. But I reproved the corporal, who respectfully
disclaimed the charge, and said the kick was an incident of the scuffle.
It certainly was not their habit to show such poor malice: they thought
too well of themselves.

I recall with delight my conversation with this captured boy, he was
such a naïve specimen of the true Southern arrogance. For instance:--

"Colonel," said he, respectfully, "are there any gentlemen on board the
steamboat where I am to be placed?"

I told him that such a question sounded strangely from a captured
private soldier.

"Perhaps it does," said he wistfully, "and I know my position too well
to offend an enemy. I only wished to know"--and here he paused,
evidently trying to find some form of expression which could not
possibly disturb the keenest sensibilities--"if there is likely to be
any one on board with whom I can associate."

This was carrying the joke rather too far. I told him that he would find
United States officers on board, and United States soldiers, and that it
was to be hoped he would like their society, as he probably would have
no other for some time to come. But the characteristic feature of the
thing is, that I do not believe he meant to commit any impertinence
whatever, but that the youth rather aimed to compliment me by assuming
that I appreciated the feelings of a man made of porcelain, and would
choose for him only the most choice and fastidious companionship. But I
must say that he seemed to me in no way superior, but rather quite
inferior, to my own black soldiers, who equalled him in courage and in
manners, and far surpassed him in loyalty, modesty, and common sense.

His demeanor seemed less lofty, but rather piteous, when he implored me
not to put him on board any vessel which was to ascend the upper stream,
and hinted, by awful implications, the danger of such ascent. This
meant torpedoes, a peril which we treated, in those days, with rather
mistaken contempt. But we found none on the Edisto, and it may be that
it was only a foolish attempt to alarm us.

Meanwhile, Trowbridge was toiling away at the row of piles, which proved
easier to draw out than to saw asunder, either work being hard enough.
It took far longer than we had hoped, and we saw noon approach and the
tide rapidly fall, taking with it, inch by inch, our hopes of effecting
a surprise at the bridge. During this time, and indeed all day, the
detachments on shore, under Captains Whitney and Sampson, were having
occasional skirmishes with the enemy, while the colored people were
swarming to the shore, or running to and fro like ants, with the poor
treasures of their houses. Our busy Quartermaster, Mr. Bingham,--who
died afterwards from the overwork of that sultry day,--was transporting
the refugees on board the steamer, or hunting up bales of cotton, or
directing the burning of rice-houses, in accordance with our orders. No
dwelling-houses were destroyed or plundered by our men,--Sherman's
"bummers" not having yet arrived,--though I asked no questions as to
what the plantation negroes might bring in their great bundles. One
piece of property, I must admit, seemed a lawful capture,--a United
States dress-sword, of the old pattern, which had belonged to the Rebel
general who afterwards gave the order to bury Colonel Shaw "with his
niggers." That I have retained, not without some satisfaction, to this
day.

A passage having been cleared at last, and the tide having turned by
noon, we lost no time in attempting the ascent, leaving the bluff to be
held by the "John Adams" and by the small force on shore. We were
scarcely above the obstructions, however, when the little tug went
aground, and the "Enoch Dean," ascending a mile farther, had an
encounter with a battery on the right,--perhaps our old enemy,--and
drove it back. Soon after, she also ran aground, a misfortune of which
our opponent strangely took no advantage; and, on getting off, I thought
it best to drop down to the bluff again, as the tide was still
hopelessly low. None can tell, save those who have tried them, the
vexations of those muddy Southern streams, navigable only during a few
hours of flood-tide.

After waiting an hour, the two small vessels again tried the ascent. The
enemy on the right had disappeared; but we could now see, far off on our
left, another light battery moving parallel with the river, apparently
to meet us at some upper bend. But for the present we were safe, with
the low rice-fields on each side of us; and the scene was so peaceful,
it seemed as if all danger were done. For the first time, we saw in
South Carolina blossoming river-banks and low emerald meadows, that
seemed like New England. Everywhere there were the same rectangular
fields, smooth canals, and bushy dikes. A few negroes stole out to us in
dug-outs, and breathlessly told us how others had been hurried away by
the overseers. We glided safely on, mile after mile. The day was
unutterably hot, but all else seemed propitious. The men had their
combustibles all ready to fire the bridge, and our hopes were unbounded.

But by degrees the channel grew more tortuous and difficult, and while
the little "Milton" glided smoothly over everything, the "Enoch Dean,"
my own boat, repeatedly grounded. On every occasion of especial need,
too, something went wrong in her machinery,--her engine being
constructed on some wholly new patent, of which, I should hope, this
trial would prove entirely sufficient. The black pilot, who was not a
soldier, grew more and more bewildered, and declared that it was the
channel, not his brain, which had gone wrong; the captain, a little
elderly man, sat wringing his hands in the pilot-box; and the engineer
appeared to be mingling his groans with those of the diseased engine.
Meanwhile I, in equal ignorance of machinery and channel, had to give
orders only justified by minute acquaintance with both. So I navigated
on general principles, until they grounded us on a mud-bank, just below
a wooded point, and some two miles from the bridge of our destination.
It was with a pang that I waved to Major Strong, who was on the other
side of the channel in a tug, not to risk approaching us, but to steam
on and finish the work, if he could.

Short was his triumph. Gliding round the point, he found himself
instantly engaged with a light battery of four or six guns, doubtless
the same we had seen in the distance. The "Milton" was within two
hundred and fifty yards. The Connecticut men fought their guns well,
aided by the blacks, and it was exasperating for us to hear the shots,
while we could see nothing and do nothing. The scanty ammunition of our
bow gun was exhausted, and the gun in the stern was useless, from the
position in which we lay. In vain we moved the men from side to side,
rocking the vessel, to dislodge it. The heat was terrific that August
afternoon; I remember I found myself constantly changing places, on the
scorched deck, to keep my feet from being blistered. At last the officer
in charge of the gun, a hardy lumberman from Maine, got the stern of the
vessel so far round that he obtained the range of the battery through
the cabin windows, "but it would be necessary," he coolly added, on
reporting to me this fact, "to shoot away the corner of the cabin." I
knew that this apartment was newly painted and gilded, and the idol of
the poor captain's heart; but it was plain that even the thought of his
own upholstery could not make the poor soul more wretched than he was.
So I bade Captain Dolly blaze away, and thus we took our hand in the
little game, though at a sacrifice.

It was of no use. Down drifted our little consort round the point, her
engine disabled and her engineer killed, as we afterwards found, though
then we could only look and wonder. Still pluckily firing, she floated
by upon the tide, which had now just turned; and when, with a last
desperate effort, we got off, our engine had one of its impracticable
fits, and we could only follow her. The day was waning, and all its
range of possibility had lain within the limits of that one tide.

All our previous expeditions had been so successful, it now seemed hard
to turn back; the river-banks and rice-fields, so beautiful before,
seemed only a vexation now. But the swift current bore us on, and after
our Parthian shots had died away, a new discharge of artillery opened
upon us, from our first antagonist of the morning, which still kept the
other side of the stream. It had taken up a strong position on another
bluff, almost out of range of the "John Adams," but within easy range of
us. The sharpest contest of the day was before us. Happily the engine
and engineer were now behaving well, and we were steering in a channel
already traversed, and of which the dangerous points were known. But we
had a long, straight reach of river before us, heading directly toward
the battery, which, having once got our range, had only to keep it,
while we could do nothing in return. The Rebels certainly served their
guns well. For the first time I discovered that there were certain
compensating advantages in a slightly-built craft, as compared with one
more substantial: the missiles never lodged in the vessel, but crashed
through some thin partition as if it were paper, to explode beyond us,
or fall harmless in the water. Splintering, the chief source of wounds
and death in wooden ships, was thus entirely avoided; the danger was,
that our machinery might be disabled, or that shots might strike below
the water-line, and sink us.

This, however, did not happen. Fifteen projectiles, as we afterwards
computed, passed through the vessel or cut the rigging. Yet few
casualties occurred, and those instantly fatal. As my orderly stood
leaning on a comrade's shoulder, the head of the latter was shot off. At
last I myself felt a sudden blow in the side, as if from some
prize-fighter, doubling me up for a moment, while I sank upon a seat. It
proved afterwards to have been produced by the grazing of a ball, which,
without tearing a garment, had yet made a large part of my side black
and blue, leaving a sensation of paralysis which made it difficult to
stand. Supporting myself on Captain Rogers, I tried to comprehend what
had happened, and I remember being impressed by an odd feeling that I
had now got my share, and should henceforth be a great deal safer than
any of the rest. I am told that this often follows one's first
experience of a wound.

But this immediate contest, sharp as it was, proved brief; a turn in the
river enabled us to use our stern gun, and we soon glided into the
comparative shelter of Wiltown Bluff. There, however, we were to
encounter the danger of shipwreck, superadded to that of fight. When the
passage through the piles was first cleared, it had been marked by
stakes, lest the rising tide should cover the remaining piles and make
it difficult to run the passage. But when we again reached it, the
stakes had somehow been knocked away, the piles were just covered by the
swift current, and the little tug-boat was aground upon them. She came
off easily, however, with our aid, and, when we in turn essayed the
passage, we grounded also, but more firmly. We getting off at last, and
making the passage, the tug again became lodged, when nearly past
danger, and all our efforts proved powerless to pull her through. I
therefore dropped down below, and sent the "John Adams" to her aid,
while I superintended the final recall of the pickets, and the
embarkation of the remaining refugees.

While thus engaged, I felt little solicitude about the boats above. It
was certain that the "John Adams" could safely go close to the piles on
the lower side, that she was very strong, and that the other was very
light. Still, it was natural to cast some anxious glances up the river,
and it was with surprise that I presently saw a canoe descending, which
contained Major Strong. Coming on board, he told me with some excitement
that the tug could not possibly be got off, and he wished for orders.

It was no time to consider whether it was not his place to have given
orders, instead of going half a mile to seek them. I was by this time so
far exhausted that everything seemed to pass by me as by one in a dream;
but I got into a boat, pushed up stream, met presently the "John Adams"
returning, and was informed by the officer in charge of the Connecticut
battery that he had abandoned the tug, and--worse news yet--that his
guns had been thrown overboard. It seemed to me then, and has always
seemed, that this sacrifice was utterly needless, because, although the
captain of the "John Adams" had refused to risk his vessel by going near
enough to receive the guns, he should have been compelled to do so.
Though the thing was done without my knowledge, and beyond my reach,
yet, as commander of the expedition, I was technically responsible. It
was hard to blame a lieutenant when his senior had shrunk from a
decision, and left him alone; nor was it easy to blame Major Strong,
whom I knew to be a man of personal courage, though without much
decision of character. He was subsequently tried by court-martial and
acquitted, after which he resigned, and was lost at sea on his way home.

The tug, being thus abandoned, must of course be burned to prevent her
falling into the enemy's hands. Major Strong went with prompt
fearlessness to do this, at my order; after which he remained on the
"Enoch Dean," and I went on board the "John Adams," being compelled to
succumb at last, and transfer all remaining responsibility to Captain
Trowbridge. Exhausted as I was, I could still observe, in a vague way,
the scene around me. Every available corner of the boat seemed like some
vast auction-room of secondhand goods. Great piles of bedding and
bundles lay on every side, with black heads emerging and black forms
reclining in every stage of squalidness. Some seemed ill, or wounded, or
asleep, others were chattering eagerly among themselves, singing,
praying, or soliloquizing on joys to come. "Bress de Lord," I heard one
woman say, "I spec' I get salt victual now,--notin' but fresh victual
dese six months, but Ise get salt victual now,"--thus reversing, under
pressure of the salt-embargo, the usual anticipations of voyagers.

Trowbridge told me, long after, that, on seeking a fan for my benefit,
he could find but one on board. That was in the hands of a fat old
"aunty," who had just embarked, and sat on an enormous bundle of her
goods, in everybody's way, fanning herself vehemently, and ejaculating,
as her gasping breath would permit, "Oh! Do, Jesus! Oh! Do, Jesus!" When
the captain abruptly disarmed her of the fan, and left her continuing
her pious exercises.

Thus we glided down the river in the waning light. Once more we
encountered a battery, making five in all; I could hear the guns of the
assailants, and could not distinguish the explosion of their shells from
the answering throb of our own guns. The kind Quartermaster kept
bringing me news of what occurred, like Rebecca in Front-de-Boeuf's
castle, but discreetly withholding any actual casualties. Then all faded
into safety and sleep; and we reached Beaufort in the morning, after
thirty-six hours of absence. A kind friend, who acted in South Carolina
a nobler part amid tragedies than in any of her early stage triumphs,
met us with an ambulance at the wharf, and the prisoners, the wounded,
and the dead were duly attended.

The reader will not care for any personal record of convalescence;
though, among the general military laudations of whiskey, it is worth
while to say that one life was saved, in the opinion of my surgeons, by
an habitual abstinence from it, leaving no food for peritoneal
inflammation to feed upon. The able-bodied men who had joined us were
sent to aid General Gillmore in the trenches, while their families were
established in huts and tents on St. Helena Island. A year after,
greatly to the delight of the regiment, in taking possession of a
battery which they had helped to capture on James Island, they found in
their hands the selfsame guns which they had seen thrown overboard from
the "Governor Milton." They then felt that their account with the enemy
was squared, and could proceed to further operations.

Before the war, how great a thing seemed the rescue of even one man from
slavery; and since the war has emancipated all, how little seems the
liberation of two hundred! But no one then knew how the contest might
end; and when I think of that morning sunlight, those emerald fields,
those thronging numbers, the old women with their prayers, and the
little boys with their living burdens, it seems to me that the day was
worth all it cost, and more.



POOR RICHARD.

A STORY IN THREE PARTS.


PART III.

In country districts, where life is quiet, incidents do duty as events;
and accordingly Captain Severn's sudden departure for his regiment
became very rapidly known among Gertrude's neighbors. She herself heard
it from her coachman, who had heard it in the village, where the Captain
had been seen to take the early train. She received the news calmly
enough to outward appearance, but a great tumult rose and died in her
breast. He had gone without a word of farewell! Perhaps he had not had
time to call upon her. But bare civility would have dictated his
dropping her a line of writing,--he who must have read in her eyes the
feeling which her lips refused to utter, and who had been the object of
her tenderest courtesy. It was not often that Gertrude threw back into
her friends' teeth their acceptance of the hospitality which it had been
placed in her power to offer them; but if she now mutely reproached
Captain Severn with ingratitude, it was because he had done more than
slight her material gifts: he had slighted that constant moral force
with which these gifts were accompanied, and of which they were but the
rude and vulgar token. It is but natural to expect that our dearest
friends will accredit us with our deepest feelings; and Gertrude had
constituted Edmund Severn her dearest friend. She had not, indeed, asked
his assent to this arrangement, but she had borne it out by a subtile
devotion which she felt that she had a right to exact of him that he
should repay,--repay by letting her know that, whether it was lost on
his heart or not, it was at least not lost to his senses,--that, if he
could not return it, he could at least remember it. She had given him
the flower of her womanly tenderness, and, when his moment came, he had
turned from her without a look. Gertrude shed no tears. It seemed to her
that she had given her friend tears enough, and that to expend her soul
in weeping would be to wrong herself. She would think no more of Edmund
Severn. He should be as little to her for the future as she was to him.

It was very easy to make this resolution: to keep it, Gertrude found
another matter. She could not think of the war, she could not talk with
her neighbors of current events, she could not take up a newspaper,
without reverting to her absent friend. She found herself constantly
harassed with the apprehension that he had not allowed himself time
really to recover, and that a fortnight's exposure would send him back
to the hospital. At last it occurred to her that civility required that
she should make a call upon Mrs. Martin, the Captain's sister; and a
vague impression that this lady might be the depositary of some farewell
message--perhaps of a letter--which she was awaiting her convenience to
present, led her at once to undertake this social duty. The carriage
which had been ordered for her projected visit was at the door, when,
within a week after Severn's departure, Major Luttrel was announced.
Gertrude received him in her bonnet. His first care was to present
Captain Severn's adieus, together with his regrets that he had not had
time to discharge them in person. As Luttrel made his speech, he watched
his companion narrowly, and was considerably reassured by the
unflinching composure with which she listened to it. The turn he had
given to Severn's message had been the fruit of much mischievous
cogitation. It had seemed to him that, for his purposes, the assumption
of a hasty, and as it were mechanical, allusion to Miss Whittaker, was
more serviceable than the assumption of no allusion at all, which would
have left a boundless void for the exercise of Gertrude's fancy. And he
had reasoned well; for although he was tempted to infer from her
calmness that his shot had fallen short of the mark, yet, in spite of
her silent and almost smiling assent to his words, it had made but one
bound to her heart. Before many minutes, she felt that those words had
done her a world of good. "He had not had time!" Indeed, as she took to
herself their full expression of perfect indifference, she felt that her
hard, forced smile was broadening into the sign of a lively gratitude to
the Major.

Major Luttrel had still another task to perform. He had spent half an
hour on the preceding day at Richard's bedside, having ridden over to
the farm, in ignorance of his illness, to see how matters stood with
him. The reader will already have surmised that the Major was not
pre-eminently a man of conscience: he will, therefore, be the less
surprised and shocked to hear that the sighs of the poor young man,
prostrate, fevered, and delirious, and to all appearance rapidly growing
worse, filled him with an emotion the reverse of creditable. In plain
terms, he was very glad to find Richard a prisoner in bed. He had been
racking his brains for a scheme to keep his young friend out of the way,
and now, to his exceeding satisfaction, Nature had relieved him of this
troublesome care. If Richard was condemned to typhoid fever, which his
symptoms seemed to indicate, he would not, granting his recovery, be
able to leave his room within a month. In a month, much might be done;
nay, with energy, all might be done. The reader has been all but
directly informed that the Major's present purpose was to secure Miss
Whittaker's hand. He was poor, and he was ambitious, and he was,
moreover, so well advanced in life--being thirty-six years of age--that
he had no heart to think of building up his fortune by slow degrees. A
man of good breeding, too, he had become sensible, as he approached
middle age, of the many advantages of a luxurious home. He had
accordingly decided that a wealthy marriage would most easily unlock the
gate to prosperity. A girl of a somewhat lighter calibre than Gertrude
would have been the woman--we cannot say of his heart; but, as he very
generously argued, beggars can't be choosers. Gertrude was a woman with
a mind of her own; but, on the whole, he was not afraid of her. He was
abundantly prepared to do his duty. He had, of course, as became a man
of sense, duly weighed his obstacles against his advantages; but an
impartial scrutiny had found the latter heavier in the balance. The only
serious difficulty in his path was the possibility that, on hearing of
Richard's illness, Gertrude, with her confounded benevolence, would take
a fancy to nurse him in person, and that, in the course of her
ministrations, his delirious ramblings would force upon her mind the
damning story of the deception practised upon Captain Severn. There was
nothing for it but bravely to face this risk. As for that other fact,
which many men of a feebler spirit would have deemed an invincible
obstacle, Luttrel's masterly understanding had immediately converted it
into the prime agent of success,--the fact, namely, that Gertrude's
heart was preoccupied. Such knowledge as he possessed of the relations
between Miss Whittaker and his brother officer he had gained by his
unaided observations and his silent deductions. These had been logical;
for, on the whole, his knowledge was accurate. It was at least what he
might have termed a good working knowledge. He had calculated on a
passionate reactionary impulse on Gertrude's part, consequent on
Severn's simulated offence. He knew that, in a generous woman, such an
impulse, if left to itself, would not go very far. But on this point it
was that his policy bore. He would not leave it to itself: he would take
it gently into his hands, attenuate it, prolong it, economize it, and
mould it into the clew to his own good-fortune. He thus counted much
upon his skill and his tact; but he likewise placed a becoming degree
of reliance upon his solid personal qualities,--qualities too sober and
too solid, perhaps, to be called _charms_, but thoroughly adapted to
inspire confidence. The Major was not handsome in feature; he left that
to younger men and to lighter women; but his ugliness was of a
masculine, aristocratic, intelligent stamp. His figure, moreover, was
good enough to compensate for the absence of a straight nose and a fine
mouth; and his general bearing offered a most pleasing combination of
the gravity of the man of affairs and the versatility of the man of
society.

In her sudden anxiety on Richard's behalf, Gertrude soon forgot her own
immaterial woes. The carriage which was to have conveyed her to Mrs.
Martin's was used for a more disinterested purpose. The Major, prompted
by a strong faith in the salutary force of his own presence, having
obtained her permission to accompany her, they set out for the farm, and
soon found themselves in Richard's chamber. The young man was wrapped in
a heavy sleep, from which it was judged imprudent to arouse him.
Gertrude, sighing as she compared his thinly furnished room with her own
elaborate apartments, drew up a mental list of essential luxuries which
she would immediately send him. Not but that he had received, however, a
sufficiency of homely care. The doctor was assiduous, and the old woman
who nursed him was full of rough good-sense.

"He asks very often after you, Miss," she said, addressing Gertrude, but
with a sly glance at the Major. "But I think you'd better not come too
often. I'm afraid you'd excite him more than you'd quiet him."

"I'm afraid you would, Miss Whittaker," said the Major, who could have
hugged the goodwife.

"Why should I excite him?" asked Gertrude, "I'm used to sick-rooms. I
nursed my father for a year and a half."

"O, it's very well for an old woman like me, but it's no place for a
fine young lady like you," said the nurse, looking at Gertrude's muslins
and laces.

"I'm not so fine as to desert a friend in distress," said Gertrude. "I
shall come again, and if it makes the poor fellow worse to see me, I
shall stay away. I am ready to do anything that will help him to get
well."

It had already occurred to her that, in his unnatural state, Richard
might find her presence a source of irritation, and she was prepared to
remain in the background. As she returned to her carriage, she caught
herself reflecting with so much pleasure upon Major Luttrel's kindness
in expending a couple of hours of his valuable time on so unprofitable
an object as poor Richard, that, by way of intimating her satisfaction,
she invited him to come home and dine with her.

After a short interval she paid Richard a second visit, in company with
Miss Pendexter. He was a great deal worse; he lay emaciated, exhausted,
and stupid. The issue was doubtful. Gertrude immediately pushed forward
to M----, a larger town than her own, sought out a professional nurse,
and arranged with him to relieve the old woman from the farm, who was
worn out with her vigilance. For a fortnight, moreover, she received
constant tidings from the young man's physician. During this fortnight,
Major Luttrel was assiduous, and proportionately successful.

It may be said, to his credit, that he had by no means conducted his
suit upon that narrow programme which he had drawn up at the outset. He
very soon discovered that Gertrude's resentment--if resentment there
was--was a substance utterly impalpable even to his most delicate tact,
and he had accordingly set to work to woo her like an honest man, from
day to day, from hour to hour, trusting so devoutly for success to
momentary inspiration, that he felt his suit dignified by a certain
flattering _faux air_ of genuine passion. He occasionally reminded
himself, however, that he might really be owing more to the subtle force
of accidental contrast than Gertrude's lifelong reserve--for it was
certain she would not depart from it--would ever allow him to measure.

It was as an honest man, then, a man of impulse and of action, that
Gertrude had begun to like him. She was not slow to perceive whither his
operations tended; and she was almost tempted at times to tell him
frankly that she would spare him the intermediate steps, and meet him at
the goal without further delay. It was not that she was prepared to love
him, but she would make him an obedient wife. An immense weariness had
somehow come upon her, and a sudden sense of loneliness. A vague
suspicion that her money had done her an incurable wrong inspired her
with a profound distaste for the care of it. She felt cruelly hedged out
from human sympathy by her bristling possessions. "If I had had five
hundred dollars a year," she said in a frequent parenthesis, "I might
have pleased him." Hating her wealth, accordingly, and chilled by her
isolation, the temptation was strong upon her to give herself up to that
wise, brave gentleman who seemed to have adopted such a happy medium
betwixt loving her for her money and fearing her for it. Would she not
always stand between men who would represent the two extremes? She would
anticipate security by an alliance with Major Luttrel.

One evening, on presenting himself, Luttrel read these thoughts so
clearly in her eyes, that he made up his mind to speak. But his mind was
burdened with a couple of facts, of which it was necessary that he
should discharge it before it could enjoy the freedom of action which
the occasion required. In the first place, then, he had been to see
Richard Clare, and had found him suddenly and decidedly better. It was
unbecoming, however,--it was impossible,--that he should allow Gertrude
to linger over this pleasant announcement.

"I tell the good news first," he said, gravely. "I have some very bad
news, too, Miss Whittaker."

Gertrude sent him a rapid glance, "Some one has been killed," she said.

"Captain Severn has been shot," said the Major,--"shot by a guerilla."

Gertrude was silent. No answer seemed possible to that uncompromising
fact. She sat with her head on her hand, and her elbow on the table
beside her, looking at the figures on the carpet. She uttered no words
of commonplace regret; but she felt as little like giving way to serious
grief. She had lost nothing, and, to the best of her knowledge, _he_ had
lost nothing. She had an old loss to mourn,--a loss a month old, which
she had mourned as she might. To give way to passion would have been but
to impugn the solemnity of her past regrets. When she looked up at her
companion, she was pale, but she was calm, yet with a calmness upon
which a single glance of her eye directed him not inconsiderately to
presume. She was aware that this glance betrayed her secret; but in view
both of Severn's death and of the Major's attitude, such betrayal
mattered less. Luttrel had prepared to act upon her hint, and to avert
himself gently from the topic, when Gertrude, who had dropped her eyes
again, raised them with a slight shudder. "I'm cold," she said. "Will
you shut that window beside you, Major? Or stay, suppose you give me my
shawl from the sofa."

Luttrel brought the shawl, placed it on her shoulders, and sat down
beside her. "These are cruel times," he said, with studied simplicity.
"I'm sure I hardly know what's to come of it all."

"Yes, they are cruel times," said Gertrude. "They make one feel cruel.
They make one doubt of all he has learnt from his pastors and masters."

"Yes, but they teach us something new also."

"I'm sure I don't know," said Gertrude, whose heart was so full of
bitterness that she felt almost malignant. "They teach us how mean we
are. War is an infamy, Major, though it _is_ your trade. It's very well
for you, who look at it professionally, and for those who go and fight;
but it's a miserable business for those who stay at home, and do the
thinking and the sentimentalizing. It's a miserable business for women;
it makes us more spiteful than ever."

"Well, a little spite isn't a bad thing, in practice," said the Major.
"War is certainly an abomination, both at home and in the field. But as
wars go, Miss Whittaker, our own is a very satisfactory one. It involves
something. It won't leave us as it found us. We're in the midst of a
revolution, and what's a revolution but a turning upside down? It makes
sad work with our habits and theories and our traditions and
convictions. But, on the other hand," Luttrel pursued, warming to his
task, "it leaves something untouched, which is better than these,--I
mean our feelings, Miss Whittaker." And the Major paused until he had
caught Gertrude's eyes, when, having engaged them with his own, he
proceeded. "I think they are the stronger for the downfall of so much
else, and, upon my soul, I think it's in them we ought to take refuge.
Don't you think so?"

"Yes, if I understand you."

"I mean our serious feelings, you know,--not our tastes nor our
passions. I don't advocate fiddling while Rome is burning. In fact it's
only poor, unsatisfied devils that are tempted to fiddle. There is one
feeling which is respectable and honorable, and even sacred, at all
times and in all places, whatever they may be. It doesn't depend upon
circumstances, but they upon it; and with its help, I think, we are a
match for any circumstances. I don't mean religion, Miss Whittaker,"
added the Major, with a sober smile.

"If you don't mean religion," said Gertrude, "I suppose you mean love.
That's a very different thing."

"Yes, a very different thing; so I've always thought, and so I'm glad to
hear you say. Some people, you know, mix them up in the most
extraordinary fashion. I don't fancy myself an especially religious man;
in fact, I believe I'm rather otherwise. It's my nature. Half mankind
are born so, or I suppose the affairs of this world wouldn't move. But I
believe I'm a good lover, Miss Whittaker."

"I hope for your own sake you are, Major Luttrel."

"Thank you. Do you think now you could entertain the idea for the sake
of any one else?"

Gertrude neither dropped her eyes, nor shrugged her shoulders, nor
blushed. If anything, indeed, she turned somewhat paler than before, as
she sustained her companion's gaze, and prepared to answer him as
directly as she might.

"If I loved you, Major Luttrel," she said, "I should value the idea for
my own sake."

The Major, too, blanched a little. "I put my question conditionally," he
answered, "and I have got, as I deserved, a conditional reply. I will
speak plainly, then, Miss Whittaker. _Do_ you value the fact for your
own sake? It would be plainer still to say, Do you love me? but I
confess I'm not brave enough for that. I will say, Can you? or I will
even content myself with putting it in the conditional again, and asking
you if you could; although, after all, I hardly know what the _if_
understood can reasonably refer to. I'm not such a fool as to ask of any
woman--least of all of you--to love me contingently. You can only answer
for the present, and say yes or no. I shouldn't trouble you to say
either, if I didn't conceive that I had given you time to make up your
mind. It doesn't take forever to know James Luttrel. I'm not one of the
great unfathomable ones. We've seen each other more or less intimately
for a good many weeks; and as I'm conscious, Miss Whittaker, of having
shown you my best, I take for granted that if you don't fancy me now,
you won't a month hence, when you shall have seen my faults. Yes, Miss
Whittaker, I can solemnly say," continued the Major, with genuine
feeling, "I have shown you my best, as every man is in honor bound to
do who approaches a woman with those predispositions with which I have
approached you. I have striven hard to please you,"--and he paused. "I
can only say, I hope I have succeeded."

"I should be very insensible," said Gertrude, "if all your kindness and
your courtesy had been lost upon me."

"In Heaven's name, don't talk about courtesy," cried the Major.

"I am deeply conscious of your devotion, and I am very much obliged to
you for urging your claims so respectfully and considerately. I speak
seriously, Major Luttrel," pursued Gertrude. "There is a happy medium of
expression, and you have taken it. Now it seems to me that there is a
happy medium of affection, with which you might be content. Strictly, I
don't love you. I question my heart, and it gives me that answer. The
feeling that I have is not a feeling to work prodigies."

"May it at least work the prodigy of allowing you to be my wife?"

"I don't think I shall over-estimate its strength, if I say that it may.
If you can respect a woman who gives you her hand in cold blood, you are
welcome to mine."

Luttrel moved his chair and took her hand. "Beggars can't be choosers,"
said he, raising it to his mustache.

"O Major Luttrel, don't say that," she answered. "I give you a great
deal; but I keep a little,--a little," said Gertrude, hesitating, "which
I suppose I shall give to God."

"Well, I shall not be jealous," said Luttrel.

"The rest I give to you, and in return I ask a great deal."

"I shall give you all. You know I told you I'm not religious."

"No, I don't want more than I give," said Gertrude.

"But, pray," asked Luttrel, with a delicate smile, "what am I to do with
the difference?"

"You had better keep it for yourself. What I want is your protection,
sir, and your advice, and your care. I want you to take me away from
this place, even if you have to take me down to the army. I want to see
the world under the shelter of your name. I shall give you a great deal
of trouble. I'm a mere mass of possessions: what I am, is nothing to
what I have. But ever since I began to grow up, what I am has been the
slave of what I have. I am weary of my chains, and you must help me to
carry them,"--and Gertrude rose to her feet as if to inform the Major
that his audience was at an end.

He still held her right hand; she gave him the other. He stood looking
down at her, an image of manly humility, while from his silent breast
went out a brief thanksgiving to favoring fortune.

At the pressure of his hands, Gertrude felt her bosom heave. She burst
into tears. "O, you must be very kind to me!" she cried, as he put his
arm about her, and she dropped her head upon his shoulder.

       *       *       *       *       *

When once Richard's health had taken a turn for the better, it began
very rapidly to improve. "Until he is quite well," Gertrude said, one
day, to her accepted suitor, "I had rather he heard nothing of our
engagement. He was once in love with me himself," she added, very
frankly. "Did you ever suspect it? But I hope he will have got better of
that sad malady, too. Nevertheless, I shall expect nothing of his good
judgment until he is quite strong; and as he may hear of my new
intentions from other people, I propose that, for the present, we
confide them to no one."

"But if he asks me point-blank," said the Major, "what shall I answer?"

"It's not likely he'll ask you. How should he suspect anything?"

"O," said Luttrel, "Clare is one that suspects everything."

"Tell him we're not engaged, then. A woman in my position may say what
she pleases."

It was agreed, however, that certain preparations for the marriage
should meanwhile go forward in secret; and that the marriage itself
should take place in August, as Luttrel expected to be ordered back into
service in the autumn. At about this moment Gertrude was surprised to
receive a short note from Richard, so feebly scrawled in pencil as to be
barely legible. "Dear Gertrude," it ran, "don't come to see me just yet.
I'm not fit. You would hurt me, and _vice versa_. God bless you! R.
CLARE." Miss Whittaker explained his request, by the supposition that a
report had come to him of Major Luttrel's late assiduities (which it was
impossible should go unobserved); that, leaping at the worst, he had
taken her engagement for granted; and that, under this impression, he
could not trust himself to see her. She despatched him an answer,
telling him that she would await his pleasure, and that, if the doctor
would consent to his having letters, she would meanwhile occasionally
write to him. "She will give me good advice," thought Richard
impatiently; and on this point, accordingly, she received no account of
his wishes. Expecting to leave her house and close it on her marriage,
she spent many hours in wandering sadly over the meadow-paths and
through the woodlands which she had known from her childhood. She had
thrown aside the last ensigns of filial regret, and now walked sad and
splendid in the uncompromising colors of an affianced bride. It would
have seemed to a stranger that, for a woman who had freely chosen a
companion for life, she was amazingly spiritless and sombre. As she
looked at her pale cheeks and heavy eyes in the mirror, she felt ashamed
that she had no fairer countenance to offer to her destined lord. She
had lost her single beauty, her smile; and she would make but a ghastly
figure at the altar. "I ought to wear a calico dress and an apron," she
said to herself, "and not this glaring finery." But she continued to
wear her finery, and to lay out her money, and to perform all her old
duties to the letter. After the lapse of what she deemed a sufficient
interval, she went to see Mrs. Martin, and to listen dumbly to her
narration of her brother's death, and to her simple eulogies.

Major Luttrel performed his part quite as bravely, and much more
successfully. He observed neither too many things nor too few; he
neither presumed upon his success, nor mistrusted it. Having on his side
received no prohibition from Richard, he resumed his visits at the farm,
trusting that, with the return of reason, his young friend might feel
disposed to renew that anomalous alliance in which, on the hapless
evening of Captain Severn's farewell, he had taken refuge against his
despair. In the long, languid hours of his early convalescence, Richard
had found time to survey his position, to summon back piece by piece the
immediate past, and to frame a general scheme for the future. But more
vividly than anything else, there had finally disengaged itself from his
meditations a profound aversion to James Luttrel.

It was in this humor that the Major found him; and as he looked at the
young man's gaunt shoulders, supported by pillows, at his face, so livid
and aquiline, at his great dark eyes, luminous with triumphant life, it
seemed to him that an invincible spirit had been sent from a better
world to breathe confusion upon his hopes. If Richard hated the Major,
the reader may guess whether the Major loved Richard. Luttrel was amazed
at his first remark.

"I suppose you're engaged by this time," Richard said, calmly enough.

"Not quite," answered the Major. "There's a chance for you yet."

To this Richard made no rejoinder. Then, suddenly, "Have you had any
news of Captain Severn?" he asked.

For a moment the Major was perplexed at his question. He had assumed
that the news of Severn's death had come to Richard's ears, and he had
been half curious, half apprehensive as to its effect. But an instant's
reflection now assured him that the young man's estrangement from his
neighbors had kept him hitherto and might still keep him in ignorance of
the truth. Hastily, therefore, and inconsiderately, the Major
determined to confirm this ignorance. "No," said he; "I've had no news.
Severn and I are not on such terms as to correspond."

The next time Luttrel came to the farm, he found the master sitting up
in a great, cushioned, chintz-covered arm-chair which Gertrude had sent
him the day before out of her own dressing-room.

"Are you engaged yet?" asked Richard.

There was a strain as if of defiance in his tone. The Major was
irritated. "Yes," said he, "we _are_ engaged now."

The young man's face betrayed no emotion.

"Are you reconciled to it?" asked Luttrel.

"Yes, practically I am."

"What do you mean by practically? Explain yourself."

"A man in my state can't explain himself. I mean that, however I feel
about it, I shall accept Gertrude's marriage."

"You're a wise man, my boy," said the Major, kindly.

"I'm growing wise. I feel like Solomon on his throne in this chair. But
I confess, sir, I don't see how she could have you."

"Well, there's no accounting for tastes," said the Major,
good-humoredly.

"Ah, if it's been a matter of taste with her," said Richard, "I have
nothing to say."

They came to no more express understanding than this with regard to the
future. Richard continued to grow stronger daily, and to defer the
renewal of his intercourse with Gertrude. A month before, he would have
resented as a bitter insult the intimation that he would ever be so
resigned to lose her as he now found himself. He would not see her for
two reasons: first, because he felt that it would be--or that at least
in reason it ought to be--a painful experience to look upon his old
mistress with a coldly critical eye; and secondly, because, justify to
himself as he would his new-born indifference, he could not entirely
cast away the suspicion that it was a last remnant of disease, and that,
when he stood on his legs again in the presence of those exuberant
landscapes with which he had long since established a sort of sensuous
communion, he would feel, as with a great tumultuous rush, the return of
his impetuous manhood and of his old capacity. When he had smoked a pipe
in the outer sunshine, when he had settled himself once more to the long
elastic bound of his mare, then he would see Gertrude. The reason of the
change which had come upon him was that she had disappointed him,--she
whose magnanimity it had once seemed that his fancy was impotent to
measure. She had accepted Major Luttrel, a man whom he despised; she had
so mutilated her magnificent heart as to match it with his. The validity
of his dislike to the Major, Richard did not trouble himself to examine.
He accepted it as an unerring instinct; and, indeed, he might have asked
himself, had he not sufficient proof? Moreover he labored under the
sense of a gratuitous wrong. He had suffered an immense torment of
remorse to drive him into brutishness, and thence to the very gate of
death, for an offence which he had deemed mortal, and which was after
all but a phantasm of his impassioned conscience. What a fool he had
been! a fool for his nervous fears, and a fool for his penitence.
Marriage with Major Luttrel,--such was the end of Gertrude's fancied
anguish. Such, too, we hardly need add, was the end of that idea of
reparation which had been so formidable to Luttrel. Richard had been
generous; he would now be just.

Far from impeding his recovery, these reflections hastened it. One
morning in the beginning of August, Gertrude received notice of
Richard's presence. It was a still, sultry day, and Miss Whittaker, her
habitual pallor deepened by the oppressive heat, was sitting alone in a
white morning-dress, languidly fanning aside at once the droning flies
and her equally importunate thoughts. She found Richard standing in the
middle of the drawing-room, booted and spurred.

"Well, Richard," she exclaimed, with some feeling, "you're at last
willing to see me!"

As his eyes fell upon her, he started and stood almost paralyzed,
heeding neither her words nor her extended hand. It was not Gertrude he
saw, but her ghost.

"In Heaven's name what has happened to you?" he cried. "Have _you_ been
ill?"

Gertrude tried to smile in feigned surprise at his surprise; but her
muscles relaxed. Richard's words and looks reflected more vividly than
any mirror the dejection of her person; and this, the misery of her
soul. She felt herself growing faint. She staggered back to a sofa and
sank down.

Then Richard felt as if the room were revolving about him, and as if his
throat were choked with imprecations,--as if his old erratic passion had
again taken possession of him, like a mingled legion of devils and
angels. It was through pity that his love returned. He went forward and
dropped on his knees at Gertrude's feet. "Speak to me!" he cried,
seizing her hands. "Are you unhappy? Is your heart broken? O Gertrude!
what have you come to?"

Gertrude drew her hands from his grasp and rose to her feet. "Get up,
Richard," she said. "Don't talk so wildly. I'm not well. I'm very glad
to see you. _You_ look well."

"I've got my strength again,--and meanwhile you've been failing. You're
unhappy, you're wretched! Don't say you're not, Gertrude: it's as plain
as day. You're breaking your heart."

"The same old Richard!" said Gertrude, trying to smile again.

"Would that you were the same old Gertrude! Don't try to smile; you
can't!"

"I _shall_!" said Gertrude, desperately. "I'm going to be married, you
know."

"Yes, I know. I don't congratulate you."

"I have not counted upon that honor, Richard. I shall have to do without
it."

"You'll have to do without a great many things!" cried Richard,
horrified by what seemed to him her blind self-immolation.

"I have all I ask," said Gertrude.

"You haven't all _I_ ask then! You haven't all your friends ask."

"My friends are very kind, but I marry to suit myself."

"You've not suited yourself!" retorted the young man. "You've
suited--God knows what!--your pride, your despair, your resentment." As
he looked at her, the secret history of her weakness seemed to become
plain to him, and he felt a mighty rage against the man who had taken a
base advantage of it. "Gertrude!" he cried, "I entreat you to go back.
It's not for my sake,--_I_'ll give you up,--I'll go a thousand miles
away, and never look at you again. It's for your own. In the name of
your happiness, break with that man! Don't fling yourself away. Buy him
off, if you consider yourself bound. Give him your money. That's all he
wants."

As Gertrude listened, the blood came back to her face, and two flames
into her eyes. She looked at Richard from head to foot. "You are not
weak," she said, "you are in your senses, you are well and strong; you
shall tell me what you mean. You insult the best friend I have. Explain
yourself! you insinuate foul things,--speak them out!" Her eyes glanced
toward the door, and Richard's followed them. Major Luttrel stood on the
threshold.

"Come in, sir!" cried Richard. "Gertrude swears she'll believe no harm
of you. Come and tell her that she's wrong! How can you keep on
harassing a woman whom you've brought to this state? Think of what she
was three months ago, and look at her now!"

Luttrel received this broadside without flinching. He had overheard
Richard's voice from the entry, and he had steeled his heart for the
encounter. He assumed the air of having been so amazed by the young
man's first words as only to have heard his last; and he glanced at
Gertrude mechanically as if to comply with them. "What's the matter?" he
asked, going over to her, and taking her hand; "are you ill?" Gertrude
let him have her hand, but she forbore to meet his eyes.

"Ill! of course she's ill!" cried Richard, passionately. "She's
dying,--she's consuming herself! I know I seem to be playing an odious
part here, Gertrude, but, upon my soul, I can't help it. I look like a
betrayer, an informer, a sneak, but I don't feel like one! Still, I'll
leave you, if you say so."

"Shall he go, Gertrude?" asked Luttrel, without looking at Richard.

"No. Let him stay and explain himself. He has accused you,--let him
prove his case."

"I know what he is going to say," said Luttrel. "It will place me in a
bad light. Do you still wish to hear it?"

Gertrude drew her hand hastily out of Luttrel's. "Speak, Richard!" she
cried, with a passionate gesture.

"I will speak," said Richard. "I've done you a dreadful wrong, Gertrude.
How great a wrong, I never knew until I saw you to-day so miserably
altered. When I heard that you were to be married, I fancied that it was
no wrong, and that my remorse had been wasted. But I understand it now;
and _he_ understands it, too. You once told me that you had ceased to
love Captain Severn. It wasn't true. You never ceased to love him. You
love him at this moment. If he were to get another wound in the next
battle, how would you feel? How would you bear it?" And Richard paused
for an instant with the force of his interrogation.

"For God's sake," cried Gertrude, "respect the dead!"

"The dead! Is he dead?"

Gertrude covered her face with her hands.

"You beast!" cried Luttrel.

Richard turned upon him savagely. "Shut your infernal mouth!" he roared.
"You told me he was alive and well!"

Gertrude made a movement of speechless distress.

"You would have it, my dear," said Luttrel, with a little bow.

Richard had turned pale, and began to tremble. "Excuse me, Gertrude," he
said, hoarsely, "I've been deceived. Poor, unhappy woman! Gertrude," he
continued, going nearer to her, and speaking in a whisper, "_I_ killed
him."

Gertrude fell back from him, as he approached her, with a look of
unutterable horror. "I and _he_," said Richard, pointing at Luttrel.

Gertrude's eyes followed the direction of his gesture, and transferred
their scorching disgust to her suitor. This was too much for Luttrel's
courage. "You idiot!" she shouted at Richard, "speak out!"

"He loved you, though you believed he didn't," said Richard. "I saw it
the first time I looked at him. To every one but you it was as plain as
day. Luttrel saw it too. But he was too modest, and he never fancied you
cared for him. The night before he went back to the army, he came to bid
you good by. If he had seen you, it would have been better for every
one. You remember that evening, of course. We met him, Luttrel and I. He
was all on fire,--he meant to speak. I knew it, you knew it, Luttrel: it
was in his fingers' ends. I intercepted him. I turned him off,--I lied
to him and told him you were away. I was a coward, and I did neither
more nor less than that. I knew you were waiting for him. It was
stronger than my will,--I believe I should do it again. Fate was against
him, and he went off. I came back to tell you, but my damnable jealousy
strangled me. I went home and drank myself into a fever. I've done you a
wrong that I can never repair. I'd go hang myself if I thought it would
help you." Richard spoke slowly, softly, and explicitly, as if
irresistible Justice in person had her hand upon his neck, and were
forcing him down upon his knees. In the presence of Gertrude's dismay
nothing seemed possible but perfect self-conviction. In Luttrel's
attitude, as he stood with his head erect, his arms folded, and his cold
gray eye fixed upon the distance, it struck him that there was something
atrociously insolent; not insolent to him,--for that he cared little
enough,--but insolent to Gertrude and to the dreadful solemnity of the
hour. Richard sent the Major a look of the most aggressive contempt. "As
for Major Luttrel," he said, "_he_ was but a passive spectator. No,
Gertrude, by Heaven!" he burst out; "he was worse than I! I loved you,
and he didn't!"

"Our friend is correct in his facts, Gertrude," said Luttrel, quietly.
"He is incorrect in his opinions. I _was_ a passive spectator of his
deception. He appeared to enjoy a certain authority with regard to your
wishes,--the source of which I respected both of you sufficiently never
to question,--and I accepted the act which he has described as an
exercise of it. You will remember that you had sent us away on the
ground that you were in no humor for company. To deny you, therefore, to
another visitor, seemed to me rather officious, but still pardonable.
You will consider that I was wholly ignorant of your relations to that
visitor; that whatever you may have done for others, Gertrude, to me you
never vouchsafed a word of information on the subject, and that Mr.
Clare's words are a revelation to me. But I am bound to believe nothing
that he says. I am bound to believe that I have injured you only when I
hear it from your own lips."

Richard made a movement as if to break out upon the Major; but Gertrude,
who had been standing motionless with her eyes upon the ground, quickly
raised them, and gave him a look of imperious prohibition. She had
listened, and she had chosen. She turned to Luttrel. "Major Luttrel,"
she said, "you _have_ been an accessory in what has been for me a
serious grief. It is my duty to tell you so. I mean, of course, a
profoundly unwilling accessory. I pity you more than I can tell you. I
think your position more pitiable than mine. It is true that I never
made a confidant of you. I never made one of Richard. I had a secret,
and he surprised it. You were less fortunate." It might have seemed to a
thoroughly dispassionate observer that in these last four words there
was an infinitesimal touch of tragic irony. Gertrude paused a moment
while Luttrel eyed her intently, and Richard, from a somewhat tardy
instinct of delicacy, walked over to the bow-window. "This is the most
painful moment of my life," she resumed. "I hardly know where my duty
lies. The only thing that is plain to me is, that I must ask you to
release me from my engagement. I ask it most humbly, Major Luttrel,"
Gertrude continued, with warmth in her words, and a chilling coldness in
her voice,--a coldness which it sickened her to feel there, but which
she was unable to dispel. "I can't expect that you should give me up
easily; I know that it's a great deal to ask, and"--she forced the
chosen words out of her mouth--"I should thank you more than I can say
if you would put some condition upon my release. You have done honorably
by me, and I repay you with ingratitude. But I can't marry you." Her
voice began to melt. "I have been false from the beginning. I have no
heart to give you. I should make you a despicable wife."

The Major, too, had listened and chosen, and in this trying conjuncture
he set the seal to his character as an accomplished man. He saw that
Gertrude's movement was final, and he determined to respect the
inscrutable mystery of her heart. He read in the glance of her eye and
the tone of her voice that the perfect dignity had fallen from his
character,--that his integrity had lost its bloom; but he also read her
firm resolve never to admit this fact to her own mind, nor to declare it
to the world, and he honored her forbearance. His hopes, his ambitions,
his visions, lay before him like a colossal heap of broken glass; but
he would be as graceful as she was. She had divined him; but she had
spared him. The Major was inspired.

"You have at least spoken to the point," he said. "You leave no room for
doubt or for hope. With the little light I have, I can't say I
understand your feelings, but I yield to them religiously. I believe so
thoroughly that you suffer from the thought of what you ask of me, that
I will not increase your suffering by assuring you of my own. I care for
nothing but your happiness. You have lost it, and I give you mine to
replace it. And although it's a simple thing to say," he added, "I must
say simply that I thank you for your implicit faith in my
integrity,"--and he held out his hand. As she gave him hers, Gertrude
felt utterly in the wrong; and she looked into his eyes with an
expression so humble, so appealing, so grateful, that, after all, his
exit may be called triumphant.

When he had gone, Richard turned from the window with an enormous sense
of relief. He had heard Gertrude's speech, and he knew that perfect
justice had not been done; but still there was enough to be thankful
for. Yet now that his duty was accomplished, he was conscious of a
sudden lassitude. Mechanically he looked at Gertrude, and almost
mechanically he came towards her. She, on her side, looking at him as he
walked slowly down the long room, his face indistinct against the
deadened light of the white-draped windows behind him, marked the
expression of his figure with another pang. "He has rescued me," she
said to herself; "but his passion has perished in the tumult. Richard,"
she said aloud, uttering the first words of vague kindness that came
into her mind, "I forgive you."

Richard stopped. The idea had lost its charm. "You're very kind," he
said, wearily. "You're far too kind. How do you know you forgive me?
Wait and see."

Gertrude looked at him as she had never looked before; but he saw
nothing of it. He saw a sad, plain girl in a white dress, nervously
handling her fan. He was thinking of himself. If he had been thinking of
her, he would have read in her lingering, upward gaze, that he had won
her; and if, so reading, he had opened his arms, Gertrude would have
come to them. We trust the reader is not shocked. She neither hated him
nor despised him, as she ought doubtless in consistency to have done.
She felt that he was abundantly a man, and she loved him. Richard on his
side felt humbly the same truth, and he began to respect himself. The
past had closed abruptly behind him, and tardy Gertrude had been shut
in. The future was dimly shaping itself without her image. So he did not
open his arms.

"Good by," he said, holding out his hand. "I may not see you again for a
long time."

Gertrude felt as if the world were deserting her. "Are you going away?"
she asked, tremulously.

"I mean to sell out and pay my debts, and go to the war."

She gave him her hand, and he silently shook it. There was no contending
with the war, and she gave him up.

With their separation our story properly ends, and to say more would be
to begin a new story. It is perhaps our duty, however, expressly to add,
that Major Luttrel, in obedience to a logic of his own, abstained from
revenge; and that, if time has not avenged him, it has at least rewarded
him. General Luttrel, who lost an arm before the war was over, recently
married Miss Van Winkel of Philadelphia, and seventy thousand a year.
Richard engaged in the defence of his country, on a captain's
commission, obtained with some difficulty. He saw a great deal of
fighting, but he has no scars to show. The return of peace found him in
his native place, without a home, and without resources. One of his
first acts was to call dutifully and respectfully upon Miss Whittaker,
whose circle of acquaintance had apparently become very much enlarged,
and now included a vast number of gentlemen. Gertrude's manner was
kindness itself, but a more studied kindness than before. She had lost
much of her youth and her simplicity. Richard wondered whether she had
pledged herself to spinsterhood, but of course he didn't ask her. She
inquired very particularly into his material prospects and intentions,
and offered most urgently to lend him money, which he declined to
borrow. When he left her, he took a long walk through her place and
beside the river, and, wandering back to the days when he had yearned
for her love, assured himself that no woman would ever again be to him
what she had been. During his stay in this neighborhood he found himself
impelled to a species of submission to one of the old agricultural
magnates whom he had insulted in his unregenerate days, and through whom
he was glad to obtain some momentary employment. But his present
position is very distasteful to him, and he is eager to try his fortunes
in the West. As yet, however, he has lacked even the means to get as far
as St. Louis. He drinks no more than is good for him. To speak of
Gertrude's impressions of Richard would lead us quite too far. Shortly
after his return she broke up her household, and came to the bold
resolution (bold, that is, for a woman young, unmarried, and ignorant of
manners in her own country) to spend some time in Europe. At our last
accounts she was living in the ancient city of Florence. Her great
wealth, of which she was wont to complain that it excluded her from
human sympathy, now affords her a most efficient protection. She passes
among her fellow-countrymen abroad for a very independent, but a very
happy woman; although, as she is by this time twenty-seven years of age,
a little romance is occasionally invoked to account for her continued
celibacy.



THE GROWTH, LIMITATIONS, AND TOLERATION OF SHAKESPEARE'S GENIUS.


In an article on Shakespeare in the June number of this Magazine, we
spoke of his general comprehensiveness and creativeness, of his method
of characterization, and of the identity of his genius with his
individuality. In the present article we purpose to treat of some
particular topics included in the general theme; and as criticism on him
is like coasting along a continent, we shall make little pretension to
system in the order of taking them up.

The first of these topics is the succession of Shakespeare's works,
considered as steps in the growth and development of his powers,--a
subject which has already been ably handled by our countryman, Mr.
Verplanck. The facts, as far as they can be ascertained, are these.
Shakespeare went to London about the year 1586, in his twenty-second
year, and found some humble employment in one of the theatrical
companies. Three years afterwards, in 1589, he had risen to be one of
the sharers in the Blackfriars' Theatre. In 1592 he had acquired
sufficient reputation as a dramatist, or at least as a recaster of the
plays of others, to excite the jealousy of the leading playwrights,
whose crude dramas he condescended to rewrite or retouch. That graceless
vagabond, Robert Greene, addressing from his penitent death-bed his old
friends Lodge, Peele, and Marlowe, and trying to dissuade them from
"spending their wits" any longer in "making plays," spitefully
declares: "There is an upstart crow beautified with our feathers, that,
with his tiger's heart wrapped in a player's hide, supposes he is as
able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you; and, being an
absolute Johannes Factotum, is, in his own conceit, the only Shake-scene
in the country." Doubtless this charge of adopting and adapting the
productions of others includes some dramas which have not been
preserved, as the company to which Shakespeare was attached owned the
manuscripts of a great number of plays which were never printed; and it
was a custom, when a play had popular elements in it, for other
dramatists to be employed in making such additions as would give
continual novelty to the old favorite. But of the plays published in our
editions of Shakespeare's writings, it is probable that "The Comedy of
Errors," and the three parts of "King Henry VI.," are only partially
his, and should be classed among his early adaptations, and not among
his early creations. The play of "Pericles" bears no marks of his mind,
except in some scenes of transcendent power and beauty, which start up
from the rest of the work like towers of gold from a plain of sand; but
these scenes are in his latest manner. In regard to the tragedy of
"Titus Andronicus," we are so constituted as to resist all the external
evidence by which such a shapeless mass of horrors and absurdities is
fastened on Shakespeare. Mr. Verplanck thinks it one of Shakespeare's
first attempts at dramatic composition; but first attempts must reflect
the mental condition of the author at the time they were made; and we
know the mental condition of Shakespeare in his early manhood by his
poem of "Venus and Adonis," which he expressly styles "the first heir of
his invention." Now leaving out of view the fact that "Titus Andronicus"
stamps the impression, not of youthful, but of matured depravity of
taste, its execrable enormities of feeling and incident could not have
proceeded from the sweet and comely nature in which the poem had its
birth. The best criticism on "Titus Andronicus" was made by Robert
Burns, when he was nine years old. His schoolmaster was reading the play
aloud in his father's cottage, and when he came to the scene where
Lavinia enters with her hands cut off and her tongue cut out, little
Robert fell a-crying, and threatened, in case the play was left in the
cottage, to burn it. It is hard to believe that what Burns despised and
detested at the age of nine could have been written by Shakespeare at
the age of twenty-five. Taking, then, "Venus and Adonis" as the point of
departure, we find Shakespeare at the age of twenty-two endowed with all
the faculties, but relatively deficient in the passions, of the poet.
The poem is a throng of thoughts, fancies, and imaginations, but
somewhat cramped in the utterance. Coleridge says, that "in his poems
the creative power and the intellectual energy wrestle as in a war
embrace. Each in its excess of strength seems to threaten the extinction
of the other. At length in the drama they were reconciled, and fought
each with its shield before the breast of the other." Fine as this is,
it would perhaps be more exact to say, that in his earlier poems his
intellect, acting apart from his sensibility, and playing with its own
ingenuities of fancy and meditation, condensed its thoughts in crystals.
Afterwards, when his whole nature became liquid, he gave us his thoughts
in a state of fusion, and his intellect flowed in streams of fire.

Take, for example, that passage in the poem where Venus represents the
loveliness of Adonis as sending thrills of passion into the earth on
which he treads, and as making the bashful moon hide herself from the
sight of his bewildering beauty:--

    "But if thou fall, O, then imagine this!
      The earth, in love with thee, thy footing trips,
    And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
      Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
    Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
    Lest she should steal a kiss and die forsworn.

    "Now of this dark night I perceive the reason:
      Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine,
    Till forging Nature be condemned of treason,
      For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine.
    Wherein she framed thee, in high heaven's despite.
    To shame the sun by day and her by night."

This is reflected and reflecting passion, or, at least, imagination
awakening passion, rather than passion penetrating imagination.

Now mark, by contrast, the gush of the heart into the brain, dissolving
thought, imagination, and expression, so that they run molten, in the
delirious ecstasy of Pericles in recovering his long-lost child:--

    "O Helicanus, strike me, honored sir!
    Give me a gash; put me to present pain;
    Lest this great sea of joys, rushing upon me,
    O'erbear the shores of my mortality,
    And drown me with their sweetness."

If, as is probable, "Venus and Adonis" was written as early as 1586, we
may suppose that the plays which represent the boyhood of his genius,
and which are strongly marked with the characteristics of that poem,
namely, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," the first draft of "Love's
Labor's Lost," and the original "Romeo and Juliet," were produced before
the year 1592. Following these came "King Richard III.," "King Richard
II.," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "King John," "The Merchant of
Venice," and "King Henry IV.," all of which we know were written before
1598, when Shakespeare was in his thirty-fourth year. During the next
eight years he produced "King Henry V.," "The Merry Wives of Windsor,"
"As You Like It," "Hamlet," "Twelfth Night," "Measure for Measure,"
"Othello," "Macbeth," and "King Lear." In this list are the four great
tragedies in which his genius culminated. Then came "Troilus and
Cressida," "Timon of Athens," "Julius Cæsar," "Antony and Cleopatra,"
"Cymbeline," "King Henry VIII.," "The Tempest," "The Winter's Tale," and
"Coriolanus." If heed be paid to this order of the plays, it will be
seen at once that a quotation from Shakespeare carries with it a very
different degree of authority, according as it refers to the youth or
the maturity of his mind.

Indeed, when we reflect that between the production of "The Two
Gentlemen of Verona" and "King Lear" there is only a space of fifteen
years, we must admit that the history of the human intellect presents no
other example of such marvellous progress; and if we note the giant
strides by which it was made, we shall find that they all imply a
progressive widening and deepening of soul, a positive growth of the
nature of the man, until in Lear the power became supreme and becomes
amazing. Mr. Verplanck considers the period when he produced his four
great tragedies to be the period of his intellectual grandeur, as
distinguished from an earlier period which he thinks shows the
perfection of his merely poetic and imaginative power; but the fact
would seem to be that his increasing greatness as a philosopher was
fully matched by his increasing greatness as a poet, and that in the
devouring swiftness of his onward and upward movement imagination kept
abreast of reason. His imagination was never more vivid, all-informing,
and creative,--never penetrated with more unerring certainty to the
inmost spiritual essence of whatever it touched,--never forced words and
rhythm into more supple instruments of thought and feeling,--than when
it miracled into form the terror and pity and beauty of Lear.

Indeed, the coequal growth of his reason and imagination was owing to
the wider scope and increased energy of the great moving forces of his
being. It relates primarily to the heart rather than the head. It is the
immense fiery force behind his mental powers, kindling them into white
heat, and urging them to efforts almost preternatural,--it is this which
impels the daring thought beyond the limits of positive knowledge, and
prompts the starts of ecstasy in whose unexpected radiance nature and
human life are transfigured, and for an instant shine with celestial
light. In truth he is, relatively, more intellectual in his early than
in his later plays, for in his later plays his intellect is thoroughly
impassioned, and, though it has really grown in strength and
massiveness, it is so fused with imagination and emotion as to be less
independently prominent.

The sources of individuality lie below the intellect; and as Shakespeare
went deeper into the soul of man, he more and more represented the brain
as the organ and instrument of the heart, as the channel through which
sentiment, passion, and character found an intelligible outlet. His own
mind was singularly objective; that is, he saw things as they are in
themselves. The minds of his prominent characters are all subjective,
and see things as they are modified by the peculiarities of their
individual moods and emotions. The very objectivity of his own mind
enables him to assume the subjective conditions of less-emancipated
natures. Macbeth peoples the innocent air with menacing shapes,
projected from his own fiend-haunted imagination; but the same air is
"sweet and wholesome" to the poet who gave being to Macbeth. The
meridian of Shakespeare's power was reached when he created Othello,
Macbeth, and Lear, complex personalities, representing the conflict and
complication of the mightiest passions in colossal forms of human
character, and whose understandings and imaginations, whose perceptions
of nature and human life, and whose weightiest utterances of moral
wisdom, are all thoroughly subjective and individualized. The greatness
of these characters, as compared with his earlier creations, consists in
the greater intensity and amplitude of their natures, and the wider
variety of faculties and passions included in the strict unity of their
natures. Richard III., for example, is one of his earlier characters,
and though excellent of its kind, its excellence has been approached by
other dramatists, as, for instance, Massinger, in "Sir Giles Overreach."
But no other dramatist has been able to grasp and represent a character
similar in kind to Macbeth, and the reason is that Richard is
comparatively a simple conception, while Macbeth is a complex one.
There is unity and versatility in Richard; there is unity and variety in
Macbeth. Richard is capable of being developed with almost logical
accuracy; for though there is versatility in the play of his intellect,
there is little variety in the motives which direct his intellect. His
wickedness is not exhibited in the making. He is so completely and
gleefully a villain from the first, that he is not restrained from
convenient crime by any scruples and relentings. The vigor of his will
is due to his poverty of feeling and conscience. He is a brilliant and
efficient criminal because he is shorn of the noblest attributes of man.
Put, if you could, Macbeth's heart and imagination into him, and his
will would be smitten with impotence, and his wit be turned to wailing.
The intellect of Macbeth is richer and grander than Richard's, yet
Richard is relatively a more intellectual character; for the intellect
of Macbeth is rooted in his moral nature, and is secondary in our
thoughts to the contending motives and emotions it obeys and reveals. In
crime, as in virtue, what a man overcomes should enter into our estimate
of the power exhibited in what he does.

The question now comes up,--and we suppose it must be met, though we
should like to evade it,--How, amid the individualities that Shakespeare
has created, are we to detect the individuality of Shakespeare himself?
In answer it may be said, that, if we survey his dramas in the mass, we
find three degrees of unity;--first, the unity of the individual
characters; second, the unity of the separate plays in which they
appear; and third, the unity of Shakespeare's own nature, a nature which
deepened, expanded, and increased in might, but did not essentially
change, and which is felt as a potent presence throughout his works,
binding them together as the product of one mind. He did not go out of
himself to inform other natures, but he included these natures in
himself; and though he does not infuse his individuality into his
characters, he does infuse it into the general conceptions which the
characters illustrate. His opinions, purposes, theory of life, are to be
gathered, not from what his characters say and do, but from the results
of what they say and do; and in each play he so combines and disposes
the events and persons that the cumulative impression shall express his
own judgment, indicate his own design, and convey his own feeling. His
individuality is so vast, so purified from eccentricity, and we grasp it
so imperfectly, that we are apt to deny it altogether, and conceive his
mind as impersonal. In view of the multiplicity of his creations, and
the range of thought, emotion, and character they include, it is a
common hyperbole of criticism to designate him as universal. But, in
truth, his mind was restricted, in its creative action, like other
minds, within the limits of its personal sympathies, though these
sympathies in him were keener, quicker, and more general than in other
men of genius. He was a great-hearted, broad-brained person, but still a
person, and not what Coleridge calls him, an "omnipresent creativeness."
Whatever he could sympathize with, he could embody and vitally
represent; but his sympathies, though wide, were far from being
universal, and when he was indifferent or hostile, the dramatist was
partially suspended in the satirist and caricaturist, and oversight took
the place of insight. Indeed, his limitations are more easily indicated
than his enlargements. We know what he has not done more surely than we
know what he has done; for if we attempt to follow his genius in any of
the numerous lines of direction along which it sweeps with such
victorious ease, we soon come to the end of our tether, and are confused
with a throng of thoughts and imaginations, which, as Emerson
exquisitely says, "sweetly torment us with invitations to their own
_inaccessible_ homes." But there were some directions which his genius
did not take,--not so much from lack of mental power as from lack of
disposition or from positive antipathy. Let us consider some of these.

And first, Shakespeare's religious instincts and sentiments were
comparatively weak, for they were not creative. He has exercised his
genius in the creation of no character in which religious sentiment or
religious passion is dominant. He could not, of course,--he, the poet of
feudalism,--overlook religion as an element of the social organization
of Europe, but he did not seize Christian ideas in their essence, or
look at the human soul in its direct relations with God. And just think
of the field of humanity closed to him! For sixteen hundred years,
remarkable men and women had appeared, representing all classes of
religious character, from the ecstasy of the saint to the gloom of the
fanatic; yet his intellectual curiosity was not enough excited to
explore and reproduce their experience. Do you say that the subject was
foreign to the purpose of an Elizabethan playwright? The answer is, that
Decker and Massinger attempted it, for a popular audience, in "The
Virgin Martyr"; and though the tragedy of "The Virgin Martyr" is a
huddled mass of beauties and deformities, its materials of incident and
characters, could Shakespeare have been attracted to them, might have
been organized into as great a drama as Othello. Again, Marlowe, in his
play of "Dr. Faustus," has imperfectly treated a subject which in
Shakespeare's hands would have been made into a tragedy sublimer than
Lear could he have thrown himself into it with equal earnestness.
Marlowe, from the fact that he was a positive atheist, and a brawling
one, had evidently at some time directed his whole heart and imagination
to the consideration of religious questions, and had resolutely faced
facts from which Shakespeare turned away.

Shakespeare, also, in common with the other dramatists of the time,
looked at the Puritans as objects of satire, laughing _at_ them instead
of gazing _into_ them. They were doubtless grotesque enough in external
appearance; but the poet of human nature should have penetrated through
the appearance to the substance, and recognized in them, not merely the
possibility of Cromwell, but of the ideal of character which Cromwell
but imperfectly represented. You may say that Shakespeare's nature was
too sunny and genial to admit the Puritan. It was not too sunny or
genial to admit Richards, and Iagos, and Gonerils, and "secret, black,
and midnight hags."

It may be doubted also if Shakespeare's affinities extended to those
numerous classes of human character that stand for the reforming and
philanthropic sentiments of humanity. We doubt if he was hopeful for the
race. He was too profoundly impressed with its disturbing passions to
have faith in its continuous progress. Though immensely greater than
Bacon, it may be questioned if he could thoroughly have appreciated
Bacon's intellectual character. He could have delineated him to
perfection in everything but in that peculiar philanthropy of the mind,
that spiritual benignity, that belief in man and confidence in his
future, which both atone and account for so many of Bacon's moral
defects. There is no character in his plays that covers the elements of
such a man as Hildebrand or Luther, or either of the two Williams of
Orange, or Hampden, or Howard, or Clarkson, or scores of other
representative men whom history celebrates. Though the broadest
individual nature which human nature has produced, human nature is
immensely broader than he.

It would be easy to quote passages from Shakespeare's works which would
seem to indicate that his genius was not limited in any of the
directions which have been pointed out; but these passages are thoughts
and observations, not men and women. Hamlet's soliloquy, and Portia's
address to Shylock, might be adduced as proofs that he comprehended the
religious element; but then who would take Hamlet or Portia as
representative of the religious character in any of its numerous
historical forms? There is a remark in one of his plays to this
effect:--

    "It is an heretic that makes the fire,
    Not she which burns in't."

This might be taken as a beautiful expression of Christian toleration,
and is certainly admirable as a general thought; but it indicates
Shakespeare's indifference to religious passions in indicating his
superiority to them. It would have been a much greater achievement of
genius to have passed into the mind and heart of the conscientious
burner of heretics, seized the essence of the bigot's character, and
embodied in one great ideal individual a class of men whom we now both
execrate and misconceive. If he could follow the dramatic process of his
genius for Sir Toby Belch, why could he not do it for St. Dominic?

Indeed, toleration, in the sense that Shakespeare has given to the word,
is not expressed in maxims directed against intolerance, but in the
exercise of charity towards intolerant men; and it is thus necessary to
indicate the limitations of his sympathy with his race, in order to
appreciate its real quality and extent. His unapproached greatness
consists not in including human nature, but in taking the point of view
of those large classes of human nature he did include. His sympathetic
insight was both serious and humorous; and he thus equally escaped the
intolerance of taste and the intolerance of intelligence. What we would
call the worst criminals and the most stupid fools were, as mirrored in
his mind, fairly dealt with; every opportunity was afforded them to
justify their right to exist; their words, thoughts, and acts were
viewed in relation to their circumstances and character, so that he made
them inwardly known, as well as outwardly perceived. The wonder of all
this would be increased, if we supposed, for the sake of illustration,
that the persons and events of all Shakespeare's plays were historical,
and that, instead of being represented by Shakespeare, they were
narrated by Macaulay. The result would be that the impression received
from the historian of every incident and every person would be
different, and would be wrong. The external facts might not be altered;
but the falsehood would proceed from the incapacity or indisposition of
the historian to pierce to the heart of the facts by sympathy and
imagination. There would be abundant information, abundant eloquence,
abundant invective against crime, abundant scorn of stupidity and folly,
perhaps much sagacious reflection and judicial scrutiny of evidence; but
the inward and essential truth would be wanting. What external statement
of the acts and probable motives of Macbeth and Othello would convey the
idea we have of them from being witnesses of the conflict of their
thoughts and passions? How wicked and shallow and feeble and foolish
would Hamlet appear, if represented, not in the light of Shakespeare's
imagination, but in the light of Macaulay's epigrams! How the historian
would "play the dazzling fence" of his rhetoric on the indecision of the
prince, his brutality to Ophelia, his cowardice, his impotence between
contending motives, and the chaos of blunders and crimes in which he
sinks from view! The subject would be even a better one for him than
that of James II.; yet the very supposition of such a mode of treatment
makes us feel the pathos of the real Hamlet's injunction to the friend
who strives to be his companion in death:--

    "Absent thee from felicity awhile,
    And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
    _To tell my story_."

If the historian would thus deal with the heroes, why, such "small deer"
as Bardolph and Master Slender would of course be puffed out of
existence with one hiss of lordly contempt. Yet Macaulay has a more
vivid historical imagination, more power of placing himself in the age
about which he writes, than historians like Hume and Hallam, whose
judgments of men are summaries of qualities, and imply no inwardness of
vision, no discerning of spirits. In the whole class, the point of view
is the historian's, and not the point of view of the persons the
historian describes. The curse which clings to celebrity is, that it
commonly enters history only to be puffed or lampooned.

The truth is, that most men, the intelligent and virtuous as well as the
ignorant and vicious, are intolerant of other individualities. They are
uncharitable by defect of sympathy and defect of insight. Society, even
the best, is apt to be made up of people who are engaged in the
agreeable occupation of despising each other; for one association for
mutual admiration there are twenty for mutual contempt; yet while
conversation is thus mostly made up of strictures on individuals, it
rarely evinces any just perception of individualities. James is
indignant or jeering at the absence of James in John, and John is
horror-stricken at the impudence of James in refusing to be John. Each
person feels himself to be misunderstood, though he never questions his
power to understand his neighbor. Egotism, vanity, prejudice, pride of
opinion, conceit of excellence, a mean delight in recognizing
inferiority in others, a meaner delight in refusing to recognize the
superiority of others, all the honest and all the base forms of
self-assertion, cloud and distort the vision when one mind directs its
glance at another. For one person who is mentally conscientious there
are thousands who are morally honest. The result is a vast massacre of
character, which would move the observer's compassion were it not that
the victims are also the culprits, and that pity at the spectacle of the
arrow quivering in the sufferer's breast is checked by the sight of the
bow bent in the sufferer's hands. This depreciation of others is the
most approved method of exalting ourselves. It educates us in
self-esteem, if not in knowledge. The savage conceives that the power of
the enemy he kills is added to his own. Shakespeare more justly
conceived that the power of the human being with whom he sympathized was
added to his own.

This toleration, without which an internal knowledge of other natures is
impossible, Shakespeare possessed beyond any other man recorded in
literature or history. It is a moral as well as mental trait, and
belongs to the highest class of virtues. It is a virtue which, if
generally exercised, would remove mutual hostility by enlightening
mutual ignorance. And in Shakespeare we have, for once, a man great
enough to be modest and charitable; who has the giant's power, but,
instead of using it like a giant, trampling on weaker creatures, prefers
to feel them in his arms rather than feel them under his feet; and whose
toleration of others is the exercise of humility, veracity, beneficence,
and justice, as well as the exercise of reason, imagination, and humor.
We shall never appreciate Shakespeare's genius until we recognize in him
the exercise of the most difficult virtues, as well as the exercise of
the most wide-reaching intelligence.

It is, of course, not so wonderful that he should take the point of view
of characters in themselves beautiful and noble, though even these might
appear very different under the glance of a less soul-searching eye. To
such aspects of life, however, all genius has a natural affinity. But
the marvel of his comprehensiveness is his mode of dealing with the
vulgar, the vicious, and the low,--with persons who are commonly spurned
as dolts and knaves. His serene benevolence did not pause at what are
called "deserving objects of charity," but extended to the undeserving,
who are, in truth, the proper objects of charity. If we compare him, in
this respect, with poets like Dante and Milton, in whom elevation is the
predominant characteristic, we shall find that they tolerate humanity
only in its exceptional examples of beauty and might. They are
aristocrats of intellect and conscience,--the noblest aristocracy, but
also the haughtiest and most exclusive. They can sympathize with great
energies, whether celestial or diabolic, but their attitude towards the
feeble and the low is apt to be that of indifference, or contempt.
Milton can do justice to the Devil, though not, like Shakespeare, to
"poor devils." But it may be doubted if the wise and good have the right
to cut the Providential bond which connects them with the foolish and
the bad, and set up an aristocratic humanity of their own, ten times
more supercilious than the aristocracy of blood. Divorce the loftiest
qualities from humility and geniality, and they quickly contract a
pharisaic taint; and if there is anything which makes the wretched more
wretched, it is the insolent condescension of patronizing
benevolence,--if there is anything which makes the vicious more vicious,
it is the "I-am-better-than-thou" expression on the face of conscious
virtue. Now Shakespeare had none of this pride of superiority, either in
its noble or ignoble form. Consider that, if his gigantic powers had
been directed by antipathies instead of sympathies, he would have left
few classes of human character untouched by his terrible scorn. Even if
his antipathies had been those of taste and morals, he would have done
so much to make men hate and misunderstand each other,--so much to
destroy the very sentiment of humanity,--that he would have earned the
distinction of being the greatest satirist and the worst man that ever
lived. But instead, how humanely he clings to the most unpromising forms
of human nature, insists on their right to speak for themselves as much
as if they were passionate Romeos and high-aspiring Buckinghams, and
does for them what he might have desired should be done for himself had
he been Dogberry, or Bottom, or Abhorson, or Bardolph, or any of the
rest! The low characters, the clowns and vagabonds, of Ben Jonson's
plays, excite only contempt or disgust. Shakespeare takes the same
materials as Ben, passes them through the medium of his imaginative
humor, and changes them into subjects of the most soul-enriching mirth.
Their actual prototypes would not be tolerated; but when his genius
shines on them, they "lie in light" before our humorous vision. It must
be admitted that in his explorations of the lower levels of human nature
he sometimes touches the mud deposits; still he never hisses or jeers at
the poor relations through Adam he there discovers, but magnanimously
gives them the wink of recognition!

This is one extreme of his genius, the poetic comprehension and
embodiment of the low. What was the other extreme? How high did he mount
in the ideal region, and what class of his characters represent his
loftiest flight? It is commonly asserted that his supernatural beings,
his ghosts, spectres, witches, fairies, and the like, exhibiting his
command of the dark side and the bright side, the terror and the grace,
of the supernatural world, indicate his rarest quality; for in these, it
is said, he went out of human nature itself, and created beings that
never existed. Wonderful as these are, we must recollect that in them he
worked on a basis of popular superstitions, on a mythology as definite
as that of Greece and Rome, and though he re-created instead of copying
his materials, though he Shakespearianized them, he followed no
different process of his genius in delineating Hecate and Titania than
in delineating Dame Quickly and Anne Page. All his characters, from the
rogue Autolycus to the heavenly Cordelia, are in a certain sense ideal;
but the question now relates to the rarity of the elements, and the
height of the mood, and not merely to the action of his mind; and we
think that the characters technically called supernatural which appear
in his works are much nearer the earth than others which, though they
lack the name, have more of the spiritual quality of the thing. The
highest supernatural is to be found in the purest, highest, most
beautiful souls.

Did it never strike you in reading "The Tempest," that Ariel is not so
supernatural as Miranda? We may be sure that Ferdinand so thought, in
that rapture of wonder when her soul first shone on him through her
innocent eyes; and afterwards when he asks,

              "I do beseech you
    (Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers)
    What is your name?"

And doubtless there was a more marvellous melody in her voice than in
the mysterious magical music

      "That crept by him upon the waters,
    Allaying both their fury and his passion
    With its sweet air."

Shakespeare, indeed, in his transcendently beautiful embodiments of
feminine excellence, the most exquisite creations in literature, passed
into a region of sentiment and thought, of ideals and of ideas,
altogether higher and more supernatural than that region in which he
shaped his delicate Ariels and his fairy Titanias. The question has been
raised whether sex extends to soul. However this may be decided, here is
a soul, with its records in literature, who is at once the manliest of
men, and the most womanly of women; who can not only recognize the
feminine element in existing individuals, but discern the idea, the
pattern, the radiant genius of womanhood itself, as it hovers, unseen to
other eyes, over the living representatives of the sex. Literature
boasts many eminent female poets and novelists; but not one has ever
approached Shakespeare in the purity, the sweetness, the refinement, the
elevation, of his perceptions of feminine character,--much less
approached him in the power of embodying his perceptions in persons.
These characters are so thoroughly domesticated on the earth, that we
are tempted to forget the heaven of invention from which he brought
them. The most beautiful of spirits, they are the most tender of
daughters, lovers, and wives. They are "airy shapes," but they "syllable
men's names." Rosalind, Juliet, Ophelia, Viola, Perdita, Miranda,
Desdemona, Hermione, Portia, Isabella, Imogen, Cordelia,--if their names
do not call up their natures, the most elaborate analysis of criticism
wilt be of no avail. Do you say that these women are slightly idealized
portraits of actual women? Was Cordelia, for example, simply a good,
affectionate daughter of a foolish old king? To Shakespeare, himself,
she evidently partook of divineness; and he hints of the still ecstasy
of contemplation in which her nature first rose upon his imagination,
when, speaking through the lips of a witness of her tears, he hallows
them as they fall:--

    "She shook the holy water from her heavenly eyes."

And these Shakespearian women, though all radiations from one great
ideal of womanhood, are at the same time intensely individualized. Each
has a separate soul, and the processes of intellect as well as emotion
are different in each. Each, for example, is endowed with the faculty,
and is steeped in the atmosphere, of imagination; but who could mistake
the imagination of Ophelia for the imagination of Imogen?--the
loitering, lingering movement of the one, softly consecrating whatever
it touches, for the irradiating, smiting efficiency, the flash and the
bolt, of the other? Imogen is perhaps the most completely expressed of
Shakespeare's women; for in her every faculty and affection is fused
with imagination, and the most exquisite tenderness is combined with
vigor and velocity of nature. Her mind darts in an instant to the
ultimate of everything. After she has parted with her husband, she does
not merely say that she will pray for him. Her affection is winged, and
in a moment she is enskied. She does not look up, she goes up; she would
have charged him, she says,

    "At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
    T'encounter me with orisons, for then
    _I am in heaven for him_."

When she hears of her husband's inconstancy, the possible object of his
sensual whim is at once consumed in the fire that leaps from her
impassioned lips,--

                  "Some jay of Italy,
    Whose mother is her painting, hath betrayed him."

Mr. Collier, ludicrously misconceiving the instinctive action of
Imogen's mind, thinks the true reading is, "smothers her with
painting." Now Imogen's wrath first reduces the light woman to the most
contemptible of birds and the most infamous of symbols, the jay, and
then, not willing to leave her any substance at all, annihilates her
very being with the swift thought that the paint on her cheeks is her
mother,--that she is nothing but the mere creation of painting, a
phantom born of a color, without real body or soul. It would be easy to
show that the mental processes of all Shakespeare's women are as
individual as their dispositions.

And now think of the amplitude of this man's soul! Within the immense
space which stretches between Dogberry or Launcelot Gobbo and Imogen or
Cordelia, lies the Shakespearian world. No other man ever exhibited such
philosophic comprehensiveness, but philosophic comprehensiveness is
often displayed apart from creative comprehensiveness, and along the
whole vast line of facts, laws, analogies, and relations that
Shakespeare's intellect extended, his perceptions were vital, his
insight was creative, his thoughts flowed in forms. And now was he proud
of his transcendent superiorities? Did he think that he had exhausted
all that can appear before the sight of the eye and the sight of the
soul? No. The immeasurable opulence of the undiscovered and undiscerned
regions of existence was never felt with more reverent humility than by
this discoverer, who had seen in rapturous vision so many new worlds
open on his view. In the play which perhaps best indicates the ecstatic
action of his mind, and which is alive in every part with that fiery
sense of unlimited power which the mood of ecstasy gives,--in the play
of "Antony and Cleopatra," he has put into the mouth of the Soothsayer
what seems to have been his own modest judgment of the extent of his
glance into the universe of matter and mind:--

    "In Nature's infinite book of secrecy
      A little I can read!"



LONGFELLOW'S TRANSLATION OF DANTE'S DIVINA COMMEDIA.


In the North American Review for March, 1809, we read of Cary's Dante:
"This we can pronounce, with confidence, to be the most literal
translation in poetry in our language."

"As to Cary," writes Prescott in 1824, "I think Dante would have given
him a place in his ninth heaven, if he could have foreseen his
translation. It is most astonishing, giving not only the literal
corresponding phrase, but the spirit of the original, the true Dantesque
manner. It should be cited as an evidence of the compactness, the
pliability, the sweetness of the English tongue."

If we turn to English scholars, we shall find them holding the same
language, and equally ready to assure you that you may confidently
accept Cary's version as a faithful transcript of the spirit and letter
of the original. And this was the theory of translation throughout
almost the first half of the present century. Cary's position in 1839
was higher even than it was in 1824. With many other claims to respect,
he was still best known as the translator of Dante.

In 1839 Mr. Longfellow published five passages from the _Purgatorio_,
translated with a rigorous adhesion to the words and idioms of the
original. Coming out in connection with translations from the Spanish
and German, and with original pieces which immediately took their place
among the favorite poems of every household, they could not be expected
to attract general attention. But scholars read them with avidity, for
they found in them the first successful solution of one of the great
problems of literature,--Can poetry pass from one language into another
without losing its distinctive characteristics of form and expression?
Dryden, Pope, Cowper, Sotheby, had answered no for Greek and Latin,
Coleridge for German, Fairfax and Rose and Cary for Italian. But if Mr.
Longfellow could translate the whole of the _Divina Commedia_ as he had
translated these five passages, great as some of these names were, it
was evident that the lovers of poetry would call for new translations of
all the great poets. This he has now done. The whole poem is before us,
with its fourteen thousand two hundred and seventy-eight lines, the
English answering line for line and word for word to the original
Italian. We purpose to show, by a careful comparison of test-passages
with corresponding passages of Cary, what the American poet has done for
the true theory of translation.

It is evident that, while both translators have nominally the same
object in view, they follow different paths in their endeavors to reach
it; or, in other words, that they come to their task with very different
theories of translation, and very different ideas of the true meaning of
faithful rendering. Translation, according to Mr. Cary, consists in
rendering the author's idea without a strict adherence to the author's
words. According to Mr. Longfellow, the author's words form a necessary
accompaniment of his idea, and must, wherever the idioms of the two
languages admit of it, be rendered by their exact equivalents. The
following passage, from the twenty-eighth canto of the _Purgatorio_,
will illustrate our meaning:--

    "In questa altezza che tutta è disciolta
        Nell'aer vivo, tal moto percuote,
        E fa sonar la selva perch' è folta."

Literally,

    In this height which is all detached
       In the living air, such motion strikes,
       And makes the wood resound because it is thick.

Such are the words of Dante line by line. Let us now see how Cary
renders them:--

    "Upon the summit, which on every side
    To visitation of the impassive air
    Is open, doth that motion strike, and makes
    Beneath its sway the umbrageous wood resound."

The fundamental idea of this passage is the explanation of the sound of
the forest, and this idea Cary has preserved. But has he preserved it in
its force and simplicity and Dantesque directness? We will not dwell
upon the rendering of _altezza_ by _summit_, although a little more care
would have preserved the exact word of the original. But we may with
good reason object to the expansion of Dante's three lines into four. We
may with equal reason object to

                    "which on every side
    To visitation of the impassive air
    Is open,"

as a correct rendering of

                     "che tutta è disciolta
    Nell'aer vivo,"--

                     which is all detached
    In the living air.

      "To visitation of the impassive air,"

is a sonorous verse; but it is not Dante's verse, unless _all detached_
means _on every side is open to visitation_, and _impassive air_ means
_living air_. _Beneath its sway_, also, is not Dante's; nor can we
accept _umbrageous wood_, with its unmeaning epithet, for _the wood
because it is thick_, an explanation of the phenomenon which had excited
Dante's wonder.

Here, then, we have Cary's theory, the preservation of the fundamental
idea, but the free introduction of such accessory ideas as convenience
may suggest, whether in the form of epithet or of paraphrase.

Mr. Longfellow's translation of this passage may also be accepted as the
exposition of his theory:--

    "Upon this height that all is disengaged
      In living ether, doth this motion strike,
      And make the forest sound, for it is dense."

We have here the three lines of the original, and in the order of the
original; we have the exact words of the original, _disciolta_ meaning
_disengaged_ as well as _detached_, and therefore the ideas of the
original without modification or change. The passage is not a remarkable
one in form, although a very important one in the description of which
it forms a part. The sonorous second line of Mr. Cary's version is
singularly false to the movement, as well as to the thought, of the
original. Mr. Longfellow's lines have the metric character of Dante's
precise and direct description.

The next triplet brings out the difference between the two theories even
more distinctly:--

    "E la percossa pianta tanto puote
      Che della sua virtute l'aura impregna,
      E quella poi girando intorno scuote."

    And the stricken plant has so much power
      That with its virtue it impregnates the air,
      And that then revolving shakes around.

Thus far Dante.

    "And in the shaken plant such power resides,
    That it impregnates with its efficacy
    The voyaging breeze, upon whose subtle plume
    _That_, wafted, flies abroad."

Thus far Cary.

Cary's first line is a tolerably near approach to the original, although
a distinction might be made between the force of _power resides in_, and
_power possessed by_. The second line falls short of the conciseness of
the original by transposing the object of _impregnates_ into the third.
This, however, though a blemish, might also be passed over. But what
shall we say to the expansion of _aura_ into a full line, and that line
so Elizabethan and un-Dantesque as

    "The voyaging breeze upon whose subtle plume"?

In this, too, Mr. Cary is faithful to his theory. Mr. Longfellow is
equally faithful to his:--

    "And so much power the stricken plant possesses,
      That with its virtue it impregns the air,
      And this, revolving, scatters it around."

We have seen how Cary's theory permits the insertion of a new line, or,
more correctly speaking, the expansion of a single word into a full
line. But it admits also of the opposite extreme,--the suppression of an
entire line.

    "Ch'io vidi, e anche udi'parlar lo rostro,
      E sonar nella voce ed _io_ e _mio_,
      Quand'era nel concetto _noi_ e _nostro_."

    For I saw and also heard speak the beak,
      And sound in its voice and _I_ and _my_,
      When it was in the conception _we_ and _our_.

                               _Paradiso_, XIX. 10.

There is doubtless something quaint and peculiar in these lines, but it
is the quaintness and peculiarity of Dante. The _I_ and _my_, the _we_
and _our_, are traits of that direct and positive mode of expression
which is one of the distinctive characteristics of his style. Do we find
it in Cary?

                      "For I beheld and heard
    The beak discourse; and what intention formed
    Of many, singly as of one express."

Do we not find it in Longfellow?

    "For speak I saw, and likewise heard, the beak,
      And utter with its voice both _I_ and _My_,
      When in conception it was _We_ and _Our_."

It is not surprising that the two translators, starting with theories
essentially so different, should have produced such different results.
Which of these results is most in harmony with the legitimate object of
translation can hardly admit of a doubt. For the object of translation
is to convey an accurate idea of the original, or, in other words, to
render the words and idioms of the language from which the translation
is made by their exact equivalents in the language into which it is
made. The translator is bound by the words of the original. He is bound,
so far as the difference between languages admits of it, by the idioms
of the original. And as the effect of words and idioms depends in a
great measure upon the skill with which they are arranged, he is bound
also by the rhythm of the original. If you would copy Raphael, you must
not give him the coloring of Titian. The calm dignity of the "School of
Athens" conveys a very imperfect idea of the sublime energy of the
sibyls and prophets of the Sistine Chapel.

But can this exactitude be achieved without forcing language into such
uncongenial forms as to produce an artificial effect, painfully
reminding you, at every step, of the labor it cost? And here we come to
the question of fact; for if Mr. Longfellow has succeeded, the answer is
evident. We purpose, therefore, to take a few test-passages, and,
placing the two translations side by side with the original, give our
readers an opportunity of making the comparison for themselves.

First, however, let us remind the reader that, if it were possible to
convey an accurate idea of Dante's style by a single word, that word
would be _power_. Whatever he undertakes to say, he says in the form
best suited to convey his thought to the reader's mind as it existed in
his own mind. If it be a metaphysical idea, he finds words for it which
give it the distinctness and reality of a physical substance. If it be a
landscape, he brings it before you, either in outline or in detail,
either by form or by color, as the occasion requires, but always with
equal force. That landscape of his ideal world ever after takes its
place in your memory by the side of the landscapes of your real world.
Even the sounds which he has described linger in the ear as the types of
harshness, or loudness, or sweetness, instantly coming back to you
whenever you listen to the roaring of the sea, or the howling of the
wind, or the carol of birds. He calls things by their names, never
shrinking from a homely phrase where the occasion demands it, nor
substituting circumlocution for direct expression. Words with him seem
to be things, real and tangible; not hovering like shadows over an idea,
but standing out in the clear light, bold and firm, as the distinct
representatives of an idea. In his verse every word has its appropriate
place, and something to do in that place which no other word could do
there. Change it, and you feel at once that something has been lost.

Next to power, infinite variety is the characteristic of Dante's style,
as it is of his invention. With a stronger individuality than any poet
of any age or country, there is not a trace of mannerism in all his
poem. The stern, the tender, the grand, simple exposition, fierce
satire, and passionate appeal have each their appropriate words and
their appropriate cadence. This Cary did not perceive, and has told the
stories of Francesca and of Ugolino with the same Miltonian modulation.
Longfellow, by keeping his original constantly before him, has both seen
and reproduced it.

We begin our quotations with the celebrated inscription over the gate of
hell, and the entrance of the two poets into "the secret things." The
reader will remember that the last three triplets contain a remarkable
example of the correspondence of sound with sense.

    "Per me si va nella città dolente;
        Per me si va nell'eterno dolore;
        Per me si va tra la perduta gente;
    Giustizia mosse'l mio alto fattore;
        Fecemi la divina potestate,
        La somma sapienza e'l primo amore.
    Dinanzi a me non fur cose create
        Se non eterne, ed io eterno duro:
        Lasciate ogni speranza voi che'ntrate.
    Queste parole di colore oscuro
        Vid'io scritte al sommo d'una porta;
        Perch'io: maestro, il senso lor m'è duro.
    Ed egli a me, come persona accorta:
        Qui si convien lasciare ogni sospetto,
        Ogni viltà convien che qui sia morta.
    Noi sem venuti al luogo ov'io t'ho detto
        Che vederai le genti dolorose
        Ch' hanno perduto il ben dello'ntelletto.
    E poichè la sua mano alla mia pose
        Con lieto volto, ond'io mi confortai,
        Mi mise dentro alle secrete cose.
    Quivi sospiri, pianti ed alti guai
        Risonavan per l'aer senza stelle,
        Perch'io al cominciar ne lagrimai.
    Diverse lingue, orribili favelle,
        Parole di dolore, accenti d'ira,
        Voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle,
    Facevano un tumulto il qual s'aggira
        Sempre'n quell'aria senza tempo tinta,
        Come la rena quando'l turbo spira."

                        _Inferno_, III. 1-30.

    "'Through me the way is to the city dolent;
        Through me the way is to eternal dole;
        Through me the way among the people lost.
    Justice incited my sublime Creator;
        Created me divine Omnipotence,
        The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.
    Before me there were no created things,
        Only eterne, and I eternal last.
        All hope abandon, ye who enter in!'
    These words in sombre color I beheld
        Written upon the summit of a gate;
        Whence I: 'Their sense is, Master, hard to me!'
    And he to me, as one experienced:
        'Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned,
        All cowardice must needs be here extinct.
    We to the place have come, where I have told thee
        Thou shalt behold the people dolorous
        Who have foregone the good of intellect.'
    And after he had laid his hand on mine
        With joyful mien, whence I was comforted,
        He led me in among the secret things.
    There sighs, complaints, and ululations loud
        Resounded through the air without a star,
        Whence I, at the beginning, wept thereat.
    Languages diverse, horrible dialects,
        Accents of anger, words of agony,
        And voices high and hoarse, with sound of hands,
    Made up a tumult that goes whirling on
       Forever in that air forever black,
       Even as the sand doth, when the whirlwind breathes."--_Longfellow_.

      "'Through me you pass into the city of woe:
    Through me you pass into eternal pain:
    Through me among the people lost for aye.
    Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
    To rear me was the task of power divine,
    Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
    Before me things create were none, save things
    Eternal, and eternal I endure.
    All hope abandon, ye who enter here.'
      Such characters, in color dim, I marked
    Over a portal's lofty arch inscribed.
    Whereat I thus: 'Master, these words import
    Hard meaning.' He as one prepared replied:
    'Here thou must all distrust behind thee leave;
    Here be vile fear extinguished. We are come
    Where I have told thee we shall see the souls
    To misery doomed, who intellectual good
    Have lost.' And when his hand he had stretched forth
    To mine, with pleasant looks, whence I was cheered.
    Into that secret place he led me on.
      Here sighs, with lamentations and loud moans,
    Resounded through the air pierced by no star,
    That e'en I wept at entering. Various tongues,
    Horrible languages, outcries of woe,
    Accents of anger, voices deep and hoarse,
    With hands together smote that swelled the sounds,
    Made up a tumult, that forever whirls
    Round through that air with solid darkness stained,
    Like to the sand that in the whirlwind flies."

                        _Cary._

The following, though less remarkable for its poetry than many others
which we might select, is very difficult for the translator. We cite it
as an illustration of the boldness with which Mr. Longfellow meets
difficulties.

    "E quale è quei che suo dannaggio sogna,
        Che sognando disidera sognare,
        Si che quel ch'è, come non fosse, agogna;
    Tal mi fec'io non potendo parlare:
        Che disiava scusarmi e scusava
        Me tuttavia e not mi credea fare
    Maggior difetto men vergogna lava,
        Disse'l maestro, che'l tuo non è stato:
        Però d'ogni tristizia ti disgrava;
    E fa ragion ch'io ti sempre allato,
        Se più avvien che fortuna t'accoglia
        Dove sien genti in simigliante piato:
    Che voler ciò udire è bassa voglia."

                        _Inferno_, XXX. 136-148.

    "And as he is who dreams of his own harm.
        Who dreaming wishes it may be a dream,
        So that he craves what is, as if it were not;
    Such I became, not having power to speak,
        For to excuse myself I wished, and still
        Excused myself, and did not think I did it.
    'Less shame doth wash away a greater fault,'
        The Master said, 'than this of thine has been;
        Therefore thyself disburden of all sadness,
    And make account that I am aye beside thee,
        If e'er it come to pass that fortune bring thee
        Where there are people in a like dispute;
    For a base wish it is to wish to hear it.'"

                        _Longfellow._

                  "As a man that dreams of harm
    Befallen him, dreaming wishes it a dream,
    And that which is, desires as if it were not;
    Such then was I, who, wanting power to speak,
    Wished to excuse myself, and all the while
    Excused me, though unweeting that I did.
      'More grievous fault than thine has been, less shame,'
    My master cried, 'might expiate. Therefore cast
    All sorrow from thy soul; and if again
    Chance bring thee where like conference is held,
    Think I am ever at thy side. To hear
    Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds.'"

                        _Cary._

The following passage from the Purgatorio is not only strikingly
difficult, but strikingly beautiful.

        "Ed un di lor, non questi che parlava,
        Si torse sotto'l peso che lo 'mpaccia,
    E videmi e conobbemi, e chiamava
        Tenendo gli occhi con fatica fisi
        A me che tutto chin con loro andava.
    Oh, diss'io lui, non se'tu Oderisi,
        L'onor d'Agobbio e l'onor di quell'arte
        Ch'_alluminare_ è chiamata in Parisi?
    Frate, diss' egli, più ridon le carte
        Che pennelleggia Franco Bolognese:
        L'onore è tutto or suo, e mio in parte.
    Ben non sare'io stato sì cortese
        Mentre ch'io vissi, per lo gran disio
        Dell'eccellenza ove mio core intese.
    Di tal superbia qui si paga il fio:
        Ed ancor non sarei qui, se non fosse
        Che, possendo peccar, mi volsi a Dio.
    Oh vana gloria dell'umane posse,
        Com' poco verde in su la cima dura
        Se non è giunta dall'etadi grosse!
    Credette Cimabue nella pintura
        Tenor lo campo; ed ora ha Giotto il grido,
        Sì che la fama di colui s' oscura.
    Così ha tolto l'uno all'altro Guido
        La gloria della lingua; e forse è nato
        Chi l'uno e l'altro caccerà di nido.
    Non è il mondan romore altro ch' un fiato
        Di vento ch' or vien quinci ed or vien quindi,
        E muta nome perchè muta lato.
    Che fama avrai tu più se vecchia scindi
        Da te la carne, che se fossi morto
        Innanzi che lasciassi il pappo e'l dindi,
    Pria che passin mill'anni? ch'è più corto
        Spazio all' eterno ch'un muover di ciglia
        Al cerchio che più tardi in cielo è torto.
    Colui che del cammin sì poco piglia
        Diranzi a te, Toscana sonò tutta,
        Ed ora appena in Siena sen pispiglia,
    Ond'era sire, quando fu distrutta
        La rabbia Fiorentina, che superba
        Fu a quel tempo sì com'ora è putta.
    La vostra nominanza è color d'erba
        Che viene e va, e quei la discolora
        Per cui ell'esce della terra acerba."

                        _Purgatorio_, XI. 74-117.

        "And one of them, not this one who was speaking,
        Twisted himself beneath the weight that cramps him,
    And looked at me, and knew me, and called out,
        Keeping his eyes laboriously fixed
        On me, who all bowed down was going with them.
    'O,' asked I him, 'art thou not Oderisi,
        Agobbio's honor, and honor of that art
        Which is in Paris called illuminating?'
    'Brother,' said he, 'more laughing are the leaves
       Touched by the brush of Franco Bolognese;
       All his the honor now, and mine in part.
    In sooth I had not been so courteous
        While I was living, for the great desire
        Of excellence, on which my heart was bent.
    Here of such pride is payed the forfeiture:
        And yet I should not be here, were it not
        That, having power to sin, I turned to God.
    O thou vain glory of the human powers,
        How little green upon thy summit lingers,
        If 't be not followed by an age of grossness!
    In painting Cimabue thought that he
        Should hold the field, now Giotto has the cry,
        So that the other's fame is growing dim.
    So has one Guido from the other taken
        The glory of our tongue, and he perchance
        Is born, who from the nest shall chase them both.
    Naught is this mundane rumor but a breath
        Of wind, that comes now this way and now that,
        And changes name, because it changes side.
    What fame shalt thou have more, if old peel off
        From thee thy flesh, than if thou hadst been dead
        Before thou left the _pappo_ and the _dindi_,
    Ere pass a thousand years? which is a shorter
        Space to the eterne, than twinkling of an eye
        Unto the circle that in heaven wheels slowest.
    With him, who takes so little of the road
        In front of me, all Tuscany resounded;
        And now he scarce is lisped of in Siena,
    Where he was lord, what time was overthrown
        The Florentine delirium, that superb
        Was at that day as now 'tis prostitute.
    Your reputation is the color of grass
        Which comes and goes, and that discolors it
        By which it issues green from out the earth.'"

                        _Longfellow._

      "Listening I bent my visage down: and one
    (Not he who spake) twisted beneath the weight
    That urged him, saw me, knew me straight, and called;
    Holding his eyes with difficulty fixed
    Intent upon me, stooping as I went
    Companion of their way. 'Oh!' I exclaimed,
    'Art thou not Oderigi? art not thou
    Agobbio's glory, glory of that art
    Which they of Paris call the limner's skill?'
      'Brother!' said he, 'with tints that gayer smile,
    Bolognian Franco's pencil lines the leaves.
    His all the honor now; my light obscured.
    In truth, I had not been thus courteous to him
    The while I lived, through eagerness of zeal
    For that pre-eminence my heart was bent on.
    Here, of such pride, the forfeiture is paid.
    Nor were I even here, if, able still
    To sin, I had not turned me unto God.
    O powers of man! how vain your glory, nipped
    E'en in its height of verdure, if an age
    Less bright succeed not. Cimabue thought
    To lord it over painting's field; and now
    The cry is Giotto's, and his name eclipsed.
    Thus hath one Guido from the other snatched
    The lettered prize; and he, perhaps, is born,
    Who shall drive either from their nest. The noise
    Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind,
    That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name,
    Shifting the point it blows from. Shalt thou more
    Live in the mouths of mankind, if thy flesh
    Part shrivelled from thee, than if thou hadst died
    Before the coral and the pap were left,
    Or e'er some thousand years have passed? and that
    Is, to eternity compared, a space
    Briefer than is the twinkling of an eye
    To the heaven's slowest orb. He there, who treads
    So leisurely before me, far and wide
    Through Tuscany resounded once; and now
    Is in Sienna scarce with whispers named:
    There was he sovereign, when destruction caught
    The maddening rage of Florence, in that day
    Proud as she now is loathsome. Your renown
    Is as the herb, whose hue doth come and go;
    And his might withers it, by whom it sprang
    Crude from the lap of earth.'"--_Cary._

For much the same reason as that already stated, we give the following
beautiful passage, a touching story in itself, but how deeply touching
in the energetic directness and simplicity of Dante's verse!

    "Io mossi i piè del luogo dov'io stava
        Per avvisar da presso un'altra storia
        Che diretro a Micol mi biancheggiava.
    Quivi era storiata l'alta gloria
        Del roman prence lo cui gran valore
        Mosse Gregorio alla sua gran vittoria:
    I' dico di Trajano imperadore;
        Ed una vedovella gli era al freno
        Di lagrime atteggiata e di dolore.
    Dintorno a lui parea calcato e pieno
        Di cavalieri, e l'aguglie nell'oro
        Sovr' essi in vista al vento si movieno.
    La miserella intra tutti costoro
        Parea dicer: signor, fammi vendetta
        Del mio figliuol ch'è morto, ond'io m'accoro;
    Ed egli a lei rispondere: ora aspetta
        Tanto ch'io torni; e quella: signor mio
        (Come persona in cui dolor s'affretta)
    Se tu non torni? ed ei: chi fia dov'io,
        La ti farà; ed ella: l'altrui bene
        A te che fia, se'l tuo metti in oblio?
    Ond'elli: or ti conforta, che conviene
        Ch'io solva il mio dovere anzi ch'io muova:
        Giustizia vuole e pietà mi ritiene.
    Colui che mai non vide cosa nuova
        Produsse esto visibile parlare,
        Novello a noi perchè qui non si truova."

                        _Purgatorio_, X. 70-96.

    "I moved my feet from where I had been standing,
        To examine near at hand another story,
        Which after Michal glimmered white upon me.
    There the high glory of the Roman Prince
        Was chronicled, whose great beneficence
        Moved Gregory to his great victory;
    'Tis of the Emperor Trajan I am speaking;
        And a poor widow at his bridle stood,
        In attitude of weeping and of grief.
    Around about him seemed it thronged and full
        Of cavaliers, and the eagles in the gold
        Above them visibly in the wind were moving.
    The wretched woman in the midst of these
        Seemed to be saying: 'Give me vengeance, Lord,
        For my dead son, for whom my heart is breaking.'
    And he to answer her: 'Now wait until
        I shall return.' And she: 'My Lord,' like one
        In whom grief is impatient, 'shouldst thou not
    Return?' And he: 'Who shall be where I am
        Will give it thee.' And she: 'Good deed of others
        What boots it thee, if thou neglect thine own?
    Whence he: 'Now comfort thee, for it behoves me
        That I discharge my duty ere I move;
        Justice so wills, and pity doth retain me.'
    He who on no new thing has ever looked
        Was the creator of this visible language,
        Novel to us, for here it is not found."

                        _Longfellow._

                  "To behold the tablet next,
    Which, at the back of Michol, whitely shone,
    I moved me. There was storied on the rock
    The exalted glory of the Roman prince,
    Whose mighty worth moved Gregory to earn
    His mighty conquest, Trajan the Emperor.
    A widow at his bridle stood, attired
    In tears and mourning. Round about them trooped
    Full throng of knights; and overhead in gold
    The eagles floated, struggling with the wind.
    The wretch appeared amid all these to say:
    'Grant vengeance, Sire! for, woe beshrew this heart,
    My son is murdered.' He replying seemed:
    'Wait now till I return.' And she, as one
    Made hasty by her grief: 'O Sire! if thou
    Dost not return?'--'Where I am, who then is,
    May right thee.'--'What to thee is other's good,
    If thou neglect thy own?'--'Now comfort thee,'
    At length he answers. 'It beseemeth well
    My duty be performed, ere I move hence:
    So justice wills; and pity bids me stay.'
      He, whose ken nothing new surveys, produced
    That visible speaking, new to us and strange,
    The like not found on earth."--_Cary._

How different is the character of the following description, which fills
the ear with its grand and varied harmony, as it fills the mind with a
rapid succession of pictures!

    "Io m'era mosso e seguia volentieri
        Del mio maestro i passi, ed amendue
        Già mostravam com'eravam leggieri,
    Quando mi disse: Volgi gli occhi in giue;
        Buon ti sarà per alleggiar la via
        Veder lo letto delle piante tue.
    Come, perchè di lor memoria fia,
        Sovr'a'sepolti le tombe terragne
        Portan segnato quel ch'elli eran pria;
    Onde li molte volte si ripiagne
        Per la puntura della rimembranza
        Che solo a'pii dà delle calcagne:
    Si vid'io li, ma di miglior sembianza,
        Secondo l'artificio, figurato
        Quanto per via di fuor del monte avanza.
    Vedea colui che fu nobil creato
        Più d'altra creatura giù dal cielo
        Folgoreggiando scendere da un lato.
    Vedeva Briareo fitto dal teio
        Celestial giacer dall'altra parte,
        Grave alia terra per lo mortal gelo
    Vedea Timbreo, vedea Pallade e Marte
        Armati ancora intorno al padre loro
        Mirar le membra de'giganti sparte.
    Vedea Nembrotto appiè del gran lavoro
        Quasi smarrito riguardar le genti
        Che'n Sennaar con lui insieme foro.
    O Niobe, con che occhi dolenti
        Vedev'io te segnata in su la strada
        Tra sette e sette tuoi figliuoli spenti!
    O Saul, come'n su la propria spada
        Quivi parevi morto in Gelboè
        Che poi non sentì pioggia nè rugiada!
    O folle Aragne, si vedea io te
        Già mezza ragna, trista in su gli stracci
        Dell opera che mal per te si fe'.
    O Roboam, già non par che minnacci
        Quivi il tuo segno, ma pien di spavento
        Nel porta un carro prima ch' altri'l cacci.
    Mostrava ancora il duro pavimento
        Come Almeone a sua madre fe'caro
        Parer lo sventurato adornamento.
    Mostrava come i figli si gittaro
        Sovra Sennacherib dentro dal tempio,
        E come morto lui quivi lasciaro.
    Mostrava la ruina e'l crudo scempio
        Che fe'Tamiri quando disse a Ciro
        Sangue sitisti, ed io di sangue t'empio.
    Mostrava come in rotta si fuggiro
        Gli Assiri poi che fu morto Oloferne,
        Ed anche le reliquie del martiro.
    Vedeva Troja in cenere e in caverne:
        O Ilion, come te basso e vile
        Mostrava il segno che lì si discerne!
    Qual di pennel fu maestro o di stile,
        Che ritraesse l'ombre e gli atti ch'ivi
        Mirar farieno uno'ngegno sottile?
    Morti li morti, e i vivi parean vivi.
        Non vide me'di me chi vide'l vero,
        Quant'io calcai fin che chinato givi."

                        _Purgatorio_, XII. 10-69

    "I had moved on, and followed willingly
        The footsteps of my Master, and we both
        Already showed how light of foot we were,
    When unto me he said: 'Cast down thine eyes;
        'Twere well for thee, to alleviate the way,
        To look upon the bed beneath thy feet.'
    As, that some memory may exist of them,
        Above the buried dead their tombs in earth
        Bear sculptured on them what they were before;
    Whence often there we weep for them afresh,
        From pricking of remembrance, which alone
        To the compassionate doth set its spur;
    So saw I there, but of a better semblance
        In point of artifice, with figures covered
        Whate'er as pathway from the mount projects.
    I saw that one who was created noble
        More than all other creatures, down from heaven
        Flaming with lightnings fall upon one side.
    I saw Briareus smitten by the dart
        Celestial, lying on the other side,
        Heavy upon the earth by mortal frost.
    I saw Thymbræus, Pallas saw, and Mars,
        Still clad in armor round about their father,
        Gaze at the scattered members of the giants.
    I saw, at foot of his great labor, Nimrod,
        As if bewildered, looking at the people
        Who had been proud with him in Sennaar.
    O Niobe! with what afflicted eyes
        Thee I beheld upon the pathway traced,
        Between thy seven and seven children slain!
    O Saul! how fallen upon thy proper sword
        Didst thou appear there lifeless in Gilboa,
        That felt thereafter neither rain nor dew!
    O mad Arachne! so I thee beheld
        E'en then half spider, sad upon the shreds
        Of fabric wrought in evil hour for thee!
    O Rehoboam! no more seems to threaten
        Thine image there; but full of consternation
        A chariot bears it off, when none pursues!
    Displayed moreo'er the adamantine pavement
        How unto his own mother made Alcmæon
        Costly appear the luckless ornament;
    Displayed how his own sons did throw themselves
        Upon Sennacherib within the temple,
        And how, he being dead, they left him there;
    Displayed the ruin and the cruel carnage
        That Tomyris wrought, when she to Cyrus said,
        'Blood didst thou thirst for, and with blood I glut thee!'
    Displayed how routed fled the Assyrians
        After that Holofernes had been slain,
        And likewise the remainder of that slaughter.
    I saw there Troy in ashes and in caverns;
        O Ilion! thee, how abject and debased,
        Displayed the image that is there discerned!
    Who e'er of pencil master was or stile,
        That could portray the shades and traits which there
        Would cause each subtile genius to admire?
    Dead seemed the dead, the living seemed alive;
        Better than I saw not who saw the truth,
        All that I trod upon while bowed I went."

                        _Longfellow._

      "I now my leader's track not loath pursued;
    And each had shown how light we fared along,
    When thus he warned me: 'Bend thine eyesight down:
    For thou, to ease the way, shalt find it good
    To ruminate the bed beneath thy feet.'
      As, in memorial of the buried, drawn
    Upon earth-level tombs, the sculptured form
    Of what was once, appears, (at sight whereof
    Tears often stream forth, by remembrance waked,
    Whose sacred stings the piteous often feel,)
    So saw I there, but with more curious skill
    Of portraiture o'erwrought, whate'er of space
    From forth the mountain stretches. On one part
    Him I beheld, above all creatures erst
    Created noblest, lightening fall from heaven:
    On the other side, with bolt celestial pierced,
    Briareus; cumbering earth he lay, through dint
    Of mortal ice-stroke. The Thymbræan god,
    With Mars, I saw, and Pallas, round their sire,
    Armed still, and gazing on the giants' limbs
    Strewn o'er the ethereal field. Nimrod I saw:
    At foot of the stupendous work he stood,
    As if bewildered, looking on the crowd
    Leagued in his proud attempt on Sennaar's plain.
      O Niobe! in what a trance of woe
    Thee I beheld, upon that highway drawn,
    Seven sons on either side thee slain. O Saul!
    How ghastly didst thou look, on thine own sword
    Expiring, in Gilboa, from that hour
    Ne'er visited with rain from heaven, or dew.
      O fond Arachne! thee I also saw,
    Half spider now, in anguish, crawling up
    The unfinished web thou weavedst to thy bane.
      O Rehoboam! here thy shape doth seem
    Lowering no more defiance; but fear-smote,
    With none to chase him, in his chariot whirled.
      Was shown beside upon the solid floor,
    How dear Alcmæon forced his mother rate
    That ornament, in evil hour received:
    How, in the temple, on Sennacherib fell
    His sons, and how a corpse they left him there.
    Was shown the scath, and cruel mangling made
    By Tomyris on Cyrus, when she cried,
    'Blood thou didst thirst for: take thy fill of blood.'
    Was shown how routed in the battle fled
    The Assyrians, Holofernes slain, and e'en
    The relics of the carnage. Troy I marked,
    In ashes and in caverns. Oh! how fallen,
    How abject, Ilion, was thy semblance there!
      What master of the pencil or the style
    Had traced the shades and lines, that might have made
    The subtlest workman wonder? Dead, the dead;
    The living seemed alive: with clearer view
    His eye beheld not who beheld the truth,
    Than mine what I did tread on, while I went
    Low bending."--_Cary._

The following is distinguished from all that we have cited thus far by
softness and delicacy of touch.

    "Vago già di cercar dentro e d'intorno
        La divina foresta spessa e viva
        Ch'agli occhi temperava il nuovo giorno,
    Senza più aspettar lasciai la riva
        Prendendo la campagna lento lento
        Su per lo suol che d'ogni parte oliva.
    Un'aura dolce senza mutamento
        Avere in se, mi feria per la fronte,
        Non di più colpo che soave vento:
    Per cui le fronde tremolando pronte
        Tutte quante piegavano alla parte
        U'la prim' ombra gitta il santo monte;
    Non però dal loro esser dritto sparte
        Tanto, che gli augelletti per le cime
        Lasciasser d'operare ogni lor arte;
    Ma con piena letizia l'ore prime
        Cantando ricevieno intra le foglie
        Che tenevan bordone alle sue rime,
    Tal qual di ramo in ramo si raccoglie
        Per la pineta in sul lito di Chiassi,
        Quand'Eolo scirocco fuor discioglie.
    Gia m'avean trasportato i lenti passi
        Dentro all'antica selva tanto, ch'io
        Non potea rivedere ond'io m'entrassi;
    Ed ecco il più andar mi tolse un rio
        Che'nver sinistra con sue picciol'onde
        Piegava l'erba che'n sua ripa uscio.
    Tutte l'acque che son di qua più monde
        Parrieno avere in se mistura alcuna
        Verso di quella che nulla nasconde,
    Avvegna che si muova bruna bruna
        Sotto l'ombra perpetua, che mai
        Raggiar non lascia sole ivi nè luna.
    Co' piè ristetti e con gli occhi passai
        Di là dal fiumicel per ammirare
        La gran variazion de'freschi mai;
    E là m'apparve, si com'egli appare
        Subitamente cosa che disvia
        Per maraviglia tutt'altro pensare,
    Una donna soletta che si gia
        Cantando ed iscegliendo fior da fiore
        Ond' era pinta tutta la sua via."

                        _Purgatorio_, XXVIII. 1-42.

    "Eager already to search in and round
        The heavenly forest, dense and living-green,
        Which tempered to the eyes the new-born day,
    Withouten more delay I left the bank,
        Taking the level country slowly, slowly
        Over the soil that everywhere breathes fragrance.
    A softly-breathing air, that no mutation
        Had in itself, upon the forehead smote me
        No heavier blow than of a gentle wind,
    Whereat the branches, lightly tremulous,
        Did all of them bow downward toward that side
        Where its first shadow casts the Holy Mountain;
    Yet not from their upright direction swayed,
        So that the little birds upon their tops
        Should leave the practice of each art of theirs;
    But with full ravishment the hours of prime,
        Singing, received they in the midst of leaves,
        That ever bore a burden to their rhymes,
    Such as from branch to branch goes gathering on
        Through the pine forest on the shore of Chiassi,
        When Eolus unlooses the Sirocco.
    Already my slow steps had carried me
        Into the ancient wood so far, that I
        Could not perceive where I had entered it.
    And lo! my further course a stream cut off,
        Which tow'rd the left hand with its little waves
        Bent down the grass that on its margin sprang.
    All waters that on earth most limpid are
        Would seem to have within themselves some mixture
        Compared with that which nothing doth conceal,
    Although it moves on with a brown, brown current
        Under the shade perpetual, that never
        Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon.
    With feet I stayed, and with mine eyes I passed
        Beyond the rivulet, to look upon
        The great variety of the fresh may.
    And there appeared to me (even as appears
        Suddenly something that doth turn aside
        Through very wonder every other thought)
    A lady all alone, who went along
        Singing and culling floweret after floweret,
        With which her pathway was all painted over."

                        _Longfellow._

      "Through that celestial forest, whose thick shade
    With lively greenness the new-springing day
    Attempered, eager now to roam, and search
    Its limits round, forthwith I left the bank;
    Along the champaign leisurely my way
    Pursuing, o'er the ground, that on all sides
    Delicious odor breathed. A pleasant air,
    That intermitted never, never veered,
    Smote on my temples, gently, as a wind
    Of softest influence: at which the sprays,
    Obedient all, leaned trembling to that part
    Where first the holy mountain casts his shade;
    Yet were not so disordered, but that still
    Upon their top the feathered quiristers
    Applied their wonted art, and with full joy
    Welcomed those hours of prime, and warbled shrill
    Amid the leaves, that to their jocund lays
    Kept tenor; even as from branch to branch,
    Along the piny forests on the shore
    Of Chiassi, rolls the gathering melody.
    When Eolus hath from his cavern loosed
    The dripping south. Already had my steps,
    Though slow, so far into that ancient wood
    Transported me, I could not ken the place
    Where I had entered; when, behold! my path
    Was bounded by a rill, which, to the left,
    With little rippling waters bent the grass
    That issued from its brink. On earth no wave
    How clean soe'er, that would not seem to have
    Some mixture in itself, compared with this,
    Transpicuous clear; yet darkly on it rolled
    Darkly beneath perpetual gloom, which ne'er
    Admits or sun or moonlight there to shine.
      My feet advanced not; but my wondering eyes
    Passed onward, o'er the streamlet, to survey
    The tender May-bloom, flushed through many a hue,
    In prodigal variety: and there,
    As object, rising suddenly to view,
    That from our bosom every thought beside
    With the rare marvel chases, I beheld
    A lady all alone, who, singing, went,
    And culling flower from flower, wherewith her way
    Was all o'er painted."--_Cary._

We give a characteristic passage from the Paradiso.

    "Fiorenza dentro dalla cerchia antica,
        Ond'ella toglie ancora e terza e nona,
        Si stava in pace sobria e pudica.
    Non avea catenella, non corona,
        Non donne contigiate, non cintura
        Che fosse a veder più che la persona.
    Non faceva nascendo ancor paura
        La figlia al padre, che il tempo e la dote
        Non fuggian quinci e quindi la misura.
    Non avea case di famiglia vote;
        Non v'era giunto ancor Sardanapalo
        A mostrar ciò ch'in camera si puote.
    Non era vinto ancora Montemalo
        Dal vostro Uccellatoio, che com'è vinto
        Nel montar su, così sarà nel calo.
    Bellincion Berti vid'io andar cinto
        Di cuojo e d'osso, e venir dallo specchio
        La donna sua senza'l viso dipinto:
    E vidi quel di Nerli e quel del Vecchio
        Esser contenti alla pelle scoverta,
        E le sue donne al fuso ed al pennecchio:
    Oh fortunate! e ciascuna era certa
        Della sua sepoltura, ed ancor nulla
        Era per Francia nel letto deserta.
    L'una vegghiava a studio della culla,
        E consolando usava l'idioma
        Che pria li padri e le madri trastulla:
    L'altra traendo alla rocca la chioma
        Favoleggiava con la sua famiglia
        De'Trojani e di Fiesole e di Roma.
    Saria tenuta allor tal maraviglia
        Una Cianghella, un Lapo Salterello,
        Qual or saria Cincinnato e Corniglia.
    A così riposato, a così bello
        Viver di cittadini, a così fida
        Cittadinanza, a così dolce ostello,
    Maria mi diè, chiamata in alte grida;
        E nell'antico vostro Batisteo
        Insieme fui Cristiano e Cacciaguida."

                        _Paradiso_, XV. 97-135.

    "Florence, within the ancient boundary
        From which she taketh still her tierce and nones,
        Abode in quiet, temperate and chaste.
    No golden chain she had, nor coronal,
        Nor ladies shod with sandal shoon, nor girdle
        That caught the eye more than the person did.
    Not yet the daughter at her birth struck fear
        Into the father, for the time and dower
        Did not o'errun this side or that the measure.
    No houses had she void of families,
        Not yet had thither come Sardanapalus
        To show what in a chamber can be done;
    Not yet surpassed had Montemalo been
        By your Uccellatojo, which surpassed
        Shall in its downfall be as in its rise.
    Bellincion Berti saw I go begirt
        With leather and with bone, and from the mirror
        His dame depart without a painted face;
    And him of Nerli saw, and him of Vecchio,
        Contented with their simple suits of buff,
        And with the spindle and the flax their dames.
    O fortunate women! and each one was certain
        Of her own burial-place, and none as yet
        For sake of France was in her bed deserted.
    One o'er the cradle kept her studious watch,
        And in her lullaby the language used
        That first delights the fathers and the mothers;
    Another, drawing tresses from her distaff,
        Told o'er among her family the tales
        Of Trojans and of Fesole and Rome.
    As great a marvel then would have been held
        A Lapo Salterello, a Cianghella,
        As Cincinnatus or Cornelia now.
    To such a quiet, such a beautiful
        Life of the citizen, to such a safe
        Community, and to so sweet an inn,
    Did Mary give me, with loud cries invoked,
        And in your ancient Baptistery at once
        Christian and Cacciaguida I became."

                        _Longfellow_

      "Florence, within her ancient limit-mark,
    Which calls her still to matin prayers and noon,
    Was chaste and sober, and abode in peace,
    She had no armlets and no head-tires then;
    No purfled dames; no zone, that caught the eye
    More than the person did. Time was not yet,
    When at his daughter's birth the sire grew pale,
    For fear the age and dowry should exceed,
    On each side, just proportion. House was none
    Void of its family: nor yet had come
    Sardanapalus, to exhibit feats
    Of chamber prowess. Montemalo yet
    O'er our suburban turret rose; as much
    To be surpassed in fall, as in its rising.
    I saw Bellincion Berti walk abroad
    In leathern girdle, and a clasp of bone;
    And, with no artful coloring on her cheeks,
    His lady leave the glass. The sons I saw
    Of Nerli, and of Vecchio, well content
    With unrobed jerkin; and their good dames handling
    The spindle and the flax: O happy they!
    Each sure of burial in her native land,
    And none left desolate abed for France.
    One waked to tend the cradle, hushing it
    With sounds that lulled the parent's infancy:
    Another, with her maidens, drawing off
    The tresses from the distaff, lectured them
    Old tales of Troy, and Fesole, and Rome.
    A Salterello and Cianghella we
    Had held as strange a marvel, as ye would
    A Cincinnatus or Cornelia now.
      In such composed and seemly fellowship,
    Such faithful and such fair equality,
    In so sweet household, Mary at my birth
    Bestowed me, called on with loud cries; and there,
    In your old baptistery, I was made
    Christian at once and Cacciaguida."--_Cary._

It would be easy to extend our quotations; but we have given enough of
Mr. Longfellow's translation to show with what conceptions of duty to
the original he came to his task, and how perfectly that duty has been
performed. According to his theory, then, as we gather it from these
volumes, translation is not paraphrase, is not interpretation, is not
imitation, but is the rigorous rendering of word for word, so far as the
original difference of idioms permits. Its basis is truth to the form as
well as to the thought, to the letter as well as to the spirit, of the
text. The translator is like the messengers of the Bible and Homer, who
repeat word for word the message that has been confided to them. He,
too, if he would be true to his office, must give the message as it has
been given to him, repeat the story in the words in which it was told
him. Every deviation from the letter of the original is a deviation from
the truth. Every epithet that is either added or taken away is a
falsification of the text. The addition or the omission may sometimes be
an improvement, but it is an improvement which you have no authority to
make. It is not to learn what you think Homer or Dante might have said
that the reader comes to your translation, but to see what they really
said. When Cesarotti undertook to show how Homer would have written in
the eighteenth century, he recast the Iliad and called it "The Death of
Hector," and in this he dealt more honestly with his readers than Pope;
for, although he failed to make a good poem, he did not attempt to pass
it for Homer.

The greatest difficulty of the translator arises from his personality.
He cannot forget himself, cannot guard, as he ought, against those
subtle insinuations of self-esteem which are constantly leading him to
improve upon his author. His own habits of thought would have suggested
a different turn to the verse, a different coloring to the image. He
finds it as hard to forget his own style, as to forget his identity. It
demands a vigorous imagination, combined with deep poetic sympathies, to
go out of yourself and enter for a time wholly into the heart and mind,
the thoughts and feelings, of another; and it is not to all that such an
imagination and such sympathies are given. There is scarcely a great
failure in poetical translation, which may not be traced to the want of
this power.

It may seem like the grave enunciation of a truism to say that another
indispensable qualification of the translator is perfect familiarity
with the language from which he translates, and a full command of his
own. It is not by mere reading that such a familiarity can be acquired.
You must have learnt to think in a language, and made it the spontaneous
expression of your wants and feelings, if you would find in it the true
interpretation of the wants and feelings of others. Its words and idioms
must awaken in you the same sensations which the words and idioms of
your own language awaken; giving pleasure as music, or a picture, or a
statue, or a fine building gives pleasure, not by an act of reflection
under the control of the will, but by an intuitive perception under the
inspiration of a sense of the beautiful. The enjoyment of a thought is
partly an intellectual enjoyment; you may even reason yourself into it;
but the enjoyment of style and language is purely an æsthetic enjoyment,
susceptible, indeed, of culture, but springing from an inborn sense of
harmony. To extend this enjoyment to a foreign language, you must bring
that language close to you, and form with it those intimate relations
between thought and word which you have formed in your own. The word
must not only suggest the thought, but become a part of it, as the
painting becomes a part of the canvas. It must strike your ear with a
familiar sound, awakening pleasant memories of actual life and real
scenes. Idioms are often interpreters of national life, giving you
sudden glimpses, and even deep revelations, of manners and customs, and
the circumstances whence they sprang. They are often, too, brief
formulas, condensing thought into its briefest expression, with a force
and energy which the full expression could not give. To mistake them, is
to mistake the whole passage. Not to feel them, is not to feel the most
characteristic form of thought.

The preposition _da_ is one of the most versatile words in Italian. Its
literal meaning is _from_; it is daily used to express _to_. _Da me_ may
mean _from me_: it may also mean _to me_. _Fit_ or _deserving to be
done_ is a common meaning of it; and it is in this sense that Dante uses
it in the following passage from the fourth canto of Paradiso,
fifty-fifth line:--

        "Con intenzion _da_ non esser derisa,"--
    With intention not (_deserving to be_) to be derided.

Cary, though a good Italian scholar, translates it _to shun derision_;
and, giving it this sense, quotes Stillingfleet to illustrate the
thought which, for want of practical familiarity with the language, he
attributes to Dante.

We believe, then, that the qualifications of a translator may be briefly
summed up under the following heads:--

He must be conscientiously truthful, studiously following his text, word
by word and line by line.

He must possess a thorough mastery over both languages, feeling as well
as understanding the words and idioms of his original.

He must possess the power of forgetting himself in his author.

And, lastly, he must be not merely a skilful artificer of verses, or a
man of poetic sensibility, but a poet in the highest and truest sense of
the word.

We would gladly enlarge upon this interesting subject, which not only
explains the shortcomings of the past, but opens enticing vistas into
the future. We cannot doubt that Mr. Longfellow's example will be
followed, and that from time to time other great poets will arise, who;
not content with enriching literature with original productions, will
acknowledge it as a part of what they owe the world, to do for Homer and
Virgil and Æschylus and Sophocles what he has done for Dante. It is
pleasant to think that our children will sit at the feet of these great
masters, and, listening to them in English worthy of the tongues in
which they first spake, be led to enter more fully into the spirit of
the abundant Greek and the majestic Latin. It is cheering to the lovers
of sound study to feel that every faithful version of a great poet
extends the influence of his works, and awakens a stronger desire for
the original. We never yet looked upon an engraving of Morghen without a
new longing for the painting which it translated.

We have not left ourselves room for what we had intended to say about
the notes, which form half of each of these three volumes. Those who
know what conscientious zeal Mr. Longfellow brings to all his duties
need not be told that they bear abundant testimony to his learning,
industry, and good taste. They not only leave nothing to be asked for in
the explanation of real difficulties, but, as answers to a wide range of
philosophical, biographical, and historical questions, form in
themselves a delightful miscellany. Dante has been overladen by
commentators. In Mr. Longfellow he has found an interpreter.

It is not to Mr. Longfellow's reputation only that these volumes will
add, but to that of American literature. It is no little thing to be
able to say, that, in a field in which some of England's great poets
have signally failed, an American poet has signally succeeded; that what
the scholars of the Old World asserted to be impossible, a scholar of
the New World has accomplished; and that the first to tread in this new
path has impressed his footprints so deeply therein, that, however
numerous his followers may be, they will all unite in hailing him, with
Dante's own words,--

        "Tu Duca, tu Signore e tu Maestro,"--
    Thou Leader and thou Lord and Master thou.



THE OLD STORY.


    The waiting-women wait at her feet,
      And the day is fading down to the night,
    And close at her pillow, and round and sweet,
      The red rose burns like a lamp a-light.
    Under and over, the gray mist lops,
      And down and down from the mossy eaves,
      And down from the sycamore's long wild leaves,
    The slow rain drops and drops and drops.

    Ah! never had sleeper a sleep so fair;
      And the waiting-women that weep around
    Have taken the combs from her golden hair,
      And it slideth over her face to the ground.
    They have hidden the light from her lovely eyes;
      And down from the eaves where the mosses grow
      The rain is dripping, so slow, so slow,
    And the night-wind cries and cries and cries.

    From her hand they have taken the shining ring,
      They have brought the linen her shroud to make;
    O, the lark she was never so loath to sing,
      And the morn she was never so loath to awake!
    And at their sewing they hear the rain,--
      Drip-drop, drip-drop, over the eaves,
      And drip-drop over the sycamore-leaves,
    As if there would never be sunshine again.

    The mourning train to the grave have gone,
      And the waiting-women are here and are there,
    With birds at the windows and gleams of the sun
      Making the chamber of death to be fair.
    And under and over the mist unlaps,
      And ruby and amethyst burn through the gray,
      And driest bushes grow green with spray,
    And the dimpled water its glad hands claps.

    The leaves of the sycamore dance and wave,
      And the mourners put off the mourning shows,
    And over the pathway down to the grave
      The long grass blows and blows and blows.
    And every drip-drop rounds to a flower,
      And love in the heart of the young man springs,
      And the hands of the maidens shine with rings,
    As if all life were a festival hour.



A WEEK'S RIDING.


"My dear grandfather, why did Mr. Erle start so this evening when he saw
my picture?" I said.

He laughed softly as he answered: "He will tell you himself to-morrow,
if you care to ask him. It is no secret, but you will like the story
best as he tells it. A very pretty story,--a very pretty story," he went
on, as he kissed me good-night, "and one my little girl will relish as
much as a novel."

My grandfather was such a fine, white-haired old gentleman, and looked
so handsome in his handsome house! It was one of the old, square houses
which are fading from the land in country as well as in town, ample and
generous in every way, with broad, carved stairways, and great, wide
hearths for andirons,--a house to make the heart glad, and incline it to
all sweet hospitalities. The warm, low rooms were full of furniture,
softened and made comfortable by unsparing use; the walls were hung with
good paintings and engravings, some of them real masterpieces. But the
glory of the house was its bronzes, gathered by three generations of
rarely cultured men, from my great-great-grandfather, whose rougher
purchases were put in more hidden corners every year, to the grandson
now in possession, whose pure taste chose the latest gems of French art,
and placed them where our eyes might best enjoy their beauty. The
library was crimson, and the dining-room beyond two exquisite shades of
brown and gold, a curtained doorway between. In these two rooms I spent
most of my time when I was with my grandfather, reading with him, and
singing to him, and listening to his cynical, witty talk. At dusk we
gathered round the fire, he and I and the two tawny setters, three of us
on the rug, and he in his long, low chair, and talked of the old family,
whose sons were all dead, and of the gay years when we had been in our
glory. I thought we were very well off in worldly possessions as it
was, but my dear old hero put such content to speedy flight with his
tales of the days that were gone, when, to put implicit trust in him, a
regal hospitality had filled the house with great and distinguished
guests, glad to be with the family which always had a son leading the
right in state and in church, in army and in navy.

I listened with glowing heart, and looked proudly at our men as I walked
by their portraits in the halls on my way to bed. Perhaps my faith in
their great deeds is not so childlike now; but it was pure and unlimited
then, and those library stories can never fade from my memory.

I had been with my grandfather a week when the conversation with which
my tale opens occurred, and I was to return to my parents in three days,
under the protection of the very gentleman who was the subject of it.
The two old friends were very intimate, and Mr. Erle spent every evening
at the house; so I knew him well, and had no fear in asking him any
question I chose, and I looked forward to the next evening as to a grand
festival.

When we came in from dinner, I drew the window-shade, and saw that it
was snowing fiercely.

"Perhaps he will not come," I said, turning to my grandfather
disconsolately.

"Never fear that," he answered. "Mr. Erle is a man who is not kept at
home by the weather, or anything else."

I came to the hearth. The last words had been added in the dry tone
which always meant something, coming from his lips.

"Has Mr. Erle children?" I asked.

"Yes; the youngest boy is only sixteen."

"And he never spends an evening at home?"

"I've not known him to do so for twenty years. Sing the 'Health to King
Charles,' dear."

I sat down at the piano, and sang as I was bid.

We were stanch loyalists from tradition, and my list of Stuart songs was
so long that I had sung scarcely half of it when the clock struck nine,
and rapid wheels came over the pavements. Opposite our door the horse
slipped, and we heard the instantaneous lash singing in the night air
and descending unmercifully on the poor animal. An immense stamping and
rearing ensued. "That is Erle, sure enough," my grandfather said, going
to the window. I followed him, and lifted the shade in time to see Mr.
Erle standing in the trampled snow at the horse's head, patting him as
gently as a woman could have done. In a moment he nodded to his servant,
and watched him drive round the corner before turning to our door.

He came in quickly, exquisitely dressed, and courteous, with the
beautiful old manner they cannot teach us now. After the first words, my
grandfather said, with a superb affectation of seriousness, "The
merciful man is merciful to his beast."

Mr. Erle looked up, with a bright laugh. "So you heard our little
dispute? The old fellow bears me no malice, you may be sure; he knows
that I never sulk."

"Perhaps he would like it a little better if you did," I said.

"Not at all. He respects me for my quick ways with him."

I shook my head doubtingly, and then, as if in defence of his theory, he
said: "Did I ever tell you of Lillie Burton? Her animals did not mind a
little discipline."

My grandfather laughed. "Oddly enough, we had laid a plot to make you
tell that charming history this very evening," he said.

"Don't laugh about it," Mr. Erle answered. "I cannot tell you how
vividly the sight of Miss Thesta's picture brought back the old time to
me."

"I beg your pardon," the other said, bowing.

At that moment a servant came in with wine, placing the Japanese waiter
with the old gilded bottle and glasses at my grandfather's elbow on the
table. He poured out three glasses, and said, very simply: "We will have
our own old way to-night, Erle, while you tell your old story, and drink
as our fathers did, not vile alcohols, but the good fruit of the vine.
Remember, Thesta, I leave you all my wine, on condition that you drink
it, and never let a drop of whiskey come into your house."

"I promise," I said, and sat down at his feet.

"Perhaps you have heard of Lillie Burton?" Mr. Erle began.

I had a confused idea that the name of his wife was Lillie; but it was
so confused that I answered, frankly, "No, I never heard of her at all."

"She is not Lillie Burton now," he went on with a sigh; "but I must
begin at the beginning. It is a real horse story, which will tell in its
favor with you, I am sure."

"Yes, indeed," I answered, with enthusiasm, and then he began anew.

"I was a gay, happy man of twenty-four, living in London with my dear
friend, now dead, Richard Satterlee. We imagined ourselves very tired of
town gayeties, and were languidly looking round for some country-place
where we could be alone and quiet for a week or so, when the little
incident occurred which led to my acquaintance with Lillie Burton. I
must tell you that Satterlee and I were used up in more ways than
one,--we had been unfortunate at the races that year, and so were well
out of pocket, and I had not escaped heart-free from the season's balls,
as Dick had, who, bless his honest soul, was as unmoved as a rock among
the fairest women of the land. Not that they were indifferent to him,
though. His broad shoulders and downcast eyes made sad havoc among them,
Miss Thesta,--so beware of those attractions among the men you meet:
there are none more deadly. Well, they loved Dick, and I loved Miss
Ferrers. She was not very handsome, but more fascinating to me than any
other woman, and as thorough a flirt as ever made a man miserable. Never
mind the how and why, but, believe me, I was very hard hit indeed, and
sincerely thought myself the most wretched man in all London when I
heard that she had gone to Spain with her brother-in-law, Lord West, and
his wife. She had treated me shamefully; but I loved her all the more
for it, and was quite desperate, in short. You may not think it of me,
but I could neither sleep nor eat. In this state of mind I was walking
home one afternoon, determined to tell Satterlee that I should leave
him, and go back to my people in America, when I saw a small crowd
ahead, and heard them cheer before they broke up and walked away. I
should have passed by without a second glance, had I not been struck by
the appearance of one of the three men who remained on the spot,--a
strong-limbed fellow of thirty, evidently of purest Saxon blood. His
whole face was handsome, but his hair was simply superb, and this it was
that attracted me. Imagine long yellow locks of brightest gold, not
exactly curling, but waving in short, determined waves back from a low
forehead. Ah, I cannot describe to you that wonderful hair, how it shone
on me through the gloaming, and drew me irresistibly to the man himself!
I stopped, and asked one of the others what the row had been about.

"'O, he pitched into a feller that was kicking a dog, and came near
getting kicked hisself,' was the only answer I got, as he walked off
with his companion. I turned to my hero, and, as our eyes met, a
pleasant smile lighted up his face. 'Can you tell me the nearest place
where I can buy a hat?' he said; 'there's not much use in picking up
that thing,' pointing to a mashed heap in the gutter.

"'I should think not,' I said. 'There is no shop near, but if you will
come round the corner to my rooms, I can provide you with a covering of
some kind.'

"'Thank you,' he answered, and we walked away together. There was not
time for much talk, and he had said nothing of himself when we opened
the door. Satterlee was standing with his back to the fire, and no
sooner did he see my companion than he sprang forward, in eager welcome.
'Burton of Darrow, by all the gods!' he cried. 'Where's your hat, good
friend?'

"He of the golden locks burst into a merry laugh,--what white teeth he
had! 'It is gone forever. Do let me know your friend, who has been so
kind to me about it.'

"We were introduced to each other in due form, and Burton sat down at
our hearth like an old friend, chatting merrily, and warming his great
fists at the blaze. 'I ought not to have stayed so long,' he said
presently, 'my father will have waited for me. Can the hats be
marshalled, Mr. Erle?'

"I brought out all my store, and Satterlee's too, and, amid much
laughter, Burton managed to hide some of his mane under a soft felt, and
bade us good night. 'I must have you both at Darrow,' he said, his hand
on the latch; 'remember that, and expect a note in the morning to tell
you when to come.'

"As the door closed I laid my hands on Dick's shoulders. '_Who_ is he?'
was all I said.

"'Why, Gerald, you're waking up,' he answered. 'If the male Burton can
do this, what will not Lillie do?'

"'But who is he?' I repeated.

"'He's the oldest son of John Burton of Darrow, in ----shire. They are
farmers, and they might be gentlemen, but they are queer, and won't. For
generations untold they have cultivated their own land, and are mighty
men at the plough and in the saddle. So are the women of the family, for
that matter. But you will see when we go down. They are one of the few
great yeoman families left in the land. We shall have a jolly time.'

"'And who is Lillie?' I asked.

"'This man's sister. If you want to see a woman ride, see her,--it's
absolute perfection,--hereditary too: they all ride till they marry.'

"'And not afterwards?' I said, very much amused.

"'Never for mere pleasure, I believe. They have family traditions about
all sorts of things, this among others. It is some notion about taking
care of their homes and children, if I remember rightly. Miss Lillie
will tell you all about it. How lucky that you met Jack this afternoon.'

"This was all I could get out of Satterlee; but, dull as you may think
it, I was really interested, and waited impatiently for the coming
invitation.

"The next morning arrived a note from Mr. Burton, asking us, in his
father's name, to spend the next week at Darrow, and saying that the
farmers' races were to take place then, and would be our only amusement.
Before the day for starting came, I had lost half the enthusiasm which
the sight of valiant Jack Burton's hair had kindled, and tried hard to
get off from going; but Satterlee was bent on a week's riding, as he
always called our visit, and we started early one Wednesday morning, and
at dusk on Friday found ourselves entering the broad valley which formed
the Darrow estate. Satterlee was familiar with the ground, and
discoursed eloquently of its beauty and fertility as we drove along; but
he failed to interest me, for, to tell the truth, I was sunk in
melancholy, and thought only of Miss Ferrers and of that which had
passed between us. Why had I come all these miles to see people who were
total strangers to me, and would almost certainly prove dull, or even
vulgar? Dick was an enthusiast, and not to be believed,--we might turn
back even then.

"Such were my thoughts as we entered the lane at the end of which shone
the lights of Darrow House. As we drew near, I could see that it was a
mere farm-house,--very large indeed, but otherwise in no way
remarkable. We drove up to a side-door, and had hardly stopped when the
ringing voice of Jack Burton greeted our ears, and he came striding out,
his glorious hair all afloat, as I had seen him in London streets a week
before. All my love for the man--and I can use no lesser term--came back
on the instant, and I grasped his hand almost as warmly as he did mine,
I was so glad to be there.

"'Come in and see my father,' he said. 'He was afraid we should not see
you to-night.'

"We went into the hall, and then, immediately through an open door at
the farther end, into the most homelike room I ever saw,--a large room,
exquisitely toned by great brown rafters, and lit by two fires, one at
each end. Near one stood an immense wooden table covered with tools of
every kind, and with what seemed to me a confused heap of saddles and
bridles. Over it bent two men and a woman. I only saw that all three had
the same wonderful light hair which so fascinated me; for Burton led us
directly to the other fire, and introduced us to his father. He was a
man of seventy, very roughly dressed, but self-possessed and courteous.
'You are welcome to Darrow,' he said, in low, gentle tones. 'I hope I
shall be able to give you good sport while you are here.'

"This seemed to be all we were expected to say with him, for he bowed
slightly, and Burton said, 'Come now to the workshop, as I call it,' and
led us to the other end of the room. Satterlee went forward and shook
hands warmly with the two young men and their sister, whose face I did
not see, as it was turned away from me; and then Burton said, 'Lillie,
this is Mr. Erle, whose hat you found so comfortable.'

"As he began to speak, she looked round, and held out her hand with a
frank smile, saying, 'I, too, must thank you for that famous hat, Mr.
Erle, for I wore it in a hard rain, day before yesterday, when I had to
go out to train my colt for the coming races.'

"She said this very simply, in a sweet, almost singing tone, not unlike
her father's, looking me full in the face meanwhile. I will try to tell
you what she was like,--for I can remember her, after all these years,
just as she stood, a saddler's awl in her hand, by the great table at
Darrow. She was tall and broad and perfectly symmetrical in figure. I
have never seen a woman who at the first glance gave the idea of elastic
strength as she did, and yet she was by no means what you would call a
large woman. Her face was like her brother's, really handsome, and full
of sweetness,--the eyes so blue and living that no one could disbelieve
their story of a great soul beneath. And, like her brother, she was
crowned with a golden glory of hair. It was half brushed from her face,
and clung thickly to her head, then wound in shining braids at the
back,--waving and rippling just like Jack's. I never saw such wonderful
heads as these four Burtons had. I can give you no idea of them. Her
mouth was what I should call abrupt,--that is, shapely, deep-cut at the
corners,--the lips smiling without opening widely, or showing more than
a white flash of teeth. She so smiled as she spoke to me that first
evening, and impressed me even then as no other woman ever had.

"'I am glad my hat has been so honored, Miss Burton,' I answered. 'I
hope the colt for whom you take such trouble may win his race.'

"'Help me, then, by taking an interest in this saddle,' she said. 'I
have an idea about the girths which these dear brothers of mine will not
understand.'

"We all gathered round the table while Lillie explained her theory. The
saddle was an old one, and smelt strongly of the stable; but they all
handled it as if it were a nice, interesting toy; and when the girth
question was finally decided by my strong approval, Lillie and the
brother George went to work with awl and needle like experienced
saddlers, and soon had the necessary alterations made.

"She looked up at me as she sewed, and said: 'You may think these are
strange ways, but we do all such things for ourselves, especially this
week, when we live for our horses. We are thorough yeomen, you know.'

"We talked on until supper was announced. Old Burton opened a small door
at his end of the room, and waited with his hand on the latch while we
went through, when, to my surprise, I found we were in the kitchen,
surrounded by a large number of servants. We sat down at a long table by
the fire, and then the servants took their places at the lower end,
leaving two to serve us all. Burton stood at the head of the table until
all were seated, then bowed, and said in the same gentle tone he had
used in greeting us, 'You are welcome,' and sat down himself. No grace
was said, but each person silently crossed himself.

"I was placed at the host's right hand, and we talked during supper of
the races, and of horses generally, while Satterlee and Lillie Burton,
on the other side of the table, did the same. It was the one subject
which interested the Darrow household just then, and the servants even
listened, eagerly and silently, to all that was said. Lillie's colt, it
seemed, was entered for one of the races, and she had been training him
herself with intense assiduity; but there was great difficulty in
finding a rider, now he was trained.

"'I know he would win,' she cried, shaking her head disconsolately, 'but
you are all so heavy.'

"'Ride him yourself, Miss Burton,' Dick suggested.

"'They won't let me.'

"'Who won't let you?'

"'O, the Earl. He gives the races, you know, and is a perfect dragon
about them.'

"'I can't offer my own services,' Satterlee went on, 'for you know you
wouldn't have me.'

"The Burtons all smiled at this, and Dick explained to me: 'I was on a
horse of Miss Burton's a year or two ago, and didn't want to put him
over a horrid rough gully; but she, on the farther side, cried out,
"Let him break his knees if he is so clumsy," and so he did.'

"'It was your fault, though,' the frank young lady answered.

"I remember that at the end of the meat the servants rose and bowed to
their master, he acknowledging the courtesy sitting. Then we did the
same, and all went to the other room. After half an hour's talk round
old Mr. Burton's chair, a peal of bells sounded in some distant part of
the house, to my intense surprise, and we thereupon marched off down a
long, long corridor to I could not imagine what. Satterlee whispered,
'Philip Burton is in orders,--this is Even-Song,' just as we entered a
little chapel. There were kneeling-chairs for all, and the beautiful
Burton heads sank devoutly upon them. It was a choral service, Lillie
playing a small organ, and Philip chanting with the family and servants.

"As we went out, old Mr. Burton wished each good night; then some one
showed me where my room was, and I found myself alone. I was really
confused. Where was I, and what had I been doing? Did all the people in
this part of the country have such strange ways? I looked at my watch,
and found it was but just nine o'clock, and yet I seemed to have lived
years since the morning. The evening service, so beautifully sung, had
quite upset me. It was months since I had been in a church, and this had
come so unexpectedly,--the dim light, the low, peculiar voices, the
simple fervor. I began to think Darrow was a dream from beginning to
end, when Satterlee put his head in at the door with a grin, and said,
'Well, how is my Gerry?'

"'A little dazed,' I answered; 'but come in, man, and prepare me for the
morning.'

"'No,' he whispered, 'not allowable. Bedtime is bedtime here. Good
night.'

"I went to bed in self-defence, and half dreamed, half thought, of
horses, and choral services, and golden heads, until sound sleep came
to my relief. It could not have been more than seven o'clock when I
awoke, and yet on going to the window it was evident that the
inhabitants of Darrow had been long up and about, for the farm-yard was
in order for the day, the carts gone a-field, and the cattle-sheds
empty. George and Philip Burton were busily engaged near the barn door,
the one in turning a grindstone, the other in sharpening an axe; and
from the barn itself came the melodious voices of Lillie and her brother
Jack. Presently they came out, she leading a long-legged horse which I
immediately recognized as answering to the description of the colt. He
was of a dull gray color, and at the first glance I set him down as
about the ugliest horse I had ever seen, his only good points being a
very decent chest, and striding hind-legs of extraordinary length and
muscle; otherwise he was utterly commonplace. But evidently there was
some great fascination in the beast, for the four Burtons gathered round
him and looked him over with that anxious scrutiny we always display
when examining our horses, then patted him admiringly, and, as I judged
from the expression of their faces, were well pleased with his morning
looks.

"As I turned from my window, I glanced beyond the farm-yard to see what
kind of a country I was in, and my eyes were greeted with as fair a
prospect as rural England can afford. Imagine a green, rolling valley,
some five miles broad, shut in on three sides by low hills, and sloping
gently to the sea on the fourth. The water was perhaps three miles from
Darrow House, but I could see that two little friths ran up far into the
meadow-land. One other large farm-house was in sight, and some twenty or
thirty cottages, all looking so bright and cosey in the clear October
sunlight, that my heart was filled with joy at the sight, and I began my
toilet actually singing a merry old song. I was soon down stairs, and
out in the fragrant barnyard.

"Lillie sat upon a pile of logs, one hand half hidden in her hair, as
she leaned lazily back on her elbow, looking at her brothers, who were
making the air resound with mighty strokes as they hewed away at a tree
which stood near the house door. 'Well done, Philip; you're none the
worse woodman for being parson too,' she cried; then, seeing me, she
rose with a bright color in her cheeks, and held out her hand in hearty
morning greeting. 'We did not know when you would be rested from your
journey,' she said, 'and so did not have you called. Will you come in to
breakfast now?'

"The three brothers stopped their work as we went in, and bade me a
cheerful good-morrow. I have never since seen such men,--so big, so
handsome, so modest, with such bright, healthy faces. None of them
talked a great deal, not even my favorite Jack; but I felt then as I
should feel now if I met one of them anywhere, that their friendship
meant trust and loyalty and service more than most men's.

"Jack went with us to a little room at the side of the house where
breakfast was laid for two; but when Satterlee joined us, Jack said with
a laugh, 'I will leave you to tell all about everything, Lillie, and go
back to my chopping,' and so went out.

"'If I must tell about everything,' Lillie began, 'I must tell about the
races first, for they are more important than anything else just now.
Thursday is the great day, and all the farmers in the neighborhood will
have horses there. It is the grand gathering of the year for us, and the
gentry come down and walk about among the horses, and are as kind and
gracious as can be. They always buy some of the best; and happy is the
man who can sell a beast to the Earl, or to Sir Francis Gilmor, for they
are great judges, and have the best stables in the county. There are
five races during the day, the first being for ponies, the second for
colts, and so on; and in the evening we have a ball at the Earl's, and
the five riders who win are given presents by the Countess herself. O,
it is a great day!' she went on, more and more enthusiastically; 'there
is no other time so pleasant in all the year. George has in his bay
mare, and I have entered my colt. Have you seen my colt?'

"'Yes,' I answered, 'I saw him from the window this morning.'

"Lillie looked me straight in the face a moment, and then said, with a
little plaintive shake of the head: 'Ah, I see! You will laugh at him
like all the rest. But you must see him go,--he is almost handsome
then.'

"'I should think he might be,' I answered, trying to console her for my
lack of admiration.

"'They are so mean about him,' she went on, smiling. 'When he was two
years old they were going to give him away because he was so ugly and
stupid; but I begged hard that he might stay at Darrow, and my father
gave him to me for my own. I have had him now four years. You don't know
how much I have suffered for that horse. But I have never despaired, and
have trained him so well that he has great speed already, though they
may laugh at his rough looks. O, if I can only win this race! It will be
such a feather in my cap!'

"Satterlee laughed merrily at this. 'As zealous a racer as ever, I see,
Miss Lillie. How I wish you would let me ride for you!'

"'Perhaps I may,' she answered. 'There is no knowing to what straits I
may be driven.'

"Already something in this woman attracted me, dead as I supposed my
heart to be. There was an indescribable freshness and vigor about
everything she said and did, so different from the manner of the ladies
I had lately seen,--a merry, defiant way which invited battle, and made
one feel bright and springy. How can I tell what it was? I loved the
woman from that very morning, and I love the memory of her now,--she
stood so unembarrassed, so full of life, as we two ate our breakfast in
the little, sunny room,--she was so lithe, so symmetrical. When we rose
she said, 'My father thought you would like to fish with him, Mr.
Satterlee, and Mr. Erle is to ride with me, if he so pleases.' I
murmured a few words of compliment, and she went on: 'Come out to the
barn and choose a horse, and Mr. Satterlee may have a look at the colt.'
We followed her out of doors, just as we were,--hatless, like herself.

"'It is no fine stable we have at Darrow, but the horses are well off,
and I pass so much time with them that I love the old, dingy place,' she
said, as we crossed the yard.

"It was a great country barn, in truth, low and warm, with places for
cows and sheep as well as horses. A broad floor ran from one great door
to the other, covered with loose wisps of hay and straw, and above our
heads was the winter's store of both. A red rush-bottomed chair and a
table stood at one end,--two little pieces of furniture around which
cluster the pleasantest memories of my life,--Lillie's chair and
Lillie's table, where she sat to sew and sing among her animals. What
happy mornings I spent there by her side.

"As we went in she began to talk to her colt, as a woman generally talks
to babies. 'Why, my sweet one, my own lamb, my coltikins, was he glad to
hear his granny coming to see him?'--and so on.

"The colt, who was in a box at the end of the barn, acknowledged all
this tenderness by putting his heavy head over the rail and half
pricking up one ear; but Lillie seemed to think this slight sign of
intellect all that could be desired, and went up to him with a thousand
caresses.

"'How like a woman to love that horse, now,' said Satterlee.

"Lillie turned towards him with a brilliant smile. 'I sha'n't take up
arms about it, for why should I be ashamed that I have a woman's heart,
and love my own things more because they are unfortunate, and other
people make fun of them?'

"From that moment I resolved the colt should win, if it was in mortal
riding to make him.

"'Miss Burton,' I said boldly, '_I_ see great qualities in your horse.
May I ride him for you on Thursday?'

"She seemed a little startled by the suddenness of the proposal, but
answered quickly, 'I shall be so much obliged! Will you think it rude if
I ask you to ride him two or three times first?'

"'Of course not. Do you ride him yourself this morning?'

"'Yes, and which horse will you take? There are three or four there for
you to choose from.'

"I walked down the row of stalls, and decided on an old hunter who
turned the whites of his eyes round at me as if he longed for a gallop.
Lillie called a man in from the yard, and said, 'Saddle the roan and
Nathan, and bring them to the east door.'

"'Eh, Miss Lillie,' cried Satterlee, 'what name was that I heard?
Nathan?'

"'Well, why not?' she answered. 'Father named him so in fun, and I keep
it to show I don't care how much they laugh at him.'

"Satterlee seemed intensely amused. 'Nathan, Nathan!' he repeated.
'Winner of the Earl's race! Nathan, Nathan!'

"I went into the house for my hat and spurs, and on coming out found
that Dick had gone off with old Mr. Burton, leaving his best wishes for
the colt's success. Presently Lillie came out, clad in a dark habit,
with a knot of blue ribbon at the throat, holding in her hand a whip so
formidable that I was involuntarily reminded of the knouts of Russia. I
suppose the thought was visible in my face, for she said quickly, 'I
don't always carry this; but when Nathan is to do his best, I have to
urge him to it, for if I depended on his own ambition we should soon be
left behind.'

"'Indeed,' I answered. 'Then you must let me practise well before
Thursday.'

"As I said these words the horses were brought to the door, and, before
I could offer any assistance, Lillie had swung herself from the stump of
the felled tree into her saddle. I remembered Satterlee's words about
her perfect horsemanship, and glanced at her as I mounted. Even in that
moment, as she sat perfectly still on the awkward colt's back, I saw how
truly he had spoken. She was merely sitting there, without any of the
fascination which motion gives, and yet I had never seen such a rider
among women. You will think I exaggerate, but, as I am a man of honor, I
assure you that an exact copy in marble of Lillie Burton, as she waited
for my mounting on that autumn morning, would be a more beautiful
equestrian statue than the world has ever seen. Such ease and strength
and grace--Ah well! I shall not let you smile at my enthusiasm by any
attempt at describing her. We started, unattended, our faces towards the
sea.

"'Do you want to look at the race-course?' Lillie said.

"'Yes.'

"'Then follow me,'--and with the word she called cheerily to her horse,
and swung her whip with such effect that what was a canter became a
gallop, and then a run, so long, so fierce, so reckless, that I held my
breath as I looked at her. We went right across country, over fences and
ditches by the dozen, and never drew rein until we reached the shore.

"Then she turned in her saddle as I came up, and nodded triumphantly,
her face a thousand times brighter and more bewitching than I had seen
it yet.

"'Well, what do you think of Nathan now?' she asked.

"'He is wonderful,' I answered.

"'But that is by no means his best. You wait here, and I will put him
round the course once as well as I can. We are to go down the beach to
that white post, then up through the big field, over a bad hedge, which
we must leap at a particular spot, then across the lane and through
these four last fields home, and then over it all again. You shall try
the ground this afternoon if you will.'

"She said all this rapidly, as if the business of the day had begun, and
cantered down the sloping field. Arrived near the starting-point, I
heard her give what seemed almost a yell, and lethargic Nathan, well
awake, burst into the same tremendous pace, going faster and faster
every moment, until he attained a speed which seemed positively
terrific, a woman being in the saddle, and then Lillie ceased urging
him, and rode unflaggingly, as she only could, over all obstacles, until
she reached my side.

"'How can there be any doubt of your winning?" I asked.

"'I sometimes think there is none when Nathan has been going so well;
but'--and a cloud came over her face--'there is one colt I am really
afraid of,--a little black mare of Harry Dunn's. O, how that creature
flies over the ground!'

"'I am not afraid,' I answered. 'You shall win, Miss Burton, if I die
for it.'

"She laughed at my eager way of saying this, and we rode towards home,
she talking all the way of Darrow and of the neighbors, of farming and
of sailing,--for she was as much at home in a boat as on horseback. Ah,
what a contrast to the dark-eyed, proud Miss Ferrers! I wondered how I
could have been in love with any other than Lillie Burton, whose ways
were so unaffected, whose whole nature was so healthy. What cared I for
the languid accomplishments of city belles? Here was a real woman, kind
and strong, and unhurt by the world's ways. Even in the excitement of
the hardest gallop I saw no trace of vulgarity, no sign of unwomanly
jockeyship, only a true, unconcealed interest in her horse and his
performances,--an interest worthy of her English heart. We rode home in
high spirits, feeling sure that the race would be ours, even Nathan
entering into the gayety of the moment, and actually shying at a boy who
lay asleep by the roadside. Lillie yielded so lithely to the sudden
jump, that I could not help saying, 'How did you learn to ride so well?'
and she answered, laughing: 'O, it is born in us; and then I rode
recklessly for years before I got a good seat. I mean that I folded my
arms, and galloped anywhere with tied reins, and half the time no
stirrup. That is the best thing to do. Your old roan there has carried
me at his own will for many a mile. He was as fast as Nathan at his age,
and twice as spirited.'

"So we chatted as we rode home through the low lanes. The midday sun
shone down on us as we came to Darrow House; and as I left Lillie at the
door, to go up and dress for the farm dinner, I felt a new man, warmed
with the bright day, and with the new hope which rose so sweetly in my
tired heart.

"I will not weary you with the details of my days at the Burtons'. The
old father ruled over his household like a king, and all yielded him
loving obedience. Jack and his two stalwart brothers came and went, busy
with all sorts of farming operations, and Lillie and I devoted ourselves
to Nathan's further education. On Sunday the farmers and peasants came
to church at the chapel in the house, and Philip Burton did for them all
a true priest should. On every other day in the week, too, he held
school for the children, instructing them just so far and no farther,
'Let them know how to read and write and do simple sums,' he said, 'but
don't let's stuff their heads with learning beyond their station. It
only makes them discontented, and would upset society in the end.' And
so he let them come until he thought they knew enough, were the time
longer or shorter, and after that the door was shut.

"In the mornings, Lillie and I, and often Satterlee, sat in the barn for
hours, she sewing and talking with us, stopping sometimes to give
directions to a workman, or to listen to some poor neighbor's tale of
woe. For she seemed to attract every one, and, as surely as a child was
sick or a cow lost, the whole story must be told to 'Darrow Lillie,' as
they called her. She listened with ready sympathy, and always gave some
quick, personal aid. I never saw a more charming picture than that which
greeted me one morning as I came in at the barn door;--Lillie seated at
her little table, close by the colt's stall, two dogs at her feet, and a
soft black kitten in her hands, held lovingly against her cheek; beside
her stood a peasant woman in a red cloak, wringing her hands, and
telling how her husband had deserted her; a big-eyed calf looked in at
the door behind, doubtful if he might come in as usual; and, over all,
the October sunlight, mellow with barn-dust. I remember Lillie asked the
woman where her husband was, and, learning he was at Plashy, Sir Francis
Gilmor's seat, said she would see him that very day. And I am sure she
did, for after dinner she went off alone on the roan hunter, and the
next day I saw the same woman, with far happier mien, trudging along the
lane by the side of her sheep-faced husband.

"So the days passed by, and Wednesday evening was come. We sat before
the fire, and counted the chances for and against my winning the race,
for it was a settled thing now that I should be Nathan's rider. I was as
interested as any Burton of them all, and more so perhaps, for I felt
that on my success the next day depended my success in what my whole
heart was now determined on,--the winning of Lillie Burton's hand. I was
quick at my conclusions at twenty-four, you see. Satterlee was still
incredulous, and really annoyed me by his way of speaking,--offering to
pick the yellow hairs out of Nathan's coat so as to make it shine a
little, and otherwise employing his wit at our expense. Lillie laughed
good-naturedly, and said they only made her love the horse the more by
their unkind remarks.

"'Do you really love him,' Jack asked.

"'Certainly I do,' she answered. 'I have a deep affection for him.'

"'And I hope you will bestow some kind regard on his rider also,' I
whispered, bending over her chair.

"She looked up in her own quick way, and, as our eyes met, I thought
hers were bright with love, as well as mine. As you would say,
now-a-days, oar souls met; and from that moment a strange, triumphant
happiness filled my heart. The short Darrow evening wore to its close,
and I neither spoke to Lillie again nor looked at her, but sat silent,
rejoicing, until at even-song I poured out my thankfulness to God, and
praised him for this great gift,--Lillie Burton, my peerless, truthful
Lillie, mine until death should part us, mine in all joy and sorrow,
always my own! With what certainty of peace I went to my rest that
night,--with what instinct of some great joy I woke in the morning,--the
bright autumn morning which held my fate!

"The races were to begin at noon, and by eleven o'clock we all set forth
from Darrow House, well mounted and gallantly arrayed. There was no
unnecessary coddling of the horses. I rode Nathan, and George rode the
horse he had entered for the third race; and the only unusual thing was,
that we eschewed fences, and slowly wended our way through the lanes, to
the little knoll by the beach, where the rude judge's stand was erected.

"Already a crowd of farmers had assembled, some coming in carts with
their wives and daughters, some riding rough plough-horses, and some on
foot. Not a few children had come too,--red-cheeked boys and girls,
mounted on the wiry ponies of the country, riding about and making the
air resound with their merry laughter. Every one seemed to know every
one else, to judge by the hearty greetings exchanged On all sides, and
every one was in the best possible humor. After all these years, the
impression I received at this rustic gathering is undimmed. There were
only these people. There was no set race-course, no eager betting, but
never before or since have I seen a race assemblage so full of honest,
interested faces, or showing so thorough an enjoyment of the day.

"As we came up, the little crowd separated, that we might ride to the
top of the knoll, for Burton of Darrow was held in high respect, and way
was made for him everywhere. We were now the centre of attention, and I
was beginning to feel my city assurance giving way under the glance of
honest interest directed towards me and my colt, when a murmur arose,
'Here come the gentry,' and, looking up the lane, I saw an open carriage
full of ladies, and half a dozen gentlemen on horseback, approaching us.
'It is the party from Plashy,' Lillie said, 'and there is the Earl in
the North Lane,' pointing out two or three more carriages. All was
bustle now, for the horses which were to run must be ridden to a certain
part of the field, and ranged side by side for the Earl's inspection. I
found myself between a little fellow on a bay horse, and a handsome,
curly-headed young farmer who sat a beautiful black mare like another
Prince Hal.

"He bowed politely, and said, 'You ride the Darrow colt, then, sir.'

"'Yes,' I answered, 'and you are Harry Dunn, are you not?'

"'At your service, sir. It will be a hard race between us two.'

"Just then the Earl came up to look at the horses, as his custom was. We
had met in London, and he recognized me with some surprise in my novel,
situation as jockey; but a few words explained the case, and he turned
to young Dunn, saying, with a smile, 'She's very handsome, my man; but
it's an awful temper, if I know a horse's eye,'--and indeed the words
were hardly out of his Lordship's mouth when the Witch, as she was
called, kicked out savagely at a passing boy, and then reared so high
and so long that I feared she would fall back on her rider; but Harry
Dunn was no novice, and in a few minutes she was standing quietly
enough, with dilated nostril and glowing eyes.

"'He'll ride her in before you, if he kills her,' the Earl whispered,
turning to me. 'Darrow Lillie is looking on.'

"'He loves her, then?' I asked, as calmly as I could.

"'I should rather think he did,' the old gentleman answered, shrugging
his shoulders, and walking off to some other horses.

"I looked round to see where Lillie was, and felt reassured when I saw
she had not even turned in her saddle while her lover's life was in
danger, but was still talking with Sir Francis Gilmor. I heard him say,
'I doubt whether I shall make an offer for that gray colt of yours'; and
she answered, laughing, 'You shall have the first chance after the race,
Sir Francis. It will break my heart if he does not win.'

"The pony race was soon called, and I dismounted to stand by Lillie's
side and watch it. As I stood, my hand upon the roan's shoulder, ready
to seize the reins if he became excited, for Lillie had flung them, as
usual, upon his neck, and sat carelessly in the saddle, her hands
crossed on her knee,--as I stood there, I say, I heard suddenly, above
the loud talk of the farmers, a voice the sound of which made my heart
leap up into my throat,--a woman's voice, cold and clear,--the words
merely, 'Yes, a perfect day,' but they were full of horrible meaning to
me. I felt that my week's dream of happiness was at an end, and that my
old life personified had come to take me away. My presence of mind
enabled me not to turn round at the moment; but as I mounted for the
race, half an hour afterwards, I glanced towards the Earl's carriage,
and there, at the Countess's side, sat Selina Ferrers. At the same
instant I was aware of a stifled scream, and the sound of my name; but I
paid no heed, and rode slowly down the field to where Harry Dunn and the
other waited my coming at the starting-post. Imagine my feelings as I
listened for the signal. Win! Why I would have won if I had died at
Lillie's feet the moment afterwards.

"We were well away, we three men, but Harry and I soon got ahead, and
flew with the speed of Browning's couriers over the flashing sand. I
obeyed Lillie's last orders, and spared neither whip nor spur; but the
black mare, almost uncontrolled, gained inch by inch, and leaped the
last ditch fully three lengths ahead. We were to go round once again,
and I lifted my whip for a desperate blow, just as we reached the bottom
of the knoll, knowing that unless I got the colt into his best pace then
all was lost; but he, stupid brute, thought the run was over, and
swerved with a heavy plunge almost to his mistress's side. Before I
could recover my control, I heard Lillie cry, her voice trembling with
vexation, 'O, what riding!' and I saw tears in her eyes, as she pulled
the frightened roan up on his haunches to make way for me.

"It was enough. Even Nathan felt there was to be no more trifling, and
as I tore his side with my heel he broke at last into his great, fearful
stride, and before we reached the lane Harry Dunn's black mare was
straining every nerve lengths and lengths behind, and in three minutes
more I stood humbly by Lillie's side, winner of the Earl's race. I
scarcely heard the shouts of the crowd, or even the questions addressed
to myself. Once again I was secure. No danger now from Harry Dunn on the
one side, or Selina Ferrers on the other. The certain peace of the
morning was mine again. It all seems so foolish, as I look back upon it
now; but as I stood for those few brief moments by Flury Beach,
surrounded by the golden-headed Burtons, the blue sea before me, and the
fair green pastures behind, I was a happy man,--happier than I have ever
been since.

"As the crowd separated, while the horses were got ready for the next
race, I heard again the voice of Selina Ferrers; but it did not move me,
for just then Lillie bent her beautiful head close by mine, and in her
own low, singing tones, so much truer and more touching than the London
belle's, said, 'Mr. Erle, what can I do to thank you?'

"I looked up frankly and gladly. 'May I tell you when we are at home
to-night?'

"'Not till then?'

"'No, not till then,' I answered. And from my very heart I believe she
had no idea what I meant, for she turned to Sir Francis Gilmor with an
ease she could not have affected, and began to talk with him of Nathan.

"I stood looking at the racers, with real interest, for George Burton
was riding, and I could see his hair shining in the wind far down the
beach, and I was thinking of Lillie and Lillie's happiness, when a
servant in livery came up, and said the Countess wished to speak with
me. Had he presented a pistol at my head, the shock would not have been
greater. As I approached the carriage I looked Selina Ferrers full in
the face, and what did I read there? Great God! I cannot think of it
with calmness even now.

"I bowed as coldly as politeness would allow, but the Countess put our
her hand in cordial greeting, and begged me to take a seat with them for
the rest of the morning. I murmured something about owing my time to the
Burtons, and, after a few indifferent remarks (explaining how Miss
Ferrers had decided not to go to Spain), was on the point of
withdrawing, when the Countess said, 'At least, Mr. Erle, we shall see
you at the castle'; and not until I had promised to come to her the next
day would she let me go. As I turned, a light hand was laid upon my arm
for an instant, and I heard an eager whisper, 'Gerald! what does this
mean? I am here for your sake;--but I kept on my way as if I had not
heard, and breathed freely again at Lillie's bridle-rein.

"Why should I describe the rest of the day to you? You see already how
it had to end. I was with Lillie all day long, as happy as a king,
though a little shocked when I heard at dinner that Nathan was sold to
Sir Francis. But the day had been full of joy; and when all its
festivities were over, and we drove home from the ball, it seemed as if
no cloud hung over me.

"The Burtons went to the barn to care for the horses, and I was alone
with Lillie by the great table. I asked her very simply if she would be
my wife, and she told me that I asked in vain.

"'Even if I loved you, Mr. Erle,' she went on,--'even if I loved you, I
could not be your wife. You are a gentleman, and I am a farmer's
daughter; and you know even better than I do that we could not be happy
very long. You will be glad some day that I did not lead you into such
sore trial.'

"Some such words as these were the last words I ever heard from Lillie
Burton's mouth, for the men came in, and she left the room; and as she
passed me that night, dressed in a gown of softest white, her exquisite
head bent in sorrow and tenderness, her eyes radiant through their
tears, I saw her for the last time. We have never met, even for an
instant, since."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Erle ceased speaking, and I gave a great sigh of relief. His last
words had been uttered with so much feeling that neither my grandfather
nor I could interrupt the long silence, as he sat looking dreamily into
the fire. When at length he spoke, it was of an entirely different
subject, and, after half an hour's conversation, he drank a last glass
of the old wine, and bade us good night, wringing my grandfather's hand
with more than usual warmth.

I waited almost impatiently until I heard the house-door close, and
then, "Who is Mrs. Erle?" I asked.

"Who do you suppose?" my grandfather answered.

"No one. How should I?"

"And yet you heard Mr. Erle tell the part about the Countess?"

"Yes."

"And you do not guess what happened?"

"No. I dare say I am very stupid; but do tell me," I begged.

"Well, then, my dear, the morning after the races, Erle went to the
castle, and the Countess was very kind, as great ladies often are, and
he stayed for a week, since she pressed the matter so; and then there
was an excursion into Wales, where most untoward things occurred, and
the grand finale was a wedding at Lord West's in London."

"Then he married Miss Ferrers!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, my dear, even so. You have never seen the lady, I believe?"

"No, never. Is anything the matter with her?"

"Anything the matter with her? Yes, she is insane. Quite harmless, you
know; but having been made with the worst temper in England, this
climate has developed it into positive insanity."

"And she lives at home?" I asked, sadly, for it came over me what a
tragedy Mr. Erle's life must be.

"Yes, Gerald is more than faithful to her. Ah, Thesta, child, we do not
know all the patient endurance of God's men and women in this nineteenth
century."

The bells of St. Mary's rang midnight as I lighted my bedroom candle,
and kissed the smooth brow of my white-haired hero. "You do not ask what
became of Lillie Burton," he said.

"Did you ever hear of her?"

"Yes, Satterlee was there years afterwards, and found her Lillie Dunn,
with three children clinging to her skirts."

"And Nathan?"

"O, Nathan turned out splendidly, and led the Flury hunt for years. They
say his memory is green in ----shire yet."

"Poor Mr. Erle!" I said, summing up the whole story, as I went off to
bed.



THE LITTLE LAND OF APPENZELL.


The traveller who first reaches the Lake of Constance at Lindau, or
crosses that sheet of pale green water to one of the ports on the
opposite Swiss shore, cannot fail to notice the bold heights to the
southward, which thrust themselves between the opening of the Rhine
Valley and the long, undulating ridges of the Canton Thurgau. These
heights, broken by many a dimly hinted valley and ravine, appear to be
the front of an Alpine table-land. Houses and villages, scattered over
the steep ascending plane, present themselves distinctly to the eye; the
various green of forest and pasture land is rarely interrupted by the
gray of rocky walls; and the afternoon sun touches the topmost edge of
each successive elevation with a sharp outline of golden light, through
the rich gloom of the shaded slopes. Behind and over this region rise
the serrated peaks of the Sentis Alp, standing in advance of the farther
ice-fields of Glarus, like an outer fortress, garrisoned in summer by
the merest forlorn hope of snow.

The green fronts nearest the lake, and the lower lands falling away to
the right and left, belong to the Canton of St. Gall; but all aloft,
beyond that frontier marked by the sinking sun, lies the _Appenzeller
Ländli_, as it is called in the endearing diminutive of the Swiss-German
tongue,--the Little Land of Appenzell.

If, leaving the Lake of Constance by the Rhine valley, you ascend to
Ragatz and the Baths of Pfeffers, thence turn westward to the Lake of
Wallenstatt, cross into the valley of the Toggenburg, and so make your
way northward and eastward around the base of the mountains back to the
starting-point, you will have passed only through the territory of St.
Gall. Appenzell is an Alpine island, wholly surrounded by the former
canton. From whatever side you approach, you must climb in order to get
into it. It is a nearly circular tract, failing from the south towards
the north, but lifted, at almost every point, over the adjoining lands.
This altitude and isolation is an historical as well as a physical
peculiarity. When the Abbots of St. Gall, after having reduced the
entire population of what is now two Cantons to serfdom, became more
oppressive as their power increased, it was the mountain shepherds who,
in the year 1403, struck the first blow for liberty. Once free, they
kept their freedom, and established a rude democracy on the heights,
similar in form and spirit to the league which the Forest Cantons had
founded nearly a century before. An echo from the meadow of Grütli
reached the wild valleys around the Sentis, and Appenzell, by the middle
of the fifteenth century, became one of the original states out of which
Switzerland has grown.

I find something very touching and admirable in this fragment of hardly
noticed history. The people isolated themselves by their own act, held
together, organized a simple yet sufficient government, and maintained
their sturdy independence, while their brethren on every side, in the
richer lands below them, were fast bound in the gyves of a priestly
despotism. Individual liberty seems to be a condition inseparable from
mountain life; that once attained, all other influences are conservative
in their character. The Cantons of Unterwalden, Schwytz, Glarus, and
Appenzell retain to-day the simple, primitive forms of democracy which
had their origin in the spirit of the people nearly six hundred years
ago.

Twice had I looked up to the little mountain republic from the lower
lands to the northward, with the desire and the determination to climb
one day the green buttresses which support it on every side; so, when I
left St. Gall on a misty morning, in a little open carriage, bound for
Trogen, it was with the pleasant knowledge that a land almost unknown to
tourists lay before me. The only summer visitors are invalids, mostly
from Eastern Switzerland and Germany, who go up to drink the whey of
goats' milk; and, although the fabrics woven by the people are known to
the world of fashion in all countries, few indeed are the travellers who
turn aside from the near highways. The landlord in St. Gall told me that
his guests were almost wholly commercial travellers, and my subsequent
experience among an unspoiled people convinced me that I was almost a
pioneer in the paths I traversed.

It was the last Saturday in April, and at least a month too soon for the
proper enjoyment of the journey; but on the following day the
_Landsgemeinde_, or Assembly of the People, was to be held at Hundwyl,
in the manner and with the ceremonies which have been annually observed
for the last three or four hundred years. This circumstance determined
the time of my visit. I wished to study the character of an Alpine
democracy, so pure that it has not yet adopted even the representative
principle,--to be with and among a portion of the Swiss people at a time
when they are most truly themselves, rather than look at them through
the medium of conventional guides, on lines of travel which have now
lost everything of Switzerland except the scenery.

There was bad weather behind, and, I feared, bad weather before me. "The
sun will soon drive away these mists," said the postilion, "and when we
get up yonder, you will see what a prospect there will be." In the rich
valley of St. Gall, out of which we mounted, the scattered houses and
cloud-like belts of blossoming cherry-trees almost hid the green; but it
sloped up and down, on either side of the rising road, glittering with
flowers and dew, in the flying gleams of sunshine. Over us hung masses
of gray cloud, which stretched across the valley, hooded the opposite
hills, and sank into a dense mass over the Lake of Constance. As we
passed through this belt, and rejoiced in the growing clearness of the
upper sky, I saw that my only prospect would be in cloud-land. After
many windings, along which the blossoms and buds of the fruit-trees
indicated the altitude as exactly as any barometer, we finally reached
the crest of the topmost height, the frontier of Appenzell and the
battle-field of Vöglisegg, where the herdsman first measured his
strength with the soldier and the monk, and was victorious.

"Whereabouts was the battle fought?" I asked the postilion.

"Up and down, and all around here," said he, stopping the carriage at
the summit.

I stood up and looked to the north. Seen from above, the mist had
gathered into dense, rounded clouds, touched with silver on their upper
edges. They hung over the lake, rolling into every bay and spreading
from shore to shore, so that not a gleam of water was visible; but over
their heaving and tossing silence rose, far away, the mountains of the
four German states beyond the lake. An Alp in Vorarlberg made a shining
island in the sky. The postilion was loud in his regrets, yet I thought
the picture best as it was. On the right lay the land of Appenzell,--not
a table-land, but a region of mountain ridge and summit, of valley and
deep, dark gorge, green as emerald up to the line of snow, and so
thickly studded with dwellings, grouped or isolated, that there seemed
to be one scattered village as far as the eye could reach. To the south,
over forests of fir, the Sentis lifted his huge towers of rock, crowned
with white, wintry pyramids.

"Here, where we are," said the postilion, "was the first battle; but
there was another, two years afterwards, over there, the other side of
Trogen, where the road goes down to the Rhine. Stoss is the place, and
there's a chapel built on the very spot. Duke Frederick of Austria came
to help the Abbot Kuno, and the Appenzellers were only one to ten
against them. It was a great fight, they say, and the women helped,--not
with pikes and guns, but in this way: they put on white shirts, and came
out of the woods, above where the fighting was going on. Now, when the
Austrians and the Abbot's people saw them, they thought there were
spirits helping the Appenzellers, (the women were all white, you see,
and too far off to show plainly,) and so they gave up the fight, after
losing nine hundred knights and troopers. After that, it was ordered
that the women should go first to the sacrament, so that no man might
forget the help they gave in that battle. And the people go every year
to the chapel, on the same day when it took place."

I looked, involuntarily, to find some difference in the population after
passing the frontier. But I had not counted upon the levelling influence
which the same kind of labor exercises, whether upon mountain or in
valley. So long as Appenzell was a land of herdsmen, many peculiarities
of costume, features, and manners must have remained. For a long time,
however, Outer-Rhoden, as this part of the Canton is called, shares with
that part of St. Gall which lies below it the manufacture of fine
muslins and embroideries. There are looms in almost every house, and
this fact explains the density of population and the signs of wealth on
every hand, which would otherwise puzzle the stranger. The houses are
not only so near together that almost every man can call to his
neighbors and be heard, but they are large, stately, and even luxurious,
in contrast to the dwellings of other country people in Europe. The
average population of Outer-Rhoden amounts to four hundred and
seventy-five persons to the square mile, being nearly double that of the
most thickly settled portions of Holland.

If one could only transport a few of these houses to the United States!
Our country architecture is not only hideous, but frequently
unpractical, being at worst shanties, and at best city residences set in
the fields. An Appenzell farmer lives in a house from forty to sixty
feet square, and rarely less than four stories in height. The two upper
stories, however, are narrowed by the high, steep roof, so that the true
front of the house is one of the gables. The roof projects at least four
feet on all sides, giving shelter to balconies of carved wood, which
cross the front under each row of windows. The outer walls are covered
with upright, overlapping shingles, not more than two or three inches
broad, and rounded at the ends, suggesting the scale armor of ancient
times. This covering secures the greatest warmth; and when the shingles
have acquired from age that rich burnt-sienna tint which no paint could
exactly imitate, the effect is exceedingly beautiful. The lowest story
is generally of stone, plastered and whitewashed. The stories are low
(seven to eight feet), but the windows are placed side by side, and each
room is thoroughly lighted. Such a house is very warm, very durable,
and, without any apparent expenditure of ornament, is externally so
picturesque that no ornament could improve it.

Many of the dwellings, I was told, could not be built with the present
means of the population, at the present prices of labor and material.
They date from the palmy days of Appenzell industry, before machinery
had reduced the cost of the finer fabrics. Then, one successful
manufacturer competed with another in the erection of showy houses, and
fifty thousand francs (a large sum for the times) were frequently
expended on a single dwelling. The view of a broad Alpine landscape,
dotted all over with such beautiful homes, from the little shelf of
green hanging on the sides of a rocky gorge and the strips of sunny
pasture between the ascending forests, to the very summits of the lower
heights and the saddles between them, was something quite new in my
experience.

Turning around the point of Vöglisegg, we made for Trogen, one of the
two capitals of Outer-Rhoden, which lay before us, across the head of
the deep and wild St. Martin's Tobel. (_Tobel_ is an Appenzell word,
corresponding precisely to the _gulch_ of California.) My postilion
mounted, and the breathed horse trotted merrily along the winding level.
One stately house after another, with a clump of fruit-trees on the
sheltered side, and a row of blooming hyacinths and wall-flowers on the
balcony, passed by on either side. The people we met were sunburnt and
ugly, but there was a rough air of self-reliance about them, and they
gave me a hearty "God greet you!" one and all. Just before reaching
Trogen, the postilion pointed to an old, black, tottering platform of
masonry, rising out of a green slope of turf on the right. The grass
around it seemed ranker than elsewhere.

This was the place of execution, where capital criminals are still
beheaded with the sword, in the sight of the people. The postilion gave
me an account, with all the horrible details, of the last execution,
only three years ago,--how the murderer would not confess until he was
brought out of prison to hear the bells tolling for his victim's
funeral,--how thereupon he was sentenced, and--but I will not relate
further. I have always considered the death penalty a matter of policy
rather than principle; but the sight of that blood-stained platform, the
blood-fed weeds around it, and the vision of the headsman, in his red
mantle, looking down upon the bared neck stretched upon the block, gave
me more horror of the custom than all the books and speeches which have
been said and written against it.

At Trogen I stopped at the principal inn, two centuries old, the quaint
front painted in fresco, the interior neat and fresh as a new toy,--a
very gem of a house! The floor upon which I entered from the street was
paved with flat stones; a solid wooden staircase, dark with age, led to
the guests' room in the second story. One side of this room was given up
to the windows, and there was a charming hexagonal oriel in the corner.
The low ceiling was of wood, in panels, the stove a massive tower, faced
with porcelain tiles, the floor polished nearly into whiteness, and all
the doors, cupboards, and tables, made of brown nutwood, gave an air of
warmth and elegance to the apartment. All other parts of the house were
equally neat and orderly. The hostess greeted me with, "Be you
welcome!" and set about preparing dinner, as it was now nearly noon. In
the pauses of her work she came into the room to talk, and was very
ready to give information concerning the country and people.

There were already a little table and three plates in the oriel, and
while I was occupied with my own dinner I did not particularly notice
the three persons who sat down to theirs. The coarseness and harshness
of their dialect, however, presently struck my ear. It was pure
Appenzell, a German made up of singular and puzzling elisions, and with
a very strong guttural _k_ and _g_, in addition to the _ch_. Some
knowledge of the Alemannic dialect of the Black Forest enabled me to
understand the subject of conversation, which, to my surprise, was--the
study of the classics! It was like hearing an Irishman talk of Shelley's
"Witch of Atlas" in the broadest Tipperary brogue. I turned and looked
at the persons. They were well-dressed young men, evidently the best
class of Appenzellers,--possibly tutors in the schools of Trogen. Their
speech in no wise differed from that of the common herdsmen, except that
they were now and then obliged to use words which, being unknown to the
people, had escaped mutilation. I entered into conversation, to
ascertain whether true German was not possible to them, since they must
needs read and write the language; but, although they understood me,
they could only partly, and with evident difficulty, lay aside their own
patois. I found this to be the case everywhere throughout the Canton. It
is a circumstance so unusual, that, in spite of myself, associating a
rude dialect with ignorance, I was always astonished when those who
spoke it showed culture and knowledge of the world.

The hostess provided me with a guide and pack-bearer, and I set out on
foot across the country towards Hundwyl. This guide, Jakob by name, made
me imagine that I had come among a singular people. He was so short that
he could easily walk under my arm; his gait was something between a
roll and a limp, although he stoutly disclaimed lameness; he laughed
whenever I spoke to him, and answered in a voice which seemed the
cuneiform character put into sound. First, there was an explosion of
gutturals, and then came a loud trumpet-tone, something like the _Honk!
honk!_ of wild geese. Yet, when he placed his squat figure behind a
tavern table, and looked at me quietly with his mouth shut, he was both
handsome and distinguished in appearance. We walked two miles together
before I guessed how to unravel his speech. It is almost as difficult to
learn a dialect as a new language, and but for the key which the
Alemannic gave me, I should have been utterly at sea. Who, for instance,
could ever guess that _a' Ma' g'si_, pronounced "ama_x_i" (the _x_
representing a desperate guttural), really stands for _einen Mann
gewesen_?

The road was lively with country people, many of whom were travelling in
our own direction. Those we met invariably addressed us with "God greet
you!" or "_Guät-ti!_" which it was easy to translate into "Good day!"
Some of the men were brilliant in scarlet jackets, with double rows of
square silver buttons, and carried swords under their arms; they were
bound for the _Landsgemeinde_, whither the law of the Middle Ages still
obliges them to go armed. When I asked Jakob if he would accompany me as
far as Hundwyl, he answered, "I can't; I daren't go there without a
black dress, and my sword, and a cylinder hat."

The wild _Tobels_, opening downward to the Lake of Constance, which now
shimmered afar through the gaps, were left behind us, and we passed
westward along a broken, irregular valley. The vivid turf was sown with
all the flowers of spring,--primrose, violet, buttercup, anemone, and
veronica,--faint, but sweetest-odored, and the heralds of spring in all
lands. So I gave little heed to the weird lines of cloud, twisting
through and between the severed pyramids of the Sentis, as if weaving
the woof of storms. The scenery was entirely lovely, and so novel in
its population and the labor which, in the long course of time, had
effaced its own hard traces, turning the mountains into lifted lawns and
parks of human delight, that my own slow feet carried me through it too
rapidly. We must have passed a slight water-shed somewhere, though I
observed none; for the road gradually fell towards another region of
deeply cloven _Tobels_, with snowy mountains beyond. The green of the
landscape was so brilliant and uniform, under the cold gray sky, that it
almost destroyed the perspective, which rather depended on the houses
and the scattered woods of fir.

On a ridge, overlooking all this region, was the large village of
Teufen, nearly as grand as Trogen in its architecture. Here Jakob, whose
service went no further, conducted me to the "Pike" inn, and begged the
landlady to furnish me with "_a' Ma'_" in his place. We had refreshments
together, and took leave with many shakings of the hand and mutual
wishes of good luck. The successor was an old fellow of seventy, who had
been a soldier in Holland, and who with proper exertion could make his
speech intelligible. The people nowhere inquired after my business or
nationality. When the guide made the latter known, they almost
invariably said, "But, of course, you were born in Appenzell?" The idea
of a traveller coming among them, at least during this season of the
year, did not enter their heads. In Teufen, the large and handsome
houses, the church and schools, led me, foolishly, to hope for a less
barbarous dialect; but no, it was the same thing everywhere.

The men in black, with swords under their arms, increased in number as
we left the village. They were probably from the farthest parts of the
Canton, and were thus abridging the morrow's journey. The most of them,
however, turned aside from the road, and made their way to one
farm-house or another. I was tempted to follow their example, as I
feared that the little village of Hundwyl would be crowded. But there
was still time to claim private hospitality, even if this should be the
case, so we marched steadily down the valley. The Sitter, a stream fed
by the Sentis, now roared below us, between high, rocky walls, which are
spanned by an iron bridge, two hundred feet above the water. The roads
of Outer-Rhoden, built and kept in order by the people, are most
admirable. This little population of forty-eight thousand souls has
within the last fifteen years expended seven hundred thousand dollars on
means of communication. Since the people govern themselves, and regulate
their expenses, and consequently their taxation, their willingness to
bear such a burden is a lesson to other lands.

After crossing the airy bridge, our road climbed along the opposite side
of the _Tobel_, to a village on a ridge thrust out from the foot of the
Hundwyl Alp, beyond which we lost sight of Teufen and the beautiful
valley of the Sitter. We were now in the valley of the Urnäsch, and a
walk of two miles more brought us to the village of Hundwyl. I was
encouraged, on approaching the little place, by seeing none except the
usual signs of occupation. There was a great new tank before the
fountain, and two or three fellows in scarlet vests were filling their
portable tubs for the evening's supply; a few children came to the doors
to stare at me, but there was no sign that any other stranger had
arrived.

"I'll take you to the Crown," said the guide; "all the Landamänner will
be there in the morning, and the music; and you'll see what our
Appenzell government is." The landlady gave me a welcome, and the
promise of a lodging, whereupon I sat down in peace, received the
greetings of all the members of the family, as they came and went, and
made myself familiar with their habits. There was only one other guest
in the house,--a man of dignified face and intellectual head, who
carried a sword tied up with an umbrella, and must be, I supposed, one
of the chief officials. He had so much the air of a reformer or a
philosopher, that the members of a certain small faction at home might
have taken him for their beloved W. P.; others might have detected in
him a resemblance to that true philanthropist and gentleman, W. L. G.;
and the believers in the divinity of slavery would have accepted him as
Bishop ----. As no introductions are required in Appenzell, I addressed
myself to him, hoping to open a profitable acquaintance; but it was
worse than Coleridge's experience with the lover of dumplings. His
sentiments may have been elevated and refined, for aught I knew, but
what were they? My trumpeter Jakob was more intelligible than he; his
upper teeth were gone, and the mutilated words were mashed out of all
remaining shape against his gums. Then he had the singular habit of
ejaculating the word _Ja!_ (Yes!) in three different ways, after
answering each of my questions. First, a decided, confirmatory _Ja!_
then a pause, followed by a slow, interrogative _Ja?_ as if it were the
echo of some mental doubt; and finally, after a much longer pause, a
profoundly melancholy, desponding, conclusive _Ja-a-a!_ sighed forth
from the very bottom of his lungs. Even when I only said, "Good
morning!" the next day, these ejaculations followed, in the same order
of succession.

One may find a counterpart to this habit in the _Wa'al_ of the Yankee,
except that the latter never is, nor could it well be, so depressing to
hear as the _Ja_ of Appenzell.

In the evening a dozen persons gathered around one of the long tables,
and drank a pale, weak cider, made of apples and pears, and called
"Most." I gave to one, with whom I found I could converse most easily, a
glass of red wine, whereupon he said, "It is very impudent in me to take
it."

Upon asking the same person how it was that I could understand him so
much more readily than the others, he answered, "O, I can talk the
written language when I try, but these others can't."

"Here," said I, pointing to the philosopher, "is one who is quite
incomprehensible."

"So he is to me."

They were all anxious to know whether our American troubles were nearly
over; whether the President had the power to do further harm (he had too
much power, they all thought); and whether our Congress could carry out
its plan of reconstruction. Lincoln, they said, was the best man we ever
had; when the play of "Lincoln's Death" was performed in the theatre at
St. Gall, a great many Appenzellers hired omnibuses and went down from
the mountains to see it.

I was aroused at daybreak by the chiming of bells, and soon afterwards
muskets began to crack, near and far. Then there were noises all over
the house, and presently what seemed to be a procession of horses or
elephants began to thunder up and down the wooden stairs. In vain I
tried to snatch the last and best morning nap; there was no end to the
racket. So I arose, dressed, and went forth to observe. The inn was
already transformed, from top to bottom, into a vast booth for meat and
drink. Bedding and all other furniture had disappeared; every room, and
even the open hall on each story, was filled with tables, benches, and
chairs. My friend of the previous evening, who was going about with a
white apron on and sleeves rolled up, said to me: "I am to be one of the
waiters to-day. We have already made places for six hundred."

There were at least a dozen other amateur waiters on hand and busy. The
landlord wore a leathern apron, and went from room to room, blowing into
the hole of a wooden top which he carried in his hand, as if thereby to
collect his ideas. A barrel of red and a barrel of white wine stood on
trestles in the guests' room, and they were already filling the
schoppins by hundreds and ranging them on shelves,--honestly filling,
not as lager-bier is filled in New York, one third foam, but waiting
until the froth subsided, and then pouring to the very brim. In the
kitchen there were three fires blazing, stacks of _Bratwurst_ on the
tables, great kettles for the sour-krout and potatoes, and eggs,
lettuce, and other finer viands, for the dignitaries, on the shelves.
"Good morning," said the landlady, as I looked into this sanctuary, "you
see we are ready for them."

While I was taking my coffee, the landlord called the waiters together,
gave each a bag of small money for change, and then delivered a short,
practical address concerning their duties for the day,--who were to be
trusted and who not, how to keep order and prevent impatience, and,
above all, how to preserve a proper circulation, in order that the
greatest possible number of persons might be entertained. He closed
with: "Once again, take notice and don't forget, every one of
you,--_Most_ 10 rappen (2 cents), bread 10, _Wurst_ 15, tongue 10, wine
25 and 40," etc.

In the village there were signs of preparation, but not a dozen
strangers had arrived. Wooden booths had been built against some of the
houses, and the owners thereof were arranging their stores of
gingerbread and coarse confectionery; on the open, grassy square, in
front of the parsonage, stood a large platform, with a handsome railing
around it, but the green slope of the hill in front was as deserted as
an Alpine pasture. Looking westward over the valley, however, I could
already see dark figures moving along the distant paths. The morning was
overcast, but the Hundwyl Alp, streaked with snow, stood clear, and
there was a prospect of good weather for the important day. As I
loitered about the village, talking with the people, who, busy as they
were, always found time for a friendly word, the movement in the
landscape increased. Out of fir-woods, and over the ridges and out of
the foldings of the hills, came the Appenzellers, growing into groups,
and then into lines, until steady processions began to enter Hundwyl by
every road. Every man was dressed in black, with a rusty stove-pipe hat
on his head, and a sword and umbrella in his hand or under his arm.

From time to time the church bells chimed; a brass band played the old
melodies of the Canton; on each side of the governing Landamman's place
on the platform stood a huge two-handed sword, centuries old, and the
temper of the gathering crowd became earnest and solemn. Six old men,
armed with pikes, walked about with an air of importance: their duty was
to preserve order, but they had nothing to do. Policeman other than
these, or soldier, was not to be seen; each man was a part of the
government, and felt his responsibility. Carriages, light carts, and hay
wagons, the latter filled with patriotic singers, now began to arrive,
and I took my way to the Crown, in order to witness the arrival of the
members of the Council.

In order to make the proceedings of the day more intelligible, I must
first briefly sketch certain features of this little democracy, which it
possesses in common with three other mountain Cantons,--the primitive
forms which the republican principle assumed in Switzerland. In the
first place the government is only representative so far as is required
for its permanent, practical operation. The highest power in the land is
the _Landsgemeinde_, or General Assembly of the People, by whom the
members of the Executive Council are elected, and who alone can change,
adopt, or abolish any law. All citizens above the age of eighteen, and
all other Swiss citizens after a year's residence in the Canton, are not
only allowed, but required, to attend the _Landsgemeinde_. There is a
penalty for non-attendance. Outer-Rhoden contains forty-eight thousand
inhabitants, of whom eleven thousand are under obligations to be present
and vote, from beginning to end of the deliberations.

In Glarus and Unterwalden, where the population is smaller, the right of
discussion is still retained by these assemblies, but in Appenzell it
has been found expedient to abolish it. Any change in the law, however,
is first discussed in public meetings in the several communities, then
put into form by the Council, published, read from all the pulpits for a
month previous to the coming together of the _Landsgemeinde_, and then
voted upon. But if the Council refuses to act upon the suggestion of any
citizen whomsoever, and he honestly considers the matter one of
importance, he is allowed to propose it directly to the people, provided
he do so briefly and in an orderly manner. The Council, which may be
called the executive power, consists of the governing Landamman and six
associates, one of whom has the functions of treasurer, another of
military commander,--in fact, a ministry on a small scale. The service
of the persons elected to the Council is obligatory, and they receive no
salaries. There is, it is true, a secondary Council, composed of the
first, and representatives of the communities, one for every thousand
inhabitants, in order to administer more intelligently the various
departments of education, religion, justice, roads, the militia system,
the poor, etc.; but the Assembly of the People can at any time reject or
reverse its action. All citizens are not only equal before the law, but
are assured liberty of conscience, of speech, and of labor. The right of
support only belongs to those who are born citizens of the Canton. The
old restriction of the _Heimathsrecht_,--the claim to be supported at
the expense of the community in case of need,--narrow and illiberal as
it seems to us, prevails all over Switzerland. In Appenzell a stranger
can only acquire the right, which is really the right of citizenship, by
paying twelve hundred francs into the cantonal treasury.

The governing Landamman is elected for two years, but the other members
of the Council may be re-elected from year to year, as often as the
people see fit. The obligation to serve, therefore, may sometimes
seriously incommode the person chosen; he cannot resign, and his only
chance of escape lies in leaving the Canton temporarily, and publishing
his intention of quitting it altogether in case the people refuse to
release him from office! This year, it happened that two members of the
Council had already taken this step, while three others had appealed to
the people not to re-elect them. The _Landsgemeinde_ at Hundwyl was to
decide upon all these applications, and therefore promised to be of more
than usual interest. The people had had time to consider the matter,
and, it was supposed, had generally made up their minds; yet I found no
one willing to give me a hint of their action in advance.

The two remaining members presently made their appearance, accompanied
by the Chancellor, to whom I was recommended. The latter kindly offered
to accompany me to the parsonage, the windows of which, directly in the
rear of the platform, would enable me to hear, as well as see, the
proceedings. The clergyman, who was preparing for the service which
precedes the opening of the _Landsgemeinde_, showed me the nail upon
which hung the key of the study, and gave me liberty to take possession
at any time. The clock now struck nine, and a solemn peal of bells
announced the time of service. A little procession formed in front of
the inn; first the music, then the clergyman and the few members of the
government, bareheaded, and followed by the two _Weibels_ (apparitors),
who wore long mantles, the right half white and the left half black. The
old pikemen walked on either side. The people uncovered as they took
their way around the church to the chancel door; then as many as could
be accommodated entered at the front.

I entered with them, taking my place on the men's side,--the sexes being
divided, as is usual in Germany. After the hymn, in which boys' voices
were charmingly heard, and the prayer, the clergyman took a text from
Corinthians, and proceeded to preach a good, sound political sermon,
which, nevertheless, did not in the least shock the honest piety of his
hearers. I noticed with surprise that most of the men put on their hats
at the close of the prayer. Only once did they remove them
afterwards,--when the clergyman, after describing the duties before
them, and the evils and difficulties which beset every good work,
suddenly said, "Let us pray to God to help and direct us!" and
interpolated a short prayer in the midst of his sermon. The effect was
all the more impressive, because, though so unexpected, it was entirely
simple and natural. These democrats of Appenzell have not yet made the
American discovery that pulpits are profaned by any utterance of
national sentiment, or any application of Christian doctrine to
politics. They even hold their municipal elections in the churches, and
consider that the act of voting is thereby solemnized, not that the holy
building is desecrated! But then, you will say, this is the democracy of
the Middle Ages.

When the service was over, I could scarcely make my way through the
throng which had meanwhile collected. The sun had come out hot above the
Hundwyl Alp, and turned the sides of the valley into slopes of dazzling
sheen. Already every table in the inns was filled, every window crowded
with heads, the square a dark mass of voters of all ages and classes,
lawyers and clergymen being packed together with grooms and brown Alpine
herdsmen; and, after the government had been solemnly escorted to its
private chamber, four musicians in antique costume announced, with drum
and fife, the speedy opening of the Assembly. But first came the singing
societies of Herisau, and forced their way into the centre of the
throng, where they sang, simply yet grandly, the songs of Appenzell. The
people listened with silent satisfaction; not a man seemed to think of
applauding.

I took my place in the pastor's study, and inspected the crowd. On the
steep slope of the village square and the rising field beyond, more than
ten thousand men were gathered, packed as closely as they could stand.
The law requires them to appear armed and "respectably dressed." The
short swords, very much like our marine cutlasses, which they carried,
were intended for show rather than service. Very few wore them:
sometimes they were tied up with umbrellas, but generally carried loose
in the hand or under the arm. The rich manufacturers of Trogen and
Herisau and Teufen had belts and silver-mounted dress-swords. With
scarce an exception, every man was habited in black, and wore a
stove-pipe hat, but the latter was in most cases brown and battered.
Both circumstances were thus explained to me: as the people vote with
the uplifted hand, the hat must be of a dark color, as a background, to
bring out the hands more distinctly; then, since rain would spoil a good
hat (and it rains much at this season), they generally take an old one.
I could now understand the advertisements of "secondhand cylinder hats
for sale," which I had noticed, the day before, in the newspapers of the
Canton. The slope of the hill was such that the hats of the lower ranks
concealed the faces of those immediately behind, and the assembly was
the darkest and densest I ever beheld. Here and there the top of a
scarlet waistcoat flashed out of the cloud with astonishing brilliancy.

With solemn music, and attended by the apparitors, in their two-colored
mantles, and the ancient pikemen, the few officials ascended the
platform. The chief of the two Landammänner present took his station in
front, between the two-handed swords, and began to address the assembly.
Suddenly a dark cloud seemed to roll away from the faces of the people;
commencing in front of the platform, and spreading rapidly to the edges
of the compact throng, the hats disappeared, and the ten thousand faces,
in the full light of the sun, blended into a ruddy mass. But no; each
head retained its separate character, and the most surprising
circumstance of the scene was the distinctness with which each human
being held fast to his individuality in the multitude. Nature has drawn
no object with so firm a hand, nor painted it with such tenacious
clearness of color, as the face of man. The inverted crescent of sharp
light had a different curve on each individual brow before me; the
little illuminated dot on the end of the nose under it hinted at the
form of the nostrils in shadow. As the hats had before concealed the
faces, so now each face was relieved against the breast of the man
beyond, and in front of me were thousands of heads to be seen, touching
each other like so many ovals drawn on a dark plane.

The address was neither so brief nor so practical as it might have been.
Earnest, well meant, and apparently well received, there was
nevertheless much in it which the plain, semi-educated weavers and
Alpadores in the assembly could not possibly have comprehended; as, for
instance, "May a garland of confidence be twined around your
deliberations!" At the close, the speaker said, "Let us pray!" and for a
few moments there were bowed heads and utter silence. The first business
was the financial report for the year, which had been printed and
distributed among the people weeks before. They were now asked whether
they would appoint a commission to test its accuracy, but they
unanimously declined to do so. The question was put by one of the
apparitors, who first removed his cocked hat, and cried, in a tremendous
voice, "Faithful and beloved fellow-citizens, and brethren of the
Union!"

Now came the question of releasing the tired Landammänner of the
previous year from office. The first application in order was that of
the governing Landamman, Dr. Zürcher. The people voted directly
thereupon; there was a strong division of sentiment, but the majority
allowed him to resign. His place was therefore to be filled at once. The
names of candidates were called out by the crowd. There were six in all;
and as both the members of the Council were among them, the latter
summoned six well-known citizens upon the platform, to decide the
election. The first vote reduced the number of candidates to two, and
the voting was then repeated until one of these received an undoubted
majority. Dr. Roth, of Teufen, was the fortunate man. As soon as the
decision was announced, several swords were held up in the crowd to
indicate where the new governor was to be found. The musicians and
pikemen made a lane to him through the multitude, and he was conducted
to the platform with the sound of fife and drum. He at once took his
place between the swords, and made a brief address, which the people
heard with uncovered heads. He did not yet, however, assume the black
silk mantle which belongs to his office. He was a man of good presence,
prompt, and self-possessed in manner, and conducted the business of the
day very successfully.

The election of the remaining members occupied much more time. All the
five applicants were released from service, and with scarcely a
dissenting hand: wherein, I thought, the people showed very good sense.
The case of one of these officials, Herr Euler, was rather hard. He was
the _Landessäckelmeister_ (Treasurer), and the law makes him personally
responsible for every farthing which passes through his hands. Having,
with the consent of the Council, invested thirty thousand francs in a
banking-house at Rheineck, the failure of the house obliged him to pay
this sum out of his own pocket. He did so, and then made preparations to
leave the Canton in case his resignation was not accepted.

For most of the places from ten to fourteen candidates were named, and
when these were reduced to two, nearly equally balanced in popular
favor, the voting became very spirited. The apparitor, who was chosen on
account of his strength of voice (the candidates for that office must be
tested in this respect), had hard work that day. The same formula must
be repeated before every vote, in this wise: "Herr Landamman,
gentlemen, faithful and beloved fellow-citizens and brethren of the
Union, if it seems good to you to choose so-and-so as your treasurer for
the coming year, so lift up your hands!" Then, all over the dark mass,
thousands of hands flew into the sunshine, rested a moment, and
gradually sank with a fluttering motion, which made me think of leaves
flying from a hillside forest in the autumn winds. As each election was
decided, and the choice was announced, swords were lifted to show the
location of the new official in the crowd, and he was then brought upon
the platform with fife and drum. Nearly two hours elapsed before the
gaps were filled, and the government was again complete.

Then followed the election of judges for the judicial districts, which,
in most cases, were almost unanimous re-elections. These are repeated
from year to year, so long as the people are satisfied. Nearly all the
citizens of Outer-Rhoden were before me; I could distinctly see three
fourths of their faces, and I detected no expression except that of a
grave, conscientious interest in the proceedings. Their patience was
remarkable. Closely packed, man against man, in the hot, still sunshine,
they stood quietly for nearly three hours, and voted upwards of two
hundred and seven times before the business of the day was completed. A
few old men on the edges of the crowd slipped away for a quarter of an
hour, in order, as one of them told me, "to keep their stomachs from
giving way entirely," and some of the younger fellows took a schoppin of
_Most_ for the same purpose; but they generally returned and resumed
their places as soon as refreshed.

The close of the _Landsgemeinde_ was one of the most impressive
spectacles I ever witnessed. When the elections were over, and no
further duty remained, the Parson Etter of Hundwyl ascended the
platform. The governing Landamman assumed his black mantle of office,
and, after a brief prayer, took the oath of inauguration from the
clergyman. He swore to further the prosperity and honor of the land, to
ward off misfortune from it, to uphold the Constitution and laws, to
protect the widows and orphans, and to secure the equal rights of all,
nor through favor, hostility, gifts, or promises to be turned aside from
doing the same. The clergyman repeated the oath sentence by sentence,
both holding up the oath-fingers of the right hand, the people looking
on silent and uncovered.

The governing Landamman now turned to the assembly, and read them their
oath, that they likewise should further the honor and prosperity of the
land, preserve its freedom and its equal rights, obey the laws, protect
the Council and the judges, take no gift or favor from any prince or
potentate, and that each one should accept and perform, to the best of
his ability, any service to which he might be chosen. After this had
been read, the Landamman lifted his right hand, with the oath-fingers
extended; his colleagues on the platform, and every man of the ten or
eleven thousand present, did the same. The silence was so profound that
the chirp of a bird on the hillside took entire possession of the air.
Then the Landamman slowly and solemnly spoke these words: "I have well
understood that--which has been read to me;--I will always and exactly
observe it,--faithfully and without reservation,--so truly as I wish and
pray--that God help me!" At each pause, the same words were repeated by
every man, in a low, subdued tone. The hush was else so complete, the
words were spoken with such measured firmness, that I caught each as it
came, not as from the lips of men, but from a vast, supernatural murmur
in the air. The effect was indescribable. Far off on the horizon was the
white vision of an Alp, but all the hidden majesty of those supreme
mountains was nothing to the scene before me. When the last words had
been spoken, the hands sank slowly, and the crowd stood a moment locked
together, with grave faces and gleaming eyes, until the spirit that had
descended upon them passed. Then they dissolved; the _Landsgemeinde_ was
over.

In my inn, I should think more than the expected six hundred had found
place. From garret to cellar, every corner was occupied; bread, wine,
and steamy dishes passed in a steady whirl from kitchen and tap-room
into all the roaring chambers. In the other inns it was the same, and
many took their drink and provender in the open air. I met my
philosopher of the previous evening, who said, "Now, what do you think
of our _Landsgemeinde_?" and followed my answer with his three _Ja's_,
the last a more desponding sigh than ever. Since the business was over,
I judged that the people would be less reserved,--which, indeed, was the
case. Nearly all with whom I spoke expressed their satisfaction with the
day's work. I walked through the crowds in all directions, vainly
seeking for personal beauty. There were few women present, but a
handsome man is only less beautiful than a beautiful woman, and I like
to look at the former when the latter is absent. I was surprised at the
great proportion of under-sized men; only weaving, in close rooms, for
several generations, could have produced so many squat bodies and short
legs. The Appenzellers are neither a handsome nor a picturesque race,
and their language harmonizes with their features; but I learned, during
that day at Hundwyl, to like and to respect them.

Pastor Etter insisted on my dining with him; two younger clergymen were
also guests, and my friend the Chancellor Engwiller came to make further
kind offers of service. The people of each parish, I learned, elect
their own pastor, and pay him his salary. In municipal matters the same
democratic system prevails as in the cantonal government. Education is
well provided for, and the morals of the community are watched and
guarded by a committee consisting of the pastor and two officials
elected by the people. Outer-Rhoden is almost exclusively Protestant,
while Inner-Rhoden--the mountain region around the Sentis--is Catholic.
Although thus geographically and politically connected, there was
formerly little intercourse between the inhabitants of the two parts of
the Canton, owing to their religious differences; but now they come
together in a friendly way, and are beginning to intermarry.

After dinner, the officials departed in carriages, to the sound of
trumpets, and thousands of the people followed. Again the roads and
paths leading away over the green hills were dark with lines of
pedestrians; but a number of those whose homes lay nearest to Hundwyl
lingered to drink and gossip out the day. A group of herdsmen, over
whose brown faces the high stove-pipe hat looked doubly absurd, gathered
in a ring, and while one of them _yodelled_ the _Ranz des Vaches_ of
Appenzell, the others made an accompaniment with their voices, imitating
the sound of cow-bells. They were lusty, jolly fellows, and their songs
hardly came to an end. I saw one man who might be considered as
positively drunk, but no other who was more than affectionately and
socially excited. Towards sunset they all dropped off, and when the
twilight settled down heavy, and threatening rain, there was no stranger
but myself in the little village. "I have done tolerably well," said the
landlord, "but I can't count my gains until day after to-morrow, when
the scores run up to-day must be paid off." Considering that in my own
bill lodging was set down at six, and breakfast at twelve cents, even
the fifteen hundred guests whom he entertained during the day could not
have given him a very splendid profit.

Taking a weaver of the place as guide, I set off early the next morning
for the village of Appenzell, the capital of Inner-Rhoden. The way led
me back into the valley of the Sitter, thence up towards the Sentis Alp,
winding around and over a multitude of hills. The same smooth, even,
velvety carpet of grass was spread upon the landscape, covering every
undulation of the surface, except where the rocks had frayed themselves
through. There is no greener land upon the earth. The grass, from
centuries of cultivation, has become so rich and nutritious, that the
inhabitants can no longer spare even a little patch of ground for a
vegetable garden, for the reason that the same space produces more
profit in hay. The green comes up to their very doors, and they grudge
even the foot-paths which connect them with their neighbors. Their
vegetables are brought up from the lower valleys of Thurgau. The first
mowing had commenced at the time of my visit, and the farmers were
employing irrigation and manure to bring on the second crop. By this
means they are enabled to mow the same fields every five or six weeks.
The process gives the whole region a smoothness, a mellow splendor of
color, such as I never saw elsewhere, not even in England.

A walk of two hours through such scenery brought me out of the Sitter
Tobel, and in sight of the little Alpine basin in which lies Appenzell.
It was raining slowly and dismally, and the broken, snow-crowned peaks
of the Kamor and the Hohe Kasten stood like livid spectres of mountains
against the stormy sky. I made haste to reach the compact, picturesque
little town, and shelter myself in an inn, where a landlady with rippled
golden hair and features like one of Dante Rossetti's women, offered me
trout for dinner. Out of the back window I looked for the shattered
summits of the Sentis, which rise five thousand feet above the valley,
but they were invisible. The vertical walls of the Ebenalp, in which are
the grotto and chapel of Wildkirchli, towered over the nearer hills, and
I saw with regret that they were still above the snow line. It was
impossible to penetrate much farther without better weather; but I
decided, while enjoying my trout, to make another trial,--to take the
road to Urnäsch, and thence pass westward into the renowned valley of
the Toggenburg.

The people of Inner-Rhoden are the most picturesque of the Appenzellers.
The men wear a round skull-cap of leather, sometimes brilliantly
embroidered, a jacket of coarse drilling, drawn on over the head, and
occasionally knee-breeches. Early in May the herdsmen leave their winter
homes in the valleys and go with their cattle to the _Matten_, or lofty
mountain pastures. The most intelligent cows, selected as leaders for
the herd, march in advance, with enormous bells, sometimes a foot in
diameter, suspended to their necks by bands of embroidered leather; then
follow the others, and the bull, who, singularly enough, carries the
milking-pail, garlanded with flowers, between his horns, brings up the
rear. The Alpadores are in their finest Sunday costume, and the sound of
yodel-songs--the very voice of Alpine landscapes--echoes from every
hill. Such a picture as this, under the cloudless blue of a fortunate
May day, makes the heart of the Appenzeller light. He goes joyously up
to his summer labor, and makes his herb-cheese on the heights, while his
wife weaves and embroiders muslin in the valley until his return.

In the afternoon I set out for Urnäsch, with a bright boy as guide. Hot
gleams of sunshine now and then struck like fire across the green
mountains, and the Sentis partly unveiled his stubborn forehead of rock.
Behind him, however, lowered inky thunder-clouds, and long before the
afternoon's journey was made it was raining below and snowing aloft. The
scenery grew more broken and abrupt the farther I penetrated into the
country, but it was everywhere as thickly peopled and as wonderfully
cultivated. At Gonten, there is a large building for the whey-cure of
overfed people of the world. A great many such, I was told, come to
Appenzell for the summer. Many of the persons we met not only said, "God
greet you!" but immediately added, "Adieu!"--like the _Salve et vale_!
of classical times.

Beyond Gonten the road dropped into a wild ravine, the continual
windings of which rendered it very attractive. I found enough to admire
in every farm-house by the wayside, with its warm wood-color, its quaint
projecting balconies, and coat of shingle mail. When the ravine opened,
and the deep valley of Urnäsch, before me, appeared between cloven
heights of snow, disclosing six or eight square miles of perfect
emerald, over which the village is scattered, I was fully repaid for
having pressed farther into the heart of the land. There were still two
hours until night, and I might have gone on to the Rossfall,--a cascade
three or four miles higher up the valley,--but the clouds were
threatening, and the distant mountain-sides already dim under the rain.

At the village inn I found several herdsmen and mechanics, each with a
bottle of Rheinthaler wine before him. They were ready and willing to
give me all the information I needed. In order to reach the Toggenburg,
they said, I must go over the Krätzernwald. It was sometimes a dangerous
journey; the snow was many cubits deep, and at this time of the year it
was frequently so soft that a man would sink to his hips. To-day,
however, there had been thunder, and after thunder the snow is always
hard-packed, so that you can walk on it; but to cross the Krätzernwald
without a guide,--never! For two hours you were in a wild forest, not a
house, nor even a '_Sennhütt_' (herdsman's cabin) to be seen, and no
proper path, but a clambering hither and thither, in snow and mud; with
this weather,--yes, one _could_ get into Toggenburg that way, they said,
but not alone, and only because there had been thunder on the
mountains.

But all night the rain beat against my chamber window, and in the
morning the lower slopes of the mountains were gray with new snow, which
no thunder had packed. Indigo-colored clouds lay heavily on all the
Alpine peaks; the air was raw and chilly, and the roads slippery. In
such weather the scenery is not only shrouded, but the people are shut
up in their homes,--wherefore further travel would not have been repaid.
I had already seen the greater part of the little land, and so gave up
my thwarted plans the more cheerfully. When the post-omnibus for Herisau
came to the inn door, I took my seat therein, saying, like Schiller's
_Sennbub', "Ihr Matten, lebtwohl, Ihr sonnigen Weiden_!"

The country became softer and lovelier as the road gradually fell
towards Herisau, which is the richest and stateliest town of the Canton.
I saw little of it except the hospitable home of my friend the
Chancellor, for we had brought the Alpine weather with us. The
architecture of the place, nevertheless, is charming, the town being
composed of country-houses, balconied and shingled, and set down
together in the most irregular way, every street shooting off at a
different angle. A mile beyond, I reached the edge of the mountain
region, and again looked down upon the prosperous valley of St. Gall.
Below me was the railway, and as I sped towards Zurich that afternoon,
the top of the Sentis, piercing through a mass of dark rain-clouds, was
my last glimpse of the Little Land of Appenzell.



THE LOST GENIUS.


    A giant came to me, when I was young,
            My instant will to ask,--
    My earthly Servant, from the earth he sprung
            Eager for any task!

    "What wilt thou, O my Master?" he began;
            "Whatever can be," I.
    "Say but thy wish,--whate'er thou wilt I can,"
            The strong Slave made reply.

    "Enter the earth and bring its riches forth,
            For pearls explore the sea.'
    He brought from East and West, and South and North,
            All treasures back to me!

    "Build me a palace wherein I may dwell."
            "Awake, and see it done,"
    Spake his great voice at dawn. O miracle,
            That glittered in the sun!

    "Find me the princess fit for my embrace,
            The vision of my breast,--
    For her search every clime and every race."
            My yearning arms were blessed!

    "Get me all knowledge." Sages with their lore,
            And poets with their songs,
    Crowded my palace halls at every door,
            In mute obedient throngs!

    "Now bring me wisdom." Long ago he went;
            (The cold task harder seems;)
    He did not hasten with the last content,--
            The rest, meanwhile, were dreams!

    Houseless and poor, on many a trackless road,
            Without a guide, I found
    A white-haired phantom with the world his load
            Bending him to the ground!

    "I bring thee wisdom, Master." Is it he,
            I marvelled then, in sooth?
    "Thy palace-builder, beauty-seeker see!"
            I saw the Ghost of Youth!



CINCINNATI.


The French possessors of the Western country used to call the Ohio the
Beautiful River; and they might well think it beautiful who came into it
from the flat-shored, mountainous Mississippi, and found themselves
winding about among lofty, steep, and picturesque hills, covered with
foliage, and fringed at the bottom with a strip of brilliant grass. But
travellers from the Atlantic States, accustomed as they are to the
clear, sparkling waters and to the brimming fulness of such rivers as
the James, the Delaware, and the Hudson, do not at once perceive the
fitness of the old French name, _La Belle Rivière_. The water of the
Ohio is yellow, and there is usually a wide slope of yellow earth on
each side of the stream, from which the water has receded, and over
which it will flow again at the next "rise." It is always rising or
falling. As at the South the item of most interest in the newspapers is
the price of cotton, and in New York the price of gold, so in the West
the special duty of the news-gatherer is to keep the public advised of
the depth of the rivers. The Ohio, during the rainy seasons, is forty
feet deeper than it is during the dry. Between the notch which marks the
lowest point to which the river has ever fallen at Cincinnati and that
which records the point of its highest rise, the distance is sixty-four
feet. If our Eastern rivers were capable of such vacillation as this,
our large cities would go under once or twice a year.

In truth, those great and famous Western rivers are ditches dug by
Nature as part of the drainage system of the continent,--mere means of
carrying off the surplus water when it rains. At the East, the water
plays a part in the life, in the pleasures, in the imagination and
memories of the people. We go down to Coney Island of a hot afternoon;
we take a trip to Cape May; we sail in Boston Harbor; we go upon
moonlight excursions, attended by a cotillon band; we spend a day at the
fishing banks; we go up the Erie Railroad for a week's trout-fishing; we
own a share in a small schooner; we have yacht clubs and boat races; we
build villas which command a water view. There is little of this in the
Western country; for the rivers are not very inviting, and the great
lakes are dangerous. They tried yachting at Chicago a few years ago, but
on the experimental trip a squall capsized the vessel, and the crew had
the ignominy of spending several hours upon the keel, from which a
passing craft rescued them. Then, as to excursions, there is upon the
lakes the deadly peril of sea-sickness; upon the rivers there is no
great relief from the heat; and upon neither are there convenient places
to visit. All you can do is, to go a certain distance, turn round, and
come back; which is a flat, uncheering, pointless sort of thing. Upon
the whole, therefore, the Western waters contribute little to the relief
and enjoyment of the people who live near them. We noticed at the large
town of Erie, some years ago, that not one house had been placed so as
to afford its inmates a view of the lake, though the shores offered most
convenient sites; nor did the people ever come down to see the lake,
apparently, as there was no path worn upon the grassy bluff overlooking
it.

The Ohio River has another inconvenience. The bottom-land, as it is
called, between the water's edge and the hills, is generally low and
narrow. Nowhere is there room for a large city; nor can the hills be dug
away except by paring down a great part of Ohio and Kentucky. When the
traveller has climbed to the top of those winding mountains, he has only
reached the average summit of the country; for it is not the banks of
the river that are high, but the river itself which is low. It is an
error to say that the Ohio is a river with lofty banks. Those continuous
hills, around which this river winds and curls and bends and loops, are
simply the hills of the country through which the river had to find its
way. We were astonished, in getting to the top of Cincinnati, after a
panting walk up a zigzag road, to discover that we had only mounted to
the summit of one billow in an ocean of hills.

There is always a reason why a city is just where it is. Nothing is more
controlled by law than the planting, the growth, and the decline of
cities. Even the particular site is not a thing of chance, as we can see
in the sites of Paris, London, Constantinople, and every other great
city of the world. A town exists by supplying to the country about it
the commodities which the country cannot procure for itself. In the
infancy of the Ohio settlements, when it was still to be determined
which of them would take the lead, the commodity most in request and
hardest to be obtained was _safety_; and it was Cincinnati that was
soonest able to supply this most universal object of desire. In
December, 1788, fifteen or twenty men floated down the Ohio among the
masses of moving ice, and, landing upon the site of Cincinnati, built
cabins, and marked out a town. Matthias Denman of New Jersey had bought
eight hundred acres of land there, at fifteen-pence an acre, and this
party of adventurers planted themselves upon it with his assistance and
in his interest. Jerseymen and Pennsylvanians were finding their way
down the Ohio, and founding settlements here and there, whenever a
sufficient number of pioneers could be gathered to defend themselves
against the Indians. President Washington sent a few companies of troops
for their protection, and the great question was where those troops
should be posted. The major in command was at first disposed to
establish them at North Bend; but while he was selecting a place there
for his fort, he fell in with a pair of brilliant black eyes,--the
property of one of the settler's wives. He paid such assiduous court to
the lady, that her husband deemed it best to remove his family to
another settlement, and pitched upon Cincinnati. The major then began to
doubt whether, after all, North Bend _was_ the proper place for a
military work, and deemed it best to examine Cincinnati first. He was
delighted with Cincinnati. He removed the troops thither, built a fort,
and thus rendered the neighborhood the safest spot below Pittsburg. This
event was decisive: Cincinnati took the lead of the Ohio towns, and kept
it.

In all the history of Cincinnati, this is the only incident we have
found that savors of the romantic.

Those black eyes lured Major Doughty to the only site on the Ohio upon
which one hundred thousand people could conveniently live without
climbing a very steep and high hill. It is also about midway between the
source of the river and its mouth; the Ohio being nine hundred and
fifty-nine miles long, and Cincinnati five hundred and one miles from
the Mississippi. The city is nearly the centre of the great valley of
the Ohio; it is, indeed, exactly where it should be, and exactly where
the metropolis of the valley might have been even if Major Doughty had
not been susceptible to the charms of lovely woman. It is superfluous to
say that Cincinnati is situated on a "bend" of the Ohio, since the Ohio
is nothing but bends, and anything that is situated upon it must be upon
a bend. This river employs itself continually in writing the letter S
upon the surface of the earth. At Cincinnati, the hills recede from the
shore on each side of the river about a mile and a half, leaving space
enough for a large town, but not for the great city of two hundred and
fifty thousand inhabitants to which it has grown.

Cincinnati is an odd name for a town, whether we regard it as a genitive
singular, or as a nominative plural. The story goes, that the first
settlers appointed a committee of one to name the place. The gentleman
selected for this duty had been a schoolmaster, and he brought to bear
upon the task all the learning appertaining to his former vocation. He
desired to express in the name of the future city the fact that it was
situated opposite the mouth of the Licking River. He was aware that
_ville_ was French for "city," that _os_ was Latin for "mouth"; that
_anti_ in composition could mean "opposite to"; and that the first
letter of Licking was L. By combining these various fragments of
knowledge, he produced at length the word LOSANTIVILLE, which his
comrades accepted as the name of their little cluster of log huts, and
by this name it appears on some of the earliest maps of the Ohio. But
the glory of the schoolmaster was short-lived. When the village had
attained the respectable age of fifteen months, General St. Clair
visited it on a tour of inspection, and laughed the name to scorn.
Having laid out a county of which this village was the only inhabited
spot, he named the county Hamilton, and insisted upon calling the
village Cincinnati, after the society of which both himself and Colonel
Hamilton were members. In that summer of 1790 Cincinnati consisted of
forty log cabins, two small frame houses, and a fort garrisoned by a
company or two of troops.

We sometimes speak of "the Western cities," as though the word "Western"
was sufficiently descriptive, and as though the cities west of the
Alleghany Mountains were all alike. This is far from being the case.
Every city in the Western country, as well as every State, county, and
neighborhood, has a character of its own, derived chiefly from the
people who settled it. Berlin is not more different from Vienna, Lyons
is not more different from Marseilles, Birmingham is not more different
from Liverpool, than Cincinnati is from Chicago or St. Louis; and all
these differences date back to the origin of those cities. The Ohio,
formed by the junction of two Pennsylvania rivers, is the natural
western outlet for the redundant population of Pennsylvania and New
Jersey, and consequently the first twenty thousand inhabitants of
Cincinnati were chiefly from those States,--honest, plodding, saving
Protestants, with less knowledge and less public spirit than the people
of New England. The Swedes, the Danes, the Germans, the Protestant
Irish, who poured into Pennsylvania and New Jersey in Franklin's time,
attracted by the perfect toleration established by William Penn, were
excellent people; but they had not the activity of mind nor the
spiritual life of the English Puritans. Shrewd calculators and of
indomitable industry, they were more able to accumulate property than
disposed to risk it in bold, far-reaching enterprises, and took more
pride in possessing than in displaying wealth,--in having a large barn
than an attractive residence. They were more certain to build a church
than a school-house, and few of them wanted anything of the book-pedler
except an almanac. The descendants of such men founded Cincinnati, and
made it a thriving, bustling, dull, unintellectual place. Then came in a
spice of Yankees to enliven the mass, to introduce some quickening
heresies, to promote schools, to found libraries, to establish new
manufactures and stimulate public improvements. That wondrous tide of
Germans followed that has made in each of the cities of the West a
populous German quarter,--a town within a town. Meanwhile, young men
from the Southern States, in considerable numbers, settled in
Cincinnati, between whom and the daughters of the rich "Hunkers" of the
town marriages were frequent, and the families thus created were, from
1830 to 1861, the reigning power in the city.

Perhaps there was no town of its size and wealth in Christendom which
had less of the higher intellectual life and less of an enlightened
public spirit than Cincinnati before the war. It had become exceedingly
rich. Early in its career the great difficulty and expense of
transporting goods across the mountains and down the winding Ohio had
forced the people into manufacturing, and Cincinnati became the great
workshop, as well as the exchange, of the vast and populous valley of
the Ohio. Its wealth was legitimately earned. It was Cincinnati which
originated and perfected the system which packs fifteen bushels of corn
into a pig, and packs that pig into a barrel, and sends him over the
mountains and over the ocean to feed mankind. Cincinnati imported or
made nearly all that the people of three or four States could afford to
buy, and received from them nearly all that they could spare in return,
and made a profit on both transactions. This business, upon the whole,
was done honestly and well. Immense fortunes were made. Nicholas
Longworth died worth twelve millions, and there are now in that young
city sixty-four persons whose estate is rated at a million dollars or
more. But, with all this wealth and this talent for business, the people
of Cincinnati displayed little of that spirit of improvement which has
converted Chicago, in thirty years, from a quagmire into a beautiful
city, and made it accessible to all the people of the prairies. There
was too much ballast, as it were, for so little sail. People were intent
on their own affairs, and were satisfied if their own business
prospered. Such a thing even as a popular lecture was rare, and a
well-sustained course of lectures was felt to be out of the question.
Books of the higher kind were in little demand (that is, little,
considering the size and great wealth of the place); there was little
taste for art; few concerts were given, and there was no drama fit to
entertain intellectual persons. Cincinnati was the Old Hunkers'
paradise. Separated from a Slave State only by a river one third of a
mile wide, with her leading families connected by marriage with those of
Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland, and her business men having important
relations with the South, there was no city--not even Baltimore--that
was more saturated with the spirit of Hunkerism,--that horrid blending
of vanity and avarice which made the Northern people equal sharers in
the guilt of slavery, while taking the lion's share of the profit. It
was at Cincinnati, in 1836, that a mob of most respectable citizens,
having first "resolved" in public meeting that "Abolition papers" should
neither be "published nor distributed" in the town, broke into the
office of James G. Birney's "Philanthropist," and scattered the types,
and threw the press into the river. It was at Cincinnati, in 1841, that
the authorities were compelled to fill the prisons with negroes to
protect them from massacre. Similar scenes have occurred in other
cities, but violence of this kind meant more at Cincinnati than in most
places, for the people here have always been noted for their orderly
habits and their regard for law.

The war regenerated Cincinnati. We do not say _began_ to regenerate it,
because the word "regeneration" means but the beginning of a new life.
There were few of the leading families which did not furnish to the
Rebellion one adherent, and all men, of whatever class, were compelled
to choose between their country and its foes. The great mass of the
people knew not a moment of hesitation, and a tide of patriotic feeling
set in which silenced, expelled, or converted the adherents of the
Rebellion. The old business relations with the South, so profitable and
so corrupting, were broken up, and Cincinnati found better occupation in
supplying the government with gunboats and military stores. The prestige
of the old "aristocracy" was lost; its power was broken; it no longer
controlled elections, nor monopolized offices, nor lowered the tone of
public feeling. Cincinnati was born again,--_began_ a new life. There is
now prevalent among the rulers of the city that noblest trait of
freemen, that supreme virtue of the citizen,--PUBLIC SPIRIT; the blessed
fruits of which are already apparent, and which is about to render the
city a true metropolis to the valley of the Ohio, the fostering mother
of all that aids and adorns civilization.

Cincinnati, like New York, is a cluster of towns and cities, bearing
various names, and situated in different States. Persons ambitious of
municipal offices would do well to remove to this place; since, within
the limits of what is really Cincinnati, there are seven mayors, seven
boards of aldermen, seven distinct and completely organized cities. A
citizen of New York might well stand aghast at the announcement of such
a fact as this, and only recover his consciousness to try mentally an
impossible sum in the double rule of three: If one mayor and
corporation, in a city of a million and a half of inhabitants, steal ten
millions of dollars per annum, how much will seven mayors and seven
corporations "appropriate" in a city of three hundred thousand
inhabitants? The reader is excused from "doing" this hard sum, and we
hasten to assure him that Cincinnati is governed by and for her own
citizens, who take the same care of the public money as of their own
private store. We looked into the Council Chamber of Cincinnati one
morning, and we can testify that the entire furniture of that apartment,
though it is substantial and sufficient, cost about as much as some
single articles in the councilmen's room of the New York City Hall,--say
the clock, the chandelier, or the chairman's throne. The people of
Cincinnati are so primitive in their ideas, that they would regard the
man who should steal the public money as a baser thief than he who
should merely pick a private pocket. They have actually carried "this
sort of thing" so far as to elect and re-elect as Mayor of the city
proper that honest, able, generous Republican, CHARLES F. WILSTACH, a
member of the great publishing house of Moore, Wilstach, and Baldwin,--a
gentleman who, though justly proud of the confidence of his
fellow-citizens, and enjoying the honor they have conferred upon him,
uses the entire power, influence, and income of his office in promoting
the higher welfare of the city. He is the great patron of the
Mechanics' Institute, which gave instruction last winter to two hundred
and fifty evening pupils in drawing, mathematics, and engineering, at
three dollars each for four months, besides affording them access to a
library and pleasant rooms. Charles Wilstach, in short, is what Mr.
Joseph Hoxie would call "a Peter Cooper sort of man." Imagine New York
electing Peter Cooper mayor! It was like going back to the primitive
ages,--to that remote period when Benjamin Franklin was printer and
public servant, and when Samuel Adams served the State,--to see the
Mayor of Cincinnati performing his full share of the labor of conducting
a business that employs a hundred and fifty persons, and yet punctual at
his office in the City Hall, and strictly attentive to its duties during
five of the best hours of the day.

There are seven mayors about Cincinnati for the reasons following. On
the southern bank of the Ohio, opposite the city, many large
manufactories have found convenient sites, and thus the city of
Covington has grown up, divided into two towns by the river Licking.
Then there are five clusters of villas in the suburbs of Cincinnati,
over the hill, each of which has deemed it best to organize itself into
a city, in order to keep itself select and exclusive, and to make its
own little laws and regulations. The mayors and aldermen of these minute
rural villages are business men of Cincinnati, who drive in to their
stores every morning, and home again in the evening. Thus you may meet
aldermen at every corner, and buy something in a store from a mayor, and
get his autograph at the end of a bill, without being aware of the honor
done you. No autographs are more valued in Cincinnati than the
signatures of these municipal magnates.

But let us look at the city. The river presents a novel and animated
scene. On the Kentucky shore lies Covington, dark and low, a mass of
brick factories and tall chimneys, from which the blackest smoke is
always ascending, and spreading over the valley, and filling it with
smoke. Over Cincinnati, too, a dense cloud of smoke usually hangs, every
chimney contributing its quota to the mass. The universal use of the
cheap bituminous coal (seventeen cents a bushel,--twenty-five bushels to
a ton) is making these Western cities almost as dingy as London. Smoke
pervades every house in Cincinnati, begrimes the carpets, blackens the
curtains, soils the paint, and worries the ladies. Housekeepers assured
us that the all-pervading smoke nearly doubles the labor of keeping a
house tolerably clean, and absolutely prevents the spotless cleanliness
of a Boston or Philadelphia house. A lady who wears light-colored
garments, ribbons, or gloves in Cincinnati must be either very young,
very rich, or very extravagant: ladies of good sense or experience never
think of wearing them. Clean hearts abound in Cincinnati, but not clean
hands. The smoke deposits upon all surfaces a fine soot, especially upon
men's woollen clothes, so that a man cannot touch his own coat without
blackening his fingers. The stranger, for a day or two, keeps up a
continual washing of his hands, but he soon sees the folly of it, and
abandons them to their fate. A letter written at Cincinnati on a damp
day, when the Stygian pall lies low upon the town, carries with it the
odor of bituminous smoke to cheer the homesick son of Ohio at Calcutta
or Canton. This universal smoke is a tax upon every inhabitant, which
can be estimated in money, and the sum total of which is millions per
annum. Is there no remedy? Did not Dr. Franklin invent a smoke-consuming
stove? Are there no Yankees in the West?

Before the traveller loitering along the levee has done wondering at the
smoke, his eye is caught by the new wire suspension bridge, which
springs out from the summit of the broad, steep levee to a lofty tower
(two hundred feet high) near the water's edge, and then, at one leap,
clears the whole river, and lands upon another tower upon the Covington
side. From tower to tower the distance is one thousand and fifty-seven
feet; the entire length of the bridge is two thousand two hundred and
fifty-two feet; and it is hung one hundred feet above low-water mark by
two cables of wire. Seen from below and at a little distance, it looks
like gossamer work, and as though the wind could blow it away, and waft
its filmy fragments out of sight. But the tread of a drove of elephants
would not bend nor jar it. The Rock of Gibraltar does not feel firmer
under foot than this spider's web of a bridge, over which trains of cars
pass one another, as well as ceaseless tides of vehicles and
pedestrians. It is estimated that, besides its own weight of six hundred
tons, it will sustain a burden of sixteen thousand tons. In other words,
the whole population of Cincinnati might get upon it without danger of
being let down into the river. This remarkable work, constructed at a
cost of one million and three quarters, was begun nine years ago, and
has tasked the patience and the faith of the two cities severely; but
now that it is finished, Cincinnati looks forward with confidence to the
time when it will be a connecting link between Lake Erie and the Gulf of
Mexico, and when Cincinnati will be only thirty hours from Mobile.

The levee, which now extends five or six miles around the large "bend"
upon which the city stands, exhibits all the varieties of Western
steamboats. It exhilarated the childish mind of the stranger to discover
that the makers of school-books were practising no imposition upon the
infant mind when they put down in the geography such names as the "Big
Sandy." It was cheering, also, to know that one could actually go to
Maysville, and see how General Jackson's veto had affected it. A
traveller must indeed be difficult to please who cannot find upon the
Cincinnati levee a steamboat bound to a place he would like to visit.
From far back in the coal mines of the Youghiogheny (pronounced
Yok-a-_gau_-ny) to high up the Red River,--from St. Paul to New
Orleans, and all intermediate ports,--we have but to pay our money and
take our choice of the towns upon sixteen thousand miles of navigable
water. Among the rest we observed a steamboat about as large as an
omnibus, fitted up like a pedler's wagon, and full of the miscellaneous
wares which pedlers sell. Such little boats, it appears, steam from
village to village along the shores of those interminable rivers, and,
by renewing their supplies at the large towns, make their way for
thousands of miles, returning home only at the end of the season. They
can ascend higher up the streams than the large boats, and scarcely any
"stage" of water is too low for them. Often as we had admired the
four-horse pedlers' wagons of New England, with their plated harness and
gorgeous paint, we resolved that, when we turned pedler, it should be in
such a snug little steamboat upon the rivers of the West. Other
steamboats, as probably the reader is aware, are fitted up as theatres,
museums, circuses, and moral menageries, and go from town to town,
announcing their arrival by that terrific combination of steam-whistles
which is called in the West a Cally-_ope_. What an advance upon the old
system of strolling players and the barn! "Then came each actor on his
ass." On the Ohio he comes in a comfortable stateroom, to which when the
performance is over he retires, waking the next morning at the scene of
new triumphs.

Along the summit of the steep levee, close to the line of stores, there
is a row of massive posts--three feet thick and twenty high--which
puzzle the stranger. The swelling of the river brings the steamboats up
to the very doors of the houses facing the river, and to these huge
posts they are fastened to keep them from being swept away by the
rushing flood. From the summit of the levee we advance into the town,
always going up hill, unless we turn to the right or left.

Here is Philadelphia again, with its numbered streets parallel to the
river, and the cross-streets named after the trees which William Penn
found growing upon the banks of the Delaware,--"Walnut," "Locust,"
"Sycamore." Here are long blocks of wholesale stores in the streets near
the river, of Philadelphian plainness and solidity; and as we ascend, we
reach the showier retail streets, all in the modern style of subdued
Philadelphian elegance. It is a solid, handsome town,--the newer
buildings of light-colored stone, very lofty, and well built; the
streets paved with the small pebbles ground smooth by the rushing Ohio,
and as clean as Boston. In Fourth Street there is a dry-goods store
nearly as large, and five times as handsome, as Stewart's in New York,
and several other establishments on the greatest scale, equal in every
respect to those of the Atlantic cities. The only difference is, that in
New York we have more of them. By the time we have passed Fifth Street,
which is about half a mile from the river, we have reached the end of
the elegant and splendid part of the city; all beyond and around is
shabby Philadelphia, begrimed with soot, and "blended in a common
element" of smoke. The extensive and swarming German quarter is
precisely like the German quarter of Philadelphia, (though the
Cincinnati lager-bier is better,) and the wide, square, spacious old
mansions are exactly such as the older houses of Philadelphia would be
if Philadelphia burned bituminous coal.

Every New-Yorker supposes, of course, that there must be in a large and
wealthy city one pre-eminent and illustrious street like his own Fifth
Avenue, where he is wont either to survey mankind from a club window,
or, _as_ mankind, be surveyed. There is no such street in Cincinnati,
and for a reason which becomes apparent during the first long walk. When
the stranger has panted up the slope on which the city is built, to a
point one mile from the river, he sees looming up before him an almost
precipitous hill, four hundred and sixty-two feet high, which has been
dug into, and pared down, until it has about as much beauty as an
immense heap of gravel. Around the base of this unsightly mountain are
slaughter-houses and breweries, incensing it with black smoke, and
extensive pens filled with the living material of barrelled pork. The
traveller, who has already, as he thinks, done a fair share of climbing
for one day, naturally regards this hill as the end of all things in
Cincinnati; but upon coming up to it he discovers the zigzag road to
which allusion has before been made, and which leads by an easy ascent
to the summit.

Behold the Fifth Avenue of Cincinnati! It is not merely the pleasant
street of villas and gardens along the brow of the hill, though that is
part of it. Mount to the cupola of the Mount Auburn Young Ladies'
School, which stands near the highest point, and look out over a sea of
beautifully formed, umbrageous hills, steep enough to be picturesque,
but not too steep to be convenient, and observe that upon each summit,
as far as the eye can reach, is an elegant cottage or mansion, or
cluster of tasteful villas, surrounded by groves, gardens, and lawns.
_This_ is Cincinnati's Fifth Avenue. Here reside the families enriched
by the industry of the low, smoky town. Here, upon these enchanting
hills, and in these inviting valleys, will finally gather the greater
part of the population, leaving the city to its smoke and heat when the
labors of the day are done. As far as we have seen or read, no inland
city in the world surpasses Cincinnati in the beauty of its environs.
They present as perfect a combination of the picturesque and the
accessible as can anywhere be found; and there are still the primeval
forests, and the virgin soil, to favor the plans of the artist in
"capabilities." The Duke of Newcastle's party, one of whom was the
Prince of Wales, were not flattering their entertainers when they
pronounced the suburbs of Cincinnati the finest they had anywhere seen.

The groups of villas, each upon its little hill, are the _cities_
before mentioned, five of which are within sight of the young ladies who
attend the liberally conducted seminary of Mount Auburn. The stranger is
continually astonished at the magnitude and costliness of these
residences. Our impression was, that they are not inferior, either in
number or in elegance, to those of Staten Island or Jamaica Plain; while
a few of them, we presume, are unequalled in America. The residence of
Mr. Probasco is the most famous of these. Externally, it is a rather
plain-looking stone house, something between a cottage and a mansion;
but the interior is highly interesting, as showing how much money to the
square inch can be spent in the decoration of a house, provided the
proprietor has unlimited resources and gives himself up to the work. For
seven long years, we were informed, the owner of this house toiled at
his experiment. Every room was a separate study. All the walls are
wainscoted with oak, most exquisitely carved and polished, and the
ceilings were painted by artists brought from Italy. It is impossible to
conceive an interior more inviting, elegant, and harmonious than this.
Thirty years ago the proprietor of this beautiful abode was an
errand-boy in the establishment of which he was afterwards the head; and
when we had the impudence to look into his house, he was absent in
Europe in quest of health! The moral is obvious even here at the end of
this poor paragraph, but it was staggering upon the spot. How absurd to
be sick, owning such a house! How ridiculous the idea of dying in it!

In this enchanting region is Lane Theological Seminary, of which Dr.
Lyman Beecher was once President, and in which Henry Ward Beecher spent
three years in acquiring the knowledge it cost him so much trouble to
forget. Coming to this seat of theology from the beautiful city of
Clifton, of which Mr. Probasco's house is an ornament, and which
consists of a few other mansions of similar elegance, the Seminary
buildings looked rather dismal, though they are better than the old
barracks in which the students of Yale and Harvard reside. Thirty
cheerful and athletic young gentlemen, and half a dozen polite and
learned professors, constitute at present the theological family. The
room in which Mr. Beecher lived is still about fifteen feet by ten, but
it does not present the bare and forlorn appearance it did when he
inhabited it. It is carpeted now, and has more furniture than the pine
table and arm-chair which, tradition informs us, contented him, and
which were the only articles he could contribute towards the furnishing
of his first establishment.

Cincinnati justly boasts of its Spring Grove Cemetery, which now
encloses five hundred acres of this beautiful, undulating land. The
present superintendent has introduced a very simple improvement, which
enhances the beauty of the ground tenfold, and might well be universally
imitated. He has caused the fences around the lots to be removed, and
the boundaries to be marked by sunken stone posts, one at each corner,
which just suffice for the purpose, but do not disfigure the scene. This
change has given to the ground the harmony and pleasantness of a park.
The monuments, too, are remarkable for their variety, moderation, and
good taste. There is very little, if any, of that hideous ostentation,
that _mere_ expenditure of money, which renders Greenwood so melancholy
a place, exciting far more compassion for the folly of the living, than
sorrow for the dead who have escaped their society. We would earnestly
recommend the managers of other cemeteries not to pass within a hundred
miles of Cincinnati without stepping aside to see for themselves how
much the beauty of a burial-ground is increased by the mere removal of
the fences round the lots. It took the superintendent of Spring Grove
several years to induce the proprietors to consent to the removal of
costly fences; but one after another they yielded, and each removal
exhibited more clearly the propriety of the change, and made converts to
the new system. In the same taste he recommends the levelling of the
mounds over the graves, and his advice has been generally followed.

It is very pleasant for the rich people of Cincinnati to live in the
lovely country over the hill, away from the heat and smoke of the town;
but it has its inconveniences also. It is partly because the rich people
are so far away that the public entertainments of the city are so low in
quality and so unfrequent. We made the tour of the theatres and shows
one evening,--glad to escape the gloom and dinginess of the hotel, once
the pride of the city, but now its reproach. Surely there is no other
city of two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants that is so miserably
provided with the means of public amusement as Cincinnati. At the first
theatre we stumbled into, where Mr. Owens was performing in the
Bourcicault version of "The Cricket on the Hearth," there was a large
audience, composed chiefly of men. It was the very dirtiest theatre we
ever saw. The hands of the ticket-taker were not grimy,--they were
black. The matting on the floor, the paint, and all the interior, were
thoroughly unclean; and not a person in the audience seemed to have
thought it necessary to show respect to the place, or to the presence of
a thousand of his fellow-citizens, by making any change in his dress.
The ventilation was bad, of course. No fresh air could be admitted
without exposing some of the audience to draughts. The band consisted of
seven musicians. The play, which is very pleasing and simple, was
disfigured in every scene by the interpolation of what the actors call
"gags,"--that is, vulgar and stupid additions to the text by the actors
themselves,--in which we were sorry to hear the "star" of the occasion
setting a bad example. Actors ought to know that when Charles Dickens
and Dion Bourcicault unite their admirable talents in the production of
a play, no one else can add a line without marring the work. They might
at least be aware that Western colloquialisms, amusing as they are, do
not harmonize with the conversation of an English cottage. Yet this
Cincinnati audience was delighted with the play, in spite of all these
drawbacks, so exquisitely adapted is the drama to move and entertain
human beings.

At the West, along with much reckless and defiant unbelief in everything
high and good, there is also a great deal of that terror-stricken
pietism which refuses to attend the theatre unless it is very bad
indeed, and is called "Museum." This limits the business of the theatre;
and, as a good theatre is necessarily a very expensive institution, it
improves very slowly, although the Western people are in precisely that
stage of development and culture to which the drama is best adapted and
is most beneficial. We should naturally expect to find the human mind,
in the broad, magnificent West, rising superior to the prejudices
originating in the little sects of little lands. So it will rise in due
time. So it has risen, in some degree. But mere grandeur of nature has
no educating effect upon the soul of man; else, Switzerland would not
have supplied Paris with footmen, and the hackmen of Niagara would spare
the tourist. It is only a human mind that can instruct a human mind.
There is a man in Cincinnati, of small stature, and living in a small
house of a street not easy to find, who is doing more to raise, inform,
and ennoble Cincinnati than all her lovely hills and dales. It is the
truly Reverend A. D. MAYO, minister of the Unitarian Church of the
Redeemer. His walls are not wainscoted, and there is about his house no
umbrageous park nor verdant lawn. It has only pleased Heaven, so far, to
endow him with a fine understanding, a noble heart, and an eloquent
tongue. It is he, and half a dozen such as he, who constitute in great
degree the civilizing force of Cincinnati.

Upon leaving the theatre, we were attracted by a loud beating of drums
to a building calling itself the "Sacred Museum." Such establishments
are usually content with the word "moral"; but this one was "sacred."
From a balcony in front, two bass-drums and one bugle were filling all
that part of the town with horrid noise, and in the entrance, behind the
ticket-office, a huge negro was grinding out discord from an organ as
big as an upright piano. We defy creation to produce another exhibition
so entirely and profoundly atrocious as this. It consisted chiefly of
wax figures of most appalling ugliness. There were Webster, Clay,
General Scott, and another, sitting bolt upright at a card-table,
staring hideously; the birth of Christ; the trial of Christ; Abraham
Lincoln, dead and ghastly, upon a bier; and other groups, all revolting
beyond description. The only decently executed thing in this Sacred
Museum was highly indecent; it was a young lady in wax, who, before
lying down, had forgotten to put on her night-gown. There was a most
miserable Happy Family; one or two monkeys, still and dejected; a
dismal, tired rooster, who wanted to go to roost, but could not in that
glare of gas, and stood motionless on the bottom of the cage; three or
four common white rabbits; and a mangy cat. Such was the Sacred Museum.
Such are the exhibitions to which well-intentioned parents will take
their children, while shrinking in affright from the theatre! It is
strange that this lucrative business of providing amusement for children
and country visitors should have been so long abandoned to the most
ignorant of the community. Every large town needs a place of amusement
to which children can be occasionally taken, and it would not be
difficult to arrange an establishment that would afford them great
delight and do them no harm. How monstrous to lure boys to such a place
as this "Sacred Museum,"--or to the "Museum" in New York, where a great
creature, in the form of a woman, performs, in flesh-colored tights, the
part of Mazeppa!

In all the large Western cities there is a place of evening
entertainment called the "Varieties Theatre," which ladies never attend,
and in which three pleasures may be enjoyed at once,--smoking, drinking
lager-bier, and witnessing a performance upon the stage. The chief
patrons of these establishments are gentlemen connected with navigation,
and very young men who, for the price of a ticket, a cigar, and a glass
of beer, purchase the flattering delusion that they are "seeing life,"
and "going it with a perfect looseness." The performances consist of
Ethiopian minstrelsy, comic songs, farces, and the dancing of "beauteous
Terpsichorean nymphs"; and these succeed one another with not a minute's
intermission for three or four hours. At St. Louis, where gentlemen
connected with navigation are numerous, the Varieties Theatre is large,
highly decorated, conducted at great expense, and yields a very large
revenue. To witness the performance, and to observe the rapture
expressed upon the shaggy and good-humored countenances of the boatmen,
was interesting, as showing what kind of banquet will delight a human
soul starved from its birth. It likes a comic song very much, if the
song refers to fashionable articles of ladies' costume, or holds up to
ridicule members of Congress, policemen, or dandies. It is not averse to
a sentimental song, in which "Mother, dear," is frequently
apostrophized. It delights in a farce from which most of the dialogue
has been cut away, while all the action is retained,--in which people
are continually knocked down, or run against one another with great
violence. It takes much pleasure in seeing Horace Greeley play a part in
a negro farce, and become the victim of designing colored brethren. But
what joy, when the beauteous Terpsichorean nymph bounds upon the scene,
rosy with paint, glistening with spangles, robust with cotton and cork,
and bewildering with a cloud of gauzy skirts! What a vision of beauty to
a man who has seen nothing for days and nights but the hold of a
steamboat and the dull shores of the Mississippi!

The Varieties Theatre of St. Louis, therefore, is a highly flourishing
establishment, and the proprietor knows his business well enough to be
aware that indecency never pays expenses in the United States,--as all
will finally discover who try it. At Cincinnati there is also a
Varieties Theatre, but such a theatre! A vast and dirty barn, with
whitewashed walls and no ceiling, in which a minstrel band of five men
and two beauteous nymphs exerted themselves slightly to entertain an
audience of thirty men and boys. As the performers entered the building
in view of the spectators, we are able to state that beauteous
Terpsichorean nymphs go about the world disguised in dingy calico, and
only appear in their true colors upon the stage.

Cincinnati, then, affords very slight and inferior facilities for
holiday-keeping. We chanced to be in the city on the last Thanksgiving
day, and were surprised to see seven tenths of all the stores open as
usual. In the German quarter there were no signs whatever of a public
holiday: every place of business was open, and no parties of pleasure
were going out. The wholesale stores and most of the American part of
the city exhibited the Sunday appearance which an Eastern city presents
on this day; but even there the cessation of industry was not universal.
And, after all, how should it be otherwise? Where were the people to go?
What could they do? There is no Park. There are no suburbs accessible
without a severe struggle with the attraction of gravitation. There are
no theatres fit to attend. There is no "Museum," no menagerie, no
gallery of art, no public gardens, no Fifth Avenue to stroll in, no
steamboat excursion, no Hoboken. There ought to be in Cincinnati a most
exceptionally good and high social life to atone for this singular
absence of the usual means of public enjoyment; but of that a stranger
can have little knowledge.

When we turn to survey the industry of Cincinnati, we find a much more
advanced and promising state of things. Almost everything is made in
Cincinnati that is made by man. There are prodigious manufactories of
furniture, machinery, clothing, iron ware, and whatever else is
required by the six or eight millions of people who live within easy
reach of the city. The book-trade--especially the manufacturing of
school-books and other books of utility--has attained remarkable
development. Sargent, Wilson, and Hinkle employ about two hundred men,
chiefly in the making of school-books; of one series of "Readers," they
produce a million dollars' worth per annum,--the most profitable
literary property, perhaps, in the world. The house of Moore, Wilstach,
and Baldwin employ all their great resources in the manufacture of their
own publications, many of which are works of high character and great
cost. Recently they have invested one hundred thousand dollars in the
production of one work,--the history of Ohio's part in the late war.
Robert Clarke & Co. publish law books on a scale only equalled by two or
three of the largest law publishers of the Eastern cities. Cincinnati
ranks third among the manufacturing cities of the Union, and fourth in
the manufacture of books. Here, as everywhere in the United States, the
daily press supplies the people with the greater part of their daily
mental food, and nowhere else, except in New York, are the newspapers
conducted with so much expense. The "Cincinnati Commercial" telegraphed
from Washington fourteen columns of General Grant's Report, at an
expense of eleven hundred dollars, and thus gave it to its readers one
day before the New York papers had a word of it. A number of this paper
now before us contains original letters from Washington, New York,
Venice, London, and Frankfort, Ky., five columns of telegrams, and the
usual despatch by the Atlantic cable. The "Gazette" is not less spirited
and enterprising, and both are sound, patriotic, Republican journals.
The "Enquirer," of Democratic politics, very liberally conducted, is as
unreasonable as heart could wish, and supplies the Republican papers
with many a text. The "Times" is an evening paper, Republican, and
otherwise commendable. Gentlemen who have long resided in Cincinnati
assure us that the improvement in the tone and spirit of its daily press
since the late regenerating war is most striking. It is looked to now by
the men of public spirit to take the lead in the career of improvement
upon which the city is entering. The conductors of the press here are
astonishingly rich. Think of an _editor_ having the impudence to return
the value of his estate at five millions of dollars!

Visitors to Cincinnati feel it, of course, to be a patriotic duty to
make inquiries respecting the native wine; and to facilitate the
performance of this duty, the landlord of the Burnet House publishes in
his daily bill of fare twelve varieties of American wine, from three
States, Ohio, Missouri, and California. The cheapest is the Ohio
Catawba, one dollar a bottle; the dearest is Missouri champagne, at
three dollars and a half. The wine culture, it appears, is somewhat out
of favor at present among the farmers of Ohio. A German family,
many-handed, patient, and economical, occupying a small vineyard and
paying no wages, finds the business profitable; but an American, who
lives freely, and depends upon hired assistance, is likely to fail. A
vineyard requires incessant and skilful labor. The costly preparation of
the soil, the endless prunings and hoeings, the great and watchful care
required in picking, sorting, and pressing the grapes, in making and
preserving the wine, the many perils to which the crop is exposed at
every moment of its growth and ripening, and the three years of waiting
before the vines begin to bear, all conspire to discourage and defeat
the ordinary cultivator. The "rot" is a very severe trial to human
patience. The vines look thrifty, the grapes are large and abundant, and
all goes well, until the time when the grapes, being fully grown, are
about to change color. Then a sudden blight occurs, and two thirds of
the whole crop of grapes, the result of the year's labor, wither and
spoil. The cause, probably, is the exhaustion of some elements in the
soil needful to the supreme effort of Nature to perfect her work.
Nevertheless, the patient Germans succeed in the business, and sell
their wine to good advantage to the large dealers and bottlers.

The Longworth wine-cellar, one of the established lions of the city,
cheers the thirsty soul of man. There we had the pleasure of seeing, by
a candle's flickering light, two hundred thousand bottles of wine, and
of walking along subterranean streets lined with huge tuns, each of them
large enough to house a married Diogenes, or to drown a dozen Dukes of
Clarence, and some of them containing five thousand gallons of the still
unvexed Catawba. It was there that we made acquaintance with the "Golden
Wedding" champagne, the boast of the late proprietor,--an acquaintance
which we trust will ripen into an enduring friendship. If there is any
better wine than this attainable in the present state of existence, it
ought, in consideration of human weakness, to be all poured into the
briny deep. It is a very honest cellar, this. Except a little rock candy
to aid fermentation, no foreign ingredient is employed, and the whole
process of making and bottling the wine is conducted with the utmost
care. Nicholas Longworth was neither an enlightened nor a
public-spirited man; but, like most of his race, he was scrupulously
honest. Indeed, we may truly say, that there is in Cincinnati a general
spirit of fidelity. Work is generally done well there, promises are
kept, and representations accord with the facts.

Every one thinks of pork in connection with Cincinnati. We had the
curiosity to visit one of the celebrated pork-making establishments,
"The Banner Slaughter and Pork-packing House," which, being the newest,
contains all the improved apparatus. In this establishment, hogs
weighing five or six hundred pounds are killed, scraped, dressed, cut
up, salted, and packed in a barrel, in _twenty seconds_, on an average;
and at this rate, the work is done, ten hours a day, during the season
of four months. The great secret of such rapidity is, that one man does
one thing only, and thus learns to do that one thing with perfect
dexterity. We saw a man there who, all day and every day, knocks pigs
down with a hammer; another who does nothing but "stick" them; another
who, with one clean, easy stroke of a broad, long-handled cleaver,
decapitates the hugest hog of Ohio. But let us begin at the beginning,
for, really, this Banner Pork-house is one of the most curious things in
the world, and claims the attention of the polite reader.

It is a large, clean, new brick building, with extensive yards adjoining
it, filled with hogs from the forests and farms of Ohio, Indiana, and
Kentucky. From these yards to the third story of the house there is an
inclined plane, up which a procession of the animals march slowly to
their doom from morning until evening. Here is the first economy. The
thing to be done is, to transfer the pigs from those yards to the
basement of the building, and, on the way, convert them into salt pork.
They walk to the scene of massacre at the top of the building, and the
descent to the cellar accomplishes itself by the natural law which
causes everything to seek the centre of the earth. Arrived at the
summit, the fifteen foremost find themselves in "a tight
place,"--squeezed into a pen, in which they must remain standing from
lack of room to lie down. There are two of these pens, and two "pen
men"; so that the moment one pen is empty, there is another ready
filled, and the work thus goes on without interruption. The fifteen
animals which stand compressed, with their heads thrust upward, awaiting
the stroke of fate, express their emotions in the language natural to
them, and the noise is great. The executioner, armed with a
long-handled, slender hammer, and sitting astride of the fence, gives to
each of these yelling creatures his quietus by a blow upon the head. The
pig does not fall when he is struck; he cannot; he only stares and
becomes silent. The stranger who is unable to witness the execution has
an awful sense of the progress of the fell work by the gradual cessation
of the noise. We mention here, for the benefit of political economists,
that this knocker-down, who does the most disagreeable and laborious
part of the work, has the lowest wages paid to any man in the house. He
does not rank as an artist at all, but only as a laborer. Readers of
Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill know why. When silence within the pen
announces the surrender of its occupants, a door is opened, and the
senseless hogs are laid in a row up an inclined plane, at the bottom of
which is a long trough of hot water. One of the artists, called "the
Sticker," now appears, provided with a long, thin, pointed knife, and
approaches the pig nearest the steaming trough, gently lifts its fore
leg, and gives it one easy, delicate, and graceful thrust in the throat.
Along the trough, on each side of it, is a row of men, each with an
instrument in his hand, waiting to begin; and apart from them stands the
Head-Scalder, who ranks second in the corps, having a task of all but
the greatest difficulty to perform. Scald a pig ten seconds too long, or
in water twenty degrees too hot, and he comes out as red as a lobster;
let the water be too cool, or keep the animal in it too short a time,
and the labor of scraping is trebled. Into the hot water the hogs are
soused at intervals of twenty seconds, and the Scalder stands, watching
the clock, and occasionally trying the temperature of the water with his
finger, or the adherence of the hair on the creature first to be
handled. "Number One," he says, at length. By a machine for the purpose,
Number One is turned over upon a long, declining table, where he lies
smoking. At the same instant two men pull out his valuable bristles and
put them in a barrel, and two other men scrape one side of him with
scrapers. In a few seconds, these turn him over and pass him on to two
other scrapers, who scrape the other side, and then slide him along to
four other men, who trim and finish him, leaving not a hair upon his
soft and quivering body. Then he falls into the hands of two
"gamble-men," who insert a stick to keep the hind legs apart, and, by
the aid of a machine, hang him up with his head downward. Next, the
animal is consigned to the great artist of all, who performs upon him
the operation so much in favor among the nobility of Japan. This artist,
we regret to say, but will not conceal from a too fastidious public, is
called "the Gutter." One long, swift cut down the whole length of the
body,--two or three rapid, in-and-out cuts in the inside,--and the
entire respiratory and digestive apparatus lies smoking upon a table,
under the hands of men who are removing from it the material for lard.
This operation, here performed in twenty seconds, and which is
frequently done by the same man fifteen hundred times a day, takes an
ordinary butcher ten minutes. This man earns six dollars and a half a
day, while no one else receives more than four; and if he is absent from
his post, his substitute, who has _seen_ the thing done for years, can
only perform it one fifth as fast, and the day's work of the house is
reduced to one fifth of its ordinary production.

The long room in which the creatures are put to death, scalded, and
japanned presents, as may be imagined, a most horrid scene of massacre
and blood,--of steaming water and flabby, naked, quivering hogs,--of men
in oil-skin suits all shining with wet and grease. The rest of the
establishment is perfectly clean and agreeable. The moment the body of
the animal is emptied, a boy inundates it from a hose, and then another
boy pushes it along the wire from which it hangs on a wheel, and takes
it to its place in the cooling-room, where it hangs all night. This
cooling-room is a curious spectacle. It contains two regiments of
suspended hogs, arranged in long, regular rows: one regiment, the result
of to-day's operations; the other, of yesterday's. The cutting up of
these huge carcasses is accomplished with the same easy and wonderful
rapidity. The first that we chanced to see cut to pieces was an enormous
fellow of six hundred pounds, and it was done in just one third of a
minute. Two men tumbled him over upon a wagon, wheeled him to the
scales, where his weight was instantly ascertained and recorded. Near by
was the cutting-table, upon which he was immediately flopped. Two
simultaneous blows with a cleaver severed his head and his hind quarters
from the trunk, and the subdivision of these was accomplished by three
or four masterly cuts with the same instrument. Near the table are the
open mouths of as many large wooden pipes as there are kinds of pieces
in a hog, and these lead to the various apartments below, where the
several pieces are to be further dealt with. Gently down their
well-greased pipe slip the hams to the smoking-department; away glide
the salting-pieces to the cellar; the lard-leaves slide softly down to
the trying-room; the trimmings of the hams vanish silently down their
pipe to the sausage-room; the tongue, the feet, and every atom of the
flesh, start on their journey to the places where they are wanted; and
thus, in the twenty seconds, the six-hundred-pounder has been cut to
pieces and distributed all over an extensive building.

The delivery of three finished hogs a minute requires the following
force of men: two pen-men; one knocker-down; one sticker; two
bristle-snatchers; four scrapers; six shavers (who remove the hair from
parts not reached by the scrapers); two gamble-men; one gutter; one
hose-boy; one slide-boy; one splitter (who fastens the animal open to
facilitate cooling); two attendants upon the cutters; one weigher; two
cleaver-men; four knife-men; one ham-trimmer; one shoulder-trimmer; one
packer; six ham-salters; one weigher and brander; one lard-man; one
book-keeper; seven porters and laborers,--in all, fifty men. The system
therefore, enables one man to convert into pork thirty hogs a day. The
proprietors of these packing-houses pay the owners of the animals sixty
cents each for the privilege of killing them, and derive their profit
from the refuse. The bristles of a hog are worth seventeen cents; his
tongue, five cents; the hair and the fat of the intestines pay the
entire cost of killing, dressing, and packing.

There is a moral in all this. In such establishments, a business which
in itself is disgusting, and perhaps barbarizing, almost ceases to be
so, and the part of it which cannot be deprived of its disgusting
circumstances is performed by a very few individuals. Twenty men, in
four months, do all that is disagreeable in the slaying of one hundred
and eighty thousand hogs, and those twenty men, by the operation of
well-known laws, are sure to be the persons to whom the work is least
offensive and least injurious.

There are many other industrial establishments in Cincinnati that are
highly interesting, but we cannot dwell upon them. One thing surprises
the visitor from the Atlantic cities; and that is, the great
responsibilities assumed in the Western country by very young men. We
met a gentleman at Cincinnati, aged thirty-two, who is chief proprietor
and active manager of five extensive iron works in five different
cities, one of which--the one at Cincinnati--employs a hundred and
twenty men. He began life at fourteen, a poor boy,--was helped to two
thousand dollars at twenty-one,--started in iron,--prospered,--founded
similar works in other cities,--went to the war and contracted to supply
an army with biscuit,--took the camp fever,--lost twenty thousand
dollars,--came back to his iron,--throve as before,--gave away
twenty-five thousand dollars last year to benevolent operations,--and is
now as serene and smiling as though he had played all his life, and had
not a care in the world. And this reminds us to repeat that the man
wanted in the West is the man who knows how to _make_ and _do_, not the
man who can only buy and sell. This fine young fellow of whom we speak
makes nuts, bolts, and screws, and succeeds, in spite of Pittsburg, by
inventing quicker and better methods.

Churches flourish in Cincinnati, and every shade of belief and unbelief
has its organization, or at least its expression. Credulity is daily
notified in the newspapers, that "Madame Draskouski, the Russian
_wizard_, foretells events by the aid of a Magic Pebble, a present from
the Emperor of China," and that "Madame Ross has a profound knowledge of
the rules of the Science of the Stars, and can beat the world in telling
the past, the present, and the future." To the opposite extreme of human
intelligence Mr. Mayo ministers in the Church of the Redeemer, and many
of his wise and timely discourses reach all the thinking public through
the daily press. The Protestant churches, here as everywhere, are
elegant and well filled. The clergy are men-of-all-work. A too busy and
somewhat unreasonable public looks to them to serve as school trustees,
school examiners, managers of public institutions, and, in short, to do
most of the work which, being "everybody's business," nobody is inclined
to do. Few of the Western clergy are indigenous; it is from the East
that the supply chiefly comes, and the clergy do not appear to feel
themselves at home in the West. In all Cincinnati there are but three
Protestant clergymen who have been there more than five years. The
Catholic churches are densely filled three or four times every Sunday,
and the institutions of that Church are conducted with the vigor which
we see everywhere in the United States. Fortunate, indeed, are the
Catholics of Cincinnati in having at their head that gentle, benignant,
and patriotic man, Archbishop Purcell. It was pleasant to hear this
excellent prelate, when he spoke of the forces of the United States in
the late war, use the expression, "_our_ army." Every bishop does not do
so. It was pleasant, too, to hear him say, in speaking of other sects,
"There are some things in which we all agree, thank goodness." The
Young Men's Christian Association is in great vigor at Cincinnati. It
provides a reading-room, billiards, a gymnasium, bowling-alleys, and
many other nice things for young men, at the charge of one dollar per
annum. The Association here is said to be free from that provincial
bigotry which, at Chicago, refused to invite to the annual banquet
Robert Collyer and the young men of his church, because they were
Unitarians.

And this leads naturally to the topic which interested us most at
Cincinnati,--the happy way in which the Jews are mingling there with
their fellow-citizens, and the good influence they are exerting. There
are twelve thousand Jews in the city. Some of the large manufactories
and mercantile houses have Jewish proprietors, who enjoy the social
consideration naturally belonging to their position. The Jews are
worthily represented in the government of the city, in the boards
controlling public institutions, and in those which administer private
charity. Several of the leading members of this respectable body belong
to the class of men whose aid is never solicited in vain for a suitable
object, and whose benefactions are limited only by their means or by
their duty,--never by unwillingness to bestow,--and who value wealth
only as a means of safety and education to their families, and of
opportunity to bestow those advantages upon others. Christians in
considerable numbers attend the beautiful synagogues, and Jews respond
by going to Christian churches. And, O most wonderful of all! Jewish
rabbis and Christian clergymen--Orthodox clergymen too, as they are
ridiculously called--"exchange pulpits"! Here we have before us the
report of a sermon delivered last March before a Congregational church
of Cincinnati by Dr. Max Lilienthal, one of the most eminent and learned
rabbis in the country. His sermon was an argument for perfect toleration
of beliefs,--even the most eccentric,--provided the conduct and the
disposition are what they should be. "Religion is right," said he;
"theology, in a great measure, wrong." Mr. Mayo and others preach
occasionally in the synagogues, and find that a good Christian sermon is
a good Jewish one also. We have, too, a lecture delivered by another
rabbi, Dr. Isidor Kalisch, before the Young Men's Literary and Social
Union of Indianapolis, which is bold even to audacity. He told the young
gentlemen that the prevalence of Christianity in the Roman Empire was
not an escape _from_ barbarism, but a lapse _into_ it. "As soon," said
he, "as Christianity began spreading over the Roman Empire, all
knowledge, arts, and sciences died away, and the development of
civilization was retarded and checked." Of course any attempt to express
the history of five centuries in twenty words must be unsuccessful. This
attempt is: but the boldness of the opinion does not appear to have
given offence. The learned Doctor further gave his hearers to
understand, that knowledge is "the source of all civilization," and
theology the chief obstacle in its way.

The eyes of every stranger who walks about Cincinnati are caught by an
edifice ornamented with domes and minarets like a Turkish mosque. This
is the "Reformed Synagogue," of which Dr. Isaac M. Wise is pastor,--a
highly enlightened and gifted man. It is a truly beautiful building,
erected at a cost of three hundred thousand dollars by one of the best
architects in the West, Mr. James Keys Wilson, who also built the
Court-House and Post-Office of Cincinnati. The interior, for elegance
and convenience combined, is only equalled by the newest interiors of
Chicago, and even by them it is not surpassed. Except some slight
peculiarities about the altar, it is arranged precisely like one of our
Protestant churches, and the service approaches very nearly that of the
Unitarians who use a liturgy. It is the mission of Dr. Wise to assist in
delivering his people from the tyranny of ancient superstitions by
calling their attention to the weightier matters of the law. Upon some
of the cherished traditions of the Jews he makes open war, and prepares
the way for their not distant emancipation from all that is narrowing
and needlessly peculiar in their creed and customs. For the use of his
congregation he has prepared a little book entitled "The Essence of
Judaism," from which the following are a few sentences, gathered here
and there:--

"It is not the belief of this or that dogma, but generous actions from
noble motives, which the sacred Scripture calls the path of salvation."
"The noblest of all human motives is to do good for goodness' sake."
"The history of mankind teaches, that man was not as wicked as he was
foolish; his motives were better than his judgment." "Reward or
punishment is the _natural_ consequence of obedience or disobedience to
God's laws." "Great revolutions in history always resulted in the
progress of humanity." "The first duty a man owes himself is the
preservation of his life, health, and limbs." "The special laws of the
Sabbath are: 1. To rest from all labor; 2. To recruit our physical
energies by rest and innocent enjoyments; 3. To sanctify our moral
nature; 4. _To improve our intellect._" "The best maxim of conduct to
our parents is, treat them as you would wish to be treated by your
children." "No offensive words or actions afford a shadow of
justification for killing a human being, or injuring him in his limbs or
health." "Only self-defence with equal arms, defence of others, or the
defence of our country against invasion or rebellion, are exceptions to
the above law of the Lord." "Domestic happiness depends exclusively upon
the unadulterated affections and the inviolable chastity of parents and
children." _"Palestine is now defiled by barbarism and iniquity; it is
the holy land no more. The habitable earth must become one holy land."_
"The sons and daughters of the covenant have the solemn duty to be
INTELLIGENT." "Punishment must be intended only to correct the criminal
and to protect society against crimes."

In the same spirit he conducts "The Israelite," a weekly paper. "Liberty
of Conscience--Humanity the object of Religion," is the title of one
article in the number before us, and it expresses the whole aim and
tendency of the movement which the editor leads. Nothing is more
probable than that soon the observance of Saturday will be abolished,
and that of Sunday substituted. It is impossible that the enlightened
Jews of Cincinnati can continue to attach importance to a distinction
which is at once so trivial and so inconvenient. Indeed, we hear that
some of the Jews of Baltimore have begun the change by holding their
Sabbath schools on Sunday. Who knows but that some rabbi, bold and wise,
shall appear, who will lead his people to withdraw the bar from
intermarriage with Christians, and that at last this patient and
long-suffering race shall cease to be "peculiar," and merge themselves
in mankind?

The golden rule seems to run in the very blood of the best Jews. One of
the publications of Dr. Lilienthal is a History of the Israelites from
the days of Alexander to the present time. He recounts the sufferings of
his ancestors from blind and merciless bigotry; and then states in a few
words the revenge which his people propose to take for fifteen hundred
years of infamy, isolation, and outrage.

"We have accompanied," he says, "the poor exile through centuries of
agony and misery; we have heard his groaning and his lamentations. The
dark clouds of misery and persecution have passed away; the bloody axe
of the executioner, the rack and stake of a fanatic inquisition and
clergy, were compelled to give way to reason and humanity; the roar of
prejudice and blind hatred had to cease before the sweet voice of
justice and kindness. Israel stands, while his enemies have vanished
away from the arena of history; their endeavors to make Israel faithless
to his God and his creed have proved futile and abortive. Israel has
conquered politically and religiously. Day after day witnesses the
crumbling to pieces of the barriers that have secluded them from
intercourse with their fellow-citizens; the old code of laws has become
obsolete, and on the new pages is inscribed the name of the Jew, not
only enjoying all rights and privileges with his Christian brethren, but
fully deserving them, and excelling in every department of life in which
he now is allowed and willing to engage. And his religion--the holy
doctrine of an indivisible Unity of God, of man's creation in the image
of God, of our destination, to become by virtue, justice, and charity
contented in this, and happy in after life--is daily gaining more ground
as the only religion complying with the demands of reason and our
destination on earth. And Israel does not falter in the accomplishment
of its holy mission,--to be the redeeming Messiah to all mankind, to
become a nation of priests, teaching and preaching the truth."

The noble rabbis of Cincinnati are an enlightening and civilizing power
in the city, and their fellow-citizens know it and are grateful for it.

A place like Cincinnati needs the active aid of every man in her midst
who is capable of public spirit. There is a great sum of physical life
there, but much less than the proper proportion of cultivated
intelligence. The wealthy men of Cincinnati must beware of secluding
themselves in their beautiful villas on the other side of the hill, and
leaving the city to its smoke and ignorance. The question for
Cincinnati, and indeed for the United States, to consider, was well
stated by Mr. Mayo in his celebrated lecture upon "Health and Holiness
in Cincinnati," one of the most weighty, pathetic, eloquent, and wise
discourses we ever read:--

     "Shall our Western city children be saved to lead the
     civilization of America by their superior manhood and
     womanhood? or shall they be buried out of sight, or mustered
     into the 'invalid corps' before they are thirty years of age,
     and hard-headed Patrick, slow and sturdy Hermann, and
     irrepressible Sambo, walk in and administer the affairs of the
     country over their graves?"



A LILIPUT PROVINCE.


Towards the close of summer, all well-feathered Londoners migrate, and
may at that season be observed flying from their native streets or
squares in large flocks, like wild geese, with outstretched necks, and
round, protruding eyes. Some settle on the Scotch moors, where they
industriously waddle themselves thin. Others take short flights to
neighboring bathing-places, where they splash in the water with their
goslings, strut proudly on the sands, display a tendency to pair, and
are often preyed upon by the foxes which also resort to those
localities. Many more cross the Channel, and may be heard during two
months cackling more or less loudly in every large hotel upon the
Continent. And in addition to all these there are the _stragglers_,--a
small and select race, which defy the great gregarious laws, and delight
in taking solitary, and, if possible, unprecedented flight.

I must own that it is my weakness to pry into the untrodden nooks and
corners of life. I have wasted many precious hours in toiling through
black-letter folios and tracts which had no other merit than their
rarity. And I have put myself to the greatest pains and inconvenience to
arrive at a desert island out at sea, or some obscure village hid away
among mountains, simply for the pleasure of feeling that I had been
where few other civilized travellers had been. I have seldom received
any better reward than that, but once or twice I have fallen upon a
store of facts, which, however insignificant, had at least the charm of
being new, and which have answered the purpose of stimulating me to
fresh absurdities.

A few months ago I was standing on the deck of a steamer bound from
London to Hamburg. It was midnight, and we were approaching the mouth of
the Elbe. Right ahead was a light of great brilliancy and power; this,
the captain informed me, shone from Heligoland, and was seen so clearly
because the island was about a hundred and fifty feet above the level of
the sea,--a great boon to navigators, the neighboring coasts being very
low. But my informant had been in the habit of regarding Heligoland as a
lighthouse and nothing more; he could tell me nothing about its
constitution, its manners, or its customs, and I determined to visit it
forthwith.

By the late wars upon the Continent, the political geography of the Elbe
has been completely changed. Between the mouth of the river and Hamburg,
the right bank formerly belonged to Holstein, and the left to Hanover.
Now both are Prussian. Hamburg itself is under the wing of the Prussian
eagle, and may soon be under its claw. The feeling in that city is
anti-Prussian; but the citizens were wise enough to side with their
powerful neighbor, and to contribute troops. This has certainly saved
them from the fete of Frankfort, but it is not probable that Hamburg
will be allowed to remain a thoroughly independent state. Prussia will
probably abolish her diplomatic, and perhaps her consular service, and
permit her to retain certain important rights and privileges. It is, at
the present moment, an anxious crisis for the great merchants. In
Hamburg, fortunes are made with a rapidity, and to an extent, unequalled
in any Continental town; this is owing to the freedom of the port; but,
were the Prussian custom-house system to be introduced, Stettin and
Königsberg would spring into dangerous rivalry, and her commercial
interests would decline.

Hamburg is the only city in Europe which bears much resemblance to New
York. It has no antiquities, for the old town was entirely burnt down
about twenty years ago. It has no treasure-house of art, it has not many
"historical associations." It is a city of business, and four thousand
persons meet together every day in its Exchange. Its river is crowded
with shipping; American cars rattle along its streets; and ferry-boats
built on the American principle steam to and fro across the Alster-Dam.
Its hospitals, sailors' home, libraries, and ornamental gardens are not
inferior to those of New York itself: in these two cities, if the dollar
does jingle too often in conversation, it is sometimes made to shine in
a worthy cause. After dusk, Hamburg becomes dissolute and gay. It is
difficult to pass through a single street without hearing a violin.
Lager-bier saloons, oyster-cellars, cafés, dancing-rooms, and
restaurants of every kind are lighted up, and quickly filled. Debauchery
runs riot, and yet, strange to say, there is very little crime. The
respectable classes are less well provided for as regards amusement. I
went to the opera, and heard William Tell. The performance was mediocre,
though far superior to anything that could be done upon the English
operatic stage. But I was chiefly amused in watching the habits of the
gentlemen who patronized the stalls.

The custom of visiting and receiving at the opera was invented by the
Italians, to avoid the trouble and expense of receiving in their own
homes; from Italy it spread through Europe; and although the
opera-houses of London and Paris do not so closely resemble a public
drawing-room as those of Florence and Milan, yet the Italian opera could
scarcely exist in those cities unless it were supported as much by
people of fashion as by people of taste. But I was hardly prepared to
find in Hamburg a parody of polite life in this respect. During the
whole performance there was a continual interchange of social greetings
between corpulent ship-chandlers, their heads violently greased for the
occasion, and certain frowsy women sprinkled scantily through the house.
There was an old gentleman sitting next to me who turned the performance
to a nobler use; he had apparently brought his son there for the
purpose of tuition; holding the libretto between them, he translated
with great rapidity and in a clear voice the Italian words, at the
moment that they were sung, into one of the most guttural of German
dialects, thus playing the part of Dutch chorus to the entertainment,
and producing a conflict of sounds which it would be difficult to
describe.

       *       *       *       *       *

I discovered, to my astonishment, that Heligoland, in summer at all
events, was by no means an isolated rock; that since 1840 it has been
blessed with a Season; that, celebrated for its waves, it has become the
Scarborough of Northern Germany, and is visited by thousands of
sea-bathers every year.

I took my passage in the little steamer which runs from Hamburg, and
arrived at my destination at 10 P. M.. In the dim light of the moon and
stars the island bore a fantastic resemblance to the Monitor, a little
magnified; the lights of the village answering to those of the hull, and
the lighthouse to the lantern at the mast-head. The island presents this
appearance only at a distance and in a doubtful light. When I walked
over it the next morning I found that it was composed of a sand-bank
lying under a red cliff. The sand-bank was covered with houses, which
were divided by three or four streets; these were paved with wooden
boards. Every house was a shop, an inn, or a lodging-house. The cliff is
accessible on one side only, and is ascended by means of sinuous wooden
staircases. When the summit is reached, one stands upon the real island,
for the sand-bank below is an accident and an intruder. Heligoland
proper may be described as a precipice-plateau, containing a small
cluster of houses, a lighthouse, various pole-nets, springes, and other
contrivances for catching woodcocks in their migratory flights, and a
few miniature potato and corn fields. The extent of this plateau is not
quite equal to that of Hyde Park. As soon as I had made this discovery I
felt an intense compassion for all persons of the Teutonic race to whom
sea-bathing once a year happens to be indispensable. However, if dull,
it must at least be economical, I thought; but this illusion was
dispelled when I found that there was a roulette-table in the dingy
little Conversations-Haus, and when my landlord handed me in a bill
which would not have disgraced any hotel in Bond Street or the Fifth
Avenue.

How on earth, thought I, can these poor deluded creatures pass their
time? They get up at some absurd hour in the morning; they sail to a
neighboring sand-bank where they bathe and then take coffee in a
whitewashed pavilion; they return to breakfast, and then--what can they
do? There is nowhere to walk; there is nothing to read; and in the
height of the season there must be a scarcity of elbow-room. Although
every house offers accommodation to visitors, it has not unfrequently
happened that persons have been obliged to sleep on board the steamers
which brought them, and to return to the main-land. Imagine an island
being full, like an omnibus!

Then a thought came upon me which wrung my heart. _The Governor!_ How
could this unfortunate man exist? With a precipice on one side of his
house and a potato-field on the other, what could save him from despair
and self-destruction? This question was answered for me when I heard
that he was married.

My eccentric wanderings have at least served to convince me of
this,--that a man's sole refuge from the evils of solitude is to be
found in the domestic sentiments. There is, it is true, a solitude of
genius; there are minds which must climb out of the common air and
breathe alone. There is also the solitude of enthusiasm, which is more
common, and which is found among a lower order of men, who become so
possessed with a single idea that it leaves them neither by day nor
night, but is their bride, their bosom friend, and their constant
occupier. But what becomes of the ordinary man, if he is excluded from
the busy regions of the world, and if his heart remains as solitary as
his life? Everything dries up in him; he becomes uncouth, bigoted,
selfish, egotistical, and usually ends by falling into a semi-torpid
state, and by hibernating into death.

I remember that once I had contrived to creep into the centre of one of
the most remote of the Cape Verde Islands. My mule suddenly turned into
a by-path and broke into a cheerful amble. Experience has proved to me
that, when a mule has thoroughly made up its mind, resistance is out of
the question. I contented myself with asking my youthful companion what
the animal's probable intentions were. The boy said that the mule was
going to see the Judge, and pointed to a lovely little cottage which
came in view at that moment. Then I recollected that I had heard this
gentleman spoken of, and that I had a letter of introduction to him. The
mule carried me into the stable from which I was conducted into a
drawing-room. There, for the first time during many months, for I had
been travelling in strange lands, I saw a number of the _Revue de Deux
Mondes_. I plunged into it, and made an ineffectual effort to read every
article at once. The Judge came in, and I at once perceived that I was
in the presence of a remarkable man. After an hour's conversation we
began to interchange confidences. He told me about his student dreams at
Coimbra,--of the nights which he had passed in book-toil,--of his
aspirations, his poverty, and his exile. Perhaps he saw a little
compassion in my eyes when he had finished, for he added, "Those young
hopes have all been crushed, and yet I am happier in this desolate spot
than I have ever been in my life before." The door opened at that
moment, and a beautiful woman came in, leading two little children by
the hands.

"This is my happiness, sir," he said, as he introduced me to his wife.
Then he looked at his children, and his eyes filled with unutterable
love. "And these," he said, "are my ambition."

But before my visit to the island was concluded, I found that a
governorship of Heligoland was very far from being a tranquil retreat.
The present Governor, it seems, had founded a new constitution, and was
charged with having assumed despotic powers, and with having perpetrated
various acts of inhumanity. Governor Wall himself appeared in the light
of a philanthropist as compared with this military ogre, who, having
acquired a taste for blood in the Crimean War, had been sent to
Heligoland to gratify his ruthless propensities. He was as bad as Eyre,
for he had suspended a native politician from the Council. He was worse
than Sir Charles Darling, who had defied a constitution; for he had
destroyed one.

My curiosity having been excited by these complaints, I went to the
proper sources of information, and in a few hours had mastered the
political history of Heligoland.

In 1807 it was captured by Vice-Admiral Russell from the Danes. From
that time until 1864 the government of the colony consisted of a
Governor, six magistrates, and a closed popular body called the
_Vorsteherschaft_, containing, besides the magistrates aforesaid, eight
quartermasters and sixteen elders. The elders were the tribunes of the
people; the quartermasters acted as pilot officers, and superintended
all questions of pilotage and wreck; while the magistrates had the power
of nominating persons to fill vacancies in the _Vorsteherschaft_, and
appointed to them their own particular adherents, or else dangerous
political antagonists. The Governor was a Doge.

A colony governed by pilots, lodging-house-keepers, and small tradesmen
could scarcely be expected to prove a success. In 1820 there was a debt
of £1,800; in 1864, of £7,200. Owing to the rapacity of the
quartermasters, the pilot-trade fell into the hands of the people of
Cuxhaven. And in the island itself the wildest anarchy prevailed. The
six magistrates were unable to execute their own decrees; there was no
prison in the island, and it seems to have been the custom for the
authorities to kidnap convicted criminals and deposit them on the
main-land. Petitions were being constantly presented to the Home
Government from the magistrates, asking for more power; and from the
people, demanding the right to elect their own representatives.

So, in 1864, a new constitution was inaugurated, by an order of her
Majesty in Council. Its plan is similar to that extant in many other
British colonies, consisting of an executive council to advise the
Governor; of a legislative body, twelve members of whom are nominated by
the crown, and twelve others annually elected by the people, and forming
the so-called Combined Court, by whom all money ordinances have to be
passed. The right of franchise is exercised by all persons of sound mind
who have arrived at the age of twenty-one, and who have not been
convicted of felony,--the last proviso, by the by, might be introduced
with propriety in New York. The candidates for representation must be,
to a certain extent, men of property; that is, they must own land to the
value of £1 per annum; or the half of a boat; or the fourth part of a
fishing-vessel; or the tenth part of a decked vessel; or must have a
yearly income of £4; or must pay a house-rent of not less than thirty
shillings a year.

The new constitution was at first popular enough. The Heligolanders were
willing to accept the benefits, but they soon began to complain of the
burdens, of civilization. The new Governor determined to strike at the
two great abuses of Heligoland,--the roulette-table, and the public
debt,--which were entangled together in a very embarrassing way. Were
the gaming-table at once abolished, the number of visitors would
decrease, and those who, on the security of the gaming-table, had
invested their money in the colonial funds, would suffer pecuniary loss.
It was therefore enacted that the table should be abolished at the
expiration of the lease (1871), and that in the interim every measure
should be taken to increase the revenue with a view to the reduction of
the debt.

Heligoland, indeed, after a period of bungling and robbery, was placed
in the same financial position as the United States after a period of
war. In one case, as in the other, taxation was the only remedy. But the
Heligolanders did not like their medicine, and, like children, protested
that they were quite well. They refused to entertain a new and startling
idea,--still less, to pay for it. They had never heard of such a thing
before; their fathers and grandfathers had never paid taxes, and why
should they? It was no use telling them that other people paid taxes.
They were not other people. They were Heligolanders. This, it seems,
when spoken in their own patois, means a great deal; for they consider
themselves intellectually and morally superior to all the other nations
of the earth, whom they call, individually and collectively, _skit_,--a
word in their language signifying dirt. As soon as it was known that "an
ordinance enacting taxation on real and personal property" had been
"enacted by the Governor of Heligoland, with the advice and consent of
the Legislative Council, and the concurrence of the Combined Court,"
there was a grand disturbance. A reactionary party immediately arose,
with the cry of _The old state of things, and no taxation!_ When the
tax-collectors went round, the men laughed in their faces, and the women
called them names. It was in vain that the Governor summoned a meeting
of the inhabitants, and addressed them in very excellent German, and
gave them six months to turn the matter over in their minds. At the end
of that time they were still obstinate, the tax-collectors resigned, and
this victory was celebrated with festivities. But suddenly a British
man-of-war appeared; a file of marines marched on shore; the ringleaders
of the reactionists were put into durance vile--for an afternoon; and
the taxes were paid up with marvellous rapidity.

The next move of the opposition was a petition, which was signed by
three hundred and fifty out of the two thousand islanders, and was sent
into the Colonial Office, protesting against the new constitution, and
requesting the abolition of all the ordinances which it had passed.
Since a certain occurrence which took place in the reign of George III.,
the British government has been in the habit of paying most careful
attention to all popular petitions from the colonies, but this one, as
may well be imagined, was refused. The constitution being popular, and
the taxes being light, (there is but one person on the island who pays
as much as £3 a year,) and the population extracting considerable wealth
from their season visitors, they have no real grievance to complain of,
and when last I heard from the island I was informed that the public
debt was rapidly melting away, and that peace and good feeling had been
quite restored.

This Liliput Province, in which the Governor is the only Englishman, and
his cow almost the only quadruped, deserves to be more frequently
visited by tourists, as it is perfectly unique in its way. It also
merits the study of English politicians. This island rock is the
Gibraltar of the North Sea. With a few companies of infantry and
casemated batteries, it might be held against any force, and it commands
the mouths of the Weser and the Elbe. The Heligolanders are not
Germans,--ethnology perhaps would rather class them with the Danes,--and
they have no German sympathies. There can be no excuse, therefore, for
giving up the island to Prussia, as has been seriously recommended in an
English journal; though the objection to this--that by so doing England
might lose _prestige_ upon the Continent--is a groundless fear: at the
present moment she has none to lose.



REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.


_Early and Late Papers, hitherto uncollected._ By WILLIAM MAKEPEACE
THACKERAY. Boston: Ticknor and Fields.

It appears to us that the graceful art of Thackeray was never more
happily employed than in the first paper of this series. The "Memorials
of Gormandizing" is a record of thrilling interest, and every good
dinner described has the effect upon the reader of a felicitous drama.
He goes from course to course, as from act to act of the play; he is
agonized with suspense concerning the fate of the dishes, as if they
were so many heroes and heroines; if the steak is not justly cooked, it
shall give him almost as great heart-break as a disappointment of
lovers; when all is fortunately ended, he takes a long breath, as when
the curtain falls upon the picture of the united young people, the
relenting uncle, and the baffled villain. As good as a novel? There are
mighty few novels that have so much of life and human nature in them as
that simple and affecting history, given in this book, of a dinner at
the Café de Foy, in Paris. But they make one hungry with an inappeasable
appetite, these "Memorials of Gormandizing," bringing to mind all the
beautiful dinners eaten in Latin countries, and filling the heart with
longing for the hotels that look out on the Louvre at Paris, the Villa
Reale at Naples, the Venetian sunsets, the Arno at Florence, and even
for the railway restaurants which so enchantingly diversify the flat,
monotonous, and desolate Flemish landscape.

We travel with Mr. Titmarsh to Bruges, Ghent, and Antwerp, through the
latter region, and we enjoy every one of those "Roadside Sketches," so
delicate, so unerring, and so suggestive. Thackeray is a delightful
traveller; for he, who can talk more wisely of old clothes than most
preachers of eternity, gets out of the nothings that tourists see the
very life and spirit of a country. Here is something also about modern
art and pictures in England and France, which comes as near not at all
boring as anything of that nature can; but we find the account of
"Dickens in France" so much more attractive, that we shall always read
it by preference hereafter.

For this is a book to be read many times by those loving to feel the
conscious felicity of a writer who knows that every sentence shall
happily express his mind, and succeed in winning the reader to the next.
The security is tacit in the earlier papers here reprinted; in the later
ones it is more declared, and becomes somewhat careless, though it can
never beget slovenliness. It appears to this great master that what he
does so easily can scarcely be worth doing, and he mocks his own
facility.

The spirit of the book is the same throughout. It is not different from
that of Thackeray's other books, and it is that of a man too sensible of
his own love of the advantages he enjoys from the existing state of
things ever to assail, with any great earnestness of purpose, the errors
and absurdities of the world,--who trusted, for example, in one of his
essays, never to be guilty of speaking harshly either of the South or
North of America, since friends in both sections had offered him equally
good claret. He is forever first in his art; and if we do not expect too
much from him, he gives us so much that we must rejoice over every line
of his preserved for our perusal.


_A Vindication of the Claim of Alexander M. W. Ball, of Elizabeth, N.
J., to the Authorship of the Poem, "Rock me to Sleep, Mother."_ By A. O.
MORSE, of Cherry Valley, N. Y. New York: M. W. Dodd.

It is no great while since Miss Peck proved to her own satisfaction her
claim to what Mr. Morse would style the "maternity" of "Nothing to
Wear," and now hardly has Judge Holmes of Missouri determined that the
paternity of Shakespeare is due to Bacon, when the friends of Mr. Ball
of New Jersey spring another trouble upon mankind by declaring him the
author of Mrs. Akers's very graceful and touching poem, "Rock me to
Sleep, Mother," which we all know by heart. In the present pamphlet they
give what evidence they can in Mr. Ball's behalf, and, to tell the
truth, it is not much. It appears from this and other sources that Mr.
Ball is a person of independent property, and a member of the New
Jersey Legislature, who has written a great quantity of verses first and
last, but has become all but "proverbial" in his native State for his
carelessness of his own poetry; so that we suppose people say there of a
negligent parent, "His children are as unkempt as the Hon. Alexander M.
W. Ball's poems"; or of a heartless husband, "His wife is about as well
provided for as Mr. Ball's Muse." Still Mr. Ball is not altogether lost
to natural feeling, and he has not thrown away all his poetry, but has
even so far shown himself alive to its claims upon him as to read it now
and then to friends, who have keenly reproached him with his
indifference to fame. To such accidents we owe the preservation in this
pamphlet of several Christmas Carols and other lyrics, tending to prove
that Mr. Ball could have written "Rock me to Sleep" if he had wished,
and the much more important letters declaring that he did write it, and
that the subscribers of the letters heard him read it nearly three years
before its publication by Mrs. Akers. These letters are six in number,
including a postscript, and it is not Mr. Ball's fault if they all read
a good deal like the certificates of other days establishing the
identity of the Old Original Doctor Jacob Townsend. Two only of the six
are signed with the writers' names; but these two have a special
validity, from the fact that the writer of one is a very old friend, who
has more than once expressed his wish to be Mr. Ball's literary
executor, while the writer of the other is evidently a legal gent, for
he begins with "Relative to the controversy _in re_ the authorship,"
etc., _like_ a legal gent, and he concludes with the statement that he
is able to fix the date when he heard Mr. Ball read "Rock me to Sleep"
by the date of a paper which he _thinks_ he called to draw up at Mr.
Ball's residence some time in the autumn of 1859. This is Mr. J. Burrows
Hyde. Mr. Lewis C. Grover, who would like to be Mr. Ball's literary
executor, is more definite, and says that he heard Mr. Ball read the
contested poem with others in 1857, during a call made to learn where
Mr. Ball bought his damask curtains. H. D. E. is sorry that he or she
cannot remember where he or she first heard Mr. Ball read it, but he or
she distinctly remembers that it was in 1857 or 1858. L. P. and I. E. S.
witness that they heard Mr. Ball read it in his study in 1856 or 1857,
and state that the date may be fixed by reference to the time "when Mrs.
Ball took Maria to Dr. Cox's, and placed her in the school in Leroy,"
and the pamphleteer, turning to a bill rendered by the principal of the
Leroy school, "fixes the date called for by the writers in February,
1857," at which time, according to the pamphleteer himself, _Mr. Ball
was on his way to California in an ocean steamer_! The postscript
mentioned among the letters is said to be dated at Brooklyn in 1858, and
merely asks Mr. Ball to "send by the doctor"--not a dozen more bottles
of his invaluable Sarsaparilla, but--the poem entitled "Rock me to
Sleep," and this postscript has no signature, and is therefore
worthless.

It appears, then, that these letters do not establish a great deal; the
legal gent fixes the time when he heard the poem by the date of a paper
which he thinks was drawn up at a certain period; H. D. E. is sorry that
he or she cannot remember, and then distinctly remembers; the postscript
is without signature; two other friends declare that they heard Mr.
Ball, in his own study, read "Rock me to Sleep, Mother;" at the moment
when the poet was probably very sea-sick on a California steamer. Mr.
Grover alone remains to persuade us, and we respectfully suggest to that
enthusiast whether it was not "Rock-a-by Baby" that he heard Mr. Ball
read? We do not think that he or the other writers of these letters
intend deceit; but we know the rapture with which people listen to poets
who read their own verses aloud, and we suspect that these listeners to
Mr. Ball were carried too far away by their feelings ever to get back to
their facts. They are good folks, but not critical, we judge, and might
easily mistake Mr. Ball's persistent assertion for an actual
recollection of their own. We think them one and all in error, and we do
not believe that any living soul heard Mr. Ball read the disputed poem
before 1860, for two reasons: Mrs. Akers did not write it before that
time, and Mr. Ball could never have written it after any number of
trials.

Let us take one of Mr. Ball's "Christmas Carols,"--probably the poem
which his friends now recall as "Rock me to Sleep, Mother,"--for all
proof and comment upon this last fact:--

    "CHRISTMAS, 1856.

    "And as time rolls us backward, we feel inclined to weep,
    As the spirit of our mother comes, to rock our souls to sleep.
    It raised my thoughts to heaven, and in converse with them there
    I felt a joy unearthly, and lighter sat world's care;
    For it opened up the vista of an echoless dim shore,
    Where my mother kindly greets me, as in good days of yore."

Here, then, is that quality of peculiarly hopeless poetasting which
strikes cold upon the stomach, and makes man turn sadly from his
drivelling brother. Do we not know this sort of thing? Out of the
rejected contributions in our waste-basket we could daily furnish the
inside and outside of a dozen Balls. It _is_ saddening, it _is_
pathetic; it has gone on so long now, and must still continue for so
many ages; but we can just bear it as a negative quality. It is only
when such rubbish is put forward as proof that its author has a claim to
the name and fame of a poet, that we lose patience. The verses given in
this pamphlet would invalidate Mr. Ball's claim to the authorship of
Mrs. Akers's poem, even though the Seven Sleepers swore that he rocked
them asleep with it in the time of the Decian persecution. But beside
the irrefragable internal evidence afforded by the specimens given of
Mr. Ball's poetry, and by his "first draft" of the disputed poem, and by
his "completed copy" of the poem, there is the well-known fact that Mr.
Ball is a self-confessed plagiarist in one case, and a convicted
plagiarist in several others. He has lately allowed in a published
letter that he used a poem by Mrs. Whitman in "concocting" one of his
own. It was some years since proven that he had plagiarized other
poems,--even one from Mrs. Hemans.

Mr. Ball has some claims to forbearance and interest as a curious
psychological study. Kleptomania is a well-known disorder. The unhappy
persons affected steal whatever they can, wherever they can, and come
home from evening parties with their pockets full of silver spoons,
which are usually sent home with the apologies of mortified friends. We
believe, however, this is the first instance of kleptomania of which the
victim not only steals, but turns upon the person plundered and makes
accusation that the stolen goods had been first filched from him. Mr.
Ball is phenomenal, but is a legislative assembly the place for this
sort of curiosity? If he is of sound mind, he is guilty of a very cruel
and shameless wrong, meriting expulsion from any body that makes laws
against larceny. If sane, let him go be elected to the New York Common
Council.

Of this pamphlet, aside from Mr. Ball, we have merely to say that it
appears to be written by the most impudent and the most absurd man in
America.


_Literature and its Professors_. By THOMAS PURNELL. London: Bell and
Daldy.

A cultivated intellect, a fair degree of shrewd perception, an
inviolable conscientiousness, a common sense frankly self-satisfied, are
some of the qualifications which Mr. Purnell brings to the discussion of
literature as seen in modern journalism, and in the lives of Giraldus
Cambrensis and Montaigne,--of Roger Williams, the literary
statesman,--of Steele, Sterne, and Swift, essayists,--of Mazzini, the
literary patriot.

Many of the conditions of literary journalism alluded to in these essays
are unknown in our country, where literature has not yet become merely a
trade, and where we cannot see that literary men are sinking in popular
esteem, and deservedly sinking, as being no better informed, or better
qualified to control opinion, than their non-writing neighbors. We can
better understand Mr. Purnell when he speaks of the imperfections and
discrepancies of criticism, but are not better able to sympathize with
all his ideas. The trouble is not, we think, that "critics who conceive
themselves to be men of taste give their opinions fearlessly, having no
misgivings that they are right," and "if a book is bad, feel it is bad,"
without being able to refer to a critical principle in proof, but that
many who write reviews have not formed opinions and have not _felt_ at
all, and have rather proceeded upon a prejudice, a supposed law of
æsthetics applicable to every exigency of literary development. A sense
of the inadequacy of criticism must trouble every honest man who sits
down to examine a new book; and it might almost be said, that no books
can be justly estimated by the critic except those which are unworthy of
criticism. Upon certain points and aspects of an author's work the
critic can justly give his convictions, and need have no misgivings
about them; but how to present a complete idea of it, and always to make
that appear characteristic which is characteristic, and that exceptional
which is exceptional, is the difficulty. Still, criticism must continue:
the perfect equipoise may never be attained, and yet we must employ the
balance, or nothing can be appraised, and traffic ceases.

It appears to us that criticism would be even more inadequate than it
is, however, if, as Mr. Purnell desires, it should have "to do solely
with the disposal of the materials, and but incidentally with the
quality of the materials themselves." If the German critics whom we are
asked to imitate have taught us anything, it is to look through form at
the substance within, and to judge that. When criticism was supposed a
science, it declared with a mathematical absoluteness that no drama was
good or great which did not preserve the unities. Yet Shakespeare has
written since, and no critic in the world thinks his plays bad or
weak,--thanks, chiefly, to the German criticism, which is an art, and
not a science, as Mr. Purnell desires us to think it. In fact, criticism
is almost purely a matter of taste and experience, and there is hardly
any law established for criticism which has not been overthrown as often
as the French government. Upon one point--namely, that a critic should
judge an author solely by his work, and never by anything known of him
personally--we think no one will disagree with our essayist.

We hardly know how much or how little to value the clever workmanship of
these essays, which is characteristic of a whole class of literature in
England, though we suspect it has not much greater claim to praise than
the art possessed by most Parisians of writing dramatic sketches of
Parisian society. It seems to come of a condition of things, rather than
from an individual faculty. Still, it is remarkable, and even admirable,
though in Mr. Purnell's case it is not inconsistent with dealing
somewhat prolixly with rather dry subjects, and being immensely
inconclusive upon all important matters, and very painfully conclusive
on trivial ones. Our essayist says little that is new of Montaigne, and
does not add to our knowledge of Steele, Swift, and Sterne, though he
speaks freshly and interestingly of Roger Williams as the first promoter
of religious toleration. He requires seventeen pages ("Literary
Hero-Worship") to declare that a great poet ought not to be thought
great because he is not a great soldier, and _vice versa_; he is neat
and cold, and generally doubtful of things accepted, and assured of
things doubted,--and, without being commonplace himself, he seems to
believe that he was born into the world to vindicate mediocrity of
feeling.


_The College, the Market, and the Court; or, Woman's Relation to
Education, Labor, and Law._ By CAROLINE H. DALL. Boston: Lee and
Shepard.

Here is a woman's showing of women's wrongs, a woman's appeal to men for
simple justice. All the facts of the matter are grouped and presented
anew with emphasis and feeling; and a demand is finally made for the
right of suffrage as the protection for women from all kinds of
oppression.

We do not care to discuss the wisdom of this conclusion; but from the
premises no man can dissent. It is unquestionably true that thousands of
women in America suffer an oppression little less cruel than slavery;
that they toil incessantly in shops and garrets for a pittance that half
sustains life, and at last drives them to guilt as the alternative of
starvation; it is true that women are shut out from the practice of the
liberal professions; it is true that in the trades to which they are
educated they often receive less pay than men for the same amount and
quality of work; it is true that the laws still bear unfairly upon them.
If the right of suffrage will open to them any means of earning bread
now forbidden them, if it will help in any way to give them an equal
chance with men in the world, they ought to have it. We are all alike
guilty of their wrongs, as long as they continue; it is not the wretch
who enslaves the needlewoman,--it is not the savage in whose "store" or
"emporium" the poorly paid shop-girl is forbidden to sit down for a
moment, and swoons away under the ordeal,--it is not the rogue who gives
a woman less wages than a man for a man's service,--it is not these and
their kind who are alone guilty, but society itself is guilty. The
reform of very great evils will be cheaply accomplished if women by
voting can right themselves. It must be confessed, to our shame, that we
have failed to right them; though it may at the same time be doubted
whether the elective franchise, which is claimed as the means of
justice, would not now belong to women, if it had been even generally
demanded. So far the responsibility is partly with woman herself, who
must also help to bear the blame for failure to ameliorate the condition
of her sex in the existing political state. Mrs. Dall is by no means
blind to this fact, and she speaks candidly to women, as she speaks
fearlessly to men. We think her arguments would have been more forcible
if they had been less complex. It is not worth while to argue the
intellectual capacity of women for the franchise in a country where it
is given to ignorant immigrants and freedmen. It was by no means
necessary to show woman's qualification for all the affairs of life, in
order to prove that she should not be hindered or limited in her
attempts to help herself. Indeed, Mrs. Dall's strength is mainly in her
facts concerning woman's general condition, and not in her researches to
prove the exceptional success of women in the arts and sciences.


_The Land of Thor._ By J. ROSS BROWNE. New York: Harper and Brothers.

Mr. Browne's stories of what he saw in Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark,
and Iceland have that variety ascribed by Mr. Tennyson to the imitations
of his poetry,--

    "And some are pretty enough,
       And some are poor indeed."

It is this traveller's aim to keep his reader constantly amused, and to
produce broad grins and other broad effects at any cost. Naturally the
peoples whom he visits, his readers, and the author himself, all suffer
a good deal together, and do not so often combine in hearty, unforced
laughter as could be wished. This is the more a pity because Mr. Browne
is a genuine humorist, and must be very sorry to fatigue anybody. In his
less boisterous moments he is really charming, and, in spite of all his
liveliness, he does give some clear ideas of the lands he sees. It
appears to us that the travels through Iceland are the best in his book,
as the account of Russia is decidedly the dullest,--the Scandinavian
countries of the main-land lying midway between these extremes, as they
do on the map. Of solid information, such as the old-fashioned
travellers used to give us in honest figures and statistics, there is
very little in this book, which is the less to be regretted because we
already know everything now-a-days. The work is said to be "illustrated
by the author"; but as most of the illustrations bear the initials of
Mr. Stephens, we suppose this statement is also a joke. We confess that
we like such of Mr. Browne's sketches as are given the best: there at
least all animate life is not rendered with such a sentiment that cats
and dogs, and men and women, might well turn with mutual displeasure
from the idea of a common origin of their species.


_Half-Tints. Table d'Hôte and Drawing-Room._ New York; D. Appleton & Co.

Here is the side which our polygonous human nature presents to the
observer in a great New York hotel. Throngs of coming and going
strangers, snubbingly accommodated by the master of the caravansary, who
seeks to make it rather the home of the undomestic rich than the
sojourning-place of travel; the hard faces of the ladies in the
drawing-room; the business talk of the men of the gentlemen's parlor;
the twaddle of the jejune youngsters of either sex in the dining-room;
and individual characters among all these,--are the features of
hotel-life from which the author turns to sketch the exchange, the
street, the fashionable physician, and the modish divine, or to moralize
desultorily upon themes suggested by his walks between his hotel and his
office. The manner of the book is colloquial; and the author, addressing
an old friend, seeks a relief and contrast for the town atmosphere of
his work in recurring reminiscences of a youth and childhood passed in
the purer air of the country. Some of his sketches are caricatured, some
of his pictures rather crudely colored; but at other times he is very
skilful, and generally his tone is pleasant, and in the chapters, "Not a
Sermon," "And so forth," and "Out of the Window," there is shrewd
observation and sound thought.





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